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Might & Magic: Heroes VII

JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,706
edited February 2016 in Off-Topic
The game was announced in August, 2014 and got a site with lots of information:

This is the game trailer:

Here you can find the gamescom demo video:

And here're some screenshots:







I know everyone would say "Ubisoft aka the bad and greedy developer". But so far the information about the game looks very promising and in my opinion it could very much become a fine installment.

Here's the FAQ I've managed to combine based on the available information:

- Who is the developer?

Limbic, the guys who took over H6 patching and balancing when BlackHole went bankrupt and also created Might&Magic X: Legacy. Legacy gave them the opportunity to do a full production cycle with Ubisoft – including all the required processes from localization, quality assurance, marketing, community work, etc. Before they took over H7 they had a fruitful post-mortem with the Ubisoft team about what went right and wrong.

- How many factions will be in the original release?

Six, with haven, academy, stronghold, necropolis and sylvan confirmed from the start. The last remaining one was voted by the community and became dungeon.

- What is known of the town screens?

They will be 2D animated.

This is an academy townscreen:


- Will you change the townscreens for new 3D models?

Back in 2006, 3D townscreen implementation was a so-so appreciated feature and it appears that a majority of players preferred us to stick to 2D models. Indeed, even if they were visually impactful, they quickly appeared to be inconvenient and did not offer the same feeling as traditional townscreen management (where you select your building directly and no go through the interface only to make actions). With this in mind, we made the decision to continue in the 2D direction and allow this important part of the budget to secure key features, game launch and support. Actual townscreen still are work in progress but no technology swift will be operated.

- What about the in-game resources?

There will be 7 resources in Heroes VII, some of them linked to specific units tiers. Some factions will need certain resources more than others but they will have the means to gather their preferred resources even in difficult situations, through hero abilities and town buildings.

The seven resources of H7 are: Gold, Wood, Ore, Dragonblood Crystal, Starsilver, Shadowsteel and Dragonsteel.

- Can I play offline with full game content?

The game will only requires a one-time activation and then will be fully playable offline. Of course, if you want to play online multiplayer mode, you will need to be connected.

- What does Luck and Morale do in H7?

Good Luck gives increased damage and good Morale gives an additional "half turn". In contrast to Heroes 6, negative Luck is back and "fumble" is synonymous with try again or reduced damage dealt.

- Will the Map Editor have the Event function again? The "blue-ball" in the H3 Editor was one of the most important features for a creator to have. Placing that single object empowered the maker to call for an ambush, a morale change, joining troops, goodies, etc.

The "blue-ball" is not coming back... but is evolving! Indeed, the Unreal Engine 3 offers great tools to all map makers and modders. In addition to all existing scripts on our database, fans will be able to create and share additional ones to enhance the experience.

- Will primary attributes return (attack, defense, spell power and knowledge) or will it be like in H6?

Primary attributes are making their grand come back in Heroes VII. Based on all we learnt from traditional Heroes titles we decided to re-implement them, the only difference will be the nomination of some of them.

- How will the town building trees look like? What Heroes games are they most similar to and is there anything new about them?

The Town Building system is very similar to the one from H5, but offering you more choices and more buildings affecting many aspects of the game.

- How many units will each town have? Will they be divided in tiers?

There will be three tiers, core, elite and champion. Each town will have three units in the first two tiers and a choice between two champions in the last one.

- Are unit names final?


- Will town/dwelling conversion return?


- What about global recruitment or caravans?

Recruitment will no longer be global, there will be caravans for transporting units from other towns/dwellings.

- Will warmachines return?

The new thing is a mix of creatures and war machines, destructible, buyable, upgradable... They are unique to each faction and offer various gameplay styles.

Each faction will have some kind of ballista, first aid tent and catapult though they will be different than before. For instance haven will have a priestess as a warfare unit, instead of a healing tent.

- How does the skill system work?

It will be a kind of mix between H6 (full control is in your hands) and H5 (skills are structured in a wheel). Heroes have a class (like Paladin) that defines their skills and also a faction skill.

Skills have a global effect and offer access to abilities, which have a more specialized effect. When levelling up, the player must spend a point to upgrade a skill or buy an ability.

Skills are divided into Might, Magic and Neutral categories and are consistent with the Hero's class.

- How will the racial skill work this time? Will it have unique abilities scattered throughout the skills like in H5? Will it have its own skill tree?

Each racial skill will offer a specific skill including different special related abilities. An example with the racial skill of Haven (work in progress of course!): Righteousness - "Whenever a friendly creature has good morale, all other friendly creatures get +X morale until they have good morale. This effect can stack up to the morale cap".

- What will the magic system be like?

The magic system in Heroes VII will be very close to the ones implemented in Heroes III & V. Spells are outside the skill system again, and must be learned in town guilds, adventure map buildings or from other Heroes.

- Magic Guilds?

Each level of the magic guild grants four spells, plus another per level if an Arcane Library has been built. Which means a total of 16 spells for a fully upgraded magic guild in any town, and 20 for an Academy town.

- What can you tell us about battle system and battlefield?

The motto for the battle system in H7 is less abilities, more tactics. We want dynamic battles with movement, risk and sacrifices. We want to encourage offense and reward smart placement of units and use of space. Also, we want to strongly emphasize each faction's battle style, through faction skills but also creature stats and abilities.

