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Zupanicarr

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Is the AI any improved from the first Warlock? I've read a lot of conflicting reports, some saying the AI quite improved over the last game, most saying it's just as bad.

I really loved the first Warlock, however the AI was always pretty awful detracting from the many awesome things in the original.
And while Warlock 2 seems to have a lot of great improvements, I'm worried the AI isn't one of them(which I find odd given that the AI was easily the greatest flaw of the first), and it's making me hesitant to buy the game, even if I have that wizarding itch.

So I ask again, is the AI improved at all? Will it offer a challenge on at least 'challenging' or 'impossible' difficulties?
Either way I'll probably pick up the game eventually given how much I loved Warlock: Master of the Arcane. I just want to know how much the AI has been improved over last, once and for all, from a few reports.
 

Fenryder

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The AI has never been for me the reason to play the game. I tend to just ignore it and develop my own empire. That said it doesnt seem to have changed much from warlock 1. It seems to build appropriate cities and send lower tier units in groups of 2-3 to attack me. I've never come close to losing a city to a non-monster/independent AI as they never seem to attack en masse. The diplomacy Ai is completely black and white, one turn begging for peace then two turns later threatening we with war. I havnt seen it building tons of boats but it does build them and then do nothing really with them. I've never seen it cross water with regular units but I play on all land maps. I've seen it cast shadow bolt 2 turns in a row on a death immune unit and use firestorm over its own city killing more units of its own than mine, damaging its own environment.

edit: I should add I think the various new scripted events and numerous new tough world monsters do add some challenge. And I have yet to actually win a game nor am I'm actively trying to defeat people..
 
Last edited:

RedFuneral

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I find it better than the Civilization 5 AI. It knows when you have left a flank unguarded and will attack/demand something of you as it should. Of course the focus of the game being war, I'd be worried if the AI was unable to know it's chances when considering attacking you. It does need to be said though that the Civ AI CANNOT do this, even the most hostile leaders will leave unguarded cities alone in that game.

The AI here does still have it's quirks of course. Units move back and forth sometimes wasting their movement points(say a unit wants to attack something right in front of it, sometimes it retreats a square, moves back forward, and then attacks.) And the AI as mentioned above will sometimes suicide into units that it can't possibly hurt(using death magic on the undead, trying to melee ghosts.) And of course the one thing it did earlier in my game, charged out of a city I was attacking to stun my catapult.. this being a city with no health left already as the AI had just recovered it from neutrals allowing me to just walk right in.

Overall I'm liking what I've seen so far. I haven't played enough to comment on it's city placement or unit selection but it's been playing smart enough to give me a challenge and isn't spamming one single unit type as the AI of the aforementioned game tends to do. There isn't anything that really makes it clear that you're playing against a machine(like doing the exact same thing every game), if anything the quirks can make it seem more human.
 

Zupanicarr

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The AI has never been for me the reason to play the game. I tend to just ignore it and develop my own empire. That said it doesnt seem to have changed much from warlock 1. It seems to build appropriate cities and send lower tier units in groups of 2-3 to attack me. I've never come close to losing a city to a non-monster/independent AI as they never seem to attack en masse. The diplomacy Ai is completely black and white, one turn begging for peace then two turns later threatening we with war. I havnt seen it building tons of boats but it does build them and then do nothing really with them. I've never seen it cross water with regular units but I play on all land maps. I've seen it cast shadow bolt 2 turns in a row on a death immune unit and use firestorm over its own city killing more units of its own than mine, damaging its own environment.

edit: I should add I think the various new scripted events and numerous new tough world monsters do add some challenge. And I have yet to actually win a game nor am I'm actively trying to defeat people..
I never said the only reason I play the game is because the AI, I'll probably pick Warlock 2 up regardless. Alas, that is disappointing, I was hoping for a more aggressive or clever AI, but at least it doesn't build massive navies in secluded lakes any more.
Though I should ask, what difficulty were you playing?
 

Zupanicarr

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I find it better than the Civilization 5 AI. It knows when you have left a flank unguarded and will attack/demand something of you as it should. Of course the focus of the game being war, I'd be worried if the AI was unable to know it's chances when considering attacking you. It does need to be said though that the Civ AI CANNOT do this, even the most hostile leaders will leave unguarded cities alone in that game.
I've played Civ V a lot(though I haven't played since Gods & Kings) and I don't really remember the AI acting that dumb, just :laugh:bipolar:angry:.
The AI here does still have it's quirks of course. Units move back and forth sometimes wasting their movement points(say a unit wants to attack something right in front of it, sometimes it retreats a square, moves back forward, and then attacks.) And the AI as mentioned above will sometimes suicide into units that it can't possibly hurt(using death magic on the undead, trying to melee ghosts.) And of course the one thing it did earlier in my game, charged out of a city I was attacking to stun my catapult.. this being a city with no health left already as the AI had just recovered it from neutrals allowing me to just walk right in.

