Beginning Strategy

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This page is dedicated to gameplay strategy and tips for beginning heroes (those still in Valmorgen).

Overview[edit]

Hero Basics[edit]

Before reading this section, make sure you've understood the hero basics as outlined on the Basics page, especially the Hero Attributes section. It is also important to understand that, when you first register your hero, his or her starting hero attributes are randomly selected based on the Starting Attributes ranges. You can 'reroll' by clicking Options, deleting the character and re-registering. While some people are more apt to do so than others, consider the following:

  • Vitality - As a hero stat, vitality lost most of its importance after The Great Reset of 2010, however it is still nice to have as much as vitality possible especially if you are a low HP class like Wizard. Also it will take less gold and turns to train vitality up to 12 for those classes.
  • Strength - With the introduction of weight system, this stat has gained enormous importance, since it limits the amount of the items and gold heroes may carry along. Thus it's better better to have as much as STR possible especially for classes whose primary stat is not STR. Also for low STR classes, a high roll will reduce the cost of gold and turns in order to train STR up to 12.

This stat also affects melee damage only, per 8 points. As such, the difference between 23 and 24 STR is equivalent of 2 damage increase in weapon (provided you do not have Slayer ability). Consider this for melee and ranged characters when deciding whether to reroll, especially if you are not a Strength class. (this would mean you would be 1 short of the damage bonus at 24 indefinitely).

  • Intelligence - If your class has this as its primary attribute then every point counts! Spell damage is added for every 4 points, but intelligence is ALSO used to determine whether the spell pierces resistance or not. If you are a dumber class, ensure you have at least 11 intelligence in order to purchase spells easily. A dwarf with 11 INT or more will be able to purchase spells directly, while another dwarf with 10 INT needs to pay 9500 gold and spend 10 turns in order to raise INT to 11, which is quite a difference at the start of the game.

Note though that in the long run, item bonuses will certainly be more of a deciding factor than your base stats.

"Where to Go?" and how to earn gold[edit]

New heroes start off going to the sewers, progressing to the Lower Sewers, and eventually the Ratman Kingdom. Gold is earned by one of these methods:

  • Going to the sewers and defeating enemies in combat, by attaining items and selling them at the blacksmith or gnome hovel. This is the most challenging option, and not always appropriate for all characters immediately.
  • Doing guard duty work (at the city gates) (3 gold, 6 XP per turn). This is generally a lousy option, only used if you really needed 250 gold for something.
  • Patrolling the city (5 gold, additional gold and XP depending on the monster faced.) Note that this is very similar to entering the sewer, except you will not find any items. However, you do get a free 'tower follower' that assists you in combat and pretty much assures you survive the encounters. Note that the tower shoots, so you will gain relatively little XP from this option.
  • Doing construction work (Dwarves and Gnomes only, at the Valmorgen Palace). (10 gold, 15 XP per 3 turns) This is marginally better than guard duty, but both available classes have better options.
  • Through the Royal Rat-Catcher who offers quests that the hero can complete to gain a fair amount of gold. (800 gold in total, +XP from killing the rats, not repeatable) Immediately grab these quests as soon as you find the rat catcher. By the time it gets difficult, you will be ready for sewers 2 anyways.
  • Some heroes with high luck can earn money at the Gambling Hall. It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you do this immediately so you can reroll if things go poorly, and to equip yourself better before combat. Note that even luck-less heroes can use this as a cheesy/desperate way to kickstart a difficult character. (such as a Healer who really needs Powershock and a follower before they can effectively fight in the sewer).
  • Some heroes that begin with the stealing ability can steal from shops and resell the loot at the same shop for cash. Once again, this is a great thing to do on your first turn. If things go too poorly, you can 'reroll'. Note that stealing is now very effective. A 30 artifice 10% stealing rogue has about a 30% chance of stealing a Ring of Protection, and a much better chance of nabbing a 100 gold item successfully from the Blacksmith and then purchase the ring. At first lvl stealing rewards the player with 200 exp regardless of success.

Goals in the Valmorgen Sewers Stage Early Game[edit]

Once your hero has registered, you'll be introduced to the Town Crier. The Town Crier has some valuable information for new players. Now is a good time to review the building descriptions for locations in Valmorgen.