Another big topic is the variety of battle maps and NPC formations. You will encounter surprising terrain and enemy formations, varied armies using specific tactics.

Combat Maps will use different sizes and layouts, forcing you to revise your strategy and think about whatўs best during any specific combat.

- Will we be able to rebuild townd?

Towns in Might & Magic Heroes VII cannot be converted to other factions. This will create both challenges and strategic opportunities.

- What will the campaign be about? Where are we in the MM timeline?

The story of Might & Magic Heroes VII takes place in 853 YSD. That's ten years after the Fourth Eclipse and the death of Empress Maeve Falcon, leaving the throne empty and the Empire in turmoil. After countless battles, treaties, betrayals and alliances, two contestants remain to claim the crown: Ivan of Griffin, and Seamus of Stag.

We meet Ivan in a state of self-doubt: the war has taken its toll on both his body and mind. Now he is tired of it all, wanting to lay down arms, declare the independence of his Duchy and leave the Empire to Seamus. But as he's about to make this fateful decision, his council of advisors (among them a few familiar faces) start telling him stories of past heroes, who, like Ivan, were faced with impossible choices.

These stories are the six campaigns of Heroes VII, each focusing on a key moment of the history of one particular faction ...

- Will we be able to disable combat "cool-cams"? (introduction fly-over, critical etc.)

You will be able to fully disable those effects but also to tweak their frequency of appearance if you prefer.

- What was the hardest part of this development?

Philosophy: with Heroes VII, we really wanted to offer the best of Heroes experience, focusing on core gameplay strength of the series. To do so, our Game Designers spent months and months to identify what would be for H7 this magical recipe and how to really implement it in the game.

Technology: definitely it would be the map editor. We have as any Heroes fans, huge expectations for this tool and we did our best to follow this vision. In addition to a great Heroes experience, the map editor is the one key to make the game live longer and longer.

- Will there be a map editor from the beginning?

Yes, and more. It is too early for us to share all information on this topic but we are constantly improving our tools and already started to test them with selected M&M VIPs : ). Our goal is to provide accessible tools that everybody could use to create maps in a few minutes but also many options and features for power users.

- Will modders be able to create their own factions?

Extreme modding is something we want to support, but right now we don’t want to make any false promise. Hang in there!


When it will be finished :) Game development will continue for a few months and then we will enter into the debug and polish period. As soon as this one is complete, the game will be officially released. Our objective didn’t change since Gamescom announcement: 2015.

More details here:

Post edited by JuliusBorisov on


  • AedanAedan Member, Translator (NDA) Posts: 8,261
    bengoshi said:

    - What is known of the town screens?

    They will be 2D animated.

    YES! They finally understood that town screens are better in 2D.

    I just have some doubts about the plot - creating an alliance between factions? AGAIN? Please, give us something different.

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,706
    edited January 2015
    Aedan said:

    I just have some doubts about the plot - creating an alliance between factions? AGAIN? Please, give us something different.

    Well, the main thing in any HOMM game, to me, are maps for singleplayer and multiplayer games. The campaigns are not so important as general maps, both pre-made by the developers and ones made by players.

  • iKrivetkoiKrivetko Member Posts: 934
    At least it looks better than homm6. Although I'll probably stick to homm3 till the end of time.

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,450
    This does look promising. Thanks for all the info, @bengoshi.

    After reading the community reaction to Homm VI and trying a free trial version of the first couple of maps, I never bought it. There were just so many critical elements of the Homm experience left out of it, including town screens. I checked forums from time to time, and apparently all the promised patching to fix all the problems never happened. Ubi is known for abandoning support for their games.

    It looks like with Homm VII that they are trying really hard to get it right this time. If it gets a good community reaction, I'll probably wind up buying it.

    It's an exciting time to be a PC swords and sorcery gamer, both with remakes of the old and with the new.

  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    Hmmm... I've skipped every HoMM since the 3rd one, but this one looks like it might be picking up where that left off. Also, the financial situation is doing better for now; I might just acquire a copy.

  • PeccaPecca Member Posts: 1,964
    Seems good. I didn't even bother to read reviews on H6, because I saw some water-people faction screenshot and dismissed it right away. But odd numbers seem to mean a return to a classic for Heroes series.

  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
    Pecca said:

    Seems good. I didn't even bother to read reviews on H6, because I saw some water-people faction screenshot and dismissed it right away. But odd numbers seem to mean a return to a classic for Heroes series.

    I agree. I actually enjoyed Heroes V a great deal

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,706
    A new FAQ from the Developers:

    0. Town portal system, Magic schools, Stat system and Necromancy.

    In Heroes VII we decided not to keep H6 town portal system. The town portal only allows you to be teleported to this town if you hero have the right spell for this. However, like it was on previous games, this spell only can teleport you to the nearest town.

    There are 7different magic schools in the world of Ashan:
    - Prime Magic
    - Dark Magic
    - Fire Magic
    - Earth Magic
    - Light Magic
    - Air Magic
    - Water Magic
    Most factions have preferred magic schools and also refuse to teach certain magic schools in their towns. That’s why, for instance, a Haven magic guild will never teach Dark magic spells, but will always teach at least one Light magic spell for each level of the guild.
    When a hero visits a town, he acquires automatically the spells from its magic guild, as long as he has the necessary skills to cast them.
    Each magic school is a separate skill. Some heroes may have access to many magic schools, and may invest many points in them, to be able to learn high-level spells, and increase their mastery of magic. Academy heroes are the ones who can master all magic schools. For Wizards, there is no such thing as a restricted school of magic :).
    Level 1 spells however do not require any skill to be learnt. For higher spell levels, you need to possess the corresponding skill rank. For instance, to learn a level 4 Light magic spell, you need to own the third rank in the Light magic skill (Master).

