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Heroes Community > Heroes 7+ Altar of Wishes > Thread: Guide to a Great Heroes Game
Thread: Guide to a Great Heroes Game
Stevie
Stevie


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
HC SUPPORTER
posted August 23, 2016 07:54 PM bonus applied by kiryu133 on 24 Aug 2016.
Edited by Stevie at 22:37, 23 Aug 2016.

Guide to a Great Heroes Game

Here's my take on a good Heroes entry. All my latest thoughts on the matter in one post. Though this might be in vain and unnoticed in the grand scheme of things. Feel free to agree or disagree with anything I say, preferably in a constructive matter, because just like the majority of you I grew sick and tired of snowty Heroes games. The next one has to be nothing short of amazing!
I've been writing this on and off with the goal of making it as exhaustive as possible (and believe me I could've wrote even more and in greater detail, but I spared you that much), so keep that in mind if you find any inconsistencies, although I'm pretty confident there are none. Anyway, without any further ado, here's the wall of text:



A. Applied DTAP Methodology for a Heroes Game


I. Development

1. A sufficiently big enough budget to withstand even the unexpected and the necessary time to put things together are a must. No cutting corners, no cheapness and reused assets, only quality!

2. Vision, the appropriate goals giving reason for a new entry. The right mechanics, the right atmosphere, a new and inspired angle on the current IP while also maintaining the foundational features. Ditch Ashan and start over. No questionable design choices, no more flawed and unachievable best-of mentality, instead a realistic vision that brings novelty, freshness and cohesiveness pivotal for a worthy entry!

3. Hire an expert team, preferably with a  Strategy / TBS background that can handle the task successfully. Triumph, Paradox, 2K, Amplitude, etc. just to name a few. No basement dwellers, inexperienced interns or snowty mercenary devs, but established and proven teams!

4. Make sure you have or can procure the appropriate software, the necessary engine, libraries and support programs required to deliver a working and stable game. Not a buggy crapware that takes ages to even open. No more crashes, desyncs and compatibility issues, but a stable end product with fast timings, ease of access and compatibility even with low-end specs!


II. Testing

5. Testing the game thoroughly before you even consider showing it to the public is not something optional, it's mandatory. But apparently you have to say it out loud for developers to hear because they can't even run proper internal testing. Get your snow together! User experience is a top priority that you must not ruin with a bad first impression!


III. Acceptance

6. Prior to release, consult with the VIPs and beta testers for user acceptance with some early builds. Their opinions is your closest compass to your target audience and you should not ignore them under any circumstance. Oh, and don't believe that assuaging criticism with some bullsnow PR lines is gonna work, people will notice and expose the circus and your lack of commitment for a good product, and before you know it bad community reviews and advertising are gonna bite you in the ass! Instead, tackle with the issue and get things right!


IV. Production

7. When the user acceptance is high and the customer is receptive to your product, you promote and release the vanilla. Truthful advertising and upholding your end of the bargain on pre-purchase / CE deals without any shenanigans is something no one should be teaching you about because at the very least you should know how to market yourself.

8. Post-release support should be a given, trying to deal with all the unexpected issues, hopefully not major ones, because you prepared in advance. By this time you might consider an expansion or already have one in the works.

Making sure you have the adequate means to deliver a good product is mandatory! If ANY of the above requirements are missing or not according to expectations, do not even think about developing a new Heroes game! I'm tired of underfunded projects without vision and without an appropriate development. I won't have anything else but a great Heroes!




B. World Building; Atmosphere & Content


I. Atmosphere

1. Definition; Atmosphere is a crucial element in Heroes games that can make or break the feeling of the game for many players, as we have already seen with the various opinions between Ashan and the old world. If the game does not deliver that "Heroes feel" with an immersive atmosphere, then it has already failed as a Heroes game. For what exactly constitutes the atmosphere in a game I will borrow this definition from Greg Kasavin: "Atmosphere in games is the hidden layer between the artwork, audio, narrative, and level design, and can elevate the experience above and beyond the moment-to-moment pleasures of the gameplay." Basically, atmosphere represents the identity and feel of a game that are supported by its various aesthetic dimensions. It is the vision for coherent and cohesive theme that precedes and largely determines the content of the game, and it is in close relation with the player's imagination. For more on atmosphere in games, I would recommend watching this presentation - Link

