My victims, welcome!

By on May 13, 2014 9:36:43 PM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
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Old man Paxton is giving me 16 engineering hours to put into LH v1.7.  So that means AI and other C++ game mechanic stuff.  There's a few threads around here I'll be mining.  But suffice to say, I plan to do terrible terrible things to you people with the AI update.

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May 13, 2014 10:03:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

1.7 is coming! Sweet!

 

Spiders should auto-cast web or spit and then be able to move.  As it is now they waste a turn or two.

Please get AIs to build troops in fortresses almost exclusively.

Please fix path finding and how fog of war is revealed. 

Please fix tactical AI that places a troop in danger of two attackers when it could face only one opponent.

 

Looking forward to your machinations!!

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May 13, 2014 10:18:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Best news I have heard all week.

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May 13, 2014 10:45:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Sounds great!   Anything to improve it will be positive.  

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May 13, 2014 11:22:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Brad make QA beg for mercy!

... video or it didn't happen.

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May 14, 2014 4:29:54 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Old man Paxton is giving me 16 engineering hours to put into LH v1.7.  So that means AI and other C++ game mechanic stuff.

Yay, this is great news!  

 

I could make a great big list but rather than that, here is the 2 thinks i'd like to see more than anything with the AI:

 

1) Get the AI to start using spells that target a tile, both at strategic and tactical levels.  For example the AI does not use Arcane Monolith, Raise/Lower land and other spells with terrain as a target.  It also doesn't appear to use tactical spells like the Crow Demons "Thunderstrike" where the target is an empty tile.

AI is pretty decent with spells now, but this would really be great.... even if it's not make *brilliant* use of these spells, it would just be great to see the AI try them once in a while... particularly something like Arcane Monolith, AI is missing out big time not using it.

Pls make it generic enough so that it will work for modded spells also.

 

2) Get the AI to use Outpost Upgrades.  

 

These are my top 2 by a fairly long way.  #3 would be getting the AI to build troops in fortresses as a preference.... but i'll let DsRaider post that one.

 

Thanks Brad/Derek, looking forward to 1.7 already.

 

 

 

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May 14, 2014 8:17:01 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Anything short of Hal 9000 or Data-level AI intelligence is unacceptable.

 

 

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May 14, 2014 9:41:16 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting abob101,

Old man Paxton is giving me 16 engineering hours to put into LH v1.7.  So that means AI and other C++ game mechanic stuff.


Yay, this is great news!  

 

I could make a great big list but rather than that, here is the 2 thinks i'd like to see more than anything with the AI:
 

1) Get the AI to start using spells that target a tile, both at strategic and tactical levels.  For example the AI does not use Arcane Monolith, Raise/Lower land and other spells with terrain as a target.  It also doesn't appear to use tactical spells like the Crow Demons "Thunderstrike" where the target is an empty tile.

AI is pretty decent with spells now, but this would really be great.... even if it's not make *brilliant* use of these spells, it would just be great to see the AI try them once in a while... particularly something like Arcane Monolith, AI is missing out big time not using it.

Pls make it generic enough so that it will work for modded spells also.


2) Get the AI to use Outpost Upgrades.  

 
These are my top 2 by a fairly long way.  #3 would be getting the AI to build troops in fortresses as a preference.... but i'll let DsRaider post that one.

 
Thanks Brad/Derek, looking forward to 1.7 already.


These are my two mega-items as well.

Thanks for digging into AI development again Brad.

(please don't forget about that building rotation bug with manual placement enabled)

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May 14, 2014 9:43:20 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Absolutely awesome news. Adding to/Compiling previous lists:


CORE:

1. Activating 'ValueCalcWrapper' for Strategic spells

2. Creating an 'AICityType' for the AIData (To influence where Units are trained)

  • At minimum: #Conclave #Fortress #TradingGuild
    • Should not prevent building units in Level 1 Cities
  • Stackable w/ AIPrefType and ValueCalcWrapper
  • Please make it easily moddable for new city types.

3. Enabling 'Outpost Upgrades' for AI

4. Improving 'Pathfinding'

 

DIPLOMACY:

1. Would be nice to see the theoretical breakdown of our own Foreign Policy standing toward other factions

 (e.g. Why am I Unfriendly toward so and so)

2. Elemental Lord Hunter or Slayer should give -1/+1 depending on the interlocutor (Stackable to -5/+5)

3. The enemy of my enemy is my friend +1

4. The enemy of my ally is my enemy (I guess...) -1

5. You don't respect our borders (After a few warnings) -1

6. You broke an alliance -10 (See XD_Janus File)


SPELLS:

1. Enabling SpellTargetType:EmptyTile for AI

  • Note that the problem also exist for items using spells targeting Empty Tiles


TACTICS:

1. AI should constantly strive to lessen swarm situations (DEF position) and create swarm situations (ATK position)

 

 

 

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May 14, 2014 10:39:22 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

ONE: Would it be easy to teach the AI to move, THEN use abilities/spells? I expect this would really power up the AI's tactical battle performance, in aggregate.

