It’s with excitement and exhausted relief that I can say that we FINALLY have Battleheart 2 in the bag, and will be launching July 12th on iOS. A Google Play release will follow shortly after, as we need to wrangle a few platform specific things, and we’ll be strongly considering a Steam release as well after the dust has settled on the mobile side. Here’s our lovely launch trailer!
I can say with all honesty that I think this is the best game we’ve made. The original Battleheart remains one of our most beloved titles, and I think a big part of that is because it married the satisfying depth of more complex RPGs with fast, addictive battles that fit into your life. You could play it for hours, or just for a couple minutes on the bus. It was a “hardcore casual” game that could be enjoyed by varying ages and skill levels, at whatever pace you like. I feel we’ve not only retained this quality, but embraced it further. If you’re a seasoned gamer who loves digging into stats and systems to forge the most broken, overpowered character, Battleheart 2 has you covered. Yet my toddler son can still play the game and have fun too, thanks to the addition of a difficulty setting which can be changed at any time.
As the trailer can testify, the new visuals are pretty cool! Once you play it though, you may come to appreciate that the “under the hood” stuff has seen just as much refinement. Skills execute super quickly, and are more powerful than they’ve been before (deemphasizing auto attacks), making your reflexes and decision-making even more impactful. Gear and skill choices are much more detailed, making no two parties ever quite the same. With a dozen unique heroes and many ways to build each one, I’m sure our most dedicated players will be debating the “perfect team” for some time.
Just three more weeks. Thanks for your patience, and I hope you enjoy it! I think it’s been two years well spent.
Hero Spotlight time! Let’s take a look at….
Costello, the Silver Song
Costello is a unique support hero who empowers his allies through song. WIth his trusty lute, he can heal his allies and strengthen their stats. We’ve made some changes to how he works compared to the original Battleheart Bard (Edwardo), but the general idea is similar.
One thing of note about Costello – he is unable to target enemies or allies. Unlike our traditional Cleric healer, Costello doesn’t target an ally to heal them, but simply pulses healing at all times in a circle around him, an ability we call “Song of Peace”. He’s therefore able to produce a lot of healing to the group, but it is less focused on a single target, making him less suited to handling extreme damage on your tank, for example.
Transpose: The cornerstone of Costello’s kit, Transpose toggles his Song of Peace described above into the Song of War. This ability has no cooldown, so you can freely switch between Peace or War at any time. Where Song of Peace slowly heals nearby allies at all times, Song of War grants attack power to your allies instead. To maximize Costello’s impact in battle, you’ll want to use Song of War as much as possible to maximize offense, and switch to Song of Peace when healing is needed, all while making sure Costello is standing near his allies to maximize the effect of both songs. He might take a little more micromanagement than other support heroes, but he can be a powerful addition to the group. Talents can further emphasize the strength of either song, increasing the healing or offensive characteristics of each. Of particular interest is that Costello can have Song of War also confer his own crit chance or bonus skill power to his allies, making it possible for him to essentially act as a bonus item slot for other heroes.
Power Chord: This skill empowers whichever of your two songs (Peace or War) is active at the moment, performing a different effect for each. If Peace is active, Power Chord applies a large heal-over-time effect to the entire party. As you might expect, the War variation is a percentage-based damage boost to the whole party. Talents can grant Power Chord two charges, or add additional effects, such as a haste boost during Song of War.
Inspiration: Further cementing Costello’s role as the ultimate enabler, Inspiration immediately resets all of the party’s cooldowns. This ability has a long cooldown itself, but allows for enormous potential, particularly if combined with a timely Power Chord during Song of War. Empowering the whole team and letting them cast all of their abilities twice is a recipe for huge damage.
Welcome back to another hero spotlight. Before we get into the usual details though, I’d like to give a brief update on the game’s overall progress. The past month has been spent building the first boss, and doing a lot of testing and tuning of the initial experience. We’ve been examining and tweaking things like how quickly you get gold, how quickly the difficulty increases, and the relative power of different characters. Along the way, we’ve found and fixed a lot of little issues and bugs too. We’re feeling really confident in where the game is at, and hope to rapidly cruise through the remaining bosses as we prepare for a Spring launch. Now, let’s talk about our third and final ranged damage dealer…
Bio: Daughter of the immortal witch Wynter. She’s lived in isolation much of her life, studying forbidden magic and watching the cycle of prosperity and ruin that plagues the kingdom with dispassionate curiosity.
Odette is a ranged damage dealer that draws ideas from both the Battleheart and Battleheart Legacy “witch” classes to provide strong single-target damage and utility. Her unique ability to fuel her attacks with her own health gives her great potential, but also adds some risk. She employs the following abilities:
Drain Life: Attacks a single target, extracting their health in order to heal the most wounded member of your party. This gives Odette some great group utility, and also synergizes with her Soul Crush ability (described below). If you want to emphasize Odette’s supporting role, you can enhance the healing of this spell significantly, and even have it heal two allies at once.
