This page contains general strategies and tips that can help you do well in Battle Without End.
The Character ClassesEdit
First and most importantly, you need to choose which of the three main "classes" you want to be in terms of attacking: Melee (Fighter), Ranged(Archer) or Magic(Mage). All of the equipment, skills and stats you will have to focus on improving depend profoundly on which class you are. You "become" a class organically simply by dedicating AP to the related skills and putting the relevant equipment on your character to match. This is based off of the attack skills/equipment available to each class, the defensive skills will be discussed separately. A comparison between them:
- Melee skills and equipment are relatively solid and dependable. The primary strong Melee attack skill, Smash, can calculate up to 500% off of your damage based off your weapon and Strength and costs no mana which gives it infinite endurance, and there's a good variety of one-handed and two-handed weapons plus daggers/shields to give you a lot of flexibility in damage output, balance, crit rate, crit multiplier and defense. The main weaknesses, however, are that physical attacks go directly against an enemy's defenses which means even a maxed, crit Smash could barely dent the health of a strong enemy like a boss unless you've been able to weaken them somehow, and without extra points being dedicated to boosting Int or well-chosen equipment with Cast Chance boosts the skills won't fire very often. This class really benefits from having a pet with Thunder that gradually debuffs the target's Protection. You need to focus on Strength for core damage, Dex for Balance and Will for crit chance. Later in the game, the Melee skill Life Drain becomes incredibly powerful and completely changes the pet dynamic and for the class. In terms of raw dps, Life Drain makes the melee focused characters by far the strongest once they have reached the last two or so stages.
- Ranged skills and equipment may not hit as hard per shot as Melee, but the Mirage Missle skill single-handedly makes this class quite dependable at least in the initial short term when you first start out. It calculates up to 200% off of your damage which is boosted by your weapon, Dex, Strength and enchantments and it adds a Damage over Time effect based off of your Will stat. DoT effects completely ignore all defenses and Protection, can infinitely stack and have infinite endurance until either the enemy dies or you do, and if put on a region Boss the DoTs persist across encounters with them, eventually building up the damage per round on them to extremely high levels. So, at the very beginning stages, a Ranged character with Mirage Missle is the best boss killer. The weakness, however, is that at later levels with roughly equal equipment and skill levels an Archer won't be able to keep up with the direct-shot damage of a Fighter, nor the DoT capabilities of a Mage. For direct damage, both skills calculate off of up to 200% of your weapon damage (300% lower than the melee Smash) and Corrosive Shot can gradually whittle away at an enemy's Protection, but even with empty protection an enemy with six figures worth of HP will take quite a while to kill with a 200% skill. The Mirage Missle DoT calculates off of Will at most by a factor of 0.7, and Will gets passively boosted by barely any skill so you'll be relying almost entirely on your equipment enchantments, most likely your Necklace and Ring. A Fireball-spewing Mage can outpace this DoT very easily. So eventually the Ranged class gets out-damaged rather significantly. You should focus on Dex primarily for both weapon damage and Balance, plus Will for crit chance.
- Magic skills and equipment can be a bit of a tricky one. The Magic attack spells do not calculate their damage off of your base weapon damage at all; they are fully independant numbers, and even though they ignore the Defense of an enemy (but not the Protection) at max level with a decent damage boost from your Int the shot-for-shot damage can be outpaced by both Melee and Ranged skills if a good weapon is used. The magic spells also are quite costly in MP over time to use compared to the skills of the other classes. However, a Magic class can stun, ignore Protection or apply a DoT on a target and the Fireball DoT is far and away the strongest DoT effect available anywhere, either by you or any pet. It is calculated off of Int by up to a factor of 1 (0.3 higher than Mirage Missle on Will) and Int is boosted quite strongly by a number of different skills, as well as any enchantments from equipment, so your Int value can get extremely high and correspondingly the DoT effects Fireball stacks on a target can get very strong very fast. The high Int score also allows a Magic class's skills to fire very frequently including the Defensive ones. If a Magic class has the defenses needed to make a fight last a while they can slowly but surely fry enemies significantly stronger than them, and are the ultimate boss killers. They are also the only really viable class to use the Mana Shield defensive skill, which at high levels is extremely powerful and can be a toe-to-toe match for Defence. Since a Mage relies very little on the damage output of their weapon (if a Spell fires they don't do a standard attack) they should focus more on defense and endurance. To get the best combination of an MP boost plus defense the Scepter and Tome equipment is the best option, which carries the added benefit of if you are actively following a long fight and run out of MP you can switch to Smash to keep going. Int is a critical stat to focus on (if that wasn't obvious by now) as well as Will for crit chance, and you may want to get a couple of enchantments that boost MP.
