Strategy Guide


This is a simple strategy guide for our prototype game, “The Black Arena”. Most people will be able to get through the game, and defeat the Arena Courtyard Champion with little to no help. For those that need a bit more assistance, though, this guide is for you.

GETTING STARTED:

As soon as you are done listening to the Arena Warden berate you, you will find yourself presented with the Character Screen. This is where you will make your character stronger by improving his stats, learning new spells and attacks, or buying armor.

Shows off the Character Screen and Spell List.

Shows off the Character Screen and Spell List.

One of the first things you should do is decide on what build you want your character to be. Decide if you want him to be primarily a spell-caster, a fighter, or a sly thief. There are, of course, other builds but these three are the basic ones so we will stick with them for now.

Which one you chose will influence how you spend your initial experience points. You only get 1,500 to start with, so making sure you spend it wisely is important. If you do not know, your experience points are what you buy your Attacks, Spells, and Skills with. You will earn more each time you defeat an enemy.

Fighter build: If you are wanting to do more of a fighter/tank build it is strongly suggested that the first thing you buy is the Slash Attack.

Illustrates how to Purchase an Attack

Illustrates how to Purchase an Attack

This Attack is quicker and does more damage than the basic Cut. All of your left-over experience should then go into your Physical Stat. Each point in Physical gives you 3 extra Health and adds 1 damage to your Slash Attack.

Shows how to bring up Base Stats

Shows how to bring up Base Stats

Spell-caster build: Your first spell should be the Fireblast. It does good damage, and is even used in a quest. It does cost a lot of experience, though.

Shows where to find the Fireblast Spell

Shows where to find the Fireblast Spell

Whatever you have left, should go into your Spiritual Stat. Each point in Spirit gives you 1 extra Energy and adds about 2 damage to your Fireblast Spell.

Thief build: Once again, first thing to buy is the Slash Attack. After that, put the rest in Mental. This build takes awhile to get going, but can be very powerful. You have to put a good bit of points in Mental to get your Evade and Critical% up, but once it is a Thief build can kill most things easily.

QUESTS:

The prototype build of the game only has 3 quests, but the final build will have several hundred. The default 3 are pretty straight-forward, but can take a bit of work to find. All 3 are gotten from the Inn by talking to Patrons.

Innkeeper’s Quest: If you speak to the Innkeeper, he will ask you how you are doing. It is obvious something is bothering him, though. Ask him about it and he will tell you about his culinary problems. Basically, he needs you to kill 5 Assassin Frogs so he can use the legs in a stew. Unfortunately, you cannot just kill them any old way. They have to be killed by a Fireblast Spell. If you are not a Spell-caster build, this quest can be a bit annoying. It is worth doing, though, as it opens up another quest after. To complete it, make sure you purchase the Fireblast Spell. Then, fight in the Novice ranking battles until you run into and kill 5 Assassin Frogs. You have to be careful, though. If the killing blow is not the Fireblast spell, their death will not count. Best thing to do is to soften the Frog up a bit, and then once it is almost dead cast the Fireblast Spell. Completion of this quest gets you 500 experience and 500 gold. It also opens up the Vyrence Quest discussed further down.

Shows the Innkeeper starting Dialogue

Shows the Innkeeper starting Dialogue


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Barmaid’s Quest: The barmaid, Zarah, is a bubbling whirlwind of pep and cheer. She is not without problems, though. Getting her to admit to them is a bit tricky. When you first speak to her, make sure you chose the speech option that says “You’ve been eating pixie dust, haven’t you?”. This bit of humor charms her, and she opens up to you. On the next set of speech options, say “With your personality, how could they not laugh?”. This is when she will reveal her problem with another one of the inn patrons. She will not actually give you the Quest, though, unless you have your Physical Stat above 15. If you do, she will ask you to go speak to the person harassing her.

Shows the Dialogue to get the Quest

Shows the Dialogue to get the Quest

That person is the shady-looking man in the hood. Speaking to him after you have gotten the Quest from Zarah will give you a few more speech options. Eventually, you will be given the chance to either Intimidate or Coerce him into leaving Zarah alone. You have a better chance to Intimidate if your Physical stat is high, and a better chance to Coerce if your Mental stat is high. The good news is if you fail, you can just speak to him again to keep trying. Once you succeed, go back and speak to Zarah again.

Shows the Intimidate/Coerce Dialogue

Shows the Intimidate/Coerce Dialogue

She will then give you a choice of rewards. The first reward is 1200 experience. This can be very helpful if you need just a bit extra to get that new Attack or more powerful Spell. The second choice is a Perk you can only get by finishing this Quest. The “With the Heroics, Yes?” perk will give you +2 Might and +2 Magic. Which is worth more is really up to you.
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Vyrence, the Guard’s Quest: Vyrence is the local guard for the city nearest to the Arena. He is also a Rakhasha; a race that is part feline. If you speak to him before you finish the Innkeeper’s Quest, he will just give you the cold shoulder. If you speak to him after, he will offer you a chance to do him a favor. The favor is pretty straight-forward. He needs you to kill the Alpha Corpse Wolf. Once you say you are ready, you will be transported right into battle with the Alpha Wolf. If you are able to defeat an Accolyte ranked opponent then you should have no problem killing the Alpha Wolf. Once you do, return to Vyrence. He will give you two choices of rewards for completing the quest. The first is 1500 experience and 1500 gold. Tempting, but so is the second choice. He also offers you a set of City Guard Armor. This is, currently, the best armor available. It gives you +15 Armor… a LOT more than the second best. If you take the armor, make sure you go back to the Character Screen and equip it.

