Normalizing the Conflux

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

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cjlee
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Normalizing the Conflux

Postby cjlee » Aug 12 2015, 13:45

I have been spending a lot of time playing H3 again.

This game simply can't get old. I love it that much, even 17 years after the original release!

I would like to ask why no one has thought about making just one minor balancing tweak to the Conflux: their Phoenix growth. If you brought down the rate of Phoenix growth to base 1, max 2, I believe all the unhappiness with Conflux can disappear. Base 1 growth is really the same as everyone else; surely the patch or mod can't be that hard to code for the many experts out there?


Once you remove the 2 extra phoenixes per week, I do not believe Conflux is overpowered at all.

1) Their heroes suck. No one has any really useful speciality like armourer or intelligence or logistics that makes them dangerous in late game.

2) Their troops are expensive. You can never afford a full lineup.

3) They start very strong with Sprites and Air Elementals, but once week 3 comes by, you better have firebirds or you're hammered. And you need to build everything to get Firebirds. If you didn't produce many Firebirds, you will be pretty weak since your mid tiers are all crap.

4) Most of their troops have severe vulnerabilities. This is especially true of air elementals. Nearly every enemy hero will have lightning bolt once he has visited two mage guilds. In late game, it is rare to find enemy heroes without ice bolt, lightning and fireball in their spellbooks. Your Conflux middle tier lineups are all dead.

5) Yes, so they have access to all schools of magic. But it isn't cheap. And who will buy all 4 schools of magic? The most important thing about magic is not that it exists in your hero's skill slots, but that you can cast on Expert level. Casting on basic level is usually no different from casting without basic competency.

From experience, when I get Conflux might heroes (Planewalkers) and buy magic skills for them, they often don't get offered these skills when levelling up. Instead I get offered worthless stuff like Estates or Ballistics. So it is impossible to buy my way to Expert Earth or Water magic for a Might Hero in the first month.

6) Claiming Conflux special building Magic School is unusually good does not make sense to me. Every race has a special building, and every special building has its useful purpose. I make it a point to visit every barbarian and fortress town for that +1 attack or defense, for instance. Conflux special building is the best on an L or XL map with plenty of resources where you really want to develop all heroes fully. It isn't that wonderful on an S map where that extra +1 to stats is better. And depending on how you play it, the skeleton transformer or Castle Gate or Mana Vortex all have their attractions. On a medium sized map or any map lacking in wells, I definitely prefer the Mana Vortex.

7) Phoenixes are terrible fighters. Much like the Phoenixes of H2. Their main advantage is to give the hero a speed advantage, so that he can cast spells. Currently at +4 a week they are overpowered against everyone else, but once you make them +2 a week it becomes more balanced. In the hands of a might based hero, they are not that intimidating. I find Behemoths more scary. In the hands of a magic based hero, they are wimps unless that hero is going for Armageddon, Mass Slow/Haste or Berserk.

Just my thoughts. Considering how passionate many people are about Conflux being overpowered, it would be very interesting to see what you guys thought!

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Salamandre
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Re: Normalizing the Conflux

Postby Salamandre » Aug 12 2015, 16:49

Why don't you play Era II (last wog)? It has a SoD mod where Heroes vanilla is not at all changed but where you can insert your own scripts, as special growth + all other.

Is hard to make a patch for all people because they never agree 100% on what should be changed. That's why wog is there, to offer each one HIS game within minimal scripting work.

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cjlee
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Re: Normalizing the Conflux

Postby cjlee » Aug 12 2015, 17:01

I downloaded and installed WoG twice, but never found it compelling. I don't know why. I think it was too complex. Having too many options left me feeling intimidated and confused.

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Re: Normalizing the Conflux

Postby Salamandre » Aug 12 2015, 22:39

Wog is done, death, obsolete. Now you have Era, is Heroes III with mods support. Try it, nothing to do with wog where you have to turn options on off. There are 160 mods for Era now, and wog is one of them. SoD mod is offering safe environment for SoD games (no plague, no week of, no bugs).

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Taro
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Re: Normalizing the Conflux

Postby Taro » Aug 16 2015, 8:05

In our polish sites there is an odd text file for tournaments. It changes a little bit stats of the creatures and is easy to implement - you just copy it to the data folder. If you want you can change phoenixes growth in the text and that's it. If you don't want it, you can change number in text or remove the text itself. Interested?

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cjlee
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Re: Normalizing the Conflux

Postby cjlee » Aug 16 2015, 9:04

Thanks Taro, but it's all ok. I don't play Conflux much and anyway my games with friends are just recreational games. We do other things like talk while using the hot seat.

Early on we tried this mutually agreed honourable thing where the Conflux player would refrain from hiring more than 2 Phoenixes per week. And you know what? It didn't make people want to start with Conflux except on really big maps or really small maps. For pretty much the same reasons as those explained earlier: stuff like lousy Conflux heroes, expensive units, expensive magic schools, impractical difficulty in actually getting to the Phoenix-Armageddon strategy, etc.

I think in most multiplayer games, the bread and butter of most fights have always been the mid tiers. Because we're under pressure all the time from each other in Medium or Large maps, we rarely can spare the cash to invest in the top upgrades. So it's very much a question of 'surviving the mid game long enough to implement Ultimate Strategy'. And considering that the Conflux player has to really struggle through the mid game to even survive, it makes us a lot less keen on choosing to start with Conflux.

