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Thread: Large AI empires do not concentrate their armies, and it ruins an almost-perfect DeI experience.

  1. #1

    Default Large AI empires do not concentrate their armies, and it ruins an almost-perfect DeI experience.

    DeI is near perfect by my estimation, but I have detected a pattern in the last 300 hours of play or so. Playing as Rome or Massalia or Carthage is a blast as you subjugate the various tribes and one-province kingdoms of Gaul, Spain, and Greece -- they aggressively move their field armies to defend their territory and fun battles result.

    But I personally dread the moment I run up against, say, Carthage or the Seleucids. This is because their armies are NOWHERE to be found. You can take five or fifty of their cities and it becomes garrison battle after garrison battle, with levy hoplites unable to kill a single one of my veteran troops. At the end of the conquest you'll find one of their full stacks wandering around a desert or sea somewhere, depleted by attrition and completely helpless. For countries like Egypt it's even worse -- they'll send whole field armies north into the Aegean, leaving the Delta completely undefended. As the Seleucids the other day I set my army to raid for 10 turns, just hoping they'd have time to get their armies back to defend Alexandria -- but they never came. When I finally lost patience and took the city, I found them at sea near Crete. Attrition showed they'd clearly been there for literally years.

    I'd say it's my number one problem with the mod. My current Massalia run is a joy as I Hellenize Gaul and Spain, but now I border Carthage in Mastia and of course there is not a single army in sight. I'm sure I can take Sardinia and Corsica, Sicily and Mauretania and not see a single Carthaginian general on the main map.

    Is there any way to fix this? It is breaking my immersion completely, as I force myself to wait and wait in the hope that the AI will actually try and fight me.

    This is the reason the Augustus campaign is so utterly dull as well -- You take control of Egypt thinking it'll be super fun to revive the glory of Ptolemy and challenge the Roman superpower, only to find that Antony has no armies anywhere in his empire and you can just march through it with complete impunity.

    Why is this? What can be done about it? As overjoyed I am about DeI's idea to do submod campaigns like Alexander's conquests, as things stand the Alexander campaign will be completely ahistorical and unbalanced -- I can easily imagine conquering all of Persian Anatolia and not see a Memnon in sight. Ditto with Syria -- it is hard to imagine the AI marching a great army to fight Alexander at Issus.

    Thanks in advance, and know that I love the mod to death. This just drives me up a wall.

    Game of the Fates
    Mod of the week on hold -- I've played nearly every RTW mod out there.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Large AI empires do not concentrate their armies, and it ruins an almost-perfect DeI experience.

    I noticed the same problem with the enemy and with my allied (satrapies) armies as well. They are all over the place. Usually if i gave some war coordinates some of them will eventual come with some but the ones on the other side of the conflict map will wander about starving and doing nothing. I don't think there's a solution for now or at least I couldn't find one, just play some turns , kill some factions , get bored , start over.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Large AI empires do not concentrate their armies, and it ruins an almost-perfect DeI experience.

    So in my current fight against carthage I could very well observe that you send armies. But if you have too much Feidne, the forces will split here. His cities were defended by his vassals. I made peace with them and conquered carthage and Thapsus. The Carthaginians should soon be at their end. I've never had such a demanding campaign as in the current version and in combination with the PIGS submod, I hope it will be integrated into DeI 1.2.5?

  4. #4
    Jake Armitage's Avatar Vicarius
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    Default Re: Large AI empires do not concentrate their armies, and it ruins an almost-perfect DeI experience.

    @Antiochos
    I'm a novice regarding this, but I've made a pack for a more defensive and less aggressive AI (for the testudo submod).
    My hope is to reduce what you've described.
    Might work, might not, haven't tested it yet.

    I've set values keeping an eye onto Scipio's realism (thanks to him for all his CAI's work) and changing some by following my intuition
    If you wanna try it, here it is.
    https://www.mediafire.com/file/756s9...sive.pack/file
    Last edited by Jake Armitage; June 04, 2019 at 01:36 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Large AI empires do not concentrate their armies, and it ruins an almost-perfect DeI experience.