2. Originally, the Heroes atmosphere was represented by a medieval fantasy aesthetic and setting (art, music, level design), a strong narrative and consistent lore, and the elements of sword and sorcery gameplay. What Ashan did was throw that all away and reorient towards high fantasy, with a poor narrative attempting to plagiarize contemporary works, inconsistent and restrictive lore, and a streamlined and simplified gameplay. The mandatory first step in recapturing the Heroes feel would be to go back to the original atmosphere that was way richer and more immersive than what we have now. We've walked on a different road for 3 entries now that has simply proven to not work, it's high time we go back to the roots!


II. Factions

3. Break the monotony of the same old same old. Keep the already established ones but not necessarily a priority for every single game. Instead, make it a goal to introduce new factions and widen the pool of choices. For example a balance of 3 old and 3 new factions could work out nicely.

4. Some faction suggestions with which you can't go wrong (throwbacks included):
Sanctuary / Naga;  Not entirely new but it was one of the only good additions Heroes 6 had to offer and it would be a shame to not bring it back.
Cove / Pirate; HotA original idea, would be great to have a similar faction in the base game.
Fortress / Lizardmen; Swamps, witchcraft and voodoo, good potential for a spin on the H3 faction many fans expected to be reintroduced for years.
Forge / Steampunk; Could be excellent if done right, steampunk elements instead of heavy sci-fi, long overdue ever since it was deemed as a no-go for Heroes fantasy.
Glade / Fairy; A faction comprised of various mythical beings like Chimerae, Nymphs, Pixies, Fairy Dragons, etc. Could be a nice alternative for a nature-oriented faction.

5. Return to the thematic approach to factions which is highly preferable over the racial one. Heroes became legendary with mythological and unique creatures, not with cheap racial copy-paste. Take a page out of NWC era Heroes where a high individual focus and cohesion were in harmony without the racial shortcut.

6. Try not to overwrite the lore, keep it clean and simple, easier for the imagination to run wild. Do not try to pursue popular trends or series, if you're lazy or talentless to come up with something good then that's where the real problem is.


III. Towns

7. Representative and recognizable towns on the adventure map, not too big like in Heroes 6 but not too small to barely see either.

8. Townscreens are a must, don't even believe you can get away without any as Heroes 6 tried. They must also have a visual cohesion with the rest of the art and visuals of the game, unless you want to repeat the same mistakes of Heroes 7.

9. 3D or 2D is more or less a matter of preference. I believe amazing things can be done with both. I haven't seen an argument that gives one a decisive edge over the other, although I do not exclude the possibility. However I do believe there are advantages and disadvantages from a technical standpoint.

10. Visual identification and balance are important. Buildings must be recognizable but not clustered or out of place. If you want a sample of how proper townscreens are made, fire up a Heroes 3 session and take a good look at each of them. I'd make that least compulsory for any artist that wants to work on a Heroes game.


IV. Creatures & Line-ups

11. Do not be afraid to swap some creatures around or give them new twists as long as they're not silly or restrictive for gameplay. Good creativity is always appreciated.

12. Mythological and interesting creatures. No mimes, hamsters or other bullsnow like that.

13. Not every creature needs a genesis account and profile summary, mystery goes a long way!

14. Recognizable on the adventure and combat maps at a glance. Intuitive models in shape, size and color. Overly decorated models and portraits are really bad! We don't need creatures with "funny animations" or a ridiculous polygons count like you can find in Heroes 7, waste of valuable resources and processing time.

15. Color coding - no, never. This isn't an RTS, nor a soccer game with colored T-shirts. There's more subtle and intuitive ways to display ownership than to dye everything in one color. Flags, portrait backgrounds and decals should suffice.

16. Expand on the popular and on demand player choice. My take on how it could be adequately done:
Around 10 recruitable creatures per faction;
4 tiers in total - Core (T1), Veteran (T2), Elite (T3) and Champion (T4);
Standard spread would be 4x T1, 3x T2, 2x T3 and 1x T4, although minor variation could exist depending on faction for diversity's sake.
Non-exclusive choices! Only economical and strategic ones. You can theoretically recruit everything but your economy will hurt so you'd have to tread carefully. There's only that much town income can sustain.

