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Heroes Community > Heroes 7+ Altar of Wishes > Thread: Management - a part of Heroes
Thread: Management - a part of Heroes This thread is 5 pages long: 1 2 3 4 5 · NEXT»
Brukernavn
Brukernavn

Hero of Order
posted September 19, 2011 05:54 PM bonus applied by Elvin on 19 Sep 2011.

Management - a part of Heroes

Ever since the beta came out I've felt there is something that's missing. It's not proper town screens, a good UI, balanced skills or unique playing style. Although all these things are major objections for my part, and partly why I won't be buying the game as it is, that's not the thing I'm talking about. I'm talking about the managing aspect of Heroes games. And it actually occurred to me when playing Assassin's Creed Brotherhood. Midway in that game I realized that I was doing more management in that game than in H6. Since all are not familiar with that game I won't go into specifics, and thereby ending this useless introduction and go over to the topic of the thread.


One of my favorite aspects of the heroes games has been management. Both heroes, town, economy, resources, creatures and so on. Much of this aspect has been taken away in H6, or at least reduced or simplified, admittedly as a deliberate choice by the developers;
"we tried to reduce management, especially micro-management. We want the player to feel like a commander in battle and not like some town builder" (http://heroescommunity.com/viewthread.php3?TID=34984&pagenumber=16)

Reduced resources
Actually this is not such a big deal for me. It takes away some of the "colours" of the game, but with proper maps it might add a lot of strategy. I don't think it works as it should right now, and I believe the best solution would be to somehow fix the shortcomings of the old resource system. I am holding off an ultimate verdict on this until I try a good map.

But it is clear that this was taken away to deliberately reduce management and focus more on battles;
"If games have many different resources are more like management games than strategy ones. For example the game Starcraft 2 has two resources. But such games as Civilization (32 resorts) and Settlers 7 (7 resorts) concentrate more on management." (http://www.maps4heroes.com/heroes6/cheats_eng.php)

The same comments made above could also be made to the economy in general.

Towns
As quoted above, the intent of the developers was not making us city-planners, but rather commanders of war. But actually, planning your city build has always been essential to success. Do you focus on getting the capitol asap and reaping the benefits later in the game, or do you go for creature dwellings first to speed up creeping?
Since there are so few prerequisites for each building, and creeping has been severely simplified, this is no longer such an issue.

And the town window is a very clear indicator that they haven't made the town a priority. Especially if you add that all the factions have the exact same build trees, where only the special buildings differ.

And this leads me into town conversion. One of the really fun parts of the heroes games has always been managing towns from different factions. All the choices you had to make each week with regards to town development and creature recruitment made you feel like you were managing a kingdom. But town conversion also brings me on to my next point.  

Creatures
Town conversions basically makes it a stupid tactical decision to have towns of different factions. In my opinion that makes long games boring. Owning towns from different factions presented many exciting choices. Do you combine creatures from different factions in your army despite the morale penalty, or do you make a strong secondary hero with a "pure" army? And many similar choices. And who has not played a large map on H3 and made a hero with all the tier 7 creatures in his/her army? I still have the save from that game!

Different creatures and different special abilities also present many new tactical options in battles. But you won't be seeing that in H6, because having more of the same creature is always better than mixing. And adding shared creature pools into this makes the towns like portals to Plato's theory of forms where the magical creatures exist as ideas, rather than being recruited at that specific town.  (I'm sorry if this last section jumped too much into philosophy, but I just saw a clear connection).

Heroes
Ever since H3 the developers of the different heroes games have wanted to reduce the need of secondary heroes and focus more on a main hero. Admittedly, chaining has been abused to a large part, but I think H5 had the best solution so far, with caravans being a good compromise IMHO. It actually added many strategical choices.
With shared creature pools much of the creature management is taken away. I agree that there was needlessly much micro-management in previous games, but surely this is not the best solution.

Managing several heroes has always been a key to success. Now your main hero can travel anywhere with town portals and the creatures (that are all of the same kind) are available everywhere. With this they have taken away much of the management aspect of the game, but still not addressed micro-management like chaining. You have one super-hero and several low level heroes instead of one strong and several fairly strong heroes. Unless forced to do otherwise, you would always battle with your main hero, instead of commanding and managing several heroes that can each do their part.

