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An attempt at understanding diplomacy in civ V

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by Makaz, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. Makaz

    Makaz Warlord

    Feb 25, 2010
    Alright lots of people say its broken - I say NO and there are rules to be aware of. Fact that we do not understand these rules or that these rules are different from Civ IV we played so many hours is irrelevant.

    I would like to build a thread (if possible exempt of any rant - so please don't come here just to say "there is no diplo in civ V") to list out what players have figured out about the diplomacy system and how it works.

    Here is a first try based on personal experience and general understanding from the forum. I hope that everyone's contribution will help me fill in the gaps and correct any potential mistake.

    1st - the thing that make the AI hate you (in order starting with what is worst):

    + Settle too close from their border. On standard map, I have tested, you get a warning if there is 4 hex or less between one of your city and one of theirs and they will tend to show some aggressivity when there is 1 hex left between their borders and yours
    + Leave your cities undefended and having too few units (this is basically an invitation to be conquered)
    + Continue settling close or buying lands even after being told not to (especially if you lied and said "I won't do it again")
    + Trade with someone you have a pact of secrecy against
    + Start a war
    + Raze a city
    + Conquer too many cities
    + Wage too many wars
    + Mass army near their border (This is a bit like crossing a city state land when you are not allied with them) - having an open border agreement is irrelevant in this case
    + Being unhappy (and they go sarcastic on how about your people are screaming)
    + Being illiterate (generating science ? or culture ?)

    2nd - the things that make the AI like you (in order starting with what is best):

    + Reasearch agreement
    + Gift happiness ressources
    + Pact of cooperation (I think it gives a bonus to the relationship overtime as is the "open border" agreement in civ 4)
    + Follow in a war
    + Return a captured worker
    + having happy population
    + having a reliable military
    + making lots of gold
    + being litterate (generate science ? or culture ?)

    3rd - the things that make it easier to do things:

    + liberate cities (will not make AI unhappy if you liberate cities you capture)
    + pacts of secrecy (will not give you penatlies for going to war - apparently)

    4th - leader personalities

    This is certainly the very complex factor that makes things feel random when they are certainly not.

    Fact is each leader will give more or less importance to the above list:

    For example, Julius from Rome likes expansion and will not care too much if you go closer from him as he will basically focus on expanding himself everywhere. On the contrary Ramses will DoW you as soon as you get a bit closer from his border as this seem to be on his priority list.

    Another example: Napoleon will never hate you for going on with war after war while Catherine will invite you to follow her in a war and 1 turn later declare she wants to end her pact of cooperation with you because you are a ruthless warmonger... (which makes is probably one of the bug unless she has an irrational personality)

    I also believe the civics you adopt will make you liked by some or hate by others - Washington likes the liberty tree I think)

    The following is an attempt to list facts I have noticed about specific leaders and like as I have understood it so far. This is speculation based on my own experience and hence have lots of gaps and probably some wrongness into it but I hope to refine the list with the cooperation of all.

    For those I can speak off:


    Will not hate you if you are a war monger
    Certainly the only AI I have ever seen spamming boats
    Will expand very fast and DoW quickly
    Will get musket quite soon and a peak of strength between musketmen and infantries


    Will hate everything about war and conquering city more than anything else
    Usually try to remain peaceful but doesn't hesitate to go to war against the warmongers themselves leading her very often to disappear.

    Augustus from Rome

    Will start all game with a massive phase of expansion everywhere accross the map regardless of whatever people think


    Will build a big army early on and lots of War Chariots
    Loves going to war and will probably not hate you for doing it
    Hates, really hates people that settle near him; will Dow them immediately, making him DoW Rome and city states almost every game
    Also doesn't like anyone get too many wonders.


    Loves science - often has a technological edge
    Doesn't like you if you conquer a lot of cities
    Will DoW you if he lacks room to expand nearby - if he has a good reason
    Expands a lot


    Never builds more than 3 cities (but can start capturing some if he feels like expanding)
    tends to Wonderwhore
    Loves you if you are litterate
    Hates you if you are not
    Loves you if you make lots of money


    Hates warmongers
    Expands a lot, even on small islands late game
    Military peak at the age of longbows making her a survivor in most games of course


    Start slowly then expands a lot during the classic / medival era
    Leading Edge in science
    Doesn't like you to settle too close from him (very likely to lead to a DoW anytime in the game)
    Likes spamming minutemen and cannons

    Wu Chinese

    Impressed by a strong and reliable economy
    No particular trait - will get upset if you settle too close
    Tend to be quite slow teching and average at settling but goes for war very easily (inc. city states)


    Enjoys bullying the week
    Happy to go for war usually
    Not getting too unhappy about you beating others out

    There are lot of other leaders but they haven't done enough in my first few games so I will rely on everyone's contribution to fill the list.

