UPDATE: This game has been shutdown and is no longer available
Avalon Heroes Overview
Avalon Heroes is one of the many “new” fantasy MMOs that are based off the popular Warcraft III mod Defense of the Ancients (DOTA). The gameplay in Avalon Heroes is incredibly similar to other Aeon of Strife titles like League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth and DotA. Two teams of up to five players on each side choose from one of many playable ‘heroes’ and duke it out across numerous maps. The game’s most defining feature is its massive list of playable heroes, which should spice up the gameplay and keep things fresh; but with so many playable heroes comes imbalances, which will likely take the game’s developer years to iron out. Currently there are 35+ playable heroes, with more being released each month.
Avalon Heroes Screenshots
Avalon Heroes Featured Video
Avalon Heroes Review
By Omer Altay
Avalon Heroes is 3D strategy MMO published by Alaplaya (the folks behind S4 League, Fantasy Tennis, Florensia and Racing Star) that plays a lot like “DotA”. With the sudden popularity of the “Aeon of Strife” genre, it’s no surprise that more and more of these games are coming out. Avalon Heroes is actually the third “DotA-like” game to be released after League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth. Like League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth, Avalon Heroes received much of its inspiration from the incredibly popular Warcraft 3 map called Defense of the Ancients (DotA). Avalon Heroes has several interesting features, but as a whole, the game isn’t nearly as good as its competition.
As a long time DotA player and a big fan of Heroes of Newerth and League of Legends, I was excited about Avalon Heroes. Both League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth were extremely high quality games that really took the fun gameplay of DotA to the next level by improving graphics, adding features, and streamlining gameplay mechanics. Unfortunately, unlike the two other popular DotA-like games, Avalon Heroes feels more like a step backwards than forwards. The game has significantly worse graphics than its chief free-to-play competitor League of Legends, as well as an unintuitive interface that makes learning the game difficult. Another issue which plagues the user experience is its terrible English Translations. The game’s developer, WeMade Entertainment, seems to be stuck in the past, as the art style and interface in Avalon Heroes reminds me of Mir 2; WeMade’s nearly ten year old title.
Each match in Avalon Heroes supports up to a maximum of ten players [5v5], but players can opt to do 1v1, 2v2, 3v3 or even 4v4 match ups if they prefer. Unlike other DotA-like games, Avalon Heroes actually has more than one map (7+ to be precise), with many more likely on the way. Before each game begins players must select a hero from whichever ‘side’ they’re on. The game’s two ‘sides’ are the Oriens and the Aeonia. Both sides have their own unique heroes. Players start off with five heroes on each ‘side’, but counting all the unlockable ones, each side has over eighteen heroes. The goal of each game is simple: destroy the opposing team’s ‘Sacred Nest’ before they destroy yours. Players are assisted by computer-controlled NPCs which spawn every so often. Killing these computer-controlled NPCs yields experience and gold, which can be used to improve your character. One way in which Avalon Heroes differs from similar Aeon of Strife games is that creeps in the woods drop special items which can be used to summon powerful level 25 NPCs to help push towards the enemy’s sacred nest. Gameplay in Avalon Heroes is very much team-oriented; working together and coordinating with your team is the only way to do well online. The average match can take upwards of forty-five minutes to complete, so make sure to clear your schedule before joining a game. Leaving a game prematurely can result in some harsh penalties.
Balance Issues Galore
After playing several matches of Avalon Heroes, the game’s lack of balance becomes clear. It seems like the game’s developer, WeMade Entertainment, didn’t spend any time at all testing for balance issues. Some heroes are just absurdly more powerful than others while some items are just a complete waste of gold. Early game lane matchups between melee and ranged heroes are almost always stacked in favor of ranged characters, to the point that it’s just not fun playing as a melee hero against a ranged one. The game’s forums are also filled with complaints about balance issues. Hopefully these balance issues will eventually work themselves out somewhere down the road. Playing Avalon Heroes made me realize and appreciate how well balanced games like DotA, Heroes of Newerth and League of Legends are.
On the Positive Side….
Avalon Heroes isn’t all bad. The game has several interesting features not found in either League of Legends or even Heroes of Newerth. One of those interesting features is the game’s acquirable skill system. Each hero starts with three regular skills and an ultimate skill, but can unlock two additional skills as they gain experience points. Heroes gain experience outside of the game after finishing up a match. After playing enough matches with a single hero, these additional skills will become unlocked. These additional skills add a level of customization to the game not found in any other DotA-like game. Another interesting feature in Avalon Hereos is the game’s ‘Kin’ system. Players are rewarded with ‘kin points’ as they win matches. These kin points can be used to permanently increase the stats of all future heroes played. Think of these ‘Kin Points’ as ‘Mastery points’ from League of Legends. These kin points don’t affect the game too much, but it’s still a neat little feature which provides an incentive for players to keep on playing.
A Single Player Mode? Other Game Modes?
Avalon Heroes has a story driven single player mode called ‘Scenario Mode’. Players are rewarded with Aron, the game’s currency, as well as new playable heroes for completing these single player missions. It’s neat that the game offers a fairly in-depth single player experience, but it’s plagued with terrible English translations and poor storytelling. Avalon Heroes also has an “Adventure Mode”, wherein players group with up to eight others and run through a dungeon together. These cooperative dungeons can be fun, but since there’s only a handful of them they’re more or less just ways to grind experience. The idea of cooperative dungeons in a DotA-like game could work well, provided each of these dungeons had well-scripted encounters and surprises, but unfortunately, Avalon Heroes didn’t deliver anything too exciting. Hopefully both of these ‘modes’ will be refined later on. I do applaud the developers, though, for adding these features, as they are unique.
Try Out All the Heroes!
Avalon Heroes sort of forces players to play more than one hero, which I feel is a good thing, as playing other heroes is the best way to get a good grasp on the game. The game uses something called Battlepoints (BP) to measure a hero’s battle readiness. Every time you play as a specific hero, that hero’s BP decreases, and after reaching a certain point players will gain reduced EXP, SP, and Aron in matches if they use a hero with low BP. BP recovers over time, so once your favorite hero runs low on BP you’ll have to either log off and wait or try out another hero.
Final Verdict – Fair
Avalon Heroes is a cheap attempt to recreate Warcraft 3′s Defense of the Ancients. The graphics are decent at best, and the game is plagued by poor English translations and an unintuitive interface. Save your time and play League of Legends instead – it’s a superior game in every measurable way.
Avalon Heroes Links
Avalon Heroes System Requirements
OS: Windows XP / Vista / 2000
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 1.6 Ghz
RAM: 512 MB
HDD: ~2.0 GB Free
Graphics Card: GeForce MX5600 or better
OS: Windows XP / Vista / 2000
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 2.2 Ghz
RAM: 1024 MB (1 GB) Free
HDD: ~2.0 GB Free
Graphics Card: GeForce FX 6200