Melee Champions not viable?

By on September 10, 2013 6:37:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

jdixon41

Join Date 09/2013
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So I've logged 86 hours on the game since buying it.

I've tried to make a viable melee sovereign and kept failing at it. She is extremely weak, and a tanky (defender) sovereign doesn't seem to be of any use in the game.  The AI won't waste their time attacking my high defense unit when there are squishier targets available, and there doesn't seem to be a 'taunt' mechanic.

I then tried a damage caster sovereign, and the game became easy mode.

 

I think my biggest gripe so far is champions in general. It's hard to get any meaningful equipment for all of them through the course of the game. The gold price per piece is fairly prohibitive if you want to keep them upgraded with research from your shop, and the weapons on a 1 unit champion just do pathetic damage compared to a squad. It seems like you need an end-game item (with 40-50 attack rating) to do any kind of real damage. Even then casting flame wave / blizzard is just a WAY better option.  There is barely enough quest loot that scales your sovereign with your trained units, let alone the 4+ other champions you are trying to level up and equip.

 

I've been doing approx 14 hour games, and each game seems to end up requiring the same thing: a stack of elite blunt weapon knights that one shot everything. And/or a stack of elite mages that ignore high armor units.  I had ridiculous success with some mounted crossbow units that power shot opposing forces to shreds though.

 

My latest play-through I bumped up the difficulty of the AI, and it does indeed get more challenging, but that makes having a mage (yawn), and more face smashing elite units even more necessary.    I lost the one game I tried to build the game's default units (got out tech'd). 

 

Am I missing something? Please tell me how to make a viable melee sovereign, or at least keep all my champions relevant throughout a game.

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NeoNick7
September 10, 2013 6:49:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The key to a melee sovereign is Air magic; when you teleport to the middle of their formation with an AoE lightning strike and nobody else is within attack range, the AI will come at you.  I do agree that caster is a much better choice, though.  I've only actually won a couple of times and am no expert on this game, but by far the strongest sovereign I had was a caster.  There simply aren't any weapons that compare to casting Fireball every turn.

The default units are sub-optimal by design, I think; it's to encourage you to design your own units.

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September 10, 2013 7:35:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'd heartily recommend a high dodge assassin.  They are practically unhittable around level 10 or so.

 

Quoting MoRmEnGiL,

Hmm, there is a particular assassin build though that can solo the entire map.. Granted, it needs a custom faction to work, but it can solo everything and anything 100%

 

For faction, you need wraiths, with lucky, scout(optional, but REALLY helps with leveling up faster), and any disadvantage other than magic vulnerability.

 

Then your Sov gets brilliant, the 2 abilities that give accuracy and spell resistance per level, and this is critical: air magic disciple. You want tutelage readily available from the get go, as well as evade. For disadvantage I pick scarred, as I rely on wraith touch to be in top health most of the times.

 

When you start, use tutelage and evade on your sov, pick potential first, then on leveling focus on dodge first. Also research monk robes asap, you NEED those. By the time you get the +1 dodge per level trait, it is possible that you have found another +dodge item, use it even if it is the weakest competitor for it's slot. Eventually you will lose your militia and spearmen, and by then you need your dodge to be above 80. Next stop is the +10 dodge cloak. By that time, it will be quite impossible to get hit in battle.

 

After you are done with +dodge, go up vital strike, and grab the eviscerate skill, then finish vital strike and go up the armour piercing skills.

 

As far as weapons go, anything with armour piercing or +crit chance and damage is a go, although eventually you will get the druss blade which is awesome for your character. Generally you want to stick with swords/daggers and shields for the extra dodge, initiative, and counter (counters crit too, and with such a good dodge and being solo, countering is often half your damage right there.) Note that +resistance items and elemental defences are also highly sought after.

 

The magic skill you search for in your champions you recruit is earth. You want nature's cloak on your sov asap, to be able to tackle an arena (and for general drake and such monsters in lairs)

 

The end product is huge amounts of stacked evade (my last assassing sov had 130+ evade, but that doesn't mean he doesn't occasionally get hit, only that he can heal that minor damage back up with wraith touch), often a 50% crit chance with much boosted crit damage, and a killing machine that ignores armour and never gets hit. I used that Sov to solo the entire map, taking everything and everyone, from the highest level dragons, to all wildland bosses.

He usually 2-3 hits ashwake and chambercoil dragons.

The key is to know what you can tackle at each step of the build-up, and get xp fast.

