Balance mod

The whole idea is to make yet another balance mod… with a twist. Change only 5-10 things in the whole game so that all factions have a fairer chance!

Imo I think balance mods were not so popular because they tried to overdo-it. (Change too much in way too many places). This way making uncomfortable a lot of players because of 1-2 changes they really did not like. So the idea is to have a balance mod that tackles only the major issues/unbalances in the game with as few modifications as possible and with good documentation.

The mod will try to fix:

1 - bugs like (air shield bug with towers)
2 - mistakes (badge of courage being treated only as a treasure artifact)
3 - some of the most widespread balance needs. (conflux, necromancy specialty)

The mod will not try to:

  • make even all secondary skills,
  • make even all heroes
  • do micro adjustments (EG: increase attack value of 100 creatures by 1!)

Until SoD mod is done all this will be on paper only. Once that one is completed it will be trivial work to implement these changes into a mod. (Am am interested only in VCMI version for this balance mod. If anyone finds it useful and wants to port it to H3 standard…go ahead)

I will start trimming down from this

Feel free to add suggestions / share your opinion.

Here the first draft:

Fix the air shield tower bug

Increased First Aid Tent hit points from 75 to 100

Raised power of Hypnotize from 25 to 50
Raised Hypnotize Advanced bonus from 20 to 50, expert from 50 to 90

Adventure map Stables no longer upgrade cavaliers.

Necromancy Amplifier bonus from 10% to 5%
Isra - Specialty:Isra receives a 3% per level bonus to her Necromancy skill. (Was 5%)
Vidomina - Specialty: Vidomina receives a 3% per level bonus to her Necromancy skill. (Was 5%)

Magic Lantern - pixes/week from 20 to 14
Firebird/Phoenixes… - should be nerfed somehow… maybe increase growth to 2 only when Pyre is upgraded?

ARTIFACTS - Reclassified some obvious "miss-placements"
Changed text of badge of courage to display immunity to mind spells
Changed type of badge of courage from Treasure to Major
Increased gold value of badge of courage from 1000 to 8000
Changed type of Necklace of Swiftness from Treasure to Minor
Changed type of Ring of Vitality from Treasure to Minor
Changed type of Necklace of Ocean Guidance from Major to Minor
Decreased gold value of Necklace of Ocean Guidance from 10000 to 3000
Changed type of Garniture of Interference from Major to Minor
Changed type of Sandal of the Saints from Minor to Major
Changed cost of Emblem of Cognizance (+15% Eagle Eye) from 3000 to 2000.
Changed type of Emblem of Cognizance from Minor to Treasure
Changed type of Sack of Gold from Relic to Major
Changed type of Boots of Speed from Minor to Major

I like most of the things. And I like the idea of just making small changes.

But, I would not change the growth of pixies or phoenixes. Conflux has to be balanced, but in a different way.

In my opinion, when people try to balance things apply mathematics and get good results, a good balance, but they are usually taking a simple decision. I mean, one of the things I like most from HoMM2 against HoMM3 is that towns and their creatures are very different. HoMM3 tried to get a better balance, and they achieved it, indeed. But the cost is that castles are too similar. For instance, let’s compare level 7 creatures, they are almost the same in hp, cost and everything.

I will put an example of something I dislike. In the previous link we can see that they want to increase the price of the Cloud Temple and the Dragon Cliffs. The nice thing of these castles is that un-upgraded level 7 building is cheaper, and they want to change it. I could agree that the balance is “improved”, but we are losing diversity. Other example is that they also increase Archdevil hp. IMHO, this is not the best way to get balance. Balance is not about doing homogeneous towns and creatures. Balance is that strengths and weakness of each castle compensate, achieving similar outlines. It is more difficult, but it enriches the game.

I also think that some modders are often too scared of doing too powerful. I think that a skill such as mighty gorgon’s Death Stare with a 10% chance per attack of killing the top creature of a stack outright would not have been done by many modders.

At least someone else thinks like me. I too like the other balance mods but I have some issues with some stuff here and there (like naga-bank->gems). The big issues I have is with changing lots and lots of minor stuff that I (and others) know to be canonical since years and with a minimal/dubious impact on balance. Like I’ve stated before I think it is way better to address only the major imbalances so that the player can have a quick overview in a glance.

Regarding the pixies growth… they are core units to Conflux and to reduce their numbers will have the greatest impact on its ability to clear monsters in the first 1-2 weeks. So that is why only a simple reduction in numbers will make a huge change in the town overall.

Regarding Phoenixes… they are just too many. I like them weak but they are just too many… And that in addition to the already strong lineup conflux has. Here a better tweaking could be done but I for one cannot think of anything else. (Perhaps make firebirds even more trash-tier? Maybe someone comes with something better).

