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Heroes Community > Heroes 7+ Altar of Wishes > Thread: The H6 Faction Creation Guide
Thread: The H6 Faction Creation Guide
Xerox
Xerox


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
posted October 26, 2011 01:36 PM bonus applied by alcibiades on 06 Nov 2011.
Edited by xerox at 16:32, 11 Jan 2012.

The H6 Faction Creation Guide

The H6 Faction Creation Guide

For the original 2008 faction creation guide. This one has had a million times more work put on it!

The Altar of Wishes has had a history of being the most active forum on Heroescommunity. Faction creation has always been one of the foundations of the Altar, and with the ICTC faction creation contest in full spin - the time to publish your town proposal is now.

This is an in-depth step-by-step guide primarily but not solely based on H6 mechanics. The purpose of this guide is to give you inspiration and ideas on how to create the perfect faction. Do not hesitate to ask me questions.


Table of Contents

1. The Setting.

2. Faction Information.

3. Racial Skill and Faction Gameplay.

4. The Creatures.

5. Miscellaneous.


1. The Setting


Deciding on the setting and the actual town you are going to create is naturally the first thing to do. So perhaps you are going to make one of the classical factions such as Haven or Inferno, or a new one such as Sanctuary. I value creativity highly, and remaking an old faction in an original way that works is in my opinion worth a lot of prestige. Instead of making the usual gothic black, white, spooky and spikey type of Necropolis, you could make an undead town based on everything from Japanese horror to voodoo or victorian steampunk.  

Of course, you can also make new factions that have not been seen before. Sanctuary in H6 worked out really well with completly new creatures. It is also a great example of a faction that was really, really pushed by the fans to become reality. People were talking about wanting a Naga town for years on this board.

So for the purpose of emulating faction creation, I will be sharing the process of how I might create a  hypothetical new town. So I have choosen to remake Academy. What type of Academy do I want to make? The H3-style based on Snow terrain? The H5 arabian style based on Desert terrain? Or something new such as an aquatic Academy or Aztec Academy, the possibilities are truly endless but right now, I feel like I want to create a tropical Academy based on Hindu mythology and Indian culture. This is the Setting that will be the base of my faction.


2. Faction Information


Now it is time to make some in-depths information about your faction. How are the people that make up your faction? What are their goals? Do they have a clear alignment? Are these people skilled with magic like the Wizards, or more focused on direct combat like the Orcs? What is their culture like, what have they been through? The list goes on. These are the lines that Black Hole use to describe their factions:

In a nutshell: This is a good and basic way to let the reader's know what the faction is about and how it is structured. For my Academy, I could write: "The eldritch Seven Cities are ruled by High Mages and protected  by various magical creations and elite spellcasters."

Inspiration: This is a good way to paint a mental picture of the town's theme to the readers: "India (concept of the caste system), Cambodja (architecture inspired by Angor Wat) and Hinduism (various of mythological creaturesand heroes)."

Associated colours: In H5 and H6, all factions have a small number of racial colours that identify them. For instance, Sanctuary has a very strong bluegreen theme. This does of course not mean that all of your creatures must look homogenous - the Snow Maidens in Sanctuary do not wear any bluegreen colours at all.
If you want too, you could explain why the faction has their racial colours. For instance, Sanctuary's colours obviously represent Shalassa and the sea.

Symbols: This is also something that boosts to your factions' racial identity. In H6, Haven has a lot of Falcon and Angel symbols because Haven is part of the Holy Falcon Empire in that game, and religion is a very important part of their society. In Academy, knowledge is highly valued so an all-seeing eye type of symbol would not be far-fetched. What you want is to have a symbol related to your faction's theme. I am not going to have a Norse viking ship as the symbol for my Indian Academy.

Worship: Religion is an important part of the racial identity and you can see this very strongly in Haven and even Stronghold, where Father Sky and Mother Earth is mentioned in every other dialogue. In my Academy, the idea is basically that the Wizards reached a stage where they could challenge their gods and killed them.  Academy must of course not be a secular faction - that is up for you to decide.

