Hi. I think I had a hard time fighting against William (the one with the liches you have already beaten) and De Pop (I think you haven't come across her yet) particularly because I couldn't abuse any dragonbeath and I didn't had the orb of vurnerability, the sphere of permanence and the clone spell.
You know how they exit the moment I use 'Resurrection' or 'Raise Undead'? It's because at that moment they finally "see" something outside the castle. In other words, if you only have summoned elementals outside the castle, the AI sees 0 troops and no reason to move.
My current theory is that summoned elementals are considered to have 0 hp in AI calculations.
RoseKavalier said:You're right, again. One thing I just looked up is in both fights where the hero is ready to exit, AI lacks 'Implosion'.
At a quick glance, most of the other places where the AI wouldn't exit, the Implosion spell is available:
-Guy le fort
Could it be the difference?
Missing video was added to 321.
Just checked my UTB saves and they follow the same pattern. Conflux heroes had Implosion, while Dragonmaster didn't have Implosion. So maybe. I did drain Conflux heroes of spellpoints first though, so it's weird if it still took Implosion into consideration.
I think this is good evidence that Implosion has an impact on the AI exiting the garrison to kill you or not. Both towns and AIs are identical except one has Implosion and the other not. They have no other spells... which may seem strange but when the AI with Implosion runs out of spell points to cast it, he still does not try to exit and kill you!
Summoned Elementals Outside Castle
Salamandre, yes it can happen. The point I am trying to make is that if you only have Elementals outside the castle garrison, then AI will never cast offensive spells, just defensive.
My guess is something else: if u have only Earth Elementals and he has the castle you've already lost.
I once had a level one hero with his starting troops (in my HotA map) and a very modified hero with just one unit attacked me. She immediatly started casting air elementals and won the match but I kept the city. I think it has something to do with this.
I already had a fight I recorded (but sadly deleted later) where I kept summoning earths and he kept launching meteor -from inside the town- on them. I will look into saves and see if I can recover it then show.
Upon his 2 successful town defenses, Friend can go hunt another hero. I leave non-neutral and non-Tower creatures in the garrison.
Reason is simple, terrain here at R`yleh is 'Snow'.
This guy is vulnerable to Blind so kill him quickly.
I had tried to include this fight at an earlier stage before the Orb of Vulnerability but there just wasn't enough movement available. It's a fun setup for round 1, I may show it posthumously.
While the nearby terrain is Cursed Ground, there is the 1 tile here to cast Town Portal.
Friend heads to Uruk where LLLB has been waiting overnight, swap armies and artifacts.
LLLB takes Friend's leftover troops from Acre 5 and goes to hunt more red AIs.
First, these 2 guys.
Because they traded with each other, one is very easy and one is slightly less. The first one drops like a fly.
As LLLB doesn't have Archery, the Archangels are my strongest stack here, so I cast Frenzy on them.
The second hero is slightly more difficult. Change of setup a bit: 'Armageddon's Blade' and 'Pendant of Second Sight'.
Hide Titans or any other troop behind Forcefield and make them the fastest.
AI will reply with a strong Implosion... so cut it in half.
As a small reminder of these fights, clone the Archangels to resurrect...
Frenzy Archangels to kill... it's faster than 20 'Disrupting Ray' per stack.
Still nothing to worry about.
Go back to the portal, we hunt down another red hero.
Blind tactics again.
Because Magic Mirror is not cancelled by Orb of Vulnerability, I reduce the Dragon Faeries defense with Disrupting Ray so that I can kill them in 2 rounds. Less risk of them reflecting Blind.
Only 2 red roaming heroes left!
As my movement on LLLB is pretty low, I can't go to the new Oasis trick and must use the old one to allow LLLB to trade.
LLLB heads to Sepello's position.
Transfer troops and artifacts...
The last green hero is about to fall.
Pretty much the same tactic as before, blind and kill.
However, Undead cannot be blind. So use the power of Behemoths to get through.
The rest is the same as prior fights!
Meanwhile, Vertigo is still having pretty casual days. Finally gets somewhere though!
Brewster, after a long ride, gets to a tower asking for the death of Nosferatu.
The reason to come here is the hidden White Keymaster's Tent! You can barely see the top of it behind the Faerie dwelling.
