Why HIV is better or equal to HIII

The old Heroes games developed by New World Computing. Please specify which game you are referring to in your post.

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Why HIV is better or equal to HIII

Postby Duzeom_ » Apr 18 2015, 12:19

Many have said that Heroes IV is a way worse than Heroes III. I recently saw a Youtube video about Heroes games, and this argument was brought up few times. That H4 was a bad game and that's why the NWC went bankrupt. But isn't it a mantra which everyone just repeat and don't really think about? Maybe all players are so accustomed to H3 that they didn't even want to try H4? Or maybe after a very good game which was H3, H4 was deemed to be mocked.

Just to be clear - I think H3 is great game, as well as H4 but H4 not deserve to be treated like that. I am here to dispel all curses above H4.

Apart from AI in H4, which is really terrible (but could have been repaired in future updates if NWC had some spare money), many features of this game shines brightly.

1. Quasi-continuous battlefield:


Many say that battlefield in H4 is unintuitive, small and cumbersome. I don't quite understand this concern. I played many times in H4 and after minor initial problems I was able to swiftly manage my army on the battlefield. It is really quite simple and intuitive - if you can't attack one unit with other unit - just move this unit. I have thought about why people who played H3 doesn't like NWC this idea, instead like H5 square battlefield more. And I think it is by a feeling of lack of control.

In H4 battlefield you can't so easily control where your units stand, because the field is divided in very small discrete points. So choosing exact place is hard. In H3 and H5 the places are so big (hexagon and squares) so that the gamer has fewer possibilities. Every possibility has different outcome - but in H4, where battlefield is quasi-continuous, places you can choose from aren't so different after all. Gamer has a strange feeling that he doesn't control his units and his decisions doesn't have a great effect on the battle. But they has.

The simple solution - circles showing the unit's boundary below them would solve this issue.

But think this way - if you are going to third dimension, hexagons don't have a sense. All the units must have the same size and take the same space on battlefield, which is dumb to do. Hexagons don't enlarge gracefully. You could say that game should use smaller hexagons, but how different it is from small squares? H5 decided to use squares to address this issue - small units have 1 square size, bigger units 4 squares. But this makes a lot of other strange problems - for example penalties for walking in diagonals.

So NWC decided to use smaller squares to divide the battlefield - and it is right way to do it, because it makes a lot more possibilities. For example a bigger creature can fight with more units, there's no walking penalty, you can block creatures etc. NWC could use more these advantages in making more diverse creature sizes. But it was step forward from hexagonal battlefield, which should be (and I don't know why isn't) implemented in Ubisoft's Heroes.

2. Heroes as units

It is most controversial subject. For ones it is almost blasphemy to other it is a nice modification of standard idea. Maybe it was done because of technological issues (stationary heroes needs more space on 3D battlefield which is kind of a waste, because hero just stands in a place and only casts spells), maybe other but to me it is an innovation. I made many campaigns and maps for H4 and I think that decision to make a hero an unit moved an attention from creatures to heroes, which basically ARE in the middle of Heroes games. Gamers control HEROES. Game named Heroes of Might and Magic should be exactly about it, doesn't it?

We could talk eternity how it should be implemented, and I confess that heroes units aren't well balanced. The tombstone and prison system could be slightly changed, but thanks to it H4 has a fresh air. I always wondered how attack and defense of a hero could apply to attack and defense of creatures in H3. In H4 everything is clear, hero has it's own statistics and tactics can influence creatures statistics.

In H4 you can have a army of heroes, isn't it a great idea? Also You can defend you castle using many heroes not only one.

3. Music

Music apart from menu theme is the best music in heroes series. Of course it is matter of taste.

4. Castles interior

Many gamers complaint about castles that they are too similar. In every castle the building are different but are placed in the same spots. I agree that NWC could make it better, making castle interiors 3D. But H4 isn't 3D. It is 2,5D. So the game had to use images as castle layout. But how fix the problem from H3 that a castle from one land could stand on different surface (eg. Citadel on sand)? The simplest solution - 3D rendered ground depending on the castle surface and castles unique buildings on top of that. Therefore buildings had to be in one the same spot to fit in.

5. A clear magic system

We have: 5 magic schools + might = 6 castles. Easy and straightforward. Gives a lot of fun and cultural background to every fraction.

6. Editor

Far more powerful editor than in H3.

7. Caravans

In H3 You buy a hero which only visit dwellings, which is boring.

