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So after 3 years of development the AI still can't pass slower cars???

Discussion in 'Chit Chat Room' started by HoiHman, Nov 25, 2016.

  1. HoiHman

    HoiHman Simracer

    I love AC, but i'm very disappointed with the AI.

    This morning i did a race on Muguello in the Porsche 915. I wanted to do a multiclass race so as opponents i selected a 6 other Porsche 915's and filled the rest of field with GT3 cars.

    I was really looking forward to lapping the slower cars with the very fast 915. After one lap i noticed i had set the AI a bit too high for my skill so the other 6 Porsche 915 were slowly pulling away. Around lap 5 the gap was about 6 seconds. In lap 6 i was catching the slower cars, when i saw the pack i noticed that all 915 were hanging back unable to clear the slower GT3 cars. Within 3 corners i was running first and immediately quit the race.

    I tried another track, with the same result

    This game really needs better AI.

    What's the point of having cars like the Porsche 915 and not being able to do multiclass races with a decent challenge?

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  3. AccAkut

    AccAkut Alien

    Funny thing is that for a short period, I think just before the Red Pack, the AI was way better at this, maybe even a little too aggressive, but challenging.

    It was changed back in another patch, with the note that it needs more work. And as far as I know there have been no major changes to it yet, as priority changed to everything related to the Porsche packs.
    ALB123, xedrox, ShredatorFIN and 2 others like this.
  4. rge75

    rge75 Simracer

    I fully agree on this. I noticed a similiar problem when I was forced to "slow down" due to a "cut off". The AI wasn't even able to pass me and stayed behind me until my penalty was over.

    Beside that (as I mentioned before in another thread), it also should be possible to let the AI "auto adjust" it's strenght based on the players average lap times. There are car/track combos where an AI of 90% is too fast for me and other combos where they're too slow. So no matter how I set the AI slider - it always seems "wrong".

    With that said, I hardly drive races against the AI and I simply use AC as a "hotlap simulator" :-/ But an improved AI (with a championship mode) could bring me back to racing aginst the AI again.
  5. LeDude83

    LeDude83 Alien

    I race MP and hotlap, almost exclusively. When I tested the game on console some 2 months ago I found the AI hard to race against...if I lowered the AI difficulty they would pretty much be as fast as before but brake silly early before the turns. Also, in several races they simply quit in the 2nd to last lap and went to the pits.
    Then again I remember trying out the first couple of career races on PC one time and it was quite good.

    I think Kunos is struggling to find the right dials to make the AI work. Seems like when they fix something they break something else. It's certainly a massive let-down for offline racers.
    Blamer and Ace Pumpkin like this.
  6. rge75

    rge75 Simracer

    I wonder if programming a decent AI became much more complicated due to advanced physics? Or maybe the devs don't care that much about the AI because uf multiplayer? When I think back e.g. of GPL, then the AI really was good and challenging IMO - and this was back in 1998. They had one big flaw though: they ignored blue flags and lapped drivers even tried to pass you again. I remember being shot out by a lapped AI driver after maybe 98% of a full race lenght...that was no fun ;-) Anayway, to me it seems like it should be possible to programm a challenging and good AI almost 2 decades after GPL?
  7. Brisse

    Brisse Gamer

    You can park on the racing line, and the AI will never try to pass you. They park behind you and after a while they retire from the race.
  8. Quffy

    Quffy Alien

    The lesson out of this is that a part of the players care about not so obvious things for a dev. Players always want to go a bit beyond what the game/physics were designed for.
    For example:
    I stop on AI's line, the AI should pass. A slower car ahead in multi class races, the AI should pass.
    I want to spin the car due to mistakes or rear over rotating too much because tyres lost resistance against the ground and spin out the car (link), I want to ride the car on the two side wheels and beat the world record (link), I want to flip a downforce car backwards because of a bump and high winds and the car in front affected my air flow (link), I want the tyres do dig laterally into the asphalt or gravel and over turn itself (link, but mute the music). I want the rubber to explode of the rims.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2016
  9. matz_AUT

    matz_AUT Hardcore Simmer

    GPL AI was not really drivng though, they made ridiculius moves, jumping from one side of the track to the other, detached from any physical constraints.
    I agree though, AC AIs currently still struggle when running up to a slower car.
    As this issue already has been adressed for a short period, there must have been some severe side effects, as Stefano changed that back again after only a few days iirc.

