The Best And The Worst

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

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Postby ThunderTitan » Nov 21 2010, 20:22

Deciding between closing on the 2nd or 3rd turn isn't really that exciting imo.

But as i said, i prefer more choices then a few more balanced ones.


Decreasing movement while increasing bf leads to longer battles.


YES PLS.


Well, spending a small amount of gold for high speed odd breakers or a large amount of gold for a protective strategy spending even more gold for units the protectors need to protect..? Well.. that's just not very efficient.
In a decisive battle against a key opponent? Sure! But in the other 99% of the map? No way.


And you're against exploits?!

And the idea was that there would be no units that need protection, simply that it would be way more efficient to protect all the rest of your units, thus losing less...



H3 didn't have the invulnerable hero so less exploits.


Huh?! The hero being able to attack non stop was 1 exploit... a very used one, but still 1.
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Postby wimfrits » Nov 23 2010, 23:09

ThunderTitan wrote:But as i said, i prefer more choices then a few more balanced ones.


Then our preferences are different. Without balance the focus on the game will be towards a few powerful tactics. Regardless of how many other tactics the game offers.

Decreasing movement while increasing bf leads to longer battles.


YES PLS.


Could work. If and only if ranged power is nerfed tremendously.

And you're against exploits?!

And the idea was that there would be no units that need protection, simply that it would be way more efficient to protect all the rest of your units, thus losing less...


My enjoyment of the game comes from playing as efficient as possible. If that means using exploits; so be it. But I'd much rather see a more balanced game that challenges the player in using complex tactics to achieve the same. Hence my fear that H6 will be, for myself at least, a less tactical game.

I have trouble combining the terms 'efficient' and 'losing'.

Huh?! The hero being able to attack non stop was 1 exploit... a very used one, but still 1.


I apparently played a different game than you did. The hero was able to use spells non-stop. Until spellpoints ran out. Most exploitable combats went on long after that.
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Postby ThunderTitan » Nov 24 2010, 21:21

wimfrits wrote:
ThunderTitan wrote:But as i said, i prefer more choices then a few more balanced ones.


Then our preferences are different. Without balance the focus on the game will be towards a few powerful tactics. Regardless of how many other tactics the game offers.


If we're talking SP only then i myself can use any tactics i want without feeling the need to use the most efficient ones.

And lets face it, there will always be some exploits, and they will always be the most efficient way to play... so you're stuck with using them anyway... so why not let me have more options...


wimfrits wrote:Could work. If and only if ranged power is nerfed tremendously.


Did anyone say 1/4th dmg for full bf range?!

My enjoyment of the game comes from playing as efficient as possible. If that means using exploits; so be it. But I'd much rather see a more balanced game that challenges the player in using complex tactics to achieve the same. Hence my fear that H6 will be, for myself at least, a less tactical game.


Use cheat codes, i hear they're super effective...


wimfrits wrote:
Huh?! The hero being able to attack non stop was 1 exploit... a very used one, but still 1.


I apparently played a different game than you did. The hero was able to use spells non-stop. Until spellpoints ran out. Most exploitable combats went on long after that.


And what exactly did the hero do to influence the game after it ran out of spells?!

Or where you talking about H4 (you said 3, and the only difference between 3 and 5 heroes was the fact that H5's heroes had that melee attack thing).
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Postby wimfrits » Nov 25 2010, 18:49

ThunderTitan wrote:And lets face it, there will always be some exploits, and they will always be the most efficient way to play... so you're stuck with using them anyway... so why not let me have more options...


True. But my point is that the window in which exploits can be used is linked in an exponential kind of way to bf size. Which brings us to the starting point of this discussion...

Did anyone say 1/4th dmg for full bf range?!


Something like that. Or low movement for archers and a 20% decrease in damage for every tile outside its movement range.

Use cheat codes, i hear they're super effective...


:-D
Hey, no challenge no fun.

And what exactly did the hero do to influence the game after it ran out of spells?!