Overall I'm liking what I've seen so far. I haven't played enough to comment on it's city placement or unit selection but it's been playing smart enough to give me a challenge and isn't spamming one single unit type as the AI of the aforementioned game tends to do. There isn't anything that really makes it clear that you're playing against a machine(like doing the exact same thing every game), if anything the quirks can make it seem more human.
I remember in the original Warlock the only AIs that would prove a challenge were the undead and that was only because of vampires(though I seem to recall occasionally fighting dragons controlled by a great mage). Now I am hearing that the AI does not at least build the same types of low-level units over and over again, but do the human, monster, elves and other new races build high level and challenging units? or divine units? that's a big question for me.
 

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Yeah sorry, claiming this AI is anywhere near Civ 5s is a bit far fetched. Even Civ 5 vanilla worked better than this and it's AI has been upgraded numerous times since then.

The AI still goes to war when horrendously outmatched, still doesn't seem to actually have a plan when engaged in war, cannot cope with flying or immune units at all, doesn't specialise it's cities rationally and also doesn't seem to actually expand much. I've only even encounter AIs on their first linked world at best - they never seem to get any further through the planes.
 

RedFuneral

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I've played Civ V a lot(though I haven't played since Gods & Kings) and I don't really remember the AI acting that dumb, just :laugh:bipolar:angry:.
I remember in the original Warlock the only AIs that would prove a challenge were the undead and that was only because of vampires(though I seem to recall occasionally fighting dragons controlled by a great mage). Now I am hearing that the AI does not at least build the same types of low-level units over and over again, but do the human, monster, elves and other new races build high level and challenging units? or divine units? that's a big question for me.

Original Civ5 AI was harsh, probably a bit better in knowing when to declare war though. Ever since BNW, well you can go a whole game without any wars. I even did a test: 1v1 on diety against Attila the Hun. He's constantly land massive armies on my shore and then retreat, ad nauseam. He'd denounce me, but never declared war even when I disbanded my entire army and let him get a 20 tech lead on me. BNW completely killed the game for me because of this, can't play it without mods now and even then it's still a bit of a drag.

Anyway, Rjakh in my current game attacked me with both 'advanced' planestrider units and that flying Arethi Elf ship so they are using more unit variety. I really don't know where he got the ship from though, that's going to take some investigation.

Yeah sorry, claiming this AI is anywhere near Civ 5s is a bit far fetched. Even Civ 5 vanilla worked better than this and it's AI has been upgraded numerous times since then.

The AI still goes to war when horrendously outmatched, still doesn't seem to actually have a plan when engaged in war, cannot cope with flying or immune units at all, doesn't specialise it's cities rationally and also doesn't seem to actually expand much. I've only even encounter AIs on their first linked world at best - they never seem to get any further through the planes.

I haven't gotten past the first linked world myself so I can't comment on that. The AI seems to enter that world about the same time I do(on challenging and impossible) though right now the rival mage is getting wrecked by a mob spawned from one of the next portals. Nightmare Wolves on the first linked world are a nightmare... At least I can say the AI made the effort to get to the next plane, whether they accomplish it or not is another thing entirely.
 

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Guys, I really think its way too early to judge the AI.
Its pre release, still about 3 weeks to go until release date, and we probably wont see patches until then which actually could already include small AI fixes,specifically when talking about Exiled Mode.

Furthermore, the Exiled Mode might not be the preferred ground for the AI. And it isnt necessary ,since its more about fighting the environment and slowly advancing to the Exiled One anyways.
To me its clear, that the Sandbox mode will show if the AI has improved and in which areas.
So,lets wait until official release then play the Sandbox mode extensively for some days/weeks and then make a first judgement.
 

Fenryder

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I play on challenging..the buffs the ai gets on impossile are silly. And I only have played sandbox. I've heard ai behavior is totally different for exiled because all the scripting.
 

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Oh yes I'm sure the AI will be improved over time, problem is that might be a relatively short time or it might be a fairly long time.

I don't want to come off as one of those irrationally cynical players, I should say. I do still have faith in the developers.
 

