Might and Magic 8: Day of the Destroyer
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Might and Magic VIII: Character guide (English)

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=================

TABLE OF CONTENTS

=================



- About this FAQ



- The character classes

  • Cleric

  • Dark Elf

  • Dragon

  • Knight

  • Minotaur

  • Necromancer

  • Troll

  • Vampire

    - Promoted classes

    - Picking a starting character

    - Skill development

    - Recruiting notes

    - My party

    - Revision history

    - Final words





    ===========================================================================

    ABOUT THIS FAQ

    ===========================================================================



    Having played Might & Magic 8 several times, and restarted to try a

    different character mix more than once, I think I now know enough

    about the ins and outs of each of the eight character types to give

    some useful advice regarding which characters to pick and which skills

    to develop in each of these characters.



    This FAQ describes the eight available character types in M&M8. 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.



    ===========================================================================

    THE CHARACTER CLASSES

    ===========================================================================



    Character types and races have been through several changes during 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, and 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. In M&M 7, the races were brought back (and the number of

    classes expanded). 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.



    Might & Magic 8 also offers rather exotic classes. The only classes

    that were imported from previous games are the Knight and the Cleric.

    The Necromancer is the third human character, and is the equivalent

    of the Mage in earlier M&M games. Then there's the Dark Elf, the Troll

    and the Minotaur, three new races to play with. The Vampire is a

    particularly exotic choice, there sure aren't many RPGs around that

    allow you to play one! And the last character type is one many people

    will have been waiting for. Finally, we can have a Dragon in our party.

    And yes, they *are* powerful.



    So without further ado, let's take a closer look at each of the eight

    character classes, in alphabetical order.



    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.

    Also, the Cleric is the only character in the game who can learn the

    path of Light. Some of the game's more powerful spells are in that

    realm, and they alone make the Cleric a worthy addition to your party.

    In combat, Clerics are average. 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 a Cleric for your party very soon. I suggest keeping him

    around, replacing him only if you find a better Cleric. You do not want

    to be caught without one. His healing abilities, his mastery of the

    Light path, and the all-important Bless and Heroism spells are too

    important to miss out on.



    DARK ELF

    The Dark Elf is average in 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.

    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, though. 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.



    Finally, Dark Elves are skilled in magic as well. They can attain

    good skills 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 therefore bypasses 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.



    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: the Dragon cannot be chosen as your starting character. It is

    possible to get one fairly early in the game, though.



    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), the rest are

    all must-haves. One of the greatest features of the Knight is that he

    is powerful in the beginning of the game and powerful in the end.

    They'll never let you down!



    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

    will get broken in your quest.



    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.



    MINOTAUR

    You can either view them as powerful, fearsome monsters from Greek

    mythology, or cows walking on their hind legs. Either way, 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.



    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.



    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.



    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. Their magic will have to see them through, and

    fortunately, it usually does. 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.



    You'll get a Necromancer early on. Although they can be replaced by

    Dark Elves, you will miss out on the most powerful spells of each

    elemental realm (including such important magic as Lloyd's Beacon), not

    to mention the entire Dark path, which has to be seen to be believed.

    I therefore 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.



    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), and also has loads of hit points, more even than

    Knights and Dragons. He is best clad in Leather armor, which he can

    also attain Grand Mastery of. The Troll can learn Chain, but cannot

    Grand Master it. Plate is not an option.



    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 - Trolls, more than any other character, are very

    good at this skill. With Grand Mastery, lost hit points return at an

    alarming rate. Alarming to your opponents, that is.



    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

    amazing lvl 50 Troll available, but you can't get him until very late

    in the game.



    VAMPIRE

    I cannot help but consider this character to be left-over. Other people

    may feel the same way about the Minotaur. The Vampire is the true

    expert with the Dagger, and the only character who can Grand Master it.

    They can wear Chain Armor and can carry a Shield (although wielding

    two daggers is probably a better bet, once you have the necessary skill

    level). They can actually dish out good damage in combat this way,

    but are vulnerable to counterattacks due to their low hit point totals.



    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). All in all, though, the Vampire has a little

    of everything, and no truly defining skills except for its innate

    Vampire abilities. These can be useful, but are not all-powerful

    either. 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).



    A Vampire will join you early on. More can be found later on. I myself

    did not use them much, but feel free to give them a try. Just keep

    them in the back of your party, with only Necromancers behind them, if

    you plan to keep them "alive".





    ===========================================================================

    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. There's another FAQ at www.GameFAQs.com which'll

    tell you all about 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 my full

    walkthrough to come out. 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 ??



    All promotions quests are worth doing as soon as you can, but not vital.

    If one turns out to be hard, feel free to leave it alone until you've

    built another 5 levels or so. 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-round 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.





    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).



    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.



    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". At Grandmaster level, this is the only

    reliable way to protect yourself against enemies with instant-death

    attacks.



    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.



    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).



    DRAGON

    First priority: Dragon skills. These determine how powerful the Dragon

    is.



    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.



    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.



    Other important skills: Nothing, really. When you've Grand Mastered

    all the skills mentioned above (choosing between Sword and Spear, or

    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.



    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.



    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.



    Other important skills: Alchemy, Identify Item if you have no Dragon,

    and finally, combat skills (Staff and Leather, mostly).



    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.



    VAMPIRE

    First priority: Dagger and Chain, to boost the Vampire's combat abilities.



    Second priority: Basic skill in the Self realms, and the Vampire ability.



    Other important skills: Perhaps Identify Monster. Perhaps. Personally, if

    I used a Vampire, I'd go for additional skill in the Self realms as well.

    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 him access to such powerful

    spells as Raise Dead and Protection from Magic.





    ===========================================================================

    RECRUITING NOTES

    ===========================================================================



    I will not go into detail about which characters are available to recruit,

    where they are, and how to get them. There is a specific guide on GameFAQs

    on this topic already. 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. Just don't forget to spend those

    skill points when you get them!



    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. (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. 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.



    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 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. At lvl 5, he is a good addition to your

    party even if you are at lvl 15-20 (and he'll 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. Two 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. They are cool,

    but in the long run, you may wish to skip them at all. They can

    really take the challenge (and the fun) out of Might & Magic 8 if you

    ask me.



    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.



    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.

    I assume there's a lvl 50 Minotaur among them, but I haven't been able to

    recruit him yet.



    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

    (several, I assume there's a lvl 50 among them).



    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.



    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.





    ===========================================================================

    MY PARTY

    ===========================================================================



    To have an idea of what party I used, here's an overview of my party in

    my latest game. Although I never finished the game, I've played the

    first half of it many times already, with different starting characters

    and parties.

    Note that I intentionally did not use the dragon Ithilgore this time,

    because I feel Dragons upset the game balance too much.



    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 prefer 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 will spend the rest of his

    wonderful adventures within the walls of the Adventurer's Inn.



    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 starts

    with completely built spell skills (grand master in all elemental arts

    as well as dark magic), all other skills at very acceptable levels,

    and over a hundred unspent skill points which can be invested

    immediately. And as if that wasn't enough, he has *all* spells in his

    five arts in his spellbook! I immediately switched out Devlin to

    recruit this powerful character. It also saved me the trouble of

    finding all the grand master spells (Devlin didn't have any of them

    yet) and visiting all the grand masters in the elemental planes and

    on Regna.



    AND THAT'S PROBABLY IT...

    I have met and recruited all the lvl 50 characters in the game, except

    for the Dragon, which I do not intend to use. Having decided on which

    characters to use, I've also skipped out on the Minotaur (Ulrich) and

    the Vampire (forgot his name). They're both in the Adventurer's Inn

    and ready to join, but I'm not using those character classes.

    Furthermore, Thorne Understone the lvl 50 Troll isn't travelling with

    me, either. My main character is already a Troll and even if I could

    drop him, he's still better than Thorne. I've 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'm sticking with my original Cleric, Frederick

    Talimere.

    That leaves three lvl 50 characters: Blazen Stormlance the Champion,

    Cauri Blackthorne the Dark Elf Patriarch and Ventrinus Taleshire

    the Lich, and all three are in my party. Therefore, I'm probably

    done with character switching now.

    Since Ventrinus has the Fly spell (in addition to all the others),

    the need for a Dragon has been completely eliminated. The one thing

    I still miss is a Vampire to levitate me over lava pits; although

    I haven't run across any underground ones yet, and above the ground,

    the Fly spell can be used instead. It also worked in the Plane of

    Fire, which had plenty of lava.



    My usual combat tactic is 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 notice the difference.

    Then, depending on the enemy type, I either go into turn-based mode and

    fire arrows (for melee opponents), or charge them and perform melee

    attacks in real time, usually using hit-and-run tactics. For tough

    opponents, I go into turn-based mode and have Cauri and Ventrinus use

    Darkfire and Toxic Cloud, respectively. Both can do around 100 damage

    points if they're lucky and the enemy isn't too resistant. By now,

    both Stenax and Blazen can deal similar damage in melee. Blazen usually

    does more (I've seen up to 150 per blow from him), but Stenax has a 20%

    chance to paralyze and a 20% chance to stun with every blow, which makes

    him very powerful indeed.

    Now that Ventrinus is part of my team, I also like to use the Grand

    Master Dark spell, Souldrinker. I must say this spell has to be seen to

    be believed. That one alone makes it worth having a Lich.





    ===========================================================================

    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.



    v.1.2: (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.



    v.1.3: (15 Nov '00) Added some more to the overview of my own party,

    probably my last character switch.



    Future plans include updating the overview of my own party, as I proceed

    in the game. A full walkthrough may come in the future, but don't count

    on it. (Besides, there are plenty of good ones around already. Check

    GameSages, www.gamesages.com, for example.)







    ===========================================================================

    FINAL WORDS

    ===========================================================================



    For questions, comments, suggestions, praise and criticism, contact the

    author, Sashanan, at sashanan@hetnet.nl. Any serious mail will be answered.

    Please put "Your Might & Magic 8 FAQ" or something like that in the topic.



    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.



    I have a small RPG review/walkthrough site called Sashy's RPG Temple at

    come.to/sashy, feel free to check it out.



    "Much that I bound, I could not free. Much that I freed returned to me."

    (Lee Wilson Dodd)



    This document copyright 2000, Sashanan. All rights reserved.



    Sashanan
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