This is a general guide to fighting monsters in Castle Age. Feel free to add your own tips and advice to it.
Monster Overview Edit
Castle Age Monsters are big, tough, and scary. While some can be fought over time all by one's lonesome, most monsters require at least a few friends helping you out, and some require hundreds of people working in concert to defeat. And you are on a timer, too. Most monsters are quite beatable within this limit if you follow a good hunting strategy.
Monsters are worth hunting because they drop all the good equipment. They also drop soldiers for your army, land that increases income, demi-points that get you favor with the demi-powers, and even the occasional Favor Point. These resources affect almost all other aspects of the game, so you will likely find yourself at least a few monster battles over your Castle Age experience. Plan accordingly.
Your Build Edit
If you plan to embark on a career as a monster hunter, then you will need the right tools. This starts with your stats, your equipment, and your general.
The three stats critical to a monster hunter build, in order of importance, are:
- Stamina--This is your workhorse. This allows you to attack more often, and this is the main stat you will use to gain levels. It's also the most expensive stat to purchase, costing 2 skill points per point, but it's worth the expenditure. Plan on buying at least one Stamina per level (two is usually better, but not always) and make offerings to Azeron (he's also useful for getting some of the best monster fighting equipment, so this is a double-win for you). When you get to about 150-300 stamina, you can probably slow down Stamina gain for a bit and concentrate on other stats, but not before then.
- Attack--This stat governs how much damage you do when you hit. This is something you should pay attention to, but it's not quite as important as Stamina. Many smaller hits over time are worth more in a monster battle than fewer large hits, after all. This should be your second priority after Stamina. It also affects your Battle Skills, which is helpful if you want to minor in Raids, Invasions, or Duels.
- Energy--This Stat is a good option when you have a spare skill point or two. It is a useful secondary leveling stat, and is critical for fighting monsters that either have fortifications to defend (such as Sea Serpents or The Battle of the Dark Legion) or shields to dispel (Skaar Deathrune and Ragnarok, the Ice Elemental). It's very useful for doing quests, which gain additional skill points.
The other two purchasable stats, Defense and Health, are not important to a monster hunter.
- Defense--You can put a few points into Defense if you want to get more out of your Fortifications or Dispels, but it's not really a priority for a monster hunter.
- Health--Avoid putting points into this like the plague. Buying health refills is ridiculously cheap after you have a few lands, and it doesn't really help prolong your staying power. Also, it encourages Chain Attackers to smack you around more, since you can take the damage. All in all, a bad deal. If you MUST have more health for some reason, get it by making offerings to Aurora, rather than buying it with skill points.
There is a second build that has sprung up, which is known as The Fortification Expert. These people build for Energy and Defense, and go around fortifying other monsters rather than being aggressive. These folks are rare, kind souls—don't abuse their good will by attacking, never fortifying, and expecting them to clean up your mess (although it is possible for them to do so, believe me, I know). Fortication builds rely on racking activity through dispel/ heal/ fortifying etc. For this to work you do NOT need a massive energy bar. 100 - 150 will do, concentrate on pumping defence. Reason being, this massive defenders has a limit on the number of times they can defend. For example, if Ragnaroks glacial shield is low, they can only defend in to 0, no further even if they have more energy. For the same reason, this build does not rack up as much activity as the usual build and is not recommended for anti-monster players. It is more powerful for PvPers.
If you want to balance your build for other aspects of the game, I recommend moving Energy into the second priority slot. This means you can go questing more often, gaining those valuable skill points more often. If you do go questing, please don't be an ass and fight monsters that need fortification, but don't use your energy for them. There are plenty of Dragons, World Hydras, and Epic Boss Monsters to go around.
As a monster hunter, your equipment matters about as much as it does to Duelists. Of course, you can't fail an attack against a monster if your equipment isn't up to snuff, so you're just looking for efficiency (unless you go Raiding, which is a whole other kettle of fish, and not covered by this guide). Luckily, monsters drop some of the best equipment in the game, so you'll be able to kit yourself out quite well after just a few fights. You can also farm equipment from monsters, if you want to add benefits to your Invasion army. Of special note are Heroes, which I'll cover in the next session.
