Utopia in a Month

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Grumpy Old Wizard
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Postby Grumpy Old Wizard » Jul 29 2006, 7:18

Randomness is a part of the game.

Random resources, random artifacts, semi-random offerings of skills, ect. It helps make the game replayable.

GOW

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Cleanpea
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First Month Utopia

Postby Cleanpea » Jul 29 2006, 10:20

Hydras in the first week? I mean not to pick on you, Val-Gaav, but everything is so much easier in easy-settings:)

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Postby ThunderTitan » Jul 29 2006, 10:25

Ethric wrote:Clearly, is it? Please elaborate.


It's imbalanced to have an army win against 10 to 1 odds. The devs wouldn't want that would they?!
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Ethric
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Postby Ethric » Jul 29 2006, 11:30

What the devs of H5 want is pretty shrouded in mystery as far as I can see...
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Postby MER » Jul 29 2006, 11:47

"What the devs of H5 want is pretty shrouded in mystery as far as I can see..."

lol, you're right. If there was a unit Developer in the game it would have special abilities:
*Unbalancer - 30% chance to mess up the stats and abilites of all creatures.
*Buggy nature - 50% chance to trigger a bug on successful attack.

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Postby DaemianLucifer » Jul 29 2006, 16:34

Grumpy Old Wizard wrote:Randomness is a part of the game.

Random resources, random artifacts, semi-random offerings of skills, ect. It helps make the game replayable.

GOW


There is a difference between getting 5 ore or 3 crystals and getting thousands of gold,loads of artifacts and a level 5 spell or nothing.A big difference.

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Kartero
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Postby Kartero » Jul 29 2006, 17:04

I think everybody is looking at the word exploit wrong anyways. Exploiting your opponents' weaknesses is kind of the point of the game. You dont just up and change your strategy because your opponent cant figure it out (AI or Human).If you're not into this kind of game maybe uninstalling and trying a game like solitare might be good for you. Nothing to exploit there really.

Now, on another note if you're saying theyre exploiting a bug, you're wrong. The AI was designed a certain way and that's how it acts.

Zilonite
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Postby Zilonite » Jul 29 2006, 17:14

Huh, 85 comments... Thats something...

Yet, guess, i should add one more - i am the author of this exploit/strategy :-) It seems that mystical dude Acopy is just "a copy" of the guide that LaBoile sent :-)

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Postby Vlaad II » Jul 29 2006, 17:19

lmao
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Sir Charles
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Postby Sir Charles » Jul 29 2006, 17:21

I'd say the biggest difference of opinion comes from Single players versus MP'ers. Single players are only competing against the AI, hence they tend to play on much harder difficulty modes to increase the challenge of playing against an AI. With VERY few exceptions, all AI's will be inferior to Human players who can change their tactics according to their opponent. So changing my tactics so I can more redily beat the AI is an "exploit" is it? LOL. You can define that word however you like, but in the end it's still the same result. Adapting to your opponent to increase your odds of victory. Of course a human player wouldn't have played it that way. That's why you MP...so you're facing an opponent with unpredictable tactics. Sheesh. All strategies and tactics SHOULD attempt to exploit their opponent. ALL of them. You can spin that word anyway you like, but even in an MP game you're attempting to exploit your HUMAN opponent. I'd suggest we just drop this topic and move on. Regardless of how you view it, it was a very clever strategy and for many players (who might not be 10-year heroes verterans) it's a great, enlightening article.
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Re: First Month Utopia

Postby Ethric » Jul 29 2006, 17:32

Kartero wrote:I think everybody is looking at the word exploit wrong anyways. Exploiting your opponents' weaknesses is kind of the point of the game. You dont just up and change your strategy because your opponent cant figure it out (AI or Human).If you're not into this kind of game maybe uninstalling and trying a game like solitare might be good for you. Nothing to exploit there really.



Now, on another note if you're saying theyre exploiting a bug, you're wrong. The AI was designed a certain way and that's how it acts.


