Adorbs

I must give a gripe after all (AI doesn't try to win)

bb82bb82 Senior MemberPosts: 112Registered Users
edited May 2012 in Total War: Shogun 2
I thought I read it somewhere or something before I bought the game, that the AI actually tries to win. But after a lot of testing I don't believe it to be true. The AI expands more than it did in previous titles but why it stops is beyond me. Worse is when it reaches a certain size or area on the map it literally falls apart (not functioning and other AI eats away at it until the same lines on the map keep forming in the center). The most that I've seen an AI get for long is in the 30s.

This must be intentional as there is clearly a lack of AI behavior after a certain point. Why did they do this?

I'm one that likes to take a long time to expand and eventually would like to face a 50+ in size AI player even if it ends up destroying me. I've tested it on hard and very hard and always there is a center line that eventually forms where two big AI players don't cross for long. And it seems that if a 3rd or 4th tiny player is destroyed another will pop up in its place. Which seems to mean that they tweaked the game so that a few AI clans would always be around.

I must say that I thought I saw a lot of replay potential but this game seems to have the same major flaw as other TW games in that it wont try to win so eventually you can do pretty much do whatever you want and will "win" as long as you survive the start. An AI that doesn't expand beyond 30s even if at war with other tiny AI clans means it's not very functional either, which leads to easy pickings when the human player eventually steps in for battle. It's not bad that eventually the human will always win, we are dumping our times into this after all. I do think the difficulty levels should tell you how "hard" it is to win though. What I do find very bad is a non functional AI clan that should be a beast the higher in cities it gets.

The AI should try to wipe out all other AI clans to consolidate forces, then depending on relations with the human, go to war or wait for the human to. At that point endless stacks should be attacking trying to take the map..

Very lame and a big disappointment imo :(.
Post edited by bb82 on

Comments

  • daelin4daelin4 Senior Member Posts: 12,239Registered Users
    edited April 2012
    I dunno, sounds pretty realistic that a big player gets too big and gets taken apart by opportunistic gnats. Reminds me of the Roman Empire.

    The AI merely focuses too much on one area, and once things fall apart at their rear provinces they can't re-organize themselves against the new threat, and so loses the provinces. Worst is that their armies tend to stay close together and losses can become more decisive. The AI also rarely attacks fully garrisoned provinces, but also means armies would simply go for empty provinces instead, depriving of resources for enemies. It's not so much they don't try to win but they don't really try to consolidate- the majority of provinces under AI control tend to be backwater, two-tier castles, with maybe a few gems of Fortresses with all the samurai buildings.
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  • Tyer032392Tyer032392 Senior Member FloridaPosts: 4,528Registered Users
    edited April 2012
    I've seen the AI win plenty of times, it just depends on their situation.
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  • bb82bb82 Senior Member Posts: 112Registered Users
    edited April 2012
    daelin4 wrote: »
    I dunno, sounds pretty realistic that a big player gets too big and gets taken apart by opportunistic gnats. Reminds me of the Roman Empire.

    That's more than a cop out for bad AI behavior. How could you think something as subjective as why the Roman Empire collapsed could have anything to do with the topic at hand? The topic is poor AI behavior in a game. On hard or very hard their empire "crumbling" shouldn't be a factor.
    daelin4 wrote: »
    The AI merely focuses too much on one area, and once things fall apart at their rear provinces they can't re-organize themselves against the new threat, and so loses the provinces.

    This isn't true either. I've seen 20+ clans fall apart from the front where they are assulting the last couple AI provinces while their back is safe. I've seen 30+ at war with all but me (meaning their back is safe) fail to grow past the line that forms slightly to the right of the center.

    Or if it is true then other factors need to be tweaked (i.e. free huge garrisons the bigger in size the AI gets, better autocalc odds, etc).
    Tyer032392 wrote: »
    I've seen the AI win plenty of times, it just depends on their situation.

    I've tried half a dozen on both hard and very hard and always see the same thing. I even take only the islands to help with pathfinding and such. You have seen an AI take 60 cities? I can believe maybe it would temporarily get 40. 60 I just can't believe it would even come close. It quickly gets chopped down to size soon after it gets into the 30s. Or at least it doesn't grow much at that point.