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Re: Normalizing the Conflux

Postby Bloax » Aug 21 2015, 17:07

Conflux is generally a really bad town; it starts off well with sprites being great, air elementals that are amazing and water elementals that are quite OK but extremely burdensome on your gold resources.
It then takes a nosedive straight into terrible as fire elementals are weak as hell; they're fragile with miserable damage and a high price.
Earth elementals then continue this nosedive by delivering the finest example of a **** unit; they're slow, fragile (so much for tanky earth elementals) with an absolutely miserable damage output at a steep price - magma elementals cost as much as a basic(!) minotaur, with half the damage, the same speed and 10 less health.

The only saving grace of conflux is their good tier 6 units and the growth advantage of their otherwise unimpressive tier 7 unit.
It really smells like it was a very rushed town, since the tier 2-5 units are literally just the pre-AB elementals slapped into a town without consideration for the fact that they're not actually balanced as tier 2-5 units.

What conflux needs is a pretty major stat change for fire/earth elementals, alongside a tier 7 buff to compensate for their normal growth.


    Old stats:
  • Water elemental: 6 Growth @ 300 Gold / 30 Health / 8 Attack / 10 Defense / 3-7 Damage / 5 Speed - (Immune to mind + ice bolt/ring, double damage from fire damage)
  • Ice elemental: 6 Growth @ 375 Gold / 30 Health / 8 Attack / 10 Defense / 3-7 Damage (24 Shots) / 6 Speed - (Immune to mind + ice bolt/ring, double damage from fire damage, casts prot. water)

  • Fire elemental: 5 Growth @ 350 Gold / 35 Health / 10 Attack / 8 Defense / 4-6 Damage / 6 Speed - (Immune to fire/mind, double damage from ice bolt/ring)
  • Energy elemental: 5 Growth @ 400 Gold / 35 Health / 12 Attack / 8 Defense / 4-6 Damage / 8 Speed - (Immune to fire/mind, double damage from ice bolt/ring, casts prot. fire)

  • Earth elemental: 4 Growth @ 400 Gold / 40 Health / 10 Attack / 10 Defense / 4-8 Damage / 4 Speed - (Immune to mind + chain/lightning, double damage from meteor shower)
  • Magma elemental: 4 Growth @ 500 Gold / 40 Health / 11 Attack / 11 Defense / 6-10 Damage / 6 Speed - (Immune to mind + chain/lightning, double damage from meteor shower, castrs prot. earth)

  • Fire birds: 2 Growth @ 1500 Gold / 150 Health / 18 Attack / 18 Defense / 30-40 Damage / 15 Speed - (Immune to fire)
  • Phoenix: 2 Growth @ 2000 Gold + 1 Mercury / 200 Health / 21 Attack / 18 Defense / 30-40 Damage / 21 Speed - (Immune to fire, death resurrection)

    New stats:
  • Water elemental: 6 Growth @ 230 Gold / 30 Health / 8 Attack / 10 Defense / 3-7 Damage / 6 Speed - (Immune to mind + ice bolt/ring, double damage from fire damage)
  • Ice elemental: 6 Growth @ 270 Gold / 30 Health / 8 Attack / 10 Defense / 3-7 Damage (24 Shots) / 6 Speed - (Immune to mind + ice bolt/ring, double damage from fire damage, casts prot. water)

  • Fire elemental: 5 Growth @ 375 Gold / 30 Health / 12 Attack / 8 Defense / 7-14 Damage / 7 Speed - (Immune to fire/mind, double damage from ice bolt/ring, fire shield)
  • Energy elemental: 5 Growth @ 400 Gold / 30 Health / 13 Attack / 6 Defense / 8-16 Damage / 8 Speed - (Immune to fire/mind, double damage from ice bolt/ring, casts prot. fire, fire shield)

  • Earth elemental: 3 Growth @ 450 Gold / 85 Health / 7 Attack / 15 Defense / 8-10 Damage / 5 Speed - (Immune to mind + chain/lightning, double damage from meteor shower)
  • Magma elemental: 3 Growth @ 625 Gold / 95 Health / 10 Attack / 17 Defense / 10-12 Damage / 6 Speed - (Immune to mind + chain/lightning, double damage from meteor shower, castrs prot. earth, fire shield)

  • Fire birds: 1 Growth @ 1500 Gold / 160 Health / 21 Attack / 18 Defense / 40-60 Damage / 15 Speed - (Immune to fire)
  • Phoenix: 1 Growth @ 2400 Gold + 2 Mercury / 220 Health / 24 Attack / 20 Defense / 40-60 Damage / 21 Speed - (Immune to fire, death resurrection)

Here's a quick draft.
Tier 3 is cheaper and water elementals are a little bit faster - fire elementals are expensive, fragile heavy-hitters that also punish attackers - earth elementals are tanky as hell and their upgrade has a sinister fire shield addition - tier 7 is quite powerful unupgraded with its huge damage and relatively accessible price, but otherwise they should still be weaker without the advantage of numbers.

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cjlee
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Re: Normalizing the Conflux

Postby cjlee » Aug 21 2015, 20:33

I think very few people will ever purchase Earth elementals. And they will buy fire elementals only if they didn't have enough other options to hire.

But the Phoenix in my mind doesn't need tweaking at all. Phoenixes in H2 were very weak also. Their chief advantage is the speed advantage, allowing for H2 sorceresses to unleash elemental storm and flee.

The phoenixes are too weak to be a game breaker where they can win simply by the force of their attacks. Their speed confers an advantage to the spellcaster every round, since even with expert slow, they remain among the fastest units in the game.


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