The Grand Demandobot AI Thread

By on January 27, 2011 2:50:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Vallu751

Join Date 05/2003
+14

We are the Demandobots   http://forums.elementalgame.com/404518/page/1/#2876891

It is our nature to relentlessly demand AI improvements.

Our programming has the following rules:

1. We demand specific improvements. Those making vague demands are not true demandobots! Elaborate to prove your worth!

2. We provide savegames by dropbox or similar technology to offer others a chance to share in the mockery of the puny AI's feeble attempts at gameplay. (And to help the devs)

3. We separate issues and requests into "Community confirmed", "Needs confirmation" and "Too vague, please elaborate".

4. Our programming is quite moddable, please make improvement suggestions if you feel like it.

And finally, Rule zero: We cheer AI improvements mightily.

 

STRATEGIC AI

Top priority:

Champion AI concidered lacking because of the following two issues.

HeavenFall, Vandenburg, Lord Xia, nitey47, AlLanMandragoran: AI won't equip new items. If they hire champions, they will never have better equipment than what they start with.

  • Apparently somewhat improved with 1.19n?

Stuie, Lord Xia: AI does not take stat upgrades at level-up http://forums.elementalgame.com/404479

AlLanMandragoran: AI gets "pop-locked" and doesn't do anything for many turns. http://forums.elementalgame.com/407995

Community confirmed:

AlLanMandragoran: Most recent strategic AI analysis thread: http://forums.elementalgame.com/407995

AlLanMandragoran: AI leaves settlements undefended. Also, has unused pioneers and is building more in the same location. http://forums.elementalgame.com/408391

AlLanMandragoran: AI building cities on top of resources. http://forums.elementalgame.com/408401

Vandenburg, nitey: Rushing military (techs) too powerful http://forums.elementalgame.com/403879/page/9/#2877482

Lord Xia: AI could group better, instead of two groups of 4 units coming after a city, and both failing, one group of 8 would have succeeded

Sethai: Teleport allows human players to concentrate their forces better than an AI. AI doesn't build groups or archers. their huge armies of individuals are destroyed by area spells. http://forums.elementalgame.com/407978/page/1/#2927950

Yosarian2:  AI will consistantly declare war on me, and then completly ignore me and do nothing for dozens of turns. The AI just needs to learn to properly launch a single large attack on nearby cities it's at war with. http://forums.elementalgame.com/407978/get;2928071

Yosarian2: I often conquer cities that have the wrong buildings (for example, it'll build the buildings that give a % bonus to metal production in cities that have no metal production.) http://forums.elementalgame.com/407978/get;2928071

impinc, Tydorius: Poor maneuvering. AI always moves units in the same turn order every time.  AI never uses the pass turn to just stand still, even if using its turns moves it backwards. http://forums.elementalgame.com/404507

  • Partial fix suggestion by Tydorius: Allow units to move through other units as long as the other side is clear.

HeavenFall, Lord Xia: AI uses mounts very, very rarely

 

TheProgress, kaitro AI does not defend improvement tiles.: The AI continues to rebuild improvements whilst enemies are right next to the improvement tile. http://forums.elementalgame.com/404551

TheProgress: The AI retreats (on the strategic map) when it has superiority in numbers and strength. Link to saves: http://filebin.ca/kpaeyt/Saves.zip

  • Related to: TheProgress: strategic AI commands an empire that has a power rating 5x higher than that of my own - they declare war on me - 100 turns later, I have yet to even see a single attack made by them.

Blackmantle_: AI gives obscene amounts of Gildar for diplomatic capital during diplomatic negotiations (treaties part of the negotation-table) while giving the diplomatic capital away for cheap when bartering for goods. The richer the AI is, the worse the bug

HeavenFall, Sythion: AI attacks a city with 400 combat rating worth of units in, with an army that has 80 combat rating. AI  tactics about when and where to fight are poor.

