Here are some tips for you to start the game. enjoy the game.
- Familiarize yourself with the controls: Before you do anything, check the control options to see what you can do and what key bindings there are. Change them to whatever fits you the most. The game allows you to interact with the environment and move with your mouse. However the situations might come where you want to move but accidentally click on and pick up loot on the ground instead. This CAN and WILL KILL YOU!! So if you want to move around during combat, I highly suggest using the keyboard for precise movement.
- What build should I go for? The easiest skill path to pick up when you are new to the game is Pyromancy. It has decent range, good damage and will teach you how to kite enemies. Hardest will be geomancy since it has a slow ramp up and requires a decent amount of understanding of the game’s mechanics in order to pilot effectively. The weapon trees are relatively balanced and easy to grasp.
- Always make sure your character is not in rest mode when you have to AFK: Stoneshard is a turn based game. However, during rest mode the game will automatically skip turns and move time forward till you either die of hunger/thirst or some enemy walks into your vicinity. If you happen to need to afk at some point, MAKE SURE YOU ARE NOT IN REST MODE. You don’t want a stupid death while starving in fetal position.
- Rest often, but find a safe space to do it. In stoneshard you are always in combat state, as long as you aren’t in a town/village. Make sure you aren’t followed by anything and rest to recover your injuries. In dungeons, this can be a room that you’ve already cleared. Lock the doors and hug your knees. Resting often will help save you supplies in the long run.
- Save often. You can do this at the inn or at beds in bandit camps or POIs.
- Prioritise your survival at all costs. This ‘’tip’’ might sound redundant but honestly can’t be stressed enough. As long as you are alive and well you can grind back the exp/gold that you have missed. If you run out of medical supplies, it is generally wise to back off to town instead of exploring the dungeon. If you don’t think you can take on 3 or 4 dudes then running might be the wiser option. One unlucky dice roll or maybe an injury untreated because you don’t have a splint for it can ruin your day very fast.
- Always plan for a way out. Stoneshard is a turn-based game. This means you have time to look at the situation at hand and plan your moves. If you are out in the open and ambushed, look for the best direction to run and fight towards that. If you are in a dungeon, pull the fight near the dungeon entrance if possible.
- Zone swap is your friend. This might sound like mechanic abuse but the time in the zones you’ve left behind will ‘’stop’’. This means enemies in the zones you’ve left behind will stay in the same position regardless of what you do or how long you do them in the new zone. If you found yourself being chased by bandits or animals, consider swapping to a new zone to rest up + run or move to a new position to engage. THIS WILL ONLY WORK IF YOU ARE AT LEAST 4 TILES AWAY FROM YOUR NEAREST AGGRESSOR. If they are within that range of you then THEY WILL FOLLOW YOU TO THE NEXT ZONE.
- Points of interest are great to do but not necessary. These question marks points on the maps often contain bandit camps or some other interesting stuff. These can give you exp and sometimes okay loots if you are lucky. I will talk more about them in a section down below.
- Don’t just click to move your character across the zones. Move a few tiles at a time. Take a look around you and listen to audio cues. This is a mistake I often see players make. They will just walk across the zones without a care in the world and often walk into bears/wolves, etc. Walk slowly and pay attention to your surroundings. Aggressive animals have a range which they won’t pursue you as long as you stay out of it. Wolves/boars are about 8 – 10 tiles. Bears are a bit shorter.
- Always keep at least 1 splint and 1 or 2 bandages on you. Nuff said. Sometimes injuries will be so severe that hugging your knees alone just won’t do. Sometimes the bleeding just won’t stop. Sometimes you will step on a trap.
- Traps and drugs are great. With the introduction of the trapper and drugs into the game, you can now buy them for a decent price. The trapper will move between Mannshire and Osbrook every few days. He will always sit in front of the inn and sell traps/nets/caltrops/drugs etc. I personally would recommend you take 1 or 2 claw traps before you venture into any dungeon. They deal massive damage, can cause injuries and immobilization. This can help you to either pump enemies full of arrows or run if you choose to. I will have a section below on how to use these.
