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My perspective on why TW Warhammer is not enjoyable

PPerunPPerun Registered Users Posts: 223
edited April 14 in Total War General Chat
Simply: because the AI tries so hard on the campaign map. It cheats, it tries to outmanoeuvre player (and other AIs), it builds armies with terrible composition, just to be able to spam its enemies ASAP with whatever it has.
In the same time, it doesnt pay any attention to distributing skills, developing its cities and, as mentioned, reasonable compositions.
It just seems that somewhere during the development a terrible, terrible decision has been made how to develop the AI. I can imagine that the idea was to provide "challenge" but ironically, the AI is predictable and instead of being difficult to best, its just annoying. What is more, its strategies just encourage casual players to cheese via doomstacking and whatnot.
A terrible, terrible design.
I think it would be much better to make the AI more relaxed and thoughtful. Instead of pushing ahead 24/7, just make is stop, rearrange its armies, maybe not build three stacks with the cheapest units but turtle for a while, wait few more turns for a building to finish and make some more thematic and solid army. Make it willing to have a moment if weakness. If the player will want to take advantage of it, then why not, who cares. Me, I would rather give the AI some space just to test my new artifact/spells/army composition on an army that makes any sense. In the end, Warhammer is all about battles, not cheesing the AI on the campaign map. The campaign AI should serve as something like an engine to generate interesting and challenging battles, not a simulation of global politics via erratic movements and decisions (Warhammer never aspired to that and there are already much better games for that: Europa Universalis, Crusader Kings and other Paradox games).
I adore the Warhammer setting so much, the battles look so cool, the mechanics is so nice, models, spells, even the simplistic campaign is cute but oh my, the gameplay itself is idiotic, irritating and preventing the game's true potential for epic confrontations. And I am so tired of this game, even though I love it so much.
I would like to suggest putting the CA's office under siege until they introduce reasonable campaign AI. Are you with me?
Post edited by dge1 on
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Comments

  • Beef545Beef545 Registered Users Posts: 764
    Better AI isn't an easy thing to implement. Giving AI cheats is an easier and cheaper way to solve the issue. Personally I am fine with it-you can adjust AI's cheats to ur personal tastes by choosing difficulty.
    The age of Men is over. The time of the Troll has come.
  • Mogwai_ManMogwai_Man Registered Users Posts: 5,130
    This game is more about spectacle than strategy.
  • PPerunPPerun Registered Users Posts: 223
    Beef545 said:

    Better AI isn't an easy thing to implement. Giving AI cheats is an easier and cheaper way to solve the issue. Personally I am fine with it-you can adjust AI's cheats to ur personal tastes by choosing difficulty.

    In my opinion it creates more issues than it solves
    And dont make me start about the difficulty settings, each setting has its own downsides. The easy ones are easy and the hard ones just destroy balance and immersion.
    I play TW games from the first Shogun and have no problems winning whatever there is to win but I have problems with enjoying the game in its current state.

    Is good AI hard to implement? Whenever I hear this argument I would like to bring Starcrafts AI to the table. It scouts, it adapts and provides challenge as well as space to react.
  • PPerunPPerun Registered Users Posts: 223

    This game is more about spectacle than strategy.

    1 it doesnt have to be like that
    2 my point is that it fails at spectacle as well because of poor AIs decisions
  • Frank9945671Frank9945671 Registered Users Posts: 325
    AI is stupid as brick, especially in battles(all of them), he can't use his units well, playing against AI it's like playing against imbеcile at some point. AI has some advantages on hardest difficulties(low upkeep, mega public order, buffs in battles and so on), but I can't find any reason why I should use crappy cheese tactics. We need better AI, that's true. Btw, CA should improve sieges, diplomacy and MP campaign, as well. It's year 2021 and... MP campaign for 2 people only? What the hell?
  • ShiroAmakusa75ShiroAmakusa75 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 33,860

    This game is more about spectacle than strategy.

    A straight diet of nothing but pizza will have you hate pizza in no time. It's said there was even an execution method where people were forced to eat nothing but their favorite food...until they starved because they couldn't stand it any longer.

    Having nothing but spectacle is the same, it soon stops being special and just becomes mundane.
  • Jman5Jman5 Registered Users Posts: 1,609
    All things considered, the campaign AI is in fairly good shape. Needs a few tweaks like better skill selection on lords, but otherwise it functions more or less competently.

