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Age of Wonders Shadow Magic Free Download
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[This message has been edited by IskatuMesk (edited 04-18-2008 @ 01:25 AM).] RPGamer Member posted 04-18-08 06:08 AM EDT (US) 6 / 66 Hey, why do you compare AoW:SM with HOMM 3 ?HOMM 3 is outdated (of course AoW:SM is also ...) BUT: there is HOMM V (with 2 addons), and there is NO new AoW.So his question related to HOMM 5, not to HOMM 3.HOMM 5 is an 3D game, HOMM 3 isnt.There are many differences between HOMM 3 and HOMM 5, so it isn't meaningful comparing HOMM3 with AoW: SM, IMHO.Greets,RGPamer igoraki Member posted 04-18-08 07:58 AM EDT (US) 7 / 66 - do you played HoMM before? i have played every version of homm and even kings bounty and contrary to your opinion,for me best one is heroes 4 (i can post why,if you want,just note that i play it in multiplayer only against human oponent,therefor my opinion is not about single player experience,also am using equilibris mode that helps with balance and add some stuff)...my opinion about heroes 5 is pretty bad,i can agree 3d graphics look good,but that seem to be the biggest "new" strength of that game while the gameplay is actually worst then the one in heroes 3. - Why do you like it so much? aow is very similar to master of magic and that would be my favorite strategy from the past beside homm,so i was happy to find another game(or franchise) like that - In what exactlly lies the key are differences among the two series?biggest difference in my eyes is the stacks vs single unit concept,stacking system indeed cause some problems (beside the fact that graphical representation of the single unit and 1000 of those units is the same and they occupy same space in the battlefield)but i still like itone-hero per army difference does apply for all heroes beside h4,because heroes there participate in battle,can be killed and you can have more then one hero in army,so you have very good reason to have more then one strong hero ,so in this aspect h4 is actually closer to aow then the original homm concept - How it stands before HoMM (In each ways it is better, in what you think is worst)?i will agree with IskatuMesk here that they're entirely different games,so you cant say which one is "better" - I read that there is more varietty in AOW than in HoMM, how is that? as already mentioned,more races and therefore more different units,different damage types(fire,cold,death,holy..)with post effect(you can get cursed if attacked by unit with death strike)is also great example of variety in aow,more skills and spells,yes,but many of those are very similar in aow so i dont feel there is very big difference in that area - The problems I mentioned about HoMM (above), do AoW SM does any better than HoMM in those aspects? stupid ai is main reason why i prefer playing against human opponent so i dont see any difference here,you can learn how to defeat ai easily in both games,one way or another - should I get AoW SM or not? yes,playing it last few years after the disappointment with heroes 5 and i have alot of fun with it, but as you can see from my answers to your question,our opinions about homm are very different,so i cant tell if you should "trust" me :>"new" version of kings bounty is about to be released soon,so maybe you should check that one also"You cannot make a baby in a month with nine women." Elias_Maluco Member posted 04-18-08 10:53 AM EDT (US) 8 / 66 Hey all. Thanks for all the responses.You already convinced me to try it. im downloading it now, going to play it for a while and, if I really enjoy the experience, then Im going to buy it.And I know they are different games, but they dont seens too be so different that we cant compare both (after all, they are both fantasy turn-based strategy game with RPG elements and a focus on heroes).Just some comments on what been said:aow is very similar to master of magic and that would be my favorite strategy from the past beside homm,so i was happy to find another game(or franchise) like thatIm happy to know it, I played Master of Magic a lot too. And now that you said, I do remember, from the short time I played the game, that the combat in AoW seens indeed similar to Master of Magic. But what about diplomacy, trade, city building, etc? By the way, one of the things I dont like about HoMM is having no diplomacy at all. Does AoW has any?stupid ai is main reason why i prefer playing against human opponent so i dont see any difference here,you can learn how to defeat ai easily in both games,one way or anotherThats quite bad for me, since Im looking for a decent SP experience first. I really dont