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Heroes Community > Heroes 5 - Modders Workshop > Thread: Heroes 5.5 - Eternal Essence - New Factions
Thread: Heroes 5.5 - Eternal Essence - New Factions This thread is 6 pages long: 1 2 3 4 5 6 · «PREV
TheBaron
TheBaron


Promising
Known Hero
dreamer of dreams
posted September 03, 2011 01:30 PM
Edited by TheBaron at 13:42, 03 Sep 2011.

New character: Iyego De'argo has been moved to the first page.

I may have recruited a professional to do some 3D modeling concepts. This is to be confirmed.
____________
"My favorite" - Jean-
Baptiste Emmanuel Zorg.

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Cepheus
Cepheus


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Far-flung Keeper
posted September 03, 2011 02:20 PM
Edited by Cepheus at 14:21, 03 Sep 2011.

I'm fairly swamped with RL at the moment, not at all as active as I'd prefer to be, so just to offer a bit of feedback to what has been going on recently.

We did make an attempt to have Quantomas' patch integrated in H6 but unfortunately the typical conglomerate bureaucracy got in the way (which is no discredit to the Ubisofter working on the game whom I approached, who gave me their time and was extremely receptive to the idea). I'm not willing to forsake the game or anything because the release AI has deficiencies, but it is certainly a major pity that we couldn't push its strategic potential to the limit from the get-go.

@The Baron: I think the philosophy you've expressed is excellent. Let me clarify from earlier that although I diverge with you on which race to invest effort in, I agree with your perspective on the creative vision almost entirely. But regarding the concept of the Shifters. I would not support the production of this race as an addition to Heroes V, not at all out of any disdain for the extreme effort you've put into plotting their motivations and history, but purely because they don't "fit" this series. You don't mix oil and water without a really good excuse. If you know me you'll realise that I'm a "continuity nerd" and when I work on a long-term project I like to spend the additional effort in research and detail to make sure that the work slots into the universe perfectly, that it's not too derivative and that some day it could even prospectively be considered part of the official canon - that I replicate the original style as closely as possible. Otherwise the work is just for fun, like an ICTC entry, because it can never be taken seriously by an official team without weakening the continuity and integrity of the plot with poor excuses (i.e. "we never saw or heard of the Shifters in Heroes V because..."). I don't think the advocation of the Sanctuary as a logical H5 race to include is due to an imaginative drought or a defecit in creative vision. But it is "ready-made", it has coherency in the universe, and we are aware that it was on the table for Heroes V already. It simply "fits" in Ashan already whereas Shifters are mentioned nowhere. The Sanctuary fits naturally into this world. I would have a very difficult time envisioning the timeline and artwork you've assembled on page 1 as part of Ubisoft's canon. I feel it's way too derivative from their setting.

All of that said.

I am falling in love with the concept on an individual basis. The artwork which the fellow from WETA has produced, along with the backstory you are developing, is nothing short of incredible and I am absolutely loath to waste it. Before you go all-out with a series of threads and expansions, I ought to mention this effort is already going far beyond Heroes V and its universe's conventions, such that I expect it will become a separate property entirely. I feel it's ideal to stop thinking in terms of Ashan and the creative constraints attached to it. It's almost ideal to transplant these Shifters to a new universe because they're pretty much straight in line with the kind of warped, haunting, dreamlike style I love which challenges the mind and the imagination - the type of xenic art design you'd see in the Oddworld series, Planescape, Soul Reaver, Escher and Salvador Dali, and certain Tim Burton films. Most specifically, I'm reminded of the scope of this concept art by Arnold Ayala. If I have one trifling criticism, it regards names such as Kala'Bossa, Abr'Azza and Iyego Dé'Argo:



That's not to say I feel that made-up names are out of the question, just that it's ideal for me to try and root nomenclature in something meaningful, for additional symbolic value if nothing else.

To finish off with a more encompassing message. I've been speaking with Quantomas for a while now and am convinced that this man is nothing short of a visionary. I encourage everyone reading to seize the opportunity to work with this person. Please don't be impeded by questions of realism. This is not another overambitious fan-project; it is serious, in a word.
____________
"Those who forget their history are inevitably doomed to repeat it." —Proverb, Might and Magic VIII

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magnomagus
magnomagus


Admirable
Legendary Hero
modding wizard
posted September 03, 2011 03:22 PM

I agree with cepheus about the sanctuary, also because it fits to a water/tropical swamp (not necro swamp) terrain type that isn't yet tied to a faction in H5. However I don't think it is impossible for the bulwark to fit in the ashan universe, at least it can be adjusted to fit. I think It will strongly depend on the artstyle of the creature lineup and characters.

