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Heroes Community > Heroes 7+ Altar of Wishes > Thread: Heroes V: A Strategic Quest
Thread: Heroes V: A Strategic Quest This thread is 3 pages long: 1 2 3 · NEXT»
ThE_HyDrA
ThE_HyDrA


Admirable
Famous Hero
The Leader of all Hydras
posted June 06, 2003 12:03 PM bonus applied.
Edited By: ThE_HyDrA on 10 Jun 2003

Heroes V: A Strategic Quest

As many have gathered from fairly recent interviews with Jon Van Caneghem, the element of strategy is returning to our much-loved series. However, this view was questioned with the RPG-styled release of Heroes IV. For some, it dismantled the game, for others, it provided them with a more realistic perspective. Whatever the outcome, it shall not be returning. It ruined the idea of strategy, and the RPG element became unwanted by the game’s producers, and, in an order to re-discover their roots, Heroes II and III shall play a large role in the queuing of development for Heroes V, as well as the afore-discussed, new beginning. The position Heroes II and III have, especially the former, are providing the producers with old, strategic elements, which had brought the game fame. By reviving these classics, ramifications occur; some of the more important ones include the removal of Heroes from the battlefield, revamped skill system, and the upgrade system making a possible resurgence. These ideas, along with the inclusion of some newly revealed intentions, are my subjects for this topic, as it is the final chance before ideas begin to get applied to the game.

The RPG element was certainly introduced into the gameplay of Heroes IV. However, now it is being removed once more to realise a true strategic sense of Heroes V. My opinion on this strategic resurgence will be heard after each point in this thread.

A Pure Strategy Game

These words encompass a myriad of changes that have the possibility of occurring in Heroes V. Heroes IV was certainly a RPG – Strategy game hybrid, and the main by-product of this change was the Heroes in Combat, as well as the escalating influence of quests, storylines, and the overall presence of heroes. Another aspect that was affected were the creatures being mobile around the adventure map without the presence of a hero, and of course, the ever-changing skill system.

Heroes are not in Combat

There had been speculation in the past that heroes were going to be excluded from combat. Last year, that was just a rumour, this year, it is an almost certain reality. There is no point continuing the pursuit with new ideas and suggestions concerning ways to make everyone happy, or have heroes both on and off the battlefield.
Instead, I believe we should be focusing on how else we are able to get heroes involved in Heroes V, to prevent the series from being dubbed Creatures of Might and Magic, as it so often has been in the past. Some ideas to fulfil what I have suggested:
~} Heroes should still play a role in combat, however, not in the way previous versions have utilised them. As an alternative, heroes have hit points, however, the creatures cannot hurt them. The heroes cast spells on each other or on the opposing army’s creatures. The heroes can also fight themselves, but they must stay on their horses. This gives heroes a new perspective in combat without having to balance them against creatures.
~} Only heroes may wander the map by themselves, and they do not need to be supported by creatures, but, if the hero encounters an army, that army will defeat the hero automatically, and the hero will be thrown into the opposing army’s prison. Caravans will still be present, and creatures may travel in them on their lonesome, to alleviate complicating travelling problems.
~} A hero could have more influence on town creature growth and gold income if a hero stays in the town for a long time, and has a certain skill which allows him to do so. For example, these could be nobility or mining. A similar system was in place, but it wasn’t dependent on if the hero was there or not.
~} As an alternative to the ‘might’ side of the heroes, the hero could have the capabilities to upgrade a creature, without having to visit the structure. This would be associated with a skill that lends itself to a might hero to be able to accomplish the task. It would take place anywhere on the adventure map, but it may only be used on one stack on early levels, maybe on three stacks on GrandMaster.
~} The specialised classes of Heroes IV could be kept, except they could be based around more intricate specialties than simply +2 to the summon wolf spell. They could instead be more universal with real benefits like the defense of a hero is increased, (as well as each hero having their own specialty) not a special bonus for the halberd of the swiftwatch (as good as it is) it is impractical to have something based on an artifact the hero may never use.

Shorter Storyline and Quests

By Heroes V returning to its Heroes II and III roots, where quests weren’t a major object of the game at all, it too adopts this change. However, we have been assured that there will still be RPG elements in it, and this could also include the scripting system for quests and adventure map objects. As well as quests being demoted, storylines have been given a much more relegated role to what they were in Heroes IV. The campaigns and even some maps were extremely orientated upon the storyline, and an RPG constituent, which forced the player to focus on that element, and less attention devoted to the strategic build-up and conquest of the map and its structures. This also raises the question if mini-towns such as Villages and Hamlets would feature in the more strategy-orientated game.

With a vast segregation of quests from the map, the goal is for the player to make important decisions that will ultimately affect ones standpoint and domination on the map, rather than merely making (possibly wrong) decisions and still end up emerging victorious. The quest huts encourage the latter of the styles of play, because one may be playing quite badly, and visit a quest hut; complete the quest and they’re on the road to victory.
Another positive point on this scenario is that the combats will play a larger role, since there will most likely be only one hero per army, and would certainly mean less armies because creatures cannot roam around free. We could see the return of the pinnacle of combat, the climactic end-game battle, which had disappeared due to the division of army stacks and heroes. The adventure map objects one possesses will become more treasured, as will the constant fights for gold mines, as I had when playing the map ‘Warlords’ in Heroes III multiplayer.
As a consequence of not encompassing quests as prominently into the map’s layout, players would return to the adventure map strategic bliss of Heroes II, and still retain the complexity of Heroes IV.

The Age-Old Debate

Six or Eight towns?

This ‘venerable’ debate had been put to rest in Heroes III, where there were in fact, 8 towns! Nowadays, though, it seems like the obsolete number is 8, and the new, possibly unpopular number is 6. Many people predicted the comeback of 8 towns for Heroes V, however, that does not appear to be the case. There are indeed, 6 towns in Heroes V. Multitudes say that this isn’t sufficient to their expectations of Heroes V, however, others state Heroes II had six towns, and it was extremely successful.
The unbalanced strategic placing of creatures in the towns in Heroes II is something that needs to be reproduced almost verbatim for Heroes V, but with more subtle differences. I have finally fleshed out the ideas for my upgrade system for the towns, and here is the finished product (My goal for Heroes V):
Number of Levels in the towns:
There will be six levels in the town, as NWC have projected, for I believe that is the faultless number for the density of creatures on the battlefield without it falling victim to crowdedness problem that was faced on the smaller Heroes III battlefield.
Number of Creatures in town and how many are available:
My system will utilise the Heroes IV system of choosing the creatures for each level, which does generate some melancholy in fans, however; my system is slightly different. There will be a total of 18 creatures in my towns, with a maximum of 12 recruitable, and a minimum of 7 recruitable. This compares to the 14 recruitable creatures in Heroes III. The total numbers of the creatures for every town is 18 x 6, 108, opposed to 14 x 8, 112, for Heroes III, and this method has more unique creatures. The number of unique creatures equals 12 x 6, 72, versus 7 x 8, 56 for Heroes III. You shall find out how these numbers are projected in the next section.
Upgrades or not?
There will indeed be upgrades in my upgrade system for towns. This will excite some fans that are looking for more depth than Heroes IV provided them with. The way in which my system functions, is, one of the two creatures provided at every level has an upgrade. The creature, which is weaker, will always have an upgrade. For example, lets take a Heroes IV level match up. Stronghold Level III: Cyclops, and Ogre Mage. In my system, the Ogre Mage is weaker to begin with, but once it is upgraded, it is stronger than the Cyclops. This adds the dimension of upgrades to ponder upon when choosing your creature for that level. If one had more gold, that player would naturally go for the upgraded creature, however, they must remember that they don’t have an inexhaustible amount. I believe it is a more strategic method, myself, however, I’ll let you be the judge of that, too. This is how the minimum and maximum numbers eventuate in the step above.

The Hexagon?

The hexagon is an innovative feature of Heroes IV that many found to be a vacillating addition to the series. On one hand, there was an interesting combination and relation between each of the towns, consisting of two neighbouring alignments. However, many believed the hexagon (consequently the neighbouring alignments) was the reason why no new towns were added to Heroes IV in any of the expansions. The exact reasoning is it would disrupt the relationship the towns had with each other. The news we have now is that the towns will, once again, be coupled together with the spell system. This means Order magic, Chaos magic, Nature magic, etc. versus Earth, Water, Air, and Fire. Another disturbing derivative of this change is that the neighbouring alignments may yet return. However, I believe the incentive for NWC to implement the system is rather lacking. It really did not contribute greatly to the overall town set-up, and it probably caused more complications than it eradicated.
The affirmative side to this saga is that not only will the towns have their own magic, there will also be a ‘generic’ magic type which would most likely include some miscellaneous spells like curse, earthquake, slow, haste, etc. If this were so, many of the old spells from Heroes II and III could be included into Heroes V.

Hero Skills and Miscellaneous Inc.

The Skill System and its link with Combat

I found it interesting to see that the Hero skills system was being completely recreated. It seemed ambiguous at first, however, when you fit together the pieces of the puzzle, and realise that heroes aren’t in combat any longer, it makes sense. Because of that fact, heroes will have to find different ways to utilise their skills, and since combat is ruled out, there needs to be a redevelopment. We had Basic, Advanced, Expert, Master, and Grandmaster, and I don’t believe that formula will be altered, instead, the ever-present ‘combat’ primary skill will be. It may be taken out completely for the reason that it is not needed, and skills may revert to Heroes III, where there were more plentiful magically orientated skills. This could also cause the re-emergence of attack and defense, but Wisdom and Power are out of the equation, because each town retains their unique magic. Some of the suggestions for a new skill system I can conjure up are few, however, I will try to make my opinion heard. Because of heroes being excluded from combat, I have belief that there will be 4 primary skills, like Heroes I – III, and that’s how I have formatted it.
Attack and defense may be two of the important hero elements, and the other two may be the native town’s magic (your proficiency in it), and Spell Power. The other features, such as individual magic types, generic magic, etc. can be determined by skill choices. These new secondary skill choices should be as such (when the hero levels-up):
I. 1 skill addition in the hero’s best skill set.
II. 1 skill increase in the hero’s second-best skill group.
III. 1 skill amplification in a skill group your hero has already
IV. 1 skill in a (consequently forming) new skill group.
If for any reason your hero is unable to be offered any of the ones above, the hero will get fewer than four choices to select from.
To decide on which of the existing skill groups will be offered, it is dependant on the following:
Basic Class: 40%
Biography: 30%
Random: 30%

Strategy, Deep, Deep Underground

The original design for this ‘underground’ and the reason why it was implemented was to house a small treasure cache under the castle or near your area. Many mapmakers have bloated the idea, and transformed it into another map, which is apparently not the direction in which it was meant to go.
I always utilised the underground as a small place to flee, and hopefully develop a secondary kingdom, from a Heroes III perspective. The NWC mapmakers, in Heroes IV, used the underground as more of a treasure hoard, and not vast expanses of mazes. However, I believe the latter can be complicated, but it still does offer an additional challenge that may not have been experienced. The underground is more of a refuge from the engagement of swords and creatures that is occurring above. The versatility of the subterranean vastness are many, including a small kingdom, secretive mines that cannot be easily captured, treasure caches, warrens or mazes, small conflicts, and many others. It imparts on us a supplementary strategy element that allows us to alter our strategy and broaden our horizons, to an advantageous extent. It is beneficial for the series, and the players aren’t confined to a single piece of land, they have the freedom of movement.

Towns and Castles on the Map

There have been several ideas raised lately concerning this topic, and I feel I should expand on them, for they are quite praiseworthy, in my opinion.
Villages and Hamlets:
These ‘Mini-Town’ ideas are endeavouring to bridge the gap between castles and garrisons, and create a secondary place of importance. This is what strategy on the adventure map in the Heroes series sorely needs; a semi-important, interactive map location.
The latter was an idea initially proposed by Magus, as a multipurpose scripting adventure map object, where many parameters could be set, such as creature growth, gold income, etc. It can be edited to operate resembling any other existing structure, including custom scripting messages.
I proposed the former, an idea triggered by the un-upgraded towns that you saw in Heroes II, where you could not upgrade to a fort, but still recruit creatures and heroes if they were placed there. A full explanation on this idea, a ‘Warlock Village’ is a smaller Warlock fort that cannot be upgraded into one, and it would have a different adventure map representation than a Warlock Fort. This is quite similar to the un-upgradeable Warlock Tents in Heroes II where you could not buy anything, such as structure, but not creatures or heroes. Each village would have their own individual settlement, supplying creatures that are not available in the town (e.g. pirate, troglodyte, evil eyes) 1 resource per week of their most needed one (like resource pile) and it would contain a miniature version of a tavern, which would supply a maximum of 5 heroes. A thieves guild would also be present, but it wouldn't be as advanced as a castle’s version, for the village version would provide a Heroes II style thieves guild, with about 1/2 the information. I am using the ‘Warlock Village’ only as an example. Others could be the ‘Nature Preserve’, ‘Necropolis Sepulchre’, or ‘Tower Observatory’.

