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Opinions on the "AI"

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by bdemz, Mar 29, 2018.

  1. Bitterman

    Bitterman Warlord

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    The AI in its current state is bad, that's a fact. If you struggle to win below emperor you are probably (and I say probably because many people don't play CIV to win but just to have some fun) also bad and there's nothing wrong about that. We're not saying you're some worthless unintelligent person or whatever you may be thinking. Just bad, as many of us were at first.

    And again, because it seems people keep bypassing it:

    Unescorted settlers run back and forth instead of settling
    In wars, 60%+ of units are just loafing around, the AI is incapable of using more than 10 units or so at once in vanilla
    Doesn't really make an effort to protect its own cities under siege
    It makes peace against players while surrounding their capital with units an era ahead
    Fails to take 0 health cities with melee units adjacent
    Archers and cities frequently fail to fire on units in range and prefer to end the turn
    Policy choices are incomprehensible and worse than what random picks would give you
    Unnecessary wonders built all the time
    Failing to capture freebie civilians
    Builds wonders while being invaded
    Builds settlers/workers while surrounded by barbs
    Takes so long to regroup if it happens to capture a city it loses all momentum
    Almost completely ignores aircraft and nukes
    Does not use support units properly, they often run around unprotected
    Appears to have little concept of the rock-paper-scissors in melee, mounted, anti-cavalary
    Runs streams of units into chokes to die
    Places units on spots where they can be killed with no effort, including valuable high promotion units
    Settles cities it loses in a couple of turns due to loyalty
    Does not send governors to cities it slowly loses due to loyalty
    Settles a tile away from rivers instead of on top
    Frequently does not attempt to kill off barb camps
    Barely scouts on land after the first 100 turns
    Frequently 'zones out' late game and ends up not doing anything
    When low on gold, will build units only to be forced to disband them a few turns after
    Doesn't really attempt to stop people from winning
    Declares random joint wars without followups
    Religious units walk across the map to try to convert random cities
    And the list goes on...
     
  2. Aristos

    Aristos Lightseeker

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    Unfortunately, it was one of the developer's video shows when the AI guy was present (after AI Battle Royale before release maybe?), where they presented him as "having the Starcraft 2 expertise"... that's what I remember. I also remember he laughed at his own AI because it was not updating any units during that "battle royale"... which was in very poor taste and generated a reaction from the Twitch chat, given that they were showcasing their AI in that presentation... I clearly remember the in chat expression "Giant Death Catapults" as a replacement for GDRs in civ 6, because the "battle royale" reached the Information era and all AIs were running around with cats, someone even suggested cats should require Uranium then...:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

    I agree with this, I mention him as part of what I consider a poor decision by FXS/2K... it is the responsibility of the lead designer and the company to choose the best fit for their game in every aspect.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
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  3. MaryKB

    MaryKB Goddess Queen Supporter

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    Proof that the AI is not perfect is not the same as proof the AI is bad. :)

    The question is, does the AI in its current state provide entertainment and enjoyment for the vast majority of people? The answer is yes!

    But you can't do that! Happy people don't complain. :) You can't infer conclusions from volunteered reviews to the whole population. :)

    There is no doubt that there are some people unhappy with the computer players and that it makes plenty of mistakes! That is still not the same as it being broken. Even for lists of errors the computer makes, those only happen sometimes. If it was all the time or even most of the time, then that would be a totally different story! A handful of peoples' anecdotal experiences does not mean that most people are not enjoying playing against the computer.

    I am not a bad player! I am not an elite power player, but that hardly is the same thing. I am just a typical person who plays for fun and really enjoys this game.
     
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  4. historix69

    historix69 Emperor

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    Probably everybody has seen some of the mentioned AI Failures.

    The interesting questions are :
    - Does AI always fail or only sometimes? (How often?)
    I saw unescorted settlers and escorted settlers.
    AI is able to settle or conquer cities and expand and progress, so it is not always a complete failure.
    - Is AI Failure correlated to difficulty, map size, number of civs, number of AI units?

    (AI failures are not that bad. Many players enjoy capturing a builder/settler which AI lost to barbs.)
     
