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Invading is a type of Battle attack aginst other players that relies on certain amount of your Heroes (Generals), General Equipment, Units (soldiers) and Equipment instead of just using the one you have currently equipped.
The amount of items that will help you in each category has to do with your Army; whenever you Invade, you will use:

  • 1 General for each 5 army members you have, rounding down, with a max of 100*
    • It is believed that General's level, stars an alliance count.
  • 1 General Equipment for each 1 army member you have, with a max of 501*
    • Only one copy of each piece of gear is taken into account.
  • 1 Soldier for each 1 army member you have, with a max of 501*
    • Multiple copies of the same soldier will be used if available.
  • 1 Piece of Equipment for each 1 army member you have, with a max of 501*
    • Multiple copies of the same piece of gear will be used if available.
  • The game selects automatically the stronger items in each category.
  • *: there are several generals that increase your Army limit and thus the amount of items in each of the categories before. Available generals with that ability at the moment are Artanis, Chase, Crom and Mephistopheles

Examples:

Your army + Army limit bonus Maximum of items used invading
General, level Bonus Generals Gen. Equipment Soldiers Equipment
253 None - 50 253 253 253
253 Chase, L7 +22 55 275 275 275
705 None - 100 501 501 501
705 Artanis, L4 +20 104 521 521 521

Formulas:
When invading, your invade power is compared to the invade power of you opponent. The following formulas are not confirmed and may not be 100% accurate, but provide a starting point close to reality:

Attacking:

[(Army Size) * (Player Attack stat + 70% Player Defense stat)]
+ (Total Attack of Generals, General Equipment, Soldiers and Equipment involved)
+ (70% Total Defense of Generals, General Equipment, Soldiers and Equipment involved)
+ % luck factor.

Defending:

[(Army Size) * (70% Player Attack stat + Player Defense stat)]
+ (70% Total Attack of Generals, General Equipment, Soldiers and Equipment involved)
+ (Total Defense of Generals, General Equipment, Soldiers and Equipment involved)
+ % luck factor.

Notes

  • Prior to 2014/16/02 Invade worked a bit different. Instead of the current categories, it would use Generals, Soldiers, Weapons, Magic and "equipment" (any piece of gear but a Weapon or a Magic). Unlike current system, the old one didn't give an advantage to players who gather General Equipment.
  • The page Best pvp equipment for invade provides a list of the best Generals for invade (those listed at the beginning of the article) and the most powerful Soldiers you can have. There is no point to list the best Generals as most players will use all of them, regardless of how strong or weak they are. Something similar happens with General Equipment, as most players are bound to use all of it when invading.