Getting Started on Dream World: The Right Way
There are two different sides of the issue. Should you play how you want to and learn as you go, or should you follow a strict set of rules to optimize your effectiveness later? Those of you who believe the former can move along. The people out there who want to do it right can read on. This guide is for those people new to Dream World that want to be the best at it.
Restarting Your CharacterIt's likely that at some point you made some irreparable mistake before you got here. Restarting is easy. Go to your Character Screen. In the upper right corner, you should see the word "Restart" If you're offended by the suggestion of wasting all that "hard work" please note that the earlier you start playing the right way, the less time you waste later. Consider it an investment. When you restart, you reset your level, stats, and crystals, but keep your gems and any premium items you had. You also remain in your guild. Note: This is mostly advised if you've spent LP in anything other than your main weapon skill up until 60 skill, especially stats, or if you're very late in starting to buy con and strength, as explained later. Read the rest of this before you decide.
Choosing Your ClassThis is a matter of preference. If you want to play with a certain style, feel free to choose what you want. However, as of the current patch, mage does the most overall damage, especially at later levels. This may change, however, so don't feel you have to play mage.
The TutorialThe first trip into the Dream World comes with a simple yet very effective tutorial. Actually pay attention to it. It's quite helpful. During this you will get an ally, a Kitten. Do not accept a new ally until Priestess, and then Phoenix.
QuestsQuests in this game are simple. Go to town and click each of the tabs on the fencepost. If you see an accept button, always click it. Never a reason not to accept these. Otherwise they will accept automatically. You can look at quest progress with the button appropriate labeled "Quests". Check this often. On the far right column is where you'll get a link to fight the opponent the Imp will ask you to kill (if in arena). In the middle are the repeatable quests. Scroll to the bottom and click repeat on all of them whenever you finish one. To turn in a quest, simply go where it tells you and it will turn it in automatically.
Soft-Capping. It matters.This guide will apply until all of your stats are "soft capped". No sooner, no later. Soft cap means that the methods in increasing the stat are significantly limited. Those soft caps are:
50 Strength, 120 Constitution, 32 Intelligence, 32 Dexterity, and 32 Quickness.
Once you have all of these numbers, not counting bonuses from gear, you can ignore most of this. The sooner you get these, the easier your overall experience with the game will be, and the sooner you can work on improving your character by other means.
Strength and Constitution:
Both of these stats can be increased by spending coins at the healer in any town. The cost increases based on your character level and the current value of the stat. Yes, it's expensive, but this is your top priority. Increasing con will have a far greater impact on your survivability than armor, or other base stats. The best way to get them capped quickly? Spend every single coin you get on them. Do not buy anything that is not strength or con until both are capped. You'll want Strength at 50 before level 56. There is never a reason to buy gear from town. You will find better exploring. There are, however, a few cases in which you will spend coin elsewhere, which will be covered later.
Intelligence, Dexterity, and Quickness:
These can be found in puzzle boxes if you answer them correctly. Having trouble with the puzzles? Click here for all the answers. After 32 in each of these stats, you can no longer find the stat pills in puzzle boxes, but you should continue to open them for the exp and coins.
ExploringNote this does not say "leveling", first off. Increasing your character level is NOT the goal. The goal is to use your energy efficiently to soft cap. You found an ____ and don't know what to do? Well, here you go:
Monster: Kill it.
Mushrooms: Eat it. It's delicious.
Treasure or Puzzle: Click here.
Imp: Click the Accept button. He will give you one of two quests. If he tells you to fight someone in the arena, you should. However, this is the ONLY instance in which you should ever visit the arena, as you cannot get pills or random encounters there.
Girl In Red: Fight her. You would have to choose between her quests and the Imp's. Imp's are easier. After a couple of times, she will no longer give you a choice but to fight her.
Gambler: Accept. Logic would tell you otherwise, but the developer has rigged the dice in your favor so it is much more likely than it should be to triple your money, especially at lower levels. There is a quest to kill him as well. Feel free to complete it once.
Magic Elf: Fight her. The potions are good, but much more so at higher levels and not nearly worth the cost to you right now.
Dust Merchant: Fight her, in most cases. It may be cost-effective to purchase her discounted Fairy Dust at some point, but only if you're far from leveling and are very low on Skill Points. If in doubt, smack her around.
Guardian of Dreams: Fight her. Always. She will give you great rewards at any level and will heal you for free afterwards. From level 56 onward she will give you a mystery box. This is why you want your strength at 50 by then, so you don't waste the potential strength pills.
