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Posted by Storm-Giant at 17:59, 9 Feb 2015:
February Screenshots, Necropolis Townscreen Unveiled

The first Heroes VII update of the month featured a new batch of screenshots, which are available on our wiki. Like previous shots, only Haven & Academy factions take part in them, but we can see some changes over the interface and the Adventure Map, a few more combat maps, some tiny changes to Haven Townscreen and replicated three of them to point out several interface elements of the Townscreen, Adventure Map and Combat map. Ubi-Nox confirmed that 'Creatures/Heroes/Items scales are not final at all' and I can only hope to see some changes as we approach the later stages of its production.

On the other hand, the release of the Necropolis Townscreen furthered the debate about Ashan Necropolis and its various influences, with the spider theme and monochromatic neon green colour being the most discussed points. The argument reached such level that a blog update was published in an attempt to cool down the mood, and asking 'to stay civil and polite at all time'. Goes without saying that the same applies here at our forums!

Posted by Storm-Giant at 21:30, 1 Feb 2015:
Heroes 3 HD Edition Released

Almost sixteen years after the release of Heroes III, Heroes of Might & Magic III - HD Edition was launched this past Thursday, available on Steam, iOS and Android, together with a trailer to showcase the graphical update it brings. The game has received mixed reviews at metacritic, quite positive for critic publications (71% at the moment of writing this article) and negative for the users (3.6).

Steam user reviews section also shows a lot of critics towards Ubisoft, with the main complains being the lack of both expansions, therefore missing significant content like the Random Map Generator (RMG) AND missing all the bugfixes both expansions brought, low locked fps and several multiplayer issues. On HC discussion thread the general feeling has been of a letdown too.
On a more positive note, as a response to the lack of RMG, a group of fans have created the h3mtool, that allows to convert H3 AB/SoD/Complete maps to RoE, and RMG integration into H3 HD. You can find download links & more information here.

Back to Heroes VII, we had a slow week, with the release of Tales of the Ten Years Wars, part 6, continuing the war that precedes the events of H7. The third installment of the Community Q&A was focused on Game Design, confirming many tidbits about the game, albeit being rather vague on their answers. They however used the ocasion to introduce the first neutral creature of H7: the Sea Elf.
Finally, after the community vocal outrage, the Might & Magic team released a statement concerning Necropolis and, while not committing to anything, they express the possibility of making '1 or 2 creatures visuals changes'. Let's hope for the best.

Posted by Storm-Giant at 23:25, 25 Jan 2015:
Necropolis Reveal, Academy Faction Theme and More!!

The Necropolis line-up has been revealed, and the community has been shaken! In Heroes VII the Undead armies will consist of:

  • Core: Skeleton, Ghost, Spider.
  • Elite: Lamasu, Vampire, Lich.
  • Champion: Bone Dragon, Grim Rider.
This line-up has risen a lot of controversy, since up to six of the eight creatures use the same H6 model (except for minor modifications), with emphasis on the Eliter tier, which is literally a repeat of H6 Necropolis. Not all is lost, as the dominant neon green color palette of H6 is gone, and the new Champion, the Grim Rider has received great praise. Additionally, there was a blog post about Necropolis advisor at Ivan's Council, Anastasya, who already took part twice in H6.

Earlier this month we saw the release of a small article regarding Magic Guilds. In H7, there'll be four levels of Magic Guilds, with four spells per level (five for Academy thanks to Arcane Library). Each faction MG favours a certain Magic School, while other School is banned. Coupled with other ways to learn spells (Adventure Map buildings, Skills) and the return of randomness, the Spell Hunt promises to be fun in H7!

Finally, the Academy update is live on H7 website! As promised, we have samples of all creature 3D models, which I must say they look gorgeous (seek for Cabir's secret animation, so cute <3); followed up by The Wizards Waltz (Academy Faction Theme). Another masterpiece our favourite music duo, enjoy it :)

Posted by Storm-Giant at 21:27, 22 Jan 2015:
H7 Blog Q&A Parts 1 & 2, Haven Hero Classes Announced!

