This is a general guide to fighting monsters in Castle Age. Feel free to add your own tips and advice to it. Note: A lot of this was written in the earlier days of Castle Age. Some stuff may be outdated, and I'm updating as fast as I can.
Monster Overview Edit
Castle Age Monsters are big, tough, and scary. While a fewcan be fought over time all by one's lonesome, most monsters require at least a few friends helping you out, and most require dozens 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, or at least the pieces needed to make 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 early on, 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. 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, Duels, Wars, or Guild Battles.
- Energy--This Stat is a good option when you have a spare skill point or two. It helps level you, and is critical for fighting monsters that have some form of party health bar (which is most of them). 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--Defense is less relevant, but still important. The higher your defense, the more you heal with your Energy, and the less damage you do to the party's health bar when you hit. You should probably aim for enough Defense to master the Defense Feat chain (which tops out at 725). If you want to be a full time healer, prioritize this ahead of Attack.
- Health--Avoid putting points into this like the plague unless you really need the Health for Guild Battles. 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 Healer. These people build for Energy and Defense, and go around healing other monsters rather than being aggressive. These folks are rare, kind souls—don't abuse their good will by attacking, never healing, and expecting them to clean up your mess. Healer builds rely on racking activity through dispel/ heal/ fortifying etc. For this to work you do NOT need a massive energy bar. A few hundred will do, so concentrate on pumping defense. You can only heal up so high, and once the bar is full, it ceases to go up any higher, so you don't get any activity points for it. The most you can spend on a heal in one shot has been 200 energy, and while energy costs are higher than stamina costs on monsters, you can usually heal a monster up all the way with only a couple 200-point heals if you've been cranking your defense.
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.
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 if you work at it. 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 section.
If you are a free player and 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 best free 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 higher levels, this bonus increases, so if you can't afford better, put your crystals into him. At level 5 he gets +50 attack bonus against monsters, at lvl 6 he gets + 80 and so on.
- Vanquish is the higher-level pick of choice, mostly because of her Attack bonus. This bonus also improves as she gains levels, but the defense penalty increases as well.
- 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. Sahar is currently the best Oracle general for fighting monsters, as she levels up much faster than Sorkan. For General alliance bonuses, 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.
- Be aware that when stacking Generals for General Alliance bonuses, they nerfed stacking Monster Attack bonuses pretty heavily, so it's not always a good idea to link more than two generals with bonus Monster Attack. The better play is to stack up other effects like bonus criticals.
- 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 builds, 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 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.
- Use higher Stamina attacks when you can. Power Attacks, on the whole, do more damage than the same number of lower point attacks, and you take less damage per Stamina spent. Unless you are farming Crystals, Essence, or Potion ingredients, user the higher over the lower.
- 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 away.
- 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 or defenders. Jumping in to a busy battle means you can put it away quicker, which helps make the loot good for everyone (the quicker a monster is defeated, the better the chance on earning epic loot). 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. Heal 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.
- Don't use Class as an excuse not to Heal. You should play a Warlock instead of a Wizard, and a Ranger instead of a Rogue, if you want to have access to Deflection and Cripple. The lessened effect you get from a Level 3 Warlock vs. a Level 5 Wizard is minuscule, and having access to a healing ability is critical.
- DON'T LEECH. 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
- Some 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 World 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 make the boss public, 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 World 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.
- Lotus Ravenmoore is the toughest Boss monster to fight. She really, really is. She has a huge life bar, power attacks barely faze her, you can only get fifteen 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.
World Monsters and YouEdit
- 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 healing option).
- Dragons, Sea Serpents, and Chronus 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. Other monsters drop Favor Points as well, but these are the easiest monsters to get FP from (and they drop multiple FP if you do enough damage)
- 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, unless you want to spend more money than God buying Stamina refills.
- Help Build Siege Weapons. Most of the damage dealt to World Monsters comes from a series of siege weapons. Attacking is important, but getting a siege weapon launched is moreso for quick finishes. You don't have to go the full 1-50-250 route, but one or two hits on a siege weapon can't go wrong. And there's an achievement for it, too!
- There was once a long bit here about Siege Monster World Tours, but most of that information is defunct now that Castle Age no longer relies on CTAs from Facebook to get people into monster battles.
- Be a good guest. Heal 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 Healing. As a general rule, you want the Party health Bar to be as high as possible, because you get extra damage (which leads to better loot in the end) when the bar is at or near full, and damage drops off precipitously when the bar is low. You want it as full as possible when you start hitting, and you should leave it as full as possible after you're done hitting.
- Choose your 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. In general, Mages and Rogues need to choose their moment, while Warriors and Clerics are good "whenever" classes. The best classes are Warlock and Ranger, since they combine the powers of Mage and Rogue with the healing abilities of the Cleric and the Fighter, respectively. Always pick a class with some form of healing ability. Chances are, if you've joined a monster fight in progress they already have someone who can Cripple or cast Deflection, and the Party Health Bar will be full up, and you'll just be sitting on your thumbs. There is no excuse for not picking a class with a healing ability. None. Not healing your damage when you hit makes the Baby Jesus cry. Don't make Baby Jesus cry.
- 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!