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Unpopular opinion: people that blame AI don't play on deity

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by TheDouche, Dec 25, 2018.

  1. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    Again, nothing about these things indicates incompetence. Simply design (and implementation) by constraints.

    You can infer what you want from their source code, however you deem fit. It doesn't make you right, especially when you only have the final product to judge them by. Not how they made it, and the factors that affected that development. You're relying on an incomplete dataset to conceive that hypothesis of yours, and as much as you seem to want it to be right, "nothing can be ruled out" also includes a purple elephant dropping on Firaxis' offices setting them back months of work during product development :p

    Which means this isn't "nothing can be ruled out", this is a specific scenario that you are suggesting - specifically - that is more likely than other scenarios (including more reasonable and indeed knowledgable suggestions), because it makes sense to you. Which is fine! But you're gonna get called on it.

    It also has very little to do with AI and difficulty levels. The point about DLL modding was close, which is why I picked up on it (I will always support more and better modding tools). But this seems like having an axe to grind.
     
  2. Pietato

    Pietato Platonic Perfection

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    What? No. We want less 'cheating' and more proper challenge. Stupid bonuses are lame.
     
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  3. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    Well, I guess everyone does look for different things.

    Personally, I don't believe in just raw difficulty. That's not meaningful in and of itself. If someone came and kicked you in the groin every time you misplaced a district, that'd make a game harder but that doesn't make it a better game.

    Right now, anyone could beat deity by picking a t1 civ and microing Magnus properly. This itself can be a difficult task, but whether or not this should be the pinnacle of civ challenge is another story. Winning on a high level has little value for bragging rights not simply because it is easier than previous games but the way to do it is also far to one note. Instead of having to master multiple aspects of the game, you don't need to know how 90% of the game works. Just do that 10% really well.The biggest thing is the district system, the Crown of Jewel of Civ 6, and by and far the most interesting part of it, only plays a very minor role in victory relative to other things like facesmashing into an undefended city.
     
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  4. Ferocitus

    Ferocitus Deity

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    I agree with you on most points.

    Of course, the AI will never be able to match human abilities on PCs, and anyone who thinks AlphaGo's techniques apply to Civ simply has no idea of the far greater complexity involved, nor how much electricity is required to beat relatively easy games like Go..

    I'm glad Firaxis didn't waste time and resources on prematurely optimising and perfecting systems that will need re-doing, repeatedly.
    It would have meant huge delays in getting further fantastic enhancements (e.g. R&F, GS) out.

    That said, IMO the standard game (which most people use to judge the AI) is average rubbish.
    Only the Ynamp TSL and Terra maps with 20+ civs and 35+ CS has held any interest for our household through thousands of combined hours of play (tens of thousands if you include Civ5 and earlier).

    Essentially, our trick is to make the game sufficiently complex and difficult so that human players make mistakes that are equal to the AI's inadequacies and blunders. None of us can win anywhere near 50% of games at Deity, and we count fairly!

    I've never witnessed many of complaints against the AI and rules that seem to bedevil small maps against a few opponents. For example, I've never had a game where more than 50% were gone at the end of a game. In all my games, Civs compete vigorously for Great People and Great Wonders. It's like we play completely different games to those on small maps at standard pace!

    Yes, the AIs make stupid mistakes, but not ones like forgetting to promote a Governor for 50 moves, or a myriad of human-only mistakes that creep in over the 5 to 7 days it takes to finish.

    There are dozens of perfectly valid reasons why most players can't, won't, or are unable to play Civ6 games of that style, duration and complexity. Sorry to say it, but they're stuck with a dog of a game until after Gathering Storm when there could be a push to improve the AI. Unless there are even more delights in store for us with another expansion, in which case there's no point in perfecting the AI for a while longer.
     
    cvb likes this.
  5. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    Fair enough - I played it briefly shortly after release but this is the first time I've played it in over a year, possibly close to two.

