About the AI cheating

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Kildars
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About the AI cheating

Postby Kildars » Feb 4 2008, 12:43

I recently started playing custom maps in ToE (namely Heritage of Deleb), and realized that AI cheat like crazy while the fog of war isn't cleared so that you can't see what it's doing, but it does nothing when I could see it's army moving around...
First I started the map with random faction, I got Haven and AI Orc, both are might faction so no crazy break in first week whatnot...but the AI broke the prison of Deleb in week 3 with army composed of some low lvl Orc creatures and like 100 Zombies and 40 Minotaur Captain (where did these come from...I am sure it is NOT from the refugee camp) :| I actually won the battle with this one, with only 2 footman left, but then its another army with excutioners and cyclops came...
That was quite impressive, so I decided I would rather see what AI builds and does, so I restarted the map with same condition. This time AI got Academy, which should be easier to play in this particular map. I saw it moving around engaging neutral stacks (it was losing units) but I didn't see it conjuring zombies out from nowhere this time :disagree: and it was very weak when my main army engaged its! It was quite different from the first game...btw I was playing it under hard difficulty.
Any thought friends?

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Postby PhoenixReborn » Feb 4 2008, 13:16

Isn't week 3 way too slow on that map?

40 minotaurs could be from a join.

It is not new information that the AI cheats.

There is a nice mod (by magnomagus) around that alters the difficulty settings and cuts down some of the AI cheating.

Also, there are cheat commands that allow you to observe what the AI does more closely. There is a nice thread on 'age of heroes' started by Elvin and Alcibiades on AI testing.

Those are my thoughts.

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Postby Kildars » Feb 4 2008, 13:31

Yes and I do not think I have to use spellcasting faction and get the map done in week 2.

Obviously I am not talking about anything new.

And I am using this mod from that person on hard which is supposed to stop AI from cheating.

It would be nice, if I can find this thread on Heroes Community forum.And it also would be nice, if I can find this cheat command you mention.

Thanks for the reply.

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Postby magnomagus » Feb 4 2008, 15:15

Here is the link for the mod (for 3.0 and 1.6):

http://heroescommunity.com/viewthread.php3?TID=24772

And here the AI-testing topic, take in mind this was before TOE and there are AI improvements done in patches:

http://heroescommunity.com/viewthread.php3?TID=22542

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Postby Kildars » Feb 4 2008, 15:42

Thanks. I am already using your mod...but maybe it can't ban the AI cheating completely?...
Sigh, all I want is that the AI stop cheating and start playing fair game...XD

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Postby magnomagus » Feb 4 2008, 15:50

A lot of players (including myself) actually like the cheating because they want more challenge.

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Postby HOMMV_N00B » Feb 4 2008, 23:49

So what level should I pick? I can easely win on normal, but can never win on hard.

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Postby Kildars » Feb 4 2008, 23:52

......are you using the mod too?
It seems the computer has stopped "conjuring" creatures into the army, but now the game is so easy...maybe I should switch to expert after all...

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Postby magnomagus » Feb 5 2008, 0:37

@HOMMV_NOOB:

Then you should try hard with the mod installed (not expert)

@Kildar:

That's the effect you get when the cheating is turned off.
Nival surely created a huge gap between hard and normal, this mods corrects it as much as possible. But the possibilities for a modder are still limited because a lot of things are hardcoded.

You can also try changing other factors to make the game more or less challenging on a certain difficulty level:

1. Using more powerful campaign heroes for yourself or the AI
2. Make computer players allies (using the mapeditor)
3. Try different map sizes; small=difficult
4. To my experience Ai is best with sylvan or haven, worst with inferno.

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Postby danhvo » Feb 5 2008, 1:22

magnomagus wrote:A lot of players (including myself) actually like the cheating because they want more challenge.


That is true. Without it, computer heroes just can't keep up with yours. However, I think that's a very lousy way to fix the AI. I accept that you there will be a gap between human and computer players (unlike in chess), but in this game, that gap is so big that they have to resort to such extensive cheating. I'm not even talking about battle tactics. I'm talking about a simple thing like free resources/artifacts that the AI ignores.

Speaking of cheating, I'm convinced that the computer players gets at least the following boost, maybe on a weekly basis:
1. Income and resources.
2. Hero level/experience.

Can anyone verify? To be clear, I don't mind this. I think the computer players need it.