To sum up:
H4 is a great game which unfairly has a bad reputation. H3 is a more advanced H2, which is more advanced H1. H4 brings fresh air, new features and tries something different. H5 from NWC could be an excellent game.
Last edited by Anonymous on Apr 19 2015, 12:11, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Vlad The Devil » Apr 18 2015, 18:48

Great points.

I actually believe it's a matter of perspective when it comes to calling Heroes IV a bad/terrible game. What do I mean by that? HIV is different than HIII. That's why I think people who loved HIII hated HIV. They had a different set of expectations after falling in love with HIII and instead they received a whole different game with diff mechanics and so on.

To be honest I understand them and I can put myself in their shoes, play HIII a ton of hours and then get the HIV experience. It can be quite confusing.

But my story is quite different than most of Heroes fans. My first Heroes game was HIV and it was love at first sight :D I absolutely loved the storyline, the campaigns and most of all, the unique ability to switch from a TBS type of game to RPG - we all know how overpowered you could become with a barbarian for example if you had the necessary amount of potions of immortality. That's what I liked best at HIV and I must admit, it was quite difficult for me to understand and play HIII after that but in time, I've come to enjoy HIII/HC.

Both are great games, quite different from one another.

I still believe the Hero unit needs to be more involved in the battle - to your point this is why the game is called Heroes of Might and Magic - as in HIV or at least HIII WoG. I'm not a big fan of what Ubi has done with the franchise but yet again, it's a matter of perspective - the HV and VI are different than IV or III - plus the fact I'm getting older and I might not see the world as I saw 11 years ago when my brother just bought our first PC and installed our very first game: HIV B-)

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Postby iLiVeInAbOx05 » Apr 18 2015, 20:17

I also agree that Heroes 4 is a great game and has a truly undeserved reputation of being a bad game.

I bought all the Heroes game on GoG when they had a sale (I own Heroes 2 and 3, both vanilla). When I found out there was an expansion to Heroes 2, and 2 expansions for Heroes 3, I jumped on it immediately :)

I read a lot of reviews when I got to Heroes 4, and all of them were bad, but I usually rely on my own judgment, so I tried it anyway.

I'm not going to lie, I started with the tutorial and at first I was extremely let down and agreed with every review I had read: Heroes 4 was indeed a bad game and I felt like it was going to be a chore to continue the story from Heroes Chronicles.

But I hate leaving things unfinished, so I kept started up the Waerjak and Tarnum campaign so I could continue with Tarnum and Heroes Chronicles :) I'm super glad I did. I realized that the reason I had initially thought Heroes 4 was a bad game, was because 1) I listened to what others thought instead of making my own judgment and 2) I just needed to learn the new mechanics and get used to my heroes being an actual part of the battle.

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Postby Duzeom_ » Apr 19 2015, 12:11

8. Campaigns

Maybe many will not agree with me but I truly think that campaign stories of H4 are more exciting than H3. Once I made a promise that I will read all text messages in H3 campaign... and I couldn't do it. It was too tiresome. In H4 classic I was very impressed by the plot of campaigns, which was to me very interesting. That enabled me to read all texts which were also very long as in H3. I especially liked story of Gauldoth half-dead and Tawni Balfour.

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Postby Ed Robinson » Apr 19 2015, 12:54

I have played I thru V and had purchased them when they were originally released. Of the bunch, I enjoyed IV the most. I also enjoyed the maps posted on CH better than others. I guess it comes down to personal preference. I never bought VI and based on the fact that I see so few user maps I can only speculate as to why it never got better reviews.

I had gotten sidetracked by the Elder Scrolls for some time but when I needed a change, I went back to H IV. I'm now replaying M&M VI. Heroes never gets old but change is good...

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Postby Salamandre » Apr 19 2015, 13:48

I don't think H4 is a bad game per se, but is a bad Heroes game. There is where the franchise stopped and got stuck for years, they tried to innovate while all that players wanted was to add content to successful Heroes III. The transition from H2 to H3 was optimal and inspired, they understood what majority of players wanted and didn't try to behave smarter than they were. I will not enter into details about both games differences, this has been disputed thousand times and the points you make are valid, if you were NOT a H2-H3 addicted fan.

Sure, liking one or another from Heroes franchise is partly a matter of taste. But then it comes fluidity in MP, to gameplay balance, Heroes III has no valid successor; H4-5 never achieved same addiction in tournaments, mapmaking, or whatever related to gameplay. H3 even got a new expansion recently -Horn of the Abyss, 15 years after release: a new town, several campaigns and so on.

Then it comes down to each one personal opinion, nonetheless statistics are there, to teach us. Even today, http://heroes3.tv/ hosts H3 tournaments, chat room are full, thousand of people are following the games in real time, discuss and have fun.

