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Default RPGWatch Feature - Disciples 3 Review

July 26th, 2010, 13:48
Many of us anticipated Disciples 3 for a long time, particularly on the back of the beautiful art and screenshots released. The early reviews from Russia and, indeed, the English release were mixed but now we have our own detailed critique from VoxClamant. Here's a snip:
Two hours into playing you are smiling ear to ear at the new combat system. Moving your army, the new "hot spots", new special abilities for your creatures (and hero), the dynamic use of obstacles on the battlefield — all combine for a lot of fun. The design of the new combat system is excellent and normally would provide hours of challenges.

Four or five hours in you are starting to see that Disciples 3 increased the RPG/Quest aspect of the game. You have rescued an angel on a mysterious mission and even met the evil protagonist who disappears after the usual threats and the promise of things to come. You are so busy building your character and trying to figure out how things work that you push aside the nagging things that are starting to add up and bother you.
Read it all here.
More information.
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July 26th, 2010, 13:48
Good and thorough review. I wish more websites would wait until they play more of a game before reviewing.

It's a pity. Disc. II was a fun game.
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July 26th, 2010, 13:59
I absolutely agree with every single point in this review. Well done VoxClamant.

I thought it was only me bitching about the enemies always landing criticals while I was constantly making swishing sounds with my sword as I hit nothing but air, so I'm relieved (yet saddened) that others are feeling the same way.

I usually use a cycle of 3 or 5 "Temp" saves but with no time information or even round/turn information on the save game file in the load/save screen, I have no way of seeing whether my last save was Temp1 or Temp3 other than a small screenshot where I might be able to remember which one I did last. Very annoying and completely unnecessary.

Anyways, there is no point in me continuing to repeat what VoxClamant already said, so I'll just say once again that I absolutely agree with his review.

"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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July 26th, 2010, 18:20
Even tho TBS generally puts me to sleep, I'm still lured into purchasing them from time to time. Disciples II kept me awake longer than most, and this one was high on my list.

Nice review, thanks for the warning.
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July 26th, 2010, 18:40
Nice review! It's good to see a thorough review. I remember reading a couple of reviews for this game and most of the reviewers didn't know the series and so used the review to showcase their internet meme spouting ability.

It really is a shame about the game. I really liked the series, especially the art which they seem to have captured in this game, but the gameplay, from what is described here, sounds terrible.

Which is funny since the gameplay of the last two games wasn't all that stellar either, it was more the atmosphere and art that drove them for me.
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July 26th, 2010, 18:57
Meanwhile reading through it, I felt the colour of my face to slightly disappear. I have rarely felt such an horror while reading a game review, save for Gothic 3, maybe (in its original, totally unpatched form).

If the game really is as described - then how could it get shipped anyway ?

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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July 26th, 2010, 20:12
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Meanwhile reading through it, I felt the colour of my face to slightly disappear. I have rarely felt such an horror while reading a game review, save for Gothic 3, maybe (in its original, totally unpatched form).

If the game really is as described - then how could it get shipped anyway ?
It's from Akella. They remind me somewhat of Troika: Great concepts - horrible execution. I really wanted to enjoy the Sea Dogs games and though all the elements for stellar Pirate games were there they were just put together in such a way that all fun got sucked out them by the numerous bugs and lack of playtesting.

"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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July 26th, 2010, 21:02
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Meanwhile reading through it, I felt the colour of my face to slightly disappear. I have rarely felt such an horror while reading a game review, save for Gothic 3, maybe (in its original, totally unpatched form).

If the game really is as described - then how could it get shipped anyway ?
Try Might and Magic 9 and nothing will ever surprise you again.

Says Pibbur, who actually finished the game.

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July 27th, 2010, 17:47
Elikal said: Good and thorough review. I wish more websites would wait until they play more of a game before reviewing.

Thoth said: Nice review! It's good to see a thorough review. I remember reading a couple of reviews for this game and most of the reviewers didn't know the series and so used the review to showcase their internet meme spouting ability.

