NUB/NCB bonus value (in General)

AdminQBGentlemanLoser[{END}]January 10 2006 7:05 PM EST

Hi all, it's late and here I am to highlight my lack of understanding on the subject of the two bonus amounts. :)

Fear not, this is not a bash at either, I'm unsure of the mechanics, but have a feeling that the NCB is at a heavy disadvantage to the NUB.

First, I think that the bonus given by both (for characters created at the same time) is equal. Is this isn't correct, then I don't think I have a reason to worry! :)

If they are the same, I have the feeling the NCB is being short changed from this section of the bonus calculation;

"But this assumes equivalent effort. We need to adjust for one or the other fighting more battles per month (BPM). In other words, we don't want to penalize a new user for fighting extra battles, or reward him for fighting less, when we proceed to use actual numbers to calculate N:

0.95 * 12.5 * [vet's XPM] / [vet's BPM] = (1 + N) * 4 * [NUB XPM] / [NUB BPM] "

Both sides need to have equal access to battle per month (BPM). Everyone get's the same possible amount they can physically 'click' a day (bar different BA refresh rates), my concern is with purchasable BA.

The vet side of the equation has standard Money rewards and standrard BA costs. The NUB side has increased money rewards, but an increased BA cost to even this out. So all's fine.

But, consider the NCB. It has the NUB increased cost to purchase BA, but the vet standard money reward. Meaning that a NCB character will have acess to less BPM than either a vet or a NUB.

If the NCB bonus is the same formula as the NUB and is based of off a NUB BPM, it's getting short changed. It is at a disadvantage to reaching the 95% target.

I hope this makes sense. :( But please correct me!

AdminQBnovice[Cult of the Valaraukar]January 10 2006 7:13 PM EST

You're supposed to have cash reserves of immense size to get an NCB char to 95%. Don't start one if you don't have the cash, at least not if you want to be able to clanfight effectively. I spent my cb2 on cb1, my fault I understand, I even got some cb2 off my cb1 stuff and sold it for \$US because I couldn't find anyone selling CB1 at the time. I know why now I'm going to have to bail a wonderful clan, simply because I can't afford the BA that would be needed to keep my cps above 0...

AdminQBGentlemanLoser[{END}]January 10 2006 7:17 PM EST

So in most cases, that's just not feasible and therefore again, trying to be competitive after your NUB time has run out isn't an option?

Unless you have a large USD bankroll or didn't spend any cash with your original character? ou generally lose out when selling items, so you can't rely on seling whatever you earned on your original character to finance your new one. Not including whatever your originally spent on BA...

I thought the NCB was to allow everyone the chance to be competitive again

AdminQBnovice[Cult of the Valaraukar]January 10 2006 7:18 PM EST

nope just Glory and Mikel.

[T]VestaxJanuary 10 2006 7:21 PM EST

I thought a NCB was only the same as NUB in regards to xp growth. Of course it wouldn't make sense to give no extra growth to cash AND increase the cost of purchase BA by the amount of the bonus. However, if the cost of BA is normal and the amount of money received from rewards is normal, then everything is fine. Your concern would then be misplaced if I do read you correctly. Anyhow, that is how I thought things worked, and if it doesn't work that way then it should.

Now to counter you GL by saying that in reality it is the NCB character that has the advantage. The first being game experience. Just knowing what it takes to have health growth is enough to make you a sure winner. Also, the NCB gets, in theory, more total NW with each bonused character they make. This is ensured by how the xp gained from tattoos translates to money. This was indeed the one loophole that me and Bast both agreed was almost completely unavoidable when creating a new character bonus.

[T]VestaxJanuary 10 2006 7:23 PM EST

Of course I could be wrong...

(CB1)logan666[Jago]January 10 2006 7:26 PM EST

The way I see it the NCB is at an advantage to reaching it's maximum potential because a vet can start a NCB char and already have high NW items they don't need to buy or upgrade. Also a vet can plan for a NCB char and save money to be able to buy a good portion or even all of their BA depending on how long they save for. Just look at Mikel and Matrim, both vets with very good NW and have plenty of money(or at least have ways of making plenty of money) for buying BA who started NCB chars and should soon be challenging the top players if they aren't already and it's only been 2 months into their NCB bonus.

AdminQBnovice[Cult of the Valaraukar]January 10 2006 7:29 PM EST

NCB chars have the same BA cost as NUB chars. there is no question on this.

