Theme Refinement

Over the next few weeks, Shadow Heroes is going to be going through some trimming and focusing. The game has changed a lot since we started. In some ways, it has become a lot more awesome and fun. Alternatively, it strayed from its core concepts a bit. Since our launch in early access, Shadow Heroes went through a lot of changes based on your feedback and the game was greatly improved as a result. We’re going to keep on doing that but we’ll do it in a way that helps define the core idea of the game.

What is the core idea of Shadow Heroes?

Shadow heroes is a real time battle manager. Bit of an odd term, I know, so let’s analyze it and I can explain what it means. First, real time. This is pretty self-explanatory. One second in real life is one second in the game. This is where the challenge primarily resides, knowing what to focus on. Second, battle. Essentially what you’re going to be participating in while playing Shadow Heroes. Your forces versus an enemy’s forces. Both sides will have objectives. Sometimes they will be the same, sometimes they will be different but they will always be conflicting. Finally, manager. This is the real meat element of the phrase. In Shadow Heroes you’re not a soldier. You’re the captain. You give orders, recruit troops, and adjust the battle strategy.

Items and equipment

Let’s take a look at the way that items and equipment currently work. After every victory, you win items. You can then change the loadout of your army so that when they spawn they will have better equipment. As a result of this being how we are handling equipment, games can become one sided if your opponent has much better items equipped. Half of this system does not respect “real time”, so, we’re going to be changing that. The biggest change will be: removing unit loadouts. Setting up your army’s equipment before hand is not adaptive, it’s not real time and if you’re up against a superior enemy or someone who counters your setup there is very little you can do about it. Instead, every time you place a unit inside your spawn area, you’ll be able to equip it with up to five meta 1 items. Equipment slots no longer restrict you, you may even equip multiples of the same item. Once an item is equipped, you will have the option to upgrade it to a higher tier item. Equipping and upgrading items will cost leadership points, presenting you with a choice: more troops or better troops.

Armory Screen

Preview of the item upgrade screen

After every battle, you will be rewarded with components. These will be used to unlock higher tier items that you can upgrade to during a match. For instance, you can only upgrade to a meta 10 armorband if you have researched it using components in between matches. Higher tier items take more components to research but nothing too crazy. Early on, you should easily be able to research one or two new items with every game that you win.

Changes to 1v1 Commanders

Another one of the major changes that you can expect will be changing commanders to an assault mode. This will have all of your units spawning at fixed intervals every 30 seconds. This way you won’t be waiting for a large army to spawn and smaller armies will have less chance to stack up. Commanders were, originally, a way to give the player something to do in between waves. Now that there is the item upgrade system and placing units in formations, that’s less of an issue. They also don’t fit the “real time battle manager” theme that well since they tend to personify the player rather than be something you manage. For now, commanders will go into story missions but we are throwing around a few other ideas as well.

Unit Tactics

The final element that we will be adding is unit tactics. Every unit placed will be able to be assigned a tactic. These are their general orders of how to engage. At first there will be:

Vanguard: Units will charge in head first this is the way units currently work.
Support: Units will try to stay off the front line and behind other units
Flanking: Units will try and attack from the sides of the main force.

We have discussed a few others but more testing and refinement is needed before we can commit to them.

Overall, we are taking a good hard look at elements within Shadow Heroes and asking: Does it happen in real time? Is it part of a battle? Do you manage it? If the answer is no, perhaps there are some elements to tweak. We are looking forward to hearing your thoughts on these upcoming changes and your ideas for future changes!

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