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Best PC Game AI Ever - Maybe Firaxis Can Hire Their Coders as Consultants?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Mark the Bold, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. Jharii

    Jharii King

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    None of this is going on in this thread, so I really don't know what you are fishing for.

    People can still demand more from their AI, whether they know how to code or not. There is still no relevance, as this is not a topic of civility or how people present their demands. Please do not try to make it into such.
     
  2. Fluxx

    Fluxx Mr. Almost There

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    You obviously misunderstood me. The only thing that I am implying is that people should have patience, and understand that certain "demands" are unrealistic.

    This is one of the reasons why developers give the AI boni compared to the Player on higher levels.
    You can not expect to have an AI that is equal to players creativity, resourcefullness and cooperation on forums, without giving the AI advantages.
     
  3. Jharii

    Jharii King

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    Bah. Double post.
     
  4. Jharii

    Jharii King

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    With all due respect, I didn't "obviously" misunderstand anything. This thread is not about who is and who is not "qualified" to discuss AI. No one here is displaying impatience. We are having a discussion on game AI and how it could apply to Civ5. It's theorycrafting. You're more than welcome to join in.

    If people wish to complain about an inferior AI, they are well within their right to. We ask that it is done civilly. But the relative intelligence and experience of people is not part of the discussion.
     
  5. Sox

    Sox Chieftain

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    I don´t think people expected the AI to be the best ever (well, some prolly did) or to be able to manage without bonus to the AI or penalties to the player at the higher levels. Few (none?) games are able to do that.

    I think the point is that the AI is clearly subpar and that we expected and wished for more.

    Also, I think the "just wait till x patches, x expansions and x years" is getting real old. No, I in this day and age don´t expect a game to be perfect and polished (sad really) but some brands, games etc etc we expect above average, alot above.
     
  6. Mark the Bold

    Mark the Bold Warlord

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    A really good example of this is Valve's Left 4 Dead AI. When Steam released the super awesome free game Alien Swarm, they later created an "Onslaught" mode that actually took the AI from Left 4 Dead 2 and implemented it / overwrote the Alien Swarm code with sursprisingly great results. Now again, the Left 4 Dead AI called "The Director" has the huge advantage over turn based strategy games in that it can "spawn" hordes of units at any time. SO I know this is not an apples to apples comparison. But I did find it relative to your point here so I thought I should bring it up.

    With this development, and how awesome the Director is (please note the zombies in Left 4 Dead do not shoot at you so difficulty is not increased via aiming), I firmly believe that Valve is at the forefront of AI development and design. How they do that is anyones guess, but the AI in Left 4 Dead is quite insidious and clever. No really. It is constantly analyzing and responding to your teams situation.
     
  7. Jharii

    Jharii King

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    That would be phenominal. To be honest, my number 1 pet peeve with the Civ series has always been the fact that the difficulty level increases were actualy just resource cheats. When I go up in difficulty, I want a smarter opponent. :)
     
  8. Becephalus

    Becephalus King

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    I don't really find the GalCiv II AI that impressive compared to Civ AIs. It is decent, but it is not dramatically better.

    Most of those other games are not even comparable and are balancing through straight bonuses (though Gal Civ II and Civ do this too obviously).

    Note I am playing second highest level Gal Civ II game right now.
     
  9. Roxlimn

    Roxlimn Deity

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    Becephalus:

    The Gal Civ ship combat AI doesn't intentionally suicide its ships into your fleet piecemeal for no good reason. It was not coded to make combat easy for the player. This is a marked improvement from Civ 4's "suicide-my-stack-into-your SoD's kill-tile" AI, and Civ V's "I want to melee your Warrior with my Archers" AI.

    Gal Civ 2's economic AI is also more competent than Civ's econ AIs. This is amply demonstrated by playing through Hard on GalCiv2 (the max level where the AI receives no bonuses) and Prince in the Civs (similar setting).

    How hard you can beat down Gal Civ 2's AI doesn't indicate how comparably better adapted it is to its environment compared to the Civ AIs.

    Not entirely true. Despite my defense of the Gal Civ AI against Becephalus' assessment, I did not find it so overwhelming that I couldn't just declare perpetual war and win against everyone. "ICS" is the name of the game in the 4x galactic games. There are little to no downsides to acquiring new planets.