Two Town and Siege Battle Screens:
This theory was originally invented by Nasty, as a means of separating the titans from the halflings (creating a more realistic setting) and enabling more space for structures. However, it was the combined effort of Nasty, Gerdash, Whine_the_Behememoth and my self to convert this dual town view into a dual siege.
Concerning the view characteristic of this proposal, the way in which I believe it should be implemented is in a way that the castle can be seen from both views. Say, one half from one side, and the other from the opposing side. However, they should not look the same from both sides, as I believe we have moved away from the toy-box castles in Heroes IV. To re-stress my ideas on this feature, one should be able to see the other half of the town (kingdom) from the half one is in. It is in the distance, and one will just simply hold the cursor over it (at that point it should illuminate like a structure would) and then click it to toggle views. This theory doesn’t seem too difficult to employ compared to others.
The siege perspective of the scheme is a different story. The outer town will include more ‘mighty’ fortifications, where Might Heroes will do well. For example, there would be more arrow towers in the outer town, executed in the way I said earlier. If the outer town is captured, the enemy will take control of solely the outer town, and this includes the first three creature dwellings, as well as some other, almost insignificant structures. Although, the enemy will receive no income, for the important structures are located within the inner town. This section ought to be more ‘spell-encouraging’, as the presence of a spelltower suggests. The inner town will also include a central arrow tower, which does even more damage than the outer wall arrow towers. However, there is only one central tower. If the enemy captures the inner town, the town is now completely under the jurisdiction of the enemy.

May I remind you that this thread is focused on the strategic elements of Heroes V, and the ideas here are secondary to the initial content discussed primarily. If it can be avoided, try to keep the idea discussion at a less important viewpoint, but I am in no means discouraging you from speaking about them altogether. I am looking forward to your replies.

Additional Note to GrunanCross: Scheduled for Spring 2004, however it has probably been set-back due to 3D0's bankruptcy.
____________
"Dragons may breathe fire, but Hydras have many heads." - The Creed of Hydras
"As the Dragon drew its breath, the Hydra pounced, swiftly but powerfully, and the Dragon was defeated.”

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GrunanCross
GrunanCross


Famous Hero
King of the Underdark
posted June 06, 2003 12:11 PM

        Did you find out HyDrA when the game will be ready to launch?
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Maximus
Maximus


Famous Hero
Bronzed God
posted June 10, 2003 06:28 PM

A pure strategy turn-based game is the way to go, i think there is a big gap in the marketplace for this type if game. if i want to role play, there r many other game that r better at doing this.

Towns and Upgrades.

I like the idea of 6 levels. I have never played h2, only h3 and h4, but see 6 as a good number of basic critter structure per town. I would like to see upgrades for these like in h3, and i get a feeling that is what is gonna be used, but also i would like maybe a third level upgrade as well. not across the board, but 1 option to chose any of the 6 critter types that have been upgraded to make into a specialsit unit. ie, if u chose archers-marksmen-sharpshooters, but ONLY 1 third lvl upgrade.

Skill System.

I am not really clear here which i prefer, h3 or h4. think they both had there good points. maybe a combination of both, although, again getting back to the "strategy" side of the game, the skills dont need to that complex as in h4, so u dont get that rapped in making and developing a hero which tends to take the game down the roleplaying side. i think for this type of game, the basic att,deff,pow,int worked fine. hmm, not sure what else to suggest here lol.

Underground.

I agree with some of the comments from jvc, the underground just got used as another map surface to paint. but i dont see why they cant make it so u cant do that, i mean, make it so that if u create an underground, u can only use tunnles and passage ways and make many surface objects not allowed in under, and make more native under objects. also make the under affect more the stats of a hero, like maybe more movement penalty or some sort of combat penalty unless u have say a secondary skill in undergroud combat. all in all i liked the idea of underground, but i felt that in h3, the dungeon town was at too much of a dissadvantge, because most action took place above ground, but dungeon native terrain was sub-terrain, therefore didnt recieve any movement/speed bouns's that the other town types enjoyed.


The Village.

Yup, this has promise. but i think that it u should be able to build a citidal for basic defense. but i think that each village should be able to produce something to support a main town. maybe u have to select which town to support also when u take control of the village. the producing options could be either resources or critters or maybe something else to enhance the main town, maybe like the necro amplifier etc to increase overall necromancy power.
so ur options could be when taking over a village:- 1, support town XXX, 2:build lvl 2 critter amplifer, 3: build a gold mine, 4: build a spell power increasing structure.
dont think there should b an option here to increase the gold out put from a village, ie, it should be a fixed amout.


hmm, a quick note on something i would like to see though, is Combat Scholars as well as Magic Scholars, so that combat secondary skills can be taught as well.
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Frost. Sometimes it makes the blade stick !

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Nasty
Nasty


Known Hero
castor nebun si orb pe cinste
posted June 12, 2003 09:38 PM

hi...nice to see the new thread evolving...hydra your post is soo long...i got fire in my eyes...
I have thought of this ideea for a couple of days and it;s like this:
My initial ideea was that there should be an option zoom...where you could see the battle through the hero's perspective...through his eyes...you would feel like you are that hero....you could see your army closer...and far away the enemy aproaching.
But then i thought of this...i now it's extremly hard but the way i see it it's magnificent...there should be two types you could carry a battle...the old way with the bird view and a second one with this zooming...i mean the battle starts with you seeing through the eyes of the hero...you can see your army next to you(based on their moral they could also be excited or scared saying things)....and when a creatures turn comes the camera moves so you can see through it's eyes...in this way you could be a titan and a halfling ..you could see how a halfling saw a titan and how a titan looked upon his army...you will be the titan till he atacks or ends his movement...and then when another of your creatures turn comes the camera moves again...the way i see it it can be wonderfull...how would you feel beeing surounded by four enemy creatures that roar and wait to hit you...in this way the battlefield would make much difference there would be trees,hills,lakes even buildings....and even the wheather(that i read about in another thread would have it's place)if the wheather it;s foggy you can see only the shadows of the enemy and the range atack is smaller...if it rains the movement penalty is bigger.
The creatures would be very animated...they would say lots of things and they would move more realistic...i'm thinking about the sieges where you are in the castle and you look through those windows made in the walls how the enemy outside tries to get you...or when you atack a castle...you cand see the creatures in towers above the castle walls and through those windows...it's so realistic in my head i hope you can see it my way...i say it's a new thing and should be tried...it will still be turn based as many will say it's more like rpg...but you would be in the middle of the fight...you would see the arrow hitting you in such way that you would close your eyes...the graphics would be exquisite.the spells would be very realistic...you would see a meteor shower coming from the skies at your enemy or at you...you would be struck by a lightining...the possibilities are numerous.just imagine!i for one like it...i'm waiting for your opinions and maybe i will think of more of this if it's worth it...but the way i see it its flowless.



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You can trick me with food.Possesions mean nothing to a navajo.

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ThE_HyDrA
ThE_HyDrA


Admirable
Famous Hero
The Leader of all Hydras
posted June 13, 2003 02:07 PM

RPG Vs. Strategy Vs. Heroes

To RPG fans: Heroes V is going to become a pure strategy game, as it started off as. This is why so many were drawn to it, and many believed Heroes IV lacked this strategic element, and consequently, it was a largely unpopular game in half of the community, and they continued playing Heroes III. The people who liked the new format (heroes in combat, alignments, quests, etc.) thought it was an innovation, or a ‘stepping stone’ for Heroes V. Not so, the idea of Heroes IV was nearly entirely scrapped, with only some important elements being carried over. For example, the map editor, battlefield(most likely), and scripting to an extent. The RPG component will be lost in the Heroes Series, and if an RPG game is what you want, go and buy one, because Heroes V will not be an RPG – strategy game in the likeness of Heroes IV. By taking old features, and integrating them with new ones, Heroes V could very well be a crowd-pleaser.

GrunanCross

Repeating myself (just in case you didn’t notice the update on the initial post): Heroes V was originally scheduled for Spring 2004 in America, however it has probably been set-back due to 3D0's bankruptcy. You can also expect the release date to be 5 months or so tentative, so Winter 2004 is probably a more realistic date.

Maximus

“A pure strategy turn-based game is the way to go, i think there is a big gap in the marketplace for this type if game.”

I agree wholeheartedly with you there. Heroes Series began as a pure strategy game, and it should continue in its winning trend. Many of the bad reviews of Heroes IV were derived from its RPG content, and not staying true to its colours. The market only had around 3 or 4 TBS games, and Heroes is one of them, there is indeed great freedom in such a small market.

Towns and Upgrades:

“I like the idea of 6 levels. I have never played h2, only h3 and h4, but see 6 as a good number of basic critter structure per town.”

When you do play Heroes II, you will see that it is the closest number you can get to a perfect town – creature dwellings development. The 4 levels in Heroes IV created too much of a void between the strength of the creatures in the levels, where as this does not occur in Heroes II. The Warlock town was well spaced:
Level 1: Centaur: 5 HP
Level 2: Gargoyle: 15 HP
Level 3: Griffin: 25 HP
Level 4: - Minotaur: 35 HP
            - Mintotaur King 45 HP
Level 5: Hydra: 75HP
Level 6: - Green Dragon: 200 HP
             -Red Dragon: 250 HP
             -Black Dragon: 300 HP
That is an extremely even layout if you ask me, and when compared to the ‘Wizard Town’, there is once more, equal representation concerning creature strength:
Level 1: Halfling: 3 HP
Level 2: Boar: 15 HP
Level 3: - Iron Golem 30 HP
             - Steel Golem 35 HP
Level 4: Roc: 40 HP
Level 5: - Mage: 30 HP
             - Archmage: 35 HP
Level 6: - Giant: 150 HP
             - Titan: 300 HP
As one can see, my upgrade system is very much sourced from the Heroes II version, because it was almost flawless. The Wizard focused more on magic right from the beginning, and thus the low HP of the Mage and the Archmage.

“but also i would like maybe a third level upgrade as well. not across the board, but 1 option to chose any of the 6 critter types that have been upgraded to make into a specialsit unit.”

Quite an interesting prospect. The only downfall I see here is that the player would generally use it on their top level creature, and the others won’t be used too much. It would also provide too much of a benefit to that level 6 unit, as well as the fact that many creatures won’t be recruited, and that seems to be a problem in others’ eyes (not mine, however). It seems like quite a unique idea to me.

Skill System:

“I am not really clear here which i prefer, h3 or h4. think they both had there good points.”

I believe you are correct. The Heroes IV system was changed to make it more diverse, and so it would be able to develop the hero (in battle) to a greater extent, and thus Master and GrandMaster levels.

“the skills dont need to that complex as in h4, so u dont get that rapped in making and developing a hero which tends to take the game down the roleplaying side.”

Quite true. By having many more skills to choose from, and increasing the number of steps in getting ‘to the top’, there is more incentive to develop the hero, and leave your army as a secondary tool to the hero’s progression. This does indeed indicate the problem with heroes in combat, and how that event and the skill system are linked. The Skill System, RPG element and Heroes in Combat are intertwined, and this is probably the reason JVC wanted to remove it from the game, it placed too much of an influence on the hero to develop. I have listed other ways to incorporate the hero in Heroes in my initial post, as you know.

“the basic att,deff,pow,int worked fine. hmm, not sure what else to suggest here lol.”

LOL, it is indeed a difficult, but pivotal topic in the world of Heroes. I think attack and defence and power to well, but wisdom or intelligence needs to be altered into something more alignment specific, such as ‘proficiency in its own magic school’, I can’t think of a good name for it, but I think you know what I mean.

