CJlee's Replay of the Official Campaigns using H5.5 mod.

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CJlee's Replay of the Official Campaigns using H5.5 mod.

Postby cjlee » Sep 28 2016, 6:43

Observations on playing the official campaigns using the awesome H5.5 mod by Magnomagus, Quantomas, et al.
Link: http://www.celestialheavens.com/forum/2/15168

First off I must stress that nothing I say is intended to sound critical of their work. It is downright awesome. I can’t tell you how stable, modable, flexible, intelligent, and all round excellent their work is.

As far as I am concerned, no one should ever play Heroes V or Heroes V TOTE straight out of the box/ out of their GOG download anymore. H5.5 is the way to go. It is THE MODEL for what a heroes game should be like. Seeing how well it works has really given hope to me that Heroes VII will one day be modded to perfection by the likes of Magnomagus and his team.


Below are my running observations strictly of the official campaigns, because that’s what I am playing now. Do bear in mind that there are some extremely minor problems in the official campaigns when the H5.5 mod is used, although the teeny weeny problems are nothing compared to my sheer pleasure at having the AI boosted and improved 100 fold. The heart of any game is the AI, and a good AI beats everything else. The only reason why I am even listing the problems, is so that the project team gets some feedback.

The H5.5 mod AI is so good that sometimes I just can’t improve on the AI’s results. Half your battles can be safely be left to the AI quick combat.

Problems:
1) none of the artifact merchants work. So far I am in the 5th map of the first campaign (Haven, Duncan and Isabel, Fall of the King.)
2) I can’t make any creature dwelling mine. I click on OK when they offer to make it mine for x gold and x resources, but no change ever occurs. I can still hire normally when I visit, and I notice that my flags still apply when the castle production is counted. So I am not sure what is means when they offer you the opportunity to ‘make a creature dwelling mine’.
3) The Endless Sack of Gold does not work with Isabel. (Note that Isabel has a natural hero specialty, Suzerain, which also provides gold. I get the impression that only one money-generating modifier can work per hero in v5.5.)

Gameplay observations:
Anyone who plays H5.5 should be aware that the Ultimate and Mastery Racial Skills have all been removed. There was a comment on the Moddb homepage about you still being able to get Devils gated (an Ultimate Mastery skill) but I don’t know how that works.

I am somewhat bothered by the change to the Haven faction. Note that this is the only faction I have played on H5.5 since I am replaying all the campaigns in H5.5 on Heroic. Previously Haven’s specialization was Training. This has now been replaced by combat, an ability that increases retaliation.

I must warn those new to H5.5 that this change to Haven is very drastic when applied to the campaigns. It is now extremely expensive to train troops since you no longer have the Counterstrike training perks. Even with Isabel (who gets a discount for training), cost of training at level 22 is nearly 2x the cost of hiring the higher level unit that you want to train your lower unit to. I suspect that the Moddb guys are intentionally getting rid of training entirely. There is no way you can realistically train any reasonable number of troops in H5.5, without spending so much money as to cripple your other hires. No more ‘swarm of Paladins’ hitting the field. When I played in the past I used to ignore most of my lower level units except for the peasants (who are taxpayers). I used to get Divine Guidance and keep spurring my paladins on. This tactic can’t possibly work in H5.5 anymore.

Now my Isabel is level 22. She still feels really mediocre. Not that I am criticizing the Moddb guys. I get the impression that a knight is intended to feel that way – to be basically a safe play for all situations for most noobs. I was able to move through the first 4 maps of the campaign on Heroic, smooth sailing all the way although it was clear the AI had been drastically improved. That’s the power of a knight – excellent in defense and a very sound Might hero despite not having any apparent outstanding qualities.

It would be very interesting to see how the other factions have changed.

I will write more in future!

ps if anyone is wondering, I have entirely deinstalled Uplay and Heroes VII as planned from my computer. I will probably not revisit H7 again until a year from now or six months after their final standalone expansion comes out. Remember that there is going to be another expansion after Trial By Fire, and it will probably lead to bugs that require months to fix, so anyone who wants to enjoy playing H7 should be prepared to wait a nice long time to pay less for more and better content.

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Re: CJlee's Replay of the Official Campaigns using H5.5 mod.

Postby cjlee » Sep 28 2016, 11:54

OK, sorry to say this, but game breaking bug found.
I can't get past the fifth map of campaign 1 of Heroes V vanilla. I did not apply any custom settings or extra mods. Basically just installed H5.5 straight out of the box and ran it on Heroes TOTE v3.1.

Any advice would be appreciated. Or if you can post savegames from the H5.5 campaign so that I can try restarting the game at later points, that would also be appreciated! I really would like to play H5 campaigns again on the 5.5 mod!

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Re: CJlee's Replay of the Official Campaigns using H5.5 mod.

Postby cjlee » Sep 28 2016, 14:45

Gems have had their colour changed, and are now a mixture of blue and red much like in Heroes II. Unfortunately I don’t see that as an advantage at all. In H5 they used to be all blue and look distinctly different from red crystals. Now in conditions of poor lighting (such as underground, or when surrounded by other things), I can’t see gems distinctly from crystals.

