Now that HOMM Kingdoms is announced, you may have many questions about the game.
You can now use this thread; we will answer three questions each week until the beta is released.
The objective is to build a FAQ together, and give you as much information as we could.
First Answers 08/01/08:
As promised I'm back to give you some more information about HOMM Kingdoms. You have many interesting questions so I just can't answer only three as announced before!
My objective over the next few weeks is to share with you as much info as I'm allowed to give.
"Will this game be completely free?"?
You can play the game for free as long as you want! You can build your city, hire heroes, play every feature, form alliances with other players and enjoy the game. However if you want to develop your kingdom without any limits, enter the rankings and be a part of the story, you will have to subscribe to HOMM Kingdoms at a small cost.
One of our main objectives is to ensure the game is balanced, that is why we don't plan to include any item selling system or any other buyable features / specific skills.
"There are a lot of free web games, so standing out will be hard. What makes this game different and stand our from the others?"?
HOMM Kingdoms is not a mini game, it's a real web based MMO. You can take a look at the graphics to have an idea of the quality level we want to establish in terms of visuals.
Concerning the gameplay, the game is deep and offers three different gameplay types depending on the way you like to play (more details to come ).
"I hope no there is no activex, cuz a lot of people use Mozilla Firefox."?
"Will it be translated into several languages?"?
The game will be available in several languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish and German. We are looking into the possibility to implementing additional languages.
"How much similar to the old HoMM gameplay will this game be?"? "Will this game be a sort of Heroes 3 online, or will it resemble H5 more?"?
HOMM Kingdoms uses HOMM V visuals and the well-known Heroes gameplay. We will be releasing more details each week until the launch of the Beta.
"When you create a province in HOMM kingdoms will you be placed at random location or will you be able to play with friends as a "gang of provinces""?
Interaction between players is an important aspect of the game so you will have the choice. You can choose to be placed randomly on the map or join your friends. If you want to join your friends' alliance or simply appear next to someone, you just have to enter their name to be placed near them.
"Can players create alliances, clans or guilds? If yes - what about multi-race alliances?"?
You will be able to create multi-race alliances. It allows you to choose the race you want to play and join any alliance. I've seen that some of you have already started to create guilds; it's a great way to team up with your friends and work together to be the best!
"In the FAQ you hint that there will be lots of stuff to do if you play frequently, although it isn't required. Please, give us some examples"?
HOMM Kingdoms allows you to play for only 15-20 minutes a day to be present in the rankings; however players who want to keep busy still have many things to do:
- Participate in your alliance/guild activity
- Scout the region to explore the map and evaluate the strength of your neighbours
- Trade with NPCs and others players though the auction house: many parameters will influence the prices.
- Upgrade your heroes: Improve their skills and learn careers/jobs to fit the course of action you chose.
- Pillage others kingdoms: if you need more resources, or if you just want to weaken your enemies; you can pillage towns around you.
- Communicate with your allies: you will be able to communicate with your alliance / guild with an ingame chat and an email system.
- I'll stop here for now but there is much more
"Can you hire multiple Heroes or just one?"?
Sure, you can hire several Heroes; that's one of the main aspects of the game. You need to manage them efficiently if you want to increase your growing speed and your strength. As said before, your heroes profile will influence the way you play. Therefore you will have to make choices when you'll select their careers/jobs orientation.
"Would there be any kind of newbie protection mechanism in HOMM Kingdoms?"?
Yes, it's a major concern for us. Our objective is that players don't face too many obstacles when they begin to build their kingdom. For example, when you enter the game for the first time, there will be only new players near you except if you choose to join a friend on the map.
We are studying others protection systems that we will test during the Beta and we count on you to give us your comments about it.
I know you have many questions concerning the subscription and the localization of the game; I will the answer them when I can . You can continue to ask questions about any other subject.
"What about armies (troops). In the tutorial I read about only three types (archers, cavalry and infantry). And what about flying troops. Will it be classical 7 levels of troops for each race?"?
Yes, don't worry; the 7 levels of troops will be present for each race!
However, you're right; we divided the troops in 3 categories: Infantry, Archery and Cavalry. Your task will be to organize your army for each combat to be as efficient as you can, according to the power and the type of each unit. The flying troops are included in the cavalry category.
