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Exactly how do the custom AI scripts work?
This is our most common question. Here are some basics on how the custom AI scripts work:
Custom / Melee AIs
  1. They expect to start with nothing, or at least a subset of what they would have built had they started with nothing.
  2. They expand when their resources run low or when their script tells them to, whichever comes first.
  3. They build lots of peons expecting only 50 minerals in the bank at the start, though more would be used if provided.
  4. They have some set, scripted rushes they will use, but only if there is a high chance it will end the game. It's unlikely these rushes will be used if the map maker has given the player any starting forces.
  5. They attack when they see the player has expanded to a new base. They try, if they can, to target expansions to prevent the player from getting out of where they started -- "starving" the player while the AI expands, eventually building enough troops to take over the player's starting base.
  6. If the player does not expand there are no scripted attacks for around 40 minutes. After that the player will get attacked whether they have expanded or not.
  7. They respond to attacks in the most aggressive way they can for they are trying to "win" and don't want the player to live.
Campaign AIs
  1. They expect to start with a town and do not build, but rather rebuild, and only rebuild certain things considered to be very important, like barracks.
  2. They do not expand at all.
  3. They build few peons and expect the map maker to have started them with a large pool of resources.
  4. They have no scripted rushes and in fact do not try to kill the player. Campaign AIs are meant to be beaten.
  5. They are not interested in whether the player tries to expand. They will attack anything they can find.
  6. They attack with periodic scripted force compositions regardless of what the player does. When the end of the script is reached it begins to repeat a few set groups. These attacks start within minutes of the AI being started.
  7. They respond to attacks lazily, allowing the player some time to destroy structures and whittle the computer down in an effort to make the game fun and give the player a chance to win.
Insane AIs
  1. They make no assumptions on what they start with. They can start with one peon, or all the way up to a whole town.
  2. They expand when their resources run low or when their script tells them to, whichever comes first.
  3. They build lots of peons expecting only 50 minerals in the bank at the start, though more would be used if provided.
  4. They always use their scripted rushes, without restrictions.
  5. They attack regardless of what the player does, meaning nothing the player does can "trigger" an unusual attack or prevent them from attacking. They try, if they can, to target expansions to prevent the player from getting out of where they started -- "starving" the player while the AI expands, eventually building enough troops to take over the player's starting base.
  6. They respond to attacks in the most aggressive way they can for they are trying to "win" and don't want the player to live.
Choosing the Right AI
As mentioned above, the Melee AI keys off of player expansion to know when to start being aggressive. A Melee AI may not be effective if any of the following conditions are met:
  1. The player starts with a larger force than the computer.
  2. The player does not have a town.
  3. The player does not need to expand to secure resources.
  4. There are specific conditions or triggers in the map which make it fundamentally different than a melee game.
In such cases, using the standard "Campaign AI" is preferable since it does not require any specific activities on the part of the player before it goes on the offense. Or, if you really want to threaten the player's existence, use an Insane AI script.

Can I write my own AI scripts?
No. We use a proprietary internal scripting system for AI and unit scripts that requires integration with the StarCraft build environment.

What about Installation levels?
The Melee and Campaign AI was designed with the standard build and expand model in mind; so they will not provide meaningful results in Installation levels. The best way to manage computer unit behavior in these situations is to use the "Suicide AI" scripts.

How do the "Set player to ally" and "set player to enemy" AI scripts work?
These scripts are obsolete with the addition of the new 'Set Alliance Status' Trigger action. Use the 'Set Alliance Status' action instead of this script, as it is more flexible and easier to use.

Can you elaborate a little on the Insane scripts?

1. The Insane AIs harvest more efficiently than the Custom ones, and spend their money much faster.
2. The attack waves within the Insane script use larger groups of units. Below are examples of the difference between Custom attack waves and Insane attack waves.

(All waves described are land attack only examples. Mileage may vary. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. People can and do lose games.)