Beggar: Level 10 or below, explore. Above level 10, donate a certain amount according to your level and whether it's an event or not. (Click on the Home Page. The first line or two will say Event if it is one.) You want to give her the High value (High x1.5 on events). This is because she will then give you an item worth far more than what you gave her, which you can then use, or sell to buy con and strength. Click here for the chart. To use it, you find your level in the drop-down box marked "Level" and in that row, you find the High Value or High x1.5 (if during event). Give her that amount or more (round up if lazy) and she will give you a decent item, or at least a valuable one. There is a point where you'll want to give her the low value, but that doesn't come until the value of the item is less than the cost of 4 energy, and even then, only once soft-capped. If in doubt, pay her the high value.
Well: Level 10 or below, dive in. Otherwise, it works much like the Beggar. In this case, you'll want to give it the Low Value (Low x1.5 for events) on this chart. This will either double your money, or give you 4 energy, which will very likely at least allow you to break even.
Wise Man: It's a toss-up, really. All options are acceptable, but keep in mind that the trivia will require you to use Google rather than ask people in chat inane questions. (Please don't.) A repeatable quest from Metreon, Mind Training, will have you talk to him by using the Accept option. Do that as often as you can.
Allies: Sometimes you'll come across a creature that sees things your way. It's a trap. Most are worthless. There are three exceptions, however. First, the kitten you find in the tutorial is a pretty good pet. Once you get rid of it, though, you won't be getting it back, so consider the Banker's Guild early if you're sentimental. It won't have any actual purpose later, other than being adorable. Next, you'll want the Priestess, and then the Phoenix. Your final non-gem ally will be Demon Wings, but by then you'll be reaching the end of the usefulness of this guide anyway. Any other ally you encounter, just walk on by. It's not better than what you have.
Treasure Map: Find will give you a chance at a piece of gear relevant to your level, an enhance potion, or less gold than you'd get if you'd have sold the map. With the potential value of the gear you'd find, this should make it the best choice mathematically, though hard numbers are still required to confirm.
Possessed Boss: These appear after you complete the game the first time, and likely before you soft cap fully. Go ahead and try, but it will probably destroy you.
Learning PointsYou gain these every time you level up and for turning in a set of 5 yellow crystals. Spend them on the weapon skill for your class. Sword, Gun, or Magic. The first goal here is to get it to 60. That will unlock a new class with your 60 SP ability, giving you many bonuses. Do NOT spend LP on stats. It's a huge waste until much later in the game. Once you are at 60 in a skill, and if you are not a mage, level magic to 39. That will give you the ability to heal yourself in combat. Note, however, that you will need a staff to do this, but any will work. If you meet those conditions, put extra LP into your lowest weapon skill to raise Skill Points, or you can further raise your main weapon skill to increase effectiveness by small increments.
GuildsMost importantly, at this point in the game, it is not wise to start a new one, for anyone. At low levels, a guild can potentially work against you. The benefits to joining a guild are increased experience gain, more skill points, and access to the guild vault. Once every 4 hours, you can withdraw one item no more than 8 levels above your character level. This requires the guild members deposit items and allow members to take them. If you are not soft-capped and the guild doesn't give you items to sell to reach that goal fairly regularly, leave it. The increased exp will make soft-capping more difficult without offsetting it by taking from the vault. Additionally, do not donate to a guild before soft-capped. They will benefit more from you being stronger.
PVPBecause so many people think that leveling in the arena is a good idea... It's not. It's one of the worst things you can do for your character. You level more quickly, but as you've read, that's not necessarily a good thing. The arena has no random encounters, which means no pills for one, as well as no free energy or cheap gear. Also, the exp and coin you get is misleading. Each arena fight costs two energy. The only time you should fight in the arena is when the Imp tells you to. Fight that player only once, and then leave the arena.
GemsYou start with 20. Do not spend them yet. The first purchase you should make is the Banker's Guild. Save up for it. You'll get a pink crystal a day once you've logged on every day for a week. Currently you can get 20 free from the link on the Home Page to Time World, for completing Chapter 5. You will also find white and pink crystals in boxes. Trade in 5 and you get 20 or 6 gems respectively. Another option is to pay Kreds for them, which, in turn, cost real money. Not necessary but always an option. After you have the banker's guild, you'll want to buy Elf Princess or Valkyrie (but not both), Protection Charm, and then Cap of Wisdom (after you've soft-capped or it will make it more difficult). There are only 3 allies you should spend them on: Elf Princess or Valkyrie (again, not both) and Lilith. The rest are useless at best.
CrystalsCrystals can be found in treasure chests or can be gained from Shares. You need 5 of one color to be able to trade the set in. (Inventory > Crystals) Once you have 5 you can no longer find that color in chests so use them fairly quickly after getting them. You can also get up to 8 a day from other players on Kongregate. You don't have to be set to follow or friend. Go to their profile. From there, you will see an option to view their full profile. In their shouts, you may see a link with a picture of a chest. That shout will say what color it is, what server it's on, and when they posted it. If you want it, click the "Play Now" button. Each link will have a total of 5 crystals that can be taken and each person can grab 8 per day. For the purposes of this guide, yellow are best by far. Also, be sure to share one every day to contribute. You will not lose anything other than the second it takes to click.
