Monday, April 4, 2016

Mage and Minions early game tips

Previously I wrote a review of Mage and Minions as a casual smartphone game. In this post, I will provide some tips and insights into playing the game as a Mage, WITHOUT spending any money to buy Gems.

  • There are five character slots and you get two for free. Create one character and raise them to level 5, when they receive daily kill quests.
    • Each day you can receive one quest per character, but you can complete the kill counts for the quests with any character at any time.
      • For example, suppose a Mage character has a quest to kill 50 Skeleton Archers, and a Warrior character has a quest to kill 10 Elite monsters. If in a session with the Mage you kill 10 Skeleton Archers and 1 Elite monster, the Warrior's quest will advance by 1/10 Elites killed. You can then switch to playing the Warrior if you like to continue advancing the quests.
      • The quests become easier if more than one character has the same quest. For example, if both your Mage and your Warrior characters have a quest to kill 10 Elites, you only need to kill a total of 10 Elites because each time one is killed, both quests advance by +1/10.
      • You can therefore focus on one character and have them complete everyone's quests, and not even bother to play the others.
    • Each daily quest gives 20 Gems, so 
    • You have a lot of time to complete a quest: If you Start one, you can finish it whenever. On the day you finish it, if you haven't picked up the daily quest for that day, you will be prompted to start another daily quest for that day. So, theoretically you only need to play once every two days since you can complete two daily quests for the same character on the same day, as long as you have already begun one quest and have it ongoing.
    • Since each daily quest gives 20 Gems, you can calculate when you will break even on the cost to unlock a slot. If you aren't going to complete at least 25 days of daily quests for your 4th character, there's no point unlocking that slot.
  • Don't bother buying gear at low levels -- reserve your gold for upgrading abilities instead. Besides, the loot you get will quickly make your gear obsolete. When you have money to burn much later and levelling is slower, start considering the Store, but don't spend Gems unless you have already unlocked everything you can with Gems.
  • Don't bother Crafting gear unless you can control the attribute gained. For example, if you have three pieces of gear all with the Life on Hit ability (which shows up as a magical ability later in the game), the gear created will have that ability.
  • If you use gear of the same type you are crafting, the level of the gear crafted gets a bonus. But this is less important than targeting a specific magical ability on the gear.
  • Since every upgrade level of an ability adds to your Synergy count and gets you stat bonuses at various milestones, no upgrade is ever truly obsolete, so make sure you are always upgrading something, even if you don't use it.
  • Upgrades are not limited by your character level, so if you are too busy to actually play, you can simply set your character to upgrade something while you are offline. The higher-level upgrades can literally take days (level 10 takes 3 days).
  • If you do not have multiple ability slots yet, remember that you can pause the game by going to your character screen and, if your ability is not in cooldown, swap it out with something else.
  • Fireball
    • For much of the game you can get by with this attack, especially once you unlock the area of effect, which is particularly good when combined with Healer Eileen's Vortex.
    • The area effect will affect targets behind barriers if they are close enough.
  • Frost Nova
    • Anything that RELIABLY temporarily disables the target is gold. Once you hit dangerous bosses and healer mobs, this will really help you in those attrition fights as well as to hold enemies still and pour on a devastating barrage of abilities from you and your team. This said, you mostly get player-controlled ones from your team (Warrior Marcus's Charge, Healer Eileen's Vortex).
  • Arc Lightning
    • Really cheesy and useful later on, especially as a two-finger-tap attack.
      • When you attack with two fingers, your character does NOT move. In this way, you can launch attacks into the fog of war (and Arc Lightning has good range to do this). Once you hit something, auto-targeting takes over. And Arc Lightning can push enemies back, so that helps to keep them far away in the fog of war and/or off-screen.
      • Super cheesy: You can attack through barriers. This not only avoids the irritating tendency of auto-targeting to not realize your ranged attack will hit a barrier. It also lets you get a lot of free attacks on targets that must walk a long way to you.
        • Since you can attack through barriers, it's great for avoiding ranged attacks by ducking behind a barrier. Combine with "Life on Hit" items to heal while you are hiding from them and still attacking.
      • Great for sniping, which makes killing Liches and enemy Healers a lot easier since you don't have to tear through their follower meat shields.
        • If you don't have this, another way to target them is Eileen's Vortex plus Fireball and preferably with a pile of area effect attacks to quickly kill them. Temporarily disabling them really helps because it stops their powers from bringing more defenses (shields, healing, or summoned enemies to block your attacks).

Mage and Minions abilities

  • If you are not in combat, you can swap in and out team members.
  • Don't bother annoying people to recruit them for Gems. You can easily find friend codes to get a few. Overall it is easier to just farm for them (see below).
  • My friend code is KIMO GEJI WARO 0979. Put yours in the comments below and I'll add you.

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