We talk plenty about Caliber operators, but keep forgetting their foes in PvE modes — bots. And yet, to the developers, they’re not just fodder — they’re a big part of the game, constantly being worked on as well.
They don’t have bios and personality, they die in the tens of thousands daily, but we think they need their own moment in the spotlight as well.
After controversial elections in Zalessye, an Eastern Europe country, the army decided to launch a military coup. It failed, the generals retired and the military was disbanded. In the void that formed, the government turned to one of the largest private military companies in the world, Azimuth, for its forces to maintain security until the reforms are completed.
In the political uncertainty of Zalessye it became a perfect route for contraband and drug traffic, as the borders with neighbouring countries weren’t protected enough. The higher-ups of the Azimuth PMC realised that this situation is ripe for profiteering and switched to covering up for the illegal trading from the local criminals and their external competition. Maintaining order in Zalessye turned into just an excuse.
The full name of the Al-Tarir faction is Jaysh Al-Tarir and can be loosely translated as The Army of the Bull. They’re the radical opponents of the official government in the Karhad Republic in the Middle East. Being religious zealots, they dream of returning to the old ways.
Though Karhad has definite borders recognised by other states, the republic itself is exhausted by a never-ending civil war. At present, Al-Tarir is actively waging war and already controls some of the country’s territory, including some areas of its capital.
The Al-Tarir army doesn’t have a specific leader, and it’s financed by trading and providing passage for contraband weapons and oil.
The most common enemy in Caliber. Appears in any mode where you can encounter bots, and in basically any place imaginable.
The fighter, like other bots apart from snipers and rocketeers, can search for the player. If an operator stays in one place for a while and doesn’t engage, the bot will venture out to check the position where it last saw the player.
The fighter can also go on the offensive — if it isn’t eliminated right away, it’ll start closing in the distance to the player, intensifying the fight.
Their offensive capabilities are quite apparent at the Object 903 map while the data are being uploaded from the server in the radio room. At that spot, the main firefight is with the foes at the radio room’s level, but some bots appear on the level below. If they aren’t taken out there, they’ll go up to the players, close the distance and make the mission much harder to complete as a result.
The fighter knows how to avoid grenades, but that behaviour doesn’t show itself often in firefights — they are usually too engaged and don’t react in time. However, they are good at avoiding the grenades other bots drop as they are eliminated.
In earlier versions, the fighter increased its accuracy over time. However, it was too powerful an ability for a common bot, making the game too difficult.
Most of the time, a shooter fires several shots in sequence then pauses. This gives the player time to change cover or eliminate the shooter without taking damage.
The Zalessye shooter fires in short three-round bursts.
The shooter rarely appears on the floors of the maps, but can also search for the player and go on the offensive. This behaviour can be observed, for example, on the Caravanserai map, where during the rooftop battles the shooter doesn’t stay in its spawn spots, but instead patrols the upper level, picks good positions and harasses the operators.
One of the “worst” bots, combining high mobility with powerful attacks. Aiming takes a fraction of a second for an assault. Besides the main weapon, the assault has flashbangs — if the distance permits, it throws the grenade at the operator.
Assaults can search for the player and go on the offensive.
The Zalessye assault is different from the Karhad assault — once it aims at the player, it continues firing until the clip runs out. The Karhad assault, on the other hand, pauses between shots, as it needs time to aim.
Some players believe the bots are set up in such a way that they have higher damage, better accuracy, less recoil and spread than operators. In reality, it’s the other way around.
If you compare bots with the same weapons as operators you will learn that it’s weaker. For example, the Karhad assault’s shotgun has less pellets in the shell than Mikolaj’s. The pellets deal less damage and are spread in a wider angle than the operator’s. In addition, bot headshots deal the same damage as bodyshots.
All gunners share a special ability — they increase their accuracy as they continue firing on the same target. This means that trying to overpower the bot in open quarters is not always going to be a success. Changing cover isn’t the best tactic either, as the dashes just give the gunner time to power up.
Gunners are immune to slowing effects — and the Zalessye gunner also has immunity to poison gas.
During the Sandbox we had a Special Operation where most enemies were gunners. It turned out to be almost impossible to complete — only one attempt per five hundred was successful.
The sniper usually spawns on elevated positions — rooftops, balconies, second floors and above. After aiming it takes a shot and then falls back. They have laser sights so it would be easier to locate their positions.
The longest aiming time for snipers is set at the Frontline. In Clearings it varies depending on the battle difficulty and the map itself. The shortest it takes is in Special Operations.
When Сaliber had only five types of bots, the sniper and the rocketeer were the most difficult enemies. They were few in number, but so dangerous that a player who encountered them died almost instantly. Fighting them properly required at least two operators — one to distract and one to attack. Distracting a sniper or a rocketeer often cost the operator their life.
In addition to the rifle, a sniper is also armed with a pistol for self-defence at close range. Situations when a sniper switches to their side weapon are extremely rare yet still extant.
The rocketeer is one of Caliber’s most underestimated bots. On the one hand, it’s very simple — appears in the distance at elevated positions, fires infrequently, during rare close-combat encounters switches to a pistol. On the other hand, the rocketeer is often left for last — it always feels like there’s enough time to get rid of the bots nearby or, at least, take cover from the rocket. And then the rocketeer fires — and the players’ battle plan is in shambles as it deals heavy damage to or even eliminates some of them.
The Zalessye rocketeer, unlike his Karhad colleague, has an incendiary shot, which deals less damage but ignites targets in its area of effect.
The chemist’s behaviour resembles the sniper’s. It spawns mostly on elevated positions, shoots with high accuracy then relocates. At short distances it can use a pistol. However, it’s the chemist’s appearance on the map that throws the players’ plans into disarray the most.
The thing is, the game designers taught the chemists to shoot indirectly — these bots can aim in a complex parabolic trajectory, so that once the grenade hits the player is in its area of effect. So once a chemist appears, hiding behind cover won’t do anymore — this bot requires the player to act rather than react.
Of course, chemists are immune to gasses from their own weapons and the players’ weapons.
The support officer can only be seen in the Special Operation mode. Like the gunner, its accuracy improves with every shot taken at the same target.
When it spawns into the map, the support officer applies a buff to itself and other bots, giving them 35% protection against all damage types and an accuracy increase. This buff can be disabled by applying the EMP or Confusion effect to the officer.
Support officers from both factions are immune to slowing effects.
Once a support officer runs out of health, it is downed and can be finished by a player. Operators with appropriate abilities can benefit from the finishing move.
Another bot exclusive to the Special Operation mode.
The medic almost never attacks and in general tries not to get in the player’s sights, instead hiding behind cover. It doesn’t just avoid showing itself — it can even avoid the special abilities of some operators, such as Scout, Bishop and Sputnik.
When the medic enters combat, it applies a buff to itself and other bots on the map, giving them health regeneration, as well as a boost to their movement speed and fire rate. Like the support officer, this buff can be disabled by inflicting the medic with EMP or Confusion.
The Zalessye medic is immune to poison gas.
The main bot in the Frontline mode. Eliminating the heavy fighter usually leads to the victory of one of the teams, so, once it appears, the fight gets more lively.
This bot has an insane amount of health and armour, as well as the Shield ability — it absorbs all damage from bullets and explosions until it runs out of durability. Its other ability, Suppression, prevents its target from aiming and reduces their accuracy.
The heavy fighter has special rules for headshots — shooting its eyes does headshot damage, shooting its mask does almost no damage, shooting the back of its head does reduced damage.