Changes are coming to Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes. And they’re not good.
All of this information comes via the Road Ahead video posted by the developers. First, let’s mention the upcoming release of two new characters, which any other time would be massively celebrated, as they are both highly anticipated and long awaited. The one we all knew was coming will launch in early September: Galactic Legend Lord Vader. He’ll be the Galactic Legend counterpart to the recently released Jedi Master Kenobi, and will show the Sith Lord as he appears in Revenge of the Sith, before his defeat at the hands of Kenobi leaves him confined to his infamous suit.
With Jedi Master Kenobi, the newly released Commander Ahsoka Tano adds a significant amount of viability to the squad, and we are getting a similar situation with Lord Vader. The new Conquest character, as announced by the developers, is Maul. This is the version of the character seen in The Clone Wars season seven, where he fights against Ahsoka. He will be obtained in Conquest just like Ahsoka was, and we got some interesting details about his kit. He’s an unaligned Force user but also has the Mandalorian tag, representing his time ruling Mandalore. He’ll have a new ability, “Anguish,” which deals damage to himself but boosts his offense and enables other abilities. One fun nod to his kit is that he’ll have special bonuses against any of the Kenobis already in-game. The developers said that Maul will fit in very well under Lord Vader and make the squad more powerful.
All of this is very exciting. Lord Vader has routinely been one of the most requested characters for years, and Maul would also fit into the same category. To be getting both of them, right on the heels of getting Jedi Master Kenobi and Commander Ahsoka Tano, is a dream come true for so many Star Wars fans, and to think that all four of them are great characters who will be meta-defining is awesome.
Or, at least, it should have been. Maybe the developers got together and asked, “how can we throw some cold water on this announcement?” Ok, that’s probably not what happened (more likely is that they asked “how can we make more money?”), but it’s what wound up happening anyway. It’s not the first time the developers have managed to screw up the announcement of a highly anticipated character, and it probably won’t be the last either. That’s because the developers are making changes that they claim is for the long-term health of the game. And here’s basically what the result is, in summary: Galactic Legends are basically not going to be able to be countered by any non-Galactic Legend teams any longer.
The developers admitted in the video that they realized they had a smaller window of how to develop characters now, but rather than realizing that they backed themselves into a corner with the introduction of Galactic Legends (who could have seen that coming?), they are doubling down on it. The forum post accompanying the video details the changes made, and there are a ton of kit changes to already established characters. This specifically applies to Darth Vader, General Skywalker, Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker, and Wat Tambor.
These kit changes accomplish two things: first, they boost the character’s viability against non-GL teams (which is nice), but very much harm their effectiveness against Galactic Legends. The idea is to basically create two different sections in this game, one where Galactic Legends compete against each other and one where non-Galactic Legends compete against each other.
This is further compounded by what is, in my opinion, an even more devastating change: Galactic Legends are now officially in the same category as Raid Bosses, and so every kit that specifically is different against Raid Bosses is being updated to also include Galactic Legends, meaning that characters will be less effective against them. Most damning of all is that Grand Admiral Thrawn can no longer fracture Galactic Legends, which is just insane. It makes zero sense.
But again, the developers aren’t hiding it: they don’t want Galactic Legends to be countered by any squad that doesn’t also include a Galactic Legend. They see these moves as helping the long-term health of the game, but I’m absolutely not buying it. I think it’s the opposite; I think this will harm the long-term health of the game considerably, and it makes me worry about its longevity. No, this game isn’t going to die anytime soon, but I can’t imagine this move actually helping things. One of the fun parts about this game is crafting creative counters and squads, but there’s basically no use even trying anymore against Galactic Legends. This has significant implications on almost every aspect of the game. Think about Grand Arena, for instance: if you have fewer Galactic Legends than your opponent, you’re basically screwed. Think about Conquest, for example: if you previously were able to get higher rewards by beating one of the GL bosses with a non-GL counter, you’re basically screwed. And on and on it goes.
And this might be a bit more understandable if there was literally ANYTHING happening to make getting a Galactic Legend a little bit easier. Instead, though, Jedi Master Kenobi and Lord Vader are the two most difficult-to-get Galactic Legends in the game. The gear and relics required to get even one GL is insane, and that makes it all the more damning for the developers to basically segregate this game into two categories.
And if that wasn’t bad enough? They officially announced that Relic 9 is coming in August.
So yeah, this announcement is a train wreck. The developers backed themselves into a corner, and now they think that the only way out of it is to further screw the players over. That’s not exactly a promising sign of the long-term health of the game to come.