Except for that it's not "everyone" looking at it the wrong way, I couldn't have said it better myself :tsup:

And welcome to the forum, by the way :)
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Kartero
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Postby Kartero » Jul 29 2006, 18:02

i made an account just so i could comment on this because it was driving me nuts. And thanks ;p

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Postby Angelspit » Jul 29 2006, 18:27

Sorry about the author name confusion: Zilonite is indeed the real author. My apologies.
I'm on Steam and Xbox Live.

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Postby Zilonite » Jul 29 2006, 18:46

No problem and thanks for posting it here :-)

Actually i'm considering to switch my nich to Acopy now... :-p
Edited on Sat, Jul 29 2006, 12:50 by Zilonite

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Postby Grumpy Old Wizard » Jul 29 2006, 19:46

DaemianLucifer wrote:
Grumpy Old Wizard wrote:Randomness is a part of the game.

Random resources, random artifacts, semi-random offerings of skills, ect. It helps make the game replayable.

GOW


There is a difference between getting 5 ore or 3 crystals and getting thousands of gold,loads of artifacts and a level 5 spell or nothing.A big difference.


Fact is randomness is a big part of the HOMM series, and always has been. Some random stacks guarding a random mine that you need may be impossible for you to take without huge losses whereas a random stack guarding a random mine that your opponent needs can be captured with little to no losses. Without that mine you can't build your dwellings quickly enough and your opponent has a big advantage.

Also, troop specials trigger at random times and when they trigger could be the difference between victory and defeat. And the random spells you get in your mage's guild may not be useful and your opponent may get the perfect spells for him.

I don't see randomness in terrain obstacles as any more an advantage/disadvantage than randomness in other parts of the game. Adapt and overcome. Face the fact that fortune may be with you or against you.

Yes, you may lose (or win) a game due to a random element. However, your overall victory/defeat ratio should reflect your skill level if you play enough games. While I am primarily a single player (and only have dial up so I can't play HOMM5 multi) I have played multiplayer quite a bit and have never cried if fortune shuned me and embraced my opponent.

As in life, so in this game. Sometimes you get lucky and sometimes the black cat crosses your path. Deal with it. :D

GOW

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Postby DaemianLucifer » Jul 29 2006, 20:50

Mine guardians are set to be of the same difficulty.You certanly wont see a gold mine for one player guarded by peasants and the other by angels.Thats why random creatures are so customizable(well,at least they were)in the editor,so you can balance the map.Yes,a lucky shoot may win you the final battle with your human equal.But he also can win because of that lucky shot,so your chances on that mape are 50-50.Artifacts you both get just change your strategies a bit,and dont ensure ones victory over the other.Players of equal skill dont rely on map to ensure their victory,but on their abilities to adapt to that map and to that race.But if one of those opponents gets an easy utopia in the first map,its an obvious gamebraker.Its just like getting the grail on your doorstep(actually,that happened to my friend ones.He dug the grail in third week,and even with combined forces my friend and I were no match).The odds for a lucky shot winning you a game are very small,and the odds of some artifact winning you the game even smaller.But the odds of easy utopia winning you the game are very high.Almost 100%.Why do you people all complain about balance between towns and creatures if you see this as a perfectly natural thing in a game?

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Dragon Angel
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First Month Utopia

Postby Dragon Angel » Aug 27 2006, 19:12

I got tired of this discussions some time ago, that is in part why I am not much arround the comunity anymore. Anyway, as I was just passing by, my two cents:

AI exploit? Looking at it... the AI will attack the peasants defending your marksmes because it wants to reach the marksmen. Of course, considering all variables it might not be the better tactic. However, due to the limited scope an AI can have (unlees you use DeppBlue, version 101 to play -- and still want to wait like 5 min for the AI making every move), it can be considered maybe not good AI, but fair enough. No problem on the AI here, except it is not equally wiser to an human... well that's part of the AI nature.
Also, with some luck that allows the Haven player to position correctly (and maybe also get turns in the right order), I bet a player controlling the dragons would have win, but suffering a nice amount of losses.

