2.8.1 (2190) Beta AI Feedback Megathread

2.8.1 (2190) Beta AI Feedback Megathread

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MrFreake_PDX

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Hi folks!

We’ve been asked by @Obidobi to put together a mega-thread for feedback on the military/crisis/sector AI. We are looking for actionable points, do not leave a toxic or otherwise unhelpful response, if you do so it will be removed.

The rule for this thread is: no quoting other posts. Leave an original post only. If a Dev or QA responds to you, you may respond to them. Do not respond to other community members. We are looking for your experience only.


Please ensure that your post is about a game that has been played solely on 2.8.1 [checksum 2190]. Including a save is also super helpful for these things.

Please note that 2.8.1 is an optional beta patch. You have to manually opt in to access it. Go to your Steam library, right click on Stellaris -> Properties -> betas tab -> select "stellaris_test" branch.

Tips for watching the AI
:
  • Be aware of the empire’s ethics/civics/personality when giving feedback. (Ie. If you have a galaxy full of pacifist empires, there will be less wars)
  • Use observer mode (if you tag switch to the AI, their bonuses from difficulty will be removed)
  • Use the command “debug_ai” in console (without the quotes)
  • The outliner will tell you that fleet’s current objective
  • Set up goals for the AI based on the AIs ethics, civics, and personality. Does it live up to these goals?
  • AI reactions to other empire actions
  • Does the AI have periods of downtime, or freeze?
  • If you are testing the crisis factions, please note if they were manually spawned via the console or if they spawned naturally.
  • Include the AI difficulty settings and Crisis Strength Multiplier used.

We also ask that you organize your feedback into useful/actionable points, and not make gross statements about the overall AI.

Helpful Feedback Examples:
  • Crisis AI fleets get stuck in a loop
  • Sector AI does not help balance economy *
  • AI does not manage pops efficiently, and what they could be doing better. Be specific please.

Unhelpful Feedback Examples:
  • Sector AI is broken
  • Mitiary AI is stupid

Please use your post to contribute to us making the Stellaris AI the best it can be. Posts that trash the devs/dev replies will be mercilessly removed.

Thank you for your help Community!


Edit: Footnote for explaining Sector Automation AI:
Please note that the Sector Automation AI and the Planetary Automation AI have different priorities. Planetary Automation is not part of this beta test, if you are testing/reporting on the Sector Automation please do not enable Planetary Automation. Planetary Automation will take priority and override the Sector Automation improvements.

Edit2: Please do not report results from modded playthroughs.
 
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Alfray Stryke

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I found one, not sure it's fixed or not. It has a save file. :p
Thanks for pointing it out, but unfortunately that's on an earlier build.
 
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Some AIs do not build armies (Devouring Swarms, for example), either because they are at war (are they locked from building armies then?) or they have no claims on planets (Devouring Swarms, for example, can't have claims in general).

AIs should build Armies regardless of claims and should also do so during war.
 
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Annihilat0r

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I noticed the Unbidden dedicated six or seven fleets bombarding the same planet, slowing down their expansion through inhabited systems dramatically. In the end I could take their entire navy apart in just two decisive battles, cause they were stuck in a system with 3 planets and 3 habitats, bombarding one after the other.

Edit: medium galaxy, commodore difficulty, only achievement friendly mods on Ironman

Edit2: I can confirm that I am on 2.8.1 [checksum 2190] , but unfortunately I cannot provide a savegame due to ironman
 
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Methone

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Posted a separate thread on this a few days ago, but it appears that if the Prethoryn spawn, and there isn't any empire within X jumps of their systems (X jumps being that 'look for conquest' variable in the defs, I think it's set to 5) then they just sort of... don't do anything.

Similarly, once the Unbidden completely destroy their semi-randomly chosen Nemesis, they don't appear to pick a new one and then they just sort of... sit there not doing anything.
 
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Posted a separate thread on this a few days ago, but it appears that if the Prethoryn spawn, and there isn't any empire within X jumps of their systems (X jumps being that 'look for conquest' variable in the defs, I think it's set to 5) then they just sort of... don't do anything.

Similarly, once the Unbidden completely destroy their semi-randomly chosen Nemesis, they don't appear to pick a new one and then they just sort of... sit there not doing anything.
Since this was a couple of days ago, and the previous build did not include all the changes we are testing, we need information that only concerns the current playtest build (2.8.1, Checksum 2190 ).
 
