Allied AI problem

PSP/DS/PC/MAC : WWII turn based grand strategy game

Moderators: firepowerjohan, rkr1958, Happycat, Slitherine Core

Post Reply
borsook79
1st Lieutenant - 15 cm sFH 18
1st Lieutenant - 15 cm sFH 18
Posts: 837
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 5:51 pm
Location: Poland

Allied AI problem

Post by borsook79 » Mon Dec 17, 2007 12:03 am

The thing I really love about CEAW is that with all the stream-lined gameplay it has a lot of strategic historical accuracy, allowing one to relive real world events, like D-Day etc even when playing against the AI.

There is one problem that is bugging me though, I mentioned it before, but since then I have run many a test game on different difficulties and the result is always the same: Allied AI neglects African front does not send troops there even when the Axis win and enter Egypt. Allied AI just watches. SU AI is unconcerned when the Axis invades Persia or even their own oil fields, even when SU is wining on other fronts it does not send troops there not to mention a counter-offensive into Persia. Funny thing is, with current AI behavior even initial Italian Army is able to eliminate oil worries from the game for the Axis.

This is the only significant problem I see with how the war against AI unfolds, but a major one.

Ryben
Staff Sergeant - StuG IIIF
Staff Sergeant - StuG IIIF
Posts: 281
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 2:12 pm
Location: Spain

Post by Ryben » Mon Dec 17, 2007 3:03 pm

Poor developers. It should be annoying reading the same critics to AI again and again...

BTW, there are some other posts where we discuss the same issue. Nothing against opening new threads but this have been discussed before.

I agree with you. AI is very passive in the Mediterranean. I usually transfer most of the Italian troops to north europe and russian front leave Rome undefended. Allies never bother invading Italy...

borsook79
1st Lieutenant - 15 cm sFH 18
1st Lieutenant - 15 cm sFH 18
Posts: 837
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 5:51 pm
Location: Poland

Post by borsook79 » Mon Dec 17, 2007 3:14 pm

Ryben wrote:Poor developers. It should be annoying reading the same critics to AI again and again...

BTW, there are some other posts where we discuss the same issue. Nothing against opening new threads but this have been discussed before.

I agree with you. AI is very passive in the Mediterranean. I usually transfer most of the Italian troops to north europe and russian front leave Rome undefended. Allies never bother invading Italy...
The trouble is that generally speaking AI is quite good, with a difficulty setting boost it can be a decent opponent, so it is not that devs did a poor job with it, quite the contrary. Trouble is the AI seems to put wrong, from strategic perspective, priorities in few areas. Not know the underlying code I do hope that shifting that is possible via a patch and hence I'm trying to bring the problem into the light. :)

Ryben
Staff Sergeant - StuG IIIF
Staff Sergeant - StuG IIIF
Posts: 281
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 2:12 pm
Location: Spain

Post by Ryben » Mon Dec 17, 2007 5:11 pm

Borsook wrote:The trouble is that generally speaking AI is quite good, with a difficulty setting boost it can be a decent opponent.
Sometimes, sometimes...

The AI made a good job repelling my german invasion and throwing me back to Poland.

On the other hand it tries to disembark on Normandy again and again (it´s well defended) while ignoring the west French coast that´s not even garrisoned or, despite been defeated in France each time the units reach land, it didn´t try luck in Italy (nearly undefended).

But yes, you got the point. It´s not the ability of AI to conduct combat but the way it focus on certain parts of the map, ignoring others.

borsook79
1st Lieutenant - 15 cm sFH 18
1st Lieutenant - 15 cm sFH 18
Posts: 837
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 5:51 pm
Location: Poland

Post by borsook79 » Mon Dec 17, 2007 5:24 pm

I'm going to try some tweaks to the /*Targetting*/ section of general.txt and see whether or not it changes Allied AI behaviour as far as Africa is concerned.

firepowerjohan
Brigadier-General - 8.8 cm Pak 43/41
Brigadier-General - 8.8 cm Pak 43/41
Posts: 1878
Joined: Mon May 22, 2006 7:58 pm
Contact:

Post by firepowerjohan » Mon Dec 17, 2007 6:18 pm

The targetting parameters will not help Africa just so that it saves you the trouble of going through the script and test it :)
The AI is better on tactical than on strategic level in CEAW and unfortunately the system is not so easy to tweak at this stage. There are other series out there that have spent years since their first games to improve the AI and I would be lying if I said that there are not some of them that have better AI than CEAW. However, they also have been able to sell more than one product and that is in the end what has to be done to keep a business going. On the other hand, I am very sure that CEAW is top notch when regards to multiplayer and that means the mehanism is there for a good gameplay it is just that it takes a lot of time to make that catch up. If game was good in single player but bad in multplayer woudl actually be worse since it would indicate that the core game engine balance is not working.

That said, it is very unlikely that there will be major improvements in AI for CEAW from now on just minor things that does not upset the game and create more bugs. That is what patching should be about first place though I know many use patching as a system for delivering a product first and see and then if it sells to work on major updates to fix the things that were broken in first place. This philosophy is not shared by Firepower Entertainment and our focus is to have a rock solid game as early as possible and only 3 months after CEAW was released our 2nd patch removed virtually all bugs in game. So buying a Commander series game you will know that the game will run from 1.00 and in fact from reviews we got many many notes that the game was almost unbreakable. You will also know that what you buy is what you get and not have to wait 12+ months before the product is what it should have been from start.

I understand that this could be a bit disapointing but long term you will be thankful for it since you do not need to wait 12 months for updates to make the game run solid and you can be assured that on next version of Commander series the AI will just get better. Though for this first game it is not possible to make the game without any weaknesses and so I am afraid there will be some ways to beat the AI by strategic planning but I hope you try the multiplayer once you get experienced in the game because from my opinion that is where CEAW truly shine :)
Johan Persson - Firepower Entertainment
Lead Developer of CEAW, CNAW and World Empires Live (http://www.worldempireslive.com)

borsook79
1st Lieutenant - 15 cm sFH 18
1st Lieutenant - 15 cm sFH 18
Posts: 837
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 5:51 pm
Location: Poland

Post by borsook79 » Mon Dec 17, 2007 6:56 pm

Wouldn't it be possible to make a sort of workaround, i.e. an AI only script that makes AI send every x-th troop produced to Africa? Or send it when the total number of UK units reaches a given amount. This may result in strange outcomes time from time, but most of the time it should work out just fine.
firepowerjohan wrote: I understand that this could be a bit disapointing but long term you will be thankful for it since you do not need to wait 12 months for updates to make the game run solid and you can be assured that on next version of Commander series the AI will just get better. Though for this first game it is not possible to make the game without any weaknesses and so I am afraid there will be some ways to beat the AI by strategic planning but I hope you try the multiplayer once you get experienced in the game because from my opinion that is where CEAW truly shine :)
Well, this is not that much disappointing, I've been playing PC strategies since 1991 and CEAW is a very good game, AI problems are there, but as I said overall AI is adequate. Provided you will develop AI further in next games in the series all is fine :) I am aware that this is the first game, and you should be congratulated on doing so fine a job.

PS. I'd like to point out, as an aside, there is quite a large number of people, though probably less visible in the forums who never computer games in MP.

KarlXII
Senior Corporal - Ju 87G
Senior Corporal - Ju 87G
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 9:42 am

Post by KarlXII » Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:48 pm

That was the last spike into the chest.....

At last a confirmation that the game is suited and ideal for multiplayer but lacks the strength to be a solid single player game. I wonder how many of the gamers that have bought this game, did that only to be able to play as a single player mainly. I thought the main reason for buying a strategy game on the computer was to be able to play against the AI where you don´t have to bring forth the tabel top game and gather your friends when time allows.
I am dissappointed to learn that the current shortbacks of the AI will not be fixed in any future patch of CEAW but instead might be improved in future titles. I will put this game away and only pick it up when I have the time to dedicate it entirely in multiplayer purpose. That means I probably go for other games available at Matrix...

