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
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
      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.

      Friday, November 2, 2012

      WarTune Tips - Tutorial

      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 optimizing your time in the Tutorial. Click here for our review and list of tips.

      You may be wondering why we are bothering with what is basically a tutorial for a tutorial. There are in fact a lot of things that may not occur to you to do or not do, and we'll go through them here.
      • This is not part of the official tutorial walkthrough -- Free Gifts. Get it here.
      • If you open the chest that has the 2-hour VIP trial, but are not ready to use that two hours, you can close your browser window and reload the server. This should result in the VIP trial voucher sitting idly in your inventory until you use it.
      • After doing the guided quest to capture 2 mines, look around the map for a higher-level mine. You can only hold two mines, so to release one, either go back to your Town Hall and click the "x" to release a mine, or click on your own mine and click the "x" button that shows, asking if you really want to release that resource.
        • If you get moved to the Autaric Plains, you lose both mines. Depending on the level of your troops, you will probably be able to easily capture level 20 mines on the Autaric Plains.
        • There is a separate quest that requires you to capture 2 mines. If you already have two, release one and attack it again to recapture it. You can do this twice but the quest will think you captured two mines, and announce the quest as complete.
      • After attacking one of the NPC cities, you might as well attack the other. If for some reason you still haven't moved to the Autaric Plains, you can check back to see if the city protection timer has expired, then raid them yet again.
      • Try to quickly advance through the quests until you kill Wulfgar, because that quest completion starts the stay-logged-in timer that gives you rewards for staying logged in at that point. The Vouchers you can get from it are critical to getting the 395 Vouchers needed to get a second Construction crew.
      • Until level 11, your hero's HP is automatically restored to full after every fight, so if you are able to soak the damage, you might as well put your hero in front.
        • After that, you will need a Health Potion. You can buy one at any time, but there is a quest to Energize your Friends' trees that will get you potions every day. Try to do that quest first before you get into any fights when you are level 11+.
      • The Baylon Plains includes a Hunter's Cache defended by level 9 Huntera that are significantly tougher than Tauren of an equal level. You will probably need troops of Level 6+ to clear the cache, but level 8-9 Lancers will typically do quite well.
        • You can upgrade your troops without being in your city, but you cannot upgrade your Barracks unless you exit the dungeon and are back in the city.
        • If you find you just can't do it, don't exit the map and waste the 20 Stamina you used to enter the map. Just try to finish it and come back with upgraded troops.
      • The enchanting quest forces you to enchant your staff at least once. You need to enchant something to level 3, but it needn't be the same staff. Choose something you think will be worn for a long time, and enchant that to level +3. You must enchant a single item to +3, not simply do 3 enchantments.

      Thursday, November 1, 2012

      WarTune Tips - Getting Started / Basic Tips

      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 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 (including Tokens and Keys), and Miscellaneous Tips. Click here for our review and list of tips.

      Choosing a Server
      Before you commit to playing the game -- and definitely BEFORE you spend any money -- check out the game. Choose one of the time zones with a lot of servers and pick one with a small number (i.e., an early server). Then, just play the game with this "Test Account". Once you decide you want to get serious and commit time to building a character, it's time to pick the proper server. There are two main considerations: Server Time and Server Age.

      Server Time
      Do not simply choose one based on your geographical location or time zone. Choose one that fits your schedule. With your Test Account, look at the server event bar (Clock) at the very top and take note of when key events happen: When a "day" starts, when farming resets, when mines expire, when World Boss, Arena, and Battleground events occur. When you have this information, compare it with your own schedule and when you can play. You really don't want to have to get to a computer at an awkward time because your mines have expired and you need to run around looking for new mines.

