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Balance & AI Training

Discussion in 'Orbis Modmod' started by Ahwaric, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. Ahwaric

    Ahwaric Shrubbery-hugger

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    This is the thread I fear the most - but still need.

    AI needs work. Period. So post any oddities in its behaviour here

    Also, I tried to balance things better with the last patch, but there is still a lot of work to do.

    So, any feedback welcomed. :)
     
  2. Ahwaric

    Ahwaric Shrubbery-hugger

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    reserved...
     
  3. Ahwaric

    Ahwaric Shrubbery-hugger

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    better safe than sorry...
     
  4. Sephi

    Sephi Deity

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    A good way to genereate some information is to use the Autoplay feature made by jdog5000.

    Open up the console (you need chipotle for this) and enter game.AIPlay X (X turn number)

    What I noticed in particular: AI does not retreat workers (because they have defense strength) This can make the AI waste a lot of hammers on workers.
    Teching of the AI seems very random.
    Lanun seem to love spamming tiremes. They had one city and 7 tiremes. Seems a bit much.
     
  5. Kalina

    Kalina Just lurking...

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    Not exactly AI thing, but it's connected to automated workers. They love building yurt everywhere, especially on grasslands. It makes sense of course as aul is better than farm in early game, before any techs, but with leave old improvements option turned on (necessary to protect my mature towns from being changed into farms ;>) it makes automated workers almost unusable. AI is able to change improvements even with this option turned on (is it ?) so it doesn't hurt it so much. Maybe removing grasslands and wetlands from possible terrains for yurt might be considered ?
     
  6. arstal

    arstal Say No 2 Net Validations

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    One oddity that definitely needs worker. Workers are suicidal vs barbarians, they won't flee from them. They have a chance of survival, but still it would be better for them to run to safety.

    Wildmana solves this, I know.
     
  7. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    AI can change it's improvements because that option only affects YOUR units. ;)
     
  8. Ahwaric

    Ahwaric Shrubbery-hugger

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    I know and use it a lot. Plus do not need console any more, as with changes I have imported (from FF I think), just have to activate debugging in menu and then press CTRL+SHIFT+Z
    I agree. Ai tries to protect the workers, but is not very good at that. Will have to check your code.
    Of course it is - I do not force AI to research anything, it should tech depending on what is around ;). I think early teching is quite good - they try to get some economy and military techs first. Religions are founded later, but are founded.
    It still needs work though - i.e. I do not understand AI love of military strategy...
    That is odd. Never seen such a thing, but will have to take a closer look.
    Exactly. Also, you set your workers not do destroy improvements, so they do not. Just delegate one worker to change auls to farms.
    I do not want to change where yurts can be build. I like to farm plains too, plus some grasslands can't be easily farmed.
     
  9. Wauthan

    Wauthan Inaniloquent Nihiliarian

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    My four core issues with the AI:

    Lack of aggression

    The AI is happy to start wars, that can last of hundreds of turns, but is hilariously defensive. Almost cowardly. Where a player knows to sacrifice a stack of units to weaken a defender the AI seems to simply give up if the odds are not in its favor. This allows me to simply rampage through its lands since it won't attack my stacks. It knows how to use assassins but only in kamikaze runs since it doesn't defend those units from counter attack.

    To add to this the AI defends its cities equally, putting a large stack of mainly archers in each of its cities, instead of focusing its units on the front line. This creates the infamous steamroll effect were a player can simply add units until he can take out the best defended city, and then take out all the others. The AI should go as nuts as a human player when a major city is threatened, since its likely to never recuperate from that loss.

    Lack of ranged attackers

    Don't get me wrong. There's certainly no lack of ranged defenders since the AI knows how to milk the ranged attack xp cornucopia for all its worth. Encountering lvl 15 archers is not that uncommon in epic games. But its focus on archers means that it never develops much of an attacking force. The odd horseman here and there but never the massed stack of infantry and siege that can actually bring down a fortified city.

    Lack of magic

    The human knows how to get a lot of effect out of all available resources. The AI simply can't cope with the current options available to it. I have never seen a stack of AI units under the effects of Blur, Dancing Blades or Stoneskin. Nor does AI use spells to hamper an attack, like Charm or Rust. It knows how to summon units and to use ranged damage spells, but never to actually soften a target before an attack. That means a few priests in each stack can simply heal all the damage on the next turn.

    Heroic Idiocy

    The AI loves its high power units, presumably because they get guaranteed kills that way, but it doesn't know when to retreat. AI Beastmasters will gladly rampage into your lands only to find themselves completely whittled down and easy prey. It needs to learn how to think in stacks.
     
  10. Darksavant

    Darksavant Chieftain

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    The Priests of the Hand should probably not get the Snowfall spell. It is a third tier spell and very powerful. It makes matters worse now that you can make an endless number of them. It really becomes one of your best units especially as Illian with a lot of Ice mana. The spell should be reserved for the High Priests IMHO, and for the new Hand hero Kelleigh.
     
  11. arstal

    arstal Say No 2 Net Validations

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    Why not take out Worker XP altogether? That would likely solve the problem- and does anyone really like it? To me it's just unneeded micro.
     
