Fix AI debt spiral / alliance issues. It's been broken for weeks, and it's gamebreaking.

Fix AI debt spiral / alliance issues. It's been broken for weeks, and it's gamebreaking.

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Failtier

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We can only hope @Groogy and company will at least address the ai debt issue (and the ai burning unlimited Diplo on war exhaustion issue) tomorrow. While these are not game breaking, they are a huge incentive to quit playing until fixed. A novice player probably won't recognize the problems, but anyone with a few hundred hours in will notice the ai being braindead. The game is not fun to play right now.

Since basic mechanics such as diplomacy (alliances) are not working properly - many players even consider AI alliances as being a liability right now - I would say it very much game breaking unfortunately.. Again, this is one of the most basic mechanics being introduced without DLCs whatsoever.
 
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Last time i had a game where the ottomans were just casually at 20K in Debt for more than 20-30 years.

The devs say that the ai doesnt declare as much bankrupcy, maybe cause they can go 20K in debt without having to declare it?
 
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Allied Russia, as Sweden.

Russia never joins (or even gets anywhere near joining) any of my wars because it has 5k debt. It ALWAYS has 5k debt. That's -190 reason, which is insurmountable by any +'s I have.

But it has zero issues declaring wars on its own to commonwealth the moment their truce timer is up.

I fight the whole war for him (70-80% warscore), and he gets all the provinces, and maybe gives me 1-2. Now, he got so many provinces he's going for provinces I clicked as 'vital importance'... 50 years ago. But I couldn't get them because allies in EU4 right now are abusive spouses who take everything they can possibly get and give nothing in return.

I had 100 trust AND favor for so long now, that it's funny when I get ANOTHER 40 from the last war Russia decided to let me fight for it.

This is simply ridiculous. How difficult is it to say 'if you have >X debt, stop everything you're doing, and pay off that debt'? This would easily be better than what's going on in the game right now - maybe not perfect, but at least makes alliances worth something.

Why are you bothering to fight the war if you don't get anything? Just siege down the provinces you want, don't transfer occupation, separate peace out and let them get wrecked.

You're saying the ai is treating you how you want to use them?

Jokes aside this is actually good gameplay, "Sorry I can't join you against the teutonic order - i'm in debt. BTW wanta help me mug the PLC?"
If you wanted you could do the same and take a few loans to avoid getting called in

No, because the AI isn't doing it deliberately, but rather out of incompetence. And because a human player can't refuse a call without consequences and doesn't get to see whether an AI can call them into a war or not before the AI declares it.

The use the same formula for the player joining wars. Meaning that the AI generally won't call you into distance wars or if you have too much debt. Unfortunately we can't see the AI calculation for calling us into a war like we can see theirs when we are about to declare war.

Yeah, but the distance thing seems to be a bit messed up if they can call him in against Oirat.
 
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I believe part of the issue with the debt bug also involves institutions. I've frequently seen the AI take out loans to embrace an institution early. Embracing an institution rapidly increases in cost the more development a country has and large AI countries apparently never have enough cash on hand anymore to embrace it without taking on debt. This compounds with the AI not having debt repayment as their highest priority anymore (as seen by the gifting money trick to make AI repay loans doesn't work anymore) and it ends up where the AI will still have debt when the next institution is ready to embrace and will repeat the same process over and over. Smaller AI countries will also take on a smaller amount of debt to embrace institutions, but their relative income is better compared to the cost of embracing for a large country, so they pay it back quicker. Smaller countries may also have already filled out all of their building slots and be at max army size, so they will actually start holding a decent stash of cash. If the developers still aren't aware of how to fix this overall AI debt issue, I would bet reducing the amount the AI has to pay to embrace institutions (including possibly free) would be a good temporary band-aid solution.
 
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But the mercenaries aren't so expensive that having them hired would explain the problem? Nor would it explain the Manpower issue.

That Client State of yours, did it end up having several mercenary companies just idling around?

The mercs aren't that expensive, it's the recruit-disband cycle that kills them. Disbanding troops does not return the money you spent on them. And if you don't have 60% AP, the manpower is gone too.

The client state hired a single 16k strong company soon after I established them. 100 years later and they were still there. They actually used the troops when at war, but when peace came it caused the already mentioned problem.
 
