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Video Game / Arena of Valor

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Not pictured: DC Comics Superheroes.

Tencent Games has gotten its own success story in creating Honor of Kings. They also had plans to release it internationally, but there's one problem: Honor of Kings has an overly Chinese feel, it might not click well with the international players that might not know Chinese history as much as Chinese people.

Their solution is to create a twin game that will never be released in mainland China to not disrupt Honor of Kings, but released everywhere else, with different designs that probably cater more to international fans, from the gritty Western designs (it helps that around the time, they received copyrights from the acquired Garena, who previously had acquired the rights for S2 Games/Frostburn Studios which had a very Western-designed Heroes of Newerth) to some cutesy and beautiful ones that would cater well to non-mainland China, Japan or other Asian countries (only a few Chinese design remains). They had to decide for a new name too. First they tried Realm of Valor, but then changed it into Strike of Kings... but in the end, they settled with Arena of Valor.

Most of the general MOBA traits from Honor of Kings apply here as well.

The story takes place in a fictional world called Athanor, a Fantasy Kitchen Sink where humans coexist with varying races and having different technological advances depending on the region, thus steampunk and medieval settings coexist together. Eventually, it was discovered that the world was created thanks to the power of a set of artifacts called Andura Stones, which may grant incredible progress and power to whoever use them. Inversely, there are also the Dark Andura Stones, the opposite which granted all those but with great drawback, mostly corruption. Research and argument about what to do with the stones erupt into various conflict that continue to ravage Athanor from many sides for days to come. The character page also provides the factions that form up the setting within Athanor.

Of course, much like every other MOBA, these stories have no bearing within the game, they only provide background story.

There are several Guest Fighter from varying places, as noted below.

Thanks to the analog-based control and the fast-paced nature of the game, Arena of Valor would eventually receive a port on Nintendo Switch, making it the first mobile MOBA to receive a console port. All things considered, Tencent's actions (along with the success of Honor of Kings) would finally convince Riot Games that there is potential in the mobile devices, that they eventually agreed to port their game into mobile, titled League of Legends: Wild Rift.

For the Chinese version, see Honor of Kings. Compare with its rival game Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.

