Newbie strategy help needed :) (in General)

Sickone December 5 2007 10:33 AM EST

Short intro : I recently heard of this game from "a friend of a friend" who used to play it a longer time ago, and some stuff he said about it made me curious... so I signed up, read the wiki (by the way, HUGE amounts of useful info there, quite astonishing, I must say) and played around for a little bit with various approaches before finding a relatively workable strategy.

Long story short, I now have a 4-minion team based around a huge TOS (thanks Talion, almost paid itself off already).
Current strategy is quite simple, minions have roughly same XP levels, the mage a little bit more but the rest are catching up fast.

Minion 1 - Wall, max HP, max AC stuff I could find so far
Minion 2 - Enchanter 1/2 AMF, 1/2 GA
Minion 3 - 1/2 CoC made, 1/2 DM, minimalistic protection (5)
Minion 4 - max AS with the Rune of Solitude, doubles as back wall

I have no problems finding a handfull of opponents I can regularly beat with a rather considerable challenge bonus (best so far was around 90%) since I got the oversized tat, but I'm worried for when I'll be hitting the "max tat" level and the tat will start being oversized pretty fast.

So my first question is (couldn't find it answered in wiki), how much slower does the tatoo "level up" compared to "max tat" value ?
My greatest worry is that I'm in danger of the lack of "DM-resist" on the ROS might start to affect the AMF eventually if I keep training the CoC mage with half-damage, half-DM.

Second question is, I am really wondering on wether to train any damage-dealing spells on the enchanters or not.
I used to keep a "base decay" on the 2nd and 4th minion, but pretty much every AMF-based team would cause big trouble with decay backfire (especially with that huge AS on them)... on the other hand, it worked miracles against most others.

I thought about Phantom Link too, but there doesn't seem any way to integrate it properly and not "dillute" the rest of the spells.

Last but not least, I have absolutely no idea what to train on the wall, if anything, since I plan to always keep it with huge AC as much as possible.
Would training ST help at all here or not ? I mean, the HP is already huge from the AS (which is in no immediate danger of getting dispelled, but might end up so later on), so I could divert some into ST... I'm just pondering utility of it.

Sorry if this was so long-winded, I just never got a chance to write before, the little time I had so far allowed myself to spend with the game was spent mostly reading and a bit fighting ;)

BluBBen December 5 2007 10:43 AM EST

I wont answere all your questions but at least one. No! Don't train any ST on the wall, just train 100% HP.

Talion December 5 2007 10:48 AM EST

Tattoos level at about half the rate of your MTL. However, do not worry about your tattoo's level. You have the NUB, so until you reach an MPR over 1M, you will be able to insta your tattoo up whenever you need to.

Now about your strategy...

First rule: PL + GA = NOT!

The damage your PL absorbs is taken away from the GA retaliation.

First Suggestion: Train 1/4 Evasion and 3/4 CoC on Minion 3

Your CoC mage needs to survive because it's your only damage dealer. Evasion will help A LOT.

Second Suggestion: Train max allowed DM and remainder to AS on minion 4.

Your RoS gives AS the boost it needs, so train DM on that minion instead of diluting the potency of your CoC on minion 3.

Third suggestion: Train 9/10 XP and 1/10 Protection on minion 1

When the protection reaches (20) effect, train everything into XP.

Fourth Suggestion: Use base Decay on minion 2.

The minimal XP requires to train it will pay big dividends against a handful of targets.

Talion December 5 2007 10:49 AM EST

Suggestion #3 should read:

Third suggestion: Train 9/10 *HP* and 1/10 Protection on minion 1

When the protection reaches (20) effect, train everything into *HP*.

Sickone December 5 2007 10:59 AM EST

So far the AS/GA/AMF is my primary damage source :)
The CoC is mostly a "finisher" of minions that survive the GA/AMF backfire, not a main damage source.

I am not quite completely clear on how AMF backlash works, but I am worried that if I turn up the CoC too high I might end up killing myself too fast from backlash damage before the "main damage combo" of AMF/GA manages to kill most enemy damage dealers.

So, I guess the next question is : if you increase your spell level, against the same opposing AMF... does the AMOUNT of backlash damage go up or down (or it is highly dependant on enemy AMF vs CoC initial ratio) ?
I couldn't figure that one out myself yet, formulas seem a bit too complicated for my taste, since AMF is a percent of damage dealt, but AMF effect is also dependant on spell level etc.

Talion December 5 2007 11:06 AM EST

I think AMF effect is calculated liked this:

AMF level / DD level * 50% = effect.

An effect of .25 returns 25% of the damage dealth by your spell to you.

Using a pair of NSC (rent them) will be a great help against AMF.

I would not worry about GA because you also use DM. You DM and your CoC will eventually become big enough to nullify most of the trained GA out there. "Most" being the operative word...

Regardless, since you CoC mage is the finisher, you need to make that first blast as powerful as possible. And the bigger you get, the more you will have to rely on CoC to win fights. Your AMF/GA combo will become weaker from 500K MPR to 1.5M MPR before becoming effective again at very high levels.

Sickone December 5 2007 11:06 AM EST

Hmm, true... base decay on minion #2 does make a lot of sense, since he's mostly redundant anyway... was trying it with both minion 2 and 4, that was the problem, was losing my "back wall" too fast to MM + GA and/or AMF users :)

Also, about my previous post and the suggestion to move the DM on the last mage... since the tat is roughly half of my AS, this means I am almost halfing the HP on the CoC mage, and that could be a really big problem in case of enemy AMF/GA... and not to speak of the "lost GA damage" from halfing the HPs on minions 2 and 4 (the wall has plenty of HP even with half AS)... so, I am not so sure this is such a good idea.

