Arkandian Explorer Hints / Guide

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http://www.kongregate.com/games/undefined/arkandian-explorer

OK guys, being through the game for a couple of weeks so I want to share my personal experience. Give me questions and topics to cover so I’d be able to fill this guide.

Arkandian Explorer is a dungeon crawl game. It’s the third reincarnation in series after Crusade and Revenant. Be warned that game may run slowly and contains some bugs. As for gameplay, in my view some aspects are overcomplicated and, sadly, plot is close to non-existent. Except for this, Explorer is a good example of semi-casual rogue RPG.

If you experience save game issues, try right-clicking on game screen, go to options and allow unlimited data storage. When going for badges or high scores, you can easily monitor your progress through View Highscores → Friends panel.

A description from game developer is here.

Part 1: Early game (needs some polishing but 99% complete)
Part 2: Mid- and late game (not finished yet)
Part 3: Dungeons & tactical battles reference (needs polishing but mostly complete)
Part 4: Crafting recipes
Part 5: Some extras (not started yet)

I’d like to credit vesperbot and VolcanoTX for contributing to this guide. :)

 
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Picking Character

Game offers a selection from ten characters. Some of characters are locked. In order to unlock them you either have to get certain in-game achievements in previous two chapters (Crusade and Revenant) of the series or complete Explorer.

(!) It seems that completing a game unlocks other classes regardless of completing Crusade / Revenant?

Arkandian

Human, at least looks like one. Basic choice. No pros & cons.

Necretian

Undead. Higher buff cap (buffs come from wearing gear), lower learning (may slow your progress if you go for 1000 in all skills), -10 starting health and magic (got bonus hp/mp for Crusade/Revenant so didn’t notice).

Personally I doubt that Necretian is that useful. To enjoy his high buff cap you have to equip him with artifacts that give big bonus in one certain area. However artifact pool in game is poor, and you (almost) can’t craft artifacts on your own.

Ascended

Starts with unique chest armor that can’t be removed. I’d pick Ascended if play as mage.

Demonic

Starts with unique chest armor that can’t be removed. OK choice for any char.

Werewolf

Starts with unique hat that can’t be removed. The hat is ok.

Zombie

If locked either complete the game or get “Skeletal might” in-game badge in Revenant.
Starts with +100 health and not able to cast spells except from scrolls. May slow your Mana Lore skill gain.
Check this for a Zombie gameplay experience.

Orc

If locked either complete the game or get “Human superiority” in-game badge in Revenant. +10% melee damage, -20% magic damage.

(!) Don’t know if -20% magic damage lowers damage from spells.

Lizardman

If locked either complete the game or get “You and which army?” in-game badge in Revenant.
Starts with unique hat that can’t be removed. There’re better hats.

Mindflayer

If locked either complete the game or get “Demonic fury” in-game badge in Revenant.
Starts with unique hood that can’t be removed. Hood is ok, but there’re better hats.

Vampire

If locked either complete the game or get “Heaven’s wrath” in-game badge in Revenant. 10% innate Mana Drain, 10% Learning bonus, sells items for 15% cheaper.

(!) Haven’t tested but it looks like best class. It may slow very early game when you’re saving for Magical Backpack. And no stupid hats.

(!) Vampire does NOT suffer from that -10% to sell, it’s displayed but not applied, so vampire is definitely one of the best chars out there.

Starting Tips

Your char starts with 100 coins and some crappy gear. There’re also two soldiers in your squad who are equipped a bit better than char. So if you’re not into tactical battles, consider stripping them to underwear (notice their bra!). Keep a hat, maybe change your starting sword with a bow (just a personal preference, you’d get much better gear soon enough). Sell other gear starting with cheapest pieces. You need at least 125 coins to afford a shield and 30 coins for Empty Iron Mine. Or 25 coins for a Bandit Cave. If you’re lucky and get some bartering skill you might even keep a pair of boots.

First Dungeons

Those are Bandit Cave and Empty Iron Mine. Bandit Cave has no grey reward chest. Iron Mine has one with 5 Iron Bars (crafting reagents). Your aim here is to collect some coins and loot for sale. Doubtfully you’d get any gear worth keeping, but still look for rings / amulets with decent ToHit, Armour Piercing, defensive, maybe Loot or Learning buffs. If you get a grip on a better weapon, take it.
After dealing with Empty Iron Mine and Bandit Cave you’ll have enough coin to buy Chainmail, Custom Shoes and maybe other protective gear. Try to get protection to ~20.

(!) Be warned that if reward chest is claimed and you leave dungeon, dungeon entrance disappears from map REGARDLESS of whether any mobs and chests left.

Getting really started

At this point to be able to comfortably proceed to next areas it is better to develop char a bit. By this I mean getting any offensive skill to ~250 – 300, building defensive skills and getting some points in Anatomy and Tactics. Note that if your char uses magic weapon, he won’t be able to get points in Anatomy, he’d get some Mana Lore instead.

(!) I’m not 100% sure, but it seems that Anatomy benefits even magic attacks (don’t know about spells), so consider switching between sword/bow and magic book once in a while.

Where to go next

Some new dungeons appeared on the map. Three of them are related to crafting (there you get crafting recipes). They are named Insane Blacksmith’s Dungeon, Lunatic Tailor’s Dungeon, Crazy Alchemist’s Dungeon. They are special in a way that you get 3 skill-related recipes each time you claim a reward chest inside. Each time you do this, entrance fee, mob difficulty and loot grade goes up. Until you get all recipes from that dungeon and it disappears.

Any of these three dungeons start with 20 coin entrance fee. It’s cheaper even than Bandit Cave!

I’d advice to start with Blacksmith’s dungeon. Enter, kill some mobs. Claim as much goldpiles, reagents and chests as you can. Watch your health, when it goes down to 1/3 of max, don’t hesitate to retreat and make another run. Keep any nice gear, sell the rest. Out of three crafting dungeons, mobs are weakest here cause they don’t cast spells, while map layouts contain many goldpiles and chests. So it’s great farming ground.

