A goodbye to HOMM! Heroes VI has ended my love for this game

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

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Heroes VI is a disappointment

Strongly Agree
25
21%
Agree
19
16%
Neutral
18
15%
Disagree
56
47%
 
Total votes: 118

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cjlee
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A goodbye to HOMM! Heroes VI has ended my love for this game

Postby cjlee » Sep 14 2011, 8:27

Hello All

I started gaming as a teenager in the 1990s. I played a good many games before settling on a few select games in the RTS and Turn-based Strategy genres. I was a big fan of Command and Conquer, its alternative history Red Alert, as well as (of course) Heroes of Might and Magic.

Eventually I found that I loved HOMM most of all. Until a few months ago, I was still playing maps or scenarios in Heroes II, III and IV! (And I also played a few Heroes V games.)

But I am getting older. I also find that my standards are rising...

Like my contemporaries, I gradually found myself leaving the gaming world. It just didn’t stimulate me anymore. My favorite games started as fresh, original offerings to the gaming world. Over time they grew more corporatized. They changed from fun offerings from relatively small developer teams, to slick packages managed by big companies.

Graphics standards kept rising in tandem with technology, but storytelling standards fell. More emphasis was placed on the drawing and 3D renditions, and less on making characters, units, races and factions come to life.

The C&C story came to an end after nearly a hundred years of game time. The ending was unsatisfactory and seemed tired. Red Alert 3 was slick and entertaining, but once the campaigns were over, nobody I knew cared to play it multiplayer.

Thanks to Heroes VI, I now feel the same about Heroes of Might and Magic.

XXX

HOMM VI has the best graphics, of course. The units are well drawn, professionally drawn. The graphics are up to the standards of modern games. But it also feels dead, sterile. It doesn’t hook me. Generic fantasy in line with what is offered elsewhere on the market. The town window in particular comes across as something you could see in Blizzard’s World of Warcraft.

HOMM VI is different from past versions. But I don’t feel that it’s creative. I don’t feel that it is compelling and replayable. The heroes seem to be fundamentally variations of each other. The factions don’t have character or identity. I am having difficulty telling apart members of the undead, inferno and stronghold factions especially. (Why are they all the same color? Why are all small units the same height and all big units the same size? Why is it that after so many distinctive vampire-lich teams since Heroes II, we wind up with vampires that look like liches?)

I wrote a lengthy rant a few days ago.

Of course I have more complaints about the gameplay and stuff like that, but I feel they should be left out because Unit X can always be made cheaper, Spell Y can always be nerfed, etc. These are things that are being addressed on the official beta forum even as I speak. I’m talking about the larger ways by which this game operates.

For one, upper tier units are no longer so important. They no longer have character. In past heroes games, you could start out as a wizard accompanied by his titan friend or a warlock with his pet dragon. Or else you could start out a weak Halfling working his way up to become a dragon slayer. Because there were powerful units and weak units, we had challenge, excitement, storyline. Stories are most exciting if there’s a powerful enemy to defeat, or if some evil big dragon wants to find the right food to eat (do you remember the map Lunch in Heroes IV?). Heroes of Might and Magic is about getting thrills from overcoming adversity, finding ways to defeat the strong with the weak, finding ways around problems, etc. You are kept in the game because the game offers ways to be interesting.

In Heroes VI, upper tier means nothing. Units have become homogenized. You just amass the numbers, and your core owns elite/ champion units with ease. Angel? Big deal. Convert another dwelling and you get enough ghouls to take it down. Pit Lord? Sounds scary, until I discovered my crossbowmen could kill it in melee combat.

Some people think lower level units shouldn’t be so weak vs upper level ones. EG you need hundreds of weak little gnolls (Heroes III) vs a single Azure dragon. But units are not equal, whether in fantasy or real life. 1000 riflemen can’t kill a stealth bomber, but a stealth bomber can definitely kill 1000 riflemen. 1000 lemmings pose no threat to an elephant...

Traditionally, the way small units were equalized to big ones was by giving them special powers or character that could potentially make them useful even in late game. EG Halflings are giant killers, Heroes V upgraded peasants had bash, Heroes V skeletons can be amassed by necromancy and turned into dangerous ranged warriors, Heroes IV imps sucked mana and deprived angels/ phoenixes of their resurrection specials, etc. But small does not equal big, just like a 4 foot pygmy from Congo can never equal an NBA basketball player on the basketball court. (For the pygmy to beat the NBA pro, the mapmaker needs to devise a scenario involving the pygmy’s home forest or something that takes advantage of the pygmy’s tracking skills.)

You can assign special powers to some units so that they can counter one another. That’s why Heroes III’s Fortress faction was so interesting - their units had great specials making Mighty Gorgon one of the most popular anti-dragon units. But you should never, never flatten the upgrade tree and homogenize the units. Heroes IV infuriated many fans by having only 4 tiers, and now with 3 tiers we’re now worse off than Heroes IV!

