Question of the Week: What improvements and/or features would you bring to AI in game?

I agree with @Bizcotto I would also like it if there was some way that the player could manually cycle through any weapons that a thrall is holding, including the truncheon, allowing us to decide what they will use on the fly. All the buttons are taken already so I guess that can’t happen.

But that would be useful, say the game lets you cycle through at least two weapons they are holding and the thrall stays with what you selected. It could be a feature that you can also disable if you want your thrall to rely on the given ai…

And now I just realized that what I suggest has nothing to do with ai XD

I also kind of wish thralls wouldn’t talk to animals or monsters. A wolf or spider is not going to understand that it is being asked if its claws are sharp or that they’re about to have their hearts eaten XD

  • AI rework (pathing, more interactive options, better thrall commands, more idle animations, better archery combat by the AI) - no more thralls committing suicide or thralls that ignore obvious threats - thralls that can patrol an area, call out when danger approaches, and actually “defend” a base even when its not raid time
    • Passive = no attacking anyone or anything (good for PvP peaceful negotiations)
    • Defensive = attack only when attacked (reactionary but ignores attacks on the “master”)
    • Bodyguard = attack when “master” is attacked or if attacked themselves (also reactionary)
    • Aggressive = attack anything within range (good for base defense)

But also controls:

      1. Mobile = walks with the “master” freely
      1. Patrolling = walks around a set zone (can move to attack [say 20 foundations distance - just a guess])
      1. Stationary = stays at one’s post (stays on that one foundation no matter what)
  • AI improvement (NPCs that can swim and climb) - AI that can combo with other NPCs (AI ‘teamwork’)

  • AI Combat Awareness (vision cones and hearing cones so enemies can “see” or “hear” threats and respond rather than being nearly blind and deaf) = better AI environment awareness

  • AI Combat Actions - better at detecting objects around them and able to use objects for cover – I’m looking at the archers – and archers that can detect when their arrows are hitting fences or other objects in front of them and can adjust their firing rather than continuing to expend ordinance shooting walls or a fence that’s only a foot from their face) - and even be able to switch targets (if they can’t hit target A, they can switch to target B, or move so they can hit target A)

  • Adjust NPC thrall attribute perk system to stop fighter thralls gaining accuracy and archer thralls gaining strength - let the stat be either/or

  • Crafting thralls that can level (and eventually become “named” gaining experience through crafting items - the more they craft, the more experience and eventually, the higher the level) = for example, a T1 thrall, with enough practice and experience, can eventually become T4 and “earn” the right to be named.

  • more Beards and NPCs with beards (new hair styles wouldn’t go amiss either)

  • Musician thralls with Music options (what to play) that can be expanded on as you find more (like finding emotes only finding music pieces) = maybe even pull in some music selections from Age of Conan that Musician thralls can learn and play

  • Named Animal Trainer thralls for taming pets faster (and a named Horsemaster thrall for mount taming)

  • Named Armorer of Asura thralls for crafting the Asura armor style (flawless and exceptional) = Bodin is a nice name for a T4 Armorer of Asura armor :wink:

  • Ability to “teach” entertainment thralls new dances (and set which dance to do on that thrall)

  • AI Climbing – like a spider purge that can climb the walls. Or laddermen in a Purge attack. AI Climbing would be awesome (yes, I know its been said earlier that ‘climbing’ for the AI is extremely difficult and near impossible, but I’m putting it here on my “wish list” just in case a ‘miracle’ happens).

EDIT: Also, while I would want thralls to take less damage from stupid things like falls or lava, I don’t want them to take no damage. The last thing we need is exploiters putting thralls in lava where they take no damage but can freely attack all day long.


A “stand and fire” option for archers so that they dont rush the gates. I want them to stay in their crenelation and fire at enemies, not join the fray. Conversely, the option to default to melee. So what I’m really getting at is for all fighting thralls, a setting for ranged or melee as the preferred attack style during combat.


Followers could imitate the behavior of their owner: when he fight - they fight :person_fencing: ; when he crouches - they crouch :man_kneeling: ; when he dances - they dance :dancer: .


