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Heroes Community > Heroes 7 - Falcon's Last Flight > Thread: Dynasty weapons/Living artifacts
Thread: Dynasty weapons/Living artifacts
Dave_Jame
Dave_Jame


Promising
Legendary Hero
I'm Faceless, not Brainless.
posted September 04, 2014 01:14 PM
Edited by Dave_Jame at 13:36, 04 Sep 2014.

Dynasty weapons/Living artifacts

I noticed that many people dislike ths feature of Heroes VI, and I understand why. But should that be a reason not to implement such a feature in the game, if it would be done in a better way?

Items that gain Experience with the hero are nothing new in TBS (See the new King's Bounty series). The problem is to make them the right way

The way they were made in H6 was atrocious. They were based on the premise of a long lasting game with a lot of replay value. With their 7 000 000 exp. needed to get maxed up. and their huge numbers (approx 30). Even the most tolerant people would get bored with this mindless grinding.

But what if they were done in a different way, a way more in the line of relics in M&M X Legacy.
In this Game relics could level up. Slowly, but not to slow, starting as a medicare item surpassed by some of the best ones, bot slowly growing in strength and becoming the most powerful items of their class. This was btw not limited only t weapons, but to other kinds of items as well. This experience was not permanent, and their progress was reset each game.

Living artifacts made in a similar way, of items that would level alongside your hero each game, could be a more friendly approach.
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War-overlord
War-overlord


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
Presidente of Isla del Tropico
posted September 04, 2014 01:26 PM

Dave_Jame said:
But what if they were don in a different way, a way more in the line of relics in M&M X Legacy.
In this Game relics could level up. Slowly, but not to slow, starting as a medicare item surpassed by some of the best ones, bot slowly growing in strength and becoming the most powerful items of their class. This was btw not limited only t weapons, but to other kinds of items as well. This experience was not permanent, and their progress was reset each game.

Living artifacts made in a similar way, of items that would level alongside your hero each game, could be a more friendly approach.

I would not be opposed to such an approach.
Provided that if heroes carry over during a campaign, so do living artifacts, relics and parts of an artifact-set.
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Brukernavn
Brukernavn

Hero of Order
posted September 04, 2014 02:21 PM

I don't think artifacts should "gain experience". If anything, weapons and armour perform worse as they are used and get worn out. I much more prefer artifact sets, where a combination of items in the same set give additional benefits. By distributing the different items across different locations with increasingly stronger guards, you would get the same effect of progress, just with more flexibility. You could even distribute them over following campaign missions.

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adriancat
adriancat


Famous Hero
Protector Of The Peace
posted September 04, 2014 03:07 PM

I also think that artifact sets (like in H5) are enough for a good game. Many things in Heroes VI were badly implemented and I'd suggest that the devs should try to "update" the positive sides of every game, not trying to make bad things work fine (too much risk at stake at this moment; if this game fails like H6, the chances for a Heroes 8 will be reduced).

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Elvin
Elvin


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
What if Elvin was female?
posted September 04, 2014 04:03 PM

I think it's far easier to tie the weapon's level to that of the hero. For instance a hero lvl 1-5 gets lvl 1 dynasty bonus, a hero lvl 5-10 gets a lvl 2 dynasty bonus, a hero lvl 10-5 a lvl 3 dynasty bonus etc. Sure it makes more sense that the hero has to gain his 'affinity' with the given weapon but what purpose does that serve? Grinding? I also like the idea of an artifact that is only as strong as your hero, making them less important in earlygame.

Theoretically it could also be a nice starting bonus but it's probably too important compared to any other It is hard to compare to a gold or resource bonus and nerfing such an item would only make it less appealing. So it's probably better as an artifact you can acquire ingame.

Then there is the matter of might/magic/faction affinity. I think that the less restrictions, the better but some exceptions would be nice. For instance.. it would make more sense if haven was the only faction that could unlock the final level of say Angelic Alliance. Or that a might hero would get more out of a might-themed dynasty weapon. But I would hate for such items to be outright banned for certain faction/might/magic affinities. Same goes for every type of artifact, it's just annoying when you get an artifact that you cannot use. And besides, it can be so much fun when a might hero pursues a magical build just because he got the proper artifacts and vice versa.
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Storm-Giant
Storm-Giant


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
On the Other Side!
posted September 04, 2014 05:03 PM

I don't think MMX relics are a fair comparison. MMX is limited to one, single big game, where you always have new areas and dungeons to explore.
But on Heroes, being based on maps, it's more difficult to make something like that to work. It's not the same playing a big map with so many battles to fight, to a small map where you won't have time to develop your relics...

