Huge AI performance improvement SOLUTIONS

machival

Chieftain
Joined
Jun 23, 2012
Messages
41
They say it's easy to bash, hard to offer solutions. This thread is for solutions.

In order for things to start improving, I am posting some things and maybe people who are in charge will learn something. As a chess master and computer strategy games expert, I know what I'm talking about. I don't know how can AI combat performance improve directly. I do now how to hugely improve it's overall performance via improvement of economical and diplomatical features.

*Important note* good AI =/= handicaps. Deity players please skip this thread if you don't have anything relevant to say. You win on Deity? Good for you. That only shows how much truth is below. Because if an AI that gets such huge advantages manages to lose, it only shows he's totally useless. What is below applies very well for Prince-Immortal so it really needs to be fixed asap.


Problem 1 : Massive Gold Theft Exploit.

I can, and do steal 100.000+ gold during a huge game with 12 civs from the other 11 AIs. With this gold, I buy Markets, Universities, Castles, settlers, workers. The task difficulty of defeating the AI drops dramatically because of this.

Problem 1: Easy solutions

a. When trading, AI will NEVER put ANY value on Gold Per Turn AND it will NEVER put ANY value on Luxuries unless his happiness level is <0.

Why this works: The task difficulty (TD) will increase because of this fix, as players will no longer have the advantage of thousands upon thousands of extra gold during the game. It will BE harder to defeat the AI, even if he will remain the same combat-wise. Reasons not to do what I propose : NONE.

Problem 2 : Irrational War Tributes

I can, and do Declare War on everybody I meet, in order for them to give me everything that they have after 10-15 turns, with the sole condition that I am up in the army strenght. In a game with many AIs, this gives me THOUSANDS of extra gold from the Tribute the AI pays me. It also gives me their cities, later in the game, along with strategical resources and luxuries.
The problem is that AI sees me as a threat even if I don't even know or care about where he is and what he's doing.

Problem 2 : Easy Solutions.

a. AI will never offer tribute to the human player, nor accept anything that the human proposes to him. (Later edit : except peace at no cost, of course). (Doing so would only worsen his position, as the human will make the deal and still continue to destroy him after 10 turns.)

Why this works: AI stands at a loss in the system of tribute. He does not accurately understand his chances during the war. Paying things, including cities, can only help to hasten his demise. Especially when making them for absolutely no logical reason whatsoever.

Problem 3 : Paying Something for Nothing.

Let's face it, 99% of the times, the open borders that you sell for 50 gold is completly and absolutely useless for the AI. He doesn't need it, it doesn't help him, he doesn't use it. Getting 50 gold / AI means 500 gold / 10 AI , means 1 Library or 1 Market bought with money obtained for selling nothing. This can only hurt the chances of success of the AI.

Problem 3 : Easy Solution.

AI will ONLY trade Open Borders for Open Borders and nothing else. That is simple, effective, logical, and sensible. Reasons not to do this : NONE!


Problem 4 : Bad Trades.

Imagine you're playing Duel against 1 other good player. At some point, he has 2 resources of FURS. He offers you the deal : you give him 240 gold and he gives you 1 FUR. Do you accept? If you are like me, (good player) , You immediately click REFUSE.
He gets something, but loses nothing. This is a BAD trade.
During the game, you can make TENS of THOUSANDS of gold by selling luxuries. Who profits? It should be obvious. The one who gets to buy Universities, Public Schools, and the like with the money obtained from the deal.

The only exception is if you need that because you a. have unhappiness. and b. will go into "we love the king" . AI already cheats his way to having happiness so he does not need to make such bad trades.

Problem 4 : Easy Solution

a. AI will only buy luxury resource IF : 1) he has unhappiness. 2) He will have "We love the King" in the CAPITAL.



The things above are easy, sensible, logical, rational, help the task difficulty, increase fun of play, and there's no reason not to do what I propose. More to come.
 

AriochIV

Colonial Ninja
Joined
Jul 25, 2006
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The things above are easy, sensible, logical, rational, help the task difficulty, increase fun of play, and there's no reason not to do what I propose. More to come.
None of your suggestions make the AI better or increase the fun of play. They might make the game harder, but you can do that yourself by just choosing not to exploit the AI in the ways you've laid out (or by playing on a higher difficulty setting).

In particular, removing the ability of the AI to offer terms for peace would remove a significant fun element. Otherwise, there's no reason not to just eliminate your enemies.

Most of the trade imbalance problems would be solved by only allowing trades of like for like (as was the case in Civ IV). However, I think it's clear by this point that the current designers don't want to do that.
 

Peacemongerer

Prince
Joined
Jun 23, 2012
Messages
431
Location
California
The AI tribute has to be in there or there'd be no point to keeping wars going and no way to get compensated if something came-up suddenly. I've had times where AI #1 attacked me and I went broke trying to raise an army last-minute. I do so and beat him back to his capital, only for AI #2 to DoW me while my army's half a world away. Negotiating a tribute deal here helps both parties. It helps him avoid destruction and helps me defend myself.

