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Heroes Community > Heroes 3.5 - WoG and Beyond > Thread: Balancing OP spells with XP/skill point cost
Thread: Balancing OP spells with XP/skill point cost
NimoStar
NimoStar


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Modding the Unmoddable
posted July 05, 2021 12:26 AM

Balancing OP spells with XP/skill point cost

Well, my idea isn't exactly original since it comes from Dungeons and Dragons from even the first edition. But if it works, why not? A lot of H3 is taken from that to begin with, like XP, primary skills and hero levels in the first place.

Now there are several ways to do this, some are easier than others.

- Permanent primary skill loss:
"Each time you cast Town Gate, lose 1 Knowledge."
Advantage is this is very easy, "disadvantage" is this cost is really steep so you better make good use of the spell advantage and don't abuse it.

- XP spend:
"Each time you cast Dimension Door, lose 1000 XP"
Now, this should be made in a certain way that you cannot "go down in level". Going down in level would be a whole different programming scheme, so basically the XP is only XP til next level, and you are losing progression there, but not primary or secondary skills. Care should be taken to not let you cats this if you don't have enough XP left after levelling up.
Conversely this "cost" doesn't really "cost" you in the present, only in an hypotethical future. While certainly a greater cost than "nothing", perhaps this isn't "expensive" enough for things like Dimension Door.

- Hybrid:
Finally both could be used, with more normal spells like Armageddon costing XP only, but more adventure-unbalanced spells like Dimension Door costing a full skill point (probably in Knowledge or Power).

Last and also least
- Secondary skill cost:
Casting certain spells could cause a secondary skill level loss, like a loss of Wisdom on in your Magic if you cast it at advanced or expert level. I don't favor this system since getting them back becomes harder the more levels you advance (unless a new way of getting them back is included), but put it here for completeness.

Spells which should have additional cast costs:
- Dimension Door
- Fly
- Water Walk
- Berserk

This may help unban the normally banned mobility spells.

Spells which could have additional costs:
- Armageddon ?
- Ressurrection ?
- Animate Dead ?
- Summon Elementals (Water/Fire/Earth/Air)? (could have XP cost equal to their summoned HP.)

The skill point cost may be combined with the WoG rule about skill enhancing map items being revisitable each month, allowing a replenish per month so as to not lose all your primary skills like this.

Wut do you think?
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Baronus
Baronus


Promising
Legendary Hero
posted July 05, 2021 07:36 PM

Yes in H3 is too easty learn all spells. So I prefer H4 system. I was made something like H4 spell tree for H3. You must have Expert not only Knowledge but elemental skill too. To have all spells you need 5 full skills learned. Next quest is ballance.

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sibylrubin
sibylrubin

Tavern Dweller
posted July 12, 2021 10:53 AM

I agree with above.
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Galaad
Galaad

Hero of Order
Li mort as morz, li vif as vis
posted July 12, 2021 12:02 PM

One idea I had about combat spells is to restrict the ability of non-magic heroes to cast it at more than basic level.
I also think might heroes should not be able to learn high level spells.

For adventure spells, maybe introduce a specific class for it. I mean something like a hero able to cast these spells (or at least to the current extent) would be at a clear disadvantage in case of getting caught in a combat.
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Doomforge
Doomforge


Admirable
Undefeatable Hero
Retired Hero
posted July 12, 2021 09:10 PM
Edited by Doomforge at 21:11, 12 Jul 2021.

Lose 1 knowledge? Sounds fun for Crag Hack. He's dumb anyway, all his knowledge comes from artifacts. Imposes a lot of penalty on mages, though, those with KL preference in particular.

Unsure on the exp penalty. See, at a certain point and thanks to the XP curve, getting more levels stops being important. The extra artifacts/units/goodies acquired by DD spam would be worth more than getting an extra +1 stat (which takes an eternity to get) so after getting 8 expert skills there is essentially no penalty. A strange case where after a certain "breakpoint" the spell becomes its current self, but it's pretty much useless before that as its utility comes from the spammability.

Not sure on whether we need to restrict those. I prefer a different approach: make them universal (like magic missile) to make non-earth or non-air builds viable, and on maps where TP/DD goes against what the mapmaker intended - simply ban it or introduce it as scroll spell only. Not sure if I'd want a general rule enforced. That would make things a lot more annoying in single player. Anyone who played HoMM2: Price of Loyalty campaigns, "Descendants" in particular, would instantly recognize the uttermost pain of being denied TP/DD against everpresent enemy heroes trying to steal your castles, coming from all directions... indefinitely. It's not fun at all, it's in fact the single most tedius thing that can happen in that game. No thanks.

Galaad said:
One idea I had about combat spells is to restrict the ability of non-magic heroes to cast it at more than basic level.


In HotA, intelligence was nerfed because mages were OP.

If you restrict might from best spells in the game, nobody will play might heroes.

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Salamandre
Salamandre


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
Wog refugee
posted July 12, 2021 09:22 PM

Depends. The way I would do it is magic heroes ho offense/armorer/logistic, might heroes now mass spells.

But that should have been balanced and tested 20 years ago, now with 1 billion of maps around, nobody would try such radical changes.

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boho
boho


Hired Hero
posted July 17, 2021 02:51 AM
Edited by boho at 02:59, 17 Jul 2021.

