Might & Magic: Heroes 5.5 (unofficial)

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Re: Might & Magic: Heroes 5.5 (unofficial)

Postby magnomagus » Oct 20 2016, 10:22

-The boat thing is stupid but I can't do anything about it

-I cannot add new spells or modify diplomacy, but if i were to modify it I would probably make it like heroes 4.

-The royal heirloom 50k exp bonus is extremely useful for secondary governor heroes, otherwise the 50k gold bonus is also very powerful in many scenarios, even if you don't have regular gold needs anymore, think about the consequences for artifact shopping, the undead transformer, dungeon ritual pit or haven training

-Your set artifact complaint is only valid as long as you don't find multiple times the same item or have 2 full sets and can only carry one (remember the ARMG creates maps up to 320x320+underground, 2 sizes bigger than biggest possible H3 size). Also all primary skills have been adjusted to be still useful in lategame. H55 is designed to keep ANY map size interesting. Also the primary way to get ultimate artifacts is by finishing obelisk, shantiri disk quests, then you don't need to exchange.
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Re: Might & Magic: Heroes 5.5 (unofficial)

Postby cjlee » Oct 20 2016, 16:49

Right now it seems as though the 5.5 mod is mainly lacking in maps specifically designed for them, thanks to having only come out in June. RMG maps made by 5.5 mod are very good in quality and design, but since I'm the type of guy who prefers stories and campaigns and storylines, I'll have to wait for other enthusiasts to make scenarios for the 5.5 mod. I've played most of the good heroes 5 maps already.

With the powerful shot in the arm that your team injected into Heroes 5, game will probably be around for another 10 years. Maybe someone who loves mapmaking - such as Jeff - will come back and make some custom campaigns!

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Re: Might & Magic: Heroes 5.5 (unofficial)

Postby dredknight » Oct 23 2016, 20:18

The last time I checked the mod had about 2.8k downloads so I suppose some campaign/story driven maps will eventually pop.

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Re: Might & Magic: Heroes 5.5 (unofficial)

Postby cjlee » Oct 24 2016, 17:33

The mod deserves way more than 2.8k downloads, but I don't think it will go as far as it deserves to. Ubisoft really destroyed the brand name and drove away many fans without getting many new ones.

That said I should report some bugs or oddities...

1) divine vengeance

Does not work properly on Archmages and Battle Mages. If they cast fireball or first of wrath and kill your units, you can't retaliate because the system says they haven't killed any of your units.

2) gaining rare skills

The mod now lets our heroes get many different skills that they couldn't get before, such as Occultism and Combat. But as a result all the probabilities have been pushed down. So in practice it is super hard and close to impossible to get offered a skill that is uncommon.

EG I played a bunch of Sylvan heroes with one guy at level 40 with mentoring. Levelled up 8 heroes, and only 1 guy was ever offered Dark magic. Instead they kept getting offered Shatter skills, which are useful only if you know exactly who you are fighting.

If it was possible, perhaps a hero should get offered to choose from 8 primary skills instead of 2 each time he levels up. That greatly increases the probability that he can get different skills. I'm kinda sick of Might Heroes being perpetually offered War Machines or Magic Heroes getting offered Shatter skills.

3) I was playing an interesting custom map, Demon Hunter by Zanbon@gmail.com. This is my report because the AI's behaviour puzzled me.

After 5 months, I had a legion of assassins, over 240 blood furies, all the way up to 240 red dragons. I was Assassin Wylegg Level 40, with stats all 25-48.
I faced off against the Demon Sovereign Gatekeeper, level 26, with stats 26-58. He had a legion of imps, 800+ succubi, 362 Archdevils, etc.

This is obviously a tough high stakes battle and I played it several times. I was totally trashed on at least 3 playthroughs.

-On some playthroughs, Demon Sovereign had cleansing and vampiricism, and used them to dispel my Puppet Mastering of their Archdevils. Good play.
-Another time Demon Sovereign repeatedly used mass damage spells to both inflict hurt on my units, and wake up his units that I had blinded in the same move. Good play.
-On the playthrough that I managed to win, Demon Sovereign simply did not dispel Puppet Master. I was even able to renew Puppet Master after the first spell ran out of time. Demon Sovereign did the dumbest things such as using hero attack on my units repeatedly instead of casting spells. He definitely had tons of mana. I chopped apart his entire army using his puppet mastered Archdevils, and after that I still had time to use all units against his Archdevils.

