Recent posts by DubiousMerit on Kongregate

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Topic: Clicker Heroes / Relics - A mid/endgame guide

Originally posted by princemuchao:

Thanks for this, it helps a lot. For now I am assigning a score to each of my relics based on how it rates on the following list, and will just score each new promising relic to see if it is “more valuable” than my existing ones. If I have a +2% on something that has a max of +4%, I just divide the score in half. Not exactly scientific, but better than before where I had no clue what was better than anything else.

10: +4% Chance of Primal Bosses
09: +4% Chance of double rubies
08: +20% Primal Hero Souls
04: -4% to Hero Hiring and Level-Up cost
02: +40% more Treasure Chests
02: +1% Chance of 10x Gold

Current relics:
13: Ranger Gloves Wisdom lvl 39 (10×0.5 + 08)
11.75: Handwrap Riches lvl 45 (09×0.75 + 10×0.5)
6: Handwrap Abandonment lvl 37 (10×0.5 + 2×0.5)
5: Gladiator Thrift lvl 47 (04 + 02×0.5)

This is really helpful, thanks. A straightforward system for grading the relative value of relics and their properties makes it far easier to figure out which to save and which to dump.

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Topic: Clicker Heroes / Gilds vs. QAs: An Early Game Head-To-Head Test


With the introduction of rubies with version 0.17d, there has been continual debate about the best way to spend them. If a new player asks in the chat which option is the best, inevitably an argument breaks out with many claiming Gilds are better, while other swear Quick Ascensions are better, continuing for many pages.

I have personally advocated for gilds for new players based on my own experience and understanding of the game mechanics. I felt that the consolidation of gilds should give a large DPS boost that would propel the player to higher levels, offsetting those gained from a QA. However, the rubies system was introduced after I had started playing so I had little direct experience to work from. Advocates of Quick Ascensions have made a compelling argument that the faster start they afforded would continue to carry the player to faster progress sooner, building a lead that would not be overcome.

After puzzling over the issue for a while, I decided that play testing is the only way to settle the issue. No logical argument or calculation can take the place of actually playing the game. I made two runs to zone 1000 that were as identical as possible, with the only difference being that I would spend my rubies buying Quick Ascensions in one run and Gilds in the other.


The most difficult issue to be settled was finding a consistent protocol for making decisions in the game. There would be many opportunities to introduce bias through arbitrary actions, so I tried to make the playing format as rigid as possible. I was not interested in the most efficient or most advantageous method for each, rather a well-defined and reproducible method to play the two games as close to identically as I could, while minimizing the impact of chance.

Tests were done using version 0.18 of the game. Version 0.19 was released after I started, so games were left idling without closing the browser window to avoid getting updated and having the new relics system interfere with the test. The Quick Ascensions run was done on the site, while the Gilds run was done on the Steam version of the game. Both games were started at the same time on the same day of the week (but two weeks apart, so only one at a time) so that my usual weekly schedule would leave them idling at similar points for similar lengths of time.


Heroes were progressed through sequentially, taking each to level 10, buying the upgrade, then moving on to the next. They were leveled to their highest upgrade when the cost did not impact leveling the most recent hero. Shinatobe was taken to 25, then Grant to 50 to bridge the larger gaps at the end. Frostleaf was leveled to 110, then Treebeast, Ivan, Brittany, Masked Samurai and Forest Seer were used for DPS from then on. They were leveled in increments of 25, along with any other heroes whose random gilding made them useful. In the QA run, Natalia picked up three gilds which made her a good contributor to the group. Dread Knight also picked up three gilds and was used to level 100 when feasible in the QA run. For the gilds run, the main five heroes had acquired enough gilds of their own that others were not useful so I stuck with only them.

After Regilding, only the gilded heroes were leveled for DPS.