The thoughts behind increasing the production of firebirds only when upgraded building is available is: Growth of 2 is too much. Reducing it to 1 will be too much in the other direction so delaying the growth will be somewhere in-between (Though map dependent).

Note: This is not my personal mod! Every suggestion among these general lines if supported by others will get inside.

I would do phoenixes weaker instead of reducing their growth. I guess that we all agree that Conflux is stronger, so a weaker (quite weaker) level 7 unit compensate. In fact, this is not my idea, it was NWC’s idea.

Perhaps give creature horde to Phoenixes? may be good alternative between fixed 1 or 2 growth.
BTW - already possible in VCMI. One of changes in my test-example-balance mod: …

One more point that you may want to fix: cost of combinational artifacts. H3 txt’s don’t define this value. As result - these artifacts cost 1 gold.

AFAIK this bug is already fixed in VCMI. Same goes to rest of engine bugs (or at least they should be fixed in vcmi, and not in mods)

I like the solution of taking horde from pixies and giving it to fire-birds.

And for the H3 engine bugs… they are there just as reminders to people that that stuff is fixed. (was/is a bug for so long…)

So what exactly is this test/example/balance/tweaks?

I haven’t took horde but rather gave 2nd horde to Conflux.

I don’t consider this as good mod for gameplay - this is mostly set of some minor changes which I use to check if mod system works with current trunk. Second horde for firebirds is one of such changes.

Check my mod if you wish to see how you can do this in your own mod. In short you need:

  • graphics for horde. I just used regular dwelling images.
  • add building and structure entry into town
  • modify town hall entry to add one more slot for horde
  • set hordeGrowth entry for firebirds/phoenixes.

The question is what do you want to acomplish with your mod ? How will it be different then the one posted on CH ?

I’ve done two balance mods in the past . One was a mod for wog. And one used WoG but was only implementing Mulitplayer rules and doing minor changes to SoD.
And even it failed although it was only based on wide accepted rules in MP community at the time.

One thing I learned is that doing such things for Heroes is futile if you want people to use it. There will always be some people that do not like the change or would do it differently and thus will discredit and/or not use your mod.

My 2 cents it all depends on what you want to acomplish though.

@val-gaav Your post summs quite well my thoughts behind this mod. There are obvious imbalances in the game but I failed to find a mod that is widely accepted and mainly for the said reasons. Too many people having issues with too many changes.

So the main idea of this “minimalistic balance mod” is to achieve a little more balance by changing as few things as possible. The final version will look more or less like the draft in my second post. (With some changes additions that others will suggest).

It will not address stuff like fly/dd etc. These are best suited for “bans” that will be supported (hopefully) at game setup. (simmilar to this )

Can you share a link or 2 to your previous balance mods? Probably I could use some stuff from there. … ry_state0=

List of changes… unfortunatelly the link is dead and I may have problem finding a copy of it in my archive of cds…

Well in some areas homm3 is so broken that it would need overhaul fe. Spell system : Slow and haste are level one while those are one of most powerfull spells in game. This will never get acceptance in the community. That is why I droped this project.

While you are right about the slow and haste, they are so integral part of the whole H3 that no wonder many would take issue with modifying that. And since every player can get them (well almost) they balance each-other out. To avoid this kind of core changes I started this yet another balance mod. (in the hope that it will be more widely accepted).

As for the modification list you’ve sent, they are also much needed, bur I categorize almost all of them as “tournament rules” or “rmg tweaks” so they should be handled before game start depending on map (in agreement with all players). (like in the example above). So these will be applied if wanted in addition to this basic balance mod.

When it comes to Firebird/Phoenix, I believe the best way would be to make them about half as strong (half damage and HP) as other level 7 creatures, keep the double growth, and adjust their cost accordingly. That way, they would still have the uniqueness in being the only level 7 creature with double growth.

The problems I see with my solution are the quantities of neutral stacks appearing on the map, and that the town growth boost of external dwellings wouldn’t be as effective as for other factions. A solution is of course to double those.

If that solution isn’t desirable, I’d suggest to alternate between single and double growth on odd/even weeks, or to introduce the hoard as said above.

I think by now it is clear why the mod has to stay as simple as possible :D. Not that any of the ideas is wrong, it is just that people have different opinions on how to better balance things.

I will update the first post with all proposals shortly. (To have them on record)

I was going to do similiar mod myself, someday. Just don’t try to change every aspect of the game at onc,e there will always be people who disagree.

Disagree with these changes:

This is pathetic ability in game as it is, in fact I would even downgrade Vial of Dragon Blood from Major to Minor :stuck_out_tongue: They are useful only early game and you don’t care about HP as much as damage output, anyway.

