Heroes V Impressions: Post yours here

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

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omegaweix
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Postby omegaweix » Jan 29 2006, 0:39

Finally... i played my first game that lasted more than 15 turns because of the other player getting disconnected..... was able to play until i got level 6 creatures before i won (naturally because the enemy player was thrown out :( )....

....and beat me if you want, but the graphics are a good thing!
I was really impressed and certainly wouldn't have sustained those grapples with aprox. 16443 "3 turn games" in a row before playing a longer one if i had to look at untextured polygon models or letters instead of creatures!

I really tried to accept the small battlefield and now i can already "work" with it.... nevertheless, a bigger size wouldn't hurt at all...


....and i missed "mixed" neutral stacks from Heroes 4.... would be more challenging if you could battle e.g. a stack of meele units AND shooters (e.g. magi and golems) to make the fights more sophisticated...
Now, if you got shooters and want to fight slow meele units, it's only a question of time, not of skill or tactics....

....overall, this "long time" experience (nearly 6 hours) improved my view towards the game.... give'em enough time to debug and balance, then i will be able to buy the game blindly (IF it contains a map editor, of course)...

...and Starforce still didn't blast my system... maybe this is a bug worth reporting... one element of the game doesn't work like anticipated :D
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Postby Bandobras Took » Jan 29 2006, 1:22

RK wrote:Takes too long to go around and the long pause before the army moves in exploration mode is laughable. I played 2 turns with my friend, and we simply said forget it, play Duels because it's a less pain in the ass.


I had that problem -- when I was running the beta with on 256 Megs of RAM. Then I actually brought my system up to the minimum specifications (my RAM was the only thing lacking), and the pause before movement disappeared.
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Postby RK » Jan 29 2006, 2:21

Well I'm running it on 1 gb ram. it makes no sense I play Battlefield 2 smoothly at medium detail while this turn based game drained my system resources completely. IMO it's just an un-optimized engine that causes the problem.

I'm rather miffed at the adventuring interface, still am. I can't see exactly tell how far is certain tiles away from my army etc.

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Postby RK » Jan 29 2006, 3:57

some random guy found a bug today.

tele any unit next to the marksman. the marksman will still be able to use his ranged attack with no retaliation. HOWEVER his range bonus will be more than tripled. We're talking 1795 dmg (!) on a titan.

One thousand Seven Hundred Ninety Five.

i got a screenie lemme post it up in a bit

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Postby RK » Jan 29 2006, 3:59


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Town menu is very hard to use

Postby Salisa » Jan 29 2006, 5:25

Clicking through the whole town menu to see if what I want is there only to find it's not and having to go thru again for a second choice wastes time..
This makes the layout of the town menu clunky..

Another thing that is poor is you can't instantly see what prior buildings need construction so you can get to your end result..

simply we really need a menu much more like H4.. You could quickly see if you could build what you wanted and when you couldn't , lets not make turns anylonger then they need to be.

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Re: Town menu is very hard to use

Postby Fallen Angel » Jan 29 2006, 5:44

Salisa wrote:
simply we really need a menu much more like H4.. You could quickly see if you could build what you wanted and when you couldn't , lets not make turns anylonger then they need to be.


Wasn't this what all previous Heroes games had? Other than that, I agree. The building interface should be a little less "clunky." On the other hand, have you utilized the City Plan? It address some of the concerns you mentioned, such as needing to know building pre-requisites.

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Postby Gaidal Cain » Jan 29 2006, 10:13

RK wrote:tele any unit next to the marksman. the marksman will still be able to use his ranged attack with no retaliation. HOWEVER his range bonus will be more than tripled. We're talking 1795 dmg (!) on a titan.

One thousand Seven Hundred Ninety Five.


The bug is in the fact that the marksman can attack. The damage is pretty much correct, since the marksmen ignores the defense of any creature within a short enough range from it.

And the City Plan can be reached by pressing the "scroll" button in the lower left corner when you're in the building browser screen.
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Postby xaxa » Jan 29 2006, 13:33

My impressions (I am veteran of H I-H IV). I don't want to comment bugs:

1. GRAPHICS. Basically they have they have implemented almost everything I have been calling for: Lively environment. They could add more environment in the form of mist over the swamps, snow storms over snowy terrain, passing clouds. Unfortunately I have been able to play on lowest detail settings only so far, so maybe something of these are already there. The big problem: insufficient zoom out. Ability to zoom in greatly is quite useless in my opinion, but zooming out would make it possible to see more of the adventure map. Adventure map models are optimized for close viewing and does not look so good while fully zoomed out (this may be affected by display details settings, I don't know). Also when zoomed out, the performance drops alarmingly.