Probably the most difficult situation to assess objectively was when to ascend. I finally settled on these criteria:

- Skills would be used to extend ascensions as far as they could go. This was to even out the effects of treasure chest drops and have a consistent cutoff point for them. This also allowed me to have a life to some extent while waiting for skills to cool down late in a run, since I was playing fairly intensely. Ascending as soon as I got to a boss I couldn’t idle past was not sustainable. This was still somewhat arbitrary, but the best I could do.
- Until Vaagur was maxed, runs were ended with a single skills use.
- After that, runs would be extended with a 1234 combo until 7 was necessary to beat a boss. Skill 7 (Superclicks) was then reloaded and a final 123487 combo was used on the last boss. If this boss was not primal, it would sometimes be skipped rather than waiting for the skills cool down to finish.
- Once ancients were leveled to 40, skills would be used (123479 and 123487) on only two additional bosses.
- After the second Regilding, no skills would be used on bosses (since even an 87123 was barely better than idle damage at that point).
- Energized Dark Rituals were used every 30 minutes when possible.

Ancients and Regilding

The plan I used for buying and leveling ancients was based on the walkthrough at Wikia, with some modifications to streamline and clarify it. The object was not to have an ideal buying and leveling system to maximize efficiency, but rather to have clear decision points so that each game would be as identical to the other as possible.

In the scheme, HS refers to the number of free hero souls listed on the screen, as opposed to the total number earned. Ancients were generally bought in groups to minimize reroll costs, but were left at level 1 until the entire group was bought to minimize the impact of their order of purchase.

1. 25 HS, buy Vaagur.
2. 50 HS, buy Siyalatas/Libertas (reroll to get one of them)
3. 75 HS, buy the other
4. 100 HS, level all ancients to 10, without dropping below 100. Take Vaagur to 15.
5. 200 HS, buy one of Mimizee/Mammon/Dora/Fortuna/Dogcog
6. 250 HS, buy another one
7. 325 HS, buy another one
8. 425 HS, buy another one
9. 525 HS, buy last one
10. 400 HS is now the minimum. Level all ancients to 20 without dropping below 400.
11. Regilding 1: Use random regilds to move gilds to Treebeast, Ivan, Brittany, Masked Samurai, and Forest Seer
12. 900 becomes minimum. Level all ancients to 30 without dropping below 900.
13. 1600 becomes minimum. Level all ancients to 40 without dropping below 1600.
14. 2500 becomes minimum. Level all ancients to 50 without dropping below 2500.
15. Buy Kuma and Bubos. Level both to their max without dropping below 2500.
16. Buy Morgulis, Atman, Solomon, and Argaiv without dropping below 2500.
17. Level Morgulis to 2500, then all other ancients to 50.
18. Regilding 2: Move all gilds to Masked Samurai with 80 HS direct move.
19. Level Morgulis to 3600, all other ancients to 60.
20. Level Morgulis to 4900, all other ancients to 70.
21. Continue with Morgulis to (10n)2, others to 10n until zone 1000 is reached.


I chose to treat QAs a hero souls bonus rather than a true ascension. This made direct comparison of the two run more straightforward. The numbers below thus reflect actual ascensions for the QA run.

QAs bought during ascension # (value): 1 (7), 2 (9), 4 (11), 7 (12), 11 (14), 17 (16), 26 (19), 35 (29), 41 (33), 51 (52), 56 (116), 66 (303), 74 (559), 89 (8796)
Total QA purchases: 14
Total HS from QA: 9976
Total HS earned: 188442
Hero souls from rubies were about 5% of the total
109 ascensions (95 actual ascensions, 14 QAs)
152,933 hero souls spent on ancient levels (Morgulis to 19,600, all others to 134)
13 days, 3 hours elapsed from first click, for an average of 3.32 hours per ascension.

Gilds bought during ascension #: 1,1,3,4,6,8,10,15,19,25,30,34,38,41,44,46,51,56,62,65,69,72,78,85 = 24 purchases
Total Gilds bought: 72
Total Gilds earned from game: 91
Gilds from rubies were about 44% of the total.
87 ascensions
105,918 hero souls spent on ancient levels (Morgulis to 14,400, all others to 113)
13 days, 20 hours elapsed from first click, for an average of 3.82 hours per ascension.

