The more DLCs there are, the greater the gap between players and AI.

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When there were not as many DLCs as there are now, it was difficult to defeat major countries AI when playing as minor countries.For example, AI cannot design good tanks, planes, and ships. It's impossible for AI to make good use of agents and MIO.The new mechanisms in these DLCs cannot be fully utilized by a few lines of code.And players can fully utilize these new mechanisms, which makes the gap between players and AI larger as DLC increases.
 
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That's true of many games including this one.

The basic issues with the AI have never been resolved, mostly surrounding production and ineffective division placements. Japan and UK are incapable of defending their home islands. The Allies are pretty much guaranteed to attack in terrible terrain.

I like the DLC but the designers and the upgrade process have never really been polished.

The MIO seem very clunky. Right idea, just wrong way of having create a new variant every time the MIO changes.

And while I do like design everything a certain way I think the MIO ruin that due to needing to upgrade production almost constantly.

I will say that the arms marketplace has really been a good addition that even the AI can use. Especially the AI. It evens out production problems.
 
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I agree, although many of the problems with the DLC and AI can probably be addressed.

However that's very unlikely given that most companies work like 90% of resources go to creating NEW DLC, 9% fixing bugs (unless its someone like Bethesda), 1% actually updating and polishing the content already in the game.

Always when there was a problem with some DLC mechanic - unless it was an exploit or big balance issue - there were rarely, if ever any updates to it.
For example Man the Guns introduced like 5 years ago added Ship Designer - and the AI cannot use it properly to this very day.

(Today I witnessed Germany sending 3/4 of their 1936 light cruisers to drydocks and 'upgrading them' by installing a slower engine and worse guns... And assigned 1 dockyard each, so they effectively blocked 80% of their naval capacity for 5 years just to kill their own ships)
 
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When there were not as many DLCs as there are now, it was difficult to defeat major countries AI when playing as minor countries.For example, AI cannot design good tanks, planes, and ships. It's impossible for AI to make good use of agents and MIO.The new mechanisms in these DLCs cannot be fully utilized by a few lines of code.And players can fully utilize these new mechanisms, which makes the gap between players and AI larger as DLC increases.
It should be resolved by pre-scripting tanks, planes and ships. It shouldn't be hard to do.

Designers were a must-have, but one had to consider how it would impact AI beforehand.

Right now HOI4 is not viable neither in singleplayer nor in multiplayer.

In Singleplayer, AI is not competent enough, while in MP hacking prevents you from playing with new people.

All you have left are roleplay focus trees.
 
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I don't think it's possible for AI to operate like a player.For example, in the Soviet-German War, players could manufacture a large number of tanks with dozer blade when playing as Soviet Union, which could cause huge losses to Germany. In the later counterattack, they could replace the dozer blade tanks with machine gun tanks gradually.This kind of conversion AI cannot operate at all.
 
It should be resolved by pre-scripting tanks, planes and ships. It shouldn't be hard to do.

Designers were a must-have, but one had to consider how it would impact AI beforehand.

Right now HOI4 is not viable neither in singleplayer nor in multiplayer.

In Singleplayer, AI is not competent enough, while in MP hacking prevents you from playing with new people.

All you have left are roleplay focus trees.
I agree. Played the game quite a bit but rarely enjoyed the outcome. I know some people really enjoy the alt-history aspect and Paradox has leaned into that heavily but the fact that the AI is so bad makes the game a failure to me and how I want to play --- as a WWII simulator.
 
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I agree. Played the game quite a bit but rarely enjoyed the outcome. I know some people really enjoy the alt-history aspect and Paradox has leaned into that heavily but the fact that the AI is so bad makes the game a failure to me and how I want to play --- as a WWII simulator.

It's not a WWII simulator as much as a 1936 industrial sandbox. I think with the implied theory that economic output is the deciding factor rather than anything on a battlefield.

Expert AI helps a lot with the actual conduct of the war. Playing with it really and for the first time not wondering why the AI is so stupid...

My understanding is the devs programmed the AI to be dumb because a lot of people are playing on easy and write threads about "why can't I defeat France in 1939."

But without an AI mod further expansions would be pointless because the AI can't really be successful at offense or defense, so every game boils down to seeing what country can self destruct first due to encirclements, failed invasions, congo lines and ocean transports, using XP to constantly mod divisions rather than doctrines (IMO division mods should be free).
 
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Yeah. I've enjoyed HOI4 a lot, and I've bought all the DLC, but at this point I'm not sure why I would want to buy more DLC. I think, what the game needs the most is balancing existing mechanics and improving the AI. I'd pay for DLCs that do just that!

