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The AI doesn't play to WIN

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by insydr, Nov 10, 2005.

  1. Sorceresss

    Sorceresss Witch

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    I agree with this statement, but I am not certain that I interpret it as "Professeur Tournesol" meant it.

    Contrary to most posters on this thread, I never play CIV as a virulent wargame on steroids...even though it is their privilege to play in that warrior style.

    For me, CIV is a civilization-building experiment, with role-play overtones. For example, when I play the Arabian civ, I try to maximize religion & culture in an utopian project to create a very refined caliphat of Baghdad (which is the name I give to my very first city...). Of course, then, I would not compete in MP against very aggressive human players : how the A.I. civs behave, in that context, suits me fine.

    It is your rightful taste to reduce CIV to a violent wargame, but as the Doc has suggested, CIV can also be treated as civilizational role-playing. Of course, then, if I chose the Mongols, I would expand with vicious virulence.

    P.S. (edit) > I consequently agree with Padma when he writes :

    "I'm with Doc on this one. In my experience, most MPers don't play Civ, they play a wargame *using* Civ. If I want to play a wargame, I will play a *real* wargame. If I want to play Civ, I won't play MP."
     
  2. MeteorPunch

    MeteorPunch #WINNING Supporter

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    @Sorceress' post. This I feel is the core issue. The "builder" style of play and roleplaying and all that is fun and good. The problem is that the "warmonger" style of playing from Civ I-III has been weakened in Civ IV to the point that the AI doesn't even try to conquer.

    When the prerelease reports came out that each Civ had unique personalites (which they don't, imo), I thought back to the days of Civ II where the Mongols would build practically nothing but barracks and military units and build a large empires severly lacking infrastructure in an all out attempt to kill everyone in sight.

    Now every civ plays the same and builds a little cultural empire which eventually ends in a race to the moon.
     
  3. Sorceresss

    Sorceresss Witch

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    Even with "Aggressive A.I." selected in the custom-game options? Even in the higher levels of difficulty?

    I cannot answer because I only play at the "Noble" level, without the "aggressive" option.
     
  4. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Chieftain

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    We're not in Kansas any more..Wait
    Thats not completely true though. In one game I played, the Greeks suddenly decided that they couldnt stand my exsitence and perpetually declared war on me. They managed to sack one of my cities and beat me down pretty good. then luckily one of the more friendly AI's was willing to trade Iron Working to me and i was lucky enought to have it near my capital. with the swordsmen i was able after MANY MANY turns to beat back the greeks enough to retake one of my citys, and destroy one of theirs. this has gone on for more than half the game... and still the greeks are at war with me. I finally had to give up the game cause the war weariness was being very harsh. and the greeks were at war with some1 else at the time it started too. So I know their WW had to be bad too, and they still wouldnt except peace offers. I've had similar cases with 2 or more AI's attacking simultaniously in other games. To me that seems like fairly aggressive AI strategy. Also it seems like no matter how friendly i get with the mongals they always declare war with me. One time it was like +8 to -1 on my diplomacy, and they were pleased with me and still they declared war out of the blue. I have yet to use the aggressive AI option but can't imagine what that would be like.
    You might try a harder diff setting if you think its too easy.
     
  5. bigphesta

    bigphesta Chieftain

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    The chinese do that to me all the time. They sit there and we trade and things are going great and I turn down one thing and three turns later Mao is coming over with a fleet and trying to take me out. Grrrr
     
  6. jayeffaar

    jayeffaar Warlord

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    Like several other players here, I tend to favour a peaceful game, building my civ the best I can and this version seems to let you do that more then previous ones. But this is both a blessing and a curse.

    I haven't played many games yet but they do all tend to be about several empires building as fast as possible in parallel, with very few meaningful interactions, and generally not getting much in the way of each other (unless I decided to kick the hornets' nest and start my own war, just to mix things up a little).

    A little more randomness, more events to throw you off your game plan once in a while would be nice. Maybe only if you decide to use the Agressive AI, which doesn't seem to have much of an effect right.

