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H7: Would you prefer 2D or 3D townscreens?
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Features  → The Complete Gothrak (part 2)

by Gothrak

Back to page 1

VII. Interview with the Super-Peasant

Behind every screenshot is a terrible story of cruelty and shame. I managed to find the very same peasant who was pictured, and he had a different tale to tell.

Peasant: Oooo, arrr, innit, me back, innit, potatoes and dirt. Arrrr.

Me: Er... That made no sense.

Ah, sorry. It's the peasant talk. Makes me real popular with the ladyfolk, hur, hur, hur, oo, arrr, et cetery.

How very... nice. So, you wanted to talk to me about something? Or did you just grab hold of my shoe for another reason?

That's right, guv, that's right, me lordship, I 'ave got wot we in the peasant industry term 'a story'. Now, you going to listen to it while I fetches you a right bowl of maggot stew?

You know, I already ate three bowls of maggot stew. I couldn't possibly have any more. Really.

Nuthin' like maggot stew. Now, where wos I? Oh, yes, the story. Yes, sir, the story. See, 'ere I was, tilling the fields, ploughing the corn, harvestin' the cows. That's right. An' there I was when this great big duffer wot with big wings comes landin' in my cabbage.

I'm sure that was surprising.

Ah, well, you'd think so, wouldn't yer? But given that I'm quite partial to maggot stew, I thought it were one of them whatchersies, allucy-nations. Things that aren't really there, yerknow? Like mirages and professional wrestling.

I see.

Anyway, because I'm a right friendly chap, I tried to make polite converwhatsit. I tried to talk to him. So I says, 'Good morning, Mr. Allucynation. Whatchoo doin' on my best cabbage?' And you know wot he said?

I can't imagine.

'Is that a cabbage? I thought it were a turnip!'

Is there a joke in that somewhere?

Afraid not, but it scared the right blinkers out of me, oo, arrr, yes. Fell over in the mud. Which ain't particularly strange given that I happen to live in the stuff.

That explains a lot.

Doesn't it just. Anyway, I says to him, 'You is real!' And he looked at me mighty surprised like, as if he thought I were an idiot, or something. Ain't that just the darndest thing.

I have no idea how he got that impression. You're so intelligent and scholarly.

I can count to four, you know. Anyhow, I decided to pass time with this guy and all this time he's watching somebody over me shouder. Ventually I turn around and see this creepy lady in a red wig wot is sort of sneakin' up on me.

I bet that happens a lot around these parts.

Well, no, strangely enough it don't. I hails her and says 'Howdy mornin'! Whatchoo doin' in my pumpkin patch, missus?'

No, no, let me guess. She said 'Is this a pumpkin? I thought it was a turnip!'

... What?


Hm. Anyway, she gives me a smile and is right ladylike right up to the point that she grabs me in a vice-like grip and starts castin' spells on me.


Me muscles start bulgin', like, like when you fill a sock with cold porridge. And my feet start tinglin' and my eyes start wrigglin' and I feel like there's a snake curling up me spine.


The big wing chappy looks kind of surprised, and he says in his snooty voice, ''Old there, varlet woman, whatchoo think yer doing to this... nobbley peasant man?'

What did she say?

Strangest thing I ever 'eard. She says 'I'm trying to make a screenshot for Celestial Heavens. I'd rather you didn't get in my way, as this is going to be a very amusing picture of a peasant killing an angel.'

What did it mean?

Buggered if I know. The big feathery guy looked kind of surprised too, and she was still clutching on to me muttering mumbo-jumbo and higgedly-hoodle--


--shut up, shut up, I'm tellin' the story. Anyway, the big feathery guy says, 'Beg your pardon?' And she looks at 'im as if he's daft, and says, 'Don't you realise that as a level four unit the concept of a level one unit attacking you and winning would be seen as remarkable and thus proper material for a Screenshot of the Day?'

Don't skip back to me just yet. I haven't got anything to say.

