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Heroes Community > Heroes 7 - Falcon's Last Flight > Thread: Homm Gameplay Aspects
Thread: Homm Gameplay Aspects This thread is 2 pages long: 1 2 · NEXT»
Elvin
Elvin


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
What if Elvin was female?
posted August 17, 2015 01:55 PM

Homm Gameplay Aspects

A twin topic to Homm Visual Aspects, the purpose of this thread is to collect feedback on the gameplay aspects of the series. I plan to cover the adventure map, combat, town building, role of resources, role of chance, skill and magic system, synergy, hero specials and class differentiation. Whether they work fine or they could be improved and in which direction.

Like before please use the following replies:

-Highly agree
-Agree
-Don't mind
-Disagree
-Highly disagree


Onwards!



ADVENTURE MAP



Heroes is a series focused on economy, tactics and strategy where the adventure map is equally important to the combat map. The adventure map should provide the means for an intelligent game of action and reaction between the players, where you can develop a strategy or react to another's, strengthen your position or undermine the opponent's, build your strengths or cover your weaknesses.. There should be means to interact with your opponent whether in spying, sabotaging, using key locations against him or otherwise controlling advantageous areas. H6 rather streamlined the adventure map and that reduced its appeal.

So how to do that? Provide the right locations, battlefields and mechanics. In the past there have been locations that allow you to change your playing style like..

- Cover of darkness that resets the fog of war around it.
- Sanctuary that allows the visiting hero to stay safe from enemy attacks.
- Border guards that keep passages closed until the keymaster's tent is visited, that can change the whole map layout.
- Border garrisons that allow people with access to move in and out.
- Destroyable and rebuildable bridges.
- One but also two way portals, whirlpools.
- Neutral taverns.
- Eye of magi for scrying faraway locations.
- Army boosting locations like griffin conservatory giving angels after battling griffin guardians, dragon fly hive giving wyverns after battling dragon fly guardians, mercenary camps giving random mid-high tier units for hire.. Allows for more diverse armies, more unit combos.
- Terrain movement penalties and special battlefiels that affect might, magic, luck ,morale..
- Week effects can also help there by tampering with the game mechanics like growth, resources, movement, might or magic. Such effects can make you adapt though I am against super powerful effects. They should add variety, not break your game nor create a negative gameplay experience.

Quests of your dragon God of choice could also change your behaviour, allowing you to be sidetracked for a short while for a reward. Whether in stats, spells or artifacts.

Also something to directly mess with the opponent. Like sabotage his mines, spy his spellbook, ambush his supply lines or caravans, predict the next week effect and use the info accordingly, gain control over a location that inflicts movement penalties, limit his field of vision. Something to make it personal



TOWN BUILDING



I expect from town building to offer dilemmas and a branching approach would be good for that. To be able to focus on higher tier creatures with might, on higher mage guild with lower tier creatures with magic, on powerful warmachines with medium tier creature with a warmachine specialist. Players should be forced to make choices and the building plan or resource requirements should provide the means to specialize. It should not be easy to have access to everything and special buildings should be worth sacrificing other buildings for them according to the occasion.

Building requirements should make sense like monastery -> portal of glory. Blacksmith -> swordsmen. Library -> archmages. To some they may seem restrictive but I love them! Also I hate the free-for-all mentality from H6. I used to like town level requirements but H7 has convinced me that they can be a liability if not carefully planned. In the end, building prerequisites are all that is needed.

One more reason for that is that they prevent stupid strategies from being used Why not rush for behemoths at the cost of your economy? Or perhaps there is a map that allows for an unconventional town planning, why should town levels get in the way of unconventional building?

I kinda miss the fortification growth bonuses but I like the H7 idea of choosing between extra growth between two units of the tier. It does not raise growth fast, it involves choice and it can lead to more diverse armies.



RESOURCES



By now it should be a given that people want 4 rare resources but here I'm going to focus on their usage.  I believe that they should be a means of balancing the factions with the more important dwellings costing more in terms of rare resources. At the same time, costs should not prevent certain buildings or upgrades from being built for the better part of the game. Take H5 bone dragons. Too much mercury required, not worth building. H5 thanes: 20 crystal, more likely to build dragons first. H3 cyclopes were the worst offender, requiring crystals(20!) just like behemoths(10). Exorbitant costs are bad design, all units should be a part of the game. If a unit is so strong it should have more complex requirements or its stats tweaked.

Resource piles are another concern. In H7 they give a lot of resources which undermines the role of mines. They should not give more than 1-2 resources, maybe 3 in rare cases imo.

Creature banks a la H3 were a good addition. Dwarven banks that  give crystal, medusa banks for sulfur, imp crucible for mercury etc. They all require a good fight but they can change your building plans by allowing powerful buildings to be built earlier than normal. Risk vs reward to advance faster.

The role of resources has become too static over the series though. I would like to see more uses, like.. learning magic spells from scrolls for a resource cost. Activating powerful locations on the adventure map. Upgrading warmachines with enchantments or special ammo. Perhaps recharging mage guilds?
So long as they can provide a meaningful investment and not just get in the way of town building of course.



ROLE OF CHANCE



Chance and replayability are inherently tied with the series, you cannot have the classic heroes experience without them. What we should understand is that heroes balance is closer to backgammon. Random? Most definitely but still a competitive game. The trick is knowing how to use your luck in a skilled manner, to make the best out of what you have. Heroes thrives in an environment influenced by Lady Luck because there are no certain outcomes!

That is true for both the skill system and combat, as far as the majority is concerned. Random neutrals will force you to be creative in dealing with then. Random skills, artifacts, weeks or spells will make you adapt your gameplay. Casual players with a little luck will still manage to score the occasional victory against better players. And everyone will keep playing the game longer because every game is different. Doesn't take much to see that, not to mention the H7 skill fanrage.

H6 proved that a skill system without randomness is stale and lacks replayability. Same with a non-random magic system because it forces people to focus on passive skills with the minimum of the tried and true active abilities. Lack of chance-based effects in combat or 100% certain effects like the glory's 100% blind every 2 turns is just too artificial and deprives combat of excitement..

