Archive for category Game Tips
There a few people that have mentioned getting some advice on Catan. Since I can only talk to no more then 3 people in a game and usually some of them are seasoned, I thought it prudent for me to put down some tips here. Remember that this is my advice coming from 5 years of Settlers playing. Other players may disagree with me and if they do feel free to post. Also remember that do to the design of the game, every game is different, sometimes radically so. You have to be flexible and in extreme cases some of the advice I give below has to be thrown out the window based on the circumstances of that game. Generally though, I follow most of these guidelines:
Settlement placement is very, very important. If you f@ck this up your chances to win go up astronomically since it will improve my already good chance to win. There are 4 basic things I consider when choosing a settlement location. I consider them in this order (roughly):
- 1. Pip count. This is the total number of dots under the numbers of the 3 hexes your location intersects. The higher the better. Sometimes there is a 9-6-5 combination on the board and this is the highest possible pip count. Sometime there isnt and you get an 8-10-5, 9-6-4 type combination. These pips are basically probability. You should never (unless for some radical strategy or situation) place your first settlement on a location that has both a 3 or 11 for example. You may have no choice with your second.
- 2. Number spread. Obviously the more numbers you cover the better. Ideally you want 6 different numbers but sometimes that’s impossible. This is important with your second placement. If you duplicate your first 3 numbers, you’re only collecting on 3 of 11 numbers rolled. If those don’t do well, you’re fucked (alternatively if they do great you’ll win but the distribution will eventually even out). Try to get atleast 4-5 numbers covered generally unless for some reason a huge pip count number location (that is duplicative) still exists.
- 3. Resource spread. The more resources you can produce on your own the better you can do. Usually I aim for four and I tell noobs to try and get five but again sometimes thats impossible. To me, wheat is the most important resource. Its required for 3 of the four things you can build and is very important in later game situations with alot of city and DC building. Sheep is the least important (again imo). Its only need in DCs and settlements and then only one each. Plus there are 4 sheep tiles on the board. In early game situations brick is important since there are only 3 tiles. If all the bricks have low numbers the game will progress very slowly at the beginning (when people are trying to expand). In the beginning if there is only one wood or brick with a good number (ie 5, 6, 8, 9) that tile has to have a premium on it since you will be able to expand quicker then everyone else (assuming a normal dice distribution).
- 4. Harbour proximity. If you are built on a 8 wood and a 5 wood, you might consider building close to the wood harbor. A 2-1 trade ratio on wood with cities built on them can produce you whatever card you want pretty quickly. Last night I had three total citiies built on an 8 sheep and a 5 sheep. The rolls came 5, 5, 8 before my turn and I was able to win the game with the trades. Often I find that if I place first and therefore last as well, my second settlement location may be on a harbor right off the bat if no good other pip count or number spread locations are availalble.
Expanding and Winning
- 1. Try to get a grip on your strategy from the beginning. You are going to have to build to another location. Try to increase your number spread and if you can’t try to increase your production on a 6 or 8. If you can city early, do it. That really increases your production. The second column in the LB screen shows the total pip production your settlements and cities have. You want to be highest.
- 2. Point your initial roads towards the water, especially in the first round. Nothing stinks more then being blocked right from the start. If you like a nearby location in the first round, chances are it’ll be gone before rolling starts.
- 3. About 75% - 80% of the time the winner has either the longest road or the biggest army. Associate yourselves with one of those strategies at the beginning if you can, even if you don’t make every resource required immediately. DC’s are good things since sometimes when you are aiming to increase your army you get a free point anyway. If you’re going for a road don’t kill it. If you have a road of 7 lengths and your next closest person is 4, no need to build number 8 and 9 right now. Increase your production instead.
- 4. Don’t be ‘nice’. The ‘I’ll be nice to you so you be nice to me’ is bullshit. If someone is ahead of you, pound them with the robber relentlessly. God knows, I have lost because of this. Hell if someone is way in front, everyone else should team up. Reduce trade requirements to steal the road or army from the leader etc. Similarly, I generally try not to trade with the leader once they get to 8 points or 8 minus one point for every DC they are holding since they could be points too. There are exceptions to this rule, the most notable being an opportunity to pass them.