Weak units need to play as a team. Dragons are often loners because they can survive with minimal support or aid. That’s how it has always been. Anyone playing Heroes III will have noticed this: if you kept your army intact throughout the game and didn’t have an unusually large number of flagged dwellings which could distort population growth, if you bought all the units available your lineup actually deals about the same damage. The main difference is that Archdevils can move fast and far and get away with no damage, while imps get killed off easily.

I find it ridiculous that in Heroes VI, upper tier units are so weak and numerous. Why should they be weak and useless? What’s the purpose of being a ‘champion’ and going upper tier? Of course big units should be powerful, and they should be hard to come by. Their dwellings should not be easy to build. Why is it that some core buildings cost $3000 to make and some champion buildings cost $5000?

Did you know that statistically, humans are outnumbered about 10 million to 1 by ants? Do you fear ants? Do you think you could be killed by 30 starving rats? Units are not equal, that’s part of life! In the fantasy world, Halflings and gremlins are much, much weaker and afraid of dragons which can squash them as easily as humans squash ants. You need a strong hero with good artifacts to lead them to kill dragons! It is natural for a Heroes V Cyclops to be intimidating to goblins and be able to eat them with ease. Why should you be able to kill a champion unit with just a week’s production of core units?

In my first Angel vs Ravenous Ghoul battle, I lost an angel to ‘lots of’ ghouls. I was shocked to discover that Ravenous Ghouls have more initiative and movement than unupgraded Haven units.

Do Ubihole employees know anything of popular culture? Do they know that in the landmark Zombie series ‘Night of the Living Dead’ by George Romero, ghouls do not move fast? Does Ubihole know that the undead in all popular culture is slow moving and has low initiative, except for vampires and ghosts?

Necromancers in ALL fantasy literature raise dead. That’s what a Necromancer is! Where’s the amass-the-undead-slave-army strategy in Heroes VI? It has been homogenized so that all factions have access to the same strategies. In that case, why bother to play a particular faction anymore? Unless black’s your color?

What’s the point of creating fast, strong ghouls? Is that creativity? How does that tie in with an ‘undead’ or ‘necromantic’ way of playing? Since it doesn’t tie in, Ubihole has removed amassing skeletons from the necromancer faction. Does it really insert a point of interest? If you like parodying popular culture so much, why not take Heroes III’s battle dwarves and give them 500hp and blazing speed, and take the phoenix and turn them into 1hp, slow speed chickens. You can then just reproduce a modern version of Heroes III (parodied). Is that also creativity?

There are so many examples by which I feel Ubihole doesn’t really care about the game. The developers are making this game to make money, rather than because they want to create a game they like to play and which they know many people like to play. They come across as corporate executives who don’t care about popular culture, fantasy genres, or gaming in general. Hence I keep saying there is a professional, yet impersonal, feel to this game. I feel this even more strongly than from Heroes V where Nival never even playtested the game. I keep feeling that the game developers were not salivating over the idea of playtesting this game themselves - they just offered the beta key to some people and sat back in their chairs, impersonally surveying the game reports.

XXX

In HOMM, spells have traditionally been very important. If you wanted to be a pure might hero, you ran the risk of being able to hit very hard but not be able to counter magic.

These are part of the risks you take when you go for an unbalanced strategy. Heroes II barbarians had incredible attack skill and very low every-other-stat. Wizards are big on knowledge and spell versatility, but vulnerable in all other ways. All these add to the choices you make throughout a game.

Do you want a Wizard hero and build up his spells? Do you want to play defensively as a knight? Are you the slow, methodical type who wants to play Necromancer and spend months building an invincible army? All these are choices tied to playing style, faction strengths, etc. You can’t just homogenize them and give everybody the same choices and abilities.

Consider the case of Town Portal:
In Heroes II, only heroes with the right powers could move really fast. That meant you had to have expert wisdom to get dimension door, for instance. The way the game worked was such that Barbarians would find it very hard to use such magic. Of course! Why should Barbarians be able to TP everywhere with a dangerous attacking army? Why should they use magic as easily as a Wizard who has worked hard to build his library?

Heroes III gave heroes several ways to move quickly. They could use Inferno’s Castle Gate, they could use the Tome of Earth Magic and enchanted plains to cast, or they could go the standard route, get expert earth magic and town portal in a guild. In any case, you had to sacrifice quite a bit and make quite a bit of effort. Not all heroes were permitted to make the same moves.

In Heroes V, they made town portal more ‘democratically available’ to all races and classes of heroes. But at least you had to have level 20 heroes and level 5 mage guilds/ tons of resources for your shaman to purchase the right amulet for a Barbarian hero.

Now? You don’t need to work for town portal. You just need to have money (and a bit of mana), and all your heroes can TP anywhere on the map. All factions are homogenized now. You don’t need to be part of a faction where you can learn earth magic or at least build up your wisdom. You don’t need to make your hero powerful before he can learn town portal. Everybody can town portal!

People complained about Inferno’s castle gate in Heroes III. But at least it tied in with the mobility of devils - devils TP everywhere. Makes sense. Now you have Barbarians and Necromancers (traditionally the two slower factions) doing the same with ease. No wonder they say on the forums that Stronghold is the 2nd most powerful faction and Necromancers the most powerful faction.

