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Issues with overly aggressive AI

Discussion in 'More Naval AI Modmod' started by Thrar, Oct 13, 2013.

  1. Thrar

    Thrar Chieftain

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    As others pointed out in the bug and features threads, the AI is much more aggressive in this modmod than usual. From what I've seen in my games, there are some things that aren't working very well under these circumstances. For reference, I'm playing on Emperor.

    1. Almost every AI is looking for war, regardless of their position. Plenty of land goes unsettled and it's not unusual that at a given time, every AI is at war with at least one other civ.
    2. AIs often cripple themselves going for war too early. Fists start going up in turn 20-30, then they're building mainly warriors and severely handicap their research and expansion. They then entrench themselves for a long time without much progress on either side. If an AI is somehow left out of the warring (rare, but happens), they easily leave everyone else in the dust in expansion and tech.
    3. Because of all the warring, all AIs constantly ask the player to cancel deals or declare war, even if the player already is at war with someone else. I've had games where I've become someone's worst enemy due to cumulative -6 from these requests; they hated me more for refusing than the civ they were at war with in the first place! With the whole world at war for most of the game, the player either needs to choose sides in every conflict (and consequently, declare war on half the world) or find themselves without trading partners and lots of future enemies quickly.
    4. Since the player starts with less power than the AIs, they usually seem to be the preferred target. Even building nothing but a worker and warriors, it's often impossible to avoid getting into a war in the first 60 turns or so.
    5. If the player wins the early war and manages to avoid getting drawn into the rest of the world's conflicts, the game is usually an easy win. Because the AIs all cripple themselves and each other, it's possible to get 5-10 times (!) their GNP and run away with tech. It's just a choice of how to win at that point, if you can go to war with iron against warriors or mithril against axes the game is over.

    From my point of view, the biggest balance issue is the AIs sacrificing their development too much in order to go to war. It's sort of a prisoner's dilemma - out of 2 AIs, if one builds up for war and the other doesn't, the warrior is obviously going to profit. However, with 3 AIs where 2 build up and fight against each other, they both lose against the 3rd who will eventually overrun both with superior units.
    Would it be possible to teach the AI the concept of a defensive war? For example, if an AI finds itself with enough land to expand peacefully but they have a threatening neighbor, they could try to fortify their position and build troops mostly for defense, while trying to build up a tech or production advantage. If an AI could manage to defend itself expending less military effort than the attacker (they already can) and then not immediately waste their advantage in a silly counter attack (they love this), they might be able to break the 200-turn stalemate that seems to happen very often in current games.

    I find the constant "help us against our enemies" harassment pretty annoying, too. The AIs don't seem do it to each other (at least the don't get diplo modifiers for it) so the player ends up with a -3 to -6 with pretty much everyone, or has to get involved in all the world's wars.
    Perhaps it would help to only have the AI ask for help if the player isn't already at war? Alternatively, maybe put a limit on the diplo modifiers or have them decay faster? Or simply reduce the likelihood of asking to half or 1/3 of what it currently is?
     
  2. [to_xp]Gekko

    [to_xp]Gekko QCT junkie

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    are you using the Aggressive AI gameoption?
     
  3. Thrar

    Thrar Chieftain

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    No, regular settings. The only non-default option I usually play is turning off huts.
     
  4. [to_xp]Gekko

    [to_xp]Gekko QCT junkie

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    I think this overly aggressive behaviour is caused by the handicaps the AI gets at high level, they will have more production and more XP than you so you'll always be weaker, which means the best decision for them is to try to conquer you.
     
  5. LightofAbraxas

    LightofAbraxas Chieftain

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    I've had the same experience (on all difficulty levels), which may be due in part to the crowded maps I like to play on. I don't think early wars are bad per se, but rather the fact that the AI doesn't seem to want to get out of them once they've started. Roughly half the peace treaties I see between AIs are due to the Great Mediator/Merciful Gesture events.

    I think the OP is right, this makes the mid/endgame a lot easier than it should be.

    Also, the "Join us in War" requests are excessive, the the point of being the main factor in my relations with the AI.

    My only gripes with the otherwise great mod.
     
  6. [to_xp]Gekko

    [to_xp]Gekko QCT junkie

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    yeah, a warrior rush is useful sometimes when it works out well, but if it doesn't you have to stop quickly otherwise you're just stunting your growth. it seems like AIs should focus on economy first rather than aggression :)
     
  7. Hightower

    Hightower Chieftain

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    They do it to each other, too, though. It seems like every civ is programmed to build a bunch of warriors, seek out a neighbor and surprise attack them. I've even seen a civ eliminated while they were attacking me with a huge stack of warriors around turn 60 because their cities were left almost defenseless to launch a warrior rush, and someone else jumped them. They're more likely to target the human player because you don't have a huge stack of warriors, but if they don't know you (and sometimes even if they do), they'll attack someone else. (This also makes it a great early-game strategy to NOT explore and avoid contacting the AIs until as late as possible.)
     
