What?  No ninjas?  It’s been a few paragraphs since we’ve had a ranged character.  The Pirate certainly is that!  She dual wields pistols to great effect.  While each hit is weak, she’s extremely quick in her attacks!  She can pepper her enemies with bullets from afar, turning them into Swiss cheese.  Or would that be pepper jack?  Uh-oh.  Looks like I’m still afflicted by the bad joke ailment from last week’s video.  The Pirate is probably the easiest character to play.  She’s pretty easy to build.  Once you get her second tier of skills, put all your points on Cannonball.  Her regular attacks are weak, but fast, remember?  Well, each point you invest in this skill offers you a 1% chance to launch a high damage cannonball with each of your attacks.  It’s not that her other skills are bad, but this one really will monopolize your points and you won’t even mind.  If you absolutely must spend points elsewhere, Rapid Fire takes her attack, which is already the fastest in the game, and actually makes it even quicker!  I know it sounds like she’s a one trick pony, but why mess with success?

Look at that cute little face!

And the stereotyping continues!  This little guy offers some hilarious commentary, such as “Chainsaw goes in, guts come out,” and “I’m a God damn marvel of modern science.”  I wonder if Mick Foley was the inspiration for this character.  He says not one, but two of Mick’s catchphrases:  “Bang, bang!” and “Have a Nice Day!”  Billy Bob is a melee character with an interesting playstyle.  That chainsaw of his has a tendency to leak.  And that’s a good thing!  The burning oil it spews rapidly ticks to put up big damage quickly!  And If you don’t want to worry about the random nature of it, for a few points of mana, you can simply toss a Moonshine Molotov onto the battlefield to spread targeted flames.  You want to try to bottleneck the enemies as best you can and force them to trudge through your impromptu inferno.  In many cases, even bosses will be dead before they make it through!  While Cletus is the weakest of the melee characters, he's still no slouch.  You can add burning truck tires to his attacks and his Moonshine Madness skill increases his speed, which means even more tires!  He does have one dump skill, though.  Redneck Roughness is nearly useless.  You heal an extra 1% per level you invest each time you collect the red HP orbs.  Pass…  His other skills are just so much more useful.  And FUN!  And if you need more fun, just invite some of your friends to the party.  Pickup Raid lets you get the rest of the trailer park in on the action and it really helps out in a pinch.  This is not a very mana-centric character.  You’ll basically want just enough to be able to use all of your active skills, no need to spam them.  You can take the boy out of the trailer park, but you can’t take the trailer park out of the boy!

The Sega Nomad was a fun experiment, but, man, that thing just devours batteries!  Oh, not that Nomad.  The stereotypical humor in some of these classes does make me laugh, though.  You can take one look at the Nomad and have a pretty good idea what’s going on here.  The Nomad is strong right out of the gate and never really slows down at all!  He’s a melee character, and while he doesn’t have the strength or health of the Viking, he can more than hold his own.  Both of his tier one skills are fantastic!  Traveler builds up damage while you’re not attacking and infuses your next hit with a burst effect.  This means you have to time your blows, but it also means you’ll be able to one-shot entire groups of monsters at a time!  This pairs extremely well with Flying Scimitars, his other tier one skill.  It allows him to throw three blades forward for high damage.  It also enables some limited ranged offense for an otherwise up close and personal character.  He can be a bit difficult to build, since his skills have synergy with both strength and energy, but you won’t want to neglect defense and health.  He is going to be in the thick of things, after all…  Once you enable tier two, you can pick up Dissipate, which occasionally adds a ranged attack to your normal swings.  While I don’t think he has any bad skills, they do generally get weaker as you go.  That’s not a big deal, though, as you can still continue to allocate your skill points in the older skills, keeping them more than viable.  

Loot is half of your permanent character growth, so you’d better get to hunting!  The other half is spending your attribute and talent points gained by traditional level ups.  Of course, permanent character advancement is only half the story.  Each trip through the game will net you potions and relics, both of which are random.  Potions can increase (or decrease) your stats, but get wiped when you die.  Similarly, relics add to your stats or give you additional abilities, but only until you die.  This approach generates the drive to keep playing and building your character while always making each trip unique.  Let’s say you’re grooming a character to become a powerhouse and you spend every single attribute point you can muster on strength.  That’s not a bad idea, but if the game only presents you with mana oriented relics, you will have to adapt your playstyle for that particular run.