RevsJanuary 10 2006 7:31 PM EST

ba cost for me runs about 380k per day = 2.28 mil per week (6 days). Figuring the NCB lasts 4 months comes out to 36mil total (without additional growth!). Granted initially its cost is lower, and later its higher, (which i dont know the amount later as i'm not there, obviously), it seems if you have a spare 40-50mil then NCB does the trick just fine if you want to rapid grow a new char. Had i taken the time to do my homework, I would have seen the error of my ways in my lust for pr and angst over getting passed up by NUB chars everyday.

The irony of all this is it seems in the game USD is downplayed from the top, which i agree with. Yet the NUB implementation, and the NCB catch 22, makes USD the only real option if you want to get near the top, and hope to stay there any length of time. Frustrating. I'm up for options though if anyone has any brilliant solutions, as I don't think i'll be coming up with the x*cbd millions it will take to compete in my clan, or make it near the top.

AdminQBnovice[Cult of the Valaraukar]January 10 2006 7:36 PM EST

clanfighting isn't an option for underfunded NCB chars, at least from what I have seen.

personally, I think Jon should kill the blacksmith, ban char to char transfers, and alter the NUB so it matches the NW of the top chars...wouldn't that piss off some folks...but it's the only solution I see.

[T]VestaxJanuary 10 2006 7:42 PM EST

Then I suppose people should wait until that little error is somehow corrected. I really do mean to say that it must be an error.

The claim that you should use money from your previous run toward this run's BA purchase just doesn't add up. The money one has left over is for NW. The same NW that you will need once your up to par again. The money you are suppose to spend on BA was already spent long ago if you indeed bought your BA the first time.

But what do I know, maybe it's to keep people from saving money up during the NUB and then blowing it on the cheaper NCB character. However, I still think there needs to be an adjustment.

Maybe BA purchase should be somehow changed to a sort of 'tax'. What I mean is simply that the cost of buying BA should somehow relate to your wealth. Eh, who knows. Either way this is going to get messy. And I hate messy.

QBsutekh137January 10 2006 7:54 PM EST

I think GL is saying he thinks vet's are getting dinged for the lack of BA usage "twice", as it were. I am not sure I agree... To me it just all comes down to the fact that the 95% figure also builds in a new user buying some (if not all BA). A vet can't do that. I see that as the single ding against the NCB, and it is as it should be.

GL, you are forgetting that a true NUB is assumed to waste experience, BA, and money. Granted, a NUB with a good mentor (especially folded into a clan that has 10-15% gains, reaps massive rewards. Que sera, sera. Not sure what anyone can or would do about that.

On the other hand, what if a vet starts off with a lot of great equipment and/or a large tattoo. has some money saved up, and can jam out 24x7 battles for a few months? That could easily reach 95%, I should think. Cranking out some extra BA at night adds more XP and generates more cash (even at the non-NUB rates), meaning more BA purchased, etc. etc.

As for clan fighting, no one should do that. Clans suck.

Peter at homeJanuary 10 2006 9:53 PM EST

The downside of NUB is that even they can buy BA, If the do it, they would end up with a tattoo and max 20 mil NW of items. They will have huge MPR, but really small equipment and as I am trying to think if there is a way for a higher MPR char with little items to beat a 200+ mil NW character which has little less MPR.

By now, there is not. But I am optimistic to find out what future will bring.

AdminQBnovice[Cult of the Valaraukar]January 10 2006 10:02 PM EST

smart folks will start a 4 minion team with the NCB and an RoE till your max tat is at 100k, then buy one of the nice cheap 100k RoS, and slap it on an AS minion. Whammo Instant Cheep Strat. Buy a VB! Better Yet, use CoC.

Mikel[Bring it]January 11 2006 12:50 AM EST

Use CoC til about 500k MPR, then switch over to mini-tank, and train VA, and slap on the best weapon you can find. Avoid Bows, the arrows are costly and that will slowly eat into your cb2.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser[{END}]January 11 2006 2:08 AM EST

Sute, that is what I was trying to say. :)

"To me it just all comes down to the fact that the 95% figure also builds in a new user buying some (if not all BA). A vet can't do that."

Vet and NUBs both have the same ratio (if you will) of money rewards and BA costs. Both might not be able to buy all BA every day, but they are in the same boat.