So I found it very puzzling why Heroes 5.5 AI would act this way. I replayed this battle from the same savegame, so not as if I replayed the entire map and Demon Sovereign's hero development and spells were different.

4) Forcing governors to stay near the towns by taking away their movement points is a good idea. You shouldn't get free experience and bonuses for nothing! But taking away too many movement points causes great problems. For instance, I accidentally (and I mean accidentally) used a one way portal that took my governor far away from his town. After that I could not get home, because every turn I lost more than 80% of my movement points and the town gate spell could not be used.

I think one way to resolve this, is always to allow a governor to go back to his home town via town gate. And maybe prohibit his use of the town gate to go to other towns.
Last edited by cjlee on Oct 24 2016, 22:32, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Might & Magic: Heroes 5.5 (unofficial)

Postby magnomagus » Oct 25 2016, 9:09

1. By design
2. Also by design, dark magic is not uncommon for sylvan, it is FORBIDDEN, only druids can learn it. If a skill is not in the skillwheel it cannot be learned. Each class has 12 skills, the most suitable ones both from a perspective of lore as well as variety between classes. I never have issues getting skills from the wheel.
3. Code of combat AI is inaccessible and therefore same as toe.
4. For accidents, the game has saving and loading function, but I will think about it.

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Re: Might & Magic: Heroes 5.5 (unofficial)

Postby cjlee » Oct 28 2016, 13:34

Ok... that explains it... it is very disappointing because I depend heavily on Dark Magic in most of my strategies. For instance I just finished a game where I could simply not have won had I chosen to use anything other than to spam Puppet Master and Vampiricism. (I cheated to give my Knight Dark Magic.)

I would suggest some tweaks to the governor system. It is awesome, and makes it possible that a player can venture far out of his territory, while someone stays at home and still manages to conduct a decent defense. The governor system in H5.5 is another of those things that all Heroes modders (ie for H2, H3, H4) should learn from.

That said, I think their greatest use is in PvP. So you can’t expect to load a saved game if someone’s governor accidentally ends up far from home. To prevent abuses of this system maybe you can make it such that a governor can resign when he’s away from home and finds he can’t get back.

Also it should be possible to appoint governors for towns you own which are not of your faction. Maybe they can recieve less experiences or creature growth bonuses to prevent overpopulation?


Here is some feedback on the new hero classes created by the H5.5 mod. Since I used mentoring a lot, I trained a vast number of heroes at very little cost and was able to observe them in action. Also the governor system was excellent at helping train assistant heroes (albeit at a much slower rate).

Haven:
The H5.5 mod’s changes have made this faction’s strategies much simpler.

Now Knights are much more might-y. They focus on defense and attack and have very little knowledge and spellpower. It’s pretty clear that if you want to go the Knight path, unless you are on a custom map where heroes can get to level 30+ and visit many stat boosters, you’re going to be a pretty useless spellcaster. Knights can only learn one spell school, light magic, and don’t need much spellpower for that.
In most pvp games where you expect to fight each other at level 15-25, It will be pretty difficult to play the Knight with much resurrection/ divine vengeance spellcasting in action. Most of a Knight’s actions in battle will be based on Combat abilities such as Retaliation Strike/ Chain Strike, or leadership abilities like Encourage.
In order to win battles with low casualties, a Knight has to fight fast and strike hard – eg with Champions and Royal Griffins. Thanks to high defense, I was able to fight a very interesting battle against a vast army of Rakshashas. I lost over 110 Griffins, but had mass haste, regeneration but no resurrection nor the spell power to use resurrection even if I had it. My Archangels had no mana left. I parked them defending in front of the Rakshasas, and patiently regenerated my 110 Griffins. With haste at 20 initiative and waiting them every turn, I could regenerate 2 Griffins 4 times per turn and eventually got everyone back.

