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It’s finally here: the Devblog on the Heroes! Following the announcement of this new feature on the forum for the various betas, many of you had questions. Now it’s time to give you some more details. We’re going to be devoting three Devblogs to this topic, with each post focusing on a specific element of the upcoming feature.
 

What are the Heroes?

  
Now, there’ll be some of you looking around in wide-eyed wonder, asking, “Uh, what are you talking about?”

The Heroes system will let you play up to three characters on a single account. The Heroes are, in fact, the characters on your account or your Sidekicks. So now you can play your healer at the same time as your favorite damage dealer!

That’s the big Heroes feature in a nutshell.... Since they’re characters in their own right who can be played alone, Heroes keep their inventory, quests, Achievements, characteristics, etc. You manage them exactly the same way as your main character! They earn the same experience, and they have their own loot and dungeon tokens.
Of course, all Heroes can enter a dungeon, as long as they have a key and have reached the required level. For example, if you have two characters at level 90 and one at level 60, the latter will not be able to visit Forfut.

Another important note: it’s impossible to exceed the extra character limit. So in addition to your main character, you’ll be able to recruit either two Sidekicks, 2 extra Heroes, or 1 Sidekick and 1 extra Hero.

Now that we’re all on the same page, I’m going to talk a bit about why we developed this feature and why it took so long.

 

What’s the point of the Heroes system?

 

First of all, the main goal of this feature is to enrich the game experience by further developing the tactical RPG aspect. Putting together a team made up of several character classes means more balanced teams and more variety of strategic actions, thanks to a more customized distribution of each character’s characteristics.

Some of you play several characters on different accounts. This lets you log in at the same time with different characters to form a group. The Heroes system provides the same type of gaming experience (multi-character) but makes it much easier: it’s more user-friendly and performs much better in terms of multi-client gaming.

We want all players who want to play this way to be able to do so, and in the best possible circumstances.

 

Is this the end of Sidekicks?

 

Though the Heroes system seems incompatible with Sidekicks, in reality they both exist in order to create a more tactical, multi-character game base. However, all players have their own needs and gaming style.

Playing with Heroes will require more of an investment than playing with a Sidekick. A Sidekick lets you get past stat point allocation and focus on your current character. Many of you use one Sidekick or another from time to time. However, we’re currently considering ways to make Sidekicks easier to use without reducing their efficiency.

One idea we’re considering is reducing the number of equipment slots and giving higher basic characteristics to offset the decrease.

We should add that the monetization will not be exactly the same. Acquiring a Sidekick is immediate and permanent, while the Heroes feature will be available for a limited time and will be renewable. I’ll wait until the next Devblog to tell you about the price.

 

Why is this feature taking so long to be released?

 

When we started working on development, we wanted to make it available in December 2014, but on one condition: we would release it when it was done. However, last December, we still had a way to go. The first major problem we had to deal with was integrating the Heroes system with all other game features. We had underestimated the number of changes necessary (and therefore the fixes we had to make) in terms of both design and reworking the source code. The second major issue was estimating the amount of development time required. 

Starting in January 2015, we had to modify the design to respond to issues that had not been considered previously and create a more realistic plan. I’m not going to get into all the technical details here because it would take too long, but I’m going to use a question I read on the forum to illustrate my point: “Why not release the Heroes faster without having them participate in quests, just like Sidekicks?”

At first glance, it seems like a reasonable question. However, Heroes naturally affect quests (they’re characters), so we had a decision to make. Would the quests belong solely to the main character, or would they apply to each character? But beyond the issue of choice, each aspect of this option brought a development cost, because it was not as simple as just not having Heroes complete quests.

We decided to completely integrate them into the quest system for two reasons:
 
  • It was faster and “cleaner” for the development team (nice!).
  • It was much better for players: saves time, more user-friendly, more consistent with the game mechanics.

At this point, we went back to the drawing board and changed some ideas into the central mechanics of the feature: switching characters or the concept of “companies.” (Companies will be explained later in their own Devblog.)

Another point that we reviewed from square one was the interface. The feature’s original ergonomics were no good, and the first test feedback forced us to rethink the system. So we took another look at the entire interface, starting from the feature’s most basic goal: offer more modularity in order to increase strategic possibilities.

The new interface focuses on the player’s list of characters so that each player can easily and intuitively create a group.

 

And when do we expect the Heroes feature?



  We can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and expect it to be complete (that is, to have included all elements) in July. A specific beta will follow in July/August. The gold version is expected at the end of August, so the Heroes should be available in the next major update after the upcoming July update. Until then, I’ll continue to keep you informed of development through my letters to the community.
 

A final note

 

I hope this first Devblog on the Heroes system helped you understand some of the issues of this feature. You’ll be hearing from me soon in the second Devblog, which will tackle the rules and the company system, as well as related rewards.

 
Category: Developpement