Armored Princess Skill Analysis Part 2: Mind

Same format as for Might, but now we're covering the Mind tree.

The player can right click units in the field to get a list of the unit types and an overall estimate of the threat level of the battle group. Additionally, +1 Intellect.

The player can right click units in the field to get a list of the unit types and an overall estimate of the threat level of the battle group, and can also click on castles and 'shelters' for the same effect on any battlegroup within. Additionally, +2 Intellect.

Now the player gets a precise unit count when right clicking on enemies. Additionally, +3 Intellect.

Skill tree requirements: None.

It's pricier than in The Legend, but I've already covered how you actually have more Runes to work with in Armored Princess. Furthermore, it now actually does something concretely useful in raw mechanical terms! As such, getting it maxed is actually worthwhile if you're trying to push up your Spellcasting competency. It also helps that Mind Runes are a bit less precious in Armored Princess than in The Legend.

Holy Anger
Enemy Demons and Undead suffer -5 to Attack and Defense. Additionally, inflicting damage on enemy Demons or Undead generates 1 Mana and Rage.

Enemy Demons and Undead suffer -10 to Attack and Defense. Additionally, inflicting damage on enemy Demons or Undead generates 2 Mana and Rage.

Enemy Demons and Undead suffer -15 to Attack and Defense. Additionally, inflicting damage on enemy Demons or Undead generates 3 Mana and Rage.

Skill tree requirements: None.

Made generally available, drastically buffed in its functional effectiveness for its original effect, given a new, much more useful effect, and also no longer discourages the player from using Demons or Undead themselves! It's also a lot cheaper, other than now taking a Magic Rune per level.

If you're not the Paladin getting more than one rank in it can be difficult to justify because there's other Mind Skills you want and you're not drowning in Mind Runes, but if you are the Paladin maxing it is a pretty great idea in general. Notably, the final Boss fight summons Demons, so Holy Anger can be a big help in Spell sustainability in that fight. And even for a non-Paladin trying to get the first rank relatively early can be a good idea, as the bonus Mana and Rage really is amazingly useful.

I really like Holy Anger in Armored Princess, it's a huge improvement over The Legend's take on it.

+100 Leadership.

+350 Leadership.

+700 Leadership.

Skill tree requirements: None.

Costs 1 less Might and 1 more Mind Rune at each Level. 

They actually made the later Levels provide more Leadership, but it doesn't really address the fundamental problem that in the long haul the values are basically nothing, when other Skills will stay relevant into the endgame. In fact, this is actually more true in Armored Princess, as you get more Levels overall and the player automatically gains Leadership every level instead of being able to avoid gaining Leadership on every level, making for a noticeably higher Leadership endgame. As such, this is, if anything, basically a step backwards for Glory's design.

The only particularly good news in this regard is that you get more Runes per level and Mind Runes in particular are much less rare for the non-Paladin classes, so getting the first rank to gain access to later Skills is not nearly as burdensome. It's still fundamentally the case you should probably take the first rank, and only the first rank, no matter your class.

+10% Gold from combat.

+20% Gold from combat.

+30% Gold from combat.

Skill tree requirements: Scouting.

No longer does Trophies require Might Runes, making it more accessible to the Mage, and its Mind Rune price is distributed differently, being less backloaded. Of course, the player's overall Rune count is higher, and they gain them faster in fact, so the fact that its total Mind Rune price is the same is defacto cheaper.

Just like in The Legend, you should ideally try to max Trophies out as quickly as you can without hurting your build substantially, so it has as much time to payoff as possible. In fact, money is a lot tighter in Armored Princess' early game than The Legend's early game, so even its relatively modest increase can have a fairly dramatic impact right away. 

+3% crit chance.
+7% crit chance.
+10% crit chance.

Skill tree requirements: Holy Anger.

It amuses me to no end that the way the game elects to convey praying increasingly hard is with the clasped hands being obviously wealthier.

