The State of Heroes of the Storm A.I

Why do you guys keep crawling up?

Well, just to add another “broken” AI: after the last patch, D.Va behaviour has changed again, and not in a good way :neutral_face:

While she still isn’t able to use her nuke ability (that hasn’t changed, unfortunately), now she’s also really afraid of her mech suffering damage… as soon as her mech hp fall below a certain treshold, she dashes away from the danger to the nearest fountain or hearth back. That means she’s now a little more difficult to kill, but also that for most of the game she’s back at the core, making her useless (well, more than usual :stuck_out_tongue:)
Moreover - another “bad” behaviour that hasn’t changed yet - when in pilot mode she won’t call back her mech until she’s almost dead (and, sadly, there’s more chance of her dying from overkill damage).

TBH i’m starting to think that the “real” difference in AI difficulty level is not the skillshot accuracy, team comp or use of different skins and mounts, but the behaviour of allied AI that gets more and more unhelpful and unresponsive to objectives…

So, to recap, we have the following game modes:

  • solo vs AI: if you go beyond recruit level, it’s litterally a 1-vs-5 game, with your “teammates” feeding the enemy team.
  • coop vs AI: even “elite” enemy AI can be a joke, the only problem is that if you queue solo you can get a “clown” team comp (i.e. 4 healers and a ranged assassin) against a well-rounded enemy team… even then, the chances to lose a match are very low.
  • SL / UR / QM: if you get an AI in your team… well, good luck, and prepare to get bodyblocked, not-healed, and whatever else by your new “teammate” (i had an Anduin AI in a QM who liked soooo much to pull me back in the middle to the enemy team as soon as i got out of danger, obviously leading to my death :expressionless:), or, better yet, to continue a 4-vs-5 match.
  • ARAM: well, ok, it’s ARAM so who cares? :stuck_out_tongue:

I’d like to really know what changed with the patch of february 2019, which took (someone would say “broke”) the AI to the current level; it began with the AI going for the camps as soon as they spawned, then it became totally unresponsive to pings, instantly knew when you were trying to take a camp, didn’t care about keeps and/or core defense, stood under their immortal (BoE) without moving for the rest of the match, didn’t deliver (and still don’t) gems (ToSQ) and dobloons (BHB), stood at the front gates until allied minions came (well, it was good for completing quests :sweat_smile:), and so on…


Amen. There was that sudden turning point when the AI stopped fighting and started trying to play the game, only really really badly. They were so much more fun when (and useful as allies) when they just went up and tried to kill people instead of all the “guessing” they do now. Just played an AI match on Hanamura where the moment mercs spawned, they abandoned both lanes for about six minion waves, fell 3 levels behind by level 10. Like, wtf.

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In AI games, the AI still doesn’t consistently:

  • Cap camps. I saw a Chen AI dance around a camp for 30 seconds and never capped it.
  • Get objectives. On Blackheart’s Bay, 7 coins sat, unclaimed for 1:30.
  • Lane properly. in an AI game, the Butcher (!) had the highest xp contribution (excluding me) where the game also had the Lost Vikings.
    Turn in objectives. On a game, my team had over 30 coins. I had 0. Still no turn ins for 10 minutes.

This isn’t new. All of this stuff happened before the last 2 AI “updates”.

Good job devs! You’re doing great! Not.


Maybe I havent bothered to make an account until now? That means I can’t have an opinion?

When training in Custom Games with AI Vs. AI, I’ve noticed at the start of the match that instead of lining up at the gates, my friendly AI bots run around our base, spin around in circles until well after the game starts, and only then do they come to the initial midfield skirmish late- or not at all.

It’d be more optimal if at the start of a match, and in the seconds beforehand, that friendly AI bots would line up at the gates where real players always line up to shave seconds off of their response time to mid. And they should all prioritize starting off by laning midfield, unless you have a Gazlowe, Murky, or Sylvanas in which case it’s reasonable/normal for them to start the game laning by themselves while the other 4 players go at it in midfield to establish dominance. But friendly AI is completely off at the start of the game- doing everything wrong and breaking gameplay immersion with player frustration.

Thank you for your hard work, Kevin. We know the HOTS team is operating with minimal resources, and we appreciate you making the game better for all of us. :slight_smile: :slightly_smiling_face:

Is there a way to somehow make leveling faster vs ai (for both teams) It usually ends before getting level 20, so there´s less ways to know 20th tier talents. I know QM usually last longer because playing against people usually is more challenging, but for example in Starcraft 2, Elite ai is pretty strong

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I suppose that the strange “spinning around” at the beginning of the match is caused by the Goal System choosing which objective is the most important and where to direct the friendly AI, which is usually determined by where you move your hero. It also means that - most of the time - you’ll be the laning alone (especially if you go mid lane) against 2 or 3 enemy AIs unless you’ve pinged some allied AIs to follow (they won’t respond to the help or defend pings).

