New Player Welcome Package
Naaaaaah. It's not as bad as it looks. I'm Eudrick, one of the play testers here at Aragon Online and the developers have graciously allowed me out of the dungeon (where they have me slaving away playing this game 14-16 hours a day) to help you, The New Player, get started on what will be one of the most exciting and glorious gaming experiences of your life time.
HELP ME, OH HELP ME
One of the things I've learned abut this game is that there can never be too much information. Look at the help pages, read the help pages, MEMORIZE the help pages (there will be a test later). Seriously, HELP has a ton of information in it and it's ALL useful, some of it right now and some of it later in the game. Yeah there's a lot in there, but this IS a big game.
SO MANY CHOICES
Race and Class
OK, you're ready to start the game and it wants you to name your city and pick a character race and class. Did you look at the help pages? Each race has different characteristics and limitations. Some races don't have all the classes available to them. If you looked and feel comfortable with the race and class think you want to play the game as make your choices now.
I wanna be part of THAT gang
Heraldry allows you to align yourself with others of like mind and inclination. Later on you'll find that you are allied with or enemies with others in the game based on the colors you chose. This choice IS reversible and little thought need go into it now.
Location, LOCATION, LOCATION (choose wisely Grasshopper)
Now you have to pick where you want to place your city. A few tips here to help you out:
Scout out the map. Scroll around and find a general location on the world where you think you want to build. Two schools of thought here: Isolation-stay away from everybody else and lessen the chances of another player trekking to your city to wipe you out or Proximity- Build close to others to maximize your trade. (I do recommend that you pick your general area when you first start the game, otherwise you may have to back track a bit here).
Once you're at the regional choice screen take some time to check out the various hexes. You want a defensible position (high ground) with a clean line of sight for about 6-8 hexes in all directions as close to the hex 12,12 as you can get (your army will be placed on the map centered around 12,12 when ever you fight a battle in your city) but if all other factors are good (see below) don't give up a good site just because there are some trees in the way, you can always chop them down...
That mountain top sure looks tempting, doesn't it? DON'T DO IT unless you're prepared to buy EVERYTHING from the open market. Look around the area for available resources: trees, rock, ore, minerals and arable land. You want to have a good mix of all those things in order to be self-sufficient throughout the game. Like every thing else it's a trade off, lots of farm land not much lumber. Lots of hilly land with tons of rock, ore and minerals and not much farm land. If you scouted out a mountain top you'll have seen that you've got great defenses but naught else.
Take into account the 6 surrounding hexes when picking your city site. Later in the game you'll be able to expand your city into those hexes and what's in them WILL make a difference.
Everything to your liking? Good. Place your tower and off to the hiring hall.
UNCLE (place your character's name here) WANTS YOU!
Well here we are at the the create units page. Pretty isn't it? Up at the top are a group of predefined units, Henchmen and Troops, that you can choose from. Chose the group you want and then rename, equip and order (how they show up in the tactical battle list) as you see fit. Your only constraint at this point is cash. The game won't let you spend more that you have. Try to build a composite army of fast movers, shock troops and "artillery" (bowmen). Almost every type of unit can carry some sort of missile weapon but there's that pesky trade off again. Carry missiles and give up armor, Once you're happy with your selections save. OK, you've saved. Click on the Aragon page to go to your first turn, click on next turn and you're off and running.
KNOCK, KNOCK, IT'S THE WELCOME WAGON
No it's not, it's some pesky noisy neighbors who want to invite you to a welcome-to-the-neighborhood BBQ and you're the main course. Just a few hints here: Get to the high ground, your tower or if by some chance that's too far away, a hill top or steppe (told ya told ya put your tower as close to 12,12 as possible), Entrench your units and wail away with missiles and spells. Try to put the bulk of your fighting force between YOU (and your weak henchmen) and the enemy. At some point, if all goes well, the enemy will give up and run away. Right now, at this stage of the game, let them. Later on you'll want to chase after them and kill off as many as you can. The more you kill, the more experience and booty you get at the end of battle. Click on the "End Battle" button and congratulations, you've survived your first (but not your last - OH, not by a long shot) encounter with the denizens of Aragon.