Quote:
To finish off with a more encompassing message. I've been speaking with Quantomas for a while now and am convinced that this man is nothing short of a visionary. I encourage everyone reading to seize the opportunity to work with this person. Please don't be impeded by questions of realism. This is not another overambitious fan-project; it is serious, in a word.


When there is a lot going on behind the scenes it is hard to properly evaluate the life-expectancy of a project. I know I have made several critical comments on this, but I have never doubted Quantomas passion and qualities. I hope to contribute a lot to this project when the tools become available. By tools I mean Q's plans for the modding interface (although it is not yet fully clear to me what it contains) and hopefully some tools from Ubisoft alongside the H6 release.
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Fauch
Fauch


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted September 03, 2011 05:56 PM

I may rework my 2 towns also when it becomes possible

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Quantomas
Quantomas


Responsible
Famous Hero
AI Wizard
posted September 03, 2011 09:20 PM
Edited by Quantomas at 21:34, 03 Sep 2011.

::Wizard lab assistant: You have to take a look. - Q: Can't it wait? - Wizard lab assistant: There are rumours spreading, people need guidance and they ask about the fundaments. - Q: Alright, alright, I am on my way.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The most important issue I see here, and also our biggest chance, is to create something visionary, something that truly improves the quality of the genre. I am already at it on the AI front, but by no means less important is what TheBaron does. We are used to games being defined by their gameplay and mechanics and story being added to it. What we can do instead here is to create a background, culture, characters and story with true depth. And then build a game around it. This is normally resisted by most devs, because the effort is considerably bigger. But the result can be awe-inspiring, if it is done right. Think of The Witcher which in many ways feels more dense and rich than other games.

The reason why it will become feasible here, to choose the story-centric path, lies in the AI and Eternal Essence framework I am developing. The EE is not your common magic system you find in many games, it is a world's constituent, like physics in our own. It will give us the means to tell a story interactively and indepth. We will have the traditional means, cut scenes, audio, dialogs, text, but on top, or more precisely below, of that the EE. While we currently have a game in which heroes or artefacts impact battles by modifying stats, with the EE we will have a real system in which character and creature traits are affecting the game in an infinite variety. For example, powerful creatures change how the land and physics around them works, with many consequences in battle, but likewise the main characters can affect everything in their path. E.g. where the Kala'Bossa has tread the land might be tinged subtly, with darkness, luck penalties etc. In places where he has rested, other characters will note spirit trails, have bad dreams, and the land might spawn twisted creatures with an increasing likelihood. What I am saying here is that the EE is a story vehicle itself, that can be modelled in incrementally refined detail. The traditional story vehicles, like cut scenes, audio, dialogs, text and other are interwoven into the EE, like a script being triggered if certain conditions are met, only that everything is a natural part of the world. The battles and adventure map will also be much more closely interlinked, a bit like Age of Wonders tried to mirror the 3D landscape in battle.

Cepheus brought up the question that matters. Will the Shifters fit into the Heroes canon? He also said once that Ubisoft somehow has written Heroes into a corner, which is true in a double sense. First, the story delivered in the last installments is subpar, with too many cliches and shoddy characterizations of people and events providing for a bare bones background only. Second, the writing hasn't really created an open world where all things can be imagined, but rather tied down things unwisely and now very much limits the scope. On top of that we have to ask: will the devs at BH/Ubi respect our choices, and vice versa do we know whether they have not already plans that ours are conflicting with?

If we consider all these things, we will be much better off if we create our own universe. Something that has true quality, like the world of the Wheel of Time. It's right, this sounds very daunting at first, but we do not need to flesh the world out right from the start. We can go about it step by step, let the Shifters be the first. We can also pay much more attention to write the stories and events carefully, with all the necessary caveats and references, to create a universe that remains open.

@TheBaron
If we go for our own project, it is indeed a valid question who takes ownership of the story. I give you my word that I respect intellectual property, and that we will put a mechanism into place that requires the owner's permission if it is reappropriated in a different context. The world that I have in mind is truly big, rather a universe, that provides for near endless room to have stories play out in different areas without impacting each other. This way we can connect different settings, but have aplenty space to accomodate independent stories.

We shouldn't use the cut scenes in H5. While I am critical about H6's AI, and that the campaign apparently doesn't need a good one, the presentation in H6 is top-notch. The way the story is related, with a hero portrait, text plus audio is simple and proficient at the same time. It leaves room for imagination and has depth. Has anyone a screenshot or video to link to?

