It’s starting to look like Nintendo is looking at a monthly schedule for new features for their hit free-to-play title Fire Emblem Heroes (Free). We got a bunch of new characters and stories around the beginning of March, along with some new features like the Voting Gauntlet and improved experience point gains. You can argue about whether or not those things were big improvements or not, but it at least shows the developer’s commitment to working on the game on an on-going basis. For April, Nintendo is looking to add a couple more new things to the game, largely in response to player feedback.
First up, the ability for characters to inherit skills will now be enabled when merging units into their allies. Before, a unit used as the source for a merge wouldn’t pass on any of their skills to the target. This system will allow skills to transfer over, ensuring you won’t have wasted your time developing the other character. Next is Hero Merit, a new way to earn some extra feathers. By taking characters into battle, they’ll earn Hero Merit (HM) that will eventually let you acquire some Hero Feathers. It looks like this will work on a per-hero basis, so even if you have doubles of a unit, they’ll still be working towards the same HM goal.
More excitingly, two new conditions will be added to the game for potential use in battles. The Defense condition will require you to hold off enemy units for a set number of turns in order to win the battle. The second new condition, which will facilitate the first, is Enemy Reinforcements. New enemy units will appear on the map mid-battle, forcing you to adjust your strategy on the fly. Both of these elements have been part of the Fire Emblem series since its earliest days, so it’s nice to see them added to this game.
If you’ve been having some troubles with the multiplayer mode, you’ll be happy to hear that Nintendo is working on the matchmaking as well. Right now, the matchmaking simply compares stats of your units with your opponents and tries to set up even battles. Which would be fine if some units weren’t more than what their stats show, but that’s not the case. The new method will take levels, star rankings, merge bonuses, base stats, and equipped skills all into account to try to make things fairer. As an added bonus, you should be able to earn more points at all difficulty levels.
The news of these additions coincides with a batch of new heroes being added to the game, this time from Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade. That game was the first Fire Emblem game to be localized for the worldwide audience, so there are plenty of characters that Western players might be nostalgic for. These new characters come with their own Paralogue, containing three missions you can clear for a story and some rewards.
Finally, while there’s no concrete timetable, the development team’s message mentioned that they were working on a new game mode that would kind of-sort of bring a whiff of the ol’ perma-death into the game. They clarified that you wouldn’t permanently lose any units, so I’m guessing it might be a series of battles with no revives in-between? Whatever it ends up being, it’s cool that they’re trying to find new ways to appeal to the long-time fans of the franchise. If I can offer a suggestion, Nintendo might want to throw a bone to the newer fans by adding in support conversations. Something beyond the fairly weak representation that’s in there right now. You can have that one for free, Nintendo!