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Downloads Home » Miscellaneous Files » Felix Hermansson's Draugur AI (AoE3, TWC & TAD)

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Felix Hermansson's Draugur AI (AoE3, TWC & TAD)

Author File Description
Felix Hermansson
File Details
Game Version: TAD
Draugur AI Script, Versions 3.10 (AoE3), 6.04 (TWC) & 7.01 (TAD)

by Felix Hermansson (hoodncloak@hotmail.com)
20 April 2008

This archive contains three versions of the Draugur AI script:

- V3.10 for 'Age of Empires 3' (the original version)
- V6.04 for 'AoE3: The War Chiefs' (the first expansion)
- V7.01 for 'AoE3: The Asian Dynasties' (the second expansion)

All three are improved versions of the standard game AI for AoE3, AoE3:TWC and AoE3:TAD. They feature a number of improvements over the standard game AI. The main ones are as follows:

For all three versions:
The AI concentrates on training units which effectively counter the enemy's troops.
AI deck creation has been changed; the AI now includes mercenaries, Advanced Trading Post and Royal Decree (the unique church tech upgrade).
The AI now fishes and builds a navy on custom random maps with water, provided there is a water spawn flag. This works for existing maps as well as future ones, so there is no need to add names of custom maps to the script or anything like that. The AI's behavior on standard maps is not affected. (Note that the way the AI treats naval warfare is not improved much, this feature might come with a later version.)
The AI now builds fewer plantations, but still enough to keep all its gold gatherers busy.
AI players now use extra scouts (envoys, native scouts) properly.
The AI now builds more artillery and a bit more cavalry.
The AI always keeps a defensive force around its main base, and keeps its fort closer to the main base as well.
The AI puts much more emphasis on trade posts, both at trade routes and native villages, and upgrades trade routes as appropriate.
Gatherer assignments are no longer changed every few seconds, the AI now plays a much more steady game in this respect.
Treasures close to the AI's main base are now being collected over time. Furthermore, the AI tries to rescue or sometimes ransom its fallen explorer.
Handling of herdables has been improved: The AI gathers them actively, assigns them to pens etc. and actually collects food from them.

For TWC and TAD only:
AI personalities have been somewhat randomized for skirmish/deathmatch games. Civilizations will still mainly stick to their basic strategy (e.g. rushing or booming), but can also choose other options.
The selection of age-up politicians by the different AI personalities has been improved. It now takes game strategy into account, but also includes a certain randomization. The AI can even choose to revolt now.
AI deck construction has been improved so the AI selects what it considers "stronger" cards, and a certain randomness has been introduced. Also, decks now include mercenaries, native allies, renegades, and a number of more special cards like Advanced Arsenal or New Ways.
The AI upgrades its units (including minor natives) more consistently, using both line and arsenal upgrades as available.
The AI uses the native civilization's war parties as levy replacement.
Healers are now handled properly, and war priests used as dancers.
The AI uses fire pits to revive its fallen war chiefs. (A bug in ES's original script prevented this for Aztecs and Sioux).
Hot air balloons have been introduced for scouting.
The AI builds and uses Cree coureurs if available.

For TAD only:
The AI produces heavy artillery from factories.
The AI uses mansabdar units for Indians as well as daimyos and shoguns for Japanese, and includes mercenaries from the Asian monastery.
The AI builds Japanese dojos and sacred fields for Indians.
The AI chooses its consulate options in a more reasonable, but somewhat randomized manner, and will make use of the available consulate armies and improvements. Factories, arsenals etc. from the consulate are handled properly now.
Passive wonder bonuses are used in a more reasonable, but somewhat randomized manner. (Note that active abilities like Informers are still not available to the AI.)

Apart from these changes the Draugur AI features a huge number of other, smaller improvements, which are listed in the readme files for all three versions.

Note that the AI is still no match for the hardcore player, especially since "anti AI tricks" like shooting a single villager to make all of them run for cover still work (the AI script cannot change that), but I feel it makes for much more interesting games for the casual player.
Having said that, the Draugur AI is meant to be used on difficulty levels 'hard' or 'expert', and for high home city levels. It works fine on lower levels, but it won't be able to use its full potential. The AI can't use cards which are unavailable for its assigned HC level (e.g. 25 for Advanced Trading Post), and usually won't use mercenaries (except for the ones available from the church) until around HC level 50.
I only partly changed the basic way the AI plays; the differences between the civilizations are still there (though somewhat randomized now for TWC). No special strategies (say, an Ottoman rush) have been implemented.

Note also that just like the standard game AI the Draugur AI is meant to be used for "standard" games, i.e. non-treaty games starting in either nomad or discovery age. It can be used for other game modes as well, but it won't be able to use its full potential as no special handling for these modes has been introduced.
Regicide, Silk Road or King of the Hill style games are handled the same way the standard AI does. A later version should feature an improved handling for those.

