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 Concerning Balance in H3SW

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Ctesiphon
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PostSubject: Concerning Balance in H3SW   Concerning Balance in H3SW Icon_minitime2019-06-13, 01:48

Hello there,
I have been playing your wonderful mod for a while and one thing keeps getting on my mind more and more frequently - balance of the factions.

I write it here, since I haven't found (didn't try that hard TBH) a thread about the topic.

I would like to ask the devs, what is their vision about balancing the factions - meaning units, upgrades, buildings cost (not talking about magic, heroes, maps, etc.). And you have a great opportunity to ask all the experts around here for the ideas should you crave any.

I have done some testing and counted a few statistics and I feel that some slight balancing would have been very beneficial to the game. And it wouldn't even hurt that much I think - a little tweak in stats and costs here and there surely wouldn't cost that much time.
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Sir Albe
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PostSubject: Re: Concerning Balance in H3SW   Concerning Balance in H3SW Icon_minitime2019-06-16, 01:22

Hello Ctesiphon Smile

Nice to meet you and glad to see you have begun making maps in H3SW. We actually have a thread for creature balancing discussion which you can find Here. I need to update it in the near future though.

We have mostly been focusing on our gameplay implementations to make sure all the new features and mechanics were working right. That didn't leave us much time for discussing balance, but I dare say at least creatures should be rather balanced at the moment. Feel free to tell me about creature balance as I have mostly been responsible for that Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Concerning Balance in H3SW   Concerning Balance in H3SW Icon_minitime2019-06-16, 02:51

Sir Albe wrote:
Hello Ctesiphon Smile

Nice to meet you and glad to see you have begun making maps in H3SW. We actually have a thread for creature balancing discussion which you can find Here. I need to update it in the near future though.

We have mostly been focusing on our gameplay implementations to make sure all the new features and mechanics were working right. That didn't leave us much time for discussing balance, but I dare say at least creatures should be rather balanced at the moment. Feel free to tell me about creature balance as I have mostly been responsible for that Smile

Before I begin, I will thank you for a reply. I sincerely think that you guys have made an awesome mod, as it is right now, yet still I think it could be of some worth to you, if an outsider would share his thoughts. Smile

There have always been two main thoughts that came to my mind concerning units, when I was playing all of the heroes games:

  1. Every unit should be worth buying
  2. All factions should be roughly balanced in the very late game

Now let me elaborate:

Concerning point 1
There are several occasions, when a unit is not worth buying - or at least is extremely situatonal.
1. Low cost/health ratio not compensated by good speed or damage dealing capability
2. Very low speed of non ranged units

So far I think there are only 2 units that fall into any of those categories
Peasant - please do not make peasants as worthless as in HoMM1 and 2. They have almost no damage, they die like flies and are super slow as well.
I would suggest expanding their health pool to at least 3, but ideally to 4.
Hydra - expensive and slow. If you do not have teleport or expert haste, there is no need to ever buy them if there is anything other available. They contradict the whole warlock fast moving scheme.
I suggest making their stats: speed 5, avg dmg 10, health 70, cost 1100


Concerning point 2
HoMM2 you seem to build upon was designed to be asymmetrical - knight/barbarian strong early, sorcerress/necro mid, warlock/wizard late. You might have noticed that it didn't really work as anticipated. In my experience necro killed everything until warlock's dragons came to play.
I have no problem with the fact that some faction may have some advantages early in the game, but I implore you to make them the rough equals when it comes to having everything available - HoMM3 was a good example, where only Inferno stood behind.
From what I experienced and calculated it seems that:
Knight - very strong early, handicapped by the need to upgrade everything later, and falling behind in the late game. Lowest total health pool, Highest avg damage, Average unit cost.
Barbarian - nice and balanced, I like him. Best health pool, second best avg dmg, average costs. Somehow doesn't feel overpowered.
Sorcerress - the weakest in the bunch I think. Good shooters and unicorns. Phoenixes are what concerns me, they are clearly inferior to dragons, titans even wyverns and are very expensive to build, which cripples sorcerress in the end. Lowest health pool, lowest avg dmg, high costs. Improve phoenixes and I will be content Smile
Warlock - nice and balanced units apart from uselessly slow hydra. Second highest health pool, mediocre dmg output, highest costs.
Wizard - seams rather weak until titans are present, archmagi are very week for their tier - worst cost/profit trade I bet, almost like liches without splash damage. Average health pool, mediocre dmg, high costs.
Necromancer - nice and balanced, I like speed 5 zombies Smile Though they fall behind later similar to sorcerress due to weak 7th tier. I suggest adding special building increasing bone dragon production by 1, and make it expensive. Average health pool, mediocre dmg, high costs.
Witch - unfortunately didn't have much time playing or facing the witch. Seems OK to me, though she could use something extra, like a unit with no retaliation. Low health pool, good dmg, by far the cheapest units.
Dervish - interesting early game faction, fast to get 7th tier, overall very fast units, two shooters... I like them, though the genies seem rather weak later in the game if they fail to apply aging. Low health pool, high dmg, average costs.

Please let me know if I misunderstood something.
Keep up the good work!

P.S. I found some weird plurals of some units - I bet I saw "cavalries" instead of "cavalry" - it is similar to word "police" or "military", they describe either one and more items of the like.