Darkwing88

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They didnt announce AI improvements but I think they did it.

probably best setting to play is:
-Sandbox mode because AI isnt doing really well in exile because of so many high tier spawns that cripple their economy and kill units.
-Supercontinent/great island. Ive started game on continents and im regretting it because too many water makes AI be killed by sea serpents when they try to pass between lands
-at least challenging difficulty.


AI Actually builds higher tier units in this game and it was pleasant surprise. It also doesnt mass spam all units into one battle front but tries to expand in many directions.

I probably will play sandbox/exclusive supercontinent once im done with my current playthrough.
 

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AI bonuses on various difficulty levels.
Taken strait from the game files (not sure if all properties are used in game).

Code:
<difficultyLevels>
	<items>
		<Item>
			<s_name>easy</s_name>
			<i_level>2</i_level>
			<f_enemyDamageK>0.6</f_enemyDamageK>
			<f_enemyCriticalK>0</f_enemyCriticalK>
			<f_aiUnitProdTimeK>1.5</f_aiUnitProdTimeK>
			<f_aiBuildingProdTimeK>1.5</f_aiBuildingProdTimeK>
			<f_aiResourceProdK>0.75</f_aiResourceProdK>
			<i_aiBreakTurnsAdd>7</i_aiBreakTurnsAdd>
			<f_pollutionK>0.2</f_pollutionK>
			<f_armaKeysToUnlock>0.3</f_armaKeysToUnlock>
			<f_displeasureDecr>5</f_displeasureDecr>
			<f_spawnPeriodK>1.5</f_spawnPeriodK>
			<maxDremers>
				<i_Item>60</i_Item>
				<i_Item>90</i_Item>
				<i_Item>120</i_Item>
				<i_Item>150</i_Item>
			</maxDremers>
		</Item>
		<Item>
			<s_name>hard</s_name>
			<i_level>4</i_level>
			<f_enemyDamageK>1</f_enemyDamageK>
			<f_enemyCriticalK>1</f_enemyCriticalK>
			<f_aiUnitProdTimeK>1</f_aiUnitProdTimeK>
			<f_aiBuildingProdTimeK>1</f_aiBuildingProdTimeK>
			<f_aiResourceProdK>2</f_aiResourceProdK>
			<i_aiBreakTurnsAdd>0</i_aiBreakTurnsAdd>
			<f_pollutionK>1</f_pollutionK>
			<f_armaKeysToUnlock>0.7</f_armaKeysToUnlock>
			<f_displeasureDecr>1</f_displeasureDecr>
			<f_spawnPeriodK>0.8</f_spawnPeriodK>
			<maxDremers>
				<i_Item>110</i_Item>
				<i_Item>150</i_Item>
				<i_Item>200</i_Item>
				<i_Item>250</i_Item>
			</maxDremers>
		</Item>
		<Item>
			<s_name>normal</s_name>
			<i_level>3</i_level>
			<f_enemyDamageK>0.8</f_enemyDamageK>
			<f_enemyCriticalK>0.5</f_enemyCriticalK>
			<f_aiUnitProdTimeK>1</f_aiUnitProdTimeK>
			<f_aiBuildingProdTimeK>1</f_aiBuildingProdTimeK>
			<f_aiResourceProdK>1.2</f_aiResourceProdK>
			<i_aiBreakTurnsAdd>4</i_aiBreakTurnsAdd>
			<f_pollutionK>0.5</f_pollutionK>
			<f_armaKeysToUnlock>0.5</f_armaKeysToUnlock>
			<f_displeasureDecr>2</f_displeasureDecr>
			<f_spawnPeriodK>1</f_spawnPeriodK>
			<maxDremers>
				<i_Item>80</i_Item>
				<i_Item>110</i_Item>
				<i_Item>150</i_Item>
				<i_Item>200</i_Item>
			</maxDremers>
		</Item>
		<Item>
			<s_name>very_easy</s_name>
			<i_level>1</i_level>
			<f_enemyDamageK>0.3</f_enemyDamageK>
			<f_enemyCriticalK>0</f_enemyCriticalK>
			<f_aiUnitProdTimeK>2</f_aiUnitProdTimeK>
			<f_aiBuildingProdTimeK>2</f_aiBuildingProdTimeK>
			<f_aiResourceProdK>0.5</f_aiResourceProdK>
			<i_aiBreakTurnsAdd>12</i_aiBreakTurnsAdd>
			<f_pollutionK>0</f_pollutionK>
			<f_armaKeysToUnlock>0.2</f_armaKeysToUnlock>
			<f_displeasureDecr>10</f_displeasureDecr>
			<f_spawnPeriodK>2</f_spawnPeriodK>
			<maxDremers>
				<i_Item>40</i_Item>
				<i_Item>60</i_Item>
				<i_Item>80</i_Item>
				<i_Item>100</i_Item>
			</maxDremers>
		</Item>
		<Item>
			<s_name>very_hard</s_name>
			<i_level>5</i_level>
			<f_enemyDamageK>1.1</f_enemyDamageK>
			<f_enemyCriticalK>1.5</f_enemyCriticalK>
			<f_aiUnitProdTimeK>1</f_aiUnitProdTimeK>
			<f_aiBuildingProdTimeK>1</f_aiBuildingProdTimeK>
			<f_aiResourceProdK>4</f_aiResourceProdK>
			<i_aiBreakTurnsAdd>0</i_aiBreakTurnsAdd>
			<f_pollutionK>1</f_pollutionK>
			<f_armaKeysToUnlock>1</f_armaKeysToUnlock>
			<f_displeasureDecr>0</f_displeasureDecr>
			<f_spawnPeriodK>0.7</f_spawnPeriodK>
			<maxDremers>
				<i_Item>150</i_Item>
				<i_Item>200</i_Item>
				<i_Item>250</i_Item>
				<i_Item>300</i_Item>
			</maxDremers>
		</Item>
	</items>
	<disabled/>
</difficultyLevels>
 