Underground:

“the underground just got used as another map surface to paint.”

Indeed it did, however, I believe it provided more of a sense of adventure and realism; being able to travel underground, it is an innovation worthy of appraisal.

“but i dont see why they cant make it so u cant do that, i mean, make it so that if u create an underground, u can only use tunnles and passage ways and make many surface objects not allowed in under, and make more native under objects.”

I was thinking that myself, actually. The problem I found is that I’m not sure how you would limit the mapmaker from creating a whole underground. A possible solution is that the underground is half the size of the map, and when that calculated area is used up(the grid can be used to figure out the area) the mapmaker is unable to draw any more. The effect when this happens will be similar to the effect when you try to create dirt terrain outside of the map.

“like maybe more movement penalty or some sort of combat penalty unless u have say a secondary skill in undergroud combat.”

An intriguing proposal, I don’t see why you wouldn’t have such a penalty in the underground. It may take some getting used to.

“the dungeon town was at too much of a disadvantage, because most action took place above ground, but dungeon native terrain was sub-terrain, therefore didnt recieve any movement/speed bouns's that the other town types enjoyed.”

This was the undeniable case, good perception there, Maximus. It didn’t give them ample bonus, since in order for them to utilise it, there needed to be an underground in the map in the first place.
One thing that perplexes me is; JVC said the Underground was introduced in Heroes III to create a small treasure cache. However, many of the mapmakers (Realm of Chaos stands out) used the underground as another world. These maps were made by NWC themselves, so why didn’t JVC stop them and tell them then that the underground was used for a treasure reserve?

Villages:

“Yup, this has promise. but i think that it u should be able to build a citidal for basic defense.”

Thankyou, it was one of my better ideas (of the few that I do have). I wasn’t thinking along the lines of a ‘citadel’ as such, instead, an upgrade of the gate ( or walls) that gives a similar, only slightly weaker defense bonus than the citadel. The Village will still begin with walls (can be destroyed by one hit with a catapult), and when upgraded can be destroyed with one and a half hits. (The half depends on the 50% chance the catapult has on destroying the wall.

“maybe u have to select which town to support also when u take control of the village.”

This is possible, but I believe the first and foremost objective will be to develop your village first. What I am saying is, you have the choice of a level 2 creature, and you have the capacity to build both level 1 creatures. Also the tavern, basically the elements a town possesses but there are fewer of them and they are not quite as effective. After you have achieved this, you could be given a bonus, say in gold for owning a town and a village, say maybe 250 gold on top of what your village and town each cumulatively.

“dont think there should b an option here to increase the gold out put from a village, ie, it should be a fixed amout.”

I don’t believe there should be structured choices in the way in which you develop your village. Only the generic method of a small town development system, similar to the one we employ now.

New Idea: Appendix

A more of an ‘important’ section of the castle. This separate adventure map object will be similar to a castle (Kind of like the ‘inner wall’) where the more important structures can be placed. It will have a slightly more magical defence than a village, as well as the level 3 and 4 structures, but you may only build one of these two. The Appendix also has the ability to house the ‘grail’ if it is in the map, however, there will be fewer heroes for sale here. Should this be included in the game? Give me your thoughts on this idea.

Miscellaneous Note:

“hmm, a quick note on something i would like to see though, is Combat Scholars as well as Magic Scholars, so that combat secondary skills can be taught as well.”

A superlative idea. There needs to be an equilibrium achieved between the might and magic heroes, and giving them equal opportunities is certainly a way to start. (You can see I’ve done this in my town plans). The might heroes have certainly played second fiddle for the most part of Heroes IV, until they can access their true power in the climactic levels of 40 etc. But since they aren’t in combat anymore, they need to be given even more of a boost.

Nasty

“hi...nice to see the new thread evolving...hydra your post is soo long...i got fire in my eyes...”

Indeed it is, starting off slowly as ‘A New Beginning’ did, maybe this one will get 96 replies, too. LOL, sorry about the blood-shot eyes. Long posts have become a habit of mine.

“My initial ideea was that there should be an option zoom...where you could see the battle through the hero's perspective”

Interesting, a change of battle perspective is always welcome, but I believe Heroes IV’s was almost perfect for a strategy game like it is. Your idea is good, but I think it would be much too difficult for the designers to create two battlefield perspectives. If NWC had a large team of developers, then I wouldn’t see a problem.

“the old way with the bird view and a second one with this zooming”

A view I don’t believe it would be too taxing for NWC to implement is a zoom view, but for the normal standpoint. So I am saying you could zoom in see the creatures more closely. There is no real strategic element associated with this, but I believe it will add something in terms of ‘eye candy’ as it is so often referred to here.

“(based on their moral they could also be excited or scared saying things)”

Yes, this seems like a good idea. However, I believe that it should only portrayed in humanoid creatures, and should not affect the creatures statistics, or do any damage. A similar idea was discussed in my old thread, if you recall.

“how would you feel beeing surounded by four enemy creatures that roar and wait to hit you”

It does sound like a daunting experience. I however that you compensate strategic placement for the view you have. In a true battle, the battle would be seen as it is now in Heroes IV. It is the most strategic placement. But I believe it wouldn’t pose too much of a problem if the views were interchangeable.

“The creatures would be very animated”

As with aforementioned items in you idea, it would be much too difficult to implement, and wouldn’t have a profound impact on the game.

“it's so realistic in my head i hope you can see it my way”

Oh, I certainly can, and I hope it does some detail to that extent, but not in a 3-D world, maybe a semi 3-D battlefield would be nice, to see the creatures roaming around during a siege. I think this idea can be employed with relative ease, the only problem is trying to find a spot to place them during a siege.

“would see the arrow hitting you in such way that you would close your eyes”

Hmmmmm. I don’t think so. Too realistic, and it is not in the essence of a strategy game. It is also too ‘gory’ to be classified in the ‘Everybody’ rating. In an interview on celestial heavens, a designer said they had to tone down the Venom Spawn animation to make it an ‘E’ game.

Your ideas are certainly quite good, but probably not in the context of a Heroes game, with a small development team and limited resources. The chances of your ideas occurring in the actual game have again been demoralised by the fact that the RPG style of representation won’t return. The ideas are certainly very vivid, and would work well in an RPG game, you have a very good creative mind, LOL.

Thankyou for the replies, I hope more are on the way. As long as the Altar is busy, the interest in Heroes V is good.

____________
"Dragons may breathe fire, but Hydras have many heads." - The Creed of Hydras
"As the Dragon drew its breath, the Hydra pounced, swiftly but powerfully, and the Dragon was defeated.”

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vladpopescu79
vladpopescu79


Promising
Famous Hero
a vampire of taste
posted June 14, 2003 01:26 AM


"A Pure Strategy Game

These words encompass a myriad of changes that have the possibility of occurring in Heroes V. Heroes IV was certainly a RPG – Strategy game hybrid, and the main by-product of this change was the Heroes in Combat, as well as the escalating influence of quests, storylines, and the overall presence of heroes. Another aspect that was affected were the creatures being mobile around the adventure map without the presence of a hero, and of course, the ever-changing skill system."

I don't know if it is so important the category into Heroes tends to fall in, but the overall feeling is. I also want to play a pure strategy game, and I think that those elements that you describe here as diminishing the strategy actually are not doing so. the fog of war, the implication of heroes in battle more than just a demi-god using his spells, and to some extent the creatures wandering across the land are adding a touch to the strategy (which is completely new, of course, but not diminished, in my oppinion). i agree that the first three series of Heroes were more of a chess-game, but what I like about H4 is that it turned more into a battling game, using more warfare tactics, like using intensive reconaissance through the eyes of your creatures. Also the heroes turned into real generals on the battlefield, and they are very mortal too, actually like in all stories and mythical books, and stuff. Everyone dies, so they should be actually fragile too. i agree that they are a little too fragile in H4, that could be worked on. So, the conclusion is I prefer them in combat.

"Only heroes may wander the map by themselves, and they do not need to be supported by creatures, but, if the hero encounters an army, that army will defeat the hero automatically, and the hero will be thrown into the opposing army’s prison. Caravans will still be present, and creatures may travel in them on their lonesome, to alleviate complicating travelling problems."

Yes, maybe it's better for creatures not to be able to wander all by themself, from a certain point of view (different than the one that I stated above), and they shouldn't be able to perform duties such as picking treasures or recruiting other creatures. Caravans are good, they should be kept, though. I don't agree that an army should defeat automatically the hero met, he should be able to escape quite easily (especially if he is stealthy or has scouting/logistics skills).

"A hero could have more influence on town creature growth and gold income if a hero stays in the town for a long time, and has a certain skill which allows him to do so. For example, these could be nobility or mining. A similar system was in place, but it wasn’t dependent on if the hero was there or not."

I also tend to think that the system of nobility in H4 is similar to the overall system of H series. I mean, if you lose all your towns it would be logical to lose all your money, which you don't. Same thing with nobility. the town keeps it no matter what. It would mean otherwise that your hero should never leave the castle and you would use it like a fat old man sitting and giving wise advices to the workers - and that is not a hero anymore. So I vote for the skill as in H4.

"~} As an alternative to the ‘might’ side of the heroes, the hero could have the capabilities to upgrade a creature, without having to visit the structure. This would be associated with a skill that lends itself to a might hero to be able to accomplish the task. It would take place anywhere on the adventure map, but it may only be used on one stack on early levels, maybe on three stacks on GrandMaster."

I agree completely.

"~} The specialised classes of Heroes IV could be kept, except they could be based around more intricate specialties than simply +2 to the summon wolf spell. They could instead be more universal with real benefits like the defense of a hero is increased, (as well as each hero having their own specialty) not a special bonus for the halberd of the swiftwatch (as good as it is) it is impractical to have something based on an artifact the hero may never use."

Again good point, I agree entirely.





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Dingo
Dingo


Responsible
Legendary Hero
God of Dark SPAM
posted June 14, 2003 09:51 PM

Grail

I think that in H5 there should a better Grail.  In H1 and H2 it was an artifact that did +12att, +12def, +12power, +12know.  In H3 it became a supreme building.  The building had good bonuses like +5,000 gold and +50% creature growth.  Then the grail had some specailty like view entire map, every week is week of the imp, etc.  Not to mention the Grail looked really cool like in the inferno how it was a huge devil or in the dungeon the big Guardian of the Earth.  But in H4 the Grail became a box.  The box had some good bonuses but it looked really dumb.  I think that the Grail should become more like it was in H3.
____________
The Above Post/Thread/Idea Is CopyRighted by, The Dingo Corp.

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Damacon_Ace
Damacon_Ace


Famous Hero
Also known as Nobris Agni
posted June 15, 2003 01:35 PM

To the Hydra and the rest: good posts!

My wish for Heroes V: Keep the gameplay as close as possible to the earlier ones in the series!

While I totally agree that Heroes IV was not the best game in the series, I would rather that Heroes V gameplay should keep some elements that were introduced in Heroes IV, most notably the involvement of heroes fighting in the battlefield and the current skill system which was more customaziable than in Heroes II and III, except I would like to have heroes learn 6 primary skills instead of 5.

As for adventure map movement, I'd still keep with heroless creatures moving around the map, but I'd rather have the "defeat all enemy heroes and creatures" win condition that is found on some scenarios change simply to "defeat all enemy heroes" to avoid the map ending in a draw (i.e. unfinishable because some enemy army stacks are continually fleeing and dodging from you). This change not only eliminates this problem, it also makes the player or the AI more vulnerable because if he has no towns or heroes left, he is eliminated from the game!

About the Fog Of War. While I believe the Fog Of War was introduced to make the game more realistic (and more challenging for those master strategists out there), I more often than not find it very detremential to the human player. Not only does this gray fog hide everything except what only your armies and towns can see, it also allows the enemy to do sneak attacks such as taking your town with little warning, then fleeing again into the darkness and escaping unpunished. I have had more problems with "hit-and-run" enemies in Heroes 4 than in any other Heroes game. My wish is that Heroes V should feature a "Fog Of War" disabling option. This allows you to play either with or without the Fog Of War so that everyone can play confidently.

