TotA disappointment

By on August 5, 2011 5:39:38 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

mafutnyoas

Join Date 05/2008
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I've read some topics in these forums about how the AI in TotA is buggy or broken.  I have to say from my experience that, unfortunately, not only do I agree with that opinion, but I'd go as far as to say the whole expansion is off-centre.  I certainly welcome some of the graphical additions, but almost everything else from the new tech trees to the updated AI puts almost the entire experience off-kilter when compared to DA.

I'm definitely going to have a few more games of TotA with forum-suggested settings as well as my own setting tweaks, and I hope I can find some decent balance somewhere in there.

Some of the games I played in DA were some of the best 4X experiences I've had, matching right up there with games I've played of MOO2, SMAC and CIV 4, but so far my games in TotA have felt quite disjointed and many of the additions\changes felt 'forced' rather than natural.

Anyway, I'm sure I'll get flamed to some degree for posting this, especially so late after many-a-discussions about TotA have already taken place, but I felt I had to say my piece, because the game I knew in GCII:DA, is just not there in TotA, and it simply saddens me that I have to step backwards to get an enjoyable experience with the game.

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August 5, 2011 7:46:40 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

I've read some topics in these forums about how the AI in TotA is buggy or broken. I have to say from my experience that, unfortunately, not only do I agree with that opinion, but I'd go as far as to say the whole expansion is off-centre. I certainly welcome some of the graphical additions, but almost everything else from the new tech trees to the updated AI puts almost the entire experience off-kilter when compared to DA.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by "off-kilter". The way the game has apparently been abandoned while still having a number of bugs is highly disappointing, but I found the AI personalities that aren't bugged to be a significant improvement over those in DA.

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August 6, 2011 10:55:56 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Really? Well I'm glad that you havent had the same experiences as me then.  By off-kilter, I mean the game just doesn't seem as balanced to me as DA.  I'd have wars or expansions races with the AI that were so tight or well fought that I just havent had the same experiences in TotA. 

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August 6, 2011 1:09:53 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

In ToA it's much more of a hit-or-miss; while in DA or DL just about any race could emerge victorious once in a while, in ToA some races are nearly always sitting ducks while others always tend to take the first spot.

I would agree with qrtxian though that the non-broken races in ToA put up much more of a fight than the ones from DA or DL ever did.

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August 6, 2011 3:00:59 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Quoting Noctilucus,
In ToA it's much more of a hit-or-miss; while in DA or DL just about any race could emerge victorious once in a while, in ToA some races are nearly always sitting ducks while others always tend to take the first spot.

In my experience, at least, modding does a lot for that. The Arceans, Korx, and Drath still seem to do badly most of the time, but overall a lot more races have a chance at the top spot then they did in the unmodded game.

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September 10, 2011 9:34:29 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

I must say I love  the new tech trees. Unique buildings for each race are great.  And the fact you can trade ur unique techs is even more awesome.

But the buggy AI is awful I installed the patch to fix the AI, but that does not seem to work.  I am facing Altarians who built nothing but troop transports.  I'm playing on Tough and its a cakewalk.

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September 11, 2011 12:24:45 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Turns out a lot of the problems are with categorisation and weighting of the tech tree rather than the AI itself.

The below two mods (by Tolmekian and MarvinKosh repsectively) do a remarkably good job of correcting those issues:

http://forums.stardock.com/405819

http://forums.stardock.com/400674 

 

P.S. I only discovered GalCiv II with the Ultimate Edition, so I never played DA proper.  My personal bugbear is with the combat "tie rule" that makes Dread Lord (or other really powerful) ships effectively invulnerable to lesser vessels.  I threw literally over 50 smaller vessels at a DL ship with 18hp and no defence and it would. Not. DIE!

 

 

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September 11, 2011 9:38:59 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

irrevenant I installed and ran one of these mods, it did no good.  In fact it broke Altraians for me the first game I played after I installed it.  They used to use combat ships but not anymore.

I am not interested in the cause of the malfunction, only that it exists.  I have been a supporter of Stardock for MANY MANY years, as my member Number would indicate, and between this and the state of Elemental I do not feel good at all.

And as far as DA goes, I did not play it much as well.  I really did not enjoy the way the buildings worked for all races back then,  I am extremely happy about the unique tech trees because it makes the game a lot more sane.  I did not like spamming one type of building on a planet and making mega production or mega research planets.  Now you have a nice mix of buildings on your planets and it works very well, this I am very happy with.  I especially love "one per planet" limitations.

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September 11, 2011 3:06:33 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Well I can't speak for Tolmekian's mod, but I haven't had much trouble with the Altarians building their military up.  You shouldn't just throw in the towel because it doesn't seem to work on he first try.  And if it doesn't work even after you've checked all the usual causes of mods not loading properly, you should post on the mod thread and ask for help.

I know the above statement may seem a bit patronising, but I really just want you to experience the full potential of the AI when it isn't tootling around the tech tree at random like a kid on a supermarket trolley, completely missing the toys aisle.

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September 11, 2011 4:36:26 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Thnx Marvin. I'll definitely give it more of a try. Just that my current game seems to be a wash.  I was great friends with Altarians, too.  Given their shortcomings I thought I can have them be my trade partner.... Then it turned out that I got one too many planets colonized or some nonsense and everyone and their mother declared war on me.  This should be a cause of concern usually, but the AI was pathetic, only Torians could mount an effective attack... for a while anyway.

When I do play again, I may even play with Thalans in the game, now that I started to play with surrenders disabled... The whole surrender thing just made the game unbelievably dumb.  I got tired of everyone surrendering to Thalanas.

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September 12, 2011 1:24:48 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Quoting Astax,
When I do play again, I may even play with Thalans in the game, now that I started to play with surrenders disabled... The whole surrender thing just made the game unbelievably dumb. I got tired of everyone surrendering to Thalanas.