- Fleaworts and berries are plenty. Use them. Not much to say about this one.
- All containers outside dungeons can be used to store stuff without the fear of losing items inside. This applies to barrels/chests/corpses and even graves. Don’t be afraid to store stuff in there. Just don’t forget about them LOL.
- Keep your morale and sanity high. High morale and sanity increases your chances of getting positive mental effects like prudence or second wind. These effects, especially the latter, can save you from life or death situations. Check here to see what can increase your sanity. Morale most of the time can be increased through just sleeping or drinking ale/wine.
- Treat your body parts. It’s always better to have your body part condition at 100% before taking any more fights. This means you will always be at maximum HP possible at the start of fights. You don’t want to be injured mid battle because one of your body parts was damaged but not to the point of getting an injury before. Healing salves and leeches are the best method to do this. They are sold at the herbalist who lives in a hut south of the Osbrook market or the priest in the big church in Mannshire.
- Have a crowbar on you. This can be used to unlock doors/chests with 100% success rates. They can be repaired at blacksmith for a cheap price and will be the best investment you will have throughout the whole game. They can be equipped in your 2nd loadout and used to smash things without having to worry about durability lost.
- Don’t make too much noise unless you want to fight someone. Nuff said. The game has a noise system so if you scream too much or fight a lot it can pull enemies from the surrounding area.
- Use trees/rocks and objects to your advantage. Due to the fact that in Stoneshard people can’t move diagonally around corners, you should use this to your advantage when being chased. Run into the woods, zig zags around trees, rocks, etc. This can create distance between you and enemy AI giving you time to run.
- Treat your pain. Pain will increase the damage you take. Ideally if you can keep your pain under 10% would be the best. The first pain threshold starts at 25% at which you will take 10% more damage. Just because you aren’t at this threshold yet doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat your pain. If you are at between 10% and 20% pain, you can easily reach the first threshold with just 1 or 2 bad hits. You wouldn’t want to waste a turn or two treating pain in the middle of a brawl. Common effective pain killers are alcohol or herbal extract. For pain of 50% or more I would recommend just using ether inhaler or soporific sponge. The latter needs a safe space for you to sleep but works really well without much of a downside. The sponge/herbal extract can be bought at herbalists and the inhaler at the priest.
- Keep the potions but don’t drink them unless you have to. Sometimes you will find bottles on shelves with unknown effects. These are potions which can be harmful or awesome depending on your luck. You can identify them with identification scrolls bought at either herbalist or general merchant.
- Avoid roads if you don’t want to fight ambushes. On the other hand, stay on roads if you want exp. The chances of you meeting ambushes by bandits increases when you walk on roads. These ambushes will scale to your player level. They can be a good source of exp or a deathtrap if you don’t know what you are doing.
- Don’t stick to common fantasy RPG tropes when gearing up. Stoneshard armors and gears don’t require stats to equip. You can pretty much equip whatever you like on whatever character you like. Just because you are an archer doesn’t mean you cannot wear heavy gear. The difference between gears are just appearances and stat bonuses/penalties. Look at the gears and equip accordingly to what you need. Do be careful since heavy armors can have nasty energy penalties so level up your VIT or enchant them with energy accordingly.
Combat related tips:
- Read what your skills do. REMEMBER THEM. Skills in stoneshard sometimes will apply additional effects or have additional effects depending on the condition. Some skills combination are meant to be used in certain order (e.g. Nail down => Impaling Lunge, etc. .). Some skills will be better used when in certain positions relative to terrain. (e.g. skills with knockback will have better effects if your targets have their backs against walls/objects). Remember what your skills do, figure out what the ideal skill rotation is will increase your combat efficiency by a lot.
