The popular mobile game Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes turns five years old this month, and in celebration of that, they are making a massive change that actually helps the player base greatly.
The last two years have been especially tough in the game, with little content and much frustration, and part of that frustration has been because very few of the changes seemed to be geared whatsoever with the best intentions of the players in mind, or with any regard for free-to-play players. Many, including myself, wondered how in the world they would be able to grow the game and recruit new players given the current state of things.
Well, I’m not going to say that everything has been magically fixed, but the developers recently announced a change that is a HUGE step in the right direction, particularly for free-to-play and newer players.
So what’s the change? It has to do with the shard economy.
The entire game is built on collecting iconic Star Wars characters, and then starring, leveling, gearing, and modding them up to make them more powerful. Most of these farms take a very long time to accomplish as it is, and with over 200 characters in the game currently, that’s a nighmarishly daunting task for anyone new looking to catch up (or even older players, for that matter).
To address this, the developers outlined in a recent post that they are increasing the shards that will drop, essentially doubling the current rate for many characters, allowing players to farm them twice as fast. That’s HUGE. So combat nodes, store shipments, Assault Battles, Galactic War, and more will reward double drops on a permanent basis for many characters.
So which characters fit this bill? The developers have created two categories for all of the characters in the game: they are either “Original Rate” characters or “Advanced” characters. Original Rate characters will remain at the current drop rate (so think “single drops” vs. “double drops”), and these characters include new and exclusive characters. So in general, if a character has newly been released to the game, or is obtainable in raids, the Journey Guide, or Territory Battles, the drop rates will remain normal for them. That’s contrasted then with Advanced Rate characters, who are essentially all of the others not included in the previous category. They will drop shards at an accelerated rate (so think “double drops” vs. “single drops”).
The developers also outlined the plan for how characters will transition from Original Rate to Advanced Rate. When a new Marquee character is released, they will drop shards at the Original Rate for approximately one year after release, and then will be moved to Accelerated Rate. They used the illustration of The Mandalorian, saying he will move to Accelerated Rate in April or May of 2021 – a year after he was first released.
There are other changes related to this, such as with an adjustment for Shard Shop currency (basically the impact on players is staying roughly the same, but the currently and prices are being adjusted to account for an increased drop rate). You can read about all of this in the post here, but the big thing is easily the permanent double drops for many of the characters in the game, those who have been around a while.
Again, let me just say it: this is HUGE. This will greatly help players farm characters that they haven’t been able to, as now it will go twice as fast. I especially think of newer players, and I think that this will help alleviate somewhat some of the crazy farm grind. It takes a long time to farm a character from a single hard node, and for it to go twice as fast will help newer players acclimate to the game twice as fast. That’s a very good thing.
So yeah, it’s been a long time since I actually thought Galaxy of Heroes was trending in a positive direction, and an even longer time since I thought they made moves that helped the whole playerbase and not just those who spent money (or had been playing several years). Of course there must be events geared toward end-game players, but the game won’t be sustainable forever under that model. So I’m really encouraged by this, and I hope that it signifies that a new and better era of the game is beginning. And perhaps it means that we’ll actually begin getting a number of new characters soon, which would be a nice change too!