Triple Quest 3: a plea for help

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Triple Quest 3: a plea for help

Postby sitnaltax on Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:29 am

All right. I've tried and tried, but I just keep coming up short, so I'm coming to the experts here with a plea for help with Triple Quest 3. Specifically, I am having trouble with 3-2. I've made it a couple of times--by what seemed like a miracle--and seemed to do OK in 3-3 when I was there. But it took a while to get the tricks, and meanwhile my success rate in 3-2 is so low that I'm hoping to get some advice.

Once I figured out the gimmick, 3-1 is totally manageable no matter what happens. In fact, I always prep Tikki Tooki so I can trade one health potion for two free-hit potions. My prep loadout looks like:

* Tikki Tooki - I am pretty confident there is nothing better than this
* Compression Seal - This is one of my big prep questions. I go back and forth between this and the Translocation Seal. I feel like there isn't room to take all the good items I can afford if I translocate something good like Dwarf Gauntlets.
* Dragon Shield - This is my other big prep question. I feel like this is necessary for 3-3. I have experimented with taking a Dragon Seal or Balanced Dagger, but those might turn up in a shop, and this won't.
* Potions - Reflex, WHUPAZ, and Schadenfreude seem like givens. The fourth slot is between a mana potion and a dodge potion. Recently I've been trying the mana potion but it doesn't seem to be helping.
* Quest Items - Gives a better chance for Dragon Seal, Balanced Dagger, Soul Orb, and Platemail to show up, all of which seem invaluable
* Extra Attack Boosters - does this prep matter at all?
* Black Market - The only choice in this slot whose effects last beyond the first dungeon
* Perseverance Badge - The only reasonable choice because it's small

So I finish 3-1 and my inventory looks like this:
* BURNDAYRAZ
* either PISORF or ENDISWAL. Without one of these, getting trapped at some point in 3-2 seems inevitable. Given the killer feature of 3-2 (everything with 100% deathtouch) that means probably at least burning a potion.
* Dragon Shield
* Two slots worth of potions/small items. I don't see a way around this: at the minimum I have health, mana, Schadenfreude, reflex, dodge, WHUPAZ; then probably the Perseverance Badge and ideally a Dragon Soul, Balanced Dagger, or Soul Orb.
* Finally, a junk glyph that gets dropped for CYDSTEPP.

Then I find myself in 3-2 and everything goes to hell. Because of the weird layout, I tend to waste a lot of exploration finding level-appropriate monsters. I try to use my mana to knock away walls, which keeps me from getting trapped but doesn't help kill anything. Killing anything requires a ton of mana, and I'm running short of blackspace by the time I ding 7. Not that blackspace would even help that much, because the bosses teleport around.

The bosses: those are the real killer. Am I missing something? It looks like the physical boss requires about 10 physical attacks and the magical boss requires about 20 fireballs. Every fireball basically costs a mana potion. Even with two schadenfreudes, I'm shy on mana, and there's not enough health potions to even use a third schadenfreude. I feel like if I'm very lucky, I can ding both 6->7 and 7->8 in this fight--but setting that up requires sacrificing my items AND probably blowing a potion or two into the monsters, leaving me with pretty much nothing, and underequipped for 3-3. (And speaking of health, every time the magic boss rolls Retaliate: Fireball, that's another nail in the coffin.)

(odd question--if I manage to come into this dungeon with the Balanced Dagger, should I convert my junk glyph right away or still try to save it?)

I haven't mentioned Taurog. I have no idea how to make use of him, since inventory space is so tight already. I assumed the point was so I could take a Skullpicker and maybe a resist item into 3-3. Is there something else going on here?

Given the little bit of chatter I've sought out, I feel like I'm missing something about this dungeon... whether it's a gimmick I've somehow totally missed or a helpful strategy. People talk a lot about 3-3 but it seems almost manageable next to this. Any assistance would be awesome.
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Re: Triple Quest 3: a plea for help

Postby TheSchachter on Thu Dec 18, 2014 3:22 am

It's been about a year since I've seriously played the quest (and I've only beaten it once), but here's a quick list of answers/ideas for now. I may expand on this more later when I have the time if no one else does:

-Prep the Dragon Shield. You absolutely want this for part 3.

