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Does Civ V or Civ IV has better AI and diplomacy?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by kettyo, Jul 20, 2018.

  1. kettyo

    kettyo Seeker of Reality

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    Hello,

    I have played Civ IV back in the past and i liked it. I never have tried Civ V but i see it is generally loved as much or even more than Civ IV. My question is whether the AI and diplomacy are better in Civ V compared to Civ IV because these are the features which provide the most entertaining game for me.

    I'd like to hear your opinions about this regarding the base as well as modded games since there are tons of mods out there for both.

    Thanks a lot.
     
  2. ashendashin

    ashendashin King

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    Get Vox Populi (AKA the Community Patch Project) if you want the best AI available for the Civ series. Start with the How to Install thread. It also works like an expansion and total overhaul for Civ5 so if that's not your thing you can use the community patch alone for AI improvements, though the base game is poorly balanced all around.
    I don't care to play any Civ game besides VP. They're designed like sandboxes in comparison.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2018
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  3. kettyo

    kettyo Seeker of Reality

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    @ashendashin
    This sounds very good. I've read that K-Mod for Civ IV also impoves AI considerably. That's great because i have beaten the Better BTS AI with relative ease.

    Does diplomacy in Civ V work similarly to how it goes in Civ IV? I liked that although the mechanic that the human player got different attitudes than an AI player i did not like.
     
  4. ashendashin

    ashendashin King

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    The actual diplo options and modifiers are similar, yes. VP's AI is competitive with it so opinion modifiers are only a part of their interests in dealing with other civs. It also reintroduces some diplo options from Civ4 that were missing.

    City-States are something to consider I suppose. They have their own diplo system where you use diplo units like emissaries to increase influence. Focus enough on them and you can change your world standing through World Congress and maybe use them as buffer zones or some such as friendly territory is useful for war.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2018
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  5. kettyo

    kettyo Seeker of Reality

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    @ashendashin
    Sounds interesting. Maybe i'll have to invest in Civ V complete when it will be on sale.

    What i gain compared to Civ IV beyond the obviously awesome graphics in Civ V?

    Thanks for your replies, they really help me a lot.
     
  6. ashendashin

    ashendashin King

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    Hmm, well when it comes down to game mechanics Civ IV and V can be quite different. I just edited in a part of diplomacy in my last post. I never managed to get into Civ4, and not for lack of trying. There's the fact that it's got a load of total conversions/overhauls to choose from but none of them seem quite as polished as VP. I'll have to resort to others experienced in it since you want a more detailed grasp of the differences.
    There's this article: https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/20...lization-games-are-these-total-overhaul-mods/
    And someone who, unlike me, was very much into Civ4:
     
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  7. kettyo

    kettyo Seeker of Reality

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    @ashendashin
    That's a good read!

    Maybe i'll compare Vox Populi to K-Mod myself after buying Civ V :)
     
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  8. Deadeyetim

    Deadeyetim Chieftain

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    Just came across this thread while searching for info on Vox Populi, and wanted to add in case someone else was looking. Have gone back to CivV several times to see if AI has improved, but always come back to Civ4 k-mod. Can't speak to Vox Populi as I haven't played it, but I will speak to k-mod. I go into the handicapinfo.xml file and mod until neither I nor the AI's have any bonuses and the AIs still give me a run for my money every time. The AI understands the victory conditions and plays to win. If you are weak and close, you will get dogpiled. AI does not do multiple far flung wars, but when it does come for you, it is on your border with a monster stack, or an armada of ships with a whole crapload of transports. Some people think it is too aggressive, but I like it because by the middle of the game, the competitors have thinned and it is superpower vs. superpower with lots of vassals. I would recommend it to anyone if they want a fair challenge.
     
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  9. Elbow_Jobertski

    Elbow_Jobertski Chieftain

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    Acken minimal balance mod helps the civ 5 AI quite a bit without massive changes to the game.

    It makes civ 5 play similar to how you describe k-mod. The levels with little or no AI bonuses became way more challenging.
     
  10. Cedbird77

    Cedbird77 Warlord

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    :lol: Wow do I miss the Civ 4 wars were the AI gangs up on you and it 's bye bye baby. Or the Armada drops off the Transports of Tanks into your territory . Bye bye baby.

    The AI had teeth in 4. Not so much in 5. But maybe two edges more competitive than 6.
     
  11. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    Do remember that the K in K-mod stands for King. I think it is telling that to make IV interesting, one has to play at a mediocre difficulty level. I find that to be evidence that IV was seriously flawed. I am not sure about III, but one of the great things about II and V is that one can work your way up from Chieftain to Deity. It is not a perfectly flat/straight difficulty curve, but is one aspect that made II so compelling, and something the franchise has struggled with.
     
  12. vorlon_mi

    vorlon_mi Just One More Turn

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    A key difference between Civ IV and Civ V is 1UPT -- that difference in mechanics is reflected in the AI's use of its armies. The Civ IV AI is skilled in tactical combat and it will bring Stacks of Doom, that don't exist in Civ V. Another key difference is the conquest/domination victory conditions. In Civ IV, one can win by domination by controlling a percentage of the world's land and the AI understands how to do this, as opposed to Civ V just taking over the original capitals.

