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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » RPGWatch Feature: Might & Magic X Preview

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October 18th, 2013, 22:38
We're crossing posts here, so I'll go back to the original list.
Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
I put together my impressions in a German video, for the non german guys see the short key points below - or just ignore my post.

The Video can be found here

-voices can be annoying
-graphics are ok, but the performance is bad
-stopping during movement steps is annoying
-movement system and visuals don't go hand in hand
-fights become dull due to high mana costs, low mana pools and no regeneration, making it impossible to use abilities and damage spells in each fight
-ranged combat doesn't work well
-aggro system doesn't work well
-that diminishes identity from the otherwise nice classes
-dungeon design isn't good, riddles aren't good
-world is very small
-items variety is too small and finding items doesn't "feel good"
-there are a couple of bugs which should be easy to fix
-the mix of annoying movement, bad level design and bad combat mechanics don't end up in a good total result

Hope to see fixes and changes, mainly in mechanics like walking and combat though I doubt they will change much in terms of combat.
1) voices - strictly opinion, no point in arguing, although the voice work on the MM series was never anything close to endearing so I'd say you're expecting something that was never part of the MM formula.
2&3) graphics performance - given that Limbic has already stated the engine isn't optimized yet, it might be just a bit premature to complain. That said, I played on my crappy below-min-spec rig and didn't really have much performance issue. Without knowing your system's specs as well as your expectations, it could be a fruitless argument anyway.
4) mana issues - I agree with your balance complaint, however MM6 and 7 had no regen at the low levels demonstrated in MMX so your expectations don't match historical M&M gameplay. "Dull" is another opinion, too.
5) ranged combat - I agree, primarily because the player can't initiate combat.
6) aggro - not sure what your complaint was, but you seem to have forgotten the days of kiting monsters in the early MMs by taking advantage of their "perception" zones. MM style, again.
7) class identity - if you mean the ranger is worthless, I agree, but that's a case of our opinions aligning.
8 ) dungeon design / riddles "not good" - more opinion. Given that there are ZERO riddles in the demo and only a few tile puzzles, I'm not sure how you came to that opinion.
9) world size - addressed specifically in previous post
10) item variety too small - since we have no idea how much of the item table was activated in the demo, this complaint is largely pointless. Besides, at low levels in every game in the free world, loot is bland junk. So, in a low level demo, why would you expect something different?
11) bugs - agreed
12) overall - if your complaints add up, then the summary makes sense. As shown, I don't see where your expectations matched what could reasonably be expected from an early demo.

I think you should give MM7 a replay, because you've clearly forgotten the days of finding a good corner on the map and putting a weight on the A key while you hit the bathroom.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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October 18th, 2013, 22:59
: popcorn:

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October 18th, 2013, 23:27
Ok, I will respond to each point and try to not mess it up
First I want to mention that I played on Warrior and so some points might differ to "normal mode play".

1) voices - strictly opinion, no point in arguing, although the voice work on the MM series was never anything close to endearing so I'd say you're expecting something that was never part of the MM formula.
I only played Patch 1.1.1 and while I didn't play the version you played I have read that the frequency only occured after the patch.
I did not expect much. But right now it's annoying. Each time you enter a zone or reload you get the same comment. If you are in a ranged fight you will get spammed by "we are getting attacked" messages.

2&3) graphics performance - given that Limbic has already stated the engine isn't optimized yet, it might be just a bit premature to complain. That said, I played on my crappy below-min-spec rig and didn't really have much performance issue. Without knowing your system's specs as well as your expectations, it could be a fruitless argument anyway.
I am not saying that the performance will suck in the release version and it already ran much better after the big patch than before. Before it was basically not playable for me and while I don't have the fastest machine I don't have problems with any other, better looking games. Just saying that even little stuttering in a game without state of the art graphics should not occur.

4) mana issues - I agree with your balance complaint, however MM6 and 7 had no regen at the low levels demonstrated in MMX so your expectations don't match historical M&M gameplay. "Dull" is another opinion, too.
Honestly I can't remember how it was in MM6 and 7.
I think dull can be seen as fact. Just that some people like dull combat and in some systems it works better than in others. In turn based combat which has a great foundation for tactics in combat it's a huge waste of potential. Curently it does not make any sense whatsoever to use pure damage spells because they are a pure waste of mana. Mana use is reserved primarily for heal spells and "emergency taunts".

