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Optimization Tactics

Leon Cross

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Not sure if this already exists. Just looked like relevant data was spread across a bunch of different threads.


Essentially, this thread will, hopefully, include a collection of the most optimal choices you can make to gather together passing your tests with flying colors, gaining the most skill ups, and gaining the most attribute points. I'd say Save Scumming is a given here, but probably not quite to the level of, like, reloading running until you get a fitness boost.


I haven't done enough reading just yet to put this together, but this is giving me a place to orginize everything. Feel free to contribute.


Step 1: Character Creation. Flaws that are worth taking for the points, general ranking of the things you can take, etc. Will be broken down into 3 catagories:


1: The best. Hands down choices you -must- take if you're optimizing.


2: Better than average. Choices to round out your character.


3: Average: Anything not in the above two or the next one down. Don't need to be listed as it will be the majority of them if this is built right.


4: Below average. Options to avoid on an optimal character. (I'd personally say, like, the flaw that gives you a 5% chance to fail at everything, in my opinion.)


B: Stat spread. What stats are most important at character creation? (for example, if you do choose to reload over and over and over for fitness, you can probably dump it to start and then get the 2 points quickly)


Step 2: Early game. First few months. What do you want to rush unlocking? LLibrary, Sphinx, etc. What's the priority to unlock? How much time do you invest in Study / Research?


B: If it's the same game to game, scheduel of when you get skill ranks in classes.


Step 3: Quests. Pecking order.


1: Quests you -have- to do. Generally these will be quests with massive returns with a minimal number of turns. A consolidated list of the quests that only take a single turn for a bunch of rewards is a good start.


2: Quests that you probably should do. Give solid returns over a chain, better than an "Average" quest.


3: Average quests. The majority.


4: Quests to avoid due to low returns vs. Time investment.



I'd say with all that listed out, after that it's just a matter of building on your early game. Having an outline of how to start and what quests to make sure you knock out of the way will make the rest of the game go smoothly.


C: Bonus points.


What skills are worth taking the time to spend the time bumping up to 11? On skills that require research being raised to 10, that's a lot of "wasted" actions that could be spent building up other skills, so the reward needs to be hefty.


Possible tactics:


Rush Sphinx. Rush LL. Rush Cleans / Remake. Cleans / Remake every 4 days. Alternate Sphinx / LL as Sphinx become unavaible. Unlock another library as you max LL's skill.

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This is a great idea. And it would be fantastic as a guide or guides on the Wiki ;)


For Step 2 B, there is a random date range for each Class Skill so it's not the same date game to game. The date may set at the start of the game though...


For Quests, the Wiki doesn't have details on all of them (we'll get there) but there are still several sorted into categories. There's the continuous category for the single action adventures and categories for the 7 different attributes as well as Glory. There's also Mikka's Adventure Guide for a general overview, but a guide on quality would be great!


C: There's a chart for Research Topics Bonus at Skill 10. A chart for all the Skills' and Parent Skills' levels 10 and 11 might be handy too. The attribute pages do list bonuses from Skill Levels, abilities, and Research Levels (like Charm here).


I'm not sure I have anything to contribute to this thread at the moment (I've got some familiar adventures to format) but whatever comes up could be added to the Guides section on the Wiki. Pleeeeeease :D

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Work in progress for quests.


Single action quests:


Carnage on the fields:

20 Skill Steps
1 Luck

A Dropped Letter:

13 Skill Steps
1 Goblin mirror(?)

A Day in Frontino:

10 Skill Steps
1 Finesse.

At the Cafateria: (Fail 3rd step?)

9 Skill Steps

After Exams:

6 Skill Steps

Bump in the Road:

5 Skill Steps
1 Minor ring.

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Early thoughts:


Start 2 in all attributes, except 1 charm, 3 Insight.

Rush Peity to 7.

Cleans / Remake all attributes to 5. Repete every 4 days.

Library Knowledge to 3.

Clean the Library of Longshade.

Library Knowledge to 10.

Wit to 8 to regularly pass Sphinx


How does that look?


Additional thoughts: Clique


Courtenay de Surval.


+5 to a study topic to massively cut down on actions used?

-used once every 2 days. Depending on test spacing, can be just be used with spell rotations.

--More useful early game. Later game more than enough time to grind up research.

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Hi Leon


The wiki shows how many actions are required for each adventure, I made the "continuous" adventure category for 1-action adventures if you want to jump to those.


I have a spreadsheet summary of the adventures I've done which shows the number of actions and ability gains - I don't think that I can post it up, but I can email it to you if you pm me your email address.


