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Rifle Infantry

How intelligent are various monsters?

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Posted (edited)

They simply chase whoever they see, and if you get out of their sight, they will still keep chasing you, and occasionally get stuck on corners, watch them hug and slide along walls, so I'd say very dumb, but it gets the job done.

 

They seem more intelligent in the Reboot however, able to jump and climb platforms.

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I'm gonna approach this from a lore standpoint rather than a gameplay one, and say that I like to think of arachnotrons and their mom as probably pretty smart. I mean, the spiderdemon masterminded the whole invasion, plus they're giant brains with arms.

 

As for the others, I imagine the more humanoid ones are at various levels of ape-like intelligence, with barons/hellknights on the lower end and archviles on the higher end, while monsters like pinkies and cacos are probably more animal-like, kinda like a dog or a sheep.

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Posted (edited)

They are generally really dumb except for some special fields.

 

They are good at building. The hitscan enemies are good at aiming. Other than that, they are really really dumb.

But even though I say that, I have gotten attacked by them in ways which I can only describe as highly coordinated and highly tactical.

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Quote

How intelligent are various monsters?

 

They never seem to learn to run away when Doomguy comes a-knockin', so I suspect answer to this is "not very."

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The AI in Doom is very primitive, the enemies having basic behavior, I guess it could be summed up as "wait in idle state, walk around a little when the player pops up or shoot him on sight, or get close to the player once spotted and attack. No problem if someone else gets in the way."

 

Basic but hey, it certainly does its job.

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Stupid as fuck because they belong to a Doom engine game :)

 

But to give a more serious reply, I always imagined all of them as being a bunch of idiots except maybe the arch-vile. I have never, ever, seen the demons in Doom as being intelligent. My view of them is that they are just evil mindless entities.

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Posted (edited)

I think they are all as intelligent as also dumb. They have built their environment, they have an universal radar to always know where you are. Who knows what they're doing while you don't see them, perhaps all that groaning that can be heard from the other side of the walls is actually chatting in their language. Yeah, that would explain why archviles are always laughing, they must be planning my death, or telling jokes to each other.

 

Being serious, I always thought pinkies/spectres were the dumbest monsters, but if you think about it, they're actually smart, you won't see them chasing you in a straight line most of the time, and that's because their initial aim is your butt, not the face. Makes sense, right?

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Depends on where you're facing them: maps that take advantage of how they chase the player can make them seem much smarter than they really are, otherwise they're prone to getting stuck in rooms for long periods of time with just a general idea of where you might be... 

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I should clarify. I didn't mean "how dumb is the doom AI"; that's certainly more of a gameplay abstraction given that Wolfenstein 3D (whose enemies are ostenibly well-trained German soldiers) has a similarly basic combat AI. It's more of a lore type thing; how intelligent are demons, are they relatively "civilized" compared to one another, etcetera. Though I guess if enemies have ever killed you in a suprisingly "smart" / coordinated way, feel free to share that.

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1 hour ago, rdwpa said:

The zombie class varies greatly. Zombiemen are incredibly brainless (<70 IQ), wandering around apathetically and firing their peashooter every several seconds. Shotgunners are a lot smarter (~100 IQ), and chaingunners (>130 IQ) all graduated with pHDs in being nuisances.

I don't get why zombiemen would be dumber; about the only difference is that the shotgunner walks a little faster, can tank an extra pistol shot, and his gun is a lot stronger than the carbine carried by the zombieman.

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On nightmare or fast mode the demons are surprisingly empowered by the Doom's primitive AI. They have a high tendency to move diagonally and block your way when you attempt to rush.

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22 minutes ago, Rifle Infantry said:

I should clarify. I didn't mean "how dumb is the doom AI"; that's certainly more of a gameplay abstraction given that Wolfenstein 3D (whose enemies are ostenibly well-trained German soldiers) has a similarly basic combat AI. It's more of a lore type thing; how intelligent are demons, are they relatively "civilized" compared to one another, etcetera. Though I guess if enemies have ever killed you in a suprisingly "smart" / coordinated way, feel free to share that.

I'd argue Wolfenstein enemies are actually smarter because they can sneak attack you at any time and they understand what friendly fire is.