    Battle AI on the other hand needs serious attention. I think the thing that frustrates me most, is that there are a lot of low-hanging fruit that could massively level up the AI.
    • Better default deployment with spacing between units would power the AI up way more than people realize. I've tested this with an AI mod. Do nothing but add a small space between units and you will have a much better AI.
    Also the AI's deployment in an ambush is a joke. Ranged units instantly retreating away instead of firing, ranged units completely isolated from the rest of the army which is deoployed ludicrously far away. Deployment needs some serious dev time!
    • Why do spearmen unbrace just before impact? I think it's a bug, but it seriously weakens the AI vs cavalry and monster charges.
    • AI needs to stop parking units completely exposed in the courtyards of siege defenses. Put them up against walls or behind buildings so range can't just kill them from outside. Spacing out will again help vs magic.
    • Flying defenders need to defend the walls/gate when they are breached. Right now they sit in the capture zone all fight until army-loss penalty kicks in. It's a complete waste of what is usually the garrison's elite units. Flying units are the perfect reserve force, and could easily fly back to defend a capture-zone rush. However the AI does not use them in siege defense. I suspect it's a distance issue. The units are too far away for attackers to pull-aggro.
    • Finally, difficulty modifiers need to be adjusted so that range, magic, and melee are equally modified. Right now a player's range and spell damage are just as brutal on Easy as they are on Very Hard. This needs to be fixed if you want to hope to encourage people to use normal infantry.
    All of this requires dev time, but none of this is the complex, head-scratching, technical work that makes AI hard. Rather it's straightforward little changes that will have big effects.
  • TeNoSkillTeNoSkill Registered Users Posts: 4,617
    Agreed, hard and very hard are just pointless grinds. On legendary I exspect unfair cheats, not on lower difficulties tho.


    To be honest, the best campaign I had to date was a normal difficulty VC campaign.

    Greenskins steamrolled the map and it took me like 10-15 major battles to drive them back.

    Felt like a proper endgame threat and there were really moments where I feared defeat.

    No illogical stacks for 1 settlement factions, no stupidly brave trash units.
  • HelhoundHelhound Registered Users Posts: 4,788

    This game is more about spectacle than strategy.

    A straight diet of nothing but pizza will have you hate pizza in no time. It's said there was even an execution method where people were forced to eat nothing but their favorite food...until they starved because they couldn't stand it any longer.

    Having nothing but spectacle is the same, it soon stops being special and just becomes mundane.
    While a fun analogy, there is one thing wrong. Nobody could ever hate pizza. Ever. Not even if it was the only thing to eat for the rest of your life. It's the primary food group.
  • DumbledoodDumbledood Registered Users Posts: 182
    edited April 13
    To be honest the AI's army composition has improved a lot during the course of the game. I see a lot more balanced armies. But while it's fun to play against a balanced army for strategic purposes, it's also fun to play against armies that focus on a particular strategy, maybe involving a heavier amount of one unit type. It provides variety and something new to plan against, which can be used effectively in some cases, and occasionally end up being accidental counter-picks to your army comp. I also think the dreaded doom stacks are fun to face in the late game. By that point the player usually has got an extremely difficult to beat army, even if it isn't 10-20 huge monsters (a bunch of waywatchers fully buffed for example will delete an Idol of Gork in a few seconds) and having something terrifying like that to fight can raise the stakes after a lot of easy battles.

    All that to say unit recruitment seems like it's in a decent spot right now for the AI. Some themed armies would be cool if they added those in. When the AI is down to a couple of regions with limited recruitment options, then it's understandable if they can't recruit anything besides dwarfen warriors.

    We're probably not likely to see the AI actually be able to simulate a player any time soon, but there's other stuff that could be improved that would make things a lot more challenging...

    AI skill selection (when you confederate a faction it's really obvious, I always wondered why the AI took so many blue-line skills with the advantages it already gets on higher difficulties).

    Magic usage could be better.

    Defending it's artillery, and ranged units.

    Positioning artillery in defensive sieges. Often it doesn't shoot it's artillery in a defensive siege at all.

    Timing how it attacks in battles. Cavalry, and flying units will engage your army long before their infantry can catch up, making it easy to pick them off piecemeal.

    Being baited out of all it's artillery ammo by a dragon doing complicated mid-air evasive maneuvers. I don't personally exploit this often, but the AI never realizes that this is happening.

    Getting itself massacred on walls by ranged units and just sitting there.

    Maybe autoresolve. The AI weighs itself really heavily, leading it to jump into the lion's jaws.

    Anyway, if you got this far, thanks for reading. These are just some ideas I think would work, if you tied these changes to difficulty selection. I'm sure there's stuff I haven't thought of.

