View Full Version : Scrooge AI


WarKirby
Jan 27, 2009, 12:08 PM
I'm noting a wierd AI problem in a lot of FFH games. I can't be certain, but I think it's a lot worse than vanilla BtS

Essentially, the AI refuses to share. Or at least, not at any reasonable price.

To get a technology from them, I usually have to offer something far in advance of it, or multiple techs. They NEVER accept a fair trade, unless I wait for them to offer it.

That's a bit odd, perhaps, but it could be explained as smart thinking, and trying to seek an advantage in every situation. However, there are more stupid moments.

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Most importantly, the AI cannot realize when it's losing a war. After I sweeep into their empire with a vast army, and take 4 cities, the best they'll offer me for peace is Way of the Wise, despite the fact that they have stirrups, iron workin, engineering, medicine, and a bunch of other stuff.

It's understandeable that they wouldn't want to give those things away, but when a VAST army turns up at your doorstep and demands the secrets of iron working, wouldn't you give them it?

This, combined with the really strange lack of ability to steal techs, makes conquest rather unrewarding. And to be honest,I can't really see how playing a pure warmonger civ like the doviello is even possible, because their theme of taking what they want from others is completely broken by the AI's braindead refusal to share, even at the cost of it's empire.

If you can't research techs because you have no libraries, and you can't steal them from others, how are you ever supposed to survive in thee world? This might explain why the doviello and clan are both miles behind in almost every game i play. Often, the clan manages to keep up scorewise with a vast army, but it's technologically inferior and easily crushed.

I think there really needs to be a lot more weighting on the effect of losing cities, and maybe somehow taking experience into account when determining an enemy's military strength. I suspect since FFH focuses so much more on heroes and well trained units, that armies are overall smaller than vanilla, and the AI incorrectly determines that you're weak and not really a threat, even while you're stomping them into the ground.


Also, might it be possible to give certain mega units (meshabber, all dragons, mythril golem, Auric Ascended, etc) the same diplomatic effects as building nuclear missles in vanilla civ, ie, making everyone scared of you ?
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Lastly, resources. Specifically, mana.

Whenever I aqquire a second mana of any sphere, as soon as it happens, without exception, some AI will pphone me up and try to exchange cotton or sheep,for my spare mana. Someone will then proxceed to do this periodically every 10-20 turns. They view mana as just another resource, and worth no more or less than a feew bales of hay, or imports of cow carcasses.

Woulkd it be possible to give a lot more value to mana sources in the AI's eyes, so that they would (preferably) only offer other mana in exchange, or at least offer multiple mundane resources + some gold per turn. As it is, teir offers amount to little more than just a nuisance, and unless I'm really strapped for an extra :health:/:) , It's never worthwhile to click anything other than "it's not happening"

Lone Wolf
Jan 27, 2009, 12:13 PM
maybe somehow taking experience into account when determining an enemy's military strength.

Yup. The game does not takes into account promotions when calculating the power graphs. That's not the correct way to do it in FFH.

renardargent
Jan 27, 2009, 12:24 PM
The tech cost imbalance on trade might be due to difficulties, if you are playing higher difficulty on FhH than you usually do on BTS.

In case of the war, AI seem to value # of their units lost in battle -(minus) # of your units lost in battle, as well as the power rating of the time and probably other elements, but I had seen them agreeing for peace at any cost from time to time, and heard similar results after the wars by other people, so if you continually have the same problem, it might be nice to try changing the war style a bit.

And about the manas, try to click on the "what would you give me in return?" (do not remember the exact sentence), and see what will happen.
As long as I know, by doing so, AI would propose you the best they could provide, and I usually gain 3~4 resources + some gold/turn, when putting manas on the table.

And yes, sorry if I was just being redundant or wrong.

WarKirby
Jan 27, 2009, 12:31 PM
What exactly do you mean by "try changing the war style" ?

My current style is to build up a fairly large (and fast army) then sweep in, crushing defences, and taking 4 cities within 10 turns o f declaring war. Are you saying utter defeat is the wrong way to go about it ?