17. Alternative upgrades could complement player decision but it's also a huge burden on model creation. Most reasonable would be to keep upgrades limited to one per creature, if not even less. The higher the pool of creatures, the less need for upgrades.
[Debatable.]

18. Dwelling prerequisites should be as unrestrictive as possible so that the player could get the creatures of his choice relatively fast. H7 went way overboard and some prerequisites like Magic Guild 4 for Champions were not only silly but also very restrictive for town development.


V. Adventure Map

19. Heroes games have always had a squared grid for the adventure map. Whether that should be subject to change is up to debate.

20. Isometric 3D is probably the best choice of viewing angle. I haven't seen anything else that gives the same amount of readability to a map, especially not perspective 3D. I don't care if anyone thinks it's outdated or anything of the sort, its sheer functionality works really well for old and new TBS games alike (see Age of Wonders 3).



21. Iconic representation of map objects is a necessity! This should be heavily emphasized given that there is this temptations with 3D to go full real-size on objects and landscapes. That's a major mistake. The right way to do things is to tailor every map object, excepting heroes, artifacts, resources and creatures, to one iconic scale like we've seen in Heroes 2 and 3. Even terrain features like mountains, lakes and trees must be objects separate from terraforming! In fact, terraforming is a feature that works terrible with games like Heroes where a tabletop world is the best approach and not RPG.

22. Avoid needless choke points and features like destroyable and rebuildable bridges that work to stall the game. The map must feel open to exploration. There's already terrain objects, garrisons, border guards, portals and events for any map pacing needs you might have.

23. Resources are the original 7: gold, wood, ore, sulfur, mercury, crystals, gems. Nothing more, nothing less.




C. Gameplay; Mechanics, Features and Implementation


I. Kingdom

1. Introducing kingdom specialization which the player can choose at the start of the game. It gives some useful starting bonuses and the ability to unlock more kingdom traits as the adventure progresses. An idea inspired by the Heroes 3 AI personalities:
Builder, has an architectural and economical interest. Starts with a free Town Hall instead of a Village Hall and has a -10% cost to building.
Explorer, values mobility and the discovery of land for its riches. Heroes receive +10% movement points and find +10% more resources.
Warrior, prioritizes military power and prefers fighting over retreating. Starts with two Tier 1 dwellings instead of one and has a +10% damage bonus for his creatures.
[Bonuses are just to give an idea, they're subject to change if need be]

2. A kingdom interface displaying heroes and towns, owned resource buildings and dwellings, but also specialization related stuff, diplomatic relations, etc. The one from Heroes 3 is a good place to start from.

3. The map can sometimes become too static, here's some ways to spice it up:
'Weeks of X' spawn roaming neutral creatures / armies.
Random events with multiple triggers (time interval, visiting an object, traveling an area, etc.) that get the player involved in a quick decision with different outcomes, beneficial or not so much (similar to WoG's feature).
Kingdom quests are short to long term objectives tied with your starting kingdom specialization.

4. I personally have an aversion to the area of control feature which seems more on the side of 4X than anything.  It's supposed to reduce micro-management but honestly the game doesn't need it, it favors defensive play which is boring, and automatically flagging back buildings is an anti-immersion feature which I completely despise. Keep it out of the game.

5. If the governor feature is to return, I'd rather have it tied with the Capitol, which means that you can only select a governor when you build the Capitol in a town. Bonuses can be local or kingdom-wide.

6. I think it is necessary to give start referring to factions as kingdoms, and use the term factions for something else. So instead of saying Haven faction we'll say Haven kingdom. Factions would then be, simply put, creatures under the same banner, for whatever reason. This can open more options for diplomatic gameplay.
[Debatable if this is the way to go]


II. Heroes

7. Heroes are essentially army boosters as it was originally envisioned. They start with a specialization, have skills and abilities, can learn spells and carry the army across the adventure map. Let's not venture beyond that just yet.

