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Let's Read Let's play Might and Magic 2 - Gates to Another World (1988) - Dos version!

Discussion in 'Codex Playground' started by azimovhaas8 (Moth), Jul 27, 2020.

  1. azimovhaas8 (Moth) Learned

    azimovhaas8 (Moth)
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2020
    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    Eastern Siberia, Krasnoyarsk
    [​IMG]

    ^^ Beautiful world map that been used as box cover art in DOS version

    [
    Completed by now. I will provide links to parts of Let's Read, so it is easier to find everything in whole mess]

    ~~[
    Table of Contents]~~

    Part 1 - Start of Adventure!
    Part 2 - Early part of game and first death
    Part 3 - First travel into Atlantium and level up's!
    Part 4 - More clues, more travelling in wilderness
    Part 5 - Meeting with Guardian Pegasus!
    Part 6 - First Castle and one important task
    Part 7 - Middle point in the run and Bishop of Green Battle!
    Part 8 - First wyverns being slayed and some exploration
    Part 9 - Preparations for end-game and Arena slaughter!
    Part 10 - Best weapons and armor retrieved from Dragon's Dominion!
    Part 11 - Killing Cuisinarts and getting best spells in the game
    Part 12 - Main Quest fast progression
    Part 13 - Killing Elemental Lords and Ending a Might & Magic 2


    Introduction:
    Hello there! Now i decided to play throught Might and Magic 2, a game that holds special place in whole series and in my own mind by different reasons: it is probably hardest game in whole series - as well as one that have tons of different ways to abuse and cheeze game from medium part of game lenght. It is also last game with "hidden" encounters based combat (later games will go for enemies being visible in game areas). It is a game with huge amount of monsters in single encounter as well.
    Spell system (or to better say: system of acquiring spells during game) is hardest from "classical" part of series as well - some spells you will get just by leveling, some you will need to buy, and others will be lying around the world waiting for brave suicide squad party of adventurers to get precious spells!

    Most defining principles of whole series (such as Jon Van Caneghem more comical approach to world with good deal of humour; skills - first game does not had any skills; Arena area(s) - classical games had multiple arenas, while modern M&M games have only one arena for whole game - first game does not had well-defined arenas and i will honor M&M 2 instead; difference between training centers (M&M 2 had difference in amount of HP given - later games reliant on level caps) are defined, codified and first created in M&M 2.
    Most iconic spells (such as Lloyd Beacon that basically given to party by creator of said spell by himself) are also come from enlarged spell list.

    It is still very charming experience - due to huge and well-defined world, due to interesting encounters and secrets, and due to puzzles and side-quests as well as truly open world!
    Basically, i want to revisit Might and Magic 2 (played game a year and half-ago) and make sort of personal verdict for game directed from my own recorded & written experience - and allow other people to explore this adventure as well without need for them to endure some less interesting & exhausting parts of game.

    [​IMG]


    ~Going to play GOG version of M&M 2 with DOSBox (as it is a DOS version). Other ports (Genesis, Super Nintendo, Super Famicom, some weird Japanese console ports with almost 0 information about them now) have their own strong points (Super Nintendo looks slightly better and have better music - while Super Famicom is better technologically and is just different experience), but i will roll with DOS version, because this is one i experienced with and have most comfort.
    ~Saving is possible only in special zones (Hotels) that are located in cities - and probability to die is pretty high, so i will skip or make interesting some "grind" or deaths right after hotel.
    --So... Time to create and see adventurers in flesh!

    Party creation:

    ~Party going to consist of 6 characters with names taken from SMAC (Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri):
    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]

    1) Colonel Santiago (C.Santiago in game) - Knight [muscular, hard hitting half-orc woman destined to wield best melee weapon in game and wear best armor on top of this].

    Half-Orcs get + 1 to Might and Endurance, but - 1 to Intellect, Personality (mage / cleric stats) and to Luck as well. Resistance to sleep as bonus*
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]

    2) Sister Miriam (Sis.Miriam in game) - Paladin [determined and charismatic, kind crusader of human origin in name of one of CRONian Gods! Going to get some clerical magic later on - from level 7 onwards].

    Humans get no bonuses, just as no drawbacks. Resistance to fear and to sleep as big bonuses*
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]

    3) Pravin Lal (Pravin Lal in game - privilige of short name, hehe) - Archer [long range fighter with pointy ears, able to fight with trusty bow at any position in combat. Going to educate himself in mystical ways from level 7 onwards].

    Elves get + 1 to Intellect and Accuracy-, but suffer from -1 penalties to might and endurance. Resistance to fear as bonus*
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]

    4) Nwabudike Morgan (CEO Morgan in game - privilege of being CEO, i guess) - Robber [hardy and short bastard, rich man even before joining a party - he destined to open locks and diarm traps throught a whole game. With time he can backstab suspectable enemies].

    Gnomes get + 2 to Luck, but suffer from -1 speed and -1 accuracy. Resistance to magic as big as hell bonus*
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]

    5) Chairman Sheng-Ji Yang (Chair.Yang in game) - Cleric [strange eastern priest worshipping God of Balance, but still doubling as party unofficial leader due to prodigious charisma! Prime clerical magic user in party].

    Dwarfs get + 1 to endurance and + 1 to luck, but suffer from lower (-1) intellect and speed. Resistance to poison as good bonus*
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]

    6) Prokhor Zakharov (P.Zakharov in game) - Sorcerer [seeker of Twisted Arcane paths and knowledge, destined for great powers *later on*. Prime arcane magic user in party].

    Party in general can be considered as balanced one due to: 2 "warrior" types in first line who will deal the most damage early on (one pure warrior and one warrior-cleric hybrid - first character [knight] will always going to be engaged with enemies in melee), 2 "support" types in second line mostly with ranged weapons (one warrior-sorcerer hybrid and one pure rogue; rogue is the least useful character in combat - but he will provide utility outside of combat), 2 "casters" in back-line (spell-casters with only cleric who occassionally will fight with his melee weapon; both casters will have ranged weapons at their disposal).

    Game have two more classes (barbarian and ninja) and here are reasons (subjective ones ofc) why i been not using them:
    1) Barbarian is "warrior" class who have no access to magic. Points going for barbarian? More HP in total. Points going against barbarian? Less equipment in total that he or she can equip over course of the game - and much worse armor avaliable(scale mail and light armor). Armor restrictions is really actually only big point against barbarian - armor means a lot in this game and the better AC = better armor without drawbacks (character is just as fast and accurate in Plate Armor as he or she is in Robes), and best weapons in game also equippable for barbarian.

    2) Here goes a ninja... Oh, man - such a weird class! It is a hybrid between rogue (robber) and warrior with improved backstab (can potentially kill target in one hit) and deals slightly more damage in total. Cons? Ninja's signature rogue skill (thievery) is seriously lacking compared to robber, so only special items, extremly high luck and new levels can help this shady types in opening a damn thing at all.
    + Ninja promotion mission is damn hard for single character.
    I will pass on both.

    Aligment and sex are mostly... irrelevant, even if some items require specific aligment - and sex (ahem, no intimacy, sadly or thankfully) is actually relevant in special locations.
    Both can be changed during playthrought [usually] in castles scattered all across the world (they can be seen on CRON map).

    Will go on gems, gold and other important matters in later posts. To be continued*

    In next post i promise to: ~

    ~...to actually start playing a game : ] Party will start itself in first in-game city - Middlegate - in local hotel visited by strange spirit... Promising many adventures for me to come - and just as many dangers! (i will provide details for it)
    ~...to enter combat and defeat my first enemy while talking a bit about it!
    ~...to equip my party with better equipment!
    ~...to learn and remember more about first city and explore game world around Middlegate a bit!
    ~...to die for first time - and probably many more times!
    ~...to talk a bit more about some mechanics that define RPG framework of this game!
    (and many more usual tasks to do)

    P.S. If anybody have any suggestions / special locations or special encounters to see later on in game / something that you do not want to see later on - feedback is welcome and appreciated!

    Enjoy 0/
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
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  2. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
    Joined:
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    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Codex 2012
    Will follow. :bro:
     
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  3. azimovhaas8 (Moth) Learned

    azimovhaas8 (Moth)
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2020
    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    Eastern Siberia, Krasnoyarsk
    ~Part 1: Adventure begins with alternative universe
    Colonel Santiago being desperate for a simple armor!


    As i actually started a game today (with 6 characters that been created before in introductionary Part 0~) after refreshing some of my game memories with manual, our heroic SMAC party been visited by non-the less then Corac himself (previously one of the more powerful magic users in whole CRON and one brave enough for many heroic deeds - but currently is literally just a former shadow - or to better put it, ghost - of himself) in cheap (but probably clean) Hotel:

    [​IMG]
    [Little bit of history (you can read much more in manual to Might & Magic 2 for even better information and clues): cartographer from one of the underground VARN cities (VARN is mythical land *of sorts* where Might & Magic 1 takes place), become a powerful archmage in CRON (CRON is another mythical land *of sorts* where Might & Magic 2 takes it's place - but this world share some similarities with VARN) and played his own important role in history.
    Corac also had apperentice who noticed and scribed interesting, but troubling details: first, Corac become reclusive and been searching for clues to combat some sort of upcoming catastrophe; second, he been constructing time-travle machine and his interest with *future* events become obsessive. And at last, Corac teleported himself in unknown place and traces of such well learned and powerful man become non-existent.
    As a lot of people who played later "classical" M&M games - his nemesis is Sheltem and potential catastrophe is ...well... collision of said CRON with local Sun.

    Brief History of World:

    History of CRON (judging by events of past and present) is centered around elementals and their kingdoms of sorts (Elemental Planes of Fire, Water, Earth and Air) that been forging alliances, fighting with each other - and in process of whole seemingly endless "holiday of life" elementals created flat world.
    Many years after this event, alien to this world creatures (sentient and not-overly sentient [collectively named as animals by human historians]) been migrating and colonizing a CRON with relevant skills, strenght, knowledge and ferocity allowing them to prosper in this turbulent world. With help of magical arts, elements (and elementals) been tamed. Defensive measures of powerful primordial creatures been negated with powerful sphere containing 4 pedestals [seems like good foresight] and elemental armies been routed. Human leader (and probably leader of other sentient beings) is King Kalohn, who doubled as both great sorcerer and great leader.
    With help of 4 pedestals, remaining elementals been locked and secured them in 4 distant corners of the world [Elemental Plane of Fire is in north-east, Elemental Plane of Air is in north-west, Elemental Plane of Water is in south-west, and - at last - Elemental Plane of Eath is in south-east; they also seem to influence major cities in some *weird* ways]. While leaving sphere with such fabulous powers to himself, he been ruling and let civilization prosper on CRON...