    The "hardest" leaders I have met so far are:

    + Napoleon - due to spamming units, and fast teching to its 2 UU - becomes uncontrolable if you leave him be.
    + Washington - due to the leading edge and the minutemen spamm, can end up controlling quite a bit of land and become a pain
    + Iroquois - same reason, not surprising if he gets half of the map quickly and the with his scientific edge spam mechanised infantry when you are upgrading your riflemen
    + Siam - for stealing GL, Oracle and a lot of other wonders and for making big scores - not really difficult to kill though.
    + Liz - Can go on a rampage with Longbows if she is in a mood and control half of the map. Not really good in science but her longbow can still compete with your artilleries. Also she ll expand everywhere so eliminating her is a bit a pain
    + Ramses - in early games if he spawns near you (meaning DoW from him or no expansion in that direction)

    I am aware that this is a lot of speculation but this is my understanding of the game mechanics so far.

    AGAIN - NO RANTS in here please - you ve enough other posts to do it

    I will welcome Everyone constructive advice and contribution to this thread - goal being to refine the above guesstimate of the diplomacy mechanics

  2. Magil

    Magil Monarch

    Sep 26, 2010
    Ramses seems to actually cancel pacts with you if you build too many Wonders. He become quite upset with me once it was revealed I had many more Wonders than he did.
  3. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

    Jun 8, 2008
    Washington, DC
    Start a war.
    Raze a city.

    Returning a captured worker to them.
    I would *hope*: refrain from trading with someone you both have a pact of secrecy against (for the duration of the pact).

    Its also unclear whether having things in the past matters, or only if you have them now.
    Eg: do you care that we used to have lots of trading together, or only if we have a research agreement now?
  4. ChronoReverse

    ChronoReverse Chieftain

    Jun 28, 2004
    I've noticed that as my super culture cities expanded borders automatically and approached another civilization's borders they will blame you for it and get mad at you.
  5. HamTard

    HamTard Warlord

    May 12, 2006
    I definitely noticed different leaders have different play styles. I find it's easy to pat Monty to go to war with anyone weaker than him. I do it to keep his attention away from me and slow his teching and economy.
  6. Makaz

    Makaz Warlord

    Feb 25, 2010
    Made a couple of edits including what I tested tonight before getting raped along with all the other AI by Napoleon and his riflemen when everyone was still teching for gunnery

    On a standard map,you tend to get a warning if there is 4 hex or less between one of your city and one of theirs (at 5 it seems fine) and they will tend to show some aggressivity when there is 1 hex left between their borders and yours
  7. CornPlanter

    CornPlanter Emperor

    Dec 3, 2005
    While technically speaking Augustus was Julius, better call him Augustus not to confuse with another famous Julius of Rome ;)
  8. CrimsonEdge

    CrimsonEdge Warlord

    Aug 25, 2006
    I concur with everything said. The only exception I have found was when Siam conquered the rest of a continent. He did not, however, build more than three cities. Instead, he chose not to raze enemy cities. At all.

    In my current game, I can attest that the Iroquois 100% expand rapidly and DoW when you settle near him. However, he does not DoW if he settles near you. He loves technology and will befriend you if you have more tech than he does.

    Too bad he has cities I want.
  9. Nabopolassar

    Nabopolassar Chieftain

    Aug 15, 2010
    I've had Catherine break off all contact with me for building too many wonders.

    I've also had Harun al-Rashid apologize for attacking a friendly city state (I didn't care since it was hostile and only friends with me since I had destroyed a nearby barbarian camp).

    Once, Ramkhamhaeng was backwards, isolated, and had built Stonehenge. He wondered if my people had been banging rocks together for the last thousand years when I met him (uncultured). I had riflemen, so I started banging sticks instead.
  10. CorporateGoth

    CorporateGoth Chieftain

    Jun 25, 2010
    I just played, and found the Chinese to love war - she kept capturing city states and eliminated a few AI's (don't know if it was a proximity thing though, she kept all the cities as puppets though).

    However, I did notice when she declared war on a city state who was an ally to me, a turn later she would talk to me and apologize for doing so (though she would not declare peace) - but I could propose to her to make peace, with no other conditions (ie. I did not need to buy her off) and she was happy to do so.

    I had her beat on technology and wonders, she had more culture and military (I had practically none) and we were separated by an ocean - so she was quite friendly to me.
  11. Louis XXIV

    Louis XXIV Le Roi Soleil

    Mar 12, 2003
    Norfolk, VA
    I think Wu likes to drag others into war. I usually get a request before anything happens. I felt Washington was fairly weak-willed.

    One thing to keep in mind is if they see a victory in sight, all bets are off. But not everyone goes for conquest victory, so some will never start to act hostile to you.
  12. Elhoim

    Elhoim Iron Tower Studio Dev

    Nov 3, 2004
    San Isidro, Argentina.
    In my Rome game, I was in a continent with Greece, Japan, Ottomans, Siam, Persia, France, England and Russia. I starting conquering Japan, Greece and the Ottomans, and the rest started hating me, but people in other continents didn't really hate me. As a matter of fact, Monty LOVED me.
  13. Makaz

    Makaz Warlord

    Feb 25, 2010
    That's good contributions already thanks !