If you want to get the best dueling equipment, making offerings to the Demi-powers is the way to go. Azeron is probably the one you want to make offerings to the most, as he gives you Stamina, some of the best equipment around, and BY FAR the 2nd best shield in the game. The downside is that you can only make offerings to him once every two days.
Your choice of General when going into a monster fight means more than you might think at first. Several Generals have hidden bonuses against certain monsters, bonuses which aren't advertised anywhere. We at this wiki don't know who has bonuses against what, so if you notice one of your heroes being super-effective, please feel free to mark it down and tell the rest of us.
There are a few generals who are good all-around, though:
- Zarevok is popular because he's cheap, and he's easy to acquire for lower-level players. At level 4, he has a +20 attack bonus against monsters, which puts him on par with other, higher-level generals, so he's a good pick for an all-around starter.At level 5---+50 attack bonus against monsters, lvl 6---- + 80 and so on.
- Vanquish is the higher-level pick of choice, mostly because of her Attack bonus.
- If you fight Keira, the Dread Knight enough times, you can collect enough of her Dreadnought gear to summon her as a hero. Since she adds to attack without nuking your defense like Vanquish does, she's an excellent choice.
- If you have the Favor Points, an Oracle hero isn't a bad purchase. Go for the ones that add bonuses to Attack, critical hits, Energy, and/or Stamina. Therian is a nice alternative to Vanquish, if you aren't into luck in chests. Some good monthly generals to get are Dolomar, Maalvus, Minerva, Solara, Godric and Aria for crits, damage multiplier, stamina, and energy respectively. Dolomar is great critical general with stats almost as good as Lotus Ravenmoore (Dolomar has more crits at lotus[4% vs 5%, but less stats]), an epic Chest general. Maalvus is very good for monsters with two bars (so-called second generation monsters), Solana/Araxis and Godric are useful to equip during level ups for those extra points.
- Cartigan is nice free general because he has a high attack bonus and boosts player attack, but by the time you collect all the trinkets you need to summon him you'll probably already have better. He's not among my top picks for that reason, but this is purely subjective.
- Therian, stronger version of Zarevok/Elin/Vanquish. The boost makes Therian a good monster hunter general.
- Deshara, Deianira or Tyxeros for guild monsters.
If you want to get into the details though, research done by members on the Castle Age forums has shown the following information:
- For non-FP generals:
- For FP generals:
- Lotus or Dolomar for all monsters if you are feeling lucky with crits.
- Orc King, Maalvus or Barbarus for all monsters with a fortification/defense/health bar for the party to reduce the retaliation damage from the monster. Definitely very useful for serpent fights considering their high retaliation damage. Also useful if you're feeling lazy and don't want to click so much to spend all your energy/stamina.
- Makelus is good for fighting everything but Keira if you have a lot of generals. You need at least 40 generals to surpass Ophelia on damage on Cronus. A weak alternative to Makelus that is a monthly general is Kaylen.
- Therian or Dolomar is good at fighting Cronus if you don't have Malekus or 40 heroes with Malekus.
- Therian for more damage and if you cant like lucky with crits.
- Zin for 15 more stamina to the amount you regen per 23 hour.
- Banthus for monsters with large buttons('Jahanna, 'Agamemnon..)
- Few generals who are stronger in attack or defense, are all from chests.
For defense, it's hard to beat Dante (+25 pDef @ lvl 4). Ambrosia might be better if she adds more in defense than a lvl 4 Dante. Basically, you just want generals that boost your player defense as high as it can get.
As a monster hunter, your Army doesn't affect your gameplay directly. This is especially true because the stats that make you a good Monster Hunter also make you a decent Duelist, if you decide to go into Battles or Raids. However, having a large army has a few indirect benefits you might not want to ignore.
- More people in your army means that it's easier to fill up your Elite Guard. Quite a few monsters offer small but tangible bonuses for having certain Elite Guard slots filled, over and above the benefits offered by the Elite Guard in the first place.
