Gauntlet

Gauntlet is a new, dummy like activity in dotd, enabled sporadically like the festival. There is a Q&A. Gauntlet is available from your home-tab inside the dotd game while it’s active (around one week). The time left to use gauntlet is shown near the to-right inside the gauntlet pane, and also as time left to live on each of the raids. You will defeat a series of raids, each tougher than the previous. Each defeated raid will reward you with one gauntlet token (1 GaunT) and ten additional strikes. The tokens can then be spent in the gauntlet shop to buy some swag.

For this gauntlet, there is also a contest, due tomorrow, that should give you another 10PC. Make sure you screenshot all of your good raid names.

The Loot

Things to get from the gauntlet shop via tokens, in order of priority:

  • Legion Tactics I & II (30 GaunT each): Legion bonus is always good, as it improves your raid damage vs. everything including camp (though not gauntlet itself). For most players, getting both of these tactics has absolute priority. Note also that 60 GaunT is quite possible for many players, though not much more, which implies that this is also the only things these players will get.
  • Butcher Knight (1 GaunT each): This is an OK troop solo (251/251 in ED, more if you have SirLinux), but it can become quite big if fully boosted via owning 100 troops (which few players will manage this time around) at 351/351 in ED. The difficult types (special/special) make it a nice filler when legions have those crappy types. Still, the troop, while nice, is not worth spending major effort or PC on, as PC troops are generally on par or better now. Nonetheless, you should probably get ONE BK right away as fodder.
  • Deathless Leader (10 GaunT): An average freemium general (1.5k/1.5k as commander) that can grow quite large when boosted by 100 BKs (2.5k/2.5k as commander). Fully boosted, this is stronger than most premiums and therefore something you do want to have. Note that the price for the fully boosted general is 110 GaunTs, which very few would be able to afford right now, especially if you want the legion bonuses first (more important for most players).
  • Battalion upgrades: We will cover these further down. For now, note that buying these is permanent, so you will get the boost for the next gauntlet as well. Therefore, it is not a terrible idea to invest here first (this will also let you get a few more GaunTs), if you are reasonably sure you can still get the stuff you really want.

The Battalion

Your battalion acts like a legion initially made up of 2 commanders, 14 generals, 30 troops and 6 armaments. There are no race/class restrictions. The battalion also does not have gear.

The battalion’s damage was determined by Artydent/Zeeta@Elyssa as:

Battalion_Damage =
+ 1.5 * ATT_player + 0.25 * DEF_player
+ 14 * ATT_com + 7 * DEF_com
+ 10 * ATT_gen + 4 * DEF_gen
+ 10 * ATT_arm + 4 * DEF_arm
+ 5 * ATT_trp + 2 * DEF_trp

(no difference between armament types, stats are those shown on the unit. _player stats are those shown on profile, including worn gear etc. Final damage is then varied by around +/- 6%. There are no procs or criticals.)

From this formula, there are a few basic strategies to maximize your battalion:

  • Auto-fill works really well.
  • Make sure you have your strongest generals (Kez and Bosso for most players, if you have those) in your commander slot, as they do more damage in those slots.
  • Experiment with commander slot special generals like the Deathless Leader, Aelfthryth, and Briat. In most cases, the biggest general will still win.
  • Pot up before you hit the gauntlet. This includes the entire series of rage/warding pots (perception drops, note each color can be active independently of the others) and +% pots such as Life-Drain Draught, Beloved Suckers, Green Mushrooms, Bloodthirst and Ironhide pots.
  • Wear your crown if you have one.
  • Wear your biggest stat gear. The final att (including enchantment) is the most important stat on each gear item. Note that if you sort your gear in your inventory by att, enchantments are not taken into account, so look a little bit further than the first item. Still, the latest echi gear (master sluri, echi flayer) is quite good. Also, there is some gear that gives +att, +def bonus in the orange text. This is usually used as pvp profile gear. This might come out on top, the strongest right now being demonskin armor.
  • Use your PvP legion. There are generals and even troops that give you a bonus to att/def. Use the sheet referenced in this thread to optimize.
  • Note that for players, def is only one sixth as important as offense (thus, att is more important than usual). For all other items, defense is roughly half as important as offense (thus, def is much more important than usual).
  • Thus, some of the defense special items such as Shell of Solus are very strong.
  • From now on, only craft Toy Bronze Men, as they are equivalent to toy soluses in normal raiding, but much stronger in gauntlet.
  • To make best use of your pots, you can do all of gauntlet on the last day. The power boost (50PC for +10%) lasts 2 hours, you can do all of your gauntlet in that time. Note though that gauntlet can be pretty laggy (so don’t start too late) and also that gauntlet deals a lot of damage later on (around 800 per strike in at lvl 90). This may preclude you from finishing it all in one go as you might have to level up to heal.

As far as battalion upgrades go, here are some simple observations:

  • Assuming fairly even stats, a general does 50% more damage in the commander slot.
  • Armaments (with the same, fairly even stats) do the same damage as a general.
  • A troop (with the same stats, again fairly even) does 50% of a general’s damage.
  • When buying extra slots from the gauntlet shop though, you need to compare the stats of the additional item that would add. So check the stats of your strongest unplayed general etc. This is especially an issue for troops. For me, the next general is around 1800/1800, while the next troop is only 500/500. Therefore, troop slots are probably least interesting.