5) ranged combat - I agree, primarily because the player can't initiate combat.
6) aggro - not sure what your complaint was, but you seem to have forgotten the days of kiting monsters in the early MMs by taking advantage of their "perception" zones. MM style, again.
I'll take these together.
Aggro works on two levels. The aggro of initiating combat is the one thing which leads to the ranged combat problems (you can even higher an npc to decrease the "aggro" range even more, what is that for?).
The other thing is aggro within combat. Yes, you can use a challenge but due to the lack of mana, you won't use it in most cases. In addition you can't taunt bosses as they are immune to mind/body manipulation. This means that there is no way that you can avoid hits on random party members on bosses. This again leads to:

7) class identity - if you mean the ranger is worthless, I agree, but that's a case of our opinions aligning.
-You basically have to focus increasing hitpoints on the first levels due to the aggro system and the retaliation skill of multiple enemies (first attack from EACH of your character causes 10+ damage on him, focus attack excluded).
-Then you need to learn ranged on all characters (even the mage) due to the mana system.
-Then you do probably will not want to increase ranged combat too much because of the combat initiation/aggro system.
-You also need to focus on melee fights on all characters except the healer
-At least the early access hardly offers any armor, hardly any item diversity at all, which at least currently makes all armor skills useless
-The mage can't use Damage spells as it is a waste of mana -> Mage = Healer

8 ) dungeon design / riddles "not good" - more opinion. Given that there are ZERO riddles in the demo and only a few tile puzzles, I'm not sure how you came to that opinion.
On the top of the lighthouse is one riddle. You need to step on 4 plates in the right order.
In the last castle you have another riddle. You need to use 3 levers in the right order to open 3 gates which are directly behind each others.
In a cove in the North of the City you have another riddle where you needed to turn 4 pillars in the right order…
Then in the last castle you also needed to find a lever which was found in a different corridor basically "hidden" behind a corner.
I'd consider that riddles. And if you haven't even realized them as such, well…doesn't speak for them.

10) item variety too small - since we have no idea how much of the item table was activated in the demo, this complaint is largely pointless. Besides, at low levels in every game in the free world, loot is bland junk. So, in a low level demo, why would you expect something different?
My point is, that currently you have one dagger, one 1H Axe, one 2H Axe and so on. And this with rando magical attributes where most of them either make me do "oh, it's better by one point due to magic" or "some magical resistance? whatever.." At the very end you might find the first items of the second "tier".
Of course they might more more than 3/4 of the items in the other content. But even if that's right, I doubt it will be much more.
I might ask the question "what can be done to make the item system even more boring" and there is not much I could answer there. Well, there are weapon procs. These however do not work with the style of "spamming the attack key" because they might put the opponent into another dimension where it can't be attacked. So you might want to do that as last group member. But as your characters always attack from left to right this only gets annoying if this item is used by the second or third member.

I think you should give MM7 a replay, because you've clearly forgotten the days of finding a good corner on the map and putting a weight on the A key while you hit the bathroom.
But that's not something I miss in current games nor does the majority of players (my best guess). The art of doing new "classic" games is to get rid of the purely annoying and outdated stuff and replace it while keeping the core values alive.

That said I wouldn't say that Might and Magic is a bad game. But without major improvements it's far from being a really good one either.
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October 19th, 2013, 01:05
Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
Honestly I can't remember how it was in MM6 and 7.
I think dull can be seen as fact. Just that some people like dull combat and in some systems it works better than in others. In turn based combat which has a great foundation for tactics in combat it's a huge waste of potential. Curently it does not make any sense whatsoever to use pure damage spells because they are a pure waste of mana. Mana use is reserved primarily for heal spells and "emergency taunts".
Personally I like the fact that mages aren't simply mana batteries. You have to think about what spells to use. This is actually going against M&M tradition, where spellcasters spammed the spell button like melee characters spammed the attack button.

That said, mana potions aren't exactly hard to come by. This seems like an improvement compared to MM6-8. I don't think anyone in used mana potions in these games unless you were bound on doing a super duper speedrun.

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October 19th, 2013, 01:36
Well, now you spam the attack button on mages as well, just that they use their arcane focus, which does not trigger a retaliation but does less damage.

Just some numbers to play around with:

A barbarian does like 15 damage per hit on an opponent, that is after damage reduction. He does not use any mana for that.

On comparison, a mage does 20 damage with the fire bolt. This one uses 20 mana. The mage in the starting group has 72 Mana. So he can cast it three times before he has to drink, which costs another turn.

So in 4 turns, that is 60 dmg by the melee character (assuming he does hit every time) vs 60 dmg from the mage (assuming the spell is not resisted) who also drinks 20 Gold for one of these periods.
One single brigand/militia has 120 hitpoints, one elite brigand/militia has 195 hp.