At the same time, luck should not be a rollercoaster of everything goes. Controlled randomness is the key, offering ways to influence the randomness like the H5 skill system did with its structured approach. With a little less cluttering it would be ideal.
Chance-based effects like fear/blind should not be a fixed 20% but take into account stack size, like in H5. For instance, whereas one H3 basilisk had an 20% chance to petrify 100 phoenixes,  an H5 unicorn trying to blind 100 green dragons would be facing (almost?) impossible odds.
Effects like luck or morale should trigger more often with a weaker effect. H5 luck had both a powerful effect and frequent trigger with a 50% cap for +100% damage! Add a 50% cap morale for +50% atb and the whole thing becomes ridiculous.
Not to mention a random 0-25% starting atb for each unit. It certainly made every battle unique but sometimes the order was just too chaotic.



SKILL SYSTEM



I have covered this more extensively here so I'll just mention the important bits.

One of the better parts of H5 was dividing the skills into distinct categories, with their own thematic ability tree. The concept of three basic abilities unlocking more advanced abilities is a good place to start. Preferably, tied thematically with the basic ability that unlocks them so as to give a sense of progression. With ability requirements you can manipulate the advanced abilities that will appear in future level ups and avoid some abilities altogether. That was very much possible in H5 and the amount of randomness at the time was high.
The other benefit of having a three path system is that you give room for general strengths and weaknesses. You would have to carefully consider what is strong against what and what your choices might leave you exposed to - kind of like rock, paper, scissors. Not in absolute terms, but you should think twice about putting all your eggs in one basket.

Another good aspect of H5, there were more than a few viable builds and I could adapt my strategy based on the choices I was offered. Whether in the form of offered skills, artifacts or spells. Adapting is a crucial aspect of any strategy game and controlled randomness is one of the most important aspects of the series. It ensures replayability and promotes critical thinking as opposed to 'standard' choices. At the same time I agree that this kind of randomness should be toned down, which calls for less complex requirements.

I appreciate what H7 has done with the racials but cramming all faction unique abilities in one skill means you'll be seeing them in every game, especially now that they are borderline overpowered. But if you disperse faction abilities throughout the skill system you will be facing something different everytime.

Skills should be designed as part of a whole and not independently. I donąt just want a skill bonus, I want a skill bonus that would make my choice meaningful, that would make me consider what the opponent has picked. And I also want a healthy balance between combat and adventure map skills. To give adventure map skills the power to match combat skills, to make an impact by the time you can face a combat savvy enemy. Whether by having a sped up exploration, a better resource or town management, more recruits or other adventuring advantages. They should be good enough for a main hero to use and not designed as dump skills for secondary nobodies. It should require investing some level ups on it and pay off in kind.

One last word about situational abilities. They should definitely be part of the system but always as advanced abilities and as powerful abilities at that. We do not want core abilities to be situational and their situational usefulness should be balanced by the powerful effect they bring when the situation calls for it.
But garbage skills have no place in the game. Play a couple of games, you learn to avoid them. But if every ability is useful it will see play, even if some are picked more consistently than others. The more playable abilities, the more replayability the game gets.



SPELL SYSTEM



Spell hunting is a crucial part of heroes, with spells found in mage guilds or adventure map locations like shrines, pyramids, arcane libraries and dragon utopias. So far so good but the current system has a number of issues due to the high amount(7!) of magic elements:

a) Most might skills/abilities give passive, universal bonuses and stack. Most magic skills/abilities boost a specific magic school of which you can cast one spell per turn, in a battle of limited turns. Since the magic skills you have do not stack, the less you get, the better.

b) Magic heroes face the risk of not getting the spells they want from the guild. Even if one magic element is guaranteed in your town, there are 5-6 other elements that make it hard to plan ahead.

c) Creating a magic skill for each of the 7 magic schools further bloats the skill system out of proportion. In a random skill system either you leave all magic schools in and you have absolutely no idea what to expect from your level ups or you remove 3-4 of them from each class, limiting their potential and replayability. No matter how you look at it, it is a messy situation.

7 magic skills are too much for a random skill system so I suggest to keep the 7 magic elements but reduce the magic skills to 4 according to their type: Light(buffs), Dark(curses), Summoning and Destructive. Each element would have a bit of everything even if they would have certain type preferences. In a random mage guild the 4 types would average out and you would be able to plan ahead safely.

Otherwise, keep the magic skills out of the skill system and allow the hero to learn them through mage guilds or magic universities. Either could work.

It would also be for the best to add some passive magic abilities to somewhat bridge the gap between might and magic heroes. Abilities like corrupted soil, fog veil, mana burst, guardian angel..



SYNERGY



Something that has been missing from the series one way or another is synergy between skills, between units, between spells and between all the aforementioned.

- H6 did well to make creature roles more obvious. In certain factions it was clear that the lineup had to cooperate for best results. At the same time it fell into the trap of similar lineups. If more attention was given between unit combos the game would be so much richer. Not just within the same faction but also between factions and neutrals.

- H5 had a good amount of cross skill combos. Attack's retribution was boosted by leadership. Attack's flaming arrows boosted the ballista. Defense's preparation was boosted by attack. Spellcasting was boosted by empathy. I do not want obvious combos where one skill requires a specific other skill but there should be skills/abilities that work well with each other.

- H5 added elemental effects like freeze, armour reduction and stun, making destructive spells more useful and diverse. And H6 added elemental combos like wet units being vulnerable to lightning or chilled units being more vulnerable to fire. That system could be expanded upon, creating combos between magic schools. Perhaps extend the elemental combos to units that deal elemental damage.



HERO SPECIALS



H5 is a good example of what we need, despite some imbalanced cases. For one, each special gave character to the hero, it gave him a different gameplay from others. The bonuses would grow along with the hero, adding a sense of progression. There was a wealth of effects like Helmar's chance based righteous might, Lethos' chance based decay, Inga's chance to learn runes on level ups, Ingvar's powerful shieldguards, Sinitar's boosted empowered spells, Eruina's shadow witches combo-attacking the target of your spells, Raven's weakness also reducing defense, Findan's pre-emptive shot etc etc. Those were exciting. H7 specials? Boring, they hardly influence the gameplay. Worse yet, creature specialists boost growth that is a lousy way to balance. A passive boost is always x% effective, a growth boost depends on the amount of units you can hire so depending on the availability of the unit it can be too weak or too good.



