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How I learned Civ5 was a wargame (no rant intended)

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Falk, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. Falk

    Falk Prince

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    The last patch seems to have made the AI a lot more aggressive early on. In fact I got warrior rushed in my first post-patch game which also was my first game since november.

    I thought it was cool. Challenging early game? Count me in! But then I noticed that those rushes and generally the DoWs were completely random and not at all related to the strength of my military. Sometimes you don't build much defenses and all is well (ok, happens rarely) and sometimes you pump out units and still get DoWed.

    My last game was particularly ridiculous. Genghis and Oda declared on me pretty early, but couldn't do much since I had built enough warriors and got that defense policy from the Tradition tree. But then, the game hadn't lasted for 100 turns, Napoleon declared on me too and rushed me with 3 horsemen, an Archer and a couple warriors. Well, that's what I saw at least.
    What am I supposed to do against that!? Two civs keeping me busy with warriors and then a third one coming from behind with a huge army!? :lol:

    There are currently only two ways to start a Civ5 game:
    1. start peacefully and pray (this includes building some military - you still have to pray not to get ganked!)
    2. build almost nothing than military

    Even if I had opted for #2 and built only units including some archers I could not have won these wars easily. I might have survived, but I would have done nothing at all besides doing battle for 100+ turns. Where's the fun in that?

    What makes this worse is that I like to play Civ with a friend. Now if I have to spend dozens of turns fighting off incompetent warmongers while he gets lucky playing peacefully, the game is over before it has started. That's pointless.

    I play on King and I still like the AI's aggressiveness in the late game, so I don't want to play on lower difficulty levels. As a matter of fact, in extreme cases like the one above even the best Civ player in the world couldn't make sense of the situation because it's mathmatically impossible to survive without 100% focus on military.

    They should do something about these rushes. It's a mechanic that looks cool on paper, but isn't such a good idea in the actual game, because if too many AIs decide to rush the human player, the civilization game is basically over. Either you start a new game or play Panzer General with clubs and bows.
    Maybe there should be some kind of threshold, like an AI won't DoW you in the early rounds of the game if you're already at war with another (or two other) AI(s)?
    Another option is to finally implement a diplomacy system that actually does something.

    Not to sound too negative though: the last two patches were great. I enjoy playing the game now (unless I'm ganked out of the game early on, that is) and I think the devs did a good job balancing stuff and making the mechanics work rather well. But they should do something about that AI wants to win thing. Sure, they won't scrap the idea completely, but at the very least they could make it less random.
     
  2. Babri

    Babri Emperor

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    Well in such cases you should build up your defences & a citadel at a strategic position would be great. AI is not really good so you can focus on buildings & when someone declares war, use your troops intelligently & you've won the war. :) I agree though that diplomacy needs a serious work in ciV.
     
  3. Drago Askani

    Drago Askani Warlord

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    While diplomacy might need more work, its reallly no worse off then other iterations. Not that its any excuse for it not having improved over the years. Even the "amazing" civ 4 had ai that just wanted to play at holy wars and religous lovefests. Though I would like to see a small return to religions in an expansion for the flavor. I however don't want them to be as mood altering as before. Sure they can be a catalyst for some behaviors but they shouldn't be the key defining factor. :king:
     
  4. Babri

    Babri Emperor

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    Firstly I would like to make it clear that I am no cIV fanboy who wanted ciV to be just like cIV.
    There were problems in cIV diplomacy & I agree with but there was one thing in it which is absent in ciV : consistency. cIV AI would most of the time declare war on you for a reason. In ciV AI hates you because you're a human player which is not fair. It declares war randomly. A big nation cannot be taken just by everyone declaring war on them. It needs planning & opportunity which ciV AI fails to do. It tries to send all of its army & once it is killed, it surrenders. A sensible move against a warmongering civ would be to sign defence pacts & establish Forts & Citadels on keypoints & attack on weaker areas. I know programming a 1UPT tactical AI is tough but there are few things which can make AI much better & less annoying easily.
    • AI players should treat AI & human equally. If an AI civ is becoming powerful then they should try to stop him.
    • AI players should sign defence pacts to protect them from big civs. This might create some interesting world war scenarios, thus adding more to fun element.
    • AI should consider good deals even from their enemies. Surely a hostile AI won't accept luxury trades but if he is trouble & you're willing to fight a common foe, then he should consider it. Example Ottomans & British fighting France in Napoleonic Wars.
     