    I think what happens in most game is:

    + 1 or 2 AI expands like crazy right at the beginning.
    + They end up setting up an early 2nd city near another AI capital
    + The other AI gets pissed off leading to a very early war.
    + One of them is defeated early on and the other ends up with an empire double size and with a strong mililtary which leads him to think: " Why stop here" and he goes on a rampage and take 2 other AI down.
    + As the AI doesn't care about happiness (they are always +++), they keep producing more and teching alot faster than any other one in the game
    + By the time they attack you they have loads of riflemen and cannons and your stuck with your longswordmen and trebs
    + Game over unless you can exploit a choquepoint with a reasonable army.
  14. Bluetooth

    Bluetooth King

    Nov 4, 2002
    Also returning a captured Settler.
  15. madscientist

    madscientist RPC Supergenius

    Oct 6, 2006
    New York City
    I think this is an excellent summary and a good start on getting an understanding of diplomacy.

    Howver, I have a rant

    Come on man, use your common sense here. She's a WOMAN. Enough said!
  16. mynystry

    mynystry jaguar warrior from hell

    Jan 18, 2005
    Guanaguashington, Mexico
    Not sure about her "expansive" trait... I'm playing my first game (monty,large map,random,10 civs,epic)

    I'm on a large island (or small continent) with 4 city states and england. Liz complained when i settled 2 cities close to London. I was going to settle my 3rd when I saw her first settler roaming unprotected and i decided to take it out. She was pretty weak and tech backwards so I could take London out of greed quiet easily (only city with iron in the island). Ah I forgot, I am playing on Prince difficulty (or whatever is the normal difficulty level)
  17. kaltorak

    kaltorak Emperor

    Jul 7, 2009
    But all those positive or negative actions that you say just make them friendlier or more hostile. The problem is... what is the difference? Why do I care if he hates me if he will declare as likely as the one who likes me?

    In several games I have tried hard and made almost all of your positive points with a nation, and none of the negative, and after cheering at me one turn they declared the next one.

    Many times too, their declaration clearly puts them in a very bad place, so you can't even say: they are just trying to win. Yesterday for example, Siam with their last city beeing sieged by montezuma, declared on me, while I was fighting montezuma myself and saving (or delaying) the conquer of that last city. A one city nation with 1 elephant unit, at war with the most powerful nation, declares to the second most powerful nation which is saving him...
    Oh yes, and the leaders kept insulting me for beeing a warmonger... while I didnt' start a single war. I just fought back each time i was attacked. So yeah, I defend myself and you hate me for my warmongering.

    Their actions look erratic, war focused and many times counterproductive for themselfs.
  18. Sashimi917

    Sashimi917 Chieftain

    Jul 9, 2007
    I appreciate your effort in studying the diplomacy in this game. But in my opinion, all the AIs are the same - the same warmonger who believes war is the only way to settle all the disputes and fulfill their ambition.

    THis is a war game, not a 3x game like CIv4 anymore. I really feel bored and unmotivated because every game would be all about war. Even though I am the builder-type of Civ player, I don't find any difficulty in beating the AI in a war if they come one after one because they suck at war(but they love it)

    What makes diplomacy more terrible is that it seems they like signing the damn pact of secrecy against me because I am labelled as a "player" which is the biggest threat to their already big empire two or times bigger than mine. I am done with this game at this moment until they fix the combat AI and give some sense of diplomacy to the AI. The game right now looks like a "tower defense" game to me, i have to build a lots of archers(upgraded with promotuons) to defend against the never-ending but brainless horde.
  19. mrt144

    mrt144 Deity

    Jan 27, 2007
    These aren't diplomatic insights, these are Civ behaviors.
  20. madscientist

    madscientist RPC Supergenius

    Oct 6, 2006
    New York City
    Let's think this through a bit.

    All the AIs are trying to win the game, often at war. Try playing peacefully and building and you will have to defend what many empire look as valuable. You also can never see what is behind the leader's smile and need to catch glimpses at their body language and dialogue (Hiawatha called me bloodthirsty, Bismark frowns when getting upset, Agustus looks at you when you are a target). THe problem about diplomacy is that you do NOT know what is going to happen, hence an unpredictability.

    The City-States are very predictable and have a valid place. IF some one goes after them militarily either that AI is going to be in trouble OR they are going to BE trouble. Ditto if you start acquiring city states via the sword you will tick off leaders, especially if certain leaders wanted those cities.

    MYself, I am getting a better handle on the leaders, but feel I will never be able to 100% understand them, which is fine for playing.

    As far as Military, I am not sure how damned easy that is. At King level I have been torched TWICE by Agustus and the expanding Romans. Alexander scares the hell out me too.

    Also some AIS do things I never would have thought in Civ IV. Agustus purposely dropped a city between two of mine early on instead of expanding peacefully in the other direction, then when relations soured badly sent in the Legions. While Julius in Civ IV may send a stack of doom, Agustus in Civ V drive specifically for cities that he wants!

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