Heroic Corner Heroes 5 2005
Original content can be found on the Heroic Corner
Thanks to Heroes Community Member Miru for the translation.
"Heroes" has not died … "Heroes" is well!
The dark cloud of uncertainty is overhanging above the fans of Heroes after the bankruptcy of the company 3DO, which did not know how to fix HoMM 4 even with two expansions and many patches. The fallen banner of 3D0 caught the French giant Ubisoft, also half a year promotion of fans in the expectation of news about the possible continuation. And here, miraculously, producer Fabrice Cambounet declares, that the series is living, and it begins to actively associate itself with it's followers, regularly appearing at the forums and gathering proposals for the new game. Miracle number two: HoMM 5 is done in Russia, moreover it is developed by Nival Interactive, noted for operating times in the region of turn-based strategie games.
We will build a new world with Diplomacy
Together, with the popular brand Ubisoft, we obtained heavy heritage in the form of the intricate universe of Might and Magic, whose history was created by different authors for the elongation of ten years (it reached the fact that some heroes inadvertently changed floor upon transfer into the following game).
It will be reviewed, first of all, the concept itself. This game is less naive - less open-hearted fairy tale with noble knights, excellent princesses and the black and white division of good and evil. HoMM has became more many-sided (so, the "bright" race of people ceased to rest on love and mercy, after selecting the motto "Honor. Debt. Order.").
The game now shows cause-effect connections, which make it possible to see the origin of the universe. From now on races and creatures appear not according to the principle "each creature - on the pair", but according to the troubles of the development of peace. For example; the traditionally underground town, Dungeon, is now populated by the dark elves, who were separated from their forest-dwelling relatives, after concluding an agreement with the mysterious faceless. In the descriptions of Dungeon units, you will see present a city-state with your principles, whereas in Heroes 3 they simply put in all who could live underground.
The unique coloring of each race is revealed also in the characteristics of the units themselves. The brutal soldiers of the Inferno will breathe fire; Succubus Favorites fire beaded lightning, and Pit Lords will cover extensive sections with a rain of meteors. Brisk forest elves have high initiative of motion, but are insufficiently protected. There are ten similar examples.
The "heroes" for the first time took a step into complete 3D, which undoubtedly increases entertainment. Revolving camera and changing the scale of map, it is possible to examine any detail of a majestic town or to delight in, by immense panoramas, juicy three-dimensional special-effects that will become additional "eye candy".
But the filling in with "eye candy" has bitter aftertaste. Will it become a chore? Is it necessary to revolve and scale the map in order to pass a creature, which lurkes under a fir tree? This is by no means a trifle, as it may seem at first glance. It would be possible to skip multipalyer battles.
Heroes are not Born
Gaining experience for the hero was always one of the most favorite (and most important) occupations in the game. Unfortunately, in Heroes 3, after rising to a high level, the heroes, in effect, lost individuality, being converted into the universal instrument of murder, equally hardened in both the might and magic. Leading to a united method of "circulation" and standardized strategies of the game.
Heroes 5 is more diverse in the sphere of the development of [being under a guardian]. Heroes in proportion to gaining of experience can not only increase their skills, but also acquire abilities; together with original specialisation and with racial special features. This opens wide space for the winning combinations.
In order not to be unsubstantiated, I will give an example. Specialization on the archers (+1 Attack and +1 Defense for each third level) was considered in Heroes 3 of that put outting itself in no way (but that by completely useless). Now with a character with this specialization it will be necessary to focus attention on him/her, since in a comparatively short time he/she makes it possible to hammer together the imposing army of archers and it is essential to increase her power due to the "circulation" of hero.
The first problem is solved with the aid of building Training Grounds, in which the archers are made from the usual peasants. Certainly, such pointers bypass at an exorbitant price, but burden can be weakened, after selecting Expert Trainer ( -10% price) and Estate (+250 gold during the day) and after building the building, which decreases the cost of training. Then units become more steeply because of the heroic abilities Archery (+20% to the loss), Frenzy (+1 Damage), Toughness (+1 HP) and the development of the War Machine skill (to +3 attack). You will want leadership, then archers will shoot more frequently, and if you have retribution, there will be less loses. To top it off - the spells Bless and Haste. It is prepared! Before you - a very powerful army, finished at last, to wipe clean neutral monsters from map and to gather all resources.
