Gemcraft Zero: Gem of Eternity


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DoraGemcraft ZeroIn mid-2008, we featured a game called GemCraft, which immediately went on to become one of the most well-received tower defense games of all time. Now, strategy fans can rejoice, because GameInABottle has released Gemcraft Chapter Zero: Gem of Eternity, and it's even bigger and badder than the original.

Acting as a prequel to the original, GemCraft Chapter Zero tells the story of a wizard who has become so entangled in his search for the fabled Gem of Eternity that his colleagues have cast him out. If the story doesn't compel you, that's to be expected, because GemCraft's muscle lies in it's incredibly addictive gameplay.

Prior experience with GemCraft isn't necessary, since the game provides you with tips and explanations throughout. At its core, the gameplay is deceptively simple; place magical gems atop towers to attack the monsters that arrive in waves and head towards your base. Enemies arrive in waves, and you can see when the next one is coming by keeping an eye on the bar at the left side of the screen. If an enemy reaches your base, it does damage to your mana, which you use to create your defenses, and if your mana reaches zero, you lose the level.

But there's a lot more to GemCraft this time around, as your first encounter with the map screen should tell you. Now winning a battle grants you experience which increases your level. Gaining a level allows you to purchase a wide variety of skills to help in the next fight, and even unlocks new battle modes for each area. For achievement fans, there are also an enormous number of amulets to try for, awarded for everything from defeating a particular number of monsters to using an ability to win a battle. GemCraft Zero is here to pull you in for the long haul.

Gemcraft ZeroAnalysis: I was a little overwhelmed the first time I opened up the game and saw the sheer number of options available for everything, which makes the game appear much more difficult to pick up than it really is; Gemcraft Zero is as difficult as you want it to be. At first glance it appears a virtual hydra of a game, with so many spells, battle options, and tactics that it may scare off people expecting a strictly casual gaming experience that fits neatly into a coffee break.

The truth is, however, that GemCraft Chapter Zero manages to be one of those games where you can sit and play a few rounds when you have time, thanks to the save feature, but it will also cheerfully suck out your brain for hours at a time if you let it. The addition of levels and skills to buy means there's something more to strive for beyond simply staying alive, and customisation freaks will be able to tweak their army to their heart's content. There's something immensely satisfying in seeing the serpentine enemy advancement vaporised by your carefully laid plans, and since each level has multiple battle modes that can be unlocked the stronger you get, it lets the difficulty scale with your skill. It is possible to finish the game by powering through on the vanilla setting, but being able to test your mettle against other difficulties keeps the game from becoming tired as you go along.

GemCraft Chapter Zero is impressive for a variety of reasons, but the simplest is how it manages to take such a simple objective as the tower defense genre usually presents and make it so darned appealing. And this is coming from someone who can't usually play these games without zoning out after five minutes and wondering what's on Discovery Channel. One of my only real complaints is how largely silent the game is aside from its sound effects. A few simple music tracks in the background of the battle screen—where you spend the lion's share of your time—would have been nice, but honestly, I got so absorbed in what I was doing that I forgot all about it before long. Any fan of tower defense games shouldn't miss this one, but even those who may not normally be interested in them should at least give it a try. It's made me a convert, and should sit comfortably as king of the hill for a long time to come.

Play Gemcraft Chapter Zero: Gem of Eternity

UPDATE: GameInABottle has released an update to GemCraft Zero, 1.01, which fixes several issues with the gameplay and addresses the difficulty in some levels.

163 Comments

Neonaxus Author Profile Page April 17, 2009 1:12 PM

Time to start making bets on what the next title will be. Gemcraft 2? Gemcraft -1? Gemcraft 76? Gemcraft pi? Gemcraft: The Revenge? Who knows, with a title like this! =D

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LoZfan03 Author Profile Page April 17, 2009 1:16 PM

FINALLY!! I've been waiting months for this

and the next one is 2, they've already been talking about it

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Anonymous April 17, 2009 1:18 PM

I too have been waiting forever for this game. I really loved the first one. Hopefully this doesn't disappoint.

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YES.

I have been checking gameinabottle.com EVERY DAY for THREE MONTHS waiting for this.

YES.

I know it wasn't out yesterday. Kudos to jayisgames for announcing it so quickly!

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why DORA will not put her picture?

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This is like insanely harder then the first game. I never ended up playing first gemcraft bc it was so easy to beat the highscores. But this game is very interesting and more versatile.

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Uh, yeah. I beat the pants off of gemcraft, though it took a few hours to really get the hang of it.

I've spent two hours and finished all of two levels, on normal difficulty. This is a LOT harder.

I would recommend new players to go to gemcraft and play a few levels to get the hang of it before trying this. It's unforgiving.

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Neonaxus Author Profile Page April 17, 2009 3:57 PM

I've played some of the first Gemcraft, and let me tell you, this one kicks the difficulty into high gear, which I actually like. It's rare to see flash games that don't easily pander to you, and beating the levels would really feel like an achievement...if not for the fact that I can't beat any of the levels past the first one. Le sigh.

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It is harder, but I think it's due to a slight shift in gameplay. That is, you can't play it with the same strategy as the original Gemcraft, so playing the original might not help much.
What's really bothering me is:

You can't buy a power that allows you to start with more gems. I feel like you start and have nothing with which to work, and the decision of how to spend your mana in those precious moments before the first wave is crucial. In the first Gemcraft getting the mana boost spell thinger was generally a good idea early on but I just don't know any more.

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How do you sacrifice a gem to get these special towers to work? I don't get it.

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The shortcuts for creating gems (C and 3) doesn't work for me :/ It makes game even harder.

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Same problem with the create gem shortcut, which is very, very annoying. Anyone figure anything out on that?

XP Pro SP3 Firefox 3.0.8, latest version of flash.

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Although you can't initially gain powers to let you start with more gems, you CAN (and probably should) get the power to start with increased mana. Having that boost to your initial mana pool really helps.

I too was unable to finish anything past the first level for some time, I wound up having to beat the first level a few times to get some new abilities before moving on.

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Tiny Toaster April 17, 2009 9:52 PM

Gemcraft was already my favorite tower defense game, and this game improves on the original about tenfold. Let's list everything that makes this game unique:

- Towers, traps, and bombs offer different methods of dealing damage, and choosing which one to use is wholly dependant on the current situation

- Each map starts you off with different boons and setbacks, making each map require a new strategy

- On top of that, each map can be replayed at least seven different times with different goals

- Every new skill you gain through level-building accomplishes something different

- Skill system means that your strategy is not only dependent on what you do on each map, but how you spend your points before entering the map

- Experience is limited, so there's long-term strategy in terms of what order you complete the levels

- Replaying older levels for more experience is an option, but you're only rewarded experience according to how much you've actually improved as a player

- Gem colors are randomized, just to ensure that every game will be different

Gemcraft not only sets a standard for tower defense games, it sets a standard for games in general.

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I love the traps. :D

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Michael D April 18, 2009 11:45 AM

Could someone please explain to me what exactly what "# in a row" entails?

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I also played all the way through the original gemcraft without ever fully understanding what "# in a row" entails.

Also, the mana pool spell seems kind of worthless...I did the math for one of the 15 wave levels and even only getting one upgrade right away you are only going to get an extra 148 mana compared to the cost of the spell at 199 (with my 17% cheaper upgrade).

I'd guess you'd need to be at a 20 wave level for it to pay off and even then it is marginal. Was the original like this? I seem to remember it feeling like the mana pool spell paid off a lot more?

Also, on the update, I've been playing on the armor games site...do I need to start over? Or has the game I have been playing been updated?

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I will say that the game seems awesome, with a ton of improvements over the original, most noteably in the varied levels. I got pretty tired of the original just because every level was exactly the same. Now they all seem to need their own strategies to beat, it really helps.

Traps are very interesting, and I like them better than the water pits...THOUGH...I'm not sure that they are better than just a gem tower...at least in the lower levels. Poison and Slow gems seem best for traps (though I haven't experimented much) but I feel like in the early levels you'd do just as well putting a level three slow gem in a tower rather than in a trap...I could be wrong though.

The monster buff towers are interesting too but I'm not sure that making sacrificing a level 3 gem for all levels is a good idea. In the early levels wasting a level three is huge...in the later it seems trivial (though I'd guess there will just be more buff towers and thus the need to sac more gems in the later levels).

Minor tweaks to gameplay are nice too like being able to combine gems without taking them out of the tower, etc.

Overall, nice job, and my complaints are probably just from not really understanding the game fully yet without having played past the first 10 levels or so.

The increase in difficulty and lack of "starting gem" skill is nice...the old game became trivially easy once you could start with a bunch of level 6 gems.

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I've decided that I don't like it. The levels just before the river were a pain: I kept losing on the last wave or two, ugh. I feel like for every level you need a new strategy, which requires new skills, and you need to play through a level a few times before you know what that strategy is. All in all, I find Gemcraft Zero nothing more than a giant sinkhole for my time.

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Normally I love sequels to games on JiG, but Gemcraft? No thanks. On a half dozen separate occasions, I still can't get past the first epic boss on Gemcraft 1, and now everyone's saying this one's even harder?
*is a noob*

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Tiny Toaster April 18, 2009 2:53 PM

I'm a little surprised at the various complaints along the lines of "this skill isn't effective anymore" or "there's no point in destroying towers on level X". I'm looking at those types of things as intentional red herrings, notions you have to get past in order to figure out the best possible strategy for the level.

