I propose that various fields of "Difficulty" dialog, especially those affecting the economy, should not apply to AI colonies; they would always have the "Intermediate" difficulty for AI.
I played a game under 0.10.5 where I set all fields (except REF size) to the extreme - for example -999999 indian trade penalty, 100% max. tax, colonies with >0 colonists have -2 production bonus etc.
And the AI performed extremely poorly. Also MPope in IR 3520025 said: "The new AIColony code is
completely untested on that exotic setting. I would expect it to perform poorly."
I think that even if AI had human intelligence to choose the correct strategy (or if the player does not go to extreme difficulty where the AI code works poorly), hard economic settings for AI go exactly against the player's desire: to have a hard game.
The player increases various fields in Difficulty dlg if he wants a harder game. And yet it seems to me that he achieves the opposite: AI colonies will have economic problems, which makes the game easy.
I don't know enough about this (are all aspects of game for AI influenced by Difficulty dialog? Is the military strength of AI higher on high difficulty?) but it seems to me strange that AI is (at least in some aspects) weaker on higher difficulty settings....
Well, I realize that this proposal would be a radical change....
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