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Heroes Community > MapHaven Guild > Thread: Let's Play: ~Metataxer's Revenge~
Thread: Let's Play: ~Metataxer's Revenge~ This thread is 14 pages long: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 · «PREV / NEXT»
bloodsucker
bloodsucker


Supreme Hero
posted March 27, 2016 12:46 PM

Salamandre said:
Hope you will do one day also Unleashing the Bloodthirsty, fantastic map.

Meh, at least till where I gave up (a battle on swamp where the guy has three or four moral hits per turn), battles are doable without major league tricks. Now, while I didn't tried TEW since the release of his amazing walktrough this map has way more battles you will not win with Slow, Shield and blind the last stack to resurrect everybody. As a matter of fact, this map is so complex I'm finding difficult to even follow the walktrough.

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Salamandre
Salamandre


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
Wog refugee
posted March 27, 2016 02:43 PM

If aiming for a speedrun, battles could be extremely difficult in UTB, Season finished it in less than 3 months.

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RoseKavalier
RoseKavalier


Responsible
Known Hero
posted March 29, 2016 09:57 PM
Edited by RoseKavalier at 22:11, 29 Mar 2016.

Salamandre said:
If aiming for a speedrun, battles could be extremely difficult in UTB, Season finished it in less than 3 months.


I must say I'm not motivated to do that map. There is a huge element of RNG beyond generating a good starting file. I remember having to wait 2 weeks when trying to go to the Tower area because Kein Schwarz was camping the landing area. Only after he decided to move away could I go on with the map. In the newer versions of UTB, El Trueno doesn't have 'Pathfinding' but instead has the useless (in RPG-sense) 'Offense' and 'Leadership'.

In terms of difficulty with fights during rush, the most difficult would be the first 2 weeks or so. Strategy would be to figure out minimum troops required to capture first Rampart. After that you can use Event creatures and you pretty much have as much army as if you weren't rushing. The moment you get the 3000 Behemoths from Dragonslayer then it's pretty much a joke.

###

231 revised

As you may recall after the last update I'd mentioned wanting to revise 231 a bit in light of a tile without Cursed Ground.
Because of the -500 SP event, I saved some movement on LLLB who could come in and pick up troops that would not accompany A Friend. Also, some MGenies and an Archmage were brought in.



Another important thing was to collect this artifact that was picked up by Friend.


Sepello and LLLB would finally end up near Noname City where the above artifact opens up a quest guard.


The rest is pretty much the same.



232

During the night, green steals my Firebird dwellings... thankfully he does not land.


Thanks to the Mystic Orb of Mana plus the daily +1 SP regeneration, Vertigo can have 4 SP on this day.


This will be just enough to cast 'Bless', allowing Enchanters to beat the dragons in 4 rounds. We collect boots of Levitation!





Now bring almost everything to Friend. Movement is just enough to reach





Leave 'Cornucopia' and Vertigo's gloves but everything else is Friend's.


Using the newly acquired boots of Levitation, Friend can make some progress north. Because this puddle is contained between a well and a garrison, we cannot use 'Summon Boat' to go further.


The way beyond is similar... garrison - water. Only the last garrison is not anti-magic.



And so you can summon a boat and navigate the lake here. There are some hidden artifacts hidden at the very top of the map here but I will leave them for later as I value Friend's movement very much.


We come ashore just behind the Inferno and can summon a boat in the bigger body of water, ending Friend's day.


Because Sepello does not have Pathfinding, she walks with a Dragonfly to avoid losing movement towards the quest guard.


LLLB will come by and exchange the Stoic Watchman at first so that Sepello can open the quest guard...


Then Sepello gets as close to wandering Enchanters as possible and now LLLB gives Archdevils.



It's a very easy fight actually, 'Forgetfulness' and 'Slow'.


Then cast 'Teleport' around and use 'Wait'. The Enchanters might cast 'Haste' or 'Cure' but they're too weak to kill Sepello who is Armorer specialist!




Sepello will now head to the Monolith while LLLB hires some Nomads. Nomads allow you to move on 'Desert' without movement penalty even if you don't have 'Pathfinding'... very useful for Friend and Sepello. The reason for Sepello's expedition is really to soften up the path for Brewster because they can't have a lot of SP since the big +K artifacts are out of reach on A Friend for the time being.



Sepello will travel through monoliths (there are 6? on the map) for a while using *Spacebar*. You can collect 90,000 gold at one location.


Finally we get to where we wanted to, the minimap Dragon's nose. Pick up the well hidden 'Dragon Wing Tabard' which allow use to complete 'Power of the Dragonfather' if we need it.


There are 3 fights, two versus Zealots are simple, Forgetfulness+Slow.



The Ghost Dragons may appear challenging at first, but remember Sepello is Armorer specialist! These guys don't deal much damage to us even at level 23 (68% reduction and further reduction for having better stats).


After 'Slow', we can use 'Teleport' trick again for a bit while remaining at a safe distance.


After some time, the Dragons will be able to cover up most of the battlefield so use 'Shield' and hide in a corner to minimize damage.


Typically you'll be able to go back to Teleport strategy after killing 1 or 2 stacks. Hardly any Archdevils will perish even if 'Aging' triggers.