(!) Don’t claim reward chest yet, stick to the first floor.

Eating healthy food is healthy

Yes, a line from Captain Obvious holds the truth. You’ll find various food scattered across dungeons. Despite being dusty it’s beneficial to char’s health. Step over a piece and char’d be healed for 5 health (not over the max). At times it comes handy clearing path to foodstash, fighting some mobs and then returning for a snack.

Custom Shoes bargaining trick

Buying and selling back Custom Shoes is a quick way to build Bargaining skill to 1000. You’ll need around 3000 coins and a couple of minutes of mindless clicking. Putting on gear with Learning buff will (hopefully) help.

Crazy Alchemist’s Dungeon wondrous artifact loop

Alchemist’s dungeon maps layout are such, that you’d find red artifact chest on the 2nd floor every time you enter. This is not so for Blacksmith’s or Tailors. Mobs here are toughest of all three crafting dungeons. So if you feel that you can barely win a couple of fights, consider more training at Blacksmith’s and/or heading for Heal spell.

Go straight to 2nd floor. It has two possible layouts, each of them with prized red chest not far from where you emerge from stairs. (Spoiler 1: http://i.imgur.com/UMUv3.jpg Spoiler 2: http://i.imgur.com/SM9pS.jpg)

(!) As with Blacksmith’s don’t claim reward chest.

Piking up proper gear

At this point it’s time to collect gear for char’s outfit that’d be useful through the game. For a quick run some sturdy artifact salad with pieces updated as you get along is surely enough. Focus on ToHit, Pierce, Mana Leech (and to lesser extent Life Leech), maybe Critical, Damage / Spell Damage, Stun, etc.

If you plan a more prolonged session, consider composing a set that exploits Loot buff early on and maybe another one with Learning. My opinion is that Learning is not THAT useful in Explorer, while other ppl value this very buff. So your choice. Personally I’m fan of Loot set and utilize it as a primary outfit, being too lazy to bother with a pure combat one. :D If going for high scores, a Fame set is handy.

As for other stuff, there’re potions that permanently increase char’s max Health or Mana. There’re other potions that give some points in random skills (better save them til late game) and still others that permanently give +1 protection to random piece of armor equipped. There’s a uberkiller potion never seen in treasure chest but available for crafting that gives +1 die to equipped weapon.

Lesser items of note include Vandal Pickaxe (steals dungeon wall tile on use), Furniture Basher (steals object like crates, chairs, etc. At times it’s the only way to unblock a passage), various bags of Sending (teleports one item from char’s backpack to main storage per charge used, can be used from chest / combat loot interface) and Disenchanters (there’re two bugged ones. First looks like Legendary Disenchanter but is named Mega Disenchanter. Other is a blue-colored one. Both don’t work :D and could be found as loot only). Except for Skill Potion, you can obtain all the rest in shop and/or via crafting.

Getting better backpack

Meanwhile consider upgrading backpack. Buying better one adds storage slots. You don’t need to gradually upgrade from 10 slots to 12 to 16 etc. You can buy best one right away. It costs 12500 coins with zero Bargaining skill and goes down to 7500 coins with 1000 Bargaining.

You can earn quick cash in Blacksmith’s dungeon. Feel free to claim reward chests this time, until the dungeon gets upgraded to 3rd level and 200 coin entrance fee. No need to pay more, at this dungeon level several runs should bring you enough fortune in gold and loot to purchase best backpack right away. Each time you visit Blacksmith’s consider heading right down to the basement to check if an artifact chest is present (http://i.imgur.com/UVhTw.jpg).

Filling spellbook

Char starts with no spells. Spells can be gained by clearing dungeons with a book sign over them. Spells are divided into two categories: most of them are for battle, while some of them are cast in dungeon map mode. Heal and Great Heal can be used in either mode.

(!) Note that Mana Lore skills doesn’t build when casting spells in dungeon map mode.

(!) My personal view is that having Great Heal and Steal is nice, rest ones are entirely optional.

Tactical Battles

Tactical battles are a separate mode of the game. Instead of using main char, you send guys from barracks into battle with enemy troops. In many aspects soldiers are similar to main char. You equip them, they build up combat skills. Notice that as total weight of gear gets higher, soldiers will lose movement. A naked guy can move up to six squared while encumbered might be cripple to one.

Entering battles costs nothing, there’s no entrance fee like in dungeons. Each battle is played on a map divided into squares with obstacles like rocks and bushes placed randomly. Defeat all opposing units to win. For each enemy killed you have a chance to get points in Leadership. If you lose one (or even all but one) soldier and win it’s OK, they’d be revived after battle. If all are out, nothing bad happens except you won’t get any loot. Soldiers will keep points in skills received during a battle lost.

(!) If you strip a soldier from weapon, he’d still act as if using one. Look, naked guys in bra are attacking a vampire: http://i.imgur.com/DNVcd.jpg

Every turn unit may perform one or two actions, one of which is movement and other one is attack or rest. Attacking / resting ends turn for that unit. Attack costs stamina. Type of attack and amount of stamina spent is weapon-determined (same attack type may cost various amount). Soldier equipped with bow / magic book / wand / stave will not be able to attack point-blank, he has a “blind” zone around him. Resting without moving (skipping a turn) replenishes 40 stamina, 20 if after moving.

Forming a squad

You start with two soldiers in barracks. Notice a pink sign with a number 80 under paperdoll picture, that’s max stamina. Eventually you may want to hire better soldiers with better combat skills and max stamina or just with a different exterior. Fired soldiers can be hired again and they will keep all equipped gear. Atm you may already have spare artifacts or some loot with good buffs for squad members. If not, run a Blacksmith’s / Alchemist’s dungeon raid or equip from shops. Choose from gear with satisfactory protection and low weight (and cost), like Chainmails.

