Skills and Warcries
- by Kalah
The skill wheel
You may recognize this feature from earlier games. Remember Aurelain's skill wheel created for H5? Generally, the so-called "skill wheel" for H7 is simply an overview over a hero's gained and potential skills, viewable on a single screen. As your heroes gain levels, you can plan ahead to shape your perfect hero - the skill wheel feature makes this process easier. In H7, the skill's properties will appear in the right column when you select it.
As you can see in the image to the right (click for a larger version), skills are divided into "Major" and "Minor", with the levels "Novice" (giving the hero 3 abilities), "Expert" (another 2 abilities) and "Master" (giving 1 more). Three of the "Major" skills have another rank on top of these - the cherished "Grandmaster" level. The obtaining of skills is done in a way which should be familiar to RPG players, namely by the spending of skill points given when the hero levels up. Fans of the series will also be familiar with the general types of skills; some magical, some purely combat related and some to do with the adventure map and managing of the towns. Which skills are available to which heroes is fairly intuitive, but if you want to, you can read more about it in the blog article.
These are Might capabilities, used as an alternative to magic spells on the battlefield. Instead of casting a spell, a hero can use a warcry to boost his or her troops in different ways; increasing defence, ranged attack damage or initiative, for instance. Click the image on the right to see all these effects. As the hero levels up, the effects of these warcries also increase, making them a real alternative to magic. If properly balanced, I see this as a way to ensure that the game's title will indeed be a fitting description. It also underlines the fact that the heroes are on the battlefield themselves; these skills offer nothing in the way of direct damage, but bolster a hero's army.