Battleforge Guide: Raven’s End Solo Run

BATTLEFORGE

If you’re like me and have way too many things going on but gaming is one of your passions and you want to play stuff more efficiently, it sometimes helps to figure out in a game what’s most effective and stick to it, although experimentation can yield great results. Since lately I’ve been playing Battleforge like a crackhead, both in PvE and PvP games, I’ve decided to expand our library of articles regarding this game as I know some of my friends started playing it and rather than manually train them, they can now see how I get my level 100+ decks created in just a few hours.

If you don’t know what Battleforge is then click here to read my Battleforge review. If you prefer doing Battlegrounds to missions then you can click here to read my short general strategy guide on how to farm Battlegrounds.

I found Raven’s End played solo to be the highest yield of tokens over time with no way of losing, if you have the right deck, every single time. Of course, in order to take advantage of mission token farming you will need the Element of Conversion, to make upgrades into tokens, and Element of Creation, to double rewards. 300 BFP is not a high price to pay considering the hours of grinding you will save (plus I’m bored of level 9-10 solo battleground runs).

If you don’t want to see the videos from youtube and you would rather see my replay in game you can download my replay file here.

My main PVE deck consists of Nature, Shadow, Nature, Nature.

The foundation for the deck as far as Nature goes are Enlightenment, Breeding Grounds, and Wheel of Gifts. Enlightenment brings out Tier 4 units at Tier 3 and Wheel of Gifts grants healing first, then immortality through 8-12 damage resistance wheels, and then to speed things up 6-12 damage boosting wheels. Breeding Grounds save you 25% power cost (at level 3 upgrade level) in producing a unit and that power adds up. As far as Tier 4 units go, Giant Wyrm (my favorite CHEAP Nature card) and Primeval Watcher are all you need. Anything that shoots and/or flies is great for this map.

As far as shadow goes, Offering (Nature affinity), Embalmer’s Shrine + Furnace of Flesh combo, Unholy Power, Rifle Cultists, and Ashbone Pyro are essential. Offering (Nature affinity) let’s you kill a (ideally) low power unit and get +1 charge for every card you have in that Tier. I combine Embalmer’s Shrine to boost the multiplier effect of corpses which gives almost instant power refunds of Void Power from the Furnace of Flesh. Although Ashbone Pyro costs 100 Power, he has a lot of life so when combined with Embalmer’s Shrine he’s well worth the Offering. This is important because Furnace of Flesh refunds power based on the life force of corpses in its radius. Ashbone Pyro is also highly effective for defending bases and if you want to do a quick Siege rush you can’t go wrong with his damage/power output. Rifle Cultists are merely there to do Offering on to get charges for my other REAL Tier 4 units. ;-] Unholy Power is useful to give +50% damage output and 50% damage resistance.

Let’s get down to the replay so you see how I can do this mission alone under an hour with no rush or worry (sometimes I do parts AFK especially once my wheel of gifts for damage resistance come up).

Part 1 of 13: (don’t worry they’re short clips)

In this part, I focus on killing small units fast and kiting groups of enemies away from where they are getting artillery support. Near the end of this part, I kill those guys on the hill to activate the gate ONCE. Should you play the other side (which is a mistake because it’s MUCH harder) you would activate the gate TWICE.

Part 2 of 13:

One has to be careful not to aggro the wrong group at the wrong time if not you can lose most of your units. I prefer to use ranged units in that sense, in PVE, because they are more “civilized”. Notice the kiting to get out of artillery building range. The rageflame is REALLY annoying so he is a priority target. I screwed up in this part as you can see most of my guys died. Just because it’s not a perfect run doesn’t mean it’s time to give up! I ran, kited, and killed off the segregated enemy. Notice I focus fire to kill specific enemies as that’s really important. In this part you let the ship blow up the stonekin turret, then you camp to the side waiting for it to get within range of your base and jump it. If my guys hadn’t died he would have gone down. If you notice that he’s going to run away because he has like 50% health still and most of your guys are badly hurt don’t let them run after him because he will shoot you with cannons while he flies away.

Part 3 of 13:

Once that rageflame is history you focus on the stonekin dinosaurs that attack you with their back artillery mode. I mess with them by making any of my ground units run up to them at point-blank range. This forces the AI to make them do melee attacks instead which are less effective because they don’t knock back your small units. Once the hill is secure, hit Tier 2 safely as they never attack that hill again. If you didn’t kill the ship before, now’s a good time to do it. I like to piggy (Curse of Oink) him so that when he’s turning around to run away, I force ALL my units, even the shamen, to drill him into oblivion. Once the ship is dead he will never come back.

