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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

SarahGabriella

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One solution could be to make the difficulty truly customizable. You could set the AI bonuses in food, prod, science, energy, influence, opeeations stength or defense, etc...
I think there are in some way still things that devs dont want us to change because they may be things that are part of their vision for their game.
 

coodav

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I don't understand why you can't play the way you want to. I also believe that operations were part of the original conception of the game, and for teams of players particularly who ignore them, the other team who gives it room will dominate because of it. That said, implementation was not good. The least that they could do was to allow for a toggle in these cases. The gameplay currently related to operations is horrific. Saying that it is in their long term plans is cool comfort to those who have to deal with the terrible gameplay forced by it.
 
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HousePet

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For some reason the Devs didn't consider that someone would ask for 6+ Insane AI Commanders all on the same team. Or maybe they did, and decided that they weren't going to balance for that demographic.
Covert Ops have worked fine since they were revised. (Unless you are messing with the settings.)

You could make a Mod that disables the Covert Ops. Saying that the Devs are stopping you from playing the game the way you want to, when there are Mod tools available doesn't hold Cosmite.
 
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SarahGabriella

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I don't understand why you can't play the way you want to. I also believe that operations were part of the original conception of the game, and for teams of players particularly who ignore them, the other team who gives it room will dominate because of it. That said, implementation was not good. The least that they could do was to allow for a toggle in these cases. The gameplay currently related to operations is horrific. Saying that it is in their long term plans is cool comfort to those who have to deal with the terrible gameplay forced by it.
Disabling them entirely, fine, but making it so that if you set all enemies as a team and then wanting to change how your operations work so they get through might simply not be something the devs want.
You can play how the devs want you to and with mods, you can to some extent play how you want. Devs tend to have a vision for their game, there is a reason they fix glitches and bugs that are being used as exploits. There is a reason why achievements get disabled using certain built in mods or external mods.
 

coodav

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But that is not right. You DEFINITELY can't use operations against the computer. Check this out:

Operation auto-fail.png


And note that the other computer players are dead:

Operation auto-fail 2.png


So the computer has an impenetrable operation defense, and there is exactly nothing I can do about it. No, even without 1 v 10 or whatever, this is an abysmal mechanic. The computer cheats with everything so badly, it is beyond redemption. The mechanic is hopelessly broken.

And I have every technology research, so that is about as good as it gets, without a handful of possible doctrines, which are not great to keep up.
 
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SarahGabriella

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But that is not right. You DEFINITELY can't use operations against the computer. Check this out:

View attachment 595386

And note that the other computer players are dead:

View attachment 595387

So the computer has an impenetrable operation defense, and there is exactly nothing I can do about it. No, even without 1 v 10 or whatever, this is an abysmal mechanic. The computer cheats with everything so badly, it is beyond redemption. The mechanic is hopelessly broken.

And I have every technology research, so that is about as good as it gets, without a handful of possible doctrines, which are not great to keep up.
Yea, i noticed some of that too. Well, they probably know about the issue by now so maybe we see a fix soon.
 

orangelex44

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But that is not right. You DEFINITELY can't use operations against the computer. Check this out:

View attachment 595386

And note that the other computer players are dead:

View attachment 595387

So the computer has an impenetrable operation defense, and there is exactly nothing I can do about it. No, even without 1 v 10 or whatever, this is an abysmal mechanic. The computer cheats with everything so badly, it is beyond redemption. The mechanic is hopelessly broken.

And I have every technology research, so that is about as good as it gets, without a handful of possible doctrines, which are not great to keep up.
What turn is this? And why haven't you just won via doomsday by this point?

As Housepet implied, things break down a bit when you go with a massive map and hardest AIs in the mega-lategame. You're basically in the situation of playing Civ after reaching the science victory.
 

Jordi Engel

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We are aware of balance issues within Covert Ops (Operational Strength being outweighed by Operational Defense), the situation was already brought up once on Steam in a similar Thread. There is a open case to look into this and see what improvements are possibly/achievable.
 
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coodav

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What turn is this? And why haven't you just won via doomsday by this point?

As Housepet implied, things break down a bit when you go with a massive map and hardest AIs in the mega-lategame. You're basically in the situation of playing Civ after reaching the science victory.
I won on turn 103 on the following settings:

Huge map
Slow advancement
3 max-setting AI opponents
5 NPCs

I began invading the computer in earnest sometime around turn 60. On a slow map, that is crazy early. Two of the three computer opponents were knocked out by around turn 80 because of how stupid powerful this setup is.

And the reason that I can't use doomsday is because of how bad the computer cheats. They would have doomsday up and running before I could possibly reach them. As it was, almost all of the AI players had 3 doomsday sector improvements before I even unlocked the technology. No, if you play against numerous AIs on max settings, the only thing you can do is disable all victory conditions except domination, or you will lose every single time.

