Balanced Difficulty level for H5 TotE

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Ya5MieL
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Balanced Difficulty level for H5 TotE

Postby Ya5MieL » Feb 26 2008, 18:46

Balanced difficulty mod for H5

This mod introduces an edited "normal" difficulty option for games versus AI.
Since AI on normal is pretty handicapped (for example not being able to cast spells over level 3), and on the other hand AI is cheating on Hard and Heroic difficulty, there was a need for a true balanced difficulty.
Since cheating seems to be hard coded into hard and heroic difficulties, as a base for this mod, a cheating-free normal mode was used. It contains "as good as it can get" AI, while not allowing him to cheat (and thus rush you with what seemed to be impossible numbers).
Most online players have no problems dealing with those rushes, but less experienced players might feel irritated by the cheats and would prefer a "fair-and-square" match vs AI.

Since the Balanced difficulty is based on Normal, mostly differences between those two will be mentioned(listed) with Hard as a orientation point . Consider it a significant, but completely fair boost to AI on normal levels.

So, lets get started:

Starting resources in Balanced Mode for both humans and AI is equal, and is same as in Hard Mode:
20000 gold, 20 wood and ore, 10 of each precious resource.

1.Neutral creatures starting value is 1.1 (it was 1 in old normal mode, it is 1.12 in hard)
2.Experience earned remains at default, there are no bonuses to AI nor penalties to human player (NOTE: this does not apply to campaigns where penalties still occur, but as that was intentional it was left out in this mod which addresses skirmish battles as its priority)
3.Creature weekly growth is 1.1 , or in other words 10% (same as in Hard)
4.AI Agressivness towards computer stays at 100% as in old Normal mode (it is 50% on Hard, which makes the AI stronger from human viewpoint, but it is only because it targets humans before fellow AI-s :P ). In 1v1 battles there should be no difference.
5.Cowardice versus human set to value from Hard difficulty, 20%
6.Value of towns increased to Heroic level, AI will aim to take towns faster and make them a priority.
7.AI can build every day (was every 2 days in Normal and Easy)
8.AI checks for towns in danger as in Hard and Heroic
9.AI considers garrisoning a hero in important towns, as in Hard and Heroic
10.AI has almost no limitations with hiring and number of heroes, as in Hard mode. (2 base heroes, +1 hero per town, limit 14)
11.AI needs minimum of 80% puzzle map to locate grail (70% in hard, 60% on heroic)
12.Enemy threat multiplier set to existing like in Hard and Heroic. Reaction to threats set to values similar in Hard/Heroic
13.Strategic capture distances increased to be on par with Heroic.
14.Town creature growth is 100% (it is 50% on easy, 100% on all other difficulties)
15.AI can cast all spells (was only up to level 3 in Normal)
16.AI doesn't target area spells on creatures only (unlike in Easy and Normal)
17.AI considers multiple passages to enemy (unlike in Easy and Normal)

That is all so far.
Link for this basic version of mod is here:

http://www.geocities.com/yasmiel/index2.html
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Metathron
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Postby Metathron » Feb 27 2008, 10:09

Looks good. Will definitely try it. Thanks! :)

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PhoenixReborn
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Postby PhoenixReborn » Feb 29 2008, 15:38

I like the changes but I got crashes when trying the mod...is it in final version or will you be making any adjustments?

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Metathron
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Postby Metathron » Feb 29 2008, 15:39

How far along are you into a certain map? I'm about halfway through mine and I got no crashes so far.

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PhoenixReborn
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Postby PhoenixReborn » Feb 29 2008, 15:44

Metathron wrote:How far along are you into a certain map? I'm about halfway through mine and I got no crashes so far.


Was playing former friends and got corrupted save on day 6. Maybe I'll try again...

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Postby BigBadPig » Mar 27 2008, 17:10

Nice job, really, since I'm actually one of those mentioned players, who get a little bit bored on the Normal difficulty level, while struggling somewhat on Hard.
I've also got a question: is there a possibility to stop the computer from fleeing the battles completely, like "battle to the last one"?

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Ya5MieL
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Postby Ya5MieL » Mar 27 2008, 17:56

Yes, there is a possibility. i was thinking of it, but im not sure would making a kamikaze-only AI would improve it.