Like Revenge, I don't particularly care for Prayer. It's at least not reliant on specifically performing a counterattack to get the bonus, but it's still a small, unreliable bonus, and unlike Revenge Prayer actually does demand you get a rank in it to get to more meaningfully useful Skills. It being fairly Mind Rune-intensive is particularly frustrating in that regard, making it a pain for the Warrior and Mage to reach eg Persuasion and Voice of the Dragon. The Mage at least doesn't care so much about Morale bonuses, but the Warrior is theoretically army-focused in addition to Rage-focused, so it's annoying to have this Mind Rune chokepoint.

The Power of Spirit
+1 to Attack and Defense.

+2 to Attack and Defense.

+3 to Attack and Defense.

Skill tree requirements: Glory.

One of the clearer, low-end examples of the King's Bounty games having a 'balance' concept for the Paladin class. It's Heroism and Resistance, at the same time; the Paladin boosting her armies via main stats doesn't bias toward offense or defense, where the Warrior can focus on one or the other.

One thing worth pointing out is that the first couple of ranks are a larger number of stats overall than either of Heroism or Resistance, but the third rank is an equal total. It's also worth pointing out that Power of Spirit costs less for the stats at every level: the first rank of Heroism is cheaper than the first rank of Power of Spirit, and same for the first rank of Resistance, but getting the first rank in both costs more than just getting the first rank in Power of Spirit, while the second ranks are similar in price and the third rank of Power of Spirit is outright cheaper than either of Heroism or Resistance's third ranks. Power of Spirit is thus a fairly good deal if you're wanting to get Attack and Defense together anyway -though in real terms this tends to be overshadowed by class Rune access, with eg the Warrior preferring to grab ranks in Heroism and Resistance because she's got the Might Runes to spare and needs to save her comparatively precious Spirit Runes for the more unique Mind Skills.

I actually like how its graphic is literally Heroism and Resistance's graphics combined. It's too bad it's sufficiently shrunk down in-game that this isn't terribly obvious; all I can really make out in-game is the glow, and until I extracted the graphic myself I'd thought it was supposed to be some sort of ghost-thing. 'cause Power of Spirit, after all.

+10% combat Experience for the Hero. Also, +1 Intellect.


+15% combat Experience for the Hero. Also, +2 Intellect.


+20% combat Experience for the Hero. Also, +3 Intellect.


Skill tree requirements: Trophies.

While Learning's 'primary' benefit is still fairly lackluster, it makes sense to try to max it early anyway, particularly if you're a Mage or trying to run your Paladin in a more mage-y direction, just because you'll eventually want the Intellect boosts regardless. It also helps that Armored Princess has more levels and has a greater percentage of your experience derived from battles, though I'm not going to sit down and crunch numbers on this topic.

If you're playing Defender of the Crown or Champion of the Arena, it's even better, as most/all of your experience in those comes from battle, and there's so few fights that give so much experience apiece that a point in Learning can easily be the difference between stopping short of your next level vs actually reaching it, thus gaining valuable Leadership and Skill Runes that may well make the difference in your next fight.

So basically: the Paladin should max it fairly quickly because she has the Mind Runes and will appreciate the bonus Intellect regardless, the Mage should max it as soon as she reasonably can because she wants All The Intellect and the experience is a nice bonus, and the Warrior can kind of take it or leave it since she tends to prefer Spells that aren't as impacted by Intellect in the first place.

At the beginning of the battle, a random allied Orc is granted 10 Adrenaline. Additionally, each turn a unit is randomly chosen to receive +1 Speed for the turn.

At the beginning of the battle, a random allied Orc is granted 20 Adrenaline. Additionally, each turn a unit is randomly chosen to receive +1 Speed and Initiative for the turn.

At the beginning of the battle, a random allied Orc is granted 35 Adrenaline. Additionally, each turn a unit is randomly chosen to receive +2 Speed and Initiative for the turn.

Skill tree requirements: The Power of Spirit.

