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Artifact Upgrade Advice: 7/12/2021 07:20:16

Level 44
I understand most posts are geared towards the Lords of Ascension but there are a lot of wee underlings whom have just started recently and any tips are appreciated. I've read most of this forum and the guides available which have been a great help and am thankful.
I'm curious what others would do where I am currently. I understand there's a myriad of strats and currently I am working out the strat that works for me. Think I know what I'm going to do if I do it now but would like to know what others with more experience might do in this situation. This is my first run, I'm just finishing AD 1045.. If I upgrade some artifacts what ones would you upgrade if the following were in your hand on your first run. And one note, I've upgraded and sacrificed to get 3 rares I understand as important. I've yet to see a reason to sacrifice and upgrade an Active good enough to tie up a slot for 16 hours. Thanks for any advice or jeers ;)

Here is what I have...

Rare: ACB, BMB, TMB, Speedy Smelters, Discount Hospitals

Uncommon: Supercharge Mine

Common: FB, ACD, DB, TW, Craft Double, Alloy Value, Inspire, Quad Strike

Poor: Item Values
Artifact Upgrade Advice: 7/12/2021 07:23:49

Level 62
You are finishing AD 1045 and call yourself an underling. wow.

I'm actually less experienced that you, just finished far land (0 ascensions)

If i were in your position, I would get sac nothing, your artefacts are all pretty useful when you switch them round in some situations. The only useless ones that I would dump would be Quad strike, craft double, quad strike
Artifact Upgrade Advice: 7/12/2021 08:02:51

Level 60
I personally use these guides like 90%:



All the active discount artifacts for example are 100% worthless. 1 thing to keep in mind is that most of the players I know of who are fairly advanced have all done their own math. E.g. I sometimes use Speedy smelters because it gives me more money per second in the differential from the faster items crafted than 1 of my money boosts.

Another thing is your personal preference. Z says you get more benefit from a few super upgraded artifacts. I think it's true to a certain extent, but he also keeps 1 of each in case 1 gets boosted (& so he can keep his guide current). I personally sacrificed all my active artifacts and any passive artifacts offering less than 20% of some kind of bonus at the uncommon level when I upgraded my main artifacts to Rare (Army Camp Boost, Territory Money Boost, Bonus Money Boost, and Ore, Alloy and Item Values. I personally like having most of the artifacts (recommended in the first guide) again, but soon I wall face the choice of sacrificing the lesser ones, or waiting longer to get my main ones to Epic.

What is your play style? Do you like micromanaging your different artifacts? Or the ease of greater returns from a fewer set of artifacts? Until Idle comes out of beta, I can't really say there is 1 right answer because the math could change tomorrow. What are your goals with your artifacts? Are you wanting to complete levels faster (Like said lords of ascension recommend)? Are you trying to maximize multiple areas? I think you are the best 1 qualified to determine those answers, and the only thing after that is double checking the math to maximize the path to your goal.
Artifact Upgrade Advice: 7/12/2021 08:06:25

Level 60
My personal recommendation at this exact point is to either upgrade your best ones, or to save all the extras to upgrade later (such as when you get any artifacts you desire to obtain in the future).
Artifact Upgrade Advice: 7/12/2021 10:01:04

Level 64
I wouldn't upgrade the rare ones yet cause you need to sacrifice useful artifacts in this case. If you have more rare artifacts, BMB would me my first choice for upgrade to epic followed by ACB.

For all others (uncommon, common, poor), I would upgrade them as soon as you have 5 in order to get more rare ones (to sacrifice for BMB, ACB etc.).

All of your common ones look less important on first glance, maybe ACB, but that's also fodder once you reach the same level as your current rare artifacts.

And as Kcebnroh said, it strongly depends on your playstyle.
Artifact Upgrade Advice: 7/12/2021 13:24:11

Level 25
I will provide some general guidelines that I tend to follow. They are pretty independent of your actual strategy so should apply to you, too.