EDIT: typo
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PostSubject: Re: Concerning Balance in H3SW   Concerning Balance in H3SW Icon_minitime2019-06-16, 10:10

Thanks for the kind words. I am glad you like the mod Smile

About your two thoughts or principles, I agree on the first one and to a certain degree on the second one.

Every unit should be viable and their cost must equal their strength. I have worked with that principle from the very beginning, which means no unit is somehow cheaper or more expensive than it should be its stats and abilities considered. As one player can control different kinds of towns, there is no reason why the price of units in regards to their power should be different from faction to faction, as simple as that.

As you mention, certain factions "shine" more in some parts of the game than others. This naturally means that not all factions produce the same power in the late game. Especially the level 7 creatures contribution is what sets the factions apart as you can see on the graph below (sorry for some Danish in there, I cannot edit it before I get Excel working again). The x-axis shows the creature levels for the specif classes and the y-axis shows the cost of buying the creature when the castle is built (double base growth). If the creature has an upgrade, the y-axis reflects the average cost of buying the base and upgraded unit when castle is built.

Concerning Balance in H3SW NJPC1cR

(Note that I personally still have some tweaks in the works for this, for instance I would like to boost the pikeman/veteran pikeman to reach a similar power level as the other level 3 units)

As you see most of the time the factions produce about equal amount of "power" for each level creature they produce. The cost of units produced translates directly to power/strength of the units as the first point stated. Only at the 7th level the factions split up. You might see this as a problem as factions then certainly do not produce the same amount of power per week when it comes to their final creature, but I don't consider it so. One of the things which makes each faction more unique in H2 than H3 is that there tend to be bigger difference in creature level strength and potential. Clearly, if you look only at level 1 and 6 units in H2 the knight falls behind most other classes, but as a whole he might have his place in the game to shine. The upgrade of Archers to Rangers is pretty strong and upgrading from Paladins to Crusaders is also strong if the opponent commands undead units. This combined with low cost of gold and rare resources for building dwellings makes the knight have an advantage on small-medium or/and resource scare map.

It doesn't take away that the knight cannot match the warlock Black Dragons or Wizard Titans in strength when it comes to weekly production, but I find it balanced and much more interesting than having similar power production for all levels. Remember, the creatures are not granted for free in either a Knight or Warlock town; you need to buy the more expensive, stronger units before you can benefit from their power.

About peasant we actually had his Health set to 3 some months before the release, but I think we wanted to move him closer to his weaker H2 position. I am open to increasing it back to 3 again (with a similar cost increase and possible growth decrease), but I don't think a HP of 4 will ever be needed. His power comes in his numbers and giving him a health of 4 will also move him further away from his high H2 damage/health ratio and create a rather weird state where peasants have more HP than goblins, sprite, halfling and the same HP as skeleton and rogue. That I think we should avoid as it takes away his rather unique position while he is still useful.

With the Hydra I don't think a buff is needed. The Hydra is often not taken along in the hero's army as it has little purpose in fighting vs. neutral stacks and taking castles, but I dare say it is the best creature for defending a castle in the whole game. The hydra has little speed, but that is not of much importance if it needs to sit back behind the castle walls and take care of invading enemies. The combination of "No enemy retaliation" and "Attacks all adjacent enemies" is perfect  for taking care of melee units, especially in plural. Thus, I don't see a buff for the Hydra being needed.

The balance between factions should follow my points above. Depending on how you test it you might find some factions having an advantage at certain points in the game, but before you have a late game army you must remember that:


  • You need to build all dwellings and prerequisites before you can buy the units from the town
  • You need to pay for all the units
  • Some units become significantly better in their upgraded versions and some factions achieve much power thanks to their upgrades (Giant->Titan, Dragon upgrades, Vampire Lord to name the strongest)
  • Some factions perform a lot different depending on their opponent (Knight vs. Necromancer, Witch/Dervish vs. Necromancer (debuffs not working versus undead) ect.)
  • The overall strength of a faction doesn't depend on its end game output of units


The last point might be the most important one in this discussion. What is it worth producing the highest end game output if you enemy comes knocking at your castle gate by second week? My point is that the balance should of course be measured over the entire game time and in different scenarios and situations taken into account.

I hope this was not to much writing to handle Smile I guess that what happens when you have been away from the forum for several months Very Happy

P.S. I think H3 uses "Cavalries" in a similar manner as H2, and I asked my dad who is an English teacher and he says it is the correct use which describes more than one horse rider.
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PostSubject: Re: Concerning Balance in H3SW   Concerning Balance in H3SW Icon_minitime2019-06-16, 23:00

Thanks for a lengthy reply Smile

Sir Albe wrote:

Every unit should be viable and their cost must equal their strength. I have worked with that principle from the very beginning, which means no unit is somehow cheaper or more expensive than it should be its stats and abilities considered. As one player can control different kinds of towns, there is no reason why the price of units in regards to their power should be different from faction to faction, as simple as that.

I agree with that.

Sir Albe wrote:

As you mention, certain factions "shine" more in some parts of the game than others. This naturally means that not all factions produce the same power in the late game. Especially the level 7 creatures contribution is what sets the factions apart as you can see on the graph below

Well I suggest all factions being roughly equal in the late game, if you do not want that, I will respect it. People will whine, if you keep it that way, though...

