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Author Topic: CAVING AND COLLECTING FOR THE PROS: THE FINAL GUIDE  (Read 1582 times)
Snuzzle
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« on: September 03, 2011, 12:38:07 pm »
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As in many endeavors, good and bad method exist of doing them.  Among the good ways, better and best methods exist.  This guide purports to teach potential “cave-lectors” the ultimate way to go about this particular playstyle.  I call this the “final guide” not only because it is my last, but because I have never seen any serious discussion of caving or collecting strategy.  When used right, cave-lecting  can be the final hurdle that separates the good from the great trainer.



BASIC FACTS
Before we get started, it’ll be useful to discuss a few basic facts and myths about caving and collecting.  Like I said, I have never seen any real discussion of these game functions, and no one can devise a viable strategy around them unless you understand how they work.

CAVING
1.    Two ways you can rise your stealth stat:  turns and the  ”stay in cave” action.
2.   Assists are useless for gaining stealth.
3.   Hiding in your cave for 24 hours gets you 35% of what you get per 20 turns of stealth.  This is much lower than other stats. . . but then again, hiding in the cave also gets you the benefit of doubling your effective stealth.
4.   NOBODY knows what a “good” effective stealth is.  Nobody has any clue about how effective stealth relates to vision.  All we know is that higher is better.
5.   Possible caving bug:  you’re supposed to see a dragon between 5% and 50% of the time, depending on stealth.  However, at most you only see dragons 25% of the time because of a bug.  This detracts from the usefulness of caving.  There’s no telling if the bottom number in the 5-50% range is as inaccurate as the top number.

COLLECTING
1.   Treasure hunt vs. Search for treasure.
a.    Treasure hunt gets you 1.5 times more gold than searching for treasure does.
b.   It gets you something like 1.1 times more vision.
c.   It always makes you LOSE stealth, whereas searching for treasure doesn’t harm this stat.
2.   Your ability to get gold is affected by an invisible “collecting skill” stat.  It is like PD1 only invisible.
3.   These turn options affect your collecting skill equally.  In other words, even though Treasure hunting is worth 1.33x as much as searching for treasure, they give the exact same increase to collecting skill.



THE STRATEGY
Like much else in this game, caving collecters operate best when they do things in  phases.  This is the core of my fast bloating guide and, in fact, is pretty much the core of every guide I’ve posted on here.

So, let’s handle the CAVING phase first.

This is actually pretty easily.  Caving should always be done while SHADOW attuned, either in the OCEAN or the DECIDUOUS FOREST.  This gives you a walloping 30% boost to your stealth stat.  
No other elements come close to shadow, and I don’t really see a reason to avoid either of those two climates.

What’s cool about caving is that your stat gains from assisting do not increase your stealth at all.  So, unlike MO sparring which is clearly superceded by assisting, the best activity for improving your stealth is clearly staying within your cave.  
If you DO assist a good deal, the great caver will use the HEX HOPPING strategy.  Ocean and Deciduous Forest are terrible, awful, catatonia-inducing climates for assisters.  (Ocean is slightly better if you hit frequently, but since such dragons are red-capped anyways, it doesn’t really matter.)  Savannah and tundra are the best assisting options.  These four elements are near each other most places on the map, so you shouldn’t ever have trouble putting them together.

Easy, eh?  Stealth is easy-peasy.

COOL-LECTING PHASE
This is actually a little trickier.  The two best elements for cool-lecting are WATER and PSYCHIC.  Each of these has appropriate actions and climates.

Cool-lecting:  psychic/savannah.

Spend your turns on gold, spend your actions on assisting and MO-sparring.  The 15% gold-collecting bonus is tops in the game, and pyschic’s high MO bonus makes this the most efficient use of your time.  

The second involves the HEX-HOPPING strategy I mentioned earlier.    Here, what you want is:

Coll-lecting:  water / Savannah.
Cool-lecting:  water/ desert
.

Water dragons spend their turns collecting treasure in the savannah, then they hex-hop to the desert to dig out their caves.  Like stealth, digging is one of those things that can only be done through actions, so this is actually an extremely efficient use of time.  This sort of hex-hopping collector inceases their gold while simultaneously protecting.  And you WILL need to protect it, even if you’re a caver.
With these psychic and water strategies in your arsenal for the collecting phases, you’ll easily be the best cool-lecter around.


WHICH TO CHOOSE – Searching for Treasure or Treasure hunt?
Turn for turn, treasure hunting is the best option.  I worked the problem out this way.  Spend a week searching for treasure until you collect 100,000 gold.    It’ll take you (hypothetically) 7 days.  Collect that same 100,000 gold with treasure hunting, though, it’ll take you 5 days.  What to do with that extra 2 days?  If you “conceal cave,” you can easily make up for your lost stealth in 1 of those days. . . so, with that 7th day, it’s as if you earned 20 “free” turns.  Treasure hunting is just the much better option.

HOWEVER. . . . and this is a big however.  Remember how I said that every dragon has an invisible collecting skill, and this CS is increased equally by our two gold-gathering options?  Okay.  What this means is that Searching for Treasure is actually better than Treasure Hunt.

How can this be?  Well, it has to do with the relative worth of gold.  If you’re a beginning collecter, the difference between 100k gold and 150k just isn’t that great.  So while treasure hunt is the better option turn-for-turn,  that 50k difference just isn’t worth wasting time getting back the stealth you lost.  Due to gold inflation, 50k is nothing.

So I recommend you Search for Treasure until you start bringing back returns of 100k-200k gold per day.  After that, Treasure Hunt.  The differences them will then be substantial.  . . .  and you’ll be several weeks “further along” in your stealth training than you would otherwise be, since you don’t have to spend time recovering what stealth you lost!



BATTLE
Just a quick note.

These strategies are more than just a way to increase stats – they can be used as a viable tactic to increase your rankings!
Obviously, digging large caves is important for protecting your gold.  Stealth is ALSO important for protecting your gold, but it can also protect your Combat Points.  Most dragons in the capped ranges has middling Greatest Fighter rankings since relatively low-ranked dragons, twice your size, can beat you.  The MO-training you do as psychic-savannah is a corollary to this.
And if you happen to have naturally great MO, either through defenses or assists, stealth is even MORE important.  It’s one thing to be seen by 5% of all dragons in the game at any given time.  When there’s only a few dozen dragons you can beat you at ALL, only letting THEM see you 5% of the time means you can preserve your combat points for quite a while!

CONCLUSION
That’s it – the absolute best way to become a caving collector.   In the stealth phase, go for shadow-ocean or shadow-deciduous.  If you assist, hex-hop to a savannah or tundra.

In the collecting phase, sometimes go with psychic-savannah and MO-spar for actions, sometimes try hex-hopping with water-desert for digging and water-savannah for using turns.

With these methods you will achieve you goals much more quickly than anyone else.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2012, 07:53:54 pm by Snuzzle » Logged
Snuzzle
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« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2012, 07:55:47 pm »
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Interesting note:  I've tested this pretty thoroughly, and "stay in your cave" grants you 35% of the stats you gain from 20 turns of conceal cave.

In contrast, you get 65% or 70% from sparring strength, toughness, vision, and speed.
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