Welcome to this week’s AI butt kicking.
Who am I? I’m Brad Wardell, the guy in charge of the AI. Me and my team are working to make sure that the GalCiv III AI isn’t just good but the best 4X AI that has ever been made. But we have a lot of work ahead of us over the next few years.
Every so often I mutilate the GalCiv AI to find new ways to improve it.
If you’d like to see the last humiliation, it’s here: http://forums.galciv3.com/463674
The set up is simple.
Humans (played by me) in one spot and the Drengin in the other. I turn OFF fow for both players (because I know the map) and let’s see how it does.
Very simple map. Terrans (me) at top. Drengin (AI) at bottom
This is also the MP map I play people online with so look for me online!
By turn 8, I spot my first AI error. The AI is setting planets not to be known by it! Ouch. I put that in to slow the AI down on beginner but I put it in the wrong spot. This, my friends, is why you this.
Fixed: Take 2
This time, much better.
The AI thinks colonizing Mars is a good idea. I think getting invasion tech is a good idea.
I have invasion. Time to die AI
Part II: The butt kicking
This is where the AI always fails and will probably continue to fail. It just can’t react fast enough to a player who is b-lining. On a larger map, they can do the Soviet strategy in WW II and slowly react. But this is a particular map.
Now, to be fair: The AI has improved dramatically. It used to just let me build up and kill it. In more recent builds, it at least tries to defend itself.
Let’s see how it does after the massive AI check in this week.
Research time is over. It’s time to die, AI.
AI makes first mistake
Mars is mine.
AI will lose a second planet because he didn’t intelligently place his defenders
Which isn’t to say the AI isn’t getting better. This fleet, rather than trying to attack me, is reinforcing a nearby planet. The problem is that it prioritized getting its most valuable planet defended FIRST without taking into account the distance. Imagine if this was a huge map.
Hmmm. Well, this is new
I should have probably noticed this earlier but the AI built a military starbase near Charla. Admittedly, it had been there before I just didn’t notice. But it allowed its fleet to defeat my main fleet.
Another AI mistake
Only one ship defending this planet even though he has big fleets. Tsk tsk.
Another planet down
If he had just defended his planet he could have stopped this. Now, as the AI guy on this, I can tell you, it wants to do this but clearly other things are taking priority. AI coding is…complicated.
The AI actually played well enough that I have to make peace so that I can…reload. But he shouldn’t have let me off the hook.
Now to design ships to counter theirs: See how they’re big into beam weapons (top left)? I’ll make shields.
So I design a unit that counters the Drengin strength. Now, the defenses probably need a bit more balancing (it’s very easy to build defense heavy unit).
The AI (Drengin) has their own idea. Isn’t that adorable?
The Drengin think they can take out the ass kicker?
As you can see, all those great weapons of the Drengin get blunted by the shields.
So how did they win that battle?
I missed one item: Their ships are all medium hulls. All mine were small except for the Avalon (ass kicker).
That is good, it just means they’re getting better.
This time I have two Avalons. They have managed to concentrate their units a bit better.
Ok, they caught me out of position. I shouldn’t have underestimated them.
They manage to take out my last shipyard so I can’t construct units here.
The error they’re making though is that they aren’t following this up with transports. Sure, they took out my shipyard and made my planets undefended but they have to coordinate that with transports.
Er…following up with transports
I’m out of time for tonight
I would have definitely eventually won. Probably. Maybe. But as this test shows, the AI still has room to approve.