As you said the games are really different, all I wanted to know was just WHY he thinks Civ is a simpler game. Many of the thing you are pointing do not appear reallly hard to me, and they actually cancel each other since Civ AI has lots of things to worry about that Elemental AI hasn't. [edit: also, Elemental AI is not very good at managing Sovereigns ATM, so I'll leave that point out...]
Well, I was responding of why I think he thought Civ was a simpler game If I was to make that argument (and I'm not, I don't like comparing games so broadly), I would point to Civ being mostly a deep "builder", and Elemental being a builder + RPG stuff. Of course, because Elemental being broader means the individual features lose depth (it's a no-brainer that Civ's city building is a lot more involved than Elemental's, for example), I personally stay away from making broad game-wide comparisons
And no, you weren't sounding rude, hopefully I wasn't either as that wasn't my intention
I think the question here is how difficult it is to write the AI, not whether the AI of one game can handle the gameplay of another. Having said that, I fail to see how any of those things are more complicated than what AIs of most empire building games have to deal with. Keeping the king alive is a no brainer.
Well, that comment was mostly aimed at the people who directly compare the AIs of the two games as one being better or worse than another. Because each needs to do very different things, I don't think it's a fair comparison. A lot of complexity is added by the number of things the AI needs to deal with, not just how complex an individual "thing" is. I think your comments grossly oversimplify the complexity of the decision making required for some of these things, though. It's a lot easier, I think, to write AI that bases its decisions on number crunching: a lot of city building - you need to keep track of corruption, happiness, etc but those are values that can easily be plugged into a formula that decides when the AI does something about it. It's a whole other ball game when you need to have the AI decide something less clear. It's true that in the most basic terms you need "best you can afford" equipment. But there are lots of other factors. For example: When should the AI go back to re-outfit (immediately after researching, or when needed)? Say immediately after researching. Okay, so now the AI's sovereign is one turn away from your city, which has poor defenses and can easily fall. But hey, it finishes research for more equipment, so it moves the Sov all the way back. Bad AI, obviously it should've taken the city. Okay, so you change it so now it looks if it can accomplish its previous order (city capture) before going back. So it captures the city. But wait, now that city needs immediate improvements, so does it buy the gear or improve the city? Is there an enemy army nearby so it needs the gear to be able to beat it, or can it spend the money on the city?
See how quickly it gets very complex for even the simplest looking things? I'm not saying the Civ AI doesn't have some decision making like this, but Elemental having its RPG focus requires the AI to make more human-like decisions. It has more to juggle and make sense of, and that does add complexity as well.