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Steven Of Nine



Joined: 26 Jul 2000
Posts: 1567
Location: Plano, TX, USA

 PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2002 7:01 pm    Post subject: New Article Reply with quote Back to top

Since I can't locate Dragon, I'll post articles here, rather than to a website. Here's the first for Majesty Expansion...

The Pearly Gates


Majesty’s Northern Expansion added a number of excellent features to an already wonderful game. In this, the first in a series of articles about the Expansion, we will focus on one of my favourites: The Gate Spell.

The Gate Spell is hard to come by. It not only requires a Sorcerer’s Abode, it requires a strong enough economy to raise that Abode to level 3, and to be able to throw 2000 Gold down per usage. But, proper use of the Gate Spell wins a game, saves a game, or is just great fun. Use of this strategy depends on a good economy, as does successful use of just about any game style.

The primary step for use of Gate is your Abode placement. The Abode is a must-have, for reasons we’ll touch on in a separate article. But, as noted in “Building the Perfect Beast”, you don’t want to plonk the Abode down anywhere, once you have the 2000 Gold for it. The Abode should go on the map when you place your Fairgrounds, once you’ve reached Palace Level 3. In the perfect world you hope to create, there should be a cluster: Magic Bazaar, Sorcerer’s Abode, Fairgrounds and Warrior’s Guild should all be within range of the Abode’s Gate radius. How far is this? It’s about the width of a Fairgrounds.
The Fairgrounds, of course, will be full of heroes flocking to its tournament. The Bazaar will be frequented by most heroes at one time or another, and the Warrior’s Guild will be a quick source of force. You can call-to-arms your Warriors, and they’ll get Gated right from the Guild’s entrance. To be doubly sure everyone goes at once, close the Fairgrounds right before Gating. Departing heroes will be Gated into the fray. Once you’ve Gated, re-open the Fair before you concentrate on other things.

So, what do you target, once you can Gate? The obvious choice is the enemy Palace. As your quality of enemy improves, however, the Palace becomes the secondary target. All Ardanian heroes will race home to “Defend the Realm” once your heroes start hitting the enemy Palace. Unless you have overwhelming force, you’ll waste your troops and your money going directly for the Palace. Instead, consider other targets of opportunity, and work your way to the Palace.
The best alternative targets can depend on your opponent’s forces. But, certain targets are better choices than others. A Marketplace is a great choice. Place a 200-300 Gold Reward Flag on one, then Gate in right next to it. You can expect 10-20 percent of your heroes to flee home immediately, but 50-75 percent of those who stay will immediately begin whacking the Market. If your opponent has only one Marketplace, this is the essential strategy. Not only will he lose his primary moneymaker, he will also lose all Caravan income if he has a Trading Post online.
Since the end goal is destruction of the enemy Palace, a two-Marketplace opponent calls for a different target. You’ll want to reduce his ability to defend himself. With the exception of WoDs and Barbarians, no heroes use the “Defend a Building” branch of the decision tree with much likelihood. Solarii, MajestyX’s great warriors, are the prime target you should look for. The added benefit of toasting a Temple to Helia is that any heroines from there may join you if you have open Guild spots. As above, target with a small Gold reward, then Gate.

Following the initial Gate, there are two branches of strategy you can use, either separately, or together. One is Walking the Target, much like walking artillery barrages. Once a target is almost down, place another reward flag on a building one step closer to the Palace, or one step lower in priority. Perhaps now is the time to take out a Marketplace, or a Temple to Agrela. Perhaps now is the time to move closer to the Palace by targeting a house, or an inn. Continue moving toward the Palace.
My preferred strategy is to use your economy to bolster the attack. Since you reopened the Fairgrounds, you may well have another batch of heroes ready to Gate in once the Sorcerer has rested. (A rule of thumb is that your economy should be strong enough to afford a second Gate as soon as the Abode is ready.) And, any Warriors who may have fled or strayed from their target can be re-called-to-arms and Gated in as a Second wave. The prime spot for this wave is adjacent to your newly flagged target above, or perhaps to another critical spot in the enemy town, now that his heroes may be distracted by your force in one area.
The main advantage of Gate is to create a schwerpunkt, or point of impact. You should be able to send in 10-15 heroes to one specific spot that only 4-6 enemy heroes will be defending, or returning to defend. Your heroes should be able to tear down a building and slaughter peasants in the local area. Via this concentration of force you can overwhelm an enemy whose heroes would normally stalemate you, by being far stronger at the critical area than he is.
Once the force you’ve sent is laying waste to things at will, then target the Palace. Your depredations should have removed most economic or military resistance capability, and the Palace should fall. The prime unit for this is the Warrior of Discord. Able to use call-to-arms, and the absolute best unit in the game for destroying buildings, WoDs have two other advantages: they’ll hit any cheap reward, and Howl of Discord will send responding enemy heroes scurrying.