Example: AI units will only use Crushing Blow on targets that are adjacent at the start of that AI unit's turn. 

It does understand move, then attack. It doesn't understand move, then use ability.

TWO: Mostly in city defense scenarios, the AI seems to think that staying put with its melee units is a viable strategy. My guess is that there is script where if ranged units are present, melee units won't charge until they "feel" threatened.

I have seen the AI hold back melee units until my archers chew them up. I'd recommend deleting this conditional behavior, and having melee units always charge straight in to seek a vulnerable target. It will overall help the AI.

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May 14, 2014 12:26:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I would like the AI to evaluate if it's worth running to another unit and finishing it off if it's in range instead of just the nearest unit. 

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May 14, 2014 12:54:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

@ Froggy:  "What!!!!!  You want to make the AI better at competing with us?  Why shame on you, you are such a meanie!  What's that? Oh, wait, never mind... I'm sorry, please don't let that new, scary beast anywhere near me.  really, I'm sorry... sor... "  Sound of loud munching and screams ... silence. 

 

{In cyber space, no one can hear you scream}

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May 14, 2014 2:04:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Sorry for the long post. I have played quite a few games and analyzed the AI in order to make my AI+ mod. The main problem facing the AI is simply that the stacks it builds aren't a threat to a player's. I hardly play to win and usually I can get a stack of units out that will easily chew through 3-4 AI stacks in a row. I use barely any magic and use just basic troops, usually without mounts. No tricks at all.

The reasons for this are varied:

-As others have said the tactical AI could use some love. It could be better at moving and casting, picking targets once already in combat, and avoiding swarm. Also it tends to let its faster units without armor run in first before its defenders. You want your defenders out front to absorb the first hits and then you bring in your faster more damaging units. Of course I admit this can be complicated and isn't always the case.

-The AI builds weak units. This game is one that rewards building elite units not lots of units. The AI is good at building tons of units but that's a terrible strategy, basically they are free experience. In my mod I fixed this by getting the AI a lot of new high end designs, and changing the xml so it likes building more expensive units. Also Magnar tends to build too many slaves, yes they are cheap but as I said elite units are the way to win. A nice mix could work but they prefer almost 100% slave armies. Also Roseln really likes Widows but doesn't ever use them right. The are terribly weak and only should be used in armies made of mostly ranged units.

-The AI doesn't use troop bonuses. The AI does not build most of its troops in Fortresses. Thus its troops don't get the stat bonuses and levels. These bonuses are significant especially when you factor in city enchantments. An army with theses bonuses will utterly destroy an army without them. Even just a Barracks and Blacksmith gives +2 Levels, +4 Defense, and +15 accuracy. With a Strike Garrison and enchantments you can get a additional 3-6 Initiative and 1-4 fire damage.

-The AI does not develop its cities properly. The other area my mod really helped the AI was by getting the AI to emphasize developing their cities and reducing build time. I put higher priority on improvements that increased production and reduced unrest. By midgame I noticed the AI cities had double the improvements they used to have. The first thing I build in cities is a belltower and workshop.  It just makes sense to build the things that reduce build time first. A mason also makes a huge difference, so much so that I put a higher priority on the tech that grants it. As I said above the AI likes to build troops in all its cities, frequently from cities they just founded. This is terrible on many different levels. It retards the growth of that city and gives them a terrible unit that took forever to build. City specialization is very important. Particularly for Fortresses. You should not be wasting time building units in other cities, or studies and merchants in Fortresses. Fortresses should be focused on first maxing production and bonuses and then building troops. Troop enchantments should be cast only on Fortresses.

 

Requests:

-I have written quite a few IsWorthy tags for spells. Thanks Frogboy for creating them. One thing though is I wish there was a proximity variable that showed how many tiles away the nearest enemy is from the casting unit. I could write a lot of nice IsWorthy tags for spells with that.

-The AI still sometimes chooses stupid paths for it's sovereigns and champions. A lot of different mods have tried to get around this in different ways. I wish I could add an AI trait to champions so that I could prioritize them choosing certain traits.

 

Thanks again Frogboy for all your hardwork.

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May 15, 2014 10:08:00 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

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May 16, 2014 10:30:54 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Primal_Savage,


Quoting NaytchSG, reply 1Spiders should auto-cast web or spit and then be able to move.  As it is now they waste a turn or two.

 

Can be done w/o using those precious 16 engineering hours!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/zcapgs1e9yicz3w/XD_NaytchSG.zip




Spiders will now move after using the following spells:

- Spit Acid I (Exclusive to Spiders)

- Spit Acid II (Exclusive to Spiders)

- Spit Acid III (Exclusive to Spiders)

- Tangled Web (Spider creatures + Ravenous Harridan Mount)




Note to XtraDeconstruct users, this is included in version 1.6c

 

Thanks, Primal!  A mod just for me   [e digicons]:')[/e]

 

 

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May 16, 2014 11:54:41 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

 Also Frogboy you already mentioned in another thread you will be looking at pathfinding so here are some examples of really bad AI pathfinding. I constantly see it do very weird and suicidal things. Like sending a lone group of archers through my territory, and removing a single troop from a city under siege and sitting it next to the enemies entire army. Try this experiment, when the AI sends an army after you park a larger one right in front of it. They will stop and politely wait for you to kill them. Even after several turns they just sit there. The AI doesn't seem to grasp that's not a smart idea to throw units away suicidally. If your horribly outnumbered retreat... Unless they plan on attacking one of my units the AI should never move their units within my attack range, ever. The AI wouldn't need 100 units if it didn't throw 80 of them away.