Adrenaline is a very odd Skill, with unreliable benefits. It's really probably intended more for a melee-focused army, and if you're leaving it at just the first rank that's probably true enough in practice, but then you start getting the Initiative bonuses and suddenly it's more widely useful, if still random.

As with Onslaught, getting Adrenaline to rank 3 makes it appealing to splash in a single Orc stack, since they'll always start the battle at Adrenaline Level 3. Combining both Onslaught and Adrenaline with maxed Rage Control can give your lone Orc stack all the Adrenaline it's likely to ever need, with no randomness whatsoever. You don't even need to max both Onslaught and Adrenaline, since that's a total of 65 Adrenaline when Rage Control only allows a max of 50. Stopping at rank 2 in either one will work out to maximum Rage either way.

I've not tested in detail what happens if, say, you use two Orc stacks with maxed Adrenaline and maxed Onslaught, in regards to whether the game tries to not waste the Adrenaline or not. (That is, does it drop 35 Adrenaline on one Orc, and then the remaining 30 gets distributed randomly but never granting more than 15 Onslaught Adrenaline to that particular Orc?)

I don't particularly care for Adrenaline's pre-Orcs on the March effect, as you just plain can't count on it. Sure, sometimes you'll have a Bowmen stack pinned against the edge of the battlefield get the Adrenaline boost and so suddenly be able to get clear and take a shot, but there'll be plenty of times it hits a unit you have zero desire to move anywhere, or where the plan is to use some of their movement range but not all of it. The Initiative part can also be frustrating by randomly breaking Initiative relationships, which can mess up plans based around carefully-timed Blinds or the like. It's also a mechanic that directly discourages using summons, since it effectively makes it even more random, with more possible units to be affected.

The Adrenaline part of Adrenaline is still technically random, but you have some actual ability to control it, and Adrenaline lingers until spent so while eg an all-Orc force won't be something where you can consistently plan around, say, your Goblins getting the Adrenaline boost in every battle, at least it's the case that once the battle has started you can plan around the effect. Orc-heavy forces also end up appreciating the Speed/Initiative portion, since they're so heavy on melee units that need support to close the distance, and even their ranged units are sufficiently short ranged they pretty consistently appreciate a Speed boost.

The player acquires twice as many Magic Crystals when destroying Items up to Level 3, can use 'recipes' up to Level 3, gains +2 to Mana, and Talents that repair Droids are 10% more effective.

The player acquires twice as many Magic Crystals when destroying Items up to Level 4 and can get Talent Runes from Level 4 Items, can use 'recipes' up to Level 4, gains +4 to Mana, and Talents that repair Droids are 20% more effective.

The player acquires twice as many Magic Crystals destroying Items of any Level and can get Talent Runes from Level 4 and 5 Items, can use 'recipes' of any Level, gains +6 to Mana, and Talents that repair Droids are 30% more effective.

Skill tree requirements: Learning.

You can only get Talent Runes from Level 4 and Level 5 Items, with this being a 60% chance for a given smashed Item to give Talent Runes instead of Magic Crystals Also, to be clear, you will never get Talent Runes from smashing an Item without Neatness applying; if you smash a Level 4 or 5 Items when you lack Neatness or only have Neatness 1? You'll just get a disappointing number of Magic Crystals, guaranteed.

Regardless, Neatness is a Skill you should always endeavor to max on every class. A lot of your Magic Crystals are going to come from smashing Items you no longer care about, or even smashing cheap junk Items you bought for the express purpose of smashing, such as Fishing Nets, so you really want the first rank period, and the second and third ranks have pretty decent odds of causing you to gain more Runes than you spent if you're willing to smash some of the high-Level-but-not-very-good Items. The Mana and boost to Engineers and Repair Droids is a nice bonus, too.

