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AIs starting with a free worker - discussion & poll.

Discussion in 'Community Patch Project' started by LifeOfBrian, Sep 9, 2019.

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What are your thoughts on the AI starting with a free worker?

  1. I dislike it and wish it were removed, without compensating the AI in any way

    9 vote(s)
    15.8%
  2. I wish it were removed, but w/ somehow compensating the AI (e.g bigger ABC bonus numbers)

    24 vote(s)
    42.1%
  3. I like it, it should stay how it is

    4 vote(s)
    7.0%
  4. I think the AI should get the free worker a bit later in the game (e.g. when AI gets its 1st tech)

    5 vote(s)
    8.8%
  5. I don't know, undecided

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. I don't care, que sera sera

    4 vote(s)
    7.0%
  7. I think it should remain as it is, but add an "off" option in game settings

    4 vote(s)
    7.0%
  8. It should stay how it is with the human ALSO getting a free worker

    7 vote(s)
    12.3%
  1. LifeOfBrian

    LifeOfBrian Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2019
    Messages:
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    On higher difficulties, the AI starts with a free worker, which usually represents quite a big bonus for the AI. There's been a lot of discussion on this recently, so I thought it'd be best if we had a consolidated thread on this, with a poll to see how the community feels. Perhaps all this will in some small way help Gazebo decide whether to change anything.
     
  2. andersw

    andersw Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    Messages:
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    Location:
    sweden
    I think its good if its an on off option.
    The free worker leads often to worker steal, which means a boost to human player (and handicap to nearby AI), there is also gold to be gained from pillaging improved tiles.
    Early improved tiles is huge and leads into a "human plays a different game than the AI", (which is already the case with for example diplomacy) but ... I'm not a big fan of the free worker.

    If you don't manage or dont want to steal AI have a big advantage, even more so with for example pyramids as early tech.
    However, it would probably be a bit too easy?? for some diety players if the free stuff isnt there.

    Edit: and yes maybe a free worker later is more balanced, how much later , well....
     
  3. LifeOfBrian

    LifeOfBrian Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2019
    Messages:
    46
    Thanks for the reply, I forgot to include an option for those who want an "off" option in the game setting. I changed the poll to add that option.
     
  4. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 2, 2013
    Messages:
    810
    I personally don't want the game made any easier so initially was in favor of either keeping the free worker as is or if it's gotten rid of, compensating the AI with bigger ABC values (preferably A if that's the right one for early game).

    The more I think about it the more I am inclined to lean towards removing the free worker and increasing 'A'. The free worker will tend to favor AI starts near resources or tiles that can be improved earlier so I don't really like the idea of AI near the later resources falling behind. Bumping the passive bonuses would presumably be more neutral?

    My only concern would be if it's difficult to bump 'A' well enough to keep the AI competitive in the very early game. I don't want the early game rush for settling, wonders, and religion to become too easy.
     
  5. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2005
    Messages:
    5,050
    My preference would be worker removal with ABC increases. I would rather all of the difficulties scale up organically, as opposed to this somewhat "jarring" increases that create large scale effects.
     
    CppMaster likes this.
  6. Asterix Rage

    Asterix Rage Warlord

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    947
    "On higher difficulties". All is said
     
    saamohod and SpankmyMetroid like this.
  7. WLanky13

    WLanky13 Chieftain

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    Sep 5, 2019
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    Male
    I think it is important for the AI to get free stuff because otherwise the AI is too stupid for the game to be competitive. It needs cheats like being able to upgrade units extremely easily to be able to stay in the game because without a the AI cheating, it would be way to easy to win on Deity without significant improvements to the intelligence of the AI. Although, it would make sense to compensate the AI if it was balanced enough and didn’t make the game easier. It is also super useful to be able to steal their worker very early so you don’t have to build one yourself until later.
     
    SpankmyMetroid likes this.
  8. KittyKat3120

    KittyKat3120 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2018
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    41
    I think the both the ai and the player should have a free worker at the start as the ai already has an advantage of improving tiles quicker.
     
  9. LifeOfBrian

    LifeOfBrian Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2019
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    Thanks for the replies. I added the poll option of "the human player should get a free worker as well", just in case.
     