Part 4 out of 13:

This part consists of cleaning out the area that’s going to be your forward base. Once you secure the area, set up your third orb, a breeding grounds, and a furnace of flesh, especially near an area where the enemy and a few of your own troops may die. This will boost Void Power refund a LOT. I also put down the Embalmer’s Shrine just in case a lot of units die and I need to regenerate all the power right away.

Part 5 out of 13:

The first thing I build with Tier 3 is the first Wheel of Gifts, which is going to be the healing one. Just build one because healing does not stack. Kill off Tier 1 units and the Furnance of Flesh will just eat their corpses quickly for a huge power boost. With Enlightenment, I make a Primeval Watcher for defense whose ranged attack and melee range paralyzation is very useful. Now starts the part where he will defend, backed by Ashbone Pyros, which in turn will be sacrificed via Offering to keep pumping out those Wheel of Gifts! The Bandit Windhunters are to be a priority target because they in turn can paralyze your units. Take them out always as soon as possible and this map will be much easier.

Part 6 of 13:

Just defending some more, which is pretty easy, and the end of this part we see the activation of the Wheel of Gifts damage resistance wheels (near immortality). With 11 wheels up, you pretty much just finished all the hard part of the mission. That wasn’t that bad now, was it? 😀

Part 7 of 13:

Notice that I screwed up one of the wheels. I don’t like to build them where they are not right next to each other so it gets deleted and I get its cost back to the Void Power pool minus the penalty for building it. Notice how all the units are now pretty much immortal (gods). I start to bring out the Giant Wyrms, which are extremely useful in this map because of their mobility. Okay, so at this point the SLAUGHTER begins. You have to start cleaning up the Stonekin camp although care must be taken not to kill everything (leave the bottom 2 turrets alone; they won’t attack you unless you are close). You can just focus on the Stonekin area, although I sniped that Bandit Tent with my dragons just to save time.

Part 8 out of 13:

You can make a 2nd army of cheap units, like Ashbone Pyros, to go start to clean up the middle to upper part of the map on your side. Since the wheels make them nearly immortal they’ll be fine! I like to focus fire on priority targets such as the Windhunter and the Deepfang. In this part of the video I kill the Stonekin production building that kept sending those annoying troops to assault my forward base. No need to defend anymore because I am cleaning up the top with my Ashbone Pyros. I send a T4 unit to the top to speed up the mission run. For the Stonekin area, the only really hard part is the middle of their camp because of the two Hammerfalls and the other artillery piece there, which have that Gemeye guy to back them up. Just focus fire and they’re dust.

For some reason the game started to lag in this area but make sure that you take caution like I did to not kill the bottom two turrets. Leaving them alive will prevent the orb capping requirement (which has a timer) from happening until YOU WANT IT TO. Start capping the power wells of any area you cleaned out (so long as you do it in this order or if you know no enemies patrol there). Activate Gate C as soon as you can, although the reinforcements are pointless since you just finished nuking the Stonekin to the Stone Ages (get it?? GET IT?!).

It’s safe to pick up Tier 4 now, by the way! Not like you needed it!

Part 9 out of 13:

Goodbye Lenin, I mean Stonekin! Anyways, I split my dragons so they go kill and cap the area where the other players would have started at. The mid to upper left Bandit camp is taken with my small number of troops. You use the gate where B should have been twice so that your ground troops can cap 4 power wells in that are of the map. Always make sure to get those chests because this mission gives a nice amount of gold. Wheel of Gifts with the damage boost power construction has started. Kill any old buildings that you will not use for areas that are all clean. I establish a new forward base where the middle-top left Bandit base used to be.

Part 10 out of 13:

The forward base army now starts to attack to top left Bandit camp at the same time that the army on the right bottom to middle side of the map just finished cleaning up and capping. Use gate D to trigger more of the plot. Use E to keep going again. At this point the Primeval Watcher that’s been capping stuff alone regroups with the main eastern attack force. The top left Bandit camp is history and the middle and middle to top Bandit camps are history on the right side of the map. Use F and start getting ready for the end.

Part 11 out of 13:

The assault on the top right camp has started. I like to kill all the ships in the top middle because there’s a chest there and also because there’s 4 power wells. I’m hurrying to finish the damage boost wheels and now all camps are DOWN.

Part 12 out of 13:

Notice that I tried to go too fast and I make one of my Primeval Watchers go back to help cap. Since the game has a 120 population cap, half of your army stays at the top center and the other half goes to the bottom where the Stonekin camp once was (so long ago…). Basically, this means 6 mega units at the top and 6 mega units at the bottom. Make a breeding grounds at the bottom if you didn’t already build all 12 T4 units. Position your top units by where the treasure chest is. It’s time to end the mission so activate all remaining wheels. I use Offering on the Rifle Cultists (CHEAP) to quickly put out my T4 units for the endgame.

