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Heroes Community > Library of Enlightenment > Thread: Making Heroes III spell system less bad
Thread: Making Heroes III spell system less bad This thread is 2 pages long: 1 2 · NEXT»
b0rsuk
b0rsuk


Promising
Famous Hero
DooM prophet
posted August 30, 2016 09:51 PM
Edited by b0rsuk at 22:19, 30 Aug 2016.

Making Heroes III spell system less bad

As I said in another thread, playing Heroes III made me appreciate Heroes II more. It has fewer blunders in the spell system.

Some are just single spells that wouldn't be too hard to fix by tweaking numbers.

Others are systemic problems that would be very difficult to fix without redesigning the whole system (mass spells, direct damage spells...). And some of these flaws are shared with Heroes II, so in this thread I won't defend Heroes II at all costs, as much as fun it could be.

This thread will have an analysis of problems, suggestions for improvements, and posts by people trying to derail it by claiming that Heroes 3 is perfect and WOG cures cancer. These people need to be put into a rocket and launched into the Sun.

==================

1. Mass spells make serious magic investment a bad idea.

1a) High level magic guild rarely pays off. This is because the majority of them are level 1. In particular, Slow and Haste are deceptive. For a player who only plays Single Player, they might not seem like much, although they reduce losses by attrition. But when armies on both sides are roughly equal - which is usually the case in multi - they reveal their true power. Initiative, being able to strike first is POWERFUL in classic HOMM.

For this reason I don't have much faith in attempts to balance HOMM3 spells via MP cost. If you make mass spell costs scale with number of units or level of units (kyrub's idea), you are still in a situation where arguably the most powerful spells are on level 1 of Magic Guild. You might need more mana, but you still don't need Wisdom.

1b) Earth Magic, Water Magic, Fire Magic, Air Magic trump Spell Power and Knowledge.

The reason is that in Heroes 3 secondary skills trump magic (primary) stats. They turn many enchantments into mass spells and improve effectiveness of enchantments. A knight or barbarian can learn Earth magic. You can max it in 3 level ups, and you're no worse than a Wizard. A battle can be over in just a couple of rounds, so why do you need enchantments to last 10 turns ? (10 Spell Power). You won't be able to cast too much, so why the high Knowledge ?

I will admit that leveling magic shools in HOMM and seeing your spells become more powerful is fun. But it comes at the price of strategic depth. It's like getting a BFG or another powerful weapon in an old-school FPS game. It feels fun and powerful at first, but novelty soon wears off. BFG was often banned in DooM and Quake 2 multiplayer, players realized the game has more depth without it.

So why not just get rid of Earth Magic, Fire Magic, Air Magic, Water Magic ? Or disable mass enchantments ? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCbfMkh940Q

A fix could be actually... switching levels for spells like Haste and Slow! Move it up the magic guild, lower the levels of some lackluster level3 spells. Heroes IV went that route, for example single Slow is level 2, Mass Slow is level 4. But then you're still balancing the spell either for the mass version or single target version. Not nice. Hmm.

Ultimately, I think my recommendation is Heroes2/Heroes4 treatment. SPLIT THOSE snowS. A spell that's both mass and single target can't be appropriately balanced. It's like trying to balance Controlled Blink in Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup. That roguelike game puts high value on escape tools, and Controlled Blink is among the best. So CB is (or used to be?) a high level spell, expensive and hard to cast. The downside - players who want to use it aggresively - to get into a monster's face - are punished.
------------

2. Direct Damage spells. They scale badly.


Direct damage spells are scary early on, but soon stop getting more powerful. Armies get bigger at least in a linear fashion (it can be faster - necromancy, diplomacy, demon farming). Spell Power usually improves with level ups, and level upping is roughly logarithmic. Heroes level up slower and slower, they can't keep up with growing armies.

Conversely, with small armies direct damage spells direct damage can be terrifying... or frustrating - attrition.

It also enables very cheesy tactics where you ambush with a spellcaster, cast offensive spells, then retreat. In HOMM3 with abundant gold it is a viable and frustrating tactic. Players who know what's coming can't do much about it.