- The utility trees are great. Use them. The utility trees Athletics and Combat Mastery are great to compliment melee combat. Do consider taking points in them if you find yourself having extra skill points but haven’t unlocked higher tier weapon skills yet.
- INSPECT ENEMIES ALWAYS. You can right click enemies and select inspect to see its statuses. This will show you the enemies’ HP, Energy and armor values as well as their resistances + their skills. Information is king. And inspecting enemies will show you what they can do.This will be changed in the future but for now it is here to stay.
- DO NOT FIGHT WHERE YOU HAVE WALLS/OBJECTS ON YOUR BACK. In Stoneshard if you are knocked back into a wall/object you will be stunned. This can lead to chain stuns and you will be killed without being able to do anything about it. The same thing also applies to your enemies so if you have knockback in your skill set then lure enemies to where you can knock them into objects and walls to enjoy your free stuns.
- If you are playing melee, consider getting a crossbow and bodkin bolts. A hunting crossbow and bodkin bolts should be affordable after the first dungeon or a few POIs. It has a decent range and with bodkin bolts you would have decent accuracy to hit at least one or two shots before they reach you in melee. After you reach Mannshire, the bandits outside of Mannshire’s bandit dungeon can drop a war crossbow if killed. This one will be enough for all of the content the game has to offer. Do consider putting points into PRC till you have 15 for 1 extra vision and shooting range.
- If you are netted, just skip your turn. This will reduce the duration of the net. The higher your STR is, the more turns you can shave off being netted by skipping turns.
- Tips on hunting wolves early on: Approach the wolf pack one tile at a time, ideally so that only 1 of them is in your line of sight. Keep moving closer until the wolf has yellow question marks above its head. This means it is suspicious of you entering its territory. Stand still and skip turns until he turns hostile and starts chasing you. You can now pull him away from the pack and kill him quietly one on one. Rest afterwards and repeat the process till everything dies. This can probably work on bison packs as well though I haven’t really tested it yet.
- Tips on killing bears early on: Don’t try it unless you meet a bear right next to a village/town. This is a cheese tactic since bears/wolves and enemies can’t enter town/village (for now, might change in the future) unless it’s a bug. Shoot bear with your crossbows/bows till he chases you to the village border. Enter the town and then re enter the bear zone on a different location, preferably at max range away from it. Bear will stay at the same place where you left it. Repeat the process till he dies. Do be careful as he might flee at a certain threshold of HP or degree of injuries. You might want to inspect him and switch to melee before he runs if needed since you probably won’t be able to catch him once he runs.
- You don’t need to take the contracts at the elder in order to be able to go to dungeons. This will be changed in the future but for now this is how it works. Going straight to dungeons will remove the burden of a deadline and allow you to tackle them as you see fit.
- Dungeon order at Osbrook: There are 4 dungeons around the starting village, Osbrook. There are 2 dungeons with bandit enemies (fort/outpost), 1 with skeleton enemies (crypt/tomb) and 1 with cultists/vampire enemies (catacombs/monastery). Of the two bandit dungeons, one will be easier and should always be the first to tackle when you start the game. This dungeon is perfectly doable at level 1. You can see their difficulty level with your map. Afterwards you can tackle the vampire cultists and then afterwards the skeleton dungeon or the 2nd bandit dungeon depends on your level.
- Dungeon order at Mannshire: With difficulty level ranging from easiest to hardest: Vamp dungeon -> skeleton dungeon -> bandit dungeon.
- SPAM EXAMINE SURROUNDINGS: This should be done at least once or twice every time you walk into a dungeon room to spot hidden traps. Spam this skill near walls for a chance to spot secret rooms.
- Never fight where you found someone. This is due to the noise mechanic. If you fight somebody in a room, chances are the dudes in the next room already heard about it and will rush you. If you see someone, get his attention, then pull him away from that spot to a more advantageous position to fight. This will ensure you will never have to fight a big mob more than you can handle. This tip doesn’t really apply to geomancers since the moment you raise a boulder, everything in the dungeon will hear it.