Neatness is basically Armored Princess' version of Trade, in terms of incentivizing waiting to clear out your junk until you've got access to the Skill, but it's way less egregious. First of all, unlike Trade you don't need to specifically max it beforehand; the second and third ranks don't increase how much you get from smashing low-Level Items any further, so once you've gotten the first rank you can happily smash Fishing Nets and Items that are obsolete because you're equipped with a completely superior version and so on, so long as they're below Level 4. Second of all, Scrolls are not a part of this list, and so you can freely sell off Scrolls right from the beginning of the game to make space for buying Scrolls you actually want without it technically wasting money. Third of all, Mind Rune expenditures are just less crushing in general for non-Paladins, making it actually less frustrating to push to even though it's deeper into the Mind tree than Trade was in The Legend.

I'd still rather the game not have a Skill with this kind of effect at all, but Neatness is an essentially acceptable execution of the idea so Armored Princess is waaaaay ahead of The Legend in this regard.

As an aside, it's interesting to me that only the third rank incorporates Talent Runes into its graphic. It has me wondering if there was a phase in the design where, somehow or another, the third rank would've been the only one that could grant additional Talent Runes.

+1 Morale for Humans and Elves.


+1 Morale for Humans, Elves, Dwarves, and Orcs.


+1 Morale for Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, Demons, and Lizardmen.

Skill tree requirements: Learning and Prayer.

I just love how the third tier's graphic involves a megaphone.

Note that at the third rank Undead and Neutral units don't get a Morale bonus but everything else does.

Persuasion is basically the inheritor of Tolerance's will, and just like Tolerance ends up with some wonky effects as a result. Demons and Lizardmen armies demand waaaay more Rune investment for a simple +1 Morale than Humans and Elves do, yet the actual benefit from the third rank is not any greater than the benefit from the first rank.

If you're a Paladin you'll eventually have Mind Runes to spare and may well end up maxing Persuasion just because why not, but for the other classes it's difficult to justify the Rune demand just to broaden what is a fairly minor bonus in the end.

If an enemy force contains a stack that is identical to one in the player's forces, one of these matching stacks is randomly chosen and up to 8% of the stack is siphoned to add to the player's own stack.  This cannot take the player over their Leadership.

If an enemy force contains a stack that is identical to one in the player's forces, one of these matching stacks is randomly chosen and up to 12% of the stack is siphoned to add to the player's own stack. This cannot take the player over their Leadership.

If an enemy force contains a stack that is identical to one in the player's forces, one of these matching stacks is randomly chosen and up to 16% of the stack is siphoned to add to the player's own stack.  This cannot take the player over their Leadership.

Skill tree requirements: Adrenaline.

Well, they made it more effective. A little bit.

... Diplomacy is still pretty terrible, though. Take the first rank, be thrilled when it actually activates every once in a while, ignore it otherwise. Same as in The Legend.

Except now the tree is set up so it doesn't unlock anything particularly amazing. If you're not a Paladin, Diplomacy is probably worth ignoring entirely in Armored Princess.

Absolute Balance
+4 to Mana and Rage.

+8 to Mana and Rage.


+12 to Mana and Rage.


Skill tree requirements: Neatness.

Another fairly blatant example of the Paladin as the balance class, in fact probably the most blatant, since Rage is the Warrior's specialty and Spells are the Mage's specialty and here's a Skill that helps with both at once.

For the Paladin, Absolute Balance is an easy pick. For the other two classes... I already said you really ought to get Neatness no matter your class, and that's Absolute Balance's requirement. It's not a big hop to take Absolute Balance as well, and it's simultaneously enhancing your strong area and propping up your weak area. It's usually easier for a Mage or Warrior to scrounge up the Mind Runes for Absolute Balance than to try to eat the Might/Magic costs for buying the relevant Skills in the 'opposite' tree. So it's actually a really good deal for both of them, though it's probably a little more significant to the Mage than the Warrior given how Rage costs can get away from you on their own where Spells don't work that way at all.

It's a nice, well-designed Skill.