- 5. Generally if you are heavy on brick you should also do well in wood (or viceversa). This is a good early game expansion strategy (called the wood-brick strat). Conversely its good to get wheat and ore together, thats a late game ‘build up strategy’ (weirdly enough called the wheat-ore strat). You may suffer in the beginning but often you can catch up and pass your competitors.
- Ok that’s enough for now. Let’s play!
Having trouble in Oblivion? Need some insider tips? Well I have good news for you. XCL recently had the chance to sit down with one of its most notorious gamers, Apache00, and pick his brain for some Oblivion help. You won’t find this unique kind of Oblivion advice anywhere else in the world. Enjoy.
Living the hard life.
I’m finding it very hard again. I just leveled up a few times and I think I’m getting weaker not stronger. I just got a bunch of new equipment and yet I’m still getting destroyed by the monsters. I tried to go close an Oblivion Gate but now I’ve got Deadroths attacking, I can hardly take one of those guys out on my own. Well I’ve died trying more than I’ve survived. The trolls are also getting to be some crazy breed and I have to fight the damn things for like 5 minutes to kill one. More than one would be impossible. I swear the balancing and scaling is messed, I have the hit the troll about 30 times to kill it, and it can kill me in like 5 consecutive hits. There is no way I can close any oblivion gates with the way I am right now, and they are popping up all over the place. It seems like every few levels they get scaled up and are much more powerful. I can take the bandits and regular stuff ok, but damn, the Deadra and other “monsters” are just getting ridiculous. I’m finding that I’m level up pretty fast too and not getting very good multipliers, this is frustrating and making me want to start powergaming. But that’s just a pain in the ass too. ARG!!
This game is great, but damnit this monster scaling is driving me crazy.
Thereâ€™s something about enchanting.
After going apeshit on the enchanting I’m having a better time of things. I have one short sword enchanted with lots of elemental damage, one dagger with a soul trap so I can recharge my stuff, and I’m soon going to make a dagger which drains life, so I can heal myself during the battle. Azuras star really kicks ass for this too. I’ll use my sword to almost kill the monsters, then kill them with my soul trap dagger to steal the soul, recharge one of them, rinse and repeat. The only problem is that while Azuras star is an unlimited Grand Soul gem, it can only hold one soul at a time, so I can’t really save them up. It’s still pretty awesome though.
Also just joined the DB, that’s fun. I’m not really feeling the armour, looks kinda dorky, but it’s good for sneaking around. I was really hoping for the hood with the face mask ninja.. mouth.. Covering piece thing. Like in the concept art. I want to find a helm/mask/hood that is sneaky looking, I just use my necro hood for now… One more thing, is the Elven Helm not the dumbest looking thing in this game?
If I have one complaint it’s that there aren’t enough guild quests. In MW you had to do like 3 quests at least, to rank up, this one it’s more like 1 or 2. Plus you had to go to all of the different fighters/mages/thieves guilds places to complete them. This one just feel like you can breeze through all of the quests for a guild in a matter of hours… Oh well, it’s still good. I hope there are more quests as you get higher ranked. In MW it was actually an accomplishment to get to the head of a guild or something, this game seems like it’s too easy.
Glass is actually stronger than metal
Well it IS volcanic glass from Red Mountain in Vvardenfell. This isn’t window glass here ladies, this is the tough stuff.
Is it me or are you leveling REALLY fast Icon? Or are you just playing WAY more of this game than I am, which I doubt is possible.
I don’t know what you guys are complaining about so much with the feeding, it’s not THAT hard. If I’m somewhere were I can’t feed then I probably want to be all vamped out so I can beat down the things I find out in the wilderness. Maybe It’s just easy for me because I’m a master of infiltration. I can easily break into any house I please in the middle of the night and feed on the hapless inhabitants… ph34r.gif
I’m really starting to enjoy this game more and more. I need to go and buy a really expensive house now… Skingrad? Chorrol? Cheydinhal? Bruma? Hmmmm….
