Hey everyone, and especially you, new player, who are discovering this game, its features, its mysteries and last but not least, the potential awesomeness that you're expecting.
Here's a guide which aims to help you getting started in your first time playing the game, since it can seem quite rough, complex and probably a little bit hard to begin with in a first approach. But first of all, I'll digress a little, if you don't mind me doing it :
The idea of the guide was originally given by Syn (he was thinking of making one) and because I don't really have any fresh news about it, I'm making another one right here, hopefully it won't be just a duplicate of his own guide. The second - and last - important thing is that I'm not a native english speaker so I very well may do a lot of grammar and syntax mistakes along this document ; feel free to notice them and tell me so I can correct these as soon as possible. Feel free to discuss what I'm saying either, most of the guide is based on my personal outcome, not absolutely true by any means. I will translate it into french as soon as I find some time to do it (it's not a priority since I guess most french people can read english more or less accurately, and at least get the global idea of what's going on).
OK, now let us go to the heart of the thing : how am I getting started ?
I. Basic mechanisms and useful stuff
II. Building an economy
III. Crushing some skulls
Oh boy, what a nice schedule, let's begin with the beginning
I. Basic mechanisms and useful stuff
So, you're on the main menu in the game, and you want to start your first Online Kingdom so you click the suitable button and arrive on a weird screen asking you some wild stuff such as race (easy one), starting location (oh, what's that?) and traits ( oh ! I'm screwed ).
Well, chosing the race won't be an issue, you may already have chosen one, but to set things on a very simple model, the three races roughly follow the same distribution than StarCraft II : you have
- The Orcs, an offensive race with great production (some of their units are free), flexibility, large number of weak troups (most of them, at least, but people will tell you ogres aren't that weak). Orcs are really good at looting and pillaging poor lands and can use it to compensate their relative - very relative - lack of steady resources income. They're the zergs of Mythador.
- The Elves, who are protosses set in a fantasy world, ie their troups are strong, reliable, quite specialized and efficient in their specific domain, but of course fewer than orc and human (basic squad has 16 soldiers in it, against 20 for humans, and 24 for orcs). Plus, their economy is really based on trickles, they may be the best race to stay in your keep waiting for resources to grow and then go out with a fearsome army (protosses, as I said, that is not the only way to play them, but they're the better at it).
- The Humans, a middle-of-the-road race with tough, decently strong units, larger and best defensive options (who said Terran?), amazing cavalry and an economy mostly based on trickles (sheeps are the way) but which can be helped by some looting from time to time. As you can imagine, this is the race most new players choose to begin with.
Now that race choice is settled, let's follow with the region selection :
For each race, you will have to choose between 3 regions, each one having its pros and its cons. You can find a list of those here :
I'd personnally say that the economic advantages/disadvantages are not that big of a deal and won't matter that much when your economy will be built, focus more on the unit types pros/cons in order to have an army as much close to your "style" as you wish. For instance, if you want to have a goblin heavy army, you'd rather choose the Orc Swamps to get the bonus on the goblin units. Overall, the human region choice is less determinant than the Orc or Elf one, you'll get less advantages/disadvantages concerning the units.
Have in mind too that each region has its own geography and will be more/less easy to defend : Southmonth for Humans and Swamps for Elves are both great defensive places while Orc Desert is way more open and vulnerable.
Finally, try to choose a region which just fits with what you want in aesthetic terms : if you love woods, pick a forest region no matter what !
Race is chosen, region is chosen, well, let's settle this creation phase with the traits selection :
Each race has its own traits - even if most of them have a pretty similar effect -, and you will have to choose two bewteen those. This choice is really determinant, just look at the traits : each one gives the same feeling "Oh my, this one is awesome, I need this one ! otherwise I'll get crushed by everyone who has it". The problem is you can only select two traits among the four or five. The dilemma will get you stuck for several minutes I bet.
I will sum the global traits up, and then give a look at each race specific traits :
(Note : I may be not really precise concerning this, since I've not the actual list under the eyes, I'm doing this from what I remember)
Common traits :
- Siege mastery trait : this one will be more and more useful with time. It will increase the siege gear hit points (ladder, siege towers), catapult range, decrease their cost and so on... At the beginning the siege stuff seems to be tough enough, but you will use more range and health on your siege gear during large sieges, where you can't really afford to spend 20 pop (over 60, maximum pop size of an army) into siege stuff. Besides it's always fun to shoot walls down with superior range when the defender can do nothing but show his defenses being slowly destroyed.
