Okay, you ask, I deliver. This might be the last time I do one of these, as I'm thinking it's time for you guys to grow up and figure stuff out for yourself. If I'm doing this right, you're learning to fish for yourself. If I'm doing it wrong (as I suspect), I've bought you 5 fish dinners. I'm sick of buying dinners. But, here we go.
First things first: There is ONE EPIC BOSS in MISSION ONE. Loki is required for TWO TASKS, that would have to be skipped separately, at a cost in excess of 50 Gold (I don't know the cost and I do not care as it's not my problem). So, suck it up and buy Captain Britain, Psylocke, and Black Knight. None of them are bad, they're all pretty much worth the CP, and you could wind up with FIVE quality heroes for the price of THREE. So, let there be no talk of skipping the final task to get Vision and passing on Omega Sentinel. That should not fly. It's 315 CPs. Very doable if you have a plan, and you don't have to assemble it all until 3 weeks from now. Get the CPs.
There are two ways to get CPs:
- Spend money
- Spend time
Start with the end in mind.
That's the single best advice on strategtic planning I've ever seen. I've probably even mentioned it before. But, I want to take a minute to explain it in greater depth. Think about a vision of the future that is wildly successful. In the case of this op, that will be something like: Recruit Omega and Vision, get certain loot, etc. Then, work backwards from that end. So, scout the missions for the loot, figure out which loot you want. You'll run those missions more often. Scout the task lists for the heroes and work from the bottom to the top. Always look ahead. Then, you can see what work you have to do.
I haven't looked at the gear yet, and, as of this writing, I already have the boss drop from mission 1, which I feel I wouldn't want if I didn't get it naturally. So, I'm going to punt on the gear and focus on:
- Omega Sentinel
- Lockbox tasks - 132 Lockboxes
- Ultron Fights - 5 for each one I start, 1+ for ones I help on.
- Main Mission tasks - 10+
- Roulettes - 3/5
- 3 Stars in all missions
- Task completion
- 5 Star completion of all missions
- Couple thousand plus UISO
- Ally farm
- Gift Collection
- Gold - Last resort
- Couple thousand plus UISO
- Completion of the set (I've done it once, and only because they brought it back around)
- Complete Task 20/21
- Farm Item from boss roulette
- Daily bonus
- How much gold willing to spend on last day? Depends on how much I want to complete this goal.
- Gold Purchase item
- Depends on value with partial set, complete set, individually.
- Run Everything through Loki, Three Birding (2 Low, 3 Medium, 3 High + 3 specific deploys + 2 generic deploys + 2 boss fights = 170 UISO)
- Do six fights (apparently does not matter which ones, but I would opt for the highest difficulty level), no deplosy, then 3 bird the boss - 80 UISO.
- 2x Medium Fights, 2x Deploy, High, Medium, Low, Three Bird (90 UISO)
- There are reports that you can do this with only 1 deploy, but I have yet to make that work.
- There is no consistently efficient path through Mission 3. You will always start with a deploy and a fight. If you start with a medium fight, restart the mission. If you start with a Hard fight, you can either do:
- Deploy-Hard-Hard-Hard-Hard-Medium-Medium-Three Bird (90 UISO)
- Deploy-Hard-Dynamo-Hard-Hard-Hard-Medium-Two Bird (100 UISO)
- These are from memory. Just run the hardest fight you can at every turn, and you will run as efficiently as possible.
This special op has put a new method of Lockbox collection into play, that of the Group Boss. Group bosses are very fun, and a nice way to help your friends. But let's take a minute to discuss proper Ultron etiquette, so that you and your friends can maximize your lockboxes. If everyone practices Safe Ultron, then everyone benefits.
You will get an Ultron to fight. You will fight him for three rounds and he will flee. He will then be available for some of your friends to fight. He will also be available for you to fight for another 10 energy and 20 UISO. And, as far as I know at this time, once defeated, he will not reappear for 72 hours from when you started him.
As I understand the mechanism, when your friends beat him to nothing, you get a ally reward on your special op map that will give you four lockboxes. When you accept this reward, your helpers also get ally rewards for 4 lockboxes. Very cool. As long as your 4 boxes for your Ultron Reward remain unclaimed, your Ultron remains active and available for your allies, starting with 1% health.
As a result, I recommend that you NOT collect your personal Ultron goodies as soon as they are available. Give your friends a full 24 hours to pound on your Ultron. Take care of yourself and make sure you don't let your Ultron goodies expire, but give your friends a chance to reap the rewards by leaving your Ultron up for a longer period.