A NCB character has the worst of both worlds, no extra cash rewards, but an increased BA cost. A NCB character might not be able to buy all BA every day, but they are at a disadvantage to doing so compared to Vet's or NUBs.

If the bonus amount is based off of the highest Vets PBM and the highest NUBs PBM (maybe that was just for working out how much to adjust the bonus by) there is no realistic way most NCB characters can fight as many PBM as either a Vet or a NUB character, as they get so short changed on purchasable BA.

Maybe the XP bonus needs to be increased over the NUB to refelct this, or the BA cost penalty removed.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser[{END}]January 11 2006 6:18 AM EST

Missed these points first time round.. :(

"GL, you are forgetting that a true NUB is assumed to waste experience, BA, and money. Granted, a NUB with a good mentor (especially folded into a clan that has 10-15% gains, reaps massive rewards. Que sera, sera. Not sure what anyone can or would do about that."

I think that is accounted for by the massive XP cost for high vets re training (for whatever reason). The bonus percent is generated at the moment of charcater creation based on an estimate of where the top Player will be when your bonus time runs out, adjusted by how much they fight, and how much you will fight in that time. The estimation holds because both exisitng vets and NUBs can fight potentially as much as each other, at an equivalent cost.

A NCB charcater just can't.

"On the other hand, what if a vet starts off with a lot of great equipment and/or a large tattoo. has some money saved up, and can jam out 24x7 battles for a few months? That could easily reach 95%, I should think. Cranking out some extra BA at night adds more XP and generates more cash (even at the non-NUB rates), meaning more BA purchased, etc. etc."

Cranking out more BA than the top estimate, by having a harder workrate (less sleep) or buying more BA is fine. You sohuld breach the 95% target. I remember Jon commenting that someone who works harder than ranger should pass ranger.

Coming over with existing items is in my opinion why a NCB charcater doesn't get a money reward, just an XP one.

What's the justification for a NCB charcaters inflated BA cost?

QBBast[Hidden Agenda]January 11 2006 7:03 AM EST

That you also came over with the bankroll you traded for the big character you just pawned off on someone else. :)

AdminQBGentlemanLoser[{END}]January 11 2006 7:29 AM EST

Bast, everyone knows characters sell for peanuts now days... You're lucky to get the transfer cost for them... ;)

QBBast[Hidden Agenda]January 11 2006 7:31 AM EST

Then you sell the peanuts for \$USD and use the \$USD to buy \$CB which you spend on your NCB BA. It all works out.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser[{END}]January 11 2006 7:34 AM EST

FS: Tub of salted peanuts. Will ship UK free of charge. Might be able to throw in some Dry Roasted as well!

;)

AdminQBnovice[Cult of the Valaraukar]January 11 2006 8:25 AM EST

with theoretical BA costs as high as 40 million (if you look back I guessed when the NCB came out that BA costs were at least gonna run thirty something mil), there is no way to use the NCB to get to the top without the use of \$US.

QBsutekh137January 11 2006 9:54 AM EST

GL, I see the lower cash rewards and still-high BA costs as one in the same -- it's just the money factor. NCB BA costs the same as NUB BA, yes? It's just that the NUBs get more cash. I don't think the word "inflated" is correct to decribe NCB BA cost. It is equivalent to the NUB cost, but the vet just has to be smarter about money management before going in.

Tack onto that the equipment and the know-how and the vet should stand a fighting chance. Even 24x7 fighting is easier for a vet (used to it, already told the wifey, etc.) The intangibles can add up.

Like I said, nothing can beat a pupetteered NUB. If a NUB gets on, and within a week has Ranger helping him/her with all the big decisions (even fightlist mechanics), that NUB is going to fly. That is the only part of the NCB/NUB I still have issues with -- I don't think NUBs are as newbie as Jonathan thinks they are (and two tweaks to the NUB bonus support this). I don't know if the bonuses are at the "right" spot now, but a well-engineered NUB can and will beat the snot out of any NCB. On that much, I agree with GL wholeheartedly.

NCB is a choice you made, you knew that the BA costs were higher than 'normal' and you knew you had to save up to be able to buy vast amounts of BA.

NUB isn't a choice, but a necessity for the new players to be competitive towards the highest of players.

Or at least that is my opinion on the case as it stand (or falls) now.

