When we're talking about MMORPG, we're talking about games that spans over thirty years of history, with hundreds of games released under this genre. By definition, MMOG (parents of MMORPG), is an online game which is capable of supporting large numbers of players simultaneously in the same instance (or world). In short, it requires your internet connection.
It was back in 1974, the moment when the first MMOG is introduced. Maze War, a first-person game where players facing maze, roamed around shooting at each other. It was also the first ever game that uses the internet, in which players with different computers could interact with each other.
If you want to know how people could play online network that day, the initial implementation was over a serial cable like a local area network games. But then, the authors began attending MIT, thus enhanced the game so it could be played across the ARPAnet, forerunner of the modern Internet.
During their early years, MMORPGs aren't as acceptable as today. It gained acceptance in the late 1980s and early 1990s when MMORPGs were starting to use graphical interface. This genre was pioneered by the likes of GemStone series and the first MMORPG to display graphics, Neverwinter Nights.
Time flies, and as we know, MMORPG has became one of the most popular genre with World of Warcraft dominates the market, 8-9 million monthly subscribers worldwide. The internet has dominated the world, and so does MMORPGs.
Nowadays, MMO games have reached another level of evolution again. With mobile devices coming with more and more advanced graphics quality, MMORPG also have put some of their fine games inside. Our next game, is somewhat an MMORPG combined with many fun elements.
This is a game developed by Cloudcade that first released on Facebook, and then on iTunes and Google Play. It combines your ordinary MMORPG with some simulation management game and business. It is an 'everywhere you can play' kind of game, it's free-to-play and it's called Shop Heroes.
Shop Heroes - The Premise
Unlike what most MMORPG offers, you are not the hero in this game, the world's fate doesn't lie in your hands. The world's fate is lying inside the hands of the mighty heroes, those who have fearless heart and mighty hands. However, all those mighty heroes won't be nothing without their armor and weapons, without their staffs and magic robes. This is where you will have your role in the game. You are the shopkeeper of equipments shop. It is the place where all the heroes in your city will come along and buying equipments for their journey.
You are entrusted with the owner of the shop to improve her business. Like every startup (most of it) do, the business will also start small, with just a blacksmith to do all the basic weapon and its workstation. The heroes that are visiting the store will also be very limited.
However, as your shop grows, your city will have to grow too. You can use the coins that you've acquired from selling goods, to invest in the city. The more your city grew, the more things you can do, from unlocking new resources, new workers, up to unlocking new heroes. You can join hands with other players in Shop Heroes, together to make the best city in the game.
Yes, as a shopkeeper, in Shop Heroes you will be crafting goods and equipments. Heroes will come and go, requesting some goods that can be either fulfilled, rejected, discounted, or charged for even more coins. You can also offer another goods you have crafted to the hero, see if they have some interest in that particular goods.
Beside managing the shop, you also have to manage the Inn. In this place, you will be assigning heroes that you've unlocked, to do missions. Once they've returned from the missions, you will have some extra resources to make a better equipment.
So in short, the game is not about how you make yourself the most powerful hero ever, but it's all about making the heroes become as powerful as ever, and making all of them as your regular customers.
Shop Heroes - The Gameplay
Shop Heroes coming with a really generous amount of content and it's separated throughout each section inside the game with a perfect balance. You won't feel that this area is given more attention than the others, of course the main core area is an exception. So much detail added from all the areas that I have to divide this section into several parts so that I could cover all of it.
Let's talk first about the shop, the most time you will spend your time at. This is where all your attentions are needed, the homepage, the show room, the gallery, you name it. This is the area where all the heroes coming to request equipment and you will make it for them.
Here's how it works. A hero comes and give you his/her request, your worker will craft it for them, given the resources and equipment requirement has been met, and the blueprint (more on this later) have been acquired. Once the equipment finished (crafting time may vary depending on the equipment), you can give it to the hero with the original price, or you can charge it for more coins, or discount it.