Alternatively he could spend 2* 30 mana to heal 2 * 52 Hitpoints on all characters (so ideally 2 * 204)

A hitpoint potion costs 5 and heals 75 hp. Resulting in 15 hp/coin
A mana potion costs 10 and refills 50 mana. Resulting in 5 mana/coin which results in like 20-34 healed hp per coin.

If you would actively use mana to use damage spells you would burn through your money like nothing. For healing however magic is more efficient than even healing potions beside of the fact that you save lots of turns to drink.
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October 19th, 2013, 02:14
There are too many unknowns yet for me to subscribe to simple math. We don't know if physical damage will scale well compared to magical damage; there may be physical resistances that get higher than elemental ones. Also, spellcasters seem to be all over the place with uses for spells; they can buff, heal, and deal damage. Dealing damage per magic may not be advisable all the time, maybe not even most of the time, without being redundant. Lastly, tweaking some numbers on damage spells would seem easier (to balance) than simply raising everyone's mana pools.

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October 19th, 2013, 02:24
Of course that was just some "ideal math" examples. But the differences are so big and apparent that the gap can hardly be closed.

Well, my barbarian scaled pretty well so far due to the weapon. Weapon balance is a whole other can of worms btw but probably not that important.

Of course there is always the choice between increasing A or decreasing B. Decreasing costs for DD spells and Melee Skills also sounds fine to me.
Just give us more viable tactical possibilities.
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October 19th, 2013, 11:19
By tweaking numbers I was more talking about increasing damage output of spells rather than decreasing cost though (or else we can really just slap more mana on everyone). Seems like a classic case of half empty vs. half full.

As long as damage spells aren't underpowered, I don't mind them being costly. Because in the standard party, the Freemage may be better off being a healer; but even if you just drop the Barb for another Freemage, direct damage spells would become not only a choice but necessary. I think they did a good job with presenting opportunities for direct damage spells in the demo, like retaliating enemies. It's just due to the party setup (and the admittedly small damage of spells) that hurling spells at elite brigands doesn't seem like a good choice.

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October 19th, 2013, 19:07
Increasing the damage would be another option. But I think 20 dmg spelldamage vs 15 dmg melee damage are fine. Or at least the spelldamage should not be increased too much.

If you dropped the barb (or any other melee class for that matter, it's not like the Defender does far less damage) for a freemage you would still have the same choice:
Burn through your mana and gold or keep using your melee attacks and only use heal spells. Just that the first would cost even more and the scond would take even more time.

Btw: Just spend a couple of hours to write a posting about class identity on the ubisoft forums: http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php…79#post9327579
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October 19th, 2013, 20:10
Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
Aggro works on two levels.
I don't believe that the concept of "Aggro" was there, 10 years ago. It just wasn't, in my opinion.

To me, "Aggrro" is something that can only be used within the concept of the Holy Trinity, not outsideof them - because "Aggro" was never defined (for) outside the Holy Trinity.

Play Lands OF Lore I, and then tell me where's the "Aggro factor" in that ? Same with Eye Of THe Beholder, or Blade Of Destiny ?

All those early games imho never had the concept of "Aggro" - and thus, MMX won't have it as well, I assume.

So, applying anything like the Holy Trinity system to MMX - if it is really modelled after "ye olde games" - is like division through zero.

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October 19th, 2013, 20:18
That's only half true. While you don't have the holy trinity in these old games, you have positioning instead:

In the TDE Games you put your mage as far away from the enemies as possible. Also your ranged character does not engange in melee.
In Eye of the beholder 2 of your characters are in melee range, I think the second row could only enter melee with long weapons like gleves and otherwise had to use ranged weapons. The front row took the melee damage if the party was not flanked. Therefore they were the tanks.
The same goes for Wizardry.
In Ishar you could even tell the game the exact positioning.
Honestly I can't remember how it was in the old M&M Games.
Lands of Lore is focusing on extremely small parties. You spend a couple of hours running around alone or with two characters. I wouldn't include this game as example.

Besides of that M&M X is providing tank skills in the Warfare skill. Their intention seems to be clear. They just don't work well.

If M&M had positioning instead, that would be fine with me.

Edit:
Found a posting on gog from MalcomMasher stating:
In Might and Magic 1-2, party order is very important, because some of the party will be in range to use melee weapons against the monsters, but typically not all of it.

In Might and Magic 3-5, the two party members furthest to the left are relevant to the Bash command, but I do not think party order matters in any other way. So put the characters with the best Might on the left side.