QuarkJanuary 11 2006 10:09 AM EST

And the NCB isn't actually that expensive. I've spent maybe 5 mil so far to get to 800k MPR on the NCB, and I estimate net costs of a mil a week or so now that I'm past the 7/10 refresh rate.

I'm trying to see how far I get with minimal upgrades to gear that I wore at 300k MPR, and that should tell me how USD intensive that is. I did start with a 10 mill USD bankroll, but that could have been achieved by cautious gameplay and patience.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser[{END}]January 11 2006 10:33 AM EST

Imagine the life of a non USD buying/selling Vet. Gain 'X' amount of cash from fighting. Spend various amounts of cash on BA, purchase of items and upgrade items.

A New User is given a bonus to the cash they get from fighting, to bring them up to 95% of 'X'. But their BA cost is increased to stop them spending a fraction on BA that the vet above would have normally. (As they only have to buy 4 months of BA as opposed to the vets total amount of months played. This still leave the NUB enough cash to buy and upgrade items to get them to the same place (or 95%) as the vet.

All cool.

But a vet moving to NCB even if they carry over the cash they spent originally on purchasing items and upgrading items can never bring over the cash they spent on the BA of thier original character. Even from selling that original charcater.

In the four months of their bonus time, a NCB charcater with existing items cannot generate enough cash to ge them to the same BA expenditure and item purchase/upgrade that a vet or new NUB character can continue to do in that timespan.

I don;t think I've explained this very well... :(

AdminJonathanJanuary 11 2006 10:49 AM EST

[some of] the same people who were complaining that NCB would let you make a top 5 character every 4 months are now complaining that it doesn't.

go figure, huh.

DrAcO5676[The Knighthood III]January 11 2006 10:58 AM EST

Yeah it doesn't make sense now don't it?

But I guess G got it right there, 800k MPR before the rest of the NCB could catch
up. Guess we all need to learn something from him about the RoE.

QBsutekh137January 11 2006 11:41 AM EST

GL, I have gathered a nice set of armor and an RoE and over 11 million in cash over the past 2-3 months. The only piece of equipment I lack is a large tattoo.

Before that, I ran a character and made around \$200 USD (none of which has been spent here). If I did spend that cash, that would be 16 million more for a total of 27 million.

27 million is just about enough to buy BA for a full 4 months. I think the estimate of 1 million per week is about right. Tack on some night fighting, and that could be one heck of an NCB, don't you think?

(By the way, around half of these assets were gained with no clan involvement. I have not been part of a clan in over six months, IIRC.)

QuarkJanuary 11 2006 11:46 AM EST

I don't have a large tat in my arsenal, but that was by choice - I was playing a 2 team RoE tank to 400k MPR before I started the NCB. Had I played without spending millions on BA on the old team, I would have had earned cash to burn now.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser[{END}]January 11 2006 12:27 PM EST

"[some of] the same people who were complaining that NCB would let you make a top 5 character every 4 months are now complaining that it doesn't.

go figure, huh."

Hahahahahaha!!! So it took me a couple of months to figure out that the NCB is far worse than the NUB, or just continuing to play your exisitng character.

At least I got there! ;)

G and Mikel burned far more BA than I could, I've no problem with not catching them. They also came into it with a lot of cash. I didn't. So what, sucks to be you GL eh?

if the bonus percent for the NCB is worked out on equivalent effort of natural battles fought per month and extra BA purchased per month, the average NCB character (and Mikel and Glory aren't average) can't afford to keep up equivalent BA purchase to the vet the bonus is modeled on and still upgrade/purchase equipment at the same 'rate' as the vet.

One side or other of character progression, be it items or MPR from purchased BA will be sacrificed for the other (or both will be lesser...). Gah, that makes no sense. With a NCB character you either keep up with the vet on item spending, or MPR growth from BA purchase, but not both.

This is not something the NUB has to worry about.

Hmmm... Basically, if you want to be competitive with the NCB, go Mage. And only mage. You won't be able to aford to be a competitive Tank.

That sucks.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser[{END}]January 11 2006 12:30 PM EST

"[some of] the same people who were complaining that NCB would let you make a top 5 character every 4 months are now complaining that it doesn't.

go figure, huh."

Oh and no worries Jon, the NUB still allows you to do that! ;)

QBsutekh137January 11 2006 1:42 PM EST

GL, the NCB was never a promise to allow each and every vet a "start over free". I see it more as a hard-work sandbox.

