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azb
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icon The Final Reckoning (+2)  
ORIGINAL POST:

Due to the sheer length of the hold I am going to make the final in my series, I decided to release the hold as I work on it, rather than as a finished product with only a few flaws to be ironed out.

So far, I have gotten up to the part where Temporal Tokens are introduced - can you guys please test it up to that level, and then I will release more of the hold?

The hold also features character-switching, and a few custom graphics from the official TSS hold.

EDIT 10/20/2019:

I decided that since the Temporal Clones with custom roles bug isn't going to be fixed soon and the custom character I use is vital to the plot (one of the primary protagonists), I would just get rid of the blue door in VoIT.

I have finished and added all of Chapter 2 as well, so the hold is about the length of the Oceanic Oligarchy right now.

The other additions I made are: challenges across both chapters, revision to some rooms in Chapter 1, and player role displays on the tiles you change into them (a la Wonderquest).

EDIT 11/06/2019:

Fixed:

Tedious repetition in Forgotten Island

Checkpoints in Gunge Gallery, Rocky Mountains and Museum of Slitherbags

Backtracking in Gunge Gallery

Challenge not working in Halls of the Forgotten; challenge was moved to Gunge Gallery

Backtracking in Ancient Dungeon

Exit not working in Ancient Dungeon

EDIT 12/02/2019:

Fixed:

Tedious repetition in Dagunda Tribe 2N1W

Unintended solution in Dagunda Tribe 2N

Backtracking issue stemming from above US in 1N

Order of levels directly after Dagunda Tribe

Being able to kill or "tangle" snakes without actually confronting them (IE: by waiting at the room entrance) in Dagunda Tribe 2N and throughout Mansion of Lost Souls

EDIT 12/03/2019:

Fixed:

Abandoned Base minimap inconveniences in 1W and 1E

Abandoned Base checkpoints on ice throughout level

Sacred Fortress checkpoints throughout level

Sacred Fortress minimap inconvenience in 1N1W

Puffs rendering Ethereal Entrance 1W trivial

Added:

Restorative points at ends of Abandoned Base and Tunnel Systems

Blue door in Void of Indeterminate Time

EDIT 12/04/2019:

Fixed:

Soldier player role not required in Dagunda 1N

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[Last edited by azb at 12-04-2019 12:27 PM : 12/04/2019 Update]
07-20-2019 at 07:36 PM
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azb
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Since I updated the hold to include a little over twice as many required levels as the original hold and made various fixes, I am reviving this topic.

Unless the bug with temporal clones can be fixed, I think I will probably have to get rid of "Pirate Captain" and just replace him with a generic guard.

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10-20-2019 at 01:47 PM
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I haven't quite completed the Oceanic Oligarchy yet, but started playing through this so as to give you feedback. I didn't watch the opening cut scene since I wanted to avoid story spoilers as much as possible. At this point I've played through everything that comes before "Chapter 1", so I can give you some feedback on that. Demos are attached as well so you can see how I went about things.

Island of the Cult
The introductory level is probably the weakest of the ones I played, mostly because it was very repetitive. 1N,1E,1S, and 1W all played very similarly, and the corner rooms were also very similar to each other. While I did have a lot of fun devising tactics to kill guard hordes while wielding a staff, I feel like I had figured out the basic tactics by the third or fourth room and was just going through the motions for the last few rooms. I know that this is the same Island from Oceanic Oligarchy, so you can't really change the layout that much, but I would suggest trying to do something to vary the rooms a little bit. Even if it's something like changing the initial layout of the guards or making at least a few of these rooms empty of monsters. I would also recommend having checkpoints closer to the water, perhaps on the "alternate floor" tiles or just by them on the grass. I found that I spent most of my time close to the water since that was the easiest place to be to kill the guards.

Museum of Slitherbags
This was a really neat level. In general all the levels leading off from the main island were very fun! Nothing here seemed too outlandish, and I appreciate the restraint shown in horde size. For the Entrance, none of the checkpoints are in spots that they player would ever reasonably want to go.
I'd suggest placing some closer to the nooks at (27,6) and (27,25) where the player is likely to be spending most of their time. 1W was really neat. I can't remember having had to deal with a snake horde using three wubbas like this, but the setup is very elegant and I think this room works perfectly. 1S1W was also a really neat room, possibly my favorite in the hold so far. This one really feels more like a puzzle room than a horde room, but still fits the theme of the Blank Dungeon series well. I like that there are a lot of potential strategies for solving it. Potential challenge: "Clear the room and leave before the bombs in the upper left explode".

