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Caravel Forum : DROD Boards : Holds : Secluded Sanctum (Various puzzles)
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8.7/10 (10 votes)
σ 1.42
Author Name:Henri
Submitted By:Doom
Hold Name:Secluded Sanctum
Theme:Various puzzles
Author's Difficulty:
Number of Levels:4
Number of Rooms:38
Number of Monsters:248
Version:DROD: The Second Sky (5.0.2)
High Scores:View High Scores
Hold Karma:26 (+26 / -0)
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File: Secluded Sanctum 23_10_16.hold (23.1 KB)
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License: Other
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icon Secluded Sanctum  
This hold features a collection of puzzles with no story, grouped loosely based on average difficulty into three levels.

The rooms weren't built around any particular theme, so expect to see a little bit of everything.

Most rooms are freely accessible at all times.
11-12-2016 at 11:17 PM
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Insoluble
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icon Re: Secluded Sanctum (+1)  
If you've ever played one of Doom's holds before you don't need to be told twice that you should go play this. But for those of you who are unfamiliar with Doom or who may be wary of the high difficulty rating, please do yourself the favor of giving this hold a try. It is definitely a tough hold, but the difficulty is always fair. Most of the rooms rely on careful observation and deep thinking about how you can use the tools available to you. In other words, this hold is filled with wonderful and satisfying linchpins. There are a few horde rooms and monster manipulation rooms scattered about for variety, but those are also expertly crafted and never feel frustrating or fiddly. The difficulty curve is also well constructed, with the first level, "Shrine" being pretty approachable, the next level, "Garden", ramping things up a bit, and the final level, "Crypt" finally hitting the melts-your-brain level of difficulty. This hold is super well polished and definitely worth giving a shot.

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11-13-2016 at 06:53 AM
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uncopy2002
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icon Re: Secluded Sanctum (+1)  
Being the first person to master this hold and get all challenges I guess I should say something.

If you've been following Doom's holds since Beethro's Teacher or something, you'll know that they've always been one of a kind: Rooms that are very simplistic looking, often with just a maximum of 3-5 distinct elements to play with, but still manage to get to a mind-boggling degree of toughness and trickiness, often requiring the mixture of lynchpin, manipulation and tricks; but most importantly, they're very original and creative! If you're up for some tough challenges you've never seen anybody put forth before, this is a good choice for you.

Nearly all the rooms are refreshing, and most of them are also very fun to solve and figure out the tricky bits (Except maybe *cough* Crypt 1N1E *cough*). I'd definitely say playing this hold has improved my quality of life.
11-14-2016 at 03:13 PM
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Lucky Luc
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icon Re: Secluded Sanctum (+1)  
Conquered! If you've been around in chat the last couple of days, you've probably heard me gushing over the cleverness of these rooms more than enough, but for anyone else I want to repeat: This is a fantastic hold! It contains some very tough puzzles, but they are tough in the best possible way:

- The rooms are easy to parse. You can clearly make out a goal when you enter a room (well, kill all the monsters, duh), and it only takes little experimentation to figure out what obstacles you need to overcome. No "fake" difficulty by overly complex mechanisms or similar things.
- There are a lot of moments where I thought "I could do this if only that wasn't in the way." Which is great, because it gives you nice little working points you can follow to get to a solution.
- Speaking of progress, many of them contain multiple lynchpins, but each one is a huge step towards the solution, so you're constantly making progress, which keeps you moving forward even in the hardest rooms. Some rooms even give you slight hints in the earlier parts how to solve the hard part.
- There are traps in the way that only reveal themselves during an actual attempt at solving a room. However, none of them actually made me have to rethink my entire strategy, so I never felt like I lost any progress.
- And finally, except for maybe one or two rooms, none of them required a particularly nasty execution. Most of the time, once I had figured out what to do exactly, I could pull it off in a pretty reasonable amount of time.

All in all, these rooms are in my opinion a masterpiece in puzzle design. Personal favorites include Shrine 2S2W, Garden 1N1W, 1S, Crypt 1S, 1N1E, 1S1E and 2S1E.

