- by Kalah
And now for something slightly different. For the past several weeks, the news we have had to report have been all about Heroes VII. Now, though, we present something a bit more general, and you certainly won't find it anwhere else.
We're big fans of the music in the Heroes games, mostly because it's great music, but also because it never disappoints. A game could turn out to be mediocre or even worse, but the music of Rob King and Paul Romero is always a highlight. Well-composed and well-suited to the various scenes, the music lifts the gaming experience and adds a certain degree of class.
Even more so because of the vocals of Karin Mushegain.
We sent her a batch of questions a while ago and hoped she could find time in her busy schedule to talk to her gaming fans. Without further ado, then, have a read.
This splendid mezzo-soprano usually makes her living in grand opera houses, but once in a while, she lends her talent to our dynamic duo King and Romero, and gives their Heroes music that extra bit of class that you just can't get with a synth or an autotuned pop-artist.
1. For our new readers, can you tell us a bit about how you were recruited in to work with "Heroes" games?
About 20 years ago, composer Paul Romero and I met through my aunt and uncle, who had asked us both to perform at their anniversary party. It wasn't long after this introduction, that Paul invited me to sing on the Heroes soundtrack. I think I was 16 or 17 years old.
2. It has been a while since last time - what made you come back and do some more, with Heroes VII?
Anytime Paul and Rob asked me to sing on a project, I'm there! I love working with them. And I'm always excited to see what new and interesting music they've created for me.
3. As far as we can determine, the "Heroes" games were the very first PC games using opera music. When you worked on your very first projects with Rob and Paul, were you aware that this was something out of the ordinary? Was it very different from other studio jobs?
Heroes is the first and only video game I've ever sung on, so I had no idea how unique it was for there to be opera in a video game...but I assumed it was pretty rare!
4. Of all the music you've done for the "Heroes" games, do you have any favourites?
I think the new Heroes VII is by far my favorite!!! Paul and Rob hit it out of the park with this soundtrack! "Hope for Green Falls" is one of the most beautiful pieces Paul has composed, in my opinion of course!
5. What do you enjoy more: studio work or the stage? What would you say are the major differences between the two? How does the workload compare?
Stage and studio work could not be more different! Performing on stage is 99% of what I do, and I love the "live" aspect of it. Performing in the moment, a beautiful ebb and flow of sharing your energy with the audience and in turn, receiving it from them...that doesn't happen in the studio. You can't take back mistakes, you can't stop and start, you can't worry about it being perfect...and I love that. I'll prepare for months for a live performance, but Paul literally hands me the music when I walk into the studio to record it. He teaches me the piece really quickly. I ask what mood they want for the piece, and then I adjust my tone accordingly.
I think that's a perk of being a professional, trained singer...I have so much versatility with my sound. It doesn't all just sound like an "opera singer" or a "pop singer." I adjust for the mood of the piece. You don't get to do this kind of playing and exploring in live opera...so that's a studio perk! And since we're all such pros, and they don't have to auto-tune or adjust my sound, it only took us a few hours to record the three tracks I perform on. I'll rehearse 3-4 weeks for an opera before we ever have an audience...so you can see the time commitment difference there!
6. Who has influenced you as a singer?
This is a question that I'm always asked, and I feel I never know how to answer. I have singers who I love, and singers who I admire, but there was never one person whom I was like..."yes, that's who I want to be like!" and I guess that's a good thing! I love the uniqueness and style of Elle Fitzgerald. I am in awe of the pure natural talent that Whitney Houston possessed...probably one of the best pop singers the world will ever know. I am overwhelmed by the beauty of Pavarotti's voice. It literally takes me breath away and stops me in my tracks. But I think my fellow colleagues influence me most as singers...I can see their technique and musicality up close, and there is no better way to learn, than by watching your peers do what they do best right beside you.
7. We've seen extracts (videos) of your work with the Rob/Paul duo in the studio, of course. Do you bring ideas to the table about what kind of music to use in the games, or is that more their kind of thing? How do you contribute to the creative process?
