NEW PLAYER ASSISTANCE THREAD - GUIDE ...
Sometimes new players find learning Hero Academy a little overwhelming. We are here to help.
Some background. Hero Academy was released for iphone in January of 2012, and was released on Steam in August of 2012. The two included teams on release were Council and Dark Elves, with the other four added every so often thereafter. One of the teams, Team Fortress 2, is only available if you download Hero Academy on Steam. There have been various balance patches, the most recent being around January/February 2013. Generally, balance is pretty good, but most would like to see some additional balancing done, especially to the Shaolin.
This thread is: (1) a place to arrange training matches with experienced players (just ask!); (2) a place to ask questions; (3) a place where we have linked to various guides and blogs, including information on the various "hidden" mechanics such as how area of effect damage works.
One big picture item: there is a player league, that uses an ELO rating system, the idea to found it was mine but a lot of others helped out a ton. We have over 10,000 games played, leaderboards and the like. Many of the forum members here are league members. You can register at robotentertainmentfans.com.
If you have played a few practice games, the next step is probably to understand the hidden mechanics of your team's units. For example, did you know that Dark Elves' Wraith can spawn from your hand to any KO'd unit anywhere on the board? That TF2's Heavy does double damage in melee? These facts are not disclosed anywhere in the app -- they hare the hidden mechanics. Hamlet has put together a FANTASTIC guide with all the information you need on the hidden mechanics. http://iam.yellingontheinternet.com/2012/08/10/hero-academy-mechanics-gu...
Hopefully, by the time you read this, my faction guides will be updated for the latest version. They are a good source of faction-specific strategies.
Dark Elves: http://www.robotentertainment.com/forum/topic/Dark-Elves-Strategy-Guide (done)
Council: http://www.robotentertainment.com/forum/topic/Team-Strategy-Council-working-draft-progress (90% done)
Dwarves: http://www.robotentertainment.com/forum/topic/Dwarf-Strategy-Guide (done)
Tribe: http://www.robotentertainment.com/forum/topic/Tribal-Fury-Guide-Tribe (done)
I also wrote some map specific guides:
Map Specific Guides (done except as noted):
Single Crystal Map: http://www.robotentertainment.com/forum/topic/Map-Specific-Strategy-Sing...
Tribe Map (3 Crystals Each Side): http://www.robotentertainment.com/forum/topic/Map-Specific-Strategy-Tribe-Map-3-Crystals-Each-Side
Two Close In Crystals, Single Boost Tile on the Bottom Row: http://www.robotentertainment.com/forum/topic/Map-Specific-Strategy-Two-...
Teleport Map: http://www.robotentertainment.com/forum/topic/Map-Specific-Strategy-Teleport-Map (some updates planned)
4 Crystals Forming a Square: http://www.robotentertainment.com/forum/topic/Map-Specific-Strategy-4-Cr...
Other guides & Links:
1. Tabby_Nat's Blog. Has some game replays with comments and one what is the best move type puzzle (more to come): http://omvm.blogspot.com. Tabby is an active member of the community and posts game replays with commentary periodically.
2. Katastrophe's Blog: Has a game replay with comments, and some discussions of various strategic topics. http://heroacademyprof.tumblr.com. Havent looked at this in a while, its probably very out of date.
3. The Player Run League: 10,000+ games played, ELO based rankings and forums. http://robotentertainmentfans.com
4. Some very basic new player strategy tips I wrote: http://www.robotentertainment.com/forum/topic/New-Player-Basic-Tips
5. Wyatt's blog: http://wyattcheng.blogspot.com/. Wyatt admits that some of his strategies are a little different, so take them as gospel at your own risk. Not sure if/when updates stopped.
6. http://thejamesreview.com/ James, AKA Tsothoga, has a very attractive site with some interesting material to check out as well. Tsothoga is ranked on the total games played leaderboard, but I'm not sure when this was last updated.
Q: Are there ratings or a ladder?
A: Not officially, but check out the player-run League at Robotentertainmentfans.com. Over 10,000 games played, plus an Elo-based leaderboard. Robot knows that many people would like an official system that does more than gamecenter currently does, but they have been "thinking about" the issue for most of the app's 15 month history;
Q: What is the best team?
A: League data current suggests that Team Fortress is the strongest overall team. Tribe and Dwarves are generally considered solid and strong choices. Shaolin and Dark Elves have the worst performance in the League, with Shaolin generally being considered a poor choice by top ranked players. While many teams can struggle against Team Fortress, the Shaolin have especially serious problems. Robot does not provide its won-loss data, so the League is the only source of data for us to look at. All of that said, generally balance is pretty good, and generally player skill > what faction you pick.
Q: How do you keep track of what has been used?
A: There is a hidden feature that does this. Just click on the picture of your avatar up top or your opponents avatar.
Q: Is there a way to do replays?
A: You can take screen shots, but no, there are no true replays. Robot knows this has been requested. I dont know that they have specifically refused, but dont hold your breath!
Q: Will Robot add single player, pass n play or 2 v 2?
A: Robot has said that this stuff is not currently in the plan.
Q: Does swapping an item actually work? I seem to get the same item back!
A: Swap item now works like scrabble swap. If you swap a letter "A" you can get one back, because there is more than one of each letter in Scrabble. Because it works like Scrabble swap, you cannot get the same copy of the same item back.
Q: I had an item left that I could have used to get my last knocked out unit up, how did I lose?
A: This is a design choice by Robot. You must have a unit on the board or in your hand that is awake to keep playing, and a knocked out unit with an item in your hand wont cut it. At least some players report finding this counter-intuitive, but its the rule so plan for it.
Q: Player 1 has an advantage. Unfair!
A: Robot added a feature in the settings menu. You can select 3 or 4 "AP" - action points - meaning that the first turn, player 1 will only get 3 or 4 moves. Player 1 has to set this. There is no way to make sure you get someone that will do so in random games.
Q: Random games are too easy!
A: Play in the League at robotentertainmentfans.com or challenge a forum member.
Q: People take too long to move, this stinks!
A: A quick play option is favored by many, but Robot doesnt want to split players into two many groups on the theory that it would take longer to find matches. Your options are to start a bunch of games so you always have some ready when you are ready to make moves, or find something else.