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Heroes Community > Heroes 7+ Altar of Wishes > Thread: Heroes V: UbiSoft or NWC?
Thread: Heroes V: UbiSoft or NWC?
ThE_HyDrA
ThE_HyDrA


Admirable
Famous Hero
The Leader of all Hydras
posted September 11, 2003 12:05 PM bonus applied.

Heroes V: UbiSoft or NWC?


In the coming months, it will be clear whether the new UbiSoft company will use either its own team, or the classic mixture that is the NWC team. The last news we heard of the New World Computing team was a few months ago, where one of the development people there stated that there were still people at NWC willing to create Heroes V, and continue with their previous ideas. However, this statement came shortly prior to the closure of the NWC offices, which isn’t a promising sign that NWC will return. The UbiSoft team have been known for making other games such as the Warlords series, and Morrowind, another acclaimed game. With the experience of NWC, and the fresh ideas of UbiSoft, this thread has been created to ask for your opinion, on which developer would be more apt to make the game. Perhaps it is better that people from both companies make the game?

New World Computing

New World Computing created the Heroes of Might and Magic Series, they have delivered many classic games within this franchise. Heroes II is the notable one which thrust Heroes into the limelight, and NWC continued to produce high quality games including Heroes III, and several of the ‘Might and Magic’ series games.

Heroes has been founded upon some basic elements, ones which Jon Van Caneghem did not plan to change:
- The gameplay is strictly turn based, an element vital to the game’s strategic purpose. I don’t have any fear that UbiSoft will alter this part of the game.
- Heroes is comprised of 2 main modes, scenarios and campaigns, both of which are enthralling and add an extra sense of diversity to the game. Possibly this could be expanded, but not cut down in any way.
- Heroes is very much a strategy game, and has elements that have stuck with it throughout the times. These are having a certain amount of levels, including heroes which become stronger by gaining experience, a bevy of creatures each having their own strengths and weaknesses, three main modes – town screen, adventure map, combat map.
- All of the above points take place in a fantasy setting, which adds a certain appeal to it. The elements listed above are integral to the Heroes Series success, and if they were altered, then it would be difficult to find the Heroes game of old.

Aside from these, there are also other minor parts to the Heroes game.
- Town Development: While this may be the least important of the three main areas, the players strength is derived from NWC liked to call a ‘town’. There have been alternate ideas to spread the focus to other structures, but it has been agreed that towns are to be the most important of these. Ideas for new centres of development have not been welcomed by NWC, which broaches the question – how many changes will UbiSoft accept?
- Army Development: Despite all the other significant elements, the way in which the game is won is through armies and the heroes commanding them. The ultimate goal is to build the strongest army and use it in a way that is most beneficial to yourself. It would be difficult to change this part of Heroes.
- Hero Development: The more RPG section of the Heroes game. Heroes have the most priveleges in the game of Heroes. Everything is accomplished through their leadership. They are the ‘Queen’ of Heroes, if you will (Queen as relating to chess). I have suggested having other minor heroes too, and I will explain some of these ideas in the UbiSoft section. I also realise others have ideas for this section, too.

As for my own opinion on this matter, I think it would be a pity to waste what NWC have already accomplished in their planning of Heroes V. I was very much looking forward to the game and the development that the team had done. I remember ‘Maeglin’ of the 3D0 Community speaking very fondly of NWC’s progress. If the integral Heroes elements are retained and expanded, and with the guidance of some of the NWC team, Heroes V should be an excellent game. However, there is one burning question that JVC did answer: The capabilties of the AI. JVC stated that it would be rebuilt totally from scratch. This, if NWC were to develop it, would ensure that the AI would actually pose a coherent challenge in all maps, unlike Heroes IV.
NWC have the experience and know what they are doing, as they created the game. On occassions, they have listened to fans, but haven’t implemented anything new that will drastically change the strategy of the game (Aside from Heroes in Combat, which they have now decided to remove). With NWC, the player is assured that Heroes V will be a solid game, free of any major, groundbreaking changes, which could also be a negative point.

UbiSoft

UbiSoft bought the Heroes of Might and Magic franchise for a sum total of 1.3 million dollars. This means two things relating to the topic: They wanted the franchise so they could create a game themselves, or, they wanted to reap the benefits of NWC’s great work. I am fearing that it could be the first one. As of yet, there has been no sign that UbiSoft have started work on Heroes V, or assembled a team to do it for them.

A large question is if UbiSoft will follow in the footsteps of NWC, and use many queues from their games, or start a totally new game from scratch, and retaining only some basic elements of the game. If they decide to do the latter, it could have good or bad effects on the game, at it could be changed in a drastic way.

One thing that is clear if UbiSoft do decide to make the game themselves is that there are going to be some changes to the Heroes formula. I have speculated on some of those changes and also assembled some of the better ideas in my opinion to include in the game.

- The hero level up system could be different. It may not be based on simple ‘experience’ any longer. There could be different types, such as tactical experience, magical experience, etc.
- Town development can be somewhat short, and possibly, UbiSoft may decide to make it more complex. The system of requirements currently employed may be changed, too. There are many features in towns that are not perfect, some of these being the castle’s effects, special structures, and dwellings. Ways that it could be made more diverse are have a town ‘population’ which decides creature growth to an extent, but primarily, income.
- Army development is, in my mind, a rather refined element of the Heroes series. The basic idea of fighting, retaliation, etc, appears rather smooth to me. Even realistic effects such as the line of sight have been added. However, I think there is still room for improvement in the army formation and tactical positioning. In Heroes IV, there were three stances, loose, tight, normal. With the aid of the tactics skill, this can become quite diverse.

