Heroes 7 skill system

The game Might & Magic: Heroes VII, developed by Limbic Entertainment.

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Postby Panda Tar » Apr 21 2015, 3:45

Perhaps for the next installment? I'm very disheartened to repeat anything I have to say about the subject, but I guess some people are bound to do so.
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Postby Pitsu » Apr 21 2015, 5:29

Erwinner wrote:uh, why exactly should I bother sharing my concerns and questions if there will be no changes in the system and the mechanics? lol


They said it: they need to know what our concerns are in order to make a press release explaining how these concerns are wrong. Its is not needed to improve the game, it is needed for an attempt to improve the customers.

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Postby parcaleste » Apr 21 2015, 6:30

Pitsu wrote:... Its is not needed to improve the game, it is needed for an attempt to improve the customers.

Crickets everywhere...

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Postby Dalai » Apr 21 2015, 20:48

Pitsu wrote:They said it: they need to know what our concerns are in order to make a press release explaining how these concerns are wrong. Its is not needed to improve the game, it is needed for an attempt to improve the customers.
That's the way I understood it as well.

Erwinner wrote:uh, why exactly should I bother sharing my concerns and questions if there will be no changes in the system and the mechanics? lol
They will explain to you why you don't really need what you think you need. So you should not want anything but what they have designed.

They have a "perfect MMH player profile", and you'd better fit it!
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Postby Erwinner » Apr 21 2015, 22:41

three answers, three truths, three times unlucky lol

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Postby BlackDragonSlayer » Apr 22 2015, 1:05

Pitsu wrote:Its is not needed to improve the game, it is needed for an attempt to improve the customers.

Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission.

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Postby Panda Tar » Apr 27 2015, 21:53

Hell, I cannot even bring myself to talk about what I'm thinking regarding their skill design philosophy.

For those who still care about this franchise, pray for the future. The definition of what's written there is: "councilors threw a rock into the pond of muck and the muck is now splashing back on their faces".
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Postby parcaleste » Apr 28 2015, 4:43

... We also discussed linking abilities together like in HV but decided this was a too strong restriction that led to strongly similar ability setups to reach certain abilities, and therefore restricted the player’s freedom too much...

Yeah, restriction that gave some sort of a balance to not link your all most devastating skills to get even more devastating skill at the end.

I can see their point in some of the answers, but that HVI is still hurting my butt hard.

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Postby Pitsu » Apr 28 2015, 18:47

Panda Tar wrote:Hell, I cannot even bring myself to talk about what I'm thinking regarding their skill design philosophy.


A few thoughts of mine.

The other main idea is to allow the player to grasp the possibilities of a hero by looking at a single screen. Major and Minor skills are visible at a glance to measure the strengths of the hero class.

Not to have to go through tabs is certainly good. Just like it was in H1-4. But in previous games it was also possible to see hero experience, primary skills (which now are either gone or renamed into stats) etc in a single screen. So the user interface still has a way to go for reaching the functionality of H1 or H2.

We have a feeling that some people truly believe that more complexity and constraints in a system makes it better, however, we don’t share this belief.

It is not that the system concept should be complex, but the system should allow complex outcomes. We could say „simple to learn, hard to master“ - simple concept that can be developed by player with various outcomes. I would rather have less hero types, which can evolve in multiple ways than chosing a hero from many in the very begin and then be stuck with only a few choices during gameplay.

We also discussed linking abilities together like in HV but decided this was a too strong restriction that led to strongly similar ability setups to reach certain abilities, and therefore restricted the player’s freedom too much.

No matter of connecting links there will be must have and optional skills. You could argue that skills with no interconnecting links are easier to balance, but „more freedom“ is a lousy argument IMO.


5. On hero classes and skills:
Yes, a hero class is defined by a fixed skillwheel. It’s a set of possible skills, which is a logical design. A Knight can always have offense, he can never have dark magic, that’s what defines a knight in Ashan. Each faction has 6 classes, half of them magic heroes, the other half might heroes. In all non-story driven game mode, you can choose your faction and your class, according to the skills you want to play with.

A knight may never have dark magic in Ashan? Fine. If i would make a map for H7, i see no reason to stick to Ashan lore. I would like to tell my own story. About necromancer fairies. Well, on second thought, there probably will be no map editor so i would not be able to tell my story even if the lore curse would be lifted from the game.

8. On the comparison with Heroes V:
First of all let’s remember that in Heroes V, originally (before modding), there was no skillwheel and players had to post-rationalize everything to get a clue of how it was working, otherwise you blindly chose skills and abilities according to the moment’s judgment. Also, you could unlock skills by visiting buildings, which could occasionally ruin your plans. Save/Load strategies to avoid that are not unheard of. We believe that means that the design is flawed.

The design of user interface was flawed, the design of skill system principles was fine. Ruined plans are a sign of bad strategy. There should be ways to foresee possible failures in your plan, but if your plan cannot fail, where is the need for strategy and where is the fun?

