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How Heroes Work


As you advance through the game's storyline, you'll have opportunities to recruit adventurers (controlled by other players) and henchmen (computer-controlled allies). These alliances are temporary, usually long enough for you to finish a few quests or missions. The story also includes opportunities to recruit long-term allies: heroic non-player characters who play an ongoing role in the story. Completing specific quests allows you to recruit these unique heroic NPCs, commonly known as Heroes.

Heroes typically join your party as part of a quest. Sometimes the rewards for a quest include a chance to ally with that Hero: the NPC is recruited for your current character. (Some Heroes are exclusive; completing the quest to gain one makes you ineligible for the quest required to gain another.) Your character can be allied with multiple Heroes. You can add a Hero to your party whenever you're in a town or outpost. When you do, the Hero's level does not depend on the location you use to add that NPC.

A Hero in your party gains experience and levels, just as a character does. A Hero can never have a higher level than the character working with that Hero. If a Hero is lower level than the player who controls it, the Hero gains XP from kills at a vastly accelerated rate. Heroes in your party receive XP for quests and missions when you complete them.

Once you leave town, your Hero's actions are guided by the actions of the character who controls it. (When multiple players work together in a group, each player's character controls the Heroes working with that character.) Heroes gain experience points for finishing quests, completing missions, and defeating enemies. Like henchmen, they take their share of gold and loot when defeating enemies. Players can improve a Heroes' weapon, shield, and focus item as that NPC gains levels; the Hero's armor improves automatically each time that Hero levels up.

Each Hero has a default set of skills, but you can change those skills while in a town or outpost. You can also change the Hero's secondary profession.

Heroes have a few elements that cannot change. During character creation, you must choose a name and primary profession for your character, but you cannot change the name or primary profession of a Hero.


Hero Commands

Nightfall includes commands you can use for controlling and directing your Heroes. Once you leave town with a Hero in your party, you can direct where that Hero travels using your Compass.

Under your Compass, you'll see a set of four flags. With the first flag, you can set a common destination for all of your Heroes and henchmen. To set a destination for them, double-click once on the first flag, and then click on the mini-map in the center of your Compass. All of your Heroes and henchmen will then walk to that destination. Double-click the same button can remove the destination flag from your compass. When you remove a destination flag for a Hero or henchman, that NPC no longer walks to that location; instead, the NPC returns to your location.

When you look at your Party panel, you'll see a list of Heroes in your party. (You can open or close the Party panel by pressing "P.") Each Hero has a number in front of his or her name; each number corresponds to one of three numbered flags below your compass. You can set a destination for a Hero by double-clicking on the flag button with that Hero's number, and then clicking the Compass mini-map. Double-click the same button to remove the destination flag from your compass.

If you like, you can set a destination flag by clicking on the terrain in front of your character instead of using the Compass; when you do, a corresponding destination flag appears on your Compass.


Combat Modes

Each Hero can have one of three combat modes. Each one corresponds to a different icon.

Aggressive
Fight
The Hero attacks a called target or a target in combat with the party. If necessary, the Hero will charge forward, away from the rest of the party, to attack.
Defensive
Guard
The Hero stands guard over the flagged area if you have placed a destination flag, or toward the back lines of the party if you have not. The Hero will attack called targets and any target in combat with the party, but only if doing so does not force that Hero to leave the guarded area.
Passive
Avoid Combat
The Hero never attacks and attempts to avoid enemies when attacked.

Forming a Party with Heroes

After you've recruited a Hero for your storyline (usually as a reward for a quest), you have the option of adding that Hero to your party whenever you're in a town or outpost. If you have room in your party, you can add up to three Heroes you've recruited. (Your Party panel shows the current list of characters, Heroes, and henchmen in your party; open or close that panel by pressing "P.") Look for the words "Add a Hero" on a drop-down menu in the Party panel, and then scroll down to the name of the Hero you want to add. You can use the same panel to kick one of your Heroes from your party.


Skills and Attribute Panel

Press "K" to open (or close) your Skills and Attributes panel. You can use this panel to adjust the skills and attributes of your character or any of your Heroes. Before making these adjustments, you can select the character or Hero you want to adjust on the top of the panel.

