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Heroes Community > Heroes 7+ Altar of Wishes > Thread: Heroes V: Preliminary Hypothesis
Thread: Heroes V: Preliminary Hypothesis This thread is 2 pages long: 1 2 · NEXT»
ThE_HyDrA
ThE_HyDrA


Admirable
Famous Hero
The Leader of all Hydras
posted December 16, 2003 04:41 AM bonus applied.
Edited By: ThE_HyDrA on 15 Dec 2003

Heroes V: Preliminary Hypothesis

Over the past month, the Heroes world has been thrown into a state of excitement, bliss and frenzy due to the priceless information and stunning pictures released into the Heroes Community by the very generous Ubisoft Heroes V developer, Fabrice Cambounet, also known as MuadDib. Despite the premature nature of this topic (hence the name preliminary) I believe there is sufficient information to begin our first round of theorising upon the new game. If you do remember the days before the release of Heroes IV, I did much the same thing concerning theorising. While the information provided does not delve into the specifics of the game (as of yet) members of the community were able to find out the answers to the more important questions that deal with the core mechanisms of Heroes V. To complement the information, are the dazzling array of concept art, 5 to be exact, that give an insight as to how Heroes V may look in full rendered 3D. However, I will mainly be focusing upon the written information, and only drawing a few conclusions from the concept art. Similar to other threads of the same kind, please provide your opinion, theory, and your reasoning behind it.

I will be trying to analyse the statements made by Fabrice Cambounet made in the forums and interviews. I hope to find more detailed answers to the questions asked by conducting such a thread.

NB: The parts in bold are quotes from Fabrice Cambounet, derived from three sources, which include 2 posts, and 1 interview.

Skill/spell system, creature levels : being discussed, we will not use H4/H3 system but make up something new, starting from them.

It appears as though neither the Heroes III nor IV system will be utilised concerning skill, spell, and creature levels. While the previous systems are being used as a foundation, it is apparent that Ubisoft plan to change the mechanics somewhat. I was a fan of the Heroes IV skill system, and I am hoping they do retain the 5 levels of progression. The spell system was based on the alignments, and due to the fact that the Heroes IV system is not being used for spells, it is possible that the opposite/neighbouring alignments element could disappear, or become less prominent. There has been some theories in the past where the creatures did not even have ‘levels’ (as in Heroes II – no clear distinction) but the mere use of the word suggests there are. By not using the Heroes III/IV system, it broaches the questions: Will there be upgrades? Will there be choices within the levels? I for one am not hoping for a creature system which is emulated from another, rival strategy game.

New features : there are a few major new features we are discussing at this point, but as these would be the reason why we make Heroes 5, I cant disclose them just right now.

Looking at the middle line, I can conclude that the new features that Ubisoft will be implemented are crucially important, and probably very different to what NWC have done in the past. A game which rests on several major concepts and ideas as MuadDib has described here, may be difficult to please old and new fans of the series. Additionally, if these new features aren’t employed and/or balanced properly, it is possible we could see another rendition of the immortality potion. (Although, that is unlikely due to the non-rushed nature of Heroes V.) The fact that Fabrice cannot disclose the information is another testament to its importance. I know that some fans of the series don’t approve of radical changes to the basic Heroes formula. Only time will tell if they like it this time.

3D: I can precise that this will be rendered 3D. For the whole game !

Turning a classically 2D game such as Heroes into a fully rendered, 3D experience is indeed a gargantuan step on behalf of the Ubisoft team. One of the greatest wishes of many in the Heroes Community prior to the release of Heroes IV was for the game to stay true, i.e. 2D. Now that we know it will happen, (and in full-3D) there are a plethora of possibilities that exist with the new, invigorated system. Some that come to mind straight away are:
+> Visual landscape of the battlefield? Fully rotatable? 3D landscape effects? Dynamic landscape, creatures, size of battlefield?
+> Size of town screen? Process of buying creatures? Structure artwork?
+> Visual representation of the adventure map? Relative sizes of objects? Rotatable?
While we are not sure of the answers to the above questions, we were enlightened of some of the other consequences of a 3D Heroes V.

3D provides numerous advantages: zoom in/out with many details, better animation, a number of special effects... You gain more than you loose. And I think we wont lose much.

The first point Fabrice mentions is probably the most important for me. The ability to zoom in and out in a game is certainly an intriguing concept. Being able to zoom in on the adventure map would be interesting, viewing all the eye-candy that was present in Heroes II. In the town screen is where it would also look spectacular, viewing your thriving town in its entirety. However, the battlefield is where the feature would be most significant for me, due to the zoom out factor that allows you to plan your combat. This also raises another question; the battlefield could be scrollable. The last two are probably inevitable, but the last comment is slightly worrying, implying that we will indeed lose something from the classic Heroes series. I would very much like to know what will be lost in the transition from 2D to 3D. If it were to be the art-style, then it would be very disappointing. If Heroes V was just Heroes II graphics in a 3D style, I would be overjoyed.

Living towns / animations : Yes this is a must for the game to feel alive amd moving around you. This will also be much easier to do in 3D.

An element we did not see implemented into Heroes IV as well as many of us would have liked. Despite being a wish of the members, a truly lively town was really seen in any of the Heroes series, except for glimpses in Heroes II and especially the Heroes III Rampart town. Fabrice also makes reference to the fact that it will be easier to create these animations in 3D. Obviously referring to towns being 3D, however, it points to a more important prospect – zooming in and out in towns, since he mentioned earlier that this was one of the capabilities of the 3D engine. I am very much looking forward to viewing the town screen in full 3D, with animations being abundant, and most of all, being unique. One of the problems I saw in the Heroes IV towns is that they all looked the same – bar the edifices that lay upon it. I am hoping for this to be rectified in Heroes V, keeping in mind it isn’t very difficult to accomplish at all.

