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Heroes Community > Heroes 4 - Lands of Axeoth > Thread: HOMMIV - biggest problems
Thread: HOMMIV - biggest problems
DonGio
DonGio


Promising
Famous Hero
of Clear Water Mountain Clan
posted April 16, 2002 11:16 AM bonus applied.

HOMMIV - biggest problems

Many of the problems/faults/weaknesses of HOMMIV up until now, I think, have been mostly new things that takes some getting used to (no chaining, new graphics, battlefield changes, fighting heroes & so on). But as these problems fade out into oblivion, more "serious" issues present themselves. Here are more fundamental problems, I think, problems that will remain problems for the lifespan of the game:

Weak Heroes:
Heroes are too weak when it comes to anything other than tailored campaigns. It takes too long to build them up, and if you don't focus on combat, they'll be very fragile targets, and will probably die very often, making evolving even slower.

AI:
The AI appears to have serious flaws. They seem not to consider army strength when deciding whether to attack or not, I fear the AI priority feature has been given too much influence. Also when playing anything harder than intermediate, the AI has often killed itself or not developed at all by the time you get to them, so the only challenge is the wandering creature stacks. It doesn’t fight very well either. Although mostly doing good, they sometimes do things that makes no sense.
An example of this is when they use the wait option. When one stack gets it turn before another one, which has his path blocked by the now moving stack, the AI waits with both of them, then either moves the blocked one not at all, or going the long way around only to end up in front of  (hence, blocking) the other stack! I’ve often been given a whole extra round to use ranged attacks and cast combat spells because of this “behavioural problem”. Maybe they miss the grid shadow too!

Atmosphere:
Yes, I think this is a vital facet of the game. I think many people saying they don’t know why, but they just don’t like this or that game, it’s because they don’t like the atmosphere. This is where HOMMII really thrived. I mean, while playing Heroes 2, I sucked indescribably hard, never played anything on more than normal difficulty, and was never able to complete more than the first map of any campaign. Yet, I loved playing it, for years on end. I never thought “this game is too hard, it stinks” or anything like that, I just loved it to death.

The game had a feel to it, a sort of a personal touch, that something impossible to pinpoint, but all the more there. I think a good analogy is the “soul” that elevates music when present. Not soul as in the musical style, but music with integrity, sustenance and intention. HOMMIII was, in my opinion, the lesser of the two when it came to atmosphere, but it still had some. But the music wasn’t quite as good, and the creatures, although with more pixels, were not as beautiful to me.

But in HOMMIV I find this missing. Maybe due to the 3D rendered creatures, maybe due to the lack of proper themes in the music, maybe due to some inexplicable feat that the game lacks. But I just don’t care for my halflings anymore (and God knows I did in Heroes2!).


Hmm… I think I’ll go and play some HOMMII now…

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Jenova
Jenova


Famous Hero
posted April 16, 2002 02:36 PM

Heroes: Yes, they definately need more HP. Good thing the CPU isn't that intelligent. When multiplayer becomes available, I'm certain against other players the heroes will fall very fast.

AI: I don't really care about that. If the AI stinks it means I keep more troops alive. If it gets too easy, I'll play on a higher difficulty.

Atmosphere: That is all subjective. I love the atmosphere in HOMM4. The only thing that disappoints me is the towns. Since the town screen takes into account the actual terrain, they never look exactly the same. Some towns look better on some terrain than on others. I wish they used the same terrain like in previous HOMMs. The atmosphere in my opinion is excellent, and is probably the only thing that keeps me playing still (but you obviously disagree), because I have as much beef with the game as you do.

After another week of playing, I'll start some rant posts as well to list all the stuff I don't like about the game (like you are doing).

Some of the major new designs I'm opposed to is the slower gold rate and fog of war. But not everyone will agree with that either.

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DonGio
DonGio


Promising
Famous Hero
of Clear Water Mountain Clan
posted April 16, 2002 02:58 PM

No, like me. I love the lesser gold and the fog of war (OK, maybe I dont love the fog of war, but I don't mind it).

And you don't care that the AI is poor? Weird. If you play on higher difficulty, there won't be any AI, cause they will have killed themselves before you can do it yourself. I don't see how you can not care about that. And if your hero with 3 halflings incidentally stroll by a hero with plenty of black dragons, nightmares and the whole shablang, you'd expect him to attack, right? Well, he won't always. It just doesn't feel as good beating a retard AI. For me anyways.

Glad you enjoy the atmosphere, at least (phsish...)