(!) Speaking of gear soldiers can be used as nice tailor dummies for particular gear/artifact sets that you may want to keep in quick access.

It’s totally up to you how large a squad you form with what kind of swordsmen / archers / mages mix. Personally I used a 4 – 5 members squad with one swordsmen (Whirlwind attack), a couple of archers with Piercing Arrows and one or two mages with area attack.

(!) There IS friendly fire for zone attacks. And soldiers get points in skills for attacking teammates or even empty space. :)

Attack types description

Below’s data from old, now dead gamedev’s forum. Still need to verify it. Link to cached copy: http://tinyurl.com/bq2au77

Strike – Single target short range attack… The most basic melee weapon attack.
Lunge – Single Target not so short range attack… This one allows hitting from 2 tiles away.
Whirlwind – Area Effect short range attack… Attacks all units surrounding the user. Generally reserved for big greatswords and massive axes.
Heart Wrench – Single Target short range attack… Ignores all enemy armour. Generally used on daggers and assassin blades. It also has a really cool graphical effect, best of the lot imo.

Magic Arrows – Single target mid range mage attack… The most basic mage attack.
Fireball – Area effect mid range attack… The attack range isn’t that far so they have ot be used tactically so as not to destroy your own troops.
Iceball – See above, only blue not red. (Mostly made to fit with ice related artifacts since a fireball doesn’t make sense)
Heal – Mid range area effect. Heals all units within its range… Worth noting any unit equipped with a healing weapon has no way of dealing damage so they must be protected.
Holy Smite – Mid Range Area effect… Ignores all enemy armour.

Arrow – Basic very long range single target attack.
Arrow Barrage – Basic long range area effect attack.
Piercing Arrow – Long range archer attack… Ignores enemy armour.

-
Well, that’s all the basics I would describe.

Being quite a linear game, Explorer doesn’t force you to complete all dungeons, win all tactical battles or do crafting. You are free to use a linear grinding approach, consequentially build one attack skill, equip best gear with To Hit and Damage / Spell Damage bonus and go through four key dungeons to win the game.

 
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In this section I’d like to cover mid- and late game aspects.

Combat Skills

Char gets points in these pretty straightforward: participating in battles. When you notice, that no points are gained in certain skill for awhile, that means you should find stronger mobs. This works for all Combat Skills.

(!) I doubt that Learning plays that much role in getting points. It MAYBE helps in late game / postgame when going for 1000 in all combat skills to speed things, but mob level is the fundamental variable.

Weapon Attack, Magic Attack, Archery

Points will come naturally as you advance. Getting ~800-850 points is really easy, going from ~950 to 1000 is a bit grindish. :)

Tactics

As with weapon attack skills, it will come naturally. Char gets points in Tactics regardless of weapon equipped.

Anatomy

Like Tactics, but char should have melee weapon or bow equipped. No points for mages, so consider temporary switching weapons if you play as one.

Weapon Defense

Weapon Defense goes up when facing swordsmen and archers.

Blocking, Dodging

Char needs a shield to be equipped to get points in Blocking. Getting 1000 points is easy. As for Dodging, I was almost stuck with my Necretian after ~950 points, grinding lowest levels of Unfinished Dungeon endlessly with maxed Learning gear and maxed buff cap. It was very frustrating, so any advice how to quicken process would be nice. :)

Magic Defense, Spell Resistance

Same as for Weapon Defense but goes up when facing mages.

Mana Lore

Attack with wands / staves / etc. and cast spells from spellbook / scrolls. Casting spells over dungeon map (Heal, Great Heal, Luck, Sneak, Mapping) seems to NOT contribute towards point gain. Second after Dodging most slow-building skill after ~950 points. With Necretian mentioned above points were coming steady, but overall process was VERY slow: each combat I attacked with magic AND used half a dozen spells. Still was getting ~1 point per combat if lucky. :)

(!) Don’t know which variable besides mob skill level are used in chance of getting points in offensive skills: number of char’s attacks, type (Light/Normal/Heavy), maybe damage dealt?..

(!) Don’t know if spell power / damage or mana cost are variables used in calculating point gain for Mana Lore.

Personal Skills

Few of those could be built along the way. Usually you have to put some conscious effort.

Bargaining

Check the Custom Shoes bargaining trick in the first part of the guide.

(!) With Bargaining at 1000 item worth 91+ coins sent to storage via Sack of Sending and sold subsequently would be profitable.

Observation

Comes to 1000 very early if exploring dungeons repeatedly.

Mysticism & Enchanting

There’s an orthodox way since Crusade to build Mysticism: use consumables such as coins, orbs, potions and scrolls and utilize magic bags of Sending with latter being the most reliable. However in Explorer there’s one more type of consumables namely Disenchanters. Get a Legendary Disenchanter, bring it to dungeon and disenchant any loot you don’t need.

In my view utilizing Disenchanters is the best option: you get points in BOTH Mystiism and Enchanting and stockpile crafting resources at the same time. Triple profit! :) Note that you can disenchant stones that come out from gear too.

(!) If you consider going into crafting lately, set aside items with stones you’d like to extract until you have 1000 points in Enchanting so you’d have max chance to get a stone.

(!) You should get points in Enchanting for a total of 280 as rewards for clearing some dungeons and winning some tactical maps. Check the appendix. So getting 720 points should be enough…if skill rewards are not bugged like in Revenant. :D

Leadership

Slay enemies in tactical battles. Each kill regardless of tactical map difficulty counts towards skill, so that’d be pretty straightforward.

Artistry and Scavenging

 
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Some dungeons and tactical battles grant points in skill as rewards. Building skills up to certain values then claiming rewards is an easy way to get 1000 points. Thus you’d be saved from unneeded clicking. :D

Dungeons

Format is: dungeon name (entrance fee.mobs.chests) reward.

