Sovereign AI has killed my interest in this game...

By on August 19, 2013 12:23:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

earwicker777

Join Date 06/2012
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I really, really want to like this game.  Heck, I want to love it!  The ideas behind it are so good, and the framework is there, but the game is only fun when dealing with monsters.  As soon as the Sovereigns become the focus, the game just nosedives, as the enemy throws individual heroes at you on suicide missions.  I was five hours into a game when I declared war on a Sovereign.  He was at half the power that I was, so the obvious move would be to turtle up in the capital and raise defensive troops.  Instead, he threw his Sovereign at me unguarded.  I wiped him out, of course, so he then threw two other unguarded heroes at me.  I then proceeded to his capital, where the heroes and the Sovereign were now holed trying to heal with 2HP each.

The same thing happened to me with Heroes of Might and Magic V... I loved the game until I noticed the AI would just ride by goodies on the ground, or never take its heroes out of the cities.

Hopefully, the AI will someday help the game live up to its potential (I honestly believe this could be the best TBS with time), but for now, I'm out.

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August 19, 2013 12:26:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

What difficulty level are you playing?  Are you playing 1.2 or the 1.3 beta?  

I've found in the 1.3 beta that the enemy is actually pretty smart about compiling armies to attack with.  I normally play on Challenging or Hard.  

If you're playing 1.2 I'd suggest giving the 1.3 beta a try or, if betas are not your thing, just give it some time until the 1.3 patch is rolled out.  

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August 19, 2013 1:50:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Up the difficulty and stop whining.

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August 19, 2013 2:21:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It's the 1.3 beta, and I play on challenging.

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August 19, 2013 5:08:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting davrovana,
Up the difficulty and stop whining.

I see the same thing and it has nothing to do with difficulty. Sure the AI can beat you on ridiculous using bonuses and cheating but if at the same time it just plays stupidly that's no fun. 

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August 19, 2013 5:15:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting DsRaider,


I see the same thing and it has nothing to do with difficulty. Sure the AI can beat you on ridiculous using bonuses and cheating but if at the same time it just plays stupidly that's no fun. 

I've read the referenced post. Sure, you can fault the AI for some shortcomings. I've seen this phenomenon too. But "Here's a problem I see, now I am going to stop playing" goes beyond feedback into whining / attention-getting territory. It's not helpful to the devs, it's really hopeful to no one.

You've made a quality mod (custom factions), so I respect your opinion as a player. But I don't think you should side with this troll.

I think the increased sovereign/champion hp was aimed at patching this. I don't agree that difficulty is completely irrelevant - it's an AI issue yes, but increased difficulty will decrease the impact this has on challenge.

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August 19, 2013 5:46:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting DsRaider,


Quoting davrovana, reply 2Up the difficulty and stop whining.

I see the same thing and it has nothing to do with difficulty. Sure the AI can beat you on ridiculous using bonuses and cheating but if at the same time it just plays stupidly that's no fun. 

Increasing the difficulty level will give the AI more HP to sovereigns and champions. Given that OP plays on challenging, I would volunteer that there is much room for harder AI's for him to play against. No you won't be able to fool around as much as you can on lower difficulty levels, but that's kinda the point of a hard challenge. You can't expect to play around all relaxed and then have the challenge appear when you get bored from it. (which in my opinion is exactly OP's stated problem)

Back to the whole AI "cheating" part... it needs those bonuses to compete with the current design, so playing on a subpar difficulty for your ability, makes the game exactly as OP stated. I think there even was a post somewhere about types of AI/game design, and the difference between AI who plays to win, and AI's who plays to lose. Trust me, you don't want to play a pure AI that plays to win in this game as you seem to want. It would go something like this: "Hello there, you are human so I will kill you as soon as possible" (maybe even make a fake peace while preparing to backstab), and suddenly every AI on the map gangs up with them to kill you, and is starving you out of exploration and expansion while you are fending off endless stacks of cheap units all over the place. Sounds fun? No?

