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Is the AI really that bad compared to Civ4?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by kettyo, Dec 15, 2014.

  1. kettyo

    kettyo Seeker of Reality

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    I'm contemplating on buying Civ5 (nice discounts there) but i see in forums that the AI is generally bashed hard.

    I'd mainly play single-player games (hard to gather a team for such a long game) so AI quality is of top importance. I have Civ4-BTS and the AI there is quite solid i think (also there's a Better AI mod to further enhance). The only area they're really handicapped is their inability to effectively use siege units in stack vs stack or city assault battles utilizing the collateral damage potential but apart from that they are quite fine, especially on the economic front.

    Is Civ5 AI really considerably worse than the Civ4-BTS counterpart? In this case i'd skip Civ5 and stick to Civ4. Better graphics and maybe better combat mechanics doesn't worth it if AI is indeed much worse. If it's more or less the same i'd move on to Civ5.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences.
     
  2. Nick31

    Nick31 Prince

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    Are you a Diety BTS Player?

    If you want a hard, super competitive AI that is as competitive with the Human on the scale of BTS, you'll wish CiV were better.

    But otherwise, there's a lot to like about BNW. Not least of which is a much prettier game and the fun of 1upt combat. People whine about 1upt on the forum but there's no question it's a lot more Fun.

    Buy it when you see a nice price.

    Be sure you get the BNW expansion. And you won't regret it. At worst you play a couple hundred hours and then come here to complain :).
     
  3. kettyo

    kettyo Seeker of Reality

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    Thanks for lightning fast response, dude.

    Actually i'm not that a good player. I don't have so much time so just play when on a longer trip and nothing to do etc. The hardest i play on is Monarch. Nevertheless stupid actions by the AI annoy me a lot. Lame AI ruins the illusion that i'm really an important decision maker :crazyeye:

    Actually Civ5 Complete is already a good deal so if you tell me Civ5 AI is not much worse than Civ4 i'll buy that.
     
  4. rkade8583

    rkade8583 Realism Invictus Player

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    As a Civ4 and Civ5 (and Civ1 and Civ2 and Civ3) player, I seem to stick right in the middle between prince and king on both 4 and 5. I'll echo picking it up and hey, if you want to play online, my STEAM is the same as my username here.

    I loathe stacks of doom and I was seriously disappointed with Vanilla Civ5. Thank god they fixed it.
     
  5. kettyo

    kettyo Seeker of Reality

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    Thanks for your comment rkade8583.

    I'll definitely have to play a bit before daring to go online :)
     
  6. JofOblie

    JofOblie Chieftain

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    I have all the expansions, and it's definitely a good game now.

    I would say the AI are smarter, and feel more alive due to their varied interactions and stuff (like the world congress). The problem is that the combat is more intricate, as such you'd need a smarter AI in order to make the most of it. With SoD the AI just pumped out units and spammed them all at the same time, and there wasn't a whole lot of strategic options to take into account. Now with 1upt (Which I am a fan of) you need to think a lot more about unit placement, bottlenecks, which direction to attack from etc. and the AI just isn't really up to it. When it comes to combat, human players have a big edge.

    You can download mods such as 'Smarter AI', 'Aggressive and Expansive AI' etc which seek to improve and expand the AI. On the whole, the AI is a bit dim, but it's still a lot of fun.
     
  7. kettyo

    kettyo Seeker of Reality

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    Thanks JofOblie.

    Of course 1upt system is much more demanding on the combat AI. With stacks on as long as they build the proper kinds of units they are mostly fine. Still in Civ4 they suffer the lack of understanding the collateral damage mechanics and it's huge importance.

    Just came to my mind how terrible the combat AI of Civ1 was :)
     
  8. Aheadatime

    Aheadatime Prince

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    I've never played Civ4, but I'll agree with everyone here that the expansions are what makes Civ5 so addicting imo, so be sure to buy the complete one if you have the funds. As far as the AI goes, they have a hard time understanding terrain. Hills, rivers, and bottlenecks are the features that I've notice them struggle the most with.

    They can also do silly things like leave a great general unprotected on a battlefield. Generally speaking though, the AI isn't so dumb that the game isn't enjoyable on the higher difficulties. I have alot of fun on Diety personally, but again, I've never played Civ4 to compare. I come from CivRev on the xbox :D
     
  9. LordBalkoth

    LordBalkoth Prince

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    I can't speak for Civ 4 since I've never played it, but unless you're in the top 1-2% of players then the combat will generally be difficult enough. The AI doesn't necessarily use its units the most effectively but it will spam them at you and will outtech you (meaning units from an era or two later are coming at you).

