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2695Re: [empire-deluxe] Poor AI and poor computer strength allocation

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  • Mark Kinkead @ Killer Bee Software
    Oct 3 7:56 PM
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      "All the goodies for a challenging game against
      the computer are gone.  Why?"
      Barry, I cannot give you a good answer to this because of one reason: It has not changed.
      Empire Deluxe Internet Edition is, in fact, the original source code that was released in '93,
      modernized for today's OS, with some additional needed interface features.
      Besides some bugs that have lived in the game for a decade, the code was not touched such that
      no rules changes were made and the AI code was not altered. This was a conscious design
      decision, to maintain ED the way it was, for it is a most beloved game as it was. It was very important
      to me. The 'changes' have been saved for the Enhanced Edition.
      The comments on the battle odds are the same. The only thing I did there was bring the odds to
      the forefront, with the calculator and the stuff in the status display, to take out the mystery and misconceptions.
      The code was not change to take away the 'advantage' from one unit to another. I learned a lot of things that
      I had "perceived" to be true were really false as I studied the code. What I did learn was that there are surprisingly
      few battles in a game of Empire. So you must pick them carefully.
      I really think in the end, that is what is different...your perceptions of what the game was like in regard
      to play are not quite reconciled with what it really is. Could it be you're a better player than you were
      then? Could it be that you have had some luck, good or ill, in the games you have played the past
      week or two?
      I am in no way defending the ineptness of the AI against an experienced human player. But he has always been
      that way, and is a huge reason why EDEE will have the open AI API.  I am insisting that the odds and rules have
      not changed, and will assert that any perceived changes are just that.
      Perhaps it is time to seek human play. The ladder is an excellent place to start.
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: barryem
      Sent: Sunday, October 03, 2004 9:06 PM
      Subject: [empire-deluxe] Poor AI and poor computer strength allocation

      I've been playing Empire now for a week or so with the new game and
      while I really like some of the new interface features, I have to say
      that overall I'm pretty disappointed.  I wish I could go back to
      playing the old 3.1 version.  This is just not a lot of fun.

      The computer player is a poor player even on expert level.  I usually
      beat the computer player in the old game but I had to work at it. 
      Now I just have to go through the motions and not do anything really
      dumb and I win easily.  Bad!

      But worse of all are the way the strengths have changed.  For
      example, the defending infantry used to have the edge when it was in
      a city.  Now it seems random.  Before, artillery had an edge over
      infantry but not anymore.  And before, equals in a battle favored the
      defender, now not.

      This makes strategy pretty haphazard.  Now I win by just not doing
      anything dumb because I know the computer player will do plenty of
      dumb things.  It's just no challange anymore.  Come on, guys!  Fix

      Frankly, if I'd been wise enough to play the demo a while before I
      bought this I wouldn't have bought it.  But I saw what seemed to be
      the same as the old game and I could play it on XP and I paid.  Live
      and learn.

      I was about to get rid of my old Win98 laptop but I guess I'll keep
      it and just play 3.1 on it.  It's too bad.  I much prefer it on my
      19" monitor.  But that's life.

      It's obvious that the programmers put a lot of work and a lot of
      thought into the new game.  But it seems to be just for real people. 
      All the goodies for a challanging game against the computer are
      gone.  Why?


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