Landmarks on this graph (Ascension # for following events):
Event                                                  QA Ascension #    Gilds Ascension #
Siyalatas and Libertas to 10, Vaagur to 15                  16                 19
Mammon/Mimzee/Dora/Dogcog/Fortuna bought                    40                 40
Ancients leveled to 20, Regilding 1                         55                 56
All ancients to 30                                          64                 61
All ancients to 40                                          68                 65
Bubos/Kuma bought and maxed                                 76                 70
Argaiv/Atman/Solomon/Morgulis bought                        82                 77
All ancients to 50, Regilding 2                             86                 81
Zone 1000 reached                                           95                 87

Buying gilds seemed to produce better results, getting to zone 1000 with fewer ascensions and lower ancient leveling required.

Observations and Discussion

The QA run did indeed jump out to a fast start, as its proponents have suggested. This was helped by the random number generator, which produced a second crop of 50 rubies only 9 hours after the first one. However, that lead had evaporated within five days, with the results of the two test runs almost interchangeable up to the first regilding. At that point, the gilded runs began to pull ahead and stayed ahead to the end,

The Gilds caught up to the QAs due to the sheer number of gilds and their distribution. By Ascension #25, an additional 30 gilds had been purchased and as a result nearly all the heroes had at least one gild. Thus the 50% DPS bonus applied almost constantly, making the progression through the heroes much faster. It can be seen on the graph above that this is where the Gilds run first began to get to higher levels than the QA run. The extra damage made it possible to get an extra boss or two at the end of the each ascension. It did not take long for the extra bosses to produce as many hero souls as had been obtained from the Quick Ascensions, nullifying their advantage.

Buying gilds had a distinct disadvantage in the cost of Regilding. With the QA run, there were 20 gilds to move at the first regilding which cost 240 HS, about one run’s worth. With the Gilds run, there were 72 to be moved, which cost 660 HS or three runs’ worth. The second regilding was similar, with the gilds run taking roughly three runs’ worth of hero souls to move all the gilds to Masked Samurai.

The main observable difference between the two runs while playing was the slowness of the Gild run. Gilded ascensions had very long tails, puttering along with just enough DPS to beat the next boss for a long time. They ended up at higher levels, but took a long time to get there. In contrast, the QA ascensions tended to end rather abruptly, with skills quickly losing their effectiveness against bosses and producing a much clearer end point.

This time difference was probably an artifact of the ancient leveling scheme I followed, which was aimed at simplicity and reproducibility rather than efficiency. I suspect the effect would largely disappear with a superior scheme, and the fewer number of ascensions would result in a faster overall time to zone 1000 for the Gilds. Thus I believe the shorter time for the QAs run was mostly due to not buying gilds, as opposed to significant time savings from the QAs themselves. Of course, the proper way to test this would be with a control run where nothing at all was bought, but I will leave that test to someone else at the moment. However, based on the present data it is true that buying Quick Ascensions progressed to Zone 1000 in less total time.


Based on these data and with the changes added with version 0.19, I will recommend to new players that they invest their rubies first in the permanent 2x DPS bonus, and then in gilds. They show a distinct advantage in the early game. Quick Ascensions in the early part of the game have little value and do not make much practical difference, whereas gilds are quite scarce and buying extras makes an outsized impact.

Beyond zone 1000 remains untested, however, and I would not generalize these results to the rest of the game. There is no further consolidation of gilds to boost their impact and higher leveling of Argaiv can mimic the effect of more gilds, so it would seem likely that their value would drop after the second regilding. I will leave it to others to demonstrate that, however.

I do not consider this the final word on the issue. This is one test under one set of conditions. Another test using ancients buying and leveling schemes optimized for their respective purchases would be informative, as well. I would encourage much more play testing in general. I will do my best to answer any questions and criticisms in the comments.

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Topic: General Gaming / Rebuild 2 heli ending.

You can do that without the helicopter, as well. Once you achieve one victory condition, you can click on a police station or fortified mall and select “Leave The City.” Does the same thing – pick five survivors and start over somewhere else. Schooling them up to level 10 in all skills before you go makes it pretty easy to win, even in impossible mode.

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Topic: GemCraft Labyrinth / Traps verse Towers

You beat that by putting a second trap ahead of your main one. Put the new gem in there and let it activate. It will blow out a clear zone, giving you time to merge the new gem with your old one so that it will activate before the monsters get there.

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Topic: GemCraft Labyrinth / Mana Pool Trick.

