As the war of the Gods continued to ravage the surface, mankind sought shelter in the Underdeep.  This is their story.

I am but one of thousands currently playing Heroes of  Steel.

The Forum is  packed with useful information about this game. Having read every post ever written on  the Heroes of Steel.

I thought putting a few thoughts down may be of use to new players. If you have questions or ideas on how to improve this little guide.  Feel free to drop a line to @johnrobinson on the forum.

 

 

 The Basics

Heroes of Steel is a story-driven turn-based tactical RPG.  You start the game with a party of 4 characters.

Vraes     The Outlander  (Fighter class)

Kharjtan The Wizard      (Wizard class)

Kyera     The Cleric        (Healer and magic class)

Tamilin   The Thief          (Thief or  rogue class)

About the Downloadable Content

New characters within each class  and new game content (more episodes, acts) in the story are available for in app purchase when you tap the “Store” button on the opening screen.

For a one time purchase of $1  you get Episode 1, Act 1 and Act 2.  The Trese Brothers are constantly adding new features to these opening acts for no additional charge.

Each  Episode of HoS will contain 2 Acts for an additional $1.

Just having completing Episode 1 Act 1 , was a challenging achievement for me.  I haven’t even played on a higher difficulty than normal or started the recently released Act 2.  Great value, a testament to the integrity of the Trese Brothers.

I recently asked Andrew Trese what to expect from Episode 2.

“It will get more complicated as the story points will now begin to be less linear, but its an exciting place to be!”  Andrew

When the author looks back at the development history of any of their other games that’s like telling you to expect a firecracker and you  end up with a crate full of dynamite content.

Each of the available  IAP characters (purchased separately)  have unique abilities that add a lot of depth to the game. It is well worth your consideration.

There are more Episodes  and Acts on the way.  The Trese Brothers are creating a game of  enormous size with a highly refined interface and replayability.

You can purchase Heroes of Steel at;

For your PC, buy Heroes of Steel from Steam

Special Treat for Kindle Fire HDX owners.  Netgear has got together with Amazon to create a small device called Push2TV.   You plug the Push2TV  into any HDMI port and play HoS , movies, internet or anything else you want.  I have used it to play HoS while plugged  into a 50” Plasma TV with full Dolby surround sound.  I can sit back on the sofa across the room without any annoying long cables attached to the Kindle.  If you own an HDX this is an opportunity you don’t want to miss out on.

Game Menu

 

The simple game menu provides the following options

  • Play Button –  Start a New Game or Continue an old one
  • Store Button – Make In app purchases of additional content
  • More Button – Developer and KickStarter credits
  • Mute music – corner icon
  • Mute SFX – corner icon
  • Display blood splatters – on or off

Starting a  New Game

[ Tap Play ]   To continue.  This screen allows you to setup a new game or continue a previous game from the point you left off.  You can have as many saved games as you like, to select one scroll up and down then tap the one you want to highlight, then tap  play to return to where you left off.  Every game uses a party of four composed  of one from each class.  For example you cannot select a party made of 2 Outlanders and 2 Wizards.  When starting a new game you must use one of each class selected from the defaults or in app purchased characters.

Now you are ready to customize the options the new game will use..

[ Tap Play a New Game ] As shown in the Getting Started display screen..

[ Tap Game Name ] This will bring up a keyboard for you to enter your own game name and save it.

[ Tap Normal ] To select the difficulty level.  Choose one by scrolling up and down.  Do nothing if you want to use the Normal difficulty setting.

[ Skip intro ]  Will not be unlocked until you have completed playing the entire Prologue the first time. The introduction is just that.  You learn how the Heroes of Steel storyline begins with  popups to help new players understand how the game controls work.  I think you will be surprised at how long and detailed the free Prologue is.

 

Playing with Additional Characters

[ How do I play with a recently purchased Character? ]   At the bottom of the screen you are prompted to “Tap portraits to change heroes”.  Look closely at the bottom of the Wizard’s portrait.  “1 of 2” indicates you can swap out the Wizard with another Wizard class character you have purchased.

I  purchased “Vincent the Sorcerer”.  When I tap on Karjtan the Wizard’s portrait the following screen is displayed.

Tap the Sorcerer’s portrait and you will automatically return to the final setup screen.

[ Tap Play ] I have named my game, selected the difficulty level and party members. It’s Time to Play.

 

 Game Play and Controls

The game opens in the main playing field.  A very uncluttered map with seemingly few controls.  In fact there are over 100 aspects to the game all of them linked to this main display.  Every decision you make while playing HoS starts and ends here.  The Play Screen is much larger, This is being displayed at maximum zoom in. We will get into map controls, character movement and combat a little later.

