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Heroes Community > Heroes 4 - Lands of Axeoth > Thread: PlayingHeroes 4 XL-maps
Thread: PlayingHeroes 4 XL-maps [ This thread is 2 pages long: (1) 2 ]
Nidhgrin
Nidhgrin


Honorable
Famous Hero
baking cookies from stardust
posted August 16, 2002 05:04 PM

Poll Question:
PlayingHeroes 4 XL-maps


Even more than in H3, larger maps are much more interesting and challenging to play, as enemy heroes can build up really powerful armies and grow impossibly strong.  This is my interpretation of how large H4 maps should be played (assuming that you do not play on one of the lowest difficulty settings).  It's by no means perfect, but it's an interesting way to play.

A. Things I've learned:
----------------------

* Upgrades to the village hall are not as rewarding as they once were.  750 for town hall, and 1000 for city hall is not impressive.  This massively boosts the importance of goldmines!  The Estates skill (Nobility tree - Lords) gained much importance over H3 Estates.

* Citadel and Castle builds do not increase creature production.  The Nobility skill - Lords increases creature population and is an interesting skill for scouts or garisson heroes at first sight.

* Mage Guild construction and creature buildings 1-3 cost relatively low amounts of resources/gold to build.  This implies that the initial resources, or loose resources are often enough to get you lvl 3 creatures and below.

* Level 4 creature buildings are expensive and take more time to build than lvl 7 in H3.  Some serious resource saving is required to get there.

* Down from 7, now at 4 levels, the different creature levels have a much greater strength/importance difference than in H3.  In Heroes 3, a storm elemental (lvl2) could easily take out a griffin (lvl3).  In Heroes 4 however this is not longer possible.  Level one creatures are weak from the early game on.  Most level 2's are worthless after the early game.  Some level 3 creatures have a hard time beating other level 3's and certainly level 4 creatures.

* Low level heroes die fast.  Even higher level heroes without the Combat skill are very vulnerable to enemy spellcasters or ranged troops.  If the multiplayer patch eventually comes out, won't heroes become the first targets to kill during major battles?  I think so, I really do.

* High level heroes (25+) rarely level up, the experience they require to level up is so huge, a new hero would probably have 4-5 level ups for that experience.  On the other hand, high level heroes are able to kill entire armies on their own, or with just a little bit of assistance.

* Magic use IS NECESSARY and none of the schools are bad.  Only the level 3-5 spells really count though, they are the ones that decide battles.  So rather go for GM in one magic than in expert in two.  Order and Death magic are particularly devastating for enemies, while Life magic can do miracles to keep your heroes/troops alive.  Chaos magic is nice, but the damage is often resisted or insufficient.  Nature's summoning is cool, but against really large armies usually not fast enough.  3-5 Fearie dragons per turn just isn't enough sometimes.  Other spells like Dragon Strength or Mass First Strike hold a lot of power, but is it enough compared to Order and Death (or even Life)?

* Mixing alignments is a particularily bad idea.  Two friendly alignments is still bearable, but morale problems are bound to kick in if you blend in a third alignment.

* The bonuses gained by most hero subclasses are not that superb.  I take them as they come, enjoy the bonus, but don't go for this or that tree in order to become a certain subclass.  A hero with good skills in one or two trees is usually a far better hero than a hero with many undeveloped trees but a cool subclass.

* Some artifacts in the game are extremely powerful and several combos exist.

* Several creature choices are obvious (Cyclops/Ogre Mage), some of them are more difficult (Vampire/Venom Spawn).


B. My conclusions:
-----------------

* Go for creature generators fast, don't worry about your gold too much.  It doesn't go up that much by upgrading your village hall.

* Get a Lord hero in every town garisson as governor.  This earns you some money and boosts creature growth.  Be sure to let this hero join any nearby +exp structures and hope for Nobility/Estates level ups.  In maps with a limited number of towns, let these heroes join one of your your main armies for several battles to raise their Nobility (and maybe Estates).

* Use 1 creature stacks of fast cheap creatures (imps, sprites, ...) to pick up loose resources at least during the first weeks to improve your amounts of resources fast without occupying your heroes.  Even sacrifice them to pick up a really much wanted resource type (they cost only a few goldpieces anyway).

* Most level 1 and 2 creatures become worthless as the game progresses (spare Gold Golems, Medusas and Nomads or so).  Use them!  Don't be afraid to lose large numbers of them during early battles.  Conquer nearby mines quickly (always with a hero in the army to gain experience of course).  Go for goldmines and major artifacts, it's tough to lose some creatures but you probably won't need them anymore anyway, using this way of playing.

