*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=* = MIGHT & MAGIC 8: DAY OF THE DESTROYER = * * = CHARACTER GUIDE = *=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=* Author: Sashanan Date: 22 September 2005 Version: 1.6 DISCLAIMER This document is a copyright of Peter "Sashanan" Butter, 2005. All rights reserved. You are granted permission to make copies of this FAQ (electronical or physical) for your own, personal use. Furthermore, non-commercial, freely accessible websites are allowed to upload a copy of this FAQ as long as it is posted in its full, original form (including this disclaimer) and credited to Sashanan. You are not authorized to upload this FAQ on a commercial website and/or charge for its viewing, or make money off it in any other imaginable way, without my explicit written permission. Furthermore, you are not allowed to edit this guide in any way, use it as a basis for your own guide, or post it without giving proper credit. This is considered plagiarism. This FAQ is protected by international copyright laws and failure to comply with the terms in this disclaimer will result in legal prosecution. =============================================================================== TABLE OF CONTENTS ===============================================================================  Introduction  Character classes [2.1] Cleric [2.2] Dark Elf [2.3] Dragon [2.4] Knight [2.5] Minotaur [2.6] Necromancer [2.7] Troll [2.8] Vampire  Promoted classes  Picking a starting character  Skill development [5.1] Cleric [5.2] Dark Elf [5.3] Dragon [5.4] Knight [5.5] Minotaur [5.6] Necromancer [5.7] Troll [5.8] Vampire  Recruiting notes  My party  Revision history  Final words ===============================================================================  INTRODUCTIOHN =============================================================================== This character guide was started in 2000 as one of my first FAQ projects, and underwent a major revision in 2004. As before, the focus of the guide is to compare the eight character classes of Might & Magic 8 against each other, weigh the pros and cons of each, and provide advice on which characters to use, in what way, and where to recruit the ones you need. For the most part, my advice is subjective, because there are very few wrong answers when it comes to party formation. Nonetheless, whether or not you agree with what I consider the best lineups, the information in this guide should be of use to you. I do not give full information on each character's starting statistics and the skills they can develop; all that information is in the manual already. Rather, consider this guide an addition to that particular manual chapter - a veteran's advice regarding the selection of characters for your party, and a strategy for developing them. Likewise, this guide contains no walkthrough for Might & Magic 8. If you need one, I recommend the one by Stanley Dunigan, provided on UHS (http://www.uhs-hints.com/uhsweb/mm8.php). ===============================================================================  CHARACTER CLASSES =============================================================================== Character types and races have been through several changes throughout the Might & Magic series. M&M 1-5 had you pick both a race and a class for your characters. The class determined hit points, spell points, and which equipment you could use. The race determined innate resistances, and applied certain bonuses and penalties to your statistics. In Might & Magic 6, only human characters were available, and only six classes. Each character had certain skills available to them depending on their class, though some were universal and could be mastered by any class. In M&M 7, the races were brought back, and the number of classes expanded. Skills were also much more exclusive now; while many skills could be learned by different classes, the level of mastery possible varied. For instance, most characters could use a bow, but only the Archer could reach the highest level of mastery with it. Might & Magic 8 uses a combination of the systems of 6 and 7; for the first time in Might & Magic history, there is no difference between a race and a class. There are eight character types to pick, three of which are human. The other five are of different races by their very nature. The classes are also more exotic this time. The only classes that were imported from previous games are the Knight and the Cleric. The Necromancer is the third human character, and is similar to the Mage in earlier M&M games. New additions include the Dark Elf, the Troll, the Minotaur and the Vampire, all fresh and interesting characters. Finally, one or more of your characters can be Dragons, and they're every bit as powerful as you might expect. So without further ado, let's take a closer look at each of the eight character classes, in alphabetical order. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- [2.1] CLERIC -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- With the departure of the Paladin, the Cleric is the only truly reliable healer in the game. He can attain Grand Mastery in the three magical realms of the Self: Body, Mind and Spirit. The Vampire and the Minotaur can also gain some skill in these arts, but not quite as much as the Cleric; the best spells are exclusive to this class. Also, the Cleric is the only character in the game that can learn the path of Light, which contains some very powerful enhancement magic. They alone are worth having a Cleric around for., In combat, Clerics are average at best, and a little vulnerable. They can get pretty good with the Mace (but not as good as the Troll), and can wear Chain armor fairly well (but the Dark Elf does it better). They also make passable Merchants. You will find the first Cleric, Frederick Talimere, very early in the game. I suggest keeping him around, replacing him only if you find a better Cleric. You will likely want to keep a Cleric around at all time; their healing abilities, mastery of the Light path, and the all-important Bless and Heroism spells are too important to miss out on. Personally, I never replaced my initial Cleric, because it seemed that all the others I came across just couldn't match his potential. I found the single lvl 50 Cleric in the game particularly disappointing; Frederick was considerably better when he reached the same level. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- [2.2] DARK ELF -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- The Dark Elf is just average in melee combat, but has a few important skills that can be useful to any party. In melee combat, they are decent with both Daggers and Swords, but not excellent. They are, however, the best archers in the game, and the only ones who can become Master or Grandmaster with a Bow. This is an important skill, because only the Minotaur and the Knight can become Bow Experts, and all other characters are limited to novice skill. If you want to be truly effective in ranged combat, a Dark Elf is essential. (Although you could rely on the Necromancer's ranged magic or the Dragon's breath attack instead of, or in addition to, the Dark Elf's bow skill.) Dark Elves cannot wear Plate, but they can become Grand Masters with Chain armor, which is an acceptable alternative. They will usually end up somewhere in the middle of your party, behind the Trolls and the Knights but in front of the Vampires and Necromancers. Dark Elves have other important skills out of combat. They can become Grand Masters in the Disarm Trap skill (which guarantees 100% success) and the Merchant skill (which means you can always buy and sell equipment at its exact value). The Merchant skill is an all-time favorite from M&M6 and 7, although it has existed since M&M2. It is not especially important in 8, because there is so much more treasure to be found. Money is not as much of a problem as it has been in previous games. Nevertheless, the Merchant skill is very convenient to have, and the Disarm Trap one is vital. If you do not get a Dark Elf you will at the very least need a Minotaur instead (they learn it up to Master level), and you will likely see them fail at disarming late in the game. Completing the package, Dark Elves are skilled in magic as well. They can attain Master skill in the Elemental realms (Fire, Earth, Air, Water) and they also have innate Dark Elf abilities. The most important of these abilities is Darkfire, a powerful offensive spell that is both of the Dark path and the Fire realm, and does damage based on whichever resistance is lower in the enemy you hit. Therefore, it tends to bypass most enemies' magic resistance. Although it will take a while until you can find a low level Dark Elf for your party, a powerful one (Cauri Blackthorne) is available relatively early. You'll probably be able to recruit this powerful ally (level 50!) sooner than any of the other lvl 50 characters in the game, and far before your main character reaches that level. Taking her into your party and keeping her there is almost a given. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- [2.3] DRAGON -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- Without a doubt the most powerful character type in the game. I'd even say they are overpowered. Unlike the other character classes, Dragons do not use any weapons or armor (but they can wear rings and an amulet). Consequently, they do not have any weapon or armor skills, either. A Dragon's combat performance is solely determined by a special Dragon skill. Every point spent on improving this skill gives the Dragon a better armor class, better hit bonuses and increased damage. The true power of the Dragon does not lie in the high damage it does or its large supply of hit points. It is a combination of two factors: its ability to allow the whole party to fly for an extended period of time, and the fact that its breath weapon always hits, does not cost any spell points, and does far more damage than a regular arrow. In ranged combat, a Dragon is very, very deadly. And many dangerous areas can be easily avoided with his flying ability. In addition to his obvious combat prowess, the Dragon is the only character class capable of become Grand Master at the Identify Item skill. He has a few other skills, as well, but does not excel at any. Note that the Dragon cannot be chosen as your starting character. It is possible to get one pretty early in the game, though. There are a total of four Dragons in the game, bearing the levels 5, 15, 30 and 50. For all except the lvl 5 one, you must look hard and fight powerful enemies to get to your potential recruit. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- [2.4] KNIGHT -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- The Knight has always been the epitome of Might in the M&M series. He does not disappoint in this game, either. With a vast supply of hit points and the best combat skills around, the Knight can safely be called a must-have. His lack of magical or miscellaneous skills is actually a blessing, because that frees up skill points to be spent on more combat-oriented pursuits. The Knight is the only character who can Grand Master the skills Sword, Spear, Plate, Shield, Armsmaster and Body Building. You can choose between Sword and Spear (I always seem to go for Sword, but it is not necessarily better). Shield is optional - I personally prefer to wield two swords. Body Building, Plate and Armsmaster are basically must-haves. One of the greatest features of the Knight is that he is powerful throughout the entire game. In addition to his combat skills, the Knight has one more important skill: he is the only one who can become Grand Master at the Repair Item skill. Do not neglect this skill, or soon you won't be able to repair any of your expensive equipment. And believe me, many things break in combat, particularly late in the game. You get a Knight very early in the game, and you'll probably keep him around for a long time, possibly until the end. Other ones become available over time. The best of them is Blazen Stormlance, with fully mastered skills and a rspectable level (50). -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- [2.5] MINOTAUR -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- Commonly seen in earlier Might & Magic games - and usually very powerful. This is the first time you get them on your side, though. Minotaurs are among the more combat-oriented characters in Might & Magic 8, and the undisputed masters of Axe combat. They are the only ones who can attain Grand Mastery with them. In addition, since they can never carry Shields, there is no reason not to give them one of those amazingly powerful two-handed axes. Minotaurs wear Plate armor well, but cannot attain Grand Mastery. Apart from the Axe, they can only Grand Master one additional skill: Perception. They are also good at combat-oriented miscellaneous skills such as Armsmaster and Body Building, but just not as good as the Knight. Finally, Minotaurs have limited skills in the arts of the Self (Body, Mind and Spirit), and can function as backup healers. All in all, Minotaurs are well rounded but do not have many especially important abilities. They also have some limitations on the items they can use; helms and boots are too small to fit them and may not be equipped. A Minotaur can be found early in the game. More powerful Minotaurs are available, but you will probably outgrow them well before you meet and recruit them. Minotaurs are not vital, as almost all of their skills can be covered by other characters as well. Ulrich, the game's lvl 50 Minotaur, is fully built up and if you do choose to take a Minotaur with you, you'll probably replace him with Ulrich when possible. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- [2.6] NECROMANCER -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- Though traditionally a master of the Dark path, Necromancers are also the most capable Elemental mages in Might & Magic 8. They can attain Grand Mastery in the four elements (Fire, Earth, Air and Water) as well as the Dark path. In fact, they are the only characters who get to learn the Dark path at all, and take use of its powerful (and costly) spells. Also, since they're the only ones to become Grand Masters in the elements, each of those realms has an exclusive spell for them as well, including the very important Lloyd's Beacon. Necromancers are weak in combat. They can attain some skill with a Staff and Leather Armor, but have few hit points and never become particularly powerful They have an irritating habit of dying on you during heavy melee action. Thankfully, their powerful magic makes up for this and can usually keep you out of trouble. With Toxic Cloud early on and Dragon Breath later, Necromancers always have powerful direct damage at their command from the Dark path alone, not to mention what they can get from the Elemental realms later on. Important miscellaneous skills for the Necromancer include Meditation for additional spell points (very important as the Necromancer can never have too many), Identify Item if there is no Dragon around, and Alchemy if you wish to brew your own potions (something I personally never got into, but it's useful). You'll get a Necromancer very early on. Although they can be replaced by Dark Elves, you will miss out on the most powerful spells of each Elemental realm, not to mention the whole Dark path. That's a lot of awesome magic you're sacrificing. I recommend to keep a Necromancer around at all times; just be sure to keep him in the back, and don't be surprised to lose him on occasion even then. The game's lvl 50 Necromancer, Ventrinus Taleshire, is probably the most powerful character in the game. You may want to keep that in mind when the opportunity to recruit him arises. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- [2.7] TROLL -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- Can you spell "tough"? Well, he can't. The Troll is a powerful melee-oriented character who prefers brute strength rather than finesse. He can become Grand Master of the Staff and the Mace (Mace being the better choice by far), and also has loads of hit points, more even than Knights and Dragons. If that's not enough to keep him alive, his Regeneration skill will. At Grand Mastery, his hit points come back almost as quickly as they go off. The Troll is best clad in Leather armor, which he can also attain Grand Mastery of. Chain is an alternative, though it can't be trained up as far. Plate is not an option at all. With no skill in magic and no important miscellaneous skills, the Troll can focus on combat and combat alone. He is the obvious choice to put in front of your party (and therefore makes a great starting character), and can become a true machine of war with appropriate skill levels in Mace, Leather, Armsmaster and Body Building. And don't forget Regenerate while you're at it. Trolls are hard to come by. Two live in the Ironsand Desert, but you will need to complete quests for them before they join you, and by the time you do, you'll probably have outgrowed their level. There is one excellent lvl 50 Troll available, but you can't get him until your main character reaches the same level. Due to the poor availability of recruitable Trolls and the fact that they work so well in the front of your party, the Troll is my favorite choice for a starting character. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- [2.8] VAMPIRE -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- I was originally not very fond of these, but this turned out to be the result of not giving them a fair chance. Skillwise, Vampires are balanced characters with few distinctive advantages, much like Minotaurs. Grand Mastery can be attained with the Dagger, not a bad weapon choice at all due to its fast attack speed and the ability to wield two at once at higher skill levels. Vampires can wear Chain Armor and can carry a Shield, though that defeats the point of the Dagger skill. Vampires dish out good damage in melee combat, but are vulnerable to counterattacks. After Necromancers, they tend to be the first to fall. Vampires can attain Grand Mastery in the Identify Monster skill, which isn't among the most useful skills. They can become fairly good at Meditation and Alchemy, and have good skills in the realm of the Self (Body, Mind and Spirit). The most interesting feature of the Vampires are their innate Vampire abilities which can become quite powerful late in the game. The most important one is the ability to levitate, which can help to foil floor traps and cross dangerous lava. This is particularly helpful because there is no spell which can replicate this (apart from Fly, which does not work in dungeons). Another great ability is to drain life from opponents - this is a ranged attack that takes hit points and gives them back to the Vampire, which does much to counter their vulnerability and becomes very powerful late in the game, since enemies seem to have a hard time resisting it. A Vampire will join you early on. More can be found later on, though I found the high level one a little disappointing. Early on they do not appear to be very useful, but keep in mind that they get better late in the game. Do make sure you keep them in the back if you take one along, with only your Necromancer behind. ===============================================================================  PROMOTED CLASSES =============================================================================== At