XXX

In HOMM, heroes were the most important. But what has Ubihole done? It has destroyed the Hero-leveling aspect of this game!

For one, the levels are no longer so significant. It takes forever to increase your hero by 1 level, and there are only 30 levels. You don’t get a strong sense of career progression, and you don’t see your hero change significantly either.

If you got Expert Air Magic by level 7 or so in Heroes III, it made a difference! If you got to Grandmaster in Something in Heroes IV, you were really feared! Gamers like me really wanted to work hard to get the hero up!

But now? Heroes are not so important. There are few truly dangerous spells like Blind or Forgetfulness or Berserk. Spells or abilities just increase a certain damage type by x% or decrease morale by y%. They have cooldowns anyway. Nobody can ever get powerful enough to decimate entire armies through chain lightning. What is the role of the hero?

A level cap of 30 really spits in the face of Heroes I to V! In any multiplayer game, you may be lucky to hit 15. So your heroes aren’t so powerful, they don’t have such game-changing spells and skills; you don’t feel so attached to them. At most, you can retrain him.

Even worse, heroes are now so easily revived you don’t feel worried about losing them!
In the past, if your hero lost a battle he was lost forever. I think Heroes IV gave gamers a second chance, by having the hero ‘in prison’ instead awaiting rescue. Now, any hero can be killed in battle and be repurchased for a mere $1000 (without units) at the castle of your choice. This is very ill-considered. It makes heroes so plain-vanilla and replaceable that you no longer value them.

Even fleeing has been cheapened. Now you lose only 25% of your army on fleeing. Or if you had brought a single fast moving unit like Kappa along, cast a nasty spell, then fled, it’s a cheap way to town portal and exactly what people were complaining about in Heroes IV. Ubihole has learned nothing!

To cap things off, they even made lots of heroes indiscriminately available in the Hall of Heroes. Granted, the old system of choosing between 2 heroes in the tavern was a bit too stingy. But I’m rebelling at the notion that an ‘evil’ town can easily get high level ‘good’ heroes. Heroes III and IV had more common sense - you got a hero from your town and another random hero to choose from; or else you couldn’t hire a hero from an opposing faction and had to go to a neutral tavern. Heroes V was right in making subsequent heroes more expensive so that you didn’t try to create huge starting armies by hiring many heroes.

Do you think it makes sense to have an entire army of ‘good’ heroes hanging out in my Necromancer’s Hall of Heroes? Why should I, an evil necromancer, be able to build a big army of high level good heroes in late game (with lots of corresponding castle core units) just because I’m rich enough? These guys aren’t heroes, they are mercenaries!

Finally: leveling your team of heroes no longer matters! You used to have to get lots of heroes on logistics so that they could keep up with your main hero. You had to work hard fighting neutrals so that your other heroes could also have expert earth magic (Heroes III) or level 20 (Heroes V). You had to make your hero team strong because your main hero may be far away when enemies come to attack your castle. Now? Just level one guy up and send a few level one heroes around without creatures to pick things up. As the game progresses, the hero level available for hire increases based on your top hero’s level. In late game, plunk down $10k or more to get a high level hero.

Hero Inflation is ridiculous! I fought so hard to get my main hero leveled up, to discover that Ubihole was giving secondary heroes ¾ experience at the Hall of Heroes. If hero inflation works, why not ask Blizzard to automatically level up Battle.net heroes too?

Life is about choices. Gaming is about choices. Granted, we all didn’t like being locked into a certain skill set in Heroes I-IV. The memory mentor was a step up in Heroes V. But now we can respecialize and retrain our heroes completely and give them the skills of entirely different people. Isn’t that going too far? Like our heroes were cyborgs that could be reprogrammed at will?

Even Blizzard, in World of Warcraft, allows you to have several heroes but you have to level them up yourself. Experience counts! I’m not talking about the +10500xp type that you can pick up from a box instead of 2000 gold in Heroes VI. I’m talking about you, the gamer, gaining from experience when you fight enemy units. It is only by traveling with a hero and working with him through many battles that you can see his strengths and weaknesses!

XXX

What happened to hero chains and caravans and logistical planning? Granted, all of them were imperfect. Caravans often got stuck in Heroes V or arrived at occupied towns in Heroes IV. But now? You don’t need the planning aspect of Heroes anymore. You can just hire your entire empire’s population at any castle or fort. You can just convert any town and concentrate your entire empire’s production on one town at the frontline.

The diversity of resources has been simplified, and controlling resources simplified even further by granting you all resources within an area you control. This is ridiculous. It may make fighting easier, but it removes a lot of planning and background work that secondary heroes must do when the main hero is away campaigning. This is called dumbing down. Yes, little kids will like to play that way. No doubt Ubihole is aiming at the under-12 crowd. But many of the more mature aspects to gameplay have been removed. No more planning and resource management needed! Just hire and fire away!

