Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Wings of Destiny - Auction House

This post is one of our series of tips for Wings of Destiny, a 2.5D MMO. It is free to play, with optional features and conveniences you can purchase with money.

In this post, we will talk about the Auction House. For a list of our posts, click here.

  • Depending on your particular server, typically the Auction House will have ludicrous prices and a lot of it will be based on what the market will bear. A lot of it won't even make sense, so try to ask around for what sells at what price instead of simply pricing things to sell or buying things based on what the going rate is in the Auction House.
  • Generally you will get better trades if you try to barter directly with someone else, especially if you can find a trustworthy and helpful person and start a cooperative relationship.
Coin Auction
  • It's best if you can watch the auction for a while before diving in. Sometimes items are priced at too high a value and when you put in the same item at the same or even slightly lower value, it won't move and you've wasted coins on the auction fee.
  • It is best to have an alternate account that makes coin with Alchemy. That way, you can have your alt buy your own auctions if they fail to move. It is typically cheaper to transfer coin this way between alternate accounts and your main account than to mail coin.
  • For sending people small amounts of items, you can try going through coin auction instead of mail.
    • Mail has a flat cost of 50 coin per mail plus 5,000 coin for a stack of any one item type (for coins, the more you send the more it costs, with no limit).
    • For coin auction transfer, have the person stand by, and then put the item to be transferred up on auction at a low price (or even 1 coin). Then have the person immediately find it and buy it.
    • There's slight risk involved, but it's cheaper if you have to, say, send 1 unit of 5 types of blueprint materials. Sometimes the price of mail will exceed the value of the item.
    • You can also transfer items to warehouse with your alternate account this way by pricing them at ludicrous prices, and having your alt buy them.
  • Look for items that are priced less than the value indicated when you examine the item. The value indicated is what a store in a town will pay for it, so if an item is priced less than that in auction, buy it immediately. When you are in town next, retrieve it from your e-mail and sell it.
  • Also look for gear of level 40 and higher. When you degrade gear of that level, you get Equipment Essence as well as at least 1 Runestone, which could have a value of 500-1000 coins. Better gear and higher-level gear will give you more Runestones -- possibly enough to offset or exceed the auction price. Equipment Essence also tends to sell at a stupidly high price, so can be a roundabout way to get some at a lower price.
  • Definitely look for auction accidents, such as items priced suspiciously low because someone forgot to change the currency to Cash.
    • If an extraordinarily pricey item appears in this way, you could be nice about it by buying it and e-mailing it back to them.
    • Remember that you can e-mail someone without knowing them as a friend by simply typing their name in the e-mail composition name box.
Cash Auction
  • If you do the Free Cash offers and get a bit of Cash, you can try the Cash Auction to make even more cash.
    • For example, if stacks of 250 Runestones will sell in auction at 5-7 Cash, you can try to confirm that from someone who sells them, and sell your own, possibly buying stacks from the coin auction to put in Cash auction.
  • If you are shopping in Cash auction, be mindful of what rate your Currency Exchange will give you per 1 Cash, and then look in coin auction for the same item but a cheaper price.
    • For example, if 250 Runestones are selling at 250,000 coins in coin auction, but 6 Cash in cash auction, then try to get it from coin auction first, since 1 Cash could net you 80,000 or more coins, depending on your toon's level.
  • If you are looking for materials to complete your blueprint, remember that you can use the "Craft All" button on a blueprint to immediately pay for materials with Cash. Note the cost there and compare it to the cost in the coin auction before buying.

Wings of Destiny - Dungeons

This post is one of our series of tips for Wings of Destiny, a 2.5D MMO. It is free to play, with optional features and conveniences you can purchase with money.

In this post, we will talk about various dungeons. For a list of our posts, click here.

General Tips
  • Dungeons have no time limit, so if you are low on potions or elixirs, you can simply idle to get your health and mana back. The only danger is if you can't kill the bosses, in which case you can choose to kill as much as you can for EXP, coin, and blueprint material drops, then use the Leave button to exit.
  • The higher-levelled dungeons are very hard and around level 50 or level 60 you will probably require a team to help you kill the bosses.
  • If you get too close to any creature, it will follow you until you die, whereupon it will return to its starting location. Knights can have a really hard time if they are not careful. A knight may want to have a ranged-attack pet to draw enemies to them instead of charging in and getting the attention of too many enemies.
  • Bosses typically appear only after the previous boss is killed. You can sometimes avoid the bosses and kill just the grunts.
  • Typically you will need to do the dungeon at Elite difficulty to get any blueprints.
Abyssal Quarry (level 20)
  • Nothing too special here. Blueprints start at level 30, so no blueprints drop here, and no blueprint materials either.
Abandoned Cellar (level 30)
  • You can sneak by the first boss Roderick by staying close to the south, and thereby clear out the entire dungeon first.
The Infernal City (level 40)
  • The first two bosses have a pull attack and will try it even if there is an obstacle in the way and you can't be pulled to them. Shortly after, even if you moved away, they will slow your movement and drop a priest-skill type Circle at your location.
    • If you are a knight who doesn't want to be in the circle and take continuous damage; or a priest who wants to have both yourself and the boss in your own Circle of Refuge; immediately move away when pulled. When the boss conjures the Circle, run out of it and back toward the boss.
  • Vlad
    • The final boss, Vlad, has no ranged attack, so you can run from him and your pet will continue to attack him. This is a very slow way of killing him, however.
    • If you are a priest, you can use Disintegrate to stun him, Infuse to cause continuous damage, then flee. Run to the fountain and go in circles to keep him at bay. Repeat until he is dead.
    • When his fire shield comes up, you should run unless you can really soak up all the damage. Your pets are not affected by it.
Subterranean Prison (level 50)

  • Probably the first dungeon where you'll need a team even if you are level 60.
  • The Guard Chiefs are very tough but have no ranged attack, so the priest Disintegrate-Infuse-run circles trick will work on them, but it is very slow. Still, you can use it to clear the minions without using any potions.
  • The boss, One-Eyed Wen, has 1128k health at Elite difficulty! However, you can bypass him and grab the various treasure boxes elsewhere in the dungeon. If you are careful, you can draw the Guard Chiefs near him away first, and draw him out of the room alone.

Wings of Destiny - Daily Activity Points

This post is one of our series of tips for Wings of Destiny, a 2.5D MMO. It is free to play, with optional features and conveniences you can purchase with money.
In this post, we will talk about daily Activity Points (Login Rewards, Activity Points tab). For a list of our posts, click here.

Whenever possible, you will want to hit 100 Activity Points because the prize there -- a total of 10 elixirs -- is worth over 1.7 million coins were you to try to assemble it by buying from the Mysterious Shop. Elixirs are otherwise available by cash or vouchers. They are hard to get, and should not be squandered. They can get you out of serious trouble or when you are in an extreme time crunch and can't stop to recover health or mana. Although you can do something similar with a large stack of potions, that just takes up more inventory space, and you can get these elixirs for free.

Rewards are at 45, 60, 80, 100. Activities are:

+5 Stay in the game for 1 hour.
+5 Collect the "Online Reward" three times.

+5 Obtain 2 "Souls".
+5 Spin the "Lucky Roulette" TWO times.

+5 Complete 10 Daily Quests.
+5 Complete 5 Guild Quests.

 +10 Participate in Alchemist's Request Event.
+10 Participate in the Astral Trials (Solo) Event.
+15 Participate in 3 Daily Dungeons.

+10 Participate in the Recover the Wings Event.
+10 Participate in The Demon Dilemma Event.
+15 Participate in 3 Arena Fights - practice sessions count.
+15 Participate in Deathmatch Arena 5 times.
  • There are a total of 115 points possible, so not every event is critical.
  • If you are very short on time, the Alchemist's Request, Demon Dilemma, and Recover the Wings events can be short-cutted: You can simply enter solo, and immediately exit. As soon as you enter, your participation is recorded for points.
  • You get one free Roulette spin each day and can get vouchers for free spins randomly. If you don't use them, you can actually accumulate quite a bit. It is up to you whether you want to save one or two in order to get the extra points needed for a reward on a day when you can't do all events to get 100 points.
    • Free spin vouchers often show up in the Mysterious Shop for about 170,000 coins, although in rare instances you can get them for just under 10,000 coins there.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Wings of Destiny - Events

This post is one of our series of tips for Wings of Destiny, a 2.5D MMO. It is free to play, with optional features and conveniences you can purchase with money.

In this post, we will talk about various Events. For a list of our posts, click here.