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Postby BigBadPig » Mar 27 2008, 22:40

Sure, you're the boss:). Still, those 3D-drawn cowards are really getting on my nerves, me having been forced not only to win a battle, but also to win it in such a precise manner as to let no one escape, in order to get them shinies (artefacts):). Doesn't this bother you?

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Ya5MieL
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Postby Ya5MieL » Mar 28 2008, 9:15

Try to get shackles of the last man :P

Perhaps in new edition of the mod (if it ever is created), i will consider reducing the number of occasions where AI runs.

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Postby BigBadPig » Mar 28 2008, 15:00

Well, I'll be looking forward to it.

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Postby konfeta » Mar 31 2008, 19:12

To be fair, a non-moronic A.I. should find a fine line between retreating as soon as you scratch one of his units and suiciding without inflicting any damage.

I mean, a human player would probably attempt to screw you over as much as possible and then run away so you don't get shinies.

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PhoenixReborn
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Postby PhoenixReborn » Apr 1 2008, 2:58

Well no modder has yet been able to affect when the AI retreats.

The old games had no problems making the AI fight until the last safe moment to retreat at any difficulty level.

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Postby danhvo » Apr 1 2008, 4:27

BigBadPig wrote:I've also got a question: is there a possibility to stop the computer from fleeing the battles completely, like "battle to the last one"?


I hate the way fleeing works in H5. If you flee, you should lose all your artifacts in addition to your troops, or at least make it a 50/50 chance for each artifact. The only sure way to keep them should be to surrender, with the cost including the value of the artifacts. If that were the case, then the AI's fleeing would not be so annoying. And speaking of surrender, is this normally disabled for the AI? My AI opponents never surrender. Flee like cowards, but not surrender.

I remember distinctly one time when the AI fled and left behind an artifact. It was in the "Dark Ways and Deeds" mission. It was the only time. I have never seen it happening again. I'm beginning to doubt if I really saw it.

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Postby yuritch » Apr 1 2008, 7:09

Artifact left behind was a result of mission-specific scripting. TotE campaigns use that quite often, and custom maps can have that, too.
As for surrendering instead of fleeing, was the AI in any of HoMM games able to do so? I played HoMM2 and HoMM3 a lot and can't remember a single time the AI surrendered, it always just fled (sometimes casting a nice Armageddon or Elemental Storm (HoMM2 spell, weaker version of Armageddon) at the last moment before fleeing).

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Ya5MieL
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Postby Ya5MieL » Apr 1 2008, 10:06

I think the situation is actually opposite. AI never flees, it always surrenders. But, it never pays any fee for it so it seems like it fled.

At least that is how i think it worked in h1-3. Not sure about 5 but since ai seems to keep all the army he got before fleeing i assume its the same.

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parcaleste
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Postby parcaleste » Apr 1 2008, 12:36

Ya5MieL wrote:... 5 but since ai seems to keep all the army he got before fleeing i assume its the same.


Do you think? :|

And I can't see the sense of the AI to surrender without giving you the goodies, is this supposed to be a cheat? :|

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Postby danhvo » Apr 1 2008, 21:04

Ya5MieL wrote:At least that is how i think it worked in h1-3. Not sure about 5 but since ai seems to keep all the army he got before fleeing i assume its the same.


If so, then this is a horrible cheat. It's better than Town Portal, as the AI army can end up in any town it owns.

At least, the AI has the "decency" not to attack you if it plans on fleeing, just to take advantage of this Town Portal effect, unlike in a previous version of Heroes.

On one hand, I hope your mod can do something about this. On the other hand, I fear that the AI will be too easy to defeat if you rob it of this cheat.
Last edited by danhvo on Apr 1 2008, 23:52, edited 1 time in total.

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Ya5MieL
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Postby Ya5MieL » Apr 1 2008, 21:26

It has been the same in all heroes games. Its a payoff for AI-s general handicap of not having a brain :P

He doesn't use this to his advantage so it cant be counted as town portal, just a free surrendering.

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Postby difool » Apr 1 2008, 23:24

I've been playing Heroes for 10+ years and this is the first time anybody has described such a bug/feature ("stealth" surrendering). I've never noticed it in either H2 or H3 over hundreds of games, and frankly I wonder what stuff you guys are smoking. Unless this is an April 1st whoosh of course...

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Ya5MieL
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Postby Ya5MieL » Apr 2 2008, 21:46

Just to make it clear, this was random 1st april babbling.


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