Before we go through with charge or discount, let's get back to the crafting process first. At the early stage of Shop Heroes, you won't realize anything regarding the workers behind you. All you need to know is I'm crafting the request of my customers and that's it.
But later on (now because you read this), you will realize that workers play almost the same important role as the heroes. Workers here will decide if you're able or not able, crafting certain equipments. There are in total 25 types of equipment, divided into 8 types of weapon, 10 types of armor, 4 types of magic-related equipments, and 3 types of accessories. These weapons will be explained later on in the next section.
Each worker have two abilities. These abilities will decide if your shop is able to craft equipment or not. For instance, if you want to craft a pistol, even if you have acquired the blueprint, you still need to hire a worker that's capable of doing alchemy, otherwise, you won't be able to craft the pistol.
Workers also need to be placed in their respective working station. One ability is represented with one working station. So if each worker have two abilities, there have to be at least two working stations for that particular worker. The more skillful your workers and their working stations are, the less time needed for them to craft your equipment.
Next on crafting is the Blueprint. Blueprint will act like a recipe. Inside the blueprint is the resources needed to craft the equipment, as well as the ability needed from the worker. You can get blueprint by repeatedly crafting certain equipments, by opening Inn Chests, by purchasing some IAP, and by completing City Raids.
Beside the blueprint, if you repeatedly crafting the same equipments, that particular equipment will also be upgraded. Either by requiring less resources, or increase its quality. Speaking of quality, equipments have several qualities just from the same equipment, from the good one up to the epic one. We're gonna talk about quality later on.
Of course let's not forget the most basic part of crafting, the resources. There are six basic resources and nine special resources that will be needed to craft the equipments. There are some small machine that will produce all the basic resources. While the special resources are acquired from the Inn Missions that done by the heroes.
Discount and Surcharge
Before you're ready to fulfill the heroes request, you need to know several thing first. There are two currencies used in Shop Heroes. The premium currency is gem and the normal one called coins. Gem can be purchased via IAP, spins that will be refreshed every several hours, see some video ads, fulfilling merchant's request, and by selling high quality product.
The next thing you need to know is the heart system. This heart is like the relation you have with your customers. Every time you sell an equipment, you get one heart. You can also compliment the equipment your customer choose for a chance to get extra hearts or if you fail to compliment it, you will lose some.
If you need more heart, you can always fulfill your customer's request and give them extra discount. The price will be decreased so I usually gave discount for a lower price equipment, just to get free hearts. On the other hand, if you have plenty of hearts, you can surcharge your customers for a premium price. It will cost you some hearts, but well, you can always gain the hearts by giving some discount to your customers.
The last thing that you need to know is the inventory. Every time you're done crafting equipment, you will eat up one slot in your inventory. When you're out of space, you won't be able to produce equipment anymore.
Upgrade and Decoration
Another awesome thing that can be done with Shop Heroes is that the shop can be decorated. While some people don't think that this is a useful thing to do, some other people might love this idea. Nevertheless, beside the outdoor/indoor interior that only act as cosmetics, other items are upgradeable and will be useful for your shop.
After talking about shop, the next thing is the inn. It's where you send all your heroes to go taking all the missions. It's also the place where you can also earn some free gem, the premium currency. Sometimes, a merchant will shows up and asking for you to fulfill his inventory with a bunch of equipments. However, the merchant will reward you with some gems as well as some rare equipment.
Now let's talk about the missions. There are two types of mission. The first one come and can be entered by any heroes. This kind of mission will reward you with some special resources. Usually equipment with this kind of special resources will be sold with a higher price.
The other type of mission is attached specific to a certain hero. Once the hero reaches a certain level, he/she will have a personal quest related to the story of their own. It will reward you with some gems, so you have to run this mission as soon as you can.
The problem is, not every heroes can enter this mission. Only specific heroes can enter this mission. Moreover, that particular hero will sometime have to use some specific item to enter the quest. The reward is worth all the effort though. Every missions have their own duration and while hero is doing the mission, they won't be able to do other mission. And once they're done, they need some time to rest themselves before doing other mission.
