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I'm getting into MM7; have played 6 partway through (but lost it when hard drive died). I really wanted it just as a warm-up for 7 anyway, which sounds more interesting to me, as it is in HoMM3 timeframe which I also have and really enjoyed.

Anyway, I wonder how important tank v. spellcaster v. disarmer of traps is in MM7? I am considering a few different parties, which would be best for someone who knows some about MM series but hasn't played 7 before? (No spoilers!)

* Paladin, Archer, Cleric, Sorcerer -- probably my most highly desirable class, if I can get it to work and don't miss out on much this way...how bad would lack of expert traps and lack of a total melee-focused person hurt me?
-- As a slight variant, I would be willing to substitute Knight in for either Paladin or Archer, and that would be close to my most desired, if a tank is highly recommended for first play through.

* Knight, Thief, Cleric, Sorcerer -- the basic one recommended on the screen, seems to cover all areas. That said, the only reason I would be interested in the Thief class is for traps/perception...can I substitute something else in and still do fine with traps? What would be the best sub to still manage most of the traps in the game?

Also considering Monk, but probably not for my first playthrough. I have heard there is a big decision-point on light v. dark, and I would probably choose light my first time through, if that makes a difference in your first-time recommendations.

Thanks!
Post edited September 02, 2013 by sdbutler80
you won't need perception as much in this game, safe for a few extra areas/secrets. Disarm trap is really good though, but for what I remember an archer can disarm fine. Both party examples you have are fine and work well. Just be sure that each of your characters knows one of the following abilities -> Repair, Disarm Trap, Mercantile and Identify. Both the PACS combo or the KTCS combo should do you fine on all aspects.

Choosing the light side is IMO the easier path of the game and definitely recommended for the first playthrough!

(although 'officially' the party choosing the dark path would have become the series' canon if the Forge town plans weren't scrapped from HOMM3's Armageddon's Blade expansion - but I digress, that is a different story hehe.).
Thieves are also strong melee fighters, stronger than paladins or archers, only surpassed by knight and maybe monk. A party consisting of Paladin, Archer, Cleric, Sorcerer is fine nevertheless, no need to switch anything.
The archer is actually not good at disarming traps. You need a monk or a ranger to even have degree 2, and in MM7 every skill has four degrees, not just three. The monk gets to degree 3 ONLY if you choose the dark path (and therefore later in the game than the thief who can pick up degree 3 before those class changes), and in my experience, the traps can be deadly. The thing is, you either should have a thief or get the telekinesis spell to open traps from a safe distance. In some cramped spaces it won't help, but it works. It was moved to the earth school of magic, for I can't imagine what reason. A druid will get it the easiest, or a sorcerer with more work because you need to complete a rather difficult quest to promote your sorcerer to wizard to get the spell. You need to have expert or master or grand-master in the magic skills in order to cast the higher and higher level spells in MM7, also, which is very different from MM6.

I would recommend trying a ranger, archer, druid, and cleric your first time around. The ranger and archer give you tremendous fire power, as only they can get to shoot two arrows at degree 3 with the bow (another change again), and the archer's elemental magic combined with the druid packs a great punch, and the ranger has degree 2 access to spells and the easiest first promotion quest in the game. The cleric is fantastic for light magic, and body magic, and together with the druid and the ranger also, you can't beat this party for survivability even though you won't ever get Lloyd's Beacon, which only a sorcerer can get, or be able to Town Portal out of a fight, which only a sorcerer can do.

The cleric's body magic is also extremely powerful, by the way, because of protection from magic, which can protect you from special effects like instant death. This is vital at one point late in the game, when you face an enemy who can eradicate you with a single shot.
Your party is solid, even though you won't have anybody to disarm traps. You know, there is Cleric's Feather Fall so Cleric's Disarm Traps spell will work similar way ;). You should, however, have one character (archer in your case) with disarm trap skill. Even if he fails in disarming a trap your party will get somewhat lower damage just because he know something about disarming. And the let the cleric clear up the mess ;)
The default party of Knight/Thief/Cleric/Sorcerer is a solid one for a first playthrough. Because of the way skill masteries work in VII, it's... recommendable to have a thief in your party (or a monk if you go evil) because those are the only two classes who can reach Master Disarm Traps, which is good enough to get you through the entire game. Most other melee classes can do what the knight does already (though not as well), so if you want an archer/monk/ranger/paladin in that slot, go for it.

That being said, do what you want to do. As a word of warning, you'll probably want a cleric because of Grandmaster Protection From Magic, a spell that is almost crucial at a specific point in the game, and you'll want the ability to cast master-level elemental spells as well.
My bad on the archer, I knew the class wasn't the best for disarming but not so much. I would disagree though with Larias on having your first playthrough with a party lacking a knight or sorceror. Especially the sorcerer hand his town portal, lloyd's beacon spells etc are vital to finding your way and navigating/learning the land with ease.

Without Town Portal, getting to (and from) a certain area on the map will become a major pain in the ass.
Post edited September 03, 2013 by Nickcronomicon
M&M 7 can be played with any group depending at your style of play and how much time you are willing to invest.
I even read a "RP-Diary" fo a group of Knights :)...but...groups like this mean to raise the difficulty, investing much more time and dying...

For a "easy" playthrough that let you experience the game without tears you need someone to disarm Traps...someone to heal/buff your party and a Tank...

Just take a look at
http://www.ipass.net/faust1/mm7/skills_index.html

and the description of the Skills and their "grades" at the handbook...and think about what you like/dislike..

You want a real Tank...a walking Fortress...take a Knight and build up Plate/Shild and Bodybuilding...you wan't a Tank with selfheal and a bit CC...take a Pala build up Mace/Bodymagic and Plate...you wan't a Evasiontank with a bit CC...take a Monk build up Dogeing/Leather unarmed and Staff...

The important think it to take a look what kind of synergie the Skills build..the Monk for example has the
Grandmaster Doging+Leathermaster "combo" and Staff&unarmed-Grandmastercombo...together..it makes him a hard to hit..hitting hard-char...but if he's hit..he will suffer the full force of the Punch...while a Knight is much easier to hit..but get a 50% DR for Meleeattacks...

Aside from synergies it's often a question..what do wan't first...at the long Road a Dark Monk can disarm most Traps without Problem but it will take a long time until he's really good at it..on the other hand the Monk is a stronger Fighter/Tank

Many Words cut short...;)...it depends mostly at your wishes


And don't forget the Boni NSC can give your Party ;)
Post edited September 03, 2013 by DF1871
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Nickcronomicon: My bad on the archer, I knew the class wasn't the best for disarming but not so much. I would disagree though with Larias on having your first playthrough with a party lacking a knight or sorceror. Especially the sorcerer hand his town portal, lloyd's beacon spells etc are vital to finding your way and navigating/learning the land with ease.

Without Town Portal, getting to (and from) a certain area on the map will become a major pain in the ass.
You can get Town Portal with a druid, only not to grand-master level so you can't use it to escape a tough fight if you're about to lose. I just mentioned that in the context of using it to survive sudden death, as you will often enter areas your first time playing that you wish you hadn't. I think the party I made is ideal for survivability and ease of access to Town Portal and the other elemental spells of the Master level, including Fly, which will make getting to Wizard as a Sorcerer a lot easier. A sorcerer is great, and so is a knight, but the knight can be tricky because you need to pass the last promotion quest at very low level or else the Arena fights will be super hard, and the sorcerer can't get Master level spells until completing his first promotion quest, which requires finding six pieces of a golem hidden all over Erathia outdoors. The knight is bar none the best in melee, though some say the monk is just as good or better, and the sorcerer, as the only caster capable of grand-mastery in the elemental magic schools, is very powerful, but there are only four spells only he can cast and they're not irreplaceable even though they're great. You can do as much if not more damage with sparks and poison spray than with Incinerate, believe it or not, and Meteor Swarm is already very effective and Death Blossom is there for monsters immune to fire.

The ranger also is great because he can grand-master in identify monster, which is really great your first time through. With an axe, which he is the only one who can grand-master, he will do lots of damage, and there are some great combos you can learn for him. He is the disarm trap person in this group, though he only gets expert so you'll need telekinesis with your druid ASAP.

The archer has perception, which will help you detect traps before walking into them, and also find hidden things, and he can fight well up close and at range, with a blistering +1 point of ranged damage per skill point in bow at grand-mastery.
Post edited September 03, 2013 by Larias
Larias Party is a "Jack of all Trades-Party"...expect for being Masters of Longrange-combat to weaken/kill enemys before a turnbased fight is started...

I think it will offer an easy start, as long as you use the advantage of your ranged combatstrenght, and a good survivability from start to midgame because many redundant skills...like having 3 Chars being able to heal...
but diversity and redundancy have their price...

Larias said...you will only miss 4 spells chosing a Druid instead of a Sorc...thats not completly true...you miss the 4 Grandmasterspells, you trade Mastership in Body&Mind against GM in Light or Dark..and..., the most important think, you will miss the mighty bonuses granted to many spells with Grandmastership..on the other Hand...the
Druid has better armor access, better alchemy, and, if you know what you're doing, a better spell point pool.

or talking about the Ranger..he is very good at longrange and still deals medicore-good closerangedamage...but hes only a weak Tank compared to a Knight,Pala or Monk...

or talking about healing...you have a celric as Mainhealer and 2 supporthealers...thats great...but...your Party will take more damage because your Buffs/Debuffs are weaker, your "Tank" lacks a big HP-Pool, armor or evasion,...

or...

Seen longterm...the party will be at least medicore at all areas expect for longrange combat..but lacking the "special Power" of ultimate Mastery ;)

That doesn't mean it's a weak or bad party...it just needs a special way to be played to keep the upper Hand.
Thereby, all Party needs their special Way to be played ;) and have their Pros and Cons..its mostly question of personal preference and playstyle.

So..just form your Party, start the Game...and test if the playstyle fits you :)
Post edited September 04, 2013 by DF1871
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DF1871: Larias Party is a "Jack of all Trades-Party"...expect for being Masters of Longrange-combat to weaken/kill enemys before a turnbased fight is started...

I think it will offer an easy start, as long as you use the advantage of your ranged combatstrenght, and a good survivability from start to midgame because many redundant skills...like having 3 Chars being able to heal...
but diversity and redundancy have their price...

Larias said...you will only miss 4 spells chosing a Druid instead of a Sorc...thats not completly true...you miss the 4 Grandmasterspells, you trade Mastership in Body&Mind against GM in Light or Dark..and..., the most important think, you will miss the mighty bonuses granted to many spells with Grandmastership..on the other Hand...the
Druid has better armor access, better alchemy, and, if you know what you're doing, a better spell point pool.

or talking about the Ranger..he is very good at longrange and still deals medicore-good closerangedamage...but hes only a weak Tank compared to a Knight,Pala or Monk...

or talking about healing...you have a celric as Mainhealer and 2 supporthealers...thats great...but...your Party will take more damage because your Buffs/Debuffs are weaker, your "Tank" lacks a big HP-Pool, armor or evasion,...

or...

Seen longterm...the party will be at least medicore at all areas expect for longrange combat..but lacking the "special Power" of ultimate Mastery ;)

That doesn't mean it's a weak or bad party...it just needs a special way to be played to keep the upper Hand.
Thereby, all Party needs their special Way to be played ;) and have their Pros and Cons..its mostly question of personal preference and playstyle.

So..just form your Party, start the Game...and test if the playstyle fits you :)
The cleric gets grandmaster in light or dark. You don't need a sorcerer for that, and the sorcerer does only give you four spells the party won't have through the druid or cleric. I like to think of the party as a "pick you fight" group, to play with a moderate amount of caution, and take advantage of ranged damage. You made some interesting points, but the big buff spells are in light magic and spirit magic in MM7. Dark magic used to have day of protection in MM6, but they moved it to light, and in any case, you could use both light and dark on the same character in MM6 but you just want to make sure the guy with the skill has enough skill points left over to make it high in light or dark for that spell.
I knew that the cleric get GM light or dark too, maybe i missed to made it clear...my goal was only to compare the Sorc. with the Druid. If one is taking the good road...2 GM in light wan't make a big difference because most good lightspells
are longtimebuffs and the GMspell will be only used it everything seems lost :)...but if one is taking the Dark Road...having 2 Dark GM can be a really great benefit.

Aside from this...i wrote to..that the longrange is the great strenght of your party...if one manges the realtime fight good
you can erase many enemys before they even reach you...and to repeat it...i don't think it's a weak or bad Partyconcept...
as most other concepts..it need a special way to be played to be really successful...if it fits one playstyle..everything will be fine ;)..

There's no real right or wrong in MM7 and we might waste our "breath" anyway i fear...because the original inquirer doesen't reacted.

PS:
By the Way..i found this..i wouldn't agree to everything he sugested but it's a very nice summary...everything at one gaze as i would say ;)

http://www.cheatbook.de/wfiles/mightandmagicviiparty.htm
Post edited September 05, 2013 by DF1871
I get you Larias, especially on the Knight thing. swapping the standard party's Knight with a Paladin is a fairly good idea. Still I think that the sorcerer is a slightly easier class for a first playthrough instead of a druid, but to each his own, the game is fairly mild for an oldskool RPG anyway!
Thank you all for the suggestions!

I created a spreadsheet (which anyone can modify for the 4 characters) to see how and when you get access to particular skills, posted in another thread, here is the link:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AoxYdn_z85dwdFA0emV1YTJvaF9HcEpQVXpWZVc4TXc#gid=0

This helped me visualize all of your suggestions and see quite quickly what skills I would miss out on. I tried to maximize most skills that matter (but I don't have any use for Dagger or Unarmed for my first playthrough...I get that the Monk probably rocks, but probably better for a 2nd playthrough when I do the Dark path).

I decided I am willing to take a hit to Disarm Traps in exchange for the Bow & Magic of an Archer...just simply that I think I'll have more fun with that class. I'll be sure to invest in Disarm, but it seems like I can do OK with an Archer, just not great...probably more of an issue mid-game and late game than early on, I would suppose; by mid-game I am hoping I can find someone else to pick up the slack on Disarm, or I just won't get every single chest, which is fine with me. I was sorely tempted to go with Paladin instead of Knight, but I decided for my first playthrough I do want a dedicated Tankersaurus, particularly since my other 3 are not tanks.
To be fair, your sorcerer could have Telekinesis (Master-level Earth Magic) by the time your Archer's disarming skills become ineffectual and you can start just setting off those traps remotely. Admittedly, Earth magic is easily the weakest of the elemental schools, but skill points are plentiful enough that it shouldn't matter.