I have played more games of every iteration of Civ than I care to remember, and have to say that it's head-and-shoulders above any other game for immersion and replay value.
In each game, there comes a time when you overtake the AI civilizations, and then the game gets boring because the challenge is gone. I think a 'dynamic' difficulty model would be really helpful, by scaling up the difficulty when it's too easy, or giving you a boost when you're getting creamed. It could be an option, but would be really helpful, as nothing is more frustrating than getting off to a really interesting start, and then having all the fun be over in the industrial era.
This is very true and a very good suggestion.
I too get bored once the challenge is gone.
On going challenge is what is keeping the game exciting and fun to play.
Dynamic difficulty will inure that for us.
I personally don't like it at all. What's funny of knowing that if you manage to overtake it the AI gets a booster (increased cheats). It's like level scaling in some modern RPGs... as soon as you gain a level or two the same enemies you were fighting befere magically get harder... it sucks (at least in my opinion).
Anyway... nothing against it if optional.
Sort of Madden difficulty style? I really like this idea. It sounds like it could really make the game.
I'm not a fan of difficulty scaling.
If they including somthing like this I hope its optional.
I personally hate the level-scaling in games. But somehow this 'dynamic difficulty' seems interesting. But I would however make it ON/OFF in options menu.
I support this message. I'm fine with AI playing much "harder" but cheating is no good. It's unfair. If I get that far advanced, I deserve it!
Originally Posted by Francesco82
yeah, it would certainly have to be an option. and whether it would boost you when you're behind would be a separate option (as opposed to just boosting the AI when you're winning).
also, maybe golden ages could be given more weight? in civ4 they don't really give a massive boost (as in real history) - for instance, i've never had a golden age tip the balance of a game in my favor.
just a thought, but they could add a bit of dynamism to the challenge from the AI. as it is, by a third of the way into the game you can pretty much tell who you're going to be fighting at the end.
This Dynamic AI is suggested as “Optional AI”.
So you choose you starting AI level and you then check the box of “Dynamic AI”.
If you don’t like it then leave that box unchecked.
Nobody expects everyone to like or use this option.
That is why it is suggested as an Option.
However, if 10% or more of the players like such option then it will be worth adding it for them.
Okay, I'll try not to turn this into another thread about Oblivion...but I will say that I am not a big fan of "level scaling", nor what is perhaps a more accurate comparison: the "rubber banding" used in some racing games. However, as long as it is optional, and implemented in a non-cheating way (i.e. smarter AI), it might be a somewhat interesting feature. The way I'd see it then, would be that the AI realizes it is doing poorly, and tries to get its act together. Perhaps that would not be too bad.
I would also like to take this opportunity to repeat myself with regards to difficulty in general: I hope they make AI difficulty a separate setting from handicap. I strongly dislike handicaps, but the balanced setting in Civ 4 was too easy. Handicaps are a cheap way of increasing difficulty.
Building different AI logics to act in different ways depending on the difficulty choosen is a very hard and time consuming thing, there are very few games doing it.
Originally Posted by KayAU
It's a lot more effective to build the best AI you can, and then add some malus/bonus to scale it to the various difficulty settings.
As long as I remember Civ 4 AI is the same for every difficulty level (apart from the cheats added on top of it).
Guys, this isn't rocket science. There's a logical and fun way to make this happen: diplomacy. Simply make the AI civs consider you more and more of a threat as you "overtake" them as you said, and make them form alliances against you - unless you do really well diplomatically, which is another challenge. Or just engage in an epic war against allied AI powers.
This way you can add on another layer of challenge when the traditional "camel's back" breaks.
Yes thats the way people work. I play a lot of board games and find that either a player will jump in on weakest player to get some of the spoils (generally a losing proposition as leader gets harder) or
Originally Posted by Glabro
Players all combine to pull down the leader. (more effective) kind of a prisoners dilema thing... if when weak u fight among yourselves (Europe WW1 WW2) then one day you turn around and find you are all 2nd rate powers and someone else (USSR, USA) is now the superpower
So diplomacy shading npc civs together as player gets stronger makes sense.
The trick is in not making them act in lockstep... they dont want their neighbours to get everything from aggressing against the leader.
Yes and should be against leader.. if an NPC civ is kicking your donkey all over the place.. the other losing civs should be more able to co-operate
Well, you may be right about a purely AI-based difficulty setting being difficult to implement, but I think you are wrong about the different difficulty settings in Civ 4 being purely handicap-based. Didn't the in-game description for the "monarch" setting claim that the computer opponents would be "just plain smarter"? Well, if that is right, I want those "plain smarter" opponents, but without the rest of the "monarch" package.
