Note: This post was delayed because I wrote it at work instead of doing bureaucratic things and then forgot to send it to myself. Here it is and expect my regular post later today.
I might have yet to dive into controlling my party member’s AI, but I sure wish I could control the enemy’s.
Let’s say you are a big, bad monster who lives in a dank cavern. You have nothing to do all day but hide random loot in chests and craft your own weapons for self-defense. Why? Because adventuring travelers are constantly wandering through your home hoping to take all of the belongings you safely put in a crate with a pickable lock. So of course you get angry. Who wouldn’t? Then you see them not just in your front yard but in your living room, so you pull out your war axes and crossbows and start defending your property. Unfortunately your intruders have the audacity to come armed and prepped to fight back. Two heavily-armored stocky warrior-types surround you and your family and start swinging at you. How would you react?
A. Lift your shield and protect yourself.
B. Fight back to protect yourself.
C. Run all of the way across your land while you continue to be attacked just so you will hopefully find their healer.
In case you haven’t guessed already, two of these are human reactions, and one is an AI reaction. This is a common case of in an effort to create compelling game mechanics, the AI drifts away from reality. Now this is totally fine. I’m not even fighting humans, so why would I expect them to react as so? Instead these fantasy races must have tactical genius in their genetic coding.
Now the more I come to accept how important strategy is in this game, the more I wish I could analyze enemy AI in the same way I can my own. I have trouble setting my party members’ combat tactics because I am not great at deciding a best overall strategy. What I can do is encounter a battle, die a couple of times, and learn from it. Then I go in and make certain members go on the defensive because of the enemy’s strength. I can make my mage use area-wide spells because the enemies move in groups. I know I need to keep my rogues out of the line of fire because backstabbing is not a viable option. This means that if each enemy race had certain traits and I knew what areas of Ferelden they populated, it would make determining a strategy more feasible for me.
Disclaimer: for all I know, this exists somewhere deep in the game’s Codex or on a forum in the corner of the internet. I might go look after this actually and write about it later. That is if there is anything to report of course.
Stay tuned for my answer or lack there of.