It would be a breath of fresh air to have a new company such as UbiSoft develop the game. It would be able to add many new and innovative features that the old NWC may not have conjured up or thought or adding to the game. If UbiSoft decide to study the previous series and determine which parts are good and bad, it may be able to use the better features and also implement some new ones. UbiSoft would almost certainly use different artists for the game, so the look of Heroes may also be different. However, if the companies fledgling experience shows in the game, it could be a disaster and ruin the Heroes Series’ admirable reputation.
It would be a shame if NWC did not continue on developing the game, to be honest. While UbiSoft developing the game could bring some great elements and new ideas, it just wouldn’t be the same with JVC and his team. They know how to make this game, and I would like them to continue with their Heroes V plans, however unikely it may seem.

New and Old Ideas

Regardless of who develops the game, I have assembled some ideas that I would like to be implemented:

Leaders

A masterful idea concocted by Djive and an excellent addition to the game. The reason I believe this can aid the game is that the creatures are finally given a hero-like role in combat, and this somewhat compensates for the lack of their direct presence. (This could be changed, and in that case there would be more depth). Leaders have been described as “…a single creature, and one Leader can be recruited from the tavern per week. The restriction is that only Leaders for built creature generators in that town can be recruited. The cost of a Leader is the price of the basic creature multipled by an appropriate factor” – Djive.

Terrain Affects Towns

Another idea from the brain of Djive, and if I recall correctly many others. This idea deals with the native terrain of towns, and how differentiating terrains will affect towns and heroes. While this was implemented to an extent in Heroes IV, it can be expanded. For example, a Necropolis castle fighting in the snow might receive a – 25% morale penalty due to the terrain.

New Upgrade System

Many upgrade systems have been suggested, but I believe the best ones are my own, and more notably, God_Boy’s. Positives and Negatives are listed below:

ThE_HyDrA's Upgrade System
Plus (+)
+> Freedom in choice
+> Encourages a strategic decision from the player
+> Good depth
Minus (-)
-} Some choices can be too easy
-} Not all creatures are chosen

God_Boy's Upgrade System
Explanation: Players are given a number of base creatures per day. This base creature, with the construction of the corresponding structures, can be upgraded into either (example of the first level) 1- Squire 2- Archer. These two base level 1 creatures have 3 further upgrades, but you may only choose one of them.
Plus (+)
+> Excellent depth
+> Strategic choices must be made in relation to frequency and time
Minus (-)
-} Differentiates too much from the original Heroes upgrade system
-} Choices too complicated - difficult to balance

Specialist Heroes
Specialist Heroes are based upon one primary skill, and can only learn the secondary skills within that skill. For example, a scout would have scouting as the primary skill, then would be able to learn pathfinding, seamanship, and stealth. The specialist hero cannot learn skills outside of the scouting primary skill.

That is all for now, I am hoping that some others can provide opinions on who they would ideally like to produce Heroes V. It may yet be another company with old NWC representatives, such as Rapid Eye Entertainment. This is an extremely important issue for me, and I don’t think it is much different to you.

____________
"Dragons may breathe fire, but Hydras have many heads." - The Creed of Hydras
"As the Dragon drew its breath, the Hydra pounced, swiftly but powerfully, and the Dragon was defeated.”

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BoogieMan
BoogieMan


Famous Hero
The John of Spades
posted September 11, 2003 01:02 PM

Ubisoft's decision

I'm not very familiar with Ubisoft's work, as I haven't played neither Warlords or Morrowind (I have played Settlers 3 and some Chessmaster but that's not exactly relevant ).

However, I don't believe that they would pay as much as they did for the "Heroes" franchise without the intention of planning a proper strategy for the development of Heroes V.

I'm not much of a financial advisor, but in my opinion, even if they wanted to change the game dramatically (in order to give it a new "Ubisoft" identity), they wouldn't do it now. My guess is that "Heroes V" would follow a conservatory line, and that Ubisoft will indeed ask the NWC team for help, as it is vital for Ubisoft to earn our trust as to whether or not they are capable of improving the series. Ubisoft's team would need to work at least for "Heroes V" with the NWC guys in order to really understand the series's uniqueness. Depending on the success of "Heroes V", they would then decide whether or not to start from scratch with "Heroes VI", with no help from NWC's team.

But, as I said, never trust me as your representative on the stock-market  
____________
The BoogieMan wrote ... and saw that it was good.

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Dragon_Slayer
Dragon_Slayer


Honorable
Supreme Hero
toss toss toss
posted September 24, 2003 08:33 AM

Nice thread Hydra, I agree that it is an important issue. As for my own thoughts, I think NWC should again develop Heroes. NWC have developed for a very long time, and it would be bad to stop now. But I think Ubisoft should also help in the making of the game. It will be good to have a new developer, because they will bring about change and use new ideas in the game. These changes could easily make the game more enjoyable but could also ruin it.Ubisoft are pretty good game developers, making games like Warlords and Splinter Cell, but maybe they're not so used to Heroes. I am just hoping they don't stuff up the game, because I want it to be a step forwards, not sideways. Hopefully NWC will make the main decisions and help Ubisoft make a better series, it would be bad to have Ubisoft do everything themselves because they might not know what theyre doing.
____________

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Ribannah
Ribannah


Hired Hero
posted September 28, 2003 02:08 AM

There is nobody at NWC anymore, the people who worked there have found other jobs (well, most of them), and even the studio is hired to another company. Jon van Caneghem is car-racing full-time now and no longer interested.

