Heroes of Might and Magic VI!


#64

Both games were alike musically speaking, from what i remember. Perhaps you have better memory than me.


#65

Not quite. I found HOMM3’s music to be a big disappointment, and not only because they ditched the opera. It was just so terribly bland.

By contrast, HOMM2 felt soothing, wondrous and epic in the right places. And the music in the expansion -Price of Loyalty- was even better IMO. To this day my absolute favorite is the music from the Wizard’s Castle, followed closely by the Sorceress and the Barbarian.


#66

I also gave up on it quickly, but mainly because I loved HOMM3’s campaigns and I hated with a passion the story-driven, puzzle-like scenarios in HOMMV. It didn’t help that it ran like a dog in my rig at the time, that the AI cheated so blatantly (it didn’t even bother to flag and collect unguarded mines and resources!) and that the selection of stand-alone scenarios was meager.

Btw, the game has been officially announced and Celestial Heavens has more info:

The Griffin heroes’ destinies will be written by players. In the game, players will be able to:

  • Enjoy the critically acclaimed Heroes gameplay, remasterized with the well-known developer, Black Hole Entertainment, and in close partnership with the game’s numerous fans.
  • Experience the unique mix of Turn-Based Strategy & RPG: Explore extra-large adventure maps, collect tons of resources and build extraordinary cities. Perfect your tactics to level-up your heroes, recruit troops & ready them for combat on exclusive battle maps
  • Shape your destiny: Lead the Heroes of the Griffin dynasty within an intriguing scenario. Choose your path, assume your choices and customize your gaming experience thanks to a brand new reputation system.
  • Rediscover the richness of the Might & Magic Universe: Discover fantastic landscapes and creatures from the world of Ashan. Enjoy revisited 3D designs and an exclusive new bestiary.
  • Share with the community: Post content & compete with your friends using a new and intelligent, online community interface.

Reputation system? Intrigued. I don’t think I care about “posting content” but an improved system for online battles is a very welcome thing. Here’s hoping for simultaneous turns…


#67

Agreed 100%.

By contrast, HOMM2 felt soothing, wondrous and epic in the right places. And the music in the expansion -Price of Loyalty- was even better IMO. To this day my absolute favorite is the music from the Wizard’s Castle, followed closely by the Sorceress and the Barbarian.

Again, agreed 100%. Though I do wish sometimes that I could listen to the original HoMM2 town opera music that wasn’t in the Price of Loyalty expansion. The GoG version only has the expansion music, of course, since that’s what came in HoMM2 Gold. I don’t have my original discs anymore. I actually remember getting into a fight with Jonah Falcon over at the CGOnline forums way back when the expansions came out because JFalcon refused to believe that the expansion changed some of the town music numbers. God, he was such an idiotic troll on those forums.


#68

Are you sure about that? There are a couple of threads in the GoG forums about how the expansion music isn’t in the game. Apparently the expansion could play either soundtrack–it just depended on which disc you had in the drive. The expansion music is included with the downloadable mp3 soundtrack for the game, but the disc image that they used for in-game music was from the vanilla HoMM II disc.


#69

I did. I was the only fan of either game; presenting the alignment system, how the theme would determine monster types and spells, and the basics of the revised hero skill system was how I got to be design lead. Greg had left, and the position was up in the air at the time.


#70

I haven’t played IV or V, but II and III are some of the finest moments in the history of gaming. LOVE those games. As noted above, II had better music (I do still have the original game disk, but I haven’t loaded it up in about 10 years, probably). But III had so much variety. It was SOOO full that it’s hard to imagine another HOMM game ever matching it, much less surpassing. I’m also a HUGE fan of the M&M games, especially 6 and 7. I replayed them a couple of years ago and thought they really held up well. King’s Bounty has equaled all these games, IMO, but I would still LOVE to have another game in either series that could somehow recapture the magic. A party-based turn-based RPG like M&M would be worth 100 bucks to me, easily.


#71

See, I really hate that. If I am beating monster’s A and B to get strong enough to beat C so that I can then beat D who is guarding the only passage to the other side of the map, I lose interest quickly. I like roaming around, finding hidden caches of stuff seeing what I can and can’t do and then planning accordingly. Many TBS games rely on this mechanic to some extent. I liked the Disciples series in spite of some of that.

A game I really wanted to love relied on it too heavily and I lost interest in it and its sequel: Etherlords.


#72

Ha, I do remember Jonah’s antics back at the CGOnline forums… good times. :-)

Exactly – no coincidence that they share the developer. The heavy scripting in HOMMV did help mask some of the most glaring shortcomings of the AI, but turned me off from the campaign.

Meanwhile, HOMM VI’s official site is up.


#73

Jonah gave it an “A” score pre-release!!!

Yeah, once I see that developer attached to any TBS strategy game, I assume it is going to cram that feature into the game.


#74

Screenshots are… eh, just okay. Like HoMM V, it’s pretty generic-looking. Some of those map view screenshots could easily be confused with Majesty 2, or Fantasy Wars, or King’s Bounty, or any of a number of other generic fantasy games with super-saturated, WoW-inspired palettes. The old HoMM games were brightly colored, too, but they had their own unique style, and these new HoMM games fail to capture it. I also miss the “density” of the old HoMM maps, where you couldn’t go more than three steps without tripping over some glittering trinket or interesting location. With HoMM VI (and V as well), it’s like they are trying to give the environments a more “realistic” scale, padded out with a lot more empty terrain between all the goodies. At least the text snippet in that screenshot suggests that maybe (hopefully!) they have done away with the annoying cutscenes in favor of something less obtrusive. But I still have very little confidence that these guys know how to make a HoMM game.