    I personally don't find the combat very difficult outside of the initial game -- but that's because I'm an RTS fan and build/position my cities/units carefully for defensive potential.

    For example, something I was quite pleased with:

    Spoiler :


    Southwest of my city is a mountain, impassable. The two tiles west and southeast of my city are hills, meaning until artillery ranged units cannot bombard my city from further south or west -- they don't have line of sight. But if they move up on to the hill, then the citadels (northwest and east of my capital) damage them for 30% of my life per turn -- and the fortified units in the citadels are incredibly hard to kill.

    Basically, the enemy AI could not break that until artillery/flight. Even ahead slightly on some techs at that point he was sending Riflemen against Pikemen -- and losing due to the strength of the citadels and the defensive position.

    Of course...going around it and taking a city further north would have been smarter (and to be fair, he did send a naval force that I then barely got forces in position to repel in time).

    But I had to play extremely efficiently and optimize that kind of stuff to survive his onslaught (because I still had to be forging ahead in economy/technology overall, I couldn't bog down in a war with him or I'd lose to the other AIs).

    I hate starting next to warmonger AIs!

    Also, I'll echo what someone else said -- if you get Civ V I'd be happy to play with you. Steam ID is magical_master or Balkoth, forget which you need to search for.
     
  10. phillipwyllie

    phillipwyllie Wannabe Deity

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    I don't know about the AI in civ4 but in civ5 the AI can't play the game. True there will be the odd occurrence that AI outplays you but that is probably due to you playing badly.
    In saying that if you're not a deity civ4 player you will get many hours out of civ5 especially if you worry about what you are doing and not what the AI is doing. There is a mod flying around that aims to improve the AI's play, I haven't tried it but I hear it's doing well.

    There's a tonne of civs to play and many ways to win the game, heck you don't need to play to win just build an empire that stands the test of time. At any price civ5 is money well spent, if you are a civ fanatic that is.....
     
  11. Chunkook

    Chunkook Chieftain

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    Well, it depends on how you look at the AI. I've never played Civ 4, but the AI here is pretty decent imo. Yes, often enough it founds cities on the stupidest locations and war-wise isn't very good, but it certainly isn't bad.

    The leaders have different personalities which results in quite the altered gamestyle.

    Diplomacy isn't very in-depth, but it's more than enough considering how many different visions will the other civs have of you throughout the game.

    They will backstab you, like you, want your lands, wonders, denounce you and, rarely but still, make alliances against you. They will actively war with each other and overall I'd say the game is well worth it + all the features it provides.

    Once again - I can't compare it to Civ4, and I've read mixed opinions, but mine is that at the higher levels (Immortal and Diety (The last 2)) the AI can throw quite the punch and will require efficient strategy. Yes, it could be a lot better, but considering how complex this game is, the AI is in a very good place atm.
     
  12. Kullervo

    Kullervo Mahler/Sibelius Freak

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    The best way to describe the AI that I can find is 'Uneven.' It just seems like there are so many AI's which do really well due to flavours/abilities, and some that just fall flat. I've never had Theodora do particularly well in any of my games, or William. On the other hand, Hiawatha is almost guaranteed to be a runaway, as are Ramses and Maria I. I would say the game is far more nuanced than Civ IV was, and the AI has trouble comprehending some of the concepts (IE William will never trade away his last luxury.)

    That being said, the AI certainly is competitive. They can range from annoying to downright threatening. On Deity, they will give you a run for your money, unless you're the all theory, number-crunching type (I never find that to be particularly fun. After winning once as fast as I can, I never really tried it again.) The game is definitely a lot of fun, and there's a lot to do.

    EDIT: Derp. Forgot to compare it to Civ IV... I think Civ IV was a much simpler game, and so the AI had a more level playing field. On the most difficult level, it was a challenge, but always in the same ways. The same few basic tricks would work against the Civ IV AI. In CiV, I would say you actually do need to adjust somewhat, and counterplan.
     
  13. Tatran

    Tatran Deity

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    True and the civ4 AI knows how to play the game.

