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PolyCast Episode 129: "The Letters T and Eh?"

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by DanQ, Sep 24, 2011.

  1. DanQ

    DanQ Owner, Civilized Communication

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    Embrace the wordplay. The one-hundred-and-twenty-ninth episode of PolyCast, "The Letters T and Eh?", features regular co-hosts Daniel "DanQ" Quick and Philip "TheMeInTeam" Bellew with returning guest co-host Kelly "KMadCandy" and first-time guest co-host Michael "Sullla" Soracoe; it has a runtime of 59m59s.

    The summary of topics is as follows:

    - 03m12s | Forum Talk
    On the eve of the first anniversary of Civilization V's availability worldwide, taking a pulse on people liking to play the game and is it worth playing; then, how to get a city to size 30+ (29m47s) and arguing for buffs for several units (42m04s) also in CivV.

    - Intro/Outro | Miscellaneous
    Zany usernaming and shocking encouragements followed by advertising generation and algorithm oddities, sponsorship punnery and award nominating.

    PolyCast is a bi-weekly audio production in an ongoing effort to give the Civ community an interactive voice on game strategy; sibling show RevCast focuses on Civilization: Revolution, ModCast on Civ modding and TurnCast on Civ multiplay.
     
  2. Morningcalm

    Morningcalm Keeper of Records

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    It's good you had Sulla on the show! Did you reach out to him, or did he volunteer? Maybe Sulla himself could comment. :)
     
  3. markusbeutel

    markusbeutel NiGHTS

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    Great episode. :)
     
  4. apocalypse105

    apocalypse105 Deity

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    His comment about have civ 5 improved? is totally awesome He just said what the main problem is..

    The patches fix balance issues in social policies but they dont fix the major problem of the game
    like the AI and other major bugs


    I thinx nobody can argue this that what sulla said about about diplomacy that they wanted to make the diplomacy more unpredictable and it is but they went to far as result its predictable i know the AI will backstab me allways and allways and isn't to be trusted

    the fact that everyone backstab you is indead unrealistic and I agree that it would b more cool if a certain leaders would be you"re friends the fact that you can't make friends is unrealistic
     
  5. Morningcalm

    Morningcalm Keeper of Records

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    I think Sulla was very fair with his critique in the podcast, yes.

    It's true the patches haven't fixed anything major mechanically. We still can't trade with other empires, and Pacts of Friendships are as useless as any of the "Declare Friendship" overtures in the game at present, since comp AI are frequent (and random) backstabbers. True alliances still can't be made, and waging a defensive war can still lead you to be called a "warmonger."
     
  6. DanQ

    DanQ Owner, Civilized Communication

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    I initiated contact for him to be a guest on the show.

    :king:
     
  7. Luckystrike77

    Luckystrike77 Prince

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    Nations don't make friends in the naive trust that it will last forever. Only humans do that, and perhaps dogs. Nations make partnerships for the common good, but what the common good is changes rapidly. You think NATO will last forever?
     
  8. qemist

    qemist Prince

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    I've often commented that many players' criticism of the diplomacy is egocentric and naive from both a realism and a gameplay POV. Two players act in concert when both believe it is sufficiently rewarding in terms of their positions vis-a-vis the other players to justify the benefit extended to their partner. Nations, especially non-democratic ones, tend to follow the same logic.

    I think some players see the relationships of their civ as personal relationships. Naturally they are hurt and confused when someone they considered a friend stabs them in the back just because it wants to win a game. Friends help friends win, right? Of course, it would never occur to them to forget their winning chances and devote themselves to helping their AI "friend" win, but that is what they seem to expect.
     
  9. Sullla

    Sullla Patrician Roman Dictator

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    Let me field that particular issue that Luckystrike raised. As I understand it, Civ5's diplomacy has the goal of modeling a more "human" system of interactions between players, by attempting to create an AI that is less trustworthy and more unpredictable. In this it is somewhat successful, at least in the sense that the AI players are indeed untrustworthy and prone to backstabbing. The argument that's advanced to defend this system usually goes something like this: "If you were playing a game with other people, and you were getting close to winning, then they would always backstab you to stop you from winning. There's nothing wrong with programming an AI to play the same way."

    But there's a problem with this: actual humans *DON'T* act like this, not all the time anyway. Think back on your experience playing games with other people, whether it's board games or online games or whatever. Some people are hyper-competitive, and they will indeed be willing to betray anyone, backstab, whatever in order to win. Some people are prone to taking sides, loyal to their friends and determined to see their enemies lose. Some people are "just happy to be there", not really interested in winning so much as enjoying the game and having fun. There's a wide spectrum of different behavior types, because different people react to events in different ways. It's what you would expect because everyone has their own distinct personality, and we don't all see the the world the same way.

    This is why Civ5's diplomacy breaks down so badly. It attempts to mimic human behavior, but it has nowhere near the complexity or nuance to pull it off. It's an uncanny valley representation of human behavior, which comes off as creepy and robotic (because that's what it is after all, just a bunch of programming code!) Individual aspects of the AI design make sense - tension from settling nearby, tension from declaring war, etc. - but they combine together in completely nonsensical ways, like the AI who hates you as a warmonger for joining him in battle. By attempting to make the AI play like a human, the designers have created a profoundly inhuman system of behavior. Because no, in fact, humans do not ALWAYS backstab their friends to stop them from winning, and no, countries are not ALWAYS looking to betray their allies for their own self-advantage. You can write all the essays you want on realpolitk and game theory, but the real world doesn't work that way, and it's not an accurate model of human interactions. Civ5 would greatly benefit from a wider range of AI responses in the different leaders, like having some leaders who were extremely pacifistic and looking to make allies, other leaders who would be loyal until betrayed, and so on. But that would require a complete redesign of the system, because as currently constituted, there's literally no benefit to making allies in Civ5, which surely seems like a failure of design goals. All you do is sell stuff to AI civs for gold or research agreements, and that does not a friendship make.

