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Hope for Combat AI Improvement?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Eternalsteelfan, May 11, 2013.

  1. Eternalsteelfan

    Eternalsteelfan Prince

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    Of course it's hard work, making a video game is hard work. CIV V came out nearly 3 years ago, 1000 hours of work can be in done by a team in 10 (+ or -) full time days of work. "It's a lot of work" is a cop out and no reason for Firaxis to not continue working on AI.
     
  2. Veneke

    Veneke King

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    I don't think it's the effort involved that's the problem but rather the profit margin on it. It takes less effort to make a DLC that adds a Civ than it does to better the AI. I'm also pretty sure that the target market is also smaller. For anyone not on Deity what are you more likely to buy; a new DLC with a Civ, scenarios and mechanics or a DLC that makes the game harder while adding nothing new in the process?
     
  3. Trias

    Trias Donkey with three behinds

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    Where did that army of 12 AI programmers come from?

    In the end from a business point of view it makes no sense to make the investment, since the return is a marginally better AI that people will still complain is bad.

    You can jump high and low and say that they should. But that makes absolutely no difference to whether they will or not.
     
  4. Eternalsteelfan

    Eternalsteelfan Prince

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    I don't believe there's any serious talk of an AI DLC.
     
  5. Veneke

    Veneke King

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    AI DLC was an example to better illustrate Trias' point; it doesn't really matter for the purposes of the argument if the work is for a free release AI patch, a stand-alone AI improvement DLC or as part of a larger DLC (like it was in G&K).
     
  6. Eternalsteelfan

    Eternalsteelfan Prince

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    By that logic bug fixes, balance, and everything usually contained in patches would not be worked on. Patches and support would cease after a window of sales for a new release, companies don't make money freely supporting a game after all.

    The imaginary argument Trias originally made is: It is difficult and time consuming to improve AI.

    The point you raised which you attempted to tie to his is: DLC (which BNW isn't and which Firaxis hasn't been making, and which is handled by different members of a team than those who create DLC) is more profitable than patch work.

    His stated evidence is, conjecturally, AI improvements in CIV IV patches were done by the community and required "1000s" of hours. Your combined argument, something both of you stated, is there is no profitability in improving AI (also conjecture).

    Evidence against includes: expansions for games (any game) always include a patch, both CIV IV expansions have included a patch with AI work, G&K included a patch and may, according to word of mouth, have improved AI, and Firaxis hasn't released or announced any DLC so it's discussion and imaginary profitability is without merit.


    What am I missing?
     
  7. Trias

    Trias Donkey with three behinds

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    Yes, and this is why soon after the release of the last dlc/expansion this type of support for civ5 will pretty much stop. This certainly was true for civ4 after the release of BTS. (The patches after the release, consisted mostly of consolidation of improvements made by the community in the form of the "unofficial patch" and "better AI" project.

    You not having a grasp of what would be required, does not make the argument imaginary.

    This is known fact, not conjecture. Since the changes to the source were published for those patches, it is easy to verify that they consisted mostly of changes first published by the better AI team.

    1) A basic grasp of how effort would be needed for a marginal improvement of the AI.
    2) A notion of how little good will, that effort would effect with the community. (Which would probably be mostly be complaining over how little effect the improvement had.)

    High cost + low benefit = No incentive
     
  8. Eternalsteelfan

    Eternalsteelfan Prince

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    What does post-BTS have to do with BNW release? Now you are backtracking.

    I have the CIV IV manual at hand, 18 programmers and 4 additional programmers, explain to me "a basic grasp" of what is needed. You are spewing conjecture and imaginary numbers, please formulate a cohesive argument with facts or become ignored.

    Making video games is hard work, supporting video games is hard work. Firaxis does both.
     
  9. Gamewizard

    Gamewizard Emperor

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    This argument has been discussed before in other threads. There would be little profit to be made by paying a team to overhaul the combat AI at this point in Civ V's life. The game has been available for almost 3 years now. Those who would have bought it already have. Those who are going to buy the new expansion are buying it for the new gameplay content. The few who would buy it purely for combat AI improvements would not make up for the cost.

    It would make much more sense to have a veteran AI programming team (one that costs big $$$) working on the next game in the series instead.
     
  10. nokmirt

    nokmirt Emperor

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    The AI needs to go for siege weapons more. It did take out my archers with two ballistas and city bombardment. Those archers were expendable though. They were an acceptable loss. Since the AI went after them I was able to knock a ballista with some longswords. This severely weakened the enemy defenses around that city.

    I say the AI could be far worse. This Roman city had just recently been settled amphibiously along my coast. I control a whole peninsula ( it kind of reminds me of Korea). Anyway, I couldn't let them establish themselves so I dowed them immediately. Still they brought up a pike and 3 ballistas, not a bad choice for defending a small city. So, as far as bringing enough forces to protect the place it did good in my book. They took out a unit of swordsmen and a unit of archers.

