Serena's Adventures With Eagle Eye!

Serena Hi, I'm Serena the Wizard, and I specialize in Eagle Eye and hideous hairstyles. I've heard whisperings that some people think Eagle Eye is useless, so I'm going to take you with me as I conquer a Brave New World using the Eagle Eye skill. Maybe then, you'll realize how great Eagle Eye truly is.

What is Eagle Eye?

I realize all of you aren't fortunate enough to be gifted in the mighty Eagle Eye skill, so I'll explain what it does for those unlucky souls. *ahem* So, according to the manual, Eagle Eye does the following...

Gives the hero a chance to learn spells cast by enemy spellcasters in battles. Basic - The Hero has a 40% chance to learn spells of second level or below. Advanced - The Hero has a 50% chance to learn spells of third level or below. Expert - The Hero has a 60% chance to learn spells of fourth level or below.
That means if mean ol' Alamar casts fireball on my cute li'l gremlins, there's a 50% chance that I'll learn the spell if I have advanced Eagle Eye! Neat, huh?

Since I specialize in Eagle Eye, the percentages are actually a bit higher. You see, my Eagle Eye percentage is 5% higher for every level I gain. That doesn't mean the 50% would become 55% while I'm level 1, but the 50% will be increased by 5%, which comes out to 52% if you do the math. When I'm at level 2, my chance to learn a spell would be 55% if I had Advanced Eagle Eye. Just imagine how powerful I'll be if I have Expert Eagle Eye and reach level 10!

When I start out, I have 2 Power, 3 Knowledge, Basic Wisdom, and Basic Eagle Eye, but I'll grow much stronger once the adventure begins. Read on to see how it all went!

The First Week

On Day 1, I built an Upgraded Workshop in town so I could recruit Master Gremlins. I also upgraded all of my starting gremlins to Master Gremlins. Then I recruited Daremyth because I wanted a hero to follow me and collect loose resources. Isn't she just the cutest thing? I wonder who does her hair? Oh, enough of this girl talk, back to my excellent tactical knowledge! Anyway, Daremyth upgraded all of her Gremlins to Master Gremlins and gave them to me. She also gave me all of her Gargoyles, except for one of them. She wouldn't need much of an army, since she wouldn't be fighting. We left all of the golems in town because they are slow.

It was pretty easy to win the early battles with all of my ranged attacking Master Gremlins, I just avoided fights with other ranged attackers. While exploring and fighting, I was gaining experience points. When leveling up, I made Eagle Eye and Wisdom my top priorities, and took those skills when they were offered. I needed to increase my Eagle Eye skill to show how great it is, and I needed Wisdom so I'd be able to learn the higher level spells my opponents might cast.

After a handful of days, I saw an Elementalist. What luck! An Elementalist is likely to cast lots of spells, so I fought her. It was an easy victory, but I lost a bunch of Master Gremlins to a Magic Arrow spell. Fortunately, I learned the spell with Eagle Eye and was able to use it to take over the Conflux on Day 7.

When I got to the Conflux, more spells were added to my Spell Book. That's always nice, but it also means there are less possible spells for me to learn with Eagle Eye. Also, Magic Arrow was in the Mage Guild at the Conflux, but I didn't need that spell, becaused I learned it with Eagle Eye in the battle earlier.

Genies

I wanted to really make Eagle Eye useful, so I tried something I hadn't done before. I got Master Genies as soon as possible because they are great, and, more importantly,they cast spells. I thought I might be able to learn spells that the Master Genies cast, so I made a few stacks of 1 Master Genie each, and had them cast spells whenver I got into a fight. They cast all sorts of great spells, including Frenzy, Prayer, Bloodlust, and Fire Shield. Unfortunately, I didn't learn any spells and came to the conclusion that you can't learn spells from Master Genies. Well, maybe Eagle Eye isn't perfect.

The Second Month

At the beginning of the second month, I built an Artifact Merchant, and I was hoping some artifacts that increase my Eagle Eye percentage would be available. No such artifacts were available, but I realized it didn't matter anymore. When I reached level 14, I had Expert Eagle Eye (60%), and with my bonus, my chance to learn spells was 102%. That's right, after I reach level 14, I'll learn every single spell cast by my opponents in combat. I told you Eagle Eye was powerful!

Well, actually most of my battles so far had been against wandering monsters and unoccupied towns, so I wasn't getting many chances to use Eagle Eye. At least my army of Master Gremlins, Master Genies, and Obsidian Gargoyles was quite successful, and I eventually learned Blind and Ice Bolt in a battle with Adelaide. I also learned Fireball at a Shrine, and it came in handy against some Ice Elementals.

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The Third Month

The third month was pretty dull. I took over several towns and won many battles, but I didn't learn any spells with Eagle Eye. My opponents only used spells I already knew, and since I had taken over so many towns, the number of spells I knew was pretty high. It was as if my great town-conquering ability was making my wonderful Eagle Eye skill less useful.

The Fourth Month

I gained control of every town on the map during the fourth month of my adventure. Sadly, the only spell I gained from Eagle Eye during this time was a lousy Death Ripple spell I learned while fighting a Necromancer. What a waste! I'd never cast that or I'd kill my my own troops! Anyway, I was victorious and never lost a battle, so Eagle Eye must be a great skill, right? Look at my score even! My base score was 242 out of a maximum of 250. Pretty darn good huh? Eagle Eye rules!

Conclusion from the Author

While Serena may think her Eagle Eye skill played a great role in her eventual victory, I think she is underestimating the significance of her 19 Titans in the final battles. Anyway, the truth is that Eagle Eye sucks. I was really hoping to find something good to say about it, but it really was a pretty useless skill. It is a nice idea for a skill and it has potential, but it's missing a few things.

Eagle Eyewould definitely benefit from the ability to learn spells cast by creatures. With all of the cool spells cast by Master Genies, Eagle Eye could turn you into a great spellcaster with a wide variety of spells. Eagle Eye would also be useful if you learned the spell immediately. Like if someone casts Magic Arrow in a battle, and you learn it with Eagle Eye, you could use it right back at them. That would be impressive. I would also like if Eagle Eye worked on Adventure Map spells. Suppose some dork uses Dimension Door to teleport past your hero. I would just love if I could learn the spell from that and chase them down.

Even so, Eagle Eye gets worse as the game goes on. I mean, if I learn spells from an enemy hero, it's effect is only temporary, since after I take over their town, I'll have the spell anyway. The more towns and Mage Guilds I have, the less useful the skill becomes, because there are fewer spells I don't already have. It also doesn't work on Level 5 spells, but since there aren't many Level 5 spells, it's not too limiting. However, it should let you learn Level 5 spells, for it's an unpopular skill and needs all the help it can get. Another problem is that high-level heroes are likely to have and cast many of the same spells. Perhaps the spell-school system in Heroes IV will cause Eagle Eye to become more useful. I'd like to see that.

Right now, the ideal situation for Eagle Eye would be if you hired a hero like Serena to defend your Fortress. In that situation, you only have 3 levels of magic in the Mage Guild, you won't be exploring to learn new spells, and you could be attacked by enemy heroes that have spells you don't have. That situation would maximize the usefulness of Eagle Eye. However, that's a pretty extreme situation, and even then, a skill like Scholar might prove to be more useful.


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