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[NFP] Dramatic Ages wrecking AI?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Ash plays civ, Sep 27, 2020.

  1. tedhebert

    tedhebert Emperor

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    Happened to me too on my immortal game... Byzantium, of all civs, got completely wiped, from a 10 city empire. and most others lost 3-4 cities permanently.

    In my mind, the problem resides not all that much in the fact that cities turn free when you hit dark ages. It's also that walls are very strong (too strong ?) and hard to defeat, and that free cities get the best possible units at the moment of turning. And then start pumping out others (unless they stupidly produce builders ;-) )
    All this is compounded with the loyalty pressure from free cities, which is new. It just snowballs.

    It has gotten to the point where I have decided to simply declare and attack my neighbor Maya before she falls to this snowball, instead of allowing her cities to turn free and becomes twice as hard to attack or defend against. Doesn't make sense.

    Maybe, in the end, the QA and Dev teams should reassess the free cities loyalty pressure.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2020
  2. Melkus

    Melkus Chieftain

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    You hit the nail on the head here, my immortal game went even worse for the AI. After my Gaul neighbor turned red, I barely stabilized my neighbors by taking his cities with my horde of Hippodrome Tagmas /Tanks , but the other half of the world collapsed almost completely (in slow motion). It was fun as a single game because I came back from a disaster of a start (Byzantium without religion - not ideal), but I suspect this will grow old quickly.

    It also makes no sense in terms of immersion / role playing that the free cities put positive loyalty pressure on each other, even when they freed themselves from different masters - and they support each other with their cutting edge units, too, so a block of free cities is nearly impossible to break down for the AI.

    A free city blob just becomes the most stable entity in the game in later eras - they don't have to worry about science, culture, gold or era score - they can't hit dark ages themselves while everyone else inevitably will at some point in a competitive game - they just have to build up-to-date units and walls and eat weak neighbor civs with loyalty or rebellion.

    So the core problem seems to be that they are behaving like one ("barbarian") AI actor with no loyalty issues (plus strong walls and high unit output).
    If Firaxis really wants to get this right, they probably have to make it so that free cities act at least as independently as a city state (or do the full civ transformation, though that might be a whole new Pandora's box of coding and balancing issues).
     
  3. Shadowstrike

    Shadowstrike Chieftain

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    Yeah, the issue seems to be that free cities build up into self-reinforcing blocks, that are bigger than the other civs. I think having clusters of connected free cities (say 3 or more?) turn into new civs would probably resolve this issue...
     
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  4. 8housesofelixir

    8housesofelixir Emperor

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    In addition, I also found out that AI seems to have no idea targeting a free city.

    When attacking a civ's city, or a city-state, AI roughly know that taking the city itself should be priority, they will try to surround the city and bring up ranged/siege units to take down its defense from time to time.

    But when it's a free city, AI don't seem to actively take down the city; they will be very defensive instead, only try to attack the units spawned by the free city that when into their lands.

    I personally assume this is because free city units are considered as barbarians in the code, and the AI will just targeting them like targeting barbs, which means far less units investment in the attacks.
     
  5. Park Hyun

    Park Hyun Chieftain

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    This has been bugging me so much I finally made an account on this site just to chime in on this thread.

    Yes, the AI can't handle it, but it's worse than that. On my current game (Immortal difficulty), I've been actually trying to resurrect the Romans by conquering the free cities and handing them over to Trajan. It doesn't work! All will keep revolting after five or so turns, even after I've handed over three cities that are right next to each other. I also have no option to ally with Trajan even through we're friends, and so make a cultural alliance that might make holding the cities easier. At the same time, I'm not seeing any difference in play - I've been in normal ages the entire time. And yet I'm clearly in Dramatic Ages mode because multiple civs have died out as their last cities collapsed.

    What a mess.
     
  6. cain3456

    cain3456 King

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    LOL at everyone moaning about how bad dramatic ages are. I told you all this from the very beginning.:lol:
    But hey, keep on:wallbash: if that amuses you.
     
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  7. Galvatron

    Galvatron Warlord

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    Especially if you consider the AIs... relaxed position on barbarian.
     
  8. Breadsmith

    Breadsmith Warlord

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    In a recent game, I saw weird behavior regarding Free Cities.