As a teenager, I used to think it was a chore to flag mines and keep them flagged. But I understood it was part of the game. You must locate, secure, manage resources and keep them under your control in order to have a strong army. Every real life country or faction has to do the same, let alone fantasy ones. You must manage supply lines and account for a diverse population from different castle types, so you need undead converter, freelancer’s guild, leadership skills or you need different heroes to control armies of different factions.

Heroes VI has made resource and population management a non-question. Defensive planning is also a non-issue now, since your main hero can easily hire anywhere and TP between the frontline and any town he owns. Sure, that pleases the hire-and-fire crowd who want instant gratification without resource management and defensive chores. But it greatly reduces the overall quality and depth of this game.

XXX

When you are genuinely interested in something, you will be attentive to all aspects. You will pay attention to potential weaknesses and flaws and try to fix them in advance. Ubihole hasn’t done that, and their indifference shows.

One thing I really liked about Heroes IV was its use of mixed neutral armies. These greatly added to the challenge of fighting neutrals and prevented cheapskate experience-farming. If you have played Heroes IV before, I’m sure you remember how tough it was to fight genies guarded by nagas (they loved targeting your hero with ice bolts); or cyclopses guarded by ogre magi. Even low level units, like Elven Archers, were really lethal when snow tigers were guarding them. Even in late game you couldn’t just autocombat past them without taking losses.

Now in this game we get the standard one-unit-type of neutral army. Sure, some armies are dangerous. Maniacs and Ghouls really can do severe damage to a junior hero and 1-3 week old army. But Vestals? In two of my demo games, they came up at the end as ‘favorite target’. Yes, Vestals are my favorite creeping target because they’re easiest to kill. These poor girls just stand and heal while my ranged fire away.

You see, Ubihole decided to make a big change from previous Heroes versions by giving several factions their own healers. But they didn’t think how the healers would fare as a neutral target. And they didn’t find out because they didn’t playtest on their own!

Heroes VI Ghosts and Vestals are powerful in their own way. They really support their own side well. If the big units are out in front and Vestals walking safely behind, they can pacify (paralyze) you for 4 turns when they get to you! But healers can’t fight alone. And if Ubihole has set things up that way, Ubihole should also ensure that you can’t bully them for cheap experience!

What’s so difficult about setting this game up to use mixed neutral armies? Is it that hard? Did Heroes IV’s bad reputation scare Ubihole away? I think it’s obvious that Ubihole just made the game; they didn’t play it.

XXX

Why are there only 5 factions? Yes, I have been reading the forum comments on Ubihole’s website. I think you guys don’t dare to eliminate popular factions like Wizards/Titans; Warlocks/Dragons; Elves/Trees/Unicorns and Dwarves. You’re probably going to offer 2 factions in the next expansion, and another 2 after that for a total of 9.

But why not NOW? Haven’t you heard about ‘putting your best foot forward’? You need to offer a compelling, interesting lineup first time round. You shouldn’t keep popular factions for later. Heroes III did fine in both its expansions. Heroes IV had excellent expansions despite their money problems. Both times they offered only modest changes from the original - maybe one extra faction, some units and artifacts, etc.

You may be worried that people don’t buy the expansion sets, but that’s silly. If you don’t build a strong core interest, you won’t be getting to the expansions anytime. As it is, most longtime gamers are pretty disgusted you don’t have dragons and titans and elves. Most will still buy, but enthusiasm level has dropped a lot on the forums.

XXX

Many people have complained about the generic look on many units. I won’t go into that. Instead, let me point out just one example on how I feel Ubihole is indifferent to this game beyond ‘we want to make a profit’.

The phoenix is... gray! Since when in history has a phoenix been depicted as gray? (I thought they were thunderbirds until I attacked them.) Are Ubihole’s programmers so out of touch in their computer labs? If it is creativity to draw gray phoenixes, why not we recolor and 3D-rize the entirety of Heroes III so that we can at least get a modernized, 3D and graphically up to date Heroes III to pose as Heroes VI?

XXX

It used to be that different spell schools were allocated on the basis of the faction. EG Barbarians in Heroes III were supposed to be might so they had to conquer other factions to get higher level mage guilds. Necromancers in Heroes IV couldn’t get life magic unless they found an altar or paid for lessons at a magic school, after which they had to buy scrolls or conquer towns to get more spells. Yet they could be rewarded for their efforts - such as a Dark Priest class which allowed them a permanent vampiric attack. All that made sense.

Now in Heroes VI, everybody can get the same spells without town or race differentiation. The only things they can’t always use are artifacts which specify some kind of affinity. I was playing Inferno in the demo and wound up magic-affinity, so I became a Pyromancer. But I figured my units were liable to get hurt and didn’t think my enemies were all that afraid of fire, so I got healing magic for them instead. So my Pyromancer never cast a single fire spell all game. I just used her to keep healing my troops resulting in minimal losses.

And then I wound up fighting a paladin. Now, in all of fantasy literature, paladins are holy warriors of the light who heal. In all of the heroes franchise, knight/ paladins /castle/ haven faction are defensive in nature and go for spells that enhance and protect their troops. But the Heroes VI paladin I fought kept casting fire spells. He would hit me with a fire spell, then use hero attack, then when cooldown was over he used another fire spell. Not as if he really hurt me. I’m the Inferno player and my troops are resistant!