So UbiSoft has to do it all with new people. But they got the franchise very cheap, for a fraction of what they offered a few years ago, so they won't mind too much.
____________
If you have no feet, don't walk on fire.
Castle Gobs
Project Lead of the Might and Magic Tribute game

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Delfontes
Delfontes


Known Hero
Sorcerer Extraordinaire
posted September 29, 2003 11:47 PM

I'm very suprised that Ubi-Soft hasn't released any information. I was hoping their site would say a brief blurb about their plans, if they are going to release another Heroes in the near future (next year) or just sit on it for a few years until their other projects pan out etc.

I went to their site and nada.
____________

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Ribannah
Ribannah


Hired Hero
posted October 02, 2003 01:28 AM

They probably haven't made up their mind yet. Now that the financial quarter is over, we might hear from them soon. Maybe. Or not.

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RMS
RMS


Responsible
Legendary Hero
-ing yummy foods
posted October 02, 2003 01:34 AM

...or maybe they're just not ready yet.

Ohh, the suspense!
____________
This space for rent.

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ThE_HyDrA
ThE_HyDrA


Admirable
Famous Hero
The Leader of all Hydras
posted October 03, 2003 08:05 AM
Edited By: ThE_HyDrA on 5 Oct 2003

The State of NWC

There have been many claims made over the state of NWC. In the time of the developmental stage of Heroes IV, it was a fairly sizeable company, and had many workers, which increased throughout the time of development. The bad news started at the 3D0 lay-offs, which included a number of NWC workers as well. Among them, I believe were head of Heroes IV development, Gus Smedstad, and his other high-ranked developers, Jennifer ‘Maranthea’ Bullard, and David Mullich, a notable hero in both Heroes III and IV. There were further layoffs, and the NWC company was reduced to a size which can be likened to the starting of the Heroes III development. When the company moved to Solvang from their Redwood offices. This move was made by JVC in order to separate themselves from the rest of the larger 3D0 company. However, this move left some NWC workers behind, including such notables as Christian Vanover and April Lee. Merely a month after the move, the offices closed down on July 18th. However, despite this closure, there still have been signs of life, many of them coming from David Botan. The most recent speculation is that Jon Van Caneghem has left the business for motor racing, which, as said by David Mullich, JVC loved.

Boogieman

“I'm not very familiar with Ubisoft's work, as I haven't played neither Warlords or Morrowind (I have played Settlers 3 and some Chessmaster but that's not exactly relevant  .”

That makes two of us. I haven’t played Morrowind or Warlords either, but, from what I’ve heard, both appear to be excellent games. Scoring over 80% in all reviews I’ve read, but they mean very little unless you’ve actually experienced the game for yourself. Both of these two games have a different style, Warlords being the closer of the two. It was good fortune that the Heroes franchise landed with a company that has already experience in the genre, which is a positive sign as to the reliability of the company. I am hoping that Heroes doesn’t lose its unique features and begins to play more like Warlords, for that will be a blunder.

“However, I don't believe that they would pay as much as they did for the "Heroes" franchise without the intention of planning a proper strategy for the development of Heroes V.”

I completely agree with you on that point. When NWC was for sale before making Heroes III, Ubisoft were willing to pay 14 million or somewhere around there for the whole series. This shows evidence in their interest of the series, which cannot be entirely to eliminate the competition, as you say. But the severely deflated price they paid this time around also signifies that the franchise may have lost flavour or attraction from other companies. However, based on that past evidence, Ubisoft appear to have sizeable plans for the game, or they wouldn’t have contemplated buying it for the amount of money that they did.

“I'm not much of a financial advisor, but in my opinion, even if they wanted to change the game dramatically (in order to give it a new "Ubisoft" identity), they wouldn't do it now.”

Again, I would have to second your opinion. It would be rather silly to change the Heroes formula severely before they have even gotten to be acquainted with the game. I am hoping that they take a few pages out of NWC’s book, and research what they have done with the series, and what elements are vitally important to it. If they start to change them too soon, they may lose the trust of the fans, and that may not go down too well in terms of sales. They should stick with the formula until they get a bit more confident with the mechanics of the game, then they should begin experimenting.

“My guess is that "Heroes V" would follow a conservatory line, and that Ubisoft will indeed ask the NWC team for help, as it is vital for Ubisoft to earn our trust as to whether or not they are capable of improving the series.”

If they do ask the NWC team for help, it would be wise for them to enlist in their help in a practical sense, such as aiding them in writing basic scripts for the game so it does not become unbalanced or so they don’t experience any other problems like NWC did when they developed the games themselves. If Ubisoft fiddles around with the elements of the game, we may have a jumbled cross between Warlords and Heroes, which could prove disastrous. What I’m saying is Ubisoft should ask for help when they start to develop the game.

“Ubisoft's team would need to work at least for "Heroes V" with the NWC guys in order to really understand the series's uniqueness.”

Well-spoken, I entirely agree here, too. The experience Ubisoft as had with this genre has come in the form of Warlords, and, as you know, the two are quite different. However, I read in an interview with a Warlords designer that Heroes of Might and Magic II is his 9th favourite game, providing evidence that the Warlords team has probably played games of the series before. I’d imagine they’d be playing each version more than just for entertainment nowadays – they’d need it to help build a basis for their own Heroes game.

“Depending on the success of "Heroes V", they would then decide whether or not to start from scratch with "Heroes VI", with no help from NWC's team.”

Precisely. However, I doubt they would being totally on a new slate, since they would not want to spoilt the main elements of the game. NWC even made Heroes IV with the same AI engine as Heroes III, which is probably the AI was not what it could’ve been. While they may not need help from former NWC development people, they would still want to keep the balance of adding their own new elements, as well as retaining the older ones.

Dragon_Slayer

“As for my own thoughts, I think NWC should again develop Heroes. NWC have developed for a very long time, and it would be bad to stop now.”

