Heroes 5.5 PvP Balance Patch before campaign release (RC15 Beta 6)

Since there has been a significant increase in PvP games and streams, a lot of remaining balance issues were discovered (mostly war machines). This was too much for a non-beta campaign release, so this is a quick patch, allowing them to be tested for a few weeks, before the campaigns will be released.

Download
Might & Magic: Heroes 5.5
Installation and upgrade guide

Balance changes to War Machines – Overall the purpose of these changes is to make ballista weaker early game while stronger late game and make the ballista path more equal to tent+ballista. Also to prevent magic heroes abusing ballista HP with summoning magic. Only heroes with WM skill will get machines with high HP. Tent is more expensive to better reflect its value, while the cart and ballista got a bit cheaper.

Ballista base HP lowered from 500 to 200 and cost decreased to 2500g, ballista perk will increase HP by 4x instead of 2x
Ballista amount of shots lowered to 20
Ballista dmg lowered to 3-4AK, 3-4AK, 3-5AK, 4-6AK
Triple Ballista changed to Quadruple Ballista and shoots 4 times
if the hero attacks the ballista using the chain attack exploit it will inflict very little dmg
Ammo cart base HP lowered from 400 to 100 and cost decreased to 1200g, catapult perk will increase HP by 4x instead of 2x (to force the player to protect ammo cart better during creeping, unless catapult perk was obtained)
Brimstone Rain makes catapult shoot 4 times
Tent base HP lowered from 400 to 100 and cost increased to 1500g, tent perk will increase HP by 4x instead of 2x
tent healing = 0 + X per level instead of 10 + X per level
Quadruple ballista is removed from Avenger class and replaced with Imbue ballista, Imbue ballista is replaced with new perk giving +4 spellpower
Gremlin Sabotage threshold reduced from 10x to 1x its own HP

Other Balance changes
spirit link is nerfed: formula is changed to sqrt(damage inflicted+6)/12
unicorn horn bow has -1 luck penalty

ARMG
ARMG template Ladder-L was split in Ladder(A)-L and Ladder(B)-L, (A) is the same as the old one,(B) is a new one with rare resource mines in zone 2 and higher tier dwellings in zone1 (instead of lower tier), if overall gameplay is better changes could move also to some other templates in later versions.
in PvP matches Battle sites have by default +10% growth (as in nightmare mode) and additionally on heroic +5% and on impossible +10%
significantly increased strength of hill fort guards on (newly generated) ARMG maps

Bugs
Kragh now has the old pounder spec but the extra turn is performed by the AI to prevent the broken exploit, no other hero can have this spec since the fix doesn’t work if 2 of such heroes would meet each other.
Davius starts with eldritch arrow instead of regeneration
Shak doesn’t start with a wyvern
Fixed emilia having hidden special
fixed malustar start with 4 skills
fixed mephala not starting with light magic
fixed nathir having hidden special
fixed darkstorm not starting with confusion
Fixed sometimes hero starting with additional scroll or wand artifact
Fixed Thant not getting luck bonus from specialization
fixed code for seer hut levelup bonus
prisoner rewards from battle sites adjust by default to player race (can be changed to herorace in settings.pak)
fixed forgotten ring artifact being in wrong loot pool
ARMG manual: updated guide for mapmixer and mapmixer screenshot
ARMG manual: added explanation about generating undergrounds for competitive PvP maps

Hero starting conditions – A lot more heroes got starting spell changes, in some cases to balance them, in other cases to consistently apply the same rules to everyone
heretics start mostly with confusion spell
knights start mostly with haste spell
druids start mostly with eldritch arrow spell
Melodia starts with haste instead of deflect arrows
Mephala starts with haste
conjurers mostly start with fist of wrath
Kastore starts with lightning bolt
Zoltan starts with magic arrow
Kha Beleth starts also with stone spikes
gatekeepers mostly start with vulnerability
runemages mostly start with eldritch arrow or fire trap
flamekeepers mostly start with lightning bolt

Submod compatibility
These changes are not visible in game but serve to improve submod compatibility in the future:
Split out hero visual files, so that unique hero models can be added to the game without using any files that are required for balancing and therefore will never require updating after release.
Redirected in-town background scene maps to separate locations, so that they can be visually different from adv-map background scene maps.

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