    In Heroes VII, we decided to go back to the roots of this area and reduce stats to 7. The functions of these are similar to those in Heroes III, with the addition of the hero damage (since the hero can attack a stack directly).

    Might (adds to creature attack)
    Defense (adds to creature defense)
    Magic (increases the power of spells)
    Spirit (increases the mana pool)
    Leadership (adds to creature morale)
    Destiny (adds to creature luck)

    Necromancy skill again works in a similar fashion as the pre-H6 games (after a battle, fallen enemies join your army as Undead creatures).


    Dwellings in the adventure map will be able to provide more than one type of creatures. A good opportunity for your Hero to reinforce his army before joining a new fight far from his lands.


    It would be too easy to allow the destruction of a single building to give the opportunity to change your champion selection every day. When you decide to build a champion dwelling, you need to have a clear vision of your strategy and if you come to change your mind, you will be of course able to do it but with more consequences. Indeed, all buildings situated in the same “building level” will have to be destroyed to allow new structures. Choose wisely Councillors!


    As many towns as you will find in the map.


    As they always did before. Your hero will have better movement speed on roads and more difficulties to advance in mountains or rocks.


    Artifacts sets system will be back in Heroes VII. Stay tuned for more details!


    Your Hero will be able to explore the world of Ashan and discover its rarest artefact preciously hidden in the ground. Along his adventures, you will discover new parts of the puzzle and fulfill your quest for the Tear of Asha.


    It’s very much like in H5 TOTE, with a refinement to avoid caravans to block town entrances. So basically you can access dwellings from distant places and buy creatures: they are automatically sent to your current location by caravan. Caravans can be attacked, recruited on the fly by their owner.


    It is a still in discussion topic but why not.


    In addition to great variety in terms of setting, Heroes VII will provide more diversity in terms of sizes for both adventure & combat maps. You will be able to play and create from giant to tiny maps to adapt to your vision and decorate them with thousands of options.


    One of the learnings we had from Heroes VI was that the game appeared to be too slow to play and especially with endless combat sessions. With H7, we decided to change this feeling and give the game a better experience but without denaturing it (turn based strategy forever). Fast combat feature also is back.


    Heroes is a 8 players game for a long time now and we kept it that way for the time being. 8 players and colors for both local and online multiplayer modes for instance.


    All classical game modes will be present in Heroes VII and we hope we will be able to add something cool to this formula. More on that one later.


    Yes there will, we think that online multiplayer have a huge potential in Heroes titles and we have a couple of ideas to improve it.




    We already have a huge amount of information about creatures, maps, campaigns etc. We do hope we will be able to stick this somewhere!


    Unfortunately we can’t give a lot of information concerning neutrals at the current time. However, Ivan is from the House of Griffin. Do you think he would ride to battle without Griffins in his armies? ;)

    You should then be able to play outside campaigns with griffins as neutrals (and integrate them in your maps as much as you want).


    Yes of course.


    Each faction will have specific advantages but they are more specificities and it is important to keep in mind that those ones won’t prevent you from defeating any faction if you know how to play.


    You will be able to participate to sea battles of course, however at the moment we are not sure if embarking/disembarking in a boat will cancel your movement points or not. We keep the opportunity to tweak this according to gameplay until the end of the development.


    Yes they will, different costs and required resources. However it is too early to give you precise figures for now, balancing will be taken care of until the very end.


    You will be able to develop specific skills and buildings to enhance the use of your warfare units.


    Same one as always.


    We don’t have final amount of adventure map spells settles yet, however we can confirm that for now we have more of those than in Heroes VI.

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,706
    The interview with the developers is out. We've been promised 3 expansions with 3 new factions in the future, the Demons included.

    We got a chance to sit down with a developer from Limbic Entertainment, Level Designer, Johannes Pfeifer and Might & Magic Heroes creative director, Erwan Le Breton. We asked a few questions about developent, and the future of Might & Magic Heroes in our Might & Magic Heroes VII Interview.

    E= Erwan Le Breton, Creative Director @ Ubisoft Paris

    J= Johannes Pfeifer, Level Designer @ Limbic Entertainment

    Would you guys ever think about bringing the series to consoles?

    E: We’ve been discussing a console possibility for a couple of years now. Frankly our own team is not recommending it. We feel it would not be a satisfying console experience. Just porting it would be hard, making a Might & Magic Heroes console version that is designed for consoles would be okay.

    Is the Inferno faction going to be included in the final version?

    E: You have neutral demons in the core campaign Heroes 7, so you fight demons from time to time but they are considered to be neutral creatures because the overall faction is not present.

    J: Which was part of the world, so we just let it up to the fans, so like go for Dungeon or the Inferno faction and they chose against it. So that is why we have some creatures but not the core game.

    E: So of course, traditionally Heroes’ games come with (the) original game and have add-ons or extensions that bring new factions. In the world of Might & Magic you have nine factions that are known so-far by the community. Six of them are in Heroes 7, so that gives us three more factions to pick from when we start working on the add-ons.