I'd agree with the complaints if there was never a need to destroy the towers or whatnot, but I'm getting the impression that it works on a level-by-level basis. In levels with buildings that keep you from making traps, it's probably better just to focus on using towers instead, rather than destroy the buildings; if the buildings are healing monsters, though, you'll probably eventually want to sacrifice some gems to take those out.

As for the mana pool skill, it may not be useful on levels where there's only 20-some waves of monsters, but don't forget that each individual level has an unlockable survival mode with infinite waves of monsters. Even in this case, you have to be able to get to the point where you last longer than the first twenty waves anyway, but I bet mana pool becomes a useful skill much later on in the game.

Granted, this is all conjecture. I'm not even to the (first?) river yet. I just don't want people to give up on the game too quickly.

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I think a part of the surprise is that the game is balanced towards what was actually intended in the first one.

Poison was supposed to be important in the first game, for bypassing armor and negating super speed. It wasn't- you were better off trenching and using reds.

Slow gems were supposed to be important- it wasn't, you were better off trenching and using cyan shocks.

Orange was supposed to be important for improving your mana returns. It wasn't- they didn't shoot fast enough and missed too many monsters.

Bombs were supposed to be important. They weren't, because reds were more reliable.

The original game included in its tutorial a note that you may have to adjust your skills for a difficult level, taking skills that best suited a particular level. But most (all?) of the time, you were best off with the highest starter gem skill, and +mana/kill, and whatever. Armor for epic fights.

The original game was MEANT to be complex and extremely strategic. This is the realization of that. Poison traps are probably the most effective early killer. Blue+orange traps are mentioned as being essential for mana farming on longer levels. Reds are no longer the end-all gem for slaughter. Blues are no longer redundant. The map is no longer about building your towers as close to the entrance as you can to maximize points- you now have to consider multiple entry points, and give space for poison to do its work.

The most important trick to the game is the difference in traps and towers. Traps hit each monster that flies by much more consistently, and get what looks like a 100% buff to special powers. This makes them ideal for gems where the power you are using is consistent and important, like greens and oranges, but less so for yellow and purple.

They also take a SEVERE penalty to damage output. Greens are somewhat the exception because they hit every one with their boosted poison. Even then, the loss of base damage makes it about an even exchange.

Towers do much, much more damage, but can't keep up with thick monsters- they do best when some monsters have been thinned out by traps beforehand. They are also not ideal for some colors of gems- you'll have better luck with reds and yellows and limes here, and maybe cyan- cyan traps aren't working so hot for me right now.

Each level has a VERY different strategy associated. A couple examples: there is a level which has several Heal beacons. You are better off combining a couple starter gems and blowing it up before the first round. Another level has many towers and traps laid out for you- configure your skills to take advantage of tower bonuses, but not cheapen them.

At least one relatively early level has a second monster tower that will mess you up about 8-10 rounds in if it's not destroyed. Bombing it will have frightening little result, making it appear that you would need 10-12 level 3 gems to destroy it, wholly uneconomical.

Tip there: rank 1 gems do very sufficient damage and are CHEAP. It might take you 15 of them, but you'll blow it down at a fraction of the cost.

I personally was drawn to the traps because of their extreme consistence and special boosts- and novelty. Beware of this temptation. Towers will do MUCH more damage. They are essential.

Play with your skills, especially early on (if you're having trouble beating more than the first level). The mana pool skill helps LOADS. The trap effect boost and trap/tower cost reductions are also helpful- but to varying degrees depending on the level.

I get the distinct feeling, playing it so far, that the developer did not balance strictly numerically. I suspect that he tweaked it up and up in difficulty until he found only one or two specific strategies that would succeed. The upgrade curving feels different too- the original game suggested that more towers of lower rank were better than one of high, but my experience suggested otherwise. In Zero, more towers/traps cleverly positioned and slotted have much better results.

I'm hoping that with a few more levels, enough of the skill tree will be unlocked so that I have more options than finding the one strategy that works for the level. I've found myself trying to figure out just what the developer thinks I should do to beat levels, and that's a little frustrating.

Is it quite as enjoyable as gemcraft? Hard to say so far. On the one hand, it's much, much more frustrating. Being defeated on a level- and defeated early, frequently- multiple times- borders on unfun.

But when you beat a level, having figured out the strategy? It's much, much more satisfying than the original.

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iguanadon55 April 18, 2009 5:42 PM

So far I like Gemcraft 0. Yes - it's hard.

Is it just me, or is something wrong with the random number generator that chooses which color gem you get.

There's no way to chose your gem colors when you use the create gem spell, right?

On one level with green, red, and blue gems, I swear I can make 20 gems in a row without getting a green.

Is there something I'm missing??

-iguanadon

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I wholeheartedly agree with Jamus' statement:
"I've found myself trying to figure out just what the developer thinks I should do to beat levels, and that's a little frustrating."

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I love that it is so different, but I am really struggling with figuring out how to beat some of the earliest levels. Like others, I am consistently making it through to the last wave and getting creamed. I'm hoping the power of the post will get me past the point I'm at, but I can't level up any higher with replays and I can't figure out some of the skill sets needed, even playing a new set each time through a game.

I am also finding the random gem generator to be a bit weird this time around--only beat one level because I got nothing but greens and that did the trick! So not complaining, just have noticed that it's different than in the first game.

I am on the verge of being too frustrated to continue--haven't even gotten across the river yet and I've already spent about 16 hours on the game. I also feel that I am not finding a pattern so much as trying to guess what the designer wants. But I'm still very excited about the new game and it is a GREAT new take on the original.

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I agree that something seems wrong with the RNG. I just did the Shock/Poison level for the 3rd time (In Endurance) and died at wave 14, simply because I got 6 Cyans in a row and DESPERATELY needed to upgrade my poison gems.

Other than that, I am really enjoying this new game. It's still Gemcraft, but it appeals to everything I look for in a game, which is strategy. (My friends usually crack it with me when playing Call of Duty because I try to analyze the whole match out loud and figure out where every enemy is and which route I should take and how I should do it. They always yell at me 'JUST SHOOT THEM!!!')

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I still have no idea how to sacrifice a gem. I try to use it as a gem bomb on nothing and that doesn't work. I try putting a level 3 gem in/on the tower and that doesn't work. How do you do it? SOmeone please help.

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Tiny Toaster April 19, 2009 11:08 AM

@Sushi: If you mean you're trying to destroy a monster tower with one of your gems, you have to use a gem bomb on the tower itself. In other words, click the gem bomb button, then click and drag a level 3 gem on top of that tower.

For people who aren't getting the gem colors that they're looking for, there's a way to control it. You can actually use a gem bomb on gems in your inventory in order to change their colors. However, the gem bomb being used has to be the same level or higher than the gems you're trying to change, and I think all gems involved have to be pure colors. This means you can either

1. Create several level 1 gems until you get the color you're looking for, then change the other level 1 gems to that color (you can change several with one bomb), then start combining them to increase their levels.

2. Buy one of the skills that starts you off with a gem of a particular color, and work from there.

It's expensive, but if you can't see another way to get through the level, it could be worth it.

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Ok i loved the first one 2 death beat it with all gold framed in like 3 days but i have found this one 2 be really hard, is it just me it seems the only i didnt have 2 do 2 times on normal 2 beat it was the first boss.. thats how far i am... dont get me wrong the difficulty isnt my complaint, my complaint was when i saw the pure gem mastery at lvl 20 skill i was in shock and i thought it was going 2 be a breeze well i was wrong...i dont know if is just me but does the pure gem mastery work or is it a precent of the initial percent? that is all i can see.

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Well, I spent four hours replaying three levels with as many different skill combinations as I could and finally gave up. Has anyone figured out if there is a logical strategy or if it is just guesswork?

I've been trying to analyze the creeps, figure out how to supplement what I start with, or determine whether more traps or more towers works best--it just seems like a lot of guesswork to me.

I get that the game is different from the original, which is so fabulous! BUT--some of the logic of the original seems to be lost. For example, dropping a green bomb on a green creep used to be less effective than using a red or yellow. That seems to have changed. Now, it seems that only poison is effective at all positions, but even that is not universally true.

Another thing that helped in the original game was building up mana for later waves, but I can't figure out the trick to that either--there is rarely enough to even build gems, let alone upgrade the mana supply.

Is there a logic connection between strategy and level, or is it just guesswork? If someone has been more patient or more lucky, maybe they could publish some tips for the last few levels before the river.

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Tiny Toaster April 19, 2009 1:09 PM

Here's some more general advice. I'm spoilering it, although really, I'm not ruining any story elements here. I just think figuring out how everything works is a big part of the game; arguably, the game is figuring out how everything works.

First off, the most useful thing you can do at pretty much any point is get more experience. Be sure to return to old levels once you unlock new modes of play, you can get a lot of new experience this way, particularly in modes that triple the experience gain.

In order to maximize experience from previous levels, there's a few things you can do. One is to summon new monsters with your anger; if you drop gem bombs on the wave bar on the right, you can actually increase the number of monsters that come with each wave. Dropping two level 1 gem bombs on each wave is a really good way to rack up the points.

Also, don't forget that earning amulets gets you bonus points at the end of each level. On early levels, it's easy to destroy every building, or call every wave early, or avoid building new traps, or add an extra 100 monsters, all racking up a ton of bonus points.

As for strategies for the levels themselves, I think one of the things that's hardest to do is move past the strategy required from the old game, which is based aroud saving your mana for the end of the level. You can't really realistically do that in this game; as someone else said, the levels don't last long enough for mana pool to really earn you a profit of any sort, so buying mana pool upgrades not only limits what you can build early in the level, but it actually causes you to lose more mana overall.