CLASS DIFFERENTIATION



An issue made more obvious in recent games is, how should classes be differentiated from each other? H3 attempted that by giving each class different stat progression and skill chance percentages. H5 expanded upon this with class specific skil trees even if there was only one class per faction. H6 reintroduced a second class but the skill system was uniform for everyone. It also took away tier 3 might skills from magic heroes and tier 3 magic skills from might heroes and added the free warcries for everyone. H7 added so many skills that they decided to introduce 3 classes per faction, each with a different skill availability.

I am not happy with that. It is not always easy to predict skill combos which can make a class overpowered or underpowered. At the same time, not everyone can get everything which was the beauty of heroes. If you want a specific skill then you have to play the class that has it. Same with magic schools. It's not just that some skills are rarer, you just can't get them. And the less the skills, the less the combinations and replayability that comes with them. They do not even have their own skill tree, skills are the same regardless of class. Some just lack a 3rd tier of mastery which.. is worse? It downgrades their importance, making your skill selection even more limited.

In short I'd recommend to reduce number of skills, stick with 2 classes, each with their own skill tree and avoid banning skills. Let everyone have access to almost everything and just tweak the odds of getting them. Let barbarians get offense often, while enlightenment rarely. Let wizards get sorcery often, while leadership rarely. But let them have access to it, it only adds to their replayability. In H5 it contained artificial glory that gave morale to golems and warmachines and that was awesome!



BATTLEFIELD



Honestly I am disappointed that this aspect has not evolved after all this time. The battlefield is flat, maybe with some obstacles and that's it. Units cannot interact with it, there is nothing you can use to your advantage. H6 added the cover mechanic and statues that boost nearby units but the effects were lackluster. For one, areas of effect works better than a 1x1 location that affects adjacent units, it matters less if they appear near your or the opponent. Larger area of effect. There are no terrain specific combat locations. Like pillars of ice in snowy terrain, traps, beehives or bushes in the forest etc. There should also be a way for those to have impact on the battle. Like walk through a river, get wet. Cast icebolt in a puddle, freeze the unit inside. Cast fireball in the bush, it should catch fire and disappear after a few turns. Move next to a dead tree, reduce damage from lightning bolts. Spells should take into account and interact with the battlefield even if in a minor way, nothing too complex. Occasional snow, rain, sunshine or sandstorm effects might also be nice as long as they are not very taxing on graphic cards. The focus should be on gameplay and not on the visuals.  

To be continued..

Meanwhile, let me know what you think!

-Highly agree
-Agree
-Don't mind
-Disagree
-Highly disagree

____________
A sea without waves is no longer a sea. It's a pond.

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kiryu133
kiryu133


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Highly illogical
posted August 17, 2015 02:08 PM

Adventure map: Highly agree. I feel the conservatories were a bit limiting by design (dragonflies give Wyverns? Griffins give angels?! wat) and in order to make them a good adition you'd need a lot of different conservatories. But yes, generally completely agree.

Town buildings: snow town levels! agree completely, nothing to add. recently having gotten the H3 gold from Gog, i miss some town design from that game.

Resources: Generally agree but disagree about amount of resources gained/used. I prefer piles of 5-10 rare resources and High-level buildings to be very expensive. Titan dwellings being 25000 g and 30 gems was both unique and interesting design. 1-3 resources per pile makes them worthless and i seldom felt much drive to actually pick them up in H6. That's pretty lousy.

Basically inflate everything but mine income.

otherwise I agree: resources are not used for enough things and getting them is too dull: banks and snow is most welcome.

Will come back if i remember.
____________
It is with a heavy heart that I must announce that the cis are at it again.

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keldaur
keldaur


Adventuring Hero
posted August 17, 2015 02:33 PM

Adventure map - Don't mind. Stuff to race for are fun, but killing your opponent is more fun. I didn't feel like H6 "streamlined" the adventure map that much as you are speaking of, except the durr hurr 1 rare resource only, which they are getting rid off already.

Town building - Highly agree. Town building and creature recruitment is another layer to character development. It's like a second skill wheel and that's how it should feel. I like in H7 that you will have to choose one creatures and forget about other ones, but that's only in theory. The limitations per town level force you into a build, like H6 skill/spell leveling system worked. It's exactly the same.

Resources - Agree. Not much to say to be honest.

Role of chance - Agree. We know this is kind of subjective. Some people prefer predictability over randomness as they feel it's more fair. I prefer the random flavour, but really can't find an objective reason or fact to say it's better other than it adds replayability, while others might say it also adds annoyement due to bad luck. I don't think you will ever find a middle ground where everyone's happy.

Skill - Highly agree. The game needs more faction specific and specially subclass specific skills in other branchs other than the racial. H5 did it pretty well, but to be honest, they also did it on a character by character basis.

Well to be honest i agree on the rest too. So i will just leave it there.





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Stevie
Stevie


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted August 17, 2015 03:21 PM
Edited by Stevie at 15:26, 17 Aug 2015.

Highly agree on everything and I haven't even read it. This farce is getting really tiresome. We have discussed these things over and over again. THERE IS NO SHORTAGE OF FEEDBACK! We can keep at it and in the end nothing will happen because the mindset of people in high places is to disregard the community and instead do things according to their own vision and marketing goals. And until that mindset gets shaken from its foundations, any type of community brainstorming is all but useless.
____________
Guide to a Great Heroes Game
The Young Traveler

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Dies_Irae
Dies_Irae


Supreme Hero
Picker of Bones
posted August 17, 2015 03:44 PM
Edited by Dies_Irae at 15:47, 17 Aug 2015.

Stevie said:
Highly agree on everything and I haven't even read it.
Sounds like the average christian and the Bible

------

Adventure Map: Agree, H3 and H5 had an interesting range of map locations, H3 more so for it also features things like Cursed Ground (where spells above level 1 are rendered useless). Garrisons like in H3 appeared in two forms, the normal one and the enchanted one which kills all spellcasting. I don't remember seeing those in H5, there were only the normal kind of garrisons.