Rocky Mountains
This was an other super fun level. I feel like The Entrance and 1N1W were a bit too similar, but both were fairly easy so it's not a big deal. 1N1W in "Slitherbags" was quick and easy too, so maybe this is intentional so that the player has an easier room on each of the levels? 1W was absolutely brilliant! Again, I feel like this room feels more like a puzzle/strategy room than a horde room, but in a good way that still fits the tone of the hold. It's still very open ended, and not a linchpin puzzle room by any means. But the player really has to think and strategize properly before approaching the room. The setup is super interesting. I hope to continue seeing more rooms like this! Maybe put a couple of checkpoints on the inner bridge though? I'd also request some checkpoints right next to the yellow plates in (3S,1W).

Gunge Gallery
This was the most difficult of the three side levels for me. It also was the most horde focused. I found it enjoyable overall though and not too repetitive. The only room that felt like it might be a bit on the long side was 2E, but that may have been due to having an inefficient strategy. That room could definitely use more checkpoints though, preferably not right along the wall where they player is unlikely to want to step. I'd request some closer to the middle of the room, and maybe in the hallways between tarstuff blobs. Challenge for 1N1E: "Don't use the speed potion". I played around a tiny bit to see if that was possible in any of the other rooms, and concluded that even if it is it would be super painful. It's pretty manageable in 1N1E though.

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11-04-2019 at 04:34 PM
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I played through a bit more of this. Still really enjoying it. One important thing I neglected to mention last time is that there is a potential backtracking issue with Grunge Gallery. The Entrance and 1E both have green doors not on room edges that you can re-seal by cutting tar after the room is cleared then exiting through them. Most players will know not to do this, but it is still something that could get flagged as a backtracking issue in HA review.

Halls of the Forgotten
This was really neat. The character swapping script seems to work smoothly. In 1E I suspect I am supposed to do the lower chamber with the staff alone, but this isn't strictly enforced. The challenge scripting in 1N is not quite working. I was awarded the challenge without earning it, I think because I did not end up striking all the orbs? Also of note is that it is possible to backtrack to the first level with your player role as Guard Captain, then complete "Museum of Slitherbags", "Rocky Mountains", and "Gunge Gallery" with the sword as your weapon. Some scripting at the level entrance to set the player role back when backtracking should fix this.

Ancient Dungeon
It's no secret that I detest gentryii, but I suppose you'd have to get them in if you want to mirror the progression of TSS. These rooms were not terrible at least. I actually enjoyed 1E. There is a backtracking issue with The Entrance. If you kill the monsters and leave by the stairs to the north, it is not possible to get past the gentryii to the rest of the level anymore. This also means that once you clear the room and progress to the rest of the level, you can not backtrack to any of the optional levels I believe (though you may have already addressed that with the level map). One way around this is to put seeding beacons at the start and end of the room. If you don't want to include those just yet, perhaps have a sister green door blocking off the steps once the room is cleared (possibly providing access to the optional levels in the beginning via the level map).

On a final note, I was not able to progress further because the level map did not load icons for me. I suspect that the culprit is the scripting in Ancient Dungeon 1S. The scripting begins with the "Wait for player at (18,31)-(20,31)" command, but the player can never step there. So I was trapped at the end on the map screen with no icons to click on.

Demos are attached as usual.

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11-06-2019 at 05:21 PM
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azb
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I fixed all of the above issues. I decided for the challenge, I would remove it altogether and move it to the challenge suggested in Gunge Gallery 1N1W.

Why I didn't add the challenge suggested in Museum of Slitherbags 1S1W is because I wasn't able to do it, and also because I wasn't sure how to implement the challenge (so far, conditionals aren't advanced enough to check if a specific bomb blew up - they can only do "Bomb exploded" event in general which would be triggered by the first one that blew up).

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11-07-2019 at 02:36 AM
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quote:
azb wrote:
... because I wasn't sure how to implement the challenge (so far, conditionals aren't advanced enough to check if a specific bomb blew up - they can only do "Bomb exploded" event in general which would be triggered by the first one that blew up).

Work-arounds exist too, of course. "Wait for door to open/close" as an example should do fine in this case by having the bomb hit an orb/release a pressure plate to toggle a door that the script checks for the challenge. Just my 2 cents on the matter.

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11-07-2019 at 03:13 AM
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"Wait for item Bomb at" is the simplest way.

