1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

AI: Handicap changes to reduce units in favor of other bonuses

Discussion in 'Community Patch Project' started by Stalker0, May 12, 2019.

  1. Aristos

    Aristos Lightseeker

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2001
    Messages:
    3,575
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Deep inside...
    Why is no one suggesting the easiest way to re-balance military AI handicaps?

    Get rid of the AI bonuses to Supply cap (or reduce them considerably).
     
  2. civplayer33

    civplayer33 King

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2017
    Messages:
    676
    Because only doing that would simply weaken the AI, which wasn't the goal.
    The goal was to preserve AI strength while reducing their production and supply bonuses by making their individual units stronger in different ways.
     
  3. HeathcliffWarriors

    HeathcliffWarriors Prince

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2017
    Messages:
    370
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Canada
    It applies to both AIs and human players.

    Humans' enmity change is based on AIDeclareWarProb. It's 15 * AIDeclareWarProb, divided by 100 (remainder discarded), added to enemy weight and subtracted from DP and DoF weight for each victory condition you're close to.

    AIs close to victory always get +20 enemy weight, -10 DP weight and -10 DoF weight (for each victory condition they're close to) regardless of difficulty.

    I had the same thought. Maybe 75% would be more reasonable, like with Domination Victory.
     
  4. Aristos

    Aristos Lightseeker

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2001
    Messages:
    3,575
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Deep inside...
    So, a zero-sum game? Why do it then?
     
  5. civplayer33

    civplayer33 King

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2017
    Messages:
    676
    Personal preference and the (IMO) illusion that it would reduce micromanagement.
     
  6. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2005
    Messages:
    5,320
    I never said reduce micromanagement, I say reduce grind.

    Having to do interesting tactics to beat the ai is fine. It’s the notion of “click click click kill kill kill” alright next round “click click click kill kill kill”...an endless parade of the same activity without gaining any ground.
     
  7. civplayer33

    civplayer33 King

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2017
    Messages:
    676
    Ah, well I kinda thought the two were the same but I see what you mean. Still, as I said earlier, I personally prefer the AI to have more units than more per-unit-bonuses.
    I also find that in order to fight optimally in a war, a frequent change in positioning is advisable in order to maximize the effect each unit has and as such to me, personally, it doesn't feel very repetitive. One may set up strong choke points and use them to kill anything coming through in the same manner each time, but if that is done then the use of resources isn't necessarily optimal as a clear strength advantage would be necessary to keep that up. With more micromanagement one is likely to achieve the same feat with less units / resources, which also increases variety in each turn's actions; of course some people would rather min-max less and prefer less micromanagement, but with a change as discussed I think they'd get neither.
     
  8. dostillevi

    dostillevi Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    Messages:
    56
    I came here to post about war difficulty on Emperor, so this seems like a good place to add my two cents:

    When making the transition from King to Emperor:

    1. The AI has enough starting units to make capturing ancient ruins difficult. It also "feels" like the AI prefers to send its units to scout around me first, and losing an early ruin feels like a reason to start over. I understand this is to counter early aggression and allow faster expansion. I wonder, could the extra early unit be exchanged for a defensive city bonus, or could one of the early AI units be limited to move within/near the AI's territory until x turns pass? This might be similar to how barbarians can't enter your territory at first.

    2. Actual combat feels fantastic. I have no complaints about the battlefield, aside from that it's a bit easy to bait the AI into moving out of position. I don't feel that individual units need buffs, when considered on their own (not accounting for changes to production, etc). However the AI can become fixated on taking a tactically difficult position, which can either result in the AI suiciding units, or getting "stuck" when it should change it's target or strategy. Ideally the AI would change targets more readily, but this is a minor complaint against an overall fantastic experience.

    3. Warmonger AI's produce absolutely massive numbers of units. As an example, I was playing Polynesia on a start with a fantastic land bridge bottleneck between me and the Huns, with the Iroquois on the Hun's side of that bridge and the Aztecs on a landmass somewhere south of me. I settled a city in the bottleneck and put down a fortress, and proceeded to war with the Huns (and eventually the Aztecs) until I quit the game. Admittedly the Huns are designed to be a terrible threat throughout the early eras, but they managed to beat back both me and the Iroquois at the same time, and then flooded me out with their unique unit. I killed dozens and dozens of their troops but saw no end to the flood, and they eventually were able to capture the bottleneck city while also fielding a massive naval force. The Iroquois may have fed them some units, but I don't think those made a substantial difference since I've seen other AI's also send in floods of units.

