Popular strategic game in browser. Might & Magic Heroes Online is the F2P browser game, combining the elements of typical strategy games, as well as classic turn-based RPGs. The action is set in the fantasy world of Ashan, where two forces, that of Haven and Necropolis, collide. The player takes control over a hero, and has to lead him through dozens of vast and extensive quests. The game was developed by the Blue Byte studios, known for other Online games, such as Anno Online, or Silent Hunter Online.
As it was mentioned, the game combines the elements known from the strategy titles, together with those which are key in RPG games. In the former one the player has to recruit various types of creatures, create, expand and upgrade his own town, and move around a huge map, full of various forms of activity. The latter one is “limited” to developing the hero created at the beginning of your journey, unveiling the mysteries of the storyline, or leading your army onto the battlefield in turn-based combat system. A novelty compared to other installments of the series is the ability to journey around the map in real-time instead of using movement points. The audio-visual aspect of the game is top-notch – transition into 2D graphics allowed the creators to decrease the system requirements significantly while leaving the game extremely well-looking.
The combat system is exactly the same as in the other, “full-fledged” installments of the series – as the battle begins, the hero and the enemy are moved into a special, generated arena. The whole encounter is divided into rounds, and the movement sequence depends on the Initiative characteristic of each unit – the higher it is, the earlier the unit will be able to act. The encounter is finished when one of the sides retreats or is defeated. However, the combat is not so simple, as almost every unit in the game has access to special abilities, and the simple things as attacking from the appropriate direction (from the flank, or in the back) can influence the course of the whole encounter. Naturally, sieges are present in the game as well. The combat can be automated, but it’s expensive, as the casualties are higher, and you will be forced to use the premium currency to do so.
After creating your account on the game website, your task is to create your own hero. The whole process begins by selecting the side of conflict (at the moment there are only two choices – Haven or Necropolis), after which you have to select the class of the hero. There are two archetypes: Warrior, which focuses on dealing damage in combat, as well as supporting his troops, and the Mage, wielding powerful spells. After the hero is created, the player is thrown into the deep – you will have to face your first boss enemy just seconds after! Fortunately, those who are unfamiliar with the franchise will not be left without help – a tutorial comes with aid. The tutorial, while explaining every single aspect of the gameplay, is also the beginning of a vast storyline.
As with every game from the Heroes series, there’s a whole lot of different units available. At the beginning the player has access to only the weakest, most basic troops, but as the time goes, together with higher levels of the hero and different buildings constructed in the city you will be given additional units to choose from. Each unit has a number of different stats, which define their overall effectiveness in combat, and most of them have at least one special ability – it can be fire arrows available to Archers, which increase the damage dealt to creatures vulnerable to fire (as well as setting them ablaze) or the defend ability of melee units, allowing them to block the passage to weaker troops. There are dozens, if not hundreds of possibilities, and knowing and understanding them all is the key to success. The only downside is the lack of upgraded versions of units which can be found in the other installments of the Heroes of Might & Magic series.
In Might & Magic Heroes Online, as with other strategy games, the player is able to expand his / her city. At the beginning, the player is able to construct only the basic ones, allowing you to hire the weakest units – it is similar to the mechanics found in games such as OGame or Tribes, where access to subsequent buildings is given only after you’ve built a required level of a given structure. A thing worth mentioning, is, compared to, for instance, Heroes of Might & Magic 3 Hd Edition, there are less resources available in the game – gold, wood, crystals and metal.
Going back to the hero created by the player – creation is, obviously, not the end of the process. There’s no stat points distribution like in Hack & Slash or typical RPG games, but there are several skill trees, giving access to different skills to choose from. There are several dozens of abilities, which should be enough for everyone to find something for themselves. Additionally, the hero controlled by the player has an inventory with slots for equipment such as weapon on armor, as well as special items, which can influence the hero or the units under his command.
As with every online game, there’s a lot of possibilities to interact with other players, from those more obvious like dueling with their armies, or taking part in the arena events, to joining a guild, but there’s a mechanic which can’t be found in other installments of the franchise – cooperation (Co-Op). While you are at the screen preceding the combat, you can invite a friend to join you, making encounters a lot easier (and some of them cannot be beaten otherwise, unless you decide to go back to them later on).
As it was mentioned in the introduction, Might & Magic Heroes Online is a F2P (Free to Play) browser game, which means that some sort of microtransactions must have been implemented into the gameplay. These are, fortunately, non-intrusive, as they offer the same things that can be bought or acquired in “normal” way – using real money makes the acquisition of wanted items a lot quicker process, nothing more.
If you are looking for a unique Online F2P strategy game, in which the proper planning and development of your hero and / or army is the key to victory, and at the same time you are a fan of games from the Might & Magic series, this game will be a perfect choice for you.
Here’s a couple of hints that may come in handy:
• Complete quests – aside from introducing various nuances associated with the gameplay itself, they offer immense amount of different types of resources (and sometimes premium currency).
• If a fight went awry, remember that you can repeat it – it will allow you to save a lot of units from dying in combat, which take a long time to be replaced.
• Remember that you can always retreat from battle if you underestimated the enemy – a pop-up window will appear on the screen automatically whenever you are losing a lot of units in quick succession.
• Defeat all the enemies on the map, even if they are way weaker than your army – you will gain precious experience points by doing so.
• Complete all the side quests, as well as those available from the boards – rewards for completing them are sometimes worth a lot more than those coming from main story quests.
• During combat, think about your next move twice – a single, wrong decision may cost you dearly. Remember, that you can also use the option to “Wait” or “Defend”.