The idea of DLCs seems to incentivize the following from the developer: (1) Exciting new things (focuses) you can do with countries, (2) Exciting new mechanics (x designer), and (3) Visual stuff. It does not seem to incentivize the less visible or obvious: well integrated and balanced gameplay improvements, including AI. Here's another curious note about the incentives: since people have now paid for a DLC for many mechanics, the developer is very unlikely to chuck a gameplay feature, something they'd be much more likely to do if it didn't work well before the game was released. Maybe the aircraft designer should be chucked. Oh well, can't do it now, people paid for the DLC.

I just finished a campaign, and what I'm missing is finetuning, balancing and AI improvements. I found most of the campaign addictive, but I was a bit put off by harebrained actions from the AI such as vacating a frontline, shuffling around its troops bizarrely, and completely ignoring supply, and eventually found the 1945 lategame completely pointless because everything grinds to a halt with infinite doomstacks on every frontline. And these flaws were there two years ago! I don't really care about the aircraft designer: give me cohesive gameplay and sophisticated AI. I love complex mechanics, but I love refined mechanics rather than lots of mechanics.
 
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I would like the developers to look over the game, and ask themselves: what changes would help us craft a superb gameplay experience? Rather than: what would be a cool new feature or focus tree to add?
(Mind, I do think the new mechanics and focus trees have added a lot, so take this comment in context of the game in later years.)
 
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(IMO division mods should be free).
certainly, iterations which you've already done should be free. for example, if i start with a 20w inf brick and add 5 inf battalions, removing them later should be free. support companies should be free once added somewhere too (or at least heavily discounted).
 
I think AI issues have been a long-time problem for strategy games period. In the last 30 or so years it's probably easier to name games that had good AI and were challenging than the opposite. I'm also not sure how Paradox solves it either. Player base wants more features or mechanics with each new DLC (seeing that was a complaint with ToA) regardless of the series. The more complicated it becomes the easier the AI is. I also don't think it can be fixed by simply adding pre-designed equipment for the AI. AI can't compete with a remotely competent player, just the simple act of grouping armor, consolidating your support aircraft for offensives, not wasting equipment and manpower on costly infantry offensives gives the player a significant advantage. Nor can the AI take advantage of the occasional tactical situations that pops up such as local superiority to secure supply hubs etc... Compounding the issue is that the AI for some countries scripted to not get involved in certain theaters or do anything until after a specific date or trigger. UK is a good example of that but if Paradox were take out the scripting, I don't think the AI would do any better due to the fact it can't predict behavior and plan accordingly like we can.

I think the most telling point is that nearly every strategy game on harder difficulty just ends up being that the AI gets more resources and/or more buffs which don't make the game harder imo, just longer which I don't think is the same thing. The games that had the best AI were usually games that have symmetrical strategies with predictable moves and counter moves. This being a sticking point to Paradox games in particular, making them less complicated would probably cause more problems for them as this is likely to upset their customers.
 
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certainly, iterations which you've already done should be free. for example, if i start with a 20w inf brick and add 5 inf battalions, removing them later should be free. support companies should be free once added somewhere too (or at least heavily discounted).
I agree with this. As a human player I have division clutter because I save "iterations" in case I want to go back or there isn't enough equipment. Or going thru every subject division to see which one is closest to something decent like a infantry brick with engineers.

And then you find out they are adding and subtracting different support companies with no apparent reason vs a player basically has all divisions mostly established by 1937-1938.

A lot of changes have nothing to do with "experience" and everything to do with "amount of available equipment."

And the AI, it probably is worse as guessing than you or me. It is constantly spending XP to build the right divisions for right now.

I really prefer AI and player alike to make better choices and to be easier to stick closer to the longer term meta, in terms of things that work well, as if this is a game closer to chess than a "history replay.". There's interesting choices and just bad choices, and if the AI consistently makes bad choices, well it's not really a contest.

The worse thing is the "free templates" unlocked by techs that don't even have support companies!
 
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I think AI issues have been a long-time problem for strategy games period. In the last 30 or so years it's probably easier to name games that had good AI and were challenging than the opposite. I'm also not sure how Paradox solves it either. Player base wants more features or mechanics with each new DLC (seeing that was a complaint with ToA) regardless of the series. The more complicated it becomes the easier the AI is. I also don't think it can be fixed by simply adding pre-designed equipment for the AI. AI can't compete with a remotely competent player, just the simple act of grouping armor, consolidating your support aircraft for offensives, not wasting equipment and manpower on costly offensives gives the player a significant advantage. Nor can the AI take advantage of the occasional tactical situations that pops up such as local superiority to secure supply hubs etc... Compounding the issue is that the AI for some countries scripted to not get involved in certain theaters or do anything until after a specific date or trigger. UK is a good example of that but if Paradox were take out the scripting, I don't think the AI would do any better due to the fact it can't predict behavior and plan accordingly like we can.