Why didn’t this Heroes VI paladin go for spells like Rush or Celestial armor? Or a warcry? Is it because the AI is stupid? (Isn’t it better to spend more time making a better AI than worry about graphics?) Or is it because Ubihole blithely made all spells available to everyone thus confusing the AI? Why must all factions have access to the same skills and spells? Isn’t that as ridiculous as the notion of a Swiss marine unit or Mongolian navy?

XXX

With its limited, unenthusiastic ‘creativity’, Ubihole has effectively messed up the original lineups and provided nothing genuinely new.

The Sanctuary/ Haven/ Castle/ Knight faction used to be a very defensive bunch. They were centered on humans, light magic, healing magic, angels, etc. Now Ubihole has created core units - sentinels/ praetorians, vestals and crossbow/ marksmen in that genre. Well and good. What did they do for elite units? They gave us... Harpies! Where in the fantasy genre did they get Blazing Glories from? And how do these fit into a human-centered crowd? And how does a harpy-like style of attack fit into the style of that faction?

No answer. Ubihole pulled the notion of Radiant Glories from some entertaining black hole?

I’m sorry, but giving a unit a new name does not create a new unit. Sun Riders are the Cavalry/ Champions/ Paladins of previous HOMM versions. Same skills, same tactics. Only difference is their ability to charge Through the enemy. Apparently it doesn’t work through castle walls, though, so I never found them very useful.

And so, how do the Heroes VI Haven Elite units mesh with their Core counterparts? Three fast, essentially flying attackers that can reach anywhere vs 3 slow, plodding and defensive units. How do your heroes adapt to this change? It’s not hard to figure that this is unbalanced.

To make things worse, Marksmen now can hit their own allies. With 3 big units up in front (Angel, Griffin, Sun Rider) and Marksmen typically occupying the castle turret, it is genuinely very hard not to hit one’s own side. Often my marksmen have to forego their turn. They can’t even get their own units to protect them by standing in front!

Ubihole, if you guys are in France, here’s an English lesson. Check your dictionaries. Marksmen are like Sharpshooters. They shoot well. That’s the lesson of Agincourt. If you want them to hit everybody standing nearby, then rename them Magogs (Heroes III) or Mucksmen for Mucking Up.

XXX

Folks, I know that some people think Sanctuary is intended to please the East Asian market. Sorry, but Nagas and amphibian units are not the main part of Japanese, much less Asian mythology. Japanese have more myths regarding demons from the mountains and deep forests. Ubihole probably got that Naga impression from Warcraft 3: Frozen Throne. Actually, in East Asia Nagas are generally regarded as an Indian cultural import.

As a non-Christian people, Japanese just have a very rich sprit/ fantasy world. Unfortunately, kenshi just means swordsman and mizu-kami just means a water spirit. Using Japanese words to create an ‘exotic’ feel falls totally flat on me.

Shark Guard? Is that creative? Ubihole is just using foreign words to basically say the same thing. You can certainly create an Arab/ Desert/ Wizard faction and call their hunchbacked camel soldiers kamelaaskari and it sounds soooo exotic. I read about kenshi all the time in Japanese manga. So this comes across as another pale and uncreative attempt to create another faction.

If anything, most Asian fans of Asian fantasy genres would think it was ridiculous that kappa have higher initiative than swordsmen. They won’t even know how to react to a kappa having higher initiative than a Kirin. Ubihole has done the equivalent of Nintendo creating games with cute medusas and adorable hell hounds, crawling phoenixes and flying hydras! Nintendo isn’t so dumb, so please Ubihole, don’t be so dumb either.

(For reasons linked to the quality of Japanese steel, Japanese swordsmen were able to wield strong, light, flexible blades. They were able to make good anti-arrow armor using silk, which is protective due to high fiber density. So the Japanese wound up focusing on agility and speed. The kenshi is NOT a lumbering Western knight with his heavy wrought-iron sword wearing a 30-pound suit of chain mail underneath his 60 pound suit of plate mail. If Ubihole doesn’t know this, they ought to play some Asian games before making a stupid frog hop faster than a dragon.)

XXX

I am not predicting a failure for Ubihole. On the contrary, I believe Ubihole will make a profitable game. This standard of gamemaking is exactly what is in demand nowadays.

But it won’t beat HOMM III. It won’t make a real difference to the gaming world. It will be played now, but 5 years from now, it’ll be outdated. It is a well crafted quality game that will probably draw favorable ratings and command good sales. But it doesn’t hook. It doesn’t offer a really exciting new world to explore. No good stories; no compelling tales. Nor is it rooted in existing fantasy worlds. How do you expect a strong following to develop?

I’ve played so much Heroes in the past 16 years. Except for unusually difficult maps of the kind benbird or Salamandre write about, I have finished practically every famous map or user made campaign from Heroes II to V. Except for the Shadow of Death campaigns (Draco’s and Adrienne’s) which I felt were boring, I have generally finished all campaigns, usually on several difficulty settings. I have my black dragon and archangel scores.