    That is indeed disheartening to hear. One of our primary goals in the recent CAI work was to address issues like this one. In all our extensive testing we seemed to get good results with the new CAI so I am surprised to hear its behaving this way yet again. One of the consistent results in our testing was that the AI would group its armies and would put up very real resistance and provide meaningful aggressive behavior even when they were a larger empire. So, I am not sure what could have caused a reversal in that original behavior that seemed to work so well after our last CAI overhaul.

    For some reason the AI in the base game is simply garbage at running large empires and always has been. I had hoped our recent changes helped to mitigate that but it sounds like it can still be an issue in some campaigns. It also seems to be the case that sometimes the AI just bugs out and I have not figured out why yet. Are you using any submods or just base DeI?
    Last edited by Dresden; June 04, 2019 at 02:05 PM.

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  6. #6

    Default Re: Large AI empires do not concentrate their armies, and it ruins an almost-perfect DeI experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dresden View Post
    That is indeed disheartening to hear. One of our primary goals in the recent CAI work was to address issues like this one. In all our extensive testing we seemed to get good results with the new CAI so I am surprised to hear its behaving this way yet again. One of the consistent results in our testing was that the AI would group its armies and would put up very real resistance and provide meaningful aggressive behavior even when they were a larger empire. So, I am not sure what could have caused a reversal in that original behavior that seemed to work so well after our last CAI overhaul.

    For some reason the AI in the base game is simply garbage at running large empires and always has been. I had hoped our recent changes helped to mitigate that but it sounds like it can still be an issue in some campaigns. It also seems to be the case that sometimes the AI just bugs out and I have not figured out why yet. Are you using any submods or just base DeI?
    I suspected it would be, and I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Like I said -- in small to medium sized AI states, the AI is very good indeed. It will aggressively seek you out and engage, and attack weak points. 4-5 settlement AI states are the most fun to fight -- Rome when they just control Italy is the only taste of what a real war between large empires is like in DEI, imo. Seleucids, Egypt, Carthage, et al -- completely unfun and utterly absent defenses. And don't even think about naval defense -- The great Phoenician mistress of the seas will let you sail right through.

    I am using base DeI and that's it.

    But yeah, it's really bad. I have put a ton of hours into your mod and I can confirm it is a persistent issue. If you have time, fire up a campaign in Imperator Augustus and you'll see. Those great Roman states of Antony, Lepidus and Octavian will not stop a single army as you take city after city. I have no idea where their armies go. In the base campaign the Seleucids should be the master of Asia, but they're easier to defeat than Atropatene because they just don't fight you at all. I do find their armies eventually, but they are always sitting in the Persian desert eating attrition. Not ideal. And I know this is anecdotal, have a couple friends who play the mod and they have noticed the same thing.

    With regards to your testing, I will say that in the first few turns this problem is not as apparent. For example, if you move into Koele Syria as the Seleucids the Ptolemies will try to defend it. I did have a fun battle in the first 20 turns or so outside Jerusalem against a Ptolemaic full stack. Ditto as, say, Pontus -- If you are quick enough, the Seleucids will still have an army around Antioch and you can have a real battle. But it's paradoxical, because as the campaign goes on larger empires get easier to beat and not harder. At turn 40 and onwards, forget about it. You will never see an AI army anywhere in sight. Perhaps in testing it may have seemed like this problem was not present, but the farther in the campaign the worse it is.

    Is there a way to prioritize player invasions over other AIs? Perhaps the problem is the Seleucids declare war on some pathetic OPM like Bithynia and their internal logic gets all messed up. It could account for the utter disregard they have for defending their empires, or even attacking mine.
    Last edited by Antiochos VII Sidetes; June 04, 2019 at 02:19 PM.

    Game of the Fates
    Mod of the week on hold -- I've played nearly every RTW mod out there.
    BOYCOTT THE USE OF SMILEYS! (Okay, just once)
    Antiochos VII...last true scion of the Seleucid dynasty...rest in peace, son of Hellas.
    I've returned--please forgive my long absence.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Large AI empires do not concentrate their armies, and it ruins an almost-perfect DeI experience.

