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  1. #1

    The HoMM5 Content Combo Pack - from Good to Great in a single 490MB download

    UPDATE: New download link! Fully updated and now with Mediafire!

    I'm crossposting this from the Something Awful forums, because it'll probably help somebody:

    HoMM5: Tribes of The East content pack. Includes everything from the previous two releases, plus a genuinely exceptional fan-patch.

    Got HoMM5: ToTE in the Steam sale? If not, get it from Steam here. It's still pretty cheap. Then unzip the content pack to your game directory. Just dump all the stuff in there - don't worry, it won't overwrite anything. Read the readme file if needs be, but I highly recommend you run the new EXE file (H5_AIadv_31f.exe) instead of the default HOMM5.exe. Just create a new shortcut for yourself and enjoy.

    What is this pack? Well, it includes all the content from the previous two HoMM5 releases, and the very latest fan-patch release which fixes bugs, optimizes things a ton (so your CPU won't weep on larger maps - the original release could bring even godlike PCs to their knees), and makes enemy AI a bit cleverer in general and more customizable. One key thing is that the earlier campaigns now take advantage of the new features added in Tribes of The East such as caravans, which makes managing large empires infinitely less tedious and frustrating.

    It adds up to a ridiculously huge and very polished game. 13 campaigns, 19 standalone scenarios, and a boatload of multiplayer maps that can be played against bots as well. There's a random map generator, a mission editor, and plenty of community-made maps and scenarios out there too. Game owns. A lot. Totally worth the money, even with HoMM6 on the horizon.

    And just to reiterate, you ONLY need to buy Tribes of The East. Not any of the previous games. The campaign ports were done with Ubisofts blessings, and I provide links to the appropriate pages in the readme. They basically let the community do this because the expansions were standalone releases, so they abandoned support for earlier games before long.
    Last edited by Dominic Tarason; 14-06-2012 at 06:07 PM.

  2. #2
    Lesser Hivemind Node Flint's Avatar
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    Thanks for this! Or, well, thanks for the first time you posted this on one of the main page comments threads. Great little thing this! (although I haven't really been playing with the fan patch'd .exe, seeing as the AI is already a formidable opponent for my lousy skills I'm afraid to see it being even more clever)
    Give me steam and how you feel to make it real.

  3. #3
    I've updated it a bit since I posted it in that comment thread the other day. Now has the latest patch.

    And trust me, the fan-patch is the way to go. The AI largely just sits around and does nothing without it. It literally had trouble navigating its way across the map, even without oceans to worry about, before the fans started tuning it. Just use the lower difficulties if you need to.

    The main perk from the fan-patch is that it won't cause your CPU to break down and cry when you play on a Large or bigger map.

  4. #4
    Lesser Hivemind Node Flint's Avatar
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    I suppose I've been playing the fan-patch version without knowing then because the AI's been quite the expert at navigating the map and being a pain in the arse, even when only playing in normal! I guess I'll have to just man up and play on easy, I'm a bit of a wuss with HOMM and enjoy it more when it's less challenging (which tends to explain why I mainly play single scenarios instead of the campaigns, which tend to go insane in the later missions).
    Give me steam and how you feel to make it real.

  5. #5
    Ooooh, will be trying this.

    I got the whole pack for $5, and it kind of bugged me that some of the better features of TotE weren't usable in the original campaigns.
    Hopefully nothing breaks horribly (though I'm guessing they've had plenty of time to iron out bugs and scripting issues).

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by mcnostril View Post
    Hopefully nothing breaks horribly (though I'm guessing they've had plenty of time to iron out bugs and scripting issues).
    Interestingly, the most recent version of the fan-patch actually fixes a couple of scripting bits that were broken in the official 3.1 patch, so it should be the best HoMM5 has ever been.

  7. #7
    Cool. I got it in the STEAM sale too. Will have to give this a go. Right after I play some Dark Messiah :)

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Squiz's Avatar
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    Damn, I missed it. Here is hoping that the packages will be on sale at the last day once more... I remember the last summer (or winter-?) sale having that kind of thing.

  9. #9
    As an aside, one of the cooler things about the campaign ports is that they highlight that the expansions weren't really meant to be standalones. With this pack installed, the whole thing appears in the Campaign menu all as one, with interface buttons to switch between the three releases. They just appear naturally as official campaign expansions.

    While HoMM6 is looking pretty fancy now, I honestly don't think it can live up to what HoMM5 is now, especially as the community are really building up to big things for this fan-patch. Next key feature to be added is the Hall of Decision - a stalemate-breaking 'last man standing' arena that all the highest-level heroes are taken to at the end of the scenario time limit, and after that they're going to start work on a new 'fair' campaign that has both human and AI factions on equal footing.

