Heroes 7 Review v1.7 and campaign walkthroughs

The game Might & Magic: Heroes VII, developed by Limbic Entertainment.

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Heroes 7 Review v1.7 and campaign walkthroughs

Postby cjlee » Apr 10 2016, 10:19

Last month I said I was out. Never coming back.

Then against my better judgment, I bought Heroes VII after discovering that it had been discounted to EU9 (USD10). Since I have some paypal money and must pay fees if I transfer it out, I decided to try out H7.

I had vowed to give up this game. I broke my own promise. I received just punishment.

The game is still incomplete and severely buggy.

It is not stable on my computer which is above recommended specs, slow to load, has all kinds of weird things ranging from heroes galloping sideways, to battle tactics phase bug that doesn’t let you arrange your troops about 5% of the time, to Shantri titans sometimes phasing out into another dimension from which they can shoot you but you can’t target them, to pieces of the map missing/ not being rendered by graphics card, to enemies that sometimes just stand still at an obstacle and let you shoot them without doing anything, to events usually triggering even before your hero has arrived at a building, to quick combats where you can’t see results and get no experience but which you win anyway because the neutral stack vanishes.

I have been forced to use the power button on my computer more than 25 times because game can’t be exited with ctrl-alt-del. Sometimes game even causes computer to show blue screen of death and restart. Several times my system just restarted itself in the middle of a game without me being able to understand why. I get all kinds of windows error messages. At this rate my system will really DIE.

I won’t call it acceptable at 1.7.

I am thinking of filing paypal complaint against the poor seller for ‘nondelivery’. Is this a finished game? Not when I have had so many blue screens of death and my system threatened with total destruction. Not when I cannot finish two campaigns, and therefore unlock the finale campaign, because of game breaking bugs.

I can’t play through the Barbarian campaign at all because in map 3, my system was crashing all the time.

Muriel (or whatever the angel’s Haven campaign is)’s 4th map, I couldn’t finish because of a game breaking bug. I’m supposed to defeat all enemies, which I did, except Ubisoft/ Limbic kept an enemy flag on the minimap. I can’t kill anyone that I can’t see on the adventure map. The flag stood there despite me doing everything possible. I even replayed a save game from a month (a month of in-game time) earlier, and I could not kill all enemies because of that flag which presumably was a hero I killed earlier but got phased to another dimension.

I can’t do a screenshot of that because somehow, alt-printscreen doesn’t work. It works with all softwares and applications except this Limbic product, it seems.

There are some weird and non standard ways by which the game interacts with my Windows Home 7 64 bit. When the game hangs (and it hangs every couple hours of gameplay on average), you cannot ctrl-alt-del your way out. You have to use the power button. Also, using alt-tab in game doesn’t always minimize the window. I don’t understand how the limbic guys could have programmed this game to work so much differently from the other applications out there, but clearly they imagine themselves smarter than Microsoft.

Even if there were zero bugs, this does not come across as a new product. It comes across as a repeat of Heroes VI, with the same battle music, same graphics, same overall appearance, many similar gameplay elements such as being able to get on and off a boat in the same day, largely similar spells and skills.

There are a few retarded additions, the most memorable of which is the week of Storm. All ranged attackers are disabled during this week, but Limbic didn’t even think to allow the ranged units to do melee attacks. In other words, the ranged units can stand in the battlefield and get hit by melee enemies, but they can’t target melee foes, run forward and slash or hit with half damage like in previous versions of Heroes.

How can Limbic create a game like this? It shows the game programmers and coders aren’t actually playing the game. How about a Week of the Big, when no small units can fight? Or Week of the Small, when Big units can only stand around and get hit? Does that sound like a balanced, attractive game to anyone? So if you are playing multiplayer and luck into the right week, the enemy’s 100 Titans and 100 Treants can get eaten alive by your one week’s worth of low level melee units?

Once bugs are discounted (and I have to keep stressing this), you can have a bit of fun playing through the campaigns where there is some storyline, some plot elements, some map innovations like catapults, broken bridges and busted dams. But game is simply not good enough to be addictive. I do not see myself losing sleep to game this through the night. I don’t feel the urge to look for more user made maps to download. I am aching to finish all campaigns (which I can’t, thanks to game breaking bugs), after which I want to delete it permanently from my computer and never look at it again.

For $10USD the price is still not acceptable because it hangs more than any other game I have played in my entire life. If you paid extra to get some collectors’ version with plastic junk figurines and early (buggier) versions of the game, I can’t credit your good judgment. I’m guessing you probably do not work for an investment firm or any employer who expects you to make good buying decisions. If you were my banker and you pre-ordered this game, I’ll pull my money from your management in a flash.

Am not reporting my bugs on the bugs thread. It is not good enough to warrant that kind of effort. I just don’t feel enthusiastic enough as a fan to work with the game developers to make a better game.

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Re: Heroes 7 Review v1.7 and campaign walkthroughs

Postby cjlee » Apr 10 2016, 10:21

Supplements to Walkthroughs

Here’s some addendums to Kalah’s walkthrough. I played on Hard, not Heroic. Kalah, feel free to incorporate the material I have here – no need to even credit me. Just use the material to help other suckers who purchased this game, and I’m happy enough.

On hard, game is very easy. I do not recall any part where I seriously felt threatened with defeat. If I ever was defeated, it was because I forgot some game objective.

AI is vastly inferior, so crushing them is easy. The only difficult thing is crushing them with zero casualties, because you no longer have any mass heal spells since you can’t level up in the Light school of magic. Some factions are totally barred from light magic and there is no Animate Dead spell.

General:

Every single hero I get, I always spend at least 4 points on logistics-related things. Snatch and Pathfinding are musts. If you spend 4 points on logistics before level 10, it makes your earlier battles harder – but you will be rewarded with time.