@Fauch
It was my offer to the community to create an advanced modding framework. This was not for me but for you guys to be empowered, to do things that you couldn't do before. I am myself rather a strategy game purist, driven by the challenge, and as such wouldn't need any mods for myself. I am pretty sure that with what is already in the vanilla and map makers can conjure, already very much can be done. Once map design can rely on a powerful AI service, it will greatly improve in playing quality, and balancing will not be much of an issue because the AI can do that automatically. The AI will track the player's performance in single mode, and also determine strength coefficients in multiplayer, and will offer the players a number of options to choose from at setup of a map for a balanced game.

I was quite disappointed that the people who would benefit mostly from the advanced modding framework would not help out with accomplishing the necessary tasks. In general there appears a wrong understanding how much work the programming task really is. There are AAA projects for which the source has been published, for example Relic's Homeworld or some shooters. Working on these requires understanding mostly the entire source if you really want to improve things substantially. But Heroes is rather your AAA XL, with code from different installments and probably the most refined hero/skill/creature system out there. Most things are tied together on multiple levels, there are rollbacks and simulated and real actions, an entire scripting system, with hooks tied into the AI, game world animation, custom UI and windowing, adventure controllers, screen controllers and whatever. So whatever task you request, for example a rework of the skill system, is never quite straightforward and requires work on multiple levels, and people working as C++ programmers on regular projects, even for decades, will have a difficult time to adapt to an environment like this. So these are monster tasks, for many devs really, and taking these on my shoulders would have required support by other community members.

It appears that the current community organisation, the board system actually, is not sufficient for a project like this. But I fully support TheBaron's sentiment, that a community has to be inclusive. When we are going to set up our own organisational framework, we will use a much more modern approach. We will have a core level, which the people who do core work can use for private and open discussions, a contributor level that will allow people who support us with their work to communicate with the core group, and a community level that will allow anyone to particapte. The fundamental idea here is to give each member individual access rights, so that they can communicate effectively, and that the system is by design open for the development of a community and a dialog with the devs (the people at the core really). I believe that the weight each member's voice has should be determined by the work they do. The project will be structured in such a way, that people will get access to tools to contribute by doing, so that we will need much less discussion, but rather have people trying things out and presenting stuff.

I hope that this could alleviate the apprehension at the concept of a stand-alone project. We can actually be much more community oriented than Ubisoft or this board is.

Basically, there are two routes, one with the consent and support of Ubisoft, the other independent. There is no decision been taken yet, but I have been cautioned that things take a long time with Ubisoft because decisions of this type involve lots of different management levels up to the top level. It's rather unlikely that we can take the Ubisoft route, not to mention all the red tape that would involve, enough to sink a cruiser apparently, but there are other options we have. We could probably be the first to take crowd funding to an AAA level. Regardless I have identified a way, how we could do an incremental migration away from H5, so that we can support both worlds to an extent. What I meant with minimalistic bare core mode is just the H5 vanilla as it is now.

It is too early to say more. The best time to make an announcement will most likely be when the work on the AI is finished and we have 3.2.

There are still tons of work on the AI to do. I am really delighted that we have progress on the art and possibly 3D modelling front and will watch closely.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

::Wizard Quantomas returns to tons of work piled up in the lab::

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TheBaron
TheBaron


Promising
Known Hero
dreamer of dreams
posted September 04, 2011 07:41 AM
Edited by TheBaron at 08:37, 04 Sep 2011.

Quote:
I'm fairly swamped with RL at the moment, not at all as active as I'd prefer to be, so just to offer a bit of feedback to what has been going on recently.

We did make an attempt to have Quantomas' patch integrated in H6 but unfortunately the typical conglomerate bureaucracy got in the way (which is no discredit to the Ubisofter working on the game whom I approached, who gave me their time and was extremely receptive to the idea). I'm not willing to forsake the game or anything because the release AI has deficiencies, but it is certainly a major pity that we couldn't push its strategic potential to the limit from the get-go.

@The Baron: I think the philosophy you've expressed is excellent. Let me clarify from earlier that although I diverge with you on which race to invest effort in, I agree with your perspective on the creative vision almost entirely. But regarding the concept of the Shifters. I would not support the production of this race as an addition to Heroes V, not at all out of any disdain for the extreme effort you've put into plotting their motivations and history, but purely because they don't "fit" this series. You don't mix oil and water without a really good excuse. If you know me you'll realise that I'm a "continuity nerd" and when I work on a long-term project I like to spend the additional effort in research and detail to make sure that the work slots into the universe perfectly, that it's not too derivative and that some day it could even prospectively be considered part of the official canon - that I replicate the original style as closely as possible. Otherwise the work is just for fun, like an ICTC entry, because it can never be taken seriously by an official team without weakening the continuity and integrity of the plot with poor excuses (i.e. "we never saw or heard of the Shifters in Heroes V because..."). I don't think the advocation of the Sanctuary as a logical H5 race to include is due to an imaginative drought or a defecit in creative vision. But it is "ready-made", it has coherency in the universe, and we are aware that it was on the table for Heroes V already. It simply "fits" in Ashan already whereas Shifters are mentioned nowhere. The Sanctuary fits naturally into this world. I would have a very difficult time envisioning the timeline and artwork you've assembled on page 1 as part of Ubisoft's canon. I feel it's way too derivative from their setting.

