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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » RPGWatch Feature - HoMM Online Hands-on Impressions

Default RPGWatch Feature - HoMM Online Hands-on Impressions

June 23rd, 2010, 14:13
Ubisoft has controlled the Might & Magic franchise for a few years now with underwhelming results. The announcement of a Heroes of Might & Magic multiplayer browser game developed in China didn't exactly inspire excitement, either. While we don't actively cover MMO games any more, VoxClamant's offer to tell us about the beta for HoMM Online sounded interesting. Here's the introduction of his impressions after over 30 hours of play:
Be prepared to be surprised if you try Heroes of Might & Magic Online this is actually a pretty good game. By the time the open beta is finished it might well be a very good game. For so many of us who still enjoy and replay the Heres oo Might & Magic series, the online version is surprisingly robust and addictive. It is faithful to the original (right down to the music) with a few good enhancements and only a couple significant disappointments.
Read it all here.
More information.

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June 23rd, 2010, 14:13
Thanks for the article, Vox.

I noticed some pretty poor English in a couple of the screens from the official site…have they improved that sort of thing?

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June 23rd, 2010, 14:35
Hmm…and i actually passed opportunity to play beta because i got impression its horrible. Seems it was mistake.
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June 23rd, 2010, 15:04
I'll wait and see if the balance and the AI get better. Main reason why I left Star Trek Online after the first month, all PvE battles were trivially easy (and I don't like PvP)
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June 23rd, 2010, 15:09
VoxClamant, are you the guy who used to work with me on a Might and Magic fan site on RPGPlanet? If not, that's a funny coincidence.
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June 23rd, 2010, 15:10
One thing needs to be emphasized this review is based on only 30-40 hours of play,..
only 30-40 hours?
I'd like to see a writer put that much time into a "professional" review for once
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June 23rd, 2010, 17:50
What new does it bring to MMORPG? With a quick look on article, it's just another one. And there is plenty.

I'd like to see something different, like UO… LOTRO also tried to bring something new, but ultimately didn't manage to deliver it.
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June 23rd, 2010, 19:51
Nice review, thanks.

I hadn't heard about this and mistakenly thought it was the RPG series, so I will probably pass. The thing that worried me most when I thought it was the RPG series was it being ubisoft, since they are on new invasive drm plan lots of people are avoiding their games.

Ergonpandilus, I maybe missing something since I don't really play Strategy games but isn't it different because it's an mmog TB Strategy?

Trust me, most of the names I have been called you can't translate in any language…they're not even real words as much as a succession of violent images.
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Default HoMM Inline Update

June 23rd, 2010, 22:54
Over the weekend since I handed this in, three changes. Mainly, I made it to level 70+ so I was able to try the PvP portion of the online version. For-pay portions of the game were launched. And I got well into "Chapter Four" of the quests (250 out of 700+ completed) so I could finally see where the quests were going. Turns out they were going nowhere.

If you are an RPGer, like me, sadly you will become disappointed in HoMM Online after a while. It is quite fun for a while because you are expecting something like the original missions to evolve. The lack of any goal or continuity just reduces the quests to a looooooooong series of grinds after 250+ quests. The game is based on one concept — grind through hundred of missions to pimp out your toon for the real goal, PvP.

At chapter 4 quests continue to be same old same old — and all too easy. With the exception of one particular mob (elven archers who get the first shot) you can go through most quests with zero losses, even on autoplay. For an RPGer, version 37 of the same quest to kill 60 armies of seven stacks each, losing perhaps a quarter of one stack, gets old. (BTW, in fairness PvPers seem to enjoy the grinding!)

The initial enjoyment of the missions is based on the anticipation that something like the original HoMM 1-4 missions are going to evolve. It never does. Just grind, grind, grind. There are special equipment bonuses for repeating the same mission three, six, and nine times— all designed to get you the best equipment for PvP.

They also launched the pay-for portions of the game the day after I handed in the article to RPGwatch. Wow — I admit to be a noob in for-free games, but this one is expensive to play! The "Dragon Soul" I mentioned that is needed to make your equipment upgrades permanent costs about 13 $US each! Upgrading a spell one level costs a couple bucks. Lotteries and equipment beckon for your "Erathium" I have got to believe that a serious PvPer will spend well over EQ/WoW/LotR/Etc. monthly fees.

PvP was comical. The game says you will be pitted against someone of "equal level."
  • Try One — My level 71 toon with 7 stacks of 65 monks enters bravely. Opponent is an level 110 with stacks of 300+. He casts some high level spell (I think death ripple, but it happened so fast i am not sure!) and one-rounds my entire army!!
  • Try two — no one shows! I win! Woot, me!
  • Try three — L95 barbarian. I do much better. I killed half a stack before I wiped.
  • Pass four — Wow! An equal level 71! I have a chance!! Not! He was much better at equipping his hero (attack and defense stats both over 200 while mine were around 80 each). I somehow managed to kill three of his stacks before wiping.

Oh well. I am so bad at PvP! On the positive side, if you like HoMM and PvP, I suspect you will really enjoy HoMM Online.

Hi Angelspit— aye, back from the dead. The impact of 911 knocked me onto a very different track for a frew years

Dhruin — nope, still very fractured English.