If we want to fix it, there are two ways:
A) stop the infinite growth of armies (like army upkeep)
B) make spell power growth also infinite. Two words: SPELLCASTER STACK

A is used to good effect in games like Age of Wonders 3, and - I believe - Disciples ? It works, but it could be a too radical change from the HOMM formula. Besides, people who like AoW know where to find it. It's a good game.

B could be achieved in HOMM! Make spell power scale not with Hero's Spell Power, but with army size! The most sensible approach would be introducing a new type of unit, like "shamans" or "wizards", who are needed to cast spells in combat. Their numbers would determine the power of spells.

Spellcaster stack would be produced at Magic Guild. They can be given unique appearance and name to fit their faction. But IMO it should be purely cosmetic and you should be able to merge those from different towns.

This would have the flaw that it would step into heroes' jurisdiction. But I think it's lesser of the two evils and I could come up with an alternate function for  magic heroes. Hero's Spell Power and Knowledge could be used to boost those "Wizards" units spellcasting ability, a bit similar to Heroes 6 I think ? Anyway I think it fits the HOMM spirit more.

Those "Spellcasters" may need to get some special treatment. For example spells should still be castable if the stack is blinded or otherwise immobilized. If dragon flies tie them up in melee, they should still cast, otherwise it favors certain armies too much.
I think they should be possible to damage with units and spells, because it would also FINALLY fix the problem of suicide bomber heroes.


-------------
3. Spell value is very hit or miss.

A major effect of this is that investing in Magic Guild is a gamble. This complaint is usually waved away by saying all you need to do is balance spells. But I think it's not enough to balance individual spells. You also need to balance spells among guild levels.

For a stellar example of near perfect balance of randomly available options, check out Race for the Galaxy. You can download the computer implementation here, legally:
http://keldon.net/rftg/
So it can be done, although RftG took literally thousands of playtesting matches.

--------------------
4. What to do about Spell Power and Knowledge ?

Spell Power and Knowledge have the problem that it's hard to come up with a way to make it affect all spells. Attack Skill and Defense skill are hardly ever wasted.

Oh man, this is a tough nut to crack.

What should it do - that's simple with direct damage spells. But how does higher Spell Power translate into better View Earth ? The spell is bad enough as it is. Sure, a clever hash function could make it so spell power reveals progressively more of the map. But that's not the problem with View Earth. I think the problem is the spell is niche.

Spell power and enchantments. Power increases duration. Sounds nice on paper, except you may not ever need more than 5, or even less if you're a fan of Mass Haste. I'm not sure how to improve this. Enchantments are varied, each would need to be approached individually. Do we really want Disrupting Ray to have potentially infinite effect ? How to make Mirth scale with Spell Power ? Counterstrike ? Maybe counterstrike percentage would be compared to the power of spellcaster stack.

Spellpower and Dimension Door. Maybe introduce random radius, and spell power would make it more precise ? But eventually you run out of precision and spell power can grow potentially forever.

Force Field. If we had spellcaster stacks, it could allow or disallow certain stacks to pass based on their size and level.

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Nightshine
Nightshine


Adventuring Hero
posted August 30, 2016 10:22 PM

Wouldn't it be "easier"/"more sensible" to just scale the spells with Spell Power levels?

Like, say, with SP of 1 lightning bolt does 100 damage, with SP 10 it does 500,  but with SP of 20 it does 2000, with SP of 50 it does 10,000 etc.

Numbers are random, but I mean giving SP thresholds that are not linear and worth achieving. Could also be used for example making spells "mass" at some threshold.

I don't like the idea of the 'wizard' stack.

Also are you making a mod to implement these changes or is it just another speculation topic?