  10. Legen

    Legen Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2015
    Messages:
    686
    I imagine the free worker may also affect Emperor+ balance on AI policies that we didn't envision, since it is a pseudo Liberty policy for every AI. Certain pantheons as well, which are based on early improvements. May not be what's happnening, but, just in case, I prefer replacing the free worker for higher ABC coefficients.
     
  11. Bromar1

    Bromar1 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2015
    Messages:
    737
    Yeah this is my biggest issue. AI that start on heavy forest start have a useless worker draining gold vs AI starting on flood plains who immediately start getting value.

    Plus it just snowballs into itself too much. Getting farms for +2 food before t10 means they are settling faster, while others are still trying to find a use for the worker
     
    vyyt likes this.
  12. Asterix Rage

    Asterix Rage Warlord

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    947
    I change my vote
    from I like it, it should stay how it is
    to I wish it were removed, but w/ somehow compensating the AI (e.g bigger ABC bonus numbers)
     
  13. Earf

    Earf Chieftain

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    Apr 17, 2019
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    I play Emperor/Standard/Epic with 9 AI civs. I recently removed the starting worker from the AI, and never looked back. Every game has been much more fun to play. The AI still has enough advantages where they are still ahead of me, without it being too difficult for me to catch up. When the AI had a starting worker, I ended up abandoning the majority of my games because there was always a run away or two that I could not compete with. The starting worker gives the AI such a big advantage, it allowed the AI to get so far ahead (to the point where I didn't think the game was fun anymore). With the recent changes to settlers requiring 4 pop and taking 1 pop away after completion, that starting worker gives the AI an even bigger advantage by allowing them to get to that 4 pop faster, putting out more cities, and expanding faster. So I am in favor of removing the starting worker for the AI. Even if the starting worker is not taken out from the AI's starting bonuses by default, I will be editing the game to do just that (thanks to really adv setup mod).
     
  14. Bromar1

    Bromar1 Chieftain

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    What if your very first worker that can be purchased only cost 100 gold?
    Gives more flexibility to the AI if they want to rush farms or wait for techs. Benefits both human and AI but definitely favors AI who have gold to spare
     
  15. Kim Dong Un

    Kim Dong Un The One & Unly Supporter

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    Worker should be kept for Deity and removed from all other difficulties, with early game values tweaked to compensate.
     
    WLanky13 and BiteInTheMark like this.
  16. Earf

    Earf Chieftain

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    With games I've played, the only trouble the AI has had is in expanding early. AI civs will settle 2nd city before, our around the same time that I do. I usually end up with my 3rd and 4th cities before most AI civs. However, they usually catch up and tend to have more cities later on than my empire (probably because of bonuses). I find I can't settle more than 5 or 6 cities before going into an unhappiness spiral, and AI has no problem exceeding that number of cities. I'm not sure what the best way to help the AI early game is, but maybe just a slight bump to food to get them going earlier? I can use that adv setup mod (nice job on that btw) to give them some slight bonuses and see what works.
     
  17. CrazyG

    CrazyG Warlord

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    Kind of related to this, I would support giving the AI flat extra gold on higher difficulties. They go bankrupt a lot on Deity with their large units numbers. I can't speak for emperor/immortal though.
     
  18. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 2, 2013
    Messages:
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    Agreed that flat gold would be preferable to a free worker, even if most AIs might spend it on a worker. At least with the gold an AI that has a jungle start and no need of a worker can use the gold for other things.

    Though if a lot of AIs end up using the gold for shrine production we might run into a situation where the human pretty much always has last pantheon pick and might make founding a religion significantly harder? No idea if that would be the result but maybe something to be mindful of.
     
    Omen of Peace likes this.
  19. CrazyG

    CrazyG Warlord

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    For me, it isn't a point of the AI having gold to invest buildings or buy a worker. Its because I quite commonly get situations where I have 20+ gold per turn and the AI are between -2 and +2 for the first 100 turns.
     
  20. Bromar1

    Bromar1 Chieftain

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    Feb 26, 2015
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    This is why I was suggesting a discount on the first purchased or built worker. Free flat gold for AI means that the player is almost always going to get last pantheon pick
     

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