Taking lessons from Heroes 3

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

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Salamandre
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Re: Taking lessons from Heroes 3

Postby Salamandre » Oct 18 2015, 18:00

Ah don't recall me the joy of randomness. I still remember one of my very early H3 MP games, opponent had Adela and joins everything, I get Solmyr, find resurrect in a box then I continue with him as we play 200%. Next 10 levels he got EVERY TIME knowledge and never spell power, so when we met to fight, the fuc*er could cast 10 times resurrect but not even resurrect an angel entirely, he got raped in a few turns. Quite rare such constant unluck, but I saw it with my eyes.

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Re: Taking lessons from Heroes 3

Postby BB Shockwave » Oct 18 2015, 22:29

Galaad wrote:Sorry for I didn't know "what the hell" was inappropriate language. Noted.


That's LOL-worthy. I am a mod on other forums, but I'd not edit that. Especially on a forum where we have a faction in the game composed of DEVILS. :D

On-topic - frankly? I'd just re-hire the 3DO people and have them do a game like Heroes 3, but with today's graphics.
Obviously things could be improved. One thing that King's Bounty made me LOVE - and what makes me look down on the units of Heroes 7 - is that every creature is "special". IE, everyone had a speciality, even the lowliest peasant or dragonfly. This is something that could be improved from HOMM3.
The other thing are skills. I quite liked the skill system of Heroes IV - and the synergies between skillsets. But, I'd keep the random skills. It was an interesting aspect of the games.
Spells - here is room for improvement, as HOMM3 had unever spell schools (water did not even had a proper level 5 spell!) - but do not make it like Ubi does, where every school has a "similar" spell that does the same thing, is just called differently.
There are good things in HOMM7 too, like the war machines and their special skills. That could be kept.

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Re: Taking lessons from Heroes 3

Postby Galaad » Oct 19 2015, 0:14

BB Shockwave wrote:There are good things in HOMM7 too, like the war machines and their special skills. That could be kept.

Oh so nice that ammo carts are missing, having limited shots, too much thinking!!

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Re: Taking lessons from Heroes 3

Postby Panda Tar » Oct 19 2015, 0:46

I liked ammo carts, although I ponder this day if they shouldn't get upgrades with skills such as providing more and more shoots, perhaps granting other bonuses or providing imbued effects, such as fire, when leveled up. But I never though infinite ammo the best way. Probably adding 50%, 100% and 200% number of shots, then adding imbue effect to ranged attacks, and perhaps having more than one on battlefield, or it can be replenished during siege battles, if it gets destroyed. Dunno, tweaking with war machines brings many ideas.
"There’s nothing to fear but fear itself and maybe some mild to moderate jellification of bones." Cave Johnson, Portal 2. :panda:

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Re: Taking lessons from Heroes 3

Postby Galaad » Oct 19 2015, 0:52

IMO infinite ammo is as dumb as archery giving no range penalty (still can't believe they kept that). Upgrading war machines is yet of another suggestion made during the early days of Shadow Council, but Ubilimb don't even bother with easy things such as hero specializations (remember the awesome ones from homm5) or removing that stupid level cap limiting any map maker willing to create an epic adventure. But I guess level cap is there because of how the dumb skill pizza is being designed in the first place. What was the reason they gave about level cap again? Oh yes, "it is hard to reach maximum level". Can we facepalm enough, like seriously?

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Re: Taking lessons from Heroes 3

Postby cjlee » Oct 19 2015, 2:49

Since I am going by the memories from gaming over many years, it is difficult for me to continue the discussion about random hero stats and skills. But no matter what I consider it very important to have a discussion. So please carry on, and be aware that I may not be 100% correct in whatever I say.

Hero Stats:

I think my Planeswalker at level 30 with more Knowledge than all other stats combined is entirely possible, if the odds are 30-30-20-20 for distribution of stats.

