General Thoughts on the Homm VI Demo?

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Sir Alock
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General Thoughts on the Homm VI Demo?

Postby Sir Alock » Aug 24 2011, 21:55

Hi All: Been a fan since HoMM1. I remember buying it in the summer of 1995 playing on my 486 DX2-66 Compaq computer that had a built-in 14" monitor! How time flies! It had a whopping 1MB of VRAM!

Anyway...The more I've been playing in Skrimish mode (finished the 2 campaign scenarios) I'm really strating to dig the game. Playing Stronghold fraction & I'm doing ok. I'm a tad rusty since I do not play games in the summer months.

A few of questions:

1st: I'm I hearing music from either HoMM 2 or 3 in the background?

2nd: What faction @ this point do you think is the strongest?

3rd: Will we see an expanded Town window?

4th: What's your general feeling of the game?

I notice on my rig it runs "blazing" fast! 6-factions Skrimish turns are super quick! I think Black Hole has done a decent job so far. AI could be a tad tighter, if it could get even close to HoMM3 I'll be in heaven!

Thoughts?

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Postby Variol » Aug 24 2011, 23:52

Would you share your PC stats Sir Alock?

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Postby Spin » Aug 24 2011, 23:55

1. Yes that's HoMM 2 and 3 music. Part of the game is that it's celebrating the 25th anniversary of the might and magic series, therefore they're remaking a lot of the music from the series and using it in HoMM6. In fact, Broken Alliance (the map in the demo) is a remake of the HoMM2 map.

2. The general consensus is that Necropolis is the strongest. To be honest i'm not certain myself and i don't suggest you trust me on this, i'm just learning about all the units.

3. Most likely yes

4. It's a big step above HoMM5. I'm really liking it right now. The campaigns are set to be epic. The new RPG additions to the game make the campaign look especially promising.

To be honest i'm loving that it's a different game than HoMM3. Otherwise i'd be playing HoMM3 right now.

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Postby Variol » Aug 25 2011, 0:32

I'm downloading it now and I would like to know which Processor will run the game well?

I currently have a Pentium Dual-core E6300 2.8GHz. I'm sure the Ram (8gig) and video (1gig/4gig from RAM) will be fine.

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Postby Sir Alock » Aug 25 2011, 9:40

To answer the question on the CPU & my rig.

AMD X4 (Deneb) @ 3.5 GHz (no overclocking @ this point)
4 GB RAM
Gigabyte 6870 1GB Video Card.

Running HoMM VI w/ max settings @ 1900x1200 Resolution on 24" monitor. Nothing special with this machine. Runs like a top.

Spin...Thanks for clearing up the music. It's well done IMHO. I knew when I was listening I said "This is from HoMM 2 or 3" Nice touch on Black Hole end.

Playing Stronghold on medium AI & I thought I was doing ok, then got destroyed by a (you guess it) Necropolis hero. Didn't created a 2nd hero until later in the game on that large skrimish map. Still understanding the game.

I hope they do "something" witn the town screen. I think people have mentioned a 2D background like HoMM3. That would fine with me! As it is, it's just ok. No real sense of fraction atomsphere.

I'm on board to w/ HoMM VI. Took me a few hours to understand how the game plays, but it really does look promising as well.

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Postby Variol » Aug 25 2011, 10:19

Well, I've run the game for a few minutes and it runs excellent so far. The land movement, combat and AI turns are all really fast and and most of the graphics settings are on "high". :D
I don't think it looks nearly as "detailed" as H5 though. Maybe that's why it's faster.

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Postby Sir Alock » Aug 25 2011, 13:53

Variol: I think you're correct. Although...The graphics are nothing to sneeze at either. I think the units look very, very good! I'm glad it doesn't take much to run the game because many people still have older machines. In todays world (of gaming) video card is king, but you need a decent CPU to avoid a bottleneck. Hell....My 6870 can handle pretty much everything I throw @ it & now it can be had for $150.00! I paid $220.00 a little over a year ago.

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Postby Variol » Aug 25 2011, 19:31

The only negative thing I would say, is that the icons are way too small and a lot of the windows, like the hero screen not good. I find I'm looking at them, thinking, what the heck is this?

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Postby AzureDrg » Aug 26 2011, 4:09

Hope they're reading these demo feedback posts - I've been myself a long-time fan (since original kings bounty, but really got hooked with homm2) and having spent about 15h already in the demo (3 times broken alliance + campaign), I think I like it, even with all its shortcomings. So, a few suggestions:

Town Screen: Everybody is against the new boring town screen, but I think it's better than the confusing 3d terrible townscreen of HoMM V. The old 2d screens were the best, as they were memorable, they had character, and you could find everything you wanted in an instant. If a unique town screen, 2d/3d or even 2.5d, could be shown instead of (or in addition to ) the standard menus, this could be a winner.