    The Aztec, on the other hand, failed entirely to manage an invasion via ocean. I wiped out their army several times over with just a few ships. If there's room for improvement, it would be in the proper risk assessment of embarked units and the need to counter naval power immediately. If an embarked unit is attacked and the AI doesn't have a naval unit nearby, it should prioritize building them and patrolling that area/guarding invasion forces. Continuing a naval invasion without naval escort should be discouraged once resistance is encountered.

    So all that said, I'd suggest reducing bonuses to unit production at higher levels slightly, while restricting the AI's early unit movement a bit to allow for more "fair" access to ancient ruins.

    This is all coming from an aspiring Emperor player who is finding King to be quite easy but Emperor bordering on impossible (maybe 1 in 5 games ends up being viable past the medieval era). I can't speak much to the other levels of difficulty.
     
    civplayer33 and vyyt like this.
  9. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Messages:
    8,259
    Location:
    Venice, California
    1. You can limit AI starting units (and leave everything else as is) in the Really Advanced Setup. Or... you can get used to the disadvantage. I agree that the extra pathfinder for the AI is no fun.

    3. Your situation may have been an anomaly. I can't remember even the sense of potentially being overwhelmed (let alone it happening) on a civ-wide scale. That said, you definitely get used to the size of AI armies. However, their potential size and your advance knowledge of the opponent often combine to the certainty that you're better off dealing with them sooner rather than later.

    And you're right that the AI is relatively weak on amphibious invasion. Saying "relatively" is a huge understatement, though. It's light years better than vanilla.
     
    vyyt likes this.
  10. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2016
    Messages:
    6,569
    Location:
    Malaga (Spain)
    I can't believe I missed this discussion. I really really hate grinding. I don't mind a bit of micromanagement for a while, to lay out plans and get an edge, but after that I prefer to move on to another subject.
    This, translated into combat mechanics, means that I'd like war weariness to hit sooner and supply to be lower, especially as my empire expands.
    In my later games, I never noticed war weariness in the early game, at king. And those were long bloody wars. It might have something to do with the number of units involved. More units, more chances to get some war weariness. If that's the case, then I think the only thing needed to reduce grinding is to increase war weariness, since once it starts damaging the enemy, reinforcements will stop.

    Also, it would need to take a look at how supply scale on number of cities. Whenever I expanded heavily, I found that I had 25% more supply than I needed, and let's not forget that we can go over supply limits with a cost.

    I'd limit flat supply bonuses to barracks and military grounds, and change armories and the rest to pop scaling supply. That would limit the excessive supply of wide empires.
    This, paired with a war weariness rise, will contain grinding.

    But we still have to talk about those extra starting units in Emperor+.
     
    SupTo and Moi Magnus like this.
  11. dostillevi

    dostillevi Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    Messages:
    56
    Oh that's awesome, I might try this! I didn't have that mod installed but I'll check it out. Thanks!

    That's likely. It's the only war I've ever been fully swamped in, but I still get the feeling the AI has access to maybe 1.5x to 2x the units I do, while still managing to maintain infrastructure and wonder advancement. Maybe I just need to get good.

    I'm also curious if the changes to happiness could be used as another tool to adjust difficulty, for example reducing the AI supply cap bonus, but reducing the rate at which AI war weariness ticks up compared to the players at higher levels. Ideally war weariness unhappiness should factor into the AI's willingness to end a war, and should also lead to shorter and more strategic wars, rather than primarily existential wars. I'd love to see some mechanic regarding war goals, such as an aggressor stating their goal is to do x, and if they accomplish x, they'll be more likely to end the war even if they're winning (since war weariness would tick up to an unsustainable point anyway).
     