    Pity, cause in single class races, they provide a really good challenge now, fighting, taking back position, easily the best AI in any racesim (imho of course...)
    Getting cocky, and dreaming up them choosing slightly different lines through the corners, and maybe differ in aggressiveness between each other, it'd be AI heaven for me
  10. matz_AUT

    matz_AUT Hardcore Simmer

    Well why would you provoke it by parking on the racing line during a race?
    However, the AI braking in such case helped me out quite often, because if I spin in front of AI cars, and they have time to brake, they will brake to avoid my spinning car.
    You can, after spinning off track, even join the track 90°, and carry on because the AI is aware, and slows down.
    So I kind of see where this behaviour might arrive from (only guessing, but still), and given you are not testing the AI, but rather racing them, thats not an issue, quite the opposite really.
    Then again irl, if a car spins and blocks the racing line, you will see waved yellow flags, propably followed by the pace car, and other drivers must crawl by the crash site.

    So, no question, there still are issues with the AI in multi class races, but them not expecting you to not carry on after spinning or parking for whatever other reason, is not the games fault.
    Ace Pumpkin likes this.
  11. Seanspeed

    Seanspeed Hardcore Simmer

    Holy 'completely missing the point' Batman.
  12. TomSc

    TomSc Gamer

    It doesn't have to be on the racing line. Park on the grass next to the track and watch them stop in confusion before retiring. More than once I've been brake checked by an AI car on the start/finish straight because there was a car in the pits that he didn't want to pass. I get that stopping on the racing line may cause problems, but for an AI that's actually pretty good at overtaking at racing speeds, they really struggle with any major speed differential
  13. matz_AUT

    matz_AUT Hardcore Simmer

    I have experienced the same things, and agree with you on that. The AI at present seems not to know why you stopped/slowed down, or even who slowed down, but they always seems to presume that the player has spun, and in such instances, they do they right thing.
    So I wanted to point out where this behaviour migth come from
  14. rge75

    rge75 Simracer

    You know how it is....your memory tells you how great everything was. Maybe I'd chose my mind if I'd play GPL again. But at it's time, racing the AI and doing complete seasons was nice. So the point probably really is that having the AI "really" drive the car became more difficult to program. But the other point is, at least in my opinion, that racing the AI isn't great fun so far. Acutally I "accpeted" AC being a hotlap simulator, but I'm still hoping that it will once turn into a sim with a proper custom championship mode along with a decent, challenging AI.
  15. matz_AUT

    matz_AUT Hardcore Simmer

    Hehe, my heart almost stopped, travelling at 150Mph and having the likes of Clark, Hill, Rindt or Stewart swerving in my mirros, GPL was great!
    Ace Pumpkin, Fat-Alfie and rge75 like this.
  16. Skybird

    Skybird Alien

    I am irritated by the AI as well.

    At race speeds, in direct duels AI car versus player car, it is quite good, and, for my standards, almost obscenely fast.

    Not overtaking me if i slow down on the sideline, to me is just a symptom for something bigger that is not working there.

    What really frustrates me is to see how AI car deals with aI car. How again cars flock together on track in groups of 3, 4, 5 cars - endlessly sticking together, lined up like pearls on a string. Time tables separating 20 cars by a hundredth of a second because they all drive the same times. Sometimes the time list looks like the printout of a computer error.