Paul writes the music, Rob creates the music, and I bring my part to life. But I don't just get the music and sing it. We explore the music together. I play with different sounds and tones and moods. I suggest vocal ideas, but I never alter what Paul has written...at least, not on purpose! It's definitely collaborative. We've improvised in the past...they wanted a certain ethereal, middle-eastern sound as background noise in one of the scenes. So I just played around with some Armenian vocalizes. It's always fun creating with these guys!
King and Romero recording with Karin Mushegain
8. You'll be available for "Heroes VIII" when announced in the future? Yes? Yes? Of course yes, don't be silly. Yes?
Seriously, though: the fans of the series are very passionate about the music in the "Heroes" game series, effectively insisting that without Rob & Paul, it "wouldn't be a proper "Heroes" game". The opera sounds you bring in are also seen as an important part of that; it has become an integral part of the series. How does it make you feel that you have fans not just in opera circles, but also among the geeks and kids playing games?
I love my Heroes fans! Especially when my opera colleagues find out I sing on the games, and they've been playing them their whole lives...that's so fun! I often get sweet emails from fans sharing their love and appreciation of the music; I love this!
9. The recordings for "Heroes VII" are done, I take it. What sort of projects are you working on now? You're mostly doing operas, I believe; are you doing any studio projects, like making a music album?
I'm off to the Philippines in about two weeks to sing the title role in Rossini's La Cenerentola. This is one of the roles I sing the most, and I absolutely adore this opera. I've never been to the Philippines, so I'm a bit nervous! But I'll be performing with a dear friend who is from Manila, so that'll make things easier. And no plans to be in the studio right now, but I do love it, so I hope I find myself there again in the not too distant future.
A big thanks to Karin for her time - we wish you all good things for the future.
You can follow Karin Mushegain and read more about her bio on karinmushegain.com.
- by Pol
They released a new version, with fixes, new SkillWheel and and possibility to replace new Treeant with the ToTE one. You can grab it here.
Might & Magic: Heroes 5.5 (RC11) - Fixes rare gamebreaking issue of cursor flickering/flashing and game not possible to continue. Released Mar 23rd, 2019.
MMH 5.5. Skillwheel
Most notable changes:
+ spell pane - Spells that can be Empowered now include empowered damage and mana stats.
+ spell pane - The 8th spell slot now presents magic guild summoning and formulas for each creature.
+ spell pane - Adventure pane now includes "Town Management" skill variations.
+ town pane - Bloodrage skill description.
+ town pane - Magic guild creature summoning and dragon blood description.
changed - town pane - highlights are rearranged into more meaningful manner.
+ hero pane - Betrand moved from Knights to Renegade class.
+ hero pane - Betrand does not have Curse spell.
+ hero pane - Iron Lord/Maiden spec description.
+ hero pane - teleport assault description.
+ hero pane - Barbrian classes "Khan" and "Veteran" buttons hover now has subtext referring to having access to 13 skills.
+ global - Fonts issues for english and russian.
+ artifact pane - axe of mountain lords description.
+ artifact pane - mini artifacts values now present the current game values.
And file to get back ToTE Treeants, in case that you don't like vanilla ones - which were removed for license reasons.
HoTA Factory Town Teaser
HoTA team released new factory teaser, which you can watch here. So what is in? (Aaargh, these terrain colors. Looks like you will have them burned into your retina forever after hours of playing...) New Factory town will be probably made ready around New Year's Eve - the date is flexible and nothing is yet to be set in the stone.
Factory is supposed to be neutral faction, with new heroe classes Bounty Hunter and Gunslinger. That terrain is not only vaguely similar to H2 wasteland.
Heroes Orchestra concert to celebrate Heroes III 20th year anniversary
To celebrate Heroes III. 20th year anniversary, there was arranged concert by Heores Orchestra in Poland. There are two videos from them on YT, check them out from their channel. I heard, that one tune from HoTA squeezed in too.