This trait can be a good choice if you're planning on doing a lot of massive PvP sieges.
- Defensive mastery : this is the same trait as above, but in a defensive version ; increased tower catapult range, toughened, cheaper walls and towers, etc...
Great if you're planning to be attacked a lot, to poke all players in the game chat making them want to burn your keep to the ground and scatter your bones around the world.
- Economic mastery : no trait has this very name, but each race has this kind of trait. To be simple, it increases overall resource gathering rate (trickles, gatherer efficiency, etc...). It will help you getting your town up a little bit faster, replenish army and reproduce troups faster (not that much). I seriously don't see any real advantage to this yet, since I find the towns grow already relatively fast - fast enough, at least. It might become useful in some kind of global intensive PvP situation, when you must build armies as quickly as you can (I've not experienced such a context yet), but apart from this, it's not the best choice in my opinion.
- Battle mastery : (excepting Orcs) This one will improve significantly the damage/hit points/overall efficiency of your military units, and may decrease their cost as well. According to me, this is a must have, getting in a fight with 20-30% less damage or health than your opponent is instant death. I've not a lot more to say about it, I guess people will widely argue about that, and I'd be interesed in that.
Specific traits :
- Pillaging (or maybe Looting, I don't remember the english name) : It's a decent trait in my opinion, the world map army's speed increase alone is nice, and the looting bonus will replace the economic mastery at least equally if not way better if you're in need from resources. It will allow you to get much more after a PvP battle and rebuild your army accordingly faster. To sum up, it's quite a good trait to both getting started faster and in a longer term PvP situation.
- Horde (same as above) : This trait replaces the Battle mastery of the two other races, and offers a doubled spawning rate for free units, and decreased units training time instead. This trait fits the orc spirit really well ; the more you have, the best it is. Losing an army is not a big deal at all, you'll have another one in a few minutes. This is a fun trait, useful in PvP if you want to flood your opponents under the orc tide, but right now the 30 minutes protection given after each PvP battle weakens this trait quite a bit. Having an army back twice as fast as your opponent is not that useful because you won't attack him for a certain period of time. But it can help farming wealth like crazy...
- Archmage : if you're a mountain elf, you have to take this one. It's vital, and it will make your enchanters ravage the battleground. The hiding options that it gives is also relatively nice, but the fact that you can see enemy troups on the minimap kind of ruins that, even if it opens a lot of subtleties. If you're not a mountain elf, you can still take this trait, it's not a bad one and in combination with the Battle mastery, your enchanters will still be decent beasts.
- Building mastery (something like that) : I don't remember what this one was precisely, but the only thing I can say is that it did not keep my attention for a very long time. I'll check later, but I don't have high hopes to be amazed by this trait.
Finally we're done with town creation ! I guess reading this has taken way more time than it will take to do the actual choices Now we can get into the very game and enjoy all the messy stuff it throws at us !
So you're discovering your town and your hero, and the advisor (be careful, this one tends to die pretty easily - just kidding, he's unvulnerable) gives to you the first few quests : goblins marauding around, and building construction.
In the following lines, I'll give you some tips to understand some aspects of the game, or just make several tasks easier. If the tip is specific to a race, the letter O, H or E will be placed just before it.
- You hero's best use is tanking, get his damage reductions up to 80% for each as soon as possible. Then increase its stamina so he can use the mass heal ability, which is amazing.
- Each race has healing possibilities : wells (humans), curative sources (orc), main tree (elf)
- E : Looting dead bodies gives only gold.
- O : Looting dead bodies gives food, gold and wood (depending on the type of body).
- H : Looting dead bodies gives only gold and wood (depending on the type of body).
- O & H : Goblin's body gives wood when looted (it's one of the only one which gives wood).
- Orcs can place their building wherever they want (except on walls pattern), Humans and Elves have spots to build on them.
- O : Orc gatherer also build in the build menu in their skill bar (above the unit description)
- Orcs gather resources way faster than humans/elves (I mean one orc unit gathers faster than one human/elf unit)
- O : Having less than half of maximum population in your town GREATLY increases spawning rate of marauders, gatherers and goblins, having your army outside of the town is a good idea. If you're under half the maximum pop and they're still spawning super slowly, cancel the production and reactivate it right after, it should work.
- H : Wooden palissades aren't really useful, start with stone from the beginning if you can.
- H & O : Using the available formations with each unit really improve your troups efficiency by a lot.
- E : Always have your Rangers in Wind Stance.
