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Heroes Community > Tournament of Honor > Thread: No random map generator!
Thread: No random map generator! This thread is 5 pages long: 1 2 3 4 5 · NEXT»
IRONMLH
IRONMLH


Known Hero
posted October 29, 2002 09:21 PM

No random map generator!

I believe this is a current quote from Christian Vanover, the lead H4. I grabeed this from the Celestial Heaven site

"There won't be any Random Map Generator for Heroes IV, and the AI isn't likely to receive any major improvement until Heroes V"

All i can say is, UGH, very dissapointing to hear this. AI is not an issue IMO.  Who needs computer players in there games anywhow, and SP..no need to mention that.

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angelspit
angelspit


Famous Hero
Warrior of the Heavens
posted October 29, 2002 10:43 PM

I think the limited scope of the next expansion is also disappointing. I'm sure everyone was hoping to see a new town, or at least some kind of neutral tribe. We don't need a second Gathering Storm.
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andiangelsla...
andiangelslayer


Disgraceful
Famous Hero
posted October 29, 2002 11:10 PM

as long as some dummies will buy even the expansion 3DO is save...tosssss

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Laelth
Laelth


Famous Hero
Laelth rhymes with stealth.
posted October 29, 2002 11:22 PM

I don't really think it's possible to have a random map generator for Heroes.  There are too many variables that a real-live-brain must negotiate, too many decisions to make, too many structures to choose from.  How would a computer program know what objects to place and which ones to ignore for a given map?  It's not really possible.  If it were possible, the maps would be really bad.  An H4 map is a work of art, and computers just don't do art well.  They're not creative enough.

-Laelth
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Joel
Joel


Adventuring Hero
An Underdog (Version 2.0)
posted October 29, 2002 11:52 PM

That sucks.  I'm already bored with all the toh maps.  I guess I won't be playing h4 for very long after all.  

Without randoms my interest will die pretty fast.

It also means that there won't be h4 Encounters.

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Zutus_evil_p...
Zutus_evil_phoenix


Hired Hero
Flaming bird
posted October 29, 2002 11:59 PM

could somebody paste that entire interview in this place?
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splexx
splexx


Known Hero
posted October 30, 2002 12:05 AM

Quote:
I don't really think it's possible to have a random map generator for Heroes.    An H4 map is a work of art, and computers just don't do art well.  They're not creative enough.

-Laelth


LMAO..really??

Well that seals it for me!!
No RMG in H4 means no Splexx in H4.

Seriously, if 3do waits another 3-4 years before releasing Homm5 and no RMG for Homm4...this will definetly be the death of the Homm series.

IMO..randoms are what saved Homm3 from certain death. Many were willing to quit Homm3 till they discovered a new thrill in random maps.
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AzureMajesty
AzureMajesty


Promising
Adventuring Hero
Gaea Mother Earth
posted October 30, 2002 12:24 AM

Quote:
could somebody paste that entire interview in this place?


Please pardon the long post, but the entire enterview was asked for & here it is. It is from the Might and Magic Guild, so I copied it all here for those that might not be a member of the guild to see.

Newsletter
October 28, 2002

What's New

This update includes an interview with Christian Vanover from New World Computing, a few tactics for HeroesŪ IV The Gathering Storm, and a slew of new downloads.

Developer Spotlight: Christian Vanover

General:

MMGuild: Could you give a brief bio of your years at NWC and your involvement with the Heroes and M&M series?

Christian Vanover: I was originally hired in 1995 to be the Network Administrator. I got to "assist" development (mapmaking mostly) of Heroes I and II and Might and Magic VI, plus work on non-MM games like Empire II, Vegas Games, and others. I was officially moved to development and added to the Heroes III team following the release of Might and Magic VI, which is probably the most involved I've been with any of the Heroes games to date.

After Heroes III, I was assigned to a new spin-off title called Legends of Might and Magic, and finally returned to Heroes development near the end of Heroes IV.

MMG: What campaigns/maps have you made in the past Heroes series?