Mardagg

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pretty interesting that there are still the variables for Dremers in... may hint to a return of the Armageddon mode somwhere.

A mod that helps the AI produce buildings and units faster and to get more out of his resources will be easy to do. Personally I dont like the AI to actually get damage bonuses on impossible
 

jet800

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AI is weak, not cause it does not know how to counter higher tier spawns(it does actually and does that job well), but it lack ability to use whole possible options - mainly spells. Usually it just spams useless buffs on it's own creatures. No cleaning it's own lands, no terraforming, no AoE spells to clear low tier masses... nothing.
 

Mardagg

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Ive seen the AI terraforming. I think its more of problem of priority settings for the AI,specifically regarding Exiled Mode.
In the Exiled Mode,the AI would be required to have a much higher priority to terraform lands because of the different events/Leiutenants of the Exiled devastating the lands as well as impassable starting or portal areas.
It only has so much casting time per turm and probably casts too many unit enchantments instead.
Also ,it seems to not build Harbours(as opposed to Sandbox mode where it does build them) probably because it has some formular involved to not build them on lakes with just a few Water Tiles. This helps the AI in Sandbox mode and cripples it in Exiled, when a lake is blocking some area.

The AI being able counter high tier spawns better would actually be big improvement over W1.

In W1,after Armageddon mode was introduced,one could see the AI casting terraforming land spells more frequently.
I am sure the devs will find a similar way for W2 to make the Exiled Mode a better playing experience.
 

jet800

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Well, AI should adopt to current situation. Be more generic. So one time it needs terraforming, another - it does it at all, we can't expect devs tune AI for every possible situation. What we could expect - an AI learning(adjusting weights on its neural decision network) how to play in this current session.
 

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Sandbox-Mode:
This time, before I buy the game, I decided to test a sandbox match at a friend who already get the pre-ordering. I am disappointed. Otherwise I also didn't expect much more, because I thought already that (sadly) there won't be as much changes on AI improvement as on game features. It's a pity, because I think in W1 suggestions threads AI was a often guessed point for improvement, with improvement ideas in detail. By myself I had written a big document and send it to paradox through PNs with suggestions for improving AI, but I didn't see real results in W2. Bummer, I was so exited for W2. :-(

I like the new features, like the new spells, even like the "unrest" feature, and even like the city limiting system. But why I need all this, when I am be able to run through AI after turn 60, like a knife through butter? AI is not capable to get a strong army till turn 150 and even not later. AI sacrifice strong units all game long. On size M Maps AI never get to his city limit in acceptable time. More turns, and stronger the player mage gets, but the AI mage stays on same level and sacrifice units on world exploring against monsters/beasts.

I am not playing Warlock to build a bit around, I like to use good strategy and tactic (without using cheat / exploits / bugs) to win the game. And why I should do more exploring and researching, when I am already multiple times more powerful as my opponent? When I wait longer time, it will only be more easily to overwhelm the opponents. It make no sense to explore portal worlds! Before getting cleared the way to portals, and clear the portal, it's easier to kill the AI mages. That's really, really boring, the game has a lot of feature nobody needs to kill the AI, and the bigger problem, so much feature AI-mage can't handle, can't counter, and also can't use by it-self.

