ysobel: (Default)
[personal profile] ysobel
... I can stop anytime I want ... I just don't want to ...

Or, more merge dragons tips. These are as much for myself as other people, but totally for other people too.


Combining 3 is of course the default, but aside from duples (which don't combine), merging 3n-1 items has the exact same result as merging 3n items. (That is: merging 3 gives 1. Merging 4 gives 1 plus remainder. Merging 5 gives 2. Merging 6 gives 2. Merging 7 gives 2 plus remainder. Etc. So unless the objective is clearing space, 3n-1 is more efficient.

Combo chains are good. The best you can get, as far as I can tell, is a 4-chain. Setup something like this (clearest on left, compact on right):

_ _ 3 _ _ |
_ _ 3 _ _ | 4 3 3
4 4 _ 2 2 | 4 1 2
_ _ 1 _ _ | _ 1 2
_ _ 1 _ _ |

The key is that merges happen where you place* the last piece. So in these layouts -- or variations thereof, of course -- you set up the chain around a center square, and then drag a 1 to the center. It will merge to a 2, which will give you enough to merge to a 3, ditto to 4. Chaining gives bonuses! Bonuses are good!

*hilarious autocorrect footnote -- I don't know how I mistyped "place" but it autocorrected to iMacs ... only I read it as iMace and stared at it for quite a while wondering why Apple was selling branded pepper soray...

End-level rewards

A clarification on what I said re only getting free rewards: there are a few items that have proven worth buying (I realizes because I started playing on my phone too, and went "oh wait I like that thing" a few times.) Obviously people can buy whatever they want, especially if they want to purchase more gems, but my personal rule is to not buy things I can acquire in camp through other ways -- which tbh is a majority of the rewards. Dragon eggs can be bought with coin, and dragons merged upwards; camp has floating seeds which can merge into life flowers; rocks and rock producers can be harvested; etc. But there are a few items that are worth it. Specifically, the fountains generate (for whatever reason) seeds, which start the fruit tree chain, and fruit trees products fruit* which give coin. So I haven't regretted that.

*"of course", you say, "because what else would fruit trees produce". But the fruit trees are not logical. Grape trees combine into strawberry trees combine into banana trees, etc. I am ... vastly amused by this.


Two things I have discovered recently:

* not only can levels be replayed, but it is in fact productive to do so. After 3 wins, you get a chest; 5 wins beyond that, a different chest; and I've never done more than three yet but I imagine there are more rewards. Now, I do keep waffling about the benefits of progress vs replaying, so I sort of alternate between the two, but.

* there are secret levels.

I'm not convinced I've found all the ones that I've unlocked. In particular, there is one area where the sequence of levels goes Name, Name 2, Name 3, Another Name, Name 6, Yet A Different Name. The secret level is Name 5. (Not labeled on map, but labeled when you get to it.) I don't know if Another Name is supposed to take the place of Name 4, or if there's an adjacent secret level I'm missing.


Related to replaying levels:

There are some levels that I have found especially good for gathering resources.

I only belatedly realized the potential of this -- they were "I don't want to leave this level because omg resources" levels, but I forgot (or wasn't aware yet) of replaying, so didn't think about going back on purpose to farm.

An incomplete list of what I have found so far:

Archipelagrove -- ok for fruit trees therefore coins
Dread marsh 2 -- grasses and therefore stone farming
Summit 4 -- Midas trees therefore coins

Summit 4 also has rain clouds therefore grasses therefore stones, but there's not really enough room to farm both, and Midas trees are more fun. Also the marsh one is better for grasses.

The idea for the farming levels is not just that they produce the resource -- anything with a stone generator can build up stone, albeit slowly in some cases; anything with a grape-or-better fruit tree can build up coins, albeit slowly -- but that they also have a continuing source. The grove has floating thingiewhatsita that become seeds that become trees; the marsh, iirc, has floating rain clouds that produce puddles that produce grasses that produce stone sources; and Midas trees are kind of self-generating because they drop/harvest apples that can merge into either coins or treasure chests, and the treasure chests there include golden seeds that become Midas trees.

This is important because a) you want at least as many resource generators as you have dragons, for best efficiency, and b) better items harvest to better things. This is true for the resources themselves (I try to e.g. merge stones into stone piles into stone heaps otherstone into otherstone piles before harvesting, because I don't remember the specifics but each level gets you more stones in your inventory than three of the lower level would) but also for the resource generators (moss-covered stones merge into living stone aka white triangle, which merges into ... dark sphere, which merges into white sphere, which merges into dark jaggedy thing? Not the official names, obviously), and higher level generators harvest more efficiently. The moss covered stone drops single stone bricks, aka level 1; the white sphere drops heaps, aka level 3; so you have to harvest the lower level stuff nine times as much to get the same amount).