    Personally I'd also really like the diplomacy, and campaign layer to have more depth to it.
  • DeadpoolSWDeadpoolSW Registered Users Posts: 2,791
    The thing that ****s me off is when the AI force marches an army through my entire empire just to reach the one settlement that doesn't have walls.
    Nagash will rule again!

    Justice for Chaos Dwarfs, Ogre Kingdoms, Araby, Albion, Amazons, Halflings, Nippon, Ind, Khuresh & the Hobgoblin Khanate!
  • CaesarSahlertzCaesarSahlertz Registered Users Posts: 5,776
    edited April 13

    The thing that ****s me off is when the AI force marches an army through my entire empire just to reach the one settlement that doesn't have walls.

    Why wouldn't they do that though? You clearly had no army capable of intercepting.. The AI should be targeting weak points..
  • MrDragonMrDragon Registered Users Posts: 2,413
    My biggest issue with the AI as is:
    The AI doesn't play to win, it plays to spite and harass you.
    Too often the AI will just beeline for some lightly defended settlement, even if it sacrifices its army to do so because you will be there a turn or two later to crush it and take the settlement back.
    That's the AI throwing away armies for nothing but a temporary inconvenience.

    Scenario:
    You have a shoreline with two port-cities that are just about two turns and a bit away from each other.
    One city currently has a garrisoned army.
    The AI has an army at sea and guns for the port-town without the garrison.

    Your response: Move the army out towards the other town.
    AI Response: The moment you cross the halfway point, it turns around and goes for the other town.
    Your response: You move your army back.
    Result: Two armies dancing back and forth on the shore-line until another army from you shows up or you just let it take a town and crush the AI.

    That sort of thing happens all the time.
    A human opponent wouldn't sacrifice a full-stack (a bad full-stack) on a meaningless victory over some minor settlement.
    The AI however will gleefully throw away armies for zero gain besides annoying you.
    If it showed some restraint, it could build up a threatening force. Move out two with paired stacks or an actual decent army, deliver a hammer-blow, be actually threatening.
    To often it feels like whack-a-mole and not fighting an empire.
  • DeadpoolSWDeadpoolSW Registered Users Posts: 2,791

    The thing that ****s me off is when the AI force marches an army through my entire empire just to reach the one settlement that doesn't have walls.

    Why wouldn't they do that though? You clearly had no army capable of intercepting.. The AI should be targeting weak points..
    Because as @MrDragon just perfectly explained, it's the AI playing to **** me off, not to win. It could be trying to actually make ground, to take multiple settlements, even if they're well guarded. Instead it goes on a suicide run against the one settlement it knows it can take, even if it then loses that army next turn.

    A more effective use of the kamikaze stack would be for it to support the main stacks, not run off on its own. I'm fine with stacks splitting up (I really like how Chaos now diverts some stacks down the Darklands) but only if doing so is the most effective strategy.

    Also, what the AI's doing is less fun. I'd rather have a tough battle (even if it is a loss) defending a city against multiple stacks, than an 2 easy ARs- one of them taking the weak settlement, and one of me taking them out.
    Nagash will rule again!

    Justice for Chaos Dwarfs, Ogre Kingdoms, Araby, Albion, Amazons, Halflings, Nippon, Ind, Khuresh & the Hobgoblin Khanate!
  • CrossilCrossil Registered Users Posts: 13,037
    edited April 13
    Tbf, I play on hard because I don't wanna deal with the spam. It doesn't make it harder, just more grindy. The only time I play VH is achievement runs.

    UNLEASH THE EVERCHARIOT

  • ShiroAmakusa75ShiroAmakusa75 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 33,860
    edited April 13
    MrDragon said:

    My biggest issue with the AI as is:
    The AI doesn't play to win, it plays to spite and harass you.
    Too often the AI will just beeline for some lightly defended settlement, even if it sacrifices its army to do so because you will be there a turn or two later to crush it and take the settlement back.
    That's the AI throwing away armies for nothing but a temporary inconvenience.

    Scenario:
    You have a shoreline with two port-cities that are just about two turns and a bit away from each other.
    One city currently has a garrisoned army.
    The AI has an army at sea and guns for the port-town without the garrison.

    Your response: Move the army out towards the other town.
    AI Response: The moment you cross the halfway point, it turns around and goes for the other town.
    Your response: You move your army back.
    Result: Two armies dancing back and forth on the shore-line until another army from you shows up or you just let it take a town and crush the AI.

