Trusts Can Be Smarter

Ok, so we can play the Leveling Dungeons of Shadowbringers using an AI. But have you noticed?

  • The Trust Members don’t have MP bars? Shouldn’t they be playing with the same rules that we are using?
  • Have you noticed that Trusts seem to rez healers? I mean without Alisaie [a Red Mage with Heal and Rez] in the group. I noticed that Alphinaud [scholar] died and Alisaie was not in the group I chose, but all of a sudden he was back quick as the blink of an eye. Someone cheated. Another Trust Member had Rez that shouldn’t have.
  • Things happen too fast. We are not just doing this for their benefit, but we are playing for my benefit and if Trust AIs do things too quickly then I don’t get a chance to learn. For example on one run with me as GNB, playing Holminster, and fighting Tesleen we wiped. Ok, I don’t expect perfect runs with Trusts. But what happened? Did I not stack quick enough so we lost too many Trust members? I did not die, but all of a sudden, quicker than the eye could follow, we were back at the beginning. Please don’t do that. I didn’t get my learning opportunity.

But these minor issues overlook a larger issue. I think the restrictions show that the AI for Trusts have been programmed the wrong way. I don’t think they are using Deep Learning. Here’s why I think that and why I think they should.

AIs Have Learned Video Games For a Long Time

Screenshot_2019-11-07 How Computers Learned to Play Nintendo.png

Way back in 2015, maybe before that, AI Deep Learning has been learning to play video games. In these experiments, the AIs started with nothing but a picture of the screen and were given a simple score for a goal. Voila. They learned in no time how to play all of the games.

Screenshot_2019-11-07 Computer Learns To Play Go At Superhuman Levels 'Without Human Knowledge'.png

Over the next few years, AI even conquered GO. Beat Lee Sedol, the acknowledged world champion and Crusted all human players with no “Fore Knowledge” of the game. Learned Go from scratch. And this doesn’t take a super computer either. Once trained, it plays on a small enough computer that the whole setup was shipped in luggage of the team when they flew to Korea for the match. Sure it took a set of server computers to learn the game, but not to play it.

Screenshot_2019-11-07 DeepMind’s StarCraft-playing AI beats 99 8 per cent of human gamers.png

Now, computers have learned to play StarCraft. It can be argued that StarCraft is harder for computers to learn to play than Go. At least it has taken longer.

But What About Trusts in FFXIV?

I don’t think that Trusts are using Deep Learning AI. If they were, I don’t think  we would see the “Cheats” that we see employed in Trusts – No MP bars and Cheat Rezzes – since they would not be necessary.

What would I like to see with Trusts?

How about we get Trusts at level 15 or 20 to run leveling Dungeons?

  • How about they are able to run all instance dungeons and trials in the game? Ok. Maybe not Savage and Extreme Raids.
  • How about we can do Full Party content?
  • How about if we have real party members, they can each bring up to 3 Trust members into suitable content to fill the party – again following member Role restrictions for the instance?

I am recently playing with my daughter. She doesn’t have much time each week to play, and she is working through ARR content. So we are doing trials and dungeon instances as she levels. Trusts sure would help us out. I have high level characters with a choice of 50+ with Tank and Healer roles. But we need to fill the party with Real People. Sure would be nice as a teaching moment to have trusts “who” don’t mind waiting while we go at our own pace.

How Could SQEX Build Trusts?

Here’s a suggestion? Find a nearby – near SQEX – University with a Computer Science AI Program. Offer internships to some senior or graduate students. Allow them to publish their work as Theses or Papers. And then let them build Trusts using AI Deep Learning.

  • Run the Trusts on the Server of course, so they have an inside view of the dungeon from the server, not just the pixels on a client screen.
  • Tanks normally Lead the group. Allow the tank to lead, but train it to take queues from the real party members about when to pause and advance. Don’t add controls for this, just make the AI smart. Currently the Trust AI tanks wait until the Real player attacks or aggros the next group of  mobs and then the Trust tank then takes aggro back. I think it could be smarter than this with a little Deep Training.
  • Train the Deep Learning Trusts on all the dungeons and trials and normal difficulty raids. This would allow folks learning to Raid to group up, add some trusts and then learn how to raid.
  • Allow players to unlock trusts at a low level, like 20, and encourage playing and learning with friends using Trusts to fill parties and reduce wait times.
  • Currently DPS players wait very long times and healers not at all. Trusts can help. What if DPS players queued with Healer Trusts marked “Optional” and when there was no real player healer available to queue with after a reasonable amount of time like 5 or 10 minutes, one of the DPS players brought along their healer and Voila – Instant Pop on that dungeon. Same with Tanks. Currently DPS wait times for dungeons can be 30 or more minutes. I usually play healer or tank in level 60 and below dungeons for this reason. But that does not help me level my DPS jobs.

And while we are at it, let’s be more creative about how to grind for Tomes Du Jour. Sitting through an hour of cut scenes for our daily dose of Tomes is getting old. Surely there are better ways. And don’t call me Shirley.