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Status of Civ 6 AI

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by ThunderLizard2, Jul 27, 2017.

  1. DizzKneeLand33

    DizzKneeLand33 Fall from Heaven 2 still rocks

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    Cheat? Not any more than any other AI in Civ -- bonuses, yes, cheat, no (same as all the other game iterations). Unless you have specific examples?!

    The SDK is one of the reasons I buy the game. If that were not going to be released, I'd want my money back, quite frankly. Not just for me, but for the modders that I know can make the game great.
     
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  2. RohirrimElf

    RohirrimElf Chieftain

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    I`ve switched back to civ 5 currently due to the AI.
     
  3. calad

    calad Chieftain

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    Sorry but no no and no.

    AI team is underfunded and undermanned. Did somebody here mention there was only a one person working with it? Be it true or not, working with a game like Civ VI should be an honor. But imagine that you have a small team or only by yourself you had to scratch whole AI together. In other words no matter how much work you put on it, it will never be good. Motivation must be on the bottom. Hiring a qualified engineer is +40k depending country you live on, now multiple that by number of team members and pay other employees duties as well. That's how much money it is away from investors and they would rather keep it on themselves.

    Problem of Civ series is lack of tradition: Civ V MP became gradually worse as more expansions were released until it was almost unplayable. AI did improve a little or not at all. When Beyond Earth was launched fans expected it to be continuation of Civ V development... nope it was made a completely new. AI was even more awful. Starships I wont even mention. Now Civ VI came out and combat AI, which could have been completely exported from Civ V, is below any standards. Hexes, units, terrain... you know they are all same logic, it could have been easily exported and made better. They could have even used mods, it is their intelligence property after all.

    Instead of firaxis does none of this. Only reason that I can understand is that they dont care. There is no tradition, no top team that genuinely is dedicated on this game. Just investors who want to maximize their profits.

    For casual gamer Civ VI is wonderful, for professional or for a player who seeks challenge Civ VI offers nothing.
     
  4. Denkt

    Denkt Reader

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    So that are what modders are for. Basically 0$ employees that make the investors richer.
     
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  5. Uberfrog

    Uberfrog Warlord

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    I may be wrong but i don't think people buy the game to play with mods in any real numbers. I expect most people buy the game preorder, shortly after launch, or during a big sale. So while the indefatigable and wonderful models are free labour, it's more true to say they are working to make the game more enjoyable for us loyal fanatics (and themselves) rather than any Firaxian fat cats :lol:.
     
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  6. Spudsie74

    Spudsie74 Chieftain

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    @calad I am not trying to say I agree with Firaxis, I simply believe corporations, like politicians, are going to act according to their PERCEIVED BEST INTEREST.(Follow the $$$$) :deadhorse:

    This results, over time in producing the lowest common denominator.:confused:. It often increases with each iteration, but that's fame & fortune for you.

    I think they care about AI, bugs, MP, and other features that are important for Civilization Fanatics, but assign a much lower priority to this, as opposed to making the release dates, cranking out sequels, expansions, spinoff's, cute artwork, and having a (barely) functional game, that will keep (what they think is the most number of) customers coming back. This does suck, but it is common to many games by many companies. Perhaps there is a designer that caters to the hard cases like me, but most of them don't. The time & or money for making the AI smart, developing patches that don't trash popular mods like CQUI, or other features dear to us, goes elsewhere. :mad:

    A post claimed there are 56,000 CQUI subscribers. How many copies of Civ 6 are out there? If CQUI (my must-have mod) was ~ 0.5% of the total copies. Multiply that by 10 (5%)...if 95% of the players don't care about an issue, it is not usually a priority for most corporate types.:eek:

    I like the game, & have 1,600+ hours on it. Lots of the new features, (unstacking cities, districts, (limited) unit stacking, changes in movement rules, and civilization-specific features (UU, UI ect)) either, IMO, add something to the game, or the potential to be a plus. These changes to the system make 6 a whole 'nother smoke (compared to Civ 5 BNW), and are bound to create playability and balance issues that need ironing out.:p

    I don't like that Firaxis, or (insert you favorite studio here) does not devote more resources to details that hardcore games want. Hell, I'd pay more (a lot) if they put the time and money into what I think Civ 6 needs. I just don't see that happening anytime soon. They do seem to address balance in their updates/patches, but. again, what do the masses want? :smoke:

    With a game like Civilization, w/6 iterations, and a very big seller, this quirk is multiplied, or maybe squared or cubed. Some customers buy it simply because it is says Civ (or Sid Meyer) on the title, and don't spend the kind of time we devote to it...for them, it's just not a way of life. :lol:

    Why would a developer spend all that time and money, and put their job on the line (for not worshiping the bottom like/corporate culture), when you know you have a hit? Plus, as soon as your done, they may shift you to another project, like , "Son of Donky Kong!"