 

20 minutes ago, Rifle Infantry said:

I don't get why zombiemen would be dumber; about the only difference is that the shotgunner walks a little faster, can tank an extra pistol shot, and his gun is a lot stronger than the carbine carried by the zombieman.

 

Clearly you've never been jump-scared by sneaky shotgunner No.258

Doom AI is really weird. They are dumb 90% of the time but 10% of the time they show incredible tactical prowess (for any video game enemy).

Here are some examples from my personal experience.

Spoiler
  1. Shottguners managing to not only evade my sight but to do it long enough to get close to me for a point-blank shot to the side of my head (left or right is most common).
  2. Jump-Scare cacodemon. 
  3. Cacos tactically creating walls and the boxing me in.
  4. Low tier monsters lining up to let me kill them. Why is that smart? Because they're doing it so that I don't notice the Baron fire ball or cybie rocket coming towards me.
  5. Low tier monsters diverting my attention so that I don't notice it when the Baron shows up later.
  6. Cacos using hit-and-run tactics.
  7. Cacos hiding in places where I've already been in so that they can ambush me a 2nd time.
  8. Tricking me into thinking they are infighting only to sucker punch me seconds later.

Granted, these can be attributed to cool map design but I like to think that the monsters just play dumb 90% of the time so that I can't properly react when they do show intelligence. And besides, 5 of these things happened to me on the Doom 2 IWAD.

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I'm pretty sure Mancubus has to be smart and remember things, since he's so slow.

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they're blessed with the ability to know precisely where their current enemy is at all times, even if the enemy is out of sight, and yet only use it by trying to walk straight at the target or going in a slightly different direction if they run into an obstacle.

 

they're pretty stupid, lets be honest

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Posted (edited)

The Lost Souls are obviously the brightest of the bunch (always bright). The Cacodemon is probably not far behind. What's he grinning at? You don't get it, do you? So he's probably smarter than the player at least .

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I like mapping trick when cacodemons placed behind the windows downside, and they are floating into player's room. Clever monster placement can make monsters smarter, more or less.

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With a lack of true pathfinding, you can only expect so much. That being said, I am quite impressed with A_Chase. Most simple distance reduction algorithms get pathetically stuck in obvious repetitive ways. But with Doom's delayed path adjustment code, I am impressed with how well the monsters avoid being "stuck in local minima", and actually do pretty well to break out of such situations. A side-benefit of Doom's movement is that you can design encounters to take advantage of this. An example of this is Doom II Map 10 (I use this example often). In map 10, once you start to move, far away monsters start to break free. You can often get hit by missiles thrown at you. Any move you make to evade causes more monsters to awaken and pursue you.

 

So the "intelligence" of the monsters can be enhanced by  an intelligent map design that works with the engine's limitations to enhance the experience.

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The smartest thing they often do is simply get in the way. 

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As I've mentioned in the past, Doom's monsters somehow manage to be useable in both smart and animalistic level situations and they work.

 

For instance, we see a Barron of Hell on a throne or in a cage and both situations seem to work.

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Some are smart but their hate for the living overrules any rational capacity. Spiders are mathetmatically smart, with pretty good IQ averages (1000+), Archvile has the highest EQ - extremely devious and has a great sense of humour but ultimately hates everything. Barons are real proud, and like Cyberdemon sticks to a strict code of evil honor (which explains why Cybo won't mess with Archvile even if attacked  (nm why the mastermind won't - he's stupid)).

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Even in Doom 2016 sometimes the AI gets confused and they run around in circles. Happens often with Imps and Hell Razers.

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I find it interesting that no one mentions the Cyberdemon. That thing is determined to get to you no matter what. He will kill his fellow comrades if they get in the way, no questions asked. (You should have stayed out of my line of fire!) That is a level of persistence that is impressive both with game AI and lore. He knows he's terrifying, he knows that the only way possible you would make quick work of him is via a weapon that is by no means easy to get to. So if you didn't, better say a prayer or two before you face off with him. 

...

I'm being super dramatic, oops.

On a side tangent, if a new Doom game gets made, I'd love to see destructible scenery, even if it's only in a cutscene, when it comes time to battle the Cyberdemon. Seeing rockets whiz by your head is great, but you don't really get a feel for how damaging they are until they smash through a huge concrete pillar and cause it to crumble to dust before your eyes.

