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PMega

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Travidar's Ultimate Blacksmithing - YPPedia Guide *PLEASE REVIEW!* Reply to this Post
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Hi everyone, I still suck at introducing threads so I'll just get right into it:

I have gotten fairly good at blacksmithing, reaching the Ultimate level. A lot of my friends have a lower Blacksmithing standing (Able to Distinguished) and so asked me for tips on how to get better scores.

After compiling a list of what I did during my gameplay, I wrote up summaries and explanations of the strategies I used. I then decided to post this guide on the YPPedia, since there are many other such guides on there dedicated to other puzzles. (Notably, blacksmithing is missing any such guide.)

I have finished putting up the guide, and it is more or less complete. Here is the link:

http://yppedia.puzzlepirates.com/Travidar%27s_Ultimate_Blacksmithing

What I hope this guide will do is allow people to, well, improve at blacksmithing. What I DON'T know is if my guide is well-written. That's where you guys come in.

I'm asking for those who are interested to please read my guide and give me feedback on what I can do to improve it.

Please, don't be nice. Seriously, I mean it. Be as mercilessly nitpicky as you want; I welcome progress and I won't be offended. I really just want you guys to give me really detailed suggestions as to how I can make the guide better, because it is something I really feel would help the community. Honestly, anything besides "TRASH THE GUIDE" I will appreciate. =P

I really do want feedback on this, because some of this I wrote while I was on a roadtrip and tired, so I am 100% sure that at some parts are poorly written and unclear. Some things that it would be helpful to pick out are below:

- Would it be helpful for me to put in pictures somewhere? TELL ME!
- Am I being too wordy? TELL ME!
- Is some of it vague or confusing to understand? PLEASE TELL ME!
- To my fellow Ultimate Blacksmithers: Are one or more (or, goodness forbid, ALL) of my tips utter crap? TELL ME. I won't mind, I promise.
- Is there anything AT ALL wrong with my guide? TELL ME, TELL ME, TELL ME!

You get the idea.

One other thing is, if anyone has a tip he/she would like to add, please let me know. It doesn't have to be written out; once I receive the tip from you I will transform it into my format. And I will give you full credit, of course.

Oh, if you have something positive to say about my guide, you can too... I suppose... =P

Anyways, that's it for now! Thank you and enjoy my guide, I hope it helps you!

-PMega/Travidar
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Travidar on the Viridian Ocean
Author of Puzzled Pirates
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[Edit 2 times, last edit by PMega at Jan 7, 2008 10:39:20 PM]
[Jan 7, 2008 10:36:24 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
jasandrea

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The one thing I'm really interested in when it comes to blacksmithing relates to the end game and clearing levels in terms of scoring. When you get down to the last few pieces on the board, is it better to a) clear everything down to light silver (ie, create, if not use your last rum jug) or b) make more hits/clear more spaces entirely.

So, for example, you have 5 incomplete squares left, one dark grey and the other four silver. If you can either hit the dark grey one (thus getting another rum jug) or clear 2 of the other pieces, but not both, which is better? What if you could clear 3 of the other pieces? Or all 4 of them, leaving you only one piece, but that piece is grey instead of silver? Is there an approximate number at which point it makes more sense to do A rather than B or vice versa?
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Jacquilynne
Elder Cod of The Yo-Ho Yo-Yos, Looterati
Ruby Arch: Where the brigands are Ultimate and the players used to be.
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PMega

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The one thing I'm really interested in when it comes to blacksmithing relates to the end game and clearing levels in terms of scoring. When you get down to the last few pieces on the board, is it better to a) clear everything down to light silver (ie, create, if not use your last rum jug) or b) make more hits/clear more spaces entirely.

So, for example, you have 5 incomplete squares left, one dark grey and the other four silver. If you can either hit the dark grey one (thus getting another rum jug) or clear 2 of the other pieces, but not both, which is better? What if you could clear 3 of the other pieces? Or all 4 of them, leaving you only one piece, but that piece is grey instead of silver? Is there an approximate number at which point it makes more sense to do A rather than B or vice versa?


I am 99% sure on this, that the game scores based on how many STRIKES you make only. So if you have a dark grey piece, that counts as two unstruck. A silver piece counts as one unstruck. Thus, having dark grey pieces left over is equivalent of having two silver pieces left over. So for all your examples, clearing the silver pieces is always better.

