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Heroes Community > Heroes 6 - The New Beginning > Thread: The aesthetic design of creatures and factions: opinions
Thread: The aesthetic design of creatures and factions: opinions
seingeist
seingeist


Promising
Adventuring Hero
posted February 16, 2012 10:18 AM
Edited by seingeist at 10:24, 16 Feb 2012.

The aesthetic design of creatures and factions: opinions

I had been interested in hearing this board's feedback on the aesthetic design of the various factions and units.  

This certainly isn't for the sake of changing anything; it is extraordinarily unlikely that any of the unit models will be altered or replaced by the devs in any patch or expansion.  It's really just about sharing what you like and don't like about various elements of faction/unit/town design.  Which is your favorite or least favorite faction?  Which creatures are well-designed or cool?  Which ones are lame or poorly designed?  

I only request that it not become too negative.    Though it is indisputable that there are many things not to like, it is equally so that there is surely something somewhere that's likable, aesthetically speaking.  

Locksley made some remarks in the faction balance thread that are on-topic here:

Quote:
Finally, the design of Inferno is really boring. Maniacs, ravagers and tormentors (and ghouls) are basically the same creature, breeders are too something, and the cerberi have lost a head. And none of these creatures are powerful, they are just ok fighters doing their job (well, not breeders). Other factions have powerful creatures that work well together in a well designed suit.


I totally agree with this.  

Maniacs and Tormentors are both torture-themed small thin humanoid walkers.  Surely, the vast and rich history of "demonology" in Western culture (or even just past HOMM games) could have yielded more diverse inspiration for creatures.  Similarly, Ravagers and Pit Lords are both large, vaguely Balrog-looking creatures.  Only one such creature would have more than sufficed.  

I hated the look of the Breeders at first, and I still mostly do (the upgraded form is like a mutated Jester's hat), but they have managed to grow on me a little bit, and at least they are quite different from the rest of the units.  

AND WHY ARE THE CERBERI MISSING A HEAD?!  What the hell?!  (Sorry, that pun was too hard to resist ).  Seriously, I don't think there's a design decision in the game that bothers me more than that one.  It doesn't even gain its cone attack until its upgraded form, which makes a lot of sense in HOMM V because it grows two more heads!  UGH.  If there's one area where an exception really needs to be made and a creature model needs to be fixed in a patch, it's here.  Give the guardians of the gates of Hades their f#$%ing head back!  

Bizarrely though, these complaints about variety and the dogs aside, I do really like the Inferno's overall look and feel.  The chain-whip attack of the Dementeds looks really cool, I like the Lacerators' ground-scratching victory celebration, the Lilim look good, the Ravagers look badass, and the Pit Lords' critical hit is probably the most awesome-looking attack in the game.  It's tied with Sanctuary for me as overall favorite faction aesthetically.

Speaking of Sanctuary, they have better design variety, but they do partake in the most obnoxious variety-related problem in the entire game:

How many glowing monochromatic elemental women do we need?!  MMH6 contains FIVE (Glories, Light Elemental, Water Elemental, Mizu, Yuki).  Merciful heavens, WHY?!  This is a catastrophe of lazy design.  One imagines that if Black Hole designed a Conflux faction, it would simply consist of glowing ladies in every color of the rainbow.  

The Sharkies look a bit cheesy to me, but all of the other units are suitably pleasing, especially the Kensei and Kirin.  The frogs are quirky and fun, although I don't really get the flat heads.  

I don't like the Stronghold much at all; it's probably at the bottom of the design pile for me.  Major variety problem in three weapon-wielding orcs distinguished more by their size and headwear than anything else.  Zzzzzz.  Mauler/Crusher's probably my favorite of those three.  Sadly, I think the Centaur design is worse than in any previous HOMM to date, and that even includes the mohawked ones from HOMM IV that looked mentally handicapped.    The Harpies look interesting, if a bit non-traditional, and the Goblins have certainly looked worse before.  Their animations are pretty solid.  The Cyclopes just look awful though, big ugly lumpy blobs.  At least they're imposing, I guess.  

HOMM Haven is always sort of in the middle of the pack for me aesthetically, and MMH6 is no exception.  Nothing looks really terrible, but there's nothing to get too excited about either.  The Praetorians look nice, the crossbowmen are ho-hum, Sisters are pleasant but unremarkable, Griffins are griffins.  The angels look pretty good.  What I probably dislike the most about Haven's design is the introduction of light magic into their look.  That is to say, for one, that I absolutely HATE the glories.  There's the variety problem mentioned above, they look inherently boring, I don't like the strike-and-return, and they replace the monks, which I like a lot better (circa HOMM III-IV, not so much V).  While the Sun Steed looks a bit cool in itself, I don't like the overall effect of these new cavaliers.  The semi-transparent horse gives less OOMPH to their feel, in my opinion.  