Shows the Dialogue after you complete the Innkeeper Quest

Shows the Dialogue after you complete the Innkeeper Quest

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SECRET BOSS FIGHT:
The Grave Collector: The Grave Collector is a hidden boss fight. You do not need to fight him to gain entrance into the Arena… but he is the ultimate challenge as the game stands now. He is far more powerful than anything else you will fight, and can make short work of most characters. Beating him, though, gives you a ton of experience/gold, and top bragging rights.

To get to him, you have to fight three Battles in the right order. First, fight one Veteran battle. Second, fight one Accolyte battle. Third, fight one Novice battle. Now, when you fight a fourth Veteran battle you will be put up against the Grave Collecter. Be ready for a very difficult fight, though. If you cannot one-hit kill a Veteran opponent, you probably stand no chance against the Grave Collector.

NUANCES OF ATTACKS/SKILLS/SPELLS:

The various Attacks, Skills, and Spells were designed in a way to add strategy to the game. How you use them, and especially when you use them actually make a significant difference. While you can get through the game by just “hacking away” at your opponents, developing a strategy that utilizes these nuances will make the process much easier. It was our attempt to add depth to the combat, and will obviously play a tremendous role once the multiplayer pvp is added.

Basics:
All three actions (Attacks, Skills, Spells) have a few basic things in common. The first is recovery time. An action’s recovery time is how long you have to wait after using that action before you can use another. This varies from action to action, and should be considered when trying to decide on which action to use in a situation.

For instance the Cleave Attack can do a LOT more damage than the Slash Attack, but is very slow. Cleave is best used towards the end of a battle once you have weakened your opponent to the point that a single strong attack will end the fight.

There are also some individual nuances specific to each type of action.

Attacks:
Attacks have a few attributes to them. First is, of course, damage. Each attack has a basic damage range, described as low, medium, or high and then is also affected by your Might. Each point in Might usually translates into 1 point of extra damage. The two notable exceptions are the basic Cut Attack and the Cleave Attack.

Cut Attack only does 1 extra point of damage for every 2 points of Might. Another reason to replace this attack with Slash right from the start.

Cleave Attack does 2 extra points of damage for every 1 point of Might. Obviously, once your Might gets high enough this attack becomes devastating.

Another attribute to Attacks is Accuracy. Most Attacks share the same Accuracy, but two Attacks are different. Parry and Riposte both are more accurate than the other Attacks; with Riposte being even more accurate than Parry. They do low damage, but sometimes it is better to do low damage and hit than do no damage at all.

There is also the Critical% attribute. Critical Hits do triple damage, and also ignore Armor. Flury Attack is a lot less likely to Critical Hit than any other attack, to the point where it almost never will. Lunge is a lot more likely than other attacks. All the others are about the same in chance. For heavily Armored opponents, sometimes a Critical Hit is the only way to damage them with an Attack.

Magic:
Magic is pretty straight-forward. Each Spell does something specific, and cost a certain amount of Energy to cast. If you do not have enough Energy, you cannot cast that Spell. A few things of note about Spells, though.

Spells ALWAYS hit their target. Even an opponent with an incredible Evade% cannot evade a Spell.

Damaging Spells ignore all Armor. They are not lessened any by the Armor worn by your Opponent.

Skills:
Skills are also pretty straight-forward. They always hit, and do not consume any Energy when used. They also usually have a pretty quick recovery time. The trick to them is in how you pair them with Attacks and Spells. A few good pairing examples are:

Forceflow/Spells: Forceflow will greatly improve the effect of just about any spell. This is seen most prominently when used with damaging Spells. When Energy is very limited, it is a good strategy to get as much as you possibly can from every spell you cast.

Stealth/Tempest: Stealth is useful to use with any Attack, as it makes you a good deal more likely to Critical Hit with that attack. With Tempest, it can be extremely deadly. Tempest hits five times in a single Attack. Stealth will make each of those five hits more likely to Critical Hit.

Limber/Cleave: Cleave is powerful, but slow. So slow, that even a Haste Spell only speeds it up so much. Limber helps out a lot in this instance.

CLOSING:

I hope this helps out a few people that wanted to delve into the finer aspects of the game. We tried to add as much depth as we could in the time we had. We have already started work on turning the two-week prototype into a polished, finished game. The depth being added to the final one is vast and impressive, even to me. Until then… let’s see if anyone can actually beat the Grave Collector. Serious bragging rights to anyone who can leave a comment detailing how much gold and experience he is worth.

Good Luck!


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