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Nuntar
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Minor update uploaded. I've toned down the number of ATK gems available, so that some of the enemies -- in particular Hobgoblins and the Tar Mother -- aren't too easy by the time you reach them. I also corrected an oversight that allowed the Portable Orb to be reached without hitting the upper orb, making it far too easy to get.

ATK gems have been removed from the following rooms:

Level 3: 6N2W, 1N5E, 1S8E
Level 4: 2S1W, 7S2W (moved to 8S2W)

Overall that's 13 less ATK (and 2 more DEF) available from the rooms so far. There will, however, be at least one more ATK gem in the central wing of the Fourth Floor, which is the next area I'm going to finish building (and since it's more than half done already, that shouldn't take long). Then it's back down to the Second Floor, and at last I'll be placing the long-promised Goblin-Biter, without which the High Emperor would be a taxing challenge (though maybe not impossible!)

EDIT: Further updated. I decided it was silly to have two choose-between-ATK-and-DEF rooms so close together, so I moved Level 3: 2N8E to a new home on the Fourth Floor, and in its place put a new hidden room where you can fight a Fegundo to get a blue key. This will be one of two ways to get the blue key needed to reach the Portable Orb!

I've also added a little more on the Fourth Floor, so you can now go through 1W without having to worry about keeping a save with this room unentered. Don't bother paying to cross the toll bridge; there's nothing on the other side yet. I would do more now, but I'm setting off for work; I'll add more tonight.

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[Last edited by Nuntar at 12-20-2008 02:49 PM]
12-20-2008 at 03:01 AM
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Nuntar
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Hold updated!

I added scripting to the fegundo room to make it not affected by my fiddling around with the tar babies' GR and REP rewards. And I've completed the central wing of the Fourth Floor. You can now reach the High Emperor -- but this is really not recommended unless you come prepared with Goblin-Biter. Unless you're in the mood for a severe challenge....

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12-21-2008 at 02:17 PM
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Nuntar
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Slight addendum to the update. I've corrected a couple of scripting errors and added two useful NPCs to the library -- one gives a hint and the other sells you a blue key. I also adjusted the rewards in a couple of places, so please do upgrade to the latest version.

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12-21-2008 at 04:55 PM
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quote:
Nuntar wrote:
OK, just a few questions. First, I calculate that getting the sword (two Soulless and two tar babies) should have cost you around 1800 HP; was that right? If so, was there enough life still available from the areas before the Royal Guard, or did you have to take some form areas only available after killing him as well? Did you use the Elixir (then or at any other point?)


Correct! Around 1800 HP. And there was enough lives, some obtained in the areas accessable after defeting the Royal Guard. I don't think I "had" to have tkaen them, but I did. I never used the Elexir.

quote:
Nuntar wrote:I notice you're still talking about going "down" to the Fourth Floor -- it should be up, as it's the highest floor I've built so far. :) To go down to it you'd have to reach it from the Fifth Floor.

What do you mean, you "got 3 ATK from the training guy in the training area"? If my calculations are right, at that stage you had ATK 112, and the trainer should be doing around 8000 damage. How can you get the ATK gem he guards without killing him?

What was your GR at the end?


Haha! I was talking about the guy that gives youy 3ATK or 6DEF or some HP. The one behind a green door. Regrettably I'm visiting my parents for Christmas, so I can't check it out right away. When I beat the trainer with stats as a red guard I had ATK 133, as I state in my "walkthrough". It seems as if it was a bit too unclear. :blush


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12-21-2008 at 05:06 PM
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Nuntar
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Blondbeard wrote:
Regrettably I'm visiting my parents for Christmas, so I can't check it out right away.

That's okay; it'll give me the time to get more of the hold done before you get back. :) I do really need an answer to the question about your GR total though. I want it to be a real choice whether to buy from some of the merchants now or later, not something you can always do because money is never a problem.