Fighting against supporting spellcasters is just as brainless as before. When fighting against Pit Lords, the Pit Lords really can do a lot of damage. AI is definitely good at calculating the max damage to hit multiple units. But against Sky Daughters, they only know how to keep casting haste and slow while standing in the same spot.

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Re: CJlee's Replay of the Official Campaigns using H5.5 mod.

Postby parcaleste » Sep 28 2016, 16:55

cjlee wrote:OK, sorry to say this, but game breaking bug found...

Which map is this? The Fall of the King? What is the game bug exactly.

There is another one pretty well known with Markal later, on The Invasion map, I think, when Cyrus is running loose instead of sitting in his castle waiting for you, hence, when you get to his castle the game freezes. And it is an old bug, long before the modding.

In those case the cheats are your go to. ;)

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Re: CJlee's Replay of the Official Campaigns using H5.5 mod.

Postby cjlee » Sep 29 2016, 8:16

parcaleste wrote:
cjlee wrote:OK, sorry to say this, but game breaking bug found...

Which map is this? The Fall of the King? What is the game bug exactly.

There is another one pretty well known with Markal later, on The Invasion map, I think, when Cyrus is running loose instead of sitting in his castle waiting for you, hence, when you get to his castle the game freezes. And it is an old bug, long before the modding.

In those case the cheats are your go to. ;)


Yes, Fall of the King.

I just can't complete the map. I have waited for months after I defeated Agrael and sent Godric through the southeastern gate. I'm guessing the ending trigger didn't trigger.

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Re: CJlee's Replay of the Official Campaigns using H5.5 mod.

Postby parcaleste » Sep 29 2016, 17:35

You tried sending Isabel there too? Both to be near the gate? I remember doing something like this in one of my replays, cause something got flucked along the way. There is usually no problem if you stick to the quests and do not rush.

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Re: CJlee's Replay of the Official Campaigns using H5.5 mod.

Postby cjlee » Oct 2 2016, 9:12

Just to continue my running observations after having activated the cheat mod here on parcaleste’s advice to get past a map that seems broken…

I’m now into map 3 of the Inferno campaign, and it is now very different and significantly harder. I was forced to downgrade from Impossible setting.

The original Agrael was a Demon Lord. So he was a great attacker. And the campaign was designed around his ability to fight. He also had a very overpowered specialization that increased his troops’ initiative by 1% each level.

This time he is a Sorcerer (a new category created by the v5.5 mod) and I did not notice it until he hit level 7 or so. After that I also had great difficulty getting skills I wanted. I rejected Summoning Magic once, and rejected Destructive Magic once, and after that never had the opportunity to get them again.

Agrael wound up getting Light and Dark magic, neither of which are particularly suited to the scenarios so far. His attack and defense are 1 each. His spellpower is 12+, and pretty much wasted on the crappy spells he has learned to date. Light magic was forced on me because I really did not want to take Occultism or Enlightenment. He never had any opportunity to learn Attack or War Machines. Also found it pretty hard to get Gating.

Agrael’s Aura of Swiftness has been nerfed and now only increases his troops’ initiative by 0.5% each level...

XXX

In my original post I mentioned having less satisfaction playing Agrael on the v5.5 mod. I have since edited my comments. Let me stress that this is not a criticism of the wonderful work that the v5.5 team put into their mod. It demonstrated my ignorance and the learning curve necessary to get used to a new mindset, and actually shows how wonderful the v5.5 guys are in creating many separate paths for your hero development.

I hated Agrael and the Sorcerer class at first. He is now a very un-mighty hero. And with only the most basic gating skill, I can’t really supplement my weak numbers. So I feared when Gilraen comes back with his huge army.

But as I leveled up some more and explored the other balancing opportunities offered by the v5.5 changes, I was quite impressed.

As we all know, demons are really a fragile bunch. Diablo players will remember the description "glass cannon". The v5.5 guys deliberately did not change this fundamental trait of demons. EG hit points did not increase.

No doubt demon lords will continue to be the type of guys who can hit really hard and fast, but have difficulty surviving the retaliation without dark magics to weaken their enemy. But Agrael the Light Magic sorcerer works too, and in ways that took some exploration to figure out.

The traditional Haven faction use of Light Magic for casting spells like Deflect Missile and Mass Endurance doesn't work on Demons. They are too fragile, so even halving the damage they take doesn't really win battles for them. It's not like casting Deflect Missle on a Defending Paladin protected by Retaliation Strike that already has Endurance cast on it from Inquisitors and a Big Shield cover from Squires. Haven has abilities that complement and strengthen each other; Inferno does not have such synergies.

So you must play demons the way demons are meant to be played. As fanatical, hateful, rapid fire attackers.

I did not even consider using mass haste earlier because I simply had assumed it was like the mass haste of the original Nival version. I thought mass haste would just increase my creatures' speed marginally, but last for 10+ turns that they were guaranteed to be unable to survive anyway.