    I found the AI in GalCiv to be entertaining, but Brad quite cleanly stated that the game was designed around the AI. Have you seen the Gal Civ 2 tech "tree?" It's just several noninteracting linear tech paths.
     
  10. isndl

    isndl Chieftain

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    I don't know how much you've played L4D, but the Director wasn't nearly as impressive as it's been claimed to be, in my opinion. L4D1 followed four simple rules: hordes all come from a single place, the Special Infected all spawn in at the same time, all spawns will be in front of you (with some exceptions depending on where you are on certain maps, which you can figure out quickly if you pay attention), and there will be a random horde if you haven't had a horde attack in a while. L4D2 mixed it up a bit by staggering spawns more, particularly with regards to hordes (so you can't shotgun the entire horde in a second), but is overall quite similar.

    In either case, the Director is quite easily broken by a strategy of "don't stop running". The Director has a cooldown period between each attack, and you can abuse that to deal with fewer enemies. Tank just spawned? Juke him and keep moving, as the Director doesn't spawn random hordes while the Tank is in play and all Special Infected eventually suicide when they fall too far behind. The only things slowing you down are some crescendo events; Versus mode differs a bit in that the Special Infected can do a better job of breaking you up if you try to race, but the tactic is still quite applicable.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that the AI Director in L4D is not really as clever as it seems, certainly no more so than any other AI. Did you know that when a horde is spawned, they tend to all target the same player unless someone gets in their way? The AI is not nearly as magical when you've figured out how to exploit it.
     
  11. Becephalus

    Becephalus King

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    Even at the very high levels I frequently see unescorted transports fly into space where I have been recently obliterating my enemies fleet.

    Of course the TotA AI is better than the Civ 5 AI, but I don't really see it as in a different class, just slightly better. They both require huge bonuses to be remotely competitive.

    That I could put down GalCiv for 18 months and immediately win my first two games on the second hardest setting while using house rules wasn't very encouraging.

    And Wardell didn't do a great job of designing GalCIv around the AI. The player still has WAY WAY too many tools. Planet focus interface should be gone (One of the house rules I use is never focusing planets, makes the game ridiculously easy). And 15 other things.

    Developers need to stop caving in to players desire to have infinite control over every last aspect of everything because the human advantage over the ai is crippling to begin with, and then when you multiply that again and again over 40 different interface tools the AI just has no shot.

    IN Gal civ they should ditch focusing planets, ditch the tax slider, randomize the tech progress about 10 other things, Then you could still actually play the game against the AI.
     
  12. Mark the Bold

    Mark the Bold Warlord

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    I've done MANY tours of duty in L4D1 and 2. Sure the hordes don't have sophisticated tactics, but the reason they don't spawn hordes during tanks is more for balance issues than for incompetent AI. The real AI shines with the special infected as they find good ambush places, know how to avoid being seen and sometimes coordinate attacks. Not saying it is perfect, but the fact that it occurs in real time and not on a trigger makes it quite impressive. Also the friendly AI are not half bad. INFINITELY better than the tards in Gears of War and Halo. Certainly top 3 in FPS games at the very least. Of course there are exploits, but every game has these. On expert realism mode, if you try the don't stop running method you will die. Fast.
     
  13. Mark the Bold

    Mark the Bold Warlord

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    Well I found the AI pretty good. Sure they did stupid stuff, diplomacy was somewhat silly sometimes. But whether the AI used cheats or not the game was challenging from the beginning to the end from the players perspective.
     
  14. Becephalus

    Becephalus King

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    Its a fine game, but the AI isn't noticeably different from Civs which is also horrible.
     
  15. ohioastronomy

    ohioastronomy King

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    That depends on what you mean. If you're talking strictly combat, then any AI has some troubles; Gal Civ has a better combat system than any of the Civs, but it's still tough to compete with human strategy/tactics. I suspect that the folks less impressed with the game run it as a wargame, where it is OK but suffers from the generic limitations of the genre.

