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Posted by Storm-Giant at 23:35, 13 Oct 2015:
Negative Reception of the Game, 2nd Patch Delayed

It has been two weeks since the release of Might & Magic: Heroes VII, and the reception of the game has been...poor. As of today, it averages a 67 out of 100 (critics) and a 5.4 out of 10 (fans) on metacritic, while on Steam is not recommended by a dreadful 64% of the total reviews. On top of the bad AI, poor optimization, lack of tutorial and plentiful of bugs, some reviewers have questioned the lack of ambition of this title, or as YouTube's #1 PC gaming critic TotalBiscuit puts it "They don't know where they're going with it [...] I think a full back to the drawing board is required for HoMM."

To make things worse, Ubisoft is being accused of deceptive marketing with the US Collector’s Edition, as several reddit users have claimed the CE Edition did not come with the game disk itself, despite being advertised as such. Later on Ubisoft published an official reply on the Shadow Council, offering “complete refunds from any dissatisfied customers” as well as a compensation plan for those who wish to keep their game; and yet still blaming the customers for their unawareness. What a mess.

Sadly, the bad news does not stop here. Due to the high amount of bugs and issues, the devs decided to push one big post-release patch instead of "several little ones to ensure the stability and compatibility of the various fixes all together", aiming to release it this week. However, gomaki, a Limbic dev announced in our forums that the patch has been delayed, as they found 2 major issues during the testing process. No ETA has been given either, so all is left is to wait...

Posted by Storm-Giant at 18:10, 29 Sep 2015:
Heroes VII is Released, together with Bastion MOD for VCMI!

Two days after the Blood Moon (coincidence? I think not!), Might & Magic: Heroes VII has been released for PC. Players, please make sure you read the release note, as there are some notable issues with the released version.

The first reviews are coming in, with scores ranging from low 60s to high 80s. I’m keeping track of them on this thread in HC, with either a summary or an explanatory quote. So far, the overall impressions are positive, praising the extensive content of the game, excellent soundtrack and good visuals, while the most common negative comments are focused on the AI, (poor) optimization of the game and the lack of a tutorial for new players.

Speaking of which, if you are new to the game, this blog entry may be of help to you. Don't hesitate to register on our forums and ask any questions, the devs are keeping tabs on the recurring issues and working to solve them.

Finally, if in the previous news I was happy to announce the release of the Forge faction as a MOD for VCMI, this time it is the turn for Bastion! It has been over ten years in the making, including one of the coolest promotional videos ever made by the community. I must say, the past years have been very kind to the Heroes III Modding scene :)

Posted by Storm-Giant at 22:40, 4 Sep 2015:
Polish Forge Town Released as a Heroes 3 MOD!

Ever since its inception, the Forge Town has been a magnet to controversy. After three installments featuring mythological environments, the potential addition of sci-fi elements to the series was not well received by a vocal fraction of the fan base, and NWC was forced to scrap the project and work under pressure to release the Armageddon Blade expansion as we know, with a brand new ninth faction (Conflux). Over the years some attempts have been made by fans to include the Forge faction in Heroes III through Modding, but none managed to succeed. Until now.

This week I am happy to announce that the release of the Polish Forge Town for the ongoing H3 modding platform VCMI. This version of the Forge Faction has been made from scratch, featuring some original concepts but still remaining faithful to the H3 Universe. There are plans for future content such as Alternative Creatures too. Kudos to the Polish Team for achieving this milestone in the history of H3 modding!

In Heroes VII news front, the second Closed Beta has been extended until September 7th. Some devs from Limbic Entertainment carried out a live stream session on Twitch this Monday, you can find a summary here although most notably is the inclusion of the Heropedia feature so we can access to heroes & creatures information Finally, another live stream session will be run next Tuesday at 6 p.m. CEST, this time led by Lever Designer Marzhin, and centered around the Map Editor.

Posted by Storm-Giant at 13:26, 25 Aug 2015:
Heroes VII Beta #2 Starting Tomorrow!

