Poison Clan

Go Kill Something!

Stronghold Progression Issues:

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Some time today, we'll probably start the upgrade for Guild Hall 10.

Edit: We not only started the GH 10 upgrade, we upgraded the lumberyard to rank 4!

The GH upgrades are what unlock the other structures, allowing new plots and also increasing the maximum level of existing buildings. The Guild Hall upgrades are also what slows down our progression - this upgrade is going to take 9 days.

Each Guild Hall upgrade takes the rank minus 1 day - 10 = 9 days, 11 = 10 days. The upgrade period caps at 15 days starting with rank 16.

Right off the bat, that means we have to do our best to time our upgrades to make the most of the down time between starting the guild hall upgrade and when it finishes.

However, it takes a lot of resources to upgrade structures. You also have to have a minimum number of structures at maximum rank to do the odd-numbered guild hall upgrades - the even numbered guild hall upgrades increase the max levels.

I'm explaining all of this because future upgrades are going to become progressively harder and we need to make the smartest use of our time and farming in order to get the best results we can for our efforts.

Poison Clan has never and will never require donations. First, we're primarily a "learn and level" guild, so a lot of our players can't afford to make a lot of donations - they need to grind out their boons and get their gear first. It isn't fair to make them donate. It isn't fair to make other players donate while these players do not. And, honestly, I've always been dead set against making a game into work. This should be recreation for us, not manual labor.

On the other hand, if we don't make enough progress on our Stronghold, we may be replaced in the Alliance. The Alliance isn't as profitable as I'd hoped it would be, but it still offers huge opportunities for our guild and our players, so I'm interested in protecting our place in it. I'm also interested in us not being the lowest ranked guild in the Alliance, too :)

So, to summarize, we have tough upgrades ahead, they will continue to get tougher, a significant part of the guild can't do much to help, and if we drag things out too long, the Alliance may decide a higher ranked guild in our spot will benefit all of them more.

So that's the struggle.

The answer, in my opinion, is that we follow a fairly simple plan. The players who participate have to do so entirely of their own desire to do so, 100% volunteer, or else it will not work.

1) Identify our core players, the ones who are active every day, participate in the guild and interact with other memebers, who will still be here three months from now, and who care about stronghold progression.

2) All core players cooperatively farm in groups - either to complete boons or to farm currency for the coffer. Remember that the campaigns now have tasks that generate vouchers that are worth more than the value of the consumed currencies - you can make your voucher and have leftover currency from your dailies, in most cases.

3) Those farming groups should set regular times of day that they run, to attract additional players into the groups, possibly even getting them to show up regularly. When you've got missions that would have you competing with other groups, take turns or split up into different areas to allow respawns.

A. Keep in mind that farming for campaign currency also rewards you with RP, which everyone should be stocking up for 2x RP events.
B. Also remember that you can pick up missions each day and run a zone every three days to clear all the missions - this is often easier than visiting multiple zones each day.
C. Once players complete their campaigns and boons, they'll be able to contribute more to the coffer.

4) We'll need to start selectively recruiting more players who are around the 2.5 - 2.8 item level, or higher when we can. We need to look at players we team up with as PUGs, running daily dungeons in different zones, friends and friends of friends, basically looking for players who want to join in, who can afford to help us build.

5) I personally need to stay on top of the roster, every 2-3 weeks instead of evry 4-5 weeks, which will allow us to continue bringing in new players, removing players who have quit, and making sure we have room for both the players who need us and the players who can help us with our mission.

6) We need to prioritize our build out by balancing what can fill requirements the quickest - which means that we'll occasionally need to put off upgrading a boon structure until we've accomplished another goal that allows us to rank up the boon during other upgrades.

7) We need to make a real effort to get conqueror's shards. Each character can earn 20 a day fairly easily. The "Fight To The Finish" quest awards 10 shards for completing 5x5 domination, IWD Black Ice domination, or Gauntlgrym. You are also awarded 10 daily for Stronghold siege.

8) Our core players need to continue running Influence every day and should becoem even more vocal about it, inviting other players along, so that it is easier and faster for everyone to help out. Influence is going to be a non-stop need and if everybody runs it on at least 1 character a day, we'll be able to keep up. Skipping it sets us farther and farther behind.

Everybody won't be able to participate in every activity, and some activities just won't be fun for some people, but there should be a way that every core player can solidly contribute to our goals.

Additional articles:

Construction Road Map to GH 11:

Tips for Farming Campaign Currency, Influence, and Conqueror's Shards

How to farm Conqueror's Shards:

I. Use the Fight To The Finish mission from the Stronghold's Master of Coin A. Win a 5x5 PvP Domination match B. Win a 10x10 Gauntlgrym match - Alliance players are running solo queue instances of this several times daily for their campaigns C. Put together players to run IWD Black Ice Domination 1. Get 10, 15, 30 or however many guild or alliance players you can fit into the same faction 2. Get a smaller group of players into the opposite faction 3. Go separately to Dwarven Valley, try to gt into different instances 4. Wait for Black Ice Domination to pop in an instance that is fairly empty and start inviting other players in A. Try to group 5 or more players around each node to capture for the win B. If a "challenge" is necessary, the players from the other faction can do a small attack, mark, etc. C. Once the score reaches 1000 points, no need to mine the black ice, you've already completed the mission D. Have the bulk of the players goback and switch factions, repeat the process for the other team to get their shards. D. Dozens of players can get shards in 20-30 minutes, possibly less. II. Stronghold Siege - run this AFTER fight to the finish, as it can glitch on awarding Shards A. Try to get enough players fromt he guild or Alliance to run without a lot of players from outside B. Take turns so that both teams get a win C. Some Alliance players are dicks. If they camp on the spawn, let the guild and Alliance members know so that they can leave instance D. Awards 10 shards for the victory III. Any of the missions will also award currencies and points in the PVP campaign. IV. The Elemental Evil and Maze Engine campaigns have End-of-Campaign tasks that can also generate Conqueror's Shards at the rate of 10 every 5 days.