I’ve added  red numbered arrows to illustrate how the Play Screen works.

Each number is assigned a label that will be used for the remainder of this tutorial.

  1. End Turn or Group Move
  2. Character Portrait
  3. Party Quick Status
  4. Display next portrait
  5. Quick Talents, Main Talent List, and Items (potions).

 

Each on-screen control is described below in detail:

1. End Turn or Group Move (Glom) –   Is used in two ways.  During combat, or while exploring the Underdeep. In this snapshot Vraes the brave Outlander is facing two spear wielding guards and an archer in combat mode.  After the entire party has used up its moves or used special talents. [ Tap the Hourglass ]  to signify you have ended your turn and then the enemies will use their own abilities and a new round will begin. Combat will be covered in depth in a later chapter.

When you are not in combat mode the hourglass will be replaced with 4 golden heads.  You are free to move your characters one at a time.  but when you  [ Tap Heads ]  the group will combine into a single character allowing you to move more rapidly.

2. Character Portrait –   When you  [ Tap Character Portrait ] all of the attributes, skills and talents for that character become viewable in another series of screens.  Each character has a unique set of abilities. .  This is the real heart of the game especially when you have earned enough experience points to level  up.

3. Party Quick Status –  Will display a popup portrait of the other members in the party at the bottom of the screen.  On the left of each character portrait you will see the health point bar in red, next to the spirit point (magic) blue bar.  This is useful for a quick peek at how your characters are doing during the heat of battle and is also a handy way of tapping on their individual portraits to bring up all of the information about them. Tap  it again to  return the viewing area back to normal.

4. Display Next Portrait –  This small arrow pointing to the right is a easy way to scroll to the next portrait being displayed on the play map.  A single tap on the current portrait will also take you to the characters detail screens.  The most useful reason to use this button is to make the Quick Talent List available right away for each party member to use, or use potions stored in the Items box.  Of course you can also tap on any character on the map to switch the portrait..

5 Quick Talents, Main Talent List, and Items – This column is broken into three sections.  The first 3 boxes contain the Quick Talents List, which shows the spells or special talents you have selected to use most often.  The next box labeled [Talents] will take you immediately to all the talents a character can use without going through the other screens. The the third box labeled [Items] will display potions you can select from and use on the character currently being displayed in the portrait circle.

Pinch Zoom Map Viewing

You can use your thumb and forefinger to expand and contract the viewing area to any zoom level you want.  In our previous picture we showed Vraes facing off with the Dungeon Gaurds at maximum zoom in.

But he is not alone the rest of the party are far enough back to use ranged magic, and bowshots.

Here is what it looks like at maximum zoom out.

Notice how there are areas around the party that are in black.  You can’t see into to them  because  the party has never entered the areas before or Tamilin has not been closes enough to use her Farsight talent.  After you have exposed areas of the map they will stay visible but at long distances will be superimposed with a gray shadow, after all it’s hard enough seeing in the dark and they aren’t carrying arc lamps.

Equipping your party Arms and Armor

How do I know what equipment a character is using?

How do I swap a hammer with a better hammer I found or bought?

First off you need to know all the armor and weapons not currently equipped by one of the characters in your party go into a shared pool that any of them can see.

Any items found in a chest or purchased at a shop go into a shared pool, including potions.

Each character can choose to unequip weapons, armor, magic items returning them to the common pool and then select others to equip.  Selecting new items to fill empty slots provides you a way  to upgrade to better armor, weapons or magic items in the pool.

This is also an easy way for you to share items between the characters in your party.  For example lets say Vraes is equipped with a good one handed hammer.  Vraes can use any weapon except a bow.  Kyera can only use one handed hammers.  There may be a really great sword in the shared pool and  his hammer is better than the one Kyera is carrying.

To give Kyera the better hammer she needs to go to her equipment screen and unequip her hammer returning it to the pool.  Vraes will do the same.  Now Kyera can select the better hammer and equip it.  Vraes will equip his new sword.

You can never equip an item that the character class cannot use.  For example Tamilin is the only character that can equip a Bow.  I’ll say a little more about that in the Skills section of the tutorial.

We will use Kyera as our example.  To begin tap on her portrait displayed on the main play screen.  You now can see the screen that takes you to the equipment panel.  Do you see that little sword and shield in the lower left?

[ Tap the sword and shield icon ]

 

This will bring up her equipment panel.  There is a better set of in the armor in the shared stash and we want her to equip it.  So you start by tapping on the armor box.

