Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons – Planning

Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons – Planning

It is time for us to start planning our approach to the Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons chapter. After reading this, you should have all the information you need for planning your transition from Woodelves to Sorcerers & Dragons in Elvenar. Well, most of the information at least 😉

Just as a usual reminder, some of the things here will be specific to Elves. In particular, this concerns layouts. I can’t bring myself to playing both races in parallel 😉 Having said that, I am pretty sure that you can recreate similar human city with the same buildings – it is just layout and shapes would be quite different. Overall, elves and humans are pretty much on par. So you can still apply the same thought process to planning for Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons even if you play as a human.

Aftermath: This article is written from a perspective of someone who hasn’t played the chapter yet, but did a bit of research ahead of time. When I will finish the Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons chapter, I will add some comments from when it will be known how all this planning turned out 😉 These comments will be highlighted.

* – * – *
Target Layout
Target Layout

Just as a reminder, here is a final layout from the last day of the Woodelves chapter (checkerboard pattern in the unused space for layouts is just so it is visually easier to count the expansions):

Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons - Planning Initial Layout

Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons – Initial Layout

So without further ado, here is my end goal layout for S&D. As you can see in the numbers, it works – I can squeeze everything in positive population. Barely. And we don’t have this 50K culture excess we projected for the Woodelves. If anything, culture also looks pretty tight. In all fairness, this is a rather conservative plan, and in all likelihood we will have more space that will be filled with stuff that provides additional pop and/or culture. But we don’t need to count on that.

Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons - Planning Target Layout

Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons – Target Layout

So let’s take a closer look at planning for the Elvenar Sorceerers & Dragons chapter.


Expansions
Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons - Planning Expansions

In my planning for Woodelves chapter I did overextend a bit, and included quite a few expansions that I only expected to get during the chapter. This made it a bit difficult to execute as some of these expansions came in pretty late in the chapter. Several Province expansions were only unlocked after the last AW research. This means that I couldn’t effectively use these expansions during the chapter, hence such a target layout would not be overly practical.

As you can see in the S&D target layout above, this time I have only used expansions that I already had at the beginning of the chapter. Well, technically I used one more than that, for Magic Academy, but this expansion would already be in place within the first couple of days of the chapter. So the initial layout had 86 expansions, and the target layout utilizes 87.

This is a very conservative assumption in planning for Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons, and in reality we will have more expansions to play with. They will just come up at different (and uncertain) points during the chapter. It’s nice to have some spare space – we can use it for events and Fellowship Adventures, and/or we can populate it with some mana-producing buildings, or some event buildings that we may get from events.

Extra Space

So here is a breakdown of additional expansions that we may expect to get during S&D:

  • Research Expansions: S&D chapter has only 2 more research expansions (39 and 40)
  • Province Expansions: This one is a bit trickier. As I overscout, I already have all the provinces needed for Halflings Advanced Scout (250/250). But if I keep scouting at the same pace, I should be getting about 30+ extra provinces, which means another 2-3 expansions
  • Premium Expansions: The next premium expansion (#6) costs 2,000 diamonds, or 1,800 if I can time it with 10% discount. I started the chapter with 1,300 diamonds, and running 4x Wishing Wells I can expect about 600 diamonds throughout the chapter. Plus there will be 200-400 diamonds from end of chapter transition. So I expect to get enough diamonds for another premium expansion, but I will wait until 10% discount shows up. This means I may get 1 extra premium expansion, or I may get none. This assumes that I decide to spend diamonds on another premium expansion, and not on Builders’ Hut or Magic Academy upgrade.

So there you have it, I expect to get 3-5 additional expansions during S&D chapter – comparing to the target layout. Timing on these is uncertain, but the good news is that we’re not counting on these at all in our Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons planning. It would be a nice bonus though 😉


Population
Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons - Planning Population

In S&D we again get two extra levels on the residences – L24 and L25, and that provides quite a nice boost from 1,200 to 1,820 per residence. That’s more than 50% increase! Unfortunately, this comes at the cost of increased size (15 vs 12 squares). Worse still, residences change shape (3×5 vs 4×3). And for kickers, they even change orientation!

Sounds like a nightmare to upgrade… Yet I believe that in this case it would be rather straightforward. There are a couple of reasons for that. One, we have built Woodelves residential district in a rectangular shape – rather than a long ribbon as I used to do. This means that while the residence grid within the district changes quite a bit, the boundaries of the district are relatively stable.