Heroes on/off battlefield : just a few people left to kill and we should reach an agreement... But I think I have a good solution

This was, and still is a pivotal issue in many people’s minds. Fabrice, (apparently an aggressive negotiator see above) seems to have a pretty good solution to convey to us sometime in the near future (I hope). Whatever the decision the Ubisoft team make, it is sure to cause some unhappiness. There is no perfect solution to please everyone, but they’ll probably come close. I would tend to lean with the more conservative option and having the hero on the sidelines, but I would like to see a little more involvement from the hero than in Heroes I – III. A suggestion that I previously mentioned was for the hero to fight the hero only. I know it is a vitally important decision, I am just hoping Ubisoft make the right one.

About the reasons for the success of the HoMM series, I'd like to return the question to you fans. What is it that attracs people, and what differentiate it from other strategy games ?

Even though I haven’t played any other game similar to Heroes, the more unique element of the series for me is the array of fantastical creatures, the combat and town systems, and the exploration of the adventure map. One of the most decisive visual factors is the art style. While the concept art is very well drawn with precise detail, it doesn’t look like the art I’m used to seeing in Heroes. Heroes II had the best art in my opinion, and I don’t think it will ever be beaten. The mixture of art styles in that game was perfect. I also think that the hero development process is interesting in the game, with its non-linear qualities, it makes the game more interesting. The reason I first bought the game nearly 8 years ago was because of the complexity in simplicity style of the game. While it is extremely deep, you are able to pick up and play it. Heroes I was excellent, and its brilliance was expanded upon the make the (I.M.O) the best game of the series, Heroes II.

More interaction with the map / between players : being discussed, however this is not critical.

Does this mean ideas for the map such as spells changing terrain, interactive landscape, and land depressions won’t be focused upon? For the latter part of the answer, there was rather little trade/communication between players in allied maps, which, while not being a problem did seem slightly unrealistic that two close partners would have such little correspondence.

Game system (number of towns and such) : I cant disclose much now, but in this respect we would like to stay true to HoMM tradition.

This is quite an fascinating extract for two reasons.
1. “But in this respect we would like to stay true to the HoMM tradition.
2. “we would like to stay true to the HoMM tradition.”
The first extract I have outlined above implies that they will indeed alter many aspects of the game, because of the wording of ‘in this respect’ they will stay true to the Heroes tradition. I know the multitudinous changes they have in place will be interesting, but will they be well founded? Is it possible that the Heroes tradition isn’t really that important to the developers?
Concerning the second point made, Fabrice says that Ubisoft would like to stay true to the Heroes tradition when it comes to towns. One question which I may ask, what is the ‘HoMM tradition’? What I mean is explained below:
Heroes I: 4 Towns
Heroes II: 6 Towns
Heroes III: 8 Towns (9 including expansions)
Heroes IV: 6 Towns
From what I can gather, the most used number is 6, and the average of the number of towns can also equate to 6. So, going by this information, there will be 6 towns in Heroes V. Although, it could be any number used in the series, 4, 6, or 8. I’m not going to discount any of them yet.

Hotseat mode : It will probably be implemented, but we would like to make the online experience the center of multiplayer games !

This isn’t exactly the best news I would like to hear about multiplayer, but I’ m certain that ‘ToHers’ would relish the thought. Hotseat mode needs to be implemented in my opinion, it is just too significant in multiplayer games to be left out. The online experience of Heroes IV leaves a lot to be desired, and I believe Ubisoft will try to correct this in Heroes V, and also improve on the system in place. This may also mean a more proficient ‘chat’ system.

Finally, I would like to leave you with an idea that (currently inactive) HC member Nasty thought of while discussing it with me an others in a thread a while ago.
The idea was to have a town with two sectors, the inner and outer town. The inner town is where the hero, and the larger, stronger creatures dwelled, and this is where most of the important occurrences took place. The outer town was home to the weaker creatures, and was less heavily defended. In sieges, if the outer town fell, it didn’t mean the inner town did. The inner town had structures like the city hall, and if the inner town fell, the town truly was defeated. It provides a sense of a castle being a true castle, not just a single garrison, two garrisons also makes towns harder to capture. All credit to Nasty for the idea. http://www.heroescommunity.com/viewthread.php3?FID=5&TID=8496&pagenumber=5

It is now noticeable that a myriad of changes will occur to Heroes, and it won’t bear as much resemblance to Heroes II as Heroes III did. I am confident that many of these alterations will be for the better, and I am hoping for a new, rejuvenated Heroes. This truly is A New Beginning.

____________
"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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Sir_Stiven
Sir_Stiven


Honorable
Legendary Hero
banned
posted December 17, 2003 12:56 AM

great post hydra, though you should know that me aswell (dont generalize all of us "Tohers" ) would like to have hot seat as an option.

If you ever wanna teach someone to play the game or just play the game in a more social aspect hotseat is needed.

It is also needed because of its an easy way to view saves if someone has cheated.

So as much as i really want most focus on heroesV multiplayer online i would concider it a big mistake to leave the hot seat option out.

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b0rsuk
b0rsuk


Promising
Famous Hero
DooM prophet
posted December 18, 2003 12:36 AM

:=\

I would gladly trade all info Fabrice provided so far with one town/battle screen.

I could learn more from it.

Until then, I won't say much because it's pointless.

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Djive
Djive


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Zapper of Toads
posted December 20, 2003 12:22 AM

Skill/spell system, creature levels : being discussed, we will not use H4/H3 system but make up something new, starting from them.