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Postby iLiVeInAbOx05 » Apr 19 2015, 18:04

Salamandre wrote:I don't think H4 is a bad game per se, but is a bad Heroes game. There is where the franchise stopped and got stuck for years, they tried to innovate while all that players wanted was to add content to successful Heroes III. The transition from H2 to H3 was optimal and inspired, they understood what majority of players wanted and didn't try to behave smarter than they were. I will not enter into details about both games differences, this has been disputed thousand times and the points you make are valid, if you were NOT a H2-H3 addicted fan.

Sure, liking one or another from Heroes franchise is partly a matter of taste. But then it comes fluidity in MP, to gameplay balance, Heroes III has no valid successor; H4-5 never achieved same addiction in tournaments, mapmaking, or whatever related to gameplay. H3 even got a new expansion recently -Horn of the Abyss, 15 years after release: a new town, several campaigns and so on.

Then it comes down to each one personal opinion, nonetheless statistics are there, to teach us. Even today, http://heroes3.tv/ hosts H3 tournaments, chat room are full, thousand of people are following the games in real time, discuss and have fun.


All of this is your opinion, which you are certainly entitled to :D

In my opinion, Heroes 4 is a great "Heroes" game. If NWC had just stayed with more of the same Heroes 3 when making Heroes 4, then you would have had players that didn't like it because it was "the same as Heroes 3, but just a few more campaigns."

I WAS and AM a huge Heroes 2 and 3 fan, which means Duzeom's points are valid, period.

Just because a game doesn't induce one to want to play it multiplayer has absolutely no bearing on whether it is a good "Heroes" game. It only means that a game is a good multiplayer game. Some people, like myself, are no longer into multiplayer games and just want to play a game with a good story and decent mechanics.

Getting a Heroes of Might and Magic game where there is actually some focus on story with good writing, rates really high with me. Heroes 2 really didn't have much of a story. Just good guy vs bad guy without much beyond that. Heroes 3 went a little further, but the stories always felt disconnected when I played the campaigns. Heroes Chronicles was the first "Heroes" game I played where I really felt like there was a story, and I greatly enjoyed it.

Would you also say the Heroes Chronicles chapters were good "Heroes" games? It doesn't inspire multiplayer "addiction" as that was not a feature.

As far as HotA, that's fan made and so is irrelevant to your argument. If I had the time, I would make an H4 expansion for the events of The Reckoning, but I don't, so I'm just going to create a set of campaigns (which is still an ambitious undertaking).

And statistics.. you probably shouldn't ever use statistics in an argument, especially unvalidated. I could bring up the point that mere "thousands" (which is very likely overstated in any case), is actually very little. There are unpopular and unknown game streamers who have a bigger following than that. Also, this is, again, for multiplayer purposes and has nothing whatsoever to do with being a good "Heroes" game.

So, I'm not arguing with you, I'm just pointing out that your entire post is your opinion, which you are entitled to :D

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Postby Salamandre » Apr 19 2015, 18:23

It seems that H4 needs periodically such threads, like why is good or better. You will also notice that you will hardly find such threads for H2-3. :D

iLiVeInAbOx05 wrote:As far as HotA, that's fan made and so is irrelevant to your argument. If I had the time, I would make an H4 expansion for the events of The Reckoning, but I don't, so I'm just going to create a set of campaigns (which is still an ambitious undertaking).


How is this an argument, if you had the time...because you think that people who worked on Hota had tons of free time, nothing to do, so they just wasted their time on making a new town...seriously? This is passion, man, dedication and belief in a game potential. You just don't believe in H4 as much as they believe in H3.

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Postby iLiVeInAbOx05 » Apr 19 2015, 19:04

Salamandre wrote:heh. If you had the time...because you think that people who worked on Hota had tons of free time, nothing to do, so they just wasted their time on making a new town...seriously? This is passion, man, dedication and belief in a game potential. You just don't believe in H4 as much as they believe in H3. Period, as you so much like to say.

Ok, anyway, it seems that H4 need periodically such threads, like why it is good, better etc. So be it, you will also notice that you will not find such threads for Heroes III or II. Which says a lot. :D


Clearly, you need to work on your reading comprehension skills.

I never said they had tons of free time, nor that it was wasted effort. I would certainly like to try HotA at some point. They also had more than one person working on their project. I have just me.

Having very little time to work on my project does not, in any way shape or form, mean that I don't "believe in" H4. It just means exactly that: I have very little time to work on my project. Perhaps you're just upset that someone called you out for trying to pass your opinion off as fact :D

Salamandre wrote:Period, as you so much like to say.


