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More Monstrology and Monstrodome

I’ve kept working on figuring out more about Monstrology; within the limit that I’ve not advanced beyond the Undead stuff and am unlikely to do so.

This latest round involved the Monstrodome.  I finally sucked it up and bought the Triple Animus Elixir.  It took three rounds of the elixir to collect the 600 animi required to make the Monstrodome (you have to make 10 Summon TCs each for Lady Blackhope, Lord Nightshade and Foulgaze and each card requires 20 animi; 10 x 20 x 3).

Each round of Elixir costs 150 Crowns, so not a terrible price — I just get tired of everything introduced in the game involving more expenditure.  The Elixir gets you not only triple animi but also triple Monstrology XP.  For the most part I was pleased to see that the elixir mostly got me triple on the maximum number of animi.  When I just went in without the boost, I got 1-3 animi from each of the three bosses required for the crafting recipe.  With the elixir I’d say I got 9 animi 90% of the time and 6 the rest; never received only 3.

The XP was kind of odd.  For quite a while as I fought Foulgaze I collected 22 XP for each battle as you see in the picture.  But suddenly it went down to 13 XP and stayed there for the rest of the battles with her and throughout the battles with Nightshade.  Then when I moved to Lady Blackhope I got 13 for a while and then it went down to zero.  I’d read that you quit receiving XP when you are six Monstrology levels above the level of the monster you’re fighting.  Even knowing that, I found it extremely irritating that the Monstrodome recipe requires so many fights when I ceased receiving XP before getting enough for the recipe.

While the Elixir certainly helped — don’t know that I’d ever have wound up making the dome without it — it was still incredibly tedious.  Especially since I doubt I’ll use it now that I’ve tested it out for you.  The most fun part for me was gathering info to share.

I finally got the Monstrodome made and then couldn’t find any instructions about how to put a creature in it.   It’s a housing item and after you place it, a click x box opens when you approach it.  After clicking you’re whisked inside but there’s no way to do anything with your Summon cards.  Before you place your own monster choices in it, you face 4 wooden constructs with 95 health.  Once you put in a Summon Field Guard or whatever, the constructs disappear.  Since I got tons of Field Guard animi while fighting Nightshade, I made a couple of the cards to place in the Monstrodome.  You can see them in the picture.

But first, how to get them in.  You open the housing menu and then click on the Monstrodome and an interface opens up, much as it does in the Seed and Gear Vaults.  When you click on the little icon at the top (same spot as the vault icons) a page opens up with the Summon TCs you’ve created and any of those cards you click on are then placed in the Monstrodome.

I was surprised to discover they respawn — you don’t have to keep collecting and collecting animi to make more and more of the Summon TCs.  I’d read that somewhere and didn’t believe it since KI likes to keep you dragging things out.  I fully expected they’d be gone after one defeat and you’d have to fight twenty more battles to collect enough again… but when I fought my two Field Guards they reappeared within seconds after I defeated them.

If you decide to change out a creature you’ve placed in there with some other boss or minion, you don’t get the card back.  In this case I don’t care because I have so many Field Guard animi and no particular use for them.  I already made one Field Guard guest and don’t care for another and, other than this experiment, I have no use for the Summon cards for them.

Since I had collected a bunch of the animi I needed before I gave in to using the Elixir, I had some time left when I finished collecting all I needed to craft the Monstrodome.  The extra XP had moved me up to level 9 so I headed to Mooshu and fought Tomugawa enough times to make a guest.  I forgot to take a screen shot but for her I also collected 9 most of the time (6 a few times) and something in the 30s for XP.  Her minion isn’t undead, so my Extract-enhanced AOE spells were wasted on him 🙂  At least it was a relief to finally fight somebody re: Monstrology who presented a teeny bit of challenge.

One thing I did not make note of was drops after I fought the Constructs and then the Guards inside the dome.  I’ve seen complaints that people just got gold or negligible pet snacks; I did notice I suddenly had a bunch of low-level gear in my backpack as well as stuff that was the right level for Tomugawa (I’d already sold all I received for the endless WC boss fights…) so I think I got some drops.

I’ve also read that if you collect a boss who has tricks in the normal dungeon it will not use the tricks in the Monstrodome.  Unlikely I’ll be collecting any high level tricky bosses so I won’t personally know but if I see an answer elsewhere I’ll let you know.  Unclear whether you get any special drops a boss would normally have in their usual dungeon or whether there are special drops just for the Monstrodome battles???

A little more Monstrology

Monstrodome Recipe

So far I’m hanging in on the effort to get enough animi to make a Monstrodome.   Feeling more doubtful every day whether I can stomach 201-600 rounds with Lord Nightshade, Lady Blackhope and Foulgaze  (67-200 apiece).