    Again, in directly dueling the player, the AI usually is okay, though it could show some more fangs and teeth - if you just overtook it - to gets its position back. It happens that it immediately overtakes you again, but only when you made a clear mistake and dropped your speed significantly. Two or three seconds after you overtook the aI, it seems to have given up and lets itself drop back, not trying anymore even if it has the reserves in its car to do so. This is why I say the AI not overtaking if I go slow might be a symptom for something else broken, or weak at least.

    As I often said, the total lap times, the speed of the aI are not my issue, for my standards it already is faster than I can keep up with at 95% AI skill, I need to lower AI skill to 85-88%. But what the AI does in presenting the whole race as an event, the other action on the track, the aI vs AI situations, the spreading or clustering or sticking together of the field, I mean "the race": that is dissapointing. Other titles show how do do that part better.

    Presenting the race as an event, both in organisation of the event and AI handling, is something were AC unfortunately is very weak in. It has the charm of a laboratory software here, while driving and physics is all top class experience. For something that advertises as "your racing simulator", that cannot be enough. The "racing" in the slogan is somehow missing. And it lets you feel the lack.

    The AI is light and shadow. And the shadows stay since a long time by now. After this long time I feel that I had dropped hope that it will ever get solved.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2016
  17. MsportDAN

    MsportDAN Alien

    i thought this got fixed then overwritten by some other code. This for me (and ai mistakes) lets the AI down at the moment they're pretty good otherwise.

    I would like to see a more focused push towards the AI in AC. Otherwise AC pretty much just becomes a really good hot lapping sim....and thats a shame.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2016
  18. TomSc

    TomSc Gamer

    Yeah I agree that it's probably a reasonable behavior to avoid accidents, but it's just over the top at this point. Coming to a standstill is not the right thing to do if a car spun. Slow down and pass with care is what I'd rather see.

    Here's another place Content Manager shines. Using a range of AI skills really helps spread the field out. You still get a few clumps, but that's true in real racing as well
    ALB123 likes this.
  19. Alistair McKinley

    Alistair McKinley Hardcore Simmer

    Unfortunately, I have to agree.
    Here are two videos which show AI's behaviour in V1.8 and V1.9.1:

    1.8 - Watch from 03:30:

    1.9.1 - Watch from 18:15:
    Andrex likes this.
  20. Skybird

    Skybird Alien

    I do not complain about the occasional "clumps" of cars, I complain about this being a routine, and that cars of different performances in these clumps stay lined up together again like the old car trains of half or even one year ago. And that 24 cars in a training session vary their lap times from lets say 1:23.123 to 1:23.687 only - 24 cars that close together, and all the time? even different car models?

    I earlier said that I fear the flaw lies in the basic original design of AC's AI, the system it has choosen. To artificially break their competence in braking in turns and accelerate out of the turns, for example. That way you get an AI that obviously and visibly behaves the more "stupid" the more you lower the skill level. BUT (and allow me to do this a bit more systematically):

    - Why do players for example lower the AI level?

    Two likely answers. Either they expect to win every race even when they spin three times and slam into the wall at least once every turn. OR: they want to just drive in formation of the herd and duel door to door to enjoy the sim without needing to hassle with setups, but they cannot, the AI is too fast and leaves them hotlapping in loneliness.

    In other words, players, want the AI to produce slower laptimes that are closer to those they can achieve themselves. If the AI is slightly better, you learn. If the AI leaves you in the dust and some time later appears in your rear mirror again, you become frustrated.

    - What do players not want when lowering the AI?

    Getting a stupid AI that breaks stupidly into turns, does hilarious braking manouvers and accelerates in an absurd fashion out of turns in order to be inferior in laptimes, but still going at speeds on straights where it leaves the player behind.

    - What do players want that lower the AI?

    An AI that still behaves reasonably in braking and turning and accelerating and keeping the line, but not being able to just "outspeed" the player's pace.

    - Hows that to be achieved in the simpliest fashion?

    By leaving turning and brakin skill (almost) untouched, but capping the car's maximum performance output. Reducing the AI level by 1% for exmaple may translate into half a percentpoint loss in performance. In other words: the AI car gently suffers in top speed by capping its PS.

