Glowing Fish's rule of inverse AI difficulty and annoying

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Glowing Fish
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Glowing Fish's rule of inverse AI difficulty and annoying

Post by Glowing Fish »

I imagine that most of you here have played quite a bit of other Turn Based Strategies before finding Wesnoth. My favorites were the Civ series and the Heroes of Might and Magic series.

I've discovered something about TBS, and the AI enemies: the more easy an AI is to beat, the more annoying and time consuming it is to do so.

If you've played Heroes, you know that there was about half a dozen different type of resources, many of which would renew every week. So what the AI would do was spread its sources very thing, running to collect resources. It also would spread its forces out among many different castles, and many different heros. Pretty early in the game, about a quarter through a half way through, you could usually concentrate your army enough to destroy the enemies "center of gravity". And then you had to spend an hour or so chasing down the enemy, as they did stupid things, like buy lots of heros with week units and send them to grab castles. You would have to hunt down the enemy heroes, and destroy them, while they fumbled with magic and useless attacks. And then, the next turn, the enemy would hire the same week heroes again and send them off to collect some useless resource, and you would have to hunt them down again.

Well, this is a Wesnoth forum, not a Heroes forum, and the reason this is relevant, is that the Wesnoth AI, being relatively hard, is also relatively non-annoying. The AI focuses on one thing: trying to kill you. If you can prevent this from happening, you have defeated it, and you don't have to spend time chasing it down as it does ridiculous things.

Has anyone who has played a lot of TBS games agree with me on this, on principle, and in Wesnoth in particular?

MRhe
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Post by MRhe »

I think I know what you mean, and I agree to some extent. The AI does seem to be effective in "trying to kill you" and not sending lone units after villages, for instance, at least if it will take away from a critical attacking mass. Then again, the AI has a suicidal predilection for mermen/nagae.

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turin
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Post by turin »

This i completely agree with.

Although i never played heroes enough to get good enough to beat the Ai consistently, when i played it, i realized it was bad enough that if i played the game much at all, i could easily beat it... :)

One game where this seems to apply is a game called Konquest... it comes with default KDE installation, iirc. its very simply, and adequately well done, but the AI is more annoying than difficult because it branches out.
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Glowing Fish
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Post by Glowing Fish »

Heroes is a pretty awesome game. There are things that make it superior to Wesnoth, namely, there is more variety and bling bling to keep the game entertaining. There is some awesome powerups to chase. There is a seperate screen for strategy and tactics. There is a lot more complicated magic system.

These are also the things that make it inferior to Wesnoth, of course
:)

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turin
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Post by turin »

Glowing Fish wrote:Heroes is a pretty awesome game. There are things that make it superior to Wesnoth, namely, there is more variety and bling bling to keep the game entertaining. There is some awesome powerups to chase. There is a seperate screen for strategy and tactics. There is a lot more complicated magic system.

These are also the things that make it inferior to Wesnoth, of course
:)
i would say some of those things you listed as advantages are disadvantages... i dislike blingbling. but heroes was a pretty fun game... i've never played HoMM4, though, because i heard it was worse than its predecessors.
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ott
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Post by ott »

Having played HoMM 1/2/3 extensively, I think its AI is very weak, probably because there are so many different variables to balance, such as lots of different resources. To balance the game, there is a high rate of income instead. This is a bit like playing Wesnoth with 10 gold per village per turn.

I always wanted the HoMM AI to resign when it was hopelessly lost. But even so, you could tell quite early when you had broken its back, and the rest of the game was just protecting and extending that advantage.

Wesnoth is much simpler, but the variables are more orthogonal. Instead of chasing a bunch of artificially differentiated resources, we have gold only. However, placement of troops, using the terrain, the day/night cycle, unit advancement, ranged vs. melee attacks -- these are all very important variables, and completely different to each other. This makes for great strategic depth, IMHO.

I still find the huge variability in damage dealt and taken in Wesnoth to be very annoying, but that's not an AI issue -- it relates to the either/or nature of attacks. See my posting on this topic for more details.

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