H5 ToE - Which Hero's would be most "appropriate"

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Nebiros or Orlando?

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Tyber Zann
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H5 ToE - Which Hero's would be most "appropriate"

Postby Tyber Zann » Sep 1 2013, 5:03

I'm building a Heroes V ToE map (only the second HoMM map iv made, the first was for H3), and I am looking for suggestions from both experienced and rookie players as to which Heroes should be featured in the map (which ones you'd like to potentially use in this scenario). Id consider myself average experience level (Hard campaigner, havent finished heroic), so the list of heroes iv made for the map may have some flaw iv overlooked. I'll describe the basics of the map, and u all start throwin names at me (and maybe a reason as well (good special ability, etc.) The map is as large as possible (320x320) so "rush" heroes are a little less effective. It takes weeks just to cross the map on foot.

Ok, so.

It's an 8 player FFA multiplayer map. One base for each faction. Each tailored to their faction. When u pick ur faction, ur actually picking a set base for that faction. And as a final twist, each base has 2 heroes in prisons with boosted starting stats to give an extra element of strategy (who to send out/leave behind), this is where the hero list comes into play.

Sounds nuts right? Well iv given each player a large base with one entrance and disabled the "instant travel" spell. This should help players cope with the maps size, so they don't have to defend like 5 flanks. Im also still desciding weather to put an "angel wings" artifact hidden somewhere. Pros and cons of that are open for suggestion as well.

That's the basic idea. I'm trying to keep it as balanced as possible, and while its easy to keep track of number of mines or creature dwellings, heroes are a little more complex. As I said, iv given each faction 2 beefed up heroes. They start at level 1, but with higher than normal primary stats and a few extra skill points (each base has a memory mentor).

Iv done my best to assure each faction has 2 heroes that can compete with the others.
Let me know what u think.




Klaus: Cavalry Commander

An underrated hero in my opinion. Klaus has the best creature-boosting ability iv seen, as Cavaliers/Paladins/the red paladin dudes are extremely powerful, yet balanced heavy assault units. I guess the runner up for creature boosting would be Ornella or Lucretia with Vampire boosting.

And so, I think Klaus will make for an excellent heavy hitting might hero for the Haven base. He's also a badass home-boy from the ghetto, according to his biography, so he makes for a good Haven poser child. (Let's see those prepster wizards take on this O.G.)


Isabel: Suezarian

The Queen is back to kick some ass, wielding her old/more useful ability, Suezarian. The 250 gold per day is a nice little bonus, but her significant discount when using the Haven Training Grounds is her real strength. With Isabel guarding ur base, ull be able to train virtually any unit u want to a higher tier, pretty much whenever u need to. U can use this to ensure a healthy stock of shooters, or to make sure Klaus has a stout Cavalry stack in his army.

Whatever troops u need, Isabel can get them for u for a song.




Zehir: Master of the Element's

He's may be Ashan's greatest comedian, but Zehir also happens to be one of the best creepers in the game (creeping as in killing neutral stacks, not the other kind of creeping).

Zehirs ability allows him to take on most neutral stacks without suffering more than a few minor casualties. This will give the Academy player a solid means of securing their base without loosing too many units. Zehir's ability is also versatile enough to make him an effective conquering hero, or an annoying as $h*t defending hero, capable of fending off other heroes with laughably few casualties.

Either way u slice the pie, Zehir just kicks ass.


Jhora: Fast Casting (can't remember actual name)

Jhora is one of those heroes uv probably fought a dozen times over throughout the campaign, and u may have noticed how quickly she can cast spells. Her special ability decreases the wait time between her turns, and the amount decreases as she gains levels. combined with sorcery, Jhora can eventually fire off spells as if they where coming from the barrel of a machine gun. As such, she is equally effective as either a conquering or defending hero.




Findan: Hail of Arrows

This was a tough one. At first I was considering Ossir for this slot. Ossir has a special ability that boosts the effectiveness of Hunters (+upgrades). While formidable, Iv given it some thought and think that Findan actually has a better special ability.

