[1.00]An experiement looking into AI behavior on Challenging. [Concluded]

By on October 26, 2012 5:12:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Tuidjy

Join Date 08/2010
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Many players have complained that the monsters treat AI differently than they treat the player.  Brad says that on challenging, the monsters treat the AI exactly the same way they treat the player.

Many players claim that the AI dogpile on the player without rhyme or reason.  Brad says that this only happens on higher difficulties.

Brad may be right.  I would not know, I seldom play Expert, and never below that.  

This is why I am going to play ironman on challenging with what is considered the worst sovereign, Queen Procipinee.  When the game is over (or has become too boring) and I will go back to my saves, and take a look at what the AI is doing (someone will have to tell me how, but I know it can be done)

By the way, do you have to do something before you start the game to be able to look at the AI moves from saves?  If so, I would really appreciate it if you tell me before I start. (Which will be about 30 minutes from the timestamp of this post)

The experiment has been concluded, and the results can be found here.

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October 26, 2012 5:20:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums
  1. Add "-cheat" to the end of Fallen Enchantress target. Mine looks like "C:\Program Files (x86)\Stardock Games\FallenEnchantress\FallenEnchantress.exe" -cheat
  2. Ctrl-U unhides fog of war
  3. Ctrl-Z starts autoplay turns, you can sit back and watch
  4. Ctrl-Z ends autoplay turns

Here's a thread of cheat codes: http://forums.elementalgame.com/433136

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October 26, 2012 5:21:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Just enable cheats and turn of fog of war at turn one to see everything I believe?

Good luck.

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October 26, 2012 5:28:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You can also use debug.err to see how often a monster attacks an AI.  It logs it.  I used that extensively back when I was double checking to make sure the monsters were equal opportunity murderers..

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October 26, 2012 5:44:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I want the game to be a real one.  I do not intend to peek at the AI while the game is going on, because, for example, there may be a difference in monster behavior whenever the FoW is lifted.  I want this to be a real experiment.  So the game will be as normal as possible (fog of war, no restores, no knowledge about AI positions)

The questions is: ONCE I have finished, while trying to save every turn, can I ONLY THEN turn cheats on, and look at the AI?

 

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October 26, 2012 5:48:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

[quote who="AlLanMandragoran" reply="1" id="3260673"]Add "-cheat" to the end of Fallen Enchantress target. Mine looks like "C:\Program Files (x86)\Stardock Games\FallenEnchantress\FallenEnchantress.exe" -cheat
Ctrl-U unhides fog of war
Ctrl-Z starts autoplay turns, you can sit back and watch
Ctrl-Z ends autoplay turns

Here's a thread of cheat codes: http://forums.elementalgame.com/433136[/quote]

 

Doesnt seem to work - using windows 7 - tried to mopdify the target - says its cant find it

 

What am I missing? - Thx

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October 26, 2012 5:50:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yes. Recommend saving every so often and then do the post-mortem. I did the same thing waaaaay back when in EWOM days.

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October 26, 2012 5:52:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting cugeldaclever,
Quoting AlLanMandragoran,
Add "-cheat" to the end of Fallen Enchantress target. Mine looks like "C:\Program Files (x86)\Stardock Games\FallenEnchantress\FallenEnchantress.exe" -cheat
Ctrl-U unhides fog of war
Ctrl-Z starts autoplay turns, you can sit back and watch
Ctrl-Z ends autoplay turns

Here's a thread of cheat codes: http://forums.elementalgame.com/433136


 

Doesnt seem to work - using windows 7 - tried to mopdify the target - says its cant find it

 

What am I missing? - Thx

Find fallen enchantress in start menu. right click, properties. Should have target visible in menu. Edit the end after the last " to -cheat with a space inbetween the " and -cheat.

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October 26, 2012 5:54:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting cugeldaclever,
Quoting AlLanMandragoran,
Add "-cheat" to the end of Fallen Enchantress target. Mine looks like "C:\Program Files (x86)\Stardock Games\FallenEnchantress\FallenEnchantress.exe" -cheat
Ctrl-U unhides fog of war
Ctrl-Z starts autoplay turns, you can sit back and watch
Ctrl-Z ends autoplay turns

Here's a thread of cheat codes: http://forums.elementalgame.com/433136


 

Doesnt seem to work - using windows 7 - tried to mopdify the target - says its cant find it

 

What am I missing? - Thx

You need to make a shortcut. Go to properties and edit the target with whatever it has in quotes and add -cheat at the end.

The above is running 64 bit windows with what looks like the default install location (without steam).