Several skills grant early ability bumps which can reduce the need to take a starting skill in those points - these are also on the wiki, my favourites are compete: planning 3 (+1 insight/intelligence), ambush: danger sense 4 (+1 insight), war 2 (+1 insight) and acrobatics 3 (+1 fitness).


Cleanse/remake is a great spell, but you are wasting actions doing it every 4 days - save up the difficult adventure steps then spam them over a weekend.


A good "early-mid goodie" is to get the key to the vanishing dorm: +15% chance of a random event, add in a few bonus rings and you effectively gain a random skill step every other day or so.



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Hm. Is it a waste, though? You're trading 1 use of Cleanse/Remake per 4 days to make sure that all the random skill boosts from LL and Sphinx are optimal.




Think about it this way:


If I raise, say, Hide from 3-4 and it takes me 2 steps, IE 2 turns, spending a turn casing the spell before hand and then training the skill is a net wash. If I train it the next 3 turns as well, I just saved substantial numbers of turns.


And that would be with a single attribute raising stat. This raises all of them, which means the same benifit applies to -all- of the random skills as well.


So, say normally:


Hide - 1 / 3 steps

Revision Methods 1/1 steps

Metalurgy 1/2 steps


With Cleanse:


Hide - 1/1 steps

Revision Methods - 1/1 steps

Metalurgy - 1/1 steps


You just saved yourself 3 action worth of training by spending 1 action to cast the spell...and it lasts 10 more actions.


It also gives you a much better chance of passing early random events and getting more skill boosts there.

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Well, I don't have an optimal path, but here's some random thoughts on the subject:


There's probably multiple 'optimal' paths through depending on your goals. Are you looking to maximise skill points? Complete as many adventures as possible? Max attributes? Make money? Get the highest grade possible? Get very high glory?


A big question is how much reloading you'll do. For example a rather tedious extreme reloading strategy could simply do "run a crippling training course" and reload to get +1 fitness each time, taking Fitness to 6 very fast. The other extreme of a no-reload strategy would probably rule out using things like illegal items unless you are very careful to put them away when skipping class.


The obvious character creation choice is to take the maximum number of low-impact flaws and put the remaining points into attribute-increasing traits. If you want to do the familiar quests (not optimal in terms of character boosting, but if your goal includes doing them then that's that.) then it might be worth taking familiar attribute increases. You can get 2 attribute points from 1 trait for the familiar, and its stats are much harder to increase than the character's.


Classes and colleges are very much not created equal. I made a post a while ago rating the classes. For a heavy adventurer you need to consider adventure unlocks as well as other bonuses. I think that Morvidus is the clear winner among the colleges, although I like to choose a different one for each playthrough to see new content.


If you're doing lots of adventures remember that actions spent training skills that you'll max through adventure bonuses are effectively wasted unless they're necessary for the adventuring. A very serious adventurer can get a lot of skill steps from that and some skills like courage quickly go to 10 from adventuring alone.


A lot of actions/spells/etc give temporary boni and are not really worth it considering they cost an action to use.


I like to do the familiar adventure. This is a huge pain to train for so I recommend getting Improved Familiar Handling for it. It still remains a huge pain though


I don't think research is worth it. It costs 10 actions assuming you always succeed and you get +1 skill max or attribute. Unless that skill max is one you very specifically need for your playthrough this is dramatically worse than adventuring.


Broadly speaking, my starting approach would be something like:

- Begin with "sure-thing" adventure steps like the early "meeting with your mentor" ones mixed in with studying in the venalicum

- If I'm being bullied I'll boost bully relationships to a positive value to stop it.

- Befriend a few key students into my clique - I do this early before someone else gets them. This might include attribute increases, unlocking incantation to get contu's school or powerful abilities. Most active abilities are not worth the action they cost to use. If you don't befriend anyone then eventually someone will probably befriend you into their clique.

- Max out study to get the study mastery boni and get library knowledge high enough to unlock powerful training options. I'll leave a study at level 9 if I know an adventure increases study level though.

- Train a few specific skills for unlocks or attribute points, using actions that grant at least 2 and preferably 3 skills steps

- Otherwise sparingly train key skills only when necessary. If I'm not studying revision then this is easier because I can get a lot of mileage out of manetele before it drops below 3 steps/action. Otherwise I'll want to use longshade/sphinx when I have to but preferably choose actions where you don't get to choose the skill (like the mercenary's guild for training war).

