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Heroes Community > Heroes 5 - Modders Workshop > Thread: My test of the new A.I.
Thread: My test of the new A.I.
markkur
markkur


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Once upon a time
posted May 22, 2011 03:14 AM

My test of the new A.I.

The A.I. of Heroes 5.5 - Eternal Essence is far better than the old A.I.

I had tested my map called "Dread Realms" just before Q' and his E.E. came along.

Today I finished the same map and what a difference! Not much of a comparison really.

Here's what I've found:

With the "old"
1. My A.I. ally (yellow-haven) did very little around his town.
2. Did not claim his faction-dwellings that were not far off.
3. Left random creatures in the way along the roads.
4. Seldom went for artifacts and if it did might leave them behind.
5. Did the ol' vanilla-H5 bull-rush bit and was beaten
6. When I took out the best of my enemies (purple necro w/2 towns) the best hero did NOT have the best faction army. So when I fought the "deciding battle" it was against a level 4 and well...

With the "New"
1. My ally rocked! Took out the Orcs (brown) and held back. (purple was very tough in stats)
2. This time my haven ally took ALL mines early.
3. Claimed the faction dwellings promptly.
4. ALL A.I. heroes on the map mowed down the randoms that popped-in.
5. Artifacts were being taken all over.
6. The best Necro hero (lvl 20+) awaited my arrival which I had to "plan" and not just blunder into an area with 2 towns.
7. Even though we were rated "even" (he was higher the in-game rating) , he still waited in the town to get the best odds.

This map had been somewhat of a disappointment but that's now greatly changed. Thank you Q for this work. The Mod has played perfectly and this battle was quite

Replay of my battle against the A.I. "the big battle to win"

Mediafire New A.I.
 


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Quantomas
Quantomas


Responsible
Famous Hero
AI Wizard
posted May 22, 2011 02:40 PM
Edited by Quantomas at 14:41, 22 May 2011.

Cheers, Markkur. What version did you use? 3.1b? Would also be nice to know on what difficulty level you played and whether you had the AI start with equal resouces. Did you set any AI to defensive behaviour?

The comparison you did is a good point that underscores why we do not want a cheating AI. If the AI is competent, it actually matters whether it takes the faction-dwellings nearby and what it does. If you then change something on the map, for example add buildings or alter access routes, you really will note that it affects the balance of power and outcome of the game. What I mean with AI assisted map making (planned along the road), is that the AI will give you a feedback on the current power balance and how the map will play out. Ideally directly while you designing the map and place objects.

The ol' vanilla-H5 AI as you put it has indeed this bull-rush behaviour. Not suprising that creature growth cheats were required to make it appear stronger.

Regarding the replay, I see that the combat AI needs to destroy the opponent's war machines if it has stacks this huge. It also needs to be a bit more protective and smart with its strongest stacks, e.g. the vampires would be really strong if used wisely. Ghosts with raise dead support can indeed be sent with devastating effect into the ranks of enemy shooters. Divine vengeance needs to be nerfed, I think the effect should only be applicable once to a creature. The AI also needs to make a better effort to acquire the dark high level spells like frenzy.

All in all, well done!

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markkur
markkur


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Once upon a time
posted May 22, 2011 05:12 PM
Edited by markkur at 17:22, 22 May 2011.

Quote:
What version did you use? 3.1b?...


Sorry, intended but forgot; Yes...1b, the latest version.

Settings
Diff- Hard, {{fyi, trying Heroic next}}hmmm, I suppose we need to know what normal is like?
Player choice - Normally here, I would give "all factions" a random minor Artifact. I still gave me one.
Note: I place a lot of "random resources" when I make a map and the larger the map, the more my spread out "Free-stuff" grows. With this in mind, would this setting, be that impacting?
This is a "fine-tuning" point; <imo> differences in what a given faction requires to build their town would seem to me very important but I have no list to refer to. Do you have this info? This is actually a personal quest of mine, and I plan to open a game with all 8 factions and tally Gibblets and I talked about the need for this not long ago. I've asked before at HC but no response.
A.I. - For whatever reason this is the only map I have that I cannot set to A or D? Btw, I will go back and review this because I acquired a question that I yet to answer. It has to do with my A.I. chosen behavior selections. e.g. I did see that "Builder" WAS "Defense" as it should-be and so on but I was wondering what more neutral settings would become...like "Victim" No need to answer.

I can report these findings from another "Comparison-test" on my very important "Middengard". (4-player) 2 human and 2 A.I. in my test. If I would not have been so thrilled with playing my previously "un-playable, impossible,one-level", I would have taken more notes. However, I did save the 'big-battle' for Mordor and do remember what the Orcs were like. (I have a replay from it as well if you would like to see another to make your battle observations)

Diff - Always, at least "Hard"
Player setting - Did not know the resource start-option at this time,probably Arti.
A.I. setting - Orcs (Att) and Necros (Def)What happened here I could not see as well as my DR map but when we encountered the Orcs, they "appeared" to be doing a lot of fighting (all region-objects opened up) and with (smaller armies) than what I would see the Necros carrying around.(hard to know) We ended up taking them out at the same time and I cannot recall how strong they were but they were definitely "weaker" than the def-minded Necros. Good stats for both.
Again the replay is, "the best Necro w/the best army defending the main town." Funny, looked last night and it was Vaad then too.

