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Naval AI is horrible

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by ZappBrannigan, Oct 8, 2010.

  1. ZappBrannigan

    ZappBrannigan Chieftain

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    I'm pretty sure other people has commented on this in other threads - but I did a quick search and I couldn't find a thread dedicated to it. The naval AI is in dire need of improvement. I completed my first full game last night and after I secured my own continent, I built a few naval vessels and pretty much ruled the seas for the remainder of the game. Even though the other civs declared war on me at various times they never even remotely tried anything aggressive with their navys, never tried to invade, and hardly even defended their coasts. Monty had by far the largest civ and military (I was third), yet I just sailed up and down his coasts, pummeling coastal cities. the stupid russian AI kept on embarking land unit after land unit within range of my destroyer off shore. They only built ironclads and they never tried to attack my ships as a group. Also, I experienced several instances of an enemy ship in range of a hostile city state just sitting there until is was sunk by bombardment! I guess the playtesters only used pangea maps! This really makes the later stages of a game uninteresting (unless you are on pangea). Oh well, hopefully there is some work in progress on these issues.
     
  2. Toady

    Toady Chieftain

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    Firaxis must be in some kind of competition with Creative Assembly on who can produce the most incompetent AI.... there is no other possible explanation to be honest.
     
  3. shinkicker

    shinkicker Warlord

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    I'm trying to think of any wargame AI I've played that had a credible naval AI. HOI/2/3 didn't do it, though it was much closer than SR2020 or EU.

    So my theory is that it's the toughest monumental challenge to any wargame programmer in any era, and that challenge comes from the very thing that makes navies so powerful: unpredictable application of massive force over long distances which require the enemy to guard against an overwhelming number of potential invasion routes.

    Civ5 did itself a favor by allowing all units to essentially be amphibious after the discovery of Optics. It helps to solve the problem (without addressing the pathing/planning issue) by lowering the bar in eliminating transport units.
     
  4. gunnergoz

    gunnergoz Cat Herder

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    I completely concur. The land AI is bad enough but the sea AI absolutely sucks. All the complaints you made are valid. If the AI is using sea transport for troops, a mere trireme can clean their clock because the AI never escorts troop transports. The AI will indeed seldom attack and will sit in plain sight of a city to get sunk. Who beta tested this? Ray Charles & Stevie Wonder?
     
  5. sesaMe

    sesaMe Chieftain

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    i recently had a game small/continents/immortal where russia lanched a medeval naval invasion involving around 6 swordsmen 2 caravels and an archer.

    i repelled it easily and build a navy (4 friggats upgraded into 4 destoryers and 2 carriers with bombers/fighters - all massivly promoted) but was unable to keep up with a smaller AI, darius who completed the tech tree in an impossibly quick time.

    before darius launched the space ship i decided to bribe him into war against every other AI and then bomb him with my navy.

    his rocket artillary killed everything i had in 3 turns
     
  6. Doctor Phibes

    Doctor Phibes Prince

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    Agree with you in general, it's a tough issue, only that I don't think it's done itself *any favours at all* with embarkation. All that embarkation of AI units does is provide target practice for players with real navies. And I've also seen the AI manoeuvre embarked units such that I think it 'believes' they are naval units. So it's quite possibly distracting the AI from fronting a real naval presence.

    The thing is embarkation is one of the few things I like about Civ5, but it seems no-one troubled to tell the AI how to use it properly (like so much else).
     
  7. shinkicker

    shinkicker Warlord

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    In the world of design planning, making it easier for the AI to send units overseas *was* a favor to themselves. Imagine the millions of lines of java code they didn't have to write :D

    Of course, like I said, it did nothing to resolve the underlying issue of pathing and planning -- the same problems every other strategy game has had.
     
  8. Doctor Phibes

    Doctor Phibes Prince

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    Ah, fair point. But on the other hand, that's really just saying we've given up hope of implementing naval options vs a human opponent - let's just pretend sea is a blue/grey coloured kind of land (apparently, Napoleon really did think this way).

    I'll leave that, actually. Because I've just thought of why this solution is no better for the AI. True, it doesn't have to coordinate transports and land units, it's real simple, just land units. But, particularly against a human, it now should be coordinating *escorts* and land units. And all under a 1upt system, which constitutes a major problem with 'pathing and planning', as you say. (I'd put them both under 'logistics'.)

    Basically, this is yet another upshot of the 1upt absolutism (the AI cannot handle it on land, nightmare at sea).
     
  9. ChaplainDMK

    ChaplainDMK Warlord

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    I don't think its actualy badly programmed AI, i think they must have gave the navy a low priority on the AIs to do list, thats why you barely see any ships on the AIs part, even tough they are extreamly usefull weapons in any age (bassicaly super fast archers/catapults/cannons/artillery)
    If somebody could find the file and adjust the priority i think the AI wouldn't seem so stupid at naval operations.
    I think that only 5% max of the AIs army will cosist of ships. Like in one of my games, Ghandi had by far the largest army, like 2 times bigger then mine, but he still had only 3 or 4 frigates, while i had 7 frigates and 3 caravels... And he paid for that mistake when he had to cross a narrow area where my frigates were able to shoot at any hex, so i compleatly decimated his army in a few turns.
     
