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The description says: -30%/-50% Ability dust cost on Hero What does that mean, hero abilites are all passive and don't cost any dust anyway, right?

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    I believe this refers to their Battle Actions. I'll make this an answer when I've confirmed that (if I do). – Martin Ender Dec 31 '14 at 0:22
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There are two types of hero abilities. The first type is, as you mention, passive abilities which are triggered automatically by context. For example bonuses during combat or when assigned to a system.

The second type of abilities are Battle Actions, commonly called 'cards', these abilities have various effects and can be applied to each of the three stages of battle. All the ability battle actions have an associated dust cost ranging from 20 to 60 while the default battle actions cost 0.

The dust reduction makes almost no difference on game play because the ability battle actions are already quite cheap.

  • Most of the actions are free, it's just ones you unlock through the hero's own skill progression that cost dust. I never unlock those or waste dust on them, which makes taking the trait that makes it cost more a good investment. – DCShannon Mar 8 '16 at 9:42
  • Which is why I didn't know them, since they just aren't worth it. – Andreas Hartmann Mar 8 '16 at 15:28
  • @AndreasHartmann Some of the abilities can be used to great effect. I like combining Emergency Shelter with Adventurer's massive health regeneration. I've also heard Illusion is good. Most are a bit underwhelming as you say. Hopefully in ES2 the combat will be more balanced. – Annan Mar 9 '16 at 0:04

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