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Caravel Forum : DROD Boards : Architecture : The Oceanic Oligarchy (Canon-sized (AKA extra-lengthy) TCB tribute hold)
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azb
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icon The Oceanic Oligarchy (+3)  
Bongthro engages on his penultimate journey to find the truth behind the Island of the Cult, but little does he know that everything is much more than it seems.

This hold is 24 combat levels long plus hub and story levels and a postmastery area, and it took much longer to make than the previous two holds combined, not only due to its sheer length, but also the amount of massive individual rooms (in a hold that utilizes clone potions, speed potions, and combat at once, you can imagine it gets chaotic quick, but remember: there is always a method to the madness. It's like DOOM/Quake in DROD.)

Once you reach past the seventeenth combat level, the character from that level goes on a side adventure, which you can join in an RPG hold (which will be released later). It's much akin to Tendry's Tale, but with a twist: you root for Team Villain rather than Team Hero. It is not critical to playing through the Bongthro series, but the finale of this hold will hint at that particular journey in its plot.

Edited 10/04/2018; fixed:

* Unintended solution in DDA 1E. The player could toggle their sword back rather than using the bomb.

* Broken system in DDB. An NPC gave you two tokens by default, rendering the tokens obtained manually above the necessary amount to pass and therefore breaking the system.

* Unintended solution in DDC 1N1E. The player could wait for the room to "clear itself" without doing anything but waiting.

* Trivial room in ITS 1N. There were nothing but evil eyes, who could easily be killed without any trouble.

Edited 10/18/2018; fixed:

* Typos with the word "assassin"

* Hordes that were tedious/busywork rather than challenging

* Impossibility with King Azb's Castle 2N, fixed with a new passage

* Backtracking issue with King Azb's Castle 1N1E.

Edited 10/19/2018; fixed:

* Player being given a penalty for something they could not be aware of ahead of time in BD 2N.

* Extra checkpoints throughout Dagunda and other hub levels.

Edited 11/02/2018; fixed:

* Backtracking annoyances in Breeding Vats

* Tedious combat room in Sea Base

* Impossible to exit Breeding Vats after conquering Inner Dens, because the player is locked in

* Hints as to where less obvious required levels would be

Edited 11/04/2018; fixed:

* Backtracking problem in Beneath the Prison 1E;

* Funky mechanics in Prison level that gave extra stalwarts;

* Stalwarts being rendered trivial in 2W because the player can kill the aumtliches without the aid of said stalwarts.

* Player being able to chase the antagonist in Sea Base entrance, and getting stuck in the process

Edited 11/08/2018; fixed:

* Getting "free stalwarts" in Prison 1W

* Same triviality of stalwarts issue as previous one in 2W

* Impossible to beat last level due to the third-to-last room

* Outtakes in postmastery level not working as intended

* Trivial Room in Forbidden Fortress 1E

Edited 11/22/2018; fixed:

* Unable to exit in Postmastery 1N5W

* Being able to permanently clear Postmastery 1N4W

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[Last edited by azb at 11-23-2018 12:43 AM]
09-29-2018 at 04:42 PM
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Actually Ed
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icon Re: The Oceanic Oligarchy (+2)  
I'm currently stuck on
Click here to view the secret text

Also, here's all my demos so far
10-02-2018 at 06:04 AM
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azb
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icon Re: The Oceanic Oligarchy (0)  
Click here to view the secret text


More direct, spoiler solution:

Click here to view the secret text


This is the hardest part of the room, so avoid the next two tags if you want to solve it yourself:

Click here to view the secret text



Click here to view the secret text





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[Last edited by azb at 10-03-2018 01:46 AM : Added code tags]
10-03-2018 at 01:43 AM
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Nuntar
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icon Re: The Oceanic Oligarchy (+2)  
Here are my demos so far (up to the end of DH).

Firstly, I must say, at least so far, this is a big improvement on the previous "Blank Dungeon" holds. I had a really good time, and there were only a few rooms that I thought could do with toning down -- and even those rooms were not huge problems.

Imperial Tunnels

1W is far the hardest room on the level, which is a bit odd when it could be the second room the player encounters. This might be a bit intimidating. Still, it was a fun challenge, so you don't necessarily have to change anything.

1N2W is the one room I don't like. The linchpin of releasing only a few roaches at a time, dealing with those, then releasing more is good -- but you have to do it so many times! This could easily have been done with much fewer roaches.

The Forgotten Island

Even on an "empty" level like this, you should include a checkpoint by the exit stairs, for convenience when looking over the levels in Restore.