    Are you working on ideas for the Expansions?

    E: It’s just the legacy of the series. Unless the game is not successful at all, which we don’t believe, there’s a good chance there will be expansions.

    With the re-release of Might & Magic Heroes III HD, fans considered the lack of a random map generator disappointing. Will Might & Magic Heroes VII feature this?

    J: We can’t go into any details or specifics yet but certainly there’s parts that are being discussed and we are thinking how we can address this in a pretty appealing way for the fans.

    E: When we said we wanted the best of Heroes and listed the features fans really want in the game, it’ part of it. It’s more like a question with Unreal 3, with the tools we are creating for the development team, will we be able to do something that is great and satisfying. If yes, when will it be ready? Those two questions have no strict answer right now.

    AoTF: So it’s being discussed but nothing to announce?

    E: Nothing to announce, but we know it is important for the fans and we are talking about it a lot. And not just discussing it, we’re trying to find it doable.

    Will Heroes Of Might & Magic VII support the modding community?

    E: We are using this engine that’s tried and tested to give the production team. Easy map making tools so it makes development easier, faster. Allows us to focus on the quality and the content rather than on the technical side of it. And from day one we were saying that these tools should be user-friendly enough that we can share them with the community. But again, when will these tools be ready? Even though the production team is using them already, there is another layer to add to it to make it sharable. Our objective is really to give power to the community with the game, part of it is UGC modding etc. it is the same philosophy.

    The rest of the interview can be read here:

    Also, two previews are out.

    "Gameplay in Heroes VII sticks to the classic combination that has made the series unique and successful: strategy, economics, combat, and role playing. The basic flow has you fighting neutral monsters and gathering resources to build your hero, army, and fortress. As you grow stronger, you can explore more of the map, capture more towns, and further improve your army. All the while, you must contend with one or more enemy heroes who attack your fortress and raid your resources. Victory comes to the side that wipes out all opposing heroes and controls all fortresses.

    Of the four gameplay elements, strategy is perhaps most familiar; the player's units, represented by a hero, roam the map completing a variety of objectives while contending with aggression from AI or human opponents. Maps contain a great deal of variety and players can frequently alter the terrain or otherwise trigger special events. For example, in order to recruit some powerful centaur units, I had to choose between fighting my way past several strong enemies and weakening my army in the process, or triggering a dam collapse and opening a new path. I chose the latter.

    Finally there are the RPG elements, which are the reason I was in the room to begin with. Heroes are unique and can level up through combat and completing objectives, but the player can have multiple heroes on a given map. Leveling a hero lets you upgrade their skills, which run the gamut from combat aids to boosts in diplomacy or fortress governance. Much to the delight of veterans, Heroes VII returns to the guild system for magic. Instead of learning magic by leveling up, players must build a magic guild in their fortress, and any allied hero can learn available spells by visiting the guild.

    Heroes may also be outfitted with equipment found throughout the map, and the obelisk mini-game returns to grant powerful items to lucky explorers. Campaign maps start you with certain heroes, but you can often recruit more from your fortress. You can also create your own hero and choose between attributes like might or magic, male or female, and one of 6 classes per faction. All in all, the heroes are a vital part of your army, and managing them is an important part of gameplay.

    This is obviously a lot of content, but how does it play out on the screen? For me, it felt reminiscent of the old Heroes of Might and Magic that I loved as an adolescent; definitely a good thing. Revealing an area through the fog of war to find a magical spring, a pot of gold, or just a new enemy to fight kept me engaged and wishing I'd had more movement points that turn to explore further. The two maps I saw were large and beautifully rendered, with great attention to detail in the structures and neutral monsters dotting the landscape. The developers said each map should normally take 2-3 hours to fully explore and complete, and each of the six factions has at least 3 or 4 maps. "

    The rest of the preview can be read here:

    "Six factions will be present in Might & Magic Heroes VII: the Stronghold orcs, Haven humans, Necropolis necromancers, Academy wizards, and, in two factions voted on by the fans, the Sylvan light elves and the Dungeon dark elves. After Heroes VI had been criticized for the over-similarity of its factions, Le Breton promised that they’d be different, even setting up a “rock-paper-scissors” effect that could make team multiplayer especially interesting. Individual towns can also be customized via their mage guilds now, where specific elements are chosen by players as focuses—so you could have one town focused on water and life, and another on fire and shadow.

    Indeed, as much as the initial focus of the presentation was on building up the series’ strengths, there was also a focus on improving the mistakes of the previous game in the series. Heroes VI was a fairly good game, but the campaign could take forever and turn any given scenario into a slog. Both of the Heroes VII maps I played seemed a lot faster, keeping interesting strategic choices while keeping a sense of forward momentum. When I asked, Le Breton immediately pinpointed the size of the maps from Heroes VI as the main part of the issue. With the combat and movement speeds easily adjustable in the options, I was able to find the right pace for myself to have interesting tactical battles without getting tired. There were also a few other adjustments from Heroes VI, like getting rid of that game’s boss fights and moral choice/reputation system.

    The heroes themselves are interestingly customizable. On the Stronghold campaign map, I had two heroes—the star of the campaign, Imari, and a harpy ally. Imari had four different paths to take when she leveled up; I could improve her army’s bloodlust, defenses, or her magic, for example. My harpy friend, though, could only improve bloodlust. Each hero—the base unit of the game—will have their own feel and skills, and since they show up randomly, can drastically affect the shape of the game and how players plan.

