Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Heroes of Might & Magic 3 is Ruining My (Gaming) Life

It all started one fateful evening when the bf pointed out that to get time to spend together just the two of us, we'd probably have to schedule it because having two little kids just saps the life force out of you and when the evening comes we're too brain dead to think of anything and just end up playing separate games. Said and done, we decided that two evenings every week we'd try to do something together, like watch a movie or play video/board games. When our first scheduled evening arrived we were juggling a few ideas. Sega Mega Drive collection on the Switch? The Amazing Labyrinth board game? Vampire Hunter D movie?

I am still waiting for the full 3D HD remake.

I don't remember who first suggested it, it was probably me, but one of us threw out Heroes of Might and Magic 3. Why not? We both love it and we knew we were going to have a good time. A great way to start off the evening. You'd think after hundreds of hours of playing HoMM3 in the past, we should've known better…

We played all evening. The bf, who has to get up at 5 am for work, said it was time to wrap it up. He needed to go to bed. But there it was. Something happened. Just another turn. And then, just one more turn. An extra 30 minutes after we had said we definitely needed to stop playing, we finally managed to pull ourselves away.

The day after was a regular evening. Meaning we hadn't planned to play HoMM3, and had instead in fact plans to do other things. Play other games, read, watch things, write. But come evening, kids in bed, we looked at each other and said: "HoMM3?". There was only a moments hesitation, a quick thought to the things I had actually wanted to do that evening before we both agreed - let's play HoMM3. After all, we were right at the moment of winning, weren't we? And after that, we could go back to business as usual.

This guy hasn't picked up anything!

That entire evening went, and again it took us a lot more time to turn the game off than it should've. If we thought we were close to winning, we were at least a couple of hours wrong. But then it was so easy to get sidetracked. Instead of heading straight for the enemy castle, you see a resource you want or an artifact you know will make the fight a bit easier. Or maybe I should just head back and top up my troops, make sure I really kick the enemies behind real hard. How sure am I after all that 5 Black Dragons will be enough? And I just need a little bit more money to get that Portal of Glory.

The evening after that we again thought that we for sure were close to winning, so we decided to just get that done quickly and then move on to whatever we actually had planned, play all the other games we also wanted to play. We did actually finish the game that evening, but not before we yet again had to play just a little bit longer than we really should have.

After that we both decided that playing HoMM3 was probably not a good idea. Clearly we couldn't handle it and we should stay away from it. There were plenty of other games out there for us to play together.

On our next planned evening together we look at each other and said "well you know, if we just play this when we're supposed to, and turn it off when we're supposed to, then there is no problem, right?". Right. But this is HoMM3. You don't just stop playing HoMM3 whenever.

What were those wood elves thinking?

We had a repeat of the first session and realized that no, we really can't handle HoMM3. It's just too much fun, it's just too addictive. The reward-feedback is perfectly balanced to make you just want to play a little bit more, in a way I have not encountered in any other game. There is always something you need to do, something more to explore. A creature to build or a resource to gather. There is no lull in the pace for you to think "oh here is a good time to take a break". It's greatness can not be understood until it has been experienced, text and pictures does not do it justice.

The other day we were yet again pondering what to play that evening and yet again HoMM3 was mentioned. Yet again the argument of "we'll just turn it off when we should now". But this time we know, there is just no way to play HoMM3 moderately and we managed to stay away from it. For now.

Maybe we should play World of Warcraft together instead?


  1. Heh. I think you described my reaction to the Sid Meier Civ games to a "T".

    1. I guess most of us have that weak spot game. We're still trying to stay away from HoMM3, but it's hard.