That is true. The fans know NWC will make a great game, and the Heroes series will be very stable in their hands. NWC created the series, and only they know what they planned to achieve, and where they want to take the game. It is unsettling for a new company to take control of a game that has been made by one company the whole duration of the time.

“But I think Ubisoft should also help in the making of the game. It will be good to have a new developer, because they will bring about change and use new ideas in the game.”

Yes, they can bring new things into the series that the old team would never have contemplated doing before. They had a chance to perceive the game from an outsider’s view, and now that they’re actually developing it, they can implement ideas they may have had in the past here. However, they may not know what these ideas may incur on the overall feel of the game, and may be too radical to add, or too insignificant to contemplate, and even a bad change that was small would detract from the game. So when they add ideas they’ve had, they must be very careful to think them through, because they could have a profound impact on the game.

“Ubisoft are pretty good game developers, making games like Warlords and Splinter Cell, but maybe they're not so used to Heroes.”

Yes, they are admirable games, but unfortunately, aren’t exactly alike Heroes. Warlords comes close, but it too is a different game, and will have different elements employed to make it so. Ubisoft cannot rely on their experience with Warlords solely to make a new Heroes that will look like a true sequel. They must source information from the game itself, and, if possible, the NWC staff to make it a true sequel.

“I am just hoping they don't stuff up the game, because I want it to be a step forwards, not sideways.”

Don’t we all. Ubisoft’s changes should not be just for the fun of changing the game to their own liking. Every change should entail a purpose that would benefit the game.

“Hopefully NWC will make the main decisions and help Ubisoft make a better series, it would be bad to have Ubisoft do everything themselves because they might not know what theyre doing.”

If it is possible, I would rather this whole debacle not have occurred and NWC continued peacefully developing Heroes V as they had in the beginning-middle parts of the year. I don’t have faith in Ubisoft to make a great Heroes game by themselves, I want at least one or two of the higher-ranked NWC members to go and help in the development of the game. This will allow Ubisoft to gain some knowledge about the game’s mechanics, uniqueness, and how to develop the game well.

Ribannah I

“There is nobody at NWC anymore, the people who worked there have found other jobs (well, most of them), and even the studio is hired to another company.”

From what I’ve heard from various sources at Celestial Heavens, there are still people at NWC who are intent on creating Heroes V. Most of the Heroes IV developers have found other jobs, a few being at ‘Tilted Mill’ and also ‘Rapid Eye Entertainment’. However, I think there are still some at the NWC offices waiting. While I’m not sure about this, it is possible that they’re there. I’m not sure about the studio being hired out to another company, where did you acquire this knowledge?

“Jon van Caneghem is car-racing full-time now and no longer interested.”

That is speculation, and I don’t believe it has been confirmed. I think it was David Mullich at the Round Table who said ‘It wouldn’t surprise me if JVC left and went back to motor racing.’ He continued by describing how he kept trophies in his office at work, but said he doesn’t have any contact with him. So, it is unsure whether he is still working on Heroes V, going to Ubisoft, or motor racing.

“So UbiSoft has to do it all with new people. But they got the franchise very cheap, for a fraction of what they offered a few years ago, so they won't mind too much.”

Yes, 1.3 million is very little compared to what they were going to pay for the company. I’m sure that they’re extremely happy with their purchase.

Delfontes

“I'm very suprised that Ubi-Soft hasn't released any information. I was hoping their site would say a brief blurb about their plans, if they are going to release another Heroes in the near future (next year) or just sit on it for a few years until their other projects pan out etc.”

Yes, I must say that I too have been checking ubi.com for a while now, and even been checking the forums to see if a Heroes V forum was established. It appeared not to be. I have the same concerns as you, there was no information about the game or what they plan to do with the series. However, there was news at Celestial Heavens saying Ubisoft was busy with other projects, but will be beginning work on Heroes in the coming months.

Ribannah II

“They probably haven't made up their mind yet. Now that the financial quarter is over, we might hear from them soon. Maybe. Or not.”

They’ve probably made up their mind with regard to what they’re going to do with the series, they’ve had their eye on it for years now! Yes, I’m expecting some information soon. They officially acquired the assets on August 14th, it has been a month and a half, so hopefully we’ll hear something soon.

RMS

“..or maybe they're just not ready yet.

Ohh, the suspense!”

Lol, they’re probably ready they’re justing making us wait until they reveal what they’re doing!

Thanks, people, for the replies, with the impending good news that UbiSoft have to deliver, I hope there will be more discussion concerning this highly important issue.

____________
"Dragons may breathe fire, but Hydras have many heads." - The Creed of Hydras
"As the Dragon drew its breath, the Hydra pounced, swiftly but powerfully, and the Dragon was defeated.”

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DonGio
DonGio


Promising
Famous Hero
of Clear Water Mountain Clan
posted October 03, 2003 02:27 PM

Hi, Hydra, long time.

Nice post, as usual.

Not sure if I have anything very valuable to bring to the table, but I'll chip in with a few thoughts and opinions.

Ubisoft
I have a good impression of these guys, and I actually have played games like Morrowind (which was good, although not anywhere near it's predecessor Daggerfall), and I think that they will do a good job with HOMMV, if they do decide to make it, which I desperately hope they will.

I do hope, though, that JVC will be involved, at the very least. I'd love to see the other guys from NWC working on it as well, but JVC is the father of the whole franchise, the man who single-handedly(??) created King's Bounty and had the vision for the HOMM games. Without him, I fear the game would lose some of it's soul, it's essence.

Maybe I just missed it, but I didn't see any explanation for your upgrade system, Hydra. Would be nice (and no, I have neither the time nor patience to dig up the original thread you introduced it in ).