Week effects have always been there, and only in H5 (I think) did it start with showing what the effect actually is. H3 only had one event that reduced creature growth (Week of Plague), whereas in H6 this was increased to three (and with help of a Dynasy Trait you could at least protect yourself from 2 of them). Week events in H5 (for instance) also influenced spell cost etc and were generally either beneficial or restricting (lower morale for Sylvan/Haven/Academy troops and what not).

Additionally, I'm not sure if this would fit the Adventure Map section, but I've always wondered why Week of Plague influenced Necropolis too. You'd expect to find extra troops in this faction when those of the others die. It could make Necropolis too powerful, but something along these lines could get a change. In H4, you can't even visit/benefit from something Death-aligned if your hero is of the Life faction. So would it make sense if a Temple, which in H3 is used to gain a morale boost before combat, should be off-limits to Necropolis?

Elvin said:
Also something to directly mess with the opponent. Like sabotage his mines,

This was in H6 at least. You can plunder a mine (and take 3 days worth of production with you), or sabotage it (disabling the mine for a week unless the owner sends a hero to fix it again).

Elvin said:
Something to make it personal


Which works best in Multiplayer...unless the AI can become so evil as well .
____________
==Uplay/Steam: Marblethrone==

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verriker
verriker


Honorable
Legendary Hero
We don't need another 'eroes
posted August 17, 2015 03:48 PM

before I answer can I ask what these threads are about? are you just collecting feedback for a laugh or do you have some VIP reason to believe Ubisoft actually wants to listen to input like this now, after ignoring the last 347,896 attempts? lol
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Pawek_13
Pawek_13


Supreme Hero
Maths, maths everywhere!
posted August 17, 2015 04:06 PM

Highly agree on all of above aspects. Regarding the skill syustem, though, I just want to add a few own thoughts regarding the skill system and magic system.

First, the skill system. I must say that I adore the concept of Grandmaster abhilities, as they provide more variety to "the right builds" of heroes. What I don't like, however is that only three skills have access to them. What I would do on their place is to give possibility to choose Grandmaster from many (how many - this is a matter of balance) and limit number of Grandmasters that a hero can choose to 3. This would significantly increase variety across plays even in current skill system.

Secondly, the magic system. As many people pointed out, limitations in availability of spells are artificial and nearly no-one likes them. What I would do instead, is to spread all the spells across 4 schools of Magic in style of Heroes V (buffs, debuffs, direct damage and summoning) but I would leave their 7 elements, for example Frenzy would be a fire spell in dchool of debuffs. This way, a possibility to diversify even further would be established, to satisfy Erwan and his unnatural affinity to lore restrictions. What I mean is to give each faction an element(s), whose spells would be more powerful and other element(s), whose spells would be weaker.

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Storm-Giant
Storm-Giant


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
On the Other Side!
posted August 17, 2015 04:22 PM bonus applied by Elvin on 17 Aug 2015.
Edited by Storm-Giant at 16:47, 17 Aug 2015.


ADVENTURE MAP

(Highly agree): H3 pretty much nailed it down with an almost infinite amount of Adv. Buildings. Of course further Heroes also added new locations, but I still would put H3 as an example of where to start from.

And snow yeah, creature banks must return. Getting a bunch of Wyverns or Angels was awesome. HotA added a few more too, offering creatures from other factions. That's simply awesome


TOWN BUILDING

(Highly agree): Each faction should feature different options in their town building plan - some have access to early hight tier creatures, while others may favour the Magic Guild, or the economy boost buildings.
In this regard, I believe it's very importat to stay away from H3. The 500/1000/2000/4000 scales very bad, I'd much rather see a 500/750/1000/1500/2000 income system, so each income upgrade doesn't have such a huge impact on the economy. By spreading them over 4 upgrades, it will make town development take longer, which should be good. Also, no Capitol, I don't really see its use

In the same vein, extra creature growth should be limited. The double growth from h3 was awful, giving you too many creatures per week. And that has the negative effect of making stacks on the map becoming much less of a threat each week - not to mention neutral units growth it's also limited, so there is no reason to buy Nomads if your town already provides twice the amount of each creature.


RESOURCES

(Agree): Outside of Champion tier units, buildings with 20+ resource requirements are baaad. I can take 10, maybe 15 on rare occasion.
Resource silos should be upgradable, first giving a random amount of wood-ore per week, and the upg. awarding some random rare resource, but with higher chances for that faction most important resource.

Keeping resources relevant in the lategame it's something unexplored in the series, I'd love to see ideas so they don't become "trade in the marketplace for gold" as in previous installments


ROLE OF CHANCE

(Highly agree): Since I agree on everything you've said, I will talk about morale/luck. In H6 (and H7 too?) morale and luck can go up to 100. That makes each point feel useless, since it's only like a 1% chance change. I for one would argue to get back to H5 10 point system, with each morale/luck point increasing (or decreasing in case of negative m/l) by 5% the chances of triggering such effect. With a cap of 10, you could get as high as 50% chance of extra half action, or +50% damage. It's vital to not make +/- morale/luck boosters abundant, so getting 10+ of morale or luck should be a difficult task, a combination of skills, artifacts, adv. buildings and not facing -m/l enemies/artifacts. Finally, for every + morale/luck artifact, the reverse should exist (kinda like HotA does). We never get enough of them.


SKILL SYSTEM

(Highly agree): I don't have anything else to add here.


SPELL SYSTEM

(Agree): I totally agree that 7 Magic Schools are too many, especially with the current trend of having a low amount of spells in the game. One day Erwan may realize he can keep the 6-7 Magic Elements while grouping the spells in 4-5 schools?
However, on the Might/Magic analysis, you are overlooking one crutial aspect: the impact of primary skills.

In classic Heroes (most notably H3 and H5) Magic Primary Skills have been neglected, in favour of the Might counterparts. Attack and Defense are constant bonuses to your creatures. In fact, each of those points have a 5% difference on damage. That's a lot. This could be furthered researched with creature A/D and how it changed from H2 (where the highest value was 15) to H3 (which went to 30), which makes the difference even more impactful.
Here, I'd advocate for A/D to give a smaller bonus, something like a 2.5-3.3 damage increase/reduction. That may make for a slower pace combat, but without needing every unit to be super tanky, like H6 & H7 core units are.

