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Heroes Community > Heroes 3.5 - WoG and Beyond > Thread: [Official Thread] HoMM 3: Horn of the Abyss - Announcements, Questions, Features
Thread: [Official Thread] HoMM 3: Horn of the Abyss - Announcements, Questions, Features This Popular Thread is 407 pages long: 1 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 ... 377 378 379 380 381 ... 400 407 · «PREV / NEXT»
TheClone
TheClone

Tavern Dweller
posted December 31, 2019 09:08 PM


I just found it on YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQQSPcn_TwE
____________

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krs
krs


Famous Hero
posted December 31, 2019 09:40 PM

Still hoping for a release at midnight

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Gandalf196
Gandalf196


Known Hero
posted December 31, 2019 09:40 PM


____________
All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.

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Gandalf196
Gandalf196


Known Hero
posted December 31, 2019 11:09 PM

It's out!
____________
All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.

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Tordah
Tordah


Hired Hero
posted December 31, 2019 11:12 PM

Gandalf196 said:
It's out!


YA MY BRO IT'S OUT LMAO

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Tevye
Tevye

Tavern Dweller
posted December 31, 2019 11:15 PM
Edited by Tevye at 23:22, 31 Dec 2019.

As announced earlier, the next HotA update is the version 1.6.0, which is live now. In this article, we will cover the main additions and changes in the 1.6.0 update. But first things first, let's premise it with the following:

The 1.7.0 update with the new Factory town does not and cannot have a scheduled release date, however, the development is chugging along, and in January, you can expect another major news article where several new units from the lineup will be announced.

Obviously, as a non-commercial project, our manpower is limited, and we don't always have enough of it readily available to keep the development pace steady. At the moment, we could use help from advanced 3D artists and animators. Those wishing to participate in the development of HotA can contact me directly by messaging Docent Picolan in the VK group contacts, or through e-mail: hotacrew@gmail.com.

Map Editor

In 1.6.0, we decided to pay attention to a field that has not seen too much improvement in the last few years, the map editor. Map creators continue to be an important part of the community, and their original scenarios are a window to the game's full potential, whereas online battles tend to leverage only a small part of it.

In 1.6.0 update, the following becomes available in the editor:

- specifying security options and rewards for creature bank objects. I.e. users can set up minimal or ultimate variants of the Dragon Utopia, as well as designate which artifacts the player will get there;




- an option to set multi-use quests and quest sequences for Seer Huts. An example of the former: keep coming with one unit of wood and always receive 1 Peasant as a reward. An example of the latter: first return with a unit of wood, then with a unit of ore, and finally with a unit of sulfur, and get a different reward each time;



- a new object, the Quest Gate. The Quest Gate is essentially similar to the Quest Guard, but unlike the latter it does not disappear after the first pass. Its introduction opens up a wealth of new map design ideas, from collecting a recurring "tribute" in resources from the passing heroes to limiting the player's area of influence;



- in the Event settings, a new "triggers for AI-controlled player" checkbox. This feature can be used to boost the AI-controlled player operating in the same location as the human player, regardless of flag colors. The former will receive a certain bonus when visiting an Event square, while for the latter, the square will remain empty;



- new quests for objects that give quests: "belong to a certain class" and "return no earlier than a specified date." These are best suited for the Quest Gate. An example of the former: access to certain bonuses on the map arena can be restricted to certain classes of heroes. An example of the latter: combined with a time limit, the gate can be passed only during a specified period of time;




- in unit settings on the adventure map, a new option to specify how exactly a unit group will be divided into stacks during combat, as well as an option to set the presence or absence of an upgraded stack.




Furthermore, a significant visual gaffe of the original game was fixed. Unit sprites on the adventure map were often located far beyond the boundaries of their own active squares (the rightmost one of the two). Gorgons, Manticores, Harpies and many others could appear as if they were standing on the leftmost square, forcing players to click on squares around the sprite to check where the unit actually stood. Unit sprites are now expanded to three horizontally aligned squares and centered in the middle one, so in all situations, a player will be able to easily detect the square on which the unit stands. Examples of that can be seen in the screenshots below:




In order to implement this feature, but also to improve the user experience when working with the editor, sprites on the object panels are now displayed as their visible part, disregarding the empty adjacent squares. Barely discernible classes of heroes and decorations, as well as the tiny Dragon Utopia, are all a thing of the past. All images are now as large as their position allows:




In addition to the above, improvements of the editor include technical control over the generation of terrain tiles (no more two identical tiles in a row) and the introduction of combat places for arena maps as objects like Events. You can find out more about arena map features in the Documentation section.

