Interesting arena map

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Banedon
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Interesting arena map

Postby Banedon » Jun 28 2009, 6:38

I bet at least some people know of this map - it's the so-called "random tactical arena" where both sides start with massive armies and the game ends in one turn. I think it's pretty interesting a map, since it compresses a whole, several-hour long game into 10 minutes or so and you get directly into the most-fun part. Great! Especially since the end battle between two armies is also one of the areas I have little experience with. I tried the map twice against myself and Sylvan rolled Haven in totally decisive fashion, one time even after I forgot to take the Eldritch Well as Sylvan to replenish my spell points (lol - and I had Rain of Arrows + Master of Ice + Deep Freeze), but of couse I'm just scratching the surface here - haven't even tried the other races.

The map is also entirely different from normal games and all sorts of weird things happen, so one question. Is there anything that is not immediately obvious which I should know? For example, it seems that if you learn Logistics, then unlearn it later via the Memory Mentor you actually gain gold, not lose it, and so there's no reason not to do it. Also interestingly you can switch main heroes, which can catch your opponent off-guard ...

Beyond that, it's just trial and error and gaining experience, I guess, although if some basic concepts have already been established about the map I'd be eager to learn them.
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Postby Asheera » Jun 28 2009, 18:40

I don't know if you know about Elvin's Duel Map but it had a huge success and is similar to what you described (I didn't play yours though)

Although there were so many versions/updates that I lost track myself and don't know anymore which map is latest and what features it has. The irony being that I helped with scripts myself :D

For example I made in the latest version to not being able to use the Mentor until you level up - to prevent players from unlearning their starting skills at level 1 when it's cheap. But I don't know if Elvin released that version or not yet.

Also you have infinite movement points (they are replenished once in a while), while still having Simultaneous Turns work thanks to the brilliant map design. Before battle you teleport to a 'battlefield' place where you select the terrain type as well. And the map has this mod incorporated in it, so you get a much better variety of beautiful arenas when you play it.

Battles are usually done on day 2 so you get an auto-save as well. Before ending turn both players teleport to the battlefield though, and since then they are considered 'ready' (as you can't go back anymore)

Dwarves start with huge amount of resources so they can purchase spells from the spellshop like other factions, but once they pass their garrison the script sets your resources to only a few, so that you can't spam the runes all the time.

Oh and by the way you start with a random faction, generated by the script as well. In order to play it ignore the AI as the third 'player', let him like it is please - he'll get kicked at the start. I needed that to use a trick to make it with random starting towns.


... and there are a lot of other things about it I'm sure that I forgot to say :)
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Postby Banedon » Jun 29 2009, 3:53

Lawl. So I challenged my brother to a match, and ...

First game. Map bugs out. I can take the experience tree to level 15 but I can't learn any skills (level 1 hero with 40k experience lol). Needless to say I lost.
Second game. I learn Triple Imbue Flaming Ballista, then forget to buy Ballista. Needless to say I lost.
Third game. I attacked the stack I'm supposed to use to set favored enemies with no creatures, then can't retreat because of no town with Tavern. Needless to say I lost (can't even fight lol).

LOL.

What a funny experience.

@Asheera - I don't know what map this is. It says "Random Tactical Arena" on it, and you instant-level to level 15. I don't know if there're any specific rules about the game too other than the obvious (you can't send a suicidal hero with 14 Stalkers + Last Stand to kill the other team's hero for example). Just played one game where I trained 20 Champions with Maeve, not sure if that's fair.

Kinda curious too how I have 38 Champions vs. his 14 Thunder Thanes and 8 Seraphs vs. his 6 Magma Dragons. Unless Fortress + runes are really that imbalanced (and this game did little to convince me about that) this doesn't look fair at all ...

But then I've only played like 5 games on this map, and it'll take, what, 10 games with one faction vs. every other faction to say I really have experience with it. That'll be more than 200 games in total.
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Postby parcaleste » Jun 29 2009, 10:02

Banedon wrote:... I learn Triple Imbue Flaming Ballista, then forget to buy Ballista...


:rofl:

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Postby Banedon » Jul 4 2009, 16:00

Mistakes happen all the time, including some embarassing ones (like that one - just played another game where I as Maeve actually forgot to learn Mass Haste) ;)

Anyway Asheera do you have much experience with this map in particular? If yes, ask your help. I can't seem to beat myself with Sylvan; their damage output is too high.