I played on map size M, Challenging, great land (setup similar Darkwing88 suggested). Only "Challenging" because I also don't like the AI to get damage bonuses on impossible, it's like cheating to me. But I didn't think on impossible it would be much harder, because there are so much bad thing AI made:
  1. AI sacrifices really a lot of units against monster/beasts by exploring the world. Sacrificing "trash-units" wouldn't be a problem, better sacrifice some units and get treasures as play to safely. But AI sacrifice all strong units and his lords all game long. Especially the strong beasts/monsters in the world which W2 has new, AI have very big problems, and sacrifice a lot of units even after hundred turns. And AI don't learn to avoid these strong beasts/monsters and wait to get get in their sight range until they can beat the strong beasts. AI don't understand to avoid a way on which for example a "Greater Fire Elemental" has his place. AI will sacrifice a lot of times his units on the way past the greater fire elemental place, also strong and expensive units (like mages) AI will sacrifice and loose them by one-shoot, and that's although the AI nows already the position and sight radius of these beasts/monsters, because have already seen it. Same for other strong beasts/monsters. This sacrificing is at least very, very bad for strong and unique/rare units, they must be saved. And AI have to learn how to explore and gain more room on the map, so it have to learn to combat the strong monsters/beasts on the map without sacrificing most units (wait until it has units to beat the strong beasts/monsters, then attack and kill), so AI can expand to better places in the map.
    Especially the really strong units around portals and on other places where the strongest beasts/monsters are placed, the AI mages would sacrifice all off it's units all game long.
  2. AI don't know when it's time to begin war, because an opponent mage gets too strong. If a mage gets too strong, much stronger then other mages, AI mages have to attack him, because they have to stop the winning mage from winning the game. At the moment, if a player is stronger as a mage, the AI mages want to trade and want peace all the time. So the player gets stronger and stronger till he is able to slaughter all AI mages down without losses. In the meantime AI mages don't get stronger and stay on early game level. And that's a bit issue in diplomacy. A player would trade more with weaker mages, not with the already strongest, and try to use diplomacy to win the game.
  3. Too slow expansion of AI mages. Also AI mages must expand fast and work to the city limits. And then get new spells too increase city limits. For example on size M, the player can easily have full map control with full-city-limit cities plus free cities and AI still remains with a minimum on cities. AI should be as fast as a good player on Challenging and Impossible difficultly. When it has cleared land from beasts and their is room for a city, then build a settler.
  4. AI don't make an alliance to stop much stronger player from winning and destroying all opponent mages. This would be very important for Challenging and Impossible Difficulty. It would be much more a Challenge for the player, when AI want to win the game. To win the game, the strongest mage should be one of the the biggest opponent (whatever it is a human mage or AI mage). More bigger opponent is only a mage which attacks already. So AI should do it, like a player would do, make war in an alliance against the strongest mage, when the strongest mage gets much stronger as the other mages in the game. An other sign to make war and not peace with a mage is, when an mage begins to overwhelm other mages. Because every AI mage must know, like any player should know, that when this powerful mage overwhelm other mages, he is one of the next mages to get destroyed and the overwhelming mage will win. Only when all mages are about the same level, then it's a better strategy to make war with the nearest and weakest AI mage. And same when the AI mage self is the strongest mage in the game, then better make war with the nearest and weakest AI mage. But when one mage gets much more stronger as all other mage and begin to destroy them, every mage must know to fight against him, to have at least a little chance to win the game.
    Another important benefit of this behavior would be, that mid and late game is not so boring. At the moment, when a player has destroyed one mage and has his cities, his resources and his capital, a few turns later he is strong enough to battle all at one. And one mage alone, is not a really opponent and every mage can slaughtered down one after another. But when AI behave like a player who wants to win the game, then the mages have to know that they have to act against the much bigger mage together. And as a player to have a battle with mages in alliance, is much more of a challenge.
    For me that would be my major AI improvement. If AI mages make an alliance against the strong mage, when one mage gets too strong (mostly the player, but could be a AI mage), the game would be much, much, much more exited and challenging through mid and late game. And it's really realistic and good behavior, every player who wants to win would act like that.
