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EASHL AI : Pokecheck Logic

I've been playing with AI in EASHL more this year than in the past, and wow, there are some areas the AI really needs to handle better. Some problems have existed for years and some seem to be relatively new. Rather than having a general AI thread, I'm going to try this thread out for a specific problem ( AI pokecheck logic ) and see how the discussion goes. Other threads for other problems will probably follow.

A couple of caveats:
  1. Yes. Playing without any AI is the ideal way to play. But the AI exist, and I'd wager there are far more games played with AI than without. Saying "just play without the AI" doesn't really address the problems the AI have.
  2. I come from the position that the AI should make reasonable hockey plays and have reasonable hockey awareness. They shouldn't win games for you, nor should they be pants-on-head stupid. Basic, simple plays should be the norm.

One thing I've noticed more and more recently is that the AI poke checks in situations where it has no hope of doing anything but take a penalty. Conversely when the AI should poke it seems like it wants to go for the body check instead. I've got some examples below, but these are not rare events, they happen almost every game.

I'm assuming that some of this is the AI not being adjusted fully to the changes this year to tripping and incidental contact. Hopefully it can be more fine-tuned for NHL 20.

Example 1: Even if I hadn't moved the puck off to the side at the last second the other team's AI was taking a penalty here.

Example 2: The AI is so late on the attempt here I don't know why it was even done.

Example 3: This is the type that I'm seeing the most of. The AI is defending the rush, but tries to reach through the offensive player to get the puck.

On the flip side I'm seeing more and more situations where the AI should go for the poke/DSS but instead ignores the puck and goes for a hit. Often giving the offensive player enough time to get a pass or shot off that they shouldn't.

Example 1: All the AI has to do here is get his stick on the puck and that pass never happens.

Example 2: The AI's stick it literally right beside the shooter's stick but he goes for the hit instead and the shot gets off.

And then sometimes the AI gets away with one.


  • Hey @PlayoffError,

    Thanks for providing this very thorough analysis!
  • "Basic, simple plays should be the norm."

    Reminds me of the passing abilities of the AI. You literally can't take away their pass. If you cover the direct pass, they'll deliver an absolutely perfect pass off the boards every. Single. Time. Most humans can't even make those passes consistently, but the AI has zero issues.

    Unless you are our computer D, who opted to go off the boards when he had a wide open pass for the breakaway...
    Casual goalie gameplay: https://t.co/tQnYxAsyKy
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