Unit info:
The only way I could find for unit info PLUS skill info was in battle..No possible comparison in town between upgraded/non-upgraded, not even being able to see skill detail or creature growth. Much work needed in the related UIs

Level progression:
It's really difficult to reach lvl 15 in the given map, which is not small btw, so I only get to see half of the skills. Which is kinda half the fun, as all the fancy ones are in tier 3. I think lvl 10 would work better as a tier level, and the skill tree should be wider.

Spells as skills and spell cooldowns:
Not so good idea. I always liked mages because of the variety. Now I'll end up with 2/3 spells, as I need to pump up the magic power skills as well. No variety at all, and adding the cooldowns, my mage had to use the normal attack many many times - I find that ridiculous. If I spent a skill point to get a group of spells from a family, as opposed to a single spell, well, that would be better :)

Recruiting monsters from all cities:
I think that's interesting, given the fact that you can only insta-recruit monsters that your city supports. But I think a cost should be introduced: time (delay in delivery) or extra money (sent by courier :))

Town portals:
While people have been complaining for this, it can be fixed by increasing movement costs and perhaps a cooldown for these spells - otherwise I find it a nice feature.

Factions:
They are nice, the monster variety in each is nice, but...
where are the dragons??? :(
All heroes games had a few dragons, and we now only have the Kirin, which is a bit underpowered.
Also, why is it that the inferno faction is bloody always deep red? I never play that faction in any of the homm games just because I can't stand the colours..Anyway that's a very personal complaint.
I'm missing the academy - I hope they get added in an expansion.

Units and mythology
No titans, no black dragons, a lot of stuff are missing. Many old well-liked creatures are gone. Trolls, minotaurs, imps, efreet, gremlins, medusas, giants, the list is endless. I like to believe that one of the reasons of the success of the games were that the creatures belonged in various mythologies of different cultures/religions. You can definitely introduce some new units, but overdoing it alienates gamers. Compare for example the green necropolis slime from HoMM V with the black/dread knight. No cultural connection with the slime, but the black knight can carry a certain mythological context ( nazgul from LoTR, 3rd horseman from the apocalypse, etc.). People complain about the weird names of the monsters, but I believe that they can't connect with them. And yes, I strongly believe that the collective imagination of the cultures of the world can give MUCH better creatures compared to a few talented artists and game designers.

Thieves guild :
Where are the game stats??? I was very disappointed to see this feature gone, especially as it's really easy to implement and it's just an extra adventure map building!

Music and graphics
Music-wise it's good, some tracks are really brilliant - can't remember if they're from the previous games though. The graphics are much more pleasant than the previous games, so the overall audio-visual experience is very nice and very Heroes-like.

Anyway that's all. I really did enjoy the game thus far, but without improvements at some of the above, I'm afraid I'll get bored really soon.

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Postby Neidhaart » Aug 26 2011, 8:10

I like it because its not homm3. And still it feels like a heroes game.
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Postby Spin » Aug 26 2011, 9:05

Neidhaart wrote:I like it because its not homm3. And still it feels like a heroes game.


well said. No need to complain about things they did differently in this game. IMO that's the thing I love best about it.

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Postby Kalah » Aug 26 2011, 11:06

AzureDrg wrote:Hope they're reading these demo feedback posts...


They are reading the forums frequently. Also, I send some info into the VIP forum from time to time.

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Postby AzureDrg » Aug 26 2011, 15:23

To Neidhaart and Spin:

I like it too, as I liked HoMM4 and HoMM5 after the giant of the game that was HoMM 3 (+expansions). This doesn't mean they were perfect though. So, while the danger of enumerating suggestions here is becoming just one more post of "I want this and that otherwise the game sucks", I thought I'd just comment on the aggregate complaints/suggestions of the people in the posts that I've read thus far. One more opinion adds a bit to the nice thingy that's called *constructive criticism* which I strongly believe in :)

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Postby Psyke » Aug 27 2011, 19:49

Question: Does anyone know whether if the demo works on my system, that the full game will as well? I always prefer testing it on my computer than just following the information about the minimal requirements

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Postby Kalah » Aug 27 2011, 19:58

It should work then, yes.

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Postby Variol » Aug 28 2011, 9:54

As I mentioned, the game ran faster than H5 for me, but I only played for a few minutes. I know most of the past games got slow, later in the game. (Did anyone experience such a thing?)