Voice of the Dragon
Animals receive +1 Morale. Also, +2 Rage.

Animals receive +2 Morale. Also, +4 Rage.

Animals and Dragons receive +3 Morale. Also, +6 Rage.


Skill tree requirements: Persuasion and Diplomacy.

Apparently, getting good at making humanoid beings like you is the first step to making animals and dragons like you. Okay.

Anyway, 'animals' in this case means Bears, Ancient Bears, Polar Bears, Lake Dragonflies, Fire Dragonflies, Griffins, Royal Griffins, Snakes, Swamp Snakes, Royal Snakes, Unicorns, Black Unicorns, Wolves, and Werewolf Elves currently in wolf form. 'Dragons', meanwhile, includes Red Dragons, Black Dragons, Emerald Green Dragons, and Bone Dragons.

I've personally never gotten around to messing around with Voice of the Dragon. Its immediate requirements are fairly low in utility, Prayer is also a part of its requirements and not needed for anything else and is just plain terrible, while Voice of the Dragon itself has a weak general bonus (The Rage max) and its more specific bonus is aimed primarily at units you're likely to use in the early to midgame and move on from by the time you're in a position to get it... excepting the dragons, but it doesn't affect those until rank 3. For a non-Paladin it's nearly impossible to justify unlocking and buying even the first rank.

For a Paladin, her Resurrection Skill makes the animal selection far more worthwhile to field, and she can pretty easily shoulder the Rune costs in the mid-to-late game, and even if you don't care about the Morale boosts it's a relatively accessible way of bumping up your Rage max once you've maxed out Absolute Balance.

Also keep in mind Unicorns, Black Unicorns, and Werewolf Elves in wolf form all benefit from the first rank of Persuasion as well. If you want a high Morale disposable meatshield/beatstick, they're some of your better options when you're only partway through Persuasion and/or Voice of the Dragon's ranks.

Overall I do like Voice of the Dragon as an idea, it just really suffers from the way the skill tree is constructed. If it was unlocked by actually good Skills every class likes to pursue, it would probably be fine, or maybe a little weak but still justifiable to pursue on non-Paladin classes. With three of its requirements being both really bad and essentially ignorable, though? Eeeeeh.

The following two Skills are exclusive to the Paladin. Like with Might, I'll be using Mind to talk a bit about the Paladin.

An interesting point to note is that logically speaking the Paladin is the canon Amelie. The Warrior has red-black hair, while the Mage has blue-black hair, to the Paladin's blonde, and we saw Amelie back in The Legend; she was blonde there. You can handwave it any number of ways if you like, but it's suggestive of the intention, which is particularly interesting given that Armored Princess sets The Legend's Warrior as the canon character for The Legend, whom Amelie looks up to and so on.

... though there is a handwave fairly late in the game suggesting that Amelie's appearance changed drastically because she's a divine child. It's difficult to say if that invalidates the above or is just a way of glossing over the point if you're playing a Warrior or Mage. Certainly, stuff like the boxart seems to instead suggest Mage-Amelie is meant as the definitive version of her...

... but there's also the point that Paladin Amelie is the only one that has any Darion blue on her, and there's a kind of logic to a child literally granted by divine intervention being particularly pious. Not to mention it's plenty well-known that advertising and so on doesn't necessarily align all that strongly with the internal intentions of a studio; I wouldn't be surprised if Mage Amelie being on the box art was selected by someone outside the design team on a 'sex sells' basis with no regard to what that signals about canonicity or the like.

Though then again we actually see her in Warriors of the North, and her design there is literally the Mage version, so maybe not. But then again again, it could easily be they went with the Mage version because by that point this was the iconic version of Amelie and they wanted to be sure players would recognize her more than they wanted to stay true to their original intentions, or something of that sort.

Oh well, whatever.