There are three main defensive skills: Defence, Counterattack and Mana Shield. Remember that if you have multiple defensive skills activated only one will fire in any single round and they all have a reduced chance of firing, so it is best to pick one that suits you and only train/activate that one. Tactical analysis of each:
- Counterattack puts a strike back on the enemy after they hit you on an attack, with the damage based off of a combination of both your damage and the enemy's. It can hit quite hard if both your damage and the enemy's are strong. The weakness, however, is that this defensive skill has absolutely no effect on your ability to absorb damage from an enemy attack, and the enemy's damage hits you first before this fires. If that's a strong hit that kills you, you're done. You need exceptionally strong defensive equipment on you to be able to endure a strong enemy's attacks enough to be able to use this regularly. Also, Counterattack is melee-only so Archers can't use it.
- Defence is an excellent staple defensive skill (it's the namesake of the defensive skill category, so it should be good). When an attack hits, if this fires on that hit your Defense and Protection are significantly enhanced (Protection gets more than doubled at max level) before the actual damage number to your health is calculated, and unlike Mana Shield it costs nothing to use. It is an excellent choice for all three classes. Remember, however, that increasing Protection has diminishing returns; once you have enough Protection to drop attack damage by 80% it takes quite a bit of additional protection to move that by even 1%.
- Mana Shield is only viable on a character with both a lot of MP and Int, which makes it only really viable on a Mage. It also costs mana to use, so when a Mage's MP runs dry this skill loses all of its effectiveness. However, while a Mage's MP is high, at max level this is the most powerful defensive skill. After the main Defense and Protection factors have reduced the damage of an enemy's hit on you, some enemies (like bosses) can still hit you for several thousand points of damage which will likely kill you in one shot, and the boost you get from Defence wouldn't be enough to save you. If Mana Shield fires it adds a second reduction factor on that by up to 95%, absorbing thousands of points of damage at a cost of up to only 15 mana. This can make well-seasoned Mages the most endurant class with equal equipment compared to the other classes, which is precisely what they want to be in order to pound more Fireballs into a target.
Pets and their abilities are generated completely randomly, so it really will be the luck of the draw on what you get. However, the following guidelines should help you in picking which of the ones you've collected over time are good for use. Remember, Pets are only dropped by Bosses and their quality depends on your Luck score plus the region you got them from. LATE GAME NOTE: It is important to note that pet stat randomization becomes incredibly unpredictable in the later stages of the game, and that defense pets ("defense" will be seen under the pet's name) are the only pets worth keeping and training (in the later stages of the game).
- Even without the Taunt skill, enemies will periodically attack your pet instead of you. Any pet without Defensive or preferably Advanced Defensive simply won't live long enough to do anything regardless of how powerful their attack abilities are. Ideally you should have Advanced Defensive and Advanced Strong to get a pet with a large pool of HP. Advanced Strong and Advanced Dodge by themselves aren't enough; the 80% of the time Advanced Dodge doesn't work, even a high level pet with Advanced Strong will get killed in one shot by most high level enemies before Life Drain could help it. The exception to this rule is explained by the late game note, in so much that a strong level 100 defense pet like a Holy Unicorn with Advanced Defensive (750 extra points of defense) could still have lower defense than a different level 100 Holy Unicorn simply due to luck.
