Sega’s Kingdom Conquest is one of the first real MMOs to arrive on the iPhone, with co-operative 3D battles and a large-scale strategic map to conquer against thousands of other players.
It isn’t the most welcoming game, though - even with a tutorial that lasts approximately 15 minutes it can still feel utterly overwhelming when the training wheels come off.
Never fear. We here in the kingdom of Pocket Gamer have been striking out across foreign lands and subduing monsters for the past couple of weeks now, and we've collated the wisdom and experience points into this helpful guide.
[Please note: this guide is relevant to version 1.1.1 of Kingdom Conquest. Some features may have changed since first publication]
Quests are gold dust
Quests are utterly vital to getting a quick start in the game as they often reward so many resources that you could easily purchase an entire army with the amount one doles out.
Another great feature about the quests is that once you pass the current quest you can merely tap another that you know you’ve completed in the past (‘Defeat a boss’ for instance) and you’ll collect the reward immediately.
Try not to pick ridiculously hard quests like the conquest missions (raise ‘Attack rating’, ‘take a Level 2 territory’ – those sorts of things) as you’ll miss out on a quick start as you fumble about getting beaten by UC Goblin Warriors.
Also, make sure you’ve used up your resources before you claim your reward, as getting 3,000 when you’ve already hit your storage capacity will cause much displeasure.
Always team up in a dungeon
It sounds blindingly obvious, but there are still a lot of people who use up their entire daily dungeon quota trying to take on the bosses on their own. It’s just not going to happen – the bosses have been designed to eat solo adventurers for breakfast.
You’ll probably get through the first four floors without much of a problem – and claim your Dungeon Deck card in the process – but it’s vitally important the boss is also killed with every one of your dispatches.
The importance of killing the boss is simple: they allow for an extra dungeon deck to be drawn on top of the one you get for clearing four floors, which could contain anything from a new weapon, to a rare creature to use on the battlefield.
Trying to get one of each class in a party isn’t vital, but a team consisting of purely of Warriors is unlikely to get far due to their overreliance on offensive skills.
Ensure the units you use are up to the task
It can be easy to slip into the routine of dispatching the unit you created in the tutorial again and again to slaughter the pathetic enemies around your starting castle, but you need to keep a careful eye on a few numbers to ensure you don’t get caught with your pants down.
The first, and most obvious, is to make sure there is enough of the monster in the unit stack. You may have level 5 Minotaur Battlers, but if there’s only one of them then they’ll easily be crowded out by a bunch of rats (despite their awesome attack skill).
Placing units in front of your leader stack is a good idea, as losing the leader ends the battle immediately, but remember that most units have a range of just 1, which means anything in front of them prevents that unit from attacking (which consequently means it never gets a chance to attack, even if the front stack is destroyed).
Take time to look through all the monster types you’ve managed to gather so far before deciding who to lay down as the leader, as the levels won’t tell you everything you need to know.
If you’re lazy, though, the unit strength (the number in the bottom which is usually something like ‘1.5’ or ‘2.5’) is a good general guide as to how hard they are.
You’ll also need to keep an eye on the monsters’ morale – the blue bar at the bottom of each unit’s screen. If this drops below 200 then that unit will be unable to gain experience, so leave those particular monsters back at base to recover.
Plan your expansion
The different types of squares on the map aren’t just there for looks – each one produces a different kind of bonus resource, and each one has its own separate level of difficulty.
There are also towers that can restrict other players' access to particular dungeons (although they’re usually extremely well defended), as well as other players’ cities to take, so take time plotting potential paths across the countryside (and try to avoid the level 6 territories as they’re horribly hard.)
When it comes to expanding your city, the help screen contains an incredibly useful building flowchart that can help plan out expansion. A level 5 field, for instance, allows construction of the Trading Post – a very useful building if you find your resources becoming imbalanced.