This guide is aimed at players returning to the game. It may not therefore be appropriate for entirely new players that have not familiarised themselves with the basics of the game.
I wrote this when a veteran player rejoined my guild after a break from the game, so I hope anyone in that situation finds it useful
This will look extremely complicated so don’t feel you have to understand all of it before playing. Once you start playing it will make much more sense.
If you want a tl;dr then just read the Gameplay Loop section
Underworld - the new part of the map.
Faction - this is the name for Kingdoms in the Underworld. Like overworld Kingdoms, each Faction has its own banner and troops.
Delve - this is the word for the action of playing the delve game within the Faction.
Delve Tokens - the currency required to play Delves
Delve Level - the delve game can be played at various levels. The higher the level, the higher your enemies’ stats
Portals - the area in each Faction where you can spend Chaos Shards to receive Treasure Troops and Faction Troops.
Chaos Shards - the currency used to open Portals.
Treasure Troops - the currency used to upgrade the Horde. Confusingly, they show up as troops.
Faction Troops - each Faction has 4 troops that belong to that Faction and can only be obtained by opening Portals in the menu for that Faction
Horde - a thing that is measured by Level and Quality. It is upgraded by spending Treasure Troops.
Horde Level - this is the level of the faction based on how much treasure you have spent to upgrade it. There is no maximum Horde Level.
Horde Quality - this is another leveling system within the faction. Like Horde Level, it is upgraded by spending treasure. Maximum Horde Quality level is 10.
Renown - there are 2 types, so I won’t ever use this word on its own.
Faction Renown - the level of renown generated by a single Faction. You get one off bonuses in the mail for achieving specific levels.
Total Renown - The total sum of all the Faction Renown from all of your Factions. Like kingdom power levels in the Overworld, you can get boosts by having a higher Total Renown. Unlike Overworld kingdom power levels, these bonuses are only generated by your Total Renown - there are no static bonuses from Faction Renown.
Faction Event - a weekly one day event for a specific faction, and a special 3 day event when a new Faction is released.
Delve Chest - at the end of each Delve game you get to open a Delve Treasure. It automatically opens when the Delve game ends. Unlike other chests, you can’t open it with keys.
Delve Chest Level - applies in each Delve game and is reset to 0 every time you start a new Delve. You get a chance to upgrade the* Treasure Level* every time you win a battle. It can also be raised by your Horde Quality.
- Each Faction is unlocked by gold.
- Before you can delve in a Faction you need to complete a few quests.
- You get the new banner when you unlock the Faction.
- You get 3 Delve Tokens per day. Delve tokens are reset to 3 every day and can’t be carried over.
- Spend 1 Delve Token to start the Delve game.
- At the end of the Delve, you get rewards based on the Delve Chest Level you achieved.
- Delve Chest will reward gold, souls, glory, ingots, and Chaos Shards.
- Spend Chaos Shards to open Portals, and receive Treasure Troops and Faction Troops. NB: Faction Troops can only be obtained from Portals, and aren’t in normal chests.
- Spend Treasure Troops to upgrade the Horde (Quality and Level)
- An upgraded Horde Level makes your troops have better stats in the Delve.
- An upgraded Horde Quality gets you better rewards from the Delve, by boosting the rewards from each room and by raising the Delve Chest Level after you beat the boss.
- Play another Delve and repeat.
The Delve game itself
- Each Delve consists of fighting battles in order to get to the boss. The aim is always to beat the boss.
- Each Faction has a colour restriction which affect the troops you can use. The Hero weapon however is NOT subject to that restriction.
- Death, transforming, troop re-ordering and summoning, and changing/converting within your team is permanent during the Delve. Be careful, and get used to cursing (or avoiding) Bulette!
- If you retreat from a battle, you cannot play any more rooms. If you lose a battle, you cannot play any more rooms. You can quit the Delve using the button on the bottom right to “run away”. If you have lost or retreated from a battle, you still have to press that quit button. When you do so, you DO get the rewards for the treasure level you’ve achieved during the Delve.
- It’s possible to quit the Delve between battles using the close button on the top left without ending the delve. So you can go collect tribute or whatever and come back later.
- The Delve remains active until you finish it or “run away”. Delves survive reset (except Event Delves which cannot be accessed once the event ends).
- Each Faction has a different map layout.
- When you play Delve, you can choose how to progress through the map.
- You can beat all the rooms or you can clear a path to the boss and ignore optional rooms.
- Each time you beat a room, it gives a trait to you or your enemies in the remaining rooms. The vast majority of the time it helps the enemies, not you. This can be viewed on the card before fighting a room under “Effect”. If the Effect says “All enemies…” it affects enemies. If it says “All allies…” it affects your team.
- Each time you beat a room, there is a chance to upgrade the Delve Chest Level. This chance is shown before you play and is based on the ‘rarity’ of the room.
Progressing Delve Levels
- When you click the Delve button within a Faction, it gives you the option to choose a level. The starting options are 20, 30, 40. You can see that the room multiplier is affected by which option you choose.
- Choosing the right hand option and beating the boss will mean that the next time, your options are 30, 40, 50. This bit is important: THERE IS NO WAY TO GO BACK DOWN DELVE LEVELS.
- This means that if you get to a point where the level is too high to beat, the option on the left is the lowest option you’ll ever get presented.
Upgrading the Horde
- It costs a lot of gold to upgrade the Horde, so you need to be a bit careful about how you do it.
- Usually your first priority is to get Horde Quality Level 10.
