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Tips for new players


General tips

- Read.  This is my most important tip, and one that you probably don't need if you're here.  The rest of the tips I'm going to give assume you're already reading everything the game uses to teach you stuff; these are mostly things I didn't pick up on immediately by reading in-game tooltips and tutorial dialogues.

- The game lists "unlockables to pursue" as something you should maybe consider doing.  They're generally better than that in-game text implies.  Some unlock things you may be less than fond of - stronger creatures, for example - but many unlock new ingredients that you'll need for the more complex and interesting spells.  Even when the unlocks make the game harder, they also tend to make it more interesting by broadening the pool of things you can encounter, like new mission types and new enchants.  If I don't have another, more immediate goal, pursuing unlockables is my fallback activity.

- The mission intro text doesn't emphasize this quite enough:  Secret missions, meaning any mission not marked on the world map, don't increase Civilization Progress.  Unless there's something intrinsically objectionable about one, you should probably do all of them you find.  Likewise, many special missions created by guardian powers, such as wind shelter missions and seek survivor missions, don't increase CP even though they are on the world map.  Missions created using the Seek Resources power do appear to increase CP, however; their purpose isn't to avoid continent progression but to let you re-roll the dice on mission types and rewards.  (Any input, folks?  I'm going by the in-game text on that last one, not experimentation.)

- Secret missions and mystery clues in buildings are shown as yellow rooms on your minimap, like a stash, but they're actually a slightly brighter shade of yellow.  If you mouse over them, the tooltip will tell you that they are secret mission entrances or clue rooms; no need to poke your head into every single stash room if the stash itself is not what you're searching for.

General combat tips

- Having trouble aiming, especially with mobs you have to dodge a lot?  Tab-targeting is your friend.  It's how I finally beat those %$!*^ shadow bat bosses.  Tab targeting has downsides though; check the entry on the wiki.  A disadvantage not mentioned there is that tab-targeting prevents you from doing certain trick shots that require aiming, as described next.

- Shoot around corners.  A lot of the spells in the game move funny ways if they collide with a wall - Energy Orb, Ball Lightning, and Forest Rage come to mind.  Others shoot in arcs.  Some pierce; others explode on contact.  These differences get really important when you're trying to kill something(s) in a maze room without getting slaughtered yourself.

- Control your environment.  I had lots of trouble fighting flying bosses in caves until I started making areas with a wide expanse of platforms where I could bounce around without fear of falling.

Tips on NPCs

- Finding NPCs (input welcome!):

-- See the above advice on secret missions; the first NPC rescues you do will be secret missions in caves or buildings.  Later, when you find and upgrade an apothokineticist and gain a Seek Survivor power, you'll be able to speed up the process considerably.

-- Bronze Age NPCs can be found in the desert regions.

-- Pre-Industrial NPCs can be found in grasslands regions.

-- Modern NPCs can be found in "modern ruins", which I've seen in abandoned town regions and inside a cave in the ocean shallows region.

- NPC professions (input welcome!):

-- As far as I know, there's no way to guarantee which professions (or profession-specific buildings) you'll find.  The game was kind to me, though; I got the most basic and crucial NPCs earliest, and their buildings before that.  I don't know whether this is built into the mission generation.

-- NPC professions include stonebinders, lumbermancers, aquargists, forgicians, and technozoologicalists.

-- Stonebinders or lumbermancers are necessary to create most buildings that help make your professionals stronger.  Aquargists are needed to make buoys and wind shelters that expand the territory you can access.  Apothekineticists are needed for the Seek Survivor power, and forgicians for the Seek Resources power.  Technozoologicalists are... still a mystery to me.  Each profession is needed for a few of the continent-wide buffs you can gain as guardian powers.

- Guardian Transfer Scrolls:

-- Use these to swap which character is your player character.  You can't use them while wearing an unusual outfit (like a snow suit on non-ice age chacracters; right-click on it in inventory to unequip) and they have a 170 mana cost to use, which means that it's technically possible to create a character that can't use them at all!  Your entire inventory including equipped enchants swaps over when you change characters; upgrades and base stats do not, and most importantly, profession does not.

-- Your player character has a profession, just like the NPCs you rescue.  (Surprise!)  This profession is hidden from you on the character selection screen, but pressing 'escape' will let you view your current character's stats, including their profession.  Unfortunately, the player character is far too busy to perform their profession while they're risking their lives as a glyphbearer, so don't expect them to.  This makes it possible for you to screw yourself out of a professional from your settlement if, for example, you use a glyph transfer scroll on your only aquargist, then go get her killed in the line of duty.

    The flip side of this is that it is possible to "trade" professionals from one settlement to another.  If you just cannot find an apothekineticist on continent two but have an excess of stonebinders there, then you can go back to continent one, transfer glyph to an apothekineticist, return to continent two, transfer glyph to a stonebinder, and finally return to continent one to get your playable character back.  This process takes three transfer scrolls and some time, but might save you headaches from eternally searching for a particular survivor that just won't show up.  It could also help you speed up general-purpose continent development under certain circumstances.

Mission-specific tips

- Rescue NPC:

-- The person you're rescuing won't dodge on their own - and they don't respond instantly when you move, either.  You have to do the dodging for them and be a bit more on top of it than normal.  As un-upgraded NPCs, the rescuees are a bit fragile.

