(Apologies if this is a duplicate thread. Frankly, I'm getting a little ticked off at the number of posts that this forum appears to eat whenever I try and contribute here).
So I'm playing a big map on medium, and win handily. AI's pretty slow. Then I try Hard, and get kerschwalloped by a swarm of AI allies. Ouch. This got me thinking about an intermediate setting for large maps and multiple AI's - "AI that learns" mode, possibly as a switch on the screen when you're selecting your parameters for a game's set-up.
Here's how it might work: when you start any game with more than one AI, as you play, the 'surviving' AI's move to the next higher level of intelligence a bit at a time.
An example: say you elect to play a 5-player game where it's you vs. 4 AI's, all set to Medium, and you check the box that says "AI's get smarter" next to each of their names.
When ONE of the AI's is defeated (note: to prevent player abuse, this does not mean destroyed, just that the AI is effectively neutralized down to only, say, 20% of the overall strength of the player or best AI), all of the AI's get moved to playing at 125% of Medium skill level. When a second AI is 'defeated', the surviving AI's move to playing at 150% of Medium skill level (i.e. halfway between Medium and Hard). When only one AI is effectively left, suddenly he's playing against you in Hard mode.
This game concept would help a little with the steamrollering that occurs in late game as soon as the player hits a certain imbalance of power. As soon as the player effectively becomes way more powerful than any of the AI's, suddenly they 'upgrade' to give him a tougher challenge.
Thoughts? Depending on how Sins set up the AI system, this might be very, very difficult to patch - or it might not.