Do we need strong combat AI?

aimlessgun

King
Joined
Jan 4, 2010
Messages
782
Aimlessgun, do you still see these behaviors with the last couple of patches? I'm honestly curious.

Personally I don't see the AI lead with ranged units anymore. Sometimes it *appears* like they do, but that's because they sent a wave of melee units (which I squashed) and then a turn or two later the artillery shows up by itself. Granted, they should withdraw the ranged units, but I don't see them place ranged units up front any more than I do it (because sometimes it's a good idea).

I also haven't seen the AI fortify a unit to be bombarded to death in a LONG LONG time. Can't remember the last time it happened.

I do still see them jump into the water from time to time though ;) And I do see them leave GGs orphaned. That GG thing is the one thing that still happens that makes me say to myself, "Really... you're going to do that!?" :crazyeye:

Unfortunately I do still see these behaviors after the patch. I was defending a city yesterday and to my great amusement I could 'ping' the attackers with 1 dmg city attacks and half the time they would fortify to try to 'heal', except they were in my territory, so I effectively neutralized an attacker with a single point of damage.

Another thing: the AI attacking cities for 0 damage with ranged units. They do this constantly.

Last thing: inappropriate attack targets. This is actually a symptom of something good that's not quite working yet: the AI tries to after weak cities. However this often ends up with their troops parading past your army, ignoring it while getting bombarded to death. I've had a swordsman just walk past an archer, getting pinged the whole time, and not turn and kill the archer because it was so intent on making it to one of my inner cities.
 

Callonia

Deity
Joined
Jan 14, 2010
Messages
2,177
did u update ur civ 5?
 

Misterboy

Modern Major General
Joined
Oct 12, 2010
Messages
244
Unfortunately I do still see these behaviors after the patch.

Well, that's a bummer. I had hoped my experience was more widespread. Though to be honest a guy fortifying until healed while you pick at him 1HP at a time isn't a huge deal. I mean, he's not losing the unit outright. But yeah, still not ideal.

I have also seen melee units not attack a ranged unit. However, I haven't seen it enough to diagnose why it happens. I guess I've assumed the AI decided tactically that it wasn't worth it as it might put the melee unit in a bad position. I know I've certainly skipped taking enemy units due to position. But it's just as likely that I'm attributing more intelligence to the AI than is warranted.
 

bruntfca

Warlord
Joined
Nov 23, 2001
Messages
120
1upt makes a significant difference to the way the game is played. AI stacking units on top of each other to make stacks as strong as possible and then just barging into terriotory isn't a game, it's not even difficult to program in terms of "intelligence", mainly because there isn't any.

Forcing players and AI to think about what units they want to put forward first, and then how the AI makes a threat assesment.

Think about it like this, is Modern Armor more of a threat than Artillery? What if there are 3 Artillery in range and only one Modern Armor? Add to that a mountain range and your defending units being 2 moves away. Which unit should the city attack first?

Civ5 doesn't apply threat effectively, because it will start shooting at the Artillery blindly. And why shouldn't it? Because the final blow will be dealt by the modern armor. If it takes out the Modern Armor first, the Artillery are a cake walk. But the AI will tend to leave units that aren't shooting at it when others are.

In that example, there are of course dozens of other factors to consider. But overall I'd say that the AI holds up rather well, although it needs to have the capability to make more educated decisions, it needs to consider more in it's logic rather.

My point is, that the difficulty in creating the type of AI these threads complain about is actually integral to the discussion. The gameplay has been overhauled in terms of military conquest and largely for the better.

If you're finding it so darn easy, I'd suggest Multiplayer, where you'll find your opponents being rather more creative. And if that's not an option, I'd strongly suggest you consider why you continue to play such a mindlessly easy game as you've indicated you find it. :mischief:

As someone else has said, the AI needs to remember more. But not just within the confines of one game, it needs to build up a bank of data regarding your tactical playstyle.

You know the Aztecs are likely to be feisty and that an Alliance with the Mongols is likely to go sour, you also know how the computer fights it's battles. It doesn't have the same advantage as you and so it comes across as being rather dim because it's not adequetely armed to defend itself.

But I'm yet to see a game where the AI poses a significant threat without having an insane advantge. The fact is, you won't. Because ultimately, the challenge has to come from another human player, and that's the future of pretty much most strategy games IMO.

There's just so much wrong with this post.

You posit a *future* where most strategy players will play against another human. You don't have any great hopes for AI or technology in the future then?

