Hello VCMI community!
First of all, thank you for the great project. I’m suprised you haven’t publicized yourselves better.
I have a significant experience playing HMM3 both single- and multi-player modes. And I would like to share some of my thoughts on what you can do to drastically improve the game, something that can’t be implemented in WoG and thus, it may help you differentiate your project from WoG.
Disclaimer: I don’t intend to barge in on your project and tell you what to do. My intent is not that. I just wanted to share some of my negative experiences with the HMM3 classic that you may consider addressing. I am sure the problems I list below are also very familiar to you as well.
Problem: As game progresses, tactical battles gradually shift toward a bag of standard repeated tricks making the game boring.
Potential solution: Tactical variety can increase 10X by linking tactical rules to the land type where the battle takes place. For example,
(a) battle on grass - wait option becomes disabled, making combat follow HMM2 rules
(b) battle on lava - all unit speed is capped to 6 hexes (slow creatures have no penalty)
© battle in snow - killing the enemy’s commander completes the battle like in chess
(d) battle in swamp - decreases defense of all units to 1 rendering the defense stat useless
The above will make players learn different tactical skills, allow players to strategically select places for battles, drastically improving strategic planning.
Problem: Abundant resources in the later stages of the game, barren map after all resources have been picked up and creatures defeated, low strategic value and variety.
Potential solution: Introduce building and town upkeep. For example,
(a) construct a buidling in a town -> no upkeep payment needed for that town;
(b) nothing is constructed in a town -> upkeep is subtracted from resources;
© choose not to pay the upkeep for a town -> a random building falls apart, if no buildings left the town goes indepedent.
Resource and creature management: the places where they were originally placed by the creator are marked.
Every week 1%-5% of marked resource places are filled with random resources.
Every week 1%-5% of marked creature places are filled with creatures of the same level.
The above changes will make resource protection a vital part of strategy due to upkeep outflows. An attack on the opponent can be done by cutting their supply lines to start destroying enemy’s buildings. It will also make it less prudent to occupy all small towns with no purpose to build them up due to upkeep cost.
In campaigns the above changes will allow you to return to the previous map to find it nearly virgin. Since no upkeep was paid on that map, the towns would return to their basic state and creatures/resources will re-populate the map. Speedy conquest may be a new campaign strategy if the goal is to return and retain as much of the past empire as possible before it decays.
The campaign concept can be drastically improved due to your changes to the map size. Progressing to another map in the campaign may simply be done by traveling through a special type of portal. The above changes to the resource/creature regeneration will take care of map re-population when heroes return back to the old map.
Problem: Artificial Idiot (AI) is obsessed with resource gathering.
(a) When AI comes close to the human player, it needs to gather most of its armies into a single big army. If the AI’s army is bigger or about same size it needs to go and attack human player and his closest town, the resource strategy needs to take back seat. AI should avoid splitting its army when it is in the fighting mode.
(b) Presently AI recomputes its path after every step which leads to bugs like coming in and out of town many times. Instead the path needs to be selected based on the target (a resource, a town, etc) and followed through unless a human player comes into its sight.
Hopefully, the above ideas will help you come up with your own ideas too.