And more importantly, given the increase in pop per residence, I am planning to drop 3 of the residences in the target layout. We finished Woodelves with 30x L23 residences. Our target layout in planning for Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons calls for 27x L25 residences. We still increased pure residence space (from 360 squares to 405), but we will be saving some squares due to fewer road tiles required.

No need for extra pop!

Luckily, I didn’t go forward with the poorly thought out idea of adding 3 fully built out residences in the last chapter. That would have been such a waste. And with this S&D target layout I don’t have any more compromises, meaning all regular buildings are upgraded to the max for the chapter. So we will catch up with some delayed upgrades from the previous chapters where we had to skip some levels to make layouts work.

And again, I don’t plan on extra pop from upgrading Ancient Wonders such as Golden Abyss and Mountain Halls, but this is always an option if something changes and pop becomes a problem. There are also pop/culture event buildings that can be deployed if necessary for whatever reason. But we shouldn’t need it.


Supplies
Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons - Planning Supplies

With quest cycling (I will make a separate post on that), I still don’t have any issues with supplies. So far 😉 I can run supplies surplus with recurring expenditures – meaning troops training, goods production, orcs etc. This leaves out research unlock requirements and construction/upgrades. None of the build requirements on supplies look particularly high. On the other hand, there is a whole bunch of research in the beginning of the chapter that requires a ton of supplies to unlock – we’re talking hundreds of thousands per tech. It goes up to 700K+! That’s a lot, considering that at this stage our Main Hall cap on supplies is about 1.3mm.

Still, I don’t think this would be an issue at all. Even if we will need some high burst rate of supplies at some point in time, we can always resort to using supply instants. I have accumulated quite a few of those from the events, and I don’t even remember the last time I have used one.

Bottom line is, I am comfortable with the current supply production setup. So I will keep my 6 primary workshops, and will upgrade them to the max L25 this time. I mean, we should have space and pop, so why not? 😉 And workshops don’t change shape in this chapter, so it’s an easy call.

I also have a bunch of special buildings that may help with supplies:

Tome of Secrets

I used to dislike this wonder, but now it looks pretty good to me, so far. I scout non-stop, so at L6 it brings almost 200K of supplies daily, and will do more as I upgrade the Main Hall. As I mentioned before, I have upgraded it to L6 primarily for the extra KP that it brings. As supplies are not on the top of the priority list, I don’t intend to upgrade ToS any further.

Endless Excavation

This AW will gets me about 50K supplies a day at L2 without any other requirements. It’s 5×4 (so 20 squares) to the final L25 workshops at 4×5 (20 squares as well), so space-wise it is the same as workshop (and workshops will grow while EE will not). But L25 workshop nets me about 6K per 3 hours. If I can collect 6 times a day from L25 workshop, I’ll be getting less than 40K in supplies per day. This doesn’t even account for pop and culture requirements for workshops! Workshops can be boosted by culture and spells, but ultimately EE still wins.

So EE is better than a workshop. I may eventually upgrade EE to L6, but this is pretty low on a priority list in my planning for Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons chapter.

Prosperity Towers

I was considering building Prosperity Towers AW in the Woodelves chapter. This time around, it is not even in the plan 😉 I simply don’t need supplies, and there are other AWs this time around that I’d rather use space for. I will eventually build it – if nothing else, for the mountain-side backdrop image 😉 But it won’t be now.

Fire Phoenix

Phoenixes are newly added buildings from the upcoming Evolution of the Phoenix event. We’ll talk more about them in the Special/Event Buildings section. I intend to build Fire Phoenix, and I should be able to evolve it up until L9 at least. And as one of the bonus productions, Fire Phoenix produces non-trivial amounts of supplies – we’re talking about 60K every 48 hours. So comparable to a workshop, requires no pop or culture, and it is just a side benefit!

Other Event Buildings

Some set buildings and event buildings produce supplies. As of now, none of these is a material supplies producer in my city. and I am not actively targeting such buildings.

_

Let’s just say that I overbuild for supplies 😉 With this setup, I don’t expect I will need to increase number of workshops ever. Well, at least I am not planning to do it in Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons chapter. If anything, I might be able to drop some if necessary.


