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Raid Shadow Legends is an rpg mobile and pc game that focuses on the players collecting hundreds of champions. Players than level up these champions and battle it out in PvE and PvP content. It is a free to play game with very in your face microtransaction shop.
I noticed there was a lot of hype around this game and while I don’t usually play mobile games I’ve been in the mood as of late to check a couple out that can also be played on the pc. I have been playing it for over four weeks now and feel I have progressed far enough to go over the game itself and give my thoughts.
While playing Raid Shadow Legends I have remained free to play so I can get the point of view a player who was not spending anything or a small amount would have. As always with these kinds of games, I think you should play them for a bit before spending money anyways. They are really good at trying to make a deal look like the one you can’t pass up. There even some high-stress sales tactics this game uses like most mobile games I’ve seen. More on that note later in the review.
One of the biggest things that stand out is just how many different champions you get to acquire and use in this game. Since I’ve been playing they have even added in dozens more as well. They come in different rarity and play different roles in the groups you can make with them. There is also a lot you can do to make them more powerful.
The game starts you off with a decently powerful starter champion. I ended up going with Kael who has this Dark Elf sorcerer vibe going on that casts down acid rain and poison. There are a couple of others to choose from as well that is just what I liked. Ultimately the game seems to have done a decent job at making these starters decent and if you are unhappy chances are you will end up pulling one of the others later on in the game since they are only rare.
Out of the over hundred different champions I must have pulled by now from shards, daily login, and running the campaign. Kael is still my go-to for everything I do in this game. This has been rather nice as that as allowed me to invest a lot of resources into his gear, masteries, and even skills.
The leveling process of champions becomes rather repetitive and I’ll admit boring over time as you increase their max level from raising their star rank.
If for instance, you wanted to level up a common Champion which starts at one-star you first need to get them to level ten. Then you need to sacrifice a single one-star to increase that champion to two stars. That in turn also resets their level and as a two-star, they can now level up to level twenty. Where you guessed it you need to sacrifice two champions that are two-star to make a three-star.
You need to repeat this ever increase process all the way up to level sixty which is six stars. This requires you leveling up a champion to level 50 and then feeding it five champions that are five-stars. That is a lot of grinding over and over leveling up so many champions just to feed them up the food chain. Most players call it farming food and you really get the full scope of why after you finally get a single six-star champion.
At the time of writing this over four weeks in I almost have two champions that are six stars. I could finish off the last remaining food I have in a couple of days of grinding. I have also leveled up quite a few others to level 50 which is good enough for now. You really only want invest the time to max out a character that you have the most use for till you have a good base party.
Grinding you say? Yep, big time and thankfully the game has an auto mode where your champions cast all there spells and do combat for you. This is a good thing to keep one’s sanity while doing the same battle over and over again. As once you have progressed far enough in the campaign to reach chapter 12 that is where 90% of your game time will now be spent. Hopefully, you make it up to Brutal difficulty where you get the best energy spent per experience gained. They just realized nightmare difficulty but that is very hard and not in my future for grinding food.
I’ve lost count how many hundreds or more than likely thousands of chapter 12 of Brimstone stage 3 in Brutal difficulty I’ve sent Kael in with the party being filled with three other champions that I use as food to level the champions I want to use elsewhere in the game. Kael has turned out to be an amazing farmer and I’m glad he is a starting choice.
Champions also have 9 item slots each for you to equip gear and accessories into. The first six slots which are used for gear are already unlocked. The remaining three which are for accessories slots are unlocked from ascending your champion enough times. This thankfully is not that hard as you just need to grind for potion drops out of special dungeons and how many you need is dependent on the rarity of the champion. It’s harder to get the items needed for those slots to drop as they are faction based.
As far as the gear itself you can level that up to 16. That requires silver you get from doing activates (campaigns, dungeons, and so on) or by selling any unwanted gear. The higher the gear is level up the lower the chance you have for it to level up successfully. Thankfully you do not lose levels if it fails to level up. I have however spent over a million silver just on a single piece of gear that was five-stars and epic quality. I’m always broke in this game when it comes to silver!
While some of the slots of gear drop with set main stat others do not. Also as you level the gear up they gain random attributes like life, attack, crit and so on. So even after you farmed an item and it drops as a six-star and it even had the base you wanted. There is still a chance you could level that item up 12 and decide it’s lacking enough other stats you wanted that you would rather keep farming gear and try again instead of taking it to level 16. After all those last few levels end up costing the bulk of the upgrading costs in silver depending on your luck.
Outside of the massive grind of leveling, gear and ascending champions you are still not done by a long shot! All their skills can be enhanced by skill books. Which becomes quite rare and difficult to acquire. Sometimes you only are getting them by beating other players in events once you are finished with all your questing and acquiring the easy ones. There is also the whole mastery system and farming scrolls over hundreds of battles in PvE in the Minotaur’s Labyrinth.
