Looking backward: First impressions on HoMM4

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

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gravyluvr
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Postby gravyluvr » Jun 4 2007, 17:07

IIRC Nature will never be offered naturally to a death magic hero until you gain an advanced class since it is opposite. Pray for a Nature skill somewhere on the map. I always found the combat or Tactics skill better with a necro though.
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Re: Death becomes him...

Postby Bandobras Took » Jun 4 2007, 22:16

Qurqirish Dragon wrote:Since I start with both death and nature magic, I thought it would make sense to develop both. My first level of demonology got me the summon imp spell. I eagerly awaited getting my nature built up, but now, 17 levels later, I still haven't been offered a nature skill! I am only two levels away from maxing out all skills in the death tree, so hopefully in the next map I will be able to improve it!


Have you been offered combat an absurd number of times?

This is another one of my frustrations with Heroes IV -- while the skill system is deep, the limited choices give you very little chance to experience that depth.

On the positive side, this discussion has me giving the old campaigns another run through -- and the knowledge of the "dismiss" hotkey for removing heroes has made the Haven Campaign about 5 times funner.

When the time comes, I'll have to try and turn Waerjak into an Assassin . . . :)
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Re: Death becomes him...

Postby HodgePodge » Jun 4 2007, 23:02

Bandobras Took wrote:Have you been offered combat an absurd number of times?

This is another one of my frustrations with Heroes IV -- while the skill system is deep, the limited choices give you very little chance to experience that depth.

On the positive side, this discussion has me giving the old campaigns another run through -- and the knowledge of the "dismiss" hotkey for removing heroes has made the Haven Campaign about 5 times funner.

When the time comes, I'll have to try and turn Waerjak into an Assassin . . . :)

Well, I hate to bring this up to such knowledgable players; but you can use the "nwcathena" cheat and give your hero whichever beginning skill you like at basic level. Then quit out of the game completely so you won't be labeled a 'cheater' when you finish the campaign.

I have to agree that the 'dismiss hero' hotkey is one wonderful discovery, even at this late stage. Makes me want to replay all my maps and campaigns over again. :-D
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Re: Death becomes him...

Postby Qurqirish Dragon » Jun 5 2007, 13:15

Bandobras Took wrote:
Qurqirish Dragon wrote:Since I start with both death and nature magic, I thought it would make sense to develop both. My first level of demonology got me the summon imp spell. I eagerly awaited getting my nature built up, but now, 17 levels later, I still haven't been offered a nature skill! I am only two levels away from maxing out all skills in the death tree, so hopefully in the next map I will be able to improve it!


Have you been offered combat an absurd number of times?


Yes, I have. I am hoping that once I max out all of the death skills (in 2 more levels), then it will have to offer me a nature skill (the only one I can improve, as opposed to getting a new skill). If it simply offers me 3 primaries (I would expect combat, chaos, and order if this is the case), I will be quite annoyed!

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Postby Bandobras Took » Jun 5 2007, 18:20

Prepare to be annoyed. :)

It's not as bad as that. If you've got an advanced class, you tend to get offered skills from those classes and combat as your third choice.

But I've made Demonologists on any number of maps and had my level up choices be Summoning, Necromancy, and Combat. On separate computers, no less. Not much hope of getting Summon Demon spells with those choices.

The overabundance of combat being offered reflects not only the rushed state of the game but the poor design of heroes on the battlefield in general.

Not only should combat be offered at the same or less rate than other skills, but heroes on the battlefield should have been designed so that they didn't feel it necessary to force the skill upon you.
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Postby Corribus » Jun 5 2007, 18:28

I agree. The developers short circuited the deep skill system of H4 by pretty much making combat skills compulsory.
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Re: Death becomes him...

