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[GS] How much are you willing to pay for a “great” AI?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Engeez, Feb 5, 2019.

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How much would you be willing to pay for a “great” AI

  1. Nothing, the AI is already great

    22 vote(s)
    17.1%
  2. Under $50

    54 vote(s)
    41.9%
  3. $50-$100

    24 vote(s)
    18.6%
  4. Over $100

    29 vote(s)
    22.5%
  1. Casworon

    Casworon Warlord

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    FearSun has made a great mod that has adjustable difficulty for the AI.

    I feel this is the right direction for the game to move in. I doubt we will have the AI be good enough to be able to play on an equal level to a human player, and yield bonuses are pointless.

    Ideally the AI should adapt to how the human is playing and get bigger bonuses to provide a challenge to the player the closer the player gets to victory.

    For example, if the player is going on a domination route, by the time they have taken two capitals the AI could get free military units and free military unit promotions thrown their way on a regular basis to keep the pressure on the player. If the player is fighting the last AI the AI should be getting lots of bonuses.

    If the player is speeding towards a science victory then the AI can get bonuses to spies and spying, or attempt to declare war.

    We don't need an AI that plays the same game, we just need it to provide a challenge. For that i think we should move away from simple yield increases but instead look to give bonuses that are reactive to how the player is playing the game
     
  2. Onin

    Onin Chieftain

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    To have fun or some form of enjoyment or recreation.
     
    Duuk likes this.
  3. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    That's what players ideally experience while playing it.

    You don't receive an in-game victory for that though, so no.
     
  4. Onin

    Onin Chieftain

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    I think at this point it is clear this conversation isn't going anywhere. You think your opinion about what civ 6 AI should be is absolute and I think it is just one opinion of many and at the end of the day game developers are running a business and selling a product that is meant to provide enjoyment. I respect your opinion about what is enjoyable for you but I don't think you get to determine the measure in which the AI is deemed good or bad for everyone. Ultimately I think you will have a hard time understanding the decisions and perspective of game developers and your fellow posters.
     
    Elhoim and Duuk like this.
  5. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Never said that. Quoted is a cheap deflection from my argument. A passive and tiresome variant of ad hominem.

    Further, the most awkward part of this random ad hominem is that I've long been arguing about what Civ 6 *is* in this thread, not what it should be.

    More deflection, and quoted is straw too. I'm arguing regarding the disconnect between design incentive and AI behavior, and how this necessitates poor performance in game terms by the AI. Has this point just been silently conceded? Nobody seems willing to address it despite that it is a core piece of my entire argumentative reasoning in this thread emphasized multiple times over......

    Answering this with "you don't get to determine the measure for good/bad AI" is non-sequitur. The AI is intentionally made to not play the game. Given that, it is reasonable to conclude it will not select strong choices in the game with any consistency.

    Ultimately it is intellectually dishonest to answer the discussion in this thread by talking about a poster rather than the contents of what is posted.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
  6. Onin

    Onin Chieftain

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    I am sorry if you feel personally attacked but that is not what that post was. It was me pointing out how you are approaching this topic and how it is different from how I am approaching it. The problems with your approach logically lead to problems with you understanding the perspective in which the game is designed. This is a logical connection I am making. An ad hom is an illogical dismissal of a point based on the person. That is not what I did in that post.

    There is a fundamental difference between saying that the AI should play by the rules of the game just like a player for me to enjoy the game and saying that the AI has to play by the rules of the game or the AI sucks and anyone saying otherwise is being dishonest and/or admitting the game is bad. If you were saying the former then we can talk. If you say the second option then there isn't much to be said. You will always be confused by what I say and not really understand other players sharing their perspective or the decisions being made by game developers.

    Your choice man.
     
  7. leif erikson

    leif erikson Game of the Month Fanatic Administrator Supporter GOTM Staff

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    Moderator Action: Please discuss the issue and not each other. You cannot force someone to understand you, neither should you dismiss another's opinion because you cannot understand the perspective.
     
  8. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Specifically, it is the directing an argument at a person rather than a person's point. The issue in this case is that whether I think I'm absolute or not (I don't), the points I make don't change, they're either made with sound reasoning or they're not. If they're not, it is useless to wrongly point out that I think they're absolute, and much more helpful to refute them by addressing the rationale presented directly.

    Saying "you think your opinion is absolute" is a statement that operates as an attempt to undermine credibility. It does nothing to actually address the argument. Moving on...

    Go back to the OP conception of what constitutes a "great" AI, the topic of this thread. The signs of "good" or "great" AI, for the purposes of this thread, per the OP, are:
    1. Better military tactics
    2. Better wonder placement (could be extended to empire management in general)
    3. Reacting to military presence in advance
    That is the opening setup of the discussion. I even pointed out that other people might define it differently, in my first post of this thread.

