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Completed Let's become the Destroyer in Might and Magic VIII

Pope Amole II

Nerd Commando Game Studios
Mar 1, 2012
As I was saying in my VII LP, I was going to do a LP of eighth part - I'm doing it.

Once again, I'm gonna start with a relatively short foreword. Without any doubt, M&M VIII is a flawed game. It's not really awful because it was built on the strong foundation, laid in the two previous parts, and yet the Day of Destroyer was definitely rushed and thus shoddily done. To be truthful, same can be said about VII (because once you really look into it and compare, for example, dungeon sizes with VI, you'll see how much less effort went there), however, For Blood and Honor was lucky to introduce some some serious renovations to its role-playing system. And while not all of them were really that good (new resistance system made dark magic seriously overpowered; they went too harsh on distributing access to "grandmaster" level of skills, making ranger & druid useless and severely limiting usefulness of archer and paladin), at least they made pure melee and pure archery paths viable, thus greatly increasing replayability of the game (in theory, at least - according to my observations, people somehow prefer to go for the balanced party builds, even if they don't have much sense in the context of later M&Ms ruleset). And the problem of dungeons being small and generally unchallenging also remained, making replayability not as desirable.

But that's seven, we're already done with that. What's wrong with the eight is that it has failed to improve the formulae even further. It stagnated, making the same mistakes again and, in some places, even adding to their repertoire. I mean, dark magic is so retardedly powerful that it makes all other types of combat magic obsolete - how do we fix that? Oh, let's give it from the get-go! Oh, and light magic is also pretty strong - what do you propose we do with that? Sure, let's allow to have it together with the dark one! Brilliant game design, simply majestic. And it's not like the dungeons became much harder to compensate for it - on the contrary, they rather mellowed down. Just a quick example - through all stages of the game VI was full of monsters attacking you with different debilitating conditions, up to death and eradication. And there was no 100% way to protect your party members from those attacks - high resistances helped, but they weren't sureproof. VII also had similar monsters, but it introduced Protection from Magic spell, able to negate the threat fully (in my book that's pure decline). VIII still has the spell, but insta-gibbing monsters are much rarer and late-game areas are pretty much devoid of them. Talk about increasing the challenge accordingly, yeah.

To make the case even worse, designers upped the party size to five people but changed character creation rules - now you make just one character in the beginning and the rest you recruit over the course of the game, choosing from pregenerated characters. Obviously, the system was broken, allowing you to recruit characters way above your party level if you did things right. Which defangs the challenge even further. And let me recount the most infuriating (to me, personally) thing from M&M X designers' interview to the Codex:

If you want to go to that mountain over there despite the fact it’s notoriously full of angry Cyclopes, nothing will stop you.
We feel it’s one of the great pleasures in RPGs to become a demi-god and then return to those Cyclopes and teach them a lesson.

Bullshit. Oh, sure, it's fun. For, like, five minutes, as you slaughter first couple of cyclops basking in realization of how powerful you've become. Then you understand that there's still boatload of cyclops, that killing them requires no effort, poses no challenge and basically becomes a chore, meaning that the whole dungeon is kinda wasted for you. That's a huge flaw of all new (well, old new, and I’m not talking about old old ones since I haven’t played them in a while, my last playthrough of WoX was, like, when I was 14, I simply don’t remember them well) M&M games, to be honest - you just can't play them so all the game stages remain challenging. Well, you can if you fuck up your party composition, but then it becomes extremely tedious - it's just impossible to find balance here.

Another (and, this time, rather unobvious) problem with hireable high-level party members is that many of them actually make your late game harder. Well, longer - you can mow down the foes with any kind of party, it's just the matter of time you spend while doing so. Let's look at the infamous Cauri Blackthorne:


Sure, if you get her on level 15, she's total beast. But does that change the fact that she's horribly built (which is pretty much a tradition with pregenned chars)? Not really.

GM merchant is waste of points - money is overflowing in this game and you don't have any valid ways of spending it.
GM disarm is useless - just cast day of protecton and those traps barely scratch you. Even if they do, regeneration patches you up almost instantly. Even if, by some unknown reason, you want to disarm, just use plain expert + ability boost ring - that's enough.
Alchemy expert is unnecessary - you need just one char with alchemy, and he's gonna be able to at least master it.
Elemental magics are wasteful - you should have a necromancer to cast all the utility spells, and in terms of damage magic just can't catch up with either her bow (at the distance) or her double swords (in close combat).
Oh, wait, she has Master Dagger instead of Master Sword - really, why would you learn a stronger skill when there's a weaker one available?
DE abilities are redundant by the same reasons as with magic - darkfire bolt seems powerful, only it's not. Also, it costs too much – she starts with 180 mana, meaning a whopping number of six darkfire bolts. That’s big.
Finally, GM chain is optional - you can do almost as fine with master chain or even with expert leather. The way tanking in this game works, your party is as vulnerable as your weakest party member is, and since dark elves are tankier that clerics/wizards, she'll do well with just expert leather.

Basically, her skill points are spent on shit and it doesn't even matter that she has more SPs than the average character of her levels - just having Bow Skill at 20 would've been much more useful than all of her diverse shenanigans.