    [Reader can interprete this text as he or she likes - elementals can be seen as beings from WARP space (slightly similar to one in Warhammer universe) that been serving Ancient Creators by force - and later in their cpativity been serving role to support life in flat world, but this is just my small theory...]
    [Later in the game most events in this brief history will become more interconnected and more apparent to player. Special thanks goes to all-mighty time travel machine!]

    Anyway, let's continue with story!
    Cunning Lord of Water Elementals created new and dangerous as fuck type of creatures - Dragons. Dragons can move freely out of Water Plane in CRON, unhindered by barrier, and Kalan been forced to combat greatest of dragons... Fabulous being named as Megadragon!
    But Kalohn had only sphere without pedestals, so he been severly under-powered. Pyrrhic victory! Both great combatants (King Kalohn and Megadragon) killed each other.

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Do not want to spoil too much, but still want to show this area; more on Quagmire of Doom later

    ...Game begins with yet another 100 years passed after death of King Kalan. Our supreme (main) goal is to enter control room (once again, hehe) - and enter different coordinates for CRON destiny so everyone from my SMAC party can create their own factions on CRON, just as on Alpha Centauri, so kobolds of Morgan will combat orcs of Yang while many colony carts will create sprawling towns all across flat land, haha.

    Brief view on gameplay and first steps:

    [​IMG]
    Everyone in party starts with simple weapon - such as small knife, cutlass, small clubs, etc - probably depending on starting class and on stats, but i can only speculate. We also got some food in quanity of 10 *rations* (everyone eats 1 ration while resting, and it replenish all HP and SP - so difficulty cumulative in individual encounters, so if you survive battle - congratulations!). Gold used for shopping and some niche activities - such as learning skills (we're poor - and even CEO Morgan seems to be upset); gems used for casting more powerful spells that cost both SP and X gems (we're poor here as well).
    AC is different compared to AD&D - the more AC rating your character has provide better protection. Thievery is relevant only for Robbers / Ninjas, they also increase this skill with new levels...
    Probably everything reader (and me as well) needs to know at this early point in the game!...

    [​IMG]

    Ahh, actually couple more things about OPTIONS (controls). Moving in the world is pretty easy - just as swapping items and changing position of characters in party. Do not going to accentuate this that much...
    BUT - search option, unlock option and bash door option are very needed. Search option is required to actually take ANY LOOT in the game (not only visible treasuries, but everything player can get from slain enemies). If you do not search after battle - everything is lost to history, sadly. Unlock option is required to not TAKE EXCESSIVE AMOUNTS OF DAMAGE OR NASTY CONDITIONS after opening any lock or loot container in the game (such as poison, paralyze or even disintegrate); this ability directly depends on Thievery skill - so only robbers (or ninjas, but fuck em) can properly disarm the most common thing on CRON - traps. Bash Door allow strongest character in party (usually knight or paladin) to open hidden doors; this usually result in some damage being taken.

    [​IMG]
    ^^^ Might & Magic 2 also have in-game map - but without relevant skill - you will only see this blank space on screen

    [​IMG]
    Let's be real... No real gold, no gems to fuel magical ambition, and only some food with simple equipment. Let's enter combat and gain something in return for our brave deeds!
    After "saving" in Hotel and entering secret space of sorts [discovered it by randomly hitting walls during first playthrought] in Hotel backrooms - i encountered these creatues (namely Flesh Eater and Mini-Rex):

    Options before combat encounter are following: A-Attack means that player will enter combat - as simple as that. B-Bribe is much more interesting - it means that player gives $ (gold), * (gems) or even food for party of monsters to fuck off; the more you can give to monsters the better. Strongest creatures accept only fortune in gold. H-Hide means that player will try to leave combat, but will remain on same space in the map(!). Rate of success directly dependent on robber (or ninja, for god's sake) and his or her thievery skill. R-Run means that player will try to leave combat, but will enter safest spot in the map (exit for dungeons, some special place on road for open maps, hotel entrance for cities).

    It is pretty clear that i select to attack this group of monsters:
    [​IMG]
    Options for combat also not very hard to describe: C-Cast means spell-casting magical spells that party member may know. U-Use means using items alvaliable to current party member (either in backpack or in equipped slots). B-Block means that character will skip current turn and will increase AC rating until next turn. R-Run means that one of the characters will try to run away from battle - here are many variants of how good or bad it can be for party (either party is victorious and cowardly character returns; everyone except for cowardly character is dead - but one character still can visit Temple for ressurection OR everyone shows cowardice and leave doomed battle). E-Exch means that two characters will swap their places. V-View is not an option for character, technically, but more of ability to look into character sheet for information.
    A-Attack means that character will attack closest enemy; F-Fight means specific target from avaliable enemies. S-Shot (only with ranged weapons) means... well, shooting any specifc enemy that character can attack at all.

    Check marks under enemies mean that they're engaged with party and will attack. Check marks under player characters (now it is Santiago and Miriam in first line) means that following characters can attack in melee. How many characters will be engaged (and potentially can be targets of enemy attacks / special abilities) dependent on amount of enemies, player performance in combat and et cetera. Sometimes enemies can even overrun party (a large number of enemies + someone in player's party died).

    ALL enemies in game have HP (health pool), AC (same as with player characters), amount of attacks that said enemy will perform, amount of damage they can deal with each attack (from 1 to X, but enemies usually deal amount between 1 and X). Everything will give experience points, even if little, bla bla...

    LET'S SPILL BLOOD!

    Not a very hard battle (got lucky with low amount of enemies and half of them - Flesh Eaters - being one of the easiest type to defeat in game). Notable parts:
    ~Zakharov been casting flame arrow spell with different degree of success (first time for 5 damage, second for 8 damage(!) - one hit kill, and later on he did whooping 4 damage). Right now sorcerer cannot do anything else, except for Sleep (secret of victory aaginst low-level monsters, but loses it's charm quickly) or Light (for dark areas).
    ~Santiago been missing two times, been hit by claws of Flesh Eater (for 4), but killed one enemy in the end.
    ~Miriam been dealing 6 and 7 damage with two attacks, but enraged Mini Rex trampled her for 12. She is alright now (fully healed).
    ~Yang been casting First Aid (simple healing spell - first at Santiago, second at Miriam) and Bless spell later on to finish battle quicker. Useful for whole game, cleric is one who going to be *slightly* less effective, compared to sorcerer, but this is not important now...
    ~Pravin Lal been talking about locals and business with CEO Morgan (both been wasting turns due to no-ranged weapons / no-spells).

    We got some experience for our efforts, but ulimately no money or gems.

    [​IMG]

    Let's venture into smithy! It is located exactly to west of hotel entrance, probably even in same building as well.

    [​IMG]
    I cannot buy any of his wares (and do not care about his work with 0 $ in my pockets), but player is forced to "encounter" smith in this building. But here also one more combat with creatures that i hopefully can take down...

    [​IMG]


    THIS IS HAPPENED! Probably will going to die for first time : >
    Jugglers are nasty (if not nastiest type of enemies at the start) - they're able to juggle party (this means everybody will be in different positions - and knight can end up in sorcerer position, and unable to do anything for a turn) AND juggle ability deals tons of damage TO EVERYBODY IN PARTY (mage can die from it pretty easily). + This enemy type seems to be very resistent to magic.
    Yang almost died in the end (he end up unconsious), and even Pravin Lal been fighting like a men to save his life!
    And let me put it straight - only backstab (for 14 (!) damage straight) saved me in the end.

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ HERE WE FUCKING GO. FINALLY!
    [Special thanks goes to our robber, CEO Morgan, for good job on his part]

    [​IMG]

    Everyone in party gained 309 gold (and in this game you can gather gold as well) so i decided to shop in blacksmith zone for: two crossbows (one for archer, another for robber), two suits of best avaliable armor for front line gals (knight and paladin)... Also two suits of best armor (ring armor in this case) for robber, cleric and archer, because why not. Something as rope (allows to use it in place of jump spell) or lantern (allows to use it in place of light spell) have their own niche - especially early one with lousy amount of SP at disposal of characters, but not right now.
    Thief's Pick for robber (to increase his thievery) and helms for everybody able to use them [knight, cleric and paladin]. Magic Herbs also for robber (allows to use it in place of first aide spell).
    Only sorcerer got padded armor, hehe : >

    [​IMG]
    ^^^ Thief's inventory at the end of first part of Let's Play.

    Now i will end episode 1 with "save" in Hotel to record my progress and... It is already is different to my last run.
    For example, you can see crossbow + 1 in image above. I never noticed that before! I always been thinking about crossbows being with +0 enchant at maximum at shops - but alas, i been proven wrong by game! [Some days in the week - yes, game have weeks, months, days, years and time system, even if it is relevant only for handful of encounters and events - affect quality of items in "special category"].
    It been pretty fun to type and fun to play, even if i done only two combat encounters so far.

    Anyway...

    In next post i promise to: ~
    ~...to talk more about arena, ticket's and bishops system, even if briefly
    ~.. to venture outside of city - even if it means death
    ~...to level up in the end of post
    ~...to venture in Middlegate, learn new spells and provide fun for people who read this!
    P.S. As usual - any feedback is welcome, and i will respond as soon as i can.

    Enjoy 0/
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2020
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  4. CappenVarra phase-based phantasmist Patron

    CappenVarra
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    Ardamai
    pretty nice
    :thumbsup:
     
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  5. azimovhaas8 (Moth) Learned

    azimovhaas8 (Moth)
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2020
    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    Eastern Siberia, Krasnoyarsk
    ~Part 2: Adventure continues with Zakharov
    searching for Middlegate mage guild membership...