"¢ Infantry has 50% power bonus when fighting cavalry
"¢ Cavalry has 50% against shooters
"¢ Shooters have 50% against infantry
You will learn as you play how to improve your units' combinations to reach the best every time.
"How are you going to solve the problem of battles?"?
The point is that the combat system is different from Heroes V to be more adapted to a web based MMO, but it's still be very strategic and challenging.
The battle will be automatically solved by a mathematic calculation once you click on the attack button. The result is announced when the combat is done; to know when, you just have to take a look at the timeline.
Nevertheless, the battle preparation will be crucial. A mistake can be fatal; even if your army seems to be stronger! A bad choice in your organization could lead to defeat.
"What about the upgrades of the hero? You tell us about jobs... is it just like a classic secondary skill or something else?"?
As usual each hero will collect experience based on his actions. Once you have enough XP points you reach the upper level. They will be able to learn up to 3 careers among 13 available and a lot of different skills in each. These skills will improve different parts of your kingdoms development: building faster, stronger units, recruiting faster and many more that you will have to discover by yourself.
"What about with the artefacts? How to collect them?"?
You will have different ways to collect Artefacts. You can earn Artefacts by defeating NPC when you explore your region or them on the Marketplace. It will be a huge exchange place, where players can trade through an auction house (I will give you more info about the marketplace in a future Q&A)
"Will be "computer player" in the game?"?
Nope, there won't be any computer controlled kingdoms in the game.
First, you have to know that all the dev team members are old HOMM fans, so we really want to keep the saga's "spirit"? with HOMM Kingdoms. That's why we work hard to give you the best MMO web based experience while respecting the HOMM legacy.
Now let me detail the battle system:
The battle's results are absolutely not random, each combat is based on:
<LI>Hero's level - characteristics (attack and defense), and skills (depending on his career)
<LI>Hero's Spells – Magic level
_ ___1.Army power: based on your unit's type / power (from peasants to angels concerning the Havens. Obviously an angel is much stronger than several peasants or footmen.)
_ ___2.Unit's category : Calvary, infantry or archery
_ ___3.How you divide your troops: for example you could choose to start with a group of 25 archers, then fight with 15 peasants, and then 20 archers again.
<LI>defensive buildings : town buildings or region buildings (PvP)
You really define your battle strategy.
Once you have dealt with all these parameters, you can launch your attack.
Each combat is divided into rounds:
<LI>Your first troops group will fight the opponent's group.
<LI>The units left from the winning side will fight the following opponent's troops group.
<LI>The combat ends when one of the two heros/NPCs has no creatures left.
The way you organize your troops precisely, according to your own parameters, and what you know of your enemy completely defines the result of the battle.
Check these screens to see what I mean.
"What about the player's territory? How many towns do you have? If more then one how it is possible to obtain/found/conquer a new city?"
As many of you have noticed, letting users to have an unlimited number of cities could be problem when it comes to balancing the game, so we will set a limit to ten. Once you have enough resources and a suitable hero, you will then be able to create a city. But remember about strategy! It may be a mistake to build a new city too early!
Another way to acquire a city is to conquer the ones from other players. This could take some time and would entail using parts of your army and weapons like the ballista and catapult.
I saw that some of you fear about over-powerful guilds, we'll also set a limit to the amount of members a guild can recruit in order to keep the game balanced. We also know that people will have the idea of establishing alliances between powerful guilds to get aruond that rule but we have a solution for that too
"Can I attack only my neighbours or I can walk through all map and attack far-away leaving players?"?
You can attack any other player on the map BUT it's totally useless to try to conquer a city which is too far away. First, it will take really a long time for your army to reach the enemy. Secondly, you will cross different players' territories and will require regular stop-overs, allowing them to see and attack you. Once again, you will have to think about strategy before taking any decision.
"Will be adventure buildings in the map like dragon utopia, fishing well, creature dwellings, mines etc?"?
Only some of these buildings are present in HOMM Kingdoms. We also add new buildings like Towers, Fields, Forge and many more which will bring you some support and improvements for your town and your army. Different kinds of mines are available which will bring you resources that you can use to build your city or trade through the marketplace.
