Time for my "coming out"...

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

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Marzhin
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Time for my "coming out"...

Postby Marzhin » Aug 20 2010, 22:19

Hey guys :)

Now that Heroes VI is finally announced, I guess it's about time for me to come out of the closet, so to speak. So here you have it: I'm a part of Ubi's team, having been hired roughly one year ago to work on the level design for the game (among other things).

I see there is a lot of confusion (and an unhealthy dose of craziness too :)) going on about some of the facts revealed at Gamescom, especially because of those photos of the demo screen. Since I have just returned from Gamescom, I thought I'd drop by and try to clarify some stuff :) These are facts you will find in the various previews of the game, but I think it's nice to have them together in one place.

Of course I can't go beyond the facts that have been disclosed so far, but here what I can tell you :

- The Gamescom demo was pre-Alpha, so a lot of visuals, sounds and GUI elements were missing or placeholders. Just keep that in mind :)

- Town screen: there is still a town screen, or more accurately, a town window. Each town still have its own theme music and all. It is a 2D, animated town screen. The Haven town screen was part of the missing elements, that's why it was replaced by a mere screenshot for the demo.

- You can see more info about a city on its 3D model on the adventure map (not just its town hall and if it has fortifications). You can learn a lot about your adversary's strategy just by observing how he developed his towns.

- There are still mines on the adventure map. You still have to flag them in order to gain resources. The new stuff is now all mines are in the "area of control" of a city or fort. Once you own the fort/city of an area and flagged(?) the mines, the only way to take the mines from you is to capture the city/fort that controls the area.

- However, it is still possible to occupy an enemy mine with one of your heroes to steal his resources. But the mine automatically reverts back to the owner of the area of control as soon as you leave it.

- I know some of you think there are a lot of changes to the classic Heroes formula, and I understand changes can be scary. Truth be told, I reacted the same way at first :) I can only advise you to wait until you play it before passing a judgement :) I can assure you it still feels and plays like Heroes. It adds some new stuff to the mix, but doesn't try to be revolutionary or turn Heroes into something completely different. However, no, it is not Heroes III redux. And I think it's a good thing :)

So that's it. I hope it's more clear now :)

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Postby Corelanis » Aug 20 2010, 22:23

Thank you very much for clearing that up now I have a clearer picture of whats going on. I shall try to keep an open mind. Again thank you.
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Re: Time for my "coming out"...

Postby ThunderTitan » Aug 20 2010, 22:51

Marzhin wrote:- The Gamescom demo was pre-Alpha, so a lot of visuals, sounds and GUI elements were missing or placeholders. Just keep that in mind :)


Thanks, i really needed to be reminded that there are idiots in the audience...


- Town screen: there is still a town screen, or more accurately, a town window. Each town still have its own theme music and all. It is a 2D, animated town screen. The Haven town screen was part of the missing elements, that's why it was replaced by a mere screenshot for the demo.


A 2D town screen... now that would be awesome... pics or it didn't happen though.


- You can see more info about a city on its 3D model on the adventure map (not just its town hall and if it has fortifications). You can learn a lot about your adversary's strategy just by observing how he developed his towns.


So a lot less buildings in the city i take it...

But what strategy are you talking about?! Simply economy vs creatures or is there more?!

- There are still mines on the adventure map. You still have to flag them in order to gain resources. The new stuff is now all mines are in the "area of control" of a city or fort. Once you own the fort/city of an area and flagged(?) the mines, the only way to take the mines from you is to capture the city/fort that controls the area.

- However, it is still possible to occupy an enemy mine with one of your heroes to steal his resources. But the mine automatically reverts back to the owner of the area of control as soon as you leave it.


Oh, so now not only will we need 1 or 2 secondary heroes to flag mines, but one for each mine near a city we don't own?! How is that a good idea?!


- I know some of you think there are a lot of changes to the classic Heroes formula, and I understand changes can be scary. Truth be told, I reacted the same way at first :) I can only advise you to wait until you play it before passing a judgement :) I can assure you it still feels and plays like Heroes. It adds some new stuff to the mix, but doesn't try to be revolutionary or turn Heroes into something completely different. However, no, it is not Heroes III redux. And I think it's a good thing :)


So far it looks like it's "Heroes streamlined for the masses", which is really sad considering i know a lot of people that enjoyed heroes 3 very much but barely managed to finish high-school...

