Diplomatic AI

By on May 27, 2013 7:37:13 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Sythion

Join Date 07/2008
+17

Diplomatic AI is almost completely non-existent and desperately needs to be improved. It seems that this stuff has not been adjusted for quite some time.

Here's some things I would like to see done:

  • ADD MORE POSITIVE MODIFIERS! I haven't counted, but almost every possible AI Relation tag in CoreAIDefs.XML is negative.
    • There are all sorts of negative traits without positive counter-traits. Example: we have "WarHappy" and "Isolationist" but not "Peaceful" or "Cosmopolitan."
    • We desperately need a modifier with several levels of severity for AI underestimating a player's war power. This should be triggered and raise when the AI loses a battle it expects to win. (Alternatively, I would love to see this handled with behind the scenes code that the AI uses to evaluate actual strength.) 
    • There needs to be modifiers for assisting in war, going to war with an enemy, providing aid in wartime, etc.
      • There should also be negative modifiers for the opposite.
    • There should be a modifier for a player having little of value to the AI.
    • There should be modifiers for "Good" races who take pity on a player who is victimized by war mongering nations.
    • There are more possibilities as well.
  • Remove/over-ride negative modifiers. Rebalance stupid modifiers
    • There are redundant modifiers for things like "Power" and "Military Power", and "Wanting to unit the world" and "Just loving war." These need to be cleaned up so that they don't stack into stupidity.
    • Some of the modification numbers are just bad. This is most evident on military strength comparitors. Due to the AI's propensity to make tons of crap units to inaccurately inflate how strong they think they are compared to players, the AI should be under-estimating its strength. Instead it seems to be doing the opposite. It considers your military to be extremely weak if it's 1/4 the strength of theirs, but considers their military to be extremely weak only if it is 1/10 the strength of yours or less. Was this a mistake? These numbers should be flipped.
  • Improve how power is determined
    • Right now the AI is valuing quantity over quality. It's always done this, and in the past it used to be much worse, but it's still a problem.
    • The easiest way to do this I think is to increase the scaling of "perceived power" to be more representative of reality. That is, a unit with doom hammers should be worth A LOT  more than a unit with a maul.
    • Additionally, the math used to calculate combined military power of an entire faction may need to be changed. If it's additive, then it needs to be redone. Masses of units should amount to be LESS than the sum of their parts, since they cannot be used as efficiently. 
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NaytchSG
May 28, 2013 8:06:12 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

One thing that's always bothered me.. why do AIs pick on weak players instead of ganging up and taking out the strongest player?

I thought the point of the game was to win. It makes absolutely no sense to completely ignore the players that are most likely going to win before you (or even help them win by giving them tribute) and instead waste your resources on warring players that pose no threat to you. Even if the AI is the strongest player, they should be focusing on eliminating their strongest competitors first.

In other words, I think you should reverse the diplomacy bonuses/penalties for other players having a stronger/weaker military than the AI player does.

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May 28, 2013 9:27:57 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Hawntah,
I thought the point of the game was to win. It makes absolutely no sense to completely ignore the players that are most likely going to win before you (or even help them win by giving them tribute) and instead waste your resources on warring players that pose no threat to you. Even if the AI is the strongest player, they should be focusing on eliminating their strongest competitors first.

It isn't quite that simple. Taking out the weakest opponent is often the best strategy, and in fact is what a lot of human players do I would guess. Defeat the weakest, take their towns, making you stronger, then repeat until you can beat the strongest. (unless of course the strongest is already looking on the verge of winning in which case as you say it is gang up time)

Not sure if the AI should be following this strategy though, it only works if you actually CAN take out the weakest, the AI seems pretty poor at finishing off weaker AI (let along the player). However if they can fix it so that the AI can conquer their weaker neighbours then that would be awesome, it would allow for more challenging games where the player builds up and then has to deal with the biggest AI who has also been assimilating towns.

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May 28, 2013 8:34:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Great points in this thread!  And both Hawntah and Mistwraithe have great strategies that the AI factions could try pursuing, either as different AI personalities or as different strategies by the same AI at different points of the game.

I would also like to see the Diplomacy improved to where I can gain in relations for returning a city to its original owner, or I can sell troops to another faction, or gift them a hero or item if I want.  

Or I can intimidate another player into giving me an outpost with iron ore and gold mine resources.

 

 

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