Now to the magic system. I much appreciate Heroes IV's seperate magic schools, but I also like the Air/Earth/Fire/Water magic system in Heroes III. My wish? Take the best aspects of the magic systems from the two and try to make the best system possible. Also, I prefer having different mana cost for the spells in each level rather than having the all the spells cost the same for each level. I sorely miss a few spells, like Town Portal, for instance. Another wish here: reinstate Town Portal.

Now for the towns. I agree that there should be more than 4 levels (6 in the case of NWC's prediction), and I wish that the Thieves Guild and the marketplace should return to the towns as structures. Also, 1000 gold/day seems too little for a town income.

My wish? Give each town a statue a la Heroes 2, which gives an extra 500 gold/day, and increase the town incomes as follows:
Village Hall - stays at 500/day
Town Hall - up to 1000/day
City Hall - up to 1500/day
Capitol (one only) - gives 2500/day
This allows a town to give a possible 3000 gold/day as income.
I would also like each town to have a university where heroes can learn skills, even though I still wish for specific structures for each town.

And for creatures? 6 levels is fine, all of the levels selectable like in Heroes 4 without the upgrades. You can purchase both level 1's and 2's but must choose between the level 3's, 4's, 5's and 6's, for a total of 8 creatures. To offset this number, an army can have 9 slots instead of 7, which can be occupied by a hero or creatures (so you can have up to 9 heroes or 9 armies).

That is my wish.
____________
No one knows my true nature here...

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ThE_HyDrA
ThE_HyDrA


Admirable
Famous Hero
The Leader of all Hydras
posted June 17, 2003 12:06 PM

Good and Bad Strategy

It has been other members concern that some of the supposedly strategically enhancing aspects of the Heroes IV game have come under-fire, and contributed to the games detriment. An area with I believe has been pounced on particularly fiercely is the much anticipated Fog of War. I for one herald the idea, however many perceive it as a nuisance. There were other strategic problems that many faced, the heroes in combat imbalance was the most important of those. I believe NWC thought the ideas employed in Heroes IV were
1. Too RPG-like
2. Not in the best interest of strategy
And consequently, they are reverting back to the old system, as well as incorporating some new ideas, which you can bet are more strategy associated. (e.g. not Heroes in Combat)

Vladpopescu79

“I Don't know if it is so important the category into Heroes tends to fall in, but the overall feeling is.”

I would tend to agree with you here. It really doesn’t matter what the people say Heroes V is, as long as you have your own opinion as to how it plays, you yourself will decide if it is more RPG or Strategy. But by JVC employing more strategy elements, and discarding RPG elements, one could safely say that Heroes V would feel like a strategy game. The category and the feeling are rather intertwined, in my opinion.

“the fog of war, the implication of heroes in battle more than just a demi-god using his spells, and to some extent the creatures wandering across the land are adding a touch to the strategy (which is completely new, of course, but not diminished, in my oppinion).”

I should think that the fog of war is to stay for the next game, since I believed it was indeed quite a good encouragement for strategy in the game. The heroes in combat could have added strategy, but they didn’t, due to their poor implementation. An NWC development person had stated that Immortality potions were slotted in to try and balance out the heroes, but that doesn’t really work for me. The RPG element is what JVC is trying to remove, and taking heroes out of combat is certainly the first step.

I myself didn’t like the creatures roaming around by themselves, it made the heroes less of a precious commodity, and wandering around should be reserved for heroes. What are the creatures if there is no hero to lead them? Answer: A neutral army. Who says the creatures won’t just rebel without the leadership of a hero.

“I agree that the first three series of Heroes were more of a chess-game, but what I like about H4 is that it turned more into a battling game, using more warfare tactics, like using intensive reconnaissance through the eyes of your creatures.”

Yes, they are two variations of strategy, and will probably both be implemented in Heroes V. This is the way in which I prefer it, anyway. I believe chess by itself is too linear for such a diverse strategy game, and the warfare tactics can be too repetitive, without much time for actually building up the armies and exploring the land. If they did indeed combine, then I believe it would be best for the game, and the best for the strategy that it encompasses.

“Also the heroes turned into real generals on the battlefield, and they are very mortal too, actually like in all stories and mythical books, and stuff.”

Quite true, however, if you try to balance out the heroes with the creatures, it just doesn’t seem realistic, as Gerdash had previously pointed out I believe it was, can you imagine a single arrow from a hero killing 20 Efreet? With realism comes surrealism. You can’t win with this scenario. If you can find a better, more equal way to pit heroes with creatures, I’d love to hear it.
My own idea is not to have heroes against creatures, but heroes against heroes. They would fight on the outside of the battle that would be occurring (like the impassable, invisible boundary in Heroes II and III where the war machines, heroes were etc.)

“and they shouldn't be able to perform duties such as picking treasures or recruiting other creatures.”

OK, I agree here, it certainly is quite different to the reason you mentioned previously. Then the only reason to have creatures roaming the map would be to scout the area, and I can live with that. The only difficulty I have is that it is slightly underhanded (or maybe it’s just utilising resources wisely) to send out one sprite, and that one sprite can uncover the whole map. Maybe if that creature doesn’t return back to the hero, that information is lost?

“I don't agree that an army should defeat automatically the hero met, he should be able to escape quite easily (especially if he is stealthy or has scouting/logistics skills).”

If the hero dies in combat, I don’t think he can escape quite easily, regardless of the vast amounts of skill and knowledge he has accumulated throughout his travels. If the hero were to surrender, however, then your point will be valid. (And in fact, that is what happens, the hero returns to your castle).

“I mean, if you lose all your towns it would be logical to lose all your money, which you don't. Same thing with nobility. the town keeps it no matter what.”

Yes, I’m with you on this issue. But I believe the gold mines also contribute to the income, so it shouldn’t be totally excommunicated, since you still have the mine flagged. In terms of nobility, yes, the hero should not control the income, nobility or not, the town must control it, and if the hero has the Heroes IV variation of nobility, then it should only be in effect when he is in the town.

Dingo

“I think that in H5 there should a better Grail. In H1 and H2 it was an artifact that did +12att, +12def, +12power, +12know. In H3 it became a supreme building. The building had good bonuses like +5,000 gold and +50% creature growth.”

Yes, I agree on this point. The grail needs to become more prominent in maps where there is one present. The major reason why people chase after the grail is because it is to be sufficient to the victory condition. The grail needs increased statistics, as well as some other more important features, maybe you have the ability to build both level 6 creatures (using my upgrade system). Something fundamental that will greatly strengthen you in a direct way.

“Not to mention the Grail looked really cool like in the inferno how it was a huge devil or in the dungeon the big Guardian of the Earth.”

Indeed, the grail looked rather magical, and I would like to see those mammoth structures return for Heroes V. It gives the impression that the grail is truly the grail, if you get my drift.

Damacon_Ace

“My wish for Heroes V: Keep the gameplay as close as possible to the earlier ones in the series!”

Well, it appears your wish will be realised when Heroes V comes out, since JVC is reverting to the old methods, just as you wanted. There will (as always) be some new ideas implemented. Read this thread and my Heroes V: A New Beginning thread for more information.

“most notably the involvement of heroes fighting in the battlefield and the current skill system which was more customaziable than in Heroes II and III”

I’m sorry to say, but heroes won’t be in combat. I believe it is for the better. They were too unbalanced in combat, and this made it very difficult to foster them to a level of proficiency on small maps.
Yes, the skill system was indeed better in Heroes IV than in previous versions, however, the skills system will be entirely re-done for Heroes V, as JVC has said so himself. The major reason for this is the new skill system (Heroes IV’s) was meant to cater for heroes in combat, and now that they aren’t involved in combat directly anymore, it needed to be reassessed and redeveloped.

“I'd still keep with heroless creatures moving around the map”

I just think it causes too much confusion with all these flagged creatures roaming around the adventure map, only revealing more of the map and retrieving loose resources. They may just cause a mutiny, and then you would have no creature stack since there is no hero to guide them. (That’s a Real-Life repercussion)

Concerning the victory conditions – certainly, defeat all armies and towns is ludicrous. It just continues the complications, and I found that victory condition more difficult to grasp than the difficulties of the underground. If the underground is exiled, so should that victory condition.

“it also makes the player or the AI more vulnerable because if he has no towns or heroes left, he is eliminated from the game!”

Yes, good point there. It just makes the game simpler, and these previous difficulties did not add to strategy, it became more of a flurry of creatures, with only a few heroes.
Your point is also quite realistic, since why would a group of creatures, capable of achieving nothing in the endgame sustain a kingdom?

“While I believe the Fog Of War was introduced to make the game more realistic (and more challenging for those master strategists out there), I more often than not find it very detremential to the human player.”

Well, the way I see it is, it adds strategy, due to the fact that it can become more difficult to navigate through a map, not knowing where you are heading, and thus encouraging you to explore the map more so that you do know where you are heading. It also encourages the adventure map supremacy, e.g. retaining and finding mines, flagging dwellings, anything that removes the FoW. It may be challenging, but I wouldn’t say it is detrimental. It gets you to think more. There is also a great flexibility associated with it. For example, towns on hills would remove more FoW than ones in valleys. A great improvisation, In my opinion.

“it also allows the enemy to do sneak attacks such as taking your town with little warning,”

This is untrue, because the town has a large enough scouting radius to decipher that there is a hero near. A hero could not travel from outside the FoW, into the castle in one move. You also have mines and creature dwellings to augment this effect, since they are usually positioned near the castle in most maps.

However, people who are against FoW, I have nothing against the FoW disabling option, except I won’t ever use it off.

“Take the best aspects of the magic systems from the two and try to make the best system possible.”

Again, your wish will come true – to an extent. The alignment associated magic schools will once again return, this means Chaos, Order, Nature (maybe not those names). The change here is, that there will now be a ‘generic’ magic school, which, to my understanding, any hero can learn, which would include miscellaneous spells like summon boat, visions, etc: basically many of the spells that were in the Fire, Earth, Air, Water system.

Town Portal will probably be included in this generic spell system .

“and I wish that the Thieves Guild and the marketplace should return to the towns as structures. Also, 1000 gold/day seems too little for a town income.”

Yep, I agree here. I had mentioned that Thieves Guild and Marketplace should be reinstated a while back. I find it too helpful (as in easy) that you have both of these vital resources at your fingertips – in the drop down menu. They greatly need to be a part of the interactive proceedings.

Yes, 1,000 gold is not enough. I believe 2,000 would be the approximate figure I would look for. Can you imagine a gold mine earning the same as a whole, burgeoning town?

“Give each town a statue a la Heroes 2, which gives an extra 500 gold/day, and increase the town incomes as follows:”

Actually, in terms of the Warlock castle, the statue granted 250, while the dungeon gave 500.
Village Hall: 250 gold income
Town Hall: 750 gold
City Hall: 1,250 gold
Capitol: 2,000 gold
These are my ideal income amounts for the town. Not too much, not too little, either. Taking into account the costs of the creature (on average)
Level 1: 50 – frequency 20 a week
Level 2: 150 – 12 a week
Level 3: 300 – 9 a week
Level 4: 450 – 7 a week
Level 5: 850+ - 4-5 a week
Level 6: 4000 – 2 a week
Add these up, and you end up with approximately 14,000 in cost, which is approximately equal to the capitol level of income. (keep in mind that the numbers per week may change)

“To offset this number, an army can have 9 slots instead of 7, which can be occupied by a hero or creatures (so you can have up to 9 heroes or 9 armies).”

This is an intriguing idea, and could indeed work. The only predicament we could find ourselves in is the number of creatures on the battlefield. There could be too many. The overall system you have is quite good. However, I believe most people would prefer the upgrades to return. (this also goes for me)

Thankyou all for the insightful responses, I hope we can have more of them, since it has been a pleasure reading them.

____________
"Dragons may breathe fire, but Hydras have many heads." - The Creed of Hydras
"As the Dragon drew its breath, the Hydra pounced, swiftly but powerfully, and the Dragon was defeated.”

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vladpopescu79
vladpopescu79


Promising
Famous Hero
a vampire of taste
posted June 17, 2003 09:40 PM bonus applied.


