Stargazing in AFK Arena is the ultimate gamble. Typically, players Stargazer for either the Stagazer hero or the 30000 diamond bounty, meaning each draw has a 2.01 chance of being successful. Those are abysmal odds considering the high cost of Stargazing, and can give the perception that Stargazing is a tool for whales or players that spend a high amount of money on the game.
Adding to this perception is the fact that The Noble Tavern allows players to draw nearly 20 heroes for the price of 10 Stargazes, and on average 10 of those heroes will be useable as either fodder or will be one of the ascended heroes on a players wishlist.
If players do the math for ‘useable heroes’ as opposed to only considering the Stargazing hero, Stargazing offers a 14.2% chance of drawing a hero that is useable as part of the player’s lineup or as fodder, which means that the math is still well against Stargazing.
Stargazing in AFK Arena is unique in that it’s the only location in which the Hypogean and Celestial factions are treated equally with the core factions of the game. In most situations Hypogean and Celestial heroes are unavailable for purchase or are significantly more expensive to acquire than other heroes. The core exception to this rule is WuKong in the Arcane Labyrinth store.
Even within the Noble Tavern, it is extremely unlikely to draw a Celestial or Hypogean hero as all of them are ascended and none of them can be added to a players wishlist. This is where Stargazing becomes important.
Several of the most powerful of the heroes in the game (and the inarguably most powerful hero Talene) belong to the Celestial or Hypogean factions, meaning that they are incredible assets to acquire and Stargazing is the best chance players have at acquiring copies of them. The Stargazing hero has a 2% chance of appearing no matter what hero it is, meaning players can target Talene -or other heroes important to their lineup- and have a proper chance of getting copies. Mathematically players would get a single copy of the targeted hero every 25000 diamonds invested if probability works out perfectly. It’s not a good rate, but considering the irreplaceable nature of Celestials like Talene, it’s a necessary cost.
In the early-game the extra fodder and copies of ascended heroes are integral to progression, but as players progress to further chapters, additional copies of ascended heroes become less valuable and fodder heroes are less useful. This means that there is a breakpoint where the 2% chance of Stargazing a certain powerful Celestial or Hypogean hero is more beneficial than the 50% chance to get a rare or ascended hero from the Noble Tavern.
The optimal time for Stargazing is up for debate and varies based on how players want to engage with the game, but it is typically measured based on how many heroes’ players have ascended. The four core timings along with their benefits and downfalls are outlined below.
The Stargazer opens after Chapter 15 (Or purchasing enough to reach VIP level 13 which is ~2000.00 USD) and can become a player’s primary method of spending diamonds. This will ensure that they are prepared for many of the later-game activities where heroes like Talene are nearly irreplaceable. This method gives players the best start in terms of late-game progression and will ensure that their power spikes via Mythic Talene earlier.
Players looking to use this strategy often save up diamonds during the early parts of the game, abusing the faster early-game progression and the bonus diamonds they are given. They then send these diamonds at the Stargazer once it’s been unlocked. The main difficulty with this strategy is that getting to chapter 15 without using many diamonds takes a long time and can be an extremely difficult process.
For players looking to do this, an important thing to do is to focus on heroes like Shemira and Nemora who can be bought from the Labyrinth store and have them as well as be on the Wishlist, this will ensure that those powerful heroes are at decent levels of ascension despite the lack of fodder this strategy brings.
Overall, this strategy is suggested for players who already play AFK Arena and are looking to run an alt-account with a different playstyle, as the slow progression and game-knowledge needed within this timing strategy makes it a sub-optimal new player experience.
This strategy switches focus to the Stargazer once the players has a core lineup of units they can already use for the campaign, events and other activities. It relies on having a single powerful lineup and using them as a core progression tool while starting the hunt for Celestials or Hypogeans. This strategy will result in heroes like Talene being useable in the early late-game and lead to that power spike faster than waiting for a glut of ascended heroes.
Depending on the heroes the player has access to, they can get quite far into the game without having more than 5 Ascended heroes, though there are some roadblocks. The biggest risk of this strategy comes from the fact that it is VERY reliant on having a good core 5 heroes -typically the Lightbearer lineup of Rowan, Rosaline, Lucius, Fawkes and Gwyneth- to progress through the campaign and participate in events. If the player isn’t lucky enough to acquire a solid lineup of 5 heroes as their first ascended heroes, they will often need to wait until they have that lineup to start Stargazing.
This strategy also can result in players being inflexible with their lineups and Strategies. Campaign levels or floors of the King’s Tower can be heavy walls if the composition happens to counter the 5 heroes the player has access to.
Finally, if the makers of AFK arena elect to patch or adjust certain heroes, it can be devastating to players to have a fifth of their lineup nerfed with no replacements.
This strategy is recommended for players who happen to have a solid Lightbearer team ascended or a similarly powerful team such as Eironn and the Wilder Trio.
This strategy waits for a point where there are several Ascended heroes of each faction within a players lineup to allow for good campaign progression as well as having several lineups for the King’s Tower and Legend’s Tournament. Additionally, players at this stage should have progressed past Stage 26-1 which is a large power spike for players as they can buy Tier 2 Equipment Stones.
The main benefit of this strategy is that 10 Ascended heroes is the point where the Noble Tavern draws lose a lot of their value, seeing as it’s unlikely that they will add much power to any one of a player’s core lineups. Additionally, at this point many players will have had time to acquire a good amount of Signature item emblems, which will let them get key points of power like a Level 30 signature item on Rowan.
Some players consider waiting for 10 heroes to be quite slow, and it does offer a slower start than players that began Stargazing with 5 ascended heroes. For comparison it’s likely that a player who began at 5 heroes will have a mythic level Celestial of Hypogean by the time this strategy begins Stargazing.
For Free-to-Play players, this is likely the best strategy, as it doesn’t rely on having extremely good luck to acquire a powerful lineup as their first 5 heroes, and still allows them to have powerful Celestial or Hypogean heroes fairly early. Additionally, the Faction Tower is a fantastic way of getting additional draws in the Stargazer, and this strategy will be able to push much further in the Faction tower than either of the previous ones.
This strategy involves waiting until a player has a full 5 hero team of Wilder, Lightbearer, Mauler and Graveborn heroes. It is the strongest when it comes to direct campaign progression (up to the later stages which essentially require the Celestial Heroes), and is by far the best for climbing the Faction Towers, but it’s incredibly inefficient in terms of resource allocation.
Once a hero is ascended, each copy of that hero becomes dramatically less valuable, and as more heroes become ascended fodder becomes nearly worthless. Committing resources to and ascending non-core lineup heroes are essentially wasting those resources compared to Stargazing. Additionally, the free summoning scrolls and hero cards that Lillith gives players will be wasted on these non-essential heroes.
Overall, this strategy is best suited for players that have not started Stargazing and are already at this point in progression, or are returning to AFK Arena after a hiatus as Stargazing was previously much less powerful than it currently is. (This is due to the power of the newer Celestial Heroes)
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