To add a minion or not, that is the question (in General)

QBSefton [Black Cheetah Bazaar] July 19 2005 1:14 PM EDT

OK, I am posting this primarily to get the opposite side from my opinion on the subject, but if you agree with me, that's OK too :)

I am of the opinion that adding minions sooner is better than later. The main reason for this is the power gap.

When you click on adding a new minion, and you look at the most expensive cost, you take 1/3 of that, and that is the total exp your new minion will have to train. This is derived from the total trained exp on your most powerful minion. It is technically speaking 1/9. So if your most powerful minion has 9 mil total exp trained, then your new addition will cost 3mil and have 1mil exp to train.

That said, the longer you wait, the larger the gap between your most powerful minion and your new minion will be. If you only have say 900K trained exp on your most powerful minion then it will cost 300K to add 100K exp. The gap between your best and worst would be 800K. If however you wait until you have 9mil exp trained on your most powerful minions the gap will be 8mil. And of course that gets exponentially larger the more exp you have. So why wait?

The common answer is better rewards. There is no question that you get better exp rewards per minion with less minions, but to what end? Sure you make a more powerful minion at your MPR with 1 minion, than the same type of minion at equal MPR in a 4 minion team, but still to what end? My guess is you are going to have trouble competing with your one minion against 4 minion teams of the same MPR.

Now you say, yah but I have to catch the top players, this is the way to do it. That was very logically thinking on a previous version of this game because the top player had what 2-3mil more PR (MPR) than you did when you started. Here the top PR is like 600K. The gap between you and the top when your first start is CONSIDERABLY less than the gap on the older version. That said, I disagree that you need less minions to catch the top. You just need to play more.
The reason I say this is, if you do catch the top in MPR with your two minions, my guess you still dont beat Ranger. Then you add minions at a great cost in cb2$ and yet you still cannot beat him because he has trained a lot more total exp into all of his minions than you have. In the end, I say why wait. You want to move your score up, you are hitting a wall and not being able to jump to the next "level" thats when your need stop retraining, or adding NW and start adding minions.

I want to see what the counter side has to say on this. I am slowly forming this strong opinion, and want to see if there are good reasons to change it. I am asked advice a lot, and I am starting to say, add a minion, and I want to test this idea against the crucible of other CB opinions, so what do you think? Why are you waiting to add minions? If you are not, why did you add them quickly, when did you add them? I am beginning to believe they should be added ASAP, what do you think?

QBJohnnywas July 19 2005 1:23 PM EDT

This was advice you gave me recently. My current team has been single minion for most of its time and I've recently added a second with view to making it a 4 team. But the huge cost of buying an extra minion - at this level I'm looking at just over a million for the cheaper option - is what is stopping me.

The xp level of the additional minions is something that I find offputting as well. My previous team Raven was a single mage until about 70k pr and the extra minions there after a month or so of fighting were not much less than my current new minion in terms of power. That said though the extra minion has made a difference - expanding my fightlist to take on several FB mages who I couldn't defeat previously.

My view for multi teams is this: if you only intend to have one main damage dealer, ie EEET, then you should stay single minion for as long as possible in order to make it as powerful as possible - what's the point of a wimpy tank for instance? But if you are planning to spread your damage output then take on other minions much earlier, even starting with multi minions.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] July 19 2005 1:37 PM EDT

it depends mostly on what sort of team you are making, in either case (tank vrs. DD)
you need one (or two) stats that are much higher than the others. However you achieve this (either by doubling up XP on multipule minons, or having a single minion with a much larger XP base) it has to be done. Without it you see the many weak teams that a decent AMF cooks, or a mid lvl ToJ completely negates. I"m currently running a two minion team until I think the concentration of XP is high enough where I want it (HP on my wall and Haste on my ToA Transformer) that I can successfully add minions without ruining my strat. Tattoo's go a long way towards concentration of XP for a 4 minion team so it's likely that ranger is right.
I'm not ready to step out of the sideshow for ugly chars just yet.

AdminG Beee July 19 2005 2:18 PM EDT

I'm in for the long run and decided right from the very start that a 4 minion team of EETM would be the best for me and the way I play. It is also best qualified (IMO) to deal with the trials and tribulations that we call changemonth.