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phoenix4ever
phoenix4ever


Legendary Hero
Heroes is love, Heroes is life
posted August 30, 2016 10:24 PM

Yeah Heroes 3 spell system is not perfect and I have wondered a lot about what could be done myself. But since this is HOMM I would'nt introduce a lot of new features, but rather move spells up or down some levels and alter mana cost accordingly.
Most in need of fixing are Slow and Haste, they should be level 3 imo, but also Bless and Curse are very powerful and should probably also be level 3.
Precision could be level 1 as it only affects shooters.
Then there are crappy spells like Hypnotize, Slayer and Magic Mirror, they should be moved down or made more powerful.
Berserk and Armageddon I would move to level 5.
Town Portal and DD should be made weaker as they completely own the game.
Animate Dead should be level 4 like Resurrection and have the same mana cost, but both Animate Dead and Resurrection should be more expensive than now.
Just some of my thoughts.    

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b0rsuk
b0rsuk


Promising
Famous Hero
DooM prophet
posted August 30, 2016 10:41 PM
Edited by b0rsuk at 22:42, 30 Aug 2016.

Nightshine said:
Wouldn't it be "easier"/"more sensible" to just scale the spells with Spell Power levels?

Like, say, with SP of 1 lightning bolt does 100 damage, with SP 10 it does 500,  but with SP of 20 it does 2000, with SP of 50 it does 10,000 etc.


Sounds clever at first, but then you realize army growth is different across different maps. Maps vary in town density. So what would you do - calculate an average ? Based on what - vanilla maps ? Towns player may never build up ?

And yeah, "spellcaster stack" wouldn't have this problem! It would - by definition - be in sync with the rest of the army.
Quote:

Also are you making a mod to implement these changes or is it just another speculation topic?

The most honest answer I can give: it depends. I've seen stranger things happen!

Random thought - spell power could be made useful for Earthquake. But you would have to give city walls HP. Attack skill could be added to catapult's Attack Skill to determine damage. Defender's Defense Skill would be added to wall's defense skill. Just a rough, not fleshed out idea.

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yogi
yogi


Promising
Famous Hero
of picnics
posted August 30, 2016 10:49 PM

great post.

b0rsuk said:

B could be achieved in HOMM! Make spell power scale not with Hero's Spell Power, but with army size! The most sensible approach would be introducing a new type of unit, like "shamans" or "wizards", who are needed to cast spells in combat. Their numbers would determine the power of spells.

Spellcaster stack would be produced at Magic Guild. They can be given unique appearance and name to fit their faction. But IMO it should be purely cosmetic and you should be able to merge those from different towns.

This would have the flaw that it would step into heroes' jurisdiction. But I think it's lesser of the two evils and I could come up with an alternate function for  magic heroes. Hero's Spell Power and Knowledge could be used to boost those "Wizards" units spellcasting ability, a bit similar to Heroes 6 I think ? Anyway I think it fits the HOMM spirit more.

Those "Spellcasters" may need to get some special treatment. For example spells should still be castable if the stack is blinded or otherwise immobilized. If dragon flies tie them up in melee, they should still cast, otherwise it favors certain armies too much.
I think they should be possible to damage with units and spells, because it would also FINALLY fix the problem of suicide bomber heroes.




^this especially is a pretty interesting idear..
____________

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b0rsuk
b0rsuk


Promising
Famous Hero
DooM prophet
posted August 30, 2016 11:29 PM
Edited by b0rsuk at 23:30, 30 Aug 2016.

What if... what if you needed more Spell Power to sustain multiple enchanments on multiple units ?

Currently it works like this:

Mass Haste - each unit gets -1 haste charge per turn.
Mass Shield - each unit gets -1 shield charge per turn.
Mass Bloodlust - each unit gets -1 bloodlust charge per turn.

----------

Mass Haste - each unit gets -X haste charges per turn, where X is (Spell Power / number of hasted stacks)
Mass Shield - each unit gets -X shield charges per turn, where X is (Spell Power / number of shielded stacks)
Mass Bloodlust - each unit gets -X bloodlust charges per turn, where X is (Spell Power / number of enraged stacks)

Suppose you cast Mass Haste with Spell Power of 12. You have 4 units. Haste will last 3 turns on each unit. Hmm, with 7 stacks (possibly 8 with spellcaster stack...) you would need 7 spell power for 1 turn of haste. Sounds a bit harsh. But the ratio could be tweaked, for example 1.5 enchantment points per Spell Power point.