-I could never play through this quest without a compression seal. Maybe it's possible, but really, you need to use your inventory to its maximum, so I don't think it's really worth it. Of course, this makes small items super valuable (you've already pointed out the Dragon Soul and Soul Orb, both are fantastic)

-Prepping Tikki Tooki is a smart choice. I actually did it without prepping an altar, so you don't strictly *need* it, but you could definitely benefit from an extra set of reflexes/quicksilver and/or extra gold depending on the situation. If you're prepping him for the potions, I recommend that your potion kit include a health potion, as those are quite valuable.

-Quest items is a good prep for shops, as is apothecary. One has a possibility for better results, the other is more consistent. I don't remember which one I took.

-For Mage Tower prep, I recommend taking Fewer Glyphs. That way, all the glyphs you carry from 3-1 to 3-2 are worth 150 conversion points, which is really nice for leveraging the Goblin trait against 3-2's bosses. It does lower your chances of getting good glyphs, though, but I strongly advise against prepping More Glyphs since you really want decent CP for part 2.

-For Glyphs: You're right that Endiswal is very useful for part 2. However, I still feel that GETINDARE ends up more useful ultimately, for just how strong it is on the Warlord. Weytwut is also great for popcorn bowling and getting un-stuck. IMAWAL is a decent consolation choice if you get a really bad draw on glyphs, since Warlords can utilize it so well, but it might cause more harm than good unless you use it really carefully.

-From what you've written, you probably know that the item/glyph that gets dropped at the beginning of part 3-2 is the one at the bottom of the inventory. I recommend putting BLUTUPOWA there so that it can be picked up and used when you start fighting the bosses.

-If I'm not mistaken, In the Shifting Passages positioning yourself on a spot where a wall would spawn when killing an enemy prevents any walls from spawning. I could be wrong about this, but I seem to have had moderate success at using existing walls to guess where the next set would pop up to prevent being overwhelmed with walls.

-When leveling up in preparation for the bosses in 3-2, explore the dungeon in such a way, as much as possible, you leave a very thin outer layer of blackspace on the edges of the dungeon. This way, you can almost always find the bosses and begin fighting them with a decent amount of blackspace while strongly minimizing the issues caused by their blinking.

-I would start with a focus on the Phys-immune boss first, I forget if the ideal level range is shy of lvl 7 or shy of lvl 8. Use B2P to fuel fireballs with what leftover blackspace you have left. The neat thing is that if it blinks into blackspace, you can tell where it went because of the burning VFX. You can then use B2P to reveal the specific tiles you need to reveal the boss again. That said, even though I always started on the phys-immune boss, you always have to think about how to divide your resources while fighting both at the same time, and that's never an easy call. It's all about carefully evaluating your situation.

-When the phys-immune boss gets Retaliate: Fireball, go and kill a popcorn! This will detonate the burning, causing the boss' traits to change again (unfortunately, sometimes Retaliate shows up twice in a row. Not much can be done there unless you can slow it).

-For reference, I always used up all my mana potions as well as a quicksilver+reflex potion combo on this stage. I'd keep the health potions for part 3, and on my winning run I managed to carry over a Schadenfreude as well.

-Taurog is absolutely there for taking stuff over to part 3-3, though you may or may not want to get the Skullpicker at some point while fighting the Magic-imune boss. Absolutely bring the Phys Resist Armour as well. I don't think your inventory is likely to have room for the Magic Resist Helm as well, but if it does, you may as well bring it. Sword and Armour lets you have a *very* strong start on 3-3. Besides, from my experience Halpmeh is the only glyph you really need in part 3-3.

