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Is AI really brain dead?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by ThunderLizard2, Oct 22, 2016.

  1. Manifold

    Manifold ModderProtectionAdvocate

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
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    1,580
    I guess they only have programmed one way of AI acting. With higher difficulty level the AI gets additional bonuses but not other acting rules.

    And the two rules I find out are:
    1. don´t hunt and kill the only general of the human player that´s let him quit playing for at least one day or longer, that is not good.
    2. don´t bring the gamer to cry in his first couple games by starting a two fronts war and smashing him. That would make human consumer angry.

    Maybe they switch this two rules easily off with the next patch when the gamers have more frustration limit.
     
  2. AIL

    AIL Warlord

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2003
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    Location:
    Germany
    Well, this is what I found to be the sad truth until about 3 years ago.

    I am a programmer and in my job I work at something... boring. I really like 4x games but all of the ones I knew had incompetent AI.
    I tried before with modding and could get some significant improvements out of Civ III and Endless Space-AIs that way. However, what could be achieved was limited.

    Then I got Pandora: First Contact. I really liked the well-thought-out game-mechanics. But much to my dismay: bad AI once again.
    So what I did was the following: I contacted the (Indy) developers, if I could get access to the code and work on it in my spare-time.

    Signed an NDA, got my system set up and then started.
    I worked on it for like 1 1/2 years during my spare-time.

    Result is: AI is now better than that of any other 4x-game I ever played before.

    The average player needs about 20-40 hours of experience with the game to have a shot at competing on the level where the AI has no boni.
    We have renamed and rebalanced (toned down) boni on difficulty-levels twice. Even the highest one now only has a moderate advantage.
    I can usually compete and win on the second highest about 50% of the time but on the highest I lost 7 games in a row with the latestes builds. With my 1500+ hours of experience in the game that is.

    I contacted several big 4x-Youtubers if they'd showcase the game again with my final patch 1.6.7 (most have done so only on release... when the AI still was terrible) no response mostly.

    Right now I'm working on a new 4x game, Dominus Galaxia. Once again an unpaid free-time-job.
    The game has easier mechanics than Pandora and we are currently in Alpha about to release the first playable versions to a wider audience this month.
    I've been working exclusively on the AI.
    I have about 33% win-ratio against it on the fair level. AI development goes hand-in-hand with game-design here. For example we had to change how retreating from tactical combat worked because the AI was exploiting the ability to instantly retreat by trying to harass the player all over the place and you could not do anything to punish that.

    It is really disheartening to read a thread like that and see how AAA-studios get away with utterly terrible AI.
    But when I look at the feedback I've gotten for my AI-improvements for Pandora, I see why that is. The reviews got way more two-sided. On the one hand players who really like to finally have a challenging game with competent AI and on the other hand players who moan about how unfair the game is, beating them on Easy the third time in a row accusing it of having "ridiculous boni" even there.

    Don't really know how to handle it. Personally I'm glad that I have at least these two games to play when I want a challenging 4x-experience and so it was still worth it somehow.
    But it completely spoiled any other 4x for me. Not being able to tinker with the AI and make it play good is just too much of a disadvantage that no kind of cool game-mechanics can get me over with.

    That being said: Doing a good or even great 4x-AI is possible. It's not a question of money, it's a question of dedication, intelligence and especially time.
    Not doing a completely ****** one, that does mistakes so bad that it's immersion-breaking, on the other hand, is really inexcusible. 50% of the playing-strenght-improvement for pandora-AI came out of the first 2 weeks i worked on it, fixing the most glaring issues and using some-band-aid-placeholder-algorithms before making really sophisticated ones.
     
    jekke and f1rpo like this.
  3. Zuizgond

    Zuizgond King

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    Yes AI is brain dead.

    They chose the 1upt design, but didn't build a proper AI script, which makes the game pretty boring to play. And difficulty levels are just about AI bonuses.

    Devs are lazy. In a single player strategy game, AI behaviour should account for half the development time.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2016
    fatgordy likes this.
  4. gstommylee

    gstommylee Warlord

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    so delay a release of the game a whole year and half just for AI stuff which people will still have something to complain about. Getting perfect AI that takes into account every possibility is very very difficult.
     
