I finally got around to playing M&M 7: For Blood and Honor and yet again, I'm amazed by how darn fun these games are, and I thought I would share a bit of my theory as to why I find myself loving these games. Before I go any further, I need to stress something: I am not talking about Heroes of Might and Magic, those are RTS-like games. I mean just normal Might and Magic. For those of you who have never played, the Might and Magic games are a First Person Perspective Group-Based Dungeon Crawler type thing (though they have plenty of outdoor exploration too). It's similar to Eye of the Beholder for anybody who's played any of those games. The games' main features are lots of dungeon crawling, lots of turn-based combat, good group/character customization in the later games, and a rather open-ended world to explore, where the only thing stopping you are Beef Gates (powerful enemies that will kill you fast if you go somewhere you're not meant to go yet) and they only give you basic hints as to where you're supposed to go next. I started with the M&M series back in 3: Isles of Terra, when I was a teen/young adult back when I had a 486 Win95 PC and then recently, I got 4&5 (Xeen) and then eventually played 6: Mandate of Heaven, and now I'm on 7: For Blood and Honor. I highly recommend Xeen and 6-8. #9 was rushed and has lots of bugs sadly, and #10 was developed by a different studio, so I'm not going to recommend those (I haven't played them myself). They can all be found on GOG for rather cheap. 1 through 5 are DOS games (they ship with a pre-configured DOSBox so setup is easy) and make heavy use of keyboard shortcuts, so be aware of that. So anyhow, the topic of this Game Design Talk is Might and Magic's curious progression formula that the game uses. In most RPGs, you get this gradual curve as you progress through the game, and in the beginning, your stat growth is rather fast, and then it levels off to a steady incline as you gain XP and levels, as long as gold and buying items, your characters steadily grow through the game, and it's a nice even progression. In Might and Magic, however, at least the ones I've played (3 through 7), you start off very incredibly weak, barely able to handle the fights at the beginning of the game (and that is only if you are really careful and I highly suggest you save often, mistakes are VERY costly). Then as you do a few small quests, and get a couple levelups, things start getting a bit more comfortable. And then... And then you skyrocket in power very quickly. In M&M7, I'm about 4-5 hours into the game, and I went from struggling with enemies and trying to find enough money for basic things to getting 3-4 levelups within an hour and a half's play and doubling my money to the point I feel I got extra money (but not infinite money!) and now I'm just murdering things left and right and it's fun as all frick. As long as I go to the right dungeon, where I'm supposed to be, if this is anything like M&M6 was, my characters will come back from each dungeon loaded with gold, loot, and lots of XP ready to train new levelups and the growth will continue for most of the game until near the end when it finally levels off, but by then you should have all the tools, spells, and good equipment you need, and if you set up your group in a reasonable way, you should be able to handle what the game throws at you, provided you're playing decently well and you coast on till the end. It's that sudden rapid growth that is really fun, though, when you get so much loot and gold (that you will actually need!), that it's just plain fun. M&M isn't afraid to reward you for your efforts, but yet given how you can get to level 150+, and as you get higher and higher, the levelups start getting more and more expensive, you never feel like gold is useless. There's always something you could spend gold on. Sadly, the company that made the original Might and Magic series (New World Computing IIRC) is no longer around and the remnants were, IIRC, bought by Ubisoft which means we'll likely never see another good M&M game that truly captures the spirit unless some indie developer wants to make one, which I really hope happens someday. We need more games like these around!