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Caravel Forum : DROD Boards : Holds : Complex Complex (Spring 2009 Smitemaster's Selection)
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9.0/10 (23 votes)
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Author Name:Rasmus Björling
Submitted By:Rheb
Hold Name:Complex Complex
Theme:Spring 2009 Smitemaster's Selection
Author's Difficulty:
Number of Levels:7
Number of Rooms:111
Number of Monsters:1301
Version:DROD: The City Beneath (3.2)
High Scores:View High Scores
Hold Karma:20 (+20 / -0)
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icon Complex Complex  
Myself and the Hold:

My name is Rasmus, a blond blue-eyed fellow, with curly hair that sets me apart from the straight-haired character “Rasmus”, in Astrid Lindgrens “Rasmus and the Vagabond”. I’m a 16 year old Swedish DROD- player, architect and forumite. My prime-hobby is sleeping, but I also enjoy studying, training Karate, playing games and being outside skiing or kayaking. In the three years I’ve been here, I’ve released several differently themed DROD holds. Most players find them quite difficult, and Complex Complex probably won’t be an exception.

When building holds I often have to struggle to make progress, but this time everything went surprisingly easily. It all started with a few ideas for hot tile covered rooms. A short time later several rooms were completed, and the ideas just kept coming.

You’ll recognise some themes from “Advanced Concepts”. And a fair number of the rooms have been inspired by a puzzle in Dischorran’s “Beethro’s Brain” (the queen guiding room). Of course that’s not all there is here, but I thought I should leave some surprises for you.

The story:

The story takes place between KDD and JtRH. It is semi-canon, and may be referred to in the future. One reason for it not being completely canon is that the story at some points doesn’t match with the rest of the DROD canon. And I just couldn’t resist the temptation of including e.g. speed-potions and giants. Perhaps something like this happened, perhaps it didn’t happen at all… Nah, I’m pretty sure it all did happen! The important thing, however, is that it’s all flawlessly consistent!

Credits:

Among all of my holds, this is the one that was in most dire need of beta-testers. There are few rooms you will find still in their original state. Luckily it’s all for the better, as there were literally tons of unintended solutions. Huge thanks to my beta testers: Blondbeard, CuriousShyRabbit, jbluestein and Chaco. Additional testing, through different early-late stages of the hold was done by: Slimm Tom, Rabscuttle, Larry Murk and Syntax.

The story was mostly written by me and Blondbeard. But mrimer, CuriousShyRabbit and Chaco also filled in with crucial parts. And we Swedes really needed their careful editing.

Mrimer did the huge task of editing the audio and importing all the voices. And Chaco helped me by creating the beautiful layout for the final level. I want to thank everybody listed above, and also Tim, for helping me out whenever problems arose.

Voice acting:

Beethro Budkin - Snacko
Ombus Thenn - SGACreative (Steve Anderson)
Verleiz - mrimer
Rock Giant, Citizen, Guard, Mechanized voice - Calamarain
Guard Captain - slimm tom
Various Architects - Calamarain, mrimer, slimm tom
Various Goblins - mrimer, slimm tom

[Last edited by mrimer at 04-18-2009 05:11 PM]
04-18-2009 at 05:07 PM
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bflatjeff
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icon Re: Complex Complex (0)  
Is there some problem with the high scores for this hold? I've completed a few rooms (with enemies), and no scores are being recorded.

BbJ

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04-20-2009 at 01:11 AM
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CuriousShyRabbit
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icon Re: Complex Complex (0)  
The highscores for this hold don't work yet. We need Schik. I'll post here again when they do work.
04-20-2009 at 02:46 AM
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CuriousShyRabbit
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icon Re: Complex Complex (+1)  
Schik has deleted the duplicate record that was interfering with the highscores for this hold. CaravelNet is now accepting highscores for Complex Complex.

For those of you highscore seekers who have already started playing, you'll need to go to the Change Location screen and push the "Upload Hold Scores" button to resubmit your demos for rooms you've already solved. Then, have at it! :)

(You'll see one Rabbit score on the list, sorry, that was to test if scores were working. I won't be replaying any more of this hold for a few weeks.)
04-27-2009 at 07:39 AM
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agaricus5
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icon Re: Complex Complex (+2)  
quote:
CuriousShyRabbit wrote:
Schik has deleted the duplicate record that was interfering with the highscores for this hold. CaravelNet is now accepting highscores for Complex Complex.

For those of you highscore seekers who have already started playing, you'll need to go to the Change Location screen and push the "Upload Hold Scores" button to resubmit your demos for rooms you've already solved. Then, have at it! :)


Wahoo! Thanks, Schik!