-- Storm Dash will take you far ahead of the rescuee, which can be a good thing or a bad thing.  They'll try to catch up but they'll keep moving at their normal speed while doing so.

-- Destroy monster nests as you pass to prevent mobs from spawning behind you if you're the cautious sort.  Ignore nests and rush forward to avoid getting lots of spawns ahead of you if you're the agressive sort.  Either way, these aren't the hardest missions - a kindness from the developers, considering how rare and necessary and unrepeatable these missions are.

-- Healing Touch lets you transfer some of your health to the NPC if necessary.

-- If the NPC gets stuck and dancing around him gets no response (which has happened to me a couple of times), try standing someplace that is near him but clear of obstacles, then saving and reloading.  Note that reloading resets the monster nests; they all appear again, unfortunately.

- Fix Anachronisms:

-- This mission will be somewhat horrific unless you're pretty familiar with the residents of a given area/era.

-- Narrow, non-explosive, single target spells may be helpful to avoid hitting something you don't mean to hit.

- Battleground:

-- Hang back.  Your robot buddies are there to take the hits for you.

-- High health is unnecessary if you are following the above advice.

-- It you are low on health, Storm Dash will take you back to the base for healing quickly, and return you to the front quickly.  The cleared battlefield makes this spell safer than usual to use.

-- Use a hard-hitting single-target spell.  Piercing effects don't work here, so focus on big single-target damage.

- Supply Depot/Meteor Shower:

-- Start the mission by running all the way across the map.  You won't see falling meteors unless they are in a part of the map you've revealed.

-- Storm Dash is extremely important at every stage of the mission.

-- It's easy to fall into the trap of defending the central two supply heaps but neglecting the two on the ends.  Try instead to alternate between defending the leftmost pair and the rightmost pair.

-- Meteors, sadly, don't have much in the way of physics; while they can be knocked back, they fall on the same directional vector no matter how you hit them.  If they're moving down and leftward, knock them up and leftward to push them further away from your supplies.  Knocking such a meteor up and rightward risks getting your supplies smashed anyways.

- Journey to Perfection:

-- High health is irrevelant here, as is high damage, or damage reduction.  Piercing effects and explosions are golden, though; high mana is great too.  Leg enchants of no falling damage and torso enchants of no acid damage are good picks to broaden your margin for error.  Spell recharge and projectile speed are useful.

-- Clinging Fetor is normally a very weak spell, but it has some room to shine here due to its enemy-seeking properties.  Its range is short-ish, though, so balance that against your ability to quick-draw other spells.

-- Shield spells can also shine, if you have access to them and the mana needed to dish them out.

- Build Wind Shelter:

-- Remember, you can run past the mobs!  They are not important to your mission except as health sources and obstacles.

-- Storm Dash minimizes the time you spend fighting the wind.

-- In the earlier chunks, where the wind is less intense, it's best to kill things as you go if you can do that.  In later chunks, evasion and Storm Dash are the better tactic.  You know when to switch strategies when you can no longer refill your health by stopping to kill mobs.

-- You take no damage, even from windstorms, when you've just loaded a chunk but have not moved or cast a spell; you don't attract the attention of mobs either.  There are few places where this fact is more important than in wind shelter missions.

A couple more tips on rescue missions

Douse Monster Nest Spell
This is an alterntive to breaking every nest. Drop a douse spell on each nest and you will be able to progress quicker (the spells last 5 mins). This usaly results in less overall spawns.

Freeing stuck NPCs
Try spawning crates in their heads, that should cause them to move upwards.


--- Quote from: Asterai on May 07, 2012, 10:48:46 pm ---- Finding NPCs (input welcome!):

-- See the above advice on secret missions; the first NPC rescues you do will be secret missions in caves or buildings.  Later, when you find and upgrade an apothokineticist and gain a Seek Survivor power, you'll be able to speed up the process considerably.

-- Bronze Age NPCs can be found in the desert regions.

-- Pre-Industrial NPCs can be found in grasslands regions.

-- Modern NPCs can be found in "modern ruins", which I've seen in abandoned town regions and inside a cave in the ocean shallows region.

--- End quote ---

Any NPC can be found in any building or cave within their time period.  They're far more common in large buildings or caves.  The NPCs, what they're good at, and where they're found are:

WILD GARDEN AGE (Draconites.  Averate stats, Heat Resistant, less jump height/move speed) - Found in Lava Flats
TIME OF MAGIC (Less HP, higher attack, much higher Mana) - Found in Deciduous Forests
MEDIEVAL AGE (Much higher HP, much less Mana) - Found in Swamps and The Deeps
BRONZE AGE (Higher HP) - Found in Desert.
PRE-INDUSTRIAL AGE (Low HP, much higher attack) - Found in Coniferous Forests
INDUSTRIAL AGE (Higher attack) - Found in Grasslands
CONTEMPORARY AGE (Slightly higher HP and Mana) - Found in Abandoned Towns and Ocean Shallows
ICE AGE (Higher HP, Cold Resistant) - Found in Ice Age Plains/Woods and Thawing Plains/Woods
TIME AFTER PEOPLE (Much higher HP, less attack and Mana.  Heat AND Cold Resistant.  Some of them are 3-tiles tall instead of the usual 2.) - Found in Skelebot Junkyards.

The Ocean shallows PC is now Time of Magic instead of Contemporary, you can get a new type of NPC a lot sooner now.

Map the Pause button to 'q' for easier access.


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