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New Beta Version - Feb. 9th (2-9)

Discussion in 'Community Patch Project' started by Gazebo, Feb 10, 2020.

  1. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    when you all say "blow out" I assume that is primarily through conquest?
     
  2. James Ryle

    James Ryle Chieftain

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    Why is it that workers do not improve tiles? What is the mechanic that makes them not improve a resource or at times any tiles? I know it was mentioned that the worker will only improve for the next citizen that is born but is there not a way to change it that they just merrily improve tiles to stay competitive? (I've seen games against Sweden especially where the workers were on every resource ASAP even before citizens were born).

    In reference to the difficulty, I found one of the most compelling aspect of the game was a quite a while ago where a city could not have more specialists that unhappy people. Coupled with a more difficult happiness modifier at the time this made the happiness/specialist mini game an awesome mechanic and something that needed to be well planned out. It stifled city growth in a satisfying way (Countering needs modifiers was constantly challenging and fun) because I had to actually have a strategy for getting the right buildings and tiles worked in the in the right cities so I could have more than a one or two specialists.

    Although... now I type this I think I remember it was scrapped because the AI was struggling too much with this mechanic? As much as it was more difficult for the human player the AI still struggled more?
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
  3. SuperNoobCamper

    SuperNoobCamper Prince

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    this reminded me of my first Emperor game a couple of years ago, Shaka was literally spamming Impis beyond the ability of my muskets to deal with that i had to go ot of my way and prioritize the lower end of the tech tree to get gatelings, the game was extremely challenging ... the gap between Emperor and Immortal was huge and i have to say that even Immortal now feels like prince or even easier than when i started playing VP .... not because i'm that good at the game but because the game is so much easier compared to a couple of years ago.
    Let's just be clear about this, the AI would never be as good as the human player at playing this game, a fair no bonuses for anyone is gonna be a boring castle builder simulator not a civ game.
    The reduction of AI bonuses over time took away the thrill of beating the higher difficulty when i manage to keep a good win rate in my comfort-zone-difficulty at least for me.
     
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  4. JamesNinelives

    JamesNinelives Emperor

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    You may be right, but I feel like it's worth mentioning that it's difficult to account for confirmation bias. I have been slowly moving up the difficulties over the years (I started on Prince and I find Emperor to be a good level of challenge now), so I can understand that if you started off on a higher difficulty there might not be that much more new challenge left to test yourself against. I think the fact that we're saying things like 'a couple of years ago' probably implies there is going to be at least some element of experience and learning though. I think that's one of the challenges of playtesting the mod: that the people most involved in the community inevitably are going to get better over time, so we have more input from high-level players than lower-level players.

    Would love to hear more people's experiences though. I do find it kind of surprising if people on Deity are saying it's too easy.
     
  5. General_Drax

    General_Drax Warlord

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  6. civplayer33

    civplayer33 King

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    Well just a year ago people were complaining about not being able to win on Chieftain...of course people who are playing VP for years will be more likely to participate in this forum and also get a lot better over time.

    But here again we have a bit of a schizophrenic presentation....on the one hand people complain that the AI gangs up on them and that the anti-warmonger bonus is too high (and this is almost exclusively coming from high-difficulty players) and on the other hand we get posts like "Deity is a walk in the park lol; y so ez brah?"...
     
  7. Randomized

    Randomized Chieftain

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    I play Immortal and often struggle with it. I've been playing exclusively authority for a while now (since I've found it to be the most fun) and I've noticed the game seems to be determined by how much production my start has. If I get a good start I can get my infrastructure up and build a large army. In such games I just take out a civ or two early and the game usually then becomes laughably easy. If I get a low production start I'm forced to choose between building infrastructure and not fighting, or building units and fighting someone, but later falling behind in infrastructure with no way to get back into the game since I'm authority and all my bonuses come from winning wars, but I can no longer win wars because I'm behind on tech or have run out of money etc.
     
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  8. vyyt

    vyyt Deity

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    I think part of this is that after the introduction of an effective supply cap (and removal of the AI unit production bonuses after a unit dies?), AIs do not produce the endless seas of units anymore, which has been amplified by the land/naval ratios skewed in favor to naval recently.