Sepello goes to level 31 for her trouble. I'd say she's in good shape already even though she's a bit low on visited stat boosters.


Brewster (Kyrre) doesn't really have anything to do so run some errands.




LLLB, Brewster and Sepello can meet up in Uruk to restore SP before the end of the day.


Just swap artifacts around so that they can get some decent SP. Also, let Brewster hang on to the Archdevils.


As the day ends, LLLB hires some Naga Queens and brings them to 'Minas Ithil'. Meanwhile, Sepello steps on 'Swan Pond' and Brewster gets close to an 'Oasis'. I chose this one because I had spare movement this day and it can be accessed horizontally, saving some movement for the next day.






233 - part I
Due to excessively long and full day, 233 will be split into 2 parts. I try to stick to 80 screenshots per update to provide sufficient details and I'd need way more than that to complete 233.

Vertigo can't do much right now, collect some gold we left on the ground previously and take a nap for now.



The rest of the update focuses on Friend's capture of the Rampart. First, visit the Library and kill some Nagas with 'Slow'.




Pre-fight setup: max speed and 1 MGenie stack next to Enchanters so that it acts first.


This is the tactics setup I used. Notice placement of the large MGenie stack, it is very useful to be on top row.


Enemy will typically cast 'Haste' or 'Prayer' when he acts. It it's Prayer, the MGenie needs to block the gate otherwise the Green Dragons (15 speed, same as our Genies) will stand on the gate, leaving it opened.


If the first spell is 'Haste', see in video where some Dragonbreath can be abused

Cast 'Forgetfulness' and try to reduce the Grand Elves' numbers.


Because Gold Dragons cannot receive 'Haste' or 'Prayer', the fastest enemy creature will be the Pegasi. We can lure them into protecting our Enchanters for a round by moving away the 1 MGenie blocking them.


Next round, Pegasi are afraid to attack Enchanters so they move next to them and attack MGenies unable to kill them. Golds then kill the remaining MGenies. Thus, the green dragons will go after juiciest target which is 1 MGenie+1 Archmage.


If your troops are too strong and kill off the Grand Elves, then consider taking off some +A artifacts. I had such an issue here and had to reload while taking off my +4 shield. If they are too weak, try to cast buffing spells with MGenies. Hypnotize the Grand Elves and create a hiding hex for our Titans!


Next round, even though we don't have the fastest creature, Catapult lets us cast first - and we can hide the Titans. The reason I hide the Titans and not Enchanters is that enemy has 'Blind' which he'd use against Enchanters which would lead to defeat.


Now that we are safe, we must exhaust enemy SP to prevent shenanigans. I found Green Dragons to be the best target as enemy will cast 'Resurrection' non-stop.



After casting some buffs, you may notice that Titan's damage is pretty... poor.


Simple, both creatures have same speed... hit 'Wait' so that the Dragons are no longer defending. Because Titan is our only creature, it will act before green dragons every turn... and so also act first in the wait phase. This greatly reduces enemy defense points and damage doubles!


After a while, Titans will run out of shots so take some time to kill the 1-hex creatures Dendroids and Elves. To prevent enemy from casting spells that will make us lose, we'll have to bring in the Enchanters to pursue the 'Resurrection' cycle. Use the same equal-speed rule and move the Titans during their wait phase after casting 'Haste'.




Now we have the fastest creature so we can wait, raise Enchanters and bring them to safety the next round.



I messed up previous attempt by not keeping Green Dragons number low enough, enemy used 'Resurrection' on Grand Elves and 'Anti-magic'... reload and try again. This time all is as should be. The moment you start using 'Frenzy' on Enchanters, you can start killing enemy for good.



Kill everything except the hypnotized stack and use 'Earthquake' to break the arrow towers. Thus, you can raise all your fallen troops and win with no losses.





We gain a level but more importantly, we will soon have 'Summon Water Elementals' for all our heroes!





Next update, we can finally visit the Brown Tent at (123,3,0) which will open up new areas for us to conquer

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RoseKavalier
RoseKavalier


Responsible
Known Hero
posted March 31, 2016 06:20 PM
Edited by RoseKavalier at 18:50, 31 Mar 2016.

233 - part II

Having just defeated the hero 'Roaring Beer' in the Rampart Beertent, Friend can take a moment to do refreshment which he did not have an opportunity to do so far.


Then head back to Beertent so that we can learn 'Summon Water Elemental'. LLLB follows suit.



There are 2 nearby objectives. Friend will flag the Brown tent while LLLB will enter the hidden monolith behind the beer tent (anybody see the map reference?).


This fight was not very well executed in the video because I misplaced the MGenies stack, nonetheless it was not a problem. With 'Slow' and 'Bless', it is actually very easy.


With some cooperation, MGenies will allow Titans to also 1-shot the enemy.



Lead the enemy back with the Phoenixes (or the MGenies stack, both valid) and the fight is over.



Friend does not have another fight today so send the troops to LLLB as well as the artifacts.


The Nomads are useful to save some movement on the brown tent island where the terrain is 'Desert'.


End Friend's day a few steps from his next objective near Minas Ithil.


LLLB collects the Orb of fire and heads into the water.



