This week hasn’t been the most eventful of Arena of Valor’s life, but a certain email landing in the inboxes of a few select people just show us light at the end of a dark tunnel.
Following last week’s revelation of AoV Community Manager Nick Zasowski exploiting his position to sexually harass others, Tencent has been coy on the subject. For what it’s worth, it’s DJ Helsing handling official posts on the subreddit right now, so we can at least assume Nick hasn’t been allowed back into his role just yet. And we’re hoping it stays that way.
Moving on, let’s see what this week had to offer!
Last Day of Nintendo Switch Early Access
Early Access, at least in the vast majority of cases, means playing a game until it slides into an official release. The way Arena of Valor seems to be playing it is that Early Access means nothing more than an invite-only stress test with progress carrying over into the full release.
Still slated for a September release, there’s every chance Arena of Valor could launch today or tomorrow as the 3-day Early Access period comes to a close, but we have no reason to believe that might be the case just yet. Another Nintendo Direct has come and gone without Tencent tossing a finalized release date in there, so we’re still just as clueless as we were before.
So in case Arena of Valor doesn’t release as the Early Access period ends, consider this your last chance to grind gold and gems before you’re without the game on Nintendo Switch yet again. As progress carries over this time, you won’t have another opportunity to unlock a stack of heroes and arcana before the game enters full release. Unless Tencent sneaks out another test, anyway.
Summer Bash Violet Sends Off Summer in Style
Summer is coming to a close for us on the northern hemisphere, but Tencent had yet to finish off their in-game beach party. Following the release of Summer Bash Taara and Summer Bash Diaochan as this year’s new Summer Bash additions alongside Lu Bu, Gildur, and Krixi, Summer Bash Violet came in at the last minute to complete the 2018 Summer Bash trifecta.
Technically the first of this year’s Summer Bash skins to be revealed, she’s the last to officially make it into the game. And unlike the two released before her, Summer Bash Violet is far easier to obtain so long as you don’t mind parting with $20 or so.
Rather than being locked behind an RNG paywall, Summer Bash Violet is just stuck behind a regular paywall. Like most other skins in the game. As a Legendary skin, Summer Bash Violet is more than a clothing swap. There’s the somewhat creepy skin intro animation, new ability effects, recall animation, and even a “bubbly voice” that should stand out given her usual tone as a hardcore hunter. She’ll set you back 2000 vouchers, but if that didn’t hurt enough already, know that she’s only available until Monday, September 17.
Sakura Fubuki Airi Skin Doesn’t Fear Drycleaning
If decking out one high-powered assassin in cute and colorful clothes wasn’t enough for you, Airi is the next to swap out her more combat-ready attire for something hyper-feminine and not at all suitable for combat. Sakura Fubuki Airi is now available, but it’s not going to be an easy one to obtain.
Souring the mood of an RNG-less premium skin like Summer Bash Violet, Sakura Fubuki Airi hops right back on the luck train. In what is essentially a paid version of the Lucky Spin feature, you’ll have to toss copious amounts of vouchers at this new rectangular spin screen in the hopes of getting the skin. For whatever reason, we still don’t know the odds of unlocking the skin this way, but it’s tagged as “rare” just like the Pendant is in the Lucky Draw – and we all know how hard that is to get.
Each spin of the ‘wheel’ costs vouchers, but the cruel nature of it is helped slightly by cumulative draw rewards that will dish out some useful stuff for continued attempts. You’ll always get something for your money, but we can imagine there’s a very slim chance of getting the Sakura Fubuki skin without your bank balance dropping a noticeable amount.
Zanis Toolkit Challenges The Unofficial Hero Tier List
If you’ve ever played against a Zanis, you’ve likely been skewered by his spear more than the once. This powerful-looking warrior easily outpaces the vast majority of heroes will his exceptional movement speed. He’s a difficult enemy to escape from in a pinch, or to chase when low. Deregarding all that, he’s ranked as a Tier 3 hero on the popular (but unofficial) Samurai Gamers AoV Tier list. That’s one tier away from the tier housing Toro and Omega – two rarely seen tanks.
Despite that – or perhaps in an effort to counter it – the official Arena of Valor YouTube channel chose this week to put out a Zanis guide of their own. In actuality, it’s a guide designed to help players tackle a powerful Zanis that essentially boils down to ganking him in the early game and having a control-heavy hero nearby to stop him in his tracks.
Even still, the existence of such a video suggests that while Samurai Gamers ranks him as a low-tier pick, Tencent felt the need to educate the playerbase on how best to counter his movement speed and high damage potential. Take from that what you will, he’s still one of the best-dressed heroes in the game.
Valor Series 2 Week One Standings Stand Out
With the qualifying rounds officially over, we’re already one week into Valor Series 2 with the second weekend of competition right around the corner. But the results of last-weeks matches paints a familiar picture – one that looks more like the later stages of Valor Series 1 than what the Valor Series 2 qualifiers suggested.
It’s a bit of a mixed bag this time showing some Valor Series 1 teams a little further down the standings, and one surprisingly strong team from the qualifying rounds struggled to secure even a single win in the first week of real competition.
Team Queso, a powerhouse from last season, sits below Dead Rabbits on the EU ladder, while Allegiance took the top spot alongside Toxic in North America with a 2/0 result. Further down the list at spot 5 we see Marauders with zero wins to their name after taking the top spot during the qualifying rounds late last month. Both Kranniz and Drawn to Fame sit above them.
As for the Latin America ladder, Pain Gaming managed to swipe the top spot from GeoEsports by gaining an extra victory to go alongside their single loss. Returning favorites Nova sit at fourth place with a 1/1 standing.
The Valor Series competition continues every weekend until mid-November and can be streamed on Twitch. Check out up-to-date standings and schedules on the Valor Series website.