Game Update Hero

Update 4.3: Herocalypse

Kabam strikes back.

Skip to the bottom for a tl;dr.

It would not be unfair to say 4.3 has been one of the more controversial updates for Shop Titans. I’m going to explain the bigger changes below, what they mean and why they’re causing a lot of debate. Let’s begin with

“Mastery” type skills no longer affect equipment secondary stats. They now accurately reflect their displayed effect.

Out of all the changes in the patch this one is the one that had the biggest impact on heroes and their stats. But what exactly does that mean? Well, let us take a look at a mastery skill

Axe Master: +50/100/150% Attack with Axes

So looking at the effect of Axe Master, it seems pretty straightforward – it provides a damage buff to any Axe that is equipped by the hero. Pretty straightforward, just a flat increase to the attack stat like this:

Axe of the Fifth equipped to a hero with Axe Mastery. The number is blue to indicate it is being modified.

However, prior to update 4.3 skills like Axe Mastery would also buff the secondary stat of the relevant item as well. This when stacked with other skills that buffed weapons allowed for some pretty silly levels of secondary boosting:

Axe of the Fifth giving over double the defence on a previous build

That’s just one example of what the mastery skills could. They could raise the defence or hp values of weapons incredibly high, it was like having a bonus item slot on your hero. It didn’t make sense for those skills to affect weapons, it never gave any indication or anything that they should and moving into Tier 10 we would have seen astronomical scaling on legendaries.

Now the mastery skills had functioned like that for a very long time now – stretching back to at least November 2019 – so it kinda felt like it was intended but I think a little part of us knew the ride had to end at some point and we were just hoping it’d continue.

The biggest casualties to this change were heroes who were relying on weapon masteries to allow them to underman current content with just a legendary weapon and superior quality gear in other slots. Whilst it is understandable why Kabam decided to change the skills to now work as described (because the scaling was just going to keep getting sillier) it did cause some hostility from players. Moving on:

Skills that affect every single equipment (such as the Spellblade’s innate skill and the break chance reduction skills) will still improve secondary stats, but have had their effect reduced to compensate.

This change was again aimed at trying to keep the scaling of heroes under control. We saw Safekept Receipt dropped from a 40% stat buff to 25%, and Spellblades innate being reduced from 30% to 20%. This felt like a double “screw you” to players whose rosters contained a large amount of spellblades with the safekept line of skills to take advantage of the ridiculous scaling (rip Laterus’ roster.)

This change was more of an unexpected one. Whilst the mastery change could be justifiably called an overdue bug fix, hitting both the safekept line and Spellblades is along the lines of “really? You felt this was a problem?” level. Of course we don’t know what the next tier will look like yet, this is a change that could make 100% in retrospect. Anyway moving on:

Reduced the Defense bonus from the following Hero skills : Mage Armor, Wall of Force, Mana Shield.

One interesting thing of note with these 3 skills: they were previously buffed in an update late April as they were considered weak before then.

These 3 skills that are unique to the Blue line took a heavy hit in 4.3. Let us compare before and after:

Mage Armor: Was 50% ATK and DEF, now 50% ATK, 20% DEF

Wall of Force: Was 70% ATK and DEF, now 70% ATK, 30% DEF

Mana Shield: Was 80% ATK and DEF, now 80% ATK, 35% DEF

As you can see the defence bonus this line of skills gives was significantly reduced, each version now giving less than half the defence they used to provide. Whereas before this line of skills was considered a staple for the Blue Type Meta (more so if you were building to solo with them), they have been reduced to the point where both Mage Armor and Wall of Force lose to their generic counterparts Smite, Shining Blade and Flame Brand. There are no scenarios where you would ever want to see the mage skills over those generic options.

It’s plausible that these skills were hit by the nerf bat due to just how potent they were giving a hero a heavy atk and def boost combined in one skill. With the changes to the defence formula in a recent patch what might have been considered wasted points (having defence over the cap for Haunted Castle) was now allowing Blue heroes to outperform Red heroes in both damage and defence which whilst fun was also kind of a strange thing.

So there we have it, Update 4.3 took a triple whack at a lot of heroes players had been working on with gems, Titan Souls and so forth and in some cases significantly reduced their ability to fight. Why were these changes implemented? A couple of possibilites spring to mind:

  1. It’s an attempt to get the scaling of heroes under control. The stats some heroes were gaining from secondaries was starting to get out of hand – I was personally able to gain over 1000 bonus defence from my weapon on some heroes which is more than a legendary tier 9 shield would give.
  2. They wanted to cut down on how many heroes were able to solo the current tier content with relative ease. It would be harder to design content going forwards if some players could crush the current tier with ease (which you still can do, just the barrier of entry was raised a lot.)

It could also be due to a reason that we’re not aware of – as of the time of this post going live there has still been no word from Kabam on why some of these changes were made, or why such drastic nerfs were required for a game that is solely player versus environment. It is my opinion that had an explanation been provided or a warning there were nerfs coming they would been received better by a lot of players.

Moving forwards, the main thing to takeaway from 4.3 is to assume that every time you reroll a skill, buy a piece of equipment etc it could very well become obsolete/be nerfed the next day so make sure you’re happy knowing that you could have a very limited amount of time to enjoy that skill/item at the price you’re paying for it, and perhaps don’t rush to reroll skills that would once be considered subpar. I’ll update this post if we are ever provided a reason to these nerfs.

Tl;dr: Mastery bug fixed, spellblades/safekept hit, Blue exclusive skills rekt, no explanation. Avoid Mage Armor and Wall of Force.

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