This is a guide addressed to new Lords and Ladies who started to play Game of Thrones Ascent recently and made the wise decision to join the mighty alliance WESTHEROES. It was written to help people from the early steps to midgame, before they become experts themselves and develop their own gaming style. If you are a beginner yourself, please do not hesitate to ask questions in the comments. However, if you are a professional, please do not start to edit or comment even if you strongly disagree with any or some of the hints below - thanks!
So, you probably read the books and enjoyed the movies and then found out about this online game. (If you have not read / watched, I suggest doing so.) You created a Lord or Lady to become a banner(wo)man of the Great House You Most Like (or Least Hate) and now you are full of questions. Let me address them.
AT THE FIRST GLANCE
The game has very nice graphics and good music, but it is not too user friendly. Especially new players might find it difficult to navigate. The tutorial is very short; some of the information is easy to miss; and if you make some mistake, you cannot redo the last actions. (Accidently sold something or exiled your Sworn Sword? Too late, it is lost forever.)
If you mess up things completely and you are unhappy with the result, you can always restart the game with a completely new character. But if you are patient enough, eventually you will have a much better option, namely to reincarnate. (That way you will still start a new character, but you will be able to keep a few good things.) I will come back to it later. Much later, actually.
The game starts with the Prologue, during which you have limited amount of freedom as the story starts to unfold and you ascend to nobility. Claim your Keep, welcome your advisors, listen to what they have to say and get some money and items in the meantime.
You will get a lot of Quests, in which you have two or three options to select from, but the final outcome will be almost the same. The story goes on. Most of the quests at the beginning will be city quests, which you can complete immediately by selecting one of the options. There are also other quests, especially later on, that will require hours to complete, and you have to have some help to do so.
This help will come from your Sworn Swords, who are non-player heroes who you can recruit. They will swear loyalty to you and serve you at the best of their ability. Sworn Swords are your eyes, ears, arms and legs (etc.) outside your Holding.
Your Holding is where you live: a massive fortress you occupy as you rise into power. You will rarely leave it, but your Sworn Swords and advisors will do so to complete missions for you. Your Holding is rather empty at the beginning, but you can construct and upgrade various Buildings. Some of these will produce you resources, others items or units, and they will also increase your influence, allowing you to complete your Actions more efficiently.
There are three main categories of Actions you can engage in: Battle, Trade and Intrigue. Your strength in these actions is measured by your Stats. Each Stat is broken down into three Substats (e.g., if you engage into Battle, you can Fight, Harass or Aid the other side). Every situation where you can send a Sworn Sword would include a handful of concrete options, for example you can kill the illegal hunters (Fight) or offer them lawful employment (Aid).
Besides quests, there are also Adventures and Challenges. Adventures require your Sworn Sword to be sent on timed journeys, from which they can return with some experience, silver (money) and items. Boss Challenges are more difficult fights that let you progress the storyline only after you inflicted enough "damage" to solve the situatiion. Alliance Challenges are even greater events that you can share with your fellow Westheroes.
Friends can help you in many ways. Do not hesitate to send and accept Friendship requests, especailly to alliance members.
EARLY GAME STRATEGY
1. Get the Counting House and the Village Center to a reasonable level quickly.
- You need income, and you need place to store the money when you are offline.
- You need a massive amount of Common Resources, and the Village Center will provide you with it at the very beginning.
2. Select one Substat (for example, Fight). Concentrate on developing that Substat quickly.
- Upgrade your buildings in a way to increase the related Stat (for example, Battle, in case Fight substat).
- Equip items on your Hero that give you bonus to the Stat and Substat. Concentrate on attack.
- Train talents that improve your attack with the Substat.
- It is a good idea to have your bonuses from Background, Fealty Talents, other Talents, Building Upgrades, Items equipped on your main character and Items on your Sworn Swords all helping you to have one very high Substat.
- In the upper left corner below the image of your hero, there are your Keep Stats. Those are based on your Background, Building Upgrades and Items equipped on your main character. Those are always added to all attacks and defenses done by all your Sworn Swords.
3. Get a fighting force fast.
- You recruit your first Sworn Sword during the tutorial. You will need many-many more.
- Buy cheap (grey) Sworn Sword as many as you can. Do not worry if their starting Stat (that 1 point does not matter much, it is more important that you have someone you can use).
- If you are ready to pay real money, you can recruit Permanent Peerless Sworn Swords with gold. Probably useful in the beginning, but later in the game, when you have much money, you can grab Peerless ones for silver.