Blackmantle_, Sythion: AI seems to undervalue hiring heroes. Ridiculous AI may have thousands of gildar, but there are still heroes available in AI territory or just near it. AI needs to focus on champions early game, since they are much easier to purchase and buff up (only need gold)

nitey47, vallu751: Combat rating needs improvement. Is defensive armor given enough weight? Are magical effects values? Spellcasters?

  • Example: force of 5 spiders with combat rating 39 attacked with three lower end units (Boar spear, some padded armor) combat rating 29. Overwhelming victory. 
  • Another game, 5 spiders vs sovereign and 4 other units. Sov stack had all values - especially defense - higher, but combat ratings were the same. Spiders were barely able to scratch.

nitey47, HeavenFall: AI creates too many monuments. 8 or 9 in a city, each taking 10 pop.

nitey47: AI build options could be better in general. Currently too many monuments and labor pits. Too few Studies and Schools.

Werewindlefr: AI does not build units with a shield and one handed weapon.

citywolfdreams: AI should keep low level heroes with fighting stacks, hanging out back to gain exp.

 

Needs confirmation:

EternalRequiem: AI doesn't cut down forests to make room for cities.

Vandenburg: AI doesn't phase out obsoleted units with better ones

Blackmantle_: AI gives more for a Hero on bartering than demanding for that same hero. Might be tied to recruit cost of the player as well as the AI and relations. So beeing a Bard with a high charisma might help to reproduce. The richer the AI is, the worse that bug

nitey: AI might do better against rushing if it researched an offensive spell right away

nitey: AI units should have better defense in the beginning, even normal peasants

Blackmantle_: AI doesn't seem able to keep watch of its heroes. They seem to die rather fast despite high difficulty HP bonuses

seanw3: I demand that the AI can logically research late game technologies (the ones that are infinite). I have not noticed a good use of this by the AI.

seanw3: I demand that the AI can cast spells. Even in 1.19 they seem to totally avoid magic.

seanw3: I demand that the AI can properly see that he is being beaten by my invincible armies and sign a peace treaty without demanding insane amounts of gold. Why is the winner supposed to pay for peace?

seanw3: I demand that the AI can raze a city if it is surrounded by too many units.

seanw3: I demand that the AI can ask me for help if it is losing a war and we are the same faction.

nitey47: AI does not use Imbue Hero, Arcane Weapon, Stone Skin, Regenerate or Heal on either their heroes or their sovereign. http://forums.elementalgame.com/404541/page/1/#2879022

nitey47: AI doesn't build archers after archery was moved up in tech tree.

seanw3: AI at a disadvantage at higher tech levels, doesn't seem to utilize them well

  • vallu751: Could this be related to the AI spending their materials in lower end stuff and creating a resource bottleneck? Or are they just not programmed to utilize the better stuff well?

Savoy3:  AI is not trying to trade with others to get for example metals. http://forums.elementalgame.com/408864

 

Too vague, please elaborate:

Vandenburg from demandobot thread: AI doesn't factor it in deciding for war (champion equipment or obsolete units? Both?)

 

TACTICAL AI

Community confirmed:

TheProgress, Sythion:  The tactical AI will focus all units on attacking a single enemy unit until the battle has ended regardless of how the enemy changes position or attacks. http://forums.elementalgame.com/404639

vallu751, Sythion: AI rushes to attack without considering who gets to strike first. Easy to exploit for a great advantage.

citywolfdreams: List of AI improvement suggestions in thread http://forums.elementalgame.com/405229

  • "Do we have more artillery?" - Ranged combat instead of charge if AI has better ranged strength
  • "What dangerous units does the enemy have and how can I best respond?" - Intelligent target picking
  • "Do I have regenerating creatures?" - Rotating units to take advantage of regen

 

NOTED IMPROVEMENTS

Fixes in 1.19:

nitey47: 1.19 beta: AI creating better units

Fixed by 1.19a that corrected a 1.19 problem with AI XML Tag usage:

Vandenburg, AlLanMandragoran: AI doesn't expand problem.

