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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » RPGWatch Feature: M&M Heroes VI Fan Preview

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October 5th, 2011, 20:16
The series carries a heavy legacy, with a loyal yet demanding community following its steps…
This is one of the best sentences I have read related to Heroes.

I am and I have always been huge fan of HoMM. I have been following development of MMHVI since it was first confirmed that UBI is working on it. I've tried closed beta, demo and public beta and game has huge potential.
It kept essence of Heroes franchise and improved it many ways. Heroes is still Heroes and very fun to play in this installment.
Sure, there are things that need improving but at least it seams that the fans are going to get what they asked for in near future.
Only thing that keeps bothering me are Town Windows and I will keep fighting for their change in nearest possible future as much as I can. This is one feature I cannot accept in this form and in current state. I needs to be changed ASAP to proper and well known and loved townscreens.
I have already preordered Heroes and I'm looking forward to play it against friends in hotseat and online and I will keep supporting franchise anyway I can.
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October 5th, 2011, 20:54
Yeah, the town screen really bothered me too. Which of course is kind of funny since I never really looked at it THAT much in earlier games. But all I could think of was…WHY? I see the point in removing all the rare resources although I might not prefer it that way, but I see absolutely no point whatsoever in messing up the town interface…
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October 6th, 2011, 02:04
@Dark Whisperer
They will change in a patch, after all those complaints it was really a matter of time A shame to waste resources like that when they could have made it right from the beginning but at least we'll get what we asked for.

Meanwhile there is an interesting discussion going in the official forums, feel free to join.

http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/t…8/m/2701046159

- Elvin
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October 13th, 2011, 14:44
Seems that the game got released, but for some reason I get only a black screen on the homepage:
http://might-and-magic.ubi.com/heroes-6/en-GB/home/

Maybe something is wrong with my firefox, dunno.

Anyways, there are some fresh reviews, mostly saying this (quote) "for many this game will never surpass you-know-which installment of the series, but nevertheless you should give the new Heroes a chance":
http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/might-magic-heroes-vi
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October 13th, 2011, 17:06
So apparently if you lose your connection to their servers (internet cuts out for a second) while playing a single player game, the game will force you out without giving you the opportunity to save.

http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/t…8/m/6031093359

The only way to avoid this currently is to play without any of the "dynasty" traits or weapons enabled it seems.
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October 13th, 2011, 17:12
Originally Posted by jhwisner View Post
So apparently if you lose your connection to their servers (internet cuts out for a second) while playing a single player game, the game will force you out without giving you the opportunity to save.

http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/t…8/m/6031093359

The only way to avoid this currently is to play without any of the "dynasty" traits or weapons enabled it seems.
guess i have to resort to a cracked executable ?
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October 13th, 2011, 17:45
Are you saying this is the same case like Diablo3 will have where for the singleplayer game you MUST have 24/7 internet connection active?
Are they normal!?

Anyway, there's already a patch and from what I can see - this issue is not adressed in it:
http://might-and-magic.ubi.com/heroe…t=tcm:6-231-32


Look, I really planned to buy this game, but if it's true they wanted to screw us before Diablo3 does, I definetly won't bother with it.


EDIT:
OMG the player in that thread on ubisoft's forum says that the game loader has Facebook link… Now I'm definetly not buying it. On a positive side, I can use the money I almost wasted on this new Zynga cretinism to preorder Skyrim.
Last edited by joxer; October 13th, 2011 at 17:59.
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October 13th, 2011, 18:15
Originally Posted by ikbenrichard View Post
guess i have to resort to a cracked executable ?
No point if you purchased the game - dynasty traits and weapons require an internet connection to use. I think the information on which ones you've unlocked are stored server side; though apparently they don't merely require you to login upon starting the game but also a constant connection during play. So for now if you're internet connection isn't rock solid you get to chose between being forced out in mid game without the opportunity to save (so save often) or forgoing features like dynasty traits and weapons by not using any of the offline features that require logging in.