CV: My memory for such things never was too spectacular, but a few do stay with me... The first Heroes map I ever created became the final map of the original Heroes I campaign. I also got to create (with lots of Jon Van Caneghem's input) the four "homeland invasion" maps from that same campaign.

In Heroes II I did quite a bit of map-work, including one scenario in the Evil campaign where you got to use necromancy against stacks of 5000 peasants in order to create a gigantic skeleton army. Heroes II also saw the introduction of different map sizes, and I just couldn't resist the temptation of extra-large maps, creating Lost Continent for the original game and Dominion for the expansion.

Most of my maps for Heroes III were for the campaigns, including the assault and liberation of Steadwick. I also managed to sneak one map into Heroes IV, called Rock and a Hard Place.

MMG: Which version of Heroes did you enjoy working on the most? What is your favorite Heroes game in the series?

CV: I would say I most enjoyed working on Heroes I. Since I was still "outside" of development it gave me a sense of getting away with sneaking into a place where I didn't belong. As for my favorite game in the series, for me it's a tie between Heroes II and III.

MMG: What is your favorite campaign/map in all the series?

CV: I'd have to go with the aforementioned necromancy map from the Heroes II Evil campaign. Sometimes you just need to go on a fun romp, and mowing down peasants for skeletons fit the bill.

MMG: What is your favorite town in all the series?

CV: Heroes II Sorceress town, hands down. Their troops were especially deadly when led by a high-defense Knight hero.

MMG: What is your favorite unit in all the series?

CV: The "Warlock Bomb." In Heroes I, provided you had enough gold, you could hire Warlock heroes and send them out with a single fast unit to "suicide" themselves against an enemy army by attacking them and casting Armageddon or Acid Rain. Admittedly a cheesy tactic, but extremely effective.

MMG: What other games do you play (have played), and find compelling?

CV: My tastes are pretty diverse, but I've always been a big fan of strategy and role-playing games (even before computers). Even today I still play games away from the computer like Dungeons & Dragons, BattleTech, and other assorted board games. As for computer games, I think Sid Meier may have single-handedly been responsible for hours (and days, and weeks) of homework-dodging with games like Pirates!, Railroad Tycoon, and the grand-daddy, Civilization. And of course, I'm a sucker for just about anything Star Wars (curse you Mr. Lucas!).

MMG: What is your greatest achievement in the gaming industry so far?

CV: If I ever have one, I hope someone tells me so I don't miss it. Seriously though, I think the best "warm fuzzy" I ever had was meeting an elderly gentleman on a golf course, who when he asked what I did for a living, claimed he wanted to send me the bill for all the time he wasted playing Heroes II with his 5 year old grandson. To be part of something that has such a broad appeal is a really great feeling.

Heroes IV:

MMG: You were in the rather unique position of being deeply involved in Heroes I, II, and III, but then left for the Legends project during the majority of the development phase of Heroes IV. When you came back to it, what were your initial impressions?

CV: I'll be honest: I hated it. That wasn't the game's fault, mind you, it's just that so much had changed since I had last seen it, none of my old tricks would work! So this old dog had to learn some new tricks, but once I did I was cruising right along.

MMG: What features were "Wow! This is great!", and what features were you a little doubtful of at first?

CV: I'm a little bit of a cartography freak, so I usually find myself tinkering with map editors not just from our games but from just about everyone else's. Because of this, for me one of the coolest things in Heroes IV was being able to modify the terrain elevation. Gameplay-wise, getting any hero to grandmaster anything completely kicks ass.

As for doubtful features, I'm personally still not sold on the whole heroes-on-the-battlefield concept. It's very easy for them to be much too weak or much too strong, and it becomes difficult to create a situation that is "just right."

MMG: What did you do exactly in Heroes IV and The Gathering Storm?

CV: I didn't join the Heroes IV team until very close to the end of development. By that time the game was pretty much done, and I served more as a "fresh perspective" for game balance issues and testing. And as I mentioned earlier, there was just enough time for me to sneak in one map.

