To add clarification to my game situation: I was playing Necropolis, and the computer was playing Haven. In his army, he had over 100 of his healers plus throngs of other creatures. (1.5 months build time before we fought) I cast mass life drain and reinforcements among other spells and focused on just one throng, but I still got crushed. I could have tried to get to his healers, but it would not have mattered.
Perhaps there is a precise skill set you have to take to have a chance against the computer AI after a month on normal difficulty on that specific map. But what fun is it to be forced to take the same skills all the time? I can believe that I chose a couple of the wrong skills, but most were geared towards making my spells more powerful, so I don't think I chose more than 2 or 3 skills wrong. (Plus, in other Hero's games you can make skill choice mistakes and make up for it with proper planning, maneuvering and travel choices). Plus, I'm not so sure that if I chose my skills exactly right it would make up for the 300 extra troops he had over mine. If I'm going to be pigeonholed into taking a certain skill set every time, well graphics be damned, my friend and I won't be able to play the game until the balance is fixed. Such a shame, it's a hell of a lot of fun right up to the point where you get slaughtered and the time you spent didn't matter.
Perhaps I'm wrong about all of this? Do all factions that WE play, have a chance against any faction the COMPUTER plays, on all maps with different skill sets? To clarify, no matter which computer faction we go up against, can they be beat without a lot of hardship and without us being FORCED to take certain skills? Perhaps the map difficulty ratings are just not right?
I feel that right now, we are FORCED to take the exact right skills to beat some computer enemies on normal difficulty.
I've played all of the heroes games, many times and never had trouble until this game. Perhaps I'm too stuborn to be forced to take the right skills just to have a chance. I'd rather be able to choose some variety and still have a chance. I would like to win against the computer a fair amount of the time (that's what he's there for, to make us feel good about our play, lol). If I want to lose a lot of games, I'll play multiplayer against some of you bad asses
Last edited by ogrebrain; 01-17-2012 at 07:26 PM.
I've played through all the campaigns (except the final, working on it now) and several scenarios, all on hardest difficulty settings, and I have often run into the enemy hero having high and deadly armies even when I have lost essentially nothing and recruited close to the max possible. It's not uncommon to have to win several battles against strong opponents (high/deadly) with few losses before things finally start to taper off, at least on the campaigns (particularly the final campaign). I believe the AI is simply given big advantages to compensate for them not being capable of playing as well as human opponents.
If the difficulty you are on is giving you opponents that are too powerful simply lower the difficulty settings. Or, you could abuse one of a few exploits (such as Arachne's bugged lifestealing effect) however I would not recommend the latter as once there is no challenge one may quickly lose interest in the game.
I believe the main reason for running into opponents with much larger armies is because of rapid expansion towards opponents who started with certain large static amounts of troops (more common on campaigns). Sometimes simply waiting a week or two for more troops can help even out a fight and make an opponent more manageable.
Sometimes you can't wait a week or two for more troops if they come into your lands
Well, another strategy I had that worked pretty well against large armies I could not beat was to simply avoid them. If they have a large army coming for your castle, it means they are not defending their castle with it. Several times I've avoided the big army they are sending out and stolen castles left only lightly defended. This will likely result in the strong army attempting to return to the castle you just sacked. You can then port out back to your place. You'll have more time for recruits to spawn as well as having destroyed some amount of troops at their base, usually. Packing the movement perks (logistics, pathfinding, snatch) and having some +movement gear helps a lot with this.
With the hardest difficulty set on there is still quite a few way to win AIs, no matter the AI faction, no matter your faction. But, You do need to understand the game a minimum :
Choosing your skill gives you a tremendous advantage compared to previous heroes IF you know what you want, how you want to play. If you make good choice isn't it normal the game goes easier? If you make poor choice, isn't it normal you go slower than other that did take the good choices? If you need 2 weeks to clean your starting area and take your mine, isn't it normal that you will later experience more difficulty than if you had cleared your areas and the one next to it with mines and all during the same time?
Now about a specific skill set and creatures you choose, well my previous answer is my personal build that I believe work wonder to help you start. Another one just after me posted a different composition (that maybe works better without dynasty bonuses) and playing campaign you would see many people's though and different build. All that really matters at the end is that you find skills that allow you to never stop moving. Every day you spend waiting is a waste and you don't need it in H6 (while in heroic in H5 it was sometime a dire necessity, for manaless wizards for exemple)
My build can be easily adapted but here is the idea ;
you have little to no army.
_You can't afford any loss here so you need heal (creatures or heroes)
_ Buff and debuff spells have yet little to no interest
_ you don't have much mana yet so I'd be careful about all damage dealing spell even though they'd be pretty good at that precise moment
_ Here you already made a lot of choices :
- did you rush the money structures (city lvl3_4) and didn't yet do any creatures dwelling?
