H7: New tales incoming

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Postby Groovy » Jun 13 2015, 9:44

Kalah wrote:I suppose that has something to do with my irritation; that I can't seem to go anywhere for a discussion about Heroes without negativity from so-called "fans" cropping up. This negativity inundates every forum both official and fan-owned and I'm getting a little tired of it.

Given the potential of the series and the failure of the last two games to live up to it (H6 tried and failed; H7 hasn't even tried), it's basically a choice between negativity and silence. I prefer silence myself. It's not that I dislike all the changes that were made under Ubisoft's watch. I just don't think that they significantly advance the series, so I don't spend much time on them. If Ubisoft were to release a game that revitalised the series, I'd be more than happy to spend a lot of time discussing its features in a positive light.

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H7: New tales incoming

Postby Karmakeld » Jun 14 2015, 13:15

the funny thing is I too like the old saying "If you got nothing nice to say, then keep quiet" but if all ppl. kept silent about what they felt could be better, how would you improve something? I like this quote from my fav. Danish rockband "Every time you throw dirt, you lose a little ground". Atleast bring some arguements when complaining, that atleast makes it easier to take a complaint more serious. Just asking for a decent game is a bit inprecise ;-)
Btw. why does Denmark have to do with this, Erwinner? Beside Denmark is not a state but a Country and could you atleast be precise about what's rotten in DK? ;-)
Edited on Sun, Jun 14 2015, 09:16 by Karmakeld
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H7: New tales incoming

Postby hellegennes » Jun 14 2015, 16:29

There's a 100% chance that saying something along the lines of "I wish they would stop publishing stupid stories and work on the gameplay" will do absolutely nothing to improve anything at all.

Some people confuse constructive criticism with nothing but negative statements. First of all, statements are not criticism. When you say "I hate this", it's not criticism nor does it help the recipient to change and improve upon anything.

Some fans, here, have complained about every little detail; the artwork, the proportions, the visual effects, the colouring scheme. These do not seem to be secondary complaints, too; they are being voiced as if they ruin the whole thing (setting aside the fact that all of these could be said about any of the previous games. Heroes was never big on realism, proportions and beautiful graphics).

To Erwinner: I have worked as a writer, I have worked as a translator, I have worked as a programmer and I know the relative cost of all these things. When I say that the stories on the website cost ridiculously little money in comparison to everything else, I speak from experience. Also, if some of the writers have other work to do for the game it's absolutely irrelevant. The work done is measured in tasks. Having other things to do changes nothing. If the budget says there will be X maps in the game, then there will be X maps, no matter what other duties the mapmakers may have. It doesn't depend on their availability, it depends on the budget. And having 10 short stories affects the budget in an insignificant way.

Mind you, the website is also one of the marketing tools for the game. Maybe you don't care about how wide an audience the game will be targeted to, but the game isn't made to please you, as if the software house owes you that. It is made to make money. And no, putting all the funds in the game itself isn't enough today, for anyone arguing that the game itself will advertise itself with its qualities. That doesn't cut it anymore, no matter how you may hate it. It's not the 90's anymore. Blame humanity.

Finally, because something has problems and doesn't feel right, means not that the people who made it were lazy or ignorant or talentless or didn't devote enough time and money. Some things just do not turn out as good as others. There are many factors for why something becomes a failure. There have been movies where a lot of money was invested, a lot of talented actors, had solid scripts and great care was taken in their execution, yet failed miserably (Cutthroat Island comes to mind).
Edited on Sun, Jun 14 2015, 12:33 by hellegennes

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Postby Salamandre » Jun 14 2015, 17:54

We assist at a new situation here, with developers actively trying to communicate and share with fans, have feedback in real time. They invited fans at their event, answered to questions, then visit regularly the forums (HC at least). Thus, because of that, fans are much more vocal because they know the persons targeted are reading the comments.

Personally I find this approach totally wrong and counterproductive: if I was on developers team I wouldn't give a **** about fans ideas, because is not the fans who have the universal view on all aspects, but me. First, I would start studying all Heroes games, one by one, read articles about, watch game play videos, talk with best players and try to understand what made their success or failure. When all this is assimilated I would start designing the game, but from that point, I wont listen to anyone but only pursuit my ideas.

As they do now, is one step back, one step forward. They fail at this aspect, then let's pull out of our butt some story, because either way we have nothing to offer to please our king fans. And so on. This isn't about writers being cheap or not, this is about the team nervously trying to mark a positive point.

Then it was this delay of the beta, huge cacophony in their planning, so now can't be surprised when people making fun of them.

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Re: H7: New tales incoming

Postby Erwinner » Jun 14 2015, 20:01

Karmakeld wrote:Btw. why does Denmark have to do with this, Erwinner? Beside Denmark is not a state but a Country and could you atleast be precise about what's rotten in DK? ;-)


I'm sorry, what are you talking about? lol

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Postby Galaad » Jun 14 2015, 23:26

IMO the open dev situation is mainly -if not only- used for marketing purpose, and it also turned out people are not as stupid as Ubisoft assumed.
Ofc I fully agree with Salamandre saying no one should know the game better than the people actually creating the game.

