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Caravel Forum : DROD Boards : Holds : Rival Startup (A short story about potions)
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Author Name:ThemsAllTook
Submitted By:ThemsAllTook
Hold Name:Rival Startup
Theme:A short story about potions
Author's Difficulty:
Number of Levels:8
Number of Rooms:72
Number of Monsters:734
Version:DROD: The Second Sky (5.0.2)
High Scores:View High Scores
Hold Karma:5 (+5 / -0)
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File: Rival Startup final 2.hold (77.2 KB)
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icon Rival Startup  
A medium length hold with a story.

This hold was originally built in 2018, and sat in a 99% complete state on my hard drive for two years for some reason.

I was originally targeting 7 brain difficulty, but it may have landed closer to 8 when secrets, challenges, and postmastery are included.
09-03-2020 at 11:50 AM
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Illusionist
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icon Re: Rival Startup (+2)  
That's an unexpected surprise from the legendary Drod's Let's Player. Quick glance, and yeah, indeed the difficulty rating is rather high. I wouldn't call it short, though.

[Last edited by Illusionist at 09-21-2020 12:40 PM]
09-03-2020 at 08:16 PM
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navithmastero
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icon Re: Rival Startup (+2)  
Around 3 years after his highly acclaimed first hold, Outings with a Delver (which I highly recommend you play by the way!), ThemsAllTook gives us Rival Startup. Rival Startup has 6 small to medium sized puzzle levels, each with their own theme. The rooms within each level are entirely non-linear so you can approach them at any time which is nice to see, and the hold itself is 'Anyone Edit' so if you really get stuck but want to take a peep at some of the rooms in later levels, you can.

The puzzles in this hold mainly focus on monster manipulation, but with a few lynchpins scattered in throughout. Fear not though, most rooms feel like they can be reasoned out, and there aren't any rooms which require a knowledge of some of the more arcane serpent tricks. Most solutions came in under the ~350 move mark so the rooms which feel like they outstay their welcome are few and far between.

That being said, there were a couple of rooms I didn't care for or felt a little bit uninspired, but these were mainly made up for with some really cool rooms like Fortified Cellar 1S2W which was a real treat to play, despite it being a Gentryii room (I'm not a fan of those guys)! I also appreciated the thoughtful level design which ThemsAllTook employs throughout the hold - plenty of checkpoints, different floor tiles used to highlight something to the player, even a hint at a solution in a couple of the rooms, all of which means that there's no unnecessary hardship for the player.

One thing to be aware of is that the difficulty is a little all over the place at times. I don't feel like this detracts from the hold, but I mainly say this so that if you do get stuck early on in the hold, keep on perservering, as I felt a lot of the rooms (with the exception of on the last level) fall into the 6-6.5 brains region. That being said, the secrets are certainly a lot tougher and every so often there is a required room which is significantly above the aforementioned 6-6.5 brain rating. As I previously mentioned, difficulty often lies in execution so making sure to have a plan and being pretty familiar with monster movement patterns and turn processing rules important in this hold.

Overall then, I recommend this hold. This is a nice change of pace from other higher difficulty holds as the shorter rooms in a fairly open format mean that in a half hour session you can feel like you've made some real progress while also giving your brain a good workout, as opposed to feeling like you've been hitting your head against a brick wall, as can be the case with some other high difficulty holds! Nice puzzles combined with conscientious level design mean that this is a pleasant and enjoyable experience from start to finish. Oh, and there's also a fun little story too!

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[Last edited by navithmastero at 09-06-2020 03:43 PM]
09-04-2020 at 12:02 AM
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disoriented
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icon Re: Rival Startup (+13)  
Echoing navithmastero's comment about thoughtful design. ThemsAllTook carefully planned out the themes of each level, with many helpful & polished details. Sure the difficulty is all over the place, but it's notoriously hard to gauge the difficulty of one's own rooms. This is worth a play for sure!

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09-05-2020 at 07:42 PM
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Chaco
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icon Re: Rival Startup (+1)  
I've started a Blind Let's Play of the hold, if you'd like to see it in video format.

Naturally, this will spoil the solutions to rooms, but if you've already played far enough then this might be a fun way to see how I take apart a room and solve it.

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09-06-2020 at 05:37 PM
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