The second (and last) Beta of Might & Magic: Heroes VII is set to begin this Wednesday, and will end a week later on the 2nd of September. Anyone who has pre-ordered the game should have access to it, as well as the lucky numbers from the Waiting List in the Shadow Council - to which you can still join. Haven, Academy, Sylvan and Dungeon are the eligible factions in this test build.

Speaking of Dungeon, the whole faction has been revealed through the month, you can find links to all the related articles in the news thread. Sufficient to say that it has received similar criticism as the Necropolis faction, albeit on a smaller scale. The recycling of H6 creature models such as Assassins or Black Dragons (the later has been under heavy criticism since it was introduced in H6) or the mismatch with the artworks presented in the voting process (Medusa) has left a large portion of the community unhappy. The lack of updates on the atrocious hero specializations has not helped either.

In any case, this second beta test will serve as a testament of the state of the game and its possible direction in the post-release months. I suggest keeping an eye on the Beta Discussion thread and see what the players say about the game.

Posted by Storm-Giant at 15:29, 5 Aug 2015:
First Details of Heroes VII Modding and new H5.5 patch!

Following the Map Editor article released a couple of weeks ago, Introduction to MODding in MMH7 answered some of the most common questions regarding modding. Using the “advanced” mode (Unreal Editor), users will be able to duplicate game content (such as heroes, creatures, spells or towns) and change them. It is said to be possible to add new 3D Models to the game as well, so new creatures should be a possibility.
However, it is important to note that all H7 modding is map-based, so no chance for global MODs. Furthermore, the article states users will not be able to alter the core of the game, which raises doubts about what are the real possibilities and limitations of modding in the game.

In any case, the influx of H7 news doesn't stop there. Recently, two more faction skills were introduced, with Sylvan's Nature's Revenge and Stronghold's Bloodrage. Likewise, Here be Neutrals presented the twelve neutrals H7 will feature, a mixture of classics like Elementals, new ones such as Sea Elf or Shantiri Guardians, and some recycled units from H6 in demons and Griffins. Last but not least, Gamescom 2015 started today, I recommend keeping an eye on our forums since Dungeon is expected to be revealed during the week.

Finally, the latest iteration of the ongoing Heroes V MOD Might & Magic: Heroes 5.5 is out. Release Candidate 1 version features a better balance between heroes primary stats, some improvements over the AI and RMG, and the addition of 34 artifacts, including new unique effects and ultimate artefacts! You can find download links here.

Posted by Storm-Giant at 14:23, 25 Jul 2015:
First Look at Map Editor Teases RMG and Modding Tools!

The first Shadow Council article featuring Heroes VII Map Editor has been released, and it has brought a few surprises. The Editor will offer two modes, with default mode being a simplified version of the advanced mode (Unreal Editor). Campaign Editor will make a return to the series, as well as the long requested Random Map Generator (RMG), which will be expanded at a later article. What’s more, H7 Map Editor will allow modding too, such as creating customizable heroes or artifacts for your own maps! The article also introduces some notable concepts like 2D-mode view, Passability Painting and Visitable Shells. All in all, I must say that the Map Editor looks promising.

After the community outcry for the shameless recycling of Necropolis H6 models, Ubisoft decided to create new models, setting up a couple of votes, allowing the community to choose accordingly to their liking. Today we can see the new artworks on action, as well as the updated models for both Vampire and Lich.

As per community request, a new set of Ashan Tales is on the way in the Shadow Council. To start things off, Tales of the Lotus Empire sheds more light in the history of the Naga faction - and an explanation of Medusae presence in Dungeon ranks too. The Close Beta #2 poll resulted in Dungeon & Sylvan joining Haven and Academy as playable factions; however no word has been given about the start of this second Beta.

To finish this July news round-up, our friends from Celestial Heavens carried out an interview with mezzo soprano Karin Mushegain. Have fun reading!

Posted by Storm-Giant at 22:48, 1 Jul 2015:
Heroes VII Beta: Phase 2 Announced, Sylvan Reveal!