Here's a toast to the hopes of a new and improved HOMMV

Cheers
Artaxiad
____________
There are 10 types of people: Those who read binary, and those who don't.

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Ribannah
Ribannah


Hired Hero
posted October 05, 2003 01:25 PM
Edited By: Ribannah on 5 Oct 2003

Quote:
From what I’ve heard from various sources at Celestial Heavens, there are still people at NWC who are intent on creating Heroes V. Most of the Heroes IV developers have found other jobs, a few being at ‘Tilted Mill’ and also ‘Rapid Eye Entertainment’. However, I think there are still some at the NWC offices waiting. While I’m not sure about this, it is possible that they’re there. I’m not sure about the studio being hired out to another company, where did you acquire this knowledge?
IIRC it was Tim Lang who told us about the studio. He is an advisor on our MMT project.
JVC didn't want to pay the rent from his own pocket and that was it.

Quote:
“Jon van Caneghem is car-racing full-time now and no longer interested.”

That is speculation, and I don’t believe it has been confirmed.
We've seen pictures and headlines. He won in Phoenix.

Quote:

“They probably haven't made up their mind yet. Now that the financial quarter is over, we might hear from them soon. Maybe. Or not.”

They’ve probably made up their mind with regard to what they’re going to do with the series, they’ve had their eye on it for years now! Yes, I’m expecting some information soon. They officially acquired the assets on August 14th, it has been a month and a half, so hopefully we’ll hear something soon.
With 'Warlords IV: Heroes of Etharia' (what's in a name?) gone gold, there should be nothing that's stopping them, heh.
____________
If you have no feet, don't walk on fire.
Castle Gobs
Project Lead of the Might and Magic Tribute game

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ThE_HyDrA
ThE_HyDrA


Admirable
Famous Hero
The Leader of all Hydras
posted October 09, 2003 09:38 AM bonus applied.

Ubisoft’s Vision?

Seeing as it is almost certain Ubisoft will develop the Heroes of Might and Magic Games themselves, or with the help of another company aside from NWC, it would be about the time to question what perception Ubisoft has of the game. As most of you know, NWC had finished the theory work of Heroes V, and were about 1 month into the developmental cycle when it ceased due to the recent unpleasantness. I myself must admit the game was shaping up very nicely judging by the information acquired and the two screenshots viewed. The E3 report conducted by Ghostwriter provided the most up-to-date information until the game was scrapped. It was due to be announced in August. All the information we knew before, however, can be scrapped. It is most likely Ubisoft will come up with unique ideas and not follow the previous plans of JVC and his team so closely. While I think the core elements must be retained, Ubisoft will probably place many new ideas in the game, as well as innovative options, possibly deriving some elements from their Warlords Games.
In order to gain an understanding of the two different games, I have decided to compare the two, and their differences and similarities.

Heroes IV: Warlords IV:
- 6 Towns - 10 Towns
- 5 Magic Alignments - 10 Spell Schools
- 48 Hero Classses    - Unsure (can someone fill me in?)
- Heroes in Combat - Unsure
- 18 Campaigns - 1 Non-linear Campaign
- 100 Scenarios - Unsure
- 80 Creatures (approx)          - 120 Units (Creatures and Heroes)
- 120 Heroes (approx)          - 120 Units (Heroes and Creatures)
- Advanced Scripting - Speed Tactical System
- 9 Primary Skills - Unsure
- 36 Skills - Unsure
- 6 Players - 8 Players

It is obvious that the two games have differences. However, they are based upon the same thing, with Warlords IV having not such a large emphasis on storyline, judging by the open-ended campaign, and failure to mention scripting. Certainly, Warlords IV’s advantages are the 10 Towns, 10 Spell Schools, and 8 Players. The disadvantages are 1 Campaign, and 120 Units, which means both Heroes and Creatures. It would be greatly appreciated if anybody who has played Warlords III could enlighten me on the different styles of play, and how it compares to Heroes III.

New Ideas to Implement

Again, Ubisoft would probably like to stamp their name on the game by adding in new elements. As an addendum to the initial post, I would welcome any ideas you have concerning the playability of the game, now that nothing has been finalised.
I will provide some things I would like to have added to the game:

More Dynamic Combat Map
What I am referring to here is that combat maps have different levels that provide tactical advantages for creatures, somewhat like Castle Turrets did in Heroes IV. My goal for this idea is to try to incorporate the landscape into the battles so that one may use it to his or her advantage, and so it is not just a static object. For example, there would be many hills and streams that actually had the same effect as moats around castles. Water would also have some correlation with the special ability of a water elemental, mermaid, or sea monster. By the same token, if there were trees, Nature creatures would be benefited. To take it another step, there could also be man-made obstacles such as ruins, houses, and wells. As a possible inclusion, volcanic eruptions could have the same effect as the Armageddon spell, but deal much less damage. This is my theory to try and make the battlefield more dynamic.

Forts
As an alternative to castles, there can also be forts, (not a connection to my earlier ‘Village’ idea). Forts are strictly used for defensive purposes, and also to create an outpost where there aren’t enough castles close enough. I imagine that the fort will be half makeshift, and half permanent. My vision is to have different levels of terrain in combat, layered by walls, similar to a large hill with walls around it. The fort will take up ½ the battlefield, and the creatures can move within the walls, and the heroes will have the highest vantage point. There will be a gate that has 100 HP limit, and a catapult can also knock the walls down. In terms of the Adventure Map, Forts can be likened to Garrisons, except you are able to recruit heroes, and send caravans from and to the place.

DonGio

“Hi, Hydra, long time. Nice post, as usual.”

Indeed it has been, Don. Thanks for the compliments.