- then you will have an edge later in the game but your army remains weak for a long time : you need to compensate it with your heroes skills _ Your heroes need to do a lot of damage by himself and the skills than increase heroes damage are passive increase in might for might heroes or of power or of power of the magic he uses to attack (these two are cumulative for magic heroes)or offensive spells or heroic strike. At short terms heroic strike is often time the best way to increase your heroes damage and it costs no mana. But if you don't want it don't, magic spells are fine to and you can increase your total mana to make up (at least a bit) for the extra mana you use in damage spell.
- did you choose to make creatures dwelling?
- Be aware that later you will have less money than you could have had. Right now you have a bigger army but your advantage is quickly going away unless ... unless you do things with it you couldn't have done without. For exemple rush another player zone is the most common follow up you should aim at if you start by doing creatures. Not fun? Well it's only logical, here analogies I can think of if you don't attack you are : "like a zerg that does a six pool but without attacking" (for sc2 player), "like a man that books the best restaurant in town, prepared the ring and the wine to celebrate, but fail to invite the girl"( bride and husband ^^) , "like ..." You may ignore that, but knowing it or not doesn't change the huge disadvantage you would have if you sacrifice (knowingly or not) your economy to get advantage you don't use.
- In that case you may consider buffing skill (I include vampirism in buffing spell as it gets more powerful as your army grows) or focus on damage spell (if you took enough healers creatures your mana will be devoted on damage dealing spell)here damage dealing spell are excellent since you'll probably gamble the following of the game on some key fights (gain access to the other zone, kill his main heroes thus taking its castle)
Then about kind of creatures : the faster you'll go, the fewer stacks you'll have to focus on. So Choose between 2 or 3 kind of creature to focus on including one core creature and your champion. Focusing on two core creature upgraded would go pretty well with an early deadful aggression while 1 core then champion would be more fitted for the economic style, would you survive until then ^^. The biggest mistake would be to do as the AI (one core after another then the elites then the champ).
PS : After that done, I'd say the number of creatures you'll meet shouldn't be so much against you. (Another way to put it is that what was wrong with the way you played wasn't really the skills your heroes had when facing AI, it was more probably every thing you did before meeting the AI that was wrong. (Especially waiting which is very bad in every map except sometimes in campaigns)
PPS : I sincerely hope that what I wrote can actually help you figure out how to scare the crap out of AIs. Any AI.
Last edited by Magius1989; 01-18-2012 at 11:11 PM.
Nice post Magius.
Assuming you can clear with minimal troops, rushing economy is a good investment. An easy way to clear without having much of an army is to divide shooters into many stacks and put pressed attack on the first one who gets good morale. This will cause the hero to attack with the unit's initial attack and the moral attack too! It's a nearly guaranteed way to cause double the hero's damage on the first turn, and then double again(or more) on the second via the pressed attack and another ability from the hero. Also, having many stacks of only 1 shooter allows them to body block for bigger stacks of units and minimize losses. With this strategy a very underwhelming army can potentially destroy much stronger opponents.
This strategy works even better when racial bonuses are thrown in. Haven for instance can have a unit body-block and go invulnerable, further delaying having your creatures attacked and hopefully buying enough time for one's hero to finish off the enemy.
Inferno takes the cake, however, as having 5-7 shooters causes frequent luck procs and therefore more gated stacks. If one gates across the map quickly enough, the AI will attack the gates or gated creatures instead of every going for your real troops!
Stronghold is good for it too, as all goblins who did not get the pressed attack can flood the field with traps, granting a lot of extra time before the opposing forces reach you.
Last edited by Error3; 01-25-2012 at 09:03 PM.
Reason: More information
I suggest to practice some skirmish games alone vs. the hard AI to understand how it works (after some point it becomes really predictable) and to force you into thinking a lot about your strategy before jumping into bad decisions. I have no issues at all to beat any number of AI players on hard, I killed two main heroes in a row in my last game and lost only 20% of my army (played sanctuary). Its all about picking the right strategies and using your skills efficiently, this will come with practice.
1. So, to sum up what I'm hearing from all of you is that anyone playing the game against the computer, even on normal difficulty is forced to rush, you can't make hardly any mistakes, have to take specific skills, and you can't explore a little and have fun. Once you get a decent army at around the 1 month mark, you have to go after the computer and take his town or at least destroy his best hero. If you do not play this way, you can ALWAYS expect to lose to the computer AI, even on normal difficulty. Does that sum up what most of you are saying? Nobody has mentioned that some maps are harder than others, or that some factions kick the crap out of other factions, so that cannot be the problem either.