  5. Eliminator_Sr

    Eliminator_Sr Prince

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    Sure I can (this is the entire principle of statistics). I am case in point. I didn't write a Steam review and I am not at all happy with the AI. What you can't do is assume everybody who didn't write a Steam review is happy with the AI because that is 100% not true. It's far more likely the trends in overall players mirror what you see in Steam reviews. Many people don't care enough about the game at all to even have an opinion on the AI because they played it only a few times. Did Firaxis make money off of them? Yes. Will they buy another game in the future? Probably not. Who is most likely to buy future games? Customers who have invested lots of time into it and Firaxis is to a large extent ignoring their concerns about AI.
     
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  6. Aristos

    Aristos Lightseeker

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    Careful now... if I understood some points correctly, you may be offending someone now because you are implying that you know Statistics and they don't...

    So, for you, a "perfect" AI is one that uses all the game systems it is designed for?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2018
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  7. ashendashin

    ashendashin King

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    That incomplete list up there was made by Siesta Guru, author of AI+. He probably ran far too many test games for his points to be offhandedly dismissed as a handful of experiences. Those are only some of the glaring problems he has the pleasure to attempt to lessen with the limited tools available.
    I'm getting sick of the elite player argument. That's hardly fair and it mostly serves to belittle our points when plenty of people who aren't any good at the game complain about the AI.
     
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  8. historix69

    historix69 Emperor

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    Firaxis could allow Siesta Guru to work on the AI DLL code under an NDA if they do not want to publish the code nor have an idea or resources to improve it.
     
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  9. Karpius

    Karpius King

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    While I have seen a few of these situations on occasion, it is certainly not my regular experience. If it were, I would not be playing the game. I have seen different civs in the same game play at varying abilities. Some have made obvious mistakes from time to time, while others almost seemed clever from time to time.

    I have never said the AI was fantastic, or even rather bright. I have always maintained that any dedicated and determined human player can and will consistently beat the AI because of the human factor. I have never called the AI broken, or felt the need to bash it as unplayable when obviously many people still find it quite playable (including myself). So in the end, does it really matter how bad the AI is (in the opinion of some) if people are still enjoying the game?

    It is one thing to say..."In my experience, the AI does not utilize all aspects of the game and that takes away some of the enjoyment for me."
    It is quite another to say..."The AI is broken! It can be beaten without even trying! Its stupid! Its trash! A stupid dog could beat it!"

    Some people here have illustrated on a technical basis how or why the AI could be better, and I accept their word because I have virtually no expertise in programming. On the other hand, I have a friend who is a software engineer for H&R Block who says that the gaming industry has nothing that even approaches what is considered a reasonable AI because none of them have the capacity to learn. So who knows?

    In any case, my experience with Civilization6 has been gratifying on nearly all points and levels. After thousands of hours playing, I am still discovering new things, or coming up with new things to try. Thats gotta account for something!
     
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  10. Bizrock

    Bizrock Chieftain

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    If AI follow the recomended tips from the tutorial it would be way better than it is now.
    You forget things like making tons of tons of faith and buys only apostiles instead of buying something useful with faith like great persons ( I've never seen AI buying a great person at all). Not using any Eureka (They have the double of science and still you have more technologies). Have no place to settle and still build 5 setlers. Is losing a war and then completes a world wonder instead of building units to defend. Builds a Galley in a Lake (Yes I did see this). Sometimes suicide troops. Build farms (a lot) instead of improve resorces or chop. I can go all day.
     
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  11. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    It most certainly does. The game could end in the medieval era and have no music and I would enjoy it but it certainly doesn't mean other people will think the same way or they are wrong in pointing out something is lacking.
     
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  12. ashendashin

    ashendashin King

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    It's the opinion of some when you ignore the constant negative points to the AI that are brought up whenever people express their view on the game. Arguably, thousands of people are unwilling to play the game for long with the terrible AI. It is terrible, yes. If you're so afraid of calling it broken because your game doesn't crash when playing with it, then I'll call it the pile of crap code that it is. You don't even need to be a programmer to recognize that much. Back in vanilla Civ5 I could only play it as a casual game with a buddy and I'd see the AI fielding tons of ancient units when I had nukes. Apparently that hasn't changed much. I consider that broken, but let's just call it a terrible pile of crap for now.