At one point during the Dungeon Campaign, Map 4, I had 3 enemy heroes chasing mine. But they all had unimproved logistics - while I had 4 points in logistics including pathfinding. So I got away.

I get Earth magic and regeneration whenever possible.

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Re: Heroes 7 Review v1.7 and campaign walkthroughs

Postby cjlee » Apr 10 2016, 10:21

Sylvan Walkthrough:

As Kalah said, this faction is all about positioning, group action, coordination. AI plays Sylvan much, much worse than it plays Barbarian faction, because you have to consider Sylvan battle units as a whole.

It is interesting that the faction which had only 1 ranged unit in Heroes IV and V, has turned into the most powerful ranged faction in Heroes VII. These guys are incredibly powerful once you use Storm Arrows and Entangle. (Remember to level up and get at least some Air Magic skills!)

Regrettably, only Storm Arrows, Entangle and Regeneration are relevant for Sylvan. I did try out all other spells, but most earth spells won’t find much use. What is the use of poison cloud for instance, other than killing ranged enemies who stand in the same place? (And remember, Sylvan is usually the stronger ranged faction!)

I also found teleport and summon elementals very useful for Sylvan.

Sylvan is by far the weakest when facing any enemy with Unfettered movements. Only the stupidity of the AI saved me. EG Golems love to target the treant, which is practically impossible to kill when you have Wysloth with his high defence. (I say treant, because I fought all battles except the final battle in the final map, with only a small army plus the single treant hired from the champion dwelling. This treant really didn’t do much killing, but the synergy thing helped everyone and the treant attracted many attacks that would have killed my other units.)

For the campaign, I do not consider Sylvan’s racial skill as necessary beyond the second level. Realistically, in most battles you won’t have more than 3 units targeting the same opponent unit. If you have six stacks, the ideal is 3 stacks on 1 enemy. Since the 3rd unit will almost certainly kill the enemy, Nature’s Avenger III isn’t necessary, let alone spending a valuable skill point on the hero attack – when hero could be casting Storm Arrows, Summoning Elementals, etc.

Sylvan units:

When I played H2 and H3, I believed in fielding every unit possible. By H4 I stopped that. Now I plain don’t care about units that are useless.

Unlike Kalah I see no use to pixies. They don’t do enough damage to justify their (low) cost. Sylvan now is all about ranged units, delaying or stopping the enemy before they come close, etc. A unit that doesn’t draw retaliation, and can’t absorb retaliation anyway, is not useful. It won’t help keep Sun Deer or Blade Masters alive. AI ignores pixies usually.

You must always hire every single Druid and Hunter and upgrade them fully. You must use all mana every game to keep them alive. No buts.

Sun Deer are excellent support units for the morale and luck boosts, as well as to stand in front of your ranged units and use their big size to protect. They aren’t exceptionally strong – just useful blockers.

Always have dryads around for the defense synergy.

Blade Masters are awesome hitters. Keeping them alive is very hard though.

The Treants are extremely important towards the Sylvan strategy. Not only are they ranged, they are also anti-melee. And they mesh well with both the dryads, as well as protect the other ranged units.

I did not have much opportunity to try the dragons. They are slow moving and don’t mesh well with other Sylvan units. If I were ever to use the dragons, it would be in a separate hero as a single stack, and in conjunction with Poison Cloud. I do not think the dragons were well considered at all by Limbic when designing the game.


Sylvan Campaign:

Map 1: This is easy peasy. The only thing you need to do, is to max out both heroes. Give them a good foundation for future battles. You’re under no threat, so this is easy.

I do not want to tell you where to go because you're in a forest. You do need to wander around for a bit to open the fog of war, and that will also reveal stat boosters that you might not be able to visit now but which you would do well to visit later. Then the AI sends you a pixie to lead you to your secondary hero Danan and from then on it's pretty straightforward.

Kill everything, visit everything, and when you are strong enough, take that boat and sail across to kill the enemy cyclopses in their fort. Done!

Map 2:

You are in an area filled with islands. There are not many shipyards, so plan your landing carefully.

There are orcs on three islands with substantial armies, towns and resources. There are two uninhabited islands with two undeveloped Sylvan towns on them. Your objective is to find your way out of this region, and that's done by visiting all obelisks.

You must fight the orcs to make this map manageable. This is not Heroes IV where you can have grandmaster stealth - the enemy is numerous and strong and getting stronger from their town reinforcements, and you will find it very hard to visit all obelisks unless you kill them. Only 1 or 2 orc armies are tough, and they tended to have a very bad pathfinding AI, so you can take their castles and forts before facing the really hard battles.

One trick to using the town portal – if you have a hired hero in a town, the portal can’t be used. So your hero will be TPed to the next closest town. By hiring secondary heroes in every town, I was able to create a setup where my heroes can TP to any town they like. As long as you have a hired hero in every town but one, your main heroes will be TP-ed over to that last town, even if it is across the map.

Since you are under no time pressure, once again, max out your heroes. Visit every stat booster, even those really out of the way. It will make your final map super easy.

Map 3: this is an annoying mission because of the backtracking you have to do, as well as the time you need to take off to level up Danan after you rescue her. (Syrael isn’t really important and you won’t have enough troops for him in the later maps anyway.)

Make sure you really invest the time to level up Danan after she is rescued. In the 4th map, having two equally strong heroes will be an enormous help. There are many stat boosters everywhere including underground, so you should delay finishing the map so that Danan has time to visit everything.

I did not bother with finding any pirate treasure. Even if it is a Tear of Ashan, you don’t need it. And if it is an artifact – well this game is already filled with artifacts, many pretty decent, but none absolutely important and game breaking.

The climactic battle was against a Warlock(?) who can do some severe damage with spells. But nothing as remotely tough as many Heroes V campaign battles. Yawn.


Map 4: Kalah had such a tough time in his walkthrough because he hadn’t visited all stat boosters in previous maps. It took me less than 2 weeks to finish all objectives except the final one (kill the Wizard), and even that only took one more week.