EquipmentAs mentioned above, for the most part you'll sell what you find but some stats are quite useful for your class. I'll discuss the valuable stats by class, with the exception of con, which is great for survivability for anyone. However, its effectiveness is reduced the more you have.
Sword: Strength and Quickness contribute equally to your damage output. Since you will be buying strength, you'll benefit greatly from a piece of armor with a lot of speed on it. Increasing the lower of your two base stats will give the best bang for your buck. As for weapons, you want one with the Guardian's prefix. This will increase your chance to completely avoid damage by 20%. Until you can find a guardian sword, the one with the highest weapon damage will do. Dex isn't completely wasted, just mostly so, as it will only increase crit chance for you. Int is even less useful. Don't need to be smart to hit something in the head.
Gun: Quickness and Dexterity are your primary attributes. Like Sword, increasing the lower of the two will give greater benefit, but Dex also increases crit, which is pretty much what gun revolves around. You want to find a Scoped weapon, as it will give you a bonus of 20% crit. Also like Sword, your damage output will depend on the weapon damage. Strength is only useful to meet minimum equip requirements (but should still be capped).
Mage: Intelligence and Dexterity are your goal here. Mage, however, works differently than the other classes in that the damage on your weapon is completely worthless. There is no reason for a mage to ever attack something. Always use skills. More so than the other specialized weapon prefixes, Enchanted staves will have a huge impact on your damage. Always use the staff with the highest bonus to magical damage. Again, strength is only to equip gear, but should be capped nonetheless. Quickness is worthless but is better than nothing, if only barely.
ItemsThere are several different items you may come across. Most are much more beneficial to higher levels but you can still find them as you're soft-capping.
Fire/Ice/Thunder Key: Opens a demon gate. If your guild has people at or above 54, you should use the key to open the gate. Otherwise the decision, like many others, will depend on your inventory space. It's alright to sell it if you have to but keep in mind that you can get people outside of your guild to kill the boss for you, by clicking the link you see when you fight the boss. Make sure you accept the quest before you use them, found in Mt. Killjoy.
Fire/Ice/Thunder Orb: Just like the key, it opens a demon gate, but this one will be higher level. If you or your guildmates are level 60 or above, use it. The first time you open a gate with an orb, you get a free Demon Wings ally, but only after the boss is killed.
Mystery Box: At level 56, the Guardian of Dreams will drop this every time you beat her. It can contain many different items, including some of the capsules that you'd have to spend gems to get otherwise, or other rare items. Or it could give you coins, a fairy dust, or a piece of equipment to sell. Some of the most important rewards are stat pills. Open the mystery box when you get it. You will also get a free MBox every day by clicking on the Guardian button.
Arena Pass: Found in mystery boxes, it gives you one-time access to the Monster Arena in Lakeview. You will probably die here, but if you feel the need to attempt it, bank your coin first, and bring plenty of fairy dust.
Health Potion: Has only one purpose. To show a base price for the equation of several coin-related math problems, like the ones laid out in the well/beggar chart. Do not actually buy it, ever.
Fairy Dust: Instantly fills your Skill Points. Very useful as you get higher in level. At around level 50 or so you'll want to make sure you have one on you at all times. Don't waste them, though. They're not cheap.
Enhance Potion: Increases the effectiveness of your weapon, armor, or ring. If the listed level of your weapon is below 50, use them on your ring. Otherwise you can put them on your weapon to increase damage output.
Ally Skill Book: If you don't have Elf Princess, Valkyrie, or Lilith, sell it to a vendor. If you do, use it on one of their skills. Eventually you'll want them all capped, but it will take a while.
Mist Potion: Only found from one boss as an actual item but you can buy them from the healer. Do not buy them until soft-capped. Once you reach that point, these are where most of your coin will go. You can buy up to 5,000 a day.
Guardian Doll: If you would die while this is in your inventory, you instead gain twice your maximum hp and the doll is destroyed. This is the only way your hp can go beyond its max. Heals will not work until you're back below your max. Save them for those Possessed Bosses by keeping them in your bank until you think you may need them.
TradingIt's not possible to directly trade items or coins with another player in this game. The only way to transfer items is to deposit them into your guild's vault. Each player can take one item from the vault every 4 hours, but it cannot be more than 8 levels above their own.
Black MarketPlayers cannot post items on the black market. The items are random-generated by the game. It's mostly a way for people that don't spend coin wisely to spend their extra. Do not buy anything on the black market until well after you softcap.
*Disclaimer: While the large majority of this information still applies with the new patch, you may want to hold off on spending gems on allies for now. I will update the relevant sections once things have been tested a bit more.