I posted this link before:
http://cyri.systemrequirementslab.com/cyri/

I do not know why it tells me that my CPU fails, because the game runs pretty darn fast for me.
Last edited by Variol on Aug 28 2011, 22:23, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby mr.dna » Aug 28 2011, 16:37

remove cooldown for spells, and reduce w/1 turn for combat cries.

maybe also combine spells two and two like in homm V magic specialties to give more variety.

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Postby Metal Wolf » Aug 29 2011, 14:00

I played the demo and I have to say that I am highly disappointed with this game so far. I am a huge fan of the series (HOMM2 is my favorite by far, though I like a lot HOMM3 and HOMM5 too), but this game doesn't feel like Heroes at all to me - more like a conversion of some generic real-time-strategy to TBS.

My biggest fears about the major changes in the game proved to be justified:

Tier system overhaul:
Instead of having 6-7 unique creatures per faction and having only small similarities between parallel tiers in different factions, now every faction has the same 3 variations in core and elite tiers. Basically, somewhat like the proven-to-be unsuccessful attempt of HOMM4, only worse (at least H4 had 4 tiers and only 2 somewhat similar creatures per tier). Oh yeah, having 3 essential factions less (elves, wizards, warlocks) is another great idea.

Town window:
Beats me how an idea of actually DISABLING a great feature was approved. The new screen seems just pathetic, its a spit to the face of Heroes legacy.
Isn't it clear that it severely damages the amazing HOMM atmosphere that the series are known for? Towns (now not even having mage guilds anymore) became no more than a table with an ugly "2.5" view.

Graphics, animations and artwork:
Beats me how some aspects of this theme actually became worse. Weapons hitting opponents without even nearly touching them, Heroes hit foes who "agree" to fall down only after 2 seconds, creatures belonging to a faction all look too much the same and the sequences throughout the campaign are still immensely stupid (the sequence about 2 orcs approaching a town gate in the campaign 1st map? is this for real?). Fail.

Heroes development:
Boring. Instead of having distinguished skills, now every skill is a statistic of some sort - 10% defence here, higher movement for 2 turns there. Very unimaginative.

Bottom line:
I can understand the need to create new material and not to duplicate the same game over and over again (although I highly doubt that it's the actual reason for the new changes in the game). What I cannot understand is the disabling of key features, of making things simpler on purpose and of repeating past mistakes again. I liked H5 (a lot!) despite it's shortcomings and I enjoyed playing the flawed H4 too, and was really excited when they only came out, but H6 actually bored me after only a couple of hours. I underline the fact that as a huge fan, this fact amazes me - but despite that, this is what I feel.

:disagree:

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Postby Panda Tar » Aug 29 2011, 15:07

Metal Wolf wrote:Oh yeah, having 3 essential factions less (elves, wizards, warlocks) is another great idea.

Yeah. When I played the map again, I was going through the factions to pick one: "haven...sanctuary...inferno (bleh)...necropolis (ah...)...stronghold...haven (wait a sec, again?)"

What I started to noticed is that after a long game playing, if you pick a strong foe (that will be converting everything to his own faction), it might happen that we'll be bored with either faction: the one we're playing, and the one we're against. Convertion is an interesting feature, but it makes me wonder if it'll bring a line to the game that it'll make it so damn boring when fighting always the same stuff all over again.

Town window:Towns (now not even having mage guilds anymore) became no more than a table with an ugly "2.5" view.


What really displeased me was that the town is not a town anymore. It's a hall, bigger on ones, smaller on others. You see the adventure map town and it's just exactly the same thing on the window...I like the previous Heroes towns because they were actually big, showing your kingdom, showing that you are standing there for your people. And where the reck are the dwellings?

Graphics, animations and artwork:
Weapons hitting opponents without even nearly touching them, Heroes hit foes who "agree" to fall down only after 2 seconds


These are too true. Specially the MIGHT hero attack (while the MAGIC hero attack simply copies/pastes Lightning bolt) which blesses the enemy, that will eventually pretend to die, like a bad play at a theather.

What I cannot understand is the disabling of key features, of making things simpler on purpose and of repeating past mistakes again.


Yep, that's the keyword: simpler. It looks like a resume, the whole thing. The problem is that I cannot see where they are putting the remaining efforts if not on the soundtrack, which is superb (however, again, some songs brought from previous games).
"There’s nothing to fear but fear itself and maybe some mild to moderate jellification of bones." Cave Johnson, Portal 2. :panda:

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strongly agree

Postby cjlee » Sep 11 2011, 11:18

Hi Metal Wolf

After seeing a bunch of people post generally positive comments, I'm glad to find that you share my feelings.

