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

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Postby jeff » Aug 1 2006, 17:22

stijn wrote:i think all homm ai's have cheated, i know for sure the h2 ai cheated, and the ai can cheat all they want imho, cause the ai will never be able to outsmart a good player


Unlike some others this has never been a concern of mine, all the way back to Master of Orion and their fleets of 32,000+ ships (ever try and build that many) and before the AI has had to cheat to compete. The AI improvements should concentrate on decision making, leaving untouched unprotected artifacts, resources, dwelling, etc. As far as giving the AI extra resources, creatures that is an irritant to some, but it currently is the most used AI boost mapmakers use right now. As you said no current computer program running on PCs at a reasonable price is going to compete for long against a good opponent without some ‘unfair’ help.
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Postby Ethric » Aug 1 2006, 17:26

A cheating AI is necessary to keep up the challenge on higher difficulties. But there should also be difficulties where it doesn't cheat, where it simply tries to do it's best within the same ruleset the player follows. Don't know if this is the case in H5 though. But it should be, IMO.

As for the original post, sure there have been a fair bit of whining and unconstructive critiscism. But your argumentation for not complaining does seem to be based on you thinking it is an "outstanding game", with a few glitches and points to improve. While someone like me, who thinks the game is really quite awful except for a few positive highlights, will be more inclined to complain. And those in the first category will be more inclined to see critiscism as unnecessary and unjustified, where those in the second category will see a valid complaint that really can't be repeated enough.

Any complaint that keeps a reasonably civil tone and provides reason for the complaint (and even better, some thoughts on how it should have been done) is good in my book. As long as it is in the proper place, of course. The only real problem I've seen in this forum (the only HoMM forum I care to frequent, so can't speak for others) is a tendency for some people to try to hijack a thread by complaining in it about things that doesn't have much to do with the threads intent.
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Postby thecheese » Aug 1 2006, 17:32

In my opinion, a cheating AI is only necessary on the hardest of difficulties, forcing the player to surpass what is conventional, forcing them to churn out the absolute best tactics to overcome guaranteed-to-be odds that aren't in your favor.

In H5, they did it backwards. The AI cheats on all difficulties, but only employs any real tactics to go with it on the highest level of difficulty.

So when it's on easy, Necro_comp goes "ololol green dragons f34r m4h sk3l3s!!!1 ^____________^" and owns that neutral stack like Cheney owns faces. Then you meet him with your army that has progressed past the stupidily-assigned tier 2 barrier the AI holds, and you flick him with your Titan and he's done.

Shouldn't be that way.

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Postby Caradoc » Aug 1 2006, 17:58

Grumpy Old Wizard wrote:I've played through all the campaigns and maps and have had a good time. :) Thats the way I judge a game...is it fun.

This is the best looking heroes game too. The graphics are great.

I would heartily recommend the game to anyone who has not bought it yet. The editor will be released soon and then we'll have more maps to play. The best maps have always been made by fans.

GOW


Once again, GOW and I are on the same page. It's the play that matters. All I would add is that the product we have now should be an excellent platform for future enhancements -- more factions, more creatures, more treasures, and of course more maps.
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Postby thecheese » Aug 1 2006, 18:33

I agree that what Heroes 5 needs now is time. It has a crapload of potential, but very little outside of the basics right now. I guess it just sucks that they deemed this worthy of going gold.

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Postby DaemianLucifer » Aug 1 2006, 19:01

atma6 wrote:Its probably best to ignore DL and TT as all they seem to be able to do is whine about the game in an endless loop.


Yes,riiight.Saying "Good points are:...;Bad points are:....Those can be fixed by:....." is just whining in an endless loop,while saying "This game is great,period!" is constructive criticism.I respect when someone explains their opinions,even if they are contrary to mine(like the original OliverFA's post).

As for the AI,saying that it will never think as human is a bit rash in the era of cybernetics.And there is a big difference between a slight boost to the AI,and giving it endless gold.

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Postby OliverFA » Aug 1 2006, 19:08

Ethric wrote:As for the original post, sure there have been a fair bit of whining and unconstructive critiscism. But your argumentation for not complaining does seem to be based on you thinking it is an "outstanding game", with a few glitches and points to improve. While someone like me, who thinks the game is really quite awful except for a few positive highlights, will be more inclined to complain. And those in the first category will be more inclined to see critiscism as unnecessary and unjustified, where those in the second category will see a valid complaint that really can't be repeated enough.

