Well the tear socket on the 3rd and 4th deckathalon decks would let you socket a mana opal, depending on your level that could keep you from running out of mana. Good luck finding the mana opals though!
The Deckathalon. Even were I a gunslinger named Roland I would not go to this tower. These are three reasons why. 1) Gold: There is never enough. It is reserved for gardening spells, monstrology spells, crafting, and pet fails, err training. That leaves precious little to invest in an event when the tops have endless reserves.
2) Time: There were 178 hours in the last event. 64 of them should of been spent sleeping, more for those under 18. Meals, snacks, work and other events spend more time. An average player can not compete with those who's time is limitless. 3)Team Work: If not now, then soon there will be dedicated tower teams. They will work in crews and shifts to send gold, tc and more to "one player." They will soar on wings way above those who can not do this.
Also nailed to the Towers Door is: A) Thank the Spiral that there are no badges for this Event. Searing pain would result from seeing an unobtainable Tower Champion Badge or seven. B) It is wonderful that we have a new event. However we should not have to compete against the rest of the community to get them. Only a select Shining Few will ever get them. C) Finally we get the power we have dreamed of, always going first in PvE. Only to find it is in an event where our hope is slowly drained away.
I wasn't too thrilled with the constant grinding, or having to "farm" to stay up on top. I don't care about it or the prizes offered. I don't think I will be doing it again. I would however look into watching those that are on top to make sure they do NOT HAVE BOTS running as I know for fact there are some members with them for various purpose. I was on last night and one member in the top ten went within one hour from 11,000 to 17,000... how is this happening? It took me hours and hours just to get a certain number and certainly not 1,000 in an hour, as one member here said he had to just do 500-1,000 in a day, not an hour to maintain his rank a day is 8-12hours! As a member for 10 years, I have never seen, to me dishonest actions as this. Keep your prizes, I would rather have fun playing the game and questing and gardening, and decorating my houses. I would also like to say there are Bots in the Bazaar as well, and this is very frustrating when you are trying to buy certain items or reagents. I don't know how KI can see this or not, but it needs to be investigated. Thank you.
I wrote my final thoughts for this thread, but the length was quite long so this will be in parts.
Now that the event is over, I'd like to post my final thoughts on the matter. Overall, I liked the event, it challenged players to adapt to new forms of playing and providing an excuse to use stored up treasure cards. I won't lie, this event was event was full of problems and ultimately had no real payoff. Besides the progress bar not filling up until the last day, the drops were pitiful. After grinding for an entire week and ending up in 16th place, I never once received a strengthening or superior rune. Considering you need both these reagents along with ultimate runes, I'd be surprised if anyone was capable of crafting the ice gauntlets. I'm disappointed that our concerns over the tradability of the ice hamster was not addressed; hopefully the next event will rectify this problem.
My biggest concern with the event however was how harmful it was mentally and physically to the players. I understand the exclusivity of earning a school hamster, but limiting the total to 25 non-tradable hamsters was foolish on Kings Isle part. I'm not sure how many players competed in the event, but some of the features of the event contributed to this problem. As one of the top 25, I can personally say how aggravating the process was overall. The top 10 players dominated the positions and whose scores I question; I played this event every day and ended up with around 8500 points, please explain how someone could get 17000 points? I'm sure there was some method to their grinding whether it was a strategy, having multiple players using the same wiz or exploiting some flaw in the system. If you were in the top 10, I'd be really interested in how you even got that many points in so little time. In addition to the scores, another problem was the lack of transparency in the score board. I may have been able to see the top 20 scores, but I couldn't see below this threshold. This installs a lingering sense of doubt; I didn't know how the rest of the scores competed against mine and constantly had to maintain a rank above 20 lest I'd fear my rank would drop significantly. Lastly, the prizes were rather pathetic to say the least. Sure, the top 10 got a mount and a pack for their friends, but that's all there was. The only real prizes were the runes and the ice hamster which the top 25 all received the same amount. On the subject of runes, the drop rates for this event weren't consistent. Like I said before, the progress bar was broken and even after maxing the bar for the "best loot" I still received the same items. The only difference I had was 1 epic treasure card and a feint treasure card. Admittedly, I was mostly grinding the 3rd stage in the end, but for the first 4 days, I was constantly grinding in the 4th stage. After the event ended, I talked to some players and they did receive these reagents, but only around 1-2 and mostly got them from packs.
As the event is over here are some changes, I'd recommend King Isle take to fix these problems. First, reward the top 500 players 10 strengthening runes and 15 ice superior runes. The reason I'd say the top 500 is due to them being the only possible ones to craft the gauntlets with the number of ultimate runes given to each rank. If this is too much of a hassle, provide a recipe to craft these runes from Kara Rune wright inside the library. It may sound like I'm demanding these rewards, but the event was riddled with problems and falsely advertised an item that players ultimately couldn't realistically craft. In all honesty, everyone who maxed out their 600ish personal bar should receive this reward as a sign of good gesture for essentially beta testing this event. Another change I'd suggest is a better reward tier system. After maxing our personal rewards, the event felt rather dull; I knew I was grinding for tiered rewards like the ice hamster, but it was a very dull grind. Seeing how the ice gauntlets were the "poster child" of the event, dedicated players should've earned them without having to go through the crafting process. I'd recommend around 5000 points earns you the gauntlets and you could add more tiers to that point to spice things up, like strengthening runes or superior runes. This incentivizes players who know they won't make the top 500 to strive for something and not feel alienated after maxing their small progress bar.