You can still find ways to save mana, but it's not through the mana pool skill. When they become available, you should put points into the skills that reduce the cost of traps and towers, and for most levels it's best to only put points into the tower skill. Also, though it doesn't seem like it would be useful, the skill that increases how much mana you have at the beginning of the level is your best friend--it probably increases your mana more than you would be able to save throughout the entire level using any other skill, and it gives you enough to make a nice little two- or three-tower setup at the beginning which will last quite a few waves.

Another way this game is different from the last game is that, in the last game, you could start buying high-level gems pretty early in the level. In this game, before the first boss, it's rare that you will be able to afford higher than level 3 gems throughout the entire level. You have to find the proper balance between quantity and quality, and all things considered, it's better to have four level 3 towers than two level 4 towers, especially once the cost of each individual tower is reduced through the skillset. Generally, you'll want to make sure you have about five towers in a level before you start maximizing gem levels, although again you have to work according to the individual level.

Where to place towers is an important bit, too. There are several levels where monsters can spawn from multiple locations. In these cases, the best place to put towers is on the final road to your house, where all monsters will eventually have to traverse, no matter where they're coming from. That said, it's also important to space out towers as much as possible, so you'll still want to put a few on earlier roads, particularly if most of the monsters start far away from the house. Aside from that, try to make it so your towers hit two different sections of road, if possible.

Know what gems are best for traps, and which are best for towers. Traps barely deal any damage, so really they're most useful for emphasizing status effects. For this reason, only a few types of gems are actually effective in traps, and only a small number of traps are needed to be effective in conjunction with the towers. For example, you would only need one blue trap in order to slow down an enemy, and you can use that to trap the enemy in the middle of a large group of towers.

There's one more thing which is especially important for the levels before the first boss. It's tempting to think that you shouldn't let any enemies hit your home base, since that causes you to lose points. But sometimes you can't think of this as a loss; you have to think of it as an investment. Sometimes there's just no way to finish off a wave before it hits your house. In these cases, you can spend your last 500 mana on a new gem, and increase your current firepower by 20%; or, you can use that same 500 mana letting your enemy hit your house, causing the enemy to go back through all the towers you already have, effectively dealing twice the amount of damage you would've inflicted on the enemy otherwise. In the final waves of a battle, sometimes it's best to save up mana for this specific purpose alone rather than spend it all on buying new towers.

If all else fails, if the enemy has moved past all your towers and you don't have any mana left, don't forget your last stand: gather up all the gems you have left in your towers and bomb that dude.

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The games seems to get a lot harder as time goes on. I was able to do everything up to the first guardian easy, and after that it started to get very hard.
here is what i have found:
poison is really good against small fast moving guys (even armored), easy to beat swarm levels with high poison traps.
in general (except for the above) its not worth it to specialize in a particular gem color, costs too much for two little benifit, try lowering the costs of gems and towers. then upgrade pure gem (worked for me really well).
also, go back of levels that you have done before. endurance can always get you points, focus on the golden ones (3X xp) levels you up fast.
anyone have a good way to kill a lot of giants?
hope this helps

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Soandos--

I found if I saved the burst tower for giants (this is assuming I know they are coming) I could kill a whole bunch with two bursts in a row.

Nothing else seems to work on waves that are all giants.

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Thanks Tiny Toaster - My question actually refers to the special towers that somehow need to be charged with a level 3 gem. Not the monster towers that prevent one from placing traps and towers. It's the towers that have the special glyphs on them. Anyone figure these out?

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Tiny Toaster April 19, 2009 7:57 PM

Sushi, if you mean the shrines that cast magic spells, those should be able to work with any level of gem. "Charge" just refers to how many times you can use the tower.

You should be able to activate one by just dragging a gem on top of the shrine, like you would with a tower; if nothing's happening for you, it might be because the circumstances aren't right for the tower to work yet. For example, the "charged bolt" shrine won't work unless there are enemies on screen, and the "gem transmute" shrine won't work unless there are extra gems in your inventory.

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Fuzzyevil Author Profile Page April 19, 2009 10:30 PM

Wow, this one is alot harder. I'm playing through the original again, and I'm amazed at how much easier the original is. I can't beat the levels before the first guardian on the prequel, I'm having lots of trouble. I'll try some of the tips posted here.

Oh, and Jay, the Gemcraft tag doesn't have the original included.

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This new game kinda sucks in the beginning. It's not like the old one that got harder gradually. Zero requires some grinding and replaying to accumulate points. Meh. I'm sure I'll pass it, but the grinding is annoying. The mana is a lot different and slower, "pinning" you down during a battle while you wait to get enough points to do something.

This game is for true fans only or people who don't have a job. The rest should give it a pass for more fun tower defense games. Mushroom Revolution proves that simplicity can be much better than needless complexity.

Thumbs down.

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To all those struggling. It gets easier. I'm on level thirty something and by far the hardest bit was in the first 10 levels. After that you can revisit old levels with the extra modes for more experience points. As soon as you can do this go back and play the old levels whenever you get stuck.

I think this game is great. I like that it is not a walkover. Every level is possible and I have not found any to be ridiculously hard.

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For all who says mana pool is bad upgrade:
The mana boost it gives surely isn't useful if you are going to get < 5000 mana during the round (equals to about 1 level 6 gem). But maybe you forgot or didn't even notice it's real use: it also gives +5% score gain/level which directly proportional to your XP gain (without amulets). This might help even in shorter levels and is especially useful in longer 3x XP levels.

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Thank you Tiny Toaster thank you thank you thank you! I was trying to place a gem in it and leave it there like in the regular towers. Now I see how it works! I was so frustrated because I couldn't get past a couple of levels without using them. Did I say thank you?

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LoZfan03 Author Profile Page April 20, 2009 2:58 PM

I'm just starting, but I'm not getting anything anyone's saying about the traps. You can put gems in them now? How does that work? What does it do?

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Anonymous April 20, 2009 4:18 PM

Whats with the armor level 16 mobs in the 22 wave level , 2nd beneath the river? Anyone figure out a way past them or is it just a bug?

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Jacktheowner Author Profile Page April 20, 2009 4:19 PM

Yeah!! It takes me 3 days to beat all levels before river. God, it is so hard, but it is also very rewarding :)

About gems in traps. Just put one of them in trap, as you're doing it with towers.

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LoZfan03 Author Profile Page April 20, 2009 4:50 PM

I get the traps now. I think I liked the old ones better, but I can't deny the power of poison trap chains. Should I be spacing them out like the guide shows or does the poison damage stack like it used to?

I'm a little put off that my old technique of making a couple decent dual gems and then absorbing masses of level 1 gems is weakened by the INSANELY FRICKING LONG gem loading times. Maybe once I can max out the gem loading time skill it will work again...

And what in the world is the point of prismatic gems? Are they actually worth the headache of getting all 8 colors together?

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Out of curiosity, what wizard levels are people having to reach to beat the last two sites before the river? I'm at level 25 and still can't make a combination that will beat the next to last one and thereby open the last one. I'm playing through the Heroic levels on earlier play, and have replayed everything else to level up as high as possible.

Also--has anyone figured out how to get the multiple bomb function to work? It says something about holding Ctrl to drop multiple bombs, but I can't make it work. What is the trick? With a touch pad, having that available would make life soooo much easier!!

THANKS!

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I've beaten the first arcane guardian and I'm beginning to pick out a little more strategy.

As Dora and I both mentioned, traps are for effects, and towers are for damage- the exception being green traps.

Green traps are good at fairly consistently thinning the herd, and softening the mobs for future rounds. Use green traps at the beginning when possible, only putting orange ones before.

Blue traps are always a good idea before your other ones.

Poison damage DOES stack. That does not mean that you should, however, due to a more underlying idea in the game.

In the first game, you were explicitly encouraged to create strong points in the path, with lots of towers and traps covering the same area. This strategy isn't mentioned in the sequel, and for good reason: it doesn't work.

If you played the first game quite a bit, you will have noticed that your strong points were weak when the monsters came in small, tightly packed bursts. For instance, 21 monsters coming in tight little three-mob bursts. Their formations were so tight that even though one or even two of them would get decimated easily by the towers, one would slip through, simply because it was untargeted.

The sequel expands on this. Almost every wave comes in short, rapid little bursts, causing your towers to leak massive numbers of mobs each pass. A strong spot is ineffective because multiple towers will overkill a single mob, while ignoring the one behind it.

A clue to the better strategy is in the map layout- most maps have two or three spots where a tower would obviously get great coverage.

SPREAD OUT YOUR TOWERS. Your traps will soften the mobs- at least some of them. Your early towers will thin the herd, picking off the weaker ones, and weakening the others. Because the crowding is reduced in the process, your later towers are MORE effective, even if they seem to be losing more mobs individually.

Three towers with no overlap is DRASTICALLY more effective than three adjacent towers.

Traps work similarly. A trap that is idle will ALWAYS hit the first mob that touches it- but not necessarily one right behind it, due to its cooldown.

While tightly packing your blues and oranges is a great tactic- ensuring that you get the most number of hits possible- tightly packing your greens is less useful, because they WILL miss some of the more densely packed mobs. Space them out- about 6 or 7 squares in the path- and you will see much better results. Weak, tightly packed monsters will be thinned as they hit later traps, and stronger, slower monsters will get hit over and over again, draining their life.

For the first arcane level in particular: I was level 17.

Place your trap farm (blues and oranges) at the entrance to the cave. Ignore the side paths, as they are only used in the final round.