There's a fight on Cursed Ground however... but it's really simple.
Also hidden here are 300 Faerie Dragons and a Recanter's Cloak - which was ignored.
After all this, army is brought to Brewster at frifix' end. I also bring in Vertigo to convert some Enchanters and later trade with Brewster.
Time to kill De Pop.
It's the same tactic... Blind is too strong.
One red wanderer left.
The slow army is taken from Brewster, Sword of Judgment handed to him as well as Wizard's Well.
Enter the green portal nearby and get to this area.
Vertigo does some shopping around and gets 2 slow Golems.
Brought to Friend and Sepello at Uruk. Titans lent to Sepello.
Friend will refresh his spell points and both heroes go into the water with the White Keymaster now visited.
There are some Trees of Knowledge here, there's enough movement to visit them, especially with Sepello.
I forgot to highlight this but step on the Sign behind the Tree of Knowledge and Summon Boat 2x. It will be possible to board it from the Anti-Magic garrison! (Second screenshot shows boat, but it's screenshot from next day)
Push on with Sepello, we need to fight some hidden Liches here.
Piece of Cake.
When Sepello gets to the anti-magic garrison, leave all but 1 MGenie behind.
This is actually the way toward Metataxer's Palace, we're almost there! Because I could summon a boat on the signpost, I've unlocked the short way towards Metataxer which is by boat. The long way is at least 1 day more.
Friend will have to spend the night here. The problem is not that I can't summon a boat, the problem is that 1) Sepello hasn't opened the Light Blue Guard as seen in previous screenshot and 2) I need to water-walk across because there's a border gate on the other end - can't land with a boat.
Sleepy Vertigo can now bring the slow troops to Brewster.
There are 2 nearby quest guards, one wants the Sword of Judgment which was obtained by Vertigo previous day, second wants the death of frifix (317).
Make your way up north...
More blind tactics.
Ah, the beauty of logistics specialists... so much movement.
Lose the Wizard's Well and finish the day on the Swan Pond, not possible to go further.
To wrap up this day, I send 1 Admiral's Hat to LLLB who will go in the Whirlpool near Kalryhwater.
I exit near Hughlon to open these previously 2 ignored Pandora Boxes.
One of them holds a fight! It's not too difficult, blind the Archangel and then Clone Archdevils to kill the Titans. Titan #1 will kill the Clone and Titan #2 will attack the real Devils.
Resurrect after Titans are dead.
Exit your boat and get rid of it.
One of the last hidden passages in the map!
Off with green.
Finally LLLB can go re-capture the one town we lost to the roaming red heroes.
With his remaining movement (I know, this is far from optimized, bad Artifact management... but it doesn't matter in the end, not slowed down by this), Vertigo goes to THE last hidden path. A hidden Basilisk lives there, required for 1 quest guard
Vertigo catches the sneaky Basilisk at last!
Brewster kills Chaos, one of the three "big bosses" of the Marods.
It's another easy fight with the Orb
To speed things up, try to Poison the enemy with Wyverns.
It's basically a permanent version of the Ghost Dragon's Aging.
No more Chaos in the Marods, peace soon?
LLLB captures our lost town, we now control the overworld again. Underworld... not quite just yet.
Give troops and Artifacts to LLLB, he will hunt the last wandering red hero.
Not much to say... Armor of the Damned and Blind. Kill the Orcs to neutralize the enemy faster.
Now swap again with Brewster who stayed back at frifix' end.
LLLB heads to the green portals... there won't be many more of these, promise!
Locate the area of the Green Tent, we can finally visit it.
This frees the way for Friend after Sepello opens the Light Blue guard in the water.
The short way out is through an event, just head the way shown in previous screen.
For a reason later explained, I need a second hero following Friend. Naturally, pick the fastest one.
Friend equips his water shoes and he will be able to hop across the water!
There we go. There are several quest guards here, each asking for the death of some crazy heroes on the map.
Well, some of them were easy. These 3 were quite easy actually!
With remaining movement, Sepello goes to grab some more Azure Dragons near Gummy Gums.
Friend continues opening quest guards...
OK, that was an interesting fight!
With hit and run, it was not so bad.
