Utopia in a Month

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sezerp
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First Month Utopia

Postby sezerp » Jul 28 2006, 7:20

"Actually I have many times conquired dragon utopia with Tazar + 3-5 hydras + splited lizardsman
and yes 3 hydras were enough if the hero had high level ...

The trick is to make a good positioning of those units and dragons will go dump and instead of attacking hydras will press wait (or defend ) for a couple of turns...

So please do not say that h3 was so great , hard , with fantastic AI .... etc etc ....

and it's not an very bad exploit as it involves tactics .... one wrong move and you may loose your army and even the hero ... BTW it was permited in h3 MP and nobody ended game becouse of this... and actually there are some other nice tricks you could do in h3 ;)"

When did I say H3 had great AI? Can you quote me on that (of course you can't). What I did say was: IMHO H3 implemented creature banks somewhat better.

Yes, there was a lot of tricks you could use in H3 to win against much stronger army. So it was in every single part of the series. Still, you'll perhaps agree, not many of them involved defeating dragons with such a weak army. H3 hydras are level 7 creatures after all... And did you mention _a specific hero_ with _high level_ ? Well, with high level hero you can accomplish a lot, it is what these games are about.

Myself, I wouldn't call it an exploit either, it just example of using every single advantage given by the environment - which is what is tactics about isn't it ? What is strange is how far you can take it in H5
Edited on Fri, Jul 28 2006, 01:29 by sezerp

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Sir Gallant
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First Month Utopia

Postby Sir Gallant » Jul 28 2006, 7:37

How is a peasant blocking a dragon an exploit? LOL. It's a part of the game, always has been and hopefully always will be. It's as much of an exploit as putting your archers in a corner and surrounding them with melee units.

"If the AI doesn't go after 165 Archers because that 1 peasant is closer you're exploiting his disability to plan ahead."
Ha ha ha. Let me enlighten you: dragons attact the peasant in question not because it's closer to them, but because they can't attack the archers themselves. They physically can't go after them, see, and that's the beauty of this strategy, for which Heroes' combat mechanics allows.

This "exploit" is pretty much the same what Leonidas and his 300 Spartans did in Thermopylae canyon. They used the surroundings to their advantage and made Xerxes' army suffer losses far greater than he'd expect. In a player vs player situation the result of the above battle would be similar: dragons would most likely win, suffering great losses however. What it required was (just as in the HoMM example above) a lucky terrain and some clever tactics.
ZOMG, hax0r SPartans exploloitarz, banninate them!

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Postby Gaidal Cain » Jul 28 2006, 8:08

If this isn't an exploit of a specific AI flaw, please tell me how you'd defeat the same dragons with the same troops but with a battlefield layout where one cannot block the dragons that way.
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MER
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First Month Utopia

Postby MER » Jul 28 2006, 8:15

""If the AI doesn't go after 165 Archers because that 1 peasant is closer you're exploiting his disability to plan ahead."
Ha ha ha. Let me enlighten you: dragons attact the peasant in question not because it's closer to them, but because they can't attack the archers themselves. They physically can't go after them, see, and that's the beauty of this strategy, for which Heroes' combat mechanics allows."

The point is the AI shouldn't attack these peasents either but it does cuz they are the closest to the archers. It is an exploit IMO but we are 'allowed' to use it cuz the AI is cheating (so it can balance its stupidity).

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Re: First Month Utopia

Postby DaemianLucifer » Jul 28 2006, 10:45

Sir Gallant wrote:
This "exploit" is pretty much the same what Leonidas and his 300 Spartans did in Thermopylae canyon. They used the surroundings to their advantage and made Xerxes' army suffer losses far greater than he'd expect. In a player vs player situation the result of the above battle would be similar: dragons would most likely win, suffering great losses however. What it required was (just as in the HoMM example above) a lucky terrain and some clever tactics.

ZOMG, hax0r SPartans exploloitarz, banninate them!


No its not the same,because 5 blackies,6 deep and 11 shadow dragons outnumber 130 marksman by at least 10 to 1,and spartans were outnumbered mostly 3 to 1.And spartans lost a lot of their ships in this battle too,but here you loose 6 peasants,and thats just nothing.

And I am just waiting for some of you brilliant tacticians to call beating 1000 of zobies with a single sprite and level 1 hero a clever tactics.Come on,I dare you!

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Postby ThunderTitan » Jul 28 2006, 12:20

First of all the Spartans all died. Now if Xerxes had some mental disease that forced him to only send in 300 troops at every 5 min gainst them it would have been an exploit.

Secondly, i never said you shouldn't use it. Seeing as all players can probably do it, it shouldn't be very imbalanced. Just don't go around saying it's not an exploit.

Thirdly, anyone notice how the AI Dragons seem to just move straight ahead in their first turn?
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stijn
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Postby stijn » Jul 28 2006, 12:27

exploit or not, this is one of the things i always liked about homm, beating a way much larger army by doing smart things :)

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Postby ThunderTitan » Jul 28 2006, 12:54

Yeah, but it's so much better when you do it to someone that's not an idiot.
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Postby Ethric » Jul 28 2006, 15:04

DaemianLucifer wrote:Though it is really clever,it is still the exploit of the fact that a single peasant can block a huge dragon from going anywhere.


Then the entire series is based on an exploit, namely the stacksystem. If you want to remove that "exploit", you have to change that fundament in the series.

Gaidal Cain wrote:If this isn't an exploit of a specific AI flaw, please tell me how you'd defeat the same dragons with the same troops but with a battlefield layout where one cannot block the dragons that way.