You are implying that I used this more than once. Do you also need to work on counting? ;)

Salamandre wrote:Ok, anyway, it seems that H4 need periodically such threads, like why it is good, better etc. So be it, you will also notice that you will not find such threads for Heroes III or II. Which says a lot. :D


And the insecure people who think their opinion is fact and meaningful to everyone on the planet, feel the need to make invalid arguments promoting the things they like even though no one said that these things were inferior.

I haven't seen anyone who likes H4 put something in their forum signature which was derogatory toward H2/3. I have seen I have seen the opposite. Which says a lot.

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Postby Salamandre » Apr 19 2015, 20:05

I am not upset man :D

I mean I have a huge work about both Heroes behind me so my opinion is enough secure; is just that not often I have the opportunity to discuss with people knowing the game on same level so they could show what they come with, to back their arguments.

As I said I agree with Duzeom points, H4 could have potential, but it didn't: this is why I bring arguments as expansion, tournaments, maps etc. They only mean one thing: there IS demand.

I love the H4 editor and I even made a mod for H3 with ALL H4 graphics, exclusively. But, as Duzeom himself said, the fact that AI is inexistent in a game kills the game. Godly heroes kill the multiplayer. Lack of patches fixing the problems shortened its life.

I have the intention to replay Veldrynus's maps soon, and if any is interested, I will make a parallel with famous H3 maps, how game progresses, how the late game is still challenging and so on. Just for the record.

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Postby GreatEmerald » Apr 20 2015, 16:50

I definitely agree with Duzeom. And my first game was HoMM3. Yes, the HoMM3 → HoMM4 transition is probably what people find the hardest, because it can get disorienting at first.

I find both games to be equally good, just different. After discovering and playing through MM games, HoMM4 really feels more like a "real" HoMM title. You can, say, make a party of 4 adventurers: a knight, a robber, a sorcerer and a cleric, buy items from stores, complete quests to get weapons and armour, level p to get promotions etc. And doing things like playing a Stealth hero with nothing but Rogues is super fun. So it feels like this is what HoMM should have been from the start, if JVC actually made the game with MM in mind and not just slapping the title for PR reasons.

Meanwhile HoMM3 feels more balanced, which is not surprising since it was the 3rd evolution of the same game, and thus it's not surprising that competitive players prefer it. It also feels more cohesive from the visual point of view. But that's largely due to HoMM4 being somewhat rushed.

Addressing individual points: the battlefield feels strange because you can't do the HoMM3 thing of counting how far you can go to stand right outside the reach of the enemy. But then mostly the same applied in HoMM1, where you can't show the grid at all. It's a bit of a problem, but it makes for one less thing to worry about during battles, so I don't mind.

Hero classes are very fun and creative. Heck, it's even more fun and creative than what you get in actual MM games. A combination of a Cleric and a Sorcerer is a Druid and nobody really cares about them, unfortunately; meanwhile a combination of a Death and a Nature magician is a Demoniac, and it's awesome. The closest thing in MM was the light/dark paths in MM7, but it was just either everyone is one or everyone is the other. It could have been easily expanded to the HoMM4 system by just allowing people to choose, but MM8 was rushed even more than HoMM4, not to mention MM9.

The music... Eh... It's really a mixed bag in my opinion. The music was somewhat rushed too. Things like the Academy and Water theme are one of the best pieces in the series, but pretty much all terrain themes are samey and get boring real quick.

Castle interiors were also likely rushed. The way they implemented terrain differences makes sense, but it's a lazy way to do it. HoMM3 buildings were 3D models, too, yet the towns looked very cohesive. Making a few different town screens (for reach terrain type), when having access to the original models, is not difficult at all.

The magic system is OK, although it's not really helping spell variety. I have to say that after playing some HoMM1, I actually prefer its system the most for the sheer variety of spells during battles. The concept of SP allows spamming the same spells over and over. Though HoMM1 also suffered from lack of variety because only the available spells in the castle visited were refreshed. Maybe some hybrid system would have been the best...

The editor certainly is more powerful, but also more complicated. Kind of the general trend there. With great power comes great complexity...

Caravans are super useful. However, the issue of the enemy sending a level 1 hero to take over all your mines and dwellings still remained...

And yes, the campaigns were very nice. They're like trope subversion 101. Very satisfying. Though not that well-balanced. The first Chaos campaign, argh...

