Heroes of Might and Magic Community
visiting hero! Register | Today's Posts | Games | Search! | FAQ/Rules | AvatarList | MemberList | Profile


Age of Heroes Headlines:  
5 Oct 2016: Heroes VII development comes to an end.. - read more
6 Aug 2016: Troubled Heroes VII Expansion Release - read more
26 Apr 2016: Heroes VII XPack - Trial by Fire - Coming out in June! - read more
17 Apr 2016: Global Alternative Creatures MOD for H7 after 1.8 Patch! - read more
7 Mar 2016: Romero launches a Piano Sonata Album Kickstarter! - read more
19 Feb 2016: Heroes 5.5 RC6, Heroes VII patch 1.7 are out! - read more
13 Jan 2016: Horn of the Abyss 1.4 Available for Download! - read more
17 Dec 2015: Heroes 5.5 update, 1.6 out for H7 - read more
23 Nov 2015: H7 1.4 & 1.5 patches Released - read more
31 Oct 2015: First H7 patches are out, End of DoC development - read more
5 Oct 2016: Heroes VII development comes to an end.. - read more
[X] Remove Ads
LOGIN:     Username:     Password:         [ Register ]
HOMM1: info forum | HOMM2: info forum | HOMM3: info mods forum | HOMM4: info CTG forum | HOMM5: info mods forum | MMH6: wiki forum | MMH7: wiki forum
Heroes Community > Heroes 7+ Altar of Wishes > Thread: Different Battle Map and Some Other Features
Thread: Different Battle Map and Some Other Features
PandaTar
PandaTar


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Celestial Heavens Mascot
posted April 08, 2015 08:48 PM bonus applied by Elvin on 09 Apr 2015.
Edited by PandaTar at 06:11, 10 Apr 2015.

Different Battle Map and Some Other Features

This thread was created in a hope to discuss adding height and some features in battle maps for a Heroes game, disregarding, at first, which skill system to use. There’s another game I would like to be based on which is named Final Fantasy Tactics. Tweaking some features of that game battle system, it might be possible finding an elegant, perhaps, model for Heroes reference.

Just to help guiding some of you who might not be familiar with that game, these are some gameplay videos: one and two.

I’ll adjust different topics to make it easier to follow and discuss separately at your leisure. And in the end, a small proposal of mechanics assembling all these topics into one, for a matter of finding a nice layout for that.

Map Tiles

Although FFT is made on square tiles, I see no problem in proposing a hexagonal approach. FFT also has a flanking mechanism – it’s so important that you must actually choose in which direction your unit will be facing after doing your actions. And speaking of actions, you can move and act, act and move, only act, only move, or just wait in place. But let’s get there later.





Effects on these different positions will vary, of course, accordingly to which mechanisms and skills created, which we won’t delve further just yet.

Face direction and Pushing

Getting back at FFT, the direction your character was facing represented means to guard, parry, resist, or defend upcoming attacks, even magic. Your character kept that direction you chose all the time, even when being attacked from behind. This was extremely important when you were surrounded by weak units and you wanted to face away from them to face an upcoming strong opponent. You could afford being backstabbed by weaklings, while keeping your direction to the real threat.

However, there were the odds of pushing a foe by critically injuring or through certain abilities which had higher odds at doing so. Pushing away the opponent could put that one in different and often problematic situations, but could also save from harm depending on the situation. Pushing units was also useful to stop them from charging abilities if they were to fall from high ground.

Also considering that units act as obstacles, which means that they can block direct attacks targeted to units positioned directly at their backs, the facing direction would also be of great importance.

Hero and units

In FFT, a strategic RPG, all units on battlefield are actually characters, and not only an army under the control of a hero, so this is where some adaptation should occur, however it’s also where many people would share different opinions on how to do it. As I like the approach of having a hero on battlefield and also fighting alongside armies, I’ll try to bring in a hybrid approach that may suffice to please the most, which is also the way I was envisioning when proposing The Foundations.

Unit stack

There’s no unit stack in FFT, only each character or monster you have in your ranks. This could be addressed normally, adding stacks or adding levels to that unit in question. The way to add it weekly would change accordingly: number of units spawning each week OR experience being added by battling. The latter is akin to FFT. Monster had levels like any character and they had a set of skills, and some had innate abilities as well. They also had a sort of upgrade or family: there was the yellow chocobo, the black one and the red one. Each one had a different set of skills, but they all had the same base attack and looked similar. They also had different innate abilities in addition to the yellow one: they all could swim over deep water terrain and become a mount for one of your human characters, for example. The red could jump to very high places, whilst the black could fly – these could come in handy either for themselves or as a mount, so you could position characters with limited movement in better places.

Mount

Taking advantage of speaking about chocobos being a mount monster, the only ones in FFT, there’s the mount issue in Heroes as well. In AoW 3, there were different mounts for your hero as well, with some different abilities of their own, to fly, to improve something. I see no reason why in HoMM something in those lines couldn’t be made. That being said, I believe there could have a small array of mount units available, either by finding them, hiring them, making them, taming them or else. As you have it battling along, it would increase level and proficiency in battle. It is clear that by this, I convey that mounts could have or be distinct in use whenever it was related to battle or to exploration of the adventure map. So you might even change mounts depending on what you were going to do. Let’s create an example?

Haven Faction:
    • Mount 1: horse – default mount, fair adventure map movement, battle map movement.
    • Mount 2: hippogryphon – advanced mount, great adventure map movement, grants flying ability on battle map.
Other bonuses or mount abilities can follow. A hero can also choose not to have any. One of the differences of being mounted or not would be, in addition to inheriting some abilities from the mount, is the size, the area the hero would then occupy. Also thinking on that, when mounting a unit, either hero OR mount could be targeted, not considering both as one. Reasons vary. We can discuss it further later.

Unit size

In FFT, units, any of them, occupied 1 square only, and that’s that. As for our proposal, we would have 3 sizes, as it follows in this image.



Size would also be represented in height. 1h for small, 2h for large and 3h for giant. This feature would define the reach of units when in different levels on ground when trying to attack. But other combinations of ‘x, y, z’ for size could occur, as giving some more uniqueness for some units.