    We have a dedicated community of hardcore players; Firaxis is willing to put some resources into improving the game; but they want the most bang for their buck. I'm going by the history of the franchise. Civ 5, (w/mods) took a long time to evolve, and a lot of the goodies came, from the fanbase. Some of the changes Firaxis made took customer feedback into account. :thumbsup:

    Firaxis tried (IMO) to make 6 a game that was more variable (each game is different & you can't just follow the same plan each time). My games (6) tend to be more diverse than (5). Civ is marketed as being about making interesting decisions, and taking the consequences; the new features, IMO, make the game more dynamic.(If a bit clunky at times)

    It does reward aggression more than 5, but that can be adjusted. The AI is just plain stupid (and some of the fixes would be simple), as are the bugs, the UI, and numerous other features...but I still enjoy it.:goodjob:

    Going back and playing Civ 5 (2000+ hours), I find the game more polished, particularly with the mods I use, but I don't think it has more potential It's just different, and had more time to evolve.:D

    Bottom line, while I'd love a game designed to fit my preferences, I think 6 is fun, and hope it continues to improve. I hope the moders and devotees don't get discouraged and quit.:hammer2:
     
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  7. dexters

    dexters Gods & Emperors Supporter

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  8. magha77

    magha77 Chieftain

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    What I can’t understand is if they play tested the game before release, didn’t anyone pick up on the issues with the AI? Or since? I’m sure it’s not an easy task with respect to programming, but it sure is a disappointing scenario.
     
  9. dexters

    dexters Gods & Emperors Supporter

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    Takes a while for play test results from their internal testers to get addressed. That we've had 3 fairly big patches since launch with 2 of them, including the most recent, totally changing how large parts of the game plays attests to this lag effect. Civ6 is also logging playthroughs from regular users so they are probably collecting a lot of metadata as well.
     
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  10. earlc

    earlc Chieftain

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    I don't think it's fair quite fair to compare Civ VI to a flagrant exploitative moneypot like Fallout 4. Firaxis's issues with this game, to me, seem to definitely stem from limitations on budget and/or time, perhaps due to publisher pressure, rather than shamelessly exploiting a devoted fanbase for the dollar signs, as is obviously the case with Bethesda and F4.

    I don't know how exploitative a Civilization game could really be, anyway. The market has to be pretty narrow.

    It's refreshing to see so many people here dissatisfied with F4 btw. Aside from the small cabal of slug urchins I associate with, it seemed like the rest of the gamer world was just tickled pink with the sandbox garbage and totally gnarly power armor rides

    Really? VI highlights just how bad V's leader screens were. They're forgettable to a fault (besides the original songbirds and butterflies version of Mongolia) and the attempt at setting them within a space representing their historical context distanced them from the player, giving them more the feeling of impersonal splash screens than interactions with a character. I faintly remember a couple of them being interesting maybe one or two times, but after that you're not even looking at them. Perhaps elements from V could be reintroduced in VII, but to go back to that would definitely be a step backwards.

    And it does seem like they have their own personality in VI?
     
  11. Zuizgond

    Zuizgond Chieftain

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    So you're saying we are beta-testing the last live patch? That sounds like a very professional way of working...
     
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  12. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Warlord

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    Not my experience at all - and as far as Civ VI is concerned, imposing the Clash of Clans caricature has exactly that effect. It focuses your attention on the graphic, not on the dialogue or any form of characterisation. Plus the Civ V voice actors did a far better job of capturing their characters' personality through tone - Harold the cheerfully bombastic oaf, Genghis's aggression, Augustus' superciliousness etc.

