1. Firaxis celebrates the "Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month", and offers a give-away of a Civ6 anthology copy (5 in total)! For all the details, please check the thread here. .
    Dismiss Notice

AI Cheating

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by allsirgarnet, Oct 7, 2009.

  1. allsirgarnet

    allsirgarnet Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Messages:
    16
    Hello. This is my first thread and I'm sure this subject has been dealt with before, but I think I have some new info. The source was a mathamatical forum I happened upon by chance and specifically an ex Firaxis team member who worked on the programing for Civ 4.

    Now in reading the many threads which have touched on the Civ 4 AI cheating at for example noble level, many posters have stated that the only 'cheat' the AI gets as an advantage is very cheap upgrades of its units. Well below is a list of a lot more of the cheats the AI gets at noble level...

    Animal/Barbarian combat bonuses
    No Unit support
    Better Unit upgrades
    No Inflation
    No War Weariness
    Complete map and resources

    On finding this info it explained a lot of things I had often considered in Civ 4, such as why building the Statue of Zeus seemed to have little or no effect. Well you can now see why. You can also see that the cheats listed enable the AI to creat vast empires at will, protected by huge armies which themselves can be very aggressive and yet still have an efficient economy to allow decent research.

    Now I do enjoy the game and have enjoyed all 4 civs in their time, but this cheating does spoil the game for me because it subverts the real strategies the AI players should be following.

    Example...

    During a noble level game as Japan, I created a city in the Korea area. Knowing that China might be 'touchy' over this I provided a decent mixed garrison of about 16 units, longbows, macemen etc. When the inevitable war started my defences held... and held and held.

    Over 125 turns of war later, in which endless enemy armies from China and its allies (France, Germany etc) just threw themselves at my city and died, I gave up the game in abject boredom! On the last turn I made, they were still turning up in droves from all over the world.

    Now my point is this.

    IF the AI had not had the following cheats...

    No Unit support
    Better Unit upgrades
    No Inflation
    No War Weariness

    ...then a proper war could have been fought in which the AI would have acted normally and in a more human and sensible way, and the game wouldnt have evolved into a waste of my time.

    I have no problem with enemy powers ganging up on me as a player, but the cheats in effect wipe away any meaningful strategy both they and I might use or create. What then is the point I ask?

    It seems crazy to me that programmers can spend so much time working on REAL AI, and then not realise that the cheats they use to enhance it completely subvert their efforts. The Statue of Zeus seems a perfect case in point in that IN EFFECT, the only 'player' it effects is the human player as the AI players are immune.

    Anyway...

    I hope you found the more extensive list of Civ 4 noble cheats interesting and worthy of comment.

    Regards

    ASG
     
  2. phungus420

    phungus420 Deity

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    Messages:
    6,296
    This is not true:
    Complete map and resources
    Though the AI does have visibility of all units and cities (surprise for anyone that didn't know that, this was just discovered recently actually)

    Niether is this:
    No War Weariness
    though the AI does get reduced War Weariness

    This means nothing:
    Better Unit upgrades
    I mean, what is a better unit upgrade?

    Possible, but given the track record of your assertions, I don't think it's true. I think the AI gets reductions on these.
    No Unit support
    No Inflation

    At noble the human gets these as well. The barb and animal combat bonuses scale with difficulty, and the first few battles this bonus is significant. See the ACO mod for more information.
    Animal/Barbarian combat bonuses

    Anyway you're bringing up nothing new, that hasn't been discussed in depth. But more importantly you're not telling the truth, and instead warping half truths. Also no one of importance has said the AI only gets reduced upgrade costs at noble.
     
  3. Continental Op

    Continental Op Warlord

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Messages:
    242
    I'm sure AI gets War Weariness. At least it shows it in the relations page.
     
  4. allsirgarnet

    allsirgarnet Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Messages:
    16
    Hello

    Please do not dismiss my statements unthinkingly.

    The source for my comments was Soren Johnson in an article he wrote on the problems of designing good Algorithms for AI's, and specifically his work for Firaxis.

    Specifically...

    Information Cheats - Both in maps, resource location and in developments made by the human player.

    War Weariness - Its NO war weariness rather than reduced.

    Better Upgrades - AI gets reduced costs in upgrading units when compared to the human player (barbarians get them free).

    No support or inflation - Specifically stated by the source in his article.

    No one of importance...

    Except Soren Johnson that is. You should try using sources other than just gaming forum threads!

    Heres an example of Soren Johnson explaining the logic behind the cheats...