I wouldn´t complain as much if the price were lower but right now it is at the same level as any other strategy game so the competition is fierce and I have expect as much. The game does everything very good except for just the AI. That is a shame on such a good game.

Ryben
Staff Sergeant - StuG IIIF
Staff Sergeant - StuG IIIF
Posts: 281
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 2:12 pm
Location: Spain

Post by Ryben » Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:49 pm

So i´ve got a game that is, from its conception:

a) tactically good

b) strategically regular

c) excellent in multiplayer

It would be wise advertising that in the game box, you know: New limited strategical game, out now! Play with your friends or get a limited experience solo! No new additions in future! Pay 40$!

I buy computer wargames because i don´t have many time for multiplayer (a PBEM would last weeks...or months). Many people are "casual wargamers" that like something with more depth that "warcraft" but are not so "hardcore" that would spent a lot of time looking and playing MP games. They look for a game to play with it´s computer.

If developers were full aware of the limitations of they game they should been more honest and not let it be sold as something it isn´t. Sorry if this sounds rude but i can´t understand it.

Stryder
Corporal - Strongpoint
Corporal - Strongpoint
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:31 am
Location: RI, USA

Post by Stryder » Tue Dec 18, 2007 2:04 pm

crushing disappointment........ I don't ever play multiplayer.. just don't have the time :(

borsook79
1st Lieutenant - 15 cm sFH 18
1st Lieutenant - 15 cm sFH 18
Posts: 837
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 5:51 pm
Location: Poland

Post by borsook79 » Tue Dec 18, 2007 2:40 pm

KarlXII wrote: I wouldn´t complain as much if the price were lower but right now it is at the same level as any other strategy game so the competition is fierce and I have expect as much. The game does everything very good except for just the AI. That is a shame on such a good game.
I too don't play multiplayer. But really it is not that CEAW is not enjoyable in single player. I'd be more than glad if the strategic AI was better (or more heavily based on scripts - I still believe this is a feasible solution in the current game). But we have to remember this is the first game done by a small developer. Competition... I do not think that e.g. HOI1 1.0 or Strategic Command 2 1.0 had much better AI. And those games were, much more buggy in their out of the box state. CEAW is well polished in this aspect and I respect that. I do hope that the devs will, after all, try to improve AI in patches (esp if they're working on the next game in the series, maybe parts of new code can be reused), I do think that SC2 approach is good (patches that largely concentrate on AI not bugs). But even if not, I still believe that we've received a good product, not perfect, but definitely not worse than the current standards.

Agent_Smith
Senior Corporal - Ju 87G
Senior Corporal - Ju 87G
Posts: 89
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 7:53 am
Location: Melbourne Australia

Post by Agent_Smith » Tue Dec 18, 2007 11:19 pm

hmmm,
I don't seem to be alone in not having enough solid continuous time to offer a decent pbem or multiplayer game, and also rely on a challenging A.I. for sporadic solo play.

So a few questions.
  • Given the game is so rock solid and bug free, what will the upcoming patch focus on?
    Also, there are still those empty game option slots that were earlier hinted at for possible expansion, any development there?
    How many updates are really left in the development of this game? (1 maybe 2?)
    Will the editor be improved on for map and a.i?
(if anyone is up for a haphazard, long term, pbem over 3-6 months, let me know.)

syagrius
Staff Sergeant - StuG IIIF
Staff Sergeant - StuG IIIF
Posts: 251
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2006 7:04 pm

Post by syagrius » Wed Dec 19, 2007 4:05 pm

The next patch need to focus on AI, AI and AI. It was said that SC2 has a greatly improved AI since the last W and W expansion. CeAW should do same.

firepowerjohan
Brigadier-General - 8.8 cm Pak 43/41
Brigadier-General - 8.8 cm Pak 43/41
Posts: 1878
Joined: Mon May 22, 2006 7:58 pm
Contact:

Post by firepowerjohan » Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:06 pm