Any complaint that keeps a reasonably civil tone and provides reason for the complaint (and even better, some thoughts on how it should have been done) is good in my book. As long as it is in the proper place, of course. The only real problem I've seen in this forum (the only HoMM forum I care to frequent, so can't speak for others) is a tendency for some people to try to hijack a thread by complaining in it about things that doesn't have much to do with the threads intent.


Hi Ethric :)

I do not say that people shouldn't complain. If only because I do complain myself about several aspects of the game that certainly could have been done better (The overcheating AI and designers almost completely and deliberately ignoring all good things that came with H4 are two samples) I am just against destructive criticism like some people is doing both in this and the official forum. For the same reason, I am against statements saying "everything is wonderful. This game could not be better". If that was true, why are they patching it?

I encourage people to say what they dislike about the game. I just ask them to avoid extreme positions, and to complain in a constructive way. That will help UBI improve the game through patches and expansions and make it a better one (provided they want to listen. But if they are the smart people they seem to be, they will listen).

As an example, in this same thread I have seen very positive critics towards the game, such as GatorG and your own explanations about why the AI cheatings in Heroes V are too much.

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Postby Necaradan666 » Aug 1 2006, 23:51

jeff wrote:Unlike some others this has never been a concern of mine, all the way back to Master of Orion and their fleets of 32,000+ ships (ever try and build that many) and before the AI has had to cheat to compete. The AI improvements should concentrate on decision making, leaving untouched unprotected artifacts, resources, dwelling, etc. As far as giving the AI extra resources, creatures that is an irritant to some, but it currently is the most used AI boost mapmakers use right now. As you said no current computer program running on PCs at a reasonable price is going to compete for long against a good opponent without some ‘unfair’ help.



At my old haunt on another games modding boards (infinity engine) it has always been a mission to make mods that do not go outside the rules of the game but provide a suitable challenge for even veteran players. That is the difference between a bad AI and a good AI. A worthy AI is competent at playing the game without cheating while the bad AI needs the cheats to give you a challenge. Lets not support the coders writing bad AI by saying cheating is OK

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Postby Caradoc » Aug 2 2006, 0:45

Let's step back and think about what we really want in an AI. If the idea is to simulate a human player, then the question is what caliber of player? Would you like to play against Wimfrits every time? Since it is not practical to have several AIs, a good compromise is to have an AI that plays 'normally' against most players and receives advantages or disadvantages for players who are better or worse.

Rather than asking whether the AI plays the same way you do, the question should be does it provide a challenge that is neither too hard nor too easy to take the fun out of the game. If the AI puts up a good fight, you have a good game.

Now this is not to say that an AI may not be well calibrated for different map sizes and styles, so that it may be necessary to compensate for the weakness of the AI in the design of the map. As we found in Heroes IV, a sharp mapmaker could create an entertaining, challenging game despite the weakness of the AI.

Unless the reason you play is to prove you are smarter than a computer program, it really shouldn't matter how the AI operates. (And if you think you might be, please take a shot at Chess.) Once you understand the behavior of the computer players, you can set your strategy accordingly.

Of course, if complaining brings you some satisfaction, by all means complain. It's probably not going to make any difference so ultimately you will need to accept the game as it is or move on.
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Postby HodgePodge » Aug 2 2006, 1:03

Outstanding product? Imaginative campaigns? Are we playing the same game here?

I have to admit though, I do have fun playing Heroes 5. Most of the bugs don't effect me personally & the graphics are really good.

But my major dissatisfaction is UbiSoft constantly lying to us, false advertising, broken promises & lack of communication. Even 3DO, in their death throes, was more honest and communicated with their fan/customer base more than UbiSoft. Enough said!
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Postby Psychobabble » Aug 2 2006, 4:22

I second Oliver, GoW and Caradoc.

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Postby Sir_Toejam » Aug 2 2006, 4:46

Like Lucifer said, all they've really added is the initiative system.


whaaa? Homm V adds as many changes to the Homm series as equilibrus did! actually, even more.

in addition to the initiative system:

-new skills
-totally new way skills interact
-feats (not the same as skills)
-new and modified creatures
-mostly new artifacts
-dynamic battle mode
-new spells and empowered spells
-elemental chaining, hellfire, etc.
-several other things I'm sure I'm forgettting..

and the major thing:

It's no longer 2D sprite based graphics! It's a totally new, fully 3D engine, with zoom and rotate and slide, and that alone is a huge undertaking.

