RAID - Shadow Legends Review


I miss the games of yesteryear, back when developers actually tried to make people happy, when games were more of an art form and not just a way to extort money from you, unlike the games of today that you have to buy season passes and in-game boxes just to enjoy any element of the game. Growing up, a game could make or break a company. Now, games are so easily thrown together there is a new one practically every day. Having an expansion pack to a game was a nice add-on to what was already a complete product, but these days it is setup that you have to spend extra money just to have a complete game.

I know it sounds like I'm bitching. As an OSPU, there was something special about how games were in the 80's and 90's and I would argue that gaming as an industry has lost it's way. I've played many mobile games, and they are fun at first, but it gets to the point that you have to spend money to get more of the game. I understand that the game is free and the designers want to make money, and I would love to support them, but it's tantamount to shareware, just enough to give you a taste. I can honestly say, RAID is different.

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https://cdn01.x-plarium.com/browser/content/portal/raid/backgrounds/cta_head.png

 

I started playing have seeing Oversimplied mention it and used his link to start playing. I did the first seven days and was immediately hooked. I had the problem of my phone and tablet losing power, I started to play the game on Bluestacks so I wouldn't run out of power. I am now at level 40 and have only played this for a month, and I can't (at the moment) imagine a point in which I'll stop. I know it's been a month because I have a daily progression that logging in I get a reward. I'm currently up to day 39.

For the more casual player, you really only need 1 - 2 hours a day to get a great experience.

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How RAID Is Different

What makes RAID so great, even though it is a Freemium game, is that you really have access to all parts of the game. While there are Clans you can join, the game feels more like a single player game and you have the ability to get every Champion in the game and the opportunity to go to every dungeon, whether or not you spend money on the game. You of course have a limitation, primarily energy and tokens. Even then, there is still a lot to get out of the game.

While many games give you a recharge of your energy and tasks to get some extras to play the game, RAID takes this to the next level. I made the mistake of playing the first 25 levels not doing any of the missions or the daily, and when I started, I found myself getting a lot of crystals, a lot of shards, a lot of energy. A few times I've had over 1000 energy and 1mil silver. Doing your daily, weekly, and monthly is enough to give you a nice boost for leveling and grinding, so you feel like you are getting a bonus to do more.

You can of course use real money to purchase things in the game, and doing so will enhance your experience. Since this is primarily a single player game, it won't feel like you're cheating to get ahead, and other players don't feel the effect of you buying a pack. I like this game so much, I wish I had some money to buy a pack or two, to not only get ahead, but to give this company money on what I consider a job well done.

Another thing I like is that this game is constantly improving or trying new things. And say if an update or maintenance takes a bit of time, they will give you stuff to make up for time lost, though I'm sure it is just a way to bring you in to keep you playing. Still, I like free stuff. 

This game is a good mix of strategy and tactics. You improve your characters in a variety of ways and plan for how they will generally be used, but when the battle happens, you will need to make tactical decisions on how to handle the situation. There are a lot of decisions to make. Perhaps one of the hardest is changing out gear (as that costs money) and sacrificing high-end Champions. It's generally suggested that you don't sacrifice them (discussed later in article) but if I'm not actively using them, they are simply food.

 

Things To Do

I've played a few different freemium games, and they all had activities you could do when you logged in, but after awhile it became repetitious that you were just doing the same thing over and over again hoping to get enough to get your game pieces more firepower to advance further in the game, to open up a new area that you'd immediately be denied in doing any more. RAID is different in that there is always something to do, and even if there is a part that you can't advance any further, there are other options to pursue until you can.

First, there is Missions, Quests, and Challenges. All of these are extra things you can do to unlock prizes. They are all pretty much the same, but they do have differences. Missions you can only do one at a time. Quests is where you do your Daily, Weekly, and Monthly. Challenges have a wide range of things to do and you can do them in any order.

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Next is Battle. From here there is Campaign, Dungeons, Arena, Clan Boss, and Faction Wars (not released yet). Campaign is where you will spend time grinding your characters. There are 12 areas with 7 levels in each, and you can earn 3 stars for each level depending on how well you do. This is a good place to get Artifacts (see Improving Champions) and Champions.

Dungeons is similar to Campaign. There are 10 dungeons with 15 - 20 levels in each. The first five are for collecting potions, but you get other things. These are only open on a specific day (except 1 is open all the time. The other five grant you special items, whether mugs for leveling characters, special Artifacts, or scrolls.

Arena is the pvp area. You make a team and battle other player teams. Not very fun, honestly.