    Since that's phrased as a question, the answer is no. Much of the reason I've played as much Civ VI as I have is to try and identify consistent personalities, in case their seeming absence is just an artifact of limited play.

    Beyond arbitrary and mostly senseless agendas that don't reflect any of the civ's actual behaviour (Harald never builds navies, Alexander isn't any more aggressive than anyone else etc.) I can't see any meaningful axis of variation, save that civs sometimes differ in the units they prefer to build. Civ V's AIs were the subject entire threads on this forum, sometimes individually but also in an entertaining series that characterised each AI as an actual personality with fairly complex behaviour, which was mostly spot-on. Civ VI AIs don't appear to differ in expansion behaviour, in loyalty to agreements, in their treatment of civs that like/dislike their own allies/enemies, in their aggression, in their build strategies (all Holy Sites, all the time), in their tech order, or with a couple of apparently hard-coded exceptions - Kongo going for culture spam in particular (possibly only because it can't build Holy Sites so goes for its next-favoured option) - in their overall gameplan.

    There's variation between AIs on some of these axes, but these don't appear to be consistent enough between playthroughs to represent personalities - there's simply random assignment of this behaviour in different games. I had some hopes when the Spring Patch changed diplomacy so that differences in relations with AIs were possible (as opposed to everyone always being hostile or unfriendly), but later playthroughs demonstrated that this is also essentially down to AI whim and doesn't reflect anything as consistent as, say, Civ V Suleiman's tendency to backstab or other characters' loyalty. Quite aside from not having reasons to care if the AI is aggressive in Civ VI, there's none of the sense of dread you get in Civ V when you find your close neighbours are Montezuma, Alexander and Shaka, say - Peter or Gandhi are about as likely to be aggressors as Montezuma or Alexander in Civ VI.
     
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  13. dexters

    dexters Gods & Emperors Supporter

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    It's already been pointed out that the issue isn't that the play testers didn't catch the issues as some of them don't require a lot to reproduce, it's that they haven't had time to fix it. I speculated in another post why they didn't just delay it until it was all fixed, and concluded they likely needed it to go out with the Nubia DLC.

    So no, we're likely not play testing it.
     
  14. oedali

    oedali Chieftain

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    And the sad truth is while we consider the AI "broken" and these issues as "bugs" to be "fixed" (which they are), to the devs they are just future "AI fine-tuning"
     
  15. KayAU

    KayAU Chieftain

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    The AI is without a doubt the one thing I am the least happy about when it comes to Civilization games. I would have wanted an AI which was able to provide a challenge on Prince, and then I would want it to get smarter on higher difficulties, rather than just get ridiculous bonuses. This is such a big deal, I would actually have been willing to crowd fund AI development, or even pay for it as a DLC.

    But really, I don't think Firaxis have any good excuses not to make better AI out of the box.
    • The AI currently is incapable of handling many basic aspects of the game
    • Civilization games sell very well, Firaxis should be able to afford to pay a few people to work on AI development
    • Most players don't play multiplayer, so the AI is what they normally play against
    • Modders seem to have no problems creating significantly better AI
    • Civilization fans have been complaining about the AI loudly and clearly for a long time

    How great would it be if at Deity, the AI got no bonuses, but played really well instead? This is not what I am expecting, though. At this point, I'd settle for it having basic competence at playing the game.
     
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  16. Zuizgond

    Zuizgond Chieftain

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    Fully agree with you with except the part about having to pay for AI development. The game is already expensive and, in a (mostly) single player game, a good half of the budget should go into developing a decent AI.
     
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  17. KayAU

    KayAU Chieftain

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    Don't get me wrong, I don't think we should have to pay extra for it. This is something Firaxis should have provided with the game from day 1. Since they have not done that, they should at least provide it in a free patch. However, if it was the only way to get decent AI, I personally would be willing to pay for it.

    EDIT: Putting half of the budget into the AI is an interesting idea. I know nothing about budgeting for video game development, but I am very curious about how much was actually spent on AI development, and how much is currently being spent now that the game is out, and the AI is the main point of dissatisfaction among fans. I do understand that in the short term, the AI is probably not what is selling copies and making money. However, with the AI being in the stat it is, I think they need to be concerned about the longer term reputation of the series.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2017
  18. agonistes

    agonistes wants his subs under ice!