 

Does this make assassins op? Well, this assassin is op, but I doubt this applies to anything else but this very specific build. I will try a krax blood or tarth blood assassin now that I perfected this one, but I doubt it is going to work without wraith touch and the inherent dodge bonus wraiths have.

 

Some more reading:

http://forums.elementalgame.com/425886/page/1/

 

I like Warriors, but only once they've got blade rush ability that they start to hit their stride.

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September 10, 2013 9:50:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

From what I have seen, if you want your elite melee units to get hit.. Make sure you don't have anything else thats squishy in range for them to hit instead. They will proceed to pound away on your tanks. I use this to great effect with my Iron Golems and Shields of Gilense plus drologards. Use battlefield, set them up so that ZOC blocks the enemy units and force them to spend 1 turn of each their action phase moving and attacking ur tanks for basically 3 turn if you have at least two together and you don't move your tanks to keep the enemy units stuck on your tanks.

 

High movement units will attempt to bypass your frontrow to get at your archers. This is what generals in ur armies is for, they're quick enuff for when your units is slow and get in the bypassers' way enough for tanks to get there.

 

I got an interesting Tarth hero, he's a spear wielder but got whole bunch of air magicks. He trolls. ZOC? Disregard! I am thunder and air!

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September 11, 2013 2:41:04 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Warrior class heroes are great with Lethal III. Already on 5 level you may have +15 to Attack. Start with Wealthy and get 500 guildars for equipment. If your warrior can cast spells, he may also be a decent wizard. Its good to equip heroes with melee weapons with good initiative. So you can cast spells more often. Assasins may also be good, but you need to train them a lot and forget about magic spellcasting. Warriors with spellcasting abilities imho are the best universal troops.

When single creature unit may be better than group creature units. Against heavily armored units! 3x10 is much weaker than 1x30 strike. Warrior heroes may easily reach 40-50 Attack which deals considerable damage.

Hiring defenders or governors (especially without spellcasting) is waste of heroes.

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September 11, 2013 6:37:25 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

its not about what is best...

 

it's about how you want to play it.

 

i played every sovereign style, even governor. but i prefer my first hero being a governor, for building roads - i love to building roads

 

if you want you can make your game super easy, take a strong caster with heal and beastmaster etc... sure its fun to play too, but...

i prefer making myself a setting, kind of roleplaying, what should the world look like, who and what race will be my hero followers - ever played with JUST governors, just archer-assasins or completely without magic spells? with wich AI's i'll trade with whom not. do i build just 3 cities?

 

I always want to try a new way. some ways are hard to reach thou... i rly like a sweet starting position WITH a river. i love rivers. but sadly i often have to reload for that.

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September 11, 2013 8:23:10 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Kentarion,
I always want to try a new way. some ways are hard to reach thou... i rly like a sweet starting position WITH a river. i love rivers. but sadly i often have to reload for that.

In this case its good to use editor. Choose starting position manually and go.

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September 11, 2013 8:32:05 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

well, i guess in this forum no one cares to do some quick 'code' editing.


i care.

 

if i open an editor i see the map. i dont want to see. i want to explore.

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September 11, 2013 9:04:49 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I just recently finished a game with a Warrior soloing the entire map.

The key items and equipment were the "Maul" Equipment (yes this is an accessory you can only gain from defeating a Quest DLC opponent)

The "Golden Belt" for the 25% aoe damage on each attack making you a formidable fighter.

Any sword with more than 40-50 damage although the best weapon is the one that lets you crit on every hit. That way you can crit maul your way through any opponent. (If you can somehow reach a level above 100 [e.g. using paragon and destiny's gift] the Lightning Hammer which gives +1 lightning damage per level becomes better).

Also important is high Initiative and Nature's Cloak for the magic damage resistance.

A very good shield would include the Shrill Shield or the Sentinel Shield or the Mirror Shield. The first and last of them offer damage return and the 2nd one offers incredible tankiness.

Also important is Lifeleech as you can learn in the Warrior tree so you heal 9 hitpoints per hit, meaning every maul attack is very potent and every counter attack also.

Thats why you also need the counter attack warrior line for the +1 counter attack on any melee weapon.

Make sure you have SOME kind of magic damage available for those pesky "Banshees" be it a weapon with magic damage like the "Blizzard Weapon from the Frost Wildlands" or even only a "Staff of Furnace" of just some kind of magic. You should only equip those for fights with a banshee. Also note that during my playthrough when facing a "lichs army" with a banshee one could kill everything but the banshee and then press autoresolve: You would "lose" the battle if you had no magic equipped, but you would neither take damage nor die and were at the overview map again, ready to equip some magic and refight the banshee.