Paladins are very weak in attack, but strong in defense and knowledge. This seems to be the equivalent of H5’s Sylvan faction. I find that Paladins can outlast Knights in battle because of their spellcasting, but obviously they are much less effective using Champion charge. I find it more effective to do turtling and let the Marksmen shoot away when I am a Paladin. However I have not been able to fight Inferno using a Paladin. These guys simply hit too hard and you have to attack early, which is something a Paladin is bad at.

I used to always get Dark and Light magic with my Haven heroes, but now H5.5 has disallowed learning of Dark magic for most Haven heroes. Only Heretics can learn Dark magic. These guys are strong in attack and spellpower, and weak in defense and knowledge.

Playing with Heretics, I haven’t mastered their style of gameplay. I really don’t find their high spellpower particularly useful, since they can learn destruction magic but their mage guild doesn’t teach. Their weak defense must be matched with Dark magic spells, especially vampiricism, in order to survive. But Dark Magic doesn’t require high spellpower to be effective, so again the Heretic’s higher spellpower stats are wasted. Heretics get a small morale penalty, which is surprisingly crippling given their inability to learn leadership and the lack of artifact merchant to buy morale artifacts. They also cannot learn light magic.

It would be very interesting to hear if anyone is able to make the H5.5 Heretic work for them. I simply found the -1 morale too much of a burden. Try anything with a -1 morale penalty and you will find your troops losing their turn at the worst moments – especially when you have to consider that enemies are more than happy to use morale-reducing abilities and artifacts on you.

If playing a small multiplayer map where I expect to fight the enemy within a month, the Heretic’s +2 attack and +2 defense in exchange for -1 morale is worth it. I think pretty much anything over 1 month, involving heroes of at least levels 20, and this tradeoff is not worth it.

I have found myself surprisingly attached to the old H5 knight ways. I got used to learning both Dark and Light magic for every hero. I am still unable to put the Heretic to good use.

Also to consider is the fact that H5.5 has nerfed Training severely. I never played PvP on Heroes 5, so I don’t know how imbalanced Training can get. I hear complaints, but don’t understand. Training costs should normally act as the brake on which to build an army. No one can afford an army of trained Paladins if, even after the 35% discount, it still costs more than 2x to train a paladin as to hire one up front.


Sylvan:

Rangers have been turned upside down, and are now strong on attack and low on everything else. It works better than before, unless you’re facing Dark Magic. (But you can learn Shatter Dark now.)

Wardens are proving to be much like the Rangers of old – high on defense and low on attack. I can’t say I like them, but there’s nothing obviously unbalanced in the H5.5 mod.

Druids are more of a problem. They’re pure spellcasters, and don’t get to use the Ranger Avenger ability. I was totally unable to fight an Inferno opponent using a Druid. Am guessing H5.5 Druids are still ok in the context of PvP, but not for custom maps where your Boss Opponent has a vast army. Spellcasting has been scaled up to make spellcasters relevant in H5.5, but ultimately when facing a big army, there is only so much your hero can do.

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Re: Might & Magic: Heroes 5.5 (unofficial)

Postby magnomagus » Oct 30 2016, 11:00

If playing a small multiplayer map where I expect to fight the enemy within a month, the Heretic’s +2 attack and +2 defense in exchange for -1 morale is worth it. I think pretty much anything over 1 month, involving heroes of at least levels 20, and this tradeoff is not worth it.


? You are not talking about heretics, but renegades. They don't get a morale penalty if you don't learn light magic.

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Re: Might & Magic: Heroes 5.5 (unofficial)

Postby cjlee » Oct 31 2016, 19:59

Well...

maybe I'm wrong on the Renegades. There was always so much going on that morale penalties could have come from elsewhere.

However, I notice both Shamans and Witches get morale penalties on their non-Stronghold troops. Even when there are no Stronghold troop around eg all-Sylvan or all-Haven lineup except for the hero. That makes them weaker than they already are. On a standard official H5 map (ie not H5.5 RMG map) that I selected difficulty Hard and Hard on, I can't hold my own against the AI. That's scary.

The spell learning is very well executed. I have totally no complaints or negative observations. Stronghold spellcasters truly can learn spells, and use spells, and the town structures totally work to grant them increased defense and adventure spells. This process is very smooth, and it is done wisely. They learn spells at the right time, and fairly, so that they have all usable spells without being overpowered by the free/spontaneous spell learning mechanism.

