Announcement: To see an overview of all the holds in this forum, see this page. You cannot directly add your hold by attaching it here - you must get your hold approved by Hold Administrators. Check this thread for details.

Caravel Forum : DROD Boards : Holds : Dan's Dungeon (Beginner's Hold)
New Topic New Poll Post Reply
Your Rating
Average User Rating

7.2/10 (20 votes)
σ 1.63
Author Name:Shendy
Submitted By:Shendy
Hold Name:Dan's Dungeon
Theme:Beginner's Hold
Author's Difficulty:
Number of Levels:20
Number of Rooms:382
Number of Monsters:4483
Version:DROD: The City Beneath (3.2)
High Scores:View High Scores
Hold Karma:4 (+4 / -0)
Poster Message
Level: Legendary Smitemaster
Rank Points: 8
IP: Logged

File: Dans Dungeon.hold (120.8 KB)
Downloaded 1018 times.
License: Other
From: Unspecified
icon Dan's Dungeon  
A hold for beginners.

Story (According to the Hold Description):
One day, Beethro was asked by Dan to clean up his dungeon. Beethro couldn't refuse because the reward for cleaning up his dungeon was one million greckles. However, things didn't go as expected.

11-21-2011 at 08:06 PM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Show all user's posts Quote Reply
Level: Delver
Rank Points: 66
Registered: 12-21-2009
IP: Logged

File: bug.jpg (150 KB)
Downloaded 138 times.
License: Public Domain
icon Re: Dan's Dungeon (+1)  
Good hold, but I find small defect in this room...

[Last edited by Yur-Val at 11-25-2011 03:05 PM]
11-25-2011 at 03:04 PM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Show all user's posts Quote Reply
Level: Smitemaster
Rank Points: 1645
Registered: 12-12-2004
IP: Logged
icon Re: Dan's Dungeon (+1)  
Yur-Val, can you do us a favor?

Like, when you find a bug, instead of just linking a picture and expecting us to magically determine what bug you found, because our telepathy doesn't work on Russians, be like 'I found a bug. The bug is ________', but instead of _______ write what the bug was.

And then you can even post your picture to demonstrate.
11-25-2011 at 09:02 PM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Show all user's posts This architect's holds Quote Reply
Level: Master Delver
Rank Points: 159
Registered: 02-08-2010
IP: Logged
icon Re: Dan's Dungeon (+1)  
This was a fun little large hold from Shendy.

Its overarching goal appears to be a large tutorial hold; not as detailed and in-depth as Advanced Concepts, but also not as lacking as the multitude of short and minimalistic tutorials on the holds board. Several rooms are dedicated to each monster or element, with each one showing off different behaviors or situations. There are generally about two or three elements introduced each level, followed by a string of rooms involving Halph, a Slayer, or the main antagonist's attempts to kill you (with appropriate music changes).

For a tutorial hold, or a hold that you can jump into after a break, I think it works quite well. The difficulty does increase over time, but it should always be accessible. If you've played through Lost in a City, also by Shendy, you may recognize a few familiar ideas, but nothing ever felt directly copied. Additionally, it was surprising how, for a hold of this size, relatively few rooms felt like they were padding out the length.

My only real issue with it is that, if someone were to use it as a tutorial hold for, say, TCB elements, it would take them some time to reach the majority of them. Perhaps a level skip area on the first floor could have fixed this without having to throw out the story and adventure-based elements of this hold for those more interested in that.

Overall, a strong easy hold. A large number of the rooms have optimization potential too, giving it an appeal to both newer and more experienced players.

aka VioletPumpkin
11-25-2011 at 09:35 PM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Show all user's posts Quote Reply
Level: Smitemaster
Rank Points: 2441
Registered: 11-14-2005
IP: Logged
icon Re: Dan's Dungeon (+2)  
Post-mastered, a little behind PMIT (both in time and in score).

