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AI not conquering each other kills this game for me

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Krajzen, Nov 2, 2020.

  1. Krajzen

    Krajzen Deity

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    Why are AIs not conquering each other, not creating empires, and it does seem I am the only one complaining about it?

    Seriously, in civ5 the world was very much alive, dynamic, interesting, you were just one of expanding empires. AIs were fighting each other, conquering, empires were rapidly spawning and then collapsing eaten by another empire, not to mention wonderful dynamism of late game ideologic cold war but that's separate thing. Some AIs were failures, some were strong pacifists, some were creating monstrous behemoth empires... Of course it has added a lot to the difficulty level, as AI was capable of creating powerful states just like human.

    In civ6 I feel as if I were the only active player in the world. AI denounce each other, sometimes have "war", but rarely actually capture cities from each other and even rarer actually manage to create empires via conquest. The world is passive, static and BORING. No mod fixed that for me.

    The end result is: if I manage to prosper in the early game, repulse obligatiry early invasion, then conquer one or two AIs entirely, then I am set for the victory as no one is going to reach my size of empire. Also, no penalties for wide and snowball of this game enforce this, so as you can see many terrible aspects of this game are at place.

    Why is no one complaining about this? It's as if everybody was too focused on city building sim and pathetically easy human on AI conquests to notice the world being static, boring and easy to steamroll.

    This issue is my personal obsession in strategy games, as it is quite common yet underreported, which makes me question my sanity. No wonder people complain about the difficulty - you are the only one building an empire in the arena of pacifists.
     
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  2. iammaxhailme

    iammaxhailme Emperor

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    I have seen AI wipe out entire other AIs, but it's very rare, and I agree it should happen more.

    I think they do try, but they're so bad at combat that they never succeed; it's easier for a dumb AI to defend by having walls + city attacks than it is for a dumb AI to win offensively and get around those problems.
     
  3. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    Can't say I notice this. I usually end up never meeting 1-2 civs because they died early.
     
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  4. Disgustipated

    Disgustipated Deity

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    I've mostly seen it with the stronger ones like Byzantine, Colombia, and Rome.
     
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  5. Time Tested

    Time Tested Chieftain

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    I never really played Civ 5, but played lots of Civs 2-4. I have the same overall feeling with VI in that I don't have any sense that the AI interact with each other. In Civ 4, I recall leaders asking you to denounce other leaders. I would love to see the AI in VI try to rope me into their feuds, as it would make me feel part of the world.

    War aside, I would like to see more pressure resulting from basic relationship modifiers than leader agendas. The agendas feel hollow, but having an AI hound me to e.g. switch to Communism and have a continually decreasing modifier would make me feel the pain. These modifiers exist, but only in the background, and aren't even that severe.
     
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  6. Eva-kun

    Eva-kun Chieftain

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    Since the game gear towards wide play, it would help the AI if they get edge in science/culture by just being a dominating civ. It's rare it occur. While it can conquer easily in ancient era, it struggles afterwards due to walls.If they're even in armies and walls are up, nothing generally going to happen.
     
  7. Barbarian King

    Barbarian King Prince

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    On occasion the AI does manage to take over other civs, but it could happen more frequently. In my current game the English (Vic) and Scythians double-teamed the Zulu and totally wiped them out, taking something like 5 cities down in the process. I think it doesn't happen more often because unless the attacker is more advanced cities can be very difficult for the AI to conquer.
     
  8. Mahi

    Mahi Prince

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    AI can conquer other AIs but it only really happens before walls and one of the AIs get a poor start.
    The problems is, as you say the passive play through late game. I'm not sure, but it seemed to me their was some kind of script in Civ 5 that triggered tensions between all players possible through adopting ideology. This often resulted in a, more or less full scale world war between different alliances. What we need in Civ 6 is a reason for the AI to start to hate each other in late game, just as in Civ 5. The dynamics between AIs are too passive. In general AIs need too bere more aggressive in Civ 6 instead..
    But as stated by many others, in other threads walls need to be nerfed. They are too effective for the AI. Even when waring against a non-human player.
     
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  9. Oberinspektor Derrick

    Oberinspektor Derrick Warlord

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    Yeah, walls are the main culprit here, and buffing walls was a mistake to begin with. It hurts the AI and enforces a meta where the human should rush from the ancient era to get lots of cities before walls, and then play rather casually until Flight and Advanced Flight which lets you steamroll the walls again. Very boring. I personally hate how medieval/renaissance eras are all too often so god damn passive in regards to domination, which is a shame.
     