Originally posted by Lurlock:

Actually, every gem-building strategy I’ve ever seen comparisons of shows that combining gems results in a better gem than upgrading. Upgrading is easier, but you don’t get a better gem that way.

As a boss of mine used to say, “What difference does a difference make, if it doesn’t make any difference?” A couple % difference in a gem strength is irrelevant when you can just upgrade it and double its strength. In the long run, all this gem-combining strategy is largely a waste of time.

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Topic: GemCraft Labyrinth / FAQs: Please read before posting.

Originally posted by randomturtle:

How much does premium cost in.


It’s 50 Kreds. You can do free stuff to earn them, or fork over cash at whatever the exchange rate is. Take your pick. There is no direct conversion.

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Topic: GemCraft Labyrinth / Anyone need help?

Originally posted by phoyphoy:

Field H2
Level 53

I do fine up until the wave with the 55K health creep. After that point, I cannot seem to keep creeps away from the orb. I usually have 1 G6, 2 G5s, and 4 G4s. But for the life of me, I cannot kill that creep… or any successive waves of creeps.

This is generally a sign that you’re not building your gems fast enough – the monsters are getting tougher faster than your gems are. Do more summoning early on (G1s for the 1st ten waves, G2s for the next 10, etc. – summon as many as you can handle), and expand your mana pool aggressively to get the higher mana multiplier (say, expand it five times before upgrading your gem to the next grade).

Getting your main gem up to grade 8 or 9 should solve your problems. Also, use all armored as was suggested by superxchloe. Much more predictable and easier to deal with.

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Topic: GemCraft Labyrinth / Anyone need help?

The gem in the tower is unnecessary. Y/L/O in a trap with 6 amps (2 grades below) should be able to simultaneously kill everything and generate all the mana you need. The downside is lag, of course. If you’ve got multiple entrances that don’t converge for a while, you may end up with several thousand monsters on-screen waiting to shuffle over the trap.

While I start with a gem in a tower, by the time it’s grade 13 or 14, it’s in a trap with amps – and I leave it there until it’s up to grade 30 or 31, at which point I move it to a tower and start holding down the “n” key. The important point is summoning with 6, 10, 12 or more gem bombs per wave to keep the monsters coming thick – and right at the edge of what you can kill.

I start the battle by bombing the first six waves with 12 G1 gems each, then move to 18 G1s per wave, and then increase the grades as my mana pool increases. I can generally get my main gem up to grade 30 by wave 50 or 55, bombing the last few waves with 18 G13s each.

Obviously, that’s too aggressive for you at your wizard level, but push the summoning as hard as you can as it pays off big in increased mana and higher grade gems. You actually want monsters with more hit points and higher armor, as it takes more shots to kill them, then – and the YLO gem in a trap generates massive amounts of mana per hit. You also get all the chain hits in a trap, as they can hit the same target repeatedly. The net effect is exponentially more mana.

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Topic: GemCraft Labyrinth / How do you save this game

It autosaves after every battle. If it doesn’t, then it’s something with your own machine.

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Topic: GemCraft Labyrinth / The Gemcraft Labyrinth Help Thread

Originally posted by Oreno5267:

i need help on k9, L12, L10, and M11

Usually that means you need to replay earlier levels at higher difficulty settings to gain more exp, levels, and skill points. Those fields will be much easier at a higher wizard level.

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Topic: GemCraft Labyrinth / Shift Key No Longer Works

I know there were issues with Firefox on Mac that gave fits to the shift key (defaulted to an “A” for me, so I was accidentally building amplifiers everywhere). I could work around it by pressing it twice, or pressing the hotkey after shift. This bug disappeared when I upgraded to the latest version of Firefox (4.01), so it seems to be a browser issue rather than a GCL problem.

Others have reported problems with Internet Explorer, so perhaps upgrading your browser or trying a different browser is the best advice I can give.

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Topic: GemCraft Labyrinth / 100 waves in G10

It’s 100 waves in a single battle, so you have to have Premium to do it. You can tell how many waves you’ve beaten from the Stats window.

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Topic: GemCraft Labyrinth / Is there any kind of formula/strategy for Gembombing?