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12-21-2008 at 06:13 PM
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Nuntar
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I've been having a go at completing this Blondbeard style -- trying to find out how he manages to have so many keys left over -- and it's a very hard and frustrating task, but perhaps not as completely impossible as I'd supposed. Right now I've reached the stage where there's nothing left to fight before the Royal Guard or Todal, and my stats are 173/78/55, with SEVEN yellow keys in my hand (would be eight, but I spent one to be able to reach the Todal and look at his expected damage). I can't survive either boss fight, and I don't think there are enough places available where I can exchange keys for HP, but next time I'm going to go backtrack to the Neather rooms and get the DEF gem in 2: 2S2E as early as possible. That should make enough difference (which amuses me, as it was Blondbeard himself who earlier questioned whether that gem was useless!!)

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[Last edited by Nuntar at 12-22-2008 03:13 PM]
12-22-2008 at 02:11 AM
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Gordius
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I wouldn't base too many decisions on whether Blondbeard is having too easy a go of it. I can tell you that I am regularly wandering around finding things to kill, even though they're hurting me more than I want, just for the greckles that are keeping me from things I need. Once I figure out how to get through the tar in an efficient fashion, that might change, but for now, I rarely have any kind of greckle surplus. And at this point, I'm having to buy pretty much everything available for purchase just to get to the point where I might be fighting tar.
12-22-2008 at 03:36 AM
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Blondbeard
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I didn't pick up that defence gem, Nuntar. That defence gem is asuming you get hit 400 times in order to make it worth picking up. Next time I play it through I might keep an as perfect log as I can, if you want me to?

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12-22-2008 at 07:33 AM
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Nuntar
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quote:
Gordius wrote:
I wouldn't base too many decisions on whether Blondbeard is having too easy a go of it.

Don't worry -- it may sometimes look that way, but I am also communicating with Lamkin via PM, and of course anyone is welcome to post in this threat, and everyone gets taken into account :) The problem in a really long hold like this one is that you have to find ways to reward the better players that don't let them get too far ahead of everyone else -- because if they reach a level midway through the hold killing everything in sight for less than 50 damage, they can mop things up and take all the power-ups and every subsequent level will be boringly easy too. All this while making it still completable for everyone else -- it's not easy!

quote:
I can tell you that I am regularly wandering around finding things to kill, even though they're hurting me more than I want, just for the greckles that are keeping me from things I need.

That's encouraging. Anyway, I'm happy about the prices so far, it's just the two latest ones I want more opinions on -- the blue key and the toll bridge -- and both give you the choice of paying or fighting a monster, so it's fine to spend your greckles on other things and you won't be stuck.

quote:
Once I figure out how to get through the tar in an efficient fashion, that might change

You've got quite far then! Do you mind telling me your stats? (Both at the present moment, which might be less helpful as it might be difficult to explain exactly how far you've reached, and after the Royal Guard fight.)

quote:
I didn't pick up that defence gem, Nuntar. That defence gem is asuming you get hit 400 times in order to make it worth picking up. Next time I play it through I might keep an as perfect log as I can, if you want me to?

No, it's worth picking up if you get hit 400 times or if it's the way to reach the Royal Guard with enough HP to kill him using as few yellows as possible. I won't know for sure until I've gone back and tried it, but it seems I should be able to have at least four yellows left, two more than you had.

Of course, when more of the hold is built it will be absolutely certain that you'll get more than 400 hits after getting that gem if you get it at the first opportunity.

I don't think a perfect log would be necessary, especially now that I'm doing a lot better at reaching the targets you set me for myself; it would certainly be interesting and might let me pick up on something I would have missed, though, so I won't stop you doing one if you want. But for the third time of asking, please just answer the straightforward question of how many greckles you had at the end! :P (And I've asked you so many times before to include this information with every report, I don't know -- are you shy about it or something?)

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12-22-2008 at 10:37 AM
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Blondbeard
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No, I guess I'm just a little slow ;) Anyway... I can't do that right away, since I'm not at my computer writing this. I will however start a new game here (my brother too has DROD RPG), and it will be interesting to keep a more detailed log :) I'll pick up the stupid gems if they will be worth it by the end. I didn't pick up the gem at level 1 either.

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[Last edited by Blondbeard at 12-22-2008 02:05 PM]
12-22-2008 at 02:04 PM
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Nuntar
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I'm not commanding, or even suggesting, that you pick up any "stupid" gems :P I'm merely saying that I found it helpful.

