Only 4 resources. Good or bad?

The new Heroes games produced by Ubisoft. Please specify which game you are referring to in your post.

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Postby SplinterHoMM » Aug 23 2010, 23:15

Ubisoft was seriously considering making HoMM 5 an RTS or an RPG for sake of broadening the appeal.

This would have ended most of the arguing between the fans, as it would be a new game definitely. :|
As MM H VI tries to keep tradition alive it should continue (as was said before) by finding new use for these resources, not cutting them of.I feel i'll miss the variety of use...
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Postby ThunderTitan » Aug 24 2010, 6:46

konfeta wrote:
Then what's the point besides giving people the impression that it's less complex by only having 1 resource shown...


Less resource pick up types to reduce extent of randomization, simpler to balance every map for every faction as you don't need to make sure every town has appropriate access to enough of their separate resources, etc.


Hurray for homogenization and lazy map-making.

konfeta wrote:Alternatively, less need of having every mine type might translate to other, more interesting map objects that can increase game depth by being given regularity they may not have had before.


Because you can't add that without removing mines... :rolleyes:

Don't forget that this is Ubisoft we are talking about, one of the less nice publishers out there. And be mindful that whatever changes to make the game more mainstream have been made, it could have been a lot worse. Ubisoft was seriously considering making HoMM 5 an RTS or an RPG for sake of broadening the appeal.


Yeah kids, just shut up and take it, and be happy you're not starving...

when you are ultimately given the choice between burning your company down "for the art" and a chance to survive as a company so you can do the "art" thing later, the choice is obvious to sane people.


Funny how they never get to do the art part though.

But a TBS will never actually attract the people that like simple games, no matter how simplified it is, so the only thing this will help with might be balance...

alma wrote:I think it's good, it makes multiplayer much more competitive which is always good.


Just look at SC2, which has the exact gameplay of it's predecessor because it needs to be as competitive. [/quote]
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Postby konfeta » Aug 24 2010, 8:24

Hurray for homogenization and lazy map-making.


Making the game playable regardless of what town you pick is automatically homogenization and lazy map making? Fantastic reasoning.

Because you can't add that without removing mines...


And you were complaining about lazy map making. Yes, let's just keep on piling crap on without regard for playability of the map! Let's ignore that, ultimately, faction strength is highly dependent on map design, so the more needlessly complicated that dependence is the more difficult it is to design a map that actually works.

Look, the choice is - do you want a simpler Heroes game that works and can pave the way for your preferred complexity via expansions, sequels, competitors, or mods; or do you want the series to crash and burn by introducing complexities for sake of complexity rather than gameplay need?

Funny how they never get to do the art part though.


Nah, they do. For the record, design decisions you personally disagree with because they do not suit your personal taste or vision of game design are not invalidated as "art." I've seen this insipid accusation leveled against every major game developer (Valve, Bioware, ID, Blizzard, etc.), and yet their games are enjoyed by both the critic and the common player. So, please, avoid making a highly specific and egocentric definition of what "art" is as far as game design goes.

Just look at SC2, which has the exact gameplay of it's predecessor because it needs to be as competitive.


Oh, you mean the game that elected to support the hardcore fanbase by a company that is successful enough to literally **** on that hardcore fanbase without a second thought? The game that was specifically made in the attempt to do the very thing the HoMM 3 fanbase is clamoring for - more of the game they loved?

SC2 is the very definition of what you seem to want from the Heroes series. An effort to introduce complexity loved by the fans of the series while simultaneously an effort to introduce new players to the genre by making it accessible. It was also an unfettered execution of Blizzard's artistic vision as far as single player goes, something you should accept even if you dislike where that vision went or how (in)competently it was executed.

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Postby ThunderTitan » Aug 24 2010, 8:41

konfeta wrote:Making the game playable regardless of what town you pick is automatically homogenization and lazy map making? Fantastic reasoning.


It is when making it more playable = reducing the number of differences... i actually think that's even the definition of homogenization.


And you were complaining about lazy map making. Yes, let's just keep on piling crap on without regard for playability of the map!


Because if the object is in the editor it needs to be on the map... it's not like the map-maker can make any choices or anything.

And of course after a precise number of objects are available they ruin the game forever... and the devs must never put more models in the game over that number.

