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Heroes Community > Library of Enlightenment > Thread: What went wrong in Heroes of Might and Magic III
Thread: What went wrong in Heroes of Might and Magic III This thread is 9 pages long: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 · «PREV / NEXT»
B0rsuk
B0rsuk


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posted August 12, 2011 02:02 AM
Edited by B0rsuk at 02:05, 12 Aug 2011.

And HOMM games strongly reward the winner. Only winner gains experience. "Retreat" loses your troops. "Surrender" costs a lot of money. Heroes IV allowed the use of Town Gate in combat, but that's the only exception I know.

Expert Eagle Eye is... 60% chance. If you're talking about early game, it can easily be lower. You're basing your strategy on such chance ? In a game where the first defeat is often decisive ? Good luck with that. Besides, it's a chance to learn a spell. What happens if I cast Berserk and another spell the opponent doesn't know ?

Eagle Eye is unfortunate to be one of two skills that work against themselves. They become less useful with time. In mid-late game, many players would be happy to erase them just to free the slot. I have an idea how it could be improved while still keeping its identity:
- if your opponent casts a spell you already know, you replenish a small number of spell points.
This way, it would still be used for caster vs caster battles. The WOG solution (gain spells at level up) I don't like.

----------
I challenge the claim that Heroes III improved everything. At the very least, Heroes III did more damage to spell balance than it helped. It lowered Hypnotize to level 3, but kept Blind at 2. No changes to Fireball, Fireblast(oh yeah, name change), Frost Ring. And the already mentioned level 1 mass spells at a very cheap price. They dominate the game, make level 2, 3, even some level 4 spells look bad.

----------

It's pretty funny actually. Even Heroes IV might have less stuff banned in multiplayer. I know for sure Vampires in H4 deserve banning, they're game-bending. But beyond that, I haven't heard of anything.

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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
posted August 12, 2011 09:34 AM

There is no challenge.- Of course H3 did NOT make everything better.

And, Salamandre, the fact that you defend a skill like Eagle Eye shows that you go overboard. If Eagle Eye was a spell, like Visions, for example, fine.
If it would allow you to ckeck the spellbook of an enemy hero and pick a spell (depending on your skill), fine. Still not great, but fine.
As it is - garbage and useful only for a certain type of map (see below).

AI heroes DO cast spells. AI heroes DO cast mass spells - provided they have them. They don't, however, since they do not pick Magic sschool skills. As far as I know they do cast Berserk, when that's their only spell, but their standard spell is Blind. The AI rating of spells is generally very low for "Normal" spells, that is, spells that are cast completely without the skill. Which is insofar ok, that it would be right, provided the heroes would learn magic schools. However, THEY DON'T.
Which is the reason, why the AI rating of spells produces poor results - the expert spell ratings are not bad, and if you actually HAVE decent heroes, they cast spells alright.
Just try one of the Battleground maps, then you will see what I mean.

IF the AI would use more spells in battle, Eagle Eye sould STILL not be a better skill, mind you:

You will have Wisdom anyway, and you will build your mage guild. If your mage guild delivers satisfactorily, you don't need Eagle Eye for anything.
Now suppose your guild is not satisfactory, there is no other town to conquer, and all spell shrines have been visited, to no avail.
What does that mean, though?
It means that you ran out of luck, because there is only the opposition left, and now to invest into Eagle Eye is something you will do only, if it is a matter of life and death.
If it IS a matter of Life and Death, you are dead, because you have to face the opposition without the dearly needed spell(s). If you go in lightly, planning to wait only until the crucial moment, and then flee, the opposition may never use the spell, because you are too weak.
If you go in fully loaded, you may learn the crucial spell - but will be beaten in the process and probably go down.

Eagle Eye is useful ONLY, when you play a map without a town. There isn't even something to discuss here. A map that is set-up that way (you have a town somewhere unreachable - those maps exist), that you are a wandering Witch or Eagle Eye specialist who fights roaming heroes and acquires spells through watching.

And that's it. Which means, all maps that come with a regular starting town should have Eagle Eye deactivated and heroes edited accordingly.
Also it makes Witches suck in regular games, since Eagle Eye is getting in the way of a decent skill selection.

The same thing is true for Learning, mind you. There is no justification or excuse for having such an abysmal, foolish skill.

Not that it would be a problem to alter maps accordingly, mind you. I certainly didn't play Heroes 3 a significant part of my life because the game is so bad.

