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...did you know melee is still running? they could use some company

Got the basic mechanics down pat? Well, I'm not surprised, the game has been sitting around for 6 years in pretty much the same format. So, people have gotten ever faster and better at doing things in the game. This section will hopefully shed some light on those advanced tactics so that you can get up to speed.

The first things to know are how to get around in your browser. Multiple tabs are very helpful, and you should get familiar with how to open them and switch back and forth. Holding in the Ctrl key (or the Command key on a Mac) while clicking a link will usually open it in a new tab in most browsers. Ctrl+Tab will switch from your current tab to the next tab (usually, the one just to the right of the one you're looking at). Right-clicking a tab presents a list of options for that tab, which vary from browser to browser but usually include "Close Other Tabs." Keep that one close at hand, because it becomes very handy during those heated sessions of tater fests.

One thing that makes web browsers today so useful is that they can be extended with other features written by other users of the browser. Firefox is the most popular in this department, and has a wide variety of tools at its disposal. You can browse the Mozilla addons directory at https://addons.mozilla.org/. Firefox happens to be the browser of choice for RoT, in part thanks to one addon in particular that allows you to open a lot of tabs very quickly. It has taken on a few different names over the years, but started as Snap Links way back in the day, and branched off at some point to both Snap Links Plus and Multi Links.

Since they are equivalent, you do not need both, I just happen to use Multi Links. Multi Links is available at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/multi-links/

You can install it simply by going to that URL with Firefox, and clicking the big green "Add to Firefox" button. Your browser will restart after the install is complete. Now, you don't really need to set anything up, it's ready to go right out of the box, but you might want to look at the options for it anyway. If you see the Multi Links icon in your addon bar (at the bottom right, green and red), right-click it and go to options. Otherwise, you can also access Multi links preferences in your Addons manager. To get there, go to your Tools menu, then to the Addons page. Find Multi Links and click Preferences.

You'll see a few checkboxes checked. I like to raise the maximum number of links from 40 to 50, since there are 50 links to a page of players on RoT. I also go to the Advanced tab and make sure "Block same links in one opening sequence" is checked. I normally don't run into that, but I've been known to flub the mouse a bit and end up selecting a ton of duplicate links in the heat of the moment.

How do you use it? Simple. Start at the top or bottom of a list of links that you want to open, hold in your right mouse button, and drag a selection rectangle. Work your way to the other end either by scrolling your mouse wheel while you hold down the mouse button, or by dragging to the edge of the page so that it scrolls for you.

See the green rectangle that it's drawing, and the red boxes that pop up around the links inside it? It's going to open any link that's highlighted in red when you let go of your mouse button. And it'll open them all in new tabs, just as if you had held in the ctrl button and clicked each one of them. The first time you do this with many links will be a bit jarring, because your browser may warn you that it's about to open a bunch of links. Check the checkbox that says "don't warn me again". It will then open roughly 50 tabs at once, and depending on how fast your computer is, and how fast your internets are, they may start finishing in about 5-10 seconds.

You can immediately start tabbing through these and clicking the CAPTCHAs to attack or spy (depending on which links you opened), but clicking them is too slow. What you want to do is set your browser up to use a keyboard shortcut to access the CAPTCHA so that you don't have to go mousing around up to your tab bar, back down to click the CAPTCHA, back up to your tab bar, then back down to click the CAPTCHA, etc.

Luckily, Firefox just so happens to let you pick which key you want to use as the shortcut combination. It's sort of hidden, but it doesn't take much to change it. Point your Firefox to the address about:config (that's all one word). If you're at the right place, you'll see Firefox warn you that this is not a good idea. Go ahead and tell it everything's ok. You're only going to change one thing in this configuration area.

Type ui.key.content into the filter box to make the setting easier to find. It's a setting called ui.key.contentAccess, and by default it's set to 5. That means you'd need to hold Alt+Shift and then press the number key in order to access the CAPTCHA by keyboard. And then you couldn't rapidly switch tabs and burn through CAPTCHAs, because you'd have to do Alt+Shift+Number, Ctrl+Tab, Alt+Shift+Number, Ctrl+Tab, etc.

Doubleclick this setting and change it to 2, press OK, then close the about:config tab. You're ready to fly. On an RoT page, hold in the Ctrl key and press the corresponding number key on your keyboard. If it worked, whatever you were doing on that page should go through as if you had clicked the CAPTCHA with your mouse.

Now, let's put it all together

With Multi Links at your disposal, you can open up a list of links with one click-and-drag flick of the wrist.

With your config properly set to use Ctrl as the access shortcut, you can press CAPTCHAs using Ctrl+Number.

With Firefox's built-in features, you can use Ctrl+Tab to move to the next tab (thus, you can just hold in the Ctrl key the whole time you're switching tabs and pressing CAPTCHAs). And you can right-click any tab and "Close Other Tabs" to close everything except that tab.

A little practice, and you'll be cranking out 50 attacks a minute easily, maybe even more.

