I would like to see the AI polished more and it's kind of sad that it has to be an after action item to clean up simple stuff like the AI focusing fire for swarm attacks or prioritizing obvious targets. I'm not that great of a player and immediately grasped how ludicrously overpowered the swarm mechanic is - the AI should be locked in to maximizing it like crazy (otherwise it gives the player a ridiculous advantage). You would think that even the most basic testing/playing would reveal the completely obvious things (and if *I* figure it out it must be pretty obvious).
Target priority is a tough one because players are going to have lots of different opinions on what should be taken out first. Some targets may seem obvious under certain circumstances but what's obvious to a human could involve a boatload of "thinking" for an AI.
Ultimately the tactical AI is decent. I would like it to be stronger but you have to realize that there are a bazillion factors that a human processes for every battle - factors both pertinent to the current battle and the big picture. The AI does pretty well for the most part considering the complexity.
And yet, for all its polish, Civ V is still an utterly boring exercise in button pushing.
What does this have to do with a discussion about AI and bugs? But I'll bite...
I love Civ 5 and consider it best in series but there are times when mid/late game drags and/or I don't finish a game that's a sure win due the tedium of finishing long drawn out games that are sure wins. I'm hoping the xpac spices up late game a bit more.
I don't think LH is any different and most 4X suffer the same thing. Mid/late game is often less exciting and/or the turns get longer and longer as slug thru wrapping up games. I find LH tedious in mid/late game because:
- tech tree seems tiny, once you get rolling there's little left, it removes some spice when have nothing to look forward to for tech. Picking the next 10% repeatable upgrade is pretty much button pushing and is unremarkable regardless.
- I love the tactical combat but the autoresolve is so iffy that I often feel that I need to manually do what should be trivial battles at times, multiply buy having several active armies needing to resolve 1 or more battles in a turn and you get some long turns. Manually slugging thru trivial tactical is just button pushing (and holding down shift to speed it up). It requires next to no though for me to get thru such battles and I don't often use magic or any hero abilities for them, but too often if I leave them to autoresolve my armies take incomprehensible amounts of damage.
- road system is ultra wonky, not easy to get a "road builder" (I don't really wanna give a hero that ability), maps are huge, takes forever to get armies to places they can be doing something. Slowing to a crawl on roads in enemy territory is necessary but brutal. Setting long paths for units is generally not a great idea since you have no idea how/where they might path and/or what random stuff they may encounter in the fog, controlling every single unit/army for every single move ends up being a LOT of button pushing.
- early city management is interesting. Once your core cities are "done" and you're conquering, it's a little less interesting to clean up the AI cities you capture, especially the runts they tend to eventually spawn at former outposts (I'm guessing they upgrade the land via spell then create a city on the usually crappy resulting plots). You can raze the runts but if there's any space to build a city and a spot to build it on, then as in most games of this genre, if an AI can build a crappy city, it will build that crappy city, no matter what. So, mid/late game city management is less thrilling.
- one reason I sometimes don't finish civ 5 games is because I just don't want to slug out the latter part of games - I personally usually find the earlier stages of the game more interesting, the exploring, the REX, trying to grab some early wonders, fighting early wars to establish a solid position, early worker actions that have more impact, overcoming the threat of barbarians, etc. I feel pretty much the same way in elemental. The world is less exciting once you clear most of the monsters, have every reasonable city plot settled, and are to the point where your armies are ludicrously powerful (either by xp, gear/unit size, or both).
What I usually say when people discuss this particular topic is, so what? It's how the genre rolls. Like it and play, or don't. It's not something that can be easily cured because the very nature of these games is to usually create a huge empire, or have a long term goal, and things like that take time.
But it's kind of silly to bag on Civ 5 for having mid/late game tedium when it's something you can almost always find in the genre, and when LH is surely not lacking for it either.