Or is it better to raise a hero who specializes in the monks, and for the rapid completion troops of the servants of faith to train them from mechanical? In the begining, you may not be so good, but at the end game, you will conquer. In a word, prepare actively to think and to act depending on the map and the behavior of your enemies. Non-trivial selection exists in all races.
The ATB Bar
The classical step-by-step regime of battles is simple and predicted to the banality: for each "round" each soldier moves in all times (or two, if it allows high morals). Change only priority it is running units and distance their displacements. In Heroes 5 ATB system appears (Advanced Turn-Based), familiar to RPG amateurs.
It they be in the following. In the beginning of battle the symbols of units are located on by right the end of the ATB Bar. Then they begin to displace from right to left with the different speed, which depends on the initiative of the unit. When the unit reaches the left edge of the scale, the unit takes its turn, and finally the unit's symbol returns to the right edge and its run is repeated.
Is this good or bad? Yes it is noticeable! The cyclic recurrence crowded after-taste at long last disappeared, even very concept of "round" lost sense (let us take, for example, in all the pair of units: with initiative 7 and 9; so here, cycle or "round" in this case will compose turns of motion!) In HoMM 5 it is not easy to predict the sum of battle, although the local system works according to the rigid laws. When desired you will be able to calculate sequence it is running "to five scales forward", but is it worthwhile? Especially when in the matter interfere any modifiers (of type of the fallen morale or spells), which has an influence of the speed of movement of a creature on the ATB bar.
Further, this initiative, which determines now not only priority, but also the frequency of motion, becomes so important a characteristic as, for example, inflicted damage. Bright soldier will have time to resemble 2-3 times, until turn reaches the clumsy "thick" monster. But the wide variety of valuable characteristics indicates the more saturated in the tactical plan struggles.
The sweet part is the magic
Wizardry was given too simply in Heroes 3: if there was sufficient time to develop Wisdom, and your wise hero mastered any incantation. The creators of HoMM I bent stick to other side: in order to master elementary "spell" of the first level, it was necessary to pass examination to the specialist in the appropriate region of magic. Developers do not reveal the system of the magic of new "heroes". It is known that it will be harder than in the "troika", but not stricter than in the "four". On the whole, there is an occasion to hope that "Nival" achieved the best of both worlds.
The number of spells was reduced to 40. But you do not hurry to shout "guard". Actually, try to now name the most dear and frequently utilized "spells". It's unlikely that you will remember 40. Then to what rest? Imaginary variety, bitten enemy of balance, to us is not necessary.
"Make to us rapidly!"
This call became especially urgent after protracted multiplayer of Heroes 4. Even club parties last noon, and to play through the Internet was almost impossible because of the wearisome expectation of sending and load of of multi-megabyte save- save-files. But the principle of the turn-based game is the culprit of basic inconvenience: for you it is mandatory to await the motion of opponent(s).
Heroes 5 will propose an original solution. "Ghost Mode" will allow player to study the matter, until rivals think: it is possible to find out territory or to arrange small dirty tricks to enemies. But for those, who do not love to be occupied by town building and want to be immediately thrust into battle, there is "Duel Mode", where you can assemble an army instantly and have a battle.
Evolution on the face of the revolution
In order to recount innovations in HoMM 5, fingers on a hand will be enough: heroic abilities, ATB- scale for the battles, the clearly expressed racial special features, the reviewed system of magic, two fresh multiplayer regimes... Here, perhaps, and everything, without considering the renovated universe of Heroes of Might and Magic in honest 3D here there are no revolutionary ideas like "The hereos fights in combat on the same level as everything else" Like HoMM IV; in the plan of play mechanics the fifth HoMM has been returned so it is closer to the tried and tested HoMM III.
But, strictly, is this a bad idea? The main thing is so that the project would be brought to the perfection. So that would come out the game, which never will tire.
Certainly, the fitting of the component parts of the many-sided creation - task improbably difficult, but indeed and forces are big enough. What stands the two-thousandth force of the volunteer - testers (Beta Testers), which fall developers by proposals on an improvement in all and entire, beginning from the play balance and concluding by interface! Looking at this, it is desirable to believe that we will obtain the ground diamond, which will become the unconditional adornment of a 'heroic' series.
P.S. Although the worm of doubt still gnaws on the soul: the 3-D network play.
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Thanks to ThE_HyDrA for creating and looking after the Heroes 5 section of Age of Heroes!