- More people in your army means you can receive more gifts. This is important, because all the big monsters in the game are summonable only when you have their Alchemy items, the pieces of which you can only get through gifts reliably. The Dwarven Miners are much more likely to drop gold or jack squat than a Drake Helm or Serpentine Shield.
- More people in your army means more people who can answer your Call To Arms, which is the main way players gain help for their monsters. It's also the main way people get Siege Weapons launched. Also, it's the main way you find monsters to fight between your own summons. The larger your army, the better the selection of monsters is. I'll discuss the Call To Arms in more detail later.
General Monster Hunting Advice Edit
This is what you came here for, so let's get down to brass tacks.
- Power Attack over Regular Attack when you can. Power Attacks, on the whole, do more damage than 5 normal attacks, and you take less damage per Stamina spent. Some feel that the greater chance for Demi-Point chance rewards and loot is worth the extra time, but I'm not one of them.
- Summon after you level. This is a common sense idea—only summon a monster when you've refilled your Stamina. You'll get a good head start on defeating it that way. I know, this seems like a no-brainer, but it can be so very tempting to summon a monster right when you finish collecting the pieces of its Alchemy item.
- If you're willing to do the math, it's possible to summon just before you level, and gamble on your Energy and Stamina taking you to the next level. Be careful with this; if the numbers end up lower than you expected, you'll be left sitting for a half hour or more, waiting on your next Power Attack.
- When in doubt, search for a monster in progress to join rather than summoning your own. There will always be more monsters to slay, monsters that could use more attackers, defenders, or just a Siege Click and a CTA to help out. Jumping in to a busy battle means you can put it away quicker, which helps make the loot good for everyone. This is especially true for World Monsters, which have a horrible habit of slipping into the critical stages because everyone's off calling their own instead of helping out the ones already on the board.
- Be a good sport. Defend as well as Attack. If you're going to attack a monster that requires fortification or shield dispelling, you lose nothing by covering the damage your attacks have wrought on the defenses while you were busy blasting away. Higher defenses means better loot for everyone once the monster is dead, and also give your attacks a damage boost.
- There is a special Hell reserved for people who Tag monsters and never follow up on them. A very special Hell, populated by child molesters and people who talk in movie theaters. You don't want to go to the special Hell, do you? Then always make sure that, when you Tag a monster (attacking it or defending it once to put it on your Monster List), you follow up on it when you can, doing a decent amount of damage to justify the slot you're eating up.
Fighting Boss MonstersEdit
- Boss monsters can be fought solo, if desired. Sure, you might panic a bit that first time you summon Gildamesh and realize it's going to take a few days to whittle him down, but he's not so tough once you gain a few levels. This applies for all the monsters up to Mephistopheles. Things change once you get to Keira, the Dread Knight--at that point, the Boss Monster is more like a Team Monster, and I'll discuss them below.
- If you are going to do a Call To Arms on an Epic Boss, do enough damage to qualify for the achievement first. Veteran players like the occasional easy win, and like showing off how powerful they are by eating the lower-level boss monsters with a few Power Attacks. So if you CTA, make sure you've done enough damage to the beast before you call your friends, because once that call goes out the stomping usually doesn't take long.
- Speaking of Achievements, Boss monsters have the easiest ones to fulfill. If you're going Trophy Hunting, the Achievements for the Boss Monsters are the easier ones to fulfill, and can gain you quite a few Skill Points and Favor Points. Be aware, though, that some monsters don't have Achievements you can earn yet.
- The higher-end Boss monsters are actually Team Monsters in disguise. They allow "mercenaries" who aren't part of your army to attack them, and you will need them, because Keira is the last monster you can fight on your own with any hope of success unless you are really high level, and even then she's tough. Since these Boss Monsters are really Team Monsters, I'll describe them in more detail next section.
Epic Team Monsters and YouEdit
- The Call To Arms button is your friend. Team Monsters, including the ones that pretend to be Boss Monsters, require teammates to beat. This means that you should Call to Arms early and often. Call to Arms also are a factor in determining loot, so keep this in mind as well.