Sorry. Anyway, the angel bunched up a fist -- 'cos by now I'd guessed he was an angel, see -- and says 'Who are you calling a Level Four Unit? Can't you tell I'm an angel? And that there is no Level One Unit, that's a humble peasant!'

And then?

Well, there was no call for him to go callin' me humble, was there? I forgot how big he was and just let fly, smackin' him right on the gob! He went flyin', I tell you, flyin' for miles, and the whole time the creepy lady was cacklin' as if it were the funniest thing wot she ever seen!

You killed him?

Aye! Weren't no call for him to call me what 'e did!

You don't actually know what humble means, do you?

Er, no, not in so many words. It is a bad word, right?

No... not really. In fact some people would consider it a compliment.

Really? Well... er... I've got to go water the turnips, thanks for stoppin' by, and if you ever need to collect some taxes I've left the bag over there by the carrots.

So there you have it. The truth behind the screenshot in all its terrible detail. Perhaps now we can learn to understand, and even revere, the humble peasant-- ouch! OUCH! Stop it--

VIII. The Fate of a Peasant

We all know and love the Super Peasant. I recently recently visited his hovel and couldn't see him anywhere. There was, however, one thing that seemed slightly out of place.

Me: Uh... have you seen a peasant anywhere?

Black Dragon: Why, no. I can't say I have.

I'm pretty sure that's his shoe on your lower fang. The really, really big fang. The one right there. With the shoe.

What a coincidence. I merely have it there for... decoration. Mwahahahaha!

Why did you laugh like that?

Because I can. Mwahahahaha!

It's very unsettling.

I know. Are you going to insist on bothering me? I'd rather be left alone.

Well, while I'm talking to imaginary creatures, why don't we hold a conversation?

Go right ahead. But make it quick. In ten minutes I'll have to eat again.

...again? What do you mean, again? Are you sure you haven't seen my peasant friend?

I might have. Let's play a little game.

Pass the Parcel!


Pin the Tail on the Donkey!

Shut up. The particular game I have in mind is a fearsome puzzle played by dragons since the very dawn of life as we know it. In the darkest caverns and abysses my ancestors would pass the centuries with this amusing pastime. Before mortal men even learnt the secrets of the flame our reptilian children spend long, primeval evenings with this sole entertainment.

Heroes of Might and Magic 2?

You have to be kidding. We're not that old. No, I'm talking about a different game entirely. A game that requires wit. A game that requires cunning. A game, that if you lose, will cost you your life.

I don't want to play now.

Oh, but you have to.

I don't want to.

You don't have a choice.


No. You're going to play my game now. And you're going to enjoy it, human. Or else I may have to get... angry!

Sure! I love games! Anything you say!

Firstly, one of must draw a sacred rune upon the ground with a stick, like so.

This is Tic-Tac-Toe, isn't it?

No, it's an ancient dragon game. Pay attention. After the drawing of the sacred rune, one of must take the holy stick and draw the symbol of the relic upon the ground. I shall be the Circle. You can be the Cross.

I'm pretty sure this is Tic-Tac-Toe.

It's a dragon game, I tell you. We're ancient wyrms. Our games are beyond your comprehension! Okay, I'll go first, and put my Circle in the middle square. Mwahahahaha!

That's not fair.

Listen, when you're the thousand-tonne lizard with the ability to breathe scalding jets of flame, you can be the one to start in the middle square.

Okay, I'll put my cross just here.

Fool! That's the same mistake your friend made!

I'm beginning to think you really do know where that peasant is.

Er, really? What gave you that impression?

You just said it!

No I didn't. Let me draw my circle right here.

I'm not playing your games anymore. I want to know what you did to my friend.

Oh, come now. Isn't it obvious? I'm a gigantic dragon, he's a small peasant, his shoe is dangling from one of my teeth. Do I really have to draw you a picture, human?

You mean...


No! That's horrible!

That's what Black Dragons do! We have no limit to our fiendish, diabloical natures. We can't fight it. We are evil in its purest form!

