Recruiting the banker opens up the four "directional" dungeons: Northern Desert, Western Forest, Southern Swamp, and Eastern Tundra. Each one of these dungeons is the starting point for the four main story arcs of DTD. To advance any one of these storylines (and unlock any more territory) you have to beat the starting dungeon with a specific Tier-2 hero. There are a lot of important assets hiding behind these gateway adventures, so gaining access to Tier-2 characters is going to be my main priority. In particular, I especially want to open up the Northern Desert (Requires Sorcerer) and the Southern Swamp (requires Rogue), and in roughly that order.
Of course, I don't have the money to do that now. It costs 1200 gold to buy one of those guild upgrades! And that's okay, because I have more immediate priorities.
While the advisor doesn't mention it, completing the bank quest also unlocks the first strand of the Bezar quest line. The next dungeon you visit will have a single shop, wherein you can find the Gate Scroll used to summon Bezar. It doesn't matter which dungeon you go to, it will always be there.
I decide to go to Venture Cave, so I can piggyback the Gate Scroll search with the gnome rescue.
One of the recent updates changed the spawning rules so that WONAFYT always appears near the entrance. While I still don't think that the effect belongs in the game, I'm no longer totally exasperated at its existence. That fact that it also no longer latches onto a specific monster anymore lets me do fun things like this, where I have collected all 10 of the 1st level monsters, pre-slowed for future eating.
The boss ends up being Super Meat Man, which is bad news. I had been hoping to get Feeling Parched and Hoarder, but there's no way that will work with a resource hog like SMM on the board. I immediately scratch the plans for Feeling Parched but make the dangerous decision to try and stick with Hoarder. The loss of long term resources might very well screw things up for me. It's okay, because as long as I snag the scroll and rescue the gnome, I've accomplished my long term goals anyway.
Here's that damn scroll already.
In a somewhat ballsy move, I donate a mana potion to the gnome before
engaging SMM. I might regret this decision later, especially since I still haven't converted anything.
EXACTLY one square's worth of resources short of being able to fireball SMM to death. I have used all of the squares, both on the surface and in the gnome subdungeon, and I used up my innate death protection earlier. Fortunately, I'm holding WEYWUT in addition to fireball, so I'm just fine. If I had impulsively cast fireball instead of assessing my options, I would have been screwed.
Got Hoarder, the gnomes, the Gate Scroll, and the uncommon Meat Loaf trophy, all in one go!
After you unlock Bezar, a story beat will happen after your next successful dungeon, pointing you towards the next bank upgrade. I need to kill time somewhere. The best choice is to go to the Southern Swamp and find Tikki Tooki. In fact, this is such a good choice that I probably should have done it first. Oh well.
I decide to send a Wizard. A Wizard is a reasonable match up for the snake boss. Since Wizards have a very forgiving inventory management system, and because humans are only so-so Wizards to begin with, I decide that this is a good time to try for the ever-annoying Hoarder badge.
This opening works even better when you're a Wizard.
The Hoarder plan worked out just fine. That will take some of the pressure off of future runs. More importantly, I unlocked Tikki Tooki. Unlocking gods actually serves several purposes:
1) You gain a new god
2) It contributes to your total altar spawn
3) It gets rid of the deity's subdungeon, which is usually resource intensive and unhelpful (some exceptions exist)
4) If it's your first god, it unlocks the Faithless badge
As predicted, I get a new prompt urging me to buy out Venture Cave. I send a Thief, since the extra gold can help smooth out an unlucky assortment of items.
Using my powers of administrator's foresight, I know that a new story beat is coming, and I want to have the northern route open before it hits. But I'll save that for another post.