Spotlight #5: Ankar Needs a Hero
Greetings backers, and a happy weekend to you all!
We've got an exciting spotlight for you today, and it's all about heroes. We've said from the beginning that Cloudspire is inspired by both the tower defense and MOBA genres. Thus far, you've definitely seen the tower defense angle. Minions marching, spires firing, and a base/fortress to defend. But a huge part of the MOBA genre is hero development, and to this point we've shown you very little of that. So, today (tonight? this morning?), we're talking all about hero development. In addition, the bottom portion of the update features some fresh video content. As for the weekend, we're going to catch our breath. But our author, Ryan Howard, has prepped a lovely lore update for you to carry you through until we're back with more gameplay related updates on Monday. You can expect that update to drop either tomorrow or Sunday. Now, on with the show!
First One's Free
Each faction (right now) has two heroes included in the game. We of course hope to unlock a third via Stretch Goals.
You'll begin the Preparation Phase with one free hero available to you. No command points necessary. Free. Gratis. Libre. Kostenlos. (we've been working on our Deutsch).*
*This is a lie.
Now of course, this initial hero begins fairly weak. They can go anywhere and will certainly have a unique talent, but to truly take advantage of your hero, you'll need to find a way to make them just a bit stronger.
You already know that heroes can move in any direction they'd like. This offers them unique ways to position themselves. This means more than any other type of unit, heroes are in the unique position to take advantage of being able to "last hit" a unit, and claim any rewards associated with defeating that unit.
We've shown that for most units, this means acquiring Source to be used in your Market and Building phases. However, when a hero defeats an enemy (or NPC) unit, they also acquire the Command Point value. They'll take the destroyed unit, place it on or near their Reference Sheet until the end of the Onslaught Phase.
Command Points earned in this way may then be used after the Onslaught Phase to level up your hero. You'll have a few different options for how, and if you level up.
Collect 3 CP by the end of the phase, and you'll have the option of a few of the same types of upgrades that spires can use (denoted by adding the same upgrade chips as spires underneath your hero chip). 3 CP options include:
- Attack: +1 Attack Stat
- Fortification: +1 HP, can only be removed if hit by at least 2 damage and will absorb total damage from one single attack or counter attack
- Range: +1 Attack Range (can only be applied to heroes that start with at least 2 range)
Manage, collect 6 CP by the end of the phase, and you'll have the option to cash in and flip to the more powerful side of your hero. In the process, you'll forfeit any existing upgrades already on your hero, so choose carefully. Once you have upgraded to your more powerful side, you'll (in most cases) have access to better stats, new talents, and still have the option to continue to add upgrades to a point.
Any CP not used at the end of the wave are also forfeited, so think carefully about acquiring that 3rd, or 6th command point. Leaving your hero in a vulnerable position can be fatal. And once a hero is defeated, they are eliminated from the game for good.
Healing Up and Camping Out
Now obviously with the amount of auto-attacking in the game, your heroes are going to take their lumps. They have to have the ability to heal. To do this you'll need to retreat back behind your fortress walls. Stay there until the beginning of the next onslaught, and you'll emerge again with full health.
Remember that minions are constantly marching toward your fortress, and being near the fortress can be a dangerous prospect. Should you find yourself stranded while out and about don't worry. As soon as all minions are defeated, your hero will make camp and wait until the beginning of the next onslaught phase to continue their adventures. Some heroes have the ability to at least do some minor healing around their campfire.
One last thing to note: With heroes, upgrades (with the exception of fortification) do not serve as additional health and cannot be removed unless forfeited to upgrade to your more powerful side. Heroes are still very dependent on their good old standard health (or Premium Health...did you order Premium Health?).
Coverage From Essen
We did have a few folks stop to talk to us about Cloudspire at Essen! Take a peek at each of the videos below to get a glimpse at what we were showing off at the world's biggest board show! The first one is from Timo Hollenbach, who (full disclaimer) is a big fan of CTG and actually volunteered in our booth over the weekend.
The second video has no affiliation with us, and comes from Jonathan Hicks of Board Game Opinions. Neither video has especially new information, but we think you'll enjoy hearing from Josh and seeing a bit of the Essen booth in action. Enjoy!
Reshooting Basic Gameplay
Now that we're back from Essen, we sought out to re-film some of the content we shot from the very lively lobby of the NIU hotel in Essen. Today, Josh and Ghillie sat down to refilm the basic gameplay video, complete with full hero rules and *gasp* Event cards. It was all going great - and then our camera shut off around the half an hour mark. We continued to play for another half an hour or so before someone came in and told us the camera had shut off, but the that second half was lost. So - we have the first half here. Come Monday we're going to try to set up the board in the same way and continue on through all three waves. Also, apologies to any of you who miss the awesome house music from the lobby in the background ;-)
We'll be honest, we haven't watched this footage back yet, but we tried very hard to prioritize rule accuracy during this play. It can be difficult to play everything perfectly while explaining it all on camera, strategizing, and making sure to play with the absolute most up to date rules, but we *think* we pulled it off. Again, stay tuned for part 2 next week. Note that the HD version of this video may not be available for a bit as it was *just* uploaded less than an hour ago.
Whew! What a week! We hope the updates this week have helped give a *much* better picture of the breadth of gameplay included in Cloudspire. We're working on getting an updated full set of all units cranked out so we can show a 3/4 player game next week. Apologies that it's taken this long to get some of this information out - but we so appreciate all of you who have hung in there with us.
For all the $1 backers out there - momentum going into the final few days of the campaign can be huge. We've got a bevy of awesome stretch goals to come, and we hope you'll consider going in on a full game pledge in this final week.
We'll be keeping an eye on comments throughout the weekend, but are also badly in need of some family makeup time after Essen. Apologies if any burning questions don't get answered immediately. We'll do our best to answer when we're able.
We're beyond thankful for all your support on this project and are *so* excited about how this game is shaping up. We hope you're enjoying the ride!
Josh, Adam, and Josh (Ghillie)