    I miss the constant threat of an invasion, which forces you to always be ready, even if it doesn't come.
     
  7. Ravinhood

    Ravinhood Warlord

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    Those that complain that the AI doesn't play enough conquest or warmonger obviously aren't playing with the options: Aggressive AI, Raging Barbarians and Always War. I started a game with these settings and got pulverized. But, then they will complain the AI doesn't give them enough time to build up and empire to destory them. lol You just can't please some people, as was said in my post below, some are just self centered and godlike wanting the game and AI to play like they want them to play instead of the way the game is intended to be played and by the rules of the designers, not vice versa. ;)

    I'd say CIV IV has a setting or settings to apease anyones type of play, some just obviously just aren't using them an expect the normal/standard settings to give them everything they want. lol That's why they are called "options", use them as intended. ;)
     
  8. DrJambo

    DrJambo Crash-test dummy

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    Well said Ravinhood. I've not tried the "aggressive AI" option yet, but in the two games I've played I've had very differing experiences.

    One, on a continents map, the fact that I was surrounded by Civs of many different religions meant there was constant war.

    The other, on a snakey archipelago map, I managed to convert my nearest and dearest to the same religion as me and it's been peace all the way so far. In fact I think I'm going to have to wage war myself to catch the up with the leading AI Civs or do at least enough damage to sabotage their elevated position at the top of the scoreboard.

    Two games, different outcomes. If you don't want to have a peaceful game, then don't discover a religion and spread it to your closest rivals on a linear map. Play an open ended map and use your religion to provoke wars.
     
  9. fightcancer

    fightcancer Warlord

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    I'm sure the poster is generally correct.
    I can't wait!
     
  10. Halberd

    Halberd Chieftain

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    Last night, lost to Gandhi in Space Race. Noble; normal settings.

    What irks me is that Persia were also in the space race (I was last to start as I busy enjoying myself wiping out the Aztecs!), but even though they had a larger army than India, and shared a small border, there seemed to be no way for me to get them to go to war, and also seemingly no realisation from the Persians that they were going to lose.

    Surely, in this instance, the AI should realise it will lose and make a "human-like" decision to go for glory? It should remember the line from Terminator 3 - "What is the purpose of your mission? You are about to fail your mission!" (or whatever).

    Also, on this point, the Diplomacy is WORSE than Civ3. I wanted to buy Germany into attacking India (could have done easily) to try and drag Persia into attacking India (shared religion with Germany) but... nada. Everything red because I'd only known them for like 200 years. Seems like the realpolitik of Civ3 has been removed too.
     
  11. neriana

    neriana Warlord

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    The AI in my games are generally somewhat aggressive toward each other, though not against me because I play diplomatically. They definitely aren't as aggressive as in Civ 2 or even 3, and I like them this way. I have a feeling Julius is about to knock on my door in the game I'm playing though. (Too bad for him I just got redcoats.) But I LIKE not having randomly aggressive neighbors. I don't like wargames, I find them dull and "gamey". I like to build up long-term relationships with other civs while building my own empire. As for winning, Mansa Musa is going to give me some serious problems with the space race; he's obviously been going for that victory from day one.

    I do have one problem with the AI in the particular game I'm playing. It's Noble difficulty. They never go after barbarians. I think once they sent a catapult to a barbarian city and took out one of the defending archers for me, but that's it. They'll waltz right past barbarian units, perhaps sharing milk and cookies on the way. On a huge map, this has caused me some problems, since I'm seemingly the only one who goes after barbarians -- or whom they go after. I've actually suspected the AI civs of colluding with the barbs on occasion :crazyeye:.

    By the way, I was looking into the .xml for civilization leaders the other day, and I think you may be able to mod certain leaders to prefer certain victories. You should definitely be able to mod them to be more aggressive, if that's what you like. The file is Civ4LeaderHeadInfos.xml.
     