Note: <IMO> The most important finding on this test was: At START I'd placed (2 A.I. factions with 2 towns and 2 Heroes for each). This was a frustrating joke to try with the old A.I. Turns lasted Ice-ages but this time? Played at minimum, 2 to 3 times faster (on avg,) then pre-mod trials. I should have used a stop-watch and still can if needed.

Quote:
The comparison you did is a good point that underscores why we do not want a cheating AI. If the AI is competent, it actually matters whether it takes the faction-dwellings nearby and what it does.


I agree. In the first replay my A.I. enemy was a lvl 22 and I was a 20. Where I think a good test may lie is to enable all spells all the time @ all diff-settings? It seems like H3 was that way and the diff-settings were about starting-conditions? <Imo> it would be far more fun to have a choice about how "Bad" the enemy is at start, stat-wise, compared to me. But...that' me.

Quote:
If you then change something on the map, for example add buildings or alter access routes, you really will note that it affects the balance of power and outcome of the game. What I mean with AI assisted map making (planned along the road), is that the AI will give you a feedback on the current power balance and how the map will play out. Ideally directly while you designing the map and place objects.


WOW. That's huge. In essence the A.I. will do what a good map-maker is trying to do by default?

Quote:
The ol' vanilla-H5 AI as you put it has indeed this bull-rush behaviour.


Wanted to highlight another point behind this; <Imo> With the old A.I, when this played out, zero time to look around. I discovered every time, if I had not made a very elaborate map (thinking beginners here), that I should have just made a map with 2 towns and one road between them (nothing else) because that is how it was destined to play-out. It was very frustrating after hours of EC-work! Your Def and the A.I. behind it, has already changed this to good measure. Of course the map-maker still has a big impact here and should so it is hard to nail this down but I know you've moved forward in a big way here.  

Quote:
Regarding the replay, I see that the combat AI needs to destroy the opponent's war machines if it has stacks this huge. It also needs to be a bit more protective and smart with its strongest stacks, e.g. the vampires would be really strong if used wisely. Ghosts with raise dead support can indeed be sent with devastating effect into the ranks of enemy shooters. Divine vengeance needs to be nerfed, I think the effect should only be applicable once to a creature. The AI also needs to make a better effort to acquire the dark high level spells like frenzy.


I am probably a B- player but some things the A.I. did were actually very good. I was (Hero) +3 w/ Moral&Luck so those Howls were important. Also Vlaad kept up with "mass confusion" and <imo> to good purpose there. I had 3 large stacks of shooters and with my "Area-cleanse" I kept having to balance my spell-casting, and also making wise moves with my shooters when they could not fire to get in a better spot when they could. I did not do this at first but my timing became better-used when I saw 2 shooters were up-next in the turn-bar and I cleansed them right before their turns. If Vlaad had the badder spells he also would have been using up his magic faster. I laughed when he cast "Mark of the Necro" on my poor little gremlins. Hmmm, now I am wondering; if being able to see (as I could) how much magic the enemy hero has and knowing I've lots more...it's actually fair? Should some things not be visible to the player?

Dreaming here; Is it sane to think how time-saving it would be to take a saved game like this one and be able "replay-it at a higher level of Diff." to cut time in testing?

Great work Q
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atheist
atheist


Hired Hero
posted May 22, 2011 08:03 PM
Edited by atheist at 20:05, 22 May 2011.

I'd like to add something to this discussion as I have also tested the new AI in the last days. (the last version of it, heroic difficulty)

First, Quantomas let me thank you for implementing the option to make computers start with the same resources, I have asked you about it before

I have tested this on a map, in 2 ways, first with an ally, monitoring his resources , then on the same map , (key to victory), and I have edited the map and put more thieves guilds near my base and blocked routes between players with legion of treants.

Long story short, there still seems to be some problem. Computers build daily, sometimes even by delaying gold-income increasing buildings, they buy armies, make fort-citadel-castle fast, never encountering any gold shortage. (for example: before a turn green has 6540 gold, income 500. He doesn't pick any gold from the map, but next turn he has built, and has around the same value of gold and for sure he didn't built marketplace ) By the way : did you know classic AI has like thousands of gold extra ? I lol'ed when I saw that. I always wondered how he builds dragons and castle without capitol by mid week 3

In any case, it doesn't seem to work properly. Maybe you can look into it at some point.

