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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wimfrits
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Postby wimfrits » Dec 23 2010, 8:01

Glad you finally agree with me

[not listening to what the people you're running have to say] = [not knowing what the people doing the job are actually doing]
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Postby ThunderTitan » Dec 23 2010, 9:08

What they doing could be browsing Facebook...

It's like Blizzard does... they listen to the people playing their games, but know when to ignore them...
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wimfrits
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Postby wimfrits » Dec 23 2010, 18:38

I agree.

And browsing Facebook is not necessarily bad. Only if it's caused by lack of motivation. Which would then be something management has to do something about.
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Postby Kalah » Dec 23 2010, 19:21

wimfrits wrote:And browsing Facebook is not necessarily bad.


Yes, it is. Always. There is simply no excuse for ever, ever spending more than thirty seconds on Facebook. :|
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Postby Zenofex » Dec 23 2010, 20:29

What's with this trend to announce new things on Facebook anyway? I consider this thing a total waste of time (and from what I've seen - intelligence too), so can't I have another news source? Pretty please? Now!
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Postby Kalah » Dec 23 2010, 20:48

Yeah, it's pretty stupid to announce things there before the official site ...
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Postby ThunderTitan » Dec 23 2010, 21:37

Probably easier to make an account and post on it then a whole site and have the admins post stuff...

wimfrits wrote:And browsing Facebook is not necessarily bad.


Social sites are a pox on humanity.
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Postby Kalah » Jan 1 2011, 16:42

Well, to return to the topic - I think the best improvement made by B-hole so far is the structure of the creature tiers into "core", "elite" and "champion". It could open new doors of versatility and replayability (provided that they get the balance right), and I am very excited to see how it goes.

As for the worst ... well, that lack of resource types has me a bit worried that the strategy element might be a bit watered down. Heroes (indeed, any strategy game) is not just about battle tactics and using troops to defeat the enemy; it is also about gathering resources, building buildings, fortifications and creating the right settings for defeating your enemy - not just in a single battle, but in a drawn-out war. Removing several of the "special" resources might work as a bit of a straight jacket on map makers, giving them less diversity to play around with. I mean, who hasn't played a map in which the only mine with that vital resource you need to gain the top-level creatures in your towns is difficult to come by? Who hasn't been driven to the edge of frustration by an inventive map maker, who placed that resource behind a stack of creatures so powerful that you almost need your entire army to defeat it? I have. It drove me crazy. But it was all the more satisfying to finally win.
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Postby King Imp » Jan 1 2011, 18:04

Kalah wrote:As for the worst ... well, that lack of resource types has me a bit worried that the strategy element might be a bit watered down. Heroes (indeed, any strategy game) is not just about battle tactics and using troops to defeat the enemy; it is also about gathering resources, building buildings, fortifications and creating the right settings for defeating your enemy - not just in a single battle, but in a drawn-out war. Removing several of the "special" resources might work as a bit of a straight jacket on map makers, giving them less diversity to play around with. I mean, who hasn't played a map in which the only mine with that vital resource you need to gain the top-level creatures in your towns is difficult to come by? Who hasn't been driven to the edge of frustration by an inventive map maker, who placed that resource behind a stack of creatures so powerful that you almost need your entire army to defeat it? I have. It drove me crazy. But it was all the more satisfying to finally win.


Yeah, so far this is my only real complaint.

I mean I understand the reasoning behind the change with them saying players wouldn't go after mines they didn't need, but I was not such a player who subscribed to that logic. No matter what faction I played as, I treated every resource equally. Well, maybe I wanted my factions main resource more, but I would never pass up any other mines simply because it "wasn't needed" according to BH.

Time will tell if this change pays off, but as of right now I can't get behind it simply because of their logic.

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Postby wimfrits » Jan 1 2011, 19:04

I also am not such a player, but also don't think that this logic is the main benefit of the change.

In terms of number of mines and need to explore and conquer, cutting down the number of resource types by itself has little effect. It doesn't matter whether there are 4x1 special mines or 1x4 special mines. The only real effect it has in this respect is a reduction of randomness. In most heroes games, choosing a building path is as much a gamble as a strategic decision. Because the random pile of resource you find on day 7 might turn out to be yet another sulfur while you chose the path where gems are key.
In my opinion, more resource types = less strategy and more luck
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Postby King Imp » Jan 1 2011, 19:32

I'm just going by what was said in one of those Q&As. Most notably the bolded part.

CoG - Screenshots for the game show only gold, wood, ore and crystal as the resources. Have the other three “traditional” resources (gems, mercury, & sulfur) been cut from the game?

Xhane - Yes they have. We now have 4 resources, including gold.

We have three main reasons to have chosen this:
- This brings more strategy to the game. At first, you could think this is the contrary but on former Heroes, each faction had his specific resources to look after and so did not care much about the other guy and his mines. Now that every faction is looking for the same resource, mines possession will be much more strategic as you’ll also prevent the other to take this crucial resource.
- Games with a lot of resources are not strategy games but more management games.
If you look at Starcraft 2, they have 2 resources. Games such as Settlers VII (7 resources) or Civilization V (32 resources!!) have much more as they focus more on management.
- It is much easier for map makers. You don’t need to put all resources depending on which factions other players will choose.


Maybe I just understood that wrong, but to me that clearly sounds like they are saying we wouldn't care about other resources if it wasn't the one our faction needed.

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Postby MattII » Jan 1 2011, 19:57

Mr Xhane needs to look at this then, because while it's true that Fortress and Stronghold don't really care about a couple of the rare resources, Castle Tower and Necropolis needed all 4 in decent amounts.