“Ubisoft
I have a good impression of these guys, and I actually have played games like Morrowind (which was good, although not anywhere near it's predecessor Daggerfall), and I think that they will do a good job with HOMMV, if they do decide to make it, which I desperately hope they will.”

They seem like reputable game makers to me, and I often see high quality games made by the company. Morrowind I have heard good reviews of, as I have said before, but I cannot say I’ve heard of Daggerfall too much, but the name does ring a bell. It is most likely that Ubisoft will hand the developmental rights over to their Warlords team, since they’ve just completed Warlords IV: Heroes of Etheria (Shockingly close to Heroes III’s Erathia) or just about completed it. This leaves them open to development on Heroes V. I myself would rather NWC make Heroes V to any other company today, for the sole reason that they created the game, and know the legacy and uniqueness of the series. I understand that Ubisoft has a great ability to make games, but why would you hope they make it? Or are you referring to if they will make it at all?

“I do hope, though, that JVC will be involved, at the very least.”

I agree with you 100% on that notion. Without the master’s guidance, the series may lose its essence and its roots, as you say. He did indeed begin the idea for the series, and is the only one who knows what he hopes to achieve with it. JVC will provide experience and aid in making the AI, the basic elements, and the hero and skill systems.

“I'd love to see the other guys from NWC working on it as well, but JVC is the father of the whole franchise,”

He he, I’d love to see the whole team work on the game themselves, however that is not going to happen. The other workers from NWC would also put forward their two cents, but what really counts is JVC being there and telling the Ubisoft development people ‘These are what you need to keep, these are what you should keep, and these are what you can change’ etc.

“Maybe I just missed it, but I didn't see any explanation for your upgrade system, Hydra.”

Sorry, I forgot to put that in. I’ll write the explanation below:
Number of Levels in the towns:
There will be six levels in the town, as NWC have projected, for I believe that is the faultless number for the density of creatures on the battlefield without it falling victim to crowdedness problem that was faced on the smaller Heroes III battlefield.
Number of Creatures in town and how many are available:
My system will utilise the Heroes IV system of choosing the creatures for each level, which does generate some melancholy in fans, however; my system is slightly different. There will be a total of 18 creatures in my towns, with a maximum of 12 recruitable, and a minimum of 7 recruitable. This compares to the 14 recruitable creatures in Heroes III. The total numbers of the creatures for every town is 18 x 6, 108, opposed to 14 x 8, 112, for Heroes III, and this method has more unique creatures. The number of unique creatures equals 12 x 6, 72, versus 7 x 8, 56 for Heroes III.  You shall find out how these numbers are projected in the next section.
Upgrades or not?
There will indeed be upgrades in my upgrade system for towns. This will excite some fans that are looking for more depth than Heroes IV provided them with. The way in which my system functions, is, one of the two creatures provided at every level has an upgrade. The creature, which is weaker, will always have an upgrade. For example, lets take a Heroes IV level match up. Stronghold Level III: Cyclops, and Ogre Mage. In my system, the Ogre Mage is weaker to begin with, but once it is upgraded, it is stronger than the Cyclops. This adds the dimension of upgrades to ponder upon when choosing your creature for that level. If one had more gold, that player would naturally go for the upgraded creature, however, they must remember that they don’t have an inexhaustible amount. I believe it is a more strategic method, myself, however, I’ll let you be the judge of that, too. This is how the minimum and maximum numbers eventuate in the step above.

“Here's a toast to the hopes of a new and improved HOMMV”

Yes, a toast indeed. Thanks for posting DonGio, I realise the busy-ness of your schedule.

Ribannah

“IIRC it was Tim Lang who told us about the studio. He is an advisor on our MMT project. JVC didn't want to pay the rent from his own pocket and that was it.”

OK. I’ll take your (and Tim Lang’s) word for it. I hope he provides you with some insight into creating this Tribute, I commend you on what you are doing for the series. The reason why JVC sold it seems to be a rather reasonable explanation. I know NWC hung on as long as they could before finally letting go. Maybe some who are still out of work could go to Ubisoft to work on Heroes there. BTW: Is the tribute only Might and Magic, or are you doing a Heroes of Might and Magic one, too?

“We've seen pictures and headlines. He won in Phoenix.  ”

Good for JVC, bad for the series. I’m curious to see these, if you’ve got the pictures, could you post them here?

“With 'Warlords IV: Heroes of Etharia' (what's in a name?) gone gold, there should be nothing that's stopping them, heh.”

Precisely. Now that they’ve done completing their other project, they can get started by working on Heroes. It shouldn’t be long until some information leaks out about the game, or at least what they plan to do with it in the near future. There is a troubling though I have, which series will they regard as their number 1? Heroes or Warlords? Maybe it will depend on which sells better, but as you know, I’m hoping the former is.

Again, your replies are greatly appreciated, keep it up!

____________
"Dragons may breathe fire, but Hydras have many heads." - The Creed of Hydras
"As the Dragon drew its breath, the Hydra pounced, swiftly but powerfully, and the Dragon was defeated.”

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shaowei
shaowei


Adventuring Hero
posted October 09, 2003 09:52 AM

I always had the impression that Morrowind was developed by Zenimax studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. Don't know how Ubi gets in that picture
I think it is the tactical shooters that are developed by Ubi internal team, and they seem to be well received by the fans of the genre.