General Tips
  • The events are typically the same amount of work no matter how many teammates you have, and you can generally go solo if you really want, but there's often no point in going solo.
  • If you can go solo and you can't find enough teammates, you might as well bring in one of your alternate accounts and leave them idle while one account completes the event. Even if someone does absolutely nothing, if the event is successfully completed, they still get one of the Instance Rewards.
  • The highest-levelled teammate determines the level of the event. For example, if the highest-levelled teammate is Level 60 in The Demon Dilemma, the salamanders in that event will be level 60 even if the other teammates are level 30 (the minimum required to participate in any Event). This can be a big problem. The treasure will also be level 60 gear, however.
  • In all Events, you can enter and exit without trying to complete it, and still be awarded Daily Activity Points.
  • If the monsters are of a level much higher than your own (over 10 levels), you receive no Experience points.
Alchemist's Request (open any time)
  • Some people believe that doing the larger potion sizes gives a better chance of a better reward, but this does not appear to be the case. If you really want to test it, you could do a few Medium or Large potions and let the Instance Reward timer run out, whereupon all prizes are revealed.
  • Typically the Alchemist's Request will have at least 2 blueprint material rewards, but often at least one of them is of a type that can be gotten elsewhere. Try to get a full team of 5 because all non-material-reward prizes are just bags of coin.
  • To reduce frustration, try to have a full five-team although typically there is typically enough time for one character of the same level as the Instance to complete it solo at Small Potion size without using elixirs.
    • Anyone who can enter the event can join the team, even if their level is grossly lower. The creatures and rewards are based on the highest-level member.
    • If you are going solo, you can avoid using potions or elixirs by idling a while to get health and mana back. If you have weak team members who happen to be Priests, they can help without fighting by just healing you.
    • If you are only level 30-45, you may need potions or elixirs to do this event solo.
    • Characters who are disconnected from the game, even if they were not kicked from the team, do not draw a reward unless they reconnect before the event is concluded. The event is concluded by properly fulfilling the kill requirements and talking to the NPC inside (Frey).
  • If you are working on blueprints, you will need certain materials that can ONLY be gotten from this event. For example, if you are working on Level 40 blueprints, you may need a Blade of Missed Chance, Source of Pestilence, Pestilence Blood, or Twisted Soul.
    • Once you are level 50, it will be IMPOSSIBLE to get any of those if you are in the team because the rewards will be selected from level 50 materials, and those are level 40 materials.
    • You can either get someone else to find them and trade for them, or buy them in auction (typically at outrageous prices), or make an alternate account that isn't level 50 yet and go on an Alchemist Reward mission.
    • You can also level-hold -- Stop trying to gain experience points and slow your advance to Level 50 long enough for you to get the critical materials.
    • Another way to get them is to join an event already in progress: For example, suppose you are level 60 and need level 40 materials (e.g., a Source of Pestilence) from the Alchemist's Request to finish an old blueprint.
      • First, you need to make a level 40's Alchemist Request event by having a team with at least 1 character of level 40-49, and no other characters of a higher level. If no one is willing to cooperate, you could make an alternate character of the appropriate level and enter the event as a team of one. Once inside, start the event by talking to the NPC there.
      • Once the event is started, have the team leader issue an Invitation to your level 50 character. You can be accepted to the team, but will still be outside the event.
      • Have your character enter the event by going to the Alchemist's Assistant in Forrester City, and entering via dialogue. You will now be in the event.
      • Although you are level 50, the creatures you have to kill will be based on the event already created, and the rewards will also be based on the event already created.
      • You can additionally use this method to help lower-level characters speed through the event.
  • If you do this event solo, you can exit the event and re-enter, and the creature count will accumulate from the last time you were there. However, each time you enter counts against the two times you can do this event each server day.
  • In addition to the Alchemist's Request, you can get blueprint materials from:
    • Dungeons
    • The Guild Dungeon: A random quest from a Guild Admin. You receive 1 material based on your character level IF you clear the dungeon before the time runs out.
    • The Dealiest Hunt daily quest from the Guard Captain in Forrester. However, all materials are Bound and won't stack with unbound materials from elsewhere. Save the prize boxes to be opened when you are ready to complete a blueprint, and use the bound materials first (by moving excess unbound items to warehouse, or in the worst case mailing them to yourself as temporary storage, so they won't get picked up by the blueprint).
    • Auction House, typically at outrageous prices, especially if the material is only obtainable from the Alchemist's Request.
    • Trading directly with other players, especially guildmates. Barter is typically better than going through the Auction House, but harder to arrange.
    • Using Cash and the "Craft All" button on your blueprint.
Arena (server time 1230h and 2200h)
  • Whenever possible, do the maximum allowed (5) matches every day because, win or lose, you get Battle Points.
  • For Team Arena, you can enter solo. The process is basically the same: Create a team (e.g., of just yourself), then go back to the Arena interface and click "Register". You have to Register every bout.
  • On Sundays there is no Arena, but you can still do Practice Arena three times for Daily Activity Points (no Battle Points, however).

Deathmatch (server time 1130h and 2000h)
  • Whenever possible, do at least 5 matches not just to get Daily Activity points, but for the literally hundreds of Battle Points you get for free if you can participate in 5 matches.
  • Be helpful and do more (even if you lose) to help others get their "Daily 5" since you will probably end up begging for help yourself one day.
    • In the worst case, have some alternate accounts join. Which Deathmatch Stage a character is in depends on weekly participation and not on actual fighting ability, so an alternate account solely to help fill Deathmatches does not actually need to be developed beyond the minimum level to participate.
    • There is very little reason not to participate every day, but if you start skipping, you will eventually slide down in Stage.
    • If you are too diligent, you will move up and encounter too-strong enemies before you are ready. Even so, the free Battle Points you get for doing 5 a day make any participation worthwhile.
The Demon Dilemma (server time 0900h and 2110h)
  • The Demon Dilemma is just a grind where you fight lizards, then a demon boss. You do not have to kill all the lizards to get the boss to appear, but you must kill everything to "succeed" and be awarded a prize.
  • Although the prizes list only gems, that is a random prize for succeeding at the instance. Most of the time you get blue-rank gear or bags of coin. Overall, for just the mere chance of getting a gem, this is a lousy event. You can get gems more conveniently through the Lucky Roulette or the Auction House.
  • Go with the highest-levelled team that will accept you. As characters near level 50, typically their gear and resources will be such that they can breeze through this event quickly and you really need to just stay alive and keep away from the salamanders . (If you are a Priest of any level, you can help by staying in the rear away from the monsters, and healing the front-line attackers).
Guild Dungeon (Guild Admin quest only)
  •  Sometimes you will be asked to kill Skeletons in the Guild Dungeon by the Guild Admin. If you really, really, don't want to do this, you can Abandon the quest by clicking on the magnifying glass to look at the details, then clicking "Abandon". If you do this, you lose one of the limited number of daily guild quests available to you.
  • If you are unable to kill all 30 skeletons before the timer runs out, you fail the Instance (you won't get a reward, which is typically a blueprint material, bag of gold, or in rare cases, Guild Supplies), but you can re-enter the dungeon and kill more skeletons until you reach the 30 kills you need. You can then exit and talk to the Guild Admin to successfully complete the Guild Quest.
Hot Springs (server time 1300h and 2130h)
  • Also known as Lands of Purity or "LOP". When you are in a "seance" (paired up by clicking on someone and "inviting" them to a "seance") your EXP and Coins gained per unit time doubles. You need to be a STAR5 or higher member to have a seance with toons of the same sex.
  • While in Hot Springs, because it is typically a very well attended event, you may want to announce requests for items or barter.
  • Also, this is often an idle time, so either announce to your guild you are going "AFK" (away from keyboard) and set your toon to always accept invitations (to seance), or work on your character (e.g., soul draws, card and gem configurations), or shop in the auction house.
  • This is also a great time to have an alternate account run around the map harvesting materials since most people will be in the Lands of Purity.
  • If you are willing to give up the free EXP and Coins, this is also a fairly good time to run Carts for your guild. Even so, try to arrange an escort.
Recover the Wings (server time 1300h and 1910h)
  • The idea in Wings is to kill the Demon Slaves before they transform into Angels. And honestly, you'd be surprised how many people don't know this and hold back on area of effect attacks for fear of drawing too many attackers.
  • Demon Slaves don't fight back and clump tightly enough that in general Mages can hit them all with their wide area of effect spell. If you can do this quickly enough, and none of the Slaves turn into Angels, you only have to gang up and fight the demon boss at the end.
  • Wings is necessary to get certain blueprints. Only a few blueprints are obtainable at the Elite level of dungeons. The rest must be gotten through direct barter with other players, purchase in the Auction House, or through Wings.
    • You may want, early on, to ask the team to barter prints with you if you draw them. Otherwise people may simply leave immediately after the event.
  • Wings is also one of the few places to get a pet (Shivra) or Guild Supplies for free. The former is typically purchased with Vouchers or Cash in the Mall; the latter is typically available only in the Mall or as a random drop from bosses on every 5th level in the Astral Trials.
  • Unless you need a particular level blueprint, try to go into the highest-levelled team that will accept you. As characters near level 50, typically their gear and resources will be such that they can breeze through this event quickly without any Slaves turning into Angels.
  • Like the Alchemist's Request, the blueprint level that drops is based on the highest-levelled character in the event at the time it is created. New team members can retroactively join by talking to the Holy Guard in Forrester City.

      Thursday, December 20, 2012

      Wings of Destiny - Getting Started / Basic Tips

      This post is one of our series of tips for Wings of Destiny, a 2.5D MMO. It is free to play, with optional features and conveniences you can purchase with money.
      In this post, we will talk about the very basics of getting a game going, and other tips that don't really fit elsewhere. The topics are: Choosing a Server, Choosing a Character, Currencies, and Miscellaneous Tips.
      Our other posts cover the Auction House, Daily Activity Points, Dungeons, and Events.

      Choosing a Server
      Before you commit to playing the game -- and definitely BEFORE you spend any money -- check out the game on an older server where there are seasoned players. Also look at any events that may be running on new and upcoming servers. Most of these are cash events, so before you dive in and spend cash, check out the game first.
      Once you choose a server to play, you will likely want to commit to that server because the game gives you increasing and often irreplaceable benefits for continuing to log in every day. These range from holiday events (e.g., log in 10 consecutive days to get a special Santa Pet during the Christmas event) to mundane daily rewards that reset if you miss even a single day but that build to otherwise expensive or hard-to-get (even impossible-to-get) items if you don't miss logging in on any day.

      If you pick an older server, you are more likely to get a lot of established guilds to join for more immediate benefits. If you pick a newer server, there's a chance you'll end up in a guild that will eventually fizzle out, forcing you to start all over again. However, that is actually not a particularly huge concern compared to just picking one server and staying.

      Alternate Accounts
      I recommend that you do NOT use any main e-mail address or other account (e.g., your Facebook account), especially if you are going to try some of the "Free Cash" offers, where you do online surveys or the like and have to give out your e-mail address.
      For various reasons which we'll get into later, you will probably want to run multiple accounts (alternate accounts or "alts"), sometimes concurrently, and in order to do so you will need multiple e-mail addresses as well as one different type of browser (e.g., Chrome, IE, FireFox) for each toon you would like to be able to have on at the same time. You can get multiple accounts quite easily through a free service like mail.com.