2. GAME DESIGN. Diverse abilities and skills, IMHO hard to balance. The simplicity (in positive way) of H IV ability tree is nowhere around, but in case of reasonable balancing it could work well. Combat system is very simplistic (missing line of sight limits), I think it is quite a step back from H IV (in negative way). Given the smallish battlefield and variable size of creatures, hexagonal grid would be more natural. Given the small battlefield, the size and number of obstacles seems excessive. If you have large units in your army, it tends to always split your forces into isolated 2-3 groups. Overall I am not very pleased by combat system. Probably developers should inspire with Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic how complex yet player-friendly and very diverse combat system should look like.

Good points: bar showing the order of initiative o units (useful only for novices, we veterans do not need this) and rearrangement of troops before each fight (finally!!). Some creatures seem a bit overpowered but as developer said, they will try to balance this out.

3. MUSICAL SCORE. Quite dissapointment. I expected more ambience in adventure map music like in H II. I think H II had the best musical score of all Heroes, followed by III and IV. I would rate this somewhere around IV. Music by itself is not bad, but it should definitely characterize the environment/terrain and some characteristic sounds should be mixed into it (wind, birds, storm, mysterious sounds etc.). I am really not into loud repetitive patterns which the computer is blaring around and around all the time. I would prefer more subtle and mysterious sounds which do not sound so repetitive.

4. USER INTERFACE. What we see here is in very early stage I presume, so I am not too concerned albeit it is very very crude (esp. town screen). The initiative bar on combat screen looks ugly, I liked the one from ALPHA version much more. I was quite surprised by the game not being excessively slow even on extremely sub spec configuration (I tested on my P-III 1.2 GHz, 1 GB RAM subnotebook, 4 MB video RAM !!!!!). All previous Heroes were similarly responsive on similar sub spec configurations.

5. MAP DESIGN. Not too much to say at this stage. The maps resemble those of H III. I hope map designers will take advantage of the graphics engine and make the maps very diverse and eye pleasing.

CONCLUSION: I have mixed feelings (but there are very few games that got me at the first sight - namely Heroes I & II, UFO, I hated even Age of Wonders for a long time until I gave it second try). I want to believe everything is right on track, but we all have insufficient data to say this. Quite alarming is the fact that crucial single player features like AI, UI and balance are in very early stages in this BETA. Being a software developer and project manager I know that early tackling the most difficult aspects of the project is the key to success. Low complexity and low risk assets like graphics can go last. I think they are in stage with Game system and AI where they should be already a year ago.

People at Nival apparently focused on lovely graphics first, and that is IMHO a big mistake (It would be less unsettling for me if all units have been represented by the same models or placeholders in BETA and we had sound game design and AI instead). I think that this is significant underestimation at the Nival's part in situation when all previous installations had flawed AI (H IV very badly).

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Postby RK » Jan 29 2006, 14:06

I'm not against good graphics but the new sparkling stuff is distracting IMO. and it's hard to see where u can and can't go on the exploration map. It doesn't add anything much for me.....if they put H3 exploration gfx but converted the combat into 3d i would definitely have no complaints.

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Re: Heroes V Impressions: Post yours here

Postby Tao Jones » Jan 30 2006, 0:45

Gaidal Cain wrote:
Orfinn wrote:Why not use your lowies against other low level units? If no enemy low lvl units you could always use yours against high lvl units as a distraction or cover.....just wonder can you protect one stack with another like in H4? ;|


No, you can't.


Am I to understand that Line of Sight is not a factor in H5?
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Re: Heroes V Impressions: Post yours here

Postby wimfrits » Jan 30 2006, 0:54

Tao Jones wrote:Am I to understand that Line of Sight is not a factor in H5?


Indeed.
The only line of sight involved is the distance between you and your monitor.
Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?

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Postby RK » Jan 30 2006, 1:04

LOL actually i was thankful for the LOS removal. It was very confusing in Heroes 4. and the randomness of the battlefield added further to the confusion.. :P but that's just me.

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Postby DaemianLucifer » Jan 30 2006, 2:02

But with this type of battlefield LoS would be quite simple

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Re: Heroes V Impressions: Post yours here

Postby Tao Jones » Jan 30 2006, 3:52

wimfrits wrote:The only line of sight involved is the distance between you and your monitor.


*chuckle* This bodes not well. The more I hear about H 3.5, the more apprehensive I am.

Praytell, what is the significance of placing your armies on the tactical map, since you cannot hide your more vulnerable stacks from shooters and spell casters? Indeed, doesn't this make shooters and spellcasters much more powerful than melee units?

Of course, they are themselves vulnerable, but why bother crossing the map to attack when you can obliterate the enemy from afar without moving? Moving takes turns and kills nothing; attacking takes turns and slays units. Without ranged retaliation, the situation becomes even more pronounced...

Hoo boy.
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Re: Heroes V Impressions: Post yours here

Postby Bandobras Took » Jan 30 2006, 5:21

Tao Jones wrote:
wimfrits wrote:The only line of sight involved is the distance between you and your monitor.


