Valley 1:I Completed The Intro Mission... But What Do I Do Next?
Depending on your personality and how you're feeling at this particular moment, this may or may not be what you want to hear, but: that's up to you.
If You're Feeling Lost
So you know how to move around in the world, and the sidescrolling Metroidvania-style platforming stuff is old hat to you now. But then you saw the world map for the first time, and it was like... whoa. There's this huge amount of area there, and a few little icons here and there, but that's about it. One of those evil-looking castle thingies is probably the overlord, and you can see where you are, but beyond that it's just a bunch of countryside and those missions. That can be more than a little overwhelming the first time.
The game itself is designed to help you through these periods, and there are handy in-game popups that explain all of this. Here's what the one that appears when you first enter the world map says:
- Welcome to the world as we know it now. During the Cataclysm, when reality shattered, pieces of time and place were broken and rearranged seemingly at random. Each region (square) on the map can be entered and explored.
- Move your character around the map - don't worry, you're safe unless you enter an area (E) - and this will tell you about the type of region (Grasslands, Ice Age Woods, etc.) and also give you more information about missions, Overlord Lairs, and other special areas in the left hand corner. Eventually you'll learn to see what all the symbols and grid types mean by sight but it's worth taking a few minutes checking things out. Hover your mouse over the different items in the description box and you'll get more information.
- You'll want to note the location of the Evil Overlord's Lair, but it's not a good idea to pay him a visit just yet -- you're not strong enough to defeat him, although that is your ultimate goal.
- Regions that are marked with Mission contain missions you can complete to acquire spells.
- One more thing: watch out for wind storms! Once you get too far from your Settlement and the protection of the Ilari Stone there, the wind storms are constant, dealing constant damage, and making it difficult to even move. If you enter a region where a wind storm is, you'd better be prepared.
- For now, it's a good idea to look at your Planning Menu (push E) to get an idea of what to do next.
Now is also a good time to mention this wiki article: What Is The General Game Flow?. It should help you get a sense of a lot of what the planning menu will also tell you.
A Quickie Walkthrough For The First Continent
In terms of your very short-term goals, here's what you should focus on first:
1. Getting enough basic supplies so that you don't get killed too easily or trapped in caves.
2. Use your planning menu to figure out what spells you want to craft, and where the ingredients for those spells might be located. Then get to work trying to locate the same.
3. Do a mission or two, or craft some spells (crafted spells are of a higher rarity value, and as such are usually stronger than the "common" spells given by missions) so you can get some level 2 spells. Suddenly everything will be much easier for a while.
4. There are some unlockables that your planning menu will be telling you about -- some of those are also required in order for you to be able to get better spells. Focus on these as you see fit.
5. Once you're pretty buffed up and feeling on top of things, try to take out a lieutenant. If you succeed, your continent will hit level 2, and suddenly things will be a lot less easy again.
6. Now it's a good idea to do one or two more missions, or do some more crafting, and thus get some level 3 spells. See where we're going with this?
7. Once you have a level 3 spell or two, you'll be feeling back on top of things most likely. Hopefully you're also picking up some cool enchants as you go.
8. You may also want to focus on some guardian power scrolls, and the game will give you some tips about those once you find them. You get these scrolls as a reward for doing Secret Missions occasionally from map missions, or from the Opal Store, so you may already have them by now. The guardian power scrolls let you do things like build wind shelters or buoys, and affect your world in other ways. If the overlord happens to be on an island, you're going to need to build a line of buoys over to him. And if you want to adventure in non-windstorm-buffed areas, particularly around the overlord, you're going to want to make sure and extend your wind shelter network as well. Fighting in windstorms is a lot harder because it causes damage-over-time and blows your spells around a bit, so this is where you're going to want to be thinking about extending your sphere of influence, so to speak. And finally, you'll probably want some buildings of various types, such as farms and the various profession buildings, to support the survivors in your settlement and increase their skill, allowing them to do missions for you to either find spell-crafting components, or other things such as weakening the overlord.
9. The general pattern of spell improvement, unlocking new spells and materials (as well as other cool stuff), using guardian powers, and completing missions, is going to continue until you have defeated all four Lieutenants. These aren't missions, and technically they are optional. But the overlord boss battle is going to be so much harder if you don't kill these guys first (which lowers the Overlord's level), and that battle is hard enough anyway. Once you have defeated these guys, you can level up your spells once more, and then, depending on the Citybuilding difficulty, the Overlord will still have a much higher level than you, and you'll need to send some survivors from your settlement on missions to weaken him. Again, this is technically optional, but it really is best to bring this guy down as far as you can before attempting to fight him, so you'll have the best chance of victory.
10. So you'll continue doing some missions or searching stashes and crafting spells and so forth to shore up your arsenal, you'll tailor your enchants towards your playstyle as best you can for this point in the game, and you'll go after each lieutenant in turn.
11. When you're feeling ready to do so, go take on that overlord. If you die in his throne room, your first priority should be killing the vengeful ghost of yourself -- don't let his throne room fill up with ghosts of your old characters! That can create an impassible situation, and you need to kill this overlord to get to the next continent.
12. Once you've beaten the overlord, hooray! You've saved the continent. There are still missions to complete, still unlockables you can work on, and still things you can do to improve your settlement. But now there is also a whole new continent that has opened up. It has entirely new kinds of regions that you've never seen before, in addition to the region types you're now familiar with. It has more better enchants, more challenging monsters, and more spells that you can now unlock. This next overlord will be an even bigger challenge to defeat, but now you know the basic progression and are ready to take him or her on!