Dawn of Fantasy/General beginners guide
This guide aims to help you getting started in your first time playing the game, since it can seem quite rough, complex and probably a little bit hard to begin the first time that you play.
 I. Basic mechanisms and useful stuff
On the main menu in the game, and you can start your first Online Kingdom by clicking a suitable button. You will arrive on a weird screen asking you some questions such as race, starting location, and traits.
Choosing a race won't be an issue, but for the sake of comparison, the three races roughly follow the same distribution as StarCraft II. You have:
- The Orcs
- An offensive race with great production (some of their units are free), flexibility, large number of weak troops (most of them, at least, but people will tell you ogres aren't that weak). Orcs are really good at looting and pillaging poor lands and can use it to compensate their relative - very relative - lack of steady resources income. They're the zergs of Mythador.
- The Elves
- They are protosses set in a fantasy world, ie their troops are strong, reliable, quite specialized and efficient in their specific domain, but of course fewer than orc and human (basic squad has 16 soldiers in it, against 20 for humans, and 24 for orcs). Plus, their economy is really based on trickles, they may be the best race to stay in your keep waiting for resources to grow and then go out with a fearsome army (protosses, as I said, that is not the only way to play them, but they're the better at it).
- The Humans
- A middle-of-the-road race with tough, decently strong units, larger and best defensive options (who said Terran?), amazing cavalry and an economy mostly based on trickles (sheep are the way) but which can be helped by some looting from time to time. As you can imagine, this is the race most new players choose to begin with.
For each race, you will have to choose between 3 regions, each one having its pros and its cons. You can find a list of those on the Region Traits page.
The economic advantages/disadvantages are not that big of a deal and your choice won't matter that much when your economy will be built. Focus more on the unit types pros/cons in order to have an army as much close to your "style" as you wish. For instance, if you want to have a goblin heavy army, you'd rather choose the Orc Swamps to get the bonus on the goblin units. Overall, the human region choice is less determinant than the Orc or Elf one, you'll get less advantages/disadvantages concerning the units. Keep in mind too that each region has its own geography and will be more/less easy to defend: Southmonth for Humans and Swamps for Elves are both great defensive places while Orc Desert is way more open and vulnerable.
Finally, try to choose a region which just fits with what you want in aesthetic terms: if you love woods, pick a forest region no matter what.
Each race has its own traits (even if most of them have a pretty similar effect) and you will have to choose two between those. This choice is really determinant. The problem is you can only select two traits among the four or five. The dilemma may give you pause.
 Common traits
- Siege mastery trait
- This one will be more and more useful with time. It will increase the siege gear hit points (ladder, siege towers), catapult range, decrease their cost and so on. At the beginning the siege stuff seems to be tough enough, but you will use more range and health on your siege gear during large sieges, where you can't really afford to spend 20 pop (over 60, maximum pop size of an army) into siege stuff. Besides it's always fun to shoot walls down with superior range when the defender can do nothing but show his defenses being slowly destroyed. This trait can be a good choice if you're planning on doing a lot of massive PvP sieges.
- Defensive mastery
- This is the same trait as above, but in a defensive version ; increased tower catapult range, toughened, cheaper walls and towers, etc. Great if you're planning to be attacked a lot, to poke all players in the game chat making them want to burn your keep to the ground and scatter your bones around the world.
- Economic mastery
- No trait has this very name, but each race has this kind of trait. Put simply, it increases overall resource gathering rate (trickles, gatherer efficiency, etc...). It will help you getting your town up a little bit faster, replenish army and reproduce troops faster (not that much). There is no observable advantage to this yet, since towns already grow relatively fast; fast enough, at least. It might become useful in some kind of global intensive PvP situation, when you must build armies as quickly as you can, but apart from this, it's not a good choice.
- Battle mastery
- (excluding Orcs) This one will improve significantly the damage/hit points/overall efficiency of your military units, and may decrease their cost as well. According to me, this is a must have, getting in a fight with 20-30% less damage or health than your opponent is instant death.
 Specific traits
- It's a decent trait in my opinion, the world map army's speed increase alone is nice, and the looting bonus will replace the economic mastery at least equally if not way better if you're in need from resources. It will allow you to get much more after a PvP battle and rebuild your army accordingly faster. To sum up, it's quite a good trait to both getting started faster and in a longer term PvP situation.
