I'm a newbie to this project so I hope you will excuse my arrogant questions & suggestions... So, I've just tried out the latest (06.04.2019) version of MM6-7-8 Merge after countless hours in MM6, MM7 and MM8 many, many years ago.1.
Why is the class system so inconsistent? Do we really need MM8-specific classes like Necromancers and Priests as long as we have the Sorcerers and Clerics from MM7? How does the two-stage promotion system and the choice between Light and Dark found in MM7 even work with these MM8 classes, Necromancer being clearly a 'Dark' class and Priest being a 'Light' class? These classes are superfluous and should be removed for the sake of elegance and integrity.2.
Why Jadame and Antagarich races are unavailable in Enroth? Could this be activated with some option? I would love to begin the game in Enroth but have trolls / vampires / minotaurs in my party.3.
Why some MM7 classes like Monk are unavailable in Enroth? If the appropriate promotion quests / trainers are only available in Antagarich, why not just travel there if you consciously chose
a Monk for your starting party in Enroth. Same goes to Jadame's Vampires and Trolls.3.
Speaking of Vampires and Trolls, they seem to be two pretty self-contained societies whose 'professions' are tightly linked with their lifestyle, physiology and traditions. So it stands to reason they only have one class, Vampire and Troll accordingly -- but I would rather call those race-specific classes Nightstalker and Barbarian, just to make some distinction between Race and Class -- again for the sake of integrity and keeping with the MM7 tradition. So that Trolls are limited to the Barbarian class and Vampires to the Nightstalker class -- a purely cosmethical change.4.
The Vampire Ability skill, though, seems to be unbalanced and too weak as long as we have all the MM7 classes available. Okay, Life Drain is unique and makes sense.
I could understand Levitate -- unlike Water Walking, it also helps avoiding traps and lava... but it still looks too weak as opposed to the perks granted by other skills at Expert level. Could Levitate maybe increase the party's max travel distance per turn in turn-based combat, like maybe for an extra 20%-25%... and also give a similar speed boost to real time travel and especially to the strafe speed.
At Master, Vampires learn Charm, easily available at Expert level to those proficient in Mind Magic, so that's a joke! I'd happily swap that for a more unique and useful ability, maybe a passive one. What about adding some 2x-3x the number of Skill points in Vampire Ability to Spirit and Body Resistance once a Vampire reaches Master in Vampire Ability? Vampires are undead so they should be more resistant to Body and Spirit negative effects (in addition to being immune to Mind effects)
Finally the Mist Form gained at Grandmaster Vampire Ability is cool but not universally useful, not even close to the overall usefullness of other Grandmaster abilities. But somehow I like Mist Form the way it is... I think Grandmaster Vampire (along with Master and Expert) could become balanced with the rest of the skills if the basic Vampire ability, that is Life Drain, would restore the exact same amount of HP that is stolen from the victim, not a measly 1/3. This would imbue Expert, Master and Grandmaster Vampire Ability skills with a lot more sense since they boost the recovery time and the damage of that basic ability.
Also there's the free and complete Mind immunity that the Vampires receive. Somehow it's not balanced by a drawback. Maybe Vampires should lose their ability to Regenerate or be Healed by any spells while in daylight? So it's gonna be like 'subsist on potions and Life Drain or don't go out at noon and stick to dungeons instead'5.
Minotaurs... The Minotaur class from MM8 is nothing special, there's no reason why Minotaurs should only stick with one profession. Currently the MM6-7-8 Merge has Minotaur class available if you start in Jadame but only the basic MM7 classes if you pick a Minotaur in Antagarich, how come?
It looks reasonable (at least to my mind) that the Minotaur class should go, being superfluous, and Minotaurs should get access to the same classes that Humans, Elves, Goblins and Dwarves get. Or maybe Minotaurs should be restricted from picking classes that end up as Master and Grandmaster spellcasters... but nothing more than that.
The Minotaurs' inability to use boots and helmets should be balanced by giving them a special ability... like maybe getting +1 Hit point per level added to the base HP per level modifier of ANY class they pick and a permanent starting bonus of +10 to Mind, Spirit and Body resistances
due to their powerful physique? Not being able to wear boots or helmets becomes a big nuisance in late game when very powerful items become available, giving much more than just the bare Armor Class they have.6.