However, there lies a big problem; as i already wrote, AIs seems to not be differentiated by roles, so the Goal System can simply decide that an healer AI can “easily” go solo laning against a bruiser or take a siege camp, while you struggle defending alone a gate against the full enemy team or trying to take an objective.
Add to that that the only option you have, the “follow” ping, is working only for ranged or healer AIs (which use their abilities normally, although life-saving healing is out of question), while melee AIs do nothing unless they’re threatened by some hostile factor; for example (in my last “vs AI” game) as Auriel i pinged Tyrael and Hammer to follow me, and we attacked the mid gate… Hammer sieged and we both began to hit the towers, while Tyrael simply danced in the back line doing absolutely nothing :expressionless:
Moreover, there’s also a number of “broken” AIs: Hammer that goes in siege mode and never leaves the place where it stands, D.Va that never uses the self-destruct and flees if mech is hit hardly, Butcher that charges the enemy and then walks away, and so on…

TBH “gameplay immersion” in vs AI games has been a long-lost memory to me since the infamous 2019 patch, while frustation has slowly increased, almost reaching the level of solo-queuing in QM and SL games :unamused:


It’s aggravating because until the devs deemed it necessary to “fix” the A.I., it never had any of these issues. A.I. used to pick a lane and stay there until the objective. Now they run around like complete idiots at the start of the match, attempt to stand on the exact same pixel as each other, rotate lanes in the most inefficient manner possible to the point where they’re actually losing xp…

All of this is just completely wasted dev time putting bandaids on top of bandaids because Blizz refuses to swallow their pride and roll something back that doesn’t work. The A.I. has been completely broken all the way back since Mathael’s release patch, when you’d have stutter stepping Zarya’s & Tychus’s that were actively lowering their dps by moving constantly. Instead of just giving players with a leaver/DC on their time loss forgiveness, the dev’s answer was to make the A.I. have 1000 apm.

Another gigantic issue. Add in the fact the A.I. is now programmed to use wombo-combo followup cc, regardless of what that cc type is. Morales and Tychus constantly knock enemies out of Kerrigan combos for example, because their ridiculous input-reading has them cast their cc the instant you press a button, so their grenade is already flying out before Impaling Blades pops up.

I’m not sure why Blizz is advertising the “biology major” that’s in charge of the A.I. either. That’s like me hiring a cosmetologist to remodel my house.


here is a newer video which touches on AI in games, but is moreso someone talking/questioning an AI engineer.

It is far more general deep learning/AI, but it does touch on this persons perspective of AI in games. They sound more hopeful than the previous video I linked you. I hope their more hopeful perspective is well placed!

A large part of that is due to the advancement in AI hardware coming very fast.


I think they’re just trying to give the person more of a “human face” overall.

That being said, Biology is a science with hard numbers. It isn’t like they’re taking someone who studied history or art to work on it.

We also have no idea what their minor was.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is that while Biology isn’t the major that pops to mind when I think “person making an AI work” it also isn’t something that makes me go “that makes no sense”.

You also have to remember that skills > degrees.
Degrees imply you should have at least skills in those areas/a baseline of learning. But they generally are not restrictive.


If we can’t have a surrender button… When do we get HotS Classic? I miss original HotS so much. If i wanted to play LoL, i would play LoL, no need to turn HotS into LoL.

This is a thread about AI. Throw your surrender button in one of the corresponding threads.

You don’t see me bombard surrender button threads with new skin requests.


But if i throw it into other threads, then i don’t trigger YOU.

Well, today i did a little “experiment”, and now i can’t unsee what i’ve seen :no_mouth:

Playing “solo vs AI” adept-to-elite games is totally a pain, since the allied bots’ goal system seems to be wrecked, and “coop vs AI” games are unsatisfying if you queue solo.
Since the enemy AI seems to be at least a bit coordinated, i created a custom game full-elite-AI-vs-elite-AI, trying to balance both teams (Cursed Hollow map).

TBH it was the most sad and painful thing to see, 20 minutes of random laning, stutter-stepping and team-fighting, where both the goal and tactical systems showed all their limits and problems… i can’t even put down a list since i wouldn’t know where to start, i can only suggest those interested to do the same thing and suffer a little as i did :sweat_smile:

I know that HotS can’t afford things like AlphaStar or OpenAI, and i really appreciate Mr.Gu efforts, but playing with the current AI is unacceptable, especially in Storm League (and the reconnect system doesn’t help either)… perhaps leaving the bot in base is really the best solution, after all.

It’s almost like Blizzard has no idea what they are doing.

They are like “How could we make this airplane better?” and then they just strap some jet engines to one wing and go “Yep, that MUST be better!” even though the plane is now a complete mess and won’t fly properly anymore, because the plane is simply not designed to have more engines on one wing…

It will most likely crash and burn and hurt a lot of people… you know… just like Blizzard!

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AI ?
We need AI ELITE for replacing the player that DC.
And not a bot that stay in the nexus like a tard.
1 month its like this and you didnt do a thing.


Hi, sorry I’m not really playing competitive or something like that, but I noticed a few things and I was wondering about it. Is it intended for players that left the game’ heroes to hearth and sit in the hall of the storm all match? Also, AIs on pretty much every difficulty levels, in my experience, doesn’t seem to respond to pings to finish off core or attack objectives or, well, other types of pings. On top of that, AIs that are set to follow don’t attack what I’m attacking unless I’m really close to the target (I assume). Are these also intended?

I’m glad I’m not the one experiencing this, I thought I was going crazy or my version of JotS forgot to update or something. Is this intended design of the AI? Playing vs AI as support or healer is the worst since you’re dependent on your teammates but your AI teammates won’t engage or contest objectives so yeah. So far the only healer or supports I can have success with vs AI is Lucio, Tyrande, Abathur, and Medivh and that’s when I have ranged assassins on my team which i can ping to follow and actually do something. Your explanation has been very insightful.

Also, if it’s not too much of a bother, which patch notes was it? I’m really hoping to find out.

Dont worry, its not normal but its normal.

I mean its what blizzard wants, they never cared enough to fix this.
It’s not that hard.
It’s been 5 years they claimed bot answer to ping, they don’t.
Now it just stay nexus but again, blizzard doesn’t care. It’s been 1 month like this, they don’t do a thing.

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