We get teleported to the last of the little islands where we will face the Pope. There is a hidden artifact behind the library which opens up the quest guard (technically, we already have 1).



This is another fight that did not go well in video but also of little consequence. I had forgotten I don't have Tactics on LLLB so placement of shooters is funny. Anyhow, with some preparation this is a simple kiting fight.




I realized I didn't bring the same troops as in the video (MGenies vs. Dragonflies) but the strategy is the same. Try to suicide the Phoenix (no rebirth) so that the enemy remains behind his walls. Also, Angels will waste their special ability to resurrect 14 troops.


If we neutralize the enemy shooters completely, all flying troops will exit and rip us apart... so we may reduce their numbers a bit. This will depend on your stats and number of troops. In my case, bringing the Marksmen to around 1100 was the lowest possible. Use 'Air Shield' to reduce enemy damage.


Next round, destroy your own catapult before it can break walls. You should also make sure to destroy the enemy Ammo cart so that Marksmen start wasting their shots!


The enemy will cast more buffs and summon some elementals... at which point you can really reduce the damage output with 'Curse'. This attempt turned out as a failure because I reduced the Marksmen numbers too much.


In the new attempt, I left them near 1200. You can see that is not a problem because with 'Curse' + 'Air Shield', they're pretty harmless.



Eventually I let the enemy keep its 'Bless' spell and try to coincide that with the Marksmen running out of shots.


Before the Titans are killed, make sure you have some Elementals summoned. Your troops are essentially all dead and the enemy considers that you are no threat and will remain hidden behind its walls... classic Chinese tactic with 'Summon Elemental'.
The next step consists in exhausting the enemy...


The enemy's pattern was 'Mirth' then 'Protection from Earth' and finally 'Summon Earth Elementals'. The last one is dangerous as the enemy will shuffle its troops and may exit by accident.... so, cast Dispel after the two buffs! We spend 1 SP for each of the enemy's 11.


Soon enough, no SP remains on Pope. Meanwhile, LLLB has spent less than 200 SP (he began the fight will less than 1300).


Now we can create a safe spot where we can hide some troops. First, get rid of 1-hex creatures.




Hypnotize the marksmen and move them up 1 tile.


After I cast 'Resurrection' on the conveniently well-placed Phoenix, the enemy will be unable to reach any of the 3 tiles at J13-J14-J15  


During Phoenixes' wait phase we can resurrect the Enchanters and bring them into the safe spot.



Now we clean up. Raise them all and buff them...



The fight is won after being lost on paper. Another level for LLLB.




This castle bring us some interesting new opportunities. First, we FINALLY learn 'Magic Arrow'. Second, we get some creature dwellings, allowing easy upgrades of Angels and a new source of Enchanters!



Finally, the seer hut next to the castle rewards us with the very overpowered 'Blind' spell. Of course, most fights from this point on will feature artifacts to block it so its uses are fairly limited.


Refresh LLLB as he will fight again today.



The next plan is to use Brewster to get close to the Tavern. Visit the Oasis so that movement is as high as it can be for now.



Then drop by 'Beertent' to take artifacts/creatures from LLLB but also to learn 'Summon Water Elemental'. You will notice that no movement is expended to come here because the Fountain of Youth adds +400 (-200 TP, -200 moving there means net 0)



Now Brewster will go learn 'Blind'.



Head back the same way Sepello went on 232...


However we can now go beyond the Brown Guard this time.


Nice decoration! This Troll bridge is purely decorative and can't be accessed.


This fight may look difficult at first glance but it's really not because we have Blind. Set up a trap for the enemy.


The enemy will consider our Archdevils as the best target and ignore Enchanters as they are next to each other!


Manticores take the bait and can be blinded, which will create a safe spot from the Dragons.


Next round, move the Enchanters there where they can't be reached. Lure the Dragons into destroying the catapult with the Archdevils.



After killing Minotaurs, kill the dragons.


Resurrect and kite the Manticores for 0 losses.



Now LLLB, Brewster and Sepello meet up at Beertent and eventually trade artifacts to Sepello as well as Archdevils.




Brewster will end his day at the library, out of reach of the Tan hero up north.


Sepello can finally make sense of visiting the Swan Pond last day. Come to our newly captured town, 'Ground Zero' and visit the Black Tent before making your way south into familiar area... we were on the other side with Dessa way back on day 7.


Unfortunately, Brewster moved the boat blocking off Double Bert when coming to this area. Normally, I'd have to go the long way around to get on the south side of the tavern... but it turns out there's something that can be exploited here.


Put on the 'Boots of Levitation'... there is a hidden tile of water here and some WoG-Editor hidden passage



Take a peek into the Tavern and... surprise, a hero who shouldn't be there! It's our hero who defeated the Crystal Dragons on day 1! You may recall I had previously seen him in the tavern on day 7 and mentioned we didn't need him. Well things have changed a bit now...


Because we have very few heroes (read: Vertigo only... for now at least) that are tied to our faction, there is a trick that can be used to force a dismissed hero to appear right away.


Answer is simple, hire another hero first!