8. Every hero has a starting might or magic class, so the standard stuff. There's definitely more options to explore here, like further upgrades to advanced classes based on skills (Heroes 4), but it might prove to be too much of a hassle for not that substantial of a reward.

9. Might and magic must inspire a different style of play as much as possible, especially in tactical combat, otherwise the player will feel that the distinction is superficial. However, in that pursuit you can't afford to forgo balance, the last thing you want is to have a class clearly superior to another, like we've seen might vastly superior to magic in the past.

10. I feel that the approach of 7 army slots for 7 creatures that we've always seen could use some improvements. Maybe a leadership skill opening 3 more army slots, or a mechanic for reinforcements, or maybe the layout of 7 is too convenient and should be changed. Either way, some possibilities for different army sizes should be considered.


III. Skills & Attributes

11. Attributes are: Attack, Defense, Spellpower, Knowledge, Morale, Luck and Mana. No tongue twisters, karma or other crap.

12. Skills are obtained randomly as the primary approach and the underlying mechanics should give the player some semblance of control, so it's not pure randomness. Heroes 3 and 5 operated in this way.

13. Every skill has 3 mastery levels, basic, advanced and expert, and 3 thematic ability trees and the bonuses they give are as unique as possible. Learn and improve on the system of Heroes 5.

14. Faction skill removed in favor of faction abilities spread across other skills. Way more efficient and intuitive.

15. The odds of getting a skill are based on the hero class and faction, and it would also be wise to limit the number of skills to a maximum of around 15 to help.

16. A return to the simple design from before is required, skills in brackets and meaningful choices. There's no need to pursue the idea of a skill wheel. Heroes 7 invested a lot in the design, mechanics and interface of its skill system but it failed to be as good as the one in Heroes 5.

17. I would advise the implementation of a sabotage skill to make more player to player interactions possible on the adventure map. Because messing with the enemy is fun.


IV. Magic

18. Magic is divided into 2 categories, elemental and spiritual. Fire, Water, Air and Earth are elemental, Light and Dark are spiritual.



19. Prime magic is unnecessary, and since we need less schools anyway it's best removed and preferably forgotten too.

20. Return to the elemental spells of old, slow to earth, haste to air, but also put spells where they most intuitively belong, like bless to light, regeneration to earth, weakness to dark, etc.

21. Spiritual magic can be implemented in a number of ways. What I'd do is have every creature part of a spiritual alignment, good, neutral and evil. Light would be more potent on allied good creatures and enemy evil creatures while weak on allied evil creatures and enemy good creatures. Same for dark. This would give some things to consider (see creatures below).

22. The role of resistance is to reduce magical damage and I wrote on how it could work in some other thread (read here if you're interested). However, some time passed since then and now I believe that having it scale according to a primary stat is overcomplicating things. Flat bonuses might be the safer choice, although I feel resistance could be much more than that.

23. Magic guilds give both elemental and spiritual spells. They go up to 5 levels and have this spell distribution - T1 with 5 spells, T2 with 4 spells, T3 with 3 spells, T4 with 4 spells and T5 with 1 spell. Academy can get 1 more for each tier. T1 and T2 spells can be learned by anyone while the other spells from higher tiers need skill mastery in their specific school of magic.

24. I can see more than one way to fix the problem of spell availability for learning from the magic guild, so that you don't pick a skill which will then prove useless later on because of the way the magic guild works. And no, Arcane Knowledge is not one of them.
The mechanics of the magic guild are set up to never give doubles of the same magic school at the same tier. While this might make for an advantageous spread in the early stages, it would also mean that you will never get more than one spell from the same school per tier.
Factions can have a preferred magic school from which they will receive at least one spell per tier. This makes factions heavily centric towards that school.
The mage guild can specialize in one or more magic schools. This will add one spell of that school for each tier. I believe that letting the player be the deciding factor gives this feature a great amount of appeal. Although this would be a significant boost for magic (+5 guaranteed spells) and should also come at an economical price (basically make it a building).
When picking up a magic skill, you immediately learn one or more spells, random or preset, from one or more tiers. There's a lot of possibilities here which would make this option notable for consideration.
Personally I consider that letting the player specialize his magic guild would be the best choice, and in case the problem of availability still persists it can be resolved with skills offering spells when picked.