Applying the values from above, I calculated the expected increase of battalion damage (of just the battalion part, excluding my avatar damage) of each slot and used that to find out the order of interest of upgrades in the gauntlet shop (for me, YMMV depending on available generals/armaments):

  • For gauntlet tokens:
    1. Siege expansion slot, +3% @5 GaunTs
    2. General expansion slots, +3% each @10 GaunTs
    3. Troop slot (note only two troops), +1% @5 GaunTs
  • For PC:
    1. Armament expansion slots, +3% each @10 PC
    2. Commander expansion slot, +5% each @20 PC
    3. General expansion slots, +3% each @15 PC
    4. Troop expansion slot, +1.5% @10PC

Leader board

There is a cross server leader board in Gauntlet, the characters from other servers appear as peons (unless it’s a character from the WS that has a kong account, in which case the wrong character is shown). Making it to a high position (first 200) in those leader boards gets you some nifty stuff. This can become very expensive, as you’re basically auctioning versus other players, but the invested PC is gone even if you don’t get the bid.

Note that the two most important rewards, the gorgets and the magics, are removed at the start of the next gauntlet. We do not know when gauntlet returns, though Mimzy has stated that it is scheduled for rerun this year at least.

Strategy

One important question is what to invest PC in if you want to boost gauntlet that way. There are three things you can invest in:

  1. PC battalion upgrades, these increase your battalion damage, for a total of around 19% for 80PC, but note this is a permanent investment
  2. PC buff, 10% for 50PC, goes away after 2h
  3. extra strikes, roughly 250 strikes per 50PC

A few things are obvious:

  • Because of the geometric nature of the raid hp, most upgrades/investments will only yield a comparatively small amount of extra GaunTs. Free players should therefore probably not spend PC on the gauntlet.
  • Because PC battalion upgrades are permanent and quite effective, these would normally have priority before buying any substantial amount of extra strikes for PC.
  • The PC buff is better than direct strikes as soon as you go through more than 2500 strikes with it (because 10% boost means this is equivalent to 250 extra strikes). Note that because you can only strike once every second and because there are only 7200 seconds in two hours, the buff can fizzle if there is a lot of lag.

Since Gauntlet is pretty predictable, I made a google sheet to see where I (and others) would end up at the end of it. This allows you to plan ahead which gauntlet upgrades you can afford. It also allows you to see how much PC the leader boarders paid.

Here is the end result based on your battalion strength:

levels cleared by battalion damage
levels cleared by battalion damage

The colored lines represent the amount of PC spent for extra strikes.

And here is the other graph, based on PC spent for extra strikes:

gauntlet-pc

For those wishing to invest a small amount of PC, the graphs above can show you how to best use your PC. For a wide range (say, above 1m battalion strength), increasing battalion damage by 100k increases your total result by about 1.5 hits. The upgrades are relative to your pure battalion strength (nearly 20% for all PC upgrades), so if you have low battalion strength of, say, 1m, you gain around 3 GaunTs for 80PC. If you have high battalion strength of around 2m (keep in mind this is the pure battalion strength without your avatar stats), then you would gain around 6 GaunTs. Also do keep in mind that you will gain these extra tokens in future gauntlets as well and that you will likely have higher battalion damage then.

OTOH, investing in direct strikes gives you a pretty good return of +10 GaunTs per 100PC spent for low spenders. Note that for higher strength players, this is comparable with the return of battalion upgrades (see above), so the battalion upgrades should still have priority. For lower strength players, this is about twice as good as battalion upgrades, so it can be OK to prefer direct strikes. After the second gauntlet, the upgrades would still come out on top.

At around 1k PC spent, the return flattens out so that for all players, the final result increases by about 10 per 1k PC spent.

BTW, the top players (those high in the leader board) sport around 4m battalion damage, so you can look up the PC they spent to get us those magics. Cheer them on, I say!

You normally have 310 free strikes available per gauntlet. This is because you get 40 per daily login and 30 strikes for the bazaar code “GAUNTLET”. In future gauntlet runs, add the amount of strikes you kept from your last gauntlet. Also, it is possible to get 40 more strikes by judicious use of your login time: For the Friday maintenance starting Gauntlet, log in after the maintenance to get your first free 40 strikes, then on the last day, log in before maintenance time to get an 8th drop. This technique also works with festival tix and free PC (though those are generally not well-known ahead of time).

When you are nearing your final gauntlet raid for this event, it can of course be a good idea to spend a few PC to finish it if you nearly did, even if that isn’t “optimal” by the above estimates. Bear in mind though that both remaining strikes and GaunTs carry over to the next gauntlet, so if you feel you won’t beat that last raid, you can just quit and wait for the next summoning of the Gauntlet.

My take:

For most players, this is a fairly easy to run event that gives them 10% or 20% legion bonus without much hassle or use of other bars, leaving you free to go about your other dotd business. That is a lot of freeby for no effort or PC. Use it.

I firmly recommend to not participate in the leader board chase, as that can costs thousands of PC for a mostly transient effect. At the same time, do appreciate those heroes of the community that do participate to bring those magics home to the Kong server!

And finally, don’t forget about the contest, 10PC is 10PC.

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