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Six Things Every Developer Can Learn From Heroes Charge

02-14-2015, 10:36 AM
#1
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 260
Six Things Every Developer Can Learn From Heroes Charge

Three games had a superbowl commercial, this was one of the three. What looks like a garbage auto-attack game managed to hit top 20 grossing in US, UK and top 10 grossing in China/Korea, making it one of the few games to manage do well across multiple regions. How?

1) If you see a unique top game from another region/platform that has yet to release in your territory, don't be afraid to copy it

Heroes Charge is a replica of DOTA Legend with different graphics, a game that ruled the #1 top grossing spot in China for most of 2014. Similar to how Castle Clash developer took Google Play top grossing before Clash of Clans was released there, UCool took advantage of DOTA Legend's focus on home region and went global with exact same hero skills, stats, items and play mode. This created a funny moment in Korea where the official DOTA Legend and Heroes Charge are both top 10 grossing:

http://www.appannie.com/apps/ios/app/dotabjeongi/
http://www.appannie.com/apps/ios/app/heroes-charge/

But success is success, the end justifies the means! Don't be afraid to borrow iconic character design from other games. Heroes Charge has most of WC3/DOTA's iconic heroes with redrawn graphics and different names, but a death knight with a death coil that heals your team and damage enemy? It is unmistakable where he came from yet there is nothing Blizzard can do about it.

2) Auto-attack and ability to farm old contents with a single click

Most team based RPG games offer auto-attack these days. When you are farming easy contents for specific items, auto-attack helps the player to skip boredom. DL/HC took it a step further by taking away manual control of skills except each character's most powerful "ultimate" ability and it speeds up the pace of the game a lot. How many RPG's we have a pre-defined attack/attack/ability rotation yet player has to manually press buttons to control each character which leads to fatigue and burn out?

In addition, to farm any content you already cleared with 100% rating ten times you just press a button and you get the loot on a silver platter. This allows the player to spend a day's stamina in a few clicks if he is busy and still get the same reward. This reduces boredom dramatically and keeps the game fresh.

3) PVP is king, and here is how you can mix it up

DL/HC has a daily quest called "crusade" where player is taking on 15 other players on the same server one after the other, each time winning a chest with random rewards as well as coins that can be used to redeem characters and equipment. The first of 15 opponents start out with lower gear score than the player and last will be stronger than the player, so most players will be able to go through first a few stages no problem and get some daily reward either way.

It is a really innovative game mode and once you throw in typical arena, duels, raid damage competition on bosses (where players of a guild take turns fighting a boss and get rewards for being the highest DPS, but everyone also take turns in a queue for boss drops) and guild war options, PVP and the great reward that come with it always make people spend money!

4) Say no to fodders

DL/HC is one of the few team building games where the first character you get is still powerful in end game after you evolve her to 5 stars. Every 1 star hero can be leveled to 5 stars so the player never feel they have a "fodder" character they are wasting experience and gear on, only to be fed to more worthy characters later. Also whenever a hero is low in usage you can expect buffs coming. This is a far cry from Summoner's War, Chain Chronicle and Puzzles & Dragons and it builds far greater emotional bond between the player and his box.

Same with items, your character will never waste an item, a bronze sword it is needed for him/her to evolve to the next level to equip a gold sword etc etc, and best of all the bronze sword's stats is added to the character as part of the evolve. It is never wasted.

5) Lottery based loot with guarantee of success

In DL/HC you are given a premium chest every 48 hours. Each chest you get from the crusade mode mentioned before also has a small chance for epic loot. However if your luck is bad, you are also earning coins that can be used for redeem later. You have a chance to win loot the equivalent of three month's coins if you are lucky, but you are also always earning something so you don't feel like you are wasting your time.

Same with dungeon drops, instead of offer 5% chance to drop something and make people burn out in frustration after they waste 10 trips without getting anything, DL/HC offer character/gear fragments. You can get the whole thing from aforementioned crusade if you are super lucky, but if you are not you still feel you make progress every time you go through a dungeon!

6) The monthly subscription and VIP model for monetization

DL/HC offers a monthly subscription option where a player pays $3 to get the equivalent of $30 in premium currency, except that premium currency is divided across 30 days and distributed to the player one day at a time when they log on. It is a great way to get people to do a no-brainer payment to get started and log in day after day. It is something every freemium game should include because it really makes people cross the line with a lot less conflict. You not only improve the % of people who will be paying significantly, you also increase stickiness and many of them will end up spend way more if they are hooked.

In addition a VIP model is also offered where once a player spend say $5, $10, $50, $100's worth of premium currency they move onto the next level with permanent privileges. Like double guild coin rewards, ability to control 4 gold mines instead of 2 etc.

Last edited by hitmantb; 02-14-2015 at 09:17 PM.
02-14-2015, 12:48 PM
#2
Joined: Feb 1983
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 1,268,691
Great post.
02-15-2015, 09:39 AM
#3
Joined: Sep 2014
Location: Sunny South Africa
Posts: 1
Thumbs up

Couldn't agree with you more And EVERYTHING you've said is true. I'm not usually a "pay to play" person & usually grind along free in the freemium games-until getting bored & deleting. But I don't see that happening here. I'm hooked and will continue buying the R30 monthly ticket. I'm at VIP6 & feel that it's money well spent-definately enjoying the advantages(would LOVE to hit VIP11-but thats a bit much lol) you forgot to mention that every month they add 3 brand new characters into the mix. Really really loving it-Definately a game I look forward to playing everyday.
IGN-Kalisto69
Guild Leader Andromeda-57895
Server41-Kelos
02-26-2015, 02:53 PM
#4
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 40
Excellent post, kudos!