Clan Boss is only for those in a Clan. Your Clan works together to take down a big boss. There are four of them, Easy, Normal, Hard, and Brutal. There are four levels of prizes, based on how much damage you do, and you earn more prizes if the boss is defeated. You must use keys to get access to clan boss, and they take about 6 hours to get another, and can only have up to 2 at a time.

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Then there are the Events and Tournaments. These are extra things you can do to earn prizes. There basically the same, except in Tournaments you are competing against others and Events you are doing it yourself. In both, you earn points by doing something. Like gaining artifacts in a certain dungeon, or leveling up your characters. There was one where you had to summon new characters (so save the shards for an Event).

 

Improving Champions

You'll notice right away the different rarities of Champions, from Common to Legendary. It seems obvious that the higher the quality, the more likely you're going to use them, versus say the lower quality that will otherwise be a means to an end. Yet this game is quite surprising that some of the lower end characters can be quite useful. For instance, Outlaw Monk. An otherwise useless character, yet his ability with poison is very important when it comes to the Clan Boss.

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This game has lots and lots of Champions. It can be quite overwhelming, and you'll be constantly asking others if a Champion you got is good or not. The beauty of this game is that no one Champion is the right one to play with (though some would disagree), but it can be up to your play style that determines who you should keep. Starting out though, you're not going to know. A way to deal with that is each character on the Champion screen has a little bar graph icon that will show you user reviews of the Champion for a variety of dungeons. My advice is only keep those that have 4.6 in something (which for excel I just list as a 6). These do change as new people post their reviews, and it won't really be exact in who is best for you, but until you know what you need, it's a good starting point.

Improving your Champion is very much like any other RPG. You have characters and you level them, and it involves grinding to get to the top level. Unlike most RPGs, there are a few different ways to build up your character. First is the straight XP grinding, where you go to a Campaign and just start playing them and building XP. You'll get more characters and unlock more campaigns, and before you know it, you'll reach your cap.

Now if you want to reduce the amount of grinding you have to do, you can go to the Tavern and sacrifice your characters. I picture that all your Champions are drinking in a bar, a brawl breaks out and one of your Champions kills other champions and eats their heart (or suck in their souls). Later, you'll get mugs of beer (4 flavors) to wash it all down with. Champions used to help other Champions level in the Tavern are called Food by the community. This can be a great way to get your characters to their caps or give a good starting point to start grinding with them.

The way the game works, is that your characters have stars. The first one you get will have 3 stars, which means you can only go to level 30. To go beyond that, you must feed your Champion in the Tavern other Champions, or more specifically, three 3-star champions. Your character then levels up to 4-stars, but goes to level 1. Then when you grind to 40, you need four 4-star Champions to go to 5-stars. Thankfully the Champions used as food can be any level, so long as they have the same amount of stars. There are 6 total stars, with overall 210 levels.

Additionally, you need 720 1-star Champions to make one 6-star Champion. Thankfully you'll receive plenty of 2-star, 3-star, and 4-star Champions to help reduce the total number to get a single 6-star, but you will be leveling up a lot of Food just to be sacrificed at higher levels.

Another way to improve your characters is their skills. Champions have at least 1 skill, with many having four. Each of the skills have anywhere between 1 - 10 levels, which you need books to level them up. Unless of course you have two of the same Champion, then you can use that Champion as Food to improve the levels of the other. Improving skill levels allow for more damage, better chance of casting buffs/debuffs, greater efficacy of buff/debuffs, and reducing total cooldowns.

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Next is Ascending. Ascending allows you to replace your gold star with a purple star. Most often this improves your basic stats, but on the 3rd star (some Champions it is 4th or 5th star), it can upgrade a skill to do more. It can do the same thing as using a book, but sometimes it offers more ability with the skill. Some skills are actually locked until you ascend to a certain point. Ascending also unlocks accessories, such as a necklace and banner. Ascension requires potions. Some potions you can get from your dailies, but the best way to get more potions is to go to the Dungeons. 

Traveling away from the Tavern and going to the Champion screen, one of the 3 tabs up top is Masteries. These are not unlike most RPGs where you can enhance your character with a tree that gives them extra capabilities. To unlock these, you need scrolls, which then you must go to the Dungeon and select Minotaur. See the Areas of Improvement section for more discussion on Minotaur.

