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Software Inc Top 10 Tips for Beginners

Software Inc is a business management simulation game that revolves around the idea of building a successful software corporation. It is a fantastic tycoon game that incorporates many features that bring out the best of the genre. There are constant updates continuously coming out that add further depth to the game, and this set of tips is meant to help beginners get started.

Tip #1: Start on Easy with NO LOANS

It is natural as gamers to immediately want to jump to medium or above difficulty settings, but do that in this game and you will most likely start with a terrible impression. Starting on easy does two major things that I am aware of: it gives your starting character higher starting stats and makes cash flow faster into your bank. Additionally, starting with no loans gives you much more time to get your first product out since your starting guy does not have a salary. This sets the game up to be a little bit more forgiving for your first playthrough.

Tip #2: Increase your starting Programmer and Designer skills

Adjust the beginning slider so that designing and programming is at a higher ratio than the other few options. When beginning the game, it is recommended to start off with a smaller product suitable for a one-man team. Having a solid designing and programming skill helps you get the product out faster and increases the overall quality of your work.

Leadership, Marketing, and Artist are all very important, but at the beginning, it is all about survival. These other skills can be easily developed later on and can be complemented by staff you hire while you’re still learning. Let’s break down why:

Leadership:

  • Not too much to say here, this really only comes into play when you have a team and your character is designated as the leader. Team leads essentially just have meetings with their group and that increases everyone’s efficiency. Later on when you have the opportunity to get leaders trained with the HR Function, leaders become more important in automating the simple human resource tasks for you. As for the beginning, don’t worry about it too much.

Marketing:

  • Some people might argue that having a high marketing stat to begin with would benefit your first product, but I disagree. The amount of quality you lose by adjusting this to a higher value is not providing you with a better start at all. Marketing takes money to do well and that is capital you do not have at the beginning. Focus on this for later on products when it isn’t a do or die situation.

Artist:

  • Depending on your product, you may actually need to adjust this one as well. However, if you decide to go with the simple products that do not use graphical interfaces, programming and designing are the core. If you decide to go ham on your first product and add in all the graphical designs, then increase this stat to just below the designer and programmer stat.

Tip #3: Set your specialization to 2D or Audio

There are many, many possible products you can choose to get started with, but I have found through dozens of playthroughs and testing that choosing the 2D Editor or Audio Tool to begin with makes it a lot easier to progress in the game.

There are three major reasons for this:

  • These two products require the least diverse specialization at the start of the game (only need the 2D or Audio specialization to effectively make either product)
  • It is usually easier to create a higher quality product with just one person
  • Marketing is not necessary to ensure this first product succeeds
  • These three reasons are essentially linked in the sense that a one-man team will not have the proper specializations at the start of the game to cover complicated products like Operating Systems, and this resulting lower quality product is not going to *succeed without excessive marketing. These issues are resolved by starting with the 2D Editor and Audio Tool options.

Tip #4: Ride Solo

At the start you really do not have enough capital to spend on another programmer or developer. Hiring more employees would essentially bankrupt you before you get halfway through the Alpha stage. Your starting developer (if starting on Easy) should have the capabilities to finish a Good or even Great quality product on their own provided they are given enough time.

This is where the significance of this tip comes in:

With no additional staff, your only cost would be your rent and your utilities. This should be around $700 at the beginning, which should last you for much longer than you need to develop a simple 2D Editor or Audio Tool. As compared to the ~$2000 for just one more additional rookie developer, going solo is a no-brainer.

Tip #5: Expand SLOWLY

Regardless of how your first product sale goes, it is a good idea to get into the habit of expanding slowly. I’ve had so many games end prematurely because I expanded fast right after a decent first sale, and ended up making much less on subsequent products. Look into what product that you would like to “main” and hire programmers/designers/artists with those specialties.

On Easy, it isn’t too hard to maintain a good cash flow, but higher difficulties make it hard to sustain higher salaries effectively. Get into the good practice of tightly controlling all your expenses including servers, staff, heating, rent, and salaries.

Tip #6: Get a dedicated Marketing Team

Managing multiple production lines can get confusing late game, and having a dedicated Marketing team to refer all marketing tasks to makes it easier. You can start with just 1-2 marketers at the beginning attached to your core team, but once you want to get your brand name out there, you should set the team up on its own. Usually, a team of 1 Lead and 9-10 Marketers is enough for you to get your marketing to Prominent pretty easily.

Additionally, the Marketing team can also be given marketing contracts to fulfill – essentially paying for themselves. There will be a daily marketing amount that your team has to fulfill, but I have found that as long as you fulfill around 70% of it your client will remain happy. One consideration for this is that you could be marketing for a competitor’s product and that may affect your own sales, but realistically if your product is good enough this won’t matter too much. You could just take contracts for other types of products as well if you are worried.

Tip #7: Utilize the Project function

Once you have a decent cash cushion, it may be beneficial for you to set up an additional team that is managed through the automatic Project function. In my previous post, I went over how the project management function in this game can essentially set you up for passive income. It is especially useful if you set up your project for something straightforward and with little variance like 2D Editors or Audio Tools. This lets you hire exclusively for the product and the end result is a higher quality sale.

Going back to the previous point, having a dedicated Marketing team also means you can set up multiple projects and have all of their marketing needs met by a single team. I have played numerous games where the marketing level for my Audio Tools and 2D Editors reached Widespread with little effort on my part.

Tip #8: Start your own Server

Gotta love passive income. Hosting contracts can be a very lucrative way to sustain your operations and entering into distribution deals with other companies can give you a hefty sum each month. Additionally, you would end up paying someone else to host your games if you decide to not do it yourself.

1. Buy 3-4 servers and link them. (Can do this by right-clicking one server, selecting “select all in room”, then select the “link” function) 2. Hire a receptionist and set up the reception (this lets contracts show up on the “Contracts” tab) 3. Accept any Hosting deals above ~0.35/mb to maximize profits. 4. Go to the “Distribution” tab and click “Open Online Distribution Platform” 5. Go to the companies tab and find one with a decent number of fans and medium company worth. (Do not go for the higher end companies yet!!) 6. Offer to sell their products on your online distribution platform. Note: Not going for the larger companies right now is a good idea because they tend to give you a smaller cut and your servers may not be able to sustain their usage. However, it is a good idea to get started as soon as you can since you can re-negotiate your cut each month. Having a longer relationship gives you a better chance to ask for a larger cut. Becoming the sole online distributor also allows you to constantly negotiate for larger and larger cuts as well.

Tip #9: Train new Programmers in a Support Team

A great way to get a solid, well-trained team of programmers is to first set them up as a Support team. What you need to do is hire a bunch of low salary programmers and a lead that have “Amazing” or “Great” compatibility or higher. Next, assign them all of the support tasks for all of your products and see if they can cope with the workload. If you can, then you can get another amazing source of passive income. Get those contracts and start seeing this team pay for itself!!

Over time you will see your support team gain specialization based off of the products they are supporting as well as an increase in their overall programming skill. When you are developing a new product, you can assign them to the programming phase to help increase quality. It just comes down to how much work they have and if they are able to keep up with their support workload.

Tip #10: Send people to training

Training your idle employees!! It may be a little micro-managing, but it certainly helps to cover all of your specializations over time. Another option is to first train all of your Leads with the “HR” skill so that they can do it for you. One option I found that worked well was setting the number of employees gone at once to 2, then setting the number of months to 3, and then setting the time delay to 0. When you have a full team, this setting lets you have enough members to get the product moving while still having some people gone for training.

If your style of play is just one team that covers all specializations, you may want to consider upping the number of employees to around 3-4 employees at once and moving the number of months up to 6. This will considerably slow down product development, but it will give you a better-trained team faster. This method is usually for late game when you have a cash cushion.

Conclusion

Software Inc is an absolutely fantastic game once you really get into it. Use these tips as a way to get started and figure out your own way to enjoy this masterpiece. Keep in mind that this game is still in Alpha though, there will be updates that change the way this game should be played.

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Crusader Kings 3 Prestige and Piety Guide

Crusader Kings 3 is a medieval strategy RPG game that uses a “Prestige” and “Piety” system. These are rare forms of currency that you accrue throughout your game and have a variety of uses. Careful management of these resources will allow you to expand your lands, obtain riches, and give you bonuses to many aspects of your gameplay. This guide will go over the basics of what the resources can commonly be used for and how to increase your prestige and piety.

If you are new to Crusader Kings 3, check out our Beginner Tips guide here for more information on overcoming early challenges. Our Succession and Inheritance Tips are also available here if you are having difficulty adjusting to the forced Partition system.

What is Prestige?

Prestige is a measure of how famous your character is and is spent on declaring wars, increasing Realm Authority, changing succession laws, and inviting Knights/Claimants to your Court. Many of the realm expansion methods in Crusader Kings 3 comes down to making a claim on territory and declaring a war for it. Often times you will end up spending a ton of prestige on this feature alone and you should always be ready to take advantage of opportunities to take more land. Increasing Realm Authority is important to maintaining control over your already-obtained lands. High authority will prevent lands from being inherited outside your realm and will also allow you to change succession laws to ones that enable you to pass more fiefs to your direct heir. Finally, the “Decision” option to invite more Knights is invaluable to strengthening your army. A few decent Knights especially for Counts and Dukes can be a game changer when fighting against a similarly sized opponent.

Once you have accrued enough Prestige throughout your lifetime, your Level of Fame will also improve all the way from “Established” to “The Living Legend”. Each Level of Fame provides you with increased Secular Opinion (opinion from anyone that is not clergy) and increased number of Knights. The opinion boost at max level is +30 and it gives you another 4 Knight slots that you can hire for. This bonus can be a great way to ensure your vassals still tolerate you and Knights themselves are fantastic in Wars. When you are able to hire Knights at Prowess 12 or above, they can each take out 50-60 men with ease.

With all of these features in mind, having a good supply of Prestige is extremely important to both expanding and maintaining control over your Realm.

What is Piety?

Piety is a representation of the virtue of your Character in Crusader Kings 3. It dictates how the religious members of your faith view your character and can be used for founding Holy Orders, asking the Pope for funds (if Christian), declaring Holy Wars, creating your own faith, reforming your religion, consecrating your Bloodline, requesting Divorces, and improving the opinions of your clergy. The most useful of these is the ability to ask the Pope for funds as a Christian – for 250 piety you can receive several hundred gold. This is a very useful boost in the early game when you are more likely to be spending gold on things like Knights, Men-at-Arms, or even for bribes. One of the best features of Crusader Kings 3 is the ability to create your own Faith that is tailored to your specific playstyle. There are many different tenets to select from and is a whole new topic in itself – just know that you will need a lot of piety to do so and it will take a long time to accrue enough.

Similar to Prestige, Piety also has Levels of Devotion ranging from “Dutiful” to “Religious Icon”. However, earning Piety is a little bit more difficult and it is rare to reach the last level. Fortunately, the only real bonus from these ranks is improvements to clergy opinion and you don’t really have to worry too much about leveling it up.

Piety is arguably less important than Prestige when it comes to day-to-day bonuses that you consistently use. However, if you want to dabble with religion and conversions, you definitely have to start building up your Piety as soon as you can since it is more difficult to obtain. It will take quite some time for you to get enough to play around with some of the more interesting religious features.

How to obtain Prestige in Crusader Kings 3

Call Hunts

Calling hunts is the most straightforward method of increasing your prestige in a short period of time. Hit F8 or go to your Decisions tab and you can select the “Call Hunt” function. The cost of calling a hunt differs based on your rank, but for Dukes it costs around 67 gold. This cost in itself isn’t too bad when you consider that you can receive several hundred prestige from the single hunt. Calling for Hunts has a 5 year cool down period.

