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Baldur's Gate meets Heroes of Might and Magic 3

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Comments

  • ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
    edited November 2016
    Expert Fire Magic + Tome of Fire Magic + Only Phoenixes in my party...

    Let the fun begin :D :D :D

    SouthpawJuliusBorisovCrevsDaaklolien
  • SouthpawSouthpaw Member Posts: 2,026
    I understand your design choices @Shandyr - and I like them. I will play this more over the weekend and let you know. (I think I will re-start again as Candlekeep faction - out of nostalgia)

    ShandyrJuliusBorisovCrevsDaaklolien
  • ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
    edited December 2016

    Yay! I did it! Although it cut short my name "Shandyr the Awesome".

    I expect nothing less of my beta testers :tongue:

    image

    Post edited by Shandyr on
    JuliusBorisovCrevsDaak
  • ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
    About multiplayer: I am not so sure if the map is suited for that.

    The thing is multiplayer maps require more than anything else an equally fair starting position for each player.

    I am not sure if the locations alone are really fair on this map. And then you must consider that the monsters on the map should be equally strong in the starting positions. Everyone should get the same amounts of resources and treasures. Everyone should have the same fair chance of reaching mines, etc.

    To make a map fair for multiplayer, a lot of considerations have to be done.

    Not to mention that the factions in HoMM3 are very imbalanced by themselves. However, if you try to balance out these inherent imbalances you can make matters worse...

    If you look at tournament multiplayer maps you will find that they are very symmetric in fact.
    So to give each player the same chance of success.

    So the only chance I'd see is if I didn't take it too seriously and I'd just say let's play multiplayer "for fun".
    So if I didn't care too much about the "perfect" balance of the starting positions.

    CrevsDaaklolien
  • ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
    edited November 2016
    Holy Cow... what now?

    image


    Berserk! :smiley:

    image

    CrevsDaakJuliusBorisov
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,026
  • ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
    edited December 2016
    Noooooooooooooooo

    You cannot be better at my own map than I!
    Argh!

    I... I am going to beat that new record!

    So now that you have played through the map, do you think the difficulty was okay?
    Was it too hard, too easy? Should something be more balanced?
    Should something be changed?

    How long did you take?

    CrevsDaaklolien
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,026
    edited December 2016
    As you can see, it took 156 days to complete the map. And as you can see, usually random maps on which I play (including MP games) take less time. It's because this map is very big. And it's the thing I've liked. The fact that the map is big makes possible my favourite tactics when I maneuver, trying not to face stronger heroes, gathering armies from different towns. I like long maps.

    I've liked that you have managed to combine the map with water, even in the underworld. It's always fresh (pun intended) and gives additional opportunities for maneuver.

    Overall, the landscapes and BG references are the strongest points of this map. You've managed to create diverse places, all looking different, and with lots and lots of ways to travel. Also, resources and gold. You've given an excellent balance, I think.

    I would add obelisks to this map. I like to look for the Grail, I think it can be an additional factor for trying this or that attempt. When a map has 15-20 obelisks, it only makes it better.

    The difficulty was fine (basically, as I've managed to beat it).

    My concern may be that there're too many Castles on his map, if compared to other towns. In the end, I had an army almost fully from Castle, so it didn't matter I started with Dungeon:



    I also like maps with guards for which you need keys. I saw one keyguard on this map, but I think there should be more.

    I missed fractions not available on this map, as Inferno and Elementals. When the map is so big and so long to play, it's always fun to have more different creatures in different armies.

    I've read your opinion about MP. From my experience, when I play MP on random maps, the conditions of each player are different. One can be lucky, and another can get tough guards. It'a a part of random maps. So this map, which obviously have several better starting points, is fine in that regard.

    Also, you may improve black (unexplored) parts of the map, as I didn't feel any need to visit them (check the screenshots below. except for the Undercity part):





    Overall, this is one of the best HoMM 3 maps ever, and of course the only one unique map combining HoMM with BG referencies.

    ShandyrCrevsDaaklolienAedan
  • ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
    edited December 2016
    Thank you! That is very valuable feedback.

