SX RPG Expert Strategies?

Share and discuss strategies for playing the game, and get help and tips from other players.

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Re: SX RPG Expert Strategies?

Post by iceiceice »

Mabuse wrote: man, this is excellent!

i had searched for this bug quite a time - but gave up on it.
Sometimes all it takes is an extra pair of eyes ;) .
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Re: SX RPG Expert Strategies?

Post by roidanton »

I've been very busy at work the last couple of days, but with the weekend coming up, I'm looking forward for a new challenge.

My first idea was attempting to solo ToB - but I've already tried that last weekend and failed miserably, so I'll probably move on to the next map and play Wizard of War.

Regarding soloing, I have actually read some WML last weekend and done some math - especially looking at that code which defines how the creeps and bosses gain strength was very interesting. It's not only helpful to know these numbers for an overall battle plan - ie. look at your stats every 10 turns and make sure you're doing ok - it also answered an important question for me: if you're strong enough and regenerate enough health so you don't have any healing costs, is it ok to leave an ai leader alive a few more turns to gain some additional strength by killing its units?

In simple terms, creeps gain about 150 hp every 10 turns. In addition to that, they also get stronger and get higher resistances.

After doing some math, I have come to the conclusion that this makes it impossible to win this with a ranged unit.

Note that I'm not saying a ranged unit is a bad choice on this map - this is only about attempting to play this solo! In a team, a Mage or Ranger can become extremely powerful - actually be exactly the kind of team member that you need!

The math is really simple:

For simplicity, let's assume we're playing this with a Silver Mage or an Inferno Drake - the two units with the highest ranged strikes in the game - and your weapon is fully upgraded: focus precision blessed slows. With these two units, this gives you 20 strikes on offense with their built-in fire weapon. Focus basically negates dreadful sight, most opponents will have about 30-40% resistance, but you'll occasionally face bosses with 70-80%. I think it's safe to assume that your effective damage will be less than 50% of your weapon's stats, even after taking leadership, time-of-day, etc. into account. It's probably more like 30% unless you get specialty weapons - but they cost so much gold that it's probably not a good idea to get them.

Let's assume we just arrived outside the temple and our weapon deals an effective damage of 50-20 - it is possible to do that by turn 70, your weapon stats would look like 95-18 focus blessed precision slows. You'd also need an impact weapon with focus, but that's another story, 50-20 is easy to calculate with ....

So it's turn 70 now and you're effectively dealing 50-20 == 1000 damage - let's write that as 100-10 (do the dreadful/resistance subtraction on strikes not damage). By turn 80, you need to increase that to at least 115-10, better 120-10, just to keep up with increasing creep strength. Increasing damage by 16 is about 750 gold.

But that's not all, because they also get stronger, they deal more retaliation damage to you when you kill them. So you also need to invest into hp to compensate that. Increasing your total hp by about 10% should be the absolute bare minimum. If you have 300 hp - which IMHO is very low by turn 70 - that would cost you another ~200 gold.

As a very bare minimum, you should calculate with 1000 gold every 10 turns - put entirely into attack and hp. Things like adding slows to your weapons or getting abilities go extra. With the Cornucopia and soulstealer, you get 13 gold per creep kill. As a ranged unit, you need to get away from zerkers and the like, so you need some extra healing / running cash. Can you kill 10 creeps every turn?

Every turn on average - that includes such turns were you're running from one place to another, so there are no 10 creeps anywhere - or you're busy killing bosses, etc. I'm not even sure whether the AIs have enough gold to recruit enough creeps to kill so many!

As a melee unit:

As a melee unit, even if your weapon is maxed out at 15 strikes, you can add rage to it. Adding rage should be enough to compensate dreadful sight and resistances, so increasing total damage by 10 every 10 rounds should be enough. You also don't need that much damage because several sub-bosses can easily be killed with bersek. In addition to that, you can also kill several units defensively and don't need to always run away to safety.

Resistances are another big factor.

The maximum you can get with a ranged unit and all the items is 50% blade/pierce/impact, 90% arcane/cold/fire - with a Silver Mage, get 20% blade/pierce/impact (6 upgrades), add 3x arcane to make it 50% arcane/cold/fire, then you have 3 upgrades left. With steadfast/dauntless+rings, best thing you can achieve is 50% blade/pierce/impact, 90% arcane/cold/fire.