I feel the key to winning this challenge is to master part 3-2, which is a very tight, very difficult, but generally very consistent challenge. You want to push the Warlord and Goblin's strengths to the breaking point, choosing high-level low-health targets to rocket through levels while leaving a sizeable popcorn pool (and thus relatively few walls) by the time you're ready for the bosses, and arrange to ding as few as 3 times.

There's more to say (I haven't touched 3-3 yet), but for now that's what I got. I'm sure more help is on the way, but in the meantime, good luck! This possibly Desktop Dungeons' greatest challenge, so don't give up!
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Re: Triple Quest 3: a plea for help

Postby sitnaltax on Thu Dec 18, 2014 5:39 pm

THANK YOU! This was just the advice I needed to hear and I beat 3-2 on my very next try.

For posterity, here's what I found most important:

* The #1 thing--the detail that was really the key to the whole puzzle--is that positioning myself where a wall would spawn prevents the walls from spawning. This frees up the ENDISWAL/PISORF inventory slot, and it turns out that GETINDARE fills that spot admirably. (My best previous win had been when I lucked into the Balanced Dagger/WEYTWUT combo, which works well for the same reason.)

* Yes, the Compression Seal is the way to go. I don't like being broke but not having it seems to mean I'll blow more than 20g worth of potions from not having the right items.

* Fewer Glyphs is a nice touch, especially since Tikki Tooki gifts GETINDARE anyway.


Now I'm struggling against 3-3. I feel like there's a similar detail I'm missing--or maybe I'm just using GG horribly? Any additional words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated:

* I feel like Humility is a bad choice here. The bonus XP isn't that great and the weakening of HALPMEH adds up.

* Likewise, Absolution doesn't seem very good. I'm losing potential XP and curse stack removers, and max HP isn't really what I'm missing.

* Protection is obviously awesome, but I feel like I have only 6-7 shots of it, plus 1-2 more per miniboss piety refill. Given that each one is worth maybe 3-4 weapon swings, with reasonable luck, I don't see a way to turn that into the ~3400 damage I need to deal.

* Cleansing: Is it worth it using this if the miniboss I intend to hit has, say, 10% magic resist and 80% physical? Otherwise, I don't see a use for it except if I needed to take a mana burn or succubus hit at some point while leveling up.

* Enlightenment: It looks like I want to use this after getting as many beads as possible. Hopefully that can also be parlayed into a level-up at the same time, because otherwise there's no piety left over for Protection.

As for the minibosses: Taking down their first forms is easy. Then I'm faced with 3500 worth of shifting attacks and resistances. It looks like the right thing to do is examine each one to see which one can be hurt the most without hurting me back, swing, and repeat x100? Because I can't use blackspace to recover--they all heal if I do. Even if most of the attacks are soft, they add up. And after the first one or two go down, it's even more likely that the survivors all roll an unmanageable amount of damage. (And if I try to spread my attacks out, the piety bump/popcorn that spawn come even later.)

The monsters here are tough enough that I don't think I can be higher than level 7 when I start fighting them--maybe level 8, if I bring the WONAFYT/Balanced Dagger combo in. All in all, it just doesn't feel like I'm hitting hard enough for the damage I'm taking. Do I just need better precision, or is there another detail I might be missing?
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Re: Triple Quest 3: a plea for help

Postby CoolBoy on Sun Dec 21, 2014 7:18 am

I'm glad to see I wasn't the only person to struggle with this challenge. Schachter helps yet another! :)

Specific tips to your comments:
- You are right about the Humility boon. Your piety is better off saved for the other boons available, but ONLY used when absolutely necessary.
- Cleansing will be useful.... but only towards the end of your current battle. You'll know why once you best a few of them.
- Absolution I found quite useful. High health with high physical resistance will mean that you can tank more hits before you need to use a healing glyph or rely on blackspace/a boon.
- The Dragon Soul, if you can find and buy it in one of the shops, can also be useful in allowing you to get more hits in by means of free halpmeh casts. It can be pretty random though.
- Enlightenment was one of the last boons I used, but my memory is a little fuzzy on that. In any event, I don't think I would have used it until at least minion number 3.