  5. AI places ships in mini lakes, and too much ships at all
  6. AI don't know when it's better to retreat from combat and when to attack, so it sacrifices a lot of units in battle with player and beasts. Attack when their is good opportunity to win something, for example kill beasts/monsters, make war and take down some cities of other mages. Especially against Monsters/beasts, the outcome could be good calculated or at least fast estimated (player do the same). Even when AI gets attacked, for example a bunch of it's units which are cut of the rest of mages units, then it simply to calculate/estimate, if it's better to retreat and move to direction of where more units are placed. Same when beasts or player attack with units with special buffs, like Vampiric Aura. Never attack a unit with Vampiric Aura, when the unit is not doing any damage in the end, and only sacrificing a lot HP by itself. Same for immunity, sometimes it's better to retreat against a unit with big immunities and save own units back to own territory, and in mean time build something which can harm the strong unit.
  7. NEW: Some rules for attacking and "war beginning" in phases of "Alliance" or "Non-aggression pact" would be nice. Attacking in these states should be punished really hard. These mage (whatever player or AI-mage) which are doing that, should be flagged as enemy with high priority by any other mage on the map. Even by mages which are already in a alliance or mages which are already in "Non-aggression pact", they should quit this and begin war immediately. Because all know, this mage is a traitor and he want to kill other mages without mercy. The rule have to be supported by ingame warnings, so a message must appear ingame, and the player has to actively agree to do such an action, so that's impossible that this happens by a clicking mistake. The rules should also include something like "Also after quitting an Alliance and attack in same or next rounds (2-5), the mage is punished hard". The same for "a few turns after quitting, with a bit lighter punishment". And same for "Non-aggression pact with lighter punishment". So punishment should be related to state of mages relation actually and how the relation was last 2-5 turns before. All these rules must be supported with ingame messages, when a player want to attack before he can attack without this punishment.
  8. I guess that AI don't understand what mage perks they have from start-up and how they use it to build up faster
  9. AI don't understand what is the weakness of other mages, other mages units and monster units. It's a really important to attack units on it's weaknesses. And no big intelligence is needed for example for "focus on damage type a attacked unit has no big resistance in". And kind of "if enemy has much flying units, I need more shooting units". In most cases this is not so important, but on units which have very big resistance in most damage types. Or units which are only vulnerable at some damage types, it will be very important.
  10. AI don't understand only to attack, when they have at least some chance to win the combat against some units (or single units). Sometimes it's better to retread, save units and attack later. This a very important basic strategy AI need. Also for exploring, only attack beasts you see by exploring, when you can beat them. I saw AI sacrificing a lot of units by attacking really strong monsters/beasts.
  11. AI don't use units effectively and safely, but this would be very important for high tier units e.g. lords, temple units and every-time for the strongest units in the own army, even if this are only 2 tier units. But it's specially important for early high tier units like lords, they have to be leveled up safely. It is must have for a challenging mid- and late-game, because player gets stronger and stronger, and will have leveled units in higher turns (mid game) and high tier units which are leveled and buffed after turn 80-120 (late game). AI need also strong and leveled/buffed units, so AI mages must learn to play some units safely.
  12. NEW predefined unbreakable alliances: "Predefined unbreakable alliances" are not a AI-Problem, but simply a missing feature to improve Game Difficulty.The possibility to form predefined alliances even in single player, and predefine them in teams the player want to, would be great. So player can define predefined alliances for "AI-Mage-teams" and for "player-teams" and should be also possible for "AI-Player-mixed teams". When you make war with that predefined alliances, you should have war with all directly. "predefined alliance teams"-functions should find their way to single player mode in a expanded form of team generation, that would be good for the full game and also good for AI difficultly, because player can define as example 3 teams: " 1 player" vs. "2 AI mages" vs. "2 AI mages". So every war the player begin is at least with 2 AI mages in parallel. The Team generation should be totally variable. Predefined Alliances between AI and player in a team should be also possible.
    Important for that: AI mages must be able to combat in an alliance with an other mage and understand to help and to strike together against attacked mage. AI mages who are in an alliance work together in a at least basically tactical way. If not, the alliance of AI mages would be useless.

