AI seem to colonize slowly

Polaris Sector is a sci-fi 4X game that offers exciting exploration, detailed resource management, unique research mechanics and intense tactical combat.
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FireStorm1010
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AI seem to colonize slowly

Post by FireStorm1010 » Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:04 pm

I have played a bit of Polaris with the Lumens expansion, and it seems to me atm the AI even on hard difficulty colonizes quite slowly. I am able to outcolonize all or nearly all races from the start, which leaves the rest of the game without a challenge. From what i can remember form the past,the base game motnhs ago, it wasnt the case, the AI used to colonize faster and attack you instantly if you overstretched.

mianmar
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Re: AI seem to colonize slowly

Post by mianmar » Sun Feb 04, 2018 1:26 pm

You are correct, I dislike this too, the colonization AI is really slow grabbing new worlds.

for most recent game version this is true for all difficulty levels except hard AI.

It depends on your play style but on Hard difficulty it expands too fast for my taste for me to catch up with the AI considering large amount of resources needed for constant colonization.
what map size you play? on large maps you have really much space for expansion and since there is only 10 races you should not play on more than 350-400 stars.

FireStorm1010
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Re: AI seem to colonize slowly

Post by FireStorm1010 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:32 pm

Hmm i play only on hard. I have started 4 games and advanced till early mid game. the first 3 games were the default galaxy size. My last game is 650 system, i taught that maybe with more space the AI will do better. But no, i have met 2 races so far, i got around 30 systems, one AI got 4 !!!! and the other around 10...IT discouraged me to play longer. I seem to remember long ago on hard i had alwys the least systems when meeting new races, and i was playing catch up..

Darvin3
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Re: AI seem to colonize slowly

Post by Darvin3 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:38 pm

I find the AI can be exceedingly inconsistent in terms of its colonization pace. I've sometimes seen them twiddle their thumbs for centuries with 1-5 planets, and other times they seem to balloon outwards just as quickly as me (sometimes faster, if they get a bunch of easily accessible space while I have to militarize an early border). One pattern I have noticed is that the Logans and Elrians tend to be much more consistent expansionists than the other AI races, and they notably start with the ability to colonize more types of worlds than just earthlikes. So this might be a consequence of the AI being unable to bunny-hop effectively between earthlikes on unfavorable galaxy layouts. That's also a bit of a double-whammy, since because they don't take any earthlikes they won't build more research centers, and that means they'll also be late to the atmospheric domes technology.

This wouldn't be such a huge issue if it weren't for the fact that the initial land grab at the start of the game is of such overwhelming importance. The size of an empire directly governs its strength in all ways; more planets means more food (and thus a bigger population), more industry, more resource production, and more research. If you can get to be about 50% larger than the second-biggest empire, you've already won. The only time the game is ever competitive is if the player is smaller than the AI empires, and once you conquer a little extra territory it can very quickly snowball to the point at which no one can stop you. The AI's never cooperate well-enough to allow multiple smaller empires to take down a bigger one, and its various other AI-isms (bad fleet composition, poor decision-making in tactical combat, failure to commit all its forces to decisive battles, etc) certainly don't make a comeback any more likely.

FireStorm1010
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Re: AI seem to colonize slowly

Post by FireStorm1010 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:35 pm

So this might be a consequence of the AI being unable to bunny-hop effectively between earthlikes on unfavorable galaxy layouts
Thats also my guess. A human can adapt, build 30+ fuel colonization ships if I scout one, but I expect the AI stays with the default one and maybe doesnt dare to go further then half fuel. Unfortunately just as you wrote, its really really critical in this game.

Maybe also its some result of AI ambitious changes so it "cheats' less. Honeslty , on hard, i welcome "cheating" AI.
On side note i actually was quite impressed with AI in past, the designs imho werent half bad, they were varied so you couldnt keep on using same tricks.

mianmar
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Re: AI seem to colonize slowly

Post by mianmar » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:53 pm

I can accept the AI slow colonization to some extent but what is even worse than that is one AI colonizes say 16 planets while the other colonizes only 3.

this discrepancy between the AI's really hampers the overall game since those AI's that colonize too few planet will lose the game very soon and you will find yourself in a galaxy that consist of only 6 races.

a galaxy with 1K stars needs at least 25 playable AI's and their colonization focus should be priority for the all. colonies give power and everything else, without them both the AI or player are lost.