This is why the whole diplomacy thing exists, even in it's current broken state, and AI bonuses are there to compensate for them not playing by the same rules as you do. You can play however you want to win the game, the AI's primary object is to play to make you have fun not to beat you outright. 

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August 19, 2013 9:20:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting davrovana,
I think the increased sovereign/champion hp was aimed at patching this. I don't agree that difficulty is completely irrelevant - it's an AI issue yes, but increased difficulty will decrease the impact this has on challenge.

Quoting sjaminei,
Increasing the difficulty level will give the AI more HP to sovereigns and champions

Unless the boost or bonus is enough for AI sovereigns to solo entire armies that doesn't matter.

Quoting sjaminei,
Back to the whole AI "cheating" part... it needs those bonuses to compete with the current design, so playing on a subpar difficulty for your ability, makes the game exactly as OP stated. I think there even was a post somewhere about types of AI/game design, and the difference between AI who plays to win, and AI's who plays to lose. Trust me, you don't want to play a pure AI that plays to win in this game as you seem to want. It would go something like this: "Hello there, you are human so I will kill you as soon as possible" (maybe even make a fake peace while preparing to backstab), and suddenly every AI on the map gangs up with them to kill you, and is starving you out of exploration and expansion while you are fending off endless stacks of cheap units all over the place. Sounds fun? No?

I understand your point but I think this particular example falls outside of your argument. It's not that I want the AI to play to win it's just such an obviously stupid thing for the AI to do and it does it so repetitively that it breaks immersion and takes the fun out of winning. Winning against an opponent that repetitively suicides to no benefit or breaks it's forces into small easily defeatable chunks isn't very fun.

Quoting davrovana,
so I respect your opinion as a player. But I don't think you should side with this troll.

I think it's pretty harsh to call him a troll. He wasn't asking for a refund or even insulting anyone. He just said he was taking a break from a game he liked  because the AI had some flaws that hurt his ability to enjoy the game.

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August 20, 2013 2:17:56 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

One of the basic problems with AI is that the longer you play, the easier it gets... Until a new version comes and Frogboy has improved it, of course. I have already gotten to the point where I win (with some problems) vs Ridiculous, and where Changelling gets just silly. By the late game, the game is won and it is all just turns over turns of making it happen completely.

But it is true the way war go is a little strange. In my last game (custom faction-all ridiculous, resources sparce, 6 enemies, medium map), my neighbour declared war on me. Our capitals where really just right next to each other (there was even a road joining us); and yet, I did not see any enemy coming until at least 10 turns later. Which of course gave me time to enter in peace with the other ai on the other side of my territory... Hell, if you declare war you should at least have troops arround the borders!

As for the bonuses, there is also de issue that, I suspect, the AI gets fewer random events... Or am I wrong? I still have never seen the AI have any of the free units that are the girl's friends, nor any of the Temples (and those are HUGE bonuses). 

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August 20, 2013 6:03:32 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Personally I am very much enjoying playing a huge map with only 1 AI opponent and just upping the world difficulty so it is more about the quests and exploration with a short AI skirmish at the end. I would love it if we could get bigger maps so even more adventure could occur prior to final contact!

Cheers,

Laz3456

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August 20, 2013 8:40:24 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting DsRaider,

Unless the boost or bonus is enough for AI sovereigns to solo entire armies that doesn't matter.

Sure it does. To challenge. Do you mean immersion?

On challenge: On ridiculous and insane, killing an enemy sovereign because they are alone hardly wins you the game, and can cost you mana or even some troops. In some situations it would be downright a risk to engage (you're needed elsewhere), and the enemy sov/champs certainly have the HP to attack your weak/undefended cities and take them. So their hp bonuses mean they can be a threat, even if they can't defeat your main stack alone. And sending in your main stack could leave something else undefended.

It would be better if they took troops with them, but the hp bonus does not need to make them solo-stack worthy. If they can harass you (they can), sovereigns riding solo is not complete suicide.

Immersion: If the AI's bonuses improve challenge, then they improve immersion. Challenge is a big part of game immersion.