    If one makes war in Civ IV, one does not suffer a long-term diplomatic hit as a warmonger that is amplified if one eliminates an opponent. Civ IV does not have city-states, so that aspect of diplomacy is absent. The attitude modifiers for religion and choice of civics are shown; you may *change* your civics and/or (unlike Civ V social policies, which may not be un-adopted) and the change will affect the AI attitude toward you. My impression is that Civ IV has more levers / dials to adjust to modify the AI attitude toward you. Civ IV does not have denouncements.

    Whether you like the choices for diplomatic agreements in one game or the other is a matter of taste.
     
  13. Elbow_Jobertski

    Elbow_Jobertski Chieftain

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    I don't follow. The AI handles civ4 better, so the difficulty is comparatively harder. I can play the AI on civ 4 about even (prince or king) and still have a game. If I play civ 5 on prince I almost have to try to make the AI beat me. The Acken mod made those levels more of a game to me, but before that it was a lot of sandboxing because giving the AI a massive head start just to see if I can run it down seems gimmicky.
     
  14. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    Here’s the thing @Elbow_Jobertski, I don’t Civ 2/3/4 really had an AI the way 5/6 does. Which is to say, the different civs have very noticeable differences from one another in 5. I would argue that Civ IV does not have “AI” or any diplomacy at all.

    In terms of battle strategy, the algorithms are exactly the same from 4 to 5, it is just that 1UPT masks the deficiency. From that perspective, I agree with you that “The AI handles civ4 better”.

    Yes, with Civ5 on Prince its hard to loose the game. I guess I think that is okay because it gives the player room to grow. Civ II was like that too. The difficulty scaling, i.e., giving the AIs more advantages as the player bumps up the difficulty level, is also the method used in 2/3/4/5/6. The AIs are already programmed to play the best the developers know how to program them them, so straight-up “massive head start” is the best the developers can do.

    My gripe is that Civ II did a very nice job with the difficultly scaling. The human player could start at Prince, and work their way up to most difficult level.

    Civ III screwed that up. One difficulty level was much too easy, but the next difficulty level was much too hard. Thank goodness for this website though! Game of the Month saved the franchise as far as I am concerned! Each month modded maps were offered on three tier levels, so there was something for everyone.

    Civ IV had the same fundamental flaw. Lots of great user modding though! And a community figured out that King difficulty was just right, hence K-Mod. That doesn’t change the fact that Firaxis should be embarrassed to screw up such a fundamental design requirement though. Twice in a row!

    Civ V had a totally different lead designer (Jon Shafer) who (1) gave us the flavor mechanic and (2) brought back a smooth difficulty curve. In addition to the AI civs having personality, there is diplomacy well beyond being at war or not. The title of this thread mystifies me because it seems to me that “good diplomacy” in IV people take to mean that the AI civs can fight better.

    There are good reasons to prefer IV to V, but neither “better AI” nor “better diplomacy” is among those reasons!
     
  15. Agent327

    Agent327 Observer

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    The one thing that stands out in this comment is 1UPT. Combine that with a hexbased map system and you create poblems for the AI that a human player can easily work out, but the AI can't.. The result is the AI being atrocious in city sieges, which they basically can only win against another AI civ or by bringing overwhelming numbers. (I had this once with Egypt: Arabia declared war and soon my capital was surrounded by Arab units and while I was trying to pick them off as best I could, I figured I might actually lose my capital. Not so: out of the blue, Arabai offered peace, demanding nothing in return. I most gratefully accepted, beign clueless as to why they were offering pece in the first place.)

    It's perfectly true that this has not much to do with Diplomacy. It's false that Civ V has 'better diplomacy', simply due to flavours, which, by the way, were introduced in Civ IV and appear in Civ V only slightly changed. Civ V 'diplomacy' is often nothing more than begging the human player for gold, even though on higher levels they get tons of gold free. Now you could argue that the AI requesting gold is 'more realistic', but that's beside the point. In Civ IV the AI had no need for begging. If it wanted your gold, it could demand it under threat of war, as was indeed usual in the previous releases. In addition, Civ IV had simply more diplomatic options available, to the point of ganging up against a human player who was getting too far ahead of the AI.

    None of this in Civ V. In Civ V the AI has fewer diplomatic options available and seems oblivious to the human player getting ahead of them. Now, in part this has nothing to do with diplomacy (there's nothing preventing the AI from actually ganging up against a human player, but they simply very rarely do this.That can only be because they were programmed that way. And one can only guess why.)
     
  16. vorlon_mi

    vorlon_mi Just One More Turn

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    As I read the thread, I see two distinct conversations, flowing past each other.