Notice the orbs… every orb on the entire map MUST BE CAPPED before you trigger the end of the mission, if not you will have a 3 minute time frame to do it and if you weren’t ready, you’re screwed. Once construction has begun on all of the orbs you can simply trigger the end by killing the last structures of the H Stonekin camp (those turrets I mentioned earlier). The top units will just annihilate Ravenheart and his posse, so you can just go afk because it’s game over, man! Make sure that you leave the bottom units at the chest and pick up that sweet gold. Make sure not to manually attack Ravenheart because if not your units will chase him and I’ve seen people lose doing that.

When I used to do this mission 2 player with my French friend Tigrou we would kill Ravenheart (Blight) so fast that the game would skip ahead too much and crash the Battleforge.exe 😀

Part 13 out of 13:

Notice that Blight is talking which I killed a WHILE ago. Too much DPS I guess?! Listen to the dialogue although I beat the mission a while ago. Now comes the good part, the loot. Although this run I didn’t get a lot, sometimes I get drops that give 36 victory tokens a piece. It’s just a matter of luck…

Well, I hope this guide can help you reach your goals in Battleforge, whether they be PvE deckbuilding or if you’re like me getting tokens to keep building PvP decks that are DEADLY! See you in game! (I’m MsFreeze in game btw and Honorabili in the Battleforge forums.)

If you want to see these videos in high definition visit our youtube channel.

Battleforge

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Battleforge Review by Honorabili

One Sentence Review:

“The lovechild of Warcraft 2/3 on crack mixed with Magic the Gathering.”

Overall Score:

9 out of 10

Overview:

This is an RTS MMO by Phenomic and it is run by/published by Electronic Arts. The player takes the role of a Sky Lord, which is basically like a minor god mage that manifests units, buildings, and spells in the mortal realm. Every action in the game takes form of a card to represent the icon for the unit/building/spell which is played in real time whenever the player builds up enough power (mana) to cast/summon it. There are four disciplines of magic: Shadow, Fire, Frost, and Nature. You can make up your army of any mixture of disciplines. There are only two resources during battles, power wells which make power (mana) and monuments (orbs) which are your units/building/spell tier tech levels. Cards are bought using real money which buys one BFPs (battleforge points) either from EA or by buying the game. Trade in game is also possible so it’s not really necessary to buy the game at all if one wants to put in the time instead. The game is divided up into PVP and PVE. The PVP is divided up into unranked (practice), collection (any cards go) 1vs1 and 2vs2 (ranked), and tome (specific to cards bought that month in a random collection) 1vs1 and 2vs2 (ranked). The PVE takes the form of premade missions that are either single player, 2 player, 4 player, or 12 player. A new game mode has been added in Nov 2009 which adds random pve maps from 1-4 players and adds the reward system of the PVP system. As far as rewards go, missions give the player in game money (gold) and upgrades for unit/building/spell cards the player may or may not already own. The goal of the game is up to you, whether to own every card in the game, get all upgrades for them, or dominate the pvp ladders. The initial launch of the game in the US seems to have failed (as far as I know) and it’s relatively cheap to play it here vs the rest of the world. There is no monthly subscription fee and the game is “Play4Free.”

If you already know the game but would like my tips, click here to read my strategy guide on how to do battlegrounds properly.

Fun Factor:

It’s been 2 months since I started playing it and I am still lured back to the game. I hate MMOs in general but for what this is, the usual biweekly updates keep me coming back for more. It’s a lot of fun setting the difficulty higher each time to level up my real life micromanagement skills and I really enjoy sometimes being able to hold out 6-7 fronts throughout different parts of the battlefield all at once. I’ll give the fun factor score for Battleforge a 9 out of 10.

Difficulty Versatility:

There have been times that I have been doing a mission with a friend for an hour on the max difficulties only to fail for not paying attention for about a minute or two. The difficulties for the missions scale very fast as there are 3 difficulties (Standard, Advanced, Expert) at the time of this writing. Let’s just say you better be good to play Expert. 😀 For the Random PVE maps, they implemented a bar that slides from 1 to 10 so it’s a lot more customizable and the game earns a lot of points in this category for that. For PVP, people have researched the living crap out of the game by now so there are pvp guides out there for people who just want to stick to other people’s strategies. I have myself countered some of the instawin bullshit strategies so I think the game has a lot to offer. I give the difficulty versatility a 10 out of 10.

