Originally Posted by Pennglock
Has strategy-game AI programming made absolutely no progress in the last 10 years?
Not really, no. It's been a huge beef of mine, as well. Seems that 4X and strategy developers have been pumping all of their money into graphics and sound, with much less attention paid to gameplay. Stardock is still making some very fun and innovative strategy games, but even their AI is nothing like what gaming AI really should have been by now.
I mean, Christ, we've had computers capable of beating chess grandmasters for 15 years now. You'd think we could build strategy game AI capable of beating humans without the need for artificial cheats, like reduced building costs or total map visibility. And yet, that's what we've got. AI doesn't actually get any smarter beyond the midway difficulty notch of most games these days. Ratcheting up the difficulty level just gives some resource advantages to the AI player, rather than giving the AI player a better brain.
EDIT: For what it's worth, the reviews posted on this thread so far have prevented me from buying Civ5. I'll stick with Civ4 until things get fixed or modded. Not liking the sound of the new combat system, and not liking the dumbed down elements.