The End of Deconstruction

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Angelspit
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The End of Deconstruction

Postby Angelspit » Jun 1 2007, 15:24

The <a href="http://www.celestialheavens.com/693">fourth and final part</a> of the Heroes V, Deconstructed series is up. Corribus tells us what he though of combat (one of the hot topics of the beta test, because of the size of the battlefield) and the artificial intelligence (something that could very well remain a hot topic forever), and concludes the series by giving his final appreciation of the game. Did he love it or hate it? <a href="http://www.celestialheavens.com/693">Read on to find out</a>.

For his next column, Corribus needs your help. He would like to start a strategy debate where each participant will support a specific Heroes of Might and Magic V town. <a href="http://www.celestialheavens.com/forums/privmsg.php?mode=post&u=124">Send him a private message</a> if you'd like to learn more and possibly join the little project.

If you would like to take a look at the original page visit this link:
http://www.celestialheavens.com/693
I'm on Steam and Xbox Live.

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Heroes V, Deconstructed (4)

Postby Marzhin » Jun 1 2007, 15:33

Heroes 5's editor is not that "opaque". It's true it is less user-friendly than the previous ones, but its possibilities are far more advanced. With the documentation open in a corner of the screen and a bit of courage, even someone without any knowledge in programming like me can do great stuff.
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Elvin
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Heroes V, Deconstructed (4)

Postby Elvin » Jun 1 2007, 15:55

About the initiative, if you learn how much initiative each action costs and how certain spells, masteries and skills affect it you can guess when your hero will get his next turn. You just have to get used to it first.

Yes the adventure map AI is bad but if you play on hard you are bullrushed around week 3-4. It's pretty aggressive unless you already have a bigger army. It will often come within reach when it can be defeated and even after the patching continues to leave artifacts and resources around. At least it now picks most stuff. And as you pointed out it does not have much planning ahead, you can lure it next to your town on day 7 to defeat it with the new week's reinforcements.

Anyhow I am still satisfied with the game even if there are a few things I dislike. Most things have now been adressed and it is an enjoyable experience. However I admit I am a bit bored with single player, after you learn the AI's patterns it's a matter of time.
It may still challenge you early and get some victories but in an unreal way. When you have barely built tier 7 it will have bought and upgraded everything along with mage guild 5. It is because of this that you will be forced to lvl up faster and creep more aggressively.
It's not hard to exploit some of its flaws to gain an edge.
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Gaidal Cain
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Postby Gaidal Cain » Jun 1 2007, 18:18

With regards to turns/rounds: there are no distinct turns anymore,; time has been made continous and creatures regain retals when they take their turn. I think the word "turns" only appears in spell descriptions and the like, and is to be understood as the time inbetween two actions of a creature with initiative 10, which doesn't wait or get morale (incidently, hero standard initiative is 10).

As for the AI: I've earlier noticed that it does one thing rather well: it knows exactly when it can reach your lightly defended towns before you and take them over. Other than that, I'm less than thrilled about it.
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PhoenixReborn
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Postby PhoenixReborn » Jun 1 2007, 18:24

Gaidal Cain wrote:As for the AI: I've earlier noticed that it does one thing rather well: it knows exactly when it can reach your lightly defended towns before you and take them over. Other than that, I'm less than thrilled about it.


Even that isn't true on normal. I was playing a fan map minimum magicum arenum, a tiny map that places you as one of eight wizards, castles in a circular arrangement, the diameter being three days journey.

On normal difficulty the a.i. hero approached two castles, one undefended, and one lightly defended and did not take the undefended one but simply retreated to its own castle.

More generally, there is a healthy map making community and every week I find one or two new maps that fit my playstyle.

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Heroes V, Deconstructed (4)

Postby Caradoc » Jun 1 2007, 20:11

Even without the grid lines turned on, it is pretty easy to navigate the Heroes IV battlefield after you get some experience with it. After like 10 hours of play, you won't give it a second thought.

It appears to me that the Heroes V AI is mainly looking for fights. That's why it bypasses mines and even chests. As evidence of this, I've noted that if I empty out a castle, the AI will usually bypass it. What it really seems to go for are your weak heroes.
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Postby Angelspit » Jun 1 2007, 20:14

Just like a high school bully...

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Elvin
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Heroes V, Deconstructed (4)

Postby Elvin » Jun 1 2007, 20:22

Yeah, because it doesn't get the respect it deserves from anyone playing with it :D
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Postby Grumpy Old Wizard » Jun 1 2007, 20:59

It is worth noting that the AI is limited on levels below heroic. You won't see the AI casting level 5 spells unless you play on heroic for example. Which is why that is the only difficulty level I play on now.

The editor is not that hard to use really. Once you dig a little scripting is not such a daunting task. There are plenty of maps out now that use scripting that can be used as an example, and Pitsu wrote a scripting guide that is helpful. Plus, there a many questions and examples given in the mapmaker's guild. The ability to morph terrain is really great.

