AI Severely Underperforming Due to Idle Villagers

:arrow_forward: GAME INFORMATION

  • GAME BUILD #: 38254
  • OPERATING SYSTEM: Windows 10

:arrow_forward: ISSUE EXPERIENCED

Following the most recent patch, the AI seems to be significantly less capable. For example, playing against the hardest AI, the AI rush is a solid minute or 2 later than previously. Digging into post-game data, it looks like the AI is sitting on large numbers of idle villages (for example, 16 in the beginning of age 2).

:arrow_forward: FREQUENCY OF ISSUE

  • 100% of the time / matches I play (ALWAYS)

:arrow_forward: REPRODUCTION STEPS

Here’s the steps to reproduce the issue:

  1. Set up a game against a high level AI
  2. Play the game for several minutes
  3. End the match
  4. Check Idle vil stats at the end

:arrow_forward: EXPECTED RESULT

The AI should have virtually no idle vils

:arrow_forward: IMAGE

:arrow_forward: GAME FILES (SAVE / RECORDING)

AI underperforming.age3Ysav (2.7 MB)


AI villagers will drastically change priorities very quickly when gathering resources. They often chop wood for 2 seconds before they decide they want to do something else and then run across the map to a coin mine near the enemy where they die.


Allied AI in particular are terrible now. It has rendered the game unplayable for me.

It’s like the allied and enemy Ai are playing on two different difficulties. Totally useless. I played one game where the Incan AI spent the first 30 minutes going from resources to resources and only building economic buildings while the two other AI weren’t fairing much better. Team games are unplayable which are the only games I play. I’ve lost every single match I’ve played because of terrible allied AI.

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They’ve done that run between resources thing since DE came out last year. It’s not the patch.

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You meanne so! Hahahaha

This behavior is different than the frenetic switch between resources. The AI has idles the entire match

But the AI has seen a significant downgrade with this patch for sure. Before I could have a competitive 4 vs 4 game with AI players but not now. The enemy AI has improved since DE came out but the allied AI has become a major determent.

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The AI surely has ben nerfed this patch. Before, they would out a fight at least, now its a piece of cake.
Not only that, but I remember the AI when DE first came out: it was better than ever, ai could revolt, they built forward bases outside of you base and kept pressure, even in the beta i think i saw it embarking and disembarking in water maps, using better tactics than what they use now.
What the ai has going for it now is thatits better at microing units, but all the rest has been tone down. We need ai revolts, ai forward bases, better management of resources and it amazing if the ai could build tcs on far sides of the maps to control resources: many times i end up a hardest or extreme game only to see i have built a tc or two in particularly rich sections of the map and the ai has just stayed in its base, build a second tc near the first one and conpletely disregards rich sections (or it send villagers to those resources but with no tc or defensive buildings near they are prone to raid.
Also, let them build walls.

Agree. The AI was very strong about two patches ago. Very fun to play with and against.

I don’t know what happened but they are now prone to massing resources and opting for fast fortress more often than building a good army in Commerce age.

So they easily die to rushes sometimes. Also noticed that they are very sloppy with villagers and let villagers outside the TC even if they are being attacked. Loses several vils and then finally decides to put vills in. This happened in Multiplayer, where the AI difficulty is now broken.

In Single player, the allies do not try to protect you when you’re attacked and don’t respond to your requests. Cannot tribute (because bugged) and doesn’t come to help you when you’re being attacked. Previously used to do this tho. Now the ally straight up attacks enemies without thinking about protecting its own base at all. Outcomes vary.

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I recorded a match against the AI to see what it was doing.

