The Great White On Field

Comments about the Pictures of the Day.

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The Great White On Field

Postby Kalah » May 4 2015, 19:16

A bird's eye view of the battlefield. See that white blob on the left? Like a yeti visiting the desert, the Ancient Behemoth rivals the Cyclops for sheer size.

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The Great White On Field

Postby Panda Tar » May 4 2015, 19:43

Looks small. I don't like sounding negative all the time, but it can't be helped. The whole left side has any use? Or it's just arrangement? And there's barely space in garrison for any maneuver. <br> <br>Some people commented siege battles sucks. It looks odd.
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Postby Pol » May 4 2015, 19:54

It's small, which is good. But we are going less MM and more of modern Battle Chess.

One thing is certain, HeroesVII. will be better than HeroesVI. Kill me if there's any Moore's law though.


(Also better is vague word, worse than sword and pen.)
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Postby mr.hackcrag » May 4 2015, 23:08

These weekly screenshots are killing me slowly. I sensed a while ago that the HoMM series was no longer a right match for me. I keep waiting to see things that will change my premonition, but instead: :(

Pol wrote:But we are going less MM and more of modern Battle Chess.


I never liked the mentality some of the design team has had that HoMM battles are/should be like chess. It doesn't make any sense. RAARGH! :mad: I wonder if that's why there are square tiles. :|

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Postby parcaleste » May 5 2015, 4:23

Dat ***! 8|

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Postby Groovy » May 5 2015, 9:11

mr.hackcrag wrote:I never liked the mentality some of the design team has had that HoMM battles are/should be like chess. It doesn't make any sense. RAARGH! :mad: I wonder if that's why there are square tiles. :|

Would you mind elaborating? I've tried to give the combat system in my tabletop game a chess-like feel as well, so it would help me to know what you don't like about it.
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Postby Bloax » May 5 2015, 12:43

mr.hackcrag wrote:I never liked the mentality some of the design team has had that HoMM battles are/should be like chess. It doesn't make any sense. RAARGH! :mad: I wonder if that's why there are square tiles. :|

I don't really get the appeal of chess, and I say that as someone who is extremely good at strategy games.
It's basically the game of "who has more cats in the bag" and the knowledge of when to pull a certain cat out of the bag.
Which is probably why the best possible AI player is better than any human player.

HoMM is much more about picking the right tradeoffs due to all the possibilities you have than cookie-cutter strategies - barring the mass slow/haste issue.

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Postby mr.hackcrag » May 6 2015, 4:27

Groovy, it makes more sense to give a table-top game chess feel. But in a digital tactics combat game, it should play like a turn-based rpg/strategy battle system. Shouldn't it?

parcaleste wrote:Dat ***! 8|


Dat *** doe.

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Postby Groovy » May 6 2015, 11:17

Not sure, mr.hackcrag. I wasn't thinking of it in all-or-nothing terms, but was looking for chess-like features that you would find problematic in a Heroes combat system, to make sure that I've taken this into account in my game.
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The Great White On Field

Postby cjlee » May 6 2015, 18:56

Heroes under 3DO did not look like Chess. <br> <br>I don't understand why Ubisoft must make such stupid innovations. There is already no shortage of chess sets with novelty figurines for the pieces.

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Postby markkur » May 7 2015, 13:44

Groovy wrote:
mr.hackcrag wrote:I never liked the mentality some of the design team has had that HoMM battles are/should be like chess. It doesn't make any sense. RAARGH! :mad: I wonder if that's why there are square tiles. :|

Would you mind elaborating? I've tried to give the combat system in my tabletop game a chess-like feel as well, so it would help me to know what you don't like about it.


Greetings to my old friend Groovy. Ofc, I don't know what ol' crag's likes are but I'll share my thoughts.

First, I assume the pic is missing the right and bottom "wasted-space-for-battle that's occupied-by-cool-stuff-that-also-might-be-inside-the-zone-of-battle."