I also hate the fact that your starting hero has a bigger portrait than the others, but I'm hoping this is just a beta-thing.

Conclusion
I think I've been going on for too long, and much of this has been mentioned elsewhere. But I still felt the need to point out how much management actually has been taken away, and it's from all the different parts of the game as well. There were issues to be addressed, I agree. But I think they've tried to address too many of them at the same time, and thereby creating more problems than they actually fixed. So I guess I'll let that be my conclusion, and thus open up for discussion.

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Avirosb
Avirosb


Promising
Legendary Hero
No longer on vacation
posted September 19, 2011 06:03 PM

I completely agree with all your points.

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Warmonger
Warmonger


Promising
Legendary Hero
fallen artist
posted September 19, 2011 06:32 PM

Quote:
And adding shared creature pools into this makes the towns like portals to Plato's theory of forms where the magical creatures exist as ideas, rather than being recruited at that specific town.

I laughted at this one

Of course the game has been simplified. But in return we got... features taken straight from other games. There is simply too little of heroes in Heroes.
Moreover, I'm afraid all the strategies will be laid down before the game is actually released. The replayability has been severly reduced.  Since you cannot manage many different aspects of your kingdom, the game requires less thinking and less strategy. It is simply worse.

I see no benefits from cutting half of game features. Unless someone shows me an interesting strategy or gameplay resulting from custom skill tree, blood/tears bonuses or other (which exactly?) additions, I will not play it anymore.
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alcibiades
alcibiades


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
of Gold Dragons
posted September 19, 2011 08:46 PM
Edited by alcibiades at 20:48, 19 Sep 2011.

Management is good, micro-management is bad.

Micro-management is doing the same stuff over and over again, like going to Windmills and Watermills and whatever each week to collect your 1000 Gold and random ressources, instead of just flagging them and giving you each week.*

Management is planning how to deploy your troops and how to spend your ressources and is good. I agree that the ressourcesystem has killed much of the - good - management of the game.

On the other hand, you may argue that the creature pool arguable adds - good - management to the game and removes - tedious - micromanagement, as you now have to decide in which town you hire your troops (facing the consequence of having them removed from the other towns), whereas with the old system, you had to buy them in native town and then use tedious chaining/caravans to transport them to main hero.

* On a sidenote: Are the Windmills, Watermills, etc. in the other maps of the beta? Because if they just removed these map objects, it seems like a very wrong (if perhaps quite UbiSoftish) way to solve the micromanagement issues of H5.
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B0rsuk
B0rsuk


Promising
Famous Hero
DooM prophet
posted September 19, 2011 08:50 PM

There's a thing about game design... it's context-sensitive.

If you simply copy features from another game, chances are it won't fit that well. The people who invented the feature in the original game probably spent a lot of time thinking how and why it should work. People who copy features generally don't think as hard, hence it doesn't fit as well. They just see a cool feature and want it.

Heroes 5 and 6 seems derivative to me. Too many features from another games, too few original features. Heroes 1-4 were inspiring games, Heroes 6 is inspired.
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DoubleDeck
DoubleDeck


Promising
Legendary Hero
Look into my eyes...
posted September 20, 2011 08:50 AM

It's almost like they took most of the management features away from Heroes because they want to expand the game to the consoles and not just PC (because console games are easy and you don't need to think so much)....

But the strange thing is, H6 is for PC only......

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B0rsuk
B0rsuk


Promising
Famous Hero
DooM prophet
posted September 20, 2011 09:06 AM
Edited by B0rsuk at 09:40, 20 Sep 2011.

I don't get it. Whoever wants tactical battles without town management, can play King's Bounty. Why make a second King's Bounty ? The 2008 one is getting its third expansion now.
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Nelgirith
Nelgirith


Promising
Supreme Hero
posted September 20, 2011 09:59 AM

Quote:
It's almost like they took most of the management features away from Heroes because they want to expand the game to the consoles and not just PC (because console games are easy and you don't need to think so much)....

But the strange thing is, H6 is for PC only......

They don't want to expand to consoles, they want to attract console players to H6 ... You know, these guys Erwan refered to when he said "building trees were too complicated" or "resource management is too complicated", etc...