    If you have a couple saves you could post that would be helpful, perhaps I can put together a small test fix pack to see if we can target the cause.

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  8. #8

    Default Re: Large AI empires do not concentrate their armies, and it ruins an almost-perfect DeI experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dresden View Post
    If you have a couple saves you could post that would be helpful, perhaps I can put together a small test fix pack to see if we can target the cause.

    Okay I will when I am able. I apologize but I was wrong about base DeI earlier -- I did check after making my last post and I have your reduced unit upkeep submod/a no siege attrition mod from ages ago in addition to base DeI. Although I would not imagine that would affect AI campaign behavior, and in fact i'd think that reduced unit upkeep would make it easier for them to defend their empires if anything. Unless you thought disabling those would solve the problem, of course -- although I remember this being an issue way before I had access to those submods.

    Game of the Fates
    Mod of the week on hold -- I've played nearly every RTW mod out there.
    BOYCOTT THE USE OF SMILEYS! (Okay, just once)
    Antiochos VII...last true scion of the Seleucid dynasty...rest in peace, son of Hellas.
    I've returned--please forgive my long absence.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Large AI empires do not concentrate their armies, and it ruins an almost-perfect DeI experience.

    It seems the Ai just doesn't know how to prioritize defending a large amount of regions, especially if there's bodies of water between it.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Large AI empires do not concentrate their armies, and it ruins an almost-perfect DeI experience.

    Yes that is the base issue in the game sadly and has been forever.

    @Antiochus Well, reduced upkeep/cost submod mainly affects the player. My suspicion is that either income is a problem because our bonuses are scripted so the don't actually see it as usable income or there is some inherent flaw in the AI that is extremely difficult to overcome from the base game.

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  11. #11

    Default Re: Large AI empires do not concentrate their armies, and it ruins an almost-perfect DeI experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dresden View Post
    Yes that is the base issue in the game sadly and has been forever.

    @Antiochus Well, reduced upkeep/cost submod mainly affects the player. My suspicion is that either income is a problem because our bonuses are scripted so the don't actually see it as usable income or there is some inherent flaw in the AI that is extremely difficult to overcome from the base game.
    Funny that you say that, because I can almost certainly confirm you are correct. I use the SaveParser tool heavily to get around the problems I've outlined here, though I will say it is a deeply imperfect solution that only helps in certain situations. However, in the SaveParser you can see the faction treasuries of all nations -- they are all at 40,000 or more constantly, all the time. And yet the AI still seems to have trouble recruiting enough soldiers to defend its empire.

    Why, for instance, does Carthage not have 7 full stacks operating at all times? With its size and the faction bonuses you guys give the AI, it should be able to maintain huge armies.

    I hate to say this, Dresden, but I think the solution may be to just script armies to appear like you have done with the Italian peninsula. I think perhaps every major nation should have that for its core areas -- although that would be devastating for AI balance, it would at least make the game challenging in the midstage onwards. I'm not sure how scripting is done, but perhaps it could be designed to only fire when a player takes a city and not another AI faction?

    This is tangential, but I did see the debate over satrapies vs having the Achaemenids one giant empire in the Alexander thread and I think you guys gotta go with the former. At least satrapies will recruit armies that will defend their small provinces, and that would simulate Spithridates, Rhosaces and the rest of the boys putting together their doomed force at the Granicus.

    I just think DeI's brilliant rosters, designs and historical accuracy will be (and to some extent, already are) frustrated by a mid to late game experience that strangles immersion. As another person in this thread said, I think most people pick a faction, conquer small nations until turn 100 or so, then get bored when it's all garrison battles and start over. I know I have 15 saves that all have 90-110 turns -- I even tried to complete a Seleucid world conquest to see if I could do it and I just got weary of this issue cropping up everywhere I invaded. All the single province barbarian tribes are conquered, so it's just large factions that don't defend core regions.