For The Gathering Storm expansion my primary responsibility was design (such as game content, story, mapmaking, etc.), but that was shared by several people, including Jon Van Caneghem. One of the advantages of a small team is that everyone usually can have a hand in everything if they so desire.

Heroes IV Expansions:

MMG: Can you tell us anything more from what has been released about The Gathering Storm expansion? Any details about the campaign storylines and heroes?

CV: Much of this information is already known, but the expansion campaigns tell the story of five heroes and their individual quests for items of power, followed by their group quest to stop a wild mage whose magic is destroying the lands around him. Five high-level heroes carrying five artifact sets can cause quite a bit of damage themselves by the end of the last campaign!

MMG: The campaigns in Heroes IV always seemed to center on "civil wars" within different factions (i.e. they primarily fought themselves). This was a pretty big departure from Heroes III. Is the expansion pack going to feature more factions against other factions?

CV: The Gathering Storm expansion tells yet a different story. The five campaign heroes will certainly encounter wars, and sometimes even take part in them, but the main focus for each hero will be recovering the artifacts of a specific set that they will need for the final confrontation.

MMG: What's with the "new look" of heroes that we're seeing in The Gathering Storm screenshots? Does this affect all the advanced classes?

CV: In previous games, the only thing special about campaign heroes was their portrait. While we continued that for the expansion, we decided to also give them new models both on the combat screen and on the adventure map. These models will not appear in normal play unless a mapmaker specifically assigns them to a scenario.

MMG: Will we be able to summon the Gargantuan via level 5 spells and/or the Magic Portal like all the other neutral Nature creatures?

CV: No. The four new creatures can not be recruited or summoned, at least not in this expansion. *wink*

MMG: Are there any new spells in The Gathering Storm?

CV: No, but one of the new creatures is a spellcaster, and many of the new artifacts provide magical effects that have not previously been available.

MMG: The Might and Magic Guild Map Contest: what is your opinion about the inclusion of fan-made maps into the second expansion, and what will be the process of handling, testing, and judging the entries?

CV: One thing that I've always believed (and that the internet has helped to reinforce, particularly with game mods) is that no matter how good you think you are at something, there is always someone who is better. Even while I consider myself a skilled mapmaker, I know that there are always talented people (some amazingly so) that could do better, or at the very least, could do something different from anything we would have created.

This will actually be the second time we've run a Heroes map contest like this. One of the Heroes II expansions included some of the best player-made maps I've ever seen. And since even in this day and age there are a lot of people who will buy and play a game and never visit any websites, this is a chance for players to create maps that can be shared by a much larger audience than they could ever hope to reach through websites alone.

MMG: Have there been discussions about a new town in the second expansion pack? It seems fairly hard to do since the "pentagram" of opposing magic schools are so tightly woven.

CV: The pentagram doesn't really have anything to do with it. Given that we're considering some significant changes for Heroes V, we decided to leave the system "as is" for the Heroes IV expansions.

MMG: Is there a general time period in which the campaigns occur (before or after what happens in Heroes IV and The Gathering Storm)?

CV: The Gathering Storm's campaigns can be placed anywhere along the timeline, as they are independent of storylines that have been previously mentioned. The second expansion's campaigns will take place after the events of The Gathering Storm, though in a different part of the world.

MMG: Is there any other information you can release about what is planned for the second expansion?

CV: While the second expansion is still in the early planning stages, we know that we'll be including the 20 winning maps from the Might and Magic Guild Map Contest, and we have an interesting twist planned for the campaigns. We'll also have plenty of our own single-scenario maps, and a few other surprises that it's too early to talk about yet.

MMG: What are the major plans for the Heroes series' storyline? For the next few games, will the story stay in the world of Axeoth, or will it branch out into other worlds?

CV: Axeoth is a big place, and there is plenty left to explore. Might and Magic IX and Heroes IV barely scratched the surface.

MMG: Will there ever be improvements to the AI?