    Civ A (can't remember who) lost a city to CivB. Sometime later, they retake the city in a different war. They don't have the loyalty to keep it, so it flips. It eventually flips back to CivB, then CivA almost immediately captures the city again. I let this go on for a while, watching the city go from pop 7 to 1 due to all the conquest. Then I took it while a Free City and razed it, just to free CivA from the endless cycle.
     
  9. Tiger Genocide

    Tiger Genocide Prince

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    LOL! I agree. If this mode was not good enough to put in the base game and they originally scrapped it, there was a very good reason why they scrapped it. Quite a few folks pointed this out. You can say the same thing about the other modes more or less.

    I will never play these poorly designed gimmick modes, but that's just me.... and you too Cain, lol.
     
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  10. IsabelBraganca

    IsabelBraganca Chieftain

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    In my game, Emperor, large Continents, three Civs wiped out in the industrial era. The free cities loyalty pressure was too much. If a city revolts at the edge, there is no problem. The problem starts with cities flipping in the middle of the continent, then there's a domino effect, especially when two or more neighboring Civs fall into dark age together. England was lucky. Short before the end of renaissance they settled a new city which rebelled. They were able to retake the city.
     
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  11. Pfeffersack

    Pfeffersack Deity

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    That's a good point; same in my games. I think it is related to the AIs focussing more on scientific progress. And that - together with loyalty pressure of free cities increasing - leads to higher difficulties not necessarily helpting the AIs to cope better with the Dramatic Ages mode: They might lose %ually less cities per Dark Age (and of course esepcially compared to the human player), but on the other hand their rushing to the tech tree means shorter ages (= less time to earn era score) and the cities which defect are more unlikely to flip back peacefully (and then the AI troubles with sieging start, because of the overal tech level the free cities are heavily fortified and churn out modern units...)
     
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  12. James_Champagne

    James_Champagne Warlord

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    Yeah, I've noticed the faster ages thing. To offer a comparison: I almost always play in Marathon mode. Looking back at a game I played last year (a few months after the release of GS) I see that the world hit Classical at 1720 BC, Medieval at 80 AD, Renaissance at 1000 AD, Industrial at 1570 AD, Modern at 1841 AD... whereas in my current game the world hit Classical at 1800 BC, Medieval at 600 BC, Renaissance at 550 AD, Industrial at 1215 AD, Modern at 1640 AD... I can't say I approve of this!
     
  13. Oberinspektor Derrick

    Oberinspektor Derrick Warlord

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    I think it is also due to power creep in some way.
    One example is the number of mountains in GS over vanilla civ 6 - there are much more of them, as well as Geothermal Fissures and Reefs now giving adjacency to the campus as well.
    In vanilla I thought myself quite lucky if I could get a +2 campus early on, and a +4 campus was absolutely godlike.
    These days... not so much (well a +4 campus is still nice, but not as rare as it once was).

    Then we have early governor promotions like Pingala's first two culture and science promotions, which are much more powerful than they used to be.
    Before they gave +20% production towards a campus or TS, but now they add quite a large amount of science/culture, at a time where you start off with 2-3 science/culture if you can get them early enough.
    An early Pingala can effectively be over a 100% increase in science or culture early on, which is a massive big deal since it allows for much faster snowballing than +20% production will ever be in your first few cities.

    If one plays with SS mode for example, Void Singers and a high faith economy (not necessarily stemming from holy sites, which means you can still build your campus) also allow for some ridiculous yields in science/culture come the Medieval Era.
    Faith in general also has been easier to come by (if we discount the faith harvesting nerf), and stuff like Work Ethic lets you produce to an extent for which the orginal game was not intending you to produce early on.

    There are loads more examples, but power creep is one of the main culprits as I see it.
    While power creep certainly keeps things fresh, it also speeds up the game a lot more than it should.
    Personally I started playing more on Epic lately, and it feels like playing on the Standard speed of vanilla.
    Though of course, it still doesn't solve the absurdity of landing on the moon in the year 1500 AD.
     
