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I have what I consider a fairly solid base for my dragon park in DragonVale. What I am trying to figure out is the way I should proceed. I would like to have a park where the dragon coins and dragon food are fairly available so I can focus on expanding and laying the park out.

What gives the best turn around from investment? Focusing on the level of my dragons so they will produce coins faster? Or should I just expand and create more habitats with more and more dragons in them? Also, is there any point in getting a wide range of the types of dragons I have at this point in time or should I just be focusing on ones that produce coins quickly for now?

If it helps I currently have 3 large plant habitats, 2 large fire habitats and 1 earth habitat (where a Moss dragon lives.. earth are apparently not a good coin draw).

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Ben Brocka's answer is certainly accurate, but I thought I'd do some dragon math for posterity, to share some of what I've learned about the game. Below is guidance to make coins as fast as possible (which can in turn fund treats for dragon leveling and decorations and other purchases for XP). If your goals are achievments, unique dragon collecting, park beauty, etc then of course take this guidance with a grain of salt. The spreadsheet I compiled to crunch all of this is epic in proportion, so if you've got some other nuanced question you want to know the answer to.. by all means ask.

Fire Habitats Good - Earth Habitats Bad

Up through level 8, Small Fire habitats with 2 Flower Dragons are the most economical provided you check your park around 4 times a day (which you'll be wanting to do to breed, hatch, and feed). At level 8 you unlock the even more attractive Large Fire habitat, which becomes the best habitat (full with Flower Dragons) if you are checking your park more than twice a day. For below math I assumed checks are spaced evenly throughout the day, and dragon are level 6 (see more on that below).

Before level 8:

Dragon Table 1

**considered disadvantaged due to breeding time and risk of breeding Tree Dragon (28 hrs lost)

At level 8:

Dragon Table 2

At level 11-12 some options open up to you, and it becomes more about how you want to play the game. You can focus on some easily acquired dragons to start building a cash reserve, or instead start chasing the rares.

Some options to consider:

Dragon Table 3

**Beat by a thin margin, but the best overall dragon/habitat combo above 3 checks/day through level 30.

Above level 12 the only really noteworthy unlock is the Large Metal Habitat. Once unlocked, and fully outfited with Magnetic Dragons it is the best non-rare 1 check per day habitat, at 115,200 / day.

Dragons and Leveling

  • As implied above, your first priority for spending should be hitting your habitat max for each level, and upgrading those habitats when possible.
  • Your second priority should be filling habitats with dragons. With the Fire habitats this is easy since you can buy Fire dragons and they incubate quickly. When transitioning to Cold habitats you can breed a Fire Dragon with a Lichen Dragon, which will produce Flower Dragons for your Fire Habitats and Lichen and (if you're lucky) Blue Fire Dragons for your Cold Habitats.
  • Adding dragons creates income faster than leveling individual dragons, but leveling dragons also provides a valuable income increase, especially once the dragons/habitat cap is hit. Treats/dragon-level are the same for all dragons, and the amount doubles for each level. With active large treat farms it is generally possible to upgrade dragons to level 5-6 as fast as you can produce them. These upgrades should be spread evenly across all dragons to maximize earning potential. Upgrades above level 6 climb steeply and should be more targeted towards the dragons with highest earning potential.

Breeding for Cash

The DragonVale Wiki has a great link on this here: http://dragonvale.wikia.com/wiki/Breeding_for_Profit

Assuming you keep your breeding cave fairly busy in the early levels, this becomes a more significant potential for revenue at higher levels. Consider:

  • Breeding and selling 2 Water Dragons / day (8 hours breed+incubate) = 500,000 /day
  • Breeding and selling 4 Air Dragons / day (4 hours breed+incubate) = 1,000,000 /day

Both of which are relatively easy to come by once you've unlocked them and have the cash for the eggs and habitat. If you really want to farm, some metal dragon hybrids have an even higher payout later (see the link).