  12. crdvis16

    crdvis16 King

    Joined:
    May 2, 2013
    Messages:
    818
    Have you played a warmonger game on the latest version? For some reason WW seems to ramp up much faster now (at least for me as the player).

    I had a game as the Zulu that was going well- I had conquered Netherlands and Brazil fairly easily/early and vassalized both. I then attempted going after Assyria around the Renaissance or so and just couldn't fight wars long enough to make progress on him. WW would shoot up to 20 or 30+ unhappiness after 15 or so turns when all that had happened was some unit deaths (mostly his), barely any tile pillaging, and maybe some trade routes lost- no cities were taken. My happiness was in a pretty decent spot before starting the war but 30+ lost when hardly anything had happened kept forcing me to sue for peace. This same scenario happened two or three times before I started to think maybe something was bugged and just abandoned the game.

    I'm still wondering if something was changed this patch, if it was a weird bug (maybe my vassal's WW was being applied to me somehow?), or if it was just all in my head and I was missing something that could explain why WW felt more punishing but just wasn't.

    I'd be curious to hear how others are doing with war this patch.
     
  13. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 King

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2018
    Messages:
    889
    Gender:
    Male
    I have similar issue with WW ramping up very quickly. I didn't lose any units and killed only a handful of enemy units. Then, I saw that I got 12 WW in a span of 15 turns or so. I play with vassals off so vassal WW isn't affecting me. However, I do find it weird that WW increases so quickly despite me not losing any units and damage is still minimal. I do think the AI is also feeling it because the AI I'm facing in this war is already asking for peace 15 turns or into the war and that's never happened in my games before.
     
  14. Revolutionist_8

    Revolutionist_8 Prince

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2016
    Messages:
    400
    Location:
    Hungary, Earth, M.W. Galaxy
    vyyt likes this.
  15. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2016
    Messages:
    6,569
    Location:
    Malaga (Spain)
    No, I didn't. It could be a bug, surely. Is this late game drag and grinding still happening with this bug? Or are we talking about the previous versions?

    For the record, when I say that after gaining an edge over the AI, war weariness should reduce reinforcements so we can take it a bit easier, I don't mean by that that I can capture any city as long as I win a battle. War weariness was also a way to make city captures after one or two wars.
     
  16. crdvis16

    crdvis16 King

    Joined:
    May 2, 2013
    Messages:
    818
    Yep, looks like a bug. Will have to retry my a warmonger game in the next version.
     
  17. CppMaster

    CppMaster King

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2018
    Messages:
    847
    Location:
    Poland
    There could be many cases that a player started playing the game at lowest difficulty and quit after few maps, because he didn't find it interesting and therefore never advanced to higher difficulties. And it wouldn't be the case only for Civ games.
    Do you have a link to this data?
     
  18. Bhawb

    Bhawb Prince

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2018
    Messages:
    500
    It is a well established fact across every game that has tracked player difficulty data that the overwhelming majority of players are "casual". I can't find the data for Civ specifically, however.
     
  19. CppMaster

    CppMaster King

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2018
    Messages:
    847
    Location:
    Poland
    Yeah, it's not really surprising, when a player who have played just 1h and quited counts the same as a player who have played 1000h and continues. Results could be different when measured difficulties played per scenario or per hour.
     
  20. Bhawb

    Bhawb Prince

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2018
    Messages:
    500
    They don't count the same, games track players who play "actively" within a certain time frame. So a game with ranked seasons would measure how many players have played some amount of games that season (usually either 1 game, or enough games to finish placements). And games like Civ don't really care if you put in 1 or 1k hours, you have to buy the game either way.

    For example in Hearthstone, of the players that played rank (active players who play in a season) 75% were in ranks 15-25, 10-15 is 17.5%, 5-10 is 5.5%, 1-5 is 2%, and Legend is 0.5%.

    In League of Legends, only 10% of the playerbase actively plays ranked, and even then there are people who have played thousands of hours and are still so bad they needed to create an even lower tier of ranked play than they already had.

    Obviously results will be a bit different if you weighted by hours played, but overall a ton of players really don't care about getting better or difficulty, they just play to have fun and since they don't engage on the forums/guides/etc., they aren't going to get very high in difficulty.
     

Share This Page