Hold Feasts

Feasts usually give you 150 Prestige upon finishing and occasionally will give you more depending on the random events that come up. Just be aware that some of these events will occasionally cost you Prestige as well, so be extra careful about which option you click. It can be found in the same way as “Call Hunts” above in the Decisions tab. Holding a feast costs around 100 gold for Dukes and increases beyond that for Kings and Emperors. Similar to “Call Hunts”, there is a 5 year cool down period for holding feasts.

Select the “Majesty Focus” in the Diplomacy Lifestyle Tree

This lifestyle provides you with +1 Prestige per month. This might not sound like a lot, but many other variables only give +0.3-0.5 Prestige per month. For example, the Duke of Bavaria in the 1066 start only has +2.65 Prestige per month to start off with and this is already including the “Ambitious” trait that gives another +1 Prestige per month. Of the various ways to build up Prestige, selecting this Lifestyle is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways. There are also numerous useful perks in the Diplomacy tree that you should definitely take advantage of like the “Forced Vassalization” Casus Belli.

Create Titles

Creating titles will cost you a fair chunk of gold, but will also provide you with a ton of Prestige once you do. For example, creating the Duchy of Moravia costs you 250 gold and gives you 300 Prestige while creating the Kingdom of Bohemia costs you 500 gold and gives you 400 Prestige. If you are already set on creating these titles, the Prestige you obtain from them is usually enough to give you the Prestige needed to start another war.

Be careful to not create too many Duchies since holding onto more than 2 will make your vassals like you less. There is also a risk of these higher titles being lost upon succession since Primogeniture does not exist until 1200AD.

One other method (which is a little unethical) is to grant Duchy titles to vassals where you actually hold the Counties. Once it is granted, the vassal will likely dissolve the title since they hold no De Jure fiefs – allowing you to re-create the Duchy for more Prestige. This method costs quite a bit of money, but you can essentially print Prestige as you see fit. It can also be seen as slightly gaming the system and can take the fun out of your current play through.

Join Ally Wars and Contribute

When you join an Ally War and actually contribute, you will get a split of the Prestige according to the War details. Click on the specific War you are in, go to the “Enforce Demands” tab and scroll down until you see the part that says “Allies share _____ Prestige based on their contributions”. You will actually have to contribute to the total War score for the Prestige to be allocated to you even if you are the only Ally called to war. Also be aware that if you join the War but do not contribute, there will also be an opinion penalty from your Ally.

Raid (if available)

Tribal governments have the ability to raid for loot and you will also gain Prestige for each successful gold you bring back. All you have to do is siege down an enemy settlement and cross back into your own borders with your loot for it to go into your stockpile. If you are attacked on your way and lose, you will also end up losing your gold.

The Raiding option is really only available to Tribal governments and not for Feudal governments. If your goal is to gather more Prestige, also be aware that many of the Men-at-Arms for Tribal governments cost Prestige for both hiring and upkeep. There are other better ways to gain Prestige, but this method is almost required for the Tribal players to keep up with costs.

Set your Chancellor to “Foreign Affairs”

The Chancellor will add to your monthly Prestige gain depending on their Diplomacy Skill. Someone with only 10 Diplomacy will only generate around 0.5 Prestige per month, while a Chancellor with 20 Diplomacy will give you 1 Prestige per month. Like mentioned above, the monthly Prestige gain in Crusader Kings 3 is actually fairly low – these bonuses of +1 per month do end up adding up quite a bit.

Avoid calling every Ally to War if you don’t need them

Even when you do everything right and tried all of the tips here you can still run out of Prestige. In those cases, we have to work on preserving the Prestige you already have by reducing the amount you really need to use. The most important method is to avoid calling every single ally you have to war when you don’t need them since each ally requires a significant amount of Prestige.

Examine your troop count and compare it to your opponent and their allies. If you already have more Levies, Knights and Man-at-Arms than their entire Alliance altogether, chances are you don’t need to call in your King and Duke allies into battle. Don’t hesitate to spend enough Prestige to guarantee victory, but definitely do your due diligence in investigating how necessary they really is.

How to obtain Piety in Crusader Kings 3

Go on a Pilgrimage

This is an option in the “Decisions” tree that will send your character off on a Pilgrimage to any of your religion’s holy sites. The further away the site, the larger the Piety gain. Be aware that this method costs a lot of gold – which potentially makes it not an option for Counts and Dukes. For example, a trip to Jerusalem might be considered to be “Very Long” and cost you 187 gold. During the trip, there will be several events that pop up that give you options to obtain Piety. Some have costs attached to it and others might give you undesirable modifiers like “Ill”.

At the end of the Pilgrimage, you usually receive a large sum of Piety plus the “Pilgrim” trait that gives you +10% Piety per month. Some tenets like the “Armed Pilgrimages” tenet will give you an additional +2% Monthly Piety Per Knight. With 10 knights, this is a 20% boost! In the example above with Very Long trips, the Jerusalem journey that I sent my character on generated 625 Piety at the end of it.

One last point to consider is that there is a 15 year cool down for Pilgrimages. If you have the means to do so, going on a Pilgrimage as soon as possible will be beneficial if you intend to use a lot of it later on.

Select the “Theology Focus” in the Learning Lifestyle Tree

With how difficult it is to accrue any decent amount of Piety, the +1 Piety per month is a fairly large boost that should be considered for any ruler you intend to use to wage Holy Wars or reform faiths. The perks in the Learning tree are also great for reducing Piety costs and certain perks like Theologian and Prophet also give boosts to monthly Piety gain.

However, don’t pursue this option if you have a ruler that has decent stats in other trees since the additional monthly Lifestyle experience can be much more useful if used properly elsewhere.

Seek Indulgences from the Pope

You can buy Piety from the Pope with gold through the “Seek Indulgences” option that pops up when you right-click the Pope. The cost for this option is usually around 200-300 gold for anyone Duke and above. The higher your rank the more gold you need to pay. Unfortunately, it appears that regardless of the amount of gold you pay, you only end up receiving 100 Piety in return.

With how useful gold is and how difficult it is to obtain for early game characters, this is typically an option for Kings and Emperors. This option is essentially a reverse option for when you ask the Pope for money except you gain opinion instead. Our Beginner’s Tips guide also mentioned using Piety as a method for gaining gold early. This is actually one of the main reasons to gather Piety early game if you have no intention of reforming your faith or declaring holy wars.

Set your Priest to “Religious Relations”

Similar to how Chancellors work, a Priest set to “Religious Relations” will provide you with monthly Piety gain. It appears to operate on the same scale used for Prestige gain where a Priest with 10 Learning generates +0.5 Piety per month and a Priest with 20 Learning generates +1 Piety per month. With how much more difficult it is to generate Piety than Prestige, this is one of the more desirable settings to leave your Priest on whenever possible.

As mentioned in our Beginner Tips guide, the Priest is one of the best ways to fabricate Claims and expand territory. You will end up having to make a choice between building your realm versus building up Piety. I typically find it most useful to focus on claims earlier in the game and Piety later on once I have established a decent base of operations.

Educate Children and select Traits that are Virtuous

Changing traits for your adult characters is extremely difficult and very RNG reliant in Crusader Kings 3. However, you can set your character as the Educator for your heir and other children and you can decide which traits they get when the menus pop up. There is still a certain degree of RNG since they might not always hit the ones that are considered to be Virtuous by your religion, but this gives you some level of control over how it is done.

You can also set the primary focus for your heir to be Learning, but keep in mind that this should only really be done if they innately have a high Learning value. Forcing your child into an education that does not suit their abilities will be detrimental to how well they function as adults. See Tip #14 on our Beginner’s guide for more information about adapting to your character’s traits.

Improve Learning in random events

There are occasionally random events that pop up if you select the Learning Lifestyle Tree that can give you additional Learning points. The higher your Learning, the more Piety you gain per month. Each point your character has in Learning gives an additional +0.1 Piety per month. An average character that has around 12 Learning will have 1.2 Piety per month, but someone who has really focused on Learning and has 25 will receive 2.5 Piety per month. This is a substantial boost to how much you receive each month and can definitely be useful in the long term.

Conclusion

Crusader Kings 3 treats Prestige and Piety as much rarer forms of Currency compared to Crusader Kings 2. They can be immensely valuable in most aspects of gameplay and can be difficult to obtain when you need it most. Hopefully this guide has helped some of you with overcoming the challenges you have faced when you ran out of these resources!

Read our Crusader Kings 3 Beginners Guide here if you are just starting out in the game. Our Succession and Inheritance Tips are also available here if you are having difficulty adjusting to the forced Partition system.

Thank you all for reading and please comment below if you have any other tips or suggestions! Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates on our guides and reviews 🙂

Transport Inc. Review

Transport Inc. is a new strategy management game that places you in the role of CEO of a new transportation corporation. It has a laid-back art style and a chill theme with minimal complexity. This is one of the easiest tycoon style games for new management gamers to start with. For those who have experience in this genre, Transport Inc. is one of the games you pick up to just have a chill time at. This review will go over some of pros and cons of Transport Inc and will also highlight the unique features that other games typically miss out on.

Overall, this game is perfect for anyone new to the management tycoon genre because of its easy to start gameplay and the casual theme. You can fully control how fast you want to expand and the game offers various settings to allow you to stay ahead of your competitors while going at your own pace. There is also a reasonable amount of depth if you want to try your hand at micromanaging all of the individual vehicle routes for maximum efficiency. You can either pay no attention to the overall profits as long as you are positive, or you can dedicate more time to figuring out exactly how to maximize your growth. This style of game is appealing for new and old players alike – but experienced players may find the total features slightly lacking in depth.

Best Features

Strikes

Transport Inc has a system where you have to manage how much you pay your employees or they end up going on strike. There isn’t too much depth to this since you really only have a slider that dictates total pay, but the feature itself is great to make things more realistic. As the company expands and time goes on, it is natural for your workers to want more money. This system forces you to consider which vehicles and transportation routes are worth keeping late game. You may have to spend some time digging around the “Routes” menu to figure out which buses can be better allocated elsewhere. Increasing pay pre-maturely also leads to less profits that could be dedicated to expanding your company. However, leaving the pay increase too late could lead to a costly strike that you have to pay a bribe to end. This in itself can set you back – but adequate monitoring will allow you stay ahead of the game.

Country License System

To expand your corporation into other countries (or states), you have to purchase a operating license. Large countries and states will require more money to purchase the license – it can go from $60,000 to even $200,000. This feature adds an interesting strategic component to the game where the player has to consider whether or not the license is worth the investment. Instead of $60,000 going towards more vehicles and routes in your existing territory, will the new territory provide more profitable opportunities? To answer this question, you can check out our beginner’s guide for tips on when to expand. You will have to manage your funds to ensure that you have enough cash remaining to actually take advantage of the new territory while still being ambitious enough to seek out these new opportunities in the first place.

Manager System

Transport Inc. allows you to hire managers that can automate when your buses, trains, and planes are sent off to depots for repair. This prevents the player from being crushed by the huge amount of micromanaging that could occur late game once you have dozens of vehicles all over the map. However, this manager system does come with a cost. The initial cost to hiring a bus manager is $25,000, and buying a depot is another $25,000. At the start of the game $50,000 can go a long way to increasing your profits and growth. The player will essentially have to decide at what point the automation is worth the investment cost. Again, this feature adds to the realism of what the cost of a corporation may look like. Larger companies will need to spend more on management employees to ensure that everything runs smoothly. Likewise, the train and plane managers cost a lot more and purchasing enough depots for all of the vehicles will be another few hundred thousand dollars. Check out Tip #2 in our beginner’s guide for more information on when it is best to hire managers.