As a Warrior, the Dwarf Lord gets 14 upgrades + Cuirass. With the rings, you need 8 upgrades to make it 75% blade/pierce/impact - put 3 each into arcane/cold/fire, add the armors, yields 70% each.

Defensive Kills:

As a Mage, your magic can only deal fire, arcane or cold damage - you need weapons for everything else. There are two units which have very high resistances against this type of damage: the Eye Demon and the Fire Titan. Impact is your weapon of choice because it works best against both. Flesh Atronach is another unit that's hard to kill with a ranged unit because it has almost 1000 hp.

But these are all units that can be killed - or at least severely wounded - defensively with a melee unit. A ranged unit does not even have the option late in the game because the AI will spam zerkers against you.

A Cleric, maybe ...?

I have thought about this, but don't think that's a good idea solo. Cleric gets you access to the spell book, so you can heal yourself or summon demons. Sounds very cool, but there's also a downside to it: you don't get stunning shield use and heavy armor.

As a ranged unit, having very high arcane/cold/fire resistances and 50% rest should be ok because most enemies have arcane/cold/fire as their ranged attacks and units with super strong ranged pierce/impact are rare.

As a melee unit, you really need to have high resistances everywhere, so the 3 extra armor slots that you get as warrior really make a difference. And stunning shield use allows you to have a raged slows weapon that has a 70% chance to hit - raged slows is available as a Cleric, but you can't combine that with magical, so you'll encounter creeps against which your weapon only has a 30-40% chance to hit.

For Wizard of War:

I think I'll try this with two units on Saturday:

Dwarf Lord, Warrior chaotic fearless intelligent
Silver Mage, Mage neutral cave explorer

The Mage will get all the armors, dauntless and one of the resist rings, that should give it 75% arcane/cold/fire. Dwarf will pickup that necklace, the other resist ring to make it 50% a/c/f, rest into b/p/i. Dwarf will also get the cursed ring and become chaotic - it can afford the extra fearless ability.

Note sure yet whether I'll team-play (both units stay together, killing one AI leader after the other) this or divide and conquer (split up, Dwarf takes on Undead, Mage the Plants). Also not sure yet whether the Mage needs to summon demons - maybe healing would be a more useful ability?

Any suggestions?
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Re: SX RPG Expert Strategies?

Post by Eagle_11 »

Morale of the picture: Dont build exact one hex width tunnels :p
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Re: SX RPG Expert Strategies?

Post by roidanton »

Nice screenshot - I have a better one :D
Ice, I need your replay fixing skills again ...

Mabuse, you said it'd - almost - impossible to win Temple of Bones solo ... well, I hereby proudly prove you wrong!

Temple of Bones, Expert Death Mode - Grand Marshal Chaotic Warrior Cave Explorer - a Solo Victory in 174 turns 8)

/Edit: I attempted to apply the same patch that iceiceice did, unfortunately it did not help - it's now crashing on turn 18.
/Update: If I change that into "Leech Worms-98", then the OOS go away - I'm on turn 19 now.
(511.79 KiB) Downloaded 262 times
(752.75 KiB) Downloaded 256 times
(553.12 KiB) Downloaded 244 times
Last edited by roidanton on November 30th, 2013, 1:39 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: SX RPG Expert Strategies?

Post by roidanton »

Eagle, is that Cantar at the back entrance of the Negro Castle? Looks like that from the screenshot.

If it is, then you should not have taken the path through these caves with all your units. There is a single item to be found in these caves: the ring of resistance. So you only need to send whichever unit is supposed to pick that up - and maybe one or two units as backup. Split up and send the rest of your troops to the front entrance.

If you have a fast flying unit, you could also use that to patrol the river area - so you can't get trapped inside the caves - then only send a single unit, possibly (if the unit that's supposed to pickup that ring is weak against spiders etc.) accompanied by a bodyguard. Send the rest of your forces to the front entrance.

Or you send three of your units to the front entrance and make them push through to the back, so you're coming from both sides.

When it does come to these choke points - hopefully with just two or your units not the entire force - it's very important that both of them have hit&run / magic movement. Then you can attack with both of them and also rotate the front-line unit.
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Re: SX RPG Expert Strategies?