Play well
DonGio
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Jenova
Jenova


Famous Hero
posted April 16, 2002 03:31 PM

I'm used to sucky AI anyway.. it's better than AI that 'cheats'.

Have you played the AOE games? The AI is so unfair its annoying. It uses its archers to constantly move back if it outranges you, and you can never approach them. Likewise with ships, if they outrange your land defenses they will just keep moving back until you can no longer shoot them and you are standing at the shore while their ships continue to fire at you. I hate this kind of AI.

Most games I've played have dumb AI, so it doesn't bother me that much. And I prefer dumb AI to AI that knows everything a human shouldn't know and can micromanage far better than a human player.

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Flashman
Flashman


Adventuring Hero
posted April 16, 2002 03:57 PM

A clever AI doing onto you what you do onto it is unfair ?

mmmmmm....

I agree though that playing a micro managing multi tasking super AI can be a pain in the ass but at least it's a challenge!

Whereas RTS games can make do with a mediocre AI due to the RT factor, a TBS game needs a topnotch AI or it simply can't compete :


/Flash

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UnkaHaakon
UnkaHaakon


Responsible
Famous Hero
happily tilting at windmills
posted April 16, 2002 11:58 PM

Moderator's Note: Bonus Applied

Sometimes a 'quality post' may express an unpopular opinion. Although there's plenty of room for discussion here, Don Gio's initial post is well stated.

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Jenova
Jenova


Famous Hero
posted April 17, 2002 08:43 AM

Quote:
A clever AI doing onto you what you do onto it is unfair ?

mmmmmm....

I agree though that playing a micro managing multi tasking super AI can be a pain in the ass but at least it's a challenge!

Whereas RTS games can make do with a mediocre AI due to the RT factor, a TBS game needs a topnotch AI or it simply can't compete :


/Flash


No it's annoying because no human has the reflexes required to do that, so you can't call it clever (because anyone could think of the idea, just no one can do it) but I call it unfair because you cannot do the same onto it like you say. I'm talking about in the case of AOE that is, not HOMM4. HOMM4 is fair as long as it doesn't show some impossible multitasking and micromanagement, but it's a turn based game, so it's much easier for anyone.

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DonGio
DonGio


Promising
Famous Hero
of Clear Water Mountain Clan
posted April 23, 2002 01:29 PM

I don't get you, Jenova. You can't be used to an AI as terribly crappy as this one. If you approach an enemy hero with an inferior army (he/she has the bigger army/ better hero), he'll still run into his castle, and not come out even if you walk around taking all his mines.

And the AI will always almost choose death to a far superior neutral stack than to confront a more equal human player (where he could at least inflict some meaningful damage).

As I said before, I don't feel good beating a retard AI, as I wouldn't feel good beating a retard in RL. It's just not nice.

A part of the fun is the challenge. The HOMMIV challenge consists of trying to beat huge neutral stacks, and not much more.
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Jenova
Jenova


Famous Hero
posted April 23, 2002 02:53 PM

I don't specifically like it, I just don't care about it as much as other things. I've seen much worse, which is why I say I'm used to it.

And I'd rather AI that sucked than AI that pissed you off by taking advantage of its impossible to reproduce management skills, but that's only for RTS. I don't mind if the computer is smart, I just don't want them to IRRITATE the way they do in Age of Empires. Any game that 'irritates' me makes me want to stop playing.

HOMM4 AI is buggy, but they'll fix it. And hey, if the AI does dumb things, then it limits your casualties in the preserve town, right?
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DonGio
DonGio


Promising
Famous Hero
of Clear Water Mountain Clan
posted April 24, 2002 11:30 AM

Sure, otherwise I'd lose my entire preserve army every battle...

It's actually the adventure screen AI that's worst, the combat AI I can live with.

But if you could show me another game where a strong hero with a full army stands by in his castle while three sprites saunter by, I'd be a little more inclined to see your point.
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Jenova
Jenova


Famous Hero
posted April 24, 2002 01:52 PM

Something fairly common is when units get irreversibly 'stuck' in many games (depending on the game it might allow you to pick them off from a distance). Pathfinding sucks in narrow passageways also. At least that kind of thing doesn't happen in HOMM4.

As for how intelligent the AI 'acts', I can't think of any specific examples pertinent to compare with, but when I do I will post. I have low expectations for AI in general, because so few games I've played actually have decent AI. But you're right, HOMM4's AI is a bit questionable.
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DonGio
DonGio


Promising
Famous Hero
of Clear Water Mountain Clan
posted April 24, 2002 05:32 PM

Glad we cleared that up!
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