You ask why the person continues to play? Probably because up until now, he enjoyed the franchise, and he'd like to stay part of the community.

You've yet to see a game where the AI poses a significant threat? Guess you've never played Chess/Bridge/Poker etc etc. The AI in this game is lame because Friaxis/2K screwed it up, period.
 

Becomedeath

The Destroyer
Joined
Feb 19, 2011
Messages
423
Location
Channel Islands
Got my hands full at work, so I'll keep it quick.

Firstly, I have great hopes for technology in the future. However, AI is never going to surpass the complexity that a human opponent can offer. There will always come a point, no matter how advanced the AI that a Human player learns how to defeat it over and over again.

Algorithms vs Neurons is a win for Neurons every time. If you're unwilling to face a human opponent, then you're scarcely in a position to claim that the AI isn't challenging enough and if it were then to what level precisely would you like it raised to?

The point where it's just tough enough to slow you down until you learn it's patterns but not quite to the point where it changes them creatively? So, really, just delaying the inveitable crossover where you start beating the computer endlessly again?

Technology I have faith in, games manufacturers knowing that the market for games is becoming led by multiplayer online experiences? You don't need faith for a certainty.

The AI in Civ 5 is far from cutting edge, but it's pretty good for what it is. The combat does need a greater understanding of tactical play as it is still trying to win by brute force alone, but given time I'm sure they'll iron that out.


Secondly, I've spent too long playing other games where people berate a game consistently for a few aspects and expect it to improve through sheer whine-power whilst still playing it. And yes, my general opinion is that if you're not happy with it and you're doing something you don't enjoy then who's really failing there? Seen it for too long and have no more patience for whiners.

If you want it to improve, be constructive, crying about it won't help anyone.

And in closing (I'm sure I said quick somewhere), I have never lost a game of Chess to a computer. I may have had several stalemates, but never lost. Poker I've only ever lost because I go all in which is pretty much turning it into roulette and the computer will always win at Bridge because I will always fall asleep.
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2010
Messages
684
The solution that worked for me for both stupid AI combat and diplomacy - multiplayer. It is even more fun with teams, like 3 vs 3, where coordinating attacks and pooling resources make or break the battles. Things like lancers and culture bombs suddenly have more meaning.

Diplomacy - strong player with Porcelin Tower and Rationalism signs RA with weak civ, other players destroy weak civ before RA is completed :lol:... this is fun stuff...
 

Callonia

Deity
Joined
Jan 14, 2010
Messages
2,177

Hustapha Thool

Warlord
Joined
Apr 30, 2003
Messages
234
I am realistic and I know that the AI cannot come close to a human player, but I do wish to see some strengthening of it. I really do think AI attack on cities is within the realm possibilities for CiV. In a recent game I was observing Arabia attacking a CS close to me, and I was hoping that they would take that CS. Arabia had more than enough units to do this but they could never manage it, the CS did not have a single unit. Now we do see the AI taking out CS all the time, but it seems that this is usually with the civs such as Mongolia that have a bonus against them. So my immediate suggestion, and easiest to implement, for improvement of the AI would be to make them a bit stronger against the human player in hp and attack. This could increase with difficulty level. I realize this would offend the "AI cheats" crowd but my view on that is that they have unrealistic expectation of AI programming.

On the multi-player note. I do not enjoy sitting at a computer at a click-fest pace, it is just not my idea of fun. Sitting at a computer at a frenzy is not my type of game/relaxation. From what I understand, and I have not played CiV MP, this is essentially what it is. I would love to play against humans but the nature of this game is multiple hours and I understand that getting 12 people together online to play a very long game at a leisure pace is realistically impossible. AI affords me to play 20 minutes or 2 hours before I can get up, save the game, and come back to it on my own time.
 

starrywisdom

Warlord
Joined
Jul 15, 2010
Messages
205
Grand masters reliably lose to computers at chess; if you've never lost it's because you've only ever tried against a simple program.

You forgot to add in the part that those computers that beat GM's aren't avaliable to everyone - you can't just go out to Walmart and purchase a /good/ piece of chess software <.<
 

Waywocket

Warlord
Joined
Jul 5, 2011
Messages
143
You forgot to add in the part that those computers that beat GM's aren't avaliable to everyone - you can't just go out to Walmart and purchase a /good/ piece of chess software <.<

In the nineties when computers were only just starting to reliably outmatch the world's best players you would have had a good point, but PDAs/phones are beating grand masters now, and a lot of that software is sold commercially to people who don't have a fortune to spend on it; this isn't just theoretical lab-grade software.