- Never, ever do single attacks on a Sea Serpent. A single attack when you're low on stamina might seem like a good deal, but it's not. The Sea Serpent will do just as much damage to your boat on a normal attack as a Power Attack, which is a quick way of getting your boat sunk (Sea Serpents do the most damage to the defense bar of any creature that has a Fortify option).
- Lotus Ravenmoore is the toughest monster to fight. She really, really is. She has a huge life bar, power attacks barely faze her, you can only get 15 people to join you in a battle against her, and you only have 48 hours to take her down. All of this combines into one tough bitch of a fight. So if you summon a Lotus or jump into one already going, Be in it for the duration. If you jump into one, Plan on doing at least 500,000 damage. Don't just Tag her and expect to get anything out of it, because if only one or two people are doing dedicated damage, chances are the timer will run out and the monster will be a failure.
- Dragons and Sea Serpents drop Favor Points. This is one of the easier ways to gain Favor Points outside of purchasing them, so if you want to farm FP you could certainly do worse than fighting these beasts.
- Corollary: All World monsters and Raids also drop favor points, if you've done enough damage to them. However, if you're trying to farm favor points, Epic Team monsters are better for the task as they are easier to kill.
- Don't expect to do a lot in Atlantis until you've fought a few more Sea Serpents, bucko. Sure, it might feel like a victory when you collect all those friggin' map pieces and open Atlantis, but then you find out that most of the Atlantis Quests also require a bunch of Spartan items. Worst. Downer. Ever. So prepare yourself to be underwhelmed, and collect those Spartan Shields and Spears before plunging into the murky depths.
- Skaar Deathrune is great practice for World Monster techniques. He's built like many of the World Monsters you'll fight, but he's much easier to take down and drops really nice stuff, so jump on a Skaar if you see a CTA. You can also practice some of the World Monster tricks below and get good at them before you summon your own World Monsters.
Tips for World MonstersEdit
The saddest thing I have ever seen was someone who had summoned a Battle of The Dark Legion and had plugged away at it almost all alone, killing over 4,000 orcs by himself. He still hadn't chipped away a quarter of the thing's life bar, and he had less than 48 hours left. He'd only managed to get a single siege weapon launched. However, this sad, sad story has a mighty happy ending, and it's because of the techniques I will show you below.
- None of us is as strong as all of us. World Monsters require teamwork even more than Team Monsters do. You can jump on an Emerald Serpent and solo it if you get high enough level, and Keira isn't that hard to fight by yourself (if you want to take the time). World Monsters, however, cannot be fought by one's self. At all. Don't go into one of these expecting to solo it, no matter how badass you think you are.
- Help Build Siege Weapons. Most of the damage dealt to World Monsters comes from a series of siege weapons that can be activated by getting people to click on a Call To Arms link, not by attacking. Attacking is important, but getting a siege weapon launched is moreso.
- Call To Arms Often. Your CTA will eventually get buried down in someone's news pile, so it's a good idea, when fighting a World Monster, to CTA every few hours. 6–8 hours seems to be the happy medium. When doing a CTA, you might want to include a plea for clicks to the link, as well as mention of the number of clicks necessary to launch whatever weapon you're advertising.
- You can answer your own Call To Arms. It's true! And, in fact, you can answer your own CTA once for each different siege weapon that comes up. It's an easy way to get a click.
- Go on World Monster Siege Tours. It might seem counter-intuitive to spend stamina on monsters you have no stake in, but this is a critical skill to develop. There are always tons of people fighting tons of monsters, and when you answer someone's CTA you build goodwill, and can entice people to "Return The Favor." You might also convince a few people to jump in and attack in addition to just clicking the link. This is the technique I and others like me used to turn that near loss battle I mentioned above into a win with time to spare. Here is how this technique works:
- Copy the link for your Call to Arms. You can do this by going to your Wall, right-clicking your CTA link, and choosing the "Copy Link Location" option (or the equivalent if using a different browser).