Steel golem

Avid online players and stream viewers know that the guards of Experimental Shops have long been scarce challenge on the way to the reward. Shop tactics everyone knows by heart by now allow players to get Giants for their armies without suffering any losses, even with a very modest army. In the case of Harpies, the task is further reduced to simple click-through. The only resource required for success is time, as battles get drawn out to last dozens, sometimes hundreds of rounds. The 1.6.0 update introduces a range of solutions to deal with the problem once and for all.

First off, a brand new unit, the neutral Steel Golem, is introduced to replace the Tower's Iron Golems in the Shops guard.


Steel Golem model, by Dima Gravchenko

Nearly all of their stats are slightly higher than that of their Iron counterparts, but their biggest advantage is the speed, one point higher (6). Why not use the existing Diamond or Gold Golems, you might ask. Well, their speed is also 5, and we are loath to even consider altering the stats for the game's original units without critical necessity. The standard feature for all golems, the spell damage reduction, is 80% for the Steel version.


The design of the Steel Golem features stylistic influence from the original Tower, golems from Heroes II, as well as the future Factory town. The visuals are further augmented by the sounds the unit makes in combat to create a complete experience.


Concept sketch, by Docent Picolan

However, only in later updates will a new resident move into the Golem Factory, common home of all Golems on the adventure map. We deemed making changes to the hiring dialogue to be of low priority; this time-consuming task has been pushed back for now. Testing has shown speed 6 to be the minimum required to make battles more complicated, but we might later increase the speed for the Steel Golem to 7, if even finer balance tuning of the Shops' guard proves necessary.


Steel Golem animation, 200% scale, by Dima Gravchenko

The second solution to the issue of exceedingly long battles against the AI is to limit the maximum number of rounds in combat. We introduced a default limit of 100 rounds, but it can be altered in the Map and Template Editors.

Interference

Back in March last year, in update 1.5.2, the mechanics of the Resistance skill were changed to solve balance problems. Instead of a chance to resist a spell, it was made to reduce the opponent's Spellpower. Directly replacing an element of the original game with a new one is not typical for HotA, but it was sufficient as a temporary measure. In 1.6.0 update, the new mechanics will be added as a brand new Interference skill.




In-game appearance of the Interference skill, by Docent Picolan

Resistance, in turn, returns to the game in its original form, but it is now banned by default on all popular templates and maps. Along with the skill, the mechanically similar artifacts (Garniture of Interference, Surcoat of Counterpoise, and Boots of Polarity), and the only Resistance specialist, Thorgrim, are disabled as well. It should be noted that Resistance, Thorgrim and the artifacts can always be turned back at the player's behest in the Template and Map Editors.


In-game appearance of the Interference skill, by Docent Picolan

Heroes who had Resistance as one of their starting skills (Ufretin, Clancy, Fafner, Ignatius, Straker, Ajit, Crellion, Saurug, Bron and Zilare) will now start with interference. You will be able to read more on bans/permits in the documentation section after the version 1.6.0 is released.

Three new artifacts will be added to decrease the opponent's Spelpower (no combination), with altered percentages and changed inventory slots:

Plate of Dying Light - Torso slot. Decreases the Spellpower of the enemy hero by 25% in combat. Relic, cost: 10,000.


By Agar, Docent Picolan

Charm of Eclipse - Miscellaneous slot. Decreases the Spellpower of the enemy hero by 10% in combat. Minor, cost: 5000.


By Agar, Docent Picolan

Seal of Sunset - Ring slot. Decreases the Spellpower of the enemy hero by 10% in combat. Minor, cost: 5000.