Director's District A

2E looked very intimidating, until I realised that all I had to do was find the one configuration that let me escape from the centre, then run for safety and mop up the monsters. Again, I feel this room didn't need so many monsters to make its point.

1S2E was a very nice surprise. No arrow rotators at all, and no hordes, but a really fun puzzle room! It would feel a bit more in place in a GatEB tribute, but eh, why not :D

Director's District B

1E was perhaps a bit much, but other than that, some delightful hot tile carnage. I especially liked 3E, playing around with different enemies that we didn't see in Deep Uncturage.

Director's District C

I like the number of rooms that are just about waiting for the briar to kill everything, then making a quick exit :P But in 1N1E this wasn't trivial, I had to arrange the golems without being killed by roaches; and 1S1E took some work to get the last wraithwing out. Really nice level.

Director's Headquarters

This was short, but all the rooms were fun, and the goblin room was surprisingly tricky and turned out to have a nice linchpin.

In the dialogue in 1N2W, "assassin" is misspelled several times. I haven't looked whether this occurs elsewhere in the hold.

Only problem: after finishing the level, I return to controlling "Bongthro" in DDC 1N3E, and I don't know where to go to continue with the hold.

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10-15-2018 at 11:55 PM
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azb
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Okay, after you beat the Director's Headquarters, you must head up the stairs in the room you returned to. That will take you to Inner Tunnel Systems (Combat Level 6). I appreciate that the hordes aren't overwhelming for now, but after halfway through the hold, it gets much more intense, much more quickly.

I will add a checkpoint to the Hub Levels, and fix the typos in Director's Headquarters exit speech. I thought it would be evident that you would have to go up the stairs afterward, as the main character makes a speech about heading back up in the room before the cutscene occurs.


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10-16-2018 at 03:24 PM
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Nuntar
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icon Re: The Oceanic Oligarchy (+1)  
Okay, sorry about that. Guess I wasn't paying much attention to the plot :P I've attached my updated demo file, with demos through Dagunda.

Inner Tunnel Systems

Yeah, this is where things start to get out of hand. The thing is, large hordes aren't necessarily more intense; if there's a routine that lets you keep trimming down the horde and you're not in any danger, they're just more laborious. It's important to know the difference.

1N: I did this the intended way, shunting the mirrors around. But since all eight plates toggle the middle doors, you can just wake an even number of eyes and then go in and kill the middle queen at any time.

1N1E: This was where I started to groan. Large golem hordes are always a bit tedious since you can never Q-W to quick-kill them the way you can with roach hordes. That said, you have to plan out an approach to kill the golems without getting yourself or the last few golems blocked in, so it's not completely mindless.

2N1E: Here, the puzzle is to use golem corpses to set up a place where you can safely kill goblins. And that's a good puzzle. But it could have been done with eight goblins in each box instead of twenty-four, and it would still be the same puzzle. All that the larger horde adds is more busywork after you've got your killing spot set up.

1N1W: So it's 1N1E again, but now with wubbas. I managed to use the mirrors to keep the wubbas from interfering too much, but this was still a very annoying room.

2N1W: Needs another couple of checkpoints, for instance (19,11) and (19,18).

Serpent Station

1N: This was pretty annoying. Fortunately, most of the adders can kill each other so you only need to kill one with a bomb.

1N1E, 2N1E: Now these are fun rooms that didn't overstay their welcome.

1E: Checkpoint at (26,4).

1N1W: The one checkpoint given is completely useless, since snakes like going north so much, they always get stuck on it. Please put checkpoints in the middle of the area.

2N1W: Not a big fan. Making snakes go west is always fiddly. I'd like this room a lot more if you simply flipped it.

1W: Very fun. Again it's nice to see some element interactions that weren't really explored in TCB.

2N: No checkpoint at all. Remember that fegundos activate checkpoints too, so there's no reason not to place some.

Beneath Dagunda

Nice to have a level that could be knocked off in a couple of minutes :P It's weird how the plot development is in a secret room, so the player could easily miss it.

1N is another room with way too many monsters. Sure, once you have the platform set up, you can just hold down the battle key to kill them all; but after the first island I'd already had more than enough of that and wanted to get on to the next room.

Dagunda

I know that none of the rooms here are required, but players who try to get all scores in a hold are going to have to conquer these rooms anyway. 2N1W / 1N1W / 2N1E / 1N1E are the same except for obstacles, so that means the player has to defeat a very difficult horde room four times. There are also no checkpoints anywhere on the level.