A compromise for the wandering creatures scouting the map:

Since I agree with you that heroes should be a proeminent figure in the game and lonely creatures could riot or dissapear (especially if they have the size of a sprite), they might develop a new character, recruited in the castle, called SCOUT.
He would cost less than a hero, maybe half of the price. He could be recruited from the tavern, just like any other hero, from the thieves guild, or other special building (for example the Stables in the Castle). Since his speciality would be scouting/pathfinding, he would not be allowed to develop other skills except those, and he will develop in those using experience points.
The points of experience could be obtained from learning stones, trees of knowledge, chests, and TRAVELLING (just like in H4, where sneaking behind your enemies brings you experience if you have stealth skills).
As I said, the Scout should be able to develop 2 skills. One would be mandatory, and it would be Scouting. For the second one, you would have to choose between Logistics and Stealth (you can make him faster or stealthier).
He should be able to engage enemies troops you desire so, but his stats should not surpass those of a level 3-4 creature. So he would be used only to attack other scouts or very week creatures.
He might posess a spell book, but he should be cast only adventuring spells (such as Summon Boat, Dimmension Door, etc). I would allow him to cast the Dimmension Door, and also other ordinary hero - BUT WITHOUT ANY TROOPS.
He should be very fast, and able to escape from battle due to his rapid turn (only creatures level 6 should have greater speed), except for stuff like enemies posessing Shackles of War.
His role would be to explore, collect goods & experience and even flag mines.
Perhaps others can improve this character because that's about all I can think about it at this moment...
____________
MANE, TEKEL, FARES

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Nasty
Nasty


Known Hero
castor nebun si orb pe cinste
posted June 20, 2003 12:34 AM

i think the skills should mean more than they did in heroes 4...for example the scouting wasnt so great....i propose that the hero should benefit more from this skill...:
basic scouting:+1 radius
advanced:+1 radius,the hero can spot the nearest enemy castle from the fog of war
expert:+1 radius,the hero can enter the enemy castles
master:+1 radius,the hero can spot every enemy castle on the map.
grandmaster:+1 radius,if the enemy moves around the hero ,the hero sees it and the game is interrupted for the enemy player and the hero is granted only once half of his movement so he can run away or atack the hero.
Same thing goes for stealth:
basic:you can hide from lev 1 creatures
advance:hide from level 2 creatures and up to level 4 heroes
expert:you can cross behind up to level 3 creatures even if they are in the way with 30% chances
master:you can hide from heroes up to 8 lev and you can cross behind 4 lev creatures with 40% chances
grandmaster:hide from up to leve 12 heroes,and cross behind every creature in the way with 60% chances
with a little polishing it could work and i have more!but if you agree ..next time
____________
You can trick me with food.Possesions mean nothing to a navajo.

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EmperorSly
EmperorSly


Known Hero
Destroyer of Liver
posted June 20, 2003 09:26 AM bonus applied.

on strategy vs. RPG

People on this thread seem to be very appreciative of strategy and disdainful of RPG (rocket propelled grenade, Duke Nukem...). I agree with the former. Strategy is cool, exciting and makes sure you can play the game for ages. But I don't see that RPG is something that excludes strategy or has to be removed to enhance the masterminding fun.

We already have a pure strategy game. Its called chess. It has perfectly balanced and open map, equal creatures, no binding storyline -- only careful planning and foresight. Chess is already existing and hard to improve. What we need Heroes for is a totally different experience. And it could nicely include RPG elements.

I feel that strategy is all about making choices with far reaching consequences. Like choosing whether to develop a thief or sorcerer. The choice of whether to raise some undead or use hand of death is not, thats tactics. But the choice between building nightmare or efreet dwelling is pure strategy (and therefore the best improvement introduced by HOMM 4). And so is also choosing between giving the hero some order magic skills or going ahead with perfecting his death magic skills. This choice determines the battle tactics available for the hero for a long time to come. And although developing hero's skills might feel RPG, I would say its pure strategy -- hero development strategy, because its about making choices that affect what choices you can make in the future.

Even storyline and quests can accommodate strategy. The best example of it I saw on a map where you had one artifact that was demanded in two different quest huts, one guarded by nagas, another by genies. Giving artifact to nagas would result in access to naga dwellings and to nearby resource piles -- immediate benefit. Giving it to genies hut gave access to genie dwelling and a bunch of mines in remote location -- much larger benefit but attainable at a later time. But you had to choose which benefit you take -- couldnt have both. Voila -- quests, story and strategy all combined.

Also, RPG is about building character. You know, fighter, healer, mage etc. Its about choosing a way that cannot be directly compared to alternative. You can easily compare one figher with another, look at the stats and say which is stronger. But you cannot compare a fighter and healer, unless if only by own experience of how useful they tend to be. And this is where most interesting strategic choices can be made, choices that separate rookie from pro. Which do you like more, yellow or soft? Theres no easy answer to that one, and that is what introduces a lot of strategic depth. Therefore, lets have as many incomparable things in HOMM5 as possible -- a lot of totally different special abilities for creatures, and also the present skill system that allows to build unique and different heroes that require a totally different way of using. And lets bring back the hero specialties like in homm3. The more uncomparable are the alternatives, the more interesing is the choice and deeper the strategy.

Nevertheless, linear story maps are boring.
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ThE_HyDrA
ThE_HyDrA


Admirable
Famous Hero
The Leader of all Hydras
posted June 21, 2003 09:53 AM

Strategy in Heroes

In my mind, Heroes IV influenced many strategic outcomes in the way it was played. Some ideas were implemented well; others not so well, and some that did not fit into the game at all. As I’ve come to realise, the Heroes series has always had a strong storyline, with clear distinctions between good and evil in the towns. The mechanical changes augmented these storylines, with NWC incorporating creatures to fit the storyline, as well as having greater diversity in skills, and greater interactivity with the adventure map. The problem that could plague the developers today is what features should be retained, what ones should be discarded, and the quality of the new elements. I have high hopes for Heroes V, and, as an accumulation and correlation between all ideas that have been and will be, Heroes V has the potential to be the best.

GrunanCross

“lol, im not one for long post, ut i think i agree wif all of what u said and shows to be promiseng if it makes it”

Well, thankyou. I try my best.

Vladpopescu79

“they might develop a new character, recruited in the castle, called SCOUT.”

This idea has indeed been brought up several times during my stay at HC. I have no objection to it at all. However, I’d be inclined to say that, instead of a new recruit called a scout, heroes with scouting and logistics and pathfinding can be classified as a scout, and have a special bonus to do with scouting. The downfall of my own idea is that nobody in their right mind would want to waste a fully developed hero on scouting. (So we’ll go with your idea for the moment)

“He would cost less than a hero, maybe half of the price.”

Yes, I find this fitting. Approximately 500 gold I think would be sufficient for a restricted hero, a.k.a. scout.

“He could be recruited from the tavern, just like any other hero, from the thieves guild, or other special building (for example the Stables in the Castle).”

Hmmm. Your last place of recruitment sparked an idea. The stables were present to an extent in Heroes IV. What if, in Heroes V, the stables were a structure to recruit scouts from (and scouts only). These same stables would also give an extra movement bonus to a visiting hero or scout (+7), thus giving it a dual use. I don’t think the scout should be able to be recruited from a thieves guild – is he/she a thief?

“Since his speciality would be scouting/pathfinding, he would not be allowed to develop other skills except those, and he will develop in those using experience points.”

I’d rather approach the skills in this fashion:
Primary Skill: Scouting
Secondary Skill: Pathfinding
Secondary Skill: Logistics
Secondary Skill: Seamanship/Navigating
Secondary Skill: Stealth
This way, the scout isn’t restricted to one skill, and would be able to develop all the skills a scout would require.

“The points of experience could be obtained from learning stones, trees of knowledge, chests, and TRAVELLING (just like in H4, where sneaking behind your enemies brings you experience if you have stealth skills).”

Yes, I would agree here. These are all adventure map based experience sources. And this is what I hoped for; nothing to do with combat as the scout should not be involved in it unless attacked. Besides, the experience for a scout does not come from combat: it comes from exploring. You’ve made a good decision, especially incorporating the travelling aspect, as combat for heroes is not longer present.

“He should be able to engage enemies troops you desire so, but his stats should not surpass those of a level 3-4 creature. So he would be used only to attack other scouts or very week creatures.”

OK, I don’t believe he should be able to engage in combat. The scout should travel on his lonesome, and not carry any other creatures. Since heroes aren’t in combat, the scout wouldn’t be able to fit, so if an enemy finds the scout and activates the combat screen, the scout will be defeated or ‘found’. His only way of escaping - I will discuss soon. Scouts wouldn’t fight (neither do heroes), and so there is no need to alter statistics.

“He might posess a spell book, but he should be cast only adventuring spells (such as Summon Boat, Dimmension Door, etc). I would allow him to cast the Dimmension Door, and also other ordinary hero - BUT WITHOUT ANY TROOPS.”

Yep, I agree on this point. These spells can also only be cast in the adventure map (as you’d expect). The problem I foresee is how would he have the skills to actually learn those spells? Since you had mentioned that the scouting primary skill is the only one the scout possesses.

“He should be very fast, and able to escape from battle due to his rapid turn (only creatures level 6 should have greater speed), except for stuff like enemies posessing Shackles of War.”

On the point of escaping from battle. I think the success of this manoeuvre should depend on what level the scout is at.
Level 1: = < Level 1 creature’s speed
Level 2: = Level 1 creature’s speed
Level 4: = Level 2 creature’s speed
Level 6: = Level 3 creature’s speed
Level 8: = Level 4 creature’s speed
………
Level 12: = Level 6 creature’s speed, etc.
Say if the scout is at level 6, it will be able to escape from an army with a level 2 creature as its highest unit. If a level 3 creature is the army’s highest unit, there is a 50-50 chance.

“His role would be to explore, collect goods & experience and even flag mines.”

Flag mines, yes, not flag castles though. Mines and windmills and dwellings should be the extent of the scouts flagging abilities. The scout wouldn’t be able to flag villages, garrisons, or castles.
Good idea, this ‘scout’ theory is.

Nasty

“for example the scouting wasnt so great”

I thought it was quite beneficial in the middle levels where you were able to see the opposing army’s statistics and their relative power, but it did indeed start to drop off towards the end.

“i propose that the hero should benefit more from this skill...:”

Your proposal sounds pretty sensible. However I’m not exactly sure what you mean by the grandmaster difficulty’s grant.
Basic: +1 radius
Advanced: +1 radius, view army statistics that are in the FoW
Expert: +1 radius, view army numbers
Master: +1 radius, view victory probability. (This army will squash Xyron like a bug, etc.)
Grandmaster: +1 radius, remove FoW in an area equivalent to a lookout’s.

I wouldn’t have any major changes to your stealth skill, but I will still review it.
Basic: Hero can hide from level 1 creatures.
Advanced: Hero hides from other heroes and level 2 creatures.
Expert: Hero can hide from level 3 creatures
Master: Hero can hide from level 4 creatures, can only be seen by level 5’s if the hero is rather close to them
Grandmaster: Hero can hide from level 5’s, and can only be seen by level 6’s if they are quite close to the hero.

Yes, keep the ideas coming; they seem promising.

EmperorSly

“I agree with the former. Strategy is cool, exciting and makes sure you can play the game for ages. But I don't see that RPG is something that excludes strategy or has to be removed to enhance the masterminding fun.”

Yes, I wouldn’t say that RPG excludes strategy either. However, as with other genres, RPG diverts the attention of the player somewhat to the building up of an individual from the strategic development of the whole kingdom. By the hero being so diverse, it detracted from the rest of the elements in the Heroes game, and obviously this is not what JVC envisaged.

“What we need Heroes for is a totally different experience. And it could nicely include RPG elements.”

Your chess analogy is a praiseworthy one. Indeed chess is the most basic of strategy games, but also one of the most rewarding. But the elements of strategy can be extended with the implementation of the features Heroes has. For example, there is no ‘town’ in chess, and from this town in Heroes springs many new possibilities. I agree that RPG essentials should be included in Heroes V, but not too many that it makes the game a 50 RPG, 50 Strategy game. I would rather have the ratio around 85 strategy : 15 RPG.

“I feel that strategy is all about making choices with far reaching consequences. Like choosing whether to develop a thief or sorcerer.”

