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Heroes Community > Heroes 3.5 - WoG and Beyond > Thread: Favorite Magic system features in HOMM games and possible implentations in VCMI Mod.
Thread: Favorite Magic system features in HOMM games and possible implentations in VCMI Mod. This thread is 2 pages long: 1 2 · NEXT»
Pollo2002
Pollo2002


Famous Hero
posted November 11, 2023 12:10 AM
Edited by Pollo2002 at 00:12, 11 Nov 2023.

Favorite Magic system features in HOMM games and possible implentations in VCMI Mod.

I think I will start getting into VCMI modding now they announced they are gonna be focusing on multiplayer (was the reason i never got into VCMI)
And to tip my toes I will try a Mod that modifies the Magic system which seems relatively easy using their system (though it seems there are some limitations more on that later, there are already 2 mods in the VCMI repertory with this focus)

I have some idea of goals and what I want but I'm not sure how to achieve that goal.

I'm interesting in reading what are other people opinions on what is the ideal Magic system for them and more important WHY.

Here are some questions that are common in the magic system but sure interested in other possible questions to ask oneself. i will say I think Heroes 3 system is the worse imo of the whole series, yes from the 7 games.

1. Mass spells: How it should be achieved? Should they be separated spells? should target every intended target or just be AOE? I think there is a lot of merit to AOE spells in terms of tactical value and interesting decisions.

2. Schools of magic: Should they even exist? Why 4 and not less or more? How should exactly be separated and why? If expert magic exist, how powerful it is or what should be their effects? why?

3. Wisdom system, is this good? spells are fun and you want people to use spells, right now is even "broken" but wont get into that, but even "fixed" is this a good system?

4. How Magic guilds should work? Should be like now? rerolls? Should you be able to choose at least the "school of magic" of the school?



Below are some of my Goals i want to have in a Magic system (still interested in opinions of those with vastly different goals).

1. Focus on Multiplayer balance.

2. Reduce Spell Spam: I actually think it was Homm1 that had this right, i don't know why the system was changed, but Homm1 would make it so you are forced to use different spells. In homm2+ You always play the same 1 or 2 spells every battle for the most part. I'm considering creating a similar system if possible tough I'm not sure i can do it with VCMI through the main Modding process. For those that don't remember i Homm1, when you recorded a spell you could only use it X number of times = Knowledge, after that the spell would disappear from spellbook and had to be relearned.

3. Connected to 1 and 2. But create more interesting decisions with magic in general.


Anyway, I'm interested in general discussion on how the magic system of a HOMM game should be. Even interested if its slightly offtopic but still Magic related.
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LordCameron
LordCameron


Known Hero
Veteran of the Succession Wars
posted November 11, 2023 04:04 AM

One idea I had (not saying it is a good idea) is to make make each Tier of Wisdom take up an entire skill slot. Really have to commit to make that final push to the end. Same could be done for schools of magic.

Mass spells should definitely be their own spells.

Related I think Eagle Eye should store whatever spell it sees at the level, School, and maybe even caster spell power it sees it cast. And should start at 100%.


I'll add more ideas as I think of them.

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Macron1
Macron1


Supreme Hero
posted November 11, 2023 07:45 AM

At least i would add Death Magic spell school - for necromancy spells. And separate Hypnotize and other mind spells to Mind Magic.

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MattII
MattII


Legendary Hero
posted November 11, 2023 10:59 AM
Edited by MattII at 11:02, 11 Nov 2023.

IMO the problem with Wisdom isn't in the the skill itself, but rather, the relative lack of effect that the magic school skills have.
Take Lightning Bolt f.e. In Heroes 3, it does ((power x 25) + 10) damage at unskilled and Basic level, ((power x 25) + 20) at Advanced, and ((power x 25) + 50) damage at Expert level.
Now compare than to Heroes 5, where the same (named) spell does ((power x 11) + 11) damage at unskilled level, ((power x 14) + 14) at Basic level, ((power x 17) + 17) at Advance and ((power x 20) + 20) damage at Expert level.