No, once the bugs get ironed out (and the patches clearly indicate that they are making progress), this will be a far better game than any of the other HoMMs, and I've played them all, and all the expansions, and the fan based mods like Equilibrus.

Yes, some of the storyline and strategic elements need a bit of work, but really, for a first release, it ain't bad.

to answer the question:

HoMM3 vs. HoMM 5?

no question, I could never go back to HoMM 3 after playing this.

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Postby asandir » Aug 2 2006, 5:18

Hullo all,

Now i am all in favour of everyone having their say, and if you care to check my early posts i was effusive in my praise, and (god help me) I even sent Muad'dib a PM saying how wonderful I thought ubi were for resurrecting this great game and making it enjoyable.

Now i will not argue that the game is enjoyable, it is.

My problem lies much along the lines of hodgepodge's, in that it is disgraceful for ubival to produce a PATCH that breaks stuff, it's called testing people, you now EXACTLY the areas you are "fixing" so you know exactly what to check to make sure you didn't get it wrong, and if you did, fix your mistake(s) immediately.

The other problem is the "new" maps. I don't even have a word for how utterly disgusting that was. To treat the fans with such utter contempt is beyond low. But that is as much as I care to discuss that.

Suffice to say it is the "support" I have an issue with, the game, with good support, could become great .... with what has been provided so far, it lacks. Please, oh please, ubival, learn from this and give us the support we deserve after spending the money on this game. I don't care if it takes an extra month, or two or three, just make the editor great, the patches great, and an great expansion. Then you will deserve my money, and all the others as well.

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Postby shabbit » Aug 2 2006, 7:27

Caradoc wrote:Let's step back and think about what we really want in an AI. If the idea is to simulate a human player, then the question is what caliber of player? Would you like to play against Wimfrits every time? Since it is not practical to have several AIs, a good compromise is to have an AI that plays 'normally' against most players and receives advantages or disadvantages for players who are better or worse.

Rather than asking whether the AI plays the same way you do, the question should be does it provide a challenge that is neither too hard nor too easy to take the fun out of the game. If the AI puts up a good fight, you have a good game.


The AI's inability to change its play severely limits the replayability factor of the game. And simply stating that "it is not practical" to have several AI's is a fallacy; Galactic Civilizations II pulled this off on a much smaller budget.

That being said, I believe that Nival simply copped and released the game early. It has the hallmark of an excellent Heroes-quality game; it just hasn't gotten there yet.

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Postby wimfrits » Aug 2 2006, 7:48

Caradoc wrote:Would you like to play against Wimfrits every time?


No! Wimfrits cheats! :D

I agree with the persons saying to 'walk the middle road', and in particular with Oliver's post. I think there's no point in either sanctifying or flaming H5.
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Postby Jolly Joker » Aug 2 2006, 8:08