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Postby Groovy » Jun 15 2015, 9:04

Karmakeld wrote:the funny thing is I too like the old saying "If you got nothing nice to say, then keep quiet" but if all ppl. kept silent about what they felt could be better, how would you improve something?

True.
The silence that I had in mind was more along the lines of having your say and then moving on. For example, once you realise that the H7 vision is to follow in the footsteps of its predecessors with some minor tweaks, simply state that you are not interested in playing another Heroes rehash and leave it at that; don’t bother criticising each individual feature for being too similar to what came before. I do think that this could work well if enough people did it. And it has the added advantage of not wasting your time. :)

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Postby Galaad » Jun 15 2015, 11:39

Groovy wrote:For example, once you realise that the H7 vision is to follow in the footsteps of its predecessors with some minor tweaks

This is what they say but is not true. Believe me, I would have loved to see a real "best of" with improvements and a few tweaks (within a gorgeous environment), but this is not the case. From what I’ve seen so far, each feature reused in heroes 7 is superior in the old games, not to mention how similar the core of h7 seems to be with h6.

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Postby Pol » Jun 15 2015, 13:02

Salamandre wrote:Personally I find this approach totally wrong and counterproductive: if I was on developers team I wouldn't give a **** about fans ideas, because is not the fans who have the universal view on all aspects, but me. First, I would start studying all Heroes games, one by one, read articles about, watch game play videos, talk with best players and try to understand what made their success or failure. When all this is assimilated I would start designing the game, but from that point, I wont listen to anyone but only pursuit my ideas.


Signed! Their approach seems like some PR driven hybrid, it's not good for the game neither for the community. You should always rely on your own idea first.

@hellegennes
Yes, writers are indeed cheapest but theirs are not good. The quality of the Tales are mediocre, latest "example" is Yog's bio:
Biography: The blue-skinned Yog is neither Man nor Orc nor Beast. Born to powerful Wizards of House Anima, the infant was fused with the essence of a Djinn at birth. His parents hoped it would make their son the greatest Wizard that ever lived. But the Dragons have a wicked sense of humour, and the fusion with the magical being had the opposite effect: Yog showed an uncanny ineptitude for all things related to magic. Rejected by his parents, ostracized by the Wizards, Yog eventually abandoned his birth name and found a new family among the Orcs and Beastmen.


The bolded part is where writer went bored and added just a phrase. (Also I doubt that his magic skills will be blocked.) Wasted chance.

Especially because in campaigns there should be plenty of good texts and based on tales there is a low chance, that it will happen.
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Postby mr.hackcrag » Jun 15 2015, 16:13

Groovy wrote: And it has the added advantage of not wasting your time. :)


:tsup: Amusing for sure. I think most cry for therapeutic purposes though. And who can blame since the HoMM (it even lost its name) journey has been traumatizing over the years.

As always Salamandre hit the nail on the head. Too bad it won't change reality at this point.

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H7: New tales incoming

Postby hellegennes » Jun 15 2015, 20:21

@Karmakeld:
Btw. why does Denmark have to do with this, Erwinner? Beside Denmark is not a state but a Country and could you atleast be precise about what's rotten in DK? ;-)

Ahem... Hamlet? Have you ever heard of Shakespeare?

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Re: H7: New tales incoming

Postby Erwinner » Jun 15 2015, 20:35

hellegennes wrote:There's a 100% chance that saying something along the lines of "I wish they would stop publishing stupid stories and work on the gameplay" will do absolutely nothing to improve anything at all.


I disagree, I think it's a perfectly valid message and has a chance of convincing Ubi that they should devote more attention to the gameplay than the stupid stories, if they would take it seriously lol

if they don't, that's their prerogative, lol

if they took it to heart it probably would help the game, after all according to a Black Hole account Heroes 6 lost the Academy faction because Ubi was so delayed coming up with other deliverables, namely the campaign story script which took 27 months to make lol

hellegennes wrote:To Erwinner: I have worked as a writer, I have worked as a translator, I have worked as a programmer and I know the relative cost of all these things. When I say that the stories on the website cost ridiculously little money in comparison to everything else, I speak from experience. Also, if some of the writers have other work to do for the game it's absolutely irrelevant. The work done is measured in tasks. Having other things to do changes nothing. If the budget says there will be X maps in the game, then there will be X maps, no matter what other duties the mapmakers may have. It doesn't depend on their availability, it depends on the budget. And having 10 short stories affects the budget in an insignificant way.


again, if you can cite a reliable source for what Ubisoft are paying their Heroes writers please, that would be valid for me lol
I am under no illusion it is anything more than peanuts, but equally I am sure in a project that is a turn-based strategy game where everything seems to be broken 3 months from release, even a yearly salary of peanuts would have been better spent on improving the actual game lol

so much time, effort and surely money from the Ubi end goes into these ridiculous campaigns and fluff, when there are so many massive design problems much closer to home, it's really a ludicrous proposition that they will not put all of their effort and resources into making the core gameplay loop presentable lol

creating maps is absolutely a matter of time and availability, if the map editor is working at all, it should cost absolutely nothing to create a map outside of the wage for the time spent on creating it, even peons like me can make maps for no wage lol

obviously, if a level designer has decided to try their hand writing lame fluff on a website, there is definitely no chance of getting more work done on maps in that time, anyway, lol

hellegennes wrote:Mind you, the website is also one of the marketing tools for the game. Maybe you don't care about how wide an audience the game will be targeted to, but the game isn't made to please you, as if the software house owes you that. It is made to make money. And no, putting all the funds in the game itself isn't enough today, for anyone arguing that the game itself will advertise itself with its qualities. That doesn't cut it anymore, no matter how you may hate it. It's not the 90's anymore. Blame humanity.


