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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Solium Infernum Single Player - What's the state of the AI?

    Pretty much just what the title says. I've been listening sequentially through the Three Moves Ahead archive and hit the show from late '09 about SI. I remember thinking how great this game looked at the time, and how much I generally like Vic Davis games, but thinking that perhaps it was simply impossible to create an interesting and competitive AI for a game like this. To be honest, I still suspect that's true, but I'm curious if Vic's made any headway in the intervening years towards making this an interesting single player experience.

    And yes, before anyone says it I'm fully aware that RPS has a game of this going now and again. If I did get it, I might even play such a thing once or twice, but one or two MP games is not remotely justification for buying a strategy game to my mind. There's got to be some single player heft IMO or there's ultimately no point.

    Edit: An alternate way to frame this might be: which is presently the better single player game, SI or Dominions 3?
    Last edited by vinraith; 02-10-2011 at 11:06 PM.

  2. #2
    There's got to be some single player heft IMO or there's ultimately no point.

    I haven't played a single player game in a year and a half, but the amount of MP I do play more than justifies my purchase of this unique, treasurable game. I hardly ever play MP on other games. In a nutshell, I would normally agree with you but urge you to make an exception for this.

    For what it's worth, when I did play SP I found that playing short games helped nullify the human's natural advantages. Not familiar with Dominions 3 so can't comment on that comparison.

  3. #3
    Activated Node mlaskus's Avatar
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    The AI isn't very entertaining to play against, unfortunately. It's good enough to learn the basics, but don't expect any delicious backstabbing from it. :(

    EDIT:
    I do agree with moth bones though, the game is fun enough in multiplayer to justify the purchase. I've had it for a long time before I ever tried it and now I'm finishing my first multiplayer match.
    Which reminds me... Vex you bastard! When I finally become the master of Pandemonium you are going to suffer for every soul you stole from me!
    Last edited by mlaskus; 02-10-2011 at 11:40 PM.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlaskus View Post
    The AI isn't very entertaining to play against, unfortunately. It's good enough to learn the basics, but don't expect any delicious backstabbing from it. :(
    That's what I expected, but it's nice (if distressing) to have it confirmed. Thanks mlaskus.

  5. #5
    Neither are that great in single-player, though I'd argue that Dom3 is far better. The AI in SI doesn't even know how to play its own game. At least in Dom3 you can ratchet up the gold income of the AI and have a fairly interesting match (though you will win unless something mighty powerful or random comes up). And the AI does know lots of the basics of the game... but still, it's not very rewarding past the first five games or so.

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Vexing Vision's Avatar
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    I find Dominons very enjoyable for the exploration only. If the AI bothers you (and I for one don't mind an AI match), treat it as a roguelike. I'm STILL discovering things neither in the Wiki nor previously seen.
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  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vexing Vision View Post
    I find Dominons very enjoyable for the exploration only. If the AI bothers you (and I for one don't mind an AI match), treat it as a roguelike. I'm STILL discovering things neither in the Wiki nor previously seen.
    Yes, I recall being told that Dom3 can almost be played as an RPG, such that the AI is just a quasi-static obstacle rather than another full agent. I'm intrigued by that, but it's a hefty price point for what is essentially an experiment.
    Last edited by vinraith; 03-10-2011 at 12:21 AM.

  8. #8
    Activated Node mlaskus's Avatar
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    Now I feel guilty, the game is loads of fun.
    Oh! And he is going to pay for my precious Haagenti too! How dare he destroy my unstoppable minion of death with some weakling? And my starting legion! Come to think of it, I have no idea how I came to be so firmly in the lead given that I've had my ass handed to me for half of the game.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Vexing Vision's Avatar
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    Hmm. Are you sure it was me stealing your souls there? I got enough souls on my own. Let me remind you who it was who challenged me to a duel - this unnecessary war while Belial wins by leaps and bounds is, indeed, unnecessary and was not my idea.

    Solium Infernum is a brilliant multiplayer game, vinraith. ;)
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  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    SI is all about the multiplayer, really. The AI can provide a challenge mechanically if you set the game up right, but it feels hollow without the human element. Even if you aren't directly communicating with other players (which isn't always necessary, depending on how the game plays out), the game is all about second guessing and outwitting your opponents.

