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Comments about the Pictures of the Day.

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ThunderTitan
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Postby ThunderTitan » Feb 8 2010, 8:05

Man, i'd kill for someone that could make H2's visuals in 3D and make it look good.
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Postby CloudRiderX » Feb 9 2010, 17:28

To those who feel that Heroes IV had 'lost' the HoMM feeling, I think I read inside the Heroes IV game manual that Heroes IV was JVC original vision of how he wanted the game to be. Such a shame that his vision arrived at a time of financial trouble and was ultimately never reached.

As far as Heroes V goes, even though the Warhammer-ish art and bad storyline were turnoffs, they won't affect later HoMM games, because the art and story will evolve as each new game is developed. So I look into the concepts and the mechanics, and I must say Ubi really didn't do that badly with Heroes V. My opinion is the same as most Heroes veterans: "It could've been worse."

While they came up short in some areas, Ubi delivered in others. The skill system is so fun, and was the only reason I played the game more than once to begin with. Even though it took two expansions to get the game where we felt it should've been when it was originally released, Ubi did at least prove that they can hear our suggestions and concerns, even if they didn't always respond in the right way.
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Postby Marzhin » Feb 9 2010, 21:17

@ CloudRiderX : I think JVC said exactly the same thing in the foreword of H3 manual...
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Postby JSE » Feb 10 2010, 4:48

@ ThunderTitan:

I think the creature design in Legends of M&M and M&M 9 can give us a good general idea of how creatures in an NWC-made 3D version of Heroes could have looked like. A gallery of both can be found in the M&M section of Tracy Iwata's personal website -- here: http://oldpage.150m.com/mmpage.htm (please scroll down).

Of course, the modelling looks quite simplistic when compared to modern games, but I still think that most creatures are quite detailed and nice. Especially the dragons have a strong Heroes resemblance and could as well come out of an alternative Heroes 5...

Oh, that would have been so great...

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@ CloudRiderX

:: As far as Heroes V goes, even though the Warhammer-ish art and bad storyline were turnoffs, they won't affect later HoMM games, because the art and story will evolve as each new game is developed. ::

Instead of giving the M&M games a characteristic and coherent look throughout the games, it's becoming very obvious that UbiSoft are simply adopting the most commercially succesful styles of the fantasy "pop culture": Heroes 5 looks like a cross between Warhammer Fantasy and Warcraft/WoW (with a bit of gothic Ledroit weirdness added in) while Clash of Heroes is purebred manga.*

You might call this "evolvement" or even "experimentation" -- for me it's cold marketing strategy. Not because I don't see the point of trying to be commercially successful (I do), but because an appreciation of M&M's stilistic legacy is very obviously amiss and because visual coherency doesn't seem to be of any importance.

That's why I expect a possible Heroes 6's look to simply be a technically advanced version of the Heroes 5 look.

*) Dark Messiah seems to be mostly Arkane's child (fortunately).

:: So I look into the concepts and the mechanics, and I must say Ubi really didn't do that badly with Heroes V. ::

In my opinion, the only feature of Heroes 5 -- and one of the very few innovations -- that enhanced a part of gameplay was the combat initiative system. Everything else was already present in Heroes 3 -- and more. The skill system didn't feel different at all while actually playing the game. It took the effort and talent of the fan community to reveal the concept behind it and to do some strategic planning. I played Heroes 5 soon after it was released, and my personal impression was that the skill system was more messy than original or intelligent.

:: My opinion is the same as most Heroes veterans: "It could've been worse." ::

So could have Alien 4 or Ghostbusters 2 ;). I agree that for a Heroes newbie, Heroes 5 still offers some solid fantasy TBS gameplay and charm -- but to this day, Heroes 1 to 3 give you loads more of that. Even Heroes 4 (which undoubtedly seemed experimental and progressive) gives you more and better reasons to give it another shot -- at least it really had some *noticeable* variations.
Edited on Tue, Feb 09 2010, 23:54 by JSE

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Postby Zamolxis » Feb 10 2010, 10:30

There's really not much I can add after JSE's post. He kinda said it all (like reading my mind:p), and more...:

- The only good innovation in H5 was indeed the initiative system. If they wouldn't have introduced it, I would have suggested it (years ago I was actually thinking the creatures in Heroes need a new attribute - I was calling it "agility" - but I don't remember if I ever posted that on an English forum or not, and if it was a proposal for a WoG mod or part of a wish list for H5). But I think that if this would have been suggested by the community on one of the main forums, we wouldn't have seen it in H5 either. I've seen lots of great ideas in the H5 wishlists back then. Looking at the final game, it almost seems like Ubisoft did their best to stay away from them, to avoid anybody asking credit afterwards I guess.

