I don't rebember saying that you cannot use the sandworm AI as a valid AI; Like Feda, I have several maps with 8 active players, but the sandworm itself need to be gone from the map (into the rock).
If a sandworm it's present into the map, an invisible unit will try to shoot at any unit that goes near (2-3 tiles) but won't do any damage, the tile where the unit it's standing still will create crates.
Maybe at some point I wrote that you cannot have the sandworm side AI and the creature working at the same time. Or maybe this was something somebody wrote lots of years ago.
Alright, thanks for confirming!
I do not remember who exactly (@Cm_blast or @Fey) told me this misconception regarding use of AI on Sandworm side, but at least we know all 8 sides (7 AIs + player) can be used in one mission. Which is very useful for for example Heighliner tileset, where I noticed map creators very like splitting AI of a single enemy base into multiple (2 - 3) sides for more distinct build queues and attacks,
Yes, you are right, it does work just like any other side, but the sandworms don't move anymore. I have used the sandworm side in multiple missions so far, acting like any other side perfectly. I don't mind the worms not moving, worms dont really matter that much if you have 8 factions on the map (since that is the only time you are really forced to use the 8th side).
Sometimes I heard opinion from mission creators, that the Sandworm (8th) player/side cannot be used as a regular side with working AI that acts its role in a mission, because even if you configure valid and active AI for this side in .MIS file, this will not work. Therefore you can only use separate 6 AIs in a mission + 1 side you play as + Sandworm just for... yeah, sandworm.
However, yesterday I just tried this, I mean configuring a Practice AI for Sandworm side, and not surprisingly, it worked. The Sandworm player acted just as a regular side with working AI. What I also noticed, that the sandworms (placed on a map) dit not start moving and acting at all. So probably activating AI would deactivate sandworms. Which is a trade-off. But still, if you do not want to have sandworms in your map (in some specific tilesets it even does not make sense to have them) you can utilize Sandworm side and have 7 different working AIs in your missions.
Could you please comment on this and confirm if I'm right? I did not examine all existing custom missions whether Sandworm was used there with AI, but I'm curious. And in case this has been just a misconception for all the time, then I probably opened new possibilities for all of you.