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(Work in progress, deep-dive descriptions of stats and Hero Kits. (More to come))
 
(I updated the jungling section to mention the new items, mobs, and glyphs. The quest section now mentions Adventurer's Bounty in passing as well.)
 
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For players who wish to take full advantage of the more esoteric ''Sins of a Dark Age ''mechanics, a discussion of advanced strategies appears below.
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Advanced strategies for ''Sins of a Dark Age'' are described in detail below.
==How to Play - Advanced==
 
<p class="MsoNormal">'''<u><span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Helvetica","sans-serif"">Stats
 
</span></u>'''</p>
 
   
<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">
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==Item Builds==
   
</span></p>
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You’ve decided that the Recommended Items for your Hero are bunk and that you can do much better. But how? Well, most abilities in the game “scale” both as ranks in the ability are earned and as stats are improved by purchasing items. The amount that an ability improves per stat point purchased is called the '''ability ratio'''.
   
<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">While abilities and roles go a long way towards explaining what a Hero is and how he or she should function in the game, they don’t always tell the whole story. Heroes are also unique collection of '''stats'''.
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High ability ratios mean that points purchased in the stat have a huge effect on the ability’s power. Slag’s “The Big One,” for example, gains one point of Magic Damage per point of Special Power, a ratio of 1:1. On the other hand, Torrace’s “Bombardment” ability gains only 0.3 Magic Damage per point of Special power, a ratio of 0.3:1. It is much more efficient to purchase Special Power for Slag.
</span></p>
 
   
<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">
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By tinkering around with different builds you may be able to discover for yourself which items are best purchased for a hero. If the ability ratios are low, perhaps it's a sign that you should focus on items with utility (unique Actives or Passives) rather than pure stats, or to emphasize a different stat altogether. There is no one way to correctly build a Hero as long as you understand how the items you buy affect your abilities. Above all else you should always be flexible, building items that account for your opponents as well as yourself.
   
</span></p>
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==Advanced Jungling==
   
<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">There are sixteen stats in ''Sins of a Dark Age'' and each Hero has a unique '''base value''' for the stat, as well as an '''increment''' the stat will increase upon each level. Note that certain stats like Movement Speed, Spell Vamp, and Life Steal do not increase when a level is gained, and can only be improved through the '''metagame''' (explained below) or items.
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Jungling isn’t just about earning experience points and gold. There are also key objectives within the jungle that you can acquire for your team. Each half of the map boasts a few epic monsters, the '''Troll''' (guarded by Frillspitters) and the '''Wisp Queen''' (protected by Wisps). In the river near the bottom lane between the two teams there is also a '''Hydra'''. Killing these units grants powerful '''buffs''' and in the case of the Hydra a team-wide bounty of gold. As Jungler you should focus not only on earning gold/experience and setting up '''ganks''', but also distributing these buffs to the teammates who would benefit most.
</span></p>
 
   
<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">
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*The Troll’s buff, '''Troll’s Might''', is best acquired by a Tank or Carry as its heal scales with maximum Health and its slow helps ranged Heroes chase fleeing enemies.
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*The Wisp Queen’s buff, '''Wisp Queen’s Blessing''', is best acquired by a Mage or another character reliant on abilities and mana.
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*The Hydra’s buff, '''Hydra’s Swiftness''', is best acquired by a Jungler or Carry as the Attack Speed boost helps with camp clear times, and the Movement Speed buff with chasing enemies.
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*Try to ping (Alt + left click) epic monsters when you’re willing to give the buff to other players, or communicate with them in chat. You may even want to switch places with them, covering their lane while they head into the jungle to get the buff.
   
</span></p>
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Beyond the buffs, it is also important to '''counter-jungle''' the enemy whenever possible. You can slow the enemy Jungler’s leveling and item progression by sneaking into his half of the jungle and killing its monsters yourself. Due to '''fog of war''', he won’t be able to tell that the camp is empty until he is beside it, wasting valuable time. This is especially devastating if you can manage to kill an epic monster, as it will take at least 5 minutes for the monster to respawn.
   