But why would you force him to watch family entertainment?

I sa... what?

Cruel creature! Oh, the horror!

I ate him, you idiot. I crunched him like one of your accursed turnips. I devoured him whole. I swallowed him into my mighty maw. I guzzled him! I gnawed his bones and split his flesh into gristle an--

I get the idea. That's really twisted.

You're the one talking to a creature that doesn't really exist.

Well, yes, but it's 1:25 AM. I'm allowed to do that sort of thing this early in the morning. I'll probably regret it by dawn.

It's 1:25 AM? Why, when we started talking, it was 1:15 AM. What a coincidence.

Why is that?

Remember when I said I had to eat again in ten minutes?



I really don't like it when you laugh like that.

Stand still, now... I don't like fast food. Mwahahaha!

Oh, come on. If you're going to kill me, don't do it with your bad humour.

Right, that's it. I've had enough games. This'll teach you not to build the Hydra Dwelling in EVERY SINGLE GAME YOU'VE PLAYED AS ASYLUM!


IX. Reasons to chose the Ogre Mage

I have felt very bad about the way I constantly insult, mock and generally belittle the humble Ogre Magi. This is my apology. Feel free to add to this list, so that we may convince people that Ogre Magi aren't nearly as bad as everyone claims they are.

1. Once they're dead you can use them to grit the driveway.

2. They can wear orange stripes on their chainmail and still be fashionable.

3. Without them the skull-on-a-stick industry would most likely be bankrupt, causing many employees to lose their jobs.

4. They're the only Might unit with visible human toes.

5. They hide some of the obsolete Heroes III units in their names. Drop the R,E,M,A,E and you can arrange the word GOG, or drop R,E,E to spell MAGOG.

6. They are the only Might unit that wears a hat in the constant scorching Stronghold sun.

7. They are a positive role-model to children forced to co-exist at school with a bully twice their size with a gigantic single eye in his forehead.

8. Ranged attacks are for wimps anyway.

9. If you zoom up really, really, really, really close to their face in the Reference Card, it seems as if they're looking right at you.

10. Bloodlust is much easier to say than Area Attack.

11. It's easier to type too.

12. They aren't leprechauns.

13. They build a Fort instead of a Cave, thereby allowing the precious subterannean ecosystem to survive.

14. They don't seem to mind standing pointlessly on castle towers just because the AI told them to.

15. They don't cause optometrists to burst into tears during their routine eye inspections.

16. Their name reversed is Egam Ergo, which isn't exactly Latin but is enough to get you applauded during a fifth-grade play of Julius Caesar.

17. They make Naga look like a good unit choice.

18. They're safe for the environment and are completely bio-degradable.

19. They're the only troop that waddles without looking embarassedly self-concious about it.

20. Two eyes are better than one. Four eyes are even better, if you count their skull-on-a-stick.

21. They didn't replace Mighty Gorgons, like a certain unnamed troop did in the Chaos town, you filthy wretched Nightmare.

22. The red shawl they wear is completely artifical and no endangered animals were slain to provide its material. The dye is also strawberry flavoured.

23. Unlike Behemoths you can shake their hands without being impaled in twelve places.

24. No matter how bad they are, they're still not as bad a third level unit as Earth Elementals.

25. If you bury an Ogre Magi up to his neck in the sand he'll appreciate the joke and forgive you in a day or two.

26. Ogre Magi stacks on the game screen look as if they're quietly dancing to a tune nobody but they can hear.

27. No matter how long you wait, they'll still never be leprechauns.

28. When you go for a walk with an Ogre Mage instead of a Sea Monster you won't have to avoid harpoons, rabid photographers and bearded Scotsmen insisting that ye exist in yon wee lake.

29. They make creating a list like this really, really hard.

X. Expansion Packs we'll never see

Heroes of Might and Magic IV: The Lumberjack Lich

The evil lich Sandro is up to his old tricks, this time cutting down pristine wilderness to build his Casino of the Damned. Can the Preserve heroes unite to strike him down - with the aid of the mysterious Dendroids, who have returned from their role in The Two Towers to arrive on Axeoth?

