Hour long AI test video for the truly die hards who want to see all the mistakes:
I see all. I know all. At least, when it comes to this map.
In the top left we have Markin, leader of the AI civilization of Gilden.
In the bottom right, we have me, Draginol, leader of Pariden.
How many turns will it take me to wipe them out? What mistakes will the AI make that can be exploited (and fixed)?
This build is 0.911 which has some balance updates to make sovereigns and champions a little less powerful. The monsters are somewhat more aggressive and the AI has had some general improvements since 0.91.
If you see me making a mistake, let me know.
I train up two pioneers and then the tower of dominion. I recruit a champion and send the champion in one direction and my sovereign in another.
(to be continued).
Othollo vs. Black Widow monster. Othollo has stone skin enchantment on him already.
Opinion: Level 1 champion shouldn’t be able to take out a black widow. Suggestion, Stone skin should do +4 defense plus +4 per earth shard.
My first level sovereign took out a troll by himself.
Opinion: Troll should get 2X more HP than it currently does.
AI Early game: Meanwhile…
Lord Markin just did the same thing. However, he isn’t using stone skin.
Opinion: Stone skin should be a “gotta have” for the sovereign.
Let’s look at the code…
Ok, this is where “strategy” comes into play in AI writing. The code is very conservative about casting spells with regards to mana. So at the start of the game, it doesn’t cast a lot of spells even though, IMO, it should cast some spells as early as possible even if it means lowering the available mana.
There are a few ways to do this:
1. Have an XML value for “Early Game AI multiplier” which tells the game to multiply the value early on.
2. Have the code take into account that the value of storing mana should be different at different times in the game.
3. Treat certain unit targets different than others (the value of a spell that affects a sovereign is different than a spell that might target a champion that is stationed in a city).
AIs in the mist
As you can see, the AI is intent on building a civilization. An admirable goal to be sure. But not a good strategy.
My early development has focused on training up pioneers and now soldiers to go out and conquer.
With those units, I go out and level up:
By contrast, the AI leader is Soloing it:
Mind you, it’s not that I don’t think about sending units to reinforce the sovereign. It’s always a balance between how far should it send them and how long should the sovereign wait around? What’s the attrition rate of units getting to the sovereign? Should I send the sovereign home or keep him in the field?
There’s a lot of tweaking that goes into this sort of thing that improves iteration by iteration.
One thing the AI does is that once champions get to a certain level, it will gradually put 2 in an army and potentially 3 or more depending on their level.
This is something I have to tweak almost every build because what is a “high enough” level changes.
Now, In this battle the AI is escorting pioneers with two champions and a Drolgard (a mid level Gildenian unit).
The AI (bpttp, left) casts stone skin on himself and then gift of iron right off the bat.
Gilden’s Drolgard unit is better than my Destiny’s Guard unit but he only has 1 of them (the other is a scout). But he does have two champions.
Let’s see what he’s done with his champions:
Yeesh. Level 12. This is why I get nervous about changing the soloing behavior. Because there is a cost to having the AI wait around for escorts even if he does get killed a lot more often. If sovereigns got injuries, I’d have to rewrite this.
His other hcampion isn’t that great.
It’s going to really boil down to whether I can take out his units and his extra champion I think.
On the second round, the AI Markin cast growth on himself. Then his champion cast haste on him. So this is not looking very promising.
The growth spell AI Markin has is self explanatory. And bad for me.
So if I should have done something differently there, feel free to tell me.
…later, Lord Markin is alone. How powerful is he?
This is a bit of an ambush but let’s see what I can do against him.
His first turn he casts growth.
His second turn he casts stone skin.
His third turn he casts gift of iron. Very wasteful. Will check his mana after the battle. But it’s pretty bloody nasty combo. He has a 63 defense.
Here is how the rest of the battle goes:
He only has 65 mana left so he must have determined that he needed to win that battle.
So that’s enough for today. Plenty to integrate in for this week.