If I'm not making sense, please let me know. It's rather late and I have to go to bed (hence why my reply might be scrambled, I don't know), but if you have more questions I will answer them tomorrow =)

-Travidar

P.S. If I can find a place to edit this into the guide, I will. Thanks.
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Travidar on the Viridian Ocean
Author of Puzzled Pirates
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by PMega at Jan 7, 2008 11:23:16 PM]
[Jan 7, 2008 11:22:45 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Stephensam

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Wow, I'm not even quite sure how I stumbled upon this guide, but after reading the guide, the second puzzle after was my first incred! Thank you for the insight and for making yet another puzzle click in my mind ^_^
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Stevensam -Cobalt Native, founder and host of The PoE is Right. Creator of Lime Day.
[Jan 8, 2008 3:07:19 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://yppedia.puzzlepirates.com/Stevensam [Link]  Go to top 
Kotetsu534



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As someone who is pretty good at Blacksmithing (Renowned/GM), I can't say I disagree with anything you've said. Nice tip about putting the Rumjugs in corners or sides; that should help my (and others') scores considerably.
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Nomura, SO of Innocent, Member of Crimson Tide, Midnight.
[Jan 8, 2008 3:51:21 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Sacrana

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Very nice guide but could you chance your avatar please Travidar? I have my As-level Maths exam tomorrow and your calculus avatar isn't helping :)
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[Jan 8, 2008 3:53:48 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Jezzebel

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I have GM/Leg blacksmithing on Cobalt. I think the guide is pretty well written and accords with my own experience. I especially like the rationale you've given for putting the rumjugs in corners. Mine usually end up there, but it wasn't through planning on my part. I just try to hit the corners last because so many pieces lead to the corners.

Perhaps I missed it (still on my first cup of tea here), but did you say anything about 4s? In my opinion those are one of the highest "risk" pieces. There's often only one outlet for a 4. Also, I occasionally find I've trapped a 1 in a corner or on a side with nothing next to it Maybe a list of common "risk" sitiuations like that?
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hfsktr

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one thing that might help some people is if you include some pics. some that i could think of are end or mid game where you show how planning one route is a dead end and showing how you could make many more moves. the worst pieces to me are 4's and bishops and i try to remove those as much as possible. the only exception is 4's in a corner are pretty useful. everything else was really good. also i didn't see any mention of combos? i haven't blacksmithed in months but i remember for each alternating set you could have 1 more silver left to get incred. eg. 2 alternating chess/numbers and 4 silver is incred still. the only time i remember doing combos though was the first strike.
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If I was mentally deficient I would have missed.
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by hfsktr at Jan 8, 2008 9:31:48 AM]
[Jan 8, 2008 9:29:35 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
WolfpackNC

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I enjoyed that guide thoroughly. It articulated a lot of what goes on in my head, but I could never explain to mates who look for tips!

One other thing I ran into as I was figuring things out was as far as corner rum jug nastiness goes, do NOT leave a queen or rook as the last piece in the layer (before the jug appears on striking). I have cleared down to the end and started setting up rum jug action and had an awesome board, only to realize in my stupidity that my rum jug piece was dead upon striking. :(

Also, dead pieces I would pay special attention to are seemingly harmless looking 2's in each of the corners. 2s that are in the 4 spots of each corner (16 squares total on the board) only have 3 outs, one more than the icky side bishops, and you can work yourself in a bind very quickly. Nothing sucks more than a "Finished!" when you totally didn't expect it.

I guess this is more middle level strategy, but it's an Ultimate guide, and these caught my attention as I was climbing ranks. Hope this helps and kudos to a very well written guide!
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-Wolfpack (Hunter)
Shipsofsnow tells you, "Ellipses make the man, good sir"
[Jan 8, 2008 11:02:56 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
PMega

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Wow, I'm not even quite sure how I stumbled upon this guide, but after reading the guide, the second puzzle after was my first incred! Thank you for the insight and for making yet another puzzle click in my mind ^_^


That makes me very happy! That was what I was aiming for with the guide.