- Using Attack Move is often better than righ-click on a unit, start with Attack Move and then micro-manage your troups one at a time (the pathfinding is right now a little bit messy, so be patient and Attack Move). Be careful though, attack-move is the best way to get your soldiers burned.
- Houses/Huts increase both population cap and resources cap (up to 90 pop/5400 resources)
- Your can increase resource cap by researching two tech in your main building.
- E : In my opinion, not selling the unicorns when the advisor asks you to buy stone from the nearest market is the best choice ; they will give you way more gold than their actual selling value (if you research the suitable tech in the Sylvan Shrine).
- E : If you're wondering how you can gather wood, tree spirits are the way (they're not specified in the wood income tab, but they do gather wood).
- The bell icon in your main building can be used to make all gatherer run towards the building (useful in sieges).
- Camps on the world map gather ressources only when you're online, towns (and gatherers inside the town) do their job even if offline.
- Wealth can be awarded in three ways : quests, PvP and NPC town sieging.
- Setting a camp on the world map makes the units inside heal over time.
- You can buy (with wood) siege gear (not trebuchets/catapults/treants/Bolt Thrower) in a fortified camp.
- H : Horsecarts can be used as drop-off point for gatherers. They also have the best carrying capacity of the game, having 2-3 in your army can be nice.
- If the amount of gold you have in either a town or a army is above the resource cap, you will lose the gold until you're down to this cap (the higher it is, the faster you lose the gold). You can fight that by having large gold trickle (using sheeps/unicorns).
- H : Storage Building DO NOT increase storage capacity.
- O : Do not ever care or be attached to a goblin unit, it will die and break your heart
- How will I spend my experience points on units ? That's a tough question, I guess each player has his own idea about that. The debate is open, concerning range units, I put 2 points in attack and 1 in range at each level - sometimes ammunition instead of range. Concerning melee units, this depends on the starting stats and the use of the unit. I often put lots on damage on expendable ones so they deal some damage before they die, and lots on defense for expensive strong units to make them survive and gain more experience points. That is a matter of point of view indeed.
- You can't actually see the other player's town on the world map, every city you can see in a NPC town - you can exchange goods, cattle, recruit mercenaries and heal your units in these (not always all of that, but part of). You can siege other player's town though (please read the third chapter to know more about it).
I'll add more when I'll remember more, or when people will propose some other ideas !
II. Building an economy
If you want your town to grow fast and steadily, you'd better focus first on having a strong economy even before starting your walls, defenses and armies. Once you have a good resources income, you'll be able to do what you want to do way faster and with greater results. Although, the fact is, economy is not that easy to build correctly when you're a beginner.
The best way to put this is I guess to make a different section for each according the fact they have their own specifities and mechanics. Please note that most of this "chapter" is based on my personal thoughts and might be discussed to propose an even better way to proceed.
Well, you are starting with your hero, a few soldiers and a handful of peasants, now what are you supposed to do ? Get your economy starting, right. The best way to begin with humans is at first doing the quests the advisor will give. They will reward you with very useful stuff such as resources and more importantly additional peasants, horsecarts. There are some packs of wandering wolves at the beginning on your town's map and they can kill your peasants quite easily, so be careful and kill them as soon as possible.
Note that you've also been given some resources to start with (a good amount of wood, in particular). The best way to use them in a first time is to get some houses up (let's say 4-5) and more importantly : a barn.
Besides all that, the main question you're asking yourself is : what do I do my peasants ? Do I make them chop wood ? Pick stone or gold ?
In my opinion, you can set them mainly on wood gathering and maybe a few to start picking stone (you will need a lot of stone later on, so if the sooner you start collecting it, the better it is). I do not put any peasant on food gathering since quests give you a decent amount during the early stages of the game. If you're in a cruel need of food, you still can try to go outside your town, enter the nearest region and loot bandits over there (to do so, go on the world map; select your town and click the "Create Army" button ; then select this army, go a little bit away from the town and click on the magnifying glass-shaped button that appears in the bottom of the screen). Be sure to take at least one peasant with the army to actually loot the corpses. The gold you will gain from this can be exchanged with food in the nearest NPC-town.
Continue doing quest and gathering wood until your barn is completed (you can also train of few more peasants if you can afford them, it's nice to have roughly 500 food when the barn's construction finishes). Now serious stuff can start ! I personally think that mills are just of waste of time and population : cows will give you a food trickle way superior to the mill gathering rate. Buy as much cows as you can ! you can also buy a few chicken if you can't afford cows at the moment - you will replace them with cows later. Chickens give food trickle too, but less than cows for the same population value. Your goal is having 8-12 cows.
