Old_Boy: Nival Q & A

See the original content here.

Thanks to iwinbutton of Ubi.com forums for the abridged translation below.

1. What is the policy of the developers towards finishing/polishing of the game?

Excellent Question!

First of all, note this: the policy of how we further develop the game is in hands of UBISOFT as they are the owner of the title. Most likely, the more sales the game makes the greater are the chances of UBISOFT allowing us to further improve the game as well as determining the future of the franchise. As for Expansion Packs, it is a little early to talk about that. As of right now we plan to release new patches with intervals of about a month each. The purpose of the patches is to fix bugs as well as improve the game through addition of new elements of gameplay and other possibilities.

2. Why did it take you so long to release the first patch?

Murphy's Law, marketing problems, and so on. (It happens, OK?)

3. What changes will the new patches bring?

The second patch should come out by the end of June. It will primarily contain new multiplayer maps. From the moment of its release new maps will be periodically added to the game (not specifically with patches). Third patch is being planned for end of July release. It will primarily contain the Map Editor which will allow not only for map creation, but campaigns as well. We also plan to work on A.I. and balance between factions.

4. Will the patches be cumulative or "block on block"(As in you have to get them all in proper order and separately)?

Most likely cumulative. Not decided though.

5. Objects on the map often block other objects from the view. How are you planning to fix it, maybe with a transparency option?

Not exactly a transparency option, but we are thinking about an alternative solution.

6. What are the current and planned mapsizes?

With the Map Editor the following map sizes are avaivable: Small 72x72, Medium 96x96, Large 136x136, Extra Large 176x176, Huge 216x216. At this moment, size Small and Huge maps are NOT in the game.

7. Will there be female hero models?

Not currently planned.

8. Will an inside game encyclopedia of the HoMM 5 universe be included? (Think Civilization and Age Of.. in-game encyclopedias)

The idea is good, but quite frankly hard to implement at this point. Besides, we are currently compiling a detailed manual for download, which when printed would be much more comfortable then constant switching from game to encyclopedia in-game.

9. HERO DOLLS! HERO DOLLS! ARTIFACT SLOTS! ARTIFACT SLOTS!

The explanation is this: This game isn't RPG'ish enough to warrant such a model, as heroes in RPG without equipment cannot function as opposed to the HoMM franchise where heroes without equipment can function and win games.

As for reduction of artifact slots, the reason is balance. With so many artifacts in the game, heroes become unbearably strong after a certain number of artifacts is gained.

10. Is it true that Nival was the one who recorded the voices for the game?

English version? No, hired actors.

11. Will the information provided by the interface be increased?

Description of creature abilities - Already in game, but no implemented way to bring them out. The second patch should add that.

Description of magical afflictions on creatures - Double-Right-Click already shows the spells on the creature. As for descriptions, no plans as of yet.

Hint on where will the creature move on the action bar when highlighting it with an initiative affecting spell - No.

The equivalent of fanmade "Skillwheel", etc. in the game - No, we made the information specifically hidden and revealing it will be equavilent of giving the player an in-game walkthrough. Besides, the manual will have it anyway.

Information concerning heroes, specifically their initiative and damage - Initiative of all heroes is 10 and damage done by their abilities is displayed upon selecting a target with the named ability or attack.

Information on how exactly do certain hero specilizations scale with level (I.e. Griffin Master, etc.) - We are planning to add this in the future.

Will the information on spell damage of spells be available while looking through the spellbook not in combat - Doubt it.
12. Why are there so few neutral monsters?

Quite frankly, the number of neutrals isn't that smaller then in HoMM 3 and 4 at their release. As for mixed neutral armies, it is possible. I for one, like the idea.

13. Any plans for new creatures and castles? What about changing the models/appearances of current creatures?

In patches, for obvious reasons no. Alternative creatures ala HoMM 4 will not be added as we do not feel the design works out. Expansion Pack wise, too early to talk. As for model changes, I dunno.

14. Will the map editor allow users to make scripts of the same complexity as found in the official campaign?

Yup. When I said we were making it more user friendly, we didn't mean that we were cutting down the features.

15. Will the game be optionally optimized on Laptops, etc.?

The first patch should have fixed most of these problems. If the problems persist, it is probably a hardware problem, not the game problem. But regardless, we are trying to optimize the game further.

16. Will there be different field sizes besides those that exist now?

Not in the observable future. Current field size took plenty of heated arguments to achieve, and changing it will have massive balance ramifications for the game.

17. Will creatures be able to "hate each other" (Think Angels vs. Devils, Titans vs. Black Dragons, etc.)

No plans for it now, but we can do it.

18. Will there be new hero classes?

No. That would induce too much balancing.

19. Will duel mode come back for Hot-Seat; Ghostmode for LAN?

Probably not.

20. Will HoMM 5 be released for other platforms?

Mac platform is the only currently planned one.

21. Will there be changes in level 7 creature strength? Why are they so expensive and weak?

The general idea is, that in previous versions the final level creatures were so decisively strong and "Omega", that the fact of their existence in your army guaranteed you victory over an army that didn't have them. Now you have to make a choice between masses of low level units or the few high level creatures. We want the high level creatures to be attractive to the army through their special abilites, not pure damage and tanking power.

22. What improvements will be made to the Castle-camera and interface?

Ability to turn off default camera rotation around the Castle screen will be added as a toggle. There are plans to improve the interface, but nothing dramatic.

24. What happened to the text pop ups?

They are nice to read the first or the second time around, but then most of the players just automatically skip them. We felt that it they should be taken out to conserve resources and time.

25. Why are ultimate abilities so hard to achieve, why not every hero can get them, and why aren't the equavilent in strength?

Ultimate abilities are to be viewed as perks, as rewards for playing the game with careful planning, dedication, and precision. To get the Ultimate Abilities is the same as too achieve perfect score in a shooting range.

26. Were there ideas that didn't make it into the game that could improve it?

Naturally. Simultaneous turns was one such idea, but we didn't implement because of banal lack of time.


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