Opponents expanding into my territory

4X strategy game from Proxy Studios

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gamevark
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Opponents expanding into my territory

Post by gamevark » Thu Oct 30, 2014 10:10 am

This is probably my biggest gripe with the game.

I strive for a peaceful game, I don't like prolonged war or completely conquering other nations.

So I'm on this continent, alone. Before I get my third city, some AI starts settling on the edge of "my" continent. It's early in the game so its fine, I didn't consider it "my" continent yet so I left him alone and sped up settling new cities to "claim" the rest of the continent for myself. Before soon I cover the continent and I am the major millitary force in the world (by large I might add).

So, hours into the game I covered most of the continent but still have some space between my cities that expanding borders haven't covered yet. Then my best and longest ally which throughout the game we've been working together, settles a city smack in the middle between mine. He had no space, there was hardly one hex around this new city but it prevented my cities from expanding.

I had no choice but to nuke this city and clear the space to allow my cities to expand properly. The game was ruined. Entirely. I was the cheater, the backstabber, can't be trusted. The whole game changed. Friendly and generous neighbors changed to reserved, my best ally was furious and hated my guts.

Then another did the same. Not as good an ally but still. I was lucky because he left his city unguarded and my previous "ally" took it. Since I was already at war with him, it was easy to nuke it too and clear it.

Now, I don't mind that the game changes, but what led up to it was complete BS. This should NOT happen. No one in his right mind should want to settle a new city on a continent half way across the globe with no room to grow unless you want to provoke the other player.

The AI should be changed to evaluate this better. Minimum space required, but also consider diplomatic standing with the major force on the continent.

Xilmi
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Re: Opponents expanding into my territory

Post by Xilmi » Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:05 am

I tend to agree that the AI seems to value colonizing new cities too much and oftentimes these cities do not even generate any kind of advantage other than providing an additional base for nukes or an outpost to spy from.

However, you have to accept that they are seperate entities and as such do what they want, not what you want. Dealing with their actions is part of the game. Unclaimed territority is free for everyone to claim. Proximity just gives you a better chance but no guarantee to claim it.

In order to provoke it takes two people. The one who provokes and the one that lets himself be provoked. You could have ignored the incident and thus avoided the war and the bad relations. If the few tiles the AI took away are more important for you than peace was, this still was you decision.

gamevark
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Re: Opponents expanding into my territory

Post by gamevark » Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:44 am

Xilmi wrote:I tend to agree that the AI seems to value colonizing new cities too much and oftentimes these cities do not even generate any kind of advantage other than providing an additional base for nukes or an outpost to spy from.
Exactly.
Xilmi wrote:However, you have to accept that they are seperate entities and as such do what they want, not what you want. Dealing with their actions is part of the game. Unclaimed territority is free for everyone to claim. Proximity just gives you a better chance but no guarantee to claim it.
Of course. But that doesn't negate the fact that they should be smarter about it. It needs tuning. No one should want to provoke his best ally which also happens to be the strongest global force on the planet.

The AI simply seems oblivious to the fact that what he did is provocative. To him, it was all fine and dandy which it isn't.

Basically, AI should consider at least 1 hex outside borders claimed, consider sufficient growth for his own city and not settle within 3 hexes of another city.

Last but not least, there is no way I can prevent it from happening. In CivV (sorry, I hate comparing but the situation is too similar) I can tell another Civ to not settle near me. If I'm a lot stronger, they often listen and if not, it gives me a semi-legit reason to declare war and take the city or raze it.
Xilmi wrote:In order to provoke it takes two people. The one who provokes and the one that lets himself be provoked. You could have ignored the incident and thus avoided the war and the bad relations. If the few tiles the AI took away are more important for you than peace was, this still was you decision.
Yes it was my choice but ignoring it was not a choice. It disrupted my growth, my movement and players to whom I keep the borders closed could come in through open borders of him. Everything about this is simply a no-no.

I really consider this a bug in the AI. As far as I'm concerned it needs to be tuned and we really need an option through diplomacy to let an opponent know we don't want him to settle near us. The impact of going to war if they choose to ignore that should be lighter with other factions.