I’ve spent 15-30 minutes one or twice a day working on Foulgaze and Lady Blackhope  and it’s mind-numbingly boring.  For all that time spent, I’m one battle away from having 3 of the 10 cards worth of animi from Foulgaze and enough from Lady Blackhope to make 2 of 10.  That’s a whale of a lot of battling left to do considering I’m already totally burned-out on this…

I also decided to explore the Expel spells a little since I knew nothing in my first post on Monstrology.  All that fighting Lady Blackhope means I also collected a bunch of Skeletal Corsair Animi from her minion since I’m enchanting Deer Knight with Extract and casting it every time.  Only minions have Expel spells –can’t get one for a boss.  Since I had all these spare Skeletal Corsair Animi I made a couple of those cards.

Initially, since he looks just like them, I assumed you could use it on a Skeletal Warrior in the street not far away, but no, it only works on her minion.  Her minion used to be a Skeletal Warrior too but for this they’ve left him looking exactly the same and changed his title.  The Expel Skeletal Corsair card only works on this one creature who seems to be only in this one place.  Not sure what the point of that is???  The one I used on a Skeletal Warrior put the X on his circle and then did nothing so I had to hit him with another damage spell.

You make a treasure card using 15 Skeletal Corsair animi and 2000 gold and put it in your treasure side deck.  When you move it into your “hand” you can target the Skeletal Corsair and when it hits him that’s it for him.  A big red X appears across his/her circle and then the creature disappears.  Since I’m working on Monstrology with a level 92 wizard, it’s seeming pretty pointless since I can defeat many of the creatures in Wizard City with one unenhanced wand spell…

If you have the patience to work your way high enough in Monstrology to have an Expel for some creature on, say, Azteca, I can imagine maybe it could be helpful to be able to just automatically knock one opponent out with a single spell.  But most of us are using big AOE spells by then–which lets us knock out all the minions or mob creatures at once–so I’m hazy as to when this would be much of an advantage.

Really the only part of this I find kind of fun is making a guest.  The only thing is I’m not that in love with most of the creatures you fight; if I’m going to turn some of the characters from the game into “guests” in my houses I’d prefer some of the NPCs like Tashio or Baldur Goldpaws or Sir Reginald Baxby…  You know, nice…  not creepy…  not enemies…

First tries at Monstrology

Field Guard Guest

Field Guard Guest

Although initial descriptions of Monstrology didn’t particularly infuse me with excitement, I’m just finishing up a major update on my guide to the game.  When this update came out before I completed the project I figured I should explore it enough to add at least a broad outline about it.

It’s always a bit tough in these early stages because many things are not known or have been incorrectly noted by players so very little is available on line to help you.  If I didn’t have this book project to finish up I’d wait for a couple of months and give more gung-ho players than I a chance to master it and put guides on the wiki and in blog posts.

It starts simply enough.  You visit Gilda Burke, next to the Myth Tower in Ravenwood, to get a little tutorial, receive your first “extract” spell , which extracts animus (kind of like spirit) from undead creatures, and then defeat a couple of Lost Souls using the card to collect animi.  It operates like the Sun spells:  you click on the Extract Undead spell and then click on whatever damage spell you wish, which enchants the spell.  When you defeat the undead boss or creature, you receive 2 or 3 “animi” of that creature (possibly more at higher levels — won’t know until or unless I get there). If you have an AOE and are fighting both a boss and minion(s) who are undead, you will extract from each of them when the spell defeats them.  If you lose the fight you don’t collect the animus, even if you hit with an Extract-enhanced spell.

Each boss and creature requires you to have achieved a certain minimum Monstrology level in order to extract animus.  If you haven’t gotten to the level, you can enchant the card with Extract but you won’t collect any.  You also won’t collect an animus if you use Extract on a creature who’s not an Undead. (At higher levels there are other types; Extract Wyrm, Parrot and Polar Bear).  A list of creatures and required levels has already been put on the wiki but I quickly found it to be inaccurate (see below).  Each type of Extract works only on creatures of its specific type (i.e. Extract Undead can only be used on Undead, Extract Wyrm can only be used on creatures classified as Wyrm, etc.).  For a list of undead creatures see here.

After getting to Monstrology level 5 I took a look to see where I could go to collect something different and what might change at a higher level and noted Bonekeeper was on the above-noted list as level 4.  I defeated him and got the message that I didn’t have a high enough level to collect any animus from him.  Either he requires more than level 5 or there’s a glitch in how the programming is reading the match between your level and the boss’s.

There’s now a page in your spell book where all the animi you have collected appear.  In the lower left you can click on one circle to see what you need to collect to make an animus treasure card; they all seem to require a LOT of animi of that creature plus some gold.  With these treasure cards you can summon one of these creatures either to help you in a battle (you cast just as you’d cast a card to summon a minion)  — or possibly to put in a Monstrodome in your home (more on Monstrodome below).

