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Is AI really brain dead?

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

  1. Brianstorm

    Brianstorm Warlord

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    We'll see, I'm guessing there was no wiggle room on the release date.
     
  2. JtW

    JtW Prince

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    An interesting post. Will have to check out Pandora. As you seem to have a lot of experience: what do you think about the mantra I read here frequently that it's not possible to have good AI with 1UPT?
     
  3. steveg700

    steveg700 Deity

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    Now, now. We all know opinions become objective facts if you assert them strongly enough. :)

    1UPT is a great idea that requires a great AI. Stacking is an unambitious idea, but asks little of an AI in tactical terms.

    The Civ VI AI still doesn't have much sense of spatial awareness. Still gets upset about units being near their border even if the other side of the border happens to be your land. Which in and of itself wouldn't be so bad (it still should be a legitimate concern for them, to be fair), but even with declarations of friendship and open borders agreements, they still demand withdrawl.

    And conversely, it still does the Border Dance around player civilizations while smiling and being genial. Still no way to confront the AI in the same fashion as the AI can confront the player. Not much of a poker hand there when you have a dozen troops shifting about my capital.

    Still doesn't seem to tell the difference between land and water, making it easy to wipe out invasions with a single ship.

    Still makes assaults against the most fortified cites when less well-defended cities are available.

    Still attacks with masses of obsolete units as if they could match a modern army defending a city with its own modernized defenses, then go running for the water closet when the inevitable slaughter occurs.
     
    vyyt and LDiCesare like this.
  4. JtW

    JtW Prince

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    If only. In my second game, I was sandwiched between two civs that both had the agenda to hate civs with small armies. They denounced and attacked me in turn. Due to their utter incompetence, I was able to repel every attack, but a two fronts war to smash me was exactly what the AI attempted. Repeatedly. So I was made angry for the exact reason you state they want to avoid, while also being angry at how poor the AI was.
     
  5. Ozisl

    Ozisl Warlord

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    Just as bad as the performance of the military/production/etc elements are lurks the horror of the diplomacy. It can't even stay consistent between AIs... just randomly flips between war and peace literally every other turn, with way too many Surprise Attacks from supposed allies. The only silver lining is that because the tactical movements are so horrible (you can see them piling up units), it frequently doesn't matter. It is really just so hard to get going outside of military actions.
     
  6. Sascha77

    Sascha77 Prince

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    The game can have weird continent borders. Not sure if this is intentional or not. Sometimes a land mass that's separated from my own continent by water counts as the same continent and sometimes a continent-border is smack in the middle of a huge landmass. Kinda like if we defined, say, South Africa as being on a different continent from Congo or Zimbabwe. OTOH, Asia and Europe are basically part of the same landmass and yet we consider them different continents in the real world. So maybe this is intentional after all.

    S.
     
  7. SupremacyKing2

    SupremacyKing2 Deity

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    While the borders can be weird, the idea of having different continents on the same landmass was done on purpose because of the civs that have continent specific bonuses. Otherwise a pangea map would only have 1 continent and that would not work for civs with continent linked bonuses.
     
  8. Zuizgond

    Zuizgond Prince

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    So true that it is sad...
     
  9. Falk

    Falk Prince

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    A positive AI experience (King difficulty): In my current game Teddy took a city state early which already annoyed me, then he declared on me after a while and sent a band of warriors. These I could easily repel, but he then sent a bunch of heavy chariots to a different city which I only kept because I had wisely started ancient walls a couple turns earlier. After backing off he sent even more warriors/chariots that I could now easily defeat having trained some spearmen. We made peace. 30 or so turns later he showed up at my borders again, this time with a well balanced force that included catapults and a battering ram. He proceeded to attack a city state behind my territory and would have overwhelmed it had I not "besieged" it myself in order to protect it.

    The Ai was looking pretty well here. Certainly the best effort I've seen so far.

    Of course there still were some glaring issues, especially Teddy's refusal to pillage anything. He could have really slowed me down.