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Salamandre
Salamandre


Admirable
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Wog refugee
posted August 12, 2011 09:42 AM
Edited by Salamandre at 10:02, 12 Aug 2011.

It sounds like me saying that Heroes can't live without eagle eye, or Eagle eye being the first skill I pick. I only defended the idea that it is an interesting skill and does not totally suck, and liked the idea of stealing from more powerful. I will certainly not pick it for my main in any situation, but all I was saying is that early game, your scouts having it may change the balance if your guild is unlucky and if you play open and early skirmish maps, as I did for several years. Today, on closed templates, eagle eye is totally useless, but it was their choice, not UBI.

On most 1999-2006 TOH medium maps, there are only two towns, and if you don't get magic arrow, slow or haste you are screwed in first days, you will lose all your scouts, one by one. Believe me, eagle eye can help there.

Your idea of picking a spell from enemy magic book is not bad at all, but then the name would not fit. Sounds like an interesting idea for WoG.

And yes, Learning is the only totally useless skill, maths do not lie. WoG came with a much more interesting solution for it, and now I pick it if offered early.
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B0rsuk
B0rsuk


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DooM prophet
posted August 12, 2011 10:28 AM
Edited by B0rsuk at 10:29, 12 Aug 2011.

Do I understand correctly ? Eagle Eye also works if you flee or surrender ? Then it's mostly useful for AI, which has the advantage of numbers and can afford to lose armies several times in a game. Maybe Eagle Eye would be okay if it worked in the same battle. As it is... if you've won, chances are you don't need it. In worst case you both lost your armies but only you got experience.

The concept of the skill is interesting, but implementation is poor.
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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
posted August 12, 2011 10:31 AM

Quote:

On most 1999-2006 TOH medium maps, there are only two towns, and if you don't get magic arrow, slow or haste you are screwed in first days, you will lose all your scouts, one by one. Believe me, eagle eye can help there.
I hope you see what's "wrong" with this "point".
Eagly Eye is simply ruining the Witches as heroes. If you do play with them, you'll get Eagly Eye basically every level-up as a possible pick, and I can remember taking it sometimes just to get rid of it. There is a Witch starting with Advanced Wisdom, I think (another useless thing, initially), and if you take her, the first two level-ups will decide whether you will get a decent hero or not. Chances are not, though.

I consider a game balanced, when you can take RANDOM options at start, especially for the Heroes part. You can do that in Single Player alright - I even had a phase when I voluntarily picked bad starting heroes.
However, when you play competetively, it's not recommended, since the differences are too big. Same is true for Rampart, for example. It's a big difference whether you can start with one of the good Rangers or with one of the really sucky Druids. And apart from the general disbalance between Might and Magic heroes this is the result of widely varying skill balance.

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Salamandre
Salamandre


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Wog refugee
posted August 12, 2011 10:35 AM

I am afraid I can't follow you, JJ. Is like talking two different languages. You change subject with every post.
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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


Honorable
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posted August 12, 2011 10:52 AM

The issue is still the same - balance of Heroes 3. Just look at the thread title.

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Salamandre
Salamandre


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posted August 12, 2011 11:11 AM
Edited by Salamandre at 11:21, 12 Aug 2011.

No, first you say eagle eye is totally useless skill, I show you it is not, in certain situations. Then you say AI don't use spells because he has not them, I invite you to test and change opinion. Then you say fortress heros will NEVER get Air, game mechanics and maps features show they will. Then you say if not haste in guild, there is no reason to pick air, practice show that haste will mostly always be found,there are endless ways. And now we talk about witches, as logically expand of initial ideas?
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B0rsuk
B0rsuk


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DooM prophet
posted August 12, 2011 11:52 AM
Edited by B0rsuk at 11:52, 12 Aug 2011.

Here's what Gus Smedstad has said about Eagle Eye:

Quote:

I'd played an awful lot of Heroes II, and not quite as much Heroes III, and one thing I knew I wanted was more meaningful choices in skills and spells. I wanted to avoid the pitfalls of must-have skills, like Wisdom, and useless skills, like Eagle Eye.