The enemy heroes can’t be defeated individually if you split your starting forces, but if you combine armies, you can take them out. In my case I handed over half my forces to Danan whom I had taken the effort to level up in previous maps, and sent Wysloth off with just a small force to kill neutrals. Thanks to all my leveling Wysloth in magic, his regeneration is pretty respectable and he has some excellent entangles to cast. When you can save 3-5 lives per battle, it adds up. It allows Wysloth to keep nearly all his elf pirates alive.

You are very short of star silver on this map. Apart from that, not much restricts you.

Because I had taken the effort to level everyone up and visit all stat boosters, both Danan and Wysloth started at level 23.

Apart from awesome defense and leadership, Wysloth had a heck lot of spells and 160 mana. Very importantly, he had the spell Summon Elemental – which is absolutely essential when facing enemies like Fire Elementals because you need to buy time with the summons distracting the Fire Elementals, and regenerate all your losses from the Fire Elementals’ early fire nova strikes.

Danan had like 30 points for Attack and Defence combined, and (obviously) even better magic skills.

I found Danan a far better hero than Wysloth. Granted, Wysloth’s battle skills are superior. But when marching off on a long journey while building your home castle, Danan will incur no losses due to her Earth magic and regeneration skills. It works out better in the long run. Having tons of leadership won’t stop your Blade Masters from getting hurt in the first retaliation, and being able to end a battle early thanks to lots of leadership/morale, doesn’t help the Blade Masters regenerate lost units. I know losing 1 Blade Master per battle doesn’t sound bad, but after 20 or 30 battles, this stack is no longer strong enough to really do damage and you will start losing them faster thanks to stronger enemy retaliations from the larger number of survivors.

I did manage to take out the Dragon Utopia and the Shantri Ruins in week 2 with just Wysloth and 10 Blademasters, 42 Blade Dancers, 45 Druid Elders, 1 Treant (from the Champion Dwelling), 35 Sea Elf Pirates. No losses. Ditto for practically all neutral stacks on the map, including those called Deadly. That’s why I always advise people to work hard in the first few maps and visit all stat boosters and get all spells and skills done right. Final map becomes laughably easy.

I do not know why Kalah did not mention the objective of rescuing slaves in his walkthrough, but they are essential if you want to complete the map fast. The slaves number 92 Brutes, 133 Gnoll Captains (or whatever their upgrades are called), 13 Enraged Cyclopses. How can you reject 13 Champion units in the first week?

I took out the Northwest Academy bad guys with Danan in the first week, so I was able to start using the rescued slaves from Week 2 Day 1 onwards. (Actually I could have taken them earlier, but I’d tarried with Danan because I needed her to liberate lots of resources.)

There is also a stack of Master Hunters nearby that will join you for money. They cost me 76900 gold, but this greatly augmented my army. I had no diplomacy, so I had to raid the Shantri ruins for 50000 gold.

I fought the final battle with D and W, and D was able to get off with zero losses. Then using the same army, I reloaded and fought with W – and I lost nearly half my army. It was the kind of unavoidable loss because the Wizard opponent kept on casting Burst of Light which inflicted over 1000 damage per stack.

Am not sure how the magic defense works – seems to work differently from Heroes VI. Thanks to religiously having visited all stat boosters, my W had very high magic stats too. He wasn’t really much weaker than the Wizard in magic. Anyway he wound up taking an incredible amount of damage from Burst of Light. In contrast, when D fought the Wizard, Wizard kept casting Celestial Armour and other useless spells on her troops.
Last edited by cjlee on May 5 2016, 6:13, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Heroes 7 Review v1.7 and campaign walkthroughs

Postby cjlee » Apr 10 2016, 10:22

Academy faction.

These guys used to be the top ranged faction, but now I find that Sylvan has overtaken them.

Or maybe Wizards are plain bad at shooting.

The Cabirs are really weak unless you have Unicorn Horn bow or Storm Arrows. Their only strength is when facing fire elementals. Fire Elementals can do a lot of damage this game and are my most feared ranged opponent, short of the Shantri Titan.

The Apprentices always die. The enemy targets them so often, and they are so easy to hit being big units, that I have never accumulated a large stack of these carpetbaggers before.

The Titans are great as usual, but being few in number, don’t make much difference.

I found no use in Arcane Eagles and never even bothered to upgrade them to Simurghs. Computer just loves to target them so they never live long – Summon Elemental is a vastly superior spell to cast. I really dislike the ‘one random negative spell’ special ability of the Arcane Eagle. The random negative effects on the enemy only make it harder for me to figure out how to fight. It just disrupts any planned strategies I have.

I have discovered that in H7, Academy faction is pretty useless. Troops exist only to get the Wizard to level up. The real power of a Wizard lies in Prime Magic and Summoning Elementals or Teleporting Rakshashas. Elementals now, and elemental echo, is incredible. If you max out prime magic you can even cast Spells twice every combat round, so TWO stacks of elementals pop up.

As for your troops, hah! They don’t do any damage at all. The golems and gargoyles are exceptionally useless in might combat. The only reason to build their dwellings, is just in case. Because they are magic immune and take less damage from magic type attacks, if you are facing a spellcaster opponent, you will need to field golems and gargoyles to keep you on the battlefield until you can summon enough elementals.

I totally did not like any of the academy campaign maps. They were disjointed.

Map 1: Kalah’s walkthrough is enough. I have nothing to add.

Map 2: Four Suitors map. This is significant because I failed it, and had to replay. I forgot about the time limit. It is not a hard map (all maps were easy when playing on Hard difficulty), but because the map is fairly big and you have many quests, it is easy to fail the map.

Since your heroes don’t carry over, don’t bother to visit all stat boosters. You will never meet a serious opponent you can’t beat, and you will never need to have a very strong hero.