Breeding Opportunity Cost

Breeding is one of the main bottlenecks of the entire game, especially early on (unless you are buying trunks of gems with your real monies). As such, think twice about breeding mating pairs that have a potential for long cycle times. This is especially true of any earth combination, because even after such a long wait, what you get in return is typically not awe inspiring.

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Nice work, but Fire habitats will quickly become useless to those with Pang Long dragons or anyone that doesn't check the game verryy frequently. Earth habitats are still quite good. –  Ben Brocka Apr 4 '12 at 3:53
    
I intend to add more of an end game perspective, and upload the spreadsheet I created to Google Docs once I figure out how. I believe this strategy holds well through around the mid teens. I am somewhat discounting rare dragons, as they are, well rare. I still need to consider boosts and 10+ dragons as well, but I haven't gotten that far yet. :) –  EBongo Apr 4 '12 at 4:25
    
I wouldn't really call it late game even...Do you still play often enough to get more out of a Fire habitat than an Earth habitat? Harvesting a large earth habitat twice is 150,000 per day (which it should fill up about that fast), you'd have to harvest a Fire habitat 10 times to get that much. –  Ben Brocka Apr 4 '12 at 4:28
    
Also you should include the Metal dragons, they're by far more worth it (Chrome I believe are the best) for XP and money than Air dragons, though they come later in the game. –  Ben Brocka Apr 4 '12 at 4:29
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Google Doc is available at docs.google.com/spreadsheet/… . My first use of Google Docs, we'll see how it works. I added level 10 data to the doc, but I haven't had a chance to summarize. –  EBongo Apr 5 '12 at 3:25
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Pretty much the only things you should focus on is getting more experience. Each time you level up (which rare exceptions) you get one more availible habitat for dragons, and you usually unlock one or more bonuses like more dragons/more farms which help you in turn get more experience and more money.

Diversity is important to the point that you have one of each basic element; this will let you breed all the hybrid dragons you want. Hybrid dragons tend to be worth more XP, and eventually will allow you to breed the Rare dragons, Sun/Moon/Rainbow dragon.

Generally there's no reason not to wind up with one of each dragon, hybrids included, which will help you later when you want to breed rarer dragons. Since breeding takes time, go ahead and breed for diversity while you can, early in the game there s not much sense in focusing on maximizing money per second.

Always grow food and try to get your dragons to level 10; leveling your dragons gives you experience and lets them gather money much faster. There are also late-game benefits to leveling your dragons to 10; once you have leveled 50 dragons of one element to level 10, you can then raise that dragon type to level 15 after you gain certain late-game items.

As for Quantity, it's pretty much always best to always have your habitats full, even with just basic dragons. Sell off dragons once you get a "better" hybrid to put in it's place.

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Just so I am reading this right, I should be more focused on maxing out my level until I cap out, then work on getting a good production rate going? –  James Mar 28 '12 at 22:45
    
@James it'll take months for your level to cap out, but once you're past 10 or so you'll be going slowly enough there's not so much "focus". What do you mean production rate though? You should always be getting money, but once you have 10+ habitats you can start using a few habitats solely for money production (rares) –  Ben Brocka Mar 28 '12 at 22:55
    
I suppose I should have mentioned I am already level 10... Does that change the above strategy? Cause I am looking for where to go from here (good to know that I had the right feeling for where I was though to consider it maybe starting to be time to move in wider directions) –  James Mar 28 '12 at 23:00
    
I overestimated the leveling curve; you're still in the "fast" parto f the game, somewhere mid/late teens it starts getting slower. But I still wouldn't worry too much about a strategy really, unless you're having trouble getting money/dragons. Ping me in chat if you want –  Ben Brocka Mar 28 '12 at 23:01
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Just breed all your dragons to level 20 and there is money galore! I'm focusing now on having only metal, earth and cold habitats. Cold filled with blooms, panlongs in the earths and magnetics in the metals. Will save HEAPS of money levelling to 20 as these three dragons have all the elements in them.

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