      Shared Accounts
      An interesting idea is to share one character between two or more players. In this way, between the two (or more) of you, the character can do a maximum number of activities per game day while no one person is committing an excessive amount of time each day. It can get confusing when it comes to participation in World Chat, however; and only one person can be logged in at the same time.

      Choosing a Character
      You can have multiple characters on the same e-mail account and the same server, and with just a few hours of work you can get a character that accesses the basic skills of each character type, so you can try it out. You can easily erase characters and start over. So, if you are able to, try to play a character until level 30-35 to get a feel for it and whether you like the character type. Eventually levelling slows down a lot and you will probably want to focus on just one character just so that you can start to unlock various level-locked aspects of the game.

      It is advisable to have a toon (your character in-game) match your own gender, as it can feel like lying (or at least confusing) when someone starts referring to you, the player, by the gender of your toon. However, there are a lot of people with gender-mismatched toons, so this is by no means absolutely necessary, nor is revealing the difference in gender necessary.

      In the worst case, you can make multiple accounts and have them send you coins, either through the mail or (slightly more cheaply) through the Auction House by having them buy a trivial item you have priced in Auction at an obscene amount.
      Despite the relative ease of making coins, you will never have enough. Auctions for rare materials for blueprints can easily run into millions of coins. Attribute slots 2 and 3 on your Faith Badge cost 5 million and 10 million coins respectively. Even converting cash into coins won't get you a lot of coins so you should avoid doing that.
      Whenever possible, do transactions in coins because it is freely obtained in the game.

      Vouchers are quite hard to come by, and their use is rather limited in any case. Try not to use them if you can use coins, but use them instead of Cash if you can (e.g., to buy Pets in the Mall). There is a limited time event that gives out vouchers as well (The Great Voucher Giveaway).

      You can get a bit of cash through the "Free Cash" tab, where you participate in offers and surveys to be awarded cash. But you are given very little this way. To get cash, you typically need to buy it with real money.
      Even a bit of cash can net you extraordinary benefits and get you ahead very quickly and conveniently, but it is all to easy to spend it like water. Unless you have real world cash to burn, be very stingy with Cash no matter how you get it. Try to spend it on permanent things you can't otherwise get. For example, you can complete a blueprint by using Cash to buy the missing materials. However, if you are smart about acquiring blueprint materials, you can get materials with coin or trading with others instead of spending cash on it -- especially as you will come across materials for blueprints anyway.

      BEFORE you spend any cash on a convenience in the game, think very carefully about whether that is worth the cash. For example, for a bit of cash, you can try to reset a quest to give you more of a reward, close to 10x as much in an extreme case. But it is extremely random, and you could be throwing away a lot of cash -- real world money -- for a comparatively small and temporary gain.

      Cash is also important for improving a guild, because to start avenues of research in a Guild, you require Guild Supplies; and other than a low chance of getting them through various events such as Recover the Wings or Astral Trials, units of Guild Supplies have to be purchased with Cash. There are some (tedious) ways around this and we'll discuss it when we talk about Guilds.

      Battle Points
      You can get hundreds of Battle Points every day by participating in at least five DeathMatches. You can also grow your own Battle Points through Alchemy. And you can get tiny amounts by participating in matches in DeathMatch or Arena. However, the cost of anything in the Mall that requires Battle Points is absolutely cut-throat and you will likely want to spend your Battle Points only on your Faith Badge, which sucks up a lot of Battle Points and Coins but give you a basically permanent bonus.

      Miscellaneous Tips
      • Once you finish one tutorial and understand how to play the game, start it over. You will realize there is a LOT of waste if you are locked into what the tutorial tells you to do.
        • For example, it instructs you to use WingTips to teleport when the destination is close enough to conveniently walk. WingTips are expensive to buy and somewhat hard to come by, so you may want to start conserving right away. Also, it will instruct you to use an Elixir. These are hideously expensive to get, although you can get five a day if you invest enough time playing the game each day. Nevertheless there is no reason to waste them in the early game when you can breeze through the tutorial with auto-combat.
        • In order to get out of forced tutorial steps, look for the red button in the upper left side that allows you to end the tutorial. You will get a WingTip message that won't clear, but just ignore it and instead use the map to find the person you need to speak with, and click on their name to auto-path there.
      • Always have an escort when running Carts for your guild. Popular family holidays are the very best days to run carts because a lot of people will be offline doing real-life holiday chores.
      • You cannot erase a toon/character if it is in a Guild. You cannot leave a guild if you are the leader and the only member. In such a case, make a throwaway alternate toon to promote and kick you from the guild.

          Wednesday, December 19, 2012

          Oblivion Mod Review - Claudia's Little Secret

          The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Mod Review - Claudia's Little Secret (ver: Gold Beta) Alternate Download Location
          Score: +14/-4

          Edit: Dec-28-2012 -- Oops! Looks like some text from another review got pasted into this one. Incorrect info has now been removed.

          Summary: Plays like an adult movie, but a lot of gratuitous sex; however, it actually has a decent story and many interesting events.

          Why Get This: Claudia's Little Secret is an Oblivion mod that gives you an extraordinarily different experience compared to just about every mod out there, and in so many ways. For its size, there is also an amazing amount of content, not just in quest length and number of quests, but story length and visuals. More so than any other mod I've played, this is absolutely one you MUST try.
          It's worst part is the grammar and spelling, but compared to it's plusses, this is pretty minor and tolerable. Definitely get the walkthrough or you'll miss out on a lot that's hard to find. For additional support, go to the official forum.
          ++ Complex and interesting story and some parallel side stories involving NPCs.
          + Handles multiple characters well, with cutscenes to "what is happening in the meantime" events, adding to the broader story context.
          ++ Alternate endings, and very, very, good ending cutscenes.
          ++ An amazing amount of content and quests.
          - Some quests and hidden quests are so obscure that you really need the walkthrough.
          ++ Tons of complex cutscenes, most of them quite interesting and plot-advancing, and really quite long. A huge amount of work has gone into this.
          +- Sex scenes with good scripting so that for the most part it looks pretty decent. But there's way too much of it. Although that is part of the point of Claudia's Little Secret, at some point it becomes so predictable and tedious that you just want it to be over with so you can continue the story.
          - Way too much overly buxom women. This is a design choice, and may appeal to some people, but too much of it makes it a bit too comical / silly.
          ++ Many quests are interesting without being combat oriented. There are so many that this deserves more than one point.
          ++ Some very interesting locations, with occasional stunning and/or epic visuals.

          Monday, November 12, 2012

          WarTune Tips - Battlegrounds

          This post is one of our series of tips for WarTune, a 2.5D MMO converted from the Chinese version by 7th Road. It is free to play, with optional features you can purchase with money.
          In this post, we will talk about the Battlegrounds. Click here for our review and list of tips.

          The basic setup of the Battlegrounds is two teams trying to score 5000 points first, or get more points at the end of the approximately 30-minute round.
          Points are gotten by collecting crystals, or by defeating members of the opposing team. Team members who are defeated lose points.

          Because of the disparity in fighting ability due to equipment and Astrals, you will generally have a few strong characters "farming" very weak ones for Honor. This means that there are generally three types of players at any one time:
          • Strong players attacking weak players
          • Medium players who are too troublesome or chancy to attack
          • Weak players who get attacked and lose points for the team
          You should always show up for Battlegrounds because no matter what, you will get a minimum of 30 Insignias per match -- that's if you are on the losing team. If your team wins, even if you did absolutely nothing, you get 80 Insignias. The only difference your actions make is in collecting points toward a win, and in Honor Points you gain for yourself. I recommend testing the waters and seeing what type of people show up at Battlegrounds on your server, and which type of player you end up being in your level category:
          • Strong: If you are in the upper end of fighting ability, you can more or less do what you like.
            • If you attack too many weak players, you will probably find that the server will start to have people who "go AFK" -- They just show up but do nothing and stand idle in the initial gathering area. Too many AFK players on your team means your team will probably lose no matter what because of a lack of points.
            • Attacking other players will gain you Honor faster IF you win, but generally collects points much slower than just carting crystals. Just the process of entering and exiting combat is probably enough time to make two cart runs.
            • If you make the most number of kills, you get bonus honor as "MVP", but it is barely anything if your team loses. Nevertheless, people aim for this because it takes thousands of points to attain a rank, and rank is required to use the upper-level Arena sets. In the long-term, this is the fastest way to ensure you stay ahead of the competition, providing you can quickly buy those sets. As mentioned in our review of Wartune, it is a broken system of the rich getting richer (or in this case, the strong getting stronger) which encourages people to start in, or migrate to, newer servers.
            • Probably the best thing to do if you dominate the BattleGround in combat ability is to cover the carts. Go for medium to stronger characters so the carts on your side can win the round (and get you an extra 30 Honor for winning). In the best case, just 2-3 strong characters covering one end of the crystal valley can keep the carts flowing for an easy and early win.
          • Medium:
            • Unless you know about the player you face, it can be tricky attacking them. Even if you are confident of winning, fighting is really only to gain Honor. However, you can gain Honor with less hassle by carting crystals. Also, winning is more important that getting Honor since you do get more Honor for being on the winning side, as well as more Insignias.
            • Points for your team are gained faster by collecting crystals. You will have to put together your strategy from the Strong and Weak categories. I recommend avoiding the stronger characters and focus on carting. AFTER you collect crystals and are in transport mode, if you spot someone you can handle, you can choose to attack them. If you lose, you still have your cart and the points from that will mitigate your points loss.
          • Weak: You are best off collecting crystals unless you keep getting attacked.
            • If you are frequently attacked and lose, you can easily end with a net deficit of points, which hurts your team.
            • Follow Champion ranked characters and let them lead to engage the enemy, then go in and get your crystals. Run from all enemies that might attack (some are just committed to doing the carts) and try to head toward your team's fighters (typically anyone who has acquired enough rank to gain a title above their name). In the extreme case, back away and try the other end of the valley that has the crystals. If someone is engaged in combat, it is typically safe to run through them given how long combat takes compared to running around with carts. Usually there will be a bunch of weak players who haven't read this blog and will blindly beeline for the crystals and hope for the best in carting. Let them go ahead and be engaged, then zip in to get your crystals and get the heck out of there.
            • When you are heading to the crystals, try to preselect the crystals and just let your character path-find, instead of going in and trying to click on a crystal. If it is busy, you could accidentally click an enemy, or you might be stalled trying to click the crystal.
              • When your cursor turns into a hand, you have targeted a crystal for harvesting. Try to hover your cursor at the edge of a crystal formation. No matter where you click, you will move to the centre of the crystal formation for harvesting.
              • If a crystal is particularly busy with teammates harvesting or characters fighting, choose that one since you can then "hide" in the mess of overlapping characters.
              • This is particularly important to do in the Level 40+ arena because horses can very easily block your cursor.
            • If none of the fighters on your team are covering the carts by fighting strong opponents, and you are engaged too frequently, just AFK so you don't end with a net deficit of points and thereby lose your team points. Some players cart from start to finish, but keep getting attacked and end up with less points than they start with (everyone starts at 100).
            • The 1.45 patch completed on Nov-15/2012 introduced a Daily Devotion to enter the BattleGrounds, but also a Daily Quest to win 2 fights there for a lot of XP, so we can expect a lot less carting. Go AFK if you have to until you can win a couple of fights. Use the leaderboard to look at the enemy characters -- click on their names to get the info panel and look at their Battle Rating and gear, to see if you might be able to win. However, Battle Rating is a vague metric at best and can be off by as much as 5,000 points in terms of actual comparative fighting ability.
            • I deliberately made a weak character and used the techniques I have indicated here, and generally ended up in the top 10 point-earner list in the under-Level-40 Battlegrounds. The L40+ Battlegrounds are trickier since the level spread is wider.
          There is a lot of complaining about people who AFK, for the reason that they do nothing. However, even if you can't do anything useful other than AFK (see above), I recommend you show up for Battlegrounds because you will otherwise not be able to collect Insignias for the gear you need to actually compete and be productive. The Group Arena is the only other place to get Insignias, but that takes longer, and whenever you lose, the stronger opponents gain more Insignias. In Battlegrounds, if you lose or AFK, at least you are not helping the opponent win.
          Your teammates can be expected to not coordinate as a team and generally do nothing to help. Everyone is typically too selfish to do anything except attack weak players for Honor points, or just go about their business collecting crystals. Therefore, since no one is helping you, you really owe them nothing either -- certainly not going out to get killed, thereby lose points for your team, and in the process support the selfish goals of others.

