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Why (How) is th AI Stupid?

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  • Why (How) is th AI Stupid?

    Enigma Nova posted this in a recent thread and it caused me to question:

    Begin quote
    "Transcend is OWNABLE.
    The AI is pretty stupid"
    End quote

    I agree.

    How stupid is the AI?

    My own top nominations are:

    1. Failure to effectively use Airpower.

    2. Failure to look beyond the immediate battle to the outcome of the war.

    As I have just been re-instructed in the SP game I am now playing, once I get airpower, the AI is only hanging around for me to conquer it.

    How much of the AI stupidity have I missed? Can you share examples? My own favorite is when I caused 20 some odd Hive aircraft to crash out of fuel, because the Hive failed to sacrifice one or two A/C to punch through a barrier I made.



    Has anyone noticed any AI practices, tactics, or strategies that they have found useful? If so, which ones?
    Last edited by Mead; December 26, 2003, 01:54.

  • #2
    Okay... heres the main strategic problems with the AI (the ones that can be fixed, AI's will always have problems with tatics):

    The AI does very poor terraforming. In the vast majority of situtations the best terraforming is forests, while the AI plants hardly any of it. Ultimately the AI's terraforming is a heap of crappy farm/mine/solar that doesn't come close to the effectivness of simple forests + treefarms. And it costs a lot more because solars and mines are expensive. And the food output is rarely high enough to be able to work mines.

    Even worse, sometimes the AI (especially Miriam and Zak) neglect to research and/or build formers, meaning they actually have no terraforming at all, until prehaps 60 turns into the game. The AI also only builds condensors and boreholes once in a blue moon.

    The AI switches into War mode and COMPLETELY neglects infrastructure, building only units, even if the units are useless and "serve" only to cost support. And because the AI is insanely agressive about declaring vendetta it's basically always in stupid war building mode except at the start of the game.

    The AI tries to use aircraft under FM, with predictable results - bases crippled by drones.

    The AI has little clue about crawler usage, every so often it builds them, usually it sends them to a SP/prototype which is acceptable behaivour, however it's completely clueless about crawling resources, when it actually does crawl resources it's usually something moronic like minerals from fungus - this problem is less critical than the AI's terraforming & infrastructure problems, altough simple "training" - putting crawlers on mines would help a lot.

    The AI refuses to build any number of Orbitals with any priority - this may be because by that stage of the game they are firmly in war mode. Orbitals are great value and the AI is at a serious disadvantage by not throwing up a few.

    The AI chooses bad SE settings, often neglecting the almost "free" Green and Wealth settings in favour of those with more harmful negatives like fundie, FM/Planned and Power. (probably a reflection of the AI's obsession with war)

    Two simple things that would improve the AI immensily are a dramatic increase in the priority for planting forest, and a very high priority for building treefarms that even overrides war building mode, the other being to make the AI still build infrastructure when it's obsessed with war, say building a facility instead of a unit 50% of the time. Unfortunately such AI improvements are highy unlikely to ever happen.

    It's actually possible to customize the AI & map to make it considerably better, the AI should be non-agressive with BUILD priorities like Morgan, the map should be mostly low level land (<999) with high rainfall - forest planting is based on altitude not aridness. Rocky tiles should be minizmied because the AI is incapable of working them.
    Useful cheat Freebies for the AI are bonus Support, Police and/or free clean reactors, these help with the AI's drone and support problems, without giving them ludicrus early industry/growth. However war-mode ensures the human will ALWAYS eventually surpass the AI's strength, however rigged the AI's start may be. (the most rigged start is pre-terraformed forests, boreholes and kelp/tidals, well the most rigged start is with all technology and facilities, but I'm meaning a slightly fair start)

    The AI doesn't do anything smart at all, altough its probe usage is fairly sensible.


    • #3
      yes, slaugtering needlejets is very fun. I've nuked bases full of jets more times than I can count. Or blocked an entire fleet from escaping when they could've captured my base.

      I think the AI lacks a coherant focus and strategy is because most every unit seems to be set on Automatic (as you can do), so each unit acts by itself, which isn't so great when a strategy is needed. I'm tired of destroying small skim transports with three garrison units in it. It's a waste of time.

      I like getting into nuke wars with the Hive. Good fun, although we destroy each other's bases like mad, but still good fun.
      It's really Synthetic God... I guess I didn't notice my own typo.