Trojasmic: How to beat 6 ridiculous AIs with saves and screenshots: http://forums.elementalgame.com/404770

Fixes in 1.19a:

AI: Fixed an issue with the sovereign not going out to pickup goodie huts.

Fixes in 1.19c:

Helsturm & others: 1.19b AI sovereign stationed near town, not inside. http://forums.elementalgame.com/405133

AlLanMandragoran: Faction AI XML tags for factions other than Umber.

Fixes in 1.19d:

Patch notes: AI suicidal tendencies reduced

 


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January 27, 2011 3:06:13 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I've only seen the AI use mounts once, and it was a Quendar (sp?) on a horse...never did figure that one out...but that was a long time ago.

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January 27, 2011 3:15:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I moved the mount issue into Community confirmed status and changed from "never uses mounts" to "very, very rarely uses mounts."

Thanks Xia

Hmm... Just noticed that the Borg smilie might be more appropriate for demandobots, after all, we share some superficial similarities to human beings: 

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January 27, 2011 3:38:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Vandenburg: AI doesn't equip its champions with new stuff

HeavenFall: AI won't equip shields

 

I can confirm those two also.  Although, there really isn't a good reason to equip a shield...the bonus isn't usually worth giving up using a two handed weapon.

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January 27, 2011 3:46:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Can you be a bit more specific. Does the AI never equip new stuff or is it just too slow to capitalize on equipping new stuff gained by tech?

I honestly don't know.

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January 27, 2011 3:48:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It never equips new things, as far as I can tell.  If they hire champions, they will never have better equipment than what they start with.

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January 27, 2011 4:08:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Got it, it's the same thing Vandenburg talked about. Moving over to Community confirmed.

Now if anyone has any save games about lone pioneers going where they shouldn't be headed, I could add that one... but time to try 1.19 now 

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January 27, 2011 6:34:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm stickying this post.  Great stuff!

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January 28, 2011 4:59:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thank you Frogboy, that was very kind of you!

Kind, but doomed nonetheless 

Updated stuff on the first post. We really need more save games to provide the devs materi.... to mock the AI further!

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January 28, 2011 9:29:39 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This Demandobot demands that the AI will no longer be a hapless victim to scams by the player .

Which means:

The rich AI gives obsecene ammounts of Gildar for diplomatic capital during diplomatic negotiations (treaties part of the negotation-table) while giving the diplomatic capital away for cheep when bartering for goods. Which can be repeated again and again. The AI having diplomatic captial at the meeting them makes this one a freeby even and enables the player to not only rob that AI blind but any other one as well.

The rich AI gives more for a Hero on bartering than demanding for that same hero.
Making a mole-scam possible where the player shares spoils with the hero for infiltrating the AIs coffers and escaping with zounds of gildar with the sanction of the other souvereign. (might be tied to recruit cost of the player as well as the AI and relations. So beeing a Bard with a high charisma might help you reproduce...). Spoil-Sharing is done by giving said mole-hero superior equippment for him and his fellow heroes while the souvereign takes the rest for funding a world-spanning empire.


The richer they are the better it works meaning AI on riddiculous is just an easily scammable cash-cow thus inversing the difficulty which can't be the purpose of the designer...

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January 28, 2011 9:32:09 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well demanded! That'll show 'em!

Adding to the list along with some others I found...

Can you provide a savegame where you have the champion trading bug evident? If you  don't want to put it anywhere yourself, you can PM me for my email and I can put it on dropbox for you.

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January 28, 2011 9:43:16 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Antoher one to demand:

I demand that the AI values heroes not just at the negotiations but when meeting them on the world as well. Meaning. The AI seems to greatly undervaulue hiring heroes. And the riddiculous AI has thousands of gildar to spend even after scamming them out of there gold it takes them less then a year (4 seasons) to accumultate a thousand gold on average (rather at the start of the game) so them having not enough funds can't be the reason. I sometimes hire Heroes running around in AI territory not just near it. Which means AI seems to ignore that.

