Raids in Ship of Heroes

Jul 10, 2024

Joining raids should be fun. Different raids should be accessible throughout the game, not just as end-game content, and they should reward gameplay skills and organizational leadership skills. But raiding is also a social activity, and many of us don’t want to be stressed when we socialize. How do we balance these ideas? We let players decide whether they want to lead a raid and earn extra rewards for accepting the challenges of leadership. If not, you can join a raid and just follow your team leader, blast enemies, heal friends, and chat at times while you do it. Because sometimes you feel like leading, and sometimes you don’t.

Winter Raid – Ice monsters are transforming the Hazard Zone! Stop them from freezing the City!

“The Winter Queen? Not my problem. I’m just a healer.”

We aim to create raids with big, interesting activities that benefit from having lots of players and make it easy to interact with friends. Of course, killing murderous monsters and getting great rewards is also good. Perhaps saving all of mankind, now and again. And having fun while doing it. On most of our raids, you can join your friends with a character of any level. You will then be brought to within one level of the league leader, or sidekicked. Only the harder raids have level requirements

New California Raid – The New California colony is lost! Rescue colonists, retrieve or destroy valuable equipment, and cause mayhem for the invaders!

“There goes my ride. Guess I’ll have to teleport to the Arch, then walk…”

Raids can be very emotionally engaging, whether they go well… or not. Many players who answered our raid survey are still carrying around anger from events that happened in some raid they did years ago in another game. The best solution is to play SoH and enjoy better raids with nicer people.

Evolutionary Dead End – Trick Nagdellians into invading the ship.  Kill cyborg dinosaurs and harvest their parts.

“Do not try to ‘solo’ giant cyborg dinosaurs. Do I really need to say that?” – Ambassador

One common source of frustration is when one inattentive player makes a mistake, and the whole raid fails. The only thing worse than this is actually being the unlucky person who causes the whole raid to fail. We’re designing raids that make it quite difficult to be “that guy.” But at the same time, we’re looking for chances for each team to really impact a raid’s progress and success. So good performance leads to winning faster, but one mistake won’t wipe the raid. We plan to eventually add a couple of really hard raids. But in other raids, a single mistake by one player will not wipe the raid.

Nagdellian Mothership Raid – Get revenge on the Nagdellians! Cripple their ship, destroy their forces, and empty their treasury. Cause mayhem!

Blasting enemies feels good at any level.

Help others discover Ship of Heroes

Our raids accept different team sizes. Difficulty scales to the total number of players in the league, regardless of team structures, and to the level of the leader. As a result, our raids are vastly more accessible and less rigid. The flexibility of team sizes will make it easier to form raid leagues. We are designing early raids to be easier and less demanding than some of the raids we’re developing for higher levels, so people who want a challenge can still find it. And we’ll be making rapid adjustments to raids as the feedback comes in, just like we’ve done with missions and powers in previous Betas.

Berserker Raid – Battle waves of enemies under the arch. Can you take down a giant berserker?

“Are the good guys winning? Should I cheer, or run?” – confused bystander

Some survey respondents were interested in very large raids. So, our raids have the potential to be BIG. Huge, even. The minimum number of heroes that can fight a Winter Raid is 30, at least for now. The current maximum is 101, with up to 10 teams, and those numbers might grow even larger in the future. Leading 100 fellow players is quite challenging, so raid leaders get extra powers, plus team leaders to help organize and control the raid. And a level 1 player can both join and contribute to the success of this raid. The era of the big raid has returned – and we did not have to sacrifice graphics to get it.

Winter Raid – Ice monsters are transforming the Hazard Zone! Stop them from freezing the City!

“Now this is my kind of party! Everything’s on fire!” – Meltdown

SoH raids have a place for every archetype and for every level. In the GIF below, you can see the King of Winter being held in place by a controller during one of our tests. Big raid bosses usually can’t be disabled or mezzed by status effects all the time, or the raids would be boring. But they can be mezzed periodically, giving everyone else time to heal, move to new positions, or throw their strongest attacks.

Winter Raid – Ice monsters are transforming the Hazard Zone! Stop them from freezing the City!

The King of Winter’s progress is slowed by being held in stasis.

Raids conclude with a summary screen of what the raid league achieved and who were the biggest contributors. What is different is that SoH shows contributions other than damage, like heals, buffs, and debuffs. There is really a reason to bring each archetype to a raid, and recognition of their contributions. These features, and keeping the chat positive, will make the entire raid experience much more pleasant.

Winter Raid – Ice monsters are transforming the Hazard Zone! Stop them from freezing the City!

“Ugh, the Brawlers got impaled again. Who has AoE heals ready?”

For healers and buffers, the raid UI is a critical tool: you can click on any character’s nameplate to target, heal, or buff them through the UI, without needing to find or click them in the large crowd. So, you can focus on who to heal, and not on standing right next to them, as long as you’re in the same general area.

The silver and gold teams took heavy damage in this raid.

While most survey respondents were interested in raids, some did not want to be forced to raid to progress. In Ship of Heroes, raiding is not required for progression. You earn the right to launch a raid by completing some content, but you can participate in raids without having completed this content. And the rest of the game doesn’t require raid completion. You can do missions, or just attack enemies in the open, to gain levels and wealth.

We hope these design choices will make raiding fun, in accordance with the comments of our raid survey respondents. We look forward to seeing you all in-game soon. Keep an eye on Ship of Heroes, because we are getting closer and closer to launching.

Berserker Raid – Battle waves of enemies under the arch. Can you take down a giant berserker?

They’re not called Berserkers because of their positive attitude.

Technical Notes


1. For those wonder how MMOs work behind the scenes, all the information like your current health, your friends list, your team number, your alive/dead status and even your archetype is being networked through a server by our new multi-threaded chat system.

2. Loot will be automatically shared, and griefers will not be able to cheat their teammates out of loot by dropping out of the raid.

3. Each raid is designed so that multiple paths to success are possible, and experimentation will likely uncover options that the dev team never thought of. We look forward to seeing some crazy tactics!

4. Playing multiple times, and completing it with multiple archetypes, is the best way to develop high expertise in leading that raid. It will also make you a more skilled player in general. What you know about other builds is almost as important as your own build.

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