Magic: The Gathering — Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012

Magic: The Gathering — Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012

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Vensalir Dec 22, 2013 @ 3:49pm
AI Cheats ?
Pretty much as the title says ; I've just installed the expansion and so far I have tried to beat the first new deck (a black deck) with four different decks and... Every time the computer is about to lose, meaning I either deploy a creature it can't counter normally (Kozilek) or I simply swamp her with lower level creatures it suddendly pops a card that outright kills teh creatuer that would have stuck the final blow.. This has now happened more than 5 times in a row. Now, I'm not very good with maths, but this strikes me as a bit unlikely. Still, I might be wrong and that black deck might just have 10 cards of the same type... Just out of curiosity, has anybody else had the same situation ?
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Showing 1-14 of 14 comments
tbh i've always thought that too, but i used to craft my deck so they couldn't pull some troll move like that. it just boils down to fine tuning ur deck even more where you could recover from their "predictions".
siskavard May 3, 2014 @ 5:40pm 
It is infuriating how the AI 'works' in this game. It doesn't 'cheat' so much as the AI's decks are not random. I suppose you could call that cheating but yes - - as soon as you bust out something that will give you the win, the AI will always get a card or combo that it needs to take you out. I've been trying to defeat one of the planeswalkers using EVERY DECK and it ALWAYS gets the cards it needs just when I'm close to taking it down. It's a horrible way to design a Magic game - - if my cards are random, then so should the opponents be.
The AI's draws are random, it just knows how to hold onto its answers until you play a big enough threat instead of wasting them on the first thing to come along.

It does cheat in the player's favor on lower difficulties, though, by shuffling its strongest cards to the bottom of its deck.
siskavard May 3, 2014 @ 9:53pm 
They're most certainly not random.
DR GRIM <TWM> Jun 5, 2014 @ 8:09pm 
The way AI works is as follow (let's see if I remember):

1) AI has a core deck to draw from, it's essentially a short-list version of the full 60 cards deck to make sure it has a greater chance to draw the cards it's supposed to. The idea behind that is that it would suck if you faced a very important character and his deck didn't work. Kinda ruins the show and yet, I have seen it happen from time to time with Nicol Bolas in 2012 (or 2013, can't remember which one it was).
2) AI also operates through a system of target priorities. What it means is that certain creatures will make AI do whatever it takes to eliminate/counter them. In 2011, the Thieving Magpies had a priority of 3 compared to generic creatures who had simply a value of 1. This is done so the devs can code a semblance of intelligence and personality. A red aggressive AI might be "coded"to torch down certain elves known to become troublesome but ignore other less threatening cards. It's a fairly rigid system, it's more artificial than it is intelligent.

For those who think the AI cheats and are mad about it: How long did it take mankind to make a computer capable of beating a top-ranked chess player? How long do you think it would take for the best minds in the world to code a decent AI capable of making "strategic decisions" based on all the variables at play in Magic? Not trying to be adversarial here, but this system is the only way you gonna still pay 10 bucks for the game until someone comes up with a better idea.

Hope that cleared things up.
Vensalir Jun 6, 2014 @ 1:03am 
Originally posted by DR GRIM <TWM>:
The way AI works is as follow (let's see if I remember):

1) AI has a core deck to draw from, it's essentially a short-list version of the full 60 cards deck to make sure it has a greater chance to draw the cards it's supposed to. The idea behind that is that it would suck if you faced a very important character and his deck didn't work. Kinda ruins the show and yet, I have seen it happen from time to time with Nicol Bolas in 2012 (or 2013, can't remember which one it was).
2) AI also operates through a system of target priorities. What it means is that certain creatures will make AI do whatever it takes to eliminate/counter them. In 2011, the Thieving Magpies had a priority of 3 compared to generic creatures who had simply a value of 1. This is done so the devs can code a semblance of intelligence and personality. A red aggressive AI might be "coded"to torch down certain elves known to become troublesome but ignore other less threatening cards. It's a fairly rigid system, it's more artificial than it is intelligent.

For those who think the AI cheats and are mad about it: How long did it take mankind to make a computer capable of beating a top-ranked chess player? How long do you think it would take for the best minds in the world to code a decent AI capable of making "strategic decisions" based on all the variables at play in Magic? Not trying to be adversarial here, but this system is the only way you gonna still pay 10 bucks for the game until someone comes up with a better idea.

Hope that cleared things up.