    The rest of the preview can be read here:

    Speaking of previews, I've found this phrase the most telling: "When I was a kid, I would have solved this problem by reading the instruction manual after unboxing the game, but those days are long gone. I don't want hand holding, but players need certain basic information in order to enjoy the more rewarding gameplay aspects". HMMMMMMM

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,706
    Last week there was a Steam leak of the Pre-Purchase Offer for M&M: Heroes 7. It didn't include neither an ETA nor a price.

    Preorder Heroes® VII for guaranteed access to the Beta plus some exclusive in-game bonuses.

    Digital Deluxe Edition
    The Deluxe Edition contains:

    an exclusive hero,
    a scenario map,
    the full digital soundtrack
    and Heroes® III - HD Edition.
    About This Game
    Our story takes place during a war of succession. The Empress’ murder has left a realm in flames with many hungry rivals ready to seize the throne by force. The Duke Ivan then calls together a prestigious council of six trusted advisors to restore order and end the conflict that set ablaze Ashan’s lands.

    Might & Magic® Heroes® VII makes a triumphant return bringing you the essence of turn based strategy gaming. Set in a fantasy universe with RPG progression with a strong story narrative, you will embark on a journey that you will never forget!

    Explore and conquer the enchanted world of Ashan
    Develop and manage your economy
    Lead armies of legendary creatures to battle
    Build up Heroes of Might & Magic with hundreds of abilities and powerful artifacts

    Incorporates 3rd-party DRM: Uplay Account Required

    The page was deleted afterwards, but here's the screenshot:


    Languages: Interface Full audio Subtitles
    English + + +
    French + + +
    Italian + - +
    German + + +
    Spanish + - +
    Czech + - +
    Hungarian + - +
    Korean + - +
    Polish + + +
    Russian + + +
    Simplified Chinese + - +

    Also, here's the cached version:

    And here're 5 in-game screenshots from that announcement:






  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,450
    I'm salivating over those screenshots. They look beautiful to me. I recognize elements from the HommV interface, and I love that it is in widescreen now. (Vanilla HommV doesn't support widescreen without stretching - my native resolution, 1776x1000, is in the graphics menu, but it stretches, and I can't stand out-of-aspect stretching, so I always turn it down so I can play in an unstretched 4x3 aspect).

    I actually prefer the square, chessboard look of the combat interface of HoMM V-VII over the traditional hex-board of HoMM Classic.

    HoMM VII looks like it's going to be pretty good. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, at any rate.

    @Bengoshi, thanks for catching and sharing this before it got taken down. You're such a considerate community member. :)

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,706
    The website for Might & Magic Heroes VII has new information about how you can now pre-order the game, and shares a few different options to choose from.

    Starting today, we're able to pre-order Might & Magic Heroes VII and secure an access to an upcoming Closed Beta!.

    All players who pre-order the game will receive guaranteed access to the Closed Beta, which will begin on May 25th, as well as exclusive in-game portraits and exclusive Artefacts at release.

    Might & Magic Heroes VII will be available exclusively on Windows PC in September 2015.

    BTW, a Collector Retail Edition and a Digital Deluxe Edition feature Solmyr - the Chain Lightning hero we all know well from HoMM 3!

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,706
    Yesterday the developers of Might & Magic Heroes VII showed the beta live stream. For those who missed it but still want to check what to expect from the game, see the recorded stream here:

    Also, on May the 25th the Closed Beta will begin. It will include 2 skirmish maps and both the Haven and Academy factions. The Closed Beta is available in English language only for all players who have pre-ordered the game.

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,706
    edited June 2015
    The Beta went live on June, 3.

    Thanks to beta-testers, and the fact they are free to share their impressions, now we can watch how the game really looks:

    In the top left corner, you can see the FPS numbers.

    From the video, I think this game looks like HoMM 5 a lot.

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,706
    Heroes VII will be released on September 29th, with another closed beta 2 taking place from August 26th till September 2nd.

  • NaveenNaveen Member Posts: 81
    edited August 2015
    No global production and no stupid portals? That's good enough for me. Sold.

  • ArdanisArdanis Member Posts: 1,691
    edited August 2015
    You can get a HoMM7 beta key (but not the game itself, it seems) for 1$ at Humble Bundle

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,706
    edited September 2015 managed to get an exclusive interview with the developers of M&M: Heroes 7 at Gamescom 2015.

    "We were greeted by the still smiling Arnaud and his utterly overjoyed colleague, who introduced himself as Erwan Le Breton. Erwan was the Creative Director for HoMM 7; he had also worked as Creative Director on MMX, and as Producer on HoMM 6, Clash of Heroes, and Tribes of the East. In other words, he had a lot to answer for. We sat down, just the four of us, in the middle of the large, empty room. I asked my first question.

    Bubbles: You stopped support on Heroes of Might and Magic 6 long before the game was properly fixed. The version of the game that's being sold right now is riddled with a slew of game breaking bugs. When you equip certain items, you suffer stacking, permanent stat loss that doesn't even show up on your character sheet; you have to pay attention to damage floats in combat just to realize that there's even anything wrong. You may realize that your campaign hero's stats have been completely ruined after 20 or 30 hours of gameplay with no way to fix it. Certain story missions bug out if you take too long to finish them. Multiple skills and abilities are either completely broken or do the exact opposite of what they're supposed to do. Now you're trying to sell us Heroes of Might and Magic 7. How are you going to convince us that this game will ever be in a playable state? Why shouldn't I just wait two or three years after release before I make a purchase, just to see if you're actually going to properly patch this game?