How can you use this defensively? If a strong enemy force is on the periphery of your town, or taking down that critical Trading Post, or even whacking your Palace, you can Gate in a force to punish his transgression. A Lightning Storm costs 1600 Gold, but a force of Heroes far more potent can arrive for a mere 400 Gold extra.

Some other odds and ends: Take note of your opponent’s Wizards’ Guild. Is it level three? Then you may wish to cast Anti-Magic Shield on a number of heroes before Gating them in. Any enemy with the resources will Lightning Storm a Gate force, and AMS will reduce any damage they take.
Be aware that you’ll not be able to cast Change of Heart while the Abode recharges. During the length of a Gate recovery, your opponent can cast a lot of CoH spells, probably 8-10 if he has the money.
Target buildings on the periphery rather than deep within a town. Fleeing heroes will have to run a gauntlet to make it home alive, otherwise.
Don’t be afraid to cut your losses. If your attack is not working out save the Warriors with a defensive call-to-arms.
Due to an error, when Gating, you may end up in harm’s way. When a Wizard has the Meteor Storm spell active, the Gate will often send you there, rather than to your intended destination.

The prime advantage of the Gate is to put overwhelming Force where the enemy can least respond. Don’t head straight for the Palace, but put a large force in a critical part of town he can’t easily defend. For the 2000 Gold you’ll have to spend, you can take down at least a couple of Guilds and/or a Marketplace, even if you do not take the Palace on your first try. And the concentration of heroes should allow you to kill a good number of enemy heroes, too. Planning a Gate attack lets you forget multiple flags on the edge of enemy towns, and allows one small flag to bring all force to bear. And, while planning for attack, you’ll have a great defensive tool available in a critical situation.
 
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Spiderman



Joined: 28 Mar 2000
Posts: 3053
Location: Baltimore, MD USA

 PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2002 7:16 am    Post subject: New Article Reply with quote Back to top

Very informative.

Is it worthwhile to practice these techniques in any single player mission (be it scripted or random) or can you only really get a good feel and practice through multiplayer?
 
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Steven Of Nine



Joined: 26 Jul 2000
Posts: 1567
Location: Plano, TX, USA

 PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2002 8:48 am    Post subject: New Article Reply with quote Back to top

The single player usage of Gate comes in very handy, and it would do well to practice them there.

A good example of where to practice the need for a good economy comes with the Respawning Lairs option. On a large map where lairs respawn, it's often difficult to get heroes to a point on the map fast enough to snuff out the last lairs before others respawn. Having an economy that will allow you to cast Gate as soon as it's ready is important.

Some of the other major benefits aren't seen. You can get in behind a row of ballista towers with Gate, but there's little area for such practice in single player.

Single player does allow you to set an easy map, to allow good practice of town planning. The cluster: fairgounds, bazaar, abode, warrior's guild is important to practice. Of especial need is practicing the Warrior's Guild early placement. You want warriors around from day 1, so they can build their levels and stats. But putting an early WG down makes planning hard. You can always build the Guild away from the palace, where you expect your abode cluster to go.
 
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Tiger



Joined: 29 Dec 1999
Posts: 3029
Location: Locked inside a tiger cage. Help!!!!

 PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2002 10:35 pm    Post subject: New Article Reply with quote Back to top

In single player I rarely research meteorstorm because if a wizard dies while it's cast around him it can be impossible to ressurect him untill the storm disappates before his tombstone dissappears, or you have to click on the guild, then click on his name and THEN ressurect him.
But in multiplayer because of the added bug with gate and meteorstorm, is it worthwhile to research met.storm in multiplayer if you're going to be gating? Just wanted your thoughts and opinions Steve.
 
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Spiderman



Joined: 28 Mar 2000
Posts: 3053
Location: Baltimore, MD USA

 PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2002 9:47 am    Post subject: New Article Reply with quote Back to top

Okay, I tried to practice using a large map (I think, one of the last ones) using New Settlement and Sorceror's Creatures with no Wandering Monsters and Respawning Lairs and 15000 gold. I went the Barbarian route and two Ranger Guilds. The thing is, the war parties were hacking up the lairs before I got my Abode cluster going and probably would have finished the map if I didn't speed things along anyway by practicing the Gating just to add to the heros already beating on the far lairs.

So are there other settings that are good? Should I look towards speed (didn't use Gnomes, just Elves) in getting this up fast?
 
