What are attributes?
Attributes are a collection of stats classified into a single keyword. Strength for example provides Health, Health Regeneration and Status Resistance. So every point increase of Strength will provide increases in those 3 stats. Usually these increases are in small increments.
Every hero has 4 attributes all of which have varying starting values at level 1. Attributes increase through leveling up, although the exact amount varies for each hero.
Every hero also has a primary attribute. A heroes primary attribute increases the bonuses the hero gets from that attribute, as well as providing bonus attack damage for each point of that attribute.
What attributes exist and what do they do?
Spark will feature 4 different attributes:
Strength embodies fortitude and durability. A character with a lot of strength is hard to take on in a simple fight as they will outlast you and do a lot of damage once they manage to close in on you. Strength provides Health, Health Regeneration and Status Resistance.
Agility embodies speed and dexterity. A character with a lot of agility is hard to catch and difficult to damage. They will evade you until an opportunity to strike presents itself. Agility provides Attack Speed, Movement Speed and Armor.
Intelligence embodies attunement to and understanding of the world around you. A character with high intelligence uses the Spark energy to strike with a seemingly endless variety of different magic to overwhelm their opponents. Intelligence provides Mana, Mana Regeneration and Abiliy Power.
Will embodies passion and courage. Characters with strong will understand the value of companions and work to either empower them or be empowered by them. They also excel at enforcing their demands on a battlefield. Will provides Magic Armor, Heal Amplification and Cooldown Reduction.
Why do we have attributes?
Attributes are a great thematic tool. Imagine a “strength” hero: you already have an idea of how the hero will look, act and play. You already know that when joining the match you will look for strength items in the shop. You know that you probably don’t want to pair this hero with 4 other strength heroes. Once the game starts you already know that you will be looking to brawl and be in the frontlines. You know that you don’t have to be afraid to die in a single hit and you know that you will have to protect your squishier team mates.
You know all of this but you don’t know anything about the heroes abilities. It makes it easier to categorize characters in the players minds while not forcing specific roles on certain heroes. Something that we are taking great care off in the hero design of Spark is variety in how you can play any given hero. We don’t want you to feel like you can only play a hero in one specific way and attributes are a great tool to allow us to communicate that. Talents will also help with this but that’s for another post.
Attributes also simplify things. We can make an item give +10 Strength and Agility instead of making it give +A Health, +B HP Regen, +C Status Resistance, +D AS, +E MS and +F armor. Same is true for hero level up stat growth.
What determines a heroes primary attribute?
The primary attribute of a hero is purely determined by gameplay reasons. While the exact reasoning depends on many factors here are some general guidelines. Please remember that not every hero will fit into these guidelines and they aren’t the only determining factor:
Strength heroes are usually melee heroes. They rely on spells to disrupt the enemy and like to brawl in close range. They have tools that allow them to stay in fights for a long time. They don’t usually do the most damage.
Agility heroes usually deal a lot of damage and rely on attacking to do so. Their survivability comes from being fast and hard to hit as opposed to raw HP. Their spells usually enable their specific attacking playstyle.
Intelligence heroes rely on spells to do damage. They are usually ranged heroes. They are the highest magical damage heroes in the game. Their mobility and regular attacking ability tends to be limited. Their utility is high and their ultimates are devestating.
Will heroes are about healing, frequent ability use and summons. The new “heal amplification” mechanic allows them to put out more healing than anyone else. Further they tend to be hard to take down due to low cooldowns and strong defensive abilities. They work best in a team. They also frequently have abilities that require the opponents to respond to them, enforcing their will on them.