I was trying to get a feel for Stronghold tactics, and pitched them against Necropolis. First time playing Necro on the map, I had no idea how the Necromancy building worked and wound up raising Skeletons + Zombies + Ghosts, but it's not likely to have mattered. Stronghold + Garuna annihilated Necro. Garuna's special may look weak, but as creatures die her attack goes through the roof. For the first part of the battle it seemed as though the Stronghold army would die a grisly death, but then as stacks started dying the attack-40 Goblin Witch Doctors thrashed the Necro army. With all the most dangerous stacks dead it was a "whatever's left" vs. "supercharged whatever's left", and Necro's units just disappeared.

Then I tried again with Stronghold vs. Haven. Some mistakes later (God the mapmaker really should move the Eldritch Well to the combat arena so you can take it if you forget) I again trained 20 Champions. This time Stronghold got destroyed hardcore. The 38 Champions were too many to fight against. Buffed with Haste, Righteous Might and Divine Strength they rode through all of Stronghold's stacks in a hit. Ouch.

But even 38 Champions don't help against Sylvan. I picked Anwen with Sylvan, set Champions + Crossbowmen + Griffins as favored enemy and then learned Know Your Enemy. The result was devastating. The 38 Champions couldn't cross the map in a move, so I inched them forward; before they could move again Luck + Favored Enemy + Crit + Arcane Archers + Wind Dancers killed 37 of the 38 Champions. Ouch!! Rest of the fight was totally one-sided. So far this has happened regardless of who I put against Sylvan. It's not like I buildwars'ed myself knowing what Haven was running as well; if I know I'm facing Haven I'd favour those three units anyway.

Any tips on how to beat Sylvan?

Anyway for those interested the map can be found here:

http://www.wurfare.com/Heroes%205/Rando ... sion%201.1).h5m

Two things to note -

1. It's cheaper to Memory Mentor at level 1, so do so early.
2. Logistics is free gold, so no reason to learn it even if you don't want the skill. Spend 3 levels to max Logistics, earn 10k from the building and then Memory Mentor away the Logistics levels and make a net profit.

PS: Do you think Elvin's duel map is a better one compared to this? If so, I'd swap.
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Postby Banedon » Jul 26 2009, 4:52

Asheera I got a problem ... how the #$!*(&@ do you kill 38 Champions!? Unless you got Elven Luck + Favored Enemy + luck smiles on you, or unless you have powerful Dark Magic the Haven player didn't prepare for, they simply ride through everything. It's 38 Champions vs. (for example) 14 Thunder Thanes. HUGE difference in numbers, and it doesn't cost that much to train the Champions, too.
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Postby Elvin » Aug 13 2009, 15:38

Hey guys long time no see :) Seems you spotted arena as well, it's an interesting map but I have a few complaints about it.

- Tiers 1 and 2 are very boosted so battle frenzy and vitality are an absolute must.
- Almost no factions have arcane library so if you get bad spells then you suck it up.
- Only one artifact merchant so it is easy to get a bad selection of arties. Of course you can spend your gold elsewhere that brings up my next point.
- You HAVE to split your gold between levels, army and artifacts. So much nitpicking, you have to know the golden line for everything. A newbie has zero chances against someone who knows how to allocate his gold effectively or what stacks not to buy.
- Abuses allowed and even encouraged. Some learn exp logs to get 6k from the quest and then erase in mentor. Similarly you can learn intelligence, visit well, erase it and then learn arcane excellence for a ****load of mana.
- Finally if you get no knowledge arties you may never get to cast vs inferno. Haven with 2-3 knowledge is no fun.

Anyways those are things you pay attention to if you want to play competitively, arena's balance has been proven to be pretty good even if luck plays a major role. And of course some matchups are almost hopeless, like say orcs tend to lose to inferno, necro usually loses to academy etc.

-----

Anyway I have created a new tournament coming in October, would be nice to see new people to join :) Just be warned that tohers are tough cookies and know how to fight, many are battle hardened veterans. At any rate check out the map you may like it.

