Originally posted by Zachriel
Well, if you look for exploits in an AI game engine, you will find them, no doubt. Kinda spoils the fun, though, doesn't it?
I presume then that you, when playing Civ 3 and the AI put its troops in a stupid position that you refrain from attacking because that would 'just be exploiting the AI'? Kinda spoils the fun, doesn't it?
Well, if I was playing this game against a human, you for instance, and I'd played you 20 times and never once had you attempted a strike at my rear areas, I'd be tempted to leave them less and less protected every time I played you. But I'd still expect you to try sometime so I'd probably not denude my rear of troops anything like as much as I do against the AI.
in any game of this nature is to discover how the game system works and devise methods to overcome it. Once you have discovered a trusted method and can repeat a victory at will, then you move on to another game, or try to play with self imposed limits/hinderances.
Which is why I no longer play CivI, CTP, CTP2, Civ2, Colonization, Imperialism, Imperialism2, SMAC or SMAX even though each of these games has devoured weeks of my life over the past 10 years. I'm a fanatic, I brought my first PC so's I could play Civ 2 (had Amigas till then), upgraded it to play SMAC/CTP and have just brought a new beast so I can play Civ 3. I can beat each and every one of the above examples 100% of the time at their highest level provided I last the first 30 or so turns.
So far, I've not beaten CIV 3 on Dieity, I have a spaceship and conquest at emporer and a number of others at Monarch. My current, Emporer, game looks like it will be the bes,t yet I've got most the mid game wonders by 1300AD, so perhaps its time to start deity again.
But I've had my posterior kicked a few times as well, but I think start position is more important than difficulty level, and these starts were often obnoxious.
What made these'civ' games last a little longer on my hard drive than, say Quake2 single player, is that because the world is generated new every time, I'm faced with a new set of early game challenges which, once overcome, turn into the usual formulaic victory. Now that's when the fun gets spoilt.
My point really is if I'm playing against you and you always preface your attack with three turns of artillery bombardment, I'm exploiting my knowledge of that when I leave my troops behind the lines until the third turn. But that is not an EXPLOIT in the terms of this (and other) forums. An exploit would be something like the 'add worker to size one city and pop-rush' strategy. Now that just does spoil the fun.
Above all though you missed my point entirely, that the military AI in civ 3 leaves an awful lot to be desired at all levels throughout the game. Those who have been commending the ancient era AI are missing the fact that its the same AI strategy being adopted throughout the game, it just appears to work in ancient times because of the AI's bonuses.
Sure, it avoids your strongpoints but then simply leaves itself in the open for destruction, yes it goes for your weakpoints or rather what appear to be weakpoints, you can lead it a real merry dance just by moving troops in an out of a pair of cities.
All of its drawbacks in later times are present in early times but it doesn't matter, the things in doesn't do well (artillery supoort, combined arms, the list goes on) are nowhere near as important to the waging of a sucessful campaign as they are in later days.
How many times have I watched a city being assaulted, thinking 'one more hit, that cities gone' only to see a Cavalry ride up to the border and trot round my city. Not even attacking anything!
It sometimes feels that whoever programmed the military hadd no concept of how to play the game, but then again I do understand how difficult a task it must be to program good game AI, so I'll shut up now and add my voice to the chorus of praise.
Me, I'm still enjoying the game.