Sir Albe wrote:

One of the things which makes each faction more unique in H2 than H3 is that there tend to be bigger difference in creature level strength and potential. Clearly, if you look only at level 1 and 6 units in H2 the knight falls behind most other classes, but as a whole he might have his place in the game to shine.

The upgrade of Archers to Rangers is pretty strong and upgrading from Paladins to Crusaders is also strong if the opponent commands undead units. This combined with low cost of gold and rare resources for building dwellings makes the knight have an advantage on small-medium or/and resource scare map.

The thing is that there wasn't really any reason to pick knight since how situatonal he was. Yes, rangers were good damage dealers and crusaders had arguably the highest damage output in the game (at least agains undead), but still getting to paladins (or even crusaders) was often quite problematic since the need for a ton of wood and crystals, which slowed knights so much that his proposed early game viability dropped out.

Sir Albe wrote:

It doesn't take away that the knight cannot match the warlock Black Dragons or Wizard Titans in strength when it comes to weekly production, but I find it balanced and much more interesting than having similar power production for all levels. Remember, the creatures are not granted for free in either a Knight or Warlock town; you need to buy the more expensive, stronger units before you can benefit from their power.

True, but that is hardly the situation in the late game.

Sir Albe wrote:

About peasant we actually had his Health set to 3 some months before the release, but I think we wanted to move him closer to his weaker H2 position. I am open to increasing it back to 3 again (with a similar cost increase and possible growth decrease), but I don't think a HP of 4 will ever be needed. His power comes in his numbers and giving him a health of 4 will also move him further away from his high H2 damage/health ratio and create a rather weird state where peasants have more HP than goblins, sprite, halfling and the same HP as skeleton and rogue. That I think we should avoid as it takes away his rather unique position while he is still useful.

You cannot seriously think that peasant is in its current state useful...
Why would you even consider buying them, when you can get to swordsmen and paladins so early. Later in the game they are even more useless. I would ideally see peasants to become a 1st tier unit with the least dmg output yet with the highest health pool.

Sir Albe wrote:

With the Hydra I don't think a buff is needed. The Hydra is often not taken along in the hero's army as it has little purpose in fighting vs. neutral stacks and taking castles, but I dare say it is the best creature for defending a castle in the whole game. The hydra has little speed, but that is not of much importance if it needs to sit back behind the castle walls and take care of invading enemies. The combination of "No enemy retaliation" and "Attacks all adjacent enemies" is perfect  for taking care of melee units, especially in plural. Thus, I don't see a buff for the Hydra being needed.

I do not suggest hydra buff but rather a rework - I suggest buff in speed, yet nerf in everything else! The fact that you can use them for guarding a castle is nice, but not what I would consider a generally useful trait.

Sir Albe wrote:

The balance between factions should follow my points above. Depending on how you test it you might find some factions having an advantage at certain points in the game, but before you have a late game army you must remember that:


  • You need to build all dwellings and prerequisites before you can buy the units from the town
  • You need to pay for all the units
  • Some units become significantly better in their upgraded versions and some factions achieve much power thanks to their upgrades (Giant->Titan, Dragon upgrades, Vampire Lord to name the strongest)
  • Some factions perform a lot different depending on their opponent (Knight vs. Necromancer, Witch/Dervish vs. Necromancer (debuffs not working versus undead) ect.)
  • The overall strength of a faction doesn't depend on its end game output of units


I agree with that, but why shouldn't the factions be balanced when it comes to having everything available? What is the harm in that? The obvious solution would be for example making knight's upgrades much more expensive and worthy at the same time.

Sir Albe wrote:

The last point might be the most important one in this discussion. What is it worth producing the highest end game output if you enemy comes knocking at your castle gate by second week? My point is that the balance should of course be measured over the entire game time and in different scenarios and situations taken into account.

The thing is that early game depends so much on the map that making an entire faction depend on it's early game dominance make it weaker in the bigger picture. The late game is usually quite similiar most of the time and at least most of the singleplayer games comes into the late game.

Sir Albe wrote:

I hope this was not to much writing to handle Smile I guess that what happens when you have been away from the forum for several months Very Happy

Of course not! Thank you for the time needed to handle my comments Smile

Sir Albe wrote:

P.S. I think H3 uses "Cavalries" in a similar manner as H2, and I asked my dad who is an English teacher and he says it is the correct use which describes more than one horse rider.

I don't really care if H3 does it wrong as well. I do not want to question your parent's English knowledge, but the word "cavalries" does exist in English, though it means something different than you might think.

cavalry
noun, plural cav·al·ries.
1) Military.
 a) the part of a military force composed of troops that serve on horseback.
 b) mounted soldiers collectively.
 c) the motorized, armored units of a military force organized for maximum mobility.
2) horsemen, horses, etc., collectively.

from https://www.dictionary.com/browse/cavalry

The word "cavalry" thus carries a meaning of a group of riders on horseback. The word "cavalries" means a group of groups of riders.
Example:
"Heavy cavalry charged into the hastily formed line of pikes." - here "cavalry" means a group of riders
"Sabre was quite a popular weapon of choice of many cavalries in the military history." - here "cavalries" means many different military group in the course of history

Ingame name of unit could be changed to for example "cavalier" -> "cavaliers", or all variations of the name "cavalry" should be the same, or it wouldn't really make that much sense otherwise.
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PostSubject: Re: Concerning Balance in H3SW   Concerning Balance in H3SW Icon_minitime2019-06-21, 06:29

Ctesiphon wrote:
I would like to ask the devs, what is their vision about balancing the factions - meaning units, upgrades, buildings cost (not talking about magic, heroes, maps, etc.). And you have a great opportunity to ask all the experts around here for the ideas should you crave any.
If we try to make it brief, let it be described that way.

