Recent posts by drachefly on Kongregate

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Topic: GemCraft - Chasing Shadows / How to play without the pouch?

Originally posted by UgAhgItHurts:

Correction: the most xp available is beacons, but those are annoying. And it’s pretty easy for a crit/whatever trap to kill what your mana/whatever trap can’t touch.

Annoying? They’re easy. If you’re to the point that you are generating beacons regularly, you are to the point that you can blow them up trivially.

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Topic: GemCraft - Chasing Shadows / Slower killchain counter cooldown?

%XP is one of the best overall, really.

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Topic: GemCraft - Chasing Shadows / Do you need the MAgicians Pouch to get all Kong badges for this game?

Originally posted by TDWaster:

it’s a shame that they would do that

You do NOT need to pay to get all kong badges. Note that the question you asked in the thread title is the opposite of the question you asked in the body of the OP.

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Topic: GemCraft - Chasing Shadows / What's the fastest way to get to level X5?

Originally posted by James146:

I love gemcraft, but there are times when you are not focusing on the right goal or failing a level repeatedly. Sometimes, this discourages me to play for a while. But I also have this goal of completing a game I have started playing. Any tips on getting to this level quickly?

This is a big game. Do you mean, ‘which way is it important to go’?

The path straight to X is F→ I → M → Q → T → X

But you’ll also need to get Beam from H→ D and Curse from J → G in order to pass some of the requirements (curse will unlock getting amplifiers, which are necessary). And of course you’ll want Mana Leech from E→B, and to go up the K → O → R chain for Glaring Difficulty, Corrupted Banishment , and CRITICALS. Also Barrage, in P.

You can pretty much ignore C, N, and U. Some people like Armor tearing, in A (see previous poster). I hardly use it.

So, nearly everywhere you go is somewhere useful to be.

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Topic: GemCraft - Chasing Shadows / Best Gemcraft game?

This one – Chasing Shadows.

GC1 didn’t have anger, and you couldn’t pick which gems you’d get. Like, wow.

GC0 was incredibly grindy.

GCL… okay. Nearly up to CS, here. I did like its compactness so you could review all score multipliers at once.

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Topic: GemCraft - Chasing Shadows / setting bombs number

press B, hold shift, then WAIT FOR THE GEM TO GLOW.

If you don’t check that the gem is glowing, bad things happen.

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Topic: GemCraft - Chasing Shadows / How to play without the pouch?


How much and which skills should one get? There are four basic branches of skills, and masonry.

ZEROTH category is your starting mana. This is linear. All the other skills have a cost that increases quadratically, which means it gets less and less efficient to go deeper and deeper. Starting mana is very important. It lets you begin with powerful gems that let you get away with summoning monsters. Skill points go to this first and only spend spares on anything else.

Reserve enough MP to make yourself a kill gem that lets you summon 3 times on the first two waves, with enough mana reserved for the gems for said summons. You can spend the rest on skills. Generally stick to multiples of 3.

FIRST category is scaling up your MP for gems. The two relevant skills are Mana Stream and Fusion. Mana Stream starts strong, but Fusion gets better later. Keep Mana Stream 6 levels ahead of Fusion until Mana Stream reaches L18. Then have Fusion begin to gradually catch up so they cross over at L30. Once they hit L33, don’t touch Mana Stream until Fusion is capped at L45.

SECOND category is the Might skills – True Colors, Resonance, and Traps. True Colors is by far the best. It makes every gem better in the most important ways. Traps are important for mana farming, poison, and slow, but you don’t need a whole lot of it compared to True Colors. Resonance is also nice, I guess.

I would put True Colors at the same level as the average of Mana Stream and Fusion until late game. Resonance can go at about half that, and if you’re using traps, put traps at the same as Resonance.

THIRD category is fiddly details like whether you get your enhancements or freezing when you want it, enhancing gem abilities, etc.. Most skills are of this type. Don’t spend too much on them – the gains are normally fairly marginal. Sure, drop a point or three (not two. Two is dumb), but rarely go beyond that. The exceptions are:

Yellow makes awesome kill-gems. By the time you get it, you should be able to afford a dozen ranks in it before the cost gets too much. Soon your damage output will skyrocket.

Freeze should get more than a few levels. Curse and Wake of Eternity, not so much.

If you’re pursuing a poison trap strategy, then poison should go up beyond 3rd rank. If not, then poison should sit at 0.