    At the very least I should play more often on Standard in case it is any harder. My default to Huge is mostly because I tend to prefer larger maps, but also because my experience in older Civ games is that difficulty tends to scale with map size. If the relationship isn't linear in Civ VI it's possible I'm experiencing it at an easier difficulty than playing on Deity would suggest.

    For me the district system has always been a take-it-or-leave-it feature attractive more for the aesthetics than the rather limited significance of districts on city placement (which is much more strongly influenced by resources, chopping possibilities, tile yield and water sources for housing). Non-optimal placement made little difference and the few map features districts key off - mountains, rivers and hills (for mines) - are the same things that mattered in older Civ games.

    Getting good districts is more important in Rise & Fall thanks to era score, and having to compete with space for Wonders is more interesting in terms of city planning than the District system itself, but part of my dissatisfaction with Civ VI pre-expansion was that it basically sank or swam based on the district system, and the district system was barely more than cosmetic and felt to me more like an arbitrary restriction on how quickly you could build libraries etc. than anything positive. I think the appeal lies in the fact that a lot of people find it very flavourful - but as I'm more invested in the flavour of an empire than of individual cities that never gelled with me enough for me to appreciate it.

    The era/loyalty system is to me the major achievement of Civ VI to date that's turned it into a playable game. Much like districts, the era system is mostly relatively inconsequential in gameplay terms but it adds a great deal of flavour - and unlike districts it's exactly the flavour I'm looking for from Civ.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
  6. Aristos

    Aristos Lightseeker

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    Agreed, particularly with regards to the loyalty system (some sort of pseudo-cohesion mechanism was needed since at least civ 4). The era system, I don't know... it's a concept that, as with almost everything in civ 6, has great potential but nothing more... maybe because it fell, once again, into the hands of the "everything must have only positive consequences" mentality... Golden age? Nice... Dark age? Nice... no negatives? (apart from the circumstantial loyalty hit)... Oh no, God forbid something with negative consequences...!
     
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  7. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    There's nothing circumstantial about the loyalty hit - I see the entire point of the era system as a way to pace expansion. You want to avoid Dark Ages when you need to expand at all costs, especially as only the late game Dark Age policies are of much use. As for no negative consequences, Civ's in line with most modern strategy game designs that there are trade-offs that inform your strategy rather than negatives clumsily telling you what not to do. That approach worked well enough in Civ V - it fails in Civ VI because you mostly can do everything you want most of the time, though it's not as bad as it was at launch.
     
  8. Shorlin

    Shorlin Warlord

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    Have to disagree there. Starting near a natural wonder for holy sites or 4+mountain campus spots can dictate the direction I take a game.
    Also the strongest policy cards now require 3+ adjacency, greatly increasing the significance of good district planning.
     
  9. cvb

    cvb Prince

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    :D That IS the truth.

    2k/Firaxis looks on all customers. The CivFanatics are only a small percentage of all Civ players and I suppose, even here the majority has no problem with Balance or AI behaviour.

    When some want a few free units for the AIplayers because of dearly needed balance, the majority of Civ players don't like that and call it cheating. Also most players don't want to be "punished" for doing great. So no 'rise & fall', but rather rise & rise and rise even more ...

    GDC 2010: Sid Meier Keynote - "Everything You Know is Wrong"
    @1:00 the more railroady the game is, the better
    @2:20 build a civilization to stand the test of time ... Oh yeah, I can do that!
    @3:16 in the world of games you pretty much always win
    @5:09 the player doesn't ask: 'did I really deserve this?'
    @7:47 "four difficulty levels are the perfect number"
    @9:55 the player is really good ... is the star of the game
    @18:30 player psychology has nothing to do with rational though -> probability vs. "clever tactics"
    @26:28 another bad thing that I did in the original Civilization design was to include this idea of Rise & Fall ... and you came back to win even more strong and powerful than you did before. No, most players would just reload a saved game. So Civilization is a game of rise & rise and more rise and not so much the fall.

    As you can see, Sid would probably like (to play / make) a 'better' game. Right now Civs are optimized to be a 'more successful' game. In one of the videos Ed emphasized, that he was told clearly to be VERY careful to provide no too negative player experiences ...

