Status of AI/Bot support in UE4
Since this gets asked a lot, I thought I would start a thread on the topic.
The questions of will Battlecry have bots and how smart will they be depends largely on what support is available in the UE4 engine.
UE4 is a fairly new game engine and it is still in development. Consequently the AI(Artificial Intelligence)/Bot support in UE4 is very basic.
By basic, I mean able to navigate the map and run towards an enemy while shooting at enemies. The link has some videos that shows what can be done in UE4 without having to program in C++: https://wiki.unrealengine.com/Create_An_AI_Bot_in_...
But, this is way short of being able to do bots like in Battlefront 2. The bots need to be able to capture control points, use multiple weapons appropriately, use cover appropriately - and do all these things with the right priorities. All of that currently would need a programmer to spend a lot of time in C++. In addition, keeping all these bots constantly updated takes a lot of processing power and there needs to be a way to balance updating each bot to avoid game latency, or you could have bots and players teleporting around the map, especially if your running on a server.
Just to be able to fight smart, when bots first encounter an enemy, they should first choose the most appropriate weapon for the target and distance and then identify the closest place to seek cover. But you also have at times make the bots worse than players. A prime example is that you want the bots to miss on the first shoot or players will get frustrated. Players need that blaster near miss to have a chance to react.
Also there is no support for flying vehicles. On land you have a navmesh to keep the bots from running into objects, but there is nothing right now for flying vehicles to avoid running into obstacles. To fly on a land map, bots need to be able to fly over small obstacles and fly around high ones like tall buildings, antennas and mountains. For a space map the bots would need to be able to asteroids and other obstacles. Again, without a dedicated C++ programmer that is not going to happen until UE4 development matures to where that capability is built into the game engine. UE3 AI is currently more developed than UE4, so I certainly expect that UE4 will eventually have better support as the game engine matures.
UE3 AI documentation:
This video with the lead AI programmer for UE4 shows the state of advanced AI capability without coding in C++ (It walks through the setup in about 2 hours using UE4 Blueprints just to get a bot will run away from the player and try to hide)
So right now, what can be done for bot support in Battlecry is to set up waypoints at the control points and have them run a route between then, attacking any enemies they encounter. But, that would not even be worthwhile for other than practice in learning to play and exploring a map offline.
Very promising. I see that Epic paid them to integrate with UE4. Seems to be still in Beta and the documentation isn't complete, but I will be following this, especially once the documentation is available for AI support.
The following video of the Beta version of Angels Fall First shows what can be done with AI in UE3. I expect that eventually the same can be done UE4.