And see, because she's level 50 already she won't level as much over the course of the game, meaning that she won't develop as much, meaning that while she'll slice through the initial monsters, she'll struggle with the late game ones. Well, struggle is an unappropriate word because you can go through this game with almost any kind of party, but you'll go much slower and why would you waste your time?
So, if you want to smoothen up your game, avoid those high level characters, use just the basic lvl 5-15 ones. Or even say “fuck this shit” and, using edited save, create yourself a normal party – that’s a decent solution. And, since the game wasn’t really balanced for 5 man party, don’t use one (unless you go pure melee build) – you can easily complete it with either 4 or 3 party members. Heck, with certain classes, you can even singleton it. And that’s what we’re gonna do.

Hmm, my short foreword grew rather large, but if you actually got here, don’t worry – we’re almost there. Let me tell you a bit about power tiers of singleton playthroughs. Basically, there’s two of them, comfy and grindy.

At the bottom of the grindy tier lays the impotent minotaur. He’s a total gimp – he has the lowest melee damage output of all the melee classes, he uses the second worst weapon possible, he lacks alchemy & learning skills (and they’re truly important in singleton), he can’t wear boots & helmets (meaning lower AC and less buffs for you), and for all of that he can do what? Slowly heal himself back up with his pathetic expert body?

Next come the troll & the knight. They’re really close to each other so I’m not sure who is better. Troll deals significantly less damage than knight (in fact, he’s not that ahead from the minotaur), however, he has a chance of paralyzing his victim, meaning that once you’ll get your mace skill to at least 30, 1 on 1 duels will go real easy for you. Now, if only they were common in this game... You can always kite, though. Troll also has the highest HPs in the game and, thanks to his huge starting strength and endurance, first levels go relatively easy for him.

Knight has a much rougher start, but, in the mid to late game, he deals significantly more damage. His spear+sword combo can easily dish out 200 damage per hit. He’s also much more skill points efficient – with troll, you have to get his mace as high as it gets and, past skill level 20, that starts to become really expensive. With the knight, you can spread the love between armsmaster, spear and sword skills, meaning that you will gain more benefits for less efforts. Master plate (don’t GM it – GM armsmaster covers any recovery penalties that you’ll ever get) also helps.

Still, there’s a reason I called this tier grindy – 200 damage per hit is great, but when you encounter a 10k hp pack of enemies, it doesn’t mean much (especially since you’ll still miss and monsters will resist your hits). No area of effect spells means you can forget about wiping out high level areas – it’ll take eternity to do so and that’s if it will be possible at all. Also, you have no travelling spells, not even the most basic ones – no torchlight means you’ll be wading through the uncomfortably dark dungeons. No wizard eye will make you prone to ambushes on overworld maps, also it’ll make reagent collecting much harder. Finally, no fly & town portal & lloyd’s beacon will make you waste lots of time walking – that’s hours of real time we’re talking about.

I really don’t advise singletoning the game this way. Even if you do, please, savescum the shit out of the shops to make your life easier – save before entering them & then reload until you get those “fly” and “town portal” scrolls that you need so immensely.

However, I do want you to commend a certain poster here. Watch and sit in awe:


See what this bro did? He singletoned the fucking game with a fucking troll. Dude has balls of steel, basically. And did he got a single fucking brofist for it? Of course he fucking did not, because codex is in decline - it's more about yapping cheerfully to empty ubisoft promises & criticizing biowarian&bethesdian games (while playing then ten times over, obviously) nowadays than it's about recognizing quality oldschool games. Fuck yeah.

But I digress. Next comes the vampire - thanks to his daggers & spirit magic combo, his damage output can rival the knight's one once you get to really high levels, and vampire actually has sustainability. Master body & alchemy do wonders for his health & mana issues. Vampiric levitation also helps in a number of places and mistform has some interesting uses - you can use wands while in mistform and, if you get your alchemy to, like, 25-30 + get alchemy buffing rings, you can recharge those wands ad infinitum with via appropriate potions. I.e., you can spam shrapmetal (albeit low level) while being perfectly immune to physical damage - something to think about. Or maybe it's more about spirit lashing the enemies - judging by the bestiary table, few monsters are actually immune to spirit and it's an aoe spell which are extremely rare in this category.

Finally there's the cleric. Thanks to his hour of power, he's decent enough at close range (he won't outshine pure meleers, but he can stand for himself) and, unlike the rest of grindy tier, he actually has some ranged damage options. Especially in the outdoors - Sunray is obviously crappy, but it's as good as it gets for the grindy tier. Prismatic Light has the potential to be a decent AoE spell. Flying fist can also work fine - if my sources don't lie to me, immunities to body magic are not as common as they were in VII, so you can actually brofist the living shit out of your enemies if you want to. GM mind also has it uses, potentially, but it whiffs on most of elemental enemies and that's an actual problem. And you can summon decoy wisps to tank out for you (besides, there's five of them and they deal 20-80 light damage per shot - that's solid).

Cleric & Vampire would be good classes if only they had travel option... (no one prohibits you to use editor, though - just for those).

Next comes the comfy tier. Dragons are the lowest class here (accessible via editor only, obviously). Contrary to the public opinion, they're not that broken. Sure, thanks to their tanky hps and huge starting damage, they breeze through the early game, however, mid to late their damage starts to lag behind. Still, with dragon skills 60, master bodybuilding (for them it's 30 hp per point - groovy) and GM learning (meaning that you can actually max out those skills), you have little to worry about. Here's my recent dragon:



(build is screwed though - should've went for alchemy 30 instead of pumping body building that high; alchemy 30 is the only way to increase his damage output via boost speed options).