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Postby Kildars » Feb 5 2008, 2:04

Haha. I am not sure about the AI cheating experience point, but it does summon some creatures right out of nowhere, and because of this it can engage some stronger neutrals thus gaining more exp than you...
Sigh I wish the AI were as good as a human player, using no cheat...it's really weird, to see a sylvan hero roaming around with "lots" of blackeys... :-D

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Postby tb5841 » Feb 5 2008, 9:36

I'm yet to be convinced that the AI does cheat in TotE. I've never seen creatures appear from nowhere, and even though I play on Hard, I find they are rarely far ahead of me on experience when I first meet them.

The AI ignores free resources/artifacts with its main hero to save time, and picks them up later with a secondary hero. Which is partly how it gains experience fast...

I think when the AI fights neutrals, losses seem to be calculated based on number/level of creatures and hero level, so how well a particular faction can creep is not taken into account. AI-controlled Runemages definitely seem to kill enemies that a human player could never kill with just Shieldguards and Skirmishers. But I assumed this was just to make AI turns simpler/quicker, not to letting them cheat.

Anyone know a level where the cheating is particularly obvious, or a way of seeing how much money computer players have, etc? As I seem to be the only one not convinced that they cheat, and am unsure what I've missed.

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Postby Kildars » Feb 5 2008, 11:01

@tb5841
Either you are a uber player, or your way too lucky to miss the the cheesy creatures AI "hires"...

:hoo:

Yeah if someone ever knows a way to check the resources AI has, please post it!

And by the way in my opinion, there is no level where AI cheating happens particularly often. I think it's something...regular enough...well not always. Sometimes AI just stays in castle and do nothing for a week... :|

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Postby Bonzer » Feb 5 2008, 15:29

I have often seen the AI in a boat go through several whirlpools without any casualties.

Other than that I have always known it gets reduced resources and can't build daily on the lower difficulty levels, which gradually move to benefits with the higher levels.

If I lose a map on Normal difficulty I will usually play again on easy just to see it all. If I think the challenge was to little on Normal, I sometimes play again on Hard to have more fun. In both cases when I have forgotten the details and locations, and usually as a different race.

So I accept the game for what it is and enjoy (usually).

Of course with any map, especially custom ones, any player, AI or Human can get "planned" resource / creature bonuses (or penlaties).

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Postby Naki » Feb 5 2008, 17:07

Kildars, you can see how many resources the AI has in your Taverns (you will have to pay some money), also in Thieves Guild.

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Postby tb5841 » Feb 5 2008, 17:18

I always play on Hard, where the AI players are not meant to get any bonuses/penalties. I may have just been lucky to have never noticed creatures spontaneously appearing...

I'm tempted to test AI income using the Thieves Guild, it can't be that hard to do...

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Postby Kildars » Feb 5 2008, 17:30

God I forgot there is a thieves guild like thingy in tavern >_<

Hehe on higher difficulties the AI is still stupid if not for the cheats and those resources bonus. Sometimes in a battle it ignores my shooter units and instead attack 1-stack cannon fodders...XD

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Postby tb5841 » Feb 5 2008, 17:44

According to the fan manual, on Hard, the AI attacks flyers first, then shooters/casters, then melee units. While on Heroic, it attacks shooters/casters first, then flyers, then melee units.

So on Hard it is actually still handicapped, and will ignore shooter units to hit your flying units instead. But this should not happen on Heroic.

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Postby Kildars » Feb 5 2008, 17:57

I say, this AI is too unpredictable...yesterday it(I forgot what I was fighting bleh) ignored 290 skelly archers of mine and instead went for 1 zombie. Yes it blocked skellies from shooting but I waited on skellies' turn and killed'em with vampires that were on next so I was still shooting with archers on their next move and, even casted divine strength on them while they were waiting...
Thanks for cheesy cooperation AI :)

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Postby Metathron » Feb 5 2008, 19:06

tb5841 wrote:I always play on Hard, where the AI players are not meant to get any bonuses/penalties.


I thought the AI does get bonuses on Hard (and not just at the beginning, but that's another matter). For some reason, the way I saw it was that if you, the player, chose Easy, that would mean Heroic for the computer players, i.e. they would start with 10,000 gold and however many resources; your Normal would mean Hard for the AI, and so on...
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