And as proof:

Royal Guard defeated
HP: 26
ATK: 78
DEF: 64
Keys: 3/0/0

Score = 612

I did not yet collect any keys from 1: 1S or 1: 1S1W, nor did I buy any from the merchant on Level 2, and I did not need to use the Elixir. I did buy the DEF gem, even though getting together the money required fighting taking a little extra damage, but I could also have gone straight on to the Royal Guard fight without needing to spend any more keys to reach potions.

Incidentally, it's only 280 hits, not 400, that you need to make up the score cost of getting the DEF gems, because you have to take into account the score you get from having the higher DEF. And the Royal Guard fight alone accounts for 24 hits :)

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[Last edited by Nuntar at 12-22-2008 03:12 PM]
12-22-2008 at 03:06 PM
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Gordius
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Don't worry -- it may sometimes look that way, but I am also communicating with Lamkin via PM, and of course anyone is welcome to post in this threat, and everyone gets taken into account :) The problem in a really long hold like this one is that you have to find ways to reward the better players that don't let them get too far ahead of everyone else -- because if they reach a level midway through the hold killing everything in sight for less than 50 damage, they can mop things up and take all the power-ups and every subsequent level will be boringly easy too. All this while making it still completable for everyone else -- it's not easy!


I know that's the goal and I understand that means making a variety of possible options while still keeping a tight hold on what's available. But right now it seems like this (and, to be fair, most of the holds currently under development in RPG Architecture) is overestimating the capabilities of the average player in order to prevent the best players from having too easy a time of it. I've played through 10-12 to get where I am, each time shaving a little bit off my costs and learning a little more about when to do what, allowing me to get a little further, but never to the end. In this version, I haven't bought the blue key because I don't really need a blue key right now, and I haven't seen the toll bridge. I had expected that to be the path leading off to the west of Central 1st, but that still doesn't go anywhere.

My stats at the Central 4th autosave are:

HP: 784
ATK: 75
DEF: 62
Keys: 2/0/0

And that would include the 600 HP and 3 DEF in his stairwell, so I assume I killed him at 184/75/59. I know that includes the ATK for sale and the elixir, but not, I don't think, the DEF for sale.
12-22-2008 at 11:03 PM
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Nuntar
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Well, most of my recent modifications have been in response to Blondbeard because he's been the one posting the most, but I do listen to you (and other testers) as well. :) But I don't want you to be under any illusions -- this is not meant to be a hold that a merely average player will be able to successfully complete all the way through, at least, not without a lot of patience and perhaps a few hints along the way.

Both the blue key and the toll bridge are quite a bit further on from where you've reached, so you will have more greckles by the time you get there, so I wasn't really so much asking Blondbeard how many greckles he had as asking him how much anyone would have at that point. There are a couple of rooms now where I've put keys or potions behind long chains of greckle gates, so I want the player to have to choose what they need the most.

Sorry about the passages that lead nowhere -- it is frustrating to play a hold as open-ended as this when it's unfinished. (I'm finding it too!) There will eventually be a west wing of Floor One, and indeed west, east, north, south and central wings of every floor, but it does take time to build them. :)

The idea of the Elixir, by the way, was that you should still be able to complete the hold if you use it to boost your HP before the Royal Guard fight, but obviously, from its very nature, you get more out of it if you leave it longer, so it's one way I've found to reward the better players without punishing the rest. There will be others. One thing I'm planning on adding soon is some extra secret rooms in Central First Floor that offer you a choice of rewards behind monsters, but killing the easier monsters first makes briar destroy the rewards behind the harder monsters, so again, you get more out of it if you can afford to leave it, but more average players will still be able to get further with the hold by forgoing the better rewards.