    As you can see, it took 156 days to complete the map. And as you can see, usually random maps on which I play (including MP games) take less time. It's because this map is very big. And it's the thing I've liked. The fact that the map is big makes possible my favourite tactics when I maneuver, trying not to face stronger heroes, gathering armies from different towns. I like long maps.

    That's exactly what I like about big maps too. And I like taking my time too, took me 288 days to complete :lol:


    I've liked that you have managed to combine the map with water, even in the underworld. It's always fresh (pun intended) and gives additional opportunities for maneuver.

    Yes, that is the idea. In the northern part of the map the war becomes very dynamic. You can be easily attacked from any side. Also in HoMM3 I think one important element is playing something like "hide and seek" with the enemy.

    That is why the Underworld and the Whirlpools are very important strategically. You can basically run in circles and it's not too easy to corner an enemy. There are many escape routes but as I've said they can also serve as attacking routes. You must always be on your toes in the northern part of the map and you cannot feel too secure.

    But if you want to withdraw and rebuild a bit and catch your breath, that's what the south-east is for, especially the area where you didn't go :tongue:


    I missed fractions not available on this map, as Inferno and Elementals. When the map is so big and so long to play, it's always fun to have more different creatures in different armies.

    Speaking of which that area (the south-east) does include and elementon town. So elementals are featured!

    About Inferno, I am having a very hard time to justify that lore-wise.

    The only connection in Baldur's Gate to demons would be in Ulgoth's Beard the Tanar'ri
    (And I actually already have a reference to that on my map ;) ).

    Building an Inferno town in Ulgoth's Beard destroys the recognition value of that area.
    Also, an Inferno town is a contradiction in Forgotten Realms lore because demons and devils work together.
    Finally, if you build one Inferno town you actually need to build another one, because otherwise the town portal within the Inferno town would be pointless.

    And that portal is THE signature building of the Inferno town...

    So I would have to place two Inferno towns...

    At the moment, adding Inferno seems unlikely.


    My concern may be that there're too many Castles on his map, if compared to other towns. In the end, I had an army almost fully from Castle, so it didn't matter I started with Dungeon:

    Yeah, that is something I noticed, too. A valid concern.
    I will think about this. It definitely is a problem.


    I also like maps with guards for which you need keys. I saw one keyguard on this map, but I think there should be more.

    That was a hidden reference to unplugging the Cloakwood mine... ;)

    You need to go deep into the underground to find the tent with the key (remember Davaeorn used to have the key) and with it you can return and open access to the river.

    Unlike in Baldur's Gate this does not flood the mines here though.
    But it gives you an additional escape route, and also a valuable attacking route on the Fortress Town just above.


    I would add obelisks to this map. I like to look for the Grail, I think it can be an additional factor for trying this or that attempt. When a map has 15-20 obelisks, it only makes it better.

    This is something I would call a matter of taste. The thing is, when the Grail is enabled at least for me a game feels very differently because in the early stages of the game it's all about finding the grail.

    I never feel like I can play at ease. I'm all nervous then because I want to have the Grail ASAP and the AI gets the Grail VERY FAST.

    Yet I am open to enable it, I would just like for additional feedback from other players on this. If they prefer the Grail or not.

    Anyway, all in all thank you for beta testing and your feedback :)

    You seemed to have a great time playing the map which is my ultimate goal, and the goal of beta testing is of course that new players will have an even greater time!

    Post edited by Shandyr on
    CrevsDaakJuliusBorisovlolien
  • ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
    edited December 2016


    I missed fractions not available on this map, as Inferno and Elementals. When the map is so big and so long to play, it's always fun to have more different creatures in different armies.

    One way for you to tackle this is by playing Horn of the Abyss

    Because one feature of that mod (which feels like an official add-on!)
    is that the creature dwellings stack the creatures from week to week, just like in any town.

    So you don't have to go their each week. The creature dwellings save and stack the creatures!

    So if you wanted to add a huge stack of Inferno creatures you can just visit an Inferno creature dwelling (after a few weeks have passed).