In contrary to Heroes 3, where the factions were less individual, we try to bring a more properly shaped Heroes 2 concept. This concerns, first and foremost, the individual features of each faction, where the tactics of each faction in theoretical Debute, Middle Game and Endgame would be significantly different from each other. The most simple example is the Warlock vs. Sorceress comparison which has its roots in Heroes 2, where the Warlock had weak and fast creatures, able to pass through archer stacks easier, but having problems against beefier melee stacks, and having focus on attack magic, while the Sorceress had more spell points and a more dynamic lineup. In H3SW these features need to be preserved, with the Sorceress relying on blesses, speed and dynamic composition of the army, the Warlock relying on damaging spells, the Knight relying on creature growth and ability to compose armies from different castles, the Witch relying on curses, the Necromancer relying on loss vs. growth ratio thanks to Necromancy/Life Drain/Resurrect Undead, etc.

The costs of buildings and creatures heavily depend on a standard chosen set of RMG templates, where the gameplay should be defined. It is obvious that you cannot make a balanced game for all possible RMG templates at once, and it is also obvious that the chosen approach will not allow us to completely balance the NINE factions when StarCraft still was not able to do that for three. One thing is defined though - it is highly unlikely to have one faction building 4 dwellings while the other has 7 by the end of the week. Even the Knight should have its limits.

The creature stats are defined only after that, so the classes could pass to the next stage of the game more or less in time with other classes given similar opportunities. This include the guardian strength, amount of available creature dwellings in the starting zone, and magic capabilities of a hero, to name only a few aspects of many.

The balance is not defined by personal taste, but must be relying on a great number of games played by people finding the best possible routes to pass to next stages of the game to be able to compete with other people doing the same for other factions.

For now, the game is closer to Heroes 2 "balance" where the magic is strong. This will later be changed, because it's currently too strong. This does not concern the numbers (spell costs and effects) on the first place, but instead the whole system how the hero gets spells, which spells can he get and which playing style they will define, and other stuff.

Ctesiphon wrote:
Now let me elaborate:

Concerning point 1
There are several occasions, when a unit is not worth buying - or at least is extremely situatonal.
1. Low cost/health ratio not compensated by good speed or damage dealing capability
2. Very low speed of non ranged units

So far I think there are only 2 units that fall into any of those categories
Peasant - please do not make peasants as worthless as in HoMM1 and 2. They have almost no damage, they die like flies and are super slow as well.
I would suggest expanding their health pool to at least 3, but ideally to 4.
Hydra - expensive and slow. If you do not have teleport or expert haste, there is no need to ever buy them if there is anything other available. They contradict the whole warlock fast moving scheme.
I suggest making their stats: speed 5, avg dmg 10, health 70, cost 1100
I also planned to try making Peasants having a better health pool so they could be used to tank some damage and take hits. So, perhaps health 4 or even 5 might happen in the nearest update. Indeed, they become useless too early in the current version of the game (v0.8.1). I'd like to try implementing some ability for them regarding moats, to enhance Knight's capabilities in sieges. Also, Lords of the Realm II. Smile

The main goal of every Warlock, however, is always to get the Dragons and start doing Armageddon on everyone's butts. Hydra is a plain defense creature, somewhat similar to the Sorceress Dwarves, but they should be used in the Debute stage to break through neutral melee packs, while the Hydras can guarantee the survival of Warlock's castles in the Middle Game/Endgame. Warlock must rely on his spell power, and not the bulk of his army - this is a feature of the Knight.

We have a hero with a specialty on Hydras and starting Teleport spell. This hero might have a different gameplay thanks to that feature, but the faction as a whole cannot have Hydras in the avantgarde.

Ctesiphon wrote:
Knight - very strong early, handicapped by the need to upgrade everything later, and falling behind in the late game. Lowest total health pool, Highest avg damage, Average unit cost.
The way I see it, the Knight will have to rely on his Leadership skill in Endgame and try collecting high-tier units from other factions. This might be done with the help of high-tier dwellings which will replace the currently empty H3 Conservatory concept. This depends on the programmer, too.

Quote :
Barbarian - nice and balanced, I like him. Best health pool, second best avg dmg, average costs. Somehow doesn't feel overpowered.
Barbarian should always attack first to lose the least number of troops, and suffer in sieges, especially against Knights with Fortifications built.

