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A Guide on Minimalist (f2p) Gaming
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A Guide on Minimalist (f2p) Gaming
Introduction  
As free to play (f2p) players, you don’t have the privilege to whale and spend all the diamonds to draw cards, whether black cards or collabs. Having six years of play experience in Tower of Saviors (ToS), I would like to give tips and rules of thumb to all f2p players, and hope you all can follow the meta.

I truly believe casual players, f2p or not, can benefit from this guide too, as your playing time is limited. However, for players who just merely started their game, you need not follow this guide, as it is intended for more experienced players. Follow Oriceles’ ‘Newbies and Returning Players Guide’ instead. If your inventory lacks a LOT of stuff, including a good leader, you should save your diamonds and draw more on a collab series, as they tend to be self-sustainable, and thus just take this guide just with a grain of salt.

Target reader:
1. f2p or casuals
2. Lv 150+
3. Have a basic understanding of the game
4. Know what is going on in the game, such as understanding the actives or leader skills of the cards

What to expect

As the name suggests, minimalist gaming means you are at the other end of the spectrum of being a completionist. You will use the least resources and time possible to achieve the outcome, which is to follow the meta. It is very vague to determine whether or not you are keeping up with the meta, but in my opinion, these are the standards:

1.  You must be able to pass all biweeklies, including extra and elite difficulties.

2.  You should be able to pass:
    a. Main seal stages that are released half a year ago (i.e., up until this moment, you should beat all ninth seal and are working your way up tenth).
    b. All Traveler’s Memories Extra but not necessarily the latest one
    c. Horror – Advanced, with a minimum grade of B
    d. At least 2 of the new ultimate stages with 0 revive, regardless of achievements

3.  You have at least one leader (ideally at least two) of A/A+/S Tier according to Oriceles’ Tier list. If you have an A-, it is still fine, but try to save more diamonds in order to get an A or above. It will not be long until an A- drops to B range.

4.  You have sufficient members to form a so-so team for the said leader above. It is ok to miss some members, but if the damage is relied solely on the leader, and the members provide little to no utility, then be aware.

Since you aren’t a whaler, you should have these expectations in mind:

1. Expect to clear stages with some difficulty. Since you aren’t getting all the cards, there may be some stages where you just don’t have the corresponding utility cards. Try to think of a workaround. Enchanted Quintet? Try crafts. Petrified runes? Try skills with ‘ignore defense’ or ‘enemy delay’. For new main seal stages, if you’re stuck, just wait until the new meta easily breezes through them.

2. Cards that require high stamina to obtain such as biweeklies elite difficulty, ultimate stages will not be farmed.


3. Don’t expect to get all 8 cards from each seal. The chance of getting all 8 cards in first 8 draws is very slim. Good luck.

4. It will be tough if you’re starting from scratch. But half a year later the fruits will reap, and you’ll catch up the meta.

Basic Knowledge
   Before proceeding forwards, there are some basic knowledge that you must keep in mind.
   For every patch, which lasts for six weeks, you get around 65 diamonds, which amounts to 13 draws. They can be obtained from:
Arena:
If you have a good leader, you can go up to Warlord III in a week, at most two weeks, if starting from Bronze III.

Aim for Warlord II each week, since this is where you can get 5 diamonds each week, and next week just resets you to Warlord III. Raising your rank from Warlord III to Warlord II is easy, as only 11000 points are needed.

With 0 to 2 booster cards, you can do so comfortably in a week. If time allows you can go further to Legend IV or above, though that requires luck and constant farming of points with 5+ booster cards in the team. All that effort for just potentially 1 more dime in the reward. This is not worth it.

Daily login:
Madhead (mh) has been kind for giving away free diamonds. You can get 1 diamond per weekday, which results to 5 diamonds per week. Sometimes you also get login diamonds during weekends but that is rare. This, along with the Arena rewards, gives you 60 diamonds per patch already.

New stages:
This refers to biweeklies, ultimates and nightmares. Occasionally Madhead will release extra new stages, such as transmigration, new seal, or some challenges. Since these aren’t 100% confirmed for each patch, we’ll leave these.

There are three biweeklies and three ultimates/nightmares that are new for the patch. I do not expect everyone to clear the new ultimates or nightmares, but with a good leader, the biweeklies will be a breeze to clear up to Advanced level.

If your inventory is big enough to have non A/S tier leaders or members, the diamond reward for clearing 9 achievements can be easily done too.

You can get more than 65 diamonds during a patch, but I’ll set the ‘budget’ to 65. You can set any number you like, as long as it’s comfortable to you and reasonable.

