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The + and - of the HitR broken AI

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After running a bunch of 20 v 20, 12 v 12 Quick Scenerios and campaign flights with the new Hat in the Ring expansion installed, here is what I see to be, in a nut shell, good and bad about the "broken" AI in it. Ordinarily I wouldn't even bother to comment on it, since the Devs are aware that the AI changed unintentionally and have already fixed it in the upcoming patch. However so many people have posted that they like the new AI better because, despite it's flaws, it feels more realistic to them, that I thought an overall recap might be worth looking at so the devs have something (more) to think about when they undertake the AI in Phase 4.


On the + side:

1. The fights don't almost immediately end up on the deck. The enemy AI tries to stay high and keep the fight out of the weeds.

2. The fights seem to last longer because the AI isn't as aggressive about going for the kill no matter what the odds which make the fights feel more like they did during the real war.

3. Odds of player pilot survival seem to have gone up, increasing a pilots lifespan because we are no longer flying against "terminator" mentality AI that aggressively fights to the finish no matter how much damage they have taken.

4. No more easy kills of enemy AI that is "yo yo"ing on the deck struggling for altitude because they refuse to go that low to begin with.

5. Friendly AI are just as happy to engage a target as you are, sometimes stealing a kill from you. I put this under the positives because I'm sure it happened often during the war, intentionally or not.

6. There are numerous reports, which I cannot personally confirm, that the AI doesn't always fight to the death anymore. Sometimes they just fly away, resulting in a more realistic 1 - 2 craft loss per side per battle instead of always fighting to the death.


On the - side:

1. The AI doesn't perform nearly as many aggressive manuevers (such as spinning dives) in an attempt to shake a pursuer. For the most part, they just fly high and take the hits which can get repetative.

2. The AI ALWAYS fly higher than you can catch up to no matter which planes you fly. In 12 v 12 D VIIs vs SE5as, no matter which side I fly on, my opponents easily keep a height advantage which feels very artificial to me. A D VII should be easily able to outclimb an SE5a and erase that tactical advantage, considering it was known to be able to "hang on it's prop" for an extended period of time in a vertical climb. Regardless, having an opponent who is endlessly just out of range feels cheap. They no longer "out fly" you with aggressive manuevers.

3. Because the AI always stays high, you NEVER get to fight down in the weeds on the deck which takes away from some of the fun / fear of pursuing a fellow to down within AA and MG range in order to get the kill.

4. Too many instances of an enemy AI flying past you in perfect firing position, but his gun(s) remain silent. This can definately account for battles that last longer and fewer planes being shot down as listed above in the positive side of things, but feels overly passive.


I know all in all, it seems most folks have vocalized that they prefer the less homocidal HitR AI to the pre-HitR AI. Despite listing more positives than negatives, I personally prefer the fast, furious combat that had a better chance of shooting me down because it made me feel the fear of entering the fray. It made me think harder about what tactical choices I was going to make because my opponent was more aggressive, less forgiving. That is just my opinion though and certainly everyone knows what makes them enjoy the game most.


For the Devs who may read this, it's just something to think about for P4. I don't expect any changes to P3 AI as you have made clear that all major work on P3 is done, and God knows you certainly have put enough into it. In short, I think if it's possible, people would probably like to see the following changes made in P4 if you find it possible to do:


1. Keep most fights high, but have some guys dive for the deck.

2. When they do dive for the deck, reduce the amount of yo-yoing they do if possible so. I should note that this has already been improved upon and is greatly appreciated.

3. Don't let the AI keep the height advantage no matter what two planes are flying against each other. It should be possible, if your plane had better climbing rate, to eventually climb up to the enemy AIs plane and engage.

4. Make some pilots overly aggressive and some others passive so you never know what you will be getting yourself into until the fight has begun.

5. Give the enemy AI the ability to run for home if they sustain too much damage instead of nearly always fighting to the death. Tricky - since turning tail makes for an easier kill, unless of course they have a plane that can dive or climb faster than yours.


Thanks for all the work you have already done. P3 and the new expansion are without a doubt the finest written air combat simulations I have ever flown. As always, I look forward to your next bit of brilliance while I enjoy what you have already crafted.



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2. The AI ALWAYS fly higher than you can catch up to no matter which planes you fly.


It might be that this isn't so much an AI issue as it is the result of you being stuck with 100% fuel. After all, you have zero time to burn any of that off in the QC furball missions you were flying here.

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Hi Hellshade,



Thanks! I had planned to take the time to comment upon this issue but your comments about the AI are about exactly as mine would have been. So I can just say “ditto”.






Greg S

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