CV: The AI has been a touchy subject since before even I joined the Heroes IV team. While improvements are always possible, at some point we need to just need to say "enough," take it outside and shoot it, and then build a new one. In all likelihood, however, that probably won't happen until Heroes V.

MMG: Will there ever be a Random Map Generator?

CV: The short answer is no. This is one of the things that we've discussed at length, and I could write an essay on the course that the deliberations took along the way. In the end, considering that the complexity of the game system would require a mapmaker's attention to "finish" any map that a random map generator could create, we decided that it would be better to build a high-quality terrain generator and have it be something that gets the mapmaker to the same point, but does so with style. And now that I have that run-on sentence behind me, I should add that the new terrain generator is something that would not be added to the game before Heroes V.

Heroes V and Beyond:

MMG: Are you guys really in the planning stages for Heroes V?

CV: As you may have guessed by now, yes, we are.

MMG: I know Heroes V is totally "Blue Sky" at this point, but which way are people leaning so far?

Improve and enhance Heroes IV.
Fairly radical changes, like the leap from III to IV
Retro back to II and III, and maybe pull the best from all of them?
CV: Given those choices, I would say we're planning a combination of b. and c.

MMG: Any chance of an all-undead town?

CV: As a matter of fact, there is currently an all-undead town on the drawing board.

MMG: Any hopes for the mage classes having increased defense capabilities (without need of choosing the Combat skill)?

CV: We're actually planning some big changes for the Heroes V game system, most notably taking the heroes back off the battlefield, so the current "fragility" of mages will no longer be an issue.

MMG: Some people really miss the strategic emphasis of the earlier Heroes games. Will Heroes V address this?

CV: Absolutely. Each town type will be given its own strengths and weaknesses, and every town will have a rock/paper/scissor relationship with each of the other towns.

MMG: Are there any plans to add more levels to the game (in addition to the above ground and underground)?

CV: Actually, we're leaning toward removing the second level altogether. Again, this is a decision that I could write an essay on, and while it may seem a bad choice when viewed by itself, in the context of changes we're making for Heroes V it works pretty well.

MMG: Are there plans to improve the Campaign Editor?

CV: Always. Even for the Heroes IV expansions there is a wish list of features that, time permitting, could be added to the Campaign Editor. And since we will be using the same (albeit upgraded) editor for Heroes V, anything that doesn't make it into an expansion will be added to V.

MMG: Any plans/chances for Might and Magic X?

CV: Plans? No. Chances? Who knows? Right now NWC is a single small team working on one game at a time, and right now that game is Heroes. There was a four year gap between Might and Magic V and VI, during which time we created Heroes I and II, so who's to say what we'll be doing four (or even two) years from today?

MMG: How can Heroes fans best support you and the team (besides forking over donations into the Evil C. Retirement Fund)?

CV: *laughing* Well, donations to the E.C.R.F. aside, probably the best thing people can do is stay active on the 3DO Community website as well as the non-3DO fansites. Feedback (both good and bad) does reach us, and even if we don't use an idea it's still appreciated, since even an unused suggestion may introduce us to something we hadn't thought of yet.

MMG: Do you know if the Might and Magic Guild has any intention of opening up a discussion board for members to share their ideas with NWC?

CV: There has been talk of just such a thing, but no decision has been reached yet. Until then Guild members should feel free to post to the 3DO Community boards, as that is the place we most closely monitor.

MMG: Any closing comments?

CV: I just want to thank everybody not only for their questions, but for their patience and support over the last several months. As most people already know, the staff here at NWC was initially stretched pretty thin following the release of Heroes IV. For such a small group we had a lot to do, and of course Murphy's Law decided to prove itself a couple times along the way. But with multiplayer finally added and the first expansion pack out the door, we have our first real opportunity to look forward and move on. Thanks again!


Debs
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Lich_King
Lich_King


Honorable
Supreme Hero
posted October 30, 2002 12:47 AM

Quote:
MMG: Any hopes for the mage classes having increased defense capabilities (without need of choosing the Combat skill)?