Kyroshill
Jan 27, 2009, 12:41 PM
RE: Unequal tech trading

I find this with civs that I don't have a *stellar* relationship with.... but if I can work a few more plusses in favor I can usually talk them into a more reasonable deal later. So on the first offer they want 9000:hammers: worth of tech for 2800:hammers: worth in exchange.... but after some relationship building I can usually talk them into an exchange with +:hammers: in my favor.

RE: Trying to end a war

When it's time to end the conflict... I usually click the "Price for Peace?" option first.... just to where their thinking is. If they are making demands of me.... (Cities or techs).... then I know war must go on.

However... sometimes they'll offer gold and a Map only.... then I propose a counter-offer of a few techs instead and it'll fly. Hey.... if they want annhiliation.... well, I guess that's why I spammed military.

far_wanderer
Jan 27, 2009, 12:59 PM
I agree entirely with your first two points. Regarding mana, part of the problem is that the AI doesn't seem to recognize that multiple sources of the same type are valuable. Several times I've noticed some of my mana sources being unavailable for trade with description "we would have nothing to gain"

WarKirby
Jan 27, 2009, 01:00 PM
RE: Trying to end a war

When it's time to end the conflict... I usually click the "Price for Peace?" option first.... just to where their thinking is. If they are making demands of me.... (Cities or techs).... then I know war must go on.


That's exactly what I do. In the aforementioned example, it was a game yesterday where I was smashing my way ythrough the Lanun Empire, and I took about 40% of their cities, to be offered Way of the Wise

ChinaBlue
Jan 27, 2009, 01:54 PM
that's because they know by now that you are warkirby the terrible who's going to destroy them anyway..

slowcar
Jan 27, 2009, 02:18 PM
what i find a lot more annoying is the constant "help us destroy the puny X" followed by a "help us destroy the puny Y" from the other side in the next turn.
This also happens when you have a war on your own (while the AI has the point redded out).

To the topic of tech trading: In comparison to vanilla(BtS) the AIs are trading like mad with eachother. No chance to get an advantage by racing to trade. In vanilla games being the first to alphabet meant a lot, you could easily level being behind by crosstrading.
in fact i tend to disable tech trading in ffh games as it mainly helps the AI while being unfair to the human player.
This is also related to the first paragraph as human players have to refuse a lot of help requests that AI players have no problem with.

I really miss SMAC and think the diplomatic system would need a major overhaul. no big changes, but quite some small ones.

Monkeyfinger
Jan 27, 2009, 03:19 PM
I haven't noticed any of the tech-for-tech trade related problems. Most deals I cut slightly favor the AI but not by much. If I trade around say 1 set of techs to 3 AIs, I still come out way ahead.

They are too stingy with what they'll offer for peace when being crushed, though, I'll agree, and that is different from BtS where they'd pay anything to avoid annihilation.

Sarisin
Jan 27, 2009, 07:44 PM
WarKirby, you and I definitely think alike. I have brought all three of your points up previously in this forum.

I select the option NO Tech trading because I just got tired of all the unreasonable requests/demands from the AI. Yes, it can hurt me a little in the game, but I love the peace it gives me from the constant AI popups.

It is very clear that it FFH size (of the army) DOES matter. Just the number of troops, not the power/experience of the army. I think the AI only compares the number it has with the number you have. If you have a strong but small army they will come after you. With the AI, if faced with the choice of building a Wonder like Catacombs or the Great Library, or building an additional 20 units, what will they do? I think this is why it is somewhat easy to build Wonders in the game (I suppose it is tougher at the insane difficulty levels, though). There is no concern for maintenance costs, research, culture, etc. -they just seem to keep building low level troops like crazy.

I find with my small veteran army, I can handle their invasions, but it is hard for me to take the battle to the enemy. You often also have barbarians to deal with. But, you are right - even when you muster an invasion force together, they are not fazed a bit, and will often Refuse to Talk, while you take down their cities. It's all in the numbers.

Along these lines I was wondering how building Nox Noctis affects this. Theoretically, the AI can only see your units in cities. So if you have a large army outside of the city, would they think you have no army?

Yes, I almost hate getting that second mana node as I know the trade requests will come, and, as you said, never stop.