Height, Terrain and Weather

Battle maps in Heroes games are boring and simple. This is my opinion. It’s unavoidably a frontal clash, sooner or later (yes, I’m aware it’s a clash of armies, but some roles are lost in this basic way of thinking). But the thing that bothers me most is that it’s always so plain and smooth – disregarding some obstacles. This is the most bemusing thing, because they are so keen at making a 3D world, full of effects, and irregularities and beauty, only to make the battle happen on a blunt ground even if you have engaged battled edging a cliff on an irregular, inclined ground. So, to amend that, battle maps should also have irregular terrain, with highs and lows. Keeping that in mind, it would represent a good opportunity for archers to play their role thoroughly. Archers taking advantage of high ground is … well, an ancient strategy which we don’t see in HoMM.

Take a look at this picture of FFT (this is a mod picture, actually):



You’ll notice the difference in terrain. A character who is in low terrain wouldn’t be able to reach another unit on higher ground (too high, I mean) in a melee fight. The same otherwise. However, if a ranged unit is on high ground, it’ll be able to wreak havoc while melee fighters can’t reach. To avoid ranged units become too imba, giving them a range limit is advisable. For flying and teleporting units, getting to higher ground wouldn’t be a problem though. So, each unit with its own merits.

Terrain and Weather could also be used in battle – because … well, because people are not fighting in disguised limbo. It’s not comprehensible the lack of these features in a battle. They tend to it on adventure map somehow, but fail in translating for battle.

Fierce winds or stormy weather could imply in penalties over movement, prevent flyers from flying too far, increasing some effects of some elemental spells, decreasing range of ranged attacks (no need to add direction of wind, only the idea of wind playing a whole over units). Heavy rain could make fire spells weaker, thunder spells have wider area or effect and so on.
Look at this other picture:



Here you can see character floating on water. In FFT, water could be shallow or deep. By going into deep water, your character could only move 1 square per time and could neither act nor react. Floaters would be above water and don’t suffer that penalty. The only similar thing seen in HoMM was represented by Moats. A very poor stand alone option.

In another old game called Bahamut Lagoon for SNES, if you cast ice spells on rivers, rivers would freeze (then you could walk over it). Casting fire spells on grass or trees would set them ablaze, damaging who walked through those places.

These are some features that could be explored in Heroes (combining battle maps and adventure maps), but they are not.

Actions, Turn and Initiative

FFT has character turns based on charge time (CT) which is then based on speed. When other units are taking actions, which is to say, using their turns, CT bar from ‘idle’ units are filling up. Some abilities may delay CT charging or simply setting it back to zero. There are some other abilities that might speed up that charging, or set it straight to 100 (making that unit act instantly). Some abilities take time to be performed (they have a CT time to be performed which can take a while to happen, in other words, other character turns may come to pass before that). During one’s turn, a character can move, act or wait. Also, can move and act, or act and move, or move and wait or act and wait.

In Heroes, a unit can move and attack, but not the contrary, which makes its conception strange. Also, with the exception of certain abilities granting no retaliation, units will always retaliate and very few react in any other way, which also makes a potential tool for diversity go to waste: units can only think of that when reacting to an attack?

In FFT, all jobs had an active skill set (those who would be usable), reaction skill set (triggered in response to actions taken around, not only being attacked by physical attacks: counter, critical quick – CT100, regenerator), support skill set (something that would be passive: double attack, equip heavy armor, magic attack up) and move skill set (abilities triggered or passive skills granted for moving your character about: teleport, fly, moving further, jumping higher, recovering HP while moving, gaining XP while moving).

There is no morale or luck, but Bravery and Faith. Bravery dictates higher physical power for bare hands and sword and also the odds of making reaction abilities being triggered (retaliation), and other uses which might not be of interest just now. Faith dictates how spells will be effective in both destructive and healing effects. Also, higher faith makes one unit more susceptible for stats, both good and bad alike.

Thinking on the lines of HoMM, Morale could adapt some features presented by Bravery, very subtle. Whilst Luck/Destiny, might be a bit reworked. This setting is interesting for a game such as HoMM, because it is embed in its own name the MIGHT and the MAGIC side of a hero. So, it would be only fitting that there could have two odds, one inclined for each of these features.

Morale could increase odds of triggering critical physical strikes – passively in attacks and retaliations, and also give bonus to CT while charging, also subtle, working as an initiative tool. Meanwhile, Luck/Destiny could work as a trigger for more effective spellcasting or resistance to spell, plus odds of recovering or prolonging certain spell ailments and effects also, subtle speaking.

In this model of each character having CT bars, it’s possible making spell casting or the performance of certain abilities to cost CT only or combine CT and mana cost. That said, Luck/Destiny may come in handy by also making a spell be cast faster.

When some spells, you could target even empty places. When choosing a target, and the spell had an AoE, you could make the spell follow that unit around or you could choose casting on the place you chose. Difference is that the former, your target could move around that the spell would follow, while the latter would grant the spell being cast on the settled place. You can work on details by thinking of the uses of this kind of system. For example: you settle a powerful destructive spell on an allied character who had powerful resistance to magic. The spell has a large AoE. So, as not to make your mage wander too close to enemies, you settle that magic to follow your character, and move away. Checking if that character’s turn will come before the spell being cast, you can send that one in the middle of enemy ranks to attack, being followed by the spell from your other character, damaging all nearby foes.

This is mainly a reverse way to set Cool Down. Another thing that could give more depths in strategy in HoMM battles, instead of always instantaneous spell casting.

Heroes Classes

FFT had jobs. Half of those were Might oriented, the other half, Magic. Quite fitting, eh? Your character could equip a supporting Skill set of any other job you had, as long as you learned abilities. To learn abilities, you used Job Points, earned whenever you took successful actions (but moving or waiting, unless a Moving skill was set to grand moving and gaining experience or job points). You also learned Reaction abilities, Support abilities (some of those to keep a certain feature from your previous job you wanted to combine with your new job) and Move abilities.

This is the job tree of FFT:



Numbers represent the level of each job (up to 8) to unlock the next. You don’t need to learn abilities, you only need to reach those levels by acquiring job points.

While proposing The Foundations, the idea was implementing something similar, but instead of Class Levels, requirements for advanced classes would be combination of mastered skills, faction, race and specializations.