All of that said.

I am falling in love with the concept on an individual basis. The artwork which the fellow from WETA has produced, along with the backstory you are developing, is nothing short of incredible and I am absolutely loath to waste it. Before you go all-out with a series of threads and expansions, I ought to mention this effort is already going far beyond Heroes V and its universe's conventions, such that I expect it will become a separate property entirely. I feel it's ideal to stop thinking in terms of Ashan and the creative constraints attached to it. It's almost ideal to transplant these Shifters to a new universe because they're pretty much straight in line with the kind of warped, haunting, dreamlike style I love which challenges the mind and the imagination - the type of xenic art design you'd see in the Oddworld series, Planescape, Soul Reaver, Escher and Salvador Dali, and certain Tim Burton films. Most specifically, I'm reminded of the scope of this concept art by Arnold Ayala. If I have one trifling criticism, it regards names such as Kala'Bossa, Abr'Azza and Iyego Dé'Argo:

That's not to say I feel that made-up names are out of the question, just that it's ideal for me to try and root nomenclature in something meaningful, for additional symbolic value if nothing else.



@Cepheus
I totally agree with everything you've said, especially in regards to nomenclature. In fact, I had been trying to root the words in authentic gypsy words and phrases. But as you say, No one wants to get bogged down in learning a whole new language in order to enjoy a good yarn. The KISS principle is a fantastic, and one that I aspire to utilise when teaching. Practicing what you [t]each is hard though, and obviously I've got a long way to go in the creative writing department. A friend asked me "How the hell do you pronounce Abr'Azza? And Iyego Dé'Argo is a nightmare! Is that his first and last name or just his first name?" Right then I knew I might be getting a bit eccentric.
I'll see what I can do on that score. More feedback from the rest of you would be good

I also agree that continuity is essential to creating a seamless expansion, and that I took a very oily direction in creating my dudes. However, as Magnomagus said, I don't doubt that I could create a good emulsion agent if necessary and often the acceptance of these things come down to visual style and representation. The character and unit names are just working titles and I am happy to modify them down the track.

Also, speaking of my crazy thread creation and consistency, could you please fix up one of the threads I made that is titled "Eternal Essences" rather than "Eternal Essence."

@Q
Thank you for the reassurance. I hope we can make go somewhere good with this. I've had a friend who used to do QA for EA express an interest in the project too. He feels we might be being over-ambitious, I feel that we're doing what is necessary.

@All
Now should I just keep doing what I'm doing? Is there a particular direction people want me to move in? Otherwise I'm just going to write more characters and history until I feel I have satisfactory context for tying the units into the world. I'm going to leave the sanctuary and fortress concepts to someone else who would like to realise them.
____________
"My favorite" - Jean-
Baptiste Emmanuel Zorg.

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magnomagus
magnomagus


Admirable
Legendary Hero
modding wizard
posted September 04, 2011 12:36 PM
Edited by magnomagus at 13:11, 04 Sep 2011.

@Quantomas:
I know it is unwise to disturb a mighty wizard during his complex lab work but i would like to ask you to answer a few more questions. I promise you I will never bother you again not even when the AI is finished (unless you want me to), because the answer will likely decide if I will abandon the project completely. Your post has convinced me that our visions on the future of H5 are likely too different for me to stay interested in the project. If that is the case I wish you all the best with the project and I hope I haven’t bothered you too much with my critical comments. To lift the limitation of forum boards I should add that if I would tell all those things to you in person I would use a very friendly tone! Before I can phrase my questions to you I first have to make some comments:

Quote:
It was my offer to the community to create an advanced modding framework. This was not for me but for you guys to be empowered, to do things that you couldn't do before. I am myself rather a strategy game purist, driven by the challenge, and as such wouldn't need any mods for myself.I am pretty sure that with what is already in the vanilla and map makers can conjure, already very much can be done.