Cosplayer Vera (alias Oichi) set out cool pictures of H5 Shaman, mmm, there! With more images available from heroes3wog.net even some comparision. The pictures are not HoTA but certainly they are hot.
And if you cannot have enough of H3 maps, you can even get a T-shirt with them. Pretending that you are a Dungeon Overlord. Yees, these still rule!
Would you wear them?
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- by Angelspit
Tim Lang, now at Electronic Arts, was the lead designer of Might and Magic IX. The Round Table regulars might remember seeing him in the forums after 3DO filed for bankruptcy last year. Tim is also an advisor in the fan-made Might and Magic Tribute project. The picture on the right was taken during an EA party.
Celestial Heavens: The last time I read something about you was in Might and Magic IX preview somewhere on the Net. What were you working on afterwards, and when did you leave NWC/3DO exactly? And what are you doing these days?
Tim Lang: After the great purge at the end of H4 and MM9, I had about 4 months off, then went to work for EA. I'm still there working on the Medal of Honor series.
CH: Did you stay in touch with former New World Computing employees?
Tim: I kept in contact with a lot of the ex-NWC people. A lot of them found work here at EA, and a few others at Liquid Entertainment. The rest are scattered throughout the industry, at least those who chose to stay in the games-making industry. For the rest, well I can't blame them for finding a new line of work.
CH: You have been somewhat active in the community following the auction of the 3DO assets. How confident are you in Ubisoft's ability to deliver *two* good Heroes/M&M games?
Tim: There's no question that Ubi really wanted the Might and Magic license for a long time. During the H4 and MM9 development, they came down and made an offer to 3DO for NWC. Trip Hawkins declined, hoping for more money, and of course, went bust. I am still a little amused that in the end Ubi ended up with the MM licenses. As far as their ability to deliver great games, it all depends on their commitment to the series'. Are they going to deliver more games like Crusaders and Warriors that just cashed in on the recognizable name? Or will they actually try to make something that we former NWCers would be proud of? I don't know. I hope so.
CH: Might and Magic IX is considered a disappointment by more than one fan. How do you explain that the last few games of the series never quite managed to match the fun factor and polish of The Mandate of Heaven?
Tim: I think there's two reasons why Might and Magic took such a drastic downturn. First and foremost 3DO seemed intent on driving every single intellectual property they owned into the ground. We got shorter and shorter schedules, and less and less financial support from them. In MM9's case, a lot of the people we were depending on to finish the game were tied up with finishing Legends. Since that thing just stayed around and lingered in the depths of not-being-doneness it really pushed MM9 onto a tighter schedule. Secondly, I'm pretty sure JVC was burned out, disillusioned and just plain didn't like coming to work anymore. Most of us rarely saw him around the office, and when we did see him, he usually told us that we were doing things wrong much too late for us to fix them. He's made no bones about disliking MM9. I think that if he had taken a more proactive role in its development, things might have turned out better. As far as the reason why MM9 was considered the worst in the series, that's really because we delivered a game that was pre-alpha at best. It needed at least another 3 months, if not another 6 to get it to a playable level of quality. Knowing we didn't have much time, we cut a lot of corners, and left out features the fans liked, but would have been too time consuming to implement. It was a half done game, and it shows.
CH: Has there been any plan for an *official* 1.3 patch at some point? Some major bugs were still remaining after patch 1.2.
Tim: Now that NWC is gone, I doubt there's going to be any official support at all. I don't think that 3DO even wanted to do the 1.2 patch, and if it wasn't for the return of the Anskram Keep bug or the "yell" crash, we probably wouldn't have done one at all. I think if anyone's still looking for a patch, the should check out TELP. Bones has been doing a great job fixing all the stuff we left behind. I'm really surprised that people are still playing MM9, and I'm pretty sure it's because of him and TELP that people are still interested in it.
CH: A former NWC artist has blamed Jon Van Caneghem for not trusting his team with the design of Heroes IV. Jon had previously admitted not liking Heroes IV much during an interview with Celestial Heavens at the 2003 E3 exhibit. Was there some tension during the final days of H4 and MM9?