I've played since Heroes I. I've played practically all versions of Heroes of Might and Magic, including fan made ones like Equilibris and WOG. I've even loved the much-malligned Heroes IV (good for RPG scenarios) , so it's not as if I'm a stubborn Heroes III lover.

This Heroes VI really, really sucks. I hate it in so many ways that I can't even begin, or else this will be a 5000 word rant that moderators will excise.

Here are some complaints of my own. I will leave out the more superficial grouses that others have brought up in statements elsewhere (e.g. Inferno all generically red in color; units hard to see.)

General Feel:
Bland, corporate, professional feel to it. Comes across as a weak version of World of Warcraft. The demo felt quite ‘polished’, yet failed to ‘hook’ me. I spent several days trying to play it from different points of view (e.g. played different races in the single map available on the demo). Nothing captured my fancy.

The core gameplay has been utterly destroyed. Heroes of Might and Magic has always been a turn-based strategy with much more emphasis on problem solving than real-time fighting. Figuring out overall strategy on the map, figuring out tactics and spells and unit counters - that’s what we are about.

Trying to make it look like World of Warcraft will not work. As a former RTS fan, I’ve played lots of Command and Conquer/ Red Alert spin-offs and seen lots of crap. Lots of names I’ve since forgotten. Well, they tried to copy C&C and failed.

Let me remind Ubihole: don’t copy others! You guys have a unique franchise of your own and a market of your own. HOMM players will never equal Counterstrike or WOW or Super Mario Brothers players in numbers. We’re different and we look for different things. Our game shares more in common with Chess than with Halo!

Don’t waste time with fancy graphics. Does anyone really play Heroes VI for the trees and the rocks? This is NOT a first person shooter where atmosphere is important! Make sure gameplay offers real challenge and problem-solving stimulation and diversity of tactics and choices! Consider why Heroes III is still so fanatically popular with brilliant developers spending all their time trying to tweak it and come up with new campaigns.

Many HOMM players are married, some are pretty old, etc. Our players are not 12 year old kids who have to be kept stimulated with the latest graphics every season. Consider why there are still people who play Heroes II multiplayer. It’s a 16 year old game!

General views:
Town Screen used to be a genuine work of art, esp. the Heroes II and III town screens which were famous in their time. Now we get a tiny window essentially a business shelf with tick here, approve the purchase interface. I’ll bet $1000 against anyone that over 90% of old time Heroes fans do NOT like the town screen.

Of course, lots of boxes, icons and other places you’re supposed to click on have become too small. Very irritating because when we play HOMM we don’t consider mouse skills a must.

3D:
I think trying to keep up with the latest 3D models has really harmed the Heroes of Might and Magic franchise. It led to too much focus on creating ever more detailed modeling demanding more CPU and graphics card resources, and less attention paid to the quality, diversity and replayability of the game.
Please, bring back 2D. I’m asking for that not because I am a 2D fan, but because focusing on gameplay rather than graphics will make Heroes VI a better game. For those who simply insist on fantastic graphics, let me suggest Crysis.

Fantasy:
HOMM has always offered a vast selection of fantasy creatures with deep roots in the world. Even the less popular ones like Manticore and Basilisk have real fantasy roots. Now what has happened? Half the creatures are new, with no roots in any fantasy or even in-game Heroes of Might and Magic franchise history. What’s this Juggernaut thing? The Maniac? We’re in a recolored world with unit names being taken from the thesaurus, and all the unique factions and units that people love (e.g. Titan, Wizards, Elf) all removed. Did you even consider what fantasy units are more popular and keep them in the game? Or are you more concerned with Corporate Copyright issues?

Diversity:
Resource diversity has been almost totally eliminated. That removes a lot of thinking or acting needed to ensure one does not face a production bottleneck. I’m sorry Ubihole, but in real life, a war economy needs a lot of different metals and minerals. Even this esoteric thing called Rare Earths that we put in Apple Ipods, we need more than 20 kinds. The number of different materials used to make a Lexus car, something like 600 ranging from thorium to rubber. HOMM has always had resource diversity - why do you dumb it down to 4 if nobody is complaining? Now you’re only one step above Warcraft/ Starcraft’s gold, wood and food constraint!