However, my feedback is still that Stronghold Spellcasters aren't worth hiring. This is not really a fault of the H5.5 mod, but a problem inherent to the Stronghold faction.

In the past I rarely hired Stronghold troops if playing a non-Stronghold faction. I just didn't see them as useful additions to a non-Stronghold army, except for the Sun Daughters for supporting spellcasting. Now that I am playing Stronghold troops without Bloodrage ie using a Witch/ Shaman, I find my negative observations borne out.

Stronghold troops really suck without bloodrage. This faction was designed to use bloodrage. Nival expected that every Stronghold hero would have skills like leadership and luck and attack, and that all troops would fight harder and last longer thanks to bloodrage.

Wizard troops, Undeads, Dungeon and Dwarven troops all work fine with a main hero that is spellcaster. This is because:

1) Natural Immunities. Academy and Fortress troops are full of immunities.
2) High natural defense on many creatures. Dungeon especially has high HPs.
3) High hero defense in the H5 vanilla version.
4) Undeads always have large numbers from Necromancy, and also because of their undead converters.

But the Stronghold lineup is terribly weak without their rage points. Sun Daughters and Chieftains don't have high HP. Wyverns aren't good for soaking damage. Centaurs are hard to keep alive, and goblins can't even retaliate. Add that to a hero with low defense like the Witch, and you have a very weak army that relies on the Witch's destructive and dark spells. This was simply no match for any AI Might Hero.

If the intention of the H5.5 modders was to create many hero classes to play with and a high degree of balance between hero classes, I'm afraid I can't recommend anyone play with the Witch/ Shaman. If you like spellcasters, you should start with a non-Stronghold faction. I simply cannot see a Witch beating a Knight in any pvp between equally good players.

I think H7 did a better job in creating hero classes where the hero ability can apply to different troops. For instance the H7 Barbarian Bloodrage applies to all troops lead by the current Barbarian hero.

Other observations:
Now certain spellcasters, including the Sorcerer and the Witch, can learn Necromancy. I think this is a nearly-useless mod. In practice no human player will learn necromancy just to have a few extra skeletons to act as damage sponges. Thanks to the limitations from Dark Energy points, the -1 morale is not worth it. Unless there are several Necropolises, you will lack Dark Energy to raise more than x skeletons or zombies per week. Even in H3 where there is no such constraint on numbers of skeletons raised, most people would never consider Necromancy worth learning for anyone outside the Necromancer faction. In H4 we got to play with heroes like Gauldoth Half Dead and Alita, and even with mass vampires from Necromancy unconstrained by Dark Energy, the morale penalty was barely worth it.

I wonder whether the Fallen Knight/ Pariah route is ever worth taking. +5 to spellpower is trivial, especially when you're talking about Light/ Dark magic which don't get much benefit from spell power anyway. One hero being able to act more strongly using +5 spellpower, is usually less important than all 7 stacks being able to act more and faster due to higher morale. Seriously, I wonder how often people go for Fallen Knight/ Renegade in the pvp maps.

Also...

Playing on a standard official H5 map I notice something about the town conversion.

I (human player) can't afford town conversions at any point in the game, early or late. AI gets more resources, so they can. This increasingly leads to the problem where I can still beat the weaker AI players, but the stronger AI players (or whichever one that lucked into capturing an extra town early in the game when conversion is still cheap) become unbeatable.

I am also getting the impression that the AI is getting much more resources than I initially expected. They can build every day but can hire full and fully upgraded armies at all times including from external generators. It doesn't seem to be a slight thing eg 20% more gold. Seems as though AI has no limit on their precious minerals, since they can build everything at top speed.

Not a fault of the mod, but I am warning others that the human player can seriously lose a game against the AI on the H5.5 mod. On H5.5, Hard means Hard, not Default Difficulty That Everyone Must Play to Have A Decent Game the way it means on H2-7.

