I'm very tempted, but nothing Alvaro ever says about the AI opponent gives me much confidence. I guess he is honest when he assesses it - but he never is wholehearted about the AI, and I do not want to play PBEM, do not want to play a human opponent. And everything Alvaro says about the game suggests to me that it is designed for PBEM. It's the same when he talks about Warplan Europe - he's never giving the impression that the AI works too well, always giving the impression that this is a fantastic game between two humans. He stresses that, and is lukewarm about the AI. But many, many people don't want to play PBEM, for a whole variety of reasons. So I'm guessing that's going to limit things. I never bought Warplan Europe because of Alvaro's less than thrilling endorsement of his own AI opponent, and I guess for the same reasons I won't be buying Pacific, though I would love to have a good, manageable-scale Pacific title with a really excellent AI opponent. This is not it, right, Alvaro?
I don't exaggerate the capacities of A.I. I love Strategic Command 3 Europe. Without reading the rules I beat the Axis on the historical levels in France 1940. Does that mean the A.I. is bad? No. It just means I need to adjust up the levels. So when you read or hear me in an interview about design I am telling the truth about any game that uses A.I. You can dump the WarPlan A.I. in Unity of Command and it will give you a solid challenge because that is a small fixed scenario with set objectives that is easy for the A.I. to handle. But as games grow in complexity the challenges for the A.I. also grow exponentially.
The difference between the complexity of Chess and Go are mind blowing. They programmed Big Blue 20 some years ago. Go looks like a simpler game but it is vastly more complex. So complex they build a learning A.I. to play millions of game to teach itself on a server farm on how to beat the best human in the world using a neural net. A human couldn't possibly reasonably program that.
If you are a casual gamer WarPlan A.I. will be fun. If you are the best wargamer in the world of course it won't be a challenge without pumping in some experience levels.
Players beat the crap out of the Russian A.I. in War in the East. It doesn't mean the game's A.I. is terrible. It's a complex game and the A.I. needs help.
I hear often players complaining about Hearts of Iron A.I. It's a hugely complex game.
Ask on the WarPlan forum if the players who only play the A.I. enjoy it. Me, I am a 35 year wargamer. There is no A.I. that can beat me in a game like WarPlan or Strategic Command or War in the East without help.
From what I have read from reviews about 1/2 the players feel challenged by the A.I. at standard levels. Others bump up the strength of the A.I. for a good challenge and see how far they go.
But I did learn a valuable lesson from your post for future interviews. I will be sure to mention how other players feel about the A.I. I am a bit of a perfectionist on A.I.
Look if you really want to try it. Get it on Steam, if you don't like it, return it. I have refunded 2-3 games on Steam I didn't enjoy myself.
Creator Kraken Studios
- WarPlan Pacific
Designer Strategic Command
- Brute Force (mod) SC2
- Assault on Communism SC2
- Assault on Democracy SC2
- Map Image Importer SC3