Even GNU chess is only just shy of grand master level IIUC, but if you're willing to spend some money there are a number of mainstream commercially available options (at a price comparable to CiV). EG: http://www.chessbase.com/shop/product.asp?pid=467 or http://www.chessbase.com/shop/product.asp?pid=506.

Or for free: http://www.rybkachess.com/index.php?auswahl=Demo+version
 

Becomedeath

The Destroyer
Joined
Feb 19, 2011
Messages
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Location
Channel Islands
Grand masters reliably lose to computers at chess; if you've never lost it's because you've only ever tried against a simple program.

I'm sorry I must have forgotten, when did we last play chess together?

And you might want to check what you mean by "reliably lose", most documented games between Grandmaster Chess Players aand AI machines are staged either as demonstrations or academic testing, there is no program out there that's just chugging through people like some unbeatable behemoth.

Perhaps too much faith in computers against people? But the fact that you think people are dumb is not really a basis for the presumption that because a computer is playing a game composed of logic and preset moves combining themsleves into an higher level strategy, it is automatically better. In fact, computers consistently show one area of weakness in chess algorithms that is exploited consistently by a human opponent. Computers don't know how to sacrifice.

In order to sacrifice a piece, you need to have (at least) three layers of strategy. The one you intend to play, the one your opponent thinks you're playing and the one you're going to play if your opponent doesn't fall into the trap(s). The more intricate the trap, the more complex the strategies have to be. AI chess systems primarily focus on real time strategies, they react rather than causing reaction because at the end of the day, they're machines. They can't be creative. And more than anything else, the AI's motivation is to win the game, that's the objective. The human player wants something more, it wants it's opponent to lose.

Which is why the AI in Civ, for what it is, is pretty damn good considering.

And for the record, I didn't say consistently win, I said never lost. I happen to be quite good at chess, playing for a stalemate isn't that hard for anyone to do. And it's a testament to the afrementioned mindset, that that possibility never even occured to you.

Shame really.

But if I'm wrong and we have played, do let me know. :)
 

Thormodr

Servant of Civ
Supporter
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Feb 15, 2005
Messages
5,000
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Vancouver, Canada
To answer the Op, if they are going to have Civilization 5 focused primarily as a wargame with very bad multiplayer, then yes, you most certainly need a good combat AI to ensure a good single player experience.
 

qemist

Prince
Joined
Jul 16, 2011
Messages
562
You've yet to see a game where the AI poses a significant threat? Guess you've never played Chess/Bridge/Poker etc etc. The AI in this game is lame because Friaxis/2K screwed it up, period.

I agree that the AI is weak in many ways that detract from the game. However, I don't think this is a "screw-up". Judging from Playing to Lose: AI and "Civilization" the developers mainly worry about making sure even "casual" players can win.
 

Becomedeath

The Destroyer
Joined
Feb 19, 2011
Messages
423
Location
Channel Islands
the developers mainly worry about making sure even "casual" players can win.

That, sadly is the problem with most commercial games at the moment. The ability to sell online, market online and patch frequently has led to a culture of dumbing games down to the point where a chimp with a keyboard stands a chance. MMOs are particularly in the firing line with both EvE and WoW being casual nerfed to the point of insanity.

Civ retains a lot of it's independance, but it's clear to see that unlike it's predecessors it's being aimed at a wider market rather than an existing fan base. And people who've chucked some credit card details over steam to "give it a go" immediately think "that's not so hard" after the tutorial, whack up the difficulty and then :cry: that the game is broken too hard while the die hards :cry: that it's too easy.

Civ sadly, has so many components that it could be subject to changes for years in a vain attempt to find balance.
 

Rinnero

Chieftain
Joined
May 30, 2011
Messages
89
That is disbalance in diplo and tactical AI. "AI stupidity" modifier is really useful.

Diplo AI is DECENT! It has flavors and can calculate total strenghts, political situation, tech advancement and so on.

Though you still can fool AI, it is OK. Compared to tactical AI... AI cant take a single city even when he is one era ahead and has 5 times more units. That is the most serious flaw of singleplayer, and the biggest reason I prefer technically broken multiplayer.

I prefer good tactical AI to good diplo AI. In this case I can at least play, even without diplomacy (constant war).

Devs should stop beating the air with balancing, and "improving" diplo AI.


Devs need to do TWO things first: improve tactical AI (that is hard) and improve technical part of MP (hard as well, but easier that fixing tactical AI)

THAN fix other balance issues!
 
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