This will take her to the shared stash of unequipped armor the party has.  to upgrade from her Reinforced Clothing (3 Armor)  to the Heavy Overcoat (6 Armor).  She simply taps on it, then it will have to word “Equipped”  next to it on the right.  Weapons work the same way with the exception you will get a confirmation message to make sure you want to unequip the one you are currently using.

Each Character in the party have their own set of skills.  What happens if Kyera tries to equip something she doesn’t have the skill for?  In this example she is trying to equip “Stealth Armor” only Thieves are allowed to wear this type of armor so an error message will appear at the bottom of the screen to let her know it’s off limits.  In this case it reads;

“Cleric can only equip Light or Mage’s Armor”

When you are all finished equipping Kyera just  [ Tap the Big Blue Button ] on the upper left hand corner of the screen and you be returned to the main game screen.

 

Character Levels and Experience points

Experience points are earned by completing quests, surviving battle and using special abilities such as unlocking doors.  When enough XP have accumulated each character will be awarded a level.  On the play area map you will hear a gong sound and see the level message on top of the character who has reached the next level.  Characters level at different rates based on their activities, but in general rise together around the same time period.  When a character levels each is awarded points to spend in 3 categories.  They are called Attributes, Skills and Talents.

 

Monster levels increase based on party level and the game difficulty setting..  So as your party improves the monsters get tougher and increase their own special abilities.   The Underdeep is a dangerous place so you cannot just stop in a spider filled hallway and level up.  You need a safe place to camp.

 

Not all camps are alike some are used to rest and recharge your health and magic points to full power.  There are special camps located in the Underdeep that allow you to spend your points to improve your characters.  Here is what a leveling campsite  looks like. You will find your first camp after you have escaped Red Hill, so don’t waste time looking for it.

When you move any party member into the campsite circle and tap the  dark center  the leveling screens will display and you can spend your hard earned points.  In a later section I’ll show you how it’s done.

By the time you complete Episode 1, Act 1  your characters will be approximately level 11. Unlike other games you may have played when you have finished Episode one (act 1 and 2)  that is not the end. The Heroes of Steel saga is composed of multiple Episodes containing multiple acts..

The developers will release each Episode with two acts after extensive testing, and polishing.  This author is impressed about how many different platforms the game runs on.  From iPads to Kindle, Droid tablets, Droid phones, iPhones and sometime in 2014 a PC version.

The current maximum level a character can reach is 64.  Many more additional characters, Episodes and acts are under construction.  A large amount of Episode one enhancements

have already been made with several releases in this month alone!  All the enhancements for each episode and act you own come free of charge and are automatically updated. This includes the free prologue.  As you progress in this tutorial you will begin to realize the seemingly endless replayability Heroes of Steel has to offer.

When HoS is completed you will own a game of enormous scale with who knows how many new characters to play with.  Play for a few days or play for a few years the choice is yours.

Extra XP

Is awarded for: “Bosses grant extra XP … disarming traps, secret doors, side quests, removing certain curses. The big one is killing lots and lots of monsters that are higher level than you”  – Cory Trese

This does not mean you will advance more quickly at higher levels of difficulty such as Nightmare.

“The XP and gold rewards are actually reduced vs. other difficulty levels (“scarce rewards”).” – Andrew Trese

Schedule of Earned Leveling Points

So how many Attribute, Skill, and Talents points do I earn and when do I get them?

Each character earns none, one or more in each category every time a new level is reached depending on class.

 As stated earlier after completing Episode 1, Act 1 all of your party members should have reached level 11.  As new  content is added it opens another range of levels until you hit the maximum of 64.

The first released IAP character is a Mage class character known as Vincent the Sorcerer.  Many new characters are on the way each with his own leveling awards.  I’m providing a copy of the first leveling Schedule table  that covers Chapter One, Act One.

About this Table

If you want to keep up to date with the latest higher level points schedule, and new characters you can use this link on the Heroes of Steel Forum.  This table covers Episode 1 Act 1.   Act 2 has been released before I could even finish this Tutorial!  http://startradersrpg.proboards.com/thread/5804/leveling-table

The following are the caps on Attribute, Skills and Talents.

Attributes           cap @

16

Skills                   cap @

16

Talents               cap @

10

Planning your next adventure:  There are two Total rows displayed at the end of this table.  At the end of Act 1 it is likely your characters have reached Level 11.  The bonus from winning will push them over into Level 12, by then Chapter 1 Act 1 has reached an end.

When making your mind up about where and when to allocate Attribute, Skill and Talent points, I recommend you rely on the row labeled Total @ 11.

The Table is displayed on the next page to prevent a page break in the middle.

This is how it looked on 01/22/14.  Note;  I was rereading this tutorial on 01/31/14 and already Act 2 of Episode 1, and a new character named “The Rogue” have been released, that’s just how fast things are happening with the Trese Brothers the game just keeps getting bigger and more involved every week.

