Missing the Map Editor

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

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Psychobabble
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Missing the Map Editor

Postby Psychobabble » Aug 12 2006, 4:31

I'm sure I'm not the only one in this situation. I really enjoyed the campaign, but there's only so much life in them and I have a very limited tolerance for replaying maps. When this happened to me with H4 it was no problem because 3-4 months after the game was released custom maps started rolling off the conveyor belt. Some of the early ones, like Allies, were fairly simplistic but they got more advanced and enjoyable as people figured out the map editor (eg. dark forest). But not so here, I'm done with the single player game (including a sampling of the less than inspiring single scenario maps)

Ubi/Fabrice's argument that people don't want fan made maps right on release is definitely correct, but it misses the point that fans won't be able to get their head around the map editor and start producing maps the day patch 1.3 is released, either. In the mean time I think that a lot of people who aren't particularly committed to the game will drift to other things, reducing the audience for the inevitable xpack. I hope not, but that's the way I see it...

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Postby Caradoc » Aug 12 2006, 5:01

Right. The lateness of the map editor reveals the developer's profound misunderstanding of the reasons for the game's success. Heroes was among the first games where players could create new, complete scenarios. And Heroes is a game that is as much about the scenario as the heroes and their armies. Where games like Doom and Diablo are more about guns and monsters, in Heroes locations and adventure objects are a big part of the game.

For casual players, the constant flow of new material keeps the game fresh and makes it a better value. To serious players, mapmaking offers a way to deepen the experience. To everyone, the sharing of maps helps create a community where players can get to know each other beyond just finding online opponents.

If they had been smart, they would have done the editor properly to begin with and made a limited release to experienced mapmakers. This would have gotten them good feedback on the product and also jumpstarted the mapmaking process. By now there would be dozens of maps to play and the developers could concentrate on the expansion.

I'm sorry to say, that I have found that many 'pros' in this business tend to treat people like us with disdain. They belittle our work, I think, because they are insecure within their own world and feel threatened by what we do. I don't know that this is the situation at Nival, but it is apparent that user-made maps are not considered an important facet of the game. And you can't blame this entirely on marketing.
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Postby Psychobabble » Aug 12 2006, 5:05

Caradoc wrote:I'm sorry to say, that I have found that many 'pros' in this business tend to treat people like us with disdain. They belittle our work, I think, because they are insecure within their own world and feel threatened by what we do.

The H4 map-makers should certainly feel threatened by what unpaid map-maker's did :). There isn't a single H4 map (campaign or otherwise) which comes close to displaying the creativity and skill (not to mention gameplay!) of the best user made maps. I hope it will be the same with H5 one day, and that will depend on how powerful the tool they eventually supply is and how many potential map-makers are still interested in the game when it is released.

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Postby Sir_Toejam » Aug 12 2006, 5:20

There isn't a single H4 map (campaign or otherwise) which comes close to displaying the creativity and skill (not to mention gameplay!) of the best user made maps.


I couldn't agree more. i spent an order of magnitude more time playing custom scenarios and campaigns for H4 than i did the original campaigns and expansions combined.

some games, like NWN, started off with the idea that fan made mods would end up being most of the content, and boy did that pay off.

maybe someday publishers will figure this out, and listen to what the devs try to tell them.

*sigh*

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Postby Paradox » Aug 12 2006, 21:25

ive already got bored of the game and drifted away to Titan Quest, which DID come with a world editor..and have started making my own custom worlds.. much more fun than playing boring, small, stale maps that came with H5 :)

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Postby Caradoc » Aug 12 2006, 21:46

One thing is certain: they will have to get the map editor right the first time. To attract mapmakers, they need a tool that is powerful, easy to use, and does not put constraints on the mapmaker's imagination.

If the editor fails to gain immediate acceptance, the mapmakers will not produce maps, players will wander off, and the whole franchise will collapse.

