Helpful hints for new players

I’m seeing a lot of similar questions on the in-game chat and so I thought we could collect our learnings here, at least until @Salty can post some game guides that explain the basics.

I’ll build a list of tips in this first post, so post your suggestions below for more tips to add:

  1. Time to match gems - You have unlimited time to decide what moves to make, but only 2 seconds to make as many matches as you can. The 2 second starting time limit increases slightly with your hero’s Speed stat.
    The timer is actually longer than it looks. Every match you make will refill the timer by around the time you spent on swapping, so you have time to make a lot of matches if you don’t pause in between.

  2. Big Gems aka Gems with Roman numerals - these are created when you match a bigger combo of gems (match-4 creates a I gem, match-5 a II gem, etc.). The biggest possible is X gem from matches of 13 gems or more.
    Once created, matching the Big Gems generates more mana than a regular gem, with a I gem worth 2 regular gems, II gem worth 4, III gem worth 6, etc. and the same for skulls. However, they don’t count an extra gems for creating new Big Gems. Matching 4 II gems will still result in one I gem being created.
    The location of the Big Gem created follows a pattern: it forms at the lowest, then leftmost intersection of gem matches within the combo. So a single row combo will form the Big Gem on the leftmost square, a single column will form a Big Gem on the bottommost square and a larger combo will form the Big Gem on the square where two matches intersect that is the lowest (and leftmost in case of two intersections on the lowest row).

  3. Stun - you can stun the enemy by matching a whole row of the same color gems or skulls. The combo can have more gems linked vertically, this doesn’t affect the Stun.

  4. Heroic Effort - you get a two turn buff of +100% Power for making 8 matches of any colours. Skyfall matches count, so matching most of the colors gives you a chance that a skyfall will complete the set. Large blobs count as a single match, so aiming for as many different colours as possible is usually the best way to target this bonus.

  5. Health, Armor and Resistance - Skull damage damages Armor (blue bar) then Health (red bar). Elemental damage (all colored damage) damages Resistance (yellow bar) and then Health (red bar).

  6. Elemental strengths and weaknesses - Each enemy has a base element with strengths and weaknesses. Fire/Ice/Poison form a Rock/Scissors/Paper triad (Fire is strong against Poison and weak to Ice) and Light and Dark are weak to each other.
    You can find the element of an enemy (including other heroes in PvP) by the colour of its level indicator.
    Clicking on an enemy’s circle in the top right hand corner activates tool tips about elemental strengths and weaknesses.

  7. Matching gems of an enemy’s base element gives them extra mana - Matching gems of an enemy’s base color gives them extra mana. Depending on the spell that the enemy uses, the best strategy might be to avoid their mana or fill it - you might also want to fill your spell of the same colour!
    In PVP, the enemy’s base color is their hero class color: Barbarian - Red, Necromancer - Blue, Paladin - Yellow, Shaman - Green, Assassin - Purple.

  8. Enemies cast spells in a fixed order - Players can see the next spell in the opponent’s queue by tapping on the large spell icon over the opponent’s health bar. If the spell indicates a very large direct damage spell is incoming, ensure that the opponent dies or is stunned before the bar fills and you get one-shot.

  9. Hero statistics
    Power = how hard your attacks hit - both skulls and spells
    Speed = extra time to match gems
    Vitality = Increases starting Health points
    Elemental Mastery = increases mana gain and elemental damage dealt when matching corresponding gems. Your hero class’s primary element gets a large bonus to mastery, and secondary element gets a smaller bonus.
    Block Chance = chance of blocking incoming physical attack damage
    Block = Damage reduction from blocking
    Critical Chance = chance of critical damage with skull attack
    Critical Damage = damage multiplier for critical damage

  10. Minion statistics
    Might = improved recovery time
    Speed = improved mission time
    Cunning = improved bonus key chance (key is the same type as the chest being opened)
    Look out for Octoghoul - a minion with a much higher bonus key chance!

