- Don't die. Expect to take about 300k damage on level 569. Energy Shields grant 100k health each, and are unlocked after 10 Light Armor and 10 Heavy Armor.
- Keep your team alive. Use your Medics ability every 5 minutes if the middle health bars are up and there is no active healing. The leftmost health bar is shared with the number of dead players, who can be resurrected with the Resurrection item. Items are obtained via boss drops or bought at the start of the game using badge points (BP) from previous games (1 BP per 10 levels). These are normal monsters:
- Click for gold to upgrade Shields and Farming Equipment (deals 1000 DPS even while Steam is closed). Between boss levels, use abilities to deal extra damage and take out the spawners first before they spawn more low-gold, time-wasting minions. Note that Tactical Nuke etc. target the last monster you've clicked.
- Use the Raining Gold items on bosses. Not damage items. Raining Gold immediately copies 1% of the loot per click. As bosses have a lot of hitpoints, you can easily get all clickers multiple times the base loot, millions! To compare, level 549 Spawners give only 1730 gold per click. Bosses take up the entire screen and appear in a random lane on each level multiple of 10. This is a boss:
- Multiply your damage via Elemental Damage and tier upgrades (a Railgun does 1000 damage per click). Mouseover the buttons to compare DPS increase and cost. As lane elements are random per level, and bonus increments are fixed, spread out your elemental levels.
- Switch lanes. Help out other lanes and take advantage of their active abilities. The log shows events in all three lanes.
- Check back to spend collected items and use your cooled-down abilities. Games reset every day at 16:00 UTC, so spend your items before that. Raining Gold works better at higher levels, so don't spend them all early or when a boss is about to die.
- Buy smart. The defense, auto, and click upgrades currently have five tiers each. Each tier is ten times as good as the one before it and starts out cheap, so only buy an upgrade if it costs less than a tenth of what the next tier does. Remember that you'll probably be AFK most of the time, so defense and auto are best. Morale Boost unlocks at Auto-fire Cannon level 20.
- Play again. Only buy Raining Gold (10 BP each) as that has the most lasting effect by allowing everyone to prepare for higher levels. Metal Detector is worthless as it needs to be active when a monster dies and earns less than Raining Gold. Remaining BP can be spent on early game items Treasure (2 BP) to help you upgrade and Pumped Up (1 BP) for a little health boost. Note: Like lunboks said, if you plan to stick around for a level multiple of 100, buy some Wormholes and use them there to skip the next 10 levels each and give every player 500k gold. With nukers and no cooldown boosts, you'll only be able to use a few wormholes, though:
The overall best strategy that all the top rooms use is simple, but it requires a very high degree of coordination, so unless you join an organized "pre-made" room, it will probably not be very effective.
At the start of the round, use all your badge points to buy two items ("Wormhole" and "Like New") in about a 5:1 ratio
On boss levels divisible by 100, stop doing damage entirely and just spam these items
Do not upgrade your auto-damage further than 10 Auto-fire Cannons (which unlocks the Boss Loot upgrade)
Wormholes skip a level when the current level is cleared, but if used on a level divisible by 100, they skip 10 levels instead. "Like New" clears all cooldowns in the lane, which can be used repeatedly to quickly dump more Wormholes.
By stalling these levels, you can queue up extremely large level skips to the tune of millions of levels, provided your room has enough Wormholes.
That's it. Upgrade-wise, your #1 priority should be health, because you can quickly get into levels where the monsters will one-shot you with millions of HP. Click damage and elemental upgrades are not important.
The Easy Strategy
I've been playing this game each day since the sale started, and I can safely say this is the best strategy:
Start a new game as soon as possible after 9am Pacific.
With this strategy, I've been to the highest levels I've ever been, exponentially higher than when I start a game later in the day.
For reference, in my current game, which I started around 9:10 am yesterday, I'm level 17,250 having clicked a grand total of 0 times. I have 50 or so of every consumable item, and have more money than I know what to do with. We clear levels so fast the spawners don't have time to show up on the screen before they're dead. Against bosses, we deal damage in the hundreds of quintillions.
The previous day I started around 11am Pacific and got to around level 250. I expect to shatter my record by a wide margin every day I manage to get a game started around 9am Pacific.
I suspect this works because the truly "hardcore" players start new games early, so I end up with a lot of people who have a lot of badge points and who have been at high levels in the past. (Like myself!) Having a lot of previously high-level players in your lobby means you can move very fast at first.
Stuff You Can Do Anyhow
Beyond that point, it matters a lot less what you do. My suggestion is to invest heavily into the "Light Armor" and "Auto-Fire Cannon" trees, as this will keep you alive longer and have you dealing more damage without having to invest much effort. I just get each skill to level 10 and then ignore that tier in favor of the next one.
Ideally here, you'd balance it so that you're only paying for the higher tier when it costs less than 10x the previous one, but again, way too much money for me to care. The first few ranks in any new tier of these skills are so cheap that it makes it very worth unlocking them.
Invest in elemental damage - ideally everyone would specialize so that "Max Elemental Damage" consumable has the most effect. I tend to peanut-butter it across because the team damage is so high it doesn't really matter.
There are a couple of abilities that have minimum requirements in the "Armor Piercing Round" tree, so I will grab ranks down there until I can get the Tactical Nuke and so forth.
With badge points, I used to stock up on Treasure items, as they help in the early game. Having a good dozen or so of these is helpful, for sure, but past that point it becomes annoying to use them up, not to mention the number you'll find from beating bosses. Past a few of each item, I tend to blow my badge points on expensive items just to use them up.
If you've got an insane amount of badge points, you might as well stock up on Wormholes - they can be used to very rapidly level up the whole game. I've got people in today's game who are using them so that every level we clear skips a good 5-10 levels easily. This might be suicidal if done too much in a low-level game, since the payout in return for level skipping is somewhat low. In a "power leveling" game started around 9am Pacific, it's not that big of an issue.
Use the badges you have gotten from the previous game to buy upgrades. Personally i would suggest to buy a mixture of the ones that give 100k gold and those that give 1% of targets money per click. I guess you can also buy a bunch of the Cripple Spawner items to get rid of spawners more quickly.
Use the 100k gold items to get yourself started. Use the 1% per click items on bosses (every 10th level). If you are going to check every so often, don't use up all your 1% items straight away... Save some for higher level bosses.
Do NOT use high damage abilities on bosses, since other people are going to use the 1% items to click themselves rich.
Which upgrades to get:
10x Light Armor
10x Heavy Armor
5x Energy Shield (this should give you more then enough health points even for high levels)
10x Auto-fire Cannon
10x Advanced Targeting
10x Farming Equipment
..x AFK Equipment (as many as you can get (10k damage per rank))
??x Boss Loot (own choice)
4x for each Elemental Damage
Don't focus on just the armor or just the auto-fire. upgrade them both approx at the same time. As you may have noticed, no click upgrades. Unless you want to click alot, it is better to upgrade your auto fire so you keep doing damage even though you are not in the game.
Abilities (if you are going to check on the game every so often):
You will have to come back to the game every so often to check up on your money status and see if you can buy some more upgrades.
Also, check the prices for the different categories and go for the cheaper ones first (if you already upgraded to 4x elemental damage for each elemental type but not your auto-fire, you still don't do alot of damage.
If you got alot of money to spend ingame, do it on auto-fire / elemental damage options.