CV: We're actually planning some big changes for the Heroes V game system, most notably taking the heroes back off the battlefield, so the current "fragility" of mages will no longer be an issue.


No, NO , NOOOOOOO

Don't remove heroes from the battlefield ! It is enjoying to have heroes of MIGHT, not only Magic.... It's bad idea, please don't do this ! *cries*


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japjer
japjer


Adventuring Hero
posted October 30, 2002 02:14 AM

Quote:
Quote:
MMG: Any hopes for the mage classes having increased defense capabilities (without need of choosing the Combat skill)?

CV: We're actually planning some big changes for the Heroes V game system, most notably taking the heroes back off the battlefield, so the current "fragility" of mages will no longer be an issue.


No, NO , NOOOOOOO

Don't remove heroes from the battlefield ! It is enjoying to have heroes of MIGHT, not only Magic.... It's bad idea, please don't do this ! *cries*




same here, just make some defensive magic skill, like a barrier of some kind, but you can't just put heroes on the battlefield to take them off after only one war...

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IRONMLH
IRONMLH


Known Hero
posted October 30, 2002 02:27 AM

it sure does

Quote:
That sucks.  I'm already bored with all the toh maps.  I guess I won't be playing h4 for very long after all.  

Without randoms my interest will die pretty fast.

It also means that there won't be h4 Encounters.


Yea i have such a crappy connection by the time i am able to get a playable connection all the maps should be played to death by then and i can go on a 20 game losing streak because i dont know the maps.

And i was hoping to play some of these set maps in H4 before i moved and lost my cable connection.

Oh well..guess i will play a few more random h3 games and then wait for H5 in the year 2004.

ACK!

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Laelth
Laelth


Famous Hero
Laelth rhymes with stealth.
posted October 30, 2002 11:38 PM

Keep the Heroes!

I want to add my voice to those who say that it's interesting having the heroes on the field.  H4, more than its predecessors, is about building heroes, and I like that focus.

To those who don't want to play the game without a random map generator, I have two pieces of advice.  Search the internet for maps (there are hundreds out there), or make your own.  I make my own because I have little tolerance for bad-looking maps, but there's a wide variety of fun maps on the web that you can find, but, if you try it, you might find you'll like your own maps better.

-Laelth
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rychenroller
rychenroller


Promising
Supreme Hero
posted October 31, 2002 12:02 AM

"To those who don't want to play the game without a random map generator, I have two pieces of advice. Search the internet for maps (there are hundreds out there), or make your own. I make my own because I have little tolerance for bad-looking maps, but there's a wide variety of fun maps on the web that you can find, but, if you try it, you might find you'll like your own maps better."

No offense but you dont seem to have any idea of how a random players mind works. The whole point of playing a random map, is not knowing it and having to adjust your strategies to compensate for it. How does making your own maps replace this? Also made maps are made maps, they will always have those little idiosyncrasies associated with a human mind. I love the chaotic randomness of a computer generated random. That is heroes for me, and if no rmg in H4, then bye bye.

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Laelth
Laelth


Famous Hero
Laelth rhymes with stealth.
posted October 31, 2002 12:18 AM
Edited By: Laelth on 30 Oct 2002

Quote:
The whole point of playing a random map, is not knowing it and having to adjust your strategies to compensate for it.


Point taken, and you're right, making your own map will certainly not give you the "surprise" element you want.  There are a couple of H4 maps that use bombs to create some randomness, Max_Apes' "Unknown Lands," for example, but this is nothing like the randomness one can get from Age of Empires, just to list one random map generator of with which I am familiar.  I'm afraid H4 (and the whole Heroes series) is simply too artistic, involving storytelling and an active human designer's choices, to allow for the kind of random generator you want.  It's art, not chaos.  

