From: "Roger Avedon" <avedon@stanford.edu>
Newsgroups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic
Subject: AoE UnitAI mini-FAQ
Date: Thu, 9 Oct 1997 12:06:08 -0700

Gleaned from Dave Pottinger's posts and e-mail.

Kudos and thanks to DCP for making time and effort to try to answer these
questions both in private and public forums.

************************

Q:  Why do my siege weapons fire into melee so readily, injuring my own
troops?

A:  [DCP]

> Siege weapons aren't supposed to be battlefield weapons.  The design
> decision was to make them hurt your own forces for a two reasons:  realism
> and to force you to manage them more because they can be so devastating
 > (i.e. to have that much power available, you have to pay a price).

[Aside:  The source of this issue may be the behavior of "siege weapons" in
WarCraft2,
which are definitely intended for combat...]

****************************

Q:  Why are my archers so stupid as to not maintain distance from attacking
infantry?

A:  [DCP]

> In mass numbers, archers slaughter
> everything on the board.  As a result (or cause, depending on your
> viewpoint; the game's been through enough iterations on this topic
> that you can't accurately say one issue always drove another), they
> need to be harder to manage in order to balance that (for much of the
> same logic as a catapult hurting your own guys due to its power).
> When we tried out the more intelligent archers, archers really took
> over and the designers chose to fix it by making the archers not keep
> their range.

[Aside:  One concludes, then, that the desirable behavior exhibited by enemy
archers is not _unitAI_, but rather deliberate decisions made by the overall
computer AI.]

***************************************

Q:  Why are my other military units too stupid to aid fellow units being
attacked?

A:  [DCP]

>> The game's design definitely favors
>> attacking units so that the game comes to an end and doesn't stalemate
>> with two overly defensive armies.  Having units be "slow" to react
>> plays into this by helping the attacking units have the advantage.

********************************************

Q:  Why does pathfinding suck?

A:  [Not an answer, but, by way of mitigation, note that shift-right click
allows you to set way points...]

***************************************

If anyone wants to add to this FAQ, let me know.  I'll be happy to maintain
it for as long as it doesn't take over my life.

-- Roger