Core philosophy: “Law & Order” rather than “Good & Mercy” - That's what it says on Black Hole's information page for Haven. In my opinion, this is very unnescessary. The purpose of it is to give you an idea of the faction's mindset. Do not feel like you are forced to come up with some poetry like that (same with faction mottos that a lot of people use).

Country / kingdom: The Holy Empire - that would be enough for Haven. This speaks for itself - if I made a H6 Academy faction then I would obviously just write "The Seven Cities".

Capital city: Speaks for itself. Basic background information. These minor details do add up though.

Here is some other really useful basic information that should be in: If you're making a H6 faction, then what 5 magic schools do they have? Who is their leader? What is their racial skill (nothing in-depth, we'll get to that soon)? What are the names of the Hero classes?

Writing all this is obviously not mandatory - nothing is, but I STRONGLY recommend ATLEAST having basic information. If you're an ambitious person, it is great if you have the motivation to really get in deep and explore the culture and identity of your faction with some walls of text.

3. Racial Skill and Faction Gameplay
By now, you should have a very strong sense about your faction's identity. But now it is time to get practical and focus on the actual gameplay of your faction. These are the goals to make a fun and interesting faction:

1. Fun to play.
This is the most important point and it is always the goal in any game. Your goal is always to create stuff that as many other people as possible will enjoy aswell. This is mostly achieved through creativity. Chances are that your favorite abilities and mechanics in H6 and other games are the most creative and original ones.

2. Distinct gameplay.
There is no fun in playing a faction that is an uninspiring clone of another. A great example of a game with distinct gameplay is the legendary RTS Starcraft, where all the races are completly different in both how they look and both how they play. That should be your goal too. Again, creativity is the key here. If you really want to use some old abilities such as Strike and Return or No Enemy Retailation, then give them some kind of twist! In H6, the Glories do not just strike and return, they also Dispel everything around them when they do that.


3. Balance


Playing a faction where you just end up getting crushed by all other factions sucks, and playing a super overpowered faction is not fun for other players.
When you are making a fun and creative new ability, it is easy to cross the line and create an ability that will dominate your enemies on the battlefield.
This does is no way mean that you have to write lots of mathematical calculations and complicated numbers.

For instance, I personally never really write stats for my creatures. I do not write that my Archmage has 31 health and deals 15-16 damage. That is in my opinion, a complete waste of time to do unless you are converting your town idea to an actual in-game mod or something. It can be a good idea to give the reader a basic idea of a creature's strength and weaknesses though. Instead of writing 31 health, 15-16 Magic Prime damage etc you could write something like High Prime Damage, Moderate Health, Low Speed et cetera. Also do not create a faction with 5 flyers and 2 shooters unless you can't figure out a way to balance it properly.

So before starting with your creatures, it is a good idea to come up with a good racial skill. While some people prefer to create factions outside of H6 game mechanics, this guide is mostly adapted to H6. This is basically how racial skills work in H6.

There are four levels.
1. Basic:Affects Core creatures. Weak.
2. Advanced: Affects Core and Elite creatures. Good.
3. Expert: Affects all creatures. Strong.
4. Ultimate: Affects all creatures and always adds a bonus effect. Lethal.

In H6, there is a power circle for the racial skill that is split into four parts. One quarter of the circle is level one, half the circle is level two et cetera.

In H6, you need to fill this power circle in order to cast your racial skill once per turn. All factions have a different way of filling the circle. Haven gets it when their creatures take damage, Sanctuary when attacking different targets et cetera. The racial skills themselves also work differently depending on the faction.
Haven's Guardian Skill makes a single creature immortal for level one to three, and adds a healing effect at level four. Sanctuary's racial skill increases Defense and provides a bonus effect for every level.