Rule exploit? Well, there are several rules playing in here:
-Battlefield positioning (sizes, obstacles, etc...) and unit habilities are not being used in an unreasonable way here... in fact they are used maybe in the most rational way possible. I can't see rule-bending (what I would call an "exploit") here.
-Creature stacking: here could be an exploit, certainly, based in the fact that 7 stacks of 1 become better that 1 stack of 7 ... and that you can only kill 1 stack in your turn. However this is known enough, and even encouraged (there is a rumor about this, certainly ... and btw talking about peasants and dragons). May be considered an exploit situation, however not a very big one, and not nearly similar to the 7 genie situation of H4, in example.

Map exploit? Well, If you weren't supposed to be able to win that utopia in the first week and winning the utopia unbalances the current game, this certainly breaks the map. Tough, more than a exploit case, i will consider it a mapmaking risk... wich leads me to the summary:

Summary: The possibility of developing tactics like this one, associated to the heavy rewards of a dragon utopia, and the random factor involved, just reccomend to not put the dragon utopias much near to the starting position of a player. Leave'em for the central parts of the map, wich can -anyway- be considered the right place for them.
Don't be fooled by the title -- Dragons can disguise as peasants, too

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Re: First Month Utopia

Postby ThunderTitan » Aug 27 2006, 19:16

Dragon Angel wrote: well that's part of the AI nature.


And exploiting the AI's nature is what exactly? :devious:
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Dragon Angel
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Postby Dragon Angel » Aug 27 2006, 19:37

AI exploiting is benefiting of an especially dumb, and unreasonable, behavoir of it.... i.e.

If the AI always tried to chase a faster creature than its own troops, and neglected all other troops of the enemy - and you benefited from this, that would be an exploit.

However in this case the AI tactic is pretty reasonable... clearing the way to the biggest treat, the marksman, and start decimating them... however, you have find a way to avoid this... this are tactics, we like it or not... get a shot of morale for the dragons and you may be screwed, anyway.I

As I commented before, a human, with some luck in the part of the haven player, would have got also loses in this case. (Yep, you can avoid putting your dragons to close while killing 3 peasant stacks), but still you have to kill two more... and you will probably still get at least a shoot on one of your dragon stacks.

ADDED: IF the AI did not attack the peasants, but just waited at their side (and in precise shot range) they left space to fly and attack the marksman, that would be an exploit. Even it would be an exploit if they didn't entered precise shot range, but did not attack anyone because its primary target (marksman) its not accesible, letting the crosbowmans (provided enough shots are at disposal) to kill them at a distance. But in this case the AI is trying, not in the best way, but trying.

If something has to be found "wrong" in this case, I believe it would be more a balance issue (Haven can get a stack of xbowman able to one-shot-kill stacks of 5 dragons in first week), than a exploit issue.
Edited on Sun, Aug 27 2006, 14:56 by Dragon Angel
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Postby Fudashi » Sep 9 2006, 23:19

I really don't want to get into the semantics of the word 'exploit' here, as there has been far too much pointless back and forth on that already. I just have to question the assumption that people are making that 165 xbowmen are procurable in week 1.

Just to throw out some numbers so I'm not making my point blind, base peasant growth is 22. Base archer growth is 12. There is also the horde building that adds 5 to peasant growth for a sub total of 27. As we all well know, there exist the citadel and castle to increase growth by 50% and 100% respectively. The citadel is a level 9 building and the castle is a level 12 building, obviously preventing them from increasing the pool of potential xbowmen we'll have at
the beginning of week 2. Assuming all dwellings + horde structure are built in week 1 (farm is lvl 3 so this is reasonable to assume) we will have 22 + 27 = 49 peasants and 12 + 12 = 24 archers by the beginning of week 2, and 49 + 54 = 103 peasants and 24 + 24 = 48 archers by wk 3 day 1, assuming that the citadel and castle were constructed during week 2. This will give us 103-6 + 48 = 145 archers to play with (the 6 accounts for the fodder peasants), which I'll assume for the sake of simplicity is a sufficient number for a dragon utopia similiar to the one featured.