  12. Charles 22

    Charles 22 King

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    You got it. Most of the time it takes a great act of virtue on my part to play past a "single city" getting lost to the enemy. I have been surprised at the few times I did play on with CIV3 when I did lose a city and how frequently I came back to prior status if not better. The thing for me, at least for CIV3, was that I was lousy enough that if the whole world were against me and I lost a single city, there was no way I was going to win. Incidentally though I did win CIV3 3 or 4 times, it was NEVER because of domination or conquest. The games where I could have probably won by those means, got way too boring for me as I basically considered them as quasi-wins and started all over (somewhat the opposite of seeing defeat in the face and quitting). That's a bit weird when I think of it. Other than my very first victory by culture in CIV3, I didn't want to win the way I won, and then when I had the way I wanted to win in the bag basically (conquest/domination), I couldn't stand it any more, as the moping up looked like it would take far too long.
     
  13. zerothehero

    zerothehero Chieftain

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    What we have here is what Sid had in mind from the very start. A game for all types of players, but knowing that some would hate religion or want a more military playing style etc etc etc he has given into our hands a completely customisable game.
    I will check the mod sections from time to time.. as an eg someone already has produced a more detailed city list.
    Everything in this game can be changed. Want ufo's appearing want paranoia to spread through your cities anything is possible just need a few good model makers.
    Even the AI can be changed...

    At the moment we are all coming to grips with the new way of playing, but there are an infinite amount of worlds out there. Play and enjoy....
     
  14. Charles 22

    Charles 22 King

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    I'm not too sure about this game, but my preliminary observation is that this holds true for CIV4 also, and that is it depends so much on playstyle. If you play like I do so much of the time, where in so many cases it's literally me against the world, IOW I almost never give into anything that isn't the least bit fair and I never give tribute. Under such a playstyle the wars will come, and they will hate you soon enough. You just have to make the most of the time you have before they figure out what a rat you really are (but then again I almost never attack anyone without them starting it).

    I mean if you're playing like a pansy, oh I must make everyone like me, then it's no surprise that they are going to be docile to you, but then I guess most who would complain about passive AI would suspect this would have something to do with it.

    You want war, you want anger, you want perilous situations, go start stepping over into other territories with only an average military and so forth. I say the game will make the AI hate you if you give it a chance.
     
  15. Naokaukodem

    Naokaukodem Millenary King

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    The AI tries to win. But it is not very clever, so it have to cheat. On the other hand, if it were cheating too much, it would be too much difficult. It is a matter a balance for the AI being competitive and not too rough/silly. By the way, it is all the point of difficulty levels. Just try a more competitive difficulty level, you will not say that you are bored anymore.

    On the other hand, the AI is not here to attack endlessly. It is here to look like a real civilization. Nations does not go to war all the time, this is false. In reality, nations can't "win". The fact that the AI civs don't attack all the time is really a necessity to show the player that he is in a real world. If peace was not existing, there would not be realistic interactions like peace treaties and so on. War is not the only pleasure in Civ. Simple management is one of the pleasure also. No need to go to war to win anyway. That's not because the AI civs are not warmongers that they don't tend to win. The fact is that when an AI win, you're not here to see it anymore. Each time you loose means an AI win.

    The fact is that you may feel that the AI does not use all the tricks in order to win. For example, it does not rush you. It does not rush big armies when it sees that it can't grow anymore to conquer your cities. That's precisely what would make the game unrealistic: civilizations are entities that not tend systematically to war. They are peacefull entities that look for prosperity. But after all, maybe this is not true. Maybe that for long periods, like those in Civ (a turn being several years), civilizations are truly agressive. Maybe nations naturally tend to war and agressivity, conquest and glory. In that case, it would be wise that peace situations would just be strategic decisions. But it is really? What is the normal state of civilizations, peace or war? Dispite all wars and the conquests temptations, I think it is peace. Civilizations tend to peace. After all, isn't war for peace? When the world will be one nation only, war could not be considered anymore. War is just a result of all civilizations and culture differencies, civilizations identities. Still, different civilizations can live together in peace.