Dragons are fine, but stale and they lack options. Dark Elves are better in this department - they start frail and don't pack the punch in starting combats, however, their mid-to-late game damage is devastating and their overall gameplay is actually versatile, you don't just go & burn stuff as you do it with dragons. You have some tricks and you can switch between different bows to achieve different effects. And you have almost all of the travel spells, not the bare fly.

Finally, there are liches and they're awesome. I won't say more about them because, as you already can guess, that's my choice for this LP, however, they're the most fun class to singleton this game, in my opinion. It's not as challenging as with the other classes (but not effortless since even high-lvl liches can die easily), but it contains no boring parts and that's what matters the most to me.

Also, if you don't like any of the options presented, you can try a number of things:
- Play your lich without dark magic - elemental only. Makes him less broken, makes you use more tricks to actually complete the game.
- Play as an "archmage" - swap your necromancer's dark magic for the light one via editor (maybe even swap his appearance so he doesn't look oxymoronic). That's close to the previous variant, but gives you more options.
- Play as a druid - swap your dark magic for GM tiers of body, mind and spirit ones (if you need them).

KK, now we're done with Let's Read long texts about Might and Magic and can finally start our lp.

(as usual, let's start with a song to set up the mood - dagger wound isles were supposed to be somewhat native american so let's go with mayan industrial ambient)


Here's our hero - strong of mind and tenacious, but fugly, clumsy, weak and luckless. Temporary, of course.
As our bonus skills, we're taking elemental ones - they're the most expensive skills to buy so we'd rather have them for free.


Man, Pope had to spend his youth on heavy drugs to look like that in his twenties...

As you can see, we're absolutely unfit for physical combat (not that we're going anywhere near it) but begin with semi-decent hit points & mana pool. Well, considering we're taking 5x damage, those HPs are pretty much nothing, still, without high endurance it would've been even worse. At least we can stand against some random ranged attack.


And so it's just us, some lizardman dude & a caravan that's we're supposed to be protecting. Protecting a caravan full of goodies, huh?


Nah, I feel moar like looting. They're not paying us high enough for this crap.


Random lizardman dude gives us our first quest pointer.


Before that, we fix our luck through the local well (up to the mark of 17) - and not a single coin involved.


Then it's about taking some stupid crystal to some pesky sun-worshipper. Whatever.


I'd rather donate to their local temple - not out of sharing their pagan beliefs, but for the sake of convenience.


As in the VII, good reputation gives you discounts in the shops. Unlike the VII, authors didn't bother to attach reputation changes to quests so donations are the only way to gain citizen's favour.


Then we blitz through the first arcomage challenge - we had a hand with lots of damaging cards, thus dispatching our opponent quite easily.


Yeah, I always knew that stealing from your workplace pays off. I mean, what's the point of actually working if not for that?


We collect local quests - we're sorta indifferent to the plights of local population, still, those XPs have to come outta somewhere.


And we have a quick chat with the aforementioned cleric.


Too bad he doesn't have a motorcycle.


Now it's asta la vista time, baby.


Time to spend our illicit moneys. First comes merchant - makes all the other skills cheaper. I'm not going to train it further, though - no point. Five man party has no ways of spending its gold, more so the one-man team.



Next is bow - with our mighy 40 mana we're won't be spellslinging for long.


Learning - we need those fast levels. It's not working on quest XPs so we won't gain lots from it at the moment, but something is still better than nothing.


Finally, leather to give our frail body at least a modicum of protection. Not that we got weak - it's not from all the shopping, it's from our temple "hour of power" blessing (they reward for donations that way) running out.


OK, we can recover while we're training to level 2.


Let's start with the air magic so we don't have to recast wizard's eye as often.


Ahead of us, brave lizardmen warriors throw their young lives away to protect their settlement from human invaders, but why would we care for that? We're in for the personal gains so let's skip it.


We still can't avoid pirate encounters though.


But we're not struggling in vain - it's all for the chests they're guarding.


We have to kite them real long - our accuracy sucks, and one bow doesn't deal nearly enough damage. But as they lack ranged attacks, we have all the time in the world for the hit&run tactics.


Ah, the sweet, blood-soaked loot!


Amongst the trash, we find ourselves a decent club - as in VII, clubs have ridiculously low recovery time (due to designer mistake) so, if you have high strength, they make for an excellent early game weapon. Not that we're heading into the close range - it's more for the intimidation purposes.


Then it's sniping more hapless victims...


And getting more loot.


We also find some barrels on these isles, but we don't peruse them - let us first visit all of those "pump your stat up to 17" wells before that. We're doing it less for the actual combat benefits (after a short starting period, we'll barely notice the stat influence) and more for the stat challenges - winning those "get your stat to 200" can be tricky in singleton.


Visiting all of the huts, we stop the local disease epidemic. An unfortunate occurrence, but I promise you, we'll correct our mistake later.


And then it's the deserted temple time!

Or not. Going to some dark place choke full of snakes and traps and who knows what - am I what, daft?


I'd rather swipe more loot from under the pirate noses.


Shooting those noses away is also a nice plan, btw.


More futile gratitudes from random people, if you can call those things so. They're not even bloody furries - how do you call them, scalies?


At least it brings us closer to ultimate power.