certain points in the game, all character classes can increase their power by getting a promotion. This improves their hit and spell point potentials and allows them to get higher skill rankings as well. Grand Master skills of any kind are only available to promoted characters, for example. Since this is a character FAQ, I won't go into any detail regarding the promotion quests. Try the UHS FAQ at http://www.uhs-hints.com/uhsweb/mm8.php if you need help with them. Here I'll merely mention where to get them and what rank your characters are promoted to. This section was mainly included to clear up any confusion, because I usually refer to high level characters by their promoted rank. UNPROMOTED PROMOTED WHERE TO GET THE QUEST Cleric Priest of the Sun Murmurwoods Dark Elf Dark Elf Patriarch Alvar Dragon Great Wyrm Garrote Gorge Knight Champion Garrote Gorge Minotaur Minotaur Lord Ravage Roaming Necromancer Lich Shadowspire Troll War Troll Ironsand Desert Vampire Nosferatu Shadowspire All recruitable lvl 50 characters in the game are already promoted, and I *think* all others (lvl 5, 15 and 30) aren't. Naturally, your main character isn't promoted either at the start of the game. The difficulty of the promotion quests, and therefore the level at which you can safely perform them, varies per character class. Here's some information regarding where to look for the solution of your quest, and the level you'll roughly need to be at to have a good chance of success. For any more details, refer to a different FAQ, or wait for me to ever decide to do a full walkthrough for this game. The former is a safer bet. CLASS WHERE TO GO RECOMMENDED LEVEL Cleric Dagger Wound Isles 5 Dark Elf Murmurwoods 30 Dragon Garrote Gorge 50 Knight Shadowspire 35 Minotaur Alvar 35 Necromancer DWI and Shadowspire 40 Troll Murmurwoods 35 Vampire Ravage Roaming 40 All promotions quests are worth doing as soon as you can, but this is not vital. If one turns out to be hard, feel free to leave it alone until you've built another 5 levels or so. Just make sure you do them eventually. How much a promotion helps in terms of hit points and spell points depends on your level (the higher the better), but it doesn't matter at what point you get the promotion. The bonus is applied to all levels you've already gained as well as those you gain in the future. ===============================================================================  PICKING A STARTING CHARACTER =============================================================================== Unique to Might & Magic 8 is that you only create one character at the beginning of the game. All others must be recruited later on. Fortunately, you do not have to adventure with one character - you can immediately pick up three more in the town you start in, and a fourth one at the beginning of the first dungeon. You'll have a complete five-member party then. Other, more powerful characters can be found and recruited later on, but you'll have to replace existing party members. The one character you may never replace is your main character, the Hero of Jadame. There are basically two important things to consider when choosing the class for your starting hero: 1. Your hero is always in the front of your party, where most enemy hits will land. It would be wise to pick a combat-oriented character who can survive this. 2. You'll find a Cleric, a Vampire, a Necromancer and a Knight early on. This doesn't mean that you may not pick any of these classes for your starting character, but it's something to keep in mind. If you choose one of these character types, you'll probably want to drop the NPC with the same class at your earliest opportunity. Ultimately, you're best off with a mixed party, because almost every character has his own set of important skills. Not much use in having two Dark Elves if only one has to disarm traps, for instance. Considering their vulnerability and the fact that you already get them early on, I do not recommend picking a Necromancer or a Vampire. A Cleric can be done, but he's on the edge. Also, you are not allowed to pick a Dragon as your starting character. That leaves four: Dark Elf - a little vulnerable, but a good all-round character and a fun one to have. Keep in mind that there is a very powerful Dark Elf NPC available relatively early on. Until you can get her, you can probably make do without a Dark Elf. Minotaur - good all around character, but other character types excel at nearly every skill he has. Therefore, having a Minotaur near the end is not essential. Knight - since you will always want to have a Knight in your party, and they are suitable to have in the lead, a Knight is one of the best starting choices. Troll - my favorite for a main character for two reasons. First, he has more hit points than any other character, making him great to have in front. Second, Trolls are very useful to have around in combat, and they are the hardest class to find good characters in early on. Having a Troll as your starting character circumvents that problem. Whatever you pick, make sure to spend your bonus starting points on that character's prime stats (designated in green). They are cheapest to build up. It is also a good idea to decrease your Luck as far as possible, because there is a well in the first town that can permanently increase your Luck to a certain level (16 or 17, I believe). You might as well free up those extra points to put them in other statistics. ===============================================================================  SKILL DEVELOPMENT =============================================================================== First of all: every character should have 1 skill point in learning, giving them a 10% bonus to all experience gained. No more is needed, unless you wish to develop expert skill levels or better (not all characters can do this, so check first). Second: you'll want to teach every character in your party the Bow skill (except for Dragons, they can't). Even with only a single skill point, they can make a difference when it comes to shooting your enemies from a distance. Having five people with bows lets you cut down a lot of enemies from a safe distance, particularly early on. This way you will only have to start risking melee combat when your characters have become powerful enough to survive this. Veterans of Might & Magic 6 and 7, be advised that there is no Ancient Weapons skill in M&M8. Develop your characters' combat and magic skills carefully, because there is no cheap substitute for them at the end of the game. Here is an overview of the skills you should develop for your party, sorted per character. For each character I list first and second priority and what miscellaneous skills to develop, and finally, what to build up further when you're near the end of the game and all skills have been learned at the highest possible level already. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- [5.1] CLERIC -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- First priority: Spirit magic. Expert Spirit allows effective casting of Bless and Heroism, both of which significantly boost your combat strength. Master Spirit means you can learn Raise Dead, which you'll be using more often than any Might & Magic 8 player is willing to admit. Second priority: Body magic. It's not just hit points that you need to be able to cure, there's also Poison and Disease. An important Body spell later on is Protection from Magic, which offers immunity against "status attacks", to use Final Fantasy terminology. At Grandmaster level, this is the only reliable way to protect yourself against enemies with instant-death attacks, something you'll be thankful for in the final areas. Other important skills: Mind (Cure Insanity and Cure Paralysis), Light (Paralyze and Day of the Gods), develop combat skills at your leisure. Develop Merchant if low on cash and no Dark Elf is available. Final stages: Extra points in Mace will increase your Cleric's melee damage and his chance to stun opponents. Alternatively, more points in Spirit magic will increase the effectiveness of Bless and Heroism, which affect the entire party. It's your call, but I'd go for Spirit magic. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- [5.2] DARK ELF -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- First priority: Disarm Trap. You need to keep this up, because the traps become more dangerous and harder to disarm later on. Build up this skill at a steady rate and you can open chests wherever you go without blowing up your party. Second priority: Bow and Chain, directly followed by some sort of melee skill (I'd go for Sword). Other important skills: Dark Elf skill (for Darkfire, takes a while to get there though), Merchant, the Elemental realms (particularly if no Necromancer is available). Final stages: I'd build up Dark Elf skills in the final stages to increase the power of Darkfire. Raw magical damage is useful against some of the critters in the final area, which are highly resistant to physical damage. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- [5.3] DRAGON -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- First priority: Dragon skills. These determine how powerful the Dragon is in pretty much every aspect. Second priority: Identify Item. You'll need to identify a lot in your travels. Other important skills: Regeneration, Body Building and Meditation, all of which help the Dragon fight, but none as much as the Dragon skill does. Just put a few points here when this has become much cheaper than boosting your Dragon skill further. Final stages: As your Dragon masters all of his skills, the one you should keep building up is the Dragon skill. It affects his chance to hit as well as his damage, and the effectiveness of his spells. You can't go wrong with that skill. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- [5.4] KNIGHT -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- First priority: Sword (or Spear if you prefer) and Plate. They allow him to kill others and stay alive, respectively. Second priority: other combat skills, including Shield (unless you use two weapons), Armsmaster and Body Building. Also build up Repair Item as your equipment becomes more powerful. Ideally, the Knight should be able to repair any weapons and armor you are currently using. If at one point you find you can't fix something that just broke, that's your sign that you need to boost that skill more. Other important skills: Nothing, really. When you've Grand Mastered all the skills mentioned above (choosing between Sword and Spear, or even both if you want to fight with a Sword in one hand and a Spear in the other), just improve on those skills some more. The Knight is meant for combat. Final stages: Armsmaster becomes more important than Sword / Spear once you've Grandmastered both skills. Every new point in the Armsmaster skill reduces your recovery by 2 points, and increases both your chance to hit and your damage by 2, for every kind of weapon. Once you don't know what to spend your skill points on for your Knight, Armsmaster is the way to go. You'll likely be astonished at how quickly their damage output climbs. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- [5.5] MINOTAUR -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- First priority: Axe and Plate, to contribute to combat. Second priority: Disarm Trap if you have no Dark Elf. Perception is also useful. Other important skills: A little expertise in the Self realms won't hurt if your Cleric needs backup. Also pay attention to the miscellaneous combat skills Body Building and Armsmaster, which can boost the Minotaur's strength significantly. Final stages: More points in Axe and Armsmaster will help the Minotaur increase his combat skills even further. Since the Minotaur can't become a Grand Master in the Armsmaster skill, it's not necessarily better than Axe. It's your call. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- [5.6] NECROMANCER -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- First priority: Dark magic. It's your best friend. Also, Meditation to help you cast all those expensive spells. Second priority: the Elemental realms. They are your other friends. You may find it hard to get enough skill points to master all of them, so it might be good to specialize. Then again, late in the game you'll want to trade in your Necromancer for Ventrinus Taleshire anyway, and he's got them all Grandmastered right from the start. Other important skills: Alchemy, Identify Item if you have no Dragon, and finally, combat skills (Staff and Leather, mostly). Final stages: Investing heavily in Dark Magic, after you've Grand Mastered everything else (including Learning and Meditation), will increase the effect of such powerful combat spells as Toxic Cloud, Dragon Breath and Souldrinker. If you find you run out of magic quicker than you'd like, boost Meditation. Now that it's Grandmastered, a single point already boosts your reserves quite a bit. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- [5.7] TROLL -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- First priority: Mace (or Staff, but I'd go for Mace) and Leather. Second priority: Armsmaster, Body Building and Regeneration, in that order. Other important skills: none. Keep improving on the combat skills. You can add Bow if you like. Final stages: Every point spent on your Mace skill increases your damage, and adds 1% to your chances to stun or paralyze an opponent. At high skill levels, this really starts to add up. My own Troll had a Mace skill of 30 at the end of the game and was constantly paralyzing powerful opponents, making a big difference. For the Troll, I'd say boosting Mace during the endgame is more effective than boosting Armsmaster, since he cannot become a Grand Master in the blatter. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- [5.8] VAMPIRE -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- First priority: Dagger and Vampire ability. I'd say get Dagger up to expert level quickly so you can wield two of them, then work on Vampire ability first to get that Life Drain up to a satisfying amount of damage. Second priority: Basic skill in the Self realms, and Chain. How many points you want to sink in the Self realms depends on if you have a Cleric; if not, the Vampire will need to replace him and thus bring her Self realms up to Master. That cuts into her combat effectiveness, though, which is why I don't recommend going without a Cleric at all. Other important skills: Perhaps Identify Monster. Perhaps. Personally, I'd go for additional skill in the Self realms. You'll never know when it's your Cleric that is killed or paralyzed, and he can't heal himself in such cases. After promotion, a Vampire can learn the Self realms up to Master level, giving her access to such powerful spells as Raise Dead and Protection from Magic. Final stages: More points in Dagger will increase your Vampire's chances of dealing triple damage with his Daggers. More points in Vampire skill will make Life Drain more powerful. Both are good options - you can pick either or just keep boosting them both. ===============================================================================  RECRUITING NOTES =============================================================================== I will not go into detail about which characters are available to recruit, where they are, and how to get them. TNg's guide on GameFAQs (find it at http://www.gamefaqs.com/computer/doswin/game/25874.html) covers this topic if you need help with it. I will, however, give some basic advice on where to find the first character of each of these classes, so you can quickly assemble a party with the five classes you wish to use. Keep in mind that most NPCs, of both low and high level, are poorly equipped. (There are a few exceptions.) The high level characters usually have good, well-rounded skills. The low level characters have low skills, but they have a lot of them, and a bunch of unspent skill points. This allows you to customize their skills quite a bit. Just don't forget to spend those skill points when you get the characters! As far as I've been able to determine, all NPCs are of level 5, 15, 30 or 50. There appears to be at least one of lvl 5 and one of lvl 50 for every character class, although I have never encountered the lvl 5 Troll - he might be missing. In case you were wondering, the lvl 50 Dragon does exist. Be afraid. CLERIC The first Cleric, Frederick Talimere, will join you from his hut in the Dagger Wound Islands as part of the first quest (initiated by speaking to Brekish Onefang in the Clan Leader's hut). His equipment is unimpressive, but he has a few useful spells. At any rate, he's the only Cleric you're going to get for some time, and you'll be able to make him powerful soon enough. Other Clerics become available during the game. Dyson Leland (lvl 15) is part of a vital plot quest and must spend some time in your party; a shame because he is a fairly weak character. Dervish (lvl 50) is the best Cleric available, but he's not fully built up the way Blazen Stormlance (Knight) and Cauri Blackthorne (Dark Elf) are. I find him so overwhelming that I just stick with Frederick for the entire game. DARK ELF A low-level Dark Elf can be recruited in Alvar. Also, of all the lvl 50 NPCs in the game (one exists for each class), the Dark Elf is the easiest to recruit. Most others require your main character to be at lvl 50 as well, but Cauri Blackthorne will join you as soon as you rescue her in the Murmurwoods. That can be done as early as lvl 10 if you're a quick runner :) Or at lvl 30 if you prefer to fight it out with the local monsters. Either way, Cauri makes a very valuable member at that point in the game. DRAGON Ithilgore, the "weakest" Dragon in the game, can be recruited from the Dragon Lair in Garrote Gorge. Be aware that that is weakest as relative to the other Dragons; he's a powerful character right from the start, even at his modest level (5). Even if you are around lvl 15-20 at the time, he'll hold his own, and gain levels quickly. Since you do not need to fight any monsters to get to him, you could go to Garrote Gorge immediately from Ravenshore, early in the game, and get him there and then. Three more Dragons are available later on, but you must fight hard to get to them. Be warned, using Dragons can make the game a lot easier. Several players, me included, do not use them at all as we feel they take the challenge and much of the fun out of Might & Magic 8. Perhaps you'll feel the same way, or perhaps you enjoy their raw power far too much to leave them behind. It's up to you. KNIGHT The first Knight in the game, Simon Templar, will join you as soon as you enter the Abandoned Temple on the Dagger Wound Islands. He comes with a Rusty Breastplate, fairly good armor this early in the game, and a nice sword. The best Knight in the game, Blazen Stormlance, is lvl 50 and has excellent statistics (and decent equipment, especially his armour is good). You must rescue him from Mad Zanthora's Lab in Shadowspire. You get a lvl 50 Cleric in the process, although I did not use him. Blazen, on the other hand, is so good that you'll likely want to take him and keep him right away. MINOTAUR The first Minotaur, Arius, can be recruited in Ravenshore. His equipment is poor, but that can be fixed easily at the local shops. More Minotaurs can be found later on in Balthasar Lair in Ravage Roaming. One of them, Ulrich, is lvl 50 and has a set of fully built up statistics. If you're into Minotaurs, he's your man...er, cow. NECROMANCER You'll find a Necromancer in the Adventurer's Inn on the Dagger Wound Islands: Devlin Arcanus. He has a wide variety of skills and some good spells, including (ouch!) Toxic Cloud. More Necromancers are available in Ravenshore (lvl 15) and Shadowspire. Ventrinus Taleshire, the lvl 50 Lich and in my opinion the most powerful character in the game (barring, of course, the Dragons), is among them. He's the guy who you did the Lich promotion quest for. His skills are fully built up and mastered, he has over a hundred skill points still available to spend, and last but not least, he has every spell he can get in his spellbook, including all the powerful ones (Souldrinker, anyone?). He's not just a lot more powerful than Devlin will be if you take him all the way to level 50, but taking him also saves you the fuss of finding all those spells. Not to mention that you won't have to search the four elemental planes to become a Grand Master in the Elemental realms; he already is. There's almost no getting around Ventrinus. TROLL Trolls are hard to come by. I've never found a lvl 5 Troll, and I'm not sure there even is one. There are two lvl 15 Trolls, both of which take some time to get. A lvl 50 Troll can be found in Ravenshore, but getting him to join you is another matter: your main character will have to reach lvl 50 as well before he will join. VAMPIRE Elsbeth Lamentia, the first Vampire, can be found in the Adventurer's Inn on the Dagger Wound Islands. Her equipment is unimpressive as usual, but she has a good Cloak. More Vampires are found in Shadowspire, including the lvl 50 one. He seemed decent as Vampires go, but he was not fully built up. He hadn't Grandmastered the Vampire skill yet, for shame! ===============================================================================  MY PARTY =============================================================================== This paragraph contains an overview of the party I first finished the game with. I had already tried different party mixes before, but this is the one that saw me through. I have since tried different starting characters with varying degrees of success, but tend to use mostly the same recruitable characters. Note that I intentionally did not use Dragons, because I feel they upset the game balance too much. Also, my initial party did not contain any Vampires as I wasn't fond of them back then. My opinion on them has swung around quite a bit since. ------------- INITIAL PARTY ------------- Main character: Stenax (Troll) Recruited from DWI: Frederick Talimere, Elsbeth Lamentia, Devlin Arcanus, Simon Templar Party order: Stenax, Simon, Elsbeth, Frederick, Devlin -------------------- FIRST SWITCH (lvl 5) -------------------- Dropped Elsbeth, recruited Arius from Ravenshore Party order: Stenax, Simon, Arius, Frederick, Devlin I made this switch because I much preferred Minotaurs to Vampires. The raw combat power Arius gave me was useful this early in the game. ---------------------- SECOND SWITCH (lvl 30) ---------------------- Dropped Arius, recruited Cauri Blackthorne from Murmurwoods Party order: Stenax, Simon, Cauri, Frederick, Devlin When Cauri became available, she was much stronger than the rest of my party; 20 levels higher and with her skills fully built up. I dropped the least vital character to make room for her. This character was Arius, who merely gave me some extra muscle, and no vital skills except Disarm Trap (which Cauri had as well). -------------------------------- THIRD SWITCH (lvl 35, temporary) -------------------------------- Dropped Frederick Talimere, recruited Dyson Leland from Shadowspire Party order: Stenax, Simon, Cauri, Devlin, Dyson As part of my quest to ally with the Temple of the Sun, I needed to recruit Dyson Leland. You cannot complete the quest without him. (Even if you choose to ally with the Necromancer's Guild instead, you still need Dyson to complete *that* quest. You can't get around him.) Unfortunately, Dyson was only lvl 15 at the time and considerably weaker than Frederick. I put Dysan in the back, did my best to keep him alive during the quest, then put Fredrick Talimere back in again as soon as I completed the quest. Dysan then spent the rest of his wonderful adventures within the walls of the Adventurer's Inn, where he belongs. ---------------------- FOURTH SWITCH (lvl 44) ---------------------- Dropped Simon Templar, recruited Blazen Stormlance from Shadowspire Party order: Stenax, Blazen, Cauri, Frederick, Devlin Blazen was thrown into my lap when I rescued him from Shadowspire. Actually, I had missed him on my first go - if I had rescued him then, I would have had him as early as lvl 35. Regardlessly, he was still better than Simon Templar, which is why I replaced him. Ironically, the reason why I rescued Blazen was to get Simon promoted to Champion. But when Blazen turned out to be a Champion already, I dropped Simon before he ever got that promotion. On the way, I was also given a chance to put the game's lvl 50 Cleric, Dervish, in my party. His skills were similar to Frederick's at the time (who was only lvl 43), and although he was Grandmaster in Light, he wasn't as skilled in Spirit. By now I'd grown addicted to Frederick's Grand Mastery of Spirit and his 18-hour Bless and Heroism durations, so I decided not to make this switch. --------------------- FIFTH SWITCH (lvl 55) --------------------- Dropped Devlin Arcanus, recruited Ventrinus Taleshire from Shadowspire Party order: Stenax, Blazen, Cauri, Frederick, Ventrinus Upon reaching lvl 50 and having completed the Lich promotion quest, I was allowed to recruit the game's lvl 50 Lich, Ventrinus Taleshire, from Shadowspire. I had seen powerful characters before (particularly Blazen and Cauri), but this completely blew me away. Ventrinus, being fully built up, was more powerful than Devlin by a mile. I finished the game with this party. Stenax was at lvl 65 when I entered the final stages of the game. I didn't return to town until I finished the main quest, at which point I could train him to lvl 76 immediately. That gives you an idea of the kind of experience you haul in near the end. I intentionally did not use any Dragons, because I feel they take the fun out of the game. Having decided on which characters to use, I also skipped out on the most powerful Minotaur (Ulrich) and Vampire (forgot his name). They were both in the Adventurer's Inn and ready to join, but I just