If it takes two friends to kill your Ultron, the total payout is 15 Lockboxes to you and your friends. IF, on the other hand, you leave your Ultron for a day and 3 more people come and hit your Ultron, your payout is still 5 Lockboxes, but the total payout jumps to 27 Lockboxes. Now, assume your 5 friends do the same thing. You put 10%+ damage on two of your friends, and get 1% damage on the other three... your total payout is 27 Lockboxes. If your friends do not follow this proposed course of etiquette, your total payout will be 15 Lockboxes.
Since EVERYONE wants the extra 12 lockboxes in this simplified version of the real world, EVERYONE should be able to abide by proper Ultron Etiqutte. Pass it on.
- Defeat 5 R.A.I.D. Soldiers
Do the easy and the medium. Do not do the hard fight or you will mess up subsequent tasks
- Complete a Deploy
Make a decision at this moment whether you want to run to the epic boss (which requires Captain B, Black Knight and Psylocke) or not. I always run the Epic, so easy call for me. It's never that inefficient. If you are going to run more minimally, do this deploy in a regular mission. Easy.
- Defeat a Mini-Boss in Mission 1
Either way, put the gank on Hydro-Man. He's a suck. Bring a blaster or two.
- Defeat 3 Exoskeletal Battletanks
If you listened to me earlier, way back on Task 1, you will be able to load 3 hard fights, each of which feature a big yellow armor thingy. If you didn't, you can pick up the third by fighting Vulture on his own. He's a suck, so no worries there. Inf Kitty Pryde. Solved.
- Defeat Vision
Like every other AI controlled character who phases, Vision doesn't plan his phase well. No need to break out Magik, which is what I did. Not a hard fight if you can be patient and take a punch.
If you are running this to Epic, I would recommend (based on personal experience) that you should not do Loki at this moment, and save it for second thing tomorrow. If you are not running this to epic, still, do not exit the map and get your score at this point. Leave it overnight.
- Research the Android Hand in the Lab
Research the hand. Seems useful if it were gear, but it's not, so situational utility. You're done for the day.
Things get a bit more complicated, as we get to juggle the Vision tasks with the Omega tasks. They fit together okay.
- Complete a Battle with Ultron
- Defeat 10 R.A.I.D. Soldiers
Enter any spec op map, and start the Ultron fight, which will take you 20 Uiso and 10 energy. You can pound him down to about 50% of his health and he will retreat. You basically cannot beat him in one sit. I found that beating him down to 50% and having him retreat qualified this task. I would guess that pounding him for 10% and getting killed would also count. You might want to do this on mission 1 anyway, because you will want to get started on your Omega tasks, and it will be hard to complete that in mission 2.
What I did was complete the epic fight on the first day, and reran it at the start of the second day. No worries, as I now have 3.3 stars on the mission, and will probably get the 4th the next time I run it.
- Defeat Vapor and Vector
- Defeat 4 U-Foes
All 4 U-Foes for the OT2 can be found in Mission 2. You can get partway there by defeating Vapor. Funny thing. The Vision tasks only count the U-Foes in Mission 2. But the Omega task can apparently be completed in one run on 7.6 (Human Torch's premium, aka the only mission that has all 4 U-Foes). Your call how to arrange this, but I did it all in Spec Ops.
- Get 2 Stars of Mastery in Mission 1
If you're like me, this is done.
- Use Quicksilver's Blinding Punches 5 Times
You can do this anywhere, but if you don't have Quicksilver, you will have to do it in the mini-boss fights of Mission 2, which can be tricky, as people get dead... I'm glad I own him. One two tier fight (with a quantum jump) and I nailed it.
- Upgrade Pym-Grown Needle to Lightning Needle in the Lab
Start your research. Go help some friends with their Ultron fights. It's fun. Get 10% of his health down, and you will be done. I do about 40-50 a crack, and helped 5 people clear their Ultrons today. Lockboxes and 100 UISO. Not bad.
The Pym-Grown Needle is an amusing item to equip.
This might take more than a day. We'll see... my ISO stores are not up to doing the research and accomplishing the tasks in this section in one run, maybe yours are different. But we are also going to rely on our allies not being selfish gits and killing their own Ultrons. We also are counting on Playdom to feed us ally Ultrons when we need them. Yikes.
- Fight 5 PVP Battles
Your standard fight 5 PVP battles. You can do them in practice, you can do them in the tournament. You don't even have to win these fights. Boring and mean to people Playdom has banned from PVP.
- Defeat X-Ray
He's the boss on Mission 2. And he comes with Ironclad. This would complete the Omega Task 2 if you have not completed it already.
Easy fight. Go and sink the pink.
- Defeat 15 A.I.M. Soldiers
- Defeat 5 Exoskeletal Battletanks
There are exactly 15 AIM Soldiers in a single 3-bird run of Mission 2. Good to know, especially as we will be wanting that second and third and even fourth star in Mission 2.