*chuckle* This bodes not well. The more I hear about H 3.5, the more apprehensive I am.

Praytell, what is the significance of placing your armies on the tactical map, since you cannot hide your more vulnerable stacks from shooters and spell casters? Indeed, doesn't this make shooters and spellcasters much more powerful than melee units?


You can still protect troops from fliers. What I've really appreciated about tactical placement is maximizing my troops ability to get around obstacles.

Tao Jones wrote:Of course, they are themselves vulnerable, but why bother crossing the map to attack when you can obliterate the enemy from afar without moving? Moving takes turns and kills nothing; attacking takes turns and slays units. Without ranged retaliation, the situation becomes even more pronounced...


Though it seemed that LoS applied only sporadically in Heroes 5. Hypnotism was the biggest culprit, there.

They did give ranged retaliation to the Inferno ranged unit, at least. Ranged units have always held a good deal of power in the Heroes games, with the notable exception of H4, where spellcasting units were so much more effective than ranged units that it was hardly worth bothering. Actually, in the current version of the Beta, it seems the spellcasting Balors are your best bet for a ranged troop, so maybe they have been taking a few pages from H4. :)

However, if distance/obstacle penalties are in place, sitting back with ranged attackers will only help you up to a certain point. I don't think LoS would have that big an impact on troop placement.

Besides, the battlefield is too small for real tactical placement anyway. :)
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Re: Heroes V Impressions: Post yours here

Postby Derek » Jan 30 2006, 7:16

Tao Jones wrote:*chuckle* This bodes not well. The more I hear about H 3.5, the more apprehensive I am.

Praytell, what is the significance of placing your armies on the tactical map, since you cannot hide your more vulnerable stacks from shooters and spell casters? Indeed, doesn't this make shooters and spellcasters much more powerful than melee units?

Of course, they are themselves vulnerable, but why bother crossing the map to attack when you can obliterate the enemy from afar without moving? Moving takes turns and kills nothing; attacking takes turns and slays units. Without ranged retaliation, the situation becomes even more pronounced...

Hoo boy.


Most ranged units have only about 5 shots, certainly not very good. Since ammo carts are easy to kill this really prevents any sort of ranged domination from taking place.

And yes, Balors are the best ranged unit so far. For that matter the Succubi are pretty good(read:awesome) too. What is the disadvantage of the Inferno again?! :devil:
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Postby Boromir » Jan 30 2006, 7:47

xaxa wrote:Also when zoomed out, the performance drops alarmingly.

This is natural and can't be avoided. Even with dynamic LoD (Level of Detail) implemented, the number of polygons for you graphics accelerator to process increases greatly while the 'camera' covers more land. This might have been avoided to some extent if Nival used a dynamic tree generator based on particles, like Speed Tree RT (but they didn't) - the particle LoD is, as far as I know, simplier and more efficient.
So, the only way to improve HoMM5 performacne on you computer is changing the graphics accelerator...
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Re: Heroes V Impressions: Post yours here

Postby jamsz » Jan 30 2006, 8:06

Bandobras Took wrote:My imps and familiars were relentlessly slaughtered, but I exepct L1s to die out and lose usefulness. H3's the only game I've seen where L1s could potentially be a factor by the time you got to your upper dwellings.


On a solo (hot-seat) game where I levelled my hero to 20+, I got the skills that improve hp, damage and so by very small numbers (1-2). Unfortunately I cant lookup the skill names due to the H5 news boycott, but I can tell you those skills/abilities make a huge difference for the low level units, especially wehn you have a L1 high initiative, fast, spellcasting, no retaliation unit like the pixies. I've also noticed that the necromancer are able to raise armies of skeleton archer easily and their zombies are quite sturdy fodder, so I guess it depends a lot on the town, with some towns having quite decent low level units. My stack of pixies in that game was doing almost the same amount of damage as my gold dragons, with the same amount of weeks of units.

xaxa wrote:People at Nival apparently focused on lovely graphics first, and that is IMHO a big mistake (It would be less unsettling for me if all units have been represented by the same models or placeholders in BETA and we had sound game design and AI instead). I think that this is significant underestimation at the Nival's part in situation when all previous installations had flawed AI (H IV very badly).


This is the best description ever of whats wrong with this beta

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Postby Gaidal Cain » Jan 30 2006, 9:32

On the subject of lowlevel unit: Many Abilities and artifacts looks speciafically designed to help them out. +1 damage to all units, anyone? It was probably done to make lowlevellers more viaible. They're also the ones only taking one square on the battlefield, which makes them easier to use. It seems that Nival intends to avoid the problems earlier games have suffered from where only highlevel units (and skeletons) have mattered if the game starts to drag on (this goes for at least H2-H4).

As for line of sight- it certainly could have been done, and can be checked how it would work. There is actually a unit for which it matters- mages, which shoots everything in their line of sight.
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