Personally, I like the art.  To me, after a short period of time, maps generated by computers quickly become all the same.  I don't play Age of Empires any more for just this reason.  Evntually all the games start to feel the same.  There are berry bushes, game, stone, gold, fish, and trees ... in every game.  In H4, maybe the mapmaker didn't put any gold mines on the board.  Maybe there are 3 lvl. 1 shrines, or perhaps there's a lvl. 4 creature generator.  Who knows?  You can't, because a stupid computer didn't design it.  Each H4 map is truly different ... because an artist made it that way.

Still, each to his/her own ...

-Laelth
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rychenroller
rychenroller


Promising
Supreme Hero
posted October 31, 2002 12:33 AM

I hear what you are trying to say...but

Art is not a 25% completed game released to the consumer

Art is not a game that has taken the name "heroes of might and magic" and created a different game of it

Art is not a bug laden game that has so far taken 50mb to get close to playable, along with the fact that if you have a partially inferior system, it still sucks your RAM dry.

Art is definitely not a strategy turned based game without a rmg (read boredom)

And art is definitely not having to wait between 5 and 10 min for a data send. What do I do during this time, admire the pretty scenery? No... I go play H3, or some other game I can at least enjoy.
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Laelth
Laelth


Famous Hero
Laelth rhymes with stealth.
posted October 31, 2002 12:48 AM
Edited By: Laelth on 30 Oct 2002

Quote:
I hear what you are trying to say...

And I hear what you're saying.  Really, I do.

Quote:
Art is not a 25% completed game released to the consumer

Agreed, that was a greedy capitalist plot.  The company just wanted the money, and they wanted it NOW, so they rushed the game to market.  I didn't even buy the product until multiplayer came out.

Quote:
Art is not a game that has taken the name "heroes of might and magic" and created a different game of it

It is a different game, but I think the terrain, the structures, and particularly the scripting (the artistic elements) are better.

Quote:
Art is not a bug laden game that has so far taken 50mb to get close to playable, along with the fact that if you have a partially inferior system, it still sucks your RAM dry.

Agreed.  See comments above.

Quote:
Art is definitely not a strategy turned based game without a rmg (read boredom)

Here, I'm confused. H3 doesn't have a rmg, but it's a fun game, no?

Quote:
And art is definitely not having to wait between 5 and 10 min for a data send. What do I do during this time, admire the pretty scenery? No... I go play H3, or some other game I can at least enjoy.

It's funny you should mention that.  When I'm waiting, I open my campaign editor and work on my next map.

-Laelth
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flipmo
flipmo

Tavern Dweller
posted October 31, 2002 12:54 AM

Quote:
Quote:
MMG: Any hopes for the mage classes having increased defense capabilities (without need of choosing the Combat skill)?

CV: We're actually planning some big changes for the Heroes V game system, most notably taking the heroes back off the battlefield, so the current "fragility" of mages will no longer be an issue.




...not a good idea...
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Motorschaaf
Motorschaaf


Bad-mannered
Famous Hero
posted October 31, 2002 01:09 AM

Quote:
It's funny you should mention that.  When I'm waiting, I open my campaign editor and work on my next map.



hmm how many maps u finish per game with an 56k opponent ? more than 3 ?  

DSLschaaf
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Laelth
Laelth


Famous Hero
Laelth rhymes with stealth.
posted October 31, 2002 01:12 AM

Quote:
hmm how many maps u finish per game with an 56k opponent ? more than 3 ?  

DSLschaaf

LOL--good one, Motor!

-Laelth
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rychenroller
rychenroller


Promising
Supreme Hero
posted October 31, 2002 01:24 AM

"Here, I'm confused. H3 doesn't have a rmg, but it's a fun game, no?"

Just a question (seriously) have you played much H3? You sound to be coming from someone who has played very little, if at all. Heroes3 does have a random generator which has spawned a whole new level of fantastic heroes players, players that can devise their strategy in the face of much adversity and not given things handed to them on a plate (ie, heres all your mines, 1 day from town, guarded by 12 familiars ). The heroes3 generator does have flaws, but randoms are all I play, you play a map once and then it is done. If it wasnt for the Heroes3 rmg, I would have given it away 3 years ago.
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