Arena of Valor provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptational Ugliness: Played Straight, downplayed and averted:
    • The Honor of Kings counterpart of Azzen'ka, an abominable faceless sand wraith, is Zhenji, a stunning beauty who controls water (probably best known for her appearance in Dynasty Warriors games).
    • The original counterpart of Kriknak, a deadly, scary giant beetle, is... Nakoruru.
    • Downplayed with Honor of Kings's edition of Mai Shiranui, one of video games' most known Ms. Fanservice. She is adapted into Raz, a fierce human fighter who is definitely not a Bishōnen, but at least looks wicked rugged enough to avoid being completely ugly.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: Downplayed. Honor of Kings has a lot of super cute designs for their heroes. Arena of Valor has a more 'western', less-cutesy design, but doesn't go overboard with gore or scowling faces. New faces, however, tends to go for more anime-style, following the example of another Chinese-based game that blew in popularity, Genshin Impact.
  • Angelic Beauty: Lauriel, known as the Archangel, is a beautiful blonde angel with Stripperiffic outfit.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Purchases can be done anywhere in the map, while there's no fog of war and wards for you to worry about (but enter the bushes at your own risk, or shopping in a place where you're exposed and can be beaten down while browsing shop)
  • Anti-Grinding: Carrying over from Honor of Kings, you are not allowed to gain more golds than 3500 golds via battle per week. However, this doesn't include daily/weekly rewards.
  • The Armies of Heaven: The religious Veda faction houses battle-ready demigods ready to descend from their equivalent of heaven (Mt. Orphean) and face off the invading forces of Lokheim. Two of their members are also angels (Lauriel and Xeniel).
  • Asian Fox Spirit: Liliana, an elegant Nine-Tailed Fox who can be a magic-slinging girl or turning into a literal fox slashing through her enemy. She also has a Kumiho skin, as a Shout-Out to the other more known MOBA Nine Tailed Fox Ahri.
  • Badass Normal: As usual, Batman. In the face of supernatural powers? Magic? Exotic weapons? Bruce Wayne just needs a few of his Batarangs and a hook to the face (and some stealthy skill) to kick ass.
  • Big Red Devil: Maloch has this design and this also set him up as the Big Bad overall... until Volkath came along and turned it into a Triumvirate (with Veera).
  • Bilingual Bonus: Knowing Bahasa Indonesia (and some of its slangs) will make you understand what Wiro Sableng is saying. Likewise, knowing Japanese will make you understand what Bloodthirst Ryoma and Sakura Fubuki Airi is saying.
  • Black Magic: There is a focus on actual corruptive black magic in the series. It comes from the dark Andura Stones and holds great power, but also causes the corruption of the mind. For this, the human nations and Veda agree to put a permanent ban on it and persecute anyone who tries to use it openly. Still, there are some heroes who willingly use it in all its corruptive glory: Lorion and Iggy. They're villainous.
  • Captain Ersatz:
    • A lot of heroes' design bear a lot of similarities with some heroes and skins from Heroes of Newerth as Tencent owned the current owner of Newerth IP (Garena) thus the designs and assets were used to differentiate with Honor of Kings, although they play differently. For example, Thane does not play like Jeraziah despite looking similar (helmeted knight with sword and shield). On the bright side, Tencent gave a much needed quality update to the designs in AoV (as the Newerth models look horribly outdated).
    • The Dark Slayer, before its current more draconic wyrm design, was designed to be more golem-ish and before that, looking like a chained gorilla. This was because Tencent used the Newerth IP for its design, using Heroes of Newerth's Optional Boss Kongor for it.
  • Casting Gag: The Japanese side saw Elsu, then sees that he's a middle-aged sniper. They decided to call in Shin-ichiro Miki who has a record in voicing sniper characters, usually in giant robots to dub him. (And sure enough, Elsu has some robot-based skins)
  • Conlang: The Ancient Veda Language, spoken by all characters (usually after spawning from death) even by those from Lokheim, which is spoken aside of the usual English. For this endeavor, Tencent hired the linguist David J. Peterson who has done this job in various films that needed a fictional language. The language is split into four types and you can identify where the characters belong with how they speak the language:
    • Veda language for Veda and Light Chaser heroes.
    • Lokheim language for Lokheim heroes.
    • Afata language for Afata heroes.
    • 'Human' language (different from normal English, derived from the aforementioned Ancient Veda language) for the rest of the human heroes (Norman Kingdom, Dragon Kingdom, Federation of Free, etc)
  • Crossover:
    • Several skins are collaboration skins with Honor of Kings, in which the AOV hero receives the same skin of their direct counterpart from that game. Thus far, the hero pairs that got the collaboration skins are Violet-Sun Shangxiang, Lauriel-Diao Chan, Diao Chan-Wang Zhaojun, Elsu-Baili Shouyue, and one deviation from the rule: Yorn-Hou Yinote 
    • After lending Allain to Honor of Kings, a hero there enters Athanor as a regular roster too: Ming Shiyin.
  • Cultural Translation: The majority of Honor of Kings heroes were heavily based on Chinese culture, so when it became Arena of Valor, they had to redesign to be less exclusively on China. Wukong, Lu Bu and Diao Chan were so far the only Chinese characters left (and even only Wukong retains his own moveset), and exclusively in the Japanese version, Zanis is literally named Chou'un/Zhao Yun. Thus far, the differing cultures touched upon are:
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Coming from Vainglory would be a harsh experience to get used to this game because of the different movement control scheme in general.
  • Darker and Edgier: While not as dark as Dark Fantasy works out there, the situation in Athanor is much more tense compared to Honor of Kings. Athanor has faced demonic invasion no less than twice, a majority of the religious angelic orders tend to be nasty, and then there are seriously evil people that has at least threatened the well-being of Athanor overall at least once (Lorion and the Dark Den, and Mganga if given a chance). Despite adding more lighthearted, anime-ish heroes later, the tense situation does not get any lighter.
  • Expy: Diao Chan here is pretty much a mobile version of Crystal Maiden, since her offensive skills were pretty much like Crystal Maiden's (although her freeze is AOE). The exception is that Diao Chan lacks a Brilliance Aura (increase in mana regeneration), but makes it up with her Passive that lets her deal more damage to frozen enemies.
    • Almost all of the AoV characters are copies of the Honor of Kings characters, although Wukong is the only character that stayed intact. HOK!Diao Chan's skillset was given to Lauriel, while Diao Chan herself is using the ice set from Wang Zhao Jun (which also made her an Expy of Crystal Maiden above), with a little tweak (her ultimate is closer to Crystal Maiden's while Wang Zhao Jun doesn't channel and can target somewhere else aside of at the center of herself). HOK!Lu Bu's skillset was given to Maloch, while Lu Bu ironically used the skillset that belonged to Cao Cao.
