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Old Oct 15, 2009, 04:27 AM   #1
loffenx
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The new Stacks of Doom

So, we have all seen the new impressive AI and the massive armies it manages to crunch out. I am however a bit perplexed about the underlying mechanics behind this. Is the new patch simply a change of preferences given to the AI, prioritizing unit production more than it did before; or has any new bonuses been introduced, or old ones altered?

As I understand the situation now, there are no new bonuses per se, rather it is the old production bonuses coupled with reduced upgrade costs (coupled with some change in AI upgrade behaviour?) * a new production emphasis that yields the new stacks of doom, is this correct?

In time, we will all learn to adapt to the new circumstances I am sure, but untill then I thought it would be useful to disect the problem while we gaze with horror upon the 100+ pyre zombies approaching our borders
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Old Oct 15, 2009, 05:26 AM   #2
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There are no new AI mechanics. All that has been changed is the AI behavior. The AI has always had the ability to wield massive SoD's, and it has always had reduced upgrade costs, as well as reduced upkeep costs. These of course become more progressive the higher the difficulty level. The only thing that was changed was the AI's understanding of the situation, and that SoD's are very good ideas and it should use them. Yeah, it still needs a little work, but hey, its better than the AI's being a pushover always, right?

-Colin
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Old Oct 15, 2009, 08:58 AM   #3
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Yes, I am 100% pro the changes And thanks for the info. SoD's aside, they also seem to be able to defend themselves better, unless they're at war.
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Old Oct 15, 2009, 09:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by readercolin View Post
There are no new AI mechanics. All that has been changed is the AI behavior. The AI has always had the ability to wield massive SoD's, and it has always had reduced upgrade costs, as well as reduced upkeep costs. These of course become more progressive the higher the difficulty level. The only thing that was changed was the AI's understanding of the situation, and that SoD's are very good ideas and it should use them. Yeah, it still needs a little work, but hey, its better than the AI's being a pushover always, right?

-Colin
Except the AI is still a pushover.They don't know how to use their huge SoD. 20 Pyre Zombies can take almost any city, but I was about to hold a stack of 40 of them at bay, slowly picking them off with chariots, using Loki's puppet as bait. In another game, the Balserphs, who had access to copper, spammed archers for no apparent reason. They used archers for defence. They used archers for offence. They used archers as patroling units. I spammed horsemen in couner, and completely dominated them. I took 2 cities, killed will over 60 archers with less than 10 casualties myself, pilages 500 gold worth of improvements, yet they wanted a city and bunch of gold to make peace since they had soooooooooooooooooo many archers their power rating was 3x mine, despite the fact they had no chance of winning the war.

If anything, the game is actually a little easier now because the AI rarely attacks when they can actually win, allowing me to sit back and farm EXP. They're 10x more annoying, but easier nonetheless.

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they also seem to be able to defend themselves better, unless they're at war.
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Old Oct 19, 2009, 04:07 PM   #5
Veqryn
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Has anyone tried using Better BTS AI (bbai) with FfH2 ?
i don't know if they would work together.... but i do know that they ai in that ai mod is really impressive
I was most impressed with how the ai in the mod was able to launch a successful over the seas invasion, involving successive waves of transports dropping off stacks on troops in the same location, then backing them up with reinforcements every few turns.
The ai in that mod also will calculate when it can use overwelming numbers to take cities or kill units, and will even calculate when it does not need to reduce the defences of cities first, often meaning that a massive stack will show up by a city you left with only 3 defenders. In normal games, the AI would sit outside of your city for a couple turns while it reduced the defenses, giving you a chance to reinforce the city. This ai will decide if it stands a resonable chance of taking it and just attack right away. freakin awesome
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Old Oct 19, 2009, 06:04 PM   #6
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Heh, since I installed patch i I've been getting owned and owned. For one, it teaches me that this game isn't Sim City.

My games pretty much go like this: explore area, expand somewhat intelligently, then at 10 units or so I start to have to lower my science% to pay for all that. Either I build more units and have to lower my science again, or I keep on teching and become a weak nation earlier. The only game so far that I've managed to keep alive in til I could actually do some stuff was when I got a great prophet out of a random event, which I settled and paid huge dividends over the course of the game.

I still got my cities burned by 20ish champions when I was trying to transition from axemen to crusaders...
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Old Oct 21, 2009, 07:00 AM   #7
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Got owned last night by a stack of 15+ Pyrezombies as the Ljos turn 250 on epic, the 3 stooges were about as much use as a handbrake on a canoe:-) By the way, how long does it take for your economie to recover from March of the Trees while running GON?
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Old Oct 21, 2009, 01:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veqryn View Post
Has anyone tried using Better BTS AI (bbai) with FfH2 ?
i don't know if they would work together.... but i do know that they ai in that ai mod is really impressive
I was most impressed with how the ai in the mod was able to launch a successful over the seas invasion, involving successive waves of transports dropping off stacks on troops in the same location, then backing them up with reinforcements every few turns.
The ai in that mod also will calculate when it can use overwelming numbers to take cities or kill units, and will even calculate when it does not need to reduce the defences of cities first, often meaning that a massive stack will show up by a city you left with only 3 defenders. In normal games, the AI would sit outside of your city for a couple turns while it reduced the defenses, giving you a chance to reinforce the city. This ai will decide if it stands a resonable chance of taking it and just attack right away. freakin awesome
Guh if this is true then it should definitely be ported to FfH!
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Old Oct 21, 2009, 02:20 PM   #9
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There were some issues with using the Better BTS AI - it wasn't all that compatible, due to changes made by FFH. This was brought up in Sephi's Wild Mana thread, somewhere around page 10 or 20 or so IIRC. Feel free to look for the exact reason.