    And our smart magician will find it for sure, sooner or later! [But he needs gold for buying spells and my party wasted most of it for armor pieces and crossbows, so probably later : >]

    ~Today is a free day without much work - and it is better to record some more gameplay for Might & Magic 2, in this situation, i think~
    [Going to post most of my Let's Play parts once per day whenever i have enough free time and concentration later on for interested folks]

    Let's move for more gameplay and some details of Might & Magic 2 framework:
    As i promised in previous post couple of words about tickets (and different corresponding tickets colors as well as system of arena's). Tickets are important part of gameplay throught most of the game lenght prior to later parts of main quest. In general, tickets (especially green tickets and yellow tickets later) are pretty good and safe way for low-level characters to gain experience and money without gambling on Middlegate monsters being not *something deadly as hell* (Jugglers, Killer Cadavers are especially memorable as bane of low-level parties).

    [​IMG]
    ^^^ Totally worth it for even badly equipped and Level 1 adventurers!

    Tickets allow characters to enter any one of 3 possible arena's (Arena in Middlegate, Dust Bowl in Sandsobar and Colosseum in Atlantium - other two remaining cities do not have Arena's) and depending on color of ticket player will get monster encounters with different difficulty (green = easy, yellow = medium, red = hard, black = very hard!). Arena in Middlegate is easiest in comparrison to other two - Colosseum in Atlantium is hardest; same encounters ("color" wise) will feel DIFFERENT for sure.
    Bishops located in remote castles... Ohh, man. It is mostly for medium part of the game - and one of the best ways to boost amount of total experience at this stage. Bishops also have colors (same as tickets) - and player must win 3 different battles with tickets of bishop color at every arena's. And afterwards - with key from one of special shops - enter room with relevant bishop to gain that sweet experience boost.
    [I uncover this some time after arena battles while thinking about why the heck game gives me ability to buy keys and after actualy venturing in first castle in my adventure, Castle Pinehurst].

    Black Bishop is required for main-plot, but this is for much later part of Let's Play...

    [​IMG]
    ^^^ Entrance to Arena near exit to forest area outside of city.

    Let's actually fight for a bit in Arena! I bought 3 tickets with me - so going to test it in "experimental way".

    [​IMG]

    Fight # 1 - Village Fools
    Fools only notable ability and difficulty while fighting them is "sleep" spell. Most of my party members are resistant to it.
    Outcome: 0 damage taken in this quick battle, but CEO Morgan slept for whole battle from start of it. Pretty EZ

    [​IMG]

    Fight # 2 - Garden Militia
    Much harder fight due to much better potential of Hungry Plants to do damage (Miriam got hit by 15 damage - and Santiago suffered from 11 damage as well).
    Outcome: it is win, but fools been easier : >

    [​IMG]

    + Net value of 200 gold for lousy 10 gold, hehe

    [​IMG]

    Fight # 3 - Cat Bastards Striking Yet Again!
    Pretty hard hitting early enemy type, but dying to even weak attacks (usually they capped at 4 HP).
    Outcome: got lucky, but lost 6 HP for Santiago and 5 HP on Miriam due to nasty claws. All cats died in single hit.

    Arena is interesting place to gain gold and experience - it also scales to some point with player's progression. Now it is time to actually rest and venture in wilderness to die pretty quickly or run away screaming, hehe
    [Only real drawback to Arena fights early on - fixed rewards for combat; sometimes you can get pretty crazy items from weak creatures (chance is not high, but it is still here!). But counter-point (especially if player got ninja, instead of robber) - no need to disarm any traps and suffer after failed attempt].

    [​IMG]
    ^^^ Ghost patrol near exit out of Arena. Miriam and Lal been unconsious at one point.

    Saved one more time in Hotel to become more confident in my small "expdition" outside of city walls. Ohh, one more interesting location and some more details about Might & Magic 2: Taverns!

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Initial screen of tavern asking for y/n input.

    [​IMG]

    Taverns is only way to buy food (best bet here is Middlegate, due to lowest prices in total - but at some point this also does not going to matter due to sheer capital of party) and food is best way to heal and replenish SP. Have a drink option is best for first time players, for lack of better words - you will notice many rumors and will gain some interesting clues in any tavern (but they're different in all 5); Tip the bartender option and Listen for Rumors are in same category [honestly, i been not using taverns for aquiring inofrmation that much, personally, so i can be in wrong here].
    But Specialties option usually worth it - some are required for side-quests, some will provide with funny (but slightly useless) effects, some "gourmand dishes" allow to bypass some monsters. So it definetly cool option to explore.
    [Ofc, i bought nothing from this category for now and going to acquire food later - i still have some left with me].

    So... Middlegate rural area awaits!

    [​IMG]

    ...After just couple of moments our proud SMAC party ventured outside of city (Pravin Lal prepared for more business talk with CEO Morgan) out of sudden, noble guardian pegasus materialized:

    [​IMG]

    ~This creature provides valuable insight into game philosophy of Might & Magic 2: you have free world to explore and for most part you're thrown into it without much at the start - and everything you need you must gather by yourself (not only items or spells - but also information and remarks about how to approach your quest). It also provides with open world in best sense of it - you're limited by "natural" obstacles (such as Orc God or Cuisinart slauthering even high level party - or natural world borders, which is understandable with CRON being a flat disk).~

    I will try to combat one group of monsters, earn some experience and will retreat back into city.
    Hmmm...

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Sure. I will regret it, but why not : >

    [​IMG]

    Hmm, interesting. Not a unusually hard choice - fight them or not (probably can take this type of enemies easily), but they can still steal my gold.
    ...Yeah, this special attack happened - Miriam lost all of hear gold : (

    Finally, tiime for Zakharov to actually acquire some SPELLS. First, we need to go for local Magic Inc. representative and pay small fee for ability to actually buy all other spells in local Magic Inc. guild:

    [​IMG]

    Second, time for actually visiting Sleepy Mage Guild to purchase SPELLS:

    [​IMG]

    This time i bought Sleep spell (very useful for early encounters) and Awaken spell (situational, against effects of enemy sleep-inducing monsters) for Zakharov.

    [​IMG]

    For Yang... Temple offers clerical spells and help of different sorts without need to pay for enrollment (it is more about annoying search for guild representative and not about gold spend, at least for me).
    This time i bought Apparition spell (same as sleep, but instead of partial disable it applied debuff on suspected enemies) and Awaken spell (same as for mage) for Yang.

    This generally means far more easier encounters couple of first levels - and all spells i purchased cost... 10 gold and 50 gold each. Pretty good for their value!

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Here we go! Good practice targets for new spell : > [City have one abandonded building where game creators placed 3 (!) monster encounters]
    ...And i goofed : ]
    These monsters have magical resistance so it been (still) pretty hard and my party members been unconsious 4(!) times total during this battle.

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Potentially my first death (out of many) right here...

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ RIP.

    Why this happened at all, you may ask? Well, Jugglers deal insane damage with their ability (11 damage to everybody - only cleric survived somehow) + Spray Acid ability from Sludge Beast for 10 damage to everybody killing cleric after pointless First Aid [hard early enemy as well].
    Player can join game back from last Hotel (after pressing ENTER, of course) and proceed as nothing happens.
    This is why saving in hotels is extremly important, especially early on.

    And... Probably time to end Part 2 of my Let's Play right here : >
    [Not going to level up right now - going to explain it next time as well]

    Anyway...

    Hope to do following tasks in next post: ~

    ~...hope to traverse into next couple of cities more
    ~...going to level up - but it is really worth to do in one place only : ]
    ~...hope to level up good enough for new circle of magic for cleric and sorcerer
    ~...going to venture forth, deeper into wilderness
    ~...sadly, going to grind for levels by a little bit (but will try to present it in non-boring way)

    P.S. Feedback is welcome and appreciated!

    Cheers 0/
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2020
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  6. azimovhaas8 (Moth) Learned

    azimovhaas8 (Moth)
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2020
    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    Eastern Siberia, Krasnoyarsk
    ~Part 3: Adventure continues with party
    visiting other cities in search for best gym!
    [also grinding for gold, but this is usual]~~


    Basically, continue to play and write from state where i ended up last time [died to combination of very deadly creatures for my current level] - and as i said in "intro" my main goal now is to find enough gold, more experience for best possible training zone (or "gym" for simplicity sake :>). All 5 cities have their own gym (from Middlegate to Atlantium), but ultimately best gym located in last city in the lest (Atlantium). Sadly, it is hardest city to reach at the start of game by conventional means and training in such fabulous place costs the most out of every option!

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Turkov's Training in Middlegate. Of course my answer is "no"!

    Solution? At my own Level 1 party here is only one good solution: system of portals between all 5 cities (Middlegate have only 1 portal leading into Sandsobar, every other city have 2 portals for each direction) can take me into each city - and the back. For small fee, of course (usually it is around ~30 gold per travel into another place). Right now everybody in my party have 2148 points of experience - so roughtly, it is only one level forward. This is not enough for serious travel full of potential dangers - and i do not have enough sweet gold to train everybody at once.

    [Amount of experience for advancing in levels is different for all characters in party - more for hybrid classes (ninja, archer, paladin) and for sorcerer, and less for cleric, knight, barbarian and robber. For example 1 500 is enough for level 2 knight, but only 2 000 of experience will suffice for archer. It gets progressively more different with levels].

    Another important thing that is natural for unimported lower level party (yes, Might & Magic 1 allow player to continue with his or her old party, and in some ways it is easier, more comfortable and better way to play a Might & Magic 2) is grind. Yes, killing lower level monsters in starting zone and praying for not-dying in combat sometimes for many times is most viable option in Might & Magic 2 at this point. But combat is fun, so sure, why not.
    I will amass more gold, experience and (hopefully) items during a hour or so, but i will skip most boring details and instead tell about how everything went for most part.


    Here are the most memorable fights:

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Ghouls been not an overly hard enemy type, but they provided my party with 1 000 experience points for everybody, but no loot dropped from them, sadly. Mages wasted all their SP on first aids and flame arrows, as well.
    Actually, couple of times this enemy type (before, in previous run) been paralyzing my characters, but probably this just means generally low chance of such special attack.


    [​IMG]

    ^^^ After combat with Burglars (strong enemy for lower tier that can steal all money from character burglar will attack, but provide good EXP and good loot as show in image above). HELL YEAH, BABY.