    The question might be better as "Does it matter how bad the AI is if the game still turns an instant profit?"
    That's a question I'm still putting thought towards, and one that would make better progress than repeating the same arguments over and over.
    After reading Soren's interview I'm inclined to believe that there's a deeper 'cultural' problem at Firaxis. His design is "all game features first, opponent later" and you can never take something from the player. The latter was stated as an important part of design at Firaxis.
     
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  13. Aristos

    Aristos Lightseeker

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    This is true. We all use AI for lack of a better word, and trying to explain why any game's programmed opponent is not really an AI will generate a lot of confusion and some hurt feelings, judging by some answers here... but yes, your friend is 100% right, no game I know of has a true AI (although a German company claims that their general use AI is being trained for FreeCiv to "learn" to play the game...). Then again, they were looking for volunteers to train said AI, so if humans train the system, can it really be called AI?

    I, personally, and from what I know, would only call AI a system that can learn by itself by playing any game millions of times, analyzing results and adjusting strategy for the next one... is there such thing? As far as I know, there is not.

    But that does not excuse FXS for producing an "AI" that is not consistently using all game systems in a competent manner.
     
  14. Eliminator_Sr

    Eliminator_Sr Prince

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    I said 'arguably broken' which is accurate. 'AI' is really just semantics - but the computer opponents continue to frequently make glaringly obvious mistakes that even a small child would probably call out. It's objectively very bad especially when compared to previous games. This thread is becoming rather frustrating - I don't know what else can be pointed out that will prove the point here. Computer opponents struggle with even the most basic decisions in the game like where to settle, how to capture a city, and how to progress through the tech tree. How can you win if you can't even reliably complete step A of Z? They are hopelessly lost when it comes to the more subtle points. If that's not a broken AI then I don't know what is. I'm not expecting genius level adaptable AI here - I just want to be challenged in the game like I was in every past iteration. I guess that's asking too much from Firaxis.

    Look - I like the game and I just want it to be as good as possible. I would give it an overall positive review with the one caveat that the AI is a complete failure. They obviously spent very little and effort trying to improve it. The game is good but it's not great and 'AI' programming is the main reason in my opinion. I've said my piece so I'll just go post my comment on Steam so it gets more visibility in the hopes that something will eventually be done about it.
     
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  15. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    For what it’s worth, I’ve recently played a few games (Emperor / Immortal) where the AI has had some really good district placement. Quite a few city centre, campus commercial hub triangles, and city centre, campus, holy site triangles.

    Still lots of settling without fresh water though.
     
  16. Trengilly

    Trengilly Warlord

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    So the AI leaves a lot to be desired, some people don't mind and for some people is ruins their enjoyment of the game.
    A better AI would benefit everyone and garner a lot of goodwill toward Firaxis. Which would help sell future DLC/Civ Versions. Would it cost more to improve the AI, sure, but Firaxis is making a ton of money on Civ6. They could easily afford to improve the AI so I have to come to the conclusion that they just don't really care.

    Even if they DID care, I'm not convinced they would build a solid AI because the core game is so out of whack balance wise. They don't seem to know how their own game works:
    Prior to R&F chopping was too powerful and tons of people were asking for and expecting it to get nerfed. Instead they give us Magnus!?
    Entertainment districts were basically worthless (other than 1 to build the Coliseum), so what do they do? give us Water Parks? Why???
    Emergencies were supposed to add excitement to the game (great idea) but instead they a just an easy way for the player to rake in the cash and exploit warmongering.
    Half the districts are rarely if ever worth building, tier 3 buildings aren't worth building, I can't remember the last time I actually built a farm, you are better off if you prevent your population from growing.

    Its a shame because the game has so much potential. But man it needs a major balance overhaul.
     
  17. cvb

    cvb Prince

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    Ok, and what shall be the purpose of this multiple repetitions? Do you think, somebody of Firaxis reads it and consequently that will strengthen the "AI" development directly?