Most heroes should begin by going to the Valmorgen Blacksmith and buying a weapon and armor, costing 100 gold each. Now, go to the "Items" Sidebar (the second icon from the left) and click "View Items". Select and equip your two new items. If your hero is Wizard, Priestess, or Monk, do not purchase a weapon. If your hero is a Barbarian or other class that cannot wear any of the Blacksmith's armor, only purchase a weapon. Some classes have low Parry and still aren't ready to face the sewers unaided. Spending turns praying at a temple will give these classes the boosts they need to stay alive. If you find you are still having trouble you may consider hiring a follower to help you out though he will take some much needed experience points as compensation. With that done, here are the general goals in the "early game":

  • Reach at least level 7 by adventuring in the Valmorgen Sewers. Level 7 is REQUIRED to take the Venn's Spire challenge (or Sewer Quests to Mayhew), which is needed to move on with the game.
Gnomes should reach level 8 before moving on
  • Obtain Gold while leveling in order to buy the following items, in order:
1. Purchase spells from Library, Flameshield and then Powershock (Healer should buy Powershock first). If your INT is less than 11 you will have to put this goal off.
Wizards will need to purchase all spells up to Meteor Storm.
2. Purchase a Ring of Protection (500 Gold) from the Marketplace.
3. Purchase the best armor available from the Valmorgen Blacksmith and then upgrade it to +3 as gold allows.
Wizards, Priestess, Healers, Barbarians and Monks will not be able to purchase Armor until after leaving Vamorgen
4. Purchase the best weapon available from the Valmorgen Blacksmith and upgrade it to +3 as gold collection allows.
5. Pick up a stack of Wands of Lightning Storm as they aren't available in Venns Spire. Some potions of monster detection, poisons and possibly some invisibility gems are advisable but can be bought in Venns Spire.

This list does not apply for all classes. Specific cases are discussed below. For most classes, it should be emphasized that obtaining gold is a top priority. Without the gold to purchase equipment and spells your hero is at a great disadvantage. Armor is especially valuable (more so than weapons in the early game) because you're likely to be outnumbered, having to defend in combat more often than you can attack. Healing is also rather difficult in the early game, so every Hit Point saved is a tragedy avoided!

After the Sewers: The Trial of Venn's Spire: Since January 2009, in order to leave Valmorgen city, you must complete the quest the Trial of Venn's Spire or series of Sewer Tunnel Quests. Before entering this area, the character should have all the above goals completed. Once this quest is initiated, it's not possible to return. You can still buy healing potions and most wizard guild items. You can NOT resurrect followers, enchant things, or buy wands of Lightning Storm.

Temples and Piety[edit]

Temples and piety have always been around but after the 2010 reset it became more economical to use turns praying for the blessings instead of outright buying them. Because of this change, brand new first level heroes can take advantage of them right away. The higher a heroes Willpower stat, the more pious he/she will be resulting in fewer turns praying to receive the desired blessing. This is most handy for heroes who can access the Temple of Dauros because of the Vigilance blessing which adds 10 points to Wilpower, and the Stoneskin blessing which adds 6 points to your armor. For a full listing of temple blessings see the Enchantments page. All heroes have a temple they can pray to for a blessing, which will last 10 turns once accepted so be sure to do all of your praying before choosing the blessings. It should be noted that once you choose a temple to pray to, you will lose piety with the opposing temple(s). For example a Dwarf praying to Agrela for Ressurection blessings will find the Fervus Illusionary Hero blessing will cost more turns than if he had prayed to Krypta for Re-Animate.


Here is how a Dauros aligned hero can survive the Ratman Kingdom at lvl 4 with few healing aid expenditures & is also a high recomendation for low parry classes in the lower sewers:

  • Pray one turn at a time at Temple of Dauros until option of Vigilance shows and choose it right away. (10 turns of Vigilance requires 60 WP*turn, a hero with 20 WP will get it at 3 turns)
  • After then pray some number of turns (according to the duration you want and your hero's WP) for Stoneskin. (10 turns of Stoneskin requires 40 WP*turn, a hero with 20 WP will get it at 2 turns)

For example if your hero has 20 WP without Vigilance and you want to get 120 turns of Stoneskin, you first need to pray 3 turns in order to get Vigilance and then pray for 16 turns in order to get Stoneskin. While this costs 19 turns at the beginning; it will greatly reduce chance of dying as well as consumption of Healing Potions

Krypta Aligned heroes will find the Illusionary Hero blessing very helpful while Barbarians have the Rage of Krolm blessing at their disposal. Obvious advantage goes to those who seek the favor of Dauros because the +6 armor (especially when combined with Armors, Ring of Protection and enchanting armor) is something easily measured: every Ratman Champion who would have hit you for 6 damage every round now does virtually no damage. Even a high HP/Parry class (Paladin, Dwarf) who may not be in danger of dying often in the Ratman Kingdom should use this blessing because of the amount of precious gold they can save by not consuming healing aids.

Healing and Followers[edit]

Early heroes may rely on resting at temples to heal battle damage to save gold. Eventually, at a certain point, once the hero makes enough gold to keep up with purchasing Healing Potions from the marketplace, it is preferable to use healing potions rather than resting, since resting takes away valuable turns. Note that for classes that can do so, healing grubs from the Gnome Hovel are more cost effective, and more 'precise' since they heal in increments of +5HPs.

ProTip: When using grubs/potions, just type in a quantity of 11 or 111 and the game will automatically use an appropriate number of grubs to heal you to full. Its a little easier than calculating it each time.

Followers are an element in the game that can be useful to some classes. Followers cost money to hire and reduced the experience gained by heroes after combat (if followers damage foes, they leach XP that would otherwise go to the hero when they deal damage in combat), but can significantly aid the hero in gaining gold. Certain classes weaker in the beginning, such as Healers and Rangers, benefit from using followers, whereas others are better off avoiding them altogether. In general, ranged/casting classes with higher damage output and weaker defenses benefit more from followers. Followers only regain hitpoints in three ways: Occasional 1 HP on uneventful turns, Resting in the Inn (10HP per turn), and being resurrected. You can recruit up to 6 hirelings.

Note that several classes can go to a Shrine to Krypta and acquire up to 3 Skeletons through the "Animate Dead" spell gained by Prayer. This takes about 10 turns for 1 to 3 Skeletons for most moderately high Willpower classes. Skeletons have an excellent upgrade potential and are NOT included in the 6 hireling limitation. Indeed, a Priestess can have 3 of her own Skeletons, 3 from Krypta, and 6 hirelings.

Beginning Difficulty Ratings[edit]

This table reflects the relative ease of getting through the "Valmorgen Sewers" stage of the game. These ratings are not based on the difficulty ratings assigned by the developers as seen on the character registration page (difficulty ratings at the character registration page are to a great extent useless or even misleading because they are extremely outdated and do not take into account the variance in difficulty through different stages of the game).

  1. Easy: Priestess, Gnome, Cultist
  2. Fairly Easy: Adept, Monk, WoD, Solarus, Paladin, Healer, Elf
  3. Not As Easy: Warrior, Dwarf, Wizard, Rogue
  4. Hard: Ranger
  5. More Challenging: Barbarian

Comments and Approaches for Specific Hero Classes[edit]

Conventional Melee Classes[edit]

Adept, Monk, Paladin, Solarus, Warrior of Discord (Relatively easy)
Dwarf, Warrior (Somewhat harder)

The above classes of heroes follow the most conventional path in the early game. The first row of classes listed above all should breeze through the early game with relative ease due to their high defense capabilities or high attacking power (for the Warrior of Discord). The second row of classes are more challenging due to their lower defense values, but the idea should be approximately the same, only that these classes will take longer to develop early on. It should be noted that the Dwarf class is classified as "Beginner" primarily due to its impressive capabilities after the early game. Players should generally follow the guidelines listed earlier in this article. Adepts, Paladins and Solarii all naturally learn spellcasting at level 3 or 4, so make sure to capitalize on that advantage by buying the FlameShield Spell, which should make the game go fairly straightforward. Warriors of Discord will not be able to learn spellcasting at this stage of the game because their intelligence is too low. Fortunately, their attack multiple enemies ability more than compensates for this deficiency.

As suggested earlier, heal by resting in temples until you've gained enough equipment so that you can make enough money to keep a steady stream of healing aids. This occurs once you can comfortably fight in the (upper) sewers, and progress to the lower sewers where gold is more abundant. Remember that the most important goal is to gain enough gold to buy a full array of equipment, which will increase your efficiency.

Dwarves and Warriors will not be able to progress to the lower sewers and Ratman kingdom as quickly as the other heroes listed above. For that reason, the choices are either to stay back in the upper sewers for a longer time, or purchase followers.

The use of followers for Dwarves and Warriors is optional. Followers will leech your XP and require turns to rest at the temple. However, by fighting stronger foes, you get more gold which helps you get your equipment goals faster. Since the purpose of followers is to help you gain gold faster, the upfront cost is an issue. An option is to turn to the dark side and ask Krypta to animate some skeletons for you. This works fairly quickly (15 turns or so) as a Dwarf due to your high willpower. Not so much for the warrior...

Once you've gained enough gold to have the best armor in the blacksmith with +3 enchantment, you'll be able to survive in the Ratman Kingdom using healing potions and without followers. When that happens, dismiss your followers or do not revive them after they die.