    That sort of thing happens all the time.
    A human opponent wouldn't sacrifice a full-stack (a bad full-stack) on a meaningless victory over some minor settlement.
    The AI however will gleefully throw away armies for zero gain besides annoying you.
    If it showed some restraint, it could build up a threatening force. Move out two with paired stacks or an actual decent army, deliver a hammer-blow, be actually threatening.
    To often it feels like whack-a-mole and not fighting an empire.

    Well, outside of the Vortex the AI doesn't have a win-condition, so what's left besides harassing the player to stop them from getting their win condition fulfilled?

    I think a version of the rival system from Troy where you get a rival faction that has a win condition outside of eliminating the player would be a boon.
  • DoopDoop Registered Users Posts: 18
    He believed that it would be good to put some kind of limitation system when it comes to staking standards, such as a maximum number of "leadership" points where depending on the level of commander or talent, the size and quality of the army can be increased, but always preventing it from being make a stack of X types of units, encouraging always having to combine elite units with basic ones.

    It is a bit boring to always fight 20vs20 in the campaign.

    He also created that it would encourage variety, if you want to create a super elite army that reduces the total number of standards
  • Surge_2Surge_2 Registered Users Posts: 6,752

    This game is more about spectacle than strategy.

    Bingo. I've said the same but this is it.
    Campaign Management is for suckers.

  • ValkaarValkaar Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 3,868
    I mean, I want better AI as much as the next person, but I also don’t know why people continue to get so outraged/surprised by this.

    AI has NEVER been Total War’s strong suit.

    Rome, Medieval 2. Poor AI.
    Empire ... Poor AI.
    Shogun 2, heralded by many as the best of the series (though I feel this is debatable).... one of its most glaring problems? Notoriously bad AI.
    Rome 2: Poor AI
    Three Kingdoms and Troy.... despite massive improvements to diplomacy and maps.... still severely struggling with ramshackle AI.

    ^^So after all this.... people are somehow caught off guard/think that Warhammer 2 is UNIQUELY unenjoyable because the AI is bad???

    Like if bad AI is a deal breaker for you... how’d you get tied up in this series to begin with?

    Don’t get me wrong.... I would LOVE for CA to fix it. Sieges and diplomacy would be soooo much better if the AI could handle it appropriately.

    But I’m not holding my breath.... nor am I at all willing to siege CA’s office over it. I’ve just come to understand that AI isn’t what I should expect from these games. Hopefully that changes. But if not, I’ll continue to enjoy its other aspects.
  • PPerunPPerun Registered Users Posts: 223
    Valkaar said:

    I mean, I want better AI as much as the next person, but I also don’t know why people continue to get so outraged/surprised by this.

    AI has NEVER been Total War’s strong suit.

    Rome, Medieval 2. Poor AI.
    Empire ... Poor AI.
    Shogun 2, heralded by many as the best of the series (though I feel this is debatable).... one of its most glaring problems? Notoriously bad AI.
    Rome 2: Poor AI
    Three Kingdoms and Troy.... despite massive improvements to diplomacy and maps.... still severely struggling with ramshackle AI.

    ^^So after all this.... people are somehow caught off guard/think that Warhammer 2 is UNIQUELY unenjoyable because the AI is bad???

    Like if bad AI is a deal breaker for you... how’d you get tied up in this series to begin with?

    Don’t get me wrong.... I would LOVE for CA to fix it. Sieges and diplomacy would be soooo much better if the AI could handle it appropriately.

    But I’m not holding my breath.... nor am I at all willing to siege CA’s office over it. I’ve just come to understand that AI isn’t what I should expect from these games. Hopefully that changes. But if not, I’ll continue to enjoy its other aspects.

    Agree that AI haven't been the strongest aspect of the TW series but it shouldn't serve as an excuse. I imagine that the company has such profits from the games that its getting ridiculous that they haven't made improving AI their priority to make their games actually playable. At this point its a matter of decency. Being better at decorating the terrible core makes the AI problems just more visible.

    Also, I remember this being discussed on this forum already and we kind of agreed that most of the problems could be fixed with minimal effort, to create some kind of templates for the ai how to distribute skill points, how to build buildings and how to compose armies.
    Because my complain is mostly about the campaign AI (therefore completely disagreeing with @jman5).
    I started this topic to point out that, IMO, the very problem has come from a design decision to make the campaign ai most of all ferocious and relentless. And in the effect, its neither efficient nor pleasant to play against. Therefore, its kind of a double fail.
  • KhmarachesKhmaraches Registered Users Posts: 35
    I don't mind AI cheating, it's cheating in any strategy game.