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I believe part of the issue with the debt bug also involves institutions. I've frequently seen the AI take out loans to embrace an institution early. Embracing an institution rapidly increases in cost the more development a country has and large AI countries apparently never have enough cash on hand anymore to embrace it without taking on debt. This compounds with the AI not having debt repayment as their highest priority anymore (as seen by the gifting money trick to make AI repay loans doesn't work anymore) and it ends up where the AI will still have debt when the next institution is ready to embrace and will repeat the same process over and over. Smaller AI countries will also take on a smaller amount of debt to embrace institutions, but their relative income is better compared to the cost of embracing for a large country, so they pay it back quicker. Smaller countries may also have already filled out all of their building slots and be at max army size, so they will actually start holding a decent stash of cash. If the developers still aren't aware of how to fix this overall AI debt issue, I would bet reducing the amount the AI has to pay to embrace institutions (including possibly free) would be a good temporary band-aid solution.
The AI generally overvalues monarch points. They definitely shouldn't embrace instantly at all cost.
 

Jomini

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One off expenses, like embracing institutions or building a bunch of useless coastal buildings, are certainly going to be a knock against the AI. But they should not cause perpetual debt. Maybe these things move up economic doomsday by a decade or three, I don't know. But I know I see massive debts in landlocked AIs who still have not gotten feudalism.

I would put a lot more money down on mercs and recruit/disband than on wrong buildings or too quickly embracing. Again after making those mistakes the AI should have $X income. If they kept their expenses below X for any reasonable amount of time they should get out of debt eventually. Instead I see AIs in debt and sinking deeper. It really looks like the AI does not know how to budget and the recruit/disband cycle seems a quite likely culprit.

Frankly I wonder if the AI is trying to disband to get under cap and recruit non-mercs to be able to get rid of the mercs. E.g. something in the code was written so the AI would not disband the old merc regiments until they had enough regular army, but now instead of replacing regiments 1 for 1, it gets stuck raising 1 of regulars, disbands the first regiment that it can for being over some limit, cannot disband the mercs without losing the whole company, and then repeats.

Frankly the whole merc system now is just a giant nerf to the AI. It is full of all the sorts of things where AIs have trouble: large break points, highly dynamic potentials, and inflexible use of resources. I mean it is nicer conceptually, but I am not convinced that the AI is remotely in a state where it can handle the new mercs.
 
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1) They build regiments, costing them money and manpower.
2) They lose money because they're hell-bent on drilling.
3) They disband some troops.
4) Now they make money again...
5) See 1)

Or at least that's what it looks like to me. Hope I'm wrong here :D
Then when they go to war, they hire one oversized mercenary company for 19,000,000 ducats, which spends the war running away from the front to besiege a fort in eastern Siberia. This gets rid of all the professionalism they got from drilling and puts them back into debt. Since they can't take more than 25 ducats from their smaller neighbors in war anymore, they keep this debt forever. They pay interest on the debt, further driving them into debt. What money they have is spent on Coastal Defenses, for naval invasions that never occur because the AI can't handle naval invasions, but the AI could never hope to stop those invasions anyway even if they came, because the AI can't handle navies...

Meanwhile, they revoke privileges from their estates and spawn rebels that they don't have the army to fight, and once they assemble that army, they rate the rebels as too big and scary to fight, and prefer to let them siege things down and de-siege once the rebel stack moves. Of course, normal rebellions rarely ever occur, because the AI will gladly increase autonomy as a way of lowering unrest, which as we all know is a master strategy for getting out of debt and fielding a formidable army.

But hey. At least they aren't paying Fort Maintenance for anything but their starting castles! Since they don't build any.
 
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Father of Nations

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Meanwhile, they revoke privileges from their estates and spawn rebels that they don't have the army to fight,
The size of those rebels depends on the dev of the province they‘re spawned in. Since the ai won’t ever develop land apart from its capital it‘s a non-event with rebels having 2 or 3 regiments.

One thing I‘ve seen Austria doing though was disbanding and recruiting regiments for a few years. It was in 1.30.1 so it might have been patched already.

Since the AI is so eager to seize crown land it temporarily leads to negative modifiers. And, now that the flat bonus every 10 years from the burghers estate is gone, I also don’t know how well it’s handling the extra ducats rewards from the diet.

But there are definitely two things that seems to have a more significant impact on the AI‘s economy than in previous versions, these are embracing institutions and war. Losing a war screws them over for decades, if not millennia. And also when a large AI nation embraces institutions this usually means either bailout your ally or forget about them because they won’t help you but they will drag you into their aggressive wars.
 
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I was playing a Brandeburg game and saw TO (reduced to OPM) was 22 ducats in debt. I sent them a gift of 25. They never paid back their loans with the money I sent them.
 