Post by roidanton »

Roi Danton proudly presents .... the Solo Victory of Temple of Bones

Well, I finally made it - and with all that preparation that I did beforehand, it was actually quite a smooth sail all the way through. This also was in large parts a math victory - buying the right upgrades at the right time is really key to victory.

As initial setup, I did something completely new - spent quite a decent amount of gold on weapon specials. I also tried a new unit, Sergeant because it comes with fearless, so I could start as chaotic warrior. Got cave explorer and terrain trained plain - you don't need to train forest on this map, could even go without swamp if the unit's movement cost wasn't so high - but the extra 10% defense on plain does make a difference for normal creeps (without superiority). Got my usual 10 moves, but 155 hp which is a lot higher than I was used to.

And then, I bought a torch and added magical and rage to it. It is expensive - 460 gold - but the effective damage is a lot higher than you could get with strikes / damage and fire does a lot better than blade against most of the enemies that you face until you reach the temple. Fire is also a decent weapon against undead, so you do not need to buy an arcane sword. The important difference is that the torch has an additional strike - this becomes very important late in the game when your weapon deals an effective 50+ damage per strike.

I also did not get any bersek weapon this entire game - you can combine rage and magical, but not bersek and magical.

Resistance-wise, the Grand Marshal gets 17 upgrade slots as a Warrior, I decided to go with 65% blade/impact, 75% pierce and 20% (becomes 50% with the resist rings and armor) arcane/cold/fire. I had to buy Dauntless before killing the undead leader, but did not need Steadfast.

Ok, it looks like I just fixed the replay, watching it while I'm writing this report.

Turn 19:
Cleared out the entire undead cave, also went to that shop where you get the key, then killed the Naga boss. I have already maxed out my resistances at 20/605/20/20/65/75 (a/b/c/f/i/p), have soulstealer and mega-regen. About 200 hp, 24-5 melee-fire magical rage is main weapon.

Turn 28:
After some naga cleanups, I went down south, now just arrived in the southern cave, added dauntless, bumped hp to 217 and got strikes, now at 27-8.

Heading up north, passed the test and killed a Spectre Knight with a little help from a Blue Potion. Got another melee strike at the naga shop, then headed towards undead cave.

Turn 32:
Arrived at the fortress entrance with ~250 gold - but that's no reason to waste 2-3 turns to go to shop, going inside ...

Went straight for leader kill after picking up the Scepter of Cantar. Then headed out westwards - no point in killing those two Spectre Wraith Guards, would just lose time for a very limited reward.

Turn 38:
Cleared out the entire north-western cave, now at the shop with 1180 gold. So which upgrades to get ... ?

Well, there is a Spectre Knight Boss and a Dreadful Undead Dragon nearby, the upgrades must be suited to kill both of these. I previously made the mistake of massively bumping hp after killing the undead leader. No - first make sure your damage is ok!

So I added slows to my main weapon, only bumped hp to 220, but got 46-11 damage (at night). Then also killed those two Elite Assassins, cleaned up the area, bumped damage again to 52-12 (at night, 44-12 otherwise). It is turn 40 now. Those bosses are really a good orientation point: if you can't kill them with a single attack, then your damage is too low.

Heading down - there are two Undead Mauler bosses - you should consider your blue potion a backup option, ie. have some ~60-70% chance to kill, then use the potion if you get unlucky. Plan on using a blue potion to kill the boss.

Turn 45:
Southern Boss is dead. About 500 gold, let's get the Cornucopia first before going to shop. On the way out, I realized that I still had enough potions to survive a couple of turns, so decided to head straight up north to kill the other boss. Rule of thumb: don't waste a turn going shopping if you don't need to. Stay out as long as you can instead!

Turn 51:
I had to use a blue potion to get past those castle guards - it's totally ok to do that as a backup option, ie. if you have some 60-70% chance to kill and fail. Better use the potion than losing a turn. Overlord boss is now dead, standing on shop with 1125 gold.

What should you get ... ? Well, there are two Spectre Knight bosses in your castle, get what it takes to kill them! Again, I only get very little hp, only increased it from 234 to 249. But got a ton of damage - at night - increased it from 52-12 (at night) to 64-16 (at night), that's 54-16 during non-night.

Go grab that yellow potion, it increases total hp by 8, so it's about worth a 50 gold chest!