Mr Fat comes with an already decent knowledge of spells. Notably, 'Blind'. I don't really feel like hiring him now is an exploit because I already have access to 'Blind' and because I also had other means of forcing Vertigo to appear: use 'Retreat' with another hero. The only advantage really is that I can save a bit of movement by not having to send a hero to the Tavern every time I want to get back a hero.


Now that Mr. Fat is hired, Vertigo gets forced into our tavern and can be re-hired as well.




Mr Fat will take the long way around and keep an eye out on the wandering boat that keeps Double Bert in check.



Meanwhile, Vertigo lets Sepello in the secrets of Quicksand.


We can therefore finally lay claim to the Pendant of Courage lying nearby.


Slow+Quicksand... very easy.




After fighting, Vertigo collects artifacts and troops from Sepello. The latter can visit some stat boosters.


Mr Fat will be useful to hold Cornucopia. Note that Vertigo's stats can be boosted beyond 30 with artifacts...


The 30 stats let us open up this quest guard.



Vertigo is back in business! Get some more Enchanters from Vatikan.


Finally head into 'Ground Zero' with LLLB and Vertigo. The knowledge of Blind can be shared...


Before ending the day, I will point you to the mapeditor which shows us that 'Carrot Pit', the hero near the Black Tent, does not know any spells... also, he has no mind spell immunity


In light of this, we can prepare a trap for Carrot Pit. Leave the Boots+Gloves slots of LLLB open as we will capture new ones from Carrot Pit.


One last thing before ending the day... buy some Centaurs from Beertent. I leave some that can be hired by the Tan Hero (will be explained in 234).


During the night, Carrot Pit naturally attacks LLLB in the town. I will basically use the same strategy as the one I posted in the UTB thread a few days ago.


The enemy fears our Archdevils the most... and then the Scorpicores focus on the 2 Archdevils, effectively blocking out everyone else.


Next round, cast 'Blind' and we can mop up the enemy.




Once both dragons are dead, we will kill the Scorpicores with 'Blind' tactic.





Nothing else to this fight because the enemy is dumb





Finally, Mr. Big steals our rampart. Unbeknownst to him, we have a nearby hero who will reclaim it. Also, visiting OUR rampart will let him buy some things which will spell his doom











Whew, 233 is finally done!

The next general objective is to visit the Red Keymaster's Tent (18,58,1)... we have a few heroes to kill before that is possible. But that's for another time.

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Salamandre
Salamandre


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
Wog refugee
posted March 31, 2016 07:37 PM

Amazing, especially he one where you are down to 2 elementals and he still has full turrets then 150 azures, angels etc.

People often complain that AI is not enough effective but if it was optimally coded, there would be no way for such exploits and, reduced to simple strength difference, battles would be boring.

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Biobob
Biobob


Famous Hero
the Bobler
posted March 31, 2016 09:39 PM

Nice Day - and an error catch I need to fix: I need to move that mountain, I did not intend to block the sight there ^^

The Mr. Fat issue is so servere yet I don't know what to do about it... at the time of making the map, I did not know that heroes that visited a town of yours can be rehired by the player ...the only thing I can think of is calculating money more strictly at the start as well as putting an extra quest guard up there asking for pope death...

I think the same about "dumb AI": if it wasnt for that, SP maps would have lost their charme years ago
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Maps
The Mapmaker's Thread

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RoseKavalier
RoseKavalier


Responsible
Known Hero
posted April 02, 2016 05:22 AM

Salamandre said:
Amazing, especially he one where you are down to 2 elementals and he still has full turrets then 150 azures, angels etc.

People often complain that AI is not enough effective but if it was optimally coded, there would be no way for such exploits and, reduced to simple strength difference, battles would be boring.


Haha indeed! That attempt turned out to be just optimized with the Elementals.

I completely agree with stupidity of AI. There are many examples where 'bad AI' actually makes for great gameplay. A very known one is the Dragoons from original Starcraft. Handling them was a challenge but the great players were able to.

These 'exploits' are in turn combined together which adds puzzles and diversity.

Biobob said:
Nice Day - and an error catch I need to fix: I need to move that mountain, I did not intend to block the sight there ^^

The Mr. Fat issue is so servere yet I don't know what to do about it... at the time of making the map, I did not know that heroes that visited a town of yours can be rehired by the player ...the only thing I can think of is calculating money more strictly at the start as well as putting an extra quest guard up there asking for pope death...

I think the same about "dumb AI": if it wasnt for that, SP maps would have lost their charme years ago


I noted the same here.

RoseKavalier said:

I think this event shouldn't be here. Maybe there's something I don't know but it can let you abuse the map. Maybe an event on Day 8?



Since there's no need for that much gold at 117 (after hiring Vertigo, you still have 5000 gold), my suggestion would be to provide 2,500 gold in a timed event on day 8, could also provide an occasion to give a hint if you want. You can give 2,500 gold to balance things out later as well.

Since hiring Vertigo is pretty much a must, it temporarily disables Mr Fat from being hired until such time where he doesn't really make a difference.

Regarding that water tile 1 east from tavern !!! What's stopping Dessa/Vertigo from crossing over early week 2?!?

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Biobob
Biobob


Famous Hero
the Bobler
posted April 02, 2016 11:48 AM
Edited by Biobob at 11:52, 02 Apr 2016.