    If you don't mind me asking, why are you so uninterested in multiplayer? I can understand wanting to avoid games with public servers or big time commitments, but playing a PBEM game with other RPS people is a totally different experience.

  11. #11
    Activated Node mlaskus's Avatar
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    I have no idea who stole from me most of the time, I only know you did this a few times. I've been constantly robbed for about 15 turns before I could raise my prophecy high enough to defend myself. Sometimes I've lost as much as 10 resources/manuscripts per turn. Infuriating.

    EDIT:
    Bah, I'm going to publicly taunt everyone else. Spice things up a bit.

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Vexing Vision's Avatar
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    Hmm. You realize that a high Deception skill allows you to frame someone else, right?

    I think we really should put aside our differences and gang up. And then play some more Dominions. :D
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  13. #13
    Activated Node mlaskus's Avatar
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    I've had no idea. Gang up on whom? My offensive capabilities dwindled due to my loses to you, but I could lock someone up with a planar lock or two... :)

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Vexing Vision's Avatar
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    Well, there's just one other player who'd benefit from making sure the #2 contenders remain at each other's throat.

    By the way, this discussion is the perfect example of why SI needs to played and enjoyed against human people - there's a LOT of subterfuge and bluffing and negotiations and feinting going on. And feinting, bluffing and negotiating with an AI usually doesn't work really well. It worked in Birthright, but I can't remember any other game...
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  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelron View Post
    If you don't mind me asking, why are you so uninterested in multiplayer? I can understand wanting to avoid games with public servers or big time commitments, but playing a PBEM game with other RPS people is a totally different experience.
    Whew, so many answers to that. Let's go with these two, for now:

    1) I don't buy games where my ability to play/enjoy them is dependent on strangers as a matter of policy. Quite outside the quality of the game, that's way too much of a variable to make for a good investment. I might play a game or two of SI with the RPS folks if I bought it for the SP, but I'd never buy the game solely to play with the RPS crew. I have no idea how long interest in the game will persist, how many games I'd be able to get out of it that way, or whether I'd enjoy playing with whoever was interested. It's a bad bet, plain and simple.

    2) It's not the way I game. I prefer to play stuff in concentrated bursts, when I have the time and am in the mood. Spooling turns out over weeks kills my enthusiasm incredibly quickly. Then, in the case of a public multiplayer game like this, putting in turns starts to feel like work, I have to do it when I'm not in the mood or not interested in the game, and the whole thing becomes an exercise in unpleasantness.

    There's no doubt in my mind that SI is an outstanding multiplayer game. There's also no doubt in my mind that I'd never get my money's worth out of it in that capacity. It's a shame, really, to hear Vic tell it it wasn't really his intention to make a game that was only good in MP, the whole idea was to have a board game you could play against the computer as well. I suppose in that respect it ended up being something of a design failure.

    Edit: One additional irony, actually, is that if the AI were good I'd probably play it in MP a lot. I play a great deal of 2 person co-op, and even a bit of 2 person competitive stuff, with friends. There's no way I'd be able to fill an SI game though, there would have to be some interesting and competitive AI players to fill out the count.
    Last edited by vinraith; 03-10-2011 at 01:11 AM.

  16. #16
    Activated Node mlaskus's Avatar
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    Oh, this is just delicious, you are so confused Vex!
    It is I! Belial! You tried to conspire with me against me. :D

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Vexing Vision's Avatar
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    So you really thing you'll remain at #1 for two more turns?

    This is, indeed, delicious.
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  18. #18
    Activated Node mlaskus's Avatar
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    Pfff, like you could do anything about it! I only let you destroy my best preatorian and legion as a handicap as it was simply not sporting enough!

  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Vexing Vision's Avatar
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    Right. If you don't want a shot at the duke of Hell, be my guest - I'll do my best in trying to keep the real contender in his place. Probably going to fail, though.
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  20. #20
    Activated Node mlaskus's Avatar
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    Pfffthpthffff! You are not undermining my blind confidence at all. Anastasius? Why would he be dangerous?
    (By the way, I'm sorry for hijacking the thread so)
    Last edited by mlaskus; 03-10-2011 at 01:40 AM.

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