Still finding it difficult to accept the idea of lowering difficulty to Normal...
Last edited by cjlee on Oct 31 2016, 20:29, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Might & Magic: Heroes 5.5 (unofficial)

Postby magnomagus » Nov 1 2016, 9:55

A few things

1. You are overly concerned with morale penalties, going over 5 has no impact and you already start with 2, in many late game scenarios a morale penalty is hardly a penalty at all.
2. Shamans & Witches don't get a different treatment with morale penalties, the system where heroes are negatively affected by other faction creatures was already in place in TOE.
3. The dmg reduction on average from bloodrage is ~20%, just like +6 defense bonus from guild, this is just a feeling you have, the mathematics say otherwise. Bloodrage was heavily OP in TOE, in H55 it is much weaker.
4. All Light & Dark magic formulas are very different in H55 and much more spellpower dependant. Take note of how they change with high spellpower. some changes are explained here: http://heroescommunity.com/viewthread.php3?TID=41320, this info is currently outdated (the spells are even more spellpower dependant) but we are working on better manual utility.
5. Use 'casual game' to switch off AI cheating.
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Re: Might & Magic: Heroes 5.5 (unofficial)

Postby cjlee » Nov 1 2016, 16:04

magnomagus wrote:A few things

1. You are overly concerned with morale penalties, going over 5 has no impact and you already start with 2, in many late game scenarios a morale penalty is hardly a penalty at all.
2. Shamans & Witches don't get a different treatment with morale penalties, the system where heroes are negatively affected by other faction creatures was already in place in TOE.
3. The dmg reduction on average from bloodrage is ~20%, just like +6 defense bonus from guild, this is just a feeling you have, the mathematics say otherwise. Bloodrage was heavily OP in TOE, in H55 it is much weaker.
4. All Light & Dark magic formulas are very different in H55 and much more spellpower dependant. Take note of how they change with high spellpower. some changes are explained here: http://heroescommunity.com/viewthread.php3?TID=41320, this info is currently outdated (the spells are even more spellpower dependant) but we are working on better manual utility.
5. Use 'casual game' to switch off AI cheating.



OK,
1) the problem is not going over 5 but going under 0. And what do you mean about starting with 2? That is not what I see with my troops.

I am giving feedback about H5.5 because I see it as necessary. There is no way for you or your team to spend much time with each hero class when there are so many. So be aware that some of my criticisms may be very limited to a particular hero class that I have observed in action.

For instance, if enemy is a necromancer who can inflict morale penalty, a knight and most might heroes (who have Leadership) can survive that. -2 and -4 morale won't kill them, because they often have +3 and +5 in late game.

But if you are a witch who cannot learn leadership, that's a very different story. Then you have to find an artifact merchant. And often you are torn between getting, say, an artifact that boosts your spellpower, versus one that supports your morale. It's not a good tradeoff.

2) In my case I was stuck with non-stronghold troops because my stronghold troops were dying like flies. Which is what happens when you have a spellcaster who doesn't have enough defense and troops that were previously relying on rage points to lower their casualties.

3) The mathematics may not tell the whole story. In TOTE bloodrage didn't just defend your troops; they made your troops stronger/ faster and aided their attacks. This integrated into an overall Might hero strategy, where all troops were attacking nonstop, spurred on by morale boosts, hero Divine Guidance (called Encourage in H5.5), Chieftains giving orders, Hero Shouts, etc. This beat down the enemy resulting in less casualties.

A witch totally lacks all that. In return all she gets are the ability to cast mass slow (often resisted) or delay a couple of enemies with Circle of Winter. Her abilities don't mesh with her troops.

I'm quite willing to accept that maybe I have to relearn and come up with new strategies. But for now, playing Witch and Stronghold is just not working out.

4) I am aware that in H5.5 light and dark magic are also affected by spellpower. I wrote about it in the past also. But I haven't found the change that game changing. In particular, if you are casting mass slow on a Might Hero enemy who responds with mass haste, you are still screwed. His high morale troops will act repeatedly and smash down your troops before your next mass slow. And nowadays many more factions can learn light magic, eg Inferno can easily overcome you with mass haste.

I think the only real way to deal with this is to tweak the Spell Overwriting feature. EG an Expert Light Mass Haste Spellpower 4 should not overwrite Expert Darkness Mass Slow Spellpower 20. It should merely alleviate the speed decrease. Instead of a 35% decrease in initiative followed by a change to 12% increase in initiative, it should be a net 23% decrease in initiative.

