I love MM7 just as much as MM6. Were it not for the fact, that I played MM6 before MM7, I might just have said that MM7 is slightly better. I have very good memories from playing MM6 the first time, so I can't help but getting quite a bit nostalgic.
I finished MM6 the first time in what must have been around autumn 1999 without any online help/guiding - I was introduced to the game by a room mate of my big brother - prior to that I had played H3 in hotseat mode every time my brother and I spent time together at his place - it really brought me much closer to him. (We are seven years apart.) Mid '99 I got my first real computer (the one that I had before that could only be used for school work (WordPerfect) or antique dos games run from disks (Battle Chess)).
I can clearly remember, how I played MM6 almost non-stop in my dorm room after that. While playing the game I learnt that MM7 had been released, so I knew that my endgame would be another game of almost the same proportions - oh joy, oh joy!
And I did not feel the least bit dissatisfied - I felt it was a nice touch to have the game make you choose side more than once. In MM6 it might seem a bit strange that a saintly team is able to cast Armageddon or a notorious team is able to cast Divine Intervention.
What I really like about MM7 over MM6 are the facts:
- That guards actually guard places - cities and castles. That they can be friendly one moment and then a moment after be hostile - I have had lots of fun with that.
- That the music is so atmospheric and emotional - I really love the Deyja theme. Yes, the music was also great in MM6, but in a slightly different way. Same thing with music in Heroes - I really like the music from H3, but somehow I like the music from H5 better. On a side note to that, I ought to mention, that EverQuest also contains some great themes of Rob King & Paul Romero, that anyone if slightly interested in their works should try to acquire. I haven't played EQ, but the musical score seems great - there is only a few recycled tracks in EQ compared to the realm of MM.
- That crappy items actually look like crap. In MM6 items were so polished it made even crappy items look great. It makes the journey from wimp/poor to overpowered/rich very visual.
- That it introduces the game of ArcoMage inside taverns. A nice break in a busy streak of killing and adventuring.
- That you got to choose from different races when setting up your party.
- That the characters are much more talkative for better or worse. It makes them much more alive and fun to play with.
- That it was tough work reaching both Nighon and Eofol. I like a good challenge and the least bit of shortcuts being present.
- That the skill Alchemy got restricted and reworked, so that it improved its potency according to the progress of the party. Being able to make black potions that allowed for an easy HP or SP refill of hundreds of points - something that you really couldn't find/buy at stores.
Of course I dislike:
- That you couldn't return to Emerald Island. Or get to Vori or Krewlod for that matter.
- That the overall smaller dungeons made the game shorter.
- That I feel less inclined to play with a Ranger, Theif or Monk because of their shortcomings. They can spice up a team one at a time, but I'd never take on all three at the same time in any combination with the rest of the classes.
- That spells look like fireworks instead of lethal spells.