So having played this game for about 6 months now I thought I'd post some random tips on gameplay, mistakes I see people making that can be easily avoided -
How and where you move is really important. Some examples -
- If your gank team is converging on some poor little nubcake DG try to go where he will be when he starts to gtfo, not where he is chillin before he sees you coming.
- Learn to run away. Much better to forfeit the kill opportunity than give your opponents free gold and experience. If you are the nubcake in the above scenario then gtfo. You will not win a 1 v 2 duel unless you know something your opponents don't know (like that you are a Badass (TM) - if there is any question about this then you are not yet a Badass).
Unless you are a Badass you need to run any time
1. You are losing more health more quickly than your opponent
2. You are at half-health or lower
3. The odds are bad (1 vs 2)
4. You are out of mana and you won't get enough for your bread and butter skills any time soon
5. Your opponent has a wave of high-level grunts or minions to back him up and you don't
- Run smart. If you are at half health and you run screaming past a (non-Erebus) dropped health pot one more time I will break my monitor. *Pick it up - it heals you* If you see a baddy intercepting the shortest line of retreat find a different way home. Whatever you do don't stop running unless something has shifted radically in the battlefield ( a dropped pot, an allied Sedna, sudden Badassness). I've lost track of how many new players I've killed because they stopped running long enough to fire one last parting shot.
- If you are playing a DPS Fire TB don't walk up to my Tank Rook to cast Ring of Fire. You are like wet tissue paper and range is one of your strongest advantages. Don't waste it. Whittle me down from a distance and use Ring to keep me away. If I keep coming throw a Nova and get out of there. You get the point - if you are playing a harrassment or support build you don't start a battle at the front with a big target on your forehead. You have to position yourself to deal damage without receiving it and be ready to run if focus shifts to you despite your best intentions..Only when your opponent breaks off to run do you jump in to finish things.
And if you are playing a support/harrassment build you have to help your slower, thicker, and much more survivable allies out. Don't leave them hanging when they hang themselves out there in front of you - they are the shield and you are the sword. One without the other will break...
Tanks - read the bold print above and reverse it. Don't let your lil buddies take the heat.. Be bold punks to keep the heat on you.
- Flags split xp to every allied DG in (short) range of a cap. Portal Grunts split xp and gold per Micah below. Minions give no xp or gold when killed. Teams should split lanes to farm grunts and cap flags. Minions are great because they reward your opponents nothing when they die but while alive can kill, and you never run out of them.
Per Micah (thanks for digging through the LUA for this stuff)
If a demigod and their army (ie: minions and summons) does 25% of the total damage done (not 25% of health, 25% of total damage done) to a reinforcement then when that reinforcement dies a bounty is split amongst all nearby demigods (not just the one who did the damage). Also, if a demigod or their army gets the killing blow on a reinforcement then the bounty for that reinforcement is split amongst nearby demigods.
If a demigod does 25% of damage but does not get the killing blow and is not nearby the gold is still split, but they don't get part of that split. If a demigod (or their army) gets a killing blow though, that demigod does get part of the bounty for the kill.
- so that means as long as one guy in a lane is farming his ally can be sitting back and chillaxing and he will still get the gold benefits. (Doesn't really make sense to me but I didn't write the code)
- again per a conversation with Micah made after his clarification post - Grunts will not provide xp to their killer unless he is in range, so using your minions to farm xp only works if you are close by.
- DGs, unlike grunts reward gold and xp based on who last-hit and give some to assists too. You can hit a DG once and still get an assist, so when you see an enemy in trouble you can always poke them for some bling without stealing the kill. If the kill is in the bag and you attack at the last second and get the kill you will be forgiven once. Do it every time and no one will want to play with you. Gold on assists is split between the assisting players.
- If you have a minion build tell your minions what to do. Otherwise your minions will shoot at whatever they want, instead of whatever you want. Or they'll sit there serenely as the Rain of Ice/Hammerslam comes down on them. A bit of focused fire or move order goes a long way in this game. Also - if you have a bunch of minions in the field but have to go back to your Crystal please don't take your minions back to the base with you - you can attach them to an allied DG or leave them to guard a flag or farm grunts - even though you are out of range of xp you will get grunt gold. [Expanded below]
IIIA. Minion Micro [Expanded]
Minion Micro - Minion control and UI is primitive, but if you know how to use it you'll have a definite advantage over a passive player.