"When producing units will there be a set number like in the other Might and Magic games, let's say 20 gremlins per week?"?
In HOMM Kingdoms you can recruit a limited number of units each day in each city. As usual that number depends on the creature type, so don't plan on having a gigantic army of Archangels . However, you will be able to increase the number of creatures you can recruit with special region buildings and specific hero skills (depending on his career). It's also possible to recruit units in one of your cities and transfer them from one hero to another. Once again you make your own strategy.
"Will you be able to upgrade your troops, like in the normal game?"?
Every unit has one upgrade, just like in Heroes V. Once you build the right building you will be able to recruit improved creatures and upgrade the ones you have.
"And will there be our own selection of heroes' portraits, or are they assigned?"?
When you create your first hero, you will be able to choose his portrait among several ones. Once in the game you will be able to hire new heroes with their own portraits.
"End of combats: Do I lose all my troops if I'm defeated?"?
No, it's part of the subtleties of the battle system. As many of you have said, it wouldn't be fun at all if each defeat meant losing all your troops.
At the end of combat, if you're defeated, you only lose 30 % of your engaged units. During a fight, the majority of troops are not killed; they are just wounded or disbanded. At the end of the battle heroes of both armies try to gather their scattered troops. So, even if an army has been completely disbanded, the hero will manage to rally the vast majority of his troops.
That means that you can also lose troops in a victorious battle depending on the opponent's strength and how you managed your army during the battle preparation. An excellent and strategic player will be able to loose only a few troops.
"I've read that players start withOUT a city."?
In HOMM Kingdoms, you start the game with one city and one hero.
"Can we build only cities that are native to us, what if we capture a city of another player?"?
You can only build cities of your own faction but it's possible to capture cities from other races. To be clear, if you're a Haven, and capture an Inferno player's city it will still be an Inferno city (same level). You will now be able to hire inferno heroes, recruit Inferno units and learn destructive & dark magic spells!
Will resource mines be upgradeable (L1,L2....higher level greater income) or will they generate a fixed amount of resources?
For sure, the mines will be upgradeable. The resources they will provide each day will depend on their level. You will also have the possibility to "improve"? them at a cost but this would be a long term strategic investment.
Will towns be able to generate resources other than gold?
Your cities will only generate gold; you can upgrade your village hall to increase your income.
How many level upgrades will be possible for the town hall?
Four "town halls"? will be available: Village hall (at start), Town hall, City Hall and Capital.
Will resources be "global" (at the level of whole empire) or managed in every town independently?
You will have to manage resources in each city independently but you will be able to exchange between them through caravans, so you can choose to develop some of you cities faster. As usual it's all about strategy .
Will you be able to "raid" opponent's towns or to conquer them? Or maybe both? Please explain.
You will be able to "pillage"? your enemies/neighbours to get extra resources and decrease, temporally, their income, or "attack"? only their troops/region to weaken their defence by directly damaging their army.
Moreover, you can choose to conquer your neighbour's city by launching a "siege"? on it. It will take several days; require many troops and a lot of strategy to choose the right moment to attack. Some special units like Catapults and Ballista are dedicated to this task; it will allow you to bombard your opponent during a siege.
You will also have the possibility to leave the siege and abandon your attempt if you feel the risks are too high (or an entire alliance is getting upset about it!).
Finally, if you are under siege within an alliance, your team-mates could try to "break the siege"? and push the invader back.
All these interactions between players will bring you a lot of fun. Some alliance could stay peaceful dealing only with the marketplace while some other will engage in epic battles!
I'm back to give you an update about the project. Actually, we wanted to reach a point in the beta version where you will be able to really enjoy the game and give us your feedback so we could fine tune some elements of the game; hence the delay.
(It also allows us to test and define our strategy to face you all when your will enter the Beta )
Will I be able to reinforce my armies during a siege on any given city?
Yes, you will be able to send reinforcement troops to assist your army during a siege. Indeed, when you choose to siege another player you will be constantly attacked by his new troops being produced from within the city, or from Allies coming to the rescue! If he has another city, he could organise a counterattack to break your siege and force you to retreat, so the need for reinforcements is strategically great.
Sieging another player is a long term task, requiring time and troops. That's what it takes to conquer your enemies' cities.