    Oh yes, you are still "punished" if you don't visit the creature dwellings regularly.
    Because then an enemy can come by and add a huge stack of monsters to their army.

    It adds a new strategic depth to the creature dwellings and I appreciate that change a lot.

    CrevsDaakJuliusBorisovlolien
  • ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
    edited December 2016
    Oh my God....

    @JuliusBorisov
    You have given me quite an idea now...

    I could change the background story of the Candlekeep faction.
    I need to think it through, but it could turn out to be very interesting...

    Although beware, then every faction would be evil >:)

    By the way, do you mind that almost every playable faction is evil?

    Edit: The line of thinking was that I should cripple the many Castle towns by not allowing to build forts or creature dwellings. And then I thought it makes sense for every faction because they are more interested in destroying/exploiting the human settlements than building them up.

    Except for the Candlekeep faction because it is the only good faction. But what if it wasn't?

    CrevsDaakJuliusBorisovlolien
  • Son_of_ImoenSon_of_Imoen Member Posts: 1,755
    edited December 2016
    @Shandyr You might put the info about where the key is found between spoiler tags, for those who follow this topic and want to experience the map when it's done.

    ShandyrCrevsDaaklolien
  • ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
    There is one more point I'd like to have feedback on, and that is the design of the Underground areas.

    Usually in the design of my map, "area recognition value" has a very high priority.
    However, that's not true for the areas underground (except for Undercity Island).

    Because I gave the Heroes of Might and Magic aspect of my map a higher priority for underground areas, meaning I could build better and more strategic underground areas if I deviate heavily from the original design of Nashkel Mines and Cloakwood Mines.

    In the end most underground areas in Baldur's Gate are like an "indoor area".
    But you would never model indoor areas specifically in the HoMM3 map editor.

    That editor is designed to let you model outdoor areas.

    I *could* try to rebuild at least a part of Cloakwood and Nashkel Mines so that they resemble more the original layout. Should I do that or is the current design fine the way it is?

    CrevsDaaklolien
  • ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
    Hey everyone, I am not a native English speaker so I would be very grateful if a native English speaker would help me by proofreading my texts.

    Grammatical errors, spelling errors, punctuation errors.
    And lastly a check for the style.

    A sentence may be correct in terms of grammatic, spelling and punctuation but still be "unusual" in the English language.

    What everyone else could check is if my texts make sense story wise. But not in the sense that they have to make sense within the Baldur's Gate games. Because my stories do deviate from that.
    But within my stories the content should make sense and be coherent most of all.

    I would be very thankful for any help on this :)

    CrevsDaaklolienmlnevese
  • ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
    edited October 2017



    New Candlekeep Faction Introdution


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    Post edited by Shandyr on
    JuliusBorisovCrevsDaak
  • ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
    edited October 2017



    Gnoll Faction Introdution


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    Post edited by Shandyr on
    JuliusBorisovCrevsDaak
  • lolienlolien Member, Moderator, Translator (NDA) Posts: 3,066
    I have a sudden realization. I'll no chance to get my wife play Baldur's Gate. But she played Heroes III some few months ago... So just send me me those beta files @Shandyr, please!

    Any chance that your map has a built-in story mode? Or italian translation?

    JuliusBorisovShandyrCrevsDaak
  • ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
    edited December 2016
    lolien said:

    I have a sudden realization. I'll no chance to get my wife play Baldur's Gate. But she played Heroes III some few months ago... So just send me me those beta files @Shandyr, please!

    Any chance that your map has a built-in story mode? Or italian translation?

    @lolien

    Well the story is restricted to the introductory texts. For several reasons.

    1.) I actually never intended this to be a story map. I only wanted to be able to play a normal "command & conquer" mode on the Sword Coast.

    However, I disliked the idea of having no introductory texts at all. That's why I added them to give the map some flavor at least.

    2.) Another reason is that English is not my native language. Writing the texts is a lot of effort for me because I really want them to be very good if not "perfect" English. And I do make many mistakes initially.

    3.) The third reason is that I am no storyteller ;)
    So writing the introductory texts was very hard for me actually. And if someone does find them "lacking in quality" that's okay, because yeah telling stories is not my field of expertise.