I started a 4 minion team on Jan 1st and would most likely do the same again.

Manta July 19 2005 2:28 PM EDT

There are also some other important factors, namely ToA, stat-enhancing armor and DM.

In CB1, if you start with a 4 minion char, the tank in the team would be a wimpy one. However, in CB2 we have the ToA to address that problem.

On the other hand, the stat-enhancing armors are most effective on single minion teams: a big tank, for instance, can get the most from HoE, Tulka's, etc.
Moreover, a single minion would be nearly immune to DM.

[T]Vestax July 19 2005 4:34 PM EDT

It was once suggested (okay, it was suggested many times) that we be allowed more control over the distribution of xp. Some think it would be great to give 100% to all one minion. This version of the idea was of course flawed in that it meant there was never a reason not to go 4 minion.

However, the idea of skimming a fixed fraction of the xp from the group and handing it to a chosen minion seemed simple and fair to me. The objection I of course heard to this was that one should just learn when it is time to buy your next minion. Now I could argue the difficulty one would have in ever knowing this, but it occurs to be that this is a mute point.

Here is my argument which I have yet to state on this matter: The idea around buying you minions at the "right time" is to have one minion proportionately stronger then the rest of your minions. However, buying minions at a later time only contributes to a fixed base difference between the larger and smaller minion. Over time the smaller minion will go from one quarter the size of the bigger minion to one third and then to one half and so on. Therefore, over a long enough time-line there is no such thing as the "right time" to buy a smaller minion. Mind you also that this game is not even remotely close to completing it first year.

Unless this feature is added I would suggest that you buy your minions when you get the chance and learn how to make an effective team when the xp difference between them is negligible, because it's going to happen anyhow. If you think however that one, two, or three minions is best for you in the long run then by all means there is an advantage to having the xp concentrated.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] July 19 2005 6:29 PM EDT

Condsider a Single mage versus a single AMF enchanter (ok, I know it's hypothetical, as no team will be made of just 1 E).

Both team train an equal amount (X) in DD/AMF respectively, the rest we'll ignore (let's just say they trained it into HP...)

Both stay single, and fight the same amount of battles, and get the same rewards.

Both continue to spend X into DD/AMF and have equal levels (ignoring armour as well..)

At some point in the future, the AMF player decides to hire another minion. To try to best his FB opponent, he trains all the xp of this new minion (lets call this Y) into AMF.

He now has X+Y AMF versus and X DD.

If they both continue to fight at the same amount, he always retains the Y bonus over his DD opponent.

This Y would only get bigger, the longer he holds off buying his second minion.

If on the other hand, the DD player decides to buy an aditional minion (and again get's Y xp on it), to help him get back equal with the AMF he faces, he doesn't have the option to cast his DD at X+Y.

When you're thinking about buying stackable enchantments with new minions, waiting will *always* benefit you.

QBJohnnywas July 19 2005 6:35 PM EDT

There is something else to consider for the point at which you hire new recruits. The higher up in score you go the less distance above that you can fight. Therefore lower rewards. My rewards peaked when I was around 450k -500k score. At that point I was making twice the cash and xp I am making now. If I had bought extra minions then I would have been in the position of 1. being able to afford the expensive option and 2. being able to raise their power at a faster rate than I can now. Obviously the cash problem can be solved with camping, USD and singing for your supper but the XP difference could be crucial in the long run....

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] July 19 2005 6:38 PM EDT

An amendment to my example.

If the AMF player had hired another minion and *not* trained any AMF on it but kept only training AMF on the original character, as time went on he would start to see his AMF falling behind the opponents FB, as he had at max, only 1/2 the xp to spend into it...

[T]Vestax July 19 2005 6:59 PM EDT

Nice conclusion, GL, if you assume the person wants to train his new minions with only stackable enchantments that is. As with what happened with Ranger you can only make that new minion into an enchanter or a really small wall at first. Sure the you could also put on a base decay as well. However, in the short-run any reasonable damage dealer is an impossibility.

