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Heroes Community > Heroes 5 - Temple of Ashan > Thread: The H5 trilogy is done - time for a summary!
Thread: The H5 trilogy is done - time for a summary! [ This thread is 3 pages long: (1) 2 3 ]
Doomforge
Doomforge

Hero of Order
Mayhem Elemental
posted January 30, 2008 09:38 AM

The H5 trilogy is done - time for a summary!

A lot of time passed since we've played H5 for the first time (well, at least the most of us ). We've seen some changes, and some "balance" patches that made us laugh Was h5 successful? partially. As UbiNival's attempt to make a good heroes game - it was a success. As a proud descendant of heroes saga - it was decent. As a multiplayer game - it was rather mediocre.

Since I'm not a H3 fanboy, I enjoyed some changes, but the game and the addons actually lacked few important things. And sucked in areas where they should never do.

What am I not satisfied with? Well, the game itself is good, but the online "success" was a disaster. While Nival tried hard to give us a game as closely related to H3 as possible, they failed a pretty modern attempt of making the game more famous world-wide. They checked the history lesson, they failed modern arts.

Nowadays, we want to see multiplayer-oriented games that are not only like their predecessors, but also like blizzard' games when it comes to online challenge. That means five things:

1. Stable, fast server
2. Careful analysis of community's feedback resulting in good balance patches
3. In case of strategy game - varied, well balanced map pool
4. inducement - tournaments, prizes (even if cheap - it's the challenge that matters!), in other words, everything that encourages the players to play each other - other than pure fun, of course.
5. A ranking - yes, people are crazed about ladders and rankings and always want to see their nicks on the top (I'm not different.)

Did H5 trilogy manage to score a check on those?

Quote:
Stable, fast server
- FAILURE. Ubi servers were terrible - slow, disconnecting users, laggy, buggy, everything. Many players left the game in its early (and worst) stages because of it and never returned. I wouldn't dream of h5-oriented battle.net, but is a stable server THAT much to ask for? -_-

Quote:
2. Careful analysis of community's feedback resulting in good balance patches
- FAILURE. How long do we complain about,say, ridiculous prices of spectrals' dwelling/horde building? Since they changed the prices, I believe. And because of the lack of serious tournaments, they can't really ask pro players about the proposed changes. They theoretically listen to the community, but a smart company distinguishes noob advices from pro advices and vastly ignores the former. Some changes seemed inspired by noob-whine (oh that raise dead is SO strong zmg omg pwnt - oh that Vladimir is SO imba omg zmg). Sorry - players who don't know much about the game always point wrong things as "imbalanced" and it results in nerfing strats that just require little skill to counter. Do I need to say it is BAD?

Quote:
3. In case of strategy game - varied, well balanced map pool
- FAILURE. All we got was a poor, small, badly balanced map pool and no editor to make one. When the editor got released, many skilled mapmakers already left h5, bored of waiting for one. In the end we were left with crappy maps, obviously favoring some factions over others. Map pool is extremely important - the balanced & well designed background for fights means players can actually ignore the map's innate "strong" and "weak" choices and just play whatever they want. And that is always great to see.

Quote:
4. inducement - tournaments, prizes (even if cheap - it's the challenge that matters!), in other words, everything that encourages the players to play each other - other than pure fun, of course.
- FAILURE, and a big one. Tournaments? Well, fan made, yes, but what about the official ones? I wouldn't even dream about seeing Heroes game at WCG, but come on, is it THAT hard to promote a game by making a few tournaments from time to time?

Quote:
5. A ranking - yes, people are crazed about ladders and rankings and always want to see their nicks on the top
- FAILURE. In theory we have a ranking, but because of the massive exodus of players due to terrible servers, lags and disconnects, nobody gives a sh*t for it. Not very accessible, not very good. We're left with ToH rankings, which are small, fan-made things. Where are the big ones? Like blizzard's ladder, or even C&C3's ladder?