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    Totally not buying this.

    Sorry, but I think its exactly that the business model uses players as playtesters. Some of these issues could be fixed in ten minutes. Half the players here could fix them in ten minutes if they had access.

    I think their in-house play-testing is pretty much auto games and cheating down situations to see if something specific is working as intended. Which means they are going to miss all kinds of things.
     
  19. earlc

    earlc Chieftain

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    I mean if we're talking voice actors and personalities, that's a separate subject from what I was addressing, and I don't really see any issue with your comments there. But I completely disagree regarding the leader graphics. I don't know anything about clash of clans, but the setup of leader interactions in VI is far more personal and engaging, making rival civs represented more by characters than color schemes and playing off the way our brains process information. A lot of devs have caught on to this kind of character design, which injects some humanity and personality into areas where it's usually lacking.

    If they could somehow give the verbal/vocal interactions more personality in interactions, that would be just fine.

    A degree of randomness isn't a bad thing. If the AI for certain civs acts exactly the same every single time, I'd count that kind of predictability as a drawback. There should be some dread in settling near a civ you know has certain military bonuses, but you really shouldn't be able to predict things like backstabbing or have any certainty that this civ will declare war on you regardless of how the game unfolds. Ideally there would be some very general personality traits attached to certain civs and leaders, with the rest of the traits developing organically based on unique in-game variables.

    I'm not so sure there are zero defining traits between the AI behavior as you claim, but if they could further differentiate the different leaders' game just shy of getting to the point of predictability, I wouldn't object.

    Kinda feels like we're falling into assuming everything with V is necessarily better just because of some of the failures of VI, which I don't think is fair.
     
  20. Spudsie74

    Spudsie74 Chieftain

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    How about a more directed approach: involve the modding community, some of the bloggers, plus good players who stream on you tube? A lot of them got pre-release copies (to promote/beta test), so presumably they have some input.

    To wit:

    1) Decide what can realistically be fixed. Some of the AI's stupidity is due to the fact that it a program, not a person. (Ex. If a unit is cornered, or very low on HP, moving several other units adjacent (and taking a potshot or two) frequently results in the AI changing tactics, allowing the trapped unit to escape. Playing hide & seek w/ the AI, or picking off lone settlers, are other examples. Computer code deals poorly with curve balls. Also, suggesting that the AI learn to ace Naval Warfare is probably a non-starter. I'd go with things like avoiding human wave attacks by apostles, or upgrading AI units.

    Assigning the AI sensible priorities, & avoiding gross tactical errors (tanks v.s. spearman comes to mind), is probably workable. Based on what AI mods I've tried, there are a lot of (mostly unglamorous) changes that could help....we need to decide what would & wouldn't help.

    2) Develop a workable (modded) approach, (assuming we ever get to where the mods work again); those who have Firaxis' ear (or other body part), present a functional approach. If it is a important to beta-testers, the guys plugging the game on you tube, the steam community, modders & Civ Fanatics, they may be willing to listen (as long as they don't have to actually do any work). I actually remember a case where, to avoid an glaring exploit, a group of gamers rewrote the game's .exe file, and the company (Matrix Gaming) approved it! They then used the modified exe file in the next release of the game. Why not, they got a popular, workable improvement, already playtested and on a silver platter....no downside.

    The greater the networking, the better chances for improvement.

    We will do 99.99% of the work (we do anyway, IMO); I can not honestly see Firaxis (or any other large game developer) putting significant resources into what they regard as a small part of a big cash cow. An prefabricated solution, (or at least approach) properly developed & presented might work.

    I HAVE SEEN THIS WORK W/ 3 GAMES IN WHICH I WAS A BETA-TESTER, as well as several other cases where I was just an interested observer. We did not get paid a dime, and had to sign a wicked NDC, but in the end, most of the suggested changes were adopted.

    I don't like it, but I imagine the corporate bean counters are already spending more time and money on Civ 7 (and those DLC's & Expansions) than on bug fixes, AI, Interface issues, or playability. Firaxis does want a better game, the just not if it requires the input of time or money.

    This is similar to what the community balance patch did for Civ 5 (if you sort of half close your eyes).It would require an unprecedented amount of cooperation :grouphug:, but I have seen communities succeed in this fashion.
     
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