    However, I do welcome feedback to improve the introductory texts, to make them more interesting, etc.
    This is a very important point to me in general: Honest feedback is very very valuable to me even if it is "negative", pointing out flaws etc. Don't be shy on that! Otherwise I can't improve the map.

    4.) I want the players to be the story writers. You get the introduction but how the story develops in your head that's up to you.

    About an Italian version, no there is none available at the moment. However, once the map is finalized I do know someone who has done some work on Italian translations in the past. He might like to help me out there.

    If your intend is to get your wife interested in Baldur's Gate by playing my map that's a nice idea ;)
    However, do keep in mind it is a beta still. Meaning there can be elements still
    that need to be tweaked and lessen the fun of playing the map.
    You may want to hold off to show the map to your wife until it's finished ;)

    On the other hand you are welcome to beta test of course and give me feedback how to make the map better and more interesting (for your wife, too ;) )

    lolienJuliusBorisov
  • ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
    edited December 2016
    Okay I *could* try to incorporate the Inferno town, maybe even as playable faction.



    What I need for that are all the demon and devil references in Baldur's Gate. Could someone help me out on that?

    Out of my head I can think of the following:
    - Albert and his dog Rufie in the Cloudpeaks
    - rumors of demons in the Nashkel mines
    - cult of Aec'Letec in Ulgoth's Beard
    - Dorn and his Master Ur-Gothoz (demon)
    - the greater topic of the Blood War in the Forgotten Realms

    Anymore you can think of? Every little bit might help.

    I haven't decided yet if I am going to add the Inferno town. First I would like to collect all demon and devil references and then see if I can build a story around that.

    JuliusBorisovCrevsDaak
  • ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
    edited December 2016
    Two interesting story points to consider are:

    What if the cult of Aec'Letec had been successful?
    And the second one concerns Albert and Rufie.

    Albert says:
    "Parents? Yes, I'm here with some relatives, but they're away for a moment and I'm lost. We are thinking of moving here some day, but I don't know my way around yet."

    So Albert's relatives may actually be interested in moving to the Sword Coast...

    Now Albert and Rufie belong to the devils, while Aec'Letec is a demon.

    Devil vs demons => Blood War...

    Just doing some brain storming here....

    JuliusBorisovCrevsDaak
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,026
    Have you thought about adding (at least one) a reference to SoD events? It coud help to incorporate demons into this world.

    Shandyrlolien
  • lolienlolien Member, Moderator, Translator (NDA) Posts: 3,066
    I slowly make my way through the map, and the many little details are amazing. I don't like generally scenario maps, but this one is big enough to get time for progression and well balanced. Thanks again @Shandyr for your work!

    JuliusBorisovShandyrmlneveseCrevsDaak
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 5,407
    edited February 2017
    @Shandyr thanks very much for letting me play with your map :). I see you're still calling it a beta, but having played a few downloaded community made maps I would say yours is of very high quality and see no reason why it couldn't be finalised now. I saw JuliusBorisov's comment about castles being over-powered, but I assume you have updated the map since then to balance the faction by limiting the development of some castles.

    As you noted earlier in the thread the map is essentially just a standard heroes 3 game, but with BG references added to provide a bit of extra flavour. I thought that mixture worked well.

    I played starting in Candlekeep and after a few early false starts got myself into a winning position before making a mistake and getting cornered by the one remaining tough hero - the hundreds of dragons he had proved too much of a hurdle :/. Trying again I have successfully completed the whole map - my completionist tendencies kicking in to require me to explore everywhere, kill everything and flag all objects meant that took a total of 492 days o:) {Edit: also partly a consequence of never having the opportunity to learn earth magic, so I had to use raw power rather than resurrection to win combats}. The game was essentially won a long time before that, but there was a fair amount of time spent earlier on of genuine struggle - which reflects the quality of the work.
    - in the early game resources are tight (which is good), so development needs care.
    - when other AIs start being active they are likely to be much stronger than you (at least if playing on 200%), so scouting and careful movement are needed to avoid disasters.
    - even after I had a very strong character subduing the AI was still not straight-forward. While that was partly no doubt flaws in my play the size of the map and the various different methods of moving around in it mean that the end game does offer challenge as well as the earlier stages. I suspect I'll probably play the map again with the aim of completing the game as quickly as possible next time, rather than being completionist.