Quote :
Sorcerress - the weakest in the bunch I think. Good shooters and unicorns. Phoenixes are what concerns me, they are clearly inferior to dragons, titans even wyverns and are very expensive to build, which cripples sorcerress in the end. Lowest health pool, lowest avg dmg, high costs. Improve phoenixes and I will be content Smile
Phoenixes are designed to be fastest in the game, so Sorceress always gets the first cast. The costs will be adjusted when the spell system will be more or less crystallized. In Debute, the Sorceress relies solely on blesses and will always supposedly buff her units with a great deal of positive casts. In Endgame, her high mana point pool should come in handy when she gets Summon Elemental spell and will be able to counter the Wizard's summons with a theoretical Disband spell, which is yet to make.

Quote :
Wizard - seams rather weak until titans are present, archmagi are very week for their tier - worst cost/profit trade I bet, almost like liches without splash damage. Average health pool, mediocre dmg, high costs.
I also noticed that Magi and Archmagi are weaker than they should. This will indeed be manipulated for the next update even without consideration of the magic system.

Quote :
Necromancer - nice and balanced, I like speed 5 zombies Smile Though they fall behind later similar to sorcerress due to weak 7th tier. I suggest adding special building increasing bone dragon production by 1, and make it expensive. Average health pool, mediocre dmg, high costs.
This might be an idea to consider. I'd also like to see his highest tier more different from existing +1 highest tiers, also given the atmosphere factor of Bone Dragons being artificial constructs.

Quote :
Witch - unfortunately didn't have much time playing or facing the witch. Seems OK to me, though she could use something extra, like a unit with no retaliation. Low health pool, good dmg, by far the cheapest units.
The Witch will be designed to rely on curses and a little bit on offensive spells in future. I wouldn't like to see her as an "Evil Sorceress" though. Her creatures will be able to cast curses upon attack (Wasps - Weakness, Toads - Disease, Wyverns - Poison, ...), which will be able to combine on a single attacked creature, to much of its grief. She also gets a nice speed bonus on start thanks to Wasps. The Mantis creature will be possibly replaced by a completely different design with a different gameplay role.

Quote :
Dervish - interesting early game faction, fast to get 7th tier, overall very fast units, two shooters... I like them, though the genies seem rather weak later in the game if they fail to apply aging. Low health pool, high dmg, average costs.
I also agree that Genies could benefit from some boost. They should be used not only as a fast damage dealer, but they should withstand magic damage, or they fall too quickly and their gameplay role is left unfulfilled unlike the Knight who has other stacks to carry the fray when the Paladin is down. The Dervish must also develop quicker than other factions to get the sweetest pie to be able to compete with other spellcasters in the Endgame. This might also concern the reworked mechanics of the Eagle Eye skill and possible new spells to help Dervish, which will be notably different from standard H2/H3 mechanics.

Ctesiphon wrote:
P.S. I found some weird plurals of some units - I bet I saw "cavalries" instead of "cavalry" - it is similar to word "police" or "military", they describe either one and more items of the like.
This is, however, a H1/H2 tradition. No harm from Cavaliers though. Perhaps we will change that.

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PostSubject: Re: Concerning Balance in H3SW   Concerning Balance in H3SW Icon_minitime2019-06-21, 08:06

Orzie wrote:

In contrary to Heroes 3, where the factions were less individual, we try to bring a more properly shaped Heroes 2 concept. This concerns, first and foremost, the individual features of each faction, where the tactics of each faction in theoretical Debute, Middle Game and Endgame would be significantly different from each other. The most simple example is the Warlock vs. Sorceress comparison which has its roots in Heroes 2, where the Warlock had weak and fast creatures, able to pass through archer stacks easier, but having problems against beefier melee stacks, and having focus on attack magic, while the Sorceress had more spell points and a more dynamic lineup. In H3SW these features need to be preserved, with the Sorceress relying on blesses, speed and dynamic composition of the army, the Warlock relying on damaging spells, the Knight relying on creature growth and ability to compose armies from different castles, the Witch relying on curses, the Necromancer relying on loss vs. growth ratio thanks to Necromancy/Life Drain/Resurrect Undead, etc.

Thank you for explaining. I think I am a bit further to understand what are you trying to achieve with the faction lineups. I still doubt the overall viability of knight and sorcerress, though.

Orzie wrote:

The costs of buildings and creatures heavily depend on a standard chosen set of RMG templates, where the gameplay should be defined. It is obvious that you cannot make a balanced game for all possible RMG templates at once, and it is also obvious that the chosen approach will not allow us to completely balance the NINE factions when StarCraft still was not able to do that for three.

I understand, there will be always some form of meta game, some strategy will be always more successful in average than others, and there isn't much to do about that without sacrificing the game's soul.

Orzie wrote:

For now, the game is closer to Heroes 2 "balance" where the magic is strong. This will later be changed, because it's currently too strong. This does not concern the numbers (spell costs and effects) on the first place, but instead the whole system how the hero gets spells, which spells can he get and which playing style they will define, and other stuff.

Magic was unbalanced and broken in all HoMM games so I don't really expect you to magically do it right this time.

Orzie wrote:

The main goal of every Warlock, however, is always to get the Dragons and start doing Armageddon on everyone's butts. Hydra is a plain defense creature, somewhat similar to the Sorceress Dwarves, but they should be used in the Debute stage to break through neutral melee packs, while the Hydras can guarantee the survival of Warlock's castles in the Middle Game/Endgame. Warlock must rely on his spell power, and not the bulk of his army - this is a feature of the Knight.