I also question some of your claims about the Level 6 Wisdom thing. It definitely works for barbarians, as improbable as it sounds. I have never had problems getting expert wisdom on a barbarian.

But other skills seem not to have a 'Level 6' likelihood or even a 'higher likelihood' outcome. EG you don't get logistics or pathfinding definitely offered at one point. Clerics don't get guaranteed Water Magic. Wizards also seem to get offered stupid skills like Estates and First Aid as often as they get offered Fire Magic, whatever the official stats say. That's why I made the reference to non random random generators. Computers don't actually generate genuine random numbers; they try to simulate randomness via an algorithm. On a complex game like H3 where the computer has to consider things like level 6 must offer Wisdom, Knight must offer Artillery and other such conditions, the algorithm may run into problems after n outcomes.

Hero odd skills:

I have indeed heard that at every n levels or before level x you're supposed to be able to get offered something in H3. But when you get an already levelled hero eg mapmaker specifies level 10 guy in prison but not what skills, you often get someone with a terrible distribution of skills who never gets offered his desired skills ever again since he's passed that level.

If that system of offering certain might skills works in H3, it also may explain certain restrictive choices. EG I start with a knight on a map where the mapmaker has made it clear I'm supposed to get magic, and knight is perpetually being offered ballistics and artillery even though you want neither.

Even though Ubisoft Heroes 6 menu was too homogenous because it was same for every hero, offering a hero a choice between only 2 skills should never be done ever again. You want to repeat the same crappy H3 experience where you can only choose between Eagle Eye and Mysticism? How many of us have been forced to dismiss or relegate to logistics duty, a magic hero who has Eagle Eye, Mysticism, Estates, First Aid and Artillery because these were the only choices offered to him? (OK to make some of you guys happy, yes, our magic hero does have Expert Wisdom and two spell schools, but he's not even an expert in either of them because 5 skill slots have been used for crap thanks to the system not having a learning or tree function that recognizes you want to only specialize in Magic.)

Quantomas did it well by offering you more choices, without actually a complete menu of all possible choices. That's reasonable. You should always be able to train your starting hero into anything, no matter how improbable. One of the best examples in Chinese history is the beggar who founded the Ming dynasty. I certainly think it's boring, and not much of a 'story', if your hero is given a narrow path and few opportunities to stray off the straight and narrow!

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Re: Taking lessons from Heroes 3

Postby Galaad » Oct 19 2015, 11:26


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Maciek
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Re: Taking lessons from Heroes 3

Postby Maciek » Oct 20 2015, 0:23

@cjlee: Looks like I'm being misunderstood. I'll rephrase this part of my previous post:
But we can imagine similar rules applied to other skills. For example "Every Knight will be offered Offense, Defense, Tactics, Morale or Luck skill at least every 4 levels." or "Every hero will be offered Logistics, Pathfinding, Scouting or Stealth at least every 5 levels. Make it every 3 in case of Rangers and Beastmasters."

to make it more clear:
But we can imagine similar rules could be applied to other skills in the next 'Heroes' game. For example "Every Knight will be offered Offense, Defense, Tactics, Morale or Luck skill at least every 4 levels." or "Every hero will be offered Logistics, Pathfinding, Scouting or Stealth at least every 5 levels. Make it every 3 in case of Rangers and Beastmasters."


The actual rules existing in h3 are:
Every Might hero and Elementalist will be offered a Magic skill (Air, Earth, Water or Fire) at least every 4 levels. Make it every 3 in case of Magic heroes other than Elementalists.

Every Might hero and Elementalist will be offered Wisdom at least every 6 levels. Make it every 3 in case of Magic heroes other than Elementalists.



According to my calculations, a Plesanwalker should have 'naturally' more Knowledge than all other skills combined at level 30 roughly once in 2 million tries. Since there are only 8 Plesanwalkers and each of them has only 255 possible skill trees, this should most likely never happen (about 99,90% chance that it will never happen).