Not too much to say about Necropolis, really.  The prevalence of armor and the pervasive green dayglo gives them kind of a Warhammer 40,000 Necrons vibe, but the latter look a lot better and make much more sense.  Completely DESPISE the spiders, but what else is new.  I actually miss the wraiths a bit and the bone dragons a LOT.

On a side note, I sort of miss the days when skeletons were more lightly-armored, melee-fighting, and really LOOKED like bony fragile skeletons.  Think Jason and the Argonauts (movie) or Titan Quest (of course, the latter did have skeleton archers in addition to melee).  

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alcibiades
alcibiades


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
of Gold Dragons
posted February 16, 2012 11:20 AM

Quote:
I hated the look of the Breeders at first, and I still mostly do (the upgraded form is like a mutated Jester's hat), but they have managed to grow on me a little bit, and at least they are quite different from the rest of the units.

I always loved the design of the Breeder. I think it's one of the really original creature designs of this game - others being Lamasu and Cyclops - and I think it brings a much desired breath of fresh air into the Inferno line-up, which I agree is boring as hell (sorry, I couldn't resist that one).

I actually think Maniacs are fine - it's a small walker, and the torture/chain thing fits well with the theme. Cerberi - apart from the missing head - also are fine, this is a distinct unit that both fits the theme and is different from other creatures in the game. Succubi also are fine, and I think Pit Lords look good also in this incarnation (like a spiffed-up Heroes 5 version, but that's fine).

So my issue really is with the Tormentor and (particularly) the Ravager, which I just plain loathe. That creature is just so boring in every possible way. The idea behind the Tormentor as such is passable, I just don't think it's very well executed (duh), and it's superfluous when we also have the Pit Lord and the Maniac. The Ravager just seems plain uninspired.

It's really a pity that they didn't do some more not-walking-humanoid-demonic creatures, like the Nightmare or Efreet.
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Dave_Jame
Dave_Jame


Promising
Legendary Hero
I'm Faceless, not Brainless.
posted February 16, 2012 12:36 PM

Quote:
The Sharkies look a bit cheesy to me, but all of the other units are suitably pleasing, especially the Kensei and Kirin.  The frogs are quirky and fun, although I don't really get the flat heads.  


This is Actually part of there original myth, and the pound inthere heads is there source of stenght (and do not ask my ov they keep the water in when they salto-mortale there way into the front line).

I for my self do not share your opinion on the Stronghold faction.
I think the Maya theme fits them well and there designes overall plesant. The only exeption is the Jaguar warrior who just does not meet my exeptations. But Unlike you I love the new Centaur. There rebelios and proud look, the fact that they are female and there zebra bodies create a unique and unusual incarnation of this creature.

I Faction I ma very displeased with is the necropolis.
The Ghost Looks just lame, nice transparet woman. You should add it to the list of glowing spirits, it is a spirit after all. Especial I dislike there lower bodies.
If we move to the Elite tier wi have my some of my least favorite designe choices. The Lich and The Vampire Lord. I Understoo the intetion of the art designer but the Helmet is just not fitting and it looks, well let us say to common.
About the Lich it is not the fact that they are not skeletal, but the problem is, they for 1 take the spot of the Mumy on them in this incarnation, There energy spider legs look wierd and they do not have and the upgraded ones just overdone it with the mask.
In the Inferno lineup. I dislike the way how the hair of thu succuby look. All the beuty, suduction and temptetion is gone once I look into there face.


To also note some of my favorite designes
From the necropolis it would be the Skeletons and Spinners. Both have the cold deadly apearenc tha I wish from a necropolis army.
From stronghold I would like to highlit the Centaurs that are truly unique in my eyes.
In Inferno I just love the Breeders and also the un-upgreaded hellhoumds, I know they have only two heads but they are the most feroucious dogs have met in a game for years.
And from the neutrals
I LOVE THE MERMAID. Ifthereis a Unit I NEED to have in my army it is the MERMAID.. As soon as there is a mode that alowes this I WILL GET IT They arethe best looking unit in the game IMHO.
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me
me

Tavern Dweller
posted February 16, 2012 12:58 PM
Edited by me at 13:00, 16 Feb 2012.

