Should I buy Heroes VII?

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

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ahoover1986
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Should I buy Heroes VII?

Postby ahoover1986 » Dec 7 2016, 15:38

I created this account to pose this question to the board. This game has been out for about a year and looks to have had a lot of problems with bugs. My understanding is that the support for the game has now been terminated after the most recent patch. So, my question is, after the most recent patch, is this game worth buying and playing?

Let me start by saying I am a huge fan of the series. I have been playing the series now for about twenty years.

-Did not play Heroes I or II -- a little before my time.
-I LOVED Heroes III. Still do. I think most agree this is the best title in the series. I still will play this from time to time.
-I thought Heroes IV was OK, nothing special, but not bad.
-I LOVED Heroes V. I think I may be a minority on this, but this was and still is one of my favorite games (not just Heroes but ANY genre). Still will play through the campaigns on Heroic with TOTE mod from time to time and will play some multiplayer locally with friends.
-There wasn't much of anything I liked about Heroes VI. I thought Heroes VI was by FAR the worst Heroes game in the franchise after playing it. I played the tutorial campaign and the Necro campaign and just hated it. It felt lifeless and also seemed inferior to V in just about every way. The uniform skill system especially was a huge letdown IMO.

My bad experience with Heroes VI has made me very wary about purchasing Heroes VII, especially considering the overwhelmingly negative reviews I see for it. It makes me fearful it is Heroes VI 2.0, which if it is, I wouldn't have any interest in playing. I would get more out of it just revving up Heroes III or V and playing through some maps on those.

Can anyone give a fellow Heroes fan a recommendation. Obviously I know the only way of truly knowing for sure is playing, but I don't want to even go down that path if it is going to be to experience bitter disappointment as I did with Heroes VI.

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Re: Should I buy Heroes VII?

Postby jeff » Dec 7 2016, 17:09

This has been extensively discussed here here; I don't believe anything of importance has changed.
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Re: Should I buy Heroes VII?

Postby Pol » Dec 7 2016, 17:14

Myself when in doubt I like to check youtube videos first. Which is a problem here, meaning, there are no videos after the game was "fully patched", so instead I'm gonna asking you what you liked about Heroes III. & V.? And what you so much disliked about Heroes VI?

Generally there are people who really enjoyed the game and cherish it, so they may help you more. :)

Noticeably the game got an unofficial patch - Balance Mod (see news) and already have some other mods, even if not all of them are compatible up to Trial by Fire. When combined with some decent price and not a desire for multiplayer or relying on smart AI, just normal, it seems to be right in your spot.
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Re: Should I buy Heroes VII?

Postby Karmakeld » Dec 7 2016, 18:00

Like Pol I'd suggest checking out some videos on youtube either gameplay or reviews. I watched some of the campaigns by BumpyMcsquigums(?) (haven't bought the game myself, due to the exact same doubt). He enjoys the game, but you'll also notice some of the later bugs (up to the Lost Tales of Axeoth campaigns). Some were minor, some game breaking and most seemed randomly caused.
To me gameplay felt a bit repetitive at times as it seems you'd soon grow a preference for certain troops, skills, spells and tactics which seems to in 9/10 battles. HVI seemed even worse on these matters.
I haven't seen all, but some of the stories seemed decent. There might not be as much 'getting under the skin' of each character, but there is some interesting connections between storylines and gameplay. This is one of the things I found interesting a refreshing compared to older heroes games. Interaction with the environment and more advanced scripting. E.g in one of the Barbarian maps, you wander the desert in search for a place to settle down. The longer you spend without finding water, the more troops will slowly die. In the older games I feel this have been more of a fan made feature, so I find that refreshing.
I didn't consider the game any difficult if you can win most battles on Heroic with minimum to zero losses. The same goes for level caps. In some maps you reach max level 30, only to start the next as level 1. I missed the point of carryover heroes on that point.
Anyway I believe Kalah made CH review and Cjlee recently posted a thorough walkthrough. You might find either informative.
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Re: Should I buy Heroes VII?

Postby ahoover1986 » Dec 7 2016, 18:24

@ Jeff -- I saw that thread. It appeared most of the posts were from about a year ago shortly after the game was released. I wasn't sure if a lot of complaints still applied today since I have no idea what the patches fixed or didn't fix.

@ Pol -- A lot of the draw to Heroes III is nostalgia at this point, but I still really liked how the AI performed compared to later Heroes installments. The AI was challenging without needing to cheat. The sheer number of campaigns and maps is also unequaled in that game compared to the others, and the mapeditor was easy enough to use for someone like myself unfamiliar with code that it was fun making my own maps once in awhile.

Heroes V after all the patches and with TOTE mod active is just great. While I have played the campaigns enough times that I know exactly what to do to beat them with ease on heroic (except the Dungeon campaign Mission 3 -- ridiculously hard even to this day for me), the sheer amount of customization with the skill wheel combined with racial skills makes the experience slightly different each time. Add in the fact that with TOTE mod the alternate upgrades offered a lot of tactical variation with how you wanted to win each battle, and it kept things very interesting. I also felt like Heroes V had great atmosphere in the campaigns and on scenario maps. I really felt immersed.