For me, the what the heck? is two-fold.

The first is a Presentation issue.

a. The border is nice and has interesting objects but since it is in essence "a large frame"...we have a picture of a small battle-field.
b. The movement-highlight's absolutely suggest a square chess/checker board.

The second issue for me is Zero-Innovation.

i.e Take that awesome broken foot bridge off to the left. <imo> Why in the world is that not on the battlefield? In fact, another version could work and you would have a chokepoint crossing to negotiate in the battle. Ofc, that could only be...if everything in the pic was the battlefield, instead of being employed as a <ahem> "border-guard." :D

Just my take. however, a warning; If the direction most gaming companies are running today is any indication, it seems to me that there is a very serious disconnect between older and younger players. i.e. usually the longer the learning curve, the better the game. But you know all this.

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Postby Panda Tar » May 7 2015, 15:10

markkur wrote:First, I assume the pic is missing the right and bottom "wasted-space-for-battle that's occupied-by-cool-stuff-that-also-might-be-inside-the-zone-of-battle."


Howdy, markkur.

I think that's just what is shown. A lost of wasted-space and useless decoration, because it does look like the way things are being done: overdecorated units, animations that are likely not to be useful for gameplay per se and whatnot. It really feels like an attempt to mask bland mechanics.

Imho, having such a small place to deal with armies, it soon transpires the feeling of direct clashing no matter what, no room for much more else.

Maybe I'm too attached to games where terrain irregularities and other objects play a major role in strategy, and weather effects. I just can't accept the feeling that having 2K of strong and fast units, for example, will have no casualties dealing with 200 weaker ranged units. It all depends on their location. We know that few archers can do considerable damage from an advantageous point, higher ground, covered, even if they are greatly outnumbered. This flat-chess-like model takes that feature away. Even Gunbound seems more complex than HoMM current battle mechanics (I know they are completely different genres, but the former has some features that could be added to Heroes with some interesting results).

Interactive battle-maps, such as within a forest where you can set it ablaze and damage those who are between the trees, freeze water streams to cross by, destroy columns so they can fall over units, block passages etc.

*eyes shinning with hope*
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Postby markkur » May 7 2015, 17:17

+1 all the way Panda Tar.

I've been making the case that "elevation" brings awesome things to this game for a few years now. Ever since I started making H5 maps I feel in love with the idea that the battle-field should have the 3D depth of the ADV map.

Nice to chat with you. Btw, I'm still dreaming too. Never say die! :D

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Postby Panda Tar » May 7 2015, 17:41

One game I love is Final Fantasy Tactics, do you know it? It has a very interesting way of dealing with terrain, heights, range, weather effects. Some of those things I would really be glad at seeing in a Heroes game, if ever happened. Besides the fact that maps have different shapes, and not only a big square divided by smaller squares, of course, shaped by impassable terrain or obstacles of any kind.

What may be a bit repetitive in FFT is that most of the battles are around: defeat all enemies, defeat a single enemy, save or protect an ally. There are some few that you actually have another mission, such as reaching two allotted tiles which would trigger the opening of a Dam, granting your victory, even if you didn't defeat all enemies.

I wonder if in Heroes, some other kind of battles could bring forth some diversity in the outcome as well.
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Postby Groovy » May 7 2015, 17:52

Hey Markkur! Do you have any news on the A.I. front?

I see that the chess-related criticism of the battlefield is focusing on its chess-like appearance. I was hoping to probe a bit deeper because I think that some features of chess could be added to Heroes to good effect. Its approach to complexity, for example.

The behaviour of individual chess pieces is simple. Complexity is achieved by combining them, both in space (placement on the board) and in time (across moves). In Heroes, the behaviour of individual units, and especially heroes, is pretty complex. This leads to far greater complexity of the combat system. However, the net effect is not a combat system where chess-like positional play and unit combinations are more satisfying to pull off, but one where they are usually too difficult to even attempt. This is why I prefer the combat system of Ancient Empires 2. The game only has ten or so unique units in total, each of which has at most a single special ability, but the way they combine with the terrain and each other yields a combat system that I think is superior to that of Heroes.

markkur wrote:Ever since I started making H5 maps I feel in love with the idea that the battle-field should have the 3D depth of the ADV map.

