Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Completed Let's play Might and Magic VII: For Blood and Honor

Discussion in 'Codex Playground' started by Azira, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. Aziragender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Codex 2012
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    Both parties are final. The original enrollment thread can be viewed here.

    Yesterday I finished my Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven LP, and as promised, I will now begin LPing the successor, Might and Magic VII: For Blood and Honor.
    This game was released the year after VI, in 1999. It uses the same graphical engine, slightly updated but very much recognisable. As such, it is very easy to get into, if you've played MMVI.
    Many of the mechanics are the same in MMVII as they were in MMVI, but some have changed significantly, not least the skill mastery system. The ability of a class to learn a skill does not necessarily mean they will be able to excel in them. For instance, only sorcerers can (when they are promoted) get access to and cast the most powerful elemental spells, and only archers can achieve grandmastery in the bow skill. This leads to more meaningful choices to be made when making a party, which is why I was rather strict in what characters I wanted to include in the two parties. See the enrollment thread for more detail.
    At the end of MMVI, Archibald Ironfist foreshadowed that he was not finished with Enroth, but MMVII takes place on another continent, named Erathia. That does not mean we're rid of him, as these letters taken from the manual makes evident:
    Show Spoiler


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    MMVII does not start as dramatically as MMVI did, with demonic invasion and a flight for your life. Instead, it starts off on a small island called Emerald Isle, where our party is taking part in a competition to win the castle of Harmondale and its surrounding lands:



    I think we're just about set. A proper update with actual gameplay should be coming soon. :smug:
     
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  2. Aziragender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    We now have our two brave parties. This LP will at some point split, so we get to follow both the canon (dark) ending, and the non-canon (light) endings eventually. Until that point, the game progresses more or less the same, yet I choose to play this with two parties simultaneously, as there are some Choices and Consequences even before then, and I want to let the people in the two parties decide what to do. :smug:
    This LP will even end with one such choice to be made.

    First off, let's meet our two groups. First up is our dark-siders:
    Lightbane, [​IMG] paladin
    Kayerts, [​IMG] monk
    Storyfag, [​IMG]cleric
    Crooked Bee, [​IMG] sorcerer

    Then our light-siders:
    Cappen, [​IMG] knight
    TheGreat0ldOne, [​IMG] thief
    Erebus, [​IMG] cleric
    Mrowak, [​IMG] sorcerer

    I plan on doing this LP the following way: each update we'll follow either the dark-side group or the light-side group. I'm thinking that I will switch between them so they get every other update. I plan on doing this LP much like I did the MMVI one, so expect plenty of dungeon crawling and maps. :salute:
    I like how the spoiler tags keeps an LP uncluttered, so get used to seeing them in my LPs. M:
    Show Spoiler

    Now then.
    [​IMG]

    The title screen is much as it was in MMVI. No surprises there. If you've seen the intro video, you also get a short glimpse of the "create new party" screen, which is also remarkably similar to the one in MMVI.
    Let's take a look at what skills I chose for our dark siders at creation. I planned this first update to be focused purely on the dark side party, but due to some difficulty getting the game running while also keeping FRAPS functional, I had to make a compromise. I thought I'd been taking a lot of screenshots with our dark side party, and it turns out I didn't. So some of the update is with Lightbane's group, some is with Cappen's group. Deal with it.

    Here are Lightbane and crew:

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    I went mostly for the spell skills, as they come with two spells when chosen at the start. This is a money saver, and I'm a creature of habit. :M I'm also a jew at heart, at least when it comes to monetary matters. :roll:
    As for what the skills do, please look here for a thorough overview.

    When the game starts, our party is making landfall on a small island called Emerald Isle. You can spot it on the far right on this map:

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    Emeral Isle is the tutorial area, and once you leave here you don't get to return. Not that there's much reason to, if you play the way I do. :troll:
    Just as we step off the dock, a compulsory NPC chimes in.

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    Luckily we can turn her off. She has a bunch of stuff to say about different buildings and such, and her advice is good for someone who hasn't played this game or the predecessor before. I've hidden her advice behind a second spoiler section, so you won't have to read through it if you don't bother :roll:
    Show Spoiler

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    Now, let's take a look at the interface and see what's different.