Basic Minion control.
M = selects all minions
N = selects Demigod and minions
H = selects Demigod
I = selects unique minions (Spirits, Yetis, etc..)
Leftclicking twice on a minion will highlight all minions of that type.
I'm not going to cover every application of minion tactics and micro here but a couple of applications stick out -
- Minions make good scouts - put a couple at the edge of your LoS in places where they won't engage reinforcements but will be able to sight enemy DGs moving up a lane. This has an advantage over observation wards because it's free and you can easily replace them if they get killed. OTOH it doesn't let you see invisible objects like mines the way wards do but we'll get to that in our next point.
- Invest the 350g to get a Minotaur Berserker idol - no, they don't cause alot of damage but what they can and will do if you let them is take the massive damage your opponents meant for you. Use your minions as tanks. The most obvious example of this is using them as minesweepers, but you can also use them to tank a tower's first few hits, tank a wave of grunts, etc. I don't generally rank up past Berserker but I know players who do and at level 4 Minotaurs look a lot like level 3 Demigods in terms of tanking capacity.
- Use your minions as a team. Your level 3 priests will heal on a 10 second timer which is separate from your ally's level 4 Bishops 10 second timer. That means if you are all in the same battle you are getting healed every 5 seconds. If you both have Bishops then their heals won't stack and you have paid more for less, gj. Per Micah, a team of 3 who spring for L2 Siege Archers at game start can take down a tower in under 60 seconds from outside LoS. Think about that - you can be downing towers a minute into the game, if you work together and use minion micro.
A related part of this is that your minions can be equally helpful to someone else on your team, especially if that someone else has no access to minions themselves. An allied Ooze UB is going to be incredibly happy if you send him a couple of your obsolete L2 Priests now that you are upgrading to L4. Rook can always use some Siege Archers to provide him some range and guard his Tower Patch. A Kite Reg will welcome some minos to tank for him..No your throwaway minions won't last forever but they only have to last long enough to give your ally an edge. You get the idea - your minions can be useful even (maybe especially) when they aren't attached to your coatstrings.
- Focus your minion's fire. Fine, they don't do as much damage as you do. But they do alot more than you'd expect - if and when you tell them to. Most Minion Generals 1 v 1 each other like this - I come up and hit you and we start trading hits - all of our minions start hitting each other - after 5 minutes or so we have no minions but we are finally able to determine the duel mano a mano, eh? Why do you have minions if you are going to waste them like this? Why not just play as Pew Pew "I'm gonna demolish if this game lasts for longer than 6 hours" Artifact Regulus?
OK - how about instead of that you press M, indicate your opponent DG and then when you start to hit them they are dead before they understand what's happening? (A straight minion build won't achieve this much, but throw some nukes in there and you'd be surprised)
Or even better, how about before committing to battle you focus-fire his priests and siege so that when you finally do allow him close distance his damage and health regen are half-crippled?
I would welcome some additional Minion Micromanagement thoughts here. I am still figuring this stuff out and my micro is relatively paltry. Thanks, Kestrel
- Congratulations, you have found the ultimate build. But somehow your opponents are countering it in this game you are playing right now. A true Badass will never commit to one course if it isn't working. If your uber-pwn build strat isn't working *right now* then you should change it *right now*. Learn the mechanics to see how you are being beaten and then look at what you can do to turn it around. Some quick examples -
- Against a spell/nuke-heavy team invest in health items and absorption/interrupt abilities like Shield and Foul Grasp
- Against a DPS/Slow-heavy team invest in armor items and blink/warp or speed items
- Against Mines and quick flag steals invest in Observation Wards (least used, most value item in game)
- Against Strong Grunts and Minions invest in AoE and Splash Damage, and maybe building upgrades
- Against a regen build invest in slows, nukes, and finishes (you can't let him have time to regen)
- Against a health/tank build invest in DoT and range attacks
You can die a bunch in the beginning as long as you are figuring out how to kill in the end. Don't panic and use your head and you will be two steps ahead of 90% of your rote-build-order-I-saw-on-the-forums opponents
- Each DG is waiting for its Badass owner - believe me when I tell you that any DG can be countered and all of them are powerful. Balance needs tweaking a bit but it's overall really, really good right now. If you aren't succeeding with or against a given DG it isn't always the DG's fault. Sometimes you just have to take it back to the drawing board and try something new. There are alot of little-used abilities that are worth looking at - just because you haven't heard about it yet doesn't mean it doesn't work....