*Edit* One more thing, anyone know how to get rid of this damn Blade of Woe? I got it in that first DB quest and I had to keep it in my inventory since because it’s a “quest time”. Very annoying, how the hell do I get rid of this stupid thing.
Always use protection with your horse.
Man, I’ve got about 250 pounds of feather with two pieces of equipment, so weight isn’t an issue. It’s just annoying sometimes because it clutters up my inv. I have heard from Icon though that it is indeed an important quest item so I’ll want to hang onto it.
On a side note, I got horse armour!! You get two choices, Elven or Steel. I find that the Elven looks pretty flimsy so I went with Steel for my Bay horse. I might get a white horse and put the elven stuff on him. They are pretty much just skins that are layed over top of the horse, it would have been nice if they were a bit more solid looking, but they are cool none the less. My horse did take quite a beating from an ogre last night so I’m pretty sure the armour does do something, hard to say how much though. ph34r.gif
Magix weapons and their societal implications
Yes magic weapons are rechargeable.
There are a few different ways to recharge enchanted stuff. First you can get a soulgem, and get the soul trap spell (mysticism) and then cast the soul trap on a CREATURE(not NPC) and kill it to steal it’s soul into the soul gem. Then use the gem to recharge your stuff.
Next you can go to any mages guild and find a mage to recharge your stuff for you, although that’s really expensive.
And lastly you can find Valra(sp) stones from the Aylied ruins around Cyrodiil and use those to recharge your equipment. The Valra are pretty powerful and expensive though and I hear they can recharge multiple items so maybe use one if all of your stuff is drained.
The one thing that I don’t like about this game is that you can do almost anything at level 1. Since it scales everything to you its pretty stupid that you can become grand champ at level 3 or something. In MW they had the right idea where you needed to have met certain stat requirements to advance to the next rank. I wish they did that in this game.
This game is ridiculously huge though. I’ve put over.. well.. I’m not even going to say how many hours in I am, but it’s a lot. I’ve spent all this time and I haven’t even been to Anvil(one of the majors towns) for more that 2 minutes. I finally have some quests that take me over there so it’s time to visit Anvil.
What hat should I wear to the prom?
I just ventured into an Aylied ruin and got this large welkyd stone or whatever it’s called. Except I can’t drop or sell the thing, it says it’s for a quest. Does anyone know what these things are for? Try to keep the spoilers to a minimum but I am curious.
Is anyone else having trouble finding the helmets for the different armour sets? I finally managed to find the mithril one AFTER I had moved onto Elven. I had the elven one for a while but tried not to wear it because it has to be the stupidest looking helm in the game. Now I have a full glass set but I haven’t found the helm yet. Been looking ever since I got my set, at like level…21 or something. I’m 28 now I think, I can’t seem t find the ebony, or deadric ones either, hmmm. I think helms are some of the hardest pieces of armour to find in this game. But we do have hoods this time, so I’m happy.
I think I have a nice Azuras.
I do know about Azuras Star though. In MW I got it from Azuras shrine and it was a reusable soul stone. I saw Azuras shrine in OB and figured its likely back this time, and was right! Azuras star can trap any soul up to a Grand one, which are the biggest other than NPC souls, which can only be trapped with BLACK soul gems. So basically you can trap any soul you want with this thing, and it doesn’t get used up after you recharge your stuff. It cannot however hold multiple souls, only one at a time.
So what I did was I got this gem, and then I enchanted myself a dagger with soul trap and some damage. So I’ll just kill them with my other weapons and then finish them off with the soul trap dagger and poof I’ve got a soul. Recharge something and go again.