Place your towers within the gaps between the winding path, straight down the middle. Each will get excellent coverage, but will also be spread out. When you are able to, place three or four towers in the bottom section, past all the forks, where mobs will be collected. Here, try to squeeze out a cyan trap or two- cyan traps shine with very slow mobs next to your most powerful towers, essential for the arcane baddy.

The arcane boss costs 2000 to lap. Each of his minions- of which there are 10 or 12- cost 600 to lap, but also GIVE somewhere between 300 and 600 when they are killed.

Make sure you have used the mana pool spell AT LEAST ONCE before the last round- the minions will max out your pool before the guardian laps, but if you are at 2000/2000, the game will still end. Feel free to use bombs when necessary- I cut it VERY close on my last attempt. The cyan traps will easily quadruple his time spent passing your three-tower combo- and more will increase that further.

Two grade 2 cyan traps, and three towers with a grade 4 and two grade 3 duals worked like a charm for me- though a third cyan trap would have made it much less narrow.

SPREAD YOUR TOWERS. You'll be amazed at the difference.

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Jamus: towers with red component are your best friends against groups of enemies... And at later levels, splash mastery is possibly the best skill to have (increases splash range in towers, allows hitting multiple targets at once in traps).

Good use for red gems:

My favourite is to have grade 4-6 blue gem with grade 1-2 red component in a trap (hits up to 4 targets at once and slows down by 75-80% for 5-8 secs) and 1-3 towers on it's range filled with 2 colored gems (at least one having red component to cause splash damage).
And the real fun comes if you can put red-lime gems in those towers close to that slow trap and then boost the splash radius by combining more (low) level red gems to it:
You will have a tower that causes splash damage to a tight group and that can bounce with about 30% chance. :D

Another (maybe even better) use for red gems:

MANA FARM!
Have 2-4 traps in a point where all or majority of the monsters pass but in a place where none of your towers reach. Put red-blue gem (grade 1-2 red component, grade 3-6 blue component) in first one to slow down the monsters and 1-3 traps with red-orange gems (grade 1-2 red component, as high grade orange components as possible) in other traps to get some mana from up to 4 targets at once.
If the monsters are so weak that they are dying on slow trap, you can remove it, place it temporarily in last of the traps or the best option: cast anger in incoming waves to make them stronger (and as a side effect, you will also get more of them and each of them will also give higher score/xp :)).

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Meh. Too much repeating of levels is required to move on. Very complex game, but the designers could have focused more on linear gameplay/storyline than the current repetitive structure. They could have created an "arcade mode" for repetitive levels with different goals. As is, the current game is somewhat similar to WoW grinding in order to pass levels.

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I'm a bit disappointed that a reviewer complains about the lack of music in a flash game.

If you're loading up some commercial game off a CD or DVD, there's plenty of space for music, and developer resources to compose or license some cool tracks. It's an opportunity to create immersion. It's a natural part of an all-around full-screen experience.

But flash games? People who develop these things aren't exactly swimming in resources. And, they burn my bandwidth to download every track. I'd much prefer they spend time and money fixing up art, game sounds, or game play instead.

98% of flash games have music that I need to turn off. That's a waste.

Frankly, game music is just incompatible with how I play Flash games. I'm playing in a window, so I don't expect immersion. And I frequently play with my computer's sound turned off. In that case, the sound file still loads and processes, and I never even know where my CPU cycles are going.

Thanks, GameInABottle for sparing me. :)

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Anonymous April 21, 2009 7:13 AM

I agree with those complaining about the "grinding" nature of the game.
Figuring out strategies and tactics to beat a particular level is fun. Having to repeat the same levels over and over in order to gain XP is not fun, at least not for casual gamers (evidently, there's a large crowd of WoW players who somehow enjoy this).

The game mechanics are great, but I believe the overall design should have focused on fewer cleverly designed levels, and remove the emphasis on gaining XP.

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My favorite strategy:

The all-trap setup on swarm levels. This requires level 40ish. This works best on levels with naturally occuring orange gems.

The basic setup is get the orange gem enhance spell to level 9 so that you start with two orange gems. You'll need to have the "starting mana pool spell at 9,the mana gain spell at level 10, and the trap price decease spell at level 7-8. Other things that help are having the increase damage spells, the trap special increase spell, and especially the firing speed spell. Eight maxed spells is level 52ish.

The trick is to not build towers. If you're on a level with orange gems, spawn a level 4 orange gem and drop the level 4 and level 3 orange gems into traps. If you can handle it, blow up any monster huts that would send monsters on alternate paths. During the first wave, drop another trap or two and put the level 2 in the trap. It's helpful to put the weakest gem first to make sure the monsters don't get killed before running over all of the mana gems. If you can get red gems, and you have red gem spells, you can also combine some of the orange gems to make dual gems.

As the waves get stronger, start upping the mana spell, and start summoning level 5-6 gems. Keep laying traps and adding gems. If you're playing a level that has 30+ waves, you can easily summon 6+ level 6 gems *and* use the mana pool spell 10-15 times. This makes the level straightforward and easy, and allows you to destroy auxiliary buildings and use multiple level 6 gems in shrines.

This strategy works because of the *huge* number of monsters. If you have 3-4 mana traps, you're getting 8-12 extra mana per monster, which adds up over the thousands of monsters. On large levels this could be as much as 30k mana with the right setup.

Using this strategy, I was able to squeeze an extra 1k xp per swarm level. This is because I was able to get 5-8 amulets per level. On 3x levels, it's possible to generate more (e.g. getting 3x gem shrine amulets).

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Well....more than 24 hours after my last post I am still trying to beat the next to last level before the river (haven't even opened the level with the first arcane guardian!). I'm at level 27 and can't find any combination of skills that gets me past wave 18. Anyone have a hint?

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master_flea Author Profile Page April 22, 2009 2:32 AM

Sarah:

Level 27 should be more than adequate to beat past the river.

First:
Max out the Focus Skill. You need it for the initial mana.
Max out the Replenish Skill. You need it for the ongoing Mana.
Max out the Forge Skill. Cut the cost of those gems.
Put the rest as you wish into traplayer and other skills.

Second:
Stick two towers in the space next to your tower. Put a grade 3 gem in each, and stick the extra gems in the traps, so monsters hit the green one last.
If at any point, you get a green level three gem, stick it in a trap. Remember that poison hits don't stack, so keep poison traps at least 6 spaces apart.
Call the first wave.
As soon as the first wave's last monster leaves the tower, call the second wave.
Ditto with the second.
And the third.
And the fourth, but immediately build another tower in the gap next to your tower, and stick another grade 3 gem in it.
Keep going and wait before calling the 7th wave.
When the last monster of the sixth wave is on approach to the traps, call the 7th wave. When the last of the 7th are on the screen, call the 8th, and build a fourth tower. same place. Grade 3 gem.
Keep calling waves one by one, and as you can afford more grade 3s, combine them into your existing towers until they're all grade 4.
When you can afford it, stick a tower with a grade 3 gem in the square above the rightmost initial trap. When you can, upgrade it to grade 4.
Before all the monsters have gone, gem bomb the small buildings around the monster tower until you find the lost amulet.
Sit back and wait for the level to be over.
Toast with an exotic beverage.

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Which skills do I have to choose to beat the first end monster with his stupid minions?
I'm complitly stucked!!!

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Anonymous April 22, 2009 7:44 AM

Sarah:
Level 27 is overkill for those rounds. You should change your tactics rather than XP or skill deployment.

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Has anyone figured out how 'Kills in a row' is defined? I keep spawning waves, but sometimes the chain ends with the 'kills in a row' message before I expect it.

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Tycomp:
It seems the kills in a row is defined as just continuously getting each kill within a very short time of the previous one. Like, VERY short time. Basically, the time between each kill seems to be roughly equal to the firing speed of your towers. So to rack up a high 'kill in a row' count, there's a couple of options.
1. Have one strong tower continuously firing, getting a kill EVERY time it fires. A good way to do this is by looking at the little counter of how many monsters are currently left unspawned, and as soon as it hits 0, send the next wave. This will ensure a continuous stream of mobs.
2. Have a few towers spread out, and also spread the mobs out. This way, even if one tower's not getting a kill at that particular moment, chances are one of your other towers is, keeping the chain alive. It's tough to do on higher levels when you can't really kill the monsters that quickly, but on earlier levels (once you've leveled up a few times) it's definitely doable.

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cantgetnorelief April 22, 2009 10:11 PM

One of the strongest (arguably broken) tactics from the original has been made even stronger in this version--the supergem. Combining grade one gems into a grade 4+ gem gives a couple of points of damage, range, and fire rate (!!) per gem. Once your gem has a fire rate of 120 or so, it's pretty much going to machine gun through everything. A lime-red supergem will let you summon multiple waves at the same time and pretty much destroy all of the creeps.

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Great news! Version 1.02 is out, which include the much needed addition of a restart level button. :)

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Is there anywhere to play it other than armorgames I cant get to the site. its blocked.

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I think it was a bit overkill, but I just got a level 14 (prismatic) gem and plenty of level 10-11 dual gems in the last level until I got tired and ended the level. :P
(got to around wave 85 and scored 93M points which was enough to give 8 levels)

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Ok, I've got a jist of the game and am currently at level 65 and I've unlocked every mode possible, but still if I pass a level the frame isn't glowing like the first gemcraft... Question is, do I need a hugely big score in every mode in a single level to get a glowing frame? - Thanks

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@master_flea--thanks. That's basically what I had been doing, except I wasn't using the Forge skill. I'll try that now and see if it makes a difference. I got to the final wave a couple of times and still ran out of mana as the last wave just pounded me. The most level 4 gems I ever had was 2 and that only happened one time, so I'm not sure how to build more unless I am just building way less towers and traps. But I appreciate the great info!