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mial42

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I've noticed that occasionally AI fleets will just... stop doing anything, until a save-reload. I've also seen the army issue mentioned above with empires w/out claims not building armies/enough armies. Aside from those two, however, the fleet AI is much better. In my current game, a custom terravore has completely annihilated several other empires in a single war each (and eaten their planets with my better terravores mod, which isn't relevant to the thread but makes me happy anyways). In 2.7.2, genocidals tended to take three-four wars to defeat even a much weaker opponent, which rendered them a near-non-threat, since most of the time after the first war or two a giant federation/defensive alliance would form and stop them completely.
 
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Necrophage AI neither conquers it's primitive worlds nor does it build the chambers of elevation on new worlds.

Also the ship designer still keeps adding these dummy autodesign ships in addition to your normal ships.
 
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Less2

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Loaded up a save from 2 days ago, cancelled all constructions, shoved 50k resources into sectors (it was already fully sector-AIed).

Findings:

- Sectors don't seem to respect Research vs. Alloys much. Virtually all my planets were building for more alloys when half were research focus. Honestly I'm kind of OK with this since I always want both, but it runs counter what the focus says. A general "maximize alloys/research surplus while maintain small consumer goods surplus" combined focus would be appropriate I think, then the other two focuses could be weighted higher to alloys or research. I had a net alloy income of +72, so I don't think I was hitting any "you are dangerously low on alloy production" weight.

- Sectors are fairly consistently upgrading buildings when open build slots are available. Upgrading buildings while slots are available makes little sense, upgraded buildings just cost rare resources.

- I am at 1375/1046 sprawl and the AI doesn't build bureaucrat buildings at all, even after multiple tests. Here's what I find in the files:
Code:
    building = {
        key = building_bureaucratic_1
        weight = {
            weight = 1
            modifier = {
                factor = 0
                owner = { empire_sprawl_over_cap <= 0 }
            }
            modifier = {
                factor = 5
                owner = { empire_sprawl_cap_fraction >= 0.1 }
            }
            modifier = {
                factor = 2
                owner = { empire_sprawl_cap_fraction >= 0.2 }
            }
            modifier = {
                factor = 1.5
                owner = { empire_sprawl_cap_fraction >= 0.3 }
            }
            modifier = {
                factor = 1.5
                owner = { empire_sprawl_cap_fraction >= 0.4 }
            }
        }
    }
The problem here is that the sector AI seems to base its weight on the % over cap, but the penalty for being over cap isn't % based. If we assume the AI doesn't really focus on bureaucrats until being 40% over cap (which seems to be the case, not getting any at 30%), then if your cap is 100 you'll suffer 40 over cap = 16% tech penalty before the AI builds bureaucrats. But if your cap is 10,000 then you'll be at 4,000 over cap = 1,600% tech penalty! This is just wrong, since the sprawl penalty is not relative to the fraction over cap, the AI should not be building bureacrats based on the fraction of sprawl over cap. I'd suggest that the sector AI have a separate clause for empires with a sprawl > 200 that causes them to have a much higher weight to build government buildings as soon as sprawl = cap. This would allow smaller empires to go over their cap a bit (which is optimal for them) while ensuring large empires keep up properly.

- Sector AI still builds precinct houses despite crime being no issue if you have Deal with Crime Lord active.
Suggest that this building get a weight of 0 if either crime lord modifier is active or if the player has disabled enforcer jobs
 
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Suggestion/Idea: For issues that a save/reload solves, maybe there are some debug commands a player can run, and, screenshots or video they can take, to help pinpoint the problems/issues?
 

Methone

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Loaded up a quick 'debug spawn in the Prethoryn' game. They're a bit more active this time, but that might just be because empires are closer to them. But only, like, 2/10 of their constructors are doing anything in the attached save.
 

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mial42

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This isn't specific to 2.8.1 (it's been an issue since I started playing), but the AI really, really, really needs the ability to replace districts. ATM, the AI will never replace resource districts with city districts when the planet runs out of housing, leading them to declare population controls early, whereas the player can continually develop planets for much longer. Even with Starnet, which makes this much less crippling by removing the population controls and using events to resettle excess pops, this hurts the AI long term by seriously reducing the amount they can get out of a given number of worlds. It also renders them completely unable to use decisions like the Arcology Project, meaning ecumenepoli are a player-only mechanic, and an extremely potent one at that. I'd also note that the AI still doesn't seem to repair ruined buildings, although my sample size there is small.
 
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Yukizawa

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I started a new game playing as a hive mind with memorialist and divided attention lithoids.

I then turned on balanced sector AI immediately and moved my resources to the sector so it could build.
4 Colonies in, and even though I'm going negative in minerals, the Ai is building only energy sectors so I went bankrupt.

Also, I noticed that the AI is not buidling enough hive districts to keep enough housing, and will not build new sectors or buildings until a planet has an unemployed pop. It should be building at least one job ahead of population growth.

Overall, aside from building the wrong sector types, the AI did a decent job of selecting buildings.