- This trait replaces the Battle mastery of the two other races, and offers a doubled spawning rate for free units, and decreased units training time instead. This trait fits the orc spirit really well ; the more you have, the best it is. Losing an army is not a big deal at all, you'll have another one in a few minutes. This is a fun trait, useful in PvP if you want to flood your opponents under the orc tide, but right now the 30 minutes protection given after each PvP battle weakens this trait quite a bit. Having an army back twice as fast as your opponent is not that useful because you won't attack him for a certain period of time. But it can help farming wealth like crazy...
- If you're a mountain elf, you have to take this one. It's vital, and it will make your enchanters ravage the battleground. The hiding options that it gives is also relatively nice, but the fact that you can see enemy troops on the mini-map kind of ruins that, even if it opens a lot of subtleties. If you're not a mountain elf, you can still take this trait, it's not a bad one and in combination with the Battle mastery, your enchanters will still be decent beasts.
- Building mastery
- Little is know about this trait at this time.
After you discover your town and your hero, the advisor (who is invulnerable) gives to you the first few quests; goblins marauding around, and building construction.
- Your hero's best use is tanking, get his damage reductions up to 80% for each as soon as possible. Then increase its stamina so he can use the mass heal ability, which is amazing.
- Each race has healing possibilities : wells (humans), curative sources (orc), main tree (elf)
- For Elves, looting dead bodies gives only gold.
- For Orcs, looting dead bodies gives food, gold and wood (depending on the type of body).
- For Humans, looting dead bodies gives only gold and wood (depending on the type of body).
- For Orcs & Humans, goblin's body gives wood when looted (it's one of the only one which gives wood).
- Orcs can place their building wherever they want (except on walls pattern), Humans and Elves have spots to build on them.
- Orc gatherers also build in the build menu in their skill bar (above the unit description)
- Orcs gather resources way faster than humans/elves (One orc unit gathers faster than one human/elf unit)
- For Orcs, having less than half of maximum population in your town GREATLY increases spawning rate of marauders, gatherers and goblins, having your army outside of the town is a good idea. If you're under half the maximum pop and they're still spawning super slowly, cancel the production and reactivate it right after, it should work.
- For Humans, wooden palisades aren't really useful, start with stone from the beginning if you can.
- For Humans & Orcs, using the available formations with each unit really improve your troops efficiency by a lot.
- For Elves, always have your Rangers in Wind Stance.
- Using Attack Move is often better than right-clicking on a unit, starting with Attack Move and then micro-manage your troops one at a time (the pathfinding right now is a little bit messy, so be patient and Attack Move). Be careful though, attack-move is the best way to get your soldiers burned.
- Houses/Huts increase both population cap and resources cap (up to 90 pop/5400 resources)
- Your can increase resource cap by researching two tech in your main building.
- For Elves, not selling the unicorns when the advisor asks you to buy stone from the nearest market is the best choice; they will give you way more gold than their actual selling value (if you research the suitable tech in the Sylvan Shrine).
- For Elves, if you're wondering how you can gather wood, tree spirits are the way (they're not specified in the wood income tab, but they do gather wood).
- The bell icon in your main building can be used to make all gatherer run towards the building (useful in sieges).
- Camps on the world map gather ressources only when you're online, towns (and gatherers inside the town) do their job even if offline.
- Wealth can be awarded in three ways : quests, PvP and NPC town sieging.
- Setting a camp on the world map makes the units inside heal over time.
- You can buy (with wood) siege gear (not trebuchets/catapults/treants/Bolt Thrower) in a fortified camp.
- For Humans, horse carts can be used as drop-off point for gatherers. They also have the best carrying capacity of the game, having 2-3 in your army can be nice.
- If the amount of gold you have in either a town or a army is above the resource cap, you will lose the gold until you're down to this cap (the higher it is, the faster you lose the gold). You can fight that by having large gold trickle (using sheeps/unicorns).
- For Humans, storage buildings DO NOT increase storage capacity.
- For Orcs, do not ever care about or get attached to a goblin unit, it will die.
- Concerning the best way to spend experience points on units, the debate is open. Concerning range units, put 2 points in attack and 1 in range at each level - sometimes ammunition instead of range. Concerning melee units, this depends on the starting stats and the use of the unit. Put lots on damage on expendable ones so they deal some damage before they die, and lots on defense for expensive strong units to make them survive and gain more experience points. That is a matter of opinion.
- You can't actually see the other player's town on the world map, every city you can see in a NPC town - you can exchange goods, cattle, recruit mercenaries and heal your units in these (not always all of that, but part of). You can siege other player's town though (please read the third section to know more about it).
 II. Building an economy
If you want your town to grow fast and steadily, you'd better focus first on having a strong economy even before starting your walls, defenses and armies. Once you have a good resources income, you'll be able to do what you want to do way faster and with greater results. Although, the fact is, economy is not that easy to build correctly when you're a beginner.
