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How would you improve difficulty (generally) in campaign?

elkappelkapp Registered Users Posts: 816
I'm referring to both "campaign difficulty" and "battle difficulty".
Also, a small description of what you find wrong on those would be appreciated.

Comments

  • Commissar_GCommissar_G Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 14,584
    Encourage a better multiplayer campaign experience.

    You can't meaningfully increase the difficulty without making the AI better, which CA has stated the playerbase doesn't want.

    Make multiplayer campaigns more streamlined then people can get the difficulty they crave so much.
    81jt2dj75iky.png


  • LennoxPoodleLennoxPoodle Registered Users Posts: 1,039
    I'd say scaling mechanics that make further growth increasingly difficult the larger an empire already is, akin to Romeo 2's corruption or Troy's administration.
    Imho snowballing is the biggest issue and needs to be adressed.
  • KillertutKillertut Registered Users Posts: 434
    longer early and midgame.

    i dont want to field late tech on turn 20, i want the first 100 turns to be early and medium tier units at least.
  • GloatingSwineGloatingSwine Registered Users Posts: 1,077
    Killertut said:

    longer early and midgame.

    i dont want to field late tech on turn 20, i want the first 100 turns to be early and medium tier units at least.

    Counterpoint: The campaign is over by turn 100. What units you used to get to that point are not relevant, if you build and use armies effectively you can be in such an utterly dominant position by that point that nothing can realistically threaten you and there is no point continuing.

    Using low tier units doesn't stop you winning just as hard as high tier units if you know how the game actually works, it's just more repetitive and boring.


    You can't meaningfully increase the difficulty without making the AI better, which CA has stated the playerbase doesn't want.

    Define "better" AI. What is the AI doing wrong that you can meaningfully change?
  • Commissar_GCommissar_G Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 14,584

    Killertut said:

    longer early and midgame.

    i dont want to field late tech on turn 20, i want the first 100 turns to be early and medium tier units at least.

    Counterpoint: The campaign is over by turn 100. What units you used to get to that point are not relevant, if you build and use armies effectively you can be in such an utterly dominant position by that point that nothing can realistically threaten you and there is no point continuing.

    Using low tier units doesn't stop you winning just as hard as high tier units if you know how the game actually works, it's just more repetitive and boring.


    You can't meaningfully increase the difficulty without making the AI better, which CA has stated the playerbase doesn't want.

    Define "better" AI. What is the AI doing wrong that you can meaningfully change?
    CA has outright stated that they don't want to make the AI "smarter" because people would complain. I'm not going to define it.
    81jt2dj75iky.png


  • GloatingSwineGloatingSwine Registered Users Posts: 1,077

    Killertut said:

    longer early and midgame.

    i dont want to field late tech on turn 20, i want the first 100 turns to be early and medium tier units at least.

    Counterpoint: The campaign is over by turn 100. What units you used to get to that point are not relevant, if you build and use armies effectively you can be in such an utterly dominant position by that point that nothing can realistically threaten you and there is no point continuing.

    Using low tier units doesn't stop you winning just as hard as high tier units if you know how the game actually works, it's just more repetitive and boring.


    You can't meaningfully increase the difficulty without making the AI better, which CA has stated the playerbase doesn't want.

    Define "better" AI. What is the AI doing wrong that you can meaningfully change?
    CA has outright stated that they don't want to make the AI "smarter" because people would complain. I'm not going to define it.
    "Make AI smarter" just nonsense words that gamers in almost every strategy game parrot because they can't make specific practical suggestions for things that can be changed.
  • GettoGeckoGettoGecko Registered Users Posts: 1,406
    On campaign difficulty I would like to see a change where you can use attrition and corruption base strategies even on legendary, right now the resistence to that kind of damage and the high replenishment rate nullifies the offensive and defensive capabilities of that approach and make corruption only a one sided thing for the player where you have to eighter get rid of it or use it for yourself as in higher public order or higher replenishment rates.

    As Commissar_G has written players don't want better AI even if they often claim that to be the case, when AI was better at moving on the campaign map and make better use of agents the forum was full of complains of it being unfair and not fun so the AI was crippled to address these complains. When the arc firing artillery pieces where more precise there have been complains about them being too strong even though the players also could have used them but because to much people tend to blob their units (like the AI does :smirk: ) they reduced the accuracy.

    I'm fine with how battle difficulty is made, sure some tweeks could be made regarding leadership so that units won't flee so fast no normal but don't fight to nearly extinction on very hard but overall I think they have done pretty well with the distinction of the settings.
  • EthorinEthorin Registered Users Posts: 561
    Give the AI actual rules for how it builds armies and lords together.