Christmas holidays are over, and Heroes VII news have resumed. The first batch news complements the H7 Haven info we know, with their hero classes unveiled. Haven's Might heroes classes are Vindicators, Knights and Paladins, while the Magic counterparts being Inquisitors, Priests and Confesors. In the articles it is confirmed that each hero class has different skill wheel paths and additional abilities linked to its specialties, so they should provide a lot of replayability.

In addition to this, Haven Townscreen was explained in detail (well, except for that giant, golden Elrath statue!), and prompted a lengthy discussion at HC about the current direction of Townscreens in the Heroes series, including fan-made alternative versions of Haven Townscreen.

The Community Q&A initiated last month was so big that the community devs have decided to split it in several categories. The first part (Communication), revealed little, mainly hinted the next Faction to be revealed in the blog (Necropolis). However, the second part (Production) holds more juicy information, with talks about changing creature models scale in the battlefield, confirming that Factions will be less color-coded than as in Heroes VI (Haven is used as an example of this), and changes to cinematics.

Posted by Storm-Giant at 20:15, 1 Jan 2015:
Share your new HoM&M Town idea at ICTC 8!

Earlier during last month it was announced the eighth edition of International Create a Town Contest. As the name suggests, it's a contest in which each participant creates a HoMM-faction of their liking. 'Creating' in these case does not mean modding a previous game, but describing and presenting an idea you have for a faction you think would be great.

In the announcement thread at HC you can find all the rules, Q&A, (current) participants and judges of this community competition. The deadline is set for Sunday, 4th of April, meaning there is still three full months for submitting new towns, since anyone can join the contest at any time, provided is within the aforementioned deadline. So if you have a great idea for a new HoM&M faction, this is an excellent chance to share it with the rest of the community, and maybe earn a QP and some recognition in the process :)

Posted by Valeriy at 06:17, 30 Dec 2014:
AOH & HC Server Move

I am moving Age of Heroes and Heroes Community to a new web server. Heroes Community was moved few days ago and Age of Heroes is being moved today. The new server is based in the Netherlands to optimally cater to our visitors (we have more visitors from Eurasia than from the Americas). If you are reading this, DNS changes have already propagated to your ISP and you are accessing AOH on the new server.

The move was necessitated by a web host that has become completely unresponsive. I've chosen to move up to a Virtual Private Server and personally configured it from scratch. Thanks to the efficient set-up, extra code optimization and a fast server Heroes Community is as fast as it has ever been. HC home page took 1 second to generate on our old shared server, which went down to 0.5 sec when the shared server was upgraded. Now I got it down to a lightning fast 0.01 sec. Pages on Age of Heroes also load blazingly fast. This set-up will easily handle the increased traffic as we get to the release of Heroes 7. Enjoy and Happy New Year :-)

There are still a few issues to sort out with the DNS changes as well as with script compatibility with newer PHP & MySQL versions. If you encounter any errors, do report them here to help me troubleshoot.

Posted by Storm-Giant at 02:32, 20 Dec 2014:
A Christmas Gift: Random Skills in Heroes VII!

The Might & Magic team has delighted us with a very special Christmas gift: after long months of discussion, Random Skills will be available as an option in Heroes VII! The player will have the freedom to choose a random or non-random skill system. Thus, one of the most controversial and discussed decisions of H7 has been resolved in a satisfactory way. Hurrah!

H7 weekly news doesn't stop here! From Heroes III to Heroes VII is an article that describes how some areas of the game are based or inspired by previous entries of the series, with emphasis on H3. Heroes VI system of splitted Might and Magic Attack/Defense has been scrapped in favour of the classic Attack and Defense (seen in H1-3,5). Likewise, heroes' stats will be as in Heroes III, with the addition of hero damage. The article also covers other topics like Luck and Morale, Creature Abilities, Multi-Faction Play and more.