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Sarah: try to put some level 3-5 orange gems in traps near monster entrance to gain quite a lot extra mana and try to find ways to improve this gain even further. Also you can try to use gem bombs in next waves to get more monsters (and more mana + score) but watch out, don't use too many bombs in one wave!

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master_flea Author Profile Page April 24, 2009 8:42 AM

Well, Sarah, I just ran my skills like that again (at level 27 skill point levels). It works. You should only have 4 towers at the maximum. You don't really even need to build more traps. Once your gems are level 3/4, try to keep about 500 mana in reserve.

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master_flea Author Profile Page April 24, 2009 8:54 AM

*collapses*

OK... I've just finished the second arcane guardian, am at level 48, and this game has earned a thumbs up from me. I have successfully wasted days on this.

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Initially it's a pretty tough game, but after a while it becomes pretty enjoyable. Then, however, it shows a typical RPG problem: you'll need to 'farm' previous levels for experience, just so you're able to stand a chance during the next few levels.

Sorry, I've seen those levels already, and I'm not too interested in doing them again, except that they now contain only swarms, or tough monsters, or whatever.

I think that, all in all, this game has outgrown itself. It takes way too long to make significant progress, and there's little new stuff after a while. Oh well. :)

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Anonymous April 24, 2009 3:42 PM

I'm making good progress (Beaten the fourth guardian) and am filling in time by acquiring amulets. Most are no problem, but I cannot achieve the Shrine Burst amulet involving Lime and Special Damage. Every time I try, I get 'Cannot use Gem'. Can anyone tell me the trick to this one?

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Just curious, but I wonder if anyone here have tried to anger creatures waves before? I tried in early stages, but the marks gained is not very much, in fact it makes the level unnecessary difficult. What do you guys think?

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Wisedude Author Profile Page April 25, 2009 5:20 PM

Confession time,

I didn't like the first gemcraft.

Seriously, I didn't. I didn't get why it was so fun. So when this new gemcraft came out I took every word in the review with heaping piles of salt. And then I played it.

And I fell in love.

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Liked it for a while, but it gets a little too easy after the first few levels. It became a tedious micromanagement fest of spending massive amounts of level 1 gems to anger the next stage. Wish they had allowed some tower defense vets to balance out the game before release.

Also, there's the combining exploit (mentioned above) which existed in the first and I'm not sure why it has not been fixed.

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I second Wright's question; have beaten a couple of levels at in all of the available ways, and there still appears to be a bar at the bottom that needs to be filled to get a glowing frame. Anyone unlocked something secret? Or do I just need higher scores?

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@Li: after you beat the game you unlock the 'beyond corruption' mode.

Beyond Corruption mode gives you 6 gems of grade 5 (In addition to your skills), +100% number of monsters, +150% monster HP, no giant monsters, 10 additional waves (+2 waves for each time you beat this mode on that particular map, not all together.)

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Silverthorn April 26, 2009 6:39 AM

I second JIGuest's question. I also can't use all gems on the special damage shrine, some give me a "cannot use gem"...

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JIGuest and Silverthorn - The amulet problem is a known glitch. Well, at least the comments on the game page and the creator's page make note of it so I'm assuming GameInABottle knows his game needs more work.

The "Bouncing Mastery" skill doesn't affect the % chance like it's supposed to either.

There have already been two version upgrades so I bet more are on the way.

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master_flea Author Profile Page April 27, 2009 2:00 AM

OK... level 59, and a few levels past the second guardian. And I have to do a 1200 word assignment now.

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Silverthorn April 27, 2009 12:59 PM

AaronzDad - thanks, sounds like it should be known then. I can wait, there's enough game left for me without those amulets :)

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FinFanKain Author Profile Page April 27, 2009 4:42 PM

I don't know if any of you have noticed this, but it seems that using gems of opposite colors works best for the monsters. Say you've got green monsters coming through, use red gems; orange ones: blue. Has anyone else seen a correlation with this, or is it just me?

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To anyone having difficulties with the first guardian, I would suggest having more towers, spread out, than you have high quality gems. Even with the slow gem load time, the guardian moves so slowly that you can move your gems around to hit him at various different points.

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FinFanKain Author Profile Page April 27, 2009 6:34 PM

Also, for easy experience:

On endurance levels, especially the three times ones, destroy every building with low level gems, then anger the first wave as many times as possible; don't place any towers or traps or anything. Call all the waves early, and basically commit suicide - you get points anyway.

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Has anyone had trouble accessing the game this morning? I played until about midnight, but it is not available now. Perhaps down for an upgrade? Yep, I'm addicted!

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There's been an upgrade, yes. And I had gotten up to level 67, and now I have to start all over! How unbelievably UN-FUNNY!
Does anyone know if and how to get my saved game back?

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Sarah, I'm addicted too ;)
Now you can access the game normally, but... saved games disappeared! I hope that's temporarily. If no... uh, I don't want even think about that!

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twinotter April 28, 2009 8:42 PM

FinFanKain, that's kinda a bad strategy. You only get the 3x experience once, so you can't go back and improve your score later. I found that I only got about 1350 XP for doing this on a level that I hadn't run before. It's usually easy to get a few thousand (more more) XP on the game in endurance mode...

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The Game Author - GameInABottle - posted a note on his page over at ArmorGames
===============================================
Posted at 2:30pm on 4/28/2009
...Everyone: A new build will arrive soon, with many fixes to the bugs you reported us - thanks!
===============================================

@twinotter: What are you talking about? The 3X levels are ALWAYS 3X levels. No matter how many times you play them. You get more XP if you beat any previous score on any previous level.

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This is from user rbuccigrossi over at ArmorGames. I haven't tested it so I don't know if it works.

FOR THOSE WHO LOST YOUR SAVED GAMES: You can get them back!
Do a file search for giabGcChapter0SaveData including hidden system files.
You will find two copies in your Documents and Settings/USERNAME/ApplicationData/Macromedia/Flash Player folder.
Look for one in a cache.armorgames.com and one in an armorgames.com.
After backing up both, copy the one from cache.armorgames.com to armorgames.com and rerun GemCraft. It'll be back. (Thank goodness!)

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SmileyRiley Author Profile Page April 28, 2009 10:12 PM

I LOVED Gemcraft, and although this one is not as familiar, it has potential and I am happy to be blasting monsters again!
I like the new touches (so far at least)...
It's bookmarked as a favourite, and I can see me wasting many hours!

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AaronzDad, you are a lifesaver! A million thank yous!

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AaronzDad, just - THANK YOU!

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Did you try that? Did it work?

I did a search on my computer and came up with this location:

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash Player\#SharedObjects\E9S7TJQV\cache.armorgames.com

So anyone unable to find the .sol file you may have to check some of the sub folders in there.

Oh, the file is titled something like:
giabGcChapter0SaveData.sol

And also this isn't my discovery. As I said it's from user rbuccigrossi over at armor games forums for GC0. Credit where credit is due.

Glad to pass along useful info!

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After becoming practically addicted to this game, I have a few general tips that I personally found to work really well in getting extra experience:

1. Summoning more monsters per wave may seem pointless, but I found that it boosts your score quite a bit if you anger each wave with a grade 1 gem. It won't even use up that much mana and it will almost always give you an amulet for summoning them. Do this on every wave and your final score should be increased by about 10%. [Only works if you can handle the stronger monsters.]

2. You can practically guarantee the amulet for sending all waves early by sending the next wave right before it's due to arrive even if you still have lots of monsters left on the screen. Half a second earlier won't matter much for your towers anyways, but it still counts as "early" for the amulet. If you miss a few of them you'll still get the one for at least 60%. [There really isn't a reason not to do this.]

3. It's usually better to bomb all the small buildings than to not use gem bombs at all since it gives more points, provided that there are no extra monster bases or beacons on the level. Besides, you only need grade 1 gems to do this. [Remember that you have the whole level to do this if you think the mana might be better used in the beginning.]

4. Using lots of grade 1 gems to destroy other monster bases is a better use of your mana as opposed to using less higher grade ones. [The advantage to higher grade gem bombs is a bigger splash and more monsters hit, but you won't need those for bases.]

5. If you're near the end of a level, there are unused shrines left, and you have enough mana to get a grade 6 gem, you should make it and use it for a Shrine Burst amulet if you're confident you won't need the extra mana to survive. It will give you more points than the amulet for saving 4,000 mana. [You may not use this one very often, but it does help if you decide to replay levels on Arcane once you've unlocked it since you're likely to get both amulets together.]

6. Before you even attempt to play a level, check for Lost Amulets and restart. If there aren't any, you can just play like normal. If the level has one, you should now know exactly where it is and can bomb just that building if you want. [This will not only save you a little bit of mana, but now you don't need to think you wasted it for nothing either.]

7. The mana pool spell is a lot more helpful than it appears since it boosts your score gain also. For example if you use it twice in the first few waves, you have effectively increased your final score by a bit less than 10%. [Don't get carried away though, leave some mana for your defenses.]

8. Every little bit of experience counts, especially if you don't feel like re-doing any levels on modes you've already done. Some of these other tips may seem like extra work for barely any score boost, but putting all of them together makes these "little bits" really add up. [If nothing else, at least consider #2 (because it's easy) and #7 (since it's probably the most important).]

(Inside spoiler tags since it's pretty long.)

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twinotter April 30, 2009 6:30 PM

More strategy:

1. It's been said before, but until I switched to Dual Mastery I was getting stuck hard, first in the levels right after the first guardian, then just before the second guardian. Crank Dual mastery as high as you can then create Dual gems.

