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AI's Favorite Techs

Discussion in 'Civ3 Strategy Articles' started by DaveMcW, Jul 9, 2005.

  1. DaveMcW

    DaveMcW Chieftain

    Oct 8, 2002
    These are the 20 favorite techs of the Conquests AI. Never research them if you can trade!

    Top 20
    1. Rocketry
    2. Replaceable Parts
    3. Bronze Working
    4. Nationalism
    5. Flight
    6. Warrior Code
    7. Invention
    8. Feudalism
    9. Gunpowder
    10. Computers
    11. Map Making
    12. Astronomy
    13. Magnetism
    14. Combustion
    15. Fission
    16. Ceremonial Burial
    17. Pottery
    18. The Wheel
    19. Masonry
    20. Iron Working

    These are the 20 most avoided AI techs. You can easily get a monopoly, but some of them are pretty useless!

    Bottom 20
    1. Facism
    2. Democracy
    3. Atomic Theory
    4. Steel
    5. Superconductor
    6. Ironclads
    7. Integrated Defense
    8. Smart Weapons
    9. The Laser
    10. Physics
    11. Chemistry
    12. Printing Press
    13. The Laser
    14. Communism
    15. Espionage
    16. Nuclear Power
    17. Recycling
    18. Currency
    19. The Republic
    20. Stealth

    Favorite techs by era:

    All Ancient Techs
    1. Bronze Working
    2. Warrior Code
    3. Pottery
    4. Ceremonial Burial
    5. The Wheel
    6. Masonry
    7. Map Making
    8. Mysticism
    9. Iron Working
    10. Horseback Riding
    11. Alphabet
    12. Philosophy
    13. Writing
    14. Mathematics
    15. Code of Laws
    16. Polytheism
    17. Construction
    18. Literature
    19. Monarchy
    20. Currency
    21. Republic

    All Middle Age Techs
    1. Invention
    2. Feudalism
    3. Gunpowder
    4. Astronomy
    5. Magnetism
    6. Navigation
    7. Literature
    8. Theology
    9. Chivalry
    10. Monarchy
    11. Engineering
    12. The Republic
    13. Theory of Gravity
    14. Monotheism
    15. Education
    16. Economics
    17. Metallurgy
    18. Military Tradition
    19. Banking
    20. Music Theory
    21. Printing Press
    22. Free Artistry
    23. Chemistry
    24. Physics
    25. Democracy

    All Industrial Techs
    1. Replaceable Parts
    2. Nationalism
    3. Flight
    4. Combustion
    5. Steam Power
    6. Refining
    7. Industrialization
    8. Electronics
    9. Navigation
    10. Mass Production
    11. Chivalry
    12. Scientific Method
    13. Motorized Transport
    14. Electricity
    15. Advanced Flight
    16. Economics
    17. Military Tradition
    18. Music Theory
    19. Free Artistry
    20. The Corporation
    21. Sanitation
    22. Amphibious Warfare
    23. Espionage
    24. Printing Press
    25. Medicine
    26. Communism
    27. Ironclads
    28. Steel
    29. Atomic Theory
    30. Democracy
    31. Facism

    All Modern Techs
    1. Rocketry
    2. Nationalism
    3. Computers
    4. Fission
    5. Synthetic Fibers
    6. Genetics
    7. Miniaturization
    8. Space Flight
    9. Robotics
    10. Ecology
    11. Advanced Flight
    12. Satellites
    13. Sanitation
    14. Amphibious Warfare
    15. Stealth
    16. Recycling
    17. Nuclear Power
    18. Espionage
    19. The Laser
    20. Smart Weapons
    21. Integrated Defense
    22. Communism
    23. Ironclads
    24. Superconductor
    25. Facism


    Thanks to Ambiorix for the excel spreadsheet I used to calculate this.

    Thanks to alexman for explaining the AI tech choice formula.

    For more detailed AI research probabilities, check the link above or the attached spreadsheet.

    Attached Files:

  2. sanabas

    sanabas Psycho Bunny Hall of Fame Staff

    Nov 24, 2004
    Canberra, Australia
    Looks interesting, but a few of those go against what I've experienced. Is it possible you left out the ability to get a new govt as a reason to research? Democracy & Fascism are the 2 worst, and Communism is bottom 15, but in most games I've played, the AI will go for all 3 of those almost as soon as it has a chance.
  3. Theoden

    Theoden Chieftain GOTM Staff

    Sep 17, 2003
    Nice work :)

    This looks promising but I too often find the AI researching many of the bottom techs before they should. Could there be a random element included?
  4. DaveMcW

    DaveMcW Chieftain

    Oct 8, 2002
    Yes, there is a random element. The top 5 or so techs in an era will be researched at close to 100% probablility, but it gets harder to predict as you go down the list.
  5. Ansar

