Woohoo! CGM HoMM V preview, Thanks Mr. Todd

Everyone wanting the Heroes off the battlefield…done.
Everyone wanting an updated Heroes III…done.
Everyone who did not want a good thing messed with…done.

This is my one fanboy game so I was sold no matter what crazy foreign development house pushed it out. Luckily UBISoft chose Nival. (Let’s hope the game does not play on a rail like Etherlords II.)

I still like the Heroes IV changes and would have liked that game to have been released in the form that was intended, but I still had fun with it in its ‘state’. As long as there is a title coming out with Heroes and some Roman Numeral in it, you will not hear a complaint out of me.

Brett’s preview, while basically saying it is a fancy-schmancy update of what we have seen before, got me re-pumped for a February release. I think what I like most in my games is the discovery aspect. I like the early stages of Civ games the most, MMORPGs start to lose something when I have seen all the regions, and, of course, revealing every corner of HoMM maps with all the goodies and goonies is one of the big attractions for me. The preview said that this was present in spades.

Anyways, I tend not to read previews, but anyone who has read my misguided TBS posts now and again knows this is my weakness and this series in particular is on this tired ol’ gamer’s severely shortened list of day-of-release purchases.

Screw Christmas, bring on Valentine’s Day.

I never played the Heroes games, to my shame.

Why wouldn’t you want them on the battlefield?

Because letting heroes fight on the battlefield didn’t add anything of value to the game. In the early Heroes games, the main purpose of the heroes was to limit the number of stacks that you had on the map. In order to move a stack of monsters around, you had to have a hero to lead them. So if you wanted more stacks, you had to hire more heroes. Heroes were expensive, so that limited how quickly you could expand your forces. In battle, the monsters would fight and the hero would stand in the rear and cast spells (as well as grant various bonuses to the troops under his or her control).

Later they let the Hero fight on the battlefield with the monsters, and got rid of the rule that stacks had to have a hero leading them. But that unbalanced the combat some because the heroes were so powerful (and you could even build super stacks of just heroes), and it didn’t make the game any better. The original system of having the hero stand on the sidelines worked fine already, and didn’t really need improvement.

Letting troops move around without a hero was a useful addition–it let you ferry troops to the front lines (so to speak) more easily, because you could send them without a hero escort. But it also took away one of the defining mechanics of the game–it’s Heroes of Might and Magic because the heroes were supposed to be critical to moving armies. Letting armies move on their own made heroes sort of… optional.

So on balance, I’m happy to see them go back to the original formula. I do hope they keep the branching upgrades from Heroes IV, though, because that was pretty slick.

Thanks Ben, makes perfect sense.