Likewise instead of spellpower 3 Cleansing dispelling a spellpower 30 spell totally, it should just decrease the spell duration.

These are of course issues that might be inherent to H5, and not addressable by H5.5 mod.

5) sigh. Casual Game is exactly what I do not want to use. If I wanted a Casual Game against weak AIs, I would just uninstall the H5.5 mod!


In conclusion:

The most important thing of course isn't just my opinion, but whether most gamers will take up your new hero classes. That will tell us whether the balance is there. For example when Blizzard was tweaking Warcraft3, they used to nerf whichever hero or unit that got too popular because it meant that certain winning strategies were too dominant.

If most gamers won't blink between choosing a Witch and a Chieftain, then there is no problem. I personally am quite reluctant to start with a Witch when playing Stronghold, a Sorcerer when playing Inferno, and to date I haven't been able to play the Engineer well also. I was able to do ok with an Alchemist, despite my initial misgivings. Sylvan Druid was ok also, not surprising given the overall strength of the Sylvan faction. But I am just one person. In order to gauge the balance of the H5.5 mod, you would have to observe many people in action, many people talking, etc. If you have a problem where certain hero classes are persistently ignored, the next patch should address that.

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Re: Might & Magic: Heroes 5.5 (unofficial)

Postby cjlee » Nov 1 2016, 16:51

just to follow up by observing hero classes that worked:

Sylvan Druid

The Avenger ability was not that crucial to Sylvan Survival to begin with. You don't get to Avenge until after you have killed 2 populations of the enemy, and you can only list a max of 3 enemies, and you need to have an Avenger's Guild + visit that guild before you can start using this ability. So it acts more as a bonus than as a racial characteristic.

As a result, Sylvan is already a strong faction. Whether you are a Sylvan hero, or a Sylvan spellcaster/ Warden who cannot use Avenger, or another hero that has captured a Sylvan town, you will do fine with Sylvan.

Academy Alchemist

I found H5.5 Alchemist much like H3 Alchemist or H7 Alchemist. Pretty balanced might heroes. Playing them made it clear to me that Academy is not really a weak faction - just that Wizards make them look weak. The troops have sufficient immunities and native abilities to hold their own against the enemy.

Take for example the Golems, who cannot be slowed, cannot be affected by morale, can be resurrected by Gremlins (or Destructive magic) and have unlimited retaliation. Golems aren't powerful units and aren't a major threat in the hands of an alchemist, but they play their part. They do decent damage, they can't be easily taken out of action, etc.

I could say the same of most the Academy faction when controlled by an Alchemist. Most are not outstanding or extremely threatening, but they are balanced and will stand on the battlefield long enough for the Alchemist to put his battle plan to action. Alchemists aren't strong spellcasters, but they will outcast most might heroes. So it is a very balanced faction.

That's why I never had problems playing Academy without a Wizard.

And this brings me back to my problems with Stronghold Spellcasting. Vampiricism would be incredibly dangerous when cast on the Untamed Cyclops, the Executioner or the Mauler. I would even say that for their tier, these three units would make the best use of vampiricism among all H5 units. (I would consider Sprites, War Dancers, Battle Griffins and Kshatriyas the best to vampiricize for their respective tiers.) But I find it very hard to think up other strategies for this lineup other than to shoot for vampiricism. Wyverns for instance, are nowhere as durable/ cheap and good for defense as hydras. Warriors are literally a fraction of the Minotaur's HP and cannot act as damage sponges. My dark spells don't cripple the enemy sufficiently to compensate for lack of might, and my destructive spells aren't destructive enough. I wasn't able to make this lineup work as a spellcaster, and can't see any strategy to make the Witch a strong hero.

If anyone has experience, am glad to hear it. Heroes 5.5 mod offers a lot. I just haven't been able to make everything work. Am not complaining - just raising a balance issue.
Last edited by cjlee on Nov 1 2016, 16:58, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Might & Magic: Heroes 5.5 (unofficial)

Postby magnomagus » Nov 1 2016, 19:55

The morale bonuses to creatures are calculated when the battle starts.