On the other hand, the Magic skills are much less important, for reasons such as:
- Knowledge of little to no use once you achieve a certain number (say 8+).
- Spell Power only affecting a fraction of the spells, and of those who benefit from SP, they don't do in the same level. Direct damage spells benefit fully from SP, but what about buffs/debuffs like deflect missile? They don't at all, with the exception of how long they will last. And that's an issue since combats don't last 50 turns (and no one in their sane mind would want that).

Sure both Primary and Secondary Might skills have been always better because they award permanent bonuses, but I'm firmly convinced making every single spell benefit from SP.
Say Stone Skin increases target defense by 4 plus 1 per five points of Spell Power, while lasting 3 turns plus 1 per every five points of Spell Power. Blinds renders target useless for 2 turns plus 1 per six points of Spell Power. Frenzy causes the target to attack the nearest unit (friend or foe) at the start of their turn, lasting 1 turn plus 1 per 10 points of Spell Power, but not using the creature's turn. Slow reduces target initiative for 25% plus 5% per every six points of Spell Power, while lasting 3 turns plus 1 per every five points of Spell Power. And so on.
This could be furthered improved by standardising the bonus of Magic Skill levels. For example, Basic Light/Dark/Destructive/Summoning Magic would increase the base effect. Advanced would decrease the mana cost of the spells of that school. Expert would decrease the amount of Spell Power points required to increase the effect of the spell (in Direct Damage spells, it would increase the damage*SP).

Instead of a flat +10 max mana, Knowledge could increase hero maximun mana by 5, and their mana regeneration by 2. That way, Maigc Heroes will not only have higher mana count, but they will also use it for creeping very frequently, and have no need to rest in town or side-track to visit that magic dwell and replenish your mana points. Might heroes will have a harder time to use high level spells too, since their maximun amount will be low.

Oh, and do I have to mention that magic dwells fully replenishing your mana points is very cheap? That Heroes 4 implemented adv. locations that replenished only a percent (30/50/70) of your hero(es) mana amount? Yes, H4 did that one right too


SYNERGY

(Highly agree): We need more of this


HERO SPECIALS

("Agree"): I utterly agree hero specials have become bland and boring in the latest games, but I don't certainly agree on going back to +%/level system. I always felt it could get out of control pretty easily.

I already left my thoughts on this subject here, with a simple yet effective proposal of segmenting hero specializations across every 5 levels. This way you can keep every hero with the perks that make them unique, but in a more balanced way


CLASS DIFFERENTIATION

(Highly agree): Replayability is a must in a Heroes game. H7 system seems weak in this regard.


BATTLEFIELD


(Agree): Another of the HoM&M elements that have been left unexplored. We need to see more iterations on this, trying new stuff
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Elvin
Elvin


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Omnipresent Hero
What if Elvin was female?
posted August 17, 2015 04:28 PM

@Verriker

Damage assessment, a (reality) checkpoint if you will. The goal is always to have something one can easily refer to and considering the fan reception lately, it might turn out useful.

@Pawek_13

The magic system is pretty much as I described.

A total of any 3 GM abilties sounds like a good compromise for the current system.. Atm you can pick the 3 preset GM abilities but that's horrible for replayability, everyone and his dog will be picking those 3 favoured skills. Meh.
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Storm-Giant
Storm-Giant


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
On the Other Side!
posted August 17, 2015 04:48 PM

Pawek_13 said:
First, the skill system. I must say that I adore the concept of Grandmaster abhilities, as they provide more variety to "the right builds" of heroes. What I don't like, however is that only three skills have access to them. What I would do on their place is to give possibility to choose Grandmaster from many (how many - this is a matter of balance) and limit number of Grandmasters that a hero can choose to 3. This would significantly increase variety across plays even in current skill system.

I must say, I'm not a big fan of GM skills. But I fully agree with you, heroes should have the freedom to master whatever skills they wish. These arbitrary limitations H7 have are simply idiotic
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Pawek_13
Pawek_13


Supreme Hero
Maths, maths everywhere!
posted August 17, 2015 05:00 PM

Elvin said:
@Pawek_13

The magic system is pretty much as I described.

Great minds think alike.

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TD
TD


Promising
Famous Hero
posted August 17, 2015 05:01 PM bonus applied by Elvin on 30 Aug 2015.

Adventure map:
- Cover of darkness that resets the fog of war around it.
Higly agree IF done like in h4 so you still get vision for mines and other places you "own". It makes the movement more strategic, gives better use for scouting ability/skill and allows ambushing better.

- Border guards that keep passages closed until the keymaster's tent is visited, that can change the whole map layout.
- Border garrisons that allow people with access to move in and out.
I wish these were combined so you can set garrisons to require key, but after you've opened it you can always pass through and even arm the garrison with your troops/hero if you want. I don't like Border-guards that just vanish once you show key to them.

- Destroyable and rebuildable bridges.
Mixed: I fear this leads to game of cat and mouse with one side build while other rebuilds, requiring "attacker" to bring 2nd hero for building to move first one across. If it would take a few turns to build and then few turns to destroy the bridge I think it would be a good feature.

-Everything else I agree or highly agree.

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

Town Building:
-I think factions should have fairly unique towns, for example like in h4 stronghold had breeding pens(+50% growth to all) while it lacked magic guild. Different factions get boost to different creature-tiers a bit like h5, some might not get any boost. Some get extra spells like h5/h7 academy. This also applies to buildings like diplomacy boost which is for some weird reson on orcs and necro too(IMO such building best fits factions like haven and sylvan). The buildings should emphasize the traits of the team!
-Different cost for buildings between factions, some may have more expensive champion building and champions for example, less requirements to get and stuff like that. Magic guild should be way cheaper to academy while it could be very expensive to haven, similar to Heroes Kingdoms(not that big differences though, but the idea behind it was solid IMO).
-I liked the idea behind h5 town-builder, but it should be more flexible. To fix that I would just take the town-level requirements much lower so you could rush champions or whatever if you got the resources. Some requirements as Elvin mentioned that are logical would be completely fine.
-Fortification growth should definitely be back(the +50%/100%), but I don't see reason to not have those extra boosts that h7 has, it would just be on top of that, same with governors.(I just always enjoyed the massive armies)
Ohh and no extra requirements to upgrade creature dwelling, do it like in h5!(I hate the h7 style!)