Next patch will contain AI improvements, Game balance tweaking, bug fixing and perhaps new features just like the other patches.
Borsook wrote:Wouldn't it be possible to make a sort of workaround, i.e. an AI only script that makes AI send every x-th troop produced to Africa? Or send it when the total number of UK units reaches a given amount. This may result in strange outcomes time from time, but most of the time it should work out just fine.
We have looked into it and we know which changes that can break the whole engine. This was one of them unfortunately and that was what I have tried to explain :)
Johan Persson - Firepower Entertainment
Lead Developer of CEAW, CNAW and World Empires Live (http://www.worldempireslive.com)

borsook79
1st Lieutenant - 15 cm sFH 18
1st Lieutenant - 15 cm sFH 18
Posts: 837
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 5:51 pm
Location: Poland

Post by borsook79 » Wed Dec 19, 2007 8:18 pm

firepowerjohan wrote:Next patch will contain AI improvements, Game balance tweaking, bug fixing and perhaps new features just like the other patches.
Since we touched MP aspect, how about making a more integrated ladder? I.e. before the game players tick the "ladder box", type in the name and afterwards the results are send automatically to a given server.

BTW will there be any changes/additions to the editor?
firepowerjohan wrote: We have looked into it and we know which changes that can break the whole engine. This was one of them unfortunately and that was what I have tried to explain :)
A pity... But it is good to hear to think about all options :)

Ryben
Staff Sergeant - StuG IIIF
Staff Sergeant - StuG IIIF
Posts: 281
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 2:12 pm
Location: Spain

Post by Ryben » Thu Dec 20, 2007 9:41 pm

A way to fix the lack of activity in the Mediterranean thather without messing too much with the programming is to allow Allied AI to buy units in Cairo, not just England. A bit tricky but AI should react and buy new units so getting into the Middle East won´t be so easy.

What do you think?

borsook79
1st Lieutenant - 15 cm sFH 18
1st Lieutenant - 15 cm sFH 18
Posts: 837
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 5:51 pm
Location: Poland

Post by borsook79 » Thu Dec 20, 2007 9:48 pm

Ryben wrote:A way to fix the lack of activity in the Mediterranean thather without messing too much with the programming is to allow Allied AI to buy units in Cairo, not just England. A bit tricky but AI should react and buy new units so getting into the Middle East won´t be so easy.

What do you think?
That might cause some balance problems... maybe just allow railroad move there? Then if AI sends there more than 2 units per turn they would at least have to pay for it...

Ryben
Staff Sergeant - StuG IIIF
Staff Sergeant - StuG IIIF
Posts: 281
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 2:12 pm
Location: Spain

Post by Ryben » Thu Dec 20, 2007 11:33 pm

Or, if it could buy units in egypt it would cost more turns to deploy than normal. That would simulate reinforcements coming through Suez channel.

borsook79
1st Lieutenant - 15 cm sFH 18
1st Lieutenant - 15 cm sFH 18
Posts: 837
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 5:51 pm
Location: Poland

Post by borsook79 » Thu Dec 20, 2007 11:35 pm

Ryben wrote:Or, if it could buy units in egypt it would cost more turns to deploy than normal. That would simulate reinforcements coming through Suez channel.
but turns to deply are calculated before you choose where to deploy to... this would look strange with the current system.

Ryben
Staff Sergeant - StuG IIIF
Staff Sergeant - StuG IIIF
Posts: 281
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 2:12 pm
Location: Spain

Post by Ryben » Thu Dec 20, 2007 11:50 pm

Borsook wrote:but turns to deply are calculated before you choose where to deploy to... this would look strange with the current system.
True, but take in count that is not you who are going to deploy units in Cairo. It´s only the AI.

So it could buy units and automatically asign them to Egypt. You, as player, would never know that the system is "cheating" and deploying first. Yes. it´s a tweak but as far as you don´t know what´s happening only the results matter.

Post Reply

Return to “MILITARY HISTORY™ Commander - Europe at War : General Discussion”