Cjlee’s latest contribution

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

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cjlee
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Cjlee’s latest contribution

Postby cjlee » Oct 26 2017, 18:39

Recently I played a few H7 games. Very buggy. But I just had to do some gaming, after months of not touching any games.

But I’m not here to complain about the bugs. There’s enough written about them. Rather, I want to share a few observations.

H7 did have some pretty interesting ideas and concepts that differ from previous Heroes incarnations. Thanks to the unpopularity of this game, there was not enough discussion of these ideas. But when gaming I can’t help but notice certain themes pop up repeatedly.

1) In H7 it does not pay to spread out one’s magical skills if you are a might hero.
Previous versions of Heroes had various ‘disablers’ that were tactically very useful on the battlefield. Might heroes could use these to great effect also. For instance, Blind is a level 2 mage guild spell in H2 and H3. Even if you are a barbarian and have spellpower of 2 only, being able to blind a crucial enemy unit for 2 turns is enough to turn the battle very often.
In H7 there are very few disablers. You can’t really make good use of Time Stasis until pretty late in the game because it requires level 4 mage guild and at least 8 in arcane knowledge. Even if you built that guild and got that much arcane knowledge, Might heroes can’t really use it due to the mana cost of 80.
I like using spells. But after trying different might heroes from different races, I find that it doesn’t make sense in H7 for your heroes to learn many magical schools. It’s not like Heroes 3 where many people seek to master at least 2 of the 4 magic schools. In H7, investing many points in diverse magic schools isn’t necessary. It is more important for you to master at least 1 magic school, and keep using the same spells to great effect. (My most used spells are Fog Shroud, Storm Arrows and Entangle.)

2) Wizards are natural Necro killers, and Necros are natural Wizard killers.

Wizards can get Arcane Empowerment ability to inflict 1 Prime Damage per unit on all their attackers. Do you know how fatal this can be? You’re attacking an enemy stack of 100 obsidian gargoyles, you have way more attack than their defense and their regular retaliation is puny. But if Wizard has Metamagic of 5, you still get hit for 500 just by that Metamagic ability alone.

Necros have Putrid Bones, a somewhat similar ability that applies to their skeletons and skeleton hoplites. Anybody hitting that stack of 500 skeletons automatically gets hit for 500 in punishment, even if the skeleton stack has already spent its retaliation. This is great when you teleport a skeleton stack behind enemy lines and they all gang up on your single big stack.

3) Even a weak magic hero can inflict scary damage.

You never had this concern in previous versions of Heroes. But in H7, Implosion doesn’t inflict absolute damage numbers. It inflicts damage based on percentage of stack size. If you have a stack that is ultra big, such as 4000 skeleton hoplites and 2000 Banshees, even a fairly low level mage with only a few units and Grandmaster skills in Prime Magic can still demolish that army in seconds.
With Clarity, the Mage can cast implosion twice in the first turn so they can hit both stacks. Then next turn they get Implosion Echo automatically at the start of the turn. After which the mage can just cast implosion twice again. That’s six implosions within 2 turns. You don’t need a very high level mage to have an implosion that can hit your stack for 50% damage. So in almost no time at all, even a fairly low level (eg level 15) mage can totally decimate a vast skeleton army.

I have survived as a necromancer only because my opponents are AI and don't do a good job.

The only counter is for the Necromancer to use Agony to try and kill as many enemies as possible. But this is a very ineffective counter since many Wizard troops are constructs.

4) Barbarians are now the best range attackers and range casters.

Stronghold faction has 3 ranged attackers, and they usually can get Storm Arrows. With Grandmaster Air Magic, you get Storm Lord which is practically an area-attack ability. This allows their 3 ranged attackers to totally decimate masses of enemies.

Haven and Sylvan have become factions that like clustering next to each other. Haven can still survive Storm Lord and ranged attacks, since Legionnaires really reduce damage a lot. But Sylvan doesn’t have any real counter. So far I have survived only because the AI is lousy. I daresay that if it was me with a Sylvan hero and grandmaster Earth Magic versus a Stronghold hero with grandmaster Air Magic, I would be hammered.

5) Bone Dragons and Spectral Dragons have extremely high defense stats. These seem to be the highest in the game.

In contrast, Black Dragons have the lowest defense among champion creatures and pretty low hit points. Their magic immunity is pretty useless, since they are very easy to kill.
Titans/Simurghs have middling stats and hp. Treants and Green/Emerald Dragons also come in the middle.

