The trouble with RTS’

I do like to play Real Time Strategy (RTS) games but I’m getting a little bored with the AI in them. One of my biggest bugbears is the use of mission triggers. For example, in Company Of Heroes you must take a town hall from the Nazis. As soon as you take the hall then the misson changes to hold to the town hall. You then have a few mins to set up a defence and are then attacked with a large number of enemy tanks. So the trick is not to take the town hall. Destroy everything but don’t take the town hall. You are then free to cover every approach with a carpet of land-mines, snippers, anti-tank guns, etc. Then when you’re sure that there isn’t enough room for a knat to get to the town hall you take it. Then enemy now has no chance to get near the town hall and you win easily. The same strategy works on numerous missions and also on pretty much every other RTS. An example from Act of War is where you need to destroy a training camp. Then all hell breaks lose and you’re attacked from the ground, from the air, missile strikes the works. So you use the same tactic, don’t destroy the last building in the camp but you go after all the airfiles, heli-pads, etc. The AI just sits there waiting for the trigger of the losing the camp before it attacks. Again, when you’ve covered the area with turrets, wiped out every air threat and have snipers behind every tree then you destroy the last building. I know it’s not entering into the spirit of the games but the AI is so stuck in the mission trigger state that it never reacts to the threat you pose, come on game developers please try and build reactive AI into the games.

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