<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">The six most important stats to know are:
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Note that certain glyphs, items, and hero gear can provide even more utility in the jungle. [[Hunter's Spear]] and its upgrades ([[Nerroth's Fangs]], [[Nerroth's Hide|Hide]], and [[Nerroth's Eye|Eye]]) provide Life Steal and additional damage, helping unconventional Junglers like Torrace or Slag excel. Glyphs like [[Slaughter]] and [[Offering]] provide additional options as well. Offering in particular can open up a broad variety of strategies in the jungle, as each camp (not just Trolls and Wisp Queens) can be farmed for a unique buff, helping players to clear camps or gank more efficiently.
</span></p>
 
   
<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">
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==Quests==
   
</span></p>
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Quests are unique to ''Sins of a Dark Age'', and are thus one of the most interesting systems to master. In addition to the discussion of quest rewards, resolution, and other broad details found in the [[Intermediate#How_to_Play_-_Intermediate|How to Play – Intermediate]] entry, it may also prove fruitful to examine when to tackle quests and when to push towers instead.
   
<p class="MsoNormal">'''<span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Helvetica","sans-serif"">Attack Power</span>'''<span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">: Determines the damage dealt by basic attacks and abilities that deal Physical Damage
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While many of the '''quest items''' granted by quests are powerful rewards (not to mention [[Adventurer's Bounty]]), teams that get tunnel vision trying to earn them can leave other objectives open across the map. If your team lacks the cohesion or strength to oppose the enemy (perhaps a teammate is dead, or perhaps someone refuses to communicate and might as well be), it may be better to push a tower. At the end of the day, you can only win by destroying the enemies’ Keep. While quests can help you accomplish that goal, destroying towers and pushing minion waves can do so in equal measure.
</span></p>
 
   
<p class="MsoNormal">'''<span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Helvetica","sans-serif"">Special Power</span>'''<span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">: Determines the damage dealt by abilities that deal Magic Damage
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When deciding whether or not to tackle a quest, weigh the quest’s rewards and your team’s abilities and cohesion to make the best decision possible. More details on all of the game’s quests can be found [[Quests|here]].
</span></p>
 
   
<p class="MsoNormal">'''<span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Helvetica","sans-serif"">Attack Speed</span>'''<span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">: Determines the speed of basic attacks
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==Team Fights==
</span></p>
 
   
<p class="MsoNormal">'''<span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Helvetica","sans-serif"">Movement Speed</span>'''<span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">: Determines the speed by which a character moves through the world
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At a certain stage of the game, usually when fewer towers are standing to provide islands of protection, it becomes increasingly dangerous to farm or to stay in a lane '''last-hitting''' minions. Teams start to naturally cluster together and either gank enemies who aren’t smart enough to group up, or to threaten quests and objectives.
</span></p>
 
   
<p class="MsoNormal">'''<span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Helvetica","sans-serif"">Armor</span>'''<span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Helvetica","sans-serif"">: Reduces the Physical Damage taken from basic attacks or abilities
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Try to get a feel for when to stop farming and to gather with your allies. Once your team is together, try not to wander out of position. Wait until the enemy is vulnerable and then '''initiate'''. Due to their abilities, certain heroes are better at initiating then others. Rachna can dive into the enemy lines using “Terror from Below.” Xeros can use “Slayer’s Mark” to appear beside an enemy and hit them with a sudden deluge of magic. Once you’ve initiated prioritize who your team wants to kill (you can ping them with Alt + left click), and try not to split up. If you are a Jungler, Tank, or Bruiser you may also want to consider '''peeling''' for the main damage dealers, using your '''crowd control''' abilities to stop anyone who tries to attack them.
</span></p>
 
   
<p class="MsoNormal">'''<span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Helvetica","sans-serif"">Magic Resistance</span>'''<span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">: Reduces the Magic Damage taken from abilities
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Winning a team fight in the late-game is key to winning objectives, quests, and the match as a whole—as respawn timers lengthen, you’ll be left with huge chunks of time to work unopposed.
</span></p>
 
   
<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">
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==Timers==
   
</span></p>
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Another thing that advanced players do to gain a leg up on the competition is to keep a series of timers going in their heads. There’s a reason ''Sins of a Dark Age'' has a game clock that is always visible to players. Quests, epic monster spawns, even minion waves all happen on an explicit schedule. Monitoring this schedule will allow you to establish a strategic presence on the map, rotating to objectives before lesser teams or players even know what’s happened. A few sample timers include:
   
<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">These stats can be seen when mousing over the icons next to the character portrait at the lower left corner of the screen. The rest of the stats can be observed by bringing up the Character Overview screen (pressing C by default).
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*The Hydra spawns at 3 minutes, then respawns 6 minutes after death.
</span></p>
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*The Troll and Wisp Queen spawn at 1.5 minutes, and respawn 5 minutes after death.
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*The first Quest begins at 6 minutes.
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*Minions spawn every 30 seconds.
   
