Overrated/Useless Skills/Abilities/Spells

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Overrated/Useless Skills/Abilities/Spells

Postby ShadowLiberal » Jan 7 2012, 13:48

I started a topic about underrated skills/abilities/spells a while ago, so here's another one. What skills/abilities/spells do you think either tend to be overrated, or are just useless, and why?

Here's a few of mine.

-Logistics: Unless you're a demonlord taking this skill for the Swift Gating ability & Agrael's first two missions in the campaign, or need it to get the ultimate skill, there's better skills to invest in. Yeah some enemy heroes will outrun you, or be able to run around you and capture your unguarded town because of logistics, but chances are you can already easily beat them anyway if they had to run around you in order to seize your town, otherwise they would have attacked you. Besides, that's what Town Portal and saving your game is for.

-Irresistible Magic: The only thing of value you get from this skill is the Empowered Spells ability, Dark Ritual can be handy to, but it's not worth being a Warlock just to get it. Irresistible Magic doesn't negate enough of the magic immunity to do any good. I always find whenever I'm up against magic immune black dragons that I'm better having the Hero attack the dragons directly rather than throw a fireball at it when they're the only opponent to kill. On top of it, Irresistible Magic negates your own magic resistance, which ruins your chance to field just black dragons and cast Empowered Armageddon every turn, even though you have one of the few units immune to it in your army.

Magic Insight: Sure it lets you cast 3rd level spells that you have no skill in, but those spells are still much weaker because you have no skill in them. You'd be better off investing in another sorcery ability.

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Postby parcaleste » Jan 7 2012, 15:15

Biggest problem with attacking spells is they do so little damage. Esp. in late game and with the inferior Dark Magic...


Logistics... I don't know, does Swift Mind rings a bell?

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Postby Mirez » Jan 7 2012, 15:24

I love logistics, I often choose a hero with logistics as his speciality. I can hunt down enemy heroes, or outrun them. All in all you make more use of your turns.

Bad skills in my opinion are arcane intuition and scholar.
treants are dendrosexual 0_o

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Postby Arret » Jan 9 2012, 23:48

I agree with Mirez, but would like to add first aid tent to useless skills. Logistics is wonderful, especially if you get pathfinding, you are unreachable unless you do something stupid.

On irrestistable magic, I want to have a way to turn that dumb skill off! You can't even abuse dragon+armageddon, which has been a staple of dungeon all the way since heroes 1. Dwarves seem like the only race that can pull it off, and their mana pool/spell power is way too low.

Mass vulnerability seems overrated, because the enemy has to put everything together for it to hit enough units, and those turns are almost always better used for something else, usually more mass decay. It can be nice when comboed with frenzy, but I could never get the hang of it in large scale because the opponent will just be mass cleansing. At least with decay, you can usually have some ticks go off before the other hero gets a turn.

Fist of wrath is really the only one that I can't find a single use for, it doesn't even always clear out mirror images.

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Postby ShadowLiberal » Jan 10 2012, 2:05

I agree First Aid Tent ability is practically useless, both because it only heals up to 100 HP (when I take the ability anyway), and only has 3 uses in the whole battle. 3 uses might be enough for creeping, especially since it can revive the dead, but it's not when it matters, against a powerful hero.

Another useless ability I've never chosen is Death March, plus 4 to your units speed during the siege of an enemy castle. First of all, unless your unit can fly the extra speed won't do any good anyway until the wall or gate is knocked down. Second of all, if you try to run over a moat and through the broken wall your unit will be stopped in their tracks, giving the enemy enough time to block you from walking right into their castle anyway.

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Postby parcaleste » Jan 10 2012, 7:53

Arret wrote:... Mass vulnerability seems overrated... At least with decay, you can usually have some ticks go off before the other hero gets a turn...

First off - Vulnerability's effect is till the end of the battle. If nothing else Mass Vulnerability makes your Hero casts FASTER. Even if the Cure spell cleanse it, take it as if you have countered the enemy hero to cast some other spell (Divine Vengeance :canthear: ). Decay makes... decent damage early-early game but later? No use at all.

I find Cold Death overrated. The -1 extra unit is not enough. It would be better if it adds and extra +2 or +3 to your Water spells Spell Power.

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Postby adam77 » Jan 10 2012, 17:33

Arret wrote:Fist of wrath is really the only one that I can't find a single use for, it doesn't even always clear out mirror images.


Maybe I misunderstand you, but that is fine in my opinion, mirror images are incorporeal (any non-magical attack against it has 50% chance to fail) and Fist of Wrath deals physical damage. But anyway I agree that spell is useless.

What I also found useless:
remote control: you probably do not get control of the ballista and the others have no use. maybe there is even nothing to control.
warpath, spoils of war, snatch, corrupted soil: they could be useful but in early game I don't want to spend level-up choices on them (better to learn magic skills/war machine/attack/etc) and later in the game they do not make much difference.
seal of darkness, shrug darkness, suppress light, shatters: i don't like to spend points on skills which may have no use at all if the enemy hero does not have the corresponding skill to negate. though i guess seal of darkness can hurt necromancers a lot (they have so low knowledge).
soldier's luck: i usually don't depend on the affected abilities, with which factions/creatures is it really good? haven creatures with bash are not that useful imho, warding arrow for elves i don't even have (use arcane archers), is it worth to get it for bears or unicorns? or maybe necro (vampire alternate upgrade)? probably with unicorn bow (no range penalty) + master hunters it would be quite good but i think i never got that artifact with sylvan.