On the other hand, an important guideline when it comes to challenges is: just because you can add a challenge for something doesn't mean you should.

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[Last edited by Nuntar at 11-07-2019 04:40 AM]
11-07-2019 at 03:55 AM
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azb
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Okay, thank you guys for the suggestion. I decided not to implement because even if I could complete the challenge myself, I recognize it would probably involve a lot of tedious precision snake manipulation (which the room already kind of has on its own).

The other thing is that my computer died last week, so that's why my hold has an entirely different ID - I had to download the hold from scratch once I got the computer fixed.

It is also important to note that the plot is similar to TSS in the beginning, but then it increasingly branches out into its own thing (albeit with a plot that still slightly references the original TSS plot) as you advance through the hold.

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[Last edited by azb at 11-07-2019 12:25 PM : Disclaimer about plot]
11-07-2019 at 12:22 PM
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I spent some time replaying this since the hold file changed and my old save file doesn't work with the new hold ID. I haven't quite gotten back to where I was but I've attached demos in case you need them. The attached file should have demos for Island of the Cult, Museum of Slitherbags, Rocky Mountains, Gunge Gallery, Inter-Land Crossroads. I like the new versions of the rooms in Island of the Cult a lot better than the originals. There's more variety and fewer guards makes it so that the rooms don't get quite as repetitive. In Grunge Gallery 1E it is now possible to clear the room, then re-enter from a spot that lets you kill the mud mother before she spawns. That's probably not a big deal since the player would have to clear the room the real way first in order to access that entrance, but I wanted to point that out in case it bothered you.

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11-28-2019 at 02:12 AM
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azb
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Yeah, I'm sorry that I got rid of your progress essentially, but I mentioned it in a post above: my computer died earlier, so I had to get a different one and import my hold.

Thank you for pointing out Gunge Gallery 1E: I think I will leave it as is. How did you clear the room from the other entrance, given that you have to clear the room in order to access said entrance to begin with (IE: Leaving mud babies awake wouldn't be an issue like last time, since green doors won't trigger unless you kill the mud babies too)?

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[Last edited by azb at 11-28-2019 04:31 PM]
11-28-2019 at 04:27 PM
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No worries about the erased progress. Since these are fairly open ended rooms they are fun to replay, and I hadn't gotten all that far to begin with. For Gunge Gallery 1E: I'm sorry I forgot to save a demo of solving it from the east entrance. Basically I'm using an old optimization trick for this room to get to a better entrance. I'm clearing the room from the intended eastern entrance first to drop the green doors. Then with the green doors down, I'm cutting some of the tarstuff to create babies and unclear the room. The green doors are still down allowing me to exit to another room with 1E still marked as uncleared. This is really only a trick for optimizing the room on the high scores table and won't allow people to cheese the room completely since they'll still have to solve it the intended way first.

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11-28-2019 at 05:07 PM
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azb
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Oh yeah, it makes sense now (creating new babies after the fact using the mimic). But yeah, since you essentially have to clear the room the typical way first in order to create babies after, I will leave the room as is. I think the entrance has the same trick?

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[Last edited by azb at 11-28-2019 05:36 PM]
11-28-2019 at 05:34 PM
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Yep. The Entrance has the same trick.

I played through a bit more of the hold and got past where I was last time. Fresh set of demos attached. The problems I brought up seem to have been fixed. Looks like you decided to get rid of the challenge in Halls of Forgotten:1N? I did it anyway and it was actually pretty interesting. On to the new stuff:

The level map seems to be working properly now. The only thing I will bring up is that the levels seem to be pretty cramped together. I only unlocked Ancient Dungeon Dagunda Tribe and Tunnel System at this point, and it's actually a bit hard to click on Tunnel System since the text of the other two levels obscures the icon a bit. Would you be willing to space them out a bit? I have no idea how many levels will be on this map in the end, would it make sense to have a larger map? I know that can be difficult since it's not always a simple matter to get access to an adequate image that's free to use.

Dagunda Tribe: This was a pretty neat level that did a nice job showcasing horde manipulation with spears for the most part. There were a couple of times where the hack & slash got to be a bit too repetitive, but for the most part the horde rooms were interesting and required using strategy to advance.

1N has a backtracking issue. Once you clear the level and drop the blue door, you can hit the orb and transform back into the pirate/guard and take the sword. From there, it is tempting to go to 2N to clear that room with a sword (since it is both easier and will result in a better score.) Unfortunately, that leaves the player stuck since when you return to 1N you can no longer cut through the gel. How you decide to prevent this depends on if you are okay with the player using the sword to complete 2N I suppose.