Heroes of Might and Magic IV: The Forge Strikes Back

The entire Might city is destroyed from space by a deadly laser beam fired from the Forge Death Star. They soon colonise the planet with their Utwig Juggers and Spathi Eluders, and create a Technocracy with a population of 21 in their main city. It's up to Luke Skywalker the Knight to fight the evil Forge Empire and reunite the two splintered Klingon factions.

Heroes of Might and Magic IV: Armageddon's Blade

Armageddon's Blade didn't really explode, reveals an aged woman. It just used a vortex to escape through to Axeoth, where it has become a talking, zany character with the ability to move objects with its mind. But can it adjust to Axeoth society? Crag Hack thinks so, and he takes it on a madcap adventure throughout the realm! But watch out, Crag - the Government is right behind you!

Heroes of Might and Magic IV: Global Warming

Pollution from the Necropolis furnaces has caused the polar ice caps to melt, flooding the realm of Axeoth. In a desparate attempt to stay alive, heroes tamed Sea Monsters and now ride them between various Floating Water Cities. Pirates are now the dominant level four creature, and the Sextant has been moved to Relic class.

Heroes of Might and Magic IV: Mensa Edition

The AI will outsmart you at ever turn. Thanks to an artifical intelligence honed by games of chess against Grandmasters, you'll never be safe even if you outnumber them two to one. Having passed the Turing test and succesfully researched the solution to all mankind's diseases, the Heroes IV AI has never been more challenging. It's only a matter of time before it develops self awareness and conquers the world!

Heroes of Might and Magic IV: The FPS Shooter

With both a RPG and a strategy game in the Might and Magic universe, NWC decides it's time to make a FPS shooter based on their award-winning fantasy worlds. You play Duke Dangerous the Titan, shooting bolts of lightning at your enemies. Fighting through 21 levels to reach the Asylum of your arch-rival Black 'As The Night Itself' Dragon, you'll have to avoid traps and powerful enemies. Five different weapons, including the Peasant Launcher and the No-retaliation Ray, will make your job a little easier... but watch out for Minotaurs and their Blocking ability!

Heroes of Might and Magic IV: The Gathering

Can you collect a deck with enough cards to overthrow your opponents? Tapping lands like 'Swamp Terrain' and 'Snow Terrain' to summon creatures like 'Efreeti', you'll need to keep your wits about you to defeat all your rivals. Special cards like 'Memory Leak' will give you the upper-hand, if you can tap enough 'System Resources' to use it safely!

Heroes of Might and Magic IV: Our Artists Were Fired

Times are bleak in the land of Axeoth, as the wicked Gargamel has stolen all colour from the land. Stuck in a black and white world, it's a battle to survive against the Stick Man Legions. Fortunately, loyal creatures like the Stick Man Crusader, the Stick Dragon and the Pixel are on your side, willing to fight for the ultimate artifact - the Grey Anti-Aliased Circle!

(following expansions added by Marelt Ekiran)

Heroes of Might and Magic IV: Mendeleev attacks

The druid Mendeleev has rebelled from the old system of Earth, Water, Fire and Air elements and has introduced his entire periodic system of elementals. Fight to stop his complete domination of Axeoth while watching your crusaders hacking through Neon elementals, your gold golems being corroded by fluorine elemental and the almighty plutonium elemental radiate all your units to ashes. 119 new units. More to be added every year.

Heroes of Might and Magic IV: Anarchy edition

No creature is allied with any other creature and everyone is trying to carve an empire for himself. Make your hero the strongest of all and let him or her conquer all 483,291,502 empires to unite Axeoth under his or her rule.