My comment: This has changed to some degree betwen every installment. It would be surprising if it didn't change.

In normal games in H4 you never got anywhere near having even a half-built Hero. So 4x5 = 20 skill slots to level up one skill group is too much. Would be better with 3x4 or thereabouts.

The pentagon approach had a very severe limitation implied by limiting the number of towns.

There was a post on the Round Table implying that the number of towns had been set now. (Or at least a preliminary working assumption for the number of towns to use.)

New features : there are a few major new features we are discussing at this point, but as these would be the reason why we make Heroes 5, I cant disclose them just right now.

It would be interesting to know what this would be, since a lot have been tried out already in the Heroes series.

Some things that have not been tried are:
- A fully built diplomacy system.
- Towns and battles becoming zoomed in views of the adventure map. (This could be a result of the 3D views)
- Simultaneous player turns.
- We already know about the 3D graphics part, which I would have included as one new major feature myself.

And I'm sure there are several more to pick from.

3D: I can precise that this will be rendered 3D. For the whole game !

This will change the visuals apearance of the game. It will probably be somewhat of a challenge to apply this to a Heroes game, because the gameplay and strategies themselves do not require 3D to work.

ThE_HyDrA managed to list a number of new possible features some of which would be indeed be very nice. One of the benefits with 3D would seem to be an improved interface to the game.

3D provides numerous advantages: zoom in/out with many details, better animation, a number of special effects... You gain more than you loose. And I think we wont lose much.

Perhaps the town will reuse the same graphics and animations on both the adventure map and the town screen?

Battles would perhaps now also be zoomed in views of the adventure map. It very likely implies a scrollable battlefield, yes.

As long as this doesn't mean minimum hexes/squares in the grid, I'd be overall Ok with me. (I didn't like the grid in H4, because it took away choices and strategy from the player, while not adding all that much.)

Living towns / animations : Yes this is a must for the game to feel alive amd moving around you. This will also be much easier to do in 3D.

One thing which strikes me is that we will probably see town animations on the adventure map also.

I gather the difference between town screen and adventure maps screen will mainly be the zoom-level and the music being played (dedicated music on the town screen)

Heroes on/off battlefield : just a few people left to kill and we should reach an agreement... But I think I have a good solution

We'll have to wait and see until we see what the good solution is. I'm fairly certain that Fabrice and Ubisoft cannot please everyone here, since member views are very different on this. I'm not going to expand on this in this topic since there are several other topics trying to solve the problem, and overall not doing too well.

On the other hand I don't think all stones have been turned in these discussions either. There are undiscussed alternatives.

More interaction with the map / between players : being discussed, however this is not critical.

I'd agree with Fabrice on this part. This type of features are likely in expansions, and for several styles of play they will not be important at all.

Their benefit is mainly adding replay value to the game, as well as adding something extra which stays in mind.

Game system (number of towns and such) : I cant disclose much now, but in this respect we would like to stay true to HoMM tradition.

The mention of HoMM tradition probably means that these things will function like it has in the past. Heroes will learn secondary skills, towns will have one build/day, town economy will be similar. Probably also means that towns will be associated with alignments, that towns will not be "race" based (which is common in many other games.)

It's a HoMM tradition to reshuffle the town line-ups, skills, and spells between each major version of the game, so I'd say we will see this continue.

What this tells me is that heroes 5 will not be a rehash of a pervious Heroes installment.

____________
"A brilliant light can either illuminate or blind. How will you know which until you open your eyes?"

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ThE_HyDrA
ThE_HyDrA


Admirable
Famous Hero
The Leader of all Hydras
posted December 20, 2003 05:35 AM
Edited By: ThE_HyDrA on 23 Dec 2003

Continued Speculation

Fabrice, if you have any thoughts, or if you’d like to make a correction to our hypotheses, please, don’t hesitate to post.

Sir_Stiven

“great post hydra, though you should know that me aswell (dont generalize all of us "Tohers" ) would like to have hot seat as an option.”

Thanks, Sir_Stiven. Of course, hot seat is definitely integral, for fun, and for the ways that you go on to mention. However, wouldn’t players in the Tournament of Honour rather have an excellent online multiplayer function, and an average hotseat, instead of vice-versa? I would prefer better hotseat, but I hope Ubisoft can find more of a balance, because I don’t want either of them to outweigh each other.

“If you ever wanna teach someone to play the game or just play the game in a more social aspect hotseat is needed.”

Yes, I enjoy hotseat more than online play, and it would be better if the two were considered equally, so as much effort as required could be placed into the two functions.

“So as much as i really want most focus on heroesV multiplayer online i would concider it a big mistake to leave the hot seat option out.”

I agree that Heroes IV multiplayer needed some improvements, and I also laud the fact that Ubisoft is treating online multiplayer as more of an importance, but I don’t think the development of that function should compromise the playability of hotseat (or even the presence).

Borsuk

“I would gladly trade all info Fabrice provided so far with one town/battle screen.”

I wouldn’t. OK. So you get one battle screenshot. But what does that tell you about the town screen, the adventure map, heroes, storyline, multiplayer, and nearly everything I plan to discuss in this thread? Nothing. It merely provides a visualisation of one aspect of a multi-faceted game. I’ll take the 1.5 pages of information.

Djive

Skill/spell system, creature levels : being discussed, we will not use H4/H3 system but make up something new, starting from them.

“My comment: This has changed to some degree betwen every installment. It would be surprising if it didn't change.”