Hopefully Ubi can capture the feel of HOMM series if they go on developing the 5th installation (I sure hope they do). Game feeling is a pretty subjective topic. Trying to define it in more "objective" terms, I think the (arguably) best game in the series, HOMM2, has a "feel" that is a special mix of Tolkien-influenced creatures, Greek/Norse mythological creatures, CS Lewis "Narnian Chronicles" environments/story and a lot of kitch-look elements like vampires, mummies and peasants. In the end, it is for this experience that I play the HOMM games. The Disciples series (and in a way AOW) capture the darker, brooding side of TBS fantasy games' market, so HOMM should play on its strengths and uniqueness to stay a strong franchise.
____________

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Polaris
Polaris


Promising
Known Hero
posted October 11, 2003 11:44 PM

I dunno where you guys got the idea that Ubisoft was related to the Elder Scrolls series- those are developed by Bethesda.

While the Heroes gameplay was still revolutionary in mid 90s, there have been very few changes since then and the major ones have been for the worse (Heroes 4). Besides, whenever the developers change for a major franchise, that's the BEST time to change it. Look at Metroid Prime. Look at C&C Generals.

Ubisoft can't copy NWC, and if they tried they wouldn't be able to do it as well. I think the Heroes series needs some major changes to regain the popularity it had when Heroes 3 was released, and fresh insight into the game is the key. Here is the list of things I think should be changed:

1) Stop releasing expansions with almost no new content. This ruins the reputation of the series.
2) Patch the imbalances in the gameplay.
3) Keep enough of the gameplay intact that it's still a sequel, but change it enough so we can tell it's more than just a rehash of the last game.
____________

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ThE_HyDrA
ThE_HyDrA


Admirable
Famous Hero
The Leader of all Hydras
posted October 13, 2003 08:16 AM
Edited By: ThE_HyDrA on 16 Oct 2003

The Uniqueness of the Heroes Series

The Heroes Series is truly unique. It was created by one man with a vision. The goal was to create a game that was revolutionary as it was fantastic. The result was King’s Bounty. Which was the predecessor to the great Heroes I, 1995 Strategy game of the year. That sparked a series of highly successful games, the only ones of its type, until, finally, the NWC – JVC legacy ended with the release of the better Heroes IV Expansion, the Winds of War. How will Ubisoft carry on this legacy?

Shaowei

“I think it is the tactical shooters that are developed by Ubi internal team, and they seem to be well received by the fans of the genre.”

Yes, I believe you are correct. I know for a fact that Ubisoft themselves does not develop Warlords, that is done by another team. Just like 3D0 didn’t develop Heroes, NWC did. However, that may not be the case, because the warlords team are devoted to their game, and I don’t know if they’ll want to take on an even bigger project after finishing Warlords IV. Having said this, the time frame is correct for the Warlords team to begin a new project, as they are now free. But if another team cannot be found, we will have to wait a long time before Heroes V, since the team will be constantly rallying to develop Warlords and Heroes, unless they divide into separate development groups. I don’t think the Ubisoft internal team will develop the game, because, as you say, they generally develop tactical shooters like Splinter Cell and such.

“Hopefully Ubi can capture the feel of HOMM series if they go on developing the 5th installation (I sure hope they do ).”

I agree. Over the years that I have played Heroes, each has had that certain feel to it. The music, the art, and the gameplay are all intertwined to create that ‘Heroes’ experience that I have every time I play the game. Mind you, it is basically the only game I do play, and have had little experience with Disciples, Warlords, or any other TBS Game. I can say, though, that they are all distinctly different, despite being in the same genre.
Something that will help Ubisoft capture the feel of the series is working with some of the NWC dev. guys. That is the only way I see they can get some experience first hand (apart from playing the game). If they can’t get any help, playing the old versions such as Heroes I and II will help them, as they are the roots of the series.

“I think the (arguably) best game in the series, HOMM2, has a "feel" that is a special mix of Tolkien-influenced creatures, Greek/Norse mythological creatures, CS Lewis "Narnian Chronicles" environments/story and a lot of kitch-look elements like vampires, mummies and peasants.”

I agree with you 150% there, Shaowei. I continue to ask my self ‘Why do I like Heroes II better than IV? Heroes IV has more creatures, many more options, excellent editing capabilities, is much more strategic, and has greater depth? Even the Hydras weren’t at the top level!’ The answer quite simply is that Heroes II has the perfect mixture as you say. I could remember playing Broken Alliance, with the sprites to the top, guarding the Goblin Huts, the lush green grass, the magnificently drawn Warlock Castle, and the melancholic music accompanying it. It didn’t have every dwelling (only a few, actually), not many army slots, not many heroes, but it did have the feeling.

“In the end, it is for this experience that I play the HOMM games.”

I feel the same way. While I play Heroes IV very often, and do not play Heroes II unless Heroes IV is unavailable, if an adapted and upgraded version of Heroes II appeared as Heroes V, I would be playing the game for years to come. It was an extremely enjoyable experience when I first played Heroes II. Everything came together perfectly. If Ubisoft could take all Heroes II elements, update them, add some more options, and expand the game, I will be very happy.

“The Disciples series (and in a way AOW) capture the darker, brooding side of TBS fantasy games' market, so HOMM should play on its strengths and uniqueness to stay a strong franchise.”

That is quite correct, and that is why I have not been drawn to buy those games as much as I have Heroes. The Heroes series does capture the lighter, more ‘adventurous’ side of the fantasy world, and consistently has some great creatures which fit perfectly into the Heroes world. Creatures such as Phoenix, Sprite, Unicorn, Griffin, Dragon, Hydra, Centaur, Elementals, and the Crusader have been there from the beginning. No other game has such a wonderful array of creatures depicted in such away.
Ubisoft have just purchased a very successful series for 1.3 million dollars. There is really not much work for them to do for a series already in its fifth version. All they need to do is follow the formula that made every other version so successful, and hope the trend continues. They can maximise their chances by using NWC people, but they would likely want to try something new of their own.