    Game of the Fates
    Mod of the week on hold -- I've played nearly every RTW mod out there.
    BOYCOTT THE USE OF SMILEYS! (Okay, just once)
    Antiochos VII...last true scion of the Seleucid dynasty...rest in peace, son of Hellas.
    I've returned--please forgive my long absence.

  12. #12
    KAM 2150's Avatar Artifex
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    Default Re: Large AI empires do not concentrate their armies, and it ruins an almost-perfect DeI experience.

    I wonder if my Alternative Economy submod ideas would help with it as it allows AI to have more money through buildings rather than scripts.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Large AI empires do not concentrate their armies, and it ruins an almost-perfect DeI experience.

    Anti VII, I have seen what you describe in many TW games and agree that it is a base issue with the AI. I tend to stall out near turn 100, but that goes all the way back to ME TW. It’s the desperation, once that’s gone the game is over.
    But I still love it and DeI is outstanding.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Large AI empires do not concentrate their armies, and it ruins an almost-perfect DeI experience.

    If you want to try this out on games where you are running into this issue, let me know how it works - http://www.mediafire.com/file/y57s3e...onus.pack/file

    It basically adds back in our previous bonuses in some cases for the AI. Food, some income, corruption, etc. It also disables supply attrition in case that is somehow impacting their decision to recruit or maneuver.

    When I get some more time I will see if our scripted bonuses are working at all. Its possible they aren't having the impact we want.

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  15. #15

    Default Re: Large AI empires do not concentrate their armies, and it ruins an almost-perfect DeI experience.

    My impression is that it is specifically a problem when large factions have too many enemies (or perhaps, too many fronts, especially complicated by sea borders). The AI prioritization just breaks, and it sends armies randomly away to camp, often in attrition zones at sea or in deserts. I don't think that the size of the empire per se is what is affecting it (just that with 1-2 region factions, there are fewer random out of the the way places within their territory for them to send their armies).

    For me, this isn't game breaking though. By the time I've reached the interior provinces of a large empire with a ton of enemies, they're basically "broken" anyway (even if the player stops attacking, I've watched the empires crumble to their many enemies). In terms of role playing, I chalk up my steamrolling to the actual historical collapse of nations after their leader/armies fall in the field. Even in just gameplay dynamics, it feels like an apt reward for having repelled their initial attackers and defeated their frontier guards. The Seleucids early game are the only real disappointments (they have too many enemies off the bat and so are never very effective). So while a fix would of course be appreciated for what is undoubtedly bugged behavior, it doesn't make the game significantly less enjoyable to me as is.

    A few other technical notes, I just want to agree that the CAI changes in the last major update did indeed improve the AI's performance for small to mid sized factions. Also to KAM, I'm playing AE right now as the Seleucids (with Cultural Tension and Age of Hellenism), and I'll report back how it goes. Lastly, in terms of Alexander Satrapies, maybe just creating a few key ones like Rhodes, Egypt, and perhaps Phyrgia while leaving the rest in the hands of the Persians.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Large AI empires do not concentrate their armies, and it ruins an almost-perfect DeI experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Antiochos VII Sidetes View Post
    This is the reason the Augustus campaign is so utterly dull as well -- You take control of Egypt thinking it'll be super fun to revive the glory of Ptolemy and challenge the Roman superpower, only to find that Antony has no armies anywhere in his empire and you can just march through it with complete impunity.
    I've noticed that Anthony builds many full stacks of navy, but not land armies worth mention. Maybe a bug?

  17. #17

    Default Re: Large AI empires do not concentrate their armies, and it ruins an almost-perfect DeI experience.

    I have talked about this many times throughout past years. Everything you have mentioned is true - small and medium size factions are the best to manage their offense and defense. Because of this Ceaser in Gaul campaign always turns out to be one of the best in terms of real challenge factions oppose to you. This issue always was and still is one my biggest concerns about late game campaign, when you create big empire and ready to start epic wars it just does not happen, you fight only garrisons at some point.

    I would imagine that you need to make crazy precision testing and watch every step big empires AI makes at every turn to figure out real and core problem of this issue. I wonder if it could be fun to do online testing with a group of people...

