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Math vs Expectation - Should AI bonuses spike around Modern?

Discussion in 'General Balance' started by Stalker0, Jan 16, 2018.

  1. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    A little background.

    First note, the VP AI has been setup so that AI bonuses are small at first, but get bigger as the game goes on. Its a great notion, I am hugely in favor it of.

    It may have one unforeseen problem, player expectation. I feel like a lot of players get to the Modernish era on top of the world...and quit the game because "they've already won", What they don't realize is that the AI bonuses are getting bigger and bigger, and a true challenge may be awaiting them going into Atomic.

    Now in a perfect world we would say "stupid humans, just finish your games and you will be happy...promise". But...life doesn't always work that way.

    So...does it make sense to bump up the bonuses around Modern era (or whatever era people feel they quit at when they are ahead). This might actually actually mean the bonuses increase a lot in Modern, but actually scale less later on. I am not suggesting the whole end game should be dramatically harder, just that the player feels the AI power a bit earlier so they don't get complacent and think they have it in the bag.

    Its an annoying problem to deal with, in other ways I would love to just keep the system as is. Is this a problem big enough to account for, or just let it ride?
     
  2. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    I'd say that if the player is much better than AI in, say Renaissance, it's Medieval AI bonuses what need a boost. The idea is that you can get slightly better than the bests AI or slightly worse, but not a great difference, so players feel there's still a challenge.
     
  3. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    Yeah the goal would be for the AI to stay even with the player, so if the player plays well he shouldn't get too far ahead or behind. The AI should have a chance to comeback from behind if the player makes mistakes, or snowball ahead, but they should have human-ish progression.

    If they don't for you try adjusting your Handicap values. I have mine on something like 100 70 100 right now.
     
  4. Blue Ghost

    Blue Ghost King

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    I definitely agree. To keep the game engaging, the AI should be able to challenge the player in the early game, not rely on its late game bonuses to catch up. I haven’t been playing as much lately, but my limited experience tells me that the AI is still not strong enough early.
     
  5. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    So we want the AI to not be strong early but to be strong early, we want the AI to ramp up late game but not get big bonuses late game. We want a mid game challenge but we don't want mid game runaways. We want human-level tactical AI while we also want turn times to be less than an hour, and we also want the AI to reliably predict human behavior without the means to do so in this plane of existence. Anything else? :D

    G
     
  6. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    I never found the AI too weak in the early stages on either Emperor or Immortal, and think it's pretty balanced in the late stages as well -- except for that wide happiness wall being discussed elsewhere, which may be linked to culture, too. Wide vs wide, the AI tends to blow me off the road culturally in the last 2 prior patches. This is even in games where I'm America, get the Smithsonian, and basically take the world's digs.
     
  7. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    To clarify, I think the AI is strong, and I actually think it ramps up fine into the very late game. ITs more of the "right before really late game" where it looks like I've got it nailed, even though a sleeping dragon is awaiting me in the next era.

    That's why its a weird problem to consider, and maybe one not worth considering.
     
  8. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    I know that feeling, and have started to chuckle as I experience it, knowing what's coming ahead. Ideologies may also have something to do with it.
     
  9. Infixo

    Infixo Deity

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    Can you check if this is not 70 100 100?
    70 as B means 2 yields less per era, not significnt at all when Industrial A gives 175.
     
  10. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    You forget that elephants made me lose one game, so pls nerf!
     
    Gazebo, Moochamoola, Txurce and 2 others like this.
  11. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    I'm sure that I balanced around having A equal or higher than C. I like the quadratic scaling, as it feels like the AI keeps up correctly. I've yet to get to super-late eras though, so we'll see if it's a bit too high. I DID factor in assumptions that AI would get more triggers than before, so I'm not making an uneducated guess.
     
  12. Infixo

    Infixo Deity

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    Then it means that actually C is what matters most in your case,
    Since iEra=1 for both ancient and classical, then with default abc values on Deity handicap yield is 7*(1+1+4)=42. Your abc values give 7*(1+0.7+1)=18.9.

    And you really need to use lower A if you want to play late eras. With a=1 the bonus is absurdily huge.
     
  13. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    I found that the early game goes well with a handicap of 2.5 or 3. ElliotS early handicap is 2.7. At least we are agreeing in some numbers.
     
  14. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    I used that one graphing site to chart out the results. The late game bonus should be bigger than before and about the same in ren while being smaller early. If the late game bonus isn't larger than it's just weakening the AIs rather than reworking their bonuses.
     
  15. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    Is it working well for you even at modern era? I mean, you are keeping the same pace as the AI with 100,70,100? That would be a handicap value of 5^2 + 0.7*5 + 1 = 25 +3.5 + 1 = 29.5, before difficulty bonus.
    Maybe better to focus in Renaissance values, yours is 4^2 + 0.7*4 + 1 = 16 + 2.8 + 1 = 19.8.
     
  16. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Going back to this idea from a recent game experience. Was playing as Spain on emperor. Starting in the Classical Era I began to rise, and by Medieval I was dominate in all areas. Most tech, most culture, most everything. People warred with me all the time (and I mean all the time, like people would just tag off the next guy to DOW me as one finished a war), but overall I was never threatened.

    This last all the way until the late modern period and really in the atomic era. Suddenly, a contender appears! They catch up on culture, and shoot past me on Tech. Now I'm in the fight, figuring out how to deal with this upstart. But its a winnable fight for me, and I'm having a lot of fun.

    This phenomena means the handicap is doing its job. I just wish we could get here a bit sooner, which is I why I was suggesting a bigger spike around modernish time and then taper off the bonuses a bit later on. I love that the AI is challenging me, but would love to get that same feeling of competition for an earlier and longer timeframe.
     
  17. Rekk

    Rekk Emperor

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    Should a civ's benefits let it dominate in everything at its peak era? If not perhaps you should try adjusting B so the the AI stays competitive in Medieval-Industrial.
     
  18. Infixo

    Infixo Deity

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  19. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Would you please remind me what file to change the handicaps is? You wouldn't believe how much time I just spent looking and can't find it:(
     
  20. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    C:\Users\~\Documents\My Games\Sid Meier's Civilization 5\MODS\(2) Community Balance Overhaul (v 13)\Balance Changes\Difficulty\DifficultyMod.xml

    A/B/C - they're in hundreds, so .8 = 80

    G
     

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