Note: it is possible to return to camp mid-level without quitting or finishing first. This is useful if, say, you fill up your stone storage but still have stones to collect, and so you can go to camp and build dragon homes and then come back and farm more stones without having to build up the "ecosystem" again. But fair warning: you spend chalices -- lives, sort of, or tokens -- to enter or re-enter levels, and the number increases each time you re-enter. I haven't paid enough attention to whether the increase is linear or not, but for the sake of argument supposing it is: Starting a level costs one chalice; go to camp, and coming back costs 2. Go to camp again, coming back costs 3. Etc. (it may be more like 1-2-4-7 than linear, too.) And you only have 7 chalices at most, and they don't regenerate quickly. I've found myself in positions where I've gone to camp, spent the stones or coins or whatever, and then been unable to re-enter immediately because it cost 7 chalices and I only had 3.

You'll never get "trapped" or he unable to finish a level -- the worst that happens is you have to go away for a while. But ... don't go running back to camp *too* often ;) And at some point it will probably become more efficient to finish and re-start, because then the chalice cost will go down to 1 again


Like I said: totally not obsessed.

Date: 2017-08-06 01:07 am (UTC)
domtheknight: espresso machine brewing into little white mugs (Default)
From: [personal profile] domtheknight
I was almost late to work playing this game this week.

I think what I like most about it is that things get a lot harder, obviously, and you have to do more work, it takes longer to get resources if you need the big ones, some of the dead space in the camp is taking me *forever* to clear, etc. But you don't die - at least not that I've gotten to yet. You can't lose your dragons through slow or bad or whatever play. Some games end up stressing me out a lot and this one hasn't (instead I just run my phone battery way down).

I had realized I could play levels multiple times but I haven't done it yet. I might start. Here's a question for you though - I have built up a pretty big backlog of locked purple chests because I don't have very many gems to pay for them. Can I earn gems other than through getting those purple stars? Because that's taking forever. I also was thinking I could merge my chests into bigger chests (they take up a fair amount of land space right now) but that doesn't seem to work.

Date: 2017-08-06 10:32 pm (UTC)
ephemera: celtic knotwork style sitting fox (Default)
From: [personal profile] ephemera
I was also almost late to work playing this this week, so you're in good company ;)

I have been selling-for-coin a chunk of my purple chest, because I am impatient and wanted dragon eggs *now*, but was somewhat frustrated that they don't combine!

(The apps an absolutely battery killer on my phone - if I'm charging from my laptop, it will take my phone down regardless, but it does work without mobile signal, so it's niche is now "on the tube t work with a battery plugged in", so I have to stop playing to get off the train, and won't loose all my time to it! So addictive!)

Date: 2017-08-12 01:52 am (UTC)
domtheknight: espresso machine brewing into little white mugs (Default)
From: [personal profile] domtheknight
Ah selling them, that's a good idea which somehow I hadn't thought of! I sold a bunch of mine off and picked up some eggs. I'm not ready to give this game any money (although at some point I might be, I have this thing about paying for stuff that gives me value).

My phone tends to get hot if I play and charge at the same time... it's kind of an older phone. I have been playing just one or two levels while I run the battery down and then stopping so i can plug back in. It's at least a way to make myself take a break.

Date: 2017-08-12 06:30 pm (UTC)
domtheknight: espresso machine brewing into little white mugs (Default)
From: [personal profile] domtheknight
That's pretty much my philosophy too, if I'm enjoying the game I'll put some money in, but still not tons - I have to save it to spend on yarn or books etc. I don't mind paying for things I like but I don't want it to be a money suck.

I am totally willing to watch ad videos for free stuff in games, that's a thing I've recently discovered about myself. Especially if there's like, watch 5 videos a day, I'll just cycle through them while I'm doing something else so I'm not paying too much attention.

Date: 2017-08-12 01:54 am (UTC)
domtheknight: espresso machine brewing into little white mugs (Default)
From: [personal profile] domtheknight
Hold up the virtual cactus pot game plants die????? I got bored of that game after awhile and stopped playing it before mine died. Now I'm glad I did!

I do tend to merge the dragon gems if I get 3 of them out of a star, but I'm terrible at holding those to wait for later when I can just harvest them immediately. This is also my problem with keeping coins long enough to merge them into much bigger coins, and stone piles too. Instant gratification is a weakness.

Date: 2017-08-12 06:36 pm (UTC)
domtheknight: espresso machine brewing into little white mugs (Default)
From: [personal profile] domtheknight
I play a couple games that punish for inactivity, but it's a strategic setup for me because they're linked to real life things. Like, Plant Nanny, because I realized I could go the entire day without drinking much, and eventually I'd start to feel terrible. So since the plants in it are cute and die if you don't drink, then I am slightly more motivated to drink, or at least to think about whether I have had anything to drink yet.

The other example I thought of was Habitica, mostly I have to-do lists and habits but I have a couple daily tasks that I really do need to do every day. Missing them every now and then doesn't kill you in the game, and you can recover any lost health by continuing to play and leveling up or buying a health potion. And if you know you'll have a time period where things will be off you can rest in the tavern and not get hit by the penalties. So it's another example of something where there are sort of minor consequences but not enough to really make it terrible, and the benefits of reminding myself to do these things is worth it.

But in general yeah I don't like games where you have to keep a certain check in schedule. I do other things that don't have me glued to my phone!


ysobel: (Default)
masquerading as a man with a reason

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