Diplomacy seems geared towards hostility.

Discussion in 'Community Patch Project' started by dailyminerals, Jun 22, 2019.

  1. dailyminerals

    dailyminerals Chieftain

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    It seems that the diplomacy modifiers in Vox Populi are developed to steer the AI into wars with the player.

    I don't know if I just have a mod conflict, or it's just a "feature" of Vox Populi, but certain diplomatic boosts aren't being registered by the AI from player actions. According to the tooltip, when I liberate a vassal, I'm supposed to get a very large diplomatic boost, yet I got nothing when I liberated mine. When I gift things to AI when they ask, I don't get the "You gave us help" bonus. And also, some AI maintain that my "military deployment is extremely threatening" when I don't have a single military unit anywhere near their border and haven't for a very long time.

    Also, I understand that the mod is designed to make the AI more competitive, but bringing back the extreme diplomatic penalties for simply being successful, also known as "They know you're competing with them and they hate it", seems like inherently bad design that punishes the player for not failing along the lines of less powerful/successful AI civs. I feel like the mod is designed around having every AI hate you the further you go along in a game. Is there any plan to change that, or have it as a tick-able option in the custom game setup, something like "Less hostile AI" that doesn't, strictly in terms of diplo penalties, have the AI's hatred of you spiral out of control? Or is there already a modmod that does something similar? Also, I feel like some of the diplo penalties shouldn't last literally the length of the game, like the universal "broke promise to remove troops from boarders".

    And, given how utterly savage the AI can be with their willingness to kill you, I think there needs to be some changes to how the "warmonger" penalties register. I don't want to be considered a warmonger for simply protecting myself from a literally nonstop onslaught from my neighbor. "Warmonger" is such a hated aspect of this game, I'm surprised a mod of this scope has never touched it, or developed a system to make it apply more intelligently. Of course, I know that you're working hard on other aspects.

    And I know these things might be fine for games on faster game speeds, but on Marathon, they can permanently alter the diplo landscape and lock the player into something permanent they can never change for a game lasting over 2000 turns.

    Maybe some functionality with a Great Diplomat could be a fun way to repair relations with AI, which could be an interesting gameplay expansion. It always seems like the player is at the mercy of the AI for if and when relations can improve, which I feel, since the release of the vanilla game, should be altered to allow for the player to work towards better relations in a real and concrete way. If I don't want a sworn enemy for the next thousand turns, right now there's literally nothing I can do. I feel like this mod tips everything towards being played as a war simulator, which leaves the builder/diplo players out in the cold.
     
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  2. JMA2286

    JMA2286 Chieftain

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    Are you establishing Declarations of Friendship with other major civs? If not, then you need to. It's unavoidable
     
  3. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    The mod decided a long time ago, after a lot of conversation, that at the end of the day, we are playing a game to win. To create competitive AIs, they had to play the same way. No human would sit merrily by and let another human just win the game...they would try every trick in the book to thwart them. The AI plays the same...and yes that sacrifice some immersion at the alter of competitiveness. The two are at odds, and the mod made a decision on which one to prioritize.

    That said, there are certainly ways to maintain friendships in the late game...but its hard to be friends with everyone. Diplomacy is more active in VP, and just like in real life, hatred is often more powerful than friendship. Denouncements is a tool that as a peaceful player, I didn't appreciate the power of for a very long time. Denouncing a person's enemy is one of the fastest way to make a friend. Joining in wars with a buddy will help endear you to that civ. Sure trading and giving some favors adds to that pile...but sometimes a civ wants to know if you got its back when times are tough. Beyond that, having a strong army is important. Again, this is similar to real life, you can use words all you want, but if a civ knows your military is strong, they are more likely to want to be your friend....because they certainly don't want to be your enemy.

    Now if you are being told in the system that X action will give a benefit, and to you its not...than that sounds like a bug to go to Githhub. But it is intentional that certain peaceful acts aren't as strong in VP as they are in Vanilla.
     
  4. dailyminerals

    dailyminerals Chieftain

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    I understand that, but so often the mod feels more like a turn-based RTS where everyone on the map is an enemy that needs to be destroyed. Competition is inevitable, but having a -80 diplomacy penalty with a Civ simply because you're playing successfully and have zero ill will towards them just feels like poor implementation. But honestly, Civ has always had exceptionally poor diplomacy. I just wished there were mods that improved it, rather than make it even worse.

    And I feel that at the end of the day, it's an experience for the player, rather than with the player. No AI will ever emulate human nuance, so I feel that gimping the player experience just to mirror and human-like hyper competition seems, to me, a negative rather than a positive.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2019
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  5. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    The problem here is...no one is actually wrong. Your position is quite correct, but so is the mods. It’s a fundamental decision, and the mod made its choice. Thst has benefits and drawbacks. This is an area that you can’t please everyone
     
  6. Favorius

    Favorius I am not a Chief!