    Before, people complained that the wars of attrition were too long and exhausting, now (different?) people find wars too easy. Hard to make everyone happy, but I think fiddling with the unit cap and AI production bonuses could make the people who find the game too easy happier?
     
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  9. andersw

    andersw Emperor

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    For me that is very much true, I mean now I know how to line up and prepare for war, I know why I make a choice in tech path why I take religious option and such.
    If I'd go back to versions two years ago I would definitely do much much better than I did then.
    However if Diety players find it too easy actions need to be taken, but I leave to Diety players to ask for how that best should be fixed.
     
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  10. JamesNinelives

    JamesNinelives Emperor

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    Off topic, but I like to talk about mental health to make it more accessible as a topic, and schizophrenia is one of the more commonly misunderstood illnesses. There are a range of symptoms, the most characteristic being psychosis which can take forms such as hallucinations, delusions, or hearing voices. I'm not sure if that's what you meant, but just in case I think it's worth noting that schizophrenia is distinct from what used to be called multiple personality disorder, now more properly called Dissociative Identity Disorder, or DID :).

    Edit: for context, you might also be thinking of Bipolar Spectrum Disoder, which is where people experience periods of both extreme highs and lows. Also to clarify I'm not a qualified expert on these subjects or anything, I just have friends/family members with mental illnesses.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
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  11. FoxOfWar

    FoxOfWar Prince

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    Played a pretty tight Inca game. (Small continents/Large/Emperor/Marathon)

    Was able to Slinger-rush my only neighbour on the continent before I discovered other civs, and thus had a pretty sweet mountainous place for my civ. Did make the mistake of annexing their capital early on, causing me a lot of pointless unhappiness since I was an entire era away from Courthouses. Got better, found other civs, realized I was in a pretty good place for wonder spam and probable culture victory, but time would tell...

    Ended up being very close. Finished Citizen Earth Protocol after tech-leader-all-game China had already knocked down a city from me with Giant Death Robot/Missile Cruisers, and on the turn before I finished they had already hit my capital. Unprotected cities drop really fast now, still gotta get used to that. Also the AI has been getting better at finding attack angles, so points for that.

    --

    I don't think I mind the archer change at this point, but I have a tendency to not go super-early conquering anyway unless I have an ancient UU or the situation is something like the above where I can take out a civ before other civs find me. Or you know, both.

    Regarding difficulty... given that Emperor is - after thousands of hours of playing this mod - where I can just about hold my own and the games sometimes comes down to singular turns(on Marathon) to see if I win... I'm probably not qualified to comment on Deity.

    --

    Good going, altogether though! Still very much enjoying this mod a lot! :D
     
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  12. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    I'm playing as Denmark in my current game and I'm finding Berserkers to be great. I wasn't making headway in my current war until I upgraded a bunch of swords into Berserkers. Who cares if they have slightly lower CS when they get 3 movement, free pillage, Charge, a bonus to being on pillaged tiles, and come earlier in the tech tree? They are mowing down the Netherland's Pikes and Knights.

    More bonuses for the AI would be fine but the free worker is not ideal IMO. A free worker at T0 is only useful to certain AI starts and is nothing but a gold sink in others. It led to crazy runaways for AI that start with wheat/floodplain (especially with how food/population directly ties into being able to make settlers) while jungle/forest AI just sit there losing gold.

    I'm personally finding deity still challenging in recent months. I find that I need a good start and need to make good decisions throughout the game or I will fall behind. Even when I do everything seemingly right there are still occasions where an AI on another continent goes nuts and just runs away.

    CrazyG I think you've typically thrown off the bell curve when it comes to difficulty which is why you've fallen back on doing challenges when deity was no longer interesting by itself. Having said that, I'd be fine with the difficulty going up enough to challenge you on deity even if it meant I'd need to play on immortal again. Ideally not via a free worker, though. Bonuses that are more equitable for all AI would be better.

    Also, I wonder how much of this is the AI currently making silly decisions? Maybe more people in the community could play games with settings that give them knowledge of what the AI is doing at all times? We could watch what the AI does and critique their decisions as feedback for the devs.