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12-22-2008 at 11:44 PM
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Gordius
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Yeah, those are the sorts of things that I think would help. I resented having to use the elixir, because I knew that I shouldn't need it yet, but its availability helped me to move further on. Similarly, if I ever reach a point where I just can't progress any further, I can always go back and not save the advisor at the outset of Level 3. Getting that blue key is costly at that point, and I don't use it for another purpose until a point when I'd be able to get it much more cheaply. Of course, not knowing what the tradeoff is makes it harder to gauge, but that's just the nature of RPG.
12-23-2008 at 05:23 AM
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Blondbeard
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I have started my walkthrough project. Not really optimal, but still... I hope I haven't written down any mistakes, and that it is relatively easy to see what I do. And don't worry. I note the greckle count from time to time.

I will finnish it in a few days (I think).

Edit: It didn't want to attach the file, so I'll put it in secret instead.

Click here to view the secret text


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[Last edited by Blondbeard at 12-23-2008 08:59 AM]
12-23-2008 at 08:56 AM
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Nuntar
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Thank you! That's very detailed, and nice to see how your route differs from mine. I might write my own walkthrough when I have time.

2: 7S1W will have to be corrected at some point to make it impossible to hit the orb while standing on the door (and really, you could have pointed out something as obviously unintended as that long before now! :P ) but I don't want to invalidate all the hard work you've done, so I won't change that until the next major update. Everything else through the end of where your walkthrough currently reaches (1: 2N) is in no danger of changing. In fact, you picked a very good point to finish, because the secret wall in that room is clearly going to have something put on the other side of it, and soon, and that may affect your decisions from that point on.

Many thanks again!

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12-23-2008 at 02:46 PM
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Blondbeard
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I think the standing on door trick is quite nifty. A secret within the secret ;) But go ahed and change it if you really want to.

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12-23-2008 at 04:21 PM
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Gordius
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Yeah, I assumed that was intentional, as it provides a nice tradeoff between moving forward cheaply (well, assuming you ever planned to open that green door and get to the room to the west) and being able to backtrack freely. That yellow door is one of the few places I'm able to save a key in the early going, by working to never need to open it.

Plus, it means a tradeoff between opening the two green doors cache on 1 and having to get one of the green keys on 2. When I used to save the green doors cache for later, this was always an easy place to choose to spend a green key. Now I have to work to get one to open this door.

Out of curiosity, can I ask where Blondbeard's walkthrough ends? I don't want to read it until I know I'm comfortable with my approach to that stretch of hold.
12-23-2008 at 05:16 PM
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Nuntar
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I already stated this, but it ends on the first visit to First Floor: 2N, after getting the short sword but before ever visiting North or East Third Floor or either part of the Fourth Floor.

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12-23-2008 at 06:47 PM
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Dex Stewart
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This hold has grown to difficult for me to continue testing, but I just wanted to say that I really liked that standing-on-door-trick too. So I say leave it in :).
12-23-2008 at 09:48 PM
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Nuntar
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Hold updated! In view of Dex's post and the place Blondbeard has reached in his walkthrough, I decided to leave West Second Floor a little while longer and add some more rooms to Central First. These rooms make things a bit easier for the average player by providing some "free" rewards -- the only cost is that if you take them, briars will destroy some better rewards you could have got later.

I also changed the stat boost mimic in Third Floor: 5N2E. He now charges a blue key (but I removed the yellow and green doors), gives a higher boost (1000/5/8 and not 600/3/5) and can be used as many times as you have spare blue keys.

I've added passages to other wings not yet built in Second Floor: Entrance and First Floor: 2N, so that having these rooms on your save game will not prevent you reaching those wings when they are built.

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12-24-2008 at 12:52 PM
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Nuntar
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I've finally gotten round to something I've been meaning to do for some time -- adding the Elixir as an actual custom accessory (large potion graphic modified by permission from Mike Rimer, acknowledgement scroll included in Prologue: 1N1E) so that you can pick it up at use it whenever you want.

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12-24-2008 at 04:25 PM
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Blondbeard
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That buisnis with spare blue keys sounds risky. How should the player know what is a spare key and what is not?

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12-24-2008 at 06:12 PM
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Nuntar
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Good point! You don't know for sure, especially as it depends on which blue doors you want to open.

However, I can now give a complete summary of all the blue keys and doors there will be before the Ogre Lord, who as I've said will be the next big boss.