          Collecting crystals will also get you shards that can be synthesized into Battleground Treasure Chests. However, it will take 60 shards to make one chest, AND you will have to pay 20,000 gold to do it. The chest will definitely NOT always contain something worth 20,000 gold. You can instead do approximately just as well at the Guild Altar, and with more convenience, for the same cost; plus you are adding to the Guild Coffers instead of just wasting money. I recommend holding on to them to see if they will eventually be changed to give better rewards. Do NOT synthesize them and hope for the same since the chests won't stack in your inventory.

          Saturday, November 10, 2012

          WarTune Tips - Healer Mage

          This post is one of our series of tips for WarTune, a 2.5D MMO converted from the Chinese version by 7th Road  It is free to play, with optional features you can purchase with money.
          In this post, we will talk about playing a Healer Mage to around level 40. Click here for our review and list of tips.

          Level 1-25
          Since skill points can be reset for free until level 25, your Healer Mage build isn't specialized until after that level.
          The two main skills to aim for here are Suntoria and Thunderer. At level 24, the skills I recommend are:
          • Mana Master 1
          • Rain of Fire 2
          • Thunderer 1
          • Suntoria 1
          • Castinador 1
          Obviously in getting these skills you will need the minimum prerequisites; unless stated otherwise, take them to the minimum you need for the skills listed.

          In practice, you are really only using Thunderer against the World Boss, and may never get to use Delphic Thunder Frenzy. Against mobs, use Rain of Fire if you can spare the Rage  or if you have the reduction from Castinador active (which would net you a positive gain in Rage after casting).

          When fighting the world bosses, ONLY have attack skills active if you do AFK mode, since the AI will pick healing skills even when it is useless.
          If you are manually controlling your character against the World Boss, you may want to cast the big moves only when Castinador is active. Otherwise let your Rage accumulate and spam the boss with your biggest moves when it's nearly full (or when the boss is almost dead and you might as well use up all your Rage).

          The Restoration skill can be tricky to use. Try not to wait until the last moment to use it as you can't always predict who will receive it (e.g., the unit you hope to heal might get wiped out before you cast, or another will be injured more; and you can no longer abort your skill use). Once you get Suntoria, this will be a backup healing skill for emergencies, and even then, you will find that the amount it heals will be barely a band-aid and not worth the significant cost. Whenever you can, choose Suntoria instead of Restoration, especially when adventuring with significantly stronger allies since Suntoria works on a percentage, so no matter their level relative to yours, it will always be very useful.

          Whereas Restoration is somewhat wasted if you cast it too early, Suntoria is wasted if you cast it too late. With Suntoria, you are casting it not as a band aid or emergency heal, but with the aim to end a fight with everyone at full health. Keep this in mind as we discuss how to use it.

          Whenever you can accumulate Rage from one fight to the next, start with Lightning Bolts in your first battle to build Rage, and try to end your first battle with 30+ Rage. On subsequent fights, you will generally open with Suntoria IF your allies will be taking a lot of damage. While the long cooldown is active, use Lightning Bolt to recover your Rage. Meanwhile, your allies will have a reduced rate of taking damage because they are healing with every attack they make (up to 5 turns, anyway). Keep Suntoria up throughout if you can, to avoid having to patch anyone with Restoration.

          Ideally you will want to have Suntoria active at the very end of combat, so that your allies will get in the last blows and be fully healed when combat ends. This way, everyone consumes as few resources (healing potions) as possible for each fight. Healing Potions are quite easy to come by unless you burn through them very quickly, in which case you can buy them from Guild Stores -- where your contributions are better spent on Guild Skills instead, so try to be fully healed after each fight and conserve your potions.

          The hardest situation for coming out fully healed is actually when you can easily run over the enemy. Before you can recover all your Rage from casting Suntoria, the fight might be over and you might not have Rage reserved for the next fight. In such a case, you might actually want to NOT cast an area effect spell like Rain of Fire, simply to prolong combat a turn or two and get that healing and Rage accumulation. Also think ahead to whether you will need to open with Suntoria soon (e.g., boss fight coming?).

          When your PDEF is near-to or higher than that of your troops, you may want to put your hero in front since their gain from Suntoria (which works on a percentage of total health) will be greater, and will slowly begin to be greater than the net damage received each turn unless you are fighting very high level enemies. With this sort of win-by-attrition, you can solo some hard maps whereas other character classes will have to rely on quick damage output. At level 33+ (depending on your supporting gear, guild skills, astrals, and technology) you can solo the Delphinian Swamp or Undead Swamp without troops, for example. If all the enemies are melee and can't (or can rarely) hit the rear row, having your hero in front to shield weak troops and continually healing yourself will really show the power of winning by attrition. I could do the aforementioned areas with level 20 Paladins who really had a mostly token role in the Delphinian Swamps (killed too quickly by archers) and a good support role in the Undead Swamp (only the Tauren boss could, at random, hit the back row).

          Generally Suntoria will run out before the cooldown ends, unless you get the +2 turn bonus from doing the QTE (keypress sequence) at skill level 2. For this reason, it is not recommended that you leave Suntoria at level 1, although you could if you just wanted minimal healing and to balance your mage with a bit more firepower. You only need Suntoria 1 to get Blessed Light 1.

          We could pick up Purification, but it is not very useful even into early level 30 because whenever you do use it, the AI enemy is generally able to simply restore their debuff on your allies faster than you can accumulate Rage and certainly before the 30 second cooldown. Nevertheless we will need to level it up to get Blessed Light.

          Level 26
          Before you get to level 26, reset your skills (free -- afterwards it will cost Balens or Vouchers) and reconfigure for the long-term. Your skills will now be:
          • Mana Master 2
          • Lightning Bolt 1
          • Suntoria 1
          • Meteoric Destroyer 1
          You should have 3 out of 13 skill points left, but DON'T spend it all since you will only have 1 (maybe 2) points left at Level 34 once you get Blessed Light. You could, if you like, put 1 point in Rain of Fire and use that as your primary area of effect attack instead of Meteoric Destroyer. You *can* do without it if you are not into PvP Arena, BUT you have very few points to spare, so definitely read the next sections before spending any spare points.

          Notice that we have lost Rain of Fire, which is actually a very good attack skill. As a Healer Mage, let your allies do the damage and keep them comfortably healed, or use Suntoria to continually regenerate your health and pound the enemy with Lightning Bolt.
          With Meteoric Destroyer, because of the high cost, try to use it only to open combat (when you have lots of time to rebuild your Rage) and/or when you will definitely kill one or two weakened units so that your allies don't waste big attacks on them.
          Tactics otherwise remain the the same overall.

          Level 34
          This is the earliest you can get Blessed Light. The skills I recommend are:
          • Mana Master 3
          • Lightning Bolt 1
          • Suntoria 2
          • Blessed Light 1
          You will have 1 point left, or 2 points if you decide to leave Suntoria at level 1 (not recommended). If you picked Rain of Fire 1 to boost your area effect attacks, then you won't have any room to move here.
          Castinador 2 is an interesting option if you feel the basic 6% doesn't show up enough as the extra 2% could either be not significant or make it appear enough times for your liking. In any case, It helps with all spells, and your healing spells already cost 30+.
          Also, after the 1.45 patch/upgrade, you no longer have to have the full Rage cost to cast a spell if Castinador is active. For example, previously, you still needed 30 Rage to cast Suntoria when the bonus from Castinador was active. Now you only need (30 - 20 discount from Castinador) = 10 Rage.
          Before you decide anything, think ahead to what you really want to do with your character. More on this later.

