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Spaceempires.net :: How is Diplomacy Working? :: View topic
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How is Diplomacy Working?

 
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icmp_request
Space Emperor


Joined: Mar 22, 2008
Location: Sao Paulo - Brazil

PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:50 pm    Post subject: How is Diplomacy Working? Reply with quote

Hello! Smile

Just curious about the latest changes on the AI Diplomacy System, specially the likelihood of an Empire declaring war on you or not.

Some versions of the mod ago, much of it was based on my score. So if it were 19 players and I was at the last position (common on the beginning if you give AI bonus), they used to declare war and while the military attack was not a problem, the intelligence one certainly was.

Now on my very new game everyone seems to like me at least a little. Was the system changed somehow? How is it working now?

Thanks! Wink


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Zwo_Dvoongar
Space Emperor


Joined: Feb 02, 2011

PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you look through some of the older threads, you should find quite a bit of discussion.

The diplomacy AI has had a lot of work put into it, but could still stand more. Score appears to be a factor, and that makes some sense. Aggressive empires would be expected to go after smaller neighbors.

Unfortunately, most of my observations are kind of backwards. There is both anger and fear now, and the little empires frequently get upset, at least against human-controlled empires, and declare suicide wars when they have no business. I don't see any simple solutions, really, or I'd make suggestions.

The issue is handled poorly by the vast majority of computer games; what we have here is in the average range, borderline acceptable.

A whole new approach would be necessary, I think, in order to achieve substantial improvement. Empires would need to set goals, both long- and short-term, and remember them over time. Their goals would be subject to change, but not frequently.

To my knowledge, few games have AI's that plan ahead and prepare for war ahead of time. Evaluations should be made, and when the chances of success are small-to-vanishing, the chances of declaring war should be small. Not zero, but very small.

One of the biggest issues is the same one humans face in games like "Risk" - who's getting so big as to threaten to win outright, and if the #2 and #3 player team up, which of them is likely to be ahead after #1 is taken down? How are #4 and below likely to respond?

Such evaluations are rarely simple, and figuring a way for AI's to perform them isn't a high priority in the gaming industry.

Anyhow, the evaluation process isn't simple. It isn't only who's bigger, but also who is growing. More importantly, who else is likely to join in?

Betrayal is yet another factor. Programming one or two AI's to betray would probably be only a little challenging, but then everyone'd soon learn which empires operate that way. You almost need to put a variable amount of betrayal chance into every empire, with some getting more than others, yet none being either 100%, and few or none being 0%.

Another issue is: what do players want? A lot of players seem to prefer having all the AI's gang up at some point, and SE5's Mega Evil Empire feature allows for that point to be adjusted, which is a major plus over other games.


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icmp_request
Space Emperor


Joined: Mar 22, 2008
Location: Sao Paulo - Brazil

PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello and thanks for the time and effort you've took on your reply! Smile

Zwo_Dvoongar wrote:
If you look through some of the older threads, you should find quite a bit of discussion.

The diplomacy AI has had a lot of work put into it, but could still stand more. Score appears to be a factor, and that makes some sense. Aggressive empires would be expected to go after smaller neighbors.

Unfortunately, most of my observations are kind of backwards. There is both anger and fear now, and the little empires frequently get upset, at least against human-controlled empires, and declare suicide wars when they have no business. I don't see any simple solutions, really, or I'd make suggestions.

The issue is handled poorly by the vast majority of computer games; what we have here is in the average range, borderline acceptable.

A whole new approach would be necessary, I think, in order to achieve substantial improvement. Empires would need to set goals, both long- and short-term, and remember them over time. Their goals would be subject to change, but not frequently.

To my knowledge, few games have AI's that plan ahead and prepare for war ahead of time. Evaluations should be made, and when the chances of success are small-to-vanishing, the chances of declaring war should be small. Not zero, but very small.

One of the biggest issues is the same one humans face in games like "Risk" - who's getting so big as to threaten to win outright, and if the #2 and #3 player team up, which of them is likely to be ahead after #1 is taken down? How are #4 and below likely to respond?

Such evaluations are rarely simple, and figuring a way for AI's to perform them isn't a high priority in the gaming industry.

Anyhow, the evaluation process isn't simple. It isn't only who's bigger, but also who is growing. More importantly, who else is likely to join in?


I happen to highly agree with you in all these points. But the problem is, on SE5, to my knowledge, the AI seems to be scripted and pre-programmed. It doesn't seem to have an own "intelligence" that automatically learns and adapts with the player's actions.