V. Creatures

25. Creature defining stats:
Attributes: Attack, Defense, Damage, HP, Range (numeric value), Morale, Luck, Speed, Initiative, Mana;
Movement: Walker, Flyer, Teleporter;
Size: Small, Large, Huge;

Damage Source: Physical, Elemental (Fire, Water, Air, Earth), Spiritual (Light, Dark) and combinations;
Type / Nature:
- Biological: Living, Undead, None;
- Spiritual: Good, Neutral, Evil;
Biological status shouldn't be hard to understand.
Spiritual allegiance is preset for every creature to avoid overcomplicating things, the last thing we want is another reputation system a la Heroes 6. Depending on faction, there are some inclinations. The idea is to open more possible scenarios through bonuses and drawbacks subject to context (enemy, terrain, spells, etc). It also opens some considerations for possible match-ups, therefore influencing a decision for a specific army composition and other mind games.
[All of this is crucial information that must be easily accessible on every creature's info tab.]

26. Creature actions:
Move, creature moves on the grid according to its speed; Does no longer expend a creature's turn.
Face, creature faces a nearby hex; Does not expend a creature's turn.
Melee Attack, creature performs a melee attack; Target does not automatically change facing towards its opponent.
Defend, creature gains a bonus to defense and cannot be flanked or backstabbed ;
Wait, creature's next turn comes faster;
Retaliate, creature changes facing towards its opponent and performs a retaliation attack, triggers once in between creature's turns.
[Every single creature can perform the 6 actions above. Only specific creatures can perform the actions below.]
Ranged Attack, creature performs a ranged attack; Adjacent enemies can only be attacked in melee.
Intercept, creature can intercept an adjacent non-flanking / non-backstabbing enemy, preventing them from moving or attacking a different target by effectively taunting them to attack the interceptor instead (Disciples 3 mechanic); This action counts as retaliation.
Cast, creature casts a spell from its spellbook for mana;
Summon, creature performs a summoning ritual, bringing to the battlefield one or more minions on any hex in its defined area; Minions disappear if their master dies.
Shapeshift, creature performs a shapeshift, changing its form from one to another; Can be accompanied by significant stats, ability and action changes!
Stealth, creature enters stealth, making itself invisible to the enemy; Creatures attacking out of stealth cannot be retaliated against and deal bonus flanking and backstabbing damage. Stealth breaks on adjacency with the enemy.
Some actions can be cleverly integrated without display (movement, facing, retaliating and intercepting) while others need to be displayed on the interface. Every action can be influenced by effects from skills, abilities, spells, terrain, etc.

27. The number and power of abilities should reflect the creature's Tier. Cluttering should be avoided. If it were up to me I'd do it like this: T1 with 0.75 abilities on average, T2 with 1.5 abilities on average, T3 with 2.25 abilities on average, T4 with 3 abilities on average (passives and actives). Anything beyond that is excessive.


VI. Combat

28.Return of the hexes! Eliminates the problems encountered with squares. Also really fond of a grid change.

29. Return of the ATB! Standard turns didn't cut it for me after I got a taste of the dynamic battles from Heroes 5. Much more unpredictable and fun! Although the mechanics behind it as well as the interface have to be pretty well executed to avoid confusion.

30. Initiative is a gauge and every action, spell and ability can have a different multiplier cost. The gauge fills normally at a rate of 1x creature's Initiative, but an action might require 1.25x or 0.75x Initiative, making turns come faster or slower! This can be extremely useful for diversity and it's also balance friendly!

31. Standard layout. The multiples sizes in Heroes 7 with super long or wide tactical maps was an experiment that to me proved to be a failure. A better way to create diversity is to improve on the randomization of objects and terrain with which the player can interact to seize opportunities.

32. Flanking is a general mechanic for every creature which increases damage dealt by a percentage when they attack the enemy from flanking or backstabbing position, similar to that of Heroes 7. However, it won't even come close in terms of gameplay to that silly dance behind each other's.. behind, because of a few other mechanics (read creature actions above). For example, players can now face any direction with their creatures which will make them guard against flanking. Opening a flank requires suffering a retaliation because otherwise the creature won't change facing. And there's the Intercept action to top things off.


