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Deity level sucks

Discussion in 'Civ3 - General Discussions' started by kryszcztov, May 29, 2003.

  1. kryszcztov

    kryszcztov Deity

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    I open a thread because I'm starting to hate the Deity level in Civ3 (PTW). I've tried a few starts at this level and I'm afraid to say it really sucks. I would imagine the level is determined by the AI's stupidity/cleverness, like in a lot of games. But here in Civ3 you just face opponents that build several towns before you get any other one. So every game is just the same : you fall behind in territory, cities, techs, everything, and the "fun" is always the same : try to catch up the AIs, and, if you don't go out warmongering, it's hopeless. :(

    I must think that it has been designed this way because the designers did not manage to create a powerful, clever and flexible AI. So they gave the AI those evil bonuses to compensate. What I would like to have is a game where AIs and Humans start in equal conditions and play in equal conditions. I want a game where I have to think well to take the tech lead, where I have to take precise decisions in a war that is not necessarily won before it is started (poor, poor AI's tactics). And if some people thought it would still be quite easy even with a powerful AI, then you could have those bonuses modded in your games (like in many SG games) to raise the difficulty.

    BTW, there are plenty of chess programs out there, but do they give the AI any advantage in harder levels ? I know Civ is far more complicated than chess (in terms of rules, but in terms of playing it's far easier in the end), but the AI is not well coded in this game. In fact I'm currently realizing that the AI's cleverness is the worst aspect of Civ3, and by far. :mad: Playing a game at Regent (equal conditions) is so easy when you apply simple schemes that it's just a shame (I'm sorry for those who can't beat this level).

    Well, I know it has been pointed out many many times. But I wanted to say it. Feel free to post your point of view. You can come in and cry along with me. :cry: :D Or you could give me and other people simple schemes to beat Deity. I've already won at Emperor (not THAT difficult if you have a decent start), but in the same time I've never played a Deity game until the end (win or loss), I find it boring, hopeless, and... unfair :( (a word I really don't like).
     
  2. amirsan

    amirsan King of all Kings

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    U are funny...

    If you cant handle Diety then dont play it! This has been like my second game in Diety and I was doing veeerrryyy fine in the Anciect age. If you want an equal advantages than play on Regent! Regent, according to the editor is equal in both human and AI. I guess it is not that fair, but think of it this way; if you win, your considered a champion and can probably beat anyone (probably). Its a goal. If you dont like it, then dont go for it. ;) :D
     
  3. Louis XXIV

    Louis XXIV Le Roi Soleil

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    Is it possible to mod the paramiters of difficulty (perhaps adding new difficuty levels)

    I think it would be cool to have a level where the AI gets techs much quicker, but doesn't start with extra units
     
  4. Peter Harris

    Peter Harris Warlord

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    Modding deity might solve your problem. Perhaps have the AI start with only one settler and no bonus units. The AI will still have the production, research and trade bonuses so will provide much more challenge than Regent. (You could change the AI to AI trade rate or start yourself with two settlers. Whatever works best for you so can craft a game with the interest and challenge that you want).

    :)
     
  5. Peter Harris

    Peter Harris Warlord

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    I understand you can not add new difficulty levels but you can seriously mod the existing levels. You can change traits, AI to AI trade rate, starting units, UUs, government transition time, AI build preferences, corruption modifiers etc etc. :)
     
  6. Sirp

    Sirp Emperor

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    Sure, I think we'd all like great AI. But writing a great AI for Civ3 is hard.

    The Civ3 AI could be improved substantially over its current form, by making it emphasize things like barracks a little more, understand worker value and worker improvements better, and so forth. But, such improvements would only make it a little better.

    To make an AI that could compete with a strong human player in Civilization 3 on equal terms needs an AI engine that is programmed using a different paradigm to the one currently used. Probably a paradigm that is years from being developed (if it is ever developed at all!)

    Comparing Civ3 to chess is ridiculous and irrelevant. They are two different types of games, with many orders of magnitude difference in state spaces. It's like saying "so we can fly planes from London to New York - why haven't we flown to Alpha Centauri yet?"

