Beginner's Guide to Legendary Quests

Discussion in 'PvE Tips & Tutorials' started by Aaron, Feb 6, 2020.

  1. Aaron

    Aaron Berserker

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    Overview:

    Legendary quests are endgame quests of Age of Empires Online, and some of the hardest quests that the game offers. Enemies in Legendary quests are all Elite units, with level 38 epic gear, and does a ton of bonus damage against all unit types. They have more health and damage than normal units, and do bonus damage against everything. Despite that, all of them have been soloed by someone one way or another (even Valley of Kings, though that’s way beyond my skill level). Personally, I am an decent player that can solo some of the legendary quests and co-oped some others, and this guide is an attempt to explain what is needed to do these endgame quests, solo or co-op.

    Prerequisites:
    • Your civ should be level 40.
    • Your key units should have level 40 gear on key slots. While you don’t need to be fully geared with legendaries, the following slots should be geared with epics:
      • Villagers (Work Tools + Laborer Gear)
      • Caravans (Merchant Gear + Laborer Gear)
      • Town Center (Construction Addition)
      • Market (Construction Addition)
      • One or two main military units (elephants, berserkers, gastraphetes, etc.)
        • If Ramses' Heavy Gauntlets is too expensive, buy the level 20 Mycenaean Heavy Gloves from an in-game vendor.
      • The global marketplace should have good epics for sale for less than 5k. Also, check in-game vendors for some cheap epics.
    • You should have relevant advisors that boosts your economy or key units.
      • Unless you are playing a ranged composition, try to get your hands on a rare Chieftain Dumnorix. It is the most powerful advisor the game has to offer.
      • You can also get an epic Trajectory Specialist Timo from the Cyprus Twelve Kingdoms quest line.
    • You should have milestones from all 6 (soon to be 7) civs
      • You can get the Persian/Norse/Babylon (and Rome) ones from simply creating the civ, and Celt/Greek/Egyptian ones from reaching level 5.
      • The milestones should either boost your economy or your main units.
    • You should have completed the Cyprus quest line on at least one civ.
    • You should have Well of Urd proper unlocked for at least one civ.
      • In particular, if you cannot survive Elite: Rebuilt Hideout in Northern Hold, you are not ready to do legendary quests.
    • You should have successfully completed a number of Elite quests from Argos, Babylon, or Cyprus.
      • Click on a repeatable quest, and press the Elite button next to the Co-op button.
      • Elite: Lots of Rogues does not count towards this requirement, even though it is a great farming quest.
    Co-op:
    Allow me to let you in on a little secret: Experienced players co-op all the time. Even top players like SAAD frequently asks for co-op, despite the fact that SAAD has posted videos on how to solo Valley of Kings, the hardest quest in the game. For experienced players, if we co-op with someone new, we can teach them how to play the game better, as long as that person is willing to learn. If we co-op with someone just as experienced, we can split push the map and finish in 20~25 minutes, we may even be able to learn a thing or two from even more experienced players to further improve our game play.

    So, there's absolutely no shame in co-oping quests that you find difficult, or if you think co-op would be faster, or even if you find the quest mildly annoying to solo. For many quests, there's no need to worry about weighting your partner down, since even if you build 2 castles instead of 2 town centers at the beginning of the game, experience players would still be able to take advantage of that and be greedier in their economy. Just make sure you follow these two rules:

    1. If this is the first time you play a map, let your co-op partner know. They can tell you the important points, such as where and when the attacks come, how to wall, etc.
    2. Know the list of optional objectives. Unless agreed otherwise, assume that you are going for them. Most players are OK if their partner is slow, since co-op is still going to be faster than solo regardless. However, losing the gold and chests from the optional objectives can be rather aggravating.
    Economy (a.k.a. Macro):
    “Amateurs talk about tactics, but professionals study logistics.”

    Economy is the most important factor in your success, more important than gear, more important than strategy.

    Whenever I see a new player doing legendary quests and floundering, lack of economy is usually the issue. The key to doing many legendary quests is to have a solid economic foundation. More villagers + caravans ⇒ More income ⇒ More units and upgrades ⇒ More GG’s. Assuming you are starting at Age 3 with 1000 food/wood/gold/stone (ex. Recapturing Marion, More Mad Medians in Mesopotamia!), you should be able to reach 100 villagers + caravans at the 10 minute mark with or without Dumnorix. More experienced/greedier players could reach this in less than 8 minutes if relatively undisturbed. (For the record, I can reach 120 in 6:00 when I play really well.) Make sure you hotkey your buildings so you can keep training out of them. (See section below on hotkeys.) Build houses ahead of time so you have the population to continually train out of your TCs and Markets. It goes without saying, your villagers should not be idle. Use the Find Idle Villager button to find them and get them back to work. Finally, don’t queue too much. While I won’t go all PvP mentality and say you should never queue, do note that queue units are idle resources not being used. On the other hand, it’s better to queue too much than to leave your buildings idle.

