This is probably going to look like a guide. It really isn’t!
I have a strategic process that I’ve developed over the years of competing and coaching various sports and games. I’m going to give my (primitive) conclusions and hopefully some of the experts can correct my misunderstandings and maybe as a result players like me can improve.
The method is simple:
1) break down the objective, the obsticles, and the tools you have to overcome those obsticles.
2) devise a philosphy of winning.
3) from your philosophy come up with specific strategies.
4) implement your strategy.
5) observe your results.
6) adjust your philosophy of winning based on the observations
7) go back to 3) and repeat over and over until you reach the desired level of performance.
Now that that’s out of the way, here’s what I’ve come up with so far…
The object of the game is to win all the stages (this is debatable for sure). To win each stage we have several in-combat abilities all of which are fueled by mana. Outside combat we have access to ability points which are used to give us more mana, or use the mana we have more efficiently.
We do not start with enough mana or firepower to win. We have to increase the amount and rate at which we get mana and increase our firepower in order to win. It is in our best interest for completing the game to win with as high an EXP total as possible. Doing this gives us more mana efficiency for later stages. More mana efficiency allows us to take on more EXP multipliers and earn even more EXP.
Within each stage, at every time we have a certain amount of mana, fire power, and choices open to us. When we do not choose the absolute best option in any situation for completing the stage gaining the most possible EXP we’ve made a mistake to some degree.
It follows from this that using our mana for increasing rate of mana gain or firepower more than is needed for getting the maximum possible EXP from a stage is inefficient and usually a mistake (sometimes getting more firepower like making a higher level gem than is truly needed gives a bonus to EXP, or allows more angering)
Based on all of that, it looks like to me that the driving force behind decisions should be firepower. We need enough mana coming in to sustain its growth, but by and large FP is king.
Looking at how to increase firepower there are three things, upgrading the actual gem, putting up more amplifiers, adding strength to the gem in existing amplifier.
of those, upgrading the gem seems to give the most benefit. putting up more amplifiers gives second most, and upgrading the gems in existing amplifiers gives the lowest gain.
But putting up amplifiers isn’t cheap. turns out other than actually amking the gem in the tower bigger the best return per mana is to grow the gem in the amplifier.
so what I came up with as a strategy, based on all of that is this:
I bring a mana pool of 4000 or more, this gives enough mana to buy lime or yellow on 2 color maps and still make a tower, level 4 gem and a few walls if needed.
my next build is an amplifier. I then grow the gem in the amplifier and do mana extentions until the cost of a mana extention is 1/4 or more the cost of upping my main gem. I use the gem grown in the amplifier to up the level of the main gem when it gets big enough then start building another gem in the amplifier. Every time it cost less than 1/2 the mana for upping the main gem, I buy another amplifier and build the gems evenly in the two amplifiers. Again, I also up mana pool until it gets to 1/4 the cost of upping the main gem.
Upping the mana pool in this way becomes inefficient after a while. For instance if there are 20 levels left and you chose to spend say 1500 mana to buy the next mana pool you are going to get extra mana equal to 5% of the next 20 waves. that = 100% of the mana of the average wave. If you play mostly in the armor waves like I do, you could have gotten that return from angering 5 or 6 times with level 1 gems spread out over all of those waves. that means the same return for 1/5 the cost.
In an endurance with infinite rounds, the mana pool will pretty much always out perform the angering since the return is 5% of the total times infinite waves which is still infinity. but for a fixed number of rounds, it’s value goes down compred to angering and at some point angering is just better all arround unless for some reason you just need a lot of mana at once for an amulet or challenge.
so I usually end up in the 115ish maps with an 8 amp’d gem of level 10 or 11ish wiping out all in its path, about a 75-100* bonus from mana pool spells, and at that point I’m angering each wave 4 or 5 times depending how much I can stand.
Am I thinking this out right? Could I be doing better than this given fixed wave numbers?