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Whatever they do I hope the AI is substantially upgraded

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Zinowolf, Dec 16, 2018.

  1. Zinowolf

    Zinowolf Chieftain

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    I won't be buying the expansion until I have concrete evidence that the AI is no longer the abysmal mess that it currently is. I really hope they have made it so that the AI can actually do war. By this, they need to be able to use artillery, Aircraft, anti aircraft and the navy. None of which they do AT ALL currently.

    All of my games work out the same. If a civ gets ahead in tech or culture, go to war. 4 Bombers and a tank is all you need and you can literally take EVERY city on the map and there is nothing they can do about it. There isn't even a downside as all they can do is denounce. This can't go on.

    We also need ways to stop/prevent or threaten CIVS who attack city states under your wing. Currently, you can't do a THING about it. There is also no option to ask civs to make peace in wars with others.

    Seriosuly, instead of adding more complexity to the game, they need to get these basics right first.
     
  2. Socrates99

    Socrates99 Bottoms up!

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    Protectorate wars? If you're suzerain you can declare them immediately after denouncing rather than waiting the five turns. I know they come around later in the game but if a civ is pissing you off earlier than that just DoW them. Warmongering points are minimal at that point, especially if you're just protecting a CS.

    Agree on the late game war though. Anything over a range of two completely bewilders the ai.
     
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  3. Lily_Lancer

    Lily_Lancer Emperor

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    Once you have knight you can eliminate all Ais, not wait for bomber that late.
     
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  4. footslogger

    footslogger Warlord

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    I'm afraid that horse bolted long ago. Ever since the advent of Civ 5 the AI has been sacrificed to complex systems for the human player to have fun with. Civ 6 has of course taken that trend much further. I presume many people, especially the more casual players, are satisfied with the arrangement since the game still sells by the bucketload.
     
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  5. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    I suspect I’ll end up buying the next expansion anyway. But yeah, I’m increasingly frustrated with the AI, as well as other mechanics.

    I recently got dragged into a game playing Rome on Prince with someone else (I usually play Imortal, and much weaker Civs). We crushed everything before us, and I got thinking “what is the point of this game?”

    I’ve often thought the higher difficulty levels are too hard, but really it’s the early levels that are a problem. The AI on Prince is on the same level as the human - and it’s just hopeless. You crush AI after AI, and the other AI just sit around with cross faces but also like Turkeys waiting for Thanksgiving.

    You then throw in the poor unit balance, repeatitive Governors, and so on. Uh.

    The AI at Prince should be really hard.

    Civ should be hard. Really hard. I don’t agree FXS have made the game easy because that’s what players want. These days, plenty of games are “hard” and sell well. Indeed, other games that have gone easy have been lambasted and opened themselves up to stiff competition (looking at you Diablo III).

    Yes, the game needs to be accessible, but accessibility and hardness are two different things.

    The AI being weak in Civ is particularly silly given you can also moderate difficulty with Civ choice. Make the game hard. If people find it too hard, then they play Rome or Alex etc, and just smash it that way. Hard and easy don’t need to be Binary. Have an “Assist Mode”. Have staggered tech starts. Let players increase how many settlers they start with. Whatever.

    But I should be challenged at Prince.
     
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  6. oedali

    oedali King

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    Agree. Currently at Deity level and all standard settings I have an average win rate of ~50%. (no reloads) That is way too high for the HIGHEST possible difficulty level a game has to offer. The win rate at Deity should more less than 20%.
     
  7. footslogger

    footslogger Warlord

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    I didn't say FXS have deliberately made the game easy in response to player demand. What I said, or meant, was that continuing high sales of Civ 5 and 6 have allowed them to get away with poor AI. Their laziness re the AI, their failure to devote sufficient resources to it (only one AI programmer, I believe), have not cost them in terms of sales. Civ 6 is the best seller in the series. You yourself say that although the AI is 'weak' you will probably 'end up buying the next expansion anyway'. It would be nice to think that FXS's professional pride would make them want to have a competent AI (no one expects miracles in this area, just less moronic behaviour from the AI), but they seem to have settled for throwing more and more bright shiny bells and whistles at us, knowing that there will not be a downside in terms of sales. The eager anticipation of the new expansion, even on a site like this where everyone knows the AI is weak, shows that they have nothing to fear from this strategy of neglecting the AI. Sad but true.
     
  8. Chefofrats

    Chefofrats Warlord

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    The ideal game should accomodate different types of players - calling for Prince to be properly hard defeats the purpose of having varied difficulty levels. As a sensible, middle aged guy, the games that frustrate me most are the ones difficult even at lower difficulty settings (looking at you, God of War). I play Civ on King and that's the optimal difficulty for me - not completely trivial but not frustrating either. Why would you want to rob me of my fun?
     
