HoMM2 campaign progression

The old Heroes games developed by New World Computing. Please specify which game you are referring to in your post.

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GreatEmerald
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HoMM2 campaign progression

Postby GreatEmerald » Oct 14 2015, 10:20

I'm starting to prepare for my HoMM2 LP now, and I now realised that the campaign progression is rather complicated. However, I don't want to spoil the story for myself, so I don't want to read walkthroughs or such just to understand how the progression works. So my questions are:
  1. Do the Roland and Archibald campaigns use different scenarios? In HoMM1 most campaigns were the same, except for one scenario, so I'm wondering if it's also the case with HoMM2.
  2. It seems like you get a choice from several scenarios to go to after winning one. Are they all unique, or are there repeats?
  3. How about the PoL campaigns? Is there anything like that mechanic there too, or is it more like HoMM3 campaigns in that they're static? Also, how long are all PoL campaigns combined when compared to all TSW campaigns combined?

Basically I'm trying to make a route that would cover all unique scenarios with no repeats. If I need to restart from the last scenario to change a choice, so be it. If the Archibald and Roland campaigns are sufficiently different, then I think I'll play through Archibald first and Roland last, since as far as I know the Roland one is canonical.

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Re: HoMM2 campaign progression

Postby Taro » Oct 14 2015, 13:25

1) Yes, there are different scenarios.
2) They are all unique. And after some you get a bonus to the rest of campaign. It's important to finish some maps to get very powerful bonuses. If you finish a 'bad one' then you can have troubles later.
3) They also have different paths to take. You have two short campaigns (3-4 maps) and two longer (about 8).

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Re: HoMM2 campaign progression

Postby GreatEmerald » Oct 14 2015, 13:52

I see. So if I have a choice between scenario A and scenario B, then finish either, will I get the same choices (say, C and D), or do they branch out and I'd get choices AC, AD, BC and BD?

If they don't branch out, then the optimal way would probably be to choose A, win, go back to the last save before the choice, choose B, win, then compare the two results and continue going with whichever went better. Rinse and repeat for C and D and ever other choice.

And so there are ~23 PoL scenarios, how does that compare to TSW scenario count? The reason why this is a point is that since there are different music track choices, I'd want to play half the game with TSW town music and the other half with PoL music. If they're about equal, then I could just change the music when starting PoL campaigns.

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Re: HoMM2 campaign progression

Postby Paviel » Oct 14 2015, 17:10

You can get a general idea of where the "sidequests" and "branching quests" are in each campaign just by starting to play them: The game is quite open from the very beginning in that regard.

By "sidequest" I mean a scenario that you can play if you want to, but you can progress through the campaign without playing it if you prefer. "Branching quest" means you have a choice of two different scenarios, and you must choose one of them to the exclusion of the other.

For example, from the very beginning of Roland's campaign, it is obvious that scenario 3 is a sidequest, and that scenarios 7 and 8 are branching quests.

You always get at least one reward for completing a sidequest or a branching quest, and it's generally easy to guess what that reward is going to be when you read the summary of the scenario.

In terms of number of scenarios, Archibald's campaign has 11 (of which you can play 8 or 9); Roland's campaign has 10 (of which you can play 8 or 9); The Price of Loyalty has 8 (of which you can play as few as 5 or as many as 7); Descendants has 8 (of which you can play 6); Wizard's Isle has 4 (of which you can play 3 or 4), and Voyage Home has 4 (of which you can play 3).

The reason why you generally can't play all of the scenarios is that some of them are "branching quests", which, as I say, are mutually exclusive.

One more thing about Archibald's and Roland's campaigns in particular: In scenario 5 of each of those campaigns, you have the option to defect to the other side. This makes scenario 5 easier in some ways (since instead of controlling one castle and needing to take over three enemy castles, you control three castles and must take over one enemy castle) but makes the rest of the campaign harder in others (since you lose any rewards that you may have earned before scenario 5).

I see. So if I have a choice between scenario A and scenario B, then finish either, will I get the same choices (say, C and D), or do they branch out and I'd get choices AC, AD, BC and BD?


I'm not entirely sure what you're asking, so I'll give you a few specific examples from Roland's campaign: Whether you complete scenario 3 or not, the map of scenario 4 will still be the same. (The only difference will be whether you have the reward from scenario 3, and that makes no difference to the map layout.) And whether you complete scenario 7 or scenario 8, you'll always have to play the same scenario 9.

So in short, the answer is neither: If you have a choice between scenario A and scenario B, the next scenario after that choice will usually (i.e. with one exception, in Price of Loyalty) be scenario C. And that one exception boils down to scenario A actually being two scenarios, so it's not that complicated either.

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Re: HoMM2 campaign progression

Postby GreatEmerald » Oct 14 2015, 18:23

Ah, OK. So it's about what I expected, it's alternative options that converge back after one scenario, rather than true branching. So yes, looks like in that case my idea of playing both, then continuing from whichever went better is the best. And I hope I won't miss any optional scenarios.

And so both TSW and PoL seem to be of similar size, so my idea with music tracks works too.

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Re: HoMM2 campaign progression

Postby Paviel » Oct 14 2015, 19:51

There are no secret scenarios, if that's what you're asking about. Every option you have will be clearly marked.

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Re: HoMM2 campaign progression

Postby GreatEmerald » Oct 14 2015, 21:39

No, I'm just wondering if the sidequests will be clearly marked as such. Wouldn't want to accidentally skip one.

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Re: HoMM2 campaign progression

Postby Pitsu » Oct 15 2015, 14:26

Beside the ultrasecret cow level, it is very difficult to miss a playable map in H2 campaigns. :p
Avatar image credit: N Lüdimois

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Re: HoMM2 campaign progression

Postby GreatEmerald » Oct 15 2015, 15:00

Oh, so there's an actual flowchart in-game. Well then, I guess my fears were largely unfounded :D

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Re: HoMM2 campaign progression

Postby Paviel » Oct 15 2015, 16:37

Yup. Like I said, the campaign progression is pretty clear from the very beginning of the campaign.


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