2. When you create a dual, get it up to level four, then start adding level 1 gems to it. Each gem adds points to its minimum attack, adds range, and adds speed. It's not hard to get a tower shooting as fast as a trap.

3. I really like chain hit. At 28%, I get so many chain hits that it's really helpful. I always keep a Lime gem around just for this and create more on levels where they are not provided.

4. I'm torn on what to couple Lime with - though I lean toward poison, cold or splash...

That's what has improved my game oodles!

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Tycomp May 2, 2009 3:06 AM

I agree wholeheartedly with twinotter's spoiler #1 above, I keep coming back to that skill.

I'm having trouble after the 2nd Arcane Guardian level (3rd area). I'm level 40, with 195 skill points, I've slowly cleared 5 of the levels, but having a lot of trouble on the middle one with 33 waves/poison/tripple/slow. I'm wondering what skills or strategy I should be using, or if I just need to level up more.

I've invested in these skills mainly:

Focus, Replenish, Forge, Mana Gain, Dual Gem, Tower, and Critical hit.

If you are easily passing these levels with 195 skill points, I'd like some tips on how.

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Tycomp, if you're stuck on a level with poison, triple damage, slow, you don't need points into mana gain, do you? :P I understand the couple of low level orange gems might seem useful, but most likely they're not worth it in the long run.

I also find that the Tower skill (lowering price for towers) is pretty useless unless you've got it at a high level, since you're probably only going to want to build 2-3 towers maximum. The mana saved is pretty minimal and the points can be better used elsewhere.

I think maxing out forge and replenish should probably be your top priority (along with Focus).

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OH NO!! All my data got erased!! I had a nice file too. Many hours of my life, gone! I tried that thing with the cache and the files but it did nothing. I am on a mac too.

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@Tycomp, I prefer to upgrade my skills only until I've done all of the 2-point upgrades (stop when the next upgrade costs 3 points).

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Did anybody figured out what the "Armor skill" is good for, what "banishment" is supposed to be exactly and how to buy it?
thanks for hints!

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Anonymous May 5, 2009 8:13 PM

Banishment is the mana loss when a monster reaches your tower. The Armor skill reduces the amount of mana lost. It is useless on Sudden Death mode, but may help on other modes.

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master_flea Author Profile Page May 8, 2009 11:48 PM

OK. I want my life back. I've now finished the game in heroic to get all the hidden levels. I'm level 110 and churning through the other game modes.

About to get all the lost amulets. My brain just started oozing out my ears.

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master_flea Author Profile Page May 11, 2009 2:41 AM

OK... I doubt anyone will read this now, but there is a way to get a butt load of XP. Enough that I jumped from level 124 to level 171.

Play the Gem of Eternity battle.
Put points into each of the following skills (in order):
Focus, Flexible Pool
Armor, Readiness, Replenish, Forge
Dual Mastery
Pure Mastery, Enhanced Pool
Resonance, Recharge, Radiance, Turbulance
Gem Masteries (In order: Orange, Red, Blue, Purple, Cyan, Yellow, Green, Lime)
Every orange gem needs to be paired with something else and put in a trap as close to the start as possible. Preferably blue, red or yellow.
Stick two orange/blue or orange/red traps right at the start
Stick two grade 4 towers near the bottom right of the left half at the start
This should be enough for you to get through pumping the mana spell until you hit about 20-25k maximum mana.
Make 2 or 3 grade 7 dual colour towers and place strategically on the left half of the map. (if you get orange, put them in traps)
Pump the mana spell a couple of times.
Rinse and repeat the last two steps until you hit 60k maximum mana.
Wait until you hit 40k mana.
Start making a few more towers/traps (place wherever you get good coverage) and pump the mana spell a few more times.
Rinse and repeat, maintaining about 2/3 of maximum mana reserves.
Using this strategy you should make it to level 126, which is a giant monster level.
Make a full set of grade 1 gems and use them to anger level 126 as soon as it appears on the bar on the left.
And do that again. And again. And again. And again. Until the level hits about 2000 monsters.
Call level 126 and drop 6 level 7 gems on the gem of eternity (so you only have to drop one more).
Wait for the whole wave of level 126 monsters to spawn, then drop the last level 7 on the Gem of eternity.
You will get kill XP for all the giant monsters, over 1,000,000 XP for the level.

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Yes Master Flea some of us are still playing this game and still checking the comments here occasionally.

That sounds like a terrific plan but I think you're just a LITTLE bit ahead of me. I'm only level 56 wizard and have only played through the first two arcane gate levels. Yes, I'm grinding pretty hard.

Heck, this game is grinder's paradise.

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So, can no one figure out how to fix my save data?

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You're on a Mac there wing... you'll have to find someone who knows how the Mac OS handles flash files.

I certainly can't help ya. I wish you luck though - I know how frustrating it must be!

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IT DID IT AGAIN.

All my data... erased, once again. This is an EXTREMELY big bug. They really need to fix this. Having all your hard earned data just disappear just like that really ruins everything. I want to not play because I know my data will probably just disappear again, but the game is so good. Fixing the bug would make me so extremely happy.

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If you can find where the saved game data file is stored on your computer you should make a backup of it occasionally as you play.

I wonder if other Mac users are having the same problem?

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master_flea Author Profile Page May 14, 2009 9:11 AM

OK... I'm now at level 199. Three levels to go before I can max out every skill.

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Well, I sort of know where the files are. There are two folders: an armogames.com folder and a cache.armorgames.com folder. Both have save data for Gemcraft 0.

So, which one do I back up, and also how?

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Hey Wing backup both files there.
Create a backup folder on your desktop or in your documents file somewhere you'll remember

Just right click on the file
Select "copy" from the menu that pops up
then go to your backup folder and right click in there
select "paste" from the menu that pops up
and there you have your backup.

When you paste in the newer ones you'll need to select "Yes" when asked if you want to replace the existing file in your backup folder.

Then if everything crashes and you lose your game you can reverse the process - copy from your backup folder and paste into the two armorgames folders.

You could copy and paste the entire folders but remember if you're playing other games at armorgames and saving them THOSE game files will be replaced as well if you have to do a restore.

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NEW UPDATED VERSION AVAILABLE NOW
Hey I see G.I.A.B just realeased version 1.1 with fixes and tweaks. Some stuff is cool and some of the "cheats" have been eliminated.

And Dora I know what a royal PITA it is to lose a game you've invested hours in. I'm happy to pass on some of the help given me over the years.

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I find it ironic that we have this big discussion about how to get saves back, and then I go to read what has been updated for 1.1 only to find out that they *possibly* (I haven't played it yet, so I don't know if the fix works or if it could still glitch out) fixed the problem.

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master_flea Author Profile Page May 14, 2009 8:08 PM

I thought we were on build 1.2 for the last week or so...

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I don't think the new process he has built into the game is for getting old lost games back. It will however keep you from going berzerk in the future due to lost games.

If it works that is.

And Flea we were on v1.02 before. Who the heck makes the rules for the version numbering anyway??

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Anonymous May 14, 2009 11:28 PM

This is a great game... anyone have any idea where i can find a text walkthrough/in-depth strategy guide?... The Great Firewall of China still is blocking YouTube

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master_flea Author Profile Page May 14, 2009 11:47 PM

Huzzah! Level 203! I have maxed out ALL skills!

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master_flea Author Profile Page May 15, 2009 5:32 AM

[insert string of extremely irate expletives]

OK... the new version of the game has this feature listed:
"extremely high final level xps are reset on load"

Pretty much designed to prevent people from doing what I did. Fine.

But somehow, it has also reset several other levels with high XP. Angry now.

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JIGuest you're kinda outta luck I think. There are tips here of course and in the comments on the game page itself but mostly it's a matter of experimenting with the different skill effects and finding what works for you.

M. Flea I noticed that too. Did some of your XP get taken away then?? That would REALLY suck canal water!

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master_flea Author Profile Page May 16, 2009 5:02 AM

Yes. I'm back down at level 150. It will take me a week to get all that back.

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master_flea Author Profile Page May 17, 2009 11:40 AM

OK... level 155 now, and time for bed. At this rate, it'll take perhaps 10 days to get back to max.

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Bah. They broke the trick where you combine a ton of level 1 gems to make a super-powerful super fast shooting gem. They now seem to max their range and fire rate at maybe a quarter what you used to be able to get.

Don't know what I'm going to do, as that was the only way I was able to beat levels lately. Wonder if I can find a cached older version. :(

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I'm at Lvl 162. My highest score on a lvl is 217k on 3x Sudden Death at ID46.

There's really no need to grind. I'm not even at the 4th guardian yet, and I only play the 3x score modes.

My method is to make super mana traps with splash so it can hit multiple targets. To start off, combine O3+R3+R1+R1=OR4 in that order. Splash effects will not show up in the trap without those extra reds. Upgrade by combining the OR4+(O4+R1)=OR5. Continue upgrade until you get to OR9. This gem would steal 10mana/hit at 300+ firing rate. With lvl9 red gem skill you'd get 4 targets/shot. Combine with a slow/splash trap just before (grade5 or 6 is adequate, created by the same method as above), it'll give more mana than you can use.

I usually create just 2 alternating sets of slow/splash and mana/splash traps for each level. It gives me enough mana to create multiple grade 9 gems, use all grade 6 gems on shrines, and use mana pool spell to get the score multiplier to at least x3.

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Kaeser I keep trying your system there but the game kinda gets in the way. I can't make the monsters understand they need to wait while I build my system. Then there's the whole shortage of mana issue while I'm trying to build it as well.