Also important to note is that you take "Discipline" and magic resistance very often whenever you can. Because if you're hit by either a "web" or "curse" you can easily die. Web disabling doge and curse removing your armor.

Another thing, if you take "Ereog's Token" you can win fights early and easy, because it is just as good as a "mass curse".

Dodge is good, but its not particularly needed since you can maul-reap your way back.

Notice how you need good accuracy for maul, since without it you can only hit about 3-5 times a row if lucky.

For armor the Champions armor is your ultimate goal anything before that should have least amount of -Initiative and or best boni available. There is no particularly good item out there. Although having access to the Altar Leather Armor provides good 50% fire resistance.

 

Caution: This relies on having Maul ready either via Berserkers sword or the equipment accessory and can really only work if you focus every exp on your hero that is the warrior. Because every skill point is important for him/her.

Beware of units that can kill you with skills before you can kill them most notably a dragon with firebreath and you don't have high enough resistance.

 

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September 11, 2013 1:38:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

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September 11, 2013 3:03:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Some good advice here. The warrior is great if you bring another champion (better yet a henchman) to heal them.

The original poster says defenders are useless. This game has its own "aggro" mini-game within: melee enemies attack the weakest nearby unit. Just make sure your defender is the only nearby unit, and your defender will get attacked almost always. In large battles where you might need another melee units to protect ranged units, use shield bash to move enemy units to your defender.   

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September 12, 2013 1:53:26 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting davrovana,
Some good advice here. The warrior is great if you bring another champion (better yet a henchman) to heal them.

True warriors heal themselves in battle while killing enemies!

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September 17, 2013 4:56:53 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Kentarion,

its not about what is best...

 

it's about how you want to play it.

 

i played every sovereign style, even governor. but i prefer my first hero being a governor, for building roads - i love to building roads

 

if you want you can make your game super easy, take a strong caster with heal and beastmaster etc... sure its fun to play too, but...

i prefer making myself a setting, kind of roleplaying, what should the world look like, who and what race will be my hero followers - ever played with JUST governors, just archer-assasins or completely without magic spells? with wich AI's i'll trade with whom not. do i build just 3 cities?

 

I always want to try a new way. some ways are hard to reach thou... i rly like a sweet starting position WITH a river. i love rivers. but sadly i often have to reload for that.

 

You and I play the same way.

 

People usually try and find the best way to win and win fast.  when you know all the tricks and you use them all the time it becomes a one trick game and you just wash and restart.

 

I prefer to just go with the flow and play what is given to me. I rarely reload. If I die so be it. Most of the time it's just fun to get back up and kick the AI a@@

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September 18, 2013 6:50:36 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


My warrior sovereign soled practically the whole game, but then one of the first drops was a 20 att lance

At the end he had a club with att 45 and 50% splash to add to the 25% from the belt and the 50% from the tree itself.

basically he'd wipe out hordes of troops every attack

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September 18, 2013 8:37:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

@Primal Savage:

I would say that Potential is more or less a waste of a trait. It's only going to put you fractions of a level ahead until you reach level 21, when you'll finally get that extra full level ahead that lets your champion have as many real traits as the champion who didn't take Potential and is currently level 20. You're also not going to get a second 'extra' level out of Potential at any reasonable point in the level curve, so you're never going to be significantly ahead of that champion that didn't take Potential.

I would also not delay the Lethal traits for Strength, because the bonuses from the Lethal traits are cumulative - Lethal I gives you +3 Attack, Lethal I and Lethal II together give you +7 Attack, and all three Lethal traits together give you +12 Attack. +2 Attack simply isn't worth delaying that.

I would also recommend taking the 'weakness' Cruel, because that nets you another +1 Attack.

 

The same sovereign design can be used for an Assassin or Defender.

 

Another possibility is to find the spell that converts city population to sovereign health, and become essentially unkillable by sacrificing a couple of cities (note that you aren't supposed to heal normally after using that spell, so be a little careful).