* Recruit some level 3 creatures and go do some more serious battles with your hero and this army (with some lvl 1 and 2's as well).  During this period, save up the resources needed for your level 4 creature generator.  Trade!!!  Don't wait weeks for 3-4 of a certain resource if you don't have that type of mine.  Just trade for it, this actually counts for level 3 creature dwellings too.  When you have the level 4 creature structure, then buy one or two and add them to your army.

* About your heroes: it doesn't really matter what starting skills your hero has (preferrably magic however), sooner or later he/she will need Combat (at GM eventually).  And Magic Resistance is never a bad option as well.  From level 10 (15 at latest), it's probably wise to invest in the Combat skill tree.

* Most of the time you will have purchased a second hero at day 1.  And a Lord (Nobility hero) at day 8, for in your garisson.  Here is the strange thing I discovered: Heroes of level 20 and above suck up huge amounts of gained experience.  This is most of the time a bad thing as their secondary/third tree will never reach GM anyway.  Another thing is that two heroes with identical skilltrees, especially Scouting and Tactics cancel each other out and only the highest evolved skills actually work.  I consider it unwise to have two heroes with Tactics or two heroes with Scouting in the same army.  Anyway, I split level 20 or above heroes off my main army (containing the creatures) and add new heroes to that creature army.  Doing this, you will soon have 4 great heroes.  Every one of them level 15-25 and having GM in different trees (and all having the Combat skill).  Imagine a hero with GM Order, GM Death, GM Tactics and GM Scouting (or almost at GM).  Add to that your level 3 and 4 creature stacks and you have an army that is hardly beatable anymore.  If you're in a map with lots of battles, you may even get to have 6 or 7 powerful heroes in one army, plus armies with your powerful creatures (possibly led by again new heroes).

* If you have a heroes only army (2-7 heroes which all drank an immortality potion) you can go hit and run, taking hundreds of enemy creatures out every time.  You lose nothing!  You only need to purchase immortality potions every now and then.  If you're really unlucky, you might encounter the shackles of war, which could mean a lot of suffering.  But what are the odds of that?  Besides, armies of seven heroes, all of level 15-35, are extremely powerful.  Especially when using GM magics.  Life magic if very useful in this kind of army, as is Nature to some extent.


C. Impressions:
--------------

Any feedback is welcome.  Do you have other cool ideas for playing large Heroes 4 maps?  You wish to add or change several things to the tactics described above?  Or you just totally don't agree with what I say?  Then this is your thread.  Large maps ruel!  Hero only armies ruel as well.

____________
~Vegetables don't spam~

Responses:
This smells like cheating! Hit N Run, tss! No better than exploiting game bugs.
Well Duh'uh! I've used these techniques since the first Heroes 4 map I ever played.
Dangerous to rely on heroes only man. One armageddon + the orb and you're gone dude.
Wow, great stuff, thanks! This looks really cool, I'm gonna check it out right away.
Imps rules man, u be suc!
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privatehudson
privatehudson


Responsible
Legendary Hero
The Ultimate Badass
posted August 16, 2002 05:27 PM

some interesting stuff there and nice to see someone who doesn't spend their time bashing the game! Good for newbies and food for thought for other players.


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dale
dale


Known Hero
posted August 17, 2002 03:01 AM

Very good post.  Thanks.

Quote:

* Some artifacts in the game are extremely powerful and several combos exist.



I've not run into any combos yet -- is there a listing someplace of which ones exist?

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Nidhgrin
Nidhgrin


Honorable
Famous Hero
baking cookies from stardust
posted August 17, 2002 04:55 AM

Quote:
I've not run into any combos yet -- is there a listing someplace of which ones exist?


I encountered a small number of artifact-combos.  I'll open a new thread for it righ away.  I believe there aren't any yet.
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Djive
Djive


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Zapper of Toads
posted August 17, 2002 07:32 AM

Things I've not commented on I agree with.

"* Upgrades to the village hall are not as rewarding as they once were.  750 for town hall, and 1000 for city hall is not impressive.  This massively boosts the importance of goldmines!  The Estates skill (Nobility tree - Lords) gained much importance over H3 Estates."

It's true but the money you gain do accumulate over time. So if the map is big upgrade them, because it's a worthwhile build and investment will pay off.

"I think so, I really do."

Yes, because you want to cheat the opponent from gaining any XP during the battle. On the other hand, high-level heroes with immortality potions can be very difficult to kill especially early on in combat.

