Why Does Everyone Hate Me?


Feb 14, 2012
I have noticed in several games that, after a few turns, all AI opinions become seething. This includes 2 factions I have established treaties, made several deals with, and given into their demands (one was Submissive when we made the deal). This also includes me neighbor Lal, while I was in Democracy.

Even more nonsensically, when Lal contacts me to make demands, he ends by complementing my social choices.

I have no idea what's going on, and I certainly don't like how everyone hates me no matter what I do.

EDIT: I caught Lal with 5 different probe teams in my territory. He was refusing my communications, but when I told him to withdraw he immediately declared war. That seems wrong on so many levels.
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What difficulty level are you playing? At higher levels the AI will hate you no matter what.
At higher difficulties all of the AI are jerks.

Lal is no exception to the jerk rule. The only reason you notice Yang, Miriam and Santiago being jerks is because the AI is more aggressive if they have big armies.
On the flip side, Yang, Miriam and Santiago are a hell of a lot more trustworthy if you are buddies with them. If you take police state and ally with Yang in his endless wars against all of the other civs he will never betray you.
I was on Librarian, as I have played Civ IV for many years and won easily on the second difficulty level.

I wanted Librarian because it seemed the most balanced level, as your production is equal to your opponent.

Is real diplomacy just not possible at higher difficulties?
It's impossible to have good relations with all AI's. Best option would be to befriend an AI who has the same social choice as you and try to get on their good side. Sometimes you're lucky and that AI already likes you, and sometimes you have to work hard (gifting techs or money) to improve their mood, and then it still depends on certain factors. (Do they have a pact with someone else? And is that someone else at war with you? Are you the strongest among the factions? Or maybe a random chance the AI is programmed not to like you in that particular game, like a leader that dislikes you on a personal level)

In my current game, Zakharov just doesn't like me. I run Knowledge but he seems to go along well with everyone except me. There may be some random modifier thrown in at the start of the game. All the other factions hate my guts. I run Planned (Free Market gives way too much eco-damage) so I can't ally with Morgan either, he actually just declared war on me.
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At higher difficulties, there are major diplomatic penalties for being the strongest faction that increase the stronger you are. (I believe at Transcend they kick in as soon as you are strongest, at Thinker when you are 1.5x as strong as the next-strongest faction, at Librarian when you are 2x as strong and at lower levels when you are 3x as strong.) In addition, there is a further diplomatic penalty at all levels between the strongest and the second-strongest factions (whether you are the strongest or second-strongest) in order to create rivalries.

You also get diplomatic penalties if your integrity is tarnished, e.g., because you broke treaties or pacts, even if not with that particular faction. And of course AIs will hate you if you commit atrocities.
I never bribe the AIs to do anything. If they decalre a Vendetta on me, I either ignore them, or take some of their bases until they're willing to sign a Truce. Peace through Strength!
Bribing with techs or money is usually a good plan (until the late game) if you're on the higher difficulties because when you're already fighting four wars a fifth one could be a bit of a backbreaker. Everybody hates you if you're the runaway civ or the runner up. You're not going to lose because you gave a useless low level tech to an AI in the midgame. I don't usually give away bases.

What the AI says is different if refusing to give a bribe results in a declaration of war, so just pay attention to what they say.

In the late game the AI will happily take your bribe and then immediately attack you again, so at that point tell them to jump off a bridge, conquor their good bases, make them a slave and then take all of their bases and money.

You can abuse the AI by enslaving them, taking all of their money and techs, then using their own money to buy all of their remaining non-capital bases, then demanding all of their money again.
I see no point in bribing the AIs in any way unless they're going to kill me right now, this turn. If there's any kind of delay at all, you have time to use that money to rush military units to destroy the intruders and get on a real war footing. I don't see the point in worrying about 4 vs. 5 enemies, as those enemies can't all reach you. Even on smaller maps, the AI is not competent enough to push the units to you. I've bribed the Aliens to leave me alone at the beginning, that's about it.
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