  9. ezzlar

    ezzlar Emperor

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    A few people want better AI. Most people want some bling bling cosmetics via a new civ (happens to be the one where they live). From a sales perspective this is kinda given.
     
  10. SagarRathore

    SagarRathore Chieftain

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    With all the new development.It seems this is their least priority
     
  11. Ferocitus

    Ferocitus Deity

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    On small maps against a small number of civs.
    At high levels on the largest maps against 20+ civs you might not have even found all the civs let alone be in a position to eliminate them.
     
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  12. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    Disagree strongly. Prince is the default difficulty, and as such should be treated as such. Under this, the player gets more benefits than the AI. Above this, the AI gets more benefits than the player (to account for the general difficulty of some kind of "true" AI in video games development).

    You had a bad experience in a difficulty that you can beat without any problem. That doesn't mean the entire concept of Prince is too easy. Why do you think this is? Other than "games should be hard" which incredible, amazing gatekeeping about what difficulties you don't even normally play should be for other players. Raising Diablo III doesn't help the argument, either. Lot of radical choices (including the incredibly ill thought-through RMAH) at launch, but also a lot of the consumer-level backlash did that typical thing of equating non-realistic aesthetics with it being dumbed-down (similar things have been attempting with Civ 6, right? Pretty funny, because personal choice aside, it has very little to do with mechanical depth and the challenge thereof). It's also an example, from, what, 2012? A lot has happened in the past six years!

    The game needs to be accessible, and accessibility and difficulty are incredibly linked. If you make something more difficult, some people won't like it. Your bet is the franchise will somehow pick up more players this way than it'll lose in the process? Honestly, this seems very backwards to me. Not to mention it's incredibly uncaring for anyone who already has a barrier to playing the game - you're effectively saying you are the market and that it should cater by default to you.

    I disagree! Very few of us here on CFC are the market. We're all pretty specialised, some in more and different ways than others. This makes us (and you! I'm not ragging on you for no reason, haha) incredibly valuable to Firaxis, I don't think there's any denying that. But we're not the core market.

    You shouldn't be challenged on the default difficulty if your usual playstyle is Immortal with non-optimal faction choices. You just . . . shouldn't? I don't know, I'm just struggling to understand your key point here.

    Frustration with the AI? More than fine. Wanting more pre-game options? Abso-bliddy-lutely. That's the kind of tweaking I'd also love to see. But some kind of radical re-engineering of the difficulty scaling because you were "dragged" into a game far below your general skill and enjoyment level? That's not the game's fault.
     
  13. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    Heh heh. My Diablo III reference is very dated. Shows you how much I play and follow video games...

    You’re very welcome to your views, and my post was well in the territory of pure opinion and unsubstantiated conjecture.

    I just honestly think the game would get more traction if it was genuinely harder. I don’t think that needs to make in inaccessible - to me, accessibility is more about how easy the game mechanics are to pick up. But to the extend difficulty is linked to accessibility (agree it is to some extent), that could be better mediated through an assist mode and or beginner Civs.

    I honestly think people in the games market are looking for harder games. I don’t think difficulty would alienate- quite the opposite. Yes, the game would need to provide players with a leg up. But people want depth. Accessibility- and depth.

    But hey. Just my opinion. Based on not a lot, frankly.

    An aside: “assist” modes. What is the point of difficulty levels below Prince? These basically are Civ’s assist mode - but does anyone ever need these? Prince seems so easy as it is. What’s the need for even lower difficulties?

    Another aside: @footslogger Yeah, people like me buying the game inspite of the AI being bad doesn’t help. To be clear, I’m only thinking of buying the expansion so I at least have a “complete” game. On another note though, I really don’t know if one guy working on the AI is a lot of resources or not much. Honestly, it actually sounds like a lot of resource. Seriously. One guy. Working on one thing. Full time. One guy doing one thing full time is A LOT of resource.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018
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  14. Trav'ling Canuck

    Trav'ling Canuck Deity

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    There are difficulty levels below Prince which could be used for people who want a more relaxing, empire building game. Warlord could be the default setting. I'm not sure how much use Settler, Chieftain, and Warlord get these days. My recollection is that Prince was a real challenge in the early versions of civ and you needed to start off at the lower levels and work your way up to Prince (or just find the level you enjoy and stay at that), but my memory may not be fully reliable on this point.

    Anyway, it doesn't really matter what the levels are called and which is the default one. I agree, there should be a variety of difficulty levels. I'd also prefer if at some difficulty levels the game challenged the player to play well to earn the victory screen, but that's not the vision for the game the dev team has.

    Civ 6 is intended to be "win your way". The AI is just there to play the characters in the story of how you decided to win. That's how Firaxis is marketing the game, and those of us hoping for something different didn't pay enough attention to the marketing pitch for Civ 6.
     
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  15. Wingednosering

    Wingednosering Prince

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    I agree that Prince should be harder, but by that I mean the AI should be more intelligent. In theory, Prince is when the AI and player have the same bonuses, right? If the AI is smarter at all levels of play, that would definitely make Prince tougher.