But in the v5.5 mod, Mass haste at spellpower 14 and up increases my creature speeds more than 30%. Glass cannon or not, this is very formidable when you consider the dogs and horses already have very high initiative. This use of light magic for demons makes sense. Let someone (especially a gated stack) take the retaliation, after which everyone charges in and snaps away.

Demons are fragile, so get the right skills for them. luck and hellfire are must haves, if you're a glass cannon. And hellfire is scaled up with spellpower. This makes sense because Agrael the sorcerer has almost no attack and defense skills - but a hell lot of spell power. So he will continue to take heavy casualties when the enemy attacks or retaliates - but his glass cannon is really formidable when his creatures' luck or hellfire ability triggers.

I should add that on this map, it is the first time in my H5 gaming that I really feared blade dancers. Am not completely sure whether it is the v5.5 mod or the extreme weakness of Agrael that is causing this change. Basically the druid magic is making it Week of the Sylvan every week, so there are zillions of blade dancers and other creatures around. When playing as a Demon Lord massacring these guys was easy. As a Sorcerer with expert light and dark magic, every battle with blade dancers leads to huge casualties.

XXX

This map, the third map of the Inferno campaign (the Conquest), is proving incredibly, incredibly irritating and demonstrates an unexpected risk in the v5.5 mod giving gamers more options.

When options are limited, you know what you are getting and what the enemy is likely to be like. When options are open, things can spiral out of control quickly.

My Agrael has been struggling against Wyngaal in ways that he never did as a Demon Lord. In v5.5 Wyngaal is an offensive might hero. This is a build that I have never encountered when playing the vanila v5.0 Sylvan faction. At the same time Agrael has Expert Light magic and rather poor Dark magic spells. Ever since I missed my sole opportunity to get Summoning Magic because Godric was chasing me at that point and I just had to max out logistics first - I have no more chance to get Summoning Magic and am basically screwed.

Sylvan is basically a very fast, strong faction. In the vanila v5.0 they were often voted as Strongest faction, but never overpowered, because your Sylvan heroes have an attack of 1 or 2 at level 15. If you choose to use their forces without their heroes you won't be able to make use of faction advantages like their Avenger. But now I just can't fight Wyngaal. His stats are 17 6 3 3, so every attack on his part - and he has tons of War Dancers, so its mass attack you are talking about - massacres my side. I can't cast any light spells without turning his Pristine Unicorns into superheroes - he doesn't need to cast any light spells at all to poach my spellcasting.

So now I am reduced to fighting the way I fight LEAST well - the THUNK way of hit and run and whittling down the enemy. My expert logistics vs the enemy's expert logistics isn't proving a winner.

I am totally not criticizing the v5.5 guys. They have really lent a new lease of life to this game. But it does illustrate the problem of balance. Ultimately in a complex game like Heroes V - which got far more complex in the H5.5 mod - there are going to be unique combos that are extremely difficult to play.

By the way this scenario can be won by just grabbing all 3 elf towns. You don't need to hold the towns overnight, just to flag them. Due to the AI not prioritizing town defense, I was able to grab all towns and avoid fighting Wyngaal. I can indeed skip beating him if I want to, and just move to the next map. But I don't wanna do that. The essence of Heroes gaming is puzzle solving, and I have to figure out how to use my sorcerer build to beat his might build with the currently available troops and spells.

XXX

Finally beat this map. It was one of the most artificially hard, and therefore not enjoyable, scenarios I have ever played.

As a vanilla campaign I had no problem. To be exact, it was forgettably standard because in the H5 vanilla campaign it was all about striking fast and hard, and Agrael does that wonderfully with high-initiative Sylvan ranged troops. Somewhere on this site, in one of the walkthroughs I even commented that Demon Lords play Sylvan very well because their high attack skills make truly good use of Elven archers.

As a modded 5.5v scenario where Agrael has been redefined as a Sorcerer, this scenario is super hard. Gilraen isn't the problem; it is his second in command Wyngaal. Swift Striker + super high attack + lots of fast elven troops vs a Sorcerer who cannot use level 4 and 5 dark magic because he was not allowed to learn them.

Moving on to Map 4, The Ship, things don't get any easier. And it is again an artificial difficulty. As a might hero Agrael had Leadership so that made controlling the elven army much easier. As a Sorcerer, my troops are perpetually losing turns due to poor morale.

A Sorcerer is always low on mana. As a Demon Lord in v5, you had Consume Corpse and plenty of knowledge so Hellfire was never a problem. You really needed Hellfire because your troops are too weak to sustain a long fight. In v5.5, the Sorcerer is big on spellpower and small on knowledge. When that is combined with Hellfire, you run out of mana pretty fast and can't replenish it because v5.5 abolished Consume Corpse.

I now think that the v5.5 guys have failed to make Inferno a stronger faction.