As you see, a game that failed all crucial 5 things that make online games successful can't be called successful itself. While it's a good game, it doesn't make full use of its potential. We can only hope H6 will contain less lucre, and more harsh, online reality, that will encourage many players to give this great game a try.

I hope you read this, UbiNival

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Elvin
Elvin

Hero of Order
Stillness within Movement
posted January 30, 2008 10:14 AM

Interesting approach Doomforge

The game's system and available choices show a complexity that is not meant for mere single games. While you do ignore the single part you are right in that the game was made for multiplayer and that they did not cater much to it - Be it inexperience or lack of interest ie it's good enough as it is. On the other hand I cannot question their commitment since patching is still underway but it was the least they could do if they want to see future profits if they have a business sense.

What I WOULD want is that they pay more attention to the engine. Many people run smooth games more demanding but H5 is causing trouble - I have lost track of how many complaints I have seen. Not to mention the memory leak.

Then comes the AI so as not to disappoint single users, not all can afford to play multi for one reason or the other.

Better singling out feedback from the community so they know what is wrong. The old collective wishlist in ubi speaks volumes.

A significantly faster and bug free patching. Normally I'd hope more patches were not required but this is out of touch with reality so I just hope we do not have to wait for a couple months to resume gaming.. Until HoF came out I have given up gaming a few times until the next patch came out.


Of course a good deal of the problems are due to miscommunication but people are not interested in excuses, instead they want results. And I hope next time around they will be better prepared and more organized.
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okrane
okrane


Famous Hero
posted January 30, 2008 11:11 AM

Just two things bother me about heroes 5:

- Poor Multiplayer balance: factions are not balanced, heroes within the same faction are not balanced, creatures are not balanced, etc...

- Poor performance: the requirements of this game are preposterous, and I never played an XL map, because of my slow machine/AI turns that make me crazy

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watcher83
watcher83


Supreme Hero
Child of Malassa
posted January 30, 2008 11:41 AM

I'm one of those who plays single because of many reasons (the main one being lack of time) so I'm just gonna say my point of view on the single aspect of the game.

the bad stuff - bad AI; the game runs bad even on good and very good computers; changing resolution doesn't make a big difference; although a lot of patches have been shiped the game isn't what it should have been from the begining; needs balancing; it has the net/rock/scissors system among factions which in my opinion is bad;

the good stuff - nice new world with rich lore; it added a sense of unity among each faction by adding a theme, a race, and beliefs; kept most of the good aspects of previous games and added afew good new ones; good graphics;

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mamgaeater
mamgaeater


Legendary Hero
Shroud, Flying, Trample, Haste
posted January 30, 2008 01:17 PM
Edited by mamgaeater at 13:18, 30 Jan 2008.

I have to agree doomforge about the map thing.
A few badly balanced maps just doesn't cut it.
homm 3 had dozens of maps from challenging to easy.
not only this but the heroes 5 map editor lags more and goes slower than crysis playing on windows 95.
not only this but the ai is just plain dumb.
Homm 5 had its good points though.
the factions were interesting and fun.
and it had a nice skill system
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dota

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Doomforge
Doomforge

Hero of Order
Mayhem Elemental
posted January 30, 2008 03:11 PM

yes it has many strong points, but the multiplayer system is a failure, meaning the game will be quickly forgotten. Regrettably.

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DarkShadow
DarkShadow


Legendary Hero
Cerise Princess
posted January 30, 2008 03:33 PM

multiplayer=complete phail

AI:goes with intelienge of uncontroled golem

oh yea and no tournaments=Adds more to total phail.

i would make on of those failure meters if i had time right now.

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emilsn
emilsn


Legendary Hero
posted January 30, 2008 04:28 PM

Didn't play MultiPlayer. Mostly because I see HoMM as Single player thing or hotseat game

But I think your too harsh on the game, of course this is a average game, not the best in the serie but its still good.

