Fair warning, this will be quite a lengthy post. As whilst it might seem a pretty straightforward concept, there’s actually a lot to consider when leveling your DFK Hero NFTs. If you’re looking for something in particular regarding hero leveling, please use the quick links below. If this is your first time here and want to read all of it, make sure you’re sat comfortably and have some coffee nearby.
A Quick Reference Guide
What the Stats are Supposed to Do
How Much XP You Need to Level Up
Why You Should Level Your Heroes
How The Leveling Process Works
The Cost of Leveling Up
The Use of Attunement Crystals in the Leveling Process
What To Consider When Leveling Your Heroes
A Quick Reference Guide
Okay, so you might not have time to read a full guide and just want to be told which stats to select for each of your heroes. And you know what? That’s okay. So, here it is:
This basic chart was put together by general consensus of the people who spend a good amount of time debating the Hero NFTs of DFK. The recommended choices here are, as the chart suggests, purely recommendations. You won’t go too far wrong if you follow the suggestions above, but they aren’t the only way to level a hero.
An even quicker way to know which stats to pick that doesn’t require checking an infographic is just flip the card over and check out the Growth Stats:
Each Hero Class has its own strengths and weaknesses. The Primary Growth Stats of a Hero Class represent which stats a hero is supposed to be strong in. So in the case above, I’d pick Wisdom, Intelligence and probably Vitality for this hero. You don’t even need to know what class it is to make this choice as you just pick the highest numbers. I’ll go more into choosing between which is selected as the main stat selection and Gaia’s Blessing stats later.
If you want to know more about leveling heroes so that you can make your own decisions, read on…
What the Stats Are Supposed to Do
The Official Docs (see here) has a pretty good breakdown of the different stats and how they were provisionally planned to operate for the Hero NFTs when they were conceived. This may not be the exact interpretation we see in Combat as since this was created a third party developer – Wisdom Studios – was brought in to work on PVP, so there might be some tweaks here and there. Here’s the original breakdown:
Hit Points (HP)
Hit Points is the measure of how alive a hero is. If they become injured, they will need to rest or use potions to recover HP. If this goes to 0, the hero can become exhausted, or worse…
Mana Points (MP)
Mana Points are used to cast spells and use skills. When this reaches zero, the hero can no longer use spells or skills until they use a potion.
Stamina is used to perform quests. If the hero has no stamina, they must rest naturally (1 stamina recovered every 20 minutes) or apply a Stamina Potion to restore 25 Stamina.
Strength adds a multiplier to various actions, especially physical attacks and skills.
Dexterity plays a lesser role in defense, and modifies attack damage from certain weapons.
Agility determines the time between a hero’s actions in combat. It also plays a role in evasion.
Vitality is the primary stat that impacts HP growth, and has added benefits to recovering from certain debuffs.
Endurance adds to defense, and increases debuff resistance.
Intelligence adds a multiplier to various actions, especially skills and magic, and modifies magic evasion. This stat also plays into how much MP is gained when leveling up.
Adds a multiplier to magic attacks and skills and increases magic defense. This stat also plays into how much MP is gained when leveling up (to a lesser extent than INT).
The higher a hero’s luck, the more likely it is for a hero to land a critical strike. Luck also slightly increases chances to get rare items and plays a small role in evasion.
How Much XP You Need to Level Up
The amount of XP you need to level up follows a non-linear rate of progression for the hero levels we’ve seen so far. Data available at this point is regarding levels 1-20, and how much XP you need to achieve per level is detailed below. Note, XP is non-accumulative, so you start each new level at zero XP. Below is a list of the amout of XP you need to hit each new level:
Why You Should Level Your Heroes
DFK is one of those games where there’s always more than one way to play. Some people choose not to level their heroes up, others just don’t really see the point. The mantra I go by is “always level your heroes up, always” – because to me, it makes more sense to do that.
Before I go in to why, the only reason I’ve seen for people not leveling their heroes that even comes close to being a good excuse is those who don’t level their heroes because they’re literally just farming runes. They argue that if they spend the runes they find leveling their heroes, that they’re not actually going to get as good an ROI on their heroes. This is why sometimes you’ll see Level 1 heroes with a Profession Score of 10 and above – they are constantly questing, but not spending their runes. Some people don’t want to play DFK, they just want to farm from it. Horses for courses, and all that. I still think that long term they’ll lose out, but that’s their choice.