    While I was posing my question, Erwan had been smiling and nodding, nodding and smiling. Then he gave his answer: HoMM 6 had suffered from a number of major issues, not the least of which had been the choices of developer and engine [two rather large problems, those]. When Black Hole Entertainment went bust, Ubisoft was unable to provide the necessary technical support for their home made engine; they tried their best, but they couldn't properly fix the game. However, they had learned from their mistakes. The new developers Limbic were reliable people who had experience with the franchise and had already worked on HoMM 6; thus, there was a sense of continuity that was a great help during development. With the Unreal Engine 3, they had an engine that could be easily handled, and that was moddable by the community, should problems with patch support arise. However, such problems were unlikely; Ubisoft were “very committed to providing proper support” for the game, and they would continue to provide support for as long as it was necessary: “Release day is just a date.”

    To be honest, that was more of an answer than I had expected for that question, so I let Jarl take the next two.

    Jarl: So, is there any chance that we might see a Might and Magic XI in the near future?

    This question made the mood of Arnaud and Erwan sink like a submarine for a moment. Their answer was phrased strategically, but it was pretty clear that there is no chance for this: "Right now, M&M XI is very very low on the list of next Might and Magic projects Ubisoft would choose to invest in". A more optimistic person might think, yay, it is on a list of possible next M&M related projects, but no... what Erwan meant was pretty clear. The game wasn't as much of a success as it should have been. He said that Ubisoft gave it the benefit of the doubt, an experiment to see if that kind of game would sell. Grimrock, which had been released not too long before MMX, was the main reason Ubisoft went ahead with this. Grimrock was a surprising success, and they jumped on the bandwagon, like any big company smelling big potential wads of cash does. For Ubisoft, the game didn't make enough money to warrant a sequel. It wasn't successful enough.

    Of course, that led me to ask how successful MMX was. As a good, truth-seeking Codex reporter, I straight up asked "So, how much did it sell?"

    They couldn't answer that, because releasing sales figures is not a thing big publishers do. They did reveal, however, that the game sold about 30% less copies than expected. The team would love to work on a sequel, but due to these disappointing sales, this ain't gonna happen. It kinda surprised them that their game bombed so hard, because Grimrock had been such a success, and they had been shooting for a similar amount of sales as that game. [Bubbles comment: You can infer that MMX sold roughly 70% as many copies as Legend of Grimrock, based on however Ubisoft calculated LoG's sales. Was turn based combat to blame?] Ultimately, it didn't sell enough for Ubisoft to be interested in any sequels, even if you count in the expansion. The Might and Magic RPG series is, after a brief resurrection, dead again.

    And, judging from how they were talking about HoMM VII, the same fate could await the Heroes series if the game bombs.

    Bubbles: What approach are you going to take to story telling? The Heroes series has taken a lot of different approaches over the years – personally, I really liked the big windows full of narrative text in Heroes 4. And then, with Heroes 5, you switched over to cutscenes. There were a lot of cutscenes in Heroes 5, and those were a bit… well... [the Ubisoft guys laugh] And in HoMM 6, you had those sprawling intertwined narratives, where you had to look up a cheat sheet just to see what the chronological order of the missions was. So... how are you going to do it in Heroes 7?

    Erwan was very pleased indeed with this question, and took it as an opportunity to unleash the “three lessons” that the team had learned from the storytelling in previous games.

    Lesson 1: Keep the stories contained! Ashan [the setting for the last few M&M games] is a complex place with a lot of history, but a good story should only focus on a small piece of the setting and teach a universally relatable lesson. That way, you can keep the story focussed on the essentials without overwhelming people with extraneous information.

    Lesson 2: Make smaller maps! The maps in HoMM 6 were “huge”, which meant that “the story was diluted.” In HoMM 7, the campaign maps will be smaller and have a higher information density to keep the pace of the story.

    Lesson 3: Variety is key! Every story campaign should have different writers, writing in their individual styles, and teaching the player a different lesson.

    Bubbles: People in our community are very concerned about pacing; how do you plan to keep the gameplay fast and dynamic? [modified question from Ludo Lense]

    Erwan replied that they had reduced map sizes in general; both the campaign maps and the battle map were now smaller to provide a faster and smoother experience. He asked how we felt about the smaller battle map size as shown in the hands-on; I answered that the map size had felt just right to me. My biggest problems in the hands-on had been with the fiddly UI and the unclear icons for monster abilities.

    Bubbles: Animation speed in the hands-on currently caps out at 150%. When you've played a game for 100 or 200 hours, you really, don't care to watch the same animations over and over again – can you speed them up further or offer an option to skip them completely?

    They said they'd take it under advisement. Animation speed currently caps out at 400% in the beta, which is still a little slow for my taste.

    Bubbles: There is some controversy about the proper curvature of the town screen. People on our forums [Grotesque and CptMace] have mentioned that the layout of the old HoMM 3 screens presented the buildings in a clearer fashion by laying them out in front of the player rather than clumping them together in the middle of the screen. Do you have an opinion on the topic?