    The turning cleverness of the aI can remain, the braking must not turn into something visibly stupid, the quality of the aI stays the same. Just the top speed of the car gets artificially capped. With the numbers above, an AI level of 90% means a McLaren P1 looses 5% of its engine performance. But must not start to break idiotically early or accelerate insanely late. The aI is still "clever". But it gets served a handicap - like they do in Golf. In Golf, you do not play artificially bad to compensate for the inferiority of the other player - you give him a certain amount of points/strokes in his favour, which means you play at your full strength, but start from an disadvantageous scoring situation. What AC currently does in this Golf context is demanding the better player (AI) to play artificially bad and below its standard).

    I can now hear the wolves howling about that this is not physically correct and that it is not realistic and that the car gets crippled and the physics get messed up with and so forth. - This is a sim, and a simulation is a bag of tricks, shortcuts and cheats to create the illusion of a (convincing enough) reality. How that illusion gets created, is irrelevant - that the illusion works, that is what counts. The current system imo works not good, it works bad in fact, can even break immersion. I think one should try out my suggestion. Like the way they do now - turning the AI into idiots in braking and turning - damages "realism", and my suggestion damages realism as well. But truth being told, when i duel it out with an AI car, i do not care and do not realise and do not see whether or not that car does all physics and engine stats right, I simply have no time to analyse that while steering my own car and staying in control of the car and the track. I have my hands full. What I see is that the AI runs stupid braking manouvers, and that the lead it gains on straights, melts down in corners and turns ridiculously fast. That should be a convincing illusion? It isn't. But seeing the same car door to door with mine, fighting hard to break right and late, if possible, and accelerating early, while I can keep up with it and do not lose contact to it on the straight following - that looks like a convincing reality to me, that satisfies me as a player wanting to duel it out, and I could not care less whether the cars got artifically handicapped and lost 20PS or whatever it is from its maximum performance. Heck, I do not even known how fast this or that car should be going realistically - how less I could care for these engine statistics being tweaked in accordance with my AI settings!

    I think Kunos went for a significantly wrong design decision here. In the end, what gets done and manipulated in the background, for the player is of no interest. The visible effect on track is what counts, the effect in the player's perception.

    Purists will complain, aliens and superdrivers, league players, people who spend the afternoon with trying different settings hours long. But there are very many players who just want to jump into the car and run a race, and this is also the design philosophy of AC, which made Kunos not integrating proper race event presentation and seasons and leagues so far: you cannot like AC if demanding proper race simulation, it does that not good, it is more the quick-hop-in to things. In this intended target audience, AC design has more in common with Gran Turismo than with Raceroom Racing or iRacing, which both focus more on the event itself and the organisation of seasons and leagues.

    In the end I will welcome any AI design that ends the negative points and criticisms that have been listed earlier. Its just that I have lost faith that we will ever get there. I think the past cycles of AI improvements where too fixiated on increasing laptimes only. And as I wrote already one and a half year ago: the AI's lap times and speeds is the very last of my quarrels with the AI. To me it already is now more than fast enough, getting an even faster AI is none of my demands. An AI not behaving visibly and artificially stupid - that is what it is about.

    For excellent and alien drivers, all this must remain pointless, I know. For them, at their performance level, any AI, no matter how good it is, will always be just "too lame". I see it more from an ordinary, average player'S point of view.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2016
  21. rge75

    rge75 Simracer

    But that's exactly what many AI do wrong :( The reason why a human is slower than another human is not top speed and it also shouldn't be the case with the AI. There are reasons like braking earlier (because they can't brake as hard/as fast) and, even more important, accelerating faster (floor the pedal earlier and faster).

    It's no fun if I can pass the AI because their top speed is significant slower. It's cooler and more realistic when I can pass them because I outbreak the AI. Or because I have a better exit out of the corner.
    IdleTalk, Rift Racer, kudols! and 5 others like this.

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