- Ideally you want a pet that can both last a long time in a fight and actually have an effect on the enemy, or on you. A strong defensive pet will only help you so much, so you need one that has either strong attacks or a highly useful tactical Skill. (LATE GAME NOTE: in the late game, all pet attacks are meaningless. Status effects and healing/buffing abilities are your only concern beyond defense.) If you go for standard attacks, you need Aggressive/Advanced Aggressive for its normal attacks to be able to make even a dent in the stronger enemies; without it Double Hit and Slayer will be calculating off of a hit that did practically zero damage and themselves won't do anything, you would ideally get one of these on top of Advanced Aggressive. If you instead aim for skills, the DoT from Fireball/Advanced Fireball will be useful against the lower level enemies, but once you start going against bosses with HP in the six-figure range even Advanced Fireball simply isn't enough. Your best options are one of Advanced Ice Spear for the stunning effect or Advanced Thunder for the protection reduction. If your main character is a Mage using Fireball and Mana Shield, you may be better off skipping an attack skill on your pet and going for Advanced Meditation; having your pet constantly fueling your skills will have much more of a beneficial effect than any direct attack skill the Pet can own.
- Your main character will ultimately be the one doing the most damage over time to an enemy. If you die in a fight, the fight ends, but if your pet dies you can keep going. Ultimately you want to keep your main character alive as much as possible, so Advanced Heal (or Advanced Meditation to fund Mana shield or Life Drain) is your best option for this.
With the above information you may be wondering what a "perfect" Pet would be. This depends on your point of view and your Class, but below will be a suggestion of "perfect" pets given the following facts:
- No matter what, your main character will always significantly out-damage your pet except at the very beginning of a rebirth, so the focus should be more on supporting your main character's abilities as much as possible
- You will eventually be going against enemies significantly stronger than the both of you
- If a pet dies quickly in a fight it's no help at all to you
- Ideally you want a pet from a high level area since its base stats and base growth will be better than that of lower level areas, but it's also understood that it is far easier to cycle through weaker bosses in low level areas to get a pet with the skills you want. The right skill set on a pet from even the weakest area can be all you need
With the above facts in mind, the "perfect" four skills for a pet (beginning to mid game) are the following:
1 AND 2: Advanced Defensive and Advanced Strong, on a pet that gets decent Protection growth as it levels (which is usually not a Magic type. Balance or Defense are best). The pet will simply die far too quickly to be of any use otherwise. THERE IS ONLY ONE EXCEPTION TO THIS RULE: A Defensive pet from a very high level area, ideally the Holy Unicorn from ???, is the only pet type with enough natural HP, Defense and Protection growth to be able to handle the ??? area enemies for a reasonable amount of time once it is at level 100 without Advanced Defensive and Advanced Strong. Getting one with a good skillset is, suffice to say, quite difficult.
3: Advanced Heal. The only real way for your pet to keep both of you alive as long as possible. Neither one of you can survive as the primary target of a strong enemy for long (i.e. don't use Taunt or your pet will get crushed too quickly and then you), so sharing the load and having both of you heal is your best option.
4: Depends on your class.
4 for Fighters: Advanced Thunder. You need to break down the defenses of an enemy for Smash to work best
4 for Mages: Advanced Meditation. The longer you can fuel your spells the deadlier you are
4 for Archers: Advanced anything that can notably boost your collective damage output. Either Thunder to break down the defenses and let your attacks hit harder (so stick with Mirage Arrow instead of Corrosive Shot), Aggressiveness to make the pet's attacks actually do something or Fireball to add an additional DoT on top of your Mirage Missle.
As mentioned in the late game note above, these dynamics change completely.
