The Arena is a new game mode added to Heroes Of Hammerwatch with the Pyramid of Prophecy Expansion.
In this mode, you are placed in the center of a crowded arena and you are tasked with taking out 7 waves of enemies. These enemies may pop out of the ground, enter from the top or bottom gates, or float in from over the crowd. Sometimes, you will have to fight a boss on the final wave. Each arena has a unique layout and will have some sort of trap or traps you will have to avoid while fighting. After taking out all 7 waves, you are declared victorious and have beaten an Arena skirmish and will be rewarded with some gold, ore, experience points, and sword tokens if it is your first time clearing that rank of Arena on that character.
From time to time during the skirmish there will be events that occur in the middle. Most often, the game will say “The Altar offers you a powerful boon!” When this happens you can go to the middle and activate the center circle to receive a temporary buff, similarly to if you found a monolith. You only have about 10 seconds to grab the boon before it goes away however. There are sometimes other events, starting in Arena rank 5(?), that will make the fight harder in some way, (examples are falling boulders or sandstorms) but will increase the crowd’s enjoyment. To disable these events, activate the circle in the center. In Multiplayer all players must be on the altar to deactivate the event.
Note that any curse gained while in the Arena will stay for the duration of that rank.
As of Version 96, the arena now features three different switches that can be enabled before battling, similarly to how the Fountain works. However these switches are fairly different; there are only three switches, with all of them focusing on making the arena skirmish faster in some way (as opposed to the fountains Positive and Negative effects). Also unlike the Fountain, none of them require any gold to use.
The three switches in the arena are as follows:
- Faster Spawns: The enemies in each wave will spawn with a higher frequency. Each wave will still wait for you to clear all enemies before starting the next one.
- Shorter Skirmish: The length of the skirmish is reduced from 7 waves to 5. This will reduce the time to finish a skirmish, but also reduce the amount of items that can be obtained.
- Faster Enemies: The enemies will have decently increased movement speed, similarly to the Agile Adversaries fortune in the Fountain.
You are fighting for the amusement of the crowd watching, and periodically they will throw bags into the Arena. These bags can contain items, healing pickups, potion charges, or even bombs! At the top of the screen you can see people from the crowd, if they are happy they will throw items and other good consumables, if they are angry they will begin to throw bombs. There is also an arrow that will either be green if the crowd is getting happier, or red if the crowd is getting angrier.
Generally killing the enemies quickly is enough to maintain the crowd happiness, but if you are unable to keep up the pace, the crowd may get bored and give you fewer rewards or rewards of a lower tier.
Sword Tokens are a new currency earned only in the Arena and you can spend them by talking to the Retired Gladiator to upgrade your armor, resistance, attack power, or skill power. The upgrades will always cost 1 sword token each and some gold, starting with 500 and increasing by 500 for each level. There is no limit to how far you can upgrade stats here, however it will eventually become quite costly. The Arena ranks also have no limit to them, as long as you’re able to clear a rank, there will always be another one following it.
As you go up in Arena ranks, the enemies will start to scale as they do for NG+ in the Forsaken Tower or Pyramid of Prophecy, but at a slower rate. Every arena adds +0.2 of an NG to the scaling (ex. Rank 7 = NG+ 1.4). To see the exact formulas for enemy health, armor and resistance, and decreases to your armor and resistance, see the New Game Plus page. The attacks will also be modified when you reach a new full level of NG+ scaling (ex. At rank 5, the enemies will begin to use their NG+1 attacks for the first time).