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Golem XV



Joined: 13 Jul 2000
Posts: 1330

 PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2002 3:51 pm    Post subject: New Article Reply with quote Back to top

oh btw steven for a trading post an earthquake will take it down(unless a ton of peasents are near) for the same amount of gold i think and it wont leave your base as undefended
 
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Steven Of Nine



Joined: 26 Jul 2000
Posts: 1567
Location: Plano, TX, USA

 PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2002 8:32 am    Post subject: New Article Reply with quote Back to top

quote:
Originally posted by Golem XV:
oh btw steven for a trading post an earthquake will take it down(unless a ton of peasents are near) for the same amount of gold i think and it wont leave your base as undefended

True, however, most good players won't have just a Trading Post there. If you take down the TP in a cluster of TP, Warriors' Guild, Guardhouse/Ballista Tower, the TP's going to get rebuilt. It's far better to Gate in a dozen heroes to take it ALL down, especially since the Warriors will likely be C-t-Arms to defend it.

However, for a lone TP, Earthquake is probably more sensible from a defensive view.
 
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Steven Of Nine



Joined: 26 Jul 2000
Posts: 1567
Location: Plano, TX, USA

 PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2002 8:34 am    Post subject: New Article Reply with quote Back to top

quote:
Originally posted by Spiderman:
Okay, I tried to practice using a large map (I think, one of the last ones) using New Settlement and Sorceror's Creatures with no Wandering Monsters and Respawning Lairs and 15000 gold.

Use wandering monsters, to begin with. It better simulates MP, anyway, as your enemies will have heroes wandering about. Wanderers are very distracting to Barbarians. And use super lairs. They crank out the monsters faster that way, and make for more of a challenge, and more distractions.
 
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Spiderman



Joined: 28 Mar 2000
Posts: 3053
Location: Baltimore, MD USA

 PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2002 9:07 am    Post subject: New Article Reply with quote Back to top

Okay.

What about the speed of building the cluster? What's the average time it takes to build this? I assume quicker is better so you can take down your opponent quicker Is 10 days reasonable or too slow?
 
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Steven Of Nine



Joined: 26 Jul 2000
Posts: 1567
Location: Plano, TX, USA

 PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2002 7:24 am    Post subject: New Article Reply with quote Back to top

I don't wonrry too much about the amount of time it's taking you. The starting gold is a big variable. But you should definitely be upgrading your palace to lvl 3 on or by the end of Day 3.

The income you'll make from this upgrade (with elves and marketplace, plus bazaar and 2-4 inns) should allow you to put your cluster down by day 10, certainly.

The overall critical factors are: Gate in before opponent gets Wizard's Guild to lvl3, or builds his own lvl 3 Abode, the only factors that can really stop you in your tracks.
 
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Spiderman



Joined: 28 Mar 2000
Posts: 3053
Location: Baltimore, MD USA

 PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2002 7:33 am    Post subject: New Article Reply with quote Back to top

Wow, by day 3? That's definitely an issue, at least with the freestyle quest I played a couple of days ago. With Ice Dragons, Yetis, and the occasional Gorgon coming in, it was all I could do hold them off in probably the first days (using your suggestion of Respawning Lairs and Super Lairs).

Maybe I should practice using Gnomes first for fast build and then evict for elves...
 
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Steven Of Nine



Joined: 26 Jul 2000
Posts: 1567
Location: Plano, TX, USA

 PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2002 7:15 am    Post subject: New Article Reply with quote Back to top

quote:
Originally posted by Spiderman:

Maybe I should practice using Gnomes first for fast build and then evict for elves...

Definitely.
 
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Spiderman



Joined: 28 Mar 2000
Posts: 3053
Location: Baltimore, MD USA

 PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2002 5:48 am    Post subject: New Article Reply with quote Back to top

Apparently Dragon finally posted the article on his website; this is from today's Gamespy newsletter:

quote:
Majesty Expansion: The Pearly Gates - Dragon
For all of you die hard Majesty fans out there, Majesty-Dragon has posted the first in a new series of strategy articles covering the Northern Expansion. This week Shiny_Pony gives you the details on successful strategies utilizing the gate spell in his article "The Pearly Gates."

Source: StrategyPlanet: Majesty - Dragon

 
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Steven Of Nine



Joined: 26 Jul 2000
Posts: 1567
Location: Plano, TX, USA

 PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2002 7:05 am    Post subject: New Article Reply with quote Back to top

Yep, he emailed me that it was up. Now I can write some more...
 
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Tiger



Joined: 29 Dec 1999
Posts: 3029
Location: Locked inside a tiger cage. Help!!!!

 PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2002 10:48 pm    Post subject: New Article Reply with quote Back to top

What happened to Dragon?? Where's he been all of this time?
 
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