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Old March 14, 2001, 16:16   #1
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I've found that in both SMAC/X and Civ2, once you get over the initial handicaps of the high difficulty settings, you can pretty much rule the mid-game and end-game without much of a remaining challenge.

The solution isn't adding another difficulty level. OK, so you get more drone problems, or slower research rates, or more aggressive AI opponents. Heck, maybe you can also toss in other handicaps, like a morale penalty, maybe even a tendency for the worms to attack you over the AI players. But thanks to the game mechanics, all of these handicaps will eventually be overcome by the late mid-game. Either that, or the AI opponents will roll over you in the first few turns of the game, and that wouldn't be much fun.

The problem is that the AI lacks the ability to come up with some real good strategies. I would much rather be *outmaneuvered* by the AI than *smoothered*.

Side note: I've been playing Chessmaster 8000 between SMAC/X sessions. And I am amazed at the amount of strategy involved in a game whose rules are definitely much less complex than those of SMAC/X. I am also amazed at how much time and effort has been dedicated over the past several decades toward making computers better at playing chess. Still, when I'm playing the computer, I don't get the feeling that the computer is trying out different strategies. Maybe it's just because I stink at chess, but I know *good* players who feel the same way. After all, a computer doesn't think in terms of strategy. Rather, it thinks in terms of logic tables, or decision trees. So it's useless to try a strategy against the computer hoping that the computer won't be able to find the counter. More often than not, the computer *always* finds the counter, even the "AI personalities" that aren't ranked very high.
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Old March 15, 2001, 01:23   #2
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New Level, perhaps a more difficult one?
Most people would probably agree that MP usually provide more challenge than SP. But I still think most people play their game in SP s even though MP is more fun (well, I think). So is there actually any veterans out there who still thinks transcend is difficult to win on?

I am no veteran but I do think I could be quite good at mastering a computer game after awhile. This one I definitly have. Transcend doesn't provide enough anymore. Set up as default that is. Even with random faction mode or the toughest conditions I usually run away with the game after 200 years or so. Unless you start to edit the game or design own scenarios the game hardly provide any resistence. I still love this game but why don't they at firaxis create a patch with an additional Level. A level so difficult, that it's almost impossible(?) to actullay win on. They certaintly didn't accomplish this with Alien Crossfire (more toys to play, yes, more difficult, hardly). So should we ask for a patch, perhaps a upgrade version, or maybe a brand new expansion?
[This message has been edited by knowhow2 (edited March 14, 2001).]
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