Table of Contents
Welcome to my guide for We Who Are About To Die. I know a lot of people are struggling with the game due to its difficulty, and since I’ve beaten it a few times I thought I would write a guide to help out. I don’t claim to know everything there is to know about the game, but I think the advice included here is sound and will be useful to new players.
I recommend new players start with Commoner difficulty. Only move up to Gladiator once you’ve beaten the game with each background and unlocked the permanent bonuses. You can also take advantage of investing and heirlooms, but personally I choose not to use these features.
Starting a New Run
The easiest starting background is Thrill Seeker Civilian.
Once your character is created and the game begins, the first thing you should do is sell everything your character owns, with the exception of the starting weapon. Not only does this free up cash, but wearing armor at this point is actually counter-productive. A new character has low Stamina and tires out quickly, so Stamina Regen is much more important than a bit of damage reduction.
If the starting weapon is really bad and you can immediately buy a better one in the shop, go ahead. Just make sure it has good durability.
Preparing for Battle
These are the steps to take each time you return from the arena. Do them in order.
Step 1: Healing and equipment check
Healing is your first priority for spending Gold each turn. Never buy more than two heals though… beyond that it just isn’t worth the diminishing returns, even if you’re still not to 100% health.
Always check your equipment, especially your primary weapon. In the early game you might not be able to replace a bad weapon right away, so be ready for it to potentially break during the battle, and plan accordingly. If your weapon is in really bad shape, consider entering a larger group battle or “Luck of the Draw” stipulation so there will be weapons available to pick up off the ground.
Later on, equipment is easier to manage, since you’ll have money for repairs and backup gear. But you have to plan ahead in order to make repairs, and the only way to effectively plan is to keep a close eye on the shape your gear is in.
Step 2: Choose the next battle
Now go to the Battle menu and see what’s available. Don’t jump straight in, obviously, but you want to mentally choose what battle you’ll be fighting next. Knowing what you’ll be up against will inform how you play the rest of the turn.
Keep enough Fame in reserve so that you can always use the “Reveal All” option and get the info for each bracket. Never enter a battle without knowing all the available info. Never choose a bracket that is “Shrouded”. If none of the brackets are acceptable, don’t hesitate to use the Reroll option. It doesn’t happen often, but you will probably have to once or twice over the course of a run.
Here are a few comments on each of the battle types.
- 1 vs 1: A standard battle with average rewards. Usually a safe choice, but be careful that your opponent doesn’t severely outclass you.
- 1 vs Many: A surprisingly good option for early game when the enemies are still weak. You can take on 2 or 3 (or more) low-level enemies if you’re careful, and the big rewards go a long way to help a new character get established. I avoid these in the mid- and late-game though.
- Many vs 1: Only good in certain situations, like if your character is hurt or sick, or there is a “Spoils to the Victor” stipulation and you need the enemy’s weapon. Otherwise I tend to look for options with better rewards.
- Many vs Many: I tend to be more hesitant on these, especially at larger team sizes (4 or greater). Sometimes your teammates quickly get carved up, leaving you heavily outnumbered. Proceed with caution.
- Pit Fight: A wild brawl with many teams. These are usually pretty favorable in terms of risk vs reward. Stick by your teammates for support, and don’t be afraid to fight dirty and hit enemies in the back.
The goal here is to pick the battle that offers the best rewards as long as you are confident you can win. Remember there is no limit to how many fights you can participate in, but your character only has one life… so err on the side of caution. If you’re going to take risks, then it’s better to do so early on, when the enemies are easier and you don’t have as much time and effort invested in the run.
Step 3: Training
In the early game, it is vital that you train in between each battle. The difficulty ramps up fast, so you have to train in order to have a chance in the mid-game. Set the training intensity to “Outrageous” and always have enough Gold available for 6x training gear. Keep in mind the tooltip for training intensity is wrong… the most intense training actually takes away a flat 40 points of max Stamina, not 40%.
The highest priority to train is Stamina, so set it as your primary training focus. For a secondary focus I recommend Movement. Train these exclusively until they are both at least 80/100… beyond that, skills level up quite slowly even with training, so that’s the point where you can shift focus. It should take you about 10 battles / training sessions to reach this threshold, and by the end you’ll be able to tell a huge difference in your character’s movement and Stamina.