The irony, Elikal and Thoth, is that based on the demo and first couple hours of play I was all set to write a review much like some of the others I have read that are very positive (and misled) about D3. I can still recall the opening line I had in mind … "Well, it was worth the wait!" I dread to think about the comments you two would have posted had I written THAT review!!


Pibbur said: Try Might and Magic 9 and nothing will ever surprise you again.

As a certified M&Maholic, I know exactly what you mean! The imps quest in the keep and the promotion dialogue bug, alone, were almost enough for me to give up RPGs and play nothing but Doom 24/7.
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July 27th, 2010, 18:37
Originally Posted by Voxclamant View Post


Pibbur said: Try Might and Magic 9 and nothing will ever surprise you again.

As a certified M&Maholic, I know exactly what you mean! The imps quest in the keep and the promotion dialogue bug, alone, were almost enough for me to give up RPGs and play nothing but Doom 24/7.
Yepp, I remember the promotion dialogue bug. Fortunately I had read about it on the net before I reached that part of the game, so I steered clear of it.

And the NPC that was supposed to die at certain meeting, and who died, but was still alive and kicking back in his home town. And the city maps who were upside down, and… and ….

But still I finished it, there was something I liked in it. I used to say it was a little gem hidden under layers and layers … and layers of bugs.

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July 28th, 2010, 04:37
I'm just posting to say thanks for the excellent review, sad though the outcome was.
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July 28th, 2010, 10:54
I bought the game over steam, Im only at Act 3 (about 10 hours in) and have yet to see a bug, the only, the only thing I had encountered was two towns that both was named “neutral town” that made it hard to see that town one actual bought a leader in.

So far it’s have been really fun, it got that “just one more turn” syndrom, as Dis2 had.

(Sorry fore the gramma, are Danish)
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July 28th, 2010, 14:03
Yesterday I seriously wondered whether the German version of it is the same as the international/English-language version of it.
Because I couldn't find any reviews mentioning this kind of "brokenness".

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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July 28th, 2010, 14:56
I think you guys need to play the entire game and read the entire review… what most reviews do unless it is an AAA game is they play for 5 to 10 hours and write a review ( what score they award etc of course is multiplied with the bribing factor ). So wait until you are finished with the game, and evaluate the review after that…. because he already writes in the review that it starts out great…….
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July 29th, 2010, 00:27
Originally Posted by Phonix View Post
I bought the game over steam, Im only at Act 3 (about 10 hours in) and have yet to see a bug, the only, the only thing I had encountered was two towns that both was named “neutral town” that made it hard to see that town one actual bought a leader in.
I'm pretty sure you'll encounter the first serious bug in act 4 - the one which makes it impossible for you to enter your own town, expect when using a hero to enter.

I feel like I could… like I could… TAKE ON THE WORLD!!!
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July 29th, 2010, 15:34
Phonix said: I bought the game over steam, Im only at Act 3 (about 10 hours in) and have yet to see a bug…

Alrik said: Yesterday I seriously wondered whether the German version of it is the same as the international/English-language version of it.
Because I couldn't find any reviews mentioning this kind of "brokenness".


Thank you both for your comments! I hope that you will follow up with more information after you are farther into the game. You both actually give me hope — see below. Since posting this review I have seen more and more negative forum postings at many sites, and the reviews are getting much more negative about quality control, bugs, and balance issues. But the original Russian and European versions never seemed to have the same degree of problems.

I notice that you are both non-USA, and that gives me hope that D3 could be partially fixed. Nothing would please me more than to hear something like "… the English version had a bad file that …" or maybe "… all downloaded versions had a corrupted …" Any such possibility would mean that at least the worst part of the problems could be fixed.

Thank you again for the information! :-)
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July 29th, 2010, 16:11
I'm playing the Steam version and I'm from Denmark but I'm experiencing most of the issues you've mentioned in the review. When I say most it is because I'm only on mission 2 of the Legion campaign so far.

