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Transitions and AI Movement


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I am wondering if:

a) The way the AI players move are predictable or if they are random

B) How much attributes of a particular player effect their movement.

I've noticed the following and am wondering if other people have observed the same things:

a) If you break it into the opponent's zone by yourself, far ahead of your AI forwards, they never trail you for an outlet pass or go to the slot. They seem to just sit around at the blue line or stand in the middle of a clusterfuck of defencemen. (However, if you make a sharp cut to the boards in the middle of the zone, sometimes every defender will follow you, leaving the entire slot open where sometimes one of your forwards will jump in.)

B) Sometimes you can run a 1-3-1-esque trap. If you force the skater breaking out on a transition along the boards, sometimes the defenceman will stand the blue line. But sometimes the defenseman either collapse or just let the skater blow right by him. Again, is there any predictability to how the defenseman will play? Do attributes determine this?

-- Also, if people don't mind sharing, what are some of the ways that typically work when you break it in?

From what I remember, there seemed to be two types of players: either you take it end-to-end and try to deke the goalie/cross crease with a good player (I want to say that Carse and Fluery were like this) and players who actually set up cycles and score on close-in one timers (Habs, Jesus). How do they work they cycle? It seems like you have to break with the forwards close to you for them to do anything useful.

Edited by Wittgenstein
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Good question. I think it's best to get some video examples of what you're talking about to help illustrate your point.

I'm also curious about the effect of "offensive awareness". I'd like to create 6 players, all with the same attributes except OfA would be 1-6. Then, try to set up the same play over and over enough times to determine if there is any difference in the AI.

For example, I can take the classic "winger to the corner, set up the one-timer to center" play and do it over and over. Each time I would record what the C is doing (this is the player with OfA 1-6 variable) and see if high OfA means he sets himself up for the one-timer better than without. And so on. As long as you try to keep everything else consistent (same teams, same everything), and the play consistent, this test should answer some questions.

I'll probably do this very test (and others) soon and share the video results. Along with DfA, Chk, etc. attributes. If it hasn't been done already, I think it would be informative and helpful.

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I've noticed that if you stop somewhere around the offensive blue line when you have the puck and just move the puck quick out of the zone then back in it will mess up the defending cpu's and it will be a lot easier for you to score a goal.

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I've noticed that if you stop somewhere around the offensive blue line when you have the puck and just move the puck quick out of the zone then back in it will mess up the defending cpu's and it will be a lot easier for you to score a goal.

I think IAmFleurysHipCheck used to do this in online play..

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Here's a position that I always see people making plays from. The correct winger has to have the puck for this to develop and your computer forwards can't be offsides-- even if offsides is turned off-- because they will start skating towards the blue line when you enter the zone. This seems like the 'default' set-up that computer tries to get in when you enter the zone from the flank, but all kinds of stupid little things can happen to prevent the forwards from carrying it out right:

image.jpg

You've brought it into the zone along the boards and the other team's forwards are behind you. (let's say you got by them in the neutral zone with a fast player.)

-f3 will stake along the boards on the other side of the ice and stop when he gets behind the red line. This gives you an outlet pass. (A lot of times he is off the screen.)

-f2 will stop skate to slot and stop.

Ways I've seen people score:

1) Slam the breaks around the red line and try to hit f2 in the slot for a one-timer. (I used to always try to do this). Curling towards the boards and then passing is probably better because you can get the defender closest to you out of your passing lane.

image.jpg

2)Hit f3 with a pass, and then pass it with him to f2 in the slot for a one-timer. (I can remember habs burning me with this)

image.jpg

3)Keep skating along the boards-- go behind the net and when you've made it to the other side, pass it to f2 in the slot for a one-timer.

image.jpg

4) Just cross crease, you bimbo.

tumblr_llibx7GwvB1qe7zf5o1_400.png

The two main reasons for turnovers seems to be checking or a pass gets intercepted. On checking: either the computer/human will hit you when you have the puck or, being the huge dicks that they are, they will plow over f2 or f3 despite the fact that they don't have the puck. When they hit the guy without the puck, it completely ruins the flow of everything.

(Also, since you can't see f3 at times, you'll try to pass it to him, only to find him laying on the ice. Sometimes f3 comes in really late on the play as well, which makes pulling off #2 a lot harder.)

-- I guess this is all pretty simple, but maybe not something that beginners are aware of.

______

Other quick observations:

- Computer players always play as if offsides is on. So, if your forwards are offsides (which happens a lot), they will turn around and skate toward the blue line when you enter the zone.

- The computer's defense in the neutral zone always sends a guy to pressure the puck carrier. This defenseman is really dumb and over-anticipates where you are going with the puck. Once he has no chance at making a play on you, he turns around and skates towards his blue line while the computer sends a new person to pressure you. (And the next guy is no different-- he over-anticipates and the whole things keeps going in circles.

