Might and Magic VIII: Day of the Destroyer is a role-playing video game developed for Microsoft Windows by New World Computing and released in 2000 by the 3DO Company. It is the eighth game in the Might and Magic series. The game received middling critical reviews, a first for the series, with several critics citing the game's length and its increasingly dated game engine, which had been left fundamentally unaltered since Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven in 1998. The character development system, spells, sound effects, many of the sprites, and even some gameplay tasks - including an Arcomage quest - were for the most part recycled from earlier games, with little or non-notable tweaking.
Might and Magic VIII is based on the Might and Magic VI game engine, and many of its elements are strongly similar to the previous two titles in the series. Unlike the previous two games, however, Might and Magic VIII introduces a new party management system that allows all but one of the five possible player characters to be hired, dismissed or re-hired at any time during gameplay. The character class system used in the previous two games has similarly been overhauled, with only the cleric and knight classes remaining. The experience, spells, levelling and skill system present in both previous Might and Magic titles is retained, with only minor updates. In place of the traditional class system, Might and Magic VIII features non-archetypical playable races. Aside from human knights, clerics and necromancers, available classes include minotaurs, dragons, vampires, dark elves, and trolls, each of whom possesses traits unique to their particular race. As with its two predecessors, the game world is divided into fourteen "regions", including five elemental planes, each of which contains a varying mix of explorable towns, dungeons and wildernesses. Enemies are fought in either real-time or turn-based combat, depending on the player's preference.
In typical Might and Magic fashion, the game is fairly non-linear, so quests can be completed at the player's own leisure, though the completion of storyline quests is essential for progression. Dialog, lore and exploration are important to progression in the game, with some dungeons involving relevant puzzles. In addition, side quests and dungeons can warrant rewards if completed, but are not vital to the main storyline. Also, promotion quests can increase the capabilities of particular classes of character.
Like Might and Magic VII, the game includes a system of choices which affect fundamental aspects of gameplay. Throughout the course of the storyline, the player is given opportunities to side with either dragons or dragon hunters, and either sun priests or necromancers. This choice is permanent and affects several quests, NPC reactions and available recruitable characters. However, unlike its prequel, the game's ending sequence is not affected by the outcome of these choices.