    People have pointed out how the AI currently doesn't improve resources properly. Maybe the AI is accidentally not prioritizing improvements for their pantheon and/or monopoly? Those bonuses are typically very powerful in the early game so maybe it's as simple as fixing that to make the AI tough again? People also often point out some rather silly religious choices for civs like India, Spain, etc. Perhaps their logic could be tweaked to purposefully avoid those mistakes? Limiting India's pantheon choice to those that are immediately useful, keeping Spain/Celts from choosing Inquisition, etc. Or maybe there are other things like that yet to be noticed?

    Ideally the AI gets more challenging by being smarter. It's no easy fix for the devs but maybe more emphasis on AI decision making feedback could help. They've done wonders with AI warfare IMO.
     
  13. civplayer33

    civplayer33 King

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    I wasn't making a medical diagnosis...English is a third language for me, but I've been under the impression that "schizophrenic" is an adjective used outside the medical field to describe non-sensical behavior, but I could be wrong. Medically speaking, one of the symptoms of schizophrenia is different forms of thought disorders, which can include illogicality, so the common-usage application of the term, as I understand it, doesn't seem to be completely disjointed from the medical term. Now, I don't want to start pointing fingers here, but there have been complaints by certain people over a certain, not too long, time period, which, when taken together, self-contradict; but again, this is not me handing down diagnoses, but rather describing, in what I perceive as common-use terms, such phenomena.

    But back to the topic, some more thoughts:

    Regarding the "run eliminateHuman.exe" issue: what if this isn't a bug in the AI but simply a consequence of a combination of the following:
    a) the human tending to do well, which, as I've argued many times before, should induce the AI to become hostile toward him to stop him from becoming a runaway (and if you don't like it, again, there's an flag you can set to turn this behavior off),
    b) the human being a lot better at war, which quickly leads to more warmonger score and thus hostility (it seems that people who currently find Deity too easy are mostly warmongering, so it seems like more "ganging up on them" and more anti-warmonger bonus is the way to go as the AI will never tactically or strategically surpass the human) and
    c) the AI simply being better at diplomacy than the human!

    While a) and b) have been discussed before, and a) was "fixed" in the sense that you can turn it off if you wish (but then don't complain about the game being too easy, please), c) hasn't really been mentioned anywhere, but I think it could well be a significant factor. Consider this:
    When the human gives commands to his units in a war, there will be an objective standard that could be used to evaluate his actions; while not always easy to determine in a complex game like Civ, theoretically there is a set of "perfect moves" that does not depend on what the AI thinks about them "subjectively". In diplomacy, however, your "moves" are only as good as the AI evaluation of them. Even if you think that you made the "right call" with some diplomatic action, if the AI evaluation of that action is different then you are wrong. Now of course there should be a way for the human to be able to anticipate, to some degree, how the AI evaluates his diplomatic actions, but first of all this shouldn't always be the case (and certainly isn't when the human evaluates AI action; e.g. the AI gives a gift to you, which makes you think "that's nice" but then you declare on them because someone else offers you a lot of Gold or they simply have something that you need that is more valuable to you than their friendship) and secondly I think it's quite probable that the AI puts much more effort into the diplomatic game (who here checks every turn if he can make new deals, DOFs etc. with every AI?) and may also be acting in a more "fine-tuned" manner. I'm not claiming that there couldn't be some bug in the Diplo-AI that makes it pick on the human preferentially, but I think it's quite likely that the situations where the AI gangs up on the human, even though one of them eventually ends up being a runaway with 5 DPs could just be a result of that AI having played a better game, especially on the diplomatic side.

    We'll know more after HeathCliffWarrior's diplo debugging enhancements, after which maybe we could look into how to more easily tell the human about "diplomatic opportunities" (e.g. possible DOFs being displayed in the EUI right-hand panel?), but in the meantime it seems that fixing existing bugs (possible "not making improvements"-bug, choosing wrong Pantheons / Beliefs bugs and others) and counteracting warmongers should be the way to go; on that latter note:
    How high is the anti-warmonger bonus currently on Deity? Have the people who complained about Deity being too easy tuned this down in their settings? Do they think that more would be better? Or should the AI maybe get production boosts on kill again, but only on high difficulties?