    Where the AI really did well was that it was capable of providing a real challenge in winning the game, and doing so in distinct ways. AIs would build networks of space stations, grab resources, and so forth. They act differently depending on race/alignment, and I've always found the game really enjoyable to play as a result. The spy, trader, or cultural nations played out radically differently for you or the AIs than the generic humans. And there was a real diplomatic element.
     
  16. Mark the Bold

    Mark the Bold Warlord

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    Agreed. What I liked about GalCiv2 was that your rivals were challenging the ENTIRE game. Most of the Civ IV and Civ V games I have played, I noticed that by the time you had all the awesomely cool modern war units, the game was pretty much over by then. Sure you'd invade your next biggest rival but usually you are so dominant its kind of like putting Barry Bonds in a T ball league game: unfair bordering on criminal abuse.
     
  17. Becephalus

    Becephalus King

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    It honestly sounds to me like you are just worse at GalCiv II than you are at Civ. It is literally the exact same group of problems...
    Moderator Action: Flaming is not allowed here.
    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
     
  18. isndl

    isndl Chieftain

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    I'm sorry to say that the Special Infected doesn't actually know how to coordinate attacks. There is some degree of hiding and patience coded in that I'm not entirely sure of the specifics for (I believe it's distance-based, but I haven't tried investigating it thoroughly), but what you think is coordination is actually confirmation bias.

    Have you ever been Smoked and then Hunted with only a fraction of a second between them? Had a Tank punch you free? It happens, and it wouldn't happen if the Infected were communicating what they were doing. Instead, the Director spawns them in at roughly the same time, they get to the Survivors at roughly the same time, and therefore attack at roughly the same time. The Infected are individually weak and so you should never see them one at a time, but you do because they aren't coordinating.

    Survivor AI seems comparable to any other FPS AI: knows how to shoot very well, doesn't know how to move or defend itself very well, and doesn't know how to use special items (e.g. grenades) at all. Has the usual omniscient quirks of most AI (watch as they run backwards and free you without turning around when you're Smoked behind, or they bee-line the painkillers in a side room you never opened the door to). However, you can't really compare the Survivor AI in L4D to the teammate AI in other games without accounting for the differences in gameplay (zombies don't shoot back and are individually weak, especially).

    Don't Stop Running is a perfectly valid strategy even on Expert Realism. I beat the Lone Gunman mutation on Expert the other week using it, and in some ways it was even more brutal than Expert Realism - any hit would incapacitate you, even from the regular zombies. Expert Realism with a team that knows what it's doing should do fine, although the vast majority of public players aren't of that quality. I believe some of the people that I sometimes play Versus with have done an Expert Realism melee-only race for fun a few times, though I don't know how many of them made it to the escape vehicle; at least one person did, though.
     
  19. Mark the Bold

    Mark the Bold Warlord

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    Its kind of funny, this thread is a textbook example of negativity-creep. The main subject of the thread was "Best PC AI ever". We had some really interesting ideas floated and discussed. And not only has this thread been bombarded by people with no contribution (hell even a wild guess) to what constitutes good AI in last 20 years of PC gaming, they seem to just troll here and criticize OTHER peoples contributions. Hey that's cool. Free country and all. But how about you with your infinite knowledge throw an idea out there? Bless us with some of your ideas.

    To be perfectly honest, if I were 2kgames "Greg" I would just give up on forums like these, and go back to counting my mountains of money. Some people just can't be helped because they don't want to be helped. They just want to sit in the back, complain because the world isn't fair and make the rest of the world as miserable as they are.
     
  20. isndl

    isndl Chieftain

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    The problem with trying to define a 'good' AI is that the better they are, the more obvious their shortcomings. There's no steadfast agreement on what constitutes a good AI because they're all limited somehow, whether obviously or subtly, and players will take advantage of it.

    Then again, the developers don't need to make a perfect AI - they just need to make the illusion of one. So the challenge is to make an AI that seems to do everything reasonably well, and hope the audience isn't perceptive enough to realize that it can't deal with something.

    Civ5 fails in that regard. It seems to be capable of doing everything it should do, but it's just so mind-boggling bad at it at times that we've lost any suspension of disbelief. You don't have to be a genius to realize that shuffling units around a city for twenty turns isn't going to conquer it, and anyone playing the game will notice it when it happens.
     

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