This comment is totally incomprehensible to me. If the H5 exe file never got hex-edited this whole Modder’s workshop would hardly have a right of existence before you arrived. Your statement is also contradictive with many of your own comments. You are extremely pleased when people come up with artwork, 3d models and lore but you seem to have no intention to provide people with the tools necessary to implement them. Take in mind that if TheBaron creates a character it will in the end need a class system, a skill tree and abilities to work in game. This implies at least an effort equal to 3.1.8 to make it possible. Shifters also need new creatures, buildings to live in, artifacts to use, spells to cast etc. Even if RPE and NCF didn’t exist an advanced modding framework is still your highest priority to get anything done at all.

Quote:
Once map design can rely on a powerful AI service, it will greatly improve in playing quality, and balancing will not be much of an issue because the AI can do that automatically. The AI will track the player's performance in single mode, and also determine strength coefficients in multiplayer, and will offer the players a number of options to choose from at setup of a map for a balanced game.


The Russian community multiplayer heroesleague.ru has gone through a process of countless games and trial/error testing processes and created 110 forum pages of discussions on the h5 balance. This is my perception of really community driven project

Link: http://forum.heroesleague.ru/viewtopic.php?t=7029

This turned into a giant change list that is also very similar to the H5 duel competition and RPE balance changes. Many balance issues however could not be solved without changes in the exe or semi perfect lua scripts (so the issues weren’t solved).  None of all those issues including the soft coded ones can be addressed in the way you describe here, because they do not involve player vs player balance. The most pressing balance problems are excessive randomization, chaotic skill system, lack of strategic choices, unbalances alternative upgrade choices, unbalanced starting heroes, underpowered skills, underpowered creature specials, underpowered hero specializations and a lot of factors not properly scaling into late game. The AI cannot fix any of those things. A lot of things can be solved with xdb mods but perfection can only be achieved with your help.

The reason I see those as priorities is because they are in my opinion needed to turn H5 the in most ultimate HOMM experience that provides all people (including the ones that are stubbornly sticking to H3) with the game (I think) they have been wishing to get for many years. This is a game that stays true to the ‘classic HOMM feeling (=H2/3), includes fluid XL map gameplay with great AI (=H3), alternative upgrades (=H5), a very rich adventure map (=h4 /WOG), multiple classes per faction (=H3), an excellent balance between randomization and strategic choices (previously unseen), a good early vs late game balance (previously unseen) and of course the possibility for people to increase the amount of creatures and factions at will. I can provide you with almost all .xdb files needed to achieve those goals, but some things need to happen in the exe I have no knowledge of.

That being said, in my opinion trying to convert all H5 vanilla content in a new game with a new universe and lore is crazy and not worthy of a professional development team. Think about it, you will need to rewrite hundreds of hero bios and creature descriptions to fit while they look exactly the same as the H5 assets. Secondly don’t forget language a lot of hero fans prefer a French, Spanish or Russian game, that problem is settled if the internal text links stay as they are.  I think there are 2 possibilities: improving H5TOE or creating a new game with all new factions and lore. (I’m curious what Cepheus, markkur and theBaron have to say about this) A third option could be to revert back to erathia/axeoth but this will cause significant problems with the dungeon and fortress factions.

Quote:
I was quite disappointed that the people who would benefit mostly from the advanced modding framework would not help out with accomplishing the necessary tasks. In general there appears a wrong understanding how much work the programming task really is. There are AAA projects for which the source has been published, for example Relic's Homeworld or some shooters. Working on these requires understanding mostly the entire source if you really want to improve things substantially. But Heroes is rather your AAA XL, with code from different installments and probably the most refined hero/skill/creature system out there. Most things are tied together on multiple levels, there are rollbacks and simulated and real actions, an entire scripting system, with hooks tied into the AI, game world animation, custom UI and windowing, adventure controllers, screen controllers and whatever. So whatever task you request, for example a rework of the skill system, is never quite straightforward and requires work on multiple levels, and people working as C++ programmers on regular projects, even for decades, will have a difficult time to adapt to an environment like this. So these are monster tasks, for many devs really, and taking these on my shoulders would have required support by other community members.


I know you are addressing me here. Yes I have no idea what the H5 exe looks like because I cannot look into it. But I have turned the data.pak upside down hundreds of times and I have no idea how can be of further help to you. All the Id’s and internal names of the game components are listed in curio’s cheating guide and the types.xml. I have pointed you to the components of the class and skill system and Consus did something similar to the town system (and he certainly has more experience with that than me). I have provided you with the file that contains all necessary xdb files for the creatures, classes and level4-7 dwellings (the links automatically derive from the folder structure and the included files). I understand this is not much, but what am I supposed to do? If you could give me the source code I would love to start learning c++ and try to see if this is a task I can do myself.