There is one question I would like to ask though, which is exactly how much xp do you gain in total by having more minions, or rather how much do you lose by not hiring? Chances are that Jon has skillfully made it so that the xp value of the extra minions is no more then the amount of xp you have gained by buying your minions sooner. Honestly, it's exactly what I would have done, and quite a likely possibility in my opinion. If this is even remotely true then you have only succeeded in paying money for xp you could have gotten for free had you hired sooner. Or at the least your paying a lot more then $3 per one point of xp.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] July 19 2005 7:11 PM EDT

Thanks! :)

"There is no question that you get better exp rewards per minion with less minions, but to what end? Sure you make a more powerful minion at your MPR with 1 minion, than the same type of minion at equal MPR in a 4 minion team, but still to what end?"

You get better concentrated rewards with less minions.

On the whole, you get more rewards with more minions (the bonus xp, not only from buying the minion, but also the bonus fighting reward).

If you need concentrated xp (which is the case for Mages, Tanks and teams using ED's) stay single/fewer minions for as long as possible.

Mages: A mages effectivness is really boils down to thier DD versus opponents AMF. This only get's worse the more minions you hire.

Tanks: When fighting other tanks, you need the higher Dex. The only way to combat this when buying more minions is training Haste, but that leaves you open to DM. Your call.

ED Enchanters: Again DM lessens the effectiveness of multi minion team ED Enchanters. Working off of the individual levels instead of the combined total give more power to the DM s facing you. If you rely on ED s, stay single/fewer as long as possible.

DM seems to really cut into the effectivness of multi minion teams. Especially as the only way multi minion teams can keep up in HP s with single/fewer ones is AS.

If I had a mage and concentrated the majority of my xp into my DD, and my opponent was a generally spread multi minion team, consider the two teams a year or two down the line.

(hypothetical again)

My DD spell would be level 4 million (we've got 800K from 7 montrhs of playing..)

While thier AMF might be 1 million (with a dedicated AMF 'chanter).

That AMF would barely tickle me.

That's the benefit of staying single. Concentration of xp, if you need it.

MrC [DodgingTheEvilForgeFees] July 19 2005 11:48 PM EDT

Forgive me for not paying attention to any of the numbers you posted (they make my head hurt...).

But to begin with, I think there's one point you missed.
If I were to agree with you (which I don't =P) I'd have to say that when you get to say, 500k pr and the top characters are sitting on 600k pr, when you enlist three more minions you'll probably have them beat for PR but really at this point you are only gaining 3 more meatshields because they have very limited EXP and the EXP they have is 'wasted' because their stats are so tiny. And some say that this helps build a big tank for you, yeah, it does, but it'll even out in the end so why leave yourself weak for a while until the 'meatshields' grow big enough to be of any help when you could recruit the minions early?

However, I don't agree with you. You make a good point but for anyone who wants to get to the top, I highly suggest you ignore the "Here the top PR is like 600K. The gap between you and the top when your first start is CONSIDERABLY less than the gap on the older version" comment because it really makes no difference. Whether they have 10mil PR or 50k PR, if you're aiming to get to the top you have to want to get the highest overall PR and not just the highest for a short ammount of time, so if using just one minion would have helped you catch up to the 2mil PRs quicker, then it'll help you get to 2mil PR quicker, which is what you want.
Now, as for why I disagree about you thinking that it's best to get four minions early on. In my opinion, it's not, hire two minions to begin with, when you get to around 1/10th of the top PR hire a third, keep that for as long as possible then hire a 4th minion. Why? You get a large tank which is the same as what you'd get if you only had one minion (granted, he is slightly smaller than if you only had 1 minion but trust me, you wont notice much difference) you also have a big minion that can become an enchanter. Say he casts AMF. Then you get whichever is the weakest of the 3rd and 4th minions to cast AMF too and you suddenly have no weak time while it's all ballancing out and you also skip ahead a little by hiring minions late.

And one final note, if you hire all four minions early on then you aren't nearly as capable of adapting to changes as someone with fewer minions (for example, when Elbows become 'overpowered' again, people with one minion characters will be far better off because they aren't nearly as weak to EC or high DX tanks, allowing them to use their Elbow to it's full ability).
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