Well, it seems that hydra are in the precise form you want them to be in. I don't like that form, but it's your mod so I will work with that Smile

Orzie wrote:

The way I see it, the Knight will have to rely on his Leadership skill in Endgame and try collecting high-tier units from other factions. This might be done with the help of high-tier dwellings which will replace the currently empty H3 Conservatory concept. This depends on the programmer, too.

The knight will still be the weakest pick in most cases, I presume. I may have an idea to consider, though.
How about keeping that knight as he is, but dramatically increase the cost of his upgrades - speaking mostly of tier 6 and 7 units. I think that if you at least doubled the cost of those upgrades and increased hit points of those upgraded units significantly, knight would get a slight, yet welcome boost in the late game. There would still be the imagined weakness to magic and dragons and whatnot, but there would be at least something in knight's favor.
And your argument with knight having an edge thanks to his higher numbers is preety much invalid since his lower stats balance it out perfectly. And he still has the lowest total health pool. Numbers itself do not really mean much in HoMM, no Lanchester's laws to talk about here Wink

Orzie wrote:

Phoenixes are designed to be fastest in the game, so Sorceress always gets the first cast. The costs will be adjusted when the spell system will be more or less crystallized. In Debute, the Sorceress relies solely on blesses and will always supposedly buff her units with a great deal of positive casts. In Endgame, her high mana point pool should come in handy when she gets Summon Elemental spell and will be able to counter the Wizard's summons with a theoretical Disband spell, which is yet to make.

I will be OK with that if it will work as described. But now I deem it preety weak that Scarlet Tower is basically the same cost as a Green Tower. Phoenixes are just slightly stronger than green dragons, yet cannot be upgraded.

Orzie wrote:

This is, however, a H1/H2 tradition. No harm from Cavaliers though. Perhaps we will change that.

I admire you loyalty to tradition. But still some traditions aren't worth keeping alive.

Thank you for replying and
Have a nice day Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Concerning Balance in H3SW   Concerning Balance in H3SW Icon_minitime2019-06-21, 08:23

Quote :
The knight will still be the weakest pick in most cases, I presume. I may have an idea to consider, though.
How about keeping that knight as he is, but dramatically increase the cost of his upgrades - speaking mostly of tier 6 and 7 units. I think that if you at least doubled the cost of those upgrades and increased hit points of those upgraded units significantly, knight would get a slight, yet welcome boost in the late game. There would still be the imagined weakness to magic and dragons and whatnot, but there would be at least something in knight's favor.
And your argument with knight having an edge thanks to his higher numbers is preety much invalid since his lower stats balance it out perfectly. And he still has the lowest total health pool. Numbers itself do not really mean much in HoMM, no Lanchester's laws to talk about here Wink
There is a point which you miss regarding the Knight's hit points. In fact, numbers do mean something if we pay attention to the creature design. In Heroes 2, it was always logical to see hit points assigned to various creatures. If you have 140 hit points for a Crusader with a nearby standing 160 hit points Wyvern or Bone Dragon, this will look plain ridiculous and will not correspond to the graphical design of the creatures. We will try to operate with such changes very carefully and look more towards special features and gameplay tricks for the Knight, like I already described somewhere concerning a custom Catapult available only to Knights, and some other adjustments.

Say, having a Prayer or Anti-Magic cast automatically on Paladins/Crusaders at start of the battle will look less cringy than a fantastic number of hit points for a tiny pack of pixels on screen.

The Knight will be always the hardest to balance because its overall design from Heroes 2 has its strict limits. No Angels, no nothing. It is a faction composed of mere mortals, but, in tradition of many classical fantasy pieces, this race is a dominant one in a game universe. This must show somehow, in one way, or another.

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PostSubject: Re: Concerning Balance in H3SW   Concerning Balance in H3SW Icon_minitime2019-06-21, 08:51

Orzie wrote:

There is a point which you miss regarding the Knight's hit points.

Would you elaborate, please?
Knight's total weakly HP pool is 1720, which is the lowest of all factions, is it not?
(not discussing the buildup to that point)

Orzie wrote:

In fact, numbers do mean something if we pay attention to the creature design. In Heroes 2, it was always logical to see hit points assigned to various creatures. If you have 140 hit points for a Crusader with a nearby standing 160 hit points Wyvern or Bone Dragon, this will look plain ridiculous and will not correspond to the graphical design of the creatures. We will try to operate with such changes very carefully and look more towards special features and gameplay tricks for the Knight, like I already described somewhere concerning a custom Catapult available only to Knights, and some other adjustments.

Yes, it does look neat, but it breaks the damn game!
And nobody ever said that paladins/crusaders are mere mortals - you could think of them as a caste of almost demigods especially bred and trained for their killing abilites. Clad in blessed full plate wielding divine weaponry wreaking havoc amidst their enemies' ranks...

Orzie wrote:

in tradition of many classical fantasy pieces, this race is a dominant one in a game universe. This must show somehow, in one way, or another.