    To OP, earlier this month there was also a 50% discount on civ5 the complete edition,
    but after watching some 'let''s plays' by Marbozir I decided not to buy it.
    There's new stuff in civ5 I like, but the AI is braindead and the game is (very) slow.
    Watch your precious time, it goes by very fast when turn times are close to 1 minute.
    Even Marbozir cut his videos at the end of a civ5 game.
    In his 'Let's play civ5 as Rome Deity' and 'Let's play civ5 as Shaka Immortal' you can see the weakness of the AI.
    An AI (Inca) unable to win with 200k gold, owning most city states and having 60 cities versus 7-8 cities by the human player is bad.
    In the Shaka game, the AI had no answer to a fleet of battleships.
    Watch those 'Let's plays' first before throwing away money.

    Spoiler :
     
  14. Aheadatime

    Aheadatime Prince

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    I just stumbled on that guy today, so I can't speak about all of his content, but he seems to favor playing on the "Epic" setting, which dramatically increases the time it takes to research techs, build things, etc. This makes the game very slow.

    As far as the AI being too stupid for you, why wouldn't you just play vs humans then?
     
  15. Acken

    Acken Deity

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    My turn times never take 1 minute on standard settings, 10-15seconds is the most it gets, maybe he plays on huge maps...

    The AI isn't completely braindead (there's even a mod making it a bit better). But it's true that Civ4 AI performs better in comparison. Civ5 Deity will still remains a challenge for many many players.

    If you're in it for the biggest challenge or multiple unit per tiles, stick to Civ4. If you want a game with more features/mechanics, an interesting Culture victory, and 1upt then try Civ5.
     
  16. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    I lose more games to being outraced to peaceful victory conditions by the AI on Immortal and Deity than I do to combat defeats. The AI's military failings are overstated - and unless you build a moderate army will be irrelevant if it steamrolls you anyway. The AI in Civ V has always seemed more solid at winning peaceful victories than I recall from previous Civ games (unless, of course, the player is aggressive and conquers it).
     
  17. Socratatus

    Socratatus Emperor

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    The AI is pretty much ok in general. It isn`t so good on sea with lots of islands though. I was able to win a war quite easy against an AI that had the Navy and resources to wipe me out. He had something like 50 cities. Yet when I went to war with it to stop his runaway I was able to use my small Navy and regularly sink the bits and pieces he sent at me on the sea. I took each city away bit by bit. I was very surprised how useless it was and I`m not a great Player; I usually lose on land.

    Another thing I find annoying is how it sometimes responds in diplomacy, but I think this is more a lack of proper responses given to the speech and animation than the AI itself.
     
  18. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    I don’t think that is really accurate. Aside from combat, what does the AI do better in IV than V? WRT combat, the AI in IV does better because SOD is easy to program for.

    IMHO the AI are exactly the same. V has this complicated flavor/trait bias to steer the AI, but I think a player would be hard-pressed to really notice. A few are known warmongers (but at least are predictable). A few are routinely passive. The rest are generally hostile but otherwise inconsistent game-to-game. None are consistently friendly. But at least it is better than non-existent IV personality!

    I think the AI in V is pretty good at trying to win. For example, I can lose by SV when trying for CV and vice-versa. It has been a while, but I think I only ever lost in IV because an AI killed me (of course, that was every game, every time once I advanced above the middling level of competition).
     
  19. whyidie

    whyidie Emperor

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    Just to expand on this, I think this is a step forward from an AI perspective. I believe a lot of the misunderstanding around diplomacy comes down the factors that go into AI behavior are not easily visible to the user. It seems stupid or irrational on the surface, but often times I find plausible reasons for their actions if I take the time to understand the conditions they are experiencing.

    I went from disliking the diplomacy to being an advocate. Its not perfect, but its a step ahead of 4.

    To the OPs question of does the AI do "stupid" things ? I'd say it is most apparent in combat, and to me its somewhat overstated. At lower levels it has a greater effect as AI has lower troops levels and the mistakes they make have a larger impact.
     
  20. Gort

    Gort Emperor

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    Agreed. In both games the AI at high difficulty levels gets big bonuses to the size of the army it can make. However, in Civ 5 there is a combination of bugs (AI cannot move and shoot in the same turn with ranged units) and design decisions like 1 unit per tile and promotions that make bringing a large army that takes lots of losses to the battlefield a bad idea.

    I don't really agree with this. The AI can only win a diplomatic victory by accident (EG: Greece buys up city states throughout the game, and will eventually win a diplomatic victory due to that, but doesn't buy up city states specifically to win a diplomatic victory vote), doesn't know that it needs to capture capitals to win domination victory, doesn't know how to win a Tourism victory, and doesn't particularly beeline science victories and just sort of stumbles into those.

    The main way an AI wins in Civ 5 is by making the player quit. Otherwise, the only thing they do is stumble into diplomatic or scientific victories.
     

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