What We Know, As We Find It Out
Currently Heroes 4 is scheduled for a release sometime in the vicinity of September '01. We recently learned that H4 will contain only 6 towns, down from the 9 of H3, but each town will be able to be built up in many different ways. Although no real town rosters have been released as of yet, here's what we know about the six towns so far:
The Academy: The first new town, the Academy looks to be a neutral magic town, probably the descendant of the Tower with some Castle and Conflux thrown in. From a screenshot released by 3DO we can guess that one of their units will be Genies.
The Haven: This town looks to be the direct offspring of the Castle. Just from the screenshot, this town resembles the Castle in many ways, right down to the Tudor buildings.
The Asylum: We know less about the creatures of town than any other, although more screenshots have been released of it than the other towns. 3DO made some comment in a description about "chaos magic", and different screenshots have shown this town in different settings, including desert, grassland, and snow.
The Preserve: I haven't heard much of anything about this town yet, but from the screenshots one must assume it's the son of the Rampart.
Also returning in H4 are the Stronghold and the Necropolis. I suppose it's safe to assume that there will be some similarities between them and their H3 counterparts, but also many differences. Some rumors have suggested that the Nightmare, a type of hell-horse from the popular Magic: The Gathering card game will be present, and it has been sighted in some screenshots.
Other new features in Heroes 4 include 3D combat and different skills. We'll keep you posted as news is released!
New as of 7/19! --
Not too much new information has been released so far. Here's a few tidbits from what we've learned.
The Magic System has been completely revamped. Instead of the four elements of magic, there are now six "themes" or "schools" so to speak, which are Life, Nature, Chaos, Death, and Order, extremely similar to the system of the Magic: The Gathering card game. These schools each correspond with a town type, the Haven, the Preserve, the Asylum, the Necropolis, and the Academy, respectively. The sixth town, the Stronghold, will not contain magic but will get significant might bonuses.
There are approximately 12 new creatures in the overall mix, which will consist of about sixty. Although this number is significantly smaller, 3D0 seems happy with it because each creature will be substanstially different.
Although originally Heroes 4 was to take place in a land called Jadame, that name has been scrapped in favor of the more evil sounding and overall better name Axeoth. Kudos to 3DO for replacing a lousy name, although couldn't we just have not destroyed Erathia in the first place? If it ain't broken, don't fix it.
That's about it for now. More news as we find it.
Our new Screenshots page is now up!
We picked the best new Heroes 4 screenshots and posted them up for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!
Heroes 4 Town Screenshots
Other Screenshots (Combat/Adventure Map)
Thanks to Dungeons Keeper and Celestial Heavens Unleahed for this information and these screenshots.