Heroes of Might and Magic II
Heroes of Might & Magic II: The Successon Wars was released in October 1, 1996. An expansion, Price of Loyalty, was released on April 31, 1997. It combines the look and feel of Heroes of Might & Magic I while having many of the features that would be included in Heroes of Might & Magic III such as skills for heroes and upgrading creatures.
The Successon Wars takes place 25 years after Heroes of Might & Magic I. After Lord Ironfist set himself up as the sole ruler of Enroth by crushing his enemies and consolidating his power base, he looked forward to a peaceful reign. Unfortunately this peace didn't last as when he died his two sons, Archibald and Roland, couldn't peacefully decide who would become king and so Enroth was plunged into a civil war. In Heroes of Might & Magic II you can play in both roles for a total of two campaigns.
Since Heroes of Might & Magic II is so close to Heroes of Might & Magic I, I suggest reading rocco's excellent analysis while I focus on the differences.
Heroes of Might & Magic II adds the Necromancer and Wizard hero classes to the Barbarian, Knight, Sorceress, and Warlock classes present in Heroes of Might & Magic I each with their own town. Note that not all troops are able to be upgraded.
- Barbarians are might heroes who rely on their might skills to defeat the enemies and have a higher attack than defense. They command Goblins, Orcs/Orc Chieftans, Wolves, Ogres/Ogre Chieftans, Trolls/War Trolls, and Cyclops.
- Knights are might heroes who have close ammounts of attack and defense with a slight emphasis on defense and more magic ability than the Barbarians. They command Peasants, Archers/Rangers, Pikeman/Veteran Pikeman, Swordsmen/Master Swordsmen, Calvary/Champions, and Paladins/Crusaders.
- Sorceresses are magic heroes who have more spell points than spell power. They command Sprites, Dwarves/Battle Dwarves, Elves/Grand Elves, Druids/Greater Druids, Unicorns, and Phoenixes.
- Warlocks are magic heroes who have more spell power than spell points. They command Centaurs, Gargoyles, Griffins, Minotaurs/Minotaur Kings, Hydras, and Green Dragons/Red Dragons/Black Dragons.
- Necromancers are magic heroes who have the ability to turn defeated troops into skeletons. They command Skeletons, Zombies/Mutant Zombies, Mummies/Royal Mummies, Vampires/Vampire Lords, Liches/Power Liches, and Bone Dragons.
- Wizards are magic heroes who have equal amounts of spell power and spell points. They command Halflings, Boars, Iron Golems/Steel Golem, Rocs, Mages/Arch Mages, and Giants/Titans.
The secondary skills available have the same functions as in Heroes of Might & Magic III and include Archery, Ballistics, Diplomacy, Eagle Eye, Estates, Leadership, Logistics, Luck, Mysticism, Navigation, Necromancy, Pathfinding, Scouting, and Wisdom. There are eight slots for skills and each has three levels of proficiency; basic, advanced, and expert. The spell system of Heroes of Might & Magic II which has some higher level spells being able to be cast on every allied or enemy troops (such as Bless and Mass Bless) is very similar to the system used in Heroes of Might & Magic IV. Spells such as Holy Word and Holy Shout are also used in Heroes of Might & Magic IV while not showing up in Heroes of Might & Magic III. The difference between Town Gate (teleporting to the nearest friendly town) and Town Portal (teleporting to any friendly town) now makes the Town Gate spell in Heroes of Might & Magic IV understandable.
The expansion, Price of Loyalty, added four campaigns in addition to the ability to purchase ghosts and elemental, removing cursed items if you visit an Ancient's Hut, and the Evil Shrine for Necromancers which increase the Necromancer skill by 10% for a maximum of 60%. The four campaigns seem to have a choose your own adventure style to them in that there are times in a campaign where you can take one path or the other to reach the conclusion. This adds an interesting twist as well as increasing the gameplay. The campaigns don't have anything directly to connect them with each other aside from the theme of having to pick sides.