Anyway what's wrong with having 3 units of your stack unenchanted ?

But what to do with leftover fractions ? You have 7 Spell Power, but 5 stacks. Would that be 1 and 2/5 enchantment turns ?

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Nightshine
Nightshine


Adventuring Hero
posted August 31, 2016 12:18 AM

b0rsuk said:
Nightshine said:


Sounds clever at first, but then you realize army growth is different across different maps. Maps vary in town density. So what would you do - calculate an average ? Based on what - vanilla maps ? Towns player may never build up ?




Well, the scaling is different on small/big maps already. They just work differently and the problem is mostly on maps where the game lasts long enough to get the armies big and heroes powerful (in theory) when the magic falls off, no?

So on small map nothing much would change (unless the mass haste/slow was SP dependent then you got less cookie-cutter tactics).

On big maps magic would simply stay relevant alongside attack/defense that influences the army. Magic hero would have a smaller impact on army stats but could do more by themselves.

Idk, I'm just throwing stuff around I'm no game designer and tbh I've never put much thought into it. It just popped into my head randomly so my 'defense' here is rather meek

Still not a fan of the stack because killing those would become a priority and would end up easily gimping magic heroes whereas might heroes would be again dependent on the entire army.

If it's guild-bought I'd much rather it was some idk, artifact being charged. Take those creature-weight factors (the thing that defines which creature is more powerful etc used to judge army strength) and for each creature in heroes' army give them a boost to their magic power dependent on how much Spell Power/Wisdom/Magic Skill levels they have.

You got the army-scaling without giving might heroes an ability to gimp magic-user's army and forcing a specific creature on them. Sometimes you want to build fancy armies for fancy reasons - for instance you need to have 1 shooting troop ONLY for the force-field tactic or use just that + something fast or whatever else. Being forced into the 'mage stack' would be disastrous for magic heroes in those scenarios. An artifact with army-dependent stack would still grow much weaker, but it wouldn't gimp the entire strat.

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b0rsuk
b0rsuk


Promising
Famous Hero
DooM prophet
posted August 31, 2016 01:34 AM
Edited by b0rsuk at 01:44, 31 Aug 2016.

I'm afraid making each point of Spell Power cause increasing damage would just trade one scaling issue for another, and I'm not at all sure the new problem is better.

Charging an artifact - maybe extra simplicity is worth it. But I fear you would promote another kind of exploit. With strenghtened direct damage spells, and power of spells not dependant on actual army, hit&run attacks would be stronger than ever.

One benefit of a separate "spellcaster stack" is that you couldn't hit&run with casters only. Currently you can attack with 1 dragonfly, cast spell and retreat because it doesn't use up any kind of turn. Spellcasting units would cause a loss when player retreats or surrenders.

Optimal strategy for maximizing direct damage is attacking with 7 stacks of 1, cast as many spells as you can and retreat. Then you can come back with your real army and fight again.
-------------------

Another flaw of magic system - reliance on guilds to recharge and learn spells discourages offensive play. Each time you upgrade your guild you would need your hero to come back to guild.

A simple solution would be trading of spellbooks. Nothing of value would be lost, I think.

Magic well scattered around maps help.

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

Shrines - I really like how they work in Heroes of Might and Magic I. Spells run out of charges and you have to recharge them at guild, so the problem I just mentioned above is magnified. On the other hand, it makes shrines interesting and worth fighting over! In HOMM1, 11 Knowledge means you can cast 11 Armageddons AND 11 Cures AND 11 Slow AND 11 Protection... They can have that Paralyze shrine over my dead body!

It also has a potential for a fun event. Month of Weakness! Travelling monks teach Weakness spell to everyone. You get +x Weakness charges for picking up a monk.

Assuming we don't want to rewind HOMM3 magic system back to HOMM1, is there any way we can make shrines valuable again ?

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phoenix4ever
phoenix4ever


Legendary Hero
Heroes is love, Heroes is life
posted August 31, 2016 08:50 AM

I just think you should be able to buy spellbooks at shrines, that would also make might heroes more valuable at taverns located on the map.