It works well now especially because using enchanted weapons makes it easier to kill the harder enemies and the harder enemies give bigger souls so it’s easy to keep my weapons charged. I currently have 4 self enchanted weapons I’m using and it’s working pretty well for me. I’ve got my Elven Short sword enchanted with 10 of each elemental dmg, then I have my elven dagger for trapping souls. I have a glass bow enchanted with 15 of each elemental dmg and then my Ebony dagger enchanted with 25 absorb health, which I whip out when I’m low on health. Slice slice slice and I’m back at full health, gotta love it. I am going to upgrade most of my weapons to daedric soon, but for now that’s what I’m working with. Combined with Azuras Star I can easily keep my weapons charged as long as there are monsters around to kill. If I have to fight a lot of humanoids I sometimes get low but even then I could likely just kill a summoned monster, I think that works…
Anyways, it’s relatively cheap to enchant your own stuff, just need a big soul and you can make a good item for under 1k.
Finding a bunch of weird shrines.
It’s the same with all of the daedric shrine quests. You need to find the shrine, and then make some offering of whatever they want. Then you go do a quest and get the special item. You can talk to certain people who will tell you about the daedric shrines and put the locations on your map. I can’t remember where I was when I heard about Azuras Shrine It was most likely in Bruma, Chorrol or Cheydinhal. Azuras shrine is up in the mountains north of Cheydinhal, there is a path if you go past that lodge northwest of Cheydinhal and it leads right up there. It’s just southwest of the Temple of Moths or whatever the hell it’s called if you’ve gotten to that point in the Thieves guild quests.
Cooking with bloodgrass and making poison.
It’s kind of funny, I have alchemy as a major skill and I hardly ever use it. I’ll stockpile ingredients and then every once in a while just make a ton of potions until my stockpile is used up. I can usually gain a level just from Alchemy doing that. I should use poisons and stuff more, but I don’t really need them anymore. There aren’t too many TOUGH enemies that I really need t whip out the poison for with all of my enchanted stuff.
I can’t say I use potions enough that that guide would be useful for me, but it is cool none the less.
I also saw the weirdest thing last night. I walked into the West Weald Inn(Skingrad) at 10:00pm (game time) and I see this orc guy go invisible and then start attacking this other guy. They start fighting in the middle of the bar and eventually the orc runs off out the door. So naturally I follow him out, along with the guy he attacked. So there are two of us chasing this guy down as he “flees” and then a few guards join in. There were 4-5 of us chasing him at one point and then he turned a corner and got away, I think he went out the main gate of the town but he lost us. It was a pretty weird thing though, I was like WTF?!?
Life is tough when you are level 31.
I’m level 31 now and not much can touch me. I did have a hard time early on between lvls 10-20ish but since I enchanted myself some awesome weapons I’ve been fine. I’m actually in the process of upgrading my weapons. Moving from elven to daedric. I’ve been having a real hard time finding a daedric shortsword though. I can find everything else, but I don’t really want a longsword, too clunky and slow. I’m already using a daedric dagger that I upgraded for my soul trapping needs and an ebony one for life leeching. I know that there isn’t really any one place to find it though, I just have to keep looking until I get one. I did finally find a Glass Helmet though, looks kind of ghey but it’s not TOO bad.
I’m not really liking the “skull cap” style that a lot of the armours have this time around for helmets. MW was good about that, there were lots of sweet helmets to wear. Then again for my non-combat needs I’ve always got my black hood so I can’t complain.
I’m on the last quest for the Thieves guild, but I’m trying to do this DB one I have because I want those nice robes you get before I attempt the Thieves guild quest. Those of you who do have the robes, can you tell me which quest you get them for? **spoilers** I’m on the one where you have to kill the Draconis family.
Having trouble killing some simple fish monsters.
The fish thing though, when did you guys do it, because I’m doing it as level 12 and the fish have been scaled up. if you did it when you were level 5 then it was probably easier killing the young ones, I have the adult ones now..
I just looted a Vampire den, those Matriarchs have some nice Orcish armour. I just need to take a trip back there to bring it home, because I didn’t have enough room for the 50 pound set of armour… I’ll also have to do something with this disease they gave me, I don’t want to start growing fangs or anything.