The price of a “floor hero” varies. The term “floor” can be applied to any aspect of a hero – from class, rarity or level all the way through to specific visual attributes such as Back Appendage or Hair Style. It’s basically what the lowest price is for a hero out of the total number of heroes on the market that share a specific quality. For eggsample, there’s a floor price for Rare Dragoons, or a floor price for heroes that have Butterfly Wings as a back appendage, etc. But, generally speaking, a “floor hero” without qualifiers is generally a Level 1, Common, Basic Hero, usually with mismatched stats (Main Class Stats that don’t align with professions, which is a very shortsighted take but comes).
The cost of a floor hero varies, depending on the demand for heroes and the availability of them. Regardless of the cost of the floor, the best way to increase the value of a hero relative to the floor is to improve it through leveling. The higher the level of the Hero, the more value it holds. The higher the stats of a Hero, the more value it holds. The higher the stats of a Hero, the more loot it will find and the higher the ROI will become.
We know that for Profession Quests the effectiveness of a hero is split, with 2/3rds being based on the Profession Score of a Hero and 1/3rd being based on the Associated Stats:
We don’t yet know, however, to what degree the Profession Score or Associated Stats affect the drop rates in Profession Quests. But a Hero with higher Associated Stats will return more loot on average than a Hero with lower Associated Stats. Presently, the only way to increase a Hero’s Stats is during the Leveling Up process.
Ultimately though, Profession Questing was always going to be a very small part of DFK with PVE and PVP planned long-term. So basing your decisions exclusively around the ROI of profession questing is ultimately a very short-sighted approach. Some PVE content and some quests will only be available to Heroes above a certain level. The higher the level of a hero, the higher the stats of a hero, the more useful it will be in the future. And the more value it will hold. So really, if you’re in DFK for the long-haul and hero ROI is something you’re interested in (and you should be), then level up your heroes – even if it means taking small hits on runes to achieve better heroes.
How the Leveling Process Works
There are three ways to know if your Hero is ready to Level Up:
1. Your Hero’s XP bar will be full on the hero card
2. You’ll get this message on the completion of a quest on the summary screen
3. When visiting the Esoteric Wanderer at the Meditation Circle (found on the map or in the menu), when you ‘Enter the Circle’, your hero will be highlighted if they’re at Full XP. You can then select them to begin the process if they’re not on a quest at the time.
Once you’ve selected a Hero to level up, the process comes down to this:
You’re choosing which hero to level up, which stat you want a guaranteed level and which two other chances you want a bonus chance to get. It’ll then tell you the price in Runes and the realm’s Power Token (i.e. Crystal on Crystalvale).
For every level up process, the ONLY stat you’re guaranteed to level up is the “stat bonus” at the top, where I’ve selected Wisdom in this instance. This means you could end the level up with just a +1 in total as everything else is RNG (except for some instances of Attunement Crystal use, but more on that later). It’s very, very rare for anyone to get just a +1 in a single stat for a level up process though, so feel free to feel seen off if this happens to you – it’s just unlucky RNG. The consensus is that anything above a six is okay, everything below a six is unlucky and everything over a 10 is a pretty good day at the office.
Once you’ve made your choices, the mechanics of Leveling Up work like this:
1. All eight stats are given an initial “roll” – a chance of having a +1 based on the probability of the Primary Growth Stats. These are based on your hero’s Primary Class (in this case, a Pirate). So in the example above, Dexterity had the highest chance of success in the first column (1) as it was 72% likely to have a +1. Wisdom and Intelligence had the lowest probability of success as they were just 20% likely to hit a +1. But, RNG being what it is, Dexterity missed and Wisdom hit a +1.
2. All eight stats are then given a second “roll”, this time based on the Secondary Growth Stats, which are based on your Hero’s subclass. In this case, the subclass was a Priest and so for the second roll the most likely stat to be successful was Wisdom at 20% (which it hit again) and the least likely was Strength at 7.5% (which missed). This also highlights the important of having a matching or aligned subclass on your hero as it means you’re more likely to level up on stats that are relevant to your hero’s primary class. But that’s for another post entirely. For a full list of Growth Stats per Hero Class, see below:
As mentioned in the infographic, Subclasses on Heroes are responsible for the Secondary Growth Stats and these figures are set at 25% of whatever they would be as the Primary Growth Stats.