Also, none of the other factions on the map are actual opponents. So don’t need to build armies to fight them. When game tells you to TALK to these guys, that’s exactly what they mean – you can send your main hero with a tiny army over and it’s fine because you don’t get attacked.

I don’t even begin to understand why the Limbic folks created this scenario. There are no real enemies. Just accumulate gold and resources, spend gold and resources, kill a few rogue golems, walk around talking to people.

Map 3: Lost Daughter map. Neither challenging nor engaging. Most of your first month is spent walking randomly around the desert.

There are only a couple of tense battles with the necromancers to the East. After that, map is just some more boring walking around.

Map 4: I agree with Kalah you should move South from your starting point. If you go West, you just waste a lot of time.

Again, this map is a meaningless trek. No battle is particularly hard, so I did not even ship in a lot of reinforcements. Your summoned elementals are enough to kill everyone. This reminds me of Heroes VI, boring and crappy. Yawn.

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Re: Heroes 7 Review v1.7 and campaign walkthroughs

Postby cjlee » Apr 10 2016, 10:22

Barbarians

Map 1: you start with a small army that gets bigger. Difficulty is not high – just remember that barbarian heroes have powerful hero attacks, so use that as often as you can.
You have to finish this map in 4 weeks. You do have enough time, providing you don’t double back or plunder mines. So fight every battle that you can to max your experience.


Map 2: again not a hard map, but lack of resources is a big problem and keeps you from expanding or building.
When exploring the map with another hero, you will have an oasis quest. Do not let that hero enter the third oasis that pops up. Only enter the third oasis with your main hero, armed with a suitable army.
You will be fighting behemoths. And if you don’t win, game may be stuck in limbo. The oases that pop up are events and are totally not permanent fixtures, so you can’t come back.
As for Jengo, I never had the slightest difficulty beating him.

Map 3: Imani is disabled by being in a dream state, so your two heroes Reem and Kibwe have to find a way to save the tribe. Because your troops die every turn, you cannot tarry. As explained by Kalah, make a beeline for the Northwest Oasis. Then when you see the oasis, travel west and clear out all the resource pickups and kill all the enemies for experience first. Also visit the first obelisk.

When you are ready, only then do you travel East.

I played through this twice and got two different results. In one, Melisande declared jihad on me and came to me immediately. Same as what Kalah experienced. In another playthrough, she made a beeline – in the opposite direction. It was a week before she came for me. I have no idea how Limbic programmed this.

Although I was only armed with the forces I started with (plus the two behemoths that had volunteered to join me) Melisande’s forces are weak and fighting her was no challenge. She did far more damage with her ordinary hero attacks, than her entire army put together.

Bugs prevented me from completing this in v1.7. After the 1.8 patch, I was able to continue.

Our forces defeated Melisande, then established a barbarian settlement. That immediately caused an event to trigger where 3 increasingly powerful enemies would appear, culminating in the ever-persistent Asad and his Rakshasas. These enemies were too weak to really pose a threat, but too strong to be complacent about and ignore. This means that I had to fight them.

At this point my strongest hero was Reem and Kibwe was second strongest. Because Imani was released from her dream only after the barbarian settlement was established, she did not have much time to level up or visit stat boosters. When Asad showed up, she had to fight Asad. She won, so the map ended without her having time to improve herself.

Map 4: the last map. You start out with no town and your heroes separated. You have to manage this scenario in a cooperative style that is totally unlike most maps. I can admit that Limbic did a good job on this map, making it a fairly intelligent scenario.

On this map, you must coordinate your heroes. If you ignored hero development of Reem and Kibwe in the past two maps, you will have a lot of difficulty on this map. All 3 heroes have to fight their way past various obstacles. The achievements of one hero help unlock barriers for another hero to advance.

Finally you emerge into 3 separate sections of the map. Imani is in the middle section, which is guarded by 3 powerful heroes and has many hero sanctuaries where your hero can hide. The top and the bottom sections have a fort and a castle each. The objective is to take the top and the bottom within 2 days.

It was here that I stumbled as I didn't exactly know what was intended. I wasted several days due to lack of coordination. You are supposed to take the top and the bottom consecutively within 2 days, because their loss will draw away the two most powerful heroes who are guarding the middle section. Imani can take down the last hero in the middle section.

Despite the conditions, I have found that it is ideal if you take the top and bottom on the same day. This is because the enemy heroes will very quickly take back the top and bottom town and fort, and then leave to resume guard duty in the middle of the map.

The AI seems programmed to ignore your heroes at the top and bottom of the map. They only make a beeline for the town and fort, and take these back. On the center of the map, the AI will not ignore Imani. They will attack her, so you must use the sanctuaries to hide until the enemy gets distracted by the conquests of the town at the bottom and the fort at the top.

Once the enemy heroes have been distracted and move off, Imani can move through the center section to attack her goal - the enemy Wizard Nazir. Like all poorly planned maps, Nazir is a very big anticlimax. He has only 3 Apprentices, a similarly small number of Cabirs, Gargoyles and Golems, plus the tiny garrison of 3 Apprentices and other troops.

In contrast, Asad is standing in front of Nazir, and he is moderately strong with over 10 Rakshasas.

Since Imani has access to a barbarian town, I suggest you play safe and build up the town with the many resources available. You might be able to beat Asad with your starting army, but I didn't do that. I hired extra troops from the town for an easy victory.

Some players might be able to finish this map within a week. I took 12 days.

There is a subquest to plunder 5 mines. It is not necessary to complete that subquest, but since there are many enemy mines it is fairly easy to plan your movements such that you finish a day by plundering a mine (ie losing little to no movement points).
Last edited by cjlee on Apr 25 2016, 1:21, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Heroes 7 Review v1.7 and campaign walkthroughs

Postby cjlee » Apr 10 2016, 10:23

Haven Campaign

I don’t have much to say about playing this faction. I feel that even after playing the campaign, I don’t know enough about their troops, units, strategies, etc.