Also planning on a less formal tournament for the temple(H5 forum) regulars, if you want to play for the fun of it it would be a good place to start. People's level there ranges from newbie to good so I could pair you with someone of your level. I'll leave a note when it is about to start in case anyone is interested.
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Postby Banedon » Aug 14 2009, 11:51

You're too late Elvin ... two months ago I would've been happy to play, but now everything's moved, from my interests to my timetable + my computer broke down and I have to hunt down the disks to play H5 again, so I can't / won't play. Sorry :(

Interesting things you wrote. Battle Frenzy and Vitality I normally do not use in the arena, except as a step to a more powerful skill and / or when I get similar artifacts available in the artifact merchant and plan to build around them. The lack of Arcane Library is terrible I agree. There isn't that much variation in the possible builds I've found because it basically comes down to "do I need this artifact?" before I buy it. If I don't need the artifact I don't buy it, and the same with the levels, and then everything else goes into the army. Agree the abuses aren't nice, Logistics for example is a guaranteed abuse by both sides. Intelligence is more fickle, you might not be offered and it costs more to invest in, but it's really powerful.

Curious you think the arena balance is pretty good because I've been getting the idea that a few races dominate. Like in a real game, I wouldn't play Necro in the arena, and I find Academy rather dubious as well there. Haven gets 8 Archangels while Fortress gets only 6 Dragons, which is weird to say the least since it's not like Haven is weak or anything.

If this were two months ago I'd ask to play you, but then given logistical problems it's probably too late. Oh well, if I do start playing H5 again I'll PM you.
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Postby Elvin » Aug 14 2009, 12:21

Necro is actually amongst the best races in there, only weakness it has is dungeon and academy. And you may find it amusing that fortress may be a little better than haven if not it's equal. Academy I don't really like due to lack of arcane library but it's decent if a bit random. When I say that certain factions matchups have a weakness it's not a certain victory, the odds are more like 60% vs 40%.

I joined the arena tournament barely knowing the map but picked up fast from the tips of more experienced players. I have since re-evaluated the level of balance that changes as you find more effective ways to play each faction. It is actually an elitist map, IF you know the balance and the ideal combinations perfectly and so does your opponent then it's mostly fair game. Luck plays a role but a good player will lose to an experienced one most of the time. Because just knowing how to play heroes is not enough, the arena has certain exploits and standard strategies that always work. Some factions fare better with more army, others with better hero level, getting a sub-optimal build greatly decreases your chances etc.

It's all a calculated flow of odds so to me it's more serious business than fun.
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Postby Banedon » Aug 14 2009, 15:54

You make me want to play you Elvin!

If you don't mind, want to try to arrange a game this weekend so I can see all these things you're talking about firsthand? I'll be travelling this weekend and so will have access to a computer with H5 - otherwise I usually don't, so now would be excellent time.
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Postby Elvin » Aug 14 2009, 17:05

I'm afraid I will be out of Athens for Saturday but I should be back by Sunday noon. Considering that your timezone is around 5 hours late compared to mine it will be difficult to arrange that game. But I could look for some inspiring replays :)

Edit: Found some you may like. Here.
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Postby Banedon » Aug 18 2009, 6:11

In case you're wondering what happened Elvin I played my brothers a couple of times Necro vs. Stronghold. At this point they're so confident Necro sucks they happily announced they would be ignoring Shatter Dark. First couple of times Puppet Master, together with the Intelligence / Graduate abuse, wrecked Kragh's army (lol Powerful Blow + Puppet Master saw Kragh killing his own units).

After that it was Garuna, who crushed me the first time easily - with the Mage Guild offering Frenzy + Vampirism, not to mention me forgetting to visit the Mage Guild after upping my Dark Magic to Expert, Garuna thrashed all my units in spite of Mass Haste + Mass Suffering + Mass Weakness + Mass Endurance. We were going to play another game when the computer broke down with a graphics card error, so that was it.

Though I won two matches, it is against a Shatter-Dark-less Stronghold army. I still have no confidence in Necro, especially against an opponent all ready to counter Dark Magic. Without Dark Magic's curses what is there for Necro to use?

I still want to play you - ETA next time I'll be free (and with H5 access) is in two weeks. Interested? Some things to check first as well:

1. Can we link up if we're running different versions of H5? I'd imagine no, but I can watch different versions' replays, so ...
2. Is there a way to control what spell you get from that building? Last time I tried I visited it and got no notification of what spell it gave and I assumed it bugged out, but then in the battle itself I realized it did give me Circle of Winter. Well and good, but will it for example give you duplicate spells, spells you can't learn because of no mastery, etc?

