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The AI isn't worse than in V, but VI is a much harder game for it to play

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by redwings1340, Oct 4, 2016.

  1. redwings1340

    redwings1340 Emperor

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    I've been watching some streams of various games, mostly Filthy's games, and one thing that stood out to me is that the AI looks a lot worse than in V, mainly because there were a lot of design changes that crippled the AI.

    First of all, barbarians run rampant across the map, and cities no longer have initial ranged city strikes. Even Filthy lost a few units to these barbarians, and in his greek game, was constantly under siege by barbarians from all directions. I think its very possible the AI did create units, settlers, and builders that game, but had them killed or captured by barbarians before they could improve tiles. We all know how much the AI struggles with raging barbarians in V, this makes it a lot harder for them to develop any sort of army.

    As for city ranged strikes, this sometimes made it difficult to take cities in V, even if you had a troop advantage. The lack of city strikes in the early game magnifies any small difference in military strength, and allows you to take cities with only a couple of troops if, say, the AI loses a lot of soldiers because of tactical mistakes or barbarians. It becomes a lot easier to run around and kill things with less fear of city strike retaliation, and also makes ranged units exceptionally effective at wearing down a city and gaining experience with little consequence. Even after cities got walls, they seemed to be weaker than in V from what I've seen.

    I imagine districts and city specialization also makes it tougher for the AI to come across with a coherent plan (the AI can't just build everything anymore either), though I haven't seen as much evidence of that. Still, combining barbarians being literally everywhere and the lack of an early game city strike makes the AI way more likely to fall behind early and set themselves up for super easy capturing. I don't think the V AI could handle it any better than VI's AI does.
     
  2. Silverdawn

    Silverdawn Prince

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    In his current Germany game, there was a notice that an unmet civ was defeated at turn 39 (2480 BC). Most likely barbarians (horseman?) as Filthy just had his capital at that time.

    Code:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyygXKoEMRU&t=15m38s
     
  3. Acken

    Acken Deity

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    Then make the mechanics more ai friendly.
     
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  4. CaiusDrewart

    CaiusDrewart King

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    The barbarian issue doesn't seem like anything a massive combat boost vs. barbarians and a handful of extra AI starting units couldn't solve. If the AI starts with, say, 2 warriors and 2 archers, it should do fine.

    You could also program barbarian units to be less aggressive than AIs--e.g., to be willing to move 15 tiles to attack a human player, but only 10 tiles (or whatever) to attack an AI. I forget if it was Civ IV or Civ V, but at least one past Civ game has used this mechanic.

    I agree about districts and the AI. Economic management is way more complicated in Civ VI than in Civ V, and the AI is going to need bigger raw bonuses to make up for that.
     
  5. Biz_

    Biz_ Prince

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    eh... pretty much everything new in civ6 seems unfriendly for the AI
     
  6. Midori

    Midori Chieftain

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    I think every recent Civ game has eventually had patches to improve the AI's performance. A game this complex needs a lot of playtesting to see what the issues are, and some of that is going to be our experiences during the early weeks of release. Hopefully there's nothing blatantly bad, like how the AI couldn't move and fire ranged units in the same turn in Civ 5.
     
  7. AlpsStranger

    AlpsStranger Jump jump on the tiger!

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    Oh lovely, the Brad Wardell approach!

    Here's a selection from the new tech tree for the "AI Friendly" version.

    Sword I -> Sword II -> Sword III -> Sword IV -> Steel Sword I -> Steel Sword II -> Steel Sword III

    Arrow I -> Arrow II -> Arrow III -> Arrow IV -> Arrow V -> Bullet I -> Bullet II -> Bullet III

    Farming I -> Farming II -> Farming III -> Medieval Farming -> Modern Farming -> Advanced Modern Farming I -> Advanced Modern Farming II


    Positively inspired!
     
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  8. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

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    This is really a no win situation in regards to the mechanic:
    With offensive city bombardment from newly founded cities (Civ V) : Human can use this much more efficiently than the AI attacking and so can hold out against an AI swarm easily while refraining from attacking AI cities until he has siege units and so the AI looks bad.
    Without offensive city bombardment from newly founded cities (Civ VI) : Human easily takes AI cities in early game while refraining from leaving boarder cities wide open and so the AI looks bad.
     