Tim: I hate to point a finger at one person, because if one person really deserves it, it might be Trip Hawkins for driving NWC into the ground. There's absolutely no question that Jon was in absentia during most of MM9 and H4, and when he finally started paying attention to them, a lot of things were already too far gone. He came in right near the end of H4 and as I understand it changed a whole lot of things. Mostly for the better, I think, but that sort of late night meddling is sure to cause some resentment. As far as his comments in the interview, I thought they were a little inappropriate. He basically blamed the teams for the failures of the games. These were people who worked their butts off, working unpaid late nights and weekends for 80-90+ hour weeks while Jon was off racing cars and not showing up to work. I won't say that we were totally faultless, but when you've got someone with 20+ years in the industry, not having his support and guidance really hurts the projects.
CH: Your name appears in the credits of the Might and Magic Tribute game. How did you get started on the project? What are your tasks? What is it like to work with a team of fans?
Tim: I've been pretty active helping Bones out with his TELP patches, and when I saw that some fans were going to take it upon themselves to make their own MM game, I jumped at the chance to help. I really don't do that much. I usually just lurk in the forums, and post once in a while. I'm there to help prevent them from making gigantic game-breaking problems in their design. So far, I haven't been needed much in that capacity. I also am there to answer any MM trivia questions they may have. The MMT team is as excited and motivated as any team I've ever seen. I wish that some of the people I worked with in the past had such energy. I think it's fantastic that Might and Magic has such great fans.
CH: In the Tribute forums, you agreed with a statement saying that Heroes Online will probably not have anything to do with the previous Might and Magic games. How does it feel to see a product you have been working on for years being exported to the other side of the world?
Tim: It's funny, because when I went to work for NWC in '96 I had never heard of them or of Might and Magic, even though I've been a huge RPG fan ever since the Bard's Tale/Wasteland eras. But during my time there, I grew pretty attached to Might and Magic. I actually have caught myself thinking things like "They better not screw up my game!" But I'm glad that they're keeping Might and Magic going, and am looking forward to playing the next installment of either Might and Magic series.
CH: Speaking of multiplayer, was there any plan to introduce multiplayer features in the Might and Magic games during the New World Computing era?
Tim: That was what Legends was originally supposed to be. Christian Vanover had designed this multi-player RPG-"lite" game that was sort of a "Diablo in First Person" sort of game. I was real excited to work on it, but it turned out that the networking code in Lithtech wasn't really suited for the type of game we wanted to make. We had to change the designs of the game to suit the technology.
CH: Finally, the age-old questions: Might or Magic? Gold or experience? Titan or Black Dragon?
Tim: Ask anyone I used to work with at NWC, and they'll tell you: Might. While we were working on MM6, I tried to beat the game using an all knight party. I got to a point where they wouldn't dish out enough damage though. Experience, and Titans. gold doesn't do you a lot of good if you don't have the levels to back it up. And Titans because, as I recall they were cheaper than the Black Dragons.
Celestial Heavens would like to thank Tim for his time. We wish him the best of luck in his current projects.
- by Pol
It's here. Heroes III. of Might and Magic were first released on February 28, 1999. Feeling nostalgic, so much time passed, so much Windows OS too, and the game is still alive.
It's not the same game, need to say. The first released part was Restoration of Erathia, which is the only, where source codes remained to these times, to be later remasterd by Ubisoft and released like Homm3 HD. To both, good and bad. The good part of Ubisoft version is having better graphic and comes with mobile version. The bad is no propagation now, apart for discounts and not a new fuel in sight. They say, that it's too costy.
RoE originally comes with more innovative ideas, which were later cut out for balance purposes. The last remnants were removed with the first patches. Being 'Unluck' could halve your damage, imagine what Arch Devils could do with it. And having Eagle Eye allowed you to learn and cast spells at higher difficulty. So you could 'Blind' more units at once, nifty!
"But to see its occurence, you needed to play the game for months."
