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I start this topic to ask if it's possible to improve the experience of the Al. Mostly because beginner players don't learn how to play well from it: it does too many mistakes in its gameplay (terrible eco, attacing strat and building order). I'm also astonished of how a Very hard Al is around a 1000 ranked level player. To give an idea, currently this type of Al with gaul civ and extra berries reaches (on a small map) 100 pop in more than 15 mins.

So today I decided to do a test to evaluate what level of nubness the Al can reach. I could beat a Very Hard Al balanced with these conditions:

  1. Only women (with sparta, cause they have a slightly better attack than ones of other civs). 
  2. 150 pop max (so the Al could have an advantage because it's usually slower and the difference between the pops couldn't be so high). I also remind max pop for sparta is 135/150, so it had 15 population cap more
  3. I used only 2 rams
  4. My army was composed only by women, not other units
  5. My enemy was ptolemies civ, that has one of the best army composition specially against a full women army (heavy pikes + skirmishers)
  6. I didn't do any attack until minute 16

Here I post the replay:

Al Nubness.zip

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For the single players who only play casually, even the easy AI seems to be too much to handle. Casual players don’t have the APM or the tryhard mindset of a highranked competitive player.

That being said, Very Hard should be almost impossible to beat. Consider the “Barbarian” AI which is usermade. It beats the highest level AoE2 players. We also need a pretty hardcore AI like that one. 

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3 minutes ago, (-_-) said:

For the single players who only play casually, even the easy AI seems to be too much to handle. Casual players don’t have the APM or the tryhard mindset of a highranked competitive player.

 That being said, Very Hard should be almost impossible to beat. Consider the “Barbarian” AI which is usermade. It beats the highest level AoE2 players. We also need a pretty hardcore AI like that one. 

In fact I'm not contesting that we have to increase the strength of every type of Al. Casual players must have the right to play with easy Al and to get fun with them. I'm contesting the fact that a Very Hard Al is not enough for its name. the difference between the levels of Al has to be increased, and A Very hard Al I think should has the level of at least a 1300 player. Surely that for a experienced player they are easy anyway, but it would be interesting to create a competitive Al brain (competitive for 1300-1400 players). Anyway, I perfectly know that is difficult to create one.

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5 minutes ago, (-_-) said:

What do you suggest the AI can do better?

Better economy balance, better use of dropsite (walk distance quite high), better use of batch training and more organized attack (have the units regroup before they start to fight would be good)

If i were to contribute, AI would be one of the first thing i would try to improve, but on top of being lazy, i could lack some knowledge about it and maybe it is hard to improve these things without using too much computer ressources (especially for the dropsite stuff)

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Just now, (-_-) said:

What do you suggest the AI can do better?

  1. Use only women to gather food
  2. Build storehouses or farms near to the resources, and not randomly in the space
  3. Use only the cavs for hunt and chicken
  4. Train the units in larger groups
  5. Don't make suicide attacks at beginning with few units (this would be ok only for Aggressive Al)
  6. Go slower to P2 (they usually go at minute 4, that is too early)
  7. Don't trade in all maps with a low profit
  8. Make more upgrades faster
  9. Attack in late game with siege units near to the attacking army
  10. Have a more compact city
  11. Build fort when they get to P3 (they wait too much to built it)
  12. I stop here, if not I make an infinite list of things...

Idk if it's possible, but it would be good for the Al to copy (at least at the beginning) the build order of a good player (6 women... etc). I mean to give him default strategies used from good players, like build order, attack strat, army composition, eco balance. Obv the Al is not human and it can't compete with experienced players, but it would be interesting to have a pro Al. 

To make an example in chess there are some times of Al, like Stockfish (not the 0ad player xd) that can beat even the most experienced players. It's a different game, I know, but it would be and interesting challenge.

If you want to teach me a bit of it, I will be happy to work on it :) 

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I have always wondered why the AI behaves that way in Very Hard. Should probably not add these to lower difficulties though. As feldfeld mentioned, the dropsite placement thing would be pretty hard to improve without significant lag. But all the rest is practically low hanging fruits (that maybe a stretch).

