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Heroes Community > Heroes 6 - The New Beginning > Thread: My thoughts on duels
Thread: My thoughts on duels
NamelessOrder
NamelessOrder


Famous Hero
posted June 26, 2013 11:17 AM bonus applied by Elvin on 28 Jun 2013.

My thoughts on duels

I posted it on official forum but i think i should post it here as well.

--------------------

Hello,

Iím Nameless (aka ZergRusher) and in this post Iíd like to write what I like and donít like about my favorite play mode: duels.

Iíve played more than 700 of them, this including tournament plays (a tournament organized by heroescommunity). I prefer duels because they offer a rather quick match (a duel takes around 15-20 minutes but Iíve had duels that took 5 minutes and an hour) and you are from the very beginning facing a human opponent that tries to outwit you using his or her own strategies.

I also think that duels have a brighter future in MP because normal map play is too time demanding (unless sth will be changed like simultaneous turns) and X-COM proved that TBS are still valid today providing they are done well. Also, I believe that duels can be ported to consoles/tablets (again look at X-COM) which I donít think is possible with the whole, standard experience. A lot of H6 players are people you enjoyed previous installments so they are in their twenties (like myself) or adolescents. I really donít have time to spend 4-5 hours on one play that can crash and for the most time itís a repetitive single player (however I understand  people who enjoy it). Also around half an hour is some standard for MP strategy games (SC2 Ė around 20 mins, LoL - 40 mins -> LoL is not really a strategy game but itís similar and very popular).

And if this doesnít convince you Ubisoft, then think about it: a lot of people buy, not pirate, games to be able to play online with other players. Just look at Starcraft 2. Blizzard focused on MP so pirating the game just makes no sense. My point: instead of complaining about piracy, focus on MP experience.

Iíll start with things I donít like:

Bugs, connection or technical issues Ė this is rather obvious and I donít want to repeat what has already been said a lot before. And I know that you know it, but seriously you canít (shouldnít?) release such a buggy game and then leave some bugs for over one and a half year unfixed (prime example: glories can still blind any stack regardless of the health ratio).

Shooterís power Ė attacks from distance are simply too powerful. Archers have always been strong in the Heroes saga. One can attack during the first turn, one can choose the target, the damage is high, often magical, and increased by heroís abilities like archery I and II, and your opponent canít retaliate. At the same time, the majority of shooters in H6 have no range penalty but a melee penalty. This leads to a situation when almost every duel is a race to block enemy archers while protecting yours. This was exacerbated with the addition of pressed attack which is by far the most powerful warcry (btw. a sword from the sky looks weird but thatís not very important). In haven might tears vs dungeon might blood, marksmen with morale after waiting and with pressed attack will kill off the stack of eyes in the first turn (even if you simply put mind probe and defend!!!) get cleave and attack the dancers. Because they waited, after using pressed attack 3 times already, they still have two shots with pressed attack. Itís just insane.

Ubiquitous camping Ė the aforementioned power of shooters promotes heavy camping. Sadly, camping is the way to go if you want to win. A prime example is necro might tears vs any other might. A necro player sits in the corner, shooting down all enemy stacks. And every game is the same, the only question is whether the necro player will position himself in the bottom or the upper corner. The most exciting games are when armies are spread and engaged in combats on an open field. Sadly, itís rarely the case.

Games get repetitive Ė yes, every game after a while gets repetitive. But with no artifacts and same maps every time, after youíve developed the best strategy vs particular race, matches are getting very repetitive.

Dynasty weapons (DW)Ė every game should try to reinvent itself and you are welcome to try new things, even in a hit or miss fashion. As for me, DWs, are the biggest ďmissĒ in the game. Firstly, a new player cannot fight with an opponent with a lvl 5 DW and not everybody has time to finish campaign and level DW. They offer a fake imitation of diversity, because there is a handful of them  that are stronger and only they are playable. And finally, I noticed that my game crashes more often with DW.

Non-existent ladder Ė I might be wrong but I think that at the very beginning there was no ladder. Only later it was implemented but today, ladder is effectively dead and nobody plays it. Ladder is played under pressing time (15s for a move) and with DWs which turns off many players (including me), also a lot of players simply donít know that the ladder exists. Since Iíve played a lot of starcraft 2 I consider ladder an important part of the game so I am a bit frustrated with the current situation.