have time for MP, acutally. Although it seens like AoW SM has PBEM, which can be pretty cool.HoMM3's combat system never struck me as intricate or complicated, and it didn't have much room for strategy or tactics.Agreed.Now, the AI in HoMM5 on the hardest difficulty is still way too easy. I can crush it with half the number of units simply because I can cheese chain lightning and I am a superior tactician. Its money boost does little to give it any edge at all. I also really hate how they super-nerfed diplomacy because now it's considerably harder to build a giant legion of dragons before I've crushed the computer into a corner and the fun is taken out of it. The RMG also spawns very genuinely uninteresting maps while the terrain in 3 was considerably more interesting and immersive.Its is true that the AI sucks in combat, but still is not exactlly easy, at least for me, becouse of that problem I wrote before: I will usually take too much time building up and exploring and when I finally meet the enemy forces, the AI, using their cheating advantage on resoures, has build such titanic armies that I just cant win anymore. Perhaps I should just rush to then earlier, but I dont like to play like that.- If you lose one (heavy) battle, the game is NOT overHmm, not in HoMM too, although it can mean that you are going to take a lot more time to finish the map. RPGamer Member posted 04-18-08 11:08 AM EDT (US) 9 / 66 "Hmm, not in HoMM too, although it can mean that you are going to take a lot more time to finish the map."I dont think so.If you play against the computer opponent, then this might be true (in some games), but if you lose this fight against an human player, the game is lost in 90-95%.Greets,RPGamer IskatuMesk Member posted 04-18-08 01:09 PM EDT (US) 10 / 66 Perhaps I should just rush to then earlier, but I dont like to play like that.I never rush, but I never play on mapsize smaller than the largest, either. Elias_Maluco Member posted 04-18-08 05:01 PM EDT (US) 11 / 66 I never rush, but I never play on mapsize smaller than the largest, either.Im still playing the campaigns, actually. And that happes a lot to me: Im all happy building my cities, gathering resourses, mines, artifacts, building my heroes, my army, etc, thinking Im going very well. All of a sudden, an enemy hero appears, and he/she got an army of 3 times the size of mine. Then I usually hit restart cause I know Im doomed. TruePurple Member posted 04-18-08 05:22 PM EDT (US) 12 / 66 I have played HoMM 1-4 and own 1-3. I much prefer AoWsm.The biggest difference between HoMM (any) and AoW is stacking and unit creation/production & upkeep. Battles are much larger and more intricate.Some major differences.You build units individually. They do not stack (but can be stacked in one space up to 8, which merges and divides effortlessly) I much prefer that way myself.One can choose to build structures instead of units. Either way this takes time and may take more then 1 turn.(you can rush production, but this costs extra) Its a bit like civilization in this.Cities grow in population size & can be migrated to another race.Units cost upkeep, which is more on higher level creatures. Which sometimes means reason to dismiss creatures & reason to be careful about spamming them.Domain is a important factor in this game, it allows you to cast spells in a battle. Domain radiates from wizard tower cities as long as your wizard is in one of them. (wizard is you) Until you build up a super hero, domain is usually your heroes best asset (domain is around them when wizard is in tower)Its possible to simply defeat a player. Where HoMM requires you to control all cities for a week or what ever..In AoW you simply need to take all cities with wizard towers(you start with only 1, and finding a second thats not controlled by a opponent in RMG is rare) a opponent controls and kill their self representation unit called their wizard.(only 1, but it comes back after its killed if the opponent has a wizard tower)AoW allows up to 7 stacks of 8 units in a single battle. Which means very large battles. Unit postion & tactics is big.Tactical fights are much more complex then HoMM. Units moving their full movement in a turn can do less then units that move just a little bit.Units get 3 strikes (if they attack at nearly full movement) and 4 retaliation strikes(which drains their movement for next turns). Which means you can surround a enemy and make them unable to move next turn. But its not nearly as easy as it is in HoMM to drain retals. Unit formation can prevent such mostly, usually.One very interesting aspect of AoW is attacks of opportunities. If you move away from a unit thats not immobilized that unit can get one free melee strike on that unit (may still miss) Often used with taunt (which forces a unit to attack the taunter for 2 turns) After having taunted the unit, you surround it without attacking it. When it moves away from the units that surround it, each gets a attack of opportunity. You can't do this though if the unit has willpower. Also if the unit has range it might just shoot from where it is (unless its shot is completely blocked, which you can try to do)But AI is extremely dumb. I mostly just play multiplayer because of this.