  11. Multiple spells with the same colour - Spells all charge up at the same time, so you can have multiple spells with the same colour charging up from the same match. However, every match that charges a spell does a small amount of elemental damage to the enemy, so having 4 blue spells means that you do 4 x damage when matching blue, but no damage when matching any other colours.

  12. Gear statistics - Spells and items have two types of numbers:
    Cyan number will increase by character’s POWER and SPELL level.
    Color matches its rarity will only improve when evolved to next rarity.
    Gear can also give bonuses to Hero statistics or other factors like gold and experience gain. The higher the rarity, the more bonuses a piece of gear can provide.

  13. Enemy difficulty - Each battle has a Gear score denoting difficulty.
    If your gear has a higher score, the enemy does less damage (-0.05% per point of Gear score difference to a maximum penalty of -50%).
    If your gear has a lower score, the enemy does more damage (+0.1% per point of Gear score difference to a maximum penalty of 100%).

  14. Sharing armor, weapons and spells across characters - you have a shared inventory across all characters. All characters can wear the same armor (and weapon and spells) at the same time. If the armor is higher level than the hero, it can still be worn but the armor bonuses are capped at the hero level. So putting level 10 armor on your new hero means that the armor grows with the hero each level! :smiley: Shared armor means you only need one high level set of armor across all heroes, at least until you’ve got a bigger inventory.

  15. Evolving gear - Common gear can only level up to 10 (Uncommon 20, Rare 30, etc.) After that, you need to evolve the gear to the next rarity. This requires 2 extra copies of the same gear at the same rarity, so keep extra copies of your most important gear, particularly favourite spells. Of course, inventory space is limited, so instead of evolving you could just hope to get lucky and have a Rare version of the gear drop without needing to evolve.

  16. Levelling up followers - Until you get to Chapter 5, your Food storage is limited to 150. However, you can buy Food for Honor in the shop and this is allowed to exceed the regular cap. So you can still level Followers above level 3 before completing Chapter 5.

  17. Pause menu - In battle, the Pause menu shows all of the stats for your hero and the enemy.

  18. Citadel - Your Citadel opens when you reach the level cap of 50 AND finish the storyline, and gives opportunities to earn extra bonuses.

Thanks to contributors so far: @EliteMasterEric, @Ozball, @Hagane, @Lelouch, @Hawx, @Tacet, @Lyrian, @Alpheon

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THAT’S what the brown bar under the health means! I didn’t realize that’s what it was for.

Here are my tips so far:

  • If people don’t understand what Actreal is referring to with point #3, in the Hero loadout screen you can tap “Swap Hero” to switch to another hero. As far as I can tell, the only differences are that you get a different Ultimate spell and you can get first clear rewards again. It’s unclear at this point if there are character exclusive equipments, special passives unlocked at higher levels, etc. that make classes distinct.

    • If you start a new character, their items will be added to your inventory immediately. You can scrap the extra armor and equip the shared set, then you also get access to all of the new character’s non-ultimate spells to mix and match for use on any character. For example, you can steal the Barbarian’s spells and immediately use them on your Necromancer.

    • Purchasing extra hero slots is therefore one of the bet uses of Gems in the game at the moment.

    • Classes level separately. Thus, end-game players will likely try to achieve a fully levelled character of each class, but to start it’s best to focus on whatever class you like the best (supplemented with other classes’ spells).

  • Matching Gems of an Enemy’s color will give them mana which charges their spells. Be careful to avoid gems of enemy colors!

  • Fire/Ice/(Poison? Nature?) form a Rock/Paper/Scissors-style Elemental triangle. Gems of one type cause increased elemental damage for certain elements and decreased damage for others.

  • Light/Dark also deal increased damage to each other.

  • You can view the colors of the above three points (strong elements, weak elements, elements that fuel the enemy’s spell) by tapping the enemy circle at the top. This will highlight the squares on the board.