    For example, the AI does not leave cities empty like a human would, so unit support costs are cut. Human army and AI army will never be the same size because they (the AI) have to keep units in their cities (due to AI programing), therefore cut away the support costs for the AI since they need to have a larger army.

    ASG
     
  5. phungus420

    phungus420 Deity

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    Messages:
    6,296
    You read an article, missinterpreted, and I'm supposed to believe you? Sorry, this has been discussed in depth, and alot of us have actually looked at the code responsible for the bonuses. This is very telling because most of your points are half truths, so you gleaned something, and exagerated it.
     
  6. allsirgarnet

    allsirgarnet Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Messages:
    16
    Further quote, a preamble to the above article (taken itself from a programmers seminar/talk)...

    Session Description

    Artificial intelligence performs a crucial role for any strategy game, providing a compelling opponent for solo play. While many of the challenges of AI development are technical, there are also significant design challenges as well. Can the AI behave like a human? Should it? Should the game design be adjusted to accommodate the limitations of the AI? Should the AI be exposed to modders? How do we make the AI fun? Should the AI cheat? If so, how much? Do we even want the AI to win? This session suggests some possible answers to these questions using the “CIVILIZATION” series as a case study. Ultimately, games are many things to many different people; fantasy, competition, narrative, even construction set, and the best AI will support as many different approaches to the game world as possible.

    Idea Takeaway

    This lecture is intended primarily for game designers and AI programmers who would like a deeper understanding of the consequences of high-level AI development decisions on the final product. Further, important lessons will also be shared for all developers interested in crafting a compelling single-player experience.

    Intended Audience

    Attendees will leave with a better understanding of the difference between a “good” AI and a “fun” one. Furthermore, they will learn the trade-offs inherent in deciding between the two options.

    Essentially, I will be talking about the difference between thinking of the AI as the player’s opponent and thinking of it as simply an extension of the core game design (what one might call the difference between “good” AI and “fun” AI). There will also be a long section on AI cheating - the bane of my existence for many years - concerning which type of cheats are acceptable to players and which type are not, using Civ as an extensive case study. Further, I hope to prove that, for Civ at least, there is no such thing as - and never could be - a “fair” difficulty level where the AI is playing the same game as the human. Your mileage , of course, might vary.

    ASG
     
  7. allsirgarnet

    allsirgarnet Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Messages:
    16
    An Expert...

    A person who thinks they know everything about something, but who infact knows virtually nothing about everything.

    (Hint... this could be you) ;)

    ASG

    Moderator Action: Flaming - warned
    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
     
  8. PieceOfMind

    PieceOfMind Drill IV Defender Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Messages:
    9,319
    Location:
    Australia
    If someone sold you a toaster that supposedly worked by magic, would you believe the seller or the engineer who opened it up and told you it uses mains power to run a heating element? :p (crap analogy I know!)

    allsirgarnet, with all due respect, your claims are unsubstantiated. Soren Johnson may have been the lead designer or whatever but he's not an all-knowing oracle. ;)

    You're embarrassing yourself in particular by saying the AI gets no war weariness, because you can actually see it in the game.

    By the way, why don't you link this article? I'd like to read it, though I have a feeling I've already seen it.
     
  9. PieceOfMind

    PieceOfMind Drill IV Defender Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Messages:
    9,319
    Location:
    Australia
    Gee you've got some cheek, insulting an experienced modder. :lol:

    You sound like the sort of person who thinks he knows everything about a topic once he sees a related documentary on Channel 4.

    Most of the well known members on these forums are well aware of the AI lecture you're talking about, by the way. You aren't bringing some revelation to us all.
     
  10. allsirgarnet

    allsirgarnet Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Messages:
    16
    Primary Sources...

    Dave Mark

    http://www.intrinsicalgorithm.com

    http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/topic.asp?topic_id=484347

    http://intrinsicalgorithm.com/IAonAI/2008/02/gdc-2008-soren-johnsons-lecture-on-civ.html

    Regards

    ASG
     
  11. allsirgarnet

    allsirgarnet Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Messages:
    16
    I'm old enough and wise enough mate not to trust self professed so called experts, because experienve has shown me they are often proved wrong by subsequent events or developments. ;)

    As to my statements, the quotes i gave come from the source stated above.

    Regards

    ASG
     
  12. PieceOfMind

    PieceOfMind Drill IV Defender Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Messages:
    9,319
    Location:
    Australia
    Note the date on the article: 25 Feb 2008.

    Do you think that the contents of that lecture are news to anyone here?

    Are you aware there's a whole project focused on improving the AI? It's called Better AI.

    Are you aware the content of the lecture is mainly talking about earlier versions of the game and does not necessarily hold true for the latest versions?

