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Heroes Community > Heroes 7+ Altar of Wishes > Thread: New unit feature: Range of attack
Thread: New unit feature: Range of attack This thread is 2 pages long: 1 2 · NEXT»
alcibiades
alcibiades


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
of Gold Dragons
posted July 21, 2007 06:48 PM
Edited by alcibiades at 18:49, 21 Jul 2007.

New unit feature: Range of attack

There has in the newer chapters of the Heroes of Might and Magic era been a tendency of evolving the basic features of the units. A good example of this is the concept of unit speed and turns, which used to be a fixed acting-order combined with movement range, which has now changed into the much more flexible Initiative which is separated from the unit Speed.

The concept of unit range has been changed by adding the range penalty, but the current system is still not very flexible. With only a handful of exception, all units have the same range, no matter whether we are talking a giant Titan using its lightning ray or a tiny Dwarf hauling a javelin.

Instead, I suggest that one should introduce a new property for units: Range. This number would denote the number of squares a target can shoot without receiving range penalty. Number could range anywhere from 3 squares (very short range) to 9, 10 (very long range), 11 or even 12 or more (effectively no range penalty). Average numbers around 5-7 would correspond to the normal range of the current units.

A more flexible range system would make it easier to separate the units - thus, one could beef up the Titan a bit by giving it a fairly long range - say, 7 or 8 - without giving it the all-powerfull no-range penalty. Furthermore, it would allow to make a more interesting system of range penalty. Thus, once could image that within 0-1 x Range, the unit does 100 % damage; within 1-2 x Range, unit does 50 % damage; within 2-3 x Range, unit does 25 % damage; and one could set 3 x Range to be an upper limit of ranged attack. Or - one could make this limit flexible for different creatures, so that some units only can attack ranged within 2 x Range, whereas others might use the ranged ability out to 3 or 4 x Range, but with lower damage.

One might even apply the concept of Range to arrow towers during siege, so that units could place themselves strategically to receive less damage from the Towers - or conversely, units close to the towers would receive more damage. This might level out a bit of the imballance currently present when doing siege attacks, where your archers on the back line will do virtually no damage to the defenders behind city walls, whereas the towers will do same damage to them as to melee units moving around behind the wals.
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Cepheus
Cepheus


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Far-flung Keeper
posted July 21, 2007 07:22 PM

That sounds like a very innovative idea indeed.  A new concept like that is exactly the kind of thing Heroes needs.

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Homer171
Homer171


Promising
Supreme Hero
posted July 21, 2007 07:52 PM

Interesting idea. Having different range for shooters would be nice but can't help but think those pitiful Orcs of H4 Well short range creatures are different this time.

For range system i think short range creatures could also only range attack from half way of the battlefield. H4/3 type of Cyclops throwing rocks only in half way etc. Perhaps different style in H6.

Simplest way is to add new range between normal range and no range penalty. Perhaps long range whit ability shoot from row 2 to second last row whit out range penalty.

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alcibiades
alcibiades


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
of Gold Dragons
posted July 21, 2007 08:19 PM

Quote:
Simplest way is to add new range between normal range and no range penalty. Perhaps long range whit ability shoot from row 2 to second last row whit out range penalty.


Wouldn't it work just to do it with a number, like the movement? So that they have a range that denotes how far they can shoot at full range? Depending on how much one wants to emphasize the aspect of a critical range, beyond which creatures cannot shoot, one could say maximum range distance is 2 x Range. Thus, let's imagine a creature has Range = 4. Then within 4-tile circle, creature does full damage. Within 8-tile circle creature does half damage, and beyond 8 tiles, creature cannot do ranged attack.

Also, the problem with pitiful ranged attackers are still present, now it's just moved from the Orcs to the Assassins. Such creatures could translate to having a very short range - say, 3 - which would mean that only in very close quarters do they perform full damage.
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Geny
Geny


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
What if Elvin was female?
posted July 21, 2007 09:11 PM

Not a bad idea (as usual), however not without its problems of course.
You yourself pointed me to one of them - assasins. You know full well that their strength does not come from their damage, but from their poison. If you take away their ability to shoot across the battlefield they will become completely useless.
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Tenaka
Tenaka


Famous Hero
Makes sense
posted July 21, 2007 11:43 PM

But this is about the range penalty, not about how far they can shoot. So that's not really relevant.

