A couple of days ago the Team Fortress 2 developers pushed an update that included experimental bot support, allowing you (and your friends) to play against the AI on selected maps.
The TF2 bots are apparently based on code used for Left 4 Dead Boss Infected and are described as “AI-driven player proxies with simulated humanlike senses, reaction times, and tactics”. They are currently only available in the King of the Hill game mode, specifically koth_nucleus, koth_sawmill and koth_viaduct.
If you try to spawn them on other maps they don’t do anything besides standing in the spawn room and look at you. The official reason from the TF2 devs is that the bots “don’t understand the rules of multiple point capturing, cart pushing, or flag getting yet”.
You can add bots with the tf_bot_add console command and can even assign them to a specific team or to play specific classes. The default behaviour is for the bots to random a new class after each death. More information about console commands are available on the TF2 blog.
I just ran a rather intense player vs bots session on the GameSync.net TF2 server with some friends and here are my impressions:
- The Heavies have crazy aim. They’ll take your health down really fast regardless of range.
- The Snipers are really fast and accurate. A bit on the imba side.
- Medics will pick a single target to heal and constantly follow their chosen targets. They can deploy Ubers.
- Pyros are very aggressive and will attempt to backstab you or even spawn camp your team. They have good air blast skills, even capable of deflecting rockets to airshot you.
- Engineers are not too smart. They’ll keep spamming buildings even under fire.
- The bots won’t know for sure that you’re a Spy, but they can “suspect” that you’re one. They will constantly look at you, even to the extent of Heavies constantly charging their miniguns while locking onto you. Scary shit. If they catch you cloaking, uncloak or disguising they will open fire immediately.
- The bots have a problem coping with Snipers in general. They won’t give chase to Snipers but if a Sniper enters their line of sight they will start shooting.
- I haven’t seen any bot Spies so far.