While Ossir does have better hunters, Findan is capable of eliminating enemy units before combat even begins. Much like how Lethos can poison enemy units before the fight begins, Findan can command all shooter stacks to shoot an enemy stack before combat starts, with the damage increasing as he gains levels. This ability has numerous advantages, some more obvious than others.

The most useful aspect of this ability is easy creeping. Findan can blast his way through many neutral creature stacks with ease. His ability naturally targets the lowest tier unit in the enemy army, so you will be able to tell before u engage the fight who is going to eat it first. This ability is also extremely useful in the late game, as when 2 big armies clash, the enemy's lowest tier stack will bite the dust immediatly, or at least suffer tremendous casualties. In many cases, this is an extremely pesky unit anyway, such as Imps, pixies, and assassins. What used to be an unignorable threat will become nothing more than a pushover. For those reasons alone, I think Findan will make an ideal field commander, or base defender, whichever is needed most.


Anwen: Sword of Sylanna

Anwen has a more specialized ability than most, and in many cases it will not apply to the situation. However, when it does kick in, it kicks hard.

Sword of Sylanna amplifies the Rangers natural "Avenger" ability. Under normal circumstances, when a rangers army attacks a unit that is in its "preferred enemy list", the attacking units/hero will inflict greater damage (there are a few variables, but they all result in a harder hit). Sword of Sylanna adds a bonus to this damage increase, which increases as Anwen gains levels. At first, its barely noticeable, but once she gets above level 10 or so, the extra damage will show. The difficult part will be finding the right opportunity to take advantage of this ability. For that reason, i think Anwen would serve better as a defending hero, so that she has constant access to the avengers guild, in order to actively respond to the enemy threat. If done correctly, the enemy will certainly have to think twice about sending a second army to take ur base, as each wave of attackers will add more options to the Avengers guild.




Wulfstan: Border Guard

Good ol' Wulfy. This guy is not only a great drinking buddy, but he is also capable of fielding units with a higher defense value than any other faction, in some cases several factions combined. This makes his units nearly indestructible.

Border guard is a fairly straightforeward ability. Wulfstan gets a significant bonus to his defense, which increases with levels, but this ability is only active so long as Wulfstan is within a days travel of any friendly town (a day of travel for him (if he has logistics or a nice pair of boots, the distance will increase to how far he can walk in one turn).
So, basically, if he's parked in town and an enemy comes near, if he can reach the enemy in one turn (from town), the bonus will apply. When combined with other dwarven perks like "defensive formation", Wulfstan can reach god-like levels of defense.

And so, obviously this means that Wulfstan will serve best as a defending hero. He is still more than capable in the field, but most effective at home. Keep him at ur gates and u wont have to worry about every pesky little hero that comes roaming around.


Brand: Rune Artist

This was another tough call. There are a few heroes with great creature boosting abilities, but I find that since Dwarves can use Runes, those hero perks are less important than with other factions. Therefore, a hero who specializes in Runes would be the preferred choice. Therefore Brand stood out as a good choice. (Any Fortress fans, ur input here would be appreciated, I'm not the biggest dwarf fan myself, so I don't have much experience with them outside the campaign).

Rune Artist amplifies an ability that any Runemage can get called "fine rune". Fine Rune is a perk that falls under the Runelore skill, and what it does is give the hero a 50% chance to activate a Rune for free (calculated when the rune is triggered, much like the "erratic mana" ability which randomly reduces the mana cost of spells as they are cast). So, when a Runemage with "fine rune" triggers a rune, there is a 50/50 chance it will consume no resources. This in itself is extremely useful, as the cost is the only real downside to using runes.

Brand takes this ability even further. His Rune Artist ability adds and additional 20% to get the rune for free (the effect is cumulative with "fine rune"), and an additional 1 or 2% (can't remember which) chance with each level up. Basically, the higher his level, the greater the chance of getting a free rune. Eventually, around level 30 or so, he would essentially get all runes for free all the time.