This kind of makes for a trappish defense, but it does all work in one conistent, predictable system that I'll try to post about that later.

trap.jpg

(Sometimes you'll observe some really strange behavior from the other team's center when you are entering the neutral zone. Sometimes, he'll skate all the way back into his zone and chill behind the blue line that the defenseman are positioned at. I'm trying to figure out what causes him to do this)

-

I've noticed that if you stop somewhere around the offensive blue line when you have the puck and just move the puck quick out of the zone then back in it will mess up the defending cpu's and it will be a lot easier for you to score a goal.

Yeah, it looks like once you take the puck out of their zone, their whole team starts skating to the neutral zone. (This is good because now all of the computer players have their momentum going forward when you turn around and stake back towards their net.) However, it looks like your forwards do the same thing, too, so they aren't of much help.

- What makes getting the puck through the neutral zone against a human player so much harder than against the computer is that when pressuring you, a human does such a better job at staying with you and either hitting you or poking it off of you and anticipating where you are going with the puck.

Edited by Wittgenstein
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This is a f**king fantastic thread.

I had a few of the snes 94 devs lined up for some interviews a few years back but they fell through due to some really poor time management on my part. It's exactly these kinds of questions that I would have loved to ask them and, honestly, I think there'd be some strats to glean from a better knowledge of the programming (i.e. what decides a two-pad stack vs. useless fetal goalie kick save posish, how much does the crowd meter impact the hot/coldness of your team, is there any way to increase the likelihood of breaking the glass?).

I can't speak for GENS but in SNES I've found regular one timer success by crossing the blue line and doing a few pirouettes at the top of the circle until a teammate streaks in at about the position of F2, maybe a little further over. This seems to corroborate the idea that the AI always plays as is offsides are on: they pass the blue line and then finally start to turn back in as I'm spinning like a mad man.

What also works surprisingly well is taking someone to around F1 and then handing off the puck to circle around the net -- F1 tends to spasm around the hash marks for a few seconds which gives you time to get around behind the net and dish a pass back to about the same position that F1 originally handed off at.

Will run a few tests once exams finish up.

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Here's a position that I always see people making plays from. The correct winger has to have the puck for this to develop...

Yeah, I think it's important to emphasize this. Note that your RW will always seek to go right, LW left, and Center at center. So in your scenario, you have the RW (F1) coming down the right side with the option to hit the trailing C (F2) for a one-timer or pass behind the net to your LW. OR, keep the puck with the RW, go around the net and try the one-time to C.

This wouldn't work if you brought your center down to right corner, as your RW would be standing next to you, wondering what you're doing in his zone :P .

Great thread! Hope to see more analysis on AI!

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YES!!! learning all this really helped take me from C to B. I still have times where i try to take a d-man all the way instead of passing. or having the rw skate all over the place, big rookie mistakes right there

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AI Behavior When You Bring the Puck Into the Offensive Zone With A Defenseman

Ok, so the last post got me wondering what happens when you bring it into the zone with the defenseman.

It looks like this does, in fact, end up giving you a strong attack. All of your forwards will come in and move on their designated 'horizontal line'. None of them go back and cover for the defenseman who has the puck. Of course, if you turn the puck over, this is going to lead to a nasty odd man break for the other team. (Most good dekers will make you pay.)

1.image.jpg

2. Here you can start to see the horizontal lines the forwards stay on take shape

image.jpg

3. image.jpg

4. Now the center has reached the crease and won't go any further. He will start a curl to the slot.

image.jpg

5. So, the center does a curl. This, as you will see, is getting him ready to park himself in the slot for a pass. Notice, too, that wingers are running out of space as well and begin to curl.

image.jpg

6. Now the center has completed the curl and is parked in the slot waiting for a pass. The defender is on him, though. I'm assuming a good player will try to do something to get the defenseman to budge just a little from that spot so that the pass will open. (now would be a good time to cross crease or go to the slot for a slapshot. If the defenseman comes over to defend it, it will open the one timer pass to your center.)The LW has curled back as well and may end up being a one timer option at some point. However, he doesn't seem to park himself in one position for the pass like the center does.

image.jpg

**********

Anyways, I hope this helps people's breakouts. (Mine suck, so I am hoping this will help) We can now see that the AI forwards play on a designated 'horizontal line' in the offensive zone and how the center sets up for a one timer in the slot.

The defenseman (d1) will cover the center, though. You're going to have find an angle to pass it by him or do something to get him to budge-- otherwise, the pass isn't going to be an option. I'm assuming now would be a good time to cross crease or take a slapshot. If the defenseman comes over to defend it, it will open the one timer pass to your center.

This makes me think that it is NOT a good idea to take the puck into the zone with the center unless you plan on dekeing or shooting with him because there will NEVER be a player in the slot for a pass-- the wingers simply stay on their wing.

Also, most good human players will control a forward on defense and stay in the slot. This way, he can try to take away a cross crease and solidify the defense against the threat of a one-timer pass to your centerman.

Also, there are a lot of other things you can do with the defenseman with puck at any point. But at least now we have a feel for how the forwards will behave.

**************

As far as I can tell, too, the AI forwards will always stay in their third of the ice in the offensive zone. But I'll look into this more later. I could be wrong. (Maybe they'll move out of them on the back check if they are close to the guy with the puck?)

3rds.jpg

Edited by Wittgenstein
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