33. The impact of one creature stacks must be reduced so that retaliation stealing, blocking and other such cheesy abuse are not elevated to the status of features. Hundreds of dragons should never be deterred by a meager peasant.

34. Avoid the overly zoomed out camera syndrome that we've seen especially with Heroes 6 and 7. The players want to observe and feel as one with the battlefield, not with the eye candy around it. It's very annoying and tactically counter-intuitive.

35. Random seed on reload as a toggleable option so the player can choose whatever he wants (Civ 5). Basically managing how cheesy can reload get for battles.




That's all. I am confident that the general outlines listed above would make for an amazing game that would be fun to play and enchanting with a Heroes atmosphere. Even if there's controversy with regards to what a great Heroes might be, one thing's for sure - it's not the latest entries in the franchise. And it's not just a problem of hit or miss, it's a deeper problem about an identity crisis, about the lack of vision of an incompetent team, about the misunderstanding of basic gameplay notions, but also about the mistreatment of the franchise with small budgets and inexperienced devs. If Heroes is to ever rise to its former glory, then big change is needed. Now, if only there were eyes to see and ears to hear...

Make a great Heroes game.
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Guide to a Great Heroes Game

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The_Polyglot
The_Polyglot


Promising
Supreme Hero
Disciple of Elvin
posted August 23, 2016 08:06 PM

I was expecting a link to the H3 manual tbh

Yes I'm trolling. It will pass.
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cdiMaster
cdiMaster


Hired Hero
posted August 23, 2016 08:19 PM

Nice post Stevie, +1.

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Galaad
Galaad


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Enrothian Conservative Party
HC SUPPORTER
posted August 23, 2016 09:24 PM

Haha Stevie you really did it!

There is many things I am behind you 100% but some others I can find debatable or need testing, but mostly I see you take inspiration from Civ and AoW on top of the older Heroes and I agree with the influence in principle, IMO combat is one of the most flexible area for improvement.

At any rate, I recommend a +QP for the effort.

The_Polyglot said:
I was expecting a link to the H3 manual tbh

Yes I'm trolling. It will pass.


No wait, this is the qp worthy post!
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frostymuaddib
frostymuaddib


Supreme Hero
By the power of Vivendi!
posted August 23, 2016 10:25 PM

Galaad said:
I recommend a +QP for the effort.


+1 Great post.
____________
"Occam's shuriken: when the answer is elusive, never rule out ninjas." -- Dr. Gordon Freeman (Freeman's Mind)
"lol" -- VERRIKER VON ERWINSSEN

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Elvin
Elvin


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
Rejuvenation process
posted August 23, 2016 11:21 PM
Edited by Elvin at 23:24, 23 Aug 2016.

Sounds about right. Some other thoughts:

Prime could also work as part of the spiritual team. Incorporate it there or disperse its contents, matter of taste.

If there are to be 2 magic schools then guild slots could be increased accordingly. Even if each element has 2 spells per tier, elemental school would have like 8 spells. Add 6-8 spiritual and you'd only get a very tiny amount of the total spells in the guild.

Luck and morale as a creature innate stat is kinda bad in practice. Reserving a +1 bonus for some special units is fine.

Same is true for hero stats. Luck and leadership is a terrible idea for primary stats, the 4 classic ones are fine. Besides luck and leadership would work much better as 5% per point with a maximum of (almost unattainable) 10.

Regarding damage types adding creature types would help. Like plant(poison protection, fire vulnerability), spirit(physical protection) etc.

And regarding might skills, I'd say we need more focus on conditional bonuses rather than guaranteed passive. For instance, different modes of attack. Attack bonus for charging in a straight line, attack bonus for flanking, attack bonus on units that cannot retaliate, attack bonus for losing x% of the stack etc etc. Flat attack bonus just because you got attack skill is boring and oversimplified.

Spells need to complement or counter each other. Something simple but important nonetheless. Also to affect areas of the battlefield whether to make it wet, frozen or thorny.. Directly affecting the battlefield can open up new tactics.