From a perspective of balancing the game the rage bonuses are paid for by skillslots (witches don't need to fill). I played with all stronghold magic heroes before releasing them and had no problems, but i'm aware that not every class is equally difficult (or easy) to play.

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Re: Might & Magic: Heroes 5.5 (unofficial)

Postby cjlee » Nov 1 2016, 20:16

OK, let me talk about an unbalanced battle that I really hated. I consider this the worst (as in least enjoyable) battle in my entire Heroes gaming career.

The AI wasn't anything spectacular. Didn't play particularly well. But what made the battle impossible was:

Firstly, the enemy had incredible numbers. EG 300 Succubus Seducers, 453 Firehounds, 1300 imps, 290 Nightmares. 3 months into a multiplayer map game, and the enemy has 2 castles and no more creature generators than I. Considering that this is Hard (and not Heroic or Impossible), I think the AI is clearly getting too much support from the mod. Even if AI did not lose a single unit while creeping, they are getting way more creatures than any player would.

Secondly, the imps sucked mana every turn. I should have mentioned it before. While campaigning I found this a very unbalanced mod. Already a Familiar army of maybe 100-200 would pose great problems for a hero. A knight would easily lose all his mana in one shot. To be able to suck mana every turn is unacceptable. Familiars already have very high initiative and hit hard. How much more overpowered must they be?

My Witch had Spirit Link and was in a castle - and even so trying to regain mana (from killing these Familiars) was incredibly tough. I'm sure any spellcaster who does not have Consume Corpse/ Spirit Link would be totally done for.

It's not acceptable to totally cripple a spellcaster by accumulating a big stack of tier 1 units that you would have fielded anyway because imps are a backbone of Inferno. If I have a big stack of sprites, can I give them the ability to decrease a might hero's attack by 5 every turn? I am pretty surprised that this mod got implemented without anyone complaining.

Thirdly, I had severe morale problems. And the scenario was such that I did not pick up and did not have opportunity to buy any morale artifact.

The inferno enemy acted way more than I did thanks to very high initiative, and they hit very hard (as expected), and they had bonus abilities (such as the H5.5 mod searing aura) while my Stronghold troops had no additional abilities and kept losing their turns. I have stated elsewhere that Searing aura is too much to put on the Nightmare, especially when the H5.5 mod already gives them more Hp. Nightmares have always acted fast and hit hard, with correspondingly low hp. Don't give them more hp and abilities unless you are prepared to lower their initiative.

It's one thing for me to lose because enemy played better. It's another thing to lose because of imbalanced modifications.

I think I've explored this mod as far as I want to. I have uninstalled the H5.5 mod. There are still a bunch of classes that I have inadequately explored, but they weren't my favourite classes to begin with (Engineer, Seer, etc.). I'll leave that for other gamers to give their feedback. In any case, as I have stressed, we should look to actual usage as a guide to what works. If most gamers want to play with Knight and Chieftain, and nobody wants to play Heretic and Shaman, that is a pretty clear statement that it's not enjoyable to play with these hero classes, possibly because gamers find these classes ineffective or incompetent. I would not call these classes wisely designed.

Having explored H5.5 to a reasonable extent, I can see them running into the same problems as H4. Despite the gamemaker's best efforts some hero classes are simply not rewarding to play, and accordingly get dumped by the wayside. I remember playing the campaign A Wind of Thorns, and deliberately explored non-standard builds for Chatalya and Metelmi just because the mapmaker gave us the option. It didn't work out well at all.

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magnomagus
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Re: Might & Magic: Heroes 5.5 (unofficial)

Postby magnomagus » Nov 2 2016, 10:34

Ok first of all the steal mana ability from imps was nerfed in this mod instead of boosted.
also the searing aura ability is nothing new or modded, I only swapped the auras between the upgrades for esthetical reasons.

I don't know if the map you were playing had anything special going on causing the AI to have an unusual amount of creatures if it was made for TOE possibly it had extra bonuses for AI build in. But obviously amounts were the problem not abilities.

All factions in H55 have been thoroughly multiplayer tested in human vs human games and are much more balanced than in TOE.

