I’ve been a bit busy throughout this last week finishing the Spring 2018 semester, so I wanted to make sure I spent the weekend talking about recent updates to Fire Emblem Heroes.
Because really what else do I do with my free time?
There was a large-scale update and a brand new summoning banner put out over the last couple days, so in today’s post I’m going to focus on the 2.5.0 Update and tomorrow I’ll focus on the latest Genealogy characters.
With that said, there’s a lot to cover, so let’s get into it.
The 2.5.0 Update is here, and it brings along a number of changes to existing game modes and aesthetics throughout the game.
There is not exactly a lot that’s “substantive” to this new version of the game, unlike previous versions that did things like add entirely new ways to play. As a result this update update (totally not clunky at all) will probably be on the shorter side as I just go through my thoughts on what is new.
Easily the largest changes of the bunch came to the OG Arena.
BECAUSE NOW IT’S IN A DIFFERENT COLOR!
That sweet, sweet dark tone really makes a true mirror to reflect the darkness in my soul as my units smite all others in their path.
Okay fine, that’s not actually the blunt of the update to the game’s Arena mode, but I did want to point out the fact that the assets were altered because… I’m really not sure why they were altered.
Were the original colors not visually pleasing enough?
Is this darkness what the developers wanted to reflect with their competitive mode all along?
The world may never know.
The actual major update to this mode is the shift from seven battle chains to five, and the subsequent item system that accompanied it:
I do like the idea of making overall season chain necessities shorter, as well as adding an item for each battle in the chain to entice people to get a ranking at least once.
However, it does bug me that they decided to go from seven battles to five.
Seriously whose bright idea was it to take a game mode where the swords used to take part come in intervals of three and not make the overall requirements come out to some interval of three? It’s honestly kind of asinine and bugs me from a part of myself that I can’t readily explain in such a short timeframe.
Luckily they decided not to make me chuck my phone at a wall by also implementing Bonus Ally benefits for a season’s token heroes.
The Bonus Ally system, in which the characters specifically named get additional stat buffs if you use them, has always made Tempest Trials a great deal more fun. I still can’t get over the time when Christmas Lissa tanked everything during her Tempest Trial, or when Reinhardt did just a few weeks ago when his retrain came out.
Now that Arena characters get this same kind of boost, it makes everything feel so much more copacetic when it comes to summoning new banner heroes.
Now, not only do we get new characters for the catalog, but those characters are more likely to help us get better benefits in the Arena seasons. All things considered it’s a genius addition, and just about makes up for the whole lack of even numbering.
A couple of beloved characters are finally getting the special weapon treatment they deserve.
It’s one of the things I really appreciate about how Intelligent Systems has handled updating their game over time, actually. While most units inevitably get power crept, more stuff is added to benefit the older heroes to ensure they still maintain relevance — either in battle or through skill inheritance.
The latest update brought three heroes back into the limelight. Two by granting brand new weapons and one by adding a special upgrade.
- Camilla — Bewitching Beauty
- Everyone’s favorite over-sexualized older sister (something the universe will have to remind me never to write out again) has a brand new weapon, giving her further utility than she was able to achieve with a Brave Axe. Camilla’s Axe has twice the might as a Brave Axe+ and grants her +4 Attack and Speed if there is a cavalry or flying unit nearby. While this does make her a more effective member of a flier emblem team, it might arguably be worse than a Brave Axe depending on who you ask. It is a cute reference to the fact that all of her siblings are on horseback, though.
- Corrin (male) — Fateful Prince
- Corrin is a unit that literally everybody has wanted to see get a cool upgrade in the Weapon Refinery. Yato was such a neat weapon in Fates that it’s not hard to imagine why. Though I personally think it’s a missed opportunity not to offer him three upgrade paths for the Yato based on the three paths it can take in Fates, the upgrade we got is a neat reference too. With the upgraded Yato, allies who have a support with Corrin gain +4 to all stats when within two spaces of him. Somewhat situational, but like I said a cool little reference. The scary part of this comes when, as my friend told me, you can have three upgraded Corrins provide +4 to every stat of an ally three times over… THAT is dangerous.