Regular dungeons

Tier 1

Bandit Cave (25.5.4) no reward
Empty Iron Mine (30.5.6) 5 iron bars. Game supposes you choose this as your first dungeon. However I suggest to opt for Bandit Cave.
Disturbed Crypt (45.4.4) 500 gold
Wolves cave (60.6.3) 1 artifact, no reward. There’re grass floor tiles and trees at entrance you can’t steal. Also there’re flowers and scarecrow which you CAN so consider bringing along 4 hammers.
Abandoned Hotel (150.8.4) no reward

Tier 2

Hidden Hideout (250.9.6) tools (a hammer and a pickaxe)
Old Dungeon (350.8.7) 1 artifact, Flayer’s Disenchanter. There’re boxes blocking a passage, so a hammer is needed. For furniture collectors there’s a lying barrel in top-left corner room.
The Den (350.15.7) 2 artifacts, 100 points in Blacksmithing
The Storeroom (350.17.9) 1 artifact, no reward
Cave Dwellers (400.6.4) no reward. Lots of hammer fun here: a fallen log, large flower, two plants, two green moss, and six shrooms.
Ruined Tailors (400.9.6) 100 points in Tailoring
Sewer Hideout (400.12.5) 1 artifact, no reward

Tier 3

Generic Dungeon (250.12.5) 1000 gold
Hall of Frost (400.9.5) 1 artifact, no reward. A snowman here.
Arcane Study (600.10.5) 100 points in Enchanting
The Arena (650.14.7) Gem of Chaos (a unique 10% burn enchantment gem)

Tier 4

Vampire’s Nest (500.12.10) no reward
Old Temple (600.12.7) 1 artifact, no reward
Lizardman Capital (600.14.7) bag of gems. Don’t know if random. Last time I got 10% Critical, Resist and Pierce.
Grand Library (900.8.9) 2 artifacts, 100 points in Alchemy. Artifact chests are BLOCKED, bring a hammer.

Tier 5

The Great Circles (900.11.5) 1 artifact, The Necretian Chronicles (mage’s book)
The Old Throne (900.16.6) 1 artifact, The Ruler’s Edge (a sword with nice Fame bonus)
Vault 13 (1500.13.17) 4 artifacts, no reward

Spell Dungeons

Tier 1

Shrine of Healing (80.7.6) 1 artifact, Heal spell
Shrine of Blessing (80.5.4) Bless spell
Shrine of Fire (80.7.4) Fireball spell

Tier 2

To make these appear on the map, clear all Tier 1 spell dungeons first.

Shrine of Life (120.11.5) 1 artifact, Life Drain spell
Shrine of Ice (120.11.7) 1 artifact, Ice Barrier spell
Shrine of Corruption (120.7.4) Corruption spell
Shrine of Wastage (120.9.4) Magical Wastage spell
Shrine of Great Healing (120.8.4) 1 artifact, Great Heal spell
Shrine of Lightning (120.6.5) Lightning spell
Shrine of Enchanting (120.5.5) 1 artifact, Enchant Weapon spell

Tier 3

These pop up after all Tier 2 spell dungeons cleared.

Shrine of Luck (500.5.4) 1 artifact, Luck spell. There’re lots of flowers and a snowman here, and a blocked regular chest. Bring along one or two hammers. Or a total of twenty-one if you’re role-playing a florist.
Shrine of Sneaking (500.6.5) 1 artifact, Sneak spell

Crafting Dungeons

Those are Insane Blacksmith’s Dungeon, Lunatic Tailor’s Dungeon and Crazy Alchemist’s Dungeon. They consist of two levels each time selected from several possible map layouts, first level and basement separately. Crafting dungeons get upgraded each time a reward chest is claimed. After all recipes in certain crafting trade are collected the corresponding dungeon disappears even if recipes were gained through experiments. Alchemy recipes are granted consequentially in threes starting with the easiest ones. Tailoring and Blacksmithing recipes are granted by random threes.

Tier and entrance fee increase in this order: Tier 1 (20 → 30 → 50) → Tier 2 (100 → 115) → Tier 3 (200 → 215) → Tier 4 (400 → 415) → Tier 5 (500).

Ancient Twisting Prison

A two-level dungeon, with each level selected randomly from separate map pools each time you enter. As with crafting dungeons, prison gets upgraded after a reward chest is claimed. The reward is a new recruit(s) in barracks. Artifact chests are not guaranteed. Most often you get zero.

Tier (entrance fee, recruits): Tier 1 (250 → 300 → 350) → Tier 2 (400 → 450) → Tier 3 (500) → Tier 4 (550) → Tier 5 (600 → 650 → 700 → 750 → etc.) Don’t know if this dungeon stays forever or gets depleted and disappears at some point.

(!) If a reward chest is claimed, mobs get upgraded. That may mean SUDDENLY facing demons. :D

Fragment Location dungeons

Well, these are “plot” dungeons. Level maps are selected from map pools at random every time you enter, except last level which is fixed for each of dungeons (but is renewed every visit too). Fragment Locations are one-shot and disappear after reward claimed. If you leave prior to this next visit you’d have to start from scratch.

Fragment Location I (Tier 2, 400 gold, 6 levels). 1 guaranteed artifact on 6th level, key fragment as reward.
Fragment Location II (Tier 3, 800 gold, 8 levels). 2 guaranteed artifacts on 8th level, key fragment as reward.
Fragment Location III (Tier 4, 1000 gold, 10 levels). 1 guaranteed artifact on 10th level, key fragment as reward.
Fragment Location IV (Tier 5, 1500 gold, 10 levels). 3 guaranteed artifact on 10th level, key fragment as reward.

(!) There’re maps where regular or artifact chests are blocked with furniture pieces. Like this or this. Use hammers.

