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- Posts: 872
- Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2002 3:29 am
- Location: Western USA
And that's about all a person can say in regard to the constant whining about bad AI's.
The worst part of it is, that developers might sometimes not implement certain features of a game because it might be too difficult (or impossible) to program the AI for it. In other words, an aspect of a game that might work very well in regard to PBEM play might be compromised, or even left out altogether, because AI would not be able to adequately follow the routine.
IMO, wargames, especially those for more than two people, should be designed strictly with human-to-human play (PBEM, TCP/IP, hot seat) in mind, with the AI added as an afterthought and mainly as a teaching/practicing aid and nothing more.
PBEM wargamers are a distinct minority. They, at least those that play monster games like WitP, are akin to those that played chess via the mail when I was a kid. Nothing wrong with that of course but it's not a group you can make a living catering to. So wargame publishers further shrinking their already relatively small customer base would be the final nail in the coffin.
However, if that's what a company chooses to do, that's fine by me. I'd rather see a game released as "2+ players" only, then buy a game like WitP and then be told after the fact that the AI is for "training purposes". Especially when even that is false, unless your PBEM opponent is too dumb to even refuel his task forces or send damaged ships back to port, there's not much training value.
The beauty of computer games for me was that they came with a built-in opponent. As opposed to my beautiful board games that none of my friends were interested in playing.
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- Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2001 10:00 am
- Location: Wollondilly, Sydney
As opposed to my beautiful board games that none of my friends were interested in playing.
Which is the real reason I prefer to play PBEM
- Posts: 3282
- Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2003 4:07 pm
- Location: arkansas
I would think that most people don,t remember Sacrifice. That game was different. My wife hated the way you builted your forces-killing villagers. "Please, please don't kill me...............AAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh! Then another soul for the taking.
I find the problem with todays AI's is they aren't programmed to win. They are merely programmed to DELAY you to your victory and your victory or demise alone is the only objectives in most games made today. But, todays player doesn't like to lose. They were brought up on Game Genie and/or cheat codes galore and they just can't fathom a game that beats them and then accuse it of cheating or getting advantages they don't get. I find that laughable because even those games that get known cheats an advantages I can usually beat in record time. There's just only a very few games out there in the last 10 years with a decent AI that is actually programmed to WIN, defeat you, and make you quit or resign. The Sid Meier games are like that. Some RTS games are like that. But, for the most part all these strategy wargames we see aren't. They are just delaying toys is all most of them are anymore. How many computer wargames do you know of today that actually have a "winning" objective that they need to reach other than just keep you from reaching yours?? Name em. Then if you can name some, how many actually ever do it? I remember when we played board wargames there were objectives for EACH side. It wasn't just prevent player A from reaching point B either. The other problem with todays games is too much eye candy and not enough gameplay and/or AI improvements. Creative Assemby tells the same lie everytime they make a game now since MTW, "the AI is IMPROVED" darn if that is so. I've yet to see any noticeable improvement in the AI at all. In fact I see the same faults in the released versions as I did with Shogun and Medieval TW1.
Thing is it really doesn't do any good to rant about it. They aren't going to put any money into making decent AI's anyore. Money is in the graphics and how fast they can churn them out for $50 bucks. I've ranted for 10 years that the AI's suk in most games released. Hasn't changed anyones bettering of AI's to date. Same developers making the same garbage AI's in what would be great games if they had decent AI's. Look at Triumph Studios. We harped and harped about the dumb stupid brainless AI in Age of Wonder Series. Did they make it better? Hell no it got worse with each sequel actually. I can applaud a small developer like Shrapnel and Mad Minute for putting more emphasis on their AI's than they do on their graphics. Dominions III has a pretty decent AI and MM's 2nd Manassas and Bull Run are right along beside them. Most RTS AI's aren't really that great either they just give them such a fast speed at computing and processing it just makes them look like they have great AI's cause they can beat you so fast cause they don't have to scroll and click and click and scroll and build this an build that like we do. It's just process mathematically and wallah it's there. Slitherine's Spartan game came with a great AI and they dumbed it down because of the whinning QQing noobs who couldn't beat it on the EASY difficulty level. I laughed my butt off when I read that and cried my lungs out screaming at Iain for changing the AI in patch 1.017 to dumbness.
It actually is a lot of the GAMERS FAULT that AI's are so easy for many of us. THey've cried and whined and QQed about difficulty for so long an so used to cheating or using cheats and game genies that they can't handle any real challenges in these games and if they can't win they won't buy them. Thus, crappy stupid braindead AI's for us more intellectual and intelligent players.
I mean I have to laugh when a game as simple as RISK can't have a decent AI. Even electronic Battleship has a stupid AI.
Games with pretty decent AI's:
Battles of Napoleon
War of the Lance
Master of Magic (impossible difficulty)
Civilization II & IV
2nd Manassas (mad minute)
Bull Run (mad minute)
X-Com series (first two games)
Combat Mission (special settings AI defender only)
Medieval Total War origional
Birth of America (though I hate the combat engine)
Kohan II (build your own AI)
Spartan (v1.013 patch)(and build your own AI)
The Seven Kingdoms (origional version)
Galactic Civilization II (13 difficulty levels)
Masters of Orion II
HOMM II (III is merely ok but II had more AI settings)
That's about it from my library of games with AI's I have fun playing against and find a challenge in beating them and don't always do.
"Before Guadalcanal the enemy advanced at his pleasure. After Guadalcanal, he retreated at ours".
"Mama, There's Rabbits in the Garden"