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So apparently, the AI has not been improved

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Kruos, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. steveg700

    steveg700 Warlord

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    This is a forum that Firaxis staff clearly read. That seems to make it a good place to rally voices of dissatisfaction. You believe criticism is unhelpful? Suffering in stolid silence sure isn't the solution.

    We don't need to know why Firaxis' haven't improved airpower. We just need to agree that it's not unreasonable that after these years of Civ VI enjoying success for fans to expect a quality pass that addresses a major area of letdown. We just need to agree that there's something unacceptable about it. If people can agree to that, rather than just dismiss it as a dead horse getting beaten (and people literally said that) and suggest that complaints be relegated to a subforum (also said), then away goes polarization.

    What constructive discussion is there other than expressing the desire for improvement? Modding? Good for some, but not all players use them. I don't use mods unless they have fairly cosmetic impacts on the game, and it's for the simple reason that game elements are interconnected. Change one, and you must do a holistic balancing pass on the others. I don't expect that from mods. Should I?
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
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  2. Architect

    Architect Chieftain

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    How do we know they haven't addressed air power? One person's limited play experience does not mean the AI is not better at air power. Firaxis says they worked on and improved the AI's use of air power. This one youtuber proclaims the AI is still no good at air power and so it must be!

    How exactly did he test this? How many games did he really play to that point to know the AI is still inept with it? Imagine if the one game he played happened to be the game that the AI built tons of air power. Do you have any doubt he would be saying the opposite of what he is saying now?

    Its actually quite terrible for us to be making all these claims about Firaxis not doing something when absolutely no one in this thread has even seen it for themselves. It is actually a slap in the face to Firaxis for us to be not even beating a dead horse but beating a horse that doesn't even exist for sure yet. It just makes this forum look terrible and reduces our credibility to raise legitimate issues about the AI with real world examples. This is why the mods should just stop threads like this in their tracks until legitimate data is available. We all know that if @Victoria posted a thread about AI Airpower usage we would all read it to see what she learned and know there was some modicum of truth to her findings. That's the thread I want Firaxis to see not this sorry excuse for a Civfanatics discussion.

    Maybe the youtuber is right and maybe the AI is no better. How can anyone in this thread supposedly full of Civfanatics accept the word of some guy that doesn't even deign himself to talk to us on our turf? I'll make my own opinion after playing for a couple weeks and let the youtubers youtube for clicks.

    Civfanatics is better than threads like this. This thread is for official forums or reddit.
     
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  3. steveg700

    steveg700 Warlord

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    Chutzpah! Cool beans.
    :thumbsup:
    So, how many games does I take before the lack of airpower by a civ with the requisite technology is notable? To be clear, this is hardly an isolated stream of GS. People have been pouring over late-game AI behavior at numerous opportunities in the hopes of seeing some positive development.

    I doubt the people at Firaxis are clutching their pearls. Rather, if the AI is improved, they'll relish all of us benighted souls eating copious amounts of crow. What a come-uppance! I beg for such a humiliation! I'll start the apology thread personally if need be. Verily, I will build the digital crucible upon which I might be flagellated and scoured with rotted citrus fruits. For the Honour of CivFanatics I do so vow.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
  4. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    hear hear!
    So air power used to be terrible, planes did not even leave the ground.
    Then planes left the ground but did not attack but peple still complained they were on the ground.
    Then planes occaisionally attacked and everyone moaned they were up but not attacking.
    Firaxis has made a claim in a thread that they have encouraged air power more
    Let's give them the benefit of the doubt and also remember that livestreamers are there for one purpose.
     
    glider1 and Chocolate Pi like this.
  5. Silverdawn

    Silverdawn Chieftain

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    How can you say they don’t care about AI when they listed it first, yes first, in the patch notes! The air AI is even the first one! ;)
     
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  6. sonicmyst

    sonicmyst Warlord

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    While we appreciate that AI is listed first in the patch notes and it shows that the devs are still improving the AI, we civ fans should continue in giving feedback if we still feel that AI are still not up to par or behaving erratically.
     