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

Resources:

-I'm actually fine with the high priced creature dwellings like in h5. It makes that much more challenging to plan your economy(like do you spend extra resources to build resource silo early or sacrifice troops for some mine). On the other hand for example in h5 the bone-dragons were too expensive, not because of mercury, but because you also had to build full fortification to get them and they were weakest champs to begin with!(Thanes on the other hand I might very well buy before dragons despite the price because they were in many ways best units of the army).

-Resource piles give too much resources: Mixed
1-3 resources per pile is fine, I agree. However if you think about heavily guarded piles I think even 4-6 is ok(I know the demo lacked heavily guarded piles!). Even in general the prices need to go up in h7 since you can essentially get 2 mines inside your town(random daily resource of which should be unique building rather than something that every can team get IMO, would fit academy for example as they have mastered alchemy).

-Creature/resource banks: highly agree

-Extra use for resources: highly agree. In h5 only academy and dwarves could use resources later for racial + spell-shop worked on resources. Hopefully h7 will bring more to this.

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

Role of Chance:
In general I highly agree to everything.

-h7 needs chance based abilities. Currently in only has couple and they activate only on lucky strike. I rather have the ability as seperate chance that could activate with any strike.

-As for the h5 luck/morale I very much liked the system personally(scale of 5 to -5 being the caps). Morale should give full extra turn and even in general I liked h5 battle-system much more than h6.

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

Skill-system:

-Again in general I agree.

-About h7 racials I have to highly disagree now that we have seen them all. I don't feel they are truly unique enough. Both dungeon and haven get extra turns for creatures. Dungeon, orcs and sylvan buff their troops. sylvan and orcs do damage at end of turn. Dungeon and necro do damage on walkthrough or retaliation. haven and necro have boost for retaliation. I could go on and on and on about how much there is overlapse in abilities between factions. It becomes even much worse if you start taking the "normal" skills/abilities/spells into account on top of that. Devs utterly failed with the skill-tree IMO. I'm sorry to say, but I actually consider even h6 version better than h7(you have no idea how hard it is for me to say that). H5 skill-system is the perfect base from which to start building the skill-system to make factions feel unique.

-Also random system in h7 doesn't have the kind of "control" as it did in past games which makes it suitable only for those who are either idiots or just suicidal. When I tried it I never ever got a single skill or ability that I wanted. It was complete after-thought to add random to the full-control system and it shows. I would never ever in million years play h7 with random system unless it gets some changes(which I've suggested in both SC and HC).

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

Spell-system: I agree on everything.

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

Synergy: again I agree.

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

Specials I agree.

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

Class differentiation:

-I believe 6 classes per faction is good, but rather than limiting their skills they should simply give different stats and different stat-growth(similar to Heroes Kingdoms. There you could have one magic hero that had fast stat growth till level 10, but slow(stat) growth between level 10-30 while another hero would grow levels 1-10 slow, but have fast growth between 10-30 for example).
-Different types of heroes for factions(like I want orcs to be purely might based faction as in h4 and h5 and academy could only or almost only get magic heroes). H5 gives good base to this, but it needs more different classes so not all sylvan heroes for example are knowledge/def based

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

Battlefield:
-I highly agree with all you said.

-I would add that different size battle-maps would be nice. On small maps melee are more effective while in large shooters are better.
-Also I think some units could have limited range like in Heroes Online(so some unit could only shoot if enemy is 4 squares or less away from them for example). I wouldn't use such thing for majority of shooters, but some could have it like this or melee having possibility to throw dagger for example.
-And about covers, I think some covers could be bigger/smaller so they could protect more, less or even completely from shooters.
-Add ambushes so for example with skill or/and in certain terrain types one player can place their troops on 2-4 sides of battlefield while defender is more limited in area.
-In regards to last two suggestions: ability to alter/mold battle-fields. Dig a hole to cover from shooter for example, have cyclops throw withered tree at enemy(no more lazer eye plz...) and stuff like that.
-Add some abilities so some units can cross/interact with objects. For example wolf running around small pile of wood instead of jumping over it seems ridiculous.

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PandaTar
PandaTar


Responsible
Supreme Hero
Celestial Heavens Mascot
posted August 17, 2015 06:13 PM



ADVENTURE MAP

Agree dancing the conga. Besides, the moment you ought to have an auto-combat feature, it means and forces the game outside combat being, at least, a bit interesting and adventurous. Timed global events could be implemented. Games such as SC have natural disasters. Not following the same lines, but having means to script those could also bring some fun (e.g. a volcano erupting and blocking a path, forcing players to find alternate routes etc.).



TOWN BUILDING

Agree here and there.



RESOURCES

Agree while eating bamboo-flavored popcorn.



ROLE OF CHANCE

Agree here and there. I still think there must exist a global odd of chaos, unpredictable and uncontrollable, most likely Luck.



SKILL SYSTEM

I'll agree with almost anything which is not along the lines with H6/H7 or their skill philosophy which sucks harder than leeches.



SPELL SYSTEM

Agree here and there. I'm one that would not object of not having spell schools, simply having spells on their own, not belonging or tied to anything in particular. Such spells could have slightly different effects depending on the faction, because said factions would focus on their own interests how to evolve magic. Keeping that in mind, Might abilities should focus more on other aspects, or perhaps making magic influence less of Might aspects, which happens with those spells regarding morale, strength.



SYNERGY

Agree. Synergy also is prone to bring unbalanced setting among opposite factions, which is something I feel it should happen. Specialization against certain enemies using cohesive data by battle experience and interaction through ages. The game also lacks the capacity of adaptation, proficiency. The more you battle against certain enemies, the more it is your capacity to be better prepared. It would work basically for Heroes expertise, because units die, and might not carry over experience in that way.



HERO SPECIALS

Agree. I think heroes shouldn't be limited to 1 special. Basically, they could have specialized perks regarding their race, faction and philosophy as well. Or having their specialization evolve into branches of expertise depending on actions taken around the map. What use can a specialization of having greater creature growth in a map where you are not meant to hire anything?



