Expansion Update - Hero's Hour v 1.8

A new update has dropped. This has been the update that has been the longest time in the works, and I believe it might also be the largest update to date.

Back in October, I was given the opportunity to have some more time to work on the game than was usual, so for the last months, I've been working with the knowledge that this would be the time to do any larger mechanical changes requiring a lot of programming work. That period has since ended when we entered December, and I've been spending the last weeks polishing and fixing bugs so that we may now stand here.

Version 1 . 8 - the EXPANSION.

Is a big one.

There's actually way too much going on, so I'll only be able to cover the major changes. First, in bullet point form. Then, one by one.

New overworld buildings: Monuments
New overworld buildings: Palaces

Unit modding
Hero class modding
Artifact modding

7 new types of terrain
New terrain assets
Map styles improvements
Map generation improvements
Underground maps

New Order faction mechanic and building: Idolatry
Earthen Temple of War and Monument of War rework
Reworked Decay faction mechanics

New town screens (WIP)
New town building: Architect
New town building: Mercenary Hall
Rebalanced costs of all faction-specific buildings

Several new unit abilities
14 new rare units
20 new faction units - a unit + an upgrade for each faction
18 new units for 11th faction (named Pillar)

Several UI updates and changes
Reworked options screen
More options

Additionally, I have implemented an 11th Faction, but this is not playable yet.

Two new categories of adventure map buildings have been added to the game. Monuments exist in 70 versions, each linked to a different faction units, while Palaces are linked to the different facctions, though only aesthetically.

Palaces are a new mid-tier adventure map building, which offers increased gold income. They also boost creature growth in the nearby town, and give a defensive bonus. The defensive bonus is meant to make it so that the enemy has to take out your palaces before they can defeat you. This makes map control more important.

Monuments are a new type of creature dwelling on the map. Once captured, you can pay to create units there, with a weekly limit. Once captured, you do not need to have a hero visit the Monument to create new units.  You can also choose what kind of resource you want to pay with, giving you another way to spend all your extraneous resources.

Finally, the Monuments can be upgraded. You need to pay a lump sum for this, but not only does it instantly make more units accessible, it also makes each unit cheaper to create, as well as increase the weekly growth of units.

Monuments were added to give another way of using resources, especially rare resources, to gain more soldiers.

Back in v 1.7, the first type of modding was added, allowing you to add in custom heroes. Now in v 1.8, three more types of modding joins in. 

First, we have unit modding. While this is one of the most exciting types of modded content, it is also the one that requires quite a bit of art assets. Nevertheless, SEVERAL artists have already thrown themselves at the task and have created very imaginitive new unit additions to the Hero's Hour mod roster. 

Unit mods are composed of a sprite asset, which requires twenty images stitched together into a horizontal strip. These 20 images should show 5 animations, 4 images of each, in the following order: Idle, Walk, Attack, Hurt, Death. The last image is also how the unit looks as a corpse. The other half of the unit mod is a text file which specifies the strength and abilities of the unit.

Artifact modding is simpler, since it just requires a single 16x16 image. Again, a text file with the name and effects of the artifact.

Finally, some people wanted custom hero overworld sprites - and also hero combat sprites. That's what Hero class modding is there to do. This is actually the most asset-heavy mod type so far, since it requires 4 frames of animation for each of the 8 directions the hero can move in, all assembled in a single 512x18 sprite.

Included with this update is also better hero-unit interaction when it comes to mod. Now modded heroes can use any unit, not just neutral units, as their starter unit.

The world has been updated! Long ago, way back in the v05 days, I added in alternate terrain types, which didn't work well and looked quite bad. Now, with a lot more experience, I return to give you 7 lovely new types of terrain - doubling up!

Including, but not limited to:
- taiga
- obsidian
- red desert (okay this one isn't actually new)
- moss forest
- deep forest
- decayed lands

Additionally, all terrains, both old and new, have been given new assets, including way more 2x2 size assets. The world is once more interesting.