Abbreviations;  Out=Outlander, Wiz=Wizard, Clr=Cleric, Thf=Thief, Sor=Sorcerer

The column for the Sorcerer is blank because the information is still being compiled.

(Remember if you want to get the latest use this thread) .

v 1.1.35

          [    Attributes  pts        ][     Skill pts             ][  Talent pts             ]

Level@

Chr

Lvl

Out

Wiz

Clr

Thf

Sor

Out

Wiz

Clr

Thf

Sor

Out

Wiz

Clr

Thf

Sor

 1 XP

 1

  0

  0

  0

  0

  0

  0

 0

 0

0

0

 0

  0

 12

 2

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

 60

 3

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

  0

+1

+1

  0

  0

 0

  0

168

 4

  0

  0

  0

  0

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

360

 5

  0

  0

  0

  0

+1

+1

1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

660

 6

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

  0

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

1,092

 7

  0

  0

  0

  0

  0

+1

0

 0

+1

+1

+1

+1

1,680

 8

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

  0

  0

 0

  0

2,448

 9

  0

  0

  0

  0

+1

  0

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

3,420

10

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

  0

  0

 0

  0

4,620

11

  0

  0

  0

  0

+1

  0

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

+1

6,072

12

+1

  0

  0

+1

+1

  0

 0

+1

  0

  0

 0

  0

Total

@ 11

+5

+5

+5

+5

+9

+5

+8

+9

+7

+7

+7

+7

Total

@ 12

+6

+5

+5

+6

+10

+6

+9

+1

+7

+7

+7

+7

 

* To reach level 13 you need 7,800 XP.  You can bank your points without losing them, and spend them anytime during the game.

** Data for Vincent the Sorcerer is being gathered for future posting

Talents – the Heart and Soul of Heroes

Heroes was designed from the ground up for party members to work as a team.  Developing each Character’s Talents and knowing when to use them is the your key to your success.

Talents are supported by two other character qualities known as Attributes and Skills..  They will be covered separately.  Earlier you were shown a picture of a leveling campsite.While exploring the dungeons these are the only safe locations where your party members can use their accumulated Attribute, Skill and Talent points after leveling.   You can also level inside some of the towns and cities of the Underdark.  To get a better understanding of how Talents work I’m going to use  Tamilin the Thief as an example.

[ Tap the Center of the Campsite] to move to it and trigger the leveling screens.

The next screen she will see is displayed below.

She has just reached level 3 and arrived at the first leveling camp to spend her earned points. You can see she has earned 2 Attribute points, 2 Skill points  and 1 Talent point to spend.

 Did you notice the small portraits of the other team members at the bottom of the screen? You can tap on any of them at anytime to go to their leveling screens without having to exit and reenter the campsite one character at a time to begin leveling.

We will work on leveling her Attributes and Skills later for now.

[ Tap the Talents box]  At the bottom of the screen.

This is the next screen you will see.  Choose carefully changes made here are permanent.

Here you see two of her Talents. You can scroll up and down to view each of the available talents Tamilin can use.  Each character has 9 main talents they can increase in power by 10 ranks.  Each rank costs 1 Talent point.  The line at the top of the screen reminds you that it takes 1 Talent point to advance a rank and tells you how many Talent points you currently have to spend.  When you give it some thought every character has 90 different

Talents and Ranks they can increase!

In addition Tamilin has 2 Talents that cannot be increased because they are inherent to the character type. They cost no AP or Spirit  to use.  She has a Talent called “Loose” which means she can fire a bow, and “Slash” which means she can use small blades but not Swords, Hammers, and Polearms.

We are going to start by showing how to level one of her most powerful talents.

[Tap on Aimed Shot now ]

Tamilin starts the game with one rank in Aimed shot.  Now we are ready to advance from Rank 1 of Aimed Shot to Rank 2.  Rank 1 is shown with a gray.  Rank 2 is highlighted to show it is available to spend a talent point to get it.

At the bottom of this screen you can spend the point by tapping [ Train ] or if you change your mind and want to spend it on another Talent tap [ Cancel ] to return to the Talent selection scroll list.

Below this picture we will go into more detail about what this screen means to you.

Combat will be covered in detail later but here is the effect of what we are doing.

Lets take a look at the Bow Tamilin is currently equipped with. a Light Bow

.

This Light Bow is capable of doing 10 to 17 points of damage on the target.

During Combat each party member starts the round with 7 AP (Action Points).

Every time Tamilin fires this bow 2 AP will be subtracted from her total of 7.

