League of Legends bots will behave more like human players in the near future through improved threat-evaluation systems, developer Riot Games revealed in their latest blog update.
According to the post, the current system guiding bots is similar to first-person shooters, in that a bot assesses damage received to make its next decision, though where a bot would flee after taking the brunt of an attack in a first-person shooter, in League bots would exploit the weakness of cooldown periods.
The new systems, however, will factor in the number of spells the bot and nearby enemies possess in addition to considering health. The more humanlike bots will also be able to evade skill shots.
“That said, improved threat evaluation isn’t a magic bullet for bots,” Riot described in the blog post. “League of Legends was built to be played by humans, not bots, and that comes with some interesting problems. For example, the game doesn’t really know what a spell is going to do before it’s cast. When Morgana’s Soul Shackles is cast, a script begins to run that constantly checks if anyone has broken the leash. When the spell finishes, the script says, ‘Hey, you! You’re stunned and take damage’ to everyone who didn’t break the leash. Before Morgana ulted, the game didn’t actually know that Soul Shackles deals damage and stuns.
“Now, that may all sound obvious, but only because humans are able to read tooltips and think through scenarios ahead of time. As a result, the system can afford to figure out what a spell does as it executes. However, this is a huge problem for bots because they can’t read and don’t learn from experience.”
One human behavior bots won’t be gaining with the update, however, is jungling and wall jumping. As Riot points out, bots are restricted to their autopathing—they’re unaware of the existence of walls, let alone their locations. And while the developer thinks that both abilities would make for “awesome behaviors for bots,” their focus right now is on broad compatibility.