Area of Control [forts]

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

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
arturchix
Titan
Titan
Posts: 1352
Joined: 06 Jan 2006
Location: Latvia

Area of Control [forts]

Postby arturchix » Aug 25 2010, 15:51

I remember Thundertitan asked me how exactly forts or Area of Control works - hope this will explain.

How Area Control works?

An Area contains one and only one Control Point (it can be either a Town or a Fort).

When the Player captures a Control Point, the Player gets control over certain Mines and Dwellings in the Area, according to the following rules:

1. The Player gets control over all non-neutral Mines and Dwellings in the Area automatically.

2. Other Players’ Heroes can capture Mines or Dwellings in Player’s Area. These capturing Heroes, however, must stay at the entrance of the Building to own it. As soon as the Hero of another Player leaves the controlled building, it will be owned (controlled) by the Player again.

3. If there is an Area owned by a Player with a neutral Mine or Dwelling in it which is guarded by a neutral Army, and the Player kills this army, captures the Building and leaves it, the other Player (who controls the Area) will get control over the Building (he becomes the owner).

4. If an Area is neutral (the Control Point is neutral), captured Mines and Dwellings will not change back to neutral when left. They function like HoMM 1-5 Buildings until the Control Point is captured by any of the Players.

Benefits of controlling an Area

Controlling (owning) an Area has specific benefits:

1. Heroes of the owner spend less movement points when moving in the Area.

2. Some faction unique buildings will have effect in the Town’s Area.

Editor

Case 1: When a Mine or Dwelling is inside an Area without a Control Point, it is functioning like HoMM 1-5 Mines: whoever captures it will own it until another Player captures it. The Error Summary Window inside the Editor will warn the user about this.

Case 2: If there are two or more Control Points in an Area, it will be considered a highest priority error in the Error Summary Window inside the Editor, so the Map cannot be played.

Case 3: When there are no Areas set up on the scenario, the game functions like old HoMM 1-5 games: a Town, Fort, Mine or Dwelling will be owned by whoever captures it until another Player captures it. The Error Summary Window inside the Editor will warn the user about it. Also, it is possible that some parts of the Map contain Areas while other parts have no Areas at all.

The devs are willing to hear your feedback!

konfeta
Pixie
Pixie
Posts: 112
Joined: 30 Jun 2007

Postby konfeta » Aug 25 2010, 17:02

Questions:

1. Is it possible to give shape to control areas in the map editor? Control area sounds like an interesting feature, but it wouldn't be very fun to have maps with close geographical proximity but long pathfinding distance starting positions be unable to use that feature.

2. There is a concern that existence of control areas will vastly diminish viability of harassing action. Obviously, that is the design intent, but was the design intent to nullify harassment completely or is there allowance to do real damage without committing an army to attack the control point or the town in question? There is an element of adventure map strategery being lost at risk here.

3. Are the standard maps designed with emphasis on having majority of the flaggables be under influence of control points, or is there a healthy mix of traditional (i.e. no control point portions of the map) with control points?
Last edited by konfeta on Aug 25 2010, 17:07, edited 2 times in total.

Kosh
Leprechaun
Leprechaun
Posts: 19
Joined: 06 Jan 2006

Postby Kosh » Aug 25 2010, 17:05

Thanks so much for those details, arturchix! And thankyou to the Dev whose ear you obviously have as well :) Community feedback/interaction is critical and I'm liking how things are progressing so far in that regard!

2. Some faction unique buildings will have effect in the Town’s Area.


I'm just really combing through your wording here, but does this mean if you capture say a Level 1 Creature Dwelling in Town A's Area, does ONLY Town A benefit from the +1 growth or do all castles of the same type across the map get +1 as well (the way it has been in HoMM)?

For buildings besides Creature Dwellings having an effect in a Town Area (non-faction specific), I can already see 2 interest possibilities: increased movement speed (or decreased for the opposing player if he enters the area), and maybe access to a portal by the owner of an Area only.

Do you happen to know the size and/or shape of these control areas? Are they always circular, or will they be more like puzzle pieces fitting together (reminds me of Company of Heroes Strategic Points and resources actually!). If control areas can be increased or changed, is this possible in-game through upgrades/structures/spells or from the editor only?

