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Would nerfing ranged help the 1UPT AI?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Stringer1313, Nov 30, 2016.

  1. Nigel_Tufnel2

    Nigel_Tufnel2 King

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    If I recall correctly, Acken nerfed Range HP, and maybe Damage done, and beefed Melee. You couldn't just smack down a city with 3-4-5 Range and then walk in with one Melee/Horse. The 5 AI really seemed to "understand" the mod. Again, IIRC, city strength was lowered quite a lot. So on defense you needed to park some Melee out front, you couldn't just casually focus fire and let them kill themselves against the city.

    He also did a lot of other enhancements. It quite surprises me that his (and other balance mods) didn't get more consideration from the 6 devs. Acken Deity was almost unbeatable, and not just from insane AI bonuses - the AI was just plain mean. :shifty:
     
  2. CaiusDrewart

    CaiusDrewart King

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    A substantial nerf to ranged units would indeed make the game harder. Anything that forces a player to use units that actually take damage when they fight will make the game harder. A squad of archers can pick off a literally unlimited number of contemporary AI units without ever suffering a casualty. It's ridiculous.

    It wouldn't make the game that much harder because horsemen would still be a really strong choice to conquer an AI. But if you happened to start without horses, then nerfing ranged units would really be felt.

    So I think a nerf to ranged units is a really good idea. As others have said, though, the AI also just needs to be reprogrammed to be quite a bit more aggressive.
     
  3. orasis

    orasis Prince

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    The problem as I see it is not that archers are OP it is that the AI does not know how to make proper use of them.

    When playing against a human; archers are equally as dangerous to every player and they help to prevent warmongering too early in the game unless you really have thought out your strategy.

    That is why I think a nerf is bad because archers are not even OP'ed in the first place. They simply feel OP'ed because the AI is so dumb tactically.
     
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  4. KrikkitTwo

    KrikkitTwo Immortal

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    I apologize for the miffing...I agree nerfing the range of ranged units to 1 is bad. (it changes the meaning of ranged)

    It is ridiculous for them to "help" the AI by nerfing movement. (nerfing movement cripples the AI, because that's its biggest problem with 1 UPT)

    The movement nerf
    -increased the power of range a lot
    -increased the power of cavalry a little
    -nerfed the AI

    So reducing the combat power of ranged (and probably increasing the strength of anticav) should be good for overall balance and AI competency
     
  5. Japper007

    Japper007 Prince

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    Both of these would actively harm the AI I think:

    The arrow retrieval seems an excellent way to make the AI have to make even more desicions on where to move it's units, it already can't handle a "carpet" properly... Also tons of tedious micro for a human player, between TR spam and shuffling builders, I think we have enough of that already, thanks.

    The one shot would just mean a player (who can easely shield his archers) will have the time of their lives picking of the AI's ranged with cav-charges.
     
  6. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    One agrees with gusto. Removing those walls at the beginning of the game is also making the start too easy and simple to fix.
    I really appreciated in V that you could noty walk up to a city on turn 6 and take it... I just took china out in about 30 moves on immortal...3 nice fat cities leaving just me on a big fat continent with India squished in a corner by me.
    I would have tried India but know those Ele's are nasty. how do you deal with them early game?... the AI is not completely insane.
     
  7. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    The ranged system should have been dropped altogether from Civ VI - it was problematic throughout Civ V. 1UPT per se was never the issue. Either remove it completely (ranged units could just get to launch melee attacks with no chance of taking damage but be restricted to melee range, as slingers do now) or reserve it only for city defence and - perhaps - naval bombardment and higher-tier siege units (catapults and cannon are too easily spammable and would just replace archers and crossbows if only archery units lost ranged fire).

    As mentioned by others it wouldn't help Civ VI as much as it would Civ V simply because the AI appears far worse in Civ VI. It barely builds armies, never keeps them close to its cities to defend or even rush-buys units when under attack, it doesn't garrison cities, and rarely builds or upgrades walls outside the capital. As others noted it's programmed to preserve its units over anything - including preserving cities. While the intent may have been to make the AI less 'gameable' by exploiting its tendency to over-extend with damaged units, the way it's presently coded it might as well not have units at all - damage them a little and they retreat for good, and they won't attack unfavourably (hence being unable to attack cities). Cities being unable to attack back by default is a big problem for the Civ VI AI - as frustrating as the Civ V system was, it was more AI-friendly.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2016
  8. GhostSalsa

    GhostSalsa Emperor

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    They aren't waiting idle, they already had their turn. That's the whole concept of the turn abstraction. Whether a unit takes damage when attacking is just a different way the attack behavior of different units is balanced, it isn't a voiding of the rules of turns.

    But you and I would both probably be happier if ranged were defense only, but also support units for nearby attacked units, like AA work
     
  9. steveg700

    steveg700 Deity

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    Well, I don't know what kind of metric can validate that, but in the game archers are OP primarily because it is a turn-based game that grants a player a way to focus multiple attacks against one unit until it is dead, or at the very least damaged to the point that it's retaliation is watered down. Since the aggressor is the one moving in, he's essentially ceding the "initiative roll" to the defending player. Focused fire is a general problem with just about any turn-based game, especially those where taking damage reduces your ability to counterattack.

