huminado Mar 27, 2013 @ 5:24am
The game's AI is fine
I've heard people complain about how bad the AI in this game is. So I wanted to give this some discussion.

I've played Galciv2 and now FE (enough FE to see the resemblance of AI to GC2). I play on Expert difficulty with Expert AI (so the AI has some economic advantage). I lose occasionally, but have had what looked like a clear victory in at least one Expert game.

In that game, I used a custom kingdom almost equivalent to Porcupine's - access to the books and the outpost spell. So for the first 30 turns or so every new city I cranked out was completely naked. Why would I spend precious turns building troops (and crappy ones at that)? The goal was to get to mage companies (combo ice/fire+3 on wargs). I might have lost some cities on the way - but by the time I could produce these units, I was pretty much unstoppable.

So back to complaints. I also played Warlock alot - and people complained about the AI. So what? I was eventually playing that game at the Impossible AI with skipping the first 20 moves, and still could win but it was getting difficult. After a few patches it was impossible and I had to play without skipping any moves.

The point is there are handicaps. You can find a challenging game with any AI if you alter the handicaps. If I play at Easy difficulty, but skip 20 turns and don't have access to techs or units that I'm used to, it will still probably be a very difficult game. So I guess this is all about finding an enjoyable game - not about criticising the AI.

And I'm prone to falling into "the AI's no good" mentality too. But stir the pot a little - remove some handicaps, play some wierd build, take whatever starting map it gives you... anything to make the interesting.



All that said.. I do hope Stardock finds a way to make AI's moddable. Just like c-Evo (probably the most difficult civ-AI I've seen).
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^^o^^ BatCat Mar 27, 2013 @ 12:13pm 
Well thank you huminado for saying all that, it needed to be said.

Then there is the "cheating" side to the AI that gets me upset sometimes, mostly when I catch it in the act.

I realized, basicaly, it will never be as smart as us. I laid my own traps.

Here's one; The AI sees and acts on what "we see". YOU discover tiles to settle on ..AI sends pioneers. IT, as a player, was never THERE to see them. ..but you know they are coming. (at least you do now)

I sat MY pioneers on the tiles, did NOT SETTLE. They came, any AI reasonably close ..they came.

I did not settle still. More came. A Sov' with Heros and pioneers came. Good enough ...I landlocked the area. And Settled the tiles. Trapping them all in.

Landlock = putting an outpost in a single file path, putting an outpost beside a resource on a double line path, putting the last building on a city to close a valley path.
There are other ways.

I caught 6 pioneers, 5 heros and a Sov. Locked away until war is declared and they get kicked off my property. Current game, they are still there now. Some 50 turns later.

That AI Sov', Karavox, had STOLEN a Hero right in front of me while I was going for them. No one near that Hero's hut but me. Blink ..hired by Kraxis. Grrrr...

..ya AI's cheat, but we're smarter, well most of us anyway. <smirk>

Get even. Win anyway.

Sandbox game = Adjust to suit what you want to do, how you want to play.

50 turns ..easy on a 12 player, large, hard game. And 10% trading bounus trading with him = 5 times my income.

8-)

Great fun..
huminado Mar 27, 2013 @ 1:05pm 
You might be able to test conclusively if the AI is cheating by using cheats. I haven't tried them yet. I see CTRL-U is supposed to remove the fog war.

If it really works (on the fly) you could save the game with fog on, then remove fog to see where everything is, load the saved (still fogged) game and repeat over several turns to see how the AI is moving units (blindly).

Even better if you create a custom map and run this test. :) Something tells me, someone has probably already done this on Stardock's forums - but if they haven't, it would be a great discussion.

[Edit] looks like cheats are disabled - and I don't see any XML file for turning them on again.
Last edited by huminado; Mar 27, 2013 @ 1:23pm
^^o^^ BatCat Mar 27, 2013 @ 1:31pm 
Well, the trick is each AI player should have thier own FOW and unless you can watch a replay from thier view point... Supreme Commander had this.

If you beat one of the feature quests, labrynth/caves for example, it creates a big field of tiles. WAM.. almost out of no where, pioneers from other factions start to "show up". Made a bee line straight from thier cities to the tiles.

No Scout or other unit near by to "see those tiles". Yet they came.

First time I beat one I was not ready w/pioneers. They grabbed tiles and wrecked it. I reload before final battle, got pioneers over and re-did the final battle.

Luv the caves one, get 4 decent cities if ya count tile spacing nicely. Something like 2x 432, 431 and a 43o. Less if other CA fields push in on the area.

Other Cheat;
Stealing Heros. Last one in front of my nose that I was going to get. First time I caught on when I landlocked a penisula with resources and a higher level hero ..for later.

Came back later to find Hero hired, again by Karavox, but he could not get off penisula, was still locked off. I left 'em there the rest of the game almost. Well, until it was his turn to die, a few times.


Great fun, still.
Last edited by ^^o^^ BatCat; Mar 27, 2013 @ 1:33pm
huminado Mar 27, 2013 @ 1:48pm 
yes I've beaten an area too and noticed they were running around with settlers in their army - so just declared war to kill them off.

But - feature quest areas are usually explored with scouts long long long before they are conquered. And I believe there is a semi-fog which you can see when tiles have changed even though you don't have units in the area - so that wouldn't be cheating yet on the AI's part.

So if you can't see from the AI's perspective, that's why I was proposing the CTRL-U toggle (after saves) process - it lets you at least see if the AI ever sent units to remove fog before sending the settler to that tile. So by seeing the whole map you can approximate what the AI's fog is.

If cheats are turned off for FE - maybe the beta testers for LH can run the above test. [ STEAM<-- see what a nice plug I make for the game? Who loves ya baby? :) ]
^^o^^ BatCat Mar 28, 2013 @ 4:35pm 
I get ya, I keep fergeting about the "gray fog" after you've been there, lets ya see some stuff still. Just not everything like troop movements.


BTW; Karavox still trapped, seems happy enough trapped in the Imperial gardens. With his gang of buddies and brace of Pioneers to entertain them.
(12 player game, 3 down/Vassel'd, 3 messy wars currently, stalling 2 other wars.)
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Date Posted: Mar 27, 2013 @ 5:24am
Posts: 5