Every advanced player has his/her own strategy to enhance armour. So do I. I use different strategies to enhance my armour in different situations. Over time my strategies developed, also under the influence of my writings here. Writing about it helped me develop thoughts about it and get facts straight I wouldn't have researched if I wouldn't have written about it in the blog. My ideas about how to enhance armour changed.
When I started the game I thought it was very expensive to enhance armour. So at first I refrained from it, only to find out I had to do something to get past Skeletons Tomb. At first I would just enhance my armours whenever I didn't get past a level or a stage. I had only 1 Armor Smith and it seemed enough. Things only got critical for me when I started to win Epic Boss armours. As soon as I got my first Legendary Armor I realised something had to happen fast if I wanted to beat next weeks Epic boss as well. In that period I also hit the higher levels in the storyline so I wanted to craft Swamp Shaman Robes and Roc feather Robes +. That meant that I got really tight on resources. I was forced to build extra Armor Smith buildings, just to get armours for enhancement. It didn't help that a Legendary Armors takes 3 days to craft and a 3 star takes 24 hours. I just couldn't miss my crafting capacity. That is when I started to develop thoughts about how to do it.
First just by reading about it on the wiki and follow the rules of thumb that others posted. Then thinking maybe some remarks were not really accurate, figuring out ways to do it better. That is how I set up the cost accounting formula I used in the previous posts in this series, to figure out what really is the cheapest way of enhancing armour.
But in practice I did and do not use the cheapest way myself. Usually I have other goals than just saving gold. For instance I want to have a Legendary + version every week. That means I have to craft 2 legendary armours every 7 days and I have to enhance 1 of them to level 35 really fast. (Not really necessary to do it fast, but I want to be ready If the next challenge is there and I don't want to get behind). I may need to use the plus version armour in the near future (or not) on a next Epic Boss. So I want it ready for deployment soon, but I don't want to rush it too much because I may need my resources to get another armour to strength before this one.
So here is what I do:
Do it Fast
I want my Legendary + version as soon as I can. That means I want to have my normal version at level 35 to unlock the + version when I hit level 43 against the Epic Boss. Until now my schedule is:
The new Epic Boss arrives at 1 am Thursday morning (in Europe). I play it till I run out of EE. I will get some EE drops so I get it to level 11 or 12. Then I go to sleep. The next morning I start with 10 EE on level 13. An hour or 2 later I can start crafting my first armour. Then I have nothing to do for a while, except fight the EB. I use that period to build up a stock of (preferably) Snakeskin Armor. I try to get my stock full of them by Sunday morning, when I get my first armour. I will also need crafting materials so I play the low levels many times to get a lot of them. I try to be easy on the gold also because I will need it. I will hit level 43 on Sunday evening or Monday morning so I want to have my armour at level 35 in 1 day.
Level 35 means adding 1657 EP. If I would just use Snakeskin Armour that would take (1657/24) * 2 hours = 140 hours crafting time. To squeeze that in the roughly 16 hours I have for it would take 9 Armor Smith buildings. So that is not an option. Getting past level 16 on Uncommon Armor would not help a lot. I could get 480 EP from Uncommon Armors which would cost 24 crafting hours, together with Snakeskin that would make (480/10)*0.5 hours + ((1657-480)/24)* 2 hours = 124 hours. Hardly an improvement.
So I need a trick. And that trick is Common Armor. With Common Armor I basically trade gold for speed. But it costs quite a bit so I have to be careful. I may use up so much gold that I don't have money to craft the + armour when I get there. So I keep an eye on my gold supply when I am at it.
First I calculate how much I need and how much I can benefit from the saved up armours in my stock. For instance I have saved 20 Snakeskins. and I can use them at element matching 24 EP value. I can add 480 EP with them. Of course I wait till last to use them to save costs as good as I can, So I count back from level 35. At 1657-480 - 1177 EP I will be somewhere in level 28. If I use them up using 4 slots every time enhancing from there costs me an extra 4 x 3250 + 4 x 3500 + 4 x 4000 + 4 x 4250 + 4 x 4500 = 78,000 gold. I also need 75,000 gold to craft the + so I need to have 153,000 gold when I reach 1177 EP (level 28). If I don't have that money I won't be able to craft the + armour so there will be no point in enhancing fast.
Then I use all my saved up armours at once to jump to level 35. Hoping to get there in time to craft the plus. If I can do that on Sunday evening the + will be ready before the new EB arrives. That will free my resources for the next round.
Slowing it Down
Now obviously this costs a lot of gold. Common Armor only adds 6 EP and I need a LOT of them to get 1177 EP. In fact I need almost 200. So what if I am too fast or run out of cash?