    Thanks again to Dan for having me on the show. :)
     
  10. Gwenwyn

    Gwenwyn Chieftain

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    Another great episode - thanks!
     
  11. Babri

    Babri Emperor

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    Sullla has made a really strong point. :)
     
  12. apocalypse105

    apocalypse105 Deity

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    Or it becomes anoying and predictable that every Ai will backstabb it would be more interesting and unpredictable if some Ai's do it and others not...

    Whats the point of diplomacy if you can't interact with the leaders?
     
  13. bcaiko

    bcaiko Emperor

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    I liked the ideas for improving units. One of the improvements that could be made for mounted is to have it ignore zones of control. That way it can, you know, actually GET AWAY.
     
  14. apocalypse105

    apocalypse105 Deity

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    Yeah they should have that in the first place..

    Olso how hard is it to give crosbowman units a ability to change there range promotions to melee promotions if they upgrade..

    If they have range atack on flat land they should get when upgraded to rifleman 2 melee bonus in flat land
     
  15. Morningcalm

    Morningcalm Keeper of Records

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    Sulla, thanks for the eloquent forum post. You have successfully critiqued Civ 5's AI in a logical fashion that hits on the subpar programming, inadequate design concepts, subpar performance and realism of the resulting system.

    If they released an expansion that fixed that (which I doubt will happen), I'd buy it.
     
  16. DanQ

    DanQ Owner, Civilized Communication

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    :cool:

    :)
     
  17. Tabarnak

    Tabarnak Cut your lousy hairs!

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    I agree about human behaviors. Some of them are more aggressive than others. I rarely play sp mode, but in my last games(mostly at emperor for GOTM and HoF games) i noticed that there was no AI that even tried to stop me winning. In my last game i won by diplo and everyone stayed friendly (even if i stole a bunch of CS to 3-4 civs) excepted one civ that DoWed me in the BCs. I didn't pick agrressive AIs like Monty or Greece. Because there is some more aggressive ones.

    Someone published a diplo sheet explaining which civs are willing to backstab or not. RNG rolled before a game begins, some civs can get very low or high scores that manipulates a bit their behaviors.

    Staying high in military really helps to prevents backstabbing. Not attacking a protected CS, not settling close to an AI capital, etc. It's fairly well documented in some threads and some good players can confirm what i say.

    Nothing is ''random'' apart RNG in the beginning that determines AIs flavors. The other facotrs are determined if you have a tech lead, an average military, close to the AI, etc. If you fail somewhere, expect being attacked someday. And i think it's the standard situation that a player can see most of the time, because a human can see that and remediate for the next turns and prepare a war alone or with another human. I play mp mode very often and i'm pretty happy to see that the AI can decide and act like it should.

    It needs to be a bit unpredictable. It should not be predictable. For myself, i prefer the AI in civ5 more than civ4. Diplo is one of the least problems to cure right now. If you play your cards right, you can reduce this backstab factor. But you should never be immune to that. Never.

    What is the point to play a game if you can decide what is going on for the next 100 turns? Seriously?

    When you fight the AI, well hmm....it's another story. This part needs to be fixed imo. Like morningcalm said, i would like to see improvements and new stuff. But some parts of the game are better than his predecessor. It's not that bad actually.
     
  18. apocalypse105

    apocalypse105 Deity

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    What is the point to play a game if you can decide what is going on for the next 100 turns? Seriously?

    Well thats the hole point about diplomacy know I know the AI will backstabb me and declare on me when I have a lower military not much of a suprise more predictable...
    And every AI does this not just certain types...

    Not really a good game design...
     
  19. Le Roi Soleil

    Le Roi Soleil Warlord

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    You are right in the absolute sense that even Ghandi will eventually DoW you if you never build military units.

    Every civ has every course of action as a possibility in its decision tree. Some are more likely to do x than y, but they are all programmed to consider both possibilities (with a preference for one or the other) when evaluating the strategic situation. Any civ which absolutely would not attack you regardless of your weakness would be laughably unrealistic and "predictable", don't you think?

    Different civs have different threshholds at which they will become aggressive - which vary from civ to civ and from game to game. If you want more unpredictability, click "random personalities". Overly predictable (in the sense that it is more predictable than actual human behavior) diplomatic/strategic behavior is not one of the problems of the civ AI. Go fire up a multiplayer game and tell me if you find anybody who will just let you sit there with an undefended capital.

    Maybe you should just build more units? Civ is a loose simulation of human history. You'd have to be pretty uninformed to not know how thoroughly bathed in blood that history is.
     
  20. apocalypse105

    apocalypse105 Deity

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    Dude the AI atacks if it has a higher military strenght that means if they have 1 unit more then you This civilization system is based on numbers


    Even if you have a decent army for example 8 rifleman and 3 cannons they still thinx that declaring war is a good idea ift hey have a lot of pikeman and some horseman because they have more numbers great job :goodjob:

    This is especially true at higher difficulty where diplomacy isn't even possible :lol:
    Maybe in the early game but thats it...

    By the way jon shafer said at a inteview that they dont wanted civilization 5 to be just a wargame but more!!! I dont thinx they succeeded...

    Civilization is a game where you can win in different ways wich makes it extremely different from other turn based strategy games especially with the diplomacy option..

    But know it just looks like a war game like rise of nations there is diplomacy but it actually doesn't matter. Thats what bothers me and other people that the game wants you to go military even if you want to win a other victory..

    Did someone ever tried a culture victory on higher difficulties? Just go military (in other civilization games it was possible)
     

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