Well, I'm one of those who loved HoMM3 more than their own family and dog and subsequently I'm going to whine about every successor to this paramount pillar of round-based fantasy computer games, but back when the videos of MMH6 creatures started to appear on Youtube, I was disappointed. It seems to me like overall, the creature design has some sort of WoW, anime vibe to it, rather than the mystic fairy-tale designs I came to love in HoMM3.

The second thing I noticed was that there was very little variation in colour schemes. Haven is white, Inferno is red, Necropolis is black and glowing green, Sanctuary is blue and green. The colour is so blatantly aligned, it's almost as though the creatures have been assimilated and melted into little variations of the very same idea but are lacking indiviudality. At least this is the feeling I get from Inferno and Stronghold.

Overall though, I like the graphics very much. The 3D graphics are new to me because I never really liked or played HoMM5 very much, and I think the transition to three dimensions went a lot better than I expected. But in its current state, the game relies to much on shiny fancy lighting effects and recycled ideas.

Out of all the different factions, I like Sanctuary the best. I think Sanctuary has the most varied designs of the different creatures, and while I was a little sceptical of the frogs at first, learning that they're all based on mythological creatures of ancient Eastern folklore has turned them around for me.

That said, recycling water elementals and light elementals is lazy and inexcusable.
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Locksley
Locksley


Promising
Famous Hero
Wielding a six-string
posted February 17, 2012 02:15 AM
Edited by Locksley at 03:06, 17 Feb 2012.

Good initiative, seingeist!

In the Faction Balance-post mentioned above (find it here) I had to keep to the topic and talked about the over all design, i.e. function and aesthetic. It's nice to see a thread about graphical design.

INFERNO

In my opinion Inferno has the most boring aesthetic design in addition to being the weakest faction, a bad combo.

I like the lava inspired architecure, map locations and general theme of Inferno, and I agree with what zeingeist says, that it has some good things even among the creatures.
Nevertheless Inferno's disappointing creature line up, except for the cunning and evil succubus and the majestic pit lord, makes the whole faction rather boring. The cerberi are good looking too, BUT WHY ARE THE CERBERI MISSING A HEAD?! What the hell?!

Quote:
I always loved the design of the Breeder. I think it's one of the really original creature designs of this game - others being Lamasu and Cyclops - and I think it brings a much desired breath of fresh air into the Inferno line-up, which I agree is boring as hell (sorry, I couldn't resist that one).

I actually think Maniacs are fine - it's a small walker, and the torture/chain thing fits well with the theme. Cerberi - apart from the missing head - also are fine, this is a distinct unit that both fits the theme and is different from other creatures in the game. Succubi also are fine, and I think Pit Lords look good also in this incarnation (like a spiffed-up Heroes 5 version, but that's fine).

So my issue really is with the Tormentor and (particularly) the Ravager, which I just plain loathe. That creature is just so boring in every possible way. The idea behind the Tormentor as such is passable, I just don't think it's very well executed (duh), and it's superfluous when we also have the Pit Lord and the Maniac. The Ravager just seems plain uninspired.

It's really a pity that they didn't do some more not-walking-humanoid-demonic creatures, like the Nightmare or Efreet.


Breeders look like mutant sea cucumbers and are just too weird to feel like a part of Inferno. But I can somehow accept them as a fresh and funny addition (a joke?).
I agree that among the generic walking-humanoid-demonic creatures the maniacs have the best design. Ravagers are as you say very uninspired but without any devils (why, by the way?) Inferno need a simple big bad damage demon. Tormentors however are just superfluos and pointless.
It would be nice if the big bad damage demon would be a creature called tormentor (hell is a place for punishment after all), while the current tormentors are replaced with efreeti.


SANCTUARY

This is my favourite faction, it feels like a credible place and the creatures are different but still belong together. Medusas are a classic creature in Heroes, sharkmen are funny in a brutal way, kappas in a froggy way, kensheis are just cool warriors and an Asian faction is not complete without an Asian dragon. Only the snow and water spirits are uninspired even if they are philosophically acceptable.

I heard a quite funny story about the kappas. They eat children but are very polite, so if you bow when you meet one it will bow back to you. But since their life force is located in the water in their head bowls they pour their life away when they bow. So be polite to strangers, children!


NECROPOLIS

Ghosts are actually probably my favourite Necropolis creatures. They suit the new not-so-evil-anymore Necropolis, pass through walls and are very useful.
Their design is a huge leap forward from H5 (though I liked the idea of multiple creatures representing a stack) and is also a nice update of the Heroes 1 ghost.