The Aimed Shot 1 talent already uses the same AP it takes to fire the bow, but adds a Spirit cost that will be deducted from her total pool (Covered in Attributes Section).

But she gains a chance of adding 4 more points of damage on a hit and 3 more points of Accuracy to improve her chances of getting a hit.

If you look at Aimed Shot 2, you see both the damage and accuracy increase but so does the SP from 2 to 3.  The higher the rank the higher the cost.  .Here is what the damage, accuracy and cost looks like for rank 9 and the maximum level 10.

 

Keep in mind not all talents are available for use at the same time, some have prerequisites.  Here is an example.  Tamilin will not be able put any talent points into Deadly Intuition until she reaches level 6.  Later on when she reaches level 12 she can add her first talent point into Silent Stalker then begin using that Talent during play.

 

Attributes – the Body and Mind of Heroes

Every character was born with natural abilities that improve over time. Some children are quick learners and may go on to become Wizards.  Some are natural athletes and may go on to become Outlanders.  Others at an early age liked taking things apart and were good at hiding they might grow up to be Thieves.  Lets use Vraes to illustrate how Attributes affect his success in Heroes of Steel.

Natural Abilities; When leveling each character type will gain a base increase in hit points and spirit points.  The size of the increase depends on the character.  For example every time  Vraes reaches a new level he will receive a base increase of 16 health and 4 spirit. Every time the Wizard raises a level he gets 8  more health and 11 spirit.

Dexterity makes using small blades (not swords) and bows more accurate, and helps any character dodge hits.All Attributes are capped at 16.  Vraes is not very dexterous he seldom relies on small blades, and being the size of a horse has very little ability to dodge an attack.  You can see his Dodge value is very low under the Combat column.  Like Talents,  when Leveling you have points to spend raising the attributes of your choice.  If Vrae’s chooses to raise his dexterity his accuracy with small blades will increase along with his ability to dodge.  It takes him more points to make a difference than any other party member so his  points are better spent elsewhere.

Constitution is a primary attribute for Vraes.  It provides the Health Points, and Toughness to be a great fighter. At level one Vraes starts out with 172 HP the highest of any party member and it grows very rapidly.  Not only is his base increase the highest but when he spends an attribute point to increase his constitution he will raise his total HP by 26 and add 1 to Toughness.  Toughness is any character’s natural level of ability to resist physical punishment without wearing armor, other factors are also influenced by Toughness.  With a Toughness of 7 he starts out roughly twice the value of any party member.

Strength  Is another primary Attribute for Vraes.  It plays a pivotal role in his accuracy when using  1 handed or 2 handed melee weapons, hammers, swords, and polearms.  You may not run into it right away but some weapons will require a minimum number in Strength  to use.

Willpower Is the attribute that provides Vraes with magic and curse resistance.  His resistance level is located under the combat column.  He is about average but can take allot of elemental damage, and just about any powerful Shaman will succeed in casting a curse on him.  This is one reason the Cleric and Wizard are so important.  They can use their talents to cast protective spells on him so he can leverage his full power.

Intelligence Is possibly the most important attribute for all the characters in your party.  All Talents require SP or spirit points to drive them.  Vraes comes in dead last in this department and will definitely need to spend some attributes points here.  He only gets 4 SP pts when leveling but an additional 22 for every point he spends in intelligence.  At 72 he starts the game with the lowest number of SP.  Some of his higher talents can save SP using certain Skills (more on this later).

Knowledge Isn’t an attribute Vraes relies on the way the Wizard and Cleric do.. I think of it more as animal instinct.  How does a wolf know there is a hare under the snow and all he has to do is dig it out for dinner?  For the Cleric and Wizard knowledge can play an important role in spell accuracy.

 Gentlemen Start your Engines Among the many helpful threads found on the Heroes of Steel forum this link will show you a side by side table of all the of the Attribute and Skill values each party member begins the game with.  The information is up to date and will change as more characters are added.  http://startradersrpg.proboards.com/thread/5809/p2-1-7-startup-table

 Skills – the Fire and Steel of Heroes

Skills enhance and fill the gap between Attributes and Talents.  Every character has a different skill set based on years of practice sometimes a lifetime.

Like in life you may be born with certain Attributes, and learn new Talents.

Skills are the daily experience of using these attributes and talents to solve problems that makes the difference.  Has anyone ever said ; “You make it looks so easy”.  In reality you really had to work hard to make it look that way.

For example someone might say Tamilin could shoot the eye out of a Ratkin from 30 yards.  Or you won’t find her unless she wants to be found.  That’s because she had to hone her natural  abilities and  needed to learn to develop the skills her life depends on.