didn't use those character classes. Furthermore, Thorne Understone the lvl 50 Troll hasn't travelling with me, either. My main character was already a Troll and even if I could have dropped him, he was still better than Thorne. I also decided not to use the lvl 50 Cleric, Dervish, because his skills and spell levels were actually below average. Compared to the other lvl 50 characters, he's poorly built up. I stuck with my original Cleric, Frederick Talimere. That left three lvl 50 characters: Blazen Stormlance the Champion, Cauri Blackthorne the Dark Elf Patriarch and Ventrinus Taleshire the Lich, and all three were in my party at the end. Since Ventrinus had the Fly spell (in addition to all the others), the need for a Dragon had been completely eliminated. The one thing I missed was a Vampire to levitate me over lava pits; although above the ground, the Fly spell can be used instead. It also worked in the Plane of Fire. There was one dungeon near the end where I could not use Fly to avoid lava, but it wasn't too hard to walk around it, and touching it didn't do half as much damage as I'd expected. I'd probably have been able to get through that dungeon alive even if you couldn't avoid the lava by hugging the walls. My usual combat tactic was to have Frederick cast Bless and Heroism, and Ventrinus cast any appropriate resistance spells. Frederick casts Protection from Magic when fighting opponents capable of petrifying or paralyzing the party, and Ventrinus usually casts Stone Skin, although I barely noticed the difference. Then, depending on the enemy type, I either went into turn-based mode and fire arrows (for melee opponents), or charged them and performed melee attacks in real time, usually using hit-and-run tactics. For tough opponents, I went into turn-based mode and had Cauri and Ventrinus use Darkfire and Toxic Cloud, respectively. Both could do around 100 damage points if they're lucky and the enemy isn't too resistant. Near the end stages of the game, I had Ventrinus use Souldrinker against large groups, and Dragon Breath against single, powerful opponents. I've done over 350 damage with that one. The opponent survived three of them, nonetheless. At the end, both Stenax and Blazen dealt high damage in melee. Blazen usually did more (I've seen up to 150 per blow from him thanks to his high Armsmaster skill level), but Stenax had a 25% chance to paralyze and a 25% chance to stun with every blow. That put quite a few enemies out of commission along the way. All those points in the Mace skill paid off for him. ===========================================================================  REVISION HISTORY =========================================================================== v1.0: (23 Oct '00) First version of the FAQ. v1.1: (26 Oct '00) A few spelling and grammar corrections, and some minor additions. v1.2: (7 Nov '00) Added to the overview of my own party, and turned it into a section of its own. More coming as I reach the final stages of the game. v1.3: (15 Nov '00) Added some more to the overview of my own party, probably my last character switch. v1.4: (27 Nov '00) Finished the game, finished the FAQ. Barring any possible corrections, this will be the last update. v1.41: (28 Dec '00) A few minor corrections. Now that those are out of the way, this really *is* the final version. v1.42: (5 May '01) I've done a Dutch translation of this FAQ. In doing so, I've added a few lines to the top and bottom of this FAQ to refer to this Dutch document. (PLEASE NOTE: I have since pulled the translated document because I wasn't happy with how it turned out; it's no longer available.) v1.5: (23 Nov '04) It's been a while! Done a full revision of the FAQ, adapting the layout to my new style and updating the text throughout. The content hasn't changed that much; I have, however, changed my point of view on Vampires. I find them a lot more useful than I thought they were three years ago. v1.6: (22 Sep '05) Updated contact info. I *might* do a full walkthrough for Might & Magic 8 in the future. The fact that there wasn't one on GameFAQs back in 2000 and there still isn't one now kind of nags me. If I can find the motivation I just might do something about it. ===========================================================================  FINAL WORDS =========================================================================== ABOUT THIS FAQ While one of my first attempts at serious FAQ writing, in the autumn of 2000, my Might & Magic 8 character guide has been my second most successful one in terms of how many people appear to be reading it (basing this on hit counters on GameFAQs and the amount of feedback I get on my guides). The most successful one was for Diablo 2, a much more high profile game. Apart from these two, most of my FAQs are for old or obscure titles and get little attention - at least until I came up with my first high profile project for Sid Meier's Pirates in 2004. But I digress. This document has apparently filled a need for a game that hasn't been written about much. It seems most reviewers think of Might & Magic 8 as the unnecessary clone of M&M 6 and 7 that persisted too long in using a dated engine. Personally, considering how disastrous M&M 9 turned out to be, I wouldn't have minded if they had used it a fourth time! For questions, comments, suggestions, praise and criticism, please contact the author, Sashanan, at firstname.lastname@example.org. This e-mail address is for FAQ feedback only. Whatever you wish to share about this document or Theatre Europe, chances are I'll want to hear it. Any serious mail will be answered. If you wish to do anything with this FAQ except for just reading it, check the Disclaimer section at the top of the FAQ to find out what you can and can't do. When in doubt, you can always mail me. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Sashanan was born in 1980 in the Netherlands and dreams of a job in the gaming industry while trying to remain focused on his actual occupation as a business software engineer. His interest in gaming is broad, but focused on the Commodore 64 he grew up with and PC gaming of various eras. The Might & Magic series has been a favorite of his since first playing Might & Magic 2 on a rented Sega Megadrive. When not gaming, Sashanan can be found posting on forums, catching up on his reading, or shamelessly writing about himself in third person. This document is a copyright of Peter "Sashanan" Butter, 2005. All rights reserved. Disclaimer at top of document.