So I said things about balance and whatnot last time. Well, I was wrong. The game is as broken as shit, here's the simple recipe to own it.
Step I. As you've just started, follow the quest line to level 16 or so, taking you to Eastern Fort or thereabouts. This is good because it gives you an idea of the exceptional game this could have otherwise been, and also because you pick up a number of useful items as quest rewards - mostly units and unit bonus packs. Keep in mind that you want diverse units, rather than strong units.i Save your money : don't upgrade anything, not units, not spells (save the spells, for that matter - there's no reason to cast anything so far). Maybe buy a few units here and there from the villages, but make sure you have at least 10k or so as a reserve.
Step II. Forget the quest line, you will now be doing raidsii. You ~only~ pick fights you can win with no losses, which is extremely easy to do because in spite of the game being coy about unit counts ("Party", "Several", that sort of thing) it nevertheless displays an exact count of the experience you will get.iii Unless you've done everything terribly wrong you should be able to take anything up to about 100 or so EXP, going all the way to 2-300 if you're any good at this kind of thing. You do at least 100 raids. Should be able to go through 20-30 an hour, seeing how most battles are one round, so it's not as bad as it sounds.
Step III. Take the colored balls you've collected doing all those raids and make ~100 or so Runes of Health. This is a major game breaking item that allows you to recoup your losses in a duel without having to pay any gold.iv Take the parchments and whatnot you've collected doing the questing and make a few Mercenary Licenses (50% more gold for 3 hours).
Step IV. Time to duel. Whether you win or lose, each battle yields the same 5k gold (10k as you level over 20), to which your 50% bonus is added, of course. The costs to you ? Nothing. So you can just start the duel and walk away, the game falls to autoplay on its own, and when you come back later set it to fight again. Obviously your units will run out of morale after six battles, but don't be using any bread. Instead, just swap them out for other stacks. If you have a couple dozen stacks you can't actually use up your morale as fast as it regenerates doing duels. You also get EXP and, should you kill any units (no need to win the battle) you will also get the respective duel-only drops, the chevron thingies.
That's it, your 100 runes mean 100 battles, with no losses no matter what happens. At a very conservative 10k gold per battle (really, I've been pulling about 20k with the licenses) that's one million gold pieces, which is enough to fill up all the stacks being sold in the villages, upgrade them to level 3 or 4, plus get all your spells starred as far as they'll go. After which you can start using them.
Not that it's clear why you'd want to use them, or anything else for that matter, because any sort of difficulty you may encounter in the field can always be solved with more dueling. Which "dueling" doesn't actually take any sort of effort on your part, just clicking a button now and again when you remember / are in the area is all that's needed, the game will "fight" on its own and get you the "rewards" for whatever the hell is not clear exactly. You can actually tell the players that are really fucking stupid because they're the ones using runes other than Health in a duel. Srsly guise ? Volcano, +50% damage ? Shitspun shield, 10% defense ? Well done lol, an unsavvy winner is you!
And of course what you can do others can do too, so everyone's got full stacks of everything upgraded through the teeth, because why not ? Thus instead of having a game, with an evolution and a flavour and an enjoyment and so on and so forth... well... you don't. God forbid some retard somewhere is left behind while the rest of the world is having fun or something!
So... yeah, whatever. This could have been an excellent strategy game, but then some fucktarded "business person" somewhere figured out that hey, if it's an excellent strategy game that necessarily means most people will suck at it, and knowing what we know of just how scummy "most people" are, if they suck at it that'll mean they won't want to play it. Because that's the "most people" solution : avoidance. God forbid they stop sucking or anything.
The net result being an utterly game breaking "rune of I suck" added, because "si noi avem dreptul la sansa" or something. Which sucks, in the abstract, and is quite concretely the only reason nothing good has been made since WW2. Trying to pander to "most people" as they are is pernicious to cultural production, always and everywhere an affair for people as they should be.
- It's the natural tendency of the seasoned player to try and get good units. This may work well everwhere else, but it's exactly the wrong approach here. As counterintuitive that may seem, "but MP, then I'll have that many more types of units to fill up, more work", blabla save it. It's wrong and I don't wanna hear it. [↩]
- This is the type of PVP where you fight an opponent's garrison, run by the AI. The AI sucks, and more importantly, you get the option to initiate the fight or keep looking. Obviously, plenty of people don't bother to garrison their town. [↩]
- Strike one. Who the fuck thought the original design needed this hole added, huh ? [↩]
- Strike two, three and infinity. Who the fuck thought this was a good idea ?! [↩]