When to Draw?
   Now that you have the budget in mind, the next question you ask is: should you draw for the cards in the seal or save the diamonds? The answer depends on the seal’s strength, and your judgement. Also, only draw on rate ups, and stop drawing when you got a rare, even though it might not be the one you wanted.
Weak Original Seals:
I’ll use recent patches as an example. ‘Primal Deities’ was a no from me as their strength is a bit lacking, and will be hard to keep up the meta. For weak seals, simply skip it. You may want to test your luck and draw a few, but please resist this urge. The free draws or giveaways are the only ways to get your job done.

So-so to Powerful Original Seals:
For ‘Unearthly Charms’ and ‘Gifted Scientists’, these seals focus on demon and machina leaders and members respectively. I had Ying Zheng and Pompeii at the time, so I did not draw too much (even though Pompeii’s damage is a bit lacking by the time ‘Gifted Scientists’ came out).

Therefore if you had an A+/S tier leader for the race or attribute of the current seal, you can choose not to draw much, especially if the commons do not help with the rares. Draw 2 to 5 draws.

Powerful Original Seals that are race-oriented:
For ‘Cathieves’, which was seen as an all-round seal for beasts, you should refer to your inventory and decide in this case. Some great beast utility cards aren’t from the seal, but provide unique utility for solving shields, like Aloha.

If you don’t have them, you could do little, such as 2 to 5 draws, since if the stage calls for enchanted quintet shield, it’ll be hard for you to clear with a beast team even if you got the 1% jackpot from the seal.

If you have great utility cards but lack a leader, draw more, perhaps up to 8, even 10 if you feel lucky, but do consider the card release schedule of Madhead (explained later)

Collabs:
They often provide good utilities for most of the commons, and the leaders can survive for a long time. For example, ‘Saint Seiya’ was a seal worth spending 10 draws on, while ‘Fairy Tail’ was a seal worthy of at most 7.

Nonetheless, I recommend draw at least 5. Once the seal ended, they are gone forever. You will not know when a card will suddenly become a MVP of a team in the future.

Black cards: 
Stay away unless the card is utmost powerful or you have certain depth in the related inventory. You can do a draw or two to test your luck, but I would recommend staying away unless, of course, it’s very overpowered that can help breeze through all stages.

I stayed away from all black card decks except Ying Zheng, since numerous days of testing from others determined him as a must-get. In this case, you would want at least 200 diamonds to prepare for the worst. It is hard to instantly get 200 diamonds over a span of 7 to 10 days, and that is why you need to consider the release schedule of Madhead when drawing for normal seals.

Black cards usually come out every three months, while powerful cards like Ying Zheng come out once a year (Madhead even confirmed Ying Zheng will be the strongest card in 2019). With proper saving and not drawing all 65 diamonds each patch, you can be ready.

Collector decks: 
Also stay away unless the pool is rewarding. The pool for Frigg is great since there’s a lot of Norses, which you might lack, but the pool for Hongling is a bit trash. If not for the diamond reimbursement for the first four draws, I would not even touch it.
   

   Warning: Since ToS IS a gatcha game, be prepared for bad luck when drawing. Do not fall into ‘gambler’s fallacy’ if you get numerous commons in a row. Resist the urge when you reached the limit. Here’s a table of getting rares during rate up, with the assumption that you’ll stop once you get a rare:

[Image: cX2uiWW.jpg]

You will need at least 12 draws to ensure you have a 95% of getting a rare, and still it is not a 100%. That’s why you should stop your bad luck earlier if you didn’t get a rare within a number of draws. And yes, you need, to a degree, some luck to survive as a f2p, but a 72% for 5 draws is high enough.

Should I use diamonds for other purposes?
The other proper way to use diamonds is to expand inventory. Some may advise you to expand a fixed number of slots (for example, 50) when a new patch arrives, and that is totally fine. For me, I expand inventory slots only when I need to. This way you can control your diamond expenses easily, while not having too much extra free slots around in the inventory. For crafts inventory, I seldom expand them, and will sell or manage them rather than buying 5 slots.

I do not recommend using diamonds to refill stamina. Madhead is kind enough to give stamina refills here and there, so just save them until needed. Since we do not farm cards, especially for ultimate or nightmare stages where stamina usage is the highest, you may be better off spending diamonds on reviving if the stage is hard enough.