<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">
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==Zoning==
   
</span></p>
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Gaining a lane advantage doesn’t always come down to getting Hero kills, last hits, or completing quests. Sometimes it’s about '''zoning '''instead, ensuring that enemy Heroes don’t get ''theirs''.
   
<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">Some stats have '''hard caps'''. Attack Speed, for example, cannot exceed 2.50 units. Other stats have '''soft caps''', and provide diminishing returns once a certain threshold is passed. An example here is Movement Speed, which has a soft cap of 3.72 units.
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To zone the enemy you have to make them afraid to come forward. You can do this by winning an early one-on-one engagement, basic attacking melee heroes from range, or hiding in the Brush, making the enemy always paranoid about a gank. Enemies who are kept out of range of minions will not earn experience or be able to last hit. Extremely skilled zoners even know how to move enemy Heroes across the lane towards their allies, setting up team fights or ambushes.
</span></p>
 
   
<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">
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==Map Presence==
   
</span></p>
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As a team you will want to be unpredictable, appearing then disappearing across the entire map. The best way to accomplish this is to invest in '''Portal Scrolls''' as well as the '''Portal glyph''', and to keep your eyes peeled for a good opportunity to enter the fray. In fact, at least half of good map presence is good map awareness; you can’t teleport to a fight and turn the tide if you don’t know that it’s happening in the first place! Keep watch over the minimap and buy [[Wards|wards]]. Establish a pattern of disappearing into the Brush, so your enemies won’t know when you have truly left to gank. If you really want to be sneaky, place a '''ward''' within the Brush so an ally can teleport to it using the Portal glyph—when doing so, a Hero can travel from top to the bottom lane in a matter of seconds!
   
<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">A handful of stats may directly oppose one another, and in doing so become vastly more complicated. As an example: Armor and Armor Penetration are compared when determining the damage a Hero ignores from basic attacks or abilities dealing Physical Damage. But there are two ways that players may can to increase their Armor Penetration: with '''flat''' Armor Penetration, i.e. a cardinal number of Armor ignored, or '''scalar''' Armor Penetration, i.e. a percentage of armor ignored.
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==Hero Kits==
</span></p>
 
   
<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">
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So you’ve mastered all in-game mechanics. You can quickcast faster than Lassidar, aim a skill shot better than Torrace, and smash your enemies’ faces in better than Grugg. Where do you go from here?
   
</span></p>
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Well, one way to keep improving is to explore what are called '''Hero Kits'''. Hero Kits are a suite of metagame stats that you can improve as your account gains experience and levels after each match, similar to the way Heroes gain levels within the matches themselves. Each level gained provides you with one point to spend on:
   
<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">In cases where both flat and scalar versions of a stat exist, the flat number is subtracted from the target number before the scalar. So, an Armor Penetration of 10 flat and 15 scalar would reduce target 100 armor by 10 then by 15% of the new total, or 100 – 10 = 90, 90 – (90 * 0.15) = 76.5
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*'''Attack Power''': Increases the Physical Damage dealt by basic attacks and abilities
</span></p>
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*'''Flat Armor Penetration''': Increases the Armor you ignore when determining Physical Damage
  +
*'''Attack Speed''': Increases the speed of basic attacks
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*'''Special Power''': Increases the Magic Damage dealt by abilities
  +
*'''Flat Magic Penetration''': Increases the Magic Resistance you ignore when determining Magic Damage
  +
*'''Cooldown Reduction:''' Reduces a percentage of time from your ability cooldowns
  +
*'''Max Health''': Increases the amount of Health you have when at full capacity
  +
*'''Armor''': Increases the Physical Damage you ignore from enemy basic attacks and abilities
  +
*'''Magic Resistance''': Increases the Magic Damage you ignore from enemy abilities
   
<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">
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These points will improve your Heroes independent of their own stats, and can provide you with an edge when properly combined with items, abilities, and glyphs.
   