Map 1: Um, this was the first scenario I played, it was only 2 weeks ago, and I’ve already forgotten it.

Map 2: Also forgot. Now of course I can consult Kalah’s walkthrough to jog my memory, but if I forgot something so totally, I guess it can’t be that interesting or significant!

Map 3: Map tells you to destroy some bridges, so do it. But don’t go overboard. The enemy AI will not attack you, so there is never a need to destroy all bridges other than those they tell you to destroy.

Because I got enthusiastic with destroying bridges, I later realized that AI was not interested in attacking me. I had to rebuild many, many bridges to get back to them thus wasting many, many days.

It was ridiculous that the map objective was to get a bunch of Titans to fight for you. You are Haven faction, why can’t they get a bunch of Seraphs to fight for you?

The final battle in this map is the hardest in all H7 campaign maps I have played. You actually have a reasonably high chance of being defeated, so don’t get complacent. Buff the Titans to the best of your ability. Like Kalah I lost my entire army and had to rely on the Titans to win. I do not like the kind of maps where you must rely on Deus Ex Machina to win. It makes a mockery of getting and building up 3 towns, which could simply not supply enough troops to obtain victory against an enemy with over 200 Seraphs.

Map 4: Couldn’t finish because of a game breaking bug as of 1.7, then I came back and finished it after the 1.8v patch.

This is a very large map and there are three marginally challenging battles at the start. Combine your troops and fight the first three enemy heroes that come your way. Once you have decimated the enemy, future battles will be ultra easy.

You don’t need to travel all over the map. There are only 3 enemy castles and a few forts. Hit them fast and hard and don’t let them hire too many heroes.

As for Kalah’s Shantiri ruins, you don’t need a big army. One of your two female heroes (you start with two male, two female) is a spellcaster with Prime Magic. Level her once or twice and you’re good enough to summon elementals. You can take out the Shantiri ruins if you have enough mana and some nifty troop management to keep your main army alive while summons take down the Titans. I didn’t want to waste time on Shantiri ruins because I did not need the money, the xp, or the delays.

There are only 3 enemy castles, to the Northwest, the North and the Northeast. I suggest taking out the Northwest one first because it is located in a narrow valley such that there are no distractions and all enemy heroes will make a beeline for you. The other two castles are in open areas with many distractions for the AI, so you won't get attacked from them right away.

Everything finished in 2 weeks. Apart from the first 3 battles (the enemy typically had 10 Seraphs or Celestials each and inflicted severe losses on your side), this was another standard easy H7 map.

Now that all game breaking bugs have been wiped out, I recommend that players only play this on Heroic. It is way too easy on Hard.
Last edited by cjlee on Apr 25 2016, 1:33, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Heroes 7 Review v1.7 and campaign walkthroughs

Postby cjlee » Apr 10 2016, 10:23

Necromancer Faction

How to play?

In H6 the Necromancers turned into the top healing faction. Now they are back to being a faction of death. They cannot heal, although they can regenerate. There is no vampiric aura, no life drain, nothing that helps them suck life from other creatures apart from what the vampire already has.
Limbic has approached necromancy very differently from how it was done in the past. Now Necromancy raises only small fraction of the total dead in a battle as skeletons, something like 3% or 5%. However, it also works on the total hit points/ life force involved in the battle. So if you fight a few elementals, you can wind up with over a dozen skeletons and banshees. I don’t like how they did it; it doesn’t seem right that one elemental can furnish a bunch of skeletons and banshees.

Their units:

I agree with Kalah, the Lamasu is useless. It is even more useless than the H6 Lamasu, which looks exactly like.

The other Death faction units have seen a substantial change to the way they are played. For instance, vampires no longer – unlike in all previous editions of Heroes – avoid retaliation.

Liches no longer create a death cloud.

Bone dragons now manage to pump out a cone of withering breath… from their empty lungs. In all previous versions of Heroes, Bone Dragons were mighty beings and inflicted physical damage.

Death Knights (Grim Riders) are ok but unexceptional.

After playing this campaign, I still don’t really appreciate how the necromancers function. As this campaign was too easy and poorly structured, I never got to figure out.

Map 1: another poorly designed map. You start with a level 30 hero Vein and a powerful army, so you are guaranteed to win the first 2 battles.
Then when the third enemy comes along, you are guaranteed to lose. There is no point to this battle – just autocombat.
So the only thing to do on this map, is to have Anastasya run. She doesn’t even have a long distance to run.
You don’t need a high IQ to design this scenario. Salamandre could have done it – at the age of 30. Months, that is.

Map 2: you start out thinking you are surrounded by powerful enemies, but that’s just the BS the scenario designers tell you. In practice, you will never be attacked. The whole map is just one big slog to kill everything. You will max out all 3 heroes without taking a single xp from a treasure chest. You can play most of the map on autocombat, losing a few skeletons each time but gaining a few more.

I am reminded of the boring Heroes 3 necromancer campaign battles again, where you fight meaningless battle after another just to accumulate skeletons.

Map 3: Kalah recommends that you kill the Sylvan folks which will make your search much easier. I concur.

The Sylvans do start out stronger than you, but after you start uncovering the map, you will be able to move around more effectively. The AI has terrible pathfinding and they wander everywhere. I was able to take 2 castles and hold them without any challenge, especially since Jenova spent two weeks being stuck on a boat.

I do not know why Kalah found it difficult to hold on to the castles, but I guess game is very different on Heroic.

Map 4: I made the big mistake of getting Adar Malik to visit all stat boosters. That was very wasteful of time. Heroes 7 games, unlike previous games, has a lot of maps that don’t carry over.

Kalah got into trouble when he attacked the fort in the south. So he recommended we take the Haven castle to the West of your starting position. In this map you get attacked a lot and there are a ton of enemies. The battles are modestly challenging, but what is more challenging is retaining territory while expanding. I would describe this scenario as approaching the difficulty level of the average Heroes 2 campaign map.