At turn 60 only 1 opponent AI mage got some good units and some cities. Yeah, this mage also kills another AI mage, which was really cool situation because in W1 this happens very rarely and a positive point for AI improvement. But because I have so much time, and nobody seems to attack me, I got a really strong empire, so it was time to begin first war. And the mage who have battled the other mage and destroyed him, has sacrificed a lot of units for his win.
So I begin war with the strongest mage and at round 80-85, half of the strongest mage cities was mine. And at this point I could easily battle all mages together, because the other 2 mages were really (really!) weak, I don't know what they are doing all the time, they got nearly nothing. Battling "monster" was more kind of challenging as to attack the opponent mage. The whole game was much too easy, never feel kind of pressure from opponents. Every opponent mage want be in alliance with me, and share some spells, it was perfect to build up.

Sure I played a good tactic. Go with Agrela and so buffs population growth and food production. But on the other hand it was my first game in W2 and also first game with svarts. So a second time it would be surely more easily.

And for me the sandbox mode is the interesting one, because I want a competitive match-up, not a scripted campaign. And I doesn't' see any real improvement for AI in W2 which will counter much. At my game I had high tier units without lots of buffs, but I am very sure that AI still can't handle single "big buffed" units which have high resistance in everything and spell buffs like invisibility and vampiric aura (same for units with immunities). At the moment I think it will be as in W1, that you can overwhelm the whole map and all mages with just 1-3 units of this kind, even I haven't tested it yet.
And I am very sure AI still can't handle when player use terra-forming spells like lower land and raise land tactically. And so much other things. There are really a bunch of improvements the AI need, and in W1 forums it were discussed a lot of about it, and even some player helped out with AI improvements suggestions in detail. For me it's a shame that AI is as bad as it is.
So without testing, I think the game has still the same problems as W1.
  • AI can't handle single "big buffed" units which have high resistance in everything and spell buffs like invisibility and "vampire weapon enchantment". This units need a special tactics, otherwise single units destroying all mages in every match. And even the best challenging AI Diplomacy improvements, don't work well, when the player is able to destroy all enemy units with single units. One strategy is better using of nullify, and perhaps make nullify for player and AI mages available earlier in spell tree. But even then, AI have to learn to favor to attack on damage types which resistance are low.
  • Same for units with some immunities, like the ghost lord or the rabbit lord (don't know if they exist in W2). More important when the few weak resistance they have in beginning, are buffed with perks, spells and armory.
  • AI can't handle terra-forming spells like lower land and raise land tactically, and same for other spells. (Simple solution would be: drop all extrem terra-forming spells out of the game. Raising land should only raise up to hills. And lower lands only till flat land. No spell should be able to generate mountains or water or Volcano, or it will hard to implement algorithm that AI can't handle these terra-forming spells.)
  • most late game features in the game the player don't need to win, and the AI never will use it (same for portal worlds)
  • In W1 AI can't handle invisible units. AI don't understand that all of his units see the unit, when one of the factions unit stays in a adjacent hex. And AI don't understand that sometimes it have to search for the invisible unit, if it is a ranged unit and shoot on and kill own units.
  • AI need better algorithm of using unit abilities and mage spells. Unit abilities are really important. Svarts bows have crows which are very good for safely exploring and planning exploring. I am very sure AI can't use this kind of abilities. But also all other unit abilities link stunning, healing, buffing, attacking needs improvements.
  • Perhaps AI can't use portal worlds as benefit, but at the moment I think, nobody (player or AI mage) will have a real benefit of portal worlds ever, because the Game is designed that it will be more easily to kill a AI mage as to battle to a portal and through the portal world. Here is a bit of general game design change needed, the portal worlds should make a real benefit to a game-play.
  • AI is not able to cross water safely (solution is to play "great land" style, but also there are some little sea, perhaps make less water on great land). Because Warlock has available not only great land, but also other map styles with much more water, AI have to learn when and how to cross waters. Because player don't want to play only great land. (Or wait for land rising). Or for what purpose are the other land type implemented in the game, when AI can't handle it?
  • AI has to learn the benefit of fortress, because they are strong and cheap. And to learn to have map control with more and faster special cities.


Guys, I really think its way too early to judge the AI.
Its pre release, still about 3 weeks to go until release date, and we probably wont see patches until then which actually could already include small AI fixes,specifically when talking about Exiled Mode.
Sadly I don't think so. A good AI is a bigger task as to implement some new spells or something like that. The algorithms to improve the AI related things I have listed list above, will need lots of work in programming and and even more in testing the product. If they wanted to improve the AI much, I think it would be improved much more at this time and we could talk about improvements of single AI details, like handle/counter specific spells. Or handle/counter single tactics. But at the moment we have to talk about basic AI strategies and tactics, which is not only bad, but it's not challenging good player. I don't think their will be a big AI update which improves all the AI problems (but I hope :) ).