    Perhaps it tries as was implied, but that should just point out other areas that need tweaking to allow for an AI to win too.



    Just sucks as I was really looking forward to a lot more TW gaming. Now I just don't see the replay value especially with their roleplaying value being quite limited too, considering my preferences. I'll probably take a couple more years off from TW to see what TW comes up in the future :(. Oh well. I still think it was a great game. But a lot of the same issues of the previous titles are still there. Just wish they focused more on the guts of the game than the eye candy.
  • Rex-RomanorumRex-Romanorum Junior Member Posts: 22Registered Users
    edited April 2012
    Tyer032392 wrote: »
    I've seen the AI win plenty of times, it just depends on their situation.

    Is that to say that, without the player going to war with the Ashikaga or even triggering Realm Divide, will an AI clan on its own make a bid for the Shogunate?
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  • bb82bb82 Senior Member Posts: 112Registered Users
    edited April 2012
    Is that to say that, without the player going to war with the Ashikaga or even triggering Realm Divide, will an AI clan on its own make a bid for the Shogunate?

    I've seen it take it before and become Shogun. But not long afterwards the old Shogun clan comes back.. Then it usually stays at peace with the huge AI clan surrounding it. Maybe another war later but once again the Shogun clan comes back soon after it is killed.

    The game seems to be scripted solely for the human player. On hard and very hard the AI should actually be trying to win, depending on diplomatic relations of course. Still very nutty to see a very friendly clan attack solely to attack.

    The areas where the AI falls apart should be tweaked. But I think the issues are less about needing tweaking and more that it is designed that way on purpose. It seems scripted a certain way to force a certain gameplay style on the human's side. Always an error to give less meaningful options to the player.
  • Rex-RomanorumRex-Romanorum Junior Member Posts: 22Registered Users
    edited April 2012
    Yeah that's what everyone's complaint is - that the game is scripted around the player, everything from diplomacy to the AI to Realm Divide is about creating a very manufactured playing experience for the player. I personally haven't played the game long enough to feel the effects of this myself but I've read enough from people on this forum to get the gist of it. It's a shame :/ I'm big into the role-playing element that's hinted at in Total War games but its hard to immerse yourself into that when the only option is war, war, war.

    Does anybody know of any mods to tweak the AI to make it more of an even experience in terms of, all clans, whether AI or human, are treated equally?
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  • bb82bb82 Senior Member Posts: 112Registered Users
    edited April 2012
    its hard to immerse yourself into that when the only option is war, war, war.

    The worse is when players insult our intelligence by saying "but it's TOTAL WAR". We get that war is the intent and we know to take the map we eventually need to war. But the total war cop out is solely just to try to hide the issues with the AI that keeps plaguing the TW games.

    Actual total war gets old real quick, not to mention the many ways they could add more roleplaying value to the game. They did make improvements in that now diplomacy is much more meaningful. But the AI still needs to be scripted to try to win and should be harder to kill when 30+ in size than when only a small clan. The way it is now the AI seems harder to kill the smaller it is. I'm not talking about taking advantage of obvious AI issues either (i.e. attacking the area where it has no defenses, blitzing all it's cities before it can respond, etc). I'm literally talking about that the AI seems broke when it gets big and just doesn't do much but empty it's cites and wait to be crushed (which destroys a lot of roleplaying and replay potential). I just don't think they put any time into scripting large AI clan behavior.
  • daelin4daelin4 Senior Member Posts: 12,239Registered Users
    edited April 2012
    bb82 wrote: »
    That's more than a cop out for bad AI behavior. How could you think something as subjective as why the Roman Empire collapsed could have anything to do with the topic at hand? The topic is poor AI behavior in a game. On hard or very hard their empire "crumbling" shouldn't be a factor.
    There's nothing "cop-out" about what I said. The topic at hand is not only realistic but a natural consequence of being too big in the game without the means to sustain it. If you expand too large, you'll need to keep up with the added load. The added load being more frontiers, more enemies, and the need to have more armies to fight these enemies. They "stop expanding" because they don't know how to handle it, not unless they have no enemies left and they own an entire corner of Japan. The AI is not very good at this, period.
    This isn't true either. I've seen 20+ clans fall apart from the front where they are assulting the last couple AI provinces while their back is safe. I've seen 30+ at war with all but me (meaning their back is safe) fail to grow past the line that forms slightly to the right of the center.
    First of all I don't see how this nullifies what you quoted. I already said they can fail at assaulting in the front AND have a tendency to leave gaps so enemies can go in and seize all their empty provinces. I forgot to leave out unrest and my favourite tactic of religious conversion and incite revolt.
    If you've seen a "30+" (a very large faction?) at war with everyone except you, well that only sounds exactly what I described- they go to war with everyone and their own armies. They tend to focus themselves into large stacks and that means they can only fight so many at a time. While one unfortunate clan gets pounded into the dirt everyone else takes their provinces.