Some FFT jobs were unique of a special character, sometimes only a guest or a foe, although they still kept some overall skills in their ranks, common amongst other jobs. This gave them a very peculiar and unique aspect which I think it’s lacking in HoMM heroes (rather than only their bio and specialization).


THE NEW SETTING

Resuming topics here, I would propose the following:

    • Hexagonal grid
    • Battle map would have irregular terrain, weather effects and penalties/bonuses accordingly – and, of course, to accommodate more strategies, many more sizes and shapes
    • 3 different sizes for units (and different heights). Sizes have innate abilities embedded in their other capabilities
    • Each unit having own turn, instead of a giant turn where everyone would fit in, based on speed. Some actions costing time to recover (cool down). Unit can attack and move, move and attack, just attack, just move or just wait
    • Control which direction units would be facing after moving or acting. This direction could be broken if being flanked and getting hit by a critical attack, forcing unit to face the attacker then
    • Morale would affect physical prowess, chances of critical and a subtle boost on turn timing, also chances of resisting some physical damage
    • Luck|Destiny would affect magical prowess, chances of inflicting additional damage by casting spells or inflicting buffs and ailments, also chances of prolonging buffs or resisting ailments
    • Hero classes would evolve to advanced classes through a combination of  learned skills and mastering of those. Every hero would be unique, by considering bio, specialization, race, faction and class, having more than only specialization to differ them
    • Hero would be in battle, moving and fighting. However, only 2 heroes would be able to fight each other if, and only if, no other unit would be on the premises. Also, units positioned too far from hero (away from his ‘commanding zone’) wouldn't benefit from the latter’s Att and Def stats. Commanding zone would be an area around the hero in which he would have major influence over his troops and where his troops would, in turn, protect him from being targeted by enemy hero
    • Having lost all troops, hero can accept defeat, try to flee or fight for a way out. This last option would require enemy to attack with all armies or offer a chance to duel. Duels would offer a huge bonus over experience and provide all the loser’s artifacts as spoil of war. Losing against the army, random artifacts are considered damaged and are lost
    • Hero can have different mounts, train them or lose them
    • Units stack normally and get bonuses by staying within the commanding zone of a hero, including the latter’s proficiency at fighting certain enemies or factions as a whole

That's marginally what I would like to discuss. I would ask, if I may, to avoid bringing over old discussions and intellectual warring about the current discussions about H6-H7. Let those stay in their respective threads.

I also apologize in advance for English errors or misspellings. I'll try to correct what I find in due course.
____________
"Okay. Look. We both said a lot of things that you're going to regret. But I think we can put our differences behind us. For science. You monster."
GlaDOS – Portal 2

 Send Instant Message | Send E-Mail | View Profile | Quote Reply | Link
ShadowMaster
ShadowMaster


Adventuring Hero
HOMM3fa(g)n
posted April 08, 2015 10:35 PM

What you have proposed here are some great ideas.  Sadly, most of them have  already been utilized in various combinations and, well, each time it failed.

Oh, and by the way, despite the greatness of your proposals, there is hardly any chance that, well, Stubisoft will listen to ya.
____________

 Send Instant Message | Send E-Mail | View Profile | Quote Reply | Link
PandaTar
PandaTar


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Celestial Heavens Mascot
posted April 08, 2015 10:42 PM

Let's just say it's meant for internal discussion, rather than trying to make it through their minds, you see. Maybe polish this and that, even consider making mods or another project. I mainly didn't know where to post this if not here.

I'm sure many would oppose this because they enjoy a simpler battle system.

And thanks, your words are kindly appreciated.
____________
"Okay. Look. We both said a lot of things that you're going to regret. But I think we can put our differences behind us. For science. You monster."
GlaDOS – Portal 2

 Send Instant Message | Send E-Mail | View Profile | Quote Reply | Link
ShadowMaster
ShadowMaster


Adventuring Hero
HOMM3fa(g)n
posted April 08, 2015 11:18 PM

Well, what I liked mostly was the three variations of the creatures- Small, Big and Giant. That was something I always lacked in HoMM, because it seems that a Basilisk (f.e) is the same size as a Cyclops, which is illogical. I think I will even utilize it in my proposal for HoMM 8 (7, as the topic is now named). However, the idea about the steed, not so much. It makes the game look even more like Warcraft and WoW, which is exactly the bad thing about Ubisoft and the way they do things.
Morale and Luck- partly done in HoMM 3 and there it did work well, so no complaints on that.
The same is for "lose all troops". I like, however the idea pf a duel, but only if executed man-on-man, and in case if your hero wins-gets all the troops, 50% of XP and all the artifacts. Or something like that. Different terrain- been there, done that. Great idea, one of the many wastes which happened in the transition period  3DO- Ubisoft.
The last one i did not comprehend. What do you exactly mean by "commanding zone of hero" ? Could you go deeper on that one, please ?
____________

 Send Instant Message | Send E-Mail | View Profile | Quote Reply | Link
ShadowMaster
ShadowMaster


Adventuring Hero
HOMM3fa(g)n
posted April 08, 2015 11:18 PM

Well, what I liked mostly was the three variations of the creatures- Small, Big and Giant. That was something I always lacked in HoMM, because it seems that a Basilisk (f.e) is the same size as a Cyclops, which is illogical. I think I will even utilize it in my proposal for HoMM 8 (7, as the topic is now named). However, the idea about the steed, not so much. It makes the game look even more like Warcraft and WoW, which is exactly the bad thing about Ubisoft and the way they do things.
Morale and Luck- partly done in HoMM 3 and there it did work well, so no complaints on that.
The same is for "lose all troops". I like, however the idea pf a duel, but only if executed man-on-man, and in case if your hero wins-gets all the troops, 50% of XP and all the artifacts. Or something like that. Different terrain- been there, done that. Great idea, one of the many wastes which happened in the transition period  3DO- Ubisoft.
The last one i did not comprehend. What do you exactly mean by "commanding zone of hero" ? Could you go deeper on that one, please ?
____________

 Send Instant Message | Send E-Mail | View Profile | Quote Reply | Link
PandaTar
PandaTar


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Celestial Heavens Mascot
posted April 09, 2015 01:11 AM
Edited by PandaTar at 16:03, 09 Apr 2015.

By steed you mean Mounts? I really don't know which Warcraft feature you are talking about. The last Warcraft game I played was 2. I played 3 just vaguely and didn't fancied much back then. Maybe I played for only 1 hour tops.