You are patently incorrect in saying the NCB is worse than BOTH the NUB or being a vet. How can making the same amount of cash but far larger experience be worse than playing a non-bonus character? You can still buy some BA, just not all. Yes, it skews toward the mage route, but it doesn't have to.

Maybe I should take a different angle here...what are you proposing to fix this? I see three alternatives:

- make money gains on NCB same as NUB
- make BA costs normal, not the higher rate, for NCB
- reduce the amount of BA able to be purchased

The first one obviously won't happen.

The second one seems a lot like the first, considering you can buy up to 12 hours of BA a day. That's a lot of BA. Considering most folks get 18-20 hours of BA in a day, an extra 12 hours is a 60-66% increase. If you make NCB costs normal, you are almost allowing the NCB person to have cash like a NUB.

The third option just popped out as I was typing. I know BA buying was increased when people (mages, by and large) clamored to have something to spend money on, but maybe that was a mistake? It skews the NUB/NCB (by GL's definition) and gives people more incentive to use USD: "Hm, I really need to spend all my free cash on BA and ammo, so I will use a couple bucks USD to upgrade my weapons."

Maybe it's time to tone back the amount of BA that can be purchased? Back to previous levels?

Rubberduck[T][Hell Blenders]January 11 2006 1:51 PM EST

I agree, take away the extra BA we got to buy. I think this was done after Sefton complained about having nothing to spend his camping cash on once NW=PR was implemented.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser[{END}]January 11 2006 1:53 PM EST

Or increase the XP bonus the NCB gives, to allow a NCB charcter to reach that 95% without needing a massive bankroll.

But then, that's just an open invite for people with massive bankrolls to clean house.

I really don't see the need for the increase BA costs. Ignore the NUB for a moment, and just compare a Vet to a NCB character. In four months, both will make the same amount of money, so where's the imbalance?

That the NCB will earn more XP? But that's what it's there for, to start from scratch and get you back in the game.

If you and your partner both play for 8 months and fight at the same rate, but you decide to start a new NCB character, without increased BA costs and still both fighting at the same rate as each other, in four months time, you will have both made the same amount of money, but now you're 5% smaller than your partner, instead of equal, for the privaledge of starting again.

I see no problem with this.

QBsutekh137January 11 2006 2:17 PM EST

Rubberduck's on board! I know I must be on to something! *smile*

AdminQBGentlemanLoser[{END}]January 11 2006 3:01 PM EST

Right, I'm doubting myself now, so going to look at a comparison of all three types, over a 12 month span. All are working at the same rate, let's asume this is 100% of possible battles. :)

First 8 months.
Vet: Works for 8 months and earns 'x' XP and 'a' cash.
NCB: Works on original Character for 8 months and earns 'x' XP and 'a' cash.
NUB: Not started yet. ;)

Last 4 months.
Vet: Continues and earns 'y' XP and 'b' cash.
NCB: New NCB character earns .95(x+y) XP and b cash.
NUB: New Character earns .95(x+y) XP and .95(a+b) cash.

Total earned over 12 months;
Vet: x+y XP and a+b cash.
NCB: .95(x+y) XP and a+b cash.
NUB: .95(x+y) XP and .95(a+b) cash.

Is this correct?

If so, then it looks like the NUB earns the least overall. But this is ignoring the BA cost. Both the Vet and NUB have the same equivalent BA costs, while the NCB has an increased cost, while lead it to earn the same overal XP as the NUB (5% less than the Vet) and less cash than both.

:)

I know it's easier to increase work rate over a shorter span, but I'm keeping eveything even for this.

QBsutekh137January 11 2006 3:22 PM EST

No, not correct.

The "vet" is your equations would be the TOP PLAYER IN THE GAME. Cougars was not top when I sold it. And now, the top player is FAR above what Cougars was when I sold it.

Your equations hold true for the top-top players, and that is why the top players have not bailed out for an NCB (and likely never will, at least not because of the math).

I see what you are saying, but you are forgetting that there are a LOT of "vets" who are not even in the Top Fifty. These are people who can blow by their existing characters in 2 months with the NCB, especially if they have previously concentrated on equipment and cash. Therein lies the "fun" of the NCB. And that is all the NCB was ever meant to be -- fun. Not a guaranteed stab at Number One.

