Before I get started, I’d like to say that, in general, I really enjoy this game. I’ve used almost all possible alliance and world energy since I began playing in August. Rather than just complaining about some issues I see in the game, I thought I would provide some constructive feedback to Small Giant. I read the forums daily, and I think the issue of hero balance is a sore spot for many people.
With alliance wars coming up, I think it is important for hero balance to be addressed. It (typically) takes a very long time to get a 5star hero, and an even longer time to accumulate all the materials (ascension, feeders, food) to fully level them up. Given the tremendous amount of time/luck/money it takes to max a 5star hero, I really think each one should be worth ascending. IMO, the second most “unfun” thing in this game is getting a 5star hero, only to realize they aren’t really all that great. The most unfun thing is having an alliance member finally get their first 5star hero after months of bad luck and watching alliance chat tell them their shiny new hero probably isn’t even worth investing in. What is particularly frustrating to me is that often even the best commonly available 5star heroes are vastly overshadowed by very expensive/luck dependent HOTM/event heroes. Every time a new hero is added to the mix balance gets more and more complicated, so I think this issue needs to be addressed ASAP.
I plan to make a post for each color and give an overview of each non-event/HOTM hero of that color. For each hero, I will give a suggestion on what simple change(s) could be made to their skill to make them worth ascending (at least to me). Obviously this is all just based on my opinion. Game balance is a very complex topic that everyone has a different opinion on, but I think a thoughtful discussion on the subject needs to take place. New skill mechanics would be fun, but a completely new mechanic and redesigns would take a very long time.
A top player, @Anchor , from the Seven Days Departed alliance made an excellent guide on hero rankings (linked below). The letter next to each hero in this post is the overall grade from that guide.
I’m starting with blue because it contains one of the best (Magni) and worst (Thorne) commonly available 5star heroes and two others that I think could be much more appealing with minor changes. Other colors kind of have a theme to build on (yellow-blind, red-DoT, green-attack debuff), but blue and purple are sorely missing that.
Magni (A) - Fast - Magni is a great example of a 5star hero that is extremely well done and needs no changes. His special hits hard and fast, and provides defense, to make up for his glass cannon stats. Making the defense bonus apply to nearby allies is very fun, as it makes team positioning an added strategic element. No changes needed.
Richard (B) - Average - Richard is just OK, largely because the -attack% doesn’t really have much of a use. In raids it might help you live a little longer, assuming it isn’t removed via cleanse or an attack buff. For many specials the status effect is what you really want to avoid and -attack% doesn’t help with that. Yeah, you may take less initial damage from Colen/Azlar, but the DoT still hits the same. For titans, -attack% can be applied more reliably with items. His special may free up an item slot, but I’d much rather just take axes/bombs and use a better blue. Unfortunately, it seems buffing anyone with -%attack requires changing the whole mechanic which is far too complicated. Maybe changing his skill to fast and adjusting damage/duration would help. If his average mana speed charge is maintained he needs to give something else-possibly an attack buff to nearby allies or defense debuff.
Thorne (C )- Average - Probably the worst special of all 5stars in any color. This is the hardest skill to think of improvements for, because it is so lackluster and blue heroes don’t really have a skill “theme”, as previously mentioned. His special has a relatively high %damage, but his attack stat is so low it doesn’t really matter. The splash damage isn’t really high enough to do much either. A simple fix would be to introduce an attack or crit buff on his special for him and nearby allies. A DoT or defense debuff could also work. Either way, he needs something else because his “icecold finisher” is more like a “room temperature tickle” currently. Personally, I would love to see something a bit more complicated that took advantage of his top tier defense+health. A taunt ability would be really fun and add an element of strategy to having him on a team. It would be really fun to buff him up and taunt a titan to help keep a squishy (like Wu Kong) alive.
Isarnia (B) - Slow - Like Richard, Isarnia is just OK. She hits all and applies a defense debuff, making her skill somewhat useful for raids and titans. However, she is a glass cannon. Her low defense/health and slow mana charge means it’s very likely she’ll die before ever firing it. Also, let’s face it, Israrnia is just a poor man’s Athena with worse mana charge, worse damage, and a worse debuff. I think adding a team-wide buff (defense) or heal to her skill would give her the extra edge needed to make her worthy of a full ascension. Having a slow mana charging glass cannon is a risk, so getting it to fire should do more than just a slightly better ramming pulverizer. Slow heroes tend to be do better if the battle is extended, so adding an aspect that facilitates this would be helpful. Skill could also be left as is but with average mana charge.
As a sidenote, I think Isarnia suffers from a core problem all slow hit all heroes do - they have no best situation to be used. Single target fast hitters are obviously best against titans. But single target fast hitters happen to be great in raids as well because killing one hero increases mana gen and results in one less special and regular attack to worry about. Even event rounds typically only have 3 enemies per wave making single target and nearby enemy hits preferred over hit all.