Some points which are interesting mainly for scripters and designers:
A new function (echoMessage) has been introduced to allow for debug output by player chats.
A new control variable (cvOkToBuildDeck) can be used to force the AI to play with a predefined deck in custom scenarios.
The control variable cvTertiaryArmyUnit is now handled properly. (The standard AI simply ignored it.)
The personality randomization is for skirmish/deathmatch games only and will not affect scenario/campaign games.
The revolution feature is disabled for scenario/campaign games.

I have tested the AI, and it works properly for all patch levels up to 1.12 for AoE3, 1.04 for TWC and 1.01a for TAD. (It SHOULD work for future patch versions as well, provided ES introduces no major changes, but of course I cannot guarantee that.) I feel it makes the game more interesting to play, but then again, that might just be me. I need as much feedback as possible to make the AI even better! So I would appreciate any honest feedback, good or bad. Please tell me what you liked, what you disliked, and especially, tell me why. If you have any ideas on how to improve it, all the better.

I would appreciate it even more if you did not modify this script, copy my code (even parts of it), or use it in your own projects without contacting me first.

Please send any comments or questions by e-mail to hoodncloak@hotmail.com. Oh, and add 'Age of Empires' to the subject and use proper language, otherwise your message will probably be deleted by the spam filter.

Have fun!
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AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Adri it worked verry well! :)
the AI used A LOT more mercenaries, also those from the curch...portugals AI was aqtualy better then some of the other AIs :P
also the AIs used the sea quite more to gather food and gold, one AI however got control over the sea and was able to challenge portugal...which was pumping out mercenaries from both the deck and the curch!
btw, the above comment was meant to be a review and not a comment...
Felix Hermansson
File Author
Thanks for the feedback, glad you liked it!

I have just uploaded version 2, which features a number of improvements, including effective use of counter units, trade route upgrades and proper handling of herdables. Have fun!
Cyclohexane I have never upgraded the computer AI before but I am very interested in yours. If I download this, will there be any problems playing against the computer on-line? Sometimes I play friends each with a computer ally in sandbox level (to avoid a rated game but still get experience). Will there be any conflict or is this software only viable in single player skirmishes.

By the way, it sounds excellent and I am very disappointed in Ensemble for not doing this first.
Jugit Felix - Draugur does not work like my modified version of aiMain.xs on my random map Dogleg Islands; mainly no transports. I was wondering if you minded if I modified Draugur by adding Dogleg Islands to it similiar to Amazonia and Carribbean. Not for distribution, just my use in testing and maybe to ask if you could make the change yourself for the next version; if you cannot get an automatic transport generation section to work.
Felix Hermansson
File Author

Actually, I don't know if there are any problems. I don't play on ESO myself, so I have no way of testing this. If you want to play ESO games I would advise you to copy the original aiLoaderStandard.xs file back first, and use the Draugur AI for singleplayer only.


Sure, go ahead. I'll left naval warfare out completely for this version, but it will be included in the next.
RF_Gandalf Felix - I have recommended your AI in my newest RMS description since it is better for water maps. If I can figure out how Jugit edits the file to get the AI to work better on specific maps I would like to try that out, maybe even include an edited version of your AI in my download file if you don't mind(with credits, of course!).

Jugit - some time ago you gave us a brief description on how to edit the AI to include specific maps. I have tried searching the forums but cannot find your description, and my editing attemps have resulted in errors. Can I trouble you to post or email me a description of the way to edit in specific maps? (sorry for getting off topic here).
RF_Gandalf Jugit - never mind - I found the explanation in your Dogleg Islands download page - have edited the Draugur AI with my new map name ( as you did in the MainAI file in the Dogleg download), will do some experimenting to see how much different the AI plays.
Felix Hermansson
File Author
For all I know, adding the map name shouldn't change the behaviour of the AI since the Draugur identifies a water map by the water spawn flag. But go ahead, I'd be interested in any results you get.
RF_Gandalf I have been experimenting with both the Draugur AI and an 'edited' version (basically edited as per Jugit's advice with map names added in the recommended places). I believe (no quantified results ) that either version is capable of putting up a good attack on water, and the results seem roughly similar - I was really impressed that the AI would sail a fleet the whole way around the Baja California peninsula to assualt my fishing ships before I had made any venture into the enemy waters. Previously with the standard hard AI, it would inconsistantly make fishing ships or a navy, and the effect is different on different maps - on my Island Continent I saw an AI make a dock ONCE ever and send a single warship to the water flag; on Baja California or Gandalf's Isles the std hard AI seems to make a fishing fleet nore often. With this version it seems like it always explores, always fishes and makes a navy. Love the difference!

Questions - in the AI rules for the std AI, is there some 'random chance' that makes the AI decide to fish? It is not just the presence of a water flag. Does the AI decide to fish based on available resources or sighting of enemy ships or some other factor? And in the Draugur AI, have the rules changed so that the AI ALWAYS takes to the water if there is a water flag?
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