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September 18, 2013 9:58:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

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September 19, 2013 2:35:39 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

as far as i m concernd warriors are the best of the melee champions. most of their talents are usefull and warriors with the right gear will be usefull in early, middle and late game unless you have unrealistic expectations (soloing entire armies etc.) of them. they may not be perfect but they are far better off than every other class except obviously mages.

assassins are okay early & mid game too. what i dislike about assasins is that roughly half their talent tree is useless - especially their "special" abilities which in mid & late game are a waste of a turn not autoattacking. after getting the critical, accuracy, dodge and armor piercing skills there s nothing interesting left and thats why endgame warriors > endgame assassins.

defenders are borderline useless (compared to other classes) early game, mid game and endgame. this class needs a complete revamp. actually i think elemental would be better off if the defender class was removed and the few usefull skills it has spread over the other classes:

assassins for example would benefit from the spell resistance skills , imho it would fit their role if they could specialize on taking out enemy casters etc.

warriors could get some of the better defense boosting skills so people who want can specialize their warriors either for damage or "tanking"

commanders could get the defense/dodge boosting army skills though they probably should be adjusted to do more because i dont think the mini bonuses are worth a trait.

the remaining half of defenders skills could be deleted and i doubt anyone would miss them

if it has to be 5 classes i think seperating mage and summoner into 2 different classes would make a lot more sense than 3 different melee classes. or something entirely new like druid / priest.

even if defender got some total revamp and more usefull skills i think its role in a game like elemental is too limited/niche to warrant a whole class designed around it when warriors and assassins could do the same duty.

just my 5 cents. if i missed anything that makes defenders worthwhile i d be happy to read what it is because i dont see it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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September 19, 2013 6:15:53 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I agree with razzafazza here and would like to add that a true ranger class with more bow/crossbow skills than the rain of arrows would also be cool.

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September 19, 2013 6:38:30 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,
  and there doesn't seem to be a 'taunt' mechanic.

There might be a limited taunt mechanic in the game? If you make a defensive unit that can get adjacent to a foe without anybody else in melee-contact with the foe, then it's (in my short experience) only the ranged troops that will move away from the tank (and shoot at your weakest units). So, move tank to foe and melee foe stays on tank. But if you move in more troops in melee-range, the foe will switch to squishier targets.

I think this is good behaviour from AI. It's stupid to attack the tank if you can attack something else, but the foe will attack the tank under the right circumstances.

If you're fighting a single 4-move foe, and positioning the tank in the center - the foe will often try to run around the tank (as already mentioned). Your choice is then to a) move in with the tank to melee range or b ) stay put with tank and runt&shoot with the weaker units (staying out of reach from the foe).

A reliable taunt-ability would IMHO too strong, and I would only think ok if it was an end-talent for the Defender class.  

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September 19, 2013 7:03:55 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Kentarion,
its not about what is best...

it's about how you want to play it.
 
...

i rly like a sweet starting position WITH a river. i love rivers. but sadly i often have to reload for that.

Well said, as this is a single player game it can provide options that are unbalanced.

Why are rivers "sweet". I think the pier/bridge-improvement (not sure of its name) just gives +2 food/grain? Whereas a farm provides 15 food/grain?

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September 19, 2013 10:44:53 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting razzafazza,

even if defender got some total revamp and more usefull skills i think its role in a game like elemental is too limited/niche to warrant a whole class designed around it when warriors and assassins could do the same duty.

just my 5 cents. if i missed anything that makes defenders worthwhile i d be happy to read what it is because i dont see it.

 
  I fail to see anything useful in Defender as well.  "Stand your ground!" the icon looks great but get a horse and save yourself the trait.   I guess the line of improved hitpoints are nice so you can get more hitpoints but nothing else special woo hoo.  I get pretty mad if I am offered a defender lol.  Commander is better by far and the most worthless of the useful classes.  In general I find Armor pretty worthless.   I almost never take chainmail as a trait on my warriors - just don't need it and I've never taken platemail ever or even used it on any units.  One of the "big" draws of Defender is you get chainmail "free", well whoopty doo.

 

I like Assassin, but as you said, a lot of their tree is pretty worthless.   I usually run up the dodge, critical hit line (along with eviscerate), then  ignore armor and then that's pretty much it. 

 

The rest is optional.  Assassin imho could really use some kind of AOE attack as all their attacks are focused on on guy.  The warrior has a "hit everybody in a circle who is a round me" talent and a "+1 counter with any weapon",  well I'd like to see assassin with a "+1 axe cleave with any weapon" that would give them the ability to hit three guys at once every few turns or maybe a smoke bomb that dazes a small number of squares.

 

 

 

 

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September 19, 2013 2:48:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


I think Defenders shield-wall should protect more than one unit. That would be one step towards me ever thinking of having a Sov as Defender. As it's now, I only consider Defender for my edited Henchmen (it gives lots of Hp so my Sov or another henchman can heal him when he tanks).

 

Warriors (and probably Assassins) on the other hand are really useful and do not eat up my scarce mana.