Then there are Artifacts, another name for gear. You will get drops (or you can buy gear) and then equip them to your character. Every Artifact comes with a set stat (which how high that stat is depends on how many stars the Artifact has), and will have five additional stats that unlock at levels 4, 8, 12, and 16. Depending on the rarity (represented by color), some starts will already be unlocked. You will have to spend silver to level them up to improve your character. It seems that no two Artifacts are alike, and when you upgrade Artifacts with a color border, it randomly improves a stat. For instance, a green border (Uncommon) has one additional stat, and when you reach level 4, it will improve the additional stat. When it gets to level 8, it will reveal the second additional stat. If you have an orange border (Legendary), all four additional stats are revealed and as you level to 16, four times will a stat improve (and it could be all the same stat). Might sound confusing... you'll understand when you see it. Hypothetically, you could have two of the same champions with the same gear and their stats be quite different.

In addition to the stats, is the set bonus. Generally you need 2 or 4 of the same type to unlock bonuses. Like Offensive set will give you 15% Attack, or the Lifesteal set will give you 30% HP heal of the damage you deal.

The last way you can improve your character is the Great Hall. This requires participation in the Arena and sets bonuses globally.

 

Areas Of Improvement

I rated this game 4 out of 5 stars. I give this game an 85%. It's very good and I will likely play this for quite some time. There are however some problem areas that while it won't cause me to stop playing, but would change my rating on Google Play to 5-stars.

Masteries is rather frustrating. In order to get scrolls, you must go through the Minotaur Dungeon with the character who you wish to improve their masteries. As you go through it, it randomly awards one Champion with scrolls. So it's possible to go through all the levels and your champion receive no scrolls. I think this system would be improved if you just collected scrolls and then decide who to spend it on. Just to get to the bottom of the Masteries list requires 785 scrolls. I know people do the dungeon and get the scrolls, but it is tedious work that is unnecessary.

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Sacred Shards. These are hard shards to get your hands on, unless you pay money for it. I've only obtain 1. Many have stated their frustration with these, because you can either unlock an Epic or Legendary Champion (as you can with Void and Ancient shard), and when they use the shard, most of the time they get an epic character. This is frustrating because as I said, it is hard to obtain, and when you get one, you really want the Legendary character for your hard work in getting it. It's demoralizing to get an Epic. I think it would be better that you are guaranteed a Legendary character if you get a Sacred Shard. Hell, make it even harder to obtain one, but when you do, you should get a great prize for it.

I wish when I was in the Market and I saw an artifact that was on sale, I could quickly get to my other artifacts to see if I needed it. In order to see my other items, I have to close the Market, go to the Champion screen, click on an Artifact a Champion has just to see my Artifacts. And by then, I've forgotten what the market item had. When I'm in the market, I wish there was a way to see my artifact list right there. Make a button called Armory.

Raid Passes aren't quite worth the money they cost. They are $10/month (or $50 for 6 months), and it gives you 20% xp and silver extra from campaign battles. If I'm going to give you $50, I think I should get some books, some shards, a random artifact, etc.

Drop more books to upgrade skills, or to use Champions of the same rarity to improve Champions skill. Like Uncommon Champions can help other Uncommon Champions to improve skills. Or even, Attack helps Attack, Support helps Support. 

Allow more than 30 people to join a clan, or link clans together to fight CB.

 

Conclusion

So that is a lot I just put for this review. I could simply tell you I like it a lot, and it is a game that doesn't try to bleed your bank account dry just to have some enjoyment. I'm sure other games are like this as well, but I hope the market goes this direction. As I said, I wish I could give them my money to show support. Writing all of this, I want you to gain the full scope of what this game is and why you should play it.

There are things coming soon for the game, such as a PC-port to play game, rather than using Bluestack. There is also Clan wars and Faction wars. Just within the last week they released dwarfs, a new faction in the game. Or maybe it's an old one they are bringing back. There are changes coming, and for those who commit to the long game will likely be a part of that. Some have stated they liked how it used to be and hate the game now for what it is, so it will remain to be seen if these changes will be well received or not.

There are of course elements I didn't mention in my review that you will need to learn to become good at the game. Fortunately there are clans you can join. I was initially a part of a powerful clan, but they had the philosophy there was only one way to play the game and if you deviated from that method, they would berate you and talk down to you. I then joined a newbie clan, TWD Survivors. If you join the game, check them out, they have a few spots open.

I also have a referral link. If you use your mobile device and click on it, it will take you to install the game, and we'll both get extra stuff as you play through the game. Only 3 available.

https://link.plrm.zone/app/um9q

Hope to see you in there!

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mad_cat
mad_cat

I am an author, Udemy Instructor, and blogger. I also suffer from Post-Concussion Syndrome and using DDPY to try to repair my mind.


Old-School Power User (OSPU)
Old-School Power User (OSPU)

Even though I am a power user, I'm a bit more old-school in how I use computers.

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