Bank Loans and Interest

Like with most business tycoon games, Transport Inc. has a system for taking out loans to invest into your business. One of the biggest differences is that this game is absolutely merciless when it comes to interest rates. Any new players reading this: be very, very mindful of the interest and think extremely carefully about whether or not you actually come out ahead. If you take out a 18% loan without thinking, it can put you back several months just paying off the interest. Make sure that the new route you are investing in will generate enough revenue to actually make the venture worth it. Likewise, a well-thought out loan can definitely boost your company growth by a ton. The bank loan feature in this game is very simple, but also captures the essence of what players need to consider in taking out loans. General rule of thumb that we advise is to avoid any interest rates of over 12% since it becomes much harder to make a good return on.

Chill Music and Satisfying Money Notification

The overall vibe from Transport Inc. is very relaxed and minimizes any stress that you may encounter. Music does a great job of giving you a good atmosphere to just chill out in and enjoy the game. It definitely fits the upbeat, satisfying tone of the game. Likewise, seeing the money go up in your account is also strangely satisfying. Whenever your vehicle reaches a city, you see the passengers or cargo unload and you get a nice green popup in your screen that tells you how much you just made. Overall the developers did a great job in making this game a satisfying experience.

Great Campaign (Tutorial)

This game does a great job of creating a tutorial that draws the player in piece by piece. The campaign starts off with just the basic bus routes and slowly adds more and more features until you are expected to just run the company successfully. I can see how starting this game in freemode with just a few tooltips can be extremely confusing. This approach does a great job of keeping the player engaged. You don’t have to worry about not being able to pick up on the different aspects of the game as long as you finished the campaign.

Natural Disasters and Sabotaging Competitors

There are a variety of complications that spice up this game. You could meet a natural disaster that shuts down all of your routes to a city, or you could experience a boost to income from holiday trips. Anything can happen to both you and your competitors and forces you to stay on your toes. The sabotage system in this game also adds a light level of strategy where you can do things that effectively put you ahead of your opponents. It is not necessarily overpowered, but it definitely does give you an advantage. This feature is enough to give the game that competitive edge, but not overwhelming to the point where it becomes more of a fighting game.

Negatives

Vehicles automatically run even when empty

There is no option at the moment to stop the vehicle from running the route if it is empty (due to ticket prices being too high). This results in an empty vehicle running all the way to its destination and costing you fuel while generating no income. There should be a default option that allows you to stop this from happening. This is especially annoying for new players who don’t have a good sense of ticket prices yet. You could leave things as the default and vehicle could just run with no delay – resulting in a player being set back a ton due to lost income. See Tip #3 on our guide for how to manage this issue.

Star system is poorly designed and provides little feedback to the player

It is a good idea to have some sort of feature that dictates required vehicle quality and how that can affect ticket prices – especially when taking into account the size of the city and needs of the customers. However, the current implementation is faulty in that the user really has no clear idea of how the train stars match up to what the route needs. The general idea of larger cities requiring more stars makes sense – but there needs to be more feedback for the player to use. At the moment, the best way to avoid this issue is to micromanage and change up the ticket prices through multiple trips to find out the best price. However, there should be a system that allows you to copy over the same prices for similar routes once you have discovered one that works. It is very tiresome having to do the same thing over and over again for each and every single route.

Needs a cleaner route interface and an option to adjust ticket price on that menu

Currently you have to go back and forth between the routes menu and the actual train where you can change the ticket price. This adds needless clicking and should be improved so that the player can easily see which routes need some micromanaging. The UI is also a little confusing since it isn’t very clear which number is the trip profit and which one is monthly. A hover-over tooltip would be a great fix and allows the player to see more information about their vehicles.

No option for partial loan repayment

Transport Inc. does not allow you to repay your loan partially. You either have to repay the whole thing, or you just have to get hit with the full interest. Not entirely sure if this is an intended function, but either way it is very frustrating to not be able to chip away at loans. There should definitely be an option to slowly work at it instead of having to do a large save-up of cash. One current fix for this is to take out another loan with smaller interest to make up for the difference you are missing and repaying the loan that way. This can be considered as a way to “refinance” loans to a better interest rate. See Tip #6 on our guide to overcome this issue.

FPS drop late game

Depending on your set-up, you could completely avoid lag altogether. However, I started experiencing some FPS drops as soon as I got more than 40-50 vehicles running (using a budget gaming laptop with 1050 Ti and i5-8300H with 16gb RAM). Keep this in mind if you have a rig that has worse specs. However, Steam reviews seem to suggest that this game runs very well even on older PCs. You may have to tinker with the options a little bit to minimize any stuttering you may experience.

Conclusion

Overall, Transport Inc is a great buy for around $10 and is easily worth the money. It scratches that business management itch very well and includes several features that every good tycoon game should have. However, there are a few gameplay and UI issues that have to be fixed before this game can really shine. I would definitely recommend you pick it up if you like building businesses or if you are new to the tycoon genre altogether. If you are a more experienced player, I would recommend waiting for a sale or until these issues are fixed.

Thank you all for reading and please check out our Transport Inc Tips and Guide for how to get started in the game. Also follow us on Twitter to stay up to date with our guides and reviews! 🙂

Crusader Kings 3 Beginner Tips

Crusader Kings 3 (CK3) is a medieval strategy and management game that places you in charge of guiding an entire dynasty through hundreds of years. It is the long-awaited sequel to Crusader Kings 2, and it does not disappoint.

Any new players interested in starting with Crusader Kings 3 will likely meet a fairly sharp learning curve initially. Even if you have played Crusader Kings 2, there are still quite a few subtle differences that can stump you in your first few rounds. This list of beginner tips will hopefully help with getting you started in Crusader Kings 3!

See our Piety and Prestige Guide here, our Succession and Inheritance Tips here, and our Top 10 Tips for Starting as a Count here.

1. Fabricate Claims using the Bishop (or other religious leader)

This is one of the biggest changes since Crusader Kings 2. Instead of the Chancellor, it is now the religious leader that is used to fabricate claims. Another change is that it is no longer a randomized chance that rolls every year – there is simply a progress bar that fills up for the claim to occur.

The speed of progress and whether or not you receive a duchy claim instead of county claim is dependent on the skill of the bishop. Typically it can take around 1-2 years for the county claim to go through and it costs around 70-100 gold to claim. Please also keep in mind that you cannot be negative in gold to start a war so have some saved up in advance.

2. Learn the basic hotkeys

There is a LOT of clicking that goes into Crusader Kings 3. It is definitely worth learning the basic hot keys for bringing up menus if you plan to play for any longer than a couple of hours. Here are the simple ones that I like to use:

  • F1: Character Screen
  • F2: Realm
  • F3: Military
  • F4: Council
  • F5: Court
  • F6: Intrigue
  • F7: Factions
  • F8: Decisions
  • 1-5: Game speed (5 is extremely fast, be warned)
  • Space: Pause and Play
  • E: Regular Realm map toggle
  • T: Cultural Map
  • R: Religious Map
  • U, I, O: Duchy, Kingdomg, Empire Titles (shows them regardless of whether or not they’re formed)
  • W, A, S, D: Map Movement
  • B: Go back to previous menu

There may be other hotkeys people use, but these are the ones I’ve run into so far that I consistently use all the time. The escape key is just the usual button for exiting out of tabs. However, if you are trying to get rid of only the “Issues” menu then hit Tab instead since the Escape key will exit out of everything else first.

3. Increase County Control using your Marshall as soon as possible

Control makes a huge difference in how much levy and taxes you receive from a county. Anything below 50 Control will be a huge hit to what you can receive. It is usually worth sending your Marshall in to return Control back to 100 as soon as you are out of a war. This is actually one of the mechanisms that Paradox included to prevent snowballing since it’ll increase how long it takes for you to reap the benefits of new counties.

One caveat to this is if you are expecting someone to initiate another war with you in a short period of time or if you have a really great claim on someone who is momentarily weak. In this case, keep your Marshall on the “Organize Levies” tab for the extra Levy Size and Reinforcement Rate. However, during peace time increasing Control is much more important than increasing levies or improving commanders.

4. Christian Rulers can ask the Pope for Gold – use this ability early game

You can easily get anywhere between 125 to 200 or so gold as a Christian ruler in exchange for 250 Piety and a temporary decrease in relationship with the Pope. To qualify, it is best to have a good opinion score, some virtue traits, and as few sins as possible. There generally isn’t a good reason to not take the gold especially in the early stages of the game.

If you start off as a Duke or King, gold problems will likely still be at the front of your mind. Piety is a resource that does play a big role in being able to wage Holy Wars, but gold can usually take you a lot further. You need gold to pay for starting up your Men-at-Arms Regiments and to hire Knights with high Prowess. Without this fighting ability, it is hard to wage wars in the first place. Take the gold and think about Piety later.

Once you hit the part of the game where you are interested in reforming religions or embarking on Holy Wars, check out our Prestige and Piety guide here for how to obtain Piety.

5. Hover over information for a few seconds before moving to the tooltip

Once you wait around 3 seconds or so, the information bubble changes borders and sticks around for you to move your mouse onto it. For example, if I want to check my Monthly Income breakdown, I would hover over the tab so that the information bubble pops up, wait for around 3 seconds for the border to change, then move my mouse onto the bubble itself. Hopefully this helps with preventing any mild annoyances about getting the information bubble to stick around.

Alternatively, you can go into the “Game” section of the settings and change the Tooltips to Action lock or Mouse Tendency. This will give you a bit more freedom in choosing what you prefer. I personally stuck with the original method since I hate having to click again and again for the tooltips.

6. Forbid Sons with low Prowess from being Knights

Found this out the hard way when 3/4 of my sons died in the same battle. If they don’t have high prowess then they are much, much more likely to be killed in battle. Keep in mind that Martial and Prowess are two completely different values that represent different things. Martial is the main value you usually see that represents their ability to command troops – it is also the value you use to select for a good Marshall. Prowess is the ability to actually fight, you can see a person’s prowess when you look to the right of the main stats and see the hand grasping a sword.

To forbid a person from being a knight, hit “F3” to bring up the Military Menu, click on the Knights menu, scroll to your sons and select “Forbid”. In some cases, you might even want to keep your heir safe and forbid them even if they have a high prowess score. Things can randomly happen in battle and sometimes avoiding the risk altogether can be better for your dynasty.

One other thing to keep in mind is that some characters have the “Brave” trait. This trait increases the character’s chance of dying in battle by 100% while offering a few bonuses to combat ability. It is great that some characters are monsters and can carry a fight, but don’t let that character be your only heir (unless that is what you are role-playing). Keep an eye out for this trait specifically just in case!

7. You can increase Men-at-Arms regiment sizes directly

Simply click on the regiment portrait to bring up the menu and hit “Increase Size to ____”. This gives you more variety in which Men-at-Arms types you want to bring into battle with you. The overall cost would still be the same since the size upgrade is the same as the initial buy cost, but you get to hire different types of regiments as a result.

8. Diversify your Men-at-Arms Regiments

Unless you did some extra work in scouting out your enemy’s troops when they fought in other wars, it is difficult to determine which regiments they will be bringing to the fight. The “counter” mechanism can limit your opponent fighting efficiency by up to 90% if it is a direct counter. For example, instead of your Armored Footmen dealing 32 Damage, it’ll only deal around 3 if the opponent brings a unit of Skirmishers to the fight.