FireStorm1010
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Re: AI seem to colonize slowly

Post by FireStorm1010 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:34 pm

mianmar wrote:I can accept the AI slow colonization to some extent but what is even worse than that is one AI colonizes say 16 planets while the other colonizes only 3.

this discrepancy between the AI's really hampers the overall game since those AI's that colonize too few planet will lose the game very soon and you will find yourself in a galaxy that consist of only 6 races.

a galaxy with 1K stars needs at least 25 playable AI's and their colonization focus should be priority for the all. colonies give power and everything else, without them both the AI or player are lost.
Yep, agreed, noticed this also.

Darvin3
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Re: AI seem to colonize slowly

Post by Darvin3 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:09 pm

Okay, I encountered the most hilarious example of this last night. When I first contacted them, I noticed that the Sharatar had stalled at 3 planets colonized and the Gavakens at just one. They were quite distant from me, so sending a spy ship out that way was a low priority. I grew increasingly suspicious as the other stagnant empires (like the Magellans) started to grow and fill out the empty areas of the galaxy I couldn't reach, but these two just remained small. With my war against the Logans (which, once again, were the only AI race to colonize quickly) almost concluded I finally sent off some spy ships and immediately found what happened. The Sharatar homeworld had a Gavaken Corvette squatting on it, and the Gavaken homeworld had a Sharatar Corvette squatting on it. For some reason the Sharatar never readjusted their other colonies to build shipyards, but whatever the case the two had effectively knocked each other out of the game.
mianmar wrote:this discrepancy between the AI's really hampers the overall game since those AI's that colonize too few planet will lose the game very soon and you will find yourself in a galaxy that consist of only 6 races.
Given the nature of Polaris Sector I think it's inevitable that races are going to drop off. There is a very strong snowball effect in this game due to the compounding advantage of being a big empire. The human can eke out a win in unfavorable situations, but the AI basically doesn't stand a chance if it's more than a little bit smaller. Even if the AI empires aren't wiped out, the small ones quickly become irrelevant and only get to continue existing because it's more convenient to let them live in some backwater of the galaxy than to send an invasion fleet to eliminate them. I don't think there's a way to prevent that without a major change or addition to the game mechanics.

mianmar
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Re: AI seem to colonize slowly

Post by mianmar » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:33 am

I watched a gameplay on youtube once regarding this problem, and the guy explains that very well, we need to set up a game without logans (that is 9 races in total), and maximum 350 stars.

logans are far more aggressive and expansionists, compared to other AI's.

it is also possible to play as logans, and retain other 9 races in the game, but still it's important to have as small galaxy as possible because colonization priority won't matter much, and fight will begin pretty early giving more dynamic gameplay.

the problem is that in such a small galaxy the game might finish before even reaching 60% of the research, so we might also need to adjust research speed to be more cheap, which of course will make your ships designs be obsolete more rapidly.

to offset this problem in such game setup it also important to increase available resources in the galaxy so that both the AI and player can upgrade their ships without running out of resources too quickly.

Darvin3
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Re: AI seem to colonize slowly

Post by Darvin3 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:46 pm

mianmar wrote: the problem is that in such a small galaxy the game might finish before even reaching 60% of the research
To be fair, I find the game is usually a forgone conclusion long before the tech tree is even close to complete, even on larger settings. In my current game, I'm sitting at 150 planets (just conquered the Logans, absorbed all their territory, and went on a colonization spree to back-fill all the space I'd staked out earlier) while the second-biggest empire is sitting at a mere 50 planets (with the third-biggest a paltry 30). The tech level is only 25%, and for all intents and purposes my march towards domination victory is inevitable at this point. Situations where there actually are two equally-sized empires that have shots at victory tend not to last very long; one of them almost always gets the decisive upper hand eventually, and it's usually well before the 50% mark on the tech tree. Due to the snowball effect, comebacks just don't happen and small empires just stop being credible threats to the superpowers. Once there is a single uncontested superpower, the game is functionally over.

FireStorm1010
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Re: AI seem to colonize slowly

Post by FireStorm1010 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:40 pm

mianmar wrote:I watched a gameplay on youtube once regarding this problem, and the guy explains that very well, we need to set up a game without logans (that is 9 races in total), and maximum 350 stars.

logans are far more aggressive and expansionists, compared to other AI's.

it is also possible to play as logans, and retain other 9 races in the game, but still it's important to have as small galaxy as possible because colonization priority won't matter much, and fight will begin pretty early giving more dynamic gameplay.

the problem is that in such a small galaxy the game might finish before even reaching 60% of the research, so we might also need to adjust research speed to be more cheap, which of course will make your ships designs be obsolete more rapidly.

to offset this problem in such game setup it also important to increase available resources in the galaxy so that both the AI and player can upgrade their ships without running out of resources too quickly.
Interesting , might try it. Tough honestlly i hope the dev will fix it , instead of those "maybe" workarounds.

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