3. If there is an Area owned by a Player with a neutral Mine or Dwelling in it which is guarded by a neutral Army, and the Player kills this army, captures the Building and leaves it, the other Player (who controls the Area) will get control over the Building (he becomes the owner).


That's interesting, further makes it not really worthwhile to clear out an enemies mines for him. However my main concern here is the AI: if they have a hero capable of clearing out strongly defended mines in my Area but not quite able to take my castle, will he just run around and free up my mines for me?

4. If an Area is neutral (the Control Point is neutral), captured Mines and Dwellings will not change back to neutral when left. They function like HoMM 1-5 Buildings until the Control Point is captured by any of the Players.


That should make the buffer/middle map areas more interesting. If I am walking into the Fog and about to capture a mine, but further down in the Fog another player has already captured this neutral mine's Town of Control, is there any indication of this to me before I kill the monsters and cap it? Because the second I step off the mine it is going to change into enemy hands, at which point I'd go Doh! and wish I never freed/captured it if I had of known someone had control of that territory. So do mines say if they are in another Player's Control Area even if they are neutral or something like this? Should they?? Maybe not, I dont know yet :)

Lastly arturchix, is there any chance you can ask them about the resource changes? Such as more details on the strategic impact they think it will have? It may help many of us understand it better. Are units going to start costing wood and ore as well? High/medium/low yield mines to add back in some decisions on which mines to spend your starting troops on capturing?

Thanks again for the details, much appreciated ^^

User avatar
Nelgirith
Conscript
Conscript
Posts: 228
Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Location: France

Postby Nelgirith » Aug 25 2010, 17:09

konfeta wrote:Questions:
2. There is a concern that existence of control areas will vastly diminish viability of harassing action. Obviously, that is the design intent, but was the design intent to nullify harassment completely or is there allowance to do real damage without committing an army to attack the control point or the town in question?


Having to capture a control point is both a blessing and a pain imo. The good thing is that instead of having to capture all the enemy's mines one by one, you only need to capture the control point to get them all. The bad thing is that even in order to get only that one gold mine, you have to capture the control point !

I suppose that control points will work like a garrison, so if you want to protect your mines, you'll have to let units back (and thus diminish your army) but on the good side, it's better than having to let several units in each mine.

I don't think that many people are defending their mines (other than letting 1 peasant to see the army) in their HoMM games, so it won't force people to do so, but instead, it's an incentive to defend since all your mines will be protected by your garrison (imo)

User avatar
theLuckyDragon
Round Table Knight
Round Table Knight
Posts: 4883
Joined: 06 Jan 2006

Postby theLuckyDragon » Aug 25 2010, 19:13

As soon as the Hero of another Player leaves the controlled building, it will be owned (controlled) by the Player again.


I know you said "as soon as", but playing Magic: The Gathering has made me pay a lot of attention to steps and phases :) So my question is: does ownership change immediately in the same turn when the hero leaves the entrance of the building OR at the beginning of the Area's controller's next turn?

Case 3: When there are no Areas set up on the scenario, the game functions like old HoMM 1-5 games: a Town, Fort, Mine or Dwelling will be owned by whoever captures it until another Player captures it. The Error Summary Window inside the Editor will warn the user about it. Also, it is possible that some parts of the Map contain Areas while other parts have no Areas at all.


I am absolutely happy with this: not forcing all maps to work with this new mechanic. That way we can make maps that feel more old-school too.

Cheers :)
"Not all those who wander are lost." -- JRRT

User avatar
Kristo
Round Table Knight
Round Table Knight
Posts: 1548
Joined: 23 Nov 2005
Location: Chicago, IL

Postby Kristo » Aug 25 2010, 19:19

With the right kind of map, this new concept could make the adventure map significantly easier for the AI. I'm picturing a map where you have various Areas of control connected by lanes of empty space. The problem of pathfinding and territory control goes from an n-by-n set of tiles to a graph with a dozen or so nodes. The latter is much easier for an AI programmer to express to the computer.
Peace. Love. Penguin.