The Lamasu is also well done and contributes to the factions' somewhat Egyptian theme, which I like. But the Gothic H5 Necropolis was more genuine, moving to Egypt is just a way to adapt the faction to the rivality with the Wizards.

The spiderwoman is ok given the mythology but I think the spider should be the fighter and the woman the shooter.

The rest of the line up is just the standard undead army, nothing wrong with that except the green spider legs on the liches.


STRONGHOLD

Like Dave Jame I think the Maya Stronghold is a good concept. Centaurs and Harpies are especially cool and jaguar warriors are horrible.

When the designers put too much effort into the cyclops they grew grotesque. The simpler and lighter H5 cyclops were better.

I don't really get your complaints about Stronghold, zeingeist. I think goblins, crushers, shamans and jaguar warriors look very different to each other and have different tasks, not just hitting (unlike the Inferno creatures). And except for the jaguar warrior they look at least ok.


HAVEN

The design of this faction is very nice and shiny, but I think that the realistic style of the knight towns in earlier games would suit Heroes VI better. It is the realistic humans that make the story interesting, after all the fantasy genre is based on fascinating stories about what ordinary medieval people thought could happen when they got involved in the business of beings of the magical realm.

Generally speaking the unupgraded creatures in this town looks much better than their overdone upgrades, especially the griffins, crossbowmen and sentinels.

The biggest disappointment is the sun riders which have lost the powerful air of the paladins in Heroes V.






@ me

Interesting thoughts!
Quote:
Well, I'm one of those who loved HoMM3 more than their own family and dog and subsequently I'm going to whine about every successor to this paramount pillar of round-based fantasy computer games, but back when the videos of MMH6 creatures started to appear on Youtube, I was disappointed. It seems to me like overall, the creature design has some sort of WoW, anime vibe to it, rather than the mystic fairy-tale designs I came to love in HoMM3.


I actually think that H5 is the most WoW inspired game (and the Dungeon assassin looks 100% manga), while H6 is an effort to distance the series from WoW.
Quote:
The second thing I noticed was that there was very little variation in colour schemes. Haven is white, Inferno is red, Necropolis is black and glowing green, Sanctuary is blue and green. The colour is so blatantly aligned, it's almost as though the creatures have been assimilated and melted into little variations of the very same idea but are lacking indiviudality. At least this is the feeling I get from Inferno and Stronghold.


I agree that would make more sense if different groups in a society and troops in an army had different style of dressing and uniforms, but the colours are also important to show that a faction's creatures belong together.
Quote:
Overall though, I like the graphics very much. The 3D graphics are new to me because I never really liked or played HoMM5 very much, and I think the transition to three dimensions went a lot better than I expected. But in its current state, the game relies to much on shiny fancy lighting effects and recycled ideas.

Out of all the different factions, I like Sanctuary the best. I think Sanctuary has the most varied designs of the different creatures, and while I was a little sceptical of the frogs at first, learning that they're all based on mythological creatures of ancient Eastern folklore has turned them around for me.

That said, recycling water elementals and light elementals is lazy and inexcusable.

Well put!

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War-overlord
War-overlord


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
Presidente of Isla del Tropico
posted February 17, 2012 12:39 PM
Edited by War-overlord at 14:09, 17 Feb 2012.

Let me start by saying that despite all the grievances I shall list below, overall I am pleasantly surprised at the overall Aesthetic and how close the units have stuck to the conceptart. I enjoy the aesthetic of Heroes VI.

Haven
My main complaint is not the idea that units upgrade from dull steel to shiny embossed armour across the board. My main complaint is that they look more advanced than Haven in V, even though they are supposed to be 500 years ealier in the timeline.
This kicks especially with the Crossbowman who wield far more intricate crossbows than their later counterparts.
Another complaint concerns the Sun Riders. Insubstantial steeds defeat the purpose of cavalry! Cavalry does not rely on speed and mobility alone, but equally, if not more, on the greatly added mass of the steed. The combination of mass and speed is what gives cavalry it's impact and momentum on the charge. More mass means needing less speed to achieve the same impact.
I agree that there are too many female elementals and I do not love the glories, but I do not hate them either. I do however lament the loss of range that they brought with them.