By Agar, Docent Picolan

The Rampart heroes are joined by a Giselle, an Interference specialist. Her bio:

A fair took place once in the village where Giselle lived. An old druid from a nearby grove agreed to show the villagers a few simple magic tricks. Nothing he tried seemed to work out, but the old man was able to accurately pinpoint the grinning girl in the front row as the cause of his woes.


Portrait of Giselle, by Docent Picolan


In-game appearance of Giselle, new artifacts, and the icon for the Steel Golem, by HotA Crew


Work-in-progress material from the 1.6.0 update development. Rejected skill icons and artifact models, by HotA Crew

Wasteland

The biggest addition in the version 1.6.0 by the sheer volume of visual content will be a new terrain, the Wasteland. We shall touch upon it last, as some information, along with early screenshots, have already been published in previous publications. Still, the terrain has changed considerably since, as all necessary tile textures have been finished, a significant number of new decor created, the soundtrack composed, interactive objects added, and the battlefield with its obstacles finished.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQQSPcn_TwE
Soundtrack for the Wasteland terrain, by Docent Picolan



Wasteland battlefield with its obstacles, by Agar, Docent Picolan, DrSlash

As always, the terrain's interactive objects double as decorations. First of all, they must help create the terrain's atmosphere, and only then come their properties and gameplay functions in Wasteland areas. The most significant for the game is likely the Warlock's Lab that allows players to transmute four rare resources into each other at the ratio of 1 to 1. The most unusual in terms of mechanics is the Grave. It is an adventure map square where a hero can leverage the rarely-used digging function (that still has a whole button dedicated to it in the interface!). Finally, there are reasons to dig in the game unrelated with Grail hunting. The Derrick is an exact copy of the Watermill in properties, only the design and name are different. For such a region, an oil derrick is an iconic image that will also go well with the aesthetics of the Factory that takes some design clues from the Old West. The Prospector is another familiar image from the Frontier times, albeit still fitting the HoMM fantasy environment perfectly. It is one of the only objects featuring a living animated character, similar in that to the Mystical Garden and the Faerie Ring. And finally, the Trailblazer not only offsets the movement penalty for the terrain, but even adds a bonus equal to that of slow roads. Visually, it is influenced by a Native American teepee.


Interactive objects of the Wasteland, by Agar, Don_ko, Docent Picolan, DrSlash

Here goes the full description of the Wasteland objects:

- Derrick

Yields 500 gold in the first week and 1000 gold in any other. RMG value is 750, frequency is 30, generated on Wasteland

- Warlock's Lab

Allows players to transmute mercury, sulfur, crystals and gems into each other at the ratio of 1 to 1. RMG value is 3000, frequency is 100, generated on Snow and Wasteland, no more than one per zone

- Prospector

Yields 500 gold or 5 sulfur once a week. RMG value is 500, frequency is 30, generated on Wasteland

- Trailblazer
Reduces the movement penalty for Wasteland by 50%. RMG value is 200, frequency is 40, generated on Wasteland, no more than one per zone

- Grave
When dug up, yields 500-5000 gold, or a random treasure/minor class artifact, and gives -3 to morale until the next battle. RMG value is 500, frequency is 30, generated on Wasteland


A battle in the Wasteland

After the demo version materials had been made public, we heeded the feedback from users who complained about the new terrain being overly saturated and bright. Texture frames ready by that time were significantly reworked, and all new textures and objects were created with the updated color scheme, much more restrained, in mind:



A comparison of the terrain from the demo version and the 1.6.0 update

Here's a demonstration video featuring a stroll on the new terain. You can see how digging up a Grave happens, check out the animation of the objects, and watch the Steel Golems in battle. There is also some content from the future Factory in the background.

Attention! Do not let avid online players watch this! Battle tactics weren't in the slightest a priority here; it's just a video that shows off graphic assets.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbgJ3ZgUPV8

As always, you can refer to the full changelog to read more about the newest version.

Among the HotA crew members involved in the development of the version 1.6.0, especially big props go to our new 3D artist Dima Gravchenko, as well as the artist DrSlash, for offering a hand in all crucial activities the others couldn't find time for. We also extend our gratitude to the members of the Polish online community who helped us with testing.

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Tordah
Tordah


Hired Hero
posted December 31, 2019 11:23 PM

The images for the interference skill are 404 so we can't see what it actually does.