Diversifying your regiments gives you a much better chance at negating your opponents and having at least some of your regiments do full damage. This might not always apply depending on cultural troop availability and terrain, but if you are all over the map then this gives you the most flexibility. If you follow tip #7 as well, then you should have no issues with adapting your army to the enemy you are expecting to fight.

9. Bring Mangonels or Onagers if you are sieging

They are cheap compared to other regiments and the decrease in overall time required to siege down a castle is definitely worth it. Instead of the default 1.0 progress per day, you now have 1.6 with Mangonels (1.3 with Onagers). This is a boost of 50% – meaning instead of 3 months to siege down a city, you now have to only wait for 2. If you are fighting any other kingdom or even duchy, the time you save can literally be the difference between victory and defeat.

If you are worried about cost – don’t be! The total for a Mangonel is 0.32/month when raised while a regiment of skirmishers is 0.44/month. For the benefit that it brings for sieges, this should be at least the third regiment you pick up.

The big downside to this is that they have no bonuses to fighting power during regular field battles. The opportunity cost lost here is that you could have afforded another unit of bowmen or skirmishers that might have been handy if it was a close battle. Buying this regiment third would be a good balance between improving your fighting ability and your siege ability.

10. Choose the right Commander

A good commander can influence a battle a ton and even win you fights where your army is objectively weaker. Having a higher tactical score is one thing, but many good commanders also have traits that give bonuses in certain terrain types or to increase damage altogether. Selecting the right commander means you sometimes have to override what the automatic selection is and carefully look through the traits of who you have available.

To change commanders, highlight your army and hit the “Select new Commander” button in the very lower left corner of your screen. Sometimes this button will be greyed out if you are either in battle, or were recently defeated and the army is still retreating. It is usually a good idea to hit that button right when you raise army just to be sure there aren’t any better choices for commanders.

11. Be mindful of River Crossings and Boat Landings

You get a fairly large debuff whenever you are trying to attack someone across a river. It is a much more defensible position and can easily give the weaker army enough of a bonus to win the battle. Taking the long way around might be less time efficient, but it avoids getting you into sticky situations. This is also one of the areas I started paying a lot more attention to than I did in Crusader Kings 2 since I saw many of my armies get wiped by the mechanic.

Likewise, any army that just got off the boat will have a debuff that makes them much less effective. If you are defending against an invading army, stopping them right at the shore is usually one of the best tactics to maximize your winning opportunity.

12. Read through all the Lifestyle Perks

Some of the bonuses from these perks go beyond just being percentage based increases to character ability. For example, the Diplomat Tree has a perk called “Forced Vassalage” that unlocks the “Forced Vassalization” Casus Belli. It is a great way to start wars straightforwardly instead of having to either wait for fabrication or going through the whole process of finding and landing a claimant.

It is also worth reading the tooltips for these new abilities since they can give you a much better idea of what character you could be building into. Using the same example, the “Forced Vassalization” Casus Belli is initially restricted to only being valid on Rulers that have no more than 3 Counties in their realm. However, it can be further improved based on the cultural innovations you pursue. Once you have innovations like “Divine Right” and “Rightful Ownership”, it can increase the vassal realm size by 2 each. Knowing this, you can now tailor your cultural innovations to these specific ones if you are the cultural head.

Reading through the tooltips for all of the perks can be tedious, but it will give you a ton more role-play value and give you greater customization of how you want to play the game.

13. Start with Petty King Murchad in 1066 to explore mechanisms

This is a really common tip but it is one worth repeating. It is considered to be one of the best starting situations for learning since it gives you a really great opportunity to explore the various ways to expand your territory and provides you with advantages over all of your immediate enemies.

You start the game with one County for yourself and one for your vassal while everybody else in Ireland starts with just one. Already this is enough for you to win the De Jure war that you begin with. From there, you can experiment with the “Fabricate” function or learn how to obtain claims through marriage or landing claimants. It is also a situation that forces you to be good with your money since you really have to save up for the men that you want to buy.

Once you have unified Ireland into a Kingdom, you can then experiment with larger-scale intrigue and claiming systems like marrying off your son to one of the lesser noblewomen that still have a claim to England. You will usually encounter issues like rejections due to Patrilineal Marriage concerns which give you a realistic taste of what the rest of the game could be like.

14. Adapt to your character traits

Unlike Crusader King 2, Crusader Kings 3 has a much higher importance placed on traits and how they affect character interactions. Playing every single chractert you use as a Warrior will inevitably lead to your demise. Look at the traits, perks, and stats that your character has and determine which lifestyle would best suit their abilities. From there, read through the possible perks and explore the new mechanisms they unlock. This way you can fully experience the full extent of features the game has to offer.

I initially started with purely going the same strategist/commander character playstyle, but once you being dabbling in other treas like stewardship and diplomacy you begin to realize there are a ton of other options out there. A stewardship focused King can literally generate enough income to max out a stack of men-at-arms and still have some to spare for Mercenaries. Slap on a good commander in your court and you’re set to conquer the world.

My point here is that Crusader Kings 3 opens up a ton of replay and role-play value. Even if you just want to paint the world in the colour of your Empire, there are many different ways for you to do so. I hope that this tip gets you exploring into the diversity that exists in the game.

Conclusion

Crusader Kings 3 definitely lived up to the hype for me and I hope that this list of beginner tips will help you enjoy the game in the same way. There are ton more features in this game and I will do my best to cover them for you. Please comment below if there are any specific questions you have or if you have any other tips that you want included in the guide!

Thank you all for reading and I hope you have a great time conquering 🙂

See our Piety and Prestige Guide here, our Succession and Inheritance Tips here, and our Top 10 Tips for Starting as a Count here.

Please follow me on Twitter and Facebook for consistent updates on my guides and reviews!

Transport Inc. Tips and Guide

Transport Inc. is a management tycoon game that places you in the role of CEO of a large transportation corporation. It is your job to develop a profitable transport system that consists of buses, trains, and planes. You have to determine the most profitable routes – accounting for variables such as demand for comfort, length of trip, travelling speed, and even what your opponents are doing. Overall, Transport Inc. is a game that fits right into the business building niche and is a fresh look at casual management gaming. For more information check out our Transport Inc Review.

This guide will go over some of the best tips to get started in building your own transport conglomerate!

Tip #1: Start with multiple buses instead of trains

It is tempting to take out a big loan at the start of the game and buy the license to use trains. Unfortunately, this usually leaves you with very little cash flow and extremely slow growth. Start off with multiple small buses that run between small cities to maximize growth and minimize need to reduce ticket price.

This method is also great to min-max your early game profit since you can pin-point exactly how much transportation is needed to satisfy all of the routes from a city. If you are a new player, this method gets you used to the idea of which buses are the best for which types of cities.

Tip #2: Use a manager once you have 7-8 buses

A bus manager currently costs $25,000 to start using and needs $25,000 to set up the first depot. For a brand new playthrough, $50,000 is a hefty chunk of cash that is much better used to build more buses. It is usually manageable to manually select which buses to repair if you only have around 8-9 buses running.

Also consider the fact that your buses will take quite some time before they really need to be repaired. There is no need to even build the depot until the buses are partly damaged – much less purchasing an office for the manager. The micromanagement of repairs does not become problematic until you have 10-12 buses running in various locations.

Use the cash you currently have to invest in the best possible opportunity in front of you – more buses!

Tip #3: Micromanage ticket prices for new routes

Until you are extremely comfortable with knowing what prices work with which types of buses between which cities, definitely micromanage the ticket price for the first few trips. This is one of the best ways to improve your profitability. Whenever you buy a new bus, estimate what a good price is by comparing the number of stars to the size of cities it is moving between. Typically anything lower than 2 stars should have a lower ticket price if even one of the destinations is larger than a small city. Make sure to do this for both the regular passenger and the high-paying passengers.

If you do not usually like micromanaging prices, consider how much of an impact even 1-2 dollars makes on overall profitability. The price of the ticket is per passenger per 100km – once you mutliply that out by the dozens of passengers you have, it becomes a significant number. This is especially important when you purchase large vehicles that transport a large number of people or goods – remember that each dollar is multiplied multiple times!

Tip #4: Use appropriate buses for the large cities

It is much more profitable to actually use the right buses to transport people between large cities. These routes typically require a higher star rating and a faster speed. If you try to use a low-tier bus that travels slowly, you will end up having to reduce ticket price so much that you could even come close to losing money per trip. You have to either choose the right bus or choose a different route for your investment to make sense.

In the opposite situation, if you choose to use a fancy bus between small cities, make sure you increase the price substantially to account for the cost of the bus. It is okay to use a more comfortable bus in these situations, but they are honestly better used in large cities since the possible profit is higher.

Tip #5: Take out loans in Week 1 and avoid interest above 12%

It might not seem like a big difference, but the extra 3 weeks could potentially save you a ton of money by avoiding interest. If you take out the loan right after the month starts, this gives you the full month to start making money before your first payment. In comparison, taking your loan out in Week 4 means you immediately have to pay back part of the loan with interest.

Keep in mind that this tip depends on your ability to pay off the loan early. If you don’t plan to do so, then you can ignore this tip. I do recommend paying it off early though, since many of the loans are in the range of around 15% – which adds up substantially over time.

The 12% number is just an estimate I use to avoid massive interest rates that take forever to pay off. The usual return on interest will be higher than that 12% as long as you micromanage the ticket price as mentioned above. Feel free to experiment around, but this general rule of thumb has helped me avoid bad loans.

Tip #6: Take out lower interest loans to pay off old loans

This is a function that essentially re-finances your bank loans. Your company will end up paying much less in interest if you constantly monitor for the best possible interest rate.

Keep in mind that in Transport Inc. there is no function to partially pay back a loan. If you plan to take out a new loan to pay off the old one, make absolutely sure that you can loan enough to actually pay it off.

Another tip is to take out the largest loan for a max duration if the interest rate is at 8%. This extra cash will definitely help you a ton in ramping up your bus routes and the max duration means you can definitely pay off the loan early and minimize interest.

Tip #7: Do not blindly acquire competitors

Unfortunately, not all of the competitors are smart about placing depots and repair sites. After acquiring a competitor, I quickly found out that their buses don’t always have access to a depot nearby and it has resulted in a ton of broken routes. If you are interested in acquiring a competitor, please try to aim for the one that is near to you. This way the buses can always route to your original depots if need be.

Alternatively, spend some time after the acquisition to ensure that depots are well-built in their area of the map and that all of their buses are under your manager.

These mergers have the potential to skyrocket your profits since you are essentially adding a ton of buses to your arsenal. Just keep in mind that you may have to spend quite a bit of time micromanaging the ticket prices and new routes to ensure that they are profitable for you.

Tip #8: Click on existing cities to explore which area to unlock next

You can see potential routes when you click on your existing cities. This helps you determine which area has the most demand for your transportation. Typically I like to choose the area that has high demand in cities that are connected to your existing area through railroads. Later on in the game, the railroad system is a great way to supply transportation and investigating the potential of the area ensures you are planning for the future.

This tip is also to prevent you from being mislead by other factors like total number of available cities. More cities might not always be more profitable if they don’t have as many routes to connect to your original hub. More cities also means it is more expensive to license – be sure that this is the right investment before purchasing.

Tip #9: Diversify transportation methods and products moved

Transportation Inc. has mechanics like disasters, holidays, and road closures that can have a huge impact on your transportation empire. Diversifying beyond just buses ensures that you have other sources of revenue in case road closures hit your current routes hard.

