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Heroes Community > Heroes 4 - Lands of Axeoth > Thread: It's a trap! Turning H4 into H3 graphics to get more players.
Thread: It's a trap! Turning H4 into H3 graphics to get more players.
NimoStar
NimoStar


Promising
Famous Hero
Modding the Unmoddable
posted August 08, 2018 03:34 AM

It's a trap! Turning H4 into H3 graphics to get more players.

So... people from this community in general love H3. H4, not so much.

But their decision is based more in aesthetics and nostalgia than in actual gameplay I dare saying.

The mechanics and gameplay of H4 are superior to H3 in many respects, not to mention the ease of scripting with the provided tools, and the relative lack of exploitable tricks for combat (in fact there are whole H3 maps where you exploit the AI in fights as puzzles).

Most important of course is the ability to have heroes in combat, and, as I discovered, to make such heroes use any graphics.

So... how do we get H3 people to get H4?

It is simple... By making H4 look like H3!

There is basically no great difficulty in doing this other than the work required.

UI: I have already proven it can be changed with namerutan's tool. Normally H4 UI is completely disdained by H3 players, and they have their reasons. You can make an edit of H3 IU elements to fit H4 (only exception being that they won't change with your player color)

Terrain: All terrain objects are importable.
H3 Terrains can be turned into overlays, including animated ones (think like H3 "Magic field"). Underground can be such overlay including borders.

Heroes and creatures: Map versions of heroes and creatures can be changed for H3 ones. As creatures unlike the H3 miniatures have to move on their own on H4, combat versions of H3 creatures can be resized with their animations for movement.

Towns: It is the common perspective that H4 town screens are universally "ugly". But has this to be so? No, not really. We can make town screens even look exactly like H3 town screens, down to even the buildings thumbnails, if we have versions with high enough resolution.

Etc. : Equivalent artifact images can be changed by H3 versions, skills can look like H3 skills, treasures like H3 treasures, creature thumbnails modified, hero portraits changed for H3 variations, and so on.

We could even name it "H3.75" :V

I woudn't change the combat, that is more difficult because of the perspective, and anyways H3 combat graphics, unlike map graphics, are obviously inferior...

SO, what do you think of this project and its chances to get H3 players to play? :V
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phe
phe


Famous Hero
Life and Freedom
posted August 08, 2018 08:34 AM
Edited by phe at 09:41, 08 Aug 2018.

NimoStar said:

We could even name it "H3.75"

better name it H4.3...

would it be joined factions like in H4 or separate like in H3?
would creatures have upgrades?  
would these creatures still stand and move astride?

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Karmakeld
Karmakeld


Famous Hero
posted August 08, 2018 09:56 AM

Ask in the H3 forum to get a better answer
I think there are also other elements than just graphics that keep H3 players from playing H4. Like the major fact that heroes are featured in the battlefield. To my understanding, it's the game mechanics that most incarnated H3 fans despites, and that you can't change. I think you would mostly attract H3 players who already also plays H4 - like Baronus - but really you should ask the H3 fans what could make H4 attractive to them.

And obviously it's should be H4.3 haha

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Drakon-Deus
Drakon-Deus


Legendary Hero
posted August 08, 2018 11:57 AM

Yeah, this is an interesting idea, but I wouldn't be so sure that nostalgia and aesthetics are what prevent most people from liking H4 more.

For instance I've never been bothered by the aesthetics of H4 and I have some nostalgia for it as well. It's rather the gameplay that I miss from H3. But that's just my take.


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Galaad
Galaad

Hero of Order
Li mort as morz, li vif as vis
posted August 08, 2018 12:03 PM
Edited by Galaad at 12:09, 08 Aug 2018.

Nimostar said:
But their decision is based more in aesthetics and nostalgia than in actual gameplay I dare saying.


Absolutely not. If anything I played h4 out of nostalgia and I think it has the most gorgeous adventure map of all the games in the series.

Karmakeld said:
To my understanding, it's the game mechanics that most incarnated H3 fans despites, and that you can't change. I think you would mostly attract H3 players who already also plays H4 - like Baronus - but really you should ask the H3 fans what could make H4 attractive to them.


- If heroes were not on battlefield.
I know all h4 fans will tell me it's implementation, but here we are and the version we can play is the way it is.

- If creatures had upgrades.
I love to upgrade creatures. I have nothing against being able to upgrade some creatures and not others, but not none of them.
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Kipshasz
Kipshasz


Undefeatable Hero
Elvin's Darkside
posted August 08, 2018 12:34 PM

While the idea itself is interesting, the reason H4 used to be the most hated game in the series during the B.E. (Before Erwan) era, is that they tried to implement plenty of new ideas in them, and most of them were half-baked. Some were nice, some were not ( I still dislike the hero's participation in battle myself the most, aside that one other thing, I'll mention later in the post)

Also, infernopolis. oh god why. This really tied our panties in the knot.

