Proposal: AI Difficulty (per AI)

As it stands right now, there is only one set difficulty that one can use for the artificial intelligence in a game, and it might stand to reason that there is no actual push to change this setting. For most people in ranked games or community games as an example, they will see no change whatsoever, but this proposal is not geared towards them.

This proposal is to remove the line dedicated to AI difficulty in the Game Settings, and instead allow the user to set it for each AI player in the lobby. This helps set up games for example where you might have one skilled player with a low difficulty AI ally, and a newbie with a higher difficulty AI ally to help support them. The idea of setting it per AI can also extend to Singleplayer games or campaigns, where you might want to make a certain team more aggressive than another team which is just meant to be the economic peaceful village on the cityside, despite them being enemies with multiple people and having the economy to build a barracks and go ham. It also helps people train against different strategies with different levels of AI interacting with one another, making solo games more unique in how the AI approaches situations, instead of all of the extreme enemy AI going for rushes, or typically advancing at the same times.

As to where to put the difficulty drop-down, I would personally not recommend placing it in the drop-down for players, as that would mean there would be 18 different options in a single dropdown. Instead, maybe the UI in the lobby screen could be slightly shortened when an AI is introduced into the lobby to have another selector (like team) to set the AI difficulty, which always has [-] for players.

I probably won’t look back at this, unfortunately, but I thought an idea like this would be beneficial to AoE2 DE as a whole. This post is just meant to encourage discussion about a topic that I think is ultimately overlooked in the grand scheme of things, possibly something that people don’t know that they want. I would desperately like to see people discuss the pros and cons of this, maybe refute me if I’m wrong, so that we can find a way to better the game, together :slight_smile:.

Edit: Clarity.


This is one of the few things which AOE2:DE still misses in terms of singleplayer skirmish features alongside the possibility to watch 4vs4 matches in singleplayer mode.

Fully support that.


Do you mean you want to watch an AI 4v4 as a spectator?

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Yes, was a feature in HD almost (still took a player slot for some reason).

I don’t think there is any downside to the OP’s proposition. It just makes sense.


In the dropdown for SP, just set player 1 to an AI. Then you share with the AI, but you can let it play and then either watch from it’s perspective or watch the rec after.

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I want to watch it happening live though, preferably at 8x speed. Not really the same.

Also if I want to watch a complicated setting like 2 vs2vs2 and for some reason Player one dies first, I can’t watch the rest of the match as far as I know.

From what I understood, they didnt implement it because the AI difficulty impacts stuff on the map such as wolves and maybe boar behavior.

But it is entirely doable with mods. I personnaly never tried AI modding, but there is an AI mod swapping hard and hardest AI difficulties, such that you can get an hard AI and a hardest AI inthe same game:

  • Set AIs to hard
  • Set one AI as “AI”
  • Set one AI as the swapped AI

It would be nice if someone could do the same for all AIs, for instance one AI mod per difficulty switchinh this difficulty with the hard AI.

Currently we can also use the “AI (HD)”, that are slightly stronger than their “AI” conterpart, except in extreme where extreme AI > extreme AI (HD)

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I think wolf agressivity is the only thing that is not the AI affected by a different difficulty? Even if there is other stuff it’s pretty minor. So they could easily find a solution for these things. Like letting them depend on what the highest difficulty AI is.

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This would also be great for SP to have an weak Ally If they cant defeat extreme AI, or an Hard AI as Ally vs 2 extreme AIs etc. just to see how high you can go.