    The annoying thing is they dropped their pikeman, their only infantry into the water at half strength. This allowed me to move next to their ballista, because the pikemen ran from their job of guarding it. If the devs can remedy some common sense stuff, I don't think the AI wouldn't be half bad. The thing is the AI has been dropping important units in the water since this game first came out, as far as I can remember.

    That is true, but I think they can tweak a thing or two there without huge dollars.
     
  11. Red Pearl

    Red Pearl Warlord

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    People keep saying the AI suck because of 1UPT. The AI don't put fighters on intercept or conduct air sweeps. Often the AI suicides their aircraft. There are some easy changes they could make that would make the AI better.
     
  12. AriochIV

    AriochIV Colonial Ninja

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    Agreed... the AI has all kinds of problems that have nothing to do with 1UPT.
     
  13. Veneke

    Veneke King

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    That's kinda how it works. Patches, bug fixes etc are worked upon for a limited time after release. Games in a series typically have a vested interest in these because it improves sales of the next iteration and the cost is typically pretty low (in comparison to redesigning the AI).

    It isn't imaginary and, er, he's not wrong.

    BNW, like G&K before it, is DLC. Regardless, your arguing a semantic that has no impact on the broader point at hand - which is that the profit margin on bettering the AI is lower than on adding content.

    Er, Civ IV's AI patch post-BTS was pretty much entirely done by the community and requiring thousands of hours probably isn't far off the mark. I wasn't involved in that effort but it wouldn't surprise me if that was the case. I never said that I had evidence to suggest that there was no profitability in improving the AI. I said that it takes less effort to add a Civ than it does to better the AI, that I reckoned the target market would be smaller and then posed a question.

    Always? No. Usually and typically for only for a period of time after release. G&K did better the AI but it wasn't it's primary focus, which was on adding content. Firaxis have been selling DLC like crazy since Civ 5 has been released, so I don't know what you're really saying there. All the map packs, civs, even G&K is classified as DLC but none of this really matter as you have essentially yet to respond to the basic premise of Trias' point.

    Do you think that Firaxis would see a sufficient return on investment with an AI patch or DLC or whatever to make it viable?
     
  14. SMA333M

    SMA333M Warlord

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    I think the AI was improved a lot in G&K. Of course, some changes can still be made. I'd like to see more air combat and the AI shouldn't use airplanes if they are on low hp... they should heal them first. And I never feel like I really need anti-air defense. They should change that... I want to be forced to build more anti-air.
     
  15. Veneke

    Veneke King

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    The AI's been coded to build relatively few Air units. On a scale of 1-10 most Civs accord air units a priority of between 3 and 5, with the odd 6. Upping the priority though might cause more problems, as Air units, by themselves, are of little benefit in comparison to something like a battleship or a tank. The AI not having enough Air units does less damage to its capabilities than not having enough battleships/tanks etc.

    That said, I'd love to fight more air battles against the AI though I will admit that every so often they will have a stack of bombers or great war bombers.
     
  16. SMA333M

    SMA333M Warlord

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    Or... maybe they should "learn" to adapt. I use a lot of airplanes so if the AI wants to invade me, it should "think" about that first and prepare for it. Espionage should help you see the enemy's military force also, like in previous civs.

    So... if you have a lot of airplanes, they should build fighters and ground anti-air + ships that got good anti-air. If you have more ground units, but not so much air power, then they can build a lot of bombers... and so on. Maybe different civs should have different tactics too. America has a really good Bomber so it should have a powerful air force.
     
  17. Veneke

    Veneke King

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    Aye, the AI's ability to weigh the military situation is all but nonexistent and I'm pretty sure that it has absolutely no learning capability whatsoever.
     
  18. Dunkah

    Dunkah Emperor

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    Quite frankly I think that Civilizations largest flaw is it's AI. I think that the gaming community as a whole knows that and some die hard players would rather play other games or other versions of Civ than deal with the bad AI.

    SO I do belive that if Firaxis could throw off the bale of a game with a bad AI, then it would lead to better sales.

    I also think that stacks of doom are gone for good, so any work on the AI may help towards the eventual release of Civ VI.

    At the very least stopping the AI from making the relatively common stupid mistakes it makes would be a huge improvement.

    I have donated an Artillery to a defenseless CS in the past just to see when it finally appears in the city that the AI drops into the water just outside of the city so not only can it not shoot but it is now destroyed in one turn by the enemy Navy. There is no reason for that, and it could be hard coded out very easily.
     
  19. AriochIV

    AriochIV Colonial Ninja

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    Yes, the AI penchant for sending its units swimming in the midst of combat has always puzzled me, but in particular for the fact that it will do so without any regard for the presence of enemy naval units. That couldn't be terribly hard to fix.
     
  20. SMA333M

    SMA333M Warlord

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    They can take as example the AI from Galactic Civilization 2 and from Endless Space. It's extraordinary how they adapt and build ships that counter your ships. They change their ships while you are at war and force you to change yours too !

    The "rock-paper-scissors" system works great there.
     

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