    However I would love to see a bit more fledged non legendary lords factions. Fighting Caledor (the one in Ultuan, not the Imrik one) and Saphery should not feel the same. I would like to see the AI non legendary lords having thematic starting units and be inclined to build more thmatic armies.
  • manpersalmanpersal Registered Users Posts: 2,238
    Completely agree with MrDragon. In this game is normal for the AI to leave their last city undefended to go sack/raze a player's settlement, even if it means they'll inevitably die. A perfect example is when playing Imrik, Eshin will sent it's armies in every direction instead of protecting their cities. In recent weeks I've seen a lot of people asking what was so especial about Rome Total War and of the reasons I loved it was because the AI fought even if itthe odds were slightly agaisnt it.

    The thing that ****s me off is when the AI force marches an army through my entire empire just to reach the one settlement that doesn't have walls.

    This is a problem that could be greatly paliated by removing/replacing supply lines.
    TeNoSkill said:

    Agreed, hard and very hard are just pointless grinds. On legendary I exspect unfair cheats, not on lower difficulties tho.


    To be honest, the best campaign I had to date was a normal difficulty VC campaign.

    Greenskins steamrolled the map and it took me like 10-15 major battles to drive them back.

    Felt like a proper endgame threat and there were really moments where I feared defeat.

    No illogical stacks for 1 settlement factions, no stupidly brave trash units.

    Yes, this game needs badly meaningful battles, as it is battles won't matter that much unless you can directly cripple the enemy by taking settlements inmediately. As other said, in late game higher difficulties only mean more repetitive battles.
  • MonerisMoneris Registered Users Posts: 270
    Love the game, But I would really love some improved AI. I want to at least feel like I am fighting a thinking opponent, but its hard to role play sometimes when you witness some of the AI's choices.
  • VandicusVandicus Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 321
    edited April 13
    On the subject of profitability the studio was in a really rough spot prior to Warhammer Total War, which was a kind of make or break effort for them. Attila had done pretty poorly. Rome II had stumbled on the start and while it ultimately sold a lot and they were getting by on the dlcs the early struggle was costly. Alien Isolation also had sales that SEGA characterized as weak.

    Warhammer TW II and 3k TW have just recently put them in a pretty strong position. They definitely aren't rolling in money like Activision Blizzard or Ubisoft though with regular releases of high sales volume games.
  • Man2008kindMan2008kind Bucharest, RomaniaRegistered Users Posts: 1,819

    This game is more about spectacle than strategy.

    A straight diet of nothing but pizza will have you hate pizza in no time.

  • ShiroAmakusa75ShiroAmakusa75 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 33,860

    This game is more about spectacle than strategy.

    A straight diet of nothing but pizza will have you hate pizza in no time.
    DOUBT
    You wanna' attempt it?
  • MonerisMoneris Registered Users Posts: 270

    This game is more about spectacle than strategy.

    A straight diet of nothing but pizza will have you hate pizza in no time.
    DOUBT
    You wanna' attempt it?
    What makes pizza so versatile is that you can put on a different topping every time you eat it.
    Its the ultimate food.
  • ShiroAmakusa75ShiroAmakusa75 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 33,860
    Moneris said:

    This game is more about spectacle than strategy.

    A straight diet of nothing but pizza will have you hate pizza in no time.
    DOUBT
    You wanna' attempt it?
    What makes pizza so versatile is that you can put on a different topping every time you eat it.
    Its the ultimate food.
    As per the stipulation of the death penalty in question, you can choose only one variation and it has to be your favorite one.
  • MijuTheSharkMijuTheShark Registered Users Posts: 65
    Helhound said:

    This game is more about spectacle than strategy.

    A straight diet of nothing but pizza will have you hate pizza in no time. It's said there was even an execution method where people were forced to eat nothing but their favorite food...until they starved because they couldn't stand it any longer.

    Having nothing but spectacle is the same, it soon stops being special and just becomes mundane.
    While a fun analogy, there is one thing wrong. Nobody could ever hate pizza. Ever. Not even if it was the only thing to eat for the rest of your life. It's the primary food group.
    You have clearly never worked for a pizza place.
  • Mogwai_ManMogwai_Man Registered Users Posts: 5,130
    PPerun said:

    This game is more about spectacle than strategy.

    1 it doesnt have to be like that
    2 my point is that it fails at spectacle as well because of poor AIs decisions

    This game is more about spectacle than strategy.

    A straight diet of nothing but pizza will have you hate pizza in no time. It's said there was even an execution method where people were forced to eat nothing but their favorite food...until they starved because they couldn't stand it any longer.

    Having nothing but spectacle is the same, it soon stops being special and just becomes mundane.
    I agree with both of your sentiments. I wish this games lack of depth matched its width of content.
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