Does adding more playes increase or decrease the difficulty?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by DABegley, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. DABegley

    DABegley Warlord

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    I play BTS at Monarch/Emperor, mostly monarch, and recently wanted a change from my normal games so I increased the number of players from the standard 7 to 12. 11 AIs and me. I played one game as Hannibal and won a space race handily and could have done domination/conquest as well. I started a second game as Willem and at about 1000 AD I am leaving the other players in the dust in the tech race. Now their both strong countries but I usually don't have this easy a time. I know with an N=2 this is hardly statistically significant but I am curious how people feel player number affects difficulty. It has seemed to make obtaining a religion (from someone else) early easier, the AIs have been more limited in their growth (of course no one got on a big conquest roll in either game) as they limited each others growth and I have had an easier time trading with people as I had more partners. In neither game did I do an early rush, although in the first game I did an early choke but didn't conquer them for a long time. It seems easier to me but could just be two lucky games so what do other people say?
     
  2. TheLazyHase

    TheLazyHase King

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    It depend, but most of the time it decrease the difficulty to add player. But some area are more difficult (like diplomacy - even if in my opinion it's just more clunky to deal with, not that much more difficult), and some less difficult, like military affair. So depending on your playstrength, it can be both way.
     
  3. azzaman333

    azzaman333 meh

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    Generally any deviation from the standard setup will hurt the AI.
     
  4. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Not here. Try a huge map with 5 AIs on a high difficulty. It should wind up being just about impossible.

    Adding AIs makes the game easier because they do not coordinate activity (nor should they) and thus only a smaller % of the land is leveraged against the player at any given time.
     
  5. Sincro

    Sincro Thou hast no Cu, again...

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    Or put another way: Deviation from the standard setup that increases crowding hurts the AI, and if it decreases crowding it hurts the player. So, a standard fractal map with high sea levels and 12 AIs would punish them.

    Many, if not most deviations do hurt the AI, but I think that changing the number of AIs has the most dramatic effect on outcomes. The deviation that I most often use (and I'm sure it's considered seriously cheesy) is no tech brokering. Lets me fearlessly upgrade my conquered vassals without squandering my tech advantage. :)

    -Sinc
     
  6. DABegley

    DABegley Warlord

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    Thanks all, it seemed noticeably easier on monarch, fractal, standard with 12 players than with 7. Next game I'll ratchet back down to 7 or go up to emperor maybe and see how that plays with 12. I can survive on emperor with 7 but very rarely win while I win about half the time on Monarch and was looking for a way to increase the difficulty of Monarch to an intermediate level between Emperor and Monarch. Guess that didn't work.
     
  7. Hereditary Rule

    Hereditary Rule Warlord

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    If you want more AI, add more players via playing a larger map. That way the AI have a larger world to settle. Difficulty should go up a bit on large and huge maps. Any kind of race will be a bit harder with more AI's. (religions, wonders, lib).
     
  8. Jerrymander

    Jerrymander Epistemologist

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    That is a double edged sword; less land means less raw resources with the same map modifiers. However, yes, there are more civilizations vying for the same things and if you have certain leaders - Louis XIV, for example - they will still gobble up wonders, techs, etc.
     
  9. quiddity

    quiddity Chieftain

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    like said before, it depends of all the map's factors.


    playing with 18 civs on a huge maps on deity is harder than win on small ones with 4 civs, since u cant early rush/oppress each AI there's always one who conquer a large empire or a turtle Beaker one to outech you after middle eras.
     
  10. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    The more land the AI gets relative to the player w/o lifting a finger, the harder the map gets.

    4 civs on huge is much harder than 18. You will never, ever keep up with their expansion on immortal/deity, and then you're toast.
     
  11. TheLazyHase

    TheLazyHase King

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    irrelevant ; we are talking about adding player, and if you change nothing else it will near alway be less difficult, IMO.

    They may be limit case. Maybe having 4 opponent instead of 1 on an extra-huge map make more difficult, since you may actually encounter an opponent before winning, and they will be big enough to destroy you.
     
  12. Rusty Edge

    Rusty Edge Deity

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    Once upon a time, after a discussion here about what were the most difficult settings, I played a series of Huge/Marathon/Diety/ Raging barbs /3-5 civs/ Pangea.

    Sometimes I actually won by default because the black swarm ate all of my enemies.
     
  13. Antilogic

    Antilogic --

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    I agree with TMIT's way of looking at it. More land means each AI has more resources. If you add extra AIs, and they all have a small region, you will have an easy time isolating a few, and then the rest chain-capitulate fairly quickly.

    So long as you can make sure you get a strategic resource (horses, copper, or iron) within your initial two or three cities, you as the player will be in decent shape. This cannot be said of any AI player.
     
  14. Lemon Merchant

    Lemon Merchant Not Quite Sonic Super Moderator

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    I've been playing small maps lately with 4 Civs + lil' ole me, and I find it a little easier. Diplo is my weak point, unfortunately. If I play a larger map I usually have to rush at least one, if not two of my neighbors very early on to be competitive and keep up. I'm exceptionally unlucky with resources. Horses, for instance, will pop up just outside Justinian's BFC, with me 15 tiles away (and with no Iron or Copper - ever). He has spiffy horse units, I'm having my citizens donate their cutlery to make swords. :(
     
  15. Antilogic

    Antilogic --

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    You've been swayed by the Anti-style! I usually play Small or Standard maps with 0-2 extra Civs. :)

    Although the reason for that is more due to time constraints--I have difficulty finding the time to finish a large or huge game.
     
  16. FriendoftheDork

    FriendoftheDork Keiser

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    You guys actually finish games? I think I've done it maybe 3 times since I got civ 4. And I've started maybe 40-50 games....
     
  17. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    I've FINISHED well over 100 if you add up the HoF on the 3 computers I've used to play the game. The trick is to play them quickly ;).
     
  18. katipunero

    katipunero Prince

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    i always think more ai means a longer time to wait for turns to start and end. so i guess in that sense the game becomes more difficult time-wise. anyway.
     
  19. Lemon Merchant

    Lemon Merchant Not Quite Sonic Super Moderator

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    <Sigh.> Yes. I underestimated the power of the Dark Side. :lol:

    I finish more than 95% of my games. I'm a sucker for punishment. ;)
     
  20. r_rolo1

    r_rolo1 King of myself

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    Not necessarily. The AI also deals pretty badly with too much space, especially if it sudently appears in the middle of the game. In fact the AI can enter in a settling frenzy that can be far from being a good idea for them.
     

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