I’ve found that Y/L/O does well at both killing and mana gain in a trap. I start with a gem that is 6 G1 Y + 5 G1 L + 5 G1 O and upgrade it from there. I put it in a trap with 6 amps two grades below by grade 12, and I keep it there until I’ve managed to get it up to grade 30 or 31 – at which point the game is getting terribly laggy due to all the chain hits and the gem is plenty strong enough to kill everything to the end in a tower.

Edit: I also summon like crazy in the early waves. I bomb the first 6 waves with 12 G1s each, then the next 4 with 18 G1s each, then 18 G2s per wave for a while, and so on – with the goal being to keep the monsters right at the limit of what I can kill.

If you’re at a lower wizard level, you may be able to handle only 3 or 4 gembombs per wave. It may take a bit of testing to find the limit of what’s too much. The key is getting the Y/L/O gem in a trap, though. You don’t get much mana from a tower.

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Topic: GemCraft Labyrinth / My Guide to Endurance (hardest settings)

Originally posted by Sirry:

@Snaz the problem late game is that the enemies reach 9,999,999,999,999 hp… at most you will kill maybe 50k bad guys? no matter what red will hardly make a dent to the enemies. lime and yellow @ lvl 30 get to about 80 mill dmg and a 4000x multiplier… you think an extra 150k will be worth reducing the multiplier or chain hit? I think not ;-)

Actually, it can be worth it if you’ve got lots of kills. Red bonus goes into the base damage, which then gets multiplied by Yellow. A slightly smaller multiplier with a significantly higher base can yield substantially more net damage.

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Topic: GemCraft Labyrinth / GCL general discussion

Originally posted by Slain087:

So is making a crapload of level 1 gems, then fusing them together to make higher level gems more effective, mana-wise? Is there a marked difference between one made this way and one created at that level?

It’s useful for making an initial gem that you want to be a specific blend of colors. I’m currently partial to a starting gem that is 6 G1 Y + 5 G1 L + 5 G1 O, all combined into a Grade 5 gem that’s almost exactly 1/3 of each.

I’m of high enough level (1980 now) that I don’t need a separate mana farm anymore – my killer is also my mana farmer in a trap until I get to grade 30 or 31, then I put it in a tower to kill everything to the end of the endurance run. The trap gets too laggy to deal with at that point, and the gem is powerful enough to be back in a tower and needs no further upgrading.

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Topic: GemCraft Labyrinth / Tips and Tricks

Originally posted by GeneralYouri:

A different approach would be to simply put it in a tower allowing it to kill everything to before the trap, then put it back in the trap.

I generally summon to the point where the gem can barely handle it in a trap. At that level, the same gem in a tower barely touches them, so using a tower to hold them off isn’t an option. That’s why I got to putting a second trap in front of the first to clear out the space.

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Topic: GemCraft Labyrinth / Tips and Tricks

I thought it might be useful to have a compendium of little things you have learned in the course of playing that makes things easier for you. These aren’t necessarily field-specific or wizard-level specific, just general stuff you do, techniques for various things that seem to work pretty well and others might be interested in.

I’ll start with this one:

When your killer gem is in a trap and needs upgrading, it is dangerous to upgrade it directly, as some monsters may be able to crawl across the trap during the down time as the gem reloads.

I solved this by adding a second trap in front of the main one. When you’ve built a new gem that is ready to be combined with the old one, put the new one in the trap ahead of it. When it comes to life, it will blow out all the monsters a square ahead of the main one. You can then pull it out of the trap and combine it with the old gem in the main trap to make your upgraded gem, without the chance of anything getting by during the down time.

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Topic: GemCraft Labyrinth / no more than 2 gems, more than 5k spent?

The amulet says you have to win a battle with no more than two gems at any time – so if you built a gem by making and combining several lower levels, it doesn’t count. You can kill the wild gem, then make a dual which you upgrade as necessary. At no point may you have more than two gems anywhere – on the field or in your inventory.

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Topic: GemCraft Labyrinth / K9 & L11

Most straightforward solution would be to replay earlier levels at higher difficulty settings so you gain more exp, levels, and skill points.

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Topic: GemCraft Labyrinth / what level do you reach??