But i guess this does highlight the need for bigger maps... H5 sucked in that regard.

Nah, they do. For the record, design decisions you personally disagree with because they do not suit your personal taste or vision of game design are not invalidated as "art." I've seen this insipid accusation leveled against every major game developer, and yet their games are enjoyed by both the critic and the common player. So, please, avoid making a highly specific and egocentric definition of what "art" is as far as game design goes.


Art in a game and a game that is an art project in itself are not the same thing...

And critics in this industry are bought easily... just look at all the perfect 10's being given nowadays, when before almost no game would get that score, as there's always something that's not perfect in any game.

Oh, you mean the game that elected to support the hardcore fanbase by a company that is successful enough to literally **** on that hardcore fanbase without a second thought?


Right, they elected to support the people that made SC1 the game it is today, 12 years after it was released... man, i wonder why they didn't go for the people that play a game for 6 months and then move on... (except that they did, just compare the campaigns difficulty to SC1's, or look at the actual hardcore forums and how much they complained about Blizz taking out too many clicks with their multiple selection and other shortcuts that they couldn't implement back in SC1).
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Postby konfeta » Aug 24 2010, 9:04

It is when making it more playable = reducing the number of differences... i actually think that's even the definition of homogenization.


No, the definition of homogenization is making every race play the same. That is not the same as making every race viable. Important distinction. You can have distinct playstyle among different towns while keeping them balanced. Would you disagree that it is a goal to be strive for?

And of course after a precise number of objects are available they ruin the game forever... and the devs must never put more models in the game over that number.


Slight correction. Developers don't have an infinite amount of time to make this game. Adding stuff for sake of padding an arbitrary traditional number of resources will hurt their ability to work and test other aspects of the game.

Though, yes, bigger maps would be nice.
Art in a game and a game that is an art project in itself are not the same thing...


Alright, this conversation is going nowhere. Define art in terms of game design and I can hopefully address your point in the terms you provide me. I'm losing the track of your point.


Right, they elected to support the people that made SC1 the game it is today, 12 years after it was released... man, i wonder why they didn't go for the people that play a game for 6 months and then move on... (except that they did, just compare the campaigns difficulty to SC1's, or look at the actual hardcore forums and how much they complained about Blizz taking out too many clicks with their multiple selection and other shortcuts that they couldn't implement back in SC1).


You are vastly oversimplifying the situation. Blizzard has multiple fanbases that exist within other series, and WoW was a massive project that took most of their time and manpower to work on. A project, which incidentally gave them almost unheard of freedom in terms of how much they can toil away to work on the game of their dreams. And the whole interface debate has is a highly complex and nuanced discussion that would be veering out of topic to properly explain here. A TLDR: it was a compromise between making the game playable for newcomers and retaining the element of the player's attention as viable resource in terms of E-Sports. Only short sighted, conservative extremists complained about multiple selection. Most of the fanbase seems satisfied with the result.

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Postby alcibiades » Aug 24 2010, 13:06

I don't buy the whole "making it more competitive" thing. Whether there are 1 or 4 ressources, the level of competition will depend on the number of mines or the richness of the map. Even with only 1 ressource, you can spam the map with mines, and there will be no competition. In large scenarios with later enemy interaction, 1 ressource instead of 4 will not mean more competition, only less tactical options.


And as for the balance between factions thing, I don't see how 1 ressource particularly helps - at least not when you take the guard randomization into play. To make a concrete example (H5 language), you might have random level 3 creatures on rare ressource mines. This might give you Arcane Archers (which sucks bigtime) or Vindicators (which is easy candy in comparison).

Now with 4 different mines to choose from, odds are that you will have a tough guard on at least one of them, and an easy guard on at least one of them. This means that you can plan your tactics according to this - if you have easy acces to Crystal, you might go for Training Grounds and plan accordingly, and if you have easy acces to Gems, you might go for Altar Of Light instead (and plan accordingly). Thus, you had the option to adapt to the situation (which is what strategy games is all about, if I'm not mistaken).

With only 1 ressource on the other hand, you might have easy access to this ressource, or you might have bad luck with this particular mine, which leaves you screwed over (pardon the language) because you have no other options to go for. Unless of course numbers will be so that you have 4 crystal mines for each castle.