    Ansar Détente avec l'été

    May 20, 2005
    Ithaca, NY (soon)
    Well, actually, apart from Literature and Ironclads, the AI has a tendency to research Non-needed techs. THeye also research all governments, especially facism and communism, its like tey do a beeline.
  6. Cuivienen

    Cuivienen Chieftain

    Nov 26, 2003
    Yes, I think that you overestimate the AI's tendency to avoid non-required techs. In my experience, while Printing Press, Ironclads and Literature are certainly easy to get monopolies on, The Republic, Democracy, Economics and Espionage are not.
  7. shortguy

    shortguy It's a working title

    Mar 27, 2004
    the hook
    The only reason that I won COTM 13 was that the AIs spent the large (20-30-40) number of turns by which they beat me to the IA on Nationalism and the optional techs stemming from it.
  8. Doc Tsiolkovski

    Doc Tsiolkovski Deity

    May 4, 2003
    Köln, Cologne, Colonia. Finally.
    Have to agree. The lists sounds highly accurate, with the huge exception of Communism and Fascism. In my experience, the AI will always go Nationalism-> Comm - > Fascism before they research Steam Power.
    And IMHO Nat is the top choice number one - way before Rocketry and BW. You will also see that in mods - it's the Drafting, MPPs and Mobilization that makes a tech so appealing for the AI. Much more than the Alu from Rocketry. And both give a resource-free defender/attacker.

    There also seems some dependance on the level: The research choice for the leading AI is one thing; but once one of them has Nat/Fasc/Comm, the costs drop, and all others will follow instead of getting Steam. The level matters here because if the human has the tech lead, other techs will be researched first (especially Steam), making them cheaper for the AI.

    Edit: Actually, after looking at Alexman's :worship: tab again, I really wonder how you came to rating Rocketry above Nat:

    Nationalism: 259 (conscription) + 259 (mob) + 198 (defender) + 134 (attacker) + 8 (MPP) +2 (specialist) =860
    Divide by 1.5 (optional) = 573.3333333

    Rocketry: 198 (defender) + 134 (attacker) + 4 (Jet Fighters, CM) + 16 (alu) = 352

    And the optional Gov techs Comm and Fasc score 261 (Police Stations)/259 divided by 1.5 = 174/172.666666

    Steam: 16 (Coal) + 1 (RR) + 6 (Iron Works) = 23

    Of course, the tech costs need to be figured into the calculation. But that depends on the number of Civs who already know that tech - and it for sure doesn't equalize a 174:23 ratio...
  9. eldar

    eldar ChiefTank

    Apr 19, 2004
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    I agree that the AIs will always beeline Commie & Fascism. They're almost obsessive about it. In COTM14, everyone researched these - which of course they're reluctant to trade around once they have them - slowed the AI help I'd had in the middle ages from a veritable fountain, to a crawl (all I got from them was Industrialization, as opposed to 4 or 5 techs in the middle ages).

    I'm wondering if a better human strategy would be to research all three (Nationalism, plus the two govts), and gift them to the AI, in order to set them on the right path?!

    I'd certainly gift them as soon as I can trade for them, if I think a particular AI is going to be helpful (again, COTM14 - by the time I'd finished Flight+Mech Transport, not one single AI out of those remaining, all of them by then Industrial, had researched Medicine :crazyeye: )
  10. Drakan

    Drakan Voluntas Omnia Vincit

    Jun 15, 2004
    At last, we needed this thread badly. :goodjob: Dave.
  11. KrikkitTwo

    KrikkitTwo Immortal

    Apr 3, 2004
    Remember, the bonus from government itself depends on the cost, (so you would divide the 259 by ~4-20 depending on the size of the AI) Meaning that it does equalize a 174:23 ratio..if it takes the AI about 8 turns to get Com or Fasc.
  12. TimBentley

    TimBentley Chieftain

    Apr 26, 2004
    Troy, MI
    Did you alter the research rate (or whatever the best name for it would be) as you went through the technologies, or did you leave it at one value (for example, the default 10) for all technologies? That could cause the discrepencies in your list and game experience. In particular, communism and fascism would be much more desirable (due to the government bonus based on tech cost).
  13. TimBentley

    TimBentley Chieftain

    Apr 26, 2004
    Troy, MI
    Here's an alternate list, based roughly on 10-turn research. The research multipliers (which when multiplied by the base cost equal the research time) were 3 for the first-tier ancient age techs; 2 for the second-tier techs; 1 for the third-tier techs; .3 for the middle age techs up to education, music theory, printing press, and gunpowder; .1 for the rest of the middle age techs; .05 for the industrial techs up to refining, steel, electricity, and scientific method; .04 for the rest of the industrial techs; and .03 for the modern age techs. Some of those values are probably off, but changing them didn't significantly change the research order, so I left them where they are. In particular the third-tier ancient age value is probably too high.

