A few months back in August 2019, Tencent’s AI system beat a team of professional Honor of Kings players at the Honor Of Kings World Champion Cup. According to Tencent the artificial intelligence Wukong AI plays over 400 years of games against itself a day to empower itself further and further in every aspect of the game.
In case you haven’t heard of neither Tencent nor Honor of Kings, the latter dominates the Chinese mobile gaming scene since a couple of years now. Publisher Tencent also released a westernized version of the popular MOBA game, known as Arena of Valor. By now Honor of Kings even offers a regular human vs AI mode where players get to test their skills against increasingly difficult AI opponents.
Why Tencent’s AI beats 99% of the playerbase
Those with MOBA experience probably know the bot game experience you are presented at the very beginning. Needless to say, those random AI games come nowhere even close to Wukong AI (Juewu in Chinese, which roughly translates excellent comprehension). But what makes Tencent’s new AI so oppressive?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) Server
The AI server dictates the interaction between game environment and AI model. By generating episodes via self-play, it can predict players’ actions and movements.
Bundled with AI servers on one machine, the Dispatch Module collects sample data consisting of several components such as action probabilities. Afterwards, those get compressed and sent to the Memory Pool.
Another server whose main purpose lies in efficient data storage, also implementing a circular queue structure.
Reinforcement Learner (RL)
RLs basically describe distributed learning environments that fetch data from Memory Pools. Multiple of them work simultaneously in order to optimize Wukong AI.
To sum up
The components mentioned above make sure that Tencent’s AI keeps improving in pretty much all aspects of the game. Through decades of artificial experience, the system managed to gain unrivalled expertise. However, it only had around 48% win-rate back in 2017. Further improvement of the AI then made it capable of grasping even the most complex aspects of MOBAs. Nowadays it even mastered macro decision making, prediction and teamwork.
While for now, Wukong AI’s main purpose lies in esports, the development of such a progressive system arguably opens up dozens of operational options for Tencent in the future.
So, have you ever tried the AI mode in Honor of Kings? Are you disturbed about its success or did you even manage to beat it? Tell us in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more gaming news.