User avatar
Kilop
War Dancer
War Dancer
Posts: 353
Joined: 29 Aug 2006
Location: USA

Postby Kilop » Aug 25 2010, 20:46

It seems indeed an incredible improvement ! (and the fact that it is entirely optionnal makes it even safer !, and noone can whine about it anymore :) )
I for one think that the weakest point of MMH has always been the useless time sinks, the fact that you are working on taking them out is a huge plus IMO.

I would just like to know if the forts will have ay kind of customization / possibility to port to / to have some fortifications, in order not to loose stupidly all your mines, cause the distance from your main hero to the fort was one day too long to defend it, etc.


And of course what do the zones will look like ( the example of company of heroes is a good inspiration, even better if the radius could be set in the map parameters).


Thanks a lot to take care of the community, that s cool and everybody win :)
I support(ed?) Nival... flame on !!!
The truth pure and simple is seldom pure and never simple...

Arzang
Assassin
Assassin
Posts: 257
Joined: 06 Jan 2006
Location: Stockholm Sweden

Postby Arzang » Aug 25 2010, 21:41

1. I hope you do not mean all mines in the area.

I imagine the area of control is bigger than the vision revealed by capturing a new town. Gaining control of mines you have not seen just because you have captured a town nearby strikes me as weird.

And I am not trying to use a realism argument, since this is a fantasy game after all.

What I mean is that it seems over simplified. Unless you get vision of the all newly controlled mines, which would not be over simplified rather than stupid.

2. Not a bad idea, although I think every hero should have an area of influence by themselves. Meaning that even if they move a pace or two away from a mine, it is still not owned by the player who has the mine under his or her area of control. This way, mine harassing could still be a viable tactic.

Maybe make it so that you control the enemy mine if you stand in it, no one owns it if you stand close to it and if you move far away, it falls back to the player who has it under his or her area of control.

I'm basically trying to say that the system is interesting, but it needs some extra twists and perks to stay interesting.

3. Now this I can not agree with. For me, a better system would use the area of control system, but still need a hero's presence in order to actually flag a mine. This way, mines that you want flagged need to be discovered, and if someone clears the neutrals for you, you need to flag it by letting one of your heroes walk over to it.

Flagging of a mine by a hero should still be a requirement for having control of a mine, the area of control to me would be better if it is just an area which reflags all mines for you. Initial flagging should be done by heroes, period.

4. Makes sense.

User avatar
Nelgirith
Conscript
Conscript
Posts: 228
Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Location: France

Postby Nelgirith » Aug 25 2010, 22:14

Arzang wrote:1. I hope you do not mean all mines in the area.

All non-neutral mines. A non-flagged mine would still require to be captured.

Arzang wrote:3. Now this I can not agree with. For me, a better system would use the area of control system, but still need a hero's presence in order to actually flag a mine. This way, mines that you want flagged need to be discovered, and if someone clears the neutrals for you, you need to flag it by letting one of your heroes walk over to it.

Well, why would you flag a mine in an area you're not controlling in the first place ? But I agree with you :)
I don't like this automatic flagging feature. "Just because the other guy owns a fort" isn't a good reason for me that a mine gets automatically converted, especially if the opponent's main army is like on the other side of the map.

Arzang
Assassin
Assassin
Posts: 257
Joined: 06 Jan 2006
Location: Stockholm Sweden

Postby Arzang » Aug 25 2010, 22:31

Nelgirith wrote:
Arzang wrote:1. I hope you do not mean all mines in the area.

All non-neutral mines. A non-flagged mine would still require to be captured.


My peeve was not about the actual ownership (although I addressed this in my other point) but rather about the vision.

Nelgirith wrote:Well, why would you flag a mine in an area you're not controlling in the first place ? But I agree with you :)
I don't like this automatic flagging feature. "Just because the other guy owns a fort" isn't a good reason for me that a mine gets automatically converted, especially if the opponent's main army is like on the other side of the map.


Why would you flag a mine in an area you're not controlling? 1. just to give you any extra income and 2. to harass your opponent.

Personally, I would like to see a system where the area of control is only maintained if you have a standing force in your town that is big enough. I did not mention this though, since the "hero transport chain" mob would get seriously pissed off.

I actually do like the auto flagging idea, can't say anything about the feature. If they implement smart tweaks and some interesting perks to it, it can become awesome.

If it is used as a tool to make the game more like a slimmed down web browser HOMM, it can become ass.