About Agressive / Defensive modes : I haven't observed very notable differences , but I'm still looking forward to an AI that doesn't lose units to hoard of zombies in week 1.  I don't know very much about how Quick combat works (- I know for sure it was bugged in heroes 4- you could win unwinnable fights by quick-combating them) but it seems AI loses a certain percentage of units from each stack, in most fights where he loses units.  a.i. he doesn't lose like..25 peasants, but always 10 peasants, 6 archers, 3 footmen etc, numbers depending on creep strenght vs hero power and army.  Notice how Sylvan loses those Hunters in week 1 and 2, even with melee units. HOW do you lose hunters combating zombies ? ))

If the AI is to ever be challanging to a good player even on Heroic, the way Quick-combat works needs to be adressed.
Maybe you could also investigate about these things.





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markkur
markkur


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Once upon a time
posted May 22, 2011 10:16 PM

Glad to have your testing.

Do you know of or have a list of "total resources needed to build each faction town"?
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Quantomas
Quantomas


Responsible
Famous Hero
AI Wizard
posted May 22, 2011 10:21 PM
Edited by Quantomas at 22:21, 22 May 2011.

Quote:
Long story short, there still seems to be some problem. Computers build daily, sometimes even by delaying gold-income increasing buildings, they buy armies, make fort-citadel-castle fast, never encountering any gold shortage. (for example: before a turn green has 6540 gold, income 500. He doesn't pick any gold from the map, but next turn he has built, and has around the same value of gold and for sure he didn't built marketplace ) By the way : did you know classic AI has like thousands of gold extra ? I lol'ed when I saw that. I always wondered how he builds dragons and castle without capitol by mid week 3

I think I have taken out the cheats that were in there. The creature growth modifier and the town build modifier in particular. Yes, the vanilla H5 3.1 allowed the AI to build twice in a turn on higher difficulty settings.

You can verify what resources and income each player has in the system.log file in the /bin folder. There is a complete trail what each hero does, inclusive creature hiring and town building, resource exchange and more. 3.1b doesn't emit debug output but all the betas do.

Regarding the combat attrition, what the AI really needs doing is to fight proper combats with all factors applied. Currently, it's not even quick combat. From what I understand, this was the way for the entire franchise. I wondered whether that benefits or penalizes the AI, it's not really clear, as you have pointed out there are a lot of fights in which you normally wouldn't loose any creatures at all. Regardless, I will replace this once I come around to it with a proper combat simulation.

@Markkur
What the resources the development of a town primarily requires is in the fan manual. There is a complete listing of all the buildings for each faction, the resource silo income typically shows the primary rare resource of a faction. Some, like Sylvan use more wood, others like Fortress more iron. If they didn't answer your question for a table, they probably thought it's easy to look up. Anyway, it has only a minor impact, and it will be changed in a future upgrade to a much more logical resource allocation and requirement, along the lines of resources having a specific purpose, e.g. magic research, forgery, building etc.

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markkur
markkur


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Once upon a time
posted May 23, 2011 03:07 PM
Edited by markkur at 15:16, 23 May 2011.

My wife and I got out the fan-made manual and made a comparison-table.

This is a breakdown of how much of "what", that it takes to make a full-blown town and another list for my "Basic-town". This town total cost in building "only the buildings necessary for making all faction creatures" (not-upgraded). I did this for two reasons.
1. To know how much is needed for each faction to make its "complete town"
2. My "Basic-town" also includes Capitol, Castle, Market, Blacksmith, Resource-silo and 2nd-level mage guilds. Except for the Fortress which is LVL 1 Mage and LVL 1 Rune instead of Spell level 2.

I wanted this for my guide but thought I might post it here as well.
Sorry for the skewed look but I've zero luck pasting spreadsheet info here. I worked with it for a while to make it a little easier to track.

The map-making idea I want this for is to have a unfolding battle line-up to make this critical in building towns. No free resources, nothing more than what's needed.


Complete Town (Resource Requirements)

                Gold    Wood Ore  Merc. Crystal Sulphur  Gems
Academy   = 120,300, 116, 131,  34,    39,     44,     54
Dungeon   =  88,500, 110, 120,   23,    67,     78,      28
Fortress    = 106,800, 125, 140,  36,    69,     41,     51
Haven      = 121,400, 165, 170,    26,    41,      26,     36
Inferno     = 110,800, 135, 120,  66,     26,     78,      26
Necropolis=   97,000, 170, 180,  97,     26,     31,      21
Stronghold=  121,300, 140, 150,  49,     27,     36,     32
Sylvan     =   104,300, 177, 100,  21,    73,      21,    77


My Basic Town (described above)

                Gold    Wood Ore  Merc. Crystal Sulphur  Gems
Academy   = 66,900, 065, 087,  18,     6,     18,     28
Dungeon   = 65,100, 075, 070,   5,    21,     25,      5
Fortress    = 57,100, 080, 081,  16,    36,     26,     11
Haven      = 68,700, 095, 090,    8,    13,      3,     13
Inferno     = 69,100, 070, 070,  24,     6,     26,      6
Necropolis=  59,600, 100, 105,  41,     3,     13,      3
Stronghold=  79,200, 094, 094,  32,     8,     14,     12
Sylvan     =   60,400, 092, 060,   1,    29,      6,     27


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