Some deductive observations on the game, the developers and the producers.
6 months have passed since you released M&M Heroes VI. A little has changed during these six months: you have released 3 patches, you have migrated your servers (3-4-x times?), you have made and did not keep a number of promises, and, the biggest change, Black Hole went under.
Now we, as fans, don't know what happened to Black Hole. We do not know their current status. We also do not actually know the state of game development, nor its future. However, we can infer quite a number of things from the last six months of company-player interaction.
1. This game is not in development any longer.
Fact: Black Hole went down.
Fact: Ubisoft released/promised minor patches, mostly focussed on the systems under their control - uplay, dynasty ect.
Fact: Ubisoft keeps promising patches that would take the original programming team a few days, at most, to fix. Even so, they do not deliver on these promises.
Conclusion: This game is not in development any longer. It is my personal belief that the first one or two patches, the ones that actually fixed and corrected some gameplay bugs, were still done by Black Hole. But the horrible release of online-focussed patches ever since, just points me in the direction that the original development team is nowhere near this game any more. What's more, statements made by the development team during the first few weeks got forgotten very quickly. I remember Black Hole stating that they will seriously look into town screens, as they realized this was a big wish from the community. Since then, we have never heard of this again, except by outraged fans. Since town screens will need new developed content, this is another observation pointing towards the statement that this game, at least content wise, is abandoned.
2. There is no upcoming expansion
An expansion would mean a new developer, which would mean months of added development time for the new studio to get familiar with the game mechanics as well as the programming and infrastructure behind it. We would have seen a new collaboration in the news. Besides, such a new partnership and expansion announcement is such a great boost for the much needed publicity for a dying game - no chance Ubisoft would not announce it. And lastly, a new studio would have to fix everything wrong in the current game, which would mean a lot of money pumped into a venture with high risk - something that just isn't currently in Ubisoft's model... (Look at the banner at the top of the screen to see the games Ubisoft is making money with).
3. Ubisoft is just milking the last of a failed game's sales
Fact: Ubisoft is not meeting their own promises/deadlines
Fact: Ubisoft is promising ridiculously small patches, but with possible future growth and development (Refering to the the patch 1.3 thread...)
Fact: The only deadline Ubisoft met recently was April Fool's, a publicity stunt.
Conclusion: Ubisoft is currently getting any last potential buyer to go out and buy the game, getting the most possible revenue out of this failed title. This is similar to a stripper, who tells you that perhaps a private lapdance might... break the rules... or the casino-mentality that this one, last roll of the dice will be the lucky one.
It's time to wake up. There might actually be this one last patch - which is an absolutely ridiculous patch, btw - just to roll in everyone who thought that the game is dead to still buy a copy, or tell their friends about it. The fake resurrection effect - they try to sell you that despite the long patches of radio silence, and despite the poor new patch, they are genuinely interested in this game and plan to make something of it.
However... for each week of stretching release dates, they are not actually losing anyone but gaining more time for potential buyers... a last-minute hype curve.
To prove this point, look at the effort that went into the April Fool's gag. They took already existing concept art, a hot underground community topic (Forge) and threw them at their in-house art team to mix. This, a publicity stunt, was probably the most Ubisoft spent on Heroes VI this year. But it showed renewed interest - even though everyone knew it is only a gag, you immediately get that feeling of, "At least they are still involved in this game". Combine this with rare forum posts by some moderator, of how they are actively involved in this game, and sorry for the delays... the result is idiots who knew that they should've stopped hoping a long time ago still come back everyday to check this forum.
Heroes, it is time to give up. Stop waiting for something to happen. Stop generating hits on this forum. Don't bother with this game anymore. If you are like me, who actually loved everything about H6 when it was released, who was relieved for a breath of fresh air, it is finally the time to give it up. If you want to do something constructive, take your money that you are saving for an H6 expansion and give it to some indie developers, or buy King's Bounty, or Age of Wonders 2. We might have some chance of developing truly great content this way for H3; or failing that, at least keep the genre alive if not the series.
I apologize for the long post. But honestly, I've had enough. I hate being taken for a ride, and am embarrassed that I kept going this long...
The developers are still involved as they recently did an interview on a Spanish website about the game: http://www.heroesofmightandmagic.es/...rticles&aid=13
Read Facebook and twitter for constant updates about the state of the game and such.
Why expect an expansion now? We know that Black Hole take a relatively long time to create content, so why be surprised when the expansion hasn't been announced yet? If by any chance Ubisoft has learned that forcing unreachable deadlines on their employees is bad, then they will wait it out until the expansion is good and ready before making an announcement, and potentially gaining some good publicity back.