Buying Shards and Currency:

You can also get Conqueror's Shards from Stronghold Chests of Power and from Stronghold Starter Packs.

I. Stronghold Chests of Power
    A. You get 100 of each type of Shard from each chest. 
    B. A chest costs 300 Zen. 
    C. Can be purchased from Auction house if anyone has posted one for sale, check the AD/Zen ration before buying!
    D. Once a chest is opened, the shards are bound to character!
II. Stronghold Starter Pack
    A. Contains 4 Stronghold Chests of Power, 4 Stronghold Chests of Campaigns, 20 Strongbox keys, and a Runic Bag of Holding.
        1) Chests of Power are the same as the item above, so 400 of each Shard.
        2) Chest of Campaigns 
            a. Each Chest contains 5 major vouchers - Fey, Dark, Tyranny, Frozen, or Influence
            b. Vouchers and Chests can be sold or purchased on the auction house - check AD/Zen Ratio before buying
    B. Costs 3500 Zen from Zen Market
    C. Can be purchased or sold on Auction house, check ratio! Individual components can be sold and others kept. By checking the market and selling keys, chests, and/or runic bag smartly, and USING A COUPON, you can get the cost down to as little as 100 Zen for the portion of the pack you want to use!

Farming Campaign Currency:

Sharandar, Dread Ring, and Icewind Dale campaigns all have a task that awards a voucher worth 1,000 points, while consuming fewer point's worth of currency.

These are big donation items and having 25 or 30 players running these tasks a day can obliterate a big coffer requirement in a week.

Ideally, you should always hit campaign zones in a group - this helps less powerful characters and makes it faster for you, too.

If you pick up missions every day, you can usually run 3 days worth of missions at once, which speeds things up a little, too.

Influence:

If you get any benefit from the guild, you really should contribute influence. It takes a few minutes a day, especially when teamed up with other players - and by teaming up, you could he helping osme players level or complete heroics they might not get otherwise! If every player currently in our guild ran influence on ONE character a day, we'd get 52,000 Influence every day. It would take days to finish Boon structures and Guild Hall upgrades instead of weeks.

What's more, if everyone picked up the Race quest from the stable, we'd get an extra 2,600 Influence a day - and this amount goes up every couple of ranks, eventually being worth 100 Influence per payer per day. The Barracks also has an Influence quest, though it requires completing heroics and is harder.

While you might think that 20 Influence doesn't matter, if everybody in the guild makes it matter, then our numbers mean it is a real difference-maker!

Construction Road Map to GH 11:

- Posted in Information by

Here's the bottom line - the fastest way for us to hit Guild Hall 11 is to rank up the Stable, Warehouse, Market, Farm, Mine, Lumberyard, Quarry, and Mine to rank 5.

This will require:

Heroic 14040

Adventurer's 14800

Dungeoneer's 9740

Wood 154890

Stone 99700

Metal 93110

Food 201970

Labor 210680

Gold 2779

Gems 426830

Surplus Equipment 916900

Astral Diamond Chests 2385

Tyranny 1888900

Frozen 283620

Fey 233010

Dark 449900

Influence 106000

Those are the total amounts that the coffer needs to read and the minimum number of rank 5 structures for us to fire off the GH 11 upgrade.

That will run for 10 days, during which we will want to upgrade the Barracks to Rank 5 and start compiling the resources we need for Guild Hall 12.

I'll put those numbers together and post in an upcoming entry.

Some important points to keep in mind:

We need to start hoarding vouchers for FOOD, METAL, STONE, and WOOD! - starting soon, we'll need far more of these resources than our structures can produce. If we all hold our vouchers, it will save the day.

We have FOUR production structures in the Stronghold right now - the Farm, The Lumberyard, The Quarry, and the Mine. They fill up every 8 hours, meaning if we go more than 7 hours and 59 minutes between dumping the resources into the coffer, then we lose production. Please make a point of checking these structures when you're on and clicking the "TEND" button on each one - this will keep our coffer full of these resources, or as full as construction allows.

Surplus Equipment - you can spend 5 tradebars on legacy purple equipment and get 810 points worth of Surplus equipment. That's a great trade off for guild marks and is absolutely the cheapest way for us to get surplus equipment filled.

Gems - rank 7 gems are worth 100 points each and cost 6 tradebars. It isn't as efficient as surplus, so, unless we're FULL on Surplus, please go that route.

Influence and Conqueror's Shards are going to be constant needs, so please drop them in the coffer every chance you get. We'll never have a surplus of either.

EDIT - Note on Barracks 5

If we're able to collect the Influence and Conqueror's Shards to upgrade this without slowing down the GH 11 upgrade, we can swap out the Marketplace and upgrade it after firing off GH 11.