Expert air magic is nice - now our minimap shows loot on the ground so scavenging for alchemical reagents becomes much easier.



We also invest in personal protection.


As we ran out of easy quests to accomplish, we go out to slaughter some more pirates (to the immense joy of locals - little they know...) There's no shortcoming of them and, in singleton runs, XPs for them is actually decent enough if you have time to spare.


And they shall bow, oh they will.


This grinding was kinda pointless, however, as we had another xp earning option. Easily scrounging enough reagents to make +50 speed potion, we're given more than enough experience - those quests provide excellent payoff in singleton runs.


Unfortunately, local trainers are absolutely clueless. Level cap 5, what the hell?


We improve our armour wearing skills, actually removing that pesky recovery time penalty. Being 10% slower is no fun.

Now it's time to get out of this rathole, but how? I surely don't want to go through the temple - I'm not surviving that shit.


Hm, those docks are not that far, however. And Pope was quite a swimmer in his youth, so...



Actually, it was not - I almost screwed up here. The basis is simple - you run across the water, drinking as much red potions as you can. The problem is, drowning damage is percentage based, meaning the more HPs you have, the less effective those potions become. And we've almost came to the limit - only buying some gog blood from the local shop gave us red potion strong enough to carry us through. You should do this run at level 1.


Once there, we activate the teleporter so we don't have to suffer again.


Returning to village, we loot our caravan even further.


And of we go, away from this lousy backwater!

That's it for part 1 - kinda short, but I'm sorta tired from typing the foreword. Part 2 will come soon.


Nov 3, 2004
Copenhagen, Denmark
Codex 2012
Well. This certainly makes me reconsider doing my own LP of this game. Though it could be interesting for comparison purposes, as I do not powerbuild anyway near the amount you do. ;)

Pope Amole II

Nerd Commando Game Studios
Mar 1, 2012
Well. This certainly makes me reconsider doing my own LP of this game. Though it could be interesting for comparison purposes, as I do not powerbuild anyway near the amount you do. ;)

Our LPs are going to be totally different so I don't think mine is such a big issue.

You can always do IX, though.

OK, as I've said, part 2 will come soon and boy, it's gonna be real exciting!

(you'll see why it's goldrush)


Ravenshore greeted us with the sight of sweet, sweet barrels. Unfortunately, it's still too soon to peruse them.


First come first, we're giving the quest letter to the merchant guild dude. Obviously, instead of leaving us alone he gives us another task we couldn't really care about. Bastard wants us to find our death in some stupid rat cave - hell no.


Instead, let's use our wizard eye to scout the city for all sorts of hidden goodies - from ore that we'll trade for items (mostly for sale)...


To horseshoes that, in some mysterious ways, give us extra skillpoints. Horseshoes are awesome.


We also win a game of arcomage in one of the local taverns - our opponent was sorta flooded with resource giving cards so we just outran him.


Selling our illicit fruit...


We become 3k richer and then go totally hobo style, getting real deep into local trash piles. What won't you do for the sake of money...

Doing so makes us diseased, but it's nothing modern medicine can't cure.


Then we win an arcomage game in the second local tavern, and in a totally cheeky way. It's cool that they've expanded card pool in VIII, but Shift card should've been called Batshit - it's so-o-o broken... Here we're talking about 110 points "life" swing - dafuq...


Obviously, ai is impotent against such attack, so in a couple of moves we devastate him.


We spend our winnings on a regeneration ring - they won't cure our sickness (yeah, we're lazy with getting into the temple), but they're a great help in early stages of the game. 12 HP per game hour is a lot, especially since it gives us an opportunity to restore our health in dangerous zones without actually risking to get a random encounter.


Then it's training time. Just one level, though.


Oh, and we learn the only skill we couldn't have learned on the islands - meditation. Considering how mana starved we are (well, are going to be), every tiny bit helps.


Shadowspire time. Theoretically, we should feel at home here, practically - meh, this place is full with competitors to our world domination quest so we're not feeling exactly cheerful.


We better thwart their ambitions by stripping away all their resources, for resources are the key to world domination.


There's also another weird guy here, willing to give us majestic black potion of intellect in exchange for, basically, some shit we've found lying on the road. Maybe this retard should drink more of his potions.


And we deprive local tavern of excessive finances via calculated gambling - unfortunately, we got so carried away that we forgot to capture our victory in arcomage. Well, at least the tavern itself is pretty.


We're not staying in shadowspire for long - next stop is ironsand desert. Boy, this place sure looks developed.


At least we're on a quick business trip - just to quaff another black potion, this time of luck.


But it's not luck that brings us victory in local tavern - it's pure skill, obviously. Well, it's another one of "opp plays resource cards, we just build our tower" situation.


Apart from that, there's nothing for us to do in the ironsands, so off to Alvar. Man, it sure is a dangerous neighborhood - I'm really wanting to crack some inappropriate & potentially racist ghetto jokes here, but no, as a fledgling game developer it is my duty to uphold public face and highest moral standards possible, while also fighting for the feminism, multiculturalism, LGBT-rights and against miscenegation because, after all, that's what real game design is about. And game play - who needs that shit?


First thing we do - we tap into well of power, situated here. That's a fancy way of saying we've gained +8 to might characteristic.


This arcomage duel was easy - opp got screwed on resources, so, despite getting quite close to the victory, he lacked the gems to actually achieve it (I guess).