Heroes VI, my biggest problem was that the game just felt flat to me. There was no life on the map which was a stark contrast to Heroes V. Also, the battles drove me nuts in that I felt like none of the units really did a lot of damage, even high level units, and it boiled down to long drawn out and bland grinds. I also highly disliked the uniform skill "tree." I didn't like that there wasn't a major difference between each of the classes of heroes. I know there were still differences, but there was considerably less so than there ever had been before. I also think taking the randomness out of being able to get a hold of certain skills made the whole thing far less satisfying. Again, I only played the tutorial and necro campaigns -- so I don't have extensive time playing this. I just did not enjoy the experience at all.

From what you are saying I am leaning towards giving it a shot.

@ Karmakeld -- Thanks for the suggestion on where to watch the campaigns. I will have to do that!

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Re: Should I buy Heroes VII?

Postby cjlee » Dec 7 2016, 19:24

I played it after the last patch, and wrote about my experiences. I have lots of posts all over the place, so probably you must have missed them.

take for example my post here
http://www.celestialheavens.com/forum/22/16183#p365706

my threads here are 2.2.
As the numbering suggests, 2.2.1 didn't change much from 2.2
http://www.celestialheavens.com/forum/22/16167
http://www.celestialheavens.com/forum/22/16156

Broadly speaking this isn't a great game, but it is playable and better than Heroes VI. You would be a fool to pay top dollar for it, but nowadays Heroes VII is discounted in many places.

It is largely stable now and won't screw up your computer. There are also a number of mapmakers out there.

VERY IMPORTANT:
As I observed and discussed extensively in my threads, Heroes VII AI is no good. If you desire a game with a highly competitive AI player you will be disappointed. However we are humans and we can always play in a way that increases the challenge.

For instance, I strongly recommend that you not play like Heroes III or V, and hire everyone in your castle and put them on one main hero supported by squire heroes. That is overkill, and will make your Heroes VII gaming experience very boring.

By all means spread out your troops to 3 heroes with different development paths. You will probably find it more challenging. In Heroes VII, a 'governor' hero is really very, very weak - worse than an Estates Grandmaster in Heroes IV. The neutrals have considerable diversity and it is no longer a question of only the Attack-Defense stats - eg certain attack types are almost useless on certain creatures. So the neutrals are far from easy to beat when your army is split three ways.

Treat Heroes VII as a gameboard with each neutral stack offering a puzzle for you to solve, and you will not be bored. Expect the AI to offer challenge because you're used to Heroes III, and you will be disappointed.

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Re: Should I buy Heroes VII?

Postby ahoover1986 » Dec 7 2016, 19:54

@ cjlee -- I read through your post here and the ones you linked to. I hadn't seen them so thank you. I guess the thought of actively handicapping myself to make the game competitive doesn't seem like a strong selling point for this game. The best part of the past Heroes games IMO has always been that turning point you get to once you take out the other player's strongest hero/army and, assuming you don't get completely decimated in the process, knowing that you have won despite maybe having some cleanup duty to finish things off. Spreading my armies out to make myself weaker for a challenge with a bunch of incompetent AI heroes with crappy armies sounds extremely unsatisfying. Not to mention it goes against years of playing experience for me.

From what Pol had said I was thinking about giving it a go. But if the AI is really that pathetic I may have to take a pass.

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Re: Should I buy Heroes VII?

Postby Pol » Dec 8 2016, 13:00

I do not own the game to tell you more, as I generally don't like slow paced games. And H5-7 are in opposite to H3 with HD mod which is really much faster.

Anyway with latest patch + unofficial patch (ie Balanced mod) there could be changes, may be, nobody re-tested after. That's the problem. As a side note Umbramancer mod may try to enhance the AI and fix some errors, once it will be done.

At least in H6 the AI was painful, with exception of campaings where it was customized, so my wild guess is that in H7 it will be similar.

Meaning very low replay value, aside of campaigns. These I liked in H6. Slow but with good feeling and attention for details. And I'm not meaning the story here.
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Re: Should I buy Heroes VII?

Postby cjlee » Dec 8 2016, 15:39

ahoover1986

My loathing and contempt for Ubisoft is well know on this site. Nonetheless I realized that Heroes VII might have been designed with certain considerations in mind. So I wrote about it in my thread in September/ October where I discussed how to play Heroes VII.

Heroes III and games with overly good AI is too hard for many starting gamers. And nowadays they start very early – 4 or 5 years old in many cases. This is unlike the 1990s when most starting gamers were 18 years old.

Heroes VII’s AI player doesn’t get much harder by cranking up the difficulty settings. However, the neutrals do get much bigger.

In Heroes VII, if you play like a small child, you can make it through the entire game on easy. Small children are likely to play with only 1 hero, often without even a squire to do chaining. Small children won’t play with sophisticated and optimizing strategies in mind. They just grab whatever units they can pay for, build whatever they can build, attack neutral stacks in the way. They will often grab wood and ore generators, but not others, because the further a mine is from their castle the less they pay attention to it.

