My First NCB has run its course. Time for #2 (in General)

AdminNightStrike October 3 2006 2:10 PM EDT


I think MyFirstNCB has finally peaked out. I was able to break a score of 2m and get into position #23 with an MPR of 750k. Not bad. However, I missed the boat on the free-untraining, and whereas eveyrone else fine-tuned their strats, I did not. Instead, I bought a giant ELB right before it became useless without Archery. Now I'm left with a character that ahs run its course.

But that's ok. It was an experiment only. I wanted to see how far I could get using only a tattoo for damage (SF). Halfway through my NCB, max tattoo got a nerf, and I still kept going. My intent was always to get it to a certain point, then retrain to a viable strat. That said, my current setup was always more viable than anything I could safely transition to (again, I missed the boat on the free untraining).

So.... Unless anyone has any super ideas (link to char is above), I'm going to start a new one. I want to do this "minion hiring" thing the right way, though. Can someone please explain to me how hiring minions works? I know I've asked several times, but the fact is, I never seem to do it right. From my research, I recall hearing Ranger or Dawg say that Sefton was an expert at hiring minions at the perfect time; perhaps he'd be willing to share some wisdom of the ages.

I want to make use of UC for my next NCB, and I was thinking of doing:

UC tank
DD Mage
DM/AS enchanter

Don't know what DD to use, but my thinking is this: UC and DD are cheap characters to run, and DM is better than AMF since most people are going the tank route and EVERYBODY uses AS.

Thoughts on any of the above (including if it's possible to keep my current setup, perhaps by switching to an AoF)?

AdminNightStrike October 3 2006 2:23 PM EDT

Interestingly enough, I'm still only fought by people with much larger MPR or PR levels. That's gotta mean something right? Maybe I'm not in that bad shape after all. I even have the honor of being fought by Hubbell!

The only one who really has a lower MPR is newfreed, and he compensates with a PR of double mine (2m vs 1m). So he's actually fighting someone who's score is under his PR, which means he's winning, but my rewards are much better.

Curious... why would he do that? What's the benefit?

QBsutekh137 October 3 2006 2:59 PM EDT

Freed just likes having massive net worth. *smile*

Why is being a Hubbell target an honor? I don't have a lot of teams I can beat...need to get back to focusing on money for the second minion, and I think it might open a few doors...

miteke [Superheros] October 3 2006 3:03 PM EDT

His PR/MPR is 2,707,972 / 737,051. This means he has HUGE items on his moderately sized team and the PR boost (gotta be from weapons) is not in line with the actual power boost.

This is an issue we have discussed before - how weapon PR bonuses need an overhaul.

So, in short, his PR is not a fair measurement of the teams actual power, it is a measurement of his large sausage. pancreas, and phlegm (note : his items have unusual names).

AdminNightStrike October 3 2006 3:31 PM EDT

2.7? Wow, I thought it was 2.1

Even better!

And Sut.. it's an honor because of the fact that I have a small team MPR wise. I just barely hit 800k recently. When a big team like yours has to fight me, I feel honored. Just like when newfreed needs 2.7m PR to beat my scrawny 1.1m PR, it's kinda cool. I must be doing at least SOMETHING right. I'd like to think that I'm not totally bereft of game knowledge, which is how I feel sometimes as I play.

Any thoughts on current char / new char?

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] October 3 2006 3:51 PM EDT

hiring minions is a heavily subjective, very painful option, many folks have said that you should hire all the minions you plan to have at the end up front, and use an RoE to boost the damage dealing minions if need be. I tend to hire enchanters later, and let a max tat drag me up above the 1,000,000 score level before I even begin to think about them. Certain teams really depend on XP concentration, UC and mages being the two best examples, without serious XP concentration you'll always be second class no matter what you spend. You should be able to see examples of what a UC/Decay 4 minion team is capable of. I personally think taking a UC minion to 250k mpr, then adding the mage, then the enchanter once you hit a mil score (or 500k mpr) would work. ToE would be my first choice of tattoos, with a possible switch to RoS later on.