You’re right. There is another important message there, though. Ubisoft won’t use the Heroes III/IV system. But they will be the base. Predictions of what could go:
- Creature levels
- Master/Grandmaster skill levels
- Spell levels determining cost
- Spells based on town alignment
It would be very surprising if nothing changed, you’re right, since Ubisoft are altering so many other elements of the game, why would they leave an openly changed system anyway?

“So 4x5 = 20 skill slots to level up one skill group is too much. Would be better with 3x4 or thereabouts.”

You could have a point there. I think maybe 4 x 4, because sometimes you would like to diversify the skills your hero has, and by having more slots for primary skills, the player could choose what primary skills he/she would like. Also, I think 3 slots are too little for a fully developed hero.

“The pentagon approach had a very severe limitation implied by limiting the number of towns.”

I agree. It would be better if Ubisoft scrapped the idea entirely, or modified it in a way so that they could add more towns if the need arose. Even though I would like to have the towns have some sort of relation, I wouldn’t want any such as heavy as those evident in Heroes IV.

“There was a post on the Round Table implying that the number of towns had been set now. (Or at least a preliminary working assumption for the number of towns to use.)”

I must view that. Thankyou for bringing it to my attention. The number of towns could be set indeed. I will come up with a new round of hypotheses next post.

New features : there are a few major new features we are discussing at this point, but as these would be the reason why we make Heroes 5, I cant disclose them just right now.

“It would be interesting to know what this would be, since a lot have been tried out already in the Heroes series.”

Yes, it is curious. The changes they have in mind must be radical, because something of this important wouldn’t be a change like modifying the Hit Points of a certain creature.
Looking at the possibilities you listed, Djive, any of them are entirely feasible. I’ll create my own small list of some possibilities:
- Weather effects
- Day/Night
- Rotatable Adventure Map
- Ability to build structures on the adventure map
Regarding 3D, I would hate Heroes to turn into a blocky game, like Age of Mythology is (on my PC) because if it is the case, even with all the great consequences 3D induces, I would rather have an isometric 2D engine like Heroes IV.

3D: I can precise that this will be rendered 3D. For the whole game

“It will probably be somewhat of a challenge to apply this to a Heroes game, because the gameplay and strategies themselves do not require 3D to work.”

That’s true. 3D isn’t a necessity for the Heroes series. It would play just as well in 2D. I think Ubisoft are trying to lift Heroes into the newer market of more advanced graphics with the 3D engine, so that it can compete visually with other games of the genre.

“One of the benefits with 3D would seem to be an improved interface to the game.”

Yes, the interface was at the centre of a few discussions, but my main problem with it was that it occupied about 1/3 of the screen, when a normal interface may have only Ľ of the space. An improved interface in Heroes V is needed, 3D would be able to improve that considerably, in my opinion.

3D provides numerous advantages: zoom in/out with many details, better animation, a number of special effects... You gain more than you loose. And I think we wont lose much.

“Perhaps the town will reuse the same graphics and animations on both the adventure map and the town screen?”

That is a potential outcome. It would be good to see town animations on the adventure map, but, of course, the adventure map town would not be able to include all animations due to its size, so Ubisoft would have to pick the most important animations to show. The town was too static in Heroes IV, so with this added vitality to both the town screen and the adventure map, towns could also look more unique and alive.

“Battles would perhaps now also be zoomed in views of the adventure map. It very likely implies a scrollable battlefield, yes.”

I thought the first point was already achieved in Heroes IV? A scrollable battlefield is used in other TBS games (I think) but I would prefer the Heroes IV battle view to a different one, because it is more chess-like, and enables more strategy. Especially with the Heroes III style grid.
I’m with you, Djive, in that the Heroes IV grid was almost redundant. The grid blocks were far to small to draw any worthwhile conclusions, so I just used the movement shadow instead. Heroes III grid is better, because it is more in the realms of chess. The world’s simplest, and probably most played strategy game.

Living towns / animations : Yes this is a must for the game to feel alive amd moving around you. This will also be much easier to do in 3D.

“One thing which strikes me is that we will probably see town animations on the adventure map also.”

Yes. That will certainly require a good computer, especially if they are turned on. I know it was a wish of many to have the towns moving, and extending this to the adventure map is a bonus. But what of the siege combat screen? Will you be able to see the structures there? Will there be movement? How will it be portrayed?

Heroes on/off battlefield : just a few people left to kill and we should reach an agreement... But I think I have a good solution

“I'm fairly certain that Fabrice and Ubisoft cannot please everyone here, since member views are very different on this.”

Yes, I agree, I made reference to that in my initial post, also. People’s opinions on this topic are too broad to have a solution that pleases all.
There are many options, but none of them are perfect. There are many undiscussed alternatives, as you say. It is a matter of choosing the best option.

Game system (number of towns and such) : I cant disclose much now, but in this respect we would like to stay true to HoMM tradition.

“The mention of HoMM tradition probably means that these things will function like it has in the past… Probably also means that towns will be associated with alignments, that towns will not be "race" based”

I don’t think so. Since the question was the number of towns, not what will be in towns and how they will work. However I agree with your alignments view. The game probably won’t depend on swamp creatures sticking with each other, etc. Aside from the customary human-comprised life/knight/castle town.

“It's a HoMM tradition to reshuffle the town line-ups, skills, and spells between each major version of the game, so I'd say we will see this continue.”

An excellent point there. You’re right there, so maybe the number of towns can still differ, especially with the griffins changing from Warlock in Heroes II, Castle in Heroes III, and Preserve in Heroes IV.

“What this tells me is that heroes 5 will not be a rehash of a pervious Heroes instalment.”

I agree. That is a pretty safe assumption. This was the original plan for the NWC developed Heroes V, so it is rather clear that NWC and Ubisoft have very different views, and the latter aren’t being conservative with their approach to the game.