Mapmakers now have options like NWN, which was designed for modding and for mapmaking. Why should we labor on a game where the developers do not appreciate us enough to provide the kind of tools we need?

What makes me nervous about this is the failure to provide modders with access to what they need to create new artifacts, heroes, and objects. XML makes it easy to expose the settings for things like mana regeneration, but Nival has chosen not to do so. In CIV, there are all sorts of new units, resources, and civilizations made by modders. Can I believe Nival will provide mapmakers with enough control over the game? Say what you will about Heroes IV, the scripting language was damned good.
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Postby LordErtz » Aug 12 2006, 22:57

I've stopped playing HOMM V. I beat the campaign twice. The computer froze on me a few times during the custom maps. And the only thing that will get me to play will be some fine maps from fans. I do not have the skill or patients to make them myself, so unless there is a random map generator, I don't think I'll be playing for a bit now :(

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Postby Grumpy Old Wizard » Aug 12 2006, 23:45

Since UT posted a screenshot of the editor I assume he is playtesting it. Hopefully Ubi/Nival listens to their editor beta testers when they say "this works, this doesn't work, and these are the additional features we need."

As has been pointed out, the fan made content is the lifeblood of the franchise. Nival needs to go to great lenghs to made sure it is powerful and user friendly.

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Postby Alamar » Aug 13 2006, 1:52

Considering that the only 2 manuals that are worth having at all for the game are both fan made I find it inconceivable how anyone would thing that the "maps" for the game would be any different.

Not having a map editor available for the first 3 months of the game is a big mistake ...

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ETA for Map Editor?

Postby bssybeep » Aug 17 2006, 18:05

Any eta for the map editor? Seems like it should of been available by now.

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Postby Ketzal » Aug 17 2006, 21:46

It's being tested now. My guess is that it will like be in one of the next two patches.

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Postby Paradox » Aug 17 2006, 22:15

apparantly, the reason why its taking so lnog is because they want to release it completed and finished in one fell swoop.

so basically, once its released, crashing all the time, and everyone starts finding bugs, dont expect any patches for it.

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Postby Grumpy Old Wizard » Aug 18 2006, 0:35

I believe they stated it would be in the 1.3 patch, hopefully by the end of the month.

GOW

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Postby Ururam Tururam » Aug 18 2006, 6:29

Grumpy Old Wizard wrote:I believe they stated it would be in the 1.3 patch


It was only an unofficial leak.
Your choice to believe in it or not.
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Postby Sir_Toejam » Aug 18 2006, 6:45

heyo UT!

totally OT (hmm, maybe not, considering) but I played several of the maps you've made for the Homm series over the years.

thanks for some great work. I recall having thoroughly enjoyed the "dusk of technics" map for hommIV.

hopefully, we'll see more once they finally release the editor for V.

cheers

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Postby Jolly Joker » Aug 18 2006, 6:59

Here's an excerpt from the 1.3 patch readme file (believe it or not):

Features added:
Map editor (you can find the manual by using the following path: Start -> All Programs -> Ubisoft -> Game Folder (depends on the version) -> H5EditorManual)

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Postby insatiable » Aug 18 2006, 15:25

true- if we dont see editor till october, h5 community (specially online gaming- ToH) will have lost much from it's potential growth. It's still summer, so that kinda saves the day

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Postby asandir » Aug 21 2006, 1:35

It was only an unofficial leak.
Your choice to believe in it or not.


that's hardly encouraging

and JJ .... that's excellent .... um when's that patch coming again? 8|
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Postby WizenedElf » Aug 21 2006, 13:18

I decided to wait until the Editor is released to play HOMM any further. If I lose interest, so be it. The game in it's current state simply isn't worth playing.

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Postby Jolly Joker » Aug 22 2006, 8:11

There's no date, as Fabrice said. They never again will give any specific dates because they simply cannot guarantee to keep to the schedule in advance. At present everyone hopes to get it out in August, but if things are not ready then they won't rush it.


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