The Beta: Impressions

The game Might & Magic: Heroes VII, developed by Limbic Entertainment.

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Kalah
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The Beta: Impressions

Postby Kalah » May 23 2015, 21:43

Once the Beta opens, we would love to hear what the testers think about it. Obviously, there will be bugs. Remember to report them. Otherwise: what do you think?

What about the graphics?
Game dynamics?
Performance?
Music?
Features?
How is the general feel?
Have you got pictures to send us? Send them to the e-mail in my profile button (see below this post).

This topic is for beta impressions only. Thread will be cleaned regularly. If you have not played the beta, you may ask questions to the testers, but general discussions are referred to other topics in the forum.
Last edited by Anonymous on Jun 11 2015, 16:37, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Kalah » Jun 3 2015, 21:51

The first thing I'd like to mention is the setting up. You log on to the official blog, click a few buttons and then things start to happen. The question is: what? What is actually happening? I mean, comments like "cooking cookies" and "shaving dwarves" are all very funny, but not very informative. Since the "loading wheel" is spinning for many many minutes, I'd like to know what was going on; whether the thing was taking so long because it was downloading a huge file, or just stuck.

After 2 hours of waiting, I stopped waiting and went to bed.

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Postby Romanov77 » Jun 4 2015, 7:19

Please beta-testers, report some fps numbers if you can, including your system info and graphical settings!
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Postby Kalah » Jun 4 2015, 16:48

Initial impressions:

Pros:

    The game runs fairly smoothly. No big hiccups to speak of, and the time it takes to hop from one screen to another is OK.
    AI turn times are a bit long, considering the map is small sized, but we're talking seconds, at least. Not minutes.
    Good graphics.
    Good music.
    Fairly intuitive menus, although this could still be improved somewhat. The game should be so intuitive that even complete Heroes n00bs can learn it quickly.

Cons:
    The camera should be tilted up; as it is, both the adventure map and combat map are seen from too low an angle. I hope this can be changed, since it makes it hard to see things.
    Screen scrolling isn't working well. Fine tuning adjustments needed.
    The controls are not precise. More precision is needed so you don't click the wrong thing.

@Romanov77: I have created a half-hour long gameplay video where you can see the FPS numbers in the top left half of the screen.

My computer specs are:
    Main Board: ASRock Z87 EXTREME3 - Haswell
    CPU: Intel Core i5-4670 Haswell - Box
    RAM: Kingston 16GB HyperX Beast DC DDR3-2133 (2x8GB)
    Graphics card: XFX GeForce GTS 250, 512mb PhysX CUDA, PCI-Express 2.0, 2xDVI, 738/2200MHz (bought in 2009)
    HHDs: Samsung 840 Basic EVO SSD 120GB
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Postby Rife » Jun 4 2015, 18:59

I'm running it on i3 2.13Ghz laptop with integrated Intel HD graphics, (I know, it's way below specs) and it chugs but it runs which is to this day more than I can say for H6 most days... leaves me hope with further optimizations I can play more smoothly. Still playing with gfx options. In any case I'm looking to get a better machine in the near future.

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Postby mr.hackcrag » Jun 4 2015, 20:16

How is the A.I.?

Thanks for video Khala. Did you enjoy the experience?

Watching you fight those neutral stacks makes me feel they should start coming up with ways that early game doesn't feel like a chore. It gets kind of boring. It would be nice if they gave us something to mix up neutral fights.

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Postby Romanov77 » Jun 5 2015, 7:54

Kalah, I saw the video and you get about 15 fps in adventure map!
How can you say that it runs "fairly good"? 8|

I could have a faster framerate by flipping through screenshots on gamespot.

If that's Ubi's optimization, then I am waiting for Heroes 8.
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Postby Kalah » Jun 5 2015, 8:55

I will play it some more to have a look, but it seems that framerate drops during transitions from one scene to another (e.g. entering combat map). That should be improved. Also, I don't think the scrolling is very good; I will investigate some more.
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Postby Bloax » Jun 5 2015, 10:09

Romanov77 wrote:Kalah, I saw the video and you get about 15 fps in adventure map!

He's recording (and running the game, no less!) at 1080p with a low-end GPU that would do well with being replaced with one like mine.
(Admittedly the 250 GTS performs better than my old-ass 9800 GT :v)
There's absolutely no surprise in him getting 15 FPS.

Doing the same at 720p might be a bit more sane.

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Postby Kalah » Jun 5 2015, 10:37

OK, then, my next video will explore this further. Tonight, I will play with the graphics settings and record what happens. :)
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Postby Aemaeth » Jun 5 2015, 12:18

Hello all,

I give you my first impression after 1h of gameplay. I need more time to make a real review of the beta, maybe for the weekend.

Pros:
  • Menus are complete, with lots of thing to setup.
  • Environment are quite impresive, immersion is real (on the map or in battle).
  • Townscreen are nice. It change of what I know the most (H5), but i like how they realize it.
  • In battle, i found what i like the most, a chess type battle with my units :). Animation of fighting are detailed. Units are well designed, and they are not so many bugs...

Cons:
  • Camera isn'ts really simple to use, I prefer using right clic of my mouse to change angle, not keyboard.
  • In battle, i don't know how to explain it but it seems units are slow-moving... I thought Crossbowman was druged, they were too slow and relax, even i change it on the setup. :)
  • The GUI is fat, buttons are huge and there is too many things on the screen, with too many informations. I prefer a smooth design.
  • Scale of minerals, Heroes, buildings are too big for me.