Umm... nothing?
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Postby Metathron » Nov 25 2010, 21:22

This is probably my biggest complaint with the game so far:

The return of the damn boring formulaic upgrade system of HoMM III. Greater x, y kings, z lords...zzzz indeed. What does this system bring to the table? Upgraded stats, an extra ability, and visual embellishments (bigger hair/armor/tattoos/light aura/fire aura). How creative. I loved the HoMM IV alternative choices, but many of the HoMM III whiners could not face up to it. Why not at least take the TotE system and improve on it, giving us two substantially different units that you couldn't change at will (unlike in TotE) but would have to do with what you have (but that would be unpopular with the very same crowd).

Or, at the very least, make the unupgraded unit have something unique over the upgraded unit, so there would be a reason to keep it for a while, rather than upgrading asap, e.g. like the unupgraded archer with its scatter shot which neither of the upgrades possessed.

As for the good, I'm in agreement with Thelonius: change is mostly good. The series should not stagnate even though some would want it to be a rehashed certain other game. :rolleyes:
Last edited by Metathron on Nov 25 2010, 22:20, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Mirez » Nov 25 2010, 21:54

I couldn't agree more, they changed a lot of stuff but the upgrades were left alone. Which is a shame because you could do interesting things with it. For example, you can only upgrade 3 units max and their upgrade becomes notably stronger. So you can upgrade the lower tier units and rush or save it for the higher level units and have a stronger lategame.
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Postby Metathron » Nov 25 2010, 22:19

Mirez wrote:I couldn't agree more, they changed a lot of stuff but the upgrades were left alone. Which is a shame because you could do interesting things with it. For example, you can only upgrade 3 units max and their upgrade becomes notably stronger. So you can upgrade the lower tier units and rush or save it for the higher level units and have a stronger lategame.


Exactly! That's an interesting idea too. Anything but this stale everything-has-an-upgrade system that should've been buried with #3.
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Postby Zenofex » Nov 25 2010, 22:47

Except it will make the factions incredibly difficult to balance properly and will ultimately boil down to perfect template scenarios (lower tiers upgraded on small maps, lower and middle on medium maps and middle and high on large maps). And this will get pretty boring pretty soon, not to mention the other possible complications.
I don't really understand what is the problem with the upgrade-per-creature system? The appearance - well, OK, but it may look stupid/boring/annoying with and without an upgrade, this entirely depends on the talent of the artists. The abilities? Why should an upgraded creature have exactly the same abilities as the unupgraded? See the Archer - Marksman upgrade from HoMM V for reference. About the stats - whell, this is completely unfounded whining - of course the greater creature will have better stats! The better trained, armed and more experienced soldier is worth more than some other with worse training, gear and experience. What do you expect?
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Postby Metathron » Nov 26 2010, 0:17

Zenofex wrote:The abilities? Why should an upgraded creature have exactly the same abilities as the unupgraded?


Who said that?

See the Archer - Marksman upgrade from HoMM V for reference.


Err...yes, I believe I pointed that out? As an example of how the unupgraded and upgraded creatures should be different in ways other than just the usual more of the same? Are you agreeing or disagreeing with me?

About the stats - whell, this is completely unfounded whining - of course the greater creature will have better stats!


Missed the point. See above.
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Postby Pitsu » Nov 26 2010, 6:37

Zenofex wrote:Except it will make the factions incredibly difficult to balance properly and will ultimately boil down to perfect template scenarios (lower tiers upgraded on small maps, lower and middle on medium maps and middle and high on large maps). And this will get pretty boring pretty soon, not to mention the other possible complications.


Incredibly difficult to balance? Once you leave the principle that each town has troops exactly matching the stats, cost and abilities of other towns, balancing will be complicated anyway. I'd rather think that if some units have no upgrades and therefore the total number of variables is reduced, balancing comes easier. Additionally, you remember why H4 had no upgrades? Because many creatures in the previous games were upgraded before used, meaning that basic units were just fillers in lineup.
I think differences in upgrades and base/upgrade choices is the easiest way to make factions more unique.
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Postby Zenofex » Nov 26 2010, 14:56

Metathron wrote: Are you agreeing or disagreeing with me?

