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  1. #1
    Elite Master Adoede's Avatar
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    Jan 2014

    Adoede's Guide for Beginners

    Adoede’s Guide for Beginners

    A guide for new managers on how to successfully retire your initial gladiators for premium Hall of Legends recruits (and some other basic game-dynamic insights too)

    Let’s face it – until you get your own batch of HOL recruits, you’re still in the “orientation” phase of the game. Can you have a competitive glad in Blood gods without being HOL? Sure. But likely not a top contender. HOL glads have 50-90 more base stat points than the average bear and in the Blood gods bracket, every little advantage makes a difference. And, by the way, 50-90 extra stat points is more than “a little advantage.” Enough said.

    Now that the requirements for retiring a glad have dropped considerably, it isn’t too hard to take any of your decent glads to retirement. That being said, here are some guidelines to help ensure a successful campaign:

    Don’t waste too much time looking for the perfect non-HOL glad
    If you’re planning on retiring the fella, don’t worry about getting the best stats. So long as your key weapon stats are around 75, they’ll do just fine. I once had a non-HOL glad with 91 base agility. Did he do well? Yes. 117 – 0 at one point. Did I retire him for an HOL glad when he hit 1000 fights? Absolutely.

    Strategies don’t matter as much in this phase of the game
    Sorry to break the news to you, but strategies really come into play in the latter phases of the game – and especially in Blood gods. Not so much in the early game. Why is this so? Because in the early going nobody has enough skill to use strategies to much effect – except perhaps to find more stylish ways to lose Strategies are also minimized in the early game because you can challenge opponents that your build is suited to defeat and get away with using a one-dimensional strategy all the way up to the Blood gods bracket (which is a great tactic to use for quick retirement, btw).

    So what’s a good strategy to run in the basic game? Here are some guidelines to get you started.
    Until you are able to develop your defensive skills, it might be wise to focus your gladiators on offensive strategies initially:
    Some of the most seasoned masters in the game, Dainoji and Narol, suggest starting at 5/5 and working your way up as your weapon skill increases - which is a very sound strategy. Once you hit weapon skill level 10 (by about level 20 if you focus your training), you should be able to handle more aggressive strategies like the ones I prefer. If you see your glad needs more accuracy, drop the blood lust a bit. If you want to do more damage, drop the activity level and increase the blood lust. Want to be faster and more accurate? Increase activity and drop blood lust.

    Personally, I've always run my glads hot at 10-8 or 8-10 from the get-go and it has worked fine for me. This "aggressive" strategy works IF you make training your weapon skill to level 10 your first training priority, which we'll get to in a moment.

    For Offensive glads, these strategies are good enough to take you all the way to retirement if you pick your opponents well.
    Defensive glads require a bit more finesse.
    After you've trained your weapon skill to 10 and trained some defensive skills to a decent level, go ahead and be more creative with your strategies. You’ll do just fine so long as you…

    Plan your challenges well
    This can be a real key to success, especially for your borderline glads. You’ll soon learn what types of opponents your glad fares well against and what types eat them for breakfast. If you challenge the types you can win the majority of fights against, you’ll have a great shot at retirement and HOL recruit bliss. If you leave your fights to chance, it will be much harder…and you’ll make less gold in the process. So challenge away! Don't be shy! But just one thing…

    Please don’t challenge the same glad over and over 8 times in a row. That makes the game less fun for the other manager and if they’re new, they might not decide to stay. Spread your challenges around to a few glads and the game stays challenging and fun for everyone.

    Keep weapons updated
    Another important practice to keep in mind is to keep your weapons updated pretty regularly. I’d suggest swapping out to a higher-level weapon every 5 levels at the most – sooner if you’re starting to lose fights you should win. Blue weapons work fine until the Primus bracket where you’ll need to invest in some Purple weapons to stay competitive. I try to wait til my glad is level 50 before outfitting him in Purple weapons just because they’re expensive and I’d rather keep my nice shiny gold stash for other things.