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September 20, 2013 6:49:11 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

i disagree with the "useless defenders". in fact, of the 3 melee champs, defender is easily the most useful in my experience. i guess it's really a matter of playstyle, though. i generally play a "boom" strategy, i.e. devote minimal resources to military and focus mostly on expansion and development. once i reach a certain point in the game, my cities are good enough to support decent armies and at that point i start conquering the world and work towards a victory.

with that background, obviously heroes do most of the work in the early game and once my cities reach the turning point, i have the tech and resources to field powerful armies and the heroes are more or less obsolete at that point. for the early game, a defender combined with a healer (ideally a life mage, but other classes with the healer traits get the job done, too) is all that's really needed to clear most monster lairs. 

no granted, the defender's role in those battles is rather boring, since she only stands there in def stance and aborbs the hits of the most dangerous critters while the cheap early game dps troops kill them one by one.

i usually make 2-3 cheap spearmen with finesse and the +init boots, that's 8 attack vs. most monsters with no tech requirement and very cheap production & maintenance cost. later on, they can be replaced with bettter troops (archers or mages are usually the best dps backup for a defender since they don't have to move into melee range)

you could do the same with a warrior or assassin, but they just lack the durability without overpowered equipment. a defender really just needs a decent shield (like the kite shield from one of the more common easy early quests) to be fully viable - with both defense traits and another +15 from a decent shield, a level 5 defender has something like 50 defense in def stance, so they can basically shrug off just about anything.

i've actually used mid level defenders (level 8 or something) backed up by some ranged dps mooks and a healer mage to kill dragons and other non-trivial stuff while my cities were still in the build up process. this sort of stunt is a lot harder to pull off with a warrior or assassin in my experience. 

in the late game, a lucky warrior with some fancy high powered weapon and a few maul/overpower toys etc. is probably more powerful than a defender, but on the other hand, at this point you can also build very powerful trained troops that do similar damage to the single superpowered warrior champ. the same can't be said about the defender in the early game - trained troops are nowhere near as tough as a defender in the early game. 

 

 

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September 20, 2013 7:36:14 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It's really great that all of the vanilla LH hero types are useful in their own way at least to some players or for certain playstyles... that shows that Stardock has got something right, although it is true that some path types could use a little tweaking (and maybe even new paths such as Summoner and/or Ranger and new path choosing mechanism instead of the window - could be implemented).

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September 20, 2013 8:17:18 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting StevenAus,
It's really great that all of the vanilla LH hero types are useful in their own way at least to some players or for certain playstyles... that shows that Stardock has got something right, although it is true that some path types could use a little tweaking (and maybe even new paths such as Summoner and/or Ranger and new path choosing mechanism instead of the window - could be implemented).

Yes. But correct me if I'm wrong, but I could have sworn there is a Summoner path already (bottom part of the Mage tree) which I've found unappealing except in Empires, since it's sadly the only way to raise skeletons. A Ranger option would be wonderful, perhaps possible in both the Warrior and Assassin trees. A classic Ranger is, erm ... ranged, so that's off topic to the OP.

The only segment of this thread I disagree with is the suggestion to give Assassins an AoE attack similar to that of the Warrior. I do not believe this game would profit from making its individual elements more similar, quite the opposite. Additionally, the locus classicus assassin is an entity who, by using stealth to surprise and overwhelm a helpless victim who in other circumstances would be too well-protected to injure, precludes big warrior AoE attacks. Assassins' claim to fame shouldn't be crushing the surrounding defenders before pummeling the defender to death, much like Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, or Sly Stalone might do. Rather, assassins are deadly against single targets, and not in all situations -- that, at least, would be the image I'd like to see upheld. If anything, the Assassin could use more sneakiness (teleportation, on the strategic map also the inherent "stealth" ability Tarth has), quickness, a viable poison (such as one which might not be effective in tactical combat, but which at the end of combat would cause the victim to suffer further, e.g. cause an Injury in an enemy champion), or perhaps the ability to escape.

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September 20, 2013 8:34:47 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting onomastikon,

Quoting StevenAus, reply 23It's really great that all of the vanilla LH hero types are useful in their own way at least to some players or for certain playstyles... that shows that Stardock has got something right, although it is true that some path types could use a little tweaking (and maybe even new paths such as Summoner and/or Ranger and new path choosing mechanism instead of the window - could be implemented).


Yes. But correct me if I'm wrong, but I could have sworn there is a Summoner path already (bottom part of the Mage tree) which I've found unappealing except in Empires, since it's sadly the only way to raise skeletons.

Why do you find the the Summoner path unappealing? I ask because I'm a new player and I've chosen that route for my mage champion in my current campaign. Thanks in advance

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