Design-wise, Paladin Amelie is pretty obviously the exact same design as Warrior Amelie, just with different colors and a couple of crosses thrown in. I personally prefer how Warrior Amelie ends up looking overall, but Paladin Amelie looks plenty neat, and I think she actually does a better job of coming across as a shinybright noble beacon of light amid the darkness than The Legend's Paladin, so that's a cool bit of improvement.

But anyway, Skills.

After battle, a single stack regains up to 60% of its casualties. In addition, the Spell Resurrection heals for 10% more.
After battle, a single stack regains up to 80% of its casualties. In addition, the Spell Resurrection heals for 20% more.
After battle, a single stack regains up to 100% of its casualties. In addition, the Spell Resurrection heals for 30% more.

Skill tree requirements: Persuasion.

Note that the resurrection occurs after the battle is finished, and thus even Level 3 can't be used to 'cheat' Grand Strategy's requirements.

Nonetheless, Resurrection is an awesome Skill that, especially once maxed, completely changes how the Paladin plays. I've been very harsh on how a lot of melee glass cannons are extremely dubious choices for the player in both The Legend and Armored Princess, but a Paladin in Armored Princess actually finds it easy to implement a single glass cannon and simply ignore its casualties as a non-issue. (Once you've got Grand Strategy maxed, ideally) This opens up all kinds of options, and even lets you be less diligent about avoiding friendly fire. Since the Skill also improves the performance of the Spell by the same name, it also makes it a bit easier to undo casualties getting spread around on your forces.

Basically you should max it as fast as you can and then always have a designated meatshield. Ideally it's something that can get into melee quickly so enemies aren't tempted to break away to attack your ranged units; Demons and Executioners are particularly good at this role, with 3 Speed, Running, Furious, and Demon Rage ensuring they're quick to get to the fight and will dish out tons of damage as they get dogpiled. Executioners are actually probably the worse of the two unless the rest of your army is Level 4 or 5, since them inflicting Fear when attacked can lead to lower-Level units breaking away to chase the only units of yours that are actually valid targets while under Fear. Demons can also summon minions to eg help them keep a ranged attacker pinned, which is another point in their favor.

Griffins and Royal Griffins are even faster, fly, also have Furious, and benefit from Voice of the Dragon, which you'll probably eventually take at least one rank in, so they're another good choice to keep in mind. Splashed-in Orc Veterans are another good choice, particularly since you're a Paladin and so maxing Adrenaline to max their Adrenaline right off the bat is an easy and effective thing to do, at which point you've got a 4 Speed unit that can immediately Potion of Rage up 2 more Action Points (Admittedly losing 1 Speed if you don't have Onslaught and a couple of ranks in Rage Control so they start at 45 Adrenaline) and tear into enemies with Savage Attack. If you've got two ranks in Onslaught and three in Rage Control it can even use Potion of Rage twice at the beginning of every battle and cover 8 tiles on the first turn! With eg assistance from Tactics that can frequently allow them to cross the battlefield and attack an enemy on the very first turn.

Gorguls are another option for just getting right in the enemy's face insanely quickly and then dishing out tons of damage and not caring about the damage you're taking. Bloody Madness might have inadequate damage for its requirements, but if you're thinking of it as an opportunity to inflict Bleeding en mass via a unit whose casualties you were planning on ignoring anyway, it's actually a pretty solid niche that can act as useful support to your ranged fire/Rage usage/offensive Spell usage if you're inclined to play your Paladin that way.

Resurrection is a fantastic Skill that opens a whole new world of options for the Paladin, and I love it.

Divine Armor
When your units take damage, they have a 20% chance to take half damage, up to 3 times per battle.

When your units take damage, they have a 25% chance to take half damage, up to 4 times per battle.

When your units take damage, they have a 30% chance to take half damage, up to 5 times per battle.


Skill tree requirements: None. Locked behind a Quest instead.

Divine Armor is, uuuuh, existent?

I mean, once you've got Resurrection maxed it's worth eyeballing it fairly seriously, and the first rank is probably worth grabbing early on just because it might help you eg get Grand Strategy progress, but overall Divine Armor confuses me. 


