According to this blog posting on an MMORPG blog, a development team working on “The Chronicles of Spellborn” has some ideas on how to make mob AI a little more engaging. The post points to an entry in CoS’s development journal. I need to do a bit more reading on the game and their ideas (the article is a little sparse on details) but at least their hearts are in the right place.
One interesting point that fell out of the comments on that journal is that people are actually worried that the behavior will become predictable. That was startling to me since the concept they were proposing actually makes the behavior less predictable. One example cited was that most MMO mobs will attack the player that attacked them ad nauseum (predictable and shallow). The CoS mob will break off that one player that attacked them and go after the weakest player in the raid group. Yes, that’s somewhat predictable, but only because it makes sense.
One of the comments in the journal responded that the idea was “brilliant”. To me, the idea is bloody obvious. And really, it’s not all that hard or computationally expensive to implement. I just don’t see why MMO AI hasn’t advanced beyond where it is right now. *sigh*