    You're going to have to elaborate on what you mean when you say things like the "line slightly to the right of the centre". It sounds like you're taking quick casual glances on what's going on and already come to conclusions on what's actually happening.
    The AI should try to wipe out all other AI clans to consolidate forces, then depending on relations with the human, go to war or wait for the human to. At that point endless stacks should be attacking trying to take the map..
    In other words, you want the AI to leave you alone? On Hard/Very Hard? That's the difficulty setting where they start picking on you for being the player.

    I'm also wondering about the extent to which you did your testing. Half a dozen campaigns is not a lot, especially if they're not completed or late-game. Honestly it sounds like a few efforts here and there. I will agree with you on one thing though: they don't really try to win, since they tend to get cheats at higher difficulty.

    Your argument that the AI doesn't try to win isn't necessarily wrong, because they tend to not try and get very inconsistent. The reasons you're stating however are not the real reasons why. It is not so much lack of AI behaviour but rather a flawed and primitive one.
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  • bb82bb82 Senior Member Posts: 112Registered Users
    edited April 2012
    About a dozen, all of which near or after 1600.

    Through diplomacy you can have relative peace with most clans (no matter the difficulty level). That's an improvement imo. I was just pointing out that the AI breaks down after a certain size. Of course it has more issues bigger than smaller. It's just that those issues obviously haven't been addressed.
  • CatmaCatma Member Posts: 54Registered Users
    edited April 2012
    I guess this behavior of attacking weak provinces is what leads to the perpetual game of ring-around-the-rosy that the AIs play with each other, swapping provinces back and forth for ages until one manages to get a decisive victory somewhere. Said clan becomes big and gets attacked by 5 others, repeat forever. The algorithm could be tweaked a little to include more consolidation. Maybe there are clan AI personality types that do this, but which frequently die off? After all, that approach would be more risky than the survival-centric approach that the other clans have.
  • StevenOStevenO Senior Member Posts: 912Registered Users
    edited April 2012
    Right now the only way that I'm aware of for the AI to "win" is for the human player to "lose" through destruction or time. I think it would be more interesting if the AI was also playing towards the same "victory" conditions that the human play follows. Now we may never see a 40 province AI but we do see 20+ clan's that have vassals which should potentially be able to "win" a short campaign if they would just make a move for Shogun. I could just see trying to make a paniced rush from the map fringes to crush a potential AI victory.
  • Rex-RomanorumRex-Romanorum Junior Member Posts: 22Registered Users
    edited April 2012
    StevenO wrote: »
    Right now the only way that I'm aware of for the AI to "win" is for the human player to "lose" through destruction or time. I think it would be more interesting if the AI was also playing towards the same "victory" conditions that the human play follows. Now we may never see a 40 province AI but we do see 20+ clan's that have vassals which should potentially be able to "win" a short campaign if they would just make a move for Shogun. I could just see trying to make a paniced rush from the map fringes to crush a potential AI victory.