This makes Brand stand out from the rest, and I believe he would make an excellent conquest or defending hero, but since Wulfstan has the home front covered, Brand will likely be ur main conquest hero.




Raelag: Master of Initiative

It's Raelag. Enough said.


Eruina: Coven Mistress

This was a REALLY tough call. Sort of. Basically, about half of all warlocks have the exact same ability. The one that increases the effect of the "Dark Ritual" ability. This is good, but Dark Ritual is good enough as it is. I know Warlocks tend to suffer from Mana deficiency, especially early on, but remember that these uber heroes in this map start with boosted stats. As such, mana will be much less of a worry than usual. For ur 2 big shot heroes anyway. So, the remaining heroes mostly had creature boosting abilities, which are good, but 2 stood out above the rest, as they do more than simply increase attack and defense values.

The choice came down to either improved Lizards or Improved witches. Hmmmmmm. Let's think about this.

The lizard ability increases the damage of the "lizard bite" ability that the lizard rider dudes have, which allows them to piggy back the attacks of their neighboring allies (getting in a free cheap shot on any adjacent enemy who is attacked by another unit). This is awesome in itself, but improving the damage is even better. However, the witch ability just seems better.

Coven Mistress grants all witches (+upgrades) a chance to take a free shot at whoever the hero attacks (either physically or with direct magic), with the chance to shoot increasing with each level. This free shot is almost exactly like the free shot that the lizards get, except that it is ranged (which means u don't have to risk ur witches by moving them into a battle), and it comes from a more powerful unit (tier 6, rather than 4). Since warlocks are magic oriented to begin with, getting free ranged shots just seems more sensible than getting extra damage from lizard bite. The chances of setting up a good lizard bite is lower than the chance of witches getting a free shot, as they can shoot from anyway (so long as they are not being blocked).

For those reason, Eruina came out on top. Witches are one of the best units anyway, and Eruina just makes them that much better. She would make a good conquest or defending hero, but would be slightly better at defense as her strong point is ranged damage (more so than Raelag, who is much more versatile).




Arantir: Avatar of Death

Believe it or not, this was a tough call as well. When I asked myself who should lead the undead, it came down to either Markal or Arantir. Both are good, and in many cases Markal's special ability is better, but in other cases it is utterly useless. Markal is simply too much of a wild card for a scenario that I am trying to keep balanced. If the map descided to have an undead creature week too many times, Markal would be able to amass way too many units and it would throw off the maps balance. On the flip side, the opposite may happen, no undead neutrals, which would make Markals ability useless, and again throw off balance. And so, Markal can stay in the shallow grave he dug himself in the campaign, and Arantir will take the lead as the Necropolis super star.

Arantir has an odd special ability. Both good and potentially fatal.

Avatar of death is a unique summoning spell available only to Arantir. When cast, it summons a creature that looks like a spectral Dragon, but is simply called "avatar of death". The power of this creature increases with Arantir's level, though even at level one it gives him a big head start when creeping. It's a lot like the summon pheonix spell, but with an important foot note.

If the Avatar of death is killed in battle, Arantir will immediately lose ALL of his current mana. If u don't have the "Mark of the Necromancer" ability, this can potentially cost u the battle. If used halfhazzardly, this ability is more trouble than its worth. However, if used properly, it can help preserve your army much more effectively than trying to "raise dead" faster than the dead die (if that makes sense).

Basically, the Avatar of Death is best used for creeping, espescially in the early game. It allows Arantir to hit the field immediately without needing any re-enforcements or additional support. This will allow Arantir to secure his base with ease.

Avatar of death can also turn the tide of a battle if used AFTER u run out of mana, where there is no risk of losing more. At hight levels, the Avatar is quite effective.