GIVE ME MY **** RESOURCES BACK DAMMIT.
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Postby MattII » Aug 20 2010, 22:55

Are special buildings still out though?

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Postby Metathron » Aug 20 2010, 23:50

Marzhin you sly devil! :D

I suppose you are one of the HoMM community members UBI consulted (and that's putting it mildly), I wonder if we'll ever learn who the others are, if there are any others that is.
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Postby OliverFA » Aug 20 2010, 23:59

Thanks for the information Marzhin. I will also try to keep an open mind.

But for what I see, I have to agree with ThunderTitan that it looks like HOMM for the masses, and I trully dislike it. I hope I am wrong.

But inmy opinion, is a wrong choice. The masses will never like HOMM (or TBS games if we talk a bit more general) and TBS gamers will not like a simplified HOMM. So noone will happy.

IMHO the way to go is what Stardock did with "Elemental: War of Magic". A game for the true fantasy TBS fans. No wonder why they have such high number of preorders. They are the only true fantasy TBS game out there (maybe with the only exception of Kings Bounty). Or even better, to do what NWC did. Each iteration the game got more complete, and each iteration was better than the previos one.

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Postby OliverFA » Aug 21 2010, 0:00

If you wanted a simplified HOMM game, Why not to do like Firaxis did with Civilization: Revolution? You could have developed something like HOMM:R, specially thougt for consoles, and develop a proper HOMM game for PC.

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Postby Corlagon » Aug 21 2010, 0:13

Wow. 8|
My true congratulations, Marzhin. There is now actual hope that Ubisoft might just create a storyline after all :D

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Postby ChaosReigns » Aug 21 2010, 1:11

I'm sure I'm going to be flamed mercilessly for this but...

I love these people who are saying that this game is Heroes stream-lined for the masses! Why? Because the game only has four resources? Please. First of all there's more to a game than sheer quantity of resources (Disciples II was a superb game and it only had five resources, being gold and the different types of mana). Secondly we have no idea how Ubisoft is going to implement the new system of "competition" for the one rare resource. There's no guarantee that there will be as many "crystal" mines in Heroes VI as there are "rare" resource mines in Heroes V. This new system where one has to capture the castle to get the resources will likely factor into this equation as well.

Point being, the game was only announced two-three days ago. We know very little. Keep your shirts on. The amount of time that has passed and the information available to us is not enough to make a judgment one way or another about this game.

There are also huge positives in this new system that people are overlooking (dynamic battles, conversion of towns - a feature that I think is long overdue myself, a might and magic hero for each town IIRC). All these and more are substantial steps in the right direction.

Blind optimism is stupid, but blind pessimism is just as bad. On that note thank God the town screens haven't been removed.
Last edited by ChaosReigns on Aug 21 2010, 1:15, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Elvin » Aug 21 2010, 1:13

Respect mate, you sure have come far. But then considering LotA it was to be expected you'd be noticed. Some interesting clarifications there, I like area of control in specific. No silly mine hit&runs :)
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Re: Time for my "coming out"...

Postby Banedon » Aug 21 2010, 3:42

ThunderTitan wrote: So a lot less buildings in the city i take it...

But what strategy are you talking about?! Simply economy vs creatures or is there more?!


Because if you can tell what your opponent is building, you roughly know what he's aiming for, viz. if he's rushing up the Mage's Guild without building his dwellings then he's going for a magic-oriented victory and you can expect an attack sooner rather than later.

I don't know about the mines change, but it seems illogical. It means that so long as you hold a castle - which is certainly easier than winning a fight in the field - you won't lose much to a rampaging enemy hero outside. Logically a rampaging hero outside would cause devastation, killing off produce / population / trade. In this I think the Total War system makes sense. Each town earns a certain amount of gold, but if there's a hostile force in the area around the town, there's a penalty to the gold earned.