Inferno
Let me start by saying that I applaud the idea of combining Cthulic/Elder God demons with the more traditional Christian/Fire-'n-Brimstone demons. The result is rather lackluster, but the effort was commendable.
Second, what is with the idea that nearly every demon is an inheranntly tortured being? Are we supposed to feel sorry for them? Because I doubt that effect is achieved.
I love the Pit Fiends, they managed to improve a design that did not need improving, though I miss the armour they used to have. I also like the Succubi, their faces look better in the artwork, less impersonal, but that hardly bothers me. Also I am not bothered by the lack of a third head on the Cerberi, because unlike what many people think, Cerberus did not have a set number of heads in Greek and Roman times. Agreed, three is the most used number, but there are artworks and literature that show the beast with 1, 2 or sometimes even 50 heads (Hesiod's Theogony chief among them).
Breeders almost made me retch when I first saw them, but I consider that a good thing when we are speaking of Cthulic demons.
The rest are rather Meh.

Necropolis
I rather miss the Old (neo)Gothic design of Necropolis, but this Sumero/Egyptic deathcult is a fine replacement.
Creatures look good across the board, though they lack a certain hunger which I associate with the undead. I am glad that Zombies were finally thrown off the bandwagon.
Though I would also agree that Vampires took too much inspiration of WoW Deathknights and Lichking and that the Spider should have been the melee-form and the Humanoid the shooter-form.
Also, in my opinion, Carthage must be destroyed this faction lacks a cavalry unit.

Sanctuary
I have to say that I love the design of both the Sharkguard and the Kirin. The Kirin looks amazing, even though it, correctly, should be called a Lung. As a Kirin is, technically, a reptilian unicorn/giraffe kind of beast. I also love the South Sea/Maori look of the Shark Guards, with the weapon and the tattoo-desings and the clothing. Even though the animations make the wrong use of the weapon. (And if we ever get alternate upgrades, I am crossing my fingers for a Hammerhead Sharkguard)
Kappa and Kenshi are solid, pleasing creatures. Snow Maidens I can live with.
The one creature I despise are the Spring Spirits. They should go back to auditioning for Bollywood musicals. Seriously, they look too Indian for a real Far-Eastern inspriration.

Stronghold
I've never made it a secret that I liked the Ranaar Steppe Orcs better than this Mesoamerican Precolumbic look. It suits the idea of more tropical island Orcs, but the more barbaric steppe/Mongol Horde look pleased me more.
That being said, I realy like the Dreamwalkers. They look genuinely shamanistic.
I like the Centaurs, Maulers, Goblins and Cyclopes; but I liked their Ranaarian counterparts better.
I am still not convinced Harpies suit Stronghold. They look pleasing, but I do not think that Stronghold is their best home.
Jaguar Warriors are simply Meh.
Also, in my opinion, Carthage must be destroyed this faction lacks a true cavalry unit. (I refuse to count Centaurs as such.)
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httassadar
httassadar


Adventuring Hero
posted February 17, 2012 01:03 PM

Necro
Liches have wings and they float on their staff, but they cannot fly!???

Also I can't agree more that for Nemtaru, spider should be melee and human should be shooter (caster of dark magic would be better)

Inferno
What possessed BlackHole to get rid of Devil? No black dragon is fine by me as we don't have a dungeon faction yet, but no Devil for inferno? Maybe they will remove Titan for Academy!

Haven
Fine by me. Just always the same problem for all the hero games. Knights should start attack animation when charging, not ride to enemy -- stop -- attack

Also, is it just me that cannot distinguish between water element and spring spirit, as well as between light element and glory?

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alcibiades
alcibiades


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
of Gold Dragons
posted February 17, 2012 01:37 PM

My guess is that they wanted to tone down the religious overtone that Devil has - at least that makes sense with the Angels being now Seraphs and Celestials, although they did retain Archangels as bosses, so who knows what really went through their minds.

Btw. we won't see Devils, lore specifically mentions that the only creature comparable to Pit Lord is the Arch Demon, so that would be most likely candidate for Inferno alternative Champion I think.
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einomida
einomida


Known Hero
posted February 17, 2012 04:52 PM
Edited by einomida at 16:58, 17 Feb 2012.

In short (I disregarded the timeline and gave my evaluation based only on looks):

Haven - love it. I like how they went towards a more celestial style this time. I loved the earthly knight type in H2; but H3/H5 was a kind of middle ground between the two styles and I felt it wasn't really sure what it was trying to be.

Inferno - my favorite faction in H5, not so much in H6. I personally don't like the overly gross demons, I found the H5 style a lot more pleasing. Two-headed cerberus? Don't care. Overall too similar units, needs more nightmares. Human Succubus is odd, don't like it.