Now that I've covered the browser features, you should have what you need to compete in terms of speed. But you also need to think on your feet, because there are a lot of variables at play in this game. So, I'll go over a few of the game tactics and talk about how they evolved.

At the core of this game is the most basic unit of currency, gold. A single coin of gold won't get you much, so the more you earn, the better. But you only have so many turns, and depending on how you spend them, you may get a little bit of gold, or you may get a lot. Some of it is timing...knowing when and where to use your turns...but there's also a little bit of luck to keep things interesting and rewarding. After all, if things always went in a specific order, it'd get pretty boring. While your specific goals may (and probably should) be different, there are some key things that are universal to any strategy.

Taters are pretty good. You can get a tater randomly whenever the random factor is in your favor during the normal rotation, or you can get a golden tater from a treasure chest, or you can grab a tater during the tater fest. More about tater fest later on this page...if you want to know more about the tater itself, check out the taters [Smilie: help.gif] page.

As explained on the World Events page, there are several events that last for 15 minutes and change something about the game play. Most of them are to double or quadruple certain things (sometimes only for certain races). Using these doublings and quadruplings in the right circumstances can mean the difference between rank 1 and not rank 1.

If having rank 1 or getting the most out of your turns is important to you, then you should pay attention to which event is going on now, which ones have already occurred, and which ones have yet to occur. Being ready for a good event can give you a huge boost. Having a tater during one of the doubling/quadrupling events can multiply the effect yet again, giving you the absolute highest possible gold earned per turns spent if done right.

What is a good event? Well, depends on the circumstances, your style of play, and lady luck. It may be that an attacking event is good, or it may be that a gold rush is good.

Pay attention at all times to the top gold on the battlefield, as well as in treasure chests. If you see that you're spending 50-100 turns spying and stealing treasure chests, and you only end up with 4 trillion gold, whereas you could have spent 10 turns in an attack and gotten 10 trillion, then you really should be attacking instead for the best value.

If it's early in the round, like, say the first 2 or 3 days, or if the total gold on the battlefield is particularly low, your best chance for a high payout is to utilize the formula of treasure chests to your advantage. Since two out of the three usual treasure chests are based on the total income of the battlefield, they stand to get increased a lot during a gold rush. You can find out more about treasure chests [Smilie: help.gif] here.

On the other hand, later in the round, the gold has had a chance to build up on the farm accounts, and you may be able to earn quite a bit more by attacking during a suitable attacking event.

Speaking of those farm accounts, they are all former players, or alternate identities of current players that have gone unused. Basically, at one point, they were a living breathing person. Now they're just a dead account used for building up gold and income on the battlefield. The reason that they're there is so that you have some targets to hit. Otherwise, you'd just be hitting the same 10 or 20 people over and over again, and the game style would be completely different. In this scenario, primarily, you're competing against people for the highest total--combined from the farming of gold, hunting of treasure chests, and stockpiling of weapons. Taking gold from your fellow player is an entertaining sideshow, good for a laugh or a cry, but not a huge difference maker in the end-game.

Conversely, if this game only kept currently active players on the battlefield, you'd be fighting over a single tater, trying to keep it the longest, using recruiting and high unit production as a way to get ahead, and banking on the fact that sometimes you'll be the only one online to collect all of the gold from the battlefield, thereby robbing whoever logs on next of any spoils. It's a very different style, and has the tendency to have more fierce competition directly between players. If that sort of thing appeals to you, we just so happen to still be running Melee, an older edition of the game which has no treasure chests, (almost) no vault, a single tater, no doubling events, just simple, brutal, cut-throat gameplay. It's fun and frustrating at the same time.

So yeah, anyways, back to deciding when to play which events.

If you're a clicker (an old fashioned term for someone who uses the self-recruiting method for gaining soldiers) or if you have a high unit production (or both), you'll definitely want to go nuts during The Draft (and also Drone Overload, if you chose to be Drones). You'll get 10 times the normal unit production rate per turn if you're online during the event. You'll also get twice the normal soldier recruiting rate in Megaclicker, as well as a full turn worth of gold for each click. If you're fast enough--both at recruiting, and at spending your gold when it gets up high--that can be pretty handy. Obviously, having a tater as well during this event can be quite productive (heh, see what I did there), since it multiplies on top of the event multiplier. Taters, as you might should probably already know, multiply your income, unit production, and turn production by 10. They also double recruited soldiers. So, in other words, twice as many soldiers per click with a tater, twice as many soldiers per click with the event = four times as many soldiers as normal from each click in the recruit center.

For those who like to earn their money covertly rather than overtly, you can spy on people to look for treasure chests (in addition to looking for their stats). As stated before, the contents of 2 of the 3 usual kinds of treasure chests are based on total income on the battlefield. That means that during a gold rush event, those two kinds of treasure chests are roughly quadrupled on average. This can be a big advantage at a stage of the game where there isn't much money to be found by attacking. The effect is slightly less during a Human Gold Rush than a full-on Gold Rush, because of course, the former would only affect the income for humans. You'll really only notice the difference if there are a few huge non-humans playing at the time.