Yucks.
Last edited by cjlee on Oct 2 2016, 20:36, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: CJlee's Replay of the Official Campaigns using H5.5 mod.

Postby parcaleste » Oct 2 2016, 11:25

cjlee wrote:... I really did not want to take Enlightenment...

Why would you do that? Usually Enlightenment and Mentor are the go to combo on every map. Plus the bonus points are pretty darn good to have.

And yes, Dark Magic is really nerfed now, but still the most powerful school. Light Magic with Demons is OK too, cause of the Bless spell that boosts the troops damage great deal, as they have a wide range between low and high damage (BDW when you unlearn skill via the cheat mode, you are instantly offered a new one, so you are actually re-teaching your hero and lose absolutely nothing ;) ).

Still, everything depends on the spells you'll get. And with the Demon campaign it can be really frustrating.
Last edited by parcaleste on Oct 2 2016, 11:28, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: CJlee's Replay of the Official Campaigns using H5.5 mod.

Postby cjlee » Oct 2 2016, 15:18

parcaleste wrote:
cjlee wrote:... I really did not want to take Enlightenment...

Why would you do that? Usually Enlightenment and Mentor are the go to combo on every map. Plus the bonus points are pretty darn good to have.

And yes, Dark Magic is really nerfed now, but still the most powerful school. Light Magic with Demons is OK too, cause of the Bless spell that boosts the troops damage great deal, as they have a wide range between low and high damage (BDW when you unlearn skill via the cheat mode, you are instantly offered a new one, so you are actually re-teaching your hero and lose absolutely nothing ;) ).

Still, everything depends on the spells you'll get. And with the Demon campaign it can be really frustrating.


Agrael is in campaign. That means he is the only hero that really matters. And the demon campaign is mostly played as a single hero.

In some scenarios (eg a Large map) the Mentor perk is amazing for training an entire stable of assistant heroes. Agrael isn't going to need more than 1 or 2 assistants, and in the maps he fights, he wont have enough troops to pass around to have strong assistant armies marching around.
Last edited by cjlee on Oct 2 2016, 16:44, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: CJlee's Replay of the Official Campaigns using H5.5 mod.

Postby Steven Aus » Oct 2 2016, 23:02

If you'd got Advanced Dark Magic and the Spirit Link perk (which allows you to link to any single friendly or enemy stack at a time and get 1 Mana for every 25 damage done to that unit) you would have been able to regenerate mana. That would be contingent on getting Master of Pain perk (which is the prerequisite for Spirit Link) after Basic Dark Magic.

Also, H5.5 was designed for balance with ARMG maps rather than with the original campaigns, so if you can still beat the campaigns, it is a bonus. The balance of H5.5 is not best determined by playing the official campaigns which were made for completely different conditions.

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Re: CJlee's Replay of the Official Campaigns using H5.5 mod.

Postby cjlee » Oct 3 2016, 3:07

Steven Aus wrote:If you'd got Advanced Dark Magic and the Spirit Link perk (which allows you to link to any single friendly or enemy stack at a time and get 1 Mana for every 25 damage done to that unit) you would have been able to regenerate mana. That would be contingent on getting Master of Pain perk (which is the prerequisite for Spirit Link) after Basic Dark Magic.

Also, H5.5 was designed for balance with ARMG maps rather than with the original campaigns, so if you can still beat the campaigns, it is a bonus. The balance of H5.5 is not best determined by playing the official campaigns which were made for completely different conditions.


I should keep stressing that I am still in high overall praise of the v5.5 mod. Can't let my campaign annoyances overshadow the awesome work these guys did.

Campaigns maps are specifically designed scenarios and often are not representative of the battles you fight in multiplayer. For instance the scenarios deliberately barred Agrael from getting high level Dark magic, and forced him to use a non inferno army for crap morale. Once I missed my chance to get high level summoning magic, I was stuck with Light Magic. And now Frenzy only works on your own creatures. :(

Oh yes, I did get master of pain but after that I was never offered Spirit Link. Sometimes it is just the luck of the draw. But clearly it doesn't work like Consume Corpse did back in vanilla H5. You got offered Consume Corpse a lot.

That said, I still stand on my comments on the Sorcerer hero class. This is a damn sucky class. One of the objectives of the v5.5 mod was to get over the limitations and imbalances with the h5 vanilla. But I just don't see how an Inferno Sorcerer can take down a swift striking, offensive Might hero like the v5.5 Sylvan Ranger Wyngaal. You have the stats of a H5 vanilla Warlock, but you don't have empowered spells or irresistible magic or elemental chaining which adds to attacks.

H5 did it by giving the Dungeon faction/ Warlocks strong creatures with high HP like the MInotaurs, regenerating creatures like the Hydras, and invisible creature abilities so that creatures can vanish while you blast away with spells. But an Inferno Sorcerer has the same stats without the faction power ups or suitably lasting creatures.

Sure I won my battles against Wyngaal eventually. Human vs AI, of course I win. But I'm not betting that the Inferno Sorcerer is a very popular class for use in multiplayer. Ultimately in every complex game there are going to be match ups that are very hard to balance. With 24 classes you get 24x24=576 possible combos for a human player matchup.