    The AI in Civ 6 takes the position of an opponent in a 4x. Opponents in games are generally considered trolls if they don't try/play something else rather than the game at hand. Even if we accept that some people don't mind what would otherwise be described as trolling in the context of Civ 6, we're still left with an important problem for your argument:

    The AI doesn't try to win. If it did try to win, it would select more effective actions towards winning than it does. In other words, it is intentionally designed to ignore the rules and play poorly.

    You might be okay with it playing poorly. You might even prefer that it plays poorly, for any variety of potentially valid reasons. But it doesn't change the fact that it is playing poorly, and to some extent intentionally so. It also doesn't change the fact that the AI ignores causal incentives in the game outright. These all directly influence what the AI can be vs what the OP asks for.

    The reason I call the dev approach to this dishonest is because the game incentives don't align with what they're selling us. They could have created the mechanics in such a way that MP wouldn't be primarily about war for example, opening up the game for more role playing type decisions. They didn't though. They created one game and then made an AI that acts out a different game.

    That's an ironic statement, and it's still discussing me rather than my argument.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
    jdevo likes this.
  9. Gedemon

    Gedemon Modder Moderator

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    No, you can deactivate all of them in an unmodded game.

    See it as the ability to select between a point to point race and free roaming in an open world car games if it can help to clarify that there are different way of playing a Civilization game.
     
  10. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    I did not know you could not turn off all victory conditions simultaneously (or had forgotten perhaps). The game just goes on forever then, even if you get conquered?

    Regardless, is the quality of the AI play even relevant under the circumstance where there is no objective measure of performance? I'd make the case that it is in this scenario that the AI is the strongest; since you can't win it doesn't matter what you do and the same goes for the AI.
     
  11. Gedemon

    Gedemon Modder Moderator

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    You lose if you get conquered.

    My "objective" when I play like that (which is almost always) is to stand the test of time, meaning still be alive at turn 500.

    That was my favorite way to play civ4.

    Yes, the quality of the AI is still relevant, I've picked civ4, because the AI was able to be a threat even in the late game, while at the same time providing a relatively logical world diplomacy.

    IMO we've lost that in 5 and 6.

    I completely agree on the part about having an AI that use efficiently each mechanism of the game, but I don't want it to use them as would human players in a competitive MP game.

    That's the difficulty for the devs, I don't know what percentage of players would prefer an AI that goes for a victory type as fast as possible VS the players that prefer to have "sparring partners" behaving more like NPC in a RPG than like bots in a FPS deathmatch, but I'm sure they'd like to keep both.

    Yet pleasing the roleplaying crowd should not be an excuse for having a weak AI, in every cases the human players want it to provide some kind of challenge but I disagree when you say that a good AI should always goes for the victories and that an AI that doesn't is poorly coded (edit: correct me if I've misinterpreted)

    A good AI should allow an interesting game, and even for a human that plays for victory it should do that by opposing him in a non-frustrating way, providing a challenge using all tools available, except a faster victory.
     
  12. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    I still hold that you're only saying this because you're thinking in terms of Civ 6's presently designed mechanics...quite a few of which literally don't work in competitive MP.

    If diplomacy/trade was a central element to being effective in competitive MP for example you'd need to do these well to succeed...even when strictly trying to win. Now the AI won't always try to kill you if you're doing well in a VC, because there are larger incentives against that (as an example, we'd likely need more than just diplo/trade to attain this).

    If they want to keep both, they should shatter the present rules/VC setup and make incentives align that way.

    Well, if you turn a victory off the AI shouldn't try for a non-existent objective.

    What I personally want to see is the AI acting in accordance with the game incentives. If we want something other than war to be taken seriously, the game can and should provide comparable incentives for it.

    What is "non-frustrating" vs "frustrating", and why is a "faster victory" off the table?
     
  13. Gedemon

    Gedemon Modder Moderator

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    No, I'm saying that because I don't want to play any Civilization game from 1 to 6 in competitive MP.

    And I don't want to play any Civilization SP games feeling like competitive MP.

    The risk of failure is part of the fun, granted, yet it's enough to have an AI posing a threat of a no-win situation to provide that fun, while when the AI steals a win, that's kind of frustrating. But I can understand how the added challenge could be welcome by some players.

    So, if the AI was able to play and win like a human player, I wouldn't call that a poor design, but I would not want to play against it. Yet in the text you've quoted, I should have used "could do that by..." instead of "should do that by..."