The funny thing about that is that in many fantasy worlds human dominance doesn't really make sense. One where it does is for example Tolkien's Middle Earth, where humans later dominate, but mainly because elves just don't give a damn anymore, dwarves are very scarce and overall not interested in world dominance, and orcs are doomed by their sole existence - the base event of their creation shifted Illuvatar's (the main god) attitude towards Melkor (the cheeky bad mannered god) and his allies like Sauron from "Let's just let Melkor do his things" into "OK, if they die, they die" Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Concerning Balance in H3SW   Concerning Balance in H3SW Icon_minitime2019-06-21, 19:46

Paladins are very fast with their sword... so instead of buffing them with more HP... I have few ideas... probably for Crusaders (upgraded paladins) more than the non-upgraded ones. Concerning Balance in H3SW 164599763

Paladin has 20% chance to block damages (with their sword). => any monster attack, and also single target damage spells.
We could also push it a little more and give the paladin the ability 50% chance to deflect arrows with their sword... Or reflect single target spells with their "blessed sword" ; the single target damage spell would then hit another creature randomly.
They could also learn how to absorb the lightning bolt with their sword to protect them, as it's kind of years and years that all paladins from Enroth get lightbolted repeatedly again and again in each fight... So, crusaders knows how to make the bolt hit the sword and put it in the ground without hurting their body. Concerning Balance in H3SW 2456025216

Paladins has a good armor :
Number of Paladins in the stack *3 = damage reduction.
...or...
Enemy stack attacking Paladin *3 = damage reduction. (but maybe too much powerful versus low tier creatures)



That's just 2 ideas for a special ability to make them a little less "paper", and maybe a way to understand how humans ruled the Lands of Enroth! They can learn and adapt their techniques/weapons. Concerning Balance in H3SW 2456025216


Orzie wrote:
I'd like to try implementing some ability for them regarding moats, to enhance Knight's capabilities in sieges. Also, Lords of the Realm II. Smile
Lords of the Realm II <3  ... &lt;3

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PostSubject: Re: Concerning Balance in H3SW   Concerning Balance in H3SW Icon_minitime2019-06-22, 03:22

Ctesiphon wrote:
Would you elaborate, please?
Knight's total weakly HP pool is 1720, which is the lowest of all factions, is it not?
(not discussing the buildup to that point)
Knight creatures cannot have behemoth tier health. They are human, and are designed to look human. You cannot give 150 hp to a Paladin when you have Wyverns with 150 hp in another castle. I would agree about, for example, 110-120, but a situation where you have your 150 hp Paladin versus a ferocious Griffin with 35 hp, is plain ridiculous.

Quote :
Yes, it does look neat, but it breaks the damn game!
And nobody ever said that paladins/crusaders are mere mortals - you could think of them as a caste of almost demigods especially bred and trained for their killing abilites. Clad in blessed full plate wielding divine weaponry wreaking havoc amidst their enemies' ranks...
There have to be other solutions. Things will partially depend on the availability of recruitable creatures for the Knight, both in the castle and in the outskirts of the starting zone. That is why I also pointed out on the necessity of a "standard template" which will be supposed to be balanced for every faction, more or less. Some of the templates might have some factions restricted, i.e. not considered in the competitive play. In Heroes 3, this is usually done for the Necropolis or the Conflux.

Say, I would be more supportive of +3 creature growth for the Paladins instead of ridiculously high hit points for the creature.

Quote :
The funny thing about that is that in many fantasy worlds human dominance doesn't really make sense. One where it does is for example Tolkien's Middle Earth, where humans later dominate, but mainly because elves just don't give a damn anymore, dwarves are very scarce and overall not interested in world dominance, and orcs are doomed by their sole existence - the base event of their creation shifted Illuvatar's (the main god) attitude towards Melkor (the cheeky bad mannered god) and his allies like Sauron from "Let's just let Melkor do his things" into "OK, if they die, they die" Smile
They start dominating at some point and that's how it was designed consciously. In Heroes II, it is supposed that humans are the main race on the continent as well, later confirmed by other games of the series.

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PostSubject: Re: Concerning Balance in H3SW   Concerning Balance in H3SW Icon_minitime2019-06-22, 05:16

Orzie wrote:
Knight creatures cannot have behemoth tier health. They are human, and are designed to look human. You cannot give 150 hp to a Paladin when you have Wyverns with 150 hp in another castle. I would agree about, for example, 110-120, but a situation where you have your 150 hp Paladin versus a ferocious Griffin with 35 hp, is plain ridiculous.

While you are absolutely okay with the fact, that crusaders have higher potential average damage than titans or cyclopes...

Orzie wrote:

There have to be other solutions. Things will partially depend on the availability of recruitable creatures for the Knight, both in the castle and in the outskirts of the starting zone. That is why I also pointed out on the necessity of a "standard template" which will be supposed to be balanced for every faction, more or less. Some of the templates might have some factions restricted, i.e. not considered in the competitive play. In Heroes 3, this is usually done for the Necropolis or the Conflux.

I have no problem with asymmetric starts for different factions should they be implemented in future versions.

Orzie wrote:

Say, I would be more supportive of +3 creature growth for the Paladins instead of ridiculously high hit points for the creature.

I am okay with that as well.

I am not saying that the only right way to balance out knight is to double his units' hit points, it was just a suggestion. And I think that 110 hp for a Crusader and 60 hp for Champion would be perfectly adequate.

