eXplorminate e4X
eXplorminate e4X
September 24, 2014
United States 
Nasarog Jul 23, 2017 @ 8:21am
AI Discussion megathread.
All misc and general AI discussions will be moved into this thread.
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Showing 1-15 of 345 comments
Luke Mar 21, 2015 @ 6:11pm 
Recent 4x AI that directly challenges you
I like 4x's as wargames plus civilization building. I don't much enjoy a peaceful competition :-) But I do enjoy doing diplomacy, economics etc to the end of a good wargame like conflict. My question to this expert crowd is which 4x's AIs are best at giving the player an active hard time? For example, declaring war on you and following through decently. Jumping on your weakly defended cities, forming alliances against you that then come after you etc.
Games I have found this to be true of in the past:
-- Civs
-- Age of Wonders II
-- Paradox Games
-- Master of Orion
So right now I am trying out Endless Legend. Wonderful world, and beautiful design. So far it doesn't work me over at all. Yes I am lagging behind now on scores but it doesn't give me any active hard time in manner described above.
I am thinking perhaps Sorcerer King?
Recent version of Fallen Enchantress: LHeroes? Tried that a year ago or so and was 'ok'.
One of the recent space 4xs?
AOW III was fun for fighting but too weak on the rest of the 4x.
I am ok with limited cheating if that is what the AI needs. I understand the AI is going to be limited. I just want some active challenge :-)

Please advise o experts!
Nasarog Mar 21, 2015 @ 6:32pm 
What difficulty are you playing with?
screamingpalm Mar 21, 2015 @ 7:22pm 
AI War by Arcen currently has the best AI of any strategy game imo.,897.0.html

If diplomacy and empire building are a must, you might wait and give their new game a looksee which is about to start beta- Stars Beyond Reach.

My .02
Luke Mar 21, 2015 @ 7:23pm 
Thank you for your advise Screamingpain.
screamingpalm Mar 21, 2015 @ 7:41pm 
No problem man, I can certainly relate to your OP. :D
Luke Mar 21, 2015 @ 8:18pm 
I am playing EL at hard. I am trying the Necros. I've been doing pretty well militarily though I am still green enough to have made some stupid attacks. But no one has come after me. They seem to think I'm an OK guy ;-)
Luke Mar 21, 2015 @ 8:18pm 
(first game was at normal)
Luke Mar 21, 2015 @ 9:35pm 
OK I had heard hard the AI gave more of a game. That is starting to happen now. Actually being attacked which is great!
Icemania Mar 21, 2015 @ 11:43pm 
Great thread!

The key is games that challenge us without simply have ridiculous bonuses but we also need to have realistic expectations for gaming AI's.

Endless difficulty on Endless Legend/Space is a classic example. It's beatable but no fun at all as the AI beats you purely with bonuses rather than decent gameplay. On the other hand it's just not realistic to expect to get a challenge on Normal difficulty if you have decent 4X gaming experience. So where AI performance should be measured for the Endless games is more like Serious difficulty.

I haven't played them in a few months but the Endless games were really poor at Serious difficulty. Maybe they've improved but I'm so put off by the stupidity of the AI that I'll probably hold for the expansion and given them more time to improve it.

Stardrive 1 was another example of bad AI. I only played 2 games, one on Normal then I went straight to Brutal and both games were a cakewalk. I didn't even bother with Ship Design because it wasn't needed. To say the least I'm relieved to hear the Stardrive 2 is much improved.

There are some good examples where you can get a challenge IMO. Interestingly both cases require Mods but it's not a coincidence these are my two most played games over the last year or two.

The first is the Star Trek Armada 3 Mod for Sins. What makes the difference is not the fact the Mod increased difficulty from the default game, it's the asymmetrically superior opponent in the Borg (as per canon). After playing the new Call to Arms version of the Mod I started on Hard and got utterly stomped. Since then I've worked my way up to Legendary difficulty at which point the bonuses do become fairly excessive. I suspect I can now win on the highest difficulity (next game) but what's important is that I've had a hoot getting there, feel constantly under pressure and lost games along the way.

The second is Distant Worlds Universe with the AI Improvement Mod 1.04 on Extreme difficulty. Note Extreme difficulty bonuses are roughly equivalent to Serious with the Endless games. Some house rules will be needed as well as there are some exploits that were not closed.

In background I always felt the game was too easy but since Universe released there have been 50+ AI changes in patches (most community suggestions) and they also opened up some important Modding capability to us. The AI's are far more aggressive and I was genuinely shocked to lose a game after more than 1000 hours of playing the game. You'll have to think very carefully about how to set the Aggression slider on setup (in contrast with the default game I often played on Chaos and still felt the AI was too passive).

Other than that I struggle to think of good examples in recent games sadly but then again I have not played the variety of games that some have.

I'm sure someone will say the only way is MP but that just isn't an option for me. I have plenty of gaming time but between the demands of work and kids, it's very intermittent, so I'm only interested in the SP experience.

Note: I do have a conflict of interest as the author of the Distant Worlds AI Improvement Mod
Last edited by Icemania; Mar 22, 2015 @ 12:05am
Rob Mar 22, 2015 @ 3:45am 
Sorcerer King was providing a pretty good challenge up until this latest patch when I think they swung the difficulty a little too far the other direction. However, a happy medium between what was and what it is now will still be challenging, so definitely keep an eye on it.
Martok Mar 22, 2015 @ 7:07am 
The AI in Armada 2526 generally plays a pretty good game in my experience.
Last edited by Martok; Mar 22, 2015 @ 7:14am
Mezmorki Mar 22, 2015 @ 7:17am 
Yeah, the score-based / time-limit based end trigger in Armada 2526 opens the door the AI to pull ahead of the player in a challenging manner.

I've taken to playing some punishing AoW3 games. The hardest one I beat was against 3 emperor AI's all set to be on the same team/alliance during setup. Obviously this cut diplomacy largely out of the game and had the 3 AI's coming after me immediately, but it was a real serious challenge! Fun ... but not for everyone.

Aleksei.Volchok Mar 22, 2015 @ 2:05pm 
Realtime games are better at challenging you.

So I say Rise of Nations Extended Edition (less than 1 year old!) challenges me a lot.
Nasarog Mar 22, 2015 @ 2:13pm 
Originally posted by ilitarist:
Realtime games are better at challenging you.

So I say Rise of Nations Extended Edition (less than 1 year old!) challenges me a lot.

Only because of CPS and your ability to track what's going on... it's mostly a scripted challenge.
Aleksei.Volchok Mar 22, 2015 @ 2:15pm 
Still a good challenge. RoN AI is much better at suspending my disbelief than most others. It beats me as effective as multiplayer opponents and that's all I'd ever want.
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Date Posted: Jul 23, 2017 @ 8:21am
Posts: 345