    I mean if we could make a perfect AI in term of using the game features (combat, diplomacy, etc... edit: and I don't mean civ6 features but any civ game features), we could apply it in different way, for example:

    1/ human and AI racing to be the first to reach an objective
    2/ human player facing an opposition from the AI to reach his objective

    I can understand why some players would prefer 1/ (really, I do love racing games, it's just that I prefer them with cars), but I don't understand why you think that 2/ is "bad"
     
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  14. steveg700

    steveg700 Deity

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    Of course the AI is poorly coded if it's not trying to win the game for which it is an AI. What is the AI supposed to be doing if not competing? Just hanging around while the player plays solitaire?

    I won't abuse the term "roleplay" here, but the people consume Civ as a canard of a game--as an ant farm, essentially--should not mean that the folks coding the game should be content to design an AI that does not play the game. Designers should Civ to be a compelling game. Players who want to putter non-competitively should feel free to putter in a well-designed game.

    So, they all declare war on you in order to oppose you and then you're dead?

    Or do they wind up acting as resources that get exploited as they offer the benefits of alliances and favorable gold deals?

    I don't get it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
  15. Gedemon

    Gedemon Modder Moderator

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    We've posted almost at the same time, I suppose my post above clarify that.
     
  16. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Competitive MP in Civ 6 now vs competitive MP in a game not driven by present mechanics play very differently though. If you're not competing in some capacity you've left the realm of 4x entirely.

    Competitive MP "feels" the way it does *entirely* because people are acting according to the game's design. Change that design and you change the behaviors associated.

    How are victories "stolen"? The only thing that comes to mind with such language would be conquering an AI to inadvertently gain a majority of another's religion and lose, or more glaringly Civ 4 Apostolic Palace. The Civ 6 version has countermeasures though.

    These denote different types of games. They're both valid depending on genre/game...but not so much at literally the same time (what Civ 6 attempts, sort of).

    I don't think 2 is bad. I think implying 1 and 2 simultaneously for the same entities through different interactions in the same game and only awarding one of the two options with a victory is bad, which is what Civ 6 does.

    On a side note, 1 is not constrained to racing games. It's the baseline for any game where the AI is taking the position of a playable race/character (and is competing). This includes 4x like MOO, but also games like Starcraft or Madden (Madden is hot garbage for different reasons entirely though). Examples of #2 would be enemies in Final Fantasy/RPGs, enemies in single player campaigns in say Call of Duty (note the hard split between campaign and MP there), or enemies in Terraria.

    Enemies from 2 are not bound by the same rules as the player, do not share the player's victory condition, and are not competing for the same resources. They are not immediately swappable with a human player into that role such that the 2nd human player would then be controlling something identical to the first.

    That's a key distinction, and it's why CIv is a 1 game when it comes to Civ AI (barb AI is a 2). But Civ only makes its AI act like a 1 sometimes, and often instructs it to throw/pretend it's a 2 because the design for Civ AIs playing as 1's doesn't hold up (I do extend this to previous Civs, and use it as a rejection to Soren's arguments in the Civ 4 era). This dissonance is what prompts me to call it dishonest, but perhaps that's not the closest descriptor.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
  17. Gedemon

    Gedemon Modder Moderator

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    wouldn't that be MP behavior ?

    However you play, you're always competing for resources and territory.

    You're close to victory A and the game stop abruptly because victory B is triggered. "Stolen" may not be accurate, but "frustrating" is I think.

    Wasn't civ4 combining 1 and 2 ?

    what were the arguments ?
     
  18. ChocolateShake

    ChocolateShake Prince

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    That's what it comes down to I think - how many players want a challenging game with the threat of loss around the corner, and how many play to relax and build their own story? Listening to the first looks, how will you lead X comes up a lot, and I think that's a strong sign regarding what Civ 6 is trying to do, and it falls in line with the design. I'd say up until Civ 4 both preferences have been accommodated, though I think civ has always been more heavily weighted towards the second group.

    It seems like some of the players in the first group aren't finding what they're looking for with Civ 6. I'd enjoy both options but I've always thought of civ as a game to relax with and have a good time planning out stuff. Maybe it's because I've played a lot of competitive multiplayer RTS games and civ is my escape from that kind of pace. My civ games have always been relaxing, though I also have to react to unexpected developments a few times. The civ AI fits right into what I'm expecting from the game, except I would like to see it be more decisive in certain areas.

    I'm looking forward to seeing how things get changed up in Civ 7.
     
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  19. steveg700

    steveg700 Deity

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  20. jokii

    jokii Chieftain

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    You can't compare civ AI with chess AI.
    4x strategy AI is infinitly more complex then chess one.
    And I can't belive that people are actually saying that civ AI is good and they do not want better one.
    In many situations civ 6 AI looks braindead, which completely kills game experience.
    Also, giving AI insane bonuses doesn't fix the issue. It just kills the early game, wonder game, diplomatic game and overall experience...
    But also, it is very hard and very expensive to make very good 4x AI.
    And this is the whole point of this thread.
     

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