I think that the answer to H4 is not a total graphics conversion, but rather the overhaul and overall inprovement of existing assets. kinda like turning crap into gold, esspecially the creature models.

I'd also say, if it's at all possible, give the towns their own unique layout, since the base H4 uses the one and only template for the town interior. Which was I guess a dumbing down scenario, so the new players could know which building is which, but meh, it loses part of the charm. Kinda felt like the newly built villages for the collective farm workers, identical buildings in identical land plots. BOOOOORING.


I guess this project idea is based on the H3 Succession Wars mod, However, one thing's different. The perspective. H2-3 were D2, whilst H4 is, at least the combat screen, in isometric perspective. That's the greatest challenge right here if this mod picks up. Keep that in mind.
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"Kip is the Gavin McInnes of HC" - Salamandre
"Ashan to the Trashcan", "I got PTSD from H7. " - LizardWarrior

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NimoStar
NimoStar


Promising
Famous Hero
Modding the Unmoddable
posted August 08, 2018 04:54 PM

Quote:
would it be joined factions like in H4 or separate like in H3?


Considering H4 factions have 8 creatures and H3 factions have 7, there is no way to say these are "joined" or "separate" without bias. For example H3 rampart had creatures that were distributed to other towns. Notably dwarves were made into their own faction in H5 and H7, so does this mean Rampart is a "joined" faction? I don't think so. Also, in my mod factions are already changed, for example, Dungeon is restored in a very H3 manner (minus medusas, which are now replaced by Slimes, and Manticores, which don't exist but nobody liked anyways :V)

With the correct creature graphics importing Im sure making H3 factions isn't that hard. Most creatures are already there.
The actual problem is that we are limited to 6 ingame towns.

Quote:
I think there are also other elements than just graphics that keep H3 players from playing H4. Like the major fact that heroes are featured in the battlefield.



But WoG was most important expansion mod for H3 and in fact it incorporates Commanders which are a copy of H4 heroes in the battlefield.

Quote:
I know all h4 fans will tell me it's implementation


My mod changes the implementation a bit but I gues you didn't even play it ;=)


Anyways... you can even play H4 with just creatures. You don't need to use heroes if the map doesn't have heroes-specifics mechanics.

Creatures can move and do combat, quests and scripts on their own. And I rather enjoy them moving on the adventure map (if not for some overly slow animations!)

Quote:

I'd also say, if it's at all possible, give the towns their own unique layout, since the base H4 uses the one and only template for the town interior. Which was I guess a dumbing down scenario, so the new players could know which building is which, but meh, it loses part of the charm. Kinda felt like the newly built villages for the collective farm workers, identical buildings in identical land plots. BOOOOORING.


Aside from the gratuitous yank propaganda :V
Actually all ofg H4 towns are already unique in their layouts, they just use similar ones.
But it is completely possible to change the towns to whatever graphics and layout one likes. The actual part we can't change is building dependencies and such.

Quote:
It's rather the gameplay that I miss from H3.


I don't know what H3 gameplay is "Missing" from H4, other than creature upgrades...

We could do creature upgrades by graphics replacing, recoloring and custom scripts, but this would massively downgrade the number of creatures.

There is one thing that I will admit H4 is missing and it is an ingame random map generator. But you can use custom brushes to make random maps of different templates. I know I did.

In any case I would sure like to know which H3 gameplay component is sorely missed from H4. Extremely unbalanced magic and magic vs might? :V
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Kipshasz
Kipshasz


Undefeatable Hero
Elvin's Darkside
posted August 08, 2018 05:11 PM

only uniqueness comes in the architecture style for the buildings, the layout of them is still the same.

An the collective farm village refference is true. seen more than enough examples.
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"Kip is the Gavin McInnes of HC" - Salamandre
"Ashan to the Trashcan", "I got PTSD from H7. " - LizardWarrior

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verriker
verriker


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Frank Erwinatra
posted August 08, 2018 05:25 PM

for me Heroes 4 is what it is, it is the new world of Heroes, one may take it or leave it but if you will reverse it back to be have a Heroes 3 reskin mod then you had better make a whole hog with that idea and convert it to be set in the Heroes 3 world too lol

a Heroes 4 main problem is mostly technical IMHO, there are some aesthetic criticisms with the ramshackle town screens, bad top-down battlefields and plastic feel of some adventure map structures, but I think these are not a big deal at the end of the day lol
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Drakon-Deus
Drakon-Deus


Legendary Hero
posted August 08, 2018 05:45 PM

I missed being able to recruit all creatures in town ( not choosing between two options at levels 2, 3 and 4) and to upgrade them, and the bonus that the Citadel and Castle gave to creature growth and having the Capitol.