The mount idea was mainly thinking on Age of Wonders 3, which you can have different mounts that will give you different advantages, even flying over mountains, for instance. I'm not sure if this feature is only recurring in these games either, but I'm sure it's not something owned by Warcraft designs solely. ^^

Now:

Commanding Zone Area of Command - starting to dread the word 'zone' for any unbeknownst reason. ^^

In battle, your hero has an area around him where his commands and influences are absolute. This area spans for many hexagons all around the hero. Say, for a Lv 1 hero, it spans for a 15-hex radius. Let's say that Tactics Skill and Leadership Skill, in addition to other benefits, they also add some radius to that same Area of Command: I convey by this that, the more your hero becomes experienced in leadership and commanding troops, the wider his area of command would spread about.

So, having a hero moving about the battle map, one could keep troops within the area of command to provide them the bonuses of that area. These bonuses could be anything, from Att and Def bonuses to other kind of things, such as auras or Hero's artifacts.

The area of command would be also the way a hero would be seen 'protected', because troops nearby his position would render him unable to be targeted by enemy hero. This protective area could be 2/3 or the Area of Command or another symbolic radius.

Sometimes, depending on strategies, a hero would be forced to split troops to each side and some of them could go beyond that area. So one would have to decide which troops would need a direct support. Still, hero would be able to buff or aid troops which were far, but the kind of aid available would also depend on the hero and skills|spells.

The image below show how an Area of Command would look like on a battle map, of course, can be bigger than that. It's just for the sake of explanation.



Is that clearer?
____________
"Okay. Look. We both said a lot of things that you're going to regret. But I think we can put our differences behind us. For science. You monster."
GlaDOS – Portal 2

 Send Instant Message | Send E-Mail | View Profile | Quote Reply | Link
OhforfSake
OhforfSake


Promising
Legendary Hero
Initiate
posted April 10, 2015 01:19 AM

I agree a lot of things in HoMM can be polished. I haven't played any game after HoMM 4, so some suggestion may already have been implemented.

E.g. I remember I saw a HoMM 5 video with the initiative system, which sounds a lot like what is suggested here, and while I think Speed is the most important stat in a game like HoMM 3 where it's a very simple stat, I imagine it must really be a huge advantage in HoMM 5 to be able to act 2-3 times while the slow (but awesome) Pit Lord only gets to act once.

You really sold me with the battle field example with the archers and I agree. In a way HoMM is looked at like chess, but one of the main issues are that there's not enough difference between the different heroes and the units he's carrying. Stuff like battle fields (archers on high terrain, e.g. water elements in water, etc.), together with the idea of an area of command for the hero, can really allow for diversifying the game in my opinion. E.g. with different terrains it may be easier to expand ones kingdom and divide ones army without losing considerable strength or having to rely on a hero who can cross most of the maps in a single turn, simply because the splitted army is able to hold narrow canyons and stormy oceans almost as well as a full army would be able to hold fortified walls.

But like you say, improvements could probably be made. E.g. if we imagine in a hero vs. hero battle to be like chess and the objective is to "take" the opponent hero in his area of command, and then the hero have the 3 options as you suggest, then I think it'd be an interesting idea that different units had different abilities to break down the oppositions "area of command (with all the units within)", while also having different defensive capabilities.. like in chess where the knight is a slow piece that can jump over friends and enemies, bishops can in tandem rain destruction over the enemy king, the queen takes control from the center of the board, etc.

So I imagine the units should have different abilities that vastly differentiates them, but still makes higher level units better than lower level units (in most cases, but not all!) like you'd prefer a rook over a knight, but only in most cases, so sometimes it's worthwhile to sacrifice a rook for a knight. But these abilities should of course be sparkly and cool and magical, and while it's easy to sit here and write about, it's difficult to imagine actual examples. Not to mention it'd make combats much much more complicated, that a unit from its position on the field would have to consider its offensive as well as defensive purpose in relation to all other units.

There's also the issue of stacks, which I don't think really gets solved in the OP and I don't have a solution to it either, but it may just be me who doesn't like that 10 titans = 1 titans with the number 10 written below it.. not much of a "huge army" about it in my opinion. But I don't have any improvements really, I'm also afraid of losing to much of what makes the game Heroes of Might and Magic, and e.g. letting every single unit be represented on the battle field would probably make the hero battles more into a turn based Warcraft battle.

Anyway it's getting really late and I'm getting really sleepy and I think I might have been rambling a little (sorry), so I'll say in general I really like a lot of the suggestions, increased tactical diversity is a plus in my book, and flanking seems like a good idea to me, but overall it's difficult to suggest improvements of your ideas.. which is a bit strange to say, because every time I ever played a video game as a kid, I always seemed to find small things I wanted to be different and it'd make a world of difference to me, but as it is right now, I don't remember my thoughts about heroes anymore.
____________
Living time backwards

 Send Instant Message | Send E-Mail | View Profile | Quote Reply | Link
Protolisk
Protolisk


Promising
Famous Hero
posted April 10, 2015 01:32 AM

I do like many of your ideas, but unfortunately, I will be talking about the negatives, as those tend to need to be addressed more so than positives.

Surprisingly, I feel very much what you are speaking of reminds me of a board game called Heroscape. Though without flanking, it too was hexagonal as well as terrain based, including water and elevation, and thus cover from ranged attacks. However, a few problems occurred there, and these problems would only be exacerbated by your other proposals.

