In addition to solo and quest-based gameplay, Altis Gates encourages team play, particularly against tough bosses. The advanced artificial intelligence of the game’s bosses makes them even more challenging.
In most current games, bosses are typically endowed with a fixed artificial intelligence quotient that makes them always react in the same way or within a very narrow range of possible responses. As a result, if you are familiar with a boss’s routine combat actions, you can often defeat it easily by simply following a boring, scripted set of tactics that are known to work best. In Altis Gates, bosses are more unpredictable, making encounters with them both more challenging and more fun.
One of the developers recently said, “Our goal was to get the players to feel that both courage and intelligence would be necessary to defeat a tough boss. As a result, the dev team endowed the computer-controlled bosses with a dynamic AI. Every boss in Altis Gates can think like a human being in that it will react according to what the players do in battle. That’s how we make sure players feel a real sense of accomplishment when they defeat a boss.”
The dynamic AI demonstrates its intelligence mainly through what can be labeled action mode and thinking mode. The AI allows computer-controlled bosses to take appropriate actions according to the situation. For example, the Elemental Lords are both powerful and cunning. Not only can they cause direct damage to their opponents, but they can also weaken their opponents. If they determine that an opponent is very powerful, they may transform the terrain surrounding them into a volcano or an ice field, making some of their spells cause much more damage.
In its thinking mode, the dynamic AI will size up each member of a team. Usually, the bosses will first try to prevent opponents who have high HP from attacking and then concentrate their attack on those who have low HP. They will often first attack supporting classes such as Priests and Necromancers. Bosses typically prefer to attack Mana-based classes rather than melee-based classes. Some may even try to attack opponents based on the character’s gender.
This may make the bosses sound too difficult to defeat, but rest assured a good combination of characters playing to the strengths of the group should be able to defeat bosses in their range. Players will have to think a little more, though, and react to changing conditions on the battlefield rather than mindlessly following a script. When Altis Gates players boast of vanquishing a boss, it will be a feat worthy of the praise — and rewards — that come with it.