When will the game end? Will there be a final goal?
Many of you asked this question but I can't tell you right now. We have to keep some (good) surprises
If you have an army in your castle, enemies need to destroy that army (hero) to pillage, right?
Yes, if your enemy wants to pillage your region he will have to face your army to succeed. That's why it could be very useful to keep some heroes patrolling your cities. But you manage your strategy and you can choose to let them take some of your resources if you want to avoid assaults from powerful players, or have better plans for your heroes.
Is every move you make a little fight or do you get the choice of fighting neutral creatures?
You can move in your region map without fighting but your objective is to pacify your region by freeing your mines and killing all the creatures hidden in your kingdom's forests.
When your hero is travelling on the world map, from one city to another for instance, he doesn't have to fight to reach his destination.
How will heroes level up? When will heroes be able to expand their skills/abilities?
<LI>Each action brings experience to your heroes: fighting NPCs, improve a mine, build a region building, scout your neighbours, etc.
<LI>Once you have enough experience, you level up
<LI>Level up increases your main attributes depending on your training (13 available): a warmaster will gain a lot of points in attack and defence while a fanatic sorcerer will increase attack and magic values.
<LI>Level up also gives you skill points. These skill points will allow you to buy a maximum of 3 careers per hero from 13 different careers like warrior, barbarian, merchant, priest etc...
<LI>Each career grants access to a specific list of skills (from 3 to 5 depending on the career). The first time you pick a skill it will cost you 1 XP point and if you want to improve it you will have to spend more XP points. For instance, improve a skill from level 1 to level 2 will cost you 2 XP points. Maximum level is level 3.
<LI>The maximum level being 40, each hero will have only 40 points to spend, tough choices ahead!
Will there be any sort of communication between the developers and the players during the beta?
That's already what we're trying to do. We really want to share information with the community, and it's my role to give you some news directly from our Dev Team. During the beta, it will be really important for us to pay attention to what you think or how you feel about the game. The purpose of the beta test is not only for detecting and reporting bugs but also to establish a real exchange between the beta testers and the Dev Team; we're currently thinking about how to do that.
Is it possible to be completely taken out of the game?
No, you cannot be removed from the game; your last city can't be taken by other players.
How essential is it to join an alliance? Can a player hold his own on his own, or is an alliance more or less required?
You can survive without joining an alliance but you will have to be a wise diplomat. You can choose to be a merchant dealing with your neighbours and build a trustful relationship with them. It could also be fun to play as a mercenary providing your army strength to the players who need it ... and who can pay enough! Last example: you can choose to be a spy, expert in scouting, and sell your info to your powerful neighbours.
Those are examples among so many different possibilities. You will be free to find your own way, but be prepared, being alone is tough in Heroes Kingdoms.
What happens when a hero is defeated? You have to rescue them like in homm4 or you have to "rescue" them from the tavern (with a drunkenness of 3 days) like in homm3??
Your hero can be defeated in a lot of different situations:
<LI> He fails his scouting
<LI> He is defeated on the battlefield
<LI> You loose a city with some heroes within
There are 3 possibilities for each:
<LI> Your hero escapes
<LI> Your hero escapes but is wounded so he need healing and won't be available for a while
<LI> Your hero is captured in your enemy jail!
What happens to a hero that's dead (completely defeated)? Or can they die (be completely defeated)?
The worst thing that can happen is for your heroes to be captured, they can't die.
Now here is an abstract from an interview of Marc Blondeau, creative director on HOMM Kingdoms, from the Might and Magic community newsletter. If you want you receive the next one be sure to tick "Might and Magic"? in your profile
"Yaiden: What kind of game is it exactly?
Marc Blondeau: Think of it as a realm that exists in parallel to your own life. You can access it whenever you want as long as you have an internet connection. When you are in this world you lead a kingdom by making decisions based on strategy, tactics, diplomacy, economy and role play, if you want. Basically said, it is a strategy game enhanced with RPG elements, set in a persistant world."?
[UPDATE - 16/05]
What happens if you try to take over a town but you already have the max limit of towns?
If a player has reached the limit of towns and still wants to capture enemy towns or create a new town close to the action, he can choose to offer one of his old towns to another player.
