|Arena of Valor|
|Developer(s)||Tencent, TiMi Studios|
|Publisher(s)||Tencent, Garena (Indonesia)|
|Platform(s)||Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch|
|Genre(s)||Multiplayer online battle arena|
Arena of Valor (Chinese: 傳說對決; pinyin: Chuánshuō Duìjué), formerly Realm of Valor then Strike of Kings, is an international adaptation of Wangzhe Rongyao (Chinese: 王者荣耀, variably known in English unofficial translations as Honor of Kings, King of Glory, Kings of Glory, Honor of King, or Honour of King), a multiplayer online battle arena developed by TiMi Studios and published by Tencent Games for the iOS, Android and Nintendo Switch, for markets outside mainland China. As of September 2018, the game has grossed over $140 million outside China.
Arena of Valor is a 3D, third-person, multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) style game for mobile. The game has multiple modes, with the main three being Grand Battle, Valley Skirmish and Abyssal Clash. Players compete in these matches which on average last for around 12 - 18 minutes. Players aim to destroy turrets on the map, in order to destroy the core.
Players control characters, referred to as heroes, and each of these heroes have a unique set of abilities. Heroes start the game at a low level, and can earn level up in various ways. Killing non-player creatures such as minions or monsters, defeating other players, destroying structures, passively through time and through special items that can be purchased through the shop. These actions also increase XP the player has, making them more powerful. The items purchased do not carry over matches, and therefore all players are on equal footing at the start of the match.
Matches give players rewards, such as gold, which can then be used to buy a variety of heroes, or arcana. In addition to this, players can play a 'Ranked' match type, which allows them to attempt to go up in tiers in order to be matched with players who are at their skill level. Stars are earnt for a victory, and lost when the player loses.
There are various game modes, with 5v5, also known as Grand Battle or Ranked, being the most popular. Here, players can choose a role to play in, such as marksmen, who do high damage yet have little health, or a tank, which has a lot of health. The team then coordinate in order to destroy the towers, and finally to destroy the enemy base. Players can choose to play in the 'jungle', which allows them to level up quicker and make a large difference to the game.
In addition to this, Valley Skirmish is a 3v3 game mode, using a much smaller map. In this version of the game, there is only one tower. These games are designed to be much quicker, for the player that does not have time for a longer game, and typically last for 4 - 6 minutes. Abyssal Clash is a game mode where players are randomly selected heroes, and have two towers they must destroy in order to reach the enemy base. Arena of Valor also has a death match mode, however this is not as popular as the other three modes.
There are currently 85 heroes in Arena of Valor as of June 8, 2019. Arena of Valor divides the heroes into numerous categories that each play different roles. The most notable difference is the type of damage a hero deals - some heroes deal physical damage, which can be countered by the armour stat, whilst other heroes deal mainly magic damage, which is resisted by the magic resistance stat. However, some heroes deal both types of damage, and some heroes deal 'True' damage, which cannot be countered by either the armour or magic resistance stat. All heroes are classified as one of six categories, however some heroes can overlap and go into more than one category.
- Marksman: Also known as "AD Carries", marksmen are ranged heroes that usually deal physical damage. This hero type often deals sustained damage, and therefore are useful in team fights in order to reduce the health of the opponent. In addition to this, they are useful in taking objectives in order to win the game. However, they do not have much health and therefore are very vulnerable. Examples of marksmen are Fennik, Tel-Annas and Moren.
- Mage: Mages are sometimes known as "AP Carries". These heroes deal lots of magic damage, often in a burst, however have weak defense and low mobility. Mages are a mix of ranged heroes, which deal high amounts of burst damage from afar, melee heroes, which deal lots of damage from close up, or a mixture of both. Examples of mages are Jinnar, Raz and Liliana.
- Assassin: These are melee range heroes that are designed to deal large amounts of damage quickly, and often do not have much health. This hero type often searches for the enemy's AD/AP Carry and other 'squishy' heroes. They have high mobility in order to be able to strike at valuable targets on the oppositions team such as the marksman or mage. Examples of assassins are Zill, Butterfly and Quillian.
- Tank: Tanks are heroes that have large amounts of HP, and usually built armour to be able to take damage for the team. As a result, they often deal little damage, however, they often have abilities known as 'crowd control' that allow them to inhibit the movement of the other team. In addition to this, they can use these abilities to prevent the enemy team from attacking high priority targets such as the marksman or mage. Examples of tanks are Xeniel, Thane and Roxie.