The H6 racial skills are not very complicated, but they do change how a faction plays like. What you need to do is to figure out what your racial skill does, how it improves as the power circle charges up and how you get the energy for it. For my Academy faction, I might make a racial skill called "Warping", which allows my creatures to Teleport. It could be gained through the use of special abilities. That would encourage the Academy creatures to use their abilities as frequently as possible. With this racial skill, it would not make sense for Academy to have a lot of flyers.

I am talking a lot about original and creative racial skills, and here are some examples of racial skills that really suck (and yes, I have seen these a lot):

Morality: Increases your creatures Morale by 1 and when Morale triggers, they deal 10% more damage.

Lethality: Heals all your creatures by X.

These are examples of some more strategic racial skills:

Time Warping: Allows you to change a creature's position on the ATB bar.

Invisibility: Allows your creatures to go Invisible for the turn.

Teleportation: Allows you to teleport one of your own or one of your enemy's creatures to a location on the battlefield. Friendly creatures that attack from a teleportation, avoids retaliation.






4. The Creatures.


In H6, the armies are splitted in Core, Elite and Champion creatures. What you should think about when using this system is to create a team. The Core creatures should work very well with each other in early game. The Elite creatures should work good with themselves and the Core creatures. The Champion creature should add something useful for the entire army.

A solid and basic Core build is having one damage dealer, one tank creature and one support creature. Haven uses this setup with the Sentinel as the tank, the Crossbowman as the damage dealer and the Sister as the support (who can of course also deal a lot of damage).
This is an easy way to make a Core team, but it is far from the only way to do it. If you can make a Core team of three melee creatures that work then that is great and original. The goal is to make your faction play differently from other factions.

With the Elites, the teamwork is not as important since you're probably not in the early creeping phase anymore but it still important that your army has a good synergy and works.

One thing that I usually do is to make a Comment on each creature. In the comment, I explain what my intentions with the creature was. Why did I include this creature? How do I think it should be used in combat? Sometimes I also make an additional Comment on the entire Core team, to explain how they work with each other.

Another  thing to keep in mind is that if you do not have a Core shooter, then you should probably have an Elite shooter. If you do not have a Champion or Elite flyer, then you should probably have a Core flyer. The point is that you should try to balance out the creature roles so that a faction only has one single shooter in his army et cetera. (Now you might say "But Xerox, Haven only has one shooter!" - well, the Glories in H6 pretty much work like unblockable super shooters so no, you should not feel pity for Haven. )

Also remember to look back on your faction's theme. If you are making an Arabian faction, you might not find it desirable to have elves and dwarves in your creature line-up. Now if you are making an Arabian faction, then do lots of research to find some cool mythical creatures that you can use for your faction.

Another thing which people generally dislike is when there are to many humanoids in a faction. A lot of people disliked the H5 Fortress for this. Even H6 Haven does not have 90% humans anymore with the addition of the Glories and magical sparkly horses of the Sun Riders.

Usually, the humanoid creatures act as a representation of the main race of your faction. I think 2 is a good number for this. If you're making a Sylvan faction, you do not need more than a Hunter and a Druid to let people know that they are playing the Elven faction. If you are remaking an old faction, you should atleast save 2-3 "classical" creatures from it or people will get upset.

A line-up for an india-inspired Academy might look like this:
Core: Golem, Vanara, Apsara

Elite: Mageblade, Djinn, Ganah

Champion: Titan

In the Core line-up, the Golem is the frontline tank. The Vanara, monkey-people from Hinduism, could be some kind of shooter and the Apsara, a spirit creature, could be used for support.

The Mageblade could be a swift teleporting melee attackers, the Djinn a support shooter and the Ganah (think of the hindu god Ganesha) a tank.

For the Titan, you could make into a melee creature who's special ability is to charge electricity when attacking, allowing it to use a powerful Lightning attack every 2-3 turns.


5. Miscellaneous.


In H6, each town has four special buildings. You should try to make a diverse group of special buildings, do not make four buildings that enhances your town's defenses. You could make one Offensive and one Defensive special building, and two that provide your faction with some kind of creative Utility.
For Academy, a set of special buildings might look like this:

Altar of Eldritch Wishes: Visiting Heroes get all of their Mana restore.