Postby gravyluvr » Jun 5 2007, 18:55

HodgePodge wrote:I have to agree that the 'dismiss hero' hotkey is one wonderful discovery, even at this late stage. Makes me want to replay all my maps and campaigns over again. :-D


And you really don't want to know what names my Babes of Might and Magic are going by now! :devious:
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Re: Death becomes him...

Postby HodgePodge » Jun 5 2007, 19:20

gravyluvr wrote:
HodgePodge wrote:I have to agree that the 'dismiss hero' hotkey is one wonderful discovery, even at this late stage. Makes me want to replay all my maps and campaigns over again. :-D


And you really don't want to know what names my Babes of Might and Magic are going by now! :devious:

I wonder if those threads from two servers ago are still accessible? Otherwise, maybe we should reintroduce those polls again. You do the 'Babes" & I'll do the 'Hunks'.
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Postby ThunderTitan » Jun 5 2007, 21:55

Corribus wrote:I agree. The developers short circuited the deep skill system of H4 by pretty much making combat skills compulsory.


Rushed fixes suck.
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Postby gravyluvr » Jun 6 2007, 13:48

Bandobras Took wrote:Prepare to be annoyed. :)
But I've made Demonologists on any number of maps and had my level up choices be Summoning, Necromancy, and Combat. On separate computers, no less. Not much hope of getting Summon Demon spells with those choices.


That is the reason why I will go in and open the map in the editor and uncheck summoning. I still like Necro if I'm playing Death.

That would actually help... if we could drop the percentage of time that combat was offered - instead of every 3 levels it could be every four or five levels.
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Postby Qurqirish Dragon » Jun 6 2007, 17:55

gravyluvr wrote:
Bandobras Took wrote:Prepare to be annoyed. :)
But I've made Demonologists on any number of maps and had my level up choices be Summoning, Necromancy, and Combat. On separate computers, no less. Not much hope of getting Summon Demon spells with those choices.


That is the reason why I will go in and open the map in the editor and uncheck summoning. I still like Necro if I'm playing Death.

That would actually help... if we could drop the percentage of time that combat was offered - instead of every 3 levels it could be every four or five levels.


Although I haven't had the chance yet, I would think summoning will be incredibly useful for a death hero. If nothing else, use the undead transformer in town on the summoned creatures!

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Postby Black Ghost » Jun 6 2007, 19:04

Your topic is very interesting, as I've played all campaigns once again recently and like to compare your feelings about each story.

Waiting for your opinions about Pirat's Daughter and TGS campaigns - hope you'll play them next.
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Postby Corribus » Jun 6 2007, 19:14

I thought the Pirate's Daughter was the best campaign of H4 from a structural and design standpoint.
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Postby Jolly Joker » Jun 6 2007, 19:41

Agree. Chaos is the most interesting faction anyway due among others (!) to the fact that their magic isn't grossly and stupidly overpowered. And the campaign as such is a Homm highlight

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Postby Akul » Jun 7 2007, 8:15

Corribus wrote:I thought the Pirate's Daughter was the best campaign of H4 from a structural and design standpoint.


I agree. That is my favourite campaign as well.
It has a good (and cruel) story, L maps, betrayals, many quests and is, the most important of all, enjojable. I replayed the 3rd maps at least 3 times.
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I was right on both accounts!

Postby Qurqirish Dragon » Jun 9 2007, 14:32

I have finished another map (although still on the death campaign), and I am happy to say I was right on both accounts with my guesses.

First, once I gained a level after maxing out death magic, I was offered a nature subskill. Specifically summoning. Once chosen, I became a demonologist, and for my next two levels (when I maxed out for the map) I was offered nature skills (I got basic herbalism and advanced nature). So now I have summon cerberus in my arsenal.
Second, summoning skill works very nicely. Now, when I am going to a town, the day before I enter, I seperate on stack from my army, so my saved-up summoning skill activates. I then change those dozens of level 1 critters into skeletons in town! Since I don't think elementals can be transformed, I am probably not going to get grandmaster summoning - although I might go for a stack of water elementals instead of extra skeletons. Having ice-bolt, illusion, and slow would be nice.

