Hero AI contest 2013

I did few tests of the map and I encountered few situations I'm not satisfied with.

1). There are 2 fountains to keep the map balance. Otherwise spawn locations might change the outcome of the battle slightly
This should be completely not the case. Heroes start with full health and mana, initial conditions are neglilible in this map.

2). Constant experience is needed to get to level 10 eventually.
The tomes of experience are still worthwhile because they allow you to level up quicker then your opponent.
Creep scaling might be a good idea but the battles will probably not even last long enough for that. After all, you simply can not kill stronger creeps with a single hero that fast.
By the time I could get gold enough to buy one tome, both heroes were level 5. Low level creeps and constant gold income were not enough to make difference even of 1 level.

3). A bigger variety of items might imbalance certain heroes as they allow for more useful combos. A hero with faster attack speed benefits more from claws of attack as a hero with slower attack speed.
Also, some heroes deal the majority of their damage through melee attacks and others by using skills / summoned units. The summoners will not benefit much from these items and this will imbalance the game in favor of fighting heroes.
That depends on what items would the markets contain. But I agree that this could be a factor that would need some deeper thought.

4). The 5 minute rule is VERY important. You dont wanna see 2 really bad AI's just stand in their corners doing nothing. It is there to provide the referee with the opportunity to cancel the battle if both AI's are not doing anything.
The timer is reset even if a creep is hit. So as long as your AI does ANYTHING other then running around in circles this time limit will NOT be a problem.

Yes, that may be the case. The judge should have right to cancel the match if he thinks it won't resolve. However, this should by no means regulated by the rigid rule of 5 minutes. Imagine that two heroes are struck in a fountain battle. There are other things that bypass the rule but the match remains stalemate and boring.

5). No respawn. This will alter the entire nature of the contest.
There is one battle to the death.
I would pity those people who spend alot of time to code an ai just to see their heroes die in the first minute. The timer and respawnable heroes give equal showdown time for every ai and provides better material for players to judge. Just like in sports, the winner does not emerge by lucky shot but by combination of consecutive victories.

The discussion thread was posted more then a weak ago, all kinds of suggestion could have been made back then. Since nobody else took the opportunity to create the contest I did it myself and these are the rules I have selected for the contest.
Given there was no map or set of rules, it was hard for me to give any feedback. However, this is not the case anymore and I dare to point the things that in my opinion may flaw the tournament.

For anybody who is curious, they are more or less the same as the older hero AI contest had.
Are there any replays from the old contest that may confirm or deny my misgiving feelings?
 
2). The gold gain and the experience given by creeps might be increased if so desired; however, the creeps are already pretty tough for a lone hero to fight. You have to keep in mind, that the enemy hero might back stab you at any moment while you are creeping.

4). There is no rule which says the fight has to be stopped. Its just a rough guideline as to how long the referee should at least wait until the fight is canceled. After all, its still the decision of the referee to cancel the fight.
And since the fountains only heal 1% of health per second it is not possible to have an infinite battle at the fountains since the heroes deal way more damage per second then 1%.

5). This is how a deathmatch works. If you play the standard game and use your hero to attack the enemy base and you die to a lucky hit of your opponent you wont just get another chance because you might think its unfair.
The fights should not last too long. If we have 8 AI's at the end we already have about 50 battles to fight. If each of these takes 20 minutes nobody is going to watch this.
But yes, we could raise the starting level to 3 to speed it up a little bit more I suppose.

I think I will add referee options to set the starting level for the fight and the gold / experience gain. Before each fight both contestants can veto the changes by the referee but they can no longer veto after the fight has started.
How about that?


About the replays from the older tournament; I dont know if they are still online. Its fairly easy to find the old tournament if you search for "hero ai contest" in the wehz. See for yourself if they are still hosted.
Edit: Here are the links:
Contest:
http://www.thehelper.net/threads/ai-contest-1-july-3rd-july-19th.116836/
Submissions:
http://www.thehelper.net/threads/ai-contest-1-submission-thread.117636/
Battles:
http://www.thehelper.net/threads/ai-contest-1-battle-thread.118071/
 
Ah, the rules were kind of obscure to me until I've read the info about old contest. In this case indeed, prolonging the fights is a bad idea considering the number of contestants.

After seeing the old contest I know what you mean now.

