let them eat cake moment
a billion people don't have access to clean drinking water. meanwhile, we're required by law to dump 100 liters of the stuff on the ground every single day. just sayin'.
pad like a boss
okay you've acquired the leader of your dream team. start collecting your subs. stay focused. ignore monsters that don't help your team. seriously. this is extremely important. cause if you get too diverse, all of your monsters will starve. and that's bad. go for breadth after you've got your dream team fully collected, evolved, leveled, skill maxxed, and plussed. this means you will have to skip monsters that you kinda want. this means you will not clear every descend dungeon that comes along. got it? good. given the religiously modest size of your hoard, you can get by with a pretty small monster box. which will save you some stones. i have 100 boxes. once your leader is maxxed, they'll be very popular. invest stones in raising max friends. cause free pal points. spend stones acquiring your critical subs. like getting that stupid unicorn to invade. like valkyrie. i spent 30(!) stones completing goddess descended for the 100% drop. but only once. also spend stones restoring stamina to get skill-ups. like say for yet another set of runs through poring tower. i don't recommend spending stones for stamina for xp farming. be patient. also don't spend stones on stamina for weekly dungeons. be patient. non-iap takes discipline. besides you can always blog about pad while waiting for stamina to recover.
how to playd
how to play pad like a munchkin. first, play pad any old way. notice there are way way too many monsters to collect them all. notice there are a small number of monsters that are way way better than any other monster. notice these uber monsters come only from the random egg machine. which eats stones like a rock giant. and finally, notice that you don't have one. figure out your dream team. i chose metatron as my lead. with tornado dragon, fuu, king shynee, valkyrie, unicorn, echidna, and venus as subs. this team isn't technically farmable. but you can get fuu and venus from the pink rem machine. which is way way better than the normal random egg machine. because every monster you can get is useful to your hoard. okay now it's time to grind. we're going to create a large number of accounts. use itools to save your data and to clear it when you want to start over. it's way faster than uninstalling. go almost all the way through the tutorial. stop before pulling the rem dragon's tail. use itools to save and clear the data. create another account. repeat. until a godfest comes along where you have a 3x chance of pulling your leader. use itools to restore one of your accounts. finish the tutorial. repeat until your run out of accounts. or get lucky. but let's say you didn't. create new accounts until the godfest ends. still not lucky? okay, we've got lots of work to do until the next godfest. every day, if pad is giving away stones, cycle through all of your accounts to collect the free stones. also run any one-time-only dungeons for the free prize and the stone. repeat daily. in addition, play one account up to dragons of the tower. run that over and over until you're level 20. spend stones only if you absolutely must. send a present to the next account. this gives both accounts a rem pull. good deal. play the next account up to level 20. repeat until the next godfest. at this point all of your accounts have a bunch of stones. spend them on rem pulls. eventually you'll get your leader. whew.
so why is puzzle and dragons a successful game? several reasons. the puzzle part is a luck game that feels like a skill game. you see videos of folks pulling off an incredible series of moves. and you think, wow! that guy's really good. i could be that good. but you don't see how many runs were much more average. ie how much of it is really luck. pad has a pay-to-play mode. though in phone-land it's called in-app-purchase. you can buy magic stones for about a dollar. which you can spend on useful things. like the ability to keep playing when you die or run out of stamina. like a free spin on the roulette wheel. which is the only place you can get some of the best monsters in the game. it psychologically separates your spending (of stones) from your spending of real money. which really helps to monetize the game. the genius part is that pad gives stones away. at the rate of about one a day for a week every other week. magic stones are free! see? we're just giving them away. spend em on this. spend em on that. spend em like water. cause they're free! the other thing they do is limit your play time. the game's version of playing hard to get. makes you want it more. yeah, sure you can play all you want. but you need special monsters. and they're only available in special dungeons. which are only available on certain days at certain times. which is a secret. so you have to keep checking in to see if it's time for your special dungeon. or you can look it up on the web. pad's got a rather enthusiastic fan base. which is both a reason for and product of its success.
i know i said yesterday was the firs post in a series on pad. and i know i'm not supposed to post about competitors. but man, i can't resist this one. ahem. microsoft announced a cloud gaming thing called delorean that "was able to reduce up to 250 milliseconds of latency in cloud-based games." really? holy fuck. i mean seriously. if your cloud gaming service has 250 ms of latency in it that can be removed using the described techniques, you're doing it wrong. seriously, you're doing it very very wrong. you should throw your cloud gaming service away and start over. or get out of the business. cause you obviously have no idea what the fuck you are doing.
puzzle and dragons is one of those phone games imported from japan. which probably explains why it's "puzzle" (singular) and "dragons" (plural). it's kinda popular. here and in the land of the rising tentacle porn sun. i'll explore why i've been spending way too much time playing this stupid game over the past year. when i could have been doing something much more productive. like writing blog posts. heh. anywho, pad is a puzzle, collection, and advancement game. that's three of the five gamer stereotypes. exploration and socializing are the missing two. you enter a dungeon with a team of monsters. you encounter other monsters and overcome them by playing the puzzle game. which is pretty standard fair for phone games. match three (or more) orbs in a row. they vanish. and more orbs fall from the sky to replace them. possibly making more matches. orbs come in five colors plus pink hearts for healing. oddly enough, each of your monsters is also one of the five colors. when you match blue orbs your blue monsters get to attack. and so on for red green light and dark. red green blue have a sort of rock scissors paper thing going. red (fire) does double damage to green (wood). cause wood burns real good. and half damage to blue (water). cause water doesn't burn good at all. light (good?) and dark (evil?) do double damage to to each other. so there's some strategy to which monsters you take into which dungeon. sometimes when you defeat a monster it will drop an egg. which hatches into a brand new baby monster. which you get to keep. ie the collection part of the game. you can alternatively sell the new acquisition. or feed it to your other monsters to make them stronger. the advancement part of the game. it pleases my twisted mind to think of this as hunting for girl monsters. killing them. and ripping open their bellies to collect eggs from their still warm corpses. muhahahahah! sorry, some thoughts once though cannot be unthought. anywho, you don't get to keep eggs or coins until you clear all the floors in the dungeon. some monsters can be evolved into higher level forms by feeding them a diet of special monsters found in special dungeons. evolution generally bestows better stats, more abilities, and cooler looking art. and by cooler looking art, i mean the cute large-eyed childlike innocent looks is replaced by big boobs. it is a japanese game after all.