Might and Magic IX is a fairly solid initial release. There are a few issues with crashes and long load times, and some very strange scripting issues that likely will be addressed in a patch. However, there is one major, very serious UI problem that, while not a "bug" can ruin the game for you! There are other issues for which there are workarounds.
(Danger Will Robinson!)
|This is a major problem with the game that can force you to restart after days or weeks of gameplay. Many players have encountered it.
You must deal very carefully with the last dialogue box when speaking to any of the 12 promotion masters in the game. These are the people who give you the quest or series of quests to be promoted (initiate to healer, scholar to mage, fighter to crusader, etc.)
The final dialog lets you choose who will be a candidate for promotion after accomplishing the quest. Choose wisely, and click carefully!
- Save your game before EVERY promotion dialog!
- You must make this choice BEFORE accomplishing the quests -- it will not be offered again.
- Once you click a party name to indicate that person is a candidate, there is no way to "unclick" it before ending the dialog.
- If you click the wrong person (perhaps you wanted to promote them to mercenary, rather than the crusader you just close) there is no way out. That person can not take the different branch later.
- If you select no one (a logical choice --> you might want to wait to see how your team develops skills during the quests) then no one will be eligible for promotion. When you come back, you get the experience points for the quests, but the Promotion Master will not talk to you about promotions.
- If you make a mistake, restart from the save game.
This is a huge problem. I personally lost 30-40 hours of game play the first time I played MM9 (selecting two people for promotion to Crusader even though I planned to have one become a mercenary) and lost 10-12 hours the second time through (because I was too cautious and decided to not choose anyone "to be safe!")
Since then, try #3, I've been careful and really enjoyed the game. Hopefully 3DO will rush a patch to solve this!
Partial Workaround to Promotion Lockout Bug!
Here's an outstanding contribution by DvuS!!
DvuS discovered something that sometimes can help if this horrible UI issue bit you and you have no saved game to restore. Apparantly you can have a character be a "candidate" for more than one promotion. So, using DvuS's example with a mage and lich, if you incorrectly selected to promote to mage but really wanted lich, then go find the lich promotion quest, and finish it BEFORE you finish the mage promotion quests.
Obviously that doesn't solve every situation, but it probably helps in 70-80% of the times this bug got you!
Opportunity for additional quests (and fun)
Rick adds an important point. Don't miss out on the fun and experience points from promotion quests you do not plan to take. Just select the quests, and then when asked for "who is a candidate" do NOT select anyone.
I tested Rick's idea last night during my second pass through the game. As long as at least one member of the party was (or had been) eligible for eht promotion quest -- you can take it. Just be sure to select no one to be candidates.
|Melee blood splat
||There is no visible feedback on screen (other than text) of a successful hit during melee battle. Ranged works fine.
This is flat out peculiar. Many of the city maps are displayed rotated 90 or 180 degrees!
Look at this example. My compass says I'm going North, while the map has me heading East.
Outside of towns the normal convention of "North is at the top of the Map" is followed!
|No character condition indicicator
||If your character is "afraid" or some other condition, there is no on-screen indication (ex: word or icon on the portrait). Only using the "Z" key option does the condition show up.
||There are numerous reports of odd scripting errors for some quests. These are hard to verify, and many gamers have accomplished the same quests with no problems. The most common reported such problems:
- The Imp quest in Anskram keep,
- Getting the priest to return to Guberland. (It appears you should find him waiting in Guberland)
- Abbotalways says the monk is waiting in the courtyard, even after you've solved that quest and he is gone
- Barred door in Verhoffin Ruins is re-barred, and can no longer be opened, if you leave and return
- If you place the capstone, then drown youself BEFORE picking up the writ on the table behind you, it is gone forever! (Thanks Praetor, and sorry!) No way to pick it up and complete the game. Plus, your autosave upon returning from the dead overwrites your autosave when you entered the ruins. This can be as serious a bug as the Promotion Lockout.
- Circus (Thjorgard) instructions are put into your inventory via scroll (many people never know it's there!)
|Random weird things!
- We've all seen these. Throgs half in and out of walls, people stuck in key passages or doors, etc.
- The funniest one is reported by Arislan (Germany). He returned to the theives area in Drangheim some time after completing that quest. The theives were back, respawned, but invisible this time! He notes it is especially interesting fighting invisible enemies standing out of reach and throwing daggers at you!
||Occasionally the load time, especially entering a city, can be 6-7 minutes.
||Well under normal 3DO standards. The lack of skills and magic details makes initial character selection rough the first time through. (Lucky for you -- you have all the charts on this site!!) It is too easy to start with an initiate who cannot heal (because you didn't know to add the light magic skill) or to waste a skill point on a person who cannot even reach expert level in the skill.
||There is no way to know much about an NPC you could add to your party. A general description (I'm good at bashing people" or "I'm one of the world's best assassins" is all you get. Nothing like past MM releases ... where you could get "More Information."
||Text in dialog boxes is verrrrrry hard to read. At one point (Ta'Sar Academy) you need to solve a cryptogram. Try breaking the code when you can barely read the original!!
Note per Polarballs: This might be my bad! Per Polorballs, a read-me I missed describes a problem and workaround for some ATI video cards. The readme gives instructions for changing your main system control panel settings for displays. 3DO calls it a "menu Icon" problem, not text rendering. Polarballs said he made the recommended changes and now "in-game text is crystal clear."
|Active Party Member
||The yellow highlight around the active party member is so weak that during battle you have to concentrate more on the portraits than the enemies (in order to know what you are doing!)
||There are a number of changes from past MM releases that while not bugs, are surprising to experienced MM gamers:
- No map scrolling or panning.
- No flying
- Much faster respawn of monsters (and chests) in areas
- Less need for offensive magic to accomplish quests
- Most "Master Level" spells not attainable until past mid-game
- No need to worry about food
- Safer resting -- fewer interruptions in the night!
- No descriptor or date on Lloyds Beacon saves