I still think they should go for it. Also bring back the old initiative system from H5. Basically, go nuts and implement all new ideas that they can fully implement. Anything that will not feel incomplete should be implemented if they feel they can design it in an interesting and fun fashion.

If H6 would take the best from each number in the series without being ashamed and implement one or two new ideas, the game will be amazing.

User avatar
parcaleste
Pit Lord
Pit Lord
Posts: 1204
Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Location: Sofia - Vulgaria

Postby parcaleste » Aug 26 2010, 5:35

Kilop wrote:It seems indeed an incredible improvement!..

arturchix wrote:... 3. If there is an Area owned by a Player with a neutral Mine or Dwelling in it which is guarded by a neutral Army, and the Player kills this army, captures the Building and leaves it, the other Player (who controls the Area) will get control over the Building (he becomes the owner)...


Oh, rly? Image

User avatar
Kilop
War Dancer
War Dancer
Posts: 353
Joined: 29 Aug 2006
Location: USA

Postby Kilop » Aug 26 2010, 8:22

Oh, rly?


...

it is entirely optionnal


Y, rly !
I support(ed?) Nival... flame on !!!

The truth pure and simple is seldom pure and never simple...

User avatar
Soronarr
Pixie
Pixie
Posts: 117
Joined: 25 Aug 2010
Location: Croatia

Postby Soronarr » Aug 26 2010, 9:24

This system is surprisingly logical. Control points function as forts. If the enemy doesn't take that fort, but goes past it, what stops the forces in the fort from harrasing his army from the rear? Subverting his logistics? Or taking back mines?

This system abstracts that, but there's a reason why in middle-age warfare you didn't just leave enemy forts behind your back.

User avatar
Nelgirith
Conscript
Conscript
Posts: 228
Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Location: France

Postby Nelgirith » Aug 26 2010, 9:31

I'm wondering if it's that much optionnal.

1. Option 1 : Only a mapmaker can decide whether it's on or off.
If the mapmaker activates them, you'll have to play with them and iIf he doesn't you won't play with them.
It would be stupid if 2 players playing one against the other and 1 decides to opt-out but not the other.

2. Option 2 : As in H4 with wandering creatures, you can decide if you play with areas of control or not.


Let's hope for option 2 :)

User avatar
Pitsu
Round Table Hero
Round Table Hero
Posts: 1824
Joined: 22 Nov 2005

Re: Area of Control [forts]

Postby Pitsu » Aug 26 2010, 9:44

There is hardly anything that pisses a player more off than having a hardly conquered mine to turn into enemy colors right after capture. Therefore it is now dangerous to capture any mine, which control point location is not known to you. It is important to know how much data about the zone can be read out from a mine tooltip (part of area yes/no, if yes who owns the zone atm, location of control point). As said by others also the other way – capturing mines and dwellings from areas where you have never been via the control point is kind of odd, although we probably can live with that.

The area control points centralize defenses. As long as a player keeps these few points little harm can be done. Now the question is are there defensive structures and arrow towers in each point, is the chaining still in game and whether or not there is a fog of war (not to confuse with shroud). If everything else is like in H1-3 & 5 then the control points will have random armies which on one or other reason cannot be fit into main army, but there would be no splitting of main army. In fact, centralization of defense rather minimizes any need to split armies. Having movement boost on own territory, no fog of war and chaining - it takes a superior force to cause you any harm. The one who dominates has even easier time to dominate now. If the control points can be taken by sneak attacks then of course each sneak attack causes more significant damage than before. On the other hand, everyone also knows the potential targets and can take measures to detect enemy commandos early enough. In all together the areas with centralized control points are good for those who defend and those who have superior forces. Whether it is any good for the game depends on many other factors.

On a more personal note I do not really get the need for such change (OK, maybe for AI programming)
Avatar image credit: N Lüdimois

User avatar
Qurqirish Dragon
Genie
Genie
Posts: 1011
Joined: 06 Jan 2006
Location: Flying the skies of Ohlam

Postby Qurqirish Dragon » Aug 26 2010, 13:04

A few points I note:

1) in a map with allies, this makes it easier for one ally to help another. If the weaker ally only has the strength to capture one out of several mines or a control point, s/he can take the control point, while the stronger ally clears the mines.