Both and neither. My point is that the upgrade-per-creature system does not negate the possibility the upgraded creature to have different abilities than the unupgraded. Not that this is absolutely necessary.

Incredibly difficult to balance? Once you leave the principle that each town has troops exactly matching the stats, cost and abilities of other towns, balancing will be complicated anyway. I'd rather think that if some units have no upgrades and therefore the total number of variables is reduced, balancing comes easier. Additionally, you remember why H4 had no upgrades? Because many creatures in the previous games were upgraded before used, meaning that basic units were just fillers in lineup.
I think differences in upgrades and base/upgrade choices is the easiest way to make factions more unique.

None of these is the current system's fault but rather results from bad balancing as such. In HoMM IV many of the tier 1s become completely useless after 3-4 weeks at most - they are slow, frail and deal next to no damage when attacking something greater than tier 2. Tier 2 is not efficient against tier 4 either, with some exceptions. And so on.
Anyway, the HoMM II system where some creatures have no upgrades could be applied, yes, but it will make the balancing rather difficult. Let's say that you have only 3 factions. The first one has a non-upgradeable tier 3, the second and the third have an upgradeable tier 3. So the tier 3 of the first faction will have to be designed in such a way that it does not become overpowered when compared to the unupgraded tier 3s of the other two factions and does not become underpowered when the other two creatures get upgraded. Respectively every creature which is supposed to be upgraded will have to take into account every other creature from the same tier which can not be upgraded (if some creature is supposed to compensate for the relative weakness of another creature from the same faction, positioned above or below it - which is not uncommon - it gets even worse). I think the number of combinations increases, not decreases.
If you allow a faction to have 3 or 4 upgraded creatures at most and the player can choose which they will be on the other hand, then the task is even more complicated. The perfect template has to be avoided at any cost, which will be rather difficult. Also the player will eventually have to use unupgraded creatures to fight upgraded neutral stacks, which could be overwhelming (for example it is quite normal to avoid attacking strong archers until you have a creature which can cross the battlefield in one or two turns at most, which usually requires an upgrade of the basic creature). Upgrading the lower tiers to have easier early game will definitely make you weaker in the late game, saving the upgrades for the stronger creatures might make the initial exploration hard and tedious and so on. And these are just a few of the possible complications.
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Postby Mirez » Nov 26 2010, 15:54

Zenofex wrote:None of these is the current system's fault but rather results from bad balancing as such. In HoMM IV many of the tier 1s become completely useless after 3-4 weeks at most - they are slow, frail and deal next to no damage when attacking something greater than tier 2. Tier 2 is not efficient against tier 4 either, with some exceptions. And so on.
Anyway, the HoMM II system where some creatures have no upgrades could be applied, yes, but it will make the balancing rather difficult. Let's say that you have only 3 factions. The first one has a non-upgradeable tier 3, the second and the third have an upgradeable tier 3. So the tier 3 of the first faction will have to be designed in such a way that it does not become overpowered when compared to the unupgraded tier 3s of the other two factions and does not become underpowered when the other two creatures get upgraded. Respectively every creature which is supposed to be upgraded will have to take into account every other creature from the same tier which can not be upgraded (if some creature is supposed to compensate for the relative weakness of another creature from the same faction, positioned above or below it - which is not uncommon - it gets even worse). I think the number of combinations increases, not decreases.
If you allow a faction to have 3 or 4 upgraded creatures at most and the player can choose which they will be on the other hand, then the task is even more complicated. The perfect template has to be avoided at any cost, which will be rather difficult. Also the player will eventually have to use unupgraded creatures to fight upgraded neutral stacks, which could be overwhelming (for example it is quite normal to avoid attacking strong archers until you have a creature which can cross the battlefield in one or two turns at most, which usually requires an upgrade of the basic creature). Upgrading the lower tiers to have easier early game will definitely make you weaker in the late game, saving the upgrades for the stronger creatures might make the initial exploration hard and tedious and so on. And these are just a few of the possible complications.