From here, continue training with a primary focus on your weapon of choice and a secondary focus on either Shield (if you’re a shield user) or Dashing (for everyone else). Once you’ve hit the 80/100 threshold on these skills, you can stop training or branch out into other weapon choices.
Step 4: Gambling
If you’ve got the funds, placing a bet can be a good way to generate extra Gold. Unfortunately, in the current build I’ve found some of the wagers are bugged and won’t pay out. The wagers that I know are working, and I consistently use, are “win within X minutes” and “survive with X% health”. Take advantage of these whenever the situation is favorable.
Step 5: Upgrades
If all of the steps above are completed and you have a good amount of Gold and/or Fame left over, then you can consider purchasing an upgrade. I would prioritize them in this order.
- 1) We Who Are About To Disinfect
- 2) 4th and 5th shop slots
- 3) Bracket unlocks
- 4) Extra-ordinary
- 5) Unionise
- 6) 6th shop slot
- 7) Auxiliary Inventory slots
By the time you’ve made it through this list you should have quite a bit of Gold and Fame coming in from each battle, so the order from here on is less important.
Remember, never fully exhaust your resources on upgrade purchases. You always need a certain amount available for heals, repairs, revealing bracket info, etc.
Combat in this game is harder than most, and requires you to concentrate on several things at once. But it’s rewarding once you figure it out. Here is my advice.
Stamina is everything… without it, you are helpless. Generally, you only want to expend Stamina in short bursts, then let it refill. Keep in mind that taking damage reduces your maximum Stamina, so you need to manage it even more carefully if your Health is low.
Keep your cursor on the target at all times. If you get hit, your cursor will be thrown off target, so teach yourself to instinctively pull it back on.
Control the distance between you and your opponent. Against shorter weapons, keep away and attack as they rush in. Against longer weapons, smother them and make them fight you up close. A spearman is deadly at 10ft, but when you are nose to nose with him, he is much less of a threat.
Be aggressive. Blocking is difficult to master, even with a shield. A lot of times it’s better to just beat the enemy to the punch.
Watch out for friendly fire. In group battles, it’s very easy to hit / get hit by teammates. The AI is really bad at this, so don’t get too close to your teammates, and take advantage of it when outnumbered by enemies.
Above all, don’t give up! I have had many fights where I made mistakes early on and took damage, but still managed to salvage a victory.
Leveling and Progression
Here are some things to keep in mind as you progress through the game.
As you win fights and rank up, the best rewards are the ones that increase Health, Stamina, and Stamina Regen. Always take these if offered. Skills are next (if it’s a skill your character actually uses) followed by resources and items.
Be ready for the difficulty spike that hits after your first few fights. You’ll quickly go from facing pit slaves, civilians, and criminals to guys who actually have good gear and know how to fight. I can’t overstress how important it is to improve your character’s movement and Stamina early on in order to keep up with the better quality opponents.
There are a few different cultures in the game (Lophosi, Hanian, etc) and each culture has ranks within it (i.e. a Lophosi Warrior is better trained and equipped than a Lophosi Slave). I will try to put a guide together for the various enemy types, since knowing the enemies is important when judging the relative difficulty of each bracket.
Pay attention to your equipment’s Fame modifiers. Gear that gives +Fame is really useful as you are making your way up, whereas gear that reduces Fame is a major hindrance.
In terms of item acquisition, weapons take priority over armor. Armor looks cool and does help in battle, but you’ll have to be pretty far into a run before you can afford the best stuff, both in terms of the Gold and the Stamina penalty. When you’re ready, prioritize getting a helmet and something to protect your sword-arm.
Shop orders cost the same as shop rerolls, and give you a much better chance of getting the items you want. So it pays to plan ahead.
Armor has low HP, and the better protection it offers, the faster it degrades. Helmets seem to be the worst for this, and can be destroyed after only a few hits. Keep them in top shape, because if they are lost in battle they can’t be recovered.
Patrons are not all that important in the current build. They’re not that hard to keep happy, and none of their bonuses are particularly impactful.
The mid-game just after the difficulty spike is the hardest part of the game, so consider being a bit more conservative in your battle choices during this time.
Thanks for reading and I hope this guide helps some people out.
Remember, this is not a game you can just pick up and immediately have success. Expect to spend several hours failing as you learn the systems and acclimate to the difficulty.