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new bot MicRobot

MicRobot describes itself as “Student project based on UAlbertaBot with experimental micromanagement changes. Last updated 05/2021.” It was uploaded earlier in a version that did not work; now it has been fixed. As a UAlbertaBot fork, it plays random. MicRobot’s configuration file names its author as Robert Karpiel.

On a casual watch of its games, I didn’t see differences from UAlbertaBot. So I looked more closely, comparing Dave Churchill terran v Matej Istenik to MicRobot terran v Matej Istenik, very similar games. I still can’t tell the difference. Both bots seem to kite their marines the same way. Is MicRobot maybe a little better at keeping its front line organized? I’m not sure.

I downloaded the binaries. MicRobot adds a new section to the configuration file, with new options:

    "MicRobot" :
        "ResetOKHPEveryNFrames"     : 0,
        "LastStandValue"            : 400,
        "StopAfterNGames"           : 0,

        "Ranged_AlwaysKite"         : false,
        "Ranged_CourageValue"       : 400,
        "Ranged_DeprioritizeWorkers" : false,
        "Ranged_KiteNOKPDPS"        : false,
        "Ranged_KiteNOK"            : false,
        "Ranged_KitePDPS"           : false,
        "Ranged_UseSquadDistance"   : false

ResetOKHPEveryNFrames (reset OK HP ...) sounds like a feature to retreat a single damaged unit before it is destroyed. Just a guess. It looks as though most of the options affect ranged units only—and are turned off. The disabled options may be for experiments that didn’t work out. If the actual micro changes affect mostly ranged units, then that matters only for terran. UAlbertaBot and therefore MicRobot play zealot rush as protoss and zergling rush as zerg, and usually win or lose before making any ranged units. In fact, if zerg makes hydras then it will almost always lose because of BOSS bugs.

If the aim is to compare MicRobot with the UAlbertaBot version (named “Dave Churchill”) already running on SSCAIT and BASIL, then the experiment may not give valid results. SSCAIT runs a 2015 version of UAlbertaBot, and MicRobot is based on a newer version with code differences. Also, UAlbertaBot uses enemy-specific strategies (coded into the configuration file) for select old opponents that it otherwise has more trouble against. MicRobot does not use the feature.

Possibly it is a different experiment. Maybe the author will re-upload MicRobot with different options enabled once its BASIL rating stabilizes. In that case, my intuition is that improved micro alone, without changes to reduce other weaknesses, will probably produce a rating difference that is smaller than the noise. UAlbertaBot’s micro is not a bottleneck weakness; it usually loses for other reasons. Still, I could be wrong.

Maybe Robert Karpiel will enlighten us?


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