    Are you aware the content of the lecture is not intended to reveal hidden secrets about the AI in civ 4 but to illustrate design issues of AIs in general? Hence the exact detail is not really relevant in those lectures.

    Do you want me to show you a savegame where the AI has war weariness, by the way? Or are you prepared to concede that point?
     
  13. allsirgarnet

    allsirgarnet Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Messages:
    16
    So the source...

    Dave Mark

    ...is in error or wrong then in what he says?

    If so, would you care to post on the gamedev forum and tell him so?

    ASG
     
  14. PieceOfMind

    PieceOfMind Drill IV Defender Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Messages:
    9,319
    Location:
    Australia
    So you'd prefer to believe the "self professed experts" (as you call them) around here are part of some conspiracy and intentionally propagating untruths and no one is the wiser? It might come as a surprise to you but all the code that is relevant to the claims you are making is completely revealed to modders. Anyone can download the software development kit from Firaxis and even rewrite the game mechanics and AIs as they see fit.

    Especially many of the high level players know about all these little bonuses and they even exploit them in their games. These people are not self professed experts but are acknowledged as experienced players because they have demonstrated their skills to the forum. They too will tell you that you are in error.

    Certainly. Please direct me to the actual comment that is in error.
     
  15. Silu

    Silu Deity

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    2,964
    Location:
    Finland
    To the OP: you are in error.

    The effects of different difficulty levels are widely researched, documented and verified. This issue pops up almost every day as frustrated players lose a game and decide that the AIs had to cheat because they lost to them. And as already noted all credibility your sources had was gone when they claimed something that can be proven false just by looking at the game interface while playing.
     
  16. Windsor

    Windsor Flawless

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Messages:
    1,387
    Location:
    Norway
    I used a few GSpys to investigate one of Ragnars' cities in my previous immortal game:
     
  17. Sian

    Sian Emperor

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Messages:
    1,676
    heh ... cute ... its allways cute when someone find a beaten-to-death argument and states that its a stellar unchangeable truth without any prove beyond what one person have said.
     
  18. PieceOfMind

    PieceOfMind Drill IV Defender Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Messages:
    9,319
    Location:
    Australia
    It should be noted, your sentiments on the usefulness of Statue of Zeus are shared by many. As it turns out, the AI receives pretty big discounts on war weariness (it's fair enough when you think about it) already so the SoZ is usually only built by human players to deny any AI from building it! There's nothing worse than the war weariness experienced when you face a SoZ-holding AI.

    Personally I like the statue of Zeus because it's one of the cheapest (if not the cheapest) wonder that can be sped up by a resource and has 10:culture:. If it can be built early enough it's probably the most efficient culture generating building in the game, particularly if you get the culture-doubling after 1000 years.
     
  19. allsirgarnet

    allsirgarnet Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Messages:
    16
    Hold up...

    YOU are the one who is questioning the accuracy of my source and not me. Specifically from...

    http://intrinsicalgorithm.com/IAonAI/2008/02/gdc-2008-soren-johnsons-lecture-on-civ.html

    ...Dave Mark says...

    But Noble has other cheats e.g.

    Animal/Barbarian combat bonuses
    No Unit support
    Better Unit upgrades
    No Inflation
    No War Weariness
    The AI needs more help in these areas.


    If YOU are saying my source Dave Mark is wrong, then take it up with him at the gamedev forum. HE (Dave Mark) is quoting directly from Soren Johnson who you yourself state is/was a lead designer on the Civ 4 AI.

    Now you can't have it both ways.

    IF Soren Johnson, who presumably worked on designing, creating and programing the Civ 4 AI says...

    Animal/Barbarian combat bonuses
    No Unit support
    Better Unit upgrades
    No Inflation
    No War Weariness
    The AI needs more help in these areas


    ...then who am I to believe, him or you? :lol:

    He Soren Johnson, who Dave Mark quoted directly, is not as you sarcastically say an all seeing oracle. He is however the guy who created the Civ 4 AI.

    Beat that with a stick. :lol:

    Or are you saying Soren Johnson is wrong in what he says about his own work... :crazyeye:

    ASG
     
  20. allsirgarnet

    allsirgarnet Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Messages:
    16
    its allways cute when someone find a beaten-to-death argument

    Accepted wisdom about whats true... a question for you.

    How many planets are there in the solar system today, as opposed to a few years ago?

    As to the one person, Dave Mark was quoting from Soren Johnson who actually created the Civ 4 AI. If he (Soren Johnson) doesnt know, then who does? ;)

    ASG
     

Share This Page