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Potential AI Improvements

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Hey all,

We could collect potential improvements for the artificial intelligence (AI) here:

The Big SuggestionEdit

  • AI currently seems to do things in the following order.
  1. Play cards from its hand.
  2. Activate abilities.
  3. End turn.
  • What it -should- do should look something more like this (and refinements upon this are certainly possible):
  1. Play pillars.
  2. Activate card-drawing abilities (hasten, precognition).
  3. Play cards that benefit from changes in board state (Vultures, Boneyards, Bonewalls.)
  4. Activate permanent control abilities (destroy, steal).
  5. Play creatures.
  6. Play buffing spells.
  7. Play Parallel/Twin Universe, if appropriate.
  8. Play Reverse Time / Activate Eternity.
  9. Use activated abilities to damage, kill, and poison creatures.
  10. Use spells played from hand to damage, kill, and poison creatures.
  11. Activate other abilities.
  12. Play other permanents.
  13. Play Enchant Artifact.
  14. End turn.



Doing things in this order avoids a lot of the problems enumerated below.


ProposalsEdit

Activated Abilities:

  • AI never seems to use an ability on the first turn it is possible to use it. This holds for both creatures and permanents.
  • AI never uses the photosynthesis ability multiple times per turn. FIXED
  • If Owl's Eye is able to shoot and mana is plenty, use the ability every time.
  • Weapons that have activated abilities should be activated before Flying Weapon is played. First shoot, then apply Flying Weapon to Owl's Eye (check mana first).
  • Don't use Holy Light on your own Death or Darkness creatures.
  • Don't use Holy Light on your Guardian Angel! (i got him to waste 3-4 holy lights with my Owl's eye, heh)
  • AI uses dive even when there is no chance of hitting (for instance with dimensional shield up or bonewalls in place)
  • Be much more aggressive about activating all your own abilities: Firefly Queen (instead of saving it for stupid Heals), Owl's Eye sniper, Parasite infection, Otyugh consuming opponent's weak creatures, Armagio's pull (*before* a dragon-drop kills you), Maxwell's paradox. All abilities that give card advantage should be activated every turn (except when strapped for cards in the deck). AI seems to use Golden Hourglass and Pulverizer and player-poisons successfully, but drops the ball on other activated abilities.
  • If you're going to activate Golden Hourglass, do it first, to see what you get.
  • Only use the gravity pull ability of the Armagio with the most HP. FIXED
  • Use Armagio's ability when the opponent's next attack will kill you.
  • if AI has Eternity in play and i have a Firefly Queen with some fireflies, use the Reverse time ability on the queen.
  • if AI has Eternity in play and 30 or so cards in his deck, while the opponent has 2 cards in the deck, DON'T Reverse time on his creatures.
  • AI uses Burrow on a creature which deals 8 damage cutting down to 4, with a 7-point hope shield (RoL/Hope deck). This creature is the only one dealing damage over the shield.


Spells:

  • Just because you *can* cast a spell doesn't mean you should. Don't put 3 more Chaos Seeds onto a just-frozen dragon. (Counterpoint: unless your hand is full, and you have the mana)
  • Even worse, if you're going to cast Reverse Time on my creature this turn, don't cast Lightning or Chaos Seed on it first. (Perhaps AI should process in reverse order of effectiveness, using removal before damage.)
  • Use Reverse Time on creatures whose summoning quantum cost is over the amount the opponent has.
  • Don't use elite mutation on opponent's weak creatures.
  • Don't use Quintessence on 0 HP creatures. FIXED
  • Don't cast Momentum unless the enemy has a shield in play. (Counterpoint: unless your hand is full, and you have the mana)
  • Unless there is a good reason, don't use Lightning to injure a target without killing it (especially if it is an Anubis that is likely to immortalize itself next turn.) (Counterpoint: unless you have a fire shield or the creature is an otyugh)
  • Don't reverse time Deja-Vu's (without good reason).
  • Be far more conservative about using Flying Weapon: for example, against a Time-only deck (Reverse Times), or a deck with a Lobotomizer out, don't fly the weapon until you must.
  • Don't play more than one Sundial per turn (Counterpoint: play 2/3, if you fear the opponent could steal/destroy it and kill you).
  • AI doesn't seem to recognize that Aflatoxin can be played on its own creatures. Furthermore, AI seems to think that Malignant Cells on the player's board should be left alone. With Fallen Druids or Empathic Bond, for example, Aflatoxin can be good to use on your own side.