Then we need more interesting sieges..
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Stevie
Stevie


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
HC SUPPORTER
posted August 24, 2016 12:26 AM

I thought about having an Elemental Guild and a Spiritual Guild for a more balanced distribution of spells, it's a possibility. There's also ways to improve availability of spells by means of specialization, one of the few good ideas Heroes 7 had.

Attack, Defense, Spellpower and Knowledge are primary stats, and as such they increase on hero level. I only mentioned luck and leadership along because of ease of typing, but I guess that created a misunderstanding.

Funny that you say about creature types, because I had an idea but ultimately decided to discard it, felt too close to races. Here's some types: humanoid, beast, monster, machine, construct, elemental, ethereal, fay, plant. Some creatures are harder to fit in a category or another. There can be might skills and mass spells targeting a type of creature for situational effects, plenty of options.

Might / magic differences have always been hard to balance. I forgot to mention the importance of area spells. And also had an idea about battlefield spells, something similar to the event cards in Duel of Champions. Oh well.
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Guide to a Great Heroes Game

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Mediczero
Mediczero


Famous Hero
Warlord of the sea
posted August 24, 2016 11:48 AM

I would like to note that racial factions are not inhairently bad. Of course if it's done like H5's fortress (or almost every knight faction ever), where near all creatures is the same, it is plain and boring. On the other side, take a look at the ones Minastir and articun made. while they're all mainly dominated by a few races each, it is only a handful of units (in most cases) which helps give all factions a distinctive feel and atmosphere while still making room for them to mainly thematic.

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Maurice
Maurice

Hero of Order
Part of the furniture
posted August 24, 2016 12:23 PM

Stevie said:
I thought about having an Elemental Guild and a Spiritual Guild for a more balanced distribution of spells, it's a possibility.


When looking at the D&D spell system, they too have Magic Spells and Divine Spells. The latter category are influenced by the Gods of the game world in which the adventure takes place, as opposed to the neutral Magic Spells.

Why not introduce a Church next to Mage Guilds? The function of a Church should be somewhat different though, as it affects the religion of the game. In that sense, the world of Heroes of Might and Magic should also focus its divine and religious aspects to just the divine spells and not all magic spells. Religion can then also become an element that has actual effect ingame, though I am not yet sure in what way it could become an element of consideration.

Keep in mind that Church in this context could both be "Light" (i.e. Haven with its Angels) or "Dark" (i.e. Inferno with its Devils). In that light, why not feature a Heroes game where Haven is actually dark instead of the light incarnation we've seen all these titles so far? Why not an oppressive, totalitarian faction that's supporting an inquisition type religious drive?
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kiryu133
kiryu133

Hero of Order
Highly illogical
posted August 24, 2016 05:16 PM

agree with some, disagree with others. will get into that more later on if I feel up to it.

well presented n' stuff though. QP'd
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It is with a heavy heart that I must announce that the cis are at it again.

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Stevie
Stevie


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
HC SUPPORTER
posted August 24, 2016 05:16 PM

Solutions for any kind of issue exist. Heroes only hit a stump in some people's heads, and it might be that they lack the resources and willingness to put up with it. Problem solving seems too much of a challenge for our devs, that's the impression I get when all I read from them is excuses. If something can't be done because reasons, then what they should do is recognize that they drove themselves into a corner and openly admit their mess ups.
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Guide to a Great Heroes Game

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syliber
syliber

Tavern Dweller
posted September 01, 2016 03:02 AM

It is helpful to my Mod

It is helpful to my Mod

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olorin
olorin


Adventuring Hero
tophatchild.blogspot.com
posted September 03, 2016 11:53 PM

Apologize in advance if I skipped it but did you propose something in particular regarding the editor? Making maps easily must be a fundamental pillar in the next Heroes (if there's any).

Don't get me wrong: your analysis is thorough, useful, smart and whatnot, but it strikes me as extremely technical and few emotionally driven. Look, I start playing the franchise with the first instalment but the second was the one that hooks me up the most. When I first landed at H3 I didn't like it -aesthetically speaking-, it was too darky in my taste... Sorry I digress.