    Basic “types” that do well for non-HOL glads
    There are three basic fighter types in the game. Speed builds, Power builds, and Defensive builds. These get a lot more nuanced at the Blood gods level, but for the basic game these types hold pretty well. There are lots of good guides out there for each Specialty so I won’t go into too much detail here. But if your goal is to get your glads to 1000 fights and retire them asap, then I’d stick with the offensive builds since they have the advantage in the early game. Of course, that’s not as fun, so go ahead and experiment with defensive builds if you’d like…just be more mindful of the opponents you challenge with them.

    Some basic thoughts to help you along: (I’ve put the types in order of ease of mastery and calibrated opponents for Primus level and below assuming equal optimization for each type. Note: SOTC mentions that as opponents upgrade their gear, you may have a harder go against some of these types than you did at first - especially against the armored types.)

    1) Speed Theatrics are the fastest glads in the game on account of their “Overwhelming Presence” skill (Presence reduces your opponent's initiative). They’re also the easiest of the speed builds to advance in skill because most of their skills are agility-based. Just boost agility and presence and you're good to go.
    Good against: Power Rages, Speed Rages
    Even against: Speed Theatrics, Defensive Wars, Hybrid Wars
    Bad against: Defensive Theatrics

    2) Speed Rages are also very effective in the early game. They have a slightly harder time training skills because all their skills are strength based (and their strength is probably lower than their agility). But they have the advantage that their enhanced offense typically punches through defenses better than the speed theatrics.
    Good against: Power Rages, Defensive Wars
    Even against: Speed Rages, Hybrid Wars
    Bad against: Speed Theatrics, Defensive Theatrics

    3) Power Rages sacrifice speed for devastating power. Strength, Stamina, Presence and Chi are typically most important here. Strength increases base damage. Stamina for hardiness. Presence for initiative. And Chi for boosts in critical hits and the multiplication factor of those critical hits.
    Good against: Defensive Wars, Defensive Theatrics
    Even against: Hybrid Wars, Power Rages
    Bad against: Speed Theatrics, Speed Rages

    4) Defensive Wars are pretty straight-forward. Just pile on the armor, boost the stamina, and watch your opponents drop from exhaustion. You’ll need to strike a few times to keep the crowd from pelting you into submission, but that’s about it. If you're a bit more daring, you can try to run them to prioritize parry-attack so they take down their opponents instead of exhausting them (useful against defenseless Rages who'll otherwise take you out).
    Good against: Defensive Theatrics, Speed Theatrics
    Even against: Defensive Wars, Hybrid Wars
    Bad against: Power Rages, Speed Rages, Hybrid Wars

    5) Many have been successful with Hybrid War builds that stack offensive Rage skills and yet utilize the War’s ability to wear good armor and use the “Tank” strategy in spots.
    Good against: None
    Even against: Defensive Wars, Defensive Theatrics, Speed Rages, Speed Theatrics, Hybrid Wars, Power Rages
    Bad against: None

    6) Defensive theatrics are perhaps the most difficult builds to master, but it sure is fun watching your opponents humiliate themselves as they try in vain to hit you.
    Good against: Speed Theatrics, Speed Rages
    Even against: Defensive Theatrics, Defensive Wars
    Bad against: Power Rages, Hybrid Wars

    There are many variations of these basic "types" in blood gods, so feel free to experiment!

    Word to the wise: Know what you are and play to your strengths.
    Last edited by Adoede; 08-06-2014 at 08:50 AM.
    Adoede | Tevrosin

  2. #2
    Elite Master Adoede's Avatar
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    Jan 2014
    Weapon Selection
    The main thing to note here is that your gladiator's initiative in battle (first strike, number of attacks) is noticeably influenced by the weight of his weapon. So glads wielding lighter weapons like daggers, claws and hatchets will often strike first, even before some glads who might have higher agility or presence. The drawback of these lighter weapons is that they are deflected by armor more often than heavier weapons (something you can mitigate somewhat with armor penetration buffs)

    For strength-based weapons note that there is a big difference between hatchets (weight 1.33) and warhammers (weight 4). Hatchets will strike quite a bit earlier...but might have trouble against tough armor.

