While Heroes of Might and Magic V has borrowed many features and taken inspiration from its prequels, especially Heroes III, there have also been a good number of innovations that differentiate the game from its predecessors. Aside from the obvious graphical enhancement, there have been a number of new modes inserted to make the game experience more enjoyable and intense; a diversion from the classic, slower-paced turn-based strategy feel of the previous games.
Note: All the features detailed below are optional.
Simultaneous Turns - Unconfirmed
Simultaneous turns is likely to work in the form of every player taking their turn (day) at the same time, so that no player can reach a mine or resource before the other player simply because they are before them in the order. Instead of waiting the entire time for players to take their turns, you will only have to wait the extra amount of time they take in their turn procedure. Whether this mode can be coupled with Ghost Mode (see below) is unknown. Simultaneous turns offers a slightly faster mode of play and an alternative to the usual individual turns mode. This mode has been used successfully in other strategy games, and it is really up to the personal preference of the player when choosing between the standard and simulataneous turns options.
This is another feature which is tailored to create more fast-paced and intense battles. In this mode, every units turn is timed, putting pressure on the player to make their turn swiftly. According to Heroes V Producer Fabrice Camounet, "The new mode will not be real-time, but close to it. That is, the enemy will slowly gather action points, so if you do nothing they will attack you. Thus you'll have to attack fairly quickly, or be attacked yourself." So it is likely that you'll be encouraged to act more quickly, not just so you don't lose a turn, but so you gain the upper hand in amassing action points. This mode encourages quick-thinking, and gives minimal time for the players to formulate their strategies. In turn, players will become more refined in the art of battle-tactics due to the new demands thrust upon to the player in such a mode.
Duel Mode is a new addition which pits army vs. army instantly, without having to explore, capture, conquer, and enforce your will on the adventure map. More detailed options concerning this mode are shrouded in mystery, and it has not yet been revealed whether this mode will be available offline. It is understood that there are no maps required, and this mode is quite separate from usual gameplay. It is designed for players who don't like to spend time developing and enjoy engaging in combat. It has recently been revealed that there will be a number of pre-set armies to choose from, with already assigned artifacts, skills, spells, and creatures. The possibility that the player can create their own pre-sets for testing is unknown at this point, as are the number of pre-determined line-ups available. What is know, however, is that the victor will be the player who wins the best out of three rounds.
Perhaps the most innovative and radical of the new modes, Ghost Mode is an entirely different mode of play than what has been witnessed in any of the previous games. This mode was designed as a method of minimising waiting times during your opponent(s') turns. Ghost Mode puts you in control of a Ghost during your downtime, providing a myriad of options at your immediate disposal. The longer your opponent takes, the more time you will have to manoeuvre your Ghost - another tactic for speeding up games. Apparently, the Ghost will not be able to venture out of the already discovered territory, thus using them as scouts is impossible. The powers available to a Ghost are:
- Curse: The Ghost can 'cast a curse' on a hero, reducing his/her primary skills.
- Devour: A Ghost could be able to steal enemy artifacts with this action?
- Guard: Could Ghosts be used to guard the player's mines after they've been captured?
- Haunt: Will the player be able to haunt mines that he/she doesn't want to be used?
- Possess: With this action, the Ghost can take control of a neutral stack, and the player who owns the Ghost takes command of the neutral stack when it is engaged in combat.
- Vision: Maybe a Ghost can reveal the skills of an adjacent enemy hero with this ability?
The following descriptions are merely guesses based on their names (except Possess and Curse). They, however, do represent some of the multitude of possibilities the Ghost could have on gameplay. It is still unknown whether Ghosts can only be defeated by other Ghosts (the most likely), or if opposing heroes are able to see(k) and destroy them themselves. But with the latter method, it would defeat the purpose of a separate turn for Ghosts. It is yet unclear whether you will have a set of ghosts for each of the human opponents, or only one set of ghosts. Perhaps the power of your ghosts is proportional to the power of your opponent, or maybe it is one ghost for every enemy hero.
Thanks to ThE_HyDrA for creating and looking after the Heroes 5 section of Age of Heroes!