I did a quick word search on google and came up with this. http://heroescommunity.com/viewthread.p ... enumber=30
Turns out Wyngaal is an Avenger who has the same 0.5% initiative bonus per level as Agrael. No wonder he was so hard to kill relative to the real Objective of the map, which was to kill Gilraen. I had no problems with Gilraen, never even noticed whether he was a Might, Magic, or Balanced hero.

but this makes me somewhat more concerned. What if it was not Agrael with his Aura of Swiftness in the field, but the v5.5 Biara or some other Sorcerer? She would be 'Chosen of Chaos', getting a mere +1 luck as her specialty. That is peanuts compared with an enemy who gets 10% more initiative by level 20. If I was playing v5.5 Multiplayer Biara against Wyngaal, even if my opponent offered me a starting bonus of Golden Horseshoe or for me to start with Advanced Luck, I won't take it. Her luck bonus would only give her an edge in the first two weeks or so, after which she increasingly falls behind Wyngaal.

Heroes v5.5 had the very specific objective to balance the heroes. Many people hated the vanilla H5 Wyngaal because his Swift Striker specialty was too strong. I wonder how many people still feel the same about v5.5 Wyngaal.

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Re: CJlee's Replay of the Official Campaigns using H5.5 mod.

Postby magnomagus » Oct 6 2016, 12:47

Hello Cjlee,

Thank you for your extensive report, as you already seem to be aware of this mod was originally designed for multiplayer maps/RMG maps. The biggest problem is that AI coder Quantomas worked on a different source code that lacks a lot of script commands of 3.1 causing bugs in the campaign. I have fixed a lot of them but have not found the issue with C1m5. some people seem to pass this mission others don't. Can you be more specific about what exactly happened before game breaking bug occured.

I think I should recommend people to play campaigns on lowest difficulty because on top of AI improvements in H5 all hero specs were totally IMBA in the campaign.

Also town and dwelling conversion is not supposed to be enabled when playing campaign, therefore your dwelling issues. See article on moddb about switching this on and off.

The artifact merchant bug should be exclusive to the map you were playing = script conflict, can you tell me on which map this was.

i believe last issues with sack of endless gold were fixed in version RC8b, likely a script conflict with new day trigger (sometimes used in campaign scripts)

The haven training issue shows clearly H5 was originally balanced with the campaigns in mind (while not caring about multiplayer balance), so now it is turned around and i cannot make it both ways without redesigning the campaign maps.

I would like to stress the sorcerer class is not sucky. In fact destructive and occultism have the highest possible chance to appear and I never had any issues getting them quickly when playing in multiplayer. I cannot rule out however the class suffers in the campaign.

Wyngaals special was nerfed in H5.5 I think his imbaness is a campaign exclusive issue and has to do with his army size. also note his special only works in first turn after that he has no bonus whatsoever.

I agree with you about the gems btw, but the classic gem mod was very popular so after some texture improvements I decided to keep it.
Last edited by magnomagus on Oct 6 2016, 12:59, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: CJlee's Replay of the Official Campaigns using H5.5 mod.

Postby cjlee » Oct 6 2016, 19:29

Hi Magnomagnus

Thanks for your interest and your kind reply! So I will continue with my feedback from playing the campaigns. I am fully aware that the 5.5 mod is not designed with the campaigns in mind, so I'm just trying to see how these things play out and also so that you have some detailed understanding of how the scripts are affected.

Haven faction Map 5: I was forced to cheat my way past it due to Map Completed not triggering.

Inferno faction: I was able to get through the whole thing without cheating.
Wyngaal was ridiculously hard in Map 3 The Conquest. Then I met him again in Map 4 The Ship, and it was another totally different Wyngaal. He was still described as Ranger, but had attack of 1 and defense of 13. And more importantly, he was behind castle walls. Once you have something like that, human player rules the AI.
I got my Sorcerer through to map 5 using Light Magic and without destructive magic. I am still extremely ambivalent about my chances of a Sorcerer beating an equal human Might opponent with a fast army. I do not think Sorcerers do well with a Demon army. Most magic heroes either need a large HP pool or have high defense in their armies. The Sorcerer focuses on attack and spellpower.

Necropolis campaign was seriously bugged.

Map 1 The Temptation: known bugs - none of the enemy heroes on the surface move.
Map 2 The Attack: known bugs - the enemy is supposed to attack you or Godric in your town, but they never do. They just wander about meaninglessly.
Map 3 The Invasion: known bugs - again your island home is supposed to come under attack from the sea, but it never happens. A secondary Sylvan fleet is supposed to attack your island home, but it just spends the entire game wandering the seas.
On land, you do get attacked quite a lot. AI proved quite capable of using the Sanctuary to hide inside, launching commando raids on your towns by land and sea and portal, etc.
Map 3 is notorious for bugs because of the complexity of the scripts. EG you are supposed to convert towns by cursing them. A lot of unexpected things happened, with the result that I managed to kill everything and gather 1000 skeletons and 20 spectral dragons but still could not complete the map.

