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Making a Stronger AI

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  • Commy
    replied
    Originally posted by Santiago_Clause
    The AI does a decent job picking defenses based on your attacker types: Comm Jammer, Trance, or AAA to counter your mobile, native, & air units. It is also diligent in the placing of sensors.

    The smartest thing the AI does is blast your sensors with artillery.

    Its use of artillery in general, land or sea, is competent, although it does make one fatal assumption: the AI keeps the arty in the rear undefended, assuming the armored front-line troops will protect it. As many beneficial handicaps as the AI gets on Transcend you'd think it could spare one lousy 3r sentinel to protect its 4 artillery rovers from a flank attack.

    The AI should use air cover to protect ships & troops.

    When an invasion is planned, missiles should be held in reserve to clear a path for them. Missiles would shift from "big nuisance" to "big problem". Using missiles with locusts would be devastating, although the AI has little chance of ever gaining the tech to do it.

    The combat AI may be uninspired, but at least it attacks and defends solidly.

    For true AI incompetence look to terraforming. Formers wander around, building silly things like bunkers in silly places like broad plains deep inside their territory, wasting valuable former-turns that human players would've leveraged into a vast wealth of resources.

    Farm + Mine is a terrible choice which the AI builds over and over. Farm / Solar below 1000' isn't much better. I've NEVER seen the AI put a condenser on a nutrient special. What a waste!

    AI energy output is a joke. We players will finesse every ounce of power from our territory once energy restrictions are lifted while the AI continues to plod along with low-altitude solars.

    AI sea terraforming is better, if only because it's too simple to screw up. Mining platforms are unpopular with players because players build supply, but the AI's sea bases are self-sufficient. I can respect that.

    Maybe that's why the Pirates are such a nuisance: their bases are the only ones with reasonably well-managed territory!
    If there is one good thing the AI does, it's this.

    Leave a comment:


  • Santiago_Clause
    replied
    The AI does a decent job picking defenses based on your attacker types: Comm Jammer, Trance, or AAA to counter your mobile, native, & air units. It is also diligent in the placing of sensors.

    The smartest thing the AI does is blast your sensors with artillery.

    Its use of artillery in general, land or sea, is competent, although it does make one fatal assumption: the AI keeps the arty in the rear undefended, assuming the armored front-line troops will protect it. As many beneficial handicaps as the AI gets on Transcend you'd think it could spare one lousy 3r sentinel to protect its 4 artillery rovers from a flank attack.

    The AI should use air cover to protect ships & troops.

    When an invasion is planned, missiles should be held in reserve to clear a path for them. Missiles would shift from "big nuisance" to "big problem". Using missiles with locusts would be devastating, although the AI has little chance of ever gaining the tech to do it.

    The combat AI may be uninspired, but at least it attacks and defends solidly.

    For true AI incompetence look to terraforming. Formers wander around, building silly things like bunkers in silly places like broad plains deep inside their territory, wasting valuable former-turns that human players would've leveraged into a vast wealth of resources.

    Farm + Mine is a terrible choice which the AI builds over and over. Farm / Solar below 1000' isn't much better. I've NEVER seen the AI put a condenser on a nutrient special. What a waste!

    AI energy output is a joke. We players will finesse every ounce of power from our territory once energy restrictions are lifted while the AI continues to plod along with low-altitude solars.

    AI sea terraforming is better, if only because it's too simple to screw up. Mining platforms are unpopular with players because players build supply, but the AI's sea bases are self-sufficient. I can respect that.

    Maybe that's why the Pirates are such a nuisance: their bases are the only ones with reasonably well-managed territory!

    Leave a comment:


  • Commy
    replied
    Another thing. I have this game going, and it's completely screwed up. On crossfire, you can look at the AIs social engineering. Looking back, I almost wished I hadn't:

    Gaians--Police State, Planned, Wealth
    Hive--Frontier, Planned, Knowledge
    University--Frontier, Free Market, Wealth
    Morgans--Police State, Free Market, Knowledge
    Believers--Frontier, Green, Wealth
    Spartans--Police State, Free Market, Survival
    Peacekeepers--Frontier, Simple, Survival

    You know, it's not like the AI doesn't have the technology to do its idealogy, but why does Morgan use more probe teams than Roze. And the Peacekeepers? The use as many mindworms as the Cult and the Gaians combined. As for Yang, I won't even go there.

