- by Pol
Ultimate Mod for Heroes IV Released
HEROES 4 ULTIMATE includes:
- New Objects
- Modded EXEs
- Cheat menu-enabled EXE
- Creature Ability Plugin by RoseKavalier
- HD Wrapper by Verok
- New Maps
- Remastered Campaigns
- New Brushes
- New Object Palettes
- Unique Hero Looks
- Altered Creatures Graphic
- New Spells with Icons
- And Much More
"Oh, by the way, here's an incomplete list of stuff I made exclusively for the mod besides the creature recolor:
- 50+ new map objects (including *many* failed versions of each, whicharen't included of course).
- Hundreds of spell icons edits and changes, including reskin.
- 73x2 Creature icons changes, including reskin.
- 200+x2 hero icon changes, including reskin.
- Graphics configuration experimentation and adjustment.
- Creature ability testing and thousands of JSON changes.
- Hundreds of creature table edit iterations.
- Hundreds of spell table edit iterations.
- Dozens of artifact table edit iterations.
- String and description edits.
- Mass spell discovery and edit (exe).
- Hero skill edit (exe).
- Necromancy edit (exe).
- Hundreds of sprite list hex alterations.
- Spell animation testing and switches.
- Thousands of edits to mantain readme up to date, and to explain the many changes and the reason for each single one of them.
- And of course hundreds of hours of testing."
Without exagerrating this is greatest news from the times of Equilibris!
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- by Pol
The Eleventh Newsletter About Forest Dragon and Coke Machine Always Catching Fire
Welcome. Hope each of you is doing well.
As always, ‘thank you’ to everyone who wrote, especially those with positive sentiments. If you have any questions or comments, regarding Fanstratics (FST) or Heroes of Might and Magic 3 (HoMM3), feel free to send them along, and I’ll try to answer them in future newsletters.
Please keep in mind, it may take at least 14 days before I reply (it’s taking longer-and-longer as production continues).
Until next time.
Fanstratics Game Director & Designer
Fanstratics Troop: Forest Dragon.
When I began searching for a concept artist, Justin stood out for many reasons. Variety of characters and creatures were a large part of it. Justin has rendered numerous Dragons, along with some wonderful Treefolk, but he has never rendered a Forest Dragon. Until now.
This month, I emailed to him a list of conceptual candidates, and asked which Troop jumped out at him. His enthusiastic reply was, “Forest Dragon!”
What more can I say... he nailed it.
Bonus... if you liked the Medusa Vanguard, it’s inspiring to others as well.
Fanstratics Faction #7: Boggish.
From deep in the Swamp lands, lurk the cold-blooded Reptilian Boggish. Secretive and isolationist, they typically foist their influence on other civilizations, from the shadowy cracks and corners, via bribery, blackmail, and sabotage. While they rarely venture forth from their homelands, when they do, they are a truly frustrating foe.
Anyone following the monthly Troop reveals will be unsurprised by this Faction’s inclusion, and will immediately recognize its similarity to HoMM3’s ‘Fortress’. Representing the Boggish is the Gatorkin Caster, which can be viewed in the Fanstratics Gallery.
Fanstratics Feature: Community Map Editor & Random Map Generator
Some of you may be a little surprised by my listing ‘Community Map Editor & Random Map Generator’ amongst the ‘new’ features for Fanstratics. Why? Simple. People keep asking, “Will there be a Map Editor?” Obviously, “Yes.”
I will do what I can to make an easy to use community Map Editor, very similar to the HoMM3 editor. As for the Random Map Generator, there have been numerous advances in algorithmic content manipulation since 1999, and I really want to do some deep research before I finalize my plan. So, at this stage, I cannot say how the RMG will operate.
When will the Map Editor and Random Map Generator be released?
Before I answer this question, I must first tip my hat to ‘Timothy’ (you know who you are), who wrote and pointed out a mistake I made in an earlier Newsletter. Specifically, I said, “HoMM3’s map editor and random map generator were released with its first expansion pack ‘Armageddon’s Blade’. For Fanstratics, I expect to rollout both a Community Map Editor and a Random Map Generator, well after the game’s official public release.”
This was incorrect. HoMM3’s Map Editor was initially released with Restoration of Erathia. HoMM3’s Random Map Generator was released with Armageddon’s Blade.
My goal for Fanstratics is the same. Release the Map Editor with the base game, followed by the Random Map Generator sometime thereafter.
It may be too early to ask, but still, “Will HoMM3 have a limit of 8 players with more than 8 factions? Will there be a similar limit in Fanstratics?”
Yes. In Fanstratics the maximum number of players will be eight, and the maximum number of Adventure Heroes on the Adventure Map will be eight. As for Factions, nine are being developed, but one, two, or three more could be added with DLC, assuming the game is successful.
HoMM3 Recollection: The Day the Coke Machine Caught Fire.
Some of you may remember this story, but three weeks from finishing the game... the New World Computing (NWC) Coca-Cola machine... caught fire.