Spell Well: When under a siege, the mana cost of spells is reduced by 50% and their efficiency is increased by +5 Spell power.

Teleportation Matrix: Gives you the ability to once per week Teleport an enemy hero standing within your Area of control to any location within it.

Conjuration Pyre: Summons one Phoenix to your town per week.

Well, we are reaching the end of the guide but of course, there are more things than the stuff I have wrotten about that you can add to your faction. Even though the role of individual Heroes has greatly diminished for H6, it can still be fun and immersive to write Hero biographies.

Another thing that you can do is to write a campaign story. Keep in mind though that people do usually not care about huge walls of text - so if you think it is tedious to write a campaign story, then I do not blame you for skipping that part.

This guide has come to an end and I really do hope that you found it helpful and interesting. Hopefully, I will encourage people to make some more factions (enter the ICTC enter the ICTC enter the ICTC).
Again, if you have any questions about faction creation - then do not hesitate to ask.

Thanks for reading.
///Xerox.



____________
Over himself, over his own
body and
mind, the individual is
sovereign.
- John Stuart Mill

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gnomes2169
gnomes2169


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
Duke of the Glade
posted October 26, 2011 07:55 PM

Wow, this is a really good and decently in-depth guide. Good job Xerox

Oh, everything he said is basically 110% true. listen to him.

(Join the ICTC, Join the ICTC, Join the ICTC)
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"GNOMES GET OUT OF MY BRAIN"
-Adrius

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DoubleDeck
DoubleDeck


Promising
Legendary Hero
Look into my eyes...
posted October 28, 2011 03:11 AM

Quote:
For the Titan, you could make into a melee creature who's special ability is to charge electricity when attacking, allowing it to use a powerful Lightning attack every 2-3 turns.


This would be quite interesting, but Titans have always been shooters so they should stay shooters but with this ability to not shoot for 2-3 turns to power up the electricity/lightning and then your 3rd shoot is uber strong!


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Avirosb
Avirosb


Promising
Legendary Hero
No longer on vacation
posted October 28, 2011 03:22 AM

Question: Can I make more than one entry or do I have to limit myself to a sole faction?

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Xerox
Xerox


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
posted October 28, 2011 04:35 AM

Quote:
Wow, this is a really good and decently in-depth guide. Good job Xerox

Oh, everything he said is basically 110% true. listen to him.




Thanks.
I will update it if I find something more useful to add (such as how to name - or not name - creatures)

---

I've always thought it was kinda sad that a huge awesome creature like the Titan just stood at the back of your army casting lightning bolts. I have used the idea of them charging electricity in all my recent Academy ideas.

Also I'm pretty sure you can enter the ICTC with more than one faction if you want too. I might enter with two factions myself, but only if I get satisfied with my main faction and have time to create another one.
____________
Over himself, over his own
body and
mind, the individual is
sovereign.
- John Stuart Mill

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Minnakht
Minnakht


Known Hero
Green eyed monster
posted November 27, 2011 02:58 PM

Aw. This forum goes so slowly, a thread from October is on the first page.

Still, it's interesting. I'll definitely try and use the hints contained inside.
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Kivo
Kivo


Famous Hero
posted December 13, 2011 03:18 PM

Is this a competition or something, or just some info?

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Xerox
Xerox


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
posted December 13, 2011 03:22 PM

The ICTC is a HC tradition and faction creation contest found in the Coliseum.
____________
Over himself, over his own
body and
mind, the individual is
sovereign.
- John Stuart Mill

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Jiriki9
Jiriki9


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
Altar Dweller
posted December 14, 2011 04:12 AM

and you do not HAVE to follow this guide (it is not the basis of judgement) in ICTC, but it is very helpfull, especially if you're not familar with faction-making

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hobo2
hobo2


Promising
Known Hero
posted January 08, 2012 09:47 AM

I don't see anything about loss prevention in your faction writeup. It's the most important part of a faction from an actual playability standpoint. A faction in Heroes VI gets through life with Reinforce + Heal to creep without losses and then uses it in final battles too because heals do more damage than actual attacks in addition to getting your troops back.