Heroes of Might and Magic IV: The unlimited stronghold

There is no limit when building up your towns. All new maps will be XXL, giving you full time to do all building you want. Watch as you and your enemies clash with armies containing level 2843 creatures or watch as they try to break through a super-ultra-extra-overhuge-starpower-steelbarred-indestructive-triple-enchanted-castle fortification. Afterwards, boast that your hero was more than 200 levels higher than your opponents.

Heroes of Might and Magic IV: Survival of the fittest

A level 1 hero starts as a string of DNA and has to work it's way up the evolutionary ladder. Use your towns to produce nutrients. Build up the plant life to produce food and battle for the domination of the sea, land and sky. Choose if you want your hero to become a dinosaur, a mammal, a fish or another part of the animal kingdom

(following expansions added by Lord Haart)

Heroes of Might and Magic IV: The Return of the Mini-Wyverns

A plague of Insect-sized Wyverns has infested Axeoth, eating all the crops and generally annoying everybody. You take control of Harry, of the new pest-killer hero class, as you fight off the plague with the new insectacide school of magic.

Heroes of Might and Magic IV: Night of the Giant Leprechauns

You woke up one morning only to find that all the Leprechauns in Axeoth have increased in size by 7567443567%! Battle as the now-dwarf-sized Megadragon Mutare as you strive to save the world from these muntant freaks! But beware, it is they who will do the squashing...

Heroes of Might and Magic IV: Gorgon Edition

Gorgons are back in Axeoth! The news is so wonderful that all of the contries of Axeoth have combined their funds to buy the new creatures. Due to their wondorous return, all other creature types are not available, and the new gorgon hero Gorgona is the only hero left. Guide her and her fellow cows gorgons to glory and dominance!

(following post by GhostWriter)

Heroes of Might and Magic XXXVII: The Past that Refuses to Die

Scheduled release date: May 2142

Yes, it's back! With all "new" graphics, music, and gameplay. It's Heroes of Might and Maigc XXXVII with a twist. Due to overwhelming fan requests, Heroes now uses 16 bit technology, a whopping 12 KHz soundtrack, and an astounding 4 bits per second movie and animation sequence. Amaze your friends with stunning never-before seen features in their lifetime, like the ability to use a "mouse" by simply clicking a "button" to activate the more than five features in the game. Your vision sense will be engrossed by the constant splendor of a "cathode-ray-tube" to view the incredible two-dimensional graphics! Multi-player has never been better, with a wait-time less than three hours between turns, using the all-new 2400 band "modem"! No more direct sub-cortex implants! Have more time to do the things you really want to do!

System Requirements
12000 Parallel Multi-Dimensional Processor
2072 TeraBytes XXGBO4 Plasma Memory Cubes
Infinite Bridge Superconducting Video Port
Cathode Ray Tube (available at some surplus stores)
Mouse (mousepad recommended)

MSRP: 599,999.99$ Chinese

2131 3DO Company, a subsidiary of Space Dynamics Interplanetary
Pong technology licensed by the Pong Corporation, China

XI. The Artificial Intelligence Playground

I noticed the late thread on the AI and what it does/doesn't do. (This was also originally a reply to that thread, but got too long and I realised it would probably engulf it). This sparked an idea, and so I set to work creating a little map for our AI companions. I dubbed it the Artifical Intelligence Playground, and like scientific gerbils our friends Blue, Green, Orange, Teal and Purple were confined into separate areas of a large map, in which I could test them.

Having put on a mad scientist costume, I opened up the Campaign Editor and made the following fiendish contraption:


I placed a single Stronghold on an island surrounded by water, and scripted it so that he recieved 500,000 of each resource at the start of the game. By Day 7 I would check to see what buildings he had bought. Would we see a disturbingly logical mind in action, or the acts of a randomly guessing monkey?


I gave Green a single barbarian hero, trapped in a small room with several artifacts in strategic locations.

In one corner we have the Cart of Lumber. Facing it are the Boots of the Crocodile, diagonally from which are the Shackles of War(tm), and across from which is the Sword of the Gods. See a pattern? Treasure, minor, major, relic. Just to confuse him I also put a single lump of mercury.