CLASS DIFFERENTIATION

Agree. This comes in close accordance with specializations as well. As a H4 player, I liked having evolving classes, although some were quite useless if compared to others. The feature was not well implemented.



BATTLEFIELD

Agree as if there's no tomorrow. Other shapes, weather and terrain effects. And I also enjoy the idea of having irregular terrain, high and low. This is basic and real. How important was having high ground as an advantage point in real battles? In a fantasy game, it would be even more pointed that fact, specially having flying units, spell casters, so many opportunities and possibilities to create very interesting things, but no, let's play a bland plain chess board with some flowers on it you cannot pass through.


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alcibiades
alcibiades


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
of Gold Dragons
posted August 17, 2015 06:27 PM
Edited by alcibiades at 18:27, 17 Aug 2015.

Elvin said:
ADVENTURE MAP

I'm not sure what I should answer to this - I think I'll go with agreed but I would like to add some comments:

I was never a fan of the maze-like maps. You go one way, enemy goes the other. Then you go round after him, and he doubles back the first way. Then you go back again, and he turns around again, etc. etc. That's just stupid. Or even worse, you have to randomly pick one way, and enemy comes the other and takes your town (probably because AI can see all map - lame). I prefer linear maps: You start in one end, enemy sits in the other. The can be side-tracks to collect treasures etc. but the question here is when do you advance on each other, who gains the most from rushing or waiting.

Also, if the Sanctuary and Cover of darkness never returns I'll be all the more happy for it. Particularly the Sanctuary was a pest. And the automatic cover of darkness in H3 Necropolis that made it super easy to pinpoint where their towns were was just stupid.

When all that's said, I think more options should be in the game to give the map-maker versatility. That will increase chance that everybody get to play maps they like.

Quote:
TOWN BUILDING

Highly agree. There should be dependancies but liberty to to go deep down one path if one prefers (and can afford) that.

Quote:
RESOURCES

Highly agreed. Btw. you forgot H5 Stronghold which required Mercury for almost all dwellings above level 3 if I'm not mistaken.

Quote:
ROLE OF CHANCE

Agreed, mostly. Skill system will be covered below. Luck and Morale triggers should have significant change to appear, and their respective skill should give a meaningful increase (was H6 skill something like +3 % chance to appear, lolwut?). H5 Luck and Morale was probably overpowered, but it sure did add some fun elements.

Quote:
SKILL SYSTEM

Highly agree.
What we need is quite simple.
- Start with H5 skill system.
- Make perks (but not skill) non-random, i.e. once you learn a skill, you decide for yourself what perks you want (can be random which skill you can take perk in for all it matter - i.e. you level up and get offered the choice to pick a perk in Light Magic (which you know) but not Logistics (which you also know)).
- There should be synergy between trees, i.e. some perks in one tree opens another perk in another tree. Synergy can be loosened up, however, so that you you don't necessarily need to pick always the same basic perk in skill one to get the tasty perk in skill two - this could be done by making the dependancy perk sit in second level, so that you always have a free choice left in original skill, or one could get another solution.
- Instead of ultimate skills, make synergy skills, that are common for all factions, and require a combination of certain skills. For instance, everybody can learn Arcane Omniscience if they have the proper combination of Enlightenment, Sorcery and whatever-skill perks, but it might be easier for Wizard to get it because he has high chance to learn these skills whereas Knight will be almost impossible to get this skill.

Quote:
SPELL SYSTEM

Highly agreed.

On a very practical level, the idea of choosing a specilization for your Mage Guild in H7 is actually pretty brilliant, but the fact that you have to choose it when you build level 1 and can't postpone is extremely frustrating. You don't always know what skills you will want for your hero at this point of game, so for me it was mostly a blind pick and then sometimes regretted later. You can just leave bonus spells closed until specilization is chosen.

Quote:
SYNERGY

Not sure what to answer here. I *do* want perks in one skill to require a perk in another skill, however.

Quote:
HERO SPECIALS

Highly agreed.

Quote:
CLASS DIFFERENTIATION

Highly agreed.

The could take a cue from H3/H4 systems however, where classes changed over time. In H3, a class changed its stat progression after level 10 (to become more all-round), in Heroes 4, you got the advanced class after picking a certain combination of skills. The latter is an interesting way if they want to be able to tune hero more towards might or magic (you start either might or magic, but can achieve mixed class by cross-picking skills, ie. learning many might skills as magic hero or many magic skills as might hero).

Quote:
BATTLEFIELD

Don't mind. I think it actually works pretty good as it is. I would be afraid too much "candy" will subtract from essence, but I'm open to good ideas.
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Storm-Giant
Storm-Giant


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
On the Other Side!
posted August 17, 2015 06:34 PM

alcibiades said:
Also, if the Sanctuary and Cover of darkness never returns I'll be all the more happy for it. Particularly the Sanctuary was a pest.

You could always make it so it offers 2-3 safe turns, but then it can't be used again for the following 7 days. So you can buy a little time there, but not an indefinite amount.
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kiryu133
kiryu133


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Highly illogical
posted August 17, 2015 06:58 PM bonus applied by Elvin on 30 Aug 2015.

kiryu133 said:
Adventure map:
Highly agree. I feel the conservatories were a bit limiting by design (dragonflies give Wyverns? Griffins give angels?! wat) and in order to make them a good adition you'd need a lot of different conservatories. But yes, completely agree.

Town buildings:
Snow town levels! Agree completely, nothing to add. Having recently gotten H2 gold from Gog, i miss some town design from that game.

Resources:
Generally agree but disagree about amount of resources gained/used. I prefer piles of 5-10 rare resources and High-level buildings to be very expensive. Titan dwellings being 25000 g and 30 gems was both unique and interesting design. 1-3 resources per pile makes them worthless and i seldom felt much drive to actually pick them up in H6. That's pretty lousy.

Basically inflate everything but mine income.

otherwise I agree: resources are not used for enough things and getting them is too dull: banks and snow is most welcome.

Will come back if i remember.


continuing on this...

