Skills and Magic, or just numbers?

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

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Wahooka
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Skills and Magic, or just numbers?

Postby Wahooka » Jul 2 2013, 15:36

I've noticed that the main way to win battles in this game is to just have your opponent outnumbered.

This has been a common criticism of this game, that no matter what else you do, the numbers is all that matters.

For instance, I've noticed that most of the offensive spells do less damage then just attacking with the Hero's sword. Why learn all these spells?

I've also noticed that none of the skills I learn seem to have any noticeable impact on the battle.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the game isn't fun, but..

Like with dating, its just a numbers game in the end :)

Am I wrong?

Wahooka

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Postby Kalah » Jul 2 2013, 16:27

Yes, you are a bit wrong. Having the upper hand numbers wise is a good start, but you can defeat armies despite being outnumbered, if you have a hero with the right skills and spells. For instance, a high level hero will give his army bonuses. That works wonders.
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Postby mr.hackcrag » Jul 2 2013, 19:07

If you don't have the destructive magic school, then those damaging spells are quite useless. My major complaint with the magic is that mind control seems so much better than damage spells and the Seducer Succubus mind control ability seems way too strong.

Like Kalah said, having superior army numbers is usually not as good as having a superior hero because the hero's numbers & skills have a tremendous influence on battle. You still have to make the right moves though and even then, some luck or morale bonuses can swing battles like crazy.

Sometimes I wonder how strategic the game actually is because of these imbalances but it still a lot of fun and I think it has good depth.

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Postby markkur » Jul 3 2013, 11:03

I've been playing H5 steadily for about 2 years and I've found the Hero skills and stats are very impacting. A few examples

* Wyngaal's & Haggash's "initiative-special' is too good when they're high-level heroes; so much so, they were often banned in on-line duels. If these two get the ring of speed, their turn advantage is very difficult to deal with.

* At first, I also thought the Dark stuff a bit overpowered but I've been blown away by other classes that had awesome builds. i.e. I ignored the Academy "artificing" for a long time till I was wiped out by a lesser army.

* With Rutger, Grok or Urgat and their movement bonuses, any of them can advance in leveling much faster than I typically do; with that edge, each can (on avg.)fight more battles per day. With H5's rediculous number requirements for leveling above the mid-20s, this becomes less important in the late-game.

I too enjoy the deep-diversity in H5. Now that I've learned all factions well, I like all of them for different reasons and enjoy the tactics that are best for each.

Cheers

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Postby mr.hackcrag » Jul 7 2013, 4:14

markkur wrote: I ignored the Academy "artificing" for a long time till I was wiped out by a lesser army.


Me too, but the resource cost for using it so much higher in comparison to Rune resource cost. I know they are completely different abilities and not perfectly comparable, but it feels like it is so much harder to use Artifice because of the higher cost while Runes can be spammed pretty easily and people around here say they are too strong.

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Postby markkur » Jul 7 2013, 12:07

markkur wrote: I ignored the Academy "artificing" for a long time till I was wiped out by a lesser army.


MrCragHack wrote:Me too, but the resource cost for using it so much higher in comparison to Rune resource cost. I know they are completely different abilities and not perfectly comparable, but it feels like it is so much harder to use Artifice because of the higher cost while Runes can be spammed pretty easily and people around here say they are too strong.


Yeah, I was one that said the Rune-Dudes are OP'd. I think the fix could be to eliminate mass-spells for Rune-Mages; it would be something to try anyway, since some of the runes and also some creature abilities have a sort of mass-effect with multiple-strikes or mass-strike.

Have you tried playing as a Barbarian yet?

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Postby mr.hackcrag » Jul 7 2013, 21:19

People here said similar things.

http://www.celestialheavens.com/forums/ ... hp?t=13867

What I don't understand is why I have to kill 900 extra dwarves when I siege their castle. :mad:

I like how the goblins can activate other creatures' abilities, I think they should have utilized this even more.

I don't get why those skanky daughters use magic spells when Barbarians are supposed to hate magic. I also think the way war cries were done make it feel like another name for magic. Maybe Dwarves should have been limited in this regard too...

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Postby Bonzer » Jul 8 2013, 13:51

mr.hackcrag wrote:What I don't understand is why I have to kill 900 extra dwarves when I siege their castle. :mad:

...


Hi Mr.Hack
Actually you don't have to kill 900 extra dwarves. That's what Frenzy / Puppet master is for :devious:

As for finding the Academy artefacts too expensive, I only go for them when I have the Pendant of Mastery and Expert Artificer. (Ultimate Artificer halves the cost). Load up with Knowledge equipment and buff away. (As I do all I can to buff initiative, getting a sulphur mine early is key).