I think there are holes set next to it as well as in the water, aren't they? I think this water tile was originally there to enable the red hero to chase you, if you failed to block him earlier... but I'm not sure, could also just be a mistake!  The whole area needs revisiting now anyway^^
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Maps
The Mapmaker's Thread

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RoseKavalier
RoseKavalier


Responsible
Known Hero
posted April 02, 2016 03:01 PM

Biobob said:
I think there are holes set next to it as well as in the water, aren't they? I think this water tile was originally there to enable the red hero to chase you, if you failed to block him earlier... but I'm not sure, could also just be a mistake!  The whole area needs revisiting now anyway^^

Nope... nothing there at all.


But I guess there is a bigger issue anyway. At the cost of slowing down by 1 day, you can get a free Armor of the Damned after getting to Uruk

Remember that box that gives 2 Blackshards?


Don't use it behind the Titan, go the long way around!

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Biobob
Biobob


Famous Hero
the Bobler
posted April 02, 2016 03:06 PM
Edited by Biobob at 15:14, 02 Apr 2016.

Damn, you are right ^^ gotta fix that. .. although it could be left in for players that are paying attention...

Anyhow, I'll wait with the fixes until you are done playing You are the first person I see playing through the whole map besides myself, I guess you will take some paths more efficiently than I had originally planned (like that fight against cow heel - somehow I figured players would face him immediately after getting there, resulting in his low strength... I'm thinking about that one as well) and find some more holes probably^^
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Salamandre
Salamandre


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
Wog refugee
posted April 02, 2016 03:28 PM

Well, I would have gladly play it, but IMO, so many riddles in early part - first week, drastically lower the enthusiast of Heroes 3 lover.

I would suggest using a more flexible pattern, where riddles are naturally kept but also the feeling of progress; it is less likely to abandon a map when you played it until month 3 than when the first day completion is taking you 2 weeks of real time.

But of course, now that we saw this walkthrough, we learned a lot so will be easier for next maps.
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bloodsucker
bloodsucker


Supreme Hero
posted April 03, 2016 02:20 PM

RoseCavalier said:
El Trueno doesn't have 'Pathfinding' but instead has the useless (in RPG-sense) 'Offense' and 'Leadership'.


Thanks, this was the main reason why I was hatting the map. Leadership is quite reasonable when you have the right skills already but not moving on swamp was even worst then getting that full mixed army from the events and he doesn't give you the skills from start but yet forces you to the build he decided by desabling the other skills, so you rush things you wouldn't need right know to get the right build and end-up with the same skills no matter what. I find this highly irritating.

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RoseKavalier
RoseKavalier


Responsible
Known Hero
posted April 03, 2016 02:52 PM

bloodsucker said:
RoseCavalier said:
El Trueno doesn't have 'Pathfinding' but instead has the useless (in RPG-sense) 'Offense' and 'Leadership'.


Thanks, this was the main reason why I was hatting the map. Leadership is quite reasonable when you have the right skills already but not moving on swamp was even worst then getting that full mixed army from the events and he doesn't give you the skills from start but yet forces you to the build he decided by desabling the other skills, so you rush things you wouldn't need right know to get the right build and end-up with the same skills no matter what. I find this highly irritating.


I managed to find a very early version of UTB, back when it wasn't even called that! Very good skills to start and no artifacts limitations besides quest ones.

AB version

Also, the latest version I could find... only changes I could spot at a glance compared to the widely available version is the Dragonmaster troops and favorable winds.

SoD v2

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RoseKavalier
RoseKavalier


Responsible
Known Hero
posted April 04, 2016 03:11 AM

Well what do you know... one more big update. I'm not entirely certain I did the best use of the hero 'Sepello' here (in testing her first big fight, I visited stats boosters first and finished the fight with ~400 SP) and it may cost 1 or 2 days if I spent too much time boosting her stats. Anyhow, I don't feel like replaying this week in order to save that potential lost time.

234

As you may recall, during the night Mr. Big stole our Rampart 'Beer Tent'. He bought off all troops that I left within and took along some Centaurs... and a First Aid Tent!


Brewster who was sitting next to the town can just go around him and re-capture it using summoned Water Elementals.



This lets me bring in outside reinforcements to kill Mr. Big fairly easily. LLLB, fresh off his victory against 'Carrot Pit' stops by the Oasis and then comes to 'Beertent'.


Because I could control the amount of Centaurs Mr. Big would have (buying off the rest), I found a very easy (albeit long) way to defeat him. Bring along Archdevils and a few Dragonflies for cover.


Note that Mr. Big is immune to 'Blind'... otherwise shooters would have made mincemeat out of him.

Hypnotize the Centaurs... and form protective area by First Aid Tent! Letting the hero capture the town made for a really easy fight!



Mr. Big can be exhausted by killing his summoned Water Elementals which he learned in 'Beertent'. If not, he would only have 'Haste' to cast during combat...


Kill them otherwise he will cast offensive spells on the Archdevils. With better planning I would have brought a Pegasus to hasten the process but alas I didn't think to leave one with LLLB.


Eventually he runs out of SP. Now we can use 'Disrupting Ray' to allow the Archdevils to do full damage.