"* High level heroes (25+) rarely level up, the experience they require to level up is so huge, a new hero would probably have 4-5 level ups for that experience.  On the other hand, high level heroes are able to kill entire armies on their own, or with just a little bit of assistance."

I'd like to add... Buy your Heroes tuition every chance you get. Try to get as many basic skills from external centres as possible. That way you don't need them at level-up. However, invest when you can spare the money... Don't buy tuition instead of building a creature dwelling but if you've built up the dwellings, it's better to spend money on your Hero(es) than on the town.

"* Mixing alignments is a particularily bad idea.  Two friendly alignments is still bearable, but morale problems are bound to kick in if you blend in a third alignment."

True, but players should keep in mind that they need different alignments on their Heroes in order to be able to lead all their troops. If your first two built up towns are a preserve and an academy, then you need one set of heroes to lead the preserve town and another set for the academy town.


"* The bonuses gained by most hero subclasses are not that superb.  I take them as they come, enjoy the bonus, but don't go for this or that tree in order to become a certain subclass."

I'd say: Try to get an advanced class early. That way you get a more flexible choice on skills to advance in. A skill in group 1, 1 skill in group 2, and combat. It doesn't matte much which advanced class you get, but it's good to get one.


"* Get a Lord hero in every town garisson as governor.  This earns you some money and boosts creature growth.  Be sure to let this hero join any nearby +exp structures and hope for Nobility/Estates level ups.  In maps with a limited number of towns, let these heroes join one of your your main armies for several battles to raise their Nobility (and maybe Estates)."

Give them Diplomacy also and they can become a real asset. Swayed creatures comes at half the normal buying price.


* Most level 1 and 2 creatures become worthless as the game progresses (spare Gold Golems, Medusas and Nomads or so).  Use them!  Don't be afraid to lose large numbers of them during early battles.  Conquer nearby mines quickly (always with a hero in the army to gain experience of course).  Go for goldmines and major artifacts, it's tough to lose some creatures but you probably won't need them anymore anyway, using this way of playing.

A better way to take Gold Mines is to use Thieves, in the case where you have these and not Lords. Thieves can be very effective. Let them tag along with your main army to get to expert Stealth, then they can handle themselves very well.

"* About your heroes: it doesn't really matter what starting skills your hero has (preferrably magic however), sooner or later he/she will need Combat (at GM eventually).  And Magic Resistance is never a bad option as well.  From level 10 (15 at latest), it's probably wise to invest in the Combat skill tree."

I'd not put Combat at Grand Master as essential unless you want the Hero to fight on their own without the army. In many cases having it at expert or similar gives adequate protection for many battles. Sure at Grand Master you're more difficult to kill but I find GM combat and combat classes a bit boring.

About the level up of Heroes, I'd agree but Thieves are different. They need to get higher levels because of the number of slots they've spent on Scouting. Use the Thieves Stealth ability to net you easy XP.

The XP level-up scheme is the same as in H3, which in itself is disappoining. Thta's one of the things they really should have changed.


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"A brilliant light can either illuminate or blind. How will you know which until you open your eyes?"

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Nidhgrin
Nidhgrin


Honorable
Famous Hero
baking cookies from stardust
posted August 17, 2002 02:18 PM


Cool useful things, thanks Djive.

I must disagree on one point though.
Quote:
"A better way to take Gold Mines is to use Thieves, in the case where you have these and not Lords. Thieves can be very effective. Let them tag along with your main army to get to expert Stealth, then they can handle themselves very well."

Many times gold mines are guarded by level 3 or 4 creatures, this would require your thief to have high levels of stealth - not that easy early on in the game.  I prefer to use higher level thieves during the mid-late game to sneak around defenses.

Continueing on the heroes only way of playing.  An army with one or two high level thieves with maxed out Combat skills as well can race around the map (boots, gloves) taking towns behind enemies back.  Then they recruit any available creatures in the town of the unsuspecting enemy (check before combat if that option is open) and chances are that he/she wont be able to take it back (or at least for a while).  Then they rush on, to the next weakly defended town...

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Djive
Djive


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Zapper of Toads
posted August 17, 2002 03:12 PM

Quote:
Many times gold mines are guarded by level 3 or 4 creatures, this would require your thief to have high levels of stealth - not that easy early on in the game.  I prefer to use higher level thieves during the mid-late game to sneak around defenses.


True, but the Thief is able to get that additional XP by sneaking past level 1 and level 2 troops and take the XP from chest that they were guarding.