Will heroes and armies be visible on the map for everyone to see, or just for the owner? Will we be able to anticipate for someone attacking, or just be prepared for an attack at all times?
All army movements are visible on the map and a small icon is added on your city when it is under attack. If you keep an eye on the strategic map and regularly scout out your closest enemies you should never be surprised.
Are you currently thinking 1 in-game day can be run every real-world day (that being the 10-15 minutes of play time per day that was eluded to in one of the facts).
Yes, in-game days and real days are fully synchronised.
Are you afraid that people will reverse engineer the static combat equations? Since there is no randomness in the equation, someone could run their combat scenarios through the equations before choosing the order of creatures, thus maximizing their ability / limit their loss with no concern of strategy, simply by plugging in of values to the combat equation to figure out the order.
Yes, you could create this kind of tool but using it would be like asking a robot to play the piano – the score would be perfect but there would be no talent in the performance. The same thing applies to our combat system: it implies objective values but also many elements whose importance depends on the player strategy.
For instance: Attacking with an army far superior to the enemy is the best way to limit your losses but, if you do that, the experience you gain from this combat will be decreased...
This is one of the trade-offs your tool cannot answer: do you want to reduce your losses, or do you prefer to gain a lot of experience?
There are a lot of trade-offs like this one and the player is the only one able to make the correct decision. This only concerns battles with NPC's as when you attack other players there will be new elements which will break any equations you make. Overall it's likely that such a tool will be created by some players and it will help them to manage their armies, but there is no way it can give a "perfect"? solution.
"Is there any upkeep for an army - or you just produce them and pay once."
You have to feed your troops - the more you have the more it will cost you.
A small army can be settled in an average city without any maintenance cost but as soon as you reach a particular threshold you will have to pay a maintenance cost if you don't want to see troops desert.
To solve that problem you could divide your army in several cities when it's possible. Then if you plan to launch a large-scale attack you will be able to regroup all your forces in one city with an important stock of gold. If it's not enough, you will have supply it constantly.
Is there any way your allies can help you defend your city?
Growing within an alliance could help guarantee the safety of your nation against small attacks. Your assailants have to travel to your cities to attack which can be risky as your allies can intercept them during a stopover. In addition to this, if they succeed and reach your mine, for example, an ally can put a large army behind the walls of your city to welcome the looter.
In the case of an attacker tried to siege your city, any ally will be able to scout/spy the siege camp to organise an assault to free your town.
However attacking someone is not impossible, with a good strategy any defences can fall.
Will there be quests?
Yes, there will be some quests to help you during your first steps in the game and through some key moments. Nevertheless the game is more about interactions between players. You will be able to communicate with your alliance members to define some objectives according to your strategy and your thirst of power.
The most exiting quests you will be given are those from your teammates!
How magic will influence on battle system?
In HOMM Kingdoms you can cast many different spells during the combats and these spells have various effects depending on the magic school you chose.
A "conjure phoenix"? spell will surprise an enemy who has planned to take advantage of your cavalry weakness. A "teleportation"? spell will increase your infantry strike force to crush your opponent's cavalry.
However, it was important for us to keep the Might and Magic spirit and keep the game balanced if you choose the "Might"? path the spell might be impressive but don't rely on Magic to stop a group of archangels!
How speed is implemented into game - do different heroes move at different speeds on the map and is this affected by particular artefacts/abilities/skills/spells? Do creatures also have different speeds and your army only moves as fast as the slowest unit?
When your heroes are alone they are free to move everywhere without any limits (except duration) but if they are travelling with their army they move slower and have to do a stopover when sun goes down or after a certain distance behind the enemy line.
Those two moving speeds can't be modified by any artefact, skill or spell; it's really important for us to keep the offensive and defensive organisation safe and reward anticipation.
"Are there specific buildings that can be upgraded, for example better attack/defence for your units?"
You can build buildings in the region around your city. Some of them improve the economical power of the city; others increase your military strength. Among that category, some are dedicated to the defense of your troops such as the "defense towers"? or "the forts"?. Inversely, some constructions aim to improve the offensive power of your city, allowing you to recruit more units each day.
"Will each race have unique abilities/bonuses or specific magic books?"