Archmage’s Domain

Final “plot” dungeon. Tier 5, 3000 gold, 12 levels. 14 guaranteed artifacts on last level (as well as eight snowmen). The trick is that six chests (three in top row, three in bottom) are blocked with furniture. So bring six hammers to get them all. Check the pic: green dots are furniture to be removed. I prefer to work from west direction, but really it doesn’t matter.

Claiming reward chest means main part of Explorer is over. You get Our Retired Explorer Kong badge. Several items are placed in storage: Archmage’s Ancient Helmet, Archmage’s Swiftbow, Archmage’s Staff, Archmage’s Blade, Archmage’s Poleaxe. Weapons except Poleaxe are OK to arm troops. Staff and Blade may suit char too if for some reason char’s gear is inferior.

From now on it’s postgame time.

The Unfinished Dungeon

Tactical Battles

There’re two types: first ones are one-shot, there’s a reward, they disappear after a win. Second can be replayed and there’s no reward. They are grouped in pools by difficulty and given at random at fixed locations. Each time a worldview map is opened, random battles are shuffled anew.

Format is: map name (enemy units) reward.

Tier 1

Battle the Bandits (3) no reward
Orc Raiders (4) 125 gold
The Quarry (5) 125 gold
Gravediggers (5) 150 gold
The Captive (6) a recruit named Chillbo

T1 random: Bloody Bandits (3), Demonic Devilry (3), Bump in the Knight (4), Golems Galore (4), Skeletal Sin (4), Orcish Anger (5), Argh Zombies! (8). Bloody Bandits is the easiest one, nice for training troops at the very early stage.

Tier 2

Resource Gatherers (4) common resources
Zombie Waves (8) 150 gold
Crafty Orcs (5) 80 points in Blacksmithing
It’s Elemental (5) reagent resources

T2 random: none.

Tier 3

Undead Highjackers (6) 80 points in Tailoring
Vampiric Knowledge (8) 80 points in Blacksmithing
Demonic Infiltration (5) 80 points in Alchemy
Undead Bookstore (10) 80 points in Enchanting
Knight of Hell (3) 250 gold

T3 random: Diggy Diggy Hole (3), Left 4 Dead (4), Awakening (5), Gobblin’ Goblin Gang (6), Greenskin Gamble (6), True Blood (6), Rolling Stones (8), Freshly Risen (10).

Tier 4

Gathering Golems (5) common resources
Orc Diggers (5) 2 sledgehammers
Soul Gems (6) 2 magic gems. Don’t know if random. Last time I got 5% Stealing and 7% Improve Scrolls.
Demonic Sledgehammers (6) 2 sledgehammers
The Stones (5) 12 assorted stones. If the enchantment are meant to be a reward then this battle is BUGGED cause I got NOTHING. Or maybe some rare resources are named as “assorted stones”?
Secrets of the Tailor (?) 100 points in Tailoring
Ending the Terror (2) no reward – ?
Slaughter (12) 350 gold
Demonic Rift (10) 100 points in Enchanting
Skeletal Scares (7) 100 points in Alchemy

T4 random: Warboss (4), Court of Summons (5), Deadtime Story (6), Demonic Ritual (6), Orc Vanguard (6), Undead Menace (6), Rocks and Rolls (8), Zombieland (9)

Tier 5

Vampiric Superiority (4) 800 Gold
Giant Golems (6) 20 Fel Stones
Orc Warchest (8) two powerful gems. I got 10% Weaken and Dodge.
Delicious Demons (9) masses of resources

T5 random: Braaaaaains (6 in description but ACTUALLY 4), The Underworld (5), Demonic Vision (6), Ancient Liches (8), Orc Army (8), Golem, Golem, Gone (9)

(!) Ancient Liches battle is heavily BUGGED. An enemy unit duplicates player’s char look (pic). It is NaN chance to hit (pic) and game freezes on bugged unit’s move. This battle is same as in Revenant so obviously it’s issue THAT OLD.

 
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Crafting recipes

Alchemy

Health & Mana

Minor Healing Potion
Healing Potion
Major Healing Potion
Super Healing Potion
Minor Mana Potion
Mana Potion
Major Mana Potion
Super Mana Potion
Potion of Restoration
Potion of Perfect Health

Combat

Elixir of Accuracy
Potion of Pure Rage
Super Dodge Potion
Super Arcana Potion
Potion of Criticallity
Elixir of Twisted Fate

Permanent char / gear bonus

Oil of Enhancement
Oil of Polishing
Elixir of Harnessing
Elixir of Toughening

Hair Dyes

Purple Hair Dye
Blue Hair Dye
Black Hair Dye
Red Hair Dye
Yellow Hair Dye
Cyan Hair Dye
Dark Blue Hair Dye
Green Hair Dye
Deep Red Hair Dye

Tailoring

Head armour

Empty Hat
Empty Pointy Hat
Comfy Cowl
Socket Helm
Veiled Cowl

Feet Armour

Sockless Sandals
Big Hole Boots
Bangable Boots
Socket Boots
Enchantable Boots

Leg Armour

Trussed Trousers
Lengthy Leather Trousers
Malleable Mail
Shimmering Scalemail
Pristine Plates

Body Armour

Socket Shirt
Changeable Armour
Luxury Longcoat
Proper Plates
Socket Plates

Hand Armour

Gummy Gloves
Gluey Gloves
Socketed Gloves
Changeable Gloves
Gripping Gauntlets

Shields

Bumping Buckler
Solid Shield
Socketed Shield
Curious Kite Shield
Changeable Shield

Blacksmithing

Warrior

Useful Shortsword
Malleable Sword
Devious Machete
Buildable Mace
Buildable Battleaxe
Deceptive Knife
Cunning Katar
Handleable Hatchet
Halberd of Wonder
Supreme Godlike Sword

Mage

Scriptable Spellbook
Screwtop Staff
Malleable Staff
Rebending Staff
Unwritten Book
Wonder Wand
Ugly Wand
Gem Holey Staff
Spineless Spellbook
Supreme Godlike Grimoire

Archer

Shining Shortbow
Malleable Longbow
Sneaky Snakewood Bow
Bendable Swiftbow
Transformable Bow
Forgebow of Manipulation
Shocking Shortbow
Customizable Bow
Satisfying Swiftbow
Supreme Godlike Bow

 
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This is reserved for my own questions and notes.