Hopefully there's a work-around or a patch to address this soon. Unless you disable autosaves or reduce their frequency then you only probably lose 1 day. Of course if it happens right after several tough battles on a single turn and in latter stages in larger maps this can represent a decent chunk of time and accomplishment. I have tested this on my system it it does indeed kick me out of my single player game when I unplug my network cable during game play. Luckily my application drive is a fairly peppy SSD - which might explain why auto/quick/normal saves don't seem to take as long as some on the official forums have been seeing. Some people do disable/change the autosave settings because the time it takes to perform these saves can be frustratingly long for some people; for them I just hope their internet connection is reliable or that they don't mind missing out on the unique dynasty artifacts and passive bonus traits.

Another potentially frustrating and infuriating problem for those without access to rock-solid constant connections is that all save games created when you are connected are completely inaccessible/incompatible if you chose to play without connecting. That means if your internet goes down due to anything from construction to mischevious gremlins then even your last autosave will not be useable until you regain connectivity. From their official FAQ:

Also the offline, and online saves are structured differently due to slight differences in the campaign script related to the online bonuses collected during the campaign, so they are not compatible with each other at the moment.
I never would have expected this from UbiSoft - a company renowned for their judiciously sparse and unobtrusive use of DRM. I just can't beleive the same company that published consumer friendly titles like Settlers 7 would do screw it up this badly. Maybe from a company like Stardock or Spiderweb, but never UbiSoft. Sigh, what is the world coming to when our most cherished and trusted soulless multinational corporations stop caring about their customers.
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October 13th, 2011, 19:25
Well there is a workaround crack to play offline already. Use it it at your own risk as you might not be able to go back online after.

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October 13th, 2011, 19:43
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Well there is a workaround crack to play offline already. Use it it at your own risk as you might not be able to go back online after.
The way some features - dynasty traits and weapons - are scripted into the game renders them inaccessible without a live connection to UbiSoft servers. This is the reason why saves created while online can't be opened if you lose connectivity - those features do not simply turn on and off based on whether or not you're connected. The code references for these features - according to UbiSoft -do not refer to locally stored objects or values but instead instruct the game to refer to server-side data.

If you legally purchased the game you do not need a crack to play offline - you simply play in offline mode exclusively which prevents any and all access to the features I mentioned. Installing the crack gains you nothing - it simply bypasses the activation on initial launch allowing you to play the same offline mode without ever logging in. This has the disadvantage of effectively making the choice to switch back to online mode more involved and potentially requiring a re-installation - should you decide you want dynasty features or to play multiplayer.

A third party solution will have to be far more substantive than what a crack ammounts to as it will require modding the game code so that the references will point to locally defined variables, values, and objects. It would also require the game to be modified to either cease distinguishing between online mode and offline mode saves otherwise the game will simply refuse to open those saves when offline. Failing that there a third party fix for this particularly intrusive means of encouraging a constant connection would require a locally spoofed/emulated server and for any attempts to connect to UbiSoft to be redirected to it. Both of these potentials for third party fixes will require time and effort - and given the inability to look at the operations server-side a heavy modification of the game itself is more likely but still nothing that will happen very quickly if at all.
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October 13th, 2011, 20:05
I know as I work on wow emulators so your speaking on stuff I know. There already is a Diablo 3 emulator but they need to gather the data to make the emulator work just like the wow servers.

Cant say I'm surprised by this as Ubisofts goal is to make pcgaming harder then it needs to be. Nothing new really. There track record speaks for itself.

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October 13th, 2011, 20:29
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
I know as I work on wow emulators so your speaking on stuff I know. There already is a Diablo 3 emulator but they need to gather the data to make the emulator work just like the wow servers.

Cant say I'm surprised by this as Ubisofts goal is to make pcgaming harder then it needs to be. Nothing new really. There track record speaks for itself.
Yeah its certainly doable - but reverse engineering a server based solely on what is visible client side certainly does take time and effort. Luckily, at least with regard to the dynasty features, the number of specific interactions of interest is incredibly small compared to actual multilayer game-play. I suppose compared to what you
do on WoW emulators it would more like if you only had to figure out authentication/handshaking and the reporting of damage/health values to the client from the server.
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October 15th, 2011, 16:09
A word of caution: If you buy a hard copy of the game be absolutely sure that you're entering the right key when you activate the game the first time you start it.