(Given the importance of heroes in terms of questing / looting this seems a big one)

Also AI doesn't seem able to keep watch of its heroes. They seem to die rather fast if a hero won't cooperate in the scam (aka: If I don't use the exploit and just trade heroes for guildar they seem to die rather fast even with the zounds of HP they got on that difficulty when in AI-Hands).

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January 29, 2011 2:27:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Added a lot of good observations from Sythion.

Most critical areas where improvement is currently being demanded are:

Strategic AI: Champions. AI should value them higher in the beginning of the game and be able to equip them.

Tactical AI: Maneuvering. AI should not simply rush at a single predetermined target. They should seek first-strike advantage and shift targets according to the situation. Probably on a unit by unit basis, not every unit against the same enemy.

A close runner-up is the demand for AI to organize it's war efforts better. It's not easy to pinpoint it. Either AI declares war while unprepared for one or they simply don't capitalize on their strength as well as they should. Perhaps both.

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January 30, 2011 1:13:58 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I demand that the AI can logically research late game technologies (the ones that are infinite). I have not noticed a good use of this by the AI.

I demand that the AI can cast spells. Even in 1.19 they seem to totally avoid magic.

I demand that the AI can properly see that he is being beaten by my invincible armies and sign a peace treaty without demanding insane amounts of gold. Why is the winner supposed to pay for peace?

I demand that the AI can raze a city if it is surrounded by too many units. This is basic human thought.

I demand that the AI can ask me for help if it is losing a war and we are the same faction.

I demand that the AI can ask me for help if it is losing a war and we are the same faction.

I demand that the AI can ask me for help if it is losing a war and we are the same faction.

I demand that the AI can ask me for help if it is losing a war and we are the same faction.

I demand that the AI can ask me for help if it is losing a war and we are the same faction.

I demand that the AI can ask me for help if it is losing a war and we are the same faction.

I demand that the AI can ask me for help if it is losing a war and we are the same faction.

Error...                                      Reloading Data...

Exterminate!

Exterminate!

Exterminate!

Exterminate!

Exterminate!

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January 30, 2011 9:20:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

AI update from playing with the 1.19 beta. Game and computer AI on Challenging.

Noted AI improvements:

I noticed that the AI was creating better units. I often saw the kingdom realms using units with 17 attack (War Staff) and a defense of 4 (Padded armor). Unfortunately, that was the highest unit that they created even though they had researched Warfare through Conquest 6.

The AI doesn't use Imbue Hero, Arcane Weapon, Stone Skin, Regenerate or Heal on either their Heros or their Sovereign. I a couple of battles, I noticed that the AI did summon a Demon and a Titan that both used magic in the Tactical battle.

The Combat rating needs adjustment as it must not be taking everything into count which may be why the AI is sending ill equipped forces into battle. If I perform a Autobattle when the combat rating is nearly equal, my troops always win without taking any damage. For example, I took on a force of 5 spiders with a combat rating of 39 with three of my lower end units (Boar spear/some padded armor) combat rating of 29. I killed all the spiders and took something like 8 damage in return. My guess is that defensive armore is not given enough weight and the CR doesn't take into effect any magical effects or if the unit has spell casters.

I did finally have a tactical situation in 1.19 where the AI did wait and pass their move. I was defending a city with very few troops and retreated to a section of the map where there was a choke point so I could rotate in troops and heal the ones that got damaged. However, when the attacking AI got to one square away (a gap of one square between our armies) they stopped and waited. All that did was allow me to run up, attack once and retreat, usually causing damage and rarely taking any. It was a good try at a tactic, but without archers - pointless.

Also, since Archery has been moved up in the Combat research tree, the AI never uses archers any more. In fact, I rarely ever see archers even among the wandering monsters. Archery should be available in one of the early upgrades IMO. Bows that can fire 2 or 3 squares (the crude bow) can make the AI better.