There has been new information posted by Fabrice, which can be foundon Celestial Heavens which states there will be probably be hotseat. I will elucidate on some other points in further posts.

____________
"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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Gerdash
Gerdash


Responsible
Famous Hero
from the Animated Peace
posted December 20, 2003 06:56 PM

Quote:
It will probably be somewhat of a challenge to apply this to a Heroes game, because the gameplay and strategies themselves do not require 3D to work.
golden words, lol.

so why in 3d, that's the most intriguing question for me. to do town animations?

btw it may be likely that they want to remove some restrictions, like they might let the town be built as adventure map buildings. there are ways to make such a town a compact cluster of buildings, like basing the efficiency of a building on it's distance from some central building.

although imho the particular restriction is not very bad if you get used to it. maybe they want to deal with adventure map buildings the same way as town buildings?

if they want to do a 3d turn-based warcraft style game mechanics for homm.. well, i guess it would not be that easy to surprise me lately (in case this would be one of their plans, of course).

========
and about the scrollable battlefield.. maybe djive meant that the battlefield will be unbounded. would look like a sort of interaction thing with the terrain (adventure map). i wonder how you could flee from such a battle? you would surrender and the enemy would let you go home (not a too bad solution imho)?
____________
what is the safest way to pass your time? heroes community -- your posts won't affect almost anything

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ThE_HyDrA
ThE_HyDrA


Admirable
Famous Hero
The Leader of all Hydras
posted January 02, 2004 05:12 AM

New Theories


While Fabrice hasn’t released much gameplay-related information in his recent answers, there are still a few important topics that can be negotiated, as well as the latest concept drawing, released on December 23. It is obvious that specific answers can’t be sought from Fabrice himself, seeing as the Ubisoft team are still in the very early stages of development. But, I do hope to acquire some more specific knowledge by creating this thread and discussing his answers.

Game Balance: we'll probably use something similar to the peon system, with a basic unit as reference.

Probably the most interesting new information Fabrice has been willing to provide to the community. The P.E.O.N.  system, I think, gave a fairly good understanding of the units strength, and did well to balance them equally against each other. However, the P.E.O.N. system isn’t perfect. There are numerous issues, including trying to balance the spellcasters with walkers. The two are highly different, and it may become even more difficult with the myriad of new creatures, and creature types that may enter into the realm of Heroes in the next instalment.

This phase is a long way off - although I'm giving some thoughts of the way we'll make betatests. Communities should be called upon.

This is another significant point made. There have never been beta tests with previous Heroes series, but this could be a change to the trend. One of the reasons against it being the Heroes world spans from Russia to Australia, and From Europe to America. Delivering these packages and offering downloads could be a problem. However, it could be feasible if they are just provided to a few members of the community, it could be enough to provide substantial feedback. Other games where beta testing has been conducted have been proved to be very helpful, and eliminate many of the bugs that occur before the game is released. This would have been especially helpful in the process of developing Heroes IV.

Policy on fan-created addons: send that to me at this time. It is not my own decision but I'll forward it.

We did see this near the end of Heroes IV development, where, in late 2002, a map contest was held, and approximately 30 maps were placed into the game. I think the incentives are high for this, and it would be a great thing to endorse, more so if Heroes V succeeds in sales.

Ideas on CH & elsewhere: up to now I've seen a fair share of discussions going around. I've noticed interesting ideas or point of views. In some communities I even get digest feedbacks or summaries, or even game analysis, which is pretty impressive. On the overall I think I got a lot of informations and opinions from the fan site - which is precisely what I wanted!

Well, it appears as though the whole community, and others are reacting favourably to this influx of information. It is good, and, (as Fabrice says) it is exactly what he wants, because we (as a community) can provide our own feelings about development, and also ideas that we may want implemented in the game. If this continues, there may be much more fan-oriented content in Heroes V than in other games.

Hotseat mode: I'm certain we will probably implement it.

The discussion concerning hotseat implementation can now be put to rest. Some thankful confirmation from Fabrice here. Even though it still contradicts itself I’m certain that we will probably implement it.

Lastly the latest preliminary concept art for Heroes V:
This is an interesting picture indeed. The first thing I would notice is that the castle does not really seem to have any unique characteristics that we have been used to throughout the duration of our Heroes playing career. The Necropolis town emphasised Death in Heroes IV by having a large skull in the centre, and even the now abandoned Heroes V screenshot of the Necropolis town released by Christian Vanover all those months ago had a certain ‘death’ feel about it. This town is certainly drawn very well and is very elaborate, but it has a generic touch. I’m sure that isn’t what we’d like to see. (Me, anyway)

Everything else appears excellent. Things I am especially fond of are the amount of differentiation in terrain height. In previous series they would only be represented by landscape objects (mountains). Perhaps we can actually perch a castle on a mountain. Also, there is an aqueduct-like structure running from the castle. Could this possibly be a travel route for caravans? Supply route for resources? Or is it just for looks? The condensed nature of the castles once again suggests the castles will be a whole structure, not a small cluster of houses joined.

Gerdash

“golden words, lol.
so why in 3d, that's the most intriguing question for me. to do town animations?”

I agree. 3D is certainly not needed for the game of Heroes. However, Ubisoft may believe it is easier to put it into 3D to do their animations, as you say. They might think that since it doesn’t hurt the game, we can make things easier (and make the game more modern) by using 3D.

“there are ways to make such a town a compact cluster of buildings, like basing the efficiency of a building on it's distance from some central building.”