You shouldn't force yourself to play with AI cheating, the game is for many already hard enough on casual game, because QAI is a lot better than TOE AI.

I realize some people have difficulty finding appropriate difficulty level so I am currently working on new user customizations to the AI cheating and also an option to activate AI handicap.

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Re: Might & Magic: Heroes 5.5 (unofficial)

Postby cjlee » Nov 2 2016, 17:12

I've always been a fan of intelligent play, not artificially raising difficulty via vast numbers. I could make my own mod where every mine is guarded by 1000 titans, but that doesn't make it a good mod just because it is difficult.

In fact, I was only just discussing ways to make Heroes games more challenging by incorporating terrain in this thread http://www.celestialheavens.com/forum/1 ... 20#p366120

A dumb game creates challenge by putting a vast stack of 1000 dragons to block the way until Month 5. But once Wimfrits or Maltz figures out how to trick the AI in week 1, he shoots up to level 30 and gets all the rewards that he wasn't supposed to get until Month 5. Game is broken at that point.

A smart, sophisticated game could have a numerically inferior enemy ensconced with terrain advantage. The game risk calculator may tell you Threat: Low, but when you try to storm their position, you suffer heavy losses and only a very good tactician can avoid losing half his army.

Creating that scenario, even with H5.5 technology, is not as hard as it seems. For instance, a smart battlefield design where the AI shooters are well protected by rocks, will already make it very hard for you to kill them.

As I noted in a post here, in Heroes 3 for instance, AI can always be relied on to give you a black eye - even if you outnumber them vastly.

It's hardly good game design to give the computer 1.3k imps, 300+ succubi, 294 Nightmares, etc. in month 3 for instance. Even the best gamers would not be able to field half as many. So AI cheating becomes broken. A more intelligent design would be to figure out a reasonable rate of attrition and compensate accordingly. For instance, everyone is expected to lose War Dancers and Nightmares. No genius player can avoid losing some on the way to level 20. Even a genius player would not be able to avoid losing a large number to other human players. Handing the computer hundreds of nightmares for free doesn't really make a balanced mod. You can only do that in scripted scenarios where the enemy is a boss hero.

After observing many different hero classes in action, I think Witch/ Shaman are the weakest class.

Another consideration is that due to unit special abilities, not all units are the same when their numbers are scaled up. This is part of the awesome aspect of Heroes, but it does make your work harder. Mathematics doesn't work the same way for all units.

For instance, Pit Lord's Vorpal Sword is incredible in month 1. You really need these guys, both as spellcasters and as defenders against enemy's Tier 7/ Phoenix summons.

In month 3, 4? When the enemy has 30 Tier 7s? 50, 60 Pit Lords aren't a big deal anymore. They get disproportionately weaker because Vorpal Sword becomes irrelevant.

Imps are very dangerous in large numbers because they suck mana. Once you have enough to remove more than 40% of a hero's mana per turn (considering that imps have high initiative, and Demon Lords often have leadership and high morale), spellcasting is essentially disabled. Imps always act before a hero, so they are guaranteed to get at least one mana suck no matter what.

You can't create a game that makes it so easy to disable spellcasting, unless you are prepared to offer similar conditions to disable might attacks.

Vampire Lords are also disproportionately dangerous in large numbers. Because once there are enough Lords to inflict more damage in one attack, than your strongest melee can dish out against them, it becomes harder and harder to kill them as your forces diminish and theirs don't.

Anyway all that is moot. I'm done with the H5.5 mod. I think it is truly designed for multiplayer games, and probably would turn out much better in a multiplayer duel arena. Thanks for designing it and all that hard work. I'm sure there are many people who appreciate it. Now the only game left on my computer is Starcraft 2 - and I'm thinking of deleting that also..

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Re: Might & Magic: Heroes 5.5 (unofficial)

Postby magnomagus » Jan 3 2017, 14:41

RC9 just got released, in perspective of old discussion hero some additional options have been added to make game easier if needed. The issues in C1M5 mission have been fixed. Also important correction: this mod was created for both singleplayer XXXL maps & multiplayer S maps.

RC9 Release Notes
RC9 Downloads
Last edited by magnomagus on Jan 3 2017, 14:46, edited 1 time in total.


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