And without doubt it comes with one of the best intro video in the industry. It simply catch your heart, to help Queen Catherine Ironfist to led her forces against scheming Dungeon Overlords. Old world of legends defiled alive before your eyes.
Later the game was accompanied with Armageddon Blade and Shadow of Death. Featuring first assembled artifact Armageddon Blade and balanced Fortress and later everlasting hero Sandro, and his way to power and ..over.
That lore and mechanic just defined the heroes genre. Spurred talks and been an incentive for thousands of map makers. The possibility to make your own stories was so refreshing, that the game live to these days. Of course, it wouldn't be entirely possible without its predecessors.
How to celebratie it today? By playing it!
You can play it on mobile phone, either like Heroes 3 HD or H3C with VCMI. You can go 'wog' with ERA2 or 'mp' with Horn of the Abyss. And you can also try to play Heroes 2 in rather Heores 3 world in the Succession Wars. Or moving aside with VCMI. In most cases, with use of HDmod by baratorch.
Long Live the Queen!
ERA2 - is a successor of WoG, having many scripts which you can enable or disable to make you happy and experiment
VCMI - is another engine not a mod, still not final but very stable.
Horn of the Abyss - is spinning all about the base game and multiplayer. Definitively not any scripts to play with.
Succesion Wars mod - brings Heroes II. mood in Heroes 3 coat
HDmod - allows you too play the game on current monitors, without resolution and color depths requirements
And HDmod can be accompanied with SP Plugin - if you prefere to play single player only. HDmod is compatible with pure Heroes 3 Complete or with Horn of the Abyss or with ERA2
Post Scriptum: If you would like to ponder over some questions, there's a list of related interviews from 2018:
Interview with NWC: Greg Fulton about Angels, Gelu and Heavenly Forge
Interview with Marzhin (in russian only) - Part 1, Part 2
Q&A with Erwan Le Breton on AcidCave.net
Videointerviews with Tim Lang by Super Goober
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- by Angelspit
Christian "Evil C" Vanover was one of the most popular New World Computing employees. With Jennifer Bullard, he was one of the contact persons at the 3DO Community forums. He took the time to answer the questions of the fans, as well as tease them a little. He was never afraid to step into the forums whenever there was some panic or confusion. He stayed with Jon Van Caneghem's team until the very end, before accepting a job at Microsoft.
Celestial Heavens: First of all, how are you, and where do you live these days?
Christian Vanover: I'm doing well, thank you. In the near two years since I left NWC, I became a dad, moved to Seattle, and as you know, now work at Microsoft.
CH: Now, where does that nickname come from, and that fascination for all things evil?
CV: Back when I was first posting to the NWC/3DO message boards (during the development of Heroes III), I developed a knack for hinting that I would be about to give out new info, but then I'd tell everything except the one thing I had hinted at. It was visitors to the boards that started calling me evil, and it just kind of stuck. I could post real info as "Good" C., and be a smartass with "Evil" C. (well, within the limits of general good taste, at least).
CH: Not that I want to make a connection between evil and Microsoft, but what have you been doing over there?
CV : No no, go right ahead and make the connection. In fact, when I got the job here I very nearly posted to the CH boards a thread called "Evil C. Joins Evil Empire, Says Plan of World Domination Nearly Complete!" And as strange as it may seem to longtime fans of the Might and Magic games, I'm currently part of the Design team working on a racing simulator for the Xbox called Forza Motorsport, due out this year.
CH: Did you stay in touch with former New World employees?
CV: Absolutely! Many of the people at New World were friends before they started working there, and there are many that I stay in touch with or visit with when I get the chance to go back to L.A.
CH : Now, if you could step into the time machine... You've done a lot of work on Heroes IV, especially on the expansions. Despite the good reviews, the game is considered by many the bastard child of the series. What should New World Computing as a whole should have done differently if we could go back in time?
CV: I personally consider Heroes II to be the best in the series, with Heroes III a close second. So for me, Heroes IV was the lesser of them all. But that's just me, and I know that opinions differ greatly. As for what could have been done differently, that's a tough call, because essentially Heroes IV was done differently.
