8. Odds and Ends
Q: Where do I get Scrap Metal?
A: Since Scrap Metal is important in crafting the Acronym Trap, the Ship and the Molten Shrapnel Base (if you happen to go for that), here’s your (main) sources for it:
– Using the Digby Drillbot on Steel Mice. Steel Mice are abundant enough in the Laboratory. The problem is: the drop rate sucks! It stands at 0.03 per hunt. In other words: About 4% of all Steel Mice caught with a Drillbot dropped 1 piece of Scrap Metal. Do yourself a favor and disregard this “option”.
– Hydra Mice. Hydras can be caught in the Lagoon and on the Ship. From time to time they drop Scrap Metal, but first of all, their attraction rate isn’t that high that you could get it quickly enough, second of all, the drop rate is random and often enough they don’t drop any Scrap Metal at all, and third of all, they are tough! Especially when you’re still trying to craft your Acronym and work with an Ambush Trap in the Lagoon. It’s no picnic, trust me!
– The Catacombs. Ok, technically those and the Forbidden Grove. But if you need to choose between those two options and need Scrap Metal rather than Runes, go for the Catacombs. If you’re low on Stale Cheese, the basis for both Ancient and Runic Cheese, use Radioactive Blue Cheese in the Catacombs. If you can afford it though, Ancient Cheese is clearly the way to go if you want to extract Scrap Metal from the Cats. The very best option would be to use Ancient and Antiskele Charms. This is the quickest way to Scrap Metal, but not the most profitable.
– Buying Scrap Metal with King’s Credits. Also a possibility. Questionable though, because a couple of days of farming in the Catacombs will surely be more reasonable than wasting precious KCs on Scrap Metal. But that’s just my opinion. If you want it quickly, this way is surely the easiest.
Q: Is it worth it to craft the Tiki Base?
A: Short answer: No. Long answer: No. Because while it does have a lot of Power (more than any other base you can get at that point unless you happen to tourney a lot and have acquired a GTB), and it does get a bonus of +6 Luck in the Tribal Isles, outside of the Tribal Isles it has 0 Luck. For a Base that costs 500k gold (without adding the costs of the blueprints), that is extremely weak. It costs more than its usefulness would bring in, so to speak. The Aqua Base is almost as good as the Tiki in most Tribal areas (and definitely better outside the Tribal Isles!) and it costs a fraction of what the Tiki costs. Use Aqua and you’ll be fine until you have the chance to get a Base that surpasses the Tiki.
Here’s a list of Bases that beat the Tiki Base (if you include the +6 Luck Bonus. If not, the list gets even longer): Silver Tourney Base, Golden Tourney Base, Spellbook, Molten Shrapnel, Papyrus, Rift and various Limited Edition/Event Bases, including Candycane (in most areas), Dragon Jade, Snake Jade, Magma. More will follow, I’m sure.
The one thing you can say about the Tiki Base is: It does look cool! But unless you’re interested in it for collection purposes, don’t bother.
Q: When will Charm Conduit Level 2 and Platinum Base be released?
A: In the Charm Shoppe of the Mountains where you first buy your Charm Conduit to be able to use Charms in the first place, the Conduit for sale is marked as “Level 1”. So if you think about it, sooner or later there has to be a Level 2 Conduit. This was the original plan. Stronger Charms were supposed to only work with a tougher Charm Conduit. Because ideas are many and Devs and their time to implement them are/is few though, this idea died on the vine. That happens sometimes, the Devs have a nice and clever idea, but implementation is too complicated or takes too much time they don’t have. In this case, all Charms ended up to only need one Charm Conduit and the idea of upgrading the Conduit has not been worked on anymore in well over two years. And it, in all probability, never will be again.
The Platinum Tournament Base is mentioned in the description of the Champion Charm Pack you can buy in the Tournament Hall. This was released in early 2012, yet the Platinum Base has not been to this day. It seems that it was, just like the Charm Conduit, an idea the Devs thought would make it into the game at some point, but so far didn’t. And if you ask me, chances of it happening in the near future are very, very low. Think about it: Golden Tourney Base plus Champ Charms are a combination that beats every other Charm/Base setup, excluding only Ultimate (Luck/Power) Charms. By the rate that the Luck Bonus you receive for combining Champ Charms with a Tourney Base rises, Champ Charms with Platinum Base would be such a potent combination that it would break the balance of the game! And given that Champ Charms are dirt cheap and easy to acquire, the already extremely weakened boss mice, victims of the power creep, the way traps get better and better all the time, would stand no chance anymore and hunting would become essentially too boring.
If you ask me, I feel that the Platinum Base is a terrible idea that should never make it into the game.
Q: Is Gouda really worth it in the Tribal Isles?
A: Yes. Although the cost of a single piece of Gouda may come as a shock to those that first set foot onto the Isles. That’s understandable, taking into account that up until now the most expensive store-bought cheese type was Brie at 200 gold per piece, making it doubly as expensive as the next lower type, Swiss cheese. Since Gouda costs 600 gold per piece, suddenly the price has not only doubled, but tripled!
Hunters might come to think that hunting with Brie instead of Gouda might make a big difference in profits over time. That strategy at first seems sound and has barely any kind of catch to it, since the base attraction rate of Brie at 80% (putting the likelihood of not attracting a mouse at 20%) is barely any weaker than that of Gouda, which stands at roughly 83%.
However, Gouda has another advantage, which is much more crucial. Use Brie in Nerg and you’ll attract Chameleon mice next to the mice of the Nerg tribe at an attraction rate of almost 23% on average. The same will happen to you in Elub with Pinchy mice and in Derr with Sylvan mice. Since these three mice are very low on points and gold, compared to the majority of the mice of the Tribes, and they also never drop any loot, these mice mean a huge annoyance on your way through the Tribes.
In terms of time saved while gathering crafting materials and even in terms of gold gained per hunt, Gouda is definitely the preferable bait here. Plus, you’ll have a little less FTAs. There is actually no downside to using the far more expensive Gouda over the comparatively cheap Brie.
It is noteworthy though that up until this point you go from one cheese type to the next better one while rarely ever having the need to go back to a lesser kind of cheese. After the Tribal Isles there are many Lord/Lady areas where unpacking Brie again instead of continuing to use Gouda may in fact boost your profits for the relatively small price of 3 more FTAs per 100 hunts on average (depending on the attraction rate of your setup, of course).
The Seasonal Garden (less so than the following), the Tower and the Iceberg are areas that with mechanics built to punish FTAs screams for the usage of Gouda over Brie, if you’re not prepared to use SB+. On the other hand, places like the Slushy Shoreline, the Crystal Library and Claw Shot City are much more profitable if you revert back to using Brie. The Warpath is another example of a mechanic punishing FTAs, but the Muridae Market and even the Living Garden are areas where using Brie will help you in turning a profit.