Great idea, it could really add some more tactics to the game. Of course, there are the little details that would have to be worked out, but this is definitely HOMM VI material.

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Homer171
Homer171


Promising
Supreme Hero
posted July 22, 2007 12:33 AM

Quote:
Wouldn't it work just to do it with a number, like the movement?


Yeah it could work whit numbers. Then there could be different colored areas of reach: Green, Yellow, Red etc. (Normal whit change of Critical hit, Normal hit area, Long range whit half damage penalty.

Perhaps more shatter shot effects (alltough i don't wish to see another H4 Cyclopes area attack )

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alcibiades
alcibiades


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
of Gold Dragons
posted July 22, 2007 01:00 AM

Quote:
Not a bad idea (as usual), however not without its problems of course.
You yourself pointed me to one of them - assasins. You know full well that their strength does not come from their damage, but from their poison. If you take away their ability to shoot across the battlefield they will become completely useless.


Well yes, they would be ... different. I don't particularly think they would be useless just because they couldn't shoot across entire battlefield, you would just need to use them in another way than normally - either move them forward, if you want to target an enemy on the back line, or wait for enemy to approach. They do have the No Melee Penalty ability, so they are kind of transitional anyway. But yes, they would be different, but that's not necessarily a bad thing in my book. After all, when used like Marksmen, they would have greater damage potential than now, since the range penalty at close quarters would be eliminated.
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Daystar
Daystar


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Back from the Dead
posted July 22, 2007 01:11 AM

Unless otherwise noted, Upgrades have the same range as their standards.  Numbers indicate green zone (normal level of damage).  From there to half again the range is yellow zone: (-25% damage) and beyond that is red zone (-50% damage)

Archer: 6
Marksman: 7
Preist: 4

Gremlin: 6
Mage: - (magic has unlimited duration, but starts at yellow zone)
Titan: 8

Scout: 3
Assasin: 6
Witch: 5

Succubus: 6

Skeleton Archer: 4
Lich: 6

Hunter: 7
Master Hunter: 8
Druid: 6

Spearweilder: 4
Rune Preist: 4



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ThE_HyDrA
ThE_HyDrA


Admirable
Famous Hero
The Leader of all Hydras
posted July 22, 2007 02:41 PM

This is a great idea. It was always under our noses, it was such a simple and logical step to take yet no-one up until now had considered it. As was said, we now have Initiative and Speed (Movement), which obviously is in the same vein as this proposed change - to differentiate between how far a unit can move and how often it does so.

My view of how it would be implemented would be that the damage descreases in a progressive fashion. For example, a unit had a range of 5. '5' could equate to 5 hexes or grid squares. If the unit is closer than or on the 5th sqaure, the unit does 100% via its ranged attack. Every additional square it is further away, it would deal progressively less - 1/2, then 1/4, then 1/8, and finally 1/16th, at which point the range penalty would be capped to this limit. Of course, depending on the size of the battlefield, the range 'value' would have to be modified so that it is reasonable. I.e., no range values of 3 when a standard battefield is 10x10.

The idea of the ranged creature not being able to execute its ranged attack is a tough penalty, especially as many of its targets are presumably on the opposite side of the battefield (as ranged units are usually protected and placed near the rear of the army), so it would make them very ineffective. A capped penalty of 1/16th damage would be sufficient, not only so it is able to deal damage, but as was already discussed, certain 'imbued' effects can also affect the target.

The idea of a unit having a critical hit if the opposing unit is within range is a little over board. It goes without saying that, even for creatures with small ranges, enemy units (especially flyers) will be on your side of the battlefield at some stage in the game. This sort of characteristic will deter attacking melee mentalities, and would drastically change the game dynamics - it would be profitable to only have protected shooters, as melee attacks deep into enemy territory would result in a swift death due to the critical hit rule. It's quite apparent that having a ranged attack is already a large advantage, by doubling their damage at close range, there would be little point in shooting at units from afar, as the damage would be so pitiful compared to a double damage strike.