    • Another weird case would be the two spearmen Zanis and Zephys. Zanis is the traditional honorable spearman while Zephys is the evil sadistic spearman. Zephys' skillset was taken from Honor of Kings's rendition of Zhao Yun, whose personality is more like Zanis. While Zanis' skillset was taken from Honor of Kings's rendition of... Dian Wei, who looked rather sinister and kind of demonic, which is more in line with Zephys. The Japanese version, however, literally named Zanis as Zhao Yun, so they're treating him like both Lu Bu and Diao Chan.
  • Guest Fighter: This game collaborates with other franchises for skins. Previously, there were full-blown collaboration heroes, but as time passes, due to contract issues, a lot of them are turned into skins, leaving only Wiro Sableng as the only collaboration hero.
  • Invisibility: Only a few heroes have this mechanic, Batman (later Kaine) being one of them. And you almost had no way to reveal them since there is no ward... except if you lure them near your tower... or you're Lindis.
  • Jerkass Gods: Ilumia, despite being the Goddess of Light (or people came to believe as such due to her powers), is rather self-righteous and can be rather nasty on a whim.
  • Killed Off for Real: Peura/Payna is killed off and her kit is inherited to Helen. It's one of the rare cases in a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena that a character can get inflicted with this trope.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: This game doesn't have just one hero with this design, but three: Arthur, Thane and Astrid. All three specialize as tanky warriors.
  • The Legions of Hell: The Lokheim faction. They live in a barren, hellish landscape located on the southern parts of Athanor. Most of its members have been corrupted with the Dark Andura Stone and they willingly serve the Dark Lord, Volkath, to fulfill his vision of an Athanor conquered by him.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Temple of Light contains several characters that aren't morally sound despite their epithet being the bearers of light. Ilumia is a prime example, being revered as the Goddess of Light, and yet could be really selfish and power-hungry. Another is Gildur, who's decked in and able to create shiny gold things, but is also power hungry. While they still fight the force of darkness under Maloch, they're really morally grey. However, the Temple of Light also had genuinely good people like Lauriel, Xeniel and Jinnar.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Superman. He has a speed steroid and when he flies, whenever he strikes, he zips into the enemy in a quick speed. And he hits like a truck even on normal attack alone. There's a good reason why he's often sitting in the top of the tier list.
  • Male Might, Female Finesse: If a Honor of Kings male warrior hero is ported here as a female warrior hero, expect that their Tank sub-class is replaced with Assassin sub-class, and their animations (and sometimes skill traits) are retooled to put more emphasis in finesse. Examples involve:
    • Kainote  into Amilynote .
    • Dharmanote  into Qinote 
  • The Mole: Lore-wise, Raz looks like he defected to the Fallen faction while in truth he's spying on the behalf of Thane.
  • Monkey King Lite: The Wukong here used to be the real deal, as his lore picked him up right after his ascension to Buddhahood. However, as the lore gets updated, Wukong's profile is due to a rework that will make him more of a native of Athanor than plucked out from his Journey to the West.
  • Moveset Clone: Heroes ported from Honor of Kings has similar skillset, but Tencent inserts some minor tweaks (or changes one skill) in order to make them not too similar. For example: Superman's freeze breath has two charges and only covers those in front of him. For the same skill, Guan Yu only has 1 charge but it deals more damage and also covers his behind.
  • Ms. Fanservice: There are a lot of ladies that are reasonably very attractive with provoking clothes to go. Diao Chan, Lauriel, Veera, Natalya, Tel'Annas come to mind. Mina is fully clothed, but has super skin tight clothes to make up for it. Then there's Qi and her giant bouncy knockers on a tight vest...
  • Naginatas Are Feminine: Inverted. The naginata user is the rugged and manly man, even by Japanese standards, Ryoma. There is an effeminate Japanese-style Dude Looks Like a Lady like Tachi... and he's the one wielding katana.
  • Nature Hero: The majority of the heroes belonging to the Afata/Forest of Shadows are basically protectors of the forest which was threatened by the evil forces of The Fallen.
  • Nature Is Not Nice: Afata heroes are not all sweet and nice tree-huggers. It also houses several terrifying beasts that are eager to rip you in half in the name of nature (or sometimes other reasons), like Kil'Groth, Zill or Cresht.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The Flash is designated as a Mage, but make no mistake, he didn't learn sorcery. It's just that his Super-Speed-based fighting prowess makes him more suited for a mage-like skill set. After his rework into Assassin, this is averted.
  • Progressively Prettier: Thanks to Tencent evolving their art style further as time goes, some heroes' updates look less of a character from gritty medieval setting, but more of an anime-inspired e-boy/girl character. Chief examples as of the late April update include Arthur, Zephys, Tel'Annas, Aleister and Veera. (Roxie and Krixi also got updates, but they're already 'cute' and 'less gritty' in the first place so it's not too much)
  • Science Hero: The characters that used scientifically advanced weapons like a mini-mecha, lightning gun, sniper rifle, etc in the middle of the majorly medieval setting with Gods, Knights, Demons and Magics all hail from Federation of Free. Including heroes like Elsu, Moren, Max, Brunhilda amongst others.
  • Skill Gate Character: The essential Warrior-Archer-Mage given on early players are Arthur, Tel'Annas and Krixi and both of them were pretty basic for their classes and positions. Valhein will be given later as an extra Archer, and then Zanis will usually be your first free Jungler. And usually, after several consecutive logins early after registering, you're given the baby's first support: Alice.
  • Succubi and Incubi: Veera, a succubus that shares the leader throne of The Fallen with Maloch, and later shares together with Volkath.
  • Superboss:
    • Kraydus the Abyssal Dragon starts out weak, but over time will get stronger and in 10 minutes, will be replaced with a more powerful version of itself (Enraged Kraydus). Beating it yields a buff that will enhance your hero depending on their class and a buff that will make the whole team more durable against...
    • The Dark Slayer is a major boss that might require more than one hero to take down. Beating it gives you a whole team buff and the privilege to summon Slayer, a special siege monster that can take out towers quick and safe out of the towers' range (but will still go down if ganged up by heroes).
  • You Will Not Evade Me: Grakk's Devil Chain is the token MOBA 'Hook' skill. Get used to hiding behind the creeps whenever you're laning with him.
    • Wonder Woman's Lasso of Truth will have this effect as well, depending on your HP. She will approach you if you get hit while having above 50% HP, otherwise she drags you to her.