Lets take a closer look at Vraes.  Here is the screen showing his Skill set. It never changes it never gets anything added to it.  The skill set is inherent to being an Outlander Character.

Here again is the screen you see when you have reached a leveling campsite or town.  This time instead of spending your Talent points it’s time to spend your Skill points.   In this example we are focusing on the Lore Skill.  He currently has 2 points to spend and you can scroll up and down to see the rest of his skills you might want to add points to.

Skills may look simple on the game panels, but work in a complex vital way with each character.

I urge you  to to take the  time to read an HOS Forum thread that can help you understand how Attributes, Talents and Skills intermesh.

Players Guides: Heroes and Monsters (Tables) Guides: Heroes and Monsters (Tables)

http://startradersrpg.proboards.com/thread/5905/players-guides-heroes-monsters-tables

To explain every one of these interactions is far more than I’m capable of doing, and the attempt would run into more text than I can imagine.  However here is one example.  (I might add more examples to this tutorial in the future)

Someone might be watching Vraes in battle and think to themselves, “I’ve never seen anybody take that much damage and  stay on his feet let alone keep dishing out plenty of his own”

What could give him this much staying power?  Here is one combination.

Attribute:    Constitution  His constitution has been leveled to the point of having 300 or more HP.

Talent:      Stone Skin he might have the 4th rank meaning he gets a +120 HP and extra            toughness equal to wearing +12 suit of Armor for as long as the talent lasts..

Skill:        Lore  This is why he can fight so long before the effects of Stone Skin wear off.

Stone skin lasts for 10 rounds plus the number of points he has in his Lore Skill.  He starts the game with 2 points so his Stone Skin already lasts a minimum of 12 rounds.

You do lose some recovery rounds after a battle depending on the game difficulty setting you choose.  Stone Skin doesn’t wear off if you haven’t used up all of its rounds.  In other words lets say Vraes has cast Stone Skin(4).  The effect will last for 12 rounds of combat.  Lets say the fight is over in 4 rounds, and he loses 2 for recovery.  That leaves him 6 unused rounds that go into action on his next hostile encounter.

Vraes pool of SP is fairly low, for him to use Stone Skin(4) it will cost him 24 SP.  That’s a big chunk for him, he only gets +4 SP everytime he levels without raising his intelligence attribute.

So Lore allows him to be able to use high cost Talents such as this one because the duration can be increased to a high level by investing more points in his Lore skill.  Chances are he will reach a rest camp before having to use it two or three times.  By the time you get to the end of Episode 1 Act 1.  Vraes will have earned 9 Skill points to spend in any way he wishes.  The Forum Thread I showed you will give you more clues.  But be sure of one thing, you better know how to use your skills to survive in the Underdeep.

Combat the Rhythm of Ryethin

“To become the enemy see yourself as the enemy of the enemy”  Miyamoto Musashi

Introduction

Everything you’ve read so far in this tutorial will help prepare you for fighting the creatures of the Underdeep and win.  Weapons and Armor alone will not insure victory.  Without the short introduction on how to use your Character’s Attributes, Talents and Skills combat will only cause you frustration.

It should also have given you some clues about the effect one Character can have on the effectiveness of the team.  The old saying about for want of a shoe the horse was lost, for want of a horse the man was lost etc.  The Heroes of Steel  developers have stated the game requires the efforts of all four party members working as a team to win.  In other words trying to play this game having everyone in the party just support one member of the party will result in victory for the enemy.

This next part of the tutorial explains what goes on in a battle using screenshots taken from this Trese Brothers YouTube video showing our party storming a door and rushing the room.  Sort of a “Stop Action” commentary.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aw3cKo9cpWQ

What did I just see happening?  If you are new to Heroes of Steel things can be a little confusing. Scroll on down to find out!

Look before you Leap

[Farsight Talent]  Our party is standing outside the door with the space beyond blacked out because they have never been there before. Nobody wants to open the door and charge into a possible  ambush.  Lucky for the group Tamilin has a special Talent to help prevent this.  This is a talent you will be using hundreds of times as you play HOS so lets take a closer look.

What does it do?  To find out you tap on Tamilin’s  Talents box in the bottom right hand corner of the screen to bring them up.  Then scroll the list until you find it.  Here is what you will see.

This means she can spend 5 of her AP (action points) and 3 Spirit will be deducted from her total SP to use this Talent.  Range 6 mean when using the Talent she can single tap anywhere within six squares from her position and an area of the map will be exposed.  The size of the area unveiled increases significantly as you add points to the talent to increase range.   You can cast it over doors walls doesn’t matter where as long as it is in range.  When not in combat the AP cost doesn’t matter but the SP will be deducted from her total available.