Soul Crush: Unleashes a massive blast of dark energy on your current target. This is one of the hardest hitting abilities in the game, and has almost no cooldown at all, but has the downside of consuming a large part of Odette’s health. This cost can be mitigated by healing Odette directly or through her own Drain Life spell, but if you’re careless you can end up destroying yourself. Talents can increase the damage and reduce the health cost. A notable talent causes critical hits with Soul Crush to immediately reset Drain Life’s cooldown, allowing for a cycle of destruction when the dice roll your way.
Horror: Odette’s primary target is paralyzed in fear, and nearby enemies are also struck with terror, forcing them to run around helplessly. This is a handy crowd-control skill which players of previous Battleheart games will recognize, although it no longer emits from the caster, but from her target, making it easier to capitalize on clumps of enemies regardless of Odette’s position. Talents can also increase all of Odette’s damage against crowd-controlled targets, making her able to horrify and then obliterate her enemies, or take advantage of control effects provided by her team. Another fun one gives a small random chance for Horror to not only paralyze, but also deal extreme damage to its primary target.
Welcome back to another hero spotlight. Today we bring you…
November, of the North Wind
Bio: Enrolled in Haggerdom’s exclusive Mage’s Academy from a young age, November quickly eclipsed her peers with her natural talent. She now leads the Academy’s elemental research, emphasizing the frost domain.
November is a ranged damage dealer who specializes in ice magic. As you’d expect, she’s fragile and must be protected by her allies, but she provides strong area effect damage and control of the battlefield with the following abilities.
Flash Freeze: This spell encases a single enemy in an ice cube for up to 15 seconds, completely removing them from the fight. However, the enemy can’t be harmed while frozen, so unlike other stun effects it’s not useful for controlling an enemy while destroying it. Instead, it’s great for saving a powerful enemy for later while you wrangle his friends. Attacking a frozen enemy won’t do damage, but it will gradually accelerate the thawing process. Talents can modify this ability to also damage the target slowly while they’re trapped, or weaken the target’s damage output after they thaw.
Glacial Spike: Like the spell from Battleheart Legacy, November impales her current target with a giant shard of ice. This ability also deals partial damage to secondary targets along its flight path, but it’s mainly used for its single target potential. There are a couple neat talents that add some great combo potential as well. The “Shatter” talent causes Glacial Spike to instantly consume Flash Freeze, ending the freeze effect early but enhancing the spike’s damage massively. For even more shattering goodness, you can also talent Flash Freeze to immediately reset Glacial Spike’s cooldown on use, allowing for a swift spike > freeze > spike combo.
Blizzard: Unleashes a storm of ice around your current target, steadily damaging and slowing all enemies trapped inside. Talents include the option to enhance its damage, radius and slowing effects. One of my favorites is a talent that causes your Glacial Spike to always deal a critical strike on enemies currently within your blizzard, which can lead to some fantastic burst damage.
We’re making good progress on the boss battles in the game, our last major task before release. Thanks for your patience!
It’s Hero Spotlight time again! The clear runner-up in our Twitter Poll was to see the War Priest, so today we bring you…
Samuel, Fist of the Heavens
Bio: Holy man, war veteran. A soldier much of his life, Samuel sought new purpose in his old age as a healer and cleric. Though time has granted him wisdom, he still bears the scars of his youth.
Samuel is a unique healer who supports his allies by getting into the thick of the fight as a hybrid healer and damage dealer. He cannot target his allies and heal them directly, but instead relies on powerful skills to produce periods of burst healing while contributing damage in between.
Holy Nova: Provides a burst of healing in a circle around Samuel. Since this does not encompass the entire battlefield, you’ll need to manage Samuel’s position a little more than other healers to get the most of this skill, but it has a relatively short cooldown compared to other group healing abilities. Talents can modify Holy Nova to also harm enemies, reduce damage taken by your effected allies, or have a larger, more forgiving radius.
Aura of Light: Similar to the paladin skill from prior Battleheart games, this ability empowers Samuel’s melee attacks for a period of time, during which he will heal the most damaged member of the party every time he strikes an enemy. Talents can also make the aura increase your movement and attack speed, to better capitalize on this window of healing power, or to also have the healing effect splash to a second target.
Smite: Calls down a bolt of holy lightning, dealing extreme damage to your target and any foes nearby. This ability sports a long cooldown, but it lets Samuel provide some extra burst damage to the party. Through talents, you can have Smite also knock enemies to the ground for a long period of time when the skill critically hits. Another talent reduces your Holy Nova cooldown whenever striking enemies with Smite, making it possible to reset the cooldown entirely when hitting a tightly packed group.
Hope you enjoyed this preview of Samuel, until next time, back to work!