Now that cows give you lots and lots of food, you can start to use it on something else. You have two ways to spend it : on peasants, which will start gathering wood and stone (8-10 peasants on each is enough) and maybe a few gold ; and sheeps which are your brand new banking system. Sheeps give gold over time
and that's great, not only because being rich is always nice and will make you be married under a year, but also because their trickle will compensate the gold loss (when your gold amount is over the ressources cap). I have myself always 25 sheeps in my town, and it very well may be too much, but having 10-20 is in my opinion really nice. If you're lacking troups in the early game, the best way to have more is to recruti mercenary in NPC towns with the gold sheeps provide.
During all this you have been building houses and why not a barrack/stable/archery range with the wood your peasants are chopping. You're supposed to have right now a lot of food, a lot of gold (maybe not that many, but a decent amount), and a few wood/stone. That's the right moment to start building your stone walls. Since humans gather stone relatively slowly, you might have to buy large quantities of stone in the nearest market ; to afford that, just sell the food surplus. You can buy some dwarven miners off the market too, but in my opinion it's not the best way to spend your wealth ; walls and upgrades will eat crowns very quickly.
Well, this is it ! you should have by now a decent economy (you can do modulations and variants of this, but that is the global idea) so you can safely build your walls, and make an army out of your production buildings. When my economy is stable and my walls upgraded, I tend to kick the peasants out of the town in working camps* (this really sounds like goulag, but don't worry I treat them well) to free more pop for army. I just keep some cows/sheeps and maybe a few wood gatherers inside the walls. In that way I still can make troups since most of them are made with food and gold. If wood is needed, just buy some of the Market building you should have way enough gold to do that.
*working camps are explained at the end of the chapter
As an elf, you start with similar stuff than human : a hero, some troups and a few gatherers.
What you need to do first is the same as humans as well, you want to do the first quests and earn their reward. But it differs on the first gathering goal : you simply can't gather wood. This is bad indeed, what are you gonna do instead ? Well, it's pretty simple too, just skip the wood part and try to build a solid food income ! Make your first wardens gather food (berries), and launch the construction of both a Sylvan Shrine and a Tree Symbiosis. Building a Tree Dwelling can be completed afterwards even if there's a quest requesting it. You can make some additional wardens as well and scatter them between food and stone (same reasons as humans, the sooner you start the better it is, but don't sacrifice the food for the stone, you'll use it later on).
Once the two buildings mentionned above are completed, you can begin to improve your food income. In the Sylvan Shrine, pump out as much deers as you can ! They will provide a food trickle increasing with each deer, and the best thing about it it that deers do not take any pop. So feel free to spam them like crazy. You should research the Unicorn Synergy as soon as possible in the same building too, and not sell the unicorns that the Market quest gives you that will help you having a decent gold income early in the game. Once your food income is high enough, do with unicorns what humans do with sheeps (now is the time for pervs to say something fishy). I mean, get a bunch of them to have a nice gold trickle. Once again, I tend to have maybe too much of them in my towns (around 30 I believe), but 10-20 seems reasonnable.
You have both food and gold this is nice, but you really need some wood and you don't know how to get some. This is when Tree Symbiosis comes into play. Off from this pretty construction, you can buy tree spirits which give you wood over time. Those are really expensive though, you won't be able to get a lot of them very early ; they do their job well however, having 5 is enough, most of the time.
Ok, let's check the situation : you have a (very) good food income, a good gold income, and a good wood income. Only thing needed now is stone income, which is warden's job. If you have trouble gathering enough stone to build all your walls, buy some in the nearest NPC town and you will be fine. You can now start to build a few War Lodge/Arcane Sanctuary, and get some troups to punish your enemies !
Like humans, once your walls are built and upgraded, you can kick gatherers out of town into works camps to free population. Keeping the unicorns and the tree spirits at home would be enough to keep a strong economy running.
Once again you're starting with a hero, a gatherer and a marauder squads, and once again the first thing you want to do is completing the first quests the advisor gives to you. The following statements are based on an orc town with Pillaging Trait selected so it could be a little bit different if you don't have this one.