With the April fools gag, it was just a fun joke they did, however as people have pointed out the fact that the minotaur isn't a standard piece of concept art that was redrawn and the hints that the next expansion may be dungeon, then it could be a sign of good things to come.
I love Heroes 6 too, and I feel like content and fixes could make their way down sooner, but I see no harm in waiting. I won't be punished for doing so, what is there to give up? Who is judging me and laughing at me for waiting for a game to be patched. It's an odd mindset to have, that waiting for content is embarrassing, especially over the internet. I'll keep playing the game until the next patch, and the patch after that. I'll be happy with what they add and what the fix, after all, it's just a game at the end of the day
I've read through the interview and there aint anything there stating BH is involved. Note this: The Heroes 6 production team (Gary Paulini, Alexis de Becque, Hélène Henry and Julien Pirou) were interviewed. None of them are Hungarian so IMO, they are not from BH. And note this:
Originally Posted by DarkMess1ah
Q02 - The AI behaviour seemed to be ilogic under certain cir****tances before 1.2 and now it works better. Are the DEV Team still working in this area or do you think you reached the top?
This rather sounds as they (UBI) investigating the code without any involvment from BH. So unfortunately this rather cryptic and overly cautios/equivocal interview rather hints on a serious gap between BH and UBI. I agree with the OP, that the diminutive content of 1.3 strongly hints that BH is out of buisness, most likely BH is severly underpayed which does not mean that it is UBI-s fault, they may just spent the budget ineffectively which is very typical of Hungarian companies because high costs generated by the needless management layer and inefficient/inexperienced programmers.
- AI behavior is one aspect of the game we intend to improve in the future and we’re currently investigating the subject.
What do you think?
That could be said for any country.
Originally Posted by Bitula
I don't think that you should talk about what is "typical" of Hungarian companies, because i'm sure you don't even have an idea what they are like, you just want to blame it on someone.
No, I live here, Im a Hungarian programmer. I'm programming for 12 years in different Hungarian Companies. It's typical, because taxes are very high, salaries are low and all proficient programmers go abroad, I really mean ALL, almost anyone I knew who was good has left abroad. And management layer is frequently bloated, old and inefficient. The salary abroad is as minimum tripple but rather quintupel and it is very easy to get a job abbroad if you are experienced. Since the new nationalist government situation is even worse, so I am afraid Ill have to depart to Germany unless I want to vegetate for the rest of my life. Of course BlackHole may be different, but to be sincere I've heard just recently negative feedback from programmer acquaintances. Also,note, my speculation is based on the recent local news that BH cannot continue as a pure game development company, because they cannot upkeep themselves from games alone, also this slow patching process is unprecedented, really, such a slow process is impossible unless the original developers have left or reallocated to other projects. As a programmer I am quite sure about this.
Originally Posted by aurora2
This is the story of a long time Heroes fan since Heroes of Might and Magic 2.
Seeing my favorite series in such ruin is devastating for me. When you think of some of the decisions to make the game as it is right now, its difficult to find someone to blame. I would say Ubi is responsible for releasing the game too early but many of the in-game features were also wrong. Perhaps BH was to blame?
I still remember spending hours posting on forums about how H6 should be in various forums. Most of the people were talking about how they are looking at the old games in Heroes series like Heroes 3. I was one of those enthusiasts who pre-purchased this game with great hopes. Sadly, the game turned out to be really different than i hoped. Unlike you OP, i did not enjoy Heroes 6.
When i heard that the total amount of resources are lowered and dumbed down, a part of my heart fell. When i heard there are only going to be five factions, another part of my heart fell. When i heard we now improve our heroes manually, another part fell. I'm not even gonna talk about town screens. Still i wanted to try the game out. I thought i should be more open to change about this and tried the game. I noticed how unfinished Heroes 6 came out. I also noticed that, only good thing about the game is the graphical improvements and they didn't turn out too well for me, it was just too shiny for my tastes.
Now i really really force myself to like this game because i love this serie. I feel as if, Heroes series should not die in vain, i must keep this game alive! I just can't manage to play the game longer than 15 minutes because how horrible the game is. Still, i have to keep this series alive!
After reading this post, its all become clear to me. I guess all that struggle was in vain and there goes my childhood. I salute you OP for hoping this long and fighting for it, for i couldn't do it.
Now that's drama, its time to go back to Heroes 4 or maybe check kicking it forward so that we can get fund a true heroes game.