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Status of AI and diplomacy

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Shadowhal, Nov 23, 2017.

  1. Shadowhal

    Shadowhal Warlord

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    Hi all,

    So, Civ VI is on sale and I am quite tempted to get it. Some or the features like districts, the new government system, casus belli, streamlined city states, and the changes to war/unit mechanics look quite appealing ...

    ... but: from reading through these forums concerns remain with the AI and performance of some systems. I am by no means a great player so finding a decent challenge probably won't be a huge issue. But AI making blatantly silly things like unescorted settlers, non upgrading units, random and strategically idiotic war and peace actions and general incompetence fighting battles/wars would annoy me quite a bit. It also looks like war penalty/weariness is putting heavy restraints on how useful the interesting new diplomacy features are. Why bother with justified war if everyone hates you anyway no matter how you start the war and how limited it may be?

    I understand that the game has come a long way since release but having not played it yet, I'd appreciate some views on how serious these issues still are and how big the progress has been. And have there been any mods so far to mitigate the problems? I'm a comfortable mod user so have no issues getting my hands slightly dirty if needed and if it improves the game play experience.

    Many thanks in advance for your considerations and sorry if it's the n-th thread on the topic.
     
  2. Mr Jon of Cheam

    Mr Jon of Cheam Prince

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    I'm not the best person to help here because I'm not a very good player and I'm not especially observant but in my opinion it really depends on your personal expectations. The AI in Civ has always been a bit derpy and this really is no different; if you're expecting them to make the right decision every time then you will be disappointed because they still have a tendency to do daft things like build harbours next to one tile lakes. Some people will tell you that the AI is 'broken' but in my experience that is definitely not the case, they still kick my arse on higher difficulties so they must be doing something right (yes, I know they cheat at higher difficulties but they still convert that into victory so the AI is not broken).

    I will say that the casus belli is an interesting idea that currently feels a bit pointless, i.e., everyone will hate you whether you declare a surprise war or a fancy religious war. The penalties are apparently less severe but I've found everyone hates me anyway.

    I've not used any mods so can't comment on that.

    Personally I love the game, well worth it in my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
  3. Art Morte

    Art Morte Prince

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    If you consider yourself an average player, I think you could well enjoy the game. In my opinion the game gets worse at the highest (two) difficulties, because the AI's bonuses and extra starting settlers limit your ways of playing; you basically must conquer and conquer early or the AI civs are just going to run away from you if you try to play peacefully.

    The poor AI is holding the game down, but it doesn't necessarily make the empire-building aspect of the game any less fun - and it can be quite a lot of fun. I've complained about numerous things about the game on this forum, but I've still got almost 400 hours on it. If you're tempted to get it on sale, you probably should, it's got enough going for it to make it an enjoyable game, however imperfect it may at the same time be.
     
  4. GoodSarmatian

    GoodSarmatian Jokerfied Western Male

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    Diplomacy was always better than vanilla Civ V (talk about damning with faint praise). Some of the agendas are still stupid, but's gotten a lot better with patches and warmonger penalties have been toned down quite a bit. What remains is the problem hat the AI care still more about what you do in general than what you do to them. If you declare war on a civs mortal enemies you get a diplo hit for attacking somebody instead of better relations for attacking their mortal enemy. Different governments also impact relations far more than having good trade relations.
    Tactically they still do some stupid things, but it's not like they never escort settlers. You just get lucky sometimes. The unit upgrade problem was an issue months ago and these days the keep their armies reasonably current. I wouldn't call the AI good, but it's in no way broken or poor enough to make the game unenjoyable, as long as you don't play on Emepror or higher where they start with a bous settler and make early rushes obligatory.
     
  5. trev1972

    trev1972 Warlord

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    Mainly a civ iv player here- id say the diplomacy is far more shallow than civ iv (thats how it feels) and the ai isnt too smart (i dont think its ever been smart to be honest but i think 1upt highlighted that)

    However i have had fun playing the game, and like the OP im not a great player either- immortal is proving tough for me to win.

    Its on sale at the moment so id say give it a try, but i would consider using the map packs from the start..
     
  6. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    Experienced Civ VI player here, not the best but do OK. I do delve into the workings a lot. I'll try not to be biased.

    1. Stupid things..... When the game gets more complex its harder to stop sometimes silly things happening. Some things still happen but most have been ironed out. You cannot expect to get un-escorted settlers but they do happen. Because of lack of resources a civ may not be able to get up to date modern equipment and on lower levels they run out of money often do deal with it the simple way by just buying units. The thing is they do get on your nerves a bit but do not happen open... so if you are particularly sensitive to them then maybe do not get it but I feel many games have quirks like this for a while.