    Or do you want to influence many people here on the forum (who are still a small fraction of all customers)? And how will this lead to a better "AI"?
    I am engineer and not 100% fluent in the terms of business administration even in my own language - less in english.
    My understanding is, that for companies the question is not only whether something, e.g. "AI", makes absolute a profit (or they "make a ton of money"), but whether something results in a higher contribution margin than the average, i.e. how much gain per invested $$ in option XX relative to other options.
    As long as the same costs invested in e.g. shiny new leaders returns more profit than the same costs invested in better "AI" ... (you know it, but you prefer to ignore it.)
    What if the contribution margin for "AI" is negative? I.e. regardless how much you invest, the costs for this specific development are always higher than the ADDITIONAL profit you can make because of the resulting better "AI"?

    Again: How will the repeated assessment of a bad "AI" lead to a better "AI"? You know, as engineer I always ask: how does it work? So how will such writing change the behaviour of Firaxis?

    PS. If I could choose between civ6 (or civ5) graphics and "AI" as it is
    or a civ1-like looking world with good civ6-"AI", I would take the later, no doubt.
     
  18. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    I’m a little nervous to get involved in this thread given some of the heat.

    But. I think this whole ‘all they want is profit!!!’ is a bit, ah, unfair.

    Look. If a company doesn’t make a profit, it goes out of business. People lose jobs. Whatever product doesn’t get made. Stuff like that. Being profit driven isn’t all bad.

    Businesses are also not just ruled by profit. They are also ruled by capitalisation amongst other things. No business can just throw money at problems, except maybe for very big ones. They have limited money and have to make tough choices as a result.

    But business people are still rarely driven solely by profit or costs or capitalisation alone. People and businesses do take pride in their work. The game industry seems like a classic example of an industry where people get into it because they love games or whatever, and then try to have a business or career around that. I’m sure the people at Firaxis take pride in their work.

    Organisation are also not monolithic. They are made up of lots of people, some doing their very best some not, some very smart some not, etc.

    In my experience, bad behaviour in businesses is rarely because of unbridled profit seeking. It’s usually more because of institutional dysfunction or financial andor operational constraints.

    I’m not waving the flag for capitalism here. And there are things about Civ I’m very cross about too (grr. England. grr.). But all this big evil mega corp stuff seems just misplaced. I mean, have you seen the videos of Ed, Anton and the rest. They don’t seem like bad guys to me.

    (Although, Firaxis, if you’re reading this. WTF with England guys? Come on guys, cut me a break will ya!!!)
     
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  19. ashendashin

    ashendashin King

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    People are saying that the AI isn't so bad as we believe. We address them as this is an open forum and that happens to be the topic of the thread. Admittedly there is constant repetition, but you're being quite selective there.
    Yes, here's the important part. Where everyone can agree that Firaxis, as a whole, does not care to provide a quality product. There's my bashing done.
    So, this becomes a question of who works on the actual game internals. We've got the artists who clearly get the largest investment and the reasons to that are obvious. That said, there's still gotta be some programming going on, otherwise there wouldn't be a mac version and such. Now, this gets into technical stuff that I know very little about, but there should be a dev team separate from graphic design. This is where I was going with mentioning Soren's game design. In the end, the features implemented don't require as much investment. At least when you consider that a single person can practically redo all of the game concepts. With the design philosophy in place, I believe that the lead devs make things easier on themselves by not incorporating opposition into their design. They're there from start to finish, and Firaxis has had 20 years of solidifying old design choices. 20 years of holding to conditions and ideas that were developed in limited dev environments. It makes me wonder if they haven't taken the time to look back and consider that things have moved on. They've changed very little in core development beyond wanting to expand towards the shiny things now that that's the most obvious way to make money. That's my limited view towards a company that was founded before I was born, anyhow.

    I refuse to believe that a solid opposition in a strategy game will not make solid returns given how little investment it takes from people that view it as a hobby.

    Also what's with the ""? It's a generally accepted term for the computer opponent. It's the artificial opponent. The opponent that's supposed to feel like another player. Thus "Artificial Intelligence". Not actually intelligent, it just has to appear as such. Let's avoid the semantics topic from now on.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
  20. FearSunn

    FearSunn Warlord

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    This is a question of business culture. Are you delivering a quality product to consumers or not. It seems like something is not right in this regard at FXS office space.
     
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