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  7. Unconquered Sun

    Unconquered Sun Chieftain

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    Sorry to disappoint, but games get the famous players they deserve.
     
  8. steveg700

    steveg700 Warlord

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    Could it be possible that this could be a late patch to the game that isn't reflected in the preview version? I mean, it's possible... right?

    Is that what hope feels like? I'm so tingling with excitement at the very possibility of cynics being punished and optimists rewarded. Just wish I didn't have to wait until the weekend. Some of you guys step up and let it be known one way or the other.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
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  9. Leathaface

    Leathaface Warlord

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    It would be cool if the AI that the YouTubers got their hands on isn't the best AI Firaxis has come up with, but I have my doubts. I think we'll get what Marbozir, Potato, etc got.
     
  10. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Warlord

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    I'd argue that those 'competitive' offerings don't really offer Firaxis any incentive to increase difficulty settings: Paradox markets most of what they sell as 'grand strategy games', and for the most part these do not offer technically challenging gameplay or even have defined victory states. Their hook lies in giving the player the ability to make different strategic decisions that send their session in different directions, but once you have a basic grip of the mechanics it is all but impossible to actually "lose" the game, as oppose to being thwarted in meeting personal objectives. There's also far too much randomness introduced by their event systems for a 'pure' strategy game.

    Stellaris is the only true 4x I'm aware of from Paradox, and AI woes aside that too is set at a relatively low difficulty by default. The other popular 4x offerings I'm aware of are the Endless games, which are easier than Civ VI. It seems that the people who are buying 4xes these days want games that play as sandboxes rather than as strategically challenging experiences - and to some way that's a reversion to Civ's own roots. From the start Civ has had an arcade-style high score table, earlier games had a detailed timeline feature at the end of the game, it had the in-game reward of the palace that had no gameplay function but was simply an achievement to complete, and the date stamps on turn numbers were a good way to set personal goals such as "research gunpowder before 1AD". They also famously introduced the "One More Turn" phenomenon to allow play beyond the point of victory - and this was widely-enough used to become a meme, whereas today the One More Turn option is used so rarely that Firaxis didn't even bother coding the victory conditions to continue after 2050 in Civ V (in the event that you hadn't won, or had completed one victory but wanted to complete others).

    A lot of people started with Civ IV, which made a more serious effort than earlier entries to be a challenging strategy game, so it's easy to forget that the sandbox approach of Civ VI is actually closer to the originals - though the early games had far more meaningful difficulty level scaling (never mind that games in that era tended, on average, to be more challenging than modern games). Across the series as a whole, I see Civ IV as the anomaly more than the newer games - for all that for me personally, I'd rather have a challenge than a sandbox in a modern Civ game and find Civ VI unsatisfying in that regard.
     
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  11. gozpel

    gozpel Couch-potato (fortified)

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    I'm changing the pace of the discussion, to mention some of my pet peeves in Civ6.

    AI improve their land quite nicely in ancient and classical era, then something happens. When going into medieval and further,,
    they seem to stop sending out workers, I've seen cities been planted for 50-60 turns, yet those cities was never touched by a worker.
    Sure, they build the odd district or two, but rarely seem to improve that cow or wheat. This is even worse if an AI was heavily attacked
    by someone, it takes millennia for them to repair pillaged tiles.

    CS upgrade their units regularly, in one turn they have 5 warriors, then you see "BOOM" now they have 5 swordsmen.
    The civ-AI seem to have a real problem with this, as one can see outdated units way into the future eras. It doesn't
    happen all the time, but often enough so make me wonder: Why?

    You attack an AI, they defend with what they have but you grind them down and start attacking/taking cities. Very often you
    see little or no reinforcement coming and you wonder why. Well, they just have to finish that wonder instead of sending out
    a few more units. Which makes me think that the AI can't handle the build queue.

    And the one that still baffles me. Very early they seem to escort settlers to a degree, but that seem to stop later on. I played
    a continents map recently and when I was able to do so, I sent a scout over to the other continent. He was able to nab 3 barb-settlers
    and 4 barb-workers. Why? Settlers is the bread and butter in Civ, if you don't build them, you might lose the game, well most likely you will.
    So these precious settlers should be protected at all times and if you lose one, you do your best to get them back. But this doesn't seem to happen.