Yes, I agree here. The amount of choices and non-linear design in Heroes IV is partially the reason why I like it better than III, and about the same as II. The choices are versatile, but can induce some unwanted ramifications. (Not all creatures being chosen in a town is one).
You make reference to thief or sorcerer, I believe the development should basically stop there. Then we continue as Heroes always used to, with no advanced classes, they didn’t prove to be a fundamental part of Heroes, and were, at most times, unnecessary in my opinion.

“But the choice between building nightmare or efreet dwelling is pure strategy (and therefore the best improvement introduced by HOMM 4).”

This is also the best change in my mind. Now If we took it a step further with my upgrade system I devised, we would have a perfectly strategic system.

“And although developing hero's skills might feel RPG, I would say its pure strategy -- hero development strategy, because its about making choices that affect what choices you can make in the future.”

Interesting. Most people would classify this as RPG, since that is what happens in an RPG game. The strategy I see in Hero development is the types of skills they choose. Say, as to pick navigation/seamanship over pathfinding because the map is predominantly water. This is what I would call strategy. What I would call RPG, is choosing skills, then, depending on what skills the hero has, turns him into a advanced hero class. The skills the hero chooses should only have consequences on the battle, and adventure map, not on the hero’s class.

“Even storyline and quests can accommodate strategy.”

They can indeed incorporate strategy, but it is harder for them to do so. If the quests are redundant, or placed on the map without care, they can lead the player into a wild goose chase, which has no impact on the player whatsoever. This results in a waste of time.

“But you had to choose which benefit you take -- couldnt have both. Voila -- quests, story and strategy all combined.”

Yes, that event is one of the few times strategy is integrated. If there were more of these quests and less of the ‘kill the 5 black dragons to get an artifact’ quests, Heroes would indeed become more interesting. Quests can be used well in a map, the mapmaker just needs to be experienced enough in terms of how to use them.

“Also, RPG is about building character. You know, fighter, healer, mage etc.”

And this is what occurred in Heroes IV with the classes like Fire Diviner, Ninja, Wizard King, Warlord, etc. If these classes were removed, I believe it would be for the better.

“But you cannot compare a fighter and healer, unless if only by own experience of how useful they tend to be. And this is where most interesting strategic choices can be made, choices that separate rookie from pro.”

Ah, but you see, in Heroes, there is no choice. You do choose the skills, yes, but you do not choose them to obtain an advanced class, you choose them to suit the adventure map, and your goals in the conquest of it. In Heroes, I believe you could compare a Fire Diviner to a Pyromancer, since they have very similar skills, and the only real difference that separates them is their special ability. This immediate transformation into an advanced class is not as effective as the hero skills we once had.

“Therefore, lets have as many incomparable things in HOMM5 as possible -- a lot of totally different special abilities for creatures, and also the present skill system that allows to build unique and different heroes that require a totally different way of using.”

Yes, I do want things to be as different and unique as possible. Heroes would be dull without variety. Special abilities for creatures are what makes them unique, and separates them on many different levels. Having a more diverse skill system that focuses on adventure map conquest would be favourable, and help to bring up the hero’s importance. I am very much for a more unique Heroes V, and not the class-based heroes we used to have. No hero specialty was one of the biggest downfalls in Heroes IV. It can’t happen again.

“The more uncomparable are the alternatives, the more interesing is the choice and deeper the strategy.”

Yes, I would have to say that I’m with you on that one.
And one thing can be taken from that: Linear story maps are boring.

Thankyou, Emperor Sly for the great insight, Nasty, for the new ideas, and Vladpopescu79, for that well thought-out idea concerning scouts. I hope the discussion can continue.

____________
"Dragons may breathe fire, but Hydras have many heads." - The Creed of Hydras
"As the Dragon drew its breath, the Hydra pounced, swiftly but powerfully, and the Dragon was defeated.”

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van
van

Tavern Dweller
posted June 21, 2003 11:01 AM
Edited By: van on 21 Jun 2003

"And although developing hero's skills might feel RPG, I would say its pure strategy -- hero development strategy, because its about making choices that affect what choices you can make in the future.”

exactly.
Playing with 3 druids is completely different than playing with priest and fighter for instance , or
2 hypnotyzers + small priest , or  2 separate necromancers , or tactician and 2 fighters , or ...  millions of options , all  100% strategy. Whatever you choose it will determine your options and therefore outcome of your battles latter. Nothing but strategy here.
Plus some of advanced class bonuses are esential. Life + bit of tactics will ensure you are  first on move ( to enter sanctuary before hypnotize for instance) , tactics and bit of nature will add 10% to allready high defence + some spels for tactician to cast  , assassin +3 to speed if you up for fast heroe assassination(cancelation  before devils jump ) , nature + order =20% to sumon/ilusion ,monk when you play against chaos , combat + bit of life for paladin(50% + ussualy 70 defence will do even against 40/60 vamps)  ,demonologist as ultimate winner ...  and so on . Those are just new strategical options for player to pick every new game.
I found nothing RPGish about that.
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vladpopescu79
vladpopescu79


Promising
Famous Hero
a vampire of taste
posted June 22, 2003 02:43 AM

We seem to agree on almost evrey aspect of the "scout" issue. The only differences, minor in every aspect are:
- in my oppinion the scout could be rcruited from the "thieves guild" or "den of thieves" as he could resemble one of those, and with some stealth skills he might actually belong to their cast.This might add another aspect to the game. And this is the amount of information that you receive from the same building about other players. The number of scouts that you have, and perhaps even their position on the map could influence the information that you can have, and this point of view is very consonant with the "fog of war". This fog of war, which actually represents your lack of information on your enemies is divergent from the information regarding his troops, castles, and income that you can get in H4 . You should have both these informations and the position of his heroes on the map or have none. So, the appearance of the scouts could bring these aspects in harmony. they could represent the means of all your information regarding your enemies. The detailes are still to be thought of, though.

- the idea of the scout as a warrior. I don't see him like this either. But I cannot help to think at the situation when 2 scouts are meeting by chance. I would allow a fight between them. if they decide to remove the heroes as fighters on the battle screen, then the scout could be a sort of hybrid between hero and creature ( something like a mage in h4). He could have hit points and other stats. I'm still thinking of that....

- the ability to cast spells could come right from a secondary skill within the scouting primary skill; something like the optional third skill in every primary skill in h4; I haven't thought of a name for the skill or a systematisation but the greater the skill, the more advanced spells in his spellbook. the spells can be obtainde from the ordinary source of spells in each castle - separate section, of course (or not, ...)

Now to debate other ideas: the Grail issue.

i agree with y'all on this aspect. The grail should be more powerful.So I have some rudimentary ideas on this theme:
1. The castle hosting the grail should be "more inexpugnable" than other castles. The grail by itself should be able to resist ( without a garrison) a siege for, lets say, 1 week (enough time for you to return to defend it).
2. The grail should boost the stats of the defenders.
3. The grail should add more resources and population to the castle.
4. The grail could add a creature to your army. But a special creature. My idea is to remove real or prospect creatures from the armies such as angels/grim reapers on the principle that those are immortal and therefore don't fit the profile. They could be recruited in small numbers (only one, if you ask me) from the grail structure, inserted into the army ranks but not as fighters but stats boosters (I think I saw that in h3,5 right?). They could add to morale, ward, fighting skills depending on each character, and also prevent the hero from being captured under any circumstances (even in the presence of shackles of war) - something like a "guardian angel".
Those advantages would, summing it all up, preserve your main hero and castle and boost their strenght.
The grail-creatures could be:
-castle: guardian angel
-necrotown: grim reaper
-inferno: devil
-dungeon: dragon-soul
-tower: genie
-preserve/rampart: gaya
-barbarians: ?
-etc.
____________
MANE, TEKEL, FARES

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Djive
Djive


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Zapper of Toads
posted June 22, 2003 12:54 PM

Quote:
As many have gathered from fairly recent interviews with Jon Van Caneghem, the element of strategy is returning to our much-loved series. However, this view was questioned with the RPG-styled release of Heroes IV.


I believe the tools needed for RPG-related maps will stay, but nothing new will be added unless the tool also adds to strategy.

In short don't expect any new advanced scripts to handle RPG things. Don't expect NWC made maps to be RPG-stylish.

This doesn't mean there won't be RPG-style maps. Most of these maps are fan-made maps anyway, and I'd say that the script options in H4 are sufficient to make them.

IMO this is the best way to go. NWCs maps are strategy based and doesn't spend the extra effort which is needed to make RPG maps but spends it on bettering the basic game instead. The RPG making tools are left in the game so fan-made RPG maps can be made. This doesn't mean the end to RPG maps, though it means they will not be available when the game is released.

As I see it any and all RPG aspect of the game is based on the script system and its capabilities. The ones that you get from Hero advancing levels will still be present because there WILL be a system for handling level-up.

What I believe the consequence will be is that there will be less story-telling in the NWC made campaigns in H5.

Most of the single-scenario Maps in H4 did not contain much of a story to begin with anyway.

Heroes are not in Combat

This is not an issue at all whether the game is strategy based or RPG based. It simply alters the strategy you employ, but you have strategy whichever choice you make.

There are plenty of other topics handling Heroes in combat so I'll not comment further on it here.

Specialized Heroes (non Might/non Magic)

This is something which already Heroes 4 had. The two skill groups Scouting and Nobility really had nothing to do with either Might or Magic. The first increased movement and improved interaction with the Map. The second gave resources / gold while increasing creature production in your town.

As is indicated in other posts. Perhaps, they should broaden the Hero concept to include things other than Might and Magic Heroes.

Recruiting Spies, Scouts, Admirals, Lords and so on looks to be a good idea. For some of them, you might trade them between Heroes like Hirelings. Others (like spies) would have to work on their own, and would need to gain levels by Stealth or from Towns and Map objects.

Upgrading creatures fits nicely as a Hero speciality, assuming there are upgrades or you can give creature upgrades as I suggested in the "Leaders" thread.

A hero class that can do nothing but upgrading creatures seems not a good idea to me.

My opinion on advanced classes: Ditch them! They have little purpose as they're made. Instead increase the number of basic classes which can be recruited, and give the basic classes a template for creation and level-up. Heroes should NOT start out with exactly the same stats and abilities, neither in nor between the classes.


Shorter Storyline and Quests

Overall. I'd say the story-line could be avoided entirely. There was perhaps one thing you needed to know on each Campaign Map in H4. That's not all that much really.

I'd say the emphasis on strategy means less Quests in NWC made maps. I can't say Quests were strategy in H4, at least not in NWC made Maps. Almost invariably you either:
- Had to complete the quest to complete the Map.
- Did not know before completing the quest what you would be rewarded with.

Six or Eight towns?

Multitude is better if it's achieveable. One town imbalanced among 8 is tolerable and you can probably avoid playing such a town. Also a town which is either worse or better than the others might actually give some players an additional challenge. One in six greatly decreases the game-replay value.

If an upgraded creature is more powerful than a non-upgraded then 99% of players will pick the upgraded creature. I'd say it's better to have upgrades on levels where you have no choice, and choices on levels where you have no upgrades. 6 levels: 3 with choices, 3 with upgrades.

I don't think the art-budget will allow much more than that. Also the more creatures you try to squeeze in the less chance of an expansion town. Which is another reason why towns should be many to begin with. If you stuff in dozens of creatures in each town, then expansions won't contain new towns.


The Hexagon?

The Pentagram was a forcing reason not to make new towns because of the wide implications it had on almost every part of the game.

The news I read said that each town will have its own school of magic. However, messages I've read impled that connection to "allied schools" through annexes /libraries were gone. It was the connection to the allied schools that created the Pentagram, not the fact that each town had it's own school of Magic.

The connection to the allies were also reflected by the wheel on the Heroes recruitment screen and you could also see it behind the design in a lot of other ways.

Hero Skills and Miscellaneous Inc.

The Skill System and its link with Combat

I've posted my own topic on this. Won't comment on a system here.

Combat is superfluous. Stealth needs to be revamped. H4 contains too many Magic skills and too few Might skills. There are too many skill-levels in each group.

Power and Wisdom are not necessarily out of the equation. I'd say you're more likely to keep them if you reintroduce Attack and Defence because if you introduce stats for Might hero you need stats for a Magic hero.


Towns and Castles on the Map

They should be made smaller. They take up way too much space in H4.