If you are running steam you will need to got to set launch options and write in -cheat

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October 26, 2012 8:17:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Don't have to prove it to me, I watched Kraxis(not a weak faction) get their asses handed to them, cities and armies taken out by monsters in a game not too long ago.  I had a couple of champs wandering around their area and saw monsters take out 3 cities in a span of about 100 turns.  It's actually why I don't play on dense monsters anymore, it was too big of an advantage for me.  Not that I didn't have my own problems, with three dragons roaming around.  My kingdom was about 6 cities surrounding a large area with 3 roaming dragons in it.  Kraxis was on my south and getting dry raped by bone ogres, earth elementals, and another dragon.

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October 26, 2012 8:55:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Turns 1-25

Turn 1: The starting location is very good. 4/3/2 next to a river, or 3/4/- next to a forest.  With Procipinee, it's a no brainer - I go for the essence.
The hero is Alisa. She is not Ralle, but she is a good match for Procipinee.  I give her the crown.
I cast "Enchanted hammers" and "Inspiration" on New Pariden, target "Civics",start a tower of dominion, lower taxes, and yada, yada.

Turn 2: Procipinee finds a shadow dagger, gives it to Alisa, who kills a lurker.

Turn 3: Procipinee finds a golme token, gives it to Alisa, who activates it, kills a banished ogre, and gets "Potential I".

Turn 4: Alisa finds a burning axe and an escape scroll. West and South are blocked. Procipinee heads Northeast, Alisa Northwest.

Turn 5: Alisa finds a studded collar. Procipinee spots a bunch of monsters that will serve well for training troops.

Turn 6: Both girls find fertile patches near forests. Alisa's is 5/3/2, Procipinee's 2/4/-.  Alisa ends the turn next to a troll.

Turn 7: The troll does NOT attack. Wow! Either it thinks it is weaker, or it actually isn't all that aggressive. This would NOT have happened on ridiculous. In any case, Alisa kills it, and gets "Potential II".  
Procipinee finds a monk's staff, which is better than her queen's staff. Go figure.

Turn 8: Alisa finds a wood shield.

Turn 9: Tower of dominion -> pioneer.
Procipinee finds a nicer spot, but it is much too close to a chambercoil dragon.  Not necessarily a problem with my regular build, definitely an issue with Procipinee.
Alisa's spot is very close to some silk skaths.  Those will die when they become a problem.

Turn 10: "Civics"->"Restoration". There's not enough cash to rush the pioneer. I'm grown too used to playing with wealthy or adventurer.

Procipinee buys a map to a treasure chest. Probably a mistake, the items are usually not worth the 20 gold, and the chest is right next to a slag. Ah well.
Alisa ends the turn next to a crag spawn.

Turn 11: Well, this feels weird. The crag spawn does NOT attack. Frankly,  ridiculous makes more sense. Alisa kills it.
Procipinee finds a wellspring scroll.

Turn 12-13: Alisa spots a cave bear, but it's not a safe fight, so she lets it be.

Turn 14: New Pariden becomes a town.  I'm tempted by a conclave, but I play it safe. The pioneer finishes training and heads Northwest. I start a pier, because I will need the food soon.
Procipinee finds a bunch of slags in the East, and decides to go North instead.
Alisa remembers that monsters have little hp on challenging, and kills the cave bear by abusing its preferance for attacking the golem. The golem nearly bites it. Alisa becomes a warrior.

Turn 15: A bandit and its dog wander near New Pariden. They're no threat.
Alisa loots another escape scroll.  She would be less likely to need these if she was finding usable loot instead.  I just realized that she could have used the collar on the bear. Ah, well.

Turn 16: Procipinee finds a library. "Knowledge"->"Restoration"->"Trading".

Turn 17: Alisa destroys a wolf army.

Turn 18: New Pariden finishes the pier and start a pioneer.  The first pioneer settles Tenfell. I cast "Enchanted hammers" and "Inspiration", and start a logging camp.  The slik skaths are too close. With the collar, Alisa can probably tame one and kill the rest. She has a few things to loot first, though. A weathered shield from the wolf lair replaces her wood one.

Turn 19: Alisa loots a sharp dagger. She now has three decent weapons, two shields, and no armor.  Procipinee has found only staves. Ah, well.

Turn 20: Contact with Yithril. Why is it always Yithril? The one AI you have to take out, because its power will rise quickly, and you will have to fight anyway.
Procipinee finds an ice spear.

Turn 21: Procipinee kills a group of thugs.

Turn 22: Tenfell finishes the logging camp, and starts workshop.
Procipinee loots a whetstone.
Alisa gets "Courage" and "Evade", and attacks the skaths.  She uses her dark candle to summon a fire wraith that does not last the turn, but manages to injure burn the skaths that kill it. She collars the healthiest skath, which uses the deadly bite to kill a second.  The rest is a bit touch and go, but well worth it. Alisa gets "Trainer I" and "Tactician" and Tenfell can grow in peace.

