3. New Melee AI
Shortly described, the "Alternative AI" (AI = "artificial intelligence") is an attempt to improve the battle tactics of non‐playable characters ("NPCs") - especially in melee combat -, and thereby making the fights more appealing and interesting.
NPCs are both humans and Orcs as well as animals and monsters.
3.1 Turning the Alternative AI on and off
To activate the Alternative AI, open the Gothic 3 options menu and enter the menu to set the level of difficulty. Here it is possible to activate or deactivate the Alternative AI by checking or unchecking the relevant tickbox.
The Alternative AI is basically a whole newly defined melee tactic for NPCs. At the same time the following features are contained in the package:
The new AI can be deactivated even in a running game without causing any incompatibilities with savegames or something like this. It could however lead to small errors in combat tactics of opponents if the new AI is turned on or off during actual combat!
3.2.1 Block system
With activating the Alternative AI the block - parade - system of Gothic 3 is changed.
In parade mode (automatically activated by pressing the right mouse button), the full damage of an attack can now be blocked. To achieve this, the opponent from whom this attack is blocked has to be vaguely focused upon.
Some attacks can still pass through, namely the stab and the cleave attacks, which are usually activated by extended pressing of the left mouse button while in parade mode. Only a parade while holding up a shield can block those kinds of attacks.
To balance the fact that the parade now blocks the total amount of the damage, the duration of the parade mode has been reduced to 2.5 seconds, after which the hero automatically "relaxes" and has to start the parade anew.
Warning: The new parade rules also hold for NPCs in the case that they use weapons!
In addition, the hero now regenerates his stamina actually slower while being in parade mode.
3.2.2 "Rage" and animals
Animals now react "agitated" when the hero performs many strikes in a short time. In such cases they will make a rapid counter attack and during this will ignore any damage. Also, they will not retreat when hit at this moment. Of course they do take damage, but at the same time they can hurt their opponent too. If their attack is successful, they will calm down first, until they are agitated again.
This system should decrease continuous quick attacks of the hero and give the monsters a (small) chance to defend themselves.
Hint: In packs, animals act more coherent and control their rage, therefore it is less dangerous to apply quick strikes there.
3.2.3 Variable difficulty level
A further advantage of the Alternative AI is the variable difficulty level. The probability of failures and wrong decisions in battle is determined for Orcs, humans and some other opponents depending on the situation.
With the difficulty level set to "low", it is more likely that an NPC makes a wrong move or a false attack than for the difficulty levels "medium" or "hard" respectively.
The difficulty level of the AI firstly depends on the difficulty level of the overall game, which can be set in the menu, secondary on the level of the hero, and finally on the individual situation. During arena battles, the opponents are more concentrated than other times, thus they make less failures.
4 With Alternative Balancing or Alternative AI
Besides the changes which are connected solely with AB or solely with the Alternative AI, there are a hand full of changes which are effective in both cases.
The most important alterations are:
"The hero can be attacked by a maximum of one, two or three melee enemies at the same time (depending on the level of difficulty)": For the number of active opponents there is a simple formula: With difficulty level "easy" still only a single opponent attacks, with "medium" a maximum of two attackers, and with "hard" they attack
in groups of maximum three NPCs.
The attack frequency of almost all opponents has been reduced. The only exceptions are Mummies and Zombies. The lightning fast storm of attacks from wolves, wild boars, temple guards, etc. are over now.
Some mages are now able to summon creatures which support them in their fight against the hero. For example, the shaman Grok can summon a demon.