Run away, Run away (that's not just a cute little bunny)
At some time in the future you are going to run into a force that either gets the jump on you or is more powerful than you. Don't hesitate to head for the hills. It's better to take a drop in your character's stats than to lose a bunch of valuable men and henchmen in a lost cause. You'll KNOW when that time comes.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE (Like the rest of the game)
My, Grandma. What a Large Army you have
Go back to the Aragon Map (click on the Aragon icon on the top of the tactical actions window) and take a look at the Units page (the end of battle message gave you your stats, booty and other information). It's a little bit different now, and from now on this is where you'll handle your units. If you go to create you see that you have a whole bunch of henchmen (allocation and composition are based on you class and won't change) and probably some recruits (they're willing to join the army NOW but will soon leave for an "honest" paycheck) that you can work with. Just a quick comment on them. On one hand, it's good to get them in the field as soon as possible so they can start building up experience, on the other, if you don't have the resources to equip them immediately and will have to run them away from any battles you encounter be aware that the game senses them on the battle field at the start of a battle and sizes your enemy accordingly. REREAD the previous section (Run away). You pays your money and you takes your chances.
While you're here click on the formation tab. This screen allows you to preset your army (group your troops and henchmen for maximum effect and common traits) for battle. Place your troops as you want them to appear on the battlefield centered around the center hex (that will be 12,12 in your city and some other hex in a 'wilds' battle based on where the enemy enters the map). You can give your runaways a head start here by putting them at the bottom of the screen. If you placed your tower correctly you won't need to maneuver for battle and will be able to proceed directly to entrenchment and defensive spell casting.
Equipping your new troops and upgrading the old ones no longer are a function of cash. Each of the scroll down windows is associated with a specific armory cost (weapons, armor, bows, etc, listed at the bottom of the page). You won't be able to spend more than you have in any of those categories to equip your troops. Fine tuning your army's equipment CAN be fun. Start low and gradually build them up as resources become available.
Build it and they will come
City management is key to your ability to grow an army and population worthy of your name. Just a few words about that:
When ALL else fails
Don't be afraid to restart the game if you don't like what's happening. We fully expect that it will take a new player two or three tries to "get it right". I've lost track of how many times I restarted (play tester or not) and actually restarted a decent game in order to create this step by step guide. (Oh, the things I do for the beer and pretzels they shove under the door.)
Over the River and through the Woods (Lions and Tigers and Bears, OH MY)
We want you to venture out into the wild, wild world. See the sights, get a few souvenirs. Make friends and influence enemies. Home is always waiting for you. But before you go a few words about NPCs and Other Players:
NPCs (non player characters) populate most of the cities in Aragon. Other players (like you) have their own cities. They can be friends or not. The world screen is where you can find that out. Send out scouts and spies to gather information. In general, it's probably a good idea to stick close to home until you build up a decent force. Some of those NPCs are pretty heavy hitters and if you wander into the wrong city it's game over (not really, but having your ENTIRE army wiped out is NOT a good thing). There ARE other things to do in the world, Quests to fulfill and places to see. Bit by bit you'll be given snippets of information (LORE) that will further your understanding and desire (we hope) to see the sights. The library (off the City page) is the repository of EVERY message you get as well as a log of what's happening with your city's development.
Operators are Standing By
If you run into problems, have a question, or want to report a bug in the game (PLEASE DO) we have a Feedback forum in the Aragon Online Community (on the game's front page). Don't hesitate to contact us. One of the staff will be more than happy to treat your issue with the respect and professionalism it deserves (don't smack me in the head boss, I MEANT it).
OHHHHH, Will this torture never end?
I hope that this guide helps you to get over the hump of what can, at the outset, look to be a daunting game. We look forward to providing you many pleasurable hours (days, weeks, months, years or dare I say it, an entire lifetime) of Game Play like you've never seen before.
From the ENTIRE Aragon Online Staff, Good Luck and Good Gaming.
Last Edit 02-24-2010 09:18 PM