Might and Magic Heroes Online Announced as a Free-to-Play Browser Title, Preview

15 Aug 2012

I haven't had the chance to get my hands on a press release just yet, but going from this Polygon article and the launch of an official website, I can safely say that Ubisoft has announced Might and Magic Heroes Online, what looks to be a free-to-play browser take on the Heroes of Might and Magic formula. Here are some scant details, thanks to Polygon:
As developed by Blue Byte studios, Might & Magic Heroes Online will allow users to explore the world and provinces of Ashan as they would in the boxed titles.

The title is designed using Flash 11, and will feature classical strategy and role-playing game elements as seen previously in the series.

And while PC Gamer is offering an early preview, they erroneously call it "Heroes of Might and Magic Online", which is a different title. Either way, here's a snippet:
Getting into a battle saw something that old HOMMheads are going to like – the return of the hex-based battle maps. To counter this sop to traditionalism, however, the battles have been changed to nerf ranged units a little – rather than having effectively infinite weapon range within the battles limited arena, they are now more limited in how far they can fire. Similarly, for melee combat, facing and flanking are now very important. Get around behind someone’s monsters and that unit takes a lot of extra damage. This was a move, Apreotesei assured us as we shook loose dead, scabrous flakes of foul-smelling skin, to ensure that the skill ceiling was raised from earlier HOMM games.

Otherwise, it’s the usual HOMM battle: your hero stands outside of the action, firing spells and helping the army as much as he can. Our Lich had an army comprised mainly of other liches, vampire lords, ghouls, and death hounds, but, as is traditional in HOMM, he can pick up other troops from buildings and enemies he comes across. Apreotesei assured us that the classic HOMM design flaw – where losing men early in a campaign meant you would be unable to complete it without a total restart – wasn’t going to be a problem this time around.