Endless Space 2


I hope so too. But I disagree this is about effort. I think this is about returns on investment. It’s a really hard problem that is essentially a furnace to shovel money into as far as development goes.

I’m less forgiving of the more mundane problems with balance, bizarre combat behaviour (why do fighters/bombers always fly to the top flotilla first?? Why??) and simply backwards game mechanics (market place ‘inflation’ for example).


I’m not a fan of the diplomatic AI. You’re getting along great, have all sorts of treaties in place, and 5 turns later you’re at war.


They usually do that when they think their military is stronger than yours, or out of position (i.e. at war with someone else). It’s not very bright, especially given hero bonuses and movement stacking on ships allows extremely swift redeployment (another balance gripe).

(There’s a very slow move to make a mod to adjust this balance, but intermittent updates breaking mods makes maintenance a pain for modders, which is putting them off. Modding the AI is basically too difficult to be fruitful.)


That’s my complaint with every 4X AI I’ve played, it drives me nuts. I recently shelved Aggressors: Rome for the same reason. The only game that I feel adequately addresses this gripe is EU4, where the AI weighs long-standing alliances and where you can build Trust and Favors by helping them out in wars and that sort of thing.

I guess I want the AI to play more of a role as opposed to approaching it like a boardgame. Backstabbing you because your fleet moved out of position might make sense if trying to win a boardgame, but it feels really stupid in a game that’s simulating galactic empires.


That’s a matter of taste though. And an AI that behaves as you describe becomes very easy to exploit by encouraging it to act against its interests.

I would not mind a choice, but getting one functional AI seems hard enough, let alone two!


Oh it’s absolutely a taste thing, I wasn’t trying to imply otherwise. :) But I will say that with the boardgamish approach of “backstab at any time there’s a perceived advantage”, I think it detracts from the entire diplomatic layer. What’s the point in spending so much time, effort, resources, or research on developing an alliance that can get torn up because you moved your fleet or fell behind a military tech? If you already have to double down on the military and you have all those ships laying around, you might as well use them. And then the majority of games devolve into the same old Conquest mode, in my experience.

Endless Space 2 doesn’t stand out any worse than other 4X games in this regard, it’s just a common frustration I’ve had.


I play quite a lot of the game and I never see this. As long as I maintain a proper military, the only time I’ve had an AI “turn on me” is when I’m in the middle of a war and relatively weak, which makes sense.

I don’t think the diplomatic AI is amazing or anything, but I’d rank it pretty reasonably.


Stars in Shadow does it quite well - the game is exclusively single player, and diplomacy more mechanical. That makes it both characterful and balanced around manipulating the AI.


I’m with you Kevin. I want them to behave more how I would expect them to in reality, not like playing a game. Now that does mean it maybe easier to take advantage of them, but I still prefer it to a backstabbing AI that just tries to win.


Thanks for pointing me to Stars in Shadow. This and the DLC looks really great! Thinking about grabbing it.


The problem with this is that you are constraining the AI in a way that you are not constraining the human. You could make an AI that values various treaties, that considers the length and depth of those treaties, and never suddenly backstabs an ally. But then you usually have nothing constraining the human from trating the game like a board game and treatingbfriends and allies badly when he/she feels like it.


Well, I personally don’t treat it like a boardgame either. But you can address that with reputation systems. Maybe they can backstab an ally once, but no one else will whatever engage with you after that. In a game where diplomacy actually matters, that can be a big handicap. Most of these games the diplomacy is nearly completely irrelevant, though.


I think the developers hurt themselves when it comes to AI because every race plays in such dramatically different ways. Instead of having a template with small changes like Civ, it’s drastic stuff. While I love how unique everything is… it does not lend itself to competent play.


It’s by no means perfect. The developers are a two-man team, which means updates are slow - but I believe something is planned for the future. Fingers crossed they add some more content; there’s some clearly unfinished sections to the game.


Thanks for the mentions of Stars in Shadow, I’m going to check it out. I actually picked it up a while back, but honestly it kind of got lost in the backlog.


Yeah, EU4 totally spoiled me in this regard too. It is possible to build trust with the AI.


I think this is easily remedied. If you backstab an ally, no other AI player will ally with you for the rest of the game, because you’re untrustworthy. Give the player freedom to act, and pay the consequences for their actions.


I REALLY need to learn EU one day. Its just so complex, I bounce off of it every time.


Apologies for thread derails, but if you do try to learn EU4 again, use the thread here as a sounding board! There’s a bunch of dedicated/experienced EU4 players here that will be more than happy to help ease you along.


Ill do that. I wish they had an EU Lite that would let you play the real basic parts and then add in complexity later. I still cannot really even grasp how to “WIN” a game lol