I'm sure this has been said more than once, but for the AI a difference has to be made between the campaign/scenario AI and the so-called mp or FFA maps.
The campaign/scenario AI is very restricted. The reason for this is, that it is scripted to do or not do certain things to make sure the story is followed. In a way this develops like an adventure game where all participants have to follow a certain path to make the story unfold. A simple example would be the task to beat a certain hero and take a certain town starting from scratch while said town/hero is already fully developed. Sure, if the AI was on its own it could come and conquer you immediately, but that wouldn't make any sense.
Consequently, if playing a campaign or SP mission, things will always and necessarily follow a certain path - which is indeed bad for the replayability, but it's the price to pay for a continous story that builds on certain events taking place.
Something else completely are the so-called MP or FFA scenarios which of course can be played SP as well - these are the maps with a "free" non-scripted AI that should behave like a real human player.
Now, the easiest (adventure map) "AI" (and that really wouldn't be an AI), would be to cheat a building each day, cheat experience for the hero each day, cheat enough money to buy the creatures each day and stay in the town, waiting for the human player(s) to come. While this would lead to one fight against each AI opponent it would also make for an abysmally dull game. This, however, is not the case with the AI here: it goes for the human player actively and turtles only after it got a beating, to leave the town again, after having massed a new army at least this is my playing experience.
THAT AI puts up a decent enough fight, and the battle AI is not bad either.
Dare I remind you of the completely inapt siege AI in Heroes 3 and the additional creature growth cheat in 2 and 3, that would become immediately obvious when you conquerend an opposing town on day 1?
In a nutshell: the campaign and single scenario AI is simply not there; what you battle is, what the map designers put into your way, and it has indeed more to do with a puzzle to solve - the single scenarios are certainly not easy to solve, the Raven map is a killer, for example.
But the real "play" takes place on the MP maps like War of the Worlds, Warlords and so on. Try, for example, Neighbours on a hard setting (not to mention heroic) and tell me it's no fun!
Lastly, for GalCiv 2, please. You cannot compare them. Think about it. In GC2 you have a FIXED tech tree. Furthermore, as a game designer you designed that tech tree with a purpose and you know it inside out. It is NOT very difficult to program some research patterns for a race to follow, for example: research a certain string of war techs, build ships and play aggressively, or go for industrial power and produce starbases and so on. It isn't difficult at all in this game to "construct" different behaviour making it very "personal" looking. But that's just not possible with a game like Heroes.
There was this Explorer, Warrior, Builder thing, but I never had the impression that it made a big difference. In Heroes V it makes even less difference, because there isn't much to get EASILY on the maps; you need to fight for everything, so Explorer is plain silly, especially because the only benefit to be garnered from there, is available as a cheat for the AI anyway. And Warrior and Builder, well it's both, or didn't you notice after capturing enemy towns that they are well-built? And it does fight as well.
That leaves grabbing things. Yes. I support that. Please program the AI to pick up at least artifacts and chests after beating a neutral stack, and flag its mines. It looks a lot better.

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Postby Braxen » Aug 2 2006, 8:50

This post (the first one on the thread) was one of the best I´ve read on these forums.

I´m so SICK and TIRED of the whiners who just complain about probably EVERYTHING in their life. This sucks, that sucks, yaddayaddayadda..

Sell your copy or remove it from your harddrive since you´ve probably downloaded it and go play some other game that fits your negative mood just right.

Stop pestering the forums with your lousy attitude and contribute with some constructive critisism.

I myself am extremely grateful for Ubi and Nival for making a quality product (not perfect but very good) and giving us a new Heroes game.

How do you think they feel about making expansions or Homm6 with people like you whiners complaining about everything they do?

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Postby Meandor » Aug 2 2006, 10:33

All i wanted was decent campaign. After Necro campaign i said to myself "enough of this crap". I can`t understand people which say "it`s decent, it`s great, it`s best in all homm games", they either are playing with "Everything in H5 is great" glasses or it`s their first story which they trie to read and understand.
Years or more ago i played Warlords IV, that was pure crap. For those ho haven`t played it- it was game were bat with vampiric ability(one of the weakest units in the game) could defeat dragon(one of the strongest unit in the game) if he got lucky. After that game i started to hate games which involve a great deal of luck. And what H5 has? It`s more luck dependant than any previous HoMM game.

And yes, i don`t play H5 anymore.

Stop pestering the forums with your lousy attitude and contribute with some constructive critisism.


DL and TT does that.
...

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Postby asandir » Aug 2 2006, 10:53

there are certainly some opposing views around, and that is all to the good I say .... most of the criticism I have seen is fairly constructive, or at least not destructive, plus in a lot of cases justified

the people who have issues have as much right to complain as do the happy people to extol its virtues

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Postby Ethric » Aug 2 2006, 11:58

OliverFA wrote:I encourage people to say what they dislike about the game. I just ask them to avoid extreme positions, and to complain in a constructive way.


Yeah that is important, I agree. But then you get comments like:

Braxen wrote:This post (the first one on the thread) was one of the best I´ve read on these forums.

I´m so SICK and TIRED of the whiners who just complain about probably EVERYTHING in their life. This sucks, that sucks, yaddayaddayadda..

Sell your copy or remove it from your harddrive since you´ve probably downloaded it and go play some other game that fits your negative mood just right.

Stop pestering the forums with your lousy attitude and contribute with some constructive critisism.

I myself am extremely grateful for Ubi and Nival for making a quality product (not perfect but very good) and giving us a new Heroes game.

How do you think they feel about making expansions or Homm6 with people like you whiners complaining about everything they do?


Which goes to show that the being unconstructive is not only a feature of a few of those who complain. So I hope that everyone is able to grasp the message that comments should be constructive, both the complainers and those who disagree with the complaint.
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