After cheating my way to get past map 3, I found my Markal totally screwed up in Map 4. He had no artifacts and very few troops.
Not sure what to do now. Map 3 was too draining for me to want to play this ever again using the H5.5 original.exe. And if I am going to replay Map 3, might as well replay map 1 and 2, because I have no Dark Magic and no Spirit Link. (It seems Mark of the Necromancer is no longer around in v5.5.)
Last edited by cjlee on Oct 7 2016, 3:05, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: CJlee's Replay of the Official Campaigns using H5.5 mod.

Postby magnomagus » Oct 7 2016, 0:53

Ok, so just to be clear, these bug reports are from when you played the maps with the regular exe file NOT utility.exe?

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Re: CJlee's Replay of the Official Campaigns using H5.5 mod.

Postby cjlee » Oct 7 2016, 3:10

Yes, bug reports are with regular exe not the utility exe.

I am thinking of replaying the Necromancer campaign with the utility exe. Should I? Thanks to my usual poor luck in leveling up, I would up with an amazingly ridiculous Necromancer.

My Markal at level 26 has expert logistics with snatch and expert leadership with Lord of the Undead perk (but no living troop ever joined him).

He has advanced dark magic but was never offered spirit link or consume corpse so he's just a master of pain.

He has Expert Occultism and Expert Summoning magic. Arcane Armour remains one big joke, but Phantom Image on a huge vampire stack is definitely a winner. Just like it was back in H5.

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Re: CJlee's Replay of the Official Campaigns using H5.5 mod.

Postby cjlee » Oct 7 2016, 3:22

And to give you a more complete discussion…

For C1m5, I don’t know when the game breaking bug occurred or what this bug looks like. I tried playing it twice, but map basically never ended. IE for 2 months after Duncan leaves through the bottom right gate to ‘ask for help’ from Nicolai, nothing happens. The Inferno faction occasionally pumps out a weak hero to invade my territory and flag mines, but that’s it. When I played on Heroes V vanilla a long time ago I remember at some point Nicolai shows up but is ambushed by a superior demon army.

Apart from game breaking bugs, campaigns are so far entirely playable on Impossible. For example although I complained about Wyngaal’s overpowering, I was ultimately able to beat him.

I generally don’t mind losing to AI first time round as a learning lesson. Load and save, change tactics, run and evade, build up forces and level up, then face AI again. It’s all winnable as far as I can see. But I really doubt that it is truly possible to balance 576 possible combinations of hero match ups, or even that it is that desirable.

A sorcerer seems to be played as a glass cannon, and that is a perpetual feature of Inferno. Inferno’s speed is intended to balance their lower HP. Dogs and horses can often strike twice before the enemy moves. And Succubi Mistresses+ Pit Lords can do heck lot of area damage on their first attacks. But if enemy is as fast as Inferno plus Inferno has morale issues, Inferno is doomed. So any Sorcerer Inferno would have been very weak vs Wyngaal Swift Striker Sylvan. Inferno always had problems fighting Sylvan.

Thanks for your explanation about town and dwelling conversion. I don’t know how the script works, but in a small number of dwellings, the conversion worked anyway.

Artifact merchant not working, sorry, I don’t remember which map it was. Should be m1 or m2 of Haven campaign. I think it is a really minor issue.

I have noticed some problems with gold-giving artifacts when Isabel is around. The resource giving artifacts and the troops-summoning/ giving artifacts seem to work fine. Remember that Isabel’s specialty is Suzerain. Estates also does not seem to work with her. Theoretically if estates works with her, she should receive 250 gold a day as a Suzerain, and in H5.5 mod 250 gold + xknowledge as well.

After noticing that Estates did not give Isabel anything extra, I reloaded an earlier save game and continued my campaign. I was merely curious to see how the new mod 5.5 Estates worked. I am not using up a precious skill point for Estates while in campaign!
I agree with you magnomagus. You and your team are wise to balance the hero classes for multiplayer because that’s what most people are playing and will continue to play for the coming years. Yes, Nival designed the balance around the campaigns because that’s what they were working on. I am keen to provide feedback because I like talking about my favourite game, and even if I am complaining that something has become super difficult, it is merely feedback because it illustrates how certain hero classes work.

As the observation I made above shows – Wyngaal was terrifying when meeting him with his blade dancers on open ground. But on a subsequent map when he turned into a defensive hero behind walls, taking him down was easy. Castle walls are probably the biggest nerf a blade dancer can have (and Teleport Assault probably the best spell for blade dancers).

You’re right in your observation about Wyngaal’s imbalance being due to army size. Normally when I fight, I just use a brief observation about the level 6 and 7 units to guess how many weeks’ worth of troops there are in the enemy army. But in the Inferno campaign, Wyngaal (and the Sylvan heroes) were marching around with 250 or more blade dancers.