She taps anywhere she wants and a flash will occur in one of three colors.  Blue means the area is probably safe.  Red is danger you are going to encounter some nearby bad guys.  Green means there are pit traps or spear traps in the area.  In the past there have been so many posts on the Forum about not having seen the flash I think it important to show it in the next images.

Here Tamilin has cast Farsight right on the door  seeing a blue flash looks like a safe place to enter.

Thinking this a little too good to be true she casts it again a little farther out.  Sure enough the red flash warns of danger and a larger portion of the room is exposed.  The room not the bad guys.

Oh well we did come to kill them didn’t we? Lets open the door and get this party started.

The Blue Ring movement in combat

This is one of the most important things you need to know how to use when interacting with objects and movement in and out of combat.  Whenever you tap on a door or treasure chest the blue ring will appear  and they will automatically open.  If you look at this shot you can see Tamilin’s Portrait on left hand bottom of the screen and she has just tapped the door to open it.  In the next shots you will see the door has been opened.

When you want to move a character during combat  the blue ring appears in the square you want to move to and begins to fade.  If you tap the ring again before it fades completely  your character will move there if they have enough AP to do so.  If not they will get as close as they can until their AP reaches zero.  This is a visual aid to help you from accidentally moving your character into the wrong square.  In my case I thought I was moving Vraes wasn’t paying attention double tapped the blue ring and moved the Wizard into the front lines directly in front of two sword bearing maniacs with Vraes too far away shaking his head and  having a good laugh.

[Tap once to highlight the square.  Tap again on the ring to move there.  Do nothing and your chosen character remains in place.]

Now the bad guys have shown up, one spear wielding dungeon guard and one archer.  We got the jump on them and get the first move; it easily could have gone the other way without Tamilin’s Stealth number I showed you earlier in the Skills section.

When each round of Combat begins each character gets a total of 7 AP.  They can use these to move, use talents, attack with melee weapons, spells, curses,  and bow weapons each with it’s own AP cost.  When the AP reaches 0 that character can take no further action until the next combat round begins.  Unspent AP does not carry over to the next round.

[ 1 ]  I am showing that after opening the door she spent 1 AP the remainder of 6 is shown here.  This will continue to go down until it hits zero as she continue to do things in this round.

[ 2 ] Is the Quick Talent Column.  You were introduced to this earlier in the tutorial but lets hit it again in more detail.  Currently Tamilin has 3 of her favorites in the Quick Column. Aimed Shot (the glowing arrow).  Farsight (the mystic eye)  and Precision Pick (the treasure chest). You can have up to three talents displayed in the column at one time.  Anytime you want you can change what is displayed without costing anything.  With a single tap on any of the talents in the column they are ready to use without having to reorganize.

She can also tap the talents box bottom right of screen to go to her entire list scroll down to the one  wants then double tap and it will become ready for use just not in the ready column.  I will leave that for you to explore on your own.

The First Shot Fired

 It’s time to listen the sweet melodies of Ryethin

(Clue? She is a Goddess in the HoS world you can find out about)

[ 1 ] Tamilin has [tapped Aimed Shot] in her Quick column.  Now you see the glowing arrow in a large box on the bottom right of the screen appears.  She can see the spear guard through the door.  [taps on the guard]  and fires her bow.  If she changes her mind before tapping on the guard all you need to do is tap the circle with the crossed line to cancel and choose something else.

[ 2 ] On impact you see she was able to get a hit for -8 displayed in red with a little blood splatter displayed over the guard.  If this had been a miss you would see the animation of her firing the bow and no red number.  (Yeah I know its hard to see but after all this is a screenshot of a video, the -8 is visible). I really love the animations done on these characters but it happens so fast there is no way for me to capture it.

[ 3 ]  Aimed shot costs the AP it takes to fire the bow plus 3 SP. We know the light bow uses 2 AP to fire but if you can’t remember go to her equipment screen and have a look.  All weapons, and spells use AP; they don’t swing, zap, or fire by themselves!  Here you can see her AP has been reduced from 6 to 4 as she has used 2 AP to fire the bow.  Remember when this displayed number hits zero that’s it for her for this combat round.

 What’s it gonna take to kill this guy!

So your party keeps slamming into this bad guy and red damage points are coming up, why isn’t he dead yet?  To find out all you have to do is [ tap on the monster ].

This a shot from another HOS game I have in progress with Vraes facing down an untouched Bowrat.  Notice how it says “at least 40 Health”  the Trese Brothers aren’t giving away the farm, this little guy can have more than 40 but reasonably close (at times you won’t think so!).