I think you set the ambition for the modding interface way to high, many components can be missed if the workload is too high.  Creatures and classes really have a much higher priority than anything else (also considering the shifters). Fauch, Psathka, TSOD, Simonak, Cepheus , Kronos1000, myself and likely several people I’m forgetting right now have been working on large modding project over several years and it would be a great loss if all these things (including the people that use them=part of your audience) stay separated from EE.

So these are my comments and if nobody else agrees with me on those (by making that clear posting here!) then I’m probably under the wrong impression that I’m voicing the wishes of a significant part of this community.  I would like to make you an offer to make use of the 40 Megabytes! xdb files and improved icons and portraits I have created over several years to work on improving H5 vanilla. To summarize all I need to know is the answer to these questions:

-Are you interested in extending the H5 class system into might/magic and balanced classes and combining my experience with your skills to create a fully optimized universal class and skill system for EE?

-Are you interested in working on the most pressing balance issues by at least implementing a few thousand lines of xdb code I have ready at any time to address the issues I have outlined above? (This should also include a revision of the defaultstats.xdb which I will do for you but I hope you will be able to add more functional parameters)

-Are you planning to make your AI compatible with NCF or replace NCF with something better that also guarantees compatibility with the old mods?

I phrased the questions so that you can answer them with yes and no, so it shouldn’t take much of your time.  

____________
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Fauch
Fauch


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted September 04, 2011 02:59 PM

Quote:
I know you are addressing me here. Yes I have no idea what the H5 exe looks like because I cannot look into it. But I have turned the data.pak upside down hundreds of times and I have no idea how can be of further help to you.

If you could give me the source code I wou
yes. though, I admit I haven't been reading everything about EE, far from it.


Quote:
ld love to start learning c++ and try to see if this is a task I can do myself.


I have little experience, but languages aren't hard to learn usually. the problem with something like C++ is that you have a lot of mini-programs linked together.

it is somewhat like figuring how this thing works (though on a much larger scale I guess) :

it isn't hard to understand how each individual component work, but how they all work together. of course you are used to it with your work on data.pak, but it's a little more complicated than following links. instead of files linking to other files, you have "functions" calling each others.

also, debugging can be hell. you should make sure to avoid typos at least.

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markkur
markkur


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Once upon a time
posted September 04, 2011 05:15 PM

@Mag

What do I think? That’s a good one. I wish I knew. Seriously, I had zero idea that my arthritic-crap could affect my brain-work but it does. Not looking for sympathy, it’s just that I don’t have a concrete vision regarding how E.E 5.5 unfolds and that RL issue is a major player.  I know that I have a sort of view-limitation at times and I don’t need to explain how damaging that can be.

W/o this stuff, by this point-in-time, I would have been a lot more active and helpful with theBaron concerning his efforts, but the honest truth is...I think too “iffy” these days.  It’s not so much a vision thing as it is a confidence/clarity thing.

Why am I blubbering about this stuff?, because I think that a “Vision” is just that. It is “something that we can hold when no one else can see the thing“. That alone makes me cautious and of course, now it is compounded.

With Quantomas’ efforts,  (TheBaron’s too) I’m not sure how to contribute much more than my map-work.  The other things that factor are RL and Ubisoft. Because I ask myself; “How much work would I want to do in an unsupported effort? In my case, I would not give a hoot but I am in a very unusual situation and not making the normal intelligent decisions that will guide my future.<s>

My “dreaming”, thankfully,  is not dead yet and I guess it would go like this;

I agree with your Vision Mag and support it a 100% with a further addition of;  a complete re-working of the Editor to make it the awesome tool it once was for “everyone that wanted to give map-making a go”.  H5’s Editor should  have rocked the world...period, everything that 3&4s were and more. What you proposed would absolutely be; my happily ever-after for HoMM5.5 E.E.

However, that’s my dreaming mode and I can only guess that what Q currently faces, with RL, Ubi/BH etc. and imagine that it is not supportive of my personal desire to see H5 fully-realized. (in my vision) For me, it’s a Jekyll and Hyde thing. Honestly, I’ve felt he was doing things he should not and yet, all the while, wanting him to dive in and make all things possible.

There was comment made that I think is huge. I rephrase it this way; “How does the vision that UBI has for the future (H7 etc.) compare with what we would do with E.E. or IOW our turbo-charged H5.5? Both Q and Cepheus have insider knowledge that I don’t, so I’m never sure of what is reasonable to expect.  If I could wave a magic-wand and make one thing happen; it would be that UBI would “Wake-up” (sorry, but the undersights around H5 are too glaring)   and see what an awesome thing Q’s skills/effort/vision & HC’s dedication/interest/interaction is in the long-run… for Them and the Fans.