- In the same line there are a *ton* of crazy items no one is using yet that are really awesome. Learn and use your items. Favor, consumable, equipped, idol, whatever... Reading the description doesn't cut it - alot of these things are better or worse on paper. I'm not going to give you examples of these- my fingers are starting to bleed from writing this thankful (?) wall of text and you can find them just as well as I can...
Test stupid items and stupid builds - who knows, maybe you will find something new
Edit: And as Kitkun points out - certain skills and items work as advertised but if you are going to use them effectively you need to know how they work. Read the descriptions. Hooked on Phonics, people. Worked for me...
VI. Strategy (per Kitkun)
Work toward something at every level. Work toward powerful items, citadel upgrades, enemy portals, and the enemy citadel. Have a plan of attack. If you don't but your allies do then follow their lead...
VII. Citadel Upgrades
Every Citadel upgrade has its uses (with the exception of Death timer - needs some love). Generally the first level is always going to be the most cost-effective but we'll talk about that later. A couple of things to remember -
[Per transitive] - Your upgrades should be about the map and team you are on. I'll almost never upgrade grunt types gradually except on a map like Crucible which only has one lane. On a map like that Priests can be very effective and if you support them they won't feed your opponents too many level. On a map like Prison I'll upgrade XP every chance I get because when you can cap a flag every 20 seconds even 10% advantage adds up. On a map with 50 towers I'm going to upgrade tower offense and tower defense more often than I will on a map with 15 towers. If I have 4 teammates getting level 2 of the gold upgrade is alot more viable because even though my outlay is more I'm feeding more gold to alot more people than I am in a 2 v 2. Use your upgrades based on how they scale in given circumstances
- Learn how and when to upgrade your grunt types. In order to upgrade your grunt types you will need to control the neutral flags at least half the time to earn the War Rank necessary to upgrade. If you can't do that then your enemy will be able to field catas and giants before you. Unless you want that to happen (and you might, if you eat Giants like candy) make sure you have War Rank equity. As well as War Rank you need gold.
- Don't ever buy Grunt Type Upgrades gradually unless you are a Badass or playing Crucible. It's almost always better to buy all the grunt types you can in one wave. It gives your opponent less time to react and less ability to level off of the suddenly available xp and gold. If I see you upgrade to priests within 4 minutes of game start one more time I'm gonna start frothing at the mouth, seriously, because you just handicapped your team...
- Just because you have Giants doesn't mean you win the game. Maybe your opponent has Giants too. Maybe they have crazy AoE and are just sucking up your grunt streams like soda and levelling every 5 seconds and buying multiple artifacts which they are dropping at your feet to humilate you. ^^ Momentum can shift pretty quickly once the big units are on the field. As a Rule of Thumb - in Conquest, you haven't won the game against a good team until you have (any neutral portals and) at least one of your opponent portals locked down and producing siege units. By "locked down" I mean you have a lock on that portal and you put a new one on every time it expires. A good team will do anything they can to keep you from locking a home portal, because they know it's the end if they can't get it back, so bring lots of guns.
Well, that's a start...I'll add more when I see someone doing something so annoying/brilliant I have to post about it here (Or when someone older and wiser has a tip they'd like to add ^^)
Useful Resources 4/23/09 -
Compiled GamesReplays Tips (Thanks Keemossi)
Economy (Thanks Keemossi)
Mint Upgrades (Thanks chaosbrynn ^^)
Buying Armor vs Health
Stats on all units
a Wiki for everything else (Thanks Silphius and Revenance)