Record Game 2021-08-08 22-40-52.age3Yrec (5.8 MB)

Overall impression. Idles aren’t just standing around. The AI is just making very poor decisions on how to allocate those vils

Issues I noticed with the AI:

  1. Poor early game hunting
    -The AI seems to be allocating vils in the early game to herding full-time. One or two vils are just chillin, shooting hunts in, instead of killing one and gathering while waiting for the 10s timer to reset
    -They kill lots of hunts while herding and let them rot instead of only shooting once

  2. Poor Early Game scouting
    -The AI simply isn’t exploring well. The explorer explores lots of already revealed locations in base, gathering few treasures and not revealing nearby resources

  3. Poor Macro
    -The AI floats lots of resources instead of balancing the eco. In this match the ottoman AI floated 3000+ food

    -The AI is gathering extra wood in Age 1 instead of focusing on the age-up (it already has all Age 1 building it should want

    -The AI is not gathering up crates, whiles still getting those resources from natural sources

  4. Poor vil allocation process
    -The AI seems very disjointed when allocating vils. There are several moments in the replay where the AI takes 5 vils off of gold to task them to food, then 1 second later tasking 5 vils on food to gold. While still having the first batch of vils walk to the food. Meaning there are 10 vils in total gathering 0 resources when they should all be gathering

  5. Poor choice of resource usage
    -The AI seems to choose distant coin mines instead of more practical ones. The vils walk across the entire map to get to a new silver mine when there is a completely full one just outside the TC

    -The AI randomly tasks vils back-and-forth between different hunts, wasting TONS of vil seconds, and frequently gathering from distant hunts when there are carcasses near the vils

  6. Strange Army Behavior
    -The AI army seems to be following a preset path instead of walking in the most direct manner
    -The AI does not wait to group units into a formation, instead streaming them in to defended fortifications

    -No scouting for other paths or weaknesses


Wow this is a nice recap. The ever herding AI is frustrating in teams, specially if you’re Hausa or Ethiopia, because AI spread all animals away from granaries and you’re forced to do a never ending micro.

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I’ve also noticed that the natives AI move every villager in the community plaza a little every few seconds, then assign then to work again an after a few more, move them again. I haven’t seen how it affects their bonuses but it is not a graphic bug, as my own villagers didn’t behave that way.

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Great summary of the main issues!
The idle vill graph is also appalling…
Hopefully something will be done to improve the AI behavior :pray:


It is concerning to me the devs haven’t commented on these AI issues either here or on steam. I’ve let them know on twitter too and nothing.

No noticeable improvement post hotfix 39346.

Record Game 2021-08-09 12-03-25.age3Yrec (4.6 MB)

Large Numbers of Idles
(I have spikes, but I’m an idiot human lol)

Repeated Switching Between Hunts/Killing Hunts and Not Eating

Floating Resources and still collecting them
-Seriously? 1000 wood and still 9 gathering???

In addition, additional issues I did not note in my earlier summary:

  1. Not Using Spawned Fishing Boats
    -Fishing Boats still just sit there idle

  2. Random Interrupts in Community Plaza (As Noted by EntombedCurve02)
    -AI vils frequently reset

  3. Switching to Farms when lots of close, safe Hunts
    -AI switches to farms when it’s not a reasonable decision

  4. Explorer attacks enemy base immediately after hitting Age 2 with no other units
    -The AI explorer attacks on his own. He can’t kill any vils due to multipliers, so it’s just free xp for the opponent


latest Patch seems to mention some AI stuff, id assume they wanna improve the AI but that it is likely just a little early to say anything.

I tested the AI on the hotfix that came out today. The changes they made were related to fixing difficulty selection in multiplayer; it seems to have had no effect on AI behavior.

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I must say, in particular, the Haud and Lakota AI are much worse than many other civs AI.

The Euros except the Germans, and the Asian civs are at least capable of giving a challenge to me. Native American AI is poor and Africa always seems to be a hit or miss.

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That’s sad. Hopefully the next will address this. I play multiplayer but with some friends we play against the computer because they feel more comfortable that way, and we would really love to have a more competent ai that builds more tcs and takes map control rather than always having all the map for ourselves and end the game sieging the base they never left. Also, if there is going to be work done on the ai, please let them revolt and build walls :pray:

Hi all, thanks for taking the time to recap all the issues, this is much appreciated, we are aware of these issues and are being tracked.