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What's "Initiative"? Read to learn


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AuthorWhat's "Initiative"? Read to learn
This post is created as a reply to several queries, including this one.
http://www.heroeswm.com/forum_messages.php?tid=1832899

Let me try to describe, but this is complicated, so don't throw anything heavy at me if you find this useless\too hard ^_^

There are 2 notions in the game that are, in fact, homonyms. The word for both is "turn". However, it is hard for newcomers to fully recognize the difference in them and use that knowledge to their benefit.
The first "turn" thing is about action. It is the event when any creature\hero on the battlefield performs an action.
They say, "It is this creature's turn now", or "This creature has got its turn now". This means, the creature eventually gained the right to undertake an action (any action, be it waiting, defending, attacking, casting a spell, using an ability or just moving).
I think this is pretty common about turn-based games, as it fully coincides with the meaning of "turn-based".

The second "turn thing" is about time. Not the time of your wristwatch or cuckoo-clock, but the "time" interval between two "turns"-events ^_^
How often does a creature get turns? How many other creatures should get their turns before the same one gets its second one? Is that "time" equal for all creatures?
That's what the initiative is for.

Here comes the most important part:
1 Turn(second concept) is considered to be the "time" between the two consecutive actions (first concept turn) of a creature with initiative 10.

We need to go abstractive now, and imagine a lap runner race.
Let's say, there are 3 runners, each in their own running row. They will be running in laps until we don't need them any more ~_~
Also, the important thing is to imagine that they are running with CONSTANT speed, but every runner has his own one, let's say, depending on his training.
Easy enough? Let's say, the first runner runs at 9 m/s, the second runs at 10 m/s, the third one at 12 m/s. They all start running at the same moment.

In course of the race, one of the runners (the one at 12 m/s) will naturally leave his rivals behind, and eventually cross the finish line first. Then the 10m/s runner crosses it, finally, the 9m/s one does. They don't stop running (remember? ;) ), so when the third one does, the first one (12m/s) is already way forward.

If you have that picture now, let's go back to HeroesWM. 1 turn is the time which takes the 10m/s runner to cross the finish line. This obviously means, that while the "10m/s" creature, or 10 initiative creature, gets 1 turn (action) per turn (time), the 12 initiative creature gets more than 1 turns (1.2 turns per turn), and the 9 initiative creature gets less than a turn per turn. (0.9 turns).
Now, if the combat lasts 1-2 turns, there would probably be no difference. But in a combat that would last 5 turns, the 12-initiative creature would take 6 turns (actions), while the 10-initiative creature would only take 5.
This is pretty much it. The spectrum of different initiatives of different factions' and levels' creatures makes the balance even more subtle and interesting.
There are ways to enhance the initiative in combat permanently (like by wearing initiative-related artifacts or getting levels in the Thieves' Guild), as well as temporarily (easiest example is the Rapid spell).

Finally, it is necessary to mention the pre-combat deviation.
http://www.heroeswm.com/help.php?section=29
The pre-combat positioning of units on the bar happens with a random deviation of 0% to 10%.
What this means is, explaining it on the "lap runners" example, the runners do not start from the same point, they're randomly scattered within a "10% of the lap length" interval beyond the start line =) This makes things unpredictable, and sometimes provides a chance for lower-initiative creatures get their first turn before the higher-initiative creatures do.
Later, in course of combat, the order of turns changes, troops with higher initiative outstrip those with lower ones.
How does 'wait' option and morale event affect unit's position on that bar? Does it subsctract 'half of the lap' or any other constant? Or does it depend on unit's initiative?
3.
Yes, it just moves the unit halfway through the lap.
Actually, it can be counted as *doubling* initiative for 1 turn.
3 Exactly.
4. Let's not double anything, because with any other effect it becomes wrong (like using "Delay").

Waiting and positive morale moves the unit halfway through the lap.
Negative morale moves the unit halfway backwards ;)
Abilities like "Stun" move the unit back to the finish line. "Knockback", "Wasp Swarm" spell etc drag the target back for as great a segment of this lap as the ability says.
How does this account for things like an Initiative 9 Gargoyle going twice repeatedly to a initiative 6 zombie?
so you're basically saying that initiative is like speed? Means that you get more moves and you move first?
No iniative means if you get to move 1st not more moves:) If someone has 2x the iniative u do they do move 2x before u do sometimes:)
yes they can move twice before you do that is the point. but it may take them a few rounds. In Artic's example of the race this is what happens when someone "laps" another runner.
here's a dumb ? from a newbie. how are those points gathered up?
9 is an answer to 6.
7-9, of course, initiative could be regarded as actually speed - in terms of physics, as *distance* (ATB position) covered in *time* combat turns.
10 There is no way to actually see how much initiative a creature has already cumulated, in other words, you do not know its exact position on the scale. I doubt that it will ever be revealed.
how about the race condition?

what if two creatures have extactly the same initiative/speed?(with NO moral, artifact, or somethingelse effected)

how to determine who goes first? ramdom?
one of the problem i have is to understand when a turn is over. for example if i hit a unit, for how long can i hit it with other units till will retaliate again?
for Rorrim:
if i hit a unit, for how long can i hit it with other units till will retaliate again? until this unit's next turn (when it can perform an action)
What I don't get is how spells and initiative are mixed. When I cast "Bless" for two turns, is it hero turns or the creatures'? Same question for "Stoneskin" lasting "one turn" and cast by a Druid on some bowmen, for example.

I also casted "Rapid" sometimes and saw no effect on the initiative bar - so I guess it only affect creatures' further turns?
Enduring effect spells term counter is combat turn. if it says "X turns", it still means X combat turns, or X turns of a creture with initiative 10.
[Post deleted by moderator cepruyc // ]
Hey i have a question ,can admin help me?
Do u say the creature have more ini can attack frist but i don`t understand when i play with a Nerco,my Elve bowmen have ini 10.4,his skeleton bowmen still have 10.1 but he still attack me frist,why why?
All them make me become a loser in all this day.Why?
Post 18 this is a quote from post 2
The pre-combat positioning of units on the bar happens with a random deviation of 0% to 10%.
What this means is, explaining it on the "lap runners" example, the runners do not start from the same point, they're randomly scattered within a "10% of the lap length" interval beyond the start line =) This makes things unpredictable, and sometimes provides a chance for lower-initiative creatures get their first turn before the higher-initiative creatures do.
It will sound easier like that:
Initiative means how many times the unit will take part in one turn.For 12% it will take 1.2 times per turn,(6 actions in 5 turns)
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