CH : Jon Van Caneghem was very critical towards that game, even though his participation on the project has been... minimal. "It just wasn't done right" he told us two years ago. We also got the feeling that he wanted Heroes V to be a Heroes III remake. How did you feel about this?
CV: Honestly I felt the same way Jon did, but I think I can clarify the statement some. After so much close work on Heroes I-III, Heroes IV was the first time the game was out of Jon's direct control. I had also gone off to work on a different game, and as a result I missed all the Heroes III expansions and didn’t get to see Heroes IV until it was nearly done. With a different group of people, you undoubtedly get some different choices being made, and so I think that when Jon finally got to see the game it was completely different from what he would have created himself. Speaking for myself it was a strange feeling the first time I got to sit down and give it a spin.
CH: What was Heroes V like later on? Was development coming along well? Did you have high hopes on that games, or was it just a project on life support?
CV: We had actually pitched a few game ideas to 3DO, and encouraged them to shelve both the Might and Magic and Heroes series for a few years to give everybody a break (both us and the fans). Unfortunately, 3DO insisted we deliver two Heroes IV expansions and get to work on Heroes V, so off we went. I spearheaded the expansions, and by the time they were done, Jon and Bryan (Farina) had a pretty solid framework in place for how we would build Heroes V. Our Art lead already had an entirely new set of gorgeous looking terrains ready for the map editor, and creation of the new towns and creatures was well underway. We were all pretty excited.
CH : The last time we talked, the news of the move to Solvang just appeared on Celestial Heavens and generated some controversy. It was the beginning of the end after all, wasn't it? What was the atmosphere in the offices during that time?
CV: The move to Solvang was more of a new beginning. I never got to confirm it, but I suspect that Jon was prepared for 3DO to close its doors, and wanted to be set up "lean and mean" for when that happened, so that New World could hopefully continue on as their own game studio. The atmosphere beforehand was mixed... those moving saw a fresh start, but there was a touch of sadness because there were others leaving.
CH : Have you been keeping an eye on the details of Ubisoft's Heroes V? What do you think of the artwork? Do you agree with the decision to take heroes out of the battlefield?
CV: Yes, I've been watching. It will be interesting to see what direction they take the game in. As for taking heroes off the battlefield, that was something we were going to do ourselves, so yes I do agree with the decision. But we weren't "just" removing them... we had found what we thought was going to be an engaging way to keep them involved that would have improved combat overall.
CH : The first non-NWC Might and Magic title to be announced is some sort of MMORPG for the Chinese market. Aren't these plans similar to what Jon Van Caneghem wanted to do at some point? Isn't it ironic that Jon is now at NCSoft, working on a MMORPG?
CV : Well Jon originally brokered the deal with 3DO because they were planning on using their existing online technology to develop Might and Magic Online. As often happened at 3DO, however, plans changed, and MMO was shelved before it ever really got off the ground. As for Jon being at NCSoft working on an MMORPG, I wouldn't call it irony... I would call it justice!
CH: Do you miss the Heroes/Might and Magic fan community? Do you sometimes feel we were a little tough on New World and 3DO?
CV: Like anything else from my past, there are things I miss and will always remember fondly. As for being tough on us... you can never be too tough on 3DO, but y'all could have cut New World some slack! Heh.
CH: Finally, the age-old questions: Might or Magic? Gold or experience? Titan or Black Dragon?
CV: Might, Experience, and Black Dragons. And a certain hero named Sir Christian!
We would like to thank Christian for his time. His new game, Forza Motorsport, is scheduled for a May release.
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- by Pol
After years of waiting there's finaly available Book III. This is because LotA team revived in previous year and got aboard new member - mctronic. Congrats!
And if you would be interested, contact them. They are still looking for a new volunteers, to create and test maps. Book IV is ahead!
Dear CH Community,
The Legend of the Ancients (LotA) team is proud to present Book 3 of HOMM5: LotA.