General tips:
Platemail and the Dragon Soul are excellent items to watch out for to either carry with you from 3-2 into 3-3 or buy them in 3-3. Also, in case you haven't already, you will definitely want to bring Taurog's Sword and Armour with you into 3-3 if you can manage it. The extra damage is very helpful in your leveling for that final level, and along with your Dragon Shield, any method of negating damage is quite beneficial. I personally did NOT prep an alter on my winning run. If you find it useful, go for it, but I didn't bother.

You will truly feel like a god once you beat this campaign. Good luck to you! It took me over 25+ attempts, countless hours, and Schachter's suggestions on the Steam forums.
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Re: Triple Quest 3: a plea for help

Postby sitnaltax on Tue Dec 23, 2014 4:28 am

Update: I GOT IT!!!!!

Thanks very much for the help!

A couple notes on what ended up being the final run, for posterity/in case anyone else is struggling:

* No, there's no trick to the Avatar minibosses. Just hit the one that hurts you the least, or the one that you can hit the hardest if it's very close. However, don't just compare the raw attack numbers--some of them have Magic Attack and some don't.

* MVP #0 was the Dragon Shield. I can't think of a way to beat the quest without it.

* MVP #1 was the Dragon Soul. So many free fireballs and CYDSTEPPs in 3-2 and heals in 3-3.

* A Balanced Dagger that I bought in 3-2 was a honorable mention. It's not critical in 3-2 but in 3-3 it turned a level 2 Cultist from an early-dungeon liability to a sweet bonus.

* Inventory space is so tight that in general, small items punch way above their weight. Blue Bead was a surprisingly good value. The Dragon Soul is another MVP, and the Soul Orb was a big deal as well, letting me kill Thralls and mana burning peons in 3-3. The money for each could have gone toward a more potent item, but not one that I would have been able to haul around!

* I don't believe I ever cast BURNDAYRAZ in 3-3. Depending on your items you might be able to convert it right away for that big conversion bonus. I probably got a little bit lucky with the monster loadout--relatively few Succubi and Steel Golems, which are the worst, and plenty of Doom Armors, Imps (the best), Thralls (no problem with a Soul Orb) and conveniently-leveled cultists. Djinn are bad but not Steel Golem-level bad.

* Absolution is indeed handy, but if you have Steel Golems to worry about, make sure you can still work off all your curses. I had to defer a mid-fight level up to a worse time because I wouldn't have been able to get rid of a curse. Miscalculating could end an otherwise fine run.

* I never took Protection. I didn't really have either the piety or space for it. One Burn Salve took out the corrosion for as many corroding popcorn as I needed to kill, and I just suffered the couple of succubus hits I had to take when leveling.

* Enlightenment was a HUGE deal. I had 12 beads when I took it. This let me kill a bunch of Cursing peons, and then wipe the curses, and the combined XP gave a critical levelup. Then the extra HP/MP, resistances, and attack helped me take down the last of the bosses.

* When things got tight I had to kill some more peons for their drops so I could sacrifice them to get enough GG piety for another Protection. It's handy that that also pumps up your attack for the final fight. Bargain Pendants, hah.

Spoiler for the last fight: After killing the last of the minibosses, you go into a subdungeon with the final boss. There is plenty of blackspace to heal up completely. The boss has 1000 HP, 100 attack, Poisonous, and Bloodless--easy enough. The trick is that he gains 5% resists after each swing. Just don't panic or get sloppy, and hit him hard and fast. That WHUPAZ you've been carrying around finally pays off! Even without it, I suspect that by pumping the money the bosses drop into shop items and converting them for attack bonus, most characters who made it that far can get a high enough attack to punch through.
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Re: Triple Quest 3: a plea for help

Postby CoolBoy on Tue Dec 23, 2014 5:34 am

Congratulations! You are truly one of the Desktop Dungeon elites. You've got yourself some mad skills there. :)

In regards to your winning run, I'm going to assume you beat the.... thing .... after besting the Avatars on your first try (it took me about 2 or 3 attempts/runs to figure out a system that worked at that point). I'm kicking myself I didn't think to mention the uselessness of Burndayraz for 3-3 other than as a Piety Boon.