The fountains should be split into life and mana, they are the choke points and it should be either life or mana, otherwise there's really no point in leaving them.

Also, I thought creeps would be the main source of experiece/gold gain but considering this is not the case they have rather no actual reason to remain. Therefore, starting level of 3 also no longer applies.

Items in shops should be put thoroughtfully. There's no point in having Wand of Necromancy because of its very little impact on the outcome and comlex scripting it requires for example. But considering rather flat gold gain, you should consider what purpose these shops should actually serve. Amount of gold players gain is at this point rather constant so buying items will actually serve only as counterbalance to other ai that buys items for the same sake.

And since the fountains only heal 1% of health per second it is not possible to have an infinite battle at the fountains since the heroes deal way more damage per second then 1%.

The 2009 Ai Contest tells otherwise. Maybe infinite hit exchange between AI's near the fountain wasn't the case but it often ended with exchanging with one or 2 hits and running back , which fountains were fully capable of pathing.
 
1). I can split the fountains I guess, if it really is this urgent to you.

2). The creeps offer additional experience and gold for the AI which utilizes them. You are not forced to fight them. In fact, it will make the AI more complicated; but it will give an extra opportunity to every contestant who feels like doing more work.
This is not a must have feature for the AI but it is a possibility to make a better AI then your opponent. If we have, at the end, 5 demon hunters in the competition I would like to see some diversion when it comes to items and creeps. Just something which makes the better AI stick out from the masses.

3). Same reason for the items as for the creeps. The Wand of Necromancy is added so every hero can utilize the corpses around the map. You can not just use them offensively but you could also try to remove the corpses before your enemy might use them with his ultimate (resurrection, etc).

I have run some tests about the healing effects of the fountains and the damage that heroes deal.
Letting a lvl 1 shadowhunter (with heal) fight a lvl 1 demon hunter (with evasion) next to a fountain which heals both health and mana is a pretty boring fight.
The demon hunter would win, but it would take a lot of time.

However, if both are level 10, use no offensive abilities and have no items, then they can not kill each other with their normal attacks as the fountains heal them faster then they can deal damage.

I think this will stretch the battles much longer then is needed. As a conclusion to these tests I will remove the fountains of healing completely from the map. An updated version of the map will be added soon.
 
2). The creeps offer additional experience and gold for the AI which utilizes them. You are not forced to fight them. In fact, it will make the AI more complicated; but it will give an extra opportunity to every contestant who feels like doing more work.

The amount of exp aswel as gold from creeps is neglilible compared to the flat exp increase. Make it so that farming creeps can be risky but worthwhile instead of just being risky.

3). Same reason for the items as for the creeps. The Wand of Necromancy is added so every hero can utilize the corpses around the map. You can not just use them offensively but you could also try to remove the corpses before your enemy might use them with his ultimate (resurrection, etc).
This is simply not the case. It's really not worth buying and using such an item considering of how little help it can be. Try to put yourself in the shoes of both ais and you'll soon see how futile both removing corpses and using skeletons is. Now, if human can't utilize these, how could and AI?

I think this will stretch the battles much longer then is needed. As a conclusion to these tests I will remove the fountains of healing completely from the map. An updated version of the map will be added soon.
I think fountain of health is essential to be there, aswell as fountain of mana. Removing them cuts the amount of possible behaviors dramatically. You can aswell put 2 Troll hunters near fountain of mana and have same outcome, removing fountains doesn't solve the issue. Heroes should have: 1) place to heal, 2) place to regenerate mana, 3) creeps to farm gold/experience, 4) a shop to spend gold. Additionally, you should consider adding mid level creeps for the sole purpose of charm abiliy (though I doubt anyone would choose dark ranger, who knows). This will give player opportunity to discover and code his own special tactics.
 
The amount of exp aswel as gold from creeps is neglilible compared to the flat exp increase. Make it so that farming creeps can be risky but worthwhile instead of just being risky.
Gold and experience gain has been completely redone for the map. Check the update log.


This is simply not the case. It's really not worth buying and using such an item considering of how little help it can be. Try to put yourself in the shoes of both ais and you'll soon see how futile both removing corpses and using skeletons is. Now, if human can't utilize these, how could and AI?
We will see if somebody manages to use them properly or not. Its not like we have much better items right now, and the potions and tomes are always a nice to have.


