UPDATE: This game has been shutdown and is no longer available
Martial Heroes Overview
Martial Heroes is a simple MMORPG with high experience rates and varied environments. Players are free to attack one another, but must suffer the consequences of being labeled a PK (player killer). The game is very beginner friendly, and gives new players plenty of items and supplies to help them during the early phases. Though you select your class during character creation, it is not until level 12 that players chose which weapon to specialize in. Each of the four classes has three weapon specialization options. The choice is not trivial; each weapon brings with it its own set of skills, which makes for a total of twelve character types. The four classes are:
Warrior - Warriors are the primary tanks and direct physical damage dealers. They have high defense and health to absorb blows from enemies. Warriors may wield either a scimitar, axe, or lance.
Assassin - Assassins rely on speed and cunning over brute force. They deal heavy damage, but are physically weaker than Monks and Warriors. They can master either melee or ranged combat with their weapon choices: twin daggers, Bow, or Spike Gauntlets (Katars).
Monk - The supportive class of Martial Heroes. Monks can fight alone, but shine in groups where they heal and buff their allies. Weapon choices include: Pole, Mace or Shields (Loops).
Mage - Offensive spell-casters who possess the most powerful damage output. They are physically weaker than other classes and rely on indirect combat or allies to distract their targets. Mages use fans, gloves, or swords.
Players gain +3 stat points per level and +5 on levels that are multiples of 12 (12, 24, 36, etc)
Str - Relates to physical damage, and is the most important stat for Warriors.
Vit - Boosts defense and maximum health. An important stat for Monks.
Dex - Increases accuracy (attack rating) and movement speed. Vital for Assassins.
Agi - Controls dodge rate and attack speed. Secondary attribute for Assassins.
Int - Main attribute for Mages and Monks. Increases max mana and skill damage.
All classes need a combination of all five stats to equip gear and be well-balanced.
Martial Heroes Screenshots
Martial Heroes Featured Video
Martial Heroes Review
By Erhan Altay
Martial Heroes was released in 2003 by Lizard Interactive and continues to be serviced today, though it has a small player base. Like many other MMORPGs, Martial Heroes is set in an oriental fantasy world instead of the typical European medieval setting. As the name implies, the game tries to incorporate martial arts. In this sense, it is similar to games like Tantra Online, 9Dragons, and Hero Online. To see how well Martial Heroes stacks up when compared to other games in this crowded genre, read on.
With only a single live server, Martial Heroes isn’t the most popular free MMORPG, and we begin to see why during character creation. There are four available classes: Fighter, Monk, Mage, and Assassin. All Assassins are female, while the other three classes are male. There is no gender selection available – the only appearance customization option is face style, of which there are around five per class. Players are given five stat points to distribute among the game’s five attributes: Strength, Dexterity, Vitality, Agility, and Intelligence. A notable feature in Martial Heroes is the fact that despite what class you pick, you’ll have to raise all five stats to a certain degree. Obviously Assassins will favor Dex and Agi over other attributes, but in order to equip weapons and armor they will need to raise Str, Vit, and even some Int. This makes character development a bit more complicated, but more involved. Martial Heroes plays like most MMORPGs – click to move, attack, and assign items and skills to a toolbar. The graphics are mediocre at best, with slightly fuzzy and jagged character models. Even after 5+ years there are several bugs. For example, my toolbar would occasionally not show my potions, but wouldn’t let me reassign them to another slot, forcing me to open my inventory and manually right-click them.
The Rare Quest
After character creation, players may or may not find themselves in a tutorial area. Luckily, players have the option of skipping the tutorial and this is much advised. With or without the tutorial, all new characters start the game with a ton of items to help them get started. If nothing else, Martial Heroes could be guilty of being too accommodating to new players. Inside your bag, you’ll find 300 health potions, 300 mana potions, a dozen or so skill books, and plenty of equipment. Because of this absurd starting booty and the game’s generally fast experience rate, the early game quests are all meaningless. Sure, they provide large amounts of the game’s currency, but new players won’t have much use for it early on. The only real reason to pursue the game’s quests is that there are so few of them (around ninety quests total throughout the game) that completing them can be compared to earning achievements or badges in other games. The quest log actually keeps track of all the quests the player has completed, along with all quests still outstanding. To be fair, most of the late game quests have multiple parts, but this still doesn’t make up for the pitiful quest total.
Grind With Haste
Only after leaving town and killing a bull or fox will readers understand why the low level quests are not worth doing. Killing one animal will level you up, and things are just as fast up until level 12. Each level, players receive an additional three stat points, but it is not until level 12 that they may select which of three weapons they wish to specialize in. What makes Martial Heroes unique is that while there are only four classes, each has three weapons that they can master. Each weapon type brings with it its own skill set and play style, which means there are actually twelve archetypes rather than four. Unfortunately, choosing your weapon type means going back to town and completing an irrelevant quest such as ‘kill five of this monster and come back!’ It took me longer to go back to town, get the quest, go find the monster it mentioned, kill them, and return than it did to get from level 1-12. But once this was done, I could go back to grinding freely.
Open PvP is something not often found in MMORPGs these days. There was a time when this was the default option, but has since been abandoned. So the fact that Martial Heroes has a logical open pvp system with consequences attached for repeat killers is a huge plus. Initiating combat against another player leaves you open to retaliation, while killing them earns you karma points. Rack up enough karma points and you’ll be labeled a public enemy, which allows other players to attack you without penalty. Additionally, NPC shop keepers will refuse to do business with you. To keep new players from being harassed, players can only attack those who are level 36 or above, but with a level cap of 160, there’s still bound to be a lot of mismatched fights.
Thirty-six is an important level, not only because it throws players into the open PvP environment, but also because that is when players have to choose which of the two factions they wish to join. The aptly named ‘Evil’ and ‘Lawful’ factions require the completion of a quest before membership is permitted. As with weapon selection, the faction you pick has a real effect on your character. Different skills are available for Evil and Lawful characters. When you consider all the different branches of character development, Martial Heroes starts looking like a much more in-depth game than it was at first glance. Class, weapon, and faction selection combined mean there are twenty-four character types you can end up with at level 36. If the game has kept your interest for that long, odds are you’ll continue to enjoy it.
Final Verdict: Poor
With so many better games in the same genre, it’s difficult to recommend the dated and simplistic Martial Heroes to anyone. Since it does have a fast experience rate, it won’t take long to experience the game and decide for yourself if it’s worth your continued game time.
Martial Heroes Videos
Martial Heroes Character Creation
Martial Heroes Official Trailer
Martial Heroes Gameplay Footage
Martial Heroes Gameplay Trailer
Martial Heroes Links
Martial Heroes System Requirements
OS: Win95 / 98 / 2000 / ME / XP
CPU: Pentium 3 500MHz
HDD: 1.5 GB
Graphics Card: 32Mb video memory
OS: Windows XP or Vista
CPU: Pentium 4 1GHz or better
RAM: 512 MB or more
HDD: 2.0 GB
Graphics Card: 64Mb video memory or more