Free To Play Array, Part 02 – Clicker Heroes
This article is part of a series. The first part can be found here : Free To Play Array, Part 01 – AdVenture Capitalist
Clicker Heroes is another free-to-play clicker game in a similar fashion to AdVenture Capitalist. Rather than building businesses, you are slaying monsters and moving through zones to advance your heroes.
You start out with simple clicks. Each click deals X amount of damage and each successful kill earns you some gold. You soon earn enough money to buy your first hero, Cid The Helpful Adventurer. Cid boosts your click damage and quickly makes your clicks more efficient. After Cid, all other heroes provide a bonus to your damage per second [DPS] and they slowly damage the monsters over time. As your DPS increases, the monsters die quicker and you earn gold quicker; and so the cycle continues.
Every five zones presents you with a boss to defeat. These monsters have higher health but, more importantly, they also have a timer of 30 seconds. If you can defeat them within their timeframe, you can proceed. After zone 100, you have a chance to earn extra rewards, which we shall get to later.
As you hire heroes, they have upgrades which unlock at certain levels. These are usually available at levels 10, 25, 50 and 100, though some heroes have more upgrades, some have less and some have them distributed differently.
Among the many upgrades you unlock, some grant you special powers which are assigned to the number keys, 1 to 9. These powers are all effective on their own, but certain combinations can be devastating when slaying bosses. The “Dark Ritual” power is a unique one which boosts your DPS, until your next ascension, but has a very long cooldown timer, while powers such as “Clickstorm” and “Powersurge” boost damage and clicks per second for a short period and have shorter cooldowns, accordingly.
An additional bonus is Gilded Heroes. As you continue to advance through zones, you will start earning Guilded Heroes for the highest zone you reach; these are placed at every 10 zones after zone 100. You will receive a chest which grants you a random Gilded Hero. When a Hero becomes Gilded, they gain a permanent DPS bonus of 50% for each Gild. The first time they are Gilded also gives them a new costume, some of which are really quite a visual upgrade.
Eventually, you will come across the ability to “Ascend” and earn Hero Souls. These work in a similar fashion to the Angel Investors from AdVenture Capitalist, though offer a bigger bonus and more potential. Each Hero Soul is worth a 10% bonus to your overall DPS, but they can also be spent on summoning Ancients. Ancients offer permanent bonuses across all your ascensions and can be levelled, with Hero Souls, to enhance their effects. These bonuses range from increasing gold percentages to boosting particular powers in strength and duration.
You earn a Hero Soul for every 2000 levels across all of your heroes and you can claim them upon ascending. You can also gain Hero Souls by defeating bosses, these being the bonus rewards I mentioned earlier.
Sometimes, there are special versions of the bosses who appear in place of the standard boss. These variants are called Primals and they offer a special version of Hero Souls, which we will cover later.
When you defeat the bosses, the Hero Souls are added to the number you gain after ascending, so you need to gauge when it is the best time to ascend and get the Hero Souls and begin anew.
Alongside Ancients, there are also Relics. Once per Ascension, a Relic Ooze may appear and grant you a Relic upon defeat. Unlike Ancients, you can only ever equip four Relics at a time.
Any Relics you have leftover, after you have equipped four, can be salvaged into Forge Cores. These are a special currency which can the be spent to level up your equipped Relics. It appears that Relics max out around level 50, though there are rumours of the level cap being removed in future updates.
There is one more currency which takes the form of Rubies. Rubies are the premium currency for the game and can be collected via “clickable treasures” or spending real money on them.
Every so often, the game will generate one of these treasures, somewhere within the user interface. If you click on it before it disappears, you will be rewarded with an abundance of gold and a slim chance of one or two Rubies. These treasures take different forms, depending on the current time of year. At Halloween, they were candy and they are currently slices of pumpkin pie, which I assume is due to Thanksgiving. Now they are candy canes!
The Rubies can be spent in the store to buy a number of small bonuses, some permanent but mostly disposable, such as “Three random Gilded Heroes.”
After buying the permanent “2x DPS” bonus, I just purchase Gilded Heroes since their bonuses can be continually stacked up and grant huge advantages in later ascensions. The “One Free Ascension” feels unnecessary to me, but maybe I should try it and see how it works out; it must be there for a reason.
In the most recent update, a new feature was added in the form of Mercenaries. You can have up to five of these additional munchkins, who you can send on missions to acquire more Relics and Currencies.
You select your character and choose one of three available missions for them to go on. Each mission has a reward, a timeframe and a chance of death. Obviously, the higher the reward, the greater the chance of death. You simply assign them missions and then leave them to it.
It is a nice little bonus and seems very powerful in granting the player gold and relics, on a quicker basis. From what I have heard, these are gated off until you have ascended a certain number of times, to keep the progression balanced for long-running players.
The last thing to mention is the multiplayer component which are Clans and Raids. If you manage to join a Clan, or form them, you can work with other players to defeat daily Raid bosses; Titans.
When you defeat Primal bosses, you earn Primal Hero Souls. These are the special reward I mentioned earlier. Initially, these seem to act in the same way as any other Hero Soul, but the game actually keeps track of how many you earn because they determine the damage you deal against Titans.
When you enter a raid, all previous aspects of your heroes and their bonuses are removed, leaving you only with your Primal Hero Soul damage. You have to deal as much damage as possible, purely via clicking, within the 30 seconds allowed. If you don’t manage to slay the beast, you can fight again after a timer resets, or you can pay Rubies to reset it immediately.
When I started playing Clicker Heroes and AdVenture Capitalist, I used AdVenture as a quick break while Clicker Heroes did it’s thing in the background. Since I reached the Moon and Mars though, AdVenture Capitalist has become a much larger time investment, while Clicker Heroes has become the quick retreat for slaying some enemies, sending out some Mercenaries and doing my bit for the Clan.
My favourite aspect of the Clan has become the tracker of member’s progress. You are able to see all the Clan members and the highest zone they have reached.
It may not be intended as a competitive element, but I kind of got sucked into the concept and try to get my highest zone possible, before ascending, just to keep ahead on this table.
I have also setup a clan for UC members and fans to join. If you wish to click your heroes with us, you can send an invite to the “UC Pony Brigade” and aid us in fighting Titans!
Yes, I chose the name, hence the inclusion of ponies!
Clicker Heroes has some cute monsters and all the characters have fun artwork, as well as thematic upgrades. The game has some nice sound design and makes all the upgrades and levelling feel good, as well as having plenty of bars and numbers to scale up, creating a constant sense of progress.
I find it a bit more engaging than AdVenture Capitalist, though both have their merits. I feel the Clan feature adds more value to your playtime and can create a nice sense of camaraderie which AdVenture Capitalist lacks.
Beware, this game can be quite addicting, though you can be addicted with us; the “UC Pony Brigade”!
As with AdVenture Capitalist, Clicker Heroes is available on mobile devices and the Steam “Free-To-Play” Store. It can also be played in browser, though where is the fun in that?!
Ellen caught, and edited in some cases. all these images herself. They all depict the work of Playsaurus!
Last played and still being played on 31/12/15 for Steam.
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