      Server Time Zones:
      • North America West Coast: GMT -8 = Pacific Standard Time
      • North America East Coast: GMT -5 = Eastern Standard Time
      • Europe: GMT +0
      • Oceanic: GMT +8 = Australian Western Standard Time
      Key Server Events: (Server Time)
      • Dungeon and Stamina Reset: 5 am
      • Mine Expiration: Server Time 11:30am, 11:30pm (?)
      • Tree of Ancients (farm day): 2359h, or approximately midnight
      To find out what time an event will happen in local time, take the Server Time, first calculate the span of time difference. E.g., You are in North America West Coast (GMT-8). The server is Oceanic (GMT+7). This is a total time difference of +16 hours (they are 16 hours ahead of West Coast North America). The Tree of Ancients Reset will occur at 12am Oceanic Time. Roll back 16 hours = 8 am North American time. The Dungeon Reset will occur at 5am Oceanic Time. Roll back 16 hours = 1pm North American Time.
      • In North America (WC and EC), during Daylight Savings Time (2nd Sunday in March to 1st Sunday in November), add 1 hour.
      Dungeon Reset: 5am Server Time:
      WC 5am = EC 8am = Europe 1pm = Oceanic 9pm.
      WC 2am = EC 5am = Europe 10am = Oceanic 6pm.
      WC 9pm = EC 12am = Europe 5am = Oceanic 1pm.
      WC 1pm = EC 4pm = Europe 9pm = Oceanic 5am.

      Server Age
      When R2Games starts a new Server for WarTune, it becomes the "recommended" server and new players will typically get channelled there and a lot of people will be on more or less an equal footing (maybe +/- 10 levels). If you start in one of the oldest servers, everyone maybe be level 40+ except you. This can be a big problem when it comes to competing in the Group Arena where you'll be squashed all the time.

      On the other hand, on older servers you may well find a lot of abandoned accounts, which is good news for raids on cities since no one is home to continue developing the character. If you find one, you can then just hit their city over and over again.
      It is also good for Solo Arena IF you are NOT intent on clawing your way to the top. If you're just doing it for Daily Devotion or to fulfill quest requirements, then having a lot of abandoned accounts in the bottom ranks of the Solo Arena will help you easily complete Solo Arena Challenge quests.

      Alternate Accounts
      Do NOT use your Facebook or other account, especially if you will probably retry the game and abandon your initial character. You can only have one character per e-mail address per Server. You are allowed to have an alternate account as long as you don't "abuse the privilege" (though what constitutes this is not spelled out, exactly).
      Instead, make a throwaway e-mail account, such as at If you do abandon your character, you can re-start a new character on the same server and thereby retain all the contacts you made in the Guild you joined. Also, you can use your alternate account for emergency actions such as Reviving your crop or Energizing your Tree of Ancients.
      You cannot erase your character and restart fresh on the Server, nor can you move your character to another Server.

      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.

      Choosing a Character
      Ideally you should try all three character types before making a final commitment, but that can be pretty time-consuming. A short-cut is to look at the skill trees to decide what powers you might like.
      If you are looking to make powerful characters for the Arena, all classes can be powerful if you do them right, no matter what popular opinion in the forum says or what everyone seems to be playing. If you watch the World Boss fights, which list the top damage dealers, every class is represented, although for the moment there are a lot of Archers because they are popular.
      Whether you are aiming for a powerful character or not, it is probably more important in the long run to play what you like to play and how you like to play. It is very important not to be swayed simply by popular opinion -- especially if you pay money -- because opinion can change but you can't restart your character or get your time (and money) back. If you abandon your character and start new, all that time (and money) can't be refunded. If you truly like the character you are playing, you'll probably not want to abandon your character to restart a new class.

      Quickly recognize the different currencies and get a feel for how quickly you can accumulate each. The more exclusive they are, the more conservative you should be about spending them.

      You will never get enough of this because there are so many costly uses for them. However, given a choice between gold and any other currency, never pick gold because you also have so many ways of obtaining it.
      In the early game, do NOT spend gold on anything chancy, including Enchanting your items -- this assuming that you will not be participating in PvP Arena in earnest and will need every ounce of power you can give your character. Even then, try to buy up anything that is permanent. Gear comes and goes, and until around level 25, you get replacements very quickly.
      I recommend you first upgrade your buildings, then buy up Guild Skills (at 200 Contribution points for the first level, this is already 200,000 gold). As soon as you can, grab just enough Astrals that your character doesn't have any wasted room, but switch back to buying permanent bonuses that will stay with your city or character instead of going away when you swap out your gear that has become obsolete. When you can't buy any more Guild Skills, switch to the Astral lottery.