Solo enemy sovereigns do not break game immersion entirely. I'd like to see it go, but it is not a major issue holding the game back from being worth playing. At least for me, and presumably not for the reviewers of this game on metacritic.

Re: troll-or-not status, I just suggest this: what motivation leads someone to announce that they will no longer be playing the game, on these forums?

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August 20, 2013 11:03:30 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Laz3456,

Personally I am very much enjoying playing a huge map with only 1 AI opponent and just upping the world difficulty so it is more about the quests and exploration with a short AI skirmish at the end. I would love it if we could get bigger maps so even more adventure could occur prior to final contact!

Cheers,

Laz3456

http://forums.elementalgame.com/446059/page/1/ here you go. Put that into your mod folder and you can enjoy a Gigantic map as well as snaky versions of the old sizes. (it's frickin huge) It's not supported (you get a warning), but it has worked fine for me the 2 or 3 playthroughs I did on it. I think you can have all the wildlands on it at the same time, but not 100% sure, it's been too long since I tested it.

Quoting davrovana,
Re: troll-or-not status, I just suggest this: what motivation leads someone to announce that they will no longer be playing the game, on these forums?

Whatever they think the point is, it's not working. Most likely case it's a misguided attempt to attract "value" to their argument and/or attention seeking. Either way the smackdown was justified. 

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August 20, 2013 3:52:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Superb sjaminei, I am downloading and installing right away! 

 

Cheers,


Laz3456

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August 20, 2013 4:27:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

In 1.3, the enemy sovereign should never be traveling alone except at the very very beginning of the game. So I'll keep an eye out for that.

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August 20, 2013 5:46:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


I'm playing 1.30 and I've definitely seen the enemy sovereign wandering around outside city walls.  It was his last city and I think Warlord Verga had decided to retake an outpost I had taken earlier but apparently abandoned.  Unfortunately for him, I had an army coming for another direction and caught him unawares.  His last city was well protected with troops.   After beating him, I felt good about immobilizing him for the coming fight which would be a big deal and probably not winnable for me due to the defenders in the city.   Rather than face pyrrhic victory or losses, I diplomacied Verga and he surrendered because he said he didn't have a choice.   "You're damn right you didn't have a choice!" I said aloud to his pixelated face.  So then Verga became my immobilized vassal.   So I gained an immobilized unit right next to a wandering monster.  I was rather surprised that his city disappeared and an outpost I hadn't taken disappeared as well from the strategic map.

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August 21, 2013 6:34:36 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

After a couple of Hard games I'm playing my first game on Expert difficulty, huge map, 10 opponents. I've never seen a sovereign out alone. I attacked Oracle Ceresa with my solo Sovereign (assassin/dodge build) and got my ass handed to me. I think Sovereign AI get extra traits at the higher difficulties. Very fun, and very terrifying.

Definitely crank the difficulty up. I am nowhere near as confident about taking out the Sovereigns as I used to be.

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August 22, 2013 12:25:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I was five hours into a game when I declared war on a Sovereign. He was at half the power that I was
I tend to agree with those who've argued that you need to raise the difficulty level. This has just never happened to me in my last two or three games on Ridiculous. I'm doing well if I'm only half the power level of the AIs when I meet them! In general the AI still has some weaknesses but it's much, much improved in 1.2 and 1.3. I can't say that I've been keeping a careful record but I don't remember seeing an undefended sovereign.

Also, what you describe as an "obvious" strategy is not that obvious. A passive strategy against a stronger opponent is highly unlikely to be successful. It's dubious that it will be able to win a troop training race; the longer it waits, the worse things may get. At least if the AI tries an attack it can try to change the dynamic. It might have been better to wait for you to attack and then hit you with strategic spells, but attempting to catch you off balance and attack in an area you weren't expecting is a legitimate tactic.

Fundamentally, if you're twice as strong as the AI there's probably not a lot it can do to win a war; so if you want more of a challenge, raise the difficulty.

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