I'm not sure what the best remedy is here. Killing all the guards in 2N1E (the one room I attempted) was tricky but it was satisfying to finally beat, so maybe don't take these rooms out altogether. You could move this room to postmastery and cut down the number of guards in the main level. And also make the rooms different in some way so it's not just playing the same room four times. You could, for example, add a different helpful element (mimic, invisibility potion etc) in each room.

King Azb's Castle

1N1E: Backtracking issue. If you exit without taking the guard disguise, you can never get it. Could be fixed with a green door at (23,9).

2N: Completely stuck. I don't think it's possible to kill all the guards in such a confined space, starting from the middle. The best I've done -- and even this was a complete fluke -- is to get into the NE alcove, when I could kill several as they came at me, but then movement order gave me an unfavourable combination and there was no way to continue. Have you tested this room?

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[Last edited by Nuntar at 10-17-2018 01:34 PM]
10-17-2018 at 01:45 AM
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azb
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That is because I was certain Dagunda was unfeasible, so I made 2N's maximum difficulty (IE: for clearing Dagunda) intentionally impossible. Do you remember in TCB you were supposed to evade the guards, rather than kill them, or else you would meet a similar swarm of guards? That was the other reason I made the guard swarm intentionally difficult to the point of impossibility, as the player was intended to run, and not kill all of them.


Nevertheless, I will fix the levels before Dagunda, IE: poorly placed checkpoints, large hordes that add nothing, etc. :)

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10-17-2018 at 02:52 PM
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azb
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Perhaps one way to fix it is to add a Conquer Token out of reach to make the room unable to be scored, and revise the script that adjusts difficulty in the throne room to "Wait for Entity Monster" instead of "Wait for Room Clear," so players will not be disappointed when they try to obtain scores in rooms where the plot was not supposed to encourage that?

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10-17-2018 at 02:56 PM
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Nuntar
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Okay, I checked the scripting. It appears there are three versions of KAC 2N: an easy version with no guards if you've been pacifist, a middle version with 16 if you've cleared at least one room in Duganda (note that the very easy BD 2N is included in this), and a hardest version with 28 if you've cleared every room in Duganda.

To make it clear, it's the middle version I had activated and can't seem to get through -- I can't even reach the exit, never mind killing all the guards. This is also the version players are most likely to encounter. Have you tested this version?

It might be that the hardest version is indeed impossible to activate, because Duganda 1W and 1E might be impossible; I haven't played those rooms enough to verify. However, please note that if the hardest version is possible to activate, and your response is to throw an impossible room at the player because they "were supposed to evade the guards, rather than kill them", this would be a backtracking issue and would block promotion. In TCB, even the hardest version of Castle Dugan is possible for the player to exit (and in fact possible to kill all the guards, although that isn't necessarily intentional).

I'm not sure what you're suggesting with your proposed fix. "Wait for entity Monster" would trigger immediately, since there are monsters in the room, so you would be penalised for merely entering the side rooms of Dagunda.

You could add conquer tokens to make it clear that the Dagunda rooms are not scorable, yes. Maybe ask one of the players that cares about scores, such as Dragon Fogel or disoriented, for their advice on this one.

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10-17-2018 at 03:19 PM
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azb
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Okay, I added a secret passage in 2N, a la the Throne Room in the original TCB. I made sure that even if you are on the maximum difficulty with the army of Slayers, you would be able to escape. I also made the rooms in Dagunda have conquer tokens, so no one would be inclined to score on them. I also updated the other rooms per request, and removed excessive starting hordes that add nothing in the future levels.

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10-18-2018 at 11:41 PM
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azb
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Although for some "massive pre-started horde" rooms, like Forbidden Fortress 2S or Sea Base 2N, I left them as-is, as they are part of the room's tactics - I only removed hordes that would be mindless Q-W or battle-key type action, as you mentioned above.

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[Last edited by azb at 10-19-2018 12:08 AM : More examples]
10-18-2018 at 11:53 PM
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Also, I'm not sure what you're referencing when you say "players are most likely to encounter" for the guard swarm - since there aren't any green doors, it is very easy to kill only a few of the guards and intentionally leave the room uncleared, therefore triggering the easiest scene. Nevertheless, I made the fix mentioned above.

Sorry about the typo/miscommunication with "Wait for." What I really meant was "Wait while Monster" which is the fix I implemented.