This seems to be intended, and makes a distinctive break from Heroes in the past.
In H1-4, Black Dragons were always the most powerful in the game. They were feared.
Their relative status dropped in H5 and H6.

Now in H7, Black Dragons are really weak and ineffective. They are really the weakest Champion creatures around. I have said before in a walkthrough, that I greatly prefer Hydras to Black Dragons in Heroes 7. Hydras have superior stats in every way, plus they can heal themselves from harming the enemy, and their only weakness is lack of spell immunity. The more I increase my experience with H7, the less I want to use Black Dragons over Hydras.

6) Lightning Burst really needs to be banned from the game.

As a human player, I have no problems with this spell. But the way the AI uses it, is astonishingly poor. I have faced AI opponents who essentially suicided their army by casting lightning burst on 1 stack that is in the middle. When it is that stack's turn, it auto-demolishes all their neighbours. In contrast, the AI has never tried casting lightning burst on my forces. Don't they realize that they could paralyze my entire army if they put lightning burst on my first unit which is in the middle of my army, and have Master of Air 1 which would set all my units initiative to 1?

This is so amazingly stupid that I really want any modder to make a point of removing lightning burst from the game. There is no way you can get the AI to cast this spell more intelligently.

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Re: Cjlee’s latest contribution

Postby gourley4p » Nov 4 2017, 2:33

I, too, came back to MMH7 after some time off. Long a staunch defender of the game, I couldn't get into it at all this time around. Don't think I even finished one map. Went back to Stellaris.

Thanks for some of the discussion points here. I also found the bone dragons to be stronger than ever before. And I also preferred hydra to black dragon. One more: I also encountered the issue with lightning burst and poor AI choices.

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Re: Cjlee’s latest contribution

Postby Steven Aus » Nov 4 2017, 16:23

Even though HOMM2 was my initial Heroes game, I feel the mods for HOMM4 make it the most varied, interesting, tactical, strategic and challenging Heroes game IMO. I especially like how the heroes in combat and multiple heroes per army make story maps come alive. The power of the editor as well as the ability to transfer information between different maps and campaigns means very high quality from the best mapmakers, and requiring certain campaigns or maps to be completed to start a particular campaign or map means you can create a link for a new map in a series even before the series is completed (for example, Mudgeon uses connected individual maps). And caravans are cool. I understand why they didn't appear on the map - it wasn't so they couldn't be attacked, although that might have been part of the reason, the main reason was to minimize memory usage and encourage you to use them. They don't clutter up the map.

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cjlee
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Re: Cjlee’s latest contribution

Postby cjlee » Nov 11 2017, 2:34

Sad to say, H4 is almost dead. I played it to death, so it might be a long time if I ever go back. Thanks to you Steven I did take a peek into H4's Greatest Mod, and it was interesting, but I don't know if I want to relearn how each unit works. (EG I didn't realize that Centaurs had been promoted to level 2, and sustained very high casualties taking them down with level 1 'Shamans'.) I wish the modmakers would produce a proper unit chart, otherwise every battle will be trial and error and that is really too much for me.

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Re: Cjlee’s latest contribution

Postby Karmakeld » Nov 11 2017, 19:03

You could ask NimoStar to provide his next updated version witj such a chart.
And oh, almost dead??!! :canthear:
Well I hope the (hopefully upcomming) HD mod could spark some new life into the game.
The same goes for the amount of new objects that will be added, but admitted, the objects themselves won't matter much unless we see new maps or campaigns..
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Re: Cjlee’s latest contribution

Postby Steven Aus » Nov 14 2017, 2:46

I honestly don't care! I find H4 my favourite Heroes game now. I generally like the changes the Greatest Mod has added. For example, White Tigers have No Retaliation instead of First Strike, Mages are a lot tougher (with way more powerful spells) and are now Level 3 and not recruitable at the Order (now Shipwreck-themed) town, Nagas have 3-headed attack and Block instead of no retaliation and are found in Life town instead of Order. I really appreciate how No Retaliation is not teamed with 3-headed attack any more.

I can write down all the changes, and really, it's not all that hard to remember the changes once you're familiar with them, although you can't forget that, for example, Devils and Mages are a lot tougher in Greatest Mod and that White Tigers when they attack don't trigger a retaliation.


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