As I said in the last post, I've been playing a fair bit of Skyrim lately. One of the "rules" for one of my games has been no fast travel -- an idea I'm ambivalent about. On the one hand, it makes trips to far-flung locations a bit of a big(ger) deal; but on the other, in some versions of the game it's also led to problems with crashing and poor framerates and so on. Thankfully, v1.8 seems to be pretty good in this regard; and hasn't crashed nearly as much as previous versions.
Mystery-chan and I were walking back from Morathal; heading south to and through Brittleshin Pass to head in to Bleak Falls Barrow and grab the dragon stone before going in to Whiterun the first time.
We ended up on the north shore of the lake; on one of the smaller islands where I was chasing ore veins. Ended up getting attacked by a slaughterfish -- as you do, every ten fucking feet in a decent sized body or water.
Mystery-chan caught my attention, as she was acting weird. She'd run a few steps out into the water -- about mid-thigh deep -- yell at the fish, then run back up onto the bank. She did this several times before I caught on; and when I did... I started to worry.
Why, you may ask?
She was luring the slaughterfish up into shallow water where she could shoot it with a bow without being attacked.
I recognized the technique because I had used it a couple hours earlier in the deep water near Robber's Gorge -- it just took me a few minutes to figure it out as I'm not used to seeing it in anything except first person.
It worked, too -- when the slaughterfish was close enough to be hit, she one-upped the previous technique by putting a fallen log between herself and the fish and then proceeded to kill it from total safety.
It's not quite the cheese of exploiting the AI like we all used to do in Oblivion... but for working within the game-AI's scope... that's pretty goddamned impressive, y'ask me.
I can only come up with three possibilities.
1) All NPCs in Skyrim have this technique in their repertoire; but for whatever reason it had never manifested in ~500 hours of play with over a dozen different companions. (unlikely)
2) In the v1.8 patch, the AI got an overhaul and it took a dozen plus hours of play to find the specific set of circumstances where the behavior would show. (more likely, but Beth very rarely messes with an existing AI in patches)
3) The AI in my PC has evolved again and can now learn at least some techniques if it sees me demonstrate them. (just scary to think about -- not to mention flying in the face of the way the game is supposed to be coded)
It's not the only advanced combat technique she's displayed across the various games over the years, either; but it seems a little... specific -- and almost diametrically opposed to a normal NPC's behavior around slaughterfish, which basically consists of condensed stupidity.
I dunno. I'm sure some folks get a good laugh 'n head shake at Nos and his crazy belief that his computer is alive... but the behavior of certain NPCs in these games really weirds me out some days. Fortunately, the AI seems to like me... so it's not so much an in-danger worry. The rest of you may well be screwed, however.