Heroes on the battlefield and the new magic skills are other things that divided the fans but after all they're definitive for H4 and I got used to them eventually.


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Hourglass
Hourglass


Adventuring Hero
posted August 08, 2018 10:46 PM

NimoStar said:

But their decision is based more in aesthetics and nostalgia than in actual gameplay I dare saying.




I think it's safe to assume that people hanging on these forums don't play the game for nostalgic reasons. Also, I find it kinda silly to compare two games, and claim that only h3 is played for nostalgic reasons but h4 isn't. H4 is over 15 years old, so it's pretty much in grampa state when it comes to common game's lifespan.

To me h4 was a fine game, I actually that heroes joined forces with creatures. Sure the game is an oddball compared to h3 and h5, but I think there was still an interresting design choices, and they sure make the game stand up from the rest of the series.

I think what really kills the game for me is that there is no RMG. If they would have included it way back then, h4 community would look very different these days. Look no further than Ubisoft's HD edition. Since there is no expansions included (and thus no RMG), that version is not recommended and has pretty bad reputation.

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NimoStar
NimoStar


Promising
Famous Hero
Modding the Unmoddable
posted August 09, 2018 05:16 AM

Quote:
reskin mod then you had better make a whole hog with that idea and convert it to be set in the Heroes 3 world too lol


There's nothing that prevents having maps set in either of the worlds. In fact if you would import isometric renders of H5,6,and7 structures and terrains, you could have H5-like graphics on H4 too :V

Looks here  for an example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Xu4yPE97bs

This is why Isometirc perspective is the most flexible.

Quote:
bad top-down battlefields and plastic feel of some adventure map structures


While I second the problem of the "Plastic" feel H4 sometimes has (thugh H3 has a "paper" feel since its completely 2D, look no further than creature deads animations),
I don't think the battlefield perspective is a miss. Actually the battlefield is consistent with a zoomed in view of the same isometric perspective of the adventure map, making it very intuitive and undesrtansable. For example when I see comparison videos of the Heroes evolution, it is the passage from H4 to H5 "3D battlefields" which I find disorientating; since they become confusing and much more unlike an ordered board state.

Quote:
I missed being able to recruit all creatures in town ( not choosing between two options at levels 2, 3 and 4)


I think this was a good tactical choice, but there are ways to build all creatures with scripts - as long as you don't enter the creature recruit screen.

Quote:
nd the bonus that the Citadel and Castle gave to creature growth and having the Capitol.


Well these seem relatively trivial. With a better understanding of modding structures Im sure change could be accomplished on those fronts.

However

Quote:
I think it's safe to assume that people hanging on these forums don't play the game for nostalgic reasons. Also, I find it kinda silly to compare two games, and claim that only h3 is played for nostalgic reasons but h4 isn't. H4 is over 15 years old, so it's pretty much in grampa state when it comes to common game's lifespan.


That doesn't matter, what is matters are the features. Are there any other games that have H4 gameplay features? From what I know, no. Because H4 combines RPG and TBS; so you can have "Hero party" combat and "creature stack" combat at the same time. This is appealing to me and can't be found in any other TBS game that I know of.

Whereas both H5, H6 (to a lesser extent) and H7, and of course H1 and H2 all have the basic H3 formula.
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lantranar
lantranar

Tavern Dweller
posted August 09, 2018 06:01 AM

I am still playing both H3 and H4 but more for H4. The H4 campaigns are so great (Im NOT looking at you, Winds of War) that I replay them over and over again. Thats said, many mechanics in H4 are underdeveloped that overall it was a huge miss.

- choose one creature dwelling: I actually like this, it gives meaningful choices and despite some obvious better alternatives, some actually rely on your hero builds and strategies. The problems are: not being able to convert or rechoose dwellings once they are chosen.
H3 system where every creature can be upgraded is kinda boring to me, it serves no strategic value other than resource managing early game. I would prefer H2 in the way that only some can be upgraded. The feeling when you manage to get Black Dragon is unforgetable. H5 is a pretty good combination, tho the 2 versions need more diversity in terms of gameplay and design.
Not to mention that H4 creatures are all unique, unlike in H3 there are many vanilla ones.

- hero can participate in combat: I actually like this idea, but the execution is really, really bad. It has a nice line-of-sight system but the isometric view is confusing as hell. Very often I have lined up a whole defense line in front of the hero to protect it but some enemies can still snipe it. Your and enemy's start point in the battle field are also asymmetrical, which is just weird.

