How does the V AI compare to the AI in III?
Adventure - H3 is better, simply because H5 :
1) Almost never flees from battle, thus losing its best heroes.
2) Becomes passive after ~2 month.
3) Too often ignores mines & chests.
4) Its designed to lose.
Battle - I guess equal. Actualy H5 Battle AI could be better, but sometimes it does very stupid things. Especially in 1.5 as I heard.
He's kidding again.
Basically I'd say this.
Compared with H 3 in H 5 there is no adventure AI. Instead there are cheating routines that will allow the AI to make your life difficult. The overall impression is that there is no "person" behind it and not much "playing". The cheats make sure, though, that the AI will be an opponent no matter what on the higher diffs.
Compared with H 5 there is no battle AI in H 3. I always found the H 3 battle AI extremely lacking, even bad - a LOT worse than that in H 2. If you ever saw an AI opponent with expert Tactics try to sort its formation when defending a town with a moat and destroy half his army (virtually) in the process by placing and replacing stacks on moat hexes you know what I mean. The battle AI in H 5 is ALOT better.
So for me this compares favorably for H 5: H 3 creates the IMPRESSION of a good game (with a seemingly human-like "playing" adventure AI), but the final battles, if any, are a disappointment 19 out of 20 times.
IN H 5 the AI does NOT create this impression. Instead it's more like a greedy dumb-rich bully that can afford most everything it wants and therefore is powerful. However, a promising fight will keep that promise most of the time.