Quote:

2. Originally, the Heroes atmosphere was represented by a medieval fantasy aesthetic and setting (art, music, level design), a strong narrative and consistent lore, and the elements of sword and sorcery gameplay.


Sure, but don't forget it: Heroes started up as a visual fairy tale environment: cartoonish, naive, Tolkienish... y'know. The optimal Heroes should pick up that track again. That would be truly catching the (original) atmosphere.
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Top Hat Child dixit: http://tophatchild.blogspot.com.es/

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Maurice
Maurice

Hero of Order
Part of the furniture
posted September 04, 2016 12:17 AM

olorin said:
Apologize in advance if I skipped it but did you propose something in particular regarding the editor? Making maps easily must be a fundamental pillar in the next Heroes (if there's any).


It's the item that gives a game longevity: a proper map editor. Making stuff symbolic gives map makers a lot of clear-cut objects and items they can use to make their maps, instead of having to go landscaping themselves.

A secondary aspect would be a good and easy to use scripting editor. Heroes 5 had one that was very powerful, but it was somewhat hard to grasp all the various functions as none were listed in an index, nor described anywhere as to what they did. At least not within the editor itself, though I do recall a document describing most of it. I know that I personally mapped out a few undocumented script functions in those days.

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Pollo2002
Pollo2002


Known Hero
posted September 09, 2016 07:06 PM

I think the right step would go back to a more minimalistc approach, instead of MORE MORE MORE, think of less less less. I actually think Heroes 6 was in a good direction.

But the most important part to me in a heroes games is map readability, All games after heroes 3 to me were horrible to play because hte map readability is terrible. That is ok for a pure RPG game, not for a strategy game.

I think a team that focuses on develop a Strategy game that have a strong focus on multiplayer in mind, and that actually cared about the strategy , would be the only team making a heroes game worth caring about after heroes 3.
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Varnoc
Varnoc

Tavern Dweller
posted September 17, 2016 04:31 AM

Quote:
21. Iconic representation of map objects is a necessity! This should be heavily emphasized given that there is this temptations with 3D to go full real-size on objects and landscapes. That's a major mistake. The right way to do things is to tailor every map object, excepting heroes, artifacts, resources and creatures, to one iconic scale like we've seen in Heroes 2 and 3. Even terrain features like mountains, lakes and trees must be objects separate from terraforming! In fact, terraforming is a feature that works terrible with games like Heroes where a tabletop world is the best approach and not RPG.


I agree with everything here, including this, but I'd like to add something that hasn't been mentioned (that I saw, anyway).

While the adventure mam it's self should be free of real-size objects, locations, and terrain, the combat map could be an excellent place to explore these things if done correctly. We spend quite a bit of time on combat maps anyway, why not make them visually reflect the details of the surrounding terrain that simply can't be conveyed in the wide perspective offered by the adventure map?

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Stevie
Stevie


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
HC SUPPORTER
posted September 17, 2016 02:16 PM

Depends on the extent you would want to display that. Keeping consistency with the adventure map is fine, but you'll have to consider that the focus in combats is on the armies and the battle between them, not on background and surroundings. That's why I consider that keeping things simple makes for a better experience than overcomplicating things for no real reason. We've always had terrain influencing the appearance of the battle ground, so if there was grass on the adventure map there would also be grass in the combat map, what should that be any different in the future?
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Guide to a Great Heroes Game

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Varnoc
Varnoc

Tavern Dweller
posted September 17, 2016 09:11 PM

Quote:
You'll have to consider that the focus in combats is on the armies and the battle between them, not on background and surroundings. That's why I consider that keeping things simple makes for a better experience than overcomplicating things for no real reason.


I did consider it. I'm not talking about pretty background art here, I'm talking about thickets of trees, sharp cliff faces, gullies and rills, hills, and the like directly on the combat map. These terrain features have the potential to have game-play impacts past simply blocking movement, though if you keep the rules virtually the same as every other installment, this is moot.

Quote:
We've always had terrain influencing the appearance of the battle ground, so if there was grass on the adventure map there would also be grass in the combat map, why should that be any different in the future?


I see no reason why this shouldn't continue to be the case, but I also see no reason not to take it further if it can enrich the game.

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