I guess it reduces enemy spell power??

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Tevye
Tevye

Tavern Dweller
posted December 31, 2019 11:24 PM

Tordah said:
The images for the interference skill are 404 so we can't see what it actually does.

I guess it reduces enemy spell power??


Fixed now.

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pellish
pellish


Famous Hero
posted December 31, 2019 11:31 PM

Awesome! Thank you for all your hard work. I am very much looking forward to playing later tonight.

Happy New Year, guys!

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krs
krs


Famous Hero
posted December 31, 2019 11:39 PM

Happy new year!!!!

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Hourglass
Hourglass


Known Hero
posted December 31, 2019 11:44 PM

Secondary skill changes:

[+] The percentage for the Logistics secondary skill has been reduced to 5/10/20%, the effect of the Equestrian's Gloves, to 200, and of Boots of Speed, to 400
[+] The effect of the Intelligence skill has been reduced from 25/50/100% to 20/35/50%
[+] The effect of the Mysticism skill has been increased from 2/3/4 to 5/10/15
[+] The value of the Estates skill has been increased from 125/250/500 to 250/500/1000

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gatecrasher
gatecrasher


Famous Hero
posted December 31, 2019 11:49 PM

Happy New Year! Thank you for your work.
The steel golem is a creative solution for the Shop issue.
Very cool new tools for mapmakers, especially the Quest Gate.
Eager to excavate the grave!

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bloodsucker
bloodsucker


Legendary Hero
posted January 01, 2020 12:26 AM
Edited by bloodsucker at 00:27, 01 Jan 2020.

Thank you for all the good work but specially for the changes in the editor. I have a question, though: what happens when you exceed the limit of rounds when taking a bank? Is this limit valid for all battles, even hero versus hero? In that case, I would suggest to limit it to banks cause some SP maps are created with extremely long battles in mind.  

Happy new year for all, mine will start well, testing the new editor...

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gatecrasher
gatecrasher


Famous Hero
posted January 01, 2020 12:36 AM

[+] The speed of any creature affected by Advanced or Expert Slow has been increased by 1


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phoenix4ever
phoenix4ever


Legendary Hero
Heroes is love, Heroes is life
posted January 01, 2020 12:57 AM
Edited by phoenix4ever at 01:03, 01 Jan 2020.

Congratulations and Happy New Year!

One question:
[-] Intelligence specialization now gives +1 to the scounting range for every 6 levels of the hero.
So Intelligence specialists now gives bonus to scouting radius, instead of extra mana? That's a bit weird.

I think you have a made the Estates skill too powerful and overnerfed Intelligence a bit. Mysticism is finally better, not good, but better.

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bloodsucker
bloodsucker


Legendary Hero
posted January 01, 2020 12:59 AM

Some time ago I've asked for a solution to AI losing battles when their army is too big, is this solved?
____________

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DrSlash
DrSlash


Hired Hero
posted January 01, 2020 01:03 AM

phoenix4ever said:
One question:
[-] Intelligence specialization now gives +1 to the scounting range for every 6 levels of the hero.
So Intelligence specialists now gives bonus to scouting radius, instead of extra mana? That's a bit weird.


It's just a mistake, it was supposed to say "Scouting specialization now gives +1 to the scounting range for every 6 levels of the hero."

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gatecrasher
gatecrasher


Famous Hero
posted January 01, 2020 01:04 AM
Edited by gatecrasher at 01:07, 01 Jan 2020.

Aargh, getting this HD_VGL.dll error, despite it is there. What were you supposed to do again?

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phoenix4ever
phoenix4ever


Legendary Hero
Heroes is love, Heroes is life
posted January 01, 2020 01:09 AM

DrSlash said:
It's just a mistake, it was supposed to say "Scouting specialization now gives +1 to the scounting range for every 6 levels of the hero."

Ahh okay, makes more sense then.

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gatecrasher
gatecrasher


Famous Hero
posted January 01, 2020 01:12 AM
Edited by gatecrasher at 01:13, 01 Jan 2020.

The Prospector looks like how I imagined Howard from B. Traven's "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre".

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