I've kept playing #terracore after trying it out almost 2 weeks ago. I'm still not far enough along to take advantage of all the features the game has to offer, but I have a much better handle on what I'm doing, strategies, and also firmer thoughts on the game I'd like to share.
Thoughts on the Game
I like the game! However, when recommending the game, some caveats are required:
Must Like True Idlers
First and foremost, you have to like a true idler. Lots of mobile phone games claim to be idlers, but then they give you dopamine hits every 30 seconds the app is open and you basically get sucked into playing full-time. This is not that. You check in every few hours, do what you're going to do, and then you're done. Come back 3-4 hours later.
This means the game cannot be game #1 if you're looking to play hours a day. Instead, it's a great fit as game #2. You've got your main game that you are no-lifing, but then you can take a break, handle your business in Terracore, see progress, and then go back to game #1 (or real life!).
Highly Recommend Investing
It costs $10 (USD) to get started with the game (anti-bot feature); however, I think you need to be willing to invest in some SCRAP (game token for upgrades) to really get going. True, the basic game loop is there from the start:
- Upgrade Attributes
However, without investment, it will take a long time to make any progress. The game looks to work on a geometric power ramp scale (not quite exponential), and you need 1000 scrap saved up to get enough favor to start doing your first boss fights. Investing even 30 extra HIVE to buy scrap and upgrades probably cuts your time-to-boss in half. (Possible exaggeration, I haven't done the math.)
Note that scrap used to upgrade is burnt: gone forever. You can buy gear NFTs (which also increase your stats ) to get a leg up. These are more expensive compared to the cheap early stat boosts, but you can also sell them back on the market in the future (of course the price could plummet or skyrocket). A mixed approach is probably decent: get the cheap early upgrades using scrap along with some NFT equipment.
All credit (and many thanks) go to @acidyo for the stats you see below:
Acidyo has lent me some of his amazing gear. I have to plug Hive rep and involvement in the community here! Building trust is rewarded on Hive and it's awesome! As I mentioned, this gear has allowed me to jump up that geometric progression curve. By mining more scrap per hour and being able to attack stronger targets (with larger stashes), I've been able to earn upgrades quickly. Also, due to that quasi-exponential progression scale, the effect of these equipment items never really falls off. Consider mining rate per level:
At my current level, an extra 1 ENG from equipment gives a mining boost of ~0.5 SCRAP/hour, but at 25 ENG, that same extra ENG level gives a bonus of ~1 SCRAP/hour.
The basic approach is to keep Defense quite a bit higher than Engineering (~3 levels). Take my stats:
- 2.19 SCRAP/hour (8.76 SCRAP per 4-hour claim)
- 127 Defense
- 104 Damage
You want to be checking the game every 3-4 hours, and it would be nice if no one has raided what you've mined in that time. The Terracore Hub UI automatically sorts your available attack targets by the expected value of attack (so juiciest targets at the top of the list):
Because I have 104 Damage, I can attack anyone with less than that level of Defense. You don't want to be at the top of that list! The faster you mine, the faster you rise up the list.
So what about me? At the end of four hours, my 8.76 scrap is well below players with my same level of defense. It's like the saying about running from the hungry bear. You don't have to outrun the bear. Just outrun your friend. So for me, I log in somewhere near the 4 hour mark, attack a target, and then claim my stash.
Wash, rinse, repeat.
FYI, after attacking, you get a 60 second shield from other attacks, so don't stress about attacking and then getting attacked before you can claim!
I want to add a note here about the dodge stat (gained by staking scrap to increase your stash size). Remember how Terracore Hub ranks targets by EV? Dodge directly lowers your EV and helps keep you off the top of that list. So with my high dodge, my stash size can get a little higher before anyone will attack me. This is a bigger deal than actually dodging attacks. If you're at the top of the target list, you're going to get attacked until your scrap gets stolen. Dodging 1 or 2 makes little to no difference. It's the EV buffer that's helpful.
For a while, I kept my stash size restricted. After all, with a stash size of only 8, no one would ever attack me given my defense. I'd never rise to the top of the EV targets list. However, after continued play, I noticed a few things:
- Getting attacked over night really isn't a big deal. If you're asleep for 8 hours, you'll get attacked a few times, but by the time you wake up, you've probably gotten most of it back and are ready to claim.
- A restricted stash size greatly reduces your loot from attacks. You want to attack right before claiming at the 4 hour mark, but you're almost at max stash size.
- Larger stash = more dodge!
Depending on your play style/availability, a limited stash could be advantageous. If you can't use all your claims in a day doing once every 4 hours, then you can save up attacks and do the following:
- Wait for full stash.
- Use multiple attacks to refill stash.
If you could only check the game once or twice per day, then that is probably optimal. Your full stash will just sit waiting to be claimed whenever you're ready. Attacks can build up to 8 that you can use all at once if needed.
As I said, I'm definitely enjoying the game. Even with D4 official release on Tuesday, I know I can keep playing both games. This one doesn't require all my gaming time, yet it's still interesting enough to keep me engaged.
I hope the strategy section is helpful for new players. For any Terracore vets, please feel free to correct anything I've got wrong. I'm still learning. I'll post again in another week or two when I've reached my first boss battle. I'm looking forward to finding and minting NFT gear!
Lastly, I want to mention that the game is under active development. Quests are coming, and I'd bet my (Acidyo's) gear that group play (clans/corporation/etc) are in the works! A lot to look forward to, so check it out!
Want to sign up? Consider using my ref link. I think I get Hive as a reward, and I'll happily split it with you. Consider it free upgrades!