  5. Zuizgond

    Zuizgond King

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    Definitely yes.
     
    vyyt likes this.
  6. rkade8583

    rkade8583 Realism Invictus Player

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    It's not Civ 5 at launch bad but it's not far off. Don't expect friends.
     
  7. Civrinn

    Civrinn Chieftain

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    Personally I think the AI is hilarious. I usually use this time however, when a civ game launches, to play around with things so winning or losing isn't necessarily a big deal. I had Teddy way into the green diplomacy wise, and a few turns later surprise war.....

    I absolutely love a lot of the changes though so I hope they quickly make a decent AI. Overall I enjoy the game so far, its just a bit of a circus.
     
    Ghostdeini likes this.
  8. rambow13

    rambow13 Chieftain

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    Aug 19, 2016
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    I think the first big red flag we got on this AI was when the lead AI developer said he has rarely seen any domination victories on all their test AI battle royals... that points to just how terrible the AI is at not only deciding what to do, but how to do it.

    Now that we have our hands on it, it only confirms that thought. The AI is terrible at combat, terrible at adapting to their situation (never leaving an island, ect). Hopefully a few weeks or months of player data can provide the AI a much needed boost.
     
  9. gstommylee

    gstommylee Warlord

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    Its the warmongering penalties. At the later stages its high. Its needs to be lower for the AI.
     
  10. SMcM

    SMcM Emperor

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    I had a similar problem- when Barbarossa forward-settled me, he got very upset about my troops being at his border. This is in spite of them having been there before he settled his city, and him having troops positioned directly on his side of the border himself.
     
  11. ddd123

    ddd123 Prince

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    They didnt choose it, its OBJECTIVELY BETTER, get over it.
     
    Exodite likes this.
  12. Kailan

    Kailan Chieftain

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    Apart from the AI being dreadful I do wonder how I always discover a new continent when the game is 2 turns old and i have not even found the sea or any other civ as yet, smh
     
  13. isau

    isau Deity

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    In fairness to the AI developer, this one falls to the design team changing the conditions of the Domination Victory from Civ 4's "own x% of tiles" to "conquer all enemy capitals." They never should have done this as it changed the entire game is a very negative way. The AI in Civ 4 was good at Domination Victories and it would be even in Civ 5/6 if it played by those rules.
     
  14. Brianstorm

    Brianstorm Warlord

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    Some of the lack of polish is from having a hard release date, but they've had 6 years with 1UPT, I think at this point we can assume they just don't care about AI or any issues that have been present since V (Nonsensical Tech Tree being the other major problem IMO). I wonder how much of this is do to Ed Beach having a background in board games and treating Civ as Just Another Game: History Flavor?
     
  15. Brianstorm

    Brianstorm Warlord

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    Civ 4 had two conditions. Wiping everyone out also counted. I think replacing that with taking capitals is fine, but they also need the Civ 4 Domination back under another name for sure.
     
  16. Zuizgond

    Zuizgond King

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    If done correctly yes, but it's not.
     
  17. Zuizgond

    Zuizgond King

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    There is a AI developer? Looks like he just copied-pasted AI script from Civ5 to Civ6 regarding behaviour with units during war.
     
  18. Brianstorm

    Brianstorm Warlord

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    How is it objectively better if it's objectively worse? The AI can't handle it, that's a fact.

    Edit: No one who ever defends 1UPT ever actually defends it. They just say it's better, use caps and/or a snarky response and stick their fingers in their ears
     
  19. ddd123

    ddd123 Prince

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    AI is made by investing money, it depends on how much a pig company like 2K decides to invest, ofc they want more profit and low expenses so obviously in the end some feature is bad.
    Doesnt change the fact that 1 UPT is objectively the better choice till now.

    Also tbh it doesnt even make sense that bad AI is a con about the choice of 1UPT.
     
  20. CTH

    CTH Prince

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    I agree that the AI do some strange choices sometimes, however it is also more intelligent at times compared to civ5. I have been attacker quite well several times with units of good level.

    I feel that there is potential in the AI, it feels just like they did not have spent enough time on it. I am thinking in why... I think it is because it is hard to create a good AI for an unfinished game, and the game was just finished a few months ago. I think that Firfaxis decided to release the game with an AI that has yet to be refined. So now they have hundreds of report of how the AI could be better, it is now easier to implement improvements in future patches.
     

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