I'll confess that I was cackling with power-bloated glee at this point. Orange was confined to a similar mountain complex, given a healthy dose of Haven troops - 100 Squires/Crossbowmen, 100 Pikemen, 50 Monks and 20 Angels. Directly ahead of him are four 'wandering monster' stacks who have been commanded not to do any of their pesky wandering, for fear of breaking my sterile laboratory environment.

He's up against Chaos troops. First stack is 200 Rogues, second is 180 Minotaurs, third is 80 Nightmares, fourth is 30 Hydras. I'm sure most human players could win these fights with minimal losses, given the troop diversity above. Let's see how many stacks he wipes out and whether his hero - Lemming the 25th Priest, armed with GM Life, Spirituality, Healing and a Tome of Life - survives.

As a lure for the AI I put a leprechaun dwelling after the Hydras.


In this case, I wanted to see if they were in fact capable of completing quests. I placed a nice Quest Hut by Idiot, Teal's level 1 sorceror, with the goal of obtaining 8000 gold and returning it. I placed 8000 gold right next to the hut. If the AI can't manage this, then I'm never letting it out of the house without a leash.

Should he succeed, he'll be given a waspwort. I hope he's not allergic to them.


Purple got the most intricate experiment of all. He's in a small valley with unflagged mines, one for each resource, a fully-constructed Academy and a host of creatures. Not far south is a neutral Preserve with a garrison of creatures. How long will it take Purple to flag the mines and capture the city?

I set them to be my allies, all except for Teal (hey, I had to have at least ONE enemy to avoid winning on Day One). I then cunningly placed a hero with GM scouting just where Teal couldn't reach it, to check for that tell-tale waspwort.

The meaningful statistics from my experiment are detailed at the end, but for details of the rigorous testing process you'll have to read this rather long post. Let the games begin! (Advanced Difficulty was used)



Green (Artifacts) took the Cart of Lumber, the Mercury, and then the Shackles of War, in that order. Hmm. A very strange and seemingly meaningless pattern, that, so I'll have to run it again later to see if it has some sort of deeper purpose.

Orange (Wandering Monsters) defeated the Rogues and then the Minotaurs. Total losses - 4 Angels. Not too bad, but losing level four units against level one and level two troop types speaks of shoddy battlework. At least Lemming survived.

Teal (Quests) didn't even pick up the Pandora's Box with 8000 gold in it. And he's in a tiny little isolated mountain circle with absolutely nothing else to do. I get a sinking feeling.

Blue (Building) built nothing? Huh? Did I forget to give him basic intelligence along with his thousands and thousands of resources?

Purple (Expansion) sent a bunch of wandering monsters out to roam pointlessly to the left of his city. Didn't buy a hero, didn't claim the nearby ore mine, didn't pass GO, didn't collect $200.


Green (Artifacts) nabbed the Sword of the Gods and then the Crocodile Boots. That means his current test is over, and so he'll just have to stand there looking confused until I'm done with him. Additionally, I forgot to block off his city and now he has gold golems wandering pointlessly through the gigantic unfilled regions of the map. Bah.

Orange (Wandering Monsters) just stood there, ignoring the Nightmares. Perhaps it doesn't think it can handle 80 nightmares with its troops and every Life spell in the game. Come on, Lemming, don't spoil it for everyone.

Teal (Quests)... pick up the freaking gold, Teal. Pick it up NOW. Are AI perhaps unable to use Pandora's Box? Or is he just really, really dumb? Next test I'll give him the 8000 gold manually and forget about the box.

Blue (Construction) still built nothing. Is he even awake?

Purple (Expansion) hired a hero and pottered down south, past the ore mine, without any troops. A few steps after the mine he headed back up to the mine (without flagging it) and joined up with the previous wandering monsters. So far he's still mineless. And mindless? They're such similar words.

DAY 3 (the plot thickens)

Green now has two gold golems wandering around the map, and waiting for them to trudge about is KILLING me. Next time I'm going to make sure I break their legs before I put them in the experimental cage.