I didn't notice that the game's activation key was printed in the Finnish section of the quick start guide, so I entered the only activation key I could find which turned out to be the key for the bonus content added to the pre-order edition of the game. The activation program accepted the key but when I start the game it says that the key is not a proper key so it won't connect to the conflux servers which basically means that half the features of the game are inaccessible … but the wonderful part is that the game won't let me enter the correct key. I've tried uninstalling the game to no avail. Way to go Ubisoft!!!

Oh and by the way, the facebook and twitter thing is not just on the loader, it is in the main menu of the game … bleh!

"Chess in particular had always annoyed him. It was the dumb way the pawns went off and slaughtered their fellow pawns while the kings lounged about doing nothing that always got to him; if only the pawns united, maybe talked the rooks around, the whole board could've been a republic in a dozen moves." - Commander Vimes in Thud! by Terry Pratchett
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October 15th, 2011, 22:00
Originally Posted by fatBastard() View Post
A word of caution: If you buy a hard copy of the game be absolutely sure that you're entering the right key when you activate the game the first time you start it.

I didn't notice that the game's activation key was printed in the Finnish section of the quick start guide, so I entered the only activation key I could find which turned out to be the key for the bonus content added to the pre-order edition of the game. The activation program accepted the key but when I start the game it says that the key is not a proper key so it won't connect to the conflux servers which basically means that half the features of the game are inaccessible … but the wonderful part is that the game won't let me enter the correct key. I've tried uninstalling the game to no avail. Way to go Ubisoft!!!

Oh and by the way, the facebook and twitter thing is not just on the loader, it is in the main menu of the game … bleh!
I got a flashback of settlers 7. Didn't think it was necessary then and it's not now.

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October 15th, 2011, 23:00
The Settlers 7 Gold still have this online thing.
At least that's what I understood by reading the package.

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October 16th, 2011, 05:19
Hey, just in case anyone found the game made them motion sick…

Turn off "Vegetation Animation."

Never had a game make me feel sick before, either, and wasn't sure if it was the game or not until I messed with the settings. Even after the trees stopped moving I could kinda still see them moving in my mind. Sickly.

The game is good, BTW. Best tactical battles of the series. Best character progression. Best balance. I like having less resource types and the Fort system which really helps keep a lot of boring mine recapture play out of the game. There's a lot less tediousness going on.

Though I'm kinda pissed I'll have to buy an expansion before I can play wizards or dungeons or elves. Such is life.

Also, Kings Bounty will ALWAYS have the missing "Turn of Red AI…." over homam.

Some times in heroes6 all you do in a turn is think "3 days until unit restock, better start heading back." and watch more loading bar than actual gameplay.
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October 16th, 2011, 10:08
Originally Posted by SirJames View Post
Hey, just in case anyone found the game made them motion sick…

Turn off "Vegetation Animation."

Never had a game make me feel sick before, either, and wasn't sure if it was the game or not until I messed with the settings. Even after the trees stopped moving I could kinda still see them moving in my mind. Sickly.

The game is good, BTW. Best tactical battles of the series. Best character progression. Best balance. I like having less resource types and the Fort system which really helps keep a lot of boring mine recapture play out of the game. There's a lot less tediousness going on.

Though I'm kinda pissed I'll have to buy an expansion before I can play wizards or dungeons or elves. Such is life.

Also, Kings Bounty will ALWAYS have the missing "Turn of Red AI…." over homam.

Some times in heroes6 all you do in a turn is think "3 days until unit restock, better start heading back." and watch more loading bar than actual gameplay.
I agree. I do like homm6 alot too. tactical its good. However KB is a tiny bit better.
Character progression is indeed SUPER !. alot of choices !
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October 16th, 2011, 16:11
Originally Posted by ikbenrichard View Post
I agree. I do like homm6 alot too. tactical its good. However KB is a tiny bit better.
Character progression is indeed SUPER !. alot of choices !
Guess I'll do a first impressions/partial review. I should start by saying I have at least enjoyed some sessions so far - quite a good deal when it has been working properly; I have also been more disappointed with it than I have any previous Heroes release I've played

I'm a little bit more mixed about it - partly because I have the misfortune of having tried to play during the least stable times for UbiSoft's servers and have been booted out of my single player campaign games several times when connection to Conflux was lost. Poor decisions in how to implement Conflux, some fairly obnoxious bugs in the single player campaign, some minor but very obvious graphical glitches, a schizophrenic AI, and a few glaring balance issues make it hard for me to be glowingly positive about it.