Surely the battlefield should have far greater 3D depth than the adventure map?
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The Great White On Field

Postby ToweringAmishPlumber » May 7 2015, 18:22

Frankly, I like the idea of "wasted space" - if that wasted space is full of appropriate terrain. As far as I'm concerned, there is nothing duller than a chess board. And yes, I play chess and have played for about 55 years now (since my early teens). Please note that I'm not talking about the game of chess, but about the board itself. I want my fantasy battle screens to be full of terrain. If I want a chessboard look, I can play chess, or Stratego, or checkers, or etc.

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Re: The Great White On Field

Postby markkur » May 8 2015, 11:37

Panda Tar wrote: One game I love is Final Fantasy Tactics, do you know it? It has a very interesting way of dealing with terrain, heights, range, weather effects.


Heard of it, my Brother played it a lot I think. Is it TBS?

Panda Tar wrote: ...There are some few that you actually have another mission, such as reaching two allotted tiles which would trigger the opening of a Dam, granting your victory, even if you didn't defeat all enemies.


Good ideas for sure but <imo> The Adv-map could dish out a lot of Wonder and if that were the case, then the battle-field could also have a few cool additions, like reach a wall etc. However, space is a problem. So that idea of yours is "to me" a great future-innovation to work towards. Heck, as things are now, just getting an irregular battle field with elevation would be a big step forward.

Panda Tar wrote: I wonder if in Heroes, some other kind of battles could bring forth some diversity in the outcome as well.


Like what? Last for 12 rounds? = win <L>

Hey Markkur! Do you have any news on the A.I. front?


No.

Groovy wrote: I see that the chess-related criticism of the battlefield is focusing on its chess-like appearance. I was hoping to probe a bit deeper because I think that some features of chess could be added to Heroes to good effect. Its approach to complexity, for example.


Chess is TBS period. So as long as Heroes is TBS, it will always be Chess-like. The thing is, so is Checkers and it too is TBS. Why not break the mold and present a battle-field for HoMM that is a landscape? And viola! Necros can be defending a dark castle in a oozy swamp. Btw, "Elves hate such scenes and that would supply the reason for bad-morale. Shoot, that could even be a "Battle-Map Class!" i.e. Sunny freakin green flower meadows give +1 luck to the good guys, while dark brooding forests (spread out copses really) could dampen morale next battle...and so on. Think H3 terrain variations.

Groovy wrote: The behaviour of individual chess pieces is simple. Complexity is achieved by combining them, both in space (placement on the board) and in time (across moves). In Heroes, the behaviour of individual units, and especially heroes, is pretty complex. This leads to far greater complexity of the combat system. However, the net effect is not a combat system where chess-like positional play and unit combinations are more satisfying to pull off, but one where they are usually too difficult to even attempt. This is why I prefer the combat system of Ancient Empires 2. The game only has ten or so unique units in total, each of which has at most a single special ability, but the way they combine with the terrain and each other yields a combat system that I think is superior to that of Heroes.


I'll leave this area alone because so many folks have so many desires. I don't know AE2 the only game I do know well is the TW series and frankly I want that...only HoMM style.

If I had the space needed for what I deem a good battle-field and could simply open that bare map in the Editor in H5? I could make awesome maps that people would not only find challenging but immersive; like my black-light chessboard in a TV console. <L>
Groovy wrote:
markkur wrote:

Ever since I started making H5 maps I FELL in love with the idea that the battle-field should have the 3D depth of the ADV map.


Surely the battlefield should have far greater 3D depth than the adventure map?