Role of chance:
Completely agree. Heroes is fundamentally about randomness at some level and the current trend to shy away from it is not only a bad idea, it goes against the very nature of the franchise. Lucky strikes were not only powerful, special and a great addition to gameplay, They were influenciable. You had some (limited) control over them and how often they would happen. Same thing with morale: you had several ways of influencing it but it was still fundamentally a roll to see if it happened at all. It would just happen more for the player who invested more into it at the expense of something else.

This only works if said effects are actually powerful enough: H6 made both morale and critical hits limited in their power, Crits only doing 50% more damage and morale reducing movement and power of the affected stack. This means the investment gets less worthwhile for what you could get instead.

Skill system is also one of those things that's integral and necessary to be in at least some way random. While i think the H7 "skillpizza" isn't a terrible base, It's most certainly not something that should be part of the final product. Add every skill to every hero, make it random what skills you can pick, remove any remaining possible limitations like certain missing GM's and add some perks tying over several skills. The only limitation this system should have are the amount of skills. Perks or sub-skills (or whatever they're called) should be unlimited until they've run out and increase the level-cap a ton. Nothing is more boring than reaching the cap way before the game is done.

Agree about creature on-hit effects. Maybe having them happen on crits also/instead? like if a crit Basilisks will always petrify or only petrify when it's a crit. could make luck a more desirable trait for factions with many such creature abilities.

Skill System

As i said above, only limit in the amount of skills you can learn but not perks. As i said, i like the structure of the H7 pizza but the limitations are too much and it desperately needs randomness. Some prerequisites and a couple of perks overlapping with different skills would be nice as well.

Agree with these asterisks

Spell System

Mostly agree. Make spell schools elemental (earth, air, fire, water) which all have access to curses, damage etc with different directions (earth is stable with slows, defensive buffs and high single-damage spell and fire being damage boosting, confusing and sight-based debuffs with massive area damage) which allow for every caster to choose more freely how to play even after choosing school(s). One extra ability for general spell-improvement ala sorcery is good to have too.

Generally I'd like to see Might heroes going away from all direct battlefield manipulation unless they cast spells. If you're might you passively improve your troops and fight through them. Magic heroes fight themselves with Troops only stalling long enough to get out his/her spells. That's what the difference should be and skills should mirror that.

Synergy

Completely agree. Factions shouldn't have one specific way of playing but instead several ways depending on skills and stuff. Passive bonuses between skills and attributes is the best way as well as some stuff increasing chance for on-hit effects and stuff. several ways to do this but specific synergies (treant/dryad) is too limiting.

Hero Specials

Completely agree. There is absolutely no reason to not add to the H5 way of doing things. That game had seriously fantastic specials though some work on balance would be needed.

Class differentiation

Mostly agree but add playstyle affecting chance of certain skills: If you're playing offensively increase chance of getting attack attribute and skills. If you're using a lot of magic, increase spell power and sorcery chances etc. Class-specific perks is a good thing as long as they make sense from a gameplay perspective (like golem positive morale) and allows for interesting roleplay that H7 simply does not allow (like the knight falling to dark magic).

Battlefield
Mostly agree. I'm not sure about these kind of environmental additions like freezing puddles and stuff (If you want that, go play Divinity: original sin. System is all about that and it's a pretty great game ) but something needs to be done and not only increasing battlefield size (which is desperately needed).
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Stevie
Stevie


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted August 17, 2015 09:41 PM
Edited by Stevie at 21:41, 17 Aug 2015.

Dies_Irae said:
Stevie said:
Highly agree on everything and I haven't even read it.
Sounds like the average christian and the Bible


I'm sorry if you (mis)understood it that way. What I said next was quite relevant in that regard. But just for your info, I read the OP and I still highly agree on everything just as I expected. Past conversations, mutual understanding and sharing the view on many things definitely helped with that. Far off from what you are insinuating.
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Storm-Giant
Storm-Giant


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
On the Other Side!
posted August 17, 2015 11:12 PM

Yeah, if anything Stevie has been very involved in this kind of discussions for the past 2 years, can't blame him for feeling *ignored*.
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icefield
icefield


Adventuring Hero
posted August 17, 2015 11:50 PM

Adventure map: highly agree but -- don't repeat all H3 locations, but invent new stuff!  I don't believe that the good ideas are already exhausted.

Town building: highly agree, and please also expand here.  There are lots of missed opportunities.  In H5, towns had (hardly visible) specialities, this can be improved.  Town artefacts for even more variety.  Why should all towns of one faction be identical?

Resources: agree, but avoid the level of micromanagement that H5 introduced with micro-artefacts and runes.  That went way too far.

Randomness: highly agree.  That's the decisive factor that makes Heroes interesting.  Random effects should be ubiquitous, but with their strength and impact thoughtfully distributed.  If only as much effort would go into this as it goes into unit design.

Skills: agree, but none of the previous systems was perfect.   A problem with a skill wheel (but also the H3 system) is the limitation at high level.  Many choices until level 20, but everything static after level 30.  Why?  If specialization/abilities also improve with level, the game could offer additional slots without danger of rendering all level-50 heroes equal.

Spells: highly agree.  Don't forget adventure map spells, I'd also like to see new ideas here.  Cursing a nearby enemy hero on the map?  Temporarily changing terrain?   Blocking an adjacent square for one turn?

Synergy: agree.  This spices up the game, but it can easily go over the top if one has to remember too many things at once.  The cross-talk between effects should always be clear.

Hero specials: agree.  They are particularly difficult to balance (H3 heroes).

Class differentiation: highly agree.  Should be integrated with the random system.

Battlefield: agree.  New ideas are welcome.  But effects should be moderate.  The new flanking system with its high bonuses doesn't get the best reputation.

Finally there are discussions about gameplay in the forum, not just the same rants about lineup and design over and over.  Thanks Elvin!

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Storm-Giant
Storm-Giant


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
On the Other Side!
posted August 17, 2015 11:53 PM

icefield said:
Skills: agree, but none of the previous systems was perfect.   A problem with a skill wheel (but also the H3 system) is the limitation at high level.  Many choices until level 20, but everything static after level 30.  Why?  If specialization/abilities also improve with level, the game could offer additional slots without danger of rendering all level-50 heroes equal.

First we would have to convice Ubisoft of going beyond level 30. That's how sad the current situtation is
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