Might and Magic Heroes 6 review by Gabor Szabo - lead game designer of Black Hole
1. Give me some information about yourself! What time circumstances did you begin working at Black Hole at Heroes 6? What are the peculiarities of your job?
Isti: We are both who founded Black Hole Entertainment. The precise date of the company's formation is 2000. My responsibility is to manage or supervise the development of the game (graphics, gameplay, sounds, animation, music).
Boci: I should control the gamedesign (design + gameplay), I create and put the game design ideas together, plus its also my task is to make maps or to learn the proper balance between each faction.
2. What are your actions that help to make balance between the factions Heroes 6? You do different investigations, you follow your instincts, or is there a peculiar method?
Boci: Certainly we are not based on our instincts. We have a kind of nice complex table that includes the stats and abilities of all the creatures.
These sheets certainly do not concern only numbers, some of them contain complicated formulas. With their help we can calculate the value of each unit, and the impact or effect of their capabilities. Each unit has such a characteristic as its unique "Army Power" value that's counted on the base of all the states and abilities of the unit. This value symbolizes the unit's general strength, this serves the foundation for our balance calculations. Sure it is still necessary for us to test it out during the game, and if it needs any good regulation, we are changing things. Currently the progress is in this phase.
3. We've got to know some information about the Heroes 6 reputation system from gaming magazines, otherwise could you make it more concrete for us and explain what are the basics of the skill system? Is there anything that we need to know?
Boci: There two sides of the reputation system: Blood and Tears (was said in the previous Erwan interview). It functions like the XP from the foregoing games. If you accumulated enough reputation point, you are able to advance to higher class that will also influence the look or appearance of your protagonist on the adventure map. Ability tree is a parallel system where you control fully the process of spending your points from the levelups on any skill you pretend. It depends on You how you construct your hero! There is an example for you: You are concentrating on the path of Tears and you find the Cure spell at foundational level. After that you achieve the first level of the Tears resulting a force increase in Cure (and in all other Tears-based ability).
4. What are the peculiarities of the new area management system?
Boci: There are different territories with borders (indicated with signs). Each territory has a fort or city that takes the area under control. Every lone mine and dwelling is fixed to it therefore if you capture the city you gain control over all external dwelling or mine in its space. IMPORTANT, you must capture the mines/buildings or the city will not have authority over them. In case a wandering opponent hero takes one of your dwelling or mine then no necessity to rush out in order to retake it, since it will become yours again when the hero abandons it (assuming the fort or city that controls the territory is in your hand).
5. We have the information that there won't be any magician guilds in the process of game Heroes 6. Then how will the heroes learn new charms from the seven magic school and how will those be disposed in their spell books? Any rough information on the number of obtainable spells?
Boci: Each hero will have some ability to select (magic and might). Heroes will obtain points after each levelup that they can expend on available abilities. These abilities can be either passive (for example: Logistics) or active (for example: Fireball). Active ones go to the honourable hero's spellbook and they can be useful on the battlefield. You can select between magic schools (only if they are obtainable for your faction). There are more than two hundred spells (active plus passive).
6. In what way will Luck and Moral work in Heroes 6? What are the changes in these skills in comparison with the previous games?
Boci: We converted their mechanic too. Morale and luck in the previous games was very casual and strong. Let's discuss morale first: when it's a creature's file to act, you can hope if it will have morale so you are able to utilize that knowledge to think about the further actions, making it simpler to tactic. However after the first assault the second one will be less strong. After morale the second action will be limited and the creature's attack force will be lower too (we still balancing its percentage). Now some information concerning luck: units and heroes will have their proper luck-factor where one luck point = 1%. An advanced hero will have about 6-7% luck, while the luck of creatures will cover at 6-7% as well. A fully upgraded (level 30) hero plus creature will have a maximum of fifteen percent chance for a lucky attack that can be raised further with abilities, spells and artifacts. It is also significant to mention that lucky walkouts will do +50% more injury than in habitual case.
7. You've selected the fundamental skill system (Defense, Attack, Knowledge, Spellpower), they've been detached into magical defense or attack, might attack/defense etc, why?
Isti: In the same point as the game's name modify from HOMM6 to MM: Heroes VI, the reply to this question is connected with the consolidation process Ubisoft is undertaking for all its Might and Magic games. There is a general "umbrella" brand name (Might and Magic), a general setting (the world of Ashan), a general set of rules (the seven schools of Magic, the examined stat titles and meanings, etc.). In the world of Ashan, magic force and affinity are not connected with knowledge (for instance). Besides, it makes sense that the stat titles echo the Might and Magic dichotomy :).
Every character will have magic or might attack and magic or might defense, and the same means for the creatures (the hero's stats will be attached to the creature's stats upon counting the final merit). For instance a might (Crossbowman) creature's attack will be grown by the hero's might attack marit while a caster unit's (Priestess) attack will become stronger by the hero's magic attack stat (it will also increase the force of the unit's healing ability). This change was essential because of the new ability-tree system. In preceding games magic heroes were more powerful than might heroes. In Heroes 6 might hero abilities will have the same force and efficacy as magic hero abilities, making the process of the game even more balanced.
8. What kind of special skills the various hero classes will have and in what way will they work?
Boci: During battles there is a progress bar filling up on the corbel that has four level. Each group charges it in a different way, Stronghold creatures as an example gets a point with each attack while Necropolis gets a point when enemy or own creatures acquire damage. After it reached level one, you can use the skill anytime. Since the character can act anytime during the battle (but only once per circle similar than in Heroes 3), you can use it whenever you desire. Its force increases by its level, and the effect is different per group: Necropolis can reanimate and cure the dead, Stronghold gets universal attack bonus (rage).
9. How will introductory bar work? What determines the order of the creatures?
Boci: Every creature has an initiative merit (it depends on speed!). This regulates their acting order. It can be modified with artifacts and spells. There are rounds, a creature can only operate once per circle (unless morale knocks in, but that will be evident before it happens).
10. What sort of special events or things will we encounter on the battlefield during a battle?
Boci: There are some of them, campaign and non-campaign particular. There is an example: rally banners are no longer adventure map-only, we will contact with them on the battlefields too. If a creature stand near it, will get increased luck.
11. Will we see any specific things during sieges (such as the ditch in front of the walls from Heroes 3)?
Boci: Yes, you will. Their effect will be different per group: Inferno city's ditch will produce continuous fire damage to an unit when its turn comes (in the commencing) unless it moves out.
12. If everything goes according to the plan, the game will be shipped with an Heroes 6 editor of the map? Can you share any information about it, what it is comprehensive of? Is there a plan to annex a Campaign editor or a Random map generator?
Boci: Yes, we are going to ship it with the map editor included. Our target was to make it hard-coded signification no scripts needed (unlike in Heroes 5 map editor). Our principal priority at the moment is to create it user-friendly. We might add a campaign editor later, and about the casual map generator: it's too early to speak about it.