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Heroes Community > Heroes 3.5 - WoG and Beyond > Thread: "Another Heroes 3 mod" by BTB is better than HotA
Thread: "Another Heroes 3 mod" by BTB is better than HotA This thread is 3 pages long: 1 2 3 · NEXT»
Gandalf196
Gandalf196


Disgraceful
Supreme Hero
posted February 02, 2023 03:03 PM

"Another Heroes 3 mod" by BTB is better than HotA

It is and I'm tired to pretend it is not
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portus
portus


Adventuring Hero
posted February 02, 2023 04:03 PM
Edited by portus at 16:08, 02 Feb 2023.

I wouldn't necessarily say it's better or worse, I guess it's a matter of tastes. But as I said just yesterday in its thread, I find aH3m more successful at sticking to the source material.

While HotA addresses several flaws from the original game, I prefer BTB's axe-wielding approach, straightforward eliminating stuff and recycling either some ideas worth saving or the space in the code left behind by those that aren't, like Eagle Eye and its ilk. Wherever aH3m innovates, I don't feel it goes over the edge, that's why I consider it close to the source material.

Cove is as official-looking as it gets (also the different town appearances depending on fort/citadel/castle built) and I have had a lot of fun with it, but I find more intriguing those aH3m changes that are subtle yet foundation-shaking such as the whole magic stuff, the war machines and the scarcity of ammo, just to name a few examples.

EDIT: Also, HotA's policy against being modded, while fair enough, probably is a source of frustration for many fans.

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yogi
yogi


Promising
Famous Hero
of picnics
posted February 02, 2023 04:40 PM

ty Gandalf!

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yogi - class: monk | status: healthy
"Lol we are HC'ers.. The same tribe.. Guy!" ~Ghost

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Macron1
Macron1


Supreme Hero
posted February 02, 2023 05:17 PM

Everything is better than HotA

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BTB
BTB


Famous Hero
Moist & Creamy
posted February 02, 2023 10:05 PM

On a technical level, I have a great deal of respect for HotA. Cove looks for all the world like it could have been in the original game as does everything else they've added, which is no small feat. From a design standpoint, I feel its inclusion was unnecessary. There's already one tacked-on faction that sticks out like a sore thumb, and my approach would have been to fix that before the thought of adding anything else ever crossed my mind.

I do like the "axe-wielding approach" comment, though, because the other thing I think a lot of mods in general (not just H3) are often not willing to do are trash/rework ideas that just don't serve the greater picture.

Anyway, this is very humbling. I appreciate the nod and I'm glad that people have been enjoying my work.

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Gandalf196
Gandalf196


Disgraceful
Supreme Hero
posted February 02, 2023 10:29 PM

BTB said:
On a technical level, I have a great deal of respect for HotA. Cove looks for all the world like it could have been in the original game as does everything else they've added, which is no small feat. From a design standpoint, I feel its inclusion was unnecessary. There's already one tacked-on faction that sticks out like a sore thumb, and my approach would have been to fix that before the thought of adding anything else ever crossed my mind.

I do like the "axe-wielding approach" comment, though, because the other thing I think a lot of mods in general (not just H3) are often not willing to do are trash/rework ideas that just don't serve the greater picture.

Anyway, this is very humbling. I appreciate the nod and I'm glad that people have been enjoying my work.


So much this!
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gnollking
gnollking


Supreme Hero
posted February 03, 2023 12:31 AM
Edited by gnollking at 00:34, 03 Feb 2023.

portus said:
EDIT: Also, HotA's policy against being modded, while fair enough, probably is a source of frustration for many fans.

I really really really love HotA. But even the most hardcore fanboys just cannot defend this. Imagine the possibilities if HotA was fully open-source... We would have world peace . Someone leak the source already!

(But I also dread seeing the source, it's probably full of comments and variables in Russian.)
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VMaiko
VMaiko


Known Hero
posted February 03, 2023 01:06 AM

gnollking said:
portus said:
EDIT: Also, HotA's policy against being modded, while fair enough, probably is a source of frustration for many fans.

I really really really love HotA. But even the most hardcore fanboys just cannot defend this. Imagine the possibilities if HotA was fully open-source... We would have world peace . Someone leak the source already!

(But I also dread seeing the source, it's probably full of comments and variables in Russian.)


With DoR that won't happen, they don't want to make the same big mistake as HotA and because they are aware that nowadays there are users who want to free their imagination and modify a game to their comfort.