Likewise, the product that you move (regular population, high-paying population, goods) will also be affected by a variety of game mechanics. Having a good diversity ensures that you will have as many opportunities to benefit from events as possible, while also ensuring that disasters do not wipe out your entire profit.

Tip #10: Remember to develop small routes late game

It is very easy to be tempted to save up a ton of cash to buy a $3 million plane late game. However, all that time that you spent on waiting for money could have been used to develop a lot more of the smaller routes. These routes individually may not have as much of an impact on your profitability, but developing $3 million worth of them definitely will.

Once you consistently get around $200,000 to $300,000, make a mental note to slow yourself down and re-evaluate all of your current cities. Building a small route to transport 50 people between two cities might not sound like a lot, but every single bit of profit counts.

Also keep in mind that there are very few large routes that are actually available – the vast majority of opportunities are still medium sized routes that only move around 80-90 people at once. Don’t lose sight of all of these opportunities and you will be able to reach expensive vehicles even sooner.

Tip #11: Avoid overfilling routes

Just because the route says there are 100 people needing transportation does not mean that you should place two 50-person buses on that route. It takes time for the population regenerate and placing two buses on this route will just result in wait unnecessary wait times.

Maximize your profit by approximating how quickly the demand replenishes and add/subtract buses to ensure they do not wait at all at either end.

Tip #12: Damage expensive competitor vehicles and close their roads

Once you are consistently making a few hundred thousand dollars a month, take the time to analyze your opponents and identify which routes are most commonly used. Transport Inc. allows you to use nefarious methods to gain an advantage. The most potent of these is the ability to close roads. When used properly, you can very literally put a stop to your competitor’s entire empire. Sure there are a few small routes here and there, but I have found that a lot of the routes your opponents use actually end up overlapping at certain sections.

Likewise, damaging their most expensive vehicle will not only force them to pay for repairs, but will also delay their profits. This slows down their growth and allows your own company to gain the advantage. Destroying enemy vehicles is usually a more expensive option, but you almost always end up coming out ahead once you take into account their lost profits.

Tip #13: Complete the Story Mode

Many players I know like to skip tutorials in management games, but I heavily recommend you all finish the Story mode for Transport Inc. It is actually a very well thought-out tutorial that keeps you intrigued the entire way. The missions are approached in a step-wise manner that slowly adds more features as you move forward. By the time you get to the end, you will have learned how to play the game to its fullest degree.

The pacing of the story is also great since it lets you take time to complete the mission, but also adds a slight pressure since you have competitors that you have to beat. It also locks some features initially so that you do not get overwhelmed and fall into early traps.

One final benefit about the Story Mode is that it places you in different parts of the world with different cities and settings. This gives you a chance to develop skills in analyzing where to expand, instead of just doing the same thing over and over again.

Conclusion

Transport Inc is a fantastic business management game that really scratches that Tycoon itch. It is a great combination of casual gameplay and opportunities for micromanagement. I hope that this guide has been of some help in giving you a smoother start to the game.

Thank you very much for reading and please comment below if you have any questions or feedback! Check out our Transport Inc Review to see if this game is for you.

Follow us on Twitter here to stay up to date with our guides and reviews for strategy and management games.

New World Beginner Tips Continued

Please see here for the first part of our beginner tips for New World.

1. Resource size affects respawn timer and EXP efficiency

Larger resource nodes (i.e. large mountain of iron vs. small pile) take longer to respawn after you have gathered it. Most obvious example of this is for oil when you try to make an efficient run gathering all you can. The large oil nodes take a few minutes longer to respawn even though you mine the small node first. Keep this in mind when you are planning your gathering route in the area.

Gathering larger nodes will give you more of the resource per second, but the smaller nodes are better for leveling up the Trade skill in the first place. An example of this is when you are chopping wood – try logging the skinny trees and keep track of your EXP gain in a minute vs. logging large trees. You will notice that you end up gaining EXP faster, but will gain less wood. Keep this in mind in the early stages of the game when it is more important to level the skill up than it is to gather tons of wood for crafting.

2. Craft the highest tier possible for the most efficient EXP per material

It is pretty obvious that crafting higher tier products will give you more EXP. However, if you are not a big fan of gathering or spending gold on the basic resources, crafting ONLY highest tier products will give you the most EXP for the resources that you have. Gone are the days of spamming iron daggers in Skyrim. If you have the materials for it, always go for the higher tier item.

That being said, higher tiers require more specific resources that tend to be in short supply. For example, rugged leather requires tannins that you can really only farm from level 45 mobs and above. Otherwise you have to run around opening chests just to gather a few here and there. At least on my server in Everfall, tannins are almost always out of stock. Same thing goes for Oil at the moment due to the limited supply.

One way to get around this resource shortage is to simply ask to trade with someone in your Company that has a different Trade skill focus than you. Do keep in mind though that tannins and oil tend to be some of the most sought-after materials due to how they are needed in weaponcrafting.

3. Pick up town quests whenever you are grinding Trade skills

When you are grinding any of the gathering related Trade skills, picking up a few of the town quests will net you some EXP, standing, and gold. Most important of these is town standing since the bonuses that will provide will be much more useful. Other than benefits like reduced cost, faster gathering, more tokens for faction quests, and increased EXP gain, you will also need to be at level 15 standing in order to purchase a house.

Doing random town quests while you are out gathering does not take up that much extra time. Most of the ones that I have picked up are ones like “Hunt ____ Elk/Rabbit/Wolves” and I just complete them idly as I walk past. Specifically for wolves, they tend to walk around areas that you are gathering in and you usually have to fight them regardless. Town quests are a small bonus you get for doing what you usually do anyways.

4. Craft armour sets that give bonuses to Trade skills

The bonuses from a full set of any of these traits can be huge for Trade skill efficiency. An example of this is that even just having 3 items with the “increase woodworking” trait improved my “extra resource” chance up to around 20%. When you refine 100 wood, you now get 20 extra. If you are focused on crafting in any way, getting a full set of these traits is an absolute must.

To actually obtain the items that you use to craft armour with these perks, you can either go to the auction house or you can gather more from related resources. For example, I have found a ton of the woodworking perk item just from logging constantly. These items can be applied to any type of armour when you craft – it is not limited to just leather or just cloth.

5. Save up vegetables and create food that boost Trade skills

Vegetables are fairly hard to farm in New World. Most of the ones I have seen come from the provision boxes that you see around the world. Some vegetables do exist in the wild and can be gathered consistently, but things like Broccoli mostly come from boxes. Whenever you encounter one, make sure to save what you find. The reason behind this is that the food items you can make can boost any of the Trade skills.

If you are not a big fan of cooking, you don’t necessarily have to go out of your way for them. However, even crafting the first tier food items can be helpful in things like resource gathering. It can speed up the process for you and help reduce the grind that is needed to level up refining or crafting trade skills.

6. Approach “open X boxes” quests systematically

These quests can get annoying once you have opened 4-5 of the boxes and can’t find the rest. One way to combat this is to approach the area systematically. Look on your map once you arrive and make a mental note of all of the buldings in the area. Comb through each one step by step so that you don’t end up missing any by the time you get to the end.

I am personally not a big fan of these types of quests and I really do hope the devs change up how it is done. However, until they change it this is one of the methods to reduce your frustration when questing.

Another alternative is to actually use this map that some people have developed that marks down all of the chests in the area. Whenever I have used it, it has always been enough for me to complete my quest. However, some people may not like having to alt-tab back and forth and the systematic approach might be better suited for them.

7. Join a group and do PVP faction quests

This is one of the best ways to level when you are in the level 25-30 range. Most of the quests are best completed with a group since they commonly consist of killing a certain number of things or opening a number of boxes. Having a group also helps prevent you from being jumped by enemies since you will have forced active PVP status.

The extra EXP from killing mobs is also a great bonus to the quests when you are in a group since all you need is one hit to get the reward. Opening chests is also a good way to gather useful resources that are needed to craft higher tier products. There are other ways to gain EXP effectively, but this is the most well-rounded method I can find. Some people like to spam corrupted breaches, but that can be difficult for you depending on your gear situation and on the level of breaches that are available.

8. Bring a Lifestaff for easier travelling

Travelling around in New World can be a huge pain at the moment. You usually end up toggling running using “=” and then just watch Netflix for a few minutes until you get to your destination. With a Lifestaff, the charge ability allows you to teleport forward and gives you a much needed boost to travel time.

No other method exists as far as I know to increase your movement speed this fast. The hatchet does have a increase speed function embedded in the beserk ability, but it still isn’t as fast as the Lifestaff charge.

It can take a bit of time to fully level up the transport ability, but it is worth every second. You can just tap an enemy with the staff and immediately switch to your main weapon and it will still get experience.

9. Armour weight determines dodge distance

Wearing all heavy armour will turn your dodge into a tiny hop that barely travels any distance. Similarly, wearing all light armour gives you that long distance dodge that can get you away from your enemy more efficiently. You can monitor this by going into your inventory and highlighting the bar right next to your equipped armour and seeing which category you currently fit into. You can mix and match different types of armour and it is the final weight that matters the most.

Equipment sometimes have the perk that lowers the weight of the armour. This can be very valuable if you allocated very few points into constitution since it will give you a better escape mechanism. This is especially true for ranged weapons since being able to back away even for an instant is important to getting your shot off. Avoiding enemy interruptions of your attack is crucial and having lighter armour will allow you to dodge away to do so.

10. Pay attention to defence type

Many beginners fall into the trap of just choosing the gear that has the highest gear score. Unfortunately, this is how you end up dead when fighting against the wrong enemies. It is a good idea to mix and match armour types to make sure you have both physical and elemental defence.

This tip isn’t meant to tell you to avoid high gearscore items, but rather to pay attention to your overall blend of equipment. High score is better, but not if you end up one-dimensional with no elemental defence.

As long as you are mindful of this pitfall, don’t be too concerned about min-maxing anything. Most people end up with a mix of armour due to randomness of drops anyways, but do keep this in mind from time to time when you equip new items.

11. Re-speccing is free until Level 20

Use the early game to mess around with your stats and explore what type of character you want to build. It is completely free for your to try different things and different weapons.

It is also free to reset your weapon skills as well! There are two trees for every weapon and each have 3 unique skills you can try out. This allows you to customize your playstyle since you can use skills from both trees at once.

This is a great opportunity for you to try out crazy builds like going all Focus as an archer to spam triple shot or to adapt your build to your current situation. I’ve personally used this method to change all my points into constitution when I partied up with higher level friends just so that I can survive in the areas that they were grinding in. Take advantage of this and use it to improve your gameplay.

12. Use the player-made maps to track resources

There are a few different maps floating around that can be used to track almost all of the resources. The one I use is here and is great for finding resource nodes like oil and iron. This is also the same map mentioned in tip #6 since it has the function to find chests.

This can also be used to map out your gathering route to maximize your time efficiency. Instead of manually running around certain zones, this will allow you to directly go from node to node. I personally used this method when gathering Oil early on since it was very important at that point to avoid the mobs (specifically the alligator).

Bonus Tip: Alligator attacks can reach you even when running away – use Lifestaff charge or climbing on obstacles to avoid them

For whatever reason, alligator attacks can catch up to you even when you are sprinting away. Very few early game mobs can do that, and the alligator is the most common one I have seen. If you have the misfortune of pissing one off, either use your Lifestaff charge to get away or climb up onto obstacles. If you don’t have an unreachable obstacle nearby, climb over anything you can and force the alligator to take the long path around. If you try to sprint in a straight line, it will likely kill you if you don’t have enough physical armour.