Talking about the heroes, every missions have some requirement that every heroes should met before entering. There are three premonitions that will tell you if the hero if ready to face the mission or not. Green, Yellow, and Red, will tell you if they're ready or not. If it's red, then it means your hero will fail his quest and when they return, they will have more time to recover because of the injured, not to mention their equipment will surely be broken.
Yes, every time your heroes doing some missions, there's a chance that the equipment they brought will be broken upon their return. Even if the color is green, there's still a chance even if it's smaller, that the equipment will be broken. That's how it goes and you couldn't do anything about this.
The one that decides the green, yellow, and red, is the ability of your hero. The higher their level, accompanied with a good equipments, will increase their capability in doing the mission. That is why, in your weapon page, there are two values that will indicate the price of this equipment, the value and the break chance.
That is what separating a good equipment to an epic one. Although it's the same exact equipment, an epic equipment will have a greater value and a lower break chance, compared to what a good equipment have. You will eventually be able to craft a better equipment by repeatedly crafting the same equipment over and over.
The next place is the number one area you will spend your coins the most. This is where the MMO element takes part inside Shop Heroes. The city is where you can join venture with other players or your friends all over the world, together to build the fantasy city.
The city works like an investment program. You will invest some coins in the building and as a result you will get something from that particular building. The result will be various depends on what building you're investing. It could be a time reduction for upgrading or doing mission, some extra resources, and such thing. Once you're investing enough coins, the building will be upgraded and you will unlock something or upgrading the resource.
The cool thing from this area is the MMO elements. If you have your friends or other players to share the city with you, every investment you made in your city, will also be implemented in your friends city as well. Your friends however, will not share the same instant boost as the one whose doing the investment. There's this so-called 'Collective Boost', the boost that will affect all friends in your city.
The Trade House
Trade House is also the elements that won't be left out in any MMO games. This area is where all players will blend in, trying to sell or purchase some equipments, either for earning some money or looking for a good price for their equipment.
You can offer or request your equipments, then you will be able to decide your price. There's a limitation however on your offer. You can only offer 10 items and request 25 items for the same equipment. This policy I believe, is to limit monopoly probability on the market, which is a good policy.
Shop Heroes - Things I Like
Shop Heroes has so many content that once you've started to play with this game, it won't be easy for you to not getting addicted. There are several reasons though, that makes me personally, couldn't stop playing from the day one I've started playing Shop Heroes.
The first thing that I love from Shop Heroes is the bold approach in presenting MMORPG in a different way. While normally MMORPG is emphasizing on the hero's journey to be the best hero, Shop Heroes emphasizes what mostly ignored by most MMORPG players, the NPC. With this fresh approach as a shopkeeper, I got the feeling that it's a new and refreshing game.
The other reason why I can't stop playing Shop Heroes is that, in the early level, when I just started playing this game, crafting didn't take too long to do. Some basic equipments only cost around 5 to 10 seconds to craft. This kept me subconsciously playing non stop until I ran out of resources.
Even if I ran out of resources, I can actually join a city with other players. I can invest in that city and I will have some extra resources. Then, I can continue my game again, that is why once you've started this game, it would be very hard for you to stop.
My next bullet point is the Break Chance. With this break chance, you will be forced to keep equipping your heroes with the best equipment. In this way, you will have to keep your worker crafting equipments. This is for me, will keep players busy with themselves, especially because with this special resources from missions, the price for the equipment will be increased.
And of course, what keep me playing almost everyday now is because of the blueprint. In Shop Heroes, player like me are made to believe that whenever you've unlocked a new blueprint, that thing will be sold with a higher price. That's not wrong, it is 100% correct. Whenever a new blueprint is unlocked, you will get more coins than before. It is the process to unlock, that is by repeatedly crafting equipments, the one to blame for my addictiveness.