    I'm sick of seeing armies of 15 spearmen and 2 archers and 2 cav with a lord who buffs none of them and isn't a good fighter and isn't far down the blue line either.
  • ShiroAmakusa75ShiroAmakusa75 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 33,830
    edited September 20

    Encourage a better multiplayer campaign experience.

    You can't meaningfully increase the difficulty without making the AI better, which CA has stated the playerbase doesn't want.

    Make multiplayer campaigns more streamlined then people can get the difficulty they crave so much.

    One, I would like to play the game when I want to, not only when I can get an appointment with some other player. Currently, MP campaigns are not an option for me at all thanks to my timetable. So I'm SoL or what?

    Two, "better AI" means exactly zilch, that's such a wide term as to be completely meaningless. There are very specific changes that you could add to the AI to improve the expience like

    -not have it blob all the time in battles which is not only ineffective but also gives the player the opportunity to blast a ton of troops with ranged firepower and magic
    -learn to use magic effectively. Magic is massively overtuned and braindead simplistic to use, so it should not at all be a player privilege on top of that
    -have meta-compliant targetting priorities, so it attacks the troop types that are actually the most threatning. Right now it overprioritizes elite infantry and SEs, but it should target ranged troops more (or CA could get their act together and give ranged troops the nerf they are long overdue for)
    -in campaign, spec characters properly

    What people complained about was the overly prudent AI that would constantly avoid any battles if it didn't hava at least a 3:1 advantage in. That has nothing to do with the improvements I'm suggesting above.


  • elkappelkapp Registered Users Posts: 816

    Killertut said:

    longer early and midgame.

    i dont want to field late tech on turn 20, i want the first 100 turns to be early and medium tier units at least.

    Counterpoint: The campaign is over by turn 100. What units you used to get to that point are not relevant, if you build and use armies effectively you can be in such an utterly dominant position by that point that nothing can realistically threaten you and there is no point continuing.

    Using low tier units doesn't stop you winning just as hard as high tier units if you know how the game actually works, it's just more repetitive and boring.


    You can't meaningfully increase the difficulty without making the AI better, which CA has stated the playerbase doesn't want.

    Define "better" AI. What is the AI doing wrong that you can meaningfully change?
    CA has outright stated that they don't want to make the AI "smarter" because people would complain. I'm not going to define it.
    The reason they said that was in relation to the fact that, in regards to situations where fast micro and simple decisions are needed (think about dodging spells), the AI could get insanely good to the point of being OP. The worse are probably the dodging of spells and low speed missiles and the cycle charging with powerful heroes and SEM.
  • GloatingSwineGloatingSwine Registered Users Posts: 1,077
    edited September 20



    -not have it blob all the time in battles which is not only ineffective but also gives the player the opportunity to blast a ton of troops with ranged firepower and magic

    That really needs to be addressed as an engine issue preventing different regiments from remaining interpenetrated.


    -learn to use magic effectively. Magic is massively overtuned and braindead simplistic to use, so it should not at all be a player privilege on top of that
    -have meta-compliant targetting priorities, so it attacks the troop types that are actually the most threatning. Right now it overprioritizes elite infantry and SEs, but it should target ranged troops more (or CA could get their act together and give ranged troops the nerf they are long overdue for)

    AI is always going to be predictable. Doesn't really matter how on-meta its actions are, the meta will adapt to them. You know what it's going to do, so you deploy to exploit that it does it. If you make the AI better at using wind and vortex spells the player spreads out more, if you make the AI reliably focus ranged more the player gets to bait it into bad engagements (and the AI does actually try to get at ranged units with quite a lot of unit classes anyway, and is better at getting past single entity frontlines now).

    And the only way to make it less predictable is to make it stupider, because it is predictably doing pretty much the correct thing with the tools it has anyway.

    -in campaign, spec characters properly

    Unless the AI gets comical levels of bonus XP for characters, it can't. Because the AI always autoresoves it loses characters much more frequently so they stay lower level. But if you give them those levels of bonus XP the player also gets them when they confederate the AI lord.
  • ShiroAmakusa75ShiroAmakusa75 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 33,830
    edited September 20



    AI is always going to be predictable. Doesn't really matter how on-meta its actions are, the meta will adapt to them. You know what it's going to do, so you deploy to exploit that it does it. If you make the AI better at using wind and vortex spells the player spreads out more, if you make the AI reliably focus ranged more the player gets to bait it into bad engagements (and the AI does actually try to get at ranged units with quite a lot of unit classes anyway, and is better at getting past single entity frontlines now).