    2. War Weariness/Diplomacy.... when people read the war weariness thread (attached to my signature) they realize its not harsh at all and easy to bypass currently which is a shame in a way because it does encourage hard frequent wars as the 'best' way to win. Diplomacy can be pretty much ignored which is a shame but they will fix it. That does not mean diplomacy is broken. Its just fairly ineffective to wargamers. The main punishment for everyone hating you is less gold from deals, you can make a lot of money from deals if they do not hate you but nowhere near enough to counter the benefits of war. Diplomacy will get better, you can manipulate civs, you really can get some good benefits out of it... but it also can be ignored.

    The two main issues are the AI and the interface
    They are fixing the interface very slowly but it is happening, many useful things are missing and there are mods to resolve many of these issues so that should be fine.

    That just leaves the AI... the game has gone up a level in complexity with the additional of seige units and was never that good. At least AI units can move and shoot now which they could not in V. However there seem to be things like ... 3 AI cities can shoot your troops but only one fires. It is many things in this area that you only discover in time makes you frustrated... you are playing on deity level... you are up against high tech troops with your low tech troops and you know you should not stand a chance but you do.
    The combination of war being the 'best' way to win and also being the most broken thing in the game that can be a step to far for many people. If you can manage to write a mod you are smart enough to get this and so I can just say beware...

    There is a problem where the end game is often dull and there is no HOF. these are certainly also dampners, its missing late game fun bits at the moment if you consider late game to be over T200. If you try to have faster optimal games it can be quite fun all the way through. My GOTM27 was the most exciting last 15 turns I've probably ever had and took 2 hours to play due to the complexity of what was required.

    If you like to war hard against a challenge its a fail.
    If you like to build and explore and immerse.... its great
    If you like to challenge yourself to get better at a complex game with many facets... its also great... as long as you have some forgiveness.

    I personally quite like the quirks, and enjoy the excitement of what may be fixed in a patch, to be part of the growing experience.

    I have no idea how any hours I have played but its more than V and certainly more than IV and probably more than II or III. I am just not in the slightest bored and I know there are new things coming, its like having an extra xmas every now and then.
     
  7. Rosty K

    Rosty K King

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    As for unescorted settlers, my observation is that there must be some logic in it. The AI seems to try and assess the danger in the area where the settler goes, and then decide on escorting. Except the devs forgot to tell the AI that the human player is always the danger :D So what I observe is they'll often try to move the first settler in my direction without an escort, especially when relations are good, I'll declare war and steal it, and then all subsequent settlers will be escorted :D

    The battle AI is somewhat poor though. To the point that I've developed a bad habit of not being afraid to move my units in their shooting range, cause they'll forget to shoot half of the time anyway :D Could that be related to non-working 'Alert' btw? If the AI uses that and its units just don't wake up when I approach?

    As for the diplomacy, well, it's never been the strongest side of Civ games :D
     
  8. Ravellion

    Ravellion Prince

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    The combat AI is slightly worse than Civ V, which is really weird, considering the combat is so similar. The AI does fine if it can attack unwalled cities with a mass of units though. So the first era, basically. The human player is more often than not the only one to gain cities from war after the classical era.

    Diplomacy is a bigger problem, and has sucked the enjoyment out of the game for me. I can build a few ships to keep Ragnar happy, but this would cost me more in upkeep than it would potentially give me in slightly more profitable trade deals. Same with cleopatra and an army, etc etc. You can keep the other leaders happy quite easily, but there is little to gain from that. So I end up ignoring the other leaders, which I hope will be fixed by an expansion.
     
  9. Bro

    Bro Warlord

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    IMO the biggest flaw right now is the AI getting extra settlers in the beginning. This roughly means that the player get's free cities by conquering the AI. This also means that this is the only logical and optimal move to make. Sometimes less is more, for example if the AI only had one settler, the bonuses the player would get from conquering the AI now with only 1 starting city would be far far less favourable.
     
  10. Rosty K

    Rosty K King

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    Wasn't it like that at high difficulty in every Civ before?

    Another thing is that Civ VI probably has the smallest 'huge' map of them all (and other spacing problems), so you don't need to go far for those free cities :D
     
  11. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    The AI and diplomacy is by and large a joke but getting better. Personally, I got Civ 6 at this price and liked it but if you really care about these things, I wouldn't think it is a good idea.

    Honestly the ai is kind of par the course for the series. Civ 5's ai is just as bad and doesn't escort things either. Not really trying to excuse the poor state of the ai but honestly if the franchise was reliant on that we would have never gotten to #6
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
  12. GoodSarmatian

    GoodSarmatian Jokerfied Western Male

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    The question is always: is it worth it ?
    There are linear games that I've finished once and barely touched again and I feel I got my money's worth. I do care about diplomacy and AI in 4x games and although the Civ series is always lacking in these areas I've still extracted an above average amount of fun out of every title I played (even Beyond Earth, and Civ 6 is far better than that).
     
