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Author Name:Josh
Submitted By:jbluestein
Hold Name:Advanced Concepts
Theme:Educational...but still fun.
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Number of Levels:12
Number of Rooms:254
Number of Monsters:2585
Version:DROD: The City Beneath (3.2)
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Hold Karma:6 (+6 / -0)
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File: Advanced Concepts.hold (186.5 KB)
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icon Advanced Concepts  
"I don't get it! I've been through all of the tutorials and I just can't understand how all of these pieces work together!"

Beethro was beside himself without a clone potion, frustrated and ready to smash...well, just about anything.

Fortunately, he had one chance left. He had heard tales of a group of architects who banded together to explore some of the less understood aspects of the Eighth, offering the results of their explorations up in an attractive and educational format.

It took some doing, but Beethro finally made it to the architects' complex, and after resolving the minor detail of some payment he was ushered into the hallway of Advanced Concepts.
10-23-2008 at 05:50 PM
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jbluestein
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icon Re: Advanced Concepts (+3)  
Well, here it is, folks.

This hold is the product of an idea I had over a year ago...we actually started work on it last October, and now it's finally done.

The idea: to teach about some of the more complex interactions of the DROD world -- things that tutorials don't cover, but things you might really want to know to be a true Smitemaster.

This hold is not the work of one person. It contains levels from some of the best DROD architects out there: larrymurk, Jacob, Chaco, Rheb, Tim, TFMurphy and Calamarain have all contributed excellent work.

I hope you all enjoy it!

Josh



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10-23-2008 at 05:59 PM
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Dex Stewart
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Sweet! I was hoping for a long time that something like this would appear, and after playing... 6 rooms, it looks excellent. Well done everyone!

I'll give a rating after I play some more.

[Last edited by Dex Stewart at 10-23-2008 06:09 PM]
10-23-2008 at 06:09 PM
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noma
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icon Re: Advanced Concepts (+2)  
If you've ever wanted to improve your gameplay, wondered how brains really affect other characters, banged your head in frustration trying to get a mimic to do what you want, or just want to play a few more fun DROD rooms, play this hold. Divided into separate skills training sections and non-linear for the most part, you can easily leave an area (a.k.a. learning annex) or room if you're getting too frustrated, and try another.

Difficulty varies quite a bit; I'd rate some rooms a 1 and some an 8. Most fall into the 5 or 6 range. You'll be challenged but with some thought and perserverance you should be able to work out most of the puzzles. Since different architects were responsible for different sections, level design is also very varied. For fun, try and guess who did which section, but you'll have to close your eyes though when the level "splash screen" comes up when entering or exiting a section.

There's really something here for everyone. While I enjoyed some "annexes" more than others, in each one I learned something new and/or improved my skills.

Average difficulty rating: 5.5
Overall fun rating: 8.5

[Last edited by noma at 10-23-2008 06:21 PM]
10-23-2008 at 06:17 PM
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Jacob
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icon Re: Advanced Concepts (+2)  
I'd say that this is one of the best holds out there.
OK, I contributed so it's not fair to comment on my levels.
But putting them aside there's a lot of awesome stuff.

What is great about this hold is that it uses elements that we all are pretty familiar with but breaks them down into their fundamentals. This allows for the exploration of (and explanation of) interesting behaviour and for the creation of many innovative puzzles.

As such, it's invaluable for people who play DROD levels and people who make them. It certainly provided inspiration for my latest hold.

Worth playing for "Advanced Brain Concepts" alone. But it's all excellent. Good job, Jbluestein for coordinating all this.

[Edit: Conquered, woo]

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My Holds and Levels:
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[Last edited by Jacob at 11-12-2008 05:20 PM]
10-23-2008 at 06:54 PM
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Chaco
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icon Re: Advanced Concepts (+2)  
Something has happened!

This hold is absolutely one of the best things to happen in this forum in a long time - it's extremely informative, contains work from many different architects, and I think will be educational to even the most experienced players.

I highly recommend that anyone with enough time play this hold. :)

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10-23-2008 at 07:36 PM
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CuriousShyRabbit
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icon Re: Advanced Concepts (+2)  
Finally a tutorial hold that doesn't stink!

This one gets many things right.
* It skips the "This is a roach" part that you already know, and don't need to see again. The monster behavior and movement rules you learn in this hold will help you understand tricky rooms in many of those other holds you're stuck on.
* Most of the levels include additional puzzle rooms where you can practice using the concepts discussed. As a teacher, I'm very familiar with "It looks so easy when you show me, but I'm lost when I have to do it myself." Figuring out when and where to apply what is the hardest part of problem solving. The more practice, the better!
* It provides a glimpse of what some of our favorite architects are thinking when they design and play rooms.