Attributes are listed on the top half of the panel, along with a display of unspent attribute points. (When you add a Hero to your party for the first time, you may want to check to see how that Hero's attribute points have been spent.) Next to each attribute, there are arrows for increasing and decreasing the number of points spent on that attribute. While you're in a town or outpost, you can increase or decrease the number of attribute points spent one each one. Outside a town or outpost, you can increase attributes by allocating unspent attribute points, but you cannot decrease them.

The bottom half of the panel shows a skill list. In previous campaigns, you chose skills for your character by dragging them from a Skill List panel to the Skill Bar at the bottom of your screen. In Nightfall, you choose skills by dragging them from the skill list to a small skill bar at the bottom of the Skills and Attributes panel. As in previous games, you can only alter your build of skills while in a town or outpost.

Each Hero begins play with a build of skills. By using the Skills and Attribute panel, you can alter that build whenever you're in a town or outpost. A drop-down menu near the top of the panel also allows you to change the secondary profession of that Hero. When you do, that Hero's attributes change, and you can adjust attribute points as described above.

When you choose a secondary profession for a Hero, you may want to change that Hero's build to include skills from the profession you've chosen. In the retail version of the game, you can save that additional build of skills by creating a template.


Templates

During the Nightfall Preview Event, you won't be able to use this feature of the Skills and Attributes panel. After you start playing the retail version of Nightfall, however, you'll be able to save builds for your character and any Heroes you've recruited.

The Template button is a blue floppy-disk icon in the upper-right corner of the Skills and Attributes panel. After you click on it, you'll see three choices on a drop-down menu: Save to Template, Load from Template, and Manage Templates.

  • With Save to Template, you can save a build of skills and attributes to your computer. Outside the game, you can decide whether (and how) you want to send of these files from your computer to another computer.
  • After you have a saved file, you can use Load from Template to upload a build from your computer to the game.
  • With Manage Templates, you can rename, delete, and move files.

Hero Control Panel

Outside a town or outpost, you can see more information about a Hero in your party by using a Hero Control panel; you can also use it to change that Hero's combat mode. A button to the left of the Hero's name in your Party panel opens (or closes) a Hero Control panel. Click and drag on a panel to change its location on your screen.

How much you use Hero Control panels is entirely up to you. You do not need to open Hero Control panels every time you play the game; instead, each panel gives you more information about and control over a Hero. Each Hero Control panel contains these elements:

  • The upper-left corner of the panel shows the Hero's name and picture.
  • The upper-middle of the panel shows the Hero's Health and Energy.
  • The upper-right corner has icons for selecting from your three choices of combat modes, as described in Part One.
  • The bottom of the panel shows a small skill bar for this character. You can see when the Hero's skills are activated and watch to see how long they take to recharge.
  • Your Hero's AI determines when skills are used, but you can interrupt that routine by clicking on a skill on the Hero's small skill bar. By clicking on a skill, you prioritize that skill; you'll see a green check mark over that skill on the small skill bar. The Hero will not use any other skills until successfully using that skill. The Hero will attempt to use your target.
  • Directly under the panel to the left, you can see the Hero's Morale Boost (or Death Penalty), if there is one. Next to that icon, you'll see a list of Conditions and Hexes affecting that character.
  • When you call a target (that is, hold down "Crtl" and double-click on it), all of your aggressive Heroes attack it. Defensive Heroes attack it if they're in range. Passive Heroes do not attack it. The same condition applies if you assist with another character's attack (After a character in your party calls out an attack, you can assist with that attack by clicking on the target symbol next to that character's name.)

Hero Inventory

The bottom half of the Inventory panel shows your inventory items; your character and all your Heroes share that same inventory. The top half of the Inventory panel includes an inventory interface (a "paper doll") showing your character or a Hero, along with the weapon, armor, and shield or focus item that character or Hero is carrying.

A menu at the top of the Inventory panel can change the character or Hero shown on that inventory interface. After you've selected your character or a Hero, you can move a weapon, shield, or focus item from your shared inventory to that character or Hero (or move them back).


Hero Armor

You cannot replace a Hero's armor through the Inventory panel. A Hero's armor level improves as the character gains levels. Certain quests may change the appearance of a Hero's armor. In the retail version of the game, you can use Runes to alter a Hero's armor, but you cannot use Dyes to alter its appearance.


Duplicates

More than one player with a character in a party can control a copy of a Hero. One character is the "authentic" version of that character; the other one is called a "duplicate." The duplicate uses a generic name instead of the hero's normal name.