  10. oSiyeza

    oSiyeza Prince

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    You are not the only one complaining about it. I, and many others more eloquently than me, have expressed many many times that the lack of military competition of the AI is the worst aspect of the game. To the point that I think domination victory is nonfunctional, which makes the game broken in one of its more fundamental parts.

    Fxs just spent 4 years without addressing the problem, and I think that can only be attributed now to the game being such a mess that is just too expensive to fix without redoing too much of the game, or it being done by design. Maybe as an intentional way to diminish the importance of war; or maybe to remove the ability of the AI to eliminate the player from the game.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2020
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  11. leandrombraz

    leandrombraz Emperor

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    Because the game is fun despite that flaw. People do complain about it, you just won't see the conversation focused on that issue all the time, since people enjoy the game and they want to talk about what's enjoyable too. It is, however, one of the main complaints from people that don't stick with Civ VI and choose to go back to V.

    The game has this issue since launch, with some improvements along the way, but nothing truly impactful. If people still playing the game 4 years later, it shows that, even though desirable, an AI truly capable of expansion through conquest isn't necessary for Civ to be an enjoyable experience for a considerable number of people.
     
  12. Tiger Genocide

    Tiger Genocide Prince

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    Nothing quite frightened you more than a notification that Atilla had two original capitals, or seeing impi carpets of doom with 2 or more wipe outs of other AIs. And you just finished making the national college more or less!

    The crazy thing was that not every playthrough was like this either! Sometimes Alexander was on a rampage or even Ramkangheng! Normally they would go for diplomatic victory. That was the sheer beauty of the personality system of civ5. I know people hate it when I bring it up but the agenda system is the worst aspect of Civ6. They should have abandoned it years ago.

    The more I see from Firaxis on Civ 6, the less I blame the casual builder types for the direction, and the more I blame Anton and his crew. It's obvious by now that they are more casual than the average player on this forum!!!
     
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  13. oSiyeza

    oSiyeza Prince

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    I would say that is more fair to say that while most people here enjoy the game despite this issue.

    Many have given up on Fxs fixing it, and many have also given up on the game because of this and other issues, such as considering the game too shallow and with many mechanics that seem to be there just to tick some boxes.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2020
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  14. jasper

    jasper Warlord

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    Might be a problem with ai being too balanced with each other and being too rational.

    If ais are left to their own devices then it seems very likely that they should all be in very similar situations with each other at any given time. They dont have vastly different playstyles or build orders.

    At turn 30 they should all have simlar cities numbers, military, tech, districts etc. Therefore it wouldnt make much sense to war each other since they are so similar in strength.

    Humans are different since we are greedy so 50 50 risks are worth it. We also better players and can do more with even or worse military strength.
     
  15. Nic@Melbourne

    Nic@Melbourne Chieftain

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    I have followed these forums for years but never post.

    I enjoy this game but this is definitely it's one glaring flaw.
    In 100s of games I have only seen AI civs wipe out others rarely.
    Also never seen the AI use aircraft at all, or navy in a coordinated way.
    So what has changed from Civ 5-6 that has made the AI less able?
    Are the walls that much stronger than in Civ 5?
    I think having districts made the planning too complex for the AI to get organised.

    I thought the loyalty mechanic would help when it came out, to flip weaker empires but it just contains the AI's meagre advances.
     
  16. Oberinspektor Derrick

    Oberinspektor Derrick Warlord

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    Yes, the walls are a lot stronger in civ 6 compared to civ 5.
    In civ 5, every city had a ranged attack by default, and walls only gave cities a health buff and more combat strength.
    This made cities tankier, but by no means was it the "get out of jail free"-card that it is now.

    In civ 6, walls give a "health buff" (the blue "wall meter"), add a ranged attack, add city combat strength, and lets the "wall meter" take -85% reduced damage from melee units and -50% from ranged units (which already suffer a -17 combat strength penalty, evening it out).
    Overall, this makes a massive difference going from no walls to ancient walls, as the city being attacked (from the AIs standpoint) suddenly needs about a 3-4 fold increase in manpower to take down.
    Add in the fact that the AI is pretty bad at combat, having them lose most of their forces only in order to take down perhaps 1/3 of the wall strength, makes conquering cities very difficult for them.

