New Creature Stat: Initiative

Now do not jump just yet from you chairs :). No game-play changes!!

Short Description: Add a duplicate field to creature speed called initiative. Internally in the code if this is not set use the speed instead.

For basic game Initiative should EQUAL speed. But once implemented it will permit modders create more interesting creatures/artifacts/heroes/adv map locations.

To make the code initiative ready should be fairly trivial. Just small changes inside to make distinction between the both. (Even if they in fact are the same).

How should all effects that currently affect speed (like Haste/Slow spells, artifacts, native terrain premies and so on) work with initiative if it was a separate field?
If they should affect only speed as they do now, the game mechanics will be altered. We don’t want that.
If they should affect both speed and initiative to maintain current behaviour, then changes in handling all these effects will be needed. Well, that won’t be that difficult (ctrl+f for speed effects, add initiative counterpart). However this change would then affect all user-created content. If a modder wanted to create an artifact giving +1 to (old) speed, he would need to remember also about initiative. This could be surprising, giving that it is not how original H3 work.

I’m not against the idea, I just think it has significantly bigger impact than you suggest.

I wanted to suggest as few changes as possible :). For every place where initiative is not set speed is used as movement speed and initiative. This way from the outside everything is H3 like. The interested modders will just have to know that there is a possibility to differentiate between the 2.

EG. Multihex Boss monster in the middle of “conservatory” like fight that does not move. No more tricks for dendroid BIND :). Will enable a new set of artifacts.

As for subtle changes… You are right there will be need for some special case treatment. Slow for example reduces movement speed. If nothing is said about initiative it just reduces both. If in a mod there is a spell for initiative just set the initiative value for slow and it will not reduce initiative.

Wog for example will benefit greatly from this mechanism. (Level 8 creatures have more than enough speed to circle the battlefield just because they need to move faster than level 7).

The advantage will be that with relatively little effort VCMI will support a great new feature that is present in every new Heroes installment.

(Myself I would like the default H3 to work initiative based. Everything will have the same value for speed initiative with the exception of 4-5 creatures like Phoenix.)

I think this feature needs to be analyzed thoroughly and every place where initiative or speed is used should be described precisely.
Then we can see if it really makes sense and it’s likely to be implemented without breaking original game or mod support. Right now it sound slike “let’s do something and everything will work”.

I certainly see the issue here. Speed is everything as speed equals initiative, as a result in every WoG game all creatures end up with speed 20 or become useless. There’s no need for creatures to have speed over 18 (battlefield diagonal), initiative in this case should be used as separate factor.

Initiative stat is a good idea, it can be useful for some mods because most of the players can find more interesting the game with this feature. In fact, it appears in following editions of HoMM because split the skill amog initiative and speed makes sense.

I would also add mana in the creatures to have an interface like in HoMM IV and V. It can be quite difficult for the VCMI team but I think that all new players would like to manage magic units to cast spells instead of attacking. I mean, if someone dislike this kind of things should keep playing HoMM without any mod.

I like the idea about support for native creature mana and maybe how often they can cast spells.

This will not disturb H3 vanilla because those creatures can be set to have infinite mana and so they will cast just like until now.