My general rule of thumb is (although I can't back this with actual data/math) that upgrading your artifacts to their max only pays off is you can get at least two (good) epics out of them. What "good" means here depends on your strategy, but just because you dug up some epic active one, will most likely not benefit you much. If you are this low in the "campaign" (I'm not that much ahead of you and still can't produce two epics), swapping will probably get you the most out of what you have.

Keeping one of each (or most) passive artifact(s) is always a good idea. Actives are generally not worth the 16h (starting with epic or so, actives might be worth it, on a lower level I wouldn't use them), and all the passives have some benefit. And most of the time, you can swap them in as needed (speedy smelter/crafter seem to take some time to become effective, but hey, this might get fixed at some point, too). If you are able to upgrade to two epics you might want to loosen this guideline but then again, if you later on decide/discover that a different strategy might suite you better, it might be the case that you sacrificed all the artifacts that this new strategy would rely on. So, pick your poison here.

For the actual benefits of your artifacts, keep in mind that most of the effects are shared with techs and advancements, so if an artifact says 20%, you won't necessary get 20%. If you have the "Modifiers"-button unlocked (Statistics advancement, I think Level 2), you can always see/calculate the actual benefits of some artifact. If there are other effects active, that give you 50% on their own, your 20% artifact actually grants you the benefits of going from 150% to 170%, so around 13%. But still, it's not trivial to compare two artifacts to determine the "better one", so if aren't sure which one to upgrade and you don't know how to compare two artifacts (or just don't want to do the math), trust your feelings.

All in all, with 15 artifacts, of which some are active, I wouldn't get overly focused on upgrading, just because you technically can. If you find more actives, you can still use them to further upgrade your passives.
Artifact Upgrade Advice: 7/12/2021 13:58:03

Level 62
^^Phoenix good info.

The Modifiers section is important to take note of and understand how it works for the items you're contemplating upgrading, b/c of the way they stack often makes something far less useful than you might think. I have added a number of 30% buffs to see a 4-5% difference (it's all explainable, but if you don't know how it works, you may incorrectly be investment your time/in-game money/resources/etc).

In general, the more buffs you already have, the less perceived value additional buffs are going to give you.
Artifact Upgrade Advice: 7/12/2021 23:06:28

Level 61
I’m aiming to get seven epics:
1. Bonus Money Boost
2. Hospital Boost
3. Mercenary Discount
4. Ore Value
5. Item Value
6. Mine Boost
7. Army Camp Boost

This is a rough order of importance for me. I’m more bearish on Army Camp Boost than most… you’re probably nearing +400% achievement by the time you’re thinking about pushing it to epic (+80%) so it’s a little underwhelming.

Of course you can micromanage more (caches, upgrades) or focus on battles (Supercharge Army Camp) but I personally haven’t prioritized these artifacts.

My upgrading path has been to always have these seven. So I don’t push for the next level if it involves spending one of the seven unless I have a backup ready to go.
Artifact Upgrade Advice: 7/12/2021 23:41:24

Level 25
I appreciate that you have a strategy going forward, graemes, but let me ask a few questions so that I understand your decisions better and so that others reading this might get more from this than just "these are graemes's preferred artifacts". It's always good to have some reasoning and not just the answer to make up someone's own mind.

  • Why do you use BMB but not TMB? There are levels that favor one, while others favor the other. Therefore, to me it seems crazy to totally exclude TMB.
  • What is your argument for Hospital Boost? I mean, sure, I use an uncommon Hospital Boost myself, and given its numbers I assume on epic it gives you 16% of your Hospital savings. But given that I target some territories from time to time, where the Hospital kick-back is around 6%, even the 16% boost would under ideal conditions only give me 7% in total of this territory. So, why is this on your list but not - let's say - one of the cache boosts. Epic Money Cache Boost gives you 32%, the "perceived" (thanks krinid) effect might be lower if you have invested in the advancement, but 32% more money easily beats 1 percentage point of army savings in my eyes.
  • I can see why you have two Value boosters on the list, but not the Alloy Value one. But why do you value the Ore one more than the Item one? Is the benefit that much higher? I'd estimate that I earn more from items, but I rarely check the stats on that.
  • Mine Boost is an interesting choice! Parsifal did the math to show that for ROI any of the Money Boosts is better, but I can see cases where you need the additional ores and not the money. So, hey, nice to see someone giving props to the Mine Booster