I started playing with surrenders turned off 4 or 5 games ago, after a game in which every single opponent surrendered to the Drengin.

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September 18, 2011 7:31:52 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

I must say my current game went much much better.  I actually surrendered. It was my fault I lost, I provoked the Korath too early into a war and my network of military starbases could not cope with their 500 missile power fleets.  I took chunk of his territory and I thought I was ok since I saw no transports, then I realized too late he doesnt use transports D:...

Anyway it was very good game.  Next time I'll be more aggressive early. I realized building a network of starbases is not so good since even they can fall.  Maybe I;ll still use em but I'll picket each one.  Since I play Yor with isolationist trait, it only makes sense to get mil starbases with -2 speed for total of -3 speed in my culture.

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September 19, 2011 12:57:55 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

If you like that strategy, close-pack the starbases for -9 (4x-2 plus racial) in each sector. Interstellar mud. 

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September 19, 2011 5:07:19 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

How did the Korath get 500-power fleets "early" in the game?

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September 19, 2011 5:40:47 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Yeah, 500+ missiles "early" is a little bit odd.

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September 20, 2011 11:13:13 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

I meant I provoked them before I was ready, not early in the game, but too early for me.  Since I spent so long buildign up my network of starbases to slow anything going through my culture to a crawl, I was unable to get enough ships for war.  And I provoked him into attacking me just as I was starting to roll them out. 

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January 6, 2012 7:50:59 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

I have bad ToA matches once in a while, but never had a problem with the AI like most be people here.

 

Nothing is like playing an immense map on ToA.

 

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January 26, 2012 9:43:45 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

I started my experience with Galactic Civilizations II from Steam Ultimate version and I cannot complain. I have not noticed the flaws mentioned above.

Quoting qrtxian,
How did the Korath get 500-power fleets "early" in the game?

I had encountered a bug in one of my early games.

I was not aware of it. I just thought I was a noob. Ai started to invade me with fleets of around 500 attack and maximum logistics. My Drengins countered them with Attack 200 but much more hp, but I was loosing ships faster that I could build them.

Then I noticed something weird. The newly colonized Arcean planet produced 130 research flasks. That made me thinking.

I checked their stats. Thay got sick bonuses to some of the abilities. Economy around 800% and Industry with Research around 500-700% (I don't remember the rest).

They got Nightmare Missiles at the time I just finished Harpoons III,

They were three races (Yor, Arcean and Thalan I think - not so sure now) allied together (all had that weird boosted stats). They wiped out the rest, so I was their only target.

I had to start over but now in every game I check my enemies statc from time to time.

It has not happened again for now.

 

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January 26, 2012 1:03:55 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Not a bug.  You got the Telenanth Mega Event.  It increases all of the chosen AI's abilities by a small percentage each and every turn (something like 3% or 5%).  (There's also a non-mega version, which only increases one ability each turn-or maybe the bonus was smaller; I've forgotten, sorry.)

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January 26, 2012 2:08:36 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

The AI on one of my games(almost all of them actually) built and saved ships over the core ships that had anywhere from 5000 to 10000+ attack(!), i researched the proper millitary techs and suddenly i could build one ship and some transports and win the game......im going to disable the Telenanth Mega Event and the minor version.

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January 26, 2012 4:41:45 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Quoting Galacticruler5000,
The AI on one of my games(almost all of them actually) built and saved ships over the core ships that had anywhere from 5000 to 10000+ attack(!), i researched the proper millitary techs and suddenly i could build one ship and some transports and win the game......im going to disable the Telenanth Mega Event and the minor version.

The human player can't ever build ships quite that powerful, even in TA with max miniaturization, all shrinkers, and max weapons/defense ability (absolute limit would be something in the vicinity of 7500 in TA with 6x78% military resources), but this doesn't prevent Peacekeepers/Mega Pirates/etc from spawning with impossibly high values.

However, it's not also possible for an AI to get such ridiculous values, without a Mega Telenanth, and it's certainly not possible for all AIs to get such values.  Are you sure you didn't mod your game?

There's no way to disable (or edit, or in fact even trigger via cheats!) normal non-planetary events, but you can at least get rid of the Mega Telenanth by turning off all Mega Events.  Or, if you prefer, you can just reload when it hits.

The normal Telenanth isn't much more than a speed bump, though, so that's nothing to worry about, unless for some reason your games go on for decades.

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January 26, 2012 7:19:28 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

/derp

lag double post.....

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January 26, 2012 9:52:52 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Having encountered it several times, the Precursor Artifact mega event is not really as game-breaking as people seem to think, especially since it almost always happens to the race in last place.

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January 27, 2012 1:02:26 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Quoting Sole Soul,
Not a bug.  You got the Telenanth Mega Event.  It increases all of the chosen AI's abilities by a small percentage each and every turn (something like 3% or 5%).  (There's also a non-mega version, which only increases one ability each turn-or maybe the bonus was smaller; I've forgotten, sorry.)

Oh! Thank you for the information. I now remember that there was an event like this (... we must stop them or they will eventually become too powerful ... - or something like that).

So the reason I have not ancoutered it any more is that I switched events and mega events off (as well as technological and ascension victories)

 

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January 27, 2012 10:51:52 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Why would you switch off ascension victories?  

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January 28, 2012 10:02:40 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Quoting SCampb29,
Why would you switch off ascension victories?  

Because Ascension and Technological victories are too abstract and unlogical for me, they also shorten the game.

I also switched off: surrenders (It gives too big advantage for high influence races - In one of my games Thalans made 5 other AIs surrender without starting wars with them), tech trading and tech stealing (It prevents me from powergaming and keeps the races different).

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