As always, with holds intended to be tutorials, I have no way to tell whether this is successful in that regard, though I agree with PMIT's points and I think it stands a much better chance than most. (I think the difficulty level feels about right; whether it teaches as well as a tutorial ought to is another matter.)

I did enjoy optimizing the hold. And there are a lot of nice touches--certain themes ("lead monster through maze"; "cover all the pressure plates to open a path to the conquer token") that recur with different elements, for instance, without any sense of a boring "not this again" familiarity. On the other hand, a lot of the room types in this hold will look extremely familiar to veterans: there's the bomb maze, the avoid-waking-the-eyes rooms, the fight-through-the-tarstuff-mothers....fortunately, there's still plenty of new ideas in here, too, but there is a little retreading of familiar ground.

There were also definitely rooms with unintended solutions, which I suppose is something that happens, but in at least one notable case the problem was less that the architect missed a trick and more that the architect didn't build the room correctly Some rooms had timers that seemed much longer than they needed to be (for instance, Post-Mastery room 1S5W has a 500-move timer for a room that probably shouldn't take more than 200 moves); I'm not sure if that was because the architect wanted to give enough time for novices, or because those rooms were easier than he thought.

The hold is mostly pleasantly free of unpredictable scripting (there's a little predictable scripting: a character who'll close off the room's exit if you wake any eyes, say, but that's introduced by Beethro saying, upon entering, "I better not wake any eyes"--that sort of thing). The only exception that comes to mind was the placing of build markers in Level 16; builders are unpredictable enough, but a few times I'd be halfway through a room when suddenly the antagonist shouted "close off those walls!" and new, unexpected build markers got placed.

All things considered, though, it's a hold worth playing; its problems are greatly overshadowed by its assets. Probably not too taxing for experienced players, and I would suspect at a good difficulty for newer players.
11-27-2011 at 12:31 PM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Show all user's posts High Scores This architect's holds Quote Reply
Level: Smiter
Rank Points: 412
Registered: 08-19-2005
IP: Logged
icon Re: Dan's Dungeon (+2)  
This is a large, linear hold intended as a tutorial/beginner's hold. Each level tends to introduce a couple of elements and contains a number of different puzzles utilising them.

I'm not sure this really works as a tutorial (certainly not for a newcomer) as I think it would be a bit too difficult. Obviously this is just an assumption on my part, but I think even some of the earlier rooms might prove too taxing (Level 3: 3S stands out as one that could be tricky). However, I might be talking rubbish - the only way to really know is for an inexperienced player to have a go at this hold.

If that sounds like I'm being a bit negative, then it shouldn't as I really enjoyed playing this. Although there isn't really much challenge for the experienced player I still enjoyed working my way through this without ever getting bored or feeling I'd be better off playing something else. There isn't too much repetition, and although you'll have seen most of the puzzles before in one form or another, there were a few surprises as well - for me, the conquer token maze is something I've not come across before. There is a bit of story here - you'll encounter the protagonist in a number of rooms - even a Neather style one. Although I wasn't sure exactly what his motivation was, it does provide a bit more depth whilst you delve.

A few minor negatives - some spelling issues, some repeated scripting, and the speed potion monsters bit in the post-mastery level didn't really work for me (however they were in the post-mastery so it could be that they weren't considered good enough for the main hold which is fair enough).

I would recommend this hold to any player - Shendy's holds are getting better & harder with each release and especially so in this case. If this progression continues I will definately look forward to your next hold.

My verdict:

Difficulty: 4.5
Fun: 8

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
11-29-2011 at 02:22 PM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Show all user's posts High Scores Quote Reply
Level: Delver
Rank Points: 43
Registered: 04-07-2007
IP: Logged
icon Re: Dan's Dungeon (+1)  
I'm very much enjoying this hold. It seems to be at just about the right level for me, someone who plays DROD occasionally for recreation but has never aspired to expertise. I recognize most of the sorts of challenges presented, and they're pitched easy enough (timing for completing some rooms is not excessively tight) that I still find it fun to figure out. Given the care that seems to have been expended on design (there always seems to be an easy way to backtrack), it's too bad that the text hasn't had more of a proofreading -- it's intelligible but not ideally grammatical.