If you’re making mana traps, orange should go up a fair amount, and maybe a little more beam or barrage, to minimize hiccups. Just a little, though.

That’s pretty much it. The gem enhancements come in frequently enough at their basic levels, and the other gems don’t give enough bang for the expenditure.

LAST, masonry. Look at the level and decide how much you want to build before third wave. 20 for each wall, 150 for each trap or tower, 600(?) per amplifier (the cost in game increases, but this skill impacts base cost, so that’s what we’ll add up). Then decide what you want to build before wave 8, and add half the total for that. Divide by 90, and get that number of levels of masonry. If you have amplifiers, round up to a multiple of 3 and add on 3 levels.


Wherever’s easiest, for the most part. Don’t hit tile K until you have curse and beam, because those help a lot in dealing with shadows. If your dark flashes might be shadows, save up freeze, curse and beam, get a high-level poison gem. When the shadow appears, pause (the shadow will slow down a lot), place a tower right in front of it, drop the poison gem there, set to flying ones, beam it, freeze and curse the shadow, and unpause. Re-curse, re-freeze, and re-beam as necessary. Or you can just use an enhanced L10+ gem of any kind to hammer a frozen/cursed shadow soon after it appears.

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Topic: GemCraft - Chasing Shadows / How to play without the pouch?

I agree with much of LordBucket’s post. Some parts I disagree with. I suspect the difference is because of updates that occurred in the mean time.

The biggest change is, you can gain levels quickly. And, indeed, this will naturally happen, because summoning with anger early makes later waves EASIER because you get mana from the additional monsters. It is harder to complete most maps without any summoning than with moderate summoning.


- Summon until the monsters are vaguely challenging. Example: on F1, the starting monsters have 2 hp and your gems do 12 damage at minimum. If you’re monster-toughness limited, summon until you can 2-shot the reavers, 1-shot swarmlings 80% of the time, and take down giants in, say, 20 hits. If that’s 2 bombs, so be it. If that’s 15 bombs, that’s awesome.

- To get more monsters at same toughness, use higher-level gems. BUT that is wasteful of MP unless certain thresholds are met: For reavers, compare the mana gain from the monster to the cost to combine. A rule of thumb that works for the first few gem levels is: if the mana gain is at least 2/3 of the combine cost, you can use L2 gems. If they’re equal, you can use L3, and if it’s 3/2, you can use L4. You generally won’t need beyond that unless you have red gems available.

Summon giants with gems 1 grade lower than reavers; for swarmlings, use gems 1.75 levels lower than for reavers. But, L1 is always profitable for either.

- As you to go higher gems you risk bringing on a greater quantity of monsters than you can handle. Ease your way up, doing half L1 and half L2, say, and make sure you clear the wave (not just get to the next wave coming up) before you decide to move on to full L2. Obviously, your ability to handle monsters will be much greater if you have red gems available. Without the pouch, this is rare. If red is available, GO FOR IT. Also, with yellow available – especially with the skill – you can produce many gems each of which is capable of doing massive damage.

- High level gems increase the HP of monsters more than low level gems, so if summoning giants, you might sometimes have an easier time with more smaller gems than a few bigger, even if they have more armor that way.

- At the end of a field, summon more for XP than for mana – use higher level gems than you would otherwise.

- Don’t summon as much on waves with high speed or alarming abilities like shields (though you can mitigate that with many very light gems up front to knock the shields off). Beacons from giants can be a big pain, though they can also grant a lot of XP.

- Beacons from summoning are really, really weak. Consider them a nice XP boost, not a threat. And I’m not joking about nice XP boost – At a time when a full, un-boosted wave of monsters gives 150 XP and a 5-L1-gem boost gives a total of 450, the beacon from that fifth gem yields 500. Getting to the fifth gem doubled the XP gain.


- Field F1 first playthrough achievements: Combine existing gems into 2 dual gems with 3 colors between them, and set the leading one’s target priority to random. Select a monster. Call a wave at least a moment early. Summon some monsters. Throw a gem bomb to demolish one of your towers, another into your mana pool, and another onto your orb. Build 15 walls. Let the last monster do 5 laps by taking all your gems off the field. Combine your two L2 gems into an L3 gem while you’re waiting. Some time in there, the monster will have cost you 800 mana in banishing. That’s 13 achievements, worth… less than two levels.

- After that, you can basically ignore achievements. You’ll naturally get most of them through gameplay, and after a few levels the gains are slight.


