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sobaka770
06-28-2015, 01:52 AM
Hi all, I have had a chance to play the beta with a friend and, while I didn't have time to dig into all the game systems there is some immediate feedback one one core point that I wanted to provide but never got the time, so here it is, later than I hoped for.

Visibility - this is a major point for me, because I feel that it was one the biggest failures since the series went into 3D. I wanted to put "Graphics" at first, but really the graphics are okay, they are gritty and not as cartoon-like as Heroes 5 but that's fine. However what is not fine, compared even with Heroes 5, which I am going to use as reference, is the immediate readability of everything on the map, on the battlefield and in town.

- Adventure map is in dire need of better contrast between static terrain and resources. The flags above monsters and mines are weirdly placed. In Heroes 5 when a mine is captured there's a clear animation and a flag. In Heroes 7 it's hard to see if anything was captured. Mines are not the only issue, what is worse is that resources blend into terrain. On the small map the entrance to the underground is extremely hard to find.

The general point here is simple - many of the things on the map are way too detailed to the detriment to visibility. There is no need to have wood piles drawn so realistically if their intricate texture blends with the texture on the terrain and their silhouette is difficult to immediately recognise. The biggest draw of Heroes 2 and 3 is no just 2D graphics, it's the cleanliness of presentation. We could see at a glance more of the map, and every structure had a clear shape. I will use Heroes 5 as example of 3D game where gold, crystal and other resources are clearly identifiable at a glance. because of distinctive design, silhouette and colour. There needs to be a lot of work put in making the map readable - use circles under the neutral monsters, use clear distinct silhouettes for resources. The return of 4 rare resources is welcome, but they are not as distinct as before and all look like ore.

- Battle map has the same problem of visibility. If, for example, I take the archer unit in Heroes 5, it looks cartoony. However when the archer in Heroes 5 fires, the animations of the bowstring, arrow flight and enemy impact are very clear. It adds a lot of immersion to the game. Heroes 7 obviously has a better model of the unit and the arrow, but on the battlefield the shooting action looks worse. The first reason is that units once again blend too much into the terrain. The silhouettes of the units are not distinct enough and the colors/textures are too close to that of the terrain to make the distinguishable. A slight adjustment in colour for units (make them a bit more colorful while keeping the terrain dark to begin with) could be helpful. The second reason is the lack of impact of the attack on the receiving unit. While Heroes 5 red blur is maybe too colourful, it did serve a purpose of creating a solid feedback of impact. In Heroes 7 beta the attacking unit animation is not properly reflected by the receiver, maybe once again a simple exaggerated blur/blood impact animation could be added. The last reason is the animation polish - the attack of certain units, like female defenders is too quick to be visible. The same arguments also go for spells, I hope that this is a beta issue and the spell impacts will be improved for the final release, because now they are almost imperceptible.

- City - first-of-all, compared with the adventure and battle maps, and even the interface, the city screens look like they have been drawn by a different design team, since they are so over-the-top colourful. Was this design outsourced to third-party? In any case, the city building screen and recruitment screen are appalling and I don't think anything needs to be added here since it's probably placeholder. I also think that the animation of actually what is being built ( like a 1 second appearing animation from heroes 2-3) could be useful just to create the sense of improvement of the town. Right now if I build something, I can't see what it is from the menu and then I don't know what I added to the castle visually once I go back to the main screen. Visually the buildings once again blend into the background too much and overall the city screen doens't feel like something lived-in, where are all the small buildings for normal people? The Heroes 5 Haven castle had a lot of small buildings around, as well as the old H3 screens. The ones used in the Heroes 7 beta are lifeless and unrealistic, which is contrasting with the rest of the game.