Edit: The AI also did not properly manage available jobs. I had to manually manage pops assigned to amenity jobs by disabling most of them and making that job must assign to get the right combination of jobs to get 1-4 amenities at all times.

Edit2: The AI didn't clear any of the blockers to get more pops. I had to do that myself.

Edit3: I played another game as a 2.8.0 and tried this and it was terrible. This new implementation is much better. Also, the reason the AI was building energy instead of mining sectors was because of the energy trait on the species. When I switched the trait to mining it worked much better.
 

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LWE

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This is an example of AI lacking focus and not attacking what it should. This time, it's the Khan that does it, but these complaints mirror some others. The Khan has a vastly superior fleet in the system of Berni (nice complement to Covfefe name), complete with a transport army. It can easily go to Zaktoria, hurting its enemy and taking its capital planet (either immediately, or after bombarding). However, it decides to go to the distant system of Mitin. There's an enemy fleet in Mitin, but there are many closer large fleets inside the Khan's territory that aren't doing much. They would be a better agent for repelling this fleet.

Having said this, the Khan fleets do attack and conquer planets in general, even if slowly, so it's not a case of a completely dysfunctional AI.

Game completely unmodded.
 

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Celulthor

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In my current campaign a custom Lithoid AI empire with Calamitous Birth origin has not colonized a single planet year 2268. They have expanded and have available planets inside their borders (including the 2 guaranteed ones), but have not colonized a single one. Also, strangely they are a Devouring Swarm instead of Terravore, which I set them to be. Devouring Swarm should not even be available to Lithoids, if I understand correctly.

lithoid_devouring_swarm.png 73pops_1planet_2268.png empire_map.png
 

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mial42

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In my current campaign a custom Lithoid AI empire with Calamitous Birth origin has not colonized a single planet year 2268. They have expanded and have available planets inside their borders (including the 2 guaranteed ones), but have not colonized a single one. Also, strangely they are a Devouring Swarm instead of Terravore, which I set them to be. Devouring Swarm should not even be available to Lithoids, if I understand correctly.

View attachment 649323 View attachment 649324 View attachment 649325
Strange... I'm currently in a game with a fully-functional and quite deadly Calamitous Birth terravore (3rd strongest empire after myself and an awakened empire), although it IS modded.
 

Rosthun

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Not related to the beta itself, but can ships stop clumping into a ball every time they fight? This has been going on ever since 2.0 launched. Either edit everything in ship_behaviors so that different ship classes actually behave like they supposed to (even better if their tactics would no longer be tied to computers) or at least reintroduce the combat_max_speed and combat_rotation_speed modifiers.

Edit: right now even manually editing ship behaviors using vanilla computers would net you mediocre results as they still sometimes behave weirdly or outright ignore preferred_attack_range, formation_distance and return_to_formation_distance settings. Also, stay_at_range doesn't seem to do anything. Also-also, one can reduce the speed of ships in combat by firing an event and applying a modifier to every ship but it is a terrible crutch solution.
 
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Pyzayt

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I've only actually fought in one war so far on the beta, but I can say I observed the AI was much more active in attempting to stop my Devouring Swarm from washing over them like a tide of death. They failed pretty pitifully due to my sheer military advantage (I conquered two primitives super early on, so I was kind of snowballing on resources from selling excess food). Their fleets did actually group up to attempt to stop me!

Admittedly, they were really bad on the whole "colonising other worlds" front; that might be something to do with them being necrophages. They had two habitable worlds nearby, but had only conquered one unrelated primitive world (which I promptly stole so quickly that it's a little silly). So, that made it a pretty short war, given their homeworld was then conquered and they were consequently completely wiped out. Overall, I see some improvements, but Necrophages in particular seem to be a little on the unsure side when it comes to expanding to planets (though they expanded pretty good in space).

Other AI I wasn't fighting seemed pretty good at splitting their fleets up too.
 
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Baro

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-AI empires still fill their entire borders with habitats that they then don't colonize. Surely some check for the AI to not build new habitats if they have uncolonized ones in their border would be a simple fix?

-Great Khan actually does things and takes territory, but watching its fleets move around it seems to have a real hard time back-filling territory with its construction ships. I'll observe their fleets going back and forth frequently too. Like they'll send a bunch of fleets to go destroy a single unguarded system, then all the fleets involved will race all the way back home to their own territory to form up with some new group of fleets targeting a different system. The Khan's construction ship will never show up or take so long that the defending empire will have taken the system back them selves with their own construction ships. This will go back and forth for years. A simple take and hold approach where the Khan's fleets destroy a station then leave at least a single fleet behind to guard it until the construction ship shows up would be amazing.
 
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