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Old Jan 08, 2006, 06:16 PM   #1
CB Droege
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Silly Prince

I was excited to join this month's gotm until I saw that it had been set to Prince instead of Noble.

It wouldn't be a big deal if the AI actually got smarter in the higher diffs, but I simply can't have fun playing when I know the AI is literally getting unfair advantages over the player.

I know the 'cheating difficulties' issue has been discussed ad infinitum already, but perhaps we could discuss an alternate gotm which stays on Noble. any other option changes are fine, I'm up for any challenge, as long as the AI doesn't get to cheat.

It's preferable to increase the diff through the other settings. I just finished a Duel size world with 18 civs. The only victory available was Diplomatic. Very hard, but no AI cheating.
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Old Jan 08, 2006, 06:19 PM   #2
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Sorry to break it to you but the AI cheats on noble too. They have reduced unit support, reduced upgrade costs, etc. But the human is the biggest cheater of all since we can think.
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Old Jan 08, 2006, 06:38 PM   #3
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Human vs. Human

Personally I really like different difficulties, since technically if you can win the game you arn't competing against the AI but against other Human players who played with the same conditions as you.

It is just like in hockey sucks to play on bad ice , but the other teams has to play on it too

Or for people who don't play hockey

Playing soccer with an unproperly inflatted ball sucks, but teams teams kick it.
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Old Jan 08, 2006, 08:19 PM   #4
CB Droege
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According to the game, Prince is the first difficuty that actually handicapps the player against the AIs. To me, this means that Noble does not do that.

Memphus: I think you're right. While it does bother me when I play alone, perhaps when playing specifically to do better than others in the game game, it doesn't matter as much, however, if that's the case, then why wouldn't we just all play Noble, since what matters is how well we do compared to each other, not to the AIs?

If we're all gonna play on the same field, we might as well not throw down any rocks...
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Old Jan 08, 2006, 09:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CB Droege
... If we're all gonna play on the same field, we might as well not throw down any rocks...
Different difficulty means that players have to demonstrate different approaches and use different strategies. This is a great approach, might consider it as running short, medium and long distance barefoot or with shoes on over concrete road, sand, gravel, or ... well, water if it is higher difficulty like Deity.
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Old Jan 08, 2006, 10:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CB Droege
if that's the case, then why wouldn't we just all play Noble, since what matters is how well we do compared to each other, not to the AIs?
It's boring to be far ahead almost from the beginning of the game. There are many aspects of the game that don't really get exercised at all at Noble difficulty: e.g., there's hardly any tech trading, because usually as the human I'm way ahead of the AI players. I can only speak for myself: I played GOTM-1, but I probably won't ever play any other games at Noble level. It's just not fun.

The GOTM will have multiple difficulty levels in the future, in order to give players a choice of the level of challenge they want. But, I would expect that even the easiest choice will be harder than standard Noble difficulty.
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Old Jan 09, 2006, 08:57 AM   #7
RoddyVR
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i think going harder then Noble is a good idea. i dont like concentrating on high scoring, i just like making good empires, and making a game harder will make it harder for the milkers (i dont mean the term to be negative, but it sounds that way) to pump every possible point out of every city without losing more turns. so i'll do better vs them (not better then them, just closer to them, lol).

in the 4OTM-1 there were only 37 losses out of over 600 submissions.
and almost half the victories (267) were spacerace victories (meaning that all those players got good tech leads on the AI), so i would say the dificulty needed to be upped a bit. prince isnt much different from noble anyway, just dont think of the AI cheating, and you wont notice it.
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Old Jan 10, 2006, 04:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoddyVR
in the 4OTM-1 there were only 37 losses out of over 600 submissions.
and almost half the victories (267) were spacerace victories (meaning that all those players got good tech leads on the AI), so i would say the dificulty needed to be upped a bit. prince isnt much different from noble anyway, just dont think of the AI cheating, and you wont notice it.
What about all those people who failed and didn't submit since they knew they would not win? I am doing the GoTMs now, not to win, I know I won't even place, but just for the fun of knowing that I'm doing the same game as hundreds of others out their and I can look at how we did things differently. I am currently playing the first GoTM since it doesn't matter to me that I can't submit it. I am barely holding an even pace with the computer and if I play number 2 I will be thouroughly stomped by the AI.

