I've always thought that one of the key features in the success of the HOMM series was the ability to create user-made maps. Its this feature that made them virtually infinite games.
I made a few maps in H3 and really enjoyed it, but I never made any for H4. Now, partly that was due to sheer laziness, but it was also because the really good features in the H4 editor were so user unfriendly and so easy to get wrong.
Don't get me wrong. The features in the H4 editor were incredible. They are so much more powerful than H3 that the potential to create really good maps was certainly there - but you had to be ****ed near a professional programmer to use them effectively. That's why Qrystal was able to sort them out - and make some great maps - but I never bothered to learn.
So, top of my wish-list for H4 is an editor with the power of the H4 editor, but the user-friendliness of the H3 editor.
H4 editor become "usable" only after a couple of patches. What I would welcome is a random generator then be able to retouch the map if necessary. Playing MP with random maps makes it to unballanced and making one from scratch is VERY time consuming.
Well that goes without saying. But random maps are a necessary evil if you can't find a good map that nobody's played yet, though ideally multi-player maps should be designed with replayability in mind and if there weren't a random map generator that would eliminate the issue altogether.
The Heroes IV map editor reminded me a lot of the Starcraft map editor, very powerful indeed if you want there to be a storyline for the map, not too hard to work with once you learn to speak its language, but still more trouble than it's worth if you're just trying to make a well balanced free-for-all. The Heroes III editor was definitely a better package all around (like the rest of the game pretty much.)
I would add that beside the Map Editor, there could be functions for playtesting. Like "go solo" cheat, that makes the AI to play all sides (no human player), or a form of game where you can do minor adjustments to encountered creature strength etc. It would be great!
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Cattleman:
A random generator is NEVER going to match a good user-made map ... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Yes it don't make well ballanced maps, but if you want to make a quick skirmish game with a friend it might work. In a real tourney not. I play Warlords 4 and do random maps just for fun, but for tourney we carfully edit the maps so that we have a well ballanced one.
The random will allow you to make a base map to start with, then you work on a bit ballancing. Nothing is more artificial then a pure mirror map I often see for MP.
Yeah the ability to test the scripts would be great with a cheat mode but even better would be able to test scripts within the editor. A bit of a pain in H4 writing a complicated script then having to go into the game to see if it works or not. I know it sounds complex but even in sql we can send a value and see the result. This simple result would tell the map maker a lot