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1) They build regiments, costing them money and manpower.
2) They lose money because they're hell-bent on drilling.
3) They disband some troops.
4) Now they make money again...
5) See 1)

Or at least that's what it looks like to me. Hope I'm wrong here :D

This is pretty much what I have seen with my AI Castille alliance in my current Naples->Italy game. Cycle of building new regiments over and over (although I am not sure if it relates to professionalism or not). Also have France and Austria as allies, and they seem to be managing to not wipe themselves out with debt so impressively. Both are a bit passive, but they are constrained by alliance webs.

Have managed (on occassion) to get allies into wars to actually help (rather than just to sit there and scare off coalitions). Ottoderps have been 2k into debt and managed to claw back out of it as well.

I haven't had much of allies asking me to help them out in wars. Possibly as a result of frequent use of the indebted to the burghers interaction.
 

Koopa

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mercs are part of the problem for sure, but with disabled mercs the AI still has a lot of debt. A Big Problem is that they do not need to declare bankruptcy because if they can pay the monthly costs without a hitch. But they still refuse to join in wars because there is no check if loans are cripeling or just a small part of monthly expanses. I have no clue what the AI does with the loans when they can't build mercs and coastal defenses (mod test runs). Without that debt is still there but it's a lot less.
 
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AngelRay

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i don't know if it is related but I see that the AI build very few buildings. For example Scotlands in all its remaining province (start provinces - 3, Ayrshire, DUmfries and Roxburghshire) has no building at all.
England (which I have taken some lands) have like 10 buildings in it s 20-30 provinces.

Austria has 3 buildings in its capital, despite being emperor and having inherited Hungary. (a fort, a market and a church).
 
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deathbypie

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AI loans, debts and bankruptcies have been addressed in this Dev Diary https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/threads/euiv-development-diary-29th-of-october-2019.1269392/ . If you read carefully, however, there is no claim whatsoever that these issues have been fixed in this patch. It reads "things you should see improve" ;)

From that dev diary:

"The AI will not go anymore accidentally in debt because of badly timed checks on the available budget. "

The thing is, they very probably did something to help the ai with debt back then - in October. But then over half a year passed as various dev's tinkered with things and features were added, etc, and the ai got broken again.

I also find it odd that those charts measure things like "number of loans taken per tag". Means almost nothing when there are a ton of opm's who rarely go to war or do anything, and really just the medium to large tags go into debt. Plus, the average values barely even seem to go down over the months (The top of each chart is a fairly horizontal line), so maybe they didn't accomplish much back then. Unless I am reading those charts completely wrong
 
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Father of Nations

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i don't know if it is related but I see that the AI build very few buildings. For example Scotlands in all its remaining province (start provinces - 3, Ayrshire, DUmfries and Roxburghshire) has no building at all.
England (which I have taken some lands) have like 10 buildings in it s 20-30 provinces.

Austria has 3 buildings in its capital, despite being emperor and having inherited Hungary. (a fort, a market and a church).
The AI actually builds buildings, especially economy related, whenever it can. The problem is that it will build temples in provinces with low base tax or manufactories for low trade value goods. It shouldn’t be that difficult to address its economical logic.
 
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AngelRay

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Well okay.

I guess it's related to them being bankrupt permanently. Scotland (ally of my France from start) goes from bankrupcy to rebels taking power, to bankrupcy, etc. I personaly don't care for it, since I will invade Scotland when England is done (I don't want to leave Scotland alone ,because it will be eaten).
 

Failtier

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The AI actually builds buildings, especially economy related, whenever it can. The problem is that it will build temples in provinces with low base tax or manufactories for low trade value goods. It shouldn’t be that difficult to address its economical logic.

The main problem here is more checks (e.g. prioritizing the economic value of buildings) means more things to compute for each tag resulting in dropping performance. The same can be said about many other things the AI has to take into consideration. I wish that such things would at least be optional even if only in a mod. I rather play something like MEIOU and Taxes if that means a greater challenge and more immersion but crippling performance (but yeah, personal taste).
 
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Vince75

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I can't believe we still have no news. I think this the first time that the devs are silent that long. I thought we would have a Hotfix like the last two Tuesdays but nothing... This is sad. :(
 
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TheRabbitGeneral

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I've been playing this game for over 6 years and was playing for several hours every day before Emperor came out. The amount of AI debt has sucked the fun out of the game for me and I have barely played it since just after release.

This needs an urgent fix.
Couldn't have said it better myself. Totally ruins the game.
 
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