    Just the threat of the AI raking your frontlines or backlines with a Pendulum or Burning Head would force the player to change how they approach the battle. Right now the AI uses those spells perpendiculary to their targets (if they spec them at all) and that renders them largely ineffective. Spreading out more also makes battles harder for the player to control because you have focus on less of your troops at once.

    And I disagree 100% on targetting priorities, I won so many battles with disgusting ease just because the AI ignored my ranged damage dealers with its own ranged troops. This absolutely has to change. Even if it enables different cheese, it would still be less cheesy than how it works now where the AI will waste its ammo on largely irrelevant targets in an ineffective manner.


  • GloatingSwineGloatingSwine Registered Users Posts: 1,077
    Yes, it would change how you approach the battle but that doesn't mean it would make it harder (because you can do the micro on slow mode or pause if you need to), you would just use wider more staggered deployments like in multiplayer to deny the AI good targets for its magic.

    The AI doesn't try and get into shooting matches with your missile units (always, it will with some, it will flank you with shades now) because that would mean putting its missile units into threatened positions. It is getting more use out of them by hitting melee than it would if it brought them closer and let you focus them down.
  • YannirYannir Registered Users Posts: 1,638
    A. Give the AI builds to follow, both on the Lord/hero level and on the army level.
    B. Melee infantry/cavalry needs better buffs in campaign. Better shield-block chance, and more health mainly, both types of buffs that don't exist for them currently.
    Make better differentiation between offensive and defensive units of these types. Nehekhara Warriors just don't fit into the "offensive infantry" mold despite the game claiming so.
    C. "Gentlemen"-rules from multiplayer imported to campaign and formalized. Like camping the white line could cause increasing leadership issues the same way that flying units get without a ground unit. Call it "Cornered".
    D. Bigger and more varied maps. Make chokepoints/provide a secure flank in maps that aren't specifically chokepoint-maps. For both sides. The attacker always being on the disadvantaged side of the map is dumb.
    E. Disable lord-replacement from the AI unless the army in question doesn't have a lord.

    These aren't necessarily to make the game more difficult but to make it more interesting. I would like all the maps to be way bigger but I don't think that's possible so I won't demand them to retroactively go and make bigger maps for game 1 and 2.
    Ugh, I have spoken.
  • GloatingSwineGloatingSwine Registered Users Posts: 1,077
    Giving the AI army and lord builds to follow would only matter if you also gave it the ability to recruit all units globally. Otherwise it will still be coming at you with whatever failsafe behaviour lets it not recruit half a stack with the rest missing because it didn't have the right buildings.

    Also it would make it repetitive and easily counterable.

    The AI probably should be able to recruit all units globally, that would mean it is both less likely to trashstack and accidentally doomstack.

    Give the player Troy style recruitment (all units one turn primarily local, with maybe a limited global pool that refreshes over time based on number of buildings owned instead of global recruitment taking twice as long and costing more, eg. if you have one gunsmith in your empire you can recruit 2 handgunners and one mortar in global then have to wait 5 turns for another one to enter the pool, but they still only take one turn to recruit) and the AI Thrones of Britannia recruitment where it just recruits all units globally as long as it has recruitment buildings for them.

    That would mean you could deploy more interesting armies and would face more interesting armies because the AI didn't go "oops I recruited a lord in a province with no recruitment buildings, dreadspears spam it is!"
  • MonochromaticSpiderMonochromaticSpider Registered Users Posts: 1,234

    Killertut said:

    longer early and midgame.

    i dont want to field late tech on turn 20, i want the first 100 turns to be early and medium tier units at least.

    Counterpoint: The campaign is over by turn 100. What units you used to get to that point are not relevant, if you build and use armies effectively you can be in such an utterly dominant position by that point that nothing can realistically threaten you and there is no point continuing.

    Using low tier units doesn't stop you winning just as hard as high tier units if you know how the game actually works, it's just more repetitive and boring.


    You can't meaningfully increase the difficulty without making the AI better, which CA has stated the playerbase doesn't want.

    Define "better" AI. What is the AI doing wrong that you can meaningfully change?
    CA has outright stated that they don't want to make the AI "smarter" because people would complain. I'm not going to define it.
    Chances are that what CA means with "smarter" is more efficient at using its perfect map vision to make 20/20 optimal choices that is purely centered around screwing with the player. And of course things like individual model movement to avoid artillery shots that players cannot replicate, or actually being able to see where hidden units are on the map.