    Erwan and Arnaud nodded eagerly and stated that our argument made eminent sense. Erwan took the opportunity to mention that town screens were fully moddable, so the community could simply insert their preferred town screen layouts into the game.

    Bubbles: What made you decide on a three tier system for town creatures? What advantages do you see in that system as opposed to the older, more complex tier structures?

    “We took that from Clash of Heroes.” Erwan explained that the three tiers “simplified [development] in many ways”; they not only made the creatures easier to balance, but also made it easier to introduce new creatures. In their experience, it was easier and more intuitive to determine whether a new creature type would be an Elite or a Champion than it was to decide whether it would be a tier 4, tier 5, tier 6, or tier 7 creature. This system was also more accessible for new players, who could notice the relative power differences more clearly than with the old system.

    Bubbles: Who are you trying to appeal to with this game anyway? Who is your target audience and how are you trying to reach them? How do you see this game becoming a commercial success? [a highly pertinent question, considering we were sitting in an empty room]

    According to Monsieur Le Breton, Ubisoft had changed their marketing strategy after the release of HoMM 6: “We're not chasing Starcraft anymore.” For HoMM 7, they projected that 80% of their audience would be mainstream players. They were trying to appeal to that target group with improved graphics, a streamlined UI, and the fact that they were offering turn based gameplay, which was inherently appealing to mainstream audiences. Erwan said that HoMM 7 was “a casual game in that respect”: being able to play a game in turn based mode “makes players feel intelligent” while letting them play at their own pace. It would also be much easier to share user made content; “when you share a map, you automatically share all the mods attached to that map.” Finally, Erwan pointed out that the different factions appealed to different target audiences. The Sylvan faction appealed to “female mainstream” gamers who “liked unicorns”, while the gritty Dungeon faction was aimed at the hardcore crowd. These hardcore players – the remaining 20% of the HoMM 7 audience – were people who had stayed with the series “for 20 years”, but they were not being taken for granted: “all the stuff on the website”, the polls, the community discussion, etc., was for them.

    Bubbles: What are your plans for online features in Heroes 7?

    They explained that they generally liked online features and were “not opposed to the Conflux” [which is not currently in the game], but that they wouldn't build the game around it. “The Conflux would be the cherry on top of the cake,” but first they needed to make sure that the Heroes cake was good.

    After this healthy mix of PR gibberish, clear answers, and outright crazy talk, it was time to go. At this point, we were joined by a red—haired stranger who was probably from the dev team. He apologized for being late, and then offered himself up for a group picture."

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,706
    The developers of M&M Heroes 7 have managed to unearth two scripts originally written for Heroes IV but never produced back then: Unity and Every Dog Has His Day.

    Featuring a cast of both familiar characters and new faces, these Lost Tales of Axeoth will finally come to life in Heroes VII (!!!) in the form of two free campaigns that will be released through patches in Q4, 2015 - Q1, 2016.

    The first one, Unity, will be released in late 2015. Players will take control of the Academy faction across 5 maps. The story follows the characters Genevieve Seymour and Pherlon as they embark on a journey to the Broken Isles in search for a greater understanding of magic. Genevieve knows in her heart that in the past magic users have forced magic into an unnatural organization based on the elements. There must be another way… and Genevieve is determined to discover it.

    The second campaign, Every Dog Has His Day, will be released in early 2016. Players will take control of the Stronghold faction across 3 maps, and more specifically the barbarian hero, Dogwoggle. At the height of his career, Dogwoggle was one of King Kilgor's barbarian generals, but he soon learned that Kilgor was quite mad and leading the world of Enroth toward destruction. Having managed to flee to Axeoth, Dogwoggle now finds himself hunted by his former allies. As it turns out, Dogwoggle might be slightly responsible for the end of the old world…

    Apart from the brand new maps and storylines, the Lost Tales of Axeoth will feature new content that users will be able to freely integrate into their own maps:

    - 68 new Hall Heroes, most of them based on the original art of Heroes III and IV’s portrait artist, George Almond.
    - 8 new Story Heroes, including main characters Genevieve Seymour, Pherlon and Dogwoggle, as well as their friends and foes.
    - Several Heroes IV music tracks used under license from Rob King and Paul Anthony Romero, to recreate Axeoth’s enchanted atmosphere.
    - New (and old) artefacts.
    - Surprises

    We can read an interview with Terry B. Ray, a man behind these two scripts, here:

    Could you imagine we would get something like this? I couldn't and it's just so, so cool that the scripts written for HOMM 4(!!!) will finally be released.

    In Terry's words: "At first, I was stunned. Ever seen one of those scenes where people are opening up a time capsule? It was buried twenty or fifty or a hundred years ago and no one really knows what is inside. Then they open it and out pops those giant floppy discs from the 1980’s and you laugh at the memory."

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,706
    The game will be out today at 2pm CEST.

    It will include campaigns containing all 6 factions (haven, sylvaner, dugeon, stronghold, necropilis, academy) and non-campaign maps, offer up to 125 creatures, 100 spells, 60 hero abilities to master and 3D graphics.

    Classic 2D townviews return, as do 7 resource types.

    Interactive maps, a lot of multiplayer options (including a hot seat) plus a map editor...