I think fountain of health is essential to be there, aswell as fountain of mana. Removing them cuts the amount of possible behaviors dramatically. You can aswell put 2 Troll hunters near fountain of mana and have same outcome, removing fountains doesn't solve the issue. Heroes should have: 1) place to heal, 2) place to regenerate mana, 3) creeps to farm gold/experience, 4) a shop to spend gold. Additionally, you should consider adding mid level creeps for the sole purpose of charm abiliy (though I doubt anyone would choose dark ranger, who knows). This will give player opportunity to discover and code his own special tactics.
This is NOT supposed to be an AoS AI. Your hero should not play dota. Run to shops, heal at the fountains, creep for experience, etc.
This is a death match. They are supposed to die, and they are supposed to die rather quickly. We dont want to spend hours just watching them fight; the fights should be short but interesting.

For this reason the fountains of healing are removed because they just prolong the death of heroes.
Both fountains will become fountains of mana to give more opportunities to spellcaster to make the battles more interesting to watch. Just looking at 2 dudes hitting each other is not very interesting to me.
 
Both fountains will become fountains of mana to give more opportunities to spellcaster to make the battles more interesting to watch. Just looking at 2 dudes hitting each other is not very interesting to me.

Sounds like a tactic to increase Mana Burn damage :p But I can see some of the spellcasters being more viable options now.
 
For this reason the fountains of healing are removed because they just prolong the death of heroes.

Oh... kay? Why Have this at all then?:

Gold and experience gain has been completely redone for the map. Check the update log.

End game heroes have plenty of opportunities to kill enemy heroes rather quickly, removing fountains ensures heroes will kill each other at early levels, where the synergized use of abilities is NOT as prevalent.

Both fountains will become fountains of mana to give more opportunities to spellcaster to make the battles more interesting to watch. Just looking at 2 dudes hitting each other is not very interesting to me.

From this I can see heroes dying at early levels, with Both heroes rushing back for mana or just killing each other with whatever low level abilities they have AT the fountains. Not really interesting either to be honest with you, OR artificially intelligent.

I want to see Heroes level and develop over time. Healing fountains provide a means of accomplishing this, while not spending thousands of gold on healing potions that only heal for 250 HP.


Lastly, FEATURE CREEP. I get that it's the norm with any form of development, but please stuff it guys, we've all had an opp to contribute idea's to the tourny map last week. If you see a bug on the map, post about it, but don't try and change the rules to suite your idea of how the tounry should work.

I don't want to have to be redeving my code 2 days before the deadline just because we can't agree on how the fountains should behave...
 
Oh man, this brings back so many memories. I remember working on a AI hero contest like 5 years ago(time flies). I gave up because for some reason, my hero cheated and prevented the enemy from casting spells. Extremely weird.

I might participate in this, just for the nostalgia, even though I have no idea how to use the WC3 editor anymore. I have to worry about leaks! Ugh
 
You gonna join this one? Would be nice to have some of the old members back in a contest.
 
I might. However, I come home like 10 PM every other night and I still have a SC2 map and a standalone game to work on.

I'll do my best though.
 
I give it that submissions are secret until submission deadline is reached? I see no reason to give it before since anyone could counter-script it. Also, I found that setting AI controlled player to Computer make it use standard AI for spells, might be better to set them to Player though there may be a way of disabling this innate AI I'm not aware of.
 
A computer player will not use any spells or issue any commands to a unit unless the AI-script has been activated for this computer player. Since we dont activate AI-scripts this should not be an issue.

And yes, there is no reason to submit until the deadline, but I am not going to forbid it either.
 
A computer player will not use any spells or issue any commands to a unit unless the AI-script has been activated for this computer player
Pretty sure this behavior is outside the AI script, according to my google research and testing.
 
I checked it myself just now. You are actually right, this is very strange, I dont recall them acting like this a few years back. Oh well, gotta change the map again I guess.

Edit: Map has been updated to version 3. Thanks for telling me about this.
 
Unfortunately, I wont be able to participate. My free time has been _extremely_ limited lately due to university studies 10 hours / day. To make matters worse, I can only use my laptop for a while.
 
Fixed another bug in the maps code. Just want to let you guys know, get the latest version!
 
This is the last day. I hope for some good submissions tomorrow.
I will enter the contest too, I made an AI for the Tauren Chieftain.
 
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