Ubisoft's Chris Early talks about making the next game in the legendary Might and Magic franchise and why this is one web-browser MMO you can't miss.
Heroes of Might and Magic, one of PC gaming's most beloved and respected franchises is getting outfitted for the modern era. We sat down with Ubisoft's vice president of digital publishing, Chris Early, to talk about Might and Magic: Heroes Kingdoms, the most ambitious browser-based MMO we've ever seen and successor to gaming's greatest turn-based strategy title.
Might and Magic: Heroes Kingdoms eschews the single-player, turn-based strategy of the past games for a game world that contains thousands of players and progresses in real-time. But the crucial elements that make the franchise legendary are still in place: recruiting heroes and mythical armies, clearing out land around your city, and eventually defeating rival heroes. Read on to see Chris Early discuss combat, real-time gameplay and conquering the world.
What is Might and Magic: Heroes Kingdoms?
Chris Early: Essentially, Might and Magic Heroes Kingdoms is a web-based strategy MMO. You may have played other games like it. Actually that's probably a great question for me to start with. What kind of gamer are you? What do you like to play?
ZAM: I actually really like the Heroes of Might and Magic franchise. It's one of my favorite franchises. I finished Heroes of Might and Magic 3 a couple of years ago. I love those games.
Early: Well then you'll certainly understand the lore from this. One of the things we heard from people, who had played the Might and Magic games, was that they wanted to play against other people or with other people. And that was tough unless you would "hot seat"[i.e. take turns playing] or you were on a local LAN, up until today.
So now this is essentially a massively multiplayer game where there're 3000 people that can come into a server. It's basically designed so you can play anywhere. You can play on your PC, you can play on your Mac, or you can play on your iPad, letting you take your turn with you wherever you go.
Early: The game is set in the Heroes universe, the Might and Magic universe, as you know. And the stories are relevant to the factions that are there. And even though this is a massively multiplayer online game, it is set in six month seasons. So the game will have a six month story arc.
During the course of the six months there's a midgame where you'll see some more cut scenes and video story advancement, and towards the end of the game there's more.
Building Cities and Growing Your Power
Early: This is the way you start off in your particular region. Your city is in the center, there're some mines that produce resources around and everything is all overgrown with monsters and forests and things like that.
You essentially begin the game in a player vs. environment mode where you have to clear out your mines and clear out the area around your city so you can begin to develop it. What this does for you is that it begins to give your heroes some experience so that you can level up your hero and that's where the role playing aspect begins to come in. [You] decide what skills your particular heroes are going to have.
Early: Each hero has some basic skills. They have attack, defense or magic. Once you hire the hero, the hero can have certain professions. Each hero can have three professions and there are sub-professions. Wearing items increases the hero's capabilities as well. You find items either by clearing out your land or by beating them out of your opponents [laughs] and taking it from them.
Those professions are important because they really allow you to customize each hero to your liking. There are thirteen professions available. So the fact that I know you have a hero doesn't mean much of anything because I don't know what the capabilities of that hero are.
It could be that your hero is completely specialized in all economic related professions that allow you to harvest resources better or have better interactions at the marketplace. It could be that your hero specializes in combat. Or they could be specialized in magic.