That’s right.  As I said in my Gauntlet article, this is a requisite character.  As expected, this hulking character is great at dealing damage and can shrug off quite a lot of it as well.  I think he, like Tomix, draws power from his beard.  His four active skills can cost quite a bit of mana and his pool of it is small, so don’t neglect that stat.  Having said that, his skills offer synergy with his strength, making it the best place to spend your points.  Synergy is a way of empowering certain skills without spending points on them.  I recommend only having enough mana to actually perform each of his active skills, and nothing more.  His passive skills are where it’s at.  They allow him to land critical hits, stun enemies, double attack (and heal!), increase his armor, and add fire to his attacks.  Stoneskin, the skill that raises his armor, also allows you to totally neglect your armor stat.  Granted, equip the best armor you can find, but don’t spend any attribute points on it.  Even if you are temtped, you’ll get more bang for your buck by upgrading your health, but still, strength is where most of your points should go.  Every third normal attack is a giant swing that hits all around him, so he’s good at crowd control and his first active ability, Seismic Slam, is an uber-powerful wide attack.  It’s great for clearing out groups!  The main difficulties you will encounter will be the total lack of ranged attacks and enemies that poison the ground close them themselves.  The rapid ticks of damage like that can overwhelm the Viking’s high health and Stoneskin skill.  He’s a fun character to play, though.  Just rush in to the nearest crowd of enemies and keep swinging!  Literally!  Stoneskin triggers based on your regular attacks, so even with no enemies in sight, make sure your mighty axe is in motion!

That's NecroMANCER!  Not necrophiliac!

Prerequisite:  you must posses the ability to ululate in order to play as the Nomad.

Wtf?

Take that, Ichabod Crane!

Yes, I put the Robin Hood Hat on my Nomad, not my Marksman.  Deal with it.

Not the "Man in Tights" I was expecting.

Archers are another mainstay of dungeon crawlers, so enter Legolas, here.  Like the Pyromancer, the Marksman is a ranged character.  Sadly, it can be difficult to really get the Marksman going.  When he first starts out, he gets swarmed easily.  If you’re playing multiplayer, this is less of a problem, but during singles play, it can be rough.  He just can’t dish out damage fast enough to keep the crowds under control.  This is also true of the Pyromancer, but his Fireswarm skill offers him a solution.  The Marksman has no such skill early on.  In Hero Siege, all skills are divided into five tiers.  Only tier one is available at level one and you gain access to a new tier every 12th level.  This is a major factor holding back the Marksman early on.  The only skills he has access to are Critical Hit, a passive skill that offers a 1% chance to crit per point in the skill, and Disengage, which can be used offensively or defensively.  Disengage allows the Marksman to hop backward and leave a trail of fire in his wake.  These are his only tools until level 12.  I had nearly written him off, but when I unlocked that second tier, everything changed in a very good way!  The two passive skills here are Multishot, which increases the number of arrows fired during normal attacks (EXCELLENT skill!), and Homing Rocket, which offers a small chance to shoot a homing rocket (imagine that) with each regular attack.  These two skills alone solve his problem with the hoards.  And it only gets better from there.  Another strong skill he possesses allows him to build turrets.  Think tower defense games for these.  In a matter of a few levels he goes from garbage to godlike!  The first time I beat the game, it was with the Marksman.

My Necromancer is a frequent guest at Crystal Lake.

My Viking rocks a top hat and there's not a damn thing you can do about it!

Hero Siege is a Rouge-like Dungeon Crawler.  I wonder what the drop rate is for Rogue-likes these days...  Tomix seems to find them easily!  Anyway, this game immediately made me think of Diablo.  It’s not a carbon copy or anything, but it certainly runs alongside it in many ways, including the Hellish setting and imagery.  Yep!  You’re going to want to snag lots of loot drops to get through this one!  Believe it or not, but I actually prefer this game to Diablo.  Sacreligious...  I know...

