To me, balance means: you have an equal chance of winning regardless of the faction you choose (although I accept that the map itself will always have a large role in this)
Kristo wrote:Your patch effectively makes X larger. I've seen this empirically with Conscript Lake, where the Barbarian is still dangerous well into month 3.
Precisely, and so have I.
Kristo wrote:So we still need to define what balance means. Heroes 2 was designed primarily as a single player game.
Correct... and sadly, I already had dozens of Heroes 1 hotseat games played with my roommate when Heroes 2 came out, so when they made Warlock EVEN stronger, I sighed... it's too bad I didn't have those hex-editing skills back then.
Kristo wrote: Nobody in their right mind would pick Knight versus a Warlock unless he knew something about the map that would make winning easier.
There are quite a few maps that can fit that criteria easily: maps with 1 or 2 neutral towns of the same alignment of your starting town. (Conscript Lake is like this, obviously) A Knight or Barb doesn't necessarily require taking out the Warlock early to win, because he WILL have conquered and built up that second Cathedral/Pyramid earlier, and thus his total army strength will keep up.... suddenly those huge combined stacks of Cyclops can become scary enough to oppose Black Dragons for a while.
Those maps will still need a decent amount of wood/ore mines and freebies lying around, though.
I have found that the Knight Castle has an unique playstyle. Get those high morale boosts and rush over to the opponent's side. Flyers die quickly. If the opponent doesn't have enough area of effect units (Dragons, Cyclops, Hydras, Phoenixes), or powerful attack spells, then he dies.