Why would it be harder to balance? As long as the 1st tier's upgrade matches to the other factions' first tier it's fine. If you have upgraded your lower tier units and he upgraded higher tier units he SHOULD win. You should blame yourself for not pressing your advantage early on.
The same goes for any strategy, if you rush doesn't work it's unlikely you will win as the game goes on.
Btw. the problem with the neutrals can easily be avoided by not placing upgraded neutrals on the map.
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Postby Pitsu » Nov 26 2010, 16:27

Zenofex wrote:So the tier 3 of the first faction will have to be designed in such a way that it does not become overpowered when compared to the unupgraded tier 3s of the other two factions and does not become underpowered when the other two creatures get upgraded.


First, in my dreams HoMM is not about arena fights of same tier creatures. I do not see a HoMM game even a faction vs a faction game that Ubi is desperately trying to make. At least not that single town vs single town. I'd like to have a kingdom of several to a lot of towns (not necessarily all of the same type) to fight against another kingdom composed of many towns, not just the capitol vs capitol. And if your starting town has known weaknesses regarding army strength at some point, the adventure map, expansions towns/forts, magic or hero skill offer you potential strategies to overcome these difficult times.
Anyway, even if we take HoMM as a single town vs a single town business, where no other factors can be used to balance starting faction' temporary weaknesses, the problem would be IMO elsewhere. Namely, if the building rate about one structure per day and *weekly* creature growth is kept, problem is significant if one faction can build a high level dwelling at day 7 or sooner, while other cannot have a matching strength before the start of next week. As long as all factions can build dwellings for roughly same strength armies (not matter of tiers) in the same week, balance cannot go too wrong.
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Postby Zenofex » Nov 26 2010, 19:08

Mirez wrote:Why would it be harder to balance? As long as the 1st tier's upgrade matches to the other factions' first tier it's fine.

I don't really understand this. If it means what I think it means, then the faction which has to upgrade one creature to match the strength of unupgraded creature from the same tier but different faction, then the first faction (the one which upgrades) is in clear disadvantage, because it spends an extra turn and resources to have what the other faction has for one turn less and probably fewer resources. Additionally, if the unupgraded creature of the first faction battles the non-upgradeable creature of the other faction, then the second should always win because it is stronger by default. These are a bit simplified examples, but they explain the basics.

f you have upgraded your lower tier units and he upgraded higher tier units he SHOULD win. You should blame yourself for not pressing your advantage early on.

I already pointed that this is not always possible. Quite often you need creatures with certain stats to engage other creatures on the adventure map and if the unupgraded versions do not have these stats but the upgraded have them, then strategy-wise it is better to have something upgraded ASAP. In order to make one map good and always challenging and interesting, you rarely place stacks of, say, Vampires, or Imps, or Minotaurs, but rather stacks of random tier 1, 2, 3, etc. creature, which is always different when the map reloads. All the editors so far make this even more random by placing basic and upgraded versions of all creatures, so wherever you have a random stack, you could expect an upgraded version of something. This could be remedied by adding the appropriate tool to the editor (for example - you place random upgraded or random unupgraded stack, not just random), but does not really solve the problem. Dealing with high level archers, whether upgraded or not, will normally require fast creatures, attacking tough, but vulnerable to particular ability opponents will need the creature possessing this ability, which could be the upgraded version of something and so on. In order to reduce the negatives, you will have to destroy a great deal of variety and the map, if not the game itself, may ultimately become boring after the first few replays. Which is not exactly the desired effect. :)
Moreover, I don't think that many people will like the number of choices they have to be restricted and locking certain creatures for upgrade because of exhausted "upgrade limit" is a restriction. This also reduces the total number of tactics for each army, because only a few creatures can reach their full potential.

Anyway, even if we take HoMM as a single town vs a single town business, where no other factors can be used to balance starting faction' temporary weaknesses, the problem would be IMO elsewhere. Namely, if the building rate about one structure per day and *weekly* creature growth is kept, problem is significant if one faction can build a high level dwelling at day 7 or sooner, while other cannot have a matching strength before the start of next week.