So the thing you must have in mind, is that orcs are really heavy wood users. Even their upgraded walls are made of wood, and most of their buildings request wood as well. The most logic thing to do in the beginning is consequently to order your workers to chop wood. Marauders can hunt deers to collect food, but in my opinion the best way to have food while playing orcs is looting. Go outside your town, enter a region (check the humans part to know how to do such things) and kill everything that moves ; you'll be be rewarded with loooots of food (above 2000 per run in Thikken Dal region). Looting also gives large quantities of gold.
You should make your main building spawn workers in a first time, until you've got a good wood income - and why not a decent stone income. Orcs workers gather resources really fast so it shouldn't be too long. Then you can turn it into marauders creation.
One thing that you absolutely have to do is reaching maximum pop cap (ie 90 pop) as soon as possible, giving the fact that main building and goblin huts spawning rates are way greater when your pop in under half the maximum. In consequence, build a lot of huts the fastest you can, and when you're at 90 population maximum, start building other stuff.
There's not really much more to say about orc economy, they don't have access to the trickles that other races have so it's more based on regular gathering and looting. You have not to worry about losing troups because most of the time the looting that you will do after the battle will allow you to to build an army back.
You can buy humans sheeps and/or cows as well to have a steady income, but that in my opinion is not fluffy
Building a large number of goblin huts (4-8) early can be fun too, since you will create another army even before the first oen is crushed (because it will get crushed, don't be a dreamer).
About camps :
As I said above, I'll talk a little about working camps. What are they and what is their purpose ?
Very simply, they're armies the player asked to build a camp (with the appropriate option on the world map) mostly composed of workers/ maybe horsecarts. Once you have built the camp, you can go into the "Manage enconomy" menu and assign the workers to gather the resources you choose (excepting wealth, of course). Although note that right now, camps do not gather anything when you're offline.
So why woudl I want to do such a thing? It's mainly of problem of population cap. If you want to have a good economy and a decent army in your town you'll rapidly reach the 90 population cap. So, dispatch your economy in one or a few camps will free some pop in your town and allow to both have a large garrison and produce troups continually.
The drawback of this system is the fact that camp of course count as an army, and since you can have only 5 at a time on the world map, you may want to set only 1-2 camps to be able to do quests/PvP/anything you want at the same time.
III. Crushing some skulls
Now that your economy is stable, your town flourishing and your army growing, you might think "now is time for me to do some PvP !".
I won't tell you what army you have to make to auto-win battle (mostly because I'm pretty sure I don't know it), just leading you to actually make PvP.
I want want further informations about units and capacities, please go here :
Orcs : http://strategywiki.org/wiki/Dawn_of_Fantasy/Orc_Units
You may have already noticed you can't see any player town on the world map and you're wondering how to PvP . This is quite simple, make/take an army out of your town, walk a little bit away from it and you will see a PvP icon among the other ones (set camp, disband etc...). It's a cross-sword-shaped icon. Before clicking it, you can check your "army value" or "army strength" in the bottom left part of the screen, above the army description.
By clicking on the PvP button you'll arrive on the PvP menu that will propose several options :
- Whether you want to attack an army or a city
- Ranged scouting : i.e. instead of searching only in the region you're standing, the system will also search in the neighbouring regions.
- Be brave : without this box checked, the system will only search for armies/towns within a +/- 10% range of your army value, if you check it, it will search for armies/towns up to 50% your strength.
Then click "search" and here you go ! PvP will start if you find a suitable opponent.
Considering the fact that the amount of players is still relatively modest, you might have some issues finding an opponent, so here's some tips to make the research easier :
- Try to go in a central region (Rollingplain is the best choice) so Ranger scouting will more useful. Plus you can attack human, orc and elven towns from there.
- If you can't find any opponent, you army value may be too high/ too low. Try to search with a different army value to see if it works better. (I'd recommend 150 - 300 - 450 - 600 army value if you can)
The last question would be : what do I lose/win in PvP. In fact, you will win way more than you'll lose. Losing in a field battle will of course cost you troups (and maybe a few resources if you surrender). Losing in your town will cost you troups too, maybe some peasants/cattle, and you might have to repair buildings - they can't be completely destroyed. So mainly it will costs resources to be back on business. Note that losing gives you a few wealth as well.
If you win though, you'll get XP for your troups (it's true for the loser has well if his troups make it through the battle), wealth (the amount depends on the scale of the battle, you will earn more than the loser) and resources from looting !
Well, this is the end of this guide, I hope it helped you in your first steps in the game ! If you see any addition or change that can improve it, please tell me so I can see what I can do. Thanks for reading, have a great time playing the game and see you in game chat !
Last edited by WazDoF : 01-24-2012 at 12:47 PM.