    As humans we can somewhat circumvent that by using battering rams, siege towers and siege units, but even in these cases you have some cities with such a difficult terrain layout which makes it tremendously hard for even a human to break.
    Also related, civ 6 no longer has the upgrade options for siege units like +1 range and indirect fire.
    This forces you to always roll siege units into counter battery fire range, and sometimes even right next to the city because of lack of line of sight.
    This creates some issues, because not only can you outright lose 1-2 siege units per turn if you roll them in against a high combat strength city, but you sometimes don't even have enough tiles to fire from (and thus seriously damage the walls) even if you do get them set up.

    Overall, a presence of a strong city behind difficult terrain can sometimes halt further domination efforts outright until Flight and Advanced Flight arrive, at which point you can safely ignore walls for the rest of the game.
    Walls in civ 6 are thus a severe speed bump for humans, and an outright showstopper for the AI.
     
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  17. Depravo

    Depravo Siring Bastards

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    For gameplay's sake at the very least the AI should care A LOT if you're in a formal alliance with anyone it hates.

    The situation where you can spend the back half of the game perpetually allied with the same five civs regardless of ideology, war or any other factor is demented.
     
  18. Pfeffersack

    Pfeffersack Deity

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    Excellent write- and sum-up of what contributes to the issue :)

    I would like to add one more point here: Encampments. They add another source of counter battery fire compared to Civ5 and in the worst case, the low minimum distance between cities (I always would have prefered it to be one tile more...) can lead to 3 or 4 of those attacks per turn. And I haven't even talked about the Gauls UD here...
     
  19. Josephias

    Josephias Emperor

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    I agree with Oberinspektor argument above, plus Encampents add-on commented by Pfeffersack.
    But I need to make a note: these changes to walls and siege made the domination game much more interesting (for me as a human player).
    However, unfortunately, and tying to Krajzen worries in the OP, this leads to stagnant AI specially in the last part of the game.

    Siege is a bit more complex now, and AI seems to not have been coded to handle it.

    And.. it is harder because of the quoted text above: siege units have been downgraded from thier civ5 counterparts. Also, they are still "units", so they occupy an hex and cannot be easily defended (specially due to they need to be in "near" (2-tile) range to be able to attack. As said above, positioning is a hard challenge for a human, needless to say for an AI as, by nature of the game each new siege characteristics (hills, forests, terrain) are "random".

    Moving siege units to support category might be useful (actually, it would be nice if the support category would be revamped so the "normal" thing would be to use always 2-unit (combat+support) stacks, and that would be the thing you would tell the AI to do. (i.e. you could move the "recon" class (scouts, skirmishers,...) also to support. (And to balance that, give support units HP and Defense stats, so they can venture alone if necessary)).

    If that's too big for a change, maybe toning down cities attack power could do the trick. At this point, cities can almost one-shot many units, while this should not be the case. They can (should) be strong on defense, as sieging should slow down enemy armies, but it should not cripple them that much. If a general reduction in power is seen as too mach, maybe it should be keept for range1, but range 2 should only do half or 1/4 damage that it does now.
     
  20. Oberinspektor Derrick

    Oberinspektor Derrick Warlord

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    I agree that a challenge for the human is good, but the binary way that walls have been implemented (either you have them, or you don't) leads to an overall less interesting game for me personally.
    Sure, plotting how to take out that city can be fun, but more often than not, it creates this meta where I rush my enemies as fast as possible in the ancient era before walls are up, and then I basically don't care about walls once I hit Flight/Advanced Flight.
    More often than not, I've found myself thinking "screw this, I'll just beeline and wait for Flight/Advanced Flight another 25 turns, and spend my time building up peacefully in the meantime".
    And once balloons and especially bombers are online, I just resume blitzing through the remainder of the enemy cities until I quite predictably win the game.
    Unfortunately though, this kills off Medieval and especially Renaissance warfare for me quite a bit, while the game becomes easy mode once bombers arrive.
    The change in pacing is like night and day once those bombers arrive, and it is this meta of rushing Flight/Advanced Flight every time that makes the game overall less interesting for me.
    Related, I'd generally like to see a wall nerf, as well as a bomber nerf as well, in order to pace the game better.

    Nice suggestions by the way, and I agree that letting siege units stack with regular combat units would go a long way to solve the issue of siege units being taken out too fast (or taking up too much space around a city).
     
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