- Clair — Highborn Flier
- Like Camilla, Clair’s Silver Lance can now be upgraded into the Rhomphaia. Coming from Shadows of Valentia, the weapon adds one more might point and grants her super effective damage against armored and cavalry opponents. It’s simple. It’s effective. It’s just a great upgrade that makes Clair that much more viable. Unfortunately, it cannot be passed onto another unit. That’s really the only downside as far as I can tell.
While all three of these characters have been improved by their upgrades (except debatably Camilla), I’m not sure I’m more enticed to use any of them.
Perhaps if we get Scarlet to appear one day I’ll make her a perfect husband Corrin to turn her into the relentless beast she always deserved to be. But that’s a long shot at this point, so I’ll continue to dream…
Tap Battle and Rival Domains
The two images above essentially sum up everything that has been changes with these game modes. So I won’t break down the information, but I will briefly react to it all.
Tap battles have never been a game mode that I enjoy. For the most part I don’t like them because they’re seriously underutilized. Seriously Intelligent Systems, awards only once per level when there are four different ways you can play that level? With no benefits for completing all four varieties?
Plus, don’t even get me started on the fact that music repeats between versions of the game mode despite putting gaps between them.
In a way, the addition of hero merit boosting for heroes who participate does help. It encourages playing through those four different varieties of the levels at least.
But my issues, for the most part, do still stand.
Rival Domains, however, have had an improvement that I can get behind more readily. Not only have the selection of characters been pre-determined rather than randomized, which makes it easier to go through and learn how to properly be a stage, but they also made it easier to beat by restricting the ability of enemies to attack after warping.
Simple changes, but effective in terms of making things more straight forward and easy to defeat. Unlike with the tap battles, this actually makes it way more enticing for me to play the game mode.
Thus, I deem this section a success and a failure. Hopefully tap battles will eventually get better enough that I feel they’re worth bothering with more often.
So this is another category where there was a significant change that I frankly don’t have too much to say about.
Essentially, there have been adjustments to the game’s tutorial mode to bring it more up-to-snuff with how much the game has developed in the time since it came out. For veteran players like me, that means next to nothing. I did the tutorial a long, long time ago.
The developers knew this was the case for many of their players and offered up some extra awards.
As the picture above shows, most of the rewards were feathers and badges. A good amount of them too. But what really stood out was the character:
When we played through the tutorial originally, the first hero everyone received after the original three members of the Order of Heroes was Virion from Fire Emblem Awakening.
Now players receive Takumi from Fates, who is not only a better character but a generally more relevant one. So veteran players got an extra Takumi too.
I appreciate the gesture, as well as the opportunity to give another unit close counter.
Alright, while this picture here sums up everything else that’s changed pretty succinctly, there were a few other things I noted that I wanted to point out.
First off, look back at the second bullet up on the list there. Apparently some options are available in the Sacred Seal Force that are new, but I have not been able to figure out what they are.
I sort of imagined that meant there were going to be new seals to forge but…
Oh well. Some should come eventually, right?
Well, I digress for now. That’s a story for another day probably.
As I’ve mentioned here or there throughout this post, there are also a lot of aesthetic changes that came from this update.
For example, the main maps screen has a similar visual change to the arena screen.
Then there are smaller visual tweaks, like the inclusion of an indication as to which units get bonus points in rival domains.
But hey, none of these are as important as a single change that’s hidden away on the menu screen.
See this option?
Well… Now we can do this.
Isn’t it just beautiful?
I could stare at it all day. *Insert crying tear here*
And that, ladies and mentlegen, is a not-so-short summary of everything new in Fire Emblem Heroes this week.
Er… MOSTLY everything.
As I mentioned at the beginning, there was also a new summoning banner dropped the other day. But this post is already getting a bit long in the tooth, so stay tuned for part 2 coming out tomorrow.
Or, if you’re reading this way in the future, just check it out through this link here.
In the meantime, let me know what you think about this update in the comments down below! What aspect of it do you think is the best? What part do you think is the most disappointing? I’d love to hear all about it.