When only Hydras are alive, we can use 'Slow' and kite with the Archdevils.


Also we can attack him with his own Centaurs and exploit the 0-damage retaliation bug of Hydras against hypnotized stacks


20 minutes after starting...



Switch armies and artifacts with Brewster who can collect the Thunder Helmet.



Brewster has a bit of extra movement left this turn before I prepare her for her next objective so visit some stat boosters and refresh (Oasis, Magic Well). I was also supposed to pick up the Ballista and Ammo Cart from Sepello here but forgot...



Stop by 'Minas Ithil' where Vertigo and Friend are waiting by. We're going to need the artifacts, Naga Queens, 3 Gargoyles, Archdevils, Titans and Enchanters.


Finally, Brewster goes to 'Hells Kitchen' and visits the Swan Pond... we're going on an adventure tomorrow!


Vertigo brings army to Friend who will hit the Anti-magic garrison next door.



Even though there is magical terrain present (Magic Clouds, Fiery Fields, Cursed Ground, Rocklands, Magic Plains, Clover Field, Evil Fog, Holy Ground and Lucid Pools), the Anti-Magic garrison cancels everything above the original terrain. So the base battleground here is in fact 'Rough' terrain which provides us with an advantageous landscape.


Because I leave an empty spot for 1 Dragon next to the shooters and a valid target nearby, they will take the bait and leave the shooters unscathed. Also, the Archdevils are considered too strong to attack.


Thus we can kill 1 stack and bring back the ADs to protect shooters.


The Rust Dragons will keep hitting the 'best' target while we start killing the second stack.


Now that their numbers start going down and they feel threatened, they will begin killing Gargoyles


Finish them! 0 shooter lost



We can lay claim to 'Minas Morgul' since The Pope is defeated and after defeating 1 Gold Dragon acting as honorary guard. This town has been accumulating Titans and Enchanters for us since day 1! They will be very useful as they significantly bolster our numbers right now.



Friend will now refresh SP at Uruk and wait there for a moment.


Vertigo proceeds to collect our new troops and also to upgrade some Angels that we collected after defeating The Pope (joined us).



Vertigo, LLLB and Friend meet up in 'Uruk'.


First, provide Friend with a slow Golem and a neutral Nomad. I also exchange the 'Boots of Levitation' which are going to LLLB.


Friend makes his way to the quest guard. The artifacts required here are obtained from killing 3 different heroes: (The Pope or Cow Heel), Mr. Big and Wendigo. A nice way to require death of several heroes to pass a certain area.


Meanwhile, gives the boots to LLLB who will attack the nearby 'Rib Cage' and retreat.



Even though LLLB is not tied to the Teal player (human), retreated/surrendered heroes can be rehired right away.



Using the Boots of Levitation, LLLB can make the reverse path of Dessa back on week 1. Don't forget to close the way again with Mr Fat!


Back to Friend... now that he is in the water, we can give him non-snow-native creatures which will be *required* for the next fight...


...which is right around the corner.


Meanwhile, Sepello is running around boosting stats. As I've already said, this might not be quite optimal - it's very likely I can press on with him earlier than what I will do.


For this video, I've cut out most of the exhaustion phase which consists in enemy summoning 2000+ Water Elementals and using Archdevils




235

Okay. First thing, now that we're fresh with a new day let's cover the big fight of Friend.


The underlying terrain is 'Sand' which the Nomads allow us to navigate at no extra cost. However I can't afford to keep him alive for I need all 7 of my creature stacks desperately and Nomads don't fit in there


Pre-combat setup. It might not look like much but it actually turns out to be VERY important.


I will divide the fight in phases to explain it better.

###Phase One: Keeping the enemy behind the walls###

It is well known, AI will not exit his castle if his shooters are stronger than yours. Generally you can block the gate, prevent shooter from firing and win easily. However, what happens when enemy is able to generate new stacks? In this combat, the enemy knows 'Clone' and 'Summon Earth Elemental'. Because AI has dragons, it will want to leave some room next to each stack... so what happens if there's no suitable spot to prevent dragonbreath risk? The enemy moves outside walls without attacking.

And that's when you lose. Once 1 creature exists outside the walls, all the others are free to exit and attack you. On top of that, 'Theophrast' knows 'Teleport' which he is not afraid to use if you give him the chance. Finally, the hero wears the 'Badge of Courage' so we cannot use Blind/Forgetfulness to get a fair fight. Nope - we'll need to know exactly what to do.

As we start the fight, enemy considers Archdevils to be our strongest stack and Cyclops will target them. To ensure that some survive, hit 'Defend'. So long as 1 survives we can go on.


If the gate is blocked, enemy will cast 'Prayer'... otherwise 'Clone' on Crystal Dragons. We definitely don't want 'Clone'. In order for my strategy to work, I can't allow the current placement of enemy so I found somewhere to suicide the Pegasi so that enemy would move according to my needs.


Because of dragonbreath rules, the Behemoths dare not go near the Pegasi and this will force the AI to shuffle troops a bit. Most importantly, the Wolf Raiders come forward. Cyclops left 14 Archdevils alive which is perfect. When our Enchanters act... hope that it is not 'Slow' or 'Haste'. Reload if any of the 2 occur Also, kill the T-birds as there are fewer than 40 and this will make room in the garrison


Titans, Enchanters need to be hidden behind some protection: 1 Archangel stack and 1 Archmage. Because enemy is so much stronger, his Arrow Towers will not target the Archmage but instead the Archangels.

