Random Personalites: good or bad?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Shadow717, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. Shadow717

    Shadow717 Warlord

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    Hello all, I've been reading a little bit about things like runaway civs recently in some other threads, and that got me to thinking! One of the things that really bothers me about this game is that the CIVs, even with their slighlty randomized preferences (+/-2 points for those who know exactly what I'm talking about), are very predictable. For example if you have the Iriquios in your game they will be a runaway.

    Now i'm sure plently of people are ok with this, maybe even prefer it. But I think a more random AI would pose more of a challenge, as you can't prepare for anything simply based off of who they are. So that's where random personalities comes in right? The problem is that in G&K I can imagine this being a double-edged sword, so to speak, because many AIs are specifically geared to do well with certain tendancies because of their UU or UB, or especially because of their UA. For example, England rolling a low naval focus with random personalites checked could spell doom for the AI.

    So the big questions are(/ short version :p):

    • Do you prefer random personalities or fixed (default) personalites?
    • Do you find that random personlities hurts the AIs' performance? Or is your gaming experience enhanced by it?
    • Is the game (generally) made easier or harder by having random personalities enabled?

    Unfortunately these are not questions I can answer alone, as I havn't played nearly enough games with either option to draw any conclusion, and currently I cannot play enough to finish games very quickly. So please, discuss, debate, and share your experiences below :D
     
  2. Eagle Pursuit

    Eagle Pursuit Scir-Gerefa

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    I slightly prefer to have fixed personalities. It's nice to have what little predictibility there is in diplomacy.

    I think that random personalities would hinder the AI because, as you stated, the AI personalities are geared to take advantage of their unique abilities/units/whatever.

    That being the case, I think the game would be easier but more frustrating because the AIs would consistantly fail to exploit their advantages.
     
  3. Heerlo

    Heerlo Jedi Master Hearlo

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    I tend to always leave random personalities off. Used to use it in Civ4, but I don't on Civ5.
     
  4. steveg700

    steveg700 Deity

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    I'm not sure it matters a great deal. The AI is fairly consistent regardless of the civ in question. There are some exceptions, but they're mostly insane ICS expansionists.
     
  5. Kwami

    Kwami Deity

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    Maybe it's just bad (good?) luck, but my Random Personalities games always seem much more happy and passive than normal games. It's kind of boring.
     
  6. Shadow717

    Shadow717 Warlord

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    Yeah I figured that might be a problem. There is of course the chance that all the civs could roll "too peaceful". With the default personalities, it's really hard to not have at least a few aggressive civs in your games. But with random you run the risk of having a bunch of non-expansionist boot lickers :p. Still I think, at least every now and then, could be worth it, at least as a change of pace. It's a shame (though understandable) that the AI has to rely on handicaps so much that randomizing their personalities can hinder them so much :(
     
  7. Kwami

    Kwami Deity

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    AI is hard. I can forgive them.
     
  8. ense7en

    ense7en n7

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    It will [theoretically] make it easier for you simply because the normal behavior the AI is designed around is no longer the case, meaning they may very well play in a sub-optimal way for their civ's benefits.

    I do like how it makes things more unpredictable, though.
     
  9. sufficiency

    sufficiency King

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    That is not entirely true. For example Theodora frequently fails to found a religion, and Pacal almost never expands. Their default flavours do not really reflect the best way to play those civs.
     
  10. ahawk

    ahawk King

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    This.

    I think Random Personalities can really throw a wrench in things. I often like to know what to expect from a particular leader, and that alone is a reason not to throw random personalities on top of whatever difficulty you are already playing at.

    Moreover, as the quote indicates, random personalities can sometimes actually benefit a civ: Egypt, when playing with fixed personalities, rarely expands at the rate of the other AIs, and tends to wonder-spam and not build a tolerable military (if there is an unknown civ that has a military smaller than me, Egypt is often a good guess). A couple of rare times, though, even without random personalities, Egypt decides to go Rambo on me and pumps out War Chariots and spears and catapults and other fun stuff in numbers I don't usually see from them. Well, their UU, those War Chariots, are actually pretty good units. They make quite a problem for me when this happens. Because their usual tendency is to stay small and spam wonders, they under-use their UU, which is a reasonable one. But the times on fixed personalities that they roll the rare roll and are more aggresive: yikes.

    Even without random personalities, the game still has some variation, game-to-game, in how an AI operates and acts. But with random on, rather than seeing a normal trend in each leader that is only broken on occasion, you might end up seeing anything and everything across X number of playthroughs.
     
  11. BroOfTheSun

    BroOfTheSun Warlord

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    I play with random personalities all the time. Yes there can be times where it sucks (having Mayan's play tall with 1 or 2 cities). But it also adds a different layer with each game.

    Probably the best part of random personalities is that now you don't know which civs will back-stab you. I've definitely lost some games because I treated an AI as friendly, and they back-stabbed and sneak attacked me from behind, taking me out of the game. It makes you think a little more when on the diplomacy screen.

    Gotta play with random personalities. How could you not add another layer to the game? It makes it more fun.
     

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