a missed opportunity

globosud

Warlord
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Jul 7, 2017
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108
I've been playing Civ 4 for many years now, the absurd thing is that I noticed that all the mods have so many additions that the A.I. practically at the end of the game goes crazy, and almost destroys himself. It's a shame because Civ 4 really allows to do anything with modding. I don't understand why all the mods instead of helping the A.I. to make no mistake, they practically do the opposite, for example forcing to use forts in certain positions, forcing them to build cities in strategic points, forcing them to defend their cities, forcing them to follow technology paths depending on their bonuses , instead I see even the best mods, where you see work boats used to explore, catapults that wander around the maps by themselves and more. I wonder why create hundreds of technologies, or civic, or armaments if then the A.I. don't understand its usefulness? So I was wondering is there a mod, where the A.I. Is being forced to use the things in the right way, through phyton or something else?
unfortunately the a.i. no, doesn't know how to make the right choices, so must be forced
if you think about it, the old mods were more balanced, the search for complexity even ruined mods that were almost perfect before. Sorry for my bad english.
 
Hey globosud! The mod that springs to mind right away is the Better BAT AI Mod, by Lemon Merchant. Its whole goal is making the AI better, and it builds on a previous mod that also sought to make the AI better. I'm not sure if it's still the state of the art, as I'm mostly in the Civ III area these days, but it's a vast improvement on the unmodded AI.

You are right though, some mods make lots of changes, but not to the AI, and the AI falls flat. I have been disappointed by this on occasion as well.

As for the "why", the gist of it is that writing a competent AI is difficult. Just look at Civilization V and Civilization VI, both of which were, IMO, major regressions from III and IV in terms of the AI's competency, especially in any sort of combat (and IMO, V is the worst of the bunch, although I didn't play VI at launch so perhaps it was worse then). Firaxis changed the rules, and couldn't build an AI that was competent when following those rules.

One can create AI rules for it to follow, but if they are too strict, the AI becomes too predictable and thus exploitable. One example is that if you force the AI to follow certain tech paths, it becomes possible for humans to develop strategies to counter that, and I see that on the Civilization III forums. For example, the Civ III AI highly values government techs, so if you research them first, you can trade them for insane profits. Civ III does force the AI to defend its cities, but that's also exploitable - you can rely on the AI keeping two units in almost every city (more in highly valuable ones), and because of that, a human knows they can have significant numerical advantages even if on paper they are equal, if the human sends more of their troops to the front lines and leaves their interior cities lightly defended or undefended.

And the AI is facing humans who are very clever. It's not possible to teach the AI everything that the human brain can figure out, especially a human brain that has played many games of Civilization. It took until 1997 for a computer to beat the world's top chess player, and Civ is a lot more complex, with a lot more tiles on the board, than chess.

Finally, while I'm sure some tweaks can be made through Python, my understanding is that most AI mods modify the C++ DLLs, which requires a high level of technical expertise. A lot of people have enough technical know-how to create mods and add content via XML, but a much smaller number are good enough at C++ to create functional, non-crashing, bug-free C++ AI modifications.

I'm a software developer myself (though I haven't written C++ in over a decade at this point), and while I'm not an expert in strategy game AI systems, I've written enough code in adjacent domains to have some appreciation for the complexity of it.

If you're up for trying a different game that has pretty darn good AI, I'd recommend Soren Johnson's Old World. Soren was the AI programmer for Civ IV, which is widely regarded as the best non-modded AI in the series, and Old World's AI is good enough to keep you on your toes. Could it be better? Well, yes, and every patch they make a few changes to make it a little bit better. But it's a refreshing approach compared to more recent Civilization games.
 
you're right, of course the A.I. must be unpredictable, but the problem is that with the possibility of modifying the code in civ 4, the direction given to modding was wrong, all the mods today after numerous releases have become very easy even at levels beyond emperor, there is no more challenge, have transformed the game into a management game. so many ornaments, that the A.I. has difficulty using,. Some latest releases of wonderful mods, after the Middle Ages no longer have troops to defend the cities, don't study technology beyond 20%, can't manage revolutions, aircraft carriers, forts, don't know how to use the characteristics of the terrain and more Still.
obviously thanks must be said to the modders for these splendid works, but unfortunately mods today are no longer a challenge, I preferred when at least the A.I. created huge stacks, at least in that one the A.I. managed to be competitive
 
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you're right, of course the A.I. must be unpredictable, but the problem is that with the possibility of modifying the code in civ 4, the direction given to modding was wrong, all the mods today after numerous releases have become very easy even at levels beyond emperor, there is no more challenge, have transformed the game into a management game. so many ornaments, that the A.I. has difficulty using,. Some latest releases of wonderful mods, after the Middle Ages no longer have troops to defend the cities, don't study technology beyond 20%, can't manage revolutions, aircraft carriers, forts, don't know how to use the characteristics of the terrain and more Still.
obviously thanks must be said to the modders for these splendid works, but unfortunately mods today are no longer a challenge, I preferred when at least the A.I. created huge stacks, at least in that one the A.I. managed to be competitive
Mods have most definitively NOT become easy. Not to the casual player anyway. You have just become good at the game after playing so much. And that is a huge difference as you have to remember that they have to be balanced so that the average player can enjoy them.
 
Mods have most definitively NOT become easy. Not to the casual player anyway. You have just become good at the game after playing so much. And that is a huge difference as you have to remember that they have to be balanced so that the average player can enjoy them.

I've certainly become better at it, but you can't hide the fact that the complexity of some mods, or rather I would say the majority of mods, has made the game much easier and puts the A.I. at a disadvantage. I've done various tests, if you take the old releases of the most popular mods, and you try to replay them you will realize that are much more difficult
 
I've certainly become better at it, but you can't hide the fact that the complexity of some mods, or rather I would say the majority of mods, has made the game much easier and puts the A.I. at a disadvantage. I've done various tests, if you take the old releases of the most popular mods, and you try to replay them you will realize that are much more difficult
If you actually ran that experiment your self and claim to have gotten the result you say than I guess I can't really counter you there. I've neither the time nor patience nor skill to try that. :)
I mean, of the few mods I play (FFH and FFH derivatives mostly) a lot of the stuff used to feel hard and now does not. But that's just my memory so I always chalked it up to old memories and me getting much better.
 
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