Even if it is really difficult to do well, I think for a series like Civilization, they should make a real investment in AI. I base my opinion on two things: Firstly, I think it is a fair assumption that most Civilization playthroughs are singleplayer, which means the quality AI will have a big impact on the gameplay experience. Secondly, Civilization is, at least in my eyes, the biggest and best strategy series in existence. They should not settle for mediocrity when it comes to such an important aspect of the game.
Well.. in my opinion Civ 4 AI is good, surely above average, there are lots of strategy games where the AI, no matter how many cheats you give it, simply can't pose a challenge to an experienced player.
Originally Posted by KayAU
This said it could be better and I'm defenitely hoping to see a better Ai in Civ 5. According to the little info we have it should be so... it should be able to plan in the long term and use fewer cheats on the higher difficulty levels.
So I've been playing the Rise of Mankind mod with the A New Dawn addition, and they actually have a dynamic difficulty setting. it's great! keeps the game competitive for much longer, but you can still dominate in the end (as long as you're good enough for diety).
From experience of difficulty scaling in other games has been very bad. What it means is no matter what you do you can never get so far or so ahead of an opponent which can be a little frustrating, even more so that simply running so far ahead you cannot lose.
The main thing that should be done for the difficulty is more intelligent and flexible AI.
e.g. when you up the difficulty all that really happens is the AI gets to cheat more and is less likely to trade with you, especially techs, on fair terms.
Their tactics don't change or improve and they never really try any strategy past the most basic frontal assault. Navies in particular get very little attention from AI civs, in particular i have never ever seen an aircraft carrier used by an enemy civ, never mind a strategic use of a navy.
The AI need tactical and strategic models it can use and can adapt to it's situation and these should become used more and more intuitively as the difficulty gets ramped up.
Civ is basically a huge game of chess but where the AI only seem to know the most basic of strategies.
Last edited by thefluffyrocker; 02-27-2010 at 06:34 AM.
It's true the game gets a little boring when u get a good sized lead, but thats why my games never end up 1v1. The AI should be smart enough at ANY difficulty to see the strongest player on the board and act accordingly. Think of the board game RISK. I never let anyone hold austrilia and asia. EVER. you do that and in 2 or 3 turns your dead- instead you get NA and EURO and AFRI to gang up on him .
It seems like a lot of people are comparing difficulty scaling to MMO games, where the fun of a new level or weapon is offset by equally stronger enemies. In civ, I (usually) DONT want to get much stronger than the AI opponents. Once I'm past the strongest AI player, the game is over, in my view.
I think the ability to adjust the difficulty in-game would be ideal, actually.
I think this is a pretty good, and realistic suggestion.
Consider real life.. the civilization that is "top" at any given time is the constant target of espionage, civ-envy, animosity and world-wide distrust. The opposite is usually true for small civilizations that are being targetted by the large civilizations.. almost always there is an outpouring of support for the small nation, which is bound to grow the longer the war lasts.
I think there should be much stiffer penalties for being on top. As it is, its too easy to get there and stay there.
I am currently playing a Civ 4 game where I am on top and it won’t be long before I win the game.
The AI should behave more like human players where when the human player is on top two or more AI opponents team up against the human player.
That will add some challenge to the end game portion which is mostly boring now (when we are on top).
At the current stage of my game I am accumulating forces against the strongest AI Civ in order to launch a surprise attack in many fronts (for the fun of it).
The AI should be able to figure out I am about to attack it just by recognizing the fact that the vast majority of my forces are gathering outside its borders.
The AI should then launch a preemptive strike against me.
Things like that can make the game much more fun and challenging.
I second this!
Originally Posted by ihmcguinness
I would especially like more options for setting up difficulty levels for each player in a multiplayer game individually. I play online with a few friends, but we are all at different skill levels, so one person almost always pulls ahead really early, and another almost always barely scrapes by. It would be nice if the different difficulty settings for each player would affect more than scaling their research and income and maintenance costs, etc. It would be nice if it also changes the barbarian and AI behavior towards that player (make the barbs less intent on capturing their cities and make AI less aggressive).
That way, every player has a better shot of competing, while still maintaining a sense of challenge for the more experienced players. Maybe we'll actually be able to get further than the Medieval age before somebody gives up because they're losing too badly or is so far ahead the game is boring.
There was actually a Civ4 mod that did this (and added a few challenge modes and the like) and didn't change the rest of the gameplay, but it wasn't updated to 3.19 and doesn't work anymore. Also exists in the Fall From Heaven 2 mod.
Originally Posted by ihmcguinness