- Adventuring


I haven't played for a while, but a heavy adventuring, heavy optimisation, medium reloads character I ran a while ago finished on attributes 14/17/19/12/19/22/19. For skill maxing you'd be better stopping at 6+ and spamming sphinx which is better than most adventures for skill steps.

I'm sure other people have done better than that, probably much better. This is no doubt massively higher than a no-reloads non-optimised playthrough though and so I suspect that it's heavily overkill for year2 which will surely be balanced for the average player and not min-maxers. As such, I wouldn't worry too much about squeezing every possible stat point out if it means doing things that are boring for you - you can certainly be OP by the end game without doing so.



Edit: on cleanse& remake - I don't use it often at all. Really, an adventure-heavy approach will bring attributes up quickly enough that it's very rare you wouldn't be getting optimal skill steps with your base stats.

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Sphinx is no longer the ueber SS giver as it only gives at max 3 SS per call and with DLC 16 you even will need to do a adventure first to have the sphinx unlocked.

I avoided to write here in this thread so fare because even what you take in class and what college you take is making a huge difference in what is best in the first weeks.

For the long run everything depends what you want to achieve with your current play trough as mentioned by hdghg.

I think there even player out there who want a play trough where the char never missed a single day in class and never got a single day in detention.

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Well, one of the advantages of notating optimal options is from there you can make adjustments. Like, if there's a series of actions that you can take to get all attributes at 20, max most of your skills, accomplish a huge chunk of quests, etc. you can then modify from that path to accomplish your personal goals.

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I think there even player out there who want a play trough where the char never missed a single day in class and never got a single day in detention.


I've done that a few times ;-) with random event boosters you can still do quite well although not compared to a true min-maxer I guess.

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I agree with Hdghg, it really depends on what you want to accomplish. Maxing skills and raising attributes to 15-20 are two separate things and how you optimally accomplish them might be slightly different. Adventure is a great way for both but I still consider Sphinx to be a powerhouse because a good chunk of adventures don't give you 3 Skillsteps in a single action. And not all adventures have attributes or a really awesome item anyway.


I think it comes down to breaking optimization or tips or a guide into chunks. We can start with a Character Creation guide where we suggest to never put points into attributes, only into background that raises attributes. We can write about the benefits and costs of Black Sheep and Deed Negated. We can suggest that Life of Avarice gives you an extra attribute on top of the Finesse attribute if you do a short, single action adventure (A Hot Time) which seems to me to be worth a shot at Fitness, Finesse (Elemental Warrior), or Strength plus a wand over Temperance level 11's Charm which you have to spend a lot more action points to raise anyway...


Maybe some info on the classes should be under CC as well. Which come up in adventures a lot, which are easier to raise yourself compared to other course subjects, which have the best bonuses and abilities, which might need a couple extra training actions outside of class time because they're so difficult, etc.


Now a chart on adventures could/should have

  • # of actions (to succeed all the way to the end as is listed on the wiki)
  • unlock requirements
  • # of Skill Steps & Skill Levels (not all listed, but the highest # possible to gain)
  • # of attributes (same as above, only a few adventures give 2)
  • other bonuses: items, relationships, abilities, locations
  • a difficulty rating of easy, medium, hard based on skill roll levels overall so players have an idea if they can do that early on or not
  • maybe a quality rating too, Leon? "worthless, okay, good, great, awesome" based on the previous six

Problem is there are a lot of adventures. There are 197 adventures listed on the wiki including some of the student adventures, all of the college adventures, and none of the familiar adventures (because I listed them in the subcategory only). If I was to do a chart, I would be reluctant to add familiar adventures since they're limited. Maybe the college adventures too. Actually, maybe we could have 2 more charts for these to help people decide during CC (one for familiar adventures, one for college adventures). Student adventures aren't usually either-or though. But at 28 and counting... there are 83 students and at least a few of them unlock more than one adventure so that's still 200+ adventures!


I think a chart will have to wait until the adventures are all added though... now I'm feeling overwhelmed.


Anyway, a guide to training skills from the start would be helpful. I did totally max out Courage halfway through... also Concentration maxed really early with the Library of Longshade (if I'm remembering the right one) so knowing which skills get raised in adventures really easily would be good. And which ones never get raised is helpful too so I can work on those if I want to. Knowing the early ability bumps as Svinik suggests, without having to check out the separate attribute pages, would be fantastic.


So to recap:

  • Adventure Chart(s)
  • Character Creation Guide
  • Training Guide

Now I'm running away :ph34r:

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  • 1 month later...