Since I am posting now (I wasn't planning on a mid-campaign post), I might as well continue my comments.
Now that I have nature magic, I might grab a few combat skills as well - I just have to be certain that I do not surpass my nature level with combat, so I keep the demonologist class (although the speed bonus of an assassin is nice, on the adventure map this is wasted if I want to keep with my army, and in combat, I have gotten enough speed boosts from map sites and gems that I generally go fist in any given round anyway, so the skill is wasted. 50% better demon summoning, however, is a grat boon (particularly if/when I get to the higher levels and can summon demons or devils)

Although the storyline is interesting, I am getting a little disappointed in the maps themselves. I seem to always be playing catch-up with a strong enemy (who doesn't bother to hunt me down, so I CAN build up - I guess this is a compensation). All three maps so far have played like this. Two of them had quest guards what would allow the enemy through to me, but not me through the other way. Thus putting me at a severe disadvantage from the start. Perhaps this has to do with the AI problems people have talked about, and it would be too easy without this, but it is still annoying.

On the combat side, I am really having a tough time deciding between level 3s. On this map, I had plenty of production for both, but with only one town, vampires vs. venom spawn will continue to be a very tough choice. I still haven't played wnough with devils yet to do a good comparison with bone dragons. With the fear effect, done dragons almost have the no-retaliation ability, but the devils are so fast (since they teleport) Putting vampiric touch on either one is incredibly strong. I think the one that is better depends on the nature of the enemy. Since I am pighting mostly undead in these maps, the fear ability doesn't trigger too much, but against living troops, it may be better.

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Postby csarmi » Jun 9 2007, 17:20

The extra skills (summoning, charm, resurrection, etc) all sux if you play seriously. They can completely mess up your hero development. After you finish campaigns try some map where you can build several heroes and you'll realize why.

The skill system (what you get offered, when and how) makes perfect sense and mostly reliable. You just need to make sure you completely STICK to the thing you're building up, and you will always have a good choice (ie: when building a life hero, take only life skills and NOT the 4th (resurrection))

If you want to build a GM demonologist, make sure you select the skills you need only. And try to stay without combat!

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Postby gravyluvr » Jun 11 2007, 4:00

The only place where I like the extra skill is for Necro...

My first three heroes go with a specific goal

GM Tactics
GM Death Magic
GM Necromancy

Other than that I try to avoid the last skill like the plague!
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Postby pepak » Jun 11 2007, 9:35

gravyluvr wrote:The only place where I like the extra skill is for Necro...
Other than that I try to avoid the last skill like the plague!

Barbarian, too?

Luck is rather useful as well, as long as you consider Tactics useful.

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Postby csarmi » Jun 11 2007, 15:03

Combat is different. There it depends which kind of hero you're actually building.

You're upping it on your magic hero: avoid melee and archery if possible.
You're upping it on your fighter:either go combat only then resist, or combat+melee or combat+archery (later you possibly take the rest as well).

GM combat is possible level 5 (already a great tank). GM combat+GM offense: level 9 with barbarian...

Tactics: refuse luck until possible, expert tactics + gm offense is the usual shortcut, then you go for other skills possibly... You can up luck on ANOTHER hero instead who has nothing better to do. GM offense is possible level 8.

Nobility: sux as a whole on fighting heroes except for some diplo-based maps.

Scouting: avoid sth at ALL costs. You need to take a clever route to get GM pathfinding asap (dont remember which way guarantees it to you for level 8)

Magic skills: avoid 4th skills! Even when they are free. Otherwise you always get offered main, supp1 and supp2 AND when you visit library and such too! In the beginning, if possible, try buying good skills. Be careful with altars - if it gives you resurrection, you're done for. GM magic is usually possible level 11-12 (14 if you dont get any schools, libraries, altars).

Demonologist is interesting to build.


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