Id do something like Heroes 6: Town Portal is Universal (its crippling to build variety as-is), counts as a level 1 spell, and is automatically granted when visiting a level 5 mage guild.

Casting it requires all remaining mana and movement, plus 10k gold or 10% of your current treasury, whichever is higher.

XP/Skill points is too much to ask, and is both player hostile and easily exploited.

Water Walk is fine as long as the water is normally traversable, so it should be controlled by the map designer.

DDoor breaks map design and is just too problematic to allow in any serious game.

Fly usually breaks map design but also has some creative use, so it should be disabled by default and only enabled by the map maker.

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Delbin
Delbin

Tavern Dweller
posted January 12, 2022 02:24 AM

NimoStar said:
Balancing OP spells with XP/skill point cost


What's an OP?

I have been playing HOMM3 for a long time and recently started playing HotA. I notice that there's no Dimension Door, Town Portal, Fly, etc.

I don't see an option where we can specify rules for the game before playing the map other than enable/disable tournament rules, which is open to interpretation on whatever it means.

If DD, TP, etc are disallowed, this should have been clear at the start before playing the map rather than find out later where the hell is it.

I have even tried equipment my hero with the spellbinder hat and book of magics, and only see limited number of adventure spells. I think this is really weird.

Is it possible to disable HotA from disabling TP, DD, Fly, etc.? Thanks.
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Salamandre
Salamandre


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
Wog refugee
posted January 12, 2022 02:30 AM

Hota doesn't remove those spells, only disables them from artifacts giving them previously (as Spellbinder hat) if the mapmaker disabled them in map requirements. So, your problem comes from the map you play, check in editor -> spells column.

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gnollking
gnollking


Supreme Hero
posted January 12, 2022 02:45 AM

Delbin said:
I don't see an option where we can specify rules for the game before playing the map other than enable/disable tournament rules, which is open to interpretation on whatever it means.

If DD, TP, etc are disallowed, this should have been clear at the start before playing the map rather than find out later where the hell is it.


Yes, the options to disable and enable spells/artifacts/skills/etc are determined by the map itself, not some weird HotA decisions. A good map will tell you when specific spells are disabled beforehand, this has nothing to do with HotA or any options you choose in HD mod or any other place.

Delbin said:
I have even tried equipment my hero with the spellbinder hat and book of magics, and only see limited number of adventure spells. I think this is really weird.


What a great comment to show everyone you have no idea how the spell system works .

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Salamandre
Salamandre


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
Wog refugee
posted January 12, 2022 05:22 AM

Well, he is right, in Vanilla no matter what map restrictions are set, using relics giving spells will bypass that, so mapmakers only had to uncheck spells then give later the relic. It is Hota which changed that, making tons of vanilla maps suddenly unplayable.

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gatecrasher
gatecrasher


Famous Hero
posted January 12, 2022 04:18 PM

Another take at making the game tedious for the sake of "balance"?
No thanks. There is this one proposal I could agree with:
Making Town Portal/Dimension Door part of all magic schools just like Magic Arrow. Would make Earth Magic a bit less of a must-have.

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NimoStar
NimoStar


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Modding the Unmoddable
posted January 12, 2022 05:09 PM
Edited by NimoStar at 17:10, 12 Jan 2022.

Losing XP or gold doesn't make the game tedious

If anything those tyhings have a way to accumulate in the late game without being much useful, so this makes the game more fun by giving them other uses


Another way to balance it would be having to sacrifice artifacts to cast Dimension Door but this would give too much advantage to towns with Artifact Mercvhants. If that is implemented Artiofact Merchants would have to be universal ()maybe give a bonus to pre-existing artifact enabled towns, such as an artifact merchant library-like building)
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Hourglass
Hourglass


Famous Hero
posted January 12, 2022 08:50 PM

First of all, we would need to think why exactly we would want to balance those spells.

I don't personally see much reason to make balance changes in order to polish the single player gameplay. If you're only up against yourself, you can think of your own rules, such as only allowing you to use certain spells for only few times per day/week. I also think the fun in those kinds of games the fun is coming from how effectively/fast you're able to beat down the AI (i.e keeping track of your score etc.) AI doesn't have feelings, and it doesn't care if it completely loses the game. Also, the player would still have a massive advantage even if all towns/spells/strategies were evenly good.

If the balance changes were done because of trying to reach competitively "perfect" game, then that's much bigger issue than trying to fix few things here and there. Basically the whole spell system would need to be completely rethought. For example, if you think the "metagame", it's all about trying to get hero with Earth magic, and doing it as soon as possible.
For example, I'm not sure if all players even realize how dominating Earth magic is. Vast majority of all games are basically about trying to level up Beastmaster or Overlord, as those have the highest changes of learning the skill at level 4. Basically there's no way you're making something like Water magic work, because if you try to do that and your opponent gets an early Earth, he can do way trickier fights, which means bigger and better loot. Now, with better prizes he can push his advantage even more. The late game setup doesn't look very promising at that point: because opponent had earth magic early, he had time to conquer vast majority of the map, and you're stuck with only the leftovers. At that point, your odds of winning are either hoping that opponent's bigger area was somehow worse than yours, or that he makes a mistake - your faith is no longer on your own hands.

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