So in Heroes 3, an unskilled hero at 10 power would do more damage (260) with the spell than a hero with Expert Air Magic at eight power (250). In Heroes 5 though, that doesn't even hold for a hero with Basic Air Magic, with the unskilled hero (with 10 power) doing 121 damage, and the Basic-level hero (8 power) doing 126 damage, While a hero at Expert level would just about break even (120 damage) with just 5 power.

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Pollo2002
Pollo2002


Famous Hero
posted November 11, 2023 12:39 PM

MattII said:
IMO the problem with Wisdom isn't in the the skill itself, but rather, the relative lack of effect that the magic school skills have.
Take Lightning Bolt f.e. In Heroes 3, it does ((power x 25) + 10) damage at unskilled and Basic level, ((power x 25) + 20) at Advanced, and ((power x 25) + 50) damage at Expert level.
Now compare than to Heroes 5, where the same (named) spell does ((power x 11) + 11) damage at unskilled level, ((power x 14) + 14) at Basic level, ((power x 17) + 17) at Advance and ((power x 20) + 20) damage at Expert level.

So in Heroes 3, an unskilled hero at 10 power would do more damage (260) with the spell than a hero with Expert Air Magic at eight power (250). In Heroes 5 though, that doesn't even hold for a hero with Basic Air Magic, with the unskilled hero (with 10 power) doing 121 damage, and the Basic-level hero (8 power) doing 126 damage, While a hero at Expert level would just about break even (120 damage) with just 5 power.


Im really confused here, what does this have to do with wisdom? Wisdom just allows you to learn higher level spells.
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MattII
MattII


Legendary Hero
posted November 11, 2023 06:28 PM

Sorry, guess I was forgetting that spell-school skills in Heroes 3 also don't allow you to learn spells above level 2 the way they do in Heroes 5. That would be another change, spell-school skills allow you to learn level 3/4/5 spells in that particular school.

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Star_mage
Star_mage


Hired Hero
posted November 11, 2023 09:59 PM
Edited by Star_mage at 22:00, 11 Nov 2023.

Macron1 said:
At least i would add Death Magic spell school - for necromancy spells. And separate Hypnotize and other mind spells to Mind Magic.


My very brief insight about this topic is...

- the same as Macron's regarding the spell schools -> as many as possible (from a concept point of view): Light (destroy undead, blind), Darkness (Death Ripple and animate dead), psychic (hypnotize, forgetfullness etc).

- mass spells as separate spells

- most of the magic skills to become unavailable to might heroes and vice versa; with exceptions like battle mage which should get might skills.

- introducing...a neeeew teeeechnologyyy: cooldown on spells...yes, innovative, i know right? /sarcasm

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Phoenix4ever
Phoenix4ever


Legendary Hero
Heroes is love, Heroes is life
posted November 11, 2023 11:26 PM
Edited by Phoenix4ever at 23:32, 11 Nov 2023.

I agree that mass spells should be separated from single target spells and they should probably be about 2 levels higher than the single target versions.

Light and Dark magic could have been interesting.

Maybe a school only for adventure spells or include this in Wisdom, so we can avoid situations like being forced to pick Earth Magic, because of Town Portal and Air Magic, because of Dimension Door and Fly.

Cooldown on spells, from 1-3 turns depending on how strong the spell is, would be welcome, so you can't spam the same spell over and over.
Maybe also some kind of countdown mechanic, so it would take 2 turns to prepare Armageddon or Implosion for example, so you have time to prepare yourself with Protection from Fire/Earth or Anti-Magic.

In most cases level 4-5 damage spells also feels way too powerful, especially with the elemental orbs. They also benefit very little from magic schools, so I think the solution to make them much weaker without magic school would be a good one.

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Hourglass
Hourglass


Famous Hero
posted November 12, 2023 12:15 AM

Pollo2002 said:

1. Mass spells: How it should be achieved? Should they be separated spells? should target every intended target or just be AOE? I think there is a lot of merit to AOE spells in terms of tactical value and interesting decisions.