What a feeling it is to get there first! Although I am now bracing myself for a serious highscore war. I'm pretty sure I've not optimised many of those rooms properly (especially those horrible goblin-hot tile rooms). ;)

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04-27-2009 at 06:36 PM
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Tahnan
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icon Re: Complex Complex (+2)  
While I certainly like this hold, there's one aspect of it I dislike nearly to the point of hate (and often to the point of having to put it aside): it can be really hard to tell where you are.

Part of the problem is the fact that you can't tell from the minimap which rooms you've finished and which unfinished ones are unrequired--kind of a problem in The Complex, where a whole lot of the space is pit or red doors (in particular, I had to be told that no, 3N isn't required; I didn't think it could be, but it was hard to be sure); but it's a huge problem in Lava Gates, where the entire minimap is orange and black.

But another part of the problem is that it's not always clear which rooms can be solved from your current position. I spent a lot of time on Giants: 1N2W before being told I wouldn't be able to solve it. Conversely, and in part as a result, I gave up for a while on the entrance to the Lava Gates because I figured I must not be in a position to solve it yet. Now I'm stuck in the Lava Gates, and given that 4N is demonstrably impossible given my current situation (and Beethro tells me so, in case I missed it), I look at other rooms like 1E and 4N1E, and I wonder whether I should even be trying to solve them. (And if not, then what?)

Don't let this deter you from playing the hold! But given the amount of frustration it's caused me, I can't let it go without comment.
05-08-2009 at 08:53 AM
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Blondbeard
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icon Re: Complex Complex (+1)  
It's funny. For me what Tahnan describes was an enjoyable kind of meta-puzzle. I loved how the whole complex sometimes seemed like a huge puzzle to solve, with locking-mechanisms just like Giants 1N2W. Of course I can understand that it might be frustrating, but it doesn't have to be :) The Lava Gates rooms from 4N and upwards was my favorite part of the hold.

[Last edited by Blondbeard at 05-08-2009 09:32 AM]
05-08-2009 at 09:26 AM
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Neather2
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icon Re: Complex Complex (+4)  
Another great and this time official hold by the master architect Rheb. It contains a lot of tricky puzzles. Not frustanting, not impossible, but correct rooms mixed with difficulty and fun. I really enjoyed them.
I really liked the grapichs, puzzles ideas, voice acting and the new goblin portrait too. For not talk of the story.

I'm going to comment each puzzle and level i've solved, starting from The Complex, first level.

It seemed to be a very hard set of puzzles at the start, but i've managed to use the various potions to complete it easily. Some of the rooms were really easy, some medium and few correcly hard.

1W: It is probably the easiest room here. The most hard problem here is to not get burn the goblin, but when you place correctly the clones, it become easy to do. A larger version maybe will be better.

2W: This is a secret room that remakes the precedent one. A bit more hard, but nothing impossible to do.

1E: Nice goblin manipolation room. I Liked the idea. Lure the goblin in the plates with the decoys was easy, but get it into the hot tiles was a lot more hard. I spent a lot of time to end this.

2E: Another secret rooms that is a remake of the precedent one. Much more hard, but enjoyable and not frustanting.

1N: Nice No-monster room. I was thinking to suicide me becouse this was a lot hard, but the secret to finish it was simple, at least.

2N1W: Good mimics manipolation room idea that makes me crazy. I spent a lot of time here too to find the correct position of the potions, but with some tries i conquered it.

2N1E: A remake of the precedent one. Not to offend, but this was terrible easy. It was sufficent to place the clones in the first free row with difference sword point to finish it.

1S1W: I never see a fegundo puzzle like that. Nice one. Manipulate become easy when you find the correct position of the clones (that is hard to find).

1S1E: Remake room. Much more easy, i think the scroll is terrible liing here. I conquered it on the second or third try.

3S: Another good one room, it was sufficient to not take the speed potion and make some shield with the golems to finish it. Medium difficulty.

Giants

Entrance: Nice, but after thinking, easy to do.

1E: Good room, but the idea is old, i saw it in a Larrymurk's hold in a harder version.

1S: Easy room. I only blocked here for a while becouse i didn't think that after get the giants on the only-use plate, for exit, i can press the close plates too.

1N1W: A room that Rheb's took from his ideas of Rescue Operation. VERY HARD ONE. I spent some hours of hard work to do it.

2N1W: Secret room remake of the precedent one. Much more hard.

2W: Nice idea, after 10-15 minutes of different tries, i got how to burn all the giants and exit.

1S2W: Remake of the precedent one much more harder.

1S3W: Nice secret room idea. Hard, with a builder. Completly different from the other, but good.