About those War Elephants at the western entrance - traditional Wesnoth strategy teaches you that 1 dead opponent is better than 2 wounded ones - well yeah, but don't underestimate the power of defensive kills - especially with a unit as strong as this one! After drinking the blue potion, I had a decent chance to kill on the 2nd one while the 1st one was slowed, no threat for me and a certain defensive kill. Even if I failed to kill the 2nd one, I would have had an easy defensive kill against both of them without taking too much damage.

Turn 57:
I have never, ever, made it inside the temple this early :D :D :D

666 gold and I need to start planning ahead a little bit. My fire attack is not good enough against the "fire enemies" - but let's not rush things too much. First, we need to get maxed out on strikes, get some more damage and hp. Bumped my damage to 60-18, then headed straight east. There's a 200 gold chest and the skirmisher ability.

Turn 65:
Opened eastern shop, go that chest and skirmisher, killed the guards at the undead keep, then back to upgrade. Now at 80-18 and 354 hp. Still have not upgraded any other weapon. This will come, but everything at its due time ...

I don't have anything to hit those Eye Demons yet and they could easily kill me, so let's go to the library first. The Arcane Armor helps both against the undead and against the guard at the armor chamber. At this point, I already had all the ability that would make sense to get.

Turn 70:
Finish the job that you started - don't suddenly run back to shop because you realize there're a ton of creeps waiting for you. If you'd have a problem with those, maybe it'd be better to go back some ~10 turns and reevaluate strategy.

Turn 73:
Back at the eastern shop with the Arcane Armor and 518 gold. There are now already 4 Eye Demons, time to do something against them! Adding "rage slows" to the Rune Hammer helped :)

I already bought this weapon with my initial upgrades on turn 1 - planned ahead to use it here. A pierce weapon wouldn't do the job because you can't use that against the Fire Titans later on and you don't have the gold to upgrade two specialty weapons with "rage slows".

Turn 75:
It really helps if you open the potion chamber ahead of time, but leave all the potions in it - then you come in heavily wounded later. After the Eye Demons are taken care of, it's finally time to kill that Demon Warlock boss.

Turn 80:
Next task it to get into the Armor Chamber, but let's get some upgrades first - 392 hp and 90-18, also bumped movement to 15 (maybe I already did that earlier, just realized that I now have 15 movement? 15 movement was also my final upgrade).

Went straight up north to go into the Armor Chamber, then realized that there were too many creeps lurking about the area - no point in getting yourself trapped inside, so changed plans and headed east, killing them all.

Note the "un-slowing" trick on turn 82: keep weak creep alive next to boss with "slow" defense, attack, load blue potion, then kill that weak creep - killing a unit resets the "slows" status, thus "un-slowing" yourself - then you can hit that boss again.

Turn 84:
Got some decent gold in the undead chamber, now at 448 hp / 101-18. That is still not enough to approach those new Eye Demons - really need to get those armors now asap!

Turn 87:
I think I got very lucky here that I survived! And luckily, the AI only places one of those Eye Demons in front of the entrance. With that armor, I could now kill the one that was blocking the entrance.

Headed up north because I wanted to see how strong I am against the Gorgon Sorceress and also gain a little strength from killing creeps.

Turn 97:
Coming in for last upgrades and yellow potion before setting out to kill the Adjucator of Chaos. Now at 464 hp / 130-18.

Turn 101:
The Adjucator of Chaos is dead.

Turn 103:
Back at shop with 1k gold - the game has now gotten so slow that I had to activate No Luck Mode.

After careful evaluation, I also decided to add "Charge" to both of my weapons. It is really a double-edged sword, can easily make your weapon unusable when done wrong. But I did some math and came to the conclusion that it's the best possible upgrade that I could get.

Turn 105:
The Gorgon Sorceress is dead. Stats: 483 hp / 175-18 at night.

At this point, I would not have imagined that it would take another 70 turns to win this!

Turn 110:
With No Luck enabled, this game has become a little bit like chess - I can now plan exactly which upgrades I need. My plan is to have just enough damage to kill the current bosses, but also enough hp to ideally regenerate most of the damage that I take from combat. Now at 516 hp / 167-18.

Turn 120:
Now at 532 / 177-18.

There are some units - like those Adjucator of Chaos Guards, the Bone Dragons and the Gorgon Sorceresses - that I can only kill defensively.

Turn 133:
1st time back at shop. Now at 551 / 197-18.