You start with your hero, a few soldiers and a handful of peasants. Get your economy started right. The best way to begin with humans is at first doing the quests the advisor will give. They will reward you with very useful stuff such as resources and more importantly additional peasants, horse carts. There are some packs of wandering wolves at the beginning on your town's map and they can kill your peasants quite easily, so be careful and kill them as soon as possible. Note that you've also been given some resources to start with (a good amount of wood, in particular). The best way to use them in a first time is to get some houses up (let's say 4-5) and more importantly, a barn.
You can set your peasants mainly on wood gathering and perhaps a few to start picking stone (you will need a lot of stone later on, so if the sooner you start collecting it, the better it is). Don't put any peasant on food gathering since quests give you a decent amount during the early stages of the game. If you're in great need of food, you still can try to go outside your town, enter the nearest region and loot bandits over there (to do so, go on the world map; select your town and click the "Create Army" button; then select this army, go a little bit away from the town and click on the magnifying glass-shaped button that appears in the bottom of the screen). Be sure to take at least one peasant with the army to actually loot the corpses. The gold you will gain from this can be exchanged with food in the nearest NPC-town.
Continue doing quests and gathering wood until your barn is completed (you can also train of few more peasants if you can afford them, it's nice to have roughly 500 food when the barn's construction finishes). Now the serious stuff can start. Mills are a waste of time and population: cows will give you a food trickle way superior to the mill gathering rate. Buy as much cows as you can. You can also buy a few chicken if you can't afford cows at the moment - you will replace them with cows later. Chickens give food trickle too, but less than cows for the same population value. Your goal is to have 8-12 cows.
Now that cows give you lots and lots of food, you can start to use it on something else. You have two ways to spend it : on peasants, which will start gathering wood and stone (8-10 peasants on each is enough) and maybe a few gold ; and sheep which are your brand new banking system. Sheep give gold over time and that's great, not only because being rich is always nice and will make you be married under a year, but also because their trickle will compensate the gold loss (when your gold amount is over the resource cap). 25 sheep in town may be too much, but having 10-20 is really nice. If you're lacking troops in the early game, the best way to have more is to recruit mercenary in NPC towns with the gold sheep provide.
During all this you have been building houses and why not a barrack/stable/archery range with the wood your peasants are chopping. You're supposed to have right now a lot of food, a lot of gold (maybe not that many, but a decent amount), and a few wood/stone. That's the right moment to start building your stone walls. Since humans gather stone relatively slowly, you might have to buy large quantities of stone in the nearest market; to afford that, just sell the food surplus. You can buy some dwarven miners off the market too, but it's not the best way to spend your wealth; walls and upgrades will eat crowns very quickly.
By now, you should have a decent economy (you can do modulations and variants of this, but that is the global idea) so you can safely build your walls, and make an army out of your production buildings. When an economy is stable and walls have been upgraded, some players kick the peasants out of the town in working camps (explained later) to free more population for an army. Keep some cows/sheep and maybe a few wood gatherers inside the walls. In that way, one can still make troops since most of them are made with food and gold. If wood is needed, just buy some of the Market building you should have way enough gold to do that.
As an elf, you start with similar stuff than human : a hero, some troops and a few gatherers. First, you should do the first quests and earn their reward. But the first gathering goal is different: you can't simply gather wood. Instead, skip the wood part and try to build a solid food income. Make your first wardens gather food (berries), and launch the construction of both a Sylvan Shrine and a Tree Symbiosis. Building a Tree Dwelling can be completed afterwards even if there's a quest requesting it. You can make some additional wardens as well and scatter them between food and stone (same reasons as humans, the sooner you start the better it is, but don't sacrifice the food for the stone, you'll use it later on).
Once the two buildings mentioned above are completed, you can begin to improve your food income. In the Sylvan Shrine, pump out as much deer as you can! They will provide a food trickle increasing with each deer, and the best thing about it it that deers do not take any population. Feel free to spam them like crazy. You should research the Unicorn Synergy as soon as possible in the same building too, and don't sell the unicorns that the Market quest gives you, which will help you have a decent gold income early in the game. Once your food income is high enough, do with unicorns what humans do with sheep: gather a bunch of them to have a nice gold trickle. Once again, 30 may be too many, but 10-20 seems reasonable.
You have both food and gold, but you really need some wood and you don't know how to get some. This is when Tree Symbiosis comes into play. From this pretty construction, you can buy tree spirits which give you wood over time. They are really expensive though, you won't be able to get a lot of them very early; they do their job well however, having 5 is usually enough.