          Blessed Light is costly to cast, so like Restoration, save for emergencies if you can and try to rely on Suntoria. The main advantage over Restoration is that it helps everyone because sometimes you really don't want to heal your almost-dead-troop and want to direct that healing to yourself.
          In the arena or against the cloned party from Summoner encounters on Multiplayer maps, you might end up opening with Blessed Light in round 2 after both sides have exchanged a big volley (using runes to get the Rage you need, if necessary). Otherwise, overall tactics haven't really changed (boring, I know).
          If you are basically doing a dungeon solo (e.g., a multiplayer dungeon on your own, or a single player dungeon with weak troops in rear formation), switch Blessed Light to Restoration and use that cheaper spell to focus healing on yourself.
          This said, getting Blessed Light at level 34 is probably too early and you would do better to get Rain of Fire level 3 or Thunderer instead, and pick this up much later, if at all. I took this still right at level 34, and until level 37 used it maybe 3 times in total in highly specific situations (e.g., hedging against a bad outcome early in a Summoner encounter). Probably the earliest you will find Blessed Light useful is against the final boss (Eye of Yaros) in the level 40-45 "Void" multiplayer instance. Even then, you may be able to scrape by with Suntoria, or better still, by adventuring with higher-level companions who can quickly mop up the last boss.

          You don't always need Purification in your quickbar. In fact, I recommend leaving it out until you actually get your ass whooped by something that has a strong debuff, then put it in and try the fight again. If the map is relatively easy, swap out Restoration for another attack power (if you have it) so that you have something to spend your Rage on.

          Toward Level 50
          Think about where you want your Mage in the long term. Past level 25-30 your level progression starts to slow down a lot and you'll be lucky to get 1 level per day, so we're looking at very long term planning. We're not even going to think about L80, although you will ultimately get there. However, since resetting your skills cost a lot, you'll want to think about your character as early as level 24 when you can still reset skills for free.
          • To maximize healing, you will be aiming for Blessed Light level 2, BUT this is a significant investment in prerequisites and the gains may not be significant enough for you. Also, if you go this route you are more or less locked in till level 50 in terms of skill points and that is a very long way to go with basic attack spells.
            • You need Suntoria 3 and Purification 3, which also means Restoration 3 and Meteoric Destruction 3. And you won't get Blessed Light 2 till level 50. That's probably a month of gameplay away unless you accelerate your character advancement with the advantages only money can buy. In which case it's even more important to think about your long-term skill tree.
            • Meteoric Destroyer is stronger than Rain of Fire but requires more Rage and has a longer cooldown. Rain of Fire has a net positive Rage gain when Castinador activates.
          • You could decide to leave Blessed Light at level 1 and abandon the healing specialization. Because Blessed Light 2 is so far away, and you might find very little use for Purification, I recommend this. Leave Meteoric Destroyer at 1 and start boosting your attack power in more Rage-efficient ways:
            • Rain of Fire gets a big damage boost at level 4. Also, with Heart Elemental 2, after two Lightning Bolts you can immediately throw one out (cost is 16 Rage). And if Castinador is active, that Rain of Fire will net you +2 to as much as +8 or more Rage from being free thanks to Castinador and earning Rage from Heart Elemental.
            • Compared to Blessed Light 2 at level 50, you could get Rain of Fire 4 and have 2 points left over, which could get you Thunderer 1 if you wanted.
              • Using Thunderer is probably racing for damage instead of winning with attrition. You can heal yourself and your allies or you can burn Rage for damage and try to rush a win. If you wanted to do the latter, you would probably not have bothered building a team player healer in the first place. In that case, you really need to back up to level 24 and re-think how far down the healing skills you really want to go -- Do you even want to go past Suntoria 1? If you're bypassing Blessed Light, you can also skip Castinador 1, Meteoric Destroyer 1, and Purification 1 and instead aim for Thunderer early.
            • You could also aim for Thunderer 2 (QTE for +25% damage) but you won't have enough points to get Thunderer 3 at level 50. You'll also need nice gear and runes to keep up a Thunderer spam to take advantage of the 2 second cooldown.

          Friday, November 9, 2012

          WarTune Tips - Daily Devotions

          This post is one of our series of tips for WarTune, a 2.5D MMO converted from the Chinese version by 7th Road  It is free to play, with optional features you can purchase with money.
          In this post, we will talk about Time Management as it relates to Daily Devotions (1.45 update, 2012-Nov-15)  Click here for our review and list of tips.

          A Game Day starts at 0500h (5 hours after the Tree of Life reset), and typically as soon as people log on, they grab their free Bullhorns and type some inane message in World Chat to quickly get 5 Devotion points. I recommend you instead STOP and think about what you are doing instead of doing mindless things. Also, always check your Bounties before doing any Daily Devotions since you might have a bounty that asks for the same thing (e.g., Enchanting) and you might as well kill two birds with one stone.

          Daily Devotions get you stuff at 10, 40, 80, and 95 points. If you are in between, you don't get anything. So separate your Daily Devotions into what you can do quickly ("Quick" items), what you can do whenever you want ("Solo" items), and what you need others to do with you ("Cooperative" items). Decide whether you can or will be able to do the items in that last category. Use the items in the previous two categories to "top up" your points toward the Devotion tiers that will actually net you something.
          100 points is the maximum Devotion you can get each day, but rewards end at 95 Devotion.

          QUICK (+50)
          • +5 - Login
            • Automatically done for you and qualifies you to get Bullhorns.
          • +5 - Contribute any amount to your guild
          • +5 - Perform two Guild Blessings
            • There is a Daily Quest that requires you do only one. Do the other one only if you can't make 95 points any other way, or unless you consistently get good items from the altar in exchange for 20,000 gold.
          • +5 - Speak in World Chat
            • You get free Bullhorns every day, so this is easy to do. Those horns are 300gp a piece, so if you are cash-strapped you could potentially sell them -- therefore, I recommend against just wasting them on inane pronouncements.
          • +5 - Capture an Astral
            • You can capture one for free each day. It is otherwise a minimum of 4,000 gold for the lowest-tiered Astral, plus you need 20,000 gold on hand (otherwise you will get a message that you do not have enough gold reserves).
          • +5 - Complete 3 Daily quests
            • Some here are really easy, such as harvesting your own Tree of Life, doing a Guild Altar spin, or Harvesting a resource.
          • +5 - Enter the Altar of Ennoblement
            • You don't have to stay to gain any Stamina here -- you just have to start the process.
          • +5 - Harvest - Harvest 1 of your own crops
          • +5 - Visit Farm - Help on 1 friend's farm 1 time
          • +5 - Spend Balens/Vouchers
            • The easiest way to spend Vouchers is to either accelerate a cooldown, or buy a row of inventory.
              • Be stingy with inventory space if you can. You can typically prune your gear down and sell anything you don't commonly use, such as weak runes and potions.
              • You can also stack items of the same type if one stack is Bound but the other is Unbound.
            • The minimum required to accelerate a cooldown is 5 Vouchers, and typically that is for a 10-minute or less cooldown period.
              • Note that for the Quest where you have to accelerate a building cooldown a certain number of times, that ONLY applies with construction, not just any cooldown counter. Also check to make sure the end reward exceeds your voucher expenditure.
            • Once you can upgrade your Farm, you will want to start saving your Vouchers for that (since it costs a LOT), so this Devotion will probably drop off your list for achieving 95 points. Upgrading your Farm costs a LOT of vouchers.
          SOLO (+30)
          • +5 - Complete a Solo Dungeon
          • +5 - Plunder a quarry
            • You don't need to take someone else's mine (a very rude thing to do), just capture any mine. You can even release one of your own mines and recapture it.
            • Since mines have a 12-hour expiration, you will typically capture mines 4 times a day anyway.
          • +5 - Plunder another player
            • This can take time in terms of finding someone to attack on the World Map. See our hints on Plundering.
            • If you are actually desperately short on time, you can just attack anyone since you don't have to win. (For the Daily Quest, you DO have to win).
            • Preferably you can do this early in your session, before you level up since you can't attack anyone more than 9 levels below your own, so levelling up reduces your available targets.
          • +5 - Challenge 10 players in the Solo Arena
            • If you are trying to keep your rank low in the Solo Arena, this can take an extremely long time while you are hoping to get matched with an opponent of a rank you like. Otherwise, the only time-consuming part of this Devotion is the 10-minute cooldown -- just waiting for that cooldown to end, you need to wait 90 minutes for 10 fights.
          • +5 - Enter the Forgotten Catacombs
            • You don't actually have to fight anything here, just enter the Catacombs. So if you are short on time, you can just do that.
            • You get to enter once daily for free, so you might as well be prepared to run the catacombs as deeply as you can with that free daily entry.
          • +5 - Complete 5 Bounty quests
          COOPERATIVE (+20)
          If you do all the Solo and Independent items, you only need to do three here.
          • +5 - Complete a Multiplayer Dungeon
            • If you are about 10 levels higher than the dungeon, you can probably solo it just fine, and that still counts toward your total. You won't get great drops, but you also don't have to wait for anyone else to join up with either.
          • +5 - Complete three Group Arena Fights
            • Group Arena is open at 1pm and 7pm.
            • If you are having problems getting into a room, create your own room and just wait for people to come. Typically, no matter what your Battle Rating, someone will join just to participate in the Group Arena.
            • There is no penalty for losing -- the minimum you get is 5 Insignia for losing (increased from 1 after the 1.45 patch on Nov-15/2012), so there is no downside to participating. Just for showing up and doing the minimum 5 for your Daily Quest will net you 10 insignias. Some people do "naked arena" -- they take off all their gear to lose as quickly as possible and keep collecting insignias quickly and with no effort and no expenditure of resources.
          • +5 - Participate in a World Boss fight
            • World Bosses show up at 11am, 4pm, and 10pm. You need to do just one, but for the Daily Quest, you will probably need to do two to get in the total of 20 engagements.
          • +5 - Enter the BattleGround event - you can exit immediately if you like

          Thursday, November 8, 2012

          WarTune Tips - Daily Quests

          This post is one of our series of tips for WarTune, a 2.5D MMO converted from the Chinese version, Divine Comedy. It is free to play, with optional features you can purchase with money.
          In this post, we will talk about Time Management as it relates to Daily Quests (including 1.45 Update, 2012-Nov-15). Click here for our review and list of tips.