    Edit: Ooops, I forgot to mention, that we still need the DLL source files in order to Sid's vision come true, at least for some CivFanatics, who can appreciate this experience.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
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  10. FearSunn

    FearSunn Warlord

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    Thank you @cvb . It was very enlightening. Now I understand it is not the game is broken, it is me in the wrong game.
     
  11. Stilgar08

    Stilgar08 Emperor

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    Unpopular opinion: Playing on deity is not fun. And it's only mildly more challenging than playing on King+. And it's not a sign of a better AI if you couldn't win almost 100% of your deity games... It would just show the vast amount of advantage given to it which is not a sign of "smart" decisionmaking at All.

    A better AI would change the whole game and in a good way. Currently AI can barely play the game and this is a downer. It would be sufficient to tone AI BEHAVIOUR on difficulty lvl, e.g.they are very friendly and helpful on lower lvls and get more and more aggressive the higher you go, they might be more lighthearted and trustful in lower lvls and so on. They should all be more expansive the higher the lvl is...

    What AI shouldn't do is accepting stupid deals (or asking for them), going to war without a chance to win something out of it, being unable to deliver a successful City-siege, neglect Airpower (hopefully a bit improved by GS) and use it (...), built tons of unguarded units for the Human to catch them, doesn't get it that it might be beneficial to keep that CS around and be suzerain, only built Wonders if it makes sense (cost/value ratio is really something FXS could focus on in general - would help alot anywhere),......... ON ANY LVL!
    If you can accomplish this truly "better AI" and lift them with extra buffs on higher lvls, it wouldn't be a good civ game (which it is!!), it would be a great one!
     
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  12. cvb

    cvb Prince

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    Uhhm, of course for both of us 'vanilla' is "the wrong game" ...

    We both "have to" modify it. I'll wait until it is ready, to avoid (too) early mods being trashed by patches. You already began to mod (it into "the right game") ... so what?

    btw. I prefer to attack the grassland/hills/mines issue directly with modified yields for _all_ hills (+1production, -1food) already. I think, (+1production, -1food) for building a mine is a bit light result for a builder charge.
     
  13. Gedemon

    Gedemon Modder Super Moderator

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    hey, welcome to the club !
     
  14. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    It can affect how you choose to play, sure, but it doesn't substantively affect how you need to play. Again, it's a flavour thing more than anything of great gameplay significance. Starting near a natural wonder is more likely to affect the sort of game I play because the science/faith/culture the NW usually provides than the chance at a holy site. Starting near 4 mountains is helpful, but I'm going to settle that area and get an early campus whatever my victory condition - it's an essentially free bonus for getting a good starting location in much the same way as starting next to a science city state and getting the free envoy.

    Then again, I dislike religious gameplay in Civ VI so only ever use faith generation for boosts to other victory conditions, and as for mountains science is my default way to play anyway partly through Civ tradition but mostly because it's less tedious than the alternatives.

    That too.
     
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  15. Dexas

    Dexas Chieftain

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    Everyone talking about Deity lvl difficulty... I just want an AI that doesn't have to get bonuses to be difficult. I want an ai that makes good decisions, not an ai that gets percentage bonuses in every category, start with 2 extra cities, has 4 units at the start, has 3 builders... It can't just play the game and not be garbage at it? There a planes in the game, they can't use them. You can move units via airports. The ai doesn't do that. They send units escorted over the ocean. They settle cities that immediately flip from loyalty... And all those things happen on Deity lvl difficulty... the ai is trash. It doesn't know how to play its own game.
     
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  16. steveg700

    steveg700 Deity

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    Well, rejoice a little then, as tornadoes will come along and trash some of your sand castle from time to time.

    But yeah, the possibility of loss from loyalty is rather nerfed by the ease of unlocking and placing governors to counteract the effects.
     
  17. Malachi256

    Malachi256 Prince

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    A good AI would provide an immersive challenge instead of a contrived one. And of course the AI could be handicapped to varying degrees for lower difficulties.
     

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