Don't assume that just because the AI is fully enabled at 'normal' that any player will be able to beat it trivially. Most players in prior games got plenty of challenge from the levels at which the AI did not receive bonuses.
A lot of the higher level play becomes more about maximizing certain mechanics and imbalances to get ahead. If the AI did the same, folks would probably still say it was cheating by exploiting.
First, thank you for your response. I like the way you put it, "the AI is fully enabled at 'normal'", if you'll forgive the out-of-context quote, please. My question is trying to get at something I think is interesting at a social level. It only dawned on me when I wondered if, and now using your superior phrasing, and my own lessons learned, , if people expect the higher levels of computer game play above where the AI is fully enabled to require certain advantages.
As a society, we've experienced quite a growth in what are labelled "smart" computer activities in the real world. From computers beating world-class chess players, to public autonomous vehicles in a few years (maybe), and so forth, a lot of rapid progress was made recently. Only some of it comes from faster chips and cheaper memory and special hardware architecture. A substantial part of that progress relies on algorithms that actually work better the more data thrown at them, or which work well in cooperative, or parallel, distributed environments.
Yet, at the same time it seems people have lower expectations for certain systems. Games are certainly complex, and the difficulty in playing them well mustn't be downplayed. Game playing was a rich source for a lot of computer science work. And one reason is because a game provides a set of rules and a controlled environment. Computers have worked their way up the chain. No human can be the best checkers program. Eventually, chess fell. And then poker.
A car that can tool around town and on the freeways is an amazing accomplishment. The real-world is a dangerous, unpredictable, complicated place. Poker, a game where one plays the person across from them as much as the cards dealt, is quite a test of what a computer can do, even though it takes place in an environment controlled by rules.
That sparked the question. Do people expect the higher levels of computer game play (those above where the AI is fully enabled) to require certain advantages?
I'm not trying to get at anything else with this question. It isn't an indictment of any company or development team or quality of a game, nor does it imply anything about the level of play of the fully enabled AI, either terrific or poor.
It's simply about what the the GalCivIII gestalt expects.