</span></p>
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Players can also equip '''Hero Gear''' to their kits, weapons and armor created using ''Sins of a Dark Age''’s [[Loot & Crafting|crafting system]]. There are four Hero Gear slots open at all times, but you may only equip Hero Gear items that do not exceed your current '''Gear Point''' value. Gear Points are earned every three levels. These weapons and armor complement the items purchased during a game, and often feature a unique passive effect, providing players with subtle utility.
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[[Category:How to Play]]
<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">Some stats like Life Steal do not oppose other stats, but still have both flat and scalar versions to give players more control over how the stat functions—in this case, a guaranteed amount of Health gained per basic attack, vs. an amount of Health that keys off of the total damage dealt by the basic attack, which can vary wildly based on whether the attack critically strikes, the armor of the target, etc.
 
</span></p>
 
 
<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">
 
 
</span></p>
 
 
<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">Being aware of your stats can better help you understand the subtle strengths and weaknesses of your Hero, and build towards either emphasizing what they do well or eliminating their flaws.
 
</span></p>
 
 
<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">
 
 
</span></p>
 
 
<p class="MsoNormal">'''<u><span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Helvetica","sans-serif"">Metagame</span></u>'''<span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Helvetica","sans-serif"">
 
</span></p>
 
 
<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">
 
 
</span></p>
 
 
<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">One way to do the above is to use the '''metagame''' system provided by '''Hero Kits'''. Hero Kits are a suite of stats that you can improve as your user account gains experience and levels after each match, similar to the way Heroes gain levels within the matches themselves. Each level gained provides you with one point to spend on:
 
</span></p>
 
 
<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">
 
 
</span></p>
 
 
<p class="MsoNormal">'''<span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Helvetica","sans-serif"">Attack Power</span>'''<span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">: See above
 
</span></p>
 
 
<p class="MsoNormal">'''<span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Helvetica","sans-serif"">Flat Armor Penetration</span>'''<span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%; font-family:"Helvetica","sans-serif"">: The amount of Armor you ignore when determining the damage of your basic attacks and abilities that deal Physical Damage
 
</span></p>
 
 
<p class="MsoNormal">'''<span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Helvetica","sans-serif"">Attack Speed</span>'''<span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">: See above
 
</span></p>
 
 
<p class="MsoNormal">'''<span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Helvetica","sans-serif"">Special Power:</span>'''<span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif""> See above
 
</span></p>
 
 
<p class="MsoNormal">'''<span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Helvetica","sans-serif"">Flat Magic Penetration:</span>'''<span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%; font-family:"Helvetica","sans-serif""> The amount of Magic Resistance you ignore when determining the damage of your abilities that deal Magic Damage
 
</span></p>
 
 
<p class="MsoNormal">'''<span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Helvetica","sans-serif"">Cooldown Reduction</span>'''<span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">: The percentage of time reduced from your ability cooldowns
 
</span></p>
 
 
<p class="MsoNormal">'''<span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Helvetica","sans-serif"">Max Health</span>'''<span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">: The amount of Health you have when at full capacity
 
</span></p>
 
 
<p class="MsoNormal">'''<span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Helvetica","sans-serif"">Armor</span>'''<span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Helvetica","sans-serif"">: See above
 
</span></p>
 
 
<p class="MsoNormal">'''<span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Helvetica","sans-serif"">Magic Resistance</span>'''<span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">: See above
 
</span></p>
 
 
<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">
 
 
</span></p>
 
 
<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">These points will improve your Heroes independent of their own stats, and can provide you with an edge when properly combined with items, abilities, and glyphs.
 
</span></p>
 
 
<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">
 
 
</span></p>
 
 
 
 
<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10.5pt;line-height:115%;font-family: "Helvetica","sans-serif"">Players can also equip '''Hero Gear''', or weapons and armor created using ''Sins of a Dark Age''’s '''crafting system'''. There are four Hero Gear slots open at all times, but you may only equip Hero Gear items that do not exceed your current '''Gear Point''' value. Gear Points are earned every three levels. These weapons and armor complement the items purchased during a game, and often feature a unique passive effect, providing players with subtle utility.
 
</span></p>
 

Latest revision as of 23:28, December 9, 2014

Advanced strategies for Sins of a Dark Age are described in detail below.