    It would also be a lot, lot more fun if the Shogunate was a fluid position - over the course of a game you might see 3 or 4 different Shoguns come to power and be defeated, similar to how the balance of power shifted between Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu during the actual Sengoku Jidai. By the time, say, a Date or Shimazu player reached Kyoto the castle could have swapped hands several times between rival clans vying for the Shogunate. That would make things more interesting in my opinion.
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  • bb82bb82 Senior Member Posts: 112Registered Users
    edited May 2012
    I gave it one more try. This one in particular was on VH. This time I actually helped the AI in battles. I picked the biggest nation, allied with it, and caused war with the last minor clans (about 3 others). I would park my stacks near the exposed AI cities and near enemies so that eventually I could help with it expanding/defending. I also defeated all enemy stacks for it.

    It worked to the point I was able to help it secure all flanks but the eastern one in the big part of the map. The AI expanded to about 36 then just stopped working and wouldn't move stacks much (I had the two major islands). The enemy certainly still was trying to expand but after awhile I got bored of just defending the AI cities that wouldn't even expand anymore. I defeated any enemy armies and had stacks near all cities on that flank. The 35ish in size allied clan just stopped moving, period. I did notice after I reloaded the map the AI would move for a little but soon would stop again.

    To me that seems intentional programming wise, that the AI just stopped working at a certain size. Same flaw as the other games. I just don't get the reasoning behind it and find it far from a "feature".

    Oh well, it is a great game. But far from perfect. To me, the AI not trying to take the map is a huge flaw. It would be great if the AI would continue to expand through anyone that it is at war with, not stop working at a certain size. It should be simple. War with enemies and peace with friends. They fixed the issue about peace with friends for the most part, although "threaten to attack" is quite annoying too. I spent a long time trying to help it and a lot of work getting our relationship up to 400ish.

    Hopefully in the future they don't see this as a feature and actually program the AI to continually try to expand through enemies to keep the possibility of one AI nation actually taking the map (to win).
  • The DukeThe Duke Member Posts: 33Registered Users
    edited May 2012
    Hey, The Duke here. I played for about two campaigns, since I just got the game. I put it on easy so I could get the hang of it. Every time i get into a land battle the ai always finds a hill and camps there. Was wondering if they start attacking the higher the difficulty?
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  • reverie7reverie7 Senior Member Posts: 341Registered Users
    edited May 2012
    Wow so many CAI problems listed in one thread! I've turned off fow to observe CAI for a while now and I've also seen some of these problems. Lemme see if I can organize them into a list:

    1. CAI becomes passive when it reaches a certain "critical mass", usually 30ish regions?
    One strange example I've seen though was Satsuma, who was only at 7 regions. They've cornered Hirado to their home region, outnumbering them 3 to 1. For some reason, Satsuma stopped attacking and send its troops away, allowing Hirado to build up again. No, they didn't sign a peace treaty.

    2. CAI prefers to attack weak targets rather than deal with bigger threats
    This results in CAI stacks chasing each other back and forth, swapping regions but rarely fight each other decisively.

    3. in fact CAI is horrible at evaluating nearby threats, period.
    Most dramatic examples are Oda and Choshu who often gets killed early off because they ignore their hostile neighbors who are only one turn away. Instead of dealing with the imminent danger they optimistically send their defensive forces out in the opposite direction and of course next turn they get attacked and overwhelmed. Shimazu also did this too in S2, thankfully their descendant Satsuma seem to have grown out of it.

    4. CAIs are horrible on islands.
    First, diplomacy. For some reason pre-RD AI only want allies that borders them, so island factions like Satsuma and Tosa will have little luck allying with each other or factions on Honshu, even if they are the same allegiance and very friendly etc. Second, CAI are bad at naval invasions. They regularly send full stacks out on gunboats, and I've seen a fleet sitting on a trade route raiding, while carrying a stack. Even when they successfully invade and take a region, they don't follow it up with reinforcements so the invasion is usually stopped easily. Lastly, blockades and bombardments hurt island factions a LOT, especially Tosa, they got like only three ports, once they are blockaded they can forget about expanding.