  5. Sonereal

    Sonereal ♫We got the guillotine♫ Supporter

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    Yeah, no reason why the CiV diplomacy AI is so off. Especially since Afforess had a mod called Ruthless AI which the CivV AI was supposed to be similar too. Somehow, Ruthless AI ended up being one of the more challenging AIs while CiV's AI is inferior to the AI of a mod.
     
  6. flairin

    flairin Prince

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    he he, yeah the AI is ridiculous. Since the patch I have moved from King to Emperor without much difficulty at all.

    The last game with France all the AI were declaring wars on eachother and me as well. At one point it seemed that everyone was a war with everyone (5 of us on the same continent... France, Rome, Babylon, England, Polynesia). After building the Hanging Gardens England decided to declare on me... Rome and Babylon were already sacrificing their soldiers to me. At this point I had 3 cities. A few turns after England declared on me, I discovered some tech (forgot which one) and then England offered peace with all their gold, some 1200 worth. They only sent one or two soldiers to fight me.

    I was able to reach like 30 hammers in the BCs in my capital. I stopped growing at size 10 (focus on production) which worked out great...
     
  7. Putmalk

    Putmalk Deity

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    Most likely because Civ IV and Civ V rulesets are different. In Civ IV, the AI can brute force its way with a stack of units, which can't be done with Civ V AI.
     
  8. seasnake

    seasnake Conquistador

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    Well, if i'm starting next to Napoleon, Genghis and Oda I'm pretty sure this game I need to prioritize archery and ironworking, and I need to grab Honor tree and probably Oligarchy for policies. First builds will include a Barracks as soon as I have Bronze Working.

    That said, I agree with the comment that more potential positive modifiers need to be in the game so you can make of at least one of them a buddy. However, if you are near reasonable AI (Kamehameha or Ramkhamhaeng are pretty decent in most games) you can sometimes pull this off.
     
  9. Uniform Sierra

    Uniform Sierra Warlord

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    As much as I enjoy war in this game, I have many a time, been able to win a game (I've only played prince lvl) without going to war.
     
  10. TPQ

    TPQ Cogito Ergo Civ

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    Yeah, there's a lot of war in Civ5. Most of human history has been war. Seems pretty accurate. Plus, war is probably the most interesting bit of Civ5, so it makes sense to emphasise it.

    I've played peaceful before though. You just have to play ye olde diplo game and don't do things that'll annoy the AIs. Oh, and keep them fighting each other in fruitless wars.
     
  11. shihuacao

    shihuacao Chieftain

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    Strategy Games are, essentially War Games.

    and Diplomacy is not about collecting positive modifiers.
     
  12. SpearMan153

    SpearMan153 Prince

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    There should be no surprises when ais like Genghis and/or Oda declare war on you :crazyeye:
    Its what they do...

    other trouble makers are Catherine, Napolean, Washington (I'm looking at you), Alexander

    I think the issue is more to do with ai evaluation of player strength and combat ai then diplomacy though

    But yeah when you get a bunch of war like civs close together with you in the middle things get kind of crazy. Especially the ones that are both warlike and deceptive (Alexander you've been warned)

    I don't think the crazy warrior rushes started with just the last patch either...

    @babri I've seen no evidence that the ai treats the human player any differently, I seriously doubt the ai code has a bunch of if player == human checks in it

    I've found it is entirely possible to play peaceful games however sometimes as in real life you just get bad neighbours
     
  13. Drago Askani

    Drago Askani Warlord

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    CiV diplomacy is fairly predictable if you know the stat weights that the different leaders have for different things. Sure the numbers do shift a little, but the basic #'s from the XML tell you how they will react to most things.
     
  14. Furycrab

    Furycrab King

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    There's also a key difference in CiV than iv. There's no War Weariness. So being at war doesn't nearly have the same effect. I think many of us got used to this concept where being at war when going a more peaceful route was terrible, in this game it will make you better friends.

    There is however a certain luck element to the game, however if you are bordered by people like Ghengis or Oda, than I would just assuming that they might consider taking a shot at me, very very early.

    Also... From my experience, Army Size matters, but Army position also matters too. I'd show you my most recent game, I quite literally started sandwiched in the middle of a continent, and the first few DOWs/Peace Treaties pretty much got determined by where my Army was standing at the time.

    Personally I feel the diplomacy is getting fairly tight and it feels pretty good, however the Tactical AI is still a bit of a lame duck but it's hard to tell if it's because I react appropriately to it's attempts to push me or if it's just really bad at assessing a situation.
     
  15. zekeand

    zekeand Chieftain

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    Nice discussion.
    Can anyone tell me what does DoW mean?