Friend, If I had my way, you would not know the difference, I'd teleport you to a zoom-in of where you were on the ADV when engaged. Battles would absolutely cease to be the tired whisk you somewhere else bit. Hell, one of the most frustrating things for me was how broken H5 was in some of the most basic things. i.e Hmm, it's a dark scary night (I made it so) and then I go inside a treasure building and it's the noon-day sun. Every object should have a tick for yes or no "match-terrain" and a light setting low, med, high. All the tools were in the Editor tool box, so it's not like I'm dreaming here. How that absurdity never surfaced when Nival made their campaigns is beyond me.

ToweringAmishPlumber wrote:Frankly, I like the idea of "wasted space" - if that wasted space is full of appropriate terrain. As far as I'm concerned, there is nothing duller than a chess board. And yes, I play chess and have played for about 55 years now (since my early teens). Please note that I'm not talking about the game of chess, but about the board itself. I want my fantasy battle screens to be full of terrain. If I want a chessboard look, I can play chess, or Stratego, or checkers, or etc.
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The Great White On Field

Postby Karmakeld » May 14 2015, 9:07

I think the ideas of more advanced battle maps are awsome. I too remember the +/- luck/morale effects in H3 and that should be easy to add. Weather settings like heavy rain, making the battlefield all muddy, or snow/sand storms slowing down movement is another idea. <br>I think H6 introduced some ideas to new combat objectives. I recall a battle in the dlc where you'd fight a thunderbird, and had to hide next to a tree in order to avoid it's lightning strike. <br>Also I think the boss battles was a nice feature. <br>Heroes online has even more varied objectives, like surwive x rounds, win in x rounds, kill x stacks of certain creature type, reach certain objects, free troops, lose less than x stacks or prevent creatures from being killed (rescue). From what I've seen, they do seem to use some of the ideas. <br>But I agree that they could take it further, like home field advancements. Elves could hide in trees/bushes and do ambush. Or archers could benefit with extra range, climbing hills, which by the way is steep, and therefor requires extra movement/a full turn to reach. <br> <br>From heroes online, stadium of strife 24 battles of varied objectives - requiring varied tactics. <br>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fR9Oomg2l_g
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Postby Groovy » May 14 2015, 13:10

My dream here is to see the battlefield synchronised with the adventure map in both space and time, so that strategic objectives flow naturally from the adventure map onto the battlefield, while the results of battlefield actions are felt back on the adventure map.
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Re: The Great White On Field

Postby Panda Tar » May 14 2015, 13:42

markkur wrote:Heard of it, my Brother played it a lot I think. Is it TBS?


Not quite, it's more similar to the known 'initiative system'. Speed charges the Charging Time of a unit. So, sometimes, a unit may take action sooner than others or more times (it's subtle). Some spells and abilities also may cost CT, so you character can cast spells after some CT has passed, in which other units may move and act meanwhile. A Charging character is very vulnerable to hostile actions. That's why when you are going to cast a spell, you can choose if the spell will 'follow' your target around or you'll cast on the ground, in the case that one of your targets will move but the others will stay put until casting the spell. If there's a spell with AoE, you can also set on a friendly unit to follow it and who'll move first and move it next to those you want to target too.

Like what? Last for 12 rounds? = win <L>


Maybe:
  • Hold your ground and don't allow enemy units on 'this' side of the map for more than 10 turns until reinforcements arrive.
  • Destroy certain obstacle and then flee.

Things like that, just examples.

@Groovy

This idea always trigger my memories of Bahamut Lagoon, a SNES RPG with TBS battles. On a map with square tiles, you have many armies, each army with 3-4 units, irrc. But while on the overall battlemap, you could cast spells on the enemy army which would damage all units there, or you could set woods ablaze (armies passing onto them would be damaged), or cast ice spell on rivers, so you could walk on it. If you happened to get in contact with the opposing army, then a small battle scene would take place and each unit would perform an individual action, instead of an 'overall' action on the bigger scenery.
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