Necro - I like the Egyptian style, not the green lasershow though. Vampires too dandy; I prefer skeletal liches; otherwise ok. Ghouls are a great improvement over zombies.

Sanctuary - I like it: Sharkguard is one of my favorite unit designs in the game. Perhaps the two similar maiden units could use a little tuning.

Quote:

Stronghold
I've never made it a secret that I liked the Ranaar Steppe Orcs better than this Mesoamerican Precolumbic look. It suits the idea of more tropical island Orcs, but the more barbaric steppe/Mongol Horde look pleased me more.
That being said, I realy like the Dreamwalkers. They look genuinely shamanistic.
I like the Centaurs, Maulers, Goblins and Cyclopes; but I liked their Ranaarian counterparts better.
I am still not convinced Harpies suit Stronghold. They look pleasing, but I do not think that Stronghold is their best home.
Jaguar Warriors are simply Meh.
Also, in my opinion, Carthage must be destroyed this faction lacks a true cavalry unit. (I refuse to count Centaurs as such.)


Agreed in that the idea behind the steppe/Mongol Horde is much better for an Orc faction.
However, I absolutley love the new tropical look. Harpies - one of my favortie designs.
Overall they don't click well with the H5 Orc vibe though so I'm just going to conclude that while I like the new design, I think it could have been made into a different faction and the Orcs should have kept their H5 style.

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httassadar
httassadar


Adventuring Hero
posted February 20, 2012 01:39 PM

Quote:

Necro - I like the Egyptian style, not the green lasershow though. Vampires too dandy; I prefer skeletal liches; otherwise ok. Ghouls are a great improvement over zombies.



Zombies are an essential part of necromancy IMO. It's just unfortunate that in all Heroes series, zombies are one of the useless units. In fact, H5 zombies are not too bad if played in H6, as they now get equal number of actions as others.

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Mithrandir
Mithrandir


Hired Hero
posted February 28, 2012 07:28 PM

Quote:

Zombies are an essential part of necromancy IMO. It's just unfortunate that in all Heroes series, zombies are one of the useless units. In fact, H5 zombies are not too bad if played in H6, as they now get equal number of actions as others.

Zombies may fit well into Pirates of the Carribian, but I'm sooo glad that europian (gothic) and aegyptian looking necromancers got rid of them. There are many other revenants who fit in the general theme way better than voodoo infused bodies.

As for the rest of Necro, the lich design is just wrong (like the exact opposite of imposing undead mage) and vampires are too much Lich King-ish. Other units are good if U put apart that annoying green lasershow.

I like the more celestial theme of Haven, although they are a bit too shiny for my taste, but quite good overall.

Sanctuary is fine and very nice, although they suffer from the "two elemental laydies in one faction" thing.

Mayan and jungle themed orcs are good overall, except for the Ravagers (or what's the name of that big dull and totally forgetable unit). The new harpy and centaur are refreshing and I agrre that the cyclops are a bit overdone.

And finally, I would only repat what has already been said about Inferno, so I just skip those poor pointy red guys.
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G0b1in
G0b1in


Adventuring Hero
posted February 28, 2012 09:18 PM

regarding looks here's what i think of H6 style:

Haven - I think it improved over H3 and specialy H5 (which had most borring Haven design of all series imo), and to me is the best looking Haven unit design so far. Sun riders and Radian Glorys (naked chick!) realy give more "havenley" feel to Haven - too bad town (yes "town windows" as small as they are still count) has a rather dull look. I also like the "Slavic" feel to this faction - it realy fits in (Polish "winged Hussars" and all)

Stronghold - Looks realy cool and is imo best looking faction in game (guess you saw it coming). While the "Mongol" orcs were cool in H5 (so were in warcraft 3 btw) i like this Mayan theme better - it's fresh and not overused - looks exotic. Harpies are nice too look at but have this long attack animation going on tho. Jaguar warriors are cool too, but it's actualy the Centaurs i think that are a bit of there with the rest of faction - their African "zebra theme" dosen't feel right there with the rest - they look good on their own tho. Altar of sacrafice or something like that would fit this faction imo.

Necro - Well idk what to say about this one to be hornest. They want to be Babilonian/Egyptian themed, but have European gothic styles mixed with them. Lemasu is one cool creature and fits in the Undead Babilonian town best of all. Vampires are the one that feels odd here realy - they are too "warcraftish" for my taste. Overall i feel like there should be Mummy's there (or a mummy - look a like at least). Cool town tho.