Dark Elves. Their Dark Elf Ability looks very cheesy and inconsistent as compared to other racial abilities like Vampire Ability, Dragon Ability or Regeneration. Why don't the regular Elves, Dwarves, Goblins and Humans get random spell-like abilities when Dark Elves have them? The choice of Dark Elf 'spells' gained at different Dark Elf Ability mastery levels looks kind of random and far fetched. I'd suggest making Dark Elves a regular race like Humans, etc., without any class restrictions or special abilities -- the only difference being the unique choice of 'weak' and 'strong' stats at character creation, the current selection being Accuracy and Endurance.7.
Dark Path vs. Light Path for MM8 races. This has to be in the game, with the two alternate second tier promotions and all. Vampires turned to Light should change their class to 'Goody-Two-Fangs' after the 2nd promotion, with lots of hilarious dialogue options and tongue-in-cheek humour. Since Vampires don't deal with Dark or Light Magic at all, and have no real alignment affinity, this kind of character seems possible to me in the Might & Magic universe. I mean, vampirism appears to be something purely physiological (if 'physiology' is a proper word for an undead creature) and being evil is merely a popular choice among Vampires, but in no way an absolute imperative. We could have evil Paladins in MM7, remember?8.
These days, everybody's so big on sprite upscaling with neural networks. How come nobody tried Gigapixel AI
or at least ESRGAN
with the amazing Manga109Attempt
dataset on Might & Magic sprites? Look how beautifully these tiny sprites from Daggerfall can be upscaled through pure AI and without human intervention... Might & Magic sprites are so much bigger than Daggerfall's, so you'd be getting a ton more quality if you try AI-upscaling on those!
There's a whole subreddit full of finished and WIP upscaling mods for older games: https://www.reddit.com/r/GameUpscale/
I was shocked not to find any M&M related threads there...9.
Speaking of upscaling, I've got a question but I don't know if I should ask GrayFace or dgVoodoo Project's Dege the Lead Guy. I'm playing MM6-7-8 Merge with GrayFace's MM8 2.2 Patch and dgVoodoo 2 v2.55.4. Everything looks and works fine, except for the UI getting stretched to 16:9. I'm getting something like this:
But I wanna have it like this:
Setting StretchWidth and StretchHeight to default fixes this, but I'm getting black bars and the whole thing goes 1440x1080!Is there a way for getting a 4:3 scaled UI on top of a 16:9 scaled 3D viewport?10.
Most likely this belongs to Dege's domain but I still feel like asking here: is there a dgVoodoo.conf / mm8.ini tweak that would scale the UI using bicubic / superSAI / xbrz or any other filter?
I'm not asking for miracles, I just wanna swap this:
For something they used to call 'bicubic' back in the day:
Is this possible?11.
This project has many threads and pages at different places... but none of them explain how the plots of MM6, MM7 and MM8 are linked to each other in this mod? I see how the Kreegans crashing into Enroth in MM6 can be followed by Escaton's immediate advent in MM8, but linking the MM7 story to Archibald getting free from his stone curse at the end of MM6 is a bit trickier. How does this mod account for the very special events in MM7 that ultimately result in the party picking either Light or Dark side?12.
Given the same ole five-guy team for the whole playthrough while three times as much content as in a single M&M title, is there a trick implemented to keep the party from leveling up too fast while not reducing the progression to a clog? I'd suggest using the 'killing monsters of a much lower level than you yields you almost no XP' mechanic that Baldur's Gate used, but maybe it's already implemented? Long ago when I played vanilla MM6, MM7 and MM8, I used to spend lots of time wreaking genocide upon the hordes of surface-dwelling mobs just for the sake of gaining XP. With the MM6-7-8 Merge, I feel pretty well off with simply finishing quest dungeons, there's always enough monsters and no need for thorough and intended monster extermination in the wilderness. I suppose that's how the MM6-7-8 should in fact be played. So to keep the player from leveling up too fast (and also to keep them from mindless 'farming') it would be cool to severely cut the XP gains from any slain monsters that are much weaker (i.e. have a much lower level) than your party. Like, there's a lot of goblins and rats in the quest dungeons ahead, you don't need to farm them for XP -- you'll face plenty of them anyways. You should be looking for stronger and stronger monsters to vanquish, because if you keep farming rats and goblins to get more powerful, you'll end up getting very little XP from those easy kills. So only kill for finishing quests, and seek enemies more powerful than you. Travel between Jadame, Enroth and Antagarich to find those; there are plenty of quests on the three continents, level up finishing those instead of exterminating all life in every location.
TL;DR: Leveling should be consistent with the 3X amount of events and monsters in this mod, keeping the player from getting much XP from easy kills seems like a viable option.P.S.
I sincerely hope I didn't offend anyone reading this. And thank you for this wonderful mod!