IMO one of the biggest shortcomings of the game is the inability of the human player to redline items while the AI can do this. For example, I would love to be able to redline my mana resources, or declaring war on anyone just like the AI can, but I cannot. So, instead, I am faced with constant popups that just slow the game down and, of course, can affect diplomacy. :(

WarKirby
Jan 27, 2009, 07:51 PM
that's because they know by now that you are warkirby the terrible who's going to destroy them anyway..

But I'm not D:

I'm a builder at heart, and really like having vassals, over destroying people. I'm a nice guy, they just happened to be in my way, is all. :king:

Avahz Darkwood
Jan 27, 2009, 07:57 PM
...
Also, might it be possible to give certain mega units (meshabber, all dragons, mythril golem, Auric Ascended, etc) the same diplomatic effects as building nuclear missles in vanilla civ, ie, making everyone scared of you ?


Humm I like this idea. Maybe link it too the hero promotion and weigh it a bit heavier.

Maybe have it say something like this (+1 per hero to diplo?) in the diplo screen?


For Friendlies: +3 " Your heroes inspire us"
For Enemies: +3 "We respect the strength of your heroes"

Edit: This could also be a strong deterrent to war especially for the neutral Grigory and all their heroes!

WarKirby
Jan 27, 2009, 08:03 PM
I think it would be a bit much to link it to all normal heroes.

Almost every civ will have a hero at some point, likely fairly early-mid. It would make the bonus kind of pointless when everyone has it.

the mega units are much rarer.

Giga-Gigan
Jan 27, 2009, 08:39 PM
If we used experience for the AI to judge by, wouldn't vampires be absolutely terrifying to the ai?

Neomega
Jan 27, 2009, 08:57 PM
they trade techs fairly sometimes. Ive had some give me techs. Usually they want just a bit more than fair value.

WarKirby
Jan 27, 2009, 09:36 PM
If we used experience for the AI to judge by, wouldn't vampires be absolutely terrifying to the ai?

Yes, indeed. Why shouldn't they be?

A level 12 vampire with combat 5, shock II, Mobility, march, Body I & II, and Death I & II is a terrifying opponent. And really not hard for the calabim to make en masse.

MacMoney
Jan 28, 2009, 12:50 AM
I was just playing a game with the Doviello and beating the more advanced Balseraphs to pulp with my larger and more experienced army. The Lanun suddenly declared on me and I negotiated peace with Perpentach for just about every tech that I could get from him. A couple were stuff like Way of the Wicked, but a couple were stuff like Stirups which were the most advanced cavalry at that point. I guess it had to do with the fact that I had just razed four or five of his cities and destroyed his reinforcements.

Ranos
Jan 28, 2009, 03:42 AM
I haven't paid much attention, but I would guess the AI decides what it will give you based on the destruction and devestation you have caused and the potential that you have to cause more. The fact that you took X cities in 10 turns probably doesn't matter to it. Razing vs. capturing are probably viewed differently (razing probably being more of a benefit to you in diplomacy) and 10 fast and powerful units are probably viewed differently than 20 slow and not so powerful units.

I would try building a bigger army so you have more units to throw at it and raze a city or two instead of capture them.

War Chicken
Jan 28, 2009, 05:26 AM
IMO the AI generally contacts the player way too often.

- give me resource x for y (especially the mana thing)
- help me destroy civ x
- cancel your deals with civ x
- Give me resource x tribute
- Please give me resource x for free
- Let's sign open borders agreement

When playing on a huge map with 10 AIs you're almost contacted every turn - on some turns two or three times. This reeeeeeeeeally sucks.

Avahz Darkwood
Jan 28, 2009, 05:38 AM
I think it would be a bit much to link it to all normal heroes.

Almost every civ will have a hero at some point, likely fairly early-mid. It would make the bonus kind of pointless when everyone has it.

the mega units are much rarer.

Well there arn't really that many heroes per civ, you could possible have more mega units. If you take you example below, then their will be way more level 12 vamps than the two or three heroes per empire (excluding the Grigory and a few lucky events). Either way the general suggestion is a good one IMHO because mega units are quite important... But as with everything else I am sure something like this one will not make it simply because of feature lock, even though its a good idea...