    But if the AI was smarter, they could also scale back the insane bonuses the AI gets to be a bit less obnoxious.

    I realize that civ is a really AI unfriendly game at this point. Every new feature they add takes more human intellect to unravel and a lot of them would make turn times way too long for the AI to number-crunch effectively, but there's some really low hanging fruit here.

    Religion preference should have been built in from day 1. The fact that they only just realized that not every civ should eliminate city states is really appalling.
     
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  16. Chefofrats

    Chefofrats Warlord

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    I really do not get why you would want to change the difficulty of a difficulty level on which you do not even play. Could the AI do a better job? Sure, but that has nothing to do with the range of difficulty levels. Look at the issue from the perspective of player new to the title - I remember getting to know Civ VI upon release, and let me tell you, I barely won on Warlord (the new features overwhelmed me, even though I started playing Civ games in the early 90s). I am pretty sure back then I would not have been able to win on Prince, and King would have been simply brutal. Over the course of several games I kept moving up the difficulty ladder until I finally found my sweet spot at King.

    Setting the actual difficulty of a given difficulty level should not be based on the experiences of veteran players of a game - their skills are not the appropriate benchmark. They can have their challange at Deity - what does it matter what somebody else is doing on Warlord, Prince or King? I never in any game understood why advanced players sometimes expect their perspective being forced on the much more numerous casual players, like hardcore raiders calling for removing Looking for Raid in WoW.
     
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  17. Leathaface

    Leathaface Emperor

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    I too want a better AI. Obviously a substantially improve AI would be awesome, but I hope for at least the AI to be able to go to war and defend itself properly plus claim victory in a timely manner.

    I've never seen the AI win a Culture or Domination victory, I know the patch won't improve the AI enough for that to happen, that'd require DLL source access.
     
  18. Trav'ling Canuck

    Trav'ling Canuck Deity

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    I don't think that's what people are trying to say. We're suggesting that the challenge level currently available at Prince and King could be reset to be Warlords and Prince. We're not saying those difficulty levels should be removed from the game.

    As for "they can have their challenge at Deity", that's kind of the point. The difficulty level doesn't ramp up in Civ 6 the way it does in previous versions of Civ, and one possible solution for that is to make the overall AI more competent, rather than simply layering on more AI bonuses. It may not be the best solution, but people are kicking around possible options.

    Your point about new players being barely able to win on Warlords currently is a good one for many reasons:
    • A lot of players expect to be able to win, or they don't have fun. Especially a game that takes as long to finish as Civ. So Firaxis can't make the game so difficult that new players get trounced in their first game, or they may get a tonne of negative reviews.
    • There is no consideration for new players in the complexity level of Civ. Layer upon layer of obtuse mechanics are thrown together in a way that's a challenge for even an experienced player to sort through. Having players lose game after game as they try to learn Civ would not be fun for many of them (there are only a few civfanatics who would like the game enough to keep plugging away at it).
    • Many existing game systems have terrible internal balance. You can't as a starting player understand that building farms and wonders slow you down, since they seem like something you should do to win. Solid game mechanics have a base return on investment for choices that are reasonably equal between the various options, and the fun comes from sorting out which of these is "first among equals" in your particular game situation. If this existed in Civ 6, the game would be a lot more forgiving for both new players and the AI, as fewer choices would be so clearly suboptimal in the long run.
    So maybe a better solution to improving the AI's competency is to remove the large number of poor options strewn throughout Civ 6 by better balancing the game. That would both help new players learning the game and make the AI's bonuses on the higher difficulty levels more effective as they wouldn't be wasting so much of those bonuses on poor production decisions.
     
  19. rschissler

    rschissler King

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    Well, you won't be buying it then.

    What do you mean there is nothing you can do to stop civs who attack city states? Why can't you march your own troops up there to defend them?
     
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  20. Chefofrats

    Chefofrats Warlord

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    While I agree with all of your other points, I do not share the quoted sentiment. Why diminish my gaming experience and have me now win only on Prince, when before I used to win on King? Who benefits from this? I will feel like I achieve less - is that the desired outcome?

    We desperately need a better AI, but this has absolutely nothing to do with how the different difficulty levels relate to one another. We can have a smarter AI without artificial bonuses provide the same level of challange on King difficulty as a dumb AI with artificial bonuses gets these days. Why should this lead to King being demoted to Prince? One does not follow from the other.

    As for the difficulty levels ramping up, I think they progress quite similar to the older Civ games. I know for sure that I played Civ V on King, too, and Civ IV... Hmm... Was it Prince or King? I can't recall. I think I played the older Civ games on levels up to Deity, but I was younger then and I actually enjoyed the challange. These days I just want to chill out while playing (but still with a sense of accomplishment ;) ).
     
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