OK, let's assume their actions are competent, we will return to this discussion in one year to review how many people are pleased by Heroes 7 and how commercially successful it has been, then I will know whether to blame humanity or to blame Ubisoft for what I think is Ubisoft's bad sense of priorities lol

hellegennes wrote:Finally, because something has problems and doesn't feel right, means not that the people who made it were lazy or ignorant or talentless or didn't devote enough time and money. Some things just do not turn out as good as others. There are many factors for why something becomes a failure. There have been movies where a lot of money was invested, a lot of talented actors, had solid scripts and great care was taken in their execution, yet failed miserably (Cutthroat Island comes to mind).


I am sure of it, I believe in the benefit of the doubt, but it has been ten years and I have accumulated plenty of reason to believe Ubisoft's Might and Magic team is populated by talentless hacks who don't really know what they're doing, they have literally said it themselves that they have no vision for the series lol

it's really just Occam's Razor at work, I mean we can always invent delusions for ourselves that the team is not at fault, fine, but personally I choose to blame Ubisoft because they are the common element, the ones pushing the most questionable ideas, making disingenous statements and sending up so many red flags for me over the years lol

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Postby mr.hackcrag » Jun 15 2015, 21:12

This guy sure likes to laugh out loud. ;)

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Postby Groovy » Jun 16 2015, 10:09

Galaad wrote:This is what they say but is not true. Believe me, I would have loved to see a real "best of" with improvements and a few tweaks (within a gorgeous environment), but this is not the case. From what I’ve seen so far, each feature reused in heroes 7 is superior in the old games, not to mention how similar the core of h7 seems to be with h6.

By "follow in the footsteps of its predecessors" I meant that H7 is reusing the features from the earlier games instead of innovating. How well it is reusing those features is a separate question.

I was expressing a personal preference in that even doing a good job of the reuse wouldn't have been enough for me. I have played with the old features enough to want a game that fundamentally improves upon them.

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Postby Galaad » Jun 16 2015, 10:26

Right.
Well, I think this is the key sentence:
Groovy wrote:I have played with the old features enough to want a game that fundamentally improves upon them.

Because, Ubi seems to not understand. For them, it looks like innovation means creating a different game (cf heroes 6 and how they "took established genres and pushed them to the 21st century".) ...

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Postby Groovy » Jun 16 2015, 14:18

Galaad wrote:Because, Ubi seems to not understand. For them, it looks like innovation means creating a different game (cf heroes 6 and how they "took established genres and pushed them to the 21st century".) ...

I would have been happy with that had it worked. I would have changed a lot more had I been responsible for the design. The problem for me wasn't that they tried, only that they failed. Not trying is not really a viable alternative at this point in the series.

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H7: New tales incoming

Postby Karmakeld » Jun 16 2015, 16:04

@hellegenes when did >wink wink ~ notch notch know what I mean< get a new meaning other than wink ';-)'? The kids of today have ruined lol for me by misusing it endlessly but perhaps it just works better than the old wink. Loh (laughing out hysterically)

Besides I really like the fact that some of you think they should just keep to their own Ideas. Then why even bother sending out a beta test (other than bug fixing). 'it doesn't work well enough, the idea is good though, but you should develop/change this/that'.. 'nah I'll just stick with my original idea'..what??!! Agreed the dev's SHOULD have the bigger/better overview of the big picture but I don't see why that should exclude other points of views. Obviously you can't please all and not all ideas would fit, but then it's the dev's job to pick. Given the opportunity to affect this game more than prev. versions your answer is 'no, don't ask me. Solve it yourself..' ??
Edited on Tue, Jun 16 2015, 12:20 by Karmakeld
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Postby Galaad » Jun 16 2015, 16:21

@Groovy

My philosophy would be: build upon, don't build a new.
If the game has little to nothing left to do with HOMM, can you really call it HOMM anymore?

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Postby mr.hackcrag » Jun 16 2015, 18:22

They don't call it HoMM anymore. ;|

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Postby Groovy » Jun 17 2015, 9:31

Galaad wrote:If the game has little to nothing left to do with HOMM, can you really call it HOMM anymore?

Of course not.
On the other hand, if it shares too much with its predecessors, it might come across feeling more like a mod than a fully fledged game. That's why I think the ideal approach is to balance making substantial changes so that the game feels fresh with keeping enough of the existing features so that it feels like a sequel.

In other words, build upon some features and build others anew. :)


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