Thankfully the damage per attack he can do is listed as the maximum possible limit.  You can also see he has 5 AP to spend in his nasty little round.  He also has a value of 6 to magic resistance.  Most of the time monsters only need 1 AP to attack so 5 AP can be more than enough to make it hurt.  As you keep hitting him you will see the “at least 40 HP” begin to decrease.  If you tap him again after getting in a few good shots it might read “at least 20 HP”.  To get rid of the display just tap it again.  Remember if you already have the attack box showing you will attack instead of display.

If it looks like the rest of the party was running for their lives in the other direction you’re right at that moment they were.  “So what’s new about that”..Vraes

Effects and Buffs: Fighting while under the Influence

Before  you are going into or in the middle of a brawl you might be equipped with a magic item or under a the effects of a long duration talent know as a “Buff”.  This also applies to curses that have successfully hit the character..  Or you wonder how many rounds you have left in a Talent like Stone Skin.  Is Kyera’s Piety Shield going to wear off just before the Shaman throws his next curse?  You can do this at any time in the game here’s how.

[ A word about Buffs ]  As I mentioned earlier about how the number of lore skill points affect the duration of Vraes Stone Skin Talent.  Remember the effects don’t wear off while you are walking around, rounds start getting used for every round of combat and after battle any unused rounds remain untouched..  Always remember to have each character cast their own buffs. If they have group Buffs like Kharjtan’s Burning Blades make sure everyone in the party is getting the benefits before a fight.

[ Tap the character Portrait ]   next

[ Tap on the Effects button ]

 

Now you will see a scrollable list of any magic bonus, special gear or curses and how many rounds they have left before ending.

A sample is displayed on the next page.  When done viewing all you have to do is [ tap back ] to the character’s portrait [ tap back ] again to return to the main screen.

[ Swapping equipment during combat ]  You can go to your equipment screen during battle and change weapons armor etc.  This will use most if not all of the available AP for that combat round.  It’s a good idea to already have made up your mind before facing the enemy.

Kyera has Cast Warders Shield on Vraes and it will remain in effect for 9 more rounds.

He is wearing steel shot bracers that give him a constant +1 Parry

Scrolling down the effects page we can see Vraes has cast two self only talent buffs called Phalanx Shield and Stone Skin with 7 and 4 turns left remaining.

Back to the Action

After the first shot Tamilin still has 4 AP left.  Using her Aimed Shot talent she hits the first guard again for 10 pts of damage without killing him, reducing her remaining AP to 2.

Now she uses her remaining 2AP to switch to  the Archer for 15 pts of damage but he’s still on his feet  at AP zero that’s it for her this round.

 

Vraes spits out his toothpick.  “You done fooling around porcupine?”

Tamlin glares “Hey bright boy don’t forget there’s an arrow aimed at your face and one between your shoulders!”

Vraes has his full 7AP and moves into the room.   Everybody see the blue ring and remember what it does?

He moves next to the first guard and having selected “Savage Sweep” taps on the guard and hits for 17 points of damage leaving a spatter of brains, guts and for him fond memories on the floor. Remember if you want to know what Savage Sweep does before you use it, tap the talents bar. For now he chooses to leave his last 2AP unspent (see top of his portrait).

Vraes now uses his last 2AP moving forward uncovering a treasure chest and two more guards that had been hidden in the shadows.

“Yo Karjtan little help here?”  “On the way big V”

Karjtan enters the room prepared to cast (one of my favorites)  the “Choking Ash” curse on the new bad guys.  To his dismay he isn’t within casting range and will have to move a little closer.

 

Success! The two guards are enveloped in a swirling cloud of hot ash, it’s hard to block or use a weapon when half blind, so the guards will have lowered armor class and accuracy for the next 10 rounds.

As the battle progress you will get experience points and gold from kills.

Payday  What’s in Box #1

What about that treasure chest we saw  in the corner the during the clip? .  Let’s move Tamilin up to it and use her Precision Pick talent (tapped to use from the Quick talents column)

Now she [ taps on the chest ] You will see a small swirl.

The chest will open  showing its contents.  You can scroll up and down the list taking one item or [tap the take all button.]

 

When you find equipment you can go to a character’s equipment screen and begin to use it.

That’s how Tamilin got her light bow.  Before that she was equipped with a short bow.

You can also earn gold and special items completing quests.

Ending with a New Beginning

I hope this tutorial has been of help too you.  I’ll be adding new content so once in a while you might stop by to check for anything new in the table of contents or updates to the topics covered so far.

If you continue to play long enough pass a coin in a tavern say my name and I’ll meet you after midnight.

               Balgair – Surviving the cruel streets blessed by the gifts of Rabiel