In terms of costs, we're looking at 500 + 1000 for the peasant huts and farms, 1200 + 2700 gold and 5 + 5 ore for the archer and marksmen towers, and 5000x3 gold, 10 + 10 wood and 10 + 10 ore
for the fort - citadel - castle progression. For the training, we'll need 3500 + 5000 gold, 10 wood and 5 + 10 ore for the training grounds and hall of heroes (which it will be cost effective to build). But hold on a second, we need to build other buildings as well to increase the town level. To get to level 3 we can build the tavern or marketplace,
to help us to level level 9 we can build the town hall as soon as we hit lvl 3, and finally to help us to lvl 12 we can build the city hall as soon as we hit lvl 9. These buildings will cost 500 + 2000 + 5000 gold and 5 wood. The grand total for buildings is thus 36400 gold, 45 ore, and 35 wood.

As for recruitment, we're looking at 103 x 20 for the peasants, and 48 x 80 for the xbowmen. How about training? Well with the best case scenario (xp trainer and hall of heroes) we'll need 97 x 81 gold. Don't forget the 97x30 gold we'll need to spend to upgrade them.
So the grand total turns out to be 53067 gold, 45 ore, and 35 wood. Assuming we need all this by day 15, and we are starting with hard or heroic resources (20 000 gold 20 wood 20 ore or 10 000 gold 10 wood 10 ore) we have a few problems. Assuming a best case scenario ie. mines are found within the first few days at the latest, neither
resource will be a limiting factor even on heroic. The gold is another story. Assuming we upgrade the town hall as soon as possible, we will have 500 x 2 + 1000 x 6 + 2000 x 6 gold which works out to 25000 gold by day 15. So, we're 8067 gold short on hard,
and 18067 short on heroic. On heroic we'll start running into gold problems in the second week for our buildings assuming we don't find a significant external source of gold, while we shouldn't have any trouble with the buildings on hard, just recruitment costs. While I don't have time to do the math right now, suffice to say that on hard, we'll have our 150 xbowmen sometime in the middle of week 3, and on heroic week 4 is a far more reasonable estimate.

Of course, there are other factors. Ellaine starts with at 66-96 peasants, while Dougal starts with 21-27 archers, and all
haven heroes start with 22-32 peasants and 7-9 archers with the exception of Laszlo who is useless for our purposes.
We could find an external peasant hut in week 1, bolstering our production of peasants by 23 a week for an additional 69 by
week 3, or we could find even more. However, gold is the limiting factor here, and even the discovery of an external gold mine
on day 1 would leave us still short 4067 gold on day 15 assuming heroic starting conditions. Estates would help but not by
much; even if we get it on day 1, it only provides us an additional 3500 gold by day 15, hardly making a dent on heroic. By
foregoing the castle, citadel, and fort we lose only 27 peasants and 12 archers for week 3, and save 14500 (without the fort to get us to town level 9, we'll need to build either the marketplace or tavern) gold, a preferable strategy for the short term that brings 108 xbowmen within our reach in week 3 even on heroic (it is an interesting but entirely different question as to how many xbowmen are the minimum required to have a reasonable chance of 1-shotting 10+ leaderless dragons). However, unless we have considerable forces to begin with, assembling anywhere near 145 marksmen
is impossible in week 1, and week 2 relies on several special conditions (ie. starting with a more built up town, hiring/starting
with elaine or Dougal, finding 1 or more external peasant huts in week 1, finding/starting with more gold) which cannot always be relied upon.

Therefore, while the tactics have been demonstrated possible by Zilonite, I think most posters have grealty exaggerated the potential
here for imbalance and abuse. Where he claimed a dragon utopia in one month, many reduced that to 1 week which is absolutely absurd. While taking a dragon utopia in week 3 or 4 is still highly advantageous, it's a quite different matter than week 1 or 2.


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