Apparently Titanfall’s AI Will Act As Cannon Fodder And XP Boosters

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Recently Polygon interviewed Justin Hendry, lead designer at Respawn Entertainment. During the lengthy interview meant to provide clarity to several issues surrounding Respawn’s design choices in Titanfall, a new problem was brought to light all together.

It isn’t clear as to whether or not this next bit of information came directly from Hendry, or it was interpreted in this manner by the editor,

They’re (AI) meant to serve several different functions. On one level, the AI characters are there as fodder for players who simply aren’t good enough to kill other player-controlled characters. They also serve as an easier way to load up on the experience needed to call in a Titan.

In the past, the studio has aggressively defended their decision to include AI characters in a wholly online multiplayer experience. One of Respawn’s members provided a distinctly different viewpoint of what the game’s AI is meant to do, AI play their own role in the game and are a different class of character in the game.”

It occurs to me that either something is being lost in translation, or the team at Respawn thinks having “easy kills” on the battlefield will ultimately enrich the player experience; it won’t. Dumbing games down so that unskilled players can feel good about themselves alters the experience from competitive to “everyone’s a winner!” mentality. Which could, in turn, hurt the game’s chances of being recognized as an eSport-worthy shooter, and maybe even end up turning skilled players away as a result.

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I don’t think I’d be the only one interested to see more of the game in action. If I remember correctly, and I may not, I haven’t seen the game running directly off of an Xbox One as of yet. Additionally, with only 60 days remaining until the title ships, its slightly off-putting that EA or Respawn haven’t confirmed the development studio handling the Xbox 360 port. Although we were told by a reliable source that Bluepoint Games (PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale, Metal Gear Solid HD Collection) were assigned the project.

Respawn has dismissed many of the concerns heading into Titanfall as the gaming community not fully understanding the project. With little time left it’s imperative to clear up any confusion before long. Michael Pachter projected the title to sell between 6-10 million based on critical review, and that EA was likely banking on that type of figure. Being that Titanfall is a new IP which such lofty expectations, there simply isn’t much room for error.

West and Zampella have a proven track record, but they’ve left their legacy behind at Activision. Titanfall could easily deliver on its promises and become gaming’s next big thing. But that success rests on the backs of Respawn’s ability to not only provide a fantastic game, but also to send a clear message about it before it releases.

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Dylan Zellmer

Dylan splits time between games journalism, designing video games, and playing them. Outside of his deep involvement in the games industry, he enjoys It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Shameless, A Song of Ice and Fire, fitness, and family.
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  • Sǯdi Sǻymeh

    its for heating the battle , when you need a titan kill AI’s , and they can be danger too if you didn’t pay attention to them .
    and this is one of the reasons why its new and fresh and unlike any other game out there , beside im sick of CoD so if this game is the new big thing for Xbox community im in :D .

  • Salty

    This is the same crap as COD helping bad players get things they don’t deserve. If you can’t EARN it like a good player, you shouldn’t get it. While I’m looking forward to this game, and I’m sure it will be good, I’m still sad to hear they are taking this route.

    • Sǯdi Sǻymeh

      well if you’re a good player then no need to worry about lousy players getting titans , and helping weak payers is not bad considering there are some new comers to gaming and new comers to consoles so it will give them confidence about gaming .

    • James Bauer

      What an elitist load of shit…only “good” players deserve things, like apparently all people who play games, start off good… If you’re so fucking good, why would bother playing pub matches anyway? Shouldn’t you be registered in a league, playing exhibitions and tourney?

      If you took 2 minutes to pull your head out of your asshole, you might see that isn’t about “good players” vs “bad players,” since even the good players will grind AI when it is favorable. It’s like minions/neutrals in a MOBA – regardless of their skill level, players grind them to level up and unlock skills.

      You want to know why COD is so goddamned fucking popualr? Becuase it appeals to players of all skill levels.

      • Yevgenij Pekurovskyy

        Then they should come up with a better idea of how bad players can get titans. Adding retarded AI isnt the solution, it kills the game for the majority of experienced fps players. And by the way, game isnt hard at all. Everybody can earn point here. Its not freaking counter strike or even bf4

        • James Bauer

          Sounds to me that you dislike the idea of “bad players” being able to kill AI to decrease their Titan cooldown, because you want to keep them from getting a Titan for as long as possible. Keep them from having a level playing field against others, or perhaps even *gasp* an advantage, so you can continue to deny them points and “crush” them.

          Your complaints are baseless anyway, because if these players are so bad, what does it matter that they have a Titan? They’re bad players, you’re still going to kill them. Sounds to me like you don’t “bad players” to even have a good experience when they play. Not only are they gonna get owned on the battlefield, but they shouldn’t even have rights to the “cool toys” the good players have…I hope you don’t get into game development, because no one will want to publish your games.

          I bet if you had it your way, Titans wouldn’t even be on a cooldown – They would *have* to be earned by racking up kills against players. Well, they already have that – they’re called killstreakes, and they’re in a different game…maybe you should go play that…

          • Yevgenij Pekurovskyy

            No, i just hate bots because they are getting in the way.I dont want to keep them from getting a titan. titans are not overpowered in this game

  • Resistance

    Dear editor.

    What about minions and creeps in MOBAs? Without them would dota and lol be more competitive?

    • http://igameresponsibly.com/ Dzelly

      minions serve a very specific purpose in MOBA’s. They remain competitive because of the game design, a FPS isn’t designed the same as a MOBA. I think you misunderstood my argument. I’m not saying there’s never a reason to include easily dispatched AI characters, I’m saying they shouldn’t have a home in a competitive FPS.

  • Dakan45

    so its a competitive mp fps with dumb ai to me killed by the lone rambos while a camper gets ready to blow their head off at the middle of a epic dialogue line.