 
Very nice guide but could you chance your avatar please Travidar? I have my As-level Maths exam tomorrow and your calculus avatar isn't helping :)


No, I like calculus. =P

 
Perhaps I missed it (still on my first cup of tea here), but did you say anything about 4s? In my opinion those are one of the highest "risk" pieces. There's often only one outlet for a 4. Also, I occasionally find I've trapped a 1 in a corner or on a side with nothing next to it Maybe a list of common "risk" sitiuations like that?


 
one thing that might help some people is if you include some pics. some that i could think of are end or mid game where you show how planning one route is a dead end and showing how you could make many more moves. the worst pieces to me are 4's and bishops and i try to remove those as much as possible. the only exception is 4's in a corner are pretty useful. everything else was really good. also i didn't see any mention of combos? i haven't blacksmithed in months but i remember for each alternating set you could have 1 more silver left to get incred. eg. 2 alternating chess/numbers and 4 silver is incred still. the only time i remember doing combos though was the first strike.


These are actually EXACTLY the next steps I was going to do with my guide. I want to add pictures as I get them, so I'm going to see if I have any good examples while smithing.

Also, I was going to add an "Advanced Tips" section which went into detail about certain things - 4s and combos among them. I even already have a neat little diagram about 4s.

I will try and get that up soon. I just wanted to at least put the guide up with the basic walkthrough, then add on from there. But yeah, I actually have already though about those. Thanks!

More comments appreciated, glad you guys are enjoying the guide.
-PMega/Travidar
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Travidar on the Viridian Ocean
Author of Puzzled Pirates
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jinxplus1

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Might also want to mention that people really don't want to be in a tourney while smithing... Several times I've dropped my Ulti due to be dragged to tournies and its a bugger to get back -.- Tourneys really have not helped my bid for no.1 :(

Fair play for writing the guide, its more than I could do. Blacksmithing isn't the easiest puzzle to explain.
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Jinxplus

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Now flying the flag of One Step Beyond. Margaritaville. we're around here somewhere.

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[Jan 8, 2008 5:29:11 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
PMega

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Might also want to mention that people really don't want to be in a tourney while smithing... Several times I've dropped my Ulti due to be dragged to tournies and its a bugger to get back -.- Tourneys really have not helped my bid for no.1 :(

Fair play for writing the guide, its more than I could do. Blacksmithing isn't the easiest puzzle to explain.


Fairly good point lol.

The WORST part is when you think the puzzle's over and accidentally dismiss. It's counted as a booch and usually drops Ultimate. I have done this TWICE, and once I think was on a Masterpiece >____<
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Travidar on the Viridian Ocean
Author of Puzzled Pirates
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MrRockDog



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I read your guide and found it very well thought out. A little wordy in some of the "Why" parts, but it is so very helpful that it is worth the read!

I also gave your advice a try out and my first 4 games I left only 4 pieces which gave me 4 "Excellent" duty reports and helped to raise my rank to Grand-Master.

Great Job!
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glaspell

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Hoy! Haven't had a chance to utilize the guide yet, but I definitely found it useful. I just had a small question/clarification.

I thought it might be confusing to some people that ye start the guide by saying "You don't have to plan!" and then in the endgame you do. I think the point here is that you don't have to OVERplan, like try to think a whole bunch of moves in advance, and people who read guides are probably less likely to be like "omg no planin haha yay!1!1!!1."

Still, it might be worth mentioning that planning becomes particularly important in the endgame, or that there are certain types of planning that need be done, just not massive pre-planning of moves.

(You are probably a bit faster at the puzzle and yer plannin' then one of us relative beginners is... :P)

Thank ye fer writing that, though - the reminder that how many pieces are left on the board is infinitely (okay, maybe not infinitely) more important than combos was very useful for me, too.

Yarr!
~Wed
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Wedekind, of Out for Blood, of the flag Tyr's Own
Mifornes, of Hakuna Matata, of the flag Temporary Insanity
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[Jan 9, 2008 9:14:30 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
PMega

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Hoy! Haven't had a chance to utilize the guide yet, but I definitely found it useful. I just had a small question/clarification.

I thought it might be confusing to some people that ye start the guide by saying "You don't have to plan!" and then in the endgame you do. I think the point here is that you don't have to OVERplan, like try to think a whole bunch of moves in advance, and people who read guides are probably less likely to be like "omg no planin haha yay!1!1!!1."

Still, it might be worth mentioning that planning becomes particularly important in the endgame, or that there are certain types of planning that need be done, just not massive pre-planning of moves.

(You are probably a bit faster at the puzzle and yer plannin' then one of us relative beginners is... :P)

Thank ye fer writing that, though - the reminder that how many pieces are left on the board is infinitely (SERIOUSLY, infinitely) more important than combos was very useful for me, too.

Yarr!
~Wed


Fixed. =P

Also, your comment about planning is very helpful to me. I was trying to say that planning wasn't important UNTIL THE ENDGAME, but I guess I didn't do a very good job. Thank you very much for your suggestion, I will fix it soon.