Turn 137:
Starting that strategy of sitting on the altar, then killing all the new recruits ...

Turn 142:
AI recruits two strong bosses every 10 turns, gotta go upgrade. Now at 574 / 207-18.

Turn 150:
Now at 589 / 211-18. Danger zone - not bumping damage enough anymore!

Turn 157:
Now at 612 / 221-18. Ok, increased damage by 10.

Turn 158-167:
Dance on the Altar! Strong enough to kill them all, regenerating enough hp to stay out there long. Even the turn 160 bosses were no big deal due to my large arsenal of red potions.

Turn 169:
That dancing round yielded over 900 gold - now at 651 / 231-18. I did not know that yet, but this was my last trip to the shop ...

Turn 171:
Creeps are very strong now at lvl 18, I have to end this soon.

Turn 173:
My only chance here was to go for a half-defensive kill. Got the last yellow potion, then simply stood next to the Artifact Demon, without attacking it.

Turn 174:
It dealt 35 damage to me, I dealt 66 to it - barely survived with 66 hp left. Damaged the Artifact Demon from 1875 hp down to 753.

My last red potion, and victory was mine :D :D :D

Final Stats:
659 hp
232-18 longsword melee-blade
231-18 torch melee-fire magical rage slows charge
232-17 rune hammer melee-impact magical rage slows charge
9-3 net ranged-impact slows

Grand Marshal, chaotic, warrior, fearless, soul, daunt, cloak of invisibility, regen130
15 moves, 75% terrain defense on flat
55% arcane/cold/fire, 75% blade/impact, 85% pierce
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Re: SX RPG Expert Strategies?

Post by Eagle_11 »

Yeah its the backdoor of that castle, i did it on purpose for there comes the exp train. Happy exp farmers Inc. :lol:
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Re: SX RPG Expert Strategies?

Post by roidanton »

Eagle_11 wrote:Yeah its the backdoor of that castle, i did it on purpose for there comes the exp train. Happy exp farmers Inc. :lol:
It is still a mistake to do that with more than two units. And even two units should only be used if the unit that's supposed to pick up the resist ring needs a bodyguard. I would even argue that a unit that's too weak to go through these caves alone shouldn't get that resist ring.

There is really no point in having more than two units at that choke point. In your screenshot, I also see a 2/3rd injured drake enemy. This is a very serious problem - if it attacked you, then it should not have survived - if you attacked it and only did that much damage, then you've already been defeated, it's game over. It's a normal creep - you need at least some 80% chance to kill these.

Also your X5 Troll Warrior from the screenshot. That unit really needs a ranged net for defence! And don't add slows to a single melee-impact weapon, get magical first. You should also have bought a weapon in the shop and sold that hammer. 20-2 is not that great, if you want impact damage, then you're doing far better with the Rune Hammer - or, if you can afford the gold, the Mace with Magical added to it. Since you have neither rage nor berserk, you should not have gotten dauntless at this point - dauntless is needed for high-damage weapons, but "41-7 slows" is not a high-damage weapon. And steadfast was a complete waste of gold if you don't have a ranged net.

Just do the math, 41-7 magical does 230 damage - with resistances that's about 180. Even that is too low by turn 45, normal creeps have more hp than that at this point in the game. And without magical, you'll look at 40-50% hit chances against some opponents - that's only about 100-120 effective damage.

I also don't think that this is a good unit for this map - it's "regenerates" ability is basically the only good thing about it. Other than that, it's slow (bad movement and terrain defences), does not have any decent built-in weapon (20-2 does not qualify as a decent weapon) and not too great resistances. The Wose is a much better regenerating impact-melee unit - it has 25-2, 10 more hp and great pierce and impact resistances.
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Re: SX RPG Expert Strategies?

Post by Eagle_11 »

Well i had to retreat to the nearby cave shop after a few turns, i can holdout there infinitely but the map filled with creeps meanwhile so no longer a way out to win. Turns out this 'RPG' is all about being speedy since there can be infinite number of minibosses apparently. I thought there will be only 3 dragons at a time etc. The whole reminded of the silly 'special forces' maps in SC2 where everyone laggs out in lategame due to AI throwing hundreds of units at you. Happy Exp farmers Inc collapsed. :p

In the game ive shown you there indeed the Troll failed. Inferno drake was worser than that, is fire immune but dmg output is meh and dragons cleave him anyways. The Iron Mauler could tank but not kill. Assassin doesnt have its poison and backstab utilities present in melee so its a weak runner. Necro rocked as always.