Though I do accept that this does fit well with my play style of spending a long time playing larger maps. I agree it is practically unusable if you prefer to rush a map, and see how quick you can beat it. It is all down to play style and kudos to the programming team for enabling so many different ways to win.

Good to see playstyle discussions still going strong after all these years eh?

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Postby Wahooka » Aug 2 2013, 19:54

I still feel that superior numbers are the most important thing, but I haven't played the game enough to reach a definite conclusion yet.

Thanks for the responses.

Wahooka

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Postby TheMeInTeam » Aug 5 2013, 20:11

Skills and magic definitely matter. For example you can kill 450 zombies with 1 reasonably high initiative unit and a ballista, just running back and forth. You can crush hordes of shooters in campaigns with 1-2 level 6 troops and a first aid tent + ballista.

For magic heroes, destructive school + meteor shower (or implosion), dark magic + frenzy, blind, puppet master, or summoning magic + elementals can all allow you to do some rather crazy things to enemies with almost nothing.

The light magic school is most dependent on your army. It is nevertheless useful for avoiding losses vs neutrals (resurrect, deflect missile) or making your army much more effective in close battles (mass bless/cleanse/etc). Generally it's might factions that take this school anyway, and they usually have either war machines or good archery units to clear neutrals.

Of course, if you have the micro against neutral stacks to cover a lot of ground quickly, you can get enough resources and extra towns to win the numbers game too. A lot of beating campaigns on heroic hinges on either magic abuse or ASAP rush gogogoto gain said #'s.

This has been true a long time too. For example, even back in HOMM III you could beat Gen. Kendal at the end of Dungeons and Devil's campaign using good magic and carefully building up your towns...or you could bait him out and take steadwick without fighting him. What was the "might" approach? Capture the 4-5 surrounding castle towns and spamming the heck out of their tier 1-5 troops :p. You could easily flood him to death with WAY more units that way lol.

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Postby markkur » Aug 6 2013, 14:47

TheMeInTeam wrote: even back in HOMM III you could beat Gen. Kendal...or you could bait him out and take steadwick without fighting him.


:D I remember that fight from a long time ago. I didn't like the map and was in one of those moods of get-it-over. I lost the first battle but before my next attempt I had a fodder-hero run around to approach the town from the south and after Kendal "ate the fodder", I walked into the town from the east. I didn't feel "mighty" but I felt mighty-clever. <L>

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Postby ShadowLiberal » Aug 9 2013, 22:02

Summoning Magic can beat almost anything if your hero has enough Power/Knowledge and meat shields. Try Summon Phoenix, and summoning Fire Elementals.

Also, if you have enough magic and magic stats on a hero, the difficulty ratings of battles mean nothing in most cases. I've won battles I was hopelessly outnumbered in that had a 'Deadly' rating, the toughest there is.

Somewhere a while ago in the screenshot forum is a screenshot I submitted where my 1 assassin defeated almost 100 treants in a battle, all through magic.

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Postby Wahooka » Aug 9 2013, 22:32

What is a meat shield?? Never heard of that.

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Postby mr.hackcrag » Aug 10 2013, 1:43

Wahooka wrote:What is a meat shield?? Never heard of that.


It's a piece of steak with a leather strap that you wear on your forearm to block attacks. You can also eat it to regain some health. True vegan heroes abstain from utilizing such wicked tools. :proud:

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Postby TheMeInTeam » Aug 13 2013, 17:33

ShadowLiberal wrote:Summoning Magic can beat almost anything if your hero has enough Power/Knowledge and meat shields. Try Summon Phoenix, and summoning Fire Elementals.

Also, if you have enough magic and magic stats on a hero, the difficulty ratings of battles mean nothing in most cases. I've won battles I was hopelessly outnumbered in that had a 'Deadly' rating, the toughest there is.

Somewhere a while ago in the screenshot forum is a screenshot I submitted where my 1 assassin defeated almost 100 treants in a battle, all through magic.


Loved the good old HOMM III nonsense in shadow of death. Sure, the 3-4 undead towns looked hard, until one remembers they can summon stacks of 138 earth elementals at a time over and over again, then res the 1 angel in the stack before the battle ends and win with no losses except mana X_X. That's a pretty easy way to beat 3 week's worth of fully upgraded undead troops, and you could do it with no starting resources and just immediately run at the AI with starting troops!