Ulord[NK] December 5 2007 11:24 AM EST

I applaud you on the great post! I wish my mentees are as engaged in the game ( or at least refrain from logging off before the first chatmail goes through ).

Some generic advices from me:

1. I find HP Wall to be best when situated in the back of the team. This is because its heavy AC and high HP will stop MM blacks from ripping apart your key damage dealers. HP wall is not as good up front because of insane Elbow damage. It will die in one volley with its low dex and multiple hits. Instead, an evasion wall is perfect up front as evasion effect is enormous in ranged rounds, keeping archers at bay.

2. Having heavy AC is great, especially on the walls. However, be mindful of how much AC you pack on. AC can increase your PR quite a bit and actually reduce your reward. Optimizing reward should be your top priority.

3. Coc needs to be as big as possible. That means train all of the exp into it as you'll be facing plenty of RoBF minions along the way as it stands now. They are easy food and provide good challenge bonus against a huge CoC. So training DM on your AS minion would be a wiser choice. You get plenty of hp from RoS as is and DM should only be trained to 1/3 of your tat level.

4. I believe this is already mentioned but NSC is going to be your bread and butter item. Put one on your Coc as soon as possible and one on your base decay minion. It'll make RoBF hunting a breeze. Getting an HoC for your CoC mage should also be top priority, much more important than wall armor.

5. More advanced minion configuration: try and rent an AoI and put that on your CoC mage, move it to the front. That gives it maximum protection from all damage sources and delay anything but MSK from hitting your mage before your other minions. As for your AMF enchanter, I guess that's a choice you'll make. You can either make it an evasion wall to better combat tanks or keep the AMF and become a deadly antimage(especially MM).

Hope that helps.

Sickone December 5 2007 11:47 AM EST

Amulet of Invisibility on the mage and move it up front ?
Hmm, sounds quite intriguing... let me see if I can get my hands on one and test it out, then make it my #1 shopping priority if it does work as I expect after reading your advice :)

Right now I'm at a fairly low PR, I don't even think I encountered any heavy archers, but I guess as power levels increase I might bump into a lot of them... until now, most of the time, the "front HP wall" was great at killing off most enemies (heck, it even survives most of the battles), and I tend to avoid heavy MM users (the rest usually die from AMF/GA effect and 4th minion alone, if I don't train decay on it).
Probably later I will move it in the back.

Well, right now, I didn't bother investing much cash into armor, most of it is "as I got it", so NW on it is not much (around 200k NW or so total for all armor pieces on the team).
I moved the "basic protection" from the CoC/DM 3rd minion to the "wall" 1st minion and left it at base (4)... will probably increase it later too.

As for the NSpellcasters... aren't they quite NW/PR heavy ?
Not to speak of how expensive they might be too.
To get a decent result out of them, wouldn't that cause pretty much the same problem as the wall armor being too high ?

Ulord[NK] December 5 2007 12:13 PM EST

NSC has a power weighting of 0.5 I believe. But you only need one that is around 1mil nw. The reduction in AMF will drastically increase your damage and make you survive longer. It gives a large impact at a relatively fixed pr cost. I mean a 10% NSC will be just as effective at 1mil mpr as it is at 100k mpr. It'll make the difference between 0 damage to ROBF users and enough damage for the kill.

AoIs are very common in rental so check them out :)

Sickone December 7 2007 5:10 PM EST

Took a few rentals, AoI/HoC/NS for the mage, a couple of high-armor pieces for the wall, trained base decay on the last two minions, moved mage to front, kept my XP allocation strategy for the time being.
All of a sudden I mind myself battling a good deal of opponents with a 100% challenge bonus

Score / PR / MPR: 413,549 / 173,656 / 125,054

Thanks, the AoI was a huge improvement, and the HoC wasn't bad either.
The NS was the least of the improvement, but helped a bit nevertheless... maybe it will help more later on with the mage fully DD-focused.

Ulord[NK] December 7 2007 5:30 PM EST

Good job :).

You don't have to buy the NS yet I guess, but you'll find yourself in the 600mpr range in a month fighting opponents 1mil +. That's when it'll shine.

Remember NSC is a discontinued supporter item that sells at very reasonable price. I got it just for its rarity.

Sickone December 17 2007 2:23 AM EST

Just wanted to drop a follow-up post... because I got pretty weird results :)
1,033,536 / 382,417 / 284,908

Currently, the minions are almost at same XP already and look like this:
#1: Protection 13/14, AC 113, rest HP
#2: Evasion 11, 1/2 CoC, 1/2 DM
#3: Base Decay, Evasion 11, 1/2 AMF, 1/2 GA
#4: Base Decay, Evasion 11, AS rest (190,638 / 96,706)

Now, the strange part is that after the AoI/HoC and other stuff expired, I didn't immediately re-rent them, and still, I was beating the same opponents that I used to beat pretty easily.
Sure, I was beating them by less of a margin, but all of those that I was winning against I was still winning.

So, for now, I decided not to re-rent anything.
Heck, I even I retrained base decay on the back minions and still, the strategy seems to be working pretty nicely.
I'm just wondering how this will work later on.
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