At least two come to mind:

Follower Aggression Settings:

I would like to request that followers be give an often requested Passive-Defensive-Aggressive setting. It would ideally function as follows:

Passive: will not attack under any circumstances
Defensive: will only attack if they or the player is attacked
Aggressive: will attack anything on sight

Enemy NPC Combat Improvements:

I feel there are several potential options we could employee to to make enemy AI more engaging, and offer a healthy amount of challenge. We could give enemies:

*a quick lunge attack
*a power attack
*a taunt which will power up the next attack or allow them to regain a small amount of health
*have T4 characters randomly perform dodge rolls. It need not be a perfectly timed response. Anythingwhich changes up the pace of the combat and makes it less predictable will be beneficial
*start having some human NPCs spawn in with Short Swords and Great Axes
*and most of all…please speed up enemy NPC animations!


I) Add a server setting which will allow us to turn idle sounds back on. I dont mind if it is ‘off’ by default.
II) I am not sure if it counts as an AI improvement, but PLEASE add Musician Thralls.

In strong agreement and solidarity with what my buddy @Necro said, these 2 also pleeeeaase:

III) Please allow us an option to change which dance our Dancers perform.
IV) Grant us the ability to Kick NPCs off cliffs! Give the game a sense of environmental awareness beyond a few memorable moments in dungeons.


Follower AI Wish List

  • Immunity from lava and fall damage. Ideally, the path-finding algorithms should prevent this kind of damage from occurring in the first place, unless it’s a result of combat. However, since the followers cap and follower leveling system made each follower much more “expensive” than before, it would be better to just make them immune to lava and fall damage.
  • Simon says: “Use the truncheon, Luke.” If the thrall has following a player who’s wielding a non-lethal weapon, and the thrall has both a normal and a non-lethal in their inventory, then the thrall should wield the non-lethal weapon.
  • Harvest directly into bearers. For bearers – and other “pack mule” followers – add a new command to their radial menu: “Follow and help carry”. The full proposal has been submitted in a separate thread.
  • Decorative “Followers”. Add an option convert a follower into a decoration. A decorative “follower” isn’t really a follower: it has absolutely no AI and can 't be used for combat; it simply stands where it was placed and plays idle animation(s). A decorative “follower” wouldn’t count toward the follower cap, can’t be converted back to a normal follower, and isn’t subject to the follower leveling system. Decorative “followers” can be picked up and placed again.

Enemy AI Wish List

  • Rework “thug bosses”. There are quite a few bosses right now that depend on brute force. Make them smart, instead of strong. Some examples: Arena Champion, The Gravewalker, He-Who-Walks-Below.
  • Adaptive bosses. Instead of trying to make normal bosses so strong that only a group can defeat them, implement a few dungeons with an “airlock” system, where players wishing to do the boss gather between two gates. The players have to “activate” the inner gate before going through it (e.g. pull a lever), which: 1) locks the outer gate until the boss is dead or there are no players fighting the boss, 2) spawns a boss appropriate for the number of players in the “airlock”, and 3) unlocks the inner gate.
  • "Quick, pretend we’re working!" You know that situation where you see a bunch of scorpions just chilling on the dunes and they only start moving when you get closer, but not yet close enough to get them to aggro you? Yeah, let’s not have any more of that :wink:

I’ll probably add more stuff later, if I come up with anything new.


I feel like others are going to cover the thrall side of things pretty well, so I’m going to focus my ideas on animal behaviors.

  • I want to see swimming crocodiles. Since, y’know, that’s kind of what they’re adapted for. I know you don’t super want to do water combat, but even if it doesn’t attack me I’d much rather see a croc start swimming after me rather than just walking along the riverbed.

  • Also, I feel like the crocs should be lazier. Say, like a greatly decreased aggro range, and then when you do get close enough to cheese them off there’s 50/50 chance of whether they’ll come after you or just snarl to make you go away.

  • Finally, I feel like the aggression levels of carnivores in general should vary depending on the time of day. Like, say, during the day there’s, again, a 50/50 chance of a pack of hyenas or a tiger or a leopard or whatever ignoring you, since predators tend to be fairly lazy when it’s hot out and also aren’t generally too keen on going after something that could hurt them without a good reason, but once the sun goes down they’ll attack 100% of the time because then they have the advantage. Add in some variable ranges, and this could add a much-needed element of danger to nighttime and actually make it interesting.