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DoubleDeck
DoubleDeck


Promising
Legendary Hero
Look into my eyes...
posted September 20, 2011 10:54 AM

Quote:
They don't want to expand to consoles, they want to attract console players to H6 ... You know, these guys Erwan refered to when he said "building trees were too complicated" or "resource management is too complicated", etc...


Yeah, well I think we can blame consoles for how gaming has become less thinking required....like the classic doom 2 pic of the complicated tunnels etc and mazes to nowadays where you go from start to finish....

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kodial79
kodial79


Promising
Supreme Hero
How'd Phi's Lov't
posted September 20, 2011 11:13 AM

Indeed it feels less like the chronicles of a war and more like the saga of an epic hero. I feel too, a little bit let down by this. The more I keep playing the demo, the more I notice things missing from the game and see it become more over-simplified than I would have liked. I still think though it has the potential to be a good game even though it's quite different now.


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admira
admira


Promising
Famous Hero
posted September 20, 2011 01:41 PM

Agree with most of the points.

I think the keyword here is "Over Simplified".

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DoubleDeck
DoubleDeck


Promising
Legendary Hero
Look into my eyes...
posted September 20, 2011 02:24 PM

Over-simplified. Yes, hit the nail on the head.

The turn-based strategy genre has always been a niche, lacking the popularity of even real-time strategy, never mind FPS's. This is probably because of the slower pace of turn-based strategy games which makes them a bit less gee-whiz exciting – but if you’re a strategy gamer like me, that’s exactly what you like...strategy involves more than hitting a lot of hot keys, it involves taking your time and truly planning out your moves. The draw is being able to outthink and outmaneuver your opponents, just like any other competitive game. The only difference is turn based games focus more on mental acuity rather than physical reflexes. This is basically the satisfcation I got from the very first Heroes of Might & Magic in the series. You had to think alot. As the Heroes series progressed, you had to think less and things were "easier" to do. Now with Heroes 6, things are simplified and one doesn't have to spend hours working out their strategy.

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markkur
markkur


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Once upon a time
posted September 20, 2011 07:30 PM

First off, very well written OP Brukernavn, and like many others I agree with your views.

I would like to have seen more management or at a minimum, the same level of managing but with new objects etc.

I don't see the micro-stuff quite in the same light as many do. For me, I'll take the "happy dancing guy" as an example. Of course over a long game, going to get your 500 gold or 5 gems each week will seem a boring repetition, however; "early game it was not". When you have one town and are trying to get rolling; that 5 gems could be a big deal on a singel-given-turn.

I've no way of knowing but I would guess that any game developer would have a built-in difficulty in regards to how to address the "layers of the game...over time". iow, as the game is currently designed, what would be a good or needed bonus in very early game, fades to tedium in late game.

<imo> What would be good to see happen in any future HoMM game would be a management system that evolves over the course of the game. Neutral-battles are another good candidate for this sort of critical thinking.

It seems to me that game making these days is about what is "on screen" (target audience?) than what is happening behind the scenes.

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Dave_Jame
Dave_Jame


Promising
Legendary Hero
I'm Faceless, not Brainless.
posted September 21, 2011 12:07 AM
Edited by Dave_Jame at 00:09, 21 Sep 2011.

So sad to see that most of these things are true and that most of these things are going to stay until the time that the moders/mapmakers will introduce there versions and solutions.

Eventhough i got used to the conversion feature very fast (plus point for BH for that) i still feel that it is wrong. And that I know now, even befor the game comes out, that I will prefer maps that will disable things like Converison, area of controle and if it would be posible the creature pool..

But whit all this disabled.. what will stay?
A simplified heroes game whit only one resource. Boaring none-impulsive and repetiv skill system that has the "All accesable town portal feature".
I do belive that the game will be sucessfull and popular for many people but for me, it has lost its chalange.

One thig I wanted to know?
Let us think. If the problem on BA is that thereare to many rescoures and laiers for core creatures, which makes them to numerose.
What good will any other map do, where there is not that much of a Core creature flode, !but! the rescoures are scarse. This wloud  make the Champion unites as useless as in Ba due to the fact that the nuber of core creatures would rise to much yb the time the player gets to the elites.

I think UbiHole will see and come to an enlighment sooner or later that Heroes is not a Mass-production-mainstreem game but a Hard-core fanbased game.
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I'm just a Mirror of your self.

