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  1. #1
    I don't know if Heroes VI has an upgrade system planned, but it could. Such mechanics are easy to implement and already span the strategy genre since its beginnings.

    First, an explanation of the Upgrade Number paradigm. There are 2 methods to increase the strength of one's army in a strategy game:

    1. create a new unit.
    2. upgrade your existing units to perform better.

    Sometimes, these two methods will operate off of different resources which allows the player to pursue both at once. Much more commonly, however, he must choose one or the other. Developers use Upgrade Numbers to keep track of the balance between the two. The Upgrade Number indicates the number of units that must already exist for a unit upgrade to have the same effect as unit production. For example:

    A footman has a combat strength of 10. You can also purchase an upgrade for the same price as a footman that will boost their strength by 20%.

    Here is the result if he buys a new footman vs upgrading the ones he has:
    # of units Current Strength Buy a Unit Upgrade Units
    1 10 20 12
    2 20 30 24
    3 30 40 36
    4 40 50 48
    5 50 60 60
    6 60 70 72
    7 70 80 84

    If there are fewer than 5 footmen, he should build a new one. If there are more than 5, he should upgrade them. The Upgrade Number is 5.

    The formula for Upgrade Numbers is U.N. = UpgradeCost/UnitCost/Upgrade% (where Upgrade% is 0.2 for 20%)

    In this way, Strategy game devs can control the size of armies in a limited fashion: weaker upgrades mean higher upgrade numbers and bigger armies because players will spend their money on units rather than on upgrades.

    2 major factors also influence unit upgrades: repair-ability and damage negation. Defensive upgrades that negate damage rather than increasing health can allow an army to avoid casualties altogether; this applies only to NUMBER-damage reduction as percent-reduction is just adding effective hitpoints. In addition, in games where damaged units are easily repaired up to full health, getting the final blow on an enemy unit or escaping your own injured units can be well worth getting the upgrade.

    Heroes games have historically had plenty of unit bonuses from their heroes, but it would also be possible to add resource-based upgrades if the Devs so choose. The primary advantage is as follows:

    I am a mapmaker, and I want to make a map with a well-defended home area for every player. Now, in the event that one player turtles inside his home, he may be able to create an unbreakable defense. To remedy this, I place resources in the open middle area. If one player turtles, the other player gets more resources than him...significantly more resources. This will allow him to break the defensive line in an epic battle of awesomeness WITHOUT the game going on for hours and hours. However, for other balance reasons the expanding player has growth limits on his units and cannot outmass the defender. This map is not possible unless he has other methods of strengthening his army that are not available to the defender with fewer resources.
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  2. #2
    I don't know if Heroes VI has an upgrade system planned, but it could. Such mechanics are easy to implement and already span the strategy genre since its beginnings.

    First, an explanation of the Upgrade Number paradigm. There are 2 methods to increase the strength of one's army in a strategy game:

    1. create a new unit.
    2. upgrade your existing units to perform better.

    Sometimes, these two methods will operate off of different resources which allows the player to pursue both at once. Much more commonly, however, he must choose one or the other. Developers use Upgrade Numbers to keep track of the balance between the two. The Upgrade Number indicates the number of units that must already exist for a unit upgrade to have the same effect as unit production. For example:

    A footman has a combat strength of 10. You can also purchase an upgrade for the same price as a footman that will boost their strength by 20%.

    Here is the result if he buys a new footman vs upgrading the ones he has:
    # of units Current Strength Buy a Unit Upgrade Units
    1 10 20 12
    2 20 30 24
    3 30 40 36
    4 40 50 48
    5 50 60 60
    6 60 70 72
    7 70 80 84

    If there are fewer than 5 footmen, he should build a new one. If there are more than 5, he should upgrade them. The Upgrade Number is 5.

    The formula for Upgrade Numbers is U.N. = UpgradeCost/UnitCost/Upgrade% (where Upgrade% is 0.2 for 20%)

    In this way, Strategy game devs can control the size of armies in a limited fashion: weaker upgrades mean higher upgrade numbers and bigger armies because players will spend their money on units rather than on upgrades.

    2 major factors also influence unit upgrades: repair-ability and damage negation. Defensive upgrades that negate damage rather than increasing health can allow an army to avoid casualties altogether; this applies only to NUMBER-damage reduction as percent-reduction is just adding effective hitpoints. In addition, in games where damaged units are easily repaired up to full health, getting the final blow on an enemy unit or escaping your own injured units can be well worth getting the upgrade.

    Heroes games have historically had plenty of unit bonuses from their heroes, but it would also be possible to add resource-based upgrades if the Devs so choose. The primary advantage is as follows:

    I am a mapmaker, and I want to make a map with a well-defended home area for every player. Now, in the event that one player turtles inside his home, he may be able to create an unbreakable defense. To remedy this, I place resources in the open middle area. If one player turtles, the other player gets more resources than him...significantly more resources. This will allow him to break the defensive line in an epic battle of awesomeness WITHOUT the game going on for hours and hours. However, for other balance reasons the expanding player has growth limits on his units and cannot outmass the defender. This map is not possible unless he has other methods of strengthening his army that are not available to the defender with fewer resources.
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  3. #3
    So I'd have to wonder if 100 footman are 100 footman... or have been upgraded to be effectively 200 footman?

    No thanks.
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  4. #4
    ...Umm, have you played a Heroes game before? An army with a level 20 hero can defeat an army 3 times its size led by a level 1 hero.

    Since the heroes are the primary source of buffs, there is an incentive to level-up your hero by exploring and fighting.

    Adding a second set of upgrades based on resources (or simply making the upgraded units more expensive) would incentivise expanding as well, add an element of map control to the game.
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  5. #5
    Have you ever played a heroes game before? Because you seem to be in the mindset it's an RTS game.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Now, in the event that one player turtles inside his home </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Since the heroes are the primary source of buffs, there is an incentive to level-up your hero by exploring and fighting. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
    You already have the answer to your theoretical problem. Not to mention artifacts and such.
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  6. #6
    You have a good point, the existing system encourages players to go exploring. But I want a game where the system encourages players to go conquering. The developers have shown that they agree with this mindset by forcing players to own a town near mines they control, but this only works when the towns are expertly placed.

    I'm making the suggestion that Heroes should become more like an RTS, as many other turn-based games are doing. If I want an awesome, 10+ hour empire slugfest I'll grab my ancient Alpha Centauri cd, but if I want to play with my friends it's Civilization 4 or 5, games that can be finished in 3-4 hours if everyone moves quickly.

    Maybe I'm looking at this the wrong way, though. Rather than try to have an upgrade system that competes with the existing one, maybe players should be able to pay resources to level up their heroes?

    That would make turtling even more common unless it was tied into existing experience, like you can only buy as much as your hero has gained naturally. Or an improved artifact market.

    What if players can find damaged artifacts, and the game offers to let them repair it for a cost? As you can see, I don't have any solid ideas. I'm just brainstorming.
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  7. #7
    In a sense, what Cartesian214 is proposing is very similar to HoMMV where the wizards were able to create and equip creature artifacts for their armies.

    I like the idea allow all factions to purchase different kinds of creature artifacts to enhance their armies but only wizards can create custom artifacts with higher power and value Were as the general creature "equipment" artifacts are just simple stat boosters. Now if only HoMM6 could get those artifacts of heroes and creature stacks alike to show visually the artifacts that are equip on the battle field (^___^)


    Ah the possibilities...
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  8. #8
    You also get to a point where you have enough gold and resources to buy and upgrade all creatures... and that is before you even meet your enemy player.
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