    What players consider smarter is probably more along the lines of not running in pointless circles, not abandoning artillery, not slow walking artillery on its own to the other side of the map because their target moved behind a rock, and not blowing all ammo on a super-fast flying target with 80% missile resist. Also things like not just parking all infantry on the walls during sieges. Maybe some better spell and spell target selection, like not immediately overcasting Invocation of Nehek on a single unit of zombies that started the battle two models short of full strength. Not casting AOE damage spells on a blob of single entities.

  • MonochromaticSpiderMonochromaticSpider Registered Users Posts: 1,234

    On campaign difficulty I would like to see a change where you can use attrition and corruption base strategies even on legendary, right now the resistence to that kind of damage and the high replenishment rate nullifies the offensive and defensive capabilities of that approach and make corruption only a one sided thing for the player where you have to eighter get rid of it or use it for yourself as in higher public order or higher replenishment rates.

    As Commissar_G has written players don't want better AI even if they often claim that to be the case, when AI was better at moving on the campaign map and make better use of agents the forum was full of complains of it being unfair and not fun so the AI was crippled to address these complains. When the arc firing artillery pieces where more precise there have been complains about them being too strong even though the players also could have used them but because to much people tend to blob their units (like the AI does :smirk: ) they reduced the accuracy.

    I'm fine with how battle difficulty is made, sure some tweeks could be made regarding leadership so that units won't flee so fast no normal but don't fight to nearly extinction on very hard but overall I think they have done pretty well with the distinction of the settings.

    The AI has perfect vision and knows exactly how much movement each cell on the map costs to traverse, so obviously it becomes complete **** when it can do a shortest path calculation on every army and hero you have and dance around in perfect safety, even nicely coordinated between factions that ought to hate one another. That isn't "good AI", it's just unfun messing-with-the-player nonsense.

    Same with agent spam, where all the AI factions would throw all their agents against the player and the player would then be pretty SOL. You have 5 agents that can remove enemy agents, there are 15 thrown at you. What do you do? Your agents disappear and then your cities and armies get hammered to kingdom come. And there is very little you can do about it unless you're way ahead of the curve, which means you have to cheese like a right bastard. Is that fun? Not really. Is it "good AI"? Not really.

    If the individual AI factions actually acted according to their individual situation and treated other AI factions like they do the player then maybe it could work, but when the AI diplomacy is pretty much hard coded to just be anti-player and the player is hamstrung and put in a straightjacket when it comes to dealing with this nonsense then obviously it just becomes an unfun source of grief.

    Yes, I know some people really enjoy getting kicked in the balls over and over, but when I pick VH, I want to lose because my strategy just wasn't good enough and I handled certain situations less sensibly than I could have, not because I'm too busy vomiting because the game stepped on my nuts with ironclad boots. There's clever **** and then there's pure ****, and CA was rather frustratingly focusing on the latter rather than the former.

    What would be nice is if the AI could build up its cities a little better. If it could understand that some cities are super enormous resource generators and should be defended strongly. Some alliances should be pursued and some should not. Some spots on the map are natural chokepoints and should be used as such. Lord skill point investment could also be improved. Army composition strategies could be improved.

    And as these things are done in a slightly less silly way, the insane over the top cheats the AI is currently getting should of course be toned down so the player actually has a feeling of being challenged by the enemy rather than by the tidal wave of molten cheese that CA has gifted the AI with.


  • JastalllJastalll Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,357
    -Change the AI's battle modifiers. They should just get Ward Save across the board, maybe some leadership, but no precise buffs to MA, MD or anything like that. It just discourages you from using melee units

    -Sweeping changes to battle AI aren't going to happen, but please at least make them protect their artillery. It's silly seeing Dwarfs rush forward and leave their 4 Organ Gun units bunched up and alone so I can remove all their killing power with 2 units of cav or dogs. And make it less blob-happy while we're at it.

    -Diplomacy overhaul, I think that's long overdue. 3K was an example of good diplomacy even if not perfect. In this game diplomacy hamstrings the player once you go beyond trade agreements. Getting into alliances is almost always a bad thing that will drag you into pointless wars while your allies are hardly ever of any help. There are too many things that need to change for me to make a list honestly.
  • IchonIchon Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 5,538
    1. Remove stacking buffs
    2. AI army composition in atrocious, CA can do better because mods do better.
    3. Fix sieges- that is a discussion on its own but the AI is way too passive in defense and during the attack the AI sends its units to sit right in front of the towers, at least have them move off to the side when they get to the walls as any player would.
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  • XxXScorpionXxXXxXScorpionXxX Registered Users Posts: 3,865
    I actually think the AI isn't that bad. Its harder to cheese than it use to be.