    5. No real sense of competition with the AI, cause they can't win.
    In vanilla other factions can take Kyoto too, which is pretty cool. But in FOTS only the player can become the vanguard, even if other clans are doing better than us.
  • RorgefortRorgefort Member Posts: 49Registered Users
    edited May 2012
    Correct me if I'm wrong but what's interesting about this is that I swear that in Rome Total War, when playing as the Romans, sometimes one of the other families would ignite the civil war rather than the player. The CAI in Shogun is way more geared towards trying to be a nuisance to the player as opposed to making clever decisions- the only smart thing it does to destroy you is sense when your in a weak position and commence a feeding frenzy of loads of neighbours declaring war on you at once.
  • wealthyempirewealthyempire Senior Member USAPosts: 1,047Registered Users
    edited May 2012
    I wish they would fix it so that the AI provinces actually have town growth, they always kill it. Then even when a large clan falls apart they would at least have the money to try to hold it together, still doubtful but maybe.

    Of course as the player, it would be nice to take a province where I don't have to build up the town from scratch.
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  • daniudaniu Senior Member Posts: 2,037Registered Users
    edited May 2012
    One of the culprits is also that the AI keeps the tax as high as possible (at least it seems to me that way). You can do that to get a boost for a short period of time with few provinces; but you need to set it back to normal after some time, and the AI never does.

    This means that all their provinces will have suffered continuous wealth decline and be hardly worth anything anymore, and it can't keep up its expansion anymore.
  • doinwork34doinwork34 Technical Moderator Colorado, USPosts: 2,651Registered Users, Moderators, Tech Moderators
    edited May 2012
    this is an interesting thread...
    I have to say that I agree with most of the gripes. I dont know why CA went for such a manufactured experience in s2 but I wonder if it isnt because fans were tired of the random (and yes primitive) AI that plagued previous games? By that I mean the random backstabs, unworthy alliances, the ridiculous offers diplomacy would make (they offer "accept or we attack" they demand "dont attack"), etc... but instead of trying to give the AI clear objectives, such as winning the game, and grow more powerfull than the rest, and then allowing the AI freedom to make their own decisions even at the risk of making stupid ones, they complettely sterilized S2 so it became a very shallow experience with very well behaved AI. I guess all Im saying is that I would rather sacrafice a superficial AI for one that makes SOME dumb decisions so that it will act much more randomly like your playing new players everytime you start a new campaign. Plus, just because we're the Human player doesnt mean we dont make dumb decisions too, we just have the options to re-load a save :)
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  • AuditorAuditor Member Posts: 53Registered Users
    edited May 2012
    very good points guys.
    I have 700+ hours in SP and AI always stops to expand at some point and never goes for total map domination. On a few rare ocasions I saw AI with about 30-35 provinces and then it usualy either fall apart or stays frozen till the end of the game...
  • bb82bb82 Senior Member Posts: 112Registered Users
    edited May 2012
    doinwork34 wrote: »
    I guess all Im saying is that I would rather sacrafice a superficial AI for one that makes SOME dumb decisions so that it will act much more randomly like your playing new players everytime you start a new campaign.

    For me the issue is more about that if you have a solid peace with the AI then it should stay that way, same goes for if you are at war then it should be "total war" till peace or death.

    Having an ally at 400+ relations all of a sudden getting a 200ish "threaten to attack" penalty AND then attack you is just nuts. That combined with an AI that stops working at 35ish means the game doesn't have much long term roleplaying or replay value.

    The CAI proved that it can work well. But it purposely was programmed to "threaten to attack" at set times and actually stop working at 35ish in size. That was poor programming judgement imo. Same goes for the arbitrary set end date that tries to force the whole "total war" arcade spam. Constantly fighting can get old real quick. Sometimes it's nice to build for a while. In the end it's nice to have a choice, which adds to replay and roleplaying value, even if they bring turns down to months instead of seasons.
  • doinwork34doinwork34 Technical Moderator Colorado, USPosts: 2,651Registered Users, Moderators, Tech Moderators
    edited May 2012
    bb I completly agree with that post. Building ur empire is half the fun especially when it's due to conquering and battles.
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