For now, my vote here, is 7+ brains and 9 for fun. But it is not definitive.







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Nothing to say. I just play the game. And you, sir, should play it too.

Conspiracy, my new hold, has just been released.

[Last edited by Neather2 at 05-12-2009 06:46 AM]
05-08-2009 at 05:38 PM
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robin
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icon Re: Complex Complex (+1)  
Very nice hold!
And a hard hold for me,
But I get lots of help from the H&S,
so I will get through,
though the hold is getting more difficult each room I encounter,
I probably gonna need some demo ;)

I gave it a 9 for difficulty (as I found Beethro's Teacher a little more difficult)
and 9 for fun.

Good job done!

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05-11-2009 at 10:13 AM
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Neather2
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More comments: (continuing from giants)

This second part of the hold was harder then the first one. Starting from the end of Giants, and continuing into all Lava Gates, the game become a very challange.

1S1E: Tricky room. Contains a lot of Giants tricks. A lot of force arrows solve the problems, and with some tries is completed. I needed some help on H&S, but finished on my own at the end.

1N: Fantastic room. Rheb did a very nice work here. A lot of goblins movement trick. And also, it isn't big. I love the thing that you must find only some few tricks and not repete it 723 times.

2N: A little different one, it was easy, but i asked for a demo. When i saw the player's solution, i cut all my hair.

Lava Gates

And here start the problems. A lot of tricky rooms here, and also, i can't turn my sword. How hot this place!

Entrance: Watching the burn item at 7,29 and the other light things i though that this rooms contains a scripting solution, but then i found the trick. Medium difficulty, and a very excellent trick to solve.

1N: An easy room. It can be completed in some turns, you need only to find the correct position of the second goblin.

2N1W: Tricky but not very hard, nice idea of monsters manipulation.

I didn't finish more rooms, becouse i find them all hard. I'm working on it. I also enjoyng a lot more the grapich and the ideas here.

For now, the vote here is 8 brains and 9 for fun.

The next two comments topics will be probably the finish ones, with the ending puzzles reflections and the final vote.

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Nothing to say. I just play the game. And you, sir, should play it too.

Conspiracy, my new hold, has just been released.

[Last edited by Neather2 at 06-06-2009 08:06 AM]
05-12-2009 at 06:55 AM
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robin
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quote:
Neather2 wrote:


The next two comments topics will be probably the finish ones, with the ending puzzles reflections and the final vote.


That's gonna be 2 big comments topics ;) :D

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05-13-2009 at 11:18 AM
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Neather2
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Yeah i know. There are around 15-20 rooms left, but nothing that a Neather can't manage. Just like the first comment post that i wrote.

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Conspiracy, my new hold, has just been released.
05-13-2009 at 06:45 PM
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Dischorran
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quote:
Neather2 wrote
it was easy, but i asked for a demo.
:huh

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05-15-2009 at 12:24 AM
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Neather2
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What i mean here is that the room was easy to get, but i didn't do it without an help..

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Conspiracy, my new hold, has just been released.
05-15-2009 at 05:43 AM
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zex20913
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:huh :huh

If you needed help, it wasn't easy.

If it was easy, you didn't need help.

The only way I see out of this is that you thought it was easy after you saw the demo, which generally happens.

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05-15-2009 at 05:51 AM
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Dischorran
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...and conquered! (with a grand total of 5% of the secrets and counting - sounds like I still have some work to do).

I'll make this brief. This hold rocks, and is worth the price of admission. The layout's fantastic - Lava Gates is an amazing idea for a level, and really works well. The puzzles are extremely hard but generally fair - my one complaint is that a few rooms were impossible on their first encounter, but this wasn't always made as clear as it could be since, well, the vast majority of the rooms initially seem impossible anyway. However, this also contributes to the layout, so I suppose I can forgive it. The text is excellent and has been highly polished, and the voice acting is good as well.

I never want to see another decoy potion ever again.

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05-15-2009 at 06:01 AM
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Rheb
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icon Re: Complex Complex (+1)  
Thanks for the feedback everyone!

I'm aware the layout of Lava gates makes it hard to see which rooms you have cleared. Well, the best thing you can do if you're unsure is to click the rooms on the mini map. Then you will see them in their current state. I suppose I also should have mentioned it earlier that rooms that have staircases with connections to the puzzles, always can be entered from another level.

quote:
Dischorran wrote:
...and conquered! (with a grand total of 5% of the secrets and counting - sounds like I still have some work to do).