  • The aggressive herbivores are fine, because a lot of herbivores tend to be huge jerks in real life anyway.

I realize that this is of course a survival game and that every waking moment is supposed to be a desperate tooth-and-nail struggle to stay alive, etc. etc. etc., but a game where the wildlife acts at least somewhat like real animals is a lot more interesting to me than one where everything thinks of nothing but murder all day. So there.


I echo 90% of the suggestions already listed. The biggest two for me would simply be followers using weapons more efficiently and effectively, especially them mimicing the player using lethal or non lethal and maybe mimic the player if the switch to a ranged attack. And the other would be more idle animations for thralls in your camps and being able to set them on patrol.

The idea of them having full blown schedules and eating and bedtimes sounds awesome, but id be happy if we built the system improvement by improvement instead of mass system implementation then onto the next project. I feel its something that could evolve into something dynamic and magnificent with rounds of progress and feedback.

Bonus request, more beards. Hopefully you know the drill by now :wink:


@CodeMage Simon Says is great. If I understand things right, isn’t that originally how that was meant to be?

No damage from falls and lava sounds great. When you accidentally hit your thrall in combat it doesn’t take damage, but it would be your fault if damage registered…but not if it doesn’t properly follow an itinerary or just stays put in lava.

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Maybe? I’ve never seen anything from Funcom to indicate so, but maybe I just wasn’t paying attention. :man_shrugging:

There are so many great suggestions here! I, though, had a thought the other day. While spending time farming how nice it would be if my thrall whistled or sang to me while I worked away cracking rocks and chopping wood…


I’d like my Thralls to be a little wiser. If they have a lethal weapon and a truncheon in their inventory then let them use a lethal weapon on everything that can’t be knocked out and a truncheon on everyone who can be enslaved. If I don’t want any more Thralls I will not give my Thrall a truncheon (or I’ll take some deadly Pet with me).

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Currently, thralls and pets just stay in the exact same spot, 24/7. Rather than having a fully dynamic system as was envisioned during early access, a much more KISS system would be easy to implement, and better to work with.

Activity markers - With a player-set radius, the markers would be used by the AI to tell where to idly sandbox, where to sleep, where to interact with crafting stations, where to guard, and/or where to patrol. So rather than having each individual AI intelligently sort out the environment, just have them path to the markers.

Thrall groups - Arbitrarily assigning thralls to groups would make organizing them so much easier. This would allow for having a group of thralls that would follow after you, a group of thralls that are for decoration, a group of thralls that are for staying put and guarding, etc. When the player issues a command to a thrall in a group, it’s applied to every thrall in the group.

Workstation thrall clothing - Currently, as has been the case since the game was first released in Early Access, all crafting thralls have pre-set clothing. Being able to change that would be a much needed improvement to aesthetics.

Workstation thrall persistence - Workstation thralls are purely visual objects, with them having no collision, health bars, attack animations, idle animations, etc. Making them actual thralls, like how they were in the world before they were broken and turned into purely inventory items, is a no-brainer.

Purge persistence - Currently, the purge are randomly spawned NPCs that vanish after their time is up, or after they’ve been defeated. Which is just bad game design. The purge should consist of the actual NPCs in the map converging to defeat the player. So instead of having spawned NPCs path to the base, have the in-world NPCs path to the base.

Toggling on/off the new thrall stats system - The recent addition of thrall stats is just another layer of grinding on top of an already grind-ridden game. Having the option to revert to the original thrall system, where their stats were dependant on their stats prior to being converted, would be very welcome. Especially since there’s no documentation on how to modify the new system.


Not trying to sound like an A$$ but I am sure Funcom KNOWS exactly what we want. With all the lists, posts, rants, begging and even acknowledgement on streams…I am sure you guys know quite well.

But lets entertain this post with a brief list:

  • Commands while in combat. Switch weapon, Use truncheon, To me!
  • Better everything, more responsive, less idiotic, no more infernal lava death
  • Ability to set on patrol
  • For the love of CROM, different dances. I am so sick of the hopping butt sniff ballet stance.
  • More emotes and the ability to set to a certain emote when placed. Animals lying down…
  • Ability to KICK a thrall out of the way, or off a cliff :rofl:

As a side note, Horses should not be followers but a class on their own passive non agro beasts of burden and transportation.