That's the whole *point* of having battlefields that aren't completely clean: to give the players some randomness to terrain, obstacles that can be a royal pain in the butt making you take more losses than usual, or that you can use cunningly against your adversary to enable you to win against otherwise impossible odds.

The victory isn't gained primarily from a flaw in the AI, but from having favourable terrain and knowing how to utilize it. Within the confines of the game and the specific battlefield the AI is then unable to counter the ruse. So no, on a completely blank battlefield you most likely couldn't win this. And that's part of the point of it: he had to have this battlefield to win, and he had to scout ahead to see if he had the advantage. He did, so he won. If he hadn't, well then he wouldn't have attacked.
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Postby ThunderTitan » Jul 28 2006, 15:27

The AI always rushes in a straight line in it's first move. It also forgets about the Marksmans ability. And if they AI had a broader grasp of tactics he would try to attack the peasants in such a way as to create a breach, but he never will, coz he doesn't see what's really happening.
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Postby Kristo » Jul 28 2006, 16:31

You know, you don't always need to get in the last word.

Sheesh. I've never seen such an intense debate over the meaning of one word. All strategies and tactics are fundamentally exploits. That's the whole point. You take an enemy's weakness and use it to your advantage. In this case we're dealing with a deterministic enemy, a computer. The same algorithms (presumably) run for every battle, so you can reliably count on seeing the same tactics and you can reliably exploit them in the same way. That's how all computer games work. You figure out what your digital enemies will do, then adjust your behavior such that you win.

I think the more important question here is whether this should be considered cheating. If you're in a single-player game, I don't think anyone should give a crap. You're free to do whatever you want. If this is multiplayer, it raises the question of fairness. Do all sides have reasonably equal access to the Dragon Utopia? If so, then I say it's fine. The tactics outlined here are now (very) public knowledge, so everyone has the same chance to reap the benefits early in the game. If not, then play a different map or invent yet another bogus house rule to give all players a warm fuzzy about fairness (i.e., make everyone equally miserable).

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Postby Gaidal Cain » Jul 28 2006, 16:48

Kristo wrote: Do all sides have reasonably equal access to the Dragon Utopia? If so, then I say it's fine.


However, not all players will have an utopia that allows this tactic. There could be a months gap between when two players are able to pillage it, and with the immense rewards that an utopia offers...

Ethric wrote:That's the whole *point* of having battlefields that aren't completely clean: to give the players some randomness to terrain, obstacles that can be a royal pain in the butt making you take more losses than usual, or that you can use cunningly against your adversary to enable you to win against otherwise impossible odds.


I prefer my games not to have a randomness that would sometimes allow me to win against "otherwise impossible odds". Heroes is supposed to be a strategy game, and there's no strategy in finding that such an important location as a dragon utopia is such that it can be cleared without much losses. It's like placing boots of speed near every player position and then assigning a totally random creature as guard.

The victory isn't gained primarily from a flaw in the AI, but from having favourable terrain and knowing how to utilize it.


Yes, it is. Without the flaw in the AI, there would be no victory. A human player would have performed many times better.
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Postby Ethric » Jul 28 2006, 16:50

And if not for the terrain there wouldn't be a victory either. Both factors are necessary, thus the flaws of the AI is not the primary factor. At least not the way I understand the words.
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Postby ThunderTitan » Jul 28 2006, 20:58

Well only one player gets the utopia anyway, in any game, so i guess it's up to the map maker to make sure both can get to it about the same time if they want.


Oh, and clearly the designers didn't want this to be posible, so it's an expliot, end of story. :tongue:
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First Month Utopia

Postby val-gaav » Jul 28 2006, 20:58

@sezerp :

The AI thing was more genral ... sorry it was not u who said that ai sucks but couple of persons are saying here that ai in h5 sucks and in h3 is was almost perfect .... well it was not ...

By high level I mean about 10 -15 level Tazar with at least over 10 defense .... Hydras u will have in first week of the game .... reaching level 10-12 and gaining about 15 defence happens in most games untill the start of third week ... it's all ... no magic is needed, but the cure spell may help a lot , and in most cases u will have it ....

As for h5 well ... conquirng utopia here is a difficult task .... fights with neutrals like druids, mages , hunters etc ... are also a lot more difficult then neutrals fro h3 ...

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Postby Ethric » Jul 28 2006, 21:16

ThunderTitan wrote: Oh, and clearly the designers didn't want this to be posible, so it's an expliot, end of story. :tongue:


Clearly, is it? Please elaborate.
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stijn
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Postby stijn » Jul 28 2006, 21:19

Well only one player gets the utopia anyway, in any game, so i guess it's up to the map maker to make sure both can get to it about the same time if they want.
all creature banks respawn. with the 1.2 patch it says 'someone already visited it this month' or something like that.

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Postby Gaidal Cain » Jul 28 2006, 21:22

Ethric wrote:And if not for the terrain there wouldn't be a victory either. Both factors are necessary, thus the flaws of the AI is not the primary factor. At least not the way I understand the words.


One can argue as much as one wants, but in the end, both are required. Discussing which is more important wouldn't lead to anything, so I suggest we just end that part of the discussion with that.

ThunderTitan wrote:Well only one player gets the utopia anyway, in any game, so i guess it's up to the map maker to make sure both can get to it about the same time if they want.


Not if every player has an utopia of their own...
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Postby ThunderTitan » Jul 28 2006, 21:27

Gaidal Cain wrote:Not if every player has an utopia of their own...


Then thy should both be able to do this.
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Postby Gaidal Cain » Jul 29 2006, 7:11

ThunderTitan wrote: Then thy should both be able to do this.


Exactly my point. But since you need some luck with the obstacles, they might not be able to.
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