In Might and Magic 6-9, party order does not matter at all (except that, yes, when the leftmost character uses an arrow/spell it will start from the left area of the screen, and so on.)
Last edited by Kordanor; October 19th, 2013 at 20:45.
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October 20th, 2013, 12:30
Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
If you dropped the barb (or any other melee class for that matter, it's not like the Defender does far less damage) for a freemage you would still have the same choice:
Burn through your mana and gold or keep using your melee attacks and only use heal spells. Just that the first would cost even more and the scond would take even more time.
With the "untweaked" spells as they are now, yes. I agree that there's a balancing problem. However, once they manage to make damage spells useful, still using your healing and, say, one Dwarven Defender to put out damage would be a painfully slow and in some situations not advisable tactic.

edit: if they increased the power of spells enough for you to get through 1-2 fights on damage spells alone the only cost you would have is the cost for food, not mana potions, which is considerably less.

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October 20th, 2013, 13:41
to me the power of spellcasters comes in their ability to affect groups of opponents instead of one, so yes, a warrior can do 20 damage in a swing without cost, but a fireball would do 20 (or even 10) damage, but to 6 enemies so it actually does 120. And then there are the 'effect' spells, like sleep, terror, weaken, etc. that meleers usually don't have (or if they do, again it's against one enemy).
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October 21st, 2013, 14:02
Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
That's only half true. While you don't have the holy trinity in these old games, you have positioning instead:
Yes, but nobody was thinking in terms of "this guy at the front like draws the Aggression of the attackers to him, so now we'll have to place a Healer there who heals him, meanwhile an Damage Maker is doling out the damage to the opponents.

This is Trinity thinking, and I heavily doubt that ANYONE was thinking in the ways of "he draws the Aggression of the opponents" for games, then.

What you are doing, is, in my opinion, rather retroactively apply MODERN patterns to ANCIENT thinking.

From a certain point of view, everything is true. You just have to move the angle a little bit.

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October 21st, 2013, 15:09
Ok Alrik, even if the word "aggro" wasn't used 10 years ago, the concept of it certainly was. Just instead of: "he draws the Aggression of the opponents" it was "he is heavily armored and buffed, he can take the damage". Different words, same concept.
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October 22nd, 2013, 06:09
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post

This is Trinity thinking, and I heavily doubt that ANYONE was thinking in the ways of "he draws the Aggression of the opponents" for games, then.

What you are doing, is, in my opinion, rather retroactively apply MODERN patterns to ANCIENT thinking.
More likely, people did not think the trinity in terms of aggression.

In a RPG, combat is just one activity among others a role playing act can be built on. As such, combat is secondary.
Yet, so called RPGers made combat primary, the focus in so called RPGs is no longer on role playing but on combat.

And as such, they cant escape conclusions that are drawn for combat based games.

In combat, you are not here to sit on your hands watching the paint dry. You are here to aggress, aggress, aggress.
The way aggression is managed and channeled in combat is primary in combat.

Thinking in terms of aggression is not a trinity marker, it is a sign of pushing combat as the primary focus in a game.

Certain conclusions can not be avoided: just like regenerating health is dictated when focus is put on combat as a better way to manage and channel aggression.

As soon as combat is made the first priority in a game, no matter the genre of the game, the game design must be thought under the term of aggression.

"he draws the Aggression of the opponents" it was "he is heavily armored and buffed, he can take the damage". Different words, same concept.
Obviously not. Positioning is not enough to channel aggression. It is been understood for some time and game design reflected that by adding spells, abilities etc to draw aggression.

Thinking in terms of aggression is a marker of an emphasis put on combat.
No matter the genre. The same reflection and consequences can be found in FPS.

The trinity commonly found in RPGs can be thought in terms of aggression. At start, it was not as emphasis was clearly put on role playing, not combat.
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October 22nd, 2013, 06:51
Besides of the claim that RPGs tend to be more about the combat than anything else, I honestly don't understand what you are talking about.

I am also not sure if you understand how the term "trinity" is used in this context.
The term "trinity" is commonly used for the "Healer - Tank - DamageDealer" construction, it's not the three pillars of RPG design or something like that.
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October 22nd, 2013, 09:54
I knew what the holy trinity was, thanks for the concern. And I still know it. It is wrong to state that this concept only translates into viewing things in terms of aggression.

Aggro comes when this trinity concept is revisited in the light of combat, when pushing combat as the main focus in so called RPGs.

Aggression, the management of it, the channeling of it, comes anytime anywhere combat is pushed as the main focus. Because combat is about aggressing, aggressing and aggressing.

When so called RPGers push combat as the main focus, they cant escape certain conclusions.

The trinity is not the only affected feature.