Warriors have the advantage of using bucklers or shields, so make sure you equip those items when you find them in the sewers or after purchasing from the blacksmith. The Wooden Large Shield, for example, gives the wearer 3 armor points for a meager cost in gold. Therefore, these two items should be top priority, even before the ring of Protection.

Barbarians[edit]

For barbarians, begin by buying the 100 gold axe. Save the extra 100 gold for later, since the 1-point damage difference between 100 and 200 gold axe is not significant. The lack of both armor and intelligence means that a lot of the reference "goal list" must be revised. The primary issue is that after you've gained enough gold to purchase the ring of protection, it's not directly clear what to purchase. Moreover, another deficiency is that Barbarians are unable to enter either the temple to Agrela or krypta to revive their followers, so using followers is difficult. It is probably best not to use followers, for this reason, and also for the reason that barbarians become progressively stronger with their critical hit level so you want to gain levels as fast as possible without having followers hold you back. The goal of the barbarian is thus to gain levels while holding your own against enemy rats.

Once you've saved 500 gold to purchase your Ring of Protection (don't forget to equip it), you should be able to fight in the upper sewers and earn a net income of gold even by using healing potions and without resting at your temple. However, the upper sewers is probably not the most exciting place to adventure. A prominent encounter in the lower sewers that may be of problem are trolls. You can either just die and hope that your hardiness skill can save you, or use monster detection potions. When you can comfortably fight in the lower sewers, you'll be able to fight in the Ratman Kingdom (at approximately level 8). Since you have nothing else to purchase, go ahead and buy the best axe and enchant it at the wizards guild.

Again, the principle challenge of barbarians is that there is no early threshold point at which they become powerful enough to easily fight through the Ratman kingdom. Even rangers, for example, reach that point by attaining maximal armor and spellcasting. Barbarians have no armor and will have to fight a long way before they can cast spells. This and the reasons mentioned makes the barbarian arguably the most challenging in the beginning and later in the game.

Wizards[edit]

Since wizards do not rely on melee combat, there is no need to buy weapons in the early game. (Wizards can ineffectively fight hand to hand and should use staffs with socketed beard rings later on, but for the early game, there is no need for weapons) Instead, consider acquiring one or more followers either through Krypta, the Rogue's Guild, or the Warrior's Guild. This will allow you to survive long enough to gain a few levels and get some gold. Then use your gold to purchase the Ring of Protection and the library spells at first opportunity. As a wizard, your first priority is to get to level 7 to purchase the powerful Meteor Storm spell. Wizards in the early game are entirely offense-oriented. They can barely take any hits before "melting" and in the early stages, they don't do that much damage. Due to their lower endurance, the use of melee followers is usually a good strategy, especially since they will leech little to no XP from you due to your high damage output. Once you have the meteor storm and all the other spells from the library, the game becomes straightforward for wizards.

Priestess[edit]

The advantage of this class is that they get free skeleton followers and that their drain life spell has healing effects. The free skeletons are a significant advantage, which makes the Priestess early game the simplest of any class, since automatically-replenishing skeletons prove a powerful meatshield against enemies. (It's generally important to turn on the auto-dismiss feature in the options panel so that fallen skeletons are automatically replaced). As noted above, they can pray for up to 3 additional skeletons from the Temple to Krypta. This is a good plan early on if you are trying to manage your skeletons and get them upgraded into a powerful army, which is different from the auto-dismiss throwaway skeletons plan listed above. In general it results in less experience and turns spent resting in the temple. However it greatly decreases chances of dying and increases gold income since you can fight stronger encounters while lower level. It also assists against magic resistant foes in the Venn's Spire challenge.

Elf, Rogue, Cultist, Gnome[edit]

The Elf, Rogue, Cultist, and Gnome classes all have non-conventional methods of attaining gold by stealing (Elf, Rogue) or gambling (Cultist, Gnome). The stealing ability can be used to attain items such as weapons and armor without having to purchase them. Be warned though, that the more valuable the item, the more difficult it is to steal them from the shop. At times, it is more efficient to simply steal lesser items and sell them back to the shop rather than to steal higher-level items for use.

Cultists and Gnomes both have high luck attributes, which make them ideal for the gambling hall. Statistically, these two classes are more likely to win than lose money at the end of the day, so make sure you use this to your advantage. It is not only possible, but VERY IMPORTANT to gain enough gold to fully purchase all equipment and spells without even setting foot in the sewers! Plus, you can buy a goodly amount of consumables from the Wizard shop (Wand of Lightning Storm for hard fights, heals, full enchant, invisibility gem, etc.) Looks like luck does (literally) pay off. I have obtained about 10,000 gold in 50-60 turns several times. This is a MUCH better starting strategy than building or gate-guarding. If you are too unlucky in gambling, you can always start over since you haven't gotten very far...