  10. dexters

    dexters Gods & Emperors Supporter

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    One solution is to treat naval units separatelty or value them differently for the AI, so they will build it.

    ie: 2 ships = 1 unit maintenance cost.

    Also, civ3 had credible AI navies. C3C did a lot of things around that, like escorting transports, managing carriers (/w escorts) it was real impressive work, but broke naval bombard. Where all ships would do was hit cities and redline defenders but not have units on land to take the city, and not the tiles around it (i always felt it was more important to hit tiles)

    Civ3 vanilla 1.29f patch though would see some AI field credible navies and they will absolutely lay waste to your coastal tiles if you dont have a navy to defend.

    Civ3 worked on a flag system as part of Soren's learning AI design (which was really quite impressive). Civs with a lot of water or overseas holdings will check the 'build navy' flag and it will go and build one, usually a sizable one too.
     
  11. Doctor Phibes

    Doctor Phibes Prince

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    It's not just a matter of building priority. In no Civ version has the AI known how to use navies properly. So they shouldn't be highly prioritised, that just means wasting resources on ships that the human player will pick off easily. But you need some, and Civ5 has gone too far in the other direction...
     
  12. Mac2411

    Mac2411 Chieftain

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    I'm in a game right now where the Iroquois attempted an amphibious landing on my continent. I was playing small continents and only on Prince level. I had already cleared my continent of China and Songhai. Our continents were only separated by about six or eight hexes. There were mutliple riflemen and artillery. They landed down on an isolated part of the continent near my allied city state. It was a total surprise because my small navy was engaged elsewhere. I had to rush units down and disengage my fleet to try to intercept what I could that was still offshore.

    Once I got there I saw they had more units still offshore than I initially though that were moving to land near my closest city. I had an artillery piece there and started shelling them-destroying one unit at sea. Then inexplicably, they sued for peace on favorable terms and withdrew their invasion force. I had only one ship that had just got in range and could have destroyed a unit. Bottom line is that the AI didn't do too badly in that instance. I think the ship might be what spooked them because their units were entirely unescorted.
     
  13. Doctor Phibes

    Doctor Phibes Prince

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    Actually, you've a point. I think the one time I was impressed by the AI applying naval strength was with Civ3. How did that get lost in the mix? Seems to be a lot of retrogression in Civ...
     
  14. zonk

    zonk Prince

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    I suppose you can argue that space ≠ navy, but Galciv2's wasn't bad (of course, it would certainly be correct to say that doesn't count because space was the 'main' - and only - board; a replacement, not an alternative or extension - of land combat).

    There are a couple of older SSI games that were OK - but they were extraordinarily simplified "hex chess" games, where it was really more just tile positioning.

    To be perfectly honest -- I thought the IV naval AI wasn't half bad... I think you're right that the bar is awfully low for naval AIs, but IV seemed to at least get the "critical mass" (don't come with just 2-3 ships, be purposeful) and escort your troops aspects right... something a lot of others never did.
     
  15. Frasco

    Frasco Drunk costarrican civer

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    You know... I clearly remember on my first time ever at [BtS] that Justinian came one fine day and declared war on me from his palace at the other end of the ocean. A few turns later, and to my surprise, galleons appeared on my eastern coast pouring knights and musketmen on my territory, while airships bombed all my defensive units. That time I really felt the AI had mounted an excellent naval invasion and felt clearly challenged until I finally had to forfeit the game. It never happened again.
     
  16. Doctor Phibes

    Doctor Phibes Prince

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    Yes. It's so rare that you feel you should have made a note of it and stuck it on your wall. I'm pretty sure the same sort of thing happened to me, just once, playing Civ3 long time ago...
     
  17. Krowser

    Krowser Chieftain

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    I declared war on Monty only to see him send off his 2 remaining soldiers to hang around the coastline while my knights were capping his capital and my catapult was taking pot shots at the troup transports.
    w
    t
    f....
     
  18. Toshiro126

    Toshiro126 Warlord

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    It's not just the oceans either. Last game, Persia attacked my easternmost city, which has a small lake one hex away. For some odd reason, a Persian catapault decided to turn into a boat and try to cross the lake. I surrounded the lake with soldiers, who I assume stood on the shores of the lake, waving and taunting the poor catapault that had no place to go. :lol:
     
  19. Doctor Phibes

    Doctor Phibes Prince

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    If you'd had your own catapult, you could have slung some cows at them (since those are useless resources elsewise). But you did the right thing, I'm certain their fazzers were hamsters...
     
  20. seasnake

    seasnake Conquistador

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    Better BTS AI mod is the only time I've played a game where a naval attack from a nearby power was credible. BTS knew enough to promote several units with amphibious and park them near a city, but usually they'd only do that if they were on a separate continent. Only in that mod have I actually seen an enemy with whom I shared land reason that sending a stack of 12 units into the heart of my empire instead of through my border might be worthwhile.
     

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