Looking at the latest screenshot, that doesn’t appear to be the case, although I agree that it is entirely feasible. It could also be interesting, because it would be a change from other Heroes series. I remember the Laelth-made map, Dunwold trying to offer that objective. (Town clusters)

“maybe they want to deal with adventure map buildings the same way as town buildings?”

True. That was already hinted to by Djive. I’m not sure if I would welcome this change. Town buildings should remain unique from adventure map buildings, just as a city building is different from a rural building of the same type. They do also vary in other ways. Such as a town building is more efficient because it is based closer to the main town.

“if they want to do a 3d turn-based warcraft style game mechanics for homm..”

I would say that is a poor decision if they do decide to do that. Warcraft is quite different from Heroes, and trying to emulate its gameplay models would wreck the game. Seeing as Warcraft is real-time, anyway.

“would look like a sort of interaction thing with the terrain (adventure map).”

I don’t see the difference between this and Heroes IV. Unless you mean to include the adventure map and landscape objects into the battlefield, too.

“i wonder how you could flee from such a battle? you would surrender and the enemy would let you go home (not a too bad solution imho)?”

Yes, maybe the percentage of being able to flee would be reduced by a certain percentage to make it more difficult. I agree that the last one isn’t so bad. Larger armies haven’t been known to bother with insignificant armies. (Even though I try to scrape every last bit of experience from an army when I play)

If you have any thoughts or opinions on the topic, please don’t hesitate to post here.

____________
"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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gerdash
gerdash


Responsible
Famous Hero
from the Animated Peace
posted January 02, 2004 07:01 AM
Edited By: gerdash on 2 Jan 2004

i think i have some old lord of the rings books where the castles in the illustrations must have been designed by the same architect.

on the positive side, i have never liked the skull or head shaped buildings, so i think it's a nice turn of fate if they don't have plans on using this design element so much in this context. you wouldn't build your house in the shape of a head, would you?
========
Quote:
“would look like a sort of interaction thing with the terrain (adventure map).”

I don’t see the difference between this and Heroes IV. Unless you mean to include the adventure map and landscape objects into the battlefield, too.

i meant more or less that the battle would happen on zoomed and unbounded adventure map. whatever.

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vbscript2
vbscript2

Tavern Dweller
posted January 02, 2004 09:07 PM

I agree that hotseat should still work well in Heroes V. However, I hope that they do not leave out TCP/IP for DirectPlay over a LAN either. This is the most common way I've played multiplayer w/either HoMM3 or 4 and it's much more convenient for when 3 or 4 (or more) people are playing, so that you don't keep having to switch seats. Also, as a side note (sorry to get off topic) can someone please tell me a way to fix DirectPlay multiplayer in HoMM4? It worked on patches 2.0 - 3.0 from Game Update, but I had to reinstall them and, since Game Update no longer functions, I had to get them from other websites and now all of the comps I have done this to give an error message when trying to host a multiplayer game (something about not being able to open DirectPlay for a listening connection.) Any help on this would be VERY appreciated and, again, sorry about being off-topic.

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mvassilev
mvassilev


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted January 03, 2004 02:13 AM

That castle looks to anime. They should make the towns look like in Homm 3.
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Dragon_Slayer
Dragon_Slayer


Honorable
Supreme Hero
toss toss toss
posted January 04, 2004 08:30 AM

That castle looks alot like Minas Tirith from Lord of the Rings.
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ThE_HyDrA
ThE_HyDrA


Admirable
Famous Hero
The Leader of all Hydras
posted January 06, 2004 05:50 AM

Fresh News From Fabrice

Fabrice Cambounet has released some more valuable information, both on the Round Table, and on our Heroes Community. Again, I will try to expand on his message.

Posted by MuadDib on HC: January 05, 2004 05:36 AM

Basic game structure : will be kept.

I would hope so. I knew there were going to be large changes, but I always hoped they didn’t affect the game’s underlying mechanics. That hope has been fulfilled. I think we can safely assume that this means it will still be turn-based, and, of course, include the usual array of heroes, creatures, towns, and skills. This, however, doesn’t mean there will be other large-scale changes with the rest of the game.

Online : we are planning a lot of different things here !

Many different things. This can only mean good news for online Heroes fanatics. It wasn’t a secret that Heroes IV online wasn’t so good. Let’s hope that Ubisoft rectify this in Heroes V. Some elements that they could be planning are:
- Special online objects
- Their own dedicated server
- Online rankings

3D : once again this is going to be a normal 3D game, I'm sure you have seen how it works

Just another reminder of Heroes V’s 3D structure. This is probably akin to Age of Mythology or Warcraft. However, the major question remains, why 3D? As has been stated earlier, the elements of Heroes do not need to be in 3D to function efficiently. Let’s wait and see how the game looks when the first screenshots are released, then we can make our graphically-based judgements.

Posted by MuadDib, Jan 05 - 2:24 AM

Storyline: we are developing a unique storyline for the whole solo game.

As one would expect. A whole new storyline has been developed for every Heroes game. One may recall, though, that Christian Vanover said that ‘Axeoth is a big land. There is still much to explore’. Hinting that a NWC developed Heroes V would be situated in Axeoth. I doubt this is the case with Ubisoft. I do hope that the classic heroes, such as Crag Hack (despite being a JVC’s RPG character) and Sandro are still included in Heroes V in some capacity, to continue the tradition.

Online Threads: we are still keeping an eye around, however it is much easier when communities send summaries by mail.

I do know that Heroes Community has been doing such things, and people have been involved with relaying information and ideas to Fabrice through the mail. Please contact me through IM or e-mail (found in my profile) if you have an idea that you would like to be sent.

Have we though about dragons: yes!