And on slow maps, late-game shouldn't hit until maybe turn 100. I had won by that point because of the incredible power of the doctrine Black Market from the Therians and their ridiculously powerful Carbon Sword upgrade. Otherwise, I couldn't have possibly gotten the cosmite and energy necessary to do this.

No, this isn't what you are saying at all.
 

Sinsling

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I won on turn 103 on the following settings:

Huge map
Slow advancement
3 max-setting AI opponents
5 NPCs

I began invading the computer in earnest sometime around turn 60. On a slow map, that is crazy early. Two of the three computer opponents were knocked out by around turn 80 because of how stupid powerful this setup is.

And the reason that I can't use doomsday is because of how bad the computer cheats. They would have doomsday up and running before I could possibly reach them. As it was, almost all of the AI players had 3 doomsday sector improvements before I even unlocked the technology. No, if you play against numerous AIs on max settings, the only thing you can do is disable all victory conditions except domination, or you will lose every single time.

And on slow maps, late-game shouldn't hit until maybe turn 100. I had won by that point because of the incredible power of the doctrine Black Market from the Therians and their ridiculously powerful Carbon Sword upgrade. Otherwise, I couldn't have possibly gotten the cosmite and energy necessary to do this.

No, this isn't what you are saying at all.
Slow game speed doesnt affect your energy and cosmite income though, it affects your research and food income. While it can slow down the player, it is also going to slow down the ai, and a good economy game is always going to catch up to the ai because they're ability to use the sector system currently blows chunks.

Travel time alone would let you win a DD game vs the ai on a huge map with those settings, simply because it would take them 10 turns to get anywhere meaningful in your empire.
 

Iguanaonastick

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I do not think that has anything to do with the computer getting bonuses. It's quite possible to just have a lot of operation defense. There may be many variables at work here. Enemy might have bonus operation defense from:

* Doctrines
* Leader abilities
* Structures
* Alert level

At the end of my last game, I had an operational strength of 31 and a defense of 43. I could have increased that to 34 and 51 with doctrines, had I wanted to.

Clearly you also would have had a 0% chance of success against my end-game faction. No AI cheats needed.

Now, bigger issue would be what Sikbok mentioned: that it's possible to get a lot more op defense than op offense, and if I had tried to use operations on myself with doctrines active, I would have had a -85% chance of success on each. (Effectively: 0.)
 

coodav

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Slow game speed doesnt affect your energy and cosmite income though, it affects your research and food income. While it can slow down the player, it is also going to slow down the ai, and a good economy game is always going to catch up to the ai because they're ability to use the sector system currently blows chunks.

Travel time alone would let you win a DD game vs the ai on a huge map with those settings, simply because it would take them 10 turns to get anywhere meaningful in your empire.
My friend, if you think slow speed doesn't impact your energy and cosmite development speed I don't know what to tell you. Try it and see for yourself. Getting those extra population spaces, particularly on cities designed to maximize research or energy, gives near-exponential returns. Plus, you have to actually have a city grab cosmite spaces with population. So this is an absolute barrier in many cases. This is why if you look at my save, I have soooo many max-food cities on 'share.' That growth is critical, and you have to practically force it in situations like this.

And it does slow the AI down... slightly. They still cheat so bad that I believe that they get 1 population per turn for the first ten turns of a city's existence. I wish I had that.
 
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Sinsling

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My friend, if you think slow speed doesn't impact your energy and cosmite development speed I don't know what to tell you. Try it and see for yourself. Getting those extra population spaces, particularly on cities designed to maximize research or energy, gives near-exponential returns. Plus, you have to actually have a city grab cosmite spaces with population. So this is an absolute barrier in many cases. This is why if you look at my save, I have soooo many max-food cities on 'share.' That growth is critical, and you have to practically force it in situations like this.

And it does slow the AI down... slightly. They still cheat so bad that I believe that they get 1 population per turn for the first ten turns of a city's existence. I wish I had that.
They do not, and you do not need multiple food sharing colonies. If you want to post all of your settings, I am more than willing to show a DD game can be done much faster than you think.
 

coodav

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I do not think that has anything to do with the computer getting bonuses. It's quite possible to just have a lot of operation defense. There may be many variables at work here. Enemy might have bonus operation defense from:

* Doctrines
* Leader abilities
* Structures
* Alert level

At the end of my last game, I had an operational strength of 31 and a defense of 43. I could have increased that to 34 and 51 with doctrines, had I wanted to.

Clearly you also would have had a 0% chance of success against my end-game faction. No AI cheats needed.