Orzie wrote:

They start dominating at some point and that's how it was designed consciously. In Heroes II, it is supposed that humans are the main race on the continent as well, later confirmed by other games of the series.

Imagine how much does that fact improve the overall game experience of an average person playing your game...
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PostSubject: Re: Concerning Balance in H3SW   Concerning Balance in H3SW Icon_minitime2019-06-22, 05:43

Quote :
While you are absolutely okay with the fact, that crusaders have higher potential average damage than titans or cyclopes...
You need to reach those titans first to get the crushing blows.
And yes, ridiculously high damage should also not be an option in future.

Quote :
Imagine how much does that fact improve the overall game experience of an average person playing your game...
The design is always about the details which are never noticed by the people consciously.

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PostSubject: Re: Concerning Balance in H3SW   Concerning Balance in H3SW Icon_minitime2019-06-22, 06:53

Orzie wrote:

You need to reach those titans first to get the crushing blows.

I meant to point out the inconsitency of your agrugments by pointing out the fact that you disapprove of a situation where crusader and wyvern have similiar health points, but approve of one where crusader is able to deal out far higher damage then others.
And the fact that titan is able to shoot whereas the crusader is not, is in this plane of comparison quite irrelevant in my opinion.

To be honest I am quite surprised that someone actually spend their while thinking about such relations between different units in Heroes series. I have always deemed such thoughts quite absurd; if there is a linear proportion between number of units a faction is weekly able to recruit and a number of such units in the said world, there seem to be quite a lot of monsters compared to humans, how is it then possible, that humans are the dominant race?

Orzie wrote:

The design is always about the details which are never noticed by the people consciously.

That seems like an interesting thought. Though I am not quite sure how that applies to a turn-based strategy game... I mean, nobody cares if that peculiar warlock unit on the 3rd tier with X health points and Y speed is a griffin, basilisk or a giant mutant bumblebee.
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PostSubject: Re: Concerning Balance in H3SW   Concerning Balance in H3SW Icon_minitime2019-06-22, 23:56

Quote :
I meant to point out the inconsitency of your agrugments by pointing out the fact that you disapprove of a situation where crusader and wyvern have similiar health points, but approve of one where crusader is able to deal out far higher damage then others.
Dealing high damage is more realistic and a little more intuitive than having a tanky hit points pool. So, this is the lesser evil as it is. I wouldn't like Paladin dealing more damage in a single blow than a Dragon does, though. Having Knight relying on larger stacks in order to win a battle against a beastmaster seems to be a more appropriate solution.

Quote :
And the fact that titan is able to shoot whereas the crusader is not, is in this plane of comparison quite irrelevant in my opinion.
You think only about numbers, and do not mention any battlefield tactics, which is not how the gameplay balance discussion should go. Everyone has his own vision of Heroes balance, but the majority of these people never played an online game.

Quote :
To be honest I am quite surprised that someone actually spend their while thinking about such relations between different units in Heroes series. I have always deemed such thoughts quite absurd; if there is a linear proportion between number of units a faction is weekly able to recruit and a number of such units in the said world, there seem to be quite a lot of monsters compared to humans, how is it then possible, that humans are the dominant race?
Such relations are easily tracked in every older Heroes game if you start giving it attention. Most of the visitable objects on the adventure map are inhabited by humans, which is naturally supposed by the player unless it is stated otherwise (Leprechaun's Mushroom, Mermaids, a few others). It doesn't matter how many creatures you do have in your castle, any kind of number is possible in different maps, but the general concept of the game is designed that way, the campaign plot is based on humans, vast majority of the generals (heroes) have human-ish look, the list can go on.

Human-based objects are presented in the game as "generic" - there you go with your Forts, Mercenary Camps, Windmills, Watermills. You can design your own island inhabited by Sorceresses, and suppose that there are little to no humans, and even state that in a set of events, but the generic game object basis suggests otherwise. It's just implied that way unless you spend efforts on your personal maps to show a different concept. This will not be a standard game, this will be perceived by the player as a custom map, because standard game rarely has such features.

Atmosphere is an important feature of the game, especially the second installment of the series which is generally accepted as having little to no balance but still charming. Such details as discussed also contribute in the overall impression of the game.

Quote :
That seems like an interesting thought. Though I am not quite sure how that applies to a turn-based strategy game... I mean, nobody cares if that peculiar warlock unit on the 3rd tier with X health points and Y speed is a griffin, basilisk or a giant mutant bumblebee.
This is obviously wrong for the human-ish creatures though. There are some conventions, but Heroes I-II is a pretty simple game in concept, and there are no superhumans.

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PostSubject: All good things must come to an end   Concerning Balance in H3SW Icon_minitime2019-06-23, 09:13

So...

I presume I have a different opinion about basically all topics you wrote about in your previous comment, but since we reached topics, which are mostly subjective and since it doesn't seem that I am able (nor willing in fact) to change your stances about such topics, I am going to end this debate here.

Though I am glad that some sort of a debate on general balance and knight's position in the game did occur.

It was a great pleasure arguing with you dear devs and I look forward to next time.

Have a nice day <3


P.S. If anyone reading this has any idea about a map they would want me to make, don't be afraid to write your suggestions Smile
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