Each race has 2 magical schools available. For example, the Inferno have access to the Dark and Destructive magic. On the other hand, the races differ by ease of access to the magic and to more powerful units. Havens are really strong and powerful, but it's more difficult for their heroes to learn spells. On the contrary, the Academy troops are not that tough, but they can easily access the most powerful spells.
"How long is a game day? I gather you can run a queue of tasks to take time but how many game days fit into real day (roughly if it is still being determined)?"
The time in the game is synchronized with real time. Each task scheduled by the player is indicated on a timeline in the top of the interface. This timeline matches with your daily agenda, so you can schedule your tasks to optimize your time.
Every task can be tweaked so you can extend or shorten it by spending (or saving) more gold and resources. For example, if it's impossible for you to connect to the game before 6 PM, don't hesitate to delay the actions that were supposed to finish sooner. You will save some resources
We wanted a system that really allows you to manage your time.
"When your hero is captured, did he go to an enemy's prison or you can buy again in the tavern?"
The captured heroes are detained in the enemy's prison. If you want to free him, you have to negociate his freedom with his jailer. If no agreement is found, it is possible to rescue your hero by force with a successful assault on the city.
"I was wondering if there will be a ranking system?"
Yes there will be a ranking system. I can't tell you much about it right now but it will be really exciting for the players. We are really focused on giving you objectives and reasons to play.
Update September 23th
I'm back to answer your questions about Heroes of Might & Magic: Kingdoms. As you all know, this project is still ongoing and we're doing our best to meet all your expectations and we are working as well to secure a date for the Beta. Now, on to the questions!
How many cities will the game have?
We plan to have 3000 to 5000 players for each world with a maximum of 8 cities per player. It's possible to have 40,000 cities in one world.
Will heroes have unique abilities?
In HOMM Kingdoms, your heroes will be very different depending on the careers and skills combination you choose. With a total of 13 careers and 47 skills with 3 expertise levels each, there are hundreds of possible combinations.
Will there be faction specific buildings?
Each faction has their own buildings and units, but they are very different from each other when it comes to the strength of their armies or the extent of their magical abilities.
Earlier it was said that a hero can be captured when he fails a scouting mission. We also learned that someone can be a scout mercenary of some sort. How does the scouting system exactly work?
When a hero scouts a city we compare his scouting level (including any bonuses from artifacts) to the most powerful hero of the targeted city. These parameters dictate whether the result is a success or a failure. There are different levels of success and failure, so depending on the level of your hero you will have more or less info on the city. If you fail you will be spotted, and injured or captured.
Will the "Week of the..." system remains the same?
Yes, we adapted it a little bit to fit the HOMM:K gameplay but the logic is still the same. Now, the week system only affects resources. However, we add a daily system meaning that you will have two systems that you can anticipate by a clock system. Depending on the day, the resources will be more or less expensive when you send/buy it to the NPCs merchants.
If you choose to play as a merchant, you will have to pay attention to the rates and stock some resources before having a very advantageous day.
Will the Tears Of Asha will be in the game?
Yes! You will be able to discover the "very rare"? Tears of Asha while exploring the world of Heroes of Might and Magic Kingdoms. How to use it? And what is it for? Two questions I can't answer yet
[Update November 7th]
Just to give you an update of where we are in the project, I'm pleased to tell you that we're currently in a Technical Beta phase which means we are testing the features of the game and our servers (who said anything about bugs? ).
You should also know that we're shaping the direction of the game through testers from the community and we really care about their feedback because we want you to enjoy the "real"? beta when it comes out. That's why we're taking time to make this game great as you're all expecting.
Please note that Kartabon and Arturchix are moderators for the forum but they aren't part of the development team. They are just some fantastic guys from the community helping us to manage the forums, so try to be nice to them
See you soon,
[Update June 11th]
News about the game:
The technical beta that just ended offering a great and furious war between the Dominion, the most powerful alliance from the last 2 betas, and a coalition of several eminent alliances. We would like to thanks all the beta testers who definitely and positively allow us to tune and improve the game features and mechanics, especially the PVP aspect.
We are now launching a new closed beta to test all the new implementations and the new gameplay balance. This closed beta will be the last step before a Public Beta.
We will keep you informed about the next steps and will open a new Q&A series soon.