3. As mentioned, you’re guaranteed a +1 on the main stat you chose as part of the process. Choose wisely as this might be the only +1 you get!
4. Whereas the first two rolls are based on the probability dictated by the primary and secondary growth stats, this fourth roll has a 50% chance to hit the two stats you chose regardless of what the growth stats are.
5. Rarity can affect what a hero’s AVERAGE level up is, but doesn’t affect probabilities in the first four rolls. Every five levels, Heroes that are Uncommon or above get Rarity Bonuses as follows:
+1 to two random, mutually exclusive stats
+1 to three random, mutually exclusive stats
+1 to a random stat (including any that received a bonus already)
+1 to three random, mutually exclusive stats
+1 to two random, mutually exclusive stats (including any that received a bonus already)
+2 to a random stat (including any that received a bonus already)
The best-case scenario with a Legendary Hero would give you a +4 upgrade for one stat, +2 for a different stat and +1 for another stat.
For example: You get +4 AGI, +2 LCK and +1 DEX. This is the best-case scenario as you maxed out the potential increase for each stat.
+2 to three random, mutually exclusive stats
+1 to three random, mutually exclusive stats (including any that received a bonus already)
+1 to a random stat (including any that received a bonus already)
The best-case scenario with a Mythic Hero would give you a +4 upgrade for one stat, then +3 for two other stats.
For example: You get +4 STR, +3 END and +3 VIT. This is once again the best-case scenario.
6. Your Health (HP) and Mana (HP) will also improve as part of the leveling process. These stats will be especially important for the PVE and PVP part of the game and will affect your hero’s resilience and effectiveness in fighting. Refer to the above infographic for which classes rely on HP or MP the most based on how large or how likely their increases are likely to be based on their Growth Stats. Basically Casters/Healers will require higher MP and Tanks will require higher HP, to massively oversimplify.
7. Every time your hero levels up to an even level it will also add one to the total stamina. More stamina means more quest attempts and will have eventual use in combat.
8. Not mentioned on the infographic above (as there’s only so much room for information) is the Skill Point that you earn for every level up. Each type of hero has its own unique skill trees that you’ll be able to spend points on with up to 30 skills for each class. The higher the level of your Hero, the more skill points it will have and the higher up/further across the skill tree you’ll be able to select abilities for your hero. Picking these wisely will be a strategical decision based on a much deeper understanding of PVE/PVP, which will be covered elsewhere on this website.
9. Also not mentioned on the infographic above is the affect that the tier of hero class (Basic, Advanced, Elite and Transcendent) will affect how many stats your hero is likely to improve by in each level. This too is determined by a Hero’s Growth Stats (illustrated above), with higher classes of heroes having higher growth stats (and thus more likely to improve), which is just one reason why the higher classes of heroes are inherently worth more than the basic classes of heroes.
The Cost of Leveling Up Your Heroes
Leveling up costs Runes and Power Tokens (such as Crystal in CV), and optionally Attunement Crystals (more on that later). The obligatory costs are listed on the infographic below (featured earlier):
Historically, people have found they can make a bit of Jewel (the original Power Token in Serendale whilst SD was on the Harmony blockchain) by selling the Runes they find on quests. Which, when it comes to paying for leveling up, means there’s often a shortage. So we see heroes capped out on XP just questing for the sake of questing. Personally, I’ve found that by not selling Runes I get from questing, I find more than enough to cover the costs of leveling all my heroes. And the quest loot comfortably covers the additional Jewel/Crystal/other power token costs of leveling up the heroes, with loot and liquidity to spare. By achieving a net gain overall whilst continuing to level up my heroes, which are all gaining or improving their value/capability as a result, the cost of leveling up heroes basically pays for itself.