Well, that explains a lot, much appreciated :)

Bu to be honest, I'm not feeling particularly charitable towards the developers for their incapability of developing a an AI smart enough to use what it has instead of picking what it needs. Many strategy games have AIs which are more than capable of defeating even very experienced players (such as AI Wars or GalCiv 2 with the AI skill set to max). So do some FPS games. All AIs ultimately can be defeated, just as it would be with any human player, but that is no excuse for not even trying to make a proper one, no ?

I also believe that if the devs focused more on creating a proper AI instead of re-making the whole game every year with slightly updated graphics and a few more cards, perhaps they would not only make a better overrall game but also sell more.
DR GRIM <TWM> Jun 6, 2014 @ 7:06am 
You're thinking ideas and not budget. Magic the Gathering has too many variables and paths that you as a human evaluate constantly and multiple times per turn. New mechanics, new cards and rules updates would mean a near-impossible amount of work. Magic mutates too much for a game developpment cycle. You also have to consider the card aspect of it. You don't always play a particular spell waiting for the right moment or combo, teaching a computer to do that on top of all the decisions made by the code itself would be impossible for such a budget game. The single player campaign is more of a carnival House of Horror thing: You know you're getting in for the laughs and scares but nothing in there is real, it's just entertainment.

Comparing AIs across genres is unfair to say the least. Some games do a better job hiding the artificial aspect than others depending on the rules and type of game. I haven't played those strategy games you mentioned but I used to play Dawn of War and for a RTS they did a pretty decent job but it would always fall short once you knew how to handle it. How do they usually make RTS AIs more difficult? They give them more money or additional assets so they develop their tech trees faster. Assuming you could get a 1v1 in the same starting conditions against a computer is not realistic, your brain is the product of at least 200 000 years of evolution while computers haven't been around for a 100 in comparison. In the case of FPS AI it is much easier to code as to move across maps they use (or used) a series of nodes and yet it can be hard as hell to simulate a real human. How do you make a regular AI believable for the human to enjoy? Make it miss 2 out 10 shots? With X weapon to make appear AI sucks with a SMG but not with a Sniper Rifle? I could go on with variables and examples all day and not scratch the surface of FPS alone.

Ultimately, keep in mind that AI is there to fill a void, not to replace a human player and that as a game developper you want players to face a challenge that they eventually can overcome. How Stainless Games chose to make that AI enjoyable given the budget/time and expected profits is a matter of taste. Can Magic's AI be improved? Yeah, for sure, but it would mean getting out of an easy-to-maintain system of XML files scripts and working on something new. Why bother when Magic is best played with humans? Who's going to finance a better Magic AI with the promise of return of investment? Is it going to sell more? Not so sure...
Vensalir Jun 6, 2014 @ 7:31am 
You obviously know a lot more about AI that I do, so I'll just concede the point here :) But I'm still bothered they're remaking the game every year and charging for it :))
DR GRIM <TWM> Jun 6, 2014 @ 8:59am 
Originally posted by Vensalir:
You obviously know a lot more about AI that I do, so I'll just concede the point here :) But I'm still bothered they're remaking the game every year and charging for it :))

I am not an AI expert by any means but I used to do some coding and read about real AI (robotics, bio-technology, etc).

Regarding the game, they add new cards abilities into the core game and keep a tight eco-system so old decks can't be played or combined with new ones. I agree it sucks,but it keeps things simple on their end. The game is more a simplified-accessible version since decks are carefully chosen to highlight certain aspects of Magic to get you hooked on their other online version (which is more expensive and will have you buy virtual cards) and the real cards as well.

I wouldn't be surprised if the next iteration or 2 would go Free-to-Play since HearthStone is growing huge real fast. Magic has survived because it didn't have a real solid competitor but Blizzard know what they are doing and have it down to a science (or almost) but that's a topic for another thread. I think HearthStone will get a single player campaign which could mean there's a market for SP, we'll soon see which game has the smarter AI if comparing the two makes sense.
Last edited by DR GRIM <TWM>; Jun 6, 2014 @ 9:02am
Duckbutt Jun 9, 2014 @ 1:18am 
Well, it's weird. Yes, granted, sometimes it feels like the AI always has the right answer, I often find ways to stomp the AI so hard that it's impossible not to laugh (Ending a match with me at 150 HP and with five 35/35 flying monsters....for example). I'm sure the AI if it was a person would be thinking similarly (as in, how the hell did that person pull that off?! they must be cheating!).
To quote the indian chief from Peter Pan, "Sometime, you (AI) win; sometime, we win."
Sure, there is such thing has terrible luck, and that CAN and often does screw you, like when you literally never draw a mana. I've noticed that mana thirst never seems to happen to bots, and I'm not really sure if difficulty has an impact on that.