A very nice job by all the architects involved!
10-24-2008 at 01:38 AM
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mxvladi
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icon Re: Advanced Concepts (+2)  
Interesting! :thumbsup

So far, I find the "Speed Poitons" level the most helpful(oh, this is done by Rheb. Oh, well, Rheb's holds are always good, even tutorials). Even though I've learned a lot about speed poitons in
Click here to view the secret text
, it contain some lovely "tutorial-like" puzzles I've never seen before! This hold is... yeah... creative. And interesting. :)

5 brains and 9 fun.

[Last edited by mxvladi at 10-24-2008 07:17 PM]
10-24-2008 at 06:51 PM
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Dex Stewart
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icon Re: Advanced Concepts (+2)  
Something I just realized: this hold is quite large. I've been walking through the Rock Golem Annex and it just won't end! There's many rooms in there and they are all quality.

I can only again compliment the authors for this piece of sheer awesomeness that they have created.
10-24-2008 at 08:55 PM
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Chaco
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quote:
Dex Stewart wrote:
Something I just realized: this hold is quite large. I've been walking through the Rock Golem Annex and it just won't end! There's many rooms in there and they are all quality.



The Rock Golem Annex and the Advanced Brain Movement Annex are uncharacteristically large for all the levels of this hold, but I'll agree that this hold has a lot of content, and that this is for the better.

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10-24-2008 at 09:25 PM
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Tahnan
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icon Re: Advanced Concepts (+2)  
Everything I've played so far in this hold has been excellent. Much of it has even been informative. I'm not sure I learned anything new from the speed potions section, and I'm not sure I was really able to absorb all the information in the brain section...but, oh my god, an actual explanation of how brained queens move that doesn't use words like "random" or "guesswork" or "heh, good fracking luck"!
10-24-2008 at 09:58 PM
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Jatopian
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icon Re: Advanced Concepts (0)  
Brained queens are easy. I'll be impressed if it can explain wraithwings.

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10-25-2008 at 11:15 AM
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Chaco
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quote:
Jatopian wrote:
Brained queens are easy. I'll be impressed if it can explain wraithwings.


Unfortunately Advanced Concepts #1 has no wraithwings level that explains how they work in groups. Nobody volunteered to make such a level and such a level was therefore never made. (There is a wing in the Advanced Brain Movement annex that details how singular brained wraithwings move, but to be honest I don't think many people had problems with that.)

Multiple wraithwings are a topic that might get covered in any Advanced Concepts #2, along with topics such as guards, aumtlich, and briar that didn't end up getting covered in this project.

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10-25-2008 at 11:19 AM
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Banjooie
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icon Re: Advanced Concepts (0)  
nothing can explain wraithwings in groups

nothing
10-26-2008 at 10:04 AM
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Doom
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There's always this sticky. Predictability is a whole different story, though.

I was going to do a briar level for this when it was still in the early stages, but unfortunately I've not done much drodding at all in a long time and that kind of fell apart. Maybe eventually...
10-26-2008 at 10:54 AM
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Parse
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Easily one of the best (if not THE best) and most informative holds I've seen. I would recommend this hold to anyone who considers themselves no longer a beginner at DROD - basically, for most people, I would suggest this be their second hold. As a lot of trickier puzzles in holds, both this one and others, depend on knowing (or discovering) edge case behavior for monsters, the knowledge in this hold is nigh priceless.

One of the features I really appreciate about how this is implemented is that it allows people to jump around various levels. When I got stuck on a room in Advanced Brains, I was able to continue on other floors in the hold.

I'm rating it six for difficulty, and nine for fun. Because learning can be (and is) fun!
10-31-2008 at 02:06 PM
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Neather2
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Ah! This is a very good hold for learn some important concepts and smiting tricks. Very good work, i'll giving you 5 brains and 7 fun.

These holds are always good.
Also, i think that the rules i just learned will help me in building trickly holds.

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Conspiracy, my new hold, has just been released.

[Last edited by Neather2 at 02-11-2009 08:11 PM]
02-11-2009 at 08:10 PM
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Jatopian
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The sword tricks tutorial says that all monsters have vertical preference. However, seep do not - they will choose whatever's closest.

Edit: Chaco informs me that this is corrected in the "seep level", but it is still inaccurate in that level.

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[Last edited by Jatopian at 06-30-2009 03:02 AM]
06-30-2009 at 02:39 AM
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neveragain
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10 Overall (I'd give it 9.5, but...)
10 Brains

This hold is an example of a great tutorial for experts.