One thing worth pointing out about the Mind tree is that where in The Legend a distressing portion of the Skills were convenience features (eg Reserves, Scouting), obnoxiously essential (eg Trade), or just plain garbage (eg Glory, Diplomacy), in Armored Princess most of the Mind Skills are least fairly clear-cuttedly actual boosts to your performance. Glory, Prayer, and Diplomacy are pretty terrible, unfortunately, and Neatness is a bit too close to an essential Skill for my taste, but the Mind tree is much better about improving your performance in ways that aren't bad for the game design, and this is by far one of the biggest strides forward Armored Princess makes.

Anyway, next time we wrap up Skills with the Magic tree and talk about the Mage too.


  1. Trophies/Neatness 2&3 are trap skills.
    I haven't actually tried Neatness 3, but I haven't found any evidence on the internet that it even breaks even at any point. Every time it's just "you totally can get some runes dude, buy the skill". And even if it does break even by the end of the game, you've wasted a chance to have more useful skills for the entire length of the game just to get some runes closer to the end, which you probably don't really need anymore.
    Trophies are the same, you already get enough gold for troops and items you might NEED. "Wasting" runes at the beginning of the game just to get some possible benefit is a bad idea. It won't even pay for itself if you measure it strictly by the amount of runes you'll buy with the extra gold. Maybe it's not entirely bad if you've already wasted runes on Neatness anyway, so buying up all items might cover the costs of one of the two skills. Need some real numbers on these skills, like how many lvl4&5 items you can actually find on average in your game, what kind of chance to extract runes you have and by what point of the game does it cover it's own cost (if ever).
    I would have said that Learning is terrible too, in the same ways, but it actually gives 1 Int per rank at a reasonable price. And being a level or two higher for most of the game may offset the immediate price until later, where you end up with a skill that mostly just gives Int.

    1. Trophies is not a trap skill. At the beginning of the game, you desperately need Gold to keep up with your growing army, and can struggle to even afford basic-but-good Items like the Snake Boots. (And this is assuming you pursue no-loss wins as much as possible, cutting costs) Later in the game... you make MILLIONS of gold over the course of a run. Even considering not all of it comes from battles... If you really want to buy a lot of Runes with your Trophies-derived Gold, you can pretty easily break even or pull ahead, given that you're only having to meaningfully cover 12 Runes. (Since the first rank is mandatory regardless)

      Neatness 3 pays for itself easily, at least in Orcs on the March. (Which adds in a lot of dubious Level 5 Items) A Level 5 Item will, when broken with Neatness 3, generate 3-5 Runes, and there's a surprising amount of Level 5 Items you'll have by the end that are either inherently junk or (As in, in my last Mage run I smashed around seven such Items) that you won't have any use for due to your class/build. I should probably also update the post because you'll NEVER get Talent Runes from smashing an Item that isn't affected by Neatness and that's not currently clear in the post -it's not that a Level 5 Item that generates 4 Talent Runes generated 2 from Neatness and thus you need 7 such smashes to justify it, no, all 4 of those Talent Runes are meaningfully progress toward Neatness paying for itself. (And thus you only need 3-and-a-partial such smashes to pay for it) The only question is whether one is willing to purchase Neatness 2 in the first place -I'd argue you basically have to if you want to be able to keep up with your Spell's Crystal needs, particularly as a Mage, making any Talent Runes acquired from it in particular a mere bonus, but I'd find it understandable if a given player didn't feel it was worth it and so didn't think Neatness 3 was worth it. (Since it's less likely it'll pay for itself AND Neatness 2)

      tbh Learning is still kind of underwhelming, but it's certainly better off than in The Legend.

    2. Are you sure Trophies is worth it? Seems like most gold is earned outside of combat. And runes get more and more expensive, so I doubt lvl 2 and 3 can ever pay for itself..