Too many abilities Ė I really like the diversity of abilities but I think that there are simply too many. Itís extremely hard to remember all of them and use effectively. I also think that there is an unnecessary doubling of abilities. For example with terrifying presence one has 20% chance to frighten a unit and 80% to give them -15 morale, you should simply give dragons one ability to decrease a bigger number of morale, because morale works like a chance for a unit to skip a turn. I donít understand why unlimited retaliation is called ďbattle readyĒ for kenseis, why assault is not called double strike and when it triggers and when it doesnít (why the hell there is this ďmayĒ, they should always attack twice), why the percentage of chance to pacify a unit when attacking with vestals is hidden and not displayed together with damage. These are only some of the little things that only makes the game unnecessarily complicated.

Poor descriptions Ė itís impossible to learn the game from descriptions of given abilities. Many a times, Iím still not sure whether given spell/effect is dispellable or not. Only recently I tried dispelling pacification. As far as I know, only in anathemaís description is it clearly written that the spell/effect is not dispellable.  Itís not only about spells, how can a new player know that holding ďaltĒ allows shooters to walk and attack in melee, that petrification can be dispelled by mass dispel but not by single one?

Lack of balance Ė self explanatory. The most extreme example is stronghold magic vsÖ actually vs anything but I guess vs haven might tears is the most prominent.

Different servers Ė as far as I know there are different servers for different regions. But itís a turn based strategy, are you afraid of lag? Lag doesnít matter here.

What I do like:

Duel mode Ė itís a subjective opinion but as Iíve written previously, I simply like the idea of playing 2-3 matches in an hour during the evening.

Chess-like matches Ė Iíve played a lot of strategy games in my life. You can trust me on this one. But rarely an RTS was really about strategy but rather about mechanics Ė ďhow well you clickĒ. I have similar feelings about starcraft 2, a game that is much more popular than H6 and Iíve played a lot. When I was playing duels and facing a good opponent I actually had to think about my next move. I remember that during a tournament game I simply wrote in the chat that I need a moment to think, opened a calculator and start counting whether celestialsí attack together with divine judgment would kill a remaining stack of Weavers. Such analytical play is rather rare nowadays but very satisfying. Duels resemble chess matches, but with pretty graphics and fantasy creatures instead of pawns and pieces.

Units cooperation and synergies Ė I played all six installments of the franchise but this is the first time when I really feel the cooperation and synergy between units. Iíll try to explain that with haven, since Iíve played haven might the most. If you look at haven cores, you can clearly see the division of responsibility between units, archers deal damage, praetorians tank and vestals heal. And boy it works wonders, itís even too good because it allows camping with archers protected by praetorians. H6 introduced, what Iíd called an ďutilityĒ units such as glories, dreamreavers or mizu-kamis . In haven might army, glories are first to take initiative and the main role of the stack of 40 glories is to debuff enemy units or dispel friendly stacks (side note: since I know that glories are bugged Iím not using their blinding ability unless Iím playing vs inferno might then I need some edge) to allow real damage dealers, especially crusaders to kill enemies. The same story is with dreamreavers that allow crushers to reach the enemy during the first turn.  This is a part of H6 I really enjoy.

New concepts Ė there is a lot of ideas that are definitely improvements over older versions. I like 3-tiers system of units, I like that all 7 units count as an important part of army. In H3, lvl1 units were losing their significance with time, but in duels every stack can change the outcome of the battle. The separation of magic and might attack and defense was a great idea. The fact that magic power (formerly spell power) improves attack of magical units seems obvious right now.
Some new abilities Ė there is lots of new abilities and Iíll list a couple that I like the most: mobile shooter and the ability to transform from ranged unit to a melee unit forcing a wait command. These two are great and quite innovative and I should be more ubiquitous. I also like how the infernoís and sanctuary racials work. It forces a player to attack and not sit back. On the other hand havenís racial points are gathered by morale so simply sitting idly in the corner will get you racial points.