Value:

Since the game is free, the game has a great Value score. You can download the full game from the main Battleforge website. With the Play4Free account one gets a limited amount of cards but it’s still possible to pretty much do everything in the game with them, although it will very hard to do so if just using these free cards as many basic cards are missing from the free account. To solve that one can trade gold for cards (risky because of the nature of the trade system in game) or if one wanted to be really cheap one can spend the bare minimum real money and add $5 through the EA website to their Battleforge account. That basically translates to one cent is one BFP and with those assets one can either buy two booster packs in game (which I don’t recommend) or buy a lot of cheap 2 cent cards in the auction house and then build up one’s army slowly. Those 500 bfps can also be used to farm the auction house and slowly start earning bfps through one’s buying out of and reselling in the auction house. It’s up to you if you want to put in the time and this can be a game in itself. I myself are notorious for my AH buyouts. (evil grin) If you opt out and buy the full game for $20, you get almost every basic card in the game automatically and 3000 bfps which you can use to buy boosters/tomes/cards in AH, etc. In the long run this is the best value for the in game economy of your character. Since the game has no subscription fee and it’s only $7 or $20 for many, many days/weeks/months of entertainment the game gets a 10 out of 10 in this category from me.

You can get the game from Direct2Drive or Steam for $20 or for close to 7 dollars on Amazon since the game is not as popular as they anticipated. This is by far the best value way to get the game.

Replayability:

The number of missions is limited but since there are three difficulties for each and each difficulty is completely different, these missions will offer at least a whole month worth of entertainment until you grow tired of them. The random pve can be a lot of fun since you pick whatever custom difficulty you want and it’s a random map/enemy every time. They can be extremely challenging. For PVP you can spend endless hours trying to fight your way up the ladder system. It’s up to you what your goals will be and you can always invent new ones. 😀 I’ll give the replayability an 8 out of 10. I do hope that they keep adding more content for this game if not this score will drop.

Sound:

The sound of the explosions and swords rattling is great. The voice actors they picked do a nice job as every unit has their own sounds, some which are funny, some which are generic. Overall I give the sound category a 7 out of 10.

Music:

Each discipline of magic has its own music score which sounds great, except to me the nature music which is kind of annoying (reminds me of the Lion King). My favorites are the music for Shadow (sounds like something out of Gladiator mixed with music from the Dawn of War games) and Fire (sounds like a mix of Assassin’s Creed music). The music can get repetitive, well if you play the game like I do (100 missions in a row, etc). Overall I still think they put a great effort on the soundscore and I reward this game a 7 out of 10 for the music.

Graphics:

The graphics for this game are simply beautiful! To my knowledge this is one of the first games to embrace DX11 and it’s sponsored directly by AMD/ATI (even gets promoted directly on their website and I saw the add for it when updating to the latest ATI video drivers). Each card in the game has its own custom icon which is very pleasing considering this is an RTS game. Special versions of cards (promotion cards) have an even more custom avatar for the units with a special skin and/or better graphics. I think this is one of the better looking RTS games out there and the graphics remind me a lot of Guild Wars and Age of Wonders 2, which as far as graphics go are a great thing! Graphics gets a 9 out of 10.

Stability/Reliability:

Overall the game is stable but…there are drops in connection/desynch when you least expect it. This might be because of latency issues between people playing far away but I had been playing this game with my brother which lives in the same house as I do and one of my best friends which lives blocks from my house and the match ends because of a desynch issue. This doesn’t happen all the time but I do want to bring it up because for an online game this is a deal breaker. As far as server up time, the servers are up 99.9% of the time with the only times I saw them down being for an update to the game which took about 30-50 minutes and one time for general maintenance. Compared to WoW or Eve Online, EA really does a much better job for quality of service. I give Stability/Reliability a score of 6 out of 10.

Controls:

The game implements the WASD scroll which is great and now makes other RTS games controls seem clumsy. Most hotkeys for commands of units are the same key which simplies micromanagement even further. I give Controls a 10 out of 10.

Performance:

I don’t run the latest hardware and the game runs like a champ on an AMD Athlon X2 5400 CPU and an ATI Radeon 3870 512 PCI Express MB video card. My brother is running the game playable on an AMD Athlon 64 3000 CPU and an ATI X800 AGP video card. Most gamers will be able to run this games on any modern gaming PC. I give it a score of 9 out of 10 for performance.

My history with this game:

I downloaded the demo for this game and I wanted it so suck so much but instead it was enough fun that I stopped playing most other games for a good month or two. I got most of my friends addicted to playing it, even those who hardly ever buy new games bought multiple copies of the game and we got a lot of members added to out gaming clan because of this game. I’ve been playing for two months and I have still a way to go before completing my card/army collection. Probably by the time this will happen another expansion will come out (there has already been one made) so that will keep me even more interested.