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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Postby ThunderTitan » Nov 2 2007, 19:38

wimfrits wrote: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.


That depends way too much on the map... and can be evened out by lost creatures. Having 10k extra gold that you can't use isn't going to win you anything.

As i said before, to win by speed alone implies that you're way better then your opponent... otherwise your numeric advantage wouldn't be so great. Now in a battle you can win with some lesser numbers even if the opponent only makes 1 or 2 mistakes.
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Postby wimfrits » Nov 3 2007, 9:41

ThunderTitan wrote:That depends way too much on the map... and can be evened out by lost creatures.


Losing significant creatures decreases speed, so I don't think they can coexist. A speedy player should be developing his hero and town(s) faster than a slower player; so should have a numeric advantage when meeting an opponent.

As i said before, to win by speed alone implies that you're way better then your opponent... otherwise your numeric advantage wouldn't be so great. Now in a battle you can win with some lesser numbers even if the opponent only makes 1 or 2 mistakes.


I agree. I don't think one will win with speed alone. It's a mix between speed and battle awareness. But if player A with speed 8 (out of 10) and battle awareness 2 meets player B with speed 2 and battle awareness 8, I think that player A will win.
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Postby ThunderTitan » Nov 3 2007, 18:16

Possibly, but i find that situation unlikely (6 points diff? maybe for the BA person if he only played duels... the other way around is very unlikely)... not to mention that a 2 in battle awareness is somewhere near AI lvl...


Losing significant creatures decreases speed, so I don't think they can coexist.


Avoiding loses will also slow you down... you need to find a balance between loses and gains.

speedy player should be developing his hero and town(s) faster than a slower player; so should have a numeric advantage when meeting an opponent.


But how much faster?! Remember that you can only build once a day... that puts a cap on how many extra resources you'll need.


Lets say that a speed of 6 is enough to get you all the resources you need to build up your town/s... having a speed of 10 won't really be that advantageous any more.
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Postby PhoenixReborn » Nov 4 2007, 0:45

ThunderTitan wrote: Lets say that a speed of 6 is enough to get you all the resources you need to build up your town/s... having a speed of 10 won't really be that advantageous any more.


Yes it will because you get more stronger artifacts and higher hero levels.

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Postby UndeadHalfOrc » Nov 4 2007, 1:54

Besides what people here already said, from my limited multiplayer experience in H2, good players tend to accurately know for any given neutral stack if they can them on without too many losses.

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Postby wimfrits » Nov 4 2007, 6:32

ThunderTitan wrote:Possibly, but i find that situation unlikely (6 points diff? maybe for the BA person if he only played duels...


You're right. 6-8 would be a more likely situation.

Avoiding loses will also slow you down... you need to find a balance between loses and gains.


Ofcourse.

But how much faster?! Remember that you can only build once a day... that puts a cap on how many extra resources you'll need.


True. But like PhoenixReborn said, the amount of resources gathered is not the only gain for a speedy player.
Overall, he will have more artifacts, a stronger army, a stronger hero and be controlling a larger part of the map, so will be likely to own more towns / own towns faster.
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Postby pepak » Nov 4 2007, 8:17

ThunderTitan wrote:But how much faster?! Remember that you can only build once a day... that puts a cap on how many extra resources you'll need.

Well, let me cite an example. I was playing Heart of Winter against another player. That player was progressing in the normal fashion, building his towns, buying creatures and so on. I played for high (not top - that is too dangerous in multiplayer) speed. My speed advantage manifested when I entered his territory in the third week of the game, with five GM Combat barbarians.

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Postby ThunderTitan » Nov 4 2007, 13:23

Well sure in H4 where Hero lvls are the most important and you can have one main party of heroes instead of one main hero speed gets you even more advantages. Also, from my exp with H4 creatures are a secondary concern, so he wasnt playing very well...

Yes it will because you get more stronger artifacts and higher hero levels.


Again, for those to make enough of a diff to ensure victory you need more then just 1-2 extra lvls and a +1 to atk from a better artifact.

As said before, Battle awareness counts more when the diff in skill is closer. If your speed is 6 you might be able to defeat someone with a speed of 8 in combat and win the game if you're better at combat just enough to make up for a few extra creatures/hero lvls.

Even in pepak's example the diff in skill are obvious, he was able to get 5 GM heroes while the other guy had what, one? That's like Zergling rushing someone and finding out he only build 2 Probes when you get here...