Two Town and Siege Battle Screens

I don't like the realisitic motive at all. It has nothing to do with game-play or strategy. Rather if you make creatures too big they clutter up the battlefield, you get problems seeing things behind the titans or whatever. There is already a big size difference between halflings and Titans and I don't think it should be made any bigger.

When it comes to town views you can have several different views and not show all things in them.

Overview: Views Hall and Castle, and some other important large structures like Shipyard and Caravans.

Hall: Views civilan dwellings and population.

Castle: Views Prison, creature training grounds, and any military builds.

With three screens chances are that it will be very easy to avoid clutter, and many towns and cities were divided this way.

In times of war the civilan population took what they could carry and sought refuge inside the well-defended castle. So I don't agree with you.

If you besieged a town, what the defender should lose is things like:
- Town income.
- Marketplace bonuses.
- Access to buildings in the Hall screen.
- Population growth (if it's introduced)

However, since the civilians are in the castle where you also have the training grounds, I'd say it would be fair to double the creature dwelling growths. Why? Because the besieged town has nothing else to do than to defend themselves. With lack of civilian duties the civilans are trained instead.

When opponent lays siege to a town, the defender gets to pick between retreating behind the walls (forfeiting all the civilan bonuses of the town), or defend against the attack (but the combat will be on open ground, NOT behind city walls.)

Nasty:
I don't think a new perspective will be a good idea. The art budget is limited, and I'd rather they spent it on more creatures and enhancing towns and map objects. The bad thing is that a new perspective doesn't add anything to game-play or strategy.

HyDrA:
The RPG-part will ONLY be lost in the NWC produced maps. Fan-made maps will still have it.




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

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Wildbear
Wildbear


Hired Hero
posted June 22, 2003 07:36 PM

About vladpopescu's grail ideas...
If the grail is too powerful, the game will turn in a treasure hunt, and treasure hunt is not the most strategic game ever. If the enemy can't take the town where you built the grail structure, you can't lose the game, and if the grail gives you more bonuses, you don't even need to develop a strategy in battle.
I think every town should be able to have a structure to counter the Grail's effects (15-25% per town), maybe using other relics.
About the bonuses : more defense, more creatures, more money and one grail creature is too much, this would increase fourfold your army's strength !
About the grail creatures, I don't like the idea of hiring a supreme creature, somehow a lvl7 creature, even if this one can't fight. I think those creatures could be in the game but as "invocations" (rpg style), the grail could add the spell in the mage guild, no more.

About the new perspective idea, as Djive said, budget is limited, I would add that the game is not 3d (or at least full 3d, there could be 3d elements), and sprites are really heavy. H4's sprites are somehow 32bits sprites, maybe 40bits (the shadow has a separate channel). Any 128x128 sprite is about 64kb, without animation, if every creature's animation has 320 frames (all creatures must be rendered in 8 directions, that's only 40 frames per direction), with 60 creatures, that's 1.2gb of sprites (uncompressed). H4's archives are zipped, so they're smaller, but if you have a new perspective, the number of sprites is doubled (and that's only for creatures). So I think you should wait for Heroes games to be 3d games before asking for a new perspective

About everything else, I mostly agree with Djive, but not completely about the new heroes idea. I think heroes' fame, nobility, diplomacy, scoutism etc, should increase depending on their experience, not as secondary skills, but as primary skills. For example, when the hero accepts to let some monsters of his alignment run, is nobility could increase a little (with nobility being between 0 and 100), when he walks in swamps for weeks, his pathfinding should increase. Also, stealth should be a primary skill, the player could choose between "fight or stealth" when he approaches a stack. If he successfully pass near the stack without being noticed, he has one stealth point, if he fails, the creatures attack with a bonus. For example the player could have to move slowly, 1 square at once every 4 to 5 seconds, if he moves earlier or later, the creature attacks. Of course, if you have a large army, you can't do that, and troops would lower the probability depending on their number and the number of opponents.
In H2, there was only 1 hero type per castle, I think there should be only 1 hero class per castle and every hero should be able to specialize more than in H4, but more with real exeperience than skills learned randomly.

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ThE_HyDrA
ThE_HyDrA


Admirable
Famous Hero
The Leader of all Hydras
posted June 23, 2003 10:42 AM

The Influence of RPG in Heroes V

Given the fact that heroes are to be removed from combat, and the skill system will be totally re-developed, some people are still hopeful that RPG will still have an influence in Heroes V. The only way I can see this occurring is through fan-made maps. JVC has strictly said that the presence of RPG will be reduced somewhat in the Heroes V maps. However, he did go on to say that there won’t be very big changes to the map editor, and went as far to say all the scripting options will return in Heroes V. This means quests, events, and a more RPG style of play. But the chance that NWC will use these tools is minimal. The only hope of the RPG resurgence in Heroes V is through fan-made maps, if the map maker decides to take advantage of the tools at his disposal.

Van

“2 hypnotyzers + small priest , or 2 separate necromancers , or tactician and 2 fighters , or ... millions of options , all 100% strategy.”

I wouldn’t say that the difference is in the advanced class. I’d be tending to say that the skills have much more of an influence on the hero than his advanced class. The skills the hero possesses are the crux of hero development, and the advanced classes, are but a by-product of this. So, the only reason a necromancer would be different from a priest is the life magic vs. death magic skills, the advanced class title has little to do with it.

“Life + bit of tactics will ensure you are first on move ( to enter sanctuary before hypnotize for instance) , tactics and bit of nature will add 10% to allready high defence + some spels for tactician to cast”

What I am saying is, the advanced classes have little impact on the way I play the game. The same strategy would be used with life magic and tactics even if I weren’t labelled as a crusader (which is the advanced class of these skills). The overall impact of this class means very little to me, and my strategy would be the same regardless if I were a crusader or a prophet. It’s the skills the hero has that counts.

“Those are just new strategical options for player to pick every new game.
I found nothing RPGish about that.”

If you are referring to the skills you choose, then yes, they are very strategic. But if you are referring to the advanced classes, there is nothing strategic about that, they are more RPG, since they are concerned with class development, and have no real impact on your strategy. (Not in my strategy, anyway.)

Vladpopescu79

“in my oppinion the scout could be rcruited from the "thieves guild" or "den of thieves" as he could resemble one of those, and with some stealth skills he might actually belong to their cast.”

Hmmm. But by having them recruited from a thieves guild, isn’t it implying that all scouts are thieves, which they aren’t? This may be suitable for the Chaos town, but not for the Order town. Also, by focusing on their stealth skill, you’re disregarding the other skills the scout has, such as seamanship (recruit from a shipyard), scouting (recruit from tavern), etc. So, instead of focusing on one place linked to a skill, I think they should be recruited from a stable, which also grants movement bonus, as I mentioned previously. I think scouts are important enough to have their own structure, don’t you?

“The number of scouts that you have, and perhaps even their position on the map could influence the information that you can have, and this point of view is very consonant with the ‘fog of war’.”

Interesting. I’d agree with this idea, but it has no link to where the scout is recruited from. How about, we use that idea above to display the information to the town, but the scout is recruited from the stable. So all the information the scout receives will be displayed in the thieves guild like another parameter, which could include area covered and the FoW, as you said. Good idea.

“But I cannot help to think at the situation when 2 scouts are meeting by chance. I would allow a fight between them.”

This situation is indeed perplexing, since heroes do not fight anymore. I think a better way to resolve this is, if two enemy scouts meet, you can pay a certain amount of gold for the information the scout has attained. It will automatically have a price for the information, and say if the scout has uncovered 20% of the map, you pay 3,000 gold or something.

“skill within the scouting primary skill; something like the optional third skill in every primary skill in h4”

Perhaps this could work. Maybe something like Wild magic, which is a secondary skill of scouting, and the scout could learn it from a small structure on the adventure map by paying gold to learn it, since scouts can’t fight. That’s the way I can see it happening. This wild magic would encompass spells like dimension door, town portal, summon boat, visions, just as you said. (Spells for the adventure map.)
This structure could also be present in castles, and the scout would need a spellbook, obviously, which could also be bought from this place.

Grail:

I agree with all of number 1, 2, and 3. However, I see a problem with number 4. I believe it would make the grail too powerful and too complicated to use. They could be a spirit in the castle, that is the living (or un-dead) representative or keeper of the grail, but having them in a combat situation is too much of a benefit. On that topic, however, I’ll suggest my own keepers of the grail: (They would have powers like repel a siege for a day, only one of them, gives the army +2 morale in siege combat, +2 luck in siege combat.)
Haven/Life: Seraph
Death/Necropolis: Grim Reaper
Chaos/Asylum: Ancient Dragon
Order/Academy: Colossus
Nature/Preserve: Gaea
Might/Stronghold: Ares/Mars

Djive

“I believe the tools needed for RPG-related maps will stay, but nothing new will be added unless the tool also adds to strategy.”

Yes, that’s correct, since JVC didn’t say he was taking out the scripting options from the editor just because Heroes V will be more to do with strategy. The old options will still be available.

“In short don't expect any new advanced scripts to handle RPG things. Don't expect NWC made maps to be RPG-stylish.”

That’s is also right. There won’t be any new additions to the scripting systems, since NWC won’t be using them too often with their maps anyway.

The only heavily RPG-styled maps can be made by fans only, as you said, this is because all the Heroes IV tools are available for you to do so.

Yes, I also agree that it is the way to go. NWC don’t need to waste time on having complicated storylines in their maps, and can focus on the more strategic elements of it, and making the map more balanced. This also grants them more time to do other tasks, since scripting does take quite a long time.

“The ones that you get from Hero advancing levels will still be present because there WILL be a system for handling level-up.”

There will of course be the experience factor, but the way a hero is developed in Heroes V will be very different to that of Heroes V, simply because the skill system will be different, and the heroes won’t be in combat. This also points to the advanced hero classes being scrapped, since most bonuses had to do with combat.

Heroes are not in Combat

“It simply alters the strategy you employ, but you have strategy whichever choice you make.”

Actually, I believe it will change more than that. Since heroes aren’t in combat, the skill system will be redeveloped to focus more on the adventure map characteristics of the hero, and you will certainly have to make different decisions on what skills you want to choose. For example, you won’t always go for a combat skill (if there is one). My prediction is that scouting will have more of an influence in Heroes V.

Specialised Heroes (non might/non magic)

“The two skill groups Scouting and Nobility really had nothing to do with either Might or Magic.”

I’m with you on this one. I think what you’re saying is instead of incorporating these non might non magic skills into hero development, a new unit/hero should be created from it instead? Like Scout for scouting, Lord for nobility, etc? If so ,I don’t find a problem with it, as long as their abilities do not come close to exceeding a heroes, and they can only learn skills in that specific skill group.

“Upgrading creatures fits nicely as a Hero speciality, assuming there are upgrades or you can give creature upgrades as I suggested in the "Leaders" thread.”

Indeed it does. I believe it should adhere to the guidelines that I wrote in my initial post. There can be great depth in heroes having the ability to upgrade creatures without getting redundant.

“A hero class that can do nothing but upgrading creatures seems not a good idea to me.”

I agree with you here. (Even though I hope there aren’t classes anymore). I think that if there were to be classes, they have a specialty that is worthwhile, such as expelling the FoW, e.g. like in Heroes I,II, III, where there was on FoW.

“My opinion on advanced classes: Ditch them! They have little purpose as they're made.”

Yes, I have been saying this throughout the whole thread. They have insignificant purpose in the grand scheme of the game, and are just small by-products of Hero skill development.
The heroes should be unique, and yes, include more basic classes so the decision isn’t intertwined to what skills you choose. These basic classes need to be structured in some way, but following the skill development guidelines in my initial post. The skill development needs to be linked to the purpose of recruiting that class, as well as the hero’s biography.

Shorter Storyline and Quests

“I'd say the story-line could be avoided entirely. There was perhaps one thing you needed to know on each Campaign Map in H4. That's not all that much really.”

Well, I wouldn’t say that the storyline should be removed entirely, but instead should have very little impact on the map you play. All you need to know is that you’re part of so and so army, and you have to win in 100 days, etc. Not too much more is needed.

I agree, the vast majority of the quests in Heroes IV were very RPGish, and didn’t have very much impact on the map at all unless it was a victory condition. In the maps NWC made, they were often like kill 5 Black Dragons to get 5000 gold, or something else insignificant. Quests need to be used with care, or not at all in most maps.