This all would not have been so bad except this is a mobile game and all actions required the use of resources. How silly of you to think it would be any other way! You will also find yourself wanting to use five or even dozens of different champions depending on what you want to do. So start repeating all the above dozens of times over for progression.
Energy, Arena Tokens, Boss keys, Crypt Keys
To be fair to this game they were quite generous in the amounts they give to do things. As long as you log in daily to collect login rewards, do quests, level up, and even get some random server maintenance gifts. It, in fact, can take hours a day to use everything up some times.
In my early days of playing Raid Shadow Legends, I was rocking being a thousand energy over the cap. I was getting hundreds from doing challenges, missions, questing, Events would start and they give me even more energy. A new day would start and they give me a couple more refills potions to stockpile that energy count even higher. Outside of champion levels you also have a personal level and you get a full bar of energy per level. So many different ways to get energy I really liked that.
I played like a crazy person for quite a few days. I knew the day would come and the parade would end I’d have to deal with that withdrawal afterward once you hit zero and can’t do anything but wait. I’ve played these kinds of games before I know they love to shower you in what you need at first as any good dealer would!
It finally happened and my progress had to slow down. I was being a bit unreasonable for the amount of time I was playing per day to just try and use it all up. I felt like it was a waste to sit over the cap since you regenerate some when you are not capped. I feel if you were a casual player it would have taken over a week and would not have been a big deal either.
I’ve surpassed everyone in the clan I joined not because I was a spender but because I logged in every time I could to use up my energy bar. Many of them are struggling to use up all the energy they have even more so if they are spenders and they get even more in packs! Now if only I did not have to use all four of my daily Clan Boss keys to do 50% of the damage for us to just take out the easy clan boss but that is another story.
There is also some pvp in this game focused in an arena setting. You need to spend an Arena Token which they give you a free refill every day on top of earning one every couple of hours. Players can also attack your defense team as well. You gain points and rewards at the end of every week. This is really where you see the pay to win aspect of this game. As I get murdered in the arena.
There is also something newer they added in before I joined and that is faction wars where you spend crypt keys. The teams you make are restricted to the faction like Dark Elf, Barbarian, Sacred Order and so on. Each different type remains open for a single day before going on cooldown and you can earn glyphs that you use on gear. Along with some first time clearing rewards.
I would not be shocked if they kept adding in different keys and this or that for the player to do different activities in the game. At least for the energy aspect for running campaigns and dungeons, you have hundreds a day to spend. Unless you are spending hours a day playing this game and even then it’s a fair amount. While it is nice without some of the stuff like energy they could have also made it a bigger pain point then it is to try and get people to spend.
It is in my humble option that this cash shop appears to be both predatory and annoying. There are a few tactics they use to lure people into spending and once they have you the game can get pricy. These things are not uncommon in mobile games it just sucks to see them.
In your first couple of days of playing you are relentlessly getting spammed with offers as you enter into your Bastion (main area) or log in. It was to the point I was having to close five or so offers every time I switch to a different section in Raid Shadow Legends. I don’t know if that was some kind of error or what but after the first week it chilled out a bit. They still hit me rather hard every time I log in though.
They also use timers to try and make you feel like you only have so much time to buy some amazing can’t pass up the deal. Unlike other games some of these deals they darn well mean limited time offer. I had some crazy 24-hour offer that I’ve not seen since. While other stuff I’ve seen pop up a couple of times.
On top of that, there are “discounted prices”. You might see something at 90% or 50% off. Talking with some other players unless you are a whale you are not going be spending $100 on a pack let alone any other base number you see.
There also seems to be quite some bad deals. You can buy for only 20$ a pack of legendary 6-star armor. The biggest issues are you have no idea what stats some of the slots will roll. So you could end up getting something you did not want like health on the gloves instead of crit rate.
As far as mobile cash shops go it’s as expected. If you really wanted to go high risk you could buy some shards and hope you pull some legendary champions. Which you more than likely will need to buy their legendary skill books since I’ve only acquired three myself the entire time I’ve played.
While I did go a bit heavy-handed into ripping into Raid Shadow Legends I’ve had more fun in this game than most mobile games that I’ve played. Outside of dealing with heavy spenders in the arena and in tournaments for the most part what they did I was unaffected by them and that is how I prefer these kinds of games to be.
There was also a fair amount of stuff to do each day and they gave you enough resources to spend each day to keep you busy for a decent amount of time. I could totally see someone playing this on their phone during lunch or other breaks during the day just to pass the time.
As far as will I keep playing? Well, I’m tempted to push for my second level 60. Beyond that, it’s not a game really for me. I also knew it was time to write up a review as I started swearing at this game this morning.
While it was interesting to check out and play for a while I also had auto-combat enabled for 99.9% of the time I sent my champions into the campaign, dungeons, faction wars, arena, and clan boss battles. Which sums up this game quite well.
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