[GS] AI always ahead of me? Did something change?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Scholar of Imperium, Apr 7, 2019.

  1. Scholar of Imperium

    Scholar of Imperium Chieftain

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    Hello everyone. I visit these forums every so often but I rarely post here. The reason why I am posting now is to ask what exactly happened to the Civ 6 AI? I don't remember them being so fast and quick to develop as they are now.

    Just as the title says they are always ahead of me early in the game, they just manage to do so many things very fast. And this is Prince difficulty. They get their first districts online very quickly despite having the same population as me and terrain that is even worse production wise than the one I have. They all seem to rush for religion and claim it all before I even get my first Holy Sites. They build wonders super quick even in 3 pop cities. And despite focusing on all that infrastructure in the first 180 turns (Marathon speed, equivalent to 60 turns on Standard speed) the AI still has time to build builders, military units and found 4 cities by that time (they produce 3 settlers). They also seem to beeline Techs and just snatch even some Classical Era wonders from you. Although true I am playing on huge maps with 12 civs, so the fact that wonders go away quicker as well as religions does make sense, but even this scope is ridiculous. If I was playing on King or higher difficulties I would understand the AI being ahead of me so much, since they get a lot of bonuses. I even lowered the difficulties and the same thing happens. Is the AI getting some bonuses even on lower difficulties?

    I just find it really really weird that Brazil who only had sugar, mercury and deer and 3 pop, managed to produce builders, 3 settlers, military units and a holy site districts by turn 180, while me with 4 pop, 3 stone and copper right next to my capital I only managed to produce a single settler, warrior, slinger and granary, not a single district yet. Technologically the AI is one the same level as I am, so it is not like they researched all these technologies to build stuff way before me. I really don't remember this being a problem back in R&F, usually on Prince the AI was on the same level as I was, they never were this runaway as now.

    Or It could be that I am doing something wrong? I really don't know... I am confused...
     
  2. Disgustipated

    Disgustipated Deity

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    It seems that way, but keep in mind there are several things you can be doing in the opening 50 to 100 turns. Many players, including me, prioritize expansion. So I often forgo holy sites and early wonders in order to expand and take land. Some of the AI civs prioritize holy sites and getting a religion, some prioritize getting an early wonder, some prioritize pumping out settlers (like Rome). With 8 or more civs in a game, you are likely to see all of these behaviors. You feel like you are behind, but keep in mind you can't focus on everything. You have to choose one of those 3 things (actually 4 things if you include early warfare which I didn't cover). You can't excel at all 4 things at once. Later in the game you usually can far outpace the AI at least 3 of those 4 areas.
     
  3. Scholar of Imperium

    Scholar of Imperium Chieftain

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    I understand that Civ 6 is much more a game of focus compared to Civ 5. And that early on you have to focus on an certain path you want to take. I just find it puzzling that the AI is doing so well in many different areas that early. It's ok to have Civs that focus on different things. Rome that focuses on expansion and infrastructure early on, India that focuses on religion, Aztecs that focus on military, but it is strange to see that almost every civ seems to be good at all these different things that early on. Even though they are not ahead of me in terms of techs or civics nor they have a superior starting location.

    Well, thanks for the reply anyway...
     
  4. Takfloyd

    Takfloyd Prince

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    I think the AI has been made a bit smarter in terms of empire development in Gathering Storm. If you're behind on Prince, you are playing poorly as well though. Chances are they are chopping forests and you aren't, for example. And I don't think there's any justifiable reason to build a granary that early, so that's another mistake you made.
     
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  5. Bitterman

    Bitterman Warlord

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    I play emperor with modded AI which recieve more bonuses and rarely chop so that doesn't mean he's playing poorly.

    If they happen to have 3-4 cities vs. you who have only 2 then the problem is you didn't make settlers fast enough. They are ahead because they are spiting units/districts/wonders from 4 cities at the same time, or you could also say they are making things +50% faster than you (assuming they had 4 decent cities vs your 2). They have also more population, which translates to more science and culture, so they oupptpace you also in those areas.

    If you want to build early wonders chopping is a must (or a hill/plains capital maybe). The first Holy Site shouldn't take you more than 7-8 turns on standard to build and sanctuary maybe 5 or so, but you could buy it. In any case I often make like 3 or even 4 settlers before Holy Site depending on how many civs are pushing for Great Prophets.
     