ScytheScroge... with many hit and runs it was not so bad. Otherwise this would be a very hard fight!
At long last we will fight the enemy, see who's revenge it is! Friend emerges in the area of Metataxer's Palace. It's a long stretch before we get there...
Speedy Brewster follows suit.
For being 1 whole day behind, she sure made up a lot of ground.
With almost every enemy hero defeated, Sepello can claim the rewards of this seer hut which was ignored earlier on.
Jumper didn't exist on the map when LLLB and Vertigo went through here the first time. Now we claim 100 Azure Dragons
For now, there isn't much left to do for Sepello/LLLB/Vertigo. We all await Friend's meeting with Metataxer. And so, they can visit stat boosters and recruit whatever troops had been left to rot until now.
Friend and Brewster keep running towards Metataxer... the tension is increasing as we get closer.
Brewster finally catches up!
Sepello kills some Ghost Dragons with Clone and Forcefield.
Nice little reward, can't have too many Bears
And we get even closer...
Just... One... More... Day...
Other heroes do whatever.
Ah! Just kidding, this update has gone on for long enough. You will have to wait for one more update for the conclusion to Let's Play: ~Metataxer's Revenge~.
When the orb of vulnerability is equipped, is it possible to bypass the mind spell immunity granted by the badge of courage?!
I suppose that Oshanty, Brelgo, Chromus, Cpt. Rudy, Sleeper and De Pop didn't see that coming...
I want to get one of my maps done, the one near completion. Maybe in the future I can consider something else, but I wouldn't do a full video walkthrough as it's what takes most of the time.
Nope, red orb is decorative. Not that it would be of any use, magic is the great equalizer.
Yes, Orb of Vulnerability breaks the Badge of Courage mind spell immunity! But it doesn't work against 'Pendant of Second Sight' and other spell-specific artifacts.
Man, I love your walktroughs and I've been learning to apreciate some of these master pieces and yet when I look for a map I look for almost the exact opposite.
To give you an example, I'm making another for HotA right now, my idea: all AI players are allied and start with 4 slightly improved heroes with all skill slots filled, besides that there are three immobile and unreachable just fill places and then another on a place on the underground with three dwellings of each type and 8 prisons with heroes starting with 15 in each prim and all level one spells and Waterwalk and growing by five upto 50 and all spells but DD, Summon Boat and Scuttle Boat, and the one way portal the other side of the square of water. Then I use timed events to progressively give more money and troops to each AI player. The overground otoh is just a common XXL map, maybe with a few enhancements like a couple of reeged witch huts to avoid developing problems.
So, I incorporate part of what I learned but what I aim for is harder RMG behavior, never but never planned battles.
P.S. A doubt, can AI dismiss uselless heroes?
And another, if I put a timed event building tavern just for player in AI's towns and repeat it everyday, will it try everyday or if it can't do it first time it gets canceled?
Be 100% certain to tag along at least 1 Faerie Dragon or you'll be sorry when you get here...
But before you make it there, 2 traps are in the way. The first one takes 1 spell point from you... however it's bugged if you have over 1000 spell points and it will reduce your spell points all the way to 999. The second one steals 899... leaving you to 100.
Thankfully, the second event is not recurring so Friend can get through with 999 spell points due to the first event. It's also possible to build a second Wizard's Well but in my game time and movement did not permit.
Now that Friend is at the ready to knock on big M's door, give him all troops.
Metataxer, at last we meet! No more lieutenants to throw sticks in my wheels, I challenge you!
Open the fight with our favourite spell, Blind.
Then use +4 speed Archangels to destroy the Phoenixes. Titans/Enchanters finish off the revived Phoenixes.
There you have it. Metataxer is toast - Congratulations!
Speed up his demise... Disrupting Ray his defense down to ~40.
And poison him...
It'll be over soon at this rate...
Metataxer's Revenge aborted.
Where are the confetti? No win? Hmm, could we be wrong all along? (yes)
There's a surprise waiting in the tavern. Send Vertigo to investigate.
Hmm, nothing special.
Let's try again...
Metataxer is now one of the good guys, and boasts level 6424 so Vertigo teaches him everything
As you may glimpse from the above, Metataxer lacks Earth Magic... so we can't town portal directly.
