Might and Magic: Clash of Random ChanceThis is the second time I've written a blog about a game I have overwhelming feelings against (the first is Okamiden, if you're absolutely curious.) Usually I favor keeping it to myself if there's something I really dislike. Most of the time a good rant is just instant gratification where you can feel good for a few minutes at the cost of accidentally or intentionally putting down a bunch of people at the same time. But in the case of Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes, I want to get to the bottom of this. I feel like there's some fun to be had in this game. The puzzle system seems pretty cool and would probably work great if I wasn't mauled by something I can't control every time I fight a battle. I'm talking about whatever system the game uses to decide troop patterns for my side and the computer's side. This also includes when you reinforce.
There's either a serious problem or I just can't handle the rules of engagement. Giant Bomb, help me out!
More about Chance than SkillI've put some time into campaign mode. I just reached the third area and I would compare this game to Poker. You can understand some basic combinations and rule sets (like chaining and fusing core units) but ultimately it comes down luck. Or in my case, a whole shit ton of luck. It seems like every battle the computer begins with some cushy set up where it can triple chain a bunch of units and activate it's 4x4 special unit of death on the first turn. On my first turn I have to delete a bunch of units and juggle my much more manageable (or so I thought) 2 block units. Or I'm choked full of 4x4 special units (to the point I never use them anymore because they always get killed). It never seems fair. And I'm not talking about the standard CPU advantage because as a human I'm way more capable. It just seems uneven. And unlike Poker, there's no choice to fold and wait for the next hand. You take those losses and lose those resources, or like I do get so angry I quit out of the game and reload the save file.
The other bad end of this is whenever I reinforce and the spread dumps units all over setups I've been working on. This is especially bad for 4x4 units where it decides who wins and who loses. Without fail, every time reinforcements will choose to bury my special units under an avalanche and not even cases where I can easily delete a guy and create a wall or link something so units move to the back of the line. Facing the computer, you get as much time as you need, so it's not about missing the patterns. I just have nothing to work with. It makes for some really vicious swings where a nice lead can quickly turn into defeat. This is when the computer opponent gets bunch of special units gift wrapped with everything they need to activate them and I end up throwing middle fingers at game code and something that literally can't care if I win or lose.
Because of this, the experience system means absolutely nothing to me. Why does the Lv.8 guy roll over like a dead log when the Lv.5 guy is like Nemesis and just won't die? The first boss in story mode was a complete joke compared to the random Elf on the side of the road. No, he wasn't a bounty. Just some random guy you could choose to fight. All that matters is how the units are placed at the beginning of the battle. It's almost impossible to build any confidence. Sometimes it's just funny when I managed to buy all the special units for the second campaign before the game introduced them to me.
The Other Very Real Possibility The other side is that I may be really, really terrible at this game. More than I realize. I can accept that. But I was pretty bad at Super Meat Boy, another unforgiving game. The difference is that I could eventually get better at Super Meat Boy where in Clash of Heroes, I can never get better at random unit placements. Also, no one else seems to have this problem from what I've been able to find. It could be that they understand it's just part of the game and you deal with it. In that case let me know, please!
I had to post about this because there's three other areas left in the game, and if it's going to be like this through the rest of the game I'm not interested. And if this is how it works online with real people then forget that.