It also looks like they are making the tactical battle map larger again, reproducing one of the mistakes from the original series that Heroes V actually fixed. The small battle maps made the pace snappier and positioning much more important (especially for large units), which is something that the HoMM games had lost over the years. I very much liked the return to smaller maps, and am sad to see them growing again.


#75

Oh hey cool. I bought HoMM2 from GoG and briefly checked it out, but I hadn’t really dwelled into it. I did listen to the soundtrack that came with it though, so that’s probably where I got that impression. That’s pretty cool. That means the GoG version really has both versions if you count the soundtrack.


#76

I agree. The art style from early HOMM games was distinctive. I loved the overland map. It looked like I was playing on a tapestry.


#77

I think it is well passed time for me to get the GoG complete pack and install Wake of the Gods.


#78

I’ve played every HoMM game except H4, don’t remember why I didn’t at the time, probably my computer then wasn’t up to it. Went right from Heroes III to Heroes V.

After reading this post I’m curious to give it a play warts and all, there’s a computer shop nearby that sell lots of older PC games pretty cheap, I know they have HoMM IV there.

The whole HoMM VI announcement has got me fired up to play a Heroes game and IV is the only one I haven’t played to death. The screens I’ve seen give it that colorful fantasy look I loved in the first 3 games and missed in Heroes V.

Especially since Disciples 3 looks like a no buy right now(major letdown there).


#79

I don’t like to be negative about games, but I’d recommend against HoMM IV. The unit and map art is very ugly, the balance is poor, unit/town development is less interesting than other HoMMs, and the AI isn’t there… I thought it was a MOO3-level disappointment. Good music though.

I am looking forward to HoMM VI, though. A lot of the town-specific special mechanics like the Inferno’s ability to Gate, were actually pretty interesting. I’d like to see how they can expand on these things in the sequel.


#80

I’d take issue with some of those things. Unit development is basically identical to the previous HoMMs, and I’d argue that town development in HoMM IV is better. That was one of the big changes in the game that actually worked. In HoMM I-III, you just built every improvement in every town, eventually. HoMM IV actually forced you to make choices between two mutually exclusive upgrade paths for each building. I really liked that, and think that it made town development a lot more interesting.

The art is sort of subjective. I’d give it the edge over HoMM V simply because it still retains the “dense map” approach of the previous games. It suffers from a bit of a sterile-CG look, and though it can at times look fairly attractive, I’ll grant you that it’s not in the same league as HoMM I-III.

The UI art, on the other hand, looks almost like it came from a different game. It’s gorgeous–probably the best of the series. Whoever illustrated all of those Book of Kells-style parchment menus and the beautiful hand-painted icons and buttons should have been put in charge of doing the art for the rest of the game. Notice how the UI draws your eye a lot more than the world map…


#81

I’ll grant that the art is subjective, but it really didn’t work for me. I feel the same way about IV as Loyd H feels about V… Everything looked gaudy, plastic, and lifeless to me.

The town development decisions (do I build Venom Spawn or Vampires?) were interesting in theory, but in practice were usually let down by poor game balance. In most situations, one of those units was flat-out better than the other, rather than being situational in some way. Also, you paid for the decision by being restricted to only 4 creature dwellings per town, which made things less interesting in the long run.


#82

H3’s music is actually better than people often give it credit for. The first time I played H3, the Fortress theme gave me goosebumps.

Great to hear that.

Greg Fulton’s departure was a great loss for NWC.

AFAIK, it was Greg who decided for H3 to use the more realistic art style. I could argue that some part of H3’s direction (the art style, the tighter integration with the M&M series which eventually lead to the unfortunate Forge town that caused his leaving) is a false move, but that is only a fan’s hindsight. And to be practical, hi-res 2D art is very costly, which must make H1&H2’s storybook aesthestics difficult to maintain in later games.

If you don’t mind, more fan-questions I need to get off my chest:

-Back when H1 started the series, the barbarian (“Plains”) was the evil Might faction with a Goblin/Orc/Ogre/Troll lineup, and the warlock (“Mountain”) was the evil Magic faction with myth creatures.

At the time of H4, the barbarian Might alignment has the myth creatures on top of Berserker and Nomad, essentially changing to one of pagan heroism and myth, while the Chaos alignment has the orcs, and to paraphrase one player, a “junk of the world” image (although that’s not my interpretation of it). To some degree, they have switched places. What do you think of this switching of places?

-Were you involved in NWC’s H5?

I understood that NWC’s H5 would combine barbarian and warlock into one “myth” faction, and add a new dragon/reptile faction. How are H5’s 6 factions thematically aligned? H5 would keep H4’s idea of faction-specific magic schools, so do the dragon faction have its own dragon magic?


#83

Honestly, I never gave that a thought at all. I never really saw the HOMM 1 towns in terms of good or evil, for that matter. I did feel that HOMM 3 kind of jumbled things compared to HOMM 1 and 2, and the MtG / MoM style factions were an attempt to make the monster lineups more coherent.

No, I wasn’t involved with the JVC-led Heroes 5 project. I have no idea where he would have gone with it, since I don’t think he fundamentally got what I was shooting for with H4. I found him surprisingly difficult to talk to on game design issues, and he wasn’t in the office very often.