Confirmed: On the few occassions where the AI has hired a hero, they are not equipped with any better equipment than they originally had. Even Sovereigns are never equipped.

Sovereigns rarely use magic in a tactical battle and I've never notice them using defensive or healing magic. However, I did see Sovereigns use magic in this last game, casting the flaming arrow spell at me on the first round of a tactical battle.

The AI is creating a ton of Monuments. Frequently when I capture a city it has 8 or 9 of them and why do these things take up 10 citizens? Maybe you need 10 citizens to create the thing, but once built, 10 citizens to run something that just sits there is crazy. Labor Pits are another one that hampers the AI, for the output you get for a Labor Pit, the amount of citizens that are required is too much and the AI builds them like crazy as well. Often in the Diplo screen I see the AI with thousands of materials and nothing to do with them. Yet if you capture a city they have 5 labor pits. So either they need to have a method to destroy these themselves once they stockpile a lot or better yet, should limit this to 1 per city.

This game needs a method to create a 'Priest' or 'Medic' type unit that the AI can create to heal their units during combat. I actually think that a Wizard unit with one offensive spell would be great for the AI as well. However, a medic unit is a something I would like to see implimented right from the game beginning (Medical pack, that allows the unit to heal 3 points per turn with better Medical units that allow higher amounts as researchable upgrades).

Oak Spear = Boar Spear. Correct this or elimate one. JMO.

Logistics are also not being researched by the AI any longer. I'm well into my game (Spring 216) and I am the only realm using groupings of 4 units. This is another technology that should be moved lower down in the research tree. While I don't know this for certain, I'm not certain that the AI is working on better training either.

Which brings me to Research. Early on, it seems like the AI does a reasonable job of keeping up the technology race, but I've found that by turn 100, all the AI's seem to fall behind and by turn 200 are very, very behind. However, this might be because I have usually conquered at least 2 or 3 AI's and have added their cities into my empire. I haven't noticed though that the AI is focusing that much on technology improvements. Certainly they could be building more Studies and Schools instead of Monuments and Labor Pits.

Others have mentioned the whole Diplo arguments, so I won't go over these. However, I no longer see any reason to spend any research into the Diplomatic research tree. There really isn't much of anything there but the AI researches this, so either Diplo needs some help or the AI shouldn't spend too much time (or any) researching it ESPECIALLY if when they are at war, they never sue for peace, and when you attempt to ask them for it, THEY want gold or concessions even though they 1) started the war and 2) getting their Butt handed to them. I also have not seen yet the AI attempt to call in others to help them out.

Just some observations so far.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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January 30, 2011 9:34:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I posted a thread here:

http://forums.elementalgame.com/404694

AI of some factions, even on ridiculous, are hovering around 6 or 7 faction power well into the game. I'm not sure why. I suspect their pathing or such is not allowing them to expand correctly as I've seen factions stack 16 pioneers on one tile when they were boxed in - and they kept making them anyway.

In the saves, there is room for both Umber and Yithril to expand but they're just sitting there. Anyway, thanks in advance for looking into it.

[Edit] Brad - take a peek at Yithril. They are sitting with 1 settlement, just the sov and spouse, locked at 10 pop, building no improvements or units, have 50 food, 1100 materials, and all they've done is built a labor pit and farm.

I can't see all of Umber but their 2nd settlement is locked at pop 5. I imagine the same craziness is going on with Pariden and Resoln to explain their faction powers of 6. Thanks.

[Edit]

 

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January 31, 2011 3:21:02 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thank you Seanw3, nitey47 and AlLanMandragoran for your demands! A big thumb up for the provided savegames. Anything we can do to reduce the amount of work required to fix an issue makes the fixing more likely to happen. We can do this best by providing screenshots, savegames and fix suggestions.

