Beginner's Guide to the Spire
If you're just starting out, this is a quick, basic tutorial on what the spire is, how it works, and what you find in it.
The Spire has three levels, the Gateway Level, the High Halls, and the Lab. Each level gets progressively harder to either fight or negotiate, but the prizes also increase in value, generally. Each level has four "rooms," and each of the rooms has four chests that you must win by either negotiating with the spirits or by fighting.
As you acquire the chests from the spirits, you may get a "bonus" chest. These may be placed anywhere on the level. Sometimes the chests are placed in a different room of the level where you have not yet gone. In that case, you will have to wait until you reach that level to open the chest and receive the special reward.
Remember to check your goods levels as well as your troop levels before you enter the spire.
Purple Bar: Unlike the tournament, the spire has a purple bar that fills to a certain level. Each person may contribute up to 63 points as they climb the spire and raise the level of the purple bar. In order to earn prizes at the end of the week for a particular level, the purple bar must rise to that level. If the purple bar is at, say, the lab level and you make it to the lab, you will earn the 125 diamonds for passing both the gateway and the high halls. If, however, you have made it to the lab but the purple bar has only risen to the high halls, then you will only earn the 50 diamonds that are normally given at the High Halls level. By the same token, if the purple bar has reached all the way to the top but you have only reached the High Halls, then you will earn the prize level for the High Halls. In other words, everyone is dependent upon others to raise the bar, but you as an individual will only earn the prize level that you have achieved and that the purple bar has reached.
A mage may add spire perk points in order to raise the purple bar to the next level. That is at the mage's discretion and if the spire perk points are available.
Now let's take each level separately:
Fighting: You will encounter just one wave of enemies at each chest except for the doorways, where there will be two waves. In other words, you will have to fight one round each for three of the chests per room. At the doorways, however, you will fight one round and then another with the same troops you started with. You will not add to troop levels for the second round, so choose your troops carefully so that they can defeat both rounds of enemies at the doors.
You may use vitality surges between rounds, if needed, to bolster your troops if too many have fallen during the first round. That's the only way to add troops for the second round.
Negotiation: Each spirit in the Gateway level will want one of three or four goods except for the doorways, where any of five goods will be requested (six for the big boss at the door to the High Halls). The first "room" of the Gateway asks for three goods except for the door spirit. The next 3 rooms ask for four goods for all chests except door chests. Unlike the fighting levels, you only have one "wave" of negotiation for all chests, and for each wave, you always get three guesses.
You will have three rounds to guess the goods. If you don't get any "nobody needs it" on the first round, many people recommend that you withdraw and try again, rather than keep guessing. This isn't necessary in the first room, since you can't possibly lose there if you offer each spirit a different item for each guess. But in the upper rooms and at the doors, you may wish to consider that strategy.
If you have spectral stones, you may use a stone to give to a spirit. That spirit will accept the spectral stone no matter which item it had wanted. Since they are precious, save those for the hard negotiations.
Fighting: Here you will start fighting two waves for all chests except the doorways, where there are three waves. The same rules apply as in the first floor. You get to choose your troops at the start of the first round and cannot replace troops for the second round except to replenish them with a vitality surge. Vitality surges can be crafted in the MA; they are worth varying percentages of troop health.
Negotiations: As you move into the High Halls, you will have a greater variety of goods wanted by the spirits, which of course, makes negotiations harder. Remember, the door spirits will always want more goods than the others. Be sure to check your goods levels periodically, as well as your gold and supplies, so that you do not run out.
In the lab, you're going to have two waves again, but they will be harder fights. The rounds at the doors will again be three waves, but harder ones. Choose your troops at the start with all three rounds in mind. You will probably need enhancements, such as 5-day buildings out, fire phoenix fed, etc, etc, in order to produce good results.
Negotiations: Again, more items are needed. The big boss at the top of the spire will be the most challenging, with each spirit asking for one of eight different goods. Remember to withdraw if you don't get at least two and preferably more "Nobody Needs It" at this level.
The spire offers incredibly good prizes, particularly in the door chests, the big boss chests, and the random "bonus" chests that you may win. Among the many prizes you can earn are: spell fragments, time instants, teleport spells, diamonds, artifacts, combined catalysts, portal profits, as well as rarer prizes such as trading stations (which provide a portal profit every 48 hours), magic residences, magic workshops, dwarven armorers, etc.