- Fanstratics Troop: Cultist.
- Cultists have chosen to compromise their humanity for short-term arcane empowerment. This self-destructive path of darkness and corruption gives them exceptional arcane skills, and the ability to assault Enemy Troop Divisions from a distance. Utilizing an 'arcane heart', pulled from their own bodies, the assault from Cultists may cause Enemy Troops to explosively 'combust' and injure other nearby Enemy Troops. Additionally, upon death, Cultists themselves will occasionally 'combust', creating an explosive effect harming nearby Enemy Troop Divisions. This unique trait not only makes Cultists risky to assault in hand-to-hand melee combat, but it also makes them a tempting target to sacrifice for tactical advantage. Less distinct Troops are actually more difficult to conceptualize than say... a Minotaur or Medusa. For this Troop, after the initial round of thumbnails, I basically crossed my fingers and put my faith in Justin. Once again, he came through. :-)
- Fanstratics Question: I always enjoyed how all the non-human species (such as minotaur, lizardmen, goblins and so on) were part of some societies one way or another in the RPG series and in HoMM3-4. Like in MM8 you could see minotaur and trolls included in other societies such as dark elves (and dark elves in MM didn't hit the stereotypical "elf but evil" concept), in HoMM3 and HoMM4 you could see different species take up positions of heroes and some of them were equals. Like say the same minotaur heroes in HoMM3 who coexisted with the warlocks of the Dungeon town, how human coexisted with lizardmen and Gnolls. It seems to be unique enough and nowadays I don't see anything similar being done nowadays with fantasy. Like Ubisoft more or less gave up on this and this is one of the aspects that made Might and Magic really unique for me. Different creature species acting like people and being accepted as such to an extent. Heck, you could even see the undead function as a society in MM8 with their own ambitions and passions that wasn't just being an evil necromancer (the lich who just really wanted to adventure comes to mind). Will there be similar concepts in Fanstratics?
- The short answer is ‘Yes’. Might and Magic had a tradition of integrating ‘creatures’ into a broader society, but I personally don’t know the reasoning behind it. As for Fanstratics (FST), I can tell you this concept will be prevalent. When it comes to my primary fantasy foundations, I reference Dungeons & Dragons, The Hobbit, and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Of these three, for myself, The Lion, the Witch and Wardrobe is arguably the most influential. Within Narnia, animals and fantasy creatures talk, have personality, and cultural allegiances. I like this and it is one of the reasons why FST is leaning into anthropomorphic Troops. Within FST, as it is conceptualized, it makes logical sense for men, beasts, and man-beasts to all be physically, intellectually, and culturally competitive.
- HoMM3 Question: I always enjoyed how the interface was clear - of course skeuomorphic design was current standard then, but HoMM managed to separate itself from looking like a business program (it's something at Sierra games (like Pharaoh or Caesar 3) failed a bit with their "File..." bar at the top). The adventure map was magically coherent and usable - I say magically because it is immediately, or almost immediately which parts are interactable (there are few non-obvious skeletons or something but those are exceptions) and yet everything was fluidly fitting with each other without using artificial highlights etc. Variety of content - both in maps with a lot of detail and unique shapes to never look like glued from prefabs (it blew my small child brain when I ran the map editor for the first time and realized that in fact, yes, there was a finite amount of forest sprites etc.) but also in the cities and unit rosters - 7 cities and each very different with look and feel - unthinkable in this day and age.
- A logical interface, via either the UI or Map Elements, is not easy to create. Most people simply do not see it.
- HoMM3 Recollection: Minimum Wage Slave