Unfortunately, scenario was so poorly designed that I didn’t need Adar Malik to take the city that has Vein’s Skull. Limbic didn’t think of setting a powerful enemy boss hero to guard the city. I sent a scouting hero with one week’s supply of troops. I had even forgotten the objective, so my scouting hero wanted to opportunistically grab the city. He easily killed the garrison and took the city, thus finishing the scenario!

Map 5: Against All is again that kind of overhyped scenario that makes it look as though everyone is out to get you. In reality I was never attacked all game. I opened the cartographer early so I could see that all the enemies stayed in their home areas.

There are a total of 9 control areas/ areas controlled by forts or castles. I got my 4000 souls before I finished clearing 3 control areas. After that it was just a rush to trigger all places of power, simply because I didn’t feel like killing my enemies who were no threat anyway.

Another mind numbingly easy campaign.

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Re: Heroes 7 Review v1.7 and campaign walkthroughs

Postby cjlee » Apr 10 2016, 10:24

Dungeon Faction Map 1

Dungeon faction is a lot more interesting than other factions. I don’t know why. I was never a fan of Dungeon and Warlocks in their H1, H2, H3, H4, H5 iterations.

I think it has to do with the dungeon guys’ versatility. They have rather middling stats, without too much focus on spell power or knowledge or defence. They can learn a fairly large number of magic and might skills.

Dungeon faction has its own logic, which unfortunately is Dark and Shrouded in Mystery. Basically their creatures are incredibly weak and fragile and cannot stand up in a battle, except for the Minotaurs and the Hydras.

Apart from their heroes focusing on Dark Magic skill, the creatures also can inflict dark magic damage by walking through their enemies. And you will do that a lot, in order to do full flanking. They also have abilities that allow the hero to suppress the enemy’s retaliation, after which everyone can attack the enemy from the back, and enjoy multiple attacks from this hero ability that lets all creatures hit twice if the attack is not retaliated.

The problem is, Dungeon is no longer the robust faction in Heroes 1-5. These guys used to be able to hold their own in any fight. Now they can only operate from the shadows. Their units have the lowest hit points and are easiest to lose.

Assassins have poisoned blades and do excellent damage. But you lose them like flies – they’re weaker than Heroes V Peasants.

Stalkers are awesome ranged attackers – they ignore enemy defense stats! Even better, AI doesn’t pay so much attention to them as it does to the assassins – so you always have a strong ranged unit capable of inflicting severe damage.

Troglodytes/ Cthtonians are middling Core creatures. Decent HP, capable of backstabbing the enemy by popping up behind them. I don’t see what the purpose of being Blind (and being Immune to Blind) is in this game, since there is no blind spell.

Medusas are not damage dealers, but they are very important nonetheless. Their mesmerize works at range – so they can disable a new enemy every turn. (Remember, after a creature is mesmerized and cannot retaliate or act during a turn, it becomes immune to Incapacitation for the next 2 turns.)

I would not advise you to upgrade the Minotaurs, because then they get no retaliation. At least one unit needs to soak up retaliation, because you can’t always depend on your hero to suppress the enemy retaliation or for the Medusas to mesmerize the enemy for your side. Minotaurs move last, so you should always wait with everybody, send the Minotaurs in and get hit, before everyone attacking the no-retaliation opponent. This is the way of Dungeon – hitting enemies who can’t hit back, using Shrouded abilities to flank, etc.

Striders can do decent damage, but are very fragile. I find them useless except for supporting their side with dark magic/ harming others with dark magic. But dark magic tends to take time to weaken the enemy, whereas your forces can’t last long in battle. So there is a conundrum here. I often found it easier to cast powerful spells like Fire Wall or Summon Elemental.

In past versions of Heroes, whenever it was Hydra versus Black Dragon, we all chose black dragon. Only Heroes 4 AI will ever hire Hydras, for instance. But now this is reversed. Black Dragons are of limited use except for Armageddon strategy which has been really nerfed. Hydras are awesome tanks, and also excellent offensive creatures. They have lots of HP and can suck HP and can attack so many enemies at the same time. If you used your hero to suppress the enemy’s retaliation, you can use the hydra to attack a bunch of enemies and get no retaliation and healing to boot!

I strongly recommend everyone level up their Dungeon heroes in Earth Magic. Only Earth Magic can keep your forces alive since you can’t learn Light Magic.


Map 1. Sigh, poorly designed. A good campaign should showcase your creatures and how to play them. Instead in this Limbic designed fiasco, you learn quickly that your creatures are close to useless, and that you should spend this entire map saving money and hiring elementals. So don’t bother to build creature dwellings – just go for the Capitol, and take gold from every treasure chest. Hire all the elementals you can, and this map is easy.

You are never attacked unless you provoke it. AI does not invade your home region, except once when the yellow Elf faction sends a hero to pass through to kill a garrison for you and then pass back through. So although you have many quests and three enemies, actually only one – Sylvan – will move. And if you keep your heroes away, they won’t chase. Nor will they attack your town even if it is undefended.

I don’t personally think Dungeon creatures are useless. Just that they are too weak to swagger into battle on the first day, unlike if you are playing with Haven or Sylvan or Barbarians. Every battle will result in many casualties for your side so you can never conserve troops.

You need hero abilities to boost these creatures. So this mission may actually have been designed by the Limbics to show how to play Dungeon – save money and use mercenaries a lot at the start when your hero is weak.

Map 2. This map is hard, not because of actual enemy challenges but because it’s damn tough to find your way around to get where you want. Most places can only be accessed by specific underground routes, and Limbic has designed everything, as Kalah noted, to look like scenery. It took me at least 1 month more than it should, just because I was unfamiliar with where to go most of the time. Dungeon faction really is played like a bunch of sneaky people now with sneaky, unexpected tunnels here and there – it’s not like Heroes 3 where Dungeon was really just an underground version of the top.