Manufacturing
Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons - Planning Manufacturing

So here is how we will deal with manufacturing of T1/T2/T3 goods:

Tier 1: Planks

We’ve left the Woodelves chapter with 3x L20 planks manufactories (6×3), so that is 54 squares worth of T1 manufacturing. This is not a maximum upgrade as we were running into pop constraints. So now we can still go up to L23, and that’s exactly what we’re planning to do in the Sorcerers & Dragons chapter. We should have enough pop for that, according to plan.

This is going to be the last upgrade to the planks for quite some time. The next T1 upgrades won’t happen until Elementals chaper, and those are going to be the final ones for now. Well, at least while Constructs is the final chapter 😉

Having said that, we haven’t had a pressing need for T1 goods for quite some time. Interestingly enough, we don’t seem to overproduce either as we’ve been floating around 500-600K of each T1 good for a long time. It doesn’t go down, but it doesn’t accumulate either. I suppose we can claim a nice equilibrium 😉

Tier 2: Scrolls

Right now I am running 2x L19 scrolls manufactories (4×5), so that is 40 squares worth of T2 production. Sorcerers & Dragons chapter has a tech that allows to upgrade scrolls to L23 (5×4). Interestingly, this time around manufactories don’t change size, only shape. The plan is to upgrade both scrolls manufactories to L23, thus still maintaining 40 squares worth of production. It would just be more efficient squares 😉

I also get about 7K a day worth of Silk from 2x Winter Fair buildings (part of the Winter Market set), and it is also possible to upgrade these more if I find enough Royal Restoration spells. However, this is unlikely to happen as I will likely have better use for RR spells.

T2 goods are probably where I am most constrained right now, and upgrading these facilities should help quite a bit. We will be getting about 40% increase to our T2 production after the upgrade. With that, we’re planning to be OK with goods in Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons chapter.

Tier 3: Magic Dust

Don’t expect any changes here. I run 2x L19 magic dust manufactories (5×4), so that’s 40 squares worth of T3 production. It’s tight, but is generally sufficient (so far). I also get about 13K a day worth of Gems from 3x Sled Carousel buildings (part of the Winter Market set), and it is also possible to upgrade these if I find enough Royal Restoration spells.


Main Hall
Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons - Planning Main Hall

We get two more levels for the Main Hall – L24 and L25. Luckily, after the last chapter where we had MH shape change for the first time, in Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons the Main Hall dimensions stay the same. And we’re getting about 30% increase to our coin and supply cap levels. In most cases, it is not important, but it helps when you need to pay 10mm coins or something like that for placing a research expansion. Also, neighborly help will go up by the same percentage.

One thing to keep an eye though is a mana cost of MH upgrades. These are quite expensive, at 192K and 230K. I expect to be pretty good on mana, but I have made the mistake of committing to a MH upgrade before stockpiling enough mana, and then had to scramble to recover.

The good news is, these upgrades can be postponed until the very end of the chapter or even later if needed. There is nothing critical here. It may block chapter quest progression though as there is a quest to upgrade MH to L24. Again, not critical.


Military
Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons - Planning Military Buildings

There are quite a few military buildings that will need to be taken care of. And Elvenar military buildings in Sorcerers & Dragons may need quite a bit of planning! Failing to plan is planning to fail 😉

Barracks

The most important military building for me – by far – is barracks. For now 😉 I try to upgrade it to the max as soon as possible. Unfortunately, there are no barracks upgrades in this chapter. The good news is, that means that there are no shape changes either, which is nice. The barracks is a massive building, and is always tricky to relocate.

Having said that, I still think that my L25 Barracks (with 30% speed boost from the Needles of the the Tempest) is awesome. Its power will slowly diminish in this chapter though as we have 3x (!) mandatory Squad Size Upgrade techs that we will have to take. So while Barracks will still produce at the same speed in terms of units, these units will constitute lower number of squads. And for tournaments, it is a number of squads that is important.

So we should still be at least OK with barracks troops production in this chapter, even after those SS upgrade. I will try to postpone those as long as I can, but we can’t skip those.

Training Grounds

The last time we upgraded Training Grounds was in the Orcs chapter – a long time ago. Since then, we had it at L12. And I have tried to use unit from this facility (Sinister Cerberus) in the Woodelves chapter. That was… bad (go read on that in my Woodelves – Day 29 post). And that’s an understatement.