After two weeks, the first part of the Heroes VII Beta is over. After endless hours of play and bug hunting, the first impression is that the game needs a lot of work to be done before release, or we may very well have in our hands another disaster like H6 was. The amount of reported bugs was staggering, both minor & game breaking bugs, and the game performance was problematic in many cases.

Fortunately, a second phase has just been announced, and while no date has been given yet, early August may be a good guess if we take into account the current two weeks vote for the next two factions to be played in this second Beta. Being so close to the announced release date (September), this second phase should give a good idea of in which state the game will be shipped.

Meanwhile, over the past two weeks the Sylvan Line-up has been officially announced in the Shadow Council. Armies of the Silva, part 1, 2 and 3 introduced creature artworks & sketches on all three tiers, shortly followed by the Townscreen. Finally, the Sylvan page was released today, where we can see all their abilities and the models in action.

Posted by Storm-Giant at 01:49, 4 Jun 2015:
Heroes VII Beta Available for Download!

After a nine-day delay, the Might & Magic: Heroes VII Beta is finally ready for download! As a compensation for the delay, Ubisoft awarded an extra key to those who logged to their Uplay account. So far there seem to be a high number of bugs & issues, some of them gamebreaking? lol...if you experience any make sure to report them as suggested here or in our forums too.

Back in HC, jiriki9 has just started his latest creative contest, Finding Harmony Competition 2.0. As it is explained inside, each round you are offered six creatures and much choose a given number of them and make them work into a coherent faction. Round 1 is already on the way, and the deadline is set to the 14th of June. Good luck!

Finally, Good Old Games launched today a HoM&M bundle with a sweet 75% discount! The deal ends in thirteen hours at the moment of publishing this article, so be quick to grab it if you are interested in it :)

Posted by Storm-Giant at 14:34, 30 May 2015:
Might & Magic: Heroes 5.5, Announcement & Beta!

Famous in the H5 modding circles for his previous works (most notably for H5 Role Playing Edition MOD), the modding wizard magnomagus has recently introduced his latest project: Might & Magic: Heroes 5.5, whose goal is 'to combine the majority of great futures of H5TOE, H3SOD, H3WOG, H4 Equilibris and Kings Bounty the Legend series into one 3-dimensional game to create an all-in-one TBS experience.'

Among other things, this MOD includes a full revamp of the Skill System, with 3 hero classes per faction, 26 total skills, 174 perks and up to 8 skills per hero; an Advanced Randon Map Generator that can create balanced and highly varied maps, up to XXXL size; new Adventure Map objects, growing armies in treasure vaults and new console commands. A first Beta version was released last week, you can find download links and system requirements on the masterpost.

With regards to Heroes VII, no date has been given for the release of the delayed beta, only a couple of notes were left in the Shadow Council about the issues that prevented launching it. More recently they finished introducing the standard hero skills, first with Fire & Prime Magic and later Light & Water Magic, Metamagic articles. Stronghold, Necropolis, Sylvan and Dungeon faction skills should be explained at a later time.

Posted by Storm-Giant at 22:29, 25 May 2015:
H7 Beta delayed, Stream Round-up, ICTC 8 Results!!

The Heroes VII Beta, which was set to begin today at 6 p.m. CEST, has been delayed until further notice, as the current version felt too unstable, according to the Might & Magic team. Those interested in the latest developments of the Beta should keep an eye on our Beta thread at HC, where we will do our best to keep you updated.

Last Thursday stream session (VOD here) did not reveal anything big, but it did clear a few things. gourley4p shared with us full transcripts of both sessions (October & last week), my commendations for such an extensive work there! Other H7 news include another batch of Secondary Skills (Exploration, Leadership and Warfare) and a first sample of artefacts.

The International Create a Town Contest, 8th edition came to an end in April, and after over a month of deliberations, the results have been released! A big round of applause to the winners PandaTar's "The Foundations" and Minastir's "Polis", as well as to Jiriki9 for his constant work on the creative sections of our forums. Speaking of which, he recently opened a poll regarding the content of the next contest.

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