In HOMM V they made that harder by splitting up the ability to do that. Now you'd need expert summoning and light and only some towns have a realistic chance of getting either, making the odds of getting both + a hero with sufficient stats to make it truly lulzy far less likely. Undead have the easiest time getting the spell combo working (raise dead + summoning being in one school, whereas others need res), but their general lack of spell power makes it implausible usually. Usually. A little bit of enlightenment might alter that course...

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Postby ShadowLiberal » Aug 15 2013, 15:27

mr.hackcrag wrote:
Wahooka wrote:What is a meat shield?? Never heard of that.


It's a piece of steak with a leather strap that you wear on your forearm to block attacks. You can also eat it to regain some health. True vegan heroes abstain from utilizing such wicked tools. :proud:
Agrael is a truly wicked hero, so he doesn't mind eating his own troops for health!

A meat shield is your army.

At times your magic can become so insanely powerful that the pitiful starting forces in your army are basically nothing but a useless 'meat shield', just units you need to protect because otherwise you lose, even though they're next to useless in the battle compared to your hero's magic.

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Postby Arret » Aug 15 2013, 23:27

It's the same thing as actual war. Strategy versus tactics, macro vs micro. A much larger army will crush a smaller army unless there is a major tactical advantage (in HoMM5 think phoenix, Armageddon, Puppet Master, etc.). It is the combination of both that makes a commander/player effective.

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Postby zaio-baio » Sep 6 2013, 12:25

mr.hackcrag wrote:
markkur wrote: I ignored the Academy "artificing" for a long time till I was wiped out by a lesser army.


Me too, but the resource cost for using it so much higher in comparison to Rune resource cost. I know they are completely different abilities and not perfectly comparable, but it feels like it is so much harder to use Artifice because of the higher cost while Runes can be spammed pretty easily and people around here say they are too strong.


Runes can be spammed easily but they cant match lvl 3 mini arts with 50 knowledge on all units. Take a look at that DwarfVsAcademy replay, its very late game and the dwarfs have all runes. They should simply remove the academy army out of the field, but will they?

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Postby Tyber Zann » Sep 13 2013, 15:10

Hero stats make a world of.difference, but there are 2 stats I'm still not %100 sure about. Could anyone else specify the function of:

Attack & Defense. The primary skills/attributes, the ones that add to ur creatures attack/defense.

Most descriptions simply say that attack increases physical damage and defense reduces incoming physical damage. Sounds simple enough, but Iv seen different explanations of how much this increases.

Can't remember where, someone stated that each point added roughly 5% to the bonus, which seems rather excessive. That would mean 20 attack would double all melee damage from ur army. And 20 defense would reduce incoming melee damage by %100, which, yeah, that just wouldn't work. I suppose the 2 would subtract from each other, but that would still be open to abuse (Wulfstan and his super defense for example)

Another dude said that the desciding factor is weather an attackers attack skill is higher or lower than the defenders defense skill. This makes a little more sense.

Basically he said that when a unit attacks a unit, the 2 stats are compared. Like an "attack check". If the attacking unit has a lower number next to attack than the enemy unit has next to defense, the damage is reduced "a little". However, if the attacker has a higher number next to attack than the enemys defense number, the attack does "a lot more" damage.

This seems more logical, but also sort of flawed. That would mean that once you reach a certain level (25-30ish attack, plus artifacts n all) then there wouldnt be much point to getting more. Other than to let ur low tier units do some actual damage to higher tier units. Remember, the heroes numbers are added to each creature stacks attack and defense, and high tier creatures have much more than low tier ones. So, I guess the check system does work. It provides a wide range of potential bonus/penalty situations.

Again, this is all stuff iv heard and deduced, so any clarity would be awesome. I do know that having lots of attack/defense does make your army a lot stronger, so to help clarify the initial question, it is a numbers game, but number of creatures isn't the only important number.

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Postby BoardGuest808888 » Oct 1 2013, 12:23

Yeh. Somekind like this is right. So, when u got u'r unit stack attacking something, then its attack factor (plus whatever bonus gained from hero) will be compared against its target's defense factor (plus whatever bonus it might get).

Now, for every 1 point of u'r attacking stack's attack factor is more than its target's defense, the attacking stack will get bonus to damage (IIRC 5% or somewhere around that number).

On the other hand, if u'r unit stack has lower attack factor than its target's defense factor, for every 1 point difference, u'r unit's damage would be reduced.

It won't matter much if u play alone or clearing neutral monsters, but if u play against someone and he/she happened to has a hero with high defense skill, then u'll still need to have heroes with even higher attack skill to overcome the other side's defense.


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