Clicker Heroes: Know thy Ancients before you level them!
I’ve been asked by a few why I play Clicker Heroes. In short, it’s fun! I was browsing Steam before bed one night when I saw it listed as a F2P game. It looked dumb but I figured since I had 30 minutes before needing to go to bed I’d download it and give it a try. That, my friends, was months ago.
I didn’t expect to like the game. Matter of fact, I thought I’d give it five, maybe ten minutes and then laugh at what an awful game it was as I uninstalled it. Instead I found I loved the instant gratification I felt from clicking monsters and watching them die. Then I earned an achievement and discovered a page FULL of achievements waiting for me to work my way through them. Achievements give DPS bonuses so they’re worth earning. The more I played the more I needed a strategy in place to help me gain higher levels. There’s grind and once you’re past a grind it feels amazing! Level 140 was my first big “I’m stuck here for a while” grind and getting past it made me feel accomplished, as if I’d really done something.
I started watching YouTube videos, reading Reddit threads and looking for guides. There’s a LOT to Clicker Heroes, far more than I imagined when I first downloaded the game. There are heroes to unlock and level, perks to buy (with gold earned as you kill the *cutest* monsters), primal spawns that give hero souls, ancients to buy with hero souls, gilded heroes, ascensions, a relic system with forge cores (assuming we’ll use the cores to level up our relics?) and, now, clans. The learning curve was much bigger than I imagined given it’s a little flash game. You have to learn to budget your hero souls as you use them to buy ancients, level ancients and move gilds onto your heroes. You also use hero souls for DPS mitigation and if you over spend on your ancients, whoo_boy, your next run may feel like molasses running uphill in the snow! I personally do not crunch numbers to max my DPS but there are tons of folks who do. I don’t find that to be a fun activity, especially since I’m a very casual player, so I tend to read guides from number crunchers and take their advice to heart.
I love this game. It fills a need I didn’t know I had, if I may be cheesy here.
Then Friday happened.
So, there are ancients you buy (with gold earned in game) to help you progress through the game. Some ancients are for what’s called a DPS-build and others are for Idle-build. I run an Idle-build for two reasons, those being A) I’m not getting carpal tunnel from all that insane clicking and B) I don’t want to sit and actively play the game every time I start it up. Idle-build takes the ‘clicking’ out of Clicker Heroes and allows you to continue to progress up through the levels and earn gold while you’re cooking, cleaning, napping, playing with the grand kid, … whatever you need to do, you can game and do it at the same time. My ancients are for Idle-build.
Here’s the ancients I had Friday morning and their levels:
(Ancients with no max level)
- Argaiv- lvl 570
- Chronos- lvl 3
- Iris- lvl 4
- Libertas- lvl 500
- Mammon- lvl 430
- Mimzee- lvl 440
- Morgulis- lvl 10,500
- Siyalatas- lvl 560
- Soloman- lvl 300
(Ancients with a max level, all maxed)
- Atman- lvl 25
- Bubos- lvl 25
- Dogcog- lvl 25
- Dora- lvl 50
- Fortuna- lvl 40
- Khrysos- lvl 10
- Kumawakamaru- lvl 5
- Revolc- lvl 15
I was happy with these ancients and their levels and was working on gaining more hero souls and debating if I wanted to try and get past level 1609 to earn another gild for Atlas. I had, I think, 151 gilds in him? I got to wondering about Terra and when I should move my gilds from Atlas to her so I hit Google. I saw a post from someone whose ancients and levels very nearly matched mine save for Iris. His Iris was high 90s where mine was lvl 4. So I bumped Iris up to lvl *105 and went about finishing up my run so I could ascend.
Some ancients help you earn more gold in Idle-build. Some up your chances of getting treasure chests (gold payout is MUCH higher with chests than regular mobs). Some increase the number of primal spawns, some increase your gilded DPS, … they all have a purpose, a use which gives you reason to level them up. Morgulis, for instance, is a DPS bank, so to speak, that gives additive DPS. I don’t know what additive DPS means so I haven’t put much into him. Iris was another ancient I didn’t understand. The tooltip for Iris said something like ‘+4 after ascension’. Plus four what?? I didn’t know and had regretted buying her, but seeing that one guy have his Iris up so high, I thought, ‘I should, too!’.
And that’s how I made my game completely unplayable.
When you ascend in Clicker Heroes you start over at level 1, only you have hero souls as added DPS bonuses. You do get to keep your ancients and gilded hero levels but you have to earn your heroes and progress through your (world) levels again. It sounds almost banal but, trust me, it’s not. It’s exciting to ascend and you find you’re making your way through again faster than you did before. You want to go faster, longer, earn more hero souls every time you ascend but, after leveling up Iris to 101 I didn’t go at all. I broke Idle mode and started clicking but, nothing. I couldn’t even budge the health bar on the mob. Worried my game was broken I looked up and saw that I was on level 105. That’s when I realized what Iris and her “+4” had meant.
Since I’d leveled her to *105 I had started at level 105 after ascending instead of level 1.
I was sick to my stomach. You can’t “unlevel” an ancient (meaning, just one ancient). I couldn’t kill anything. I was stuck. The only way to fix it, that I knew of, was to respec my ancients. That means I get my hero souls back and then buy all my ancients again and level them back up. The catch is that you’re penalized 25%. You only get back 75% of your hero souls when you respec.
I only lost, best I can tell, around 167,000 hero souls but, man, that blows. I generally ascend for 80-90K hero souls. I can get that in a couple of hours by sitting with the game for most of the first 42 minutes (I insta-kill Atlas to level 1500) and then check back every little bit to level up my heroes when I see progression mode is off (meaning, when I’m stuck on a level and not progressing higher). The good thing about sitting with the game so long today after I rebuilt my ancients is that I’m only 12 rubies away from buying another ascension pack from the store.
This is where I am currently as of the time I closed the game. Screenshot was taken at the 1 hour 57 minute mark so I’m feeling a little better about Friday’s catastrophe, but I still need to build my hero souls back up by a TON! Next ascension will be number 100 for me which earns and achievement and another 5% DPS bonus (I hope). Thinking about logging in now and doing that just for the bonus.
Moral of the long story here is this: Know your ancients and what they do BEFORE you level them up. Here’s a handy-dandy link to the Clicker Heroes Wikia page on Ancients. You can thank me later.
*I’m assuming I leveled Iris up to level 105 because that’s where I was stuck, immediately, after ascending. I didn’t really pay that much attention to the exact number of levels she had.