It is not a coincidence that the most powerful factions in Heroes VI have more methods of loss prevention and weaker factions have less. That is because loss prevention is basically the entire game, and when your faction is better at loss prevention (ex.: Necropolis) then your faction is better and when your faction is worse at loss prevention (ex.: Inferno), then your faction is worse. What does the ranking "Necropolis, Haven, Sanctuary, Stronghold, Inferno" mean to you? If you said "That's the ordering of factions from most access to heal to least" you'd be right. But if you said "That's the list of factions from best to worst" you'd also be right.

If you write up a new faction and don't explain how they handle loss prevention, you have written up a new faction that is at best as underpowered as the Stronghold. There are a lot of loss prevention strategies that haven't been used yet. There are regenerating troops (like the H6 Earth Elemental), there are troops that heal adjacent troops (like the King's Bounty Crossworlds Paladin), there is post-battle troop reclamation (like the H3 Resurrection Skill), and so on so forth. Losses can even be prevented from the other end, by giving actual or virtual bodies at the start of the battle to soak permanent losses from.

But any new faction needs something to recoup losses, that's just how Heroes VI works. Talking about what you'd like buildings to look like is fascinating and all, but it doesn't address the core issue for the faction. And the core issue really is "how do they fight dozens and dozens of battles without taking any net losses?" Everything else is just window dressing.

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Xerox
Xerox


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
posted January 10, 2012 11:29 AM

No, all factions do not need to have creatures with healing abilities. You can give them other strengths. Factions such as Stronghold do not have any healing creatures and yet it is certainly not counted as an underpowered faction.
____________
Over himself, over his own
body and
mind, the individual is
sovereign.
- John Stuart Mill

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hobo2
hobo2


Promising
Known Hero
posted January 10, 2012 01:12 PM

Quote:
No, all factions do not need to have creatures with healing abilities. You can give them other strengths. Factions such as Stronghold do not have any healing creatures and yet it is certainly not counted as an underpowered faction.


The fourth most powerful out of five is by definition underpowered.

You can make a strong case that Sanctuary is the "balanced" faction, since half the factions are more powerful than it and half are less powerful. But any faction that is less powerful than a majority of factions is definitely underpowered. The Stronghold is not as much of a charity case as the Inferno, but it's still weak.
____________

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BlueLore
BlueLore


Adventuring Hero
posted January 11, 2012 12:32 PM

Great guide,but you made one mistake:
At one point(I think it is where you talk about balance)you say,that (in H5 and H6)all factions have 3 big creatures,not more and not less,which is wrong,since the demons have 4 big creatures in H6(Pit fiend,Juggernaut,breeder and hellhounds),while Necropolis and sanctuary have only 2 big creatures(fate spinner/lamasu and kenshi/Kirin)
____________

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Xerox
Xerox


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
posted January 11, 2012 04:32 PM

Thanks, fixed that now.
____________
Over himself, over his own
body and
mind, the individual is
sovereign.
- John Stuart Mill

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SamiSalami
SamiSalami

Tavern Dweller
posted October 16, 2012 07:40 PM

I must agree with hobo regarding the importance of loss prevention.
But I must also say that this was never so important as in Heroes 6, the reason is just, that most of the campaigns were created this way and that the differences in building up the different fractions were flattened a lot.
Certain campaigns in Heroes V were also difficult but it was not about loss prevention it was more, like there was no town portal and you hat towns of different fractions.
Also there was a balance given by the different ressources you needed to built up your town, also a fraction with less loss prevention was able to gain new troops faster.
Therefore some kind of balance in costs and so on should be pointed out.

But I totally agree that they messed this up in Heroes 6. There stronghold is somehow underpowered, because the other fractions are likely to built up in the same time and their units are not much weaker - still they can maintain their units a lot easier.
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