For example, heath is affected.

Survival games, that is games that make survival the focus of gameplay, share this in common with RPGs: combat is just one activity among others.
Therefore permanent health is easy to accomodate (survival games are taken as an example as a few of them have been released lately) because combat is just one activity among others. Permanent health fits because while a PC is healing, there are other activities to perform aside combat.

In combat games, combat is the main activity to do. Requesting from a player to spend one week in game on waiting before the player can engage again in what is the core feature of the game cant be born.

Therefore self regenerating heath is a must have as it modulates the level of aggression: engaging in combat, pulling out, re-engaging. All these decisions are aggression management.
Unsurprisingly, as the consequence, so called RPGs that make the choice of combat as their primary focus, go for self regenerating health. Because self regenerating health is what suits the best games with combat as their focus.

Permanent health is not an antiquated mechanic as shown by the release of survival games recently. It suits games that makes combat one of the available activities.

Not only do I know what the trinity meant but I also know how pushing combat as the main focus in games affects the concept.
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November 14th, 2013, 20:21
Just wanted to drop a line that the new patch is out including the modding tool.
Further info on: https://mightandmagicx-legacy.ubi.co…-patch-is-here

Tons of little changes but I didn't see anything which would push me towards a new playthrough.
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January 11th, 2014, 15:50
I'll just drop it here and will not create a new thread for it.

With the release of the new info of the class I went back into the latest version of the game to check out some other stuff. And while it is already an outdated version, there are several balance changes they made.
The leveling curve was adjusted as it seems. I also checked out a let's play from another dude and saw that he was level 9 when reaching the bandits in the end.
This means that you will have much more skillpoints to use - and also ability points.

They also rebalanced the gain of hitpoints and mana. When I played it was completely pointless to take the endurance skill as the character stat provided 7 HP (9 for dwarves) this is now reduced to 3 HP (5 for dwaves) per point. Spirit now only grants 1 Mana per point is at that point probably pretty useless as you get 0.5 Mana and 2% magic power from one point of Magic - and 5 Mana out of 1 point in mysticism.
Or to say it short: Now for HP a mix of the Vitality Attribute and the Endurance Skill might be wise.
And for Mana it is probably best to go for a mix of the Magic Stat and Mysticism Skill. Skip Spirit completely.

With the increased amount of ability points it might also make more sense now to go for dual wield or the two handed if you can get it on master level as they will give you a Bonus per point you got in the Destiny stat.

Other little things I found:
The Rangers Point Blank shot which you receive at the advanced class costs 5 Points of Mana. Probably still the most useful Ranged class as it's the only one which can use the ranged weapon in close combat.
Conclusion:
As Scout it makes no sense to max out the ranged skill.
As ranger it's probably best to decide if you want to go for the Dagger or Bow Skill at the beginning of the game. Dagger would mean that he has always something to contribute to the combat. Bow would mean that your character will be crippled until he got the Master Class. Having both Skills (actually three skills if you include dual wield) maxed in the later game will most likely be a waste of points as you will only use one of them. If you want to go for Bow, it might also be wise to raise your mana by increasing mysticism and Warfare to the maximum (which is expert).
For the new class, the orc hunter, it makes almost no sense to max out the bow skill as he cannot reach grand master, and all the bow perks he gets are useless (range increase) where grandmaster would have given him two attacks instead of one.

I also saw that they exchanged some descriptions to clear values.
So instead of saying "some turns" they now state "2 turns".
That's especially interesting for the Barbarian and Shaman class.
The Barbarian gets "Deals 1% more damage for each 1% health under his maximum".
This means that with the barbarian you will want to max out everything defense and hitpoints based.
If the barbarian is fine running around with 30% of his hitpoints, he will do insane damage.

The Shaman on the other hand has: "The Blood Caller restores 1% Mana for each 2% Health lost due to enemy attacks". So with him you will want to keep maximum hitpoints rather low, so that he has a lot of percentage bouncing. (if you lose 10 Hitpoints from 100 you get 5% mana, if you lose 10 hitpoints from 200 you only get 2.5% mana). The more important point however is most probably to make his mana pool as big as possible. So that each percent of mana he gets is actually tons of mana.

They also exchanged the Sword Master skill from Having a second hit on each first time you hit someone during a turn to having a second hit on the first critical strike you to, which is a significant nerf which brings it in line with the other weapon skills. The GrandMaster Skill which is probably coming with the Elven Bladedancer however will be very interesting.


All in all some very good changes. Spirit could be buffed though and the ranged classes are still bad game design imho.
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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » RPGWatch Feature: Might & Magic X Preview
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