The designer of Heroes 4, if that means anything to you. He doesn't say so directly, but he implies that he likes Heroes II more.

http://www.celestialheavens.com/viewpage.php?id=90
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Alustor
Alustor


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ooo da :)
posted August 12, 2011 12:13 PM

dude,asking what went wrong in homm3 points that you have some real big issues )

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B0rsuk
B0rsuk


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posted August 12, 2011 12:24 PM

Quote:
dude,asking what went wrong in homm3 points that you have some real big issues )


Reading comprehension isn't one of them .
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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


Honorable
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posted August 12, 2011 01:26 PM

Salamandre, I think you have a problem with understanding what people are saying.

The discussion is about whether Homm 3 is "completely imbalanced" or not. You then say, yes, it's imbalanced, but not completely so, that would make you laugh.
Your point was:
Quote:
BOrsuk, it is only a matter of mapmaking and creativity. Except learning, there are not useless spells or skills in Heroes 3. I saw creative use of eagle eye, of mysticism and other. My only regret is that AI is hardcoded to never use berserk, because this would make him an much better opponent.


The thing is, that you MAY find a use for all Skills except one doesn't mean in the least, that the game is NOT completely imbalanced.
Points for that have been made a lot.

Now you say:
Quote:
No, first you say eagle eye is totally useless skill, I show you it is not, in certain situations. Then you say AI don't use spells because he has not them, I invite you to test and change opinion. Then you say fortress heros will NEVER get Air, game mechanics and maps features show they will. Then you say if not haste in guild, there is no reason to pick air, practice show that haste will mostly always be found,there are endless ways. And now we talk about witches, as logically expand of initial ideas?


So let's get through that, one after the other.
1. It doesn't matter whether Eagle Eye may have a use in one or two situations. The point is, there is no option to include Eagle Eye only in the mix, when I see a use. Let's see, once in every hundred games I'd pick it, given the chance. For that 1 in 100 I must endure, however, that the skill is cluttering my choices in the other 99 cases, and that's the problem - it's a problem with Witches especially, making the whole magic hero Class of the Fortress flawed (as an example of the consequences).
2. I've used modhomm myseld to try out a lot of things, and I know how the AI builds Heroes. I also know the values that the AI gives spells. Generally only EXPERT spells have high values. The rest is rather low. The AI heroes, do not have spells on Expert level, most of the time, though, because they do pick the magic schools skills last. If you pre-build heroes that do have expert Magic skills, they DO USE SPELLS. I have made maps to prove it - you can play them, 8 Battleground maps, where you can test your mettle with every town against all others - it's basically a set of duel maps with premade AI heroes that cast spells like Mass Slow and so on.
What is or is not the case with Berserk I have no idea - I might have a look, maybe the spell has an AI value of 0 without any fire Magic, that would mean, that it would never cast it.
Apart from that AI heroes will cast - since they miss expert skills in magic schools, BLIND more often than not, if they have it, or a damage spell: magic arrow, Lightning, simply because these spells have highest AI value for heroes that don't have Widsom nor expert magic skills, and that's what the AI heroes most of the time do not have.
Also, AI heroes often have a mana problem.
Of course the AI does not have "flexible" values for their spell ratings - that would need an analysis of the actual battle situation which seems a bit difficult.
3. I did say that Fortress won't get Air - this is out of strategy guide for beginners that I wrote. It means, that you can simply forget Air. You are well advised to pick a Beastmaster as a hero (which is mentioned at another place; one of the reasons for this is, incidentally, that Witches suck in skill development), and the Beastmaster chance to get Air is 1, the lowest possible (same for Overlord and Ranger).
In my strategy book that means, it's not worth to waste a thought on it. You cannot build a strategy on things that are unlikely. Or in other words: If you play with a Beastmaster you have to be prepared to find a good play WITHOUT making use of Mass Haste, because more often than not you won't have it. Another reason for this is that as a general rule your hero will not be maxed out necessarily when you fight decisive battles, and GETTING Air Magic is not enough, you need it on Expert - and you need the spell as well.
If your experience is that you regularly play Beastmasters with Expert Air Magic and Mass Haste then you regularly play very specific maps that are geared to it.
4. About finding Haste. Usually, if you play a map, you can go only by what you know, and what you know is your level 1 guild. Except, of course, if you know the map beforehand, or the type of map, because you play a specific tenplate.
In that case you can make a Fortress guide for the template you play, since you know, on that type of map there is a multitude of ways and options to find Haste and a forest of Witch Huts that give everything I want.
On your normal, regular map you start when you play a simple game  you don't.