    Programming a chess AI is in fact so easy that I've written one that could play in a manner that appeared intelligent in around three hours once. You'd be going for weeks before you wrote an AI that didn't fall down in a laughable mess immediately in Civ3.

    Also, it is possible to win on Deity without war. See Epic 4 on my home page. I've also done it several times without war until the industrial age - see RBE1 or SP6 on the succession games forum.

    -Sirp.
     
  7. JonathanValjean

    JonathanValjean Porschephile

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    Personally, I am glad that deity is so difficult. If it were easy, that is when I would say that it stunk.
     
  8. Sailorstick

    Sailorstick Vanilla 1.29 - Conquest

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    I'm with you Sirp. A lot of people like to bash the AI, but given 20 years to program something remotely as good themselves they would fail miserably.
     
  9. Kid Casco

    Kid Casco Chieftain

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    You need two things in Diety in my experience. A good (quality and quantity) land grab, and lot's of patience to negotiate. You eventually catch up. Lower the number of adversaries, and if you accel your production (they use accelerated), you can keep up pretty well and may even beat them to longevity. I usually restart a bunch of times before I get a good piece of real estate to work with.
     
  10. Hygro

    Hygro soundcloud.com/hygro/

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    catch up is what makes the game fun. Being ahead is boring and makes me wonder why im playing.
     
  11. Louis XXIV

    Louis XXIV Le Roi Soleil

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    It would be nice if AI bonuses increased over time (like they would do everything at 1/2 time in Ancient, 1/10 time in modern)

    That would keep the AI challanging through the whole game (because it is always possible to get ahead of the AI)
     
  12. Belisar

    Belisar Defender of Byzanz

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    I agree that the current AI needs bonuses to make an interesting opponent, but 90% :eek:
    It would not be funny at all to defend with one MI against 10 MA :suicide:
     
  13. superslug

    superslug Still hatin' on Khan Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

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    Don't give up hope until your dead.

    I recently started a game on Deity and managed to build the Pyramids before the rest of the lot (16 AI's on a pang). Unfortunately, since I had a precious city working on that, they quickly had me boxed in space wise.

    My two neighbors decided to attack little old me, thinking I was an easy kill. I pulled my workers back into the cities, making them citizens and pop rushed as many spearmen as I could. I already had two per city, and I did lose a dozen cities.

    Eventually, their offensive lost steam and I counterattacked with a stack of archers and spearmen and took one town-the one sitting on top of Iron. I got peace and some workers, irrigated the crap out of everything, grew my pop back to rush Immortals and then kicked their teeth in during a sweet GA.

    Next target: the city with the GL!
     
  14. BillChin

    BillChin Prince

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    Deity level requires a different approach than the lower levels. A player can make it much easier by playing a huge map with fewer opponents. The AI trading is one of the biggest hurdles. Fast early expansion helps on all levels, but more so on Deity. A novice player will do well to learn to check the diplomatic screen every turn with every civ for new trades. One missed trade, one missed turn can make the difference on Deity level.

    As for the AI, that is a well-worn topic. The Civ III AI is basically the product of one programmer, Soren Johnson, working for about nine months. Given those limitations it is a masterpiece. Given more resources, especially expert players to playtest early in the cycle, and more time, I am sure that the AI could be improved a great deal.

    Like many expert programmers, Mr. Johnson is probably an average game player. The product is pretty good at beating average players. I estimate the AI can beat 20% of normal players on Regent level (even playing field). That is pretty good, and that percentage could definitely be improved.

    I believe the biggest hurdles are not technical, they are far more powerful--marketing. The truth is that many players do not want a better AI. Don't believe me? Read the many posts on the many boards about wanting the game to be easier. A really good AI may put at risk about 20% of the fan base. Investing heavily in a feature that will cause sales to go down is a terrible marketing decision and I believe it is the primary reason a better AI has not emerged. Perhaps the relatively poor sales of some highly touted sequels might motivate marketing to take a chance, and have another look at making a better AI, instead of fancier graphics, or more complex game play.

    I have outlined processes for making a better AI. These include mimicking the best human players, having a Darwinistic approach where AIs play each other and the weaker ones are weeded out.
    + Bill
     
  15. kryszcztov

    kryszcztov Deity

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    Thanks to all for answering.

