League of Legends update bringing co-op vs. AI improvements

By Jeff Mattas, Jan 24, 2012 6:30pm PST

Developer Riot Games has revealed new details for the newest update to its free-to-play title League of Legends. The major update will focus on improving bot intelligence in and attempt to make the game's co-op vs. AI modes more engaging.

Co-op vs. AI in League of Legends was originally conceived as a mode for beginners that would allow folks to practice before competing against other humans. However, Riot Games discovered something a bit surprising. "One thing that kept coming up was the majority of the people who play League of Legends will play, every week, at least one co-op vs. AI game," senior producer Mark Norris told Joystiq. "And it's actually the primary game mode for a surprisingly large percentage of players."

Numerous changes to bot AI are detailed in the Riot Games video interview below, including predictive targeting, improved map awareness, and bot teamwork. Dominion will also make its way into the co-op vs. AI roster of playable game modes, and the game's roster of bots is increasing from twelve to forty.

There are still some other improvements that Riot is working on, which will likely make their way into future updates, such as the ability of bots to "jungle." While it's relatively easy to get bots to attack a progressive series of enemies, having the AI make decisions about when to invade enemy territory, or engage in "ganking," has proven a bit more complicated.

"That's actually a huge advanced area that we do want to look at and get into, that we're in the the real rudimentary stages of trying to figure out right now," Norris said. In short, the developers see the impending update as an evolutionary step that will be the foundation for more AI improvements and even the possibility of new co-op vs. AI game modes.

More details about the upcoming changes to League of Legends can be seen in the video below, or you can check out the supplemental interview (and the complete roster of bots), in full.

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