The most problematic area I have seen this in is in the Marshes when gathering Oil. One wrong move and you end up slowly moving through water and the alligator eats you. Fortunately, there are these boulders here and there that you can climb up on. From that point, you can actually use your ranged weapons to kill the alligator and continue gathering your oil.

Conclusion

Thank you all for reading our continued New World Beginner Tips guide! As always, please comment below if you have any other tips that would be useful for other beginners or if you have any feedback.

Read first part of the beginner tips guide here and our beginner War guide here.

Follow us on Twitter here to stay up to date with all of our guides and reviews!

New World Beginner War Guide

New World is a MMORPG developed by Amazon that is currently holding a Preview session until September 4th. The topic of the guide today is the basics of fighting in a War. For those who have not yet gotten to that point in the game, a War is essentially a 50 versus 50 battle between two Companies over control of a province. Other players can sign up to join on either side, but the two main Companies have the power to kick and replace players. For new players just starting out, it can be extremely intimidating to join your first War especially when you are around level 25-30 and there are level 50 monsters running at you with hatchets. Go through each tip in this guide and it will improve your success in these fights!

1. Stick with a group

New World is a team game through and through. Going alone is just asking to get CC’ed to death. As a beginner, your gear will almost always be worse than someone on the opposing team. Going alone means even the slightest amount of CC will lock you down long enough for the enemy team to take you out. Staying with your own team members means that they will have your back in a fight and you will have a much greater chance of surviving the initial damage.

That being said, if you are are a mainly ranged or staff player, there is a little bit more leeway with how much you should stick with teammates. If you do decide to go on your own, just be constantly scanning your environment for enemies. Even a single hatchet can lock you down with the current meta and you don’t want to be stuck in that situation.

Sticking with your team also means that you should always have their back in a fight. When they get CC’d, you have to jump into it and stagger the enemy back to allow your ally to retreat. Make sure to also time your abilities to maximize the amount of CC time your squad can inflict. If you see your buddy shield bashing the enemy, wait a second before initiating your own CC. This enables you to lock down the enemy for a much longer amount of time compared to stacking everything together at once.

2. Get organized with your company

This tip only applies to those of you who are joining the battle with your company. Always get organized prior to the battle in terms of general strategies, weapons everyone is bringing, ensuring all participants have potions/food, setting up communication channels, etc. This can go a long way especially for new players who have not joined a War before. The leaders generally have more experience either through playing in the Alpha, or just participating in Wars as soon as the Preview started. You don’t necessarily have to talk in the Discord (or whatever service you use), but definitely listen to what they have to say.

Having everyone in your company organized and ready means that you are maximizing the number of good fighting combatants of the 50 that you can bring. If you don’t have all 50 Company members ready to join in the battle, there will inevitably be a few randoms that may or may not contribute as much to the War.

3. Communicate constantly with your team

During the battle there are 3 points that your team will either defend or attack prior to fighting for the fortress. Communication is absolutely key in letting your team know what the enemy movements are like. For example, on defense you should always let your team know if they are pushing a point in large numbers. If it is just you and 1-2 other players on point C and you see a zerg rush of 20 hatchets rushing the point, immediately call out in the voice chat that you see 20 strong pushing C and that you need reinforcements right away. Ideally you will be in the call with your company, but you can also spam the chat if need be.

Knowing where to reinforce is a huge advantage due to how stagger and damage works in New World. Greater numbers allow you to constantly lock down opponents and this advantage pays off even more when you can successfully send their members to respawn. Keep in mind though that you should be careful of AoE attacks when in large groups since even a few fire mages can deal a ton of damage to your whole team if left unchecked. More people also means more body blocking and potentially being trapped in the AoE damage.

4. Always have someone on siege equipment

The siege equipment in this game is crazy good at the moment. The guns can shred a player in just a few seconds and the cannons deal massive AoE damage. Always, always have someone using the equipment regardless of whether you’re on offence or defense. Typically this role is allocated to lower level players who can’t contribute as much due to their limited stats and equipment, but if nobody else is on it then YOU have to jump into it.

Efficient usage of siege equipment not only allows you to kill opponents, but forces the enemy to give up strategic positions. Instead of just bunkering down on the point, the threat of siege equipment (and other AoE for that matter) gives them a choice of either receiving tons of damage or backing off.

However, be mindful that muskets and bows can snipe you from a distance. A level 50 with a legendary bow and 90% stat allocation going to Dexterity will likely be able to take you out if you are caught unaware. If you are receiving tons of damage, feel free to back off since you are no good to the team dead anyways.

5. Snipe enemy siege equipment users (or destroy them using kegs)

Like mentioned above, siege equipment in New World is crazy good at the moment. You want to use yours to full effect and deny enemy usage of theirs. Best way to do this is to simply snipe whichever player is operating the equipment. They are going to be exposed in a position right beside the equipment when they are actively using it. As long as it is not pointed at you, you should be constantly firing at them if you are playing a ranged weapon.

Attacking these players takes priority over anything else other than players actually on the point. Another advantage to doing this is that they are also one of the only stationary targets on the battlefield. Pretty much every other user will be moving around unless they are in the middle of casting a spell. Aiming at the head of these players will do surprising amounts of damage, and abilities will also consistently land.

Kegs can be bought at the armory with points you obtain when you eliminate enemies. They are used to destroy enemy siege equipment and you should usually bring at least one with you just in case the opportunity comes up. The reason I don’t really recommend a beginner to do this is that the enemy is likely protecting their equipment and you will be fairly squishy. However, there is no one better to set a keg than a beginner if your team is coordinated. Communicate with your team that you are lighting the keg and hopefully the higher levels will protect you while you do your job. This is even more effective considering that body blocking is a thing in New World. Also, don’t forget to actually light the keg once it is set.

6. Crouch to avoid enemy ranged players

This tip applies mainly to when you need to heal or you see someone actively firing in your direction. Crouching in New World is a fairly powerful function since projectile weapons have to have a direct impact on your hitbox to deal damage. Crouching behind an obstacle minimizes your exposure and essentially keeps you safe while you replenish your health and mana.

Crouching even applies when all you have is grass to protect you. If you have ever used a musket or bow, you will realize that the FOV is reduced when they are aiming down their sights. It is difficult as a ranged user to see beyond even a small hill and you can use this to your advantage by making things even more difficult for your opponent. The small head/shoulder that your opponent sees will be even smaller once you crouch. To reach you, they will have to move up closer and be put at risk of getting ganked by your teammates that are using melee weapons.

7. Stock up on potions hours before the War

There seems to always be a scramble for potions in the 1-1.5 hours prior to a war in the settlement. Purchase Tier 2 and above potions for the War at least 3-4 hours in advance, or even the night before. This ensures that you will have a decent stock to use while fighting.

Ideally you should have at least 2-3 full stacks of 10 potions for the battle. Melee players will likely use this amount at the very least and ranged players are hit or miss depending on how aggressive they are. It also doesn’t hurt to have more potions on hand even after the War since you will always use them later on.

For those of you who aren’t interested in Wars but want to make profit, selling potions at towns prior to a War can net you some sweet income. Don’t try to sell it at a crazy price like 100 gold/potion and you should have no problems making some quick cash.

8. Eat some high quality food

Food lasts quite a while and typically you don’t need to eat too many throughout the War. If you die you do lose your bonus, but it is worth it for the bonuses you get. Most food items not only give you passive health per second, but also increases your Constitution as well. Buying food off of the Market or people in your Company is one of the cheapest ways to boost your survivability.

If you don’t have the money to afford high quality food, you can simply make your own by hunting a few turkeys/rabbits and elk/wolves. The materials provided by these animals should be enough for you to make Tier 2 food which is adequate for beginner War participants.

9. Coordinate Fire AoE spells on point when the enemy pushes

Many Fire Mages use their abilities to hit the most amount of people possible. This is the best way to kill enemies for pretty much every situation except for when enemies are pushing the point. When they are rushing the point, have every single nearby Fire Mage concentrate their abilities on that one single location. The stacked damage from this tactic either forces the enemies off the point, or weakens them enough for reinforcements to mop them up.

This coordinated attack method is also used to buy time for reinforcements from other points to get to you. Every second you are able to delay contributes to your team winning the War. It isn’t possible to single-handedly stop them from being on the point, but you do have the power to delay them as much as you can.

10. Use Inferno Mines on points and gates

When triggered, these mines cover an area in fire and deal damage to enemies standing around it. It is most effectively used as an area denial device and most teams place these at chokepoints or on the points themselves. If everyone on the team uses these, it can effectively slow down enemy pushes onto points and buy your team time to bring reinforcements. It will also soften up the enemy players for your team to fight due to the damage it deals.

Whenever you have to respawn or retreat for any reason, definitely pick up a few of these and plant them in common areas that enemies attack. Some players also like to sneak behind enemy lines and place these in the grass areas that enemies use to move between points. However, I don’t really recommend it since it seems that the reward is fairly low for the risk involved.

11. Bring a Lifestaff

Currently the Lifestaff has the best charge ability that can be used as both a transport and an escape mechanism. With just 5-6 skill leves, it can be used to easily take you out of the danger zone or to bring you to another point in record time. If you are Level 30, there is no reason to not bring the Lifestaff since you have 3 slots available. If you are under 30, I would still heavily recommend it since it will greatly improve your chances at surviving and being useful.

If you have spent a decent amount of time in this weapon, the spell that blocks ranged abilities is also invaluable in certain situations. Blocking ranged damage allows your team to stay longer in exposed positions and can also be used to protect your siege equipment operators. This ability is also a great choice for when the opponent is ranged-heavy since it effectively nullifies much of their damage potential. At the same time, the range isn’t great for this ability and is vulnerable to melee rushes since you are in the thick of the fighting.

12. Use Fire Resistance Potions

Fire mages and their AoE spells can deal a ton of damage to you as a beginner. Even just one spell can be enough to take out up to half of your health unless you brought elemental resistance armour. To combat this, prepare some fire resistance potions prior to battle and use them to reduce damage. It is a cheap and effective way to improve your battle sustainability. If you are not able to create any yourself or you don’t have the supplies to do so, ask your Company to lend or sell you some.

Conclusion

There are a lot of variables that go into determining who wins the War such as level, equipment, fighting ability, and team organization. When it comes to level, equipment and ability, as a beginner you pretty much have to work with what you have. Unless your Company is kind enough to drop you some level-appropriate loot, there really is nothing else you can do to develop your character in such a short amount of time.

With that in mind, focusing on teamwork and utilizing all of the tips in this guide will give you the best possible chance at helping your team win. There are mixed feelings about large-scale PvP currently, but many players I have spoken to have had a blast regardless of whether they win or lose. Keep in mind that things will likely change by the time the full release comes around. For the time being, please try to enjoy as many aspects of this format as you can!

Thank you all for reading this guide and please let me know if you have any additional suggestions or feedback! Follow me on Twitter here for updates on future guides.

For any players new to the game, check out our list of beginner tips and our second list of tips that will improve your experience of New World Preview 🙂

New World Preview Beginner Tips

New World is hosting a Preview session until September 4th that allows players to experience what the game looks like currently. Starting the game is relatively straightforward with the tutorial teaching you all of the basics of fighting, crafting, and gathering. However, there are several crucial tips that can make your life much, much easier.

See our continued beginner tips guide here.

1. Craft the Coarse Leather Satchel

The tutorial will provide you with a basic satchel that can improve your encumberance by a small amount. However, the first craftable leather satchel can increase your encumberance by 1000 – roughly translating to carrying 100 more item weight.