My finding is that most guards are limited to level 2 so the Thief usually gets away with this.

Mind you level 3 stacks that guards Gold Mines are often brutal if you take them on in normal combat so a Thief with Master stealth is something you want to put a priority in getting.

The reason to split up is that the Thief is able to get that last XP to get Master and GM Stealth just as quickly with the main army as without it.

Sure, you can keep the armies close and unite them if you really need, but the Thief is very effective on its own.

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"A brilliant light can either illuminate or blind. How will you know which until you open your eyes?"

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dale
dale


Known Hero
posted August 18, 2002 01:36 PM

I usually play the order towns, and so do not have much experience using thieves.

How does the stealth skill really work?  From the description, it seems that a thief can sneak by undetected by creatures only if he does not have any creatures in his army.  Is that the way it works?  

What about a thief hero with an all thief army?

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Klauts
Klauts


Famous Hero
lost in a mourning hall!
posted August 18, 2002 02:58 PM

I agree with most thing here(expecially Town/City Hall problem)
Smth extra:
*Citadel and Castle cost too much (when u play with order and u want to have titans(needs castle) it takes a little 2 long to build)

*When u chose between Vampires and Venoms chose vampires cause when they are many they become almost invincible(on a 1 vmp vs 1 venom the vamp wins without even taking damage)


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Djive
Djive


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Zapper of Toads
posted August 18, 2002 03:02 PM

The army must be invisible to the army it sneaks by. Usually this means the Thief alone, but I guess you can mix in other thieves (of sufficient stealth) and Bandits also because they too will be invisible to low level monsters.

The Heroes gets 25% of the XP value of the creatures and the XP value is counted from the XP value of the creatures on normal levels, and it's not adjusted for difficulty level.

As an example. Say you have a stack which is worth 10000 XP on normal level.

A thief will always get 2500 XP for sneaking past them no matter which difficulty level you play on.

However, if you play on impossible level, the hero will only get a thid of the XP (that is 3333 XP) for defeating the monsters.

(On impossible level it would be usual for the stack to be three times as big as it would be on normal. What that would mean is imply that the Thief would get 7500 XP and a Hero defating it 10000 XP.)

Any one Thief can sneak past each monster stack only once during a game. (But different thieves can gain XP from the same stack.)
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"A brilliant light can either illuminate or blind. How will you know which until you open your eyes?"

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Nidhgrin
Nidhgrin


Honorable
Famous Hero
baking cookies from stardust
posted August 19, 2002 04:01 PM
Edited By: Nidhgrin on 19 Aug 2002

Quote:
A thief will always get 2500 XP for sneaking past them no matter which difficulty level you play on.

Any one Thief can sneak past each monster stack only once during a game. (But different thieves can gain XP from the same stack.)


Wow, this is incredible.  So you say if the thief sneaks past the enemy, then attacks the stack, that he/she gets full experience on normal difficulty.  I didn't know this - a must use I'd say, almost seems like a bug.  When combined with a hero only army of let's say three thieves with Combat or other secondary skilltrees this means a superb boost of experience.  Great!

Edit: the experience boost becomes even more significant on higher difficulty levels.
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Djive
Djive


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Zapper of Toads
posted August 19, 2002 04:14 PM

"Wow, this is incredible.  So you say if the thief sneaks past the enemy, then attacks the stack, that he/she gets full experience on normal difficulty."

If you have the stack of 10000 XP on normal difficulty. If say four Thieves sneak past this stack then each of the Thieves gain 2500 XP for a Total of 10000 XP. (There's even a bug so that if the Thief is carrying a Tombstone of any Hero, not necessarily a Thief then that Hero will also gain XP. Do not expect that one to remain for too long though.)

The Thieves can then fight the stack to gain another 10000 XP.

Thieves are useful but are often lacking in either Combat or Magic skills because they put so many promotions into the Scouting skill.

Right now Thieves really shine on Impossible because in the above example the four Thieves would gain first 30000 XP for sneaking past the stack (7500 Each), then for fighting the stack they would only get 10000 XP.
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"A brilliant light can either illuminate or blind. How will you know which until you open your eyes?"