Finally, cast 'Protection from Earth' because AI knows 'Implosion' and it will be dissuaded to use it this way.

###Phase Two: Preventing Cyclops from shooting###

Okay, we've got the first phase down, now we have to maintain status quo. First, let's examine the battlefield, most importantly the relevant troops' moving order. I ignored Archangels, Rust Dragons and Enchanters because they are of no consequence. Here is where equipment selection shines - only using +2 speed while I could get more or less.








When the Archdevils get to act, it means that the move order on the battlefield is as such:


Because we forced shuffling of enemy troops, the Behemoths cannot go near the Cyclops. Also, the Cyclops act before the Wolves so we can send in the Archdevils to prevent Cyclops from shooting. In video, AI cast 'Clone' at this time so I had to kill it as the Clone would act before Cyclops and exit.


Bingo! Note that I misplaced the Archmage, the gap should have been completed this turn as in video. Having only weak troops (compared to enemy) that can be targeted by enemy will dissuade it from using 'Teleport' as it doesn't see the value of 'wasting' a spell cast on killing 12 Archangels

The enemy is familiar with 'Sacrifice' something we have to be wary of as several turns of damage on Rust Dragons can be undone. Plan is to lower Ogres a bit and Wolves a lot so Ogres are sacrificed to restore Wolves.


From now on, the move order is maintained as before but the Archdevils are dead, so simply use 'Resurrection' when Titans act.


In order to maintain status quo, we have to keep an eye out for summoned Elementals and kill them at all costs. The only one I will allow to live is on A13 (2 left of Cyclops) as it doesn't interfere with dragons and actually lets me kill the wolves.


###Phase Three: Haste and Slow###

Inevitably, Enchanters will cast 'Slow' and 'Haste'.

First case: haste


Now all our creatures speed increase by 5... the Archmage saves us as it acts before Cyclops.



So now we cast 'Resurrection' when Archmage acts. Titans and Enchanters must 'Wait' to ensure we can kill summoned Elementals.


Second case: slow


Now dragons are faster than Archmage (speed 10 vs 9) which act before Behemoths (can't reach) and Cyclops... perfect. As with 'Haste' case, we cast 'Resurrection' during Archmage turn.


###Phase Four: Exhaustion and recovery###

If all goes well and no mistakes are made, the enemy will run out of SP at which point we can kill the two threats: Rust Dragons and Cyclops. If the enemy casts 'Bless' and still has at least 6 SP, then we need to force him to use 'Bless' again by casting 'Curse' and sacrificing one shooter. If enemy has exactly 5 SP... restart the fight He will eventually teleport a stack outside and we'll be short of SP to recover everything (would need to Quicksand the battleground). Forcing out 2 'Sacrifice' left the enemy with 0 SP in my attempt here.


Kill the dragons first as they are the real threat. Then, kill the Cyclops while still blocking them from shooting.


Once that is done, it's target practice. Destroy the turrets and resurrect everyone.


What an incredible fight!



#####

Phew, let's take a stroll in the park to relax. LLLB goes back to the fire area of the beginning where we can snatch a free town (no dwellings available). One of the reasons I'm coming here is for the Giant dwelling which will let us get an extra Titan per week.



We can now prepare for Brewster's adventure. Let's hire some Gold Dragons and collect the Boots of Levitation back from LLLB.



But before Brewster can move ahead, we will need more army and some artifacts which are on Friend. Give him a new Nomad so that he may push forward.



The quest guard asks for 2 Artifacts which we gained from previous fight with Theophrast. Friend has just enough movement to stop at the Swan Pond.



Because I'm still boosting Sepello, I bring her here as well to collect the army and visit the Library.



There's an extra ~96 movement available for her so I can flag 1 mine on the way. Fight is basically just casting 'Forgetfulness'.



Now we get back to Brewster near Hells Kitchen. Sepello can visit the Swan Pond that was just vacated by Brewster.


Exchange artifacts and provide Brewster with 4 key creatures: Gold Dragons, Enchanters, Archmage and Archdevils. Also, Boots of Levitation. Naturally.


I use Brewster here not only because the quest guard near Hells Kitchen requires Brewster to be opened, but because the distance is fairly long, over 4000 movement needed. Therefore, Brewster is the only hero capable of this journey.


There are a few insignificant events in the way. Furthermore, note that a boat may not land here because of a Hole and an Event.



Let's capture the town! It's... well guarded Two of my creatures fear for their lives... bad choice. Anyhow, no worries. Hypnotize 1 of the small enemy stacks.


Because castle terrain is grass, also native to Rampart, Gold Dragons get free +1 speed and lets them hide in the hole next turn.


This fight is much easier than the last one! When hypnotized creature acts, resurrect 1 dead creature so that Faerie Dragons waste their spells.



When the first is spent, blind it and repeat the procedure for the second.


When both are drained, resurrect Enchanters during 'Wait' phase of Gold Dragons.