    I like to play agressive. I´ve found that when I am powerfull enough, AI don´t declare war on me most of the times. I try to be prepared at all time for war. If I play with Oda I try to take any oportunity that came to me (eg: two of my neighbours where fighting a long war, destroyed their armies... then I started a war to the least strong of them) Usually I win.

    On the other hand, if I play deffense games (if I started with Siam for example) I try to put cities close to each other in order to gain bombardement support. It´s a matter of (very) long term strategy.

    Cheers

    Zeke

    PS: Sorry my awful eglish
     
  16. Falk

    Falk Prince

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    I think I need to clarify my point: I am not opposed to AIs declaring war early on and of course I know that I should build defenses when I start next to Genghis or Oda or similar warmongers.

    What I criticize is this:
    1. In extreme situations even focusing on military is not going to help you. When three AIs rush you, you might indeed lose to them because of their vast numbers. As we know from Civ4, huge numbers are a good way to win if you're a dumb AI. In theory, it is possible to start games in Civ5 that are de facto unwinnable because at some point, you simply cannot defend against an onslaught by multiple enemies. I don't think this should be considered a feature - it's a bug. Modern boardgames focus on having all (human) players in the game until the very end, i.e. try to avoid elimination mechanics. Obviously this can't be exactly reproduced for Civ5 since there needs to be some sort of challenge. But setups that can't be won no matter what you do? That's a design flaw and should be fixed. It's like a dead end in a classic point&click adventure.

    2. Such situations are extremely rare of course. In the vast majority of games you can quite easily defend yourself against the stupid AI. But sometimes this takes a lot of effort, i.e. focus on military production. Since you have no way of knowing whether you'll get attacked, you have to do just that - focus on military - if you don't want to gamble. While this is perfectly fine, it's not my cup of tea.

    --------

    Another thing I repeatedly notice: City-States would make an awesome addition to Civ4. In that game you have a reliable diplo system, so you could for instance keep good relations with a strong AI that pursues, say, the military victory, but at the same time try to eliminate or make friends with that AI's allied City-States, thus undermining the AI's efforts. This should have negative modifiers of course, but you could still keep a positive balance with other means (i.e. religion).
    Problem: Civ4 AIs can't win and don't even try it.

    Now imagine CIv4 had Civ5's try-to-win-AI and the City-States on top of its meaningful diplo system. Or even better, if Civ5 had a meaningful diplo system (and, related to this, largely non-random AI behaviour) in addition to its try-to-win-AI and the City-States. The possibilities! The potential this would have!

    In short, I don't like this notion that Civ5's AI approach is in principle incompatible with a Civ4-like diplo system. That notion is just false.

    That's not true. Well, it is true, but it doesn't mean anything. That's because even a rather peaceful civilization might DoW you for little or no reason, so even knowing the exact numbers, you still have to focus on military if you don't want to gamble.
    Sure, there is an actual system behind the AI behaviour, but in practice it is not different to complete randomness.

    Declaration of War. So getting DoWed means getting declared war on by an AI.
     
  17. zekeand

    zekeand Chieftain

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    I totally agree with you.
    It´s vital in a multiplayer game that everyone has something to do in the game.
    I hate to play games where every player that loses a war leaves the game. (I have not played Civ V in multiplayer yet, but that was my Civ IV experience)

    Salut!

    Zeke
     
  18. kaltorak

    kaltorak Emperor

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    The problem is not it is a war game. In civ4 i did wars mostly too. But there we had diplomacy. Usually games had "teams", wars were shared and so on. Civ5 is just a ffa or at least all against the player.
    I love wars (ingame :p). But I love alliances and diplomacy going on in those wars too. And civ5 is just random lets annoy the player.
    Only way to avoid it is if you dont exapnd, don't conquer, don't build wonders, don't have too weak military, don't have too strong military...

    And the new positive attitude modifiers they introduced seem to last 10 turns... Not even noticeable imo
     
  19. Babri

    Babri Emperor

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    Most of the time if an AI infinite times on you, few civs hate him but if you DoW twice, most of the civs would gradually start hating u & u'll get random denouncements.
    i know it is entirely possible to play a rather peaceful game but for that you have to expand slowly, aim for culture win & make a sizeable army. Still many civs might hate you because you're trying to win in the same way they are. :p
     
  20. shihuacao

    shihuacao Chieftain

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    Not really. AI do hate each other for DoWs.

    If you have vast land with little army to defend it, those barbarians around will invade.

    Change "hate" to envy, and you will feel much better.
     

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