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Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Heroes Of Might And Magic III: Horn Of The Abyss (Mod)

Heroes Of Might And Magic III: Horn Of The Abyss (HoTa) is a brilliant fan-made modification "from Russia with love"; on the conceptual level aiming to be rather "an unofficial expansion" for Homm III than "a mod", being a direct spiritual sequel for the "Shadow Of Death expansion". Horn Of The Abyss brings many new smaller yet clever upgrades and details to Homm III, re-balancing it, improving the game-interface, and adding many small things and tweaks to it; on similar depth-level than previous official expansions of Homm III did at the time of their release. The mod (or "an unofficial expansion", however you may call it) makes Homm III a better game; pure and simple. It's an excellent alternative choice for In The Wake Of Gods modification, being the most appealing for those who don't want to chance the core-gameplay of Homm III much, but rather keep the changes very moderate. It's designed and built upon Homm III: Shadow Of Death (or Complete) version of the game (get it from GOG), thus this version is required in order for the mod to work.

Download Homm III: Horn Of The Abyss  at Heroes Community forums (latest).

HoTa will offer new gameplay enhancements by extending the old ones very strictly in the spirit of vanilla Homm III, and thus it feels almost as an add-on, though it may technically be "a mod". Such enhancements would be e.g. small balance fixes for different races (both combat functionality and statistical, for example: Magogs and Liches can shoot their AOE attack now at any hex field they want), and several small interface upgrades to the game making it work more efficiently and fluently without changing core rules of the original game at all (e.g. showing the actual numerical value range of min-max amount of units inside neutral monster stacks / garrisons on the adventure map in addition to the regular "lots", "pack", or showing duration of current active spells in combat on the creature information screen; small things like that which are very helpful). The "bad luck" now works accordingly, and neutral creature dwellings on the adventure map gather up creatures weekly, until someone empties them (so if a neutral dwelling produced 7 units / week, then after two weeks there would be 14, unless someone recruited or bought them); no more constant weekly running through the neutral creature dwellings, yet discovering one that hasn't been emptied for a long while is very rewarding. Just the few examples to mention.

Horn Of The Abyss does add some new objects, artifacts, and adventure map locations to visit in the game (e.g. bringing back Mansion, Red Tower, Ivory Tower, Graveyard, and Black Tower from Homm II; locations where you can have unique fight challenges to gain armies, resources, or artifacts). The mod also adds a whole new town to play with called "Cove" (a pirate themed town); a fantastic and very interesting town which fits to the game world and it's lore as if it was made by the original developers; it truly feels like an official add-on. The theme and creatures of the "Cove" remind a lot of Might And Magic VI-VIII cRPG game series' pirate and island-themed monsters! The mod also features two (2) new campaigns called "Under The Jolly Roger" and "Terror Of The Seas", plus something around thirty (30) new HoTa version designed single maps. It also supports three map-sizes bigger than regular XL-sized vanilla Homm III maps, and they're called "Huge", "XHuge" and "Giant". Horn Of The Abyss is finally also available in English!

Horn Of The Abyss does work with maps of the older official Homm III versions, so you can go and grab an old custom map, and start playing it with HoTa. We here at Griffin Tower, at least, didn't have any problems so far; but had a blast playing some of the sea maps with "Cove" town, such as our own "Adventure Islands".

HoTa won't work if stacked with any other Homm III mod which alters the original game (e.g. "In The Wake Of Gods" (WoG)), if both are applied under the same game installation; thus you should have a separate Homm III installation with HoTa installed on it's root; and the separate installation of Homm III for any other mod applied to it (or for the vanilla version just to be on the safe side). Exception to the rule is "HoMM3 HD Mod", which works with Hota (link on the end of the post).

(a new pirate-themed town added with Hota mod called "Cove")

One would see the Horn Of The Abyss as a direct unofficial sequel for the "Shadow Of Death expansion", bringing a lot of small useful updates (mostly interface) and balance fixes in the game, plus new campaigns, maps, and one new brilliant town to play. No grandly major changes, but a lot of fine additions, which do not break the original vanilla version's spirit by any means. One can clearly see that the developers of this mod love original Homm III a lot, and also possess a great knowledge concerning the game and it's original balance. highly, highly recommends to try Horn Of The Abyss out, if you haven't already! If In The Wake Of Gods (a great Homm III mod on it's own right) is something which you consider too game-changing, then you absolutely must give Horn Of The Abyss a go, because even if you were a purist with not wanting to break the original spirit of vanilla Homm III, like us, there's a still great chance that you'll fall in love with this one. Horn Of The Abyss may well become your "new standard" for vanilla Homm III; it just feels such a perfect add-on/expansion to the Shadow Of Death version of the game, that you hardly even think of it being "unofficial".

"Horn Of The Abyss does what Jagged Alliance 2 1.13 mod did for the original JA2 (our favorite mod of all times). A must to try for any vanilla Homm III purist!"

See full list of changes and updates the mod brings, and learn more about it at here (the official HoTa-forum).

We highly recommend that you stack Horn Of The Abyss with this screen resolution modification:
Heroes Of Might And Magic III: HoMM3 HD Mod v. 4.0 RC33

(creatures of Cove town)

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