We might want to be a bit strategic about our Omega Task 3. Remember, we have Vision Task 22 looming, which requires us to obtain 5 lockboxes while the task is active. If we do this here, we have one other task (Omega 4 - 15 Special Ops Robots) where we can get easy lockboxes on demand or we can do an Ultron fight to get 1 for doing our damage to him, and 4 for our allies finishing him off. I am inclined to be patient with the lockboxes and NOT COMPLETE OMEGA TASK 3 at this time. I'm pretty sure I won't be able to control the flow on Omega 4, so this can be my flow control to make sure everything lines up for easy completion later.
On the other hand, a better idea has occurred to me. I am going to get at least 12 lockboxes from completing Vision Task 15. I can control when I accept those rewards. As a result, I can do a run of Mission 1 to fill out my Battletanks, collect my Lockboxes, do Vision Task 15, sit on a couple of the reward Lockboxes, and proceed at will. One involves waiting on task completion and the other works in the flow... I'm in favor of the flow.
BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN ATTEMPTING THIS SECOND STRATEGY. IT IS UNKNOWN HOW LONG THOSE BOXES WILL REMAIN FOR YOU TO CLAIM. I THINK I BURNED AT LEAST 4 BY ACCIDENT.
- Visit 3 Friends and Fight Ultron
Here, we are at the mercy of Playdom and our friends. I trust my friends to do right. I don't trust Playdom's coding to supply me with Ultrons when I need them. At least it's a long op. Please see the section entitled Ultron Etiquette above for my ideas on making the task more manageable. As it is, it's a significant roadblock, since we all started this as morons.
It took a couple days for Ultrons to finally pop, but then, I got 8 at once. Killed off 7 of them, did my 30% to another, and will reap my rewards later. In the process, I got 7 extra daily bonus spins, which yielded enough ISO to do the next task, plus some gold and the Reboot. Patience truly is a virtue.
Start the research and hoard ISO for a couple days. We're going to need it.
Day 7 and Onwards
- Defeat 8 Prime Sentinels
- Defeat 15 Spec Op 8 Robots
So, problem. There are only seven Prime Sentinels in one run of Mission 3. Sad panda. There are two schools of thought on what to do. First, do one fight (10 UISO) then abort the mission and restart to pick up the remaining seven (aka Restart). The other school of thought says that we should do a minimal run of Mission 3, to get 7 and then do it again (aka Two Runs). While most people will look at this task and do the first path, I want to look ahead and see if it makes sense to do the road less traveled.
Already have accomplished Task 18. Task 19 requires Vision, who can be used on Ultron (argues for Restart) or Crimson Cowl (argues for Two Runs). Task 20 is outside of ops. Task 21 uses Omega Sentinel (neutral), 21 is outside the main op, and 23 involves defeating Ultron. Either way, we're running this twice, and fighting at least one miniboss. You can go either way, really, it's up to you.
In the process of completing this, we will complete the Omega Task 4. Perfect.
- Get 2 Stars of Mastery in Mission 2
Already done. Love the freebies.
- Use Vision 's Solar Jewel 3 Times
If we did this with Restart, we'll do this on Ultron at the end of our first run. If we did two runs, we will want to accomplish this on the Crimson Cowl, without fighting the Crimson Dynamo. Plan accordingly.
- Win 3 PVP Battles
Practice matches count. Which will be good, because PVP ends on Thursday and we might not be to this task until Friday. Either way, shouldn't be a problem unless you've been banned from PVP.
- Use Omega Sentinel 's Plasma Knife 5 Times
Omega is the teamup on the Crimson Dynamo fight. This is why we look ahead in the tasks. We want to run efficiently. And run efficiently we shall, either path we choose.
- Collect 5 Omega Lockboxes
Remember how we were saving a couple Ultrons to collect. This would be a good time to collect them.
- Defeat Ultron Prime
Two runs. Anyway you cut it. I hope that's three stars for you. I hope it's 3 stars for me, frankly. More insight on this when I have it.
- Complete 3 Stars of Mastery in all Spec Op 8 Missions
If you are lacking a third star anywhere, you will have to go back and get it again. I sincerely hope you don't lack that third star on Mission 1, because you cannot get the star and fight Loki on the same run. That would be a bummer.
- Defeat Loki
- Defeat Loki
One long run to the Epic boss, collect Vision and a bunch of Lockboxes. Nice. Easy.
- Complete 4 Stars of Mastery in all Spec Ops 8 Missions
And then go on to collect 5 stars, because CPs don't grow on trees, you know. Farm whatever drops you want while getting your stars, your lockboxes and whatnot. Remember to fight your Ultron every three days and leave him for other people to get fat on. And have fun.