- Warrior: Heroes that have medium damage and medium HP, warriors are heroes that have moderate survivability along with moderate damage. These are usually melee heroes, that need to get close to the target in order to deal damage, and this is why they have lots of HP in order to survive this. Examples of fighters are Amily, Zanis and Maloch.
- Support: Heroes whose skills aid the rest of the team by providing healing, buffing allies (such as movement speed buffs), debuffing the enemy team (such as stunning), or a combination of the above. Support heroes often are paired with the marksman in the early laning phase of the game where the support doesn't attack minions, but instead focuses on aiding their partner and harassing the enemy heroes. Supports aid the marksman as they are often weaker during the early phase of the game and need support in order to survive. Example of supports are Cresht, Alice and TeeMee.
Players can purchase items, which make a large impact on the heroes stats and play style. An example of this is Butterfly, where if offensive items are bought, the hero deals lots of damage however has small HP and does not survive for long. If the Butterfly buys all defensive items, the hero can act as a warrior and take damage for the team whilst still dealing some damage. This can be applied to all heroes, allowing tanks to play as supports, or for mages to act as supports.
Development and release
Arena of Valor (formerly Strike of Kings) is an international adaptation of Wangzhe Rongyao for markets outside mainland China. In 2015, Tencent approached Riot Games and asked them to turn their popular game League of Legends into a mobile title. However, Riot declined and claimed that League of Legends gameplay could not be replicated on smartphones. Tencent then proceeded to create their own mobile game, Wangzhe Rongyao, roughly translated to English as Honor of Kings. Arena of Valor is developed by TiMi Studios and published by Tencent Games with the same engine and design as Wangzhe Rongyao, but the in-game characters have been swapped from characters inspired by Chinese folklore and mythology, to characters inspired by European folklore and taken from the DC Universe. The soundtrack for the international version of the game is composed by American music artist Matthew Carl Earl, proving a different atmosphere compared to the original score with Chinese music instruments.
Arena of Valor was first launched in Taiwan in October 14, 2016, following a two-week closed beta testing period. In October 2017, Arena of Valor was launched in the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia where majority of the gaming community are playing mobile games. Garena decided to combined these three countries in one server. The game was released in some European app stores in August 2017, and was released in North and South American mobile app stores on December 19, 2017.
The game was announced to be released for the Nintendo Switch console during the September 2017 Nintendo Direct presentation. A closed beta became available for the platform between June and July 2018, and participants received an exclusive in-game skin for one of the characters. The game is confirmed to launch on the platform in September 25, 2018.
Speaking to Engadget, Tencent Games revealed the Nintendo Switch port of the game is enhanced and optimized for the platform, taking advantage of the console's processing power and hardware features to implement various changes to the game, such as improved graphics and animations, better lighting, smoother lines, and additional minute details like butterflies. Additionally, several adjustments were made to the game to be playable on a bigger screen with traditional controls, and characters' stats have been reconfigured. Because of these changes, cross-play between the Nintendo Switch and mobile versions of the game is not possible. Tencent Games also have plans for competitive events based on the Nintendo Switch version.
Arena of Valor won the award for "Best Music in a Casual/Social Game" at the 15th Annual Game Audio Network Guild Awards, whereas its other nomination was for "Best Original Instrumental". It was also nominated for "Original Score – Video Game" at the 2017 Hollywood Music in Media Awards, for "Original Dramatic Score, New IP" at the National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers Awards, for "Best Competitive Game" at the 2018 Golden Joystick Awards, and for "Fan Favorite Mobile Game" at the Gamers' Choice Awards. Arena of Valor: Flip the World won the award for "Song/Score - Mobile Video Game" at the 9th Hollywood Music in Media Awards, while the game itself and Honor of Kings 2.0 were nominated for the same category at the 10th Hollywood Music in Media Awards.
Asian Games 2018
Arena of Valor are part of electronic sports demonstration event in Asian Games 2018 held in Indonesia. Eight countries are able to participate after qualified from their respective regional qualification with Indonesia automatically qualifies as host. Unlike other electronic sports event, there is no qualification for Central and West Asia.
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