QuarkJanuary 11 2006 3:27 PM EST

NUB and NCB have the same BA purchase costs, if I'm not mistaken.

QuarkJanuary 11 2006 3:28 PM EST

And Sutek is right - all I wanted was a do-over from my 2 400k MPR characters (and an 80k MPR farm). And I got that!

ArorrrJanuary 11 2006 3:45 PM EST

I vote for GL to be the loudest NUB/NCB bonus complainer, ever!

QBBast[Hidden Agenda]January 11 2006 3:55 PM EST

You vote for Ralph Nader every time, don't you? Knowing that he can't win?

AdminQBGentlemanLoser[{END}]January 11 2006 3:56 PM EST

LOL! ;)

Crap, page expired and I lost my post...

"but you are forgetting that there are a LOT of "vets" who are not even in the Top Fifty. These are people who can blow by their existing characters in 2 months with the NCB, especially if they have previously concentrated on equipment and cash. Therein lies the "fun" of the NCB. And that is all the NCB was ever meant to be -- fun. Not a guaranteed stab at Number One."

That I've never doubted. :) with a little effort, you're just about guaranteed to pass you're old character, especially if you had a sloppy, broken or lazy work rate with it, and fight harder with your NCB.

But I was under the impression the NCB was created to allow anybody another crack at the top, if they decided they wanted to. As it stands, the NCB fails at this, and is nothing more than a fun diversion.

I return to my original pre NCB complaint that after your first character, only the existing top characters and new NUB players can be competitive, as the NCB is too restirctive to all but the most well funded players.

AdminJonathanJanuary 11 2006 4:00 PM EST

"I was under the impression the NCB was created to allow anybody another crack at the top"

It does. But does it guarantee that you can have that crack immediately, without working for it first (in the form of saving money) if you've screwed around and/or blown your savings on other stuff? No.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser[{END}]January 11 2006 4:04 PM EST

LOL! It's because you've screwed around (and/or blown your cash on now useless BA or stuff you don't really need) that people would want a fresh start! ;)

But that's cool, we'll call it an idiot tax for wanting to start again! ;)

SharkJanuary 11 2006 4:11 PM EST

after over a year of CB2 if you aren't competitive you never will be and I dont care what anyone else says, and CB2 dollars are not going to help you, other than those measly amounts your characters make. You are going to suck your whole life span here ,Accept that fact..As Jon says CB2 was designed not to have a need for CB3..Time will tell. I wonder how the CB2 players that dumped bundles of USD here will feel when they find they are destined for extinction just like CB1 :) toodle looo...I decided to try again and use the NCB..hahah what a joke that is...could barely make enough to buy a minion as the price went up faster then the CB2 I made..And I wont spend a dime here so I suck until I give it up..again :)

QBRangerJanuary 11 2006 4:13 PM EST

With the NCB, after talking with a few of those that have it, it is possible to not put USD into the game and still be able to buy all your BA. You just need to fight all the time, which I would assume you would if you're making a serious run to the top. You might not be able to buy during crazy xp time, but you should during all normal times.

Given, if you do that, spend all your cb2 earned from fighting, you will not have a lot of spare cash to buy items and upgrade then. However, one would assume that this is what you were doing with your first character, that is saving a bit of money and items for your "attempt" at the top.

And, with the proper strategy, it is possible to get near the top with a minimal NW. Just check out the top FB mage now and see. Just play a FB mage (low NW required) until your NCB runs out, then if you want convert to a tank. If you use the ROE properly in the beginning you might even have a chance to get to the top.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser[{END}]January 11 2006 4:14 PM EST

That and you've got an Exe on a 20 Str FB mage! >;P

AdminQBGentlemanLoser[{END}]January 11 2006 4:16 PM EST

Hehehehehe....

"Given, if you do that, spend all your cb2 earned from fighting, you will not have a lot of spare cash to buy items and upgrade then. However, one would assume that this is what you were doing with your first character, that is saving a bit of money and items for your "attempt" at the top."

While those already at the top can continue to buy and upgrade, as they are not spending as much of the same amount of cash you both make.

"And, with the proper strategy, it is possible to get near the top with a minimal NW. Just check out the top FB mage now and see. Just play a FB mage (low NW required) until your NCB runs out, then if you want convert to a tank. If you use the ROE properly in the beginning you might even have a chance to get to the top."

As I said, play a no NW Mage and spend all your cash on BA.

:)
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