    3. Most gold is earned from combat. Quests only occasionally offer money, with it generally being a surprisingly low amount, and money looted from the overworld is generally notably less than the amount of gold you get from local combat encounters. Selling scrolls, particularly junk-y Wanderer Scrolls, is the main non-combat source of gold that's actually pretty significant, assuming you're like me and basically never use scrolls in combat. (Which probably isn't objectively correct play, honestly, particularly early in the game when them being locked to a Level 1 cast doesn't make them weaker than Mana-based spellcasting)

      Whether Trophies can pay for itself in purchased Talent Runes in part depends on what your habits in that regard are in the first place. If you always aggressively buy up Talent Runes to spend into non-Trophies skills, then sure, Trophies won't pay for itself. If your non-Trophies runs purchase only a handful... yes, I'm pretty sure it can pay for itself.

      There's also Neatness 3 to keep in mind. If you buy high-Level Items to smash for Talent Runes... Trophies is helping pay for that. Smash 30-something Talent Runes worth of Items (A bit high, but not infeasible), and you've covered Neatness 2 and 3 plus Trophies 2 and 3 without even touching direct Talent Rune purchases. And Level 5 Items are all very, very expensive.

      So yes, I consider Trophies worth pursuing. I'm sure a run can do without it, but I wouldn't want to.

  2. if you really want gold, just phantom marauders and pick up gold from corpses. in a battle with lots of dead summons, you will easily get 50-100k in one battle. I did this for some time in mid game and was set for the whole game, scrapped my marauders and had a huge war chest to work with, buying every item and still having millions of gold

  3. like every RPG, crit needs to be stacked. 10% crit may not seem like a lot, but it actually is. it's about a 15% Increase in DPS , if the bonus is 150% . by mid game it's fairly easy to get a very reliable crit chance. 50% easily with any army , and 70% easily with demons, or pallies.
    generally speaking, crit above 30% in RPGs is very noteworthy. 30% is definitely reliable enough to influence combat. 70% is whopping. crit only gets better as you get stronger, as it is a force multiplier , thus usually not something you focus in the beginning of RPGs, but definitely should be thinking about long term.

  4. "...I'd thought it was supposed to be some sort of ghost-thing. 'cause Power of Spirit..." - just in case there is still some uncertainty, 'spirit' here is 'believe in youself'/strong personality thing. Like, a Paladin may not be as physically strong and resilient as a Warrior, but can compensate it with force of will and determination. I guess it's a case of translation that is technically correct yet at same time more vague that the original.
    Also, "strength of spirit" is a mandatory trait for heroes of Russian legends/epics.

    Both level 4 and 5 items have the same chance of givng you Runes upon being neatly smashed - 60% (level 5 give more Runes through). My game experience supports that. As does a quick test with the equipment from the end-game save too (why do I have so many unsmashed stuff in my inventory?..). You must be really unlucky if you only get Runes for one item out of three.

    1. 'Power of Spirit' is definitely a slightly unfortunate way to word it. 'Strength of Spirit', or 'Strong Spirit', or 'Strength of Will' would all have been a bit clearer on 'Paladin Amelie has a strong soul/mind/whatever'.

      I genuinely am so prone to having improbably poor RNG results in games I honestly default to assuming my results are not representative and the actual odds are better. It's a really bizarre trend in my life. Regardless, 60% sounds more design-sensible; I'll add it in.

    2. About RNG - I always saw myself is unnaturally unlucky in this aspect. KB is much more merciful to me than most games through. In other games I have ridiculous stuff like "spell success chance - 90%" > 3 fails in row. People usually don't believe me until they see it themselves.

    3. I've literally done large-scale controlled tests on a few occasions, and I always have notably skewed results. Stuff like a 50% chance stably hovering from 66-80% against me. It's... fairly absurd and I wish I had an explanation for it.

      Though my luck in real life is improbably good, so I really shouldn't complain...

    4. I'm glad for you being lucky in real life. Can't say the same about myself.


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