Ornella: Vampire Princess

This was a much easier descision. Most of the other Necromancer abilities are creature boosters, and the best one is vampire boosting. There are 2 Necromancers with this ability, Ornella and Lucretia. They are essentially identical heroes stat wise (Ornella being a campaign hero). So, when choosing which one to actually use, there wasn't much to go on. To be honest, Ornella beat Lucretia because she's easier on the eyes. If I'm gonna be waging war for 6 hours straight, I'd rather see Ornella's face than Lucretia's over and over and over.




Gotai: Warchief

Gotai stands head and shoulders above the other barbarian heroes. Most of the others have a creature booster, or something very specialized (such as Kujin's Demon Hunter ability, which is awesome, but only works against Demons). A few of the creature boosters are actually better than the average +1 attack/defense per so many levels. A few actually increase health or initiative. However, Gotai still takes the crown as king $**t of the orcs. His Warchief ability is extremely useful in any battle.

It's a simple but effective bonus. The cost of all shouts decreases as level increases, and the amount of blood rage that the shouts provide increases (with the exception of Call for Blood). This effect is huge when u get to level 25+. Most lower tier shouts become free and the amount of blood rage allows ur units to achieve level 3 rage within a couple turns, if that. When combined with the shout skill, the effect is even greater. So the next time an enemy hero comes snoopin around ur base, u can just Fus Ro Dah his *** into oblivion.


Shak'Karukat: Wyvren Tamer

O.K. This was tough in an odd way. I actually had to look hard to find a barbarian hero other than Gotai who had an ability that actually stood out. They all seem pretty lame, then I thought of a good use for the Wyvren Booster. (Again, anyone with better knowledge of the mechanics of these heroes or whatever, I'm open to suggestions, that's why I wrote this.)

Basically, I picked Shak cause he is able to make use of a normally useless creature. The wyvren. First of all, his bonus increases the wyvrens health substantially with higher levels, and second, Wyvrens are the only Stronghold units that are not affected by Rage (as far as I can tell). Therefore they are sort of the black sheep of the army composition, and almost always the last choice when hiring. They just don't seem to fit into the orc strategy, they are too expensive and vulnerable unless u can get a lot, which is too expensive in most cases.

So, our good buddy Shak finally gives these outcast freaks of nature a chance to make it big on the battlefield. Probably never as a main attack, but as a "scout" that can pulverize anything short of a big, main army. Give him logistics and boots and watch him terrorise all those pesky scouts and half @$$ heroes hoping they won't get ambushed before they get re-enforcements or something.

And so, Shak gives u a place to put ur Wyvrens, who would otherwise be sitting in ur castle playing Heroes VI. Since u would likely want the empty slot in Gotai's army for extra whipping power, giving them all to Shak gives u a potent auxiliary hero who can handle any type of harassment.




Biara: Gate Keeper

I wanted one Demon lord to have the Gate Keeper ability, and since Biara has, she seems the most suitable character choice to represent the ostracized Inferno faction. I was actually thinking Sovreign but his animations look buggy and there's probably some technical aspect of him I'm not aware of that might be really unfair. (U Inferno fans r gonna like ur base, think Mordor with a basement).

Gate Keeper is awesome because it amplifies the demons main unique ability, which is gating. And while these gated stacks are always smaller, Biara will allow you to potentially Gate stacks larger than their prototypes.


Nebiros: Chosen of Chaos

O.K. This was by far the toughest call yet. The demon lord lineup is actually rather impressive, at least compared to its Orc cousin's. When I really narrowed it down, I had 3 candidates for the remaining slot. Nebiros, Orlando, and Deleb.

All of them have unique, powerful abilities that give them a strategic advantage in combat. The obvious choice at first was Orlando, his Master of Initiative ability (just like Agrael had) is useful all the time, no matter what. I looked harder at Deleb and realized her fire ballista is good, but its better in the early game for creeping and rushing, but this map is too big for rushing , and demon lords can usually use gating for creeping.

So, Orlando or Nebiros. What's so great about Nebiros?