[This message has been edited by TruePurple (edited 04-18-2008 @ 05:37 PM).] bdpjap Member posted 04-18-08 08:29 PM EDT (US) 13 / 66 I have seen references in this thread to the game being available for cheap. I can't even find it available! I would love to purchase AOW2 and AOW:SM, but where can I find them, other than used on EBay for $30 US? Vantek Banned posted 04-19-08 11:46 AM EDT (US) 14 / 66 I love both HoMM and AoW series. I have HoMM 1, 2 and 3 with all the expansions and both AoW1 and AoWSM (but not Wizard's Throne).The first thing that comes to mind is that I was a kid when I played and loved HoMM2, HoMM3 and AoW1. These games have such a great nostalgia factor in them for me. I would not care half as much about them without it. But of course there wouldn't be nostalgia if they weren't good to begin with.The main keyword is probably artwork. All of these games have great music, graphics and atmosphere (each in their own style). I'm ambivalent towards the recent switch to full 3D and more natural colours. Sure, it certainly has a greatness factor to it. But so does pure 2D, and pure 2D is the one which gives me nostalgia. It's sad that it's now completely ignored. For me ALL these games have 10/10 graphics, really. Even some games from the early 90s have 10/10 graphics in my opinion. I couldn't care less about resolution or other technical details, what I care about is how it feels. And it feels just great.And then of course, the gameplay. I don't think I need to explain myself here. All of these games have good gameplay. Without doubt in AoWSM it is by far the best in my opinion - otherwise I wouldn't have dug this game much as it doesn't have nostalgia to it for me. The other games have significant flaws to their gameplay. Most notable is the huge luck factor, which is even okay in single-player, but very annoying in multiplayer, and still, like if you play one battle over several times, it can end up in an overwhelming defeat or an overwhelming victory. Dumb and exploitable AI is a common problem. HoMM 2 and 3 have serious balance problems (some towns are just hopeless), and also the maps often end up in absurd situations if you stay on them longer than intended (i.e 4000 Black Dragons in one stack... I remember I once had to face about 2000 Phoenixes, so I kept attacking the stack with a hero with *two* Champions (for Ultra Fast speed so I would get the first move) and Berserker spell, like this. Step 1: cast Berserker on first stack of Phoenixes Step 2: skip rest of the turn and watch the 1st stack of Phoenixes attack the 2nd stack with huge losses on both sides Step 3: retreat, rinse and repeat )But it's definitely the artwork that got me so hooked. Games with great gameplay but no atmosphere can come and go, even if I used to play them as a kid, but these games have this feel to them which makes each game special.As for the topic question, I far prefer the gameplay of AoWSM to that of HoMM3. Let's see why.I think the main thing is that HoMM3 is somehow... uh, jumpy or... inconsistent... I don't know how to word this. Like, the fate of the match is decided by certain rare key events (i.e huge battles as has already been pointed out), and what happens in the middle is pretty irrelevant. AoWSM is much smoother. Overall AoWSM has just much more strategic depth. Every little thing takes its place in the big picture. Tactical combat is a good example. In HoMM you have at most just your 7 stacks, there are in general just 3 types of units: land units, fliers, and shooters, and so it doesn't matter as much WHAT EXACTLY you do with them. In AoWSM you can have tens upon tens of separate units, and each one has special abilities and attributes that matter.HoMM3 has more balance problems than AoWSM as well. Certain units and even whole towns (Fortress, Stronghold) *just* suck, especially in lategame where high level creatures are all that matter. Due to the crudeness of tactical combat, units often aren't really different either (there's pretty much no difference between Black Dragons and Gold Dragons, or Champions and Dread Knights for an example, whereas in AoWSM some unit types are resistant or immune to either Black Dragons' or Gold Dragons' breath, and so on and so on). Also, HoMM3 has a far bigger luck factor, and it's too big to be to my liking. No matter how well you play, the result is decided largely by luck. AoW1 has the same problem by the way. The biggest such thing in HoMM3 is probably Diplomacy and recruiting random creatures. If you get lucky, you get a HUGE stack of creatures for FREE. There are many other things of course. In my opinion AoWSM has too much luck in it as well, but less so.