Firstly, your sizing of units. As it stand (if I understand correctly) your "large" designation of units are rather fat(I assume them to be facing "up" like in your flanking picture) in which case, they pose no real benefit to their sizing when compared to the giant units. The reason for this is the lack of radial symmetry. Your large size is rather lopsided

If they are both facing forward, for instance, both the giants and the larges could only fit in spaces that are 3 tiles wide. If, perhaps, they are instead really facing towards the left or right, and thus the large units are more of 3 units long, but 2 units wide, then yes, they can fit into spaces 2 tiles wide. However, then they could not feasibly turn around, as their full length would disallow them from turning. At best, they'd have to back out without ever seeing what's behind them. And thus, easily fall prey to enemies behind them, making them stuck completely with no realway to attack back, unless you wish to show them clipping through walls or standing on thin air for the moments they are turning around. If what I say is true, then, still, the large units, for what it is worth, have no real reason for going into spaces 2 tiles wide, and thus till only have relevance in areas 3 tiles or wider. And, so, I say again: the sizing makes one of the sizes differences from the other quite trivial. Whereas the Giant could easily rotate in his 3 tile wide location, so too can the large. But the large just can't rotate well enough. In Heroscape, you have only 1 space units and 2 space units, though some play by the rules that although their model faces a certain way, they can still act in all directions, but by those who take model directionality into account (which most rules do, due to other rules I won't go into here) it makes the game play out very strangely.  And even then, in small corridors, they fall prey to trying to turn around. And that's only 2 spaces big. 4 spaces would have even harder trouble. As your flanking rules also are dictated by flanking and such, then the same positioning rule applies, which make sit seem weird.

Having more radial symmetry, as shown in your Giant and small classes, works well, but, if I take a page from other's ideas, you might want to scale it up a bit more. Instead of Small being one space, make tiles very small. So much that a Small unit takes up 7, a large possibly 12 (with 3 in the center, and 9 surrounding them) with Giant 19, being the Small with an entire ring of tiles around it, or go with extreme differences with small being 7, large being the 19, and Giant having yet another ring around them for 37 tiles. This may seem too large, but understand the area proportions: 7:19 makes small take 36% of the area of large, and 7:37 is makes small take 18% the total area of a giant. Which, compared to your initial number, small is 25% of large and 14% of the giant. Your original system makes them really just slightly bigger, area wise by comparison, then this does.

Another thing about having large sizing is the fact of units trying to stay on a platform created by the variable heights of terrain. in just Heroscape, with 1 space and 2 space units, 2 space units when trying to climb multiple tiers had a hard problem actually staying on a platform. In those rules, it always needed firm ground under both tiles. I'd assume the same for yours. But, you've given your large units are massive, and Giants doubly so, they'd have a lot of problems attempting to stay in one place while attempting to ascend a area, as they'd need a place to finally end their movement, but requiring an astounding amount of area on rather massively wide steps, and if so, then the whole reasoning of attacking up and down different heights, when larges and giants are involved, will almost be as if on a flat surface, since there has to be little height difference between each step. to make matters worse, in order to get up or down, unless you have units that can climb shear cliffs often, then the massive step problem will almost always be pervasive, unless you are assuming some kind of balance where large/giants just don't ever really need to climb cliffs, or that you'd come up with an idea that they can just hang off of one tile while the rest of them is standing on nothing, which is about as problematic as the tight spaces problem. With these, it'll tend to have these giant units almost never used unless in a wide open area, which appears to the the opposite of what you want with all these obstacles and heights and such. Yes, my size enhanced problem would fall prey to this system as well, but they would only have just slightly less area needed compared to your system as it stands, proportionally to the small units. This is a problem with height terrain, though I always loved the idea, it has drawbacks. With only small units (like in FFT) this problem disappears. But even with 2 spaced units, this problem is created, and adding in 4 or even 7 spaced units would ruin this.

Now, I personally have problems with whole stacks gaining experience, because what happens if you have a, say, level 10 stack of Brutes of 100, but decided to add another stack, but fresh, of 50 level 1 Brutes to them. What happens? What happens if you split that stack into two stacks of 75? Do the levels get averaged out? Then all perks and stats you gained by leveling up are lost.  They become maxed out?  Then the instantly overpowered strategy is to have one big stack, and never split any more, constantly fighting to gain even more levels, and never spend anything on anything else because this stack gets upgraded from both levels and pure numbers, so you would only buy more of that stack. The one thing I liked about Heroes 4 sort of shows this: a single unit can gain levels, but mass units typically should just get stronger by adding more to the swarm. Leveling up, I feel, best stays to single units (like in FFT). And in nearly all heroes games, although it seems that upgrading the stack is the only way to increase strength for units, it's really the Hero (especially in H5) who gives stat upgrades to the army as a whole, with things like the offensive and defensive skills, perks like archery, soldier's luck allowing more specials to fire off,

The initiative system reminds me of H5, to an extent. I feel much experimentation there could unfurl, I wouldn't mind that proposal.

In H6, I thought luck actually DID affect spells, but perhaps it "triggered" it but nothing happened. In H5, things like Soldier's Luck, Warlock's Luck and other things affected how often some special actions would activate (if random) or spells could get the luck bonus. I wouldn't mind.

In fact, the rest I really have no problems with conceptually, and wouldn't mind seeing them or slight variations thereof.

But those are my main gripes. Especially the terrain ones, when mixed with sizing.

 Send Instant Message | Send E-Mail | View Profile | Quote Reply | Link
PandaTar
PandaTar


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Celestial Heavens Mascot
posted April 10, 2015 06:22 AM

Quote:
But like you say, improvements could probably be made. E.g. if we imagine in a hero vs. hero battle to be like chess and the objective is to "take" the opponent hero in his area of command, and then the hero have the 3 options as you suggest, then I think it'd be an interesting idea that different units had different abilities to break down the oppositions "area of command (with all the units within)", while also having different defensive capabilities.. like in chess where the knight is a slow piece that can jump over friends and enemies, bishops can in tandem rain destruction over the enemy king, the queen takes control from the center of the board, etc.


Very interesting, OhforfSake. I appreciate this insight. As I was reading my mind came to this solution almost promptly, although I'm not sure if it would be the best, but we dwell a bit about it shall we?

    *To weaken and ignore a hero's Area of Command and allow the enemy hero to invade and duel, all units within the defending hero Area of Command must be engaged in battle. If any unit is idle in that area, than that unit is guarding the hero. How does that sound? Whenever one unit, even during a duel, gets freed or kill the foe, duel is terminated and the opposing hero retreats out of duel.

    *I'm thinking, in this scenario, that the initiative of the opposing hero to attack could be penalized in the event of the defending hero regain protection, like being attacked 'symbolically' by the defending troops, receiving a damage similar to that of the defending hero's attack. I'm mulling over this one.

Quote:
But these abilities should of course be sparkly and cool and magical, and while it's easy to sit here and write about, it's difficult to imagine actual examples. Not to mention it'd make combats much much more complicated, that a unit from its position on the field would have to consider its offensive as well as defensive purpose in relation to all other units.