The bottom line could become; If a bar is placed that cannot be passed, would I spend another moment on working with the things under that limit? or move on and create the freedom to move higher on the vertical plane of creation? I’d have to opt for the latter, I detest limitations in my fantasy world.

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leiah2
leiah2


Known Hero
posted September 04, 2011 05:29 PM
Edited by leiah2 at 17:35, 04 Sep 2011.

hi i just had an idea of a faction Araluania (or a cooler name)

                           Information

It's a mixture of Elves,beasts and beastmen. Their colours are blue,green,gray,silver and gold
They worshipp Sylath the dragon of air , Sylvana the dragon of earth and Elrath the dragon of light.
                             
                           Relations
Inferno - Aggresive

Sylvan - Friendly

Haven - A little friendly

Necropolis - Hostile

Stronghold - Neutral

Fortress - Neutral

Dungeon - Suspicios

Academy - Neutral


                               Units

tier 1 Wolf upg. Moon Wolf alt. Sylvan Wolf
tier 2 Blade Dancer upg. Moon dancer alt. Sun Dancer
tier 3 Elven Archer upg. Moon Archer alt. Sun Archer
tier 4 Centaur upg. Sylvan Centaur alt. Light Centaur
tier 5 Pegasus upg. Silver Pegasus alt. Light Pegasus
tier 6 Unicorn upg. Sacred Unicorn alt. Light Unicorn
tier 7 Forest Dragon upg. Azure Dragon alt. Light Dragon

                            Skills

i haven't decided skills yet but they are fast.

                          Heroes
Class: Warden
haven't figured out heroes yet

                        Pictures

Azure dragon:


http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTId-DwasrFNo1TBe0KyXKhpEZvGNTUP7B8lEdqJGQH2YUBZpBC



Sylvan wolf:



http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2010/284/2/d/winter_wolf_by_animecrazy1992-d30l20r.jpg


Light dragon:



http://static9.cdn.ubi.com/en-GB/images/Elrath_Tridiontcm2121021.jpg



Sylvan centaur:

http://images.elfwood.com/art/j/c/jcejchan/jcejchan_centaur.jpg


Silver pegasus:

http://static.desktopnexus.com/thumbnails/127326-bigthumbnail.jpg



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____________
Procrastination Master

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Fauch
Fauch


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted September 04, 2011 06:09 PM

lol
would be great if half of the units didn't already exist in the sylvan faction. so you began working on it?

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Quantomas
Quantomas


Responsible
Famous Hero
AI Wizard
posted September 04, 2011 07:31 PM
Edited by Quantomas at 19:52, 04 Sep 2011.

@Magnomagus
You receive an answer because I like you, though the answer to your questions is on all accounts negative as of now. Once it is clear what support we get, I could say more.

This is not that I wouldn't like to work on these issues. Simply I cannot afford to.

I spent two months on Win7 compatiblity and widescreen interfaces and a fair amount of time on the NCF experiment. It is unfortunate that this didn't work out, but I am pretty sure that this route corrupts the in-game state. Technically, there are more than two instances that refer to the number of skills/creatures. Somehow changing these all does not work with empty skill/creature slots (of the 999), while changing only the two NCF hex edits does not go far enough. There would have been good chances if you just had requested to add a certain number of skills and creatures and we would have added these proper, things would have worked.

You vastly underestimate the time it takes to work with the source professionally. Regarding access to the source, this has been explained in full detail who can grant access to what.

My main constraint is time. I am working 80 - 90 hours a week and have no spare time. This year I even did forgo my leisure of playing a game from time to time, apart from the odd H5 map every now and then. It's just about now that I started to play a bit of Deus Ex Human Revolution late in the evening, because as a long-time fan of this game I couldn't resist. It is a marvel how they faithfully revived the game with the old formula, absolutely incredible.

The situation now is rather untenable, after working on the H5 patch and AI since February, I have very little leeway left to work on anything else than something that my stakeholders will finance. If I would approach them and tell them I would like to work on issues in H5 they will most likely question my sanity. It is unfortunate that Ubisoft wasn't going to include the enhanced AI as an option in H6, because that could have helped us big time, and also isn't supporting my work on H5.

My only viable option right now is to complete the work on the AI and use this as a reference to get us a proper budget, unless a contractee or magnate appears out of the blue.

The best thing I can offer you is to wait for the 3.2 patch proper, which will give you an enhanced game suitable for modding. I cannot promise anything for H5 on top of that right now. As explained, if we are going for our stand-alone project, there is a migratory path that will allow us to do something for H5, but it is too early to say something about this.