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Postby Duzeom_ » Apr 20 2015, 16:50

Salamandre wrote: Sure, liking one or another from Heroes franchise is partly a matter of taste. But then it comes fluidity in MP, to gameplay balance, Heroes III has no valid successor; H4-5 never achieved same addiction in tournaments, mapmaking, or whatever related to gameplay. H3 even got a new expansion recently -Horn of the Abyss, 15 years after release: a new town, several campaigns and so on.

Then it comes down to each one personal opinion, nonetheless statistics are there, to teach us. Even today, http://heroes3.tv/ hosts H3 tournaments, chat room are full, thousand of people are following the games in real time, discuss and have fun.


I think that tournaments in H3 is an aftermath of the fact that gamers of H3 is a lot more than in H4. And the fact that the first H4 didn't have a multiplayer option at all.

Also number of maps to H4 is, in my opinion, I didn't do any statistics, approximate to number of maps of H3. Even if the number of H4 maps is smaller then it is still greater than the proportion of gamers in H4 and H3. It is all thanks to great editor and great mechanics - which is heroes units. Yes, I think that heroes units is a very good mechanic to make very good maps and stories, because you can walk in shoes of your hero.

The last thing - Salamandre did you played H4 by multiplayer? I played few times and I had a lot of fun. And I believe that tournaments are possible in H4 but the audience is too narrow.


It seems that H4 needs periodically such threads, like why is good or better. You will also notice that you will hardly find such threads for H2-3. smile_teeth


I could do it, but it will be short. H2 > H3. Why? Because H2 offers a lot of fun equal to H3 with simpler mechanics. But on the other side more is better. So really it is matter of taste.

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Postby Namerutan » Apr 21 2015, 6:24

GreatEmerald wrote:you can't do the HoMM3 thing of counting how far you can go to stand right outside the reach of the enemy.


I do that in H4 sometimes. Just right-click on the enemy unit to see how far can move next round, then move my unit outside that area.

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Postby GreatEmerald » Apr 21 2015, 8:53

Namerutan wrote:I do that in H4 sometimes. Just right-click on the enemy unit to see how far can move next round, then move my unit outside that area.


Oh, that's right, you can see the enemy reach by right-clicking, I forgot about that one. Was it added in a patch, or was it there originally too? Either way, that sure is handy and thus better than the HoMM3 system.

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Postby Namerutan » Apr 21 2015, 18:50

GreatEmerald wrote:Was it added in a patch, or was it there originally too?


Combat grid and movement shadow was added in patch v1.2

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Postby iLiVeInAbOx05 » Apr 22 2015, 3:00

Using balance / AI / Multiplayer flaws as logic for why Heroes IV is not a "Heroes" game does not follow.

With your logic, I could say Starcraft is one of the best "Heroes" games of all time, since the developers continually work on balance / multiplayer and the AI is adequate.

So if you want to say Heroes IV is not a "Heroes" game, then you need a new argument to back up your claim.

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Re: Why HIV is better or equal to HIII

Postby wimfrits » Apr 22 2015, 9:11

Duzeom_ wrote:Maybe all players are so accustomed to H3 that they didn't even want to try H4?


I think the main issue is that H3 did not innovate enough. The transition from H2 to H3 taught the fanbase to expect little change in mechanics and bring 'more of the same'.
Even now, each aspect of a new Heroes version that is different from the H3 mechanics results in tremendous resistance.
Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?

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Postby Torur » Apr 24 2015, 7:02

When comparing the games I think it's important to remember that when they released H4, as was the problem with MM9, NWC was pressed on money and rushed both products to market.
H4 has just the right blend of innovation and familiarity to be a great sequel,
it just didnt spend enough time in development and falls short IMO.
It's a fun game on its own, but its not one of the greats.

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Postby Sligneris » Apr 26 2015, 23:18

Let's talk about how HIV is better than Heroes 3. :devil:

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Postby Dalai » Apr 27 2015, 10:26

Looks like another count of people still playing H-4 :)

One can add a lot of new arguments to above said, I just wanted to "dispel" the "commercial myth" - "H4 was a bad game and that's why the NWC went bankrupt". 3DO made several bad decisions with their other franchises, most important of which were connected to "4 riders of apocalypse" or smth. like that. Heroes were treated as a money cow (one of), which would supply profits to finance all 3DO's ambitious goals. That's why H4 was rushed - to supply money for other games. That's why it was underdeveloped. And failure in those ambitious projects is the reason 3DO went bankrupt.

Would Heroes remain in NWC hands - we would still play real Heroes of Might and Magic, not some MMH.

Sligneris wrote:Let's talk about how HIV is better than Heroes 3. :devil:
In all and every aspect of it.

It's a short talk, really. :proud:
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