[This message has been edited by Vantek (edited 04-19-2008 @ 12:22 PM).] IskatuMesk Member posted 04-19-08 12:20 PM EDT (US) 15 / 66 Im still playing the campaigns, actually. And that happes a lot to me: Im all happy building my cities, gathering resourses, mines, artifacts, building my heroes, my army, etc, thinking Im going very well. All of a sudden, an enemy hero appears, and he/she got an army of 3 times the size of mine. Then I usually hit restart cause I know Im doomed.I think in campaigns they start out with unit advantages as well. Moon Pine Member posted 04-20-08 03:48 AM EDT (US) 16 / 66 For me, I like the RTS games best, but of course those games are really not relaxing ( I can't even get a chance to get a glass of water before a game end )......AoW's both much more tactical and strategical than HoMM ( Just as the name, HoMM mainly focused on Hero ). In AoW, every unit can do something just by their own instead of following the heroes, and so I move the units just like in RTS game and It really needs some tactical consideration to form and split groups. The tech and economy system really calls some skill to balance out a empire - to build a new city, a unit or a structure is always a skillful choice.And also It's really trickly to detemine what to train - unlike the HoMM, I can mix a army myself instead, but in HoMM I can only hire the units at just the same proportion as they growed.For the battle style, I like the move order system ( instead of every unit move one time a turn, every unit has its own timer. ) and tactical mode ( I can change my formation before combat ) of HoMM V, counter-attack acts at same time when a unit attacked( HoMM IV. That's the only thing it got better than HoMM III ), but also the every other systems of AoW - the ranged-attack block system, unit attacks the passby enemy, muti-attack but the fewer attack chances the more a unit moved and so on. Those really make the combat much more tactical and skillful.Yeah, the graphics of AoW:SM is much worse than HoMM V.But, for me, gameplay >> graphics ^^Probably, the most two downside of AoW are:1. the romdon map generator's too stupid to generate balance maps and customed wizzard can't fit the scenario maps well.2. the AI's too stupid to play with, and it's only good for multiplayers game. Vantek Banned posted 04-20-08 01:49 PM EDT (US) 17 / 66 From the HoMM5 I've seen, I wouldn't touch that game with a 10 foot pole. IMO it's way uglier than HoMM1.[This message has been edited by Vantek (edited 04-20-2008 @ 01:52 PM).] PawelS Member posted 04-20-08 01:57 PM EDT (US) 18 / 66 I don't like some of the gfx in HoMM5 either (especially the headless Djinns), but otherwise it's quite an interesting game.A proud member of the Unofficial Patch team.Creator of the AoW1 Mod.[This message has been edited by PawelS (edited 04-20-2008 @ 01:58 PM).] Elias_Maluco Member posted 04-22-08 10:09 AM EDT (US) 19 / 66 Ive played som AoW SM through the weekend, and I liked it much. First of all, is really much more similar to Master of Magic than HoMM. Is pretty much Master of Magic with more focus on combat, and less on the empire building and management, and some elements of HoMM like games. That is good and bad to me: I like the faster pace and the more fun and varied combat, but I miss the depth of the empire management part and the great diplomacy system of MM.HoMM, at the other hand, is all about the combat (and preparing for it), and it is, indeed, a whole different creature. Is still pretty good on its own right. The combat system, while absurd, is extremelly fun (more than the AoW combat, IMHO). The rules are very simple, and are really unrealistic, but there is enough variety on the unit types (with all their different bonuses and special abilities) to allow quite a depth of strategy for a veteran player(a bit like chess: simple rules, complex game). Actually, I like HoMM combat better now that I played Aow for a few days: is just very, very fun.But of course, in AoW SM there is much more to do than in HoMM. Also, I really like the map not being littered with treasures and all types of buildings like