On the bottom line, I think it's a bad idea, because it takes away options in the game, and that is for me an almost default bad thing in a strategy game. It might be it works fine, and I sure hope it does, but I have a very hard time imagening how this will actually ADD to the game.

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Postby alma » Aug 24 2010, 13:12

alcibiades wrote:I don't buy the whole "making it more competitive" thing. Whether there are 1 or 4 ressources, the level of competition will depend on the number of mines or the richness of the map. Even with only 1 ressource, you can spam the map with mines, and there will be no competition. In large scenarios with later enemy interaction, 1 ressource instead of 4 will not mean more competition, only less tactical options.


But if you have 4 rare resources easily can happen that one of the opponents needs only resource A, and the other one resource B so they won't fight for mines.

And you presume the worst. The developers made the decision: only 1 resource. I am sure that they made this because of they wanted more competitive multiplayer. I am 100% sure that now they won't put 50 mines on 1 map just to destroy everything they wanted.
Implementing more resource types is easy in my opinion so I am 100% sure that they have a goal with reducing the number.

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Postby klaymen » Aug 24 2010, 13:42

alma wrote:But if you have 4 rare resources easily can happen that one of the opponents needs only resource A, and the other one resource B so they won't fight for mines.


Marketplace or Trading post. The more desperate your situation is, the merrier every little bit helps. Also taking the mine which the opponent needs will harm him too.
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Postby alma » Aug 24 2010, 13:57

klaymen wrote:
alma wrote:But if you have 4 rare resources easily can happen that one of the opponents needs only resource A, and the other one resource B so they won't fight for mines.


Marketplace or Trading post. The more desperate your situation is, the merrier every little bit helps. Also taking the mine which the opponent needs will harm him too.


If you can't find the difference between the two situations and can't find out which one makes MP more competitive then it's your problem.

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Postby alcibiades » Aug 24 2010, 14:25

alma wrote:
alcibiades wrote:I don't buy the whole "making it more competitive" thing. Whether there are 1 or 4 ressources, the level of competition will depend on the number of mines or the richness of the map. Even with only 1 ressource, you can spam the map with mines, and there will be no competition. In large scenarios with later enemy interaction, 1 ressource instead of 4 will not mean more competition, only less tactical options.


But if you have 4 rare resources easily can happen that one of the opponents needs only resource A, and the other one resource B so they won't fight for mines.


If they make it so every faction only needs one resource, it's very poor design. Notice that what was what pulled H5 Stronghold down completely: You needed Mercury for every single building, so without Mercury, you got nowhere. I hope this won't end up in the same way (but at least it will be even for all ;|).

Notice that previous games were generally designed so you needed 1 ressource for level 7, another for level 6 and others for level 5 and 4. Special buildings also mixed accordingly. Thus, it was true that each faction had a "favored" ressource (generally the one for level 7), but it also was so that if you wanted ALL buildings, you needed all ressources (and mage guild even required all of them in big numbers).

If you want to increase ressource demand, add more uses. Like ressource cost for lower level units also, ressource consumption in class skills (similar to Artificer and Rune Magic), etc. There are many options.

And you presume the worst. The developers made the decision: only 1 resource. I am sure that they made this because of they wanted more competitive multiplayer. I am 100% sure that now they won't put 50 mines on 1 map just to destroy everything they wanted.
Implementing more resource types is easy in my opinion so I am 100% sure that they have a goal with reducing the number.


No of course they won't, but my point is that there are other maps than the ones that are pre-made, and in the end, it's the map-maker who decides how he wants the map: If he wants ressource-competition, he'll make it scarce in mines (or only mines in common zones), if he doesn't favor that, he'll put more mines, or mines close to each player's castle.

Thus, thinking that you can control competition level from number of ressources seems wrong to me.


On a sidenote, there's also a part of me that objects to them deciding how my games are going to be. First of all, I don't play multiplayer, so they should make a system that's not only geared on some specific sort of multiplayer games (i.e. short timespan, fast interaction). Secondly, whether I want intense ressource fight is something *I* should decide through the map I choose to play, not something *they* should force on to me.