By now, you should have a (very) good food income, a good gold income, and a good wood income. Only thing needed now is stone income, which is the warden's job. If you have trouble gathering enough stone to build all your walls, buy some in the nearest NPC town and you will be fine. You can now start to build a few War Lodges/Arcane Sanctuaries, and get some troops to punish your enemies. Like humans, once your walls are built and upgraded, you can kick gatherers out of town into works camps to free population. Keeping the unicorns and the tree spirits at home would be enough to keep a strong economy running.
Once again, you start with a hero, a gatherer and marauder squads, and once again the first thing you want to do is complete the first quests the advisor gives to you. The following statements are based on an orc town with Pillaging Trait selected so you may need different tactics if you don't have this one.
Keep in mind that orcs are really heavy wood users. Even their upgraded walls are made of wood, and most of their buildings request wood as well. The most logical thing to do in the beginning, consequently, is to order your workers to chop wood. Marauders can hunt deers to collect food, but an effective way to collect food while playing orcs is by looting. Go outside your town, enter a region (read the humans section above for details) and kill everything that moves; you'll be be rewarded with lots of food (above 2000 per run in Thikken Dal region). Looting also gives large quantities of gold. You should make your main building spawn workers in a first time, until you've got a good wood income - and a decent stone income. Orcs workers gather resources really fast so it shouldn't be too long. Then you can turn it into marauders creation.
One thing that you absolutely have to do is reach the maximum population cap (i.e. 90) as soon as possible, given the fact that the main building and goblin hut spawning rates are way greater when your population is under half the maximum. As a consequence, build a lot of huts as fast as you can, and when you're at 90 population maximum, start building other stuff.
There's not really much more to say about orc economy, they don't have access to the trickles that other races have so it's more based on regular gathering and looting. You don't have to worry about losing troops because most of the time the looting that you do will be after the battle, which will allow you to to build an army back. You can buy humans sheep and/or cows as well to have a steady income.
Building a large number of goblin huts (4-8) early on can be fun too, since you will create another army even before the first one is crushed.
 About camps
Camps are mostly composed of workers/ maybe horse carts. Once you have built the camp, you can go into the "Manage enconomy" menu and assign the workers to gather the resources you choose (excepting wealth, of course). Although note that right now, camps do not gather anything when you're offline.
So why do such a thing? To deal with the population cap problem. If you want to have a good economy and a decent army in your town, you'll rapidly reach the 90 population cap. So dispatch your economy in one or a few camps to free some population in your town and have both a large garrison and produce troops continually.
The drawback of this system is the fact that a camp, of course, counts as an army, and since you can have only 5 at a time on the world map, you may want to set only 1-2 camps to be able to do quests/PvP/anything you want at the same time.
 III. Crushing some skulls
Now that your economy is stable, your town flourishing and your army growing, you may think "now is time for me to do some PvP!". To find further informations about units and capacities, please go here :
You may have already noticed that you can't see any player town on the world map. To initiate PvP, make/take an army out of your town, walk a little bit away from it and you will see a PvP icon among the other ones (set camp, disband etc...). It's a cross-sword-shaped icon. Before clicking it, you can check your "army value" or "army strength" in the bottom left part of the screen, above the army description. By clicking on the PvP button, you'll arrive on the PvP menu with several options :
- Whether you want to attack an army or a city
- Ranged scouting : i.e. instead of searching only in the region you're standing, the system will also search in the neighboring regions.
- Be brave : without this box checked, the system will only search for armies/towns within a +/- 10% range of your army value, if you check it, it will search for armies/towns up to 50% your strength.
Then click "search" and PvP will start if you find a suitable opponent. Considering the fact that the amount of players is still relatively modest, you might have some issues finding an opponent, so here's some tips to make the search easier:
- Try to go in a central region (Rollingplain is the best choice) so Ranger scouting will more useful. Plus you can attack human, orc and elven towns from there.
- If you can't find any opponent, you army value may be too high/ too low. Try to search with a different army value to see if it works better. (Try 150 - 300 - 450 - 600 army values if you can)
The last question would be: what do you lose/win in PvP. You will win way more than you'll lose. Losing in a field battle will of course cost you troops (and maybe a few resources if you surrender). Losing in your town will cost you troops too, maybe some peasants/cattle, and you might have to repair buildings - they can't be completely destroyed. So mainly it will costs resources to be back on business. Note that losing gives you a few wealth as well. If you win though, you'll get XP for your troops (it's true for the loser has well if his troops make it through the battle), wealth (the amount depends on the scale of the battle, you will earn more than the loser) and resources from looting.