          As you rise in level, your Daily Quest list will have items added to it. We discuss them here and suggest an efficient way of getting through them in order to optimize your time. Before you do any Daily Quests, look at your Bounties to see if anything overlaps (e.g., The Dendrogeneous Zone bounty quests, which requires you to energize trees).
          • Arena Duel (5 solo arena fights)
            • There is a Daily Devotion that requires you to do 10, so you might as well aim for that. If you have the time, do all 20. The additional 10 you do translates to over 10,000 EXP and gold when the arena finally pays out once a week, on top of immediate EXP and treasure after the fight.
            • The 10-minute cooldown means even doing 5 will cost you 1 hour. It's probably best to start one, then tend to other short things like moving about in the Wilds or looking after your Farm while the cooldown expires.
            • If you are reloading the Arena for a low-ranked fight, you may want to start a couple of minutes before the cooldown expires so that one will be ready.
          • Enter a Battleground
          • Fight in the Battleground - 2 kills
          • Guild Blessing (1 altar spin)
            • There is a Daily Devotion that requires you to do 2, BUT don't do more than one unless your Guild Altar is of a high enough level that 20 points of Guild Contribution (20,000 gold, essentially) will almost always be worth it; or you are at 90 points of Devotion and need just another 5 for the rewards of getting 95 Devotion. On low-ranked altars, you typically get rubbish worth 1000 to 2000 gold, if even that much.
          • Hall of Heroes (1 multiplayer dungeon)
            • Look to see if there are any other multiplayer dungeon quests and try to do your runs together. Before you finish a run, put it out to the team if they want to run it again.
            • If your level is 10+ more than the dungeon, there is a good chance you can solo the dungeon, in which case you don't need anyone.
          • Harvest Copper (10 units)
          • Plunder a City (1 city)
            • Just for the kyanite you can harvest, you really want to do all 5 that you are allowed each game day, early and quickly. See our notes here.
            • Combine this with getting your Mines.
          • Proof of Strength (engage World Boss 20 times)
            • This will take about 10 minutes just for the cooldowns. You will likely need to fight at least two World Bosses to get the quota, so watch the time.
            • Ideally you can do AFK mode which means you can sort of do something else with your time while your character gets killed horribly.
            • The first World Boss may see a lot of activity online which means your connection may be very slow or be lost entirely. If this is the case, try the later World Bosses of the day.
          • Shadow Crystal (6+ shadow crystals)
            • You accumulate crystals in inventory and can complete this quest as soon as you have enough. When you complete one quest, another appears and requires 2 additional Shadow Crystals to complete.
          • Trail of the Hero (3 solo dungeons)
            • The minimum here is 3, but you are given 100 Stamina each day, plus another 60 you can collect over 2 hours in the Altar of Ennoblement. Since you can only have a maximum of 200, you will want to bring your total down to 100 or less before a new day gives you 100 more. That is a total of 8 runs.
            • If you are not progressing through the story or are stalled because you and/or your troops are not strong enough, you can solo Duskin Arena for 0 to 30,000 Daru each time (2 tombs that can each give a fight with four skeletons, 7500 Daru, or 15000 Daru). Each solo run can take about 10 minutes.
            • With the 1.45 patch, you can set a long string of Blitzes through the campaign dungeons and go do something else.
              • Each blitz basically collects XP and treasure as if you had done the dungeon, but with no resources used except 5000 gold. If you use up 5000 HP worth of potions in a tough dungeon, or lose lots of troops, this is actually a good deal.
              • Each blitz takes 5 minutes, so you could do 1 at a time while starting some other 5-minute task, such as a short Academy research. You can also do six (30 minutes) and then come back to check your Bounties, which refresh every half hour.
              • While blitzing, you cannot do certain things. If you abort a blitz, the aborted blitz gives you nothing but you still lose the Stamina for it.
          • Tree of the Ancients (2 trees)
            • The Tree of Life resets at midnight, but a new game day resets at 5 am. If you rush ahead and do all the Energizing before 5am, you may find this can take all day before you find 2 people you can Energize a tree for. As well, there is a (difficult to achieve) limit on the number of times you can Energize trees.
          Here are other things you should do Daily:
          • Altar of Ennoblement
            • 60 free Stamina points you can accumulate while you are away from the keyboard. This can be 3 Duskin Arena runs, averaging about 22,500 Daru in 30 minutes.
          • Bounties (20)
            • You can have up to 20 Bounties, and if you are desperate for EXP, the general advice people give is to wait for purple and amber Bounties, which pay out a lot. However, it is 30 minutes to refresh your Bounty list, so it can be a long wait.
            • If you are short on time or just don't care, I recommend saving your two free Refresh opportunities. Take all non-white bounties, and toward the end of the time you have allocated to WarTune, use your Refresh to pick up the last 4-8 Bounties.
            • I do not recommending needing to finish 4 Bounties for your last refresh attempt because you might not be able to complete some of the Bounties, leaving you with having done less than 20 for the day.
          • Levies
            • Because of the cooldown between the levies, depending on how often you can drop in to do a levy, you may want to just get these out of the way one after another.
            • If you are trying to protect yourself from being plundered for a large amount of money, you can spend it and when you suddenly need cash (e.g., to upgrade your Town Hall), use a Levy to raise the money.
          • Stranger List, Bad Farm Friends
            • "Strangers" are users you have added as a friend, but they haven't added you as a friend. These do count toward your Friend total. You should clean this list out so you can add friends who will add you back.
            • There is a limit to the number of Friends (including Strangers) you can delete each day, so use your quota each day to clean up the list.
            • Also drop Farm Friends who are not reciprocating (e.g., by leaving their fields empty all the time).

          Wednesday, November 7, 2012

          WarTune Tips - Multiplayer Dungeons / Instances

          This post is one of our series of tips for WarTune, a 2.5D MMO converted from the Chinese version by 7th Road  It is free to play, with optional features you can purchase with money.
          In this post, we will talk about Multiplayer Dungeons/Instance runs. Click here for our review and list of tips.

          Unfortunately you will run into a lot of impatient people in this game (and probably in every other game). They hardly ever talk to anyone (although they might actually not speak English, especially if you are using one of the European or Oceanic Servers), so don't be shy to take the initiative.
          Here is a checklist of really very obvious things to do, but which people often don't do.
          • Party Composition
            • There is nothing wrong with having a mage in the front rank if they have enough PDEF. And with Astrals and socketed gems, you don't know who can tank. I've put my healer mage up front many times, sometimes just to spread the damage out so the front liners don't need emergency healing.
          • Formation
            • Knights and Archers in the front, Mages behind them and in the SAME row.
            • If you have a particularly tough character who will only take minimal damage, you might want to put them alone in the front rank. Otherwise, having 2-3 on the front rank forces the enemy to split up their attacks as attacks are randomly directed. This evens out damage and reduces the chance of any one character being in a Health crisis.
            • Watch out for creatures that use area effect attacks, such as the taurens -- try to spread things out.
            • If someone has lag, don't count on them being in front, and try to have at least one more person in front. If you put them in the back, a healer mage can still open with Suntoria early to keep everyone comfortably healed.
            • Also watch for bosses that do specific things. For example, the Eye of Yaros on the L40-45 Void map tends to hit the back row, so move all your mages there to absorb its magical attack (defended by MDEF).
          • Stay close
            • Often the impatient ones will dash ahead and get into trouble. By the time you join the battle, they might already be seriously hurt. If everyone splits up, stay close to whoever's in the lead in case they get into a fight.
            • If you are too far away from a fight, you will have to click on the enemy instead of simply being close enough to be dragged into the fight.
          • Build Rage before bosses
            • Before the tough encounters, try to go easy on Rage against the weaker mobs so that you can start strong against a boss and get the long cooldowns on powers started. For example, if you are a healer mage, it is nice to immediately open with Suntoria and start the long cooldown there in case you need to cast it again, as well as start 5-7 rounds of healing for everyone.
            • Another good time to build Rage is against the Summoners. On maps like Claristun, there is a "Summoner" character who will let you fight a clone of your party in exchange for Skeleton Keys. Usually there's good loot dropped but the fights are hard.
          • Summoners
            • If you have a wild mix of levels, you really want to think about whether you want to fight the Summoner, as it could end up being a chancy last stand involving only the toughest characters on both sides. Whoever opens up with strong area-effect attacks could wipe out the weak characters on the enemy side, immediately shifting the odds.
          • Thank people
            • Hardly anyone does this, but it's nice to do. If you're of a moderate level and a couple of high-level trump card characters basically mow the opposition down for you, it's nice to thank them for their time in essentially winning the MP Dungeon run for everyone. They could have done a more challenging map for better drops, or done the map solo, but instead they took you along. Thank them.
            • The best time to thank people (or ask for another run immediately after) is during the final boss. When it's almost dead, you usually have time to type into the chat. If you wait till people are back in the lobby, more often than not they immediately exit.

