I’m a social person and I see my friends often. Every weekend there is a party, event, or a gig that I am attending. Well, that was, until the government instructed us to start social distancing and closed off everything except the absolutely necessary. I support the lockdown 100% but it just leaves me (and almost everyone else) in a completely new situation. This all called for a discord meeting with a few friends to figure out new ways to spend time together. Heroes 3 (or Heroes of Might and Magic 3) was what we came up with, in a small innovative fire, that we set up late one afternoon.
We scheduled a Saturday evening to try out Heroes 3 online. Me and 5 friends, some beer and the whole night ready to be played away. Most of us had never played heroes 3 online and getting it to work for everyone was a hassle but we overcame it. Funnily there was a lot of server issues that night. A lot of people seemed to link it to the number of online players of this old game exploding, now that everyone is just staying at home. The global chat of the game was filled with comments such as “game is too popular” and “why so many people playing tonight”. A 21-year-old game getting too popular thanks to Covid-19. Insane.
It is amazing how some games age so well. Heroes 3 is one of those. The game only loses to newer ones in the graphics section. Other than that it still plays like a dream. I think the game is more similar to board games in this regard anyway. A high level of tactics and micro-management do not need fancy graphics to be effective.
Picture 1: some gameplay footage from a solo game of mine
I have played the game on and off with friends ever since I first got my hands on it roughly 17 years ago. But before corona, playing it was extremely seldom. Now, however, I and a few friends figured this is one way we can pass the boredom in this strange period of time.
And it is not only heroes 3 that might bring me together with my friends during this period of time. We have also got together for 2 different online gigs and a couple of Habbo-hotel like parties. Just this last weekend there were over 400 people “dancing” in the club and having conversations. That and discord for talking, while not exactly the same as meeting in person, does feel like a good alternative.
Picture 2: It is lonely to party alone, way better with a 100 or more other people
This is what I am hoping from the future: more parties like the one pictured above to be held in a similar fashion and more Heroes 3. Perhaps gig and party organizers could offer a streaming service to those who are not able to make it to the venue physically. This has actually got me thinking; why hasn’t parties and live performances utilized the internet like this earlier? Of course there have been some, but to make them feel more social would be an excellent step forward. But for now, heroes 3 and the occasional online gigs have to suffice but hopefully, they will be a thing long after the lockdown has ended and things have seemingly returned to normal.