Permanent +1 luck, and the awesomely unique and awesome ability to prevent enemy heroes from using the third row during their tactics phase. This prevents most rush attacks against your army in the field, and forces players who use tactics to quickly re-think their entire strategy. Since Nebiros is the only hero iv seen who has this ability, most players would never expect to have their tactics crippled. Where do I put my tanks now??

Now, even with that, Orlandos initiative is still tempting, but Inferno creatures have pretty good initiative anyway, and there is no shortage of artifacts on this map, everyone has a shot at some good stuff if they can take the guards. Combined with gating and possibly leadership, the loss of initiative can be overcome. Of coarse with Orlando you'd be even faster with all that stuff, so, really, this is one hero I really need help with.

Nebiros or Orlando??

I chose Nebiros because he has a completely unique ability that can seriously f*** up an unprepared opponent. I guess Orlando is a better creeper and Nebiros is a better Hero fighter. Like, an Anti-Hero. No pun intended. A counter unit to the hero.

Since this map is more about epic battles between bada$$ heroes, I think Nebiros would be more effective against a lot of heroes than Orlando. but, maybe I'm wrong. If u can tell ne why Orlando is better (other than being a better creeper), let me know.



And that's the list. I'm still working on the map and haven't added the hero prisons yet, so this is a preview of what heroes the map will feature. Any other hero u hire or start with will basically be a scout, but if an enemy sends both of their main heroes away then the door is open for average joe hero to turn the tide. That extra element of strategy is why Im adding the beefed heroes, and to make more epic battles, creating more contrast between the different factions, make it a little more intense. And of coarse, the map will feature many opportunities to up ur skills with buildings and such. The truth is out there.

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Postby markkur » Sep 2 2013, 13:47

I'm unable to make a long post (it would take pages)so here's a general opinion about Heroes. Usually whether or not a Hero is good or not is relative.
i.e. A special of +1 Luck is meaningless if there are luck-boosts all over the map. So in my opinion for a +1 Luck to be worth anything, there can be no boost-sites. Btw, the applies to Morale too. What good can it be to have a Hero learn leadership if a Hero that cannot can visit 3 boost sites before battle and your Hero might even be behind on Morale? <imo> Morale and Luck as skills was poorly implemented.

Initiative is a OP special and I would not use it. i.e. Wyngaal is banned on tournament maps because the higher he advances the more he will own the battle. {An Ini. example to follow}

<imo> Expecting a Sylvan Hero to take advantage of Avenger is not wise. This main skill is arguably the worst thought out race-skill in the game. Since a Hero must come back to town to set the list, it becomes almost laughable as a main skill. Just think this through; if we are to take full advantage of this Skill than we must return home every battle to tweak the list and if that's not bad enough the next creature we fight we need to already have fought at least 2 sep stacks already or they will not be in the list. And then there's the fact that whatever we have in the list there might not be more of those creatures guarding things for a while. There's more but that's enough.

In general for a quick response I would not use any Campaign Heroes for the type of Map you want to make. I used them but only for FUN. <imo> The Specials were made for Campaign segments and Nival did special things (scripts) on maps to make them work to a purpose. Early on, whenever I've used them, folks would complain because I was not doing what Nival did I was making a balanced map and trying not to favor anyone.

I will not give specifics but will just say with the randomness of H5 it is very difficult to have true control as a mapmaker, so <imo> if you're making a serious map than stay away from the Grand-Specials.

i.e. If you meet a Hero that has "Ini-special" the "Ring of Speed", the "Ring of Celerity", The Staff of Nether" and has visited lots of Morale sites....You wont move in battle; you'll be target-practice. So, plan ahead and prevent this sort of stuff.

Clearly, you need to know and plan the Artifacts. You mentioned Wings, I don't use them unless it's for FUN. Also about Spells, I ban Summon-Creatures because I think it was a silly notion. Whatever you ban, be sure and announce the bans on your map's description, just to prevent people from expecting something you have not allowed.

Also, Welcome to H5 MapMaking :D

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