Turn 23: "Trading" -> "Administration". Contact with Resoln. New Pariden finishes the pioneer, and starts a workshop.
Alisa loots an amulet of Haste.

Turn 24: Resoln settles a city between two clay pits, very close to where Procipinee is exploring. Well, I guess I know whom I'm killing first.
Procipinee finds a battle axe. She looks very sexy with it.

Turn 25: I guess I just had my first random event. Some girl came to Procipinee and asked her to rescue 'Kitty'. For some reason, that leveled Procipinee up to level 2, and she got "Potential I".
Yithril has settled a city North of Tenfell.
Ceresa is making a bound widow in its new city. No time to waste, Alisa heads that way. Kitty will have to wait.

I get my first proof that AI is cheating on challenging.  Or maybe I found two separate bugs.

The spot that Resoln settled was 4/4/-.  I know because I was eying it myself. Now it's 5/4/2. 

I reload a save, and check the spot in which Yithril has settled. Worse. On turn 25 it's 5/3/2. On turn 24, it was swampland. Unless Verga got that city from a quest/event, there's something rotten.

I think I'll end this here for now.

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October 26, 2012 9:03:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Tuidjy,
Turn 25: I guess I just had my first random event. Some girl came to Procipinee and asked her to rescue 'Kitty'. For some reason, that leveled Procipinee up to level 2, and she got "Potential I".

You get 3 xp for saying yes to the quest. If you feel the desire deny the actual attack and accept the quest again and get 3 more xp. I reported this bug before, but it went unnoticed or is on the list unfixed.

Could you show screenshots... I believe you I just like to see the cheat.

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October 27, 2012 4:15:34 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting parrottmath,
Could you show screenshots... I believe you I just like to see the cheat.

OK, here are some screenshots.

They show how Yithril settled a swamp tile, which should have been impossible, and how Resoln settled a 4/4/- tile only to have it become 5/4/2 on the next turn.  I have seen similar things on ridiculous, but thought that it was part of the difficulty setting.  It seems that it is a bug.

The tile has no essence on turn 23.

The city founded on the 4/4/- tile has 5 food and 2 essence on turn 25.

On turn 24, the tile is swamp, which means that the player cannot found a city on it.

On turn 25, a city has been founded on the swamp tile, and the tile has become 5/3/2.

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October 27, 2012 6:12:58 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Dude! Your amazing.. I'm sure it takes a lot of effort to do what you're doing so thank you!

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October 27, 2012 6:30:28 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Hi tuidjy,

thank you for your investigation.

What really bothers me i the A.I. settling on spots that aren´t fertile for me (i can´t build cities there). I know no one will believe me, but it happened 2 times yesterday. This is a real game breaker.

 

kesmai

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October 27, 2012 6:51:44 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Nice work!

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October 27, 2012 10:07:52 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Turn 26: The pioneer is being chased by brigands, and has to flee toward Alisa's army, which is moving toward the Resoln new city.

Turn 27: New Pariden: workshop -> scrying pool. Tenfell: workshop -> scrying pool.  The pioneers settle Raven's Heart on a 3/4/- river+forest tile. Raven's Heart begins a logging camp.

Turn 28: Procipinee kills two scyndicate thugs.

Turn 29: The Resoln bound widow is rushed, attacks a bandit army, and dies. Procipinee ends the turn next to bandits. Alisa kills the Quendar champion Durisa, and gets 3o Gildar.

Turn 30: "Administration"->"Leatherworking". The bandit army does NOT attack Procipinee. Procipinee destroys the bandit army.

Turn 31: New Pariden: scrying pool ->crystal quarry. I cast "Meditation" on New Pariden. Raven's heart: logging camp->workshop.
Alisa loots a haunter's staff.

In seven turns of existance, the Resoln city of Blackstead has produced a bound widow, a militia, a merchant, a monument and a pier.  Its production is under 20.  Ceresa must be rushing.  I wonder where she's getting the Gildar.

Turn 32: Tenfell: scrying pool->study. I cast "Meditation" on Tenfell. Alisa gets attacked by an army of fire shrills, the kills a bandit and his dog, gets "Trainer II", and sells all of her acumulated loot.

Turn 33: Alisa clears a fire shrill lair.

Turn 34: Procipinee is searching for Resoln's capital, but finds the Mancer champion Leadanna, and hires her for less than 70 Gildar.  A steal, because she brings in 5 Gildar per turn.
Leadanna finds a despair scroll.  These can turn battles around.
Alisa finds an ironeer ale, and drinks it for 1 extra HP.