- You should have at least 5 Sworn Swords before hitting level 25.
4. With silver, buy only Sworn Swords and Building Upgrades.
- You can find or craft the items you need. No need to purchase anything from the store for silver.
- You may consider purchasing items for gold, especially if a good deal comes at a reduced price. The items should be Peerless though.
- Try to unlock those Building Upgrades which have a building level requirement (number of upgrades already constructed). For example, having built 12 upgrades in your Smithy is much better than having a level 4 Smithy, a level 4 Holdfast and a level 4 Practice Yard. Also, higher level building upgrades are better value for money.
- Plan your Building Upgrades a bit in advance. Do not go always for the cheapest upgrade.
5. Adventures, adventures and adventures!
- You can get a load of resources and items by sending your Sworn Swords on Adventures. You can send most or all of them repeatedly on the same adventure to grab money, XP and items.
- If you are in for Battle, you should do End the Mudders' Poaching (level 3) until your hero and all Sworn Swords can equip Swamp Cleaver and Swamp Coat or better.
- If you are in for Trade, you should do Silence the Silvertongues (level 5) until you have Writ of Passage and Matching Bracelet or better.
- With Intrigue, you are less lucky, because you need two different low-level adventures: Crush the New Brotherhood (level 6) and Find the Travelers' Oasis (level 8) to get starter items.
- Try to do easy adventures at first to minimise the chance of losing. If the Sworn Sword is wounded, wait until he is healed.
- You can get most of the common resources you need, much more than from the Village Center. Most importantly, the adventure Silence the Silvertongues can provide for Red Gems, which you should "add" whenever you craft something in your buildings for your use.
6. Try to get many Friends. Send out requests to anybody on the Power ranking and to members of the alliance.
- You can receive daily Favor from your Friends. These are Boons (minor, single-use boosts) which you can sell or use.
- You need to send a number of Favors to complete some Chapter Bonus Rewards.
- You can invite Friends to complete your Boss Challenges faster and they can invite you for theirs. Boss Challenges are good sources of XP.
7. Concentrate on developing yourself.
- You can, but not supposed to contribute to the goals of our alliance with items or silver. You will have plenty of time later, once you are strong and well equipped.
- You can request the fellow westheroes to launch Barter actions at you, so that you can gain extra silver. (Barter is a special action that is beneficial to both players. While the icon showing an incoming Barter looks as if you are under attack, do not worry, getting Barter is always welcome.)
- You can cut off 5 minutes from almost everything for free. Use it to shorten adventures, quests, crafting, etc.
- Clean your Counting House regularly and use the silver to recruit Sworn Swords and upgrade your Buildings as soon as you can.
8. Plan spending your Talent points carefully.
- Not immediately, but after a few level ups, you start getting 1 talent point per level. You should put the first points into improving the attack of the Substat of your choice and max it out.
- You are also recommended to max out your first Fealty Stat soon, which normally should also contribute to your favoured Substat. (For example, if you are Baratheon, you should select Fight and max out the talents "Vicious" and "Fierce Conviction". That way you could have +40% bonus to all your Fight attacks.)
- You should put a point in the Talent opening your Fealty Building immediately after hitting level 13. You should also construct the building and use it to get free resources (unless you craft something different).
- At level 30, two very useful Talents open to you. Try to stockpile talent points from earlier levels and use them to instantly max out these talents as you reach level 30. One of the Talents will allow you to perform actions with your favoured Substat upto 24% faster, drastically reducing the time needed for adventures, quests, Player to Player actions, etc. The other Talent will speed up the recovery from wounds, also very useful because your Sworn Swords get wounded regularly if you fail your actions.
- You do not need defensive Talents at the beginning. You do not need a secondary attack either, but eventually, after you maxed out the first, you may want to develop a second, third, etc. Substat.
9. Let them come!
- In the first week you are under newbie protection, unless you make an attack against another player.
- Once you are no longer protected, you may be attacked. I recommend you not to send a Sworn Sword for your defense. If you do, your Sworn Sword can be damaged, even killed if you get too many attacks. Furthermore, attacks will bring you money, defense only blocks your Sworn Sword from doing something more important. If you keep less cash than your protected sum (base: 800 silver), you do not lose anything when attacked, despite the misleading information shown on the result page.
10. It is not necessary but advised to work on your Alignment.
- There is no Good or Evil, Lawful or Chaotic, but ethics and morality does play a role. Your decisions and actions may move your Alignment along with three lines: Realm/Family, Truthful/Cunning and Old/New Gods.