Elvin suggestion sounds much more solid to me. Being limited to hero level, you won't need to develop this new, fresh relic you just picked, you'll be able to access to a good amount of it's bonuses since your hero is already experienced. It erradicates the problem of choosing how much exp those a relic needs to be leveled up, with map size not being a restriction.
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Oculomenti
Oculomenti

Tavern Dweller
Fitzgibbon of Misfortune
posted September 04, 2014 05:18 PM

Though I dislike any 'online play' elements, simply because Heroes is already under awash from MMO-like elements. I felt the same way about sets/combined artifacts in III, and every step towards tiered-gear is another sigh from me. That being said... I'm not really opposed to Dynasty/Online gear on principal, especially if it's handled better.

To be honest, I'd prefer that artifacts have a chance to change slightly, maybe a few variations per artifact as well as some generic categories (well-used/rusty/maintained well) that have generic good/bad effects; kind of morale for equipment. :-) The artifact variations wouldn't have a name or special category; but could result in slightly more tension when picking up that artifact for a planned strategy.

For Dynasty weapons themselves, Elvin's post makes a lot of sense - again, I dislike 'faction-locking' and feel we already have a trend of making things more static. But having things have better - or just different - effects when used by different factions could theoretically be pretty cool!
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Maurice
Maurice

Hero of Order
Part of the furniture
posted September 05, 2014 10:05 AM

I have mixed feelings about it. The main issue I had with the Heroes6 implementation was that there was no alternative for a mainhand weapon besides Dynasty weapons. Play offline? Forget ever getting anything in that mainhand slot.

The suggestion made by Elvin is a good one, with regards to levels and limitations, together with Oculomenti's ideas. So, based on those, here's my own.

The whole premise of having evolving Artifacts is that it's tied in with your Dynasty, so the first thing to consider is: do you want to have a Dynasty (which is a meta-game element, on a different level than each game in itself), or do you want it to stay within the boundaries of a map or campaign (where it carries over between maps)?

The latter case might be nice if it's a plot element, but it would have two downsides that I can see:
- First, the focus will be too much on that item through the campaign, without providing a viable alternative;
- Second, it's unlikely to play a (significant) role in any other campaign - at least not without having to level it up again;

A meta-game Dynasty would seem best for such "living" Artifacts, that can gain experience, though its implementation has to be different from what it was in Heroes6. First of all, the game should provide regular artifacts that can fit the same slot, so those living Artifacts aren't the only option you have. Furthermore, I would also suggest living Artifacts in other slots than the mainhand slot.

Now, you might say that eventually, when your (meta-game) Dynasty has developed enough, that those living Artifacts become pretty much a no-brainer for any of your Heroes in any game, so there have to be some drawbacks as well. Mind you, a drawback may not have to be negative, but actually provide a consideration, require the player to make a choice.

Hero levels is a good one. A Hero needs to have a certain amount of experience to unlock more of such an Artifacts' powers. Powers beyond his/her level are simply beyond grasp for understanding and therefore out of reach. A level scale for the different abilities that an Artifact gains throughout its own levels is excellent for that.

Another idea is to have at least some (but not all) of those Artifacts tied to a Faction and/or Alignment. Some might be hard-locked (available to only one Faction, or one alignment - perhaps both combined), while other are available to more Factions (but not all). Some generic Artifacts should also exist.

For instance, The Angelic Blade of Redemption would be usable to its full power by a Haven Tears Hero, while an Inferno Hero wouldn't even be able to touch it, regardless of alignment. Heroes of other factions might be able to use it, but not to its full potential. For instance, a Sylvan Tears Hero might not have access to the top ability, while a Sylvan Blood Hero might not have access to the top two abilities. A Haven Blood Hero may also use it, but perhaps be blocked from using the top ability of the blade - but he would have full access to all abilities of The Heavenly Blade of Retribution, where the Haven Tears Hero can't access the top ability. This diversity means you will not always use the same Artifact(s) on all of your Heroes.

An aspect in Heroes6 that also bothered me somewhat is that those Dynasty weapons were free. Just open the inventory and select it, voila, Hero has the Dynasty weapon. I would suggest a slight difference here, by making those weapons available for sale each map you play with your Dynasty. I'm not sure if this is something that should be tied to the Town Hall or the Market Place. Two advantages that I see is that a player still has to spend some resources to acquire a Dynasty Artifact (so it's not a free-bee), while also allowing map-makers to disable access to this function. It could even be a map objective to release this function (for instance, clearing a mountain pass to open a trade route) for the player.

I do think that such Dynasty Artifacts should be singular, i.e. only one Hero under your command will ever be able to use it on any given map, so once you've bought it, it's gone from the pool. If that Hero is defeated in combat, the Dynasty Artifact is returned to the pool for sale, unlike regular Artifacts which end up with the victor of that battle. One twist here might be that an enemy player may yet get that Dynasty Artifact in his/her possession through combat, provided (s)he owns that Dynasty Artifact to begin with (it's available in the Dynasty Artifact pool) and doesn't have it equipped yet on any given Hero under his/her control. The version acquired is then the one from that players' own Dynasty Artifact pool, with respect to how much experience the item has. This way, the player doesn't have to purchase it from the pool through the suggestion I posted above, but gets it for "free".