    Request scorched body textures, poisoned dying animations for infantry's skeletons, a blood slider that allows us to control how much blood appears in battle and make proper death animations for all ethereal units so they vanish for Blood for the Blood God 3.
  • BayesBayes Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 2,901
    edited September 20
    Rework lightning strike and reinforcements:
    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2322550212

    Help the ai actually level their characters and spend the points well:
    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1772348679
    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2573696497
    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1651093625

    Stop the buff stacking:
    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2518502868 (has some controversial stuff in it)

    Rework supply lines, or hopefully replace it with troys administration system:
    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2097391710

    Help recruiting and more templates for recruiting armies:
    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2573644183
    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2419036092

    These are all things that can easily be addressed and has a large impact.
    Other than that less and better sieges would be a big boon.


    If you see this lost little fellow please help him find his way home.
  • IamNotArobotIamNotArobot Registered Users Posts: 4,509
    garrisons need to add DLC units, no brainer right there but CA just wont cause “too much work”
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  • ShiroAmakusa75ShiroAmakusa75 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 33,830

    I actually think the AI isn't that bad. Its harder to cheese than it use to be.

    It still blobs at the slightest provocation, so no, definitely not improved where it matters most. Also still can't use magic to save its life.


  • saweendrasaweendra Registered Users Posts: 14,656

    Encourage a better multiplayer campaign experience.

    You can't meaningfully increase the difficulty without making the AI better, which CA has stated the playerbase doesn't want.

    Make multiplayer campaigns more streamlined then people can get the difficulty they crave so much.

    One, I would like to play the game when I want to, not only when I can get an appointment with some other player. Currently, MP campaigns are not an option for me at all thanks to my timetable. So I'm SoL or what?

    Two, "better AI" means exactly zilch, that's such a wide term as to be completely meaningless. There are very specific changes that you could add to the AI to improve the expience like

    -not have it blob all the time in battles which is not only ineffective but also gives the player the opportunity to blast a ton of troops with ranged firepower and magic
    -learn to use magic effectively. Magic is massively overtuned and braindead simplistic to use, so it should not at all be a player privilege on top of that
    -have meta-compliant targetting priorities, so it attacks the troop types that are actually the most threatning. Right now it overprioritizes elite infantry and SEs, but it should target ranged troops more (or CA could get their act together and give ranged troops the nerf they are long overdue for)
    -in campaign, spec characters properly

    What people complained about was the overly prudent AI that would constantly avoid any battles if it didn't hava at least a 3:1 advantage in. That has nothing to do with the improvements I'm suggesting above.
    Too add to this improve skill point allocation for a casters so they spend their skill points on magic related skills.

    Because i play with two skill point mod. With that i see a lot more spells used by Ai.

    They also need to learn not to send their high speed general first in to the fray. Learn distance management

    Add pre built battle formations for the Ai and teach them when to move to attack or to stand your ground.

    A couple of attacjs shouldn't make them move forward if they have the better defensive army.


    Improve spell dodge.

    Allow them to switch between using missile chariots properly when to chargw the infantry when to stand bacj and shoot.


    Add focus fire critirea lines for example if AI have three canons they should focus fire the one cannon you have to disable it.


    Add skirmish play critera where they attempt to play kite centric armies similar to some elf player.

    #givemoreunitsforbrettonia, my bret dlc
  • brago90brago90 Registered Users Posts: 1,148
    As for the difficulty of the campaign, I simply think that such a selector should not exist. It's just a meter for how many cheats the AI ​​is allowed to use (.

    What can be worked a lot is the difficulty of the battles. To begin with, LL should have better AI to be a challenge and stay alive longer. To this add that the AI ​​increases its difficulty according to the turns.
    When you select a higher difficulty, the AI ​​simply starts with a higher level of complexity from the beginning (instead of starting with the difficulty of turn 1 in normal it starts with the difficulty of turn 100 in normal) and at maximum difficulty the AI ​​adapts to your playstyle and counteract it.

    To this it could be added that each LL had an IA that acted differently based on the LL traits. For example: a LL duelist will seek to disperse his units and fight on various fronts and destroy the army piece by piece, an LL sorcerer will seek to group units to maximize the efficiency of his spells, a general LL will focus on using different units together to generate advantage, etc.
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