Turn 35: I hear that Magnar has been eliminated by an army from the wildlands. New Pariden: crystal quary -> garden.
Procipinee and Leadanna join and end the turn next to an army of water shrills. Leadanna equips the ice spear.
Alisa gets into position to attack Resoln's city.

Turn 36: "Leatherworking"->"Training". Ceresa kindly asks us to leave her land. We kindly ask her to shrivel up and die. Raven's heart: workshop -> scrying pool.
Procipinee and Leadanna destroy a water shrill army.  Procipinee gets "Quick" for level 3.
Leadanna loots a leather cuirass that she gives to Procipinee.

I find something that is different from the way AI's a treated, or maybe things have changed since .982.

In .982 I got repeatedly sneak attacked by AIs.  They would declare war, and take one-two of my cities on the same turn. In this case, I declared war, but was kicked out of Resoln's lands as I did so.  The AIs' troops do not get kicked out.

Turn 37: Alisa conquers Blackstead.  I cast "Enchanted hammers" and "Inspiration", and start building a bell tower.

I find the third way the AI on challenging behaves differently from a player, or maybe I just found another bug.

Blackstead was settled on turn 24.  It has been 13 turns.  The city has, at its very best, 36 (6x6) production.  In these 13 turns, it has built (at least): 1 bound widow, 2 militias, 2 clay quarries, a merchant, a monument, a pier, and a cleric, for a total production of costOfBoundWidow + 2x90 + 2x80 + 96 + 80 + 96 + 120,  i.e. more than 800 production.  Given that I have been watching Ceresa's income and treasury since turn 31, I know she has NOT been paying for rushing.  Somehow she got nearly double the theoretical maximum production from the city.  And let me be clear, she could not have gotten the theoretical max, because she had taxes, unrest, and the clay quaries had to be built.

A good place to stop for now, I guess.

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October 27, 2012 10:45:57 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

O.K.

This comes to the point that either this is made up (which i don´t believe because i´ve seen ai settling on tiles i couldn´t) OR

the A.I blatantly cheats.

The production and settling "bugs" discovered here are not minor, THEY ARE BREAKING THE GAME.

I hope this can be fixed, but i wait and see what explanation stardock has.(If they want to explain what happens here)

 

Kesmai

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October 27, 2012 11:06:59 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting macattac,
O.K.
This comes to the point that either this is made up (which i don´t believe because i´ve seen ai settling on tiles i couldn´t) OR the A.I blatantly cheats.

I assure you, I am not making things up.  I have a save for most turns of the game.  When I don't, it's because I forgot to save, or because I overwrote a save with a latter turn.

But I do think those are bugs.  This is the stuff I have been seeing for months on ridiculous, and it really belongs there.  But it should definitely NOT be seen on challenging. 

Remember, I am doing this because people have been complaining that the AI is too hard.  If it's doing it on challenging, it may be doing it on easier difficulties as well.  This is really bad for the game's player base, and needs fixing YESTERDAY.

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October 27, 2012 11:27:36 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

To be honest:

Those bugs aren´t acceptable - even if it´s ridicoulous difficulty - but maybe we oversee something W.A.D. and we´re just wrong.

kesmai

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October 27, 2012 11:31:49 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

On ridiculous, the production/rushing is not a bug, and I am OK with the essence freebies.  The swampland being settled is a bug, in my book.

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October 27, 2012 11:46:28 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Swampland shouldn't be settleable. 

Sometimes, the issue can be as simple as the AI pressing its equivalent of the "Settle" button and the game just letting it work. It should, like it would in the main UI, stop them from doing that.  I'll report that to the team.

I had to do a lot of work with the outpost stuff because the game would let the AI put outposts down anywhere (for a human, the button would be disabled).

 

 

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October 27, 2012 11:51:43 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Could you fix the free rushing bug too?

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October 27, 2012 11:56:20 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
Swampland shouldn't be settleable. 

Sometimes, the issue can be as simple as the AI pressing its equivalent of the "Settle" button and the game just letting it work. It should, like it would in the main UI, stop them from doing that.  I'll report that to the team.

I had to do a lot of work with the outpost stuff because the game would let the AI put outposts down anywhere (for a human, the button would be disabled).

 

 

May wish to take a look at the issues highlighted in post #17 too. Ghost rushing with magical non-existent resources is a pretty major issue for Challenging. Especially if it extends to even lower difficulties than that.

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October 27, 2012 12:03:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Frogboy, the AI is rushing production for FREE as well, why no mention of this?

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October 27, 2012 2:10:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Maybe the rushing and settling bugs are seen a minor problems. I hope (and i´m sure) this will be fixed by stardock. Until then i play another game )

 

kesmai

 

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