    You should have enough production buildings to spend all your resources. For a typical Age 3 quest, you should have a combined of at least 5 Town Centers (TCs) and Markets in the first 5 minute of the game, especially if you are using Dumnorix. Your Markets should be ~3 screens away from your TC, so that each caravan collects ~120 gold per trip. This will give you 150 gold with the Age 4 Saddle Bags upgrade, which is the maximum possible. Any further is wasted travel distance. You should also have at least 10 production buildings at the 10 minute mark (except for Egpytian fortresses, which you can have less), the exact number of buildings depends on the quest at hand and your unit composition. You should never stop building from your TCs and Markets until you have 100 workers, even while in the middle of being attacked. To support continuous production from your buildings, trade your excess resources at the market. Try to spend as much of your resources as possible for more units and upgrades. It also helps to have 2~3 armories to quickly upgrade your units. Remember, the 5k resources you banked are no good if you get attacked and die because you don’t have enough defenses and units.

    The priorities for your villagers are food and wood. Since you are building at least 2 Markets, gold is usually a non-issue. You need food and wood for villagers and caravans, and you will likely run out if you are building out of 5 economic buildings. Trade your gold/stone for food/wood so you can build more villagers + caravans at the beginning. Get storehouse upgrades as you are able to do so, but do not stop villager and caravan productions for them. Note that this somewhat depends on civ. For example, Persian’s Paid Labor tech would allow you to create villagers faster, but demands a fair amount of gold, while Babylonian Gardens would supplement your villagers gathering food.

    Once you reach the max population and have most of your upgrades, you will want to kill off some of your villagers and caravans. Depending on the civ and the units you are using, you will keep anywhere from 40 to 80 economic units. You want to have enough economy to replace all your dead units, but not so much that you end up with 100k gold in the bank when the quest ends. Error on the side of having a few too many economic units than too little.

    To recap: What's the secret to doing almost every legendary? Near infinite econ. Notice how quickly my worker count reaches ~120, then how it dips as I kill off workers for more units.
    macro.jpg

    Hotkeys:
    Have a consistent layout of hotkeys for your units and buildings. Personally, I use 1~2 for armies, 3 for Markets, 4 for Town Centers, 5~7 for military production buildings. The important thing here is to have your buildings hotkeyed so you can continue to train villagers and army while looking elsewhere. Make it a habit to press 3a4a (build caravan and villagers) every 10 or so seconds until you have the desired worker count, and do the same for military buildings. Optionally, you can also bind the Idle Villager hotkey and All Military Units hotkey from the Options menu. The latter is great if you want to be lazy and just move all your units to a destination (ex. an enemy base).

    Another useful hotkey to learn is the shift key. Shift-clicking allows you to queue multiple actions on your villagers/units, and shift-clicking when building lets you build 5 at a time. You can also buy/sell 500 resources at a time with the market using shift-click as well.

    Early Defense:
    Learn the map you are playing, especially the size and timing of the first 2 attack waves. If the first wave comes at 2:30, you should build units, walls, and towers pretty much immediately. However, if the first wave doesn’t come until the 6 minute mark, don’t sacrifice your economy and spend your initial resources building defense that isn’t yet needed. For some maps, you should also learn when a particular troublesome unit might be coming (ex. elephant, ram), and prepare accordingly. Co-op with someone experienced to learn the timings if you can. Failing that, just start a quest and play as normal, and keep an eye on when the attacks come. Expect to fail once or twice as you learn the timings.

    Some quests lend themselves to walling better than others. Generally, there are 5 types of walling techniques:
    • Semi-wall: Useful for wider chokepoints. This tends to funnel the AI units into the unwalled portion, allowing you to put all your defense into one spot. Beware of the occasional unit trying to hit your wall instead of walking into your funnel.
    • Full wall: Useful for narrower chokepoints. Delays enemies from being able reach your towers, allowing them to be very cost effective.
    • Double (or triple) wall: Useful for extremely aggressive enemy attacks. Should not be necessary in the easier legendaries.
    • Snake wall: A layering of 2 or 3 semi-walls to create a maze that forces the enemy to travel through. This maximizes travel distance for your towers to do damage to the enemies. Like the semi-wall, the AI would be funneled through your chokepoint, and less likely to attack your wall directly.
    • Pathing wall: On certain maps, you can wall some entrances but not others to change the AI pathing so they don't attack from one direction.(ex. Helheim) Do not wall the other entrances as that would negate the AI manipulation.
    Attack:
    For a typical Age 3 quest, you should generally attack before the 15 minute mark with 200 population and near max upgrades. For stronger players, this could be as early as the 10 minute mark. The longer the game goes on, the more units and upgrades the AI will field against you, so it is usually not to your advantage to delay forever.