Certainly. The idea is making battles less dumbed down, less ordinary. What we see is that when you get too much strong in Heroes games, you pretty much win no matter what against normal enemies, or low tier units. It's as if they don't even exist. But any enemy should pose a threat to your army, no matter what, even is the threat is low. And terrain or abilities could play a role on that. Because it's very different facing a legion of archers who are on high ground where you have a difficult access and might lose troops, than facing those same archers on plain ground where you fastest unit will get in their midst and crush them all effortlessly – you almost don't have to think to do this action.

Quote:
There's also the issue of stacks, which I don't think really gets solved in the OP and I don't have a solution to it either, but it may just be me who doesn't like that 10 titans = 1 titans with the number 10 written below it.. not much of a "huge army" about it in my opinion. But I don't have any improvements really, I'm also afraid of losing to much of what makes the game Heroes of Might and Magic, and e.g. letting every single unit be represented on the battle field would probably make the hero battles more into a turn based Warcraft battle.


Quote:
Now, I personally have problems with whole stacks gaining experience, because what happens if you have a, say, level 10 stack of Brutes of 100, but decided to add another stack, but fresh, of 50 level 1 Brutes to them. What happens? What happens if you split that stack into two stacks of 75? Do the levels get averaged out? Then all perks and stats you gained by leveling up are lost.  They become maxed out?  Then the instantly overpowered strategy is to have one big stack, and never split any more, constantly fighting to gain even more levels, and never spend anything on anything else because this stack gets upgraded from both levels and pure numbers, so you would only buy more of that stack. The one thing I liked about Heroes 4 sort of shows this: a single unit can gain levels, but mass units typically should just get stronger by adding more to the swarm. Leveling up, I feel, best stays to single units (like in FFT). And in nearly all heroes games, although it seems that upgrading the stack is the only way to increase strength for units, it's really the Hero (especially in H5) who gives stat upgrades to the army as a whole, with things like the offensive and defensive skills, perks like archery, soldier's luck allowing more specials to fire off.


I think I might not been very clear when describing. One thing OR another. Or you would have them gaining levels as 1 unit only (and while they achieve higher levels, they get upgraded), or stack just like Heroes (which would be what I'm more inclined to do) without experiencing and leveling up (unless considering researches or upgrades in town).

So, we have the single unit, the hero, with an area of effect (where some skills and perks would affect allied troops), and troops being massed in numbers, as Protolisk said. It would be like Heroes 4, somehow, but the direct involvement of the hero, which would work with the Area of Command mechanism. Does that suffice?

Quote:
Firstly, your sizing of units. As it stand (if I understand correctly) your "large" designation of units are rather fat(I assume them to be facing "up" like in your flanking picture) in which case, they pose no real benefit to their sizing when compared to the giant units. The reason for this is the lack of radial symmetry. Your large size is rather lopsided .


Yes. The main idea when I was thinking on sizes was that both the combinations could be used (a broad shape and a long shape), because I simply understood that the Large size would be the most common amongst units, and then, 2 shapes could be used. But then, your solution sounds more feasible.

Quote:
This may seem too large, but understand the area proportions: 7:19 makes small take 36% of the area of large, and 7:37 is makes small take 18% the total area of a giant. Which, compared to your initial number, small is 25% of large and 14% of the giant. Your original system makes them really just slightly bigger, area wise by comparison, then this does.

Yes, my size enhanced problem would fall prey to this system as well, but they would only have just slightly less area needed compared to your system as it stands, proportionally to the small units. This is a problem with height terrain, though I always loved the idea, it has drawbacks. With only small units (like in FFT) this problem disappears. But even with 2 spaced units, this problem is created, and adding in 4 or even 7 spaced units would ruin this.


I did imagined that your size enhacement (no Viagra propaganda) helped in this solution. I think that the Giant area could be the designed, when map designing, to be the mininum area allowed for a terrain. I'll try to show in the image below.



By this, I convey that there wouldn't have a place a unit wouldn't be able to run away from giant units indefinitely, or have places working as corks, where units would be unable to move in or out, also would resolve the problem with climbing, as the terrain area would cover at the least the size of the Giant. Obstacles, though, would then add difficulties or different aspects in this matter or blocking, also considering that some obstacles could be breached by units, giant ones, for example, while small units would have to go around those.

Doing this way, as I see so far, would then make it possible combining these two features of size and terrain irregularities. Giant units woult then have a melee reach of 4 hex, Large, 2, and Small would be adjacent. Large units would be able to squeeze into 4 hex junctions between Giant tiles or higher ground, while giant units would jump between platforms if there was room. Given that a small unit can be occupying space on a giant platform, giant units must reach small units cluttered at the far corner, also illustrated on the image above.

Another solution would be making units covering 7 sizes and working towards height only. But it doesn't feel much better than the previous idea. This latter idea would look somehow like this:



You see the size of the last boss. He still occupies only 1 square, but very tall. The problem with this height thing is that bulky units would not look quite decent, they would get squishy.


Regarding Morale and Luck, I'm a bit inclined to add Wisdom as being 'Morale' for magicians (although they still have Morale, and Might heroes would also have wisdom). Leaving, then, luck for influencing perks and oddities in general and the chance to trigger them. So, morale could affect the chance to inflict greater physical damage and critical or resist to physical damage, having small chances to trigger and faster charting time for one's turn. Meanwhile, Wisdom would define chances to inflict greater magical damage and affect with a buff/ailment and also to resist them, having small chances to lower the cooldown time after casting a spell. What would you say on this matter?

P.S.: I have updated the images in the first post to fit the new sizing and flanking situations.
____________
"Okay. Look. We both said a lot of things that you're going to regret. But I think we can put our differences behind us. For science. You monster."
GlaDOS – Portal 2

 Send Instant Message | Send E-Mail | View Profile | Quote Reply | Link
Protolisk
Protolisk


Promising
Famous Hero
posted April 10, 2015 08:23 AM

One small problem I now see: Shooters. As I see it, a shooter can technically be in range of melee attacks of a giant while he could be in shooter range. I feel this may slightly undermine shooters, but it is quite short range. But, technically, if a giant attacks say a small shooter with three spaces between them, what will a shooter do? Will it melee retaliate? I couldn't see it doing that, it has too much a gap. Will it shoot? It just got smacked. Will it perhaps do the same damage it would have if it melee retaliated, just has the shooting animation?

I don't know how FFT works for long range, but Heroes has always had long range shooting capabilities. I'd hate to see them go if that was the plan. But, if they stay, then that would need to be addressed.

Beyond this, I don't have any concerns that stand out to me at this point.

 Send Instant Message | Send E-Mail | View Profile | Quote Reply | Link
OhforfSake
OhforfSake


Promising
Legendary Hero
Initiate
posted April 10, 2015 11:52 AM

Nice ideas, sadly it's rather difficult to really come up with something.. at least for me. If only we'd a simulator to test out ideas!

Anyway, I think I always took a little issue with how simple the battlefield and the units were. Always move and attack, or attack.. the wait option was a godsend for me, but in reality it was only an improvement. In the might and magic games, if one goes for dark magic and applies reanimate, one can let HoMM 3 monsters in "3D" fight each other, but the fights were in my opinion more interesting than the HoMM counterparts, despite all I did was one unit vs. one unit fights (I always seems to want to rank creatures by strength ). Here they also had resistance and immunities, and while I don't think that route in particular is the right route, it means a unit like the Blood Titan could be defeated with a weak unit such as the Thunderbird (lightning immune) or that Ancient Behemoths that only applied physical attacks would eventually lose to low level Oozes (physical immune).
I think my main objection is that the stronger unit, before the battle even begun, has no way to deal with the circumstances and I don't want that either. So like you say, weaker armies and lower level units should still pose some kind of threat. To keep to the chess analogies, if all you're left with is a Queen (level 7 unit) and a King (hero) and the opponent has his King and a Knight (level 3 unit), then the side with the level 7 unit should have a huge advantage, but it shouldn't simply be point, click and game over like I believe it is now.
In chess, you'd have you queen dominate the opponent king (read: Force the opponent hero to change his area of command to a less favorable position, or force the opponent to let his level 3 unit leave the opponent hero's area of command and become much easier pray). Then the side with the level 7 unit would move his own area of command towards the center of the battle field and then towards the enemies area of command, until the enemy is in zugzwang where he has no good moves to perform and all moves leads to defeat.

The procedure to win is simple, but it also means that it's not simply to point and click, game over.

But it made me think, perhaps it should be possible to win a battle even if the enemy still have lots of troops, if you take the enemy heroes area of command. So in stead of giving the enemy hero the options of surrender, run or fight once all troops are lost, give the hero this option, once he's trapped and about to be "attacked", so that he no longer aids his units, but become a unit by himself in the battle. Still with his amazing powers, but no longer with any area of command, which should provide a good advantage to the side that still has an area of command.

This may run into the HoMM 4 problem with stacks vs. a single hero unit though.
____________
Living time backwards

 Send Instant Message | Send E-Mail | View Profile | Quote Reply | Link
PandaTar
PandaTar


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Celestial Heavens Mascot
posted April 10, 2015 05:32 PM
Edited by PandaTar at 21:02, 10 Apr 2015.

Protolisk said:
One small problem I now see: Shooters. As I see it, a shooter can technically be in range of melee attacks of a giant while he could be in shooter range. I feel this may slightly undermine shooters, but it is quite short range. But, technically, if a giant attacks say a small shooter with three spaces between them, what will a shooter do? Will it melee retaliate? I couldn't see it doing that, it has too much a gap. Will it shoot? It just got smacked. Will it perhaps do the same damage it would have if it melee retaliated, just has the shooting animation?

I don't know how FFT works for long range, but Heroes has always had long range shooting capabilities. I'd hate to see them go if that was the plan. But, if they stay, then that would need to be addressed.


In FFT, ranged units didn't have infinite range capabilities. Range was determined by weapons. So archers, ninja, oracles, some jobs had certain weapons which would have different ranges. Longbows and pistols had the longest ranges (pistols never missed, but shot straight, while bows could miss and be shot in an arched way). Books had a very short ranged, as well as some crossbows. The range would improve, in case of bows, if the shooter would be standing on higher ground. I'm not sure about the maths, but I think that for each 5h(height) higher, shooter would have +1 range. Or maybe 7h or 10h.

As for our proposition, I deemed that we could also define some limitation for units range as well, not to make them imbalanced by being able to shoot everywhere in a huge battle map. I think that each unit should have a certain range potential, keeping in mind that all units could be able to 'act and move', 'move and act' and so forth, meaning that they could take evasive measure sometimes and still act. This is important to considerate due the Turn schematization, making a turn very important when one decides not to move, or just wait.

Range for spell casting, at least offensively, could also be proposed. What do you guys think about this?

Regarding retaliation, we could discuss, then, another subject:

Size Interaction

I always thought it was a poor thing in HoMM games that units would only respond with an attack when being attacked. There are many reactions a unit could perform, some of them even exploring their innate abilities, while the blunt sort of units, those like Behemoth, for example, would perform a counter attack all the same. In Heroes 5-7, we have this centaur who has a different reaction, if I'm not mistaken, and that already gives that unit pretty much a unique characteristic, although rather obvious for some other unit to share that too.  Gnolls in H7 have a reaction ability as well in addition to their own default retaliation ability.

In first place, the ability to react could have innate possibilities regarding the relation between different sizes. What I would suggest, although bound for review these %s, was something in these lines:
    - Small units have a chance to completely dodge upcoming attacks from Large and Giant units (let's say: 15% and 25%), given they are, er, small and nimble.
    - Large units have a chance to dodge attacks from giant units (15%) and to 'stun' small units - which wouldn't be able to react (15%).
    - Giant units would have a chance to stun large and small units (20% and 50%).

Giant units would have to be able to hit first, and then have another chance to stun the small target to completely make that unit unable to react. I think these odds could have differences when comparing number of units ('less and same' or 'more').

Other innate features for sizes/roles could represent things like being unable to push (giant), not to be bound to the ground (float), chance not to suffer terrain penalties (small) etc.

Reaction Perks

In FFT, to help illustrate the idea, all units had a slot to set a reaction skill (they had their current job action skill set, a supporting action skill set, a reaction skill, a support skill and a movement skill). Jobs had different reaction skills that could be learned. Once learned, no matter which job you had, you could pick one of your learned reaction skills to set and use in the combination you thought more effective in the battle to come.

For example:
- Monk had the Counter and Meatbone Slash perks (counter is the average retaliation, while the other was a retaliation that would occur only when the Monk was with critical HP and it inflicted as much damage on opponent as the missing monk’s HP). Both reactions were only triggered by physical or normal attacks.
- Chemist had the Auto-potion reaction. He would use one healing item from your stock whenever suffering any kind of damage.
- Meanwhile, the job Mimic would mimic anything your team performed around. From physical attacks (even equipping the same weapon for that attack. Mimics had no equipment) to most powerful spells, considering their positioning and direction they were facing. They could mimic normal attacks and attack empty tiles in front of them, for example. It was very fun.

On the image below, you can see one of the villains and his equipments and equipped abilities. Sword Spirit is the name of the Action Skill Set of a Samurai. Blood Suck is a unique ability taking the place where it should have another Action Skill Set of another of his jobs – due the fact he is a boss. You have the Reaction Skill Blade Grasp: higher chance to parry physical attacks (melee or ranged), taking into consideration the flanking issue. It was not a counter attack, but, instead, a defensive reaction. Support Skill martial arts gave him the strength of a monk if he attacked bare handed. Movement Skill Teleport 2 made him able to teleport anywhere on battlefield and never fail at it.



Based on this mechanism, I think we could offer other means for retaliation. That could range from mechanics working like defensive | offensive | evasive (where being attacked would make unit take a defensive instance | offensive stance | retreat 1 move away from attacker); or towards a deeper approach with units having some different reactions accordingly to their role or abilities.

Let’s take the H7’s Chaplain for instance. Why that unit must only react by attacking a foe?  That unit could, whenever attacked or even react when allied nearby stacks were attacked too, cast a magical protective aura, lowering physical damage taken from foes until next turn or until moving away. H7, although I’m completely displeased by the game as a whole, had some improvement in that way. Some abilities come by reacting to some actions, although they all have, nonetheless, the same old physical retaliation when attacked.

Ghosts could have the Incorporeal ability as a passive and reaction ability. It would give a chance to resist or dodge an upcoming attack. But whenever damaged, they could fade partially increasing chances of evading/resisting upcoming damage. This additional effect would subside when ghosts would become less immaterial to perform an action.

That’s the main idea behind other reaction mechanisms. In your example, that ranged unit attacked by a giant unit could have been stunned by the attack and don’t retaliate. Could also dodge the attack and retaliate by shooting the giant. Or could react in any specific way regarding that unit’s reaction ability. Moving away, casting a defensive spell, increasing odds of defending next attacks, getting enraged and advancing. The list goes on.

OhforfSake said:
But it made me think, perhaps it should be possible to win a battle even if the enemy still have lots of troops, if you take the enemy heroes area of command. So instead of giving the enemy hero the options of surrender, run or fight once all troops are lost, give the hero this option, once he's trapped and about to be "attacked", so that he no longer aids his units, but become a unit by himself in the battle. Still with his amazing powers, but no longer with any area of command, which should provide a good advantage to the side that still has an area of command.


I see. Interesting output and I don't see it as a H4 problem. ^^ On the other hand, I cannot vouch for other opinions on this. The way it could be represented is by regarding  different tiers when attacking directly a hero in that situation - and this would stretch to some other mechanism related to that -, would apply a symbolic damage, similar to what we saw when units attacked castle gates in H4 or a certain number of hits, disregarding real damage (when units) and applying said damage (when opposing hero attacked).

Maybe the image below can help make it clearer:



You have a hero with full health equal to 100 HP. His level and skills combinations allow his full HP to sustain 20 attacks in his last stand. So, in theory, each attack would inflict 5 damage or 5% of his remaining HP. Some tiers could, by default, work as if they inflict 2 or 3 attacks per time, instead of only 1. Meanwhile, enemy hero would inflict normal HP damage when attacking that hero, in a duel level.

This damaging issue, symbolic one, would also be used in that occasion I spoke about. When breaking a duel, the defensive unit would attack the opposing hero, making the latter retreat and damaging that one based on the unit's tier level. This breaking situation could be chosen by the defending hero, in the event that things are going bad for the attacking hero, which, to defend himself from the turn of the tides, would have to have an allied unit to disengage battle or get closer to him and break the duel by himself and protect him.

Your thoughts.




I thought making a summary could help keeping things in check as we discussed them:

    • Shape of map tiles is hexagonal
    • Units have 3 sizes: small (7 hex), large (19 hex) and giant (37 hex)
    • Each size has innate capabilities regarding their interactions
    • Terrain is irregular
    • By default, the minimum land mass where a unit can locate itself equals 37 hex
    • Obstacles can be destroyed
    • Diversity in terrains and weather effects affect variables in mechanics
    • There is a flanking mechanism
    • Each unit has its own turn based on their speed
    • Special abilities and spells cost time to recovery, which means, it takes more time for a unit to resume charging their time to take action another action (turn)
    • Units stack
    • A unit has morale (for physical interaction), wisdom (for magical interaction) and luck (for interaction of odds)
    • Units have different actions and reactions
    • Ranged attacks and spell casting don’t cover the entire battle map. They have a limited reach
    • Hero is present on battlefield and has an area of command, where units get the most of the bonuses provided by their commander
    • Area of command can be breached by enemy forces and leave hero vulnerable for an enemy hero offensive duel
    • Also when there are too many opposing forces in comparison to defending forces in a hero’s area of command, the area is null and hero can get targeted by enemy units as well
    • Units can break the duel and defend their heroes, making an opposing hero retreat
    • When defeated having all troops defeated, a hero can surrender, duel or try a last stand (during which, one can try to flee)
    • When hero is defeated during a duel, before troops are defeated, different outcomes can happen depending on diplomacy, faction and other issues
    • Hero has many advanced classes based on skills mastered. There are many skills variations, such as universal skills, faction skills, race skills, class skills, specialization skills – within each of those there are unique skills for each Hero, making them stand out from each other even they have the same class

 Send Instant Message | Send E-Mail | View Profile | Quote Reply | Link
Jump To: « Prev Thread . . . Next Thread »
Post New Poll    Post New Topic    Post New Reply

Page compiled in 0.2005 seconds