Guys, I’d like to know what most common questions about the game are.
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Not bad. I didn’t know that there are tactical battles that can help you amp your skills.

As for crafting, the 5-star blacksmith is way better than 1-star, because due to a bug, the monsters in there remain level 2 (novices) while gold piles galore to ~300/pop. Plus you can get a definitely better weapon pretty early (3d10 “Buildable Battleaxe”), if you drop all but needed resources one by one into crafting to raise your Artistry skill to whatever amount you can – I’ve got ~400 from that alone, and crafted me that axe, it was a breeze through the game until something heavy dropped. The same is true about alchemist and tailor dungeons, and alchemist is even better because you don’t need those dyes to finish the game, while you might profit from an elixir of toughness.

You can also craft bigger gems from small gems. Make a weapon/armor with 3+ slots, stuff it with small gems of say +damage%, so the total will be 12-20 (you’ll have smaller chances stuffing more than one similar gem that depends on already inserted gems, the higher the effect, the lower the insertion rate, so stuff smallest first, then largest), then you disassemble that weapon/armor with a disenchanter. You’ll have a 0.25*skill/1000 chance (25% maximum) to receive a gem out of that item, and the resultant gem can only carry the properties that exist on the item, so if you’ll get a gem, it’ll be a single gem of the TOTAL value of inserted gems. Unfortunately, you cannot get more than 25% chance for a gem, so be prepared for losses, but should you get a 25% or more gem, keep it for something “uber”.

Spell damage bonus does not work for any char, so is worthless.

Vampire does NOT suffer from that -10% to sell, it’s displayed but not applied, so vampire is definitely one of the best chars out there. I’d say a necretian is nice too, as once you’ll get a 25 protection gem, only a necretian can pull the most out of it (22 to be precise, all others will get 20 maximum), all the surplus protection goes to waste. Necretian’s slower start will get compensated later when you’ll get something with +learning. Necretians have 10% higher stat caps than anyone else, but any char can be a munchkin – I expect a zombie can’t as you will have a hard time swimming in mana potions and not able to cast a single spell. (Of course, if a zombie cannot case spells, and no bug makes him able to.)

Hope that helps.

 
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Just got the hard badge. My approach was grindy, but it worked. Got a 12×4 weapon early on (think that was a bug), just farmed for good equipment, lost the the weapon, bought the best ax from the store, used it for awhile. I kept the alchemists dungeon at 3 stars – that way you can always have stuff to sell and the chests always drop at least 2 of either swirly or toughness, not to mention mana and HP. Never really crafted much. I choose to take a warrior approach and so the equips were geared in that direction.

 
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@vesperbot

LOL Necretian was my favorite in Revenant and Explorer when I played for high scores. However in the end I was stuck having ~950 in Mana Lore and Dodge and those skills were building so slowly that I became frustrated. :D So I decided to switch to guide and more relaxed gameplay.

Is there any sane way to finish building Dodge to 1000? Any hints? What variables are used to determine the chances, maybe you know?

I will implement what you wrote into the guide. :)
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@alboy doubt that was a bug, what kind of weapon was it?

 
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Some notes on maximizing skills. The learning buff is always helpful. The way it works is that a learning bonus of 100% (that much or more is entirely possible) will double your chances of learning a skill. I keep a set of gear in storage that will maximize my learning chance for increasing noncombat skills, and for dungeon crawling I’ll take +5 learning over +1 protection. If you find the Vampire Hat, I strongly suggest keeping it equipped all the time. The high learning bonus combined with the high life leech chance comes in very handy. For combat skills, you’re most likely to learn a skill when fighting an opponent that is stronger than you are.

For the following, equip the gear with the best learning bonus.
Bargaining: As stated earlier, repeatedly buy and sell the custom shoes.
Artisan: This skill improves your chances of crafting items of all three types. You have a chance of crafting most items with a high Artisan skill even if you have 0 in the specific crafting skills. Buy a large quantity of one of the cheapest crafting components. Go to the crafting menu, click “Experiment”, select that component, hold down the Shift key (keeps you from having to click the component again), place it on the crafting matrix and hit “Combine”. Repeat.
Alchemy/Tailoring/Blacksmithing: Try to pick the item with the cheapest combination of components. Make it repeatedly. With Alchemy you may want to churn out lots of Mana potions for a reason I’ll explain later.
Scavenging: Increases your chances of saving some components from a failed crafting attempt. No special procedure, it will go up as you increase your Artisan skill, though not as quickly, and when you fail to craft items while trying to build the specific skills.
Mysticism: This skill determines the cap on all of your buffs, so it needs to be high to get the most out of your magic items. It increases as you use consumable magic items such as potions, scrolls, and the Sack of Sending. Quickest way to increase it is to take a Sack of Sending and a full inventory of items into a dungeon, then use the Sack to send them back to your storehouse. Repeat. Since your gear is maxed for learning and not dungeon crawling, you might not be equipped to complete the dungeon. However, if you kill a creature or open a chest, you can use the Sack of Sending from the loot screen without wearing about accidentally equipping something you’re trying to send.
Enchanting: Same procedure as Mysticism, except you use a Disenchanter and it won’t work from the loot screen so you just have to be careful. I suggest starting with the cheapest items until your skill is 800+, then switch to items with buffs that you are hoping to get gems for.
Observation: Pretty much takes care of itself as you dungeon crawl.