Bottom line is, L12 Training Grounds is just too slow – almost twice as slow as L25 Barracks. But in Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons chapter we are going to get another 4 levels of upgrades. We should be able to go all the way to L16! And this is exacly that we’re planning to do. This will boost its speed by more than a half, from 129 to 200. It still won’t be as fast as Barracks, but this is primarily because of the Needles of the Tempest boost. We don’t have such AW for the Training Grounds yet.

With that, Training Ground units might be finally competitive. In particular, I hope we can use Cerberus and Banshee (Banshees are going to get L2 promotion in this chapter). Whether better units from the TG can overcome slower production speed remains to be seen. Last time, it was clearly not sufficient. Hopefully this time will be different.

Mercenary Camp

Mercenary Camp is in a similar situation as the Training Grounds. While there are no MC upgrades in Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons chapter, we have postponed several levels of upgrades since Woodelves (due to pop constraints). We start the chapter wth Mercenary Camp L5, and we can upgrade it all the way to L8. Which is exactly that we’re going to do, and we don’t even need to deal with the shape change. This also will boost its speed by almost a half.

And in this chapter we will unlock Blossom Mage promotion to L2. This, and increased production speed may make Blossom Mages a viable alternative to Bud Sorceress unit that I currently use on mage assignments. It’s not great, even with faster barracks.

So we will see – we may start using Mercenary Camp in this chapter after all. But first – upgrades! 😉



Training Size
Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons - Planning Training Size

I am currently still running with 2x L23 armories as Woodelves chapter had no Armories upgrades. It worked OK for me so far, but we’re getting into limitations of training cycles. The reason being is that with all the current speedups (but before SSS AW) my barracks produce the whole 5 slot batch (about 2.5 squads) in pretty much exactly 2:30. While I am able to keep barracks running close to 24/7 with those cycles (well, maybe 22/7 on average), most people would find these production cycles too short. This means that your barracks would be underutilized, and you definitely don’t want that. And yeah, resetting production every 2:30 or sooner is really annoying.

But luckily, Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons chapter provides another upgrade to Armories. We can go from L23 (5×5) up to L27 (6×4). So Armories are actually getting smaller! The downside, of course, is this is one of the non-trivial upgrades that is hard to do efficiently in-place. We’ll just have to deal with that. This upgrade will increase Armories training size from 160 up to 215. This is not dramatic, but it will look better when we will look at the related Ancient Wonders.

At the end of the day, the armories setup is more of a YMMV situation – a lot depends on how often you can reset the queue, and how much do you need in terms of troops.

Supplementary Ancient Wonders

There are two Ancient Wonders that also impact training size. That would be Shrine of Shrewdy Shrooms, and Dwarven Bulwark. I already have SSS L2 in the beginning of the chapter, and it is awesome. I’d say it is absolutely essential given massive barracks speed boost that we’ve got in Woodelves. Even at L2, SSS gives me more training size than both my armories combined, and it will automatically improve with Armories upgrades.

Since Dwarves, I have also contemplated putting down Dwarven Bulwark AW – for similar reasons. But it’s massive in terms of space (7×4 vs 5×4 for SSS), and actually only gives me half the training size that SSS can provide – for now. Bulwark is supposed to get better as the chapters progress, as it is based on the squad size (unlike SSS which is based on level of armories). I am planning to place DB as well, as I want to work on training size and get ready to future speed upgrades. Running with just 2 Armories is not going to cut it anymore, and I don’t want to commit pop/culture/space for additional Armories.

So the idea is to keep running with 2x maxed Armories + SSS + DB. Over time DB will improve relative to SSS, but both AWs are already better than Armories. And I didn’t even mention free barracks troops that both AWs will produce. DB will produce light melee, and SSS will produce light range. I already noticed that archers do accumulate over time with SSS.


Orcs
Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons - Planning Orcs

Starting from the Orcs & Goblins chapter, we also need special orcs resources for several things. In particular, all workshop upgrades require orcs, and negotiating map provinces also needs orcs in addition to other goods if you cater those (I do).

The good news is, orcs map negotiation costs turned out to be rather immaterial – for now. Unless something changes, we can ignore it in out planning. Workshop upgrades requirements are relatively high, but we managed to do all we needed in the Woodelves chapter with orcs from 2x Armories, and had some to spare. Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons workshops require only incrementally more orcs, and we will get more production out of upgraded Armories.

Having said that, the planning for Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons includes Heroes’ Forge AW. This AW will supplement orcs production so we will have an extra margin there in case we need more orcs. And it will also boost our heavy melee damage, so that’s useful as well.