    For 2H weapons, just know that 2H sword uses Slash while the other 2H weapons use Bash. (Slash does more damage vs. light armor but is deflected more often against heavy armor. Lunge and Bash don't seem to have as big a variance across armor types.)

    As for polearms...ask Albakebab or Oedi since they're the only ones who use them (and quite successfully) - Since the latest update, they do get a defensive bonus that reduces the number of their opponent's attacks due to the length of polearms vs. other weapons.

    Tip - It took me two months before I realized that each of my glads could refresh the items in the blacksmith once per day for free. Your first glad to visit the Blacksmith automatically uses their update, but your other glads can refresh the inventory at no trophy cost.

    Race Selection
    While it is true that each race has its own advantages and disadvantages, there are reasons why four particular races dominate the Blood gods bracket. Elaar and Dunder excel at offense. Trug and Spite excel at defense.

    That said, here are some thoughts on each race's peculiarities:

    Human - They get added attack power that allows them to better break through the defenses of "defensive" glads. And having no penalties is nice.
    Elaar - Armor penetration means less deflections and more damage...second only to Dunder in damage. Crit resistance helps you take some hits and still hit back w/o being stunned as often. Health penalty is about 15% or so.
    Spite - Extra defense seems significant. And additional crit effects are nice. That reduction to damage penalty is noticeable, however.
    Dunder - Resistance to knockdown is great for heavily-armored Wars. And that damage boost is weighty, indeed. The reduced initiative isn't a big deal if you're a power-build anyway.
    Urk - Big endurance boost is useful for Rages running Berserk. Stun resistance also allows them to take hits and still come storming back. Lowered defense is nothing if you're a Rage and defense doesn't matter to you anyway.
    Snivler - Easily the fastest race in the game. And that extra bleed is about a 25% boost or so compared to other races. However, their health penalty is severe at about 25%.
    Trug - Bleed resistance is nice (especially when paired with heavy armor). And hit point bonus is around 20%. You'll likely not miss the initiative you lose with this tank.

    Skill training priorities
    The most common recommendation is to train your weapon skill to level 10 FIRST. I know it feels like a waste of training points and it seems better to spread the points around. But training weapon skill to level 10 first will allow you to use the aggressive strategy I mentioned above without fumbling your way into mediocrity. You'll get there by around level 20 if you stay focused (about 2 weeks time). Even a defensive gladiator needs weapon skill at 10 for both offense and defense. (If you really can't handle the psychological strain of pushing to level 10 straight away, Kreegan and Apoc suggest at least getting to level 8 before developing other skills. If you manage your activity and bloodlust accordingly, this is also a viable approach)

    After you get to weapon skill level 10, you can go ahead and spread your training points around as you see fit. Just keep in mind that skills increase in effectiveness exponentially, so a level 10 skill is almost twice as effective as a level 9 skill. This is why nearly all the top glads pick 10 skills they want and max them all to level 10.

    But if your goal is simply to retire your glad you can be a little less stringent if you like. (By the way, if you want to un-train a skill, just hold down ‘u’ as you click and the roll will go towards lowering your skill instead of boosting it.)

    Stable Upgrades
    You'd be well advised to upgrade your barracks so you can have a full stable of five glads as soon as possible. This will help you grow your gold and trophy stash more quickly and just makes the game that much more fun and immersive. And in case you didn't know, your main source of additional trophies will be from winning Arena Challenges from tier 2 and on. (Check the Player Guides for tips on how to defeat each of them).

    If the pace of skill advancement is too slow for your sanity, spend 20 trophies to get the "Champions Pack" membership buff. That buff will take you from getting 4 fights and ~14 training points a day to getting 8 fights and ~40 training points a day for the next two weeks - an embarrassment of riches, indeed.

    You'll likely want to get the Undertaker upgrade to eliminate the death penalty. Death penalty nerfs your glad 10%-15% on ALL their stats for 24 hours after they’ve died in a fight. That’s not fun to deal with as you climb your way towards retirement. The undertaker costs 55 trophies.