    Once your assault gets going, you will likely need to reinforce. To do that, use your military building hotkeys to continuously train units while you look at the battlefield, and set the rally point just behind the front lines. For longer maps, you want to take 5~10 villagers to build forward bases so your units don’t spend all their time travelling. You should have enough villagers + caravans to sustain continuous production.

    If at any point you find that your units are trickling in one by one from your base, retreat and regroup. You might need more production buildings if there is a long queue of units. Otherwise, just wait till you are maxed again (shouldn’t take more than a minute or 2), then resume attacking.

    Specific attacking tips:
    • Keep building and rallying units while your are attacking! The AI maybe able to stop a 200 supply army once or twice, it can't stop a constant stream of 1000 supply worth of armies.
    • If you are using units with splash damage, beware of aggro-ing treasure guardians. They can wipe half your force if your units are focused on them while the enemy units are attacking you.
    • Similarly, stay away from bosses until you are ready to kill them, or they can draw all your units' attention, making them easy picking for other enemy units.
    • Attack move with the A button.
    • If feasible, take out enemy economy and unit producing structures. However, don't lose all your units doing so. (There are exceptions to this, of course. Sometimes it is worth sacking your entire army to kill the villagers/buildings.)
    • For ranged units (such as Greek Gastraphetes), using the stop button (hotkey S) allows them to automatically acquire targets, which is usually more efficient than right clicking or even attack moving.
    • If you find that you are slowly running out of resources, retreat and build more caravans. Don’t ever completely run out since you will lose soon after.
    Consumables:
    Personally, I don’t use them, but the common ones I see are resources (ex. cows), storehouse, and bandit fortresses, with the last one being the most popular. The idea behind most consumable uses are either to boost your economy, or boost your early defense so you can spend more of your resources on economy. I have seen Elixir of the Gods being used occasionally at the beginning of the assault. Most of these consumables can be crafted with the right recipes and materials, which are usually cheap on the marketplace. To my knowledge, consumables that spawns units are mostly a waste of time, with the exception of Heroic Aid and Priests of the Empire.
     
    #1 Aaron, Feb 6, 2020 at 5:26 AM
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2020
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  3. Aaron

    Aaron Berserker

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    Added a section on co-op, updated the macro timings to be a little tighter than originally posted, and misc changes over the past month.
     
  4. PF2K

    PF2K Lead Developer
    Staff Member Administrator

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    Nicely done! I'm thinking of making an in-depth in-game guide at some point. I might use some of these tips there if you don't mind!
     
  5. Aaron

    Aaron Berserker

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    It will be an honor.
     
  6. KazMx

    KazMx Long Swordsman

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    And this goes to bookmarks
     
  7. Geese

    Geese Berserker

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    This is a great guide, I really like the focus you put on eco, because that's really the biggest issue for almost all new players.

    Strong eco in PVE basically means auto win.

    This line was also good:

    If this is the first time you play a map, let your co-op partner know. They can tell you the important points, such as where and when the attacks come, how to wall, etc.

    Its frustrating to find out in a game that your partner has no idea what they are doing. But most players will absolutely never mind teaching the ropes if you are forthcoming about not knowing the quest before hand.
     
  8. ...ReignOfRagnarok

    ...ReignOfRagnarok Woad Raider

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  9. MsMuffins

    MsMuffins Champion

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    Really good in-depth info, can I add a link to this from my LMCG?, Gives people further info to read on if they haven't already seen this.
     
  10. Aaron

    Aaron Berserker

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    Sure. Note that some part of this is out of date. Specifically, Dumnorix being not as broken as he used to be.
     
    MsMuffins likes this.
  11. Forest

    Forest Long Swordsman

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    Pro Hotkey hint: default hotkey for market gold trade preview is shift + z. Change it to "M". So that if you build a market with using hotkey "M" you can just press "M" again and again and over your market preview a little gold trade preview to all town centers will occur. Using this, it is very easy to estimate a good market position.
     
    Zeeki likes this.
  12. Zeeki

    Zeeki Spearman

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    Thanks for the guide, I improve quite a bit.
     
    MsMuffins likes this.
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