Finally, maps have been changed up so that they don't all get docks and islands. Instead, some maps get islands, some get water generation, some get portals, etc. Larger maps tend to have most of those v1.1 features.  Which maps get what features are now displayed in map descriptions that can be read on the map selection screen.

Additionally, some maps have been changed to become underground maps, where part of the map is beneath ground and part is above. Even some nice new underground gates to connect the land of sun and that of shade.

PS: Also fixed some map generation bugs and made it so that towns and early mines are placed more centrally within their realm.

Order has always been one of the less interesting factions in the game, mechanics-wise - and there's been ONE common request: To give them angels.

I found a solution to these two issues, and it isn't to give them angels. The Order of Hero's Hour is a medieval kingdom, not the "good guys" faction. They're morally ambiguous at best. Instead of being granted angels by some god, they instead get to forge Idols themselves, with the new Idolatry mechanic unique to Order.

The Tower of Idolatry allows you to transform an Order soldier into an Idol, using the latent power available in artifacts. The Idol you get, their power and their abilities, depends on what you put in. Even though it's a "something for something" deal, it's a very powerful unit, and the only thing that keeps it from being overpowered is that it's a late-game mechanic.

On the other side, Decay also gets a mechanical upgrade. I wasn't satisfied with how passive their soul beacon was, how similar to the infirmary it was, or how unnecessarily ambiguous it was. The new Soul Beacon mechanics are quite exciting because it makes things a lot more impactful.

First off, the Soul Beacon now creates just a couple of different units at a type instead of giving a wide swath of random undeads. To start, it gives just normal skeletons, but as you build more Decay-specific town structures, you unlock new types of undeads, which you can switch between.

The mechanic still works by combining dead enemies together with beacon power (now Binding Power), but the process is more straightforward. 10 Binding Power can raise 10 power worth of units. Each day, when possible, X Binding Power and X Soul Power will be spent to create the selected units. And how many units will it create each week, then? The numbers are displayed in the centre.

Oh, right. v 1.8 also adds three new undead creatures.

As you must have seen above, there's new graphical town screens! These are drawn by KraftKraken and are an absolute joy. There's also new town UI to go with it, where you can either build and use buildings straight from the town overview, or open up windows to the good ol' build grid. 

The town screens are of course a call-back to the amazing landscapes of the Heroes of Might and Magic series. A mix between the romantic landscapes of H3 and more extravagant town styles of H5. When you start the game, your town screen will show an almost barren landscape, which transforms into a voluptuous cityscape as you play.

Right now in v 1.8, there's just 5 town screens included: Order (drawn by Krisys, actually), Wild, Arcane, Decay and Enclave. Pyre is on its way, and I'm sure that before v2 is finished, we'll have all factions with beautiful vistas.


There's also a couple of new common buildings for all factions. These are the Architect and the Mercenary Hall.

The Architect allows a bit extra gold income, as well as furthering the development of your town 3x as much as building other buildings. This allows you to more easily skip to late-game buildings.

The Mercenary Hall, on the other hand, is a late-game building which allows you to get infinite units - at a cost. It allows you to hire units which aren't from your own faction. The more you hire, the more expensive they get. You can also reroll the units once a week at a cost of 1000 gold, which resets their price to the original.

Finally, all faction buildings have had their costs rebalanced. I did a super boring questionnaire, but people nonetheless took their time to give their opinion on what the different buildings should cost. This makes it so that there's more buildings you're excited to get.

In total, v 1.8 includes 60 new units. These come in different categories:

14 new neutral units, including the 3 undeads from before, some horned horses, a couple of new boss units, one of which was donated by HubertDradon, some units that spawn other units, some small dragon-aligned units.

20 new faction units. Just like in v1.4, each faction gets a completely new unit + upgrade, as an alternate. There's also some rule changes to alternate units, which makes it easier to switch back and forth without worry.

18 new units for a new faction. The faction is NOT released yet, but the units are. Huzzah?

8 new sample modded units. The included sample mod with the ant hero and the ant unit are made by a user named AntRose - the rest of the included modded units are made by me.