Obviously this means that there will be dragons in Heroes V, as there have been in every Heroes series. The main question for me, though, is how many?
In Heroes I, I believe there were 4.
In Heroes II, there were also 4.
In Heroes III, there were 6 in the original game, and another 5 or so in the expansions.
The number was cut down slightly in Heroes IV, with 3 Dragons in the original, plus the Megadragon in the Winds of War. I think 4 dragons would be best for Heroes V, I don’t want to be swamped by dragons.

Creature sizes: working on it.

It is apparent the creatures will again vary in size. This could also affect the way in which combat grids are implemented. To be honest, the Heroes IV grid was almost useless. The Heroes III grid allowed for calculation of movement and strategic decisions to be made. It would be more beneficial if Ubisoft orchestrate creature sizing around their combat grid (anticipating they will create one).

Gerdash

“i think i have some old lord of the rings books where the castles in the illustrations must have been designed by the same architect.”

Actually, I think I may have the same one, because I also made that connection when I looked at the pictures from the back cover of the book and the December 23rd picture of the castle. Both castles are perched on a hill and both possess that ‘spire-like’ feel to them, giving the impression of grandeur and height.

“on the positive side, i have never liked the skull or head shaped buildings”

Yes, I agree, having a skull does add character to the castle, but it doesn’t look authentic or favourable to castle design. I would much rather the unique Heroes V Necropolis screenshot to any castle we have seen to date. I am not saying a castle needs a skull or angel’s wings on it to make it unique. Instead, I would rather a dark castle with graves, etc for the Necropolis, and a white and light blue castle with ornately carved structures for a life town. But not a generic town with no particular theme for a town as shown in the screenshot.

“you wouldn't build your house in the shape of a head, would you?”

No, I wouldn’t. I do not necessarily like the skull town of Heroes IV, but nor do I like the no-themed town for Heroes V, unless that is its objective.

“i meant more or less that the battle would happen on zoomed and unbounded adventure map. whatever.”

Yes, I see what you mean. I think that would be a good option, and to expand on Heroes IV’s start. I think it would add character to the battle, not like in Heroes 1-III, where you saw a generic background of the terrain that you were in.

vbscript2

Welcome to the community, vbscript2.

“However, I hope that they do not leave out TCP/IP for DirectPlay over a LAN either.”

Indeed. I do have a LAN set up, but I can’t say I’ve used its capabilities, for the other computer is too slow. However, if you had the right hardware, I would prefer that over a hotseat match, too. LAN is also very important, maybe not as much as hotseat, but it is still a vital multiplayer element that needs to be included.

“it's much more convenient for when 3 or 4 (or more) people are playing, so that you don't keep having to switch seats.”

Yes, precisely. It is a more convenient option, and it can also be used for ‘LAN conferences’ where people bring their computers and are connected to other 7 players and play a game. I don’t think any multiplayer option can be left out from Heroes IV in Heroes V. It would be like taking a step backwards.

“(sorry to get off topic) can someone please tell me a way to fix DirectPlay multiplayer in HoMM4?”

I’m sorry , but I’ve never played in that fashion. Although, you may want to get your hands on Winds of War, since that fixed another problem I was having. I’m really not sure how to fix this one. Browse through the Altar of Wishes, maybe someone else asked a similar question and received an answer.

Mvassilev

“That castle looks to anime. They should make the towns look like in Homm 3.”

According to Fabrice, it is European style art. Though, it could turn out different, since that is only one town, and there are many others to come. Also, not forget that it is only a concept drawing, and is not a screenshot from the game.

Dragon_Slayer

“That castle looks alot like Minas Tirith from Lord of the Rings.”

I’m sorry but I fail to see the connection from the Minas Tirith portrayed in the movie, seeing as the Heroes V drawing of the castle is not against a cliff, and does not have a large centre-divide. Also, the drawing includes a causeway and other elements. It also seems to be in a different style.

Thanks to everyone for the reply, and also to Fabrice for yet again providing the community with some more information about Heroes V.

____________
"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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Djive
Djive


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Zapper of Toads
posted January 06, 2004 04:07 PM

One comment on the creature sizes.

It's a realisitic aspect, and the cost of implementing it  could ruin game interface (since the big units will screen of units behind it, making it much harder to select and attack creatures behind a big creature), and with Heroes series using stacks I can't see the point. One titan is bigger than 1 halflings, but 100 halflings are bigger than 1 Titan.

Also to some extent it's already in the game. Titans are perhaps 2-3 times bigger than halflings, and any greater diversity in size is in my opinion unwanted.

Apart from the GUI issues, you can get problems with the animations because the titans are too big (and you only ever see part of them on screen), and problems with halfling because they're too small and you can't make out the details.

Overall, IMO a small variety in size is healthy to the game. Too much of it and it becomes a liability instead.


____________
"A brilliant light can either illuminate or blind. How will you know which until you open your eyes?"

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RedSoxFan3
RedSoxFan3


Admirable
Legendary Hero
Fan of Red Sox
posted January 07, 2004 04:22 PM
Edited By: RedSoxFan3 on 7 Jan 2004

Quote:
One comment on the creature sizes.

It's a realisitic aspect, and the cost of implementing it  could ruin game interface (since the big units will screen of units behind it, making it much harder to select and attack creatures behind a big creature), and with Heroes series using stacks I can't see the point. One titan is bigger than 1 halflings, but 100 halflings are bigger than 1 Titan.

Also to some extent it's already in the game. Titans are perhaps 2-3 times bigger than halflings, and any greater diversity in size is in my opinion unwanted.

Apart from the GUI issues, you can get problems with the animations because the titans are too big (and you only ever see part of them on screen), and problems with halfling because they're too small and you can't make out the details.