I'll try to write some mechanics guides, but they aren't that useful without an example. Maybe someone will write optimization AARs? They shouldn't be absolute best in optimization or something, it's just to show how different people actually use optimization tricks available in the game. Without it, raw guides are kinda inefficient, at least for me.

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There's an "optimal" set of classes to be enrolled into, regardless of how a character is played. Those classes are Dialectic/Glamour/Music/Negation/Revision/Zoology, though only a Morvidus student can enrol in all of those at once. Why are those optimal? Here's a list of classes and what you get from maxing it's study level, in addition to the +1 to that skill's rolls:


Arithmetic - +1 SL [random Geometry]
Astrology - +1 SL [Navigation]
Athletics - +1 Vitality Maximum
Botany - +1 Stress Maximum
Calligraphy - +1 Stress Maximum
Dialectic - +1 Insight
Enchant - +1 SL [Metallurgy]
Geometry - +1 SL [Transport]
Glamour - +1 Insight
Grammar - +1 SL [Confidence]
History - +1 Famous Battles
Incantation - +1 SL [Phemes]
Music - +1 Intelligence
Negation - +1 Luck
Revision - +1 Finesse
Rhetoric - +1 Debate
Zoology - +1 Fitness


Yeah. I actually tend to spam the daylight out of the Venalicium early because A) I need to unlock Longshade/Mantle/Sphinx, B ) I need to max those things out anyway, doing it sooner means mid terms are a joke and I get all the stuff for maxing study levels that I don't have to roll for, and C) It gets me the Filing necessary to comfortably fix Longshade. One thing I'd like to see is a mod that changes that chart to be a little more...generous. Call me OCD but I can't justify being in a college that's going to lock me out of two easy attribute increases before I even hit Juvenalia.


EDIT: Okay never mind, the forum apparently hates pretty colours.

EDIT 2: I suck at forum, don't I? TAKE 3!

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You say this class are optimal because they give a attribute bonus when you max study?

I strongly disagree on this because trough adventures you can get more then enough attributes increases.

Revision also can be easy maxed trough the "The Library of Manetele" and other 3 SS increase abilities and so I personal usually only take it when I play a Morvidus.

Then Music, as nice the adventures are around this class, it have like Athletic only a Pass or Fail exam and this means they have a lot of less importance in the next years from what I could gather.

So I chose my class from what kind of student my char should become and what is difficult to train in the free time.

If I want to save the background points for a familiar I also avoid to take Zoology because I then want to max this ability around the winter break.

Sure I usually still take one of the 2 + insight class (for a very early boost) and Negation (next to impossible to train outside of class) but that's it.

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Yeah, for those that missed it:

There's an "optimal" set of classes to be enrolled into, regardless of how a character is played.

Notice the quotes? I know that it's highly debatable whether it's truly "optimal", but personally I prefer to enrol in at least most of those classes anyway. In order:


-Adventures are well and nice, but it take many rolls and many turns to get attributes from them. Study levels don't requires rolls, and the time they take have to be spend anyway.

-I have little use for Forge skills, so the Manetele seems like a waste compared to more Mantle of Stars/Sphinx spamming (Astrology is of limited use, and The Everard Equation has an easy attribute point for grabs at skill level 11) and just enrolling in Revision. Which, not coincidentally, means another early and mostly free attribute point.

-It's true that Music is of...limited value, I actually swapped it our for Rhetoric with my current character. I'm an attribute...collector, let's just say that, but I have my limits.

-I like to enrol in Zoology because, attribute point aside, the faster I get Improved Familiar Handling the faster I can get my Familiar skill bonuses like Planning 2, then rush for Bond/Wits 8 so I have effectively 14 Wits for the Sphinx. I also don't want to risk having to stumble over three Zoology skills by myself, since I often have trouble with getting information on skills to train them up. Actually, that's another reason why early attributes are awesome. I can pass early rolls even on a straight attribute check (which, admittedly, might take twenty tries even with Insight 5/skill 0 on a v8 roll. I swear this game's RNG is rigged).

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Exactly. Rolling 5 on 1d5 should not take twenty tries. Statistically, it should take five. And don't even get me started on how often I failed 10 Insight/10 Wits v14 rolls for Match Wits with the Emperor's Sphinx. Or how often I failed a blue investigation only to pass a red exit. I swear my first character passed more red checks than blue checks, and that wasn't me manipulating rolls either.


Seriously. My luck can be nothing short of schizophrenic at times, but Academagia's RNG pulled stuns I didn't even think possible.