Combat Skills: Like Observation, for the most part there is nothing special you can do, they build as you use them. There are some exceptions. Naturally, for combat you should be in your dungeon crawling gear, though you could try lower-level dungeons in your learning gear.
Anatomy: As far as I know, only affects damage from melee weapons and bows.
Mana Lore: Increases the damage/effect from magical weapons and spells. If you are playing as a fighter or an archer, you still need a high Mana Lore to increase the level of your healing spells. Early on, try to use up your mana before you leave each dungeon, and later it will be a good idea to equip a mage weapon and do some lower level dungeons.
Tactics: It improves your hit chance. Increases quickly at first, then lags behind your weapon skills. Once it hits about 350-400, change weapon type (for example, swap your sword for a bow) and hit the lower level dungeons. That will speed up the Tactical skill gains. At 700-800, change to the third weapon type.
Weapon Defense/Magic Defense/Blocking/Dodging/Magic Resistance: Get your opponent’s hit points down to where you can kill him with one shot, then keep hitting “Guard” to let him repeatedly attack you until you are two shots away from being killed (in case you miss the first time). The last remaining guard in a dungeon is a good one for this, you can use remaining mana to heal yourself to prolong it. Naturally, for Weapon Defense you need to be facing a fighter or an archer, for Magic Defense/Resistance it has to be a mage or an opponent using spells.

Some other hints:
To quickly build an effective tactical squad, hold off on doing tactical battles and keep running the prison to get it to the five skull difficulty. When it gets too tough to fight through, load up on mana potions (which is why I suggested making them while building your Alchemy skill) and use your Sneak spell. If you find some treasure mapping spheres, hold on to those and use them on the second level to find the quickest route to your goal.

To get lots of loot, run the Fragment Location I dungeon but don’t claim the reward chest. That way you can do it repeatedly. Good chance of artifacts, I’ve gotten as many as 12 in one trip. More loot than you can carry, so take along a disenchanter and one or more Sacks of Sending so you can build your Enchanting and Mysticism skills as you go. When it gets too easy, go ahead and complete it and move on to Fragment Location II.

When Enchanting items, trying to put more than one gem of the same buff on the same item reduces your chance of success. Since it is possible to have a four-socket item in each of your equipment slots, you can spread them out. You can easily max out your Protection buff just by putting a single +2 or +3 gem on each piece of equipment. If you have a lot of small gems of one type, you can try combining them on one item and then disenchanting it in the hopes of getting one large gem.

 
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@VolcanoTX Yeah, good additions. Ty :)

About Learning. I began replaying Arkandian Legend series a month ago and started with Crusade. There benefit from Learning were obvious: char was gaining points in Combat Skills regardless how tough a mob he was facing. I got Magic Defense at 1000 fighting thughs in sewers lol :D

Then I jumped to Revenant and drastic change caught my eye: I could grind certain mob forever and after some point skills ceased building, regardless of Learning gear on / off. Explorer is same in this matter. So while I admit that Learning may speed the process (though not 100% sure), I’d say that mob level is primary variable in the question. Once struck the glass ceiling, it’s better move to tougher mob. Up to mid-late 9xx each attack / guard almost certainly means point(s) up if vs. proper mob.

I WILL try full Learning outfit when gonna reach ~950+ in Combat Skills once again, however and see the difference with my previous run (holding in mind that char was a Necretian).

But my overall feeling that Learning gear may be almost ignored in Explorer, except cases with some non-combat skills.

Dodge: how high is your char’s? If 1000, were you facing same issue as me with my poor Necretian? :D Maybe you can give some advice?

Anatomy. Will chek once again but it SEEMS that dmg from magic attacks was affected too. I may be wrong here, but the critical rate SEEMED higher with high Anatomy. Shall recheck.

Mysticism / Enchanting. My first run I was guided by my Crusade / Revenant exprerience where there was no Enchanting skill and Bags were a proper way to build Mysticism. In my second run, however I never used bags, just carried a Disenchanter and got points in both skills simultaneously. Required some cash flow, on the other hand I saved not buying all those bags.

 
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upd

Maybe gonna return to filling guide tomorrow.
Still what feedback I’d like to get is maybe not the min/maxing powerplay theory but maybe some more personalized experience and trivia. :)

upd 2

Finished re-replaying Crusade, now back to Explorer. Atm I’m SURE that math models behind skill building are different in Crusade and Revenant/Explorer.

Another example: Tactics. Was literally HELL getting points after all three weapon skills at 1000. While in Explorer I got Tactics to 1000 along the way without need to invent any tricks. On the other hand Mana Lore and Dodge were building slow in Explorer, while Mana Lore in Crusade is easy to get along with Magic Attack. Dodge is maybe semi-slow, but goes up still faster and at least there’s guaranteed method with “Guard” button.

 
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The relative strength of your opponent has always been the main driver in gaining skills. I suspect that after Crusader he may have adjusted the base chance of a skill gain or modified how the game determines whether an opponent is weaker, equal to, or stronger than you. If you have, say, a base chance of 5% to gain a skill fighting a weaker opponent, then a +40 Learning is only going to increase that to 7%. Against an equal opponent, that will raise it from 20% to 28%. If you are strictly playing a fighter or archer, then even a sewer bandit mage is always going to be a stronger mage than you are.

I don’t bother building my defensive skills up that high. I just try to get my Magic Defense/Resistance up into the 300s so that fighting mages isn’t quite so brutal.

The guide in Crusade is explicit about what is affected by Anatomy and Mana Lore. I can’t see any reason for him to have changed it, but I suppose he could have.