Lastly, I kind of feel obligated to share my strategy for getting as far as I did in the Ice Deckathalon and to provide strategy and statistics for the community and Kings Isle alike.
After clear the 4 stages however you like, you can now compete in any of the prior stages. Most people opted for the 4th stage as it provided the most points yet it also takes the longest to complete. I choose to grind initially in stage 4 for the rewards, but as the competition became a matter of who earned the most points in a short amount of time, 3rd stage replaced my prior method. You'd be surprised, but most of what you need could've been bought from the librarian or bazaar.
The deck recipe I used for the 4th stage was:
5 ice shields 3 fire blades 2 elves 1 fire dragon 1 phoenix 1 sun bird 1 infallible (aura)
1st fight: Begin with a fire blade then use ice shield, if the enemy hasn't used a tower shield use sun bird and if there is a shield use elf. Then finish off the enemy with either of the remaining 2.
2nd fight: Begin with a fire blade and continually spam ice shield until you have 6 pips then cast infallible and use fire dragon.
3rd fight: Begin with ice shield then use fire blade, pass one turn and cast phoenix to beat the boss.
For my deck jewel I used a +112-health tear socket and my pet had the talents shatter, unicorn, fairy and healing current. Honestly, the healing is only needed if the enemies get greedy with hits, but you'll have a success rate of around 99% as you'll not have to worry about tower shields, with this method I clocked in at around 5-6 minutes a run or 192 points every hour.
The recipe I used for the 3rd stage was:
3 fire blades 2 sun bird 2 scarabs 1 meteor 1 ice shield 1 elemental blade 1 infallible (aura)
1st fight: Begin with fire blade and use sun bird to finish the fight
2nd fight: Cast fire blade, elemental or infallible in any order and cast meteor
3rd fight: Begin with fire blade or ice shield if your below 180 health then if sun bird doesn't ram into the boss cast a scarab or any other 1 pip attack spell to finish the boss.
The extra scarab in the deck is in case the first enemy towers after a possible sun bird fizzle. The set up for this strategy is the same as before in terms of gear, use the highest crafted Deckathalon deck.
In conclusion, the enemies for this Deckathalon were predictable and annoying. The biggest problem in the A.I was the enemies constant need to cast balance blade and tower shield. Because of this, I never needed to shield as they stacked pips trying to set up and mostly only damaged me with ice serpents. And even if they got me to a low enough health, there was still a chance to kill the final enemy with ice shield turning the boss’s snowman or serpent to 0 damage. This method was the most effective as it only took around 3 minutes to complete earning you 240 points every hour and had 95% success rate.
Monetary wise, the method I used was kind of costly since fire blades cost 1000 each, but considering you likely have an excess of pet snacks simply sell these at the bazaar for instant max gold. But this method was simple and easy to remember and the inclusion of infallible rendered tower shields pointless to attacks especially considering the attacks had 95% accuracy with the infallible accuracy boost. In the future, Kings Isle, I suggest lowering the pricing of the spells strongest against the Decathalon to allow lower leveled players to afford higher priced treasure cards from the librarian.
Hopefully this was insightful to those who were curious about the higher ranked play styles and I welcome those who got into the top 25 to share their methods as well as I'm curious how each of us tackled this event.
Firstly, allow me to congratulate all the top performers of the event; not just the top 10, but to those who were able to surpass their own milestones they set for themselves.
Now, the event as you know was not without it's perils, but before focusing and ridiculing too much because of it's shortcomings, I must say this;
The event/idea was a clever way to allow players to use treasures (since it seems we've a large supply of these) competitively within a friendly spaced environment in an effort to gain prizes. Sounds good on paper honestly.
The issues of the event have been highlighted and discussed within the thread, no need to restate them again here. I will however suggests thoughts that can be implemented within the next, upcoming deckathalon event which I am suspecting will be the death one.
Pet - This is one of the major issues players are having. The pet is non-tradable. I suggest a lift on this band. While I see the reason for the pet's body being unobtainable via hatching to help keep it's rarity and inclusivity to top contenders of the event, I feel some leeway must be exercised when possible.
Prizes - Another annoying issue many faced when participating within the event. As suggested, expand the hamsters to an acceptable range where many will have at least a chance of obtaining the prize. Boost the prizes and drops within the towers too; especially when there is strong progress within the community bar. There has to be a considerable difference between the drops we gain when the bar is only at it's first marker as opposed to when it is full.
Limit - A limit I feel is necessary as to the amount of times one can participate within the event. We saw from this one that an infinite repeating scheduling does not send quite a healthy message to players. It also takes away somewhat for the "fairness" you try to have.
Adjustment of Points - I shouldn't have to be able to gain more points farming a lower level (which takes less time) than a higher one repeatedly. Make some adjustments here so everything is kept uniform and synchronized.
I look forward to the next, updated and upgraded event.
These are the reasons why i still will not go to the tower where hope slowly dies. 1) Those with infinite resources: time, money, and Team Work made it impossible for the rest to compete. 2) There is no reason to go and be slapped, kicked, spat on, and laughed at while salt is rubbed on you, just because you have no chance to win. AND because one person just had to have a special place in the rankings. 3) The resources i do have are better spent in much nicer ways with much cleaner results. These things will need to become true if i am ever to go the grand tower A) No Competition against the entire community. No where is it done like this in the game. B) The rewards available to all, Not based on rank, but based on willingness to go after them. Everywhere else in the game this is the case. C) We still go first in the tower, no mater how high and mighty the tower gets. Then and only then will hope blossom again.