The overall speed of your enhancement is restricted more by your cash than by your Armor Smith capacity. If I enhance faster than I can reach level 43 I may want to slow things down a bit. Using Uncommon Armor instead of Common Armor will obviously cost some extra time, but I may be able to use it if I did my best with the Common Armors. If my 3 Armor Smiths are all available I can craft 6 uncommon armours per hour, yielding 60 EP. So If I have 3 hours left and only need another 180 EP to reach 1177 I might as well use Uncommon Armours and watch tv instead of my game screen all day.
Short of cash
What if the cash runs out? How can you enhance fast if you have zero gold?
That depends on your Armor Smith capacity and the gold yield of your castle. You can only enhance when you have gold to craft armors and to pay for enhancement slots. Therefore you want to maximise the per hour result of EP you can get from your gold supply. So you simply compare the time you need to get the gold with the EP it will get you.
If you can raise the gold faster than it takes to craft the armours it's simple: use the best armour you can get in the time available. But you can go further.
Snakeskin Armour gets you 24 EP and takes 2 hours to craft. Uncommon Armor will get you 10 EP in 30 minutes. If after 30 minutes you did't gather enough gold to use it immediately for enhancement you don't need to rush to the Snakeskin right away. Instead you can realise that you will still buy time using Uncommon Armor if you get to use more than 2.4 Uncommon Armors in the time it takes to craft a Snakeskin Armor. So if your castle provides you with enough gold to craft and use Uncommon Armor in less than 120/2.4 = 50 minutes it will still buy you time using Uncommon Armor. The same works for Common Armor. if you can use more than 10/6 Common Armors in 30 minutes = 1 in every 18 minutes it will still be faster to use them than Uncommon Armor. You will have to decide how much the time gain is worth to you.
At night or if you have other things to do you can usually only craft 1 armour (choose an armour that takes a bit more crafting time but gets you more points at night), but your castle will continue to generate gold. So working ahead in crafting armour to use it in the morning can make sense.
But... Our Deadline? :o
What about our deadline? In the longer run just using up all your resources to enhance now is not always the wise option. You have to keep an eye on the goal you have. Slowing down and using a cheaper but slower enhancement option now may allow you to use a faster method later so you will reach your goal faster.
Planning may help you here. Find out how much money you can have before the deadline and try to use that as smart as you can. Figure out how much you need to reach it and set a scheme you work by.
No Time Pressure
The rest of the week there is no immediate time pressure. So I can slow down a bit. I use that time to work ahead crafting Armors for my stock and saving gold, but I also use it to prepare my + armours for use. I don't know which one I need first and when I find out, when the new EB arrives, I need it now. So I prepare, but don't rush. I may need to use some resources to strengthen the armour I want to use against the EB, so I need to have some. I use the same stock of enhancement armour for that as I use for the normal armour on sunday. And I try to have my armours ready as much as I can. Right now I do that by just gradually enhancing them using Uncommon Armor. Using Common Armor only makes sense if you need speed and I don't need that. I could go for the cheapest option and use Snakeskin when needed, but that is tedious. So instead I try to upgrade to about level 38 using Uncommon Armor. I started that a few weeks ago and right now I have all my + armours at least at level 41.
When the EB arrives I will pick the one that is strongest against it and upgrade that further using my stock. That way I hope to have it strong enough to reach at least level 14 with 1 knight.This way I am building up a choice of armours to use against any element.
And When the Boss Arrives...
When the Boss arrives I focus my efforts on the most suitable armour to fight it. Ever since I got my first + armour I made it a point to not enhance my normal Legendary armours past level 35, because in the long run that will be a waste. Instead I try to enhance the + armour I am using as far as I can, without jeopardising the Sunday speed upgrade. So I will choose to enhance the + armour I use over the other + armours I am bringing to level 40.
And now for something completely different:
A little tip. People on the forum keep telling us that you have to use 4 enhancement slots every time to save money. But is that right?
Suppose we just reached level 33 enhancing an armour and we want to get to level 35. We want to reach 1657 EP and we already reached 1513. That means we want to add exactly 144 EP. That is 6 Snakeskin Armors.
If I would use 4 slots the first enhancement I would add 96 EP for 4x 4500 = 18,000 gold. That would bring me to 1609 EP = level 34. from there I only need to add 48 EP. That costs me another 2 x 5000 = 10,000 gold for the slots. The total costs of enhancement slots is 28,000 when I do that.
Now what if I would not use 4 slots, but only 2? Then I would add 48 EP for 2 x 4500 = 9,000 and I would still be in level 33. So now I can reach level 35 in 1 go using 4 slots, adding 96 EP for 4 x 4500 = 18,000. If I do it that way I will only pay 27,000 gold to reach the same result. That saves me 1000 gold just by not following the advise of others.
The assertion that you have to use 4 enhancement slots every time to save gold is just not true.
If adding an extra armour makes you reach a higher level, the next time you enhance you will have to pay more. So it makes sense to stay just below the level jump to save money next time you enhance. It makes sense to not use all slots in some situations to save a few gold pieces. This tactics will not cost you time or gold or performance. It has only benefits.