- Best position to fight in is to the side of a corridor opening. Example below:
- This position ensures you will only have to fight one enemy at a time while the ranged enemies in the next room won’t have line of sight to shoot you. There’s nothing behind your back and a wall behind your enemies. If you have skills with knockback like mighty kick/onslaught/hail of blows, etc, this position will give you a good chance to deliver stuns to the enemy. This position or anywhere with a similar setup will be the best to fight in melee combat for 90% of the time.
- If you find a spike trap, it is best to leave it there. Lure enemies there and force them to fight on the trap if possible. This tip might not work all the time especially if the enemy has decent PRC and has spotted the trap. But if they don’t then they will charge you into the trap and take damage every turn as long as the trap isn’t disarmed.
- Remember the trap positions when you find them. Stoneshard will NOT auto path you to dodge the traps you’ve already spotted so pay attention. Trap positions can also be used to lure enemies into.
- Use claw traps. This item is really powerful since its introduction to the game. Has 5 uses, deals 35 damage each and has a 100% chance to immobilize someone who steps on it. Best thing is it can be repaired at a blacksmith for more use. Can be bought at the trapper who will sit in front of either Osbrook or Mannshire inn.If you don’t see him just wait a few in game days. You can also find claw traps in the forest if you spam examine surroundings and get lucky. Throw something heavy (a weapon) on it to trigger it then you can pick it up and use it as you see fit.
- Use smoke bombs to counter high range casters or archers. They cannot shoot or target what they cannot see. Use this on them or on yourself to give you time to gap close. I personally don’t find this necessary but it is an option you can use. Smoke bombs can be bought at the trapper.
- Cut line of sight to counter casters and archers. Since you are in a dungeon there will be plenty of close doors/corners to cut your line of sight to the archer/caster. Due to enemy AI, they will try to seek you out to shoot you with stuff which most of the time means they will walk into your melee range.
- Shoot the door. If you are playing a bow character, you can soften up doors with crowbars before last hitting the door at a safe distance. This will ensure you will have a view inside the room while maintaining a safe enough distance. I personally don’t find this necessary but do keep in mind that this is something you can do.
- Bandit dungeons have more food, Skeletons have more valuables and Vampire dungeons have more medicine. If you go to bandit dungeons, most of the time you will end up with more food than you can eat for a few days.
- Be careful when opening sarcophaguses. This is due to the chance of wraith spawning out of them. Make sure you are healthy, with no enemies nearby since a wraith fight can be a real pain.
Tips on drugs/trap usage:
- There are 6 types of drugs in stoneshard at the moment. Most of them can be bought at either the trapper/the herbalist or the general merchant. The rarest of them all is stardust which I haven’t seen sold by the above vendors yet but only through dungeon loot. See here for the lists of what they are and their effects.
- The drugs themselves will give you nasty aftermath effect after their duration has run out. Some of these can kill you. This can be cured through the use of an antitoxin.
- If you use 2 drugs at the same time or use one drug then drink alcohol it will lead into a bad trip which can be nasty. (and yes, that is how your screen will look like in game) Bad trips can only be cured by eating mindwort. Keep this in mind if you do not have an antitoxin in hand when you use drugs since self inducing a bad trip then eating mindwort to cure it can save your life.
- The drug use itself is pretty self-explanatory. See what you need for your character then drug accordingly. I personally feel that Al’qud is the best all-round drug for most of the build since you can never go wrong with more energy regen. Hornet Honey is probably a must for any dodge character or if you just want more crit chance in general.
- Nikkaf can be used in some archer/ranger fights to be able to see and shoot from a great distance.
- Stoneshard: Right on Target for Maces Guide
- Stoneshard: Herbs, mooshroom, and other plants you will find on your adventures
- Stoneshard: Dagger and Embers Guide