Apart from that, it is bad play to base your strategy on the assumption that "the map will provide everything I want" if you are not certain it does. At any time you have to play with what you currently have, not what you desire to find.
I also think that the Fortress doesn't need Mass Haste for a lot of reasons, and while no mass spell is bad, you will have to "sacrifice" 3 level-ups for what will be basically ONE spell. Earth will be way better. Water will be way better - provided the spells are there, and while you will run for basically ONE spell with Air Magic, with Earth and Water your chances to find more useful spells are much bigger since there simply are more to find.

That looks different for the Stronghold and the Tower - and strangely enough that's the towns that have the highest Haste probability and are slowest, which allows them the "You've moved your fast units, now I will move all of mine" effect.

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B0rsuk
B0rsuk


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DooM prophet
posted August 12, 2011 03:28 PM
Edited by B0rsuk at 15:33, 12 Aug 2011.

About Witches and Air magic...

Fortress lacks high level guild.  On paper, Eagle Eye looks like a good fit for them - it allows them to get normally inaccessible level 4 spells ! But it doesn't work in practice. And what about level 5 ?

Eagle Eye aside, Witches are possibly the most magic-focused heroes in the game - not only do they get 40/40 in Knowledge/Spell Power before level 9, but also more than any other class after level 9. What a shame.

For me, there's no question Eagle Eye is a bad skill. More interesting than a debate whether EE is bad is for me a debate how to improve it. I can think of several ways:

- allow to absorb creature abilities. I'm told Heroes V does that.
- as I suggested before, you'd gain spell points if an opponent casts a spell you already know (to counteract the fact that Eagle Eye loses usefulness over time)
- increase the effective range of Eagle Eye to... more than 2 adventure map squares. Eagle Eye could allow to spy on enemy spellcasters from 1 day of travel away. Imagine a Witch spying on another hero who fights neutrals.


>>>

Scouting:
The best fix I can think of is the Heroes IV one - Fog of War that regrows. That way it stays useful thorough the game.

>>>

First Aid:
I believe WOG makes the tent resurrect creatures. That might work, I haven't tried it.

>>>

Wisdom: (does nothing for a long time)
- improve level 3 spells and add more level 3 shrines on adventure map. More pyramid-like structures.

>>>

Mysticism:
+4/Day at Basic
+8/Day at Advanced
+12/Day at Expert
...for a start, it may need more.

Additionally, I'd argue that Intelligence is simply overpowered, the bonus is too big. +100% at Expert ? No skill provides +100% bonus to Defense Skill or Spell Power. Archery comes closest, it's like static +10 points of Attack Skill, but only for ranged attacks.
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Salamandre
Salamandre


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Wog refugee
posted August 12, 2011 03:38 PM
Edited by Salamandre at 15:42, 12 Aug 2011.

About mysticism, I agree it could be better, 12 points/day seems ok to me. A good skill for days 1-7 fights, after that it shades.

For intelligence, I think it is not a good idea to mix opposite things, as defense and mana. The purpose of intelligence is to COUNTERBALANCE the high defense for those having very low chance to get it. While a beastmaster will excel in defense, a Wizard will have lot of mana to replicate. Not very effective in real practice, because spells do too little damage and only once/round. And if a barbarian gets intelligence, his spell points will still be low, because that's the way he levels up.

EDIT, posted before your "intelligence" changes, so a bit off topic now. To reply to your modifications, a +%100 to spell points is not overpowered, because in practice a battle does not need all that mana, but strong strike and a bunch of level 1 spells. In single player that may change, but single players will lynch you if you gonna change intelligence.
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B0rsuk
B0rsuk


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DooM prophet
posted August 12, 2011 04:52 PM

Salamandre, are you aware that Intelligence, for all intents and purposes doubles Knowledge ? Providing spell points is literally all Knowledge does. Why not have a secondary skill that doubles Defense Skill ?  Warlocks and sorceresses have poor Defense, no doubt they could use a skill that doubles a primary stat. You would then be saying I'm missing the point, as the whole point of DoubleDefense skill is to provide defense for heroes who lack it.

If Intelligence is like Knowledge x2, then why is Offense not like Attack Skill x2 ? Why is Armorer weaker still ?
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Salamandre
Salamandre


Admirable
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Wog refugee
posted August 12, 2011 04:56 PM
Edited by Salamandre at 17:06, 12 Aug 2011.