Here is an other Thread about the bad AI, very critical written:
http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum...xiled-mode&p=17113476&viewfull=1#post17113476

A second good thread which describes how bad and boring AI is:
http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum...allenging-multiplayer-And-here-is-my-thoughts.

New thread also about AI:
http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?765693-Feedback

Another Thread about bad AI, more about Diplomacy:
http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?766611-Diplomacy-AI-and-YOU!

A bigger starting Posting about most AI issues:
http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?766900-The-AI-Hoping-for-a-miracle-patch

AI still can't handle water/enchanted units - issues carried over from WL1
http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum...-enchanted-units-issues-carried-over-from-WL1

Another thread which explained how bad AI is and that there is no real improvement to W1
http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?772304-Warlock-2-a-mediocre-game.

Another thread about AI, and when more fixes will come:
http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?773268-Devs-what-are-your-plans-for-the-AI

Thread about AI related to Outplanes Mod, even with some AI tipps in detail.
http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum...shed-Impossible-Battle-for-Outplanes-feedback

Thread about making alliance with AI and watch how bad it is, and some more postings and AI discussion:
http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?774308-AI-non-existent

Thread about new features to the game, and ingame shop, before getting rid of basic problems and AI problems. And some more posting about AI problems.
http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?776480-Devs-are-now-taking-the-p***

My Suggestion Thread for W2 in times of W1, and at all best suggestion thread with most important things player needed more then new features:
http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum...-must-have&p=16314697&viewfull=1#post16314697
 
Last edited:

Mahrdol

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I am currently playing a huge impossible sandbox game. So far it seems way too easy. The diplomacy is really bad. I am allied with almost all the great mages and I offered them nothing. They give me free stuff to sign treaties and ally with them. A couple times one made war on me and I never see one unit from them afterwards. A bunch of turns later they made peace. Impossible need to be made way harder.
 

MadDjinn

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The AI just isn't that good at this game.

Yes, it's early and still in pre-order, but it's important to say these things now so that they 'can' fix issues. If all they hear is 'this is a great game' then they'll think it's ok, when it's clearly not.

Some of the problems are 'AI' related, and others are purely game mechanic issues that the AI uses, badly in some cases.

Diplomacy --

There is a big problem here, in that most AIs/you will be allied early game. The problem isn't that the AIs will ask for NAPs/Ally status, but rather that asking for them seems to be disconnected from the AIs 'opinion' of you.

I have a game where an AI asked for a NAP+Ally while having a negative opinion of me. That shouldn't happen.

As well, having a NAP increases their opinion of you, but that just leads to them being closer to asking for an alliance. Given that, and the fact that 'colleagues' with alliances also increase opinion, you can perma ally a lot of AIs. The problem with this is that when one of the Great Mages attacks another, they effectively attack everyone and get wiped for their troubles.

Having different god favour does decrease opinions, but that's later in the game. And it's about the only way to start formenting 'dissidence' within the major block.

In this case, it's not the 'ai' that's the problem, it's the Diplo mechanics.

Make a NAP require +10 opinion, and don't give instant opinion for having a NAP. Give it +1/turn to a max of 20 (as per now).

Make an alliance offer require +40 opinion.

Make trading spells require an alliance.


On the AI side, there's lots of 'issues' that can be solved.

Knowing what units are required in situations is fairly important. I've seen AIs use melee units to try to get to mobs that are on a floating island (air space in between). the mobs are land walker types, so it would make sense to use melee against them, but they just can't reach. So the mob farm keeps kicking out units until they get teleported to the mainland. Instead of using melee units, the AI should be using ranged units to target fire the mobs before they get to the mainland. Eventually they can get a flying unit over there to clear the spawn, but until them, melee units are just the wrong type.

Ofc, I would also prefer making mob spawn locations limited to land where there is at least 3 hexesnext to the target location. That would prevent the 'floating island' issue in the first place.
 

Sark451

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I am 100+ turns into an impossible huge sandbox game as well. I could have easily wiped out all the other mages by now but what I am looking for is the higher tier units.

So far none of the 6 mages I can see have made any of the 2nd tier units the ones that require a training ground or military academy. Most of them have not even built either of these structures. One mage at least has a military academy but again has not made any of the higher units. They have plenty of gold because I can see it in the diplomacy screens.

The AI needs to prioritize getting these structures built and churning out the bigger units. It is severely hamstrung at the moment.

I was hoping to see the AI actually focusing on capturing holy ground so it could make the temple units and am extremely disappointed to see it not even able to build the veteran/elite units.

Is anyone seeing these units showing up?