For a fighter, the pet MUST have Meditation or Advanced Meditation, and beyond that defensive power is the 2nd priority. Thunder should not be necessary as you should have at least one of your trinkets (ring / amulet) boosting your prot. ignore by at least 100 points.
Finally, since you're going more for pet endurance than damage ability you should try to get these skills on a Defense type. The base stats of Defense pets in HP, Defense and particularly Protection are far better than the Attack or Magic pets of comparable quality/level and therefore these pets live much longer.
Additional Tips and TricksEdit
- Pick one class and stick with it. Melee skills won't fire if you're wearing a Ranged weapon and vice versa, Magic skills cost far too much MP for the other two classes to handle, and equipping items with a wide spread of enchantments beneficial to multiple classes will keep you as rather sub-par no matter which class you choose. If you want to use a class, really dedicate your skill training and equipment choices to focus on strengthening that class.
- No matter how many of them you have turned on and how high your Cast Chance is, only one active Attack skill and one active Defense skill can ever fire in any single combat round, though you CAN have one of each fire in one round. Activating several skills of the same type reduces the firing chance of all of them as well. You're best off picking one of each, training them well and sticking with them so that you have very good skills firing very often.
- For rapid skill growth through large AP gain you want to Rebirth at level 20 as often as possible. Once you're moderately strong, when you Rebirth you'll go through the first character levels very fast gaining one AP for each level, far faster than the level gain at the upper levels (past 30), and also once your character gets rather old (past 30) they gain no base stats per level/age increase other than tiny amounts of MP and HP, and they only gain AP through level gains which would be quite slow at that age. This also makes it a good idea to start any rebirth at the highest age of 17, so that you can get to the rebirth age of 20 as quickly as possible to cycle through that rapid AP gain session as frequently as possible.
- Your high level skills won't do much if you don't have good equipment to base them off of. The zone you are in and your Luck are the primary factors affecting what kind of equipment and pet you get, and given that the Dwarf has the best luck gain over time it is the best race to choose while you are first growing. You may need to occasionally do a "long run" into a higher age than 20 in an area higher than you would normally train in, in order to have a chance at getting decent equipment upgrades as well as get your pet to a good level since it can't move more than 5 levels past your own, so that its per-level calculated skills get rather decent.
- If you do treat BwE as an idle game, i.e. doing other stuff while it goes in the background, there isn't much point in letting your inventory fill up with crap you don't want. In the Options menu you can select both the item types and quality levels your character will keep when they pick up, with everything accepted by initial default, and anything you turn off will be instantly sold for gold if you pick one of them up. That way you can let the game go for a while and come back to a backpack filled with equipment you may actually be able to use that could be better than what you have. Your character accepts nothing new if your backpack is full.
- Don't forget Blacksmithing. At the beginning and middle stages you're best off waiting on blacksmithing until you've trained it enough to guarantee the item staying up to a certain level (safe up to +1 at D, up to +3 at 9, up to +5 at 5 and up to +7 at max) and then only training up to the safe level; nothing is worse than getting an awesome item significantly better than what you currently have and then shattering it on a failed blacksmithing attempt. Also, Blacksmithing on armor, in the grand scheme of things, won't really do much since the benefits of blacksmithing those items is not affected by the base stats of the item or any Enchantments on it; it simly gives a couple of additional somewhat light enchantments on the item dependant on the item type and Quality. Blacksmithing on Weapons/offhand items, Rings and Necklaces, however, is a far different story; for the rings and necklaces it directly boosts the strength of any base Enchantments on the item, with a +5 blacksmithing boost more than doubling them. Depending on the enchantments you are able to find on one of these it can potentially have a greater effect on your character's overall power than anything else on you. For the Weapons/offhand items, if you are able to get them up to the ultra-high blacksmithing levels (11+), which is very hard to do, those extra enchantments on them can get profoundly powerful. See the Blacksmithing page for some techniques on getting items up to these levels.