It also means that you'll never run into a solitary mine anywhere (?). What about gold mines and such which may be in a remote area?
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Postby socketboy » Aug 21 2010, 5:58

I like the sound of it. Having a 2d screen especially will speed things up compared to H5.
I'll have to wait and see about the number of resources and the whole area of control thing.

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Re: Time for my "coming out"...

Postby Pitsu » Aug 21 2010, 8:05

Marzhin wrote:- Town screen: there is still a town screen, or more accurately, a town window. Each town still have its own theme music and all. It is a 2D, animated town screen.


Wow, something positive at last. Now it is just to hope that they not just have it, but they also understand how to utilize it with the maximum benefit for the game.
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Postby Kalah » Aug 21 2010, 11:03

*pats Marzhin on the back for "coming out" of his closet.* :)
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Re: Time for my "coming out"...

Postby ThunderTitan » Aug 21 2010, 12:06

Banedon wrote:
ThunderTitan wrote: So a lot less buildings in the city i take it...

But what strategy are you talking about?! Simply economy vs creatures or is there more?!


Because if you can tell what your opponent is building, you roughly know what he's aiming for, viz. if he's rushing up the Mage's Guild without building his dwellings then he's going for a magic-oriented victory and you can expect an attack sooner rather than later.


Dude, way to get in the way of me fishing for more info... i was actually asking if there's more to it then that (as in if there are more possible strategies).
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Postby MistWeaver » Aug 21 2010, 12:06

Whoa.. Marzhin, my congrats !

And thanks for clearing this out:
there is still a town screen, or more accurately, a town window. Each town still have its own theme music and all. It is a 2D, animated town screen.


Now, I have more positive attitude )

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Postby Mirez » Aug 21 2010, 13:24

2d?? still a step back imo
treants are dendrosexual 0_o

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Postby jeff4815 » Aug 21 2010, 14:00

ChaosReigns wrote:I'm sure I'm going to be flamed mercilessly for this but...

I love these people who are saying that this game is Heroes stream-lined for the masses! Why? Because the game only has four resources? Please. First of all there's more to a game than sheer quantity of resources (Disciples II was a superb game and it only had five resources, being gold and the different types of mana). Secondly we have no idea how Ubisoft is going to implement the new system of "competition" for the one rare resource. There's no guarantee that there will be as many "crystal" mines in Heroes VI as there are "rare" resource mines in Heroes V. This new system where one has to capture the castle to get the resources will likely factor into this equation as well.

Point being, the game was only announced two-three days ago. We know very little. Keep your shirts on. The amount of time that has passed and the information available to us is not enough to make a judgment one way or another about this game.

There are also huge positives in this new system that people are overlooking (dynamic battles, conversion of towns - a feature that I think is long overdue myself, a might and magic hero for each town IIRC). All these and more are substantial steps in the right direction.

Blind optimism is stupid, but blind pessimism is just as bad. On that note thank God the town screens haven't been removed.


I'm going to have to agree here. Except for the Disciples 2 part, unfortunately. I'm looking forward to this game, especially the mine changes. It's viirtually impossible to please everybody no matter what the producers of new games do when they're a sequel of past games.

I can't wait for more news. And I didn't see that coming, Marzhin.
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Postby BTOG46 » Aug 21 2010, 15:06

Marzhin wrote:Hey guys :)

Now that Heroes VI is finally announced, I guess it's about time for me to come out of the closet, so to speak. So here you have it: I'm a part of Ubi's team, having been hired roughly one year ago to work on the level design for the game (among other things).



- The Gamescom demo was pre-Alpha, so a lot of visuals, sounds and GUI elements were missing or placeholders. Just keep that in mind :)

- Town screen: there is still a town screen, or more accurately, a town window. Each town still have its own theme music and all. It is a 2D, animated town screen. The Haven town screen was part of the missing elements, that's why it was replaced by a mere screenshot for the demo.



Congratulations Marzhin, and thanks for the info on the town screens, that's cleared up one major thing people have been complaining about over at the Ubi forums. :D
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Postby ThunderTitan » Aug 22 2010, 13:34

Looks like the town screen ain't even full screen in the game: http://www.drachenwald.net/gamescom/097.JPG

C'mon Marzhin, what have you been doing there?!
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