Rather, take a walk following in the steps of Friend&Vertigo way back on week 2.
And take a right here.
Time to get moving with artificial Expert Earth Magic.
Destination, Pay Castle where Vertigo is waiting.
Metataxer takes the ferry and will head for a particular quest guard asking for the death of Metataxer.
In order to get to the final area, we must access the second Pandora's Box in the area shown here. Sadly, Metataxer is too slow to make it in 1 day.
In the meantime, have your heroes mess around. Sepello took the opportunity to visit some more Trees of Knowledge, attaining level 62 in the process.
LLLB and Brewster hang around 'Tower One' where you can see some 'Tome of Air' which are still inaccessible.
Friend heads for the small path behind frifix' end.
And Vertigo can recruit some creatures for fun.
Inch forward with Metataxer, we discover that the second quest guard asks for Metataxer himself - hence the whole reason for rushing him here.
Open the Pandora to claim Angel Wings
With this, our heroes can cleanse the land for good.
As I've previously written, Metataxer doesn't have Earth Magic, this greatly reduces his usefulness... so why not have him make a little show for us?
Go fight 4,000 Archangels with 1 Phoenix
I didn't come here empty-handed... far from it.
1 spell cast, 1 victory.
For those curious about level 6424 hereoes... they're very fickle in nature. Give them a little too much experience and then cry!
There are a few hints letting you know that the Grail is hidden here, 'X marks the spot'. For completeness, I will wait an extra day to dig it up on 333.
Enough with Metataxer, Vertigo brings the Angel Wings to Brewster.
There are no free tiles near this town, this is the closest to the town you can be.
For those who carefully read 'Tribute to Strategists', you may know how to attack such towns... first, reduce Hero speed.
Start moving! As you get close to the town, start spamming Spacebar on your keyboard.
It will engage the town as you walk over it and you will conquer it!
This gives you access to the Tome of Air, and Dimension Door
Go back to Tower One and Dimension Door in the shrouded veil...
This annoying Necropolis has been hiding our vision for a long time now.
Back to 'Tower One', give the new artifacts to LLLB.
I tried for a while to find a way to do the same trick here but movement with 'Fly' is picky. There's no choice, head to this empty tile.
On your way back, you can see that pathfinder moves laterally first and then diagonally, which means that grabbing the town is possible only from this direction.
There's one more town east of here, but first, let's pay a visit to the most annoying hero of the map.
This guy! Because of him, a ton of Red heroes were released
For our 47th town, we will require Friend's help.
At the end of this dark path lies the light.
It opens the way for LLLB to capture the 3rd Tome of Air.
With all of this settled, Brewster brings some of our new toys to Sepello at Uruk.
For the third time in this playthrough, I will be able to double spell points
At long last, we may go claim the last and 48th city on the map.
I stop by these Griffins so that I may visit the Fountain of Youth and Oasis again.
Gives some extra movement and lets me visit yet another Tree of Knowledge.
From the Tree, it's a short flight to Damelon, the creator of this territory.
For this fight, which is surprisingly non-trivial with what we have, be sure to protect yourself from Blind.
Damelon opens the fight with the Armor of the Damned, giving him initiative right away.
Ouch... 2000 Titans kill 70 Azure Dragons. Thankfully, we're fighting with level 63 Sepello who reduces damage by 62.25%. Any other hero would have lost all creatures from 1 hit!
When it is finally our turn to move, get rid of the various afflictions from the AotD.
The Archangels immediately resurrect a good chunk of the Azure Dragons. Because of their strength, the enemy shooters will focus their firepower on them - most important the Power Liches who will destroy the Catapult at the same time.
Round 2, start the Blind process. The enemy is immune to 'Forgetfulness', otherwise the fight would be easy!
Round 5,6 blind the Rust Dragons and Magic Elementals...
Round 7, can't blind Power Liches... so, let's exhaust them instead.
The fastest way to kill Damelon (hero = Tazar) is with the Clone-through-wall trick which I showed earlier. This way, we can get rid of the Power Liches and all other troops are blind.
As soon as the Liches are dead, it's an easy fight with all we've been through so far.
Damelon was wearing 'Pendant of Total Recall'... without this, the fight would be over in a cinch.