    The more I play the more I think the AI is not stupid, but just completely random.
     
  10. ProMeTheus112

    ProMeTheus112 Warlord

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    impressive, and very interesting
    I think I will check these games out
    in any case I say the future of single player 4x lies with people like you
    companies today especially the bigger ones unfortunately seem to be all about business first and foremost and lack the dedicated gamer perspective or repeatedly fail to satisfy high expectations for innovation and progress, with few exceptions
     
  11. S Dole Melipone

    S Dole Melipone Chieftain

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    One unit per tile limit puts serious pressure on AI pathfinding, when combined with other obstacles -- enemy units, terrain restrictions, choke points. I'm not surprised this, like in Civ V, remains weak.

    I have a wargame called D-Day at Omaha Beach which restricts you to 2 units of any type. You can temporarily have more but not end a turn with more on a hex. That is hugely more flexible on movement while creating some interesting situations. I reckon it'd benefit the AI and be more fun.

    Maybe in Civ VII :/
     
  12. ExemplarVoss

    ExemplarVoss Prince

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    Worst AI moment:
    Playing pangaea, but it basically generates two landmasses connected by a narrow landbridge. I gradually realize that I am the only player on the western landmass, and that I have ALL the city states. I find the land bridge, skirting a barbarian camp below the western edge... and run straight into a horseman from that camp battering the Aztecs capital, and it has taken a settler. The settler flees from me, back into Aztec territory. I finish off the badly wounded horseman and stare at the Aztec territory, and the 'barbarian' settler inside. No aztec units come out to claim it. I bribe them to open their borders, wander in, take the settler, and leave, taking it back home to settle on the edge of my empire.

    Their ex-settler was literally in the tile next to their capital, and the AI did not recapture it.

    No aztec (or any other civ) crosses the land bridge at any point in the game. I am sole influencer of city states for the entire game, because no AI unit ever left their landmass until roughly 1800, at which point I'm launching crap into space. In fact, they never built coastal cities or harbors on the sea between us, nor crossed the inner seas above or below the landbridge. The Aztecs pretty much blocked it off with border spread, and after that disaster with the horseman, were apparently too terrified to venture west.
    By the time I can see the map, Gandhi has Hinduized everyone (else), and he and the Aztecs have 2 whole cities each, Russia has 3, and the Greeks have 5, because Pericles ate the two Roman cities around turn 90. I felt bad about winning, because I was multiple eras ahead, and didn't even interact with anyone until 1800 or so. And at that point I sold a couple spare luxuries and continued to ignore them. But I was already into space, and decided to just finish it off.
     
  13. Nares

    Nares Emperor

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    Indeed, favoring mixed composition, with some mechanism to prevent any one civ from building too many concurrent stacks.

    Sounds like they also need to remove strategic resource restrictions from units, and instead provide a bonus to those units if you have the appropriate resource. I was toying around with something like this over in the newest Total War game, and it worked very well to improve the AIs unit selection.

    In my experience poking around the Civ5 AI, I found it was far too cautious with its units, which often resulted in the shuffling syndrome, as the AI tried to move frontline units away because it would not dare risk a single unit only to make room for more units to move forward and repeat the cycle.

    1UPT can work, but it sounds like Firaxis made zero effort to address this critical issue. I would just as soon see small stacks, without fluff mechanics such as the ranged bombardment attacks. And a creative mechanic for limiting the number of stacks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
  14. Sascha77

    Sascha77 Prince

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    So Roosevelt basically behaved in a way that he would denounce/hate other leaders for?

    I've seen that from other leaders as well. Like Frederick who hates leaders who interact with city states - not those who try to compete with him for city states, mind you (at least that's how I understand his character trait). And in my current game he is suzerain of half of the CS I've met and keeps sending them envoys.

