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Builder Base AI Broken?!

We all grew up with the simple troop targeting mechanic in Clash of Clans that was reliable and logical all the way – except some weird moves of the Heroes but still, it was predictable. Today, after we all play the Builder Base as well, we can just say that about the troop pathing in the Home Village and in this article I want to put together some things regarding the pathing of troops in the Builder Base during Versus Battles which is, frankly spoken, way off.

Troop Pathing in Builder Base

Versus Battles promised something really interesting with the smaller and yet more surgical and tactical battles, due to fewer troops and defenses. I fell in love with that new mode right away and still enjoy it a lot, but right now there are some WTF-moments that really spill my cup of soup.
If you look at the top players in the leaderboard of Versus Battles you see not that much difference compared to the bases you see around 4,000 trophies. Pushing Trophies was a painful endurance task in the Home Village, but with Versus Battles it meant to become a more skillful thing. In general, I want to point out that you need excellent timing and deployment skills and you will be on top of the leaderboard as this will make such a huge difference.
Now, the thing I (and probably most of you) are suffering is not the lack of understanding how the troops and defenses work in the Builder Base, it’s the weird pathing that sometimes just let you doubt your own sanity.
Example? Sure, check this here. There’s no reason why the Archers walk straight into the Crusher:

Unfortunately, there are tons of examples like that which get really frustrating when your attack fails due to such a heavy misbehavior from the troops and not mistakes you do yourself during the attack.
Supercell doesn’t provide any information about how the AI (artificial intelligence) of the troops work and it’s very unlikely they ever will share more detailed information. All we can say with certainty is that the troops behave differently in the Builder Base compared to the Home Village.

Are Walls the problem?

When starting off playing Versus Battles in the Builder Base after the release of it back in May 2017, many of you probably had the same moments like I had when seeing troops, especially Archers and Giants, ignoring the walls and walking huge distances.
In my opinion, the walls penalty are the reason for this whole behavior. Every wall has a penalty, which means that it will add a distance between the troops position and the first target behind it – this will determine of a troop will walk a longer distance towards a building that’s not behind a wall or start hitting the wall. In terms of the Builder Base, this penalty is a lot bigger than in the Home Village – you have been seeing this when your Giants walk around half of a base in layouts like this one here:
anti 3 star base layout for builder hall 5 coc
In this layout, Boxer Giants would never hit the wall on the back of the base and always walk around it.
The reason why Supercell is doing that is simple and reasonable. They want that funneling and deployment timing will get a bigger aspect of Versus Battles to create a real game mode and not just a “lite” version of existing battles.
The problem with it is, that the Giants and the Archers are not working that well with this higher penalty which leads to many weird situations.
You can see this clearly here when the Battle Machine targets the Firecrackers which is the closest building in raw distance.
builder base pathing AI clash of clans
It seems to ignore all the other buildings in the path to it but it will walk around the walls instead of destroying them.
I know that all of this is no hard evidence but it leads to the fact that there is a gap between the targeting and walking around walls that causes this problem.

The Solution?

Identifying a problem is only the first step, but without any further steps it’s useless for us – unfortunately there is not a single small word of Supercell out there saying that they will work on it, even not that they are aware of it – and posts regarding this topic are getting more and more every single day on the official forum.
Well, if you are playing Clash of Clans for a longer period you know that updates in summer are really rare sue to the company vacation of Supercell and we never got more than a small balancing update in the period of July/August in the past years since the release of the game.
With that being said, I only have a small hope that this will get addressed very soon and I fear that we have to wait until the September/October update cycle until we see a bigger new feature like balanced pathing.
What are your feelings? Is this pathing just a irregular thing that is ok for you or is this something you want fixed as soon as possible?

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kevin

Thanks for the article, I was really thinking it was just me!! the pathing has been driving me nutz!

Gerbert Myburgh

I play an all archer attack, and the pathing is crazy. There are more to it than just walls. I deploy 3 archers on the same spot, and they target different buildings. Sometimes i would place one archer, and it takes a building down halfway. I then attempt to place a 2nd archer to finish off the building on the same location, but it targets a new building. Very frustrating.

Bipin

Don’t you think, this has enhanced the importance of wall breakers here…and unlike home village, the wall breakers also destroys other buildings. Before destroying all the walls.

Ahmed

even the wall breaker AI is messed up. In the main game, they target walls that have buildings behind them and are inaccessible. Over here, they will just target a wall thats on the outside all by itself

Artemis

I gave up on the builder base completely. I ignore the boat.

Matthew C

Yeah same issue I am having. I use the beta minions and their pathing is stupid. They will stay 3-4 spaces away to Target a building after their long throw is over then they will pass the builder hall to Target another building and I will lose a star as it goes headlong into a firecracker. It makes me lose so many battles.

MRWisdom

I agree. Thank you for the article. SuperCell should at least say something about it. This is their major update in years and we get silence. I have paid money and used many gems when it first came out to get things rolling and now we get the silent treatment. I kind of pisses me off. I paid them money for the gems and they seem like they could care less.

Daemonis

As you said less army makes battle more skill intensive, but on other hand, more predictable. So, may be this AI things are here to increase variety. In reality troops not always act the best way, you know 🙂

John L Snodgrass

I agree 100%. Drives me crazy watching my troops go everywhere but where I want and expect them too based on deployment location.

