Arkana Basics

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Arkana Basics

Post by Bengal_Tigger on Sun May 07, 2017 12:58 pm

The Project

Arkana dates back to 2005, as a custom map in Warcraft 3.  It is now a standalone project in Unity that SuaVe and I work on as a passion project.  The game is currently in Alpha.  We run tests Sunday afternoons and (currently) Monday nights.  Please join us, or message me to find out how else you can get involved!

General Gameplay

Arkana is a 4v4 MOBA.  The current map has two lanes and a small jungle -- the plan is likely to have a larger two-lane map at some point in the future.  The basic premise of a MOBA is that you play a single hero, and work together with your team to kill the enemy team's creeps that spawn in each lane (and ideally the enemy heroes as well), letting your character become stronger until your team is able to push into the enemy base and take down their main structure.  Heroes gain both experience and gold ("Soul" in Arkana) which lets them gain levels and talents to boost their stats and develop new abilities.

Arkana has a few unique twists -- hero swapping, shields, and talents being among them.  See below for more!

Hero Swapping

Instead of choosing one hero, you choose TWO.  You only play one at a time, though, and swap between the heroes tag-team style.  By pressing TAB, your second hero will instantly swap in to the same location your first hero was at.  He comes in with the same hit points (percentage), shield percentage, experience, and talents.  So you don't get a brand new health bar to work with.  Rather, it's as if your hero transformed into the other one.  You do get a brand new set of abilities, however -- each hero has their own spells.  Those spells will continue to cool down regardless of which hero is currently active.

There are a few other tactical benefits to swapping heroes, beyond gaining access to your second ability set.  For one, swapping will dispel most negative (and some positive) buffs affecting you.  For example, if your hero has been trapped in entangling roots that prevent her from moving, swapping will eliminate those roots; the new hero comes in unencumbered by such effects.

Additionally, swapping will dodge projectiles currently locked on to your hero.  For example, if I shoot a fireball at your character that follows you ("targeted") (as opposed to shooting it at the ground near you), swapping will cause the fireball to lose its target and fizzle out.  This fits the logic of the new hero coming in unencumbered.  However, if the fireball is a ground-targeted ability, the new hero will swap into the same patch of ground and get hit just the same as the old one would have.

Swap has a 6 second cooldown.  (We are currently experimenting with an 8 second option as well.)  Thus, fights are fast-paced and involve frequent swaps to both avoid harmful magic or attacks, and make use of both heroes' abilities.


Spells in Arkana do not cost mana.  Instead, they are limited by their cooldowns.  This means you can cast freely when your spells are up, but be careful, as your opponents may be able to punish you while your spells are cooling down.

However, you'll notice a second bar above your hero's head.  The green bar is hit points.  The blue bar is SHIELD.  Your shield absorbs damage, offering some protection from your spell-spamming opponents.

Shield absorbs 80% of incoming damage.  The remaining 20% goes through to your hit points.  (If your hit points reach zero, you die!)  Shield works against almost any damage you taken, although certain special abilities deal their damage straight to hit points.

If you get low on shield, play safe!  Your shield will regenerate rapidly if you avoid taking damage for 8 seconds.  Being hit resets that timer.  Shield control is a major part of lane play in Arkana.


Talents are like your items!  Press "X" to open up the talent pane, and spend your Soul on whatever suits your fancy.  You can shop from anywhere -- no need to be in base.

Most talent purchases come with several "Perk Points."  These let you customize the stat bonuses you want on your character.  You allocate them on the lower half of the talent pane, into Guardian, Combat or Magic.  Guardian points increase your hit points and shield.  Combat increases your attack damage and attack speed.  Magic increases your spellpower.

Don't forget to buy Talents with your hard-earned Soul, and don't forget to spend your Perk Points!


The game ends when one team kills the enemy Base Tower (will be a boss eventually), but also ends when one team achieves the necessary score.  This total is equal to 250 times the number of players, so for example in a 2v2 the first team to 500 wins.

You get +1 point for a creep kill.
You get +20 points for a hero kill, and the dying hero's team loses 5 points.
You get +30 points for a tower kill.

The score is shown at the top during the game (Blue Team - Red Team), but if you want more detailed information about how the game is going, press ~ to open the HUD.


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