With Damelon gone, Red is vanquished at long last.
With the fight now done, we can prepare to fight the actual villain of the map. Grab the stuff from Sepello.
Bring the stuff to LLLB.
Go to 'Chaotic' and dimension door towards the seer hut.
At the cost of our second Orb of Vulnerability (obtained from Metataxer)...
...we gain arguably the strongest spell in the game.
Head back up towards the line of quest guards and the day ends here.
If you really want, you could open all these quest guards to go fight Boneman!!! Each of them asks for the death of a different hero. But because we're lazy, just fly over them
There's a small problem here, a tower guard asks for the Sword of Judgment. As you may recall, we gave 2 of these away already - on our way to Nosferatu and on our way to Chaos. However, there is no 3rd Sword of Judgment in the map, I've looked everywhere!
You can open the last 2 towers directly anyhow, skipping over the rest.
As instructed by Metataxer, we find that Boneman!!! is the real villain of the story and so we must defeat him with the help from Metataxer.
With the Tome of Fire... it's a very easy fight.
Spam berserk until one stack remains.
You can use Frenzy to finish them off, this fight takes 4 minutes.
Off with his skeletal head!
The last opponent is now dead!
But the sweet taste of victory is not yet here, for there remains one objective. First, dig the grail for points.
And then meet Brewster at Natuilus' End and give him all 3 Tome of Air Magic artifacts.
One last leap of faith...
At first, we defeated Boneman!!!
And then we had to give over one Tome of Air Magic.
And a second.
And then frifix was still quiet.
Finally, the last quest guard of the game... may not be opened by Friend (that's the text)... only Brewster.
There are a few Titans holed up here, they are the final objective of the map.
Slay them! Take no prisoners!
73 days, 448 points. I was really baffled by the low score, I thought when you defeat all enemies and dig the grail you should be close to 500 points. Formula tells 498 should be the result. Anyhow, it seems to be a result of the Win conditions (Defeat Creature and Disallow regular victory). Feels a bit stupid to not finish the map on 332 when I can just to try to farm more points.
So the alternative result is 72 days and 398 points.
One final look at our heroes, in relative order of usefulness.
Level 0, Metataxer basically just showed up for the finale. Still, he made some nice fireworks.
Dead for a long time, Mr. Fat was on Tavern duty and held the door like a champ.
We got Sepello very late in the game and she took so long to develop that she didn't get much time to shine. The fights vs. Damelon and Isegrim do show her capacity in becoming my best hero if the map were to go on.
Obtained late week 1, Vertigo was not the best of heroes and was often relegated to transport duty. Still, his Scholar and Enchanter specialty made him very valuable.
Speedster Brewster was invaluable in reaching certain areas and in aiding the 2 leading men do their job best. For this, she is ranked above Sepello for the map.
The go-to-hero for most difficult fights in the last 4~5 weeks, LLLB was the only hero able to kill some enemies without the need to waste 2 days to visit the Magic Springs. Also, the magic specialties really shone in certain fights.
The leading man for most of the map... Friend. He led us from a really humble beginning into a complete stomping of the Marods.
This is it for the Let's Play! I believe this is the fastest clearing of ~Metataxer's Revenge~ to date, if anyone is looking to improve, I think at least one week of improvements are available to be found
I hope you've learned a few tricks here and there (I will improve the opening post to highlight some of them), with these you should be able to complete most of the more challenging HoMM3 maps successfully!
Salamandre said:Thank you for making such exceptional tribute to an exceptional map. It was a great joy to follow daily adventures.
Please make more.
RoseCavalier said:with these you should be able to complete most of the more challenging HoMM3 maps successfully!
For long I've been feelling we had a lack of documentation about competitive player X AI in extremely hard maps, when compared to competitive MP in random maps and that was making a certain kind of build, gameplay and specialty look more effective then they really are when playing against AI but I believe you and Chen fullfilled this gap for now.
While it would be a privilege to be presented with another walktrough or maybe just videos from battles you found interresting when playing a map, if I got the message right I also believe you have provided us with all the tools we need and now it's just a matter of individual pratice and talent. To have the solution available for every single battle ever made like in crosswords doesn't look like a suitable model for heroes.