Inferno - Inferno is a dull looking faction, but it's what I'd expect from it when i hear Inferno. It looks very much like H5. They are my least favourite looking faction in game. There's realy nothing exciting about inferno faction that caught my eye except Breeders - they are truly unique creatures. They are the only interesting thing here tho and nearly not enough to "save" looks of Inferno.

Sanctuary - I couldn't decide right away if this is my favorite looking faction or Stronghold - but the last one took the cake. Sanctuary are my second best looking faction you could say. The Naga faction is what i always secretly wanted in Heroes game, and here it is. The fact that is Japanese themed makes it even more unique.... or does it?  - First Shogun 2: Total War, then Warcraft goes East (Pandas blah) - altho i quit WoW long time ago - then Paradox's "Sengoku" - Makes H6's Sanctuary look like another thing in this "Samurai fashion" that took on gaming recently. Overall cool faction non-the-less. Tho they are fish and probably couldn't live very long time in Japan (Sushi and all ).
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Falconian
Falconian


Adventuring Hero
posted February 28, 2012 10:45 PM
Edited by Falconian at 22:47, 28 Feb 2012.

Good:
- Spectres look like H2's ones. Epic.
- 1x1 liches finally!
- The concept of goblins throwing boomerangs is very cool.
- Haven is very well done.

Bad:
- Cyclops. They look like gummies.
- No "big bad axe-wielding giant". I miss H5's Orc Chieftains, they gave you a sense of power and destruction.
- Skeletons throwing spears??? That is the worst thing I've ever seen.
Skeleton archers were the best and should have remained archers.
- Inferno has indeed a boring line-up. Breeders are good but the other walkers look all the same.

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Avirosb
Avirosb


Promising
Legendary Hero
No longer on vacation
posted February 28, 2012 11:34 PM
Edited by Avirosb at 23:38, 28 Feb 2012.

HAVEN FACTION

Holy Spikemen - The sentinel looks okay but the praetorian seems kinda 'top heavy',
mostly because of the giant shoulderpads and rabbity ears.

Crossbowmen - While the design of the basic unit doesn't offend me, it's not that great either.
The upgrade has a bad case of 'superfluous headgear' a lot of the units in H6 seem to suffer from.

Sisters - Preach it, sistah! Anyway, this is a classic case of concept art gone wrong.
Because both units look frail and sickly pale now.
They do look more conservative than their concept art counterparts, I'll give 'em that.

Griffins - Basic is decent, the upgrade is borderline animal cruelty.
It looks like a mascot for some medieval pride parade.

Radiant Gloryholes - They're flying and they're nude.
But are they light elementals, or are light elementals glories?
I like the concept, just not the execution.

Sun Riders - Because the holy empire is holy and we need more holy units.
Actually, my problem here is with the name, not the unit.
Excluding the horse, they remain the best looking units in the Haven faction, IMO.

NECRO FACTION

Skeletons - While the skeletons themselves look okay,
the giant spears they're carrying just serve to make both units look exaggerated and WOWcraft-ish.

Ghouls - Don't look as menacing as they look outright silly,
with the nose ring, the gaping mouth and of course the spikes.

Vampires - Hate them. The glowing green eyes, the white flowing hair,
the cumbersome armor and the ridiculous helmet...
They don't even say 'blah'!

Liches - While they don't look as goofy as their concept art would indicate,
I feel they would have looked a lot better without the elaborate scepter-thingie and those glowing spider legs.

Ghosts - They do so not look like the ghosts from Heroes 2,
behind all those layers of graphical effects, they look more like the ghosts from Heroes 4.
I guess I would have been okay with them if they had called them banshees or whatever.

Lamassu - Looks like Native American chieftains rather than female.
Would have been better as a male creature in academy (Shedu -> Lamassu)

Fate Weavers - Is it just me or do all female units look like they're bored out of their skulls?
Anyway, they're on par with the vampire.