Hopefully 'fear' does not strike and we can teleport them to safety next round.


Resurrect all of them, cast 'Bless' and 'Frenzy' to kill the Azure Dragons.


Don't forget to neutralize your living forcefield once 'hypnotize' wears off.


Once the Azures are dead, there is no longer danger of 'Fear'. Cast slow and suicide the Gold Dragons Enchanters close the gap by moving to middle.


Sadly, there are not enough shots for my Enchanters to kill all the Faerie Dragons... so I bring in the Archdevils!



Recover and we get a new town.


6 brave Gold Dragons didn't make it as they are immune to level 4 magic. R.I.P. I could theoretically bring 1 fewer but it's toying with RNG.
Brewster gains 3 levels!


The town is not too interesting but we will get some more Enchanters.


Take the artifacts from Brewster... you can let him keep +Knowledge artifacts so that he may refresh SP at a mage guild during the night.


Vertigo will collect some artifacts and LLLB swings by to head towards the Library. More SP is never bad for him!


One of the seer huts provides 4,000,000 experience to Sepello... I'm not sure if I will spend the movement to visit it right away, it will depend whether it slows me down 1 extra day or not. Will see






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bloodsucker
bloodsucker


Supreme Hero
posted April 04, 2016 07:49 AM
Edited by bloodsucker at 07:50, 04 Apr 2016.

The difference between BioBob and I in terms of designning a map is like between the Monalisa and a typical 4 years old kid draw.

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Warmonger
Warmonger


Promising
Legendary Hero
fallen artist
posted April 04, 2016 08:12 AM

Hey AI is so dumb in this game
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Salamandre
Salamandre


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
Wog refugee
posted April 04, 2016 09:00 AM

It has limited options -we know that, but also when you do it like play one turn, see what it casts, reload then try another spell to see how it responds, you can beat the best computer this way.

It is certainly interesting to see all those creative solutions proposed but somehow I feel that the AI potential isn't used to make it shine or put a decent fight at least, like giving dispel expert, resistance, artifacts vs mind spells, large area spells then speed artifacts.

How come hydras do 0 damage on hypnotized? I am pretty sure this isn't a general bug, is only hydras and everything with multi area attack?

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Warmonger
Warmonger


Promising
Legendary Hero
fallen artist
posted April 04, 2016 10:18 AM

There were some amazing puzzles earlier in game, but winning just because AI stand there doing nothing is not entertaining at all.
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Biobob
Biobob


Famous Hero
the Bobler
posted April 04, 2016 12:52 PM
Edited by Biobob at 13:08, 04 Apr 2016.

Well, in most cases battles are won by neutralizing enemy heroes using some method, and thats the riddle. If not, then it becomes a matter of numbers, which is quite hard to predict later on in the map, as different players will advance differently. While you can put "requirements" like "at least one devil needs to survive the attack" its harder to put "behemots have to kill at least 500 dragons". Also, it is quite hard to put a specific battle later on in the game, as players have a larger troop and spell pool (well, I learned two tricks over the times that makes troop and level adjustment possible later in the game, spells are still a problem). Also, wandering creature stacks (and neutral creatures in general) become too weak after a while, and only serve as XP farms and decoration...
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RoseKavalier
RoseKavalier


Responsible
Known Hero
posted April 04, 2016 03:48 PM

Salamandre said:
It has limited options -we know that, but also when you do it like play one turn, see what it casts, reload then try another spell to see how it responds, you can beat the best computer this way.

It is certainly interesting to see all those creative solutions proposed but somehow I feel that the AI potential isn't used to make it shine or put a decent fight at least, like giving dispel expert, resistance, artifacts vs mind spells, large area spells then speed artifacts.

How come hydras do 0 damage on hypnotized? I am pretty sure this isn't a general bug, is only hydras and everything with multi area attack?


I've noticed it with Hydras but haven't tried with Cerberi. I know it doesn't work with most regular mobs so it's probably tied to area attack.

Resistance can be an interesting factor in fights but often I feel it's more of a RNG roll than anything... you just keep trying until the spell works.

###

Regarding AIs standing by and doing nothing... like I said everyone is aware of garrison sitting. The puzzles at this stage are about figuring out how to force the AI's hand into sitting by and doing nothing. For instance, the 'Theophrast' fight is anything but easy to solve. Some are obviously much more easy... I'm pretty sure Mr. Big was not intended to be a push-over for instance - letting him in the Rampart made it so.

There is 1 AI that I have been able to reach for a few days but that I am avoiding because he is too strong to kill at the moment. For now there isn't a way to force him to remain in the garrison - he eventually exits and kills me. Waiting around for more troops isn't particularly fun - much prefer finding some way to contain the enemy.

There's a lot of forcing the AI to stand by until the end of the game. The moment you start handing out spells like 'Slow', 'Forcefield', 'Quicksand', 'Summon Elemental' then the player can get the AI to do basically nothing. Otherwise it'd always be small armies dancing around each other or just a competition of who has biggest army.

Sadly in SoD there is no way to unlearn spells or lose spell scrolls without putting heavy restrictions on map progression. As a result, fights in maps will be grouped in similar categories as you progress along. It becomes difficult to make new puzzles the further you get along without being repetitive.

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