When I get some time, I think I'll add some more organization to the Community Confirmed stuff. Refining them further into specific requests and bring some priorization in too. Right now major issues are sitting right next to 'nice to have' issues.

Also a big cheer for the first recorded improvement! Just imagine a game with poorer quality AI units and you remember to be greatful for "AI creating better units"!

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January 31, 2011 3:43:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The AI needs to think differently at higher tech levels. I am pretty sure they won't even bother with many of the military advancements until there is absolutely nothing else worth getting. And when they do research fortify, for an example, they don't use it. Not a huge deal, but if they can't use it, we shouldn't have it either.

I wonder if there is a way to change the AI's thinking at intervals, so it can think early, mid, late. Would certainly add a great deal to the game.

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February 2, 2011 2:53:42 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Vallu751  & Brad - I posted an analysis of 1.19 AI by faction here:

http://forums.elementalgame.com/404791

I'm recording progress every 12 seasons. Made it through season 48 tonight. Will do more as I find time. On a side note, I had a hell of a time modifying the map because the cartographer would crash every single time I exited and tried to start a new game from the main menu. That was a consistent and repeatable CTD for me. I posted my debugs in another thread.

[Edit]

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February 2, 2011 4:03:54 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Love this approach - do we need a demandabot thread for game balance/improvements/general issues - or should we post things here?

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February 2, 2011 5:08:08 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

AlLanMandragoran: Great stuff in your analysis! Thank you very much and nice work with the saves.

seanw3: Added your comment as "AI at a disadvantage at higher tech levels, doesn't seem to utilize them well". It would help if you could be more specific and perhaps provide a savegame.

RFHolloway: I think we need a separate demandobot thread for the balance/improvements/general stuff. Should include UI as well. Otherwise the single post will get so bloated the editor will explode 

Who's got the time to make the second thread? I've got plenty of suggestions there, but I'm more of an AI guy myself, so don't want to mess with that one. Great to see demandobots organizing even more!

Oh yeah, almost forgot:

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February 2, 2011 1:05:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Please add the AI not using shields/1-handed items on the list.

 

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February 2, 2011 1:45:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Shield/1h-handed items on the list. I put it directly to confirmed side since I've seen it discussed before.

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February 2, 2011 3:38:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

 ---===Demandabot Memo===---

-AI tags are not functioning in current beta. Recommend reboot after this weeks release-

 ---===End Memo===---

 

 

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February 4, 2011 12:12:24 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Updated strategic AI analysis for 1.19a:

http://forums.elementalgame.com/404867

Summary of Observations:

  • Neither soveriegns or spouses ever leave capital to explore, level, or grab goodie huts - the only factions grabbing goodie huts are those who hired champions. Recommend giving sovereigns and spouses xp per turn or have them explore the world (being careful of course)
  • AI doesn't seem to weight housing as much as it should - i.e. on ridiculous why does it need a workshop or other improvement before housing when it has 10+ prestige a turn and all the other bonuses? Recommend AI on ridiculous is hardcoded to build x number of housing units or get population to y value before building anything else.
  • AI seems to randomly leave the unit or improvement queues empty on occasion - they should be building nonstop on ridiculous due to the resource buffs. Recommend some kind of check is done to ensure those queues never remain empty.
  • AI is not hiring all available champions - Umber, however, is hiring like crazy (it's also building like crazy). Recommend the second a champion is available to hire, they're hired (and kept geared of course).
  • Resoln had some army pathing issues - maybe due to map location as Gilden was having a similar issue in the same location for my 1.19 analysis. Recommend exploring why that map location seems to cause the pathing concerns.
  • All in all the fixed xml tags have certainly improved the AI over 1.19. Good job Stardock!

[Edit] Brad - If you choose to implement some or all of these changes you might start hearing how the ridiculous AI needs a nerf. That would be a good thing. 

 

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February 4, 2011 7:14:49 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Does anyone know if the AI tagging got fixed in 1.19a?

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