Undoubtedly, the amount of rebalancing required for this idea to be included in Heroes 5 is excessive, notwithstanding the fact that TotE is quite a ways down the track in its development process. For Heroes VI, there will presumably be vastly different mechanics to what we're used to in the previous series, so this change can be factored in right from the start of the game's creation.

This is a top idea, and definitely deserves some consideration in any upcoming Heroes games.
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GenieLord
GenieLord


Honorable
Legendary Hero
posted July 22, 2007 03:14 PM
Edited by GenieLord at 15:14, 22 Jul 2007.

I think this is a wonderful idea. Instead of the pointless icon that shows the range on every creature's statistics (It shows "Half" for all the shooters, "Max" for the Mages/Arch Mages/Crossbowmen, and "None" for every other creature). We can use this icon for the range points.

In my opinion, the Mage/Arch Mage should be the only one with 12 (max range).It's better to keep his adventage and the Crossbowman should have a bit lower range.
"Heavy" shooters, like the Lich/Arch Lich might have low range. The same with Spearwielder/Skirmisher, which uses his shoots only to wound the enemy, and the damage of the shot is supposed to be pretty weak.
Fire Elemental should have pretty high range, in my opinion. He has 50 shoots (!) and it seems like it's supposed to be "The ultimate shooter".
The rest of the shooters can have 5-7 range.

My suggestion:
Archer: 6
Marksman: 6
Crossbowman: 11
Priest: 6
Inquisitor: 7
Zealot: 7
Lich: 4
Arch Lich: 4
Skeletone Archer: 5
Hunter: 7
Master Hunter: 8
Druid: 6
Druid Elder: 6
Gremlin: 5
Master Gremlin: 6
Mage: 12
Archmage: 12
Titan: 6
Scout: 5
Assassin: 6
Shadow Witch: 6
Shadow Matriarch: 6
Fire Elemental: 10
Spearwielder: 3
Skirmisher: 4
Rune Priest: 5
Rune Patriarch: 6

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Daystar
Daystar


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Back from the Dead
posted July 22, 2007 10:37 PM

Master hunter should be larger
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ZombieLord
ZombieLord


Promising
Famous Hero
that wants your brainz...
posted July 22, 2007 10:48 PM

This is a brilliant idea (that I was thinking of too)

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Fofa
Fofa


Famous Hero
Famous? Me?!
posted July 23, 2007 12:45 AM

I wasn't thinking of this, but it does sound pretty good. Naturally, the ranged attacks composed of magic would have larger ranges than arrows or other weaponry.
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alcibiades
alcibiades


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
of Gold Dragons
posted July 23, 2007 01:40 AM
Edited by alcibiades at 01:42, 23 Jul 2007.

Thanx for all the nice feedback!

Quote:
The idea of the ranged creature not being able to execute its ranged attack is a tough penalty, especially as many of its targets are presumably on the opposite side of the battefield (as ranged units are usually protected and placed near the rear of the army), so it would make them very ineffective.


I do agree very much with this, which is why I think this:

Quote:
My view of how it would be implemented would be that the damage descreases in a progressive fashion. For example, a unit had a range of 5. '5' could equate to 5 hexes or grid squares. If the unit is closer than or on the 5th sqaure, the unit does 100% via its ranged attack. Every additional square it is further away, it would deal progressively less - 1/2, then 1/4, then 1/8, and finally 1/16th, at which point the range penalty would be capped to this limit.


would be too severe a way to execute the range penalty. I'm afraid that the 1/16th penalty would essentially render the attack useless, so that effectively ranged units would only be usefull within Range + 3 tiles. This would mean that either a) you had to make Range relatively large, to ensure that units could shot across battlefield and still do significant damage, which would on the other hand increase the area of no range penalty significantly; or b) you had to keep area keep area of full damage more or less similar to current solution, which would render ranged attack useless on major part of farthest battlefield.