In my eyes it got the things needed for Heroes, that it failed to make a unique game like HoMM3, is ofcourse sad but I still enjoy it. It just needed a couple of patches and 2 expansions

Its a medicore game, but has what HoMM games need. And lets face it the graphics are awesome
____________
Don't walk behind me; I may not
lead. Don't walk in front of me;
I may not follow. Just walk
beside me and be my friend.

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Elvin
Elvin

Hero of Order
Stillness within Movement
posted January 30, 2008 04:31 PM

You missed what he wanted to say. He is examining H5 only by the multiplayer point of view that he sees as most important. About the game I see it as quite above mediocre.
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So the next time your cat leaves a bleeding, twitching corpse on your doormat, remember that she loves you and is just trying to bring out your inner predator.

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Jabarkas
Jabarkas


Adventuring Hero
posted January 30, 2008 07:46 PM
Edited by Jabarkas at 19:54, 30 Jan 2008.

Quote:
2. Careful analysis of community's feedback resulting in good balance patches


Hmm... you mentioned Blizzard there as a good example, and I think it might be worth to highlight one strength of Blizzard... and that is that they distinguish the noob-complains and the pro-complains... yet they try to address both.

A town can be exceptionally powerful in the right hands, while it is weak in the hands of a noob. The trick is to fix it so it is equally powerful in both regards.

Now, the only way to achieve this is through the success of the other 4 bullets you mentioned. Good servers and you've a big player base, a ranking system that works and you ensure that you can weight the feedback accordingly and a good variation of maps and you ensure that the test data is not skewed due to bad map design.


In the end, while HoMM V might have been a huge failure Multiplayer wise, I would still say it is a solid singleplayer game. I've loads of fun with this game and I'm very happy that the HoMM series keep going. I give HoMM V the thumbs up. It removed some glaring fault in H3, like the overpowered Speed-value, picking some nifty stuff from H4 and adding a slight twist of their own.

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Doomforge
Doomforge

Hero of Order
Mayhem Elemental
posted January 30, 2008 09:03 PM

Of course H5 is a decent - bah, good! game on it's own. But the five steps I've mentioned have in fact little to do with the game's value. Those steps can be applied to any game - good or bad - and are crucial to make the game successful when it comes to online play. Because Nival failed at all, the game, despite being technically great and fun to play, will be most likely quickly forgotten, and will never be considered a true classic of online gaming.

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Excelsior
Excelsior

Tavern Dweller
posted February 01, 2008 07:25 AM

You're right. We are forced to adhere to what you say, at least I am.

I remember having bought the game the day of its launch and tested multi.... I was doomed...

I never managed to finish a multiplayer game. There was always one player bugging (even me). I didn't played any multi game while the v1.1 and I'm not willing to.

In addition, I don't see a lot of people online.
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Elvin
Elvin

Hero of Order
Stillness within Movement
posted February 01, 2008 07:30 AM

You are very mistaken. Many people play it everyday in ToH and if I had not left a message no games on msn I would be asked several times per day. Also the original unpatched game was unplayable which is not the case with TotE or even HoF.
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Excelsior
Excelsior

Tavern Dweller
posted February 01, 2008 08:51 PM
Edited by excelsior at 21:42, 01 Feb 2008.

You are right, there are more people than I thought in multi (I saw almost 200 people a few minutes ago).

Maybe i'll give it a go some day, but it seems that there is not much v1.6 games and I won't buy TotE before I have finished the HoF campains.
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Elvin
Elvin

Hero of Order
Stillness within Movement
posted February 01, 2008 09:53 PM

Yes people don't play much HoF either. If you come to it, ToH could always use a new player
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Doomforge
Doomforge

Hero of Order
Mayhem Elemental
posted February 04, 2008 09:20 AM

Furthermore, people shouldn't wait for a patch XXX months, especially right after the game release. The first patches should be as swift as possible, fixing the biggest imbalances, exploits and bugs. Then, they can release minor balance patches after gathering enough feedback. Again, just like Blizzard does.