- Upgrading Horde Level and Horde Quality Level both require the spending of Treasure Troops but the mechanics are different.
- Upgrading Horde Level just requires any number of Treasure Troops and the corresponding gold payment. When you click on a Treasure Troop, you get a preview of how much XP is being added. Higher rarity Treasure Troops add more XP. The level and traits of the Treasure Troop makes no difference!
- Upgrading the Horde Quality Level is based on the percentage chance shown. If the percentage is not 100%, there is a chance that the Horde Quality Level will fail to upgrade. You can only go up 1 Horde Quality Level per upgrade.
- If the Horde Quality fails to upgrade (because you took a chance), you still get the XP from the Treasure Troops to upgrade the Horde Level.
- Examples of making up 100% are 2 x sacred treasure, 4 x king’s crown, 5 x priest chalice, 3 x Genie’s Lamp and 1 x Gold Ring etc. Yes you can mix and match any Treasure Troop types
- Gold Ring and Coin Purse are pretty much trash, because as your Horde Level increases it gets very expensive to use Treasure Troops to upgrade it.
- @TimeKnight has produced a guide on the most efficient way to upgrade the Horde Level and Horde Quality Level to 100 and 10 respectively.
- Every Tuesday there is a Faction Event. This gives you the chance to Delve the event Faction using Sigils instead of Delve Tokens.
- When a new Faction is released there is a 3 day Faction Event for the new Faction that runs from Friday to Sunday inclusive.
- Each sigil gives you an attempt at the Event Delve.
- Each event starts the Delve Level at level 20. This does not reset your Faction Delve Level.
- There are rewards for achieving points (by beating rooms) and a shop to spend gems on sigils.
- There are Valravens which give you an extra 2 sigils when you kill them.
- The Delve Level from the Event CARRIES OVER to the Delve Level from the normal Delve in the Faction IF the Delve Level from the event is HIGHER than the Factions Delve Level.
- IF YOU BEAT A LEVEL IN THE EVENT, YOUR DELVE LEVEL IS PERMANENTLY RAISED IN THE FACTION FOR ANY FUTURE DELVES
- The most efficient strategy during events is to pick the rooms with the highest multiplier first to maximise your score.
- Your overall goal is to get the maximum Total Renown that you can.
Summary of how to achieve the Mission
For each Faction, aim to:
- get the Horde Level up to 100 and Horde Quality Level up to 10.
- beat level 500 with a normal team without losing a troop.
- beat the highest level you can with a team comprised of only Faction Troops.
- Personally I usually stop with the Faction Troops team at level 100 as this gives me enough Faction Renown to unlock the pet. I also don’t bother to upgrade the Horde Level higher than 100 as there’s no Faction Renown reward for doing so.
- NB: if one of your troops is transformed, it counts as “losing a troop”. Sunbird for some reason is the exception.
Tactics to achieve the mission
- Spend your 3 Delve Tokens every day. You can leave a Delve run unfinished for as long as you want, so if you don’t have time to play you can always start "Delves* in 3 factions and then come back to them when you have more time.
- Keep one Faction at Level 20 so you can easily farm it for resources…
- Farm the Farming Faction by always picking the middle option for Delve Level - level 20. Don’t pick the right hand option!
- Gain as much Treasure Troops as you need to get a your farming Faction up to Horde Quality level 10 (see above for tips on upgrading Horde Quality). The reason for this goal is to get the Delve Chest Level upgrades at Horde Quality levels 3, 7 and 10, which will vastly improve your ability to gain Treasure Troops from Portals (because you’ll earn a LOT more Chaos Shards).
- Note: If your farming Faction pops up as an event, don’t beat the boss in any Delve or it’ll raise the Delve Level to a point where you can’t easily and quickly farm that Faction any longer.
- Once you have the Farming Faction at Horde Quality Level 10, you’ll start getting much better rewards. Keep farming it to get another Faction of your choice up to Horde Quality level 10. Let’s call it the Progress Faction.
- Now you can start playing Delves in the Progress Faction, always picking the right hand option to increase the level each time.
- Keep spending Treasure Troops that you earn from the Progress Faction with the aim of getting it to Horde Level 100.
- Keep fighting higher Delve Levels if you can. If it gets too difficult, go back to farming and get the Horde Level higher.
- In your Progress Faction, you’ll probably want to beat all the rooms up to level 100ish so that you get better Delve Chest rewards. Once it starts getting difficult, forget about rewards and just go straight for the boss. If you want rewards, Delve in your farming faction (or wait for the next event).
OTHER THINGS TO KNOW
- Don’t upgrade Treasure Troops unless you really need to (e.g. to complete a daily task). It is otherwise a waste of resources. The level and traits of Treasure Troops makes no impact on how much value they add to the Horde.
- I recommend you only use the Faction Team to beat Delve Level 100. See this thread or this one if you want advice on teams.
- The room multiplier is applied to the Faction Glory and Faction Gold that you receive from beating a room, and you overall multiplier is also applied to you final rewards. During events, it also multiplies the event score form each room.
- You can scout the rooms before beginning the Delve. You can use this to inform your team building, especially useful at highest levels.
- Look out for the Effects from rooms. They might seem innocuous, but once combined can make your life hell. If you rely on stun, for example, all enemies gaining Thick Head will mes you up.
- It’s up to you where you open Portals. Hunt whichever troops you need to use, to collect, or to increase Kingdom Power Levels.
- Speaking of Kingdom PL, Faction troops have dual Kingdom types so can be used to meet Kingdom PL requirements in the overworld
Thanks to additional contributors: