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Caravel Forum : DROD Boards : Holds : The Oceanic Oligarchy (Canon-size, extreme combat-oriented, tribute to TCB)
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Author Name:azb
Submitted By:azb
Hold Name:The Oceanic Oligarchy
Theme:Canon-size, extreme combat-oriented, tribute to TCB
Author's Difficulty:
Number of Levels:32
Number of Rooms:250
Number of Monsters:11261
Version:DROD: The City Beneath (3.3)
High Scores:View High Scores
Hold Karma:1 (+1 / -0)
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File: The Oceanic Oligarchy 10.hold (145.9 KB)
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icon The Oceanic Oligarchy  
Thanks to Nuntar and bbb for publicly testing the hold. The combat starts out pretty intense, but doesn't actually reach "extreme" levels until after halfway through.

Also, be on the lookout for the GatEB tribute, coming to the Architecture board by June of this year.
04-19-2019 at 05:23 PM
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Chaco
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icon Re: The Oceanic Oligarchy (+3)  
Here's the latest hold in the Blank Dungeon series, which began with The Blank Dungeon and Secret of the Blank Dungeon, which were tributes to King Dugan's Dungeon and Journey to Rooted Hold, respectively.

This hold mimics The City Beneath's plot and level structure, and similarly to how that hold expanded its level themes and hold layout, this hold also features some hub interludes and changes of pace.

If I were to describe this hold in a single word, it would be "ambitious". It's azb's largest hold yet, both in terms of total number of rooms and in number of high-scorable rooms. There's a huge number of levels in this hold, and even though most of them are combat rooms there's a large enough variety of themes that there's creative ideas through and through. Levels are also small enough that it generally doesn't take *too* long to move onto something else eventually.

However, that said, it's clear that this hold lacks polish and wasn't tested thoroughly enough. While it's true that not many people tested this hold in the Architecture thread, it's also true that it would have benefited from a bit more drive for tester recruitment and equally a bit more responsiveness to existing tester comments. Leaving aside the plot's structure and quality of dialog, this hold shares the problem of its two predecessors that there are some rooms which go beyond horde management into boredom or tedium. Some rooms are difficult mostly due to their length rather than due to interesting strategizing or prioritization. Some are larger than they ought to be. Others require very specific starting sequences or else the spawn rates get high enough that they become problematic. This hold has many good rooms within it, but it's clear after playing this for a while that some of them needed to be either re-worked or removed entirely. Many levels are fun to play, but several of them have at least one or two rooms which stand out as worse than the rest of the level.

Finally, I should also mention that a lot of levels are too dark for their own good. TCB mostly used darkness levels on the right half of the slider for intermediate monster-less hallways, story rooms, or low ambient light rooms that nonetheless had important puzzle areas very well lit. Generally actual puzzle rooms would use very minor darkness. This hold both uses very dark rooms, and still uses highlights and colored lighting for player direction (particularly marking a couple of scripted level entrance teleports). So it's important to turn off Alpha Blending for puzzle room solving but turn it back on for level traversal and story.

Overall, I'd say this hold is a fun time, if you go in knowing exactly what you're getting into, and don't mind hacking away at large hordes or trying to figure out ways to make long rooms easier on yourself. There's even some minor puzzles or thinky bits mixed into all the horde combat. The finale is actually pretty well executed, too, if you can make it that far. But don't expect this hold to be user-friendly, because it definitely is not.

Some good rooms: Imperial Tunnels : 1 West; Director's District C : 1 North, 1 East; Serpent Station : 1 East; Sea Base : 1 South, 2 West

Some bad rooms: Imperial Tunnels : 1 North, 2 West; The Prison : 1 North; The Depths : Entrance

I hope azb is patient and listens to tester feedback for his next hold, that testers can manage to give him some constructive feedback, and that the next hold really shows off azb's skill as an architect. :)

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[Last edited by Chaco at 04-20-2019 06:36 AM]
04-20-2019 at 02:36 AM
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Dragon Fogel
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icon Re: The Oceanic Oligarchy (+2)  
Could the author please mark unscorable any guard rooms in Duganda and associated areas which are not intended to be beaten? This obviously includes the ones with inaccessible conquer tokens, but also the first room of King Azb's Castle has guards and no conquer token, so the architect's intent isn't as clear.

I would prefer to have this settled before I go further in the hold.

For the record, the TCB guard rooms this whole sequence is referencing are all marked unscorable.

While you're at it, if you're planning to make all of postmastery unscorable again, please do it sooner rather than later.
04-20-2019 at 04:27 AM
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disoriented
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icon Re: The Oceanic Oligarchy (+1)  
Including Beneath Duganda 2N.

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04-20-2019 at 10:42 AM
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azb
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icon Re: The Oceanic Oligarchy (+2)  
I'm very sorry... I meant to mark it unscorable as soon as it was released. I will go do it now.

Thank you.

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04-20-2019 at 01:27 PM
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azb
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icon Re: The Oceanic Oligarchy (+1)  
On the note of the Postmastery Level, I made sure that all of the puzzle rooms were conquerable, but I will mark the "entertainment" rooms (concert, arena, citizen + snake show) unscorable due to the inaccessible brain.

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04-20-2019 at 01:31 PM
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Aquator
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icon Re: The Oceanic Oligarchy (+1)  
Thank you for marking those rooms as unscorable :)
King Azb's New Dungeon Revisited 3N1W also does not seem to be conquerable and should be marked unscorable.
04-20-2019 at 06:21 PM
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azb
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icon Re: The Oceanic Oligarchy (0)  
Yes, it should. Thank you.

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04-20-2019 at 11:02 PM
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Someone Else
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icon Re: The Oceanic Oligarchy (+1)  
Slight little backtracking issue: in Imperial Sewage Tunnels: The Entrance, you can clear the room and exit to the south while leaving a tar baby alive. If you do, a green door blocks your return. I don't know why you would do that, so it's probably not an issue, but if anything ever gets updated with this hold, that's worth fixing.
04-21-2019 at 01:08 PM
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azb
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icon Re: The Oceanic Oligarchy (0)  
Do you know how I would upload a new version of the hold? Would I go through HA again, or would I need to do something else?

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[Last edited by azb at 04-27-2019 11:42 PM]
04-27-2019 at 11:41 PM
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disoriented
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icon Re: The Oceanic Oligarchy (0)  
Once a hold is promoted, uploading new versions is generally not permitted except to fix broken scripting or some other playability fix. You won’t be able to upload just to fix unintended solutions, for instance.

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04-27-2019 at 11:53 PM
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Chaco
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icon Re: The Oceanic Oligarchy (0)  
Generally it's done by posting an updated version directly in the thread - we'll look it over to make sure the differences are correct, and then an administrator (Schik or skell) usually makes an extremely manual update directly to the database rather than any kind of automated promotion.

EDIT: Uploading new versions to fix backtracking problems or erroneous scripting (particularly with challenges) is generally fine.

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[Last edited by Chaco at 04-27-2019 11:55 PM]
04-27-2019 at 11:54 PM
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azb
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File: The Oceanic Oligarchy 10.hold (145.9 KB)
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License: Public Domain
icon Re: The Oceanic Oligarchy (+1)  
Yes, I made sure not to severely alter any room from the original hold, as I don't want to nullify any high scores, but I did fix the backtrack issue Somebody Else mentioned.

The only other tweak I did was extremely minor, because I don't know how many players would actually trigger it: with the scripting in King Azb's Castle throne room, the Slayers never appeared due to an off-by-one error when you killed all of the guards in Dagunda. I fixed that.

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04-28-2019 at 12:00 AM
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