Edited by Guest
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In team games AI behaves funny too. I usually play up to 5 Very Hard AI's, without set teams, which often actually seems easier than one on one, but it's also more interesting because of all the manoeuvring, and switching alliances :P   

Some unsatisfactory AI behavior observations:

  • Repeatedly attempting to build structures within range of enemy ranged structures like towers.
  • The AI should be more aware of enemy teritory and unit movement (anticipation/responsiveness).
  • AI shouldn’t request and never launch attacks against an enemy whilst already being invaded by another enemy.
  • AI should focus on the enemy nearby, rather than getting killed crossing an enemy’s teritory trying to attack another enemy at the other end of the map.
  • The AI should never send civilian units through enemy teritory and keep them out of range of towers (unless they become cut off through teritory loss), choosing to send them around with waypoints instead. Traders shouldn't pass close to enemy territory either.
  • The AI can react excessively to a small threat, but also takes too long to respond adequately to massive invasions, often still having a bunch of military units on eco (or just standing around for too long) when being attacked by an overwhelming force.
  • AI armies attack in long drawn out spaghetti lines. It's often enough to have a group of archers hold ground on the path of an advancing AI to successfully pick them all off one by one. They should move and arrive en mass, the fasted units reducing their speed to keep pace with the slowest units when advancing towards an enemy territory, so they arrive as a single large group, not one by one.
  • Allied AI's don't coordinate their attacks well, often taking turns sending armies, instead of arriving at the enemy base at more or less the same time.
  • AI doesn't build walls.
  • AI doesn't understand how to cut it's losses. Repeatedly attacking fortifications like garrisoned towers on their border, with a numerically insignificant number of troops, often after being fired upon, instead of just moving its forces out of range. It can easily waste several hundred units like that in long matches. 

 

One aspect in which I think the AI is overpowered is their all seeing eye, especially if you weren't aware that the AI can actually see EVERYTHING... There's no hiding... Even if it's never been to a certain area of the map, it has no problem making a B-line for whatever enemy settlement is located there. 

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44 minutes ago, Sundiata said:

AI doesn't build walls.

I tried to do something ambitious and failed horribly. Attempted to get the AI to block off chokepoints like canyons using terrain analysis. I guess it was partly due to the naive algorithm used to find the chokepoints. Was too expensive performance wise. Maybe someone else got the knowledge needed to tackle this eventually.

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As far as I know (please correct me if I'm mistaken, @mimo), basically the only difference between difficulty levels is the resource gain rate (Very Hard gets 160% of the resources they gather, Medium 100%, Very Easy 40%). More difficult AIs can develop quicker because of this, not because they are any smarter.

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The difficulty level of the AI is ok. They just need to be organized and the most important thing is they should make as much units as they can and should attack as soon as the programmed number of units are meet. The number of units that the AI should train should have something to do with the amount of resources they have and should increase tremendously up to infinity and timing. 

The AI should not keep too much resources to the bank. If the pop is unlimited they should be able to train attacking units even greater than the human player. 

Ive been playing SP and at some point stop raiding the AI so they develop their economy and become hardest as they should be. Instead of attacking with tremendous citizen soldiers they wait for their programmed army composition before attacking. You will notice they bank 100k of food and wood and stalling their attack because their metal percentage is low. 

Another bad AI gameplay and probably mechanics is allowing players to build next CC too far from mother base. This makes their progress slower and mess up the border tremendously. 

When resources are depleted the AI trades heavily but instead of doing a safe route they take the shortest path to the point that they get destroyed by enemy because they are wandering close or inside enemy territory. 

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1 hour ago, Nescio said:

As far as I know (please correct me if I'm mistaken, @mimo), basically the only difference between difficulty levels is the resource gain rate (Very Hard gets 160% of the resources they gather, Medium 100%, Very Easy 40%). More difficult AIs can develop quicker because of this, not because they are any smarter.

In fact in my opinion this is not a right thing. The difference between the Al mustn't be the level of gather rate, but the overall strategy. An utopic type of "Nightmare Al" should be able to:

  • Understand when the attacks it's doing are a failure or not
  • Valuate if it's worth to defend a building
  • Decide better where to build a new civic centre or new buildings
  • When attacked, stop all interested units immediately, not drop off the resources before (most die while they do this)
  • Attack coordinated
  • If one of their allies is attacked send some units (currently or they send all or they send none)
  • Pay more attention where they locate storehouses /farms
  • Don't accumulate a large number of res but use them to train immediately
  • Balance eco by understanding what resource he needs more for a particular tyoe of unit / building
  • Attack with a more compact army
  • Balance better the army (I saw so many times a large number of melee and a low one of ranged, mostly in early game)
  • If the attack is a failure, retire and not keep attacking 
  • Don't do suicide rushes at beginning (you can just garrison and they die immediately)
  • Train less men at beginning (they have too many men and their eco suffers from it)
  • Have a better diplomacy (all games in which it's me and 7 Al ffa they all declare war to me around minute 10, idk why XD)
  • Place better their fortifications (they have too many towers in unuseful places and I never let the Al live enough to see it build a fort
2 hours ago, Sundiata said:

One aspect in which I think the AI is overpowered is their all seeing eye, especially if you weren't aware that the AI can actually see EVERYTHING... There's no hiding... Even if it's never been to a certain area of the map, it has no problem making a B-line for whatever enemy settlement is located there. 

I think this can be a fair advantage for the Al, respect to the current many mistakes 

 

What I propose is to create a prototype of Al that uses the beginning build order of most player (6 women, where to build farms, only cav at chicken...)

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The only changes you need right now is their combat discipline and training more armies regardless of types. When you play against AI it’s for fun and you just toy with them. If you want more difficulty then play against multiple Hardest AI and until the challenge is maximized and you get satisfaction. 

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2 hours ago, Servo said:

The only changes you need right now is their combat discipline and training more armies regardless of types. When you play against AI it’s for fun and you just toy with them. If you want more difficulty then play against multiple Hardest AI and until the challenge is maximized and you get satisfaction. 

I never get satisfaction :( 

I already beated 1v4 against very hard Al and it was really relaxing. The problem I have is that when I play FFA with Al they all declare me war at minute 10-15 (and 1v7 is impossible against very Hard Al)

 

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22 hours ago, Jofursloft said:

I never get satisfaction :( 

I already beated 1v4 against very hard Al and it was really relaxing. The problem I have is that when I play FFA with Al they all declare me war at minute 10-15 (and 1v7 is impossible against very Hard Al)

 

your right I can only defeat Al v. Hard 1v2 I could do some 1+2v5 Vs V.Hard Al you can't sense something like defeat in compute I feal inhumane stuff I always played multi-player lately and I always sense human feelings like losing a battle would make them grow more and attack after 5 minutes but these Al 'should just don't stop just come rushing from the 10th minute even with 10 troops so need allies and stuff. You can't just keep getting attacked and just defend and just lose hope in winning and feel attacked 3 in row gets hell. I don't like playing Petra. 

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I have suggested this before, and I think it would be a great idea to have a regular scout that just scouts the map so you can use your cavalry or impourtant units for defending and fighting. The scout  can also attack wild animals or enemies if needed but it isn't made for war or massive damage attacks.

 

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Scouts are a old idea but I would be good like in p1 he is just scout and can be reigned in barracks and in p2 we can upgrade him to advance scout which has more hack armour and attack like a little boost is OK as for raiding and in p3 as raiding cavalry qne stuff if idea is good :dots:

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7 hours ago, Astrid said:

The scout  can also attack wild animals or enemies if needed but it isn't made for war or massive damage attacks.

What wild animals would you attack with such a scout? Squirrels? :P

When I want to clean out wild canines & felines I take four ranged cav, that's just enough so they don't get injured. I wouldn't want to attack anything or anyone with low numbers of even weaker units. So personally I think it's fine that we get one free cav as scout in the beginning. It would take some serious buffs (speed, armor, LOS) to make such a scout appealing to me...

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Just add a little speed to the scout with magic elven boots,and give him a little bit of an advantage with dwarf armour :D 

8 hours ago, Altrine said:

Scouts are a old idea but I would be good like in p1 he is just scout and can be reigned in barracks and in p2 we can upgrade him to advance scout which has more hack armour and attack like a little boost is OK as for raiding and in p3 as raiding cavalry qne stuff if idea is good :dots:

I loved scouts on AOE3,and each one had their own unique look of that faction.

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1 minute ago, Altrine said:

aoe3 is next level but at least some more upgrades on units than getting skilled by battling is different like some citizens soldiers can do some stuff by upgrading them in barracks like elite soldiers and stuff. 

AOE3 is such a beautiful game,especially a game about the new world,and that whole time era. The time when nations were shocked at what they discovered on new lands from riches to tribes.It's beautiful you can act that out,and experience what the early settlers experienced. There are not many games about the conquistadours or the new world unless you play Expedition, which is a goody.

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