  6. Zenstrive

    Zenstrive Ocean King

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    I have never experienced this.
    I play on King difficulty, since this is the most fun level for me.
    During ancient classical era, I usually try to get golden age by exploring everywhere to meet other civs, natural wonders, goody huts, making unique units, clearing barbarian camps, having a pantheon, having a religion.
    Then I would chose monumentality as golden age dedication to just add cities everywhere I can while making two or three archers to keep AI from ever thinking of declaring war on me.

    Usually I when can feel my game lagging behind is during the renaissance era when I realize my city placements just sub optimal or I don't get essential resources like niters and coals. Sometimes I just restart, sometimes I rush to science victory by this time.
     
  7. Tech Osen

    Tech Osen Emperor

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    I don't know if the AI gets any bonusses at Prince lvl. Playing at Emperor I'm used to lagging behind the first part of the game. But it might be you have to take a good look at your build order and improvements. And look at what tiles your workers are on. They don't always take the most logical ones like favoring natural wonder tiles without any food, etc.
     
  8. Naeshar

    Naeshar Warlord

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    The AI does not get any bonuses at Prince - human and computer players start and play on the same level.
    The development of AI surprises me often too. Please mind that not all starts are equal. Brazil can have some amazing starting tiles (jungle hills 2f/2p not speaking of resources - sugar adds food, deer production, right?). AI does not build building early, and his second city had enough time to produce second settler while cap made third, though AI usually focuses military more. Granary so soon is certainly a mistake as you wont have amenities to support the population... Also take in account randomness in goodie huts (bonus pop, extra builder, gold). An early extra population can certainly make a huge difference on marathon.
    Nothing strange going on :smug:
     
  9. Lord Yanaek

    Lord Yanaek Emperor

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    As far as i know that was true for previous titles but not for Civ6. Unless they changed that with expansions AIs now start receiving bonuses as soon as you get above the first level. The developers presented that change as making the progression more logical, i call it going the lazy way to increase difficulty. It was probably also one of the reasons why Deity was a joke on release, their AI was smart as a bag of rocks and needed bonuses even on low levels so of course it was bad against experienced players even with stupid bonuses.

    That being said the AI have seen continuous improvements over patches and expansions and i think it's now at a point where it can provide an adequate challenge to most players (but don't repeat this on the strategy sub-forum ;))

    So to answer OP, yes i think AI have improved so you should try to improve your early game too.

    Keep in mind that if Brazil have produced 3 settlers their population have dropped each time. Sugar is very efficient to make a city grow fast and get more production from the additional population. This can make a big difference early as more pop will also give more science and culture at a point in the game when you don't have other sources. The mercury also gave them more science. Just because they show with you on the tech tree doesn't mean they are exactly at the same tech level as you are. As far as i understand it's a very rough estimate mostly based on the tech era of each players. They might have 9 of the 11 ancient techs vs your 3 and still show as ancient era!
     
  10. WillowBrook

    WillowBrook Lurker

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    No, Prince is level for all in Civ VI.
     
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  11. Lord Yanaek

    Lord Yanaek Emperor

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    Well, since you seem very positive about this may i ask where you found DefaultHandicap in the database as I failed to find it.

    The new modifiers system is a lot more versatile than the old structure but sadly makes database mining a lot harder :eek: . I know that some things scale from prince, for instance BARBARIAN_CAMP_GOLD_SCALING clearly has DIFFICULTY_PRINCE as the second argument but HIGH_DIFFICULTY_SCIENCE_SCALING for instance merely has LinearScaleFromDefaultHandicap with an argument of 0 which i would have expected is the very first difficulty which would be Settler.
     
  12. Stilgar08

    Stilgar08 Emperor

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    https://civilization.fandom.com/wiki/Difficulty_level_(Civ6) changes would have come up in the respektable patch discussions here on civfanatics but I'm not aware of anything like it. Prince is the even playing field
     
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  13. Lord Yanaek

    Lord Yanaek Emperor

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    'K Thanks i guess ;) That article says it comes from the XML but doesn't say where in the XML the info is, which obviously doesn't bother most players.

    I just hate it when i can't find what i'm looking for :wallbash: :rolleyes:
     
  14. Aldor

    Aldor King

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    Are you really certain about this? I checked the handicaps a while ago and seem to remember that the AI receives for example 0% production bonus at settler, but 20% at prince. In my experience, playing settler vs. playing prince feels pretty much the same.
     
  15. Wizard-Bob

    Wizard-Bob Always remember to Find Your FUN!