This is part of the problem indeed. I think HoMM IV's system was an excellent achievement in this regard - it does matter when you build something, but it doesn't matter whether it will be at the beginning or at the end of the week, because the population is generated every day/every few days. I would gladly welcome the return of this approach. But it won't solve the balancing issues on its own.
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Postby furret » Nov 28 2010, 22:14

Best:

1. Many new creatures. Weee!
2. Better looking creatures and a smooth animation (Heroes 5 riding heroes looked like lego horses btw).
3. New bold interesting features wholeover the place.


Worst:

1. Not sure about the boss idea. I'm worried they'll be a one-time experience. You'll ran them in the campaign, get excited for once, then they'll be swiftly exhuasted and won't add any good in the map maker as people will get bored of the same few bosses.
2. The new features can do good, then again they can do bad. It can be so simple that it will lose the shiny spark Homm had and be more like a pathetic chimera of Homm and warcraft, or it can be realy cool and fresh. But you can't see it unless you try and doing each time the same game isn't better either. :)
3. I don't like the idea of kipping the same fractions over and over again. I hope the other two unrevealed will be a whole new fractions (with some creatures from previous games, of course). And the Angles look exacly the same as in Homm5! ><

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Postby Qurqirish Dragon » Nov 29 2010, 14:59

furret wrote:Best:

3. ... And the Angles look exacly the same as in Homm5! ><


The base angles, or upgraded apex angles? :D
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Postby ThunderTitan » Nov 30 2010, 19:30

Metathron wrote:What does this system bring to the table? Upgraded stats, an extra ability, and visual embellishments (bigger hair/armor/tattoos/light aura/fire aura). How creative.



Well it's also a money sink, ensures more scaling and allows you to buy cheaper units when you need them, plus allows you to amass more units before investing into the upgraded unit.

But yeah, i too prefer something more akin to H4... too bad there's such a stigma attached to that game.

wimfrits wrote:True. But my point is that the window in which exploits can be used is linked in an exponential kind of way to bf size. Which brings us to the starting point of this discussion...


And the more time the combat lasts there's more time to use exploits?!


wimfrits wrote:Something like that. Or low movement for archers and a 20% decrease in damage for every tile outside its movement range.


Like i mentioned before somewhere, without actually testing it who knows what effect those would have... we need to pester the devs to experiment themselves with these...

:-D
Hey, no challenge no fun.


Precisely... (same argument works against exploits, because they're the same thing).

Umm... nothing?


So, what was your point again?! Coz it sounds like somewhere we started talking about different things.
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Postby ThunderTitan » Nov 30 2010, 19:32

furret wrote:Best:

1. Many new creatures. Weee!


Do me a favour, ignore their names and go only by the visuals... now say how many new units there are... so far about 2 (ignoring sex changes).
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Postby wimfrits » Nov 30 2010, 20:23

Like i mentioned before somewhere, without actually testing it who knows what effect those would have... we need to pester the devs to experiment themselves with these...


Agreed. Though mind that this will not leave the hypothetical stage. No way movement of units will be decreased when bf increases.

Precisely... (same argument works against exploits, because they're the same thing).


I disagree. Exploits can be used in complex tactical ways. My gripe with exploits is that they limit the variety of tactics an experienced player uses.
The same effect that an unbalanced game has.

So, what was your point again?! Coz it sounds like somewhere we started talking about different things.


I would sum it up as: You asked whether I thought H3 (with bigger bf) had more exploits than H5. I said no, because H3 didn't have the unlimited-attacking-hero. You seemed to recall an unlimited attacking hero in H3. I said that this was limited to spellpoints, so not unlimited. Then finally you asked what the hero in H3 did to influence combat after his spellpoints ran out.
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Postby Thelonious » Dec 2 2010, 9:58

furret wrote:Worst:

1. Not sure about the boss idea. I'm worried they'll be a one-time experience. You'll ran them in the campaign, get excited for once, then they'll be swiftly exhuasted and won't add any good in the map maker as people will get bored of the same few bosses.


good point, which could be overcome by allowing mapmakers to modify boss abilities and stats - looks would be the same, but each battle could be different :)
Grah!


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