Overall, IMO a small variety in size is healthy to the game. Too much of it and it becomes a liability instead.


Somehow I think that highly variable creature size could be implemented. With the regular 3D graphics you could zoom out to see the large titans and zoom in to see the intricate details of the halfling. There could even be a default Overhead view of the battlefield that wouldn't let the large creatures block the view of the large creatures.
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Lothar
Lothar

Tavern Dweller
posted January 11, 2004 08:04 PM

screenshot

i was wandering when i saw your screenshot, or whatewer it is. until now, i belived those screenshots in my thread (graphical upgrades) were true, i mean i'll ses them in the game. now i think i won't. seen the images? a phoenix and a necropolis. what do you think about them?
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back to the nature

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Djive
Djive


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Zapper of Toads
posted January 11, 2004 08:32 PM

Quote:
i was wandering when i saw your screenshot, or whatewer it is. until now, i belived those screenshots in my thread (graphical upgrades) were true, i mean i'll ses them in the game. now i think i won't. seen the images? a phoenix and a necropolis. what do you think about them?


The Necropolis and the Phoenix were made by 3DO before the license to the Heroes series were bought by Ubisoft.

Ubisoft makes the new game with a new developement team starting more or less all over. Therefore, the images will likely not be used ...

This is off-topic for this topic, so I'll clean away your post and mine in a few days time. (Please, refrain from using this topic to discuss the old 3D0/NWC pictures. Use the topic where they were originally posted instead, and/or pose a question in the Questions to the Ubisoft topic.)


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"A brilliant light can either illuminate or blind. How will you know which until you open your eyes?"

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JimMorrison
JimMorrison

Tavern Dweller
posted January 13, 2004 10:52 AM

To me it looks way to much like:

1. we make it "online only" to prevent illegal copying
2. the Heroes name will only be used to attract a big crowd

He uses way to much "if's" and "maybe's".

Maybe you also will have to pay a fee monthly to play Heroes 5.

This does not look good at all.


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DonGio
DonGio


Promising
Famous Hero
of Clear Water Mountain Clan
posted January 15, 2004 01:05 PM

Hi, Hydra and the rest of you.

Good posts, but I have a few general and a few specific comments:

Quote:

Online : we are planning a lot of different things here !

Many different things. This can only mean good news for online Heroes fanatics.


Well, as much as I hate to say so, I do not necessarily think that this "can only mean good news for online Heroes fanatics." It could, I think, just as well mean that nothing has been decided, and so things could really turn out in an infinite number of ways.

And this leads me to my biggest general point: you seem to be drawing too many conclusions from vague or at best suggestive quotes. I think it's unrealistic to believe that we can deduce anything at all (well, maybe a few things, but still...) definitely from these interwievs and posts.

Quote:
Let’s wait and see how the game looks when the first screenshots are released, then we can make our graphically-based judgements.


Yes. True. I haven't liked much of what concept art we have been shown so far, but we're still at a preliminary stage, and with some of these sketches it's even hard to imagine what they would look like, modeled and rendered. But I hope this won't look like a strategy version of the Final Fantasy franchise, nor of the Spawn franchise. I really don't care for anime or the dominating "adult" comic book style, where everything is ridiculously malproportioned and unrealistic.

Like Hydra, I loved the way Heroes II looked. I think they need to find the person(s) who did the artwork for that and hire him/her/them. I liked the color scheme as well, it found the balance between gory and dreary, I think.

Quote:

Have we though about dragons: yes!

Obviously this means that there will be dragons in Heroes V, as there have been in every Heroes series.


Again, not necessarily. I agree that it most likely means this, and that I personally would be very surprised to find them missing in HOMMV, this quote merely states that the developers have thought (I presume it's not though) about dragons. Their thinking could, theoretically, boil down to "let's get rid of the dragons, they've pestered these games for long enough!". Yes, hihgly improbable, but stranger things have been known to happen in the gaming industry.

Quote:

Creature sizes: working on it.

It is apparent the creatures will again vary in size.



Probably . On this topic I'll have to (not that that bothers me or anything ) agree with Djive. A true-to-scale size variation would be disastrous. I mean, come on, some of these creatures were demi-gods, and could crush a legion of halflings under their left foot. A representative difference in size is the only sensible way to go.

I guess that's it for now.

Keep on speculating, by all means, I'm not trying to dampen or curb any enthusiasm here, I'm just saying let's not jump to conclusions.

Greetings
DonGio
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doomnezeu
doomnezeu


Supreme Hero
Miaumiaumiau
posted January 15, 2004 02:01 PM

Hello to you all Heroes lovers!
Here's my opinion about Ubisoft's project: From what I see in Hydra's posts (btw, thanks for letting us know about what's happening in Ubisoft's courtyard), there are many affirmations, yet none to give us a real clue about the game. If they whant so badly to orient heroes 5 towards online play, therefore forgetting about singleplay, I call that a bad thing. And what do I hear about hotseat? Hotseat mode: I'm certain we will probably implement it??? Jesus, man, that is the most weirdest phrase i've heard this far.
Sure, i want something new, and a little graphical boost would not hurt (though i still remain close to H3's graphic style), but a complete 3d enviroment will surely require A LOT of resources, ergo a High End Computer. I just hope that the gameplay remains good....
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b0rsuk
b0rsuk


Promising
Famous Hero
DooM prophet
posted January 18, 2004 12:30 AM

Linux version

quoting Muad'dib: ""

That's all he got to say about Linux version of Heroes5. He repplied to other questions, but ignored the one about Linux.
That leads me to believe that they simply don't care about other platforms.... and presumably aim for the masses.

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