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Postby alma » Aug 24 2010, 14:52

You are still too dramatic I think. You think too much bad thing about this new system without testing or without even knowing everything about it. You still vision the worst cases about everything connected with the new system. I stopped it, I don't like to argue so pessimistic guys, they'll always see only the negative things in everything no matter how promising it is.
Everybody who was on gamescom and spoke with developers says that they are so passionate and they are really big fans of HoMM and they cooperate with game fans.
I am still hopeful, You are still pessimistic and since none of us knows exactly the new system we won't convince each other.

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Postby Pitsu » Aug 24 2010, 15:15

The ideas of H6 are there but still under implementation and testing. Time of testing is the time when effort is made to find weaknesses. Of course with only the limited info we have, proper analysis cannot be made and imagination is used to replace unknown facts. For developers it should be much more interesting to read what possible shortcomings we can imagine than that we blindly believe in their every move. I believe that it is better to be critical now and happy after release than the opposite. Is it not true?
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Postby alma » Aug 24 2010, 15:29

Pitsu wrote:The ideas of H6 are there but still under implementation and testing. Time of testing is the time when effort is made to find weaknesses. Of course with only the limited info we have, proper analysis cannot be made and imagination is used to replace unknown facts. For developers it should be much more interesting to read what possible shortcomings we can imagine than that we blindly believe in their every move. I believe that it is better to be critical now and happy after release than the opposite. Is it not true?


Yes but there is difference between constructive criticism and some posts here. I am afraid of that some people here (of course not everybody) don't want to be constructive they just like whining and being negative and pessimistic.
Sorry if I am wrong, it easily can be the case.

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Postby danijel1990 » Aug 24 2010, 15:46

Yes of course, and since we know that pretty much everything we discuss here and at HC is seen by (some members of) MM:H VI team, it's good to have a constructive criticism based on the facts we know so far...but they should give us some more info soon. It's been a week since they announced the game and we need something new to discuss ;)

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Postby alma » Aug 24 2010, 15:48

danijel1990 wrote:Yes of course, and since we know that pretty much everything we discuss here and at HC is seen by (some members of) MM:H VI team, it's good to have a constructive criticism based on the facts we know so far...but they should give us some more info soon. It's been a week since they announced the game and we need something new to discuss ;)


The community developer spoke about a new video on twitter 1 day ago... :)

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Postby ecsunotos » Aug 25 2010, 1:40

The game has not been finished yet.
I'm pretty sure that it's just temporary, not a final condition. They won't change such big and fundamental thing like resources
;)

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Postby alma » Aug 25 2010, 7:13

ecsunotos wrote:The game has not been finished yet.
I'm pretty sure that it's just temporary, not a final condition. They won't change such big and fundamental thing like resources
;)

It's not big and fundamental thing, it's just some icon which are now overrated because there's a chance on changing the system.
I remember warhammer online. There were tons of votes about "which classes do you like", "which class will you play" etc. Nearly nobody voted on blackguards, max the 1% of the whole community, but when they said that blackguards won't be in the game at the start there were quadrillions of players who cried about it, who said that this is the most ipmortant class in the game, they started votes, petitions etc..
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Postby ThunderTitan » Aug 25 2010, 8:37

alma wrote:You think too much bad thing about this new system without testing or without even knowing everything about it. You still vision the worst cases about everything connected with the new system.


Maybe because those are the ones that need to be avoided...

And how would you propose we get to test it beyond what where told by the devs, wait for it to come out... it's probably too late to change it now, but maybe we'll get them to at least fix some of the problems we're worried about.

And all the complaining got us caravans and other stuff in TotE.

But if you have 4 rare resources easily can happen that one of the opponents needs only resource A, and the other one resource B so they won't fight for mines.


Unless they want to harm the opponents economy... thus making it a choice instead of forcing them to do it... i wonder which allows for more strategies to be viable...

Implementing more resource types is easy in my opinion so I am 100% sure that they have a goal with reducing the number.


Well making it look less complex is probably one of them... hopefully not the only one. And it probably helps with resource placing on the smaller maps 3D requires right now.

Overall gameplay won't be affected that much by the 1 instead of 4 thing, it will just cut down on the complexity of building stuff, which i'm against. But so far the info on towns makes it seem like they already did that without involving the resources.


konfeta wrote:No, the definition of homogenization is making every race play the same. That is not the same as making every race viable. Important distinction. You can have distinct playstyle among different towns while keeping them balanced. Would you disagree that it is a goal to be strive for?