Removing that makes leaving AI alive basically pointless except to avoid warmonger penalties.
 

machival

Chieftain
Joined
Jun 23, 2012
Messages
41
I expected some short message along the lines of:

Buy a faster CPU.

Thanks for the constructive contribution. Unfortunately though, a faster CPU doesn't help the AI of CIV. I'm pretty sure it helps turn times (you wait less). But AI plays the same regardless of the CPU you have. But a good advice for others nonetheless. :)
 

Polycrates

Emperor
Joined
Dec 15, 2006
Messages
1,288
The problem with bad trades is more of a systemic one though.
The AI kinda HAS to make those bad trades, because that's how you the player get value for hooking up and trading surplus copies of luxuries. Yeah you could trade for happiness but international trade kinda has to have a money component, right?

I've always though a better approach might be to stop the AI paying silly amounts of money (let's say x gold per turn) for your luxuries when they don't need them, sure, and instead to allow selling excess luxuries to citystates instead for maybe x/2 gold per turn. They're a far more neutral "luxury sink" as well as "free money font" that doesn't make separate rules for the player and the AI. I dunno.
 

Callonia

Deity
Joined
Jan 14, 2010
Messages
2,179
1. I've traded away last copy of luxuries because I needed that gold badly compared to +4 happy faces because I see enemy troops marching upon my lands. Even selling stuff to people that hate my guts because, I need gold now and now. But I only play on Prince.

2. Tributes is reason why I don't commit genocide upon any nation that declare war on me. Because it shows that they acknowledge they screwed up badly. 1k gold in tribute, I go uh well, uhm urm, well sure fine you get to live and withdraw my troops back inside my borders. I don't really kill anyone off unless they're really frail or doing a one city challenge. But nations that repeatedly declare war on me and fail repeatedly gets killed off because I'm tired of seeing their ugly mugs complaining at me even when I'm gracious to accept their apology for 4th time.

3. I barely sell my open borders except in urgent need, although sometimes, when I see a enemy of my enemy fighting my enemy, I sell him open borders if it's possible so I make bit of cash and the enemy of my enemy get to hurt my enemy harder than before and I get entertainment occuring for free as I watch the fighting in my borders.

4. There is no such bad trades, the AI is hard coded apparently to accept lux trades, it have no reason to do it in fact because it have chieftain happiness.

And plus, bonus happiness = faster to reach next golden age.

And, trading a luxury for a luxury is pretty nice way to attempt to make friends, even when you're feeling hazy about that person. It might make you like that person as the trading keeps on going on. Until the day the backstab happens or whatever.
 

Miravlix

King
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
645
Thanks for the constructive contribution. Unfortunately though, a faster CPU doesn't help the AI of CIV. I'm pretty sure it helps turn times (you wait less). But AI plays the same regardless of the CPU you have. But a good advice for others nonetheless. :)

I guess we don't have the same dictionary then, performance would not be my word of choice for describing AI intelligence enhancements
 

Brichals

King
Joined
Jul 20, 2010
Messages
775
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Berlin, D
Yes trade (semi) exploits are a problem and many people are also aware of it from what I've read around. (There is the other hand that in some ways Immortal-Deity AI starts with such an advantage you have to get a bit back.)

I can see that these things have been fixed a bit. The AI doesn't buy stuff off you as much as it used to. Open borders have been shifted to later (OK theres the embassy but it's only 25 and the AI actually gets something). Beelining writing and GL and selling open borders to civs half way across the world was very tedious in vanilla, I never played that way even though it's like auto+1 level.

The AI buying luxes is not bad for them, they do get golden ages. I would prefer if they were a bit less willing to do it.
 

Naresh

Warlord
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Jul 2, 2012
Messages
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England
Rather than break this down piece by piece to deconstruct this stupid argument, this can be summed up in a few short statements:

1. You basically want the AI to trade NOTHING
2. You want the AI to fight to the death ALWAYS

Actually screw it. Time to deconstruct:

1. AI trades for its advantage, it will only ever trade if it has a surplus, just because there are 10 AIs doesn't mean that a core piece of civ (trading) should basically be castrated.

2. Some players go to war for the tributes alone, players don't always play to exterminate. In reality countries accept a crippling surrender policy rather than be completely destroyed. Case point would be Germany, it got screwed in WW2, but it's still there.

3. Maybe... But it adds an inflexibility into the trade system

4. Something for nothing? In reality if you have a surplus of something you sell it on, it's how things work and always have worked. Village one has a nice iron mine going on, but the village across the river has a decent horse herd. Trade some iron weapons for those horses? SURE!

Or another way: if someone is producing furs, you don't have furs, but have a nice gold income, you BUY IT.

Example: How many countries in the world buy oil because there are no reserves in their own countries?

I have a hard time playing on King, so this isn't a deity rant. More a machival stop trying to cripple the game more than it is.
 

machival

Chieftain
Joined
Jun 23, 2012
Messages
41
Rather than break this down piece by piece to deconstruct this stupid argument, this can be summed up in a few short statements:

1. You basically want the AI to trade NOTHING
2. You want the AI to fight to the death ALWAYS

I want the AI to try to hold his own. I want him to not get raped and tossed around like the garbage that he currently is. Is this so unacceptable?