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Pretty nasty type of monsters as well - due to their spell attack damaging everybody in party. Their amount of HP (2) allows to every attack (except for some extremly unlucky ones) kill them, throught - so just 2 of them is a joke. [Sometimes enemies can suprise you - in this case you have no other choice, but engage enemies]

    [​IMG]

    ~Better to have as little food as possible with party where you want to buy food from tavern, because remaining food going to be replaced by higher number of food from vendor [for example, if party had 3 food rations and bought 40 - party going to have 40 and not 43]~

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ OHH, SHIT I'M SORRY... [This is one of the few lower level enemy types that can make life harder even in medium part of game due to ability to explode right after attack. So if you do not going to kill all Killer Cadavers in first round - some characters can die quickly].
    Got lucky and only my cleric and archer been unconsious in the end : >


    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Both enemy types can make life harder, but not in such small numbers. Quite an easy battle.

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Got this item as result of encounter. [Useful item that temporarily raises maxium HP of single character; very useful for harder battles - and still useful later in the game].

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ First encounter so far with more then 10 enemies. Here going to be more battles with amount of enemies so big that cannot fit on one screen ... Much more : >
    ...Unfortunately this is actually pretty damn hard enemy (died right here) : [

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Friars... Well, usually loot after them is worth it (they dropped Hero Medal + some gold this battle), but they constantly been casting Energy Blasts at party. Pravin Lal even died after still intact trap, sadly (but he been resurrected afterwards).

    Temples provide many valuable functions (resurrection, removing bad conditions and even restoring aligment, even if last option been used 0 times last time i played). One last option is option to donate gold for a God's cause; this can provide party with temporary buffs [very usefl later with great option for transporting party and tons of gold, so donating even 100x times is not very noticeble loss] and donating one time to every temple in game is crucial for having access to all Castles in game without need to fight guards each time [later on this later~].

    ~~Some time passed (around hour and couple of minutes) in real life time, some days passed in in-game calendar and party returned to tavern for new "save" in case of death. CEO Morgan been doing his usual money recording stuff (usually this gnome is one who give equal amount of gold to each member of party) and right now he been satisfied for a first time in SMAC team (even if not as much as he going to be satisfied in dragons land, hehe)~~

    Basically i'm ready for leveling up now!

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Just look at this! After more then 40 battles *at least something* is settled. I died 3 times [one time to giant lizards - mentioned this before, one time to ambush of killer cadavers - and last time to bunch of thugs stealing my gold and killing remaining members of party just before resting, ehh] and will provide quick outlook at monsters i encountered:
    Conjurer is similar to Friar - caster enemy type focused on single target damage spells. Conjurer seems to act fasters, but dies quicker. Sewer Rats, Kobold, Thug Trainee and Merchant are bland enemy types with little-to-no special abilities (Sewer Rats poisoned my character in previous run... once), but have slightly diversive stats (Merchants are hardy and usually drop better loot; Kobolds are slow, but can deal good damage; Sewer Rats mostly weak; Thug Trainee is fast and hard hitting). This is all subjective and i say everything about enemies mostly judging by how enemies act during combat and by my past experience with them*
    Greedy Snitch, Burglar and Neophyte Thief are "rogue" enemies; greedy snitch been stealing food [not a big deal] two times in a row and other two types been robbing me out of gold : [
    Blood Suckers are more interesting ones - this enemy type can *reduce stats* and i do not remember if temples can restore them back. Usually i avoid them... Cripples (yes, game have cripples fighting against player) are extremly weak (deal no damage most of the time, die to EVERY attack, even 1 damage ones). They usually give no useful loot at all.

    Other enemy types are covered by me already or (like zombie or creepy crawler) are relatively simple monsters by design.

    [Jon Van Caneghem actually made a ton of creatures and even gave most of them interesting abilities or different stats to make combat more diverse (some monsters better at dealing damage, some monsters have better speed, some easier to bribe, etc). Some abilities (like juggle) are nightmare at early levels, but unimpressive later on; other abilities (like breathe gas or disintegration) are for high level threats. Small amount of monsters have "suicidal" abilities (explode, frenzy) - so they require special approach as well. And so on.
    Only part of monsters design that i dislike for sure is big amount of *reused* sprites. Merchant sprite used for 5~(!) enemy types and some friendly NPC's as well
    ].

    Time to travel into Atlantium!~

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ 3 more times after this portal...

    Each city in game have it's own flavor. Sandsobar (by how player can judge) is... shithole to say honestly. Dirty, dusty place with Old Part of city being infested by vermin. New City is slightly better for living and attaracted couple of useful teachers (for diplomat, gambler, pickpocket skills). But right now i just want to tresspass...

    [​IMG]

    On other hand... Tundara (Northern city located in... well, cold tundra zone) is pretty rich city, unfortunately plagued by frost monsters (they control part of city with magic guild and temple). We will help citizens of Tundara, but later on.

    Vulcania (next city) is also Northern city, but located near vulcanic area in eastern part of map - and dungeon beneath city contains lava (dealing heavy damage to party, ofc). Most useful "warrior" skills (such as arm-master, soldier or gladiator) also have teachers here. Time to move on...

    [​IMG]

    Atlantium (last city on the list) is richest city on CRON, drawing some influence from our good ol' Earth Ancient Greece, located in south, near huge mass of water (called as Cronian Waters collectively). We will train here.
    ...Marvellous! My Knight, Cleric and Sorcerer are all now level 3 (knight for more HP - she gains 14 HP(!) per level, both casters for new spell circles), other characters now level 2, due to current lack of money~


    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Venturing back to Middlegate... Now i'm broke as hell, but making more money is far easier now : >

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Game also will offer side-quest in Middlegate (in the South-Eastern part of town) - humble wizard Nordon needs our help. We will provide him...

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Interesting... Probably first dungeon my SMAC team going to visit.
    After descending into dungeon (or city catacombs) i been unfortunately met with:

    [​IMG]

    DARKNESS... Here sorcery spell - Light - will help immensely. Otherwise, dungeon crawling going to be frustrating thing to do. Or player can use Lantern item as well, to preserve SP, if he or she wishes so*

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Here...

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ And here as well. One of the many clues that JCV and Co citizens of CRON will leave for player to digest...

    Anyway, let's retrive item of interest for Nordom...
    Most of enemies guarding golden goblet for Nordom are pretty familiar goblins and orcs. Orcs have ability to shoot at my party from second line, so it is advised to sedate them with
    Sleep spell, during first turn with sorcerer. Actually, my 2/3 level party been just strong enough to slaughter all defense and take quest item with us.

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Good deal of loot after hard battle with goblins / orcs / inept wizard (?)...

    Game also shows it's first locked door right after this combat - you need someone with "thievery" signature skill above 0 to open it... Or you can bush a door, but it is generally a bad idea.

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Finally! WE DID IT : >

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ After returning (and resting for some time) Nordom granted us 2 000 experience, 1 000 gold in total and Wizard's Eye spell [only way to get this spell actually]. He also gave us advise to visit his sister - Nordonna - who live nearby.
    [
    All dungeons usually have unavoidable pre-placed encounters (except for some spells like Etherealize, Teleport or Jump allowing for interesting opportunities later on) that block path to loot or quest items. It is important thing to note that after resting all pre-placed encounters will REPLENISH so if player want's to do everything in relevant dungeon - everything must be done in single go].

    So far, i'm happy with outcome of this part of Let's Play. It's been a longest part so far, and i'm done a lot more then i expected. "Saved" progress in Hotel, as usual and will return to game (and writing Let's Play tomorrow).

    Anyway...

    Hope to do folowing tasks in next post: ~

    ~...hope to complete some side-quests (especially Nordoma quest)
    ~...hope to talk about system of hirelings in Might & Magic 2
    ~...going to talk about new spells that i posses right now, for sure
    ~...going to talk more about skills and will learn a couple of them [very handy for wilderness]
    ~...ehh, going to grind more (but will present it in interesting way, i hope)

    P.S. Feedback is welcome and appreciated!

    Cheers 0/
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020
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  7. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
    Messages:
    8,143
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Codex 2012
    So, the ray-gun. Is that like in later games? Do you need special training to use it, and will it shoot ridiculously fast?
     
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  8. azimovhaas8 (Moth) Learned

    azimovhaas8 (Moth)
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2020
    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    Eastern Siberia, Krasnoyarsk
    Ray-Gun is relatively cheap special item (it usually sells for 150 or 200 $ in shops) giving character who wields it + 5 to Accuracy. Ray-Gun also can be enchanted - Ray-Gun+1 will give + 6 to accuracy rating - and more in same fashion, if i'm not mistaken.

    Nothing beyond it, sadly. Some items with cool names in Might & Magic 2 (like, Super Flare or Lava Grenade) usually just work as replacement for spells or will give bonuses to stats.
     
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  9. abnaxus Arcane Patron

    abnaxus
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Messages:
    13,320
    Location:
    Fiernes
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. CappenVarra phase-based phantasmist Patron

    CappenVarra
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2011
    Messages:
    2,513
    Location:
    Ardamai
    nice to see such a refreshing game from a more civilized age, and i appreciate the level of detail you provide in updates

    :brodex:
     
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  11. azimovhaas8 (Moth) Learned

    azimovhaas8 (Moth)
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2020
    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    Eastern Siberia, Krasnoyarsk
    Hey, Cappen! Thank you for kind words :bro:

    I provide a lot of details (even maybe too simple / uninteresting details as well) for couple of reasons:
    -1) It is old and not very well explored CRPG by players in general - and i completed Might & Magic 2 only after first game (so i been more prepared for some harsher angles of a game).
    So good amount of details is more or less a necessary for a interesting read and some sort of introduction to game, imo : ]

    -2) I just like to give some insight into my actions and into current situation in game - otherwise, even good pictures will not tell much to reader...

    Cheers 0/
     
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  12. azimovhaas8 (Moth) Learned

    azimovhaas8 (Moth)
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2020
    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    Eastern Siberia, Krasnoyarsk
    ~Part 4: Adventure continues with CEO Morgan
    being happy robber (as far as
    gnome can be happy) once again...


    Got some free time this day again (even if here is late evening right now), and decided to post one more update and play for a little bit more [usually i post during run or slightly after to remember everything as clear as possible and provide feelings after some hard or interesting situations in game] completing most (or all goals) that i set in previous post.
    ~In best case scenario, will end up writing this part in morning or later in night (before i fall asleep)~
    I do not play any other games at the moment so i can purely focus on Might & Magic 2, so let's continue from point in game where i left my team...