This will greatly improve how long you can harvest/gather raw materials for before having to go back to a settlement. With how long it takes to actually move around in this game, this will alleviate the headaches that you will end up facing. One other benefit is that using this satchel will ensure that you don’t run out of space from gathering random things on your way between settlements. You won’t have to throw out any materials just to make room for the iron deposit you just found.

2. Level “Harvesting” to 30

Regardless of which skill you want to dedicate time to in the future, levelling up Gathering to 30 allows you to collect from plants that provide Motes (and higher level versions of Motes). This plays a role in crafting gunpowder, lifestaff, firestaff, and many more. Keeping a healthy stockpile of motes is infinitely easier if you can just collect whichever ones you end up seeing when travelling between points. Gathering can be rapidly increased by gathering herbs and hemp.

3. Use wells in towns for Water

You don’t have to run all the way outside to the nearest stream for freshwater. All towns (as far as I know) have a well either inside it or just outside. This saves you a ton of valuable time if you are mass-crafting potions and need a reasonably close source. Using the town well will also remove the need for storage space dedicated to water.

4. Items placed into storage can still be used for crafting

Feel free to dump all of your gathered resources into the storage at your main settlement. Occasionally it will glitch and say that you don’t have a certain resource, but it is easily fixed by picking it up and putting it back again. It is a great quality of life measure that helps with improving item organization. Keep in mind that once you craft new items, the new items are now in your inventory. You will have to get into a habit of dumping everything as soon as you get back and making another trip to the storage before you leave again.

It is important to know that each settlement has its own unique storage. If you decide to move to a different city, you will have to bring all of your resources with you. One way to overcome this is to always set your “Inn” at the same city that you have all of your resources. Choose your city very carefully as well – usually one of the ones in the middle of the map are the most popular.

5. Craft Iron tools

Tier 2 tools are very easily accessible early game. These improved tools will speed up the gathering process much more than basic tools and there really is no reason not to craft them. Once you get to the first settlement, you can easily create a set of these tools just from resources you pick up on the way.

6. Push to level 30 before grinding Tradeskills

By the time you hit Level 30, you will have experienced enough of the game to know more about what you want to dedicate your time to. I initially really liked the magic in this game and spent half the day grinding out gathering and arcana only to realize that I enjoyed the sword/shield and smithing aspect much more. One other benefit is that Level 30 is when you unlock a second satchel spot. This increases your max weight to 400 (without other bonuses) and can help a ton with actually grinding.

At the same time, definitely explore as much as you can about the different available skills. Try out everything before you commit, but don’t feel the need to actually grind things out until later on in the game.

7. Join a Company

New World is definitely a group-based MMO that has amazing benefits for those who decide to party up. EXP is not currently split between team members, and having a group of people to play with helps you all progress extremely fast. Instead of killing mobs one-by-one, a group of you can take down multiple mobs at the same time. As long as you get at least one hit in, you will receive EXP. Many of the missions are also “Kill X amount of monsters” type quests, and landing a single hit on the mob will give you credit. Joining a Company is the easiest method for you to find a group of players to explore the game with.

8. Specialize Refining within the Company

Once you join a Company that you like, talk amongst yourselves and dedicate yourselves to specific refining roles. This tip is NOT meant to be restrictive – it just helps a ton with crafting and avoids frustrations. For context, the Auction House in game at the moment is not very well-populated with resources. To craft a Tier 3 Steel Sword, you need Tier 2 Leather, Tier 2 Wood and Tier 2 Ingots (Steel). If your company gets organized and splits up the trades, everyone will be able to craft whichever item they wish.

One added benefit is if you have a funneling agreement with a small group of Company members, you can each level up your respective refining skills much, much quicker.

9. Keep equipment that has bonuses to Trade Skills

In your journey you will find equipment that has certain bonuses like “increase chance of obtaining rare resource when logging by 2.5%”. Even if you do not think you need it now, having a full set of these bonuses in any Trade Skill will be very useful. Specifically for mining, it enables you to gather Gems that you can later refine and place into sockets. Without it, it is much more difficult to find these resources.

Another reason to keep them is that it is difficult to craft the ones you specifically want. Crafting an item with a specific perk requires you to add on an ingredient that has that trait. These items are obtained by gathering the related resources. It can take a long time to grind for the specific one you are looking for and it is much easier just to hang onto them as soon as you see them.

10. Scrap everything you don’t need

For beginners, the drops you get in the early game aren’t worth very much. You very likely won’t be able to sell them to other players and there currently is no way to sell them to an NPC. If you don’t need it (and it doesn’t have a Trade Skill boost as mentioned in Tip #9) then you should scrap it for materials. You will always need the extra resources it provides and will actually be of use to you rather than being thrown out.

11. Resources spawn in the same location

Once you find a useful resource, make a mental note of it or make a note of it on a PDF of the map. Alternatively, you can refer to this map here since it appears to have most of the resources annotated already. Crafting in New World requires using the previous tier as materials. For example, crafting a Steel ingot requires Iron ingots. This means that all of the basic resources like Iron and Oil will be in demand no matter where you are in the game. Making a note of where to find resources will be important to reducing wasted time.

12. Always have Food and Potions

It is incredibly easy to have food up 24/7 since you have the ability to set a camp virtually anywhere and there are turkeys all over the place. The basic boost to constitution and the constant heal from food is valuable to reducing downtime.

Having a supply of potions is likewise very simple once you collect a few herbs and some water. Potions can be used to quickly regain some health, but it does take some time to actually use. Unfortunately, if you are playing alone then it may be difficult to find a time in the middle of combat to chug a potion. However, if you are playing with a group then this minimizes your down time and enables your entire group to continue grinding.

13. Take it slow and enjoy the game

Try to take a step back and just enjoy the game for what it currently is. I personally really like the Trade Skills aspect of New World – I definitely spent more time crafting and gathering than I did actually doing quests. Every player will enjoy a slightly different aspect of the game, but do explore as much as you can before committing to a certain playstyle.

Conclusion

I hope that this guide has helped some of the new players transition into the game a little better. The game is currently not perfect by any means, but still has a ton to offer to the average player. If you have any feedback, definitely let me know in the comments below!

For more beginner tips, see our continued guide here. Any players interested in joining Wars are encouraged to see our Beginner War Guide here.

Please follow me on Twitter here for updates on guides and other beginner tips/tricks 🙂

Conqueror’s Blade Review 2020

Conqueror’s Blade is a team-based MMORPG where you play as a Hero leading your own squad of troops in field battles and sieges against other players. You can freely switch between any of the 11 weapon classes and level up unique skills that are adapted to your own personal playstyle. A key component to this game is commanding a vast variety of units to charge into battle alongside your Hero. This combination of weapon and unit choice allows the player to have true freedom for how they want to pursue the game. Please refer to this link here for the direct Conqueror’s Blade website and this link here for the Steam page.

Currently, Conqueror’s Blade has entered into its 4th Season and has already made many sweeping changes to how the game is played. Many classes have had their abilities changed over time, some have received hefty nerfs, and the introduction of the new Maul class has also affected how other classes are perceived. Each season has also introduced new units specific to the cultural theme of the season. They are unlocked by completing specific quests and require a bit of a grind to obtain – not all players are a big fan of this method.

Key Features

Integrated Strategy and Action Gameplay

Conqueror’s Blade combines strategic unit controlling mechanisms with action combat using your hero. A large part of the game is obtaining new units and levelling up skills for your weapons so that you can better defeat your opponents later on. New players will start off with weak “peasant” units and slowly move their way up to elite armoured infantry or cavalry. However, the game also evens the playing field by attaching a “Leadership” cost to each unit and capping every player at around 700 Leadership (unless they have bonuses from crafted armour). This forces a player to think strategically about their unit selection and help reduce the noob pubstomping that would have occurred. Every unit also can be levelled up through playing with them. As they level, you can allocate points into perks that can boost their current abilities or cover their weaknesses.

Incredible variety in playstyles

There are 11 weapons in the game that each have unique abilities that dictate the playstyle of the weapon. There are vast differences between how each class can be played and these differences are further accentuated by which units you bring into battle with you. Some players like to combine a ranged weapon with a shieldwall unit to engage in frontline harassing gameplay, others like to bring in a unit-killing machine alongside sword and shield units to charge into the enemy flank. The game permits very creative uses of heros and units – it is entirely up to you how you want to play the game. Conqueror’s Blade adds a whole new level of depth to the gameplay once you begin to learn how to work with your teammates and combine advantages from your heroes/units with theirs. Some hero abilities can knock-down shield walls, while others can lock opponent heroes into hard CC – using an effective combination of hero abilities and unit movements significantly improve your chances at success. This turns the game into more than just a Dynasty Warriors clone and players that enjoy using their brain while gaming will definitely want to try this out.

Player Controlled World Map

Groups of players in this game can form guilds called “Houses” that fight one another in weekly Territory Wars to gain control of fiefs on the map. This control grants them the ability to change tax rates, determine who can actually harvest resources on their territory, and generate additional funds for their own members. Up to 3 Houses can come together to form Alliances that help each other in Territory Wars in both attacking and defending their fiefs. Alliances can also engage in diplomacy with other Houses or Alliances to advance their own agendas – promises can be made, but they can also be broken. It is a very realistic display of how politics can be used to build and destroy your fiefs.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Fantastic strategic depth
  • Large variety of playstyles and weapons to choose from
  • Unique unit-controlling mechanics
  • Houses tend to be kind to new players and offer support in starting the game
  • Territory Wars are a great guild-based PVP feature that has tangible results
  • Overall satisfying gameplay

Cons

  • Long grind to fully level up units and unlock the final tier
  • Servers have numerous lag-related problems
  • Balance of certain classes and units is a constant issue
  • Territory Wars don’t always work and can have bad lagging issues
  • Bad player experiences with the support team

Overall Gameplay

Gameplay-wise, this review will give it a solid 9/10. I grew up playing Mount and Blade, and this is the best multiplayer version of that game I have ever played. Unit control plus strategy plus unique weapon classes with individual skills is an ideal mixture for me. Every part of the combat seemed to fit together very well to provide a satisfying gameplay.

Server Issues

However, issues like bad servers definitely ruin some enjoyment. Having played on the Frontier version of the game, it made me realize how many of my issues with the game are purely due to lag and lack of responsiveness from the server. The game itself is fantastic, but the surrounding issues diminish it. Although it only occurs in around 10-20% of my matches, it is noticeable enough to cause a good amount of frustration.

Classes

Despite what other players might say about specific classes, I personally feel like a casual player can definitely enjoy any of the classes as long as they try them all out beforehand. Different classes are good at different things – if you force a certain playstyle then certain classes will still do very poorly in your hands. Find one that works with how you want to play and you will still have a great time.

At the same time, there is one specific class that I think needs to be changed given how much it is able to do. Maul is the newest class that has been added and it just seems to be able to do so much compared to all of the other classes. It can kill units, kill heroes, knock down shieldwalls, has a charging ability, and can also use heavy armour. Some players might argue that the main drawback is it requires great stamina management, but even with bad awareness of stamina it is still able to do a ton of damage. It will be interesting to see what changes will be made, but I definitely do think something should be done about this class.

Units

There is a great variety of units that can be viably selected. Some units are more meta than others, but there are multiple types of units that you can use to fit into your own personal playstyle. If you have no particular preference, check out our unit guide for starters to have an accelerated path towards end-game units.

