tb5841 wrote:I'm yet to be convinced that the AI does cheat in TotE. I've never seen creatures appear from nowhere, and even though I play on Hard, I find they are rarely far ahead of me on experience when I first meet them.
You know computer players are nowhere near as aggressive as you are (or at least as I am) in terms of attacking neutral stacks and guarded mines. In a previous version of HoMM (III?), this meant that by the time your armies clashed, your hero would be like level 18, and the computer hero would be like level 10. Not very challenging at all. On some maps, people would fix this by writing a script that runs on the first day of each week, giving each computer players about a week's worth of resource (10000 gold, 7 gems, 7 crystals, etc.). I even remember a map where, on the first encounter, the computer hero would be instantly given 10 additional levels.
Well, I've noticed that in HoMM V, computer heroes advance as fast as my heroes, sometimes faster, and they still cower in their towns most of the time, leaving a lot of neutral stacks alone. I've mentioned this in another thread. In one 4-player map (I can't remember which), where I can choose to play any color, each player's area is the same as the others (has one mine of each type, one power-up of each type, etc.). I used one hero to clear my entire area, getting to level 16, and then moved on to attack a computer player in its area. I could see that it hadn't captured a few mines, and left a lot of neutral stacks untouched. And the hero guarding the town was level 18! No ... way. And after I captured the town, I saw that it was a lot more developed than mine. Where the heck did the computer player get the resources for that?
Maybe this particular map just have some special scripts, but haven't you been surprised that computer heroes in general level up at fast as yours, considering that they clearly fight a lot fewer battles? And considering they are much slower than you in tagging mines, it's amazing that they would have a level 34 town while yours is like level 22. And they always have money to buy every creature in their towns.