If you're going to go three minion, you might as well have 4.

QBsutekh137 October 3 2006 4:45 PM EDT

Well, I fight by score, and anything at 1.8 million or over is going to be on ly list if I can beat it. *smile* I am glad you feel honored, though.

I am not a great strategist. A huge UC minion seems like a fun idea, but if I did it all again I cann't think of anything I would do differently. I would start single, especially if I were a USD spender. I would go RoE for as long as possible, and I would be in a singleton clan. As a mage, I would focus on Evasion, DD, and HP.

In other words, I like my minion. I firmly believe that if there were a better defensive enchantment I could use on a hired minion, I could be solidly in the Top Five by buying 2 minions and perhaps insta-ing up my familiar some more. Given my current cash on hand, that would only mean needing another 30-35 million (around $300 USD if I cared to spend it).

The bigesst point on staying single minion is that it is a very good method of quelling my urge to start another NCB. If I have enough cash to do an NCB justice, I have enough cash to buy another minion. And I still have three empty slots. *smile* I figure I'm set for a couple years...

QBJohnnywas October 3 2006 5:11 PM EDT

Ah, UC and me go way back. But I've never run UC on a multi minion team. Only on single minions. Because, the thing about UC is you want the level to be as high as you can get it. Consider it in the same way as you would a DD spell. Luckily there are plenty of items around to boost it, but you probably want to start UC guy first.

The best things about the bonus items is that even when the Helms are +12 you can still equip them on a base character. Which kind of starts you off with about a (20) weapon. Which is much more useful than any other weapon you could use at the start. When the average damage you will be facing will be 8 or 9 from most of the tiny mages right at the start ,your guy will be doing 800 or so....

Whatever you do, you want your team to dish out plenty of damage. I'm never sure about mixing damage types though...having tank and mage damage means that you're vulnerable to both AMF and EC, whereas focusing on one lessens that. Makes you stronger in other words. And I'd consider AMF with UC. If you do UC right, no other tank can touch you for a very long time. At least until you hit the BIG weapons, the ones that are guaranteed a hit from massive PTH. But every mage can. If you have no AMF you're leaving yourself open to UC's biggest weakness. A big AMF can make the difference between losing and lasting to melee and winning.

If you haven't got one already get a SoD to go on your UC guy. Unlike 'real' tanks you don't lose the first melee round if you equip ranged on a UC guy. And you want to maximise your damage.

I don't know when I'd add other minions. If you do add a mage you don't want to wait too long, otherwise he'll be weaker than you need. Perhaps the answer is to start with two minions? Then at least you'll be growing their damage equally. Then add your enchanter a little later.

And as someone else said, if you're going three, why not go four? AS is the xp hungriest of the enchantments. You really need one guy to focus on it, otherwise it'll be too weak to be helpful.

But there really is no way to judge when to hire minions. You don't want to be single minion and reach the level you're at currently. Way too much cost!

I started my current team as four minion, and it's worked well and my tank is strong. But that's cos I've the extra XP from the ToA. Start with four minions with anything else and at best by the same level as me you'll have a 500k DD spell, or a tank with around 200k ST/DX and a (50) UC. Pretty weedy.....


I'll stop rambling now!

QBJohnnywas October 3 2006 5:17 PM EDT

Of course you could use a mage shield with the UC guy, if he's not going to be tattooed. Only drops it by about (5) or so....that would take the place of AMF, let you use DM instead...

(I really should think these things through before I type....)

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] October 3 2006 6:05 PM EDT

I'm a big supporter of concentrating XP if you plan to have an XP users as your main damage deal.

So for UC and DD keep them single.

The only exception to this is decay. Keep that base, and preferably on a minion with 20HP that you really don't care whether they live to melee or not. ;)

If you're not staying single, why do two or three? You're going to have to use Deensive enchantments to prop up a multi minion team, and you get the most out of them on a four minion set up.

As for purchasing new minions, it gets expensive quickly, but if money is no object, hold off buying for as long as possible. It's the easiest way to turn CB2 into XP.