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b0rsuk
b0rsuk


Promising
Famous Hero
DooM prophet
posted August 31, 2016 09:24 AM
Edited by b0rsuk at 09:25, 31 Aug 2016.

Primary Skill vs Secondary Skill again.


The idea behind Secondary Skills was to make individual heroes more unique. They felt heroes (of the same class) were too alike. I think it was partially because of +stat locations introduced in Heroes 2 (standing stones, marletto tower, garden of revelation, mercenary camp). These improve the same primary skill regardless of class.

In other words, secondary skills added specialization. But specialization often comes at the price of general knowledge. What if you sacrificed primary skills to get secondary skills ?

For example, for every 3 points of secondary skills you would have to reduce primary skills by one. Secondary skills would be classified into magic and might skills. Archery, Offense, Armourer, Leadership, Tactics, Artillery, Ballisticts would be Might skills. Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Necromancy, Mysticism, Wisdom, Sorcery, Eagle Eye, Intelligence, Scholar would be Magic skills. For every 3 points in Might skills, you would have to play 1 point of Attack or Defense skill. For every 3 points of Magic skills, you would have to pay one point of Wisdom or Spell Power. If you're unable to pay, you can't raise that skill.

Would it be enough to stop might heroes from learning Earth magic all day every day ? Hmm, probably not. You'd just pay 1 skill point for 3 levels of Earth Magic, and... that's all you need! I think it just shows how imba magic school skills are. Because of mass spells, they are not in the same league as other secondary skills.

So why am I posting it ?  Because it might inspire another person...

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Maurice
Maurice

Hero of Order
Part of the furniture
posted August 31, 2016 10:40 AM

The main problem with spellcasting is that it often doesn't scale well with army numbers. Hasting a single Pikeman costs as much mana for as many turns as it costs to Haste a stack of 1000 Arch Angels.

Also, army stacks are symbolic representations of regiments on a battlefield. Just imagine, you have a regiment of pikeman getting blasted by a Lightning Bolt. In the symbolic representation, a bunch will die as damage chains through the stack; a Bolt dealing 1000 damage will kill 100 pikemen. How would that look on a realistic battlefield, though? Mind you that the lightning bolt isn't forking there. Or what about a Fireball? Likely you'll kill a bunch but units at the edge of the blast should only take damage.

You can't represent the fact that a number of units in the stack took damage in the current format, unless you introduce something like a debuff that gives X units in the stack reduced hitpoints. For simplicity, since Heroes is scratching off units of the top of the stack, you could say that after X units have been killed, the debuff falls off - the soldiers who got injured before by the fireball, have then all been killed. The soldiers that remain are still at full health.

Using the Fireball example above, Spell Power could not only increase the number of units killed in the stack, but also the number that take damage and hence, the number of units that suffer reduced hitpoints. Lightning Bolt could be a single target spell that at higher Spell Power is pretty much guaranteed to kill at least the top unit of a stack, much like the Mighty Gorgon death stare. To offset its reduced potential against large low level stacks, Lightning Bolt could be lowered in level and mana cost.

Mass spells should at the very least be different from single target spells, so either can be subjected to conditions independently, like spell tier or mana cost.

But this is just a bit of rambling on my side, thinking out loud, it's not a clear or very thought-through concept for Magic Spells.
____________
The last Reasonable Steward of Good Game Design and a Responsible Hero of HC. - Verriker

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b0rsuk
b0rsuk


Promising
Famous Hero
DooM prophet
posted August 31, 2016 03:05 PM
Edited by b0rsuk at 15:29, 31 Aug 2016.

Hmm, same cost for enchanting 1 pikeman or 1000 pikemen. It's basically the same problem as with Spell Power. Just like Spell Power, Knowledge doesn't increase linearly so you can't make enchantment cost scale infinitely with army size. Soon heroes wouldn't be able to afford enchanting.

And don't get me started with part of the stack being enchanted or wounded. Yes, it doesn't make sense that it doesn't happen, but it would be a nightmare to represent and very complicated for players to understand.