On the flip side, let's say that we give the AI complete randomosity, like we (the player) seems to have. Potentially, the AI could always get bad rolls and never get mana, making boss fights no harder than basic encounters/challenges. I'm going to admit that I would not enjoy that. In single player at least, I feel that would make the game very stale. Imagine, you fight Nicol Bolas and he never plays a creature or spell because he never manages to draw a mana? Wouldn't that sort of be boring? Wouldn't you perhaps find yourself coming to the forums to complain about that? I dunno, I probably would.
Thoughts?
OM Dim Jun 13, 2014 @ 11:16am 
Responding to the OP, the oppositional AI is definitely scripted to its own advantage. Not so much in play choice but definitely in terms of deck composition and 'LUCKY' and 'TIMELY' card draw. This is probably a good thing as it makes the game challenging. Without the cheats it would be TOO easy (as in fact it is in the 2014 version).

However if you want to see some nice dumb AI play against the arch-enemey with two AI 'allies' and watch totally clueless AI at work. With allied AI you can see the cards in their hands and how they manage to play most of them poorly. Again this probably makes for a more enjoyable game. If they made the allied AI competent the game would be too easy and where is the fun in that?

The bigger problem is that starting decks for the players are really weak. When I started the game I couln't win anything because all my card draws were inferior. This really was NOT fun. It was painfully unfair. Thus it is a very painful grind to get your decks up to the polished standards of the enemy. Solution is to drop $10 on the 'gold' set and get all your unlocks.Which will pay the salaries of those wonderful programmers!

With full unlocks, hey-presto it is no longer 'too hard'. Indeed with full unlocks it feels about right.

Also with this game, probably the best deck is Jace (Blue) since it can both kick and steal enemy creatures, and it has a 2/2 bear that can enter play on the first turn. A 2-land spell counter is a fantastic way to stop the opponent dropping a big moster or damage spell on the table, so try Jace if you are having trouble with any encounter.
Last edited by OM Dim; Jun 13, 2014 @ 11:21am
Aurora Jun 20, 2014 @ 12:04pm 
Originally posted by Creamy Cake:
On the flip side, let's say that we give the AI complete randomosity, like we (the player) seems to have. Potentially, the AI could always get bad rolls and never get mana, making boss fights no harder than basic encounters/challenges. I'm going to admit that I would not enjoy that. In single player at least, I feel that would make the game very stale. Imagine, you fight Nicol Bolas and he never plays a creature or spell because he never manages to draw a mana?

Is that a possibility for absolute randomness? Yes, it is indeed. However, absolute randomness is what adds fairness to the game. I don't know about you, but when I'm going up against an AI that isn't programmed to draw completely random cards like I have to, I feel a little cheated in the match.

Would I feel a little bored in a battle against Nicol if he had crap luck? Maybe. But there's a key word in there: luck. We players have the possibility of having crap luck, but the AI doesn't. It's not about how boring a few games can be, but instead how fair they can be if the AI isn't programmed with near perfect card draws.

For the record, I've only played on archmage since mage is way too easy, but I've only won once so far off of mage difficulty and outside the tutorial. Seem fair? Not to me. And no, it's not cause I suck either, the AI has just gotten the spell or creature they need to win at just the right moment all but that one time.
Last edited by Aurora; Jun 20, 2014 @ 5:02pm
Duckbutt Jun 20, 2014 @ 5:20pm 
I've really not had many problems, I generally have a good win/loss ratio and I play on ArchMage. Even in the highest difficulty, the AI's special handicap doesn't always manage to save it. Really though, if I was able to cruise through the whole campaign with nearly every opponent starting with a godawful hand and winding up losing due to drawing nothing but mana, I'd complain a lot more than I would complain about the "handicap". At least this way, I am entertained, kept playing, and feel challenged.
Artemas Aug 20, 2014 @ 2:57pm 
Just picked them game up after a year of not playing. Karn killed me on the fifth turn by playing his indestructable collosis from the deck and steam rolling my 1/1s. I tried three more times and always when he is at 10 health he plays some sort of BS card that kills me.
Last edited by Artemas; Aug 20, 2014 @ 2:58pm
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