    Also, and a similar idea has been "floated" before: what if after the minimum turns for vassalage, enemies of the Vassal's Master, who are Friends with his Vassal, could "sponsor" a revolution by essentially making a special kind of deal with that Vassal AI where the capitulated Vassal becomes the voluntary Vassal of the deal-offering AI (which is a temporary arrangement) and automatic war is declared between the new Master and the old Master for a minimum amount of turns? Additionally, "Iron Fist" could be changed such that it only prevents this, but not the Vassal liberation that can occur after minimum time if the conditions are met (or the other way around). This would counteract a snowballing mechanism that I think is more relevant for snowballing humans than snowballing AIs, since I think the human gets multiple capitulated vassals far more often than the AI.

    Lastly, continuing to improve the tactical AI is, of course, the "holy grail" of improvement in this regard, as this doesn't feel "unfair", unlike more bonuses for the AI. However, this is often performance-limited, as well; so what if some more advanced and performance-draining AI tactical reasoning is only available if a certain flag is set, which could be user-chosen or be automatically set to off if the game detects AI processing to take too long? The reason I suggest this is that some people complain about long turn times in late game, which is something that has never been an issue for me; that's likely because I have a fairly powerful machine and I don't really play Huge maps anymore...it seems to me that if you want to play Huge maps or have a mediocre PC / Laptop then you should either accept long turn times or worse AI, rather than the AI being suboptimal for everyone, as long as the average gamer (who typically has a somewhat powerful machine) can still play with full AI and tolerable turn times on standard settings. Perhaps that could enable implementing some AI enhancements that were blocked by performance concerns, but I have a feeling that AI tactical reasoning is probably significantly limited by memory-issues, as well (the old 32-bit problem).
     
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  14. JamesNinelives

    JamesNinelives Emperor

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    I have to say I'm curious to know what Gazebo thinks about the subjects you mentioned (AI working/not working tiles, odd religious choices) given this is kind of what like he does (watch how the AI play against each other).
     
  15. JamesNinelives

    JamesNinelives Emperor

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    That is 100% correct and exactly why I think it's important to talk about these subjects so that we can avoid misunderstandings :). Mental illness is often misrepresented in popular culture, and that can make life for people with those illnesses more difficult.

    If you experience psychosis (like one of my family members does), and people are unsure about what that means it can create stigma and make things more difficult than they need to be. Whereas having common understandings of these subjects helps us work together rather than getting in each other's way.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
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  16. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    For people that complain about difficulty, go to difficulty.lua file and find A, B C handicaps.
    Here you can set how much free yields are given to the AI at early, mid and late game. If it's the early game you find too easy, raise A value.
    Once you are happy with the difficulty, please share your settings.

    Edit. It's Difficulty Mod.xml file in CBP.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
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  17. Doormat123

    Doormat123 Chieftain

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    When embarked, I can't seem to stack a land unit and a great general on the same water tile. Is this intended behavior? If not, I can report on Github.
     
  18. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    I've seen the "eliminateHuman.exe" behavior in games last patch where I don't think any of the above explain it, at least not completely.

    In my last game as the Maya I was indeed doing well early when some of the DoWs began- I was leading in wonders, policies, and tech. So I don't really begrudge some of the AI for DoWing in that situation and if anything I applaud them for recognizing me as the current threat. However, I was already on the way to being 'caught' by some of the other strong AIs and soon enough I was merely middle of the pack in terms of leading and, if anything, the DoWs got worse. There were times when I was DoW'd by 6/7 AI and they were all at war with just me even though by that time there were 2 or 3 civs clearly ahead of me. So I'm not sure a) explains things entirely.

    As for b)- I was playing a peaceful game and not taking any cities so no real warmonger score. I defended myself in wars (but NOT taking cities) and even joined in wars with allies but I was certainly not a warmonger threat.