Unless you use a dirty trick: if you can't enchant 100% of pikeman stack, the stack gets split into two. One is enchanted, one unenchanted. But HOMM serries can't deal with stack spamming. 100 behemots will use up their entire turn to kill 1 peasant.

Thanks for bringing it up. I'm so used to the way HOMM spell system works I don't notice it anymore. And I think it makes more sense for cost to scale with stack size than stack count.

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P4R4D0X0N
P4R4D0X0N


Famous Hero
posted September 01, 2016 01:08 AM

I wrote most of my stuff here:

http://heroescommunity.com/viewthread.php3?TID=42645&PID=1380652#focus

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yogi
yogi


Promising
Famous Hero
of picnics
posted September 02, 2016 10:36 PM

re: stack o' casters - theres merit in this idea.  each faction just needs a unit with the channeling ability from high druids in h5. magic heroes will hoard them.

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b0rsuk
b0rsuk


Promising
Famous Hero
DooM prophet
posted September 03, 2016 01:33 PM
Edited by b0rsuk at 13:41, 03 Sep 2016.

The most obvious solution to magic that doesn't scale is linking it to a variable that does scale. That's how I arrived at the idea.

There are balance issues that would need to be figured out.

I. What happens if a Might hero decides to use Black Dragons' first turn to obliterate the caster stack ? How to make them vulnerable but not too weak in a game without zones of control ?  Exactly how resistant should casters be to attacks and spell damage ?
II. How would caster stack and magic hero interact ? A simple way is to make Spell Power give +X% power to the caster stack. Knowledge's would give +Y% bonus to caster stack knowledge.
III. Magic heroes would suddenly become nearly powerless without a caster stack. It's something we would need to get used to.
IV. Should caster stacks from different towns be able to be merged ? If not, should an army consisting of 7 spellcasters be allowed ? Imagine 7 Implosions per turn. Or 1x Expert Protection from Fire, 6x Armageddon. So maybe there should be a hard limit on caster stacks and there would be a dedicated army slot(s) ?
V. How should caster stack's MPs be affected when some of them are killed in battle ?

I would be more than happy to playtest the vanilla HOMM3 campaigns with it. But it sounds a bit like an idea for a whole new game.

Maybe scrap the idea of caster stack and simply make spell power proportional to army size ? Number_of_creatures * gold_cost, etc. While we're at it, why is turret power based on number of buildings in a city and not on defending army's size ?

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yogi
yogi


Promising
Famous Hero
of picnics
posted September 03, 2016 06:59 PM
Edited by yogi at 19:10, 03 Sep 2016.

b0rsuk said:

I. What happens if a Might hero decides to use Black Dragons' first turn to obliterate the caster stack ? How to make them vulnerable but not too weak in a game without zones of control ?  Exactly how resistant should casters be to attacks and spell damage ?

A wise wizard splits their caster stacks.

b0rsuk said:

II. How would caster stack and magic hero interact ? A simple way is to make Spell Power give +X% power to the caster stack. Knowledge's would give +Y% bonus to caster stack knowledge.

Channeling
This creature can increase the hero's Spell Power by its own Spell Power value, (stack size / 10)/1?  The effect lasts until the next round or until the creature dies (activated ability).
Castle - Monks+
Tower - Gargoyles+ and Mages+
Inferno - Gogs+ or Pit Fiends+
Fortress - Flies+ and/or Gorgons+
Rampart - Elves+ and Dendroids+
Dungeon - Beholders+ and Medusas+
Stronghold - Ogre Magi
Necropolis - Liches+
Conflux - Pixies+ and Psychic Elementals+

b0rsuk said:

IV. Should caster stacks from different towns be able to be merged ? If not, should an army consisting of 7 spellcasters be allowed ? Imagine 7 Implosions per turn. Or 1x Expert Protection from Fire, 6x Armageddon. So maybe there should be a hard limit on caster stacks and there would be a dedicated army slot(s) ?

Caster stacks dont cast, they channel.  Magic heroes will hoard them.

b0rsuk said:

V. How should caster stack's MPs be affected when some of them are killed in battle ?

They dont have mp, they can just activate a Channel ability to add their (stack size / 10)/1? to their hero's spellpower for a turn.


