I'm really concerned about the design of H6. I very much liked how H5 looked (Sylvan has the best design in all HoMM series imo), except for Academy stylistics. While the programmers were innovative, especially with awesome Rakshasas, the overall arabian looks were kind of disheartening. I don't mind bringing some national twists here and there, but the Academy was simply too much! And now there's the water faction, which is Japanese to the bone!
My opinion is that the factions should never be designed as a full copy of real world nationality or it's stereotype. Don't you think it would be stupid to have a Heroes game with Arabian Wizards as in H5, Japanese naga/water people with katanas and kimonos, Russian Elves with bears, Balalaykas and earflapped fur hats, African Orcs, WW2 German Necromancers and classic duo of Haven and Inferno. It'd be ridiculous, wouldn't it?
What I want to say is that the national references should be more subtle. Kirin is obviously an orient-type dragon, okay. Add in nagas, everything water-associated, okay. Add a black-haired, drowned-looking, the Ring-inspired unit, oka-aaay.. But then there's samurai armor, national dresses, katanas, flags on the backs of warriors - oh my God!
I guess for H6 vanilla it's more or less set in stone, but I hope that the developers won't make another town with such a concept in future expansions.
PS What's your opinion on this subject, fellow forum readers? Am I exaggerating too much or has it been really taken too far?