Most important factor in games

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

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Which factor is most important to winning a multiplayer game?

Speed
15
45%
Battle awareness
9
27%
AI awareness
2
6%
Map awareness
6
18%
Creature choice
1
3%
 
Total votes: 33

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Banedon
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Most important factor in games

Postby Banedon » Oct 31 2007, 3:46

Which skill, when mastered, helps most with winning a multiplayer game?

SPEED - the skill to move quickly through the map, expanding quickly and seizing castles at calculated risks. Somewhat linked to micromanagement where the main hero wastes no time taking resources and mines but the support heroes do it instead.

BATTLE AWARENESS - the skill to outstrategize and outmaneveur your enemy on the battlefield itself; the experience to tell which move would be best in general.

AI AWARENESS - the skill to manipulate the AI into attacking your least important stacks, or to get the AI to self-combust, to suicide, such that you destroy AI players and neutrals with ease.

MAP AWARENESS - the skill to make the best decisions on the adventure map; the experience to tell which places will be the most hotly-contested and whether one should fight for it; the ability to deploy scouts astutely such that your enemy's movements are never obscured from you.

CREATURE CHOICE - the skill to choose between creatures, upgrades and which creatures to put in your armies.

I hope I didn't miss anything. Which factor is most important to winning a multiplayer game?
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Postby asandir » Oct 31 2007, 5:07

that's actually really tough, cause they are all intrinisic factors, someone great on speed but lacking battle skills, will likely loose too many troops to win, conversely someone great on battle skills but poor on speed will find himself outmanned, Map awareness can win a game by itself, but not always - purely map dependant, Creature choice is an interesting one, can obviously be very beneficial, but is very dependant on what the opponent does, and AI awareness, well since there is no AI it's probably the least important

really tough choice between speed, battle skills, and map awareness for me, I will rule out map awareness cause it's map dependant .... down to two, I'm not sure I can choose really, but will in the end reluctantly take battle skills, mostly cause I will assume that the player will have some speed skills (or at least won't delay things too much) but saving troops can be crucial
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Postby Meandor » Oct 31 2007, 8:51

Speed is everything. While moving faster you should have higher level main hero, more resources, more high level creatures.
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Postby darknessfood » Oct 31 2007, 14:48

Though i never played online i suppose speed is the most impirtant thing you need...

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Postby Pol » Oct 31 2007, 15:01

As asandir aka 'Stefan Urlus' aka 'aussie' aka 'really dirty halloween mask' rightly pointed out it's depending on the game.

Speed is important, but being fast and weak can cause nightmares (Hello Milla :D :tonguehands: ) It's same with all other factors. So it cannot be simplified by 'pick your best'. (which is typical politican mistake btw)

Which turns out like that in many games, as they aren't too difficult, you usually rely on two factors. But as I said is more profound. :-D
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Postby Kristo » Oct 31 2007, 18:10

I voted for Battle Awareness. I've only played a few non-cooperative multiplayer games, but each one ended in a climactic battle between human players. Assuming neither side makes any glaring mistakes leading up to it, the final battle will be relatively even. Win that battle and you win the game.

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Postby PhoenixReborn » Oct 31 2007, 18:28

It depends on the match up.

When I have played against players of the same ability as me the battle tactics/awareness is the most important thing...when you do what determines the outcome in a fairly even fight.

However, more skilled players move faster than I do on the adventure map, meaning they have bigger armies/better heroes, so to me speed is the most important and the battle awareness is second.

I voted speed.

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Postby Metathron » Oct 31 2007, 19:44

Voted for Battle Awareness as well for the same reasons as others have already stated, though the other factors, especially speed, are almost of equal importance.
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Postby ThunderTitan » Oct 31 2007, 20:05

Battle Awareness ... Speed is a risky tactic that can be countered with a working economy depending on how many towns there are etc.

I find the rest of the choices more or less part of these 2... the AI is being outmaneuvered, the creatures you use take into account your battle tactics and the map is being taken advantage of fast.
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Postby Darmani » Oct 31 2007, 20:41

At first glance, I thought Map Awareness was having memorized the layout of the map beforehand, i.e.: knowing where all the castles and mines are. I promptly voted for that.

If I understand the post correctly, Map Awareness is not that. Thus, I would vote for speed. One must attempt to build up and conquer territory quickly in order to gain an advantage.

If the game is 1v1, human vs. human, battle awareness becomes more important. One of the main reasons for speed is that it helps your main hero fight all enemies at once, and helps you gain the resources needed to outfit a secondary main hero if necessary. With a 1v1 battle, there is usually only one front to fight on, less to conquer, and thus an emphasis on using what you have rather than gaining more.

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Postby Banedon » Nov 1 2007, 0:26

Let me clarify. By battle awareness I don't mean having the ability to conduct small battles against neutrals well - everyone should be able to do that. It's when the battles get large and complex that you need to make difficult choices. Suppose you face your opponent in a final battle, Rampart vs. Fortress. Your Gold Dragons move first. What should you do? That kind of thing. It happens very rarely, but when it does the consequences can cost the game.

Map awareness can be taken to mean memorizing the layout of the map, though in my experiences the player who hasn't memorized it can still easily compensate for it with good reconnaisance. It's only when there're things like a lightly-defended Gold Mine around that memorization gets important.