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Postby Zenofex » Jan 1 2011, 21:09

In most heroes games, choosing a building path is as much a gamble as a strategic decision. Because the random pile of resource you find on day 7 might turn out to be yet another sulfur while you chose the path where gems are key.

It's not a gamble at all. The resources placed on the maps can be specific or can be random - this entirely depends on the map designer's decision.
The building plan is in accordance with the available resources which makes enough sense to me as you can't construct something which needs 4 specific materials with 4 random materials just because the figure remains the same. What we are going to have now is painfully predictable - basic buildings = gold + (wood and/or ore) and advanced buildings = gold + (wood and/or ore) + crystals. It will entirely depend on how much do you have and not what do you have.
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Postby wimfrits » Jan 1 2011, 21:22

Not random if the mapmaker:
1. adjusts resources to chosen town type
2. anticipates the player's choice of building order
3. anticipates the player's skill
So perhaps not random in theory (with an omniscient mapmaker involved). But random in practise

A single special resource allows the player to better plan building order; adjusted to his preferences and his skill. That's not something a mapmaker can (and should!!) influence

King Imp wrote:Maybe I just understood that wrong, but to me that clearly sounds like they are saying we wouldn't care about other resources if it wasn't the one our faction needed.


Sounds like that indeed. Like I said, I personally don't agree with that statement. The rest makes sense though.
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Postby Zenofex » Jan 1 2011, 21:39

wimfrits wrote:Not random if the mapmaker:
1. adjusts resources to chosen town type
2. anticipates the player's choice of building order
3. anticipates the player's skill

Now I'm confused. The first - OK, but reducing the number resources just to standardize the building plans of all factions means among other things that it doesn't matter whether you build Haven or Inferno and thus the unique situations that each of these factions face when they plan their development are no more. I really can't see how this is "more strategic" than before.
2. Why is the map maker supposed to anticipate the player's choice? The resources are limited and the player has to choose between several options - that's called diversity. The so called "randomness" can easily be eliminated if you supply all the mines in the vicinity of each starting town and place random guards in front of them to make sure they provide unique challenge every time the map reloads. Some factions have problems with creatures which are easily slaughtered by other factions and vice versa.
3. The player's skills are never supposed to be anticipated when you make a multiplayer map. If one can't figure out how to maximize the efficiency of the available resources, then the randomness is the least significant of his/her problems.
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Postby wimfrits » Jan 1 2011, 22:54

Zenofex wrote:The first - OK, but reducing the number resources just to standardize the building plans of all factions means among other things that it doesn't matter whether you build Haven or Inferno and thus the unique situations that each of these factions face when they plan their development are no more.


Why? Let's say Inferno needs 4 special for a decent lvl3 dwelling. Haven only 2 for lvl2, but needs 5 and 30 wood for a very tactical lvl4 unit. What will the Haven player choose? Player faces the same kind of choices in previous games, so I don't see how this would remove unique situations. It's more strategic because there's less randomness involved.

2. Why is the map maker supposed to anticipate the player's choice? The resources are limited and the player has to choose between several options - that's called diversity.


Different players favor different building paths. Where one player will need 15 gems in week 1, another will want 10 sulfur and 40 wood. At what point will the player know whether or not his building path for the first week will succeed? Near the end of the first week. Because it depends on the amount random resources player finds. So the entire first week is sort of a gamble. I've had lots of first weeks end in frustration because e.g. a gem pile gave me 2 instead of 3 or there were relatively few gem piles on the map.
This I call randomness. If the mapmaker is to prevent randomness, he needs to know the player's favored building path.

As for putting in all mines: that would help some (but not nearly enough).
but then we'd be standardizing mine locations just to work around the real problem: too much resource types.
3. The player's skills are never supposed to be anticipated when you make a multiplayer map. If one can't figure out how to maximize the efficiency of the available resources, then the randomness is the least significant of his/her problems.


Yes, I see the point for multiplayer maps. This can an issue in SP though.
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Postby Kalah » Jan 2 2011, 1:00

It seems we are on the same page, guys - it's not that the game can't work, it's just that the number of possibilities is reduced.

Reducing the number of recources reduces the number of factors for mapmakers to tinker with. That could make it difficult for mapmakers to create diverse scenarios, and (as we know) good user-made maps is the thing that makes the Heroes games replayable.
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Postby wimfrits » Jan 2 2011, 10:23

Kalah wrote:Reducing the number of recources reduces the number of factors for mapmakers to tinker with. That could make it difficult for mapmakers to create diverse scenarios, and (as we know) good user-made maps is the thing that makes the Heroes games replayable.


Absolutely. And some really tightly manipulated building paths might not be possible with 4 resource types. Then again, how many maps did you play where you were forced on a single building path by resource availability? Do you like maps where a mapmaker controls your building strategy completely?
And on a side note: if a mapmaker really wants to control building plans, there are other ways of doing that besides resource availibility.

But my point is that most of this diversity comes from increased randomness instead of higher strategic value.
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Postby ThunderTitan » Jan 2 2011, 20:49

wimfrits wrote:In my opinion, more resource types = less strategy and more luck


Fun fact, real battles and all their randomness require more talent for strategy then chess or other number crunchable games.

Adapting to your current situation >>>> sticking with the same plan from start to finish.
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Postby wimfrits » Jan 2 2011, 21:03

And that's why noone wages war for fun. Well, at least most people don't.

But seriously, I doubt you can compare finding piles of gems with real life.
I don't see the fun of being forced to backup plan D in the first week while my more lucky opponent finds all the resources for his optimal plan A. That's game over.
Last edited by wimfrits on Jan 2 2011, 21:11, edited 1 time in total.
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