Water magic is incredibly important, so it's about time that we've learned it from alvarian elemental guild.


In magical shop we stumble on the mana regen ring - they're as useful as health regen ring, actually, that whole "regen in the dangerous places" plan doesn't quite work unless you have both. Nifty goodie.


Ah, trash heaps - how can we restrain ourselves from compulsively looting them?


She's totally lying to us - that's a potion of pure endurance, not luck. Trying to fool us, huh? We'll remember that, oh we will...


Running errands for jadamian drug dealers has its benefits - we've gained enough experience for three more levels.


Time to invest those points - we prioritize water magic skill (traveling irregardless to stable graphics is tech) and learning(for our faster development).


Here's how Pope looks at his level 9.


Now, as we're soon to master water magic, we'd better stock on important spells. Unfortunately, no town portal this time - kk, just enchant item will do (though it's not as useful for us, chances of getting actually useful enchantment are slim, to say the least).


Then, running past some not very friendly ogres....


We head into murmurwoods, only to be greeted by some wisp fire. You can't see them, but they're there, just like Charlies, deep in the jungle, squatting in the bushes, getting stronger with every minute...


It's about time we've done something about ugly mug of ours (nothing changed, however - don't worry, we have the best kind of plastic surgery incoming...)


Another case of getting deeply engrossed into the game. Enjoy the pretty tavern, duh.


We learn how to truly learn because knowledge is power, you know.


Well didn't helped, but maybe black potion will finally make us pretty? Fat chance.


You can find some horseshoes here, laying on the ground in forest depth, however, we can't go too far or vietkongs will get us.


That's not true for the south-western part of the murmurwoods, however - there's a good spot here, devoid of hostiles and full of ores & alchemical ingredients.


We march to garrote gorge by foots.


Hey, a pretty red flower - I'd better pick that up, maybe the local potion brewer will pay me, like, one gold for ten of them. Hope there's no faeries around, though, I'm not in the mood for dancing...


Dragon cave - sure, that's the right place to explore at level 9.


These boys are sure mellow. I'd just fried anything that got into my cavern if I was a dragon.


At least they pay us for the pretty flower.


Out of cavern and down into the dragonhunter settlement. Doesn't look to shabby, considering it's under a constant threat of air raid.


That well made us, like, totally fireproof (not really; and it was a mistake to drink from it - we should've waited until our class promotion as it replaces our resistances so we're actually losing the bonus).


Actually, we've found two pretty flowers and we're cashing on both - let them kill each other already, what do I care.


Ah, suddenly, I feel like my hands are less shaky and my vision doesn't blur that much - I guess that's where the locals go to cure their hangovers.


If only there was a little pony to accompany those horseshoes... (a little pony to slaughter, obviously)


We're winning another arcomage game, without much challenge, unfortunately.

Man, we're getting richer and richer, so here's a song to that:

(big guns are definitely the best way of spending big money)


2 more levels are gained.


Down from garrotte gorge, we walk to ravage roaming. Man, what a wasteland it is. "A" wasteland, not "the" wasteland - no encounters with Fargo here, unfortunately.


Once again, we're on a quick business trip - it's just a matter of getting the black potion (mmm, accuracy, iirc? well, nothing important, anyways, we're more into it for the xps)


And winning in arcomage. Yeah, I sure am mighty at taking those screenshots.


Back into ravenshore via nice boat. Another ring of regen in the shop - can't have too much of regen items at this point.



We've distributed our skills, now let's actually get the benefits from it.



Then it's Alwar (we're really mobile, yeah) - we find an extremely important town portal book and temporarily useful water walk book.


We use it to get past the ogres easily (while looting their precious chest under the bridge).



This way we can wind in the second alvarian tavern, this time it's an economical victory.


And in the neighbouring building we transform our ore into mostly crappy armour. We do get a semi-decent caravaner's leather for ourselves, though.


Shadowspire - we loot the chests we hadn't looted before (they're trapped and our health wasn't high enough to open them all).


And master the dark arts - hell yeah.


Then it is ironsands and mastery of water magic, finally.


Town portal spell makes town hopping much more comfortable.



We ftl-jump to the Dagger Wound Isles immediately and water walk to the two Buoys with capital "B". If you click them they give you 5 and 2 skill points respectively - nice deal, if you ask me.


Then we decide to get some monetary benefits our of our travel capabilities, just for the kicks. First we invest heavily into tobersk fruit here on the isles...


Jump into ravenshore - sell the fruit - buy some fruit pulp.


Jump to alvar - sell the pulp - buy the brandy.


Return to isles, cash in the brandy. All in all, about 5k profits in barely any time. Yeah, costless teleportation does wonders to your economy.


And in the local low-tier elemental guild, we're getting ourselves a poison spell - actually, one of the best spells in the game. It's not that damaging, but it has one of the best damage-to-cost ratios and that's what truly matters when you're up to grinding hordes of small monsters.


Armed with such powerful spell, we feel that it's time to finally explore that abandoned temple...

And that's it for this most certainly action-packed update. Yeah, I totally lied about it being exciting and no hot bow action for mr. eklektyk. Eh, it'll get better.


phase-based phantasmist
Mar 14, 2011
I wonder why didn't they use the HoMM method of having Town Portal belong to Earth Magic... As it is, Water Magic is pretty much always the first elemental school to learn. Not that I care much about balance (as if these games have any), it just seems so... obvious.