I admit that if HotA had never closed in on their own development without allowing others to free their imagination and do it themselves, I would never hate them.

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NimoStar
NimoStar


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Modding the Unmoddable
posted February 03, 2023 02:15 AM
Edited by NimoStar at 02:20, 03 Feb 2023.

But it has a worse name so nobody will notice it

I propose

"RAMSES IRON MAIDEN EGYPT METALLIC MOD"

Quote:
Everything is better than HotA


HotA, on the other side, is the Eagle Eye of mods: Looks flashy, has functions such as interference that don't fit with the rest of the game philosophy, is way overdesigned for the little utility it provides.

***

Also, BTB at least helps other people modding so there is that.
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Never changing = never improving

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BTB
BTB


Famous Hero
Moist & Creamy
posted February 03, 2023 02:17 AM
Edited by BTB at 02:20, 03 Feb 2023.

I won't get too deep into it, but I see a fundamental irony in being secretive about a modding project. Modding in general is a hobby that lends itself to sharing information because you are reverse-engineering a closed-source project, so the HotA approach is very oxymoronic to me and unlike any other modding community I've ever been a part of.

It seems by and large to be a cultural divide, because they seem to not only not understand the desire to share information in my dealings with them, but they're flat-out insulted by the suggestion.

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gnollking
gnollking


Supreme Hero
posted February 03, 2023 02:46 AM
Edited by gnollking at 10:30, 03 Feb 2023.

NimoStar said:
HotA, on the other side, is the Eagle Eye of mods: Looks flashy, has functions such as interference that don't fit with the rest of the game philosophy, is way overdesigned for the little utility it provides.

This is a very subjective opinion, spoken truly as someone with no regard to the online community. You will have a hard time finding an online game not using HotA. This is, of course fine, single player mods have their place, but for me they often change too much about the core game to be interesting and balanced enough for more than a couple games. The ideal goal is a game that stays true to the original, with no crazy changes. I'm really excited to see what DoR brings to the table, hoping they will not fall into the trap that the HotA devs did by not releasing their full source.
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NimoStar
NimoStar


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Modding the Unmoddable
posted February 03, 2023 02:51 AM
Edited by NimoStar at 02:54, 03 Feb 2023.

Quote:
You will have a hard time finding an online game not using HotA


Which is only a problem because HotA exists, so another reason to despise it

I do agree with the part of "hota never changes"; tho, that is actually due to the developers being quite lazy I reckon, not releasing updates in 3 years.

Real online games release regular balance and bug patches, not "if it doesn't even work, don't fix it".
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Never changing = never improving

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BTB
BTB


Famous Hero
Moist & Creamy
posted February 03, 2023 03:43 AM

I'm not going to brag, but I can say that AH3M has been designed to be as user friendly as possible. I've rejected many suggestions to turn my mod into a plugin in favor of having a simple installation script that even someone with zero computer literacy can use.

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ceceron
ceceron

Tavern Dweller
posted February 03, 2023 03:44 PM

I have to disagree with the highly opinionated topic title.

Comparing Another Heroes 3 Mod (AH3M) to HOTA is quite pointless. HOTA feels like another expansion to HoMM3 (maybe even more polished than AB), while AH3M feels just... like a very good mod.

In fact, the only people I know, who complain about HOTA, are other modders mostly because they have very strong opinions and disapprove HOTA's closed development style. But... the games are mostly made for gamers, not for modders, and in this area HOTA managed to resurrect interest in HoMM3, especially in the online multiplayer (but not only). Even my wife, who is a very conservative HoMM3 player, enjoys HOTA, while all the other mods (including AH3M) seem to her strange and unpolished.

And sure, I also agree that nerfing logistics is stupid and fixing useless skills would be great, but... neither AB nor SOD has fixed them and nobody holds it against the original expansions. As long as the mod doesn't feel as a proper expansion with a level of polish and original[1] content comparable to the original one, the mod isn't comparable to HOTA _(&#12484_/

[1] reusing the original graphic to create new creatures/artifacts is definitely not the way; new things should be new; old things should be kept as close to the original as possible.