You say that it is no fun for you to win always, but what of the others of us that will lose always? If you keep us unable to even have a chance at winning then we will drift away and stop comming here. I know the game is a competition, but the way it is rigged now you are going to have the same 50 or so people in the top spot always. If you keep the skill below Prince then people will stick with it and learn from your styles and actually put some competition on te board. Right now you have the system set in such a way so that if you are not already in the top ranks you don't have a chance to grow that way.
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Old Jan 10, 2006, 05:19 AM   #9
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The good players will stop playing if all games remain at Noble level. I don't mind noble level once every 5 months or so, but if it became a trend I know I would not bother playing. The only way to handle it is to mix up the difficulty levels from month to month and implement the conquest and predator classes.
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Old Jan 10, 2006, 08:16 AM   #10
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@Frendon - Do not worry, our kind and wise GOTM stuff took care of not so strong players (me included) in 3OTM. They devised three different classes, conquest, open and predator, where conquest is being for the new and weak players who never scored in top 50%. This class is giving bonuses to human player (e.g. additional units, money, etc) allowing these players to win on harder levels. There is a score penalty for taking conquest class, but as I understand from your message your are concern with a victory, not the score.
Discussions in 4OTM threads indicate that the stuff is going to implement this concept in 4OTM soon. So when 4OTM difficulty levels will go up (and I hope they will and I hope they will go up a way higher than prince), you will be able to play it and still have a reasonable hope for a victory. However, I do not recommend you taking conquest class frequently. Believe me (there are reasons you should), you will learn much more about this game by loosing on the higher levels than wining on the lower levels.
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Old Jan 10, 2006, 08:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flendon
I know the game is a competition, but the way it is rigged now you are going to have the same 50 or so people in the top spot always...Right now you have the system set in such a way so that if you are not already in the top ranks you don't have a chance to grow that way.
I am not sure I understand what you are saying. Could you be more specific about what you think keeps “the same 50 or so people in the top spot always”?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flendon
What about all those people who failed and didn't submit since they knew they would not win?
Submit losing games! If you post a spoiler about your game, and give details on what you did and why, I guarantee several players will help point out ways for you to improve your game quickly.

Losing shouldn't matter. In fact, as Solenoozerec said, you will probably learn more from your losing games than the ones you win.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flendon
I am doing the GoTMs now, not to win, I know I won't even place, but just for the fun of knowing that I'm doing the same game as hundreds of others out their and I can look at how we did things differently.
That is an excellent reason to play.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flendon
If you keep us unable to even have a chance at winning then we will drift away and stop comming here.
Don't do that. You can be sure that the GoTM staff will always put up a good variety of games. There will be hard ones too though, to keep the really good players from "drifting away." I would still recommend playing the hard ones! Even if you lose, you will get better every time. Especially if you post a spoiler on your game, keep practicing, and read the strategy threads. Remember, most of the really good players enjoy helping others improve.

I hope to see a “Flendon Spoiler” for GoTM 2—win or loss, doesn’t matter.

@Shillen: Don't forget the other way we can maintain interest in low difficulty games: variants!
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Old Jan 10, 2006, 09:12 AM   #12
CB Droege
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I guess my greatest wish (as far a difficulty) is that the AI be consitered more difficult because it is actually better at stategising the game. I don't know much about programing AI, so maybe it's not even possible, but I would love to play against some Civ AIs that are harder because they are smarter, not because they have been given some kind of edge over me.
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Old Jan 10, 2006, 11:01 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CB Droege
I guess my greatest wish (as far a difficulty) is that the AI be consitered more difficult because it is actually better at stategising the game. I don't know much about programing AI, so maybe it's not even possible, but I would love to play against some Civ AIs that are harder because they are smarter, not because they have been given some kind of edge over me.
If the SDK (tool programers can use to customize the game) Firaxis plans to release is as comprehensive as it is billed to be, you may well get your wish. Players have already spotted numerous ways in which the AIs play can be improved significantly. And with the modding community Civ4 has, it's only a matter of time before someone designs a "Killer AI Mod." But that is only if the SDK turns out as good as it is supposed to be.
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Old Jan 10, 2006, 12:26 PM   #14
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@Flendon - in the Civ3 GOTM, we have had a lot of people (myself included) who got their first ever deity win in the GOTM - it is a great learning environment. When the GOTMs started, we had warlord level games - with a variety of levels of performance by players. Now we rarely bother, because the community has moved on.

I sense it will be the same with the Civ4 version - don't worry about feeling overwhelmed by the difficulty - just take time to actually see how people go about playing their games - or perhaps join a succession game (or maybe a Civ4 SGOTM )
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Old Jan 10, 2006, 02:29 PM   #15
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The changes in the AI are only one aspect of changing the difficulty level. You learn a lot about managing cities and good play from running at higher levels. You can be sloppy at the lower levels and still come out ahead.
If your cities become unhappy, or unhealthy, at smaller sizes then you gain a better grasp of the importance of resources. It's also handy to develop techniques that can be used to keep more aggressive AI players at peace.