Some of the feelings of bitterness that is being and will likely continue to be expressed towards this release have to do with the Dynasty and Conflux systems - rather than the otherwise mostly standard DRM/activation. A good deal of what they are calling "extras" really don't need to be tied to Conflux at least as far as their use in single player. No good reason they couldn't have set it up so offline play could have benefited from most of those features without posing a risk of abuse in multiplayer; it's not like having differentiations between local and server validated player profiles is a new idea either. Extras would be things along the lines of additional maps released periodically (more than the 10 it comes with) or new artifacts. Calling plot items from the campaign, the ability to create custom heroes, to unlock more of the prebuilt heroes than the paltry vanilla ones and scenario starting bonuses "extras" is a bit disingenuous. A few of those things shouldn't even have to be unlocked let alone tied to Conflux.

The thing that is most frustrating however is not so much that these features are tied to the online service and require a constant connection to use - but that the same applies to any save games created if you intend to be able to use them. If you are playing a single player campaign while in online-mode - required to use any Conflux/Dynasty restricted feature - you must remain connected while you play. Loss of connection results in you being unceremoniously booted from your game. While you are unable to connect you are also unable to access any of your saves or campaign progress made while you were connected. This means that legitimate paying customers may be left with the same limited content as pirates subject to the reliability and accessibility of UbiSoft's servers as well as the fidelity of their own connection.

Sadly, as many experienced with the release of Settlers 7 and are now experiencing again, UbiSoft does not excel at providing stable and consistently accessible online services. In peak hours and at other seemingly random times users have reported repeated disconnects and periods of complete server outage. Customers in the Russian market have effectively been cut off in large numbers with a sizable number pre-order and day 1 customers finding their keys invalidated or deleted. Those who entered bonus keys, incorrect keys, or whose keys were subsequently invalidated without explanation have found themselves indefinitely blocked from Conflux and the Dynasty features and are given no means to update or correct mis-entered keys. Re installation does not fix this problem either as the keys are linked to their account and not merely the installation and the key is entered upon first login and activation with the account being used to activate subsequent installations.

While pretty at times, there are some very noticeable problems with the presentation. Mostly I do like the UI, but it lacks polish in a way that can make it annoying. While some of the context menus are quite well thought out, many of the tactical view menus seem to lack thought or organization - list view in a few places would make far more sense where having to mouse over things to few their details is tedious. Graphical glitches and oversights - the flickering mouse cursor and the lack of anti-aliasing - are not overwhelmingly distracting but they seem to indicate a lack of care taken in finalizing the presentation. Curious sound behaviors - such as the chipmunk effect you get if you turn up combat speeds - also seem indicative of a lack of attention and finesse.

The AI is incredibly inconsistent - glitchy and suicidal at times, effective and efficient at others. I've had AI controlled heroes charge right at my strongest army - with 3 orcs making up their entire force. At the same time they would leave towns almost undefended hiring most of their creatures in forts. In combat they would often destroy more of their own creatures with spells than they would mine. At different the AI did a rather alright job of distributing and maneuvering forces and would give me a decent challenge and interesting (not funny) combat. All of this was on the hard difficulty setting in stand alone maps.

In the campaign there were some other balance issues - primarily related to the supression of AI behavior for certain things and the difficulty sub-settings. It seemed that the sole determining factor for difficulty in many campaign maps was what the growth rate was set at. High growth rates with all other difficulty options lowered made exploration in many scenarios ill-advised. This is partly because of how it affected neutral mob sizes but far more because it directly determined the AI players' army sizes.

They AI doesn't really build armies in campaign scenarios - or do much of anything at the strategic level - in the campaign. To a degree the scripted nature of these scenarios makes them more interesting and individual, at least the first time you play. As implemented it does not always result in a challenge as much as it does an accidental time limit. It spawns armies at certain intervals - sometimes daily in the absence of a surviving army - whose sizes appear to be directly determined by the total time elapsed in the scenario and the creature growth rate. This often means that making a bee-line to major objectives and avoiding any exploration is the only way to avoid enemy towns becoming spawners of infinite hordes unless you've selected a lower growth rate than default for a chosen overall difficulty.

