At E3, RPGamer was able to get a preview of Ubisoft's new addition to the Might & Magic series: Might & Magic: Heroes Kingdoms. This game is a free-to-play browser-based MMO for the iPad, Mac, and PC.
The story takes place within the Might & Magic universe and is told through seasons lasting approximately 6 months each. During that time various alliances vie for power, land, and influence. At the end of the 6 months, the most powerful alliance wins the game and gets special awards when the next season and story arc begins.
Alliances can rise to power through three different means: wealth, domination, or honor. Wealth consists of the total value of everything a player has, domination consists of a playerÃs total army power, and honor consists of experience gained from battle. In addition to those three key factors, alliances can also control artifacts that add to its overall strength. At the end of 6 months, the strongest alliance wins, and a new story arc will begin for the next 6 months.
Might & Magic: Heroes Kingdoms has a lot of complexity to it. First, players can choose from 4 different factions/races to be a part of. These factions are Haven, Inferno, Necropolis, and Academy. Players will also need to create heroes so that they can create and expand their own kingdom. Heroes have three different commands: attack, defense, and magic. Players can also add professions and abilities to their heroes. There are a total of 13 professions to choose from, but each hero can only have 3 equipped. Each profession can also be leveled up when players earn skill points for their heroes.
There is also a day and night cycle so only certain things can be done at certain times. At the top of each playerÃs screen, there is a city timeline that shows this cycle and when tasks and buildings are scheduled to be complete. When players first begin a city, they have to clear out monsters from the forested areas in order to build buildings and harvest resources. There are a total of seven different types of resources: gold, gems, mercury, red crystal, blue crystal, sulfur, stone, and wood. The first five are used to build buildings, make magic, and troops. If you have too much of one resource or you want to make some money, players can sell their resources in an auction house.
Players can also have several different types of troops. Battles consist of a simple rock, paper, scissors mechanic, so it pays to have a balanced army. You get added bonuses depending on what classes you are using and fighting against. If you can manage to defeat a more powerful army, you also can a considerable boost to your honor.
Other features in the game include an alliance management system, leaderboards, an e-mail notification system, a forum, statistics tracking, and help. The alliance management system makes it easier for players to form alliances and set up treaties between other alliances. Each time a player ranks up in Might & Magic: Heroes Kingdoms, players will be allowed to open up a new city. The e-mail system keeps you informed on a variety of important thinks, the most convenient of which is that it lets you know when your city will get attacked in real time. The stat tracking is very detailed and is a good metric to see how you and your alliance are doing.
The best part of Might & Magic: Heroes Kingdoms is that it's free-to-play for up to 3 cities and 3 heroes. Players that want more can subscribe for a small fee. The subscription fee hasn't been announced for North America yet, but the subscription fee for Might & Magic: Heroes Kingdoms in Europe is about 5 Euroes. If you have played browser based games like Lords of Ultima, then you know how addicting these browser based games can be. Thankfully, Heroes Kingdoms will only require 15 or 20 mins of your time a day.