  12. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    It'll be more than unnecessary micro if a new system in RifE is merged. Can add/remove build orders via promotion, so you can have workers able to, say, directly build a second level fort instead of the standard fort after taking a promotion.

    We're also considering allowing them to gain xp from completing a build, rather than passively...
     
  13. readercolin

    readercolin King

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    do you want this thread devoted just to AI, or also to issues that we have with the game balance?

    -Colin
     
  14. Bezhukov

    Bezhukov Deity

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    The AI can't figure out how to load a transport until at least Square Rigging. This totally kills Lanun on the Ozzy map.
     
  15. arstal

    arstal Say No 2 Net Validations

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    Hmm, maybe allow for those promotion, but not the combat promotions?

    That said, i don't think that system would be good for Orbis- I don't think the benefits outweight the drawbacks.
     
  16. Wauthan

    Wauthan Inaniloquent Nihiliarian

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    I would like to add my vote to this suggestion. Frankly, I can't see the point of the worker promotions at all. It's not like any of those promotions actually make them that much better. Two new workers still get the job done faster then one lvl 10. And the fighting part is strange. Fully upgraded they are stronger than axemen, not a small feat for unarmed civilians, and the lack of battle animation makes that look even stranger.

    I get it that you would like to reward players who can keep their units alive until end game, but wouldn't it be better to have a "upgrade unit" available in the late game? Like say "Guild Laborer"? This unit replaces the old worker, is far more costly to build but cheap to upgrade, thus favoring players that managed to keep a lot of Worker units alive.

    As it is, it's just adds to the workload and creates all kinds of oddities. But that's just an my own opinion of course.
     
  17. Ahwaric

    Ahwaric Shrubbery-hugger

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    Both, as I think they are related. It this thread gets messy, I will separate the two. But for now, yes, both.
    That is a bug, will fix it in patch b
    I have added it on popular request... :confused: Than,. there is worker no xp option. I know, they get some xp the other way, but that is minor thing.
    Regarding them being stronger than axemen - I might tone the promotions down a bit (for a total of +3 defense strength). Also, workers can't use metal weapons.
    The thing I always found strange is that workers & settlers have no combat strenght. So, we have a big group of workers, probably bigger than standard military unit. Or a group of settlers, big enough to organize a full new city. Then they meet a wolf or group of robbers and are just killed/enslaved without any resistance :crazyeye:

    I short, I quite like worker promotions, plus AI seems to be able to use it.
    Are you sure AI will be able to understand it? ANyway, I will let you to test it before I decide if I add it or no ;)
    I need to test it a bit more. Cog seems like a good transport, they should be able to use it.
    By the way, I thought of removing crews promotions. Not sure AI can use it, plus it is a lot of micromanagement I think. Do you like them?
     
  18. Kalina

    Kalina Just lurking...

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    Then make them count :) For example, limit them to 2-3 chains, but each more powerful. After all, workers usually don't level past lvl 4. For example:
    1) Mobility=>Mobility II=>Pathfinder (new promo proposed by someone in different place, double move in forest and hills but no extra defence)
    2) Hardy I=>Hardy II=>Hardy III (as is, but with more withdrawal, something like +1def and +20% withdraw each level. I expect my workers to run away from enemy, not kill them. Might add +% vs Animals and Beasts at II&III)
    3) Skilled I=>Skilled II=>Skilled III (buffed.Right now after four promos you get +60% work rate, not worth it really. With +33% level you 4 lvl worker is twice as good as fresh one. Fight even try 50% but it might be too powerful early on)

    With this, you can specialize you workers to area they are working. Lots of animals and barbarians and not enough warriors to protect them all ? Choose Hardy line. Frontier with hills and forest, but you already have enough military to keep them safe ? Mobility line. Improving flatland/roaded tiles in heart of your empire ? Skilled would be best ;)

    AI always failed to use crews properly, even in base FfH and in Wildmana (though it could change since then). I like them, they are flavorful and give more options, but I would cut them. Whole navy might need a little rework - it is very good, but if some ships are clearly transport and others clearly military (with no cargo space at all) it would be easier for AI to understand. AI won't use galley as a transport ship for example - it wants its transport ships to have at least 2 cargo space.
    And speaking of AI - something might be wrong with Lanun. While I was testing (both playtesting and AI Play testing) my map, I noticed that they fail to colonize other island. But other civs with significant coastal line (Clan, Kuriotates for example) were colonizing successfully. It might be because they are not willing to enter ocean tiles with ship with Daring promo.
     
  19. KrugSmash

    KrugSmash Warlord

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    I like this. a trade-in of defense strength for withdrawal chance would certainly make the workers less of a threat(I've lost many 7str wolf riders to workers sitting on a hill), though I'm not sure it would make AI workers less of an annoyance. the AI seems to always choose hardiness for their worker promotions, so instead of tough to kill workers, I'm faced with slightly weaker workers who make me try to kill them twice.

    But still, I like these ideas for my own workers!
     
  20. arstal

    arstal Say No 2 Net Validations

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    If you can make it where workers get AI that makes them actual workers instead of suiciding vs barbarians, then I wouldn't have a problem with worker XP. I still think it's more micromanagement then it's worth

    The crews also should go away, they don't add that much.
     

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