    For c)- this is a possibility. However, I was making a very big effort to have diplomatic relations in this game specifically because I knew the AI was in a sort of dog-pile mentality last patch. I chose to befriend Indonesia/Rome at the cost of being enemies with their enemies (Portugal/Germany). I gave free GPT for positive modifiers, spread my religion to them (they did not found so it was a positive), sent trade routes their way, denounced their enemies, and joined in wars with them when asked. I did not go after CSs in any meaningful way (occasional nearby friends and allies but plenty of others on our continent I was not even friendly with) and we did not share significant borders (my border dispute was primarily with Portugal). I had DoF with Indonesia and Rome for a while but eventually, despite all those modifiers, they also dogpiled sometime in the Renaissance I think. I'm not really sure what else I could have done diplomacy wise.

    I still think the biggest issue is the low unit cap for the human. Unless I am specifically playing as a warmonger my unit cap typically limits me to being very much bottom barrel in military strength. I can defend myself with minimal military but I think the AI sees the low military score and their view of me as a weakly outweighs other considerations.

    I'm not sure if these things are better this patch- I'm playing as Denmark so I will decidedly not be trying to positive diplomacy for the most part :). Heath seemed pretty confident that it would be better, though.

    I wonder if some of the people complaining about Deity are playing on epic/marathon and conquering. Warfare is already tilted toward the human typically and the longer turn times just mean you get more unit fighting in. You get more opportunity to kill AI units and they take longer to replace their losses. I've heard that playing epic/marathon and warmongering is the equivalent of playing 1 or two levels less than your selected difficulty. I also wonder if they are playing with other settings that are somewhat exploitable. Tech trading can be particularly exploitable, for instance.

    There's people like CrazyG too, though. If anything he purposely makes the settings more difficult for himself and still wins. Making deity challenging for him would probably require more boosts. I don't think they'd necessarily need to be military in nature, though, as those tend to feel "grindy". He was very much against the rapid pace of the warmonger fervor buff to AI units as I recall because it made things super grindy after taking just a city or two.

    I actually think the tactical AI is pretty damn good currently. I would be surprised if they could make it THAT much better in most circumstances (maybe just really difficult aspects like amphibious invasion?). You have to be REALLY careful against an AI that is roughly on par with you in military or you will lose units and the human is typically very hard pressed to succeed if they are losing units turn after turn.

    I think the biggest improvement would be addressing the goofy things like the AI not improving resources at the same pace a human would or really odd belief picks. I would think those fixes might be relatively easy (compared to further tactical AI improvements) and might have a pretty big effect on making the AI stronger.
     
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  19. Bryan317

    Bryan317 Warlord

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    I don't consider myself as "pro' as some of you maybe. But I'm 40 years old and been playing Civ since Civ2. I think I've gotten better in ways that someone thats only played civ for 10 years or 5 years or their first game was civ 6 and they heard about this awesome VP mod. Either way I would definitely make the argument that it's okay to make this mod hard. Heck, make Settler a viable choice lol. I'm finding myself breezing through immortal and definitely ready for Diety. My Immortal experiences are that the AI needs help with growth. I spit out babies exponentially faster. I used to think the AI was making a better decision by controlling happiness and going for Golden Ages. But it seems like the population and production is the reason why I'm 10 or more techs ahead of most by 1997. Of course one enemy took an immediate lead and it's been an uphill battle the whole game. I also feel that the CS should just take the highest tech leader as their strength. Regardless if it's just a little more advanced than you, it is only one city and you will roll over them if your REALLY want to annex it. All this being said. Make sure you play the game to completion before thinking you actually won. Information era warfare is insane. And the mod keeps throwing challenges at you even if you think you're winning. If you are a seasoned Diety player you may be able to make the call that you've won halfway through. But unless you're absolutely sure, you may own 2/3 of the world but did you actually win the space race? Or did Brazil get the cultural Victory on you LOL
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
  20. kenneth1221

    kenneth1221 Warlord

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    My issue isn't with AI bonuses or snowballing or difficulty -- it's with recent diplo choices that make it so the AI has a specific vendetta against you. If you're in a situation where everyone hates you (because you're the human) when someone else is snowballing, it doesn't feel like you're playing a game about human civilization, it feels like you're the aliens in XCom and everyone's uniting to end you.
     
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