- hero progression: the biggest hatred I have with H4. Heroes just doesnt feel like heroes, or they are way too specialized to be reliable. Hero leveling is a huge grind fest and the result is not as rewarding as in H3. In H3 it only takes 3 levels to max a skill and then you can jump to another, and your heroes are supposed to max out the skill limit quite soon. In H4, it takes forever to reach your hero level cap and it is impossible to fill the skill set.
I understand that the devs want encourage players to have more than one hero per party (7 slots with only around 5 creatures), but ,damn, heroes skills are underwhelming. The lack of hero specialty is also one I miss. Dual-class specialty is nice but it also limit your hero build at the same time, some times the reward from 3 spell skills is less effective than 2.

- adventure map: personally I like the aesthetics of the map in H4, it looks magical (tho a bit too childish at the same time). The town models are a big letdown tho. Creature dwellings looks graet, especially the higher tier ones.

- spell system: thematically it sounds good to have spells divided into ideologies, but it limits hero build too much. I like how spells are more universal in H3.

Quote:
That doesn't matter, what is matters are the features. Are there any other games that have H4 gameplay features? From what I know, no. Because H4 combines RPG and TBS; so you can have "Hero party" combat and "creature stack" combat at the same time. This is appealing to me and can't be found in any other TBS game that I know of.



I agree, H4 is a unique Hmm game and so far, there isnt any similar game yet. The closest I have seen is Age of wonder 2, but it is more like a 4x game.

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NimoStar
NimoStar


Promising
Famous Hero
Modding the Unmoddable
posted August 09, 2018 07:16 AM

Quote:
- choose one creature dwelling: I actually like this, it gives meaningful choices and despite some obvious better alternatives, some actually rely on your hero builds and strategies. The problems are: not being able to convert or rechoose dwellings once they are chosen.
H3 system where every creature can be upgraded is kinda boring to me, it serves no strategic value other than resource managing early game. I would prefer H2 in the way that only some can be upgraded. The feeling when you manage to get Black Dragon is unforgetable. H5 is a pretty good combination, tho the 2 versions need more diversity in terms of gameplay and design.
Not to mention that H4 creatures are all unique, unlike in H3 there are many vanilla ones.


I agree with your points here.

In my mod I have changed the creatures so there are not "auto decisions" of the obviously better creature like before. So if you are tired of choosing the same creature over and over, I reccomend for you to try it. I have also made them even more unique with extra abilities.

The H3 creatures mostly differ by base stats and not special traits in most cases. Specially the un-upgraded ones. And I don't like in that sense that town progression has always the exact same end point.

Perhaps giving the option Demolish Building which is like the one that was given to H3 (by right-clicking it) would be the appropiate answer to not being able to change builds. I agree that this would make it different.

Quote:
- hero progression: the biggest hatred I have with H4. Heroes just doesnt feel like heroes, or they are way too specialized to be reliable. Hero leveling is a huge grind fest and the result is not as rewarding as in H3. In H3 it only takes 3 levels to max a skill and then you can jump to another, and your heroes are supposed to max out the skill limit quite soon. In H4, it takes forever to reach your hero level cap and it is impossible to fill the skill set.
I understand that the devs want encourage players to have more than one hero per party (7 slots with only around 5 creatures), but ,damn, heroes skills are underwhelming. The lack of hero specialty is also one I miss. Dual-class specialty is nice but it also limit your hero build at the same time, some times the reward from 3 spell skills is less effective than 2.



I know about that, I have been trying to change the class specialties to be better but the limited number of hardcoded abilities makes it relatively hard, not to mention changing the strings (that can only be done manually by hex editing too).

- I don't mind not being able to "max" the hero in normal gameplay, the point was never maxing. But I am sure bothered by the restrictions on which skills you pick - for example, you need grand master herbology and meditation to take grandmaster nature magic. While the end result is very powerful I think each should have value by itself (herbologuy and meditation) instead of being just a clone grinding for another skill. OF this I have complained since the start but sadly there is nothing we can do without the source code. The prerequisites are baked in and it would take an expert to look into that, never mind the skill abilities...
Other point is that you can have no maxed hero without magic - there are five main slots and only four nonmagic main skills-

http://heroescommunity.com/viewthread.php3?TID=42530

***

In short the only hope to adress every gameplay shortcoming which everyone agrees is bad (limited hero builds, being the most obvious, which affects both combat and creatures - see Tactics, Offense and Defense skills) would be getting the source from a NWC employee, other than a complete rebuilding like VCMI. http://heroescommunity.com/viewthread.php3?TID=44979
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