Another circle shows you what you need to create a “guest”, which is a housing item which replicates that creature and can be placed in your house.  At first I felt pretty disinterested as I have pets like most of the undead creatures in WC and I already have most of them running around in many of my houses.  But as you can see in the picture at top, these are much larger than the pets.  Like the pets, the guests run over to you as soon as you arrive in a room and then roam in a pattern in a fixed area.

You don’t need a crafting station to create a guest or a summon animus TC; once on the Monstrology page in your Spell Book, if you click on the button to make a TC or a guest and you have enough ingredients the button on the bottom lights up and you just click and make your item.

You can also make a one-shot kill card to use on the undead minions–I gather there aren’t any for bosses.  I’ve seen very little about this and for the creatures I’ve collected so far this option doesn’t seem to show up.  I’ll post again if I find out more as I keep exploring this.

With the Monstrodome you can create a dueling circle and supply it with opponents by using summon animus treasure cards you’ve made.  I found that in someone else’s blog but I think I read in yet another post that you make one or more guests to put in; it’s going to be a long time before I have a Monstrodome, so I haven’t tried it myself and can’t vouch for whether it’s a summon treasure card or a guest you put in.  I’m also unclear whether every time you or a friend battles and defeats whomever you’ve put in there if you then have to replace it if you want another battle???

Monstrodome Recipe

Monstrodome Recipe

The Monstrodome itself can be either purchased at the Crown Shop (2500 crowns) or crafted from a recipe you buy from Felicia (25,000 gold).  I have no intention of forking over the Crowns since I doubt I’ll do anything with this once I’ve tried it.  I was quite disheartened to see the ingredients required.

The picture doesn’t make it clear but you have to make 10 summon animus treasure cards each for Lady Blackhope, Lord Nightshade and Foulgaze.  Each treasure card requires 20 animi, which means you need 200 of each to make 10 cards.  For these bosses you get 1-3 (alternates confusingly…) each time you defeat one (using Extract) so you have to defeat each one somewhere between 67 and 200 times depending on how many times you get 1 or 2 or 3) to make enough of the cards.  Sometimes I wonder if Kingsisle has a Boring and Frustrating Department where they sit around trying to think up ways to make the game as tedious as possible…

Brass is also one of those reagents that doesn’t spawn and isn’t sold by a vendor.  It comes in packs and is dropped by a bunch of bosses as well as the Star Jewel plant (also requires buying packs).  Unsurprisingly, it has also become hard to get at the Bazaar since the recipe came out.  I managed to buy a few and then to put together every one I’ve gotten for every wizard on my first account to get enough for one recipe.

Since I garden a lot I have far more of the other reagents than needed so that part was easy.   But I was SO bored after fighting Lady Blackhope enough to make ONE treasure card, I logged out; I’m guessing it’s going to take weeks –at the least; or maybe that’s if I ever 🙂 — before I finish the 201-600 battles it will take to get all the animi required…

At a guess it’s going to be a long time before I have a high enough level to get the other types of Exract spells–and I’m seriously doubting I’ll want to — but this is another area in which I’ve not seen much info and I have yet to try to find the other vendors (on Avalon, Azteca and Polaris, I think) and see what I can suss out about the level required to purchase the other spells.

You don’t want to team up or join other people when you try to use Extract.  I Teamed Up and soon realized my mistake; in this case one of those snotty high level “farmers” cast a kill AOE before two of our teammates were in the circle (GRRR!!!!) and wiped everybody out before I cast anything which meant I hadn’t cast anything enchanted with Extract so I couldn’t collect.

I also haven’t seen what happens if you’re with others and you actually hit one or more opponents with Extract on a spell but someone else gets the kill shot after that (i.e. your extract-enhanced spell does damage but isn’t the kill shot).  Not sure whether you’d get any animi in that situation or not.  To be on the safe side I think you’re better off going it alone and making sure you’re the one who’s delivering every defeat.  I think there’s going to be a big problem looming about people screwing up your effort by jumping into your circle when you’re out “in the street” fighting a mob to collect animus …

I tried out whether you can use both Extract and a Sun spell (in other words double enchant your damage card) and you cannot.  So I can see an issue for me if I ever decide to try the higher level Extract spells:  with mostly Life and Death wizards and their relatively low damage spells I rely a LOT on enchanting with Sun spells to enhance damage in higher levels.  Don’t know that I’d care to go into a boss fight on Azteca trying to collect his animus but not be able to use Colossal…

Side note:  as mentioned in my last post this is the week for the Easter drops.  I spent a couple of hours (altogether) over the first three days without receiving a single holiday drop of any sort (I wanted a low level wand to stitch) so I’m done with that for this round…