The AI is really a mixed bag. What it does depends on all the relevant information it has and it’s map. Whether or not it’ll attack early depends on like 9,000 different things, including but not limited to:
- The AI’s Deer placement (and how many it can lure)
- Its scouting information about your map (partially dependent on the aforementioned)
- Its score in comparison to yours (again dependent on both of the aforementioned)
- Its scouting information about your buildings and their placements
- The map chosen
- The size of the map chosen
- The number of players, AI or otherwise
- The number of players on each team (and if teams exist)
… and so on. In order to get a really strong feel of how the AI plays, you need to play it a lot because these little variables tweak a ton of things. For one, the AI doesn’t attack with measured force. If it decides it’s going to attack, it will attack with everything or it won’t attack at all. This leads to very passive games when the AI assesses that the player is in a better position and decides to delay practically indefinitely or very aggressive games where they’ll flood units until they die or they win.
Also, the AI is pretty miserable on every difficulty compared to a player who’s got even a semblance of an idea of what they want to do, and that’s not changed since release. I’ll vouche for the fact that the AI has improved dramatically since release, however, as you can see how Viper has regressed against the AI in his multiple-AI challenges. He was on the verge (or just barely beating) 5 AI and now he’s been brought back to 3.
In any case. No, the AI hasn’t gotten worse, the reasons why it’s giving you easier games is complicated, and a small sample size of games won’t give you a good understanding of those factors.
And on the scorpion thing… The AI is horrible against scorpion play. Always has been.