Now, bigger issue would be what Sikbok mentioned: that it's possible to get a lot more op defense than op offense, and if I had tried to use operations on myself with doctrines active, I would have had a -85% chance of success on each. (Effectively: 0.)
Yes, I know. I couldn't possibly hack myself:

2020-06-30 (21).png


As you can see, my own defense is 37. But this is because it is absolutely mandatory. Because of how bad the computer cheats, you MUST have an alert level of 5, use Secret State, cycle through those scans, and typically keep up distractions, such as Motivated Broadcasting, to have a chance of rejecting hacks. If you don't you will be hacked so badly and so often, that you won't have a coin in the bank, an ally in the world, or an ounce of cosmite in your stash.

But this level of defense is pretty extreme. I wouldn't expect any player to get through this normally. You would really need a hacker / hero in a sector with good offensive doctrines and ops to get through this. Fortunately the computer never does any of that, so I can still resist them some, even though they cheat so bad it is stunning.

No matter what though, it isn't worth it. Even if I got an additional 10 offensive strength, that would just barely get me a chance. I would lose more than I gained on these operations, and would probably fail almost every time. I think the odds are also exaggerated when you actually activate the operation. I almost never get good outcomes, and have basically just given it up.
 
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Sandman25DCSSS

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I have just learned that there is another reason to provide an option to disable operations. It is impossible to protect vs losing relations with all NPC when you play vs a team of 11 extreme AIs (on turn 19!). I want a hard, but still fun game, not this nonsense when I can do nothing.
 
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coodav

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I have just learned that there is another reason to provide an option to disable operations. It is impossible to protect vs losing relations with all NPC when you play vs a team of 11 extreme AIs (on turn 19!). I want a hard, but still fun game, not this nonsense when I can do nothing.
You can't really do it anyway. I may suggest that you bring up your defense as high as it will go, and cycle through cheap city operations, as the computer appears to hack them down as a priority above relationship hacks. I believe it does slow them down.

Then when the NPC armies start coming at you, use the quest influence rewards to buy units as fast as you can. It is possible to keep allies, though you may just find that the "invader" doctrine (+400 morale against NPCs) and war is more cost-efficient than maintaining this. Just NEVER let a relationship go to 0, as if it goes drops when the relationship is at zero, you snap down to zero of the lower relationship level, and have to rebuild it all the way.

Unfortunately, this is just how it is with multiple AI games. You just get hacked the whole time, nothing you can do about it.
 
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Sandman25DCSSS

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You can't really do it anyway. I may suggest that you bring up your defense as high as it will go, and cycle through cheap city operations, as the computer appears to hack them down as a priority above relationship hacks. I believe it does slow them down.

Then when the NPC armies start coming at you, use the quest influence rewards to buy units as fast as you can. It is possible to keep allies, though you may just find that the "invader" doctrine (+400 morale against NPCs) and war is more cost-efficient than maintaining this. Just NEVER let a relationship go to 0, as if it goes drops when the relationship is at zero, you snap down to zero of the lower relationship level, and have to rebuild it all the way.

Unfortunately, this is just how it is with multiple AI games. You just get hacked the whole time, nothing you can do about it.
Thank you for the tips, they seem useful indeed! Though I feel like I will abuse AI if they go for removing relatively useless city operations instead.
 
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Ferrus Animus

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Actually you're exactly right: players wouldn't like a really capable AI, because ultimately you want to win and have a good time. Competitive play is not for everyone.

The gap from casual AI to competitive human oponent though is very large, which is unfortunate. What would actually be required would be an AI that plays easy to the player so he has a challenge tuned to what he likes. But this is a level higher than an competitive AI, which we don't have yet anyway.
there's plenty other factors that make PvP play not feasable or desired for quite a number of players.
 
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Ericridge

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I run the internal purges but it never works because I think AI withdraw their spies and then reinsert their spies. I never have city defenses active because it get removed the instant it gets set up. As vanguard promethean, trying to think about operations is a complete waste of time unless Its a tactical map operation or strategy map operation in my friendly territory or neutral territory. Its only when i have the domintant advantage over AIs then at that point, i don't need operations anymore.

Basically, I'm not allowed to use operations when I need to, then I can use the operations when I don't need to anymore. Catch 22 i think.

And I want results for my internal purge I get bored of spamming internal purge for fifth time and the report says there's still breaches not found. After fifth try i move onto saving energy for map nukes + units to shoot the AI with.
 
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HousePet

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Internal Purge is your Op STRENGTH vs their Op DEFENCE.
So its actually the Covert Aggressive way of defending against Covert Ops.
If you aren't being actively Covert, and the AI is that far ahead of you, its not worth anything more than the Alert Level. (Which is still decent.)