This also brings us to whether or not should you revive. You may rage out and try to throw diamonds in, but I recommend doing so only if the card is worth it. Before the stage there will be a lot of info out there discussing whether the card is useful or not. Try gather these info and perform a judgement. To be honest, most of the ultimate cards aren’t eyebrow-raising worthy and aren’t considered a must-have in any team. Even Pengu, which is deemed the most powerful non diamond seal card, can be replaced with several different cards for each utility present. One of the recent ultimate cards that I fully recommend getting is Xi Shi. Most of the ultimate stages these days are easily clearable for an A+ or S tier leader, and achievable with some suitable members for an A- or A leader.

Thing is, most of the ultimate stages will return unless they are from collab content. Although you might need to wait for a whole year or two before it returns, you can surely beat it when it returns. As a summary, only revive when you think you can beat the stage under 5 diamonds and only when the card is totally worth it. Don’t even bother the 3 star achievements if you have a small inventory. The craft may be attractive enough, but crafts aren’t a main focus of the game for now.

Card Training

Another important idea in minimalist gaming is on training cards. Most great cards nowadays are at skill level 10-12, which means you need at most 25 of the copy/feeders plus 5 baby harpies to get the maximum skill level. It is a tiresome task for a f2p player, therefore there are some rules I go by, so you need not train every card:
1.  If it’s a leader of S tier, dual max it.
2.  If it’s a leader of A+ tier or a very important member in the team, at least reach lv 90+ and max skill level - 2.
3.  If it’s a great utility card that you see yourself using often (such as Xi Shi) or a leader of A tier, reach lv 70+ and skill level 7+ with 5 baby harpies first.
4.  If there are feeders (whether accumulated rounds or same skill) or it’s easy to obtain a copy of the card (such as some horror stages that rewards with Lv 10, JO, tournament), definitely max out the skill level.
5.  It’s ok not to farm ultimate or nightmare cards since 50 stamina is a lot per round.
6.  For other cards, leave them at skill level 1 and level 1. When the stage calls for it, just put resources into it. However if you have the resources to spare, try to train them until the pre-PR form.
7.  Don’t bother ameliorating cards unless the amelioration skill changes the leader skill/active or is not the usual attack/recovery/stat boost. With the normal A+/S tier teams nowadays, these 10%, even when accumulated, won’t differ too much. They will only appear important when you need to one-shot ko the boss and the boosters/skills aren’t enough/ready.
8.  There are exceptional cases. For cards that benefit more the higher the level/skill level is, try to train them to level 99. Examples are: Lucy from Fairy Tail for 2.5 x HP boost, Wendy from Fairy Tail for CD 1 heart convert when in Fairy Tail team, Satan from Fallen Halos for extra attack, Shiryu from Saint Seiya for 7x attack boost, etc.

This does not mean the training of the cards stops. Occasionally you will play a stage that has ‘HP requirements’, such as attack 29000 with Phantom. Your best team might just have a 28506 HP which is not enough to tank. In this case, you should train your cards or ameliorate them until the HP is just enough to tank the hit.

Crafting
   You will need a LOT of time to figure out crafting and making crafts even if you’re experienced in ToS. You will also need quite some luck and a huge inventory to craft out good crafts. These great crafts can help you in some teams to deal great damage, but they require too much effort. The ones MH give are mediocre, but every now and then some cool crafts appear if you can clear the three star achievements. These will be the only way to get your crafts. The ‘Khaos craft’ is well loved, but obtaining it can be hard. You can still survive without that craft.

Summary
Preaching minimalist reading and felt this guide is too long? Here’s a list of summary:

1. Get yourself an A/A+/S Tier leader first. Save your diamonds to draw if you don’t
2. There are around 13 draws available to you per a six-week patch
3. Diamonds are only used for drawing and expanding inventory. For draws, draw around 5 draws per seal on rate ups except for weak seals.
4. Not all cards need to be all maxed or dual maxed.
5. No need to bother crafting dragoncrafts
6. You need some luck, but just some, not an insane amount, to keep up the meta.


Some Final Words
On top of that, learn to spin well and know when to use which actives and craft. They help a lot in battles and can affect the damage. I think a typical reader that may benefit from this guide has certain experience in the game already, and can perform some judgements on their own.

ToS is a gatcha game and a puzzle game with flexibility, meaning that you need to think and make decisions. Therefore advice on exactly what to do, which cards to train, etc shouldn’t be relied on any one of your friends or others. You should make a decision too.

Good luck.

Acknowledgements and Further Info:
   Thanks to Tower of Saviors EN Discord Channel for all the lols and those who urged to write this as a meme.
   There has been one guide written for f2ps, which can be found at: http://www.towerofsaviorsforum.com/Thread-Guide-Tips-as-a-F2P-summoner The content’s outdated, but the advice and tips given are still useful.
The original version can be found at http://www.cutt.ly/ToSMinimalistGaming

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