I'd be real interested in seeing a clip of you working that system on youtube or something. I must be doing something really wrong. What skills do you have leveled up to do that?

Also are you getting mana bonus from the splash factor there too? I can't get any gem in a trap to do a splash or a chain hit.

Maybe the game just hates me.

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master_flea Author Profile Page May 22, 2009 6:26 AM

Yeah... have to agree there.

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Anonymous May 22, 2009 12:59 PM

I have tried master flea's strategy on the final level, but it didn't award me any extra XP for all 1330 monsters (including the summoned giants, which seemed to have been capped at 300something per wave) that were on the screen when I dropped the last gem bomb on the Gem of eternity (I ended up with 48k XP on 228 waves). I was manufacturing mana so quickly (about 5k/second) that I could have held out much longer, but there was so much stuff I didn't bother for fear of my computer burning up. On the last level, I had a trap and a tower at every available space, with grade 8-12 gems in the towers and a trap combination of 1x O6B6 followed by 3x O6R6 the whole entire road. I maxed out the max mana (at some point the cost of mana pool spell > your max mana) I assume this would be a close to optimal trap combination for Kaesar's strategy also.

As far as trap splash goes, I think they removed that. The effect of adding many reds to traps now seems to be an increase in "maximum monsters per hit" which is 6 if you use the O6R6 combination. I am on about level 148 and have no desire to play any of the remaining/hidden levels (I played all the 3x up till level 135, at which point I just wanted to beat the game) or go after all the amulets. Between this game and Ginormo Sword, Jayisgames is responsible for a huge chunk of life that will flash before my eyes on my deathbed.

However, I am still interested in hearing about the quests to max out everything (amulets, levels, mana, XP), so please continue with the comments fellow wizards!

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I tried a little "test run" of Kaesar's strategy on Endurance on the first map. I'm not quite sure what the issue is though, I got it working just fine. My score was 17k from my little test.

I eventually got to the point where I had grade 7 red-orange gem traps on literally every space on the map. I was gaining mana so fast, I found myself getting my mana store maxed out most of the time even after "fully upgrading" it.

I got to around wave 90-ish before the lag became almost unbearable (the game ran at maybe 2 frames/sec by then) due to the massive amounts of mana I would be stealing every frame. I did find it kind of cool that the traps constantly activating made the path look like it was on fire, though.

So at this point I took out all of the traps and angered a wave with 20 grade 6 gems since I wasn't going to continue anyways. I ended up with a wave with 309 monsters with 4649 Armor level and about 536 million HP each. My grade 13 gem towers couldn't even do a single damage to them.... and I had about 20 of them too.

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I'll try to post a video soon.

http://www.sfu.ca/~jnkoo/734k.jpg

This put me over the top to level 207.

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Never mind the video Kaesar - you've already shown me what the difficulty is.

I'm only at level 68.

I have a ways to go before I start with enough gems and skills to be able to utilize your system.

Dangitall anyway.

Well, OK, I'd still love to see a clip of the system at work. :)

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Holy GemBombs Batman! It WORKS!!

I was finally able to get ahead of the monsters with the mana-steal traps and then it was off to the races.

Here are some crummy shots(sorry, didn't bother learning how to take a screenshot until after I took the pics) of my marathon game.

I had 28 traps with mostly level 8 gems except one I experimented with a little. The next increase in return after level 8 was level 12 so I didn't bother with any others.
http://images.jayisgames.com/hs_pam_gemcraftzero_aaronzdadlevel12.jpg

Just because I could I built a few huge gems.

I discovered they do about half the damage of the gems you need to make 'em. (ie: 4 10's do twice the damage of one level 12 give or take)
http://images.jayisgames.com/hs_pam_gemcraftzero_aaronzdadlevel15.jpg

I was playing the endurance game on level 27. I looked ahead at some of the waves yet to come...

But now I have more questions. How the heck did you get hundreds of thousands of points there Kaesar?? I was able to keep up with the banishment costs but I wasn't able to kill many creeps and get points. Are you bombing the early waves before they release and getting more monsters/points that way? Or are your skills upgraded enough that you're killing 'em? Or is it just later levels give better point returns?

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I'm so loving this game! I particularly like the arcane levels, but I'm still getting great new ideas here as well for other levels.

So I have a question: at the bottom of each icon on the map is a groove such as you see around the sides. The grooves on the sides correspond to the kind of game you choose to play and they light up when you win. Does something happen later to unlock the groove at the bottom as well? At what point in the game does that happen? I don't have a lot of time so sometimes a week goes by without my playing a single game--I'm only about halfway through the third map.

Just curious! Glad there's still some chatter, 'cause I am still playin'!

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Anonymous May 26, 2009 11:49 AM

@Sarah

The bottom groove unlocks after you've beaten the final stage

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Articubone May 26, 2009 6:39 PM

I think I've found the problem, AaronzDad. If you're getting to wave ~30+, monsters start reaching your tower and you rely on your mana gain to be bigger than the drain to survive. The trouble is, by this point you've probably upgraded your towers to have massive ranges (especially if you're using splash gems).

So, there's always going to be some monster that's about to get to your base. The gems all target it... it disappears... shots wasted. They target the next one... rinse and repeat. That's why you're not killing stuff. I once had 160+ monsters on screen... it wasn't pretty in terms of framerate.

Solution? Just build a few new towers where the gems won't see the exit to your wizard tower, and stick your gems back there. That way they're guaranteed to hit, and you should see the monster number slowly go down.

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Articubone I'm sure I'm losing plenty of shots for precisely the reason you mention but I don't think that's really my problem.

Here, check this out:
http://images.jayisgames.com/hs_pam_gemcraftzero_aaronzdad_grade16.jpg
That's a grade 16 gem I'm dropping in that zapper shrine. If you squint you can see it says "Releases 87 charged bolts Damage 6894 - 21444 per bolt"

And I didn't kill a single monster with that.

You'll notice the layout of the towers as well. Yeah, everywhere.

The HP are just too high once you get up to wave 60 or 80 in the endurance game.

I need a graphics card before I try that again. My poor old system couldn't handle the strain - I was sometimes getting a lag over five seconds between frames. No, I'm not kidding. I was averaging about two seconds a frame. I went and watched a DVD while it ran.

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fattywads Author Profile Page May 28, 2009 4:35 AM

Hey, uh, I have a different problem. I'm at level 53 and I have 226,000 of the 220,000 that i need for level 54, which, uh, seems a bit off? anyone had this problem? I remember it was like this in the old game, but I'm a bit worried I wont get much farther like this...

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Anonymous May 28, 2009 11:49 AM

Like I said before, I've pretty much given up trying to max out the stuff. However, it's still fun to sometimes go back to the early stages and keep summoning monsters and playing endurance levels until I get bored (usually by wave 70 I lose patience with the lag).

But has anyone of you actually looked to submit your XP? The numbers on the record board are ridiculous (dunno if there was still a cheat available to anyone)

Also, I'm curious if the endurance levels actually run forever. I think in an earlier version I saw the result of an endurance level showing "early waves called: X/501". Maybe there are "only" 501 waves even in endurance?

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Articubone May 28, 2009 7:37 PM

Well, um, I guess the endurance levels are simply unbeatable? Not much else to say...

And you've been playing without a graphics card to do this? That must be painful!

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@ fattywads

Apparently something about Amulet XP had to be "fixed", and that wound up increasing your total. Just gain a bit more XP and your level should fix itself.

In Endurance mode, it says 0/510 on the "Early waves called" line right after you lose, but before the stats change. I guess theoretically it would end at wave 510, but practically speaking the monsters would have high enough HP that no conceivable setup you could ever make (without somehow cheating) would be able to take them down past wave 150. Rushing the last 360 waves really wouldn't be much of an option either considering the immense lag that would happen while attempting to do so.

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If you scroll back the comments a little here you'll find a picture I posted of the stats on wave 108 of an endurance mode.

The creeps have over ONE BILLION hit points.

I'd venture to say no one will ever get even a quarter of the way through an endurance game.

And yes, Articubone, no graphics card. You feel my pain.

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Smartygeek June 5, 2009 10:03 PM

Does anybody know where these cache files are located?

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Smartygeek that info is on page one of the comments here - but to make it simple I'll copy and paste again for ya.

Do a file search for
"giabGcChapter0SaveData"
including hidden system files.

You will find two copies in your Documents and Settings/USERNAME/ApplicationData/Macromedia/Flash Player folder.
Look for one in a cache.armorgames.com and one in an armorgames.com.

I did a search on my computer and came up with this location:

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash Player\#SharedObjects\E9S7TJQV\cache.armorgames.com

So anyone unable to find the .sol file may have to check some of the sub folders in there.

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KofolaMaster July 20, 2009 8:34 AM

Hi, I couldn't pass the level#14 in SuddenDeath mode (I was lvl 21). I tried the level several times and found it unbeatable - finally a small change to the tactics made the difference and I did the level with only two towers.

I invested in focus, forge and dual gem mastery slills. Created red (and afterwards mixed with blue) tower grade 3 and another one. Afterwards I focused on merging gems into these two, thus increasing their range and damage (the tower on the last curve before exit could in the end shoot monsters leaving the cave. Merging them into lvl 5 the towers had ~120 dmg per hit with a good splash and speed that did the job.

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About the end story,

so basically, there is this monster who is kept prisonner by the gem of eternity which must not be removed at any cost, so, in order to enforce that, the brainmaster wizards decide to keep it a secret that the greatly attracting highly valuable eternity giving gem is in fact a lock that will get you (and the rest of the world) destroyed if you remove it ????

you got to be kidding me! What were they thinking ???