    The AI is pretty good. After all, it's hard to make great AI. But still, it sucks pretty bad.

    Leave a comment:


  • Zeiter
    replied
    I noticed some areas where the AI could definitely improve its decision making. First, it seems to me that the AI relies too much on heavily armored infantry, and doesn't utilize rovers enough. The AI will send a bunch of 6-3-1 missle infantry over to my bases. All I have to do is pick off the infantry from 2 squares out with my missle rovers in my bases. Instead, what I do is combine my rovers with some cheap 1-3-1 or 1-3-2 garrison troops who move in front of my rovers, and I attack with my rovers. Also, if the AI could learn the massive benefit of putting its defensive units on rocky or forest squares, it would greatly improve its combat. I'm sure it "knows" the usefulness of rocky and forest for defense, but it doesn't seem to use it as much as it should. (btw, one of the main things I look for before beginning an invasion is a rocky or forest square in front of a base where I can park a defender. That +50% terrain bonus helps out a lot!)

    Also, maybe if the AI attacked with all of its troops at once, maybe I'd have a problem. But it just lets its troops trickle on over as they are produced instead of holding them back and combining them into a formidable invading force.

    There's also the issue of Miriam or Yang producing 50 6-1-1 artillery units for every actual attacking unit. Sure, they may have no problem damaging defenders. But they don't have any way to clear out the bases once they are damaged! They just sit there, turn after turn, bombarding your units. Meanwhile, you scrap together a couple of missle rovers and absolutely clean out their entire artillery force with a pretty little counter-attack. The patch did fix this somewhat, but I still find that the AI uses slightly too much artillery in proportion to the rest of its units.

    I actually find that Deidre does use her strengths well. She concentrates much more on mind worms and such. In fact, one game I left her alone all by herself on a huge continent while I pursued other interests. Before I know it, she's built a mighty fine empire, with numerous size 14 bases, tree farms, hybrid forests, other facilities, the kind of infrastructure other AI controlled factions can only dream of. In addition, I was quite alarmed to look at her security nexus, and find over 300 mind worms and 200 isle of the deeps!!!!!! She really snuck up on me that game. Luckily, I was able to score a transcendence victory, but if it had come down to warfare, even with the AI's pathetic combat tactics, 300 mind worms would have been tough to manage.

    I was actually thinking that Deidre would launch a massive native life blitzkrieg against me, but nope. Even on the rare occasions that the AI manages to produce a rather respectable army, they don't utulize it like they should. With a human opponent, I would have been dead in 10 turns max.

    I've also noticed that the AI doesn't PB the right bases. You'd think they'd go for the biggest, most infrastructurally built-up base to planet buster. Instead, often they just PB a base that you just captured from them (in fact in one instance, the blast radius from the AI PB attack not only took out the base that I had just taken, but two of its own bases as well!! )

    You still have to give the SMAC AI some credit, though. It does take some serious playing, probably at least 10 games, before you figure out the things that you need to know to win (like massive use of crawlers and pop-booming). Actually for me, it took about, I'd say 50 games, to get to the point where I could beat the AI regularly on transcend. That alone is quite a lot of replay value. Up to that point, the game is like digital herione. Only when you start beating the transcend AI with ease does it get a little bit less entertaining. But then add in the scenarios, tweaking, customizing, the expansion, and especially some human opponents, and you could go on playing it practically forever.

    Leave a comment:


  • johndmuller
    replied
    I suppose that the reason the AI ends up with nomadic Colony Pods is that the routine that decides to build them doesn't know that the routine that selects base sites has been unable to find any it likes.

    I think that the same sort of thing happens with aircraft: The AI certainly builds them, it just often chickens-out when it comes to using them - it seems reluctant to engage with unfavorable odds - even if it has aircraft coming out the wazoo and could easily afford to lose a few to knock out enemy units or bases. It definitely uses them sometimes, and quite effectively at that, and it can be especially nasty with missiles at times, but most of the time it limits itself to cheap-shotting formers and crawlers, usually leaving itself open to SAM counter-attacks to boot.