We also got an article detailing the Academy Townscreen, with a list of all the buildings and their functions. Additionally, it is confirmed that the Town Portal system will NOT be like in H6. Now your hero will only be able to teleport to the nearest town, and if the corresponding building is constructed.

Expect another news somewhere during Christmas, focused on HC :)

Posted by Storm-Giant at 02:50, 16 Dec 2014:
Introducing Shapers of Lore, Academy Line-Up Detailed

As you might remember, during the previous month, Valeriy set up an icon contest to be used by any Ubisoft/M&M Developer representative who register in HC. Now is the time to formally introduce them!

Marzhin: Long time M&M fan, he was hired by Ubisoft during H6 production. Now works as a Designer & Writer for several M&M games, and he can be seen in Falcon's Last Flight and Dimension Gates forums.
Ubi-Nox: Ubisoft Community Developer for Heroes VII, he naturally checks Falcon's Last Flight forum to any H7-related content.
BB_Eraya: Heroes Online Community Manager, she drops by Dimension Gates forum to answer any question regarding Heroes Online.

The full Academy Line-Up was presented in H7 blog over the last week, with colored artworks, descriptions and abilities of the three tiers of creatures and Warfare units.
Finally, we now know the results of the last two votes. Faceless Memories won in Dungeon Townscreen Vote, while the third and last vote for the Collector's Edition (CE) has been effectively nulled, since Ubisoft has made the decision of including both options (Soundtrack, Lithographic Prints), something that should please those interested in acquiring the CE.

Posted by Storm-Giant at 17:10, 10 Dec 2014:
Heroes III HD Remake Announced for January 29th!

That's right, ladies and gentlemen! Ubisoft has just announced a remake of the acclaimed Heroes of Might & Magic III - Restoration of Erathia, a HD version to be released on January, 29th of 2015!

This remake offers several improvements. As it's showcased in this video, all game graphics will be upgraded. Secondly, widescreen compatibility will be added to the game. Furthermore, a new online multiplayer lobby will be available for PC users through Steam. The game will be also featured in tablets, with iOS & Android versions.

Alas, not all is good, as only the basic game, Restoration of Erathia, will be part of the remake, with Ubisoft alleging that at the time of 3DO bankruptcy and eventual sellout, NWC could only retrieve 'the usable source code of Heroes III Restoration of Erathia'. We'll have to wait and see if Ubisoft shares more information about H3 HD in the following weeks. In the meantime, you can join the heated discussion on HC.

On H7 news front, a new vote has arisen. But, contrary to the Sylvan counterpart, Dungeon's Townscreen will have not two but one, single vote. We are asked to choose the general setting, with Faceless memories and Star of the Deeps as the available options. A little over four days remains to submit any vote.

Posted by Storm-Giant at 22:48, 5 Dec 2014:
Website Update delayed, Community Q&A, new Vote on the way!

Earlier this week the H7 Community Team informed of a delay in the deployment of the upcoming website update, which will not only reveal the full Academy Line-up in action (3D models, artworks) but also implement several gamification features so as to make the experience in more enjoyable. In order to make the wait more bearable they released some Academy & Haven Wallpapers, which are available on our wiki.

While we eagerly await for the update, the M&M team offer us the possibility of asking questions about Heroes VII in the Community Q&A blog entry!. Questions can be submitted until next Tuesday. A selection of them will be answered afterwards.

We also had some 'movement' in the vote front. Collector's Edition vote, part 2 finished with the Deck of Tarot Cards soundly defeating Griffin Duchy Flag with 76% of the votes. A third and final vote concerning the Collector's Edition has started, where a choice has to be made between H7 Soundtrack OR Lithographic Prints of several H7 artworks. This vote ends in one week.

To finish this news article, the Silver Rose: Tanis is a new blog post that gives some background information about Academy Advisor at Ivan's Council. Enjoy the reading!

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