Six or Eight Towns?

“Multitude is better if it's achieveable.”

Indeed it is, but since 6 towns are confirmed for Heroes V, the best we can hope for is for them to be diverse towns, with a greater capacity for development through the game.
Yes, 6 towns isn’t sufficient for a diverse game such as Heroes, and I am hoping for an extra town to be added in an expansion, 7 or 8 sounds like a good number. Imbalanced towns can lead to a very balanced game, as we saw in Heroes I and II.

“If an upgraded creature is more powerful than a non-upgraded then 99% of players will pick the upgraded creature.”

Well, my upgrade system was meant to make the choice more difficult for the player. The un-upgradeable creature is stronger to begin with, and the structure costs less than the upgradeable one. Once the other creature is upgraded, it becomes stronger than the un-upgradeable one. What I’m trying to instil here is a decision subjective to the player’s financial position.

“I'd say it's better to have upgrades on levels where you have no choice, and choices on levels where you have no upgrades. 6 levels: 3 with choices, 3 with upgrades.”

I believe that system is too irregular, and will have to be copied identically for all towns to have a fair chance, and this is beginning to sound too reminiscent of the Heroes IV method. Your theory is also quite linear, not giving them a choice as to what creature the player would like. It just seems to irregular in the fact that for half of the levels you can’t choose, and for the other half you can.

“I don't think the art-budget will allow much more than that.”

Actually, in Heroes IV, the art people had finished a long time before the release date, clearly showing that the art people had a lot of time, and the development team working on the actual engine were the ones who held the game back. I think the art budget can allow for much more than what was present in Heroes IV.

“Also the more creatures you try to squeeze in the less chance of an expansion town.”

Possibly, but with the multitudes of creatures NWC has dreamt up and used in the Heroes series, I don’t think it would be too difficult for them to insert another 12 unique creatures into a town (18 in total).

“If you stuff in dozens of creatures in each town, then expansions won't contain new towns.”

This idea did not prove itself in Heroes IV. There were only 8 creatures in the 6 towns, and yet there were no new towns. In Heroes III, with 14 creatures per 8 towns, a new town was added. Judging by recent events, the theory seems to work in reverse.

The Hexagon?

Yes, the information you have read is correct, Djive. The magic schools linked to towns have indeed returned, and yes, there is no solid info as to if the annexes and libraries are returning or not. It is still up in the air, but if you’ve heard otherwise, I’ll go with that. Additionally, there will be a generic magic school that will most likely include spells like town portal, summon boat, visions, etc.

Yes, and without these annexes, it could be possible to add a town or two in the expansion since it won’t disrupt the system.

Towns and Castles on the Map

“They should be made smaller. They take up way too much space in H4.”

Agreed. The biggest problem they pose for me is, whenever I try to re-create a Heroes II map, the castles are always too big, and so are many objects, so a medium map in Heroes II would be a large map in Heroes IV, due to the sheer size of the objects.

“I don't like the realisitic motive at all.”

I see it as strategic in the fact that you must capture the town in two sections, making a decision to hold only the outer town, or take the inner town also. Also by having the outside as might and the inside as magic, and separating the more important structures from the not so important, it adds a bit of strategy, IMO.

“In times of war the civilan population took what they could carry and sought refuge inside the well-defended castle. So I don't agree with you.”

What did I say that shows otherwise?

Yep, your idea of doubling the creature dwelling growth seems quite logical, and would help a besieged town greatly, without being overwhelmingly upsetting to the attacker.

Well, the way I see it is, the civilians retreat back to the inner wall, leaving the outer wall susceptible to attack, and the inner wall a more powerful and important area of attack. Seems logical to me.

“The RPG-part will ONLY be lost in the NWC produced maps. Fan-made maps will still have it.”

Only if fans choose to. But yes, the capabilities for an RPG fan-made map are still there.

Wildbear

“If the grail is too powerful, the game will turn in a treasure hunt, and treasure hunt is not the most strategic game ever.”

It will only turn into a treasure hunt if the grail is a victory condition. I can’t see myself discarding all elements of the game to pursue the grail structure at the expense of losing my entire battle plan.

That is certainly an interesting idea, countering the effects of the grail with other high importance relics. It could be executable, but what realistic features would it have to make it suggest that it is possible?

“About the new perspective idea, as Djive said, budget is limited”

I agree that the budget most probably won’t be able to entail jaw-dropping 3-D graphics, but that is not what the game is about anyway. More medieval art qualities can be used in the drawing of more isometric 2-D cratures, they look better, and they are more sharp and suited to the Heroes series. The art budget is hardly limited in the 2-D respect.

“is nobility could increase a little (with nobility being between 0 and 100), when he walks in swamps for weeks, his pathfinding should increase.”

I had in fact suggested a similar idea a while back. I quite liked it at the time, and I don’t see why it wouldn’t work now. The only problem I now realise is that not all skills can be gained by just having experience at doing it, you must be tought in terms of magic or stealth. But it could indeed work for seamanship, pathfinding, scouting, nobility, etc.

I don’t however, like your idea of incorporating luck into the equation with the fight or stealth. I don’t see the strategy or realism in this decision. This isn’t an adventure game, it’s a TBS strategy game, and I don’t believe reflexes and timing should be incorporated into it.

I disagree with the one hero class. There needs to be more diversity within a kingdom, and I believe maybe 4 classes would be better, two might, two magic.

Thankyou all for the great replies, I hope the frequency of posts keeps up.

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"As the Dragon drew its breath, the Hydra pounced, swiftly but powerfully, and the Dragon was defeated.”

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Djive
Djive


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Zapper of Toads
posted June 23, 2003 12:07 PM
Edited By: Djive on 23 Jun 2003

Quote:
There will of course be the experience factor, but the way a hero is developed in Heroes V will be very different to that of Heroes V, simply because the skill system will be different, and the heroes won’t be in combat. This also points to the advanced hero classes being scrapped, since most bonuses had to do with combat.


I don't see how the issue of Heroes in Combat affect this at all. Sure, the skills will be different but the way you improve them is likely to be the same. That is: level-up, visit map structure and so on.

A different skill system does not have a direct implication on amount of strategy in the game. The strategy will be different, but that is all that can be said.

That said. There has been fairly big remakes of the secondary skill system for each installment of Heroes, and I wouldn't expect it to be any different this time around. And that applies even if Heroes had stayed in Combat.

Quote:
Actually, I believe it will change more than that. Since heroes aren’t in combat, the skill system will be redeveloped to focus more on the adventure map characteristics of the hero, and you will certainly have to make different decisions on what skills you want to choose. For example, you won’t always go for a combat skill (if there is one). My prediction is that scouting will have more of an influence in Heroes V.


No. You will still have a lot of combat related skills. They will just change so they affect your army instead of your Hero. In H4 some skill are crying out for having been omitted. Like no Archery for creatures, no Magic Resistance for creatures and bundling Luck and Morale into one skill. There is little problem making up for the four skills that were in the Combat group. No problems whatsoever to make even more than four new combat related skills.

Specialised Heroes (non might/non magic)

As for specialized Heroes, you could keep the secondary skills as is. But you could also offer them as helpers. A Lord could be available if you build a Fort, and give better bonuses if you have a Citadel or Castle. Certain artifacts could give bonuses only if you give them to a Lord. (The Lord could be pretty much like a Captain was in H2, but would give some more interesting bonuses. The Lord could for instance come with a Body Guard, which continually increases, could increase Mine production in a radius around the town and so on. The Lord would never move on his/her own on the adventure Map, though it might be possible for a player to escort or Caravan a Lord to another town.)

When it comes to Thieves/Scouts I believe it's probably better to incorporate these in the Hero system, though it's possible to have them as stand-alone Hero types also. You really need two classes. One for subterfuge and stealth and one for scouting and pathfinding issues.

The reason it's probably better to incorporate them is that you don't have to separate skill trees and skill rules for them, which would complicate the game a lot. And you will still want your Heroes to have Pathfinding and Logistics don't you?

Six or Eight Towns?

“Multitude is better if it's achieveable.”

Quote:
Indeed it is, but since 6 towns are confirmed for Heroes V, the best we can hope for is for them to be diverse towns, with a greater capacity for development through the game.
Yes, 6 towns isn’t sufficient for a diverse game such as Heroes, and I am hoping for an extra town to be added in an expansion, 7 or 8 sounds like a good number. Imbalanced towns can lead to a very balanced game, as we saw in Heroes I and II.


I don't really agree. The towns in H2 do not scale all that well. If you start out with fully built towns then the Knight and Barbarian Castle has no chance against the Wizard or Warlock Castle. You don't have such a problem in H3 or H4. Also if the Map prevents players from meeting for a few months, then the two rush Castles have no chances against the two Castles with more powerful creatures. The H2 towns are balanced only if the Map fulfill certain criteria.

“If an upgraded creature is more powerful than a non-upgraded then 99% of players will pick the upgraded creature.”

Well, my upgrade system was meant to make the choice more difficult for the player. The un-upgradeable creature is stronger to begin with, and the structure costs less than the upgradeable one. Once the other creature is upgraded, it becomes stronger than the un-upgradeable one. What I’m trying to instil here is a decision subjective to the player’s financial position.

In practise, it will go like this. The player builds for the base upgraded creature. This build I presume is cheaper than the option (the one that cannot be upgraded). After taking an utopia/creature bank or whatever the player upgrades the dwelling and recruits powerful upgraded creatures.

The strategy of taking the cheaper option in the beginning and then upgrade to the expensive option when you have the money will almost always beat the tactics to buy the alternative.

“I'd say it's better to have upgrades on levels where you have no choice, and choices on levels where you have no upgrades. 6 levels: 3 with choices, 3 with upgrades.”

Quote:
I believe that system is too irregular, and will have to be copied identically for all towns to have a fair chance, and this is beginning to sound too reminiscent of the Heroes IV method. Your theory is also quite linear, not giving them a choice as to what creature the player would like. It just seems to irregular in the fact that for half of the levels you can’t choose, and for the other half you can.


No, it's a lot more regular than the system you proposed. I don't think players should have an option on all levels. A Rampart without Elves is NO Rampart, and it's a huge mistake to allow a Preserve with zero Elves. Other castles have their defining units. The Tower is unthinkable without Magi, since they are the ones that create the Golems, Gargoyles and Gremlins. The player should not be able to opt away creatures that must be in town to begin with.

I don't see your problem.

“Also the more creatures you try to squeeze in the less chance of an expansion town.”

Quote:
Possibly, but with the multitudes of creatures NWC has dreamt up and used in the Heroes series, I don’t think it would be too difficult for them to insert another 12 unique creatures into a town (18 in total).


You sure about that? The two H4 expansions contained a total of 7 new creatures.

Quote:
“This idea did not prove itself in Heroes IV. There were only 8 creatures in the 6 towns, and yet there were no new towns. In Heroes III, with 14 creatures per 8 towns, a new town was added. Judging by recent events, the theory seems to work in reverse.


There were not 14 new creatures in Conflux. The four basic Elementals were in H3 RoE. Also the upgrades were very similar to the basic creatures, so I'd say the number of added creatures for Conflux was 3. On the other hand, they also added some other creatures (like Drahons) so perhaps they had enough creatures to populate a town. However, seen historically H3 AB is an exception to what have happened in all other expansions.

However, in H4 they couldn't just add a town because of the Pentagram. The option to add a town was never considered because IMO the game was designed to prevent towns from being added.

Quote:
What did I say that shows otherwise?


You suggested conquering some creature dwellings. But it wouldn't work that way.

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van
van

Tavern Dweller
posted June 23, 2003 04:22 PM

"The same strategy would be used with life magic and tactics even if I weren’t labelled as a crusader (which is the advanced class of these skills"
Eh ... You are either very casual player ( in that case why talk about strategy at all?) either very ignorant one.
Not developing crusader means at least  two things:  assassian + cancelation + devils jump before you act and you will have no hero , advanced or not.
Hypnotyze or cloud of confusion before you can act and that battle is more or less over for you.
Those are leatle details one should take care in advance , not on the battlefield. Therefore its  pure strategy. I can understand,  however , that lack of decent AI oponent can produce strange and wrong perception of a game but against human every leatle detail means difference between good or bad strategy.

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