Regarding the contradiction you perceive, that I approve work on the story and art and not provide tools, this is not so. There will be plenty of tools in Eternal Essence but everything needs time. On the other hand, developing additional tools for H5 without support from Ubisoft is not feasible as explained above. You don't expect me to do the groundwork for a major AAA title and work on H5 on the side?

Regarding my request for modders to research the town interface and models, this task would have been pivotal for an inclusive modding framework for H5. This task was there for months but it was only tentatively approached. I cannot accept a flawed reasoning like nobody has found a way to adjust building offsets in .xdb, so it must be in the 3D models. What was needed was a researcher who can prove this, research the entire chain how the models get into the game. This would require to learn all the tools in the chain up to the 3D modelling tools and to incorporate an adapted model into the game database. This doesn't require years of experience C++ programming, rather diligence, effort and committing time. I offered to resolve any hardcoded blocks, like crcs in the exe, if some where encountered. I am not assigning blame here, but that this task remained unresolved is an important opportunity missed that might have got us going. And yet you accuse me of not doing enough to support the modders.

Regarding the artwork for Eternal Essence, we will indeed need to recreate everything if we go the route without Ubisoft because H5 is their property. You are right, with the Shifters we have the work to create an entirely new faction. But this is just so. If we have the time and the budget, we can go about this in an orderly way. This is not only work, it also a big opportunity to create a unique artstyle, content, story, AI and more. Ultimately something worth the effort, and this means not a rehash of something that exists already but an original game that takes the genre a step forward. Markkur spoke of dreams and mine is that we can create something great that is equally a piece of art.

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magnomagus
magnomagus


Admirable
Legendary Hero
modding wizard
posted September 04, 2011 10:39 PM
Edited by magnomagus at 22:46, 04 Sep 2011.

@Quantomas:

Thanks for your extensive clarification, I will give this thing a long rest. In case anything changes with time (even if this means years) my offer still stands.

Let me make clear that a .exe file with your finished AI + 64 classes and 999 creatures 'unlocked' are the absolute minimum I would need to realize roughly 80% percent of the 'ultimate H5 game' I just described.
Skills, spells, artifacts or anything else are not strictly necessary. So if you ever reach a point were this is a possible goal don't hesitate to contact me and I will bring in the goodies

@Markkur:

Thanks for your clarifications too and good luck with your arthritis.

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Fauch
Fauch


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted September 05, 2011 09:20 AM

where did you describe it?

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magnomagus
magnomagus


Admirable
Legendary Hero
modding wizard
posted September 05, 2011 11:15 AM

Quote:
The reason I see those as priorities is because they are in my opinion needed to turn H5 the in most ultimate HOMM experience that provides all people (including the ones that are stubbornly sticking to H3) with the game (I think) they have been wishing to get for many years. This is a game that stays true to the ‘classic HOMM feeling (=H2/3), includes fluid XL map gameplay with great AI (=H3), alternative upgrades (=H5), a very rich adventure map (=h4 /WOG), multiple classes per faction (=H3), an excellent balance between randomization and strategic choices (previously unseen), a good early vs late game balance (previously unseen) and of course the possibility for people to increase the amount of creatures and factions at will. I can provide you with almost all .xdb files needed to achieve those goals, but some things need to happen in the exe I have no knowledge of.


I agree with markkur btw that a great editor (IMO like the one from H4) should also be part of the mix,

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siinn
siinn


Adventuring Hero
posted September 06, 2011 01:22 AM

I'm a lonely player, I'm not able to give you guys an helpful hand. But I really support the work you guys have done and the work you plan to do.

In one hand I agree with Magnomagnus, he's right pointing out that a too big vision for EE is not what H5 and H5 players need. But in another hand we must face the thruth: Quantomas is working alone and he is doing such an incredible H5mod!
In my point of view what H5 really need is a proper AI (the one Quantomas is working on) and an gameplay with no bug (I mean EE should not add bugs to the ones that already exists). Everything else should only being seen as a bonus. Units balance for example can be adressed with XML work without the help of Quantomas.

I realy hope (and I'm not the only one) the EE project will survive to ugly H6. H5 + EE can be the ultimate HoMM game... malheur à nous s'il en est autrement!


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leiah2
leiah2


Known Hero
posted September 07, 2011 04:39 PM

Quote:
lol
would be great if half of the units didn't already exist in the sylvan faction. so you began working on it?


yeah i *began* working but now my editor aint working right after i finished the moon wolf(''). so il have to see if i can fix it('')

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Lord_Immortal
Lord_Immortal


Famous Hero
DoR Dev Team
posted October 01, 2011 12:27 PM

Why don't you include The Citadel?
It is a great town and it is ready,so you will need to do only the integration and the racial skill,just to show us what can u do before you keep us with hopes of great new towns.

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