Alas (this is a complaint about myself, not the hold), I find myself stuck in Level 17 3N3E. I have somehow never adequately learned to deal with Slayers except by letting them be killed by monsters or room features (when that's possible) or else running away. (This was also true for me in "Lost in a City": I got to a room where I had to deal with 2 Slayers along with mass of rock golems and more, and just couldn't; and that was over a year ago.) I had hoped those nine Stalwarts I just rescued would show up and bail me out, but no such luck. :)

Anyway, really nice, fun hold.
12-04-2011 at 11:41 PM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Send Email to User Show all user's posts High Scores Quote Reply
Level: Delver
Rank Points: 43
Registered: 04-07-2007
IP: Logged
icon Re: Dan's Dungeon (+2)  
Nine months later:

I finally finished it! (Not after trying continuously all this time -- I took half a year off and tried other holds, or did other stuff with my life.) In fact I restarted it from the beginning in DROD 4, had fun with it all over again, and got stuck in L17 5N [not 3N] 3E once again. Finally I made a plea for help, and the ever-generous mxvladi came to my aid with an unorthodox solution which did the trick, and I was able to master and post-master the hold within 2 days.

I reiterate my pleasure with this one. It's just the right difficulty for an occasional blunderer like me, with a few genuinely challenging rooms. In one or two cases I was on the verge of calling for assistance, and then was able to figure it out myself after all, which is of course immensely satisfying and also a tribute to the holdmaker's skill at pitching it just right. As others have noted, the reuse of certain themes from level to level (guide the monster out of the maze, cover all the pressure plates, etc.) gave a refreshing sense of unity, and the final post-mastery revisit of certain rooms in more difficult configuration added even more.

Some rooms I want to give special comments:

L5, 5N1W: This seems like an obvious combination of elements, yet I don't remember seeing it in quite this form before. It calls for the devising of a specific strategy (and avoiding of specific situations). And it's also a satisfying elaboration of the elements in the room from which one reaches it.

L6, 5N1E: My favorite of all the maze-guiding rooms, because the solution is so perplexing at first, and then so ingeniously simple. I said "Ha!" out loud when I saw it, and tipped a figurative hat.

PMZ, 2N2W: From the demos, I now see that some expert tar-cutters are able to solve it within the given timing. I salute them and hope to emulate them, but I'm also glad that a clever alternative is provided for the observant.

PMZ, 1N1E: I groaned and cursed at this one, at first. The original easier version was enough of a challenge, and now there's a brain, thereby erasing what used to make it solvable? I was about to abandon the hold once again, overwhelmed. And then... I did it. Most gratifying.

My thanks to Shendy for providing so much pleasure.
09-12-2012 at 07:09 PM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Send Email to User Show all user's posts High Scores Quote Reply
Level: Smitemaster
Rank Points: 3762
Registered: 02-20-2007
IP: Logged
icon Re: Dan's Dungeon (+1)  
Post-mastered :D

A couple of years ago, I stopped playing DROD because I was frustrated at my lack of progress -- and certainly a contributing factor was the proliferation of new elements. I knew what they each did, but not how to work with them, how they combined, or how to look at a room and understand what was going on in it.

Dan's Dungeon is exactly the tutorial hold I wish had been available at the time. Unlike all the other tutorials, it doesn't just tell you rule after rule, illustrating them with rooms that are trivial when you know the rule in question. There are a couple of rooms of this type, but the majority are fun puzzles. The hold never felt tedious to play, and the only real frustration came from a few rooms that required me to work out a new manipulation technique, such as 9:1N4E and 15:2N1E.