    Better AI: viewed through the lens of how well it wages war, and secondarily how predictable/exploitable AI behavior is

    Better Diplomacy: viewed through the lens of how many choices the player or the AI has, and whether that complexity is pleasing

    The two conversations merge when talking about using diplomacy to persuade the AI to join you in a war., and if you can, will the AI be effective in helping your cause. But they're still separate conversations. I'm firmly convinced that the Civ IV AI better understood how to pick off straggler units, how to build stacks, and how to move them towards the target city. It could be deceived with feints and decoys, and it did not use its siege units well. In my experience, the Civ V AI struggles to move-and-shoot with ranged units, and.or effectively move 6+ units in a group, especially where mountains are involved..

    I have constructed very elaborate diplomatic deals in Civ IV. Since the civics may be changed on demand -- not adopted one-time, as social policies are -- one can put civics changes, religion changes, and trade embargoes on the table, in combination with techs, gold, and resources. That certainly seems like richer diplomacy, or more complex diplomacy, than Civ V.

    I wonder also about the impact of another design decision -- Civ V was designed with multi-player in mind, where Civ II and III clearly were not. I'm not sure about Civ IV. When only one human player is possible, the AI logic may be altered so that it can win either by achieving a VC or by simply eliminating the human. A "shortcut to conquest," since it need not actually conquer the other AIs.
     
  17. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    Absolutely I agree, but that isn’t an argument that the IV AI is somehow smarter. It is the exact same algorithms!
    Agreed.
    It is not simply due to flavors. V has better diplomacy for a wide variety of reasons.
    Earlier than than I think! Which version did they set Gandhi’s war monger attribute to -1? Which turned out to be an underflow, so his war mongering, on a scale from 0 to 10, was actually like 32767!
    That is not correct. The system, as compared to previous version, is greatly expanded and the behavior of the various AIs take on strong distinct and recognizable personalities. See this Civ V Interactive AI Bias Value Chart to get a sense of how robust the system is!
    You seem to be confounding flavor text dialogue screens with actual diplomacy. The AIs have basically zero diplomatic influence over the player. The player, on the other hand, can reliably manipulate the AIs.
    I have no idea what you are talking about here.
    Fair point, and I would have loved to see that mechanic carried forward to V! OTOH, it was kind of pointless, since it was only ever triggered after the human player was clearly going to win anyway. Too little, too late.
    Thanks for calling this out. I would like for us to be able to agree as to what we mean by better AI and better AI.
    I agree that IV the AI civs wage war better. I am convinced that is 90% due to 1UPT.

    I think the how predictable/exploitable is AI behavior is better characterized as diplomacy.
    I am happy to debate player choices and Civics versus Social Policies, but “diplomacy” does not seem like the right term for that. Except that, of course, Civic choices and Ideology influences AI behavior.
    Agreed, that is one of the uses for diplomacy. And we could talk about persuading the AI to join you in a war as one example of comparing game mechanics.

    The points I was trying to make, admitted poorly, is (1) that V has several more uses for influencing AI behavior (i.e., diplomacy) beyond mutual wars, and (2) more mechanisms available to the player for improving / degrading relations (aka, diplomacy).
    It is even worse than all of what you describe! The V AI cannot move and shoot at all. If units move, they will not shoot.
    Your best efforts in IV are nothing compared to machinations needed to pass World Religion or World Ideology in V!
    Agreed, changing Civics is the one trick the player has in IV that is not reflected in V. But in my experience Civics was usually too important to put your government on the line more than twice in a game. V with Ideologies is a stronger mechanic, but also only useful once or twice a game.
    A bit off topic, but sorry, Social Polices, even without being reversible, are so much more interesting than Civics!
    Please correct me if I am not remembering right, but do you not have to make Civic change ahead of time? Can you actually put a civic switch in the trade dialog box? From that perspective, it is similar (but weaker for influence) than Ideologies. It is available earlier in the game of course. I do miss trading techs (and maps)! Religion in V has effects on AI attitude, and is stronger, but less flexible than with IV. Embargoes for trade is not a straight up mechanic, but V lets you trade a variety of World Congress votes for gold, resources, luxuries. V has trade routes, gifts, making World Congress proposals (and voting for/against AI proposals), spying, demands, denouncements, and a few subtle mechanics I am forgetting at the moment. That certainly seems like richer diplomacy, and more complex diplomacy, than with IV.

    EDIT to ask: I cannot remember, do the IV AI ever approach the player with interesting offers? With V, the most exotic thing is an AI asking the player to denounce another AI. Also AIs will proactively ask the player to DOW another AI, and the player can get some gold for DOWing, but the AI will not initiate an offer to the player to DOW for money.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2020
  18. vorlon_mi

    vorlon_mi Just One More Turn

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    I played most of my Civ V games in vanilla and G&K. I have yet to experience WC votes. I will cede any points about late-game Civ V diplomacy.

    In Civ IV, one does not need to make religion or civics changes before the negotiation. The penalties are manageable; no anarchy for Civics changes while during a Golden Age, for example. Skilled Civ IV players will orchestrate 2, 3, or more Golden Ages during the course of a game, and the strategy articles describe switching civic at the start, and switching back just before the end. The penalty from switching from "Free Religion" to a state religion is not huge, and is recommended by some skilled players.
     

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