Felix Hermansson's Draugur AI (AoE3, TWC & TAD)
Posted on 02/26/06 @ 09:38 AM (updated 04/20/08
Draugur AI Script, Versions 3.10 (AoE3), 6.04 (TWC) & 7.01 (TAD)
by Felix Hermansson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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 email@example.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.
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btw, the above comment was meant to be a review and not a comment...
I’ve given the Draugur AI a few ‘test runs’ here on Moderate 2 –vs- 2, and have to say, even on moderate I much appreciate the few modifications.
The AI are generally ‘less stupid’ ..and it’s delightful to see some mercenaries on the field for a change.
Next up, will try on Hard and see how the AI behaves.
Nicely done, it seems to me, Felix.
Many thanks for this pleasant improvement – the enjoyable just got more-enjoyable…
(Insert Rating analysis here)
[Edited on 05/02/06 @ 04:04 PM]
I have tried this Draugur AI now for a lot of games now. I did not want to make any statements about this AI until I really got a chance to take it for a test drive. I must say I have really noticed a difference.
Here are a few things that I really noticed:
Of course, they seem to act way better about making their ships on custom maps. The original AI was really irritating me in that respect. Another thing I enjoy is that the AI will rescue its heroes. I always thought it was lame that the explorer would die towards the start of the game and no one would go out and help him. He would lay there all game. This was just annoying! I also enjoy seeing the mercs come into play. Sometimes they would really catch me off-guard because I wasn't really expecting to see them. The fact that the AI will now keep troops at their base is a big plus. This changes the strategy of the game and makes it much more realistic and fun to play.
Well these are the main things that I really like about the changes (even though there are more). I look forward to another update and I will be checking regularly for it. My neighbors here me chant "Draugur Version 3, Draugur Version 3!!!"... every night before I go to sleep.
Just amazing work to make the game more interesting. Might well have quit playing if it weren't for this mod.
The computer can actually put up a real resistance and those mercenaries were a real challenge. Thank you a lot.
It's a real shame all those 5.0 ratings this file received have been "accidentally" deleted, because from my point of view it deserved each and every one of them.
The Draugur AI is definitely one of the top downloads available here on AoMH. It works as advertised (using mercenaries, counter units etc.), and for all I can tell without any bugs. Too bad it doesn't improve the AIs performance on water maps much, but as most people don't play those anyway that's not really a problem.
Its biggest plus in my mind is that it improves the game without actually changing anything. It can be combined with just about any other mod, any custom scenario, and even the original campaign.
Two thumbs up, great work! I hope we're going to see a similar file once The War Chiefs are out - unless, of course, ES hired you to create a somewhat more competitive AI for the expansion in the first place... ;-)
(Insert Rating analysis here)
Installed and tested on Gandalf's Transcontinental map.
Played on Hard with 5 AI players.
The changes can be seen easly. The AI players attack more, make more upgrades, are more realisitic.
I will keep your settings and will notice you if there is something I don't like.
Anyway, Thank you for your wonderfull job.
Keep up the good work.
I tested your AI now (realized that it's allready available, lol) and the AI build the right counters most of the time. She didn't scout with falcs or samurais. :)
I've only built dopplesoldners for testing purposes, and after a while napoleon built nothing but falcs + meatshield.
HOWEVER: The AI never built anti-building units. Cuauhtemoc kept on attacking building with macehualtins (no arrow knights) and napoleon didn't built a single mortar.
Apart from that, the AI seemed to be a lot better. Thanks.
BTW: Is it possible that the AI chooses e.g. economic cards if I tell her to focus on economy, etc...?
Finally an AI that's up to my challenge! I wish the AI would attack via sea/ship on maps with water, excluding Amazon!
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