Hero Wars

Have you heard of the following?
  • PvE
  • PvP
  • AoE
  • ATK [various]
  • DEF [various]
  • HP
  • Block
  • Crit
  • AFK
  • Class
  • Gear
  • Status/Rank
  • Build
  • Tank
  • Support
  • Healer
If you've played an online game with a cast of characters with varying skills, abilities and backstories I'm sure the above list will be familiar to you one way or another. The first game that was played with a focus on character build and gear was Legend of Dragoon. Yes this is a console game from way back but it was the only thing that came to mind as being a first.

Some years down the road I was introduced to Wartune through Facebook but some how wound up on R2 Games. This was a different environment in itself and not one I was completely used to. After some tutelage from some friendly players along with my guild mates, the game became a slight breeze to play.

Crystal Saga, Swords of Divinity and Nidia were played for a while as well. After a while a break was taken and I went back to play some casual games. While browsing and playing some games, I came across an interesting looking game by the name Hero Wars.

It's A MOBA!!

Sorry had to get that out. MOBA is a new term for me and translates into Massively Online Battle Arena. Despite the Massively Online part, it varies from the games I've played prior.

A major breakaway difference is that focus is on the entire groups build rather than an individual. Levels are applied to the group as a whole with each character being leveled up to the group level at maximum for the time being. For example, if my group level is 38 then each available character on my roster can be leveled up to 38 and no higher.

Current Roster of Characters I've obtained.

This got my attention right away but was wondering how each character would fair if they all were on the same level. Well that question was answered rather quickly with the introduction of gear, skills, ranks, artifacts and stars. Even with all that awesomeness it took some getting used to.

Gear in Hero Wars is not like gear in Wartune [have played this longer so will use as example]. In Wartune you receive gear in accordance to your character's level set (20, 30, 40 etc) and their class (Archer, Knight, Mage). Here you receive gear based on what is required for your rank (White, Green, Blue, Orange).

Wartune - Lvl 80 Mage w/Lvl 70 gear. 5 of 8 at
Legendary meaning I'm half way thru the pre-req
for Lvl 80 gear.
How do you go up in rank you ask? By getting promoted. Seriously though you increase your rank by getting promoted and this can only occur once you've collected all items needed for your current rank.

The best tip I can give is to wait - as long as you can - till all your characters have all the gear needed for their current rank before promoting. Why? You may not take notice at first but there are items that are needed to create other items which may be items one of your characters need to be armed with.

While you're waiting for your characters to get situated for their big promotion, you can take the time to build up their skills. Skills are increased via Skill Points (SP) and you are provided with 20 at the start. Here's where waiting to promote comes in handy.

Green Rank (before Green +1) Gear versus
Orange +4 Rank Gear
Waiting allows you to focus on a single element that needs building up. In this case, your starter skill can be built up to its maximum which is your character's current level. Did I mention that SP accumulates after a certain amount of time?

So far we've talked about using gear, skills and rank to boost your character which leaves artifacts and stars. Artifacts are relatively new to me at this point in gameplay. All I can say for certain at this time is that there are three components per character: weapon, book and ring.

Last but not least are stars. Each character starts off with a single star and in order to earn additional stars the characters must be upgraded via the EVO system [bar below EXP]. The main requirement for being eligible is to accrue x-amount of Soul Stones per designated level.

Compare and Contrast - Stat Boosting

Remember that little chat we had about how all the characters are the same level along with what's needed to give them an edge? Well gear is a no brainer in terms of needed items but the approach is fairly different than what I've gotten use to. As mentioned prior there was gear that was level and class specific.

Ziri - Blue Gear
Here, the approach to gear is simplified to the point where you have one less thing to worry about. That said, with every good thing is a bit of not good things but that's just me. So I'll show some similarities and differences between Hero Wars, Wartune and Nidia.

Stats are everything when it comes to understanding your character's limits for the time being and having the correct gear is no exception. Gear for all three games increases stats for ATK, DEF, HP, Block/Dodge, Crit along with other attributes when equipped. With each upgrade the stats increase and with each increase comes much welcomed perks.

Get the gear, get an increase in stats. Simple enough but what if you want to increase your gears' stats further? I'm guessing this is where the other games spoiled me a bit.

Back with Wartune and Nidia gear could be upgraded along with embedded with gems to further boost desirable stats. Hero Wars is a bit different as you actually have to pay attention to your characters' stats and abilities along with those of your opponents. My tactics are still a work in progress and as an attempt to compensate I try to make sure that I have at least: 1 Healer, 1 AoE capable, 1 Tank plus anyone with high ATK stats.

Not the best grant you but it helps to keep things simple especially since I multitask. Other ways to boost stats include: rank, artifacts, skins, skills, glyphs, along with elemental gifts. The latter two are currently out of reach since I need to be part of a guild in order to access the feature needed to boost these items.

Joining a guild sounds like a quick fix but joining is easier said than done. I'm not talking about finding a guild with the right kind of players but just finding a guild in general. On one hand there's fear of being kicked within 2 mins of signing up and on the other it's properly communicating with guild members.

Let's just say, that this is the most diverse I've seen an online community since Wartune where English isn't the only spoken nor written language. Outside of English, French is possibly the only other studied language where I can respond somewhat coherently without use of a digital translator.

The Run Down

First off, let's talk currency. Some may not like the idea of having multiple currencies used within a game but I find it to be rather nice as it allows me to obtain items without having to wait for the dominant currency and energy to fill back up. Gold and emeralds are top currencies with gold taking the lead; for me any way.