    And actually will show-case magical system more (after getting new magical circle for both casters):

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ This is how "Spell Book" will look in-game. Option to C-Cast spells from character menu mostly used for non-combat spells (or spells that player wants to use before combat, like most spells giving additional resistances) and to check if character has all spells you need [or if you just want to collect most or even ALL spells in the game, hehe].
    <Every spell in game is casted by typing it's Level (or Circle as how i say it) - from Level 1 to Level 9 - and spell number in said Level [also from position 1 to position 7]. All spells have cost in SP [identical to level of spell EXCEPT for spell scaling with level of caster] and some spells have cost in gems as well [all high level spells and every spell scaling with level of caster have cost in gems]. Some higher level spells require literal SHITTONE of gems to provide useful effects (most notorious spell is Enchant Item spell in this regard)>
    I will showcase all spells for cleric and sorcerer as i will get new levels (and will acquire some spells i want), but for now we have:

    ~1) Sorcerer:
    Awaken (1-1) been already showcased - but will repeat myself: situational and useful spell for most game lenght against "sleep" effects. Detect Magic (1-2) allow to check amount of charges remaining for use in item [item must be in backpack of caster]. Meh, and not used this spell by much. Energy Blast (1-3) - costs 1 SP per level of caster + 1 gem - deals D6 energy damage per level of caster; costs 1000 in Mage Guild. Will buy it later... Flame Arrow (1-4) deals 2-8 fire damage. Only option to deal damage at low levels - and OK option to guaranteed kill of *very* wounded monster. Light (1-5) provide 1 point of light source for party. Very useful for most dark areas - BUT some areas are too dark for simple Light and you will need better "lightning". Location (1-6) shows location of party on map(!). Useless, because Might & Magic 2 have intristic map and you will have same coordinates just by clicking M key; rudiment from times of first game, imo. Sleep (1-7) have high chance to apply "asleep" condition to 4 + *level of caster* suspectable creatures. Strong as fuck at early levels, later is close to waste of SP, unfortunately.

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Wizard's Eye in action. Player also can get it for free in couple of cells close to hotel entrance.

    Eagle's Eye (2-1) shows 5*5 area of game map for player; can be acquired after completing quest for Nordom. Very useful spell for exploring new maps, but gets replaced quickly. Electric Arrow (2-2) deals 4-16 energy damage. Pretty OK at early levels - using it in current battles now, for example. Detect Monster (2-3) shows all information about monster and costs 1 gem as well. Surpsingly useful from time to time, because it also shows amount of HP and can preserve resources to other members of team [to not waste UBER attack at half-dead creature]. Jump (2-4) allows party to jump for 2 cells forward. Useful as it is allow to bypass monster encounters and traps. Levitate (2-5) spell gives party "levitating" condition. Mostly used in areas containing large amounts of lava. Lloyd's Beacon (2-6) - will leave this one in shorud as i going to get it later on anyway : > Protection from Magic (2-7) provides with resistance against enemy magical abilities depending on level of caster (costs 1 gem as well). Very useful if used correctly and in time.

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Unrelated to spell discussion picture showing current HP of party. Poltergeists probably will not going to pose much of challenge now.

    ~2) Cleric:
    Apparition (1-1) have high chance to apply "afraid" condition to 10 monsters, reducing combat capabilities significantly. Similar to Sleep spell - loses it's charm later on. Awaken (1-2) is already described. Bless (1-3) increases chance of all characters in party to actually hit an enemies. Useful in situations where cleric does not need to heal heavily damaged character. First Aid (1-4) heals 8 HP to character. Most used spell at lower levels, for later parts of game we have different spell. Light (1-5) is already described. Power Cure (1-6) - costs 1 SP per level + 1 gem - and heals D10 per level of caster to single character. Useful whole game, but costs 1 000 gold in temple, so will get it later on... Turn Undead (1-7) have chance to destroy enemy udnead monsters, depending on level of cleric and on power of affected monsters. Situational, but have it's uses for big chunk of game.

    Cure Wounds (2-1) heals 15 HP to character. Before Power Cure, but after First Aid we have this... Heroism (2-2) temporarily increases level of character by 6 and costs 1 gem as well. Useful for both "warrior" types (they get additional attacks with more levels + they deal more damage and attack more effectively, if difference in levels is lower) and for "casters" types (for spells that depends on level of caster to have better effect) and allows some neat little combinations. Nature's Gate (2-3)... Will leave this spell in shadows for now : > Pain (2-4) deal 2-16 physical damage. Not bad for early levels. Protection from Elements (2-5) increase resistance to flame, cold, electricity and poison simmultaneously. Worth it - and woth 1 gem too! Silence (2-6) disables any magical capabilities of 4 + *caster level* monsters that have magical abilities. Bane of all Inept Magicians : ] Weaken (2-7) monsters under effect of this spell deal 2x less damage in total (!). Costs 1 gem as well, but man - it is well worth to create nasty combination of afraid + weaken enemies (monsters rarely hit party, but if they do we can survive it easily). Useful even against dragons in some situations...

    [I will try to cover new spells after i will gain access to them as received after training in "gym" in later parts of Let's Play. Same with spells that are accessible only after ceratin conditions]

    ...I will grind for a little bit in starting zone (mostly to test some spells and aquire some more gold) and will help Nordoma afterwards.

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Elven soldiers + Zombies. Hmmm. How they end up in same encounter and on same side?...

    ~~Ohh, almost forgot! Weapons in Might & Magic 2 can be either one-handed or two-handed. One-handed weapons allow to use shield in other hand (more AC), but two-handed weapons usually allow to damage enemies better and more interesting abilities. Some weapons (and armor as well) can be used for special abilities alone, even if piece of equipment in backpack~~

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Relatively good targets for Turn Undead spell - this big group of monsters going to be much smaller after even a single use... Ehh, after dealing with them (and eradicating 5 opponents with Turn Undead) got ambused by 7 Foot Soldiers just before resting. WTF game : [
    ~~Turn Undead seems to work in very unstable fashion after single use - usually spell will fail~~

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Only 1 skeleton survived already usual Turn Undead. Time to move on to quests...
    ~~Some enemies have abilities related to sex of characters (for example, carnage spirit enemy type is immune to all melee attacks performed by males) so it is wise thing to create party consisting of both guys and gals at the start~~

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Nordonna quest also will lead my party into the same *communal* dungeon beneath Middlegate. Her two sons open new game mechanic - going to talk about it after quest.
    Let's begin!
    Mostly it is a same way beneath, except for small ambush with Inept Wizards and Kobolds trying to do *something* against me, heh.

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ This enemy type have small chance to immideately kill my party with one hit, but they do not seem *that* strong otherwise.

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Got very lucky - and B Plate Mail + 3 is valuable as fuck; probably will not going to get any better armor any time soon. Actually i will return in city and will "save" to not lose this treasury, hehe.

    OK, one more "dive" in city catacombs.

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Very rarely encountered this enemy type in previous run, interested to see what they can actually do... Ohh, these fuckers are both resistant to my magic (even to Energy Arrow) and can curse me.
    Fortunately, bless spell always with me, just as cleric who is adept in healing. Got some enchanted weapons afterwards.

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Kobold HQ.... Interesting. Haha, 4 kobolds and 2 sewer rats - is it a joke?? But anyway, these two encounters been not as hard as i expected. Bypassed last encounter near end of corridor by using Jump spell.

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Time to return to Nordoma and bring good news. [At the way back been encountered by bunch of Orcs and big group of Phantasms. "Time for tactical retreat" - said Pravin Lal, and SMAC lads been following him to the exit. Got lucky, in other words].

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Her information about "untold riches" is far more helpful then it seems at first glance - and i will donate to all 5 temples shortly after.

    ~~Now i will briefly talk about system of hirelings (or mercenaries) - to not talk about it again, and even if you WILL NEED to use hirelings at ONE point in walkthrought, option to use mercs. is mostly non-mandatory option whole game.
    You can choose up to two hirelings in Hotels (in same window where player selects or disselects characters for party) for a maximum of 8 members in kill-squad. All hirelings have their own equipment (can be taken away - or you can give them something that you do not need as well), their own stats and class. Basically they're same as my SMAC dude for most part. They also can train in "gym" for free...
    Why i do not like more members in my team? Well, mostly because of their payment per day: it is usually too high for them to be worth it before later parts of game. In later parts of game, i actually plan to hire either cleric or sorcerer for MOAR SPELLS. Knights, robbers, ninjas can be useful for promotion quests, but this is not relevant now. So i will pass on hirelings~~
    [Very cool thing about Might & Magic 2 is how many different hirelings player can find in game and some actual story behind them - even if most mercs. are nothing, but easily spotted references to popular culture at time of JVC making M&M 2 and even if hirelings can be skipped completely - you can wander in wilderness and occassionally save one or even two potential party members. Actually wandering in wilderness is worth it, most of time, for "fun" factor alone].

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Sons of Nordoma in flesh: Sir Hyron is Knight, while Drog is Barbarian. They probably are cheap, but i will still pass on both.

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ My sorcerer learned how to scribe and update a "SMAC Map", so all cells going to be updated on map afterwards. For only lousy 10(!) gold. Cheapest skill, for sure.
    ~~Going to talk about skills in general and how i assign them to my characters next time...~~

    [​IMG]

    ^^^Sure... Interesting stuff happening in Tundara... TIME TO MOVE ON.

    OK, trained my characters to Level 3 [everyone except for front line, Knight and Paladin are Level 4] in best "gym" possible. Will explore wilds more near Middlegate:

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ After descending into monster pit (and fighting monsters named as cavaliers [very tough enemy type posessing multiple attacks] or nasty wicthes [pretty tough spell-caster], among usual weak nuisances)
    got these items: hourglass allow me to cast Time Distortion spell ("panic button" to escape combat) and speedy sword both being great weapon~ and passively boosting my speed stat.

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Water Walk spell encounter. Unsuprisingly, it is clerical spell in Might & Magic 2, hehe. I cannot use this spell right now (it is a Level 3 spell), but i still can scribe it in my spell book for future uses.

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ "Crusader" enemy type. As usual, game will reuse this sprite for many different monsters and NPC's.

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Good loot from this opponents as well.