      Used to upgrade troops. Quite common and initially you may think you have enough, but you don't. The main problem is that any investment to upgrade the level of a unit type is non-transferable, and units become obsolete later. Further, as you go up in level, you typically want to upgrade your troops to your level. Otherwise they will get slaughtered in battle and you will lose a lot of gold replacing your troops.
      Three main sources of Daru are: The Duskin Arena (you can get upwards of 15,000 Daru from the two tombs), Farming (planting Daru seeds), and killing randomly generated enemies on the World Map. 
      If you are grinding for Daru on the World Map, get a feel for each map and whether you are getting sufficiently more Daru than on a lower level map. Sometimes, it just isn't worth it (e.g., The L25-30 map compared to the L11-20 map).

      The easiest source of this is from your Tree of Ancients, which resets once a day.
      You can only grow 1 Kyanite plant in your farm at any one time, so always grow that. And always choose the Kyanite plant when you are allowed to steal from your Friends' farms (you net 10% every time you steal, but you can steal from a crop only once per day).
      You can also get Kyanite as an additional reward for successfully raiding a city, and for that reason some people like to raid cities a lot. The raided cities do not lose any Kyanite. The 10% of gold lost can typically be made up by Friending them and allowing them to steal from your crops; if you are worried about a bad reaction from the raided city, you could PM them a quick apology and that offer.
      If you insist on maximizing more than one research path available to your Academy, you will also probably have to aggressively attack your neighbours. Otherwise, you can usually get away with fully researching at least one option and still have kyanite left over.

      Vouchers are somewhat hard to come by if you use them up quickly. Your initial large amount is deceptive as they come from the starter reward boxes. Be very stingy when it comes to using these:
      • You can get vouchers once per day from your Tree of the Ancients (along with Kyanite).
      • You are given several quests to accelerate building cooldown time using vouchers. This is a tutorial type quest, but it is really also to get you used to that convenience. Cooldown times will quickly stretch into a few hours, so if you get hooked now, you might end up giving in to temptation and paying money to perform cooldowns.
        • Instead, notice that one of the Devotion tasks is to use Vouchers. You can use Vouchers to accelerate a cooldown. So instead, you can kill 2 birds with one stone and do only one cooldown per day only. This conserves your Vouchers (which are hard to come by) and lets you keep checking off that Devotion task for a long time.
        • Also notice that if a timer is 10 minutes or less, the cost in Vouchers is at the minimum (5 Vouchers). So wait until you need to spend only 5 vouchers before accelerating the cooldown.
      Your very first use of Vouchers should be to get another Construction crew. This costs 395 vouchers, but early on you can get more than that through the freebies the game gives you. We'll talk more about this when we look at the Tutorial in another post.

      Vouchers are also used to expand your inventory, and doing this rapidly costs a lot of vouchers, so you want to save your vouchers for that. If you are aggressive in pruning your inventory, you might need just 1-2 rows even up to level 30, unless you are a hoarder. Do NOT go crazy with expanding your inventory, because you will probably most want to use your vouchers on your Farm.

      On your Farm, once it reaches level 30, you can start improving the maturity time and harvest yield, but the cost in Vouchers is staggering compared to what you get from your tree each day. Be very stingy with Vouchers.

      You only get Balens when you spend real money. A lot of functions can use, or must use, Balens, such as the Market; and people who spend real money in this game are more or less overwhelmed with rewards.
      That said, there's plenty enough to do for hours on end even if you don't spend money to unlock "VIP" features. I had my hands full with just the free to play content so it never crossed my mind to spend money.
      VIP status can reduce the amount of Devotion you need for daily freebies, which in turn means you can skip doing certain things -- but look carefully at the Devotion task list, and if you are going to do all of them anyway (some are very commonplace actions), then don't let this be the only thing you pay for.