The arena sure is easier to play than a real game - it ends so much faster, the exciting parts come earlier, there's less time to brood over a loss, etc.
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Postby Elvin » Aug 18 2009, 6:41

All those mass spells are nice and all but in that meantime orcs are allowed to keep attacking and pump up rage. With each of your stacks killed that's +4 to Garuna army's attack.

1) As long as we both have 3.1 and the same custom maps in the folder we can play.
2) Afaik it gives no duplicates and will not consider whether you can learn the spell or not, you'll learn lvl 3 anyway. But while it will not offer any spell(for instance no wasp or fist) it is still too random. I only use it to learn cleansing or haste in case I missed them, then I would spend 5k to get them. It it is a risk but worth it in some cases - still don't make a habit of using it.

About me I have exams in less than 2 weeks :ill:
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Postby Banedon » Aug 30 2009, 8:54

How were your exams Elvin?

I'm currently living on a rather weird schedule where I go home every two weeks or so, so the next time I'll have H5 access is probably again in two weeks - free to play then?
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Postby Elvin » Aug 30 2009, 12:17

They are starting this Wednesday wish me luck! At 4 September I'll have a break with the last 3 exams being on 23, 24 and 26, I'm sure I'll be able to find the time.

After that the duel tournament begins, good times are coming :)
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Postby Elvin » Sep 7 2009, 11:12

Ready when you are :)
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Postby Banedon » Sep 12 2009, 7:34

How about later today? In about 3 hours from when I make this post. If not today, then it'll have to be tomorrow - in about ~20 hours from when I make this post.

I should say though I've pretty much completely stopped H5 and am concentrating on other games + real life :(

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Postby Elvin » Sep 12 2009, 8:50

Don't we all :) Check your pms.
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Postby Banedon » Sep 13 2009, 8:45

Sorry for the debacle Elvin, that was disastrous ;| Especially forgetting to learn Imbue Arrow ... lol. That game could've been a good fight if I'd just had it. Actually I think I would've won quite handily, with the Archlich attack killing all of 9 Arcane Archers and the Arcane Archer lucky shot vs. the Ghost Dragons. Everyone crowding the Silver Unicorns was a cute sight, although Anwen did have to move before the High Druids and after I waited Nicolai got a second move (?).

That said, the smart thing for me to do would've been to give up a few skills - probably a couple of Defense levels - for Master of Storms + Imbue Arrow. On hindsight since I can't favor the Dragons and the Wraiths, and since I have the Trident available in the Artifact Merchant, and since there's the pair of Boots that +10% Magic Resistance there too, I could've used that combination to Imbue -> Rain of Arrows -> Chain Lightning. I was beguiled by the Emerald Slippers + Implosion :( Perhaps another smart thing for me to do would've been to use Wyngaal (why is he allowed anyway?) even if his abilities are nerfed, just so that the High Druids can move before the hero.

We'll see about playing Duel instead of Arena. I was all ready for Arena lol, with Logistics and Intelligence and not buying spells anticipating some money from selling resources. However, I must say Duel seems a lot more shallow than Arena. In Arena you have to split your money between creatures, levels, Memory Mentor, artifacts and possibly spells. In Duel, all you do is Memory Mentor and artifacts ...
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Postby Elvin » Sep 13 2009, 11:48

On the other hand arena gives you less options. Never seen a serious opponent use destructive with sylvan or dwarves because it will never be good enough - due to army strength and lack of arties. You will never see a summoning sylvan unless you get a tome and even them it is doubtful anyone would give 20k for it. Heck you'll never see anyone using warmachines. But should sylvan get dark tome hel-lo rain of frenzy! Orcs unlucky to get shatter dark will simply lose to dark. Haven or dwarves may get pathetic mana that can potentially put them in severe disadvantage against inferno.

At any rate the objective of each map is different and as such has different appeal to players.

Arena is about finding the golden line and micromanagement, most of the game is judged outside the battlefield. An average player will (almost)never ever get a game from a veteran there because it has its own rules, doesn't play like a real heroes game. In a real game you have more artifacts, more spells, higher level for such army strength. So a real game veteran would still be a newbie here if not for the above because splitting accurately requires a lot of experience.

The duel map is instead a simulation of a week 6 game. Combat plays as much an important role as much as preparation unless you are lucky to get an outrageous combination of build/arties. More than one builds can work against each faction and it keeps things simple, allows you to be creative. In arena you cannot afford to be if you play competitively. Plus no sweet eyecandy fiur-style B-)
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