I see this all the time in my nieces and nephews. They’re used to just playing through games in linear fashion, expecting to pick up whatever level ups or healing or weapons they need on the way, without even thinking about using a marketplace or planning their leveling up. Kids like these are very likely to play using autocombat, or else enter combat and randomly move their melee troops while randomly shooting with ranged units.

In many earlier heroes campaigns, the map design is not linear at all. This could be very confusing to kids who don’t know what to do. You can take out A or B or do C first. Your base is often open to attack. In H7, most campaign maps are linear and very easy to sort out. Your home base will rarely be threatened. Go from place X to Y, killing everything along the way. I grouched about that before I realized that they were probably targeting a younger audience.

I’ve played every iteration of Heroes. I am certain that it is impossible to make it through any Heroes campaign from I to V, playing on easy, and playing like a pre-elementary school kid. I would even say that many Heroes I-V campaigns are too hard for most 10-12 year olds on easy. If they require parental assistance to figure their way out, it is definitely a turnoff.

You want to keep the kid interested, you need to make the game really dumbed down and easy.

Nonetheless an adult player can easily make the game more interesting simply by spreading out his troops across multiple heroes with different development paths. The game seems to expect that for higher level players playing on big maps with many enemies and many objectives to complete. They are not expecting you to play the game rushing to kill all opponents in 3 weeks and get Black Dragon rating. There is NO rating system in Heroes VII so it’s really up to you whether you want to play the game like the only objective is to end fast, or whether you play it intending to treat every neutral stack as an independent puzzle to be solved.

I guarantee you this: on the highest difficulty, it is really tough to kill the neutrals without taking significant damage. Even heroes at the highest levels (ie level 30 and above) have great difficulty doing this. Heroes VII neutrals tend to be diverse armies with different attack types and immunities, so you actually have to use some thinking and manipulating if you want to come out unscathed. In H7 you don’t have blind, forgetfulness or hypnotize and frenzy doesn’t work on the enemy, so it’s not a walkover.

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Re: Should I buy Heroes VII?

Postby Kalah » Dec 10 2016, 19:45

Basically, the game is a decent purchase when on a 50% discount from its starting price; you get quite a lot of play time in the campaigns and single maps.

If, however, you're looking to play multiplayer, buy something else.
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Re: Should I buy Heroes VII?

Postby Sir Alock » Dec 15 2016, 16:12

I own every HoMM that was ever produced. I find something positive out of all of them with the exception on VI (hate that game) I look @ VII like a "Beer & Pretzel" type of HoMM. Hard day @ work? Don't feel like dealing with an over complicated game? Enter VII. As another poster mentioned, I bought both games (VII & Expansion) when it was 50% off. I wouldn't have purchased otherwise. Personally I like VII myself.
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Re: Should I buy Heroes VII?

Postby grendel99 » Jan 5 2017, 16:49

I just started playing it for the first time since the beta, 2 newborns sucked up my life since then! I was very surprised, enjoy the single player maps a lot. The map designs are original and feature a great many eye candies. The main issues are in the AI. I really feel that if this had one more expansion with a Demon or Beastman faction + AI improvements it would have been great. But like many things in 2016, lost opportunity.

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Re: Should I buy Heroes VII?

Postby magritte2 » Apr 8 2017, 11:44

I just picked it up a little while ago. I haven't played a lot, but I'm pleasantly surprised. Granted it might be a case of having low expectations because of negative buzz. But it's definitely more fun than VI.

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Re: Should I buy Heroes VII?

Postby Pol » Apr 9 2017, 8:12

magritte2 wrote:I just picked it up a little while ago. I haven't played a lot, but I'm pleasantly surprised. Granted it might be a case of having low expectations because of negative buzz. But it's definitely more fun than VI.

Do you use any mods?
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Re: Should I buy Heroes VII?

Postby magritte2 » Apr 9 2017, 19:52

No, I've only played the vanilla game so far...I haven't played enough to see all the factions and think about things like AI and balance yet. But hero and town development seems greatly improved to me from VI...I'd describe the hero development as more like V and the town development kind of a cross between III and IV.

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Re: Should I buy Heroes VII?

Postby Pol » Apr 9 2017, 20:17

For me the biggest drawback are bad map/units proportions and AI. For first it took me longer time to get oriented, units are just nuisance and can be corrected with a mod. AI on the other hand.. AI is essential, if that can be enhanced I don't know, perhaps in Umbramancer mod, once it will be done.

That to say, I had only time to peek in. The game progress is slow from my view, so I postponed any further (if any) attempts.
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Re: Should I buy Heroes VII?

Postby Galaad » Apr 11 2017, 9:44

I wouldn't even pirate h7.
It's basically a dumber version of 3 and 5 with the aesthetics of 6.
Also it's buggy as hell and the AI is retarded.

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Re: Should I buy Heroes VII?

Postby ThunderTitan » Apr 15 2017, 10:34

What, no poll?

I swear, kids these days.
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Re: Should I buy Heroes VII?

Postby martin123 » Apr 16 2017, 11:53

I don't swing that way!
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