Question (Poll) Do you prefer games with or without AI companions?

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Do you prefer to play with AI companions?

  • Yes

    Votes: 8 33.3%
  • No

    Votes: 4 16.7%
  • Sometimes

    Votes: 12 50.0%

  • Total voters
    24
You'll want to use stealth to get through a place, and they'll jump out guns-a-blazin' and ruin it all for you. And the worst is when you need to get through a door to the next room, and your companion just stands right there in the door, and you can't get past them.
So is it common not to be able to tell companions to 'go here' or 'stay there'?

Seems it would be a definite required basic in any companion implementation.
You can tell them to go somewhere, but it's a bother to do so. A quick menu to give your companion orders would make them a lot less irritating.
As much as I love Bethesda's RPGs, to utilize their companions, you really have to use a mod that gives you a bit more control over how they react, attack, move, sneak, ect. The best one I've used for Skyrim SE is Nether's Follower Framework:
Nether's Follower Framework at Skyrim Special Edition Nexus - Mods and Community (nexusmods.com)


Companions will sneak when you sneak, won't attack until you attack, will avoid traps, switch from melee to ranged weapons when needed, and a multitude of other options. Read the description on the mod page if you're interested, as it really has an amazing number of options.

There's also Better Companions AIO for Fallout 4:
Better Companions - All In One at Fallout 4 Nexus - Mods and community (nexusmods.com)

And JIP Companions Command & Control for Fallout New Vegas:
JIP Companions Command and Control at Fallout New Vegas - mods and community (nexusmods.com)

All do variations of the same thing, some more complex than others, but it makes traveling with Bethesda created companions much more enjoyable. Modded companions, like Vilja and Indigo that I mentioned above, don't need that, as they have their own AI package and behavior controls.

Can you do that with companions that are forced on you for a time?
Not really, as you just have to go along with them to complete a specific quest. I remember Fargas from the Companion's Guild in Skyrim that led me on a specific quest, but there was no control of his actions. After completing that quest, he was available as a companion and could be managed by Nether's, but not while that quest was active.

Not all games give them total free will. Companion AI in games isn't up to the task yet.
With all the articles and advancement that we've seen in AI research lately, it's my hope that some game developer somewhere will take the time to create companions that have a true AI that reacts to all the choices and actions that you (the player) makes within a game world, and less dependent upon scripted events. I think the tools and technology are in place, but it would be a huge amount of expense and time to accomplish, as well as a focus on the single player experience. I'm doubtful that it will ever happen, but I'd love to see it. A gamer can dream, right?
 
I think the tools and technology are in place, but it would be a huge amount of expense and time to accomplish, as well as a focus on the single player experience. I'm doubtful that it will ever happen, but I'd love to see it. A gamer can dream, right?

it will happen but maybe not from a dinosaur AAA company. Maybe from a smaller company that hasn't been eaten by a dinosaur yet. Dinosaurs too interested in watching for an asteroid to worry about innovating. They sell games based on hype now, don't need to actually try. Single player can't be monetised so its not even on their radar. Everything is about having everyone see everyone else in their sparkly armor so that they buy it too... games are just front end to stores.

Dreamers exist who will try. tech just needs to filter further down.
 
it will happen but maybe not from a dinosaur AAA company. Maybe from a smaller company that hasn't been eaten by a dinosaur yet. Dinosaurs too interested in watching for an asteroid to worry about innovating. They sell games based on hype now, don't need to actually try. Single player can't be monetised so its not even on their radar. Everything is about having everyone see everyone else in their sparkly armor so that they buy it too... games are just front end to stores.

Dreamers exist who will try. tech just needs to filter further down.
When I play a game, I don't give a rat's backside about aesthetic upgrades or outfits. In fact, it annoys me, even when you don't have to pay for them. I'm playing Fenyx Rising right now, and I hate it when I fight through a lot of big enemies to get a chest, or I make it through a vault to get that chest, and it's just a new visual for armor I already have.

I...Don't...Care!
 
May 11, 2022
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it will happen but maybe not from a dinosaur AAA company. Maybe from a smaller company that hasn't been eaten by a dinosaur yet. Dinosaurs too interested in watching for an asteroid to worry about innovating. They sell games based on hype now, don't need to actually try. Single player can't be monetised so its not even on their radar. Everything is about having everyone see everyone else in their sparkly armor so that they buy it too... games are just front end to stores.

Dreamers exist who will try. tech just needs to filter further down.
I get the idea that developers come up with a concept for a game, whatever works makes it through to the product.
But I think they do watch what sort of mods are created by players and they do in some cases listen to players on forums. It makes sense to use player feedback to improve a game. Plus more satisfied customers.

Already developers have explored different times in their games(Viking times to space travel in the future) , landcapes and action are realistic. I think they are looking for ways to make NPC's more realistic.

So we saw that in Legion, where NPC's had lives and kept to a timetable. Also Rockstar have patented a new AI NPC driving system to make GTA6 even more realistic.

So having controllable but still independant AI companions would seem the next logical step.
 
May 11, 2022
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I think the main difficulty is that realistic is not the same as fun. And fun is really hard to quantify for an AI.
I like this idea of an AI companion that protects the main character, can help progress through game. That's quite realistic.
I enjoy it in SofW after one of their sniper cross bow captains has nearly killed Talion, and he calls his sniper one shot. Poetic vengeance.

I was just watching this clip from Metal Gear Solid5 where Quiet helps out with a sniper rifle. Having NPCs that can be friendly or turn against is interesting. (I just had four friendly captains betray Talion at same time.)


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nO8oPH__Ww&ab_channel=DKGames
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
With all the articles and advancement that we've seen in AI research lately, it's my hope that some game developer somewhere will take the time to create companions that have a true AI that reacts to all the choices and actions that you (the player) makes within a game world, and less dependent upon scripted events.
Decisions? Like.... decisions on what armor mods I use?

Look Vilja, that's very highly regarded armor in TERA, and it's....

<sigh> OK, back to the stock chainmail.
 
May 11, 2022
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826
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With all the articles and advancement that we've seen in AI research lately, it's my hope that some game developer somewhere will take the time to create companions that have a true AI that reacts to all the choices and actions that you (the player) makes within a game world, and less dependent upon scripted events.
I think this is right and there are a number of AI companions that already act independently as well as interacting with the main character, like Elizabeth in Bioshock Infinite.

@Zloth I think what mainer is indicating is something like what the Nemesis system does.

In that vid, he talks about being killed by an orc who breaks Talion's sword. Talion then later kills the orc repeatedly and through the developing story Talion realises they have more in common.

The orc then saves him in a fight and to pay the orc back the player makes him a warlord.
 
Oct 19, 2022
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I think the main difficulty is that realistic is not the same as fun. And fun is really hard to quantify for an AI.
I think the more realistic NPCs are the more fun the game is, so Rockstar would be making a great choice. They need to fulfil at least some customer expectations to make a muster peace
 

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