2. Becaus of what you've mentioned, I am very surprised that you think that NORMAL AI is balanced. If any player follows your strategy to win on normal difficulty, then I would describe the game play as: Anti "exploration (no time to waste)". Anti artifact gathering(no time to waste)". Anti "time spent on hero developement(not time to waste)". Anti "try new skill sets(can't beat computer armies without appropriate skills)".
3. I think the difficulties settings should try to achieve the following(as I truly believe they did in Heroes 5 and other versions):
a) Easy difficulty: This should be for first time players who make a lot of mistakes and still have a fair chance to beat the computer.
b) Normal difficulty: The average casual player(plays a couple times a week, has played previous versions) could make some mistakes and still have a fair chance to beat the computer AI. From my experience it just is not this way now.
c) Hard difficulty: This is for more skillful, M&M 6 knowledgeable players. This is a setting for those that just want to win. It requires you to play just as you have described above, fast, with few mistakes, and the same powerful skill sets. Even playing this way you may lose a fair amount to the computer if you do not use good strategy.
4. My prior posts did not perhaps express what was truly bothering me. I didn't really want tips on how to beat the computer AI. I just want to know if anyone besides myself think the difficulty settings are not currently correct in their current state. I think easy should be easier, normal should be easier and hard should be a bit harder for you guys I thought I would number my topics so you can better reply. Please be nice, it's just my oppinion and I know that people disagree...a lot
I strongly disagree that the difficulty is too difficult. I would love the game to be more of a challenge (in the form of better AI, NOT simply larger advantages for my opponents, lol). That being said, I am definately a min/maxer and put a lot of thought and effort into my moves and strategies and have logged a great deal of time in the game at this point.
If the game is too difficult for you to enjoy you should start at the bottom and work your way up. Create a custom game with these settings:
Try to choose a big map with lots of room.
Agressive AI: off
Slow Creature Growth
Weak Neutral Armies
Dynasty Bonuses On
Fastest Hero Leveling
Powerful Secondary Heroes
The game default will give you a "normal" ai. Click the red "X" to remove the AI and add an "easy" AI in its place. Make your opponent Inferno (they are fan-picked as needing a bit of a boost atm)
If you are able to play the game as you want with these settings, then great! If it's too easy then start changing some of the settings until it's just right.
I firmly believe (perhaps erroneously), that the game can be won with any faction, might or magic, tears or blood, with a variety of builds and strategies on any difficulty, without having to rush (though it wouldn't hurt) or follow a strict build of talents (though some talents are better than others).
There is no reason to play on a difficulty that isn't fun for you, it is a game after all. Set it to your comfort level.
No it is not what we were saying (at least not me). you can ignore almost any advice I gave, get completely different skillset that the one I use and win easely against any AI.
Originally Posted by ogrebrain
By the way around the first month mark I don't Start to have a decent army, I finish the game (and killed about any neutral on a 6 player map with stronghold). No one of us did mention loosing against AIs for it is hardly to even imagine how would one fail to such a poor AI. Yet you seem to experience some sort of trouble to do that so there must be a way not to win against it. My post was in the idea you would actually want to play well (understanding you make choice by every action and knowing why you would do so).
And no I don't think AIs are well balanced because as I said in another posts, it is WAY TO EASY to be even compared to a challenge. I don't know if you played H5 but there was a true challenge even on hard.
The main goal of my previous post (which obviously is not achieved) was to make you see how your lost is not due to one single mistake but by taking wrong decisions over and over again, slowly building the conditions of your lost.
You loose on normal so my guess is : you didn't clear your area for the longest time, didn't get the fort next to you before even longer (maybe 1st month?) you didn't kill any neutral except for that and, in one word, just did absolutely nothing during the game. I haven't checked but I am pretty sure even the simplest AI of chess beats a player that skips half its turns and take wrong decisions when the player does play.
If I sound a bit reducing I do apologize but you completely misunderstood my last post probably because I choosed not to make it sound as bad as it really was. You are not supposed to lose to the H6 AI, never, ever, ever. For someone that never played any previous Heroes game before it is acceptable to lose like one or two games, but after there is a true problem of how you see your game.
Just lol. Last game I was lvl 23 when I finished the last AI whose main was lvl 9. Do you really think I avoided neutrals or artifact? Except if you rush the other area there is no point avoiding to kill neutral.
Originally Posted by ogrebrain
PS : when I say rush it's not attacking after one month, it's going in the other's area before end of week 1 (early week 2 without dynasty bonuses I'd say)
PPS : I repeat, you don't need to follow ANY tip to win against AI . We gave them (or at least I did) because I think it is almost impossible to get the AI any worse and that posts like yours could hide the fact there is absolutely no challenge from AIs. (Just for the lol I'll skip every turn for the first month without building anything for next game against hard Ais. When I'll finish I'll tell you the result . My bet? I'll win easely ^^.)