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    There's no dot near the portrait anymore. Instead there's four triangularly shapes surrounding the portraits. They're our proximity detectors. They're currently green, meaning no hostiles are nearby, and it's possible to rest. If they're yellow, there are hostiles nearby, and if they're red, hostiles are within melee range.
    On each side of the portrait are the hitpoint and spellpoint bars.
    There's the main game window. A minimap with two NPC slots below. Just to the left of the minimap is a twig. This is the torchligt icon. If the torchligt spell is active, this will be on fire. There's also a pendulum looking thingie at the top right of the minimap. That's our wizard eye indicator. If you can see an eye in it, wizard eye is active.
    Below the NPC windows are other icons for currently active spells. I'll comment on them as they come into play.
    Below those icons are the food and gold counters. Rather self-explanatory I feel.
    Below them we have a bunch of books. The left-most is the quest book. Let's open that.

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    That's the quests we need to complete to win the challenge and thereby earn the title Lords of Harmondale. :salute: More quests will doubtlessly be scribbled in here, only to be deleted when they're completed.
    The next book is the auto-notes book. It has the following bookmarks; Potion notes, fountain notes, obelisk notes, seer notes, miscellaneous notes and instructor(trainer) notes. They are currently all but empty, so I've hidden them beneath a spoiler tag.
    Show Spoiler

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    The next two books are the maps and calendar books. They're relatively uninteresting for the time being. Then we have something new! Something that wasn't there in MMVI. The right-most book is the history book!

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    Currently, it is decidedly lacking in content, but that will change as the game progresses. We will be returning to this book to bask in our own glory. :smug:

    Another thing that has changed appearance since MMVI is the info window that pops up if you rightclick on an NPC or monster:

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    More info will become available with higher level in the ID monster skill. This window becomes very useful later on when prioritising enemies, especially when monsters start being able to cast annoying spells (I'm thinking of Pain Reflection in particular here...).
    The way you learn new skills has also changed. No longer are there guilds where you can pick up some new tricks. Instead you have to seek them out in the utility buildings in towns, in the Inn for example:

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    Or the weaponsmith:

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    Our top priority will be getting everyone the bow skill. Just as in MMVI, having ranged attack capability is a must.

    Now I think we're ready to run around and talk with people.

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    We can't buy spells if we're not members of the corresponding guild, so getting guild memberships should be a priority.
    One NPC has some interesting information for us.

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    Dragonflies are indeed not very threatening, if not for their large numbers. A dragon on the other hand is a different song altogether. So I guess we know why we're currently the only active adventuring group on this scavenger hunt..
    Speaking of which, let's go chat up Lord Markham.

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    I'd missed out on catching the quest description as delivered by Markham himself, but I can give you this from the quest book:

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    This quest is worth a handy little sum, and we'll do it in the course of the scavenger hunt anyway, so..

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    And it seems that any means to getting the items needed are accepted. :troll:
    Outside are some red berries that can readily be mixed up in a potion bottle and turned in:

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    Thomas is quite right. That was laughably simple.
    Let's take a look at the northwest side of the island.

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    There sure are a lot of dragonflies there. Before actually reaching the dragonflies, an NPC catches our attention. It seems he has something to offer us..

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    A wand of fireballs is a useful tool indeed. Thing is, we don't really need it for the dragonflies, as there's a very helpful special buff-dispensing pedestal on this small island.

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    This adds +35 to all stats for 24 hours. Making our small group easily capable of clearing the dragonflies from the northwest of the island on their own. We could still take Mr. Malwick up on his offer and keep the wand for later, or even just sell it for profit.
    All overland maps also have a "game of X" brazier somewhere, which tests one of your buffed stats. If you meet a hidden requirement, you get free skillpoints:

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    Also visible on these screenshots are two actve buffs under the NPC portraits. It's the Protection from Fire and Day of the Gods buffs. :salute:
    I'll wrap this short, introductory update up with some more words from a nearby NPC.

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    Seems there really is a dragon on Emerald Isle.

    Now I just need to get some feedback from the two groups of adventurers. Do we take Mr. Malwicks offer or not? This choice will have implications later, but do we care about that now? The choice is yours. This is where the 8 people who are featured in this LP are required to vote. :smug:
     
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  3. Erebusgender: ⚧ Arcane

    Erebus
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    Interesting, I didn't remember that offer. I'd like to see its consequences, but I think I'll let our dark-side colleagues take up the offer.

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    That doesn't sound at all like what a used-car salesman would say !


    The letters of the introduction are just as deceptive as in the previous game. In MM6, they made you expect you'd get to rescue Roland ; in MM7, they make you expect that Archibald is going to be a major foe.

    Is the dark-side ending really canon ? I can't remember anything suggesting it in the following games.