“She’s a dancer, necromancer.  I’m a Capricorn and she’s a Cancer.”  Wait, that’s not how the song goes?  You mean I’ve been singing it incorrectly all these years?  Sorry, KISS.  Don’t kick me out of the Army!  The Necromancer, in many ways, is an answer to the difficulties the Marksman faces.  Once you kill something with the Necromancer, you can raise it from the dead to fight on your behalf.  If all of your friends are busy or you just don’t have any, you can use this character to fill the void.  At high levels, you can actually have up to six allies at all times.  The Necromancer doesn’t have any bad skills, so feel free to allocate points where you want.  They do have synergy with energy, so you’ll want to prioritize mana.  The main difficulty you’ll face each run when playing as this class is when you first start out.  You can’t simply summon the dead, you have to kill something first.  By himself, the Necromancer is very weak.  Find something, anything, and kill it.  Once you have your own legion of undead at your disposal, you can march them off to (re)die, knowing there will be plenty of other dead enemies for you to play with.  Do be careful when you get to the bosses, though.  Any of the dead you’ve desecrated that die off during a boss battle are dead.  You won’t be able to kill anything (other than said boss) to res to replace them.  This is a really fun class to play!

"Come with me if you want to live."

Tomix Fitzgomer really gets around and he often finds all sorts of nifty things during his travels.  I guess transcending time, space, and reality has its privileges!  While he normally covers tabletop gaming, every now and then, he comes across a video game instead.  I think he found this item somewhere around Kalimdor.  Now’s as good a time as any to see what Hero Siege is all about!

The Pyromancer is this game’s take on a mage.  This is what happens if Beavis has access to magic.  And if you listen to the voice acting, that’s clearly what they’re going for (and props for that!).  As I’m sure you’ve guessed, he’s almost the opposite of the Viking.  His fireball gives him range, but it’s weaker, as is the Pyromancer himself.  All of his synergy comes from energy, so keep that mana stat high.  And since you have so much mana, you can invest points in his active skills.  His first is Fireswarm, and you’ll need it to clear out crowds, since it shoots a spread of fire in front of you.  Fire Nova, his next, is a great way to take out bosses quickly, as it sticks around for a little while upon casting.  I’m not sure about Armageddon, as it’s a bit random in its execution, but Hydra is awesome.  It summons a Hydra to fight alongside you.  You can use it to draw aggro and incinerate your foes from afar!  His passives are okay, but you’ll get more mileage out of his actives.  Meteor and Blazing Trail improve his regular attacks, while Spitfire can transform each shot into multiple shots.  Firefly is his weakest, especially since it scales with strength (his only skill that doesn’t use mana), but Apocalypse can be great fun!  It generates a chance for each enemy to explode upon death, dealing area of effect (AOE) damage to the groups.  If you don’t want to get your hands dirty (just maybe a little ashy), the Pyromancer just might be for you.

'ey, Bubba!  Watch 'is!

Hopefully, this humble article gives you an idea of what this game is like and which characters are most interesting to you.  The only one I don’t really enjoy is the Pyromancer.  His attacks are just too slow and he’s way too squishy.  If you like him, more power to you.  As for me, my favorites are the Nomad and the Redneck.  I really don’t know what that says about me, but I like them a lot.  Allah Akbar, y’all!

There are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too many relics to detail here, and since they’re random anyway, you can’t really count on getting any specific relic when you really want it.  While loot is permanent, it’s also random when it drops, so let’s not dive any deeper into that subject.  Instead, let’s take a look at the different character classes, since each will dictate, in large part, how you play the game.  Don’t feel obligated to stick to only one character.  You have 12 slots, which is enough to build one of each character if you purchase all the additional DLC.  Speaking of which, I have not (yet) purchased said DLC, so I’ll only be covering those classes in the base game.

My Redneck sports a scouter because his power level is OVER...  an overused joke!

Default Viking.  +1 to all beards.