Tips and Tricks for Beginners
There's this wiki page for Shop Heroes that I believe will be a huge help for all the information you might need. Here, let me list down for you, some link that I think might be really helpful for you.
- Workers List
- Heroes List
- Resources List
- Buildings List - on this list lies all the building you need to invest in order to unlock heroes, workers, and resources
- Crafting Guide and Explanations
- Trade House Guide
- Quest Guide
In this article, however, I'm going to answer some FAQ that I found during several days of my Shop Heroes experience with both my sister and girlfriend. Yep, I've successfully influenced them to play with me and now they're together with me on my city. Feel free to send me your username to be invited in my city.
Q: How to unlock pistol? How to unlock scroll?
A: In order to unlock new equipment, you need to obtain the blueprint for that particular equipment first. You can check this wiki, to check the route. This image is taken from that wiki. To unlock the blueprint for a category, you have to repeatedly craft from the parent category. Except for Potions blueprint that requires Druid or Sorcerers to unlock.
Q: Why I still end up with weapon required something eventhough I've hired worker with the right skill? A: Every weapon requires skills, sometimes it just requires two skills, but weapon like pistol requires more than two skills. You might want to see the information of that weapon by tapping the (i) icon at the crafting page to see information about that weapon.
Q: Why do I always run out of resources?
A: Most likely because you still don't have enough bins in your shop. Based on the in-game tips, whenever you have three bins for one resource, the production of that resource will be tripled. So if you ran out of resources, try to have three bins, it would help you get more resources.
Q: How to get more coins?
A: The best way in the early level for getting more coins without using gem, is by selling special resources. You can go to the Trade House and offer your special resources (make sure you have enough for crafting though). Aim for the lowest offered price and you'll have enough coins before you know it.
Q: Why do I see some unknown resources? Oil? Hardwood? Steel?
A: It's not unknown, it's the second tier of resources. You see, everything in Shop Heroes is tier-based. You will be unlocking these resources too. Please refer to building unlockable guide to figure out which building need to be upgraded in order to unlock more resources.
Q: What is the use of workstation? Why do i have to level up my workers?
A: In short, workstation will shorten the time you need to spend when crafting equipments. Same goes for the workers, the higher the level of your workers, the shorter it will take to craft an equipment. Your workers will also get higher chance to craft better equipment. For detail, please refer to this crafting guide from Shop Heroes wiki.
Q: What does the pop up screen in Trade house mean?
A: You can refer this wiki for explanation about pop up equipment screen in the Trade House. However if you're asking about the pop up screen before buying something, please refer to this picture below. 1 is the name of the item, 2 is the suggested price by the system; it is to let you know that you're going to buy an overprice item, 3 is telling you how many of this equipment that you own, 4 is the total item that being sold in the market, and finally 5 is the coins that you're going to spend to buy this equipment.
Q: Why I'm unable to buy anything with gem?
A: The trade house unlocks at level 6, gem-use unlocks at level 15.
Q: What's population cap used for?
A: Increase your city population cap allowing you to invite more players to your city.
Q: Why do i have to become mayor?
A: As a mayor, you can lead your city and kick other members
Q: Are there any tips to speed up my workflow?
A: a) You can click and hold or tap and slide down the resource bar to the right of your screen to collect your resources all at once. b) In the settings menu, under the game tab, you can enable "Multi-craft" which will allow you to craft multiple items without have to re-open the crafting menu. c) When on the equipment screen for your hero, holding down on any equipment slot will offer the option to equip from your inventory or directly from trade.
Q: How to increase player level quickly?
A: This is how you get experience. Player exp == base gold price of items sold to/bought from customers divided by about 4.9.
I think after this long talk and persuasion, I can safely say that you must have been convinced about Shop Heroes being generous in content. If you're a fan of MMORPG games, I can't really suggest more good things about this game. If you also a fan of simulation or business games, Shop Heroes brings a really thoughtful balance and you won't be disappointed with this game.