In what ways do the AI cheat?

First off I’m new to the game and the forum but I’ve really enjoyed it so far and am looking forward to the finished product. I’ve completed the first 3 beginner challenges on master and and few of the other advanced on the 2nd level and I fully intend on writing a review for feedback once I’ve had a few more days of playing with it.

But for the time being I’d like to know in what ways the AI cheats? All AI’s do it and I’m not complaining that they do, but it’s really hard to judge how well I’m doing when my only yard stick is the AI. My suspicion is that they don’t have to pay to unlock new parts of the factory? Or that they have access to more starting money than the player. The reason I suspect this is based on the volume of cures they can produce without taking loans . Any feedback would be great.

I can keep up with the AI about until I reach my factory limit. At the end of the game in the first challenge on beginner, they were producing 795 cures per month, way more than you can possibly make with all of the input and output boxes in a 2 x 2 building plot allowed in the beginner challenges. Other than that, they are actually a lot more balanced than they used to be. It’s a lot more random. You now start with different ingredients than the competition so you aren’t all developing the same 2 first level cures right off the bat before any research and exploration gets done.

I do know they love cream. I’m still trying to figure out how a topical anti-stroke cream even works.

Oh I’m not even saying they are hard or that they need nerfed. I have no trouble keeping in front of them and I think they need to learn to take loans, and I’ve actually learned some better game play from watching how they are doing (not hiring too many researchers too early) I’m just wondering under what rules they are playing

Briefly, from my own limited observations…

In Big Pharma, the question regarding the level at which the AI’s cheat is not important as many believe. The AI’s roll within the missions is purely passive, by that I mean they simple are there to reduce the player’s opportunities to make easy profit/revenue, as the player is never in direct competition to actually beat them. If we examine the effects the AI’s have on the player’s missions we can see they perform two primary functions.

1. They develop drug production lines that impact on the player’s ability to make profits from, often causing massive saturation in those lines, forcing the player to find new, alternative drug production lines.

2. In developing new drug lines, the AI’s will force up the cost of buying the ingredients that they use, which in turn, highers the costs for the player when using these same ingredients in other drugs, forcing the player to spend Exploration points to reduce the costs of these ingredients.

In order to carry out the role of impacting on the player’s ability to steam-roll through each mission, the AI or AI’s MUST have the ability to produce most of the available drug products in the mission and in a timely manner, so as to keep up the ‘pressure’ on the player. This is why you cant limit the AI’s with loans, limited space for drug production lines, starting expenses etc. This also makes the data shown in the Company Screen for the AI’s expenses/profit/costs etc meaningless to the player, though it looks pretty!.

AIs have to follow all the same rules as players with the following exceptions:

  1. They can keep expanding their factory for ever. Note the price keeps going up in same ratio in normal play e.g. +$2000/plot.
  2. All their plots have 2.5 sockets and 60 space. This is on average about the same as the player although different buildings have different size plots/socket numbers.
  3. They don’t lay out production lines in a true sense but rather a minimum line length is calculated and then a ‘tortuous factor’ is applied to simulate the difficulty one can have in laying out all the machines compactly.

They don’t take loans, but that’s not cheating except in the case of the crippling debt scenario where the player starts with one. They start with the same cash as player. They have to research and explore just like the player. Their cashflow sheet is 100% accurate. With the new patch allowing patents, the AI don’t even use information about what the player is patenting to affect their decisions.