Item BuildsEdit

You’ve decided that the Recommended Items for your Hero are bunk and that you can do much better. But how? Well, most abilities in the game “scale” both as ranks in the ability are earned and as stats are improved by purchasing items. The amount that an ability improves per stat point purchased is called the ability ratio.

High ability ratios mean that points purchased in the stat have a huge effect on the ability’s power. Slag’s “The Big One,” for example, gains one point of Magic Damage per point of Special Power, a ratio of 1:1. On the other hand, Torrace’s “Bombardment” ability gains only 0.3 Magic Damage per point of Special power, a ratio of 0.3:1. It is much more efficient to purchase Special Power for Slag.

By tinkering around with different builds you may be able to discover for yourself which items are best purchased for a hero. If the ability ratios are low, perhaps it's a sign that you should focus on items with utility (unique Actives or Passives) rather than pure stats, or to emphasize a different stat altogether. There is no one way to correctly build a Hero as long as you understand how the items you buy affect your abilities. Above all else you should always be flexible, building items that account for your opponents as well as yourself.

Advanced JunglingEdit

Jungling isn’t just about earning experience points and gold. There are also key objectives within the jungle that you can acquire for your team. Each half of the map boasts a few epic monsters, the Troll (guarded by Frillspitters) and the Wisp Queen (protected by Wisps). In the river near the bottom lane between the two teams there is also a Hydra. Killing these units grants powerful buffs and in the case of the Hydra a team-wide bounty of gold. As Jungler you should focus not only on earning gold/experience and setting up ganks, but also distributing these buffs to the teammates who would benefit most.

  • The Troll’s buff, Troll’s Might, is best acquired by a Tank or Carry as its heal scales with maximum Health and its slow helps ranged Heroes chase fleeing enemies.
  • The Wisp Queen’s buff, Wisp Queen’s Blessing, is best acquired by a Mage or another character reliant on abilities and mana.
  • The Hydra’s buff, Hydra’s Swiftness, is best acquired by a Jungler or Carry as the Attack Speed boost helps with camp clear times, and the Movement Speed buff with chasing enemies.
  • Try to ping (Alt + left click) epic monsters when you’re willing to give the buff to other players, or communicate with them in chat. You may even want to switch places with them, covering their lane while they head into the jungle to get the buff.

Beyond the buffs, it is also important to counter-jungle the enemy whenever possible. You can slow the enemy Jungler’s leveling and item progression by sneaking into his half of the jungle and killing its monsters yourself. Due to fog of war, he won’t be able to tell that the camp is empty until he is beside it, wasting valuable time. This is especially devastating if you can manage to kill an epic monster, as it will take at least 5 minutes for the monster to respawn.

Note that certain glyphs, items, and hero gear can provide even more utility in the jungle. Hunter's Spear and its upgrades (Nerroth's Fangs, Hide, and Eye) provide Life Steal and additional damage, helping unconventional Junglers like Torrace or Slag excel. Glyphs like Slaughter and Offering provide additional options as well. Offering in particular can open up a broad variety of strategies in the jungle, as each camp (not just Trolls and Wisp Queens) can be farmed for a unique buff, helping players to clear camps or gank more efficiently.

QuestsEdit

Quests are unique to Sins of a Dark Age, and are thus one of the most interesting systems to master. In addition to the discussion of quest rewards, resolution, and other broad details found in the How to Play – Intermediate entry, it may also prove fruitful to examine when to tackle quests and when to push towers instead.

While many of the quest items granted by quests are powerful rewards (not to mention Adventurer's Bounty), teams that get tunnel vision trying to earn them can leave other objectives open across the map. If your team lacks the cohesion or strength to oppose the enemy (perhaps a teammate is dead, or perhaps someone refuses to communicate and might as well be), it may be better to push a tower. At the end of the day, you can only win by destroying the enemies’ Keep. While quests can help you accomplish that goal, destroying towers and pushing minion waves can do so in equal measure.

When deciding whether or not to tackle a quest, weigh the quest’s rewards and your team’s abilities and cohesion to make the best decision possible. More details on all of the game’s quests can be found here.

Team FightsEdit

At a certain stage of the game, usually when fewer towers are standing to provide islands of protection, it becomes increasingly dangerous to farm or to stay in a lane last-hitting minions. Teams start to naturally cluster together and either gank enemies who aren’t smart enough to group up, or to threaten quests and objectives.