I realise this approach means more design work, but it may provide interesting gameplay options.

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blob2
blob2


Legendary Hero
Blob-Ohmos the Second
posted September 05, 2014 10:47 AM
Edited by blob2 at 10:50, 05 Sep 2014.

DW is a bad idea and it should be discarded.

The traditional system is by far the best.

The only good attempt at changing things was in H4 with consumables like potions. Though that idea is limited by the fact that "usually" heroes do not move on the battlefield. Besides, many potions were pretty useless back in H4. But if they tweaked it a little, maybe potions could make a comeback? (though I personally dislike the idea of stuffing my inventory with them)

They can make sth like "chargable" artifacts. The more you play a map, the stronger it gets (the effect resets each time you play a new map). And I'm not talking about some drastic game changing effects, but rather things like more resources, faster racial gauge charging, more skeletons etc.  

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Stevie
Stevie


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted September 05, 2014 11:47 AM
Edited by Stevie at 11:50, 05 Sep 2014.

I've come to dislike the idea of artifacts that gain levels, especially after Heroes 6. My take on is that the concept is flawed. This is a feature that makes sense in a true RPG and not an TBS with elements of RPG like Heroes is.


The idea behind such artifacts is that their abilities are boosted or increased with their usage, some by reaching an XP threshold, some by achieving a certain number of battles or the like. However this is quite counterproductive when you play TBS. The amount of time you get to play does not depend on a linear path designed by a dev team, but on variables like map size and enemy player's playstyle. Thus, there will be times when you simply won't get to maximize the potential of your weapon.

Relics that gain levels are again not a solution. I've seen this with MMX. Basically a relic is different from the other artifacts by having the biggest potential at the expense of offering that potential in stages rather than right away. Meaning that before you level it up, your relic is weaker than regular artifacts. While this might work in RPG, giving the player something to look forward to improve, it wouldn't work in TBS. When you're playing a tactical adventure map game, the last thing you wanna worry about is artifacts. When you slay a pack of Dragons and get a relic, you want to be rewarded with immediate results, not with potential results.

I'm opposed to the idea of restrictions based on relations between certain artifacts and Hero traits, like origin and skills. I hated the idea of might and magic items in Heroes 6. I would fight a monster to receive an item that I couldn't use. In my opinion, ALL items should be wearable, standard heroes receiving full stats. However, if there is some affinity with that type of artifact, heroes should get a bonus. Cases where you couldn't equip artifacts at all, like demons equipping "holy" items, should be exceptions, or maybe have drawbacks.


Artifacts shouldn't be a pain for you. The only pain should be acquiring the ones you want. That's why I think that keeping things as close to the classical formula as possible would be best.

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Galaad
Galaad

Hero of Order
Li mort as morz, li vif as vis
posted September 05, 2014 11:56 AM

I'm a 100% there with you here Stevie. Thanks for bringing up differences between RPG and TBS, this may be most interesting debate with actual state of Heroes franchise, RPG elements within it must be in a very subtle way implemented and never take the lead so to say.

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Maurice
Maurice

Hero of Order
Part of the furniture
posted September 05, 2014 01:09 PM

Stevie said:
The idea behind such artifacts is that their abilities are boosted or increased with their usage, some by reaching an XP threshold, some by achieving a certain number of battles or the like. However this is quite counterproductive when you play TBS. The amount of time you get to play does not depend on a linear path designed by a dev team, but on variables like map size and enemy player's playstyle. Thus, there will be times when you simply won't get to maximize the potential of your weapon.


This assumes the Artifact in question starts off at zero on each map and progressively increases in power as the map is played out. This is not the same as the Dynasty Weapons in Heroes6, which were metagame items that grew in power through playing across many different maps.

I'm pretty sure that if the Dynasty concept is out of the window (something I would applaud, by the way), then living Artifacts shouldn't have a place either.

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blob2
blob2


Legendary Hero
Blob-Ohmos the Second
posted September 05, 2014 01:10 PM

Yeah, you're right Stevie. Too many variables in a TBS game is not good, that's why I hated the ATB bar in H5. Because of it's unpredictability (Hell Steed having 5+ moves with good morale while your Gargoyles do nothing is not what I call strategy). I know there's still morale/luck and that there should be a little randomness, but I've liked H3 for it's stream-lined tactical side. Turn based games should be turn based, and each new feature that "makes the game more dynamic" is a no-go for me (I'm looking at FF series for instance, where traditional turn based battles were replaced by various action-oriented hybrids).

Plus artifacts are a bonus, they should not be game changers. You're main focus should be in development of your hero and his abilities.

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