This kind of AI requires a very complex programming and if it exists in some games they are very few yet.

While it doesn't spoil SE5's fun due to the nature and complexity of the game, it certainly would be required if someone one day would decide to make an SE6 or something similar.

Some people say GalCiv already uses this mechanism but I've never played to confirm or deny this.

I think Cap. Kwok has made and keeps making a great effort to make SE5 each time even more "playable" and fun. But eventually, we seem to have the own game's limitations.

Zwo_Dvoongar wrote:
Betrayal is yet another factor. Programming one or two AI's to betray would probably be only a little challenging, but then everyone'd soon learn which empires operate that way. You almost need to put a variable amount of betrayal chance into every empire, with some getting more than others, yet none being either 100%, and few or none being 0%.


Betrayal needs to be handled very carefully. While it keeps the game fun in some cases, may spoil the fun in others. Maybe it could be something the own players could adjust. I know it provides a challenge but back when I played Civ2/3/4 it happened so randomly but also often that sometimes it just spoiled my fun.


Zwo_Dvoongar wrote:
Another issue is: what do players want? A lot of players seem to prefer having all the AI's gang up at some point, and SE5's Mega Evil Empire feature allows for that point to be adjusted, which is a major plus over other games.


I agree with you. Mega Evil Empire is a "panic button" resource for when we are too far ahead of the AI. But while it keeps the fun and challenge, I would adjust some things.

For instance, as far as I understand, once you reach the value percentage (default 200), the other AI Empires would break their alliances immediately or after some turns.

I would defend a more "increasingly" approach. Which means, once a player reaches 200, the other Empires begin to become increasingly more difficult to make and maintain treaties. The requirements become higher and higher. But for a while, as long as you don't reach another percentage like 250, it would be possible to maintain some level of non-war relations like a non-agression treaty in all systems but nothing bigger than that.

I don't know if it may or not be scripted, but it seems a nice suggestion! Wink


While I approve the Mega Evil Empire, as it is today forces us to try to keep an artificially low score for some time. In my current game e.g. , while I am un-doming every colony, I am not using the extra space to build new facilities, etc.

I will kind of wait until I am able to close all but one warp point leaving outside my Empire and have a sufficient level of military/intelligence defense.

But even then my score keeps going up with the new techs (even trying to research more the expensive ones), new colonies, etc. so I may need to soon use other artificial methods like scrapping some ships/units/facilities.

Best regards


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Artful_Bodger
Space Emperor


Joined: Aug 23, 2009

PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is an extremely good free online course due to run for the 2nd time on the subject of AI planning.
You can do it to get an overview of the technology without programming or dive full in and write one of these little puppies:

https://www.coursera.org/course/aiplan

There is also one on AI recommender systems starting soon.
Don't know how good it is as I've not done it yet.

https://www.coursera.org/course/recsys


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Zwo_Dvoongar
Space Emperor


Joined: Feb 02, 2011

PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have had a few ideas which could be implemented with the current system. The problem is that most of them aren't worth the hassle.

It would make sense to factor tribute in, for example. Empires receiving tribute (depending on which one) could have something like 0 - 3 anger reduction, while those giving tribute (especially at high rates) might have 0 - 4 or 5 anger increase. Five might be too much.

Likewise, being at war with a tribute payer could have an extra penalty; and being at war with an extorting empire might even have a plus.

That's probably the best of the lot. My other ideas are less worthy and more trouble, involving a more thorough evaluation of who benefits, element by element in counter-proposals to treaties. Would be nice, but would also involve a great deal of work, and how much better would the game be in the end?

We're kinda stuck with only 2/3 of the system, since alliances don't work. Could they have been implemented, it would've often resulted in a second stage of the game. "Alliance breakup" might've made a cool event, too, to pop up on rare occasions and set everyone scrambling.


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CdrRogdan
Space Emperor


Joined: Nov 15, 2013

PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you sure the Mega Evil Empire trigger is only based on score? If so, it needs some adjustment. I'm likely to abandon my most recent game because I don't feel like dealing with rioting population on every single one of my colonies. I thought the reason that the rest of the galaxy declared war was because I crushed a smaller empire that kept breaking my treaties. Possibly due to the above?

Playing as 'artists' or any other nation that gains happiness from treaties and unhappiness from war puts the serious hurt on any game play attempt of this nature, if hitting a certain score suddenly causes all friendly nations to break rank.


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