          Tuesday, November 6, 2012

          WarTune Tips - Plundering Cities

          This post is one of our series of tips for WarTune, a 2.5D MMO converted from the Chinese version by 7th Road  It is free to play, with optional features you can purchase with money.
          In this post, we will talk about plundering cities in the Wilds. Click here for our review and list of tips.
          • Whenever you successfully attack a city, you get 10% of the gold they currently have, plus a possible extra reward of Kyanite once you have an Academy. If someone happens to not have a lot of gold on hand, then you might walk away with practically nothing and would have wasted one of your five daily attempts.
            • To protect yourself from losing too much gold in case you are yourself attacked, you can sink excess gold into getting Astrals or into your Guild. Either way, it at least accumulates something (Astral points or Guild Contribution, which can be exchanged or Guild Skills) instead of just being frittered away on temporary things like enchanting gear.
            • If you are plundered, try not to feel too badly about it. It's probably nothing personal, and even if you lose upwards of 20,000 gold, you can easily make and spend 10x that in one day, possibly gambling it all away on getting good Astrals.
          • Because the amount of gold you get will not be directly related to the level of the character you are attacking, it is probably better to finish your plunder early, before you gain too many levels for the day. This way, you get a slightly wider choice of targets because you cannot plunder anyone who is +/- 10 levels from yourself. After level 25 or so, you might only get one level a day, if even that much, so this becomes less of a priority.
          • You cannot normally see the enemy's Battle Rating, but there is a roundabout way to do this:
            • Before you attack, add them as a Friend. A notice will come up in the chat window that you have added them. Click on their name there, and then click Info to look at their character and Battle Rating. Open your Friends panel to see if they are online (if they haven't added you to their list, they will be under "Strangers").
              • It should be noted that Battle Rating (BR) is NOT a reliable indicator of who will win. Neither is simply comparing whether your Attack Rating is higher than their Defense Rating, or whether your Defense Rating is higher than their Attack Rating. Sometimes someone will have a BR thousands of points less and still win. It is better to also have a high level difference, since level also controls what type of skills and gear someone can use.
            • You can't see what troops they have, but you can know certain things: No knights or priests before level 20, for example, and no griffons before level 30. Typically people don't level lancers or hunters beyond level 15, and knights beyond level 20 since they are looking forward to better troops.
          • If you get more than 10,000 gold, track the player's city because the account might be abandoned, in which case since there's no human being behind the account anymore, you might as well keep attacking them again and again until your level is too high.
            • You can track them by recording the coordinates. In the upper right corner there is a search box where you and put in the coordinates to zoom there.
            • On higher level maps (level 21+), look for cities with no Guild as they are likely abandoned accounts -- players eventually dropped from a Guild for inactivity.
            • Instead of simply targeting weak characters and repeatedly raiding them, spread things out and look for abandoned accounts, which will typically always have more gold to plunder because there's no one using the account and therefore no one spending the gold that accumulates.
            • When a city is attacked, they are protected for 2 hours from further attacks. This protection drops as soon as they themselves make an attack on a city.
            • Therefore, it is better for you to quickly get your 5 attacks per day done quickly. That way, if you are attacked, you can retain the full benefit of that protection instead of losing it because you haven't finished your daily 5 plunder limit.
          • Every day, you have 500 transportation points from the Mystic Gate. If you find it difficult to find targets, transport yourself to an easier map, then transport back to find mines again.
            • For example, when you come online, transport yourself to an easy map and secure mines there (so you collect gold while hunting) and finish your plunders, then transport back to your higher-level map and secure mines there again. You will have 100/500 power points left, which is not enough to transport yourself anywhere.
            • You can also simply stay on an easy map to limit your exposure to attacks as well as have the freedom to wander around killing the random encounters for Daru without losing too many troops each time. The maximum amount you will lose is 60 gold x 10 levels (the level difference between maps) x 2 mines x 24 hours = 28,800 gold, which is not adjusted by your Academy Technologies or Guild Skills. Conversely, if you are on a stronger map and hit at a bad time (e.g., when you have accumulated a lot of gold from your mine or completing quests), you could lose a lot more in an instant.
              • One good reason to stay on a much easier map is when you have fallen behind (or don't want to be involved in) the Arena and Battlegrounds and haven't gotten the overpowered sets there to be competitive.
            • If you find someone is attacking you everyday and don't like it, you can try moving your city so their coordinates from yesterday won't work anymore. With your 500 points from the Mystic Gate, you can move maps twice. Move to the Autaric Plains, then move back. When you get back, your map coordinates should have changed after the game finds a spot for your city.
          • The terms of service say you ARE allowed to have multiple accounts on the same server, if you don't abuse this privilege. What constitutes abuse isn't spelled out, so you theoretically could make a character about 9 levels lower than your active account and attack each other 5x every day.
            • You need the alternate account attacking your main account in order to lift the 2-hour plunder protection so that their city can be plundered again.
            • Put the account on the weakest map and teleport your main account there and back once a day. Each teleport costs 200 energy points, and you get 500 energy points per day, so you can go back and forth each day.

          Monday, November 5, 2012

          WarTune Tips - Solo Arena and Group Arena

          This post is one of our series of tips for WarTune, a 2.5D MMO converted from the Chinese version by 7th Road  It is free to play, with optional features you can purchase with money.
          In this post, we will talk about the Arena. Click here for our review and list of tips.

          Solo Arena
          If you go to the Solo Arena, when you first choose "Duel" you will be presented with four opponents. The lowest-ranked opponent is always in the upper left corner. If you close the window and reopen it, another random selection will appear.
          • Look carefully at the opponents and their rankings. If you keep picking the highest ranked candidate, you can quickly move up the ranks, but you will also more quickly reach opponents you can't defeat.
          • Sometimes, a low-ranked opponent is a strong character new to the arena and climbing up the ranks. Check their character level before challenging them, no matter what their rank.
          • Since fighting 5 Duels is in your Daily Quests, and 10 Duels is in your Devotion checklist, you may want to do the Solo Arena even if you are not particularly interested. In that case, keep trying for an opponent who is only 1-3 positions higher than you. This keeps your rank low so you can keep fighting only weak opponents (typically abandoned accounts).
          • You do NOT get anything special for a very long winning streak. After a 100-win streak, you do not get any more announcements.

          Group Arena
          The matching system in the Group Arena is generally very bad if there aren't enough participants to provide a good range of opponents. You can be the weakest team and get matched with the strongest. Unless you are winning matches or matches are quite close, save your runes and potions.
          If there aren't many teams, wait a while after each match so that you won't be paired again with the team you just fought.

          Even if you are losing all the time, show up for five matches to complete your Daily Quest and get 10 Insignia (plus a minimum of 5 from the 5 matches). Then quit and come back for Battlegrounds later (which nets you at least 30 per round, and there are two rounds a day). Not only is the Daily Quest worth 40 Guild Contribution points (40,000 gold), but you will start the process of getting Insignias for set items to make you competitive in Group Arena and Battlegrounds; and which are overall more convenient to get that the lottery for drops required to synthesize the other type of item set (generally better for longer runs where you can accumulate Rage between fights, such as single player dungeons and the Catacombs).
          If you have the time, do all 30 bouts you are allowed (as of the 1.45 patch, you are limited to 30 where you can collect rewards) and get your 150-450 insignia.
          There really is no other way to get insigias unless you spend money and develop your character quickly and in other ways (in which case you really don't even need to read any tips -- just pay to win).

          Low Battle Rating players may find themselves kicked from rooms quite often. In such a case, just create your own room. People will drop in and out on their own -- sometimes even high Battle Rating characters will stay with you, possibly because they are also just there to finish their Daily Quest, or because all the other rooms are full. Don't waste bullhorns announcing your room - announce it for free on your Guild Channel, or Invite from the Lobby or your Friend list.

          If there aren't a lot of teams active, two bad things can happen:
          • You can be matched with a team wildly above your fighting ability, in which case you will just get squashed. Only rarely does the system match you with "bots" -- non-player character filler teams. You can usually tell these by their being teams of three mages or three knights, more or less identically dressed.
          • You can be instantly matched with the team you just fought. Bad if you got squashed. If this is happening, wait a half minute or so until the other team gets matched or new teams finish their bouts and can be matched up again.

              Sunday, November 4, 2012

              WarTune Tips - Farming

              This post is one of our series of tips for WarTune, a 2.5D MMO converted from the Chinese version by 7th Road  It is free to play, with optional features you can purchase with money.
              In this post, we will talk about farming. Click here for our review and list of tips.

              Farming is a very cooperative activity. The more friends you have, the faster the farms in your network grow. Here are the basic system rules:
              • You can earn 200 Farm XP per day (a new day begins at midnight, server time) through removing Weeds, removing Worms, or Reviving Crops -- FOR OTHER PEOPLE.
                • You can still remove Weeds and Worms or Revive Crops, but there is no Farm XP and it is not clear if the Friendliness count continues to increase.
              • You can remove Weeds and Worms from your own crops, and you always get XP for doing so, even if you have already earned 200 Farm XP from helping others.
              • You cannot Revive your own crops, but you can dig them up and start again.
              • Your mature crops can be "stolen": This shows up in your Farm Log as seeds stolen by so-and-so.
                • Each time someone steals your crop, they take about 10% of the remainder. A crop can be stolen no more than 3 times, after which anyone trying will get the message that it is "almost gone" and cannot be harvested. The minimum you get is 70%.
                • There is a limit on the number of times you can steal per day, so BE CHOOSY and scan the crops carefully. Always go for Kyanite since everyone can only have a single Kyanite producing plant in their garden at any one time, and Kyanite is hard to get.
              • You can Energize everyone's tree, including your own, twice a day with a cooldown period in between. There is actually a limit to this as well, probably around 200 Energizations. After that, you cannot Energize a friends' tree.
              The optimal arrangement, then, is for everyone to ONLY Energize your tree or Revive your crops, because you can only do the former for yourself twice, and cannot do the latter at all. By leaving Weeds and Worms on your farm, they would be allowing you to continue to get XP beyond the 200 for helping other people.
              Typically, however, everyone will do everything they can to get the 200 XP per day as quickly as possible.