-Colin
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Old Oct 22, 2009, 09:31 AM   #10
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Forgive me, im a noob, but wouldn't it take a VERY long time to build all these dozens of units that i hear about? And what about maintenance costs? I once won a conquest game as Calabim, only troops i ever fought with was Hill Giants, and at one point only one was left, and i still had 3 more enemies to beat, and i just built Losha Valas, gifted vampirism to the Giant, and steamrolled my opponents easily. Of course i did build other troops, including Vampires, but i only used them for defense. I was playing as Flauros, 0.41 patch i, Emporer difficulty. So please explain to me how it can be economically viable to build all those units?
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Old Oct 22, 2009, 01:10 PM   #11
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The AI gets vastly reduced maintenence costs, as well as vastly reduced upgrade costs for their units. This was originally put in as an attempt to get the AI to work better and be slightly more competitive. However, now that the AI building stacks and teching right has been solved, (well, kinda) these values haven't been re-addressed. As for the time to build units, the AI starts building up with warriors (and seems to prioritize units more than buildings in most cases), and then continues to build units as the game goes along. It will also upgrade its units to higher level units when it gets the tech for it/has enough money. This means that an early stack of easily built warriors will later turn into an equal size stack of archers/axmen. Then more archers/axmen get built, and then when champions/longbows come along, the units are upgraded again. This means that if the AI is given a long enough time to build up, it has massive stacks. In addition to this, the AI still gets bonuses to production and research/gold depending upon difficulty level. So a noble AI plays with similar values as a human, and doesn't build supergigantic mega stacks of doom. However, a Deity AI right now gets -90% upgrade costs, about a 120% production boost, and drastically reduced maintenance costs, and a reduction in tech cost (or bonus to research given... unsure about this one). All these bonuses were what it had before, but because of the better AI, it is now much more visible.

-Colin
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Old Oct 22, 2009, 01:18 PM   #12
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Thanks, i didnt know that, like i said, im a noob.
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Old Oct 22, 2009, 01:34 PM   #13
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Does the Noble AI get maintenance discounts? I always play Noble because I don't like AI advantages. It's going to annoy me if I find out the AI doesn't have to pay as much for their units.
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Old Oct 22, 2009, 02:10 PM   #14
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Does the Noble AI get maintenance discounts? I always play Noble because I don't like AI advantages. It's going to annoy me if I find out the AI doesn't have to pay as much for their units.
Small ones. I think they get a 15% discount, or something like that. Noble is the closest to a level playing field, but it is not completely level.
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Old Oct 22, 2009, 02:11 PM   #15
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Well 15% isn't too bad I guess, considering the AI still has no clue how to use the units correctly.
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Old Dec 28, 2009, 12:38 PM   #16
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heee

in my latest game, which is a very late game ( sit and build strategy ) I started building the final luonnotar altar and the final tower of wizardry on the same turn, i was ready for the fight, except Falamar sent a huge stack of 400 units at me.

I was thinking my chokepoint city would be ok with 30 longbowmen, but 400 units was nutty. Luckily I was playing elohim and threw up the Wall of Can't Touch This ( cue MC Hammer music ) which game me enough time to build up 125 bowmen and harass his troops from the sea with my cultists and stygians.

unfortunately the new AI strategies is to ignore boats mostly. I had privateers sucking their trade routes dry until finally he got around to making a few boats to driving them out.
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Old Jan 05, 2010, 07:50 PM   #17
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The Computer may not poses a vast strategic understanding of SoD. but there still a pain in the tail pipe. I'm playing the vamp and i invaded the cardith. Next turn out of nowhere 50 something centor archers stamped over me. i killed a good amount of them but what pissed me off was i had to wait round 7 minutes for the sob to finish the bloody turn. *Brain bleeding out of ears in boredom* and the dude only has 4 cities and there placed to close together.
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Old Jan 06, 2010, 05:28 AM   #18
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Right, with new AI, in the late game I had to wait more than 5 mins for one turn dealing with a stack of 300~500 untis.
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Old Jan 06, 2010, 06:16 AM   #19
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The Quick Combat option is your friend. It can be slightly confusing sometimes and you may have to check the log every now and again, but it's certainly less of a hassle than watching hundreds of fights in a single turn.
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Old Jan 06, 2010, 07:20 AM   #20
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The Quick Combat option is your friend. It can be slightly confusing sometimes and you may have to check the log every now and again, but it's certainly less of a hassle than watching hundreds of fights in a single turn.
I think many of us are already using that option. Quick combat(offence, defence), quick moves, and minimize popups.
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