    Thus, I recommend taking Nate’s special offer of 120 Trophies, 3 extra vault slots, and a week of Memberships for $9.95. Those trophies can get you the undertaker and all four additional barracks spots for a full stable of glads. Plus you get the accountant (who doubles your gold). Beyond this, you can decide to be a freemium player or make a more substantial contribution to the game. Either way, you’ll have established for yourself a fighting chance to be competitive...eventually.

    Stay in Primus or Go to Blood gods?
    This may seem like a silly question – why, after all, wouldn’t you want to be promoted to Blood gods and take your place among the best managers and gladiators in the game?

    Because you’ll get spanked – that’s why

    Sure, you can go to Blood gods and proceed to lose your next 175 out of 200 fights. But that’s not really the big drawback. Your glads in Primus will make you a lot more money then your glads in Blood gods. A lot more. Like eight times more per glad. Trust me…you’ll want that gold stash later.

    But if you really want to retire quickly and you’ve already got over 500 wins, then going to Blood gods will probably get you more fights faster – thus enabling you to retire faster as well. Your call. If you have over 340,000 ranking points on Tuesday morning, you get promoted.

    Don’t enter the Bloodgames
    One last thing. If your goal is to retire your glad…do not enter the monthly bloodgames. Nothing more aggravating than having a glad ready to retire and realizing you have to wait another 25 days to retire him because he’s fighting meaningless fights in the bloodgames.

    So welcome to the pits and best of luck to ya. It’ll be nice having some new blood in the Blood gods bracket when you finally get there…four months from now!

    Some brief thoughts on what to do with your hard-won HOL glads and about the strategies and the dynamics of Blood gods.

    Picking HOL Recruits
    When you finally do get access to HOL glads, take your time to find the right glad that you can commit to long-term. HOL recruits range from ~950 gold cost to 1170+ gold cost and average around 1050 gold. The good ones have been found with an average of ~550 base stat points up to a record 591 base stat points. Some managers will only take a recruit that costs over 1100 gold because these are so rare and perhaps give a better chance of having a gladiator with decent luck (you can see my thread on luck for some thoughts on how to evaluate a recruit's possible luck score). HOL recruit's stats can range all the way up to a high of 100 on any given stat.

    Strategies and dynamics of the Blood gods bracket
    The strategy aspect of Pit of War changes according to what level you are at in the game.
    Glad Level 0-40 - Strategies are pretty rudimentary and straightforward. You can get away with one simple strategy against all foes.
    Glad Level 41-50 (Primus) - Strategies become more important and counter-strategies begin to come into play. But since you can still pick your challenges, you can get away with being a one-dimensional fighter even at this level.
    Blood gods Level - Strategies become extremely significant and you'll need to have effective counter-strategies for every type of opponent you will face. This is mainly because there is no more challenge system in Blood gods and you have to fight every other glad in Blood gods in a constantly cycling fight queue. This level separates the true masters from the pretenders.

    If you want to learn creative new strategies to try, the best way to learn is to pick a top gladiator of the style you like and put them on your watch-list. As you read their fights, you can see when their strategies shift at different moments of their fights and can deduce what strategic triggers they are using. That will give you some fresh ideas of your own to try.
    Last edited by Adoede; 08-06-2014 at 08:57 AM.
    Adoede | Tevrosin

  3. #3
    Thanks much Adoede!

    That was a very helpful synopsis - at least for me. The un-train a skill tip is great as I had been under the assumption it would cost trophies to do that.

    This post should be added to the "Player Guides" sticky too.

  4. #4
    Pit Master Dainoji's Avatar
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    Nov 2010
    This is a nice guide with some good advice. I have to disagree with your advice for strategies though. I think you are steering new players in the wrong direction. Running 10/10 can be disastrous for a glad if they are not built for it. 10/10 berserk will cause young rage glads to pass out. 10/10 can cause glads with low weapon skill to miss a lot. It can cause glads to deal less damage as well. Everyone will have to play around and find a good setting for their glads. I'd start off around 5/5 and test it and slowly move up and see how it affects your glad. As you train their weapon skill up you'll notice they can handle more extreme settings like 10/10. When weapon skill is low you might find a glad does better with a lower blood lust since they will be more accurate. 10/10 is not a silver bullet.
    Stable: Pirate Booty
    Current Gladiators: Thunder Lips, Zippy Wunderbar
    Freed Gladiators: Chuck Norris