    Leave a comment:


  • livid imp
    replied
    I just want a AI that isn't so stupid as to try to extort opponents which are many times stronger than they are. Especially when you have 30 offensive units and a PB sitting next to their last remaining city and they are still giving you lip. IIRC Civ3 was even worse about that, and its AI is supposed to be advanced.

    Leave a comment:


  • Commy
    replied
    Good point. I always wondered why the AI stockpiles colony pods. And why does the AI move military unit back and forth between bases. They're the same units, and it's not like they're exploring any new territory.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jamski
    replied
    Not always...

    Miriam stockpiling colony pods???

    -Jam

    Leave a comment:


  • Commy
    replied
    I somewhat agree and disagree. The AI definitely has problems. It never does what a real leader would do. And the AI sometimes doesn't know what its idealogy is (ever seen the gaians doing planned morgans doing green? Or how about believers doing democracy? Believe me, i have) and doesn't specialize like its supposed to. Angels use probe teams just as much as the morgans do, and peacekeepers and morgans use psi just as much as cult and gaians. However, the AI strongly uses aircraft. I have had to wait 10 minutes (on a Huge map) to watch all the believer aircraft to attack me and move to other bases. The AI takes out formers, supply pods, units out of bases, and transports and probe teams. Most are suicide missions, but the AI uses them. And the ALiens, well one game I activated the scenario editor (just for fun) and counted over 120 missiles being held in Usurper bases. AI uses air units, and while it may suck, the AI, when given a unit, uses it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Darsnan
    replied
    Re: Making a Stronger AI

    Originally posted by GSTEIN
    I have read many, many complaints about the quality of the AI, particularly its use of aircraft. These are correct; what the AI does with aircraft is usually ludicrous.
    I have seen the AI on ocasion be relatively astute with their use of a/c, particularly when it comes to sinking my invasion transports! However, overall I would have to agree with you that the AI doesn't maximize the capabilities/ opportunities presented by a/c.
    On this note why I am currently experimenting with trying to get the AI to be more aggressive with a/c, and doing this via the alphax.txt file. Essentially there are no standard a/c available in the #UNITS Section of the alphax.txt file, and so I don't know what the game assigns as a "Plan" for the a/c units that the AI builds. To experiment, why I am adding lines for a/c into the #UNITS Section of the alphax.txt file, and assigning different "plans" to the a/c that I incorporate into the alphax.txt file, and then seeing what the various AI's do with the units during the game. So far the "Offensive" plan seems to work best, but not always However GSTEIN may be on to something with his observation that a specific Faction seems to do better with a/c than other Factions. I have noticed a parallel with other units, such as Googlie's Probe Cruisers mod to the alphax.txt file, that some Factions tend to build and command these better than other Factions. FYI.


    D

    Leave a comment:


  • GSTEIN
    started a topic Making a Stronger AI

    Making a Stronger AI

    Hello, I am a novice player and this is the first thread I have started so I will probably do all wrong and ask dumb questions. But, experienced players, please bear with me a bit.

    I have read many, many complaints about the quality of the AI, particularly its use of aircraft. These are correct; what the AI does with aircraft is usually ludicrous but here is a partial solution.

    Why does no one ever use the Faction Editor. If the AI is not giving you enough of a struggle why not simply use the Faction Editor to give the other factions advantages you dont have. For example, I always set other factions to all have airdomes in all of their cities from the beginning. Or I give other factions facilities and techs at the start that they would not have in a normal game.

    Now, notice I did not say making a Smarter AI; as a complete anti-computer geek with no more knowledge of computers than I have of the biology of bats I would have no idea how to do this (although it would help if the AI just had all aircraft attack SOMETHING each turn).

    I am rambling but want to ad one thing. In most games I play in which the Drones are controled by the AI the Drones airforce is active, aggressive and attacks not just probes and formers but ground units, my aircraft, even, on a few occassions, using strategic bombing to destroy my resources, farms, ect. Has anyone else had this happen?
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