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  14. crewealex

    crewealex Chieftain

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    Yes, the AI may well struggle with this mode but there again I do too.
    Quite often I find myself trying hard to avoid a dark age and when I just about manage it there's a great feeling of exhilaration
    And sometimes I don't which probably means I retire and start again.
    I play at King level and I don't pretend to be particularly good at this game but I play in a way that suits and entertains me.

    I enjoy spending time on this forum but I do feel that sometimes unless you're playing at deity level you're looked at somewhat scornfully.
    I recall watching a youtube game where the player spent about 15 minutes planning where every district should be placed and
    what wonders he was going to choose and where they should go and then I switched it off because if that's what you have to
    do every time you start a city, I'd rather sit in a dark corner and stab myself in the head with a fork.
    About six million or more copies of this game have been sold and I suspect that the vast majority don't play at deity level and don't
    spend 15 minutes planning every city. They bought the game and enjoy playing it in whichever way they want, including the latest mode which may not
    suit everyone but provides something different fo those who do.
    I sometimes get the feeling that some of the posters on here think they are representative of all the millions who play the
    game and demand that changes must be made by the developers because they are speaking for the majority when the
    reality is that they're only speaking for themselves and maybe a few other devotees
     
  15. Oberinspektor Derrick

    Oberinspektor Derrick Warlord

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    There is no need to be ashamed for playing at King level, we all did that at some point and it certainly wasn't easy at the time (Deity player here). And yes, there are certain people here that have that elitist wibe, but I wouldnt mind them - play for the fun of it and don't let those guys get to you. If they look down on someone for playing their single player game on different settings, it says more about them than it does about you.

    That being said, fun is also subjective. Personally I love the early game the most, because thats where I have to seriously plan out things in advance in order to secure my foothold. Some (like me) might find that part the most fun, even if it might take 15 minutes to plan out the optimal settling spots, district clusters and build orders. :)
     
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  16. japanesesamurai

    japanesesamurai Prince

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    The district planning and strategising is the reason this game is so good. It is called a strategy game for a reason. But there’s nothing wrong with playing on king. In any way you enjoy playing the game ;)
    anyway, this has nothing to do with the broken mode. The problem is that the AI is not adjusted to play dramatic ages. And so the mode, with the current code, is a mess. Although I am going to try a game with only 1 city with this mode enabled. This might be fun: watching the madness from within my safe capital. Unless your capital can flip too ? In which case, the game could be very interesting too
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2020
  17. oSiyeza

    oSiyeza Prince

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    Truly this is not a surprise. Fxs has not added the the proper AI for any of the previous modes nor has bother to integrate, balance or refine any of the new mode mechanics.

    They are just selling a handfull of civs and a couple of badly put together scrapped ideas at the prize of a full expansion.

    How the mighty have fallen.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2020
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  18. Askia Muhammad

    Askia Muhammad Chieftain

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    I just hope they don’t change it. I love it in its current iteration and I’ve seen some funky things happen like the weakest Civ in the game end up with 5 extra cities that the other Civ lost.

    If they had to change it all, they should make clusters of free cities turn into a new Civ but I don’t want the loyalty nerfed. It would make it a sterile and boring mode.

    I think the fact it’s optional means it’s okay. I personally would radically alter secret societies but I know I’m in the minority there. I played a single game with it and hated how it screwed up the pacing.
     
  19. Zenstrive

    Zenstrive Ocean King

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    I wonder if Eleanor can just rush four or five cities and set theater square and watch cities flock to her one by one
    Heck, upgrade Reyna so she can buy districts so that can buy theater square fast.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2020
  20. WillowBrook

    WillowBrook Lurker

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    I wonder how much civ crowding affects the free city snowball. I'm playing on a highlands map, so there's plenty of space (standard size, 8 civs, emperor level). There's a small cluster of free cities, but no civ has lost a significant number.

    In the modern age, all but two civs got a golden age. Those two were relatively isolated, and the cities they lost flipped back to them.

    I'm about to enter the next age and maybe things will fall apart for one or two of the civs with several neighbors, but isn't that kinda the point of the mode? It's supposed to be dramatic, and civs falling apart seems about as dramatic as it can get.

    If you want to make the mode more of a challenge for you compared with the ordinary version, just make sure you get a dark classical age. I don't think the mode is supposed to make things on average more difficult, just more dramatic, and it seems to have succeeded in that front.
     
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