Stardock has released the 1.4 update for their 4x space strategy game Galactic Civilizations III, which brings what the studio calls a more "fiendish" AI model, improved multiplayer gameplay, and better galactic management.
The developer stated that while the AI was very good and didn't cheat, it soon didn't present any sort of challenge for advanced players. So, through data mining, Stardock examined player tendencies and used the data to allow the AI to exploit them, thus making it a better challenge without resorting to AI cheating.
Some of the changes to artificial intelligence includes having it prioritize building starbases around planets instead of strictly claiming resources, and if it determines that it is overspending and cannot support the fleet size, it will aggressively decommission ships, with older ships being prioritized for being scrapped. In additional, it will no longer overbuild starbases and it only builds what it wants to build.
As far as the AI handling its military, it will now research weapons more effectively by increasing the priority of all weapons types slightly to work better with tech governors. It will also build transport fleets before building attack fleets so that the AI fleets will have a far larger and more effective invasion fleet, while weak ships will fall back to starbases. If that weren't enough there are more AI prototype blueprints so that it better makes use of its resources.
To check out the very extensive change log, visit the official blog post here.