On the same topic, providing the possibility to reset the whole hero by paying gold in a special building is also a dirty fix to a flawed system. Cross skill restriction and cross ability restrictions are just more constraints to the player’s control over his hero’s development, it’s arguably a design quality per se. Some advocate that they like more constraints and difficulty, less control, that’s a purely subjective opinion and we know there is no consensus here, we prefer to give players control over their hero’s development.

Being in control sounds nice. The danger is that a turn based game with full control over everything becomes a math exercise. If you look at off-line H1-3 tournaments you see a huge gap between casual players and those who take the effort to solve a map as a mathematical problem. In H1-3 the random factors are plentiful and most people do not and often cannot calculate the outcome without playing the map through. The more control player has, the easier it is to see the outcome and the less surprise elements are there. In real world one cannot control all details. Strategy is the plan to maximize outcome despite unpredictable factors and skill to adopt changes brought forth by them.


Heroes VI have ability “lines” within the same skills, some being constrainted by linear unlock, some not, some tier were not populated, so it was much less systemic than Heroes VII.

And systemic is good? We could say systemic is generally easier to understand than chaotic, but that makes your message to sound "H7 is a simplified version of H6", no?

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Postby Groovy » Apr 28 2015, 21:11

I like your thinking here, Pitsu. I just wanted to comment on this:

Pitsu wrote:
8. On the comparison with Heroes V:
First of all let’s remember that in Heroes V, originally (before modding), there was no skillwheel and players had to post-rationalize everything to get a clue of how it was working, otherwise you blindly chose skills and abilities according to the moment’s judgment. Also, you could unlock skills by visiting buildings, which could occasionally ruin your plans. Save/Load strategies to avoid that are not unheard of. We believe that means that the design is flawed.

The design of user interface was flawed, the design of skill system principles was fine. Ruined plans are a sign of bad strategy. There should be ways to foresee possible failures in your plan, but if your plan cannot fail, where is the need for strategy and where is the fun?

In these discussions, the subject of randomness tends to be dealt with superficially. I find that different aspects of a game require different levels of randomness - some benefit from it a lot, and some are easily ruined by it. My personal preference is to have a lot of randomness in the game world, and hardly any in a player's actions.

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Postby Panda Tar » Apr 28 2015, 21:23

That's why I think things like "Luck" in this game should be universal and in constant motion. The fact that you can expert yourself in being luck is so ... strange. As the other also can do the same, what of two lucky ones clashing against each other, the luck of one is the misfortune of the other, which shouldn't happen as both being lucky.

This is one of the features I would have transformed into a universal feature.
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Postby mr.hackcrag » Apr 29 2015, 2:44

I love groovy and panda - that's exactly one of the gameplay elements that could have evolved the series, but instead :(

One person mentioned how the homm tarot cards could be incorporated into the day system to affect the game; i.e. a random card every day or whenever could influence map/combat/creatures/etc. Alternatively, using the cards to produce certain effects in various situations.

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Postby Panda Tar » May 12 2015, 18:50

:D

Now, they divulged two new skills: Paragon and Economy.

Paragon feels a bit bland. Economy feels a bit overpowered. But the question is: do I care now? hohohoho :rolleyes:

But for those who do care, there's the article to read. ;)
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Postby mr.hackcrag » May 12 2015, 20:25

I'd dip into paragon just for the stat boosts and then leave all other skills alone. Though grandmaster could be useful by not having to invest additional points in other magic schools, but the question is it efficient...

First time in homm for me that I'm finding the economic skills worth getting.

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Postby Panda Tar » May 12 2015, 20:34

Too worthy if you know what I mean. It almost compels you having an economy hero per area of control - but having many heroes demand more experience to be divided too. And having States demands a good way into development.
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Postby Groovy » May 12 2015, 21:03

Personally, it just doesn't feel right to have a hero capable of wielding magical items and leading armies of fantasy creatures being employed as a resource manager. I wish they'd introduced a new way of implementing this feature.

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Postby Panda Tar » May 12 2015, 21:49

And they also don't die. They are just defeated and sent back to the hiring limbo. That's why I liked prison so much in H4. It felt defending a town a bit more appealing, when they held strong heroes in there.

It simply felt awful having defeated the topmost enemy hero then, for some unforeseen luck, he would have hired that hero back again, as good as new.
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Postby mr.hackcrag » May 13 2015, 1:54

It also encourages developing more than one hero instead of the usual build one superhero shenanigans that pervades the game.

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Postby parcaleste » May 14 2015, 5:41

I never understood why these people are so determined to have this Arcane Intuition (a.k.a. Eagle Eye) in this game. Perhaps the most useless skill ever.

... and Mentor now gives the whooping 25% XP?! This is not "hero developing", this is cheating. What the f*$king f*$ck?

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Postby mr.hackcrag » May 14 2015, 23:53

Eagle Eye is indeed terrible.


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