I really liked 1N1E and especially 1E (even though my demos are extremely sub-optimal). It took me a while to find a good working strategy for these and I enjoyed having to think about what a good path would be. These were a lot of fun. 1E especially was pretty difficult though, and could maybe use a few more checkpoints (close to the gel blobs or possibly even inside of them.) I'd also suggest placing the checkpoints in 1N1E closer to the edges of the room since that's where the player is more liekely to go to get between gel blobs.

For 1N1W and 2N1W I killed all the queens before pushing the yellow plate. It's probably more efficient to let the guards out earlier so that they can help with killing roaches, but I was too lazy to try this. I will say that 2N1W probably had twice as many guards as it really needed to to get the idea across. The problem here is not difficulty, it's just that killing 40 guards with a spear is effectively the same task as killing 20 guards with a spear just a lot longer. I just repeated the same strategy of running them in circles for twice as long as I would have. This starts to feel a bit tedious after a while and the room would honestly be just as difficult and a lot more fun with maybe half the number of guards.

1N and 1W were a lot more straightforward than the other rooms on the level. But that's okay. It's actually nice to have some easier rooms mixed in for fun.

2N1E Was another really interesting room. I liked the challenge. I also appreciate the yellow plates here. I again I was allowed to choose to leave the rock giants alone while dealing with other monsters if I wanted to. It's probably more efficient not to, but it's nice to have the choice. Also, rock giant combat with a spear is a lot of fun. The down side of not being able to kill them with all sides of your weapon is mitigated by the upside of being able to push the rubble piles around. Really fun stuff.

2N I did this one both ways. First with the spear and then with the sword. The sword makes it a lot easier. It's not too bad with a spear, though I expect that folks who are not into snake manipulation will have a bit of a tough time with it.

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12-01-2019 at 11:29 PM
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azb
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Okay, I think I will fix the backtracking by removing the Gel in 1N and putting it instead in 2N. Do you know how to increase the map size without making it more blurrier than it is right now (using PhotoShop or something similar)? I will also fix 2N1W by halving the amount of guards as suggested.

The challenge removal in HotF 1N was intentional, as I could not get it properly implemented with the way the scripting works right now. The way it was originally implemented, it would wait for the player to get near the orb but would then register when ANY orb was struck; do you know if there is a way to check if a specific orb is struck, perhaps by using "wait for door open" on an arrow?

Right now, I am not on the computer with my hold, so I will not be able to implement those changes until tomorrow.

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[Last edited by azb at 12-02-2019 02:02 AM]
12-02-2019 at 01:43 AM
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I think I also should re-arrange the order of the Abandoned Base and Underground Tunnels levels; the latter is harder, but comes first right now.

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12-02-2019 at 01:54 AM
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Okay, I got all of the above fixed.

I also added the first couple of levels in Chapter 3, as I had already made them by the time I updated the hold. At this point, I can say the hold is longer than even Bongthro Begins.

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[Last edited by azb at 12-03-2019 03:41 AM]
12-03-2019 at 03:00 AM
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Did the next four levels. Demos are attached. These were a lot of fun. Nothing super felt overly long. And though some of the guard fights were a bit chaotic, I found myself enjoying all of the hack and slash here.

Abandoned Base
The Entrance and 1N1E felt a bit hectic as I mentioned, but were forgiving enough that I still enjoyed them even though I didn't have a real strategy. For the entrance, it would be nice to have the checkpoints on the floor instead of thin ice so that they could be reusable. 1N1W and 1W were both super fun. There's something strangely satisfying about dealing with skipper nest hordes while being able to wield a sword on shallow water. I don't think I've ever encountered a room that lets you do that before. Super neat! I was left wishing for more rooms like this! 1N is a room that works very nicely with a bit of planning ahead and the right strategy. I liked it as a break from the hordes. 1E was also a nice variant on the tar-mothers-in-perforated-squares theme you have in this series. On the whole I thought the difficulty was nicely balanced in this level. I would request a small patch of normal ground in 1W and 1E to make it easier to see when they are cleared on the minimap (since both shallow water and thin ice don't chance color on the map when you clear a room). I would also request a checkpoint in 1N to make restoring to the level in a fully cleared state easier.