    After returning to city and fighting in abandonded building horde consisting of rangers, brainless ones (variant of zombie) and single venomous snake got Long Bow + 2 and Quiet Sling + 2 (first goes to Archer, second goes to Robber).

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Current character sheet of brave Colonel Santiago with small shield feeling out of place.


    Hehe, Morgan is very happy with our current account [1460 gold in pockets of each character] - actually got this amount of gold in exactly two battles (!), so we now can get our gold as quick as we spend it.
    I have weird feelings about progression right now: at one hand my team is much stronger by this point [kicking cavalier's ass with good chance of surviving this, heh] and i completed couple of quests with explored dungeon to boot [well, almost explored]. At other hand, not very much happened in game so far - but combat and battles going to be more comfortable, because hardest and most tedious part of game - beginning - is over by now.

    Anyway...

    Hope to achieve in next post: ~

    ~...going to focus on monsters comparable with my level - and will provide more information about threats
    ~...going to delwe into at least one more dungeon
    ~...hope to buy most relevant spells for my casters - and level up casters to new circle of magic
    ~...actually why not fighting on Dust Bowl in Sandsobar?
    ~...hope to acquire item allowing me to travel into castles freely

    P.S. As usual - any questions and feedback is welcome.

    Cheers 0/
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
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  13. Dorateen Arcane

    Dorateen
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    I love how the portal to send the party back to Middlegate is sponsored by the "Keep Atlantium Beautiful Committee".

    Might & Magic II is one of the best crafted computer role-playing games ever, hands down.
     
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  14. azimovhaas8 (Moth) Learned

    azimovhaas8 (Moth)
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    Yes, most certainly. Might & Magic 2 have so many interesting details that player can notice on walls (even first dungeon beneath Middlegate can provide details and clues for player to digest), just as some really funny crap (especially looking at "specials" in Tundara or citizens of Atlantium making snarky remarks towards player). I think JVC himself had a ton of fun just making a game.
    Actually by not simply playing, but also writing parts of Let's Play here i noticed more details myself.
     
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  15. octavius Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    octavius
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    Good show!

    MM2 is my favourite loot whoring game. The randomness, the largest amount of prefixes and suffixes before Diablo, pluses going up to 32 or 64, alignment restrictions, the flavour of all the different chests, and eight characters to distribute the loot to.
    Closest thing is probably Nahlak, but it "fakes" things a bit by using different and more exotic names for the same items to give the illusion of more item diversity than there really is.

    But I guess MM2 is off putting for "a modern audience" (and even many veteran CRPG players) being too "gamey", with no clear story line, much randomness and silliness (like the totally random enemy compositions).

    The only nagative thing about it is really the level scaling (combined with area scaling). MM1 had it too, but it was more subtle. OTOH JVC fully implemented monster special attacks in MM2, while in MM1 most of the monsters had to be patched before the game was released to make the game not too difficult.

    To me MM3 was a huge decline.
     
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  16. CappenVarra phase-based phantasmist Patron

    CappenVarra
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    interesting typo? :)
     
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  17. azimovhaas8 (Moth) Learned

    azimovhaas8 (Moth)
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    Location:
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    ~Part 5: Adventure continues with Yang discovering
    large crypt with hordes of restless undead guarding something of value...

    As usual, going to continue from a point in Let's Play where my SMAC team been left in CRON. Right now probably going to wander in the world, exploring that i realistically can explore at my current level, discusssing monsters and landmarks in the world more.
    Basically, it is slightly usual: "a lot going to happen and it is mostly really interesting, but nothing really relevant for plot or progression will be done". But will see how everything will go!

    ~~Enjoy~~

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ This is item that i want to talk more about in the beginning - and actually got it in previous part, but had no real intentions to use during that point. This is item allow character possessing broom to cast Fly spell. And man - ability to Fly is something as strong as in later Might & Magic games, if not actually stronger! Bascially after this spell is cast character must enter region on world map where player wants to land (for example, C-2 is wilderness region leading to Middlegate). Game have 5 letter registers (from A to E) and 4 numberical registers for regions (1-4). Basically, 20 main regions, 5 cities with amount of dungeons that is hard to count from my memory (and counting amount of said dungeons is something breaking fun for me). Regions have no real names, so... uhh, usually i going to name them myself as game will go.

    So back on topic of spell... After you enter both registers game will teleport party in safest cell in region (usually it is city entrance or some distant part of road leading out of location). Safest cells are pre-placed, so player can count on being teleported in exact cell every time.

    Fly is great utility spell that actually so effective that it can basically break part of immersion and feeling of exploration for player, but this is only "bad" part of this spell for me. You get spell early on (Level 3 of "arcane" path), allowed to cast fly even in cities, it can be cast by archer later on [relevant if something kicked shit out of Zakharov *too* hard]... Everything you need for large part of game is in Fly alone.

    Anyway...
    ~~TIME TO ENTER MONSTER PIT COUPLE MORE TIMES FOR BLOOD AND GLORY~~

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Crazed Dwarf is something new coming from group of relatively weak critters... FUCK YOU DWARF - it is
    relatively strong creature with ability to enter "frenzy" so both Morgan and Zakharov been
    unconscious after his activation. Only good part is that Crazed Dwarf himself died in frenzy. Sometimes (while fighting with group of monsters with "frenzy" or "explode" abilities) player can just cast spells for better protection, drink some MaxHP potions... and can enjoy victory without firing a single shot.


    [​IMG]

    ^^^ At other hand, now Sister Miriam have her own suit of plate mail (first plate mail i found been equipped by Santiago).


    [​IMG]

    ^^^ After two more encounters in same cell (one of them been both hard and interesting - other combat is just wave of weak monsters falling flat to Sleep) i got this. Wind Mare is enemy constantly casting "sleep" on everyone in party, which can be quite annoying with big amount of hard hitting monsters. Suprisingly, orc been dealing 10 damage during each hit.

    [Some combinations of enemy types can posses much more difficulties then others on same difficulty level (usually, crap with special ability disabling members of party + crap dealing damage reliably), but i think this is pretty self evident].

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ By taking road to north from Middlegate in some sort of circle i noticed entrance to Corak's Cave. Let's explore this place for a bit!
    ~~Earlier in "communal" dungeon beneath Middlegate (druing couple parts of Let's Play before) game gave me hint about mage Lloyd being last seen in this location, so here more reasons to enter this place~~

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Ehh, one more invisible wall near entrance. Cool. But anyway, now i possess Lloyd's Beacon (it is 2-6) given to me by wizard himself.


    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Proably too early for me to delve deeper into this cursed place, but i will try to explore so called "zombie sanctuary"...

    First encounter harmless by now skeletons and flesh eaters, both eradicated by single clerical Turn Undead. Second encounter consists solely of Coffin Creeps and i do not remember how strong they're so i will "save" in Hotel before this.
    Actually...

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Best idea is to set Beacon part of spell (option # 1) in Corak's Cavern to teleport here in one go after hotel (option # 2). Game allow player to set only one beacon, unlike later games in series.


    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Seems like this dungeon have some fixed encounters. Anyway, let's trash them!
    Hmm, Coffin Creeps drain SP from every caster in party. It is interesting ability that possess more danger later on where casters have almost game-breaking level of power.
    P.S. Robber died to failed attempt of disarming trap and been resurrected for 300 gold...

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Middlegate Wilderness have fountains scattered all across the land, but from my previous experience most of said fountains are harmful, so i will pass here.


    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Next region (adjacent to C-2 in western borders) contains circus which is open during certain season, if i'm not wrong here. OHH... This region also contains some cool weapon in icy terrain, but i died couple of times last time due to traps.
    [Here also some insanely long encounters with weak, but REALLY NUMEROUS enemies - capped at 200+ creatures in single encounter, but this is big NO from me right now]

    Feck, traps all the way down to this item and they teleport me away to start of region. After couple of character ended up unconscious and strong group of monsters almost killed me decided to use Witch's Broom and get myself out of danger into Atlantium.

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Atlantium region surrounded by water cells with mountains *somehwere* (probably in west, but i cannot remember for sure) and right now (without some relevant skills and spells allowing me to ignore impassable terrain) only city is accessable for me.


    Hehe, here we go. Spend most of avaliable gold for leveling my characters - now both casters at Level 5 and Yang / Zakharov tandem can cast circel 3 spells. More on spells slightly later.
    For now we have something interesting to do with our sorcerer, who always wanted to speak in different tongues since his "embrace" into humble SMAC kill-team...

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Here you go, Zakharov! You're learned one - with both Cartographer and Linguist skills.

    Now more about skills and my own preferences in them (going to learn everything i plan to learn with next big "gold fewer" from loot). Each city in game contain set of skill teachers (corresponding to city theme in some way) - Middlegate have "traveler" theme of sorts (Mountaineer, Pathfinder, etc.), Sandsobar have "scum & villainy" theme of sorts (Diplomat, Gambler, Pickpocket), Tundara possess weird theme - sort of "frontier city" (Merchant, Navigator, etc), and so on [been searching for trainers during previous part for a bit, hehe].
    Most skills give boost to certain stat (+ 5) and rarely provide some effects beyond this. Some skills provide effects reliant for exploring game map (usually you need to have at least 2 characters with single skill - and both characters must stay on their legs).
    Skills providing effects for better exploration of game map much more valuable in my humble opinion - to a point where taking stat boosting skill rarely a good idea (except for one or two skills and player's preferences).

    Generally my plan on skills for SMAC party (judging by my experience with skills from previous run) is this: Knight must learn Mountaineer and Pathfinder, same with Paladin - both characters must know this pair of skills [you need 2x of both skills to even have effect] to traverse mountains and forests freely; Sorcerer already have Linguist (+ 5 to Intellect and ability to learn secret name, required for our guardian pegasus help) and Cartographer (map become active feature). Robber will take utility skills (Pickpocket and Gambler for boosting his ability to not fuck up disarming traps).
    Cleric and Archer have more freedom in their skill selection - it is useful to give one of them Hero (all stats increased by 1 + new options to interact with world), Crusader (allow to actually talk with Lords at all) and one must take Navigator (you will need this to even think about traveling into desert). Either cleric will take Diplomat (boost to personality) or Archer probably will take Soldier (boost for endurance), not sure here.
    ~~You also can forget skills at will in Middlegate, in case of potential fuck up. Thank you JVC, et again : ] ~~

    [During my exploration encountered Wind Maras + Fools + single Cavalier(!) given some troubles to me. At other hand, everybody gained + 1 000 EXP]


    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Druids silence everybody in my party. Too bad for them that i do not rely only on magic...
    Hmm, i found "druids only cavern" guard asking me for a password to enter (like if i need to be in this place right now) and one more encounter with druids alone (got irrelevant item with spell that i already know).
    Anyway...

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Here we go. My memory and clues given by pegasus (named as Meenu) helped me here.
    Will clear one more druidic party and will Fly to Pegasus shortly... After i will save in usual hotel : >

    Judging by game's geography - Tundara must be located in A-1 region (along with pegasus).


    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Sometimes even box cover of game can provide *some* information to inquisitive player.

    Actually, while Tundara indeed in A-1 - pegasus located in adjacent region to east of city. HERE is probably time for me to take Navigator skill (to traverse tundra) and Crusader (for future~), so i can actually use pegasus help.
    Tundara "monster controlled part" have all relevant teachers so why not to actually pay city a small visit?

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Crusader for Archer...


    [​IMG]

    ^^^...and Navigator for Archer too.

    Time to pay visit to our Protector in frozen wasteland east to Tundara.

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ After fucking blizzards taking me away from destination (i been wandering around for 5~ minutes) i been approaching pegasus from mountain part of wasteland and actually succeded.
    For typing "meenu" (name of guardian pegasus) i got 100 000 Gold - very good starting money! Player can potentially get them once per year~


    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Current funds of my party. Not bad at all.
    My mage and my cleric both require new spell for a at least one circle of magic already. Let's pay a visit to "poor" city first.

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Typical inhabitant of Sandsobar, colorized. But i need to enroll in local mage guild so i will give this fine lad some gold for more alcohol.

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Some shady citizens from Tundara tried to ambush me, but i see them as good targets for newly aquired spells (especially lightning bolt dealing ton of damage to multiple creatures).

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Now Zakharov can cast EVERY spell up to circle 3 of arcane magic.

    Instead of usual summary of current state of Let's Play (everything is alright, as usual) i will provide Level 3 spells descriptions and personal preferences towards spells:

    1) Sorcerer: ~
    Acid Stream (3-1) - costs 1 SP per level of caster + 2 gems - deals 2-8 acid damage per level to single target. Situational; generally much weaker compared to Lightning Bolt, but in some situations enemies are vulnerable to acid. Fly (3-2) - alredy covered this spell at the beginning. Invisibility (3-3) - reduces chances of enemies to hit party. Kind of meh, but at the same time applies to party - so enemy stats are less relevant; generally not fan of this spell. Lightning Bolt (3-4) - deals D6 damage per level of caster to 4 monsters, but costs tons of SP + 3 gems (!). First really useful damage spell, staple for sorcerer until later spells. Web (3-5) apply "paralyzed" condition to enemies not engaged in party hand-to-hand. Situational, sometimes player have no real chance to use it. Wizard's Eye (3-6) - sorry for typing Wizard's Eye before instead of Eagles's Eye, lol* - improved version of Eagle's Eye in all aspects.

    2) Cleric: ~
    Cold Ray (3-1) - costs 2 gems + 3 SP - deals fixed 25 damage to 5 monsters not engaged in party hand-to-hand. Situational (a lot of spells are situational), but worth it at times you can use it at all. Create Food (3-2) - creates 8 food rations and only to caster for 2 gems in addition to usual cost. Meh at best, usually much better to visit any Inn. for food and feed everybody in party. Still nice to have in spell book, psychologically (brings safety in heart, heh). Cure Poison (3-3) cures poison to single character in party. Suprisingly *almost* meh, due to rarity of poison applied by enemy attacks, but some traps can apply poison - so this spell still have it's limited uses. Immobilize (3-4) - have high chance to appliy "paralyze" to 5 enemies. It is OK spell, but usually cleric is busy with soemthing else to gamble on some critters being disabled. Matter of taste, i guess. Lasting Light (3-5) creates 20 "light sources" for party. You will need this is extremly dark zones devoid of any light. Walk on Water (3-6) - allows everyone to walk on water. Also something that player will need pretty soon in the game.

    Anyway...


    Hope to achieve following in next post: ~

    ~...will learn every skill i need for my party and will train in "gym" as much as my SMAC lads even can
    ~...will visit castle, but before will acquire way to visit castles without fights
    ~...going to get some more relevant spells
    ~...going to visit more dungeons in next post for sure
    ~...going to talk more about EVEN more spells and about some cool features in game map

    P.S. Feedback is appreciated as usual. If you want to see something - i can provide this, probably : >

    Cheers 0/
     
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  18. azimovhaas8 (Moth) Learned

    azimovhaas8 (Moth)
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    Location:
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    Man, thank you a lot for noticing this silly typo! Fixed it along with one more thing in spell list (Wizard's Eye in place of Eagle's Eye) :P
     
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  19. CappenVarra phase-based phantasmist Patron

    CappenVarra
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    i used eagle eye to spot it :D
     
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  20. octavius Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    octavius
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    Regarding skills, I found that in the early game it's healthier to pick the skills that increases Speed (Athlete? and Hero) than Mountaneering or Forestry.
    The nastiest encounters in the wilderness are usually in these terrains, so by not having the skills yet (later stats increases become virtually meaningless) you avoid the worst dangers, while the higher Speed helps with initiative and for tactical regrouping at an alternative distance (like when you face a whole clan of Crazed Natives).
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
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  21. azimovhaas8 (Moth) Learned

    azimovhaas8 (Moth)
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    I think something like early game Athlete is actually a pretty good pick (other candidate is a Soldier skill - player will get bonus HP anyway while leveling, and it does not matter if this skill later going to be replaced), but with limitations on skills per character (2 at max, unlike later games) and amount of skills that i personally like to get for comfortable game...
    Hmm... On other hand, learning Athelete and Soldier for everybody during early game - and forgetting both skills during period where money is non-issue is actually not bad play. Never been thinking about this too much, heh

    You usually train single character in Athelete skill (archer, for example) or you train most party members in it?
     
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  22. octavius Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    octavius
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    I train everyone in it, if I can.
     
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  23. Dorateen Arcane

    Dorateen
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    Another reason hirelings are helpful, with the extra two characters you can cover a wider range of skills.
     
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  24. azimovhaas8 (Moth) Learned

    azimovhaas8 (Moth)
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    Location:
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    Right now i will use only 6 characters. Later on (actually in next three parts for sure) 2 more hirelings going to join me forming party of 8 members.
    Not sure about classes of hirelings i will hire, but probably one more cleric and one more sorcerer.

    By the way, it is nice to see people suggesting me some new ideas (or something that i do not pay much attention to) and sharing their own experience.
     
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  25. azimovhaas8 (Moth) Learned

    azimovhaas8 (Moth)
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    Location:
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    ~Part 6: Adventure continues with Pravin Lal
    using his
    Crusader privilege to talk with Lords of Realm!


    More free time during morning hours and one more part of Let's Play is going to be created : >
    [Actually completed this Part during day due to amount of content, but whatever]

    As usual, going to continue from point where i left my party in the CRON. In this part i will slightly speed things up and while i have no big priorities right now (other then gaining gold and experience in big chunks) some things can be done for more interesting playthrought and more interesting read.
    Let's begin!...


    ...With gaining new levels for everybody with enough experience and gaining relevant skills (in my own opinion, of course) for Knight, Paladin, Robber and for Cleric. I have enough gold to provide most characters with new training and new boosts, also most of my equipment needs to be replaced by something more appropriate for my power level~

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Mountaineer and Pathfinder are in Middlegate, so i take these skills right away.
    Robber and Cleric both have something to learn in Sandsobar... Robber will take skill boosting his mastery in art in of thievery (PickPocket), so he will fuck up less while disarming all sorts of traps. Cleric will take personality boosting skill for better SP gains while leveling up in "gym" (Diplomat).



    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Decided to teach both [Cleric and Robber have spare slot] in endurance boosting skill (Soldier), partially because of big training coming up. Other interesting skill (Hero) going to be for hirelings.

    ~~TIME TO TRAIN HARD!~~
    Maybe not that hard, actually. Everybody now is at Level 7 (both Robber (+12 HP) and Cleric (+13 HP) now benefit from higher endurance), but i expected one more level. Time to kill more monsters and complete one more side-quest of sorts.
    [One quick note about leveling up: spell-casters gain SP only per two level up's (along with magical circles up to 9-th circle, afterwards only SP], everybody gain additional attacks with weapons per X levels (different rate for different classes - Knight and Barbarian both benefit the most from additional attacks, while sorcerer does not gain much for weapon use even at higher levels, if i'm not mistaken), everybody gain amount of HP depending on class and endurance (Barbarian benefits the most from this, Sorcerer and Robber the least)]


    [​IMG]

    ^^^ For slaughtering 3 groups of druids found [in all loot chests] Ray Gun +3 (very good, goes to Santiago), Mace +4 (it is also good, but for cleric) and MaxHP Potion (gaining +500~ HP is always appreciated); everything else is jank for selling in any city.
    At this point Druids posses no real danger for my party, even if they leave everybody in party with "silenced" condition afterwards. [Some other enemies can silence party as well, so it is wise to keep some high level spell-substitute items in inventory].

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Time to follow Nordoma advise and donate in all temples (5 temples in total, each donation going from 100 gold to 500 gold, so i can complete this side-quest much earlier).


    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Got ambushed by this crap on my way in Atlantium. While giant scorpion enemy type applied no "poisoned" condition so far they also seem like pretty hard hitting creatures (Miriam lost most of her HP - from 75+ to 15 - in single round, along with Santiago).

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Pretty good reward for this battle. Simple, but well crafted weapons with good enchants. [Even if i going to sell Great Warhammer, ehh].
    Anyway, let's move into Eleusinian Temple...