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I hope I'm not the only one still playing this! haha

It's great!

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As a matter of fact, this game is too easy I agree right now i'm lvl 374 with 857 skill points left but every skill already to the max..
Now why is it too easy ?

TRAPs + orange/red/blue combo.

6 hit per shot / 7.2 mana per hits / slow by 95 %
with a shotting speed > 600
you've got close to unlimited mana.
there's a time i tried to play endurance as far as i could :
-> build mana as fast as possible
-> anger as fast a possible too with higher gems
-> around lvl 40, i angered the monsters 10 time with lvl 6 gems
-> Around lvl 60, i was using lvl 8 gems angering the monster about 6 times.

bug it's lagging. i was killing everything too easily up to lvl 95. It took me 3 days to reach this stage. I got bored so merge everything in a single gem (over 70.000 max damage lvl 15 gem) and called every wave i could. lvl 160, monster are such nosense with billions of HP.
final score: ~ 2.400.000 score
as it was on map 2... endurance x3 => 7.424.670

[Edit and spoiler added ~ Kayleigh]

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I'm at about level 114 and here's a strategy I found to work pretty effectively regardless of stage. It makes passing stages fairly brainless.

The name of the game is return on investment in terms of mana. Main Gain combined with Bouncing (further enhanced by Dual Gem and Replenish) is a great complementary combination of skills because it maximizes the number of hits on monsters as well as the mana gained per hit. Oh yeah, it also damages the monsters.

To further complement this (secondarily), add Forge, Flexible Pool (Mana Pool is a great investment spell for long stages) and of course Tower, Recharge and Radiance, etc. Enhanced Pool is also interesting because I think your mana recharge rate is proportional to your pool size.

A general tip about upgrading skills - get to level 6, then upgrade other essential ones before coming back to top it off to 10.

The reason is because the cost of skills goes:
5-4-3-2-2-2-3-4-5-6

So if you're going to spend 5 points for level 1 of a skill, you might as well get it to level 6 because the cost goes down. But for the price of getting from level 6 to level 10 (18 points), you can get another skill to level 6! When you consider that the last few levels increase the skill much less significantly, it makes even more sense.

I find that if I build a 6-pack of towers near a choke point, and put grade 4 lime-orange dual gems in each of them, then gradually upgrade them to grade 5 and then grade 6, that gets me through most levels. I need to use more towers at later stages. The other advantage of gaining lots of mana efficiently is that even if monsters get Banished you're well-padded.

I've experimented with other strategies (i.e. trap-based "mana farms"; single coloured gems) and I don't find them as effective. For one, the combination of skills are not as complementary, and the single gem skill maxes at 50% compared to the dual gem skill which is 60%.

Once this strategy gets rolling, I find it's only worth my time to do the 3x games on each stage.

That said, I'm starting to get bored with the game even though I was obsessed with it for the last month. It's partly based on some comments I've read here - that the game will start cutting off your experience when it gets too high.

I think that's a slap in the face. The reason I get hooked on these types of games is so that I can work up to a high level, then basically leave it on auto-pilot and enjoy the rewards of my effort. For example, in Defend Your Castle once I get 500 men in each tower, I can leave the stage running overnight and just click "next stage" in the morning. :)

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Roseate Spoonbill Author Profile Page November 3, 2009 12:33 AM

Too hard. It's just too hard. It's not for more experienced players. It's just flat out too hard.

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This is a great game- very addictive but has anyone else had the "XP" problem? I am currently level 16 with 18,484 xp - I should level up at 18,600 BUT I have not gained any xp for at least 5 goes even though after I finish a round it says I have earned xp. Last round I played I earned 1,860 xp (with bonuses) but I still stayed on 18,484!!!Arrrrrgh!! Has anyone else found this?? - up until this I have really enjoyed the game!!! ;P

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dsrtrosy Author Profile Page March 15, 2010 5:36 PM

Sarah, you should check with Jay directly (email him rather than posting) because I don't think the comments are checked very frequently now. It could have something to do with your browser or version of Flash. Unfortunately, that kind of thing happens.

I was having trouble with the other Gemcraft game recently and the designers told me to try getting offline as soon as the game loaded so that the ads wouldn't continue to load. For some reason, the company supplying the ads was causing problems with the programming of the game! Just a thought.

[I read (or at least skim) all the comments, same as I have ever done. :) Nothing has changed. For support issues, check our Support page (a link to which appears in the footer of every page). If your question isn't answered there, leave a comment and we'll address it. -Jay]

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dsrtrosy Author Profile Page April 14, 2010 2:39 PM

Sorry--didn't mean it like that, Jay!! I meant this game had been up so long, it probably didn't get as much attention as other, more recent games. I know you skim, but I have a bad habit of asking questions on old games and I *rarely* find that the COMMUNITY has an answer. No disrespect intended!!

[No worries, none taken. Older games still get visited hundreds of times a day, so you might have to wait longer for someone to reply. Just because a game is old doesn't mean no one is playing it. :) And please do not email me personally for help with games, I'm really far too busy to be giving personalized support, I'm sorry to say. That's what our community is for. -Jay]

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refofdeath Author Profile Page July 10, 2010 10:38 AM

Hello,
I love the game, but is there any way to transfer my saved file onto another computer? I tried locating the files and saving them onto my new computer, but no luck. Is there a certain file under which I would need to store them? Other than this, a tremendous game and insanely addictive! Thank you.

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I am kind of new to this game but I've been playing a lot lately. My best endurance experience is with the final level -since it is a nice and long maze, it makes it possible to harvest great amounts of mana. I filled up the maze with only grade 6 O (combined with grade 4 R) traps and I easily reached 764k mana and could've gone further. I had towers with level 11-14 pure/dual/prismatic gems. I filled up the entire map with towers actually. Yet, the game was running real slow for me, even at the lowest quality, so I couldn't stand to fill up all the towers and keep upgrading gems. I guess I was somewhere between wave 160-180, there were over 500 monsters out there. So I got bored and started angering the upcoming waves and sent out all the 228 waves out. Once they were all out I tried to drop the last gem bomb on the Gem of Eternity. I had to do that 3 times with the same gem, lol. I guess I got the game confused -at my final try it was showing "Gem bombs to go: -1". Anyhow, I finalized the game.

Long story short, I got just over 162k experience points. And I was expecting to go about 4-5 (maybe more) levels up but I got only 2 levels up (from 165 to 167) and got only 10 skill points. I just wonder; how come?

I usually get 10k up to 36k EPs when I play x3 Experience maps. In that case, I level up much easier and faster. So it seemed all a bit pointless to spend hours on one level just to go 2 levels up.. Has anyone ever had the same problem?

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There seems to be some kind of bug lately--at the end of every level, I get a screen that says "There was an error when the game tried to save on autosave." It then goes into quite a bit of detail regarding the error, and provides the loading info for you to c/p into a text editor (or in my case, Stickies).

I realize it's put there in case of these problems, but when I play three levels and then get this at the end of every subsequent level, it makes me wonder what is going on. I've never seen this particular error before--hope the game is OK.

MBP, running OSX Lion, playing on Chrome.

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There have been no updates to the game since we hosted it, so the likely cause of the problem is that you have run out of allocated space to store game saves. When selecting a save slot the following note appears beneath the window:

Note: saved games are stored on your computer and linked to the site you are playing the game on. If saving the game doesn't work, increase the storage space of the Flash Player under (right-click), (settings), (local storage).

Try that to see if the issue persists.

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It's a fairly new computer, but I haven't ever increased how much I can save in flash, so I've upped it to 1M. Seems as though I've done that on older computers, but hadn't even thought about it with this one. I hope that solves it...I love coming back to these games that save a ton of stuff on our hard drives, but this was beginning to wear on me--at the end of every level, every time I returned to the map, every time I tried to save.

Thanks for the info!

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Oh noes!!! It has started again. Well, I realize it's an older game, but it's my favorite of the series. I will just live with reloading as necessary!

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You might want to set images.jayisgames.com to unlimited storage (I have) instead of just 1M since all the games we host here will share that same storage allocation. 1M is not really a lot of space, so I'm not really surprised to hear it's (still) happening (again).

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dsrtrosy Author Profile Page March 27, 2012 2:29 PM

Thanks, Jay. Unfortunately, it's still happening. Must be something on my end.

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dsrtrosy Author Profile Page April 8, 2012 10:59 AM

Oh brother...sorry to be a pest, but today when I hit "Play", I get a black screen. Have tried twice. Should I send someone a screenshot?

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I just tried loading the game in Firefox (11.0), Chrome (18.0.1025.142), Safari (5.0.6) and Camino (2.1.2) and didn't have a problem clicking the "Play" button in the game and getting to the game's main menu in every browser I tried.

Are other games on the site working for you? Have you tried emptying your browser cache and reloading the game page? Have you tried different browsers? Is your Flash Player up to date?

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dsrtrosy Author Profile Page April 10, 2012 7:36 PM

You know, I wonder if I need to reload Chrome--I've been having weird problems with it. I can play other games fine, although some are really laggy; just updated Flash this week; and emptied the cache less than 2 weeks ago, but I can do it again. I'm still getting the black screen, although today the sound was up and I could hear the Armor Games music and sword clashing, but there was no video. I will start trying things and see if something works!

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dsrtrosy Author Profile Page April 10, 2012 7:39 PM

OK, Jay, I guess I have a bigger problem. Just tried playing on Camino (which is the only other browser I have) and it's doing the exact same thing. I may try reinstalling Flash again.

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