There are still balance issues that need addressing, but overall I am happy with HOMM5.

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Gandalf: "So do all who live to see such times but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."

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Postby PhoenixReborn » Jun 1 2007, 21:09

Grumpy Old Wizard wrote:It is worth noting that the AI is limited on levels below heroic. You won't see the AI casting level 5 spells unless you play on heroic for example. Which is why that is the only difficulty level I play on now.

GOW


I modify my normal difficulty so that the a.i. builds every day and can cast up to level 5 spells. Occasionally it pulls out a summon phoenix, usually on a map with a utopia. And I've also seen it use resurrection.

I'm surprised it doesn't do that stuff on hard difficulty, I'll have to check.

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Postby Corribus » Jun 1 2007, 21:41

As in H4, the battle AI is not really the problem. The H5 AI actually puts up a decent fight in the battles I've played, and I've had a few good contests. However, to get to a good battle, the AI has to build an army, and that aspect of the AI (the adventure AI) is sorely lacking.
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Heroes V, Deconstructed (4)

Postby TxTBoy » Jun 2 2007, 3:05

As for the AI:

In Heroic, I'm really not sure what the computer does but I think it either start with different condition from me or "cheat" while playing and the result is I am rushed with a huge army in 2-3 weeks. Also, the computer always have incredibly much resources, I wonder how they can win those creatures on the way with such battling startegy, unless they 'onslaught'(spl?), but how???

This may not be a good idea:
I prefer the town's defensive system in H5 to H4, more strategic, but the towers need to get stronger(lv up?) through 'siege defenses' so that they can help more effectively.
Edited on Fri, Jun 01 2007, 23:14 by TxTBoy

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Heroes V, Deconstructed (4)

Postby Orfinn » Jun 2 2007, 12:59

@A.S "Just like a high school bully..."

Yeah I have noticed that too, but i think the H5 A.I isnt that bad, I have seen its very annoying to sneak up from somewhere, capture whatever dwelling in sight (snizzy ai, let me do the dirty work with capturing stuff so he can freely take the goodies hehe!), mine I previously have captured, for thereafter attacking any town weakly defended or not with great courage.

I usually dont have many heroes but concentrating on a few strong heroes than many weak, so seems the ai does the same. Battles are quite a few and I get a bit wxcited when i finally reach a enemy hero to fight with. Because the battles with them are entertaining enough for compensate with the less magnicifent adventure ai.

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Heroes V, Deconstructed (4)

Postby rdeford » Jun 2 2007, 18:43

Good article in that it provoked a good discussion, and a second look at the "personality" of HOMM5 by many folks. I like HOMM5 a LOT, pimples, warts, and all. The AI seems better after HOF, BTW, so maybe it'll be really good after TOE. As GOW said, the editor is worth the learning curve. Do the tutorial, read Pitsu'w scripting guide, and read through the map making forum. You'll soon be creating fantastic maps. Long live HOMM!
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Corribus
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Postby Corribus » Jun 2 2007, 19:47

Still looking for 3-4 volunteers. Anyone? Anyone?
"What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were like a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?" - Richard P. Feynman

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Heroes V, Deconstructed (4)

Postby aaelgr » Jun 2 2007, 22:14

Great set of articles, especially parts 3 & 4. I hadn't really compared H5 to H4 before (the similarites with H3 was more apparent...).
I would enter the strategy debate, but I've only been playing on and off these last couple of months. Would it be on the forums? That way I can root for Haven without having to come up with strategems (which in my case aren't that varied).
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Corribus
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Postby Corribus » Jun 3 2007, 2:09

The "Debate" will be done in private. Results will then be posted, for your reading pleasure, and of course you are all welcome to debate the results then. Of course, I need enough people to do it, first. If I am unable to get volunteers, I'll have to resort to blackmail. I do have dirt on a number of you. :devious:
Last edited by Corribus on Jun 3 2007, 15:44, edited 1 time in total.
"What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were like a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?" - Richard P. Feynman

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Qurqirish Dragon
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Postby Qurqirish Dragon » Jun 3 2007, 15:01

One thing about the AI ignoring stuff: if you have only been playing the campaigns, then a lot of the AI activity is scripted. (e.g. in many maps, there are AI heroes that are designed to go and attack a particular town, and ignore anything along the way, unless it is *in* the way.) Not all of it is scripted, but much is.

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Postby Omega_Destroyer » Jun 3 2007, 15:50

I just noticed the AI ignoring things last night. There were treasure chests and artifacts, that weren't guarded by any monsters, that the AI just galloped past.
And the chickens. Those damn chickens.

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Heroes V, Deconstructed (4)

Postby asandir » Jun 4 2007, 1:23

you only just noticed that?
Human madness is the howl of a child with a shattered heart.


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