    Which kinda seems to support your theory of the AI being random. But - at the very least - it also makes them look inconsistent, IMO. What's next? A warmongering Gandhi? ;)
    And of course: When you have AI leaders that are supposed to have these complex personalities and specific likes/dislikes and then they turn out to behave randomly and to ignore their own preferences, it does make them look a bit stupid. Perhaps giving AI leaders these very specific traits/likes/dislikes wasn't such a great idea after all ...?


    S.
     
  15. isau

    isau Deity

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    Ghandi recently tried to bribe me into a joint war.
     
  16. Sascha77

    Sascha77 Prince

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    LOL!

    "Peacekeeper", indeed.. ;)


    S.
     
  17. Falk

    Falk Prince

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    Maybe the problem is conflicting agendas? I was thinking that Teddy might have a hidden agenda that makes him attack city states.

    If that is the problem they could make the hidden agenda semi-random, i.e. assign a pool of possible agendas to each leader that fit their unique agenda.
     
  18. kornelm1978

    kornelm1978 Warlord

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    AI is terrbile but it can be easyly improved (just will and good ideas) in many areas like i.e diplomacy, which is terrbile. But wars cannot be improved by simply imporoving ai (I believe it is not possible with the resources). Please read my thread on one unit per tile.

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/more-units-per-tile.601851/
     
  19. AIL

    AIL Warlord

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    In Pandora I did not have to deal with the problems of 1UPT.
    Pandora has stacks but stacking is discouraged due to AoE-Damage and flanking-boni. So I still had to implemented ways to spread the units out. But it is obviously much easier when they can walk through each other to reach their destination.
    I just thought a bit about how I would approach 1UPT.
    What has to be done differently is to sort the units for "unoccupied neighbour-tiles" before you go through them.
    This way you'd always move the ones with most "Freedom" first, which potentially frees up the others. Once you ran out of units with unoccupied tiles and movement left, you make the ordered list again to consider what has been changed since the other units have moved.
    And among those there should be other considerations for move order aswell. Unoccupied-tiles, Movement-Speed, attack-range (but in backwards order: move units with lower attack range first).

    Another thing I'd consider is unit-composition. Since you can surround a tile with no more than 6 melee-units, it seems to be rather pointless to have much more than that per target you want to attack at the same time in your army. Maybe some backup to replace losses.
    Something along the lines of: If < 6 then 100% melee, for anything over 6 aim for a 1:5 melee:range-ratio.

    So overall I'd say:
    More algorithmically complex and processing-intense due to several cycles being required required? Definitely.
    "Not possible"? definitely not! It's a task that I would consider myself totally capable of being able to do.

    There's other games with 1UPT with excellent AI.
    For example the Tactics-Game "Battleworld: Kronos" or the Abstract-Strategy-Game "Arimaa" (which has cracy complexity when it comes to unit-interaction).

    But I personally did not like 1UPT in Civ 5 from a player-perspective either. It was just annoying when moving larger armies.
    I consider Pandora's approach of having stacks but discouraging them with Splash-Damage and encouraging splitting with incentives like flanking to simply be better game design. It does not take away anything about how tactical combats are... I'd even say it adds something!
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
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  20. Sascha77

    Sascha77 Prince

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    I finally got to load my Japan-save and explored Cleo's situation a bit more. And now that I've seen it, it makes the AI look even worse.

    Island map.

    As you can see, she's sitting on a tiny island (my own island is at least 10 times the size of hers), she settled away from the coast and has no obvious city spot in range - although she could settle on that one-tile island to the SW. Might not be a great move, but certainly more useful than filling up her own little island with useless scouts.

    Granted: This looks like a bit of a worst case scenario, having founded the city off the coast and thus not being able to build ships early. IMO though, that starting position shouldn't be possible, especially since my island looks like Asia compared to the tiny landmass she's sitting on.

    Oh, and BTW: This is "Prince" difficulty and turn 97. Which makes her huge army of scouts a bit suspicious to me, especially since she managed to complete Stonehenge, probably has a few more buildings in her city as well and doesn't have that many hammers near her town to begin with.


    S.
     

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