Book 3 is the work of dedicated HOMM fans that started around 2008-2009.
Book 3 features innovative ideas not seen in the previous books of LotA and in all HOMM5 Campaigns (to the best of our knowledge), and also features themes from previous games in the M&M Universe.
We are hopeful that you will enjoy playing the campaign as much as it was for the LotA team to implement it.
Please note the following for Book 3 of HOMM5: LotA:
1) It is only compatible with version 3.1;
2) Make sure that the option "No EyeCandies" is left unchecked; and
3) The game has been tested on Hard difficulty (for full AI).
Bugs, comments and suggestions may be reported on this thread.
The LotA Team
- by Kalah
With the coming expansion to Heroes V, we thought it would be a good time to send the producer some questions. Here they are - oh, and the answers as well.
First, let me ask you what word UbiSoft would use to express their opinion on Heroes V sales so far - satisfactory, good, excellent? Is the game selling as well as expected - is your management happy?
H5 has been selling very well up to now, and the feedback from the top management is satisfaction. The US market, for instance, had to raise its expectations twice after the launch and do quite a number of new copies. I hope the arrival of the addon will revive the interest during the Christmas season :)
Second, the Community is very excited about the return of the Dwarves; when did you decide what structure the expansion town was going to have?
This was actually decided a long time ago. We knew what sort of content we would include, the race and creatures, some time before the release of H5. As the game buzz was growing fairly well, the project was greenlighted, and the work started right after H5 went gold, and in parallel to the patch plan.
How do you feel about dealing with the Communities' regulars; their demands, their protests? Do you feel it's a goal for you to satisfy the wishes of the fans with these expansions?
I'm sure it's impossible to meet all of the demands :) However, we know quite well what is important to the communities, and I think we have provided it either through the patches, or with the addon. What is really important, like the map editor and its updates, is not linked to buying the addon, and is given through patches. I hope we will have covered most demands, I know that many people felt some features were missing at the release.
Continuing that, will there be a swamp town coming our way some day?
You have to play with the swamp town you have, not the one you wish to have or will have at a later date. :)
The RMG is also longed for, and will no doubt have a great impact on the game's replayability. But will maps generated with this RMG will be compatible with the standard version as well as the expansion?
No, the RMG will only be compatible with the addon data and exe file.
A more general question now: Fans are divided in their opinions on the patches, that is to say: the game's balance etc. – but they seem to appreciate your efforts in continuing to issue updates. Do you plan to continue issuing patches/updates for the standard version also after the expansion is released?
Yes, we still haven't concluded our initial patch plan, mixing balance tweaks and new features. We've been gathering delays in this respect, especially as the addon was entering a crunch phase. In the last few weeks of patch 1.4, we have also concentrated on the desynch problems, as it seemed cases were still being encountered. Nival produced a special version of the game for our testers to track these issues, which are stemming from various and specific game situations. I hope these problems will now be behind us. After this initial plan is done, I think we will draft a new one to continue providing new content!
Did/do you personally take an active part in the making of the expansions? What is your role?
I have the same role on the addon production as I had during H5's production :)
The first expansion yields a "Silver" edition... Do I smell gold? Platinum, perhaps? How many expansions do you think you can make for Heroes V?
I can only answer the question that was asked by Archangel Castle: the number of expansions has been decided already :)
How is the outlook for a continuation of the HoMM universe, in other words: if the expansion(s) reach the same level of success the standard version did, how are the chances we'll see a Heroes VI some day?
Making expansions is a way for a publisher to continue providing content for a complex game (strategy games, usually), and increase its quality long after the initial game was released. So, it does help increase the revenue, but you need to have a success with the original game first :) As it is the case with H5, the addon should hopefully be a success too. It will in turn increase the chances that Ubisoft invests in the future of the series :)
At the end, for something completely different: You have been fairly efficient in re-releasing the older games in the series in 'Complete'-packages, much to the delight of the fans. Is there any chance at all you might do the same with the old 'Might and Magic' series?