One way of achieving this with the lines of the current game would be to give player both spells: the single target one and also the mass spell. Mass spells would be added to spell book when hero learn masters the chosen school of magic skill. Then, incresing the cost of the mass spell, say doubling, perhaps tripling the cost. Or perhaps the cost should be thought individually for each spell.

Additionally, I would thought of changing the duration system. Perhaps changing how the duration works for mass spells, perhaps 2 spell power should mean 1 duration.

I think from these ingredients alone one could form a spell system that reminds the old system, is still fun and more decision based, but somewhat changes things that the most efficient spells are as spammable and there are no more easy decision making.

I wouldn't make separate mass spells for mage guild purposes. That would add like 20+ new spells, the mage guild learning %'s should be changed to something that they currently aren't at all. One idea could be to add individual spells for most broken mass spells like Haste and Slow, but honestly like my initial idea more.

Pollo2002 said:

2. Schools of magic: Should they even exist? Why 4 and not less or more? How should exactly be separated and why? If expert magic exist, how powerful it is or what should be their effects? why?

Yes, they should exist. There are dedicated skills for each magic school, and the schools play a big part in hero building. If the schools would be more in line of each other, then there would even more decision making, and the advantages of the 4 school system would be more visible.

Four schools is pretty much a must - there are 4 elements after all. I think I'm in minority when I say it, but I like how the spells are divided in Homm3 (well, let's say most part). The system that is used in Homm4 and Homm5 tends to push the player to interract the field with one method only.

Pollo2002 said:

3. Wisdom system, is this good? spells are fun and you want people to use spells, right now is even "broken" but wont get into that, but even "fixed" is this a good system?

I don't think the current system is perfect, but I don't think there's that much reason of changing it, either. What I would consider, thou, is the fact that basically all magic heroes starting with Wisdom. Now, it's somewhat understandable, but this basically has lead for every other hero starting with pretty similiar set of secondary skills. I think there could be more changes for versatility. After all, and while it's not really been discussed, Wisdom is a pretty weak starting skill, especially since learning it at the course of the game is made guaranteed for every single hero.

Pollo2002 said:

4. How Magic guilds should work? Should be like now? rerolls? Should you be able to choose at least the "school of magic" of the school?

I think the current "all spells handed at random" is pretty good. Hota's reroll system is also quite good overall and works well imo in MP styled competitive enviroments. In single player enviroments, there's more time and resources, and players can optimize their mage guilds to only consist of all great spells. However, since the topic was more about MP, I would perhaps think of something similar.
However, when speaking about mage guilds, I really can't stress enough about the schools of magic being more "balanced" when comparing to each other. In order for VCMI to have it's own interesting gameplay, I would really enjoy new spells being added(since there it's possible), while some spells that aren't being used either being buffed or being removed from mage guilds, you could still come across a shrine or scroll that could give you a certain "banned" spell.
While in topic, I would also take a closer look at Mage guild level 3. It has always felt that it's such a filler MG when compared to rest of the level, excluding necro ofc. I think there should be more useful spell in that level too, since player has already invested quite a lot  at that point in order to build it, and having a hero that can learn the spells (eg having Wisdom)

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Pollo2002
Pollo2002


Famous Hero
posted November 12, 2023 12:50 AM
Edited by Pollo2002 at 00:53, 12 Nov 2023.

Interesting nobody is talking about AOE.

People say there should be magic schools, but I don't see much justifications. Heroes 2 doesn't have schools of magic and I would say the system works better in heroes 2. Heroes 3 kinda tell me schools of magic is the wrong approach and honestly later heroes don't do much to convince me they are a good idea either.

I do think if i have school sof magic, the SS of the schools would be DRAMATICALLY nerfed.


My problem with Wisdom is that if everybody MUST have it, then why even create the skill. Secondary skills should be "paths" you choose, not something you NEED.
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LordCameron
LordCameron


Known Hero
Veteran of the Succession Wars
posted November 12, 2023 05:05 AM

Here's an idea for spell schools: Most spells shouldn't belong to a school. And shrink the schools down to Fire, Ice, and Lightning.