The one caveat to that is that there aren’t many Moksha Runes about yet. They have a ridiculously low drop rate in the L0PQs, so people who are ahead of the curve and pushing their Heroes through 11-20 (mostly likely with stam potions) will find that they have to incur small expenses to continue to level their heroes. But, given how much more valuable the Heroes become as a result, they would each argue that this too is a worthwhile expense, even if it does, on paper, reduce a Hero’s ROI. Got to think bigger picture, y’all.
The Use of Attunement Crystals in the Leveling Process
Attunement Crystals are in-game items that you can apply during the Leveling Up Process to improve or to increase your chances of improving your heroes. Let me cast you back to the screen grab I shared earlier:
If you’re lucky enough to have some of these crystals (which you can earn in-game either through the Level 1 Training Quests, or by winning raffles with the Raffle Master, or sometimes as prizes in one-off events), you have the option of using them at this point.
They apply a temporary, single-use boost to your Growth Stats that determine how likely your Hero is to increase their stats during that specific level-up process. So in the example above, the Summoner I used has a native 85% chance to boost its Intelligence during the initial Primary Stat roll. With the help of this Lesser Attunement (WIT) Crystal, that number goes up to a 90% chance of leveling up during that process. It also boosts the Secondary Growth Stat for Intelligence by 15%, as per the associated bonuses of that particular crystal. For all Attunement Crystal bonuses, see below:
Unless you’re fortunate enough to find enough Lesser Attunement Crystals by partaking in the Training Quests (and nobody is THAT fortunate), in order to use a Lesser Attunement Crystal for every Hero, for every Level Up… let’s have a look at the cost.
At the time of writing, the average cost of a Lesser Attunement Crystal is about 5 $Crystal. So, if you were to use a Lesser Attunement Crystal every time your Hero leveled up, that’s going to set you back $500 Crystal (as Heroes can be leveled up to Level 100). Even accepting that this cost would be spread out over a long time, what would that actually achieve?
The Lesser variants of these Crystals give an extra 5% chance to a single stat as part of a Primary Growth Stat roll, and 15% as part of the Secondary Growth Stat roll. So over 100 processes, that’s just an extra probable +20 (with wiggle room for RNG, obvs). Which effectively means you’re paying circa 25 $Crystal per extra +1 you get for your hero.
The standard variants of these crystals give +10% and +30%, which means over 100 levels that’s an extra probably +40 in stats (allowing for RNG). With the standard variants of Attunement Crystals being considerably more expensive at an average 30C, costing 3,000 Crystal over 100 levels meaning each +1 costs 75 Crystal.
The Greater variants are ridiculously priced atm at 80 $Crystal, meaning if you used a Greater Attunement Crystal at every level up from the first to the last you’re looking at 8,000 $Crystal. At an RNG-permitting +60 in stats, that’s 133 $Crystal per +1. Crazy.
Obviously the cost of these Attunement Crystals will change over time, with higher tier quests coming in making the more advanced versions of these Crystals more readily available (and thus driving down price long-term), I simply mean to illustrate that they’re a pretty damned expensive way of trying to improve your heroes.
But, that’s not to say you shouldn’t use them. More, it’s about prioritising their use based on the Heroes and crystals that you have. Budget is a big part of it as well – anyone who says that DFK isn’t pay-to-win is lying. Yes, it’s still play-to-earn, but big wallets have a big advantage. And how you prioritise is an individual decision.
For instance, somebody with a bunch of heroes ranging from common up to mythic would probably prioritise improving their mythic heroes with crystals to maximise the value of their most valuable assets. Somebody with just a handful of common heroes would choose to spend whatever Attunement Crystals they had on the common heroes they had.
Similarly, some people might prioritise by class of hero, preferring to invest in their Advanced or Elite class heroes rather than their basics.
Side bar – it’s possible to get a second guaranteed +1 by using an Attunement Crystal if the Hero’s Primary Growth Stat + Attunement Crystal bonus amounts to 100%. So Sages for instance can use a standard Attunement Crystal to guarantee a +1 on the Primary Stat roll of either INT or WIS depending which crystal you use (between a Wit or Insight).
Or you might want to invest in the heroes with the best genes, with some people putting a very strong focus on collecting heroes with Advanced, Elite or Transcendent genes in their Active/Passive skill slots (which are presently hidden attributes you’d need to use a third party tool to see, such as DFK Analytics).