My only real criticism is that, especially in a hold like this that's targeted at beginners, it's essential to have checkpoints in medium and long rooms. I particularly felt their lack in 14:3S3E, the aforementioned 15:2N1E and its PMZ version (1S2E), and PMZ:4S6W. (I understand why updating published holds is frowned on, but is it really impossible to go back and add checkpoints? It's such a shame that the hold has this flaw, when it's one of very few good tutorial holds out there.)

Any favourite rooms? Hard to say, though I certainly relished the feeling of satisfaction at outwitting the Slayer in those L17 rooms Rinaldo mentioned (which I did without killing him). The tight horde management rooms in the post-blue door area of most levels were also very satisfying, as was the grand finale of defeating eleven guards in 18:1N. (Maybe also a room that could have used a checkpoint, though placing it would be tricky.)

Overall verdict -- 3 brains, 10 fun.

50th Skywatcher
12-25-2012 at 10:24 PM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Show all user's posts High Scores This architect's holds Quote Reply
Level: Master Delver
Rank Points: 131
Registered: 07-31-2010
IP: Logged
icon Re: Dan's Dungeon (+2)  
Calling this "a tutorial hold" isn't giving it anywhere near fair credit - you might as well call King Dugan's Dungeon "a tutorial hold" because Dan's Dungeon is its equal in style, length and quality.

Puzzle design and level structuring is excellent. New elements are introduced at an engagingly brisk but still manageable pace. The player is given space to experiment and figure out the tricks on their own, then presented with more involved challenges utilizing them. There are a few repeated layouts that effectively highlight how to use different mechanics to the same goal, and otherwise puzzle variety is enjoyably high - understandably there are many more straightforward puzzles than lynchpins.

Aesthetic design is simple; the focus is on the puzzles. In the case of more complex-seeming rooms, dialogue will even conveniently clue the player in to the puzzle's general goal. Checkpoint and vision token usage are (almost) always fair. Easy backtracking is always providing. Scripting is used sparsely either for demonstrations or is made clear in advance.

The only spot left unpolished is the writing. There are a couple of cases where the tutorial scrolls skip fairly important points or give out information that isn't strictly accurate. The antagonist is as generic as you can get. And yeah, typos. The difficulty also builds pretty quickly with a few elements - which isn't a flaw, but is a reason that I wouldn't recommend this as someone's *first* hold. If you've played KDD or something else beforehand though you'll be fine, since the challenge caps at a respectfully low level and the puzzle design mentioned above helps a lot.

If you loved KDD, or if you want a lengthy hold that won't frustrate you, or if you need to refresh your memory after a break from DROD, or if you're looking for casual breaks from working on your own user hold (hi!), or if you're just a cheapskate who wants to play JtRH / TCB's elements without paying for them, you will love this hold.
05-22-2013 at 03:27 AM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Show all user's posts This architect's holds Quote Reply
Level: Smitemaster
Rank Points: 608
Registered: 03-09-2011
IP: Logged
icon Re: Dan's Dungeon (0)  
And... post-mastered! A very enjoyable hold, thank you Shendy. I agree that there were some rooms that surprisingly lacked checkpoints but all in all this kept up a good variety and pace and had some interesting puzzles and good aesthetics. I liked the post-master section, that was well-worth playing through.

06-14-2013 at 08:47 PM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Send Email to User Show all user's posts This architect's holds Quote Reply
New Topic New Poll Post Reply
Caravel Forum : DROD Boards : Holds : Dan's Dungeon (Beginner's Hold) Surf To:

Forum Rules:
Can I post a new topic? No
Can I reply? No
Can I read? Yes
HTML Enabled? No
UBBC Enabled? Yes
Words Filter Enable? No

Contact Us |

Powered by: tForum tForumHacks Edition b0.98.8
Originally created by Toan Huynh (Copyright © 2000)
Enhanced by the tForumHacks team and the Caravel team.