    The first reviews have started coming. 8/10

    The Good
    Classic turn-based strategy mechanics
    Factional variety
    Solid campaign structure

    The Bad
    Strategic map could have used some innovation
    Narrative is often predictable

    Might & Magic Heroes VII is probably the best entry in the series since the original trilogy, an experience that understands what makes the series great and delivers slightly updated takes on the core mechanics without any revolutionary features.

    The tactical battles are the highlight of the package, challenging without being too difficult, with players pressed to carefully consider their moves and find the best way to employ each unit and each opportunity to launch a spell.

    The strategic layer could have used a little more innovation and can become a little dry, but the campaign levels are well designed and always give the player clear objectives to chase.

    The development team is also including an editor in the game package, which should make it relatively easy for gamers to create their own content, which can range from unique factions to units and maps, with an option to use the Shadow Council network to then share it with the rest of the community.

    And another review, confirming the first one:

    "I’ll admit I had never played a Might & Magic game before getting the opportunity to dive into this one."

    "One of the biggest problems I found with the game is that, no matter where I looked, I couldn’t find any sort of tutorial, or even a guide system. While existing players of the series may scoff at my inability, newcomers could find some of the game’s nuances as debilitating as I did early on."

    Might & Magic Heroes VII has some very pleasing moments, but its visual issues and strange reluctance to welcome new players could lead it to an unfortunate downfall. 3/5

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,450
    Many reports of "won't start" and "crashing constantly" at Steam. Looks like it's another typical Ubisoft release stability disaster. I'll be waiting several months or even a year or two before I get MMH7. I still haven't finished MMH6, if I get in the mood to play.

    The game MMH7 itself looks great in the gameplay videos, when it's finally made playable.

  • WilburWilbur Member Posts: 1,173
    The game has more negative than positive Steam review at the moment.

  • AedanAedan Member, Translator (NDA) Posts: 8,261
    Reviews on Steam are terrible. Has anyone tried this new chapter? Is it really so bad?

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,450
    @Aedan, I have avoided buying it because of the multitude of "can't play, crashes constantly" instability reports.

    The game itself seems to have its heart in the right place, but too many people are having tech issues.

    I waited until just a month or two ago to finally start playing MMH6 and enjoying it, and it had a similar release crapstorm.

    So, I'd say, if you love HoMM, just wait a year or two, and *then* buy MMH7. Unless Ubi makes abandonware of it like they did with MMX. I never bought that, and never will, because of the disaster that Ubi made of it, right up there with 3D0's and NWC's epic fail with MMIX.

    Meanwhile, MMH6 has been finished into a very playable and enjoyable state. So, I'd say to just enjoy MMH6 to get your HoMM fix until Ubi gets MMH7 stabilized, assuming that they finally or ever do.

  • AedanAedan Member, Translator (NDA) Posts: 8,261
    @BelgarathMTH You have my thanks for your reply :)

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,706
    A huge patch has been released:

    Now, the game is finally playable and fine. The patch has fixed the majority of bugs and issues.

    To me, the game "plays" as HoMM 5 with new elements. I already like it a lot really. Now, without a bug fest, I'm able to see what the developers wanted to make in terms of races, heroes and abilities. Now I can enjoy the differencies of fractions, heroes' progresses.

    If only they released the game in this state... Then maybe the reviews would be MUCH better than 413 favourable against 718 unfavourable.

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,706
    "Early last week we reached out to various different communities and asked what you would like to see changed within Heroes 7 to give you the best user experience. We let the threads evolve over a week and then collated all the information. With that, we then made a top 10 list of the most frequently requested ideas, sat down and discussed what is actually feasible to add to the game with the various restraints that come with game development."

    That sounds great! Look at the game saturation level change, for example! M&MH VII 's colours will be very HoMM 5-esque.

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,706
    "We are going to continue to develop Heroes 7 until it's in a good shape, and there are still patches planned that contain content as well as fixes and things like that. The game won't just be dropped.

    The chances to get great game in the end of development are very high.

    There will be improvements on already implemented features (think color saturation).

    And there is scope that we will 'develop' new things (think more a long the lines of something like changing some functionality with skills/spells but not changing the entire system) (Unit modal sizes).

    Pretty much we aren't just planning to drop the game at Christmas or anything like that."

  • jjstraka34jjstraka34 Member Posts: 7,703

    @Aedan, I have avoided buying it because of the multitude of "can't play, crashes constantly" instability reports.

    The game itself seems to have its heart in the right place, but too many people are having tech issues.

    I waited until just a month or two ago to finally start playing MMH6 and enjoying it, and it had a similar release crapstorm.

    So, I'd say, if you love HoMM, just wait a year or two, and *then* buy MMH7. Unless Ubi makes abandonware of it like they did with MMX. I never bought that, and never will, because of the disaster that Ubi made of it, right up there with 3D0's and NWC's epic fail with MMIX.

    Meanwhile, MMH6 has been finished into a very playable and enjoyable state. So, I'd say to just enjoy MMH6 to get your HoMM fix until Ubi gets MMH7 stabilized, assuming that they finally or ever do.

    I've actually found Might and Magic X to be highly enjoyable, almost a turn-based Legend of Grimrock with more story and more colorful (and that is praise, and a good thing). Much like IX, I still see the spirit of Might and Magic in it. I'm also finding Heroes VI to be enjoyable. But this is because these games have had time to work out their technical problems.

    This isn't so with VII yet. It's optimized horribly, and I can't for the life of me understand why developers keep releasing games that are barely past alpha-stage.

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