Both the Sack of Sending and the Legendary Disenchanter have the same cost per charge, so you don’t save any money there. For me the Disenchanter costs more, because I use it on things I’d normally just drop. In previous games, I’d only use the Sack on items with a base value of over 90 gold, anything lower would be worth less than the charge I’m using to send it (and that’s only if Bargaining is maxed). In Explorer I carry both. I keep the most valuable items in my inventory, send the ones with buffs I want (usually Protection, Learning, Hit Chance, and Damage) back to my storehouse, and Disenchant the rest. Then when I have my Enchant up in the 900s, I disenchant the stuff I’ve stockpiled to get gems.

 
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Just finished a game where I was playing a Zombie. Since Zombies can’t use spells, I was looking to max out Life Leech, but couldn’t find any decent items except for the Vampire Hat. However, I did luck into Spell Warden, Mermaid’s Chain, and Dobby’s Socks, which gave me an Improve Potions of 130%. With that, the 8D10 and 20D4 healing potions were regularly healing me for a minimum of 75 hit points and as many as 135. With no grinding other than to max out Artistry and Bargaining, completing all dungeons and tactical battles, and without repeating any of the one-shot dungeons, I finished the game in a little over 12 hours of playing time. I also didn’t bother with Enchanting other than using a few useful gems that I looted.

Since I couldn’t use my aforementioned Sneak trick to build a strong tactical squad, I settled for a pair of Orcs, the 2 next most powerful humans, and my original 2. I managed to complete all the tactical battles with that squad, though I lost a few of the 5-skull ones the first time I tried them. Since the original 2 squad members could barely hit anything by that point, I set them up as meat shields. I gave them heavy armor and items with Hit Point, Dodge, and Block boosts, and sent them out front to distract the enemy and absorb damage. The other 4 I outfitted with area effect mage weapons and bows, light armor for mobility, and items with Hit Chance and Damage boosts.

In my opinion the extra hit points you get as a zombie sufficiently compensate for the lacks of spells. Surprisingly, you can still run the spell dungeons, which at least give you some useful loot and experience.

 
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upd Had not much time lately, filling guide slowly atm.

@VolcanoTX, ty for feedback. Sounds like a nice experience trying a Zombie :)

My point about Sack of Sending / Disenchanter was that using a Sack gives points in Mysticism only. While Disenchanter contributes to Mysticism and Enchanting at same time. Plus it gives at least one basic resource each use. When Enchanting skill is, say, ~700, you’d be getting loads of reagents including rare ones. For me it’s cozy to have steady reagent flow. As for coin, in late game I don’t need it anyway. All possible expenses are covered from goldpiles and mobs. Up to the point that I don’t bother collecting loot at all except pieces I really need (some artifacts, gear with several 11% buffs, etc).

 
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Yeah, I get what you’re doing. I just like to run up my Mysticism faster.

 
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I cant find difference crafting with 90 learning or with 0.

 
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Originally posted by Nikrom:

I cant find difference crafting with 90 learning or with 0.

What do you mean, can you be more specific?

 
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how many fragment locations are there?

 
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Originally posted by Tikikala:

how many fragment locations are there?

If I remember correctly, there’re four.

 
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Crafting skill gains from the dungeons and tactical battles:

Dungeon
Ruined Tailors: +100 Tailoring
The Den: +100 Blacksmithing
Arcane Study: +100 Enchanting
Grand Library: +100 Alchemy

Tactical
Crafty Orcs: +80 Blacksmithing
Undead Hijackers: +80 Tailoring
Vampiric Knowledge: +80 Blacksmithing
Demonic Infiltration: +80 Alchemy
Undead Bookstore: +80 Enchanting
Secrets of the Tailor: +100 Tailoring
Demonic Rift: +100 Enchanting
Skeletal Scares: +100 Alchemy

 
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I’d try to crafting potions with learning equipament (90 gain skill total) and without learning equipament (0 gain skill total). Crafting potions does the same amount of alchemy skill points whit and without my equipament. Also, does not matter if I craft a simple potion or a hard one, is the same gain, too.

I’m planning to experiment with “Improve potions” when my equipament where appropiate (90-100 Improve potions skill) and if that skill improves Elixir of Toughening, Elixir of Harnessing and Tincture of Learning, and I’ll post the results.

 
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Skill Gain doesn’t affect how many skill points you get in one instance, that part is fixed according to your current skill level. Skill Gain affects how often you get points. I just did a quick experiment with Tailoring (since my Alchemy is already maxed). Crafting with 0 Skill Gain, I gained 14 times out of 20 attempts. With a Skill Gain of 94, I got 20 out of 20. If you are crafting the simplest potions to try to push up your Alchemy, that would mean for every 20 items you craft you would waste 912 gold (if Bargaining is maxed, otherwise it would be higher) worth of components for no gain. For Blacksmithing and Tailoring, that would be more like 2900 gold. Of course, that assumes the ratio holds true in the long run, which it won’t. There will be runs of better luck and of worse luck.

No, Improve Potions won’t work on Elixirs of Toughening or Harnessing, or as best as I can tell anything else that has a fixed value. And I tried it with an Improved Potions of 130. Works very nicely on Healing potions, though.

 
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Originally posted by Nikrom:

I’d try to crafting potions with learning equipament (90 gain skill total) and without learning equipament (0 gain skill total). Crafting potions does the same amount of alchemy skill points whit and without my equipament. Also, does not matter if I craft a simple potion or a hard one, is the same gain, too.

Yup, that’s true. Every successful craft seems to give guaranteed points in Alchemy/Tailoring/Blacksmithing. So no Learning needed.

Don’t know if Learning benefits point gain in Scavenging or Artistry though. So I equip Learning set just in case.

Gear attributes are fixed, so, as Volcano said above, no need to use Learning set when crafting potions.
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@VolcanoTX, I usually push Scavenging and Artistry both to 1000 first, then proceed to Alchemy. Thus I craft 100500 weakest Mana Potions (100% success even at Alchemy zero) → Alchemy 1000 → 100500 +Die Potions → 1-hit-kill weapon. Pretty straightforward.