HAMiD

Lol!
Yes, be sure! Without any doubt, All things are predetermined.
It is a hidden secret contorolling tool in the hands of supercell ! Yes.

J

My beef was 1day to Gear Up the Canon but 7days for Archer Tower, dumb as all get out, really slowed my builder base progress and seemed just weird
Builder base still =fail
It’s like Windows Vista all over again, wheeee

C

I am like that other guy, I do not play builders base game. We have 45 people in our clan and only 3 play it. The rest collect the loot and upgrade our cannons. Quite simple.

C

Also, Royale clash is a lot more fun. If that is what they were trying to do, then builders base was a complete fail. Too bad as we were all looking forward to something new and exciting, only to have this. Hope the next update comes up with something better or else more people will continue to leave, as there are better games coming along. Never invested money into clash of clans, so no worries on my part. But really hoping they do something becuz I do like the clan I am in

Zerg

Indeed. The AI makes builder base nonsensical. Aside from poking at the game now from time to time, i have found other more controllable and entertaining games.

Zerg

for sure.
The AI makes builder base nonsensical. Aside from poking at the game now from time to time, i have found other more controllable and entertaining games.

Steve Mink

The pathing of the troops for the builder base is ridiculous. Troops without a preference will frequently change course and walk twice as far as its next closest potential target. Please match the path finding of the main base or disclose the logic

Anondson

My ‘favorite’ is when my Bomber busts open a gap in a wall with perfect timing, only to watch the approaching Boxer Giant continue on a long walk around the now non-existent wall.

Punisher

Clash just put out their 5 year anniversary video…
At the very end it is hard to see but you can see little puffs of smoke coming from the forest…
… almost like a train were making its way through the forest to the next land. ????
– punisher1023

Chris

Oh wouldn’t that be neat…
Not sure if that would boost the game any…
As we had had, a lot of disappointed things happening.

Walter JB

One thing some programmers do in games is to code in “flaws” so troops would do what is considered unexpected and “idiotic”. This “glitch” is to slightly increase the difficulty level and to make game play more of a challenge. (Remember. The program does exactly what it is coded to do.) However, should SC have done this and has been trying to cover their tracks by denying they have done this on purpose (according to several programmers), they have taken it to a whole new level.
A good “bad code” is subtle and usually takes the keen eye of another coder to recognize it. A bad “bad code” is when the average player can easily point it out. Well SC made it so stupid’s dumber cousin is going “WTF?”
I really hope that one day SC will realize that they aren’t the geniuses they delude themselves to be and finally fix their game. In truth. They lucked out on a phenomenal idea. That’s it. When they finally realize that genius had nothing to do with it, perhaps then they can finally formulatema game that does not require decades old tricks to make it fun and challenging. After all, it is an insult to most players when SC assumes we are are as dumb as they look.

Joshua Tellez

To continue off the statement about Supercell’s coding method to adding intentional flaws. I think this could be an accurate representation of the full moon effect. Usually, the full moon tends to affect people’s brains in some way. And I believe that because this is the night village, the moon makes the troops do something dumb like the example above, something that literally no one could prevent.

Rahul

I asked the question on help and support they said,”chief,the troop AI is not perfect yet its equally frustrating to us as it is to you.

William Nelson

Why is it that I can attack a base in vs and get 100% one time and attack the exact same base with same level everything using the same troop deployment as I did the first time yet I only get 65% or less.can someone please explain this.

Mashed Pot ate toes

It is because on this land the mushrooms are stronger, they are all looney troops. On the main village they are just a little, valks are the craziest there they mess it up too sometimes, but it wears off and they get back to normal often. Builder base have a different vegetation and also some venomous plants that cause fever and hallucinations thus the weird behavior.

Kanefire

I don’t believe for a second that builder base isn’t rigged. It is a freemium model which would make rigging par for the course. What is frustrating is they added it to Clash which is a great, fair play, game.
They control matches and AI which gives them tremendous leverage in win/loss ratios.
I win 2 to 1 with no loot available
I lose 2 to 1 with loot available
I lose more with clock activated
I lose more with 3 loot stars available
I win more with 1 loot star available
After playing clash for over 5 years, my attacks are very consistent. with BB, I streak and often win 8-10 straight, and with loot available lose 8-10 straight. I also noticed this same streaking with Clash Royale, which is why I quit the game. It is my opinion that this style of game gets people to gem more and since people ditched Royale, they added it here because they have “captive users” with clash.
If I had more time, I’d put together logs so players could chart their wins/losses over different factors and provide statistical probabilities of rigging.

House

I think all of SC’s games are rigged, it is just more evident in the builder base. I can drop all of my beta minions holding down in one place and watch them deploy in 4 different directions. I suspect SC is following the gambling skinner box reward system where troop go in the optimal or detrimental direction based on when you are due to win or lose. Random reward keeps the player hooked hitting that feeder bar for that randomized payback AND gives everyone the occasional wins so even poor players keep playing. SC just cares about numbers. More players = more chances for people to spend.

John O

My BM AI is so bad it walked around the base, hitting only walls, then set it’s target on a crusher that was surrounded by ground defences (GC, DC etc) and died. This was all in an air attack, with the BM being the only ground troop.