More to the point, Noble isn't an even game. There are well-documented tactics that can give you a substantial edge over the AI in the early going, even at Prince. Chopping trees for the first couple of workers and settlers is one example. The AI also tends to micromanage acceptably but not optimally, placing too many farms and too few cottages for example. The AI also tends to build too many troops (and not then using them!) and spends a lot of cash on upgrading obsolete troops, which is usually only worth doing if they are combat veterans. The AI players also tend not to do things like deep beelines for valuable techs, or taking rapid advantage of new techs (e.g. getting knights or catapults and using them before the other side catches up).
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Old Jan 10, 2006, 04:27 PM   #16
CB Droege
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohioastronomy
There are well-documented tactics that can give you a substantial edge over the AI in the early going, even at Prince. Chopping trees for the first couple of workers and settlers is one example. The AI also tends to micromanage acceptably but not optimally, placing too many farms and too few cottages for example. The AI also tends to build too many troops (and not then using them!) and spends a lot of cash on upgrading obsolete troops, which is usually only worth doing if they are combat veterans. The AI players also tend not to do things like deep beelines for valuable techs, or taking rapid advantage of new techs (e.g. getting knights or catapults and using them before the other side catches up).
Exactly my point. It would be a better game if the higher difficulty Civswere simply made to follow some of these 'edge' strats themselves, rather than handicaping the player to make up for his ability to do things which bring him ahead.
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Old Jan 10, 2006, 04:34 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CB Droege
Exactly my point. It would be a better game if the higher difficulty Civswere simply made to follow some of these 'edge' strats themselves, rather than handicaping the player to make up for his ability to do things which bring him ahead.
But why/how do we human players know about these strategies?

We learn't them and then came here found other ways refined out game and tried something else.

The AI you played agaisnt game 1 is the AI you play agaisn't 100, 100000 etc, you get better it doesn't.

So at simple glance a programmer could implement (albeit some are VERY hard if not impossible to do) these strategies, but for what?

In a month we(being the civing community) will have a 101 new ways of beating that AI.

Until you(being anyone) can write a program (and that can execute in a reasonable amount of time) where the AI learns from game to game experience to experience it will always produce the same level 'of difficulty'

for more information:
http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=148431
http://forums.civfanatics.com/showth...l+Intelligence
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Old Jan 10, 2006, 04:36 PM   #18
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Wow! I'm getting a sense of deja-vu ... yup, it all comes around.

We had lots of discussions along these exact lines in the Civ3 GOTM's. And all the solutions already mentioned were implemented - Conquest, Open and Predator levels provide the best support for a new player and more challenge for the experienced player.

All I can do is urge you to fully participate, submit any game you have, and post spoilers. Other players shouldn't give you advice about a current game situation, but if you had a difficult problem that was your undoing, post it after the fact and you will get plenty of suggestions for the next time.

And you will struggle a bit as the difficulty increases, but the next time you play a lower level, it will seem much easier as you use the better strategies you learned, and you don't use the poor strategies you've 'unlearned'. The problem with lower level games is you can get by with poor strategies and never know how poor they are. As solenoozerec said, you learn more by losing at a higher level then winning at a lower level. Pretty soon you'll be winning at that higher level.
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Old Jan 11, 2006, 07:48 AM   #19
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All good points. Since I noticed that the current GOTM is on prince level (and having never played on Prince myself) I started a Prince game on my own "just to see what it was like". I fell into the early trap of expanding too quickly (6 or 7 cities) only to see my science drop to zero, my gold fall to zero, and my average size army disappear in 10-15 turns (please tell me at what point in the game this turns around...is it a technology, a building, moving to a different age, or what). For that game, I recovered to finish in second place...first place was never in doubt as that AI I chose to suck up to conquered a couple of civs early. However, I learned the hard way about expanding too quickly. I also learned a little bit about cottage placement on rivers. I also learned that barbarians suck. Anyways, I've started my second Prince game and limited my early expansion to 4 cities. Now I can maintain a decent sized army, and I've recently used it to steal a couple cities from my neighbor.
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Old Jan 11, 2006, 08:03 AM   #20
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Currency is a huge tech; it practically doubles your income due to the extra trade routes, and that's even without any markets.
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