    Now, there have to be a goal in Civ as in every game. So the player will simulate the behavior of an agressive and successfull civilization in order to win. The shame would be if he can't act in another way in order to win. But would win culturally not mean being agressive anyway, even if it's not by the weapons? Build x building here, x there, letting no chance to the neighbour to breathe, and conquering one city after the other if this is possible. Can the player win not being agressive? It would be a nonsense, as every game needs to be played and challenged. But what is agressivity? Here it is the fact to obtain something for oneself at the depends of another self. But what if we don't act for our civilization anymore but act as a part of God, modifying some elements in order to modify some ways? What if we don't act directly for ourselves, but inside the machinery that decides if our civilization extends naturally? If our culture spreads? How did the Gauls take form? IMO, it would be more wise that the player can have a part of influence on the civilization formation than having systematically fight for victory. Of course, the civilizations formation would have to be simulated.
     
  16. Caligulaesque

    Caligulaesque Chieftain

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    I moved to CivIV from Rome: Total War, where conquest is compulsory, to get away from the kill-kill-kill type of game. Even in RTW, the AI is too scared to attack.
    I think the problem is that the AI DOES play to win but we play for fun and take more risks the harder things get. In fact, we prefer taking risks to being sensible. When computers start enjoying themselves they'll take over the world. (Or beat us at strategy games.)
     
  17. Mazruk

    Mazruk Warlord

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    In my current Noble game (normal AI and Barb settings) the persians just took a barb city before I could get to it (it was a nice location). I had to plonk a crappy one nearby just to get the horses I needed. The AI definitely go for the barbs, when they want to.
     
  18. insydr

    insydr Warlord

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    This is exactly the point I was trying to get at. Everyone has been saying "oh just turn up the difficulty, oh just play more agressive, etc. etc." But that isn't the problem at all.

    First of all, some of you should stop pretending that clicking a few options will radically change the game when they don't (you know who you are). If you try it (as I have), you'll see that difficulty settings and agressive AI don't address the fundamental problem that the AI is, for lack of a better term, "generic."

    For instance, I'm playing with the agressive AI box checked for the first time. Does this make Napolean try to conquer the world? No. It makes him become "annoyed" faster. That's it.

    Sure he declared war on the English, but there's no massive invasion. Just some borderline skirmishes, and every once in a while a city changes hands. He has no goal, no endgame. Stacks of 4+ defenders in each city for an invasion that will never come. Commiting barely a handful of troops on a pansy offensive that fizzles out. He's just passing time until he can build a spaceship, and so is everyone else.

    And to people who say that the AI playing for a goal like conquest is "unrealistic"... hello? Napoleon in real life? The Holy Roman Empire? Germany in WWII? When has it become unrealistic for a nation to go to war and conquer simply because it wants to expand and rule the world? The fact is that Civ4's "realistic" AI will never generate a rise of Rome, a British empire, a D-day, or countless other things that have happened in REAL LIFE as a result of nations being assertive and driven. If you think it's realistic for civilizations to twiddle their thumbs for thousands of years you should go read a history book.

    I only bring up the example of war and conquest because it's the easiest way to illustrate my point. Ideally the AI would also use other tactics and pursue other victories. But in the end, the AI doesn't make any interesting decisions or commitments, and thus it lacks any real personality.
     
  19. abbamouse

    abbamouse Rodent

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    It would be nice if each AI could commit itself at some (random) point in the game to pusuing a particular type of victory given its current stregths and weaknesses. An AI that vaccilates between victory goals will never be more than mediocre. But if you had two AIs trying for culture victory, a few going the spaceship route, one or two trying for diplomatic, and a couple going for conquest/domination then the game would be much harder. I've never felt the slightest threat of an AI culture victory.
     
  20. Halberd

    Halberd Chieftain

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    Exactly. And I can't see why that's hard to program. I don't want to have everyone angry with me by 3900bc and then always having war - which to be fair, can get boring in any civ game (build, fight, repeat until bored).

    I think regardless of difficulty, you'll have stupid computer players sitting there when their neighbour builds the last SS part. In a way, I wish the Space Race still had the trip to Alpha Centauri included - that always made for a bonkers endgame as everyone played "sack the capital"... :nuke: :nuke:
     

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