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Thread: More AI interaction

  1. #1
    WPC Janitor / Administrator Penry's Avatar
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    Default More AI interaction

    How many times have you been happily playing along in a game of Civ, and you get 'surprise' attacked by the AI?

    Now I know you can keep an eye on the AI by using the demo screens and graphs, and monitoring their attitude towards you via the foreign advisor, but I think the atmosphere of the game would be greatly increased if they contacted you on a more regular basis with regards to their concerns/or lack of. This is the type of thing that goes on in diplo games in great detail, and would greatly increase the flavour of the single player/AI experience.

    Case in point. I'm in a game and everything has been peaceful in my neck of the woods from 520AD until 1300AD. I have three neighbours, two direct neighbours and a third very close by. One of my neighbours has been slowly increasing their power until it far exceeds all other civs in the world. They are cautious towards me, and towards our joint neighbour, and also to two other civs, while being pleased with the remaining four civs.

    Their current attitude towards me is +3 (+1 years of peace, +2 open borders, +2 mutual struggles, -1 close borders, -1 war on their friend). Most, is not all, diplomatic correspondence in the game has been initiated by me, and I think it would be safe to assume that if anything was bothering them that they would call and air their concerns. Not much I can do about my ancient war their buddy, what's done is done, I suppose a token gesture to smooth over those old sore points. If they had come expressing concern over close borders there could be a mechanism for lessening troop concentrations to reduce border tensions. Other than that, according to their attitude score they seem to be happy(ish) neighbours.

    So why on the next turn do they unleash a stock of doom across our border, hell bent on genocide and destruction? It just doesn't seem logical, plausible or realistic. If they had come knocking numerous times asking for me to lessen the number of troops around our borders, fair enough. If they'd asked for help and been refused repeatedly, again I would be able to sense a growing unrest; but these bolts out of the blue just don't seem to fit the grand scheme of things according to our ongoing relationship.

    What would be nice to see in CivV is more focus on AI interaction - diplomacy, trade, relations etc. The ability to trade border squares would also add an interesting dynamic as potential hot spots could be exchanged for other land, or cash, units or whatever. In the case in point game, our borders do not encroach on their cities fat X's, but if they did I could have released control of said squares in exchange for something in return, or even gifted them for a further diplo bonus.

    How many others would like to see a more proactive AI, coming to you with their concerns, or even to further cemment their friendly relations with kind words and positive feedback.
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  2. #2
    Chieftain Bob III's Avatar
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    I agree wholeheartedly. Even denying the ruthless demands of the AI leading to war would make more sense than the random invasions that seem to happen quite often.
    Bob III
    "L'État, C'est Moi." - Louis XIV

  3. #3
    King of THOSE people raf0485's Avatar
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    I agree as well. But, maybe the AI was trying to act human, in a way.
    Hitler's invasion of the USSR was entirely irrational. I'm sure that if I took the time to do a bit more research, more military operations would stand out as highly irrational, but that one takes the cake. The USSR and Nazi Germany had a nonaggression pact. The UK was down, but they weren't out. Surely they had to know that eventually the US would become involved as well, using their European allies as a jumping point for an attack on the continent. Maybe I think they were smarter than they truly were, but they should have known that they needed to tie up the loose ends in the war they were already fighting before starting another one. Of course, that's not to say they could have won. Either way, I think they'd have lost in the end, but it may have been a longer war had the Soviet Union not been involved.

    I guess that what I'm trying to say is that it's a good idea, but it would take some fun out of the game. If you put enough funding into espionage, maybe the game should tell you when a neighbor plans to sneak attack you like that. That's part of why I think that CivV needs to revamp the entire adviser screen. Maybe your military (or perhaps a new espionage) adviser could inform you that your neighbors are planning an invasion. I think it'd be too obvious if the AI came out and told you "I need to conquer you to get enough points to win the game, so I'm invading you on the next turn, even if you are my friend."

    I hope what I've said makes some sense. I've done some thinking on my feet with this post, and am not sure if it's even coherent. Basically, yes, and no, at the same time. You might be going for a diplomatic victory, but the AI has different plans: plans that envision it at the top of the food chain.
    When life gives you lemons, make beef stew!

  4. #4
    Emperor
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    If you use the BUFFY mod at least you can see when an opponent's power rating is growing so you can plan accordingly. Also, a player needs to understand what your opponents are like-I would never assume that Monty, Shaka or Cathy is going to stay peaceful no matter what relations I have with them. Like raf has said, IRL war declarations are not based on logic (Ger-SU of WWII) so a player has to be ready for anything. I agree that there should be more diplomatic actions available, but the 'bolt from the blue' DOW from the AI is not broken.

  5. #5

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    Barbarossa is haunting AI-diplomacy. Thank you, Mr. Hitler! (as if there wasnt enough else to ´thank´ him for :P). That was indeed a sneak-attack of grossest proportions, but i find it musguided to take this sole example of biliteral crocketry as a rule for the AI to act upon.

    The diplomatic side of Civ4 does feel a bit stale and all to often my games end with the horn-of-terror (often enough it´s my fault being a builder mostly). But i guess, i am not playing it the right way either. My ´diplomacy´ towards AI can be summed up like this pretty much: Reject almost every offer and never give into demands. Trade for ressources with the weakest if possible, with the strongest if needed. Occasionally sell a tech (tech-whoring turned off). That´s pretty much it.

    I think the feel of the diplomatic side of the game could be greatly enhanced with the already germanting idea of change of leaders mid-game. We already have theocracy and police state to indicate to us, that an AI is on the war-footing, but if Wilhelm II. (or worse) took over from Gustav Stresemann or Konrad Adenauer (rather peace-loving figure-heads) by the will of the people, you get a clear idea of the discontent of it with its relations to its neighbors.

    Actually if we wanted a real coherent feeling of diplomacy, it would be ideal, to have the population have ´issues´ like in Paradox´ Victoria (maybe a tad simpler than that though). A border encroaching on a city´s BFC would cause all ´pops´ (population points) that were forced to abandon the tiles to get the issue of ´we want our land back!´. These pops would get a production malus over some extended period of time, unless you are at war with the encroaching civ. At the same time, given the same issue is being prevaliant for a certain percentage of your population, it would allow you to change to a new leader. If you observe such a leader-change in an AI-civ, you know it decided to act according to certain issues of its population. If a war-mongerish leader comes to power, and you have been constantly encroaching their cities, you know, they finally have had enough of it... OTOH, you know you are encroaching their cities and of the headaches that gives to the current government of the encroached civ - better prop it up with some goodies, so it is more likely it remains in power...

  6. #6
    Civilization Reporter Nikolai's Avatar
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    I'm totally with Rob here, a living world is a more fun world. And probably more logical too, in the end.
    The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.
    (Zephania 3.17)

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