How to do well in PvE for free - THE PLAN

Skilled Warrior
Joined May 2010 Posts: 306
THE HAMSTER WHEEL (warning: long post)

Two-month long raid cycles are boring. They're also predictable, easy to plan for, and completely free, once you know how to plan for them.
Before you read the step-by-step plan to stay on top for free, let me address three VERY valid questions players often complain about:
  1. There's no free way to hop on the hamster wheel on your own, unless you're lucky to get one of those free fleets Kixeye gives away every now and then. Last time they did it was the Riots. Other than that, either you buy a fleet for the current raid, or you have fellow players helping you earn the prizes you need to get on with the game. When I got back to BP last November, I bought a fleet of Pegasus and that enabled me to play the raid in December.
  2. There's rarely ever any time to use the regular shipyard to build other fleets, including your FM fleet (Praetorians). You only refit/upgrade them with tokens from events or from the Tides of March TLC that runs monthly, and "maybe" with a few days during the first raid of a cycle, while you're using the top fleet for that cycle, and the ship for the next cycle is still a month out.
  3. This only works if you play often, as in almost every day. Casual players such as those who miss entire weeks, and skip raids, FMs, and TLCs, won't keep up unless they coin.
Ok, with that out of the way, this is how smart non-coiners keep up, every raid, with 100% success. I'm using this raid, which started on June 10th as an example, assuming you have Zealots to score your points. If you don't, see #1 above.
  • Three or Four weeks before June 10th, there are 3 or 4 FM cycles, the armor for the new ship is offered. We don't know if the ship will have 2, 4, 6 armor slots, and you can redeem up to 4 of each new armors per week. Get as many as you can, but there's no need to get them all, as you'll only need the last piece 7-8 weeks later. Even if you'll need 15 of each, you'll get there by redeeming 2 of each per week, no stress.
  • Two weeks before June 10th, you will get the chests from FM, and you will NOT spend the ship build tokens. If you got a minimum of 2x 2d, and 2x1d, you can spend ONLY one of the 1d tokens. Save the rest.
  • One week before June 10th, you will get the top 2 FM chests and NOT open them. Your inventory will be full of tokens from the week before, if you open the chests you'll lose the tokens, so don't. There's that one 1d build token to get, that being the reason you can spend the 1d token from the week before.
  • A few days before June 10th, only start builds/refits/upgrades in your shipyard that will end on June 10th, no later than that. You want your shipyard free. Do whatever you want with the Conquest yard, it doesn't matter for your plan.
  • June 10th, RAID STARTS. Score the points needed for the new ship, in this case, the Mutineer, and redeem it ASAP, before anything else. As of today, you DO NOT spend a single minute of shipyard time on your Zealots anymore, except for instant things done with tokens.
  • Start building a Mutineer, with just one Thud1 cannon. Depending on your RnD level, upgrades, and having or not an officer, the build time varies, so I'm gonna work with it taking 5d per empty ship.
  • Apply your ship build tokens: 2d, 2d, 1d - first ship done. If you had a reduced time such as 4d15h, apply 2d+2d and wait for 15h.
  • Start the 2nd Mutineer (5d). Apply the remaining 1d token.
  • Open the 2 chests from the last FM, and you'll have at least 2d, 2d, 1d of tokens. Apply what you need to complete the 2nd ship
  • Meanwhile, you're doing your raid, getting the weapons for the Mutineer, the regular special, the limited special, and about 400 upgrade kits.
  • Start the 3rd Mutineer with just a thud1 again, apply the remaining tokens. It should be June 12th now, 2nd day of the raid. Let it finish building naturally, in a few days
  • Start the 4th Mutineer, raid won't have ended yet when you do it.
  • Wednesday, June 17th: another FM starts, get it going, get chests and token, again, at least 2x2d + 2x 1d build tokens.
  • Finish the 4th ship, start refitting them with 1-2 weapons, a couple of specials, you have 2d until VXP weekend, and some tokens.
  • Friday, June 19th: VXP weekend starts, hit the targets with your 4 Mutineers, they should all have at least one weapon, a couple of specials, so you don't just suicide, you can do some damage.
  • Keep building your ships, you have 21 days to next raid, give or take, using 5d per ship, you can get a lot done. Don't coin, don't use any more generic tokens on them.
  • DO NOT fully equip a single ship and commit the shipyard for too long, go in increments of 2 days, a few weapons, a few specials, an armor. Keep them all progressing more or less together. You'll see why below.
  • At some point, upgrade all 4 to U1, should be under 1d each.
  • Wed, June 24th: another FM cycle. Get the tokens, DO NOT spend them.
  • At some point between June 24th and July 8th: there’ll be a Skirmish TLC offering Mutineer content, including more upgrade kits, upgrade/build tokens, and limited weapons. It can be done with Riots, but if you’ve been building the 4 Mutineers more or less to the same set of specials, a few weapons, some armor, they’ll likely be able to do the TLC for less damage. Start early, as you’ll have a week to complete 3 prize packs and then 5 masteries, so don’t wait until the last minute, if you want to do it free.
  • Wed, July 1st: Another FM. If this is the last FM before the raid, there's a Pillage going on, the Mutineer flagship is offered there. Redeem it ASAP, use tokens from the previous FM (Jun 24th) to get it built with just a thud1
  • Start the refit on the flagship immediately, with FM tokens from this week (Jul 1st).
  • Pillage may have additional Mutineer build/upgrade tokens, Get them, use them to complete your 4 Mutineers. Generic FM tokens go ONLY toward the flagship now.
  • Start upgrade of the flagship as high as you can, before raid kicks in. U2 should be easy to achieve.
  • WARNING: Some months, there's an extra week of FM, you'll see Kixeye announcing if there are 3 or 4 cycles on June 15th. If there are 4, more tokens for you to use on your Mutineers.
That's it. I bet you'll start July's raid with most ships fully built, maybe the flag will be a few weapons short, and most at U2 level, perhaps even one at U3. Use July's raid tokens, if any offered, to complete it.
Use the remaining time in the month of July and the beginning of August, after the raid, to get the remaining upgrades (U3/X1) with time, not coins. The Skirmish TLC will run again with more upgrade tokens for the regular Mutineers, but NOT for the flag so, after July’s raid, focus 100% on upgrading the flagship with time all the way up to X1, do what you can on the other 4 ships with token and remaining time.
Pillage will run again, there might be more upgrade tokens on them. Get them, use them on the regular ships. Should not be using any more FM build tokens for this fleet, start the cycle I described above ALL OVER again right after July's raid, where the armor for the next class (Siege?) will be released in FM.
All the best!
PS: Failure to plan is planning to fail.

BP UID: 870 - Alpha-tester: I was here before sector 1 existed.
If you're not having fun with a game, find another game to play.
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