I've also had to reload or even restart several campaign missions because the completion of quests failed to trigger and the scenario simply failed to recognize victory and end. This was particularly rampant in the necromancer campaign and, partly due to the limit of 10 online-mode non-autosaves, has been reported as frequently causing players to either have to restart missions entirely or roll them back quite a bit at least. I've also had to replay the final turn of several missions I beat to get it to recognize and save Dynasty items acquired on those maps; others have reported permanently losing these items and being unable to get Conflux to properly recognize their acquisition.

The game has some definite good points and does succeed on a number of levels. The campaign missions are fairly densely plotted and diverse for the most part. There aren't many missions that feel like filler - modestly dressed up stand-alone capture maps - and almost all of them do feel like they tell a story and the objectives feel distinct and purposeful. Though the blundering, cheating, or suicide of the AI gets in the way more often than it seems to help the experience the battles do have the potential to be quite interesting and they often are.

The weapons of war - characters and creatures - aren't too shabby either. The creatures' abilities and roles are far more diverse than I remember them being in any previous heroes game - though the tool-tips are woefully inadequate at times in explaining what they actually do. The character levelling system is pretty extensive and offers for a great deal of customization - a good deal than many popular action-oriented rpgs (The Witcher 2, Mass Effect 2, and Deus Ex: Human Revolution for example.) Artifact abilities, diversity, and sets are also far more interesting this time around - if only their text scaled better to my monitor and resolution.

It is very frustrating to decide how I feel about this game because it represents a lot of squandered potential but also some quite expertly realized potential at times. In its present state it feels like the results of the beta test were not sufficiently examined nor was proper attention given to quality assurance. It also feels as though much of the UI was created incrementally rather than planned out properly and this leads to a schizophrenic feeling to the menus and information presented. The way in which the online system was implemented will never bother some - but will genuinely infuriate many others. In the end it is a definite mixed bag which a great number will enjoy immensely but which many will feel fails to respect its lineage while also failing to respect them as a consumer.

At best I can suggest that people wait for the bugs and glitches to be ironed out - at least one more patch. Those turned off by the Dynasty/Conflux integration and online-requirement for access to some features and all saved progress which had access to those features may have to wait much longer with fingers tightly crossed as this behavior appears to have been the goal except for server-side reliability issues. I do have to say this is the first Heroes game I wish I hadn't bought when I had; it's certainly not the first where design changes didn't suit me at first but it is the only time I just wish I had grabbed it in a bargain been with all the patches for half the price.
Last edited by jhwisner; October 16th, 2011 at 16:32.
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October 18th, 2011, 21:06
Why can't it be Age of Wonders still getting graphical enhancements/rehashes?

Played quite a bit of HOMM6 (demo) this weekend.

Lots of good: 2D art, 3D animations, the musical score, large bestiary, slick interface.

Some bad: Draconian DRM, bugs, balance issues, AI

Like others have noted in this thread, I too feel that the HOMM mechanic of weekly recruiting to assemble massive stacks is just tired (after 20 years).

While the hero skill tree is large, I felt myself reaching for the same ones over again (a might 'build' and a build for each of the schools of magic. Is fun to mix and match, and I do like that recruited heroes get bonus spell/+10% type innate perks.

With Steam's holiday sales right around the corner, the only way I touch this title again is a sub $20 price tag and/or dropping of the online requirements for campaign/dynasty stuff.

Back to Shadow Magic! <- Would pay $99 for a modernized version of
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October 18th, 2011, 22:08
Tactical maps are too big. There is no way to protect your healers/archers from melee rushers. Not enough slots in your army to split stacks for protection.

The only way around it is to have high initiative and enough damage to kill AI's most dangerous units first.

Nice touch with water/air and fire/ice magic combos.

P.S. AP: Crossworlds is a much better game as it limits number of mobs in your army by a leadership value. Smaller maps with choke points. Heroes development makes much more sense.

Overall disappointed. Would have rather bought it at $15-20 pricepoint or gold/GotY edition with all DLCs and bugs fixed (how about elite creature having special attack doing no damage, beta test anyone?)
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