It should be rarer than other gold artifacts that give 500 and 750, respectively. Mobile gold mine is always good to have!

Magic Resistance is still powerful ability.

Water movement is not useful often yet if you play random maps, but otherwise this artifact grants better movement penalty than Boots of Speed. I’d keep it Major and just try to play maps with more water content :wink:

Additionally, I’d downgrade Statesman Medal, Ambasador’s Sash and Diplomat’s Ring from major to treasure… or ban them altogether, I can’t remember one situation when they were useful, not even on custom maps.

When playing Necromancer, this artifact becames Relic:-) Imagine several thousands of skeletons. +1 to heath becames major improvement.

I very much like the idea of a minimalistic balance mod, krs. There’s some obvious flaws about the game that could be interesting to change in subtle ways.

Anyhow, about diplomacy. I feel it’s super overpowered If one player have it but the other player doesn’t. Who needs monster growth in towns when you can just keep picking up joiners and paid-for monsters in insane amounts? This is very unsatisfying to me.

I also very much don’t like how strongly it affects how likely monsters are to fight you or not. You can basically steal artifacts and thressures without even fighting the guardians that protects it. No risk, no reward, I feel. Lame.

I like how it reduces the surrendering cost and how you can get into Temple of Enlightenments earlier.

But it’s so hard to find a subtle fix to diplomacy. It’s just so fundamentally overpowered in a lot of ways.

Possible suggestions by not quite subtle means at all. I don’t know what else. :s

Ditch joiners completely and make it buy only? But that’s not enough, no. It needs to be in percentages, too. None = 10% of monsters you can buy. Basic = 15%, advanced = 20%, expert = 25%. Or something like that.

And strong (level) guardians should be too proud to choice to flee or being paid of.

This should all be in relation to how much a town can output of growth as they (the towns) don’t become irrelevant later in the game.


Random thoughts:

Should diplomacy depend on starting town/hero alignment? For example, evil alignment skeletons wont ever join our dear Sir Heart however rich or diplomatic he is.

I don’t like idea of changing Diplomacy skill.
Wisdom is also overpowered, if enemy doesn’t have it :sunglasses:

But I like idea that monsters will join depending on alignment.

1 way of doing things:
For example, if you play “good” alignment from start, than “good” units will join as they are now.
Neutral units will get +1 to hostility.
Evil units will get +2 to hostility.

2 way of doing things:
For example, if your hero is belonging to “good”, than “good” units will join as they are now.
Neutral units will get +1 to hostility.
Evil units will get +2 to hostility.

2 way will require more strategy: you’ll have to keep heroes of 3 alignments with diplomacy to maximize troops harvest.

PS And there can be made new artifacts, granting heroes change of alignment :sunglasses:

‘2’ is more consistent to how Alter of Sacrifice already works. It’s based on the hero alignments, not town. I also like ‘2’ better myself.

I think the difference between wisdom and diplomacy is how diplomacy can make towns largely irreverent and that makes the game less fun to me. I want to build up an army largely from towns, not wandering monsters.

Another thought

Instead of just scattering monsters that leave for free, some will now offer you to leave what they’re guarding for a sum of gold relative to their army value. With expert diplomacy it should perhaps not be a higher discount than maybe 50% of the monsters actual value to pay. So 100 Wyvern offers to leave for a fee. Hero has 50% discount from expert level. So 80000/100*50=40000 to pay. Heroes without diplomacy has no chance for getting offered this deal at all, of course.

Could depend on monster level, too.


What if:

  • Free joiners is based on a percentage based on diplo level and monster level. Possible free-joiners level 1-5.
  • Buy-able joiners are also based on a percentage based on diplo level.
  • Based on alignment. High level monsters (level 6-7) will only offer an buy option if of the same alignment as the negotiating hero is.
  • Diplomacy doesn’t affect fight or talk calculation. See below.

How fight or talk calculation works (Credits = ‘AlexSpl’)

Ch = Power_Factor + Diplomacy_Level + Sympathy

if Ch < X neutrals will fight;

Instead it could be be a fixed value instead.


Ch = Power_Factor + fixed-value + Sympathy;

This is to prevent heroes with diplomacy not having to fight monster at all much of the time if their army value is also of an appropriate size - which is too strong in a lame way.

I feel this would make diplomacy much more interesting and balanced (and still very strong). I also think its subtle because all of the core elements from the original would still be in the game. That’s scattering monsters, free joiners, buy-able monsters.

It’s important to note that without any free-joiners or buyable - at all - the ability to sacrifice monster for exp or gold will than become more useless. It’s also part of the use of the Skeleton Transformer.