2) In competitive situations, unless the stronger player is overwhelmingly strong (in which case the map is over anyway), s/he will need to defend the control point with a force strong enough that the main hero will not have that big (if any) advantage. If the primary mines are in the control of the main city (rather than a fort), then it makes sieging a castle that much harder (sieging in the sense of starving the resources until the odds of success in attacking are better, not in the battle-on-town entrance sense)
Matthew Charlap -353 HoMM map reviews and counting...

User avatar
Ethric
Round Table Hero
Round Table Hero
Posts: 4583
Joined: 27 Nov 2005

Postby Ethric » Aug 26 2010, 13:36

This concept is the one good thing I've heard about HVI so far. Sounds good, provided the area of control is logical, dynamic and customizable. For example, mountains, uncrossable rivers and forest would be a natural boundry.
Who the hell locks these things?
- Duke

MattII
Demon
Demon
Posts: 309
Joined: 06 Jan 2006
Location: New Zealand

Postby MattII » Aug 26 2010, 14:41

Don't like the feature, it eliminates the possibility of economically harassing the enemy. IMO the way to do it would be to allow the hero to garrison troops in the mine, and also to let him build a fortification on the damn thing so that the enemy has to really work to capture it.

User avatar
Pitsu
Round Table Hero
Round Table Hero
Posts: 1824
Joined: 22 Nov 2005

Postby Pitsu » Aug 26 2010, 15:08

Problem with leaving armies to mines or garrisons/forts is that they will lose passive bonuses from hero primary and some secondary skills (H1-3 & 5). By moving a unit away from main army instantly weakens you. Hence only units that do not fit into main army or are plentiful and nearly useless (e.g. peasants) are used elsewhere than under main commander. Again a smart solution was in HoMM2 - "set guardians" was a spell that summoned elementals out of nowhere and set these summoned monsters to guard mines from enemy scouts. This way the player lost only spellpoints and could have mines protected. It would be nice to have such spell more available and a chance to chose between different types of guardians.
Avatar image credit: N Lüdimois

User avatar
Banedon
Round Table Knight
Round Table Knight
Posts: 1819
Joined: 06 Jan 2006

Postby Banedon » Aug 27 2010, 3:18

Qurqirish Dragon wrote:A few points I note:

1) in a map with allies, this makes it easier for one ally to help another. If the weaker ally only has the strength to capture one out of several mines or a control point, s/he can take the control point, while the stronger ally clears the mines.

2) In competitive situations, unless the stronger player is overwhelmingly strong (in which case the map is over anyway), s/he will need to defend the control point with a force strong enough that the main hero will not have that big (if any) advantage. If the primary mines are in the control of the main city (rather than a fort), then it makes sieging a castle that much harder (sieging in the sense of starving the resources until the odds of success in attacking are better, not in the battle-on-town entrance sense)


Problems:

1. In which case the strong player gets more experience and the weak player gets none - the gulf between them gets larger and larger. I can't see a reason why this feature would be important. It can't be the plan of a team to have one person go for strong late-game and another for strong early-game, as is common in 2-player teams, if the "strong late-game" is gimped by less experience anyway.

2. Defending a castle is far easier than winning a fight outside one. The stronger player doesn't need to dedicate much troops to defending it anyway, since the weaker player would need to split units to pose a threat and that simply means he's at an even bigger disadvantage elsewhere.

Pitsu raises a great point about the system as well. If you can't see the control point and clear a mine, it might flip to the other side. That's not good.

Soronarr wrote:This system is surprisingly logical. Control points function as forts. If the enemy doesn't take that fort, but goes past it, what stops the forces in the fort from harrasing his army from the rear? Subverting his logistics? Or taking back mines?


Only one problem with that - what if the force is still in the area and has not gone past it? The defender is essentially besieged and the attacker has free rein on all mines outside. However, in this case, it doesn't.

Three solutions I see:

1. Take a longer time (3-4 days ++) for a mine to flip sides.
2. Mines don't flip sides when a hostile hero is in the same area.
3. Don't implement zone of control in the first place.
I'm a hypocrite because I suggested that all life is sacred and should not be wasted without good reason.


Return to “Heroes V-VI”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 14 guests