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    No way to know if it is 100% accurate, but here is what the Civ VI Manual says:

    EFFECTS OF DIFFICULTY “Prince” is the middle level. On that level neither you nor your AI opponents get any particular bonuses. For example, on levels below Prince you get bonuses in unit combat strength and experience level. Barbarians are less aggressive and not as smart on lower levels, as well. On levels higher than Prince, the AIs receive increasing bonuses including bonuses in all yields, unit combat strength and technology. They may get additional starting units and techs and also play more aggressively than on lower levels.
     
  16. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    The AI has been some significant improvements since release, so yes, it's playing better.

    And yea, you're doing something very wrong if the AI is outexpanding you on Prince. Either you're not settling your capital near productive tiles, or you're building other things that you don't remember about. But it's impossible to tell without saves; only thing I can say is you should get a early builder instead of a granary.
     
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  17. WillowBrook

    WillowBrook Lurker

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    I've seen no evidence to the contrary. I think the extra units are in the eras file (not at a computer to double check). I don't know where the combat bonus is, but I know it's zero on prince. Don't know where any other adjustments are.
     
  18. Bluetooth

    Bluetooth King

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    OP you could take a different approach in the early eras and then dominate in the later eras. I usually play on emperor / standard speed, but I got interested so I started a new game with the same settings as you.

    I start to build three slinger and then a builder, then I continue to build two more slingers and a scout. I kill a barbarian with a slinger so I get the boost for Archery.

    Turn 69 – Archery. I had cleared a few barbarian outposts with my slingers so I could afford to upgrade three slingers.

    Turn 86 I conquered Aachen Germanys only city. I also changed economic policy to Ilkum (+ 30 % production towards builders) and started to build a new builder. Started to research Early Empire which will give me + 50 % production towards Settlers. Eventually I stated to build a Settler.

    Turn 95 I met Hungary and they had two cities. Declared war and captured their two cities.

    Turn 109 built a new city, so now I have 5 cities.

    Turn 110 and I can appoint a governor and I choose Magnus because when I can give him a second promotions “the city does not consume a population”.

    4 cities are happy and one content. I need a third luxury resource so I keep clearing barbarian outposts and there are plenty of them.
     
  19. CPWimmer

    CPWimmer King

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    This is also a really good point. Checking which tiles your citizens are actually working is very important. A poor auto-assignment by the game (or an accidental miss-click) that prioritizes a high culture or gold tile with little to no food/production can cripple your civ's early game growth.

    If I am feeling lazy, I will set the city prioritization to default to +food/+production, so I don't have to mange each city as it grows. I often do this even if I don't feel lazy, just in case!
     
  20. Naeshar

    Naeshar Warlord

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    @Lord Yanaek
    Prince is the default level. As I found below, the AI obviously has 3% more production but no other handicaps... This could actually project at Marathon speed, right?

    In Difficulties.xml the difficulties are only stated.
    This is in Eras.xml: (similar rows for other eras)
    <Row Era="ERA_ANCIENT" Unit="UNIT_SETTLER"/>
    <Row Era="ERA_ANCIENT" Unit="UNIT_WARRIOR" NotStartTile="true"/>
    <Row Era="ERA_ANCIENT" Unit="UNIT_SETTLER" AiOnly="true" MinDifficulty="DIFFICULTY_EMPEROR" DifficultyDelta="0.5" OnDistrictCreated="true"/>
    <Row Era="ERA_ANCIENT" Unit="UNIT_WARRIOR" AiOnly="true" MinDifficulty="DIFFICULTY_KING" DifficultyDelta="1" NotStartTile="true"/>
    <Row Era="ERA_ANCIENT" Unit="UNIT_BUILDER" AiOnly="true" MinDifficulty="DIFFICULTY_KING" DifficultyDelta="0.5" OnDistrictCreated="true"/>

    There are difference in Barbarians.xml, where the intensity of raids is described. Chieftain/Warlord and Emperor/Immortal are breakpoints.

    Also note the DifficultyDelta. It is a parameter rising one point every step. I could not find where the bonuses are declared, but compare with https://civ6.gamepedia.com/Game_difficulty
    My assumption is that the bonus units are determined by comparing player difficulty (set by default to Prince-4) with AI. The bonuses stated above apply AiOnly="true".
    Imagine: if this was disabled and you started a multiplayer game where AI is set to Settler and you pick Deity, you get 3 bonus settlers, 8 bonus warriors and builders on districts built...
     

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