Polaris

Welcome to the board, I hope you enjoy your stay here, however long it may be.

“While the Heroes gameplay was still revolutionary in mid 90s, there have been very few changes since then and the major ones have been for the worse (Heroes 4).”

You provide a strong argument, Polaris. Heroes was a relatively new brand of game when Heroes I was released in 1995, and it was based on the earlier release of King’s Bounty. (Which I do own, and does not play too much like Heroes). There have been not many changes to the formula, as you say, but enough to keep the game running, and enough to fuel a community with over 2,500 members. There have been major graphical updates, and many updates to the gameplay, too. To name a few which have worked: Choosing between creatures, magic schools not correlated with the elements, siege weapons, might and magic heroes, heroes having specialties. Changes to the fundamental gameplay like mines, castles, heroes and creatures would only destroy the game, and that’s why there have been no alterations made to those areas specifically.

“Besides, whenever the developers change for a major franchise, that's the BEST time to change it. Look at Metroid Prime. Look at C&C Generals.”

Yes, but the change here occurred involuntarily. NWC did not want to let go of the series, I can assure you of that. It just so happened that Ubisoft was the developer that was willing to pay the most amount for such a grand series. The game itself was going strongly, and sold many copies. A formula that has sold so well need not be changed, but it can be if Ubisoft decides it should be. The question for them is, ‘should we take a risk and change the game now, or wait until Heroes VI to change it, after we gain some credibility as makers of the series?’

“Ubisoft can't copy NWC, and if they tried they wouldn't be able to do it as well.”

That’s correct. So then it is in their best interest to get help from a former NWC development person. That way, they could perfect the formula more quickly, and be ready for further development. While Ubisoft may not be able to do as good a job as NWC could’ve done, they don’t need to. Elements they cannot perfect, they can just change slightly to suit themselves. But I agree, trying to copy Heroes IV will not work out for lack of experience.

“I think the Heroes series needs some major changes to regain the popularity it had when Heroes 3 was released, and fresh insight into the game is the key.”

You may be correct there. While the same company, NWC, has developed the game, there have always been new people, new faces to provide fresh ideas for the game. Now with a totally new working environment, the ideas these people come up with might be too new and innovative, that it could spoil the legacy of the series. If they can find a balance between new and old, it would be an optimum environment to house a new game development.

“1) Stop releasing expansions with almost no new content. This ruins the reputation of the series.”

I agree that releasing expansions with little new content ruins the reputation slightly. However, not of the series, just of the game, in this case, Heroes IV. Additionally, the choice was not NWC’s. The truth is that 3D0 needed the money to stay alive, and releasing the expansions was the quickest, cheapest way they could do it. I’m sure NWC wouldn’t have rushed things so quickly if it could have been avoided.

“2) Patch the imbalances in the gameplay”

Yes, solve the problems more thoroughly, instead of inserting immortality potions to make the Heroes last longer in combat. NWC did release several patches after to ensure that the gameplay was as balanced as it could be.

“3) Keep enough of the gameplay intact that it's still a sequel, but change it enough so we can tell it's more than just a rehash of the last game.”

I agree with 50% of that statement. Every vital part of the gameplay needs to stay how it is when NWC were creating the series. Instead of changing the gameplay, add more features and edit some of the less important ones so that the game becomes more diverse. Also, try to expand every possible element. Random Map Generators, Hero Specialties, customisable objects are what I’m referring to. Ubisoft doesn’t have enough experience to change elements at will. Once they’ve released Heroes V (hopefully in a more conservative fashion) they can then begin changing things.

Thanks once more for the replies. Hopefully Ubisoft gets started soon on its Heroes V crusade.

____________
"Dragons may breathe fire, but Hydras have many heads." - The Creed of Hydras
"As the Dragon drew its breath, the Hydra pounced, swiftly but powerfully, and the Dragon was defeated.”

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B0rsuk
B0rsuk


Promising
Famous Hero
DooM prophet
posted October 16, 2003 04:05 PM

Quote:
I agree with you 150% there, Shaowei. I continue to ask my self ‘Why do I like Heroes II better than IV? Heroes IV has more creatures, many more options, excellent editing capabilities, is much more strategic, and has greater depth? Even the Hydras weren’t at the top level!’ The answer quite simply is that Heroes II has the perfect mixture as you say. I could remember playing Broken Alliance, with the sprites to the top, guarding the Goblin Huts, the lush green grass, the magnificently drawn Warlock Castle, and the melancholic music accompanying it. It didn’t have every dwelling (only a few, actually), not many army slots, not many heroes, but it did have the feeling.


...because you're sentimental.

I agree that H2 introduced many improvements and changes when compared  to H1. But  H2 had many flaws... Too many to list, underpowered skills, creatures, balance in general. One hero type per town (I played alot as Sorceress against Castle in multiplayer, and no, having godlike knowledge doesn't help when it comes  to facing good knight).

In my opinion the most playable game in serries is H3. It's like upgraded H2, but without most of its flaws. Everything is polished and more balanced.

H4 has many interesting features, but many serious things make it unplayable (no multiplayer for long time, balance, bugs(drag&drop town portal!), graphics.....)

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shaowei
shaowei


Adventuring Hero
posted November 13, 2003 04:20 PM
Edited by alcibiades at 16:28, 13 Jun 2009.

Came here to read what's new after a long break.

I just have to say, I really appreciate you looking into each answer, Hydra. Gives this board a feeling of homecoming just like HOMM2

regards





Moderator's note:This topic has been closed, as it refers to an older version of the game. To discuss Heroes 3, please go to Library Of Enlightenment, to discuss Heroes 4, please go to War Room Of Axeoth, to discuss Heroes 5, go to Temple Of Ashan.

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