Q: Tell us about the Reputation system.
A: “You were born a Griffin! The story of your life is yours to write, but choose your ink wisely. There are only two colors… your blood or your tears.”
In Might & Magic Heroes, you are proposed two distinct ways of writing your destiny. Your blood descends from the Dragon-gods themselves, and if you follow your instincts, attacking fast and hard, throwing caution to the wind, your blood will serve you well.
There is also another way to write your hero’s story. You can do your best to understand the complexity of a situation before acting rashly. This path is for seekers of knowledge, protectors and the curious at heart. It is full of moments of surprising happiness, but also times of tragic sadness. This is the path of Tears. Whatever path you choose, you must follow it through to its logical end. True heroes are true to their hearts. Whether trusting Blood, or risking Tears, writing the story of your destiny will be an exciting adventure.
In H6, the player will be faced with a very important Reputation choice between two different “moral paths”: the path of Dragon Tears and the path of Dragon Blood. This is not a Manichean “Good vs Evil” dichotomy but rather a dynamic concept of conflicting perspectives.
Blood Heroes will be active and offensive, Tears Heroes will be more reactive and defensive. Imagine, for instance, that your hero stumbles upon an innocent person being assaulted by a robber. Like a “Punisher”, the Blood hero will chase the robber and attack him to prevent him from causing more harm. Like a “Paladin”, the Tears hero will interpose himself between the robber and its victim. He will try to intimidate or persuade the robber, and comfort the victim.
Q: What are the consequences of these choices?
A: Your hero’s path will strongly influence your player’s experience: In terms of storytelling, it will unlock special quests on each campaign map, different companion heroes, and a unique “epilogue” map linked to your path.
Gameplay-wise, it will grant you access to specific “advanced classes”, 4 per faction, each with their unique visuals and sets of abilities. The more Reputation you gain, the more powerful your Reputation-related abilities become. For instance, Healing (a Light spell) will be influenced by your Tears rating, whereas Fireball (a Fire spell) will be influenced by your Blood rating. This is truly a unique system, never before seen in a strategy game.
Q: What can we expect from the advanced classes? Will they work like in H4?
No, because they’re not based on a specific combination of abilities but rather on your Reputation choices. Your heroes’ classes will ultimately be defined by their faction, their affinity (Might or Magic) and their Reputation choice. For instance, a Might hero from the Haven faction will start as a “Knight” and can later evolve into a “Paladin” (Tears) or a “Vindicator” (Blood).
Q: Can you hold your class advancing? Or will it happen automatically?
Most ingame actions will award Reputation points. For instance, if your enemies flee before your powerful army, choosing to let them escape will grant you Tear points. Chasing them down to kill them will give you Blood points. More generally, using Tear abilities will grant you Tear points, and the same goes for Blood. Many quests will also offer a Reputation choice and they will reward you with the appropriate Reputation points. These gains are not mutually exclusive. Your Blood and Tears ratings are not co-dependant and you never lose the Reputation points you’ve gained.
When you reach a certain Blood or Tears threshold, you’re offered the choice of evolving into the corresponding Reputation advanced class. This is not automatic; you have to return to one of your towns to change classes. So you can wait until you have reached both of the Tears and Blood thresholds, and then make your choice. Every ten levels, you can also “respec” your hero’s Reputation (and therefore their class and abilities). But in the single player campaigns, you have to make a final Reputation choice at a certain moment, and you cannot go back and respec (for obvious storytelling reasons).