New Creature Tier System

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Roman
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New Creature Tier System

Postby Roman » Oct 3 2010, 15:08

It seems that creatures in HoMM 6 will be organized in 3 tiers rather than the 7 tiers we are used to. What do you think of this change?

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Postby MattII » Oct 3 2010, 15:20

It solves some problems (like tier 1-2 being nigh useless in late game), but creates others (only 3 tiers isn't really enough, I'd have preferred 2-2-2-1 and opposed to 3-3-1).

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Postby Kalah » Oct 3 2010, 16:07

A reorganization of the tier system doesn't really change the possibilities of the game; the different creatures still have different properties, and you can still have several creature types of the same tier in your army, depending on which buildings you have in your towns.

In fact, I think fewer tiers might force players to think harder. To spend more time on trying to find the best combinations, since they have less to play with.
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Postby Zenofex » Oct 3 2010, 16:12

MattII wrote:It solves some problems (like tier 1-2 being nigh useless in late game)

One of the few things that HoMM V managed to do right is to make the lower ties units usable in the late game, with some exceptions, so I don't think this is a valid point. Just a few examples:

Sprites - very useful for blocking archers both due to their size and no retaliation ability. Sylvan's high defense makes them somewhat durable. The Blade Dancers work well combined with them.

Assassins - low damage, but the additional poison is excellent against high tier creatures with their huge defense ratings.

Familiars - one of the most Imp-ortant :D creatures for Inferno, reduces the opponent's effectiveness as a spell-caster immensely, certain heroes with low Knowledge growth at level ups are almost denied the ability to use spells. Much more useful than the next tier, which became applicable in late game only after TotE introduced the Horned Grunt upgrade.

Skeletons - no need for comment here.

Goblin Witch-Doctors - their ability to affect the spells cast by the opponent could have quite nasty results.


As for the new tier system - I'm a bit skeptic. Having 2 levels x 3 creatures of roughly equal strength could result in quite monotonous faction line-ups. Also the very aim to make one creature relatively as powerful as another from the same tier of the same faction is more limiting than having separate tier for each creature. But we're lacking substantial information at this point, so we'll wait and see.

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Postby MattII » Oct 3 2010, 16:56

Zenofex wrote:Also the very aim to make one creature relatively as powerful as another from the same tier of the same faction is more limiting than having separate tier for each creature.

Well it depends really, because for example an archer will be weaker than a swordsman just because he can damage units from a distance, and a griffin is likely to be a bit weaker as well since it will be faster and probably act first as well.

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Postby Roman » Oct 3 2010, 16:59

I must say that I am personally quite sceptical about this change (removal of power gradation doesn't seem all that appealing), but am trying to keep an open mind.

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Postby Mirez » Oct 3 2010, 17:05

It sound really nice in theory, however I'm afraid black hole will screw up and everybody will use the same overpowered units rather then mix units. Lets just hope black hole is better then nival.
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Postby Kalah » Oct 3 2010, 17:13

Balance is key. Hopefully they have a pretty good idea how to do this, since they have decided to change the earlier system rather than re-use the tried and tested one. I also hope that they don't mess up the balance completely, making some factions overpowered and the game unplayable until patches correct the imbalance.
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Postby Zenofex » Oct 3 2010, 18:16

MattII wrote:Well it depends really, because for example an archer will be weaker than a swordsman just because he can damage units from a distance, and a griffin is likely to be a bit weaker as well since it will be faster and probably act first as well.

I don't think this will be the only difference, we've had something quite similar before with the tier-per-creature system. The problem now is that the creatures will have to be balanced twice - once inside their own tier group (Pikemen with Crossbowmen) - to ensure that one creature won't become "favourite" as the most efficient one - and once in comparison with the same tier of the other factions - to ensure that there won't be over- or underpowered creatures. This makes the whole exercise altogether harder, because they won't have the greater flexibility of the individual tiers, but will work with groups instead. Of course they can, for example, make the Core units of one faction stronger than the Core units of another but to give it relatively weaker Elite creatures, but this doesn't help much. I for one expect problems and for me the balance between the factions has always been very important for the overall quality of the game.