Overall, with such setup I don’t expect that we will have any issues with orcs production in this chapter. Unless some other requirements are way off from my expectations, we should finish the chapter with a healthy surplus in the inventory.


Mana
Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons - Planning Mana

Mana got introduced as a special resource in the previous chapter – Woodelves. And unlike orcs, mana is very important from the progress perspective. Pretty much all research in this chapter requires mana to activate, and non-trivial amounts at that. You also need mana to produce settlement goods. I thought I will have more than enough in the previous chapter, but I barely scraped by – and that’s with some serious resources thrown in on that.

So this time around, I am paying a lot more attention to overall mana requirements. We will need more than 3.6mm of mana just for research and production. Make it 4mm if we include Main Hall upgrades. And if we want to upgrade roads, that’s more than 0.5mm extra. That is a lot of mana! This doesn’t even account for mana decay, so stockpiling comes with a cost.

Back of a napkin calculation (4mm mana over 30 days) indicates that we need about 133K of mana a day in production. Our initial setup with 13 Weeping Willows and a Woodelves Habitat only produces about 60K a day – and that takes a lot of space. But we also have 3x Frost Carved Christmas Trees (from the Winter Market Set) upgraded to Woodelves. And those 3 buildings produce practically the same – another 60K of mana a day! Those are excellent.

Arcane Libraries

But clearly, this is not enough. Not to mention that I don’t want to dedicate that much space to Willows. Luckily, we have another excellent mana building for this chapter – Arcane Libraries. They produce slightly more than Weeping Willows (4.8K vs 4.45K a day), while taking significantly less space (5×3 vs 5×5). So the plan is to replace most of the Willows with Arcane Libraries. 15x Libraries will produce about 72K of mana a day; together with Christmas Trees that should be enough. We can also upgrade the trees to the Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons chapter with Royal Restoration spells. This would boost mana output significantly.

So with that setup we should have enough mana. Barely, but we should be able to squeeze by. No road upgrades though, unless we come up with some other sources of mana. There might be some in our future 😉


Culture
Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons - Planning Culture

As you may have noticed, we have ended the Woodelves chapter pretty much with no dedicated culture buildings, or even pop/hybrids. This was primarily driven by the fact that we had to produce a ton of mana in the chapter, and the only game in town were Weeping Willows. So I had to build WWs for mana purposes. But incidentally, willows also produce tons of culture – 3.5K a piece. This meant that we had all our culture needs covered, and then some. We’ve had ridiculous culture surplus in tens of thousands. I was running with pretty much permanent culture bonus of 160% or 170%.

Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons chapter looks a bit different though. We still don’t plan for dedicated culture or culture/pop hybrids. But planned culture is nowhere at the Woodelves levels – we only project about 3K excess over bare minimum!

And the reason is the Arcane Libraries. While libraries are much better mana producers than willows (on per square basis), they’re not providing as much culture overall. This, and increased culture requirements after all the upgrades means that we’re not planning for massive culture surplus. Still, I only care about meeting minimum requirements, and we still don’t need to add dedicated culture which is a waste of space.

If we have significant mana excess, we can upgrade roads for extra culture, but I don’t expect we will be able to do so.


Special / Event buildings
Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons - Planning Special / Event Buildings
Fire Phoenix

Phoenixes are newly added buildings from the upcoming Evolution of the Phoenix event. I intend to build a Fire Phoenix, and I should be able to evolve it up until L9 at least. This building provides some pop and culture permanently, and it also runs 48hr production cycles that at L9 give you ~60K of supplies, a broken shard and a 5% Portal Profit instant.

But all this is not why the Fire Phoenix is so valuable. Fire Phoenix can boost damage of your troops for a period of time, when activated with a craftable Pet Food instant. So at L9 FP can boost damage of all unit types by 45% for 24 hours. Yep, you’ve read it correctly – 45% for all unit types!

This is very powerful. Compare that with +50% damage boost from Magnificent Mage Multiplier or Enhanced Light Range. Those buildings are craftable but are very rare, work only on specific unit types and expire after 5 days. Pet food on the other hand is easily available in the Academy, and with 24 hours activation time you can go through all 6 tournament stages on 3 pet foods.

Think about it – there are 5 different AWs that boost damage of a particular unit type. But even at max L30 they only boost damage by 40%. And can you imagine how much KP will it take to level 5 AWs to L30?