The only unit that I truly find a problem with at the moment is the Falconetti Gunners. If you decide to play this game longer, you can easily recognize these guys as the ones that drop a rain of cannons on you and your units. Some players argue that these are easily countered by melee since they can’t attack units within a certain radius, but they still do absolutely ridiculous amounts of damage and CC at a rapid rate. Very little has been done so far to take away that crazy power, and so keep in mind that these types of units do exist in this game.

Territory War and Houses

Although I am not too personally invested in Territory Wars, it is a part of the gameplay that can be an amazing experience. Of all of the houses I have been in, all of them have been supportive of new players. Veterans would take the time to show them the ropes and teach them the basics of how to use their units most effectively. When you get into the War you genuinely feel like you are fighting a battle against other players and things can get very competitive. There will be a gap between a newcomer and veteran player in terms of ability and in unit quality, but working together as a team with your House is a fantastic PVP experience.

The Grind

One of the biggest issues I have with the game is the amount of grind necessary to level up units and obtain previous seasonal units. A friend of mine who started this past summer has dedicated around 250 hours to the game and has only levelled up 2 of his units – neither of which are Purple units. It will take a casual player a few months to actually be fully fleshed out in units and equipment. This in itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing – there still has to be a progression that motivates players to keep on playing.

However, the method for obtaining previous seasonal units is absolute garbage. Instead of doing 6/8 quests or 8/10 quests, new players now have to complete 8/8 and 10/10 quests. Keep in mind that some of the quests are things like “Defeat 5 heroes in a single battle 9 times” and “Have 240 unit kills in X battles in your group”. If you don’t hit that number, you just have to keep on playing game after game. For me personally, it took a lot of the fun out of the game when I tried grinding for them. Another problem area is that some quests require Deathmatches or Free Battles. If you happen to have work at that time, you are out of luck. There are no substitutions and you will end up having to pay real money to finish the challenges.

Place in the MMORPG Landscape

Conqueror’s Blade is a one of a kind type of game at the moment. No other MMORPG has the same gameplay mechanics, although games like Kingdom Under Fire 2 does come close. It has a unique blend of strategic use of units and straight action in using your hero to demolish opponents. If you have ever wanted to play as a captain leading your squad into battle – this game does exactly that. Teamwork is also an essential component to actually winning battles – working together and using cohesive strategies is an immensely powerful tool to succeeding.

Outside of battles, the player can also engage in open-world resource gathering, trading on the marketplace, completing fief quests, crafting weapons and armour, creating unit kits to replace fallen soldiers, and even engaging in duels with other players. These other areas of gameplay do take some time to get used to, but add a great amount of depth to the game. While other MMORPGs tend to have their own version of these features, Conqueror’s Blade is unique in that much of these features are tied to the player-controlled fief system.

Other than the starting main city and two connected villages, virtually every other fief can be taken over by player guilds through Territory Wars. When a group of players come together as a guild (otherwise known as a “House”), they have the ability to fight with other Houses during set times in the week to take over fiefs. The owners of the fiefs can then set “Tax Rates” on the resources the fief controls – thereby providing another source of funding to their own players. There are numerous other features like the ability to craft advanced unit kits and guaranteeing a weekly payout to House members that make fiefs a very coveted late game goal. No other MMORPG currently has this style of player-controlled territory management that is this integrated within the gameplay.

With these features in mind, Conqueror’s Blade definitely still has a place in the current MMORPG community. However, there are definitely issues that have to be considered when a player is thinking about committing to playing this game for any reasonable length of time.

Is this game worth playing?

Any player interested in strategy-action games should definitely try Conqueror’s Blade out. It is a free to play game and the current season rewards help speed up progression in the early stages as well. My recommendation would be for you to play till at least level 60-70 to truly have a good idea of what the game is really about. Joining a House will also provide a better idea of whether or not this game is for you. Refer to our beginner tips here and our unit guide here to reduce any regrets early on.

My review is geared around the gameplay and whether or not it is actually worth playing, but there are more considerations than that when it comes to determing the amount of time worht investing. Definitely take a read through Reddit here for a good idea of why quite a few players are upset at the lack of support, questionable servers, and seemingly unbalanced classes. Keep in mind that Reddit is not a great representation of the entire gameplay community, but it can still be a good way to see why you SHOULDN’T play the game.

One thing I will say though, is you should definitely not spend any money on the game until you are at Level 70 at the very least. The game provides with enough bonuses early on and the money you spend really will not make a huge difference. The reason why I say Level 70 is that at Level 60 you will begin to be placed against higher level opponents who could make the game much more difficult for you – for some players the difference is enough to put them off of spending more time on the game. Another reason is that at this point, you likely will have joined a House and experienced a few Territory Wars. If this is not your thing, then the end-game won’t really be for you. Worst thing you can do is end up spending money on a game that you later on find out is not really what you want it to be.

Kijin Verdict

Come for the gameplay, leave because of all the other issues you end up having to put up with. This game will draw you in with its unique, amazing gameplay that engages you for weeks and weeks. Unfortunately, you will realize after a certain point in your progression that things have slowed down quite substantially. You will begin to see the server issues, unit/class issues, and how much of a grind the game will truly end up being. New players at this point will either be burnt out or will slow down their pace and allow themselves the enjoy the game for what it is.

My advice for new players is to treat this game like a marathon, not a sprint. Definitely enjoy the early game progress and fully immerse yourself as much as you can, but once you hit the wall like all other players have, take a break and come back.

Beginner Guides

For any newcomers that are interested in starting the game, here is our list of beginner guides to help with the early game:

Conqueror’s Blade Top 12 Beginner Tips

Conqueror’s Blade Best Starter Units 2020

Conqueror’s Blade Top 10 Strategy Tips for Beginners

Conqueror’s Blade Beginner Bronze Guide

Conqueror’s Blade Beginner Nodachi Guide

Conqueror’s Blade Beginner Bronze Tips

Conqueror’s Blade is a PVP-focused MMORPG where you control a Hero with a small army and work together with your team to defeat the opposing enemy. More information can be found on their website here and through our review here.

New players starting out in Conqueror’s Blade usually experience difficulty with maintaining a healthy supply of bronze that will allow them to play the units they want. Often times the beginners are forced to not play their purple tier units since they can’t afford the unit kit cost.

I am personally not a big fan of min-maxing this aspect of the game since it takes away a lot of the fun. This guide will go over the basic tips that I used to maximize bronze gains while avoiding unnecessary grind.

1. Do daily and weekly quests

Easiest way to gain a good amount of bronze is to just finish the quests you get every day from NPCs. The three battle, five battle, and victory missions are the easiest since you can finish these without really thinking about it. Many players skip out on the other ones like the gathering one and the eliminate rebel one since it can be a bit of a hassle to go out of fief just for that. However, it is a decent amount of bronze for a very quick mission.

For a beginner, the easiest way to clear the rebel unit on the map is to bring a unit of archers and circle rebels on your horse. This can easily clear the easy rebels without any unit loss early on. Once you get decent cavalry, they can usually steamroll these units as well – unfortunately early cav can still take unit damage and is not advised.

2. Join a house

Most houses have a weekly stipend amount for covering the bronze cost for unit kits. It can range anywhere between 10k up to as high as 70k (as far as I have seen). For a beginner, this means joining a good beginner friendly house will massively alleviate stress from getting too low on bronze. It is never a good idea to just join the one that has the highest stipend of course, but it is one of many reasons to join a house earlier on in the game.

When you are in a house, there are also weekly challenges you can complete with your housemates that will give you bonus bronze. This adds several thousand just for playing the game since the missions are usually very straightforward and do not require much extra grind.

3. Heal units on supply points

Rule #1 for healing units is don’t sacrifice a strategic point just to preserve your unit kit cost. Locking down a point and sacrificing units is part of the game, it is perfectly fine to not heal your units.

With that said, take advantage of every opportunity you can to retreat your units back to a safe supply point and re-heal them. I do this most commonly with sword and shield units after a charge or two since this allows them to repeat their charges with minimal unit loss. The same applies for shield units after sustaining quite a bit of damage while on the frontlines. Be careful not to move your units back if you see your teammates doing the same thing.

Healing your units reduces unit loss and less unit loss means less bronze required to repair kits.

4. Cycle out your unit once you lose 3/4 of them

This is a very general rule of thumb that helps minimize unit loss while still retaining fighting efficiency. Once you only have around 1/4 of your unit left, your fighting power is greatly decreased anyways so it is best to move onto your next unit. Preventing a unit wipe reduces chances of taking kit damage and should be a priority when being conscious of bronze cost. Get into a good habit of knowing when to cycle out your units and it will dramatically reduce how much bronze you have to spend on your units.

5. Log in every day even when not playing

Even if you are not playing, do a quick login and collect the signin rewards for a few thousand bronze (obviously does not apply if you are busy with real life). Starting from today, there is a new 21-day login event that applies on top of the usual login awards – definitely persist with it if you can for the sweet rewards near the end. Doing this consistently will help build up your bronze stores to the point where you don’t really have to mind unit cost.

6. Craft your own unit kits (only if desperate)

Many of the materials required for crafting green and blue unit kits are very easily accessible via the market. If you are really hurting for bronze and don’t have anything urgent you need to spend silver on, consider making your own unit kits. Keep in mind that silver can be very useful once you get a lot of it, so consider doing this only when you really have to.

7. Play Siege primarily

At the moment sieges provide the most bronze per match of up to 4-5k/match if you get S rank. Expeditions, rebel camps, and field battles all provide lower amounts and field battles have essentially the same risk of unit damage. You should theoretically be able to do expeditions and rebel camps with no unit loss as long as you bring Spear Sergeants, but the amount you end up receiving makes it too much of a grind.

8. Bring only grey, green and blue units a few times

Purple units are harder to break even in bronze cost for and can be difficult to sustain upkeep. At the same time, you still need decent units to perform well for higher ranks (higher rank = higher bronze reward). Bringing only grey and green units can ensure you build up your bronze stores, but it really takes away a lot of the fun from the game since your units will likely be much weaker than your opponents.

Refer to our best starter unit guide here for more information about the best units to use early on. These units are the strongest for the leadership cost and will serve you best in grinding out more bronze.

9. Better rank = better bronze

This is almost a given – nobody plays the game to do bad. But keep in mind that higher ranks pay out a lot better than lower ranks. This means that you have to adapt your playstyle to not just aim for unit kills, but to also bring shields to get “damage taken” and to capture points. Another way to get on the scoreboard is to eliminate enemy artillery and back capture supply points.

10. Use Season 4 Units more

This might not be the most fun way to do things since it will end up limiting some of your unit choices, but Season 4 units currently require only 50% cost to replenish unit kits. Once you get used to their playstyles the units can be very effective – but occasionally will be underwhelming. Feel free to just use one of them in your warband just so that you have a little less cost to worry about.

Refer to our best starter units guide here and there is a section on the discussion of Season 4 units.

Conclusion

Earning bronze as a new player can be a daunting task, but it definitely does get better. Past around level 100-150 or so, you start to accrue a relatively large stack of bronze that allows you to play your heart out. You might not have enough at that point to bring T5 units to every single battle, but you can definitely be rich enough for a warband composed mainly of purple and blue units.

I hope this guide was of some help to those of you who have struggled recently! I’m sure there are much more specific guides out there on how to min-max bronze gain, but these tips are ones that I followed personally to still be able to enjoy the game.

If you are a beginner interested in learning about the other aspects of the game, please visit the following guides:

Conqueror’s Blade Top 12 Beginner Tips

Conqueror’s Blade Best Starter Units 2020

Conqueror’s Blade Top 10 Strategy Tips for Beginners

Conqueror’s Blade Beginner Nodachi Guide