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    Imagine an AI that would wage war till your last city falls, rejects your demands of settling close, rejects converting your cities to his religion, tries to grab all best wonders, tries to ally with all CSs, trades with your enemies, rejects your invitations to declare war on your enemy and worst of all, snowball hard. Yes, that is what you do, as human player.

    So how AI plays is justified in my eyes. I never show them mercy so I expect none.
     
  7. Takagi Hiro

    Takagi Hiro Prince

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    Well, you probably kind of can. I imagine this is probably possible to edit somewhere, like removing a couple lines regarding "competition" within the code?

    I happen to agree with the OP on this, though like you said, nobody's wrong. I play Civ kind of as a world simulator, and it feels very weird to have a civ you've helped along the years, been given help by, made declarations of friendship with, and never gone to war with "know you're competing with them" and go hostile on this factor alone at some point in the game, even when you're not actually TRYING to; you're just doing well. It's a silly modifier, and it breaks the immersion of the game to me (so much that I often quit my games when these modifiers start surfacing). Of course I'm competing with you; I'm competing with the whole dang world, because that's the game. You may as well just give every civ this from turn 1 if competition is the "reason". But I feel like win or lose, if you've played nice with the AI and stayed out of their way, they shouldn't suddenly hate you and march halfway across the world to make an attempt at stopping you from "winning". Land disputes are reason for this. Opposing friendships are reason for this. Denouncements are reason for this. Ideologies are reason for this. Being weak is a reason for this. And the list goes on... Winning the game should not be one of these reasons; this is something that isn't justifiable without the AI breaking the fourth wall and realizing they're playing a "game". We already have plenty of ways diplomacy can crumble, do we REALLY need another -80 for just playing the game well?

    Regardless, I feel a toggle for "competitive AI/lax AI" would be welcome by many, myself included. There are two spectrums of Civ players, the ones who view it as no more than a competitive game, and the ones who view it as more of a sandbox. But from a sandbox perspective, a -80 for no justifiable reason hardly sits well.

    Edit: Typos...
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2019
  8. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I'm curious. Does anyone know. If you play with Time Modifier only, do those penalties kick in? Could turn off victory conditions allow for "world simulator" type of experiences?
     
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  9. dailyminerals

    dailyminerals Chieftain

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    I think this is the core issue. This mod is very much geared towards those that treat the game as a slow moving game of mutually destructive conquest, and that's fun sometimes, but catering to that one and only playstyle narrows the scope of player choice and funnels all games to only one conclusion. And I think all that would be needed is an option to mellow out the AI. Often I feel that "victory conditions" exist just to allow the game to conclude, rather than be the sole purpose for playing. To me, playing Civ just for the victory condition is like playing Skyrim just to see the credits roll. It's a backwards approach to a game meant to be played to grow and develop a story across time, not to just beat up a bunch of AIs. But of course, everyone plays differently.

    Obviously, this is all personal opinion, but I think this is one big area the mod can improve.
     
  10. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    Nothing directs the AI towards war prior to the late game unless you are weak or exploitable.

    G
     
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  11. dailyminerals

    dailyminerals Chieftain

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    I'm not necessarily talking about open war, I'm talking about hostility, where functionally you might as well be at war with an given AI given their opinion of you based on things you can't control, and there generally being more ways to piss them off than be friends. It's like its designed to force civs to gravitate towards war.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
  12. Bhawb

    Bhawb Prince

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    I'm currently well into industrial and the only wars that have been declared on me are bribed wars. That is the one thing I think AI doesn't evaluate well at all, they'll get bribed into a war that is obviously, objectively detrimental, against a long-time ally, only to lose a ton of units, time, and gold. For example in my current game, I cannot imagine Portugal was given a deal so good that they could lose half of their entire military to pillage a couple of work boats and get the deal to declare war, while also losing all of our trade with each other.
     
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  13. SpankmyMetroid

    SpankmyMetroid Warlord

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    If you play with transparent diplomacy you can see that the negative modifier for "competing" is harsh but doesn't completely eclipse a powerful friendship. If you're finding that your allies are backstabbing you as soon as this modifier shows up, they weren't great allies in the first place. And you're probably weak in terms of military.
     
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  14. Rosaria's Sandwiches

    Rosaria's Sandwiches Chieftain

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    Yea VP diplo is based on selfishness and competitiveness; basically every AI's goal is to win over you, not to make friends with you—if that entails befriending you or crushing you then they will do one or the other. Dogpiling effect is another matter.

    As a side note, it would be interesting to see if a future modmod could make VP diplo more about cooperation (less greedy) and alliances; more like a relaxing world simulator with friendlies and not-so-friendlies rather than me, myself and I.
     
  15. Moi Magnus

    Moi Magnus Emperor

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    Hostility is also based on how weak you are.
    If you have the biggest army in the world (but don't use it to conquer the world), peoples will be much friendlier with you.
    Defensive pacts should be your goal if you aim for a non-warmonger gameplay.
    (And even with a non warmonger gameplay, you might want to make few coop wars just to strengthen alliances and friendship, without trying to captures too many cities to not be a warmonger).
     