Having extra towns shouldn't really last long unless the map is unbalanced in that regard.

And remember kids, your hero build counts as battle awareness.

Besides what people here already said, from my limited multiplayer experience in H2, good players tend to accurately know for any given neutral stack if they can them on without too many losses.


But i don't count that as rushing the map... speed comes from knowing how much of an advantage you'll gain taking them on today with losses vs in the future without loses. Knowing how you'll do in battle is battle awareness anyway...
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Postby pepak » Nov 4 2007, 13:42

ThunderTitan wrote: Even in pepak's example the diff in skill are obvious, he was able to get 5 GM heroes while the other guy had what, one? That's like Zergling rushing someone and finding out he only build 2 Probes when you get here...

Actually, the player was pretty good. The difference in the strength of the armies was mainly that
1) he had far more creatures (obviously, I couldn't get them to the main army fast enough even if I actually bought them)
2) my heroes had better skills and more artifacts simply because they rushed through most of the map, grabbing everything in their reach, while he only got what was available in his starting area. This is what speed is all about - given similar skill, it is the speed which determines who wins. Battle awareness is something what enables me to move with speed, but alone it is not enough - we were both about the same on the battlefield, but what won me the game was that I was already wreaking havoc in his territory while he was still trying to conquer it.

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Postby wimfrits » Nov 4 2007, 15:13

ThunderTitan wrote:Having extra towns shouldn't really last long unless the map is unbalanced in that regard.


Maps are rarely balanced when speed of players differs. If upon meeting, player A controls 50% of the map while player B controls 35% (which seems a very likely example), player A is bound to have better artifacts, more towns, etc.

As said before, Battle awareness counts more when the diff in skill is closer. If your speed is 6 you might be able to defeat someone with a speed of 8 in combat and win the game if you're better at combat just enough to make up for a few extra creatures/hero lvls.


I agree. And although I think the 2 are both very important, I still think speed is a slightly stronger factor.
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Postby asandir » Nov 5 2007, 4:20

This is what speed is all about - given similar skill, it is the speed which determines who wins. Battle awareness is something what enables me to move with speed, but alone it is not enough - we were both about the same on the battlefield, but what won me the game was that I was already wreaking havoc in his territory while he was still trying to conquer it.


this is wrong, if you have similar skill it will likely be luck that determines the winner, you don't have similar skills in this scenario, you have superior speed and similar battle skills, of course you win ....
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Postby ThunderTitan » Nov 5 2007, 17:13

pepak wrote:This is what speed is all about - given similar skill, it is the speed which determines who wins.


Well of course when you're on an equal footing otherwise that's what will win you the game...



wimfrits wrote:I agree. And although I think the 2 are both very important, I still think speed is a slightly stronger factor.


Most likely is more used to win because most people only start a fight when they're more or less certain they'll win.

Once my brother was playing hotseat H3 against a friend of his that actually played more then a few times (like my bro) and of course my brother was had less creatures/land etc... then in the fight between their main heroes about 70% into it i said i could win with what my brother had left (2-3 times less creatures)... his friend didn't believe me... then he lost the whole game because his main hero got beaten.

If upon meeting, player A controls 50% of the map while player B controls 35% (which seems a very likely example), player A is bound to have better artifacts, more towns, etc.


That depends on where the towns and the artifacts are... that's why i think speed is way to map dependent to be considered the most important.
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Postby wimfrits » Nov 5 2007, 19:14

ThunderTitan wrote:... then he lost the whole game because his main hero got beaten.


Meaning that battle awareness is very important. I agree.

That depends on where the towns and the artifacts are... that's why i think speed is way to map dependent to be considered the most important.


Absolutely. There are maps where a speed advantage amounts to little. And battle awareness might be utterly useless if the goal is to find the grail or capture a specific town.

I don't think we will reach consensus on the order, but at least we agree that both factors are important ;)
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Postby ThunderTitan » Nov 5 2007, 19:34

wimfrits wrote:And battle awareness might be utterly useless if the goal is to find the grail or capture a specific town.


Yeah, but i find goals as less relevant then maps. They're like UMS in SC or WC3 (DotA), relying on only certain skills.


Meaning that battle awareness is very important. I agree.


Yeah, the reason i find it more important then speed is because it can turn the tide... speed needs to be constant to ensure a win.
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Postby asandir » Nov 6 2007, 1:50

I agree with the evil one
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Postby Jolly Joker » Nov 6 2007, 10:20

Well, don't you think that speed isn't a basic thing?

