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October 21st, 2011, 02:44
Yeah they did a very good job with this. The official pdf manual is downright shameful by comparison. Though to be fair the official manual is downright shameful on its own right.

I'm not talking about the move away from the nice printed manuals that make us feel all nostalgic. I'm talking about a manual for a Heroes game that is a total of 23 4.5x7.19 inch pages; the fanmade one is 268 pages formatted for 8.5x11" paper paper with a similar font size. If you don't include the filler pages (cover, additional copy of warranty information, insert reminding you how great it is to register your game, and the back cover which is an advertisement for Uplay) the official manual only contains around 17 pages of information on the game The funny thing is that slightly over 2 of those are the table of contents. Why does what then is only 15 pages of information on the game need 2 pages to tell you the contents? Because its a glossary with a couple screenshots in it.

For example, here is their helpful entry on movement speed and terrain:
Terrain Type: Paved roads enable fast traveling. Across unpaved areas, the speed depends
on the terrain. Some terrains are hard to cross, some terrains are easy. This is represented
by the Movement Point cost to step on the adventure map square. When you set your
hero’s route, the one with the lowest Movement Point cost will be chosen.
Ok, Heroes fans will kind of instictly get how movement works and never read a manual. The ubisoft forums were for a while peppered with people asking where the pdf manual for the game was though and their new take on it has attracted new players to the series. This sort of explanation - and I must point out that "movement point cost" is not presented directly to the user at all - makes the manual less than helpful. It will just confuse people.

The official manual does not even list the factions let alone tell you anything about them - though it does tell you indirectly that there is something called a faction and that it gets unique buildings, abilities, and units and can affect (in some vague way) access to one of seven schools of magic; these too it does not bother even listing by name. The entirety of its description of of "magic abilities" and "spells" are as follows:

Magic Abilities:
The Magic abilities are grouped into magic schools.
There are seven magic schools. Some of the schools may not be available to all factions. The
Tier 3 Magic abilities are not available to heroes of Might affinity.
To cast a spell, click on the Spellbook button. The Spellbook will open, allowing you to select an
ability. Depending on the ability you activate, three events may occur:
The ability does not require a target and is activated automatically.
You need to specify a target creature, hostile or friendly.
You have to specify a target location. The targeted square(s) and creature(s) will be highlighted.
Great, this tells you there is magic - 7 kinds of it even. You might not be able to use some kinds depending on which faction you chose - never you mind which factions and which flavors of spell. It also very helpfully explains that when casting a spell you'll either have to target something (one of your units, an enemy unit, a square) or you won't.

I'm convinced they really did just copy and paste the game mechanics glossary section from the back of their design document, added a pixelated cover graphic and copy of the warranty statement, and renamed it "Manual.pdf."


Glad these guys made a real manual for the game though. But seriously, if you own the game check out the official manual in your install directory. It's barely an outline o
Last edited by jhwisner; October 21st, 2011 at 03:00.
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