Perfidious Pole
Feb 17, 2011
A Dark Place
Playing as a Lich, eh? I shall be watching. Cataloguing. Judging.


Perfidious Pole
Feb 17, 2011
A Dark Place
Just a friendly bump to the next page.


dog that is hovering, Wastelands Interactive
Jul 8, 2010
Jordan, Minnesota
Project: Eternity
I wonder why didn't they use the HoMM method of having Town Portal belong to Earth Magic... As it is, Water Magic is pretty much always the first elemental school to learn. Not that I care much about balance (as if these games have any), it just seems so... obvious.
I dunno; from what I remember, apart from TPortal and Lloyd's Beacon, the school is kinda useless.


Perfidious Pole
Feb 17, 2011
A Dark Place
I wonder why didn't they use the HoMM method of having Town Portal belong to Earth Magic... As it is, Water Magic is pretty much always the first elemental school to learn. Not that I care much about balance (as if these games have any), it just seems so... obvious.
I dunno; from what I remember, apart from TPortal and Lloyd's Beacon, the school is kinda useless.

Well, there's also Enchant Item, which is pretty nice. AND the good Pope has pointed out how Poison Spray is pretty cost-efficient. Earth, on the other hand, has what? The extremely circumstancial Stone to Flesh, Shrapmetal's very distant cousin - Blades, Mass Distortion which is very cool on paper, but seldom works as advertised, etc. Deadly Swarm is the sole Earth spell I find useful. That, and Telekinesis.

Pope Amole II

Nerd Commando Game Studios
Mar 1, 2012
I wonder why didn't they use the HoMM method of having Town Portal belong to Earth Magic... As it is, Water Magic is pretty much always the first elemental school to learn. Not that I care much about balance (as if these games have any), it just seems so... obvious.

I guess I'd argue that air magic is the most prioritized school to master - fly spell saves lots of your time (more than town portal) and allows to wipe overworld maps effortlessly. It's just that there's an artificial speed bump on that in VIII for elemental casters, while there are also dragons who can learn the spell almost from the start, so air's importance is mitigated.

And, tbh, even if town portal was a skill of its own, it still'd be prioritized highly - the spell is too comfortable to ignore.

Playing as a Lich, eh? I shall be watching. Cataloguing. Judging.

Yeah, considering that you've spent, like, a year here with HoMM3 lich avatar I understand your interest. Though, I too love HoMM3/M&M7 liches - those games, first played in my youth, really made me love the concept. They haven't invented it, obviously, but their visual interpretation of it was just perfect. Too bad that liches, as characters, are generally horribly written (not in M&M, but pretty much everywhere), makes me want to write a novel with lich protagonist.

I dunno; from what I remember, apart from TPortal and Lloyd's Beacon, the school is kinda useless.

Even if it was so, TP + LB save tons of your time & make your party nigh immortal, so even that would've been enough.

KK, now for the part 3 and, unlike the previous two, it will have a real good body count.

(as we're back to the dagger wound isles, time for more kinda indian motives)


Entering temple, we're given an immediate opportunity to test our freshly gained poison spray spell - works like magic. Probably because it is magic.

As I've said, it's damn efficient. At lvl 7, we're dealing 5 shots, 2+7x1d2=12.5 damage each, all for 2 mana. If we're shooting them from the point blank range so all of the bolts hit one target (and that's how it should be done - multiple projectile spells are like shotguns of M&M, the closer you are, the better they hit), it's 60+ damage for some ugly berk. That's enough for these snakemen, for example.

It was even better in M&M VII, where you could've gained effective skill level 14 at level 15 or so. Poison spray could've carried you through the whole game, up to melting assassin droids at effective skill level 50 or so.


And, unlike sparks (that deal more damage in early to mid game), spray can be used at range.


Dispatching a room of couatls easily, we suffer to grab our prize from the hidden chest. As you can see, despite our great damage dealing capabilities, our health gets depleted fast.


Another room full of spray fodder. We're not fighting them face to face, though - we kite them a bit.


Otherwise, we would've been dead, not in the reds. And here you can see us disabling a simple trap - push buttons before the floor disappears and you fall onto spikes. Cute, but nothing dangerous.


Going further into the temple, we stumble upon a chest with another quest item. Good for us.


We rest for a bit (just passing time, not actually resting as enemies are close - that's the point of regen rings) and then jump down to a semi-hidden room, full of couatles. Here spray's ability to hit 2-3-4 enemies at once really helps us - after all, the enemy is numerous, but frail. We get poisoned in the process, but that's not a big deal.


Returning to the room above, we do some jumping to loot 4 chests, situated in the corners of that room (basically, it's a room with a twisted invisible bridge in the middle, and the rest of the floor here is false - stepping on it makes you fall down to couatles; 4 chests in the corners are true, though, it's just that you have to jump to open them).


Finally, we're close to the exit (which should've been the entrance if we'd played in a normal fashion). Snakes here are pretty spread out (if you enter in our manner) so we kill them group by group, without encountering much resistance. Divide and conquer, heh.


We complete quests and train up.


We also begin to enchant our items thanks to the water mastery - we're not too keen on that, though, because we can't create anything truly useful for ourselves.


And we increase our dark arts repertoire - the spell we wished for was not there, unfortunately, but shrapmetal will become our mainstay spell in a while so we're not against having it.