The enemy? Ha! They never attack you! They only pass by you to restore some garrison that you just killed. They ignore you unless you are very weak and walking right by them, so have some common sense and don’t send the heroes out with too few troops. (In the first place, you should always have a decent army, because you want to be leveling your heroes and grabbing all the stat boosters possible.)

Want to make this map easier? After 1 month when you have enough creatures and hero levels, kill both enemies. That will give you access to much more resources, spells, and locations for town portalling.


Map 3. This map starts you off on an island at the top of the map, and you kill your opponent in the southern island, after which you go onto the surface and kill two more enemies to reach their altars of Shalassa/ Malassa/ Elrath. Then you go back down and take the formerly unreachable prison island and liberate the guy you are supposed to liberate.

A lot of this is walking around. It’s not actually challenging.

I was able to use just 2 upgraded Hydras to take down the Dragon utopia in the first month. (I did have regeneration and used earth magic to entangle and whittle down the bone dragons. The upgraded hydras can suck life from everyone else.)

Map 4: The finale! And once again, it’s another sneaky map with minimal challenge. You start underground with 1 town. There are 2 other towns underground with a monster load of resources and level ups available.

Above ground, there are 3 level 30 enemies with large armies. But guess what? They only hold forts. No castles. The center of the map is a sparse desert, and in general they don’t have access to as many stat boosters as you.

WTF.

You have 2 towns with creature generators and they have no towns and no generators. You have more stat boosters. How will it end? Outcome is never in doubt. It’s not like the Heroes V final maps with Zehir and his allies. You seriously never knew if you could win any particular battle.

In any case the AI is too dumb to attack you. They wander around very slowly thanks to desert sands. You have plenty of time to do everything, and I discovered a Cartographer in a long, narrow valley at the middle-extreme-left side of the surface map. So from week 2 onwards, I could see everything the enemy was doing and they were dumb as rocks. They barely clued in when I snuck in repeatedly to demolish their forts and steal their resources. I had level 1 heroes hanging around plundering every mine, until I got tired of it because the bottleneck is not resources/ gold but the number of creatures you can produce.

They certainly did not seem to understand that there was an underground with nasty people lurking there. This may be fine for plot purposes now, but I hate to think of AI acting like that for mapmakers too.

A poorly designed map that basically forces you to waste time until you can get a decent sized army. You cannot finish this map in under 1 month, simple as that. You just don’t have that level of HP in your army. This is not Heroes III where a skillfully played hero with the right spells can beat an opponent 100 times bigger. Every battle with the 3 enemy heroes leads to substantial casualties and you can’t escape that.

The creeps/ neutral stacks are no challenge. Limbic people never played earlier Heroes games to realize that neutral stacks must be big on the final map because your heroes are leveled up. At this late stage in the campaign, you still have creeps that number as few as 1 Gold Dragon or 1 Shantri Titan? Come on, killing that and having no casualties is easy with starting troops. It is even very frustrating, because you have to fight so many battles manually, and get very little experience from your many battles.

I already killed the dragon utopia on Day 3 with just 3 Medusas, 2 Striders, Summon Elementals and Entangle spell! Shantri Ruins came down in week 2, and even these were no challenge. I only needed more stacks on the battlefield to distract the enemy and buy time for regeneration. The real killing of course was done by Summoned Elementals once again.

(I am not sure how this works, but it seems Dark Elementals have extra power under your heroes. Maybe it is the Shroud of Malassa ability, but it only takes a summoned Dark Elemental stack 2 hits, repeated in the same turn, to kill 4 Shantri titans.)

In any case you have to explore the map. Limbic doesn’t tell you explicitly, but you need to visit the three obelisks on the eastern side of the desert in order to get to a pirate cove. But that pirate cove doesn’t do anything – it just gives you 25 Sea Elf Pirates, which is a joke. You still need to get to that pirate cove because only that will trigger the objectives of killing all 3 enemy heroes.

After that you’re supposed to visit 3 Thief Guilds and 3 Marketplaces, which triggers an event that makes all enemy heroes stand in the same spot. From then on, your task is simple. Hang around, build up your forces, ferry them in, attack the enemy heroes. Their armies are vast but AI is stupid, so you win.

Game over. Campaign not over because of bugs. But I think my Heroes 7 gaming career is over. I’ve had enough fix.

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Re: Heroes 7 Review v1.7 and campaign walkthroughs

Postby Pol » Apr 11 2016, 20:56

This is .. comprehensive addition. There I'm only happy that I have no time to wade there myself. Therefore no temptation.

Pushed me to ask you two questions:
#1 - Why you didn't waited at least to 2.1, ie likely to December, why you changed your mind?
#2 - You have Win10+Nvidia Crossfire? Or some unexpected combinations? If you have dump files, you may quick diagnose them with WhoCrashedMe. It could be that you will see GPU driver error.
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Re: Heroes 7 Review v1.7 and campaign walkthroughs

Postby Kalah » Apr 13 2016, 9:20

Comprehensive indeed! This is good work, thanks a lot. :tsup: I'd like to ask two things:

1. This forum is not read as often as our walkthroughs are. The forums topics are bumped down as time goes by, but our walkthroughs are serached for and used year after year. Could you post the feedback on campaign maps in the appropriate articles, so they appear in the comments sections? It would be a great help to the Community of players to have user contributions in addition to mine. Especially since yours are updated to 1.7. :)
2. I'm interested in what you're saying about the resource requirements. Could you post your computer specs? While I agree that the game runs heavy, I was able to play it without the crashes you speak of (even though I had an outdated GPU), so it would be interesting to get some more facts on this.
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Re: Heroes 7 Review v1.7 and campaign walkthroughs

Postby Erwinner » Apr 13 2016, 20:55

I think this is very very good, I think this is so good to be honest it would be a great guest article of Celestial Heavens, maybe you guys should think about publishing it on the main page because it is the best, clearest and most non political/non BS analysis of the game I've seen lol