    While I haven't played any of the other factions my feeling is that the game appears well-balanced generally between factions, though differences in how accessible starting positions are to the AI will require some changes in strategies.

    Thanks again for all the hard work you've put into this.

    Post edited by Grond0 on
    JuliusBorisovShandyrlolienCrevsDaak
  • ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
    edited February 2017
    Grond0 said:

    comment about castles being over-powered, but I assume you have updated the map since then to balance the faction by limiting the development of some castles.

    Yes, that's correct, only Baldur's Gate City is fully deployable now.
    Grond0 said:

    The game was essentially won a long time before that, but there was a fair amount of time spent earlier on of genuine struggle

    I am very content to hear that. That's exactly what I was aiming for. I don't want this to be a super hard map, but I want to make the player at least think about their actions. I want to encourage strategic thinking on the map.
    Grond0 said:


    While I haven't played any of the other factions my feeling is that the game appears well-balanced generally between factions

    That would be good for multiplayer. For single player I would not even mind if the factions were unbalanced. Not all starting positions have to have the same chance. Some could be harder than others, I wouldn't mind that for single player.


    Btw, Julius record is 436. You could try to beat him ;)
    Although he did play a different version of the map.

    Lastly what do you think about obelisks, should I add them and enable the Grail on the map?

    Anyway, thank you very much for testing the map. Feedback is always appreciated and very much welcomed.
    And never be shy to point out things that you rather dislike. Because I can only improve them if I become aware of them.

    And if you have any idea of a nice Baldur's Gate reference I could add to the map, please let me know :)

    Post edited by Shandyr on
    JuliusBorisovlolienCrevsDaak
  • AedanAedan Member, Translator (NDA) Posts: 8,224
  • ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
    edited February 2017
    Grond0 said:


    Personally I'm not a great fan of the Grail, so didn't miss it. If you wanted to add it in though I would have thought you could add an appropriate storyline based on another of Balduran's relics ...

    Wow, that's a very good idea!

    I don't know if I would weave a storyline around it, maybe just some small note.

    But I really like the idea of thinking that the Grail may be one of Balduran's long lost treasures,
    that he may have brought home from Anchrome for example.

    And kudos, you came very close to Julius' record. And you did break my record which is 426...
    How dare you...? :tongue:

    Post edited by Shandyr on
    Grond0mlneveseJuliusBorisovCrevsDaak
  • lolienlolien Member, Moderator, Translator (NDA) Posts: 3,066
    edited February 2017
    The grail should be The Platinum Pantaloons obviously.

    Edit: Mithral Pantaloons acceptable too.

    ShandyrGrond0JuliusBorisovCrevsDaak
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 5,407
    edited February 2017
    Shandyr said:

    Grond0 said:

    I don't know if I would weave a storyline around it, maybe just some small note.

    That's all I was thinking of - maybe one screen when the first obelisk is discovered and a second when the 'Grail' is found.

    Rather than playing the tower faction again I had a go with the rampart. I had one abortive attempt as a result of resources being even harder to get early on with them (not the same relatively easy access to windmills), but a change of tactics produced a pretty decent attempt second time around. There were no major disasters this time - towns were lost on numerous occasions, but that's pretty difficult to avoid against flying, implosion-wielding heroes with dozens of dragons! I still failed to get myself to finish as quickly as possible though - I did this time leave a small number of neutral stacks, but still spent a fair amount of extra time at the end exploring and ensuring everything was flagged before killing the last hero - and that time proved just a bit too much :D.

    Edit: incidentally the point about flying heroes is that one of them presumably had a pair of angels wings (though I didn't recover them). You've obviously ensured that towns don't have the fly spell, but I'm not sure whether you were intending to leave open the option of flying by item use.

    ShandyrJuliusBorisovlolienCrevsDaak
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