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Gandalf196
Gandalf196


Disgraceful
Supreme Hero
posted February 03, 2023 04:06 PM

I respect your opinion, especially when you talk about HotA being more fleshed out than Shadow of Death. I'd add, it is much more fleshed out than Armaggedon's Blade too; in BTB's own words, "Conflux sticks out like a sore thumb", to what I add, "while Cove blends beautifully with the rest". However, gameplay-wise, Heroes III misses the mark bigtime in a lot of ways. There's lots and lots there that should have been cut out in the first multiplayer tests (provided those actually happened). Our boy BTB had the wisdom to poleaxe what needed to go. That is, while HotA kept the spirit of the original game alive, AH3M winnowed the game towards perfection.
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purerogue
purerogue


Known Hero
posted February 03, 2023 04:43 PM

NimoStar said:
HotA, on the other side, is the Eagle Eye of mods: Looks flashy, has functions such as interference that don't fit with the rest of the game philosophy, is way overdesigned for the little utility it provides.


I have a better insult.
It's the mongrel snow love child of a camping expedition gone wrong.

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ceceron
ceceron

Tavern Dweller
posted February 03, 2023 04:57 PM

Gandalf196 said:
That is, while HotA kept the spirit of the original game alive, AH3M winnowed the game towards perfection.


I could agree, that AH3M improves the HoMM3, but... most HoMM3 players I know want to play HoMM3 because... they already like how the HoMM3 works. Therefore, HotA satisfies their needs. Obviously, you and the other people may prefer to change HoMM3 in another direction nothing wrong in that, but I would be surprised if this approach was able to gather such large enthusiasm / player base as HotA

I, for myself, when tired of the HoMM3 obvious faults, just switch to HoMM4 or HoMM2

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BTB
BTB


Famous Hero
Moist & Creamy
posted February 03, 2023 10:39 PM

ceceron said:
I could agree, that AH3M improves the HoMM3, but... most HoMM3 players I know want to play HoMM3 because... they already like how the HoMM3 works.


I feel this is a critically important point, actually.

I butt heads a lot with HD Mod - which AH3M is built on top of - because it (and, by extension, HotA), was designed by people who were WAY too familiar with the base game and by and large for those same people. Case in point, installing HD mod defaults the "quick combat" option to on. This is an absolutely terrible design choice for reasons I have explained time and time again, but to really understand those reasons you have to be able to get yourself out of a veteran player mindset and into the mind of someone who has never played the game before.

In short, I feel that my mod and HotA are aimed at different audiences for the most part. HotA is the go-to mod for many veterans of the game, whereas the majority of people who I have gotten to play AH3M had never played (or sometimes even heard of) the original. Of course, there's exceptions and overlap - you don't have to dislike one to like the other. But just like with my Final Fantasy VI mod, the people who have never played the original game tend to do better at it because they're the ones not going in with any preconceived ideas about what they're getting into.

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NimoStar
NimoStar


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Modding the Unmoddable
posted February 03, 2023 11:01 PM
Edited by NimoStar at 23:05, 03 Feb 2023.

I think the worst sin of HotA, worse even than not releasing the code possibly (but they are linked), is no emphasis on editor features and custom maps.

The need for "balance" in an unbalanced game (for example, spell research makes Eagle Eye even worse than how useless it was, yet there has been no attempt to buff/replace the skill) drives everyone to use the JC map template again and again.

This destroys the cornerstone -to me- of map fantasy games, which is the thrill of exploration, of finding new lands, monsters, triggers, treasures, stories. Instead everything is auto-generated and predictibility is king. Basically, hota is the predecessor to the failed design philosophy of the failed successor Songs of Conquest.

Yes, there is some entertainment in "meta" play, but custom maps for the base game and WoG have dozens of different metas, each one can be a puzzle and an unique gameplay challenge. This generates unlimited variety. And, ERA/WoG people lately release new patches basically every week... showing that they care, unlike other certain people.

AH3M is similar to HotA in that it doesn't introduce a deluge of confusing new content unlike WoG, but, its also better in that it improves upon flawed aspects of the core mechanics of the game such as war machines and useless skills. But HotA, despite what many people say, did infringe on basic design principles of H3 which alter the (at least single player) experience; "spell research" destroys the design of long-term spell scarcity which intends to be explicitly important with a lot of elements revolving around it (randomness of mage guilds, hero starting spells, spell scrolls, Pyramids, Scholar, and even EE). Thus in some ways, AH3M is higher fidelity than hota.

And the "open modding" aspect is just a bonus to that.
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Never changing = never improving

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Phoenix4ever
Phoenix4ever


Legendary Hero
Heroes is love, Heroes is life
posted February 03, 2023 11:35 PM

I love and hate HotA at the same time.
But with my own personal mod, it gets a 1000% better. A shame HotA content is so hard to mod though.
I will say this however:
Interference
Spell Research

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