The new units also sport cool new abilities such as:

Regeneration: This creature regenerates health over time. The more health regenerated, the slower the regeneration becomes
Saviour: This creature can combine human corpses on the battlefield into permanent Survivors
Release: When this creature goes below half health, it has a chance to cast a spell
Immortal: When this creature would otherwise die, it goes into hibernation. It will wake up after 30 seconds or at the end of combat. Each time it goes into hibernation, the chance of surviving next time is halved
Explosion: When this creature dies, it explodes, damaging nearby enemies and knocking friends away
Grapple: Enemies struck by this creature's ranged attack will be pulled towards this creature
Infest: When this creature attacks, it has a chance to summon <UNITNAMES>
Fortune: This creature has a much higher chance of having luck strikes. Luck strikes deal 3x damage, strike a larger area and have more knockback
Budding: When this creature takes damage, it has a chance to summon <UNITNAMES>
Splitting: When this creature dies, it summons two <UNITNAMES>
Long Ranged: This creature's ranged attacks can strike enemies further away than other ranged creatures would
Short Ranged: This creature's ranged attacks have a shorter range than other ranged creatures, but can also hit enemies closer to them
Aura of Power: Creatures close to this will have their health, attack and speed increased
Rage: When this unit takes damage, its damage and speed increases

Also, some older units have been changed to now have the Rage ability.

Finally, there's some UI upgrades to the map selection, the options screen and the in-game HUD.

Oh, also a new type of Skirmish where you yourself get to pick and choose what units you and the opponent will have. It also gives shared control of the battle, so you can use this when playing together with another player.

So! That's it for now. Soon it'll be Christmas, and then in the new year, exciting things will happen!

Not so much with the game itself, though. From now on and for the next 2½ months, Hero's Hour will be in a no-new-content zone, only allowing bug fixes and further polish to take place. At the end of winter, Hero's Hour v2 will launch. I expect the changes from now until then to be quite minor, when talking about big things. But I've been making space for more options, both when it comes to map creation and how you play the game. So expect more flexibility, more Quality of Life stuff.

Two exciting things will happen on the community front. Hero's Hour will have its second tournament. The first tournament had 29 players, and the gold medal went to Freshjori, who got a new unit in the game as prize, the Freshling. The second tournament - well, let's see! I've learnt a lot since the first go, so I think it'll be better.

Then, I'll also be starting work on a 12th faction, which will be called the Community Decided FactionWhile the 11th faction is finished now, and will be released with v2, the 12th faction will start development in January and will be added in v2.1, that is, in quite a long time, still. I'm hoping to be able to use this time to do some involved community votes to decide how this faction should turn out.

In both cases, I'll be sending some info out onto the waves of the internet by then. But if you want to stay more closely in touch, you can follow me on twitter, or join the Hero's Hour discord.

I'm really bad at answering emails these days. Please, if you have bug reports or other questions, the best way to get them to me is via the discord, which has a #bug-reports channel just for that.

I'm tired but happy, proud but distracted. This is a great update. It's also way too much. There were 11 pre-releases to get to this point. I hope to do more frequent and less substantial updates in the future.

I wish you happy holidays and great hopes for the new year

- ThingOnItsOwn


Hero's Hour - v 1.8.1 (free demo) 100 MB
Dec 17, 2021
Hero's Hour - v1.8.1 100 MB
Dec 17, 2021

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Oh that's a BIG update. My favourite addition are town screens. I miss them in HoMM series... aand also new units were added ahh. I haven't played HH in a while but came back to have fun. I am totally going to buy game 2nd time when it will be released on steam.
Wishing you happy Xmas (a bit delayed) and a great New Year!

Happy new year to you as well! Just wanted to let you know that if you bought HH here you will get a stem key as well. :) 

Great job! That's a lot of work! I really love the city screens!


Great update! Was the memory leak bug fixed or is it planned to be fixed in future updates?


Oh, there's basically no memory leak since... v 1.6 I believe.


so cool!!


Woah! :o


Amazing update. Happy holidays :)