If the AI already doesn't do this then a cool idea might be for when the AI is at war for it to gather up all its strongest units and sovereign into one stack and attack with that. This gives it the best chance of seriously hurting an opponent's stack.

Abob101 mentioned allowing the AI to cast spells that target land. Birth of Summer in particular would help the AI a lot. Sometimes it gets stuck in a corner of the map with little fertile land and the ability to create some would really help it.Human players have various ways to do this but the AI never uses them.

Another thing I have noticed about the AI is that in tactical combat it doesn't reposition for spells. So when it casts burning hands or uses impale it hits only people who are already in the way. If it would just move one tile to the left it could hit 3 instead of 2 people but it never does.

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May 16, 2014 10:24:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This is great news. I wrote about this a couple of times before (as well as many other people mentioning it several times in the past). Can you please take a look Spell of Making when you have a chance? Currently the AIs cannot defend against / do enough against a human player casting the Spell of Making. The -9 diplomatic penalty is not enough. The AIs don't declare war quick enough and when they declare war they don't attack you quick enough (or at all) to prevent casting of the spell.

 

I won several games by easily casting the spell of making when the AIs (challenging level) were crushing me economically and militarily (score, resource, and unit-wise). If not for the spell of making, I wouldn't stand a chance. Yes, it should be able to possible to win it this way but it was way way too easy.

 

It may take a combination of AI improvements and rule changes (maybe moving the spell further up the research tree or increasing the spell casting time and/or cost) to "fix" this. I suppose another way to fix this would be to teach an AI to cast the spell before the human if it is dominating. I really don't like to turn off the victory condition or purposely avoid casting the spell so please improve this.

 

Thank you.

 

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May 17, 2014 2:51:57 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting DsRaider,
Abob101 mentioned allowing the AI to cast spells that target land. Birth of Summer in particular would help the AI a lot

Yep good point.

 

I think Consume might be another one, fairly sure the AI doesn't use that.  If that's the case that's another great example of a faction missing out on a key part of their strategy.

 

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May 17, 2014 2:55:08 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Primal_Savage,
3. The enemy of my enemy is my friend +1

4. The enemy of my ally is my enemy (I guess...) -1

5. You don't respect our borders (After a few warnings) -1

6. You broke an alliance -10 (See Janus Treaty)

 

Yeah these are good suggestions, if not 1.7... these would be things to look at for 2.0 given it sounds like Diplomacy might get some work then.

 

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May 17, 2014 3:36:49 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Maybe an option to toggle wether <Prereq> tags are counted as AND or OR? Currently most things use AND for everything, Abilities use OR for all entries of the same type and AND between different types. This could use some cleanup. Also a NOT tag for Prereqs would be useful.

Example uses: A skill that has two other skills as a prerequisite or an improvement that requires one of two techs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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May 19, 2014 1:43:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting abob101,
I think Consume might be another one, fairly sure the AI doesn't use that. If that's the case that's another great example of a faction missing out on a key part of their strategy.

I would leave consume alone. An AI could really screw themselves over with that. Maybe Corruption as you could have the AI corrupt only shards it has doubles of already or something. Arcane Monolith would be great to see as well. You would think it would be fairly easy to implement anyway because the AI already calculates where it wants outposts.

So Frogboy any chance you could share with us an ETA for when you expect to get to this. Also I would love to hear some more details about what you are working on and how you plan on making improvements. It would be super interesting to hear your thoughts.

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May 19, 2014 3:02:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

HELL YES. Please fix the Dead AI (actively seeking out death shards, and getting outposts upgrades would be a good place to start)!

Improved AI is always welcome!!

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May 19, 2014 6:42:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting DsRaider,
I would leave consume alone. An AI could really screw themselves over with that.

 

As long as ValueCalcWrapper for Strategic Spells gets activated, it shouldn't be a problem. Plus, I'd rather they activate the possibility of doing something even if it needs to be disabled through some other means (e.g. AIPriority=0).

 

 

 

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May 19, 2014 11:03:41 PM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

I am also thinking of changing some game rules (with Derek's permission) to make combat a bit. Ore interesting. Will talk. Ore shortly on this.

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May 20, 2014 12:53:34 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Does it have anything to do with. Agic?

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May 20, 2014 7:19:59 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Sounds good, the AI could do with some love. I haven't played in a while now but would like to have another play, perhaps when 1.7 is released to the. Asses.

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