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Hey, all of you who have been posting about MM7 lately, I'm blaming you for wasting tons of my time!
I just thought "I have a bit of time, let's have a look if MM7 is any good"... then I found that there was a special "spring sale" at GOG... and then I paid something like 2.8 Euros for MM7 + MM8 and installed them... Then I told myself: "I'll just look how it starts", so now I'm 20-30 hours inside.
Anyway, I thought I would be missing stuff from MM6, but instead I found lots of things I like more than how it was in MM6. I especially like that
*) It's not "player versus monsters" anymore and there are guards that actually guard things (as Rubicon mentioned). I played MM6 a lot as a kid (and since I didn't know any English, I was just running around New Sorpigal and Ironfist, never getting anywhere). I remember that some goblins went after me into the town and I battled them on the street. Then one of the higher goblins shot a flame bolt at me, and it hit a peasant that was standing in the way. Result? All peasants started to hate ME and stormed me with their knives! (if I still recall it well) However, in Tatalia, I ra n into the town with a troll in pursuit. A peasant crossed the troll's way, the troll killed him with one bash, and then an archer came up and started shooting at the troll. Marvelous!
*) Many castles and residences are actual "dungeons" with guards and so on. (Too bad I'm not allowed to go pretty much anywhere except the throne room in there.) And I even got one of the "stealing" missions (lift a vase from Lord Markham for Bill Lasker), so now I'm wondering if there's any way except murdering everyone in the house or using an invisibility spell/maybe potion/whatever...
*) I can play Arcomage!
*) I can steal in shops and from peasants now! (I run the standard party, so I have a Thief. I got Expert Stealing and some more stealing stuff, so now my stealing should be at 18. I haven't had much success with stealing before, but now I will have to try again. It would be a shame if it turned out to be a junk skill.)
*) I also like that the start is much "slower" than in MM6 and that every coin counts. So when I needed better weapons that the initial trash, some good armor so that I'm not hit all the time, some spells, also train a couple of skills for everyone... and I could get only one of these, it made some interesting decisions. And now I'm still in need of lowering my abysmally large recovery times.
*) Maybe there's a bit more "roleplaying" involved, too. When everybody is obviously making the equation "Lords of Harmondale" = "complete idiots who will get themselves killed soon", I actually felt grateful to some peasant who told me that he was glad that I was in charge of things. (Yeah, I know that I just got a particular random dialog. But I was still feeling grateful.)
I'm going blind, only with little outside help (I just remember something from the reading I did to see whether I want to play it; and I also used a hint from Flamestryke's MM7 website twice (first, I couldn't find an instrument on the Emerald Island, then I somehow wasn't able to find Bandit Caves, though I must have walked just on the top of the entrance like 10 times)) and I reload pretty much only on party death, so it's going slow and I've been doing some suboptimal things, but I'm really having a blast.
On the Emerald Isle, I accepted the wand from Mr. Malwick (yeah, I know I shouldn't have, but I went for it to make things more interesting), and didn't kill the dragon (I guess I could do it if I ran in circles for half an hour, but I was in no mood for that). I cleared Harmondale (pretty much everything in there) — and I must say that the wand of fireballs helped much. On top of that, I was taking coaches everywhere I could, exploring the new towns (and eventually playing Arcomage), so I wasted quite a lot of time. After clearing Harmondale and some roaming around, I cleared the bandits from Erathia, obtained a couple of expert trainings and started poking my nose into Barrow Downs.
Simultaneously with that, I started poking my nose into Deyja too. (So now I'm pretty much confused about what actually lives in there, if anything. Goblins? Harpies? Necromancers?) After some unhelpful accidents (Harpies obliterating the party because the party cannot scale arbitrary slopes anymore... I slid right into them and couldn't get away...), I was able to clear the mainland of Harpies and corpses. I even entered Watchtower 6 (and left it after ~ 5 seconds, when two necromancers summoned ghosts and shot me with a poisonous cloud).
The only thing that's a bit annoying are those ridiculous traps on everything. I now can exactly relate to what you were talking about a month ago. I cleared up the haunted house in Barrow Downs, but I touched only one cabinet (which blew everyone except my knight into oblivion, and it was empty! Grr.) I have Master Disarm at 7 and they're still blowing me up. I'll have to do that Rubicon's burglar trick. (P. S.: The MM6 helpbook says that he will silently pocket 20% of what you find, so that's a possible answer to the month old question.)
So: I know that you all know this far better than me, but maybe you will take some interest in reading about my first steps in this game (which seems to be very good from where I am now). And now I'll be off to the Barrows (I like the idea of interconnected little dungeons), or maybe Bracada (I love how the lazy sorcerers built teleporters from everywhere to everywhere else . The only problem is that I wasn't able to locate the teleporter to Celeste that's supposed to be somewhere in there — so that one is waiting for me too).
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