    [​IMG]

    ^^^ After donating to last temple located in Atlantium at the exact same moment my party *somehow* found a Fe Farthing. Going to use this special item shortly after~

    Ahh, most of my current equipped items are in "jank" category, unfortunately (Miriam still uses small shield and sorcerer have nothing better then padded armor + 0, for example) - so i decided to take a quick trip to local smithy.
    Got Thief Lockpick + 5 (boosting robber signature skill to 70 %), some Helms with + 4 enchant (for Cleric, Knight and Paladin), Padded Armor + 3 for sorcerer [so mostly had need in better armor pieces for almost everybody] and... MaxHP Potions for every character in party as well (it will allow me to do something i want to do slightly later, you will see~).


    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Current state of my party in face of Colonel Santiago. She needs better weapon pretty soon~

    ~~During my trip to Middlegate been ambushed by group of medium difficulty monsters - got some gold and Magic Charm + 2 for CEO Morgan along with Cinder Pipe (need to look up in manual for this item)...~

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Fire themed (and pretty rare as it seems) version of blowpipes allowing user to gain protection versus fire (Fire + 10) and cast fireballs. Later will give it to Morgan, but for now Zakharov is right man for cinder pipe.


    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Here we go! Fountain in very distant part of Middlegate (15, 15 is coordinates of it) gave us Castle Key. It is analogue of merchant's pass from Might & Magic 1 allowing party to travel into any Castle of player's choice without fighting way in.

    One of the good ways to test my current power level is to attack Barbarians in mountains, close to druids gathering and in same region. Barbarian enemy type is high level one, very hard hitting and well defended, but devoid of some truly nasty spells like death's finger, disintegrate or invoke power - so it is basically a bland bruiser enemy type with only way to defeat SMAC party is to pumel us in the ground.
    It is also pretty good way to aquire some well enchanted items for multiple characters at once.

    MaxHP potion is solution to most hard fights (even Cuisinarts fear MaxHP potion for thousand of HP + Divine Intervention), but here some details:
    1) Additional HP gained from potions are not added immideately to health pool (!) - you need to use clerical spells to replenish HP before combat (Power Cure) or during combat (Divine Intervention is notorious for curing all HP at once, but works only during combat encounters).
    2) You gain +500~ HP from a single potion - but all excessive HP will be lost after a single rest.
    3) Minor spoiler related to game map features, but one fountain located in region with castle allow party to replenish mana. Do not remember exact name of Castle and region, but you get the idea of how some extremly hard fights can be "cheezed" away : >

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Here we go!


    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Unfortunately got my ass kicked by this opponents...

    ...Without fountain replenishing mana i have not many chances to win, unofrtunately. I will actually travel in castle area and explore it for a bit...
    Ahh, it is a region with Castle Woodhaven (region with C-1 register)


    [​IMG]

    ^^^ LOL. Wandering in woods have it's own benefits, sometimes.

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Moon Fountain is great for all sorts of bullshit...

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Time for a second encounter with barbarians. If i will fail this time... well, i need to come back later at some point and focus on other shit for now.


    [​IMG]

    ^^^ HELL YEAH, HERE WE GO. One of the best spells for this type of combat is combination of Heroism (on Zakharov, Santiago and Miriam) + Lightning Bolt on steroids.
    But reward is kind of meh - only 2 000 gold for everyone without any items. Fine.
    [Another *slight* problem with cheezing out combat this way is potential gem shortage. Maybe not as big of a problem as i think now, but still costed my casters around 20+ gems]

    Done same "procedure" one more time and will stop for now - while rewards in experience (8 000 to every character) are great, rewards in items and high cost in gems are not very promising right now.

    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Ohh! Half of my party can level up actually, but i need little more experience for otehr half... OHH, HELLO GATE KEEPERS, NICE TO SEE EVERYONE. [Gate Keepers are very resistent to magic, otherwise it is pretty bland enemy type]


    [​IMG]

    ^^^ Hunchbacks (who live in one of the less pleasant buildings in Atlantium) are immune to melee atatcks of woman characters, which is sad, considering two our best melee combatants are Santiago and Miriam...
    Actually easy fight due to low stats of Hunchbacks and Heroism + Pravin Lal bow mastery with Zakharov annihilating bunch of crap by himself.

    Now both Archer (who is knight-sorcerer hybrid) and Paladin (who is knight-cleric hybrid) gain Level 1 spells. What they going to use from this level right now, even if from time to time and sporadically? Well, Archer going to use Awaken, Light (to save as much SP as possible for sorcerer to cast more "nukes") and Energy Blast (scales with level of caster, and sometimes it is better alternative to physical attacks). Paladin, on other hand, going to use Turn Undead (scales with level of caster), Power Cure (best option, because it scales with caster and heals large chunks of HP) and very rarely - Bless.
    Paladin also is backup option to get cleric back, if he is knocked out.

    ~~Now i will win first triple crown challenge (i need 3 green tickets for this) to rescue first bishop and provide insight into castle system as well in process~~

    1) First fight (on Arena in Middlegate) is against... Mini-Rex group. Not worth commenting this.
    2) Second fight (on Dust Bowl in Sandsobar) is against... Beggar group. Also not worth commenting, except that i lost some gems to special ability of enemies (finished both fights without using SP, because why i need to).
    3) Third fight (on Colosseum in Atlantium) is against... Rabid Rodent group. From my memory they have small chance to apply disease, but no such thing happened.

    Now i need one more item for actually rescuing bishop - key of relevant color (green key in my case). Keys Masters can found in cities and they can create item for small fee.


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    ^^^ Relevant Key Master located near Pathfinder skill teacher in Middlegate. And of course, i will agree for this "transaction".

    Now our party (with help of reliable and well liked Fly spell casted by Zakahrov) will travel to our first castle located in C-1 (same region as moon fountain, basically).

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    ^^^ Entrance to Woodhaven. Each castle also have it's ruler (obviously) - and in case of Castle Woodhaven it is a Lord Hoardall.


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    ^^^ ""Funny"" joke of a day by Court Jester. Everyone in my party tried to quikcly pass him, before he would tell more about Orcs...
    [Jester favorite target creature are orcs, for some reason - most jokes have something to with them]


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    ^^^ Here we go! Bishops are good way to earn experience in early-medium part of the game. And player need to free Bishop of Black Battle anyway (plot-relevant task), so bishops have their place in game.

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    ^^^ Judging by description and by Lord's name (Hoardall) he is obssesed with rare crap. Well, well, i will accept one Lord's Task for future (each Lord have 4 levels of difficulty - but with Hoardall it is worth to go for "hardest" difficulty).
    [Without Crusader skill talking to all Lord's is not an option]


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    ^^^ Will see Woodhaven Lord later on - right now all three swords out of my rich by power of enemies alone. Not in the mood for "cheeze".

    ~~Right now it is too early for me to venture deeper in Castle (or more precisely - deeper in Lord's Dungeon), but i will provide quick overview of what generally can be expected from each castle. Other then *color-coded* Bishop of Battle, each castle usually have multi-leveled dungeon. Most castle dungeons have pretty good loot, and sometimes can lead into other places. All castles also house class specific items [only characters of relevant class can equip them] - but it is hard to say if it is worth go for them or not.
    Every castle have special "food room" where after fighting with guards party can replenish food for free (hardly worth it, considering how cheap rations are), and most castle zones (except for small part, avaliable for player) are heavily guarded as well.

    Every dungeon have some interesting secondary statistics changing encounters (Woodhaven can turn every character original aligment to Neutral moral state, and so on).

    Every Lord of Realm also seems to dislike one particular race (Hoardall hates elves, for example). Only race that everybody *loves* (or nobody hates them too hard, hehe) is gnomish race : /
    All plot relevant items for using TIME MACHINE also located somehwere in every castle, all across the CRON~~

    In the end i will provide quick overview to new spells with my preferences:

    1) Sorcerer~

    Cold Beam (4-1) deals 6 cold damage per level of caster to single enemy + 2 gems as part of cost. Situational, mostly for situations with 2-3 remaining creatures where wasting more costly spells is bad option. Feeble Mind (4-2) negates enemy spell-casting capabilities and negates enemy abilities as well + 3 gems as part of cost. Unlike later games in series (looking at the same spell in Might and Magic 6 is sad) it is extremly useful one; dragons are best targets for it. Fire Ball (4-3) deals D6 damage per level of caster to 6 monsters not engaged with party in hand-to hand (+ 3 gems). Pretty OK spell, good option for big battles - it is SP efficient way to kill opponents. Guard Dog (4-4) defends against SURPRISE attack from monsters (no gems needed). Worth it, especially during some "cheeze" attempts and Final Dungeon. Shield (4-5) defends against most ranged attacks and spells / special abilities are not ranged attacks by game logic. Hard to predict best time to use it and sorcerer usually better options, so i'm not fan of this spell. Time Distortion (4-6) can be used only during combat and have high chance of moving party in safest cell in location (+3 gems). Situational, but certainly have it's uses.

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    ^^^ More options to use - both BAD and GOOD ones.

    2) Cleric~

    Acid Spay (4-1) deals 6-60(!) damage to 3 monsters in non-engaged directly in melee. Dem, it is pretty good spell. Air Transmutation (4-2) allows to visit Elemental Plane of Air (+3 gems). Plot relevant spell. Cure Disease (4-3) removes "diseased" condition from single character. Meh, have even less uses then compared to poison curing spell, but some traps can apply this condition, so why not to have this spell. Restore Aligment (4-4) restores aligment to starting state (if it been changed during game). Meh again, sadly - for most part of the game aligment only is relevant for equipping items. Surface (4-5) instantly moves party from any point in dungeon to closest regional space (entrance to dungeon). Extremly useful, not as useful as Fly for example, but still very respectable spell. Holy Bonus (4-6) applies damage bonus (related to caster level) to target character - up to + 300(!) additional damage per hit. Awesome, and even more on high levels - and can be casted on same character over and over, if needed.

    ~What's all for now!
    It's been a pretty long trip in Might & Magic 2, but i'm not sure what to do next time. So many options are open for me this time, and i have much more freedom compared to beginning of the game.

    Anyway...


    In next part of Let's Play i will try to do: ~

    ~...hope to rescue more Bishops of Battle from their castles
    ~...actually, will explore cities more - never been in Sandsobar or Tundara dungeons
    ~...hope to gain access for better weapons for my knight and for my paladin
    ~...hope to actually complete first Lord of Realm quest (three swords of chivalry)

    P.S. Feedback and critique are welcome. Just as sharing memories and feelings about Migh & Magic 2, heh.

    Cheers 0/
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020
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