The point is that however you value your heroes, you don’t need to break yourself trying to use an Attunement Crystal during every level up process. They can help boost your top/favourite Heroes but they aren’t at all a requirement. Use ’em if you got ’em, don’t stress if you don’t. At the end of the day, you you use 100 Greater Attunement Crystals and due to RNG you could strike out 100 times, so use them at your own discretion.
The Official DFK Docs covers the exact nature of Atonement Crystals here. Basically, they’re Crystals that were awarded to players whose Heroes were disadvantaged in some manner by in-game technical faults. They give the following bonuses:
The Lesser Atonement Crystal gives a +15 bonus to HP to any Hero that uses it while leveling up.
The (standard) Atonement Crystal will provide a +35 bonus to HP and +10 bonus to MP to any Hero that uses it while leveling up.
The Greater Atonement Crystal provides a +1 bonus to two different random stats, and +1% to the primary growth values and +2% to the secondary growth values of those two selected stats.
Atonement Crystals are a subset of Attunement Crystals and can be used as part of the leveling up process. Each tier of Atonement Crystal can only be used once per hero over their entire lifetime. They’re also issued as one-off items and so won’t be made available again meaning there’s a very limited supply of them. They are tradable, so you can sometimes pick them up at the Trader in the Marketplace. Though, as of 01/10/22 (or 10/01/22 for you American folks) the Greater Atonement Crystals haven’t been issued in-game so aren’t presently available to trade for.
If you were lucky enough to be awarded one of these crystals, or have been astute enough to pick them up at the Trader, this are potentially very good items to use during the level up process. But, they aren’t really necessary for every Hero. For instance, the boost to the HP for the lesser/standard variants is really only useful to Heroes that you intend to use for combat (PVE/PVP) etc. Heroes that you deem to be best suited to profession questing to gather loot and crafting materials probably won’t need an HP boost. Similarly Heroes that are destined to be master crafters probably won’t care how much health they have. But if you’ve got a squad of Heroes you’ve got lined up for PVP, I’d say that both the Lesser and the Standard variants of these crystals are basically essential if you want to try to keep an advantage. Take that with a pinch of salt if you like, but +50HP for using both could be the difference between your Hero surviving or perishing during combat.
What to Consider When Leveling Your Heroes
Well, that’s the Big Money question right there. It’s also the most subjective element of this entire post, so feel free to disagree with the following (or anything subjective I’ve covered in this post previously) but hopefully it’ll give a bit of context. What I will say is that there’s genuinely no single correct answer to this for any kind of Hero – it really depends what it is you’re trying to achieve with each Hero. To have a better idea about how you might want to level your Hero, you need to decide what you want to use that hero for.
Let me say that there’s legitimately no such thing as a bad Hero. Every hero will be a useful hero (if you actually play the game rather than letting the Hero NFT rot in your wallet without ever seeing any action). That said… some Heroes are undoubtedly better than others, and they all have strengths and weaknesses.
It also depends entirely on what other Heroes you have and what YOU want to use the Hero for. What might be to one person a shit fishing Hero might be to somebody else the leader of their PVP death squad. The sweeping generalisation is that PVP will be a case of putting your three best Heroes forward. If your best hero is a common gardening Archer then by all means sharpen those arrows and prepare for battle. However, if your best hero is a Mythic DreadKnight then your common gardening Archer might be better served finding Milkweed to help craft stamina potions to boost your aforementioned Mythic Dreadknight.
I’ll cover assessing a Hero’s potential in another post, but for now let’s assume that there are presently two general categories that you might want to place your Heroes in – Questing or Combat. For the sake of argument, I’m gonna put Duels in the Combat category with PVE/PVP despite knowing that they’ll be worlds apart in actual gameplay.
Profession Questing Heroes
For Heroes you deem to be set for a life Profession Questing, have a look at this chart:
Clearly, some heroes are better at certain professions than others. A DarkKnight for instance is a great natural miner (assuming they have the mining gene) based upon growth stats but a terrible fisher. That said, Heroes that rank low on the above chart for certain professions can still be great at what they do if they have a high Profession Score.