- Next, search your wall for other CTAs. Click them. You'll get a note explaining what you got from aiding in the siege, and where you were in launching the weapon. People like to post their launch rank number in the chat log, so when you see things like "67th!" or "67!", they are referring to the fact they were the 67th person to help launch that weapon. You can do this too, if you like. Now, here is the important bit:
- Paste your link to the monster's chat log. This is where you can advertise your own monster, as a sort of "I scratched your back, can you scratch mine?" deal. You can preface the link with the phrase "Return the Favor" or "RTF" for short. Add a "P" for please if you want to be polite about it. You can use a URL shortening service like tiny.cc or bit.ly, but I don't recommend them because people might be hesitant to click on links that might lead them anywhere. It's a matter of personal preference, though.
- Pay the Piper. Return Favors asked of you. It's just good business, and it makes people more receptive to returning your favors. And hey, no one says you can't double dip—post something like "Favor Returned from <link>" is both a Thank You note and an advertisement for your own monster.
- You can Return Favors on monsters not your own. Find a nice World Monster that has a Chat Log filled with links, and drag a few to some empty tabs. Past your link in that monster's chat log. Viola! Someone you've never met now owes you a favor! I like to do this when Returning Favors, personally, because it keeps a continual chain of new clicks to my world monster siege engines.
- Be a good guest. Fortify monsters after you attack them, at least enough to cover the losses inflicted by your own attacks. Too many people don't do this, so if you get a reputation for being a team player, people are much more likely to help you out on your own monsters.
- Tips when fortifying. As a general rule, ALWAYS USE ENERGY BEFORE STAMINA!
- When battling the Dark Legion or Genesis, if your Defense (blue bar) is zero, you cannot attack. If your Defense (blue bar) is full, you do extra damage. As players join the battle, your max defense will increase. I recommend filling the blue bar completely before starting to attack. Make sure the blue bar is at least over half full before attacking with stamina for an added bonus.
- When battling Ragnarok or Skaar, if Armor or Forcefield (purple bar) is zero, you can attack for more. If Armor/Forcefield (purple bar) is full, you cannot attack him. I recommend draining the purple bar completely before starting to attack. Make sure the purple bar is less than half full before attacking with stamina for an added bonus. The purple bar will refill over time, while the blue bar does not.
- In any of these battles, a higher player defense stat will allow you to do more. It is recommended to use a general like Dante, who gets +20 player defense when equipped. Also, in any of these battles, it is best to use your energy BEFORE you attack with stamina. As I mentioned above, when blue is full you do extra damage and when purple is zero you can attack for more. Always use energy before stamina unless the bar is full (blue) or empty (purple).
- Tips for Bahamut: The newest world monster, Bahamut, the Volcanic Dragon, has lots of new features. Here are some general tips.
- If the Party Health bar is low, DON'T ATTACK!!! Bahamut, like all world monster, takes less damage from attacks when the party's health bar is low. Unlike other world monsters, you will see it—the damage varies by as much as 50% depending on how full the health bar is, and unlike other world monsters you only get a larger health bar if you have a bunch of warriors strengthening, no matter how many people have joined in the fight. So don't attack until the health bar is at least above 50%--you're just throwing Stamina away if you do. Use special abilities instead (if you are able).
- Fighting Bahamut means choosing a class well. It should suit your playstyle—I tried playing a mage once, and was annoyed at how little I could affect things when my Deflect ability wasn't needed. The Bahamut page has more information on each of the classes. In general, Mages and Rogues need to choose their moment, while Warriors and Clerics are good "whenever" classes. Rogues seem to be more popular, since their Cripple ability is useful right when Bahamut is summoned, and mages tend to have to wait for the better part of a day before their Deflection ability is useful. But Mages are still necessary—nothing sucks more than coming back to a battle and finding you've gone from nearly full health to almost nothing because there weren't enough deflections cast.
- Prepare your battle: Do event for your monster before it's summoned. If your army is too small you can ask your friend to collect more participants. This is where you may add rules for your monster, easy message participants, and so on.
- Thank you! Thank you for reading my rambling guide. And remember, if you have a tip you'd like to add, feel free to edit! Now, go kill some Hydras!