              Stealing is more or less unavoidable. There is even a quest that requires you to steal 2 crops. In general, it keeps everyone happy and everyone gets more of a harvest if they are present to steal crops when they are ready. If not, too bad. In any case, it is only a secondary benefit of having had everyone's help  and being in part of a larger network that helps you quickly get ahead as well.
              As a courtesy, I would leave alone any crop that you cannot normally buy in the Farm Shop (e.g., plants that produce Vouchers).

              In terms of what to farm, I would personally go with Kyanite (the one plant you are allowed) and either Daru (which is used up in enormous quantities and which is time-consuming to get otherwise) or Gold (if you are rushing for Guild Skills and Astrals). A lot of people like EXP plants, but in the early game, EXP is comparatively easy to get through Bounties and other activities. In my opinion, it's not supremely helpful to be of a high level but not have enough Gold, Daru, and Kyanite to keep up the upgrades. Past level 30, EXP becomes an attractive option because your level development slows down a lot as the EXP requirement per level increases. Daru also becomes important because the cost of upgrading troops escalates very quickly, until you can get a significant amount of Daru from World Boss battles.

              Crops have varying maturity times. If you like micromanaging, you can plant 1-hour crops, which are theoretically less liable to be stolen because the yield is very small for the farm thief, and it counts against their daily number of farm thefts. However, you do have to set your watch for the crop to mature.
              I personally prefer the 4-hour crops, and would go for the 12-hour ones if they didn't cost Balens (and therefore, real money).

              Setting up your farm involves two phases:
              1. Getting lots of friends. In this phase, it doesn't matter who you get. You have "enough" when you can comfortably maximize Farm EXP and reach the limit on Energizing Trees each day. How many friends depends therefore on how many hours you spend online.
              2. Getting rid of friends. Once you can maximize your Farm actions each day, it's time to remove selfish people and basically inactive accounts. These are:
                • Anyone who doesn't have crops on their farm. These are typically people leeching off the efforts of others, getting friends to energize their Tree and then collect Vouchers and Kyanite each day. You can count on them to do little or just steal the crops of others, and leave none for others to take in return. They are probably either selfish or just bad at math, as even if you aren't online to tend your crops, you can at least grow some so that your farm is working while you aren't there.
                • Anyone who is offline for a long time. Eventually all you can do is revive their dead crops -- crops they aren't going to harvest anyway. Their tree will be fully charged and no one can do anymore for them.
                • Anyone who only has 1-hour maturity time crops on their farm. These crops aren't worth stealing.
                • In the extreme case where you have too many friends and have to be choosy about whose Tree to Energize because you typically reach the daily limit easily, trim (or just skip over) the smallest Trees since they give the least amount of Gold when Energized.

              Saturday, November 3, 2012

              WarTune Tips - Troops

              This post is one of our series of tips for WarTune, a 2.5D MMO converted from the Chinese version by 7th Road  It is free to play, with optional features you can purchase with money.
              In this post, we will talk about troops. Obviously they are a rip-off from the Heroes of Might and Magic V Haven faction. Click here for our review and list of tips.

              There are two sets of troops: Those you can hire from Barracks, and those Creature Units you can get from monster lairs in dungeon maps or as rewards.
              • When hiring troops, try not to hire the maximum, but instead 200 units short of the maximum. The reason is that you sometimes get Bounties that require you to hire 200 units of a troop type. If you have maximized your troop population, you cannot hire that 200 and will have to disband troops (or lose them in combat) first to make that room.
              • Hiring quests only choose from units you can hire, so if you have a few units left of a type you are not going to hire anymore, you may want to keep them around for a while until a Bounty comes up.
              Barracks Troops
              There are basically two types of units: Defensive infantry, and something else. Defensive infantry units such as the Lancer and Paladin have a high PDEF score and are typically more useful because most of the enemies you encounter will have an attack that is defended against by PDEF.
              In the early game, when you need meat shields in front of you to keep your hero alive, then these types of units are mandatory. Later on, if your hero has a very high PDEF, you may want to actually put your hero in front to keep your troops alive to deal damage. At that point, you may want to consider taking a variant unit. Knights and Archers are the ones who primarily have this option, and units like the Hunter and Priest can actually be viable. Mages will typically need to use Lancers and Paladins as they can't really soak hits by being up front until much later, around level 30+.

              The stats here have the syntax <stat name><base value><bonus per level upgrade>.

              Level 1 stats
              1 ATK PDEF MDEF HP
              Lancer 64 50 40 323
              Hunter 80 40 50 258
              Priest 128 60 128 396
              Paladin 128 128 60 396
              Gryphon 156 100 80 762
              Knight 292 224 184 1409
              Angel 292 184 224 1276

              Bonus per additional level
              ATK+ PDEF+ MDEF+ HP+
              Lancer 20 16 9 9
              Hunter 20 9 9 7
              Priest 41 14 30 12
              Paladin 41 50 24 15
              Gryphon 49 23 19 24
              Knight 91 38 28 43
              Angel 91 28 38 39

              The basic choice, and there is a quest to level them up to 3rd. They can only attack the front row of enemies. Their special ability is a 50% chance to do 150% damage -- in the long run, this works out to an average of 125% damage.
              I like the lancer for all hero types because their special ability, plus their front-rank-only attacks means concentrated damage against fewer opponents, and concentrated damage tends to mean the enemy stacks die more quickly, which in turn means you take less damage overall. In WarTune, how hurt a stack presently is does not affect how much damage they inflict.
              You can reach level 20 very, very quickly, so you may want to be cautious about upgrading past 15th level, if you even want to invest in daru for that sort of upgrade. A level 20 Paladin will serve you very well for a very long time -- it can be a very long way to Gryphons at Barracks level 30. There is, however, the interesting option of just staying in town or on the lowest-level Wilds Map, and waiting for level 30 by doing Bounties and easy Daily Quests.
              You can even wait from level 20 to level 40 (!) and delay your progress in the Catacombs and the single player missions. For Group Arena and Battlegrounds, you can still lose or do something else to grind for insignias. If you do NOTHING to farm Daru (e.g., run around in the Wilds attacking enemy stacks for Daru pearls), but do all the other daily activities (such as World Boss) you will probably still have over 3 million Daru, which is enough to immediately get you a Level 30 Knight or Angel when you  hit level 40.

              This can be a good choice IF you can keep them alive, which in turn means your hero having a good enough PDEF to survive on the front row without them as a shield. Unfortunately, by the time you have that kind of PDEF, the unit may well be obsolete.

              Their special ability is 30% chance to fire two shots instead of one. Both shots do 100% damage, and the unit has a higher critical hit rate and critical damage rating. This looks good, except that it can hit any formation position. Against large formations, it can actually show down your ability to kill stacks, which in turn means you are getting hit by every stack for more turns than if you had concentrated damage on the front ranks. Remember that attacks randomly choose 1 target from all valid stacks in the enemy formation.

              A very interesting choice, but one which I don't think I want to gamble the daru to experiment with. Priests will be weak against almost every enemy -- only the few with magical attacks will have a tough time with them and you won't see a significant amount of those until the Level 38+ single player maps. However, their attack uses MATK (magic) and is defended against by MDEF, which very few units have much of. Only Hunters have more MDEF than PDEF.
              Definitely a unit that needs a hero shield. Their special ability is a 20% chance to hit every enemy unit for 80% damage, and that has a lot of potential, especially when most units will be weak to their damage. However, as combat progresses and units die off, the benefit starts to shrink. Also, only single player dungeons or the Wilds will have massed units like that. Even in Solo Arena, you are facing only 3 stacks in total.

              Their special ability is 40% chance of a second hit for 135% damage, as well as slowing the enemy by 50% for 1 turn. Not as powerful as hitting every stack, but it is concentrated damage that works out to 154% damage per attack.

              They can hit anyone in the enemy formation, but suffers from the same issue as archers: Diffused damage means longer combat and more damage taken. Their high Health compared to the Paladin can't be ignored, though, especially as level 31 enemies will be extremely tough even against troops that are +/- 2 in levels. However, I think it is still an okay choice to continue upgrading Paladins as you already have a significant investment there. In any case, it is 20-30 days from level 20 to level 40 and if you can struggle through that, you can jump straight to level 40 units.
              As with the Lancers, if you have already upgraded your Paladins to 20th-level, you may want to consider staying with easy maps or grinding the Catacomb (making sure you get Crypt Tokens) until you can get Knights. You won't do well in the Arena or other PvP events, but if that is not important to you, then put your hero in front of your troops and wait for Gryphons. In the long run, you'll save a lot of Daru.

              As of the 1.45 patch, this is still the ONLY choice to take because the Angel troop is bugged. The special ability is a 30% chance of 140% damage to an entire row, which sees optimal use only in single player dungeons or the Wilds as you don't get enemies lined up like that elsewhere. However, 140% damage to a single unit is still very powerful concentrated damage.

              If this unit were not bugged, it would actually be powerful and useful. The special ability is supposed to be (according to the text) a 20% chance of fully healing the most damaged unit. However, this is absolutely wrong and that it has not been fixed in the 1.45 major update is another sign that the developers simply don't care or are utterly incompetent.
              The angel unit will essentially randomly heal, even when a unit is not damaged at all. Further, a unit is not "fully healed", but rather healed for about the same amount of damage it can inflict with its Magical Attack. When it heals itself, this is generally about 1/8th of its Health (for a Level 30 Angel).

              Creature Units
              Generally it will be better to just sell these for gold since they are invariably never of a higher level than your character, and you have no way of hiring more whenever you want, so you could end up with a residual few units that still use up your Population total.
              That said, they are typically more powerful for their level than regular troops, so if you have enough to field a full army, you may want to use them for a special occasion and disband any remainder.
              The gold you can get varies according to the troop level.