The latest Fire Emblem Heroes update is now live, and it stands as the largest update the game has received so far. While past updates have optimized existing features or added new systems, this latest one refines plenty of what’s already here while giving players access to more resources and abilities, both inside and outside of battle.
The most readily apparent change when starting up the game is that the stamina cap has been raised to 99. This is, for all intents, double the previous amount and will make some of those higher stamina maps a bit more bearable to take on. It also leads to more playing, leveling, and attempts at quests overall while cutting out frequent bouts of waiting that could come up from time to time.
Once the update notes are opened, we learn about Hero Merit. This is a new kind of experience that rewards characters with merit during battle. Once 500 is saved up, it can be traded for 500 feathers. This is significant, as before this feathers were limited to quest rewards, presents, and elements of the game that involved some measure of PvP. Now players not out to take on the world can still boost their armies as well, making ranking up more possible overall.
That said, it does have its limitations. Each character can only provide a maximum of 2000 feathers this way, and that amount is shared across heroes with the same name. If you have two Roys, they would share the same merit total, meaning that you still only get 2,000 total from him rather than 4,000 from the two combined. It’s not for nothing though, as you could potentially still use those doubles at the same time to accumulate merit faster overall.
This next one is relatively small but might be my favorite from this update. Players can now choose where each of their heroes is placed before starting a battle, rather than having it tied to which slot they were in beforehand. Simply hit the “Swap Spaces” button and drag and drop ’til you’re satisfied. Things won’t be locked in until a hero has taken an action, so feel free to test interactions and positions. This brings things more in line with Fire Emblem proper, which is always a plus in my book. There’s an option to enable this on all maps in the Settings menu, so make sure to toggle that on beforehand.
A new mechanic added in this time around is Sacred Seals. These will be tied to special quests and will give your heroes buffs to stats and potentially new abilities. Once acquired, you can equip them just like normal skills via a new Skill Slot just for them. It’s possible to get duplicates, but you can only have one of a given Sacred Seal. Any extras will be automatically converted into feathers. And speaking of skills, it’s now possible to pass on skills that were already inherited once before. This will treat them just like base skills and allow for further tailoring of heroes.
Arena has received some tweaks to how matchmaking works. Before it was tied to base stat totals of your opponent’s heroes, but now it’s tied to four distinct metrics: character levels and star rating, bonuses gained from Merging Allies, total base stats after removing skills (including weapons) and which skills are currently equipped. This should hopefully lead to more even footing in a given Arena match, and seems to be taking the opened possibilities of skill inheritance into account. Alongside that, the score received from a given match has been increased, and it’s now possible to see descriptions of the current season’s bonus characters by tapping them ahead of time.
The last few notes aren’t nearly as game changing, but four star and lower heroes will now receive more experience from weaker enemies in order to speed up the leveling process. The maximum amount of exp attainable hasn’t changed, but heroes will be able to reach that total much more quickly and more easily in order to eventually cap or rank up.
In-game notifications are now slightly less of a nuisance, appearing only once automatically in a given day, rather than every time the game is loaded up.
And finally, there’s now a new “Complete Purchase” button added to the Orb Shop. This will allow players to recover a purchase just in case a communication error interrupted the process.
More updates to come
It’s great to see the game receiving frequent support and refinements, and there hasn’t been a day since launch that I haven’t played Fire Emblem Heroes. I don’t see that changing anytime soon with all these updates, and I’m excited to see where the game goes from here.
One thing we know for sure is that Defense and Reinforcement based battle styles are due to drop by the end of April as well, and hopefully more new characters (including the special variants of Ike, Lucina, Roy and Lyn already announced) find their way to the game in due time.
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