Ai & Pathfinding - the new challenge for RTS games?
I've just finished playing the BFME 2 demo (yeah late but i had to see what it was all about) and I noticed just how truely awful the AI is in the game.
People have complained about Empire at War and I noticed that Dawn of War also suffers from poor AI and terrible pathfinding. The Total War series is no stranger to this either.
With the focus moving away from base building and focusing more on the war aspect of RTS games, it strikes me just how much of a challenge games are due to poor AI & path finding.
It has been something that's always dogged RTS games for many years but it still seems to be something that the modern day RTS game can't over come.
Some have tried to be clever, like Dawn of War, offering a 'stance' to place on your units on - great idea and you can custom it for each type of unit you build straight from the barracks - unlike BFME 2 where the stance mode is too fussy to select due to the puzzling array of menus you need to negotiate just to issue a command.
Company of Heroes is promising to 'revolutionise' RTS gaming when its released soon but are companies focusing too much on nice looking graphics but actually forgetting what RTS games are about?
Personally, if I set a game on a harder level, I expect it to be tougher to play against and try to use tactics more to its advantage, rather than the normal 'it starts with 60 units more than you do and doesnt lose much health' style of BFME 2 (for example).
Path finding, again has proven tricky. Theres nothing more frustrating that selecting an army for an attack, to discover that they are either stuck (VERY common in DoW) or have taken a 'more scenic' route to the battle.
Are you happy with the way things are? Or should companies really focus now on smarter RTS games?