A human player can deal with a scripted AI with an overpowered army by playing defensive or evasive until his own forces grow large enough.

I was initially concerned that a sorcerer could not beat such an enemy army in a pvp matchup. But if it was a human vs human match up, Wyngaal would not have so many blade dancers. Attrition during the leveling up period would have taken the lives of at least half the blade dancers. When I play Sylvan I tend to lose at least 80% of the blade dancers before I get resurrection. The level 6 and 7 units would still be fairly representative of how many weeks has passed, because level 6 and 7 Sylvan really don’t die fast.

A scripted 3 month army would have how many troops the dwelling can produce during the time it takes to build the dwelling and wait for 3 months.

A realistic 3 month army would probably have the same number of treants and dragons, because most human players don’t lose them while creeping neutrals. But this 3 month army would never have more than 6 weeks of blade dancers because it is almost impossible to keep blade dancers alive before you get Resurrection. If this player is like me, he will have just 3 weeks of blade dancers because I tend to sacrifice blade dancers to keep the ranged attackers alive.

So a human playing the glass cannon sorcerer with a 3 month army, would not be meeting another human player with Swift Striker and a 3 month army of blade dancers. The Swift Striker would have realistically 3 months of Treants but only a few weeks of blade dancers. His ability to strike hard and fast will not be as overpowered as I initially feared. He would inflict great hurt on the Glass Cannon, exactly as expected, after which the Glass Cannon retaliates with spells that even the odds. Even a Light Magic Sorcerer can deal with this. His troops will be able to survive the first blade dancer mass attack, after which h5.5 mod Mass Haste adds 30+% to initiative.
Last edited by cjlee on Oct 7 2016, 3:28, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: CJlee's Replay of the Official Campaigns using H5.5 mod.

Postby magnomagus » Oct 7 2016, 14:20

Alright i have found the issue with C1M5 and was able to fix it. 3.1 hero move commands work differently.

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Re: CJlee's Replay of the Official Campaigns using H5.5 mod.

Postby cjlee » Oct 8 2016, 15:35

It's awesome magnomagus, but you really don't need to do all that. As I have stressed I am not complaining- just sharing my experiences. The only things that might need tweaking would be reports of game balance. However as I also realized and stated above, the Wyngaal problem was really in the size of his scripted army by Nival rather than any problem with the h5.5 team. I tend to assume an army size based on a quick look at the tier 6 and 7 units, but Wyngaal had way too many blade dancers than a real human player would have. So I made the mistake of assuming a Sylvan Ranger hero was way too powerful vs a Sorcerer in h5.5.

I cheated my way past the Necromancer campaign after noticing a bunch of scripting problems with being attacked by enemy heroes. Their campaign map 3 was affected by some kind of game breaking bug and couldn't end despite me meeting all the criteria.

Below is a report from my playing of the Warlock campaign.

Map 1: no issues
Map 2: too easy because the Soulscar army is unable to show up/ their pathing or movement scripts got messed up. I had deliberately let their messengers go past so that I could see whether the scripted pathing worked - and it didn't. Also by standing right at the crossroads with a weak army, I was able to see that the messengers were scripted to make a beeline for the exits without attacking anything on the way.

Map 3 is near-unwinnable on Impossible v5.5. In 5.0 Maltz recommended getting resurrection, and he was totally right. I could not beat the map on 5.0 hard without resurrection, but could win it on 5.0 Heroic with resurrection.

The 5.5 mod has changed the spells you get in the mage vaults and dragon vaults. This mod is intended to make the multiplayer fair to all parties, and it is perfectly sensible. But in the context of playing the official campaigns on the 5.5 mod, it makes it impossible for Raelag to learn Resurrection and Summon Phoenix.

The 5.5 mod has changed the Dungeon spell schools to Dark+Destructive. That means no more summoning. On v5.5, you can only fight this map using Dark or Destructive magic. Because v5.5 nerfed Frenzy to work only on your own troops, you can't hide in your castle and Frenzy the enemy's Blood Furies or Cerberus to kill their own side.

Further more the v5.5 mod has given Might heroes the ability to learn Armourer, Counterspell and other skills that greatly increase magic resistance. That is awesome for multiplayer gaming, but means this campaign just got far harder than its makers intended. When playing this on 5.5, all enemy might heroes made effective use of counterspell. I had to cast 'expensive' spells several times (Empowered Armageddon) in order to drain the enemy mana from counterspell, before I was finally was able to make my spells work. For might heroes attacking castles guarded by spellcasters, I think Counterspell is the best spell to use. It buys time to protect the besieging army until the walls are breached. Thank you, Magnomagus and the h5.5 team. Now it is actually possible for a might hero to attack a spellcaster and not suffer horrendous losses in the first turn.

Typically there was at least one breach in the castle walls by the time the enemy's counterspell mana was drained - and the blood furies were already making the best use of this breach.

I did notice that the 5.5 mod did not solve the problem of idiot blood furies. When playing Heroes V, the moat works to force everyone to stop inside it. This means blood furies will always have to stand in the moat for 1 turn.