We see, we look, we gather, we store, we teach.
We are many, and you can be one of us.

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DoubleDeck
DoubleDeck


Promising
Legendary Hero
Look into my eyes...
posted September 21, 2011 08:02 AM

Quote:
And that I know now, even befor the game comes out, that I will prefer maps that will disable things like Converison, area of controle and if it would be posible the creature pool..

The uglliest thing visually on the adventure map are the area of control obelisks entry/exit points, area feels too enclosed.

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Avirosb
Avirosb


Promising
Legendary Hero
No longer on vacation
posted September 21, 2011 09:19 AM

It's Settlers of Catan, only with chess-like combat and lots of variables.

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Maurice
Maurice

Hero of Order
Part of the furniture
posted September 21, 2011 10:04 AM

A very good post. It indeed hits the nail on the head of what I find lacking in Heroes 6 - and that's just based on the info I've read, as I didn't roll into the beta (lack of time being the biggest reason). One of the things I like about the Heroes-series is the careful planning and managing of your kingdom, as you expand it on the map.

Not too long ago, I bought Dungeon Siege 3. I've loved and played through 1 & 2 more than a few times, but I can't find myself doing the same with Dungeon Siege 3. The reason? It is also over-simplified (and DS 1 & 2 already weren't too difficult), with just few controls. And the reason for that was because they wanted to mimic a console experience.

If this Heroes game does the same, it will end up together with Heroes 4 for me: at the bottom of the stack of games I'd like to (re)play.

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B0rsuk
B0rsuk


Promising
Famous Hero
DooM prophet
posted September 21, 2011 01:11 PM
Edited by B0rsuk at 13:18, 21 Sep 2011.

I don't support this notion that Starcraft is a strategy game. Pro players spend more time playing guitar and warming up their fingers than thinking about strategy. You can see this in replay videos and streams, sometimes called "glitching".

Why do they want to simplify the game ? You say to mimic console experience. Cynical part of me agrees. They may genuinely believe they're trying to starcraftify HOMM (Because HOMM is not distinctive enough ? Because SC is the epitome of strategy ? Pffft).

Starcraft uses extremely simple (and flawed) design ideas like rock/paper/scissors, where units are designed to have explicit counters. This limits creativity, makes it harder to develop organic solutions. Where a counter could be a combination of factors, things coming together.

Starcraft was already tactically limited in its time. Extremely simple terrain model and line of sight, very fast units make positioning, flanking largely pointless. (Compared to games like C&C, Total Annihilation, and Relic's RTS games especially).

Simplifying an inherently complex and niche game like HOMM is an atrocity, an oxymoron. If you try to attract the mainstream to a turn-based game, you're doing it wrong. You should be making next COD n+1. I liked X-COM (a.k.a. UFO) because of its isometric view and geoscape planning. I liked Syndicate because it was a topdown view shooter with elements of strategy, a bit more advanced Cannon Fodder. Make it stop !
I heard Civ 4 had 17 programmers/designers and 27 artists. And this is supposedly as hardcore as it gets with strategy games. You think the ratio is skewed too much in favor of non-artists ?
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DoubleDeck
DoubleDeck


Promising
Legendary Hero
Look into my eyes...
posted September 21, 2011 02:30 PM

I disagree. Starcraft is a brilliant strategy game.

A Strategy game is a game in which players' decisions have a high significance on the outcome of the game. In Starcraft, like other real-time strategy games, you need a very high situational awareness as it's an all-out fast paced game, different to the relaxed turn-based vibe we love about Heroes.

Two things that make Starcraft a successful strategy game:
- Extremely balanced (considering how the 3 races are all completely different and with tons of variety without everyone gravitating towards one race or one strategy)
- As far as game mechanics, Starcraft is thinly dispersed, allowing the player to do whatever they want which gives variety and imagination to the players, like a sandbox (there is something to be said to relatively simple, but very well done, game mechanics). Would adding "cover" to chess make it a better game? I doubt it.

In simplyfing Heroes the aim would be to add to these two qualities...remember Chess is a simple game to understand but there are millions of strategies to winning the game.

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Nelgirith
Nelgirith


Promising
Supreme Hero
posted September 21, 2011 02:35 PM

Starcraft is more of a clickfest than a strategy game. The best player is the one who clicks the fastest, not the best tactician.

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