Fire Emblem Heroes’ metagame could see some serious changes for the worse, all because of its newest feature. Players are in uproar because of how skill inheritance seems to widen the gap between those who spend money on building out their teams and those who don’t in the free-to-play game.
The inherit skill feature allows for characters to gain the skills of other heroes in a someone’s collection. Its basic function is familiar to longtime Fire Emblem players, as the recent mainline games encourage players to shack up characters in the hopes of passing along their best skills to offspring.
But that’s not quite how inheritance works in Fire Emblem Heroes, based on what mobile users have gleaned from the update thus far. Instead, it comes with very few limitations — heroes can inherit most skills of others regardless of class, with only a handful of weapons or passive and active abilities barred from passing along. Units sacrificed for the sake of giving up their skills don’t even need to know the skills that other characters inherit, so a lower-leveled character with the potential to learn a great ability can still pass that one on, even if the player never unlocked it beforehand.
The biggest roadblock is that, despite all of this, characters only have access to skills that are compatible with their ranking. Fire Emblem Heroes offers characters of varying quality, with five-star allies having the best stats and abilities. They’re also, naturally, the rarest to come by. That makes this part of inheritance the toughest for anyone who’s not willing to put out the funds needed to get a team of five-star heroes.
The essential complaint is that players who spent hours restarting their games to get the highest quality heroes for free now have the immediate advantage in the PvP arena mode. Threads about how unfair and busted this update makes the game are scattered across popular Fire Emblem forums, with players lamenting the changes.
“I don't like it,” said one Reddit user. “Too much customization may not sound like a thing that can exist, but I'm worried about the meta being each unit just having the same 3-4 desirable skills. I would've liked more restrictions on the system. Being able to give anyone anything will completely erode character identity as well.”
Here’s a common sentiment from a widely upvoted thread:
Players are expecting to see many of the same characters populating the arena mode, where there were already way too many Takumi units making things hard on everyone. At the same time, other units can now easily wipe the floor with these extremely powerful allies, provided they have the proper skills equipped. But as this user explains, it may just be easier to buff the already beefy heroes, especially for people who already dished out a lot of the game’s currency in order to acquire multiples of them.
Since Fire Emblem Heroes is meant to celebrate the franchise’s diverse characters, this update is also disappointing on that level. As users tell it, there’s no real point in working with a team of favorites anymore, unless those favorites also happen to be among the game’s strongest characters.
“My problem in general is not even the broken sets, but more the fact that now 90% of the units are just plain useless except for merging,” another Redditor explained. “Characters with special weapons are pretty much the only ones you want (since they are non-inheritable) and if they have great BST to boot, great, whereas every other unit is just there in the side to be used as food for them.”
Another user on Serenes Forest, the biggest Fire Emblem-dedicated forum, echoed this complaint, writing, “It doesn't help that I liked collecting various characters and that this update completely stomp on the idea of collecting various characters for keeping and instead encourages you to sacrifice all the units you don't need/like to buff up the one you like.”
This could all just be an overreaction, as some have said in defense of the update. We’ve barely seen skill inheritance in play yet, as it just launched this morning, and passing along skills could make useless units worthwhile. But it’s obvious that the lack of restrictions will make things tougher for anyone who just wants to play the game with the characters they like and without concern about having any of the five-star heroes.
More updates are coming to Fire Emblem Heroes throughout the spring. We’ll see how players react in April, when many of the bigger ones begin to hit.