I want AI not to fight to the death, only to ask for Peace at no cost.

Start a standard game. Make a few warriors. Declare war on everybody. In 10 turns get 300 gold and 10 gold per turn from them. < This sucks, is an AI bug and a silly exploit and needs to be fixed.

Or , trade 5000 gold during the game with somebody then declare war and you just made 5000 gold out of thin air. If this isn't obviously wrong for some people, no arguments will suffice.

Or another way: if someone is producing furs, you don't have furs, but have a nice gold income, you BUY IT.

Maybe you, I don't, because I'd only give him more money to make something useful with it.

Example: How many countries in the world buy oil because there are no reserves in their own countries?

This is a GAME, man, try to grasp this. Real world =/= a game. You have Montezuma fighting with Napoleon and you want realism? I want a good AI not realism.
 

Louis XXIV

Le Roi Soleil
Joined
Mar 12, 2003
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My comments:

1. I agree that luxury for gold should be limited, but I think this is too much. I would make it <5. If their happiness is that low, they'll pay cash. They should trade luxury for luxury at any point.

2. The reason I posted was to disagree vehemently with this one. Often, the AI's refusal to offer something of value in peace is the only reason I destroy them in the first place. Removing this would make the game less fun. They already have warmonger penalties to counter what you do. Perhaps having alliances where everyone attacks you might balance out what you do. They would have to find a formula so it doesn't punish every warmonger this way, but someone who regularly attacks everyone within a short period of time should.

I'm fine with 3. I disagree with 4, but I think there's a middle ground between extremes here.
 

Huaojozu

Warlord
Joined
Apr 17, 2009
Messages
149
Nothing helps AI performance. Solution to all your points? Don't do it. You don't HAVE to sell your luxuries for money, you don't have to sell Open Borders and so on. If you choose to do so and effectively exploit the game then great, more power to you, but you can hardly complain about it. No one is forcing you to do it.

The only solution to actual AI performance is much more "If... Then... Else" statements which would of course require more time or processing power.
 

machival

Chieftain
Joined
Jun 23, 2012
Messages
41
No one is forcing you to do it.

So Hwacha is bugged (gets +200 vs cities) when upgraded from the catapult. So you are saying that instead of it being fixed, it's better for people to just not use it anymore. Correct? :confused:

Of course nobody is forcing me to even play the game. But this is not an argument.
I am "forced" by my desire to play well and crush my opponent to do everything that I can in order to win.:)
 

DemonMaster

A.K.A. Fenhorn
Joined
Oct 20, 2003
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Nothing helps AI performance. Solution to all your points? Don't do it. You don't HAVE to sell your luxuries for money, you don't have to sell Open Borders and so on. If you choose to do so and effectively exploit the game then great, more power to you, but you can hardly complain about it. No one is forcing you to do it.

The only solution to actual AI performance is much more "If... Then... Else" statements which would of course require more time or processing power.
^Good advice.
 

DemonMaster

A.K.A. Fenhorn
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So Hwacha is bugged (gets +200 vs cities) when upgraded from the catapult. So you are saying that instead of it being fixed, it's better for people to just not use it anymore. Correct? :confused:

Of course nobody is forcing me to even play the game. But this is not an argument.
I am "forced" by my desire to play well and crush my opponent to do everything that I can in order to win.:)

Perhaps you could start with reading the posts in the thread before you are posting. It is about exploits regarding trades/tributes.

Edit: Sorry for DP
 

Mesix

The Allfather
Joined
Mar 17, 2006
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4,410
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Asgard
One suggestion which might help the AI to be more effective is to change the scripting for unit selection.

Have you ever noticed that when you are advancing toward an enemy, the default order that the units are selected in is the rear troops first and the front line troop later? You can of course click on one of your front line troops and take action with them first, but does the AI do this? If the AI moves the rear units first each turn, their armies will be much slower and not as optimally placed when attacking. Reversing the order so front line troops come up earlier in the turn for a decision to be made might help the AI to fight better.
 

Bino

Warlord
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Aug 21, 2007
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157
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Bologna, Italy
I confess i've given up reading at point 1: reason: a post like this should be emailed directly to firaxis, its clearly not meant to be "discussed" on a forum :)
 

NotSure

King
Joined
Jul 21, 2011
Messages
712
I had to check the date on the OP. I thought it might be a resurrected thread from 18 months ago. The AI is more likely to insist that you kill them off rather than pay a single gold for peace. I think trade works as it was intended. Your open borders has a legitimate value for the AI. It's always seemed reasonable to me that an AI earning hundreds of gpt would offer 50 gold every 30 turns for the ability to move it's units freely about the map, heal units in your borders, keep an eye on what others are doing, etc., etc.
 

machival

Chieftain
Joined
Jun 23, 2012
Messages
41
I confess i've given up reading at point 1: reason: a post like this should be emailed directly to firaxis, its clearly not meant to be "discussed" on a forum :)

Thank you for your thoughtful contribution. :) However, I encourage everybody to join in and offer their point of view. This is meant to be discussed. Anybody can have something of value to say. Well, almost...
 
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