Nice deflection... an Artful Dodger i see.

Making every race have the same resource needs and, from the looks of it, no or very little difference in buildings still counts, even if they're still different on the BF. All part of trying to make the game all about the battles at the expense of the adv. map. The differences between factions should exist on both.

And why do people keep insisting on balance so much, except Starcraft no other strategy game has ever lasted as an e-sport. Tehy should just give us a very good editor and hope someone makes a dota for the game (as in a killer mod, not something with the same gameplay).

konfeta wrote:Slight correction. Developers don't have an infinite amount of time to make this game. Adding stuff for sake of padding an arbitrary traditional number of resources will hurt their ability to work and test other aspects of the game.

Though, yes, bigger maps would be nice.


Ah yes, the old time excuse... kinda hard to take when they're talking about the Blizzard standard.

But the real problem with that excuse is that it also justifies only having 2 factions, because it frees up time to fix bugs etc... it's not a "we don't have the time, so shut up" excuse, it's a "sorry, we hope you forgive us for not having the time" one...

And it's nice to know that you think adding new options for spending resources is padding without bothering to consider the actual effects on gameplay they might have.

Alright, this conversation is going nowhere. Define art in terms of game design and I can hopefully address your point in the terms you provide me. I'm losing the track of your point.


You where either saying something but meaning another thing or you're dodging the issue. Making a game for the art means ignoring the market appeal issue and doing it for it's own sake (which can easily backfire, just look at Brutal Legend), and you originally said that some companies do some games for the pay-check so they can do that... but lately there aren't many examples of that.

You are vastly oversimplifying the situation. Blizzard has multiple fanbases that exist within other series, and WoW was a massive project that took most of their time and manpower to work on. A project, which incidentally gave them almost unheard of freedom in terms of how much they can toil away to work on the game of their dreams. And the whole interface debate has is a highly complex and nuanced discussion that would be veering out of topic to properly explain here. A TLDR: it was a compromise between making the game playable for newcomers and retaining the element of the player's attention as viable resource in terms of E-Sports. Only short sighted, conservative extremists complained about multiple selection. Most of the fanbase seems satisfied with the result.


You mean the game of the koreans fanbase dreams... they scrapped almost half the stuff they originally tried all in favour of balance... and don't even get me started on the SP (did you see those vids i posted on another thread?)

But again you're ignoring the point, that hardcore fanbase is what made SC1 a game that's still played 12 years later, and what will sell the game in S.Korea and even elsewhere for years to come, and they still compromised (as you just admitted, 10x) to make it new-comer friendly.

.....


Actually SC2 is a great point, as they knew that they couldn't afford to alienate their hardcore audience while trying to appeal to current mainstream audience that drives CoD and Halo sales like they did with the Warcraft series by making WoW (which pretty much screwed WC4) because strategy games don't appeal to those people in the first place. Let's hope MM:H6 doesn't screw up that balance.
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Postby Soronarr » Aug 25 2010, 13:44

I've played games with tons and TONS of resource types and games with only 1 resource.

I can't really say that having so many resources adds to the strategic value as much as it adds to stupid micromanagment.

4 resources seems enough for a good variety.

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Postby konfeta » Aug 25 2010, 16:47

Making every race have the same resource needs and, from the looks of it, no or very little difference in buildings still counts, even if they're still different on the BF. All part of trying to make the game all about the battles at the expense of the adv. map. The differences between factions should exist on both.

And why do people keep insisting on balance so much, except Starcraft no other strategy game has ever lasted as an e-sport. Tehy should just give us a very good editor and hope someone makes a dota for the game (as in a killer mod, not something with the same gameplay).


What dodging? You can still have significant economic differences between factions with just 4 resource types. Unique buildings can also factor into that, depending on exactly what they do. We still don't know what the shape of the magic system is and the status of adventure map spells.