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Posted (edited)

Isn't there something in the lore about how the demons built hell's fortresses? If so, they must have a few competent masons among their ranks.

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Posted (edited)

Okay, so a Baron Of Hell is closing in on me in a narrow corridor, I've fired a handful of SSG shells at him, but I'm out of room, just two shells left but no time to reload. I sidestep into a small alcove and await the inevitable - nothing happens, I take a look to see what's going on and the Baron is walking away from me back down the corridor, I approach from behind and finish him off with an SSG blast between the shoulder blades. This scenario has got to encapsulate some of the dumbest AI behaviour from a Doom monster and never ceases to make me shake my head in disbelief....

 

Edited by Summer Deep

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Posted (edited)

@rdwpa already beat me to it, but I'm going to try anyway!

 

Head-canon, AWAAAAY!

 

All demons share a common philosophy that is directly attached to their thought processes, that philosophy being: "All demons are my friend until they attack me, at which point they are my worst enemy". Because of this, all demons will cooperate with one another whilst following the strongest demons in the pack; however, none of them will tolerate what they believe to be betrayal of any kind from any of their contemporaries. In general this perceived betrayal is a direct physical attack on them that most likely was an accident, but to the demons nothing is an accident, and therefore it is common to see individual demons turn against one another mid-battle because one somehow hurt the other. This strong hatred of betrayal greatly overpowers all other emotions the demon may be experiencing, including their hatred for non-demonic beings, which is why it isn't uncommon to see a lonely imp attacking a cyberdemon with uncontrollable rage. This counter-intuitive mindset isn't helped by the fact that demons will never aim around their allies, the reasoning being that they should be getting out of the way if they don't want to die.

 

Lost Souls are highly intelligent but in constant agony due to their pathetic forms. This perpetual state of pain makes it extremely difficult for a Lost Soul to think straight, and these cognitive hardships are further enhanced by an extreme loathing of their current physical forms. They hate being flaming skulls so much that they will blindly charge towards any valid vessels in an attempt to inhabit them (in most cases these are living humans, other demons are not valid vessels).

 

Pinkies/Spectres have about the same level of intelligence as earthen cattle, and are handled in much the same way.

 

Pain Elementals are smarter than they look, but given their incredibly basic tactics and an extreme level of exploitation of a loop-hole in hell's anti-betrayal philosophy they may as well be the dumbest demons in hell.

 

Cacodemons posses a surprisingly large brain surface area which suggests a high degree of intelligence that unfortunately seems to be compromised by an extremely inefficient digestive system that requires constant food intake to keep the Cacodemon in the air.

 

Revenants are Lost Souls that have been awarded a better body. They no longer loath their physical forms, but are still in constant agony which continues to inhibit many of their mental faculties.

 

Imps are smart, but weak willed and will do anything a stronger demon tells them to assuming that the Imp doesn't get attacked by the stronger demon at some point.

 

Hell Knights/Barons of Hell show an advanced intellect, but thanks to a combination of pride, ego and snobbishness (especially in Barons) they often find themselves humiliated when their intricate plans don't work out the way they were meant. When faced with such humiliation, they tend to revert to more animalistic tendencies.

 

Mancubi are hell's nerds. They are full of good ideas which always get ignored by their dumber contemporaries. To compensate for the lack of attention given to them by other demons, all Mancubi have flame cannons grafted onto their forearms.

 

Arch Viles are hell's evil geniuses, with the highest IQ--brain size ratio of any demon. Most become masters of the dark magic that other demons neglect for being 'too hard'.

 

Cyberdemons are hell's commanders, and attempt to employ advanced tactics in order to overpower their opponents. Unfortunately, most Cyberdemons overvalue themselves and will rarely appear at the front of the squad where they will be of the most use. Because of this, they often cripple their own strategies by accidentally shooting their own troops.
 

Spider Masterminds are hell's politicians, and much like real politicians suck at their jobs; making them inadequate leaders and strategists.

 

Arachnotrons are Spider Masterminds in training, and ironically seem to lose intelligence if they actually manage to live long enough for the promotion.

 

(Why the hell do my posts always tend to be absurdly long...)

Edited by Skeletonpatch

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