Heroes VI should offer enough to many gamers for the next 3-5 years to ensure a decent multiplayer fan base. But it isn’t compelling enough for me to start playing, and I can tell it is definitely not compelling enough for many mapmakers to spend all that time working on new maps for it. Look at the plethora of maps for Heroes III and IV and you realize that, despite their flaws, these two games truly offer a lot that will keep gamers coming back and mapmakers exercising their creativity.

In the end Heroes VI will probably get a very modest independent mapmaker base, much like Heroes V. If you want to compete with others at the Conflux on Ubihole’s official maps, do go for Heroes VI. If you like playing through a great fan-made custom campaign or scenario, I suggest you wait for Heroes VII. Or stop gaming, as I have done.

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Mirez
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Postby Mirez » Sep 14 2011, 9:02

Can't be bothered to read wall of text. Anyways no h6 is gunna be great
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Avonu
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Postby Avonu » Sep 14 2011, 9:22

Nope. It won' be great... better then HV for sure but I wouldn't call it great - it's still need a lot of work to be good game and even more to be good Heroes game.

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Humakt
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Postby Humakt » Sep 14 2011, 9:29

This is a forum. If you are going to post a huge wall of text, consider following tips. Highlight your points by formatting your text with: bold, italic and underline where appropriate. That way your post does not seem so monotonous.

And more important than anything: use proper captions!

Maybe you have some good points there (I couldn't say one way or another since I haven't tried MM:H VI yet), but it feels like you just ended up ranting.
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Postby Metathron » Sep 14 2011, 12:41

Mirez wrote:Can't be bothered to read wall of text. Anyways no h6 is gunna be great


I found the above deliciously ironic considering cjlee mentioned the dumbing down of the game to attract twelve year olds. :D

Anyway, good post cjlee.
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Qurqirish Dragon
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Postby Qurqirish Dragon » Sep 14 2011, 14:17

Just a technical quibble with the poll: You should have a "strongly disagree" choice, or NOT have "strongly agree"
By having unbalanced choices, you are (hopefully unintentionally) biasing the poll, as many will see the middle two choices as "neutral" and the extremes as positive/negative.

As for H6, it is definitely a different feel from the previous games, but I don't think it is as bad as you say. Also, unless they changed things since the skill tree went up, some of your statements are incorrect. For example, not all factions have access to all spell schools.
Many of your statements are quite true, but also based totally on personal preferences. For example: the accessibility of Town Portal. In heroes 1 through 4, if one player got town portal and the other didn't, that player would win 99% of the time (assuming equal skills). Heroes 5 had it better (IMO), as the spell itself was nerfed. I don't have enough experience with 6 yet to say how it fairs, but from my closed beta playing, it seems to be somewhere between these two positions. I think it is important to have all players equally likely to get it / have the ability to use it.
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Postby Panda Tar » Sep 14 2011, 14:27

Qurqirish Dragon wrote: I think it is important to have all players equally likely to get it / have the ability to use it.


Yes, but most of cjlee's post stands for homogeinizing aspects of the game. The easy task to get Town Portal is far too easy to everyone. I agree that all players could have means to get Town portal, but not in the same way, the same easy way. It's a matter of choice, is it not? If you pick Necropolis over Inferno, for instance. If they had different ways or town porting, that's fair, but that's you choice to pick one from another. This general implementation only makes your choices irrelevant (on that subject).
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Postby Torur » Sep 14 2011, 14:33

Panda Tar wrote:
Qurqirish Dragon wrote: I think it is important to have all players equally likely to get it / have the ability to use it.


Yes, but most of cjlee's post stands for homogeinizing aspects of the game. The easy task to get Town Portal is far too easy to everyone. I agree that all players could have means to get Town portal, but not in the same way, the same easy way. It's a matter of choice, is it not? If you pick Necropolis over Inferno, for instance. If they had different ways or town porting, that's fair, but that's you choice to pick one from another. This general implementation only makes your choices irrelevant (on that subject).


True, the genericness of HoMM VI is the biggest problem, but does not neccesarily make it a bad game.

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Postby Dalai » Sep 14 2011, 20:22

Avonu wrote:Nope. It won' be great... better then HV for sure

Wouldn't be too hard ;|

Metathron wrote:I found the above deliciously ironic considering cjlee mentioned the dumbing down of the game to attract twelve year olds. :D

:applause: :rofl:
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Re: A goodbye to HOMM! Heroes VI has ended my love for this

Postby Angelspit » Sep 14 2011, 20:28

cjlee wrote:Do Ubihole employees know anything of popular culture? Do they know that in the landmark Zombie series ‘Night of the Living Dead’ by George Romero, ghouls do not move fast? Does Ubihole know that the undead in all popular culture is slow moving and has low initiative, except for vampires and ghosts?

Zombies have acquired incredible speed since the beginning of the 21st century. Proof:

http://youtu.be/3zRT-LvJUuQ
I'm on Steam and Xbox Live.

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Postby Panda Tar » Sep 14 2011, 21:27

Torur wrote:True, the genericness of HoMM VI is the biggest problem, but does not neccesarily make it a bad game.


