IL-2 patch 4.003 is the AI patch!

An update from the 1CGS team has appeared just before the holidays with plenty of fixes and improvements across the board. What this should really be called is the AI patch as the majority of the fixes are aimed at improving the way the AI behaves.

More to the artificial intelligence

Although the new patch comes with fixes across the board including some career improvements that involve dolling out awards using more realistic requirements, it’s the AI that has me most excited to see updates to.

AI for IL-2 has always been a challenge. Although the AI plays by the same rules as the player does, they haven’t always been the best fighter pilots when it comes to tactics. Over the years we’ve seen more tactics added to their bag of tricks. In 4.003 there’s even more and I wanted to highlight the changes from the patch notes:

  1. AIs finish a ground attack run by pulling up harder, which should improve their survivability rate in hilly terrain;
  2. AI bombers drop the bombs better;
  3. Advanced AIs won’t ‘stuck’ in an endless circle during dogfight anymore;
  4. AIs perform “Low Yo-Yo” and “High Yo-Yo” maneuvers better;
  5. Detailed AI tanks engage the nearest targets by default like simple AI tanks do;
  6. AI drivers of self-propelled artillery and other ground equipment with a fixed main weapon now face the target to aim if the priority of the mission command being executed is LOW;
  7. Ground vehicles won’t ‘jump’ on steep slopes;
  8. Ground vehicle AIs won’t turn their engines off immediately after stopping;
  9. AI ground vehicles have a variable exhaust effect when moving;
  10. The steam locomotives won’t turn on the lights during the day;
  11. AA guns and machine guns mounted on trains follow mission command priority;

I spent a few minutes this morning checking it out and the AI looks better than it has before. More energy tactics, better awareness of the right kind of defensive moves required to get away, and a bit more human looking with their flying.

Is it perfect? No, and it never will be, but having more compelling AI that does less endless circles and instead tries different things or attempts to use speed to control the fight in the vertical when required is definitely a good thing to see.

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