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Heroes of Might & Magic III 20th anniversary

Darth Roxor

Royal Dongsmith
Staff Member
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May 29, 2008
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1,878,330
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Djibouti
don't mention it, friend
 

Lagole Gon

Arcane
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Retaken Potato
Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Codex Year of the Donut Pathfinder: Wrath
ji4mzukh9s571.jpg
 

BarãodoDesterro

Educated
Joined
Feb 3, 2021
Messages
45
Worth playing on 2022 without, yet (I will fix it in the more or less near future), finishing any Might and Magic prior to it? Played the most typical RTS and Grand Strategies, some 4Xs, but am not that familiar with turn-based strategy (played some Fantasy General, to be allowed to use my profile picture).
 

Lagole Gon

Arcane
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Retaken Potato
Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Codex Year of the Donut Pathfinder: Wrath
Worth playing on 2022 without, yet (I will fix it in the more or less near future), finishing any Might and Magic prior to it? Played the most typical RTS and Grand Strategies, some 4Xs, but am not that familiar with turn-based strategy (played some Fantasy General, to be allowed to use my profile picture).
It's definitely the most accessible classic Might & Magic game. And arguably the best one.
 

visions

Arcane
Joined
Jun 10, 2007
Messages
1,801
Location
here
As far as HoMM3 campaigns go, I found the Armageddon's Blade's campaign the most enjoyable and would reccommend it. Restoration of Erathia is mostly too easy and vanilla and Shadow of Death has some annoying maps. Then again I'm not sure if Armageddon's Blade's campaigns are a good jump in point for a newcomer.

HoMM 2 campaigns rule too.
 

Morpheus Kitami

Liturgist
Joined
May 14, 2020
Messages
2,415
Basically everyone who started with the franchise after the DOS era started with HOMM3. If children and slavs who barely understand English can play it without trouble, it shouldn't be any if you have some experience with different kinds of strategy games. That said HOMM2 is still very good, but is slightly worse than 3.
I would suggest starting with single scenarios, then Restoration. Armageddon's Blade is nice, but I don't think they're good if you're just starting out. I remember replaying the game somewhat recently and the one dragonslayer campaign was annoying for me to play.
 

Zboj Lamignat

Arcane
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
5,491
I've recently finished original evil campaign for HoMM2 and it was p fun, but the rewards you get (ogre and dragon alliance) make it waaaay too easy, even if you try not to abuse it too much. I sort of like how the game leans into the more cheesy stuff and doesn't care, though, like that map where you start with a levelled necro hero and yuge stacks of peasants all around :lol:

A bit earlier I've also attempted a completionist run of HoMM3 starting with vanilla, but dropped it at the necro campaign (the 4th one I played). It was too easy and the quality of some maps was shockingly bad at times. The Steadwick map looked like someone used basic rmg and then made it worse on purpose.
 

wishbonetail

Learned
Joined
Oct 18, 2021
Messages
671
Mostly played HoMM3, decided to try earlier titles. Finished evil campaign and expansions in HoMM2 and I must say that level design is pretty intricate. I don't remember this much complex map layout in Heroes3. Every map has some quirk and it is fun to figure out how to aproach stuff.
Here's an example of my noob gaming. The last level of Wizard's Isle where you get 3 towns on the islands with no resources and enemy has gazillion of settlements on the mainland. Also, you need to find all the keywords before opposite side unleashes the shit. I surely took my time and when I got to where the main action is enemy had like 120 Black Dragons in one stack. I mostly played Vampires so I could conserve resources to amass some high level units on the islands and steadily transfer them to the mainland. I used another hero to hang in a boat I sailed in not far from the shore, so the enemy had no means to take it and conquer my islands. So, there was no way I could do anything with that shitload of Black dragons. I was galloping around the mainland, taking enemy castles, while he was close on my tail taking them back. And every time he took back his castle he left some of his dragons in there for protection. When his stack melted down to 40 some dragons I finally could take him out, by that time i gathered enough of reinforces in the ship and that was the turning point in this senseless war.
Mostly, aside from interesting campaign maps, HoMM2 feels like Homm3 prototype with its distinsctive music and town screens, which I apreciate. Here're some things I find peculiar in comparison to HoMM3:
-Resources are scarce in campaigns. When I could build lv5 magic guild it was already unnecessary and i found the market, Estates and Diplomacy skills invaluable.
-Moat, turrets, garrison commanders are interesting features.
-Flying units can attack any hex is bullshit.
-No waiting in combat is a bummer.
-Character builds are less pronounced, because of less skills/spells. It mostly comes down to might and magic, duh.
-Overall more balanced than H3 except that Dragons and Titans own everything and are not that expensive. Warlocks, I think, is the strongest race, Sorcerers is the weakest.
-Homm2 has some good puzzle-like maps, Homm3 is better plotwise.
-Spells are fewer but better balanced.
-Skills are fewer but more balanced. Except eagle eye is crap but still it saved my life once when I learned Blind in a field.
-Set Guardian spell is super rare or abscent in HoMM3.
-You can defect to a bad/good side in campaigns. That was before Age of Wonders.
-HoMM3 has more of everything but mostly it is the same game.
 