Your final statement is - so I think - a general advise for everyone. It rarely pays off to sacrifice an artifact that has become dear to you. You might get a bit more out of the game, but you will probably regret sacrificing the artifact more often and therefore lose some joy in playing. Given that the artifacts in general give very little benefits, FEELING like you got something out of your artifacts is worth more than HAVING PROOF for .4% more benefit.
Artifact Upgrade Advice: 7/13/2021 01:28:07

Level 61
I’ll distinguish between “true passives” and “active passives” below.

I want three “true passives”. I understand there are situations where a fourth could add marginal value (you reference TMB levels vs BMB levels for example) but spreading upgrades across four artifacts rather than concentrating in three artifacts feels wrong. I haven’t crunched the numbers here but intuitively it feels like BMB/Mine/ACB is the preferred three. I can believe that TMB comes out to be better than Mine or BMB in many situations, although it is slightly less flexible (TMB only gives money, Mine gives ore or money).

In terms of the “active passives”, Hospital Boost and Merc Discount are just plain good. After ascending, the levels have two distinct phases: a slow buildup and then a fast cashout. I believe in the ultra late-game (ascension 3+) this will be even more pronounced. These two artifacts are the two that let you flip the switch sooner and I believe they are the two that will shorten time-per-level by the most. Admittedly, you can make many of similar arguments about the cache boosts but this becomes an extreme micromanaging exercise rather than a simple switch on, capture, capture, capture, switch off.

Ore and Item Values are because a significant percentage of my income comes from selling Ore and Items. Again, it’s a simple switch on, sell, sell, sell, switch off. I sell lots of ore because I put a lot of value in the shorter cash conversion cycle. This is harmonious with a maxed Ore advancement (this is quite cheap). I sell a lot of items because they sell for $$$. I very rarely sell alloys. With +100% advancement and +40% artifact on Ore, selling alloys is just too slow.

Edited 7/13/2021 01:29:32
Artifact Upgrade Advice: 7/13/2021 04:37:01

Level 60
@Phoenix thank you for pointing out the math things I left out.

your 20% artifact actually grants you the benefits of going from 150% to 170%, so around 13%

There are a lot of variables, but generally artifacts that directly or indirectly get you more money and armies are more valuable than ones that get you less, or almost 0. E.g. a Rare 10% mine discount is relatively worth-less than a Rare 100% increase in money from territories. I sacrificed the mine discount until I got another as per Phoenix's description.

it's not trivial to compare two artifacts to determine the "better one"

I almost always find a way somehow to calculate all the variables in relation to each other and get a per second actual value analysis of any artifacts I'm comparing. Often it is complex to multiply and divide several numbers, but it can be done even in simple math by using multiple calculator windows :D

speedy smelter/crafter seem to take some time to become effective, but hey, this might get fixed at some point

Speedy smelter/crafter used to actually be competitive with TMB and BMB for the most money produced per second, but they got nerfed a while back, so now situations where they are as useful are a lot fewer than they used to be. (I hope Fizzer makes them back the way they used to be too) :/

Edited 7/13/2021 04:38:16
Artifact Upgrade Advice: 7/13/2021 13:36:31

Level 62
Speedy smelter/crafter used to actually be competitive with TMB and BMB for the most money produced per second

Isn't it still competitive? Not sure what it was before, but now I have 25% Rare Speedy Crafters, making Explosive Bolts on 7 crafters, making 786K per second, so w/o the artifact 628.8K, benefit of 157.2K/sec per crafter, so *7 crafters = 1.1M/s income.

My total money income is only 605K/sec with both BMB Epic 80% & TMB Epic 200% active, so I think Speed Crafters is showing it's worth.

BMB is giving me 107K/sec, TMB 123K/sec (combined 230K/sec). So SC is outperforming both of them together.

And in parallel, think I just convinced myself of the worth of the Increase crafter speed AP Adv.

Edited 7/13/2021 15:10:41
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