  • You can navigate to the Pause menu to view all the stats of yourself and the opponent.

  • You get only a couple seconds to perform your matches once you’ve figured them out, but you have as much time as you like before you start matching to plan your moves.

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I also have a bajillion questions I’d like answered:

  • What are all the resources and what is the best way to spend them (this probably deserves its own thread)?

  • What do the various stats do? Speed, Power, Vitality, Armor/Resistance/Block, Gem Masteries

  • Are there any differences between classes besides the Ultimate?

  • What do the numbered gems that appear sometimes refer to?

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Worth noting as well, that in PVP the enemy’s colour is their class colour, not the spell’s background colour

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I would also like answers to your other questions, but I can answer this one.

Gems with Roman numerals are created when you match a bigger combo of gems (match-4 creates a I gem, match-5 a II gem, etc.). I think X gem might be the biggest possible for matches of 13 gems or more.

Matching the Roman numeral gems generates more mana than a regular gem, with a I gem worth 2 regular gems, II gem worth 4, III gem worth 6, etc. and the same for skulls.

Edited thanks to Ozball with the mana increase.

I’m not sure on the exact numbers, but you should be able to tap on the gem in game to get a description. I believe it might be 3+Roman Numeral

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Thanks. Edited my post above based on the tool tip.

Tips from me:
Heroic Effort: Match all 6 kinds of gem in a single turn to get this buff. It will grant you large bonus to power for a few turns. Strike hard and fast before heroic effort fades!

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If I may add a tips for number 6 Try to avoid matching gems of an enemy’s base element

Sometimes you want to do the opposite.
What I mean is that sometimes, enemy’s spell is not an offensive one - it’s just giving you negative status or some spells which affect the board.
When you’re in later chapters, you can take advantage of this to get additional turn to gather more gems and getting no damage at the same time.
So rather than receive physical damage from the enemy, sometimes it’s better to trigger their non-offensive spells so that you can get extra turn, gather more gems, and cast your spells on the next turn.

P.S.: Oh and as an Assassin, I hate rats so much ^^.

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I have some answers courtesy of @Tacet in global 001:


And I made this to quickly show how improving your armor, health and resistance can help you out in battles. Remember point #4 from OP is Skulls damage armor then health. Elemental damage from matching gems damages resistance then Health. Zero health = end of battle

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Pets don’t increase the speed stat of the hero, just the speed of the chests and all their timers.

Speed of the hero seems to only be effected by abilities, % bonuses on equipment, and negative status effects.

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Oops sorry if I misquoted you from global. I see now how you were saying two different speed things. I think I’ll just post the screenshot to avoid any confusion!

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I thought about this when writing the original, but decided it was simpler to say “avoid”. But since you make good points, I’ll have another go.

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Some more tips:

Hero stats Vitality increases your health.

Power Increases your damage dealt, including attack and spells. Heroic effort gives a whopping 50% buff onto it. Activate it whenever you can! Some spells raise your power in current combat and stacks indefinitely.

Match Timer is actually longer than it looks. Every move you made will refill the timer by about half second, basically the same as the time you spent on swapping.

Normal Spells charge up by matching corresponding gems. Hero’s Ultimate Spells uses a different way to charge up: Rather than using mana, they charge up by the number of gem matched. Ultimate can hold up to 3 charges, which requires 60, 50 and 40 gems matched.

Feel free to set multiple spells with same element. Every corresponding match will charge up them BOTH without any diminish return, and these spells don’t share the same mana pool.

The way you deal elemental damage upon matching gems: You only deal element damage when you match gems that WILL CHARGE UP one or more of your normal spells.
To make it easier to understand: Your spells attack when they’re charged, NOT the gem you matched. A way similar to Puzzle & Dragons, yes?

Every spell attacks SEPARATELY! e.g. you inflict TWO copies of dark damage if two dark-based spells are quipped.

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TIP: Keep extra copies of spells you want to level up further. In order to Evolve a spell to continue levelling it past 10, you need additional copies of it.