Fire Phoenix is going to be awesome.

Winter Market Set

Winter Market set is great, and was instrumental in making sure that I can meet mana requirements. We have some coins/supplies buildings, T2 (silk) buildings, T3 (gems) buildings and now mana buildings. All of these can be upgraded to subsequent chapters using Royal Restoration spells. In particular, Frost Carved Christmas Trees can be upgraded to S&D chapter with 18 RRs each, and this will boost their mana production from ~20K a day to ~26K a day per building.

It’s great that I can upgrade only the buildings that I may need the most. As such, I’ll play it by the ear and see if we’re falling behind on anything. RRs are rare 😉

Carnival Set

I also have most of the Carnival set in storage, from one of the recent events. I am not sure if I’ll place it during the Sorcerers & Dragons chapter – or at all. Currently, it is not in the plan, but the set produces coins, all three T3 goods and quite a bit of mana. So this is something to consider.

Pop/Culture hybrids

As I mentioned before, as long as I have plenty of culture I will try to avoid pop/culture hybrids – unless they are really good. Right now, I have one placed in the city (A homestead and two baby buggies), and another one is in storage (Fields of Gold). I don’t count on hybrids to be materially important to my plan, but if some good ones come along I may place them. I don’t expect to reduce number of residences though, as to not jeopardize upgrades in the future chapters.

Others

There are also a few small specialized buildings to produce good stuff – Trading Outposts (Portal Profit instants), Carting Libraries (KPs) and a few others. I am still running 4x Wishing Wells to harvest free diamonds. And I will be on a lookout for any event buildings that may help in development of my city. But the current planning for Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons chapter doesn’t rely on any new event buildings.


Ancient Wonders
Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons - Planning Ancient Wonders

I generally do not plan levels for the AWs ahead of time. AWs do not change dimensions with the upgrades, so do not have an impact on the layout of the city – unless you want to add a new one. The only exception is when you rely on pop or culture production to meet minimum requirements. In this case, it makes sense to put down specific level for particular AW in question.

None of the AW upgrades seem to be critical, except perhaps upgrades to SSS and DB to increase training size. There are reasons to ramp up total AW levels (in the next chapter, divine seeds collection bonuses will depend on it). So it is quite likely that I will be upgrading the cheapest AWs levels, which means boosting low levels and not touching much L6+.

Having said that, here is the list of AWs in the plan, in order of importance:

_
  • Shrine of Shrewdy Shrooms L2: Increases training size and produces archers. Will likely bring it to L6 ASAP. Need to focus on that training size!
  • Dwarven Bulwark (new): Increases training size and produces light melee.
  • Needles of the Tempest L7: Speeds up my barracks production. Given the speed of L25 barracks I’ll probably put upgrading this on hold, in favor of increasing training size.
  • Martial Monastery L6: Increases health of troops (so decreases losses). Expensive to upgrade and the boost is pretty small, but still, very important. Probably not for this chapter.
  • Blooming Trader Guild L6: Boosts guest race goods production. Probably won’t be upgrading after L6 as benefits are small and are superseded by Portal Profit instants.
  • Golden Abyss L7: Haven’t had pop issues for a while, will keep at the current level for now.
  • Mountan Halls L2: Expensive to upgrade, production increase is not material. Will keep at the current level for now.
  • Endless Excavation L2: Generates supplies. Will keep it at L2 for now.
  • Tome of Secrets L4: Generates supplies and KP. May upgrade it to L6 to get extra KPs
  • Heroes’ Forge (new): Produces orcs and boosts heavy melee damage.

Guest Race Settlement
Guest Race Settlement

There are several buildings that are involved in guest race goods production in Sorcerers & Dragons. The big difference with the previous guest races is that there are no settlement roads in S&D. There is a University Campus that serves as a portal for S&D chapter. Then there is a Wisdom Square that needs to connect Campus with a regular road; WS produces apprentices over time depending on aggregate level of your faculties. And then there are faculties (Alchemy, Necromancy and Arcane) that need to directly touch the Campus. The faculties produce upgrade goods, convert apprentices into graduates and graduates into double graduates. And the double graduates are needed to activate research in this chapter.

What that means is that unlike previous guest races where you can squeeze and mold your settlement to available space, in Sorcerers & Dragons the shape is for the most part pre-determined. This is a pretty large squarish area (about 4×4 expansions) that you need to place in your city.