Currencies at my disposal.
Next to gold and emeralds are the following: Arena Coins, Tower Coins, Outland Coins, Friendship Chips (heart), Skin Stones for Intelligence, Strength and Agility along with Artifact Coins. Using the neighboring picture as a guide, the coins in the top row can be spent at Market (Merchant), the skin stones on the bottom row can be spent in the Heroes Panel in the Skins Section while the Artifact Coins are spent on the Airship; just report to the guy standing between the treasure chest and Valkyrie. There is another currency called Guild War Trophies (GWT) of which, you've guessed it, can only be obtained if you're with a guild.

At least a guild that has access to the Guild Wars feature. Despite this, there are three types of GWTs: Gold, Silver and Bronze.

All of these shiny coins are nice but you'll be making use of Gold and Emeralds majority of the time. Hands down, I've ran low on Gold more times than I care to count but don't be discouraged when this occurs. You can earn gold from completing missions, daily tasks, bonus tasks, daily check-ins, Arena results as well as the Emerald Exchange.

With what all needs to be achieved with your characters, it may seem like an impossible feat keeping ample supplies of gold on hand. You don't have to do everything at once so while you are waiting to upgrade your characters' skills, take the time to grind away at dungeons to obtain the gear you need for your characters; there's nothing wrong with this approach. While you're grinding away for gear, you'll earn experience [EXP potions go fast] as well as some much needed gold.

Be fore warned, some missions call for large amounts of energy to complete. The lowest amount consumed is 6 while the highest to date is 18; this is based on my progress. Keeping track of energy may seem hopeless but if you time your logins just right (check the Daily Events Schedule) you will get some extra energy.

If you can keep this up through Level 40 you should be good to go because once here, you'll have access to The Tower. Tower runs have become one of my favorite events due to the rewards that are earned - currencies and gear fragments. I can rack up enough gold in the Tower to level skills, perform EVOs and create gear.

Any and all characters need to be at least Level 40 to participate plus you need to try and do the Tower daily so that you can skip the levels you already completed; or at least I think that's how it works. Even when you succeed at completing the tower, keep participating. The same goes with Outlands; participate daily so that you have a chance at earning those precious Skin Stones.

In addition to the above Arena, Airship and Campaigns are must visit locations especially on a daily basis. There are 5 rounds in Arena and 6 Expeditions in the Airship that I can complete daily. Next to these are campaigns which I can participant in up till the energy runs out.

You're Not [Fill In Blank]. How Are You Still Playing?

Hero Wars is different from the other games that I've played up to this point. With that in mind the same premise remains: the most valuable of items can only be obtained through hard work and determination OR... by dishing out some dough. Sounds weird but both actually fly.

As experienced via Wartune, there are those select few players that have these sky high stats due to them taking their time to build up their characters bit by bit (this is before the intro of bonus companions and what not). Yes there are those that spend in the mix but have encountered some non-spenders in Battle Grounds when it was safe to participate. Did I get my keister kicked due to lack of spending?

Heck yeah but the game play and interaction with other players was entertaining. Plus there were those moments when advanced players took the time to talk you through something that was completely foreign. Point is, the game is fun to play and presents a nice workout for the mind as you are forced to think things through before acting.

I'm not at the level everyone else is but thanks to the experience from prior games I at least have some know how in surviving encounters. Do I expect to win every match up? Not in the least but when I do win it's a nice bonus.

There's no one size fits all tactic as my approach to team creation above shows. Yes it can be frustrating at times building up stats especially when you discover that you need such and such just to progress.

On the Fly: An Update

While writing this piece I wasn't in a guild nor had any intentions of joining one as I wasn't sure how it all worked. Finally after what seemed like forever guild was discovered at the ripe Level of 47. No it wasn't a requirement but I wanted to make sure everything was squared away before a guild membership was even attempted.

What caught me off guard was the fact that there was a tutorial that walked me through the guild area. Once that was complete I could get to work on building my bonus stats along with summon titans. I guess I had a slight advantage here as some materials for titan building were earned during a special event a week or so back; prior to guild membership.

Some Thoughts

This is based on my game play experience so try to take the following with a spoon full of sugar.

There are some likes and dislikes when it comes to Hero Wars but the dislikes aren't deal breakers. I like how everything is user friendly and how the controls are easy to grasp. There are ways to earn gold in decent sums and ways to earn emeralds though patience is needed.

Hero gear is simple though at times earning enough fragments can be a nightmare with the cost of creating them a balancing act. Promotions are simple but EVO is expensive after the 2-star level. Character stats can be boosted by way of skills, skin stones, glyphs, artifacts, elements along with gear.

Arena is interesting as group power ratings aren't determinants of whether you stand a chance at winning. Which means you need to assemble your team wisely or face an unpleasant match. As an example of how important this is, try enduring a match with one fighter left on each side but neither are going down because they keep healing themselves repeatedly (I'm looking at you Ziri and Thea).

Outlands is okay though it would be nice if the cool down were every 3 hours instead of the 4 but that's just me. Airship is awesome though it would be nice if more missions surfaced that rewarded Artifact Coins. The Tower is awesome especially with its rewards from which I managed to get fragments for gear I've been having difficulty in getting from campaigns.

The main biggie at the moment for me is how we don't exactly get to pick up from where we left off come the following day (yes I got the answer to my question). Adore the Merchant Shop and the quests the reward you useful stuff. Even though I just joined, my only issue with the guild is the Guild Dungeon in regards to the Titans.

Titans' health don't replenish after a match and there's no way to increase health as far as I can tell. Everything else is great. All this is great but I do have some bragging to do or rather make a note of something that I found quite interesting in regards to game graphics.

The game doesn't lag even when I have another game (Island Experiment in this case) opened and running in another tab along with my computer's music player. Don't know why this is such a big deal for me but it is. Not only that but the holiday theme that was recently released doesn't slow anything down.

Rather you're a new or seasoned MOBA player, you're sure to find excitement within this game. Just remember to have fun and enjoy yourself.

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