      Medallions and Crypt Tokens
      Be very, very, stingy using these.
      Medallions and Crypt Tokens let you buy some of the best gear instead of blindly hoping for a good random drop during a dungeon run. Never grind hoping for good gear -- it's useless when you can simply buy not just items greatly better, but which provide you set bonuses sometimes for as few as 2 items.
      The easiest of the Tokens to get are Crypt Tokens, from the Forgotten Catacombs. Instead of starting at the lowest level you explored, restart at level 1 so you pass by the bosses and their treasures chests (containing Tokens) again.

      Crypt Keys
      Crypt Keys are only useful if you are going to enter the Catacombs more than once per day, since you get to enter them once for free. But since they are very hard to come by, one technique is to wait until you can penetrate the Catacombs deeply before doing multiple runs a day with your Keys. In that way, you maximize XP and treasure on each run, at the cost of slowing your immediate character development.

      Skeleton Keys
      Skeleton Keys are very hard to find. You can reliably get 1 per day if you reach 95 Devotion, but that involves doing almost everything, including at least 1 multiplayer event (Team Arena or Multiplayer Dungeon Run). If you are about 10 levels higher than an MP Dungeon, you can probably solo it but you will be too high of a level to get any EXP at the end.
      Don't waste Skeleton Keys on the early Mystery Chests unless you are hoping for something in particular and there's no other way to get it. Typically they can drop interesting items like City Protection Tokens, but those aren't particularly useful anyway. In the late level-30 dungeons you can get scrolls that give you a Bounty Quest worth 20,000+ XP, but even that might not interest you very much. In general, I recommend you save them, maybe test them now and again when you have reached a harder dungeon.
      A different use for Skeleton Keys is to spawn a Boss Encounter in some Multiplayer Dungeons where there is a "Summoner" character. The encounter will be against a clone of your party and you always get a quest item (e.g., Crystaloid). But if you are going to buy your gear from the Arena or Crypt store, that is also not very useful. By the way, you cannot fool the Summoner by unequipping your gear before spawning the boss encounter. Apparently the cloning happens after.

      Miscellaneous Tips
      • Do NOT blindly follow all instructions immediately when they are given as quests. Stop and think. Here are some examples:
        • Every 5 levels until level 30, you are told to open a "starter" kit chest, which will pop out maybe 5 items. The kit will show what level is require to open it, so prior to reaching that level, click on it to see what's coming. Then, when you are of the required level, you will know if you are ready for it and have room in your inventory.
        • When you are at the minimum required level, you will be asked to move your city to a new map where the mines are a higher level and give more gold, but where the monsters are tougher. Move there to check it out, but be ready to MOVE BACK immediately if there is no net benefit. For example, monsters on the level 21-30 map are significantly tougher but the rewards for killing them are rarely any better than on the level 11-20 map. In such a case, you may want to stay on the 11-20 map until you are level 25 to 30 as it will cost you less in troops when exploring the map to get at treasure or to kill monsters for Daru (a currency used to upgrade troops).
        • One of the free items you get is a 2-hour trial of VIP features. The screen won't let you move past that without starting the trial, but you can still defer it until you are certain you have two uninterrupted hours to investigate it -- close the browser window. When next you log on, the special trial voucher will just sit in your inventory. Don't click it until you're ready to use it.
      • On your list of things to accumulate Devotion Points, look for things that you can quickly do whenever you want, such as speaking in World Chat or spinning the Guild Altar wheel. Defer those things to top up your points to reach a Devotion reward tier instead of accumulating points early. If, for example, you are at 85 points and won't have time to reach 95 before the server resets to a new day, then you might regret having done the Guild Altar and gotten a lousy item (each spin essentially costs you 20,000 gold -- 20 Guild Contribution points and you need to do 2 spins for the Devotion points).
      • While you are collecting Stamina at the Altar of Ennoblement, you can use the lower quick bar functions, such as Inventory, Blacksmith, Astrals, etc... -- Might as well do something useful unless you are away from the keyboard.