-PMega
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Travidar on the Viridian Ocean
Author of Puzzled Pirates
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Parrrdner

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Nice work!
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Pardner; Riot Forever
[but not around :/ these days ]
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Arrow79

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After taking the time to read and understand the tutorial, I made the massive jump from able to grand-master over a couple of games. Awsome tutorial, I do have one question however. Aside from choosing the best path, and avoiding "risk pieces" and all that, is it possible to organize the board in a way to maximize the amount of pieces hit? What that means is, should I clear the pieces on the inside first, leaving the outer rows in anticipation of queens, rooks, and bishops, or is that just complicating things? It seems that almost every risk piece of mine is one of the chess pieces (Except for knights, I love those), and I can rarely clear them at the end of the game.
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Juggernautt

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PMega

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After taking the time to read and understand the tutorial, I made the massive jump from able to grand-master over a couple of games. Awsome tutorial, I do have one question however. Aside from choosing the best path, and avoiding "risk pieces" and all that, is it possible to organize the board in a way to maximize the amount of pieces hit? What that means is, should I clear the pieces on the inside first, leaving the outer rows in anticipation of queens, rooks, and bishops, or is that just complicating things? It seems that almost every risk piece of mine is one of the chess pieces (Except for knights, I love those), and I can rarely clear them at the end of the game.


See the tip "Hit sides with chess pieces" in the Opening section.
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Travidar on the Viridian Ocean
Author of Puzzled Pirates
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123casper321

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Fantastic guide mate. Just read half way through but its late and i need to go to bed, cant wait to read right through tomorrow. Lots made sense. Highest ive got is ledgendary so I hope with your tips to get Ult.
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I just skimmed your guide, very nice.

One thing that it does not address fully is scoring. There's more than just "# of pieces left" to the score. I frequently get #s, chess set, #s and an incredible just for being able to do this 3x in a row, even though half my board's still there when I finish.

Since you have some tips for beginners in there I think it would be helpful to throw in the tips about how scoring escalates by alternating full sets of chess pieces, numbers, etc, just as a reference for those who don't understand why sometimes they get a strike mark or two when completing a set and sometimes they don't.

You could add in the earlier suggestion about whether to take several cool or one warm piece in this scoring section, as well - I never really thought about that aspect of scoring and it was a good tip for me :)

Thanks very much for putting all of this together!
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Nepenthe of the Sage Ocean
I PUSH BUH-TON! Shineeeeeeeey
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by VemberMertz at Jan 10, 2008 5:02:17 PM]
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I got my Incredible Blacksmith on my first game after reading your guide, thanks!

One thing that kinda confused me: What kind of piece should I open with? I figured that using a number or knight near the center would be reasonable but wasn't sure.
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PMega

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I got my Incredible Blacksmith on my first game after reading your guide, thanks!

One thing that kinda confused me: What kind of piece should I open with? I figured that using a number or knight near the center would be reasonable but wasn't sure.


I am INSANE SURPRISED by how many people get that much better after reading my little thing. Is it really that good? o_O

Also, it doesn't really matter what piece you open with. If you want to try a combo, find a combo (the four different numbers, or the four different chess pieces) and open with that. This is an advanced tip that I want to put in at some point.
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Travidar on the Viridian Ocean
Author of Puzzled Pirates
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Arrow79

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See the tip "Hit sides with chess pieces" in the Opening section.


>_<
Not quite sure how I missed that, thanks mate.
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Juggernautt

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hfsktr

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I got my Incredible Blacksmith on my first game after reading your guide, thanks!

One thing that kinda confused me: What kind of piece should I open with? I figured that using a number or knight near the center would be reasonable but wasn't sure.


it is an advanced tip. start with a combo 1234 or all the chess pieces. even if the only combo i can make involves a corner i take it but i can avoid the corner better than a beginner can and that's what this guide is for right :P anyways do start in the middle and with something that will lead to another spot in the middle. once you get to the edges it can be difficult to get back in there.
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If I was mentally deficient I would have missed.
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Probably the clearest and most understandable crafting tutorials I've read. Well done!
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You cover many things that I think are very good for increasing scores.