This is not planned in the near future as far as I know, but if we start working on this series, it will certainly happen :)
Thanks, Fabrice - let's hear it, everybody! Drinks all round!
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- by Karmakeld
In july 2016 news of a HD mod for H4 was announced.
A few days before the announcement a teaser-puzzle was posted as Picture-Of-The-Day displaying the adventure map in 16:9 ratio. Since then we've been trying to keep up with development of the project. Sadly not many updates have followed the announcement from the Equilibris team, but that hasn't prevented the community from keeping the discussion alive.
HDMod - Game Settings and new resolutions
Fans are asking for the lastest news about the Equilibris HD mod. Is the project still alive? What's the status?
Rumors, on the Russian forum, says that project leader Dalai has traveled to Europe, which might explain his absense - althought Internet is somewhat widely accesable in most parts of Europe (but mind that's just a rumor)..
Meanwhile we can confirm that Equi programmer Max is still working on implementing the new UI for the HD Mod and although news has been somewhat scarce since the announcement of the HD Mod, progression has been made.
Below you can see the original 1024x768 townscreen, for comparison you can drag each of the images below, into your browser window to view them in full scale:
1024x768 original townscreen
This early version, posted at the announcement, displays a large Equilibris logo in the lower left corner (as well as mirrored edges ). The Equilibris team were asking artists for help, in creating better looking townscreen.Equilibris HDMod - Early Screenshot
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- by Staff
Q&A with the Masters of Sighisoara
Back in 2009, CH member HeroofPunk announced his intention to create a whole new continent called Sighisoara. Joined by fellow map makers Maygwan and Yurian Stonebow, the team have since created a whole series of maps for Heroes III. What follows is a Q&A about how it all began, where the project is now and where it is going next ...
Tell us a little about Masters of Sighisoara, how did it all start?
"Well, for me it started with a fantasy map being painted in school. After that, I got home and realised that I wanted to create my own fantasy world, and since I had some earlier experience of map creating in the Heroes 3 Map Editor, I decided to go with that.
I also knew that I would need some expert guiding, that was why I contacted Yurian and Maygwan. It really just developed from there and I got more and more into the world that we have built up around the campaigns and scenarios."
You mentioned earlier in the thread that some custom music could be made for the campaigns, what is the current status of that?
Well, as you may know I posted a clue (I only left you with the letters PAR) in the Masters of Sighisoara main thread. Well, it actually has to do with the custom music being made.
And it is my honor to tell you that we will be getting a custom made campaign song for our third campaign (yes, there will be another one!), composed by none other than Paul Anthony Romero! So that feels very huge for us. Both Yurian and I are finding his work inspirational and I practically grew up with some of his tunes (my favorite being Necropolis town and Evil theme from HoMM3).
I have also been in touch with a friend of mine and we have together created some more customs songs to be released with Masters of Sighisoara III.
Your team just released the second campaign in the series, what do you have in the works now?
We have been working closer together and more effective then ever the latest month now and we currently are working on Masters of Sighisoara III. Map 1 is a 0.95 version for now and Map 2 is something along the lines of 0.75, map 3 is currently in a 0.25 state. I myself are in good contact with Paul Anthony Romero and have received the recording of our very own song composed by him.
We are also working on a wiki for MoS and it can be found here. It is not fully finished yet, but you can read up on storylines, quests from the first campaign, see pictures, read about certain artifacts and relics, heroes, campaigns, releases, everything will be posted and updated on there, so keep checking it out and feel free to contribute to the wikia as well!
I can already in this early state of campaign 3 tell you that we have been putting a LOT of focus on fine-tuning story lines, checking up on dates etc. And what I can tell you now is that you will be exploring 4 different islands, you will be able to search through historical documents about the entire continent and the story line will be deeper than ever before! Really looking forward to it!
Yes, we are also holding a little competition and handing out some prizes to the person who can finish MoSII - The Undead of Xerphef with the highest score. To enter the contest simply link us a screenshot of your high score in the main thread in the Round Table forum and we will contact the winner!