I usually only give 10s to all-rounder holds that contain very good puzzles, decent aesthetics and an engaging story line. The plot is slightly lacking in this hold, but the puzzles are just so well crafted that I cannot not give this 10 fun / 8 difficulty.

So off to the secret hunt now, I guess.
11-14-2016 at 11:46 PM
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Rheb
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icon Re: Secluded Sanctum (+1)  
This hold is great!

If i were to judge all holds based purely on puzzle quality I would rank no other hold above Secluded Sanctum, and that's saying something.

The hold doesn't have much of a story, and it lacks the grandness a hold like Gigantic Jewel Lost and many of the Smitemaster's Selections have. The hold has every level completely accessible from the start and the layout is simple, which is generally very good. But I would say the best experiences usually combine these calm and open sections with parts where you might feel cornered or chased in order to build towards a climax. When I solved the last room in the hold the satisfaction I felt was strong, but it could have been incredible.

This is the only criticism I have for the hold, and let me reiterate: Some of the best puzzles I have ever seen are in this hold.


The rooms are very fair. Tough, but very fair. There are few red herrings and almost no obscuring elements or visuals. What you see is what you get, and what you see is often clearly impossible. But when attempting a room you might spot some little thing you could try; you realize that thing will not solve the room and it might seem so convoluted it would be silly to even try it... But you do it anyway, and to your surprise it works out exactly as you envisioned it, clearly by design. Now you know you are on the right track, and so you might spot another part that now doesn't seem quite as impossible as it once did. And so, you're solving the puzzle piece by piece.

This process very well describes how I felt when I solved each of my three favorite rooms in the hold (Shrine : 2 South, 2 West , Garden : 2 South , Crypt : 1 South, 2 East). Mastering each of these rooms was an accomplishment in its own right.

Another fantastic thing about the hold is that it is full of secrets that are actually HARD to access. Even to the point where some rooms seemed to be designed mainly around obstructing an entrance to a secret. The standard solution to the room becomes just an afterthought when you realize how hard reaching the secret will be. I love this and would happily see more architects attempt it!

And finally; the hold has been fun to optimize. Not all holds are, as some only allow a single strict solution to many rooms. Secluded Sanctum offers very open rooms with lots of places to cut corners, and that is always a plus.


(I do have a few secrets left to conquer, and one left to find, but I figured I should write this now, as mastering the hold may take some time...)

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[Last edited by Rheb at 12-15-2016 11:07 PM]
12-15-2016 at 10:59 PM
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OneMoreNameless
Level: Master Delver
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icon Re: Secluded Sanctum (0)  
Counterpoint: This is the least rewarding hold I can recall playing. Every (non-secret) room is accessible from the start and there's no story or humour or interesting aesthetic designs to provide a sense of progression. The difficulty felt erratic even within the same level and it gets very high - but rarely in a way that's creative to solve. Rather, within a minute or two of most rooms I could figure out the entire process of the solution (and be correct) and the challenge only came from slowly backwards-reasoning through a maze or experimenting with extremely specific enemy manipulation. There was no thoughtful adjusting of tactics or ah-ha! pay-offs after the initial overlook so the overall feel was closer to a newspaper logic puzzle or solve for X homework assignment than to DROD's official holds.

If you enjoy graph paper, you may love this hold. I gave up on the last half a dozen rooms because I was getting no satisfaction from pushing through them.
01-08-2017 at 10:56 AM
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Rheb
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quote:
OneMoreNameless wrote:
The difficulty felt erratic even within the same level and it gets very high - but rarely in a way that's creative to solve.

...

There was no thoughtful adjusting of tactics or ah-ha! pay-offs after the initial overlook so the overall feel was closer to a newspaper logic puzzle or solve for X homework assignment than to DROD's official holds.


Oh, this is really surprising criticism to me. I'll grant you that the difficulty is pushed very high, and the rooms are slow, sometimes solving them felt like pushing through literal tar. For the rest though I feel we have more or less opposite views.

I felt there was always a creative process to solving the rooms, and there was always interesting lynchpin and ah-ha moments.

For me, solving each of the rooms was a huge reward just in itself.

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Voligner is my very own DROD-like game. Please check it out!
01-08-2017 at 12:45 PM
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