An extra word of advice for those wanting to make the most of their inventory space:

If you have every inventory slot full at the end of 3-2 going into 3-3, consider moving the least important of those items to your very bottom inventory slot. Upon the start of 3-3, anything that was in that slot will be dropped to the ground for later use as you begin this level with another glyph.
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Re: Triple Quest 3: a plea for help

Postby sitnaltax on Tue Dec 23, 2014 6:43 am

Thanks!

The "bottom slot gets dropped onto the floor" rule is one of the first notes I took after I started getting serious about beating the quest. TheSchachter's suggestion to put B2P in that slot from 3-1 to 3-2 is great. It helps turn plentiful health into scarce mana against that troublesome physical-immune boss at the end. (If you don't have GETINDARE I suppose it could also help cast extra CYDSTEPPs instead, but it's hardly necessary with GETINDARE.) Then for 3-2 to 3-3, you could either put BURNDAYRAZ into that slot (and convert it right away) or maybe the physical resist armor, depending on what the rest of your items look like.

Yeah, I beat the final boss on the first try. I knew what to expect, hit it once with WHUPAZ, then went and turned all my money into items to convert. I had Martyr Wraps, Whrbargl, and over 100 base damage. I had LOTS of resources left over, but I still don't know if I would have succeeded the first time unspoiled, because I might have tried to hold back resources for some other crisis that never came.

I had spoiled myself looking all over for clues, and I did find that Steam forums thread. Man, I'm not ashamed--even with all the clues it was quite a challenge! The real critical hint for me, though, I only got here--stand in the walls of 3-2 so they don't form trapping you in.
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Re: Triple Quest 3: a plea for help

Postby Kami on Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:40 am

Nicley done!
My problem with the second part is that i dicover Half of the dungeon tiles without finding a fitting enemy.
The game really hates me :cry:
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Re: Triple Quest 3: a plea for help

Postby sitnaltax on Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:45 pm

Kami: That's something I struggled with too. The monster generation/placement on the Shifting Passages map is unusual. (I believe that 3-2 is just the Shifting Passages map with the level 1 monsters removed and Ratlings replacing Wraiths). I recommend you check it out by running a couple Transmuters through the ordinary Shifting Passages dungeon. Unlike most dungeons, the lower level monsters are not weighted to start towards the stairs. (Or maybe they are, but it's only "close" following the corridors that don't exist yet.) So if you start exploring near the stairs and working your way outwards, you're going to have trouble finding level 2-3 monsters. Instead, try heading for a ring 1-4 squares from the boundary and exploring that. There's still the chance for bad luck, but it might work out better for you.

Another trick that's usually important is to not waste exploration on squares that are definitely going to be a wall (based on placement of other walls, tile adjacencies, etc. That's obviously harder on Shifting Passages, but it still works.

Finally, bringing GETINDARE helped me take out enemies that are 2 higher as well as 1 higher (you can fish for a dodge or Dragon Soul proc on CYDSTEPP while you're exploring), which not only gives that nice bonus XP but expands the range of monsters you can consider.
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Re: Triple Quest 3: a plea for help

Postby sitnaltax on Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:51 pm

Just to mention another thing I did that I believe helped a lot: in combination with the Quest Items prep, I vetoed a bunch of quest items that don't help on this quest. I nixed the Agnostic's Collar, Venom Dagger, Stone Sigil, Trisword, Vampiric Blade, and Mage Plate. Many of these are fine items, but not on the Triple Quest, and I think this helps the density of more helpful items.
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