Recently a Q&A was held with Respawn Entertainment where fans got the chance to send in their questions and potentially have them answered. While quite a lot of quieries were answered perhaps the most intriguing information to come out of the event was regarding Titanfalls bots, a source of much controversy and confusion.
“In general, they’re there not only to help newer players feel like they’re accomplishing something and getting a bunch of kills, but they also provide the sort’ve humorous element to the world. They will talk to each other, they will melee each other, they will drag their buddies behind cover. They will be like ‘oh, there’s a Pilot coming through.’ ‘I don’t see what the big deal about Pilots is anyway.’ So you should eavesdrop on them, because it’s kind of funny.”
“But they’re human, and they don’t move like Pilots do, and you’re very much more powerful than they are, and they do make the world feel really alive. There’s some more high-level tactics: for example, if I’m going into a hardpoint, sometimes I’ll let the AI rush in first. I’ll wait for the guy who’s upstairs waiting there to hit them, see where he’s at and take him out myself because he thinks I’m one of the dudes running up. So they can be used to your advantage, even if you’re a stronger player.
Respawn continue by detailing the different types of AI in the game and their roles within a match:
“You have the Marvins, they are like the handyman of the universe. They’re not worth killing. They’re kind of sweet, and you’re kind of a jerk if you sit around shooting them. They’re there for some flavor.”
“Then you have Grunts. Grunts are your sort’ve standard military cohorts. You’ll see them rappelling in from helicopters, and they’ll assist you on the battlefield. They’re rushing into points. They follow the flow of battles. They can also help you find where there are enemy soldiers and enemy Titans. They’re not very dangerous – maybe if you had lost a lot damage and one of them hit you, yeah they could kill you.”
“Then there’s Spectres. Spectres are much tougher, much more dangerous. You can hack them to turn them to your side with the Data Knife. They’re way more powerful, way more deadly, and they also move differently. They can jump up multiple stories. So sometimes you’ll catch one out of the corner of your eye, you’ll think it’s a Pilot. They’re way more mobile and scarier.”
“The fourth AI is the Titan. When you’re not in the Titan, you can have it follow you around the map, you can guard where you are and it will fight other Titans for you. It will grunts for you, it will take out Pilots for you, and it’s really satisfying when you’re doing your own thing on the map, and you’re racking up kills because your Titan is doing really well.”
Respawn’s comments largely confirm my own theories regarding the AI, primarily that they exist to allow less skilled players to have fun and feel like they’re contributing to their teams victory, while still allowing skilled gamers to rise to the top of the leaderboards.
Keep your eyes out for my Titanfall preview, which should be coming within the next week or two.