You seem to be knowing the characters well, tell me then which magic dmg user is the best to begin with as base unit ? Since my first fail was with an necro im biased in favor of that one, for he deals insane amounts of arcane+cold combined with -resists on creeps. (Default SXRPG era, ageless is a joke)
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Re: SX RPG Expert Strategies?

Post by roidanton »

Hey, this happened to me so many times until I finally figured it out ....

Each AI leader spawns 1-2 new mini-bosses every 10 turns and they're also stronger than those that you've seen before. In addition to that, newly spawned creeps also get stronger every 10 turns. In theory, you could hold out in a cave shop and then eventually push through, killing them all. The problem is that in reality, you often only get into that situation in the first place because you built your units incorrectly. So it's not just about keeping up with increasing creep strength, you also need to fix those mistakes.

Inside the negro castle, there are several valuable chests with a lot of gold that you need to grab. You also get more gold from killing mini-bosses and there are yellow potions to help you with that. Yellow potions also permanently increase your max hp by 8, a value of about 50 gold compared to buying those hp in the shop. Once inside the castle, you may also want to dispatch a fast flying unit up north to get the cornucopia of fortune - it increases income from kills by 20% for all players.

If you only get trapped inside that eastern cave with one or two of your units, that's no problem and you can still win - but you need to send the bulk of your forces to the main entrance and clear out the castle. If you have 5 units, then split up after killing the Orc boss, send three of them to the main entrance and two of them down through the caves. The extra gold that you get from your main force should also help those two in the east cave to upgrade faster, so they can push through that tunnel and join to to kill the nego king together.

Choice of Units:

There are a few units in the SX RPG Era that are not very good because there's another unit with similar attributes that's a lot better.

For instance, I think the Ancient Wose is a much better unit than the Troll Hero. Both have regenerates and a melee-impact weapon - but the wose has 25-2, the troll only 20-2. And the Wose has 60% pierce and 40% impact resistance, which is great for a bersek-style warrior.

If you look at a unit with super high terrain defense and skirmisher - then the Fencer is strictly superior to the Thief. Fencer is one of the very few units with 5 melee strikes, the Thief does not have any usable built-in weapon. Fencer could also become a decent tank due to its super high terrain defenses.

For a tank, look at Dwarfish Sentinel. It comes with steadfast, give it the ring of resistance and you'll get 50% arcane/cold/fire resistance cheaply. Put the rest into blade/pierce/impact. Dwarfish Lord is another great unit in this category.

On this particular map, there are two great ranged units: Inferno Drake and Silver Mage. Hurricane Drake is also a great support unit as a ranger, can fly to shops, get potions, etc. Paladin is fantastic against the undead and negro, it does great as a paladin.


However, you must really buy weapons in the shop - for most units in the SX RPG Era, the weapons that you get in the shop are much better than their built-in ones. Since you can easily buy weapons, those should not be your primary criteria to select a unit. Ideally, your unit should have one good built-in weapon and then you buy another one in the shop.

On this particular map, you really need cold and either arcane or fire. Fire is good against the undead, so if your unit comes with a decent fire weapon, then you don't need to buy arcane. But buying cold is a requirement for most units on this map.

Sell built-in weapons when you don't need them.

Upgrades and Abilities:

The order in which you get upgrades and ability really matters because it greatly affects the speed at which you can kill enemies.

Things like steadfast or dauntless only become important later in the game - dauntless is more important than steadfast. You should get it if you could easily kill a sub-boss in one turn, but would take too much damage without it.

Adding slows to your weapon is also important late game, but you need to focus on damage first. As a warrior, first add magical, then rage to your main weapon. Slows comes much, much later. If you're taking too much damage on offense, then your resistances are wrong. With a larger team, split tasks - one warrior should get "cold magical rage" (Drake Enforcer would be great for this), another one "arcane magical rage" (Paladin would be great for this). Do not add "charge" unless you know exactly what you're doing - it can easily make your weapon unusable.