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Postby Arret » Jan 11 2012, 0:11

Maybe I misunderstand you, but that is fine in my opinion, mirror images are incorporeal (any non-magical attack against it has 50% chance to fail) and Fist of Wrath deals physical damage. But anyway I agree that spell is useless.


That is exactly what I am saying. Even as a cheap "clear out the opponent's images" spell, it doesn't work. It certainly wouldn't be used for the damage, as most of the time just have the hero use a normal attack will do more (and save mana).

First off - Vulnerability's effect is till the end of the battle. If nothing else Mass Vulnerability makes your Hero casts FASTER. Even if the Cure spell cleanse it, take it as if you have countered the enemy hero to cast some other spell (Divine Vengeance canthear ). Decay makes... decent damage early-early game but later? No use at all.


I meant mass decay not regular (since if you got 1 you learned them both so long as you found the base spells), but yes divine vengeance is annoying. Mass decay works fine as cleanup after you already have curses, mass slow/confusion, etc. It is just not great late, but does help a lot until then due to spell power being the main necro statistice, and the spell only being level 2. My main problem is that mass vulnerability doesn't work the way I want it to, so there is always a better spell to cast (mass slow, mass confusion, puppet master, frenzy, blind). It hits a 5x5 square, instead of automatically affecting all units like mass suffering/weakness. With decay it isn't as big an issue because decay is used early/mid game.


Snatch and warpath are excellent for campaigns as most events are scripted based on the days since the scenario started, but there are almost always better choices against players.

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Postby parcaleste » Jan 11 2012, 7:29

I think the developers just switched the Mass Vulnerability - Mass Confusion effect. Thus you are "dissatisfied". MV works just fine and the way it is. Could it drain more Defense to compensate? Sure, but it is no means overrated spell.

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Postby Mustavus » Feb 18 2012, 2:04

COMMENCE RANTING.

Destructive magic in general... not really useless, but seems to narrow in its range of applications. It's fine at the beginning of the game when an eldritch arrow can decimate a neutral stack, and the supportive effects of master of fire/ice/lightning can be... neat. Of course as the game goes on, the vast, vast majority of the damage you do is from your army instead, and you end up doing more damage with... any Dark spell. Warlocks are an exception of course, but Rangers and Runemages are almost always better off using Light magic (aside, perhaps, from very specific strategies like Imbue Ballista or Dragons+Armageddon).

Have to agree with fist of wrath. The few units it's designed to hit don't really care about the damage it does. You apparently need 19 spellpower for Master rank FoW to kill a single Black Dragon. Wasp Swarm's not much better, trading your hero's turn to momentarily delay an enemy units', when Basic Slow is about as good at this (in the long term) as Master Wasps.

Excorcism and Banish are both just terrible, too. For Excorcism to be useful enough to be useful relies on three things rather unlikely to happen in the same game; you need both Summoning and Destructive magic, and the enemy needs to actually summon-- I suppose it could conceivably useful against Inferno? And then Excorcism. The most damage it can ever do is 30, really? By some crazy coincidence, that's the least possible damage a standard hero attack can do by the time they learn it.

And Mana Burst! Wow, there's a lot of questionable stuff in the magic trees! The most casters a faction has is 2, and you get to do 10*Hero level to them the two times they have enough mana to cast. Depending on the strategy and unit, they might not even cast at all. Taking it also means you have Master of Fire without Fiery Wrath or Ignite, which are both, y'know, good.

Goblin Support. I see no reason to explain myself, on this one.

Last Stand, as well. I suppose it could let a caster stack hang on just long enough to toss out a buff or Fireball, but aside from that, a single unit stack's not making a meaningful difference in a major battle, and you're not going to lose a stack to neutrals.

Come to think of it, Brimstone Rain, too. It's been a while since I've played much and didn't often take War Machines, but I seem to recall a single turn of a controlled catapult to be enough to knock the gate down. After that, taking the walls down doesn't even seem like a necessarily good thing.

I can imagine that, on the off chance it triggers, Elemental Balance can be a pretty nice spell to have, simply because it sort of means your opponent wasted their turn. However, I'm not sure I've ever really seen the spell used... ever.

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Postby Mozared » Feb 18 2012, 14:45

Now, I haven't played H5 in ages, but I can't wrap my head about how anyone could ever call Logistics useless. It's not just 'catching or outrunning that enemy' hero. Getting more movement points means you get to do more stuff in the same time. How is this not incredibly valuable? I'm not entirely sure what the ratios are in H5, but think about it; getting X extra movement each turn basically means that after a set number of turns, you have effectively gained yourself a free turn, movement-wise. Think of it as playing chess and being able to move twice every 8th turn. This isn't just 'not useless' but completely game-changing.

