The AI should "dislike" more than just the top player if there are enough players


Rather than having the AI dislike only the player on top of the leaderboard, it might be better to have it dislike the top, say, 25% of players.

In large games, if the top players are close, the current mechanic can incentivize staying (barely) in second place for as long as possible, in order to get techs from the AI.

If the AI instead refused to work with the top quarter of players, I think things would work better. There would be more balance in that a top player can’t just sit at second or third place and soak up tech until deciding to make their move, and it would benefit the lower-ranked 75% by giving them a better way to catch up with the top group.


Ideally the AIs would form up into factions, kind of like players do, and it would be nice if players could be a part of these factions as well.

Buy yeah, would love to see the AI more intresting and more complex.


In this case I’m in a 32 player game where a lot of people have dropped out already and the leaders are pretty close. We realized it would be a definite advantage to do whatever you had to do to stay barely in second place (abandon crappy stars, etc.).

I was thinking that the mechanic makes sense but should apply to more players than just the one on top.


I totally second this. It’s becoming a frequent annoyance that when players turn AI you have to completely revise your game strategy in order to avoid being attacked (when in first place). I get that if you’re in first place you should have the most heat, but the current system is far too penalising against the leading player.

For starters you can’t trade techs with them, unless you pay them off, which with early quitters is too expensive to do. Then when they do attack you, the disposition goes down further meaning it’s totally impossible to pay them off. I think if they attack you the disposition should stay the same, only drops if you attack them - what do you think @JayKyburz ?


And I thought I was being so clever. :slight_smile: Last completed game I abandoned 2 stars (in cycles 3 and 4) to shrink down to 2nd place. In a current game I’m watching the lead player, and every turn I try to take just enough stars to stay in 2nd or 3rd. (In my defense, in both cases I have/had 3 AI neighbors while the player in 1st has/had 1 and none.)

I do like the idea that a change like this means a tiny difference between 2 players (1 star of 30 or 50 or whatever) doesn’t matter as much to something as important as AI attitude. On the other hand, it makes it much harder to win from a central point if there are a lot of AI players. (In the games I mentioned, I wouldn’t have had any chance at all with 3 AIs beating on me while the lead player attacks one at a time from the edge of the galaxy.)

So it sounds like a good idea, but removes a way of keeping alive when you’re surrounded by AIs…


Besides discouraging that behavior among the top players, hopefully it would also give people in the middle of the leaderboard a slightly better chance at getting back in the game.

Maybe what is also needed is more graduated behavior from the AI given its disposition towards you:

  • < -1: It will attack you
  • -1: It probably won’t attack you, but it won’t trade with you
  • 0: It will trade normally
  • > 1: Increasing chance it will randomly send you a tech just because it loves you


Current game is perfect example of this. I’m Pink and currently surrounded by 4 AIs (Green, Light Blue, Purple & Yellow). I’m being attacked by all 4 of them. I’m only a few stars ahead of Orange & Blue, but I’m getting all the heat:

You may say I’m in a very unusual position - but I’ve been in this type of position in about 5 different games now.

I’ve sometimes tried the method LitchfieldEandS mentioned above when I might abandon stars so as not to be in first place - but frankly that’s a ridiculous way to deal with the problem! My style of play is to expand fast early, and if that brings heat of me from RL players then I can deal with it using diplomacy (or get my ass handed to me trying ;-)) but the current system really needs tweaking.


I’m intrigued by the idea of introducing randomness into AI trading, but I’m concerned about making it easier to get tech from the AIs. Especially if Jay manages to get the AI to split into factions and not trade between them (which is the only thing that makes their tech production fast; individually they all tend to underbuild science). It’s already too easy to get AIs to make trades which are not to their advantage.

Maybe if you’re at Neutral there’s a chance you get a tech, say 50%, but it’s not guaranteed? And the more friendly they are to you, the more likely they are to make a trade that’s not to their advantage? (Right now I can give a Neutral AI Banking 4 and get back Weapons 6, but if we weight the probability of that trade according to the imbalance between techs and the friendliness factor, maybe you only have a 50% chance at Friendly (2), versus a 100% chance at Friendly (4) and a 0% chance at Neutral?)

Then we could also make it so a trade (especially an unfavorable one) doesn’t automatically increase friendliness. Maybe an 80% chance of increasing friendliness for an even trade, 100% for a trade that’s to their advantage, and dropping from their depending how unfavorable the trade is. (So when you’re mining an almost-dead AI of its tech at $20/trade just before someone else wipes it out, if it’s paying >$75 each to send you tech back, there’s a chance that it gets less friendly with you! :slight_smile: )


I just wanted to bring this conversation back to life. I consistently run into this. Being the leader and being attacked by 2-4 AI at the same time (and usually a real player also) is an instant loss. I realize balancing the AI has to be extremely difficult. I also think having a 1 star lead shouldn’t condemn you to a loss. Maybe the gap between first and second decides when the AI turns on the leader? Whether that be number of stars, stats difference or a combination of the two? Just an idea.


I think the AI should go negative on the second and third players as well, even more for larger games. Would be cool if the AIs would backstab if they see a chance, like border stars left fully undefended.

It’s also almost always too hard to increase your relationship with the AIs as the leader. How about randomizing how aggressive and how easy to please different ai are?


I’m not sure the 3rd place player should be included in the negative hit. Most matches I play, 1st and 2nd are fairly close and 3rd is far in the distance. For larger games, 3rd and more seems reasonable. I also like your backstab idea.


Agree, I hate the AI. Especially how they suddenly all work together, coordinate research at an inhuman level, and only trade with eachother.

Maybe they should at least honor your formal alliances that were made beforehand.

I had a game where leaderboard players 2 & 3 who were my formal allies dropped out and became AI. Suddenly these two massive AIs were tech’ed up like 3pts ahead of me and attacked. and then I got cannibalized by the rest of my neighbors while the gettin was good.

I even tried paying the AI off, but they would go -1 every tick.

Anything to improve playability around them would be great