    Instead the AI reacts like, Oh, I lost a settler, let's build another one. And let us not escort this one again, maybe he'll get lucky.

    To be fair, this doesn't happen in all games, but often enough to make me wonder.

    These points are more important to me than seeing the AI having an air force or use naval warfare enough.

    And I play mostly on Deity, so building workers by the AI shouldn't be a problem at all. You might disagree, but this is what I see in
    many of my games and I do NOT think it is ok. These things are the real fundaments of building a Civ that last the test of time.
     
  12. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    I never said criticism was unhelpful. Honestly, maybe I'm just not being clear enough :D

    People, in general, don't disagree that the AI needs work. Which means that when it comes up as often as it does, people are going to tire of it being raised. Attention is a finite resource, and there are other things that can be raised as well. Plus, with repetition, constructive discourse is often extinguished. Which is when it becomes a dead horse being beaten. People already agree that the AI needs work. What people disagree on is where that comes in the long list of priorities most games developers have in supporting their products.

    If folks have trouble accepting the completely fair difference in opinion on said priorities, then that's on them. Firaxis aren't giving me everything I specifically want with the game either, but I don't make threads about it every time there's an update. Should I? Is that a constructive approach? You don't seem to realise, but there have been a lot of threads about the AI recently, and a lot of them involve the same posters, and a lot of them involve the same arguments. To and from the same posters. If the reason for all of this is because you (personally) haven't seen enough agreement that the AI needs work? Well hopefully I can convince you otherwise. The AI needs work. I agree with you on that. We disagree on the relative priority given other things in the game, and we'll likely never agree on those kinds of particulars. Do you agree with that?

    Once again, I think that's a completely fair analysis. I come at this from the other side of the coin, so, predictably, I find Civ. VI satisfying in general.

    Historically, I've been playing on and off since the original, but I think I came to both III and IV too late. I bounced hard off of Civ. III, can't really remember why, and by then CiV was already around the corner, which I played a lot of (and then Beyond Earth on top of that). I have IV, but I basically haven't played it. Given my comfort with 1UPT and the other things I've gotten used to with V and VI, I don't think I would without excessive modding (and weirdly as a modder myself, I generally avoid gameplay-altering mods unless they're total conversions I have an appeal for).

    It would be a good exercise though, for Firaxis (or anyone interested) to run a design analysis against victory states in, say, the original Civ. vs. Civ VI, and work out pacing, how victory types can snowball, how forgiving it can be, and so on. I know returning to the original (which I do occasionally, mainly for the palace, but sometimes just for nostalgia) often results in frustration because the economy alone is very carefully-balanced in that game. I prefer a bit more forgiveness in my game mechanics these days, and I honestly don't know at the moment (without giving myself some time to think on it) if it's more personal preference, or more that I think it's good design.

    I mean, I'll always support more options, including any number of harder or less forgiving game modes. But obviously the developers don't have the luxury to implement endless variations of them (which is why I got into games modding in the first place, with RTS games, years ago).
     
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  13. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Warlord

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    How are you able to access/run Civ I these days? I'd like to give it a shot again after all these years.

    Then again, while I like to think I'm forgiving of older games' graphics and presentation I wasn't able to get back into Colonization (the original) at all - I played UFO extensively after the first of the new X-COM games, but that's a decade newer than CIv and I've tended to underappreciate how much game presentation had improved over that time. There's a reason no one 'remastering' older games seems to have gone back further than 1997's Age of Empires.
     
  14. Casworon

    Casworon Chieftain

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    Completely steamrolled my first emperor game as Rome. I think the AI struggles with the new resource mechanic. They where throwing warriors at my musketmen
     
  15. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    DOSBox, plus an original copy of the game that I've somehow managed to retain through losing the disk and various computer formats. I'll have to check if I have it on a particular service like GOG though, because I swear I did.
     