  10. #10
    Activated Node BathroomCitizen's Avatar
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    Just out of curiosity, was the fan patch made by the Something Awful forum guys? 'Cause I tried to search for this patch on sites like Celestial Heavens and Age of Heroes but I couldn't find it in those websites.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by BathroomCitizen View Post
    Just out of curiosity, was the fan patch made by the Something Awful forum guys? 'Cause I tried to search for this patch on sites like Celestial Heavens and Age of Heroes but I couldn't find it in those websites.
    It's definitely a Celestial Heavens project, and... son of a bitch, they just released ANOTHER build in the past couple of hours, apparently fixing more bugs! I won't be updating the pack - just grab the latest build from here and do it yourself: http://www.bonddisc.com/ref/h5/

    (The link is also in the readme I included)

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    I've had the campaign stuff installed for some time, but was completely unaware of the fan patch. Regardless, this compilation piece is far more convenient than all the individual downloads involved in getting the campaigns, their cinematics and sound files, the multiplayer maps, and the single player scenarios all in their right places and orders.

  13. #13
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    Wow thanks for the heads up. Appreciate tips like this.

  14. #14
    Activated Node Pijama's Avatar
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    I played the vanilla game, but I have absolutely no idea of what the xpacks added or what the mods put in - would anyone be kind enough to give a short summary of what changed? I understand it is an entirely different beast now, I just want to know what changed and how dramatically so. :)

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Pijama View Post
    I played the vanilla game, but I have absolutely no idea of what the xpacks added or what the mods put in - would anyone be kind enough to give a short summary of what changed? I understand it is an entirely different beast now, I just want to know what changed and how dramatically so. :)
    The expansions each add 3-4 new campaigns, and another bundle of standalone scenarios and a new race each - dwarves and orcs respectively. The core gameplay is largely unchanged, but they added some really useful minor features in the later expansions that make the earlier campaigns more palatable, like caravans, which let you requisition troops from settlements you've claimed around the map, rather than making a hero wander the entire map recruiting them.

    The fan-patch primarily just makes the game run better. Secondly, it makes enemy AI a bit smarter. Thirdly, it adds a bunch of sliders to the Custom Game menu so you can choose just how smart the AI is, what bonuses it starts with, whether you'll encounter roaming neutral heroes, etc. All unarguably good stuff. Also fixes bugs and cleans up some interface goofs.

    Oh, and widescreen support. The original two releases never had it.
    Last edited by Dominic Tarason; 04-07-2011 at 08:25 AM.

  16. #16
    Network Hub Kablooie's Avatar
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    I've never played HoMM. The $8 price (+fan content, thanks!) was worth an experiment.

    Having fun with it so far. The manual, not the easiest read, mentions a tutorial but I haven't found it ingame. Caravans completely boggle me. Other than that, I'm enjoying it.
    "Unix is user friendly. It's just selective about who its friends are.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Kablooie View Post
    I've never played HoMM. The $8 price (+fan content, thanks!) was worth an experiment.

    Having fun with it so far. The manual, not the easiest read, mentions a tutorial but I haven't found it ingame. Caravans completely boggle me. Other than that, I'm enjoying it.
    Caravans are pretty simple - each week, more recruitable troops spawn at the various settlements around the map that you've captured. In earlier versions, if you wanted to recruit them, you'd have to divert a hero to walk around the entire map each week to pick them up. Now, you can (via the city screen) just requisition the troops from any settlement and they'll take a day or two to arrive, all pooled together. It saves you a lot of soul-crushing boredom.

    As for a tutorial, the first few missions of the original campaign (The Queen) walk you through all the basics as you go. A little too slowly for my tastes, even.

  18. #18
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    So, for somebody who only has the vaguest childhood memories of playing a HOMM game (I think a friend owned it), how is the game different from King's Bounty and Age of Wonders:Shadow Magic? Is it worth me picking up?

  19. #19
    Lesser Hivemind Node icupnimpn2's Avatar
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    The battle mechanics are similar to King's Bounty, so is the moving around the map and finding stat boosts, recruiting army, etc. But HOMM is less quest-based than King's Bounty. Instead, you have multiple hero units moving around the map trying to capture and hold onto castles and etc. So there's strategy on the map, with an active computer player or players competing against you. And there are multiple races with access to different units.

    My favorite part of HOMM was always the tactical battles and the exploration and not the strategy portion, so King's Bounty really sung to me. Plus KB has a great sense of humor. But that didn't stop me from picking up HOMM IV at an excellent price.

  20. #20
    Lesser Hivemind Node
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    Quote Originally Posted by icupnimpn2 View Post
    The battle mechanics are similar to King's Bounty, so is the moving around the map and finding stat boosts, recruiting army, etc. But HOMM is less quest-based than King's Bounty. Instead, you have multiple hero units moving around the map trying to capture and hold onto castles and etc. So there's strategy on the map, with an active computer player or players competing against you. And there are multiple races with access to different units.
    So very similar to Age of Wonders? In which case, I should complete Shadow Magic first, as I've only really played AoW1.

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