Wahwah — thanks, all reviews I have done are only after significant time, usually a complete play-through
Last edited by Voxclamant; June 24th, 2010 at 01:48.
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June 24th, 2010, 01:13
Originally Posted by wahwah View Post
only 30-40 hours?
I'd like to see a writer put that much time into a "professional" review for once
Believe me, at the Watch this is normal. My review of Eschalon Book 2 was written after over 60 hours of play. I've known Mike replay a game 3 times before completing his review. You can depend on us!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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June 24th, 2010, 01:45
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
Believe me, at the Watch this is normal. My review of Eschalon Book 2 was written after over 60 hours of play. I've known Mike replay a game 3 times before completing his review. You can depend on us!!
As a long term gamer — (I probably am the oldest RPGer registered on RPGWatch) — what you say, Corwin, shows. I am very tired of surface-level reviews that are designed to be quoted by the publishers. Your EB2 review rang as true before I played it as afterwards.

There are many many sites that review games. Some are surface-level and some really look at the game. The difference becomes even more important as the lines between RPG and non-rpg blur each day. Every game wants to be called an RPGish game. But few reviews still look at games through the filter of an RPGer. HoMM Online to a non-RPGer is an excellent game. For an RPGer it is weak and disappointing. A review of Mass Effect or Dragon Age, or even Bioshock, through the eyes of an RPGer is VERY different that from the perspective of most sites.

Pop quiz — Scale 1-10, where do you stand on the question: "When entering a battle, I want to have to think about how I can win it in the given situation?" If the answer is "1" (your toon build at the start is all that matters) then you are an PVPer. If you answer something a dear friend of mine told me about playing Everquest (Raid wins are about finesse, not force .. you have to figure out how to win with what you have that night) then you get a 10 — a pure RPGer :-P

And now — two posts in one year on a site exceeds my max!! I will shut up until my quota renews next year! :-)
Last edited by Voxclamant; June 24th, 2010 at 02:22.
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June 24th, 2010, 02:22
Vox, I doubt you are the oldest gamer or rpg gamer here!! Mags and I tend to claim that distinction!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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June 24th, 2010, 13:32
Noone knows the truth behind the legend of Corwin, but some say he spent his early days as a wise man at a certain stable. Others claim Gandalf was based on a wise man Tolkien met in his youth, and that the Lord of the Rings is merely a biogrophy.

What we do know is that he's been contributing to our favourite genre for as long as it has existed.

Edit: Oh, and welcome to the forums Vox.
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June 24th, 2010, 15:08
Originally Posted by Ergonpandilus View Post
What new does it bring to MMORPG? With a quick look on article, it's just another one. And there is plenty.

I'd like to see something different, like UO… LOTRO also tried to bring something new, but ultimately didn't manage to deliver it.
What do you mean? This MMO (if you can call it that) has nothing to do with any other MMO ever done. This is Heroes of Might and Magic, but online. Sure there are quests like in MMOs, but gameplay has nothing in common. It's like saying Puzzle Quest is the same as any other RPG ever done because you have to do quests.
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June 24th, 2010, 21:26
Very interesting and thorough review. I would not have imagined what it could have been like without this. I am not much when it comes to strategy gaming, but parts of the game seemed interesting. Not surprising that end-game might be PVP focused. Many companies do that because the players themselves provide the content and action while they only provide the maps and tracking, which keeps them from 'running out of stuff to do'.
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June 25th, 2010, 15:06
Originally Posted by Greymane View Post
Very interesting and thorough review. I would not have imagined what it could have been like without this. I am not much when it comes to strategy gaming, but parts of the game seemed interesting. Not surprising that end-game might be PVP focused. Many companies do that because the players themselves provide the content and action while they only provide the maps and tracking, which keeps them from 'running out of stuff to do'.
I prefer the SW:ToR approach to end game… playing again with a different character and have a totally different experience, almost as if you're playing a new game.
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June 25th, 2010, 16:09
There will be raiding, PvP and so on as an end game in SW: Tor as well. We just don't know a lot about it yet. The devs have confirmed it will be in though, for people who don't want to re-roll a lot.

I certainly intend to try the various stories though, and play through all the ones that are interesting.
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June 26th, 2010, 06:00
WAIT!!!

HOMAM online is BAD. REALLY BAD!

Now, understand here that im a HOMAM fan. Hell, I just finished a custom Tribes of the East map on hard yesterday.

I cbf going into it all but off the top of my head…

The towns are different with only unit buildings that start with about 600 units available, the unit stats are all wrong, you're limited in how many creatures you can stack by your level, in the group quests you have to WAIT while they fight. Theres no team battles. PVP is a random match up

Its just really, really bad.

EDIT: Hang on, I don't think I was talking about the browser one… The chinese mmo rpg was what I was speaking about.
Last edited by SirJames; July 12th, 2010 at 22:39.
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July 8th, 2010, 07:43
Might and Magic Heroes Kingdoms (published by Ubisoft) has apparently been released in parts of Europe and is about to enter open beta in North America. I don't know much about it, but if anyone has played it, I would be curious to know how it plays (and how it compares to HOMM online).
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January 10th, 2011, 06:23
Somewhere in the description it described it as a browser game but its not.
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