FPS average: (MAX settings 1080p)

On the Map: 23fps
Townscreen: 30fps
In Battle: 22fps

My computer specs are:

Alienware 17, Intel® Core™ i7-4710MQ (2.5Ghz), Nvidia GTX860m, Screen FHD 1920x1080p, HDD 500Go, 16Go DDR3, Windows 8.1 Premium

More details and screens for you in few days :)
Last edited by Anonymous on Jun 5 2015, 21:14, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Kalah » Jun 5 2015, 16:17

Kalah wrote:OK, then, my next video will explore this further. Tonight, I will play with the graphics settings and record what happens. :)


Here is video #2, focusing on playing around with the graphics. :)
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Postby prichindel » Jun 5 2015, 21:43

Aemaeth wrote:FPS average: (MAX settings 1080p)

On the Map: 23fps
Townscreen: 30fps
In Battle: 22fps

My computer specs are:

Alienware 17, Intel® Core™ i7-4710MQ (2.5Ghz), Nvidia GTX860m, Screen FHD 1920x1080p, HDD 500Go, 16Go DDR3, Windows 8.1 Premium

More details and screens for you in few days :)


Hi Aemaeth! I am intrigued about these values. Since I have a similar GPU could you provide some FPS results with average settings please?

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Postby Aemaeth » Jun 5 2015, 23:04

Hello Prichindel,

I have maid some test, but there are no specific "middle" settings for graphics (always High or Low settings)

FPS average: (LOWEST settings 1080p)

On the Map: 42fps
Townscreen: 60fps
In Battle: 45fps

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Postby Rife » Jun 5 2015, 23:08

Though given options to set the game at lower resolutions, text is indecipherable at less than 1280x720 and there is inexplicable letterboxing. Even so, I've managed to get to midgame on singleplayer skirmish map. My observations:

1.AI on normal is slow. I'm only now starting to see it on the outskirts of the fog of war, while I have cleared the entire overmap accessible to me, and a good portion of the underground. Game reports my reveal percentage at 51% though I am leery of it's accuracy; I'm fairly sure it's about 60-70%.

2.Played a Battlemage Theodorus, and have yet to trigger Metamagic reliably, or the game is not relaying properly that I am. (Grandmaster Air, Metamagic Master atm).

3. REALLY missing the in game creature inspection for seeing abilities. Clicking twice in battle will let you see it, but that is not great for planning ahead.

4. Not sure if artifacts work at all, the bonuses don't display and more than once artifacts have inexplicably disappeared entirely. :(

5. Fortification system confuses me a bit. Do the guards build the walls, gates and towers? What are the caps? Why is damage listed in terms of mana? Do the guards come from regular army pool? They disappeared after a reload and I have no way of knowing if they're still there aside of being attacked. Guess that's a bug but the rest could use some explanation.

6. The magic (in Air at least) seemed unimpressive, then very quickly very impressive for the direct damage.

7. Battles vs. neutrals quickly became tiresome. Maybe that's just due to my slow computer though. I made good use of Quick combat to allay this.

8.Music, as always is AWESOME! Love the Academy theme!

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Postby Kalah » Jun 5 2015, 23:36

* Quick combat seems to work fairly well. I have 'quick'-ed many battles and when I let the computer play for me, it doesn't take stupid losses. On one occasion, though, when fighting a bunch of Rakshasas, it lost my Seraphs and I guess this was because it charged ahead with them. I replayed and sacrificed lower units instead, coming out of the battle with only a dozen legionnaires lost. So the quick combat is smart, but doing it yourself is probably smarter.

* The game gets incredibly choppy after some time in the underground.

* It took a while before I got the 'Heroes feel' and it still isn't quite there. What's good is the building of towns and heroes. What's not so good is that you really have to squint to see what's going on in the skill tables.

* There are still many bugs. Many. Including the game crashing when I play with the settings and when I win the first map, artefacts disappearing, creatures disappearing from my army during the tactics phase ...
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Postby Romanov77 » Jun 6 2015, 9:04

I suggest you beta guys start to complain like crazy about the performance.

Having a "static" game like that running so bad is simply ridiculous.
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Postby Spin » Jun 6 2015, 10:53

as a beta it's running okay on my computer. AI turns are the only thing a little slow (particularly on the 4 player map). You can see that technically there's a long way to go, but all the features are implemented. All they need to do is keep squashing bugs & improving performance and they'll be good for release. Hopefully given they're working on a good engine that the bug squashing part will be easy, for H6 it would have been a nightmare (hence the issues on release)

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Postby Kalah » Jun 6 2015, 11:04

I have to say that while the fps numbers seem low, the movement of the maps are OK. The game doesn't feel slow (except during the choppiness in the underground). I think the low numbers are due to the many trees moving in the wind - which isn't something you really notice.
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Postby mr.hackcrag » Jun 6 2015, 16:51

The trees need to be bigger as do most other natural objects The natural world looks too artificial and cartoonish.

In addition, they need to work on animations, especially in combat. It should be fast, smooth, and flow seamlessly. Playing MKX and then watching HOMM7 combat animations left me with a very stark contrast.

What did you mean when you said it doesn't give you the "heroes" feel Kalah?


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