Once ‘crunch’ was declared, at 7:00pm each night, Mark Caldwell would unlock the company Coke machine. No need to feed the machine money, just pull open the front half of the appliance, reach inside, and pull out a cold can of... whatever. If you have ever purchased a can or bottle of soda pop from a vending machine, you will know these machines are big and made to endure all sorts of vandalism.
I vaguely remember griding away, at my desk, with my office door open. Prior to NWC’s growth and expansion, my room was sandwiched between the offices of David Mullich and Benjamin Bent (NWC Office Manager and part time Producer (Vegas Games)). Outside my office, the hallway diverged, leading to the Tester’s Room and the Break Room.
As my office wasn’t too far from the Break Room, I remember sitting there... smelling smoke... thinking, “Is that smoke?”
A moment later, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a young man dart into Ben’s office. I heard a muffled, hurried exchanged, followed by the same young man rushing out of Ben’s office... followed by Ben.
Now, I could definitely smell smoke.
Down the hall, I heard an additional, brief conversation, after which I saw Ben calmly returning to his office. I caught Ben’s attention and he took a detour to my doorway.
Me, “What’s going on?”
Ben rolled his eyes, “The Coke machine caught fire.”
“It caught fire?”
“Well, it looks like opening and closing the machine sheared some electrical wires, and they caught fire.”
Ben shook his head, “This idiot tester just stood there with a soda can in one hand, pointing at the fire.”
Me, “Do we have a fire extinguisher?”
“Yeah, but just unplugged the machine.”
“So, we have warm Cokes now?”
Ben chuckled, “We will. Get ‘em while they’re cold.”
A moment after Ben returned to his office, David Mullich appeared outside my office door, “Do I smell smoke?”
I remember this event rather well for a couple of reasons. First, its absurdity fit within the general absurdity of game development. Second, in many ways, it was an apt analogy for game development... something goes wrong, someone panics, someone else calmly solves the problem, and work continues.
"In game development, the Coke machine is always catching fire."
Behemoth Cave Interview
Questions 7-8c, of 18
This interview was conducted by Behemoth Cave (Webpage & Facebook) and originally published on November 10th, 2020. It’s another relatively long interview, comprised of 33 questions in 18 parts. I’ll be posting around 5 questions per Newsletter, until we reach the end, after which we will roll into another interview. Below are questions 7 to 8c, of 18.
7. While developing the game, did you anticipate that Heroes III will be a competitive title with many tournaments such as overwhelmingly popular Polish Championships which have gathered a four-digit number of contestants?
Not in the slightest. Network play in HoMM3 was an afterthought. In 1999, the idea anyone would be playing the game, competitively, twenty years later... was unimaginable. I still have a difficult time wrapping my head around it.
8a. A breath of new life - the modding of games. What is your opinion on modding?
I think most game developers consider modding to be a good thing. It extends the life of the game, and provides an avenue for potential game developers to learn the nuts-and-bolts of game development. Quake mods probably exhibited the best of this. More recently, are the jaw dropping mods for Fallout and Skyrim.
8b. Is modding a chance for a game to have a second life, or is it rather an unnecessary interference in the designers’ original product?
In my opinion, mods tend to give a game a second life. If a mod goes ‘too far’, this is more a reflection on the modder, not the original game developer, and I’m confident fans know and understand the difference.
8c. Have you played any Heroes III mods?
When I was doing my research for Fanstratics, I went out of my way to try every mod I could find: WoG, VCMI, HD, HotA, and the numerous smaller mods changing specific game aspects. Like some fans, I have a unique install for each ‘version’ of HoMM3.
8d. Do you follow the progress of Horn of the Abyss? The dev team behind it came up with the idea of a brand new faction - Regnan pirates (Cove). Also there is a new faction just around the corner which blends in steampunk and the Wild West - the Factory, which might be recognized as the spiritual successor to the technological Forge with original additions.
Yes, I do follow HotA. Many of the technical and gameplay changes were very logical, and overall, the art is equal, or better, than many of the original HoMM3 assets.
The Factory was something of a surprise. Is it a ‘spiritual successor’ to the Forge? To a degree. There were two potential approaches to the Forge. My conception was a more horrifying World War 2 approach, where David Mullich wanted a more Jules Verne ‘glass and brass’ approach. The Factory has a ‘glass and brass’ theme, with an American Western twist. It’s very unique.
- by Pol
I guess that you can all spots discounts and sales rushing to you from all corners, so I would just like to pinpoint a few. If you like King's Bounty, 1CEnteraitment is having huge action:
And because there are vacations, coming soon and not (tm) for many of us, let me just to outline a few more interesting games:
Arcante - An Old-School, First Person, Party-Based RPG
And if you liked DOOM, let me to end with Ion Fury :D
Obviously, there comes also Summer Sales Labyrinth, which starts here
Do you have any tips, for spectacular games? Post them here!
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- by Pol
Apart from Dev blog info, which is now confirming, that original Wizards are returning and Heroes not (in video there are different ones). Same will come for spells and units but not all has been yet introduced. So for example, I haven't a chance to spot "Stage Beetle" or "Dragon Turtle". So, it will be indeed classic MoM in new coat (Just a note that you can play already MoM: Caster of Magic in "old" coat).
Game si currently dwelling in Early Access and you can freely wishlist it at Steam or just follow, to keep in touch.
Master of Magic was however pretty complicated game. Not only terrain, units, AI also diplomacy and exploring the dungeons. In some approaches was similar to WoG, which came about decades later. You can check and compare it with the info from here.
MoM Intro video
Mila Undro (Writer & Lead Quest Designer) speaks about the game:
Slitherine presentation - revealing the game:
Remake FAQ from the MuHa Discord, taken from reddit
Q: Is this a remake of the original Master of Magic?
A: Mostly, yes. Our goal is to have the same amount of content that Master of Magic had, although there will be a few changes. The biggest so far is of course the switch from squares to hexes, which we think allows for more dynamic and interesting gameplay.
Q: Is Seravy involved in the project?
A: Not officially, although we have played Caster of Magic extensively and we talked with Seravy, exchanging views on what made Master of Magic great.
Q: Did you include any of the changes of Caster of Magic?
A: Some of the design choices are inspired by Caster of Magic.
Q: Will this be faithful to the original MoM and be a proper Master of Magic game?
A: We spent a lot of time on the original MoM. It is a great game, and we know it has many fans who grew up with the game and have waited so long for a modern version of it. We’ll do our best not to disappoint any of the fans of MoM.
Q: I would like to interview the team / I would like to write a review / preview?
Q: When it will enter beta?
A: Sometimes in the second half of 2021
Q: When will it release?
A: Sometimes in 2022
Q: Will it have multiplayer?
A: It is not planned for the moment
Q: Can I sign up for beta?
A: Not yet, we will keep you informed if such an option becomes available.
We will see, the game set up pretty high standard, MuHa games won't have it easy!
What do you think about it? Do you like it or now? Did you play MoM?
- by Pol
On a plus side:
* Game survived and it's playable without bonus content and DLC because of these two simple tricks
in \Might and Magic X Legacy\Might and Magic X\Legacy_Data\StreamingAssets\Dialog\LevDialog.xml
Delete all four instances of:
<condition xsi:type="PrivilegeUnlockedCondition" privilegeID="1001" failState="DISABLED" />
In addition to the above, to make the bridge passable from the start of a new game, go into
StreamingAssets/Maps/theworld.xml and look for:
<Slot Height="6.13505" Terrain="BLOCKED" TerrainSound="NONE" MapArea="ASHEN_HILLS">
Change "BLOCKED" to "PASSABLE" and you'll be able to walk through the wagon, with the added advantage of being able to get Expert in skills like Shield or Spear without having to go through all of Act One.
Thanks to Bandobras Took for pointing that out here.
On a minus side:
* Ubisoft decided to shut down their online servers 1.6.2021 for legacy games. As well as that's understendable, because of the game age. Game's DRM relies on them and without online servers reachable you can't use your bonus content or play the DLC. Which still can be bought. This is quite ironic.
With new Ubisoft titles appearing every year, we are faced with the decision to retire the services of our legacy titles."
The relevant paragraph concerns ULC.
"ULC (unlockable content) such as maps and skins will also be disabled, meaning that you will no longer be able to unlock them."
I assume that since entry to Act 2 and Fort Laegeaire require a change to the standard function of the game (removing the guard on the bridge to Seahaven and getting arrested when entering Karthal) that these changes were implemented as ULC.
The workaround detailed earlier on this thread then is the only way we can get past Act 1, and we can't get arrested and sent to Fort Laegeaire, unless we can convince Ubisoft to change these events to in game flags rather than ULC.
One can only hope, that they will rectify that error by removing this DRM protection, otherwise they may start to return money to all who bough DLC or any Deluxe Edition.
The remaining ULC is probably lost forever.
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- by MadMax
Marcus Pregent, Level Designer Heroes of Might and Magic 3, Might & Magic 6, Part 1
F I N A L L Y
I present to you, the first part of the interview between me and Marcus Pregent.
Once again, I want to apologize (I had it recorded at first, but intro got to long featuring me apologizing) for it taking so long.
Editing the video has been quite tough and I've just been way to busy.
I also want to add that during this interview, I was still dealing with post covid symptoms such as being extremely tired and my head simply not wanting to work with me. I realized watching this video, I was simply looking and feeling "down".
Fortunately though, Marcus Pregent is a rock and delivers some great anecdotes and stories. You'll get to hear about some of his less conventional working places, the story behind the quite graphic event in the map "Faeries" and it's background.
This is the first part of (most likely) 3 videos of us meeting with Marcus Pregent. What's your favorite part of it? Who should we try to contact next?
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