Time is yet another concept in Might & Magic VII that must be addressed.
As you might have noticed, time passes in this game. And there's really
nothing you can do about it. The game starts on January 01, 1168. There are
twelve months, each having 28 days. Time passes at the rate of approximately
one game minute for every two real-life seconds. Of course, time also passes
quite rapidly when you rest, travel from region to region, or just simply by
waiting. You can advance the speed of time by pressing the R key (default)
and clicking on a denomination of time in which your characters are instructed
to hang around where they are and wait (5 minutes, an hour, or until the next
5:00 AM). Note that unlike camping, your characters can wait without fear of
being ambushed by enemies, although you still cannot choose to have them wait
while enemies are near.
Anyways, as time progresses, you are inevitably going to start noticing
some changes, which aren't necessarily bad, but you'll still want to be
prepared for them. First off, the most noticeable effect time has on your
travels concerns shopping. Whether shops need it or not, they will restock
their wares once every two weeks. However, for the two-week clock to begin,
you must enter that shop. After the shop restocks, you must enter it yet
again to start the clock again, and so on. This phenomenon, otherwise known
as "respawning", can also be applied on a much larger scale. Whenever you
enter a certain region, it starts a clock on that region. When that clock
this two years, the region respawns. Enemies and treasures will both
repopulate the map at this point, meaning you can go back for more experience
and gold if so desired. Also note that the one area that will never respawn
is inside Castle Harmondale. This is very important, as you can use the
treasure chests inside the castle to store your excess goods.
By the by, on a somewhat separate note, section III.C. of the FAQ is also
strictly timed. It is the only part of your quest with time several time
limits working at once, so you are advised to go into that particular area of
the walkthrough fully prepared.
Aside from what I've already mentioned the only other real effect time has
on you is age. Your characters, believe it or not, will age just as people
would in normal life. Your characters age naturally as the years pass by, and
certain forces throughout the land also have the capability to magically age
your characters. Your actual age and your current (magically-enhanced) age
are both statistics kept on a characters stat screen. In the event that your
current and actual age are different, your current age will be listed in
green. It is possible to reverse unnatural aging with the black potion
Rejuvenation. Natural aging cannot be reversed.
And so, inevitably, your characters will age as you play through the game.
Not that it will have any cosmetic effects on your characters whatsoever- I've
honestly seen characters in their thousands looking as young as they day they
were 20, which is at the very least profoundly astonishing. Statistics are
another issue, however. They remain fine for most of their life, but after
awhile, age will begin to alter their statistics. The chart below details how
your stats will alter to various percentages of what they once were after
reaching certain age thresholds.
| Age | Might | Int. | Per. | End. | Acc. | Speed | Luck |
| 0 - 49 | 100 | 100 | 100 | 100 | 100 | 100 | 100 |
| 50 - 99 | 75 | 150 | 150 | 75 | 100 | 100 | 100 |
| 100 - 149 | 40 | 100 | 100 | 40 | 40 | 40 | 100 |
| 150+ | 19 | 10 | 10 | 10 | 10 | 10 | 100 |
Now, a few things are apparent from this chart. For starters, your
characters will be pretty much fine until age 50, and that's when age this
them like a ton of bricks. There's a bad over-the-hill joke just waiting to
be made here, but I digress. Though the odds are fairly slim that your
characters will actually break the 50-year age point, it's actually not such a
bad deal for your magically-inclined characters, if you can handle the slight
dip in Might and Endurance. From age 100 and on, though, your character just
gets progressively worse and degenerates into a crippled mess of althzheimers
and Matlock reruns.