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Soulburner
Soulburner

Tavern Dweller
posted June 07, 2003 10:20 AM

yes thieves rule

if you havent figured out by now, once you play with a thief theres no going back. Only have the thief in your army btw... look for for exp boosters in the beginning (always take exp from chests) to boost your stealth.

get grandmaster stealth asap ignoring seamanship in most cases. every time your stealth gains a level you should be able to go past more creatures. only go for exp boosters and scouting altars scattered around the monsters till your stealth is GM.

stand next to any monsters you can for more exp (it just gets better and better) with GM you can stand next to (for example) some b dragons and jump more levels.
you can now get any artifacts mines and treasure for free, even gaining exp for it.

so it aint cheating, homm4 creators obviously meant for this. Always play on champion mode otherwise no challenge (still easy with thieves) One of my thieves got to about level 35 -Archmage- without fighting one battle (using stealth skill, trees of knowledge etc... - not a cakewalk map either) master of all trades...

For other skills usually combat/tactics, nature, order and life. dont upgrade nature-summon otherwise youll be thinking hmm why aint my stealth workin?? go straight for GM in all - charm, summon, resurrection come LAST (save before levelling) Soon you will be able to take out armies by yourself.

So... why choose anyone else??

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Vince
Vince


Hired Hero
posted June 07, 2003 11:35 AM

Good post.

I don't know if you are specifically targetting multiplayer here where you already know the map.  If not, scouting is also quite important on large maps.  Break off a fast, cheap unit whenever you can to explore areas where your main stack might not want to waste movement points to explore themselves.
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jacktrades
jacktrades


Hired Hero
posted June 09, 2003 04:08 PM

hmmm...intersesting
I would like to play on XL maps,but...on my :

Duron 900
256 Mb SDRAM
GeForce2 MX/MX400

the game takes forever to end turns on those huge maps,even in 800x600 with anims off.
this happens both on win 98 SE and XP PRO,and I've used every trick/tweak in the "book",even overclocking...still works like #_(*.
I have Winds of War,so the version of the game is not a problem.

I play only on M maps,and sometimes L.

Hope that for Heroes V I don't have to buy 1 Gb RAM,P IV 3,6 and GeForce FX 5900 to play the game.

see ya
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Dmnd
Dmnd


Famous Hero
Confused Girlie
posted June 09, 2003 07:43 PM

* Magic use IS NECESSARY and none of the schools are bad

*blushes deeply and avoids looking at Nibbly
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Medusa >~> Looks that kill <~<

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HodgePodge
HodgePodge


Adventuring Hero
Bard Extraordinairé
posted June 09, 2003 08:14 PM

You Gotta Be Kidding ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nidhgrin: If you're really unlucky, you might encounter the shackles of war, which could mean a lot of suffering.
I have found that if you are "lucky" enough to GM in Order & get the Town Gate spell, you can Town Gate out of a battle even if the opponent has the Shackles of War.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Djive:  The reason to split up is that the Thief is able to get that last XP to get Master and GM Stealth just as quickly with the main army as without it.
The thief (or any Hero with Expert Stealth or better) is one of the handiest to have on your side. Sneaking past guarded mines & piles of treasure can really be helpful, especially in the early part of a game when resources are so badly needed.

I usually let my Thief go solo so his/her Stealth Skill ability can be used & he/she can get enough XP's early on to GM in Stealth quickly. Then, I develop their Combat Skill tree.
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CountZero
CountZero


Adventuring Hero
posted June 10, 2003 12:04 AM

Absolutely great stuff. We are lucky to have players like you, giving so much thought to the tactics and strategy of the game.

I find that on XL maps I do not waste money on town fortifications ever because the enemy is not going to turn up for a while.

XL maps also call for effective use of caravans so I usually construct them fairly early.

If you have the right magic the Town Gate spell is devastatingly effective on XL maps.

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CountZero
CountZero


Adventuring Hero
posted June 10, 2003 12:10 AM

Quote:
you can Town Gate out of a battle even if the opponent has the Shackles of War.


No disrespect to you but I think that the use of Town Gate on the battlefield should not be allowed. The fact that you can create illusions which carry on fighting after you have left seems outside the spirit of the game.

Using Town Gate on the adventure map is perfectly OK and is, I think, how it was intended to be used.

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EmperorSly
EmperorSly


Known Hero
Destroyer of Liver
posted June 10, 2003 09:33 AM

Quote:
No disrespect to you but I think that the use of Town Gate on the battlefield should not be allowed.


nothing overpowering about it. in most cases theres no point in using it anyway -- after you have spent your last five days venturing into the wilderness and away from your cities, to go and battle some mean creatures, the last thing you want to do is to towngate yourself back, and waste another 5 days on walking. i'd rather lose some imps (or even vamps) than several days.

time is the only resource that is truly limited
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