Not bad, but just plain too simple/vain/vague. When I first played the demo, I even liked it, then I started to pay attention to the details, and my affection for the game started to drop fast, so fast that I might have dropped a tooth with it. After playing the map once, I got bored.

Hope is what remains, one of my strongest skills. ;)

So I hope they surprise me, in a good way, on October. :)
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Postby Spin » Sep 15 2011, 1:15

If anything Heroes has revived my hope in the series. It's so far a very good game for me, much better than the disappointment that Heroes 5 was. If you don't enjoy it it's your decision, i can't stop you with that.

Although sometimes I think everyone here is putting Heroes 3 on a massive pedestal of glory and therefore nothing that comes out can come close to Heroes 3. It's too often I see the biggest fans of any series to be the first (and loudest) to complain about any new games in the series.

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Postby parcaleste » Sep 15 2011, 6:35

I just can't understand how in the blue hell everybody here are calling HV "disappointment" after some of the GREAT features it had (ToE). Let me point out some: the heroes skill system, the racial abilities, creatures upgrades, caravans, the initiative system (which do needs some serious tweaking, but in general I really enjoyed).

Yes, the graphics are a bit childish, but, again - look at the H3/2/1 graphics. Yes, you will call it blasphemy, but they are "childish" as well, even though in different kind of fashion.



BDW interesting first post, even though tiring to read and, yes, sounded more like a rant at the end, but there are several good points there. Esp. the "corporate" part i totally agree with.

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Postby Torur » Sep 15 2011, 7:48

Spin wrote:If anything Heroes has revived my hope in the series. It's so far a very good game for me, much better than the disappointment that Heroes 5 was. If you don't enjoy it it's your decision, i can't stop you with that.

Although sometimes I think everyone here is putting Heroes 3 on a massive pedestal of glory and therefore nothing that comes out can come close to Heroes 3. It's too often I see the biggest fans of any series to be the first (and loudest) to complain about any new games in the series.

I have felt the same way about every installment coming out since H3 and all have dissapointed the first time around. HIV was huge let down, but with time I grew to like it. HV impressed me in the beginning, but it lost its glamour fast, and I dont know how I feel about it now. And playing the beta I feel hopefull that the full version will be enjoyable, even if not everything is as I want or like.

parcaleste wrote:Yes, the graphics are a bit childish, but, again - look at the H3/2/1 graphics. Yes, you will call it blasphemy, but they are "childish" as well, even though in different kind of fashion.

Blasphemer!!! :flame:

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Postby hatsforclowns » Sep 15 2011, 9:03

Very good post! Long, possibly a bit too long, considering the average attention span of the average internet forum user ;)

Still, a very good post!

EDIT:

And yes, you should've included a "strongly disagree."

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Postby jeff » Sep 15 2011, 23:54

I have made no secret about my misgivings about H6, and found many of your statements informative. I personally don’t know their accuracy as I have not played the demo or participated in any of the betas, but others seem to agree with your statements. I would suggest that walking away from the game until it is actually released with whatever improvements they add based on fan inputs is premature. I too am ready to leave the Heroes community, but will wait until the release and see what the fans here have to say. It will also depend largely on whether they release a good campaign editor. As far as waiting for H7, I am perhaps too old to wait that long and why would anyone believe that any company that produced two disappointments (that made a profit) would change the format and produce a game that would be much different. It would more likely be similar to H5 and 6 than anything else. I don’t know just my ramblings. :cantsee:
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Postby vicheron » Sep 17 2011, 11:25

Although I agree with many of the points, some of the complaints are trivial. Fast ghouls and gray phoenixes are not a big deal. M&M rarely sticks to traditional fantasy.

For example, Dark Elves aren't evil, they're basically just merchants and they're purple. "Monstrous" races like Goblins, Orcs, Minotaurs, Ogres, and Trolls aren't dumb savages. Many of them are powerful spell casters and live in well built forts or castles. Plus as shown in the M&M7 and 8 cut scenes, goblins and trolls are quite articulate. Skeletons and zombies are not mindless, they're capable of speech and thought. Titans aren't powerful godly beings, they're basically giant golems.

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Postby Pol » Sep 17 2011, 12:20

Voted for Neutral Choice.

I don't know yet. Still beta. One was good, another worse, then good, then worse. But they kinda changed direction which I don't like - but I see, it's inevitable to see here strong 'online' orientation.
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Postby Avonu » Sep 17 2011, 15:43

parcaleste wrote:I just can't understand how in the blue hell everybody here are calling HV "disappointment" after some of the GREAT features it had (ToE). Let me point out some: the heroes skill system, the racial abilities, creatures upgrades, caravans, the initiative system (which do needs some serious tweaking, but in general I really enjoyed).


First, this game for me feels like 3D copy of HoMM3. Don't get me wrong - I like H3 - but after this game was released, other games like AoW, Disciples, King's Bounty: The Legend and ofc HoMM4 and WoG had been introduced. These all titles have a lots of features which weren't present in H3 (like flagable mills or caravans from HIV). Now HV is a huge step back from HIV and WoG and it doesn't have any new features.

