• Designing a Hero Academy Team (Part 2)


    When designing this team, I wanted to make them feel new and familiar at the same time.  To accomplish this, I stayed with the 4 units/1 super unit concept and tried not to add too many new mechanics so as to confuse newer players.  A lot of changes occurred during their creation and I’m pretty happy with the results.  Of course, no team is perfect.  Without a way to balance test the team it would be difficult to say whether they are fair or not versus the other teams.  Buffs and nerfs would probably happen to even things out.

    Before you read further, I’d recommend downloading my design document information found here.  There you will find a statistical break down of each unit along with their special abilities.

    After going with the team bonus of destroying Crystals, I next focused on a new range mechanic.  4 out of 5 units on the team are ranged.  I made an item called the Crystal Wings which would increase any attack range by +1.  To make this fair, I limited all of the unit’s starting range to 2 and made this item take place of one of the armor slots.

    This one mechanic allows the player to customize the team to their distinct playstyle.  Want a three range stomp?  How about a three range heal?  The choice is yours.  With only three of the item in your deck, you can’t have all four units with the range bonus so you need to choose carefully.  Basically, this item allows a lot more flexibility when dealing with different situations.

    After the range mechanic was done, I focused on the melee unit, the Guardian.  In order to make him stand out from the tanky Knight and the horrifyingly good Void Monk, I tweaked his design.  For starters, his base attack damage is 300.  No other fighter unit starts with an attack that high.  That means he becomes a 450 damage attacker with a Rune Crystal upgrade.  Not having a three range movement and only a +10% physical defense made him not too over powered.

    To give him a unique twist on gameplay, and to keep with the Crystal theme, he gains a nice power boost when positioned on a Gem Boost tile:  +10% to both resists and unable to be moved by any push/pull mechanic (Knight’s attack, Impaler pull, Typhoon, etc).  Now you could position him to grant your team extra strength while attack Crystals, but having to sacrifice your highest damage outputting unit.

    Next up was the ranged attackers, the Geomancer and the Rogue.  I’ll start with the Geomancer.

    The Geomancer is basically a ranged stomp unit like the Necromancer or the Witch.  He can be upgraded to 3 range with the Crystal Wings making him awesome in team killing strategies.  His stomp is turning the KO’d unit into a small crystal which counts towards the team’s overall Crystal health.  Keeping it in line with other range stomps, I gave it 250 hp and the bamboo ability of claiming any tile it rests on.  This will typically mean an opponent will spend two AP getting rid of it, 1 if they have a 300 damage attack.  In addition, these Crystals can be used by the Golem to regenerate health and boost attack damage.

    The Rogue is the AoE attacker on the team.  I wanted a variation on AoE attacks, but Robot Entertainment seemed to cover all kinds.  I ended up with a cardinal direction style splash meaning the center unit takes full damage and the units above, below, and to the sides take splash.  Diagonals are safe.  I had the splash damage do 75%, which is higher than normal for a splash attack, because it hits less units overall.  Her ability becomes much better when combined with the Purifier’s debuff attack.

    Speaking of the Purifier, let’s talk healing.  Her role as a healer on the team is average at best.  I wanted to make a support unit that could do more than heal though.  Her special ability is when she hits an enemy unit, they permanently give a stackable 5% debuff to any of their Crystals they are with range of.  This is like a reverse Paladin’s aura.  Players will have to move their units away from their Crystals or risk making them more vulnerable to attacks.  If the Purifier hits two units near Crystals, that means a +30% damage bonus against them by any unit on the Crystal Keeper team.  Giving her a range boost also makes her as flexible as the Priestess in healing and attacking.

    Finally we have the Golem, a walking mountain of Crystal energy come to life.  This unit is unique in that it can heal itself when attacking a Crystal as well as power up its next attack.  The Crystal Keepers as a whole don’t output a lot on non-Crystal damage so the Golem compensates by being able to juice up its next attack by attacking its teams own Crystal.  It can also use Crystals created by the Geomancer to heal/boost without retreating the front lines.  That being said, the Golem isn’t overly strong and has to be used carefully, not unlike the Council’s Ninja.

    That will do it for this part of my team breakdown.  I’ll finish up with some final thoughts on the characters art design, provided by the amazing Ashely Sarroca, as well as some details on the items for the team, their map, and any questions you might have about them.

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