Could have used some more scrolls in certain rooms and skips past certain difficult rooms that I can't solve, but lead to rooms where there are important things that I'd like to know. :~(


07-09-2009 at 04:49 AM
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Syntax
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Conquered... absolute masterpiece! 'nuff said

10 from me
07-06-2010 at 04:22 PM
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incnone
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I'm only about halfway through this but I wanted to post and thank the authors for their hard work--it's been extremely interesting to have some of the more subtle parts of DROD behavior spelled out for me. There's a lot of things here that could really impact the way I choose to design things--and it should make working with the editor even more fun. So. Thank you.
07-07-2010 at 11:16 AM
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Ivcha Pivcha
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What can I say that hasnít been said already?
If it has been said before, I'll say it again (repetitio est mater studiorum).
This is the most important hold after DROD: JRH and DROD: TCB. If you want to make a good DROD career I advise you to go through this one.
Knowledge gathered in Advanced Concepts helped me a lot in many holds that Iíve played after this one.
Of course, donít consider that youíll learn everything you need to know to be a good DRODer. Something like that is impossible (in many holds you can learn something new), but this hold will not just give you a good start for understanding most of the elements and monsters and there interactions, it will also give you confidence boost when youíll be confronted with some hard puzzles that can be found in many holds and solving these ones will be much more enjoyable. :yes

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10-06-2010 at 12:53 PM
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12th Archivist
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Let me say something about this hold.

It's very good, which is why it garnered an "8" on the fun scale. This hold is extremely educational and of excellent quality. On the plus side, it's also pretty fun. :)

However.

The hold is hard. Like, frustratingly hard in some places. The Rock Golem Annex was easy enough to clear through and actually quite enjoyable and informational. The Simple Sword Tricks Annex was the same. Nevertheless, other areas, such as the Disarmed Mimic Annex was a sudden blast of information and complexity that made me unable to complete the level.

Hence an "8" on the difficulty scale.

Ultimately, like said by previous posters, this hold is great and educational but probably for experts. An intermediate player trying this hold will come away impressed... but rather aggravated by the unexpected shifts in difficulty.

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11-14-2010 at 06:49 PM
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da rogu3
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This is without a doubt the most informative and helpful hold that I've ever played. (for example, I learnt that seep don't use vertical preference, and many other things too)

Due to it being such a large hold, there are a few rooms (mabye around 20-30) which I haven't completed. However, I think I've seen enough to rate and post a review here. I appreciated the non-linear nature of the hold, making it easy to jump in and out of the annexes whenever I wanted to. Also, the consistent and fluid level design in each annex really helped improve the atmosphere and polish of the hold.

A few annexes were fairly easy, but others were much more difficult. There were a few I didn't like so much, such as eyes+potions (don't like decoy potions). There were a few levels where I didn't learn much new - goblins, rock golems, simple sword tricks, and fegundos, but the puzzles make up for that, as they were good practice for preparation for other holds. On average, the difficulty was probably somewhere around the 6 to 7 region, most of the challenge rooms require some perseverance to get through, but not too much, and some of the secret rooms are really tough.

As for the puzzles, most were well thought out and designed, although like most holds, there were a few which I didn't like much. However, I am giving this hold a 10, not really representive of the fun, but more the overall quality of the hold. This is especially true of the Advanced Brain Movement Annex. I recommend that everyone should play the hold, purely for that level.

The hold is also useful from an architectural view. The vast numbers of challenge rooms in some of the annexes (rock golem especially) really help showcase the depth of most of the monsters and elements. Building rooms suddenly became so much more interesting.

Overall, this is just a excellent must-play hold. The hard work of each of the authors really shines through. Larrymurk holds suddenly became so much more approachable :). I'll be looking forward to an Advanced Concepts #2. (brained grouped wraithwings ftw :P)

tl;dr - if you already know how all the basic monsters move, start with Brained Roaches --> Advanced Brain Movement --> everything else

Here are some more details about individual annexes:

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[Last edited by da rogu3 at 05-22-2011 07:20 PM]
04-30-2011 at 09:42 AM
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Syntax
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Great review... Definitely beat mine :)
05-01-2011 at 12:07 PM
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Jacob
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quote:
da rogu3 wrote:
I'll be looking forward to an Advanced Concepts #2.

Good idea.

Were someone to make such a hold, I think that levels covering wraithwings, briars, stalwarts and complex tarstuff cutting would be great.
Click here to view the secret text


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05-01-2011 at 04:01 PM
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Banjooie
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Nobody understands wraithwings.

Stop it.
05-02-2011 at 11:44 AM
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Jatopian
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I understand wraithwing. Just not wraithwings.

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05-02-2011 at 05:53 PM
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west.logan
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Why doesn't this hold, or Advanced Concepts 2 cover serpents? I've come across some serpent puzzles I can't figure out and my source of hope is now gone! :(

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12-07-2011 at 05:25 PM
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Jatopian
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Maybe larrymurk's hold Psycho Therapy would help you? Then again maybe not.

Maybe a serpent clock?

near-complete guide to monster movement

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Make your pressure plates 3.0 style!
DROD architecture idea generator
12-07-2011 at 06:08 PM
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