"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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July 29th, 2010, 16:11
Like I suspected, I'll give it a try when it pops in the 'Pricewatch' thread for $10 or so
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July 29th, 2010, 17:16
@Voxclamant : I don't own the game. I just did a quick research on German gaming magazine sites.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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July 29th, 2010, 18:03
I've been researching a little bit more.

The official forums are more or less devoid of the usual "THIS IS A BUG" crying. Mot people seem to play the game regrdless.

There *are* bugs, however :

International, English-language thread : http://forum.kalypsomedia.com/showthread.php?tid=5098

German-language thread : http://forum.kalypsomedia.com/showth…id=5097&page=1


Additionally, Wikipedia says :

A number of copies for the non-Steam version of the North American release featured an issue with the Disc Detection Software that made it impossible to play the game after installing due to the game not recognizing the presence of the disc in the drive. As of July 29, 2010 this issue is still unresolved; Kalypso reports that it is a known issue and expects to release a fix shortly, though it has missed several projected dates. [8]
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disciples_III:_Renaissance

Two (German) reviews speak of "comfort-bugs" or "comfort glitches", which means that these are bugs, but they are not essentially game-breaking, like an overly complex skill tree, inventory cannot be sorted and so on.

Three German reviews praise that this game is "refreshingly grim", where one could translate the German ord of "dόster" as "grim", "dire", "gloomy" etc. . I'd just say it's "dark & gritty".
There is a German degrating word of "klickibunti", which has been transferred from Linux systems, where a part of the administrators actully despise windows for being 2klickibunti", which means (I try to translate it) "clickycolourfully". It IS meant to degrade something by people who consciously espise anything that is a) colourful and b) easy to use. To them, a REAL Linux system should be devid of both. Hence the degrading word of "klickibunti", which has become some kind of "hate-word".

So, they say that Disciples III is "refreshingly grim" compared against the "klickibunti" games of HOMM and King's Bounty.


Okay, on with the bugs. There are very few records of that, except the above mentioned "comfort glitches".


The above mentioned bug thread do mention quite a lot of bugs. Quite a lot.

But no-one says that these bugs are "game-breaking" or so. The people seem to play the game regardless.

Maybe it'sd because thre are so very few games of this kind so that they all take this game like a wolf pack that' almost died of tarving. Whih could explain the relativaly little "cry-outs" about bugs.

Or they are deleted soon enough.

Someone in the official German-language forum says that he has been playing the russian version of the game, and it had been bugfree.
The interesting part of what h says is the following : He guesses ( ! ) that AFTER THAT "someone" might have been "tinkering" with the "graphics and the animtions" … And that he doesn't understand why, because, as he quotes it, "never change a running system" …

And someone else guesses that by or with working with the animations, the bugs might have come back into the game …

Someone from Kalypso, the publisher, called Dennis" says that the German version is 1.06 - which - as he says - "includes all russian patches".

Someone in the German forum rather presents to players his workarounds to bugs - how they can … well, work around them … - and is kind of downplaying the small but numerous bugs, instead on insisting on the bugs being fixed.

People who are playing the game definitively appear to be hard-core. They know and exploit the "rules" so much hat they are able to win.
One reviewer says that the "learning curve" is easy in the beginning, hard in the middle, and "biting into the desk" at the and, and he concludes : "This is how it should be."

Well as a conclusion, I'm almost even more irritated than before. Fact is :

- the bugs do exist
- they are mostly small
- but a horde of them
- players are playing the game regardless
- the game doesn't get negative points in tests because of these myriad of bugs
- the international version has a serious disc detection problem, which is still unresolved by now

Meanwhile I still cannot make out any difference between German and International versions of it.

The only interesting thing seems to be that the russian version appears to be relatively or almost completely bugfree. Which could mean that the developers had put their focus on this version first, regarding the development of patches.

And, by the way, at least one add-on is definitively planned …


Edit : Most reports are that bugs appear in the German version from act 4 on …

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
Last edited by Alrik Fassbauer; July 29th, 2010 at 18:13.
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