- The skill system could be called interesting at best. But otherwise it was indeed messy and annoying, without proper documentation about it. They shouldn't have waited for the community to do all their work on this (not only the skill wheel, but I'm thinking even at the manual & stuff).

- I may be in minority here, but I also hate Ledroit's weirdness. It's not that I dislike gothic "art" in general, but his particular style has nothing to do with Heroes (at least for my taste, it should have never had anything to do with it)

- Mixing Ledroit's weirdness with Warhammer and Warcraft/WoW styles for a Heroes game, was a cheap (maybe not financial, but in terms of creative effort), terrible choice. I don't mind their commercial approach. I mind their BAD commercial approach. They simply didn't know how to mix what HAD to be kept from the old games, with elements of the "fantasy pop culture" as JSE put it, to increase the game success (so by wisely building on the existing, not just randomly copy from here and there). In spite of their PR communication, in reality their attitude felt often more like "F*** the community, we do what we want." One of the things I hated the most was their strategy of selling their "darker, more mature" universe, like it would have been my problem that I don't share their vision on that. "Darker" does not always mean "more mature", and you don't necessarily need to make things dark, in order to have them more modern, or mature. Except for messing up the atmospheric balance of the old games, they didn't accomplish anything.

- Lastly yes, it "could've been worse". It could have come out without perhaps the sole element of originality - the initiative. But it could have also been better, way better: less bugs, better/earlier patches, better balance (gameplay & atmosphere), better voice acting, better storyline, graphics & alignments more compatible with the old ones, etc, etc, etc. And what bothers me on top of that, is that they didn't screw up only H5, but implicitly its followers as well. I can never hope for a H3-like Fortress town again (perhaps my favorite), after they gave us the dwarven Fortress. They killed the chance to have some continuity for several game elements, by simply applying a name (not even the so-much-blamed-by-some H4 didn't do such mistake). There is no good choice left for them for H6 now. I would still want my H3 Fortress in there, but now there are H5 fans wanting their Dwarven Fortress. Continuity is broken and they've given themselves little room to make everybody happy at least later on.

(wow... it seem in the end I did have a lot to add... and still I barely listed 10% of all that bothered me about that game)
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Postby astral76minor » Feb 11 2010, 23:21

I think there are two routes for H6:
-Revamp H2 with the new eye candy
-Continue where H4 left off w/ eye candy
These two choices can bring back many veteran players. The reason for the graphics is simple, part of our market relies on teenagers. Although I really don't care much about that.

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Postby CloudRiderX » Feb 12 2010, 3:22

Forgive me, I was not discrediting the initiative system as a valuable asset to the series. I actually forgot about it lol, its been so long since I played the game.

I understand your argument, too. Appealing to fans by adopting other popular fantasy styles is both uncreative and destructive to our beloved series.

I agree with all of your points! Even though it seems I'm giving Ubi too much credit, maybe its just been too long - my vigor in bashing Heroes V is all but diminished. I say much less than I could care to because we've all been on this subject before, and there's no need to repeat the same discussions again. As far as I'm concerned, the old series is dead, and I'm not planning on buying Heroes 6.
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Re: Nagas

Postby ThunderTitan » Feb 12 2010, 11:33

I think i said this before, while the idea of the initiative working that way isn't bad i think the implementation needs some work. No unit should get 2 turns for each turn another takes... extra turn should only happen each 3-4 turns at min. And of course this would work best with a bigger Battlefield...


astral76minor wrote:T<he reason for the graphics is simple, part of our market relies on teenagers. Although I really don't care much about that.>


People that are graphic whores probably won't be into TBS's, so any increase in sales would be temporary as they realise what the game is about...
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Postby astral76minor » Feb 14 2010, 1:46

Though one cannot argue that H5 was made primarily for teenagers as with the whole series. More than 1/3 of sales are made off of kids for the sake of our beloved game. It is a factor that will determine the future of Heroes. TBS reigns, but kids bring in the money. It would be a sad day to see H6 transform into an MMORPG for the wishes of teenagers.

Then I have wishes for the older Heroes games. Release the code so programmers can mod them. I would love to see a Heroes 2 game that had 3D like H5. Some say that H3 should get the same treatment.
One can only wish. Someone needs alot of money to revamp Heroes the way veterans deserve. I predict 50/50 odds for such an occurence.
Edited on Sat, Feb 13 2010, 20:52 by astral76minor

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Postby ThunderTitan » Feb 14 2010, 18:57

Yeah, it's not an age thing, TBS's don't appeal to the Halo/MW2/MMO crowd, but those are now the main people buying games...
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Postby astral76minor » Feb 15 2010, 0:44

Hope for the best and plan for the worst....
BTW, Hamachi works for LAN games on H5 over the internet. It will work with Vista 64 and Windows7. Sometimes it is better to play Heroes against humans.
Edited on Mon, Feb 15 2010, 17:28 by astral76minor


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