There are two global attacking events, plus one race-specific attacking event. An attacking event is one in which attacks will net you twice as much gold as you actually "took" from the person. It's as if someone invested all of your looted gold in a stock that instantly doubled in price, and then gave it to you in the blink of an eye. Profit! So, during these events, take note that whatever you see on the battlefield under the "Gold" column is going to be doubled into your vault if you take it. Double it yet again if you have a tater. (See where this might get a little ridiculous?)

Bloodthirst and MOZ fest (previously known as Minotaur Rampage) are the same, except MOZ fest only applies to Minotaurs. They both apply an additional 25% in attack for the duration, and both double the gold stolen from the target.

Shadowfall also doubles the gold stolen from the target, but Shadowfall is slightly different. It doesn't increase attack, but instead there is a higher chance for treasure chests to contain extra turns. Outside of this event, you can only have a chance to receive turn chests if you have less than 2,000 turns. During Shadowfall, you have a chance if you have less than 4,000 turns. The chance range itself is also reduced by half, leading to twice the likelihood that a treasure chest opened while under 4,000 turns will give you more turns. And by that, I mean, imagine a 200 sided die and a 400 sided die. You're looking for the number 50 to land face up. Normally, you're rolling the 400 sided die if you open a treasure chest while you have less than 2,000 turns. However, during Shadowfall, whenever you open a treasure chest, if you have less than 4,000 turns, you roll the 200 sided die. If it lands on 50, you get more turns. How many more turns depends on whether you have a tater. 200 by default, 400 with a tater.

But I digress. The turn chests are a lot about luck, as you can see, so they're not the primary focus of the event. Shadowfall is mainly another chance for you to get your pillages doubled.

Shadowfall came about because the game needed an additional attacking event to balance things out. It turns out it worked out well, because you can sometimes end up with a combo of events like Shadowfall - TATER fest - Bloodthirst, and be quite well off, since you may find the elusive golden tater during Shadowfall, get a few good taters, and keep it all the way through Bloodthirst since it's an invincible tater.

TATER fest TATER fest TATER fest is pretty much the universally desirable event. It earned its current name from the chant I used to do when trying to coax Evan, the God of Events, into giving us some much needed tate-age. It has undergone a wild transformation since the beginning of events in RoT. At first, it was simply called Unlimited Potatoes, and merely removed the waiting period between attacking a tater. That was it. You weren't necessarily guaranteed to get it yourself, and you still had to spend your own hard-earned turns on the hit. But that was back in the day, when you could pick how many turns to use in an attack. Then I took an arrow in the knee...oh wait, wrong game. So, when it came to Age 2, there were a few fresh ideas infused into the tater event, including the idea of multiple taters on the field at a time, not taking away your turns for hitting a tater, and eventually it was turned into the form it is in now--to actually give you a tater if you didn't already have one, and your counter would restart every time you did hit one. Little did I realize at the time how powerful this would become. It is now the main event. Not only in and of itself (after all, the hits are free, if you're fast enough), but also because it is the event which defines the mood for the next event--the one that immediately follows it could potentially net you quadruple the gold. See, because the thing is, you can hit taters all the way up until the very end of the event, and then you have another 15 minutes (in theory) with a tater. Unless some jerk kicks it off of you. [Smilie: tongue.gif]

So, your primary objective during the tater fest is to hit as many taters as you can.

How does this all fit in with the previous topics?

Well, now that the battlefield will sort stuff to the top for you, it's up to you and your decision on whether and when to spend your turns. Just click one of those headers at the top of the battlefield to sort by that column. Use Multi Links to select the links to open (note: the magnifying glass icons are links to the Spy pages, and the tater icons are links to the Attack pages). Then hold in Ctrl, press Tab, type the number you see, press Tab, type the number you see, etc. Pay attention to whether you're making the hits, or if somebody is beating you to them (you'll notice that you stole only about 5% of what you thought you would have). This is a sign that somebody is watching the same page as you are, and/or you are a bit too slow. Don't get mad, bro, just find another page, or skip ahead a few and refresh to see if the gold is still there.

Once you've made a full circle and have come back around to the battlefield page from which you opened the links, right-click on it, and select "Close Other Tabs." Refresh the page, lather, rinse, and repeat until the event is over or you're out of turns. [Smilie: beerbang.gif]

You may, however, wish to spend your gold between runs. Especially during a tater fest, as you actually get 10 turns worth of soldiers and gold each time you hit one (in addition to whatever gold you stole from the target), so your gold can build up quite a bit without you noticing, and it's vulnerable (just as if you had sat there earning hundreds of turns of regular gold).

More to come later, possibly, there might be another tater fest going on as I write this...sigh...I play too hard [Smilie: sad.gif]