Protoss Custom Insane
Wave 1 12 Zealots 12 Zealots
Wave 2 6 Zealots
4 Dragoons
10 Zealots
5 Dragoons
Wave 3 8 Zealots
4 Dragoons
3 Scouts
10 Zealots
5 Dragoons
4 Reavers
Wave 4 10 Zealots
5 Dragoons
4 Archons
12 Scouts
Wave 5 10 Scouts
4 Carriers
1 Arbiter
8 Scouts
8 Carriers
Wave 6 none 1 Arbiter
10 Carriers

Terran Custom Insane
Wave 1 12 Marines 20 Marines
Wave 2 12 Marines
3 Tanks
20 Marines
10 Vultures
Wave 3 14 Marines
5 Tanks
20 Marines
6 Tanks
Wave 4 12 Marines
4 Tanks
4 Wraiths
12 Wraiths
Wave 5 10 Wraiths
4 Battlecruisers
12 Goliaths
6 Tanks
Wave 6 none 6 Wraiths
6 Battlecruisers
Wave 7 none 10 Battlecruisers
Wave 8 none 12 Marines
6 Goliaths
4 Tanks
2 Ghosts
Wave 9 none 8 Wraiths
6 Battlecruisers

Zerg Custom Insane
Wave 1 12 Zerglings 20 Zerglings
Wave 2 12 Hydralisks 20 Hydralisks
Wave 3 10 Mutalisks 15 Mutalisks
Wave 4 16 Hydralisks 10 Mutalisks
10 Guardians
Wave 5 8 Mutalisk
6 Ultralisks
4 Guardians
15 Hydralisks
Wave 6 16 Hydralisks
5 Ultralisks
12 Mutalisks
10 Guardians
Wave 7 none 20 Hydralisks
12 Ultralisks
Wave 8 none 1 Defiler
12 Mutalisks
50 Zerglings

Can you elaborate on the Brood War Custom AI Scripts?

Protoss AI:
The Protoss AI has 4 basic attack methods: Normal, Dark Templar Attack, Dark Templar Defense, and Double Nexus. The Dark Templar Attack method is used if the scouting unit sees the enemy may not be ready with detectors. Dark Templar Defense is used if a scouting unit sees an enemy Protoss player possibly making Dark Templars. Double Nexus is used if the map seems to provide a close, guardable expansion. Normal is used in all other cases.

The attack waves on land maps are as follows:

  • 12 Zealots if using Normal OR 12 Zealots and 1 Dark Templar if using Dark Templar Attack
  • 12 Zealots, 6 Dragoons, 2 Dark Templar
  • 12 Zealots, 8 Scouts, 4 Corsairs
  • 10 Scouts, 8 Corsairs, 5 Carriers
On island maps there are two attack methods, Normal and Zealot Drop. The AI will choose one randomly.

  • 4 Zealots in the Zealot Drop Method
  • 12 Zealots in the Zealot Drop Method
  • Always 11 Scouts, 5 Corsairs, and 6 Carriers
Terran AI:
The Terran AI has three attack modes determined by the enemy race that is closest when initially scouting the map.

The attack waves on land maps are as follows:

  • 12 Marines, 3 Medics vs. Terrans OR 10 Marines, 4 Firebats, 3 Medics vs. Protoss or Zerg
  • 5 Tanks, 12 Marines, 3 Medics
  • 4 Battlecruisers, 6 Wraiths, 2 Valkyries, 3 Tanks, 2 Goliaths, 3 Ghosts, 10 Marines, 2 Medics, and a Partridge in a Pear Tree.
On island maps, the nearest opposing race still determines the general strategy, but there is also a random chance of a marine drop being used early, before the enemy race is even known.

  • The AI will use 16 Marines if using a Marine drop strategy.
  • 4 Goliaths, 8 Marines, 6 Wraiths
  • 8 Battlecruisers, 4 Valkyries
Zerg AI:
The Zerg AI uses only one general strategy regardless of map and enemy race. There is a random chance of using a pool first 6 zergling rush. If used, nothing else changes except that their later attacks take longer to prepare.

The attack waves are as follows:

  • 20 Hydralisks, 2 Lurkers
  • 9 Mutalisks, 4 Devourers, 4 Guardians, 8 Scourge
  • 60 Zerglings

The final attack loop is variable. The AI will pick one of the following for each attack:

  • 12 Mutalisks, 4 Devourers, 4 Guardians
  • 6 Fully Upgraded Ultralisks, 12 Hydralisks
  • 20 Hydralisks
  • 20 Hydralisks, 20 Zergling
  • 40 Zerglings with the Adrenal Glands upgrade




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