You said skill system? It's bugged and unbalanced. How many times you had to use Memory Mentor (if it is on map) to get rid off wrong skill because you were offered the same skills/abilities choises at rows by game? Why heroes have only 5 skill slots (1 is taken by racial skill)? Even HoMM2 have much more skills to choose and in HoMM3 8 skills still were not enough. Did HV offer you more? No, it offer you even less. And each skill has only 3 abillities when in beta you could obtain 4 of them.

Racial abilities are nice but first they took skill slot from your hero and to be honest they are in HoMM from begining (like morale for Knight or navigation for Sorceress in H1).

Creatures upgraded (alternatives I suppose) are not always balanced and thought well. Try play a Necromacer with Herald of Death ability and you will see how much fix needs this ability. Also, if only some of creatures could be upgraded and others no it would be much better solution.

Caravans - they are inferior to HIV caravans. You can't send units you bought from one castle to another castle. And try send caravans through bridge for example - I am sure bridge will be blocked soon.

Initiative system, as you said, needs a lot of work - just compare Blood Furies and Zombies. Not to mention about initiative artifacts and random initiative bonus at start of combat.

There are other things which I don't like in HV - for example spell system (powerless damage spells) - but the most crucial element is that, this game is simple boring. No more "one more turn" feeling. Even HIV, which I don't really like, has this feeling but no matter how much I try to play HV, it can't attract me for mor then few minutes, maybe 1h. Yes, I finished all its campaigns, scenarioes and maps but there was no fun in that.


HoMMVI on the other hand, has this "one more turn" feeling. It has also many bugs and things that need to be fixed/added first, before this game will be enjoyable, but at least HVI introduced new things to franchise (for good or bad) - something which HV failed to do.

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Postby Metathron » Sep 17 2011, 18:11

I agree with parcaleste - those are all the things I like about HoMM V as well. It's true that most of those needed at least some more streamlining and polish, but they were executed quite solidly in my point of view.

The things I (still) dislike about the game the most are ridiculously long AI turns, the lackluster campaigns, a general lack of polish and ignoring some of the good ideas HoMM IV introduced.

Avonu wrote:You said skill system? It's bugged and unbalanced. How many times you had to use Memory Mentor (if it is on map) to get rid off wrong skill because you were offered the same skills/abilities choises at rows by game?


How was it bugged? I don't remember any of the skills causing any problems in my games. Getting unwanted skills time and time again was annoying indeed, but the system only needed further tweaking. The HoMM VI skill system feels too open-ended to me - the total lack of randomness is bland. I'm not a fan of extremes like that.

Why heroes have only 5 skill slots (1 is taken by racial skill)? Even HoMM2 have much more skills to choose and in HoMM3 8 skills still were not enough. Did HV offer you more? No, it offer you even less.


Actually, it has 6 skill slots where one is taken by the racial skill, but I'm sure that's what you meant. I am however perplexed by your comparisons with HoMM II and III. You're equating HoMM V skills where each skill has three subskills to II and III where there are no subskills whatsoever? E.g. scouting being a subskill of logistics, or archery of attack. So in point of fact HoMM V has 12 skill slots compared to 8 in HoMM III.

And each skill has only 3 abillities when in beta you could obtain 4 of them.


Why is more necessarily better?

Racial abilities are nice but first they took skill slot from your hero and to be honest they are in HoMM from begining (like morale for Knight or navigation for Sorceress in H1).


So what if they were? Is it bad to greatly elaborate on an already good feature?

Creatures upgraded (alternatives I suppose) are not always balanced and thought well.


I agree that quite a few of the alternative upgrades were not well balanced, and felt rather rushed, but again I think this only required some modification, there was nothing wrong with the system itself. In fact, this was a major reason why I grew to like the game, as it increased variety and replayability for me.

Caravans - they are inferior to HIV caravans. You can't send units you bought from one castle to another castle.


Agree as well, but the good thing about the HoMM V caravan is that it appears on the map and can be intercepted which in my opinion works better than the invisible/invincible caravan of IV.

Initiative system, as you said, needs a lot of work - just compare Blood Furies and Zombies. Not to mention about initiative artifacts and random initiative bonus at start of combat.


The intiative system needed some improvement as well, but I think this was the best speed/initiative system so far. The blood fury vs zombie is an extreme example, and frankly it never bothered me much; perhaps some slow units should have been given a slight increase in initiative or been made even more durable to even the odds out a bit.

There are other things which I don't like in HV - for example spell system (powerless damage spells)


I like its spell system, even though the one in HoMM IV was my favourite. HoMM III's was also very good. I
I am put off by skills-as-spells in HoMM VI, though. And I can't claim to have played the game extensively, but talk about powerless spells?

To sum up, I was unimpressed by HoMM V for a long time, and I only started to like it after the second expansion was released, and that's when I really got the "one more turn" feeling that you mentioned. I am similarly indiffernt towards HoMM VI at the moment as well, but I hope this too will change eventually. The game does have promise...
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