Last month I really wanted to play an ARPG and when that happens I always turn to Hero Siege first. I’ve been playing Hero Siege on and off since 2013 way back when it was a rouge like wave shooter instead of a Diablo 3 clone. It’s one of my most played games on Steam clocking in at just over 200 hours. Not bad for a game I bought on sale for four dollars.
Over the years, I’ve come to expect the game to change. Sometimes it’s drastic, like the aforementioned wave shooter to Diablo 3 clone conversion. Sometimes it’s the little things like new classes, added gear slots, or gear sets, but there’s always something new when I come back to the game. Which is suprising for an almost 10 year old indie game. At times it still feels like a 2d Diablo ripoff but with all the changes it has come to be it’s own style of game.
The last time I played was early 2020 for Season 9. I noted then that I wasn’t a big fan of some of the changes, like removing mini bosses from the end of each zone, but there were some good changes like upgrading the sprite models and overall graphical fidelity. I don’t think I ever reached the endgame in season 9 and I didn’t write more than one post about it.
I have all sorts of issues with Season 14 that weren’t apparent until very recently. Starting this season was very much like any season. The early levels come quick and it’s fun to figure out what your chosen class does and how to get the most damage out of it. It looks like all of the classes were reworked at some point. There are now two skill trees to choose from and skills can be taken from both. Skills can be reset and reassigned anytime for a very small gold fee.
The issues I have with the current game begin around level 80. The level cap in Hero Siege is 100 which allows you to engage with the endgame wormholes/leaderboard. I really enjoyed trying to climb the leaderboards in season 6 so I thought I’d make a go at it this time around. Except, in Season 13, the experience curve was adjusted specifically so level 80 to 100 would be a major grind. At first, I thought that wouldn’t be too bad, I don’t mind a little grind. But now I’m sitting at level 95 and it’s taken me at least an hour to gain a level after 90. To make matter worse, you now lose a huge chunk of XP when you die.
At some point the four difficulty settings were condensed into three. Each difficulty has 5 modifiers that can be applied that raise the drop rate and experience but also monster health and damage. The gap between the second difficulty, Nightmare, and the third difficulty, Hell, is enormous. I can comfortably farm in Nightmare with the max multipliers but quickly get one shot in Hell with no modifiers. And when every death is a giant XP set back, there isn’t an incentive to experiment and find a different build that might be more survivable. Locked in to Nightmare mode xp rates makes leveling take even longer.
These fundamental changes have put me off to the game for me this time around. I know ARPGs are grindy, it’s kind of their thing, but I don’t want my time being wasted by losing XP every time I die. It’s just not fun. I’m sure I’ll be back one day, I always come back, and maybe things will have improved. For the time being, I’m done.
Lost Ark is right around the corner after all.