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Fofa
Fofa


Famous Hero
Famous? Me?!
posted February 29, 2012 01:54 AM

My opinion is that the Haven and Inferno look typical for what they are (with the exceptions of the Glories and the Breeders respectively). I'm not going to complain about the Cerberus' lack of heads, because everyone else has done that for me.
For the Necropolis, also nothing too spectacular but I do appreciate the Lamasu and the Fate Spinners taking on dual forms, however I do wonder if the colour scheme of the faction was chosen by the developers in hopes of making that exact shade of green my least favourite colour ever.
The Stronghold, the units look feral, which suits them though I sort of dislike the Cyclops and I can't figure out why, and while I like that the centaurs look less demonic here than previously, did they cross over with a zebra or something?
As for the Sanctuary, as someone who knows about some Japanese culture and such while I was learning Japanese in school, it was nice to see that the Snow Maidens were accurate as were the Kappas, despite tooling them for the game's setting. In regards to the sharks, I suspect there was one main reason for their inclusion: Everything's Even Worse with Sharks.
On the neutral creatures, I too am disappointed about the recycled water and light elementals, however if someone on the development team came and said that was because they were rushed, I'd believe that. At least the Phoenix doesn't look draconic this time.

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Dexter
Dexter


Known Hero
posted March 03, 2012 01:53 PM

Finally got a day off, so I can contribute to the thread. So here goes:

HAVEN: In terms of unit design I must say that I preferred the more "usual" approach towards the faction. The current incarnation of the faction seems too shiny and too WOWish for my taste. I do like it though that we got a few female units, but of course the naked glory is slightly too much...
What I love however is the town design. It's very good, very unique compared to the previous games, and done with taste. Looking forward to see the actual town screen.

INFERNO: As noted previously, some of the units in the line-up are too similar; however the Breeder and its upgrade prove to be one of the most unique units in the game. Also, it seems from the artwork that the Abyssal Worm was also supposed to be part of the Inferno line-up originally, which proves that the devs are going in the right direction, as to actually differentiate between the units.
What I dislike however is the town design. I hate the strange appearance of the structures, especially with all the eyes staring around. Hate the idea and hate its implementation. I actually preferred the ruined magic-enchanted fortresses of Heroes V.

NECROPOLIS: Overall the unit design is very nice, with the exception of the Fate Weaver's human form, which is too exaggerated and disproportional with those blades. Actually, same goes for the Skeletal Spearman... But I do love the idea and the design of the Lamasu.
The town is among the best in the series. The Sumerian theme is totally gorgeous, though somebody should turn the lights off... The color coding seems to be a problem of all the factions, but Necropolis definitely suffered the most.

SANCTUARY: The units are great. I especially appreciate the fact that they're close to their mythological counterparts, and yet look absolutely stunning. Gergely Fejervary deserves a huge word of praise for the Kappa. But don't even get me started on the Snow Maiden...
Unfortunately I don't like the design of the town too much. Maybe it's the seashells which suddenly "grow" from the rooftops, or maybe the whole idea of a sunken city, while the core creatures (the Kenshi and the Coral Priestess) don't really look like they could swim in deep water... Overall just seems like stretching the whole idea a bit too far.

STRNGHOLD: The units are absolutely brilliant, except for the Cyclops... For crying out loud, what was wrong with the Heroes V version? Instead we got a hideous blob of God knows what...
The city design is fine. Can't say it's my favorite, as I never really liked the Stronghold faction to start with, but I do appreciate its looks.

OTHER: Got to comment on the neutrals as well. Can anyone explain me the urge to make everything so humanoid? Water Elemental, Light Elemental, Fire Elemental, Air Elemental... Is there no artist in the world who could possibly come up with something unique and different?

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alcibiades
alcibiades


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
of Gold Dragons
posted March 03, 2012 04:19 PM

About unit design, refering to the pictures Dexter just uploaded: Holy mother of God, what is the story behind the scary Spring Spirit?
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What will happen now?

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Mithrandir
Mithrandir


Hired Hero
posted March 03, 2012 11:54 PM

Quote:
About unit design, refering to the pictures Dexter just uploaded: Holy mother of God, what is the story behind the [url=http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/405/springspiritupgrade.jpg]scary Spring Spirit[/url]?

Well, the glowing eyes make it a bit scary, but it looks very "nature-like" to me. It could be an idea for an alternative upgrade (more likely) or (less likely) this could be a Water elemental, as the leaves and shells/horns (?) fit perfectly for an elemental, as opposed to the golden-clad pierced indie-looking spring spirit?

What i find more Mother-of-god-worthy is this (http://img59.imageshack.us/img59/491/priestessevolution.png) priestess, using her halo as a weapon! I'm so glad this idea got scraped. (no offense to the artist)
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English ain't my native language, sorry for any mistakes.

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G0b1in
G0b1in


Adventuring Hero
posted March 04, 2012 12:34 AM

She could use that as Xena's chakram

reagarding spring spirit ... well i'd still do her

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