I wouldn’t follow LordBucket’s advice on the talisman. The talisman is so marginal a benefit that I wouldn’t even do what he says. Socket what you get, and if you find yourself swimming in shadow cores, upgrade things that have useful abilities. Useful abilities are:
- longer freeze duration
- more max charge on spells
- +% damage (to reavers, swarmlings, or giants)
- +XP%
- starting mana (at first), not based on wizard level unless you’re really late game, and even then it’s marginal.
Others are less useful, and some are totally useless. Shadow cores are mostly best spent on traits.
Note, even common gray talisman fragments can get their one ability up to be pretty potent with being upgraded – higher rarity fragments mainly get more abilities, not higher values. And since most abilities are marginal, higher rarity fragments will tend to have more useless abilities while being much more expensive to upgrade. But if you find one with only good abilities, it’s a keeper!


What LordBucket said. One or two level in several traits will get you a lot of benefit at marginal cost and marginal difficulty increase. If you find yourself quantity-limited on monsters, then Haste is worse than useless. Swarmling Domination is a very solid choice to put a lot into since its make-things-more-difficult effect is rather slight if you aren’t doing mana power-farming (which only really becomes viable late-game). If you play leak-free, you can also max out Corrupted Banishment. Avoid using too much Adaptive Carapace or Giant Domination, since they make giants very, very difficult. One each is plenty. Two levels of Mana Lock still let you get mana more than once per wave, which should be enough to hardly impact play.

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Topic: Bloons Monkey City / Bugs Megathread

Well, I tried and at least it was still free for me. But still no boss.

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Topic: Bloons Monkey City / Bugs Megathread

New boss battle is stuck on loading. From other users, have heard that upon getting this and refreshing, the free attempt is gone.

Have further heard that even after THAT it doesn’t load properly.

Can you, you know, not count ‘reaching the loading screen’ as a legit attempt to beat the boss? Also… let the boss load?

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Topic: Bloons Monkey City / How to handle rushes ?

For regen rushes beyond pink (regen clone rushes), if you have fourth tier monkey knowledge on wizards, you can put at least two but preferably three lightning wizards in a tight cluster, early on the track. They will knock things down by multiple layers and remove almost all of the regen.

One lightning wizard is terrible because you will ding a bunch of them, half of them will keep regen and will get a chance to clone. But with multiple wizards, you hit them a multiple times in rapid succession, knocking off more regen than they can keep up with, and also a better chance to knock them down to yellow or lower, which doesn’t even clone the first time it regenerates.

Also, avoid glue 2/2 on regen clone rushes. Glue 1/2 or 3/2, however, works wonders.

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Topic: Bloons Monkey City / Bugs Megathread

I’m playing CT. Burning some out-of-run resources, I beat the wave that would put me over the top… and get a server error. Any number of retries fails.

I refresh the game… server error.

Neither city loads.

Congratulations, you broke my addiction to BMC. It was nice while it lasted.

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Topic: Bloons TD 5 / best strategies

If you have Wizard tower level 3, two 0/0 wizards will cover you for a very long time on most tracks. With that breathing room, spend a lot on farms. Once those begin paying off, you can do pretty much whatever you want.

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Topic: Kongregate Multiplayer Games / [WarMetal Tyrant] Old Idea, Another Attempt (Effects in 2hr standards)

Put experimental effects on tournaments. Things they’ve never tried before and may never try again.

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Topic: General Gaming / [GemCraft Labyrinth] don't understand how to summon

Without premium, the amounts are:

L1: 4
L2: 8
L3: 13
L4: 19
L5: 25
L6: 32

I haven’t checked past that.

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Topic: Bloons TD 5 / Open House now CLOSED

I agree for the most part, except that cannons get ridiculously good in the mid-game. I’m not sure whether making them able to take down black and zebra balloons is worth losing my early wizard leak-free defense. I suspect not. Plus, what’s shrapnel for?

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Topic: Bloons TD 5 / Bloons TD 6 Suggestions!

Get rid of the abilities that remove the black, white, zebra bloons’ protections, and make shrapnel much more expensive.

Allow ice towers and tack shooters to have different timing commands (in particular, ‘last moment’ vs ‘right away’ vs ‘continuous activation’)

Add a somewhat-stealthy bloon modifier that normal towers are at half range against, but detector towers can see at full range.

Add thick bloons that soak up more than one bloon worth of damage towards damage caps.