After stealing and gambling, the rest of the strategy for these four classes is the same as the generic ones. Refer to the list of goals mentioned earlier and use healing and followers (Elf, Rogue, Cultist) whenever necessary. Do not forget to learn spellcasting and the crucial spells available at the library. Cultists, in particular, should strive to reach level 7 as quickly as possible to make use of the powerful shape shift spell which provides attribute bonuses as well as free healing. Cultists begin with spellcasting, which makes things go fairly smoothly.

Rangers[edit]

Without the craftiness of elves, rangers are more challenging to get through than their wine-loving archer counterparts. Furthermore, their sense of nature doesn't seem to come in too handy in the filthy dark sewers. For all practical purposes, though, rangers play roughly with the same objectives in mind as many other classes, such as focusing on increasing armor and weapons and learning spells. It take them longer to get out of their weak early stage. Praying to Krypta for skeletons or hiring followers will compensate for the weak defenses of Rangers. Since rangers get multiple 'free' attacks during the first 3 rounds of combat, this gives you a head-start on your followers as far as recouping as much XP as possible. It also allows you to skip usage of healing potions and focus solely on a better bow, enchantment, and powershock to boost offense. The cost is that you must rest to let followers recover HPs and you gain significantly less XP from fights. This is partially recouped in that you are much less likely to die and can fight stronger foes more quickly.

Healers[edit]

Healers have very little combat ability at the beginning. As such, it really is not even worthwhile to buy a dagger. Instead, the best approach is to do Patrol Duty (not guard duty) which gives you a temporary follower which will attack foes for you. You get no XP, but more quickly acquire gold. Right at 250 gold, buy Power Shock from the library. This is basically your ONLY offense, but early game it is a good one. Continue to do Patrols, but this time you should be gaining some decent XP and level up quickly. As long as you don't die in one hit, you can Heal yourself to full. You can buy a cheap Rogue's Guild follower for 100 gold which may abandon you, or hold out for an expensive, but reliable Fighter. I recommend a rogue, since you won't need followers for very long. Note that you will easily be able to heal your follower, so resting is never necessary. It also means your followers are effectively unkillable. Now you can fight in the sewers and level up. An alternative is to immediately gamble for a few turns to try to cough up the 350 gold needed for Power Shock and a follower. Consider this if you don't mind restarting a few times.

By level 3 or 4, you have a regenerate spell and enough HPs to avoid getting killed in one hit, and enough gold to afford Flameshield and a Ring of Protection (and a dagger). You can dismiss your follower(s) and fight on your own for VASTLY more experience. Your offense is lousy, but since you are practically immortal, it doesn't matter how long it takes to kill foes. By level 7, you get your final spell which dramatically increases your toughness.

The Trial of Venn's Spire or Sewer Tunnels - Finally Leaving[edit]

As soon as the player is level 7 they can ask the guards at the city gate for a way to leave Valmorgen or ask the Royal Rat-Catcher for more information about another way to leave Valmorgan. The Trial of Venn's Spire requires the player to leave for an area which does not contain all temples or shops, but it is considerably faster than the Sewer Tunnels quest package. A paladin, for example, can complete the Trials in less than 200 turns, while the tunnels will take several hundred - unless the player can defeat the goblin fortress without completing the quests. However, since wands are disabled this is not possible for low-level characters (even wizards around level 10 cannot defeat the towers in the 25 turns afforded by invisibility). Going straight through the Trials allows the character to go on and pick up many items such as the Green and Blue Charms and begin on other quests.

The Trial of Venn's Spire[edit]

See Article The Trial of Venn's Spire

When you've fulfilled all the goals listed earlier and have a good amount of healing aids and gold, you are ready to enter Venn's Spire. Once you enter this area, you cannot go back to Valmorgen, so entering underprepared can be an especially bad choice. For general tips on combat, see the article Essential Combat Strategy. When playing through this area with a Wizard or Priestess, (or Rogue/Elf/Ranger for that matter) utilize followers to defeat monsters with high Magic Resistance and high toughness. If you do not already have followers for whatever reason, you can immediately hire level two hirelings in Venn's Spire. I highly recommend having 10 potions of monster detection, 5 uses of Wand of Lighting Storm, and a few poisons before venturing forth.

Beyond the Early Stage[edit]

When you're done with Valmorgen, you can start exploring new locations in Ardania and hone your list of equipment. For this stage of the game see: Early and Midgame Guide