With a team of 3+ on this map, you could actually choose Drake Enforcer and Paladin as Warriors (both without any shop weapons) and Inferno Drake as Ranger (needs a cold weapon). Drake Enforcer can easily become the perfect killer for both all those non-fire drakes and also the Dark Wizards. Get 20% cold / arcane resistance, send it through the eastern caves to pick up the resist ring (this unit can and should go alone), then add steadfast - rest goes into blade / pierce / impact. Add magical to your pierce and blade weapons, get rage later.

Paladin can either go as Warrior or Cleric. Add magical to your blade early on, rage later. This unit can go north-west alone to kill the undead boss.

Inferno Drake as a Ranger is the perfect unit against the Fire Drake bosses - give it a cold weapon. For upgrades, get maxed out or nearly maxed out on strikes, then get focus, then blessed - precision comes last and only if you need it (the extra 10% is not that much). This unit can win this map alone if you build it as a Mage. In a team, you have less starting gold, so you need a bodyguard.

Strategy-wise, after killing the Orc boss, I would send the Drake Enforcer down south and through the eastern caves alone - Paladin and Inferno Drake go to the front entrance of the Negro castle. Grab all the chests, then push through to the back, join forces with the Drake Enforcer and kill the Negro King. Paladin then runs west to kill the Undead King, rest clears up the Negro castle, then runs north.
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Re: SX RPG Expert Strategies?

Post by Mabuse »

great report roidanton.

i really enjoyed reading it. i also enjoyed reading your former report - winning ToB with two units.
Marshall is really a good unit.

also, your report has shown, that i probably need to add a new weapon-function:

"activate/deactivate charge"

so when using this you can activate or deactivate charge-special on your weapon(s)
since when you buy it, it should not make your weapon useless, since this can break the complete game and this would be very annoying.

the new option will also replae he "simplified combat calculations" since these are pretty useless.

i really would have uploaed anew version already, but unfortuanatley the computer with the "slimmed"version is broken and i wasn't able to fix it yet. some hardware is broken on the computer.

in any case you deserved your place in the hall of fame!

looking for another challenge? its not unlikely that i will make another map (based on an older maps of mine (forbidden mountains)) which is really big, and it will start out a a siege-like level. where players have to defend a castle and prevent the king from being killed (and later kill the source of the enemy army). the WAR has begun. (and luckily roidanton detroyed the artifact just in time ;))

also, welcome eagle_11
(yes, the cantar map is quite outdated (although i have older maps tat didnt make it into the pack at all) so there a re surely design-wise some flaws. i could fix them though ;))

if you have any more suggestions - feel free to tell me.
The best bet is your own, good Taste.
Posts: 90
Joined: September 7th, 2012, 10:41 pm

Re: SX RPG Expert Strategies?

Post by roidanton »

Cool, I'm glad that you liked it 8) Am I really the first person who won Temple of Bones solo on Expert?

Love your plan of adding a new map - there's only one for me left to win at the moment: Wizard of War.

I have also played Evil Deed recently - and this map really needs some "Nightmare" difficulty, it's way too easy on Expert. There's also this huge, empty area in the south and why are there two shops so close by each other? If you take the path up north through the mines, you'll spend a good 10 turns or so walking where nothing really happens. Inside the mines, there's this cave with the three spiders who're guarding the ring of defense - I think that'd be the perfect place for an additional AI leader, what do you think? Also in that cave shop, there should be some creeps coming from behind (the additional AI leader would solve this), it's just too easy otherwise. In the caves, there are also several 30 gold chests behind a water tile - how about making those 50 gold, with a cuttlefish or some other monster guarding them? The green cloak should also be guarded, at least on expert / nightmare difficulty.

Regarding your idea with disabling charge - I think that'd be great for the Cleric class, which cannot combine Magical and Slows. However, I think the Warrior class would become too strong with that, especially if you could enable/disable on a per-enemy basis. Being able to remove the special from the weapon may work, though.

Instead of being able to disable charge, how about adding something like that "cautious" special that some of the enemies have on their weapons, something that would stop the attack if the next strike would kill you. Doing that on a per-strike basis would make it even more powerful.

I've also done some math and I think the ranged classes you use some help. They cannot get even close to the same amount of total damage that a melee unit could get.

The math is simple, T (total damage) = D (damage) * S (strikes) * F (factor)

For a warrior:
F = 0.7 (magical) * 3 (rage) * 1.25 (leadership) = 2.625
For a mage:
F = 0.8 (precision) * 1.5 (focus) * 1.2 (blessing) * 1.25 (leadership) = 1.8

That's a huge difference. Magical attacks don't really help here too much because they can only deal arcane, cold or fire damage which some enemies are highly immune against.