Note, however, that I said 'naturally', and by this I mean 'from starting stats and level-ups alone'. If you add some stat increasing buildings, a good helmet and poor or missing sword/shield/armor, then Knowledge higher than all other skills combined on a level 30 Plesanwalker suddenly becomes much more possible.

Also note that practically the only times you observe a 'natural' stat distribution on a high level hero are when you release said hero from prison.

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cjlee
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Re: Taking lessons from Heroes 3

Postby cjlee » Oct 20 2015, 14:21

Maciek

I don't remember exactly the situation for my Planeswalker, but it was memorable because of the extreme differences.

I do remember taking off all his artifacts and counting his stats in amazement. And also that map didn't have an unusual number or distribution of stat items. EG not like 10 gardens of relevation and nothing else. It was a 3DO map, nothing exceptional about it, and I was not playing Academy.

I often come across what seems to be non random outcomes. That's why I keep musing on the algorithms being used to generate random numbers. Remember, there is no such thing as a genuine random number from a computer - there is only an algo that tries to approximate. Whenever I get such irritating outcomes, it really spoils the enjoyment of my game.

Too often I come across what seems to be improbable. Like Knight with attack 19 and knowledge 1. This leads me to suspect that these probabilities do not follow a bell curve (normal distribution) small at the extremities, but some kind of distribution that significantly increases the odds of a 3 sigma, 6 sigma, etc event large at the extremes. Since all algos are man made there is no reason why they would follow the normal distribution seen in nature.

Odds of a man exceeding 2.7 meters tall? Very low. Robert Wadlow was probably 1 in 100 billion. This is normal distribution that comes from gene shuffling.

But if you come across 5, 10 such men in the next 10 years with world population at 7 billion, it's time to start thinking that maybe something has changed, that height no longer follows normal distribution, etc. EG maybe all of them were born in Fukushima, and then you go, AH!

BTW, I suspect Planeswalkers tend to get this more than anyone else. It's just anecdotal, but after a period of enthusiasm when Conflux came out, I got sick of seeing Planeswalkers with poor stat distributions. When probabilities are set around 20-30% for each stat, it's fairly easy to wind up with an unfocused hero that leans randomly to one side. Whereas if you started with a warlock the stats are already tilted towards spell power, and your final hero would be at worst a 3 1 20 4 rather than a 5 3 12 8 which are more preferable stats for a warlock with a full army. (I would go for Dragoneddon if I had the first stats.)

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Re: Taking lessons from Heroes 3

Postby Bloax » Oct 21 2015, 17:31

The solution to statistical improbabilities **** everything up is setting up points where you are guaranteed a stat increase, like level 4 and 7 being guaranteed spellpower for a wizard, alongside level 2 and 10 being knowledge.

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cjlee
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Re: Taking lessons from Heroes 3

Postby cjlee » Oct 22 2015, 3:23

I never had any complaints with wizards or barbarians. I think it's because their stats are expected to be imbalanced to begin with. So when their stats are less imbalanced due to whatever probability extreme, we usually feel happy instead. It is never an issue for me if my wizard turns out 4 5 6 10 rather than 1 1 5 18.

But when it comes to H3 planeswalkers and H5 Runemages I perpetually have complaints about the 'balanced' stats not turning out balanced by whatever sleigh of hand fate dealt me.

That said as I stressed, it is probably due to the algos being used.

One way could be to simplify everything and set things down in more lengthy but simplified code.

1) level 1 Wizard gets knowledge

2) level 2, algo that tries to generate random numbers. 0.001-0.249 gets attack, 0.250-0.499 gets defense, etc. 25% chance of anything.

3) level 3, algo 0.001-0.499 spellpower, 0.500-0.999 knowledge

4) level 4, algo 50% spellpower or knowledge

5) level 5, algo 25% of anything

Using a simplified algo with clear rules makes this easier to understand and test. It's better than having a
Complicated Wizard Formula, a Complicated Runemage Formula, a Complicated Witch formula, etc.


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