I'll make this brief. This hold rocks, and is worth the price of admission. The layout's fantastic - Lava Gates is an amazing idea for a level, and really works well. The puzzles are extremely hard but generally fair - my one complaint is that a few rooms were impossible on their first encounter, but this wasn't always made as clear as it could be since, well, the vast majority of the rooms initially seem impossible anyway. However, this also contributes to the layout, so I suppose I can forgive it. The text is excellent and has been highly polished, and the voice acting is good as well.

I never want to see another decoy potion ever again.
Heh, I have wondered if there maybe weren't a couple too many of the decoy monster guiding rooms in the final level. ;)

Most of my favourite puzzles are in the middle part of the hold, Giants-Lava Gates. But I think the story picks up more towards the end, where Steve Anderson does a completely amazing performance.

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05-15-2009 at 03:53 PM
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Neather2
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quote:
zex20913The only way I see out of this is that you thought it was easy af you saw the demo, which generally happens.



Yeah is that what i mean. Sorry, it is just my incomplete english. (Again! But i'm doing progress)

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Nothing to say. I just play the game. And you, sir, should play it too.

Conspiracy, my new hold, has just been released.

[Last edited by Neather2 at 06-03-2009 04:22 PM]
05-15-2009 at 04:30 PM
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Remlin
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icon Re: Complex Complex (+1)  
Hold totals. Deaths: 411

But it felt like 412. :(
05-15-2009 at 10:18 PM
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robin
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icon Re: Complex Complex (+2)  
Conquered!!!

moves:105408
deaths:763 (thank you lava gates ;) )
time:39:55:01
secrets found/conquered: 15 / 10%

Thanks to everyone who helped me (specialy Blondbeard)
Again: super hold!!

and now: let's master this "beast" :yes

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05-16-2009 at 10:31 AM
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TFMurphy
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icon Re: Complex Complex (+4)  
So. Where to begin?

Let's start with this. Complex Complex is one of the most beautiful and thoughtfully designed holds I've ever played. Not just the puzzles -- the use of scenery, lighting and scripting makes it feel like a real place. The real highlights in this aspect are The Complex and Lava Gates. Watch closely as you play: you're not just solving puzzles. You are exploring and eventually sabotaging a machine.

The plot is well integrated and - due to a number of novel ideas - does not feel sparse. Despite only seeing the main antagonist a handful of times, you get to know him familiarly. And what a delightful character he is.

Which brings us to the voice acting, and the star roles are excellently depicted. It was gratifying to have Beethro so talkative -- he has many things to say about a number of puzzles, and often reacts to changes or key features of rooms as you discover them. Not every room has this feature, but it's enough that you don't feel the lack of it. And the scrolls in The Complex and Company (and elsewhere) were a wonderful feature and very well written.

So, that's layout, design, story and voice acting. What am I forgett-- oh, right. Puzzles.

If you've played Troshian Tower, Rescue Operation or Rheb's levels in Advanced Concepts, then you know what you're in for. The Complex hosts a variety of puzzles to get you used to main of the concepts, and slowly ramps up the difficulty. Giants and Lava Gates base their themes around Rock Giants and Hot Tiles respectively, with the additional meta-puzzle of sword direction within the Lava Gates. Levels tend to be non-linear and almost always need to be revisited multiple times from different entrances in order to complete everything. This has the extra effect of rationing out how much of each level you experience at a time, which breaks up the action nicely.

The final main level - Company - continues the underlying potion theme of the hold and hosts an array of puzzles that can take an awful lot of planning to complete: I spent many hours simply working on my strategies on paper/Paint/editor for quite a few of these rooms.

On top of all this, there's a completely optional level to be found, and a post-mastery level that has both upgraded and original rooms to be solved. And a treat for those who do solve them all.

Very few of the rooms were tedious, though a number required a setup component that could be rather cumbersome to orchestrate. I did end up rebuilding some of these rooms in the editor so I could test out various positions before putting them into practice, which made getting to the meat of the puzzle a lot easier.

=========

Of course, no hold is perfect. There are a few nits to pick:

* The dialogue given to the scrolls often contain more than a single scroll could display. This is not - by itself - a bad thing... but since you are not given the full text, you are fully reliant on the speech to understand what is being said. They are still a joy to relisten to, but mishearing a word was annoying sometimes, and if any of you are playing this without sound, you are truly missing out on a lot.

* Compared to the beauty of The Complex and Lava Gates, the design of Giants feels a little bland. It's still a nice level by most metrics, but next to its companions, it pales a little.

* Getting all secrets on a single save was a little more frustrating than I'd liked, due to a particularly evil quirk. It was no doubt clever, but it inspired a bit of resentment at the time.

