AI Diplomacy Issues

By on August 26, 2010 2:55:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

clockwerk

Join Date 08/2010
+5

Greetings.

I wanted to focus on one aspect of the AI that people don't seem to be talking about: Diplomacy.  Note that find that AI diplomacy in 4X games to generally be atrocious.  This may be due to my play style which is to generally focus on tech and economic development.

All of these issues are with the AI being set to "Normal."

1. I appreciate the fact that the diplomacy screen shows the +/- for diplomatic modifiers.

2. The AI seems to base its diplomacy on only two visible factors (pre-marriage): strength of military and faction.  This seems to be rather limiting and arbitrary since it does not place any value on other aspects of the game.  As an example, a player that has researched high level spells (8+) has access to many spells that can greatly hurt a kingdom (shutting down cities, for example).  It seems odd that a game that focuses on magic does not include magic level (and threat of using these high levels spells) as part of its calculation.  In other words, the system is shallow.  It does not take into account the real strength of a kingdom.

3. After the Day0 patch, the AI will routinely "suggest" to players trade requests.  It is great that the AI initiates a conversation but it never actually suggests anything in my experience.  As it currently stands, it is up to the player to create a trade agreement after the AI basically says "Hey, let's make a trade agreement!"   Or "let's talk about arranged marriages."

4. I have noticed that the AI will routinely turn down fair trade requests after it has just requested a trade treaty.  This includes situations where the value of the agreement is in the AI's favor.

5. The AI will "suggest" an arranged marriage even when there are no possible combination to have a marriage with that AI.

6. The AI will "suggest" an arranged marriage even when it does not intend to form one.  As an example, I had Magnar suggest an arranged marriage and, after I created the proposal, the Magnar sovereign flat out said "I will never marry one of my children to you" or something close to that.

7.I do like the notion of diplomatic capital.  This is a good addition to 4X diplomacy systems.

8. The AI never seems to accept treaties even when it is in their favor.  When I say favor I mean at least a 10% increased perceived value on their side.  I find that if I need something, I need to make a disproportionate trade request.  As an example, I attempted to form a trade treaty with someone.  The treaty ended up being something like 2.15 gilder versus 1.98 gilder per turn.  In order to complete the trade, I had to add something like 200 gold which, in the end, meant that I would actually take a loss.  Yes, I understand that diplomacy is based upon perceived values but these are not really explained at all.  And yes, I understand that I can spend "diplomatic capital" for the same effect.  But all the effort seems useless for, in the end, 2 gilder a turn.

9. The AI does ask for tribute here and there.  I find this to be utterly predictable.  Refusing tribute equals war.  Paying tribute equals war (only delayed by a few turns).  Yes, I understand that this is basically "buying" peace for several turns -- so you can prepare for war eventual.  But, to me, it just feeds into the nonsensical nature of diplomacy. It violates one of Sun Tzu's basic principles of war: Never give your enemy time to prepare for your attack.  This is especially true in a game where stacks can teleport around the map pretty easily.

Despite these problems, I do appreciate trying to make a more robust diplomacy system.  I just feel that the system, as it stands now, is not worth the effort.  As a player, I have no interest in investing time into the diplomacy tree and, as a developer, I understand why the addition of recruiting spiders, bugs and dragons was including in the tree: it is a weak tree compared to the others.

Keep up the great work!

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August 28, 2010 4:30:37 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Agreed!

 

One thing that I am glad we changed was caravans. It used to annoy me to no end that I need a non agression pact to get access for trade caravans and roads. And as you have pointed out, we often have to dump huge resources into getting an AI to trade.

 

I hate the fact that it is so hard to get access to other lands. I want my party of adventurers to be able to travel around the world questing, not just stuck to my territory.

 

I would like for Caravans and Parties of Champions (Ie: adventurers) free to move around as they wish. Maybe have an open border treaty that is very easy to achieve that helps build a relationship, then a separate treaty for non-aggression and a separate treaty for full military access.

