I'm curious as to what AAA Ai I'm supposed to aspire to. Which fantasy strategy game has better AI and why?
I'm not the one this is directed at (tho I'm the one who thinks LH is an AAA title!) but would like to pip in here...
For me it's not the lack of an 'upper' level of AI (ie smart AI) but the presence of a lower limit of AI (ie dumb things the AI still does).
Examples of 'dumb' things that I still see in 1.4 (have not played the 1.5 beta yet) in tactical battles:
-spiders (black widows IIRC) still are webbing previously webbed units. This seems to occur in the same AI 'turn' -- if there's a check to see if potential target already is webbed does the check occur for each unit each time said unit is acting (in which case unit shouldn't web an already webbed unit), or is the check at the start of a 'turn' and applies to all that AI's units actions that 'turn' (in which case the second spider stills sees its target as not webbed)? If the former then somethings amiss as the check isn't catching the target being already webbed, if the latter then this isn't fixable without significant redoing of the check procedure (and attendant slowing down of the tactical battles I'm guessing).
-undead casting terror on terrorized units
-units making physical attacks on Diamondskinned units (both melee and ranged attacks continue for the entire 3 turns of the diamondskin)
From strategic realm:
-stacks of armies just sitting there (as shown in this thread)
-AI declares, doesn't do anything, proposed peace, declares, etc.
-Capitar has been declaring/peacing me a number of times (I have not initiated any diplomatic actions). Currently at war. I have a scout sitting immediately outside Capitar territory with a Capitar city 4 road tiles away. Scout is close enough that I can see the units in said city (and obviously Capitar can see my scout), and I'm on the road so the Capitar units could reach me in 1 movement point, leaving them enough movement to attack that same turn. No enemy forces have come out to attack, even tho Capitar's overall strength is roughly 4x mine (~1200 to ~300) and the Capitar force in said city can easily crush my scout. I have a city on the other side of this Capitar city, within Capitar view range, no Capitar troops have moved towards this city. I've taken 2 outposts from Capitar and one abuts a second Capitar city, again no response from Capitar even tho Capatar declared on me (several times) and is much stronger. This isn't a 'AI is too far away' issue as we have abutting borders/units.\
Generally, my issue is not that LH AI isn't smart but that it still does 'dumb' things -- things that it's been doing for many many versions (such as webbing webbed units). It's the old 'do 9 things smart and 1 thing dumb and be rated as a 5 instead of a 9' thing. By 'fixing' the dumb stuff the overall AI assessment will be greatly improved.
I understand that because you've put so many options (spells/items/etc.) in LH, and that they interact in so many ways, you've made AI very complicated, plus you need to keep turns brief so have to consider that is deploying processing power, that you've got a tough task regarding AI. Few games attempt as much as LH has -- that's why LH is an AAA title! I'd rather LH be complex and wait for AI to eventually be fleshed out than have a simple game with 'perfected' AI from the start.
And yeah, if this stuff was an easy fix it would have been addressed long ago...
I love the artwork in this game. Watching the undead climb up out of the ground, or the way some of the skeletons 'lever' up off the ground -- brilliant! So many 'little' touches added, it really shows the love invested in this game.