Here are some possible things to also consider:

- The number of moves a piece can make changes its flexibility. Inflexible pieces should be struck first.
4's on sides need to be removed so they do not become dead ends - they often only have 1 move.
Similarly, Knights in corners should be cleared carefully, since there are only 2 moves for these. Knights on walls near corners also recieve "fewer" moves.
Bishops on walls only have 2 moves and should be removed.
Rooks on walls have 3 moves - and 2 of them go into the corners - so they really only have one move if you are saving your corners. Map where the rooks on walls are, they are like one-way streets across the board or into corners. . .


Keeping these things in mind, helped improve my score.


Another thing you can do to improve your score is to take any 1234 or RQKnB combos that are standing out at you. If you can do one of these, or better, chain it into the OTHER type, while keeping mindful to maintain a decent board structure... it will give you a few moves off the 'perfection' required to get Increds.


A 1234/4321 combo is all about the 4. The 1 is easy to pattern from, as is a 2 in the middle. The 4 usually only has one possible move, so you must add the 123/321 either BEFORE or after the rigid 4. Plan accordingly.

RQBKn is a bit harder. It involves a lot of wall bouncing.

Knights can get you off the walls. If you see a wall-knight with another chesspiece in its move shadow, try to see if you can angle a third type of piece into it.

Hitting a Bishop and a Rook is the tricky part. One has to angle into another piece at some point. A queen has a fairly big shadow so it's often easy to catch something that matches up. But to get a rook to go, something has to be across from it, or it needs to end the string. Bishops are also tricky to aim, since they get so few moves. A Queen or Rook in the corner can make it easier to pick up this type of Combo, but both of those will force you into other corners... so unless you have a Knight in a corner they will probably be a dead-end. A Corner Knight is troublesome, but if there is a chesspiece in its move shadow it can lead into an easy Combo.
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[Edit 4 times, last edit by McGarvery at Jan 17, 2008 10:22:50 PM]
[Jan 17, 2008 10:09:25 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
sparkly_pink

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Re: Travidar's Ultimate Blacksmithing - YPPedia Guide *PLEASE REVIEW!* Reply to this Post
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Excellent guide! Very precise and easy to understand.

I have a few tips/strategies from my own gameplay to add! :)

I find that it's easier to eliminate the more difficult pieces as early as possible so as to avoid frustrating dead ends towards the end of the game. ie, I get rid of Bishops, Rooks and 4s. To me, they are the most frustrating.

Also, I've been getting high scores around 93-95% of the time (Yes! Even in the beginning!! Hehe!), and I can safely say that combos don't help me in the slightest. I don't go looking for chains to make. If one strays across my path, then cool! Other than that, I don't bother.

As for starting, I tend to go with the Rooks. I sit for a minute and think how I can link each of them up and destroy them, using mostly 4s, Bishops and 1s. I find this a particularly good strategy to use, and breathe easier once I've gotten rid of all the Rooks in the "first round" (ie, The hottest stage :D).

Good on you for writing up this guide Trav! I've done one myself, and it's amazing to see how many pirates understand it better when it's down in print. Great work, and thanks for the tips! :) :)
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Simplegal | Meridian Ocean | Fintan Island
Fleet Officer of the crew Silver Dragons under Dragon Lords

Formerly of the Viridian Ocean
Celebrating 10 fantastic years!
[Jan 18, 2008 5:26:44 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
VemberMertz

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McGarvery pretty much summed up my strategy and observations, as well. Nicely put, mate. Considering inflexible pieces make general board-clearage much easier, while pattern-hunting, to me, makes the game a bit more entertaining - and definitely doesn't hurt the score!

My best is 4 sets (numbers, chess, numbers, chess) in a row, you? :D

Also - does anyone have any clue if "By the numbers" scores higher than "in the rhythm" ? (Former is 1234 or 4321, latter is some scrambled order to the #s such as 3124)

Once again, terrific guide!
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Nepenthe of the Sage Ocean
I PUSH BUH-TON! Shineeeeeeeey
[Jan 19, 2008 8:14:25 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
mattstinx



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wow.. thats all i can say
i think i'd tried blacksmithing once but i never got anywhere, after reading the guide, i got incred on my second try =D

the only thing i found slightly confusing was how to get a second rum jug (i know it sounds stupid) but it might be worthwhile to mention that you get one evertime you hit the last tile of a kind.
[Jan 24, 2008 9:54:19 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
BobJanova

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This is a great guide, thank you :). I had worked out a lot of things already but to see them laid out so clearly straightened a few things out in my head.

Unfortunately now everyone is better so it's hard to hold onto Expert <.<
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