Because obviously attack and defense are much more powerful than knowledge. A lot way more. And you are right, magic heros have no chance in this game. Is not by giving them more defense or attack which will correct the balance, but giving them a true magic nature, with much improved spells, skills and resistances. We must keep a line between magic and might, not mix them. For me it makes no sense that a barb with 30 spell power can cast same Armageddon as an elementalist with 30 spell power. The damage should be calculated first by faction, then multiplied by SP. Again, one goal for WoG.
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angelito
angelito

Hero of Order
proud father of a princess
posted August 12, 2011 05:34 PM

Quote:
If Intelligence is like Knowledge x2, then why is Offense not like Attack Skill x2 ? Why is Armorer weaker still ?
This line made me laugh a bit Imagine Tazar with your idea of armorer skill. How will you kill a single gnoll then?

Offense and Armorer are one of the best secondary skills in the game, extremely powerfull. They work on ALL present units on your side on the battlefield EACH round. So if you have 5 rounds without any unit dying completely, and you have 7 units, you have 14 affects each round at least (if no retail at all, otherwise you get +1 affect for each retail (offense1)), makes 70 affects in a 5-round battle at least.
Intelligence doesn't work at all on the battelfield, except the fight is so long, so you need tons of spells for resurrection for example. So all it does is giving you the possibility to cast more often...if the battle takes that long that is...
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B0rsuk
B0rsuk


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DooM prophet
posted August 12, 2011 09:10 PM
Edited by B0rsuk at 21:17, 12 Aug 2011.

Quote:
Quote:
If Intelligence is like Knowledge x2, then why is Offense not like Attack Skill x2 ? Why is Armorer weaker still ?
This line made me laugh a bit Imagine Tazar with your idea of armorer skill. How will you kill a single gnoll then?



I know that :-). It was a provocation. Thanks for making my point.

Then balance in Heroes 2 and Heroes 3 is pretty poor, some primary stats are much better than others. No wonder there are no more Sorceresses (or any Magic heroes who get more Knowledge than Spell Power). They were right to shake things up in Heroes IV, if only they had more time...

---------

There's an interesting thread about magic vs might heroes in Heroes 3, I'll try to dig it up. In the meantime, try to think of any ways to make Magic heroes more viable without throwing basic HOMM design away. (I mean, keeping primary stats and secondary skills). How about....
- cast multiple spells per round
- percentage-based damage spells (Implosion could kill 15% of current stack). Why not ?

Presently, Spell Power is hard to balance. If it's high and armies are relatively small, they will never grow because warlocks will turn everything into ashes. If Spell Power is fairly low (compared to army sizes), then army sizes grow faster and Spell Power becomes increasingly meaningless.
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Salamandre
Salamandre


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Wog refugee
posted August 12, 2011 09:55 PM
Edited by Salamandre at 22:02, 12 Aug 2011.

Quote:

- cast multiple spells per round
- percentage-based damage spells (Implosion could kill 15% of current stack). Why not ?


There are problems with your idea:

1) With the current uber spells as blind and berserk, it would be disastrous to allow cast twice. There is already a map out here (WoG), The lost Humanity, where this feature is enabled for human, I played it and in two mass berserk/turn I won all battles.

2) 15% of current stack, I am sure players will never enjoy having 500 archangels killed in one spell, late game. Because one spell, you will have to cast 200 times resurrect, that's killing the game...and fingers.

There are lighter solutions, as increasing the spell damage or power (two different things) regardless the faction. Warlocks could deal x3 spell damage, wizard x2 (just an idea, need a lot of testing). Power of slow could be increased also, at expert -5 speed if magic user. Hypnotize could require halved HP for those as well.  Bringing the magic users back in the course is not easy task.
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B0rsuk
B0rsuk


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DooM prophet
posted August 12, 2011 10:25 PM
Edited by B0rsuk at 22:28, 12 Aug 2011.

ad. 1)

It could be restricted to only low level spells. You could cast one high level spell, or two low level ones. Level 2 or lower. That would exclude Berserk. As for Blind, in my opinion it's far too powerful for level 2. It should be level 3 at the very least. Heroes IV made it level 4 and last two or three turns. Some people contest that, though - Equilibris mod lowered it to level 3.

ad. 2)

A stack of 500 Archangels. What's so wrong with killing 15% of them with Implosion, a level 5 spell ? At that point in the game I'd be surprised to see heroes with levels lower than 20. Or Attack Skill 20. That would give +100% damage (or x2 damage) when attacking.
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