What Iíd like to see:
- Bug-free game with no connection issues Ė obvious and self-explanatory but we canít proceed any further without it
- Shootersí power reduced, at least in duels. Also, range penalty and limited numbers of arrows should be a standard not an exception. Melee penalty should be rarer.
- Mobile shooter is a great ability and should be implemented more
- Pressed attack should be nerfed. I understand that currently itís an important part of the game (because of mark of heretic, soulreaver effect, Coup de Grace etc.) but the damage bonus should be at least halved (to +40% from 81% for tears, to 52% from 104% for blood or sth like that, itís hard for me to guess the correct numbers)
- Introduction of, letís called them ďskirmishersĒ a unit that starts as a shooter and can be turned into a melee (or start as a melee and can to be turned into a shooter). Just like the Weaverís human and spider form but with an emphasize on a melee form rather than a shooting one. There is no reason why skeletons, for example, cannot get such an ability to transform themselves into skeleton spearmen or skeleton warrior. Just an idea.
- More area of affect damage like archersí piercing shot or tormentorsí exploding spikes to punish campers (and donít know what new you can add: bouncing attacks? etc.). Also the spell: Blizzard should be able to be cast on specific area like 3x3, 4x2 and not only 4x4 (you can cast fireball as you want but not blizzard). I also think that dragonsí withering breath should effect a unit standing behind the targeted unit (as a dragonís attack should do).
- Ladder games without dynasty weapons/bonuses. More focus on ladder.
- I think before every duel you should be presented with a couple of random minor/major (rather not relics but maybe one) artifacts to spice things up.
- Itíd be nice to see some map differentiation, e.g by adding some random object around the middle that grants some bonuses like +10 luck/morale/health/attack etc. Itís important that it should be in the middle and it shouldnít block the way for units. I donít recommend adding rocks b/c they really help campers.
- Iíve written about terrifying presence. Letís assume that the "morale value" of this 20% chance is 25, so: 25+0,8*15=37. In other words, to have similar results dragons should decrease morale by 37. This way it is also more interesting because you can add more certainty by casting mass despair and your opponent has the option to counter the effect by casting burning determination. Simply putting 20% chance to skip a turn is a dull ability that makes the game random without giving players opportunity to include it into some interesting strategies.
- Improve descriptions so the game will be clear, especially add a dispellable, not dispellable tag to every effect.
- Always think about the way how you will ensure balance. Itís obvious that at the very beginning itís hard to predict every possibility and someone will eventually come up with a strategy that will be OP but itís important to patch the game and bring balance it if it occurs.
- Iíd prefer to see worldwide server. There isnít enough players and waiting for somebody to join your game is a no-no today.
- I think duels should take notice of chess rules on timing and simply give you letís say 10 minutes for entire game and not 30 seconds per one move. There are simple moves that doesnít require much consideration and 30 seconds is too much, and there are times when you have to analyze many possibilities and you simply need a minute.  

Well, that took me a while. I started with a simple list of what I like and donít like and it was just getting bigger and bigger. I hope that this will be helpful if not for H6 then for further installments. I have little hope for another expansion but you should consider some points before releasing another patch to finally fix the game.

Any comments, except TLDR ^ ^

Cheers.



____________
Uplay: ZergRusher | H6: Thoughts on duels | DoC: Cassa

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PROJ
PROJ


Known Hero
posted June 28, 2013 04:26 AM

I agree with a lot of what you wrote.  Good game design (not just in strategy games, but a lot of multiplayer games) usually encourages aggressive play instead of turtling/camping play.  What other buffs are affected by wait to last extra time besides pressed attack?  And what is the issue with blazing glories' blind?  

The abilities get a little ridiculous after a while.  Seeing 12-15 buffs/debuffs on various creatures is just way too much clutter and a lot of it is probably unnecessary.  

Just out of curiosity, since you're a lot more experienced in duels than me, how would you generally rate the different factions and their might/magic and blood/tears armies?  I know you mention balance, so what are the more even matchups and the unwinnable ones?  I figure haven and necro rate pretty high while stronghold rates low, but what about the others?
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NamelessOrder
NamelessOrder


Famous Hero
posted June 28, 2013 09:06 AM
Edited by NamelessOrder at 13:47, 28 Jun 2013.

Quote:
What other buffs are affected by wait to last extra time besides pressed attack?  


i believe that when you wait, every ability carries on the morale turn. It's like getting a bonus for delaying using a unit. This is a new game mechanics that i don't fully support.

Quote:
And what is the issue with blazing glories' blind?  

Right know, 1 glory can blind unlimited number of cyclops. Whether they can blind or not should depend on the health ratio as it is written in manual. This is a very old bug.

Quote:
Just out of curiosity, since you're a lot more experienced in duels than me, how would you generally rate the different factions and their might/magic and blood/tears armies?  I know you mention balance, so what are the more even matchups and the unwinnable ones?  I figure haven and necro rate pretty high while stronghold rates low, but what about the others?

That's a very good question, but it's not easy to answer. First of all, as i've written game is complicated and there aren't many good players. I "specialize" in haven might tears so you would think that i'd write with certainty about haven vs X matchups.
However, the game is still buggy and it's kinda hard to predict balance if they fixed the game (i believe haven is the main beneficiary of current bugs). But in the current state of the game:

might vs might in general: Stronghold and Dungeon < Sanctuary < Haven tears < Inferno tears and Necro tears
Notes: Sanc might tears with +25 HP to kenseis has a chance vs Haven might but i think haven is a favorite. I haven't lost to Necro might tears in a while but i'm almost sure i'd lose to a very good player. Necro was nerfed under patch 2.1.0. Currently one cannot have a might tears hero with +10/+10 defense to vampires specialization (Shield to the Bloodless) but players who've already had such a hero can still use it. I can only win as haven might tears vs inferno might tears when the inferno player makes mistakes, otherwise he will double his army and kill me.

