Been playing ~4 hours. Still struggling!

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First off – cool game. From reading the forums I can tell most everyone is well past my in ability and understanding of the game.

I’ve read the guide, as well. But I’m still stuck. I’m stuck at J10 (crafting Pylon) – there are no other areas open to me, and I’m still at level 26 (need to be thirty). I’m assuming my only option is to go back and play the earlier levels at harder settings. The problem I’m encountering is that even with the difficulty setting raised just a tic or two in several areas I keep dying on the last or second to last wave. I am setting my skill points to maximize my two starting colors. Also, just a note, I have yet to have created a gem higher than fifth level (the games usually over by then). Should I be using the extend mana pool more frequently?

If I do beat one of those waves, I generally only get another 300 or 400 xp.
I also noticed the badges grant XP but I’m pretty far away from most of them.

Any general tips or is this just “Welcome to Gem(grind)Craft?” Thanks in advance!

 
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Firstly, I don’t know if you know this, but the “Armored only” modifier gives a 1.17 multiplier (a decent amount) while actually making the game easier, since there are no swarms or runners (armored usually come in no more than 12 per wave, usually less, and always have a speed of 1). The two banishing modifiers are also pretty good, because they only make the game harder if any monsters reach your orb (which they shouldn’t be).
At level 26, the mana pool extension is next to useless – its more worth it to invest it in other things.
Also, if you haven’t done so, get gem forge to the highest you can – it is the absolute best skill IMO.
Bloodbound(red), chain hit (lime), and multiple damage (yellow) are probably the best for you right now, so try to do levels which have those gems.
If you want a real jump in level, you should try the pylon summoning trick – should raise you by at least 25 levels.

 
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Thanks, Anakin! These all sounds like awesome tips (all news to me :) – I’m going to give it another go.

I do have my mana pool extension up really high too. I’ll change that – that will free up some points for sure!

 
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Glad I could help. Try out some of these things, then tell me how you do.

 
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Things get easier once you reach level 50 or so – at which point you can do endurance mode with good results, till then I would just focus most skill points in focus, no replenish (for <20 waves its pretty useless), Forge, Construction, Dual-Gem Mastery, and Readyness. Build a few towers with dual gems and beat the level as quickly as possible, while upgrading those gems whenever possible. Up until the first pylon (D10) it’s less than 20 waves, By the second pylon (J10) it’s less than 30 waves. Somewhere around level 45 or so Wild Gem becomes available…It’s your best investment – so keep it maxed out. Don’t waste your time trying to get great multipliers, or endurance on the easier Fields when you’re still at a low level – your Time:Experience won’t be worth it at all.

 
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Hey Anakin,

The ‘armored only’ tip worked great, as I also got a +30% bonus “untouched orb” bonus. Sweet. Made 2400exp in one round (so ~1400 improvement!). I’ll be redoing some more levels with this technique.

Any one else have any other advice for relatively newer people? As I mentioned, I did check out the forums but most of the advice was clearly geared toward pro’s (eg. should I use two level 24 gems or one level 29.. haha)

C

 
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Thank you (aptly named) Mrhelpful man. I think thats precisely the rut I was finding myself in. I’m going to look over my skills and readjust some points. Thankfully you can respec at will (with no penalty).

This Wild Gem intrigues me… must persevere!

 
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“Replenish” is a subtle skill that is often overlooked. It increases the mana you get per kill, so boosting it means your gems can become more powerful, faster. Boosting the mana pool a few times also makes a difference in the strength of your gems in the later waves. Raising the mana multiplier to 1.25 or even 1.5 early on can make a big difference later, too. You develop a feel for how quickly the monsters are going down, and whether it’s safe to boost the mana pool again or if you need to be saving for an upgrade.

I’ve also found that opening up the Yellow gem can make a huge difference. I’ve sometimes had to make a starter gem with the given colors, but once it’s grade 4 I spend the 400 mana to open up Yellow and make a new gem from that. When you’re given two real dogs for starters, it’s often the only way to get to the end.

 
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I would recommend putting into skills that work for all your gems basically whenever you can
And remember you can use Walls to help yourself out a LOT by forcing the monsters to move in strange and easily-clumped and circuitous paths
Focus Replenish are two goodies, some Forge is good, once u can start doing the Damage/Fire Rate/Range skills , those are really good for owning normal maps on normal setting
Wild Gem is pro as well lets you start off pretty strong

 
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If you can do the very first Pylon, I would suggest reading up on the pylon trick, if you can hold out enough for that, thats a *48 to *50 multiplier on summoning + any others things you have. the pylon trick netted me about 35 levels at once. you can message me for more info if you wish.

 
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At your level, the best thing to do is probably the bloudbound+amp or blood+amp+trip strategies.

Basically, this early, the damage from a bloodbound is both cheap and potent(A winning combination when you’re short on skill points). Thus, you create one decently sized gem(grade 5 is what I run with typically, and it has gotten me to level 50ish without significant issues). Then, you add amps around your primary gem, and fill them with gems 1-2 grades lower. The primary bloundbound soaks up all the kills, netting a significant damage boost.

In the triple version, you utilize the sizeable +10% triple gem bonus to make your gem beastly while saving on skill points by not investing in the dual gem mastery. I recommend lime, yellow and orange as primary candidates, while switching in one of your starter gems may be required, based on level.

And yes, the game should kinda be called grindcraft, since you typically have to replay levels 2-4 times before you can get the xp you want from it.

Shortly after beating J10, you should go back and re-grind all the old levels at max(non-premium at least) difficulty. You’ll net a lot of levels from doing so, assuming you don’t use the ‘trick’ someone around here mentioned.