- You can get 100% in each of the Alignments if you carefully select at each quest from the options. You can get an Alignment Title achievement for maxing out the Alignments that correspond to your Background. Moreover, you can get a powerful permanent weapon, the Valyrian Steel Dagger for completing Volume I and having at least one Alignment well developed.
11. Equip the best to support you.
- Yourself and your Sworn Swords can be equipped with 3 types of "Items". Hand Items are moslty weapons, but could be rings or shields. Body Items are armours and bracelets amongst other things. Units/Companions are not really items but behave like those: these are followers, mostly people or creatures.
- While a rare Weapon that gives +13 to both Battle and Intrigue is very useful, it does not help as much if your favoured attack is (say) Barter. If you are in for Trade, you should prioritise even a grey item giving +3 to Trade over that weapon. You can still re-equip your Sworn Sword if you need something else to perform a different action.
- You notice the small "Next" button when opening the menu to equip items? Well, many players do not, and there are lots of questions even in this Wiki because of it. (In fact, after some time you have so many items that paging through the list takes quite some time using the "Prev" and "Next" buttons.)
- If you craft items for personal use (i.e., to equip it and not as an interim step for crafting something else or to donate it), you should add a Red Gem to have a big chance to get a superior quality item. With some luck, you can make a Legendary or Peerless version of a common item that would give you a major boost when equipped.
EARLY MID-GAME CHECKLIST
OK, so here are a few questions you can ask yourself around level 40 at the latest to see if you are on the right path.
- Do I have at least 20 Friends? Do I send them daily Favours?
- Do I have a favoured Substat with attack bonus maxed out? Does my highest Keep Stat correspond to my favoured Substat?
- Is my highest Keep Stat above 50? (By this time you should have a good couple of well-developed Buildings and a well equipped main character, so you can have much more than 50.)
- Have I equipped my best items on my main character? Do these items support my favoured Substat?
- Do I have at least Uncommon (green) items on myself and my Sworn Swords? (Common -grey- items are needed at the start but they quickly become obsolete if you play well.)
- Do I have at least 8 Sworn Swords?
- Have I completed at least 50 Adventures?
- Do I have at least one Alignment at 25%?
- Are each my Counting House, Village Center and first main building (Smithy, Market or Embassy) at least level 15?
As you advance, more buildings, adventures and equipment becomes available, and you should adjust your gaming strategy.
You should pay particular attention to the following Adventures:
- End the Pirate War (level 12) has a small chance of giving you a Dinghy, a Unit with +4 to both Battle and Trade.
- Starting with Find the Slum Smugglers (level 16), adventures start to have Rare quality drops giving you +10-15 bonus to one Stat. (They can also drop an Uncommon Item for the same Stat.)
- Unfortunately not too frequently but Loot the Lonely Caravans (level 35) sometimes gives you a Pack Horse, which is an excellent Rare Unit with +8 to all Stats.
- Legendary Items can be received from Sail the Deadly Spears (level 74) onwards, with a massive +30 bonus per item. The drop rate is 1% or even lower though.
- Once you move into Volume II (and III), new sets of adventures become also available, where you can get Uncommon Resources. If you collect a sufficent number of them, you can craft some tough items in your buildings. (You need to select the Volume at the top of the page before selecting the adventures.)
- Evacuate the Mountain Men (level 100) may give you an even better Unit, Grand Pack Horse, which is Legendary with +12 to all Stats.
- The Volume II adventure Rescue the Lost Ranger drops Crystal Sword, a powerful all-round Legendary Weapon.
You may also consider the following Buildings:
- The Siege Works opens at level 15 and lets you craft some nice specialised Units. Good Units are difficult to come by, especially early in the game, so a few good Ladders or similar items would likely improve your performance.
- Stat-based buildings become available at levels 8, 20 and 29. You do not have to build all of them (at least not straight away) but construct and upgrade those supporting your favoured Stat quickly.
- The three last buildings (levels 40-55) are all-round buildings which are quite expensive. Do not give them priority, but construct them when you exhausted the cheaper and better options.
To craft really useful items, you either need luck (getting superior items with really powerful random bonuses) or quite some resources and forward planning. But some of the items are really great, like Elite Cavalryman, so investing into getting them can pay off.
Also, when you have developed your Holding already, you may start to look for the random items offered in the Shop. Some of them are really good value for money.
(to be continued)