 

This is especially crazy when you have a Sov and Faction with high diplomacy bonuses. Doesn't seem to matter. My high diplomacy Sov and Faction still can't get decent deals. Playing as a peaceful, developed nation with massive investment in diplomacy should be a viable option. Right now it is not because if you don't build up a large army, you will be seen as weak and get diplomacy penalties. Why would having a small army be seen as BAD by most people? This is mostly a problem because the AIs all play basically the same. It makes sense that a warmongering faction would see you as weak and thus more likely to want to declare war on you. However, a peaceful, friendly civilization should not see your lack of an army as a reason to hate you. In fact, it might make them like you more since you won't be seen as a threat.

 

We just don't have enough options for building relationships.

 

 

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October 19, 2010 10:36:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,

8. The AI never seems to accept treaties even when it is in their favor.  When I say favor I mean at least a 10% increased perceived value on their side.  I find that if I need something, I need to make a disproportionate trade request.  As an example, I attempted to form a trade treaty with someone.  The treaty ended up being something like 2.15 gilder versus 1.98 gilder per turn.  In order to complete the trade, I had to add something like 200 gold which, in the end, meant that I would actually take a loss.  Yes, I understand that diplomacy is based upon perceived values but these are not really explained at all.  And yes, I understand that I can spend "diplomatic capital" for the same effect.  But all the effort seems useless for, in the end, 2 gilder a turn.

From what I have seen this appears to be what I consider a flaw with the system not letting the Player make a diplomatic decision that is a "bad deal".  For example, in a current 1.08 game that I have running, I want to make treaties with the Tarth.  Looking at the Diplomacy -> Treaty screen I see things like Trade Treaty 83 (Me) and Trade Treaty 248 (Tarth) and the description is "Me to get 1.97 gildar/turn and Tarth to get 8.37 gildar/turn".  So, this is something that they really want, but would not be in my best interest (maybe) to do since they get a lot more than I do out of the treaty, but I should be ALLOWED to make this choice, even if it is "bad" for me.  Right now the diplomacy system prevents me from making it because 83 != 248.  If I balanced those to let me make the deal then it would REALLY be bad.  Meanwhile the Tarth keep asking me to make treaties with them.

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October 19, 2010 5:37:10 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I totally agree.  Diplomacy and an economic build are my play-styles too.  Rather than focusing on combat and magic improvements, I'd prefer SD works on the diplomacy system.  

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October 19, 2010 7:58:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Give up guys, AI diplomacy never works properly, even in games that put allot of effort into it (such as the civ series). And it never will until such time as we have proper artificial intelligence!

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October 19, 2010 8:45:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Mystikmind,
Give up guys, AI diplomacy never works properly, even in games that put allot of effort into it (such as the civ series). And it never will until such time as we have proper artificial intelligence!

 

GalCiv2's AI and diplomacy are pretty darn good...!

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October 19, 2010 10:30:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting charon2112,

Quoting Mystikmind, reply 4Give up guys, AI diplomacy never works properly, even in games that put allot of effort into it (such as the civ series). And it never will until such time as we have proper artificial intelligence!
 

GalCiv2's AI and diplomacy are pretty darn good...!

 

In terms that the player can easily get it to do what it is designed to do, yes, but it is as predictable as 1+1=2

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October 20, 2010 9:00:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

One thing that really frustrates me is the percieved value. Its totally out of whack , all the time. A kingdom demands gold from me, I say no, they attack me. Ok fine, I get it, although I still dont know why your even demanding it from me, when I cannot give it to you. What frustrates me is that after the war is declared, and I completely demolish the civilization, taking half of their empire in 3 turns, I then try to sue for peace. I dont feel that every war should be fought to the death but apparently the AI does because its percieved value of a peace treaty is 17000, to my 50-200. Uh...I just completely destroyed you, and took all of your cities.....why do you think your treaty is so valuable? Im trying to do you a favor!

 

When I looked at the XMLs, I note that all treaties have <BasePerceivedValue>10000</BasePerceivedValue>

Except for Peace Treaty which is <BasePerceivedValue>1000</BasePerceivedValue>

 

This seems to indicate that a peace treaty should be the easiest of all treaties to get, yet it is the hardest. Please change the percieved values issues with all treaties and I will get alot more enjoyment out of the game.

 

As is the first civilization that I come into contact with, delcares war on me within 15 turns, for no reason that I can determine, I cannot placate them I cannot give small gifts since the Ai will not accept ANY deal that isnt close to even even if its in thier favor. Uhg.

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