I will gladly hand over a half of the kingdom and my cat’s pawn to anyone who has not heard or played Heroes Might of Magic III: The Restoration of Erathia, Armagedon Blade or The Shadow of Death. Okay, it was a joke, but I assume that most of you probably have had contact with this game and its additions in a greater or lesser extent. For me, the adventure with HoMM3 began quite innocently. First one hour, then the second ... and finally it turned out that it is already morning and you have to get up for school, and over the years to work. Yes, sleepless nights are the hallmarks of this game. It draws and delights with the climate as hardly anything, and for unknown reasons, you come back to it after many years with the same joy and enthusiasm.
Although this turn-based strategy game has its glory years behind (1999), not so long ago (2011) a mod called Horn of the Abyss came out. Honestly, I'm not a fan of unofficial additions, but here we get a really good job done by fans. The project was in the Russians’ hands, who not only fixed the tiresome bugs from earlier versions of HoMM3, but also added many new things.
At this point I have a confession to make. Some of us probably had a milestone, a moment in his/her life when ordinary interest in something turned into a hobby. The Heroes of Might and Magic III was exactly such an indicator, which permanently opened to me a world full of fantasy, battle and strategy games, and books. If you're curious about who took the second place in my game ranking, be sure to check out my blog in the future. There will be a post about it. Interestingly, I have to admit that the game, which placed second, owes this position to my older brother. I am pretty sure that he didn’t even know that his actions were the reason of my fascination with strategic games from Blizzard's stable.
This post opens the brand new pirate series entries. Okay, now let's get back to the topic. The Horn of the Abyss introduced a new castle to the continent
of Antragarich. Not just any castle, a one which perfectly falls into a pirate climate, and is named as
Cave. I approached it quite skeptically at first. The concepts circulating on the web were too
inconsistent with the original graphics of the main game. However, as time passes, it turned out that
the mod fits perfectly into the atmosphere of good, old Heroes 3. Over the years with the hours
spent and scenarios played, it also became one of my favorite castles. A great input into this course
of events has also Dreadfleet and the Black Sails series (2014-2017).
The new castle means new heroes, items and locations. We can choose between commanders
specializing in attack, so-called Captains, and Navigators who wield magic. Of course, there couldn’t
miss characters specialized in sailing who works especially well on the maps rich in water. They even
get bonuses for movement when using a ship. Among the monsters available in our army, you can
find Sea Serpents, Nix or Oceanids, which are similar to Sprites from Conflux. The Cave has strong
shooting units - Pirates, which can be upgraded to level 3! In addition, enemies can be affected by
Weakness and Disrupting Ray thanks to Sea Witches and her upgraded version – Enchantress, who
cast spells during shooting attacks. Of the flying creatures, we have Ayssids, which makes up their
small number of health points with wide attack range and movement.
However, what personally impressed me was the great music and sound effects that perfectly match
the pirate stories. Along with the player's new castle, we receives magical artifacts, such as the
Crown of The Five Seas, Royal Armor of Nix or the Trident of Dominion, which looks like the weapon
of the sea king - Poseidon. Mentioned items as well as other items in the mod can be combined into
sets that give us even greater bonuses for stats. There is also a new campaign, and believe me - it is
not easy to go through. The creators really had set the bar high for players.
At the beginning, I mentioned about fixing bugs in Homm3. For me, these “patches” really made the
game more enjoyable and interesting. One of the most important is changing the skill of Magic
Resistance, which instead of reflecting the spell, reduces the power of the enemy hero. It means that
the damage strength or duration of the spell is approximately less and shorter. Another brilliant thing
is to introduce a spell exchange in the Mages Guild. You can buy for certain amount of goods a new
spell, which replace one that you don’t want to have. An interesting thing is also the bad luck effect,
which reduces the damage dealt by the opponent. Next is the introduction of new map sizes H - huge
(180x180 fields) and Extra Huge (216x216 fields). The spells such as Fly and Dimension Door no
longer allows you to take over the artifact without fighting the monsters guarding it. In addition,
while discovering our kingdom, we can come across the Hermit’s Shack, where we'll raise the
secondary skill of the hero once, or the Gazebo, where we get 2,000. experience, as well as Mineral
Spring, which gives us 600 movement points until the end of the day. In fact, the creators added a lot
of objects on the map, including the monsters’ lairs, where we can fight different creatures and gain
experience, gold or even artifacts. A very interesting thing is warehouses situated in maps, which give
the visiting hero a certain number of resources at the beginning of the week.
I could write a lot about Horn of the Abyss. It's a bit like a never-ending story. One thing is certain,
the game despite its years is still popular, as evidenced by the Polish Championships played and an
extensive multiplayer, which in the original version was not entirely refined. Now we have not only a
stable connection and the ability to play with people from all over the world, but also we can save
our game and participate in league and ranked matches.
If you have a free evening or weekend, I invite you to familiarize yourself with this mod for Heroes of
Might and Magic 3. You must have the HoMM3 Complete edition to instal HotA. Finally, the most important thing – The Horn of the Abyss is free and can be downloaded from the Internet.