Once you're maxed out on strikes, there's another important variable - how much more total damage do you get from a +1 increase in damage.

Before (B) = D * S * F
After (A) = (D+1) * S * F = D * S * F + S * F = B + S * F

So buying +1 damage effectively gets you S*F more in total damage. For simplicity, let's set S=20 - there are only a very few units which could get this much strikes, but it makes calculations easier. As a warrior, this yields F * 20 = 52.5 for a mage it's 36.

Let's also factor in dreadful sight and 40% resistance -> R = 0.67 * 0.4 = 0.27.

So for a warrior, F * R * 20 = 14.18 - for a mage it's 9.72.

Creeps gain 150 hp every 10 turns, to figure out how much you need to increase your base damage to compensate this, look at

I = 150 / (F * R * 20).

That's 10.57 for a warrior and 15.43 for a mage. Let's assume +8 dmg is 350 gold - so 525 gold gives you a +12 increase and 700 a +16 increase. Spending ~500 gold every 10 turns on damage is certainly possible - requiring 700 makes it much more difficult.

As a simple fix for the problem, how about letting a ranged unit stack two of the leadership items? That would yield F = 2.25, thus getting much closer to the warrior's 2.62 and with magical attacks (mage) / reduced potion cost (ranger), that'd make them equally effective as a melee unit.
Posts: 2130
Joined: November 6th, 2007, 1:38 pm

Re: SX RPG Expert Strategies?

Post by Mabuse »


according to your ideas, i may simply raise the focus-effect. it will give a x1.75 Factor of damage (and damage taken). also the cost will raise by 50 gold (shop weapons will be adjusted).

this is not as strong as yo suggested but a resonable boost.

i also thought to replace focus with something like -charge- but i think its too strong.


(You must also consider that ranged units take less damage than melee units in combat.
For example magical rage has a damage-taken factor of 3 (3 rounds of combat).
While the ranged unit has not only higher chance to hit than a magical-melee (precision) but also blessed just gives a 20% bonus on damage with no more damage taken return.
So the damage-taken factor is just 1.5 (or 1.75 or whatever the focus-bonus will be in future)

also, clerics and mages have magical support.
(can summon demons and cast damaging spells --- for free basically)

you are right though, that RANGERS are the weakest class right now.

instead of changing focus, rangers may get as well another weapon-special called "Hail of Arrows" which allows then to fight 2 Rounds of ranged combat (will replace focus). this will raise the rangers damage considerably.

So, after all, Warriors, Clerics and Mages (as well as Roguewarriors and Roguemages) may remain unchanged, but Rangers will get a new Weapon Special called HAIL-OF-ARROWS which replaces FOCUS and will do 2 Rounds of Ranged Combat.

the ability to remove specials may get also added.


well, about EVIL DEAD and CASTLE OF CANTAR - i think that these two maps need an overhaul :)
and i will take your suggestions into account.
The best bet is your own, good Taste.
Posts: 90
Joined: September 7th, 2012, 10:41 pm

Re: SX RPG Expert Strategies?

Post by roidanton »

Well, don't forget that magic can only deal arcane, cold and fire damage - on a map like ToB, you need high impact damage to effectively target Eye Demons and Fire Titans. Against their 80% resistance, attack spells are pretty much useless - summoned demons do a little better if you use them as suicide warriors (suicide bersek with 0% chance of survival yields a lot better damage to mana ratio than attack spells!).

How about adding that new Hail-of-Arrows or a higher focus attack for a Mage's blade, pierce and impact weapons, but keeping arcane, fire and cold the same?

One reason why I suggested stacking up leadership items was because a Mage or Ranger is already a very strong ally in a team with a Warrior. In a team of two, you'd really want a Warrior and a Mage or a Warrior and a Ranger, but not two Warriors. It's in solo mode where the Mage is way too weak.

Stacking two or three leadership items is something that would work solo, but not in a team - where those items are needed by other teammates.
Posts: 90
Joined: September 7th, 2012, 10:41 pm

Re: SX RPG Expert Strategies?

Post by roidanton »

Looking for some fun unit to play around with ... ? Well, look at this one ....
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