    In abstract terms, the target isn't a sitting idle. In practical terms, they are frozen still, which can allow multiple enemy units to pound on them before they can take their turn again.
     
  10. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

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    As I see it; the problem is more of the form the AI still hasn't figured out how to use ranged units nor do they build enough of them.
    And the same applies to fast moving units.
    (Which tends to be why the AI is truly abysmal defending against battleships which are both fast moving and ranged)
    And it's not just Civ V/VI in which this was the case:
    In Civ III: By far the best way to defeat a stack of AI units was artillery. That was also the case in Civ IV, but it's the one in which the AI finally brought enough artillery into their stacks.
     
  11. orasis

    orasis Prince

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    Exactly what I said.
     
  12. greygamer

    greygamer Feudal Lord

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    A lot of what people are requesting seems to already in the Europa Universalis series (maybe they could make a Civ competitor)
     
  13. GhostSalsa

    GhostSalsa Emperor

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    It isn't just that the AI can't use ranged, it's the cognitive processing load created by multiple ranged units always having overlaps on certain tiles, which become kill spots for units ending their turn

    It would take a lot of effort to program the AI to imagine which tiles can be bombarded by multiple units and cities/encampments every single turn, including with projected enemy unit movement, and then once that code was made, it would fairly blow up AI turn times anyway. And that's before you ask what the AI has to do in response: well, now that it see which tiles give the human an easy kill, it needs to meet its military objective using only the handful of safe tiles that are left, doubling the processing difficulty for multi-unit movement that it already struggles with… programming the AI to be better at ranged seems to have a very low return on investment. The AI will still always suck at advancing on human using ranged for defense

    Better to just take away from the human player what ranged effectively grants them: a virtually free death-trap system surrounding their units at all times. I've also been for taking away non-capital city bombards for a long while…

    VI really went in the wrong direction… keeping V's range rules (apparently forgetting why they hurt unit balance) and slowing melee units down for the sake of someone's board game fetish…
     
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  14. CivScientist

    CivScientist Warlord

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    If you effectively remove the ranged attack from the game, would combat really be all that interesting anymore? Sure, it's hard for the AI to use ranged units effectively. But for the human it's rather interesting to setup ranged units properly within the tapestry that is your military carpet of death. Without ranged attacks, you just have units bumping into each other and your only strategy is a rather tepid rock/paper/scissors game.

    Also, if you remove ranged attacks from the game, the AI would still suck at combat. Remember, the AI is also incapable of moving a mass of units worth a darn. That means it will continue to have trouble moving units between mountain ranges efficiently. More importantly, it won't be able to effectively setup favorable rock/paper/scissor combos when it attacks because it won't be able to get its units in the right place at the right time.

    It's cheesy but the best option is probably just to give rapidly increasing warmongering penalties to keep wars short and give the AI big tech and production bonuses so it always has more units that are an era ahead of yours (at least on higher levels). That way, the human will still dominate in warfare but it won't be the obvious answer to every problem.
     
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  15. LukaSlovenia29

    LukaSlovenia29 Emperor

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    The AI can be improved to be good at combat and a true threat for the human player even without huge bonuses to the AI, proved by many Civ 5 mods (for example Vox Populi). If modders can do it, there's no excuse for the devs not to.
     
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  16. HF22

    HF22 Warlord

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    Except that is what Civ 6 does already, and it doesn't work. Warmonger penalties don't matter because fighting the whole world presents no threat, and the AI won't respond anyway because it doesn't want to get the penalties for itself. And economic buffs are not effective in a 1upt context.
     
  17. KrikkitTwo

    KrikkitTwo Immortal

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    There's a difference between removing it from the game and making melee/cavalry units actually useful past the classical era.

    All you need to do is decrease the strength of ranged attack units (perhaps 5 strength reduction...both to ranged and defense strength..only for "true ranged" units, Slingers and Machine Guns should be left alone)
     
  18. Magil

    Magil Monarch

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    If ranged combat was removed from the game, it'd need to be replaced with something else. 1UPT combat with all units (pre-aircraft at least) being only able to attack adjacent targets would indeed be quite shallow.

    At that point... they might have to actually integrate support units into the system in a competent fashion (gasp)!

    I don't see "make the system even more punishing" as a viable solution. The system is already punishing enough in its design. A game like Civ is supposed to be more about rewarding good decisions than punishing bad ones.

    And the AI already has huge tech and production bonuses at higher levels. At Deity they start with 5 warriors, 3 settlers, and 2 builders, 4 free tech boosts and 4 free civic boosts. They have +32% science/culture, and +80% production/gold. None of this will matter if it can't play the game.
     
  19. Olleus

    Olleus Deity

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    I've nerfed range strongly in my mod (link below). Roughly -10 str and -10 ranged strength across the board.

    It doesn't help the AI huge amounts. It does make early rushes much harder, its pretty much necessary to wait for swords or horsemen unless you have an ancient UU. It also makes tackling opponents that are ahead (or even on par) technology wise more difficult and more costly. But it doesn't have as big an impact on the AIs capabilities as I had hoped.

    It's only a small step in that regard.
     
  20. KrikkitTwo

    KrikkitTwo Immortal

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    Well the AI does have some other huge problems, but as you indicate that is an obvious one. (if combat is no longer the 'easy but time consuming button')
     

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