Assuming you are trying to play optimally, you are basically going through the map faster than your opponent is. You have your mines faster, gather resources faster, reach mobs faster and thus level faster. While your creature growth will remain roughly similar (since you capture dwellings faster you will ALSO have more units, but leaving that out of the equation), you will simply have a stronger hero with more resources earlier in the game.

If you start on equal footing, if it takes your opponent 30 turns to get a level 15 hero with a total of 400 creatures and a resource reserve of 6 of each with 10K gold in the bank, it will take you 28 turns to get a level 17 hero with a total of 440 creatures and a resource reserve of 8 of each with 15K gold in the bank. Obviously the numbers might be a tad off, but I'm trying to illustrate a point.

If Logistics is ever useless, please explain to me how. The only downside to it is that it scales as the game goes on, meaning a lot of its potential goes wasted if you're playing maps that end within 10-20 turns. Even then though, the additional movement gained usually, in most Heroes games, is so high that you start seeing proper benefit after a week or two. It's the first skill I grab in any given game of Heroes, hands down, in virtually every situation.

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Postby intipacha » Feb 20 2012, 7:29

Well, another instance where Logistics is useless is when you play a custom map with a terribly strong guard between two or more players, or a random generated map.

Basically, anywhere where creeping faster than your opponent(s) doesn't get you anywhere in the end, because you have to wait to get strong enough to get through that last guard, or whatever.

OK, you'll grab a few more resources by capturing mines earlier, but that's hardly ever relevant.

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Postby parcaleste » Feb 20 2012, 8:10

^ Seems like you haven't played HoMM that much, right?

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Postby Mustavus » Feb 22 2012, 2:51

There's a very small window of possibilities where Logistics isn't one of the best skills you can have. As mentioned above, Expert Logistics alone, without perks, gives a free turn for the relevant hero every three turns. Grab more resources, tag a unit building a week early, chase down an enemy hero... A hero with logistics is liable to wind up having a significant advantage in unit numbers and even artifacts.

For the most part, I'd say the campaigns are pretty much the only time you shouldn't be delighted to take it, because as mentioned, it doesn't bring much to the table in a "boss fight". Even then, though, on lower difficulties it's probably one of the most effective ways to go in many scenarios.

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Postby ShadowLiberal » Apr 24 2012, 3:14

Mozared wrote:Now, I haven't played H5 in ages, but I can't wrap my head about how anyone could ever call Logistics useless. It's not just 'catching or outrunning that enemy' hero. Getting more movement points means you get to do more stuff in the same time. How is this not incredibly valuable? I'm not entirely sure what the ratios are in H5, but think about it; getting X extra movement each turn basically means that after a set number of turns, you have effectively gained yourself a free turn, movement-wise. Think of it as playing chess and being able to move twice every 8th turn. This isn't just 'not useless' but completely game-changing.
I must disagree here, for a few reasons.

But first, expert logistics is 30% more movement, so, not taking path finding into account...

4 turns
100 + 100 + 100 + 100 = 400.
130 + 130 + 130 + 130 = 520.

With path finding (which most everyone will probably pick with logistics) lets assuming you get 1 extra turn every 3 turns (the effect of path finding will vary depending on where you move).

So why is this not good enough?

-Sure you may effectively get an extra turn every 3 turns. But your extra turn won't allow your towns to build an extra week's worth of troops every 3 or 4 weeks. Nor will your extra turns of movement give you an extra day's worth of income every 3 or 4 days. So it's not really an extra turn in those important aspects, which are the ones that really matter the most.

-Often you have something too threatening blocking your path early on in a game, like druids guarding a mine, or tier 6 creatures blocking a path to an enemy town. How is an extra turn going to help you if there's no way around such an obstacle?

-When you go up against say a level 20+ hero with a huge army as big and strong as your own, logistics won't help you win the battle. Logistics won't help turn the tide if the enemy starts winning that battle.

-Sure you can grab some resources faster, and not skip a few turns at building up your town. But long term, is 5 less tier 4 creatures really going to make or break you?

-The most important resource, gold, is rarely available in mines near your starting town (ones that aren't heavily guarded) so the effect of extra resources at recruiting more men early on is somewhat limited. Sure you get to build faster, but if you hire those new creatures right away you can't keep on building faster then your opponent because of lack of gold. If you run out of gold you can't keep building, your opponent, who still has gold left, can keep building however.

Running around faster can be handy on large maps, or maps with lots of slow terrain, but I rarely see logistics make or break someone, unless it's a campaign with an artificial time limit.

Like I said before, if you have to run around an enemy hero to steal something, chances are the enemy hero can already kick your butt. If the hero you're running around is an even match and you don't want to lose too many troops fighting them, then you'd have been better off picking a skill like Attack, War Machines, or Dark Magic, something to help give you an edge against a tough hero.

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Postby parcaleste » Apr 24 2012, 5:51

^ Your way of thinking is soooo in the wrong direction...

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Postby ShadowLiberal » Apr 24 2012, 16:17

Well maybe my thinking is somewhat biased because I only ever play campaigns anymore, rather than custom maps or free for alls.


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