I’m currently level 1577. I’ve completed 8 endurance runs at max settings thus far. I intend to do all 169 fields that way eventually. I’m aware that it’s going to take a while.

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Topic: GemCraft Labyrinth / Point of Bloodbound gem?

Your data are apparently for a gem in a tower, Youri. When a gem is in a trap, you get all the chain hits until you run out of targets, from what I’ve read. If there’s only one target, it will hit that one repeatedly. Chain in a tower requires distinct targets, which is why you don’t get all your chain hits. Yet another reason why you put your killer gem in a trap after grade 12 or so. That grade 29 gem couldn’t cope with the monsters when I tested putting it in a tower, but wiped everything out instantly in a trap.

So when a monster walked onto my trap, it got all 1500 chain hits (if needed) all to itself. Since even at the minimum it only took 1000 hits, it was dead on one shot.

I have used armor tearing in mana traps previously. It does help at relatively low wizard levels on to make the high-armor monsters easier to kill later. Once my killer got strong enough, though, it didn’t make much difference.

With regard to the thread topic, I concede that at high grades, you’re better off with a larger yellow component than red. I’ve reduced the red component of my killer gems to about 1 part in 8, and am amping with pure yellow. It is indeed more effective in the long run, but for getting started I like having Red in there. I summon gazillions of monsters in the early waves, and build up lots of kills in a hurry. Thus the Red component gets me a much stronger gem early in the battle, to compensate for Yellow’s slow scaling. Beyond grade 15, the Yellow component becomes dominant and starts doing most of the damage.

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Topic: GemCraft Labyrinth / Point of Bloodbound gem?

Actually, I think what I posted is indeed wrong. I haven’t done much direct testing, but it doesn’t seem to square with what I’ve seen. I think it’s actually (base – armor) X Yellow – otherwise I’d one-hit kill everything with my higher grade gems.

I’ve also noticed that Red seems to do considerably more damage than would be expected based on raw numbers. If the Red bonus goes into the base value, it would make a huge difference against monsters whose armor is close to the base damage number.

I’d be interested to see the output of your tests, Youri. I may have to run some myself.

Edit to add:

Well, I think my first formula is right. I’m just finishing up an endurance run, so I have some data.

Wave 1337 monsters: Armor = 124,970,252; HP = 9,999,999,999,999

Here’s my killer gem:

It’s in a trap with 5 grade 26 Pure Yellow amps. If armor was subtracted before multiplying, I wouldn’t be able to touch the monsters, yet they evaporate the instant they step on the trap. As it is, using the minimum values:

2017399 × 4784 = 9,651,236,816 damage per hit

9,651,236,816 – 123,970,252 = 9,526,266,564 net damage per hit

9,999,999,999,999 / 9,526,266,564 = 1004 hits needed to kill. My chain hit component hits a minimum of 1562 targets per shot, so I guess it makes sense that they disappear the moment they set foot on my trap. One shot at the minimums will kill them.

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Topic: GemCraft Labyrinth / Point of Bloodbound gem?

Originally posted by FlareAndrew:

so is this the way damage is dealt? ((Gem Damage * Yellow Damage)-Armor)*Lime Hits = Total Damage

Basically, yeah. There’s the base damage (a random number somewhere between the quoted minimum and maximum), which is then multiplied by the Multiple Damage multiplier (if Yellow is present). The monster’s armor is then subtracted from that to get the damage done on each hit. Chain hit simply acts like a bunch of independent (but identical) shots.

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Topic: GemCraft Labyrinth / 1 Mana Gem + Kill Gem or 1 All-in-one?

And if you actually want a dual gem with the triple gem bonus, build a gem with 1 G1 of some random color, 15 G1 of A and 16 G1 of B, and combine them into a single gem. Then combine that with 50/50 A/B gems until the third component is sufficiently diluted out. You then have a “triple” gem with one component so small that it doesn’t reduce the bonuses of the other two, yet still gets the 22% triple bonus.

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Topic: GemCraft Labyrinth / 1 Mana Gem + Kill Gem or 1 All-in-one?

I prefer specialization. It’s not that big of a deal to maintain several gems. I find it’s more efficient to have a mana-gathering gem and a separate killing gem. I get more mana and deal more damage.