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[Last edited by azb at 10-19-2018 02:24 PM]
10-19-2018 at 02:22 PM
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Nuntar
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quote:
azb wrote:
Also, I'm not sure what you're referencing when you say "players are most likely to encounter" for the guard swarm - since there aren't any green doors, it is very easy to kill only a few of the guards and intentionally leave the room uncleared, therefore triggering the easiest scene.

But the player won't know in advance that a throne room with a variable number of guards is coming up; and even if they've reached the throne room previously, they won't know about the different versions or the exact triggers. I grant that, with all the other TCB references in the hold, it's possible to guess -- but players won't necessarily know about the scripting in the TCB throne room either, since it's all behind the scenes.

So I'm guessing -- and I could be wrong -- that in your hold, a majority of players will inadvertently trigger the middle version of the throne room by clearing BD 2N.

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10-19-2018 at 10:06 PM
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You are right in that the player will most likely be inclined to clear the Beneath Dagunda exit level despite no door because of the "killfest" nature of the hold, so that is why I included the way out and a hint at the level description of Dagunda. I will revise it so that the player is not penalized for clearing that room, but rather only the rooms in Dagunda.

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10-20-2018 at 12:32 AM
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azb
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For one future level, I am aware of large amounts of slayers may be considered unpredictable owing to the testing comments I saw for Secret of the Blank Dungeon Level 15, but the strategy I use to make dealing with large Slayer armies is:

Click here to view the secret text


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10-20-2018 at 12:43 AM
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Generally fun. Main problem is that it often isn't clear where you need to go to advance the story. I several times had to check the editor and scripts to figure that out.

Click here to view the secret text

10-30-2018 at 08:42 AM
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azb
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Regarding the second and third comments, those should already be fixed in newer versions of the hold. The second problem was fixed using a trapdoor at the entrance to the pen, and the third problem was fixed by removing the protective arrows at the beginning.

The fourth problem is mostly a matter of personal preference, so I kept the room as-is (the back-and-forth nature of the puzzle is intended), but the fifth and sixth have been fixed.

The seventh was actually the original idea for the room, but due to how the game mechanics worked (movement preference), it was impossible to kill the third row and beyond. Therefore, I just made it a lynchpin-type room with few monsters instead.

The eighth problem should not be attainable, since if you try to chase the NPC, you will trip the pressure plate and be locked out. How did you reach the entrance in 1N from the south?

For the ninth problem, I removed the last few rows of guards, but I would not agree that it particularly requires a magic move sequence (in the context of stumbling until you get the right answer) because

Click here to view the secret text


I have fixed the last/first problem as well, so now you will be able to play the last few levels.

Thank you, and keep up the good work! :)



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11-01-2018 at 11:04 PM
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The eighth problem: The platform. Set the level exit to the platform, rather than the edge of the room.

Prison:
Click here to view the secret text


Beneath the Prison:
Backtracking. You can't return from 1E to entrance.
11-04-2018 at 08:36 AM
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azb
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icon Re: The Oceanic Oligarchy (+1)  
Good catch. Thanks for clarifying. I thought the player would only follow the NPC on land, so it never occurred to me. :blush

The old prison script added a stalwarts_free for every free stalwart, so it gave you an extra one if in a two-room one, one died and then respawned if you came back.

I fixed it by giving unique variables for each room, setting them to 1 upon having at least 1 stalwart alive, and then a variable in the final room that displays speech depending on whether all of the rooms have been triggered or not.

I will add slightly more aumtliches, because the intended solution is to have all or you pay the price, as indicated by the scroll.

Finally, I fixed Beneath the Prison 1E by adding platforms to the other two entrances.

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11-04-2018 at 11:18 AM
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Click here to view the secret text

11-06-2018 at 06:07 AM
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azb
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I definitely fixed 1 and 4 in today's update, and I believe I fixed 2 to the best of my ability (please post a demo if you can still beat it somehow without any stalwarts,) and 3 is intentional - even though the mechanics of the room change, the solution is still ultimately the same (kill giants, drop golems, drop goblins, etc.)

Could you please also test the postmastery level after beating the last two rooms in Innermost Chambers? Thank you in advance.



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[Last edited by azb at 11-08-2018 11:59 PM : Typo: "pest" for "best"]
11-08-2018 at 11:28 PM
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Click here to view the secret text

11-22-2018 at 04:53 AM
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I intentionally made the four "non-puzzle" rooms in the Postmastery level unclearable, because they were intended to reset upon the player exiting and reentering in order for the player to experience the room as many times as they wish, as demonstrated by the repeated speech in 1N3W or the cutscene starting from the top in 1N1W.

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11-23-2018 at 12:47 AM
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