Speed has nothing to do with facing multiple enemies at once. I guess I should've added in diplomacy for that, but that's only relevant for games with three or more players.

AI awareness is slightly deeper than battle awareness. If you're AI aware you can win battles at worse odds than you can with battle awareness because you can now risk battles you would not have been able to against humans. Easy tricks you can pull include the 1-Sprite-take-on-40-Zombies in Heroes 5, getting your enemy's Black Dragons to suicide on your Rangers in Heroes 2 and so on. More difficult would be somehow getting neutrals to split into two stacks instead of three, manipulating the AI such that his units get in way of each other, and so on. Not all multiplayer games do not involve AI players; some games get resolved by who feeds off the AI more, others by who the AI chooses to attack.

By creature choice you do things like picking Ogre Lords instead of Greater Druids on the grounds that Ogre Lords are significantly less vulnerable to Lightning Bolt. If this sounds stupid to you, creature choice also includes things like picking Cyclops over Ogre Magi in Heroes IV, using only Black Dragons to speed up your hero's movement speed, etc.
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Postby ThunderTitan » Nov 1 2007, 0:39

You're over compartmentalizing... only the AI exploiting could count as different because it's more or less cheating the system, but it's still part of battle tactics, just tactics that weren't supposed to work.
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Postby Darmani » Nov 1 2007, 0:41

Banedon wrote:Speed has nothing to do with facing multiple enemies at once. I guess I should've added in diplomacy for that, but that's only relevant for games with three or more players.


Well, pretty much anything that helps you take on one opponent makes it easier to take on two.

If by speed you mean things like trying to rush a nearby AI opponent, weak human opponent, or a town, then it certainly has a lot to do with being able to take on multiple opponents. :) In addition giving you more to fight with, it also helps to cut down on the number of neighbors.

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Postby asandir » Nov 1 2007, 0:42

As asandir aka 'Stefan Urlus' aka 'aussie' aka 'really dirty halloween mask' rightly pointed out it's depending on the game


thanks Pol :D

I still stand by my battle awareness as primary - after banedon's clarification, just edging out speed
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Postby SSLaw » Nov 1 2007, 14:20

New to the forum.
H2 was the first computer game I've played and I am a fan ever since. Got very few experience in multiplayer but more than 10 years in single player.
I see some of the things written here and consider myself a mediocre player. Beating thousands of zombies with a sprite is a real feat. That is what makes a difference between players. Looting a dragon utopia in week 3 or 4 gives a huge advantage in the game. I think AI awareness and exploiting the AI weaknesses are the most important for winning.
Speed and will be second. Exploring the map fast makes strong heroes and gives resources. In multiplayer, though, it can be easily countered. Next comes battle awareness couse the game is 50% development and 50% battle.
Creature choice is the least important. Having hydras in week 1 in H3 is a big advantage, but only in the beginning. After the towns are fully upgraded, this skill is not important.

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Postby ThunderTitan » Nov 1 2007, 15:17

SSLaw wrote:Beating thousands of zombies with a sprite is a real feat.


It's also an exploit... a very boring one. And i prefer Earth Elementals myself.


But the fact is that to ensure victory in combat between heroes before it starts the skill difference between you and your opponent has to be pretty big... while losing your main hero can happen even if he's just a bit better at combat.
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Postby Suleman » Nov 1 2007, 17:46

I voted for Map Awareness, because I know that my improvement as a Heroes player was simply because I started to learn what to look for and claim for myself and what creeps I could beat. Also, knowing the maps intimately helps enormously.
Especially if the other player doesn't know that one color gets 4 lvl 1 dwellings just outside his town and the others don't. H2 had some really strange maps.
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Postby asandir » Nov 1 2007, 23:24

I agree with some of those points, but if you can't keep your early creatures alive, your early creep will falter, it can be a major speed aspect, cause it can allow you to keep going without waiting for more troops, plus you can seriously cause some hurt in the bigger battles
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Postby wimfrits » Nov 2 2007, 16:56

Nice read so far.

I think the choice is between battle awareness and speed, like was opted before.
Speed does not exist without AI awareness and creature choice.
Map awareness is (mostly) useless without speed.

My vote went to speed because I think the advantage in army and hero strength of a speedy player will usually be too much for a greater battle awareness to overcome.
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Postby Jolly Joker » Nov 2 2007, 17:40

I've mulled a lot about this, and I find that I disagree with the choices.
Questions:
1) Do I know the map or not?
2) Is it a typical MP tourney map or not? (i.e., how big is the amount of randomness; is everything set in detail or not.
3) What SETTINGS do I play on (i.e. are we playing with time limits, especially for battle turn length)
If I know the map AND it's a typical tourney map AND we play with time limits what I need is PRACTISE more than anything else. I must know every aspect of the faction I play, of battle situations, of splitting tactics, of fast and effective chaining and so on. I must play fast and confident, I must remember the layout of the map, and I must have experience.

If I don't know the map AND it's NOT a specifically designed tourney map the picture changes a lot. What I need most now is something like a mix of gut feeling and judgement. Plus some luck.
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