AI Cheats - Facts and misunderstandings

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Wizzington

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EDIT: This list has now been updated and is current as of 24/09/14.

I've seen a lot of misconceptions here and elsewhere about what advantages the AI gets over the player (besides the ones rolled into 'Bonuses' and 'Lucky Nations', which are explained through tooltips in the game options menu), so I thought I'd make a post and clear up in which exact ways the AI 'cheats'. Some of these cheats are crutches that it is my goal to eliminate, while others are more or less necessary for gameplay or performance reasons (for instance the +1 diplomat is necessary because the AI only handles diplomacy about once a month and therefore can't do the cancel diplomat, use diplomat, resend diplomat thing players do).

First, let me dispel some common misconceptions:
- The AI does not cheat with dice rolls, not even Lucky Nations. If you believe this to be the case, you are experiencing confirmation bias (ie you notice the times it rolls well a lot more than you notice the times you yourself do).
- The AI does not cheat with land attrition. No, really. Not even a little bit.
- The AI does not get extra manpower or free units.
- The AI does not cheat with sieges.

Now, a list of how it actually cheats:
- AI does not get naval attrition. It does avoid going too far out of range with most of its naval operations though, to somewhat simulate it.
- AI can see through fog of war, but pretends it can't in most cases.
- AI gets +1 diplomat that it reserves for non-maintained actions because the diplomatic AI 'ticks' means that it can't do the recall-send strategy that players do with maintained diplomats.
- AI gets +1 free leader pool because it's not nearly as good as a human at planning out when it will need leaders and needs to keep them on hand always.
- AI gets less native uprisings, because it is less than optimal at keeping its colonies garrisoned.
- AI does not pay diplomatic points for military access relations, as the slowness of ai diplo ticks makes it unable to request/cancel access the way a human does.
- AI gets +25% colonial range to make it better at competing in the colonization game.

Finally, for the sake of fairness, here is how the human cheats:
- Humans cannot get inherited by other countries, in a PU or elsewise. They can still end up in a personal union under another country.
- Humans can save and reload when things go badly (unless you're playing ironman).
- Humans have a human brain.

On balance, AI isn't that big a cheater is it?
 
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Lord Finnish

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Good info, thank you for that.
 

Jia Xu

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But what about the rebel AI? Surely it is the biggest cheater of all! 30 regiments rising up in a country with a force limit of 12? Where are these phantom soldiers coming from? Tut, tut, tut. Rebels have no honour, Mr. Wiz!
 
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Wizzington

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But what about the rebel AI? Surely it is the biggest cheater of all! 30 regiments rising up in a country with a force limit of 12? Where are these phantom soldiers coming from? Tut, tut, tut. Rebels have no honour, Mr. Wiz!

Rebel AI cannot cheat because it rebels against the idea that there are rules to obey.
 
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riknap

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nice Wiz!
this definitely helps as both an official clarification as well as a comprehensive index of things.

But what about the rebel AI? Surely it is the biggest cheater of all! 30 regiments rising up in a country with a force limit of 12? Where are these phantom soldiers coming from? Tut, tut, tut. Rebels have no honour, Mr. Wiz!

those are determined by event codes though (so blame the evil paradox event scripters for that XD )
 

VI Imre

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Thank you very much! The reserved diplorelation is very nice from the AI.
 

Wizzington

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Thx for the info! :)

Edit: Stick in the FAQ or something?

I'll ask for it to be moved to FAQ when discussion has run its course, but right now I want people to notice it before posting another "AI gets no attrition!"

May I ask why that is?

Because random game over on monarch death does not make for fun gameplay. You can still get diploannexed/integrated.
 

Jia Xu

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Off-topic: Is there much AI work to do on EU4 now? Enough to keep you on the game for the foreseeable future, or will you just be patching little things and then moving on to the next project?
 

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May I ask why that is?

Because losing the game solely through inheritance mechanics isn't very fun. This isn't CK2, dynastic mechanics are mostly outside of the player's control, and you shouldn't lose for something you can't reasonably plan for.
 

unmerged(691507)

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- AI is willing to use up its last diplorelation for a human (it reserves one for humans so you're not always getting 'can't afford another relation').

I'm curious about this- if the AI reserves a diplorelation for humans, how come I do occasionally get the can't afford another relation modifier?

Thanks so much for putting this together Wiz, and for all your other posting. You're wonderful.
 

Wizzington

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I'm curious about this- if the AI reserves a diplorelation for humans, how come I do occasionally get the can't afford another relation modifier?

Thanks so much for putting this together Wiz, and for all your other posting. You're wonderful.

AI can use up its last diplorelation under very specific circumstances, usually because it got a PU or force-vassalized someone.
 

TheRevanchist

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How does the AI prioritize usage of monarch points? I want to know if it's that I'm bad at managing my monarch points or if the AI just gets ahead in tech because it doesn't use them for ideas.
 

Wizzington

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How does the AI prioritize usage of monarch points? I want to know if it's that I'm bad at managing my monarch points or if the AI just gets ahead in tech because it doesn't use them for ideas.

This is a simplification but generally in order of priority like this:
1) Important actions (getting out of negative stab, getting rid of overextension, reducing high WE etc)
2) Tech, if very far behind
3) Starting on new ideagroup/finishing almost finished ideagroups
4) Tech, if behind
5) Ideas
6) Less important actions (changing cultures, raising stab to 2/3, etc)
7) Tech, if not too far ahead
 
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But what about the rebel AI? Surely it is the biggest cheater of all! 30 regiments rising up in a country with a force limit of 12? Where are these phantom soldiers coming from? Tut, tut, tut. Rebels have no honour, Mr. Wiz!

This has nothing to do with AI, but with rebel spawning mechanic thingie.

Also just think about what you just said. Rebel AI? Is there any other rebel type, human led perhaps? All rebels in game are AI... How would you tell difference XD
 

pac

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Now, a list of how it actually cheats:
- AI does not get naval attrition. It does avoid going too far out of range with most of its naval operations though, to somewhat simulate it.
This is good, but is it affecting exploration?

I'm playing for the first time as a Western tech group country that is not Portugal, and am now seeing what they did 50 years before.

They have Cape Verde, and colonies in Brazil, but they don't even seem to have discovered the Ivory Coast trade node! (Their Brazil trade is not being collected, so it is 'flowing' to nowhere as it can't flow to a node they haven't discovered.)

They've explored sea zones (including open sea ones) in range of their bases, but not further than that. This would explain why, in my Ottoman game, no Europeans had shown up in the Indian Ocean even at the start of the 17th century!


(And you'll never get an AI Spain in the Philippines without a willingness to go outside naval range!)