The above chart (or other earlier community generated versions of it at least) represents the reason why people placed such a high priority on Heroes with profession-matching stats. If you can level core stats and profession stats at the same time, your Hero will have greater flexibility in the mid to late game. So a Thief would be a good fisher because they have the following growth stats:
With Luck and Agility being the two stats associated with the Fishing profession, a Thief has a combined Growth Stat score of 135. This means that they’re pretty likely to naturally increase their Luck+Agility when you level them up regardless of what stats you pick in the process. And the higher these stats, the more effective the Hero becomes at their profession.
As part of the leveling up process, it would be an easy choice to pick Agility as the main bonus stat and then Luck as one of the two Gaia’s Blessing stats as a Thief will rely on these two stats the most as they’re the core stats of a Thief. This is an easy pick (I’d chose maybe Vitality as the third choice, because this is a multiplier for future HP gains), because these stats are core stats.
But what about a Wizard fisherman?
A Wizard’s core stats are Intelligence and Wisdom. If I was leveling for class based on Growth stats, I’d pick these two and probably Vitality. But if this Wizard were a fisher, and I’d decided that it was going to live a long and happy life hunting Bloaters… I’d potentially select Luck and Agility as two of the stats I can pick and then maybe Intelligence as the third (as Intelligence is a larger multiplier for MP than Wisdom). Why? Because if this hero is just going to be profession questing, I want to maximise my profession questing returns. Focusing on improving the Intelligence/Wisdom isn’t going to help me in this scenario.
Heroes to use for PVP/Other Combat
This is a little more straightforward, and again your Hero’s Growth Stats are your guide on this one. Every Hero will have strengths and weaknesses and we already know what these will be, at least by way of stats. Some classes are designed to be strong AF (such as the DarkKnight or DreadKnight), whilst others are designed to be healers (such as the Sage and Priest from the OG Hero release).
We know that VIT acts as a multiplier for HP gains, so the higher this stat the better it is for your Hero’s health. This is why a lot of people suggest that there’s a strong argument for selecting Vitality as your third stat choice regardless of hero class.
As a side note, if you’re focusing your three stat choices around your hero’s growth stats, you’d be forgiven for focusing on just one stat as a priority to compete in Duels for raffle tickets. Just try not to end up with too many Heroes that look like this:
As they’ll have limited flexibility and use in combat later on when all a Hero’s stats are factored in to gameplay.
A well-rounded Hero is nothing to be sniffed at either. If you’ve got a hero that excels at three stats, but the rest of their stats are terrible, have another look at their Growth Stats. Are they more than likely to continue to improve their core class stats regardless of what you pick in the leveling process? You might want to consider trying to roll a mid-range growth stat, such as Wisdom on a Paladin:
Wisdom isn’t an insignificant stat on a Paladin but is easy to forget about as there are three even core stats. Throwing a bone to Wisdom every once in a wile probably won’t break your Hero and could come in handy later on. Besides, statistically it’s pretty likely that you’ll see a +1 for STR, VIT and END anyway as part of the Primary Growth Stat roll.
The other thing to consider when balancing a PVP squad is to make sure there’s representation across the board. For instance, it might be that you want to focus on casting/healing with a Sage, dealing absolute destruction with a DreadKnight and your third Hero is a Paladin. It has three even Growth Stats, so which would you chose? Well, a DreadKnight would excel at STR and END, so you might not want to focus on those for your Paladin as well, opting instead to focus on the less glamorous Vitality so that it might soak up a bunch of damage for the team. The only time you’d really want three heroes that were all focused on STR (or any other stat) is for Duels, where having the same main stat for all heroes in a deck is definitely advantageous. That is ultimately just a minigame though so don’t go ruining your heroes for the sake of Duels.
PVP strategy will definitely have to be another post though, suffice to say at the moment that if you’re thinking about putting forward your heroes for combat, there are definitely ways to maximise your chances of success before you even get into skills/pets/equipment/weapons/jewelery/armor etc etc etc.
Conclusion (or TL;DR)
There’s no absolute right way to level your Heroes, no matter what opinions some people may hold on the matter. The key is to understand what the stats do, how they relate to your hero and ultimately what you’re trying to build your Hero towards. If you understand what you’re doing, you can’t possibly go wrong.
Though RNGesus can still kick you in the crotch and ruin you no matter what you pick.