Add magic bloons that are briefly invincible after being popped, though while they’re invincible they don’t move. This gives bloons around them a bit of cover.

Let certain waves be in fog (range limit) or high heat (lower fire rate) etc, based on the map.

~~ interface ~~

- Fewer clicks to get to old daily challenges — OR — Reset button on challenges

- Pause button

- If you’re buying a monkey and hovering over an invalid location, show a line to the nearest place it could be put. Double-clicking places it there.

And of course this may be too much to ask, but:

- Game mechanics should be platform independent.

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Topic: Bloons TD 5 / Special mission solutions

Originally posted by AndreiTan:

Pretty impractical, considering the fact that the super-phoenix ability recharges so fast but it is rarely used.

My notes of when to use the bird are just warnings of the hard waves where you’ll definitely want it available, so you don’t use it on round 15 or something.

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Topic: Bloons TD 5 / Special mission solutions

Wizard Lord: max cannon building.

put 6 unupgraded dart monkeys on the back stretch – 3 covering each side – and 1 in front (set to ‘strong’), replacing them as they’re eaten. You don’t need a lot of support for a while. You will want to manually switch between a ‘last’ and ‘first’ strategy on the wizard – last for normal cases, ‘first’ for moments when a clump too big for your back stretch team gets by.

Summon the phoenix on round 8.

You’ve been saving money by only dropping a basic monkey each 2 rounds, but now things get trickier.

For round 11, build 4 basic cannons spread out over the front stretch. You may now upgrade dart monkeys to see cammo.

For round 15, go up to 9 cannons.

Round 16, use the bird again.

round 18, put some ninjas on the back stretch to cover the cammo. Also can put a frost tower in the first or second crook

19, upgrade cannons to 0,3

23, use the bird.

By this point you should have so many bananas that it’s trivial. Just remember, rely on massive numbers of towers all around the same price, rather than highly upgraded individual towers.

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Topic: Kongregate Multiplayer Games / [WarMetal Tyrant] Goodnight, my little pwnies

Zeit – “only cuz you werent able to abduct a strategy”

Abducting a strategy is really really hard. I mean, first, you need to find a strategy complicated enough to pass a Turing test, then you need to manage to abduct it!

As for leaving it there – Inactive factions are clutter. We pick up after ourselves.

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Topic: Kongregate Multiplayer Games / [WarMetal Tyrant] Simple Catfacing Solution

Originally posted by LordBucket:

Better solution:
Implement customizable rank permissions. Allow faction leaders to modify what members of each rank are able to do. Create, say…5 rank slots with customizable names, and have a simple checkbox next to each rank that determines whether people of that rank can do each thing:

  • Accept new members
  • Boot members
  • Change the message of the day
  • Declare wars
  • Post to faction chat

+1 for the mechanics AND +1 for the opportunity to add tons of flavor.

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Topic: Kongregate Multiplayer Games / Well tyrant just lost a bunch of top players

The canvas link should have the password hash salted with the time the link was generated, and include that time in the link. Only accept canvas links with a recent time and salted-hash match.

That at least would prevent one from sitting on a bomb for a long time.

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Topic: Kongregate Multiplayer Games / [WarMetal Tyrant] Goodnight, my little pwnies

No… that’s not it at all.

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Topic: Kongregate Multiplayer Games / [WarMetal Tyrant] Goodnight, my little pwnies

I agree with this call. And it’s sad, but it’s the least bad option. And it’s especially sad for me as due to external factors I was compelled to exacerbate the issue by reducing my participation (buying a house / starting a new job). I held on longer than I really should have (for myself and my family) to minimize the disruption in the faction.

If our rank had ‘corrected’ to, say, 60th, quickly, then it might not have been fatal. We’d lose for a while, then we’d go back to win some, lose some. It would tear the band-aid off, and then be fun again for those who remained. We had a lot of fun at rank 60.

But even at 6 FP / day losses – taking into account the occasional win, which we could still pull off – it would take nearly a month to get out of the top 60. Well, that’s a LOT of losing, and sometimes not even close (which made the close calls all that much more agonizing – see my previous post), all while trying our hardest.

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Topic: Kongregate Multiplayer Games / [WarMetal Tyrant] *Suggestion* Make the auto button able to take auto off! (In combat)

Then the UI is broken – it should be a button on your hand just like ‘forfeit’. Not looking like a toggle.