Additionally spell schools now have a different behaviour. Instead of upgrading your spells they each do a unique thing.

Fire magic: Each stage increases the radius/area of effect of your fire spells by 1

Lightning Magic: Each stage increases the rate of Power scaling for damage in lightning spells. Or maybe spell effects one extra target

Ice Magic: Each stage increases base damage of ice spells

Could also be School of earth/death and mind.

Also maybe the effects of the schools could have a lesser effect on spells outside the school




Pollo2002 said:

My problem with Wisdom is that if everybody MUST have it, then why even create the skill. Secondary skills should be "paths" you choose, not something you NEED.


I agree which is why I think each stage should be it's own skill as stated above. Make it a commitment to be a full mage. Maybe combine wisdom with sorcery if you do this to really triple down on the idea.


I also like the idea of decreasing the amount of spells avaible in guilds. Maybe one less per level. Also reduce the mage guild levels even more where possible maybe. So only Tower and maybe Conflux and Dungeon/Rampart even have T5 mage guild.

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MattII
MattII


Legendary Hero
posted November 12, 2023 10:45 AM
Edited by MattII at 11:09, 12 Nov 2023.

Without magic schools, a might hero will be able to (given an equal Power level), cast spells with the same effectiveness as a magic hero.

Star_mage said:
- most of the magic skills to become unavailable to might heroes and vice versa; with exceptions like battle mage which should get might skills.
F*** no! Get that H6 bullcrap out of here. One of the best aspects of the Heroes games is the 'secondary-skill sandbox'. Touching that would ruin it.

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Hourglass
Hourglass


Famous Hero
posted November 12, 2023 10:46 AM

Pollo2002 said:
Interesting nobody is talking about AOE.

I mean, it works for Berserk because it cannot be a mass spell. As for other spells, I don't think it's something that players would enjoy in general.

Pollo2002 said:

People say there should be magic schools, but I don't see much justifications. Heroes 2 doesn't have schools of magic and I would say the system works better in heroes 2. Heroes 3 kinda tell me schools of magic is the wrong approach and honestly later heroes don't do much to convince me they are a good idea either.

You sound like you have already made up your mind, so I'm not sure if there's really a place for brainstorming or discussion in general.

I would personally want to play with a system that reminds the original game. In the end, every game has their own "feel" and a way it plays out. I personally haven't seen many complaints towards the 4-school systems within all the history of Homm3, and that alone is quite telling to me. It's just something that people enjoy, a core element of Homm3 gameplay magic. People have always liked to rank and talk about magic schools, and it's still going to be topic for years to come.

You could also look this from the original developer perspective: They wanted to increase the amount of more unique effect spells to the game to make things more interesting. Then they basically run to an issue: They wanted new spells, but if the system would stay the same and each effect would require it's own spell slot, then the amount of total spells would drasticially increase, and not in a good way, as it would break the cohesiveness between games. I believe the game could have some more spells, but the spell effects should be new aka unique, not just better versions of earlier spells. Note that Homm3 has more spells even now, and this is despite each effect being listed under the same spell (basic - adv. - expert). So, the developers needed a way of getting around this, and this was done by enabling spell schools. In all honesty, four different schools isn't that much, but it still brings decision making, and spices up the hero building.

Pollo2002 said:

My problem with Wisdom is that if everybody MUST have it, then why even create the skill. Secondary skills should be "paths" you choose, not something you NEED.

I don't think Wisdom is that needed in MP to be honest. There are ways to bypass Wisdom in general by using tomes and scrolls. There's also the blue hat, but I think there could also by artifact that could give all lvl 3 spells, and also another artifact that would give lvl 4 spells. This would further make Wisdom not as needed.

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Star_mage
Star_mage


Hired Hero
posted November 12, 2023 11:06 AM
Edited by Star_mage at 11:38, 12 Nov 2023.

Pollo2002 said:



My problem with Wisdom is that if everybody MUST have it, then why even create the skill. Secondary skills should be "paths" you choose, not something you NEED.