    I know I feel a bit stupid to say this. But I just wanted to say that you should play all style of games in whatever level you are : but in Civ3 at Deity, the only style of game allowed is "try to catch up the AI" ; it's not that it is boring, what is boring is that it is this every game !!

    Now, I know I souldn't bash the AI, because I understand it's difficult to write a good AI in this kind of game. Then, my only wish for Civ4 is : strenghten the AI as much as you can !! ;) (I remember feeling a bit disappointed when I heard the AI would get bonuses in harder levels, that was more than one year before I ever played Civ3.)

    I know I can mod the game, but then what would I say ? "I won a game at Deity, errr... at Deity minus, or Emperor plus, oh whatever, I cheated with the levels !" The thing is : Emperor is not a GREAT challenge for me now (but it could still be tricky in a particular game, of course), but Deity seems to be such a big jump that I find myself discouraged. Maybe I should play a Deity game in the SG forum. Maybe I should try other things like AW, 5CC, OCC... And maybe I should try other ways of playing : I'm obsessed now with the settler factory thingy. Yesterday, before my post, I started a game with the Persians at Deity. I built 2 warriors, then a granary. Because there were 3 flood plains, the production was not really good, but the population was great (too great, accordingly to Dave's theory about the settler factory). And because the 2 warriors were sent away, Persepolis was not defended, and of course a stupid barbarian roaming nearby approached, and I just had the time to close the game before assuming a ridiculous defeat.

    Well, my problem is this one, in fact : I always try to make the greatest economic start, hoping that the lack of military will be offset by the luck of not being attacked, which is impossible at Deity. I play that way too, in the Age of Empires games, and that sucks, I know it. I think it's the most interesting aspect of the games, though : try to find the optimum on a slide bar where you have economy on one side and military on the other one. Because I still haven't found it, I think it's what is really interesting in this kind of game. ;)

    Ok, I need to play standard Deity games anyway, if I want to do quite well in this GOTM...
     
  16. Xion

    Xion Chieftain

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    What you are effectivly asking for is an AI that is as good as a humans. Do you not see the impossiblity in this at the current or forseable furture? It is not even an AI; it is just a computer program that responds to certain events with a preset action or one of a selection of actions that it selects based on preset variables.

    Yes they could be tweaked so that it could know when to start a war with you i.e. not to do it when it has no iron and you do, or how to prioritise land improvements. But then sometimes you DO want to attack if your opponant has iron and you don't, in some situations it is a reasonable risk, but for the computer to be able to do so would require something a lot more sophistcated than what you will find in a £20 computer game.

    A computer aid/bonus is given in almost all games to the "AI" on harder difficulty settings; in Quake3, computer opponants will hit you with every shot where at a lower difficulty setting they may only hit 50% of shots, in Warcraft3 the AI will start in a better location and have 10 units already pre-built for it. It HAS to be this way, as expecting the computer to win against anyone who knows the game fairly well, be it Quake3, Warcraft3 or Civ3, will be able to trounce the computer everytime were they to start off on level peggings, all due to the fact that to expect a computer to match a human on complex thought patterns is just not possible.

    Welcome to the real world ;p
     
  17. BillChin

    BillChin Prince

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    Not impossible, read BamSpeedy's Deity Settlers thread for a how to. This kind of start is not always possible on random maps, but the term impossible does not apply. For barbs build more exploring units and early towns (sometimes instead of granary) to reduce the fog of war, and hope that the AI cleans up the barb camps.

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=40642

    Read it, play a game or two, read it again, practice some more, and some of the techniques will start to sink in.
    + Bill
     
  18. cookie_monster

    cookie_monster Chieftain

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    I would turn the barbs off to slow down the starting techs. It makes a big difference on my emperor games.
     
  19. AlanH

    AlanH Mac addict, php monkey Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    Barbs just raid your gold reserves. That's not a show stopper. Wait until France shows up to take your undefended capital, then you can quit.
     
  20. AlanH

    AlanH Mac addict, php monkey Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    How does having barbs active speed up research rate? They might pillage revenue-producing tiles, but that would slow it down, surely?
     

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