  5. #5
    Elite Master Adoede's Avatar
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    Jan 2014
    Thanks Dainoji, and fair point. Perhaps I'll develop that strategy section a bit more since it seems a lot of new managers have questions about that these days.
    Adoede | Tevrosin

  6. #6
    Elite Master Narol's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
    Great guide, Adoebe. However I totally agree with Dainoji on the strategy question, 10/10 or even 8/8 can be totally counter-productive at low-level et even at mid-level...
    Team Bloody Tigers : Siam (Winner BG 13 and BG 21),Sonja Tigarion (#10 BG 22), Ty Rex (#5 BG 13 and BG 22), Slim Shadow, Master Puss

  7. #7
    Elite Master Adoede's Avatar
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    Jan 2014
    Well, since two elite masters have spoken I'll add your feedback into the guide. Thanks!

    I've also added a new appendix that discusses the different strategies needed at different phases of the game.
    Last edited by Adoede; 03-29-2014 at 03:27 PM.
    Adoede | Tevrosin

  8. #8
    Elite Master Kreegan's Avatar
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    Feb 2012
    A note on the premium slaves - there's probably a type where it says that their lower end is at around 850 gold while it's actually around 950.

    Also, getting your weapon skill to 10 before training anything else is no saint cow. It's one possible approach, sure, but you'll be similarly successful - and sometimes even more - if you get it to 8, train something else to 4-5, then to 9, then something else again, then to 10. If you manage your activity and bloodlust properly, the weapon training rush is not really a must.

  9. #9
    Elite Master Adoede's Avatar
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    Jan 2014
    Thanks for that perspective Kreegan. I've added it to the guide.

    As for the 850 cost HOL slave - I've actually seen some in that range believe it or not. But they're as rare as the 1150 gold cost ones. But, you're right that it's more common to see the low end in the 950's, so I've edited that too.

    p.s. - I've always wondered what stables you run since you don't note it on your signature. Which ones are yours if you don't mind my asking?
    Adoede | Tevrosin

  10. #10
    Pit Master Apoca1ypse's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
    Kudos for taking the time to write up a guide. Having done 3 of these myself, I know how god damn grueling it is to get things to read properly and include all the relevant info. I've added it to the player guide compendium I'm also sending Nate a PM to sticky this thread.

    Bit of feedback for the guide:

    I've always recommended the following breakdown:
    Lvl 1-10: 3/3 (this is now the default a gladiator starts)
    Lvl 10-20: 4/4 (or 3/3 zerk)
    lvl 20-30: 6/6 (or 4/4 zerk)

    after that, managers should have a feel of what's good/appropriate

    Skill Trains:
    While I'm an advocate for 10/10 when training, a good rule of thumb for impatient managers ( ) is stopping when things get to 8/10 (minimum), get another skill to 8/10, and then revisit the first skill to 10/10. (edit, I see kreegan said similar, but I really think that weapon skill 10/10 before starting a 3rd skill is a must)

    2H weapons:
    I am yet to see any real difference between speed 1 and speed 1.1 weapons, beyond 1 extra swing every 3-4 rounds. In short, it doesnt really matter. Just keep in mind that 2H swords use slash, while all other 2H weapons use Bash.

    While Elaar is awesome in bloodgods, it's health penalty is a real problem for new glads, especially for new managers. If they want to go the distance with a HoL glad, Elaar is fine. For a new glad that is being used purely to grind towards retiring for a HoL glad, Urk is pretty damn awesome. Urk's endurance is amazing at early levels when everyone is durdling around with bad weapon skill.

    Stable Upgrades:
    Dont forget to mention Barracks upgrades More glads = more gold, and more stuff to do recycling gear to new glads is also great to save gold.

    Blood Gods:
    IIRC one benefit of getting into blood gods is that it waives the minimum fight or w/l requirement (I swear I saw that somewhere...)
    Last edited by Apoca1ypse; 03-30-2014 at 07:29 AM.
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