  18. #18
    ♔Greek Strategos♔'s Avatar BEARDED MODERATION
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    Default Re: Large AI empires do not concentrate their armies, and it ruins an almost-perfect DeI experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by KAM 2150 View Post
    I wonder if my Alternative Economy submod ideas would help with it as it allows AI to have more money through buildings rather than scripts.
    I think that's AI is literally retarded when following any script.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dardo21 View Post
    It seems the Ai just doesn't know how to prioritize defending a large amount of regions, especially if there's bodies of water between it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dresden View Post
    Yes that is the base issue in the game sadly and has been forever.
    I don't remember any TW game in which the AI was able to prioritize it's actions or defend successfully.
    Last edited by ♔Greek Strategos♔; June 05, 2019 at 06:17 AM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Large AI empires do not concentrate their armies, and it ruins an almost-perfect DeI experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dresden View Post
    If you want to try this out on games where you are running into this issue, let me know how it works - http://www.mediafire.com/file/y57s3e...onus.pack/file

    It basically adds back in our previous bonuses in some cases for the AI. Food, some income, corruption, etc. It also disables supply attrition in case that is somehow impacting their decision to recruit or maneuver.

    When I get some more time I will see if our scripted bonuses are working at all. Its possible they aren't having the impact we want.

    Ah. Thank you for your responsiveness. You and the team are a tribute to modding. I will give it a try and see if it changes anything -- maybe i'll start a new campaign. At the very least i'll put it into my current Massalia run.

    My impression is that it is specifically a problem when large factions have too many enemies (or perhaps, too many fronts, especially complicated by sea borders). The AI prioritization just breaks, and it sends armies randomly away to camp, often in attrition zones at sea or in deserts. I don't think that the size of the empire per se is what is affecting it (just that with 1-2 region factions, there are fewer random out of the the way places within their territory for them to send their armies).
    My conclusion as well. I am hopeful that the prioritization can be changed -- and I would add that it seems the AI fights NONE of its enemies rather than just one at a time. Seleucids and Egypt will, as I have said, let their armies die in the desert while their cities fall to enemies.

    Anti VII, I have seen what you describe in many TW games and agree that it is a base issue with the AI. I tend to stall out near turn 100, but that goes all the way back to ME TW. It’s the desperation, once that’s gone the game is over.
    But I still love it and DeI is outstanding.
    I totally agree, I still play the hell out of DeI. But DeI is attempting to elevate TW into art, and in many ways it has done so. Such that my brief sojourn into the partly-excellent Fall of Eagles mod for Attila was a disappointment because the arcadey battle balance just couldn't compare to DeI's polish. Later TW games have the same problem. DeI is it for me.

    Still, this issue is a glaring flaw in an otherwise gorgeous mosaic and I am hopeful it can be fixed.

    Game of the Fates
    Mod of the week on hold -- I've played nearly every RTW mod out there.
    BOYCOTT THE USE OF SMILEYS! (Okay, just once)
    Antiochos VII...last true scion of the Seleucid dynasty...rest in peace, son of Hellas.
    I've returned--please forgive my long absence.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Large AI empires do not concentrate their armies, and it ruins an almost-perfect DeI experience.

    I've noticed this for sometime as well, whether at war with or allied with a larger empire they very frequently seem to position their armies in the oddest of ways...I've invaded large empires with 3 full stack armies and noticed theirs (despite having many) were nowhere to be seen even after many turns.

    Quote Originally Posted by Antiochos VII Sidetes View Post
    I totally agree, I still play the hell out of DeI. But DeI is attempting to elevate TW into art, and in many ways it has done so. Such that my brief sojourn into the partly-excellent Fall of Eagles mod for Attila was a disappointment because the arcadey battle balance just couldn't compare to DeI's polish. Later TW games have the same problem. DeI is it for me.

    Still, this issue is a glaring flaw in an otherwise gorgeous mosaic and I am hopeful it can be fixed.
    Hear hear....if only some of the political (positions) features and loyalty from Attila were in base RTW.

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