I think the most telling point is that nearly every strategy game on harder difficulty just ends up being that the AI gets more resources and/or less penalties which don't make the game harder imo, just longer which I don't think is the same thing. The games that had the best AI were usually games that have symmetrical strategies with predictable moves and counter moves. This being a sticking point to Paradox games in particular, making them less complicated would probably cause more problems for them as this is likely to upset their customers.
It might just be my rose tinted glasses, but was it ever this bad in HOI2? There sure were bugs there too, but I just dont remember ever seeing the AI abandon inportant parts if the frontline or struggling as much to cope with setting up effective vessels.

And I get the point about being drawn between efforts, new mechanics and focus trees. Still, I think a fair criticism would be that one shouldnt sell mechanics that arent working properly yet, and at least not keep adding issues.
 
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It might just be my rose tinted glasses, but was it ever this bad in HOI2? There sure were bugs there too, but I just dont remember ever seeing the AI abandon inportant parts if the frontline or struggling as much to cope with setting up effective vessels.

And I get the point about being drawn between efforts, new mechanics and focus trees. Still, I think a fair criticism would be that one shouldnt sell mechanics that arent working properly yet, and at least not keep adding issues.
I feel that the difference in the two games was that HOI2/HOI3 was more scripted than the sandbox HOI4. By giving so many options, the AI needs to be more flexible which means it often makes worse "core" decisions. Older games things happened on a schedule so you could prep the AI and when those things did occur, the AI was better equipped for it and it made for better, but narrower gameplay.
 
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It's not a WWII simulator as much as a 1936 industrial sandbox. I think with the implied theory that economic output is the deciding factor rather than anything on a battlefield.

Expert AI helps a lot with the actual conduct of the war. Playing with it really and for the first time not wondering why the AI is so stupid...

My understanding is the devs programmed the AI to be dumb because a lot of people are playing on easy and write threads about "why can't I defeat France in 1939."

But without an AI mod further expansions would be pointless because the AI can't really be successful at offense or defense, so every game boils down to seeing what country can self destruct first due to encirclements, failed invasions, congo lines and ocean transports, using XP to constantly mod divisions rather than doctrines (IMO division mods should be free).
Agree. I wish that PDX would try to branch the game out and break the game up...eastern front game, pacific war game, med game, battle for France game. The mechanics are there and by limiting the AI you would get much better games.
 
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I've soured a bit on the DLC model lately. We get a bunch of... I don't want to say half-baked, maybe 3/4 baked features with little hope for much long-term iteration and improvement, with the AI but also just fully fleshing them out. It's hard to get excited about these features sometimes, knowing that there's going to be a lot of potential left on the table. The incentive for development is just not there and I don't know what the answer is.
 
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I feel that the difference in the two games was that HOI2/HOI3 was more scripted than the sandbox HOI4. By giving so many options, the AI needs to be more flexible which means it often makes worse "core" decisions. Older games things happened on a schedule so you could prep the AI and when those things did occur, the AI was better equipped for it and it made for better, but narrower gameplay.
True, and at least the part about the AI able to produce effective ships, planes and tanks is primarily down to simplicity. Still, I dont believe the AI shifting troops away from the front etc. is due to HOI4 being less scripted than previous iterations? My impression is that it was largely caused by the move to the "battleplanner" and the issues endemic to that system?
 
True, and at least the part about the AI able to produce effective ships, planes and tanks is primarily down to simplicity. Still, I dont believe the AI shifting troops away from the front etc. is due to HOI4 being less scripted than previous iterations? My impression is that it was largely caused by the move to the "battleplanner" and the issues endemic to that system?

It isn’t the battleplanner, the AI will do weird shifts upon loading up a saved game. If I were to take a guess it has to do with how the AI calculates adjustments. I tend to see this as well when something unexpected happens like a naval landing.

I won’t pretend to know why it happens but I have a feeling the complexity of the game in terms of production, managing resources, deployment of air and naval forces in a game that’s flexible is hard on an AI particularly when the min requirements i5 750 and GTX 470. Though I couldn’t imagine playing HOI4 on it. My last machine was barely above the recommended requirements and playing the late game was rough. It is an 8 year old game after all.