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Postby Raelag84 » Oct 4 2010, 1:16

Well as a fan of "clash of heroes" I think this system will be just fine. In fact i think the specialization of units that will result will add to the fun of the game.

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Postby ThunderTitan » Oct 4 2010, 6:21

I for one have always been a fan of making creature power levels more close to each other (especially with non-simultaneous retal), but i think choosing from a fixed number of units from a tier will bring more balance problems then anything.
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Postby parcaleste » Oct 4 2010, 6:31

Dunno, I feel more like enthusiastic about it, even though the problem with choosing the same creatures every time *cough*TotE*cough* is still bugging my brain somewhere in the middle.

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Postby MattII » Oct 4 2010, 17:25

IMO neither system is perfect, they're just different.

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Postby Zenofex » Oct 4 2010, 20:10

Let's wait and see. They said tha the creatures will co-operate with each other, so maybe each tier group will be synergically stronger when all the creatures from it are recruited and work "as a team" during the battle than if you mass produce one or two specific creatures. And maybe the Champions will be significally stronger than the previous tiers, but won't be... "team-players" and will rely only on their raw strength. Or maybe this is all just wishful thinking...
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Postby MattII » Oct 4 2010, 23:10

Hey, you got the first sentence right, as for the rest of it, well it's about as likely as anything is at the moment.

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Postby Banedon » Oct 5 2010, 1:26

I honestly don't care as long as the game is balanced, although I should also say that the 4-tier Heroes 4 did feel a little ... strange. It'd be weird to either 1) reach high-level units very early or 2) be stuck with the same low-level units for very long.
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Postby Qurqirish Dragon » Oct 5 2010, 13:46

Zenofex wrote:Let's wait and see. They said tha the creatures will co-operate with each other, so maybe each tier group will be synergically stronger when all the creatures from it are recruited and work "as a team" during the battle than if you mass produce one or two specific creatures. And maybe the Champions will be significally stronger than the previous tiers, but won't be... "team-players" and will rely only on their raw strength. Or maybe this is all just wishful thinking...


If they follow the Clash of Heroes example (loosely, obviously, as they are different genres of game), then the elite and champion units only get their greatest strength when supported by core units. Thus, it could be that although the upper tier units are very strong relative to the core units, without the core units your elites will be easy pickings for enemy elites. How exactly they implement this in the H6 battlefield is the real question. I see it as something like an initiative boost for elite ranged strike units (the core units are reloading spare crossbows while the elite is shooting, increasing the rate of fire would be a real-world analogy to justify this)
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Postby MilesTeg » Dec 15 2010, 11:40

It all comes down to the implementation of course, but I think this system has a potential to be better than the current one.
If you think of Starcraft II, there you have also 3 tiers of units and you have only two types of resources but the game is noweher near simple.
Selecting which unit to produce is a huge deal. In order to do that you have to scout your opponent and react.
Okay, Starcraft II is a RTS game but I don't think that I'm comparing apples with oranges here.
If same can be applied to Heroes 6 gameplay, it will bring a new strategical layer, you will have to scout and react more.

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Postby Mirez » Dec 15 2010, 14:06

Not a bad first post there MilesTeg, welcome to the round table.
The best thing about starcraft 2 in my opinion is every units has a purpose and will be used throughout the game. Zerglings are usually the first unit a zerg makes, but 20 minutes in the game (lategame) he will still be making zerglings (with other units ofc.).
In heroes 5 this goes for some units: Skeleton archers/goblins/pixie while other units such as peasant and imp became death fodder.
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Postby ThunderTitan » Dec 15 2010, 22:30

MilesTeg wrote:If you think of Starcraft II, there you have also 3 tiers of units and you have only two types of resources but the game is noweher near simple.


The zerg are still the only ones that can actually be said to have 3 tiers... the rest not so much (which is why they refer to tier 1.5 units).

And the game is simple, its why it's called rock-paper-scissors balance, standard builds and why it's "easy to learn". The ""hard to master" part has little to do with the tiers and more to do with the interface and stuff like dancing and drops and expanding well etc. most of which isn't gonna work in a turn based game.
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