We're not done with the temple, though - a large section of it remained unexplored.


Lots and lots of rooms, filled with serpentmen. They poison us one again, but that's the best they can do before we melt them. That's because we encounter them in relatively small numbers.


It's only near the end of this seciton that we encounter a truly huge mob, but we ran back across the corner and these stupid snakes can invent nothing better than coming after us in one after another, in chain. Dead meat.


And so another quest item is ours, and this time it's a quest with a decent payoff.


Training some more, we can finally master our learning skill - you can't progress too fast in a singleton game.


We also find that a spell of ultimate power has appeared in the guild of dark magic assortment.


That's how you commit genocide in M&M world - first, find a temple.


Second, send all of the map's denizen to their flying deaths (or, at the very least, heavy injuries).


Third, heal all of the damage you've sustained yourself in the local temple - jadamian religions are true religions of peace, and their gods are, like, totally forgiving so, despite you just butchering most of their parish, they still will heal you. Maybe they just like money.


Rinse and repeat until streets are full of corpses.


4 levels in less than 5 minutes - I guess that's why Jesus will cast Armageddon in HIs second coming, He simply likes to gain levels efficiently. So should you.


And it's not just the cities - all of the enemies on the map are dead. it's a low-level map, obviously - higher difficulty areas will have some stragglers remaining, lots of them, actually.


These centaurs would've been bitches to kill in any sort of direct confrontation - they drop fast, but they deals tons of ranged damage (and shield spell doesn't help against that since, IIRC, even in VIII it's still bugged and doubles incoming damage instead of halving it).


Also, the road to the local obelisk is clear. VIII's reward is better than VII's, but still miles away from VI, unfortunately.


You, bastard, come with us for a little trip. Don't ask why, just come.


We need you to repair a tree.


This tree. Yeah, repair it. Don't think, just do it.


Good, now get lost.

(tbh, I'm not sure if it breaks singleton rules or not; let me explain - this Tree is actually a chest with random artifact/relic, but it requires repair 3 to open and necromancer just can't take repair skill; therefore, we needed a cleric to open it for us - at the time, I thought it was a clever solution, but now I wonder whether it really stretches the self-imposed singleton rules or not; well, whatever - it's not like we're playing 100% hardcore here)


We finish our exploration of this are by visiting this contest, winning the challenge and gaining some precious skill points.


Coupled with training, they allow us to propel our learning skill up to 10 - can't GM it yet, but those +3 ranks are still 9% of bonus xps.


Then it's alwarian time to suffer and die.


Keep 'em coming, baby.


Climbing on side of local mountain...


We use a jump spell to get ourselves on the wall of ogre fortress.


It contains another secret chest with another artifact in it.


We also enter inside the fortress. Our business here is short, however - we see the target almost immediately.


We turn it to shreds with one precise shrapmetal spell.


We ran away immediately, before we're swarmed & killed.


Mission accomplished, time to collect our blood money.


Oh, and it's time to review artifacts we've found. Unfortunately, they're both useless for us.

Longseeker is an awesome bow for a dark elf - in my LP VII you can already see what swift bow does in skilled archer's hands, and this swift bow has big damage, accuracy bonus and it's even swifter thanks to the skill bonus. The bonus is bugged, however - as in VII, it adds to attack & recovery time, but no to the damage. Duh. Still, it's an awesome bow for a dark elf (though it's more for the party build - in singleton there are better options). We're gonna use it, however, because... Well, why not? Who knows when we'll ran out of mana.


The gloves are awesome too, but they're also for archers (and warriors, but archers benefit more from them). +8 to bow skill is huge, even if it doesn't give bonus damage (and if it gave, oh if it gave...). +8 to armsmaster is also not bad, mostly because it stacks with other armsmaster bonuses - meaning that some +17 item and fleetfingers can give you a total of +25 skill, for knights, that's +50 damage per hit.

Useless for us, however.


This amulet, on the other hand, is helpful - alchemy cuts the time spent on running back to the temples, so we're absolutely gonna use it. It's not the biggest bonus ever (the maximum is +25), but it'll work for now.


Back into murmurwoods. We earn xps by completing clerical promotion quests...


Then do our little trick once again.


As there's no temple available here, we have to rely on red potions to survive through all of our 3 armageddon casts.


We have barely enough mana for that, btw. Still, we manage.


Those clerics are filthy rich, btw - 1.5k per corpse, you don't gain as much from the whopping dragons. Not sure if it's a social commentary or just a bug.


Just ten levels from a short visit to murmurwoods, nothing to see here, move along.


Back into shadowspire - we've stumbled across invisibility scroll in the shop and bought it immediately. Those early fly & invisibility scrolls can be really useful, it's a good idea to grab them when possible. (well, this one turned out to be useless, but that hardly matters).


We train for a level or two, then spread the love further.


Shadowspire is not that easy to wipe out, though.


Need a bigger dark magic skill for that.

Also note how we have learning 14 - why have a 59% bonus to xps when you can have 79%? Going further is probably pointless, but 14 is a good number to have.


Also note that we don't train all of our levels at once - we train in 4 level periods so we can check on a new assortments in shops (finding a great ring of plenty this way - it's cool to have both of those effects in one ring) and visit the bounty hunting guilds to see if they offer appropriate targets.


