Multi-functional NPCs to level-up the game[August 2023]
[Updated] [Originally posted December 2021]
To Bot, or Not to bot?
Bots are a popular feature request from players. They provide opportunities to attack and loot that may otherwise be scarce. Several games have some kind of bot, or non-player character, but with the stability offered by our base AWD V3 script, we can build them to be much more. Here's an introductory list of features that come with our bots.
The argument against bots
Most games that implement bots do so in a pretty passive way. Previous bad experiences with NPCs in competitive games taints the possibilities that they bring to the table. Some examples:
- Hundreds of bots appearing online at the same time
- Too many bots making it difficult to distinguish NPCs from humans
- Unbalanced bots with too much free money
- Sitting duck bots that pose no challenge
- One dimensional bots that only exist to be looted
- Bots that build beyond the reach of the average player
I'm sure you'll agree, that those examples are poorly implemented. Can we do better?
In Favour of NPCs in competitive games
If done right, bots can provide lots of benefits.
- The pile-on effect of strong players attacking weak players is reduced
- Bots that use their turns can generate public intel for human players
- There's usually a good target, so you can test your strength and get some kills
- They are good source of loot
- New players have a good entry point into the attacking side of the game
- They can act as target dummies if you'd rather not make enemies of human players
- They should be identifiable as Non-human characters
- They keep the game economy moving and give new families a good target to beat
As you can see, there are a lot of reasons to consider adding bots to a game, and at MMM, we decided that players should get to experience these benefits.
Basic bot features in made Man Mafia
Here are the basics of what bots do in MMM.
- Automatically join a round when it starts
- Send messages to players that attack them
- Create themed families
- Join regular families when invited
- Get the same turns as regular players, and use them regularly
- Collect money and send to family banker
- Contribute towards Family Bonus if they're online
- Login daily
More new bot behaviours
Since this original post was written, there have been some cool updates to the bots to give them extra abilities.
- Participate in the network feature to earn you intel
- Create the Academy family every round
- Strengthen their families by building more defensives
- Contribute to family mission and increase income
- One bot starts each round as Capo di Tutti Capi
- Travel to new cities
- Use their reserves before the round ends
- Use credits and become Made Men
We will continue to add more features and capabilities for our bots. These include a welcome message system to help new players, integration with upcoming new gameplay features, performance improvements, different building and play styles, and updates based on player suggestions.
As you can see, bots can be a great addition to a game, and we're excited to see how they develop in MMM.
Useful tips you should know about bots in Made Man Mafia
Networking with bots
If you honor, or dishonor a bot, you can turn them into a friend or an enemy. Bots will attempt to check in with players that have honored them in the past, and this can generate intel for both parties.
The Pile-on effect
In a game where you have to damage yourself in order to attack others, the weak are easy prey. This usually results in new players - those that haven't learnt the ropes yet becoming constantly attacked by stronger players. By providing a greater range of targets, bots should take some of the heat and allow new players to learn the game with fewer setbacks.
If you have extra spaces in your family, why not invite a bot? There are bots that collect money and send to their family banker. You can use these as a way of gaining extra money. Put them to work!
Stealing money and items from bots will count towards looter ranks.
Offloading spare cash
There's a bot in every round named PhatStax. This bot will automatically accept any money that you send them. If you're holding cash which makes you look like a juicy mark, it may make sense to send the cash to PhatStax and reduce the attention on yourself.
How to tell if a player is a bot?
Bots will have the profile quote "Probably a bot" in most circumstances. MMM_Helper_Bot and PhatStax have different profile quotes. Beware though, some human players have been seen masquerading as bots in this manner!Login now and see whether you're better than a machine!