Tunnel System
This one was fairly straightforward. I usually don't care much for builders or engineers, but they were used well here and never felt annoying or unpredictable. The only room where they were a bit chaotic was 2N but it wasn't a problem since they only move for a few turns and are just obstacles after that. I really appreciate the care taken to making sure the engineers were predictable in these rooms. I would request a checkpoint in the last room 2N2W, just to make it easier to have an easy save with the level completely clear.

Sacred Fortress
Another really neat level. Spike traps and hordes work really well together since the spike traps end up being not just a hazard but also a useful tool for dispatching enemies. The Entrance was a nice introduction to this level. 1N was a bit messy. Wriathwings hordes are fairly unpopular but this was was pretty manageable as these things go. I liked 2N a lot and have demos of two possible challenges ("Don't stab any snakes with your sword" and "don't leave the starting row"). Alternatively it could be interesting to have a secret variant of this room where the player is forced to be disarmed. I noticed that the mud blobs in 2N1W are not surrounded by perforated pits on all side so you don't have the maximal number of babies spawning. I assume this is on purpose since the babies on those walls would not be able to move towards the player anyway? I would request another patch of normal ground somewhere in this room to make it easier to tell if it is cleared on the minimap. 1N1W, 1N2W and 3N are good examples of how spike traps make dealing with hordes much easier. These all were pretty fun though I rarely felt like I was badly threatened since the spikes would clear away most of the monsters every 10 turns. 3N1W was the trickiest room on the level (with the challenge at least). I tried to do the challenge without having a baby push the yellow pressure plate in the middle but I wasn't quite able to get it, so thank you for putting that door in the middle in to make things more workable. This was a very fun room. I would maybe request checkpoints closer to the roach queens in the corner. You also have checkpoints directly on the yellow door instead of before, which can sometimes be bad, but it shouldn't be an issue here since it will be the babies setting off that plate and not the player.

Ethereal Entrance
Another neat level with a super interesting combo of elements. Rock golem puff hordes work really well together due to the golems and corpses both being able to squash puffs. You really have a knack for finding super interesting combinations of elements to put in horde rooms! The entrance and 3W were both fairly straightforward examples of this. 1W almost felt too trivial since the puffs just killed most of the monsters for me. I wouldn't mind it if this room were beefed up a bit. Honestly, it would have been more interesting with more rock golems or giants instead of monsters that die to puffs. 1N1W was my favorite room here and provided a really interesting challenge of finding a way to use the golems to deal with the line of puffs coming for me. Great room. I would request a couple of checkpoints closer to the entrance since it seems likely that this is where most of the action is going to take place. 2W was neat too. A nice compact minimalist room for variety. I enjoyed this level a lot.

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12-03-2019 at 05:49 PM
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Okay, I fixed all of the above issues except for the wraithwings in Sacred Fortress and I chose not to add a challenge in Sacred Fortress 2N (although I plan on getting the player to do advanced snake manipulation and tight maneuvers, I don't want to do it too early in the hold, which both challenges would require, and the wraithwings are intentionally there because I could not find monsters that came in TCB or before that were deadly, required and immune to spikes: wraithwings were the only ones that seemed to fit that requirement).

I also decided to fix Void of Indeterminate Time by temporarily replacing the player with a generic guard, and going back to Pirate Captain through the rest of the hold (so now the level is required to progress).

I am planning on having 60 total linear levels (not including the infested hub levels, such as Forgotten Island), 15 side branch levels that also must be complete to beat the hold, 15 challenges with their own "completion" levels, 5 hold complete levels, and 5 hold mastery levels. (So 100 total if you don't count the hub levels).

I think in about a month, in addition to having more of the regular required levels I will also add some challenge complete bonus levels for the ones in Chapter 1.

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[Last edited by azb at 12-03-2019 07:02 PM : Specified plans]
12-03-2019 at 06:43 PM
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icon Re: The Final Reckoning (0)  
Hi, i'm playing the hold.
Dagunda Tribe 1N: it is possible to go west with the sword, making 2N1W, 1N1W and 1W much easier than playing it with the spear. If the spear is taken to go east, then the sword cannot be taken back, so maybe that is not intended


12-04-2019 at 10:43 AM
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azb
Level: Master Delver
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Registered: 03-08-2014
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icon Re: The Final Reckoning (0)  
Whoops, I forgot to make playing as the soldier required. Fixed now.

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12-04-2019 at 12:23 PM
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Caravel Forum : DROD Boards : Architecture : The Final Reckoning (First and Second Chapters complete)
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