H3 SOD/WOG Catapult Behaviour

Can anyone explain clearly how the catapult deals damage and what parts of the wall it attacks and how they are affected?

This is what I know:

Is this correct? If not, what’s wrong? Can you add something to this? Are different portions of the wall, or the gate or the towers more resistant (depending on the development of the castle)?

Sorry but that’s wrong. Almost everything.

One shot with no skill or basic.
Two shots with adv or expert.

Take a look at ballist.txt file (inside H3bitmap.lod) - it describes chances to hit target and resulting damage - you CAN destroy object in one hit.

Damn… It’s been a long time since I played heroes, I forgot that it doesn’t shoot three times.

For the rest, I described what I could remember. I actually thought it was THAT simple. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m asking this from the implementation point of view because I looked at the implementation (the source code) in VCMI and it looks a bit weird.

Anyway, I’ll check out the file you suggested. Thanks.

Ok, I searched the file and studied it. I got it figured out.

So the fie (BALLIST.TXT) looks like this:

Ballistics Skill Effects               Chance to hit                           Damage Inflicted            
                              Keep     Tower   Gate    Wall    Shots    Nothing    1 point    2 points    Sum
Skill Level         None      5%       10%     25%     50%     1        10%        60%        30%         100%
                    Basic     7%       15%     30%     60%     1        0%         50%        50%         100%
                    Advanced  7%       15%     30%     60%     2        0%         50%        50%         100%
                    Expert    10%      20%     40%     75%     2        0%         0%         100%        100%

The rationale should be something like this:
If the hero has no ballistics skill, the ballista will shoot just once and it has 10% chance of dealing no damage, 60% of dealing 1 point of damage and 30% chance of dealing two points of damage.

So by the same logic, at Expert level, the ballista will fire two shots and each shot will take 2 points of damage.


And what happens when the catapult is controlled by the user? Does that affect the hit probabilities of the different types of castle objects?

For example, if I aim at the keep, is it more like (than usual) to hit the keep, or it just doesn’t matter? Id yes, are those probabilities hard-coded, or in a another file? If not, then what’s the point of aiming with the catapult?

From what I can remember, at least one hit goes to the part you’ve aimed for and the other one is like a normal (non-aimed) shot.

What do you think?

From Startegija:

CATAPULT AND BALLISTICS Ballistics level Chance to hit Damage probability
Main Turret Side Turrets Gateway Wall 0 HP 1 HP 2 HP

  • 5% 10% 25% 50% 10% 60% 30%
    Bas 7% 15% 30% 60% 0% 50% 50%
    Adv 7% 15% 30% 60% 0% 50% 50%
    Exp 10% 20% 40% 75% 0% 0% 100%

This is same data as in ballist.txt

Look on chances to hit on high level - they are much higher than 100% in total. They used to determine if controlled catapult will shoot your target or will hit something else.

For example you’re trying to attack gates:
On expert: 2 strikes, 40% chance to hit, always deals 2 damage. This gives you 64% chance to destroy gates in one turn.
On basic: 1 strike, 30% chance, 50% for 1 damage, 50% for 2 damage. This gives just 15% chance to destroy gate and 15% chance to damage it.
With no skill AFAIK catapult will be controlled by an AI which may choose different target at all.

Chances to hit keep or towers are much smaller but they are still better if you have levels in ballistics.

If you’re lucky enough you may hit target twice. Unless it was destroyed in first hit.

EDIT: oh, and the best thing with ballistics is that you can completely destroy castle in 4 turns. With no skill this can take extremely long time.

I get it now. So the automatic shot is like the user’s the only difference being is that it’s not the user that chooses it.

I was under the impression that when the user manually aims at a certain part of the castle, a whole other strategy was used. Seems not.

And what’s the resistance (life) of castle components? Is there a file for that also?

Not sure. Maybe this is simply random (using those percentages), maybe choice done by AI. But aiming it manually certainly increases chance to hit some specific target.

Hardcoded, every destructible section have 3 states:

  • Undamaged (2 hp)
  • Damaged (1 hp)
  • Destroyed (0 hp)

If we’re not sure of this, how can we be able to reproduce it in VCMI. Or is it “we’re trying to replicate it as close as possible”?

Thanks a lot for the info. Very helpful.

I haven’t said anything about “we”. It is possible that author of sieges knows exact mechanics. I think it was Tow Dragon but it was quite a while ago.

“As close as possible” may not be perfect but definitely acceptable - you can always improve code if somebody will find out exact mechanics.
For example next release will have identical to h3 implementation of Gorgon’s “Deadly Gaze” but I don’t think that somebody will notice any difference.

I understand.

Yeah, I think no one expects it to be perfect.