Hell, you can have economic differences between factions with every factor identical except the following - Necromancy, Resurrection spell access, and a vanilla might army. One can outstrip the opponent in terms of unit growth, one can maintain no casualties, the other hand has to constantly bleed units on the way to victory. Everything else being equal, the three factions are obviously very different on the economic scale based even on something as tangential as skill and spell access. Now consider potential differences in structure costs (dwelling cost ratios, mage guild cost, fort cost, special buildings cost, economy building costs). You just need a little imagination and a willingness to cut out clutter to make space for more varied and interesting economy differentiators.

As for the balance question, well, you think its fun to have to ban factions or heroes? You think its fun to have entire strategies and gameplay styles (that were probably intended by teh developers in the first place to boot) rendered worthless based on a minor technicality that it is impossible to win with them? You think crap like Deleb and Conflux was fun? A balanced game tends to have more gameplay options and variety than an unbalanced one.
Ah yes, the old time excuse... kinda hard to take when they're talking about the Blizzard standard.

But the real problem with that excuse is that it also justifies only having 2 factions, because it frees up time to fix bugs etc... it's not a "we don't have the time, so shut up" excuse, it's a "sorry, we hope you forgive us for not having the time" one...

And it's nice to know that you think adding new options for spending resources is padding without bothering to consider the actual effects on gameplay they might have.


Ah, yes, reality. That stupid, lazy excuse people use. Whatever those crazy things think of next? Food, water, and air?! Oh, those vagabonds, those scoundrels!

The situation is not a black and white situation as you are trying to reduce it to. They don't want to make a 2 faction game. They want to do more, they want to do something complex. But then, that nasty thing, reality kicks in, and you have to balance making the game complex with making the game playable.

And thanks for telling me what I have or have not considered. Because obviously, me arguing that a 4 resource system is not a change that should be viewed in vacuum nor it should automatically be branded as "bad," or me pointing out that there are alternatives to bring the same relevant effect in a more elegant and interesting manner is not thinking about it. Thanks a lot.

You where either saying something but meaning another thing or you're dodging the issue. Making a game for the art means ignoring the market appeal issue and doing it for it's own sake (which can easily backfire, just look at Brutal Legend), and you originally said that some companies do some games for the pay-check so they can do that... but lately there aren't many examples of that.


Repeat after me. Mass appeal does NOT invalidate art. Designing a game so more people enjoy it is NOT selling out. Game developers tend to go into the business because they want to make games they believe are going to be fun for other people to play. To brand any design decision made to make the game more appealing and enjoyable to more people as a "cash grab" is insulting the game designer without any true rational basis or proof. I've seen this insipid argument leveled against so many great game developers now that it hurts to read it.

The developer has two elementary objectives in designing a game. Making a game to their vision and ensuring that the game keeps their development ability functional to fulfill that vision. They can make the game appeal only to a select minority of elitist hardcore or they can make a game that appeals to, at the very least, hell of a lot more people as well as some of that select minority. In both cases they are doing art. In both cases they are creating something that elicits an emotional response from a group of people. You cannot objectively assign one group's preferences as more important than the other. You can, however, objectively point out that one of those options leads to the developer crashing and burning, to sacrifice themselves for the ego for an ultimately small and inconsequential number of people. The same people who go "Alas, true art is thankless and it demands suffering!" and subsequently move on to the next example of "true art."

Rather cold, don't you think, oh person of refined taste for fine arts?

Look, it's clear that you prefer games that are well done to games that are designed with elementary psychological tricks to have mass appeal. But, please, do not succumb to the "all or nothing" absurdity. A game developer can easily have an artistic vision of what his game should be that is not incompatible with mass appeal.

korea and sc2 stuff


No. Either your understanding of the multiplayer scene of SC is flat out wrong, or you aren't making it clear through your statements that you understand it. Starcraft 2 has significant problems in terms of story-telling department, certain mutliplayer design decisions that threaten the future of the game as a spectator sport, and the fiasco that is Blizzard's hilariously unfinished and unpolished Battle.net 2.0; but they are independent of the decision to appeal to both the classic fanbase and newcomers.

And to be honest, from what I played in SC2's single player, the only real gripe is lack of storyline substance. The campaign was superb in terms of gameplay and pacing; I felt it blew campaigns of other RTS offerings such as World in Conflict, Dawn of series, CnC series, Supreme Commander, etc. out of the water.
Last edited by konfeta on Aug 26 2010, 3:43, edited 1 time in total.


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