Try to get a feel for when to stop farming and to gather with your allies. Once your team is together, try not to wander out of position. Wait until the enemy is vulnerable and then initiate. Due to their abilities, certain heroes are better at initiating then others. Rachna can dive into the enemy lines using “Terror from Below.” Xeros can use “Slayer’s Mark” to appear beside an enemy and hit them with a sudden deluge of magic. Once you’ve initiated prioritize who your team wants to kill (you can ping them with Alt + left click), and try not to split up. If you are a Jungler, Tank, or Bruiser you may also want to consider peeling for the main damage dealers, using your crowd control abilities to stop anyone who tries to attack them.

Winning a team fight in the late-game is key to winning objectives, quests, and the match as a whole—as respawn timers lengthen, you’ll be left with huge chunks of time to work unopposed.

TimersEdit

Another thing that advanced players do to gain a leg up on the competition is to keep a series of timers going in their heads. There’s a reason Sins of a Dark Age has a game clock that is always visible to players. Quests, epic monster spawns, even minion waves all happen on an explicit schedule. Monitoring this schedule will allow you to establish a strategic presence on the map, rotating to objectives before lesser teams or players even know what’s happened. A few sample timers include:

  • The Hydra spawns at 3 minutes, then respawns 6 minutes after death.
  • The Troll and Wisp Queen spawn at 1.5 minutes, and respawn 5 minutes after death.
  • The first Quest begins at 6 minutes.
  • Minions spawn every 30 seconds.

ZoningEdit

Gaining a lane advantage doesn’t always come down to getting Hero kills, last hits, or completing quests. Sometimes it’s about zoning instead, ensuring that enemy Heroes don’t get theirs.

To zone the enemy you have to make them afraid to come forward. You can do this by winning an early one-on-one engagement, basic attacking melee heroes from range, or hiding in the Brush, making the enemy always paranoid about a gank. Enemies who are kept out of range of minions will not earn experience or be able to last hit. Extremely skilled zoners even know how to move enemy Heroes across the lane towards their allies, setting up team fights or ambushes.

Map PresenceEdit

As a team you will want to be unpredictable, appearing then disappearing across the entire map. The best way to accomplish this is to invest in Portal Scrolls as well as the Portal glyph, and to keep your eyes peeled for a good opportunity to enter the fray. In fact, at least half of good map presence is good map awareness; you can’t teleport to a fight and turn the tide if you don’t know that it’s happening in the first place! Keep watch over the minimap and buy wards. Establish a pattern of disappearing into the Brush, so your enemies won’t know when you have truly left to gank. If you really want to be sneaky, place a ward within the Brush so an ally can teleport to it using the Portal glyph—when doing so, a Hero can travel from top to the bottom lane in a matter of seconds!

Hero KitsEdit

So you’ve mastered all in-game mechanics. You can quickcast faster than Lassidar, aim a skill shot better than Torrace, and smash your enemies’ faces in better than Grugg. Where do you go from here?

Well, one way to keep improving is to explore what are called Hero Kits. Hero Kits are a suite of metagame stats that you can improve as your account gains experience and levels after each match, similar to the way Heroes gain levels within the matches themselves. Each level gained provides you with one point to spend on:

  • Attack Power: Increases the Physical Damage dealt by basic attacks and abilities
  • Flat Armor Penetration: Increases the Armor you ignore when determining Physical Damage
  • Attack Speed: Increases the speed of basic attacks
  • Special Power: Increases the Magic Damage dealt by abilities
  • Flat Magic Penetration: Increases the Magic Resistance you ignore when determining Magic Damage
  • Cooldown Reduction: Reduces a percentage of time from your ability cooldowns
  • Max Health: Increases the amount of Health you have when at full capacity
  • Armor: Increases the Physical Damage you ignore from enemy basic attacks and abilities
  • Magic Resistance: Increases the Magic Damage you ignore from enemy abilities

These points will improve your Heroes independent of their own stats, and can provide you with an edge when properly combined with items, abilities, and glyphs.

Players can also equip Hero Gear to their kits, weapons and armor created using Sins of a Dark Age’s crafting system. There are four Hero Gear slots open at all times, but you may only equip Hero Gear items that do not exceed your current Gear Point value. Gear Points are earned every three levels. These weapons and armor complement the items purchased during a game, and often feature a unique passive effect, providing players with subtle utility.

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