You re talking about talent trees based on level. When you raise your level, you get point to spend on abilities/spell/upgrade your spell or ability.

This is a feature im long yearning for this game.

This way you can shape an identity for each hero/class/faction.

Quote:

F*** no! Get that H6 bullcrap out of here. One of the best aspects of the Heroes games is the 'secondary-skill sandbox'. Touching that would ruin it.


I never played heroes 6. This shows how biased and impulsive you are for not thinking for a moment that I might not even know the mechanics system of H6.

let's have a conversation as adults, that is with respect, shall we?

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MattII
MattII


Legendary Hero
posted November 12, 2023 11:55 AM

In terms of schools, I'm not tied to a given number of school, or their arrangement, I simply wish for there to be a system whereby a spell can become more effective for a given hero Power score.

Star_mage said:
Quote:

F*** no! Get that H6 bullcrap out of here. One of the best aspects of the Heroes games is the 'secondary-skill sandbox'. Touching that would ruin it.


I never played heroes 6. This shows how biased and impulsive you are for not thinking for a moment that I might not even know the mechanics system of H6.

let's have a conversation as adults, that is with respect, shall we?
I'm sorry if that came off as harsh. I'm not insulting you personally, just expressing my extreme disdain for that concept. Said change would quite honestly be a deal-breaker for me.

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RerryR
RerryR


Promising
Supreme Hero
Researching Magic
posted November 12, 2023 05:01 PM

MattII said:
In terms of schools, I'm not tied to a given number of school, or their arrangement, I simply wish for there to be a system whereby a spell can become more effective for a given hero Power score.


Not sure about VCMI, but for ERA 3 we have such a system available as a modification.

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LordCameron
LordCameron


Known Hero
Veteran of the Succession Wars
posted November 12, 2023 06:20 PM
Edited by LordCameron at 18:21, 12 Nov 2023.

Hourglass said:


You could also look this from the original developer perspective: They wanted to increase the amount of more unique effect spells to the game to make things more interesting. Then they basically run to an issue: They wanted new spells, but if the system would stay the same and each effect would require it's own spell slot, then the amount of total spells would drasticially increase, and not in a good way, as it would break the cohesiveness between games. I believe the game could have some more spells, but the spell effects should be new aka unique, not just better versions of earlier spells. Note that Homm3 has more spells even now, and this is despite each effect being listed under the same spell (basic - adv. - expert). So, the developers needed a way of getting around this, and this was done by enabling spell schools. In all honesty, four different schools isn't that much, but it still brings decision making, and spices up the hero building.



Doubling down would be interesting. Like remove Inferno and Chain lightning and make those the expert versions of Fireball and Lightning bolt.

Could also do the same for blind and paralyze. Berserk and Hypnotize (If hypnotize was made more like H2 where you got one hit and you're done)

That said I still think Mass Slow and Town Portal-Town Gate should be separated like in Homm2. They are on completely different levels of usefulness.

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MattII
MattII


Legendary Hero
posted November 12, 2023 07:02 PM

I'm honestly not so sure about mass spells. On the one hand, you definitely need spells that target more than one stack per cast, but the difference between '1' and 'all' seems pretty arbitrary. I think it would be more interesting if, instead of mass spells, a hero could cast the basic spell multiple times per round, but not enough to target all of their stacks.

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LordCameron
LordCameron


Known Hero
Veteran of the Succession Wars
posted November 12, 2023 10:25 PM

MattII said:
I'm honestly not so sure about mass spells. On the one hand, you definitely need spells that target more than one stack per cast, but the difference between '1' and 'all' seems pretty arbitrary. I think it would be more interesting if, instead of mass spells, a hero could cast the basic spell multiple times per round, but not enough to target all of their stacks.

Or just make them all like berserk

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MattII
MattII


Legendary Hero
posted November 13, 2023 07:34 AM

LordCameron said:
Or just make them all like berserk
While it would work mechanically, it sort of screws up the idea if it targets both yours and your enemy's stacks.

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