Content of the article: "It’s pretty disheartening that despite the very detailed patch notes, there’s no updates to AI recruitment behaviour or AI city management. My suggested priorities for the devs:"
So yeah, upcoming update looks hella cool. Good job devs, Nanman look very unique gameplay wise. But there's still some major issues that still linger since release.
These are big issues, many, many mods on the workshop either target these specifically or have it as a part of their mod. That alone should tell you it's a problem.
- Ai recruitment: The AI doesn't value units properly on the campaign map, and also never replaces old units in retinues. In warhammer this bad, but at least armies and individual units that die in the field are usually replaced by more up to date units. However in 3 Kingdoms, retinues respawn for free, and also, retinues stay with the character and are even inherited by other characters if the general dies.This means that your mid and late game climactic battle with enemy faction leaders results in them still having their Turn 1 Ji Militia.
- The AI cannot manage it's economy properly. Capturing AI provinces often results in it having far too many non-income buildings, especially non-income buildigns or %income buildigns that it cannot even utilise, like %Food in a province with no food, or Temples where the PO is basically useless. I'd chalk part of this up to CA also not understanding how their own economy system works. Basically, flat income is usually greater than everything else, followed by %income, followed by special structures in niche situations. Unless you already have tons of income coming in anyway and are developing some kind of modifier stacking "project", EG: Cao Cao's -100% redeploy strat, or the -100% Cav upkeep possible with Ma teng, then these buildings have very minor effects.
This results in 4 problems:
- The player will frequently snowball out of control in The mid and late game simply due to his armies and economy being far better, and Militia being very vulnerable to cavalry shock tactics and missile fire.
- Large AI empires fail to provide enough income to create large professional armies. Outside of their innate bonuses, they cannot really capitalise on their holdings as they can't build effective cities.
- Vassal swarming is OP on higher difficulties, because CA is forced to jack up the AI income modifiers to compensate. Combined with 2. this results in Large empires who are Paper Tigers, and One Province Minors who can pump out like 2.5 armies, due to the base faction income being magnified by AI upkeep/tax bonuses.
- Finally, CA should never give the AI Upkeep Bonsues or Net Income bonuses. They should always get Province Income bonuses instead, as this results in big scary empires being Big and Scary, and feeble one province minors being feeble instead of being insanely strong. This will also temper the strength of Vassal swarms. This means that if Yuan Shao Vassalises 4 One Province Minor (OPM's) factions, he only gets 4 extra militia armies, and not 12 militia armies.
- I think there's another problem as well: Most Special Units are just too damn expensive. They aren't worth the cost in most cases, which is why so many players just run the Guard/Cav/Strategist meta armies for 90% of the game, it's the most elite thing they can actually afford. Special units are already locked behind mid/late game techs or specific factions or high level Generals, its OK for them to be a little bit OP cost effectiveness wise.
- Furthermore, CA should update the Battle AI, and always have the AI dedicate at least 1/3rds of its melee forces (inf/cav) to flanking in field battles. Honestly this is a change that every Total War can benefit from, and maybe they need to look at Troy to code good flanking Spearmen AI.
- Presently, the AI only ever flanks with cavalry. The AI however will still create infantry focused armies, which always blob in the centre and get instantly deleted by cavalry charges or massed missile fire.If the AI dedicated some spearmen to fighting on its flanks, this would be far less of a problem and make flanking more exciting and micro intensive. Maybe they can look to Troy for help on how to make flanking AI for infantry.It's pretty easy to fight the AI using spearmen on your flanks in tandem with some horsemen and just obliterate its flanks, as they are almost always cav only, or empty, if there's no cav.
- Skirmish Mode on AI Ranged units: Defaulting Skirmish mode to On for the AI, is IMO a mistake. It results in the AI's archer core being very easily herded and run down, even by hilariously small odds like a solo Strategist hero.
- As a final note, I think CA should look at the BARS mod (Beneath A Red Sky) and how it handles infantry/Cavalry relations.In Vanilla, Militia Cav can delete anything with a rear charge with ease and few casualties.Also in Vanilla, Metal infantry gets deleted by cavalry From the Front while Bracing! unless they have a specific Sentinel skill that the AI does not often obtain. The AI however, doesn't know that their Metal infantry can't withstand frontal cav charges.This leads to the player having access to Beefy, high DPS Metal Anvils that can withstand cav charges, and the AI frequently recruiting metal troops that just get obliterated by the players frontal charges on them, and the AI doesn't know what to do.In BARS, if the Cav does not extract itself quickly, it is quickly slaughtered unless the unit they are brawling with is below 50% morale. Furthermore, Metal infantry gets Charge Resistance and +10 Anti-cavalry by default if their morale is above 50%.BARS also has an excellent mechanic for spear troops, where they will attack faster and physically push back enemy troops at the cost of double stamina loss until they run low on stamina.This gives both Metal and Wood units powerful anti-cav abilties, and also defines thier role better. Wood units (spearmen) are the ultimate Anvil, Metal units (swordsmen) are the ultimate brawler unit, and will butcher spearmen if the spearmen are not saved in time and get too tired.Likewise, both units can more effectively brawl with enemy cavalry, instead of being largely helpless unless the Cav is stupid enough to run right into charge reflect.
Anyway, Anyone else have any gripes like this that they think needs to be resolved?
- MODDERS and DEVELOPERS PLEASE READ: An idea on how to make the troop groups split into smaller specialized groups to better approach enemy unit types. (mod idea/game implementation idea)
- IMO Troy’s chariot nerf was well handled, and gives them a unique role amongst the Flankers
- My Thoughts on Light Infantry
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