  8. [to_xp]Gekko

    [to_xp]Gekko QCT junkie

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    it seems like warrior rushing should be left to the Doviello who are geared up for it :D
     
  9. Korac

    Korac Chieftain

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    The AI is more aggressive on some map types. They are very aggressive on Lakes and Pangaea maps, probably because they don't have to build ships to attack someone. I find just surviving on one of these maps to be a major accomplishment with MNAI.

    The AI prefers to attack militarily weak civs. If the human player is playing at a level higher than Noble, he will not be able to build as many units as an AI civ, and thus fall behind, at least early in the game.
     
  10. Fafnir13

    Fafnir13 Chieftain

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    Two of my last three games began with a 100+ turn war with a nearby Civ. In both cases, there was nothing I could do for a long period of time other then amass troops and wait for my hero to pick them off. It was even worse for the poor elves as they don't even have catapults to rush for, needing sorcery(!) or priesthood at the earliest for any good amount of "free" damage.
    I do find the period after finally crushing the annoying attacker to be fun. Getting slowed down by that amount usually means at least one other civ will put up a fight.
    Fun as it can be, I think the AI is a little too scary early game, blasting out cities and large troop stacks with ease. Would prefer to not need to blast out nothing but warriors for the first quarter of the game just to survive...
     
  11. Fr8Train

    Fr8Train Chieftain

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    I concur. Had been playing vanilla ffh2 and the difference between that and more naval is striking. I had war declared on me extremely early in my previous game (turn 20 or so). I started another game with large map and 2 ai's were defeated by turn 50. May have been partly due to barbs but I have a feeling it was primarily because of ai aggressiveness.
     
  12. scutarii

    scutarii Chieftain

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    bad lair results may play some part too....
     
  13. Tholal

    Tholal Chieftain

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    Provide a savegame from the most current version a turn (or so) before the AI makes a war declaration on you that you think should not occur and I can look into it.
     
  14. Akbarthegreat

    Akbarthegreat Angel of Junil

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    I don't have any specific save, but this has happened to me many times : the AI attacks with their heroes at low odds (<1%). Perhaps do not allow the AI to attack with heroes below a certain probability of survival (50% maybe)?
     
  15. Fafnir13

    Fafnir13 Chieftain

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    I wish I could check the AI's attack odds. It seems like they are far too frequently afraid to attack into things which they have a good chance of winning against. It would impress me if the AI could be taught to attack in with a small percentage of the fodder unit just to see if they can weaken the more powerful defenders.
     
  16. MrUnderhill

    MrUnderhill Civ-loving Hobbit

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    I wonder if there isn't anything wrong with the AI persay, but it's discovered how broken the power/cost ratio is between unit tiers and decided the best way to wage war is to zerg rush.

    I remember having the same issue with vanilla FfH: high-tier units are simply too expensive compared to spamming warriors. A warrior with no bonuses has a power-to-cost ratio of 3:strength:/25:hammers: = 0.12. An axeman with iron weapons is only slightly better at 6:strength:/45:hammers: = 0.13, and it only gets worse the higher in tiers you go. And that's not counting building and research costs. I'd have to do some experiments to be sure, but at least on paper it looks like building warriors gives you the best bang for your buck, so it's no wonder the AI does it so often.
     
  17. Calavente

    Calavente Richard's voice

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    but a 6:strength: unit for 45 :hammers: call kill (on defense) 5-6 3:strength: warriors
     
  18. MrUnderhill

    MrUnderhill Civ-loving Hobbit

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    True, but does the AI take weapon promotions, fortification bonuses, and so on into account?
    "Hmm, if I build up my economy by putting cottages on all my grassland tiles, and either rush Smelting for natural iron or found Runes of Kilmorph and build the Mines of Gal-dur, and build a Training Yard in my capital, I can get a much more efficient unit to rush with... nah, too much work. I'll just dump a stack of warriors on them and hope they haven't figured me out yet. They're almost as good, right?" :crazyeye:

    My point is that even though you and I know that making economic investments and building high-tier units pays off in the long run, the AI is just looking at the numbers without context. And the numbers point to warrior spam as the optimal strategy.
     
  19. BobCW

    BobCW Chieftain

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    Adding another voice to the chorus that the AI is much too rush-happy. It doesn't really matter much which AI I meet, within 10 turns of contact they're preparing to attack me with four or five Warriors. If they aren't rushing me, they're throwing Warriors at each other. It's just not fun- being eliminated / crippled so early in the game sucks, and if I survive the AI is inevitably left terminally backwards from its poor investment.
     
  20. MrUnderhill

    MrUnderhill Civ-loving Hobbit

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    Yeah, I'm starting to think it may not be unit costs, anymore. I played a game where the Amurites' "invasion force" was reduced by barbarians to four badly-damaged warriors. They still tried to invade me, even though I had twice as many fresh warriors ready to intercept them. Something is definitely driving the AI to war even when it would be suicide.
     

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