  16. Ferocitus

    Ferocitus Warlord

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    Yeah, yeah, but after all this time hammering on about the same point (to no effect), you still don't know how to set up the game to be a challenge and entertaining for yourself.
    Some "expert"! :rolleyes:

    Moderator Action: Please let us keep the conversation civil. leif
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 14, 2019
  17. steveg700

    steveg700 Warlord

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    I think it's fair to say that Civ VI has been around long enough that not making quality passes on basic AI issues amounts to assigning a sufficiently low enough priority that it might as well not exist. The issues have been there before game started hopping to different platforms and adding new content. If new feature creep takes precedence over outstanding issues, that tends to indicate that the latter doesn't get addressed until after it becomes commercially unfeasible to continue with the former. If I have trouble accepting such a grievous difference in priorities, then as a fan and as a customer, I'll try to call attention to it. If other fans choose to hop into threads about topics that the find tedious or aggravating, then that's on them.

    Certainly threads should be consolidated so they don't amount to spam, and I think the moderators have stepped in to make it in known that they don't want all the static, but it's my responsibility and my prerogative to disengage from conflicts in which I place no stake. Nobody's making me click into a thread and become outraged. Maybe I'll try to be the voice of reason, try to bring out the better nature of the participants, but ultimately in this issue the complaints have validity and a customer does not have an onus to construct the solution to a product's deficiency.

    And again, there's a difference between asking for everything and asking for something. If I can get around to playing GS this weekend, I will be happy to give credit where credit is due. Fair's fair.

    I'm still hoping to hear positive anecdotal evidence about airpower and naval power.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
  18. ChocolateShake

    ChocolateShake Chieftain

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    Yup, I'm personally glad to discuss the AI and the ways it's behaving with members of the forum who are interested in civility, and I enjoy the discussions that result from that. It just gets to be a bit much in my opinion when there are tons of threads on the same subject - I expect now we'll have much more to discuss so hopefully that won't be the case any more. As a modder I'm going to take a look at the possibilities to make things easier for the AI to handle too.

    One thing I'm going to look into is reducing/stopping the AI's requests for favor, I've noticed that they're doing this quite a bit at least in the early game. On the other hand, in my Maori game, when I expanded to different continents without a military to back up my settlements, both Peter and Jadwiga pounced on me. I think that's a good sign.
     
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  19. Ferocitus

    Ferocitus Warlord

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    Of course. If you don't play it, how would you have anything credible to add?

    People want the AI to perform adequately at all levels, in all scenarios, and to be flexible enough to cope with many mods. It can do that reasonably at best. If you want more than that, for example, to make it an entertaining challenge for your (presumably) advanced aptitude, then you're going to have to tailor it in some way.
    Most beginners and casual players have a game where the AI is more than adequate for an entertaining challenge.
    If they become addicts, say after 2000 hours, then they
    (a) have got their money's worth by then,
    (b) need to tailor the game to their own needs and level for their next 2,000+ hours, or
    (c) admit to themselves that they've exhausted the game - it has become an irritant rather than a pleasure.
     
  20. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Warlord

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    The game isn't a challenge, in the sense that it isn't difficult to win at the highest difficulties and doesn't demand any strongly optimised play patterns. I never said it isn't entertaining - I feel the last big patch helped with many of the issues that I found made the game non-immersive, and Gathering Storm looks likely to do much the same even if so far I've found the disasters are less flavourful than I'd hoped. Crusader Kings isn't strategically challenging either, but I consider it one of the best games ever made - different strategic decisions can result in radically different outcomes even if you can't actually "lose" (this is not, however, a feature of Civ VI, with its endless succession of trivial make-work decisions that feel more significant than they actually are in practice).

    My impression of the game is closely aligned with Alec Meer's in today's Rock Paper Shotgun review, in which after itemising the different new features and shooting down each in turn as not having any very significant game impact he lauds the flavour and concludes: "I don’t expect to struggle to remember that Civ 6 exists any more". In short his argument is, much as I've been saying since the last patch: The game isn't very good, but it's quite fun.
     
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