And this time around you don’t need to think too much about composition of your settlement. All faculty types are symmetrical in terms of requirements and production, so it makes sense that you need equal number of each. And because L4 Campus is a fixed size – 10×10 – there are only so many faculties that can be squeezed around the Campus with direct touch. It so happen that the max setup is 4/4/4, and one of the quests even explicitly asks you to build just that.

Designed for techlock?

We’ll do a more detailed analysis on production in S&D, but initial back of the envelope calculation indicates that 4/4/4 L4 faculties are indeed sufficient to deal with the maxed out flow of apprentices from the Wisdom Square. Unfortunately, it seems that number of apprentices generated is not sufficient for our purposes (avoiding techlock). Not by a long shot. It seems that this chapter is designed to get you into techlock situation!

And there is nothing that we can do to speed up production of apprentices. This will likely mean that we either get tech locked, or we will have to deploy significant amounts of Portal Profit instants. In any case, these considerations do not really impact settlement design. We designed it for the max possible – too bad that this max is still not sufficient.



Research
Research

We also need to do so some initial planning of research sequence in Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons. Here is full research tree that we will need to analyze for this chapter:

Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons - Planning Research
Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons – Research Tree

Unlike the previous Woodelves chapter, this tree is rather straightforward. All the research that is needed to fully construct S&D settlement is right after Advanced Scouts, with no other dependencies.

So we will start with the Wisdom Square as we need to start producing these apprentices right away, and we need the square to connect everything else. Then the Campus, which serves as a portal for Sorcerers & Dragons in Elvenar. After that we will work on faculties – Alchemy, Necromancy and Arcane.

After that the path will likely be dictated by research goods requirements. There are several techs that I’d try to prioritize: Arcane Libraries, residences and scrolls upgrades. I will try to postpone Squad Size upgrades for as long as I can. Having said that, wiggle room is likely to be minimal. Here is an initial research plan:

Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons - Planning Research
Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons – Research Plan

Transition
Transition

So obviously our target layout is quite different from the one we’ve got from the previous chapter. Target layout is also effectively the end of the Sorcerers & Dragons layout. So how do we get there in the least painful way? Buildings with change shape and size. Oh no!

Transitional Layout

And the answer is transitional layout. That is the layout that we can implement at the beginning of the chapter and that will make moving to the target layout as simple as possible. This generally means that as many buildings as possible are in their final places, with space reserved for upgrades.

You can’t always do that if shape change is non-trivial. In these cases, you find some temporary spot elsewhere and have a plan. A plan to get it to the final spot as soon as possible 😉

So here is how it works. Here is a layout as we left the Woodelves:

Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons - Initial Layout

Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons – Initial Layout

Here is transitional layout:

Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons - Transitional Layout

Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons – Transitional Layout

And here is the target layout:

Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons - Target Layout

Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons – Target Layout

It is quite instructive to see them side by side. So basically, transitional layout is a layout that you can execute immediately at the chapter start. And that brings you as close to the target as possible. So you only use space and buildings that you have available at the time. Well, you can sell some things, certainly settlement buildings 😉

So in planning for Elvenar Sorcerers & Dragons you can see that transition layout is pretty close to the target already. There are a few exceptions:

Exceptions
  • One tricky upgrade would be Armories (5×5 -> 6×3), and this will require swapping magic dust manufactories with armories. This will require some free space in order to make the swap.
  • Another tricky one is upgrading the Training Grounds from 5×3 to 3×6. The good news is that 5×3 is the same size as Arcane Library, so we can park it in place of one of these.
  • We’ll be slowly replacing Weeping Willows with Arcane Libraries mostly in-place, as they have the same horizontal dimension (5×5 vs 5×3).
  • There is space for Heroes’ Forge and Dwarven Bulwark AW that is currently occupied with a Weeping Willow and a Woodelves Habitat. We can replace these at any time, or can keep these if we need more mana.
  • Residences can be mostly upgraded in place, i.e. without changing overall shape of the residential district despite individual residences changing from 4×3 to 3×5. That’s because we’re dropping 3 residences post-upgrade.

Conclusion
Conclusion

So this is it, now you have all the information you need for planning your transition from Woodleves to Sorcerers & Dragons in Elvenar. Now it is time to execute! See you in the regular progress updates (Sorcerers & Dragons Progress Reports) on how it will all go down.

Stay tuned! 😉

Leave a Reply

Close Menu