  9. Vaclac

    Vaclac Chieftain

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    What about having defensive city strength be strong (at least compared to warriors and other very early units) but no offensive capabilities? So you could either run around the city and pillage with impunity, wait until you have enough units to attack it even though you will suffer serious damage from the city defense, or wait until you have siege to whittle down that defense value before attacking. In this case, it would still be unit- and time-consuming to take AI cities early, but you wouldn't be able to repel an AI invasion. You may keep your city for a while and be able to build reinforcements, but you won't be able to destroy their army with just your city.
     
  10. redwings1340

    redwings1340 Emperor

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    Thinking about some of the replies, this may work against the player on higher difficulty levels where the AI gets significant boosts to units. Walls are pretty difficult to build in outlier cities, making forward settling an aggressive, higher difficulty AI a bad decision. If the AI gets enough bonuses to break through that early game barbarian hurdle, there's hope it could provide a much bigger threat.
     
  11. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

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    I actually did think about that; but the experienced human on that difficulty level against the AI with aggressive flavor would refrain from forward settling unless he brought a small army with the settler.
    This is basically only the kind of trap that someone new to a higher level of difficulty than used to will run into.
     
  12. King Jason

    King Jason Fleece-bearer

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    The suggestion that the A.I. my be plagued by barbarian issues in the early a game alone is something that'd I'd buy.

    That one problem actually explains a way a lot of inconsistencies between civ/city-state progress that I've been noticing across multiple streams - such as why some of them ending up fielding huge armies (typically city-states over civs), and others never seem to have any units at all.

    Fortunately, that is an incredibly easy fix. Also, again, is indicative of the main issue that the game is Prince difficulty. That said, Barbarian A.I. has indicated it's at least a little decent even in tactical combat and the fact that it's of a single-minded purpose - Attack the target until it's dead - can create huge issues for those targets.

    Barbs don't need diplomatic motivation or change their mind about attacking after they lose their troops. They scout, locate, and destroy.

    An A.I. that's trying to play the game that may not comprehend that they've been targeted by 3 barbarian camps most likely isn't going to build the appropriate amount of units to deal with the onslaught.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2016
  13. Mort_Q

    Mort_Q Prince

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    They should really pillage and steal civilians, then retreat. Repeat once you've repaired things. Killing you is bad for business.
     
  14. Ornen

    Ornen Warlord

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    I used to hate how reliant Civ was on giving the AI flat-out bonuses, but to an extent, that's almost necessary for a decent game. I don't expect the AI to capably land eurekas, so I'm fine giving them a flat boost instead. I don't expect the AI to pull off strats like worker steals, so I'm fine giving them the production to build a couple extra workers.

    I do hope when the game comes out (or when the balance dust settles) the AI bonuses don't take away too many gameplay options at higher levels. One of the sad things about Immortal/Deity is how many things in the early game are off limits to the player. Many wonders are impossible or near-impossible to build, and it's very difficult to found a religion unless you pick a civ like Ethiopia or Celts that comes with strong religion bonuses.

    But we'll see. Something like "the AI doesn't produce enough units" should be easy to tweak, and will help with side problems, like getting dominated by barbarians. Other things, like sending settlers off without an escort or laying down the optimal city configuration, might be more difficult. I'm holding out for build updates between now and then.
     
  15. fay902

    fay902 Chieftain

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    That'd really dumb down the game for human players.
     
  16. thunderbird_14

    thunderbird_14 Prince

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    Not necessarily, even a simple game with a good opponent (AI) will outlive a complicated game which has a rather weak opponent. (But of course, for civ players, having a complicated game and a good opponent will be the Holy Grail :p )
     
  17. jekke

    jekke Warlord

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    so you mean bad news for those who hoped to tweak a few numbers and get away with poorly designed AI: there is no workaround, AI has to get better :)
     
  18. isau

    isau Deity

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    One thing I did think was weird was Tomyris not seeming to go aggro in the early game much. I hope they fix that before launch. Her UA is kind of worthless if she doesn't use it to cause problems for people. Sure, she might go after people who start wars more readily, but absent that it seems like she should be causing much more chaos.
     
  19. stealth_nsk

    stealth_nsk Deity

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    I never seen a single person complaining about "bad AI" to actually define what "bad AI" or "good AI" is.
     
  20. mzprox

    mzprox Prince

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    I don't think the game is so much harder to play, but this ai is dumb.. and not just because it doesn't defend itself.
    In one video, early game, the player offered joint war to england against an other. THe ai offered lump sum and gold/turn and happily joined.. then few turns later that civ declared war on the player.
    For a luxury the ai offersan other luxury and much more than its actual worth. I heard they can offer even a city..
    the ai could escort its settlers in previous games, why cant it do it now
    etc etc.
     

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