Keys:
Click here to view the secret text

Doors:
Click here to view the secret text


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12-24-2008 at 06:45 PM
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Blondbeard
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I think that the Trainer is WAY too hard when you reach him. Consider that he has the stats of a red guard, but twice the HP. You need ATK around 125 to be able to kill him without a huge loss of lives. That means getting every gem on level 3 an the non-hogoblin area of level 4 (or to trade a blue key for ATK). My sugestion is to change the Trainer to red guard stats if you want to reduce the number of ATK gems like this.

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12-25-2008 at 08:42 AM
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Nuntar
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Hmm. I was thinking mostly in terms of the Trainer granting access to the last area of the second "block", so you don't want to kill him until your stats are high enough to survive that area. But he does also give the shield, and it would be a good way to reward better optimisers by letting them take the shield a bit earlier -- just as you (and now I) managed to take the short sword earlier than I expected most players would. I'll do a bit more playtesting before making a decision on that.

Don't expect too many updates this week, anyway -- I haven't even had time to start my contest entry yet :?

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12-25-2008 at 09:05 AM
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Blondbeard
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I quit my walkthrough as I got less sure of how to do things. Anyway... Here's some stats, and a bug:

Trainer defeated: HP 133, ATK 121, DEF 76, Keys 1/0/0.


Goblin King: HP 79, ATK 128, DEF 96, 3 yellow keys, 1599 greckles.

Todal: 8/152/100/10/2/0. Greckles 753 (Have bought blue key).

Death trap level 4 1N1E. Tunnels of no escape.

High Emporer: 284/156/104/1/1/0. GR 1309.

If you have any specific questions I'll be glad to answer them.

And I really ought to re-write my feedback for what I read of your book before I forget what to say.

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[Last edited by Blondbeard at 12-25-2008 06:53 PM]
12-25-2008 at 06:51 PM
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Nuntar
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That really settles it, then, doesn't it? :P I won't make the Trainer fight any easier, since I don't want to encourage players to beat the hold out of sequence, but if you can do it out of sequence and beat the Emperor without needing Goblin-Biter -- as you just proved -- then you already have your reward -- being able to use the Portable Orb anywhere else (and there will be quite a few choices, I think and hope!)

Tunnels fixed, but I won't upload yet as I wanted to build some more rooms today.

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12-25-2008 at 07:41 PM
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Nuntar
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quote:
Blondbeard wrote:
If you have any specific questions I'll be glad to answer them.

I just need to know a couple of things that will affect my decisions about merchants' prices (both existing and future). (1) At stats of 156/104 an Ogre does 96 damage, so I would guess you chose to fight rather than pay for the toll bridge; is that correct? (2) Did you open any greckle gates in 4: 1N2W, and if so how many? (3) Did you at any point use the stat boost for blue key exchange, and if so at what point and what did you obtain?

And finally, this may be a nuisance, but could you tell me -- to the nearest 100 or so is fine if you don't have a save at just that point -- your greckle total before you fought the Swordsman in 3: 6N?

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12-25-2008 at 08:15 PM
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Blondbeard
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icon Re: Nobard's Hold (0)  
1) No! It just seemed silly to pay instead of loosing 96 lives :P

2) Yes. I obtained all the lives. As I already had a lot of keys that seemed a little redundant. I also have a key merchant left (the one that sells you four or five yellow keys or two green keys).

3) Yes, I did. Quite too late to be optimal, I'm afraid. Two times I traded a blue key for 5 ATK. The problem is that this far you really need to measure up to the ATK bottlenecks. (The golem thingies this time). Otherwise it would be more interesting to try and get DEF to render rattlesnakes/goblins/hogoblins utterly undangerous. Perhaps these choises will get more interesting as the game progresses.

4) I did continue my walkthrough a bit further. From where my last walkthrough ended:
Click here to view the secret text


Do you want me to re-post the whole thing?

Edit: No reward at all for defeting the tar mother seems a bit... less than fun ;)

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I would write some kind of signature if I wasn't so lazy. Oh, and right now I have a DROD RPG Let's Play plus a Let's Play of Troshian Tower going on :-)

[Last edited by Blondbeard at 12-25-2008 10:18 PM]
12-25-2008 at 10:04 PM
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