Orange (Wandering Monsters) is now stuck in a permanent state of terror, so I'm going to have to conclude that Lemming is a failing, snivelling coward. Shame, Lemming, shame!

Teal (Quests). Teal would make an impressive mime, as his hero hasn't moved at all in an entire three days.

Blue (Construction) finally built something, a Citadel. To protect him from hordes of killer bees and other small insects, perhaps?

Purple (Expansion) - amazing! He recruited a stack of nagas and sent them shambling aimlessly to the left of his academy, true. But his hero flagged not only the ore mine but the wood mine as well.


Purple (Expansion) did some more exploring with hero-less creature stacks, apparently chosen at random, as he's actually using dwarves for scouting... that's like using Ballista in a sled-race. The hero also galloped southwards, which is where he's meant to be going. No mines today.

Blue (Construction) built harpies. Says it all, really.

Teal (Quests) is really beginning to bug me. He could at least move a LITTLE...


Purple (Expansion) now has an alarming amount of wandering creature stacks who seem to be walking in circles. His hero did, however, flag a Crystal mine while galloping towards the south - albeit somewhat erratically.

Blue (Construction) built Ogre Magi. Yes. He built Ogre Magi. Willingly and with nobody forcing him to at gunpoint. He had 500k of each resource and he built Ogre Magi. I'm going to leave a meaningful empty space at the end of this paragraph.


Please, Green. For the love of all that is holy, do not continue scouting my empty map with gold golems.

Purple (Expansion) is now, I'm convinced, making things up as it goes along. It had a few titans run up, then down, then up, then down, then return to the garrison. The hero did not move at all this turn, but sat watching the captured crystal mine - despite the fact that the sulfur, gold and gem mine have been revealed.

Blue (Construction) built a castle. Probably in preparation for Thunderbirds, but with this sterling military mind at work anything is possible.


Purple (you know which it is by now) made a few more wandering monsters jog around, and then sent the hero to capture the gold mine. Despite his bizzare desire to scout around with one or two monsters, he has yet to uncover the nearby town.

Blue built Thunderbirds. Who didn't see that one coming? This fufills his quota of seven days, and so the final round now belongs to Purple and his meaningless conquest.

What follows is now his masterful battle plans, copied straight from his own diary.

Day 8: Saw gem mine. Flagged it. Saw sulfur mine. Decided to go back up and sit next to the crystal mine instead. Move magi around.

Day 9: Galloping home to get troops, to defend me from the invisible vampire pirates who I'm sure are waiting in the fog of war to get me.

Day 10: Waited for Green to stop moving gold golems. Recruited new hero, combined the two and put all wandering monsters into one army. Is this strange feeling called... intelligence? Person looking at me through computer monitor seems surprised.

Day 11: Moved into city. Sat there.

Day 12: Stayed in city. It's cold outside.

Day 13: Stayed in city.

Day 14: Stayed in city.

Day 15: Stayed in city.

Day 16: Stayed in city. Person looking at me through monitor seems annoyed. Is pressing a button with a word I can't quite make out, but I think the first two letters are QU--


I went back to the drawing board with my new knowledge. Firstly, I took out the infamous Pandora's Box and made Teal recieve 8000 gold at the beginning of the game. Then I lowered the number of Nightmares to 45. I took out Purple entirely - I haven't got the patience to live through that nightmare again and took away Green's city, for my own sanity.


Green (Artifacts) took the Cart of Lumber, the Mercury and... the Shackles of War... is it just me, or is there a strange feeling of deja vu?

Orange (Combat) killed the first two stacks, Rogues and Minotaurs, but lost five angels this time. That's one more than the last.

Teal (Quests) is still doing nothing. I've given up on him, and am declaring the AI to ignore all kinds of quest huts and Pandora's Boxes.