Zak0r
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Re: Opponents expanding into my territory

Post by Zak0r » Fri Oct 31, 2014 8:01 am

While I don't agree that such a city is completely useless in general just because it has no tiles I agree that a diplomatic option for such cases would be nice.

gamevark
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Re: Opponents expanding into my territory

Post by gamevark » Fri Oct 31, 2014 5:06 pm

I would agree with you if it were a human player. But let's be honest, the AI doesn't think like you and me ;).

YaroslavUSSR
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Re: Opponents expanding into my territory

Post by YaroslavUSSR » Sun Nov 09, 2014 1:04 pm

gamevark wrote:I would agree with you if it were a human player. But let's be honest, the AI doesn't think like you and me ;).
I share the same feelings and I think there should be "spheres of influence" in the game and a diplomatic option like "remove your units from my territory". For now I play all my games on the Archipelago maps. I created a mod for my own use with following settings:

WorldGenerator.xml: <archipelago landTerritories="0.03" patchSizeMin="0.03" patchSizeMax="0.03"/>.
WorldParameters.xml: <huge dimension="96 96"/> <!-- 9216 tiles / 7 factions = 1316.57 tiles per faction / 36 tiles per city = 36.57 cities per faction -->.


This generates maps with a lot of isles of 3 tiles in radius. So a fully developed city occupys the entire isle and AI is not able to establish new colonies on your territory. Then research as quickly as possible Terraforming and Amphibian Formers techs and expand into ocean by rising single tiles of land from the deeps and founding colonies on them.

jdmillard
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Re: Opponents expanding into my territory

Post by jdmillard » Thu Nov 13, 2014 12:18 am

This happened to me yesterday. It was still early in the game and Noxium decides to put a city past me (on the other side of me from where he is). That position he picked was super annoying for my plans and it wasn't all that advantageous to him. He was one of my closest friends in the game and I had no plans to settle accounts with him any time soon. Then suddenly he does this. Ugh. It was so annoying.

I called up this "generous" friend Noxium and declared war and took the city the same turn it was colonized. So silly. It was a size 1 so it disappears really fast since growth is negative, so no harm to my plans. Holy smokes though. I wish I could just call him up and buy the city from him rather than destroy my relationship with my closest ally.

Xilmi
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Re: Opponents expanding into my territory

Post by Xilmi » Tue Dec 23, 2014 12:01 pm

I'm under the impression that the AI builds colonizers in waves and thus sometimes builds more than it actually wanted.
This may be the root-cause of them founding cities in really shitty locations or very close to their allies.
I'll try and see if I can make them take into consideration if they are building a colonizer somewhere else when deciding what to build. This might prevent them from getting undwanted ones that are then spent on unnecessary cities.
I can also look into the algorithm that picks the locations and check if and how the proximities of other empires cities are taken into account.

Xilmi
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Re: Opponents expanding into my territory

Post by Xilmi » Wed Jan 07, 2015 4:30 pm

In my development-version I made them check their construction-queues to consider the colonizers in production aswell when calculating if they should expand. This got rid of the wave-like colonizer-spamming. However, it doesn't really prevent them from building cities into bad positions.
I had a brief look at the evaluation for city-locations. I think that the weighting of quality vs "closeness" is too much into favour of closeness.
As in they rather build on a shitty close spot than a great spot they have to travel a little further. I think if the first radius of a city includes tiles that any faction, including their own, already occupies, this should dramatically lower the evaluation of the spot.
I'll definately keep this issue on the radar.

Xilmi
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Re: Opponents expanding into my territory

Post by Xilmi » Sun Jan 18, 2015 5:50 pm

Today I've taken care about city-location selection.
The AI will now value cities further away from other cities much higher and thus shall avoid planting cities near your borders.

Here's an example of a well done city-location picking by the AI.
Border-expansion-ordering was also treated.

Image

JetJaguar
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Re: Opponents expanding into my territory

Post by JetJaguar » Sun Jan 18, 2015 6:38 pm

Xilmi wrote:Today I've taken care about city-location selection.
The AI will now value cities further away from other cities much higher and thus shall avoid planting cities near your borders.

Here's an example of a well done city-location picking by the AI.
Border-expansion-ordering was also treated.

Image
Nice! Really appreciate your work.

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