Creatures:

  • Target creatures out of time bubbles first.
  • Don't repeatedly poison a weak monster that will die next turn, or if a stronger monster is on the field.
  • Don't put more poisons on a creature than will kill it in 1 turn.
  • If the opponent has an Otyugh with the same HP as your lowest HP monster, do not play a monster with lower HP than that without good reason or quintesscence.
  • If opponent has a boneyard/vulture/bonewall deck, don't play sparks unless it deals significant (3 with ≤15 hp) damage.


Permanents:

  • Don't use Enchant Artifact on a Sundial or Phase Shield that will expire upon end of turn.
  • Don't Steal Sundials (unless you can actually draw from it). (Counterpoint: if you steal a sundial, it expires on your turn, and you get to attack through it. Probably not worth it, but potentially useful.)
  • Don't Steal Nightfall/Eclipse.
  • Don't play Nightfall if Eclipse/Nightfall is already in play. (Or play no more than 2 to ensure that one remains in play after the other is destroyed.)


Shields:

  • Don't exchange better with weaker shield (e.g. Mirror Shield with Solar Shield).
  • Don't use multiple shields in the same turn.
  • Don't clone creatures with health points greater 5 if the opponent has a gravity shield in play and there is no way to get rid of it. If possible, clone a creature that is more suitable.
  • Don't boost creatures to above 5 health points if a gravity shield is in play (blessing, otyugh, etc..)
  • Sometimes it's beneficial to cast spells to lower the health points of your own creatures to get through gravity shield.
  • AI spell targeting routine should avoid targeting shields when the shield is Bonewall.
  • AI should only steal Bonewall when it expects to kill many creatures immediately. (And/or expects to have a lot of *their own* creatures die immediately, i.e. flood.


Order of Actions:

  • Play Vultures, Boneyards, and Bonewalls before killing.
  • Use Parallel Universe on creatures before damaging them.
  • Don't play a rare weapon, enchant it and play then another rare weapon in the same turn which can't be enchanted. (categorical concern)
  • Steal an opponents shield before playing one of your own.
  • Play Sparks a turn before playing Sundial, unless it will advantage another of your creatures (Vulture, Boneyard, Bonewall, Immolation). (Dimensional Shield doesn't block your creatures, only the opponents').
  • Play Heal before Miracle (otherwise it heals the opponent).


Other Combination Issues:

  • Don't heal or miracle when you have an emerald or reflective shield is in play, as it ends up healing the opponent (spell is reflected). -- Perhaps the reflective shields could be modified to target the caster instead of the bearer's opponent?
  • Don't use Thunderstorm on a bunch of skeletons when an opponent has Bone Wall in play.
  • Don't kill 1/1 creatures when opponent has multiple Boneyards or a Bone wall in play.
  • Don't bother playing creatures that can't damage through the shield unless they have an ability or you are going to get rid of the shield.
  • Don't play creatures with 1 HP against a firewall (unless the damage is significant.)
  • Don't Plate Armor on creatures if you can burrow them instead (unless the enemy has a firewall.)
  • Strongly consider not playing a Spark (and cloning it) if the opponent has a boneyard or scavenger out unless you can boost its hp by one or more before attacking.

AnecdotesEdit

Animate weapon choiceEdit

So, I was playing an elder. I had lobotomizer out and a healthy store of ether quanta while being on the low side of hitpoints (I also had a bit of darkness quanta and just drew a steal and was looking at the staff as a way of healing myself). The AI had the Druidic Staff and some monsters I'd deskilled. The AI then for some reason animates the staff. I was able to parallel universe it twice (giving me +4 damage and +10 healing turn) and lobotomize the AI's. At the core of this AI decision is why animate a weapon that would take twice as long to kill me and why move something from the permeant side to something I could deal with.

The possibility of me stealing it would have been the lesser evil, giving me effectively +7 hp/round (reducing the incoming damage by 2 and healing by 5) while removing the ability for me to deskill. This was part of the goal of the deck - firefly queens, wyrms and pegasai. On the other hand, playing it to a creature let me lobotomize it, guaranteeing that I would get +7 hp/round effective with shown cards. An ether deck likely has parallel universes and that boosts it up by +7 hp/turn per universe. --Shagiephoto 20:10, February 26, 2010 (UTC)

Eternity saving the opponent's lifeEdit

i was playing a half-blood with my Firefly Queen deck.

the AI had a time/don'trememberwhat deck.

i had 2 firefly queens and some fireflies in play, and the AI had Eternity.

now.

first thing i noticed, the AI used reverse time on the Fireflies, and not on the queens. i thought, cool!

then after some turns i noticed i had only 2 cards in my deck!

so the AI, using ReverseTime on my creatures was actually saving me!

after some turns of creating fireflies and healing with empathic bonds, i just crushed him.

In developmentEdit

  • ...


Already ImplementedEdit

  • ...


Declined

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