    Show Spoiler
    I figured that the existence of the portals used at the beginning of HoMM 4 to save part of the world's population suggested that the light-side ending was canon.
     
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  4. Kayertsgender: ⚧ Arcane

    Kayerts
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    Mr. Malwick is clearly a stand-up bro who has our best interests at heart. Take his offer!
     
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  5. RK47gender: ⚧ Degenerates happily Patron

    RK47
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    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin
    I remember not giving a damn about the game when I discovered the card game. It was more fun that the constant combat.
     
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  6. Pope Amole IIgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Pope Amole II
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    It was meant to be canon, but as the fans outrage put an end to the "forge" HoM&M expansion, they quickly changed that fact.
     
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  7. Gregzgender: ⚧ Arcane

    Gregz
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    I love this game.

    :love:
     
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  8. Kayertsgender: ⚧ Arcane

    Kayerts
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    Well,

    Show Spoiler
    I think the portals for HOMM4 are unrelated, since they apparently move large swathes of the population all across the world through them, and there's no mention of the gentleman you meet during the light side ending of MM7. On the other hand, there's also no mention of the geopolitical shakeup implied by the dark side ending, so I think they just dropped any direct consequences for MM7. Though I suppose they might have still made the light-side ending relevant at some later point, sort of like how they did with MM3's ending in MM7 itself.
     
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  9. DaveOgender: ⚧ Augur

    DaveO
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    Since I got rolled out on the party competition, all I can do is wish both parties well on the game. Casting Pain Reflection is a tempting option though. :eek:
     
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  10. Crooked Beegender: ⚧ wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
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    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Nah, let's decline his offer. Who knows what he's going to demand from us in return. ;)
     
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  11. Pope Amole IIgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Pope Amole II
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    Moar game content is almost always better than less game content.

    Only the light party should accept his order, though - the dark one should just lure dragonflies into the town and let them kill him (him and the bard girl so you don't pay for the lute).
     
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  12. Aziragender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Voting closed!

    DARK
    Lightbane Aye
    Kayerts Nay
    Storyfag Nay
    Crooked Bee Aye
    We have a tie! We'll be taking the offer, but then leading the dragonflies into town to murder everyone walking the streets (except the party of course). :troll: Unfortunately, monsters do not enter peoples houses.

    LIGHT
    Cappen Aye
    TheGreat0ldOne Nay
    Erebus Aye
    Mrowak Aye
    The ayes have the majority! We'll accept the offer and see what comes of it later.
     
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  13. Storyfaggender: ⚧ Arcane

    Storyfag
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    Let's accept his offer and in true Evil spirit decline his future demands :smug:

    Or not.

    I hereby endorse the plan outlined by His Holiness :salute:
     
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  14. Crooked Beegender: ⚧ wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
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    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Fair enough. I hereby change my vote from Nay to Yay. :)
     
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  15. Kayertsgender: ⚧ Arcane

    Kayerts
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  16. Aziragender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Flip-floppers. :roll:
     
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  17. lightbanegender: ⚧ Arcane

    lightbane
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    That is good choice. But I think it would be better to accept his offer, then do this to kill him anyways, it's the truly powergaming evil option.
     
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  18. Mrowakgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Mrowak
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    Accept it and go - steamroll the you-know-what. Otherwise, it could prove a painful experience.

    Also C&C is always a good thing.
     
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  19. Erebusgender: ⚧ Arcane

    Erebus
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    Isn't there another introduction video, by the way ? With goblins telling Archibald (and elves telling a wizard dude) the story of a strange scene they've observed ?
     
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  20. Storyfaggender: ⚧ Arcane

    Storyfag
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    I think that one takes place only after the tutorial.
     
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  21. Mrowakgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Mrowak
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    Yes, you are right:

     
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  22. CappenVarragender: ⚧ Phantasmist

    CappenVarra
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    Codex 2012 Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2
    Aye on Mr. Malwicks. If he and his associates turn out to be decent guys, it's all good. If they are evil bastards, we get to purify them in the name of the light, removing a dark stain from the pristine beauty of our land etc. etc. Win-win, really :)
     
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  23. Aziragender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    I won't be able to get any playtime in today, so this voting is still open at least until tomorrow. :) Should give any flip-floppers plenty of time to change their minds several times, and TheGreat0ldOne might even drop by and vote. If not, the light party will just proceed as is. :salute:
     
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  24. Erebusgender: ⚧ Arcane

    Erebus
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    Ah, what the hell, I'll do a flip-flop. Let's take the wand.
     
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