Modding the Unmoddable
posted December 24, 2017 04:26 PM
|Edited by NimoStar at 16:36, 24 Dec 2017.
Revolutionary TBS+RPG implementation [Use of Heroes]
Well, you know how one of the most polemic traits of Heroes games was in heroes 4, where Heroes were thrust directly into combat, they took an army slot and they fought alongside the creatures; and you could have up to seven of them together. This addition, although fully featured and quite balanced, was however unwelcome for most of the community (for one, it was badly implemented, with a linear advance in a combat skill tree instead of "combat perks" everywhere - Thpugh you could get "perks" with bonuses, artifacts, special classes, potions, and spells, this wasn't nearly as varied as the possibility to explore diferring combat skills, AKA you hero "build"). Thus in every Heroes game after 4, the formula was returned to a traditional heroes 1-3 offcombat from the grid and screen. Rather conservative but developers preferred experimenting with creatures than with heroes, which mostly got novelties in skill advancement and arrngement.
But, What if we could combine both systems into an integrated one?
You would have both "hero slots" and "creature slots", separate from eachother. Armies would have up to five heroes. Yet at the start of each battle, you would choose only two of your present heroes to command your army for that battle, being able to cast spells and abilities.
Each Hero would have a unique texture to distinguish themselves in combat, which is pretty easy to do changing colors, effects and settings in Photoshop for the texture; while using the same 3D model and animations as their class/gender composition. You could also have universal "attachable" clothes and accesories which is something many 3D games easily implement.
Thus for example if you have Solmyr and Astral, even if both are male wizard class, you will easily be able to distinguish Solmyr for his blue skin, and Astral for his turban.
There would be two types of map areas: The "Open" areas and the "Maze" Areas.
Open Areas would represent grasslands, deserts, any vast extension of land where armies could meet.
Mazes would represent mountain passages, groves, dungeons, the inside of buildings; spaces where armies woudn't fit, and a daring band of adventurers would have to be alone.
In Open Areas, game would play more like a traditional TBS in the H3 way. Heroes will appear mounted offmap, only being able to cast spells and abilities. The two your choose, if you have more than two with your army, would depend on your tactical decisions for different battles. Also, only the chosen heroes would gain experience, split equally. This would be ideal to train "rookie" heroes along more powerful ones in open map combat.
Creature stacks would gain experience, much like in WOG, but without wacky abilities in stack combat. This experience would be mainly useful in Maze areas as we will see...
In Maze Areas, game would play more like a traditional RPG in the H4 way, but without creature stacks. Upon entering a Maze, you choose how you want to fill the only 5 slots maze combat allows amongst your heroes and/or creatures. Heroes would battle dismounted in the grid, most like h4, and you could have up to 5 of them doing battle at once. Creatures would work as an "avatar", in the WOG commander way. There would be no "stronger" or "weaker" creatures here, but each creature would rather work as an hero, a personification of it's kind. The level of this "Hero Creature" would depend directly on the stack experience from which it came. Hero creatures would have unique abilities depending here on their stack level from which they came, but only working as a single unit in a maze.
For example thus, you could have 4 heroes and a pet Beholder battling in a Maze area. Even if the map version of the Beholder only has 30 health, the hero version of the Beholder would be in base comparatively as strong as a level 1 hero (with different stats), and gain levels much as a hero (without secondary skills) which gie it more abilities, depending on the experience on the stack it represents.
All hero summons would also work much this way, with creature numbers being converted in experience for a single creature-hero summoned aid.
This gives the very real sensation that you are fighting on an enclosed space, and whole armies would not fit on a narrow cave. Thus, in a maze every single model in combat represents a single unit, and all get health bars instead of number bars, much as h4 heroes (including my hero creatures in my mod).
Maze Areas would be used mostly for treasure, battling mosters and bosses, quests, and secret passages. Open Areas would be the world map where the big battles, garrisons and castle sieges happen.
Anyways, do you like my system?
It has something for everyone, and the final battles would surely be H3 "traditional" style unless both players happen to enter the same maze area. At the same time, it gives liberty to map makers. You could make a full Maze map if you want an RPG, and a full Open Area map if you want a full TBS, and of course mixed maps as well, both single player and tournament competition. Players would choose in which map to play, so it woudn't create any "I don't like this" scenario.
I think that is the greatest strenght perhaps as it doesn't force players to play in a style they don't like, but gives them options either way.
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