  16. xxcavvyxx

    xxcavvyxx Chieftain

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    It's still pretty bad. Nearly every game I play with VP it's impossible to make friends with anyone even if everyone is in the green and friendly with me.
    Last game I played with VP the Inca conquered like 5 civs but my religion was still dominate in the world and my army was still better and I hadn't declared war once. Everyone was still mostly green and friendly but nobody would make friendship with me and they all signed defense packs but wouldn't with me then they all kept trading tech to each other and signing research agreements but not with me and the moment they could all sanction me they did and then they banned all my luxuries (but all still friendly) then somehow they all were magically 10 technologies ahead of me within about 5 turns.
    It's usually when that happens I just go back and play regular civ since VP messes with the AI so bad these late game turns take a good 1 - 5 minutes. Regular game late game takes less then 30 seconds for 22 civs. I think it's probably because the AI sends 5 dozens units back and fourth from one city to another and then back again (literally the most time consuming thing ever)

    Would be great to see the AI behave a bit more like normal civ.
     
  17. Kim Dong Un

    Kim Dong Un The One & Unly Supporter

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    Yea I remember when I questioned Zebo on all this a while ago, but after scrutinizing a bit more, learned that the modifiers are pretty balanced. The military is 100% the biggest factor with regards to many things in this game (as in real life).

    Next time anyone builds the Great Wall, take some notes on Sun Tzu's quote about making yourself unassailable...
     
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  18. Recursive

    Recursive Radiating Doom At 10x The Background Level Moderator

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    A lot I could comment on here. I made a thread about AI diplomacy showing how the Approach calculation - which includes WAR/HOSTILE - works, and I plan on improving that thread shortly by adding the Opinion modifiers: https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/vp-diplomacy-ai-approach-opinion-demystified.645461/

    Vassal liberation, including the diplomatic boost, doesn't work properly, it's a bug that's been reported on Github but I think has been assigned to Putmalk to resolve it - he hasn't been here for a while.

    Gifting things to the AI improves the recent trade value bonus ("We are trade partners."). In vanilla, the recent assist bonus ("They asked for help and you provided it.") was added instead. However, it's worth noting that deals with a value greater than 100 for the AI (which most gifts would be) will add more value than normal.

    VP changed the recent assist bonus to "Your recent diplomatic actions please them." which is gained with the target AI if you broker peace, or when you warn an AI of another AI's war plans by selecting the "Impossible. You go too far." dialogue option. Recent assist value can also be negative, "Your recent diplomatic actions disappoint them." if you do certain things, such as if they catch you brokering war against them, or if you break off a Declaration of Friendship with them, or if you choose an insulting dialogue option when speaking to them.

    The penalty for VICTORY_DISPUTE, i.e. competition for the same victory condition ("They fear/suspect/know that you are competing with them.") is always applied, if it exists.

    However, the opinion penalty for VICTORY_BLOCK, i.e. generally being too successful ("Your behavior worries/angers/infuriates them.") is not applied if their opinion of you is Friend or higher, which requires a total of at least 70 positive opinion. In addition the VICTORY_BLOCK approach penalty is not applied either, or any other penalties, since the level is set to NONE if you're at least at the Friend level. Just a helpful tip there.

    Neither of these modifiers are applied before turn 150, and they're only applied if you're doing too well.

    As for the AI hating you the farther you are in the game, there's specific code which does that if you're close to winning the game, and the opinion modifier for VICTORY_BLOCK slightly increases with each era, but it's much less a function of time and much more a function of how successful you are. The AI will also target you if you're weak or exploitable.

    Warmonger penalties are applied more intelligently than in vanilla BNW, and the mod has in fact modified them. It's worth noting that Opinion (which warmonger penalties primarily affect) is only one factor in how the AI decides its approach towards you. You can see the full Approach calculation in the thread I posted.

    "If I don't want a sworn enemy for the next thousand turns, right now there's literally nothing I can do. I feel like this mod tips everything towards being played as a war simulator, which leaves the builder/diplo players out in the cold."

    There are quite a number of things you can do to improve diplomacy, although certain AIs are more receptive to it than others. In general however it's much easier for Tall players than Wide, since warmongers or expansionists tend to get the most diplo penalties. However, building a strong military is one of the best things you can do to deter AI hostility, regardless of whether you're playing Tall or Wide.

    I'm going to post the opinion mechanics shortly to give people a better idea of how those work.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
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  19. Rekk

    Rekk Emperor

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    How possible is it to gain a net positive 70 modifier without a Declaration of Friendship? Because you can't rely on the Declaration to carry you since they run out and can drop you below the threshold, at which point the AI's opinion of you changes completely as the VICTORY_BLOCK modifier kicks in.
     
  20. SpankmyMetroid

    SpankmyMetroid Warlord

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    Ideologies certainly help, I think that’s a free +60 to friendliness?
     

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