And please I miss you guys on stream! I need to see you! Its been forever! Please please, I need, I need, I need!!! :sob:

:metal: :smiling_imp:


conquerors blades Have all that list you want. In thrall :slight_smile:

As far as purge persistence goes - that’s possibly well and good for online and dedicated servers (discounting the NPC AI being in potato-mode when a player isn’t in a certain range), but what about solo/co-op? Those NPCs essentially don’t exist at all until the player is in render distance.

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I want worker thralls that can gather resources but have to be taken care of.

Please remove the ridiculously high thrall HP, they are not building pieces.

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For Followers:
(other than attacking after I swap weapons & not doing nothing when I fight)
Different combat settings (aggressive, defensive, passive, knockout only)
Patrol (pace from A to B)
Lively (walks around your base, talks to other thralls, emote, sit, etc)


-Thralls should attack any unit that we are locking on - Nothing else needed.
Lock on disabled? Well, no auto attack for you. Players with sheathed weapons will not allow thralls to kill on sight.

-Thralls should step back if the player is trying to push them for more than two seconds.

-Horses should have a toggleable ‘‘passive mode’’ which makes them not to engage in combat to die a honorable death

  • Aggro sistem reworked: When fighting bosses, players take aggro priority, and bosses will only engage thralls if the player haven’t attacked them in the past (x) seconds.

  • Thrall patrol: Select patrol option in your thrall’s radial menu and select one spot. The thrall will now patrol between his guard spot and the recently selected patrol area, attacking any hostile unit nearby.
    Must be on land claim.

  • Kinscourge switches to his long range attacks (blood explosion and sword dash) way too often. These hits are the most likely to be dodged/ignored, leading to free player attacks. People will tend to stay away and just wait for those. Both attacks should be used less often.

  • (not exactly AI but oh, well) Hrungir the frost channeled attack takes to long to strike, almost never hits unless you really are not paying attention

  • Mammoths/elephants are too helpless when attacked from behind - give them the 1-2 feet stomp combo (but not the 360) from thunderfoot.

  • Thrall teleport- will walk considerably faster when away from the player, and only teleport if outside render distance. Will teleport behind the player, if there is elegible terrain to so (1 foundation wide behind the player)

  • Then players crouch, thralls also crouch. when we draw weapons, so do they.

  • Roaming patrols: black hand, cimmerians, skeletons, there should be roaming patrols of these. Same with boss dragons, for instance. Ofc this would lead to dragons roaming around unsuspecting bases, just make it so they won’t walk near land claim.

  • More boss attack variety: most bosses have way too little attacks, it lacks some variety. We need more AoE attacks like Thag! Make so rotbranch releases tendrils on random areas (properly telegraphed) or rockslide summoning a giant rock from the ground!

  • Hold postion: thralls will stand where they are and only attack if something gets within their range (great for archers)

  • Thralls should not use orbs unless its the last thing they have in their inventory.

  • Thralls and pets will stop attacking if their health falls below 10%, trying to survive. Mindless deaths look and feel weird.

  • Specialized pets: bigger animals should have more hp than endgame thralls, like elephants, rhinos, and so on. Feline pets should be unstoppable lunging machines with lower health but higher damage.
    spiders could focus on debuffs like poison, weakness, and so on. GIve us a reason to use pets!


I have to ask the community of any of these Questions of the week have you all gotten any of the suggestions you all have given in the game? Or is is just a random question for the fun of it?

So if this is real and it is possible to get what is asked for the features I would like Funcom to bring is unbroken AI, less bugs in how the AI reacts to things around it, less bugs in how they move when a threat in the area. A fix to the bugs that make them unable to switch weapons with out a work around. Oh maybe a fix to the bug that they fall in to the never never land below the surface of the world or wonder off on their own to never be seen again.

I would like the bug where they walk right in to the Lava and stand here while they melt like the wicked witch fixed, oh oh oh and last one they do not stand on a mountain and jump off or ride an elevator and take a nose dive to their death. Really nothing special or new just AI bugs fixed will be a good start for me.