    1. Rocketry
    2. Replaceable Parts
    3. Nationalism
    4. Flight
    5. Bronze Working
    6. Warrior Code
    7. Invention
    8. Feudalism
    9. Space Flight
    10. Computers
    11. Synthetic Fibers
    12. Gunpowder
    13. Astronomy
    14. Superconductor
    15. Magnetism
    16. Combustion
    17. Map Making
    18. Satellites
    19. The Laser
    20. Steam Power
    21. Fission
    22. Robotics
    23. Communism
    24. Scientific Method
    25. Mass Production
    26. The Corporation
    27. Industrialization
    28. Banking
    29. Medicine
    30. Fascism
    31. Motorized Transportation
    32. Sanitation
    33. Democracy
    34. Philosophy
    35. Refining
    36. Free Artistry
    37. Electronics
    38. Pottery
    38. Ceremonial Burial
    40. Metallurgy
    41. Chemistry
    42. The Wheel
    43. Iron Working
    44. Theory of Gravity
    45. Electricity
    46. Physics
    47. Navigation
    48. Construction
    49. Espionage
    50. Amphibious Warfare
    51. Mysticism
    52. Ecology
    53. Genetics
    54. Recycling
    55. Steel
    56. Miniaturization
    57. Writing
    58. Economics
    59. Ironclads
    60. Nuclear Power
    61. Masonry
    62. Atomic Theory
    63. Smart Weapons
    64. Stealth
    65. Military Tradition
    66. Horseback Riding
    67. Engineering
    68. Advanced Flight
    69. Theology
    70. Code of Laws
    71. Polytheism
    72. Monotheism
    73. Mathematics
    74. Chivalry
    75. Integrated Defense
    76. Education
    77. Literature
    78. Alphabet
    79. Monarchy
    80. Music Theory
    81. Currency
    82. Printing Press
    83. The Republic

    The previous list was made using the research multiplier when the tech could be researched; the following lists use the lower multiplier of the next level for older techs (such as optional techs in the next age). These lists show the order the AI would research the techs in.

    Ancient Age:
    1. Bronze Working
    2. Warrior Code
    3. Pottery
    3. Ceremonial Burial
    5. The Wheel
    6. Iron Working
    7. Masonry
    8. Mysticism
    9. Horseback Riding
    10. Alphabet
    11. Writing
    12. Map Making
    13. Philosophy
    14. Mathematics
    15. Construction
    16. Code of Laws
    17. Polytheism
    18. Literature
    19. Monarchy
    20. Currency
    21. The Republic

    Middle Ages:
    1. Feudalism
    2. The Republic
    3. Engineering
    4. Invention
    5. Gunpowder
    6. Monotheism
    7. Theology
    8. Chivalry
    9. Education
    10. Astronomy
    11. Banking
    12. Printing Press
    13. Democracy
    14. Free Artistry
    15. Music Theory
    16. Chemistry
    17. Metallurgy
    18. Physics
    19. Magnetism
    20. Theory of Gravity
    21. Navigation
    22. Economics
    23. Military Tradition

    Industrial Age:
    1. Nationalism
    2. Navigation
    3. Economics
    4. Steam Power
    5. Military Tradition
    6. Communism
    7. Industrialization
    8. The Corporation
    9. Medicine
    10. Fascism
    11. Sanitation
    12. Electricity
    13. Replaceable Parts
    14. Scientific Method
    15. Refining
    16. Espionage
    17. Steel
    18. Combustion
    19. Flight
    20. Mass Production
    21. Motorized Transportation
    22. Ironclads
    23. Amphibious Warfare
    24. Atomic Theory
    25. Electronics
    26. Advanced Flight

    Modern Age:
    1. Rocketry
    2. Space Flight
    3. Computers
    4. Satellites
    5. Fission
    6. Superconductor
    7. Ecology
    8. Synthetic Fibers
    9. Recycling
    10. Advanced Flight
    11. Miniaturization
    12. Genetics
    13. Nuclear Power
    14. The Laser
    15. Robotics
    16. Smart Weapons
    17. Stealth
    18. Integrated Defense

    Some civs may, due to their UU, have a different priority. Those with significant differences are Rome, Japan, India, Spain, and Maya. Significantly missing is in that list is Babylon, whose bowman is not defensive in C3C.

    There are some indications of problems with this list, such as literature before monarchy, military tradition being last in the middle ages, medicine (and several other techs) before fascism, and computers and fission being so low in the modern age.