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PhoenixReborn
PhoenixReborn


Promising
Legendary Hero
Unicorn
posted February 04, 2008 01:12 PM

Perhaps you should adjust the thread title to indicate that it is a review of the multiplayer portion of the game?

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Doomforge
Doomforge

Hero of Order
Mayhem Elemental
posted August 25, 2008 12:11 PM

while I couldn't log in, I decided to make a summary, just to notice I already wrote one. Lol.

So I decided to resurrect the thread and add a couple of things..


I already covered the multiplayer "failures". Fortunately they aren't as bad when you are a ToH player, I guess. So, here's the second part The game itself.

What makes the game good and repayable after all the years? Why do I play, say, Civilization 1 from time to time, despite it's older than some of the HC members Or, that I play modded diablo1 + hellfire, although it technically, virtually and totally sucks?

Because.. oh well.

ATMOSPHERE - Important mostly in RPG games, hacknslashes, jrpg, you say? I think it's actually important in all games. I noticed that I somehow like the "atmosphere" of Civ 1. The simple, yet mysterious map, crude pixels representing enemy units coming out of nowhere.. You may laugh at me, but leaving a town unprotected feels almost intimidating, as if some enemy troops will appear out of nowhere and capture it. I never felt anything like that playing the later Civs, which bored me after 10-20 minutes. Coincidence? Naaw. Perhaps it's just because of nostalgy. Or perhaps the game really had the atmosphere of its own.

Another example, Betrayal at Krondor.. you remember the Sewers? The music.. the most awesome dungeon music I ever heard, creating insane atmosphere of danger and mystery.. the design. With all those pathetic graphics, the dungeons in that game were still amazing.. dark, creepy, almost scary. None of the "new" games managed to make me feel such creepiness Even though the graphics became realistic, the good old dark dungeons of BaK still feel impressive. Much more than any other.

So, what can I say.. It doesn't matter how old the game is.. it's the magic that it brings, the atmosphere. The combination of music, design (NOT graphics!) and many others that makes you FEEL the world, as if it was deep, unexplored and mysterious.. When playing H5, I somehow feel like playing a board game with the board small, hermetic and well known.. I never felt the "omg I don't know where to go on this map, enemy can come out of nowhere!" paranoia, the one that made H2 and H3 so thrilling to play (), when playing H5.

So what is my point? My point is that H5 lacks the intimidating and mysterious atmosphere I love above all things in games. The atmosphere makes me play older and never games over and over..

.. and thus can't become a legend. A good game, but it feels like, idk, snooker or bowling. Just another game without soul, no matter how good it is.

I still think it has the best system of all homm games, and I am pleasantly surprised by Ubival to see that they actually managed to make the towns unique, unique in everything: early creeping, town development, tactics.. racials were an excellent idea that further amplify it. But..

But I can't really find the magic in this game.

Pity.

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Zamfir
Zamfir


Promising
Supreme Hero
posted August 25, 2008 01:18 PM

    I see your point, and I mostly agree.
    I would add something about ATMOSPHERE. I don't know your computer configuration, guys, but sometimes I feel like having the worst computer in the world.(Each time I see a youtube movie with H5, I realize the man who recorded it had a better computer.)
Well, if you are in such a situation, the ATMOSPHERE is really affected. You must choose -good graphics but verry poor animations, or good animations and verry bad textures (haven town's buildings have billion of holes.) I hope you realise these glitches make me lose the lyric thrill that sometimes hits me.
   
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Elvin
Elvin

Hero of Order
Stillness within Movement
posted August 25, 2008 01:24 PM

I know, didn't take long to notice that something was missing. But it is still possible to spark anew this magic through mapmaking, if you've played fiur's master of disguise you know what I am talking about Thing is that the game on its own lacks that atmosphere and if you also count ubival's attitude you can't help but see the game as a marketing product. At least gameplay is still running strong

Btw not surprising to see that you've been thinking about writing something while you were away Good to have you back.
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So the next time your cat leaves a bleeding, twitching corpse on your doormat, remember that she loves you and is just trying to bring out your inner predator.

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