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Re: Heroes 7 Review v1.7 and campaign walkthroughs

Postby Karmakeld » Apr 13 2016, 21:23

Yeah, I think Erwinner is right. A frontpage display of this comprehensive walkthrough. This must also be some of the content(s) you asked for, Kalah..
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Re: Heroes 7 Review v1.7 and campaign walkthroughs

Postby Kalah » Apr 14 2016, 10:06

Yeah, I can post a small article to get some more attention drawn to it. I still think it should be integrated in the comments of the original walkthroughs, though; news and forum posts have low reader numbers, while the walkthrough numbers are through the roof and they will be used for several years.
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Re: Heroes 7 Review v1.7 and campaign walkthroughs

Postby hellegennes » Apr 14 2016, 13:07

I don't find cjlee's experience consistent with mine. I encountered very few bugs and those were only in the first few weeks, before the game was debugged. Unless later versions made it less stable -which I don't find likely- or cjlee is unlucky as hell, I believe the bugs -especially those who crash his systems- are due to something wrong with his system.

There's really one point with which I agree: the game is dull. I played it for about a month, which is the less I have played any Heroes game. The skills, spells, units and factions are so similar to the previous two versions (especially similar to H6 ones) that it feels boring. Nothing new, no really innovative features. They even took back all the interesting stuff H6 had introduced. The battles are also uninteresting and you end up using a few units of your arsenal only. I had high hopes that Limbic would deliver a fresher game, with different and interesting skills, spells, units and new gameplay features. I could not find a single new major gameplay feature. I was also bugged by the camera angle but I could discount that if the game was interesting. It may be interesting for new players, but there's nothing to differentiate it from previous installments.

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Re: Heroes 7 Review v1.7 and campaign walkthroughs

Postby Panda Tar » Apr 14 2016, 19:13

Well, I have lots of laugh (sorry, cjlee, not laughing of your misery, but you know, some bad things become funny stories later, right?) on this. My opinion on the game continues, I'll pass.

Also, Patch 1.8 change log.
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Re: Heroes 7 Review v1.7 and campaign walkthroughs

Postby Karmakeld » Apr 14 2016, 19:49

Hellegennes, I don't think it's all related to Cjlee's system. I saw a walkthrough of the newly released Unity campaign, also patch 1.7 and the player encountered at least a handfuld of bugs. Some minor, some gamebreaking. One caused him to win immediately, without completing all quest. Another made him unable to complete the map, as the quests didn't update, despite being completed. What concerns me the most, is the fact that there don't seem to be any 'system' with the bugs - they appear randomly. If a simple load can do the trick and you don't encounter the same bug in the second try, I would find it hard to locate what causes the bug.
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Re: Heroes 7 Review v1.7 and campaign walkthroughs

Postby Panda Tar » Apr 14 2016, 19:54

Yeah. They, the devs, said back then that most of the delay and problems with those bugs was the hard time reproducing them, given that they couldn't understand in which situation they were triggered. But I think all of that is brought by Satan, if we cannot find any logical input. :lol:
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Re: Heroes 7 Review v1.7 and campaign walkthroughs

Postby Karmakeld » Apr 14 2016, 20:12

I think someone cursed them, if Satan won't claim responsibility.
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Re: Heroes 7 Review v1.7 and campaign walkthroughs

Postby hellegennes » Apr 15 2016, 0:49

Karmakeld wrote:Hellegennes, I don't think it's all related to Cjlee's system. I saw a walkthrough of the newly released Unity campaign, also patch 1.7 and the player encountered at least a handfuld of bugs. Some minor, some gamebreaking. One caused him to win immediately, without completing all quest. Another made him unable to complete the map, as the quests didn't update, despite being completed. What concerns me the most, is the fact that there don't seem to be any 'system' with the bugs - they appear randomly. If a simple load can do the trick and you don't encounter the same bug in the second try, I would find it hard to locate what causes the bug.


I don't know. As I said, I only encountered a few minor bugs after version 1.3. However I was mostly referring to Cjlee's system-crashing experience. That in all probability has to do with his system rather with the game itself.

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Re: Heroes 7 Review v1.7 and campaign walkthroughs

Postby Erwinner » Apr 15 2016, 16:36

hellegennes wrote:I don't find cjlee's experience consistent with mine. I encountered very few bugs and those were only in the first few weeks, before the game was debugged. Unless later versions made it less stable -which I don't find likely- or cjlee is unlucky as hell, I believe the bugs -especially those who crash his systems- are due to something wrong with his system.

There's really one point with which I agree: the game is dull. I played it for about a month, which is the less I have played any Heroes game. The skills, spells, units and factions are so similar to the previous two versions (especially similar to H6 ones) that it feels boring. Nothing new, no really innovative features. They even took back all the interesting stuff H6 had introduced. The battles are also uninteresting and you end up using a few units of your arsenal only. I had high hopes that Limbic would deliver a fresher game, with different and interesting skills, spells, units and new gameplay features. I could not find a single new major gameplay feature. I was also bugged by the camera angle but I could discount that if the game was interesting. It may be interesting for new players, but there's nothing to differentiate it from previous installments.


well I mean anything's possible but to be kind of realistic here for a minute,

1), he's not the first person to report these things, 2), this is a Ubilimb product, 3), I doubt any system would cause bugs like these by itself mate, some of the graphics issues maybe but I rarely ever heard of any game suffering things like complete AI brain death and massive scripted sequence breaks just due to hardware, that speaks to some world class, maybe record breaking lack of technical optimization at the very least, 4), he said he exceeds the recommended requirements and 5), did I mention this is a Ubilimb product lol

as far as it not being likely the game got worse with patches, 1), this is a Ubilimb product, and 2), that's what several people have reported on Steam and HC so it is likely I'd say lol


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