Now that I’ve upgraded to some Mithril I’m happy, that chainmail armour was probably the gayest looking stuff in the game… I need to stop closing every oblivion gate I see and start doing some quests!
About the Sigil Stones. You take the stone to close the gate, that black orb thing, its then in your inventory. It’s in the soulgem category in your inventory. They can be used to enchant item’s I hear, or just roll around in circles on your floor making creepy noises… ph34r.gif
One more thing, about taking stuff from your guilds. I think you can take most things. Really you are only stealing something when the icon is red, so if it’s not red, you’re ok.
Hitting people in the face.
Combat is all real time, no turn based, stat crunching stuff, just you hit the guy in face or not. As for classes you can be whatever you want. You can make any custom class with any combination of skills.
If there is anything wrong with the game I think I may have possibly found it. I’ve been having a hard time lately, not impossible, but it seems harder than it should be. I went and read a thread about it last night on the ES forums which seems to reflect my views. It sounds like a lot of people are finding that they are becoming weaker as they level up and not stronger. What I mean by this is that when they are just playing normally using their major skills to level, they are leveling up but not getting huge multipliers. Whereas the monsters that are scaled with you are leveling up too, but are more powerful than you because they aren’t restricted by the same things we are. People are finding that to be successful you need to put your “major” skills as minors and your minor skills as majors so you don’t level up as fast.
Examples of this are trying to do the Kvatch stuff, one flaw is that the guards don’t scale up in levels like you and the monsters do. So at level one or two the guards are pwning the monsters that you’re fighting. At level 10, the monster are killing the guards and instead of a 4 on 6 situations it has become a 1 on 6 situation with just you being left alive. I have noticed this quite a bit when I was doing it, but even now I haven’t continued that quest. I also went to do the quest where you have to get the slaughterfish scales for the guy, and at level 2 I’m getting these adult ones which literally take about 20-30 hits with my katana to kill, that’s just ridiculous. My katana broke on me before I could kill 10 of them, AND I was killed by the fish because they hit so hard. I almost feel like I have to powergame to be able to survive. I can survive, but I have to be extremely careful about it. It sounds like I’m better off than a lot of others but it’s still annoying. Anyways hopefully Beth with address this and get a patch out to scale the friendly NPCs with you so it’s not so one sided. Balance issues aside I’m still really enjoying this game.
On a side note, I closed another Oblivion gate and got another Sigil Stone. I put that one in the corner with the other one, and I SWEAR they are communicating..
So you want to Soul trap eh?
First you need a way to trap souls. So you need a soultrap spell or an item that casts it for you.
Next you need a means of containing a soul after you’ve captured it. That means you need soul gems.
Soul gems have different sizes from Petty to Lesser, Common, Greater and Grand. Each size soul gem can hold that size of soul or less. Soul gems can only hold ONE soul at a time, once they have a soul, cannot hold another one. You cannot lets say capture a lesser soul with a greater soul gem and then later upgrade that soul to a greater soul. Only one soul per gem.
You can only capture souls of monsters or wild animals, not NPCs. NPCs being any playable race. I’m pretty sure Dremora are also counted as NPCs and cannot have their souls trapped with regular gems.
To trap a soul you must have an empty soul gem in your inventory. You must then cast a soul trap spell on your target and kill them during the duration of the spell. The soul will then be put into the smallest gem that can hold it. So if you have common, greater and grand soul gems in your inventory and kill a Deadroth it will be put into your greater soul gem, because it has a greater soul. Sometimes though, lets say you have a grand soul gem and soul trap a rat, you will have a grand soul gem with a petty soul in it, which is a waste. So be aware of what soul you are trapping and which gems you have available.
To use your souls all you have to do is select an occupied soul gem and it will bring up the recharging menu. This will show all of your enchanted items that need to be recharged and what their current charge is. It will also show the recharging value of the soul you are using. You select the weapon which you wish to recharge and it will add whatever the value of the soul is to the charge of the item, up to the max charge.
I still need to get into the “special” soulgems but alas I must eat. I’ll add more in a few minutes.