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Can you confirm, how many uncommon scrolls are needed to evolve a common spell?
Is it 4 uncommon scrolls?

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right, you need 4 scrolls and 2 extra spell copies to do that

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In the prehistoric pre-COVID era, Sirrian stated he was a big fan of PAD. In PQ3, it shows. There are a lot of PAD-like mechanics in the game.

A couple of more that I have found that have not yet been mentioned and how to deal with them appropriately:

  • KNOW YOUR BATTLEFIELD - This becoming a critical tactic after Chapter 3. Look at the lineup in each encounter and identify the opponents with nasty debuffs, because these opponents will always start with the debuff which will carry onto later fights where subsequent opponents will take advantage of those debuffs (a PAD favorite tactic). When possible, try to preserve as many active skills as possible to burn down key opponents as fast as possible. Key opponents that must be defeated ASAP include Scorpions in Chapter 4 (the blind/poison dual debuff is deadly) and Medusae in Chapter 5 (petrification).

  • Opponents cast spells in PvE in a fixed order. Players can see the next spell in the opponent’s queue by tapping on the large spell icon over the opponent’s health bar. If the spell indicates a very large direct damage spell is incoming, ensure that the opponent dies before “time is up” and the opponent one-shots the player (another PAD classic).

  • Starting with Chapter 5, opponents begin appearing that can debuff the player’s board movement time. These debuffs stack on subsequent casts and last for the remainder of that run. If the player is time debuffed four times on the same run, the player auto-fails the run.

A couple of other tweaks to comments that have been made and other observations:

  • Players get an upgrade to their primary direct damage spell at level 10. The game does NOT notify the player of this and just quietly deposits a copy of that spell in the player’s spell inventory. This also happens again at level 20 for a different starting spell.

  • Costs of leveling up things: cumulatively +X per level for each 10-level rarity tier (+1 per common level, +2 per uncommon level, and so on). The cost of the final level in each rarity tier is DOUBLE (where the double cost penalty only applies for that final level only and is then removed. Example: Raising a thing from level 8 to 9 costs 9 upgrade parts. Raising a thing from 9 to 10 costs [10 x 2] 20 upgrade parts. Raising that thing from to 10 to 11 costs 12 next-tier upgrade parts).

  • Things that have a base rarity over Common DO NOT have to deal with the ascension issue at level 10 and skip it entirely. The double upgrade cost penalty for raising things from level 9 to 10 still apply. Base Uncommon items do not need to worry about ascension issues until level 20, and Base Rare items until level 30.

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You can know the element of enemy by looking at the colour of its level indicator.

Numeric gem will be generated at the left end of the match, or leftmost crossing point if the match isn’t a straight line.

All items and spells require 2 extra copies of the same item with SAME RARITY to evolve. Dont salvage these extra copies if you planned to evolve them!

Since evolve costs alot, its recommended that skip the evolve if possible. Use high rarity drops instead of evolve low rarity items.

Most enemies has two spells. They will use them ONE BY ONE. Most of their damaging spells are devastating! Stop them from casting that if you can!

Item get new passives and abilities based on their RARITY.

Spells and items has two types of numbers.
Cyan number will increase by character’s POWER and SPELL level.
Color matches its rarity will only improve when evolved to next rarity.

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A small tips about minions:

Bonus Key Chance stat on minions means how high is the chance of getting the key (with the same rarity) from the chest.
So you can get a wooden key from a wooden chest and even diamond key from a diamond chest (already confirmed).

Related to this, there is one particular minion named Octoghoul which has high Bonus Key Chance percentage.
I believe it starts at around 16% for common,
and around 18% for uncommon.
So we can assume it’ll increase 2% per rarity.

If you get this minion, save it for opening your ruby or diamond chest to get higher chance of getting Ruby or Diamond key from the chest.
Its spell is not too good though so its only function is for opening chest, not for PvP battles.

Good luck!

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