- 5 > 6 - this is my subjective point, but, in my opinion, despite the progress in graphical fidelity, textures, models etc., Heroes 5 graphics were more pleasant than those in Heroes 6. The first thing is the clarity and silhouettes of things on the map. It was easy to identify actionable structures, units were more stylised like in Warcraft but they also didn't age much even if the game is played today. I also think that the animations of most units and map objects were simply better in Heroes 5 . I don't have to go far, even the very basic "Benediction" spell had awesome animation from the hero. Meteor and Armageddon spells felt like they were destroying the battlefield. At the same time, those animations were not overly long and didn't waste our time. It is important because I had issues with Heroes 6 where, for example, shadow elemental units and harpies whose turns were much slower than any other units' in the game. Right now it is imperative to increase the speed of flying units in Heroes 7 because it's painful to play with. I like that some critical hit and special ability animations are different (like cavalier's lance), but they don't need to be longer. Once again, as an example the Heaven Heroes 5 Footman unit had 2 distinct animations for normal attack and shield bash. Both were almost the same length, quite quick, but also very distinct to inform the player that the ability was triggered.

I know it's a rather long post about something which can amount to "polish", but Heroes 5 were released with poor balance and some bugs, however, in my opinion, they are the best Heroes game to-date, because the core gameplay elements were very polished and clean. I wish Heroes 7 to succeed and I liked a lot of things in the beta, such as levelling system (although random should be default and not optional), combat arenas and the general flow of the game, so I would like to see every element of this game perfected.

Last but not least, please, do the right thing and delay the game if it's not ready. This franchise will not survive another broken game at release.

Ubi-MoshiMoshi
06-29-2015, 12:37 PM
Hi sobaka770, thank you for your feedback.

GMnemonic
07-06-2015, 07:17 PM
I agree with most of these actually I think HOMM 6 adventure map design etc are much better and clearly readable!

But the lack of color, the huge difference between town screens and the adventure map and better animation im all for it.

Also please just rescale everything to be more immersive, and make the adventure map more fantasy and interresting to watch like homm 6 did very well,
For my part just reuse all the trees models etc because this is a huge huge huge step backwards, other then that homm 5 gameplay design was better

GMnemonic
07-06-2015, 07:20 PM
I agree with most of these actually I think HOMM 6 adventure map design etc are much better and clearly readable!

But the lack of color, the huge difference between town screens and the adventure map and better animation im all for it.

Also please just rescale everything to be more immersive, and make the adventure map more fantasy and interresting to watch like homm 6 did very well,
For my part just reuse all the trees models etc because this is a huge huge huge step backwards, other then that homm 5 gameplay design was better

This game has a HUGE problem with design immersion and gameplay variety, think carbon copy skills, lack of spells.

Please take another year and redo some systems.

Also that HOMM 5 townscreens cost so much budget to design is a huge lie, off course they are more expansive but I know 3d software and well if you already figured them out the assets can be build quite effecctively.

feidet1
07-07-2015, 08:42 PM
I agree with the author of the theme, the card is read badly, worse than it was 5 or 6 parts. By virtue of the color of style and scale models play on standard notebook screens measuring 15.6 inches is not very comfortable.

Elle-One
07-08-2015, 09:08 AM
If this comforts you, playing on a bigger screen did not help at all.

Mouky86
07-10-2015, 12:18 PM
I agree.

The problem isn't the graphics itself, but the ergonomy of the game.
And not only graphics, but also sounds can help a lot.

After the beta, me and my cousin play the old Homm3 again to see some difference and to see what can help Homm7.
In Homm3, even now, it's pretty easy to play. And there is some points that makes it easy to play.

Like the author of this topic said, distinct town, ressources, artefact, etc. on the map is really helpful. Designers make things more beautiful, more realistic, but often forget that we play a game that looks like a complexe board game, not a movie. I really feel like playing a good board game when I'm playing Homm, and objects on a board games are always visible.
Simple animation, simple effect. I agree with the fact that an animation can help to understand what you are doing. A sound can help too. You don't have to put lot of effort in the animation, a simple fadeIn with a sound like building in your town in Homm3 have a really good effect for the player to understand what happened.
Same goes for battle animation. You don't need to put effort on good animation that take so long to do, not really visible, so not really understandable for the player. On Homm3, attacks and magic are really simple, but that work. And that work really well, because it's really easy to understand what happened on screen.

Well, make the game more understandable by making animation, graphics and sound helping the player in his actions. Take it like the "RAM" of the player. The more hard to understand the game is, the more memory of the player you will use, and sometimes they don't have enough memory for those things :p

So just add little things that can make a difference ;)