Persoanlly I feel that CB2 is heavily weighted in favour of four minion teams. Aura's, Enchantments, PL and kill slots. You need a very good reason not to use four minions. XP concentration for UC/DD is the only one I can think of.

Miandrital October 3 2006 6:15 PM EDT

I feel that with a Three minion team you can maintain decent offensive capabilities and also get good defense. Three minion teams are also less expensive than four minion teams to equip and upgrade. The setup that I eventually want to do (when I have all the gear and 30 mil for a proper NCB) is this:

BL Tank with SoD and MH or VB and AoI
Evasion/AMF/VA Enchanter with AoF
DM/AS Enchanter with RoS with AoF

Of course, SMT's and SMFB's would probably do very well against this setup, but I think this strategy would do better than RoS wielding 4 minion teams. (This is a modified version of bartjan's team). I guess in reality CB is like a game of rock, paper, scissors. You can beat down a certain type of team, but you will always have some weakness.

QBSefton [Black Cheetah Bazaar] October 3 2006 6:39 PM EDT

Happy to chime in here for you Nightstrike. I am not sure about expert, but I am certainly opinionated about how many minions one should have an when.

My opinion on number of minions and when is this. If you plan to go single minion, plan to go single minion the whole way. If you plan to go with multiple minions, get them as soon as possible. What does single minion do for you? It allows you to take a single minion up the PR ladder faster than many minions. So if your goal is to rise as quickly as possible through the ranks, then go single minion. If you goal is to build the most powerful team possible, then get all 4 minions ASAP. Now a caveat to that. Early on the exp dilution of the 4th minion vs. the 3rd minion is pretty heavy, as in, you notice the drop in exp a lot when that 4th minion is getting it. So what I did was start with three minions off the bat, then added my fourth minion when I hit my first wall, which if I remember correctly was right around 50K MPR. At this point the difference between your most powerful minion's exp, and and your newly hired minion is minimal. So the new minion is not that underpowered by comparision. That said, start with 3, and then add the 4th when you start to grind, as in your start to fight the same fight list over and over again without adding that many new people to the list. The 4th minion will allow you to beat a whole new group of people.

Yes, you will hit another wall with a 4 minion team, and getting through that wall will not be that easy. So what? So you fight the same list a lot. You are still gaining power, and as best I can tell the power is just more spread out, but equal to the power gain a single minion gets. So as long as you use your brain, and build a good team, where each guy compliments the other, leverages all the advantages you have, then it will not matter. But a 4 minion team offers several advantages. First the dilution of fireball damage. The mitigation of ranged attacks (a 4 minion team cannot be killed in ranged by a single archer) as well as the flexibility of adding enchantments that you might need down the line. For instance a small EC can erase all the small wall/enchanter sweepers and help any axbow/exbow functionality by reducing the PL minions stats below 20 and allowing all the drain to hit the tank. A small protection on a mage buster minion is a good thing. Many things like this are something a single minion cannot do, they have to build the strat from the start and stick with it.

Sure you can add minions later, but the longer you wait the larger the gap is between your most powerful minion and the newly hired minion, which reduces what the new minion can do as far as adding effective power to your team.

Lets take Hubbell as an example. Ask him what he will do with his what like 20 milion dollar new minion. I will tell you what he will dump all the exp the new minion gets into a single stat. It could be HP it could be an enchantment. But if he spreads it around, well it will be a lot less effective in helping his team.

So, what does all this really say? It says, if you are going single, stay single, if you are going multiple, go to 4 minions as soon as you can stand to.

QBJohnnywas October 3 2006 11:25 PM EDT

Mr BBQ/OB has pointed out that he had a (100) level UC from a 600k level skill. And, as I said I've never run UC on a multi team before. Of course that's perfectly feasible, once you factor in Helms, Gi, Elven gear. The boost from all that can be quite incredible.

When I'm wrong I'm wrong!

So, anyway, UC on a multi minion team? Great idea!
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