    Victoria likes this.
  13. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    I personally think diplomacy is underrated.
    In tricky deity starts it can be a godsend. Starting next to Monty ...
    Joint warring can also be a godsend if you can get it.
    I can get an alliance eureka now, yay. And alliances are great.
    Every turn I can squeeze out of a civ without them denouncing me is worth 2-3 production and a DOF goes a long way in this regard.
    Sure war is great but that does not mean you cannot suck what you can out of it.
     
  14. Shadowhal

    Shadowhal Warlord

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    Thanks for the many useful contributions. As might be expected, different people have different opinions on this and the flaws matter to them to a different extent. So good to get a briad view on things.

    Undoubtedly, some of issues that concerned me still remain but at least the AI sounds like it should be able to prove a sufficient challenge for me. The diplomacy point is of course a bit annoying but it sounds ok and there is hope that future patches and / or mods will address this further. I think I'll just get it at the good price and have my fun with it.

    Again, thanks all and maybe you will see me making some comments going forward. There are a few familiar faces in this thread.
     
  15. Kyro

    Kyro Prince

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    If you're playing for the sake of war Civ 6 is a complete failure because true war games out there are far superior in terms of AI, balancing, strategy and multiplayer fairness. Go play StarCraft 2 or Command and Conquer.

    If you like to enjoy all other aspects of Civilization in the game you would be disappointed because ironically, warmongering is so powerful in the game it renders anything else insignificant.

    Yeah the Wonders look nice, you can engage in an illusion of "diplomacy" but truly they are just empty shells because they don't really affect the game much.

    The fact that you mention the flaw of diplomacy with regards to how it restricts war declaration implies you don't understand what diplomacy is meant for.

    Diplomacy doesnt exist for you to have an excuse for war. It exists primarily for the purpose of peaceful cooperation between Civilizations, negotiation, trade, espionage and war prevention. Unfortunately war is portrayed as overwhelmingly profitable in Civ 6 and that means Diplomacy exists for no real reason in Civ 6 and can be profitably ignored.
     
  16. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    That's why I said "really care". There are some people whose goal is to beat a challenging AI, or deal in diplomacy, so if those are your 2 highest priorities, there's nothing here. If you can work around that, then it may be a good idea.

    That's not what the OP was really getting at. The point is, said "excuse" is supposed to promote unity or prevent disunity between friends, so that your allies will see your war as just and you can still keep your circle of allies. That was the implication OP actually had, and a hope to not piss some AIs off and cooperate with them. This has always been a key concept not just between war with nations but just human conflict in general. This is impractical in Civ 6, because warmongering penalties are black and white and even if you destroy your ally's worst enemy, they may hate you for it, and that makes no sense from either a gameplay or realism perspective.

    This goes far beyond war being the most effective tactic in the game. War's always been the best option in this series. Whether you only take cities back in retaliation against a hostile neighbor, or you're a bloodthirsty tyrant that backstabs everyone, the game doesn't care. You're a warmongerer anyways, so why not go all out?
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
  17. Greasy Dave

    Greasy Dave Prince

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    This thread touches on a similar question I was going to post - so I guess I won't start a new thread. I played the game when it came out and was left a bit "meh" by it. First half was interesting. But a lot of the game seemed a bit flappy and unnecessary. So I didn't buy it. I couldn't decide if it was because I didn't like the design decisions or because it was just poorly balanced.

    I'm wondering if they've balanced it better and tightened it up. I can keep waiting for the xmas sale or even Spring sale, or even the next xpack. But I'm curious how it plays now compared to how it played at release. Is it a lot better than at release or just slightly better?
     
  18. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    The game is better than what it was a few months ago, much less release I would assume. The religious system has been overhauled and less annoying (religious units don't block your troops in YOUR land),

    I think the problem is that while there are many good things about this game, it leaves a horrible first impression because the UI is awful and the graphics can be distracting. I find it a bit hard to tell stuff apart; the design of the fog of war can be quite distracting.
     
  19. Greasy Dave

    Greasy Dave Prince

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    Yeah, I didn't mention the graphics. I personally hate them - but that's a subjective thing and I'm not expecting that to change.

    Good to hear they've overhauled religion - that was annoying.
     
  20. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    I agree that Ragnar often I ignore except on maps where ships would be useful, but I don't find Cleopatra to be a problem because keeping a strong standing army is a good thing to have anyways, in order to repel attackers or take land of your own, especially when the AI seems to pick those with low military ratings to attack. And military maintenance isn't very high in this game either thanks to the cards that lower maintenance.

    Indeed, though it does get brought up a lot. I wasn't referring as much to the art design as much as what I'd consider visual clutter which has also gotten better; there are less useless notifications for example.
     

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