Regarding Difficulty and AI (Full Version)

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trueaaginor -> Regarding Difficulty and AI (4/3/2018 11:14:55 AM)

Hey folks,

still in my first Game (normal difficulty), I eventualy managed to expand my empire to a decent size and finally don't only want to shot on pirates. So I declared war on a rather weak alliance of 3 empires ... and cut through it like a hot knife through butter. After winning a fight with almost no substantial resistance, I got the remainings of the invaded empire ... and was dissapointed. A lot.

1) They still got a fleet of around +-50 ships. Escorts, Frigates, Destroyer, Cruiser. Why didn't they try to stop me conquering their worlds?

2) So I checked out what I just got and found their ships to be ... ancient. At best. Looks like they never really upgraded to recent tech, let alone filling all the size of the ships with components. Why does the AI don't create up to date ships?

At this time, the Ancient Guardians started to warn my about the danger from the Eky...something, which I ignored (I still wanted to learn the mechanics of the game at my own terms). Some days after I finished the above mentioned alliance and regrouping my forces, the Eky..something finally declared war on me. And what then followed was, well ... I started to receive something like +-100 warnings of incoming fleets, mixed with messages about conquered planets - and my responding forces (which I immediately started) did not even move half a sector. I basically had no time to react or prepare for the attack. Is that by design? Ignoring the ancient warnings is not an option? Or am I supposed to be better prepared beforehand?
**** SPOILERS END *******

I really love how this game works, how it handles things differently than most other games of this genre. But the most cruical point in such games for me is the AI. Yes, I know this is a tricky part, it's not easy to make them behave at least somewhat resonable. But not even upgrading their ships? Come on ...

Is there a way to improve the AI? Changing difficulty level (which usually just means more resources for the AI)? Mods? I would really love to play this game against a not all out stupid AI :)

Bingeling -> RE: Regarding Difficulty and AI (4/3/2018 11:26:22 AM)

You may be way ahead of them technologically. Check out the AI mod from the mod forum, it helps them quite a lot with better designs, fixed research orders, that kind of stuff.

Difficulty is as you suspect, a multiplier on everything, and not a cure for stupidity in general. But numbers can be some help against it.

Erik Rutins -> RE: Regarding Difficulty and AI (4/3/2018 3:14:16 PM)

Hi Trueaaginor,

The AI generally works a lot better than what you describe there, but there are a lot of variables to consider.

This was a completely unmodded game?

It sounds like this was pretty late in the game if you were getting the warnings from the Ancient Guardians. Did you start in pre-Warp and were these other factions well behind yours technologically? They may not have been able to upgrade their ships further and may have been far below you in actual combat power.

I have not heard of the AI leaving ships without components and without technology that is close to its latest, unless it has severe economic problems that prevent ship upgrades and more expensive designs.

The event you experience in #3 is a late game major galaxy-changing event. It's basically a galactic disaster, so if you are not prepared for it you will have a tough time. If you are reading all the warnings, you should have an idea of what is coming.

Increasing AI difficulty and aggressivess will help. I would certainly try again with a higher difficulty. The AI does not cheat in that it has more information than you have or can do things you can't do, but it does get some economic advantages at higher levels that help it overcome certain obstacles. The AI mods recommended above are also loved by many and worth a try if the default AI even on higher levels is not giving you enough of a challenge.


- Erik

Retreat1970 -> RE: Regarding Difficulty and AI (4/3/2018 3:37:51 PM)

There are any number of ways to increase difficulty. Play extreme on chaos with strong pirates. Set up your homeworld as poor quality. Set up a universe full of insect races. Set up a universe with races at a higher tech than you. There are so many ways to play harder.

As far as AI mods play Icemanias AI or RetreatUE (Unleashed Extended thread). Both a challenge. There may be others but I forget.

trueaaginor -> RE: Regarding Difficulty and AI (4/3/2018 3:47:43 PM)

Hey Erik and Bingeling,

thanks for the reply! Regarding your questions:

Yes, this was a completely unmodded game. Actually my first "real" one (besides from playing tutorials and a first oh I did everything wrong test game), so I might understand / do a lot of things still wrong.

Yes, I was pretty late in the game. I can check the exact date when I am home, but regarding tech I had almost all major components researched to the biggest type (but not all the improvements). I started Pre-Warp, but I don't know how far these Empires where regarding technology. Is there a way to check that? (I hope there is still a savegame from the time before I defeated them). I admit I did not check the exact build of those ships, but they were way behind in numbers regarding firepower and ship size. (But they had something like 20 Explorers ;) )

I knew what was coming, I was just wondering if it was supposed to be that massive and kind of, well, unhandable (not exactly regarding power, but more from the sheer number of events). Especially after the cakewalk with the other empires. But well, if that's how it supposed to be, I will be prepered. Next time ... :D

Thanks for the suggestions, I'll start over with a higher difficulty level, the mentioned AI mod and a bit more aggressiveness (Is the aggressiveness level in regards towards the player or also against the other AI empires? Because the AI fancied some wars against each other, but left me in peace, even if I did nothing regarding diplomacy).


trueaaginor -> RE: Regarding Difficulty and AI (4/10/2018 1:08:55 PM)

I started a new game using the Extended AI Improvement Mod 1.05.

With this game, I have a kind of an "issue" which I don't know if it was intended to be like this or if that behaviour was introduced by the Mod.

Specifically, in my start system I ran into a drifting ship which already had a hyperdrive. A fast one (22.5k). This resulted in being able to explore the Galaxy even before I researched the Hyperdrive myself. This way I found independent colonies, suitable colony spots, even more jumpdrive ships and the whole story-content before my "regular" ships went off into space. I actually get the "Goody-Bag" even before I get to the Gyrax-Drive (and I went there straight ...). So, for me it felt ab bit like cheating, as it gives me a heavy headstart compared to having no hyperdrive ships from the start.

Icemania -> RE: Regarding Difficulty and AI (4/10/2018 2:31:54 PM)

Nothing to do with the mod, trueaaginor, you've got a really lucky start. I trust you are playing on Extreme difficulty now that you've had a warm-up game.

Icemania -> RE: Regarding Difficulty and AI (4/10/2018 2:37:38 PM)

Also some house rules are recommended.

OpT1mUs -> RE: Regarding Difficulty and AI (4/16/2018 5:26:46 PM)

Not using intelligence agents as a house rule seems a bit harsh, that's a whole aspect of the game unused..

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