...and that's it. Ever so minor. Whilst on the flipside, we have intelligent use of checkpoints, nicely subtle hints within both the environment and text, and wonderfully designed puzzles which defy almost all attempts to break them with unintended solutions. A ton of effort has been spent polishing this hold to this level of quality, and it shows.



Last year was a wonderful year for DROD, as any glance through the holds list can tell you. We are not yet halfway through 2009.

It is not going to be a bad year.


05-20-2009 at 12:49 AM
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martz
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I'm working my way through this at the moment, but given some of the comments above and my own observations I've got a few questions about the order in which to do things. Essentially, it boils down to whether I can potentially miss out on anything depending on which rooms I solve. Specific questions are secreted below - answers by PM will be fine if this information would be better kept private:

Click here to view the secret text
Click here to view the secret text


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Without struggle, there is no progress, so get up, get out, and go make the rest of your life the best of your life; you deserve to live the life that YOU want to live...

Progress - Gavin G
05-21-2009 at 10:52 AM
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CuriousShyRabbit
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There are no backtracking problems in Complex Complex. You can conquer the accessible required rooms in any order you like, and conquer the hold without ever having to use restore.

The nitpicks expressed above are from people trying to do more than just conquer the hold. If you want to master the hold in a single savegame, then it does matter what order you do things in.

Regarding Giants 1N1E
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05-21-2009 at 11:15 AM
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Blondbeard
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quote:
martz wrote:
I'm working my way through this at the moment, but given some of the comments above and my own observations I've got a few questions about the order in which to do things. Essentially, it boils down to whether I can potentially miss out on anything depending on which rooms I solve. Specific questions are secreted below - answers by PM will be fine if this information would be better kept private:

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Click here to view the secret text


Firstly, in answer to your questions:
Click here to view the secret text

Secondly:
Click here to view the secret text


[Last edited by Blondbeard at 05-21-2009 11:22 AM]
05-21-2009 at 11:21 AM
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martz
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Thank you both. I should also have mentioned that I am really enjoying this hold so far - it's difficult, but not insanely so (Beethro's Teacher - I'm looking at you!)
quote:
CuriousShyRabbit wrote:
If you want to master the hold in a single savegame
That is indeed my intention - looks like I'm still on track to do it :)

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Progress - Gavin G
05-21-2009 at 11:29 AM
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robin
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Mastered!!! :glasses ;)

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05-24-2009 at 08:41 AM
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mxvladi
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I've solved some rooms, so think should post what I think about this hold so far.


So...

This hold is awesome. The difficulty is just right: the first level has(mostly)6-7-brain difficulty rooms with a few 8-brain difficulty rooms(for example, 1S 1W was tough and it was really satisfying to get a topscore there).
The second level surprisely has one 4-brain difficulty room(1E) and one 5-6-brain difficulty Rock Giant manipulation room(1S). However, other rooms are definetily the hardest Rock Giant manipulation puzzles I've ever met(for example, 1N 1W was definetily hard) and really hard goblin manipulation rooms(I still haven't finished two of them). And also some quite relaxing rooms(2W, 3W).
The third level seemed really tough, but after playing a few rooms I found some easy stuff in this level(1N 1E, 1S 1E, entrance). Other rooms are TOUGH. What I don't like is that 1E, which was quite tough, goes BEFORE easy 1N 1E and 1S 1E.

A few things I don't really like so far:

Click here to view the secret text


And some things I really like in this hold:

Click here to view the secret text


So, this hold keeps a HIGH quality. 10 fun-rating for sure, even if last level will be too hard to be fun. Difficulty so far is 8 brains. But, if last level will be hard... it will be 9 brains.

Also, kudos to optimisers! Optimising of this hold is fun and challenging with their help. And I like when optimising is challenging. :)

By the way...

Click here to view the secret text

06-03-2009 at 12:49 AM
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Chaco
Level: Smitemaster
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icon Re: Complex Complex (0)  
quote:
mxvladi wrote:
Wow, goblin with green hat! :w00t



You have both me and Rheb to blame for that. :)

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Quick links to my stuff (in case you forgot where it was):
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06-03-2009 at 02:09 AM
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Blondbeard
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icon Re: Complex Complex (+2)  
About Lava Gates: All rooms below 4N are required, except for 1S2E. 4N and 4N1E are also required, but that's it.

About the "by the way":
Click here to view the secret text

06-03-2009 at 06:23 AM
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robin
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icon Re: Complex Complex (0)  
quote:
robin wrote:
Conquered!!!

moves:105408
deaths:763 (thank you lava gates ;) )
time:39:55:01
secrets found/conquered: 15 / 10%




2nd time through:

moves:30126
deaths:118
time:6:22:21



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06-14-2009 at 09:57 AM
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