The reason why I prefer the solution with multipliers of the Range value to determince damage is that this, for an average unit, will leave the area of full damage similar to now, will do half damage on most of battlefield, also like now, and possibly only suffer quarter damage during sieges or when shooting diagonally from corner to corner. Even if one put a max range at 3 x Range, this would not become relevant for most units, because 3 x Range would cover entire battlefield - for some units with very low Range it could come relevant, which I think would be a fine feature to add for these special units - but of course, that's a detail to be solved later.

Btw. this was not intended for something to be in Heroes 5 TotE, TotE is settled and done, and works well with the old ways; I thought this might go for Heroes 6.
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shassz
shassz


Adventuring Hero
posted July 24, 2007 12:46 PM

Nice idea! It would really make the game better. Low range creatures would need a lot more tactics to use.

I think max range would be good too. It would make creatures who can shoot through the entire battlefield a bit more premium.

Another thing which could be easily implemented in a system like this is obstacles like terrain(trees, rocks, castle walls, etc.), and creatures. Creature obstacle would give some more depth to tactics like when you attack some creatures with a dragon your shooter would get get penalty if the drake is between them and the target or a chance to hit the dragon instead of the target.

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Daystar
Daystar


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Back from the Dead
posted July 25, 2007 12:25 AM

Yay!  another entry for the "How to attack your own troops" thread. lolz.

Also, what would be the effect of Unicorn Horn bow: What it is now, or perhaps doubling range, or vvhat?
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sfidanza
sfidanza


Promising
Supreme Hero
posted July 27, 2007 12:34 AM

Just a quick note to say that H5 creatures have a Range attribute (added in patch 1.2), which up to now adds nothing over the No Range Penalty ability, but it paves the way for more.
The attribute indeed takes 3 values among all creatures:
0 for non shooters (no range)
-1 for No Range Penalty shooters
-2 for usual shooters (with range penalty)

My guess is that the range is expressed as a percentage of the battlefield length. 1 means 100% (let's just forget the minus sign), 2 means 100%/2=50%. Maybe if we put -3 in there, the creature will deal full range damage only over a third of the battlefield length? That's something I ought to try.
If you do, let me know!

The model is still simple, though: full damage over a certain length, then half damage. However unrealistic that is (much less than progressively decreasing damage), I'm not sure I see the interest of a more realistic approach. The rule is simple and I like it this way. Varying the range itself can be tried and wold be fun, even if again, I don't think too much variety would really add to gameplay.

My main reason for this is that it would have to be visualizable in combat in some way to be usable. Currently, only the creatures' movement range can be displayed. I think it wouldn't be too hard to display the shooting range in a similar manner (maybe shift+hover), but adding damage decrease would really start being more difficult. We could have various colors, like Homer said, or shades, but there's a level of complexity where it's just becomes crunching numbers, more than fun (although I usually have fun crunching numbers... ).

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alcibiades
alcibiades


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
of Gold Dragons
posted July 27, 2007 12:56 AM

Quote:
My main reason for this is that it would have to be visualizable in combat in some way to be usable. Currently, only the creatures' movement range can be displayed. I think it wouldn't be too hard to display the shooting range in a similar manner (maybe shift+hover), but adding damage decrease would really start being more difficult. We could have various colors, like Homer said, or shades, but there's a level of complexity where it's just becomes crunching numbers, more than fun (although I usually have fun crunching numbers... ).


I actually think that could be solved pretty easily. You could have a full arrow signature for complete range, broken arrow for reduced damage and then a number besides to show the damage multiplier - 1/2, 1/4 etc. This would work very much like the movement cursor on adventure map.

Shift + Hover could be used to show circles to better evaluate options in more advanced strategy.
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Daystar
Daystar


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Back from the Dead
posted July 27, 2007 04:30 AM
Edited by Daystar at 04:31, 27 Jul 2007.

OOH!  what if it was like, for 1/2 damage, there was a 1, then an arrow pointing like
  /
 /
V

and then a 2 next to it, so the arrow becomes the / in 1/2!
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