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Wo Long Morale and Fortitude explained: Why Battle and Marking Flags are important

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty’s most unique systems are also its most complicated. It is now time to break down the Morale, and Fortitude mechanics.

Much like Spirit Gauge, and Qi, your Morale Rank, as well as its relation to Fortitude are outlined very early in Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty. All four are linked, so it’s best to familiarise yourself with the intricacies of Spirit, Energy, and Qi before you get to Morale, and Fortitude.

If you’ve already done that, then it’s time to dig deeper into Wo Long’s other interesting mechanics. Want even more? Why not give our excellent Wo Long tips a read?

Everyone has something to say about Wo Long after playing it.

Morale system, explained

Wo Long’s other unique innovation into the world of Souls-likes, is the Morale mechanic. Morale is effectively a fluctuating, flexible levelling system that only matters in the mission you’re in.

While you can grind enemies and continue boosting your character level and attributes as you’d expect from any RPG, Morale is instead a representation of how well you’re dominating the battlefield, and how much of the mission area you managed to explore.

It’s a system that rewards exploration, and choosing to fight as many of the enemies you come across as possible.

Regardless of your character level, you always start with the lowest possible Morale Rank for that mission. To raise it, you’ll simply need to defeat enemies. The larger the difference in Morale level between you and your opponent, the bigger the boost your own rank will receive upon defeating them. In other words, if you choose to challenge tougher enemies, you’ll get a big bump to your Morale Rank.

The higher that rank, the stronger you are, meaning that you can effectively trivialise certain encounters simply because your rank is well beyond those of the enemies there. It’s because of this you’ll see that mini-bosses and larger enemies always have much higher Morale Ranks than you, letting you choose between challenging them at your current level, or leaving them until you’re appropriately levelled.

Battle Flags, and Marking Flags

The fluid nature of the Morale system means that repeatedly dying will drop your rank, making once easy enemies more challenging. Indeed, you can drop all the way back to zero if you continue to struggle.

But there’s a way to guarantee you don’t drop below a certain rank, effectively securing the floor of your rank. Entrer Battle Flags, and Marking Flags.

Upon starting each mission, the top right of your screen will show the map, alongside the number of Battle Flags, and Marking Flags within the mission. You don’t have to plant them all to finish a mission (in fact, you can simply skip to the boss if you want to), but it’s strongly recommended you seek as many of them out as possible.

Battle Flags are the large, bonfire-like checkpoints. Raising them refills your health (and those of your allies), and restores all your Dragon’s Cure Pot uses. The last flag you planted will be the one you return to upon death.

Marking Flags are instead the smaller ones, and they’re typically hidden deep into missions. Sometimes they require a bit of platforming prowess to figure out how to reach them, and other times they’re guarded by tougher enemies. Markin Flags only refill your health when raised, not your Dragon’s Cure Pot uses.

One thing to keep in mind if you’re on the hunt for one or two remaining flags is that some of the companions you can hire in Reinforcements will have a skill that detects them when you’re close by. If you’re struggling, return to a Battle Flag and hire one of those allies and keep an eye on your map as you go about the mission. You can also look out for rays of light, which represent unconquered flags, though depending on the time of day and flag placement, that won’t always be an option.

If you see a Battle Flag surrounded by red ooze, prepare for a tough fight! Those flags can only be raised by taking down the enemy guarding them, which is usually a tough mini-boss – so don’t head there until you’re ready. They’re often surrounded by archers and other sleeper zombies that will only trigger once you start the fight, so take a moment to take out all the normal enemies and isolate the big baddie.

Plant flags to increase your power.

Fortitude Rank, explained

Apart from the healing benefits, the real reason you want to find and raise every Battle Flag, and Marking Flag you come across is that they raise your Fortitude Rank. Fortitude is the minimum your Morale Rank will drop to upon death, and your current value can be seen on the top right of your screen with the arrow pointing down.

Ideally, you want it to be as close to your current Morale Rank as possible, so you don’t lose much when you die. Raising a Marking Flag always pushes that floor up by one rank, where as Battle Flags raises it by three - and increases your own Morale Rank. Marking Flags can also increase your Morale, depending on your own rank at the time and the enemies guarding them.

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Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty

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Sherif Saed

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Sherif (he/him) is VG247’s go-to shooter and Souls-likes person. Whether it’s news, reviews, or op-eds – Sherif is always eager to tell you about video games. He's one of VG247's most veteran writers, with 10+ years experience on the site.
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