Blue (Construction) didn't build anything. Because of this, I began to feel uneasy. Surely he's not going to build EXACTLY the same buildings as he did before... surely the AI isn't just a series of set patterns?

Orange (Combat) froze at the sight of the newly reduced Nightmares, once again in a limbo designed to torment the one behind the experiments...

Well, to cut a long story short, Green took identical artifacts and Blue built identical buildings in the second test. Orange still didn't attack the Nightmares.

This gives me reason to present the following statistics and ideas:

1.) The AI cannot interact with Quest Huts and Pandora's Boxes.

2.) The AI builds structures in a fixed order. In the case of the Stronghold, he built:
Day 1: Nothing
Day 2: Nothing
Day 3: Citadel
Day 4: Harpy Dwelling
Day 5: Ogre Magi Dwelling
Day 6: Castle
Day 7: Thunderbird Dwelling

3.) Never let Green hire gold golems.

4.) The AI does not choose artifacts by power or usefulness, and seems to have some strange favouritism to several. I'm not sure if distance was an issue here, as the amount of squares between hero - artifact was roughly equal. It loves the Cart of Lumber.

5.) The AI understimates the ability of its hero and combined troops when facing an enemy monster stack. In the case of Lemming, with his Life spells and array of Haven troops he SHOULD have been able to take 45 nightmares. Yet he chose to stand motionless for two weeks instead.

6.) Teal is an idiot.

7.) The AI will explore to a certain degree but has a paranoid desire to stay close to its own city. It will also ignore nearby mines in favour of further ones, will not claim mines that are partially visible on the map and will not explore a certain distance away from its main city.

8.) The AI follows a predictable pattern, unlike in Heroes III where the same situation could produce different results with each replaying.

9.) Don't try to do things like this at 4:36 AM.

R Back to page 1

theLuckyDragon at 2007-11-10 19:52 wrote:
They're around the site since the Round Table Olympics. Obelisk-hunting around the site was one of the trials.

Muszka at 2007-11-10 10:54 wrote:
I think it's an anagram resulting H-E-R-O-E-S, but I don't see the letters.

Guarderman at 2007-11-10 10:19 wrote:
What is those obelisk around here? this one said R. Another i have seen have said E, O

Muszka at 2007-11-10 03:55 wrote:
My tears came out from laughing

Wulfstan8182 at 2007-11-09 23:22 wrote:

aww maan i forgot its the expansion packs we'll never see aww maan.

Cleanpea at 2006-12-09 17:20 wrote:
did many test in h3, when the editor was nice and easy, and didn't require more resources than the game itself to play!

DaemianLucifer at 2006-12-09 15:10 wrote:
Whenever you decide to open the editor an make it :devil:

Cleanpea at 2006-12-09 14:56 wrote:
c'mon, when is this H5 A.I. battleground finished??
nereus at 2006-08-11 14:29 wrote:
yeah a H5 AI playground

Sauron at 2006-06-25 13:03 wrote:
They are more intelligent. They would start runing in circles besides waiting :D

ThunderTitan at 2006-06-25 13:01 wrote:
Now, how about a H5 AI playground?

DaemianLucifer at 2006-06-06 19:21 wrote:
It just hit me, why not make playgrounds for the HIII A.I and for the HV A.I when the map editor arrives? Then compare them to see which A.I that make the most out of the game mechanics?

Im glad you decided to to that ungrateful task.So,when will the results be available? :devil:

Orfinn at 2006-06-06 19:17 wrote:
It just hit me, why not make playgrounds for the HIII A.I and for the HV A.I when the map editor arrives? Then compare them to see which A.I that make the most out of the game mechanics?

blacktrance at 2006-03-08 17:03 wrote:
The AI battlegound is the funniest thing I've read in days! LOL!

Sandro123 at 2006-02-16 12:23 wrote:
yeah, i loved it, especially the AI battleground, it was so funny I had a stomach ache for days :D

Orfinn at 2006-01-27 18:46 wrote:
Hilarious! I almost laughed myself to death, lololol ;-D

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