One of the things about Heroes IV that everybody including me hated was dumbing down 7 tiers of creatures into 4. Now you create 3 tiers! All battles are essentially battles of equals since most of the time you’re fighting with Core units - where’s the tactics and skill involved? It’s just x numbers with y buffs vs z numbers with q buffs; no more using creative strategies and terrain to win against overwhelming opposition. Even simple battles, at least those that were offered in the demo campaign, took forever. I had sieges with 15 or more rounds, essentially Swordsmen/ Sentinels/ Praetorians whittling each other down slowly while the leaders buffed or made hero attacks. And since enemy units can walk halfway across the screen, no more harpy/ sprite hit n run. Everything has become homogenized.

5 factions only? That’s worse than Heroes 2!!!

What happened to racial diversity? Heroes has always been a very diverse bunch. Starting from Heroes I with different factions, going on to Heroes V with clearly delineated races, racial attributes and ecosystems, mutual hatreds and disputes, different lifestyles and ways of fighting appropriate to their cultures. Despite superficial unit appearances, Heroes VI comes across as being very generic. You don’t care enough about the units!

Even worse, you are pressured to lead a homogenous army now that you can’t easily flag the structures of opposing races and are pressed to convert towns to your own factions. This greatly reduces the variety of tactics you can use. Remember, racial diversity is not color. Racial diversity offers different skills and abilities with corresponding strategies. (EG minotaurs always have good morale, elves are ranged.) You want to field different units precisely because of their advantages and strengths! (Those who used to play Heroes IV may remember that keeping your heroes alive is of top priority, so you often hire golems or multihex units to hide behind. As these were often use and discard, you didn’t need to hire your own castle type.)

Music:
Heroes II had the best music. Sure, you can’t always please everyone - but Paul Romero’s challenge is to create the best possible music he could for Heroes VI. Not take Heroes II music and insert it back in here! Who are you cheating, Ubihole? Did you think us 1990s gamers have died or retired? Don’t you realize that we are NOT first person shooter gamers who grow up and stop chasing zombies around?

Storyline:
I hope I am not going to offend anyone here, but I think Ubihole is going too far in creating a storyline centered entirely on one Slavic family. Is that to pander to a large Eastern European fan base? Storyline wise, it comes across as ridiculous that one single family should produce leaders for 5 supposed-to-be totally different factions around which the entire game is centered. I’m not a fan of family drama soap operas. At least Heroes III was not so arrogant that Catherine Ironfist would be able to win a war without enlisting allies from different races and nations.

I’m complained about the lousy Heroes V storyline, But at least Heroes V had the different factions led by their respective racial groups. They had their mutual quarrels and distrust. The Orcs hated demons and resented humans, the elves had their civil war, the dwarves had problems with dark elves, the wizards were wary of orcish revenge... all very believable. Just like in Warcraft, where each faction (e.g. Human Alliance, Orc Alliance) has several subraces and heroes that originate from these subraces with personalities in line with their cultures. (EG Orc heroes are generally tough melee and more straightforward; Troll heroes are usually skinny and ranged and more sneaky.) Now we get Slav A vs Slav B vs Slav C vs Slav D vs Slav E leading different colors.

Ironically, I went to a university where we had quite a lot of Eastern Europeans. All the following names: Pawel (this spelling), Svetlana, Slava, Anton, Irina and Sandor were classmates, friends or teaching assistants at some point. I even had a summer fling with Anastasia (this spelling). There was a Kirill (this spelling), although he was Greek not Slavic. Not being Slavic myself of course I can’t tell how common these names are, but I get the sense that Ubihole is making a game where their characters are named based on the most-common names in Eastern Europe, which irritates me even more.

Blizzard had the common sense to call its fantasy characters Prince Arthas, Warchief Thrall, Archmage Jaina, Prophet Medivh, Demon Hunter Illidan, etc. Try calling them Prince John, Warchief George, Archmage Mike, Prophet Tom and Demon Hunter James and see how dumb it sounds.

I loved Heroes for its creativity. Now I see that it is obviously a corporate decision, not a creative decision, to make Heroes VI...

In conclusion:

Thank you Ubihole for the free demo! It really helped me make a decision that I would have thought was impossible in the past. Unless the final version is very different from the demo (highly unlikely), I will NOT buy Heroes VI!

Ps don’t worry about me downloading a cracked version on bittorrent. I gave you guys plenty of chance - over 24 hours exploring this game with all races. I don’t like Heroes VI enough to even play it if it was free. And if enough old-time Heroes fans think like me, you won’t have a piracy problem even with no DRM!

Metal Wolf wrote:I played the demo and I have to say that I am highly disappointed with this game so far. I am a huge fan of the series (HOMM2 is my favorite by far, though I like a lot HOMM3 and HOMM5 too), but this game doesn't feel like Heroes at all to me - more like a conversion of some generic real-time-strategy to TBS.

:disagree:


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