wishbonetail

Learned
Joined
Oct 18, 2021
Messages
671
Where are games like this today?
There's no point, because all the best TBSs already has been made. The addition of 3d perspective, animations, special effects, postrocessing, mobile interfaces highly reduces map readability and overall comfort of gameplay. When I discover old games like AoW or Disciples I cannot stop marvel at what an example of usability, ergonomics and artisic integrity they are.
 

Blutwurstritter

Learned
Joined
Sep 18, 2021
Messages
857
Location
Germany
I've always wondered how Firefly could survive with its Stronghold games while the HoM&M series appears pretty dead. Both peaked in popularity with an older title but it seems that Stronghold, despite poor releases, still remains afloat while the HoMM developers get axed one after another. Is it due to Ubisoft with impossible expectations that blocks the development of further HoMM titles or do the Stronghold titles sell better ?

I hoped Ubisoft would follow up HoMM5 by gradually improving it, just as its addons it. That could have lead to very solid games. I don't think that anyone will ever make something like Homm3 again, but we could have gotten at least some games that stand on their own. Instead they try to re-invent the wheel every single time just to end up with something worse than before.
 
Self-Ejected

underground nymph

I care not!
Patron
Joined
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
1,252
Strap Yourselves In
still decent
It was painfully mediocre. They played it very safe in regards of a series evolution, thus it didn’t introduce anything of value. It is forgotten now and there’s no option for it to come even close to the fame of its predecessors. IV at least tried.
 

Blutwurstritter

Learned
Joined
Sep 18, 2021
Messages
857
Location
Germany
still decent
It was painfully mediocre. They played it very safe in regards of a series evolution, thus it didn’t introduce anything of value. It is forgotten now and there’s no option for it to come even close to the fame of its predecessors. IV at least tried.

HoMM4 made some steps back and some forward but overall it didn't work out well. HoMM5 new additions were all properly integrated. The initiative system did its job, the improved skill system was good and the town abilities also worked fairly well. This could have been a good starting point for further refinement. I also prefer the graphics of HoMM3 and don't favor the Warcraft like redesign. But my main gripe with HoMM5 is the new setting and the homogenization within towns along with their racial themes. It lacks some of the charm and "creativity" of the other games in that regard. I liked the somewhat random assortment of monsters of some towns and their less predictable themes. Having heroes as direct combat units was an interesting experiment but I don't think it works for HoMM where you can stack units ad infinitum. It does work in games with limited stacks like AoW but I don't see a reasonable way to balance it once you allow thousands of basic units participating. The concurrent retaliation however was a good feature and should have made its comeback. I also liked the class bonus. I am split on having to make decision between units in towns. They could limit it to a choice when upgrading units, that could work nicely. But all of those things need to be properly implemented. Its pointless to add tons of features without refining them properly. I prefer games with limited but fully functional options than a swamp of half-baked ideas that are quickly cobbled together.
 

Parsifarka

Arcane
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
1,022
Location
Potato field
It was painfully mediocre. They played it very safe in regards of a series evolution, thus it didn’t introduce anything of value. It is forgotten now and there’s no option for it to come even close to the fame of its predecessors. IV at least tried.
I assume when people talk about H5 nowadays they refer to TotE, this is, H5 3.1 which was indeed decent unlike the vanilla release. Playing it safe was a requirement after the reception H4 got, and one of the very few innovations it implemented was actually great: the Duel mode for multiplayer.
Considering people are still working on huge mods such as H5.5 I'd say the game remains one of the most popular in the series in spite of the bland armies and the often hideous visuals, nowhere near being as forgotten as Might & Magic: Heroes VI or VII are (I still find the renaming hilarious).

Now H6, that's a sad story. I played through all of its bloated levels following the same sterile pattern including the expansion and DLC just because it looks gorgeous; it was very ambitious and introduced many new mechanics that turned into a complete mess because of a spectacular shitshow between Ubisoft and Black Hole.
I believe H6 could have been one of the finest entries, but it turned sooo wrong that it made people positively reassess H5 and this is a factor when considering why Nival's work might be a tad overestimated: just how bad everything that came afterwards is.
 

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