    P.S. DocT, the values for conscription and mobilization are divided by the number of turns.
  14. Doc Tsiolkovski

    Doc Tsiolkovski Deity

    May 4, 2003
    Köln, Cologne, Colonia. Finally.
    Sure. But so are the values for anything (unless I completely missunderstand the whole topic).
    And I was using that mainly to adress the Steam Engine - Communis issue, with the same tech cost modifier. Rocketry for sure is the most desirable tech for the AI in te Modern Era, and in my experience trading for the conscription tech is always the most expensive trade - that's why I figured Nat would come for Rocketry in an overall ranking.
    However, the real big issue why experience doesn't match the proposed list: Research time.
    In the levels I usually play (Emperor and above), the leading AI(s) will be able to reseach Nationalism and the next Gov techs in 4 turns - and after they're done with it, the costs for the midsize AIs has dropped enough to allow them a 4-6 turn research as well.
    So, they may occasionally go for Steam earlier - but they NEVER will prefer Medicine (as you already mention).
    And, the equitation doesn't explain why they'd ever research Ironclads - any other choice at that time (before only AT is left as next mandatory tech) would be more desirable (the 4 IA techs rated even lower could be the best choice at one point; 2 are mandatory, and the other 2 considerably cheaper than Rocketry, so the research time modifier comes into play).

    And, in the Middle Ages list Navigation simply doesn't work. The AI will almost always go there first before Physics and often before Metallurgy.
    Also, Polytheism is, from experience, a beloved AI tech - much more than CoL, for example.

    Something else: Certain Civs prefer to research different techs. That is absolutely reasonable if it relates to their UU (Rome). But I cannot see anything explaining why America and Ottomans head to Polytheism for about 99% of the time. Before Alpha.
    It could be that traits affect research choices; other IND Civs have different priorities here (Persia - IW, Maya - WC/BW, France/China/ Carthage - BW, Egypt - Wheel/BW). Of course, America wants BW as well - but will either get it from a hut soon, or due to the easier contacts, trade for it.

    Bottom line: I don't think the whole subject is fully understood ;).
  15. oldStatesman

    oldStatesman Cybernaut

    Feb 18, 2005
    Random Map
    Just found this. Great discussion.

    However I too find a great disconnect between the statistical analysis of what they should research, and the practical reality of what they DO research.

    My observations:

    Natioanalism. Number one. Communism and Fascism. Always.

    Rocketry - almost always.

    Steam Power and the path to ToE....almost never.


    Democracy - very good chance. Free Artistry and music theory - high choices. Printing press low until they get banking.

    Literature - never. Philosophy - low. Road to monarchy - high. Road to construction - high. Map Making - moderate.

    Ironclads and Economics - be certain at least one AI civ will research one of these in a game. Seems to be random which one.

    Modern era - they all drive towards Space Flight and will pretty much ignore the rest of the tree - but if they get the chance to be on it (Computers free tech for sci civs) they will beeline for Genetics.

    This list is from my personal experience only - not great, but it does seem to contradict the statistical choices for whatever reason. Perhaps there is a scripted sub-routine for the AI to follow for techs that activates sometimes....
  16. civ_steve

    civ_steve Chieftain Retired Moderator GOTM Staff

    Mar 25, 2002
    formerly Santa Clarita, California
    Very nice! The list is quite useful and the discussion as well. I've noted differences myself between AI behavior and Dave's list, but I'd agree with about 80% - 85% of it. Very funny that Nationalism is an optional Tech but practically the #1 AI research priority!!
  17. azzaman333

    azzaman333 meh

    Apr 9, 2005
    Melbourne, AUS Reputation:131^(9/2)
    from my experiences, the AA techs researched vary for nearly every civ. I've found that the Byzantines go for Philo most of the time, because it has a wonder which starts their golden age, Greece seem to go straight for Constuction and Currency, and the Japanese seem to go for Mystism very early.
  18. Icmancin

    Icmancin WSNR Pte

    Feb 26, 2005
    The True North
    I found the smae as azzaman. I found that the AI like Nationalism even though it isn't required everyone jumps for it first.
  19. Beorn-eL-Feared

    Beorn-eL-Feared Idiot riding pedals

    Jan 30, 2005
    R³ x T's nbhd of North singularity
    If I may, I think the lists would be more relevant in a more number-wise elaborate fashion: adding both the numbers for priority value and cost; setting a few more scales for comparison (early, mid, late-AA, etc.). That way it would be easier to see why the AI researches AA government techs before literature so often, or how it would deal with researching maths when MM is available for research and when it is not.

    Edit: it's already being done, I just read the other thread about calcs :blush: It does make for odd stuff vs game reality though, esp. govts, but nevertheless 80%+ accurate at least.
  20. AutomatedTeller

    AutomatedTeller Frequent poster

    Jan 25, 2006
    Medford, MA
    There are reasons to research pottery/ceremonial burial if you don't start with them, even if they are favorites of the AI.

    Pottery can get you granaries early, which are very useful.

    If you have SGL's on, pottery is cheap and if no one else has it, you can get an SGL for it easily, as the AI will be researching WC/BW/CB/The Wheel.

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