Aroldo
Jan 28, 2009, 05:43 AM
I agree there are some problems with the diplo AI. It's not so much that they constantly bug you, it's rather that they do it with nonsense requests like

"I give you corn for iron" even when you already have corn

or

"help me fight this guy" without offering anything in exchange, even if they are cautious/annoyed towards you.

In particular the second case is annoying, since each - mostly obvious - refusal leads to additional diplomatic penalties.

Skids
Jan 28, 2009, 05:56 AM
Perhaps related to this topic is also the AIs complete refusal to ever pay for you to start wars with a third party. Lot of times they'll be requesting you to declare wars on someone, but I can't ever remember actually being offered tech or gold for doing so.

Playing mercenary Hippus without being paid to wage war is rather pointless.

PanzerWolf
Jan 28, 2009, 06:54 AM
This is an overall problem in Civ. I'm quite sure Kael & Co would change this if they could, esp. thinking of what Skids points out regarding the Hippus.

Lone Wolf
Jan 28, 2009, 06:55 AM
Perhaps related to this topic is also the AIs complete refusal to ever pay for you to start wars with a third party. Lot of times they'll be requesting you to declare wars on someone, but I can't ever remember actually being offered tech or gold for doing so.


It's physically impossible for them to do so. That's one of the complaints classic BTS players have against the Civ4 diplomacy system, too.

Not to mentoin that if that system were correct, Switzerland would be the most hated country in the world.

Kyroshill
Jan 28, 2009, 09:54 AM
But is it possible to code an option for the player to offer to enter a war in exchange for something?

So then the Hippus can contact each AI in a given a war and offer to sell their services... then side with the highest bidder.

Lone Wolf
Jan 28, 2009, 09:56 AM
Diplomacy is more hardcoded then most of the game, so I dunno.

Iceciro
Jan 28, 2009, 03:31 PM
I don't suppose they could just take out the "worst enemy" diplo penalties? Those have always been nonsensical and lame, especially when you meet the civ that hates you long after the actual trade and they're pissed the moment you meet them.

PPQ_Purple
Jan 28, 2009, 04:32 PM
what i find a lot more annoying is the constant "help us destroy the puny X" followed by a "help us destroy the puny Y" from the other side in the next turn.
This also happens when you have a war on your own (while the AI has the point redded out).

IMO the AI generally contacts the player way too often.

- give me resource x for y (especially the mana thing)
- help me destroy civ x
- cancel your deals with civ x
- Give me resource x tribute
- Please give me resource x for free
- Let's sign open borders agreement

When playing on a huge map with 10 AIs you're almost contacted every turn - on some turns two or three times. This reeeeeeeeeally sucks.

I agree there are some problems with the diplo AI. It's not so much that they constantly bug you, it's rather that they do it with nonsense requests like

"I give you corn for iron" even when you already have corn

or

"help me fight this guy" without offering anything in exchange, even if they are cautious/annoyed towards you.

In particular the second case is annoying, since each - mostly obvious - refusal leads to additional diplomatic penalties.

Reading this I have come up with a simple proposal that already exists in the code, it just has to be modified.
You know how AI civs can ignore you. (The "we have nothing to talk about" message.)

Now the idea is, allow human players to set AI civs on ignore. That way, the AI civ could not contact you at all. You could still contact them but they could not contact you.
Something of a "Don't call us, we will call you" policy.

Sarisin
Jan 28, 2009, 06:41 PM
Reading this I have come up with a simple proposal that already exists in the code, it just has to be modified.
You know how AI civs can ignore you. (The "we have nothing to talk about" message.)

Now the idea is, allow human players to set AI civs on ignore. That way, the AI civ could not contact you at all. You could still contact them but they could not contact you.
Something of a "Don't call us, we will call you" policy.

Boy, would I LOVE this option in FFH!

There is also the "Refuses to Talk" message early in wars.

I just don't get why the human player can't refuse to discuss trading Nature Mana for Cow.

PPQ_Purple
Jan 29, 2009, 01:11 PM
Boy, would I LOVE this option in FFH!

There is also the "Refuses to Talk" message early in wars.

I just don't get why the human player can't refuse to discuss trading Nature Mana for Cow.

That is the one I ment. How hard could it be to implement this for a human to use?