I'd say that "speed" is the result of a lot of other, more fundamental things. You have to be good in the logistic aspect of the game, the basic techniques of troop swapping or splitting off fast troops in H 4 to gather stuff and so on, you have to have AI and battle awareness to be able to make use of that, and in some of the Heroes games the right creature and Hero skill choice is important as well. Lastly you need map awareness as well, otherwise you'll waste the time won by running around in dead ends.
So "speed" would be the result of a combination of everything else and will win you the game inevitably with a bit of luck, if you are better there.

If on the other hand "speed" means SOLELY the logistic handiwork, I'd say it wins you nothing without having the others as well.
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Postby wimfrits » Nov 6 2007, 16:54

@JJ:
I agree that speed is the result of more fundamental things (like was said earlier). Simply because speed without AI awareness and creature choice is impossible.

Map awareness is different as both a known and an unknown map can be played at different speeds.
In my opinion battle awareness is not really a factor of speed as it applies only to a human vs human fight. By the time key armies/heroes of players meet, the speed factor has already played its major part.

As a side note; I think the points in your previous post (a split between knowing / not knowing a map were valid, but that the factors stated can all (with the exception of luck) be translated to the factors identified in the poll.
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Postby Jolly Joker » Nov 6 2007, 19:43

I disagree.
If you play an MP game against an unknown opponent (as opposed to with a friend and/or hotseat) you'll play with some time limit and dynamic battles . In this situation everything depends on training and experience because it becomes more of a realtime game. You have to be sure of all basic mechanisms, in fact you even have to develop a routine - you can't take a couple of minutes time to analyze the situation and what is called for. You can't allow to be unsure of chains, of whether heroes will have the MPs or not and so on - you must know the basics inside out.
Furthermore you must know the RULES. You must know how an ability works, how much speed a unit has, and how the skillwheel for your hero is without having to look. It's a bit like playing chess and knowing all the matches inside out for the first, well, 8 turns.
In short, you must be able to PLAY fast without making errors. THAT is the most valuable skill when playing MP regularly and on tournament maps, known or not.
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Postby asandir » Nov 7 2007, 3:57

to err is human JJ, so we're all screwed, but of course I take your point .... the topic is interesting for all of that however, letting people out their different perspectives .... of course I'm still right and those that disagree are wrong, but that's just life ;)
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Postby Banedon » Nov 7 2007, 15:14

I've always found the biggest difference between two otherwise equally-skilled players is speed. The more skilled player moves faster, more efficiently, and overall builds a stronger army for late-game. I'll quote one of my earliest games in Heroes II.

The map was Terra Firma, an XL map. I played Necropolis; one of my friends played Knight. I'm obviously advantaged - I have Necropolis on an XL map, while my friend has an early-game race with no prospects of rushing me. But my friend rushed Rangers, then sent his hero off with just Rangers, Pikemen and Swordsmen. They weren't even upgraded, and he took casualties from neutrals every now and then. In the meantime I was happily building up my castle, waltzing my main hero between the mines and neutrals in my corner of the map. The result: my main hero's army included Bone Dragons and a big army while my friend's still had only those Rangers, Pikemen and Swordsmen. But he had 6 castles to my 1, a much higher-level hero and a game-winning advantage without ever facing me in a game.

Compare that with one of my later games in Heroes V. The map is War of the Worlds, and I had Deleb. Playing Brown, I rushed Green down in the first week, moved on to Blue in the second week, Red in the third. It was very fast speed and led to a decisive advantage. After all, speed is what makes the Iron Maiden strong. Take away her early-game power and late-game she's knocked over by a variety of heroes, yet she's Inferno's best hero.

Battle Awareness is important, of course (I remember another game which I lost because I let my Stronghold opponent cast Mass Haste and decimate my stacks before I could react), but Speed simply provides the greater advantage. You can't be really speedy without good map and AI awareness, but even so. In my humble opinion, if you have the mental courage to try for speed you'll greatly improve your results.

I fully believe speed is the lifeblood of Heroes, and the defining factor between a good and a not-so-good player. You can deduce who's better than who before the two fight the final battle simply by seeing who conducts the expansion phase better. The complete player would have every quality, but I don't think many (if any) of us are complete players :)

Don't mean to put down those who didn't vote for speed though; this is just my opinion, and I can and have been wrong before.
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