I will probably incorporate an iteration of this idea into a project im working on


____________

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b0rsuk
b0rsuk


Promising
Famous Hero
DooM prophet
posted September 03, 2016 07:59 PM

A low hanging fruit would be changing how Dispel and Cure work. Instead of completely removing enchantments, they would substract Spell Power from their duration. So a Knight or a Barbarian would have a hard time getting rid of (mass) enchantments.

This raises a question - can vanilla Blind be beaten without Cure or Dispel ? I remember my brother used to annoy me to no end with his Blind strategy in HOMM2. He would chose a Knight/Barbarian hero, while I was a fan of spellcasters. In battle, he just kept blinding my units one by one. If I dispel, I have to sacrifice an opportunity to cast a much better spell (at high Spell Power and Knowledge). A Knight or Barbarian can drag a spellcaster down to his level just by spamming Blind.

I still think top priority should be splitting level1-2 mass spells into single target version and mass version on level 3+. Levels 3+ have plenty of spells that could be deleted with no harm to balance. Levels 3+ can keep mass version at Expert, because they require some investment in magic.

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b0rsuk
b0rsuk


Promising
Famous Hero
DooM prophet
posted September 05, 2016 09:28 PM
Edited by b0rsuk at 21:29, 05 Sep 2016.

More ideas!

Lazy spellpower fix
Whenever a hero casts a spell that doesn't use Spell Power (includes enchantments), that spell power is saved. Then all unused Spell Power is unleashed once hero casts a spell that DOES use it.

(Example: hero casts Protection from Water, then Remove Obstacle, then Lightning Bolt. Hero has 9 Spell Power. By the time he casts Lightning Bolt, it's worth 9*3 = 27 Spell Power.)

Many boardgames use this lazy "fix" to make players occasionally choose a suboptimal option. Puerto Rico, Small World put a coin on an option players ignored last turn.

Radical magic fix
Instead of boosting Spell Power and Knowledge, nerf Attack Skill and Defense skill and make the benefits static! Whenever a pikeman attacks under hero's command, hero's bonus adds 10 * Attack Skill damage. Damage points, not damage percent. Similarly, when hero's Defense Skill is used, it absorbs a static amount of damage on each attack.

---------

Nightshine - your idea about charging an artifact at guild has one advantage over mine. It would preserve more RPG-ish scenarios with small number of units. Imagine Frodo, Gandalf, Boromir, Legolas, Gimli + Spellcaster Stack!

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I think Knowledge as defined is the most broken stat. By design it allows a hero to cast more spells, but there is no reliable way to make battles longer! You can fight more battles before resting, but only AI and neutrals can be bashed over and over.

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Battles are short enough that enchantments could be reworked to not use Spell Power AT ALL, in any form. Imagine a spell system where each enchantment lasts 2 turns, basic Water Magic grants +1 turn, Advanced +2, Expert +3 total.

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RerryR
RerryR


Promising
Supreme Hero
Researching Magic
posted September 05, 2016 10:16 PM

If you use ERA2 i think there are already some mods which improve the spell system of Heroes 3.
What i did to enjoy more my playing experience with Heroes 3 i use mods which do the following (some ot them i made myself, some not) :

-increase damage of direkt damage spells
-increase the mana cost of most spells
-improve buff spells like stoneskin or precison or disrupting ray
-improve Sorcery SS to give more damage
-weaken slow and haste and make them a level 3 spell
-give a wizard hero the possibilty to cast 2 spells per turn (this can be done by archiving a certain hero level or picking a lot of magic skills)
-improve some of the the weaker magic secondary skills like scholar, intelligence and mysticism
-improve some magic artifacts

Overall it works good for me but this depends on your personal play style.

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Macron1
Macron1


Supreme Hero
posted September 05, 2016 10:34 PM

RerryR said:

-give a wizard hero the possibilty to cast 2 spells per turn (this can be done by archiving a certain hero level or picking a lot of magic skills)


Or
2 casts after 10th level,
3 casts after 20th level
4 casts after 30th level
so on

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