Haven is also very strong versus magic b/c one cannot control Angels. I sometimes lose to Necro magic either blood or tears. I guess Inferno magic (both blood and tears) has some chance.

And definitely i find Stronghold Magic blood/tears unwinnable vs Haven might (tears i can confirm, blood i think so).

I don't feel comfortable writing about magic vs magic matchups b/c i haven't played enough of them (i probably won't b/c i don't play so often now).

About the tears/blood question: there was a thread about it: http://heroescommunity.com/viewthread.php3?TID=38984
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Uplay: ZergRusher | H6: Thoughts on duels | DoC: Cassa

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natalka
natalka


Supreme Hero
Bad-mannered
posted June 28, 2013 09:20 AM

Nameless, if you buy a hero with shield to the bloodless from altar of wishes you can use it too.

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NamelessOrder
NamelessOrder


Famous Hero
posted June 28, 2013 11:40 AM

Quote:
Nameless, if you buy a hero with shield to the bloodless from altar of wishes you can use it too.


No, i am  quoting myself:
Currently one cannot have a might tears hero with +10/+10 defense to vampires specialization (Shield to the Bloodless)

There is no might tears hero with this particular specialization. But you can find might blood and magic.
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Uplay: ZergRusher | H6: Thoughts on duels | DoC: Cassa

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Elvin
Elvin


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
What if Elvin was female?
posted June 28, 2013 11:49 PM

Very well said mate You know your stuff and I heartily agree though I lack the time for an indepth response. Will get to it soon
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DON'T BE A NOOB, JOIN A.D.V.E.N.T.U.R.E.

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natalka
natalka


Supreme Hero
Bad-mannered
posted June 29, 2013 03:56 PM

Corlagon has no reputation. Maybe you can assign him to be tears. I dunno what`s the deal with that duelz..

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SepSpring
SepSpring


Known Hero
posted July 08, 2013 12:05 PM

Quote:
Dynasty weapons (DW)

Don't think this one is a disadvantage: the option can be easily disabled, so new players may ask their opponents to turn it off or just do it themselves when creating a duel.

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dale
dale


Known Hero
posted July 08, 2013 03:00 PM

Very nice post -- even though you & I are diametrically different in our playing habits :-}}

I only play single games, which is why I like to find decent player maps.  

I am a big fan of ranged attacks, which is one reason I like Necro with its three shooter types.

I don't rush into battle, but hold back and wait for the opponent to come to me.

You say that you are about 20 -- I am three score and ten plus.

One thing about your post that I don't understand:
what do you mean by "ladders"?

I had not realized that patch 2.1 nerfed the Necro -- I'll have to examine how before I decide to install it.  What are the ways you see that it did that?

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Grey Beards of the world, Unite :-}}

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The_Polyglot
The_Polyglot


Promising
Supreme Hero
Legit Karate champ. Totally.
posted July 08, 2013 03:28 PM

@Dale: The speciality named 'Shield to the Bloodless'(+10 might, magic def for Vampires) is no longer available to unlock, yet those who already did, can still play with such a hero.
____________
Screw interest, take initiative!
Anonymous

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NamelessOrder
NamelessOrder


Famous Hero
posted July 08, 2013 05:13 PM

Quote:
One thing about your post that I don't understand:
what do you mean by "ladders"?

By ladder i mean automatic matchmaking system. Ladder is just the visible part when you can see how you stand in the hierarchy of players. Whether you are 10th,100th best player on the server.

Ladder today is the center of most MP games, even if it is not visible. Basically, by pressing start, you should be connected with a player of similar skill. It's so convenient.

Since in H6 nobody's playing ladder games, there is effectively no ladder.

Quote:

I had not realized that patch 2.1 nerfed the Necro -- I'll have to examine how before I decide to install it.  What are the ways you see that it did that?

I don't believe the changes effect SP. Polyglot was right about Shield to the Bloodless - this was the major change. But also the numbers of creatures have changed. Previously you could have 86 (or sth like that) vampires and less lamasu, today there is 80 lamasus and 64 vamps (and +10/+10 vamps are much better than lamusus). But this is minor compared to lack of the Shield to the Bloodless specialization in might tears heroes.  
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Uplay: ZergRusher | H6: Thoughts on duels | DoC: Cassa

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natalka
natalka


Supreme Hero
Bad-mannered
posted July 08, 2013 05:54 PM

why lack of specialization when you can earn such a hero in the altar of wishes...?
Maybe Ubi wants to make u play.

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