Thursday, December 20, 2012

Wings of Destiny - Getting Started / Basic Tips

This post is one of our series of tips for Wings of Destiny, a 2.5D MMO. It is free to play, with optional features and conveniences you can purchase with money.
In this post, we will talk about the very basics of getting a game going, and other tips that don't really fit elsewhere. The topics are: Choosing a Server, Choosing a Character, Currencies, and Miscellaneous Tips.
Our other posts cover the Auction House, Daily Activity Points, Dungeons, and Events.

Choosing a Server
Before you commit to playing the game -- and definitely BEFORE you spend any money -- check out the game on an older server where there are seasoned players. Also look at any events that may be running on new and upcoming servers. Most of these are cash events, so before you dive in and spend cash, check out the game first.
Once you choose a server to play, you will likely want to commit to that server because the game gives you increasing and often irreplaceable benefits for continuing to log in every day. These range from holiday events (e.g., log in 10 consecutive days to get a special Santa Pet during the Christmas event) to mundane daily rewards that reset if you miss even a single day but that build to otherwise expensive or hard-to-get (even impossible-to-get) items if you don't miss logging in on any day.

If you pick an older server, you are more likely to get a lot of established guilds to join for more immediate benefits. If you pick a newer server, there's a chance you'll end up in a guild that will eventually fizzle out, forcing you to start all over again. However, that is actually not a particularly huge concern compared to just picking one server and staying.

Alternate Accounts
I recommend that you do NOT use any main e-mail address or other account (e.g., your Facebook account), especially if you are going to try some of the "Free Cash" offers, where you do online surveys or the like and have to give out your e-mail address.
For various reasons which we'll get into later, you will probably want to run multiple accounts (alternate accounts or "alts"), sometimes concurrently, and in order to do so you will need multiple e-mail addresses as well as one different type of browser (e.g., Chrome, IE, FireFox) for each toon you would like to be able to have on at the same time. You can get multiple accounts quite easily through a free service like mail.com.

Shared Accounts
An interesting idea is to share one character between two or more players. In this way, between the two (or more) of you, the character can do a maximum number of activities per game day while no one person is committing an excessive amount of time each day. It can get confusing when it comes to participation in World Chat, however; and only one person can be logged in at the same time.

Choosing a Character
You can have multiple characters on the same e-mail account and the same server, and with just a few hours of work you can get a character that accesses the basic skills of each character type, so you can try it out. You can easily erase characters and start over. So, if you are able to, try to play a character until level 30-35 to get a feel for it and whether you like the character type. Eventually levelling slows down a lot and you will probably want to focus on just one character just so that you can start to unlock various level-locked aspects of the game.

It is advisable to have a toon (your character in-game) match your own gender, as it can feel like lying (or at least confusing) when someone starts referring to you, the player, by the gender of your toon. However, there are a lot of people with gender-mismatched toons, so this is by no means absolutely necessary, nor is revealing the difference in gender necessary.

Currency
Coins
In the worst case, you can make multiple accounts and have them send you coins, either through the mail or (slightly more cheaply) through the Auction House by having them buy a trivial item you have priced in Auction at an obscene amount.
Despite the relative ease of making coins, you will never have enough. Auctions for rare materials for blueprints can easily run into millions of coins. Attribute slots 2 and 3 on your Faith Badge cost 5 million and 10 million coins respectively. Even converting cash into coins won't get you a lot of coins so you should avoid doing that.
Whenever possible, do transactions in coins because it is freely obtained in the game.

Vouchers
Vouchers are quite hard to come by, and their use is rather limited in any case. Try not to use them if you can use coins, but use them instead of Cash if you can (e.g., to buy Pets in the Mall). There is a limited time event that gives out vouchers as well (The Great Voucher Giveaway).

Cash
You can get a bit of cash through the "Free Cash" tab, where you participate in offers and surveys to be awarded cash. But you are given very little this way. To get cash, you typically need to buy it with real money.
Even a bit of cash can net you extraordinary benefits and get you ahead very quickly and conveniently, but it is all to easy to spend it like water. Unless you have real world cash to burn, be very stingy with Cash no matter how you get it. Try to spend it on permanent things you can't otherwise get. For example, you can complete a blueprint by using Cash to buy the missing materials. However, if you are smart about acquiring blueprint materials, you can get materials with coin or trading with others instead of spending cash on it -- especially as you will come across materials for blueprints anyway.

BEFORE you spend any cash on a convenience in the game, think very carefully about whether that is worth the cash. For example, for a bit of cash, you can try to reset a quest to give you more of a reward, close to 10x as much in an extreme case. But it is extremely random, and you could be throwing away a lot of cash -- real world money -- for a comparatively small and temporary gain.

Cash is also important for improving a guild, because to start avenues of research in a Guild, you require Guild Supplies; and other than a low chance of getting them through various events such as Recover the Wings or Astral Trials, units of Guild Supplies have to be purchased with Cash. There are some (tedious) ways around this and we'll discuss it when we talk about Guilds.

Battle Points
You can get hundreds of Battle Points every day by participating in at least five DeathMatches. You can also grow your own Battle Points through Alchemy. And you can get tiny amounts by participating in matches in DeathMatch or Arena. However, the cost of anything in the Mall that requires Battle Points is absolutely cut-throat and you will likely want to spend your Battle Points only on your Faith Badge, which sucks up a lot of Battle Points and Coins but give you a basically permanent bonus.

Miscellaneous Tips
  • Once you finish one tutorial and understand how to play the game, start it over. You will realize there is a LOT of waste if you are locked into what the tutorial tells you to do.
    • For example, it instructs you to use WingTips to teleport when the destination is close enough to conveniently walk. WingTips are expensive to buy and somewhat hard to come by, so you may want to start conserving right away. Also, it will instruct you to use an Elixir. These are hideously expensive to get, although you can get five a day if you invest enough time playing the game each day. Nevertheless there is no reason to waste them in the early game when you can breeze through the tutorial with auto-combat.
    • In order to get out of forced tutorial steps, look for the red button in the upper left side that allows you to end the tutorial. You will get a WingTip message that won't clear, but just ignore it and instead use the map to find the person you need to speak with, and click on their name to auto-path there.
  • Always have an escort when running Carts for your guild. Popular family holidays are the very best days to run carts because a lot of people will be offline doing real-life holiday chores.
  • You cannot erase a toon/character if it is in a Guild. You cannot leave a guild if you are the leader and the only member. In such a case, make a throwaway alternate toon to promote and kick you from the guild.
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