A few days ago, many Halo fans had the chance to participate in the technical preview of the next installment in the legendary saga: Halo Infinite. The latter offered to face bots with the help of three allies on three different maps. The players didn’t hesitate to warm up their thighs to train on the tea bag in order to taunt their opponents, when they have the opportunity to face more than just bots. Some of these bots would also not be deprived to do it on real players. Was it voluntary?
Bots that perform the tea-bag? 343 Industries responds
As can be seen in the video below, we can clearly see a Halo Infinite bot making a tea bag on the corpse of a deceased Spartan. Since 343 Industries never communicated on the ability of AIs to perform this movement, Eurogamer went directly to ask the developer if these recorded actions were voluntary.
Did the bot just…? pic.twitter.com/PYkaANHD3l
— whisper (formerly snipe.) (@reqsihw) July 31, 2021
Bots are an integral part of Halo Infinite to help players learn and experience the multiplayer experience. We want players to feel comfortable making mistakes against bots, because making mistakes means you’re improving and working on skills you haven’t mastered yet.
We never want to punish learning, especially not by causing bots to engage in behaviors that a player might experience as exclusion. For this reason, we don’t have explicit programming that tells bots to tease or taunt you in any way.
The message is therefore very clear, the studio has not written lines of code so that the bots tea-bag the players. This would not be in line with the objectives of this experiment, namely to learn and not to be frustrated by behaviors that may not be encouraging.
A bug at the origin of these fake tea bags
At the risk of disappointing some, 343 Industries immediately revealed the reason why bots can have these comical behaviors. These are actually unintentional bugs that may suggest that bots are performing this well-known action.
An example of what might look like teabagging is a bot traversal bug that was in the preview build. It prevented bots from jumping and climbing over the edge of stairs or ramps. A bot’s feet would leave the ground very briefly, then play a landing animation when they failed the jump, and they would get stuck in an animation loop that could look like a quick squat. If observed shortly after a kill, or near a player’s body, it can really look like intentional behavior. In reality, the bot was simply having trouble climbing stairs.
It’s a safe bet that these bugs will be fixed soon since this first flight test was intended to detect many bugs, so that they do not end up in the game on the day of its release. We still have no knowledge of the date of the latter, hope that it will be revealed to us on Tuesday 24 from 7 p.m. French time during the Xbox Stream of Gamescom 2021. Halo multiplayer Infinite will be free-to-play, which means it will be available for free on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S, while the campaign will be sold separately and accessible in the Xbox Game Pass.