OK, since we really want to master air magic at this point, we have to go along main quest line - let's make some ratburgers for ourselves.


Mmm, yeah, let's totally do it.

Unfortunately, the ease of overworld massacres doesn't makes us all that capable in dungeoneering. Not yet, at least.


We're not heading straight for the temple, though - we exploit the inability of monsters to use dungeon exits. Enter the dungeon in combat mode- cast a couple of sprays - escape. Since monsters return to their original positions once you exit the dungeon, that allows you to keep them at bay constantly. I like my tactics cheap.


Can't snuff the whole cave that way, so I heal and return in full force, spraying those rats as hard as I can.


One great thing about smugglers' den is that it has lots of barrels, giving us decent stat boosts.


Our health drops fast (because some of those filthy rat-bastards cast poison sprays of their own)...


Yet we manage to clean out one wing of this dungeon.

Then it's "rest & open the chest" time.


And those chests are full of food so our provision reserves even increase from this ordeal.


Right before the leader's room we encounter the highest level ratman - we kill him fast with a toxic cloud spell so he won't spam us with poison spray. It's our prerogative, after all.


Then it's an effortless carnage, though we do run out of mana. Well, we can rest right here.


Ratmen leader can wait, btw - we're not finished plundering his business yet.


These transformed rats are extremely annoying, btw, since most spells miss them at close range because of their small size.


And we can't afford to tolerate them at close range since we drop down immediately. Well, it's nothing a good kiting won't solve.


Exterminating the last of the rats, we joyfully dive through their illicit goods. Here's the quest potion that we need...


And here's just some gold that we won't mind redirecting into our pockets.



Then we waste our precious seconds on stupid boss-talk.


Now that we have tolerable damage dealing capabilities, we must work on our mana pool - we'll need to use dark magic spells soon and they burn through it.


Here's how we look at level 34.


More boring boss-talk. Damn, and now we must drag our asses to ironsand desert - at least we haven't nuked it yet so it's quite ripe for that.


Won't mind buying ice blast before that. All in all, it's an overcosted and not really efficient spell, but we'll need it against one kind of enemy later.


We also decide to take another quick assassination job, and once more it's an ogre fortress rumble.


Unlike the previous one, however, we have to slaughter through half of the fortress before we find our mark. Not in one go, obviously - we don't have nearly enough mana or health for that. Was forced to make some dull temple runs.


And the bugger doesn't go down quietly - he dies, but before that he breaks our artifact bow!


That means we actually lose money on the job (not that we're doing it for money, but it's annoying nevertheless)


Getting a dragon's breath book cheers us up, though. It's freaking expensive in terms of mana, but it's the most damaging ranged spell in the game, not to mention it deals AoE damage, killing packs of enemies in one potent blast.


Since we're in alvar anyways, let's begin our alchemy training.


Ironsands. Obviously, the witness that we need won't just come with us quietly - oh no, surely he has some crap we need to do for him. Whatever.


The path to the quest tomb is guarded by some gogs. And they burn.


They burn in hell.


Along with local troll population.


At least they haven't lost their lives in vain - we gained 3 levels from them. They must be glad, actually, that their meaningless existences could've amounted to something in the end.


They should've taken some lessons from cyclops - only the lowest tier of those drops, and the higher ones remain. Temporary.


Our mana ends in the middle of battle, so we finally fieldtest our Longseeker. Even in the hands of skilless lich, it still packs enough punch to finish 3 moderately wounded cyclops. Thankfully, we're not in Erathia so they throw no boulders at us.


We hadn't come to this camp just to fight them - kinda early for that. No, we came here to rock hard.


Another hidden chest, another treasure. Now, this one always make you trembling - there's two unique armours looking like that in the game, one of them is decent, another is pure trash. Which one it is? Let's cross our fingers...


Hurray, it's the good one!

On this cheerful note, let's end part 3.


Perfidious Pole
Feb 17, 2011
A Dark Place
I too love HoMM3/M&M7 liches - those games, first played in my youth, really made me love the concept. They haven't invented it, obviously, but their visual interpretation of it was just perfect.

It was indeed! Codified my idea of how Liches should look like for good.

Too bad that liches, as characters, are generally horribly written (not in M&M, but pretty much everywhere)

Give the Black Library's series about Nagash a shot. It's not stellar (and substantially rapes the previously established Warhammer lore), but the books aren't *that* bad either.

makes me want to write a novel with lich protagonist

Would read :salute:


Nov 3, 2004
Copenhagen, Denmark
Codex 2012
I have a simple technical question here. What OS do you run the game in? Because on my Win7 computer, I get an annoying white flicker every about 20 seconds. D'you know if there's a fix for that?

Pope Amole II

Nerd Commando Game Studios
Mar 1, 2012
I have a simple technical question here. What OS do you run the game in? Because on my Win7 computer, I get an annoying white flicker every about 20 seconds. D'you know if there's a fix for that?

Sorry, I don't - I'm stuck with a relatively weak notebook atm so I'm still using WinXP.


Cuckmaster General
May 25, 2012
Thank you good sir. Glad to be of service.


Perfidious Pole
Feb 17, 2011
A Dark Place
You are most gracious. Your help is greatly appreciated :obviously:


Cuckmaster General
May 25, 2012
This thread obviously needs more help.


Nov 3, 2004
Copenhagen, Denmark
Codex 2012

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