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If I remember right this two librarys we talk give the followed rewards:

The Library of Manetele gives you 1 step toward a Revision , a Forge and a skill of choice level

While Library of the Mantle of Stars gives you 2 step toward a Astrology and 1 step toward a skill of choice level.


So in my view Mantele of Stars only gives 2 SS combined with the nice items you get in the Astrology class only gravity ball adventure I personal prefer to have Astrology as class over Revision.

Unless natural you plan to push Astrology very early before your Luck is high enough to get the spells and a good result from the Astrology action.

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True, but Forge skills don't get called on as often as Revision skills, so I prefer to start with the latter and power through Astrology rather than start with Astrology and wait until I get Library Knowledge 9 for the Manetele. The +2 SS does slowly erode my OCD's will to live, but with my (and my character's) poor Luck +2 SS are generally not always total waste.


Revision class locks me out of efficient Forge increases, which I'm not going to miss, efficient...enough access to Astrology until Library Knowledge 6, and Astrology study level bonuses which are...a permanent +1 to Astrology subskill rolls except The Everard Equation (which calls for the hardest and most profitable rolls), and a +1 to Navigation. It also locks me out of that adventure, which I honestly haven't done before, so I don't know how valuable it is. What is the name of the adventure in the mod tools? I can't seem to find it.


Astrology class locks me out of using the Mantle of Stars with any form of efficiency, which I'd miss even less than the Forge skills, access to efficient Revision training until Library Knowledge 9, and Revision Study Level bonuses which are...a common and uncommon Revision spell, a Pheme of dubious value, the Pheme that makes 6th Finger completely bonkers which will almost certainly be obtained from another source first (Climb 3), and +1 Finesse, which is an uncommon attribute increase.


Putting all that together I'd say the real deal breaker is having to get Library Knowledge 9 before having any decent access to Revision skill increases. Unless I'd want to spend a background point on Discoveries: Libraries but, eh, I don't. I can't say for sure, since I don't know the specifics of the adventure, but I do prefer Revision class over Astrology.

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Ah, okay. I was looking for "Astrology Class Adventure" or "Avila Adventure" or "Class Adventure Astrology". If there's one thing the mod tools could use it's some sort of search function.


...No less than 4 different possible robes handed out at v4 skill checks? Each of them worth over 500 Pims and increasing at least 2 skills? Yeah, wow. Not enough IMO to justify being locked out of efficient Revision until Library Knowledge 9, but man, let no one say it didn't try.

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Music isn't exactly useless. It has many high level actions that you can do for Glory. I find that Glory is pretty helpful, and it distinctly makes a difference in how often you can get away with skipping class.


Although I seem to remember someone saying that it was possible to never get caught skipping classes, that'd be an interesting character to run. Never showing up to class other than midterms and finals. Speaking of which, that sounds suspiciously like my own college!

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Yeah, I personally find that if I skip classes for two weeks the professors tend to nab me. That might be bad luck, though. As for the Glory, I tend to throw it under the bus in favour of yet more attribute points. That might be a bad choice on my part, but eh, it's how I roll. Let's see...Advocate at Daribus Conley’s Court is Intelligence/Criminal Law v30 despite what the wiki claims; Academagia: Block Puzzle, Represent the Freaks and The Challenge at the Redoubt are one-time only; Play in the Theatre Orchestra is Insight/Lute v25 but unlocked by Lute 11; Fill the Night With Stars is Luck/Incantation v20; and lastly Accept Commission is just a mess and a half with half a dozen different rolls for the money and a harder Finesse/Skill roll than Perform Music.


Speaking of rolls, I'm still not really sold on Music class being worthwhile. Music subskills open up 3 separate Finesse/Skill rolls v22 that are practically identical (+relationship/Merit/Glory - Lute offers extra money, Voice extra relationship points, Lyre offers extra nothing), which is redundant and Music only actually trains one of those skills anyway (Voice). Out of those three Lute has the best chance to succeed, since while training it you also get Variable Strum which gives you a +1 to the v22 roll and a flat +1 to the Lute skill, but you're going to have to train that separately since Music class doesn't teach it. And getting the skill isn't hard, since if nothing else the Solid Pheme will open it up and that's learned from Revision Phemes 1. The only thing music class adds is another +1 to the roll from Study Mastery: Music, which isn't a make or break deal.


It's not a bad way to get Glory, not at all, but Music class just doesn't add anything to it that I'd miss overly much. So unless Music class unlocks an adventure that casually tosses a brick of gold in the PC's face I sadly don't see the draw to it, even with the +1 Intelligence you get for the study mastery.

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