Welcoming our newest Hero for The Order, Merek Longhold – The Bolstering Might! Join us as we delve into his origins…
Protectors of the Light,
Merek Longhold, also known as “The Bolstering Might”, is the newest Hero to join the distinguished ranks of The Order. Wielding a massive halberd and with an ego to match, this hard-hitting, close-combat bruiser is an imposing figure on and off the battlefield. Despite presenting himself as a paragon of law and order, Merek has been known to demonstrate some moral flexibility when it benefits his desires and coin purse.
WHO IS MEREK?
Merek has been a lackey for Hector, the Archbishop of The Order, for more than 20 years. Throughout that time, he doggedly followed Hector’s orders, doing whatever was needed and without question, regardless whether the actions were “right” or “wrong”. Such is the will of The Order.
Merek has developed a desire for living large – with his affluence and narcissism pushing him further into his vices of gambling and drinking. Although he wouldn’t give Edwin the honour of knowing, he is secretly ashamed of how far he has fallen. That said, as the world of Erodar continues to fall deeper into ruins, The Order continues down its broken path, and the glory days fade to just a distant memory, why not have a little fun and earn a bit of coin while doing it?
HALBERD AS BIG AS HIS EGO
It was important to have Merek to have a unique visual identity compared with Edwin and demonstrate his tank/support abilities at-a-glance.
As a starting point, The Order’s faction identity generally consists of more use of metal and heavy armour than the other Factions – to emphasise their strength and defensive capabilities. Keeping this in mind, there needed to be a differentiation between Merek and Edwin. Edwin was always intended to be more of a conventional Knight, whereas Merek has been able to take more liberties over his years, with plenty of flair linked to his questionable morality.
Merek is a very powerful and heavy hitting character. He has a much larger and imposing body build, which lends to the visual representation of him being a tank hero, who can also protect those valiant warriors who fight alongside him. Out of all the Heroes, Merek has the largest build and weapon, just to bolster his ego a little bit more.
Merek flaunts his authority with badges adorning his flamboyant armour. Merek’s design features pieces of The Order’s flame motif across his metal armour, along with the flaming sword on his tabard. He’s much more proud of his affiliation with The Order than Edwin, so we wanted this to feature heavily in his outfit.
However, despite his flashy garb, Merek is also a little unkempt due to the debauchery he gets up to after a hard day’s work. He cares little about his appearance outside his golden trinkets and his commitment to The Order, so his armour is never fully maintained. As Merek is always in need of a drink, he is never seen without his wineskin to slake his thirst. You’ll notice he also sneaks a drink during his idle animations and during some of his abilities.
Merek’s voice actor captures his arrogant personality as he tends to have a bit of a brazen attitude and often doesn’t care about the image he projects to others when speaking to them.
Each Hero bears small yet distinct features that link them to their storyline. Make sure to check out our Hero Select screen for even more detail on our characters. For Merek, he bears a scar on his face inflicted by Vizargo twenty years prior in a heated fight… but you’ll learn more about that encounter later in our Campaign.
“THE BOLSTERING MIGHT”
“The Bolstering Might” title came about when our team was deciding to create a Hero combining both tank and support archetypes. The idea was to encourage tight melee unit formations from start-to-end, via a hero with strong melee combat abilities and decent buffs for nearby allies.
Merek’s gameplay style is quite different to the other heroes – he is most effective when paired with melee units rather than clearing hordes of enemies by himself. Cleverly using his ability to “heal” closeby units en masse in critical moments is key to mastering his playstyle.
Drinks on Me!:
Merek’s passive Skill is unlocked from level 1. Drinks on Me! will activate once Merek takes enough damage, whereby he will then heal allies around him for 5% of his maximum HP. When Merek’s Ultimate, Holy Protector, is active, Drinks on Me! will also heal Merek.
At level 2, Merek leaps into action with his active Skill, Crushing Weight. This Skill gives Merek the ability to jump forward, slamming into the ground and damaging and stunning enemies within an Area of Effect radius. Merek also regains armour for each Nightmare slain, scaling per level.
Merek comes in like a destructive force at level 4 with Halberd Hurricane! The Bolstering Might sweeps his Halberd in a 360 degree arc, damaging all units in the area. There is also a chance to proc Drinks on Me! when he kills an enemy using this skill. Halberd Hurricane can be used multiple times in quick succession and the amount of uses that can be stored increases as Merek levels up. The time it takes for each use to be stored also reduced with each level.
At level 6, Merek gains the ability to buff and support his loyal comrades with Holy Protector. When this Skill is activated, Merek temporarily grants nearby allies Armor equal to his maximum and recovers it to that maximum if it has been damaged – this applies even to units that don’t ordinarily have Armor. While Merek’s Ultimate is active, Drink’s on Me! also restores health to Merek. Holy Protector also buffs Merek’s other skills by temporarily increasing the area of effect.
His commitment to protecting The Order is unwavering, despite his questionable judgement… will Merek be the hero you side with? The drinks are on him once the battle has been won!
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