In 5.0, Blood furies would do the dumb thing - stand in the moat for 1 turn, attack, then return to the moat. This means they both block their allies from entering through the same breach in the castle, and also wind up standing in a place that hurts them. I would certainly recommend that you, Magnomagus, look into it because solving this problem is good for H5.5 AI. I suggest making the AI choose 'non hurtful' positions for blood furies to stand. (In h5.0 if you cast firewall on enemy blood furies while you have some troops within range, they would also attack your troops and then go back to stand in the firewall.) While you are looking into tweaking the AI for blood furies, I suggest choosing AI for them to stand in the most strategic position - right in the middle of the enemy ranged attackers.

If the scripted pathing worked on h5.5 and the Demons were able to attack me with their vast armies of Imps plus the counterspell ability, I would have been a goner with summons, dogs and horses running amuck in my castle.

My Raelag started this map with 7 skill points allocated to Summoning Magic and Light magic+ their perks. With no way to get light magic or summoning magic. Shadya had 4 wasted skill points on Light magic+perk.

Under such conditions it is truly impossible to survive this map. So I opened the cheat console.

I do not know how to use cheat console to lose skills, and I could not use it to add Enlightenment either because Raelag already had 6 skills. However, since I never used Light or Summoning magic (and didn't have the spells anyway), I had to simulate swapping out Light and Summoning for Enlightenment. So I cheated by adding 5 to Spellpower and 5 to Knowledge at the start of Week 3. That is when Raelag is level 20, so would get 6 points added to his stats if I had Expert Enlightenment instead of Expert Light Magic.

The remaining 4 points were added to his knowledge to simulate getting Intelligence as a perk of Enlightenment.

I found it hard to get through this map without using the cheat console to simulate getting enlightenment instead of light magic. And that was without the Demons invading. If Magnomagus is ever to solve the pathing/ movement scripts, he will also need to nerf the demons a bit to make them manageable. Thanks to his own team making the AI smarter and more balanced, human players won't survive this campaign map from AI spawned attacks.
Last edited by cjlee on Oct 8 2016, 18:10, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: CJlee's Replay of the Official Campaigns using H5.5 mod.

Postby parcaleste » Oct 9 2016, 10:14

cjlee wrote:... I do not know how to use cheat console to lose skills...

Just open your Hero screen with the skills, enable the cheats (Shift+`) and unlearn all the skills you want, but be warned - it totally works like a Memory Mentor so better have some money! You will learn that unlearning different skills will unlock other skills, that you actually wanted to learn and not this pesky Basic Combat (for example) with your Sorcerer.

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Re: CJlee's Replay of the Official Campaigns using H5.5 mod.

Postby cjlee » Oct 9 2016, 10:28

OK, so I cheated my way past the last mission of the Dungeon campaign. Nothing that I can't handle, but it was too boring to fight the same inferno lineups battle after battle, casting essentially the same few spells every time, then making the same trip to a mana well, and coming back for more.

Now in the first map of the Sylvan campaign on Impossible H5.5.

In the original H5.0 we are advised in Maltz's walkthroughs to go for Expert Light magic and to get the spell resurrection from mage vaults. Having played 5.0 Sylvan campaigns on Heroic and Hard, I concur. On Hard, it is super hard/ near unwinnable to play without resurrection. On Heroic, it is manageable with resurrection.

Playing this map, I went for the same standard skills that I do on big single scenario maps - maxing logistics and light magic - before realizing that I just painted myself into a corner. The H5.5 mod does away with granting spells at mage vaults. You get a scroll that you can pass to someone else (but not carry to the next map) instead. And I don't get resurrection. So I have Expert Light Magic, but no way to learn resurrection on this map because the mage guilds are max level 2.

And some more the Sylvan heroes have been greatly changed in the H5.5 mod. Sylvan used to be high in defense and knowledge. So we all got used to going for expert avenger, imbue arrow, rain of arrows, followed by destructive magic and either master of lightening or master of ice. Either perk would allow our hero, on every turn, to fire three times at his favourite enemies - and delay their turns while inflicting spell damage on all 3. This is like the Standard Basic Ranger build on H5.0.

On h5.5, you now have far more options. But the ranger has been turned into a near-barbarian, with all his skill points in attack and barely any skill points in defense, spellpower and knowledge. His mana can't hold up firing Rain of Arrows. I have invested heavily in a bunch of skills (Light magic, Logistics, Imbue Arrow and Rain of Arrows) that are pretty useless.

The H5 Sylvan campaign was designed to be defense-heavy in the first few maps and all-out attack in the last map. The H5.5 mod has turned that upside down, so logically I will have to work out an alternate hero build.

I will probably have to replay this map, we'll see. H5.5 has many options, and I have never explored them with a Ranger hero before. Their new Combat skills (and the associated perks) may be excellent for playing a defense-oriented map like this one. The H5.5 guys have really created a different type of Ranger hero to play with...


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