I stopped playing against the AI. Actually I would like to play alone and with friends against the AI. For example in AOE3 I played mostly with friends against the AI.
However, in AOE4 the AI sometimes doesn’t behave very intelligently and is not lively enough.
Some example on not intelligent behavior of the AI:
The AI rarely builds walls. This is debatable. Due to the numerous nerfing of stone walls and since they are generally weak this can probably be classified as intelligent at the moment.
Later in the game the AI still attacks with small groups of units instead of gathering a large army. Such a small army can be easily defeated.
The AI often attacks buildings that are not match decisive. For example it sometimes destroys wall sections even though there are already sections in the walls that are destroyed.
Often the AI does not respond to calls for attack or support. Since there are no taunts or the like, you don’t get an answer if it responds.
Very stupid: The AI attacks in royal rumble with their king in the first minutes. This make royal rumble unplayable against the AI in my opinion. This should definitely be fixed soon.
Another (for me bigger) reason why I don’t play against AI is because it’s not lively enough. By lively I mean you are not playing against someone but against a faceless civilization. It feels like you are playing alone.
In AOE3 for example you played against Napoleon or Elizabeth. They also reacted to taunts and a picture was displayed. Depending on the opponent they also behaved differently. Napoleon for example was a very aggressive opponent (my favorite opponent ).
The AI should be more alive like in AOE3. For example, you could have Genghis Khan as an opponent for the Mongols, Joan of Arc for the French and so on.
Even better in terms of liveliness would be an AI like in Stronghold. There I played almost exclusively against the AI. It was very entertaining. The AI didn’t just react to taunts. During attacks, before defeats, during setbacks, during victories, when danger was imminent and in other situations it announced itself. In addition there was always an animation of the opponent moving.
For casual players it would be very important to have a more lively AI.
The thing that makes co-op games against AI frustrating for me is they tend to pick one player that all of the AIs will attack. This isn’t a bad idea for the AI, but it means that a human has only one of two experiences. They either play 1v2/3/4 and constantly battle just to survive, while their teammates are free to get to imp, make 15 bombard cannons, 60 knights, and steamroll through all the opponents, or they’re the one doing the steamrolling. It’s not very satisfying to spend the game just about surviving, even though you have played your part in winning the game by doing that and leaving your teammates free to operate. It’s not much more satisfying, though, when you don’t get attacked at all, and you’re the one doing the steamrolling.
What would help a bit is the “killed” stat in the graphs/tables at the end that I suggested in another thread, so at least it would be visible after the game that the punching bag player actually did something.
I do that in Rocket League, and that’s enough of that sort of thing for me. Ranked matchmaking means you always end up in a place where it’s something like 25% of games you get smashed by much better opponents, 25% of games you smash much worse opponents, and 50% of games are really close. I play AoE 4 co-op against AI to chill and get away from the toxicity of ranked matchmaking. You can win basically every game, whereas in ranked matchmaking games should mostly always be a bit of a struggle.
Yes that would be awesome. Hopefully the developers will implement the taunts like this. I love the AI from Stronghold and Stronghold Crusader.
@RashEquation114 Playing against an AI is part of every Age of Empires. In AOE3 and Stronghold it was very funny to play alone or together with friends against them. In Stronghold it was even better. A good and lively AI that is entertaining to play against is very important for casual players.
Brutal AI is definitely a great challenge. However, the mod gives the AI an eco boost not a brain boost - so the same gaps in the normal AI still persist, such as not knowing how to take down a stone wall tower, running units right at a stone wall tower, or just milling around their own base with their entire army.
Pre-release, the devs talked using machine learning to train AI that would learn similar to how DeepMind did for SC2:
This ‘impossible’ AI would scrape strategies from the collective data of human players and get progressively better and more challenging for the best human players. On the flip side, the AI was supposedly also able to learn how to tune its abilities for specific human players so that the AI would provide a challenge for individuals at their skill level.
I would very much like to hear a bit more about this ML AI and if it’s actually being pursued.
AoE3 AI doesn’t play much smarter, but yeah, in terms of building actual characters, it is leagues ahead of AoE4. It’s kinda crazy that the AoE4 AIs don’t even get proper names, while in AoE3 there are hundreds of lines of voiced dialogue, allowing the AIs to react to all kinds of things happening throughout matches and to build distinguished characters.
About the machine learning AI hype, I don’t know what happened to that either…
Though the AIs are presented as nameless machines, they don’t appear to be learning much.
And in AOE4, my experience is that 50% of the time you get smashed to the ground without a chance, and 50% of the time, you do this to your opponent. Close matches seems to be pretty rare (I’m around ELO 1100).
Yes, we need a better AI, where it’s fun to play against. We also need an optional AI that can mimic certain strats (e.g. tower rush, ram all in, etc.).
Machine learning is good for making AIs more human-like, as it has some similarities with how humans learn. This has been easy to see in Rocket League, where only hand crafted AIs were available until recently, and none of them played anything like a human. Then a breakthrough was achieved that made machine learning viable, and a ML AI called Necto was produced by the community that is more human-like than any previous AI. It is still a bit of a strange mix of having some super-human strengths combined with some sub-human weaknesses, but it’s amazing how it really does seem to have a personality, and it’s a really great AI to play with and against for people around its level (around champ 1 rank). There’s a new version in development called Nexto, which plays a lot better than Necto, it’s around grand champ 2 rank, but it is perhaps a little less human, in that it now does the things it does incredibly well, better than any human, while failing to do things that can be done by significantly lower ranked humans. So in some ways it feels less human to me than Necto, but it’s good enough to beat pro players 2v1 and the pro players certainly seem to be enjoying that challenge.