Something different: An annotated game of kingdom management

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Something different: An annotated game of kingdom management

Postby Sidestepper on Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:11 am

Since the example playthrough thread was such a hit (be sure to check out the corresponding wiki page), and since there have been a lot of new players complaining about the confusing maze of options confronting new kingdoms, I thought I'd try doing an annotated playthrough that focuses more on management decisions rather than the details of adventuring. I don't know if this concept will end up being interesting enough to justify a whole thread, but it's worth the experiment.

I'm laying down some rules for myself. No grinding allowed. Every adventure must advance the game state in some way, either by unlocking new assets, solving quests, or even just obtaining new badge/class completion bonuses. This isn't to say that I won't do any scumming. Scumming is one of those high-level management decisions that you make before the adventure begins, and so I think it has a place here. However, I'm not going to do any gruesome "perfect storm" scumming, where you search for some incredibly unlikely conjunction of dungeon features. Here, scumming means pulling out early when confronted with a bad map, and also engaging in limited "raids" to snatch up key assets quickly.

The secret to succeeding in the early game is to unlock key passive assets quickly and efficiently, minimize your overhead, and snatch up as many badge bonuses as possible. Preparations are very powerful, but their benefits only last for one round and they cost money to use. In the beginning, you really want your cash going into long term investments. Fortunately, there are several ways that you can make your adventurers more powerful without buying preps:

1) Improve your bank. Adventurer allowance makes a huge difference in power without costing you much money. As long as your adventurer gets back home, you can recover all or most of your cash. Nothing else in the game has better money-to-power ratio than adventurer allowance. Much of my long term planning is going to revolve around getting the bank quests quickly.

2) Increase your shop count. The Bezar quest line is very important, and is interleaved with the bank quest line.

3) Improve your item pool. While the starting lineup of shop items is actually really good, having access to all-star items like the Venom Ward, Soul Orb, Trisword, and Crystal Ball can really turn a struggling dungeon crawl around.

4) Expand your pantheon. The number of altars that spawn on the map depend on how many gods your kingdom venerates.
1-3 gods = 1 altar
3-6 gods = 2 altars
7-9 gods = 3 altars (and unlocks the 4 altar prep, if you feel like spending money)

Obtaining multiple altars is a huge quantum leap in power, almost like playing another game. Plus, it doesn't cost you money. If you have Tikki Tooki, you can actually gain money!

5) Unlock more monster types. This is a subtle effect that most people don't even consider. The starting monster roster consists of Goblins, Warlocks, Zombies, and Meatmen. This is a very harsh lineup. The Goblin and the Zombie are standardly regarded as the two hardest 'normal' monsters in the game, and none of these creatures are particularly soft. Diluting the pool with more monster types will make your games easier on average.

6) Enable the hidden bonus subdungeons. Once you get the tinker, bonus subdungeons will start spawning in addition to the normal ones. While there is no 100% reliable way to find them for non-Tinkers, stumbling across one gives you a nice chunk of exploration, and the contents of the subdungeons are always good.

7) The Witch's Hut. Another super important quest line, the Witch expands the pool of potions available to the shops and grants you extra potion slots.
Last edited by Sidestepper on Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Banks and Halflings

Postby Sidestepper on Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:11 am

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Here's my kingdom right after beating the goats. If you managed your assets correctly during the tutorial phase, you should have purchased two upgrades (three if you include the free Guild), and have 400 cash in the vault. Right now, 400 cash is the limit that I can hold, so I need to spend that money down right away. I do this by purchasing the remaining two basic guilds, basically buying all the 1st level upgrades except for the racial buildings. I strongly recommend this opening. The guilds all contribute to long-term unlocking of future quest lines, and Blacksmith unlocks the Purist badge, meaning that it will pay for itself very quickly (yes, this means that I bought the Blacksmith for the express purpose of not using it :lol: ). You can get by with just humans for a very long time.

The first quest that you want to do is the bank quest. In fact, you don't have a choice, it's mandatory! This quest also presents an additional opportunity for crafty administrators. This is the only time ever that the Den of Danger or the Venture Cave will have a 100% perfect predictable boss. You will always fight the Banker. What's more, the Banker is pretty weak. It will never be easier to collect badges than it is right now. I plan on getting both of the ultra-difficult Hoarder and Warmonger badges in a single run. After some consideration, I decide that the Priest has the best chance of pulling this off, but only if I chose the Banker in the Den of Danger (the one that has magic resistance instead of physical resistance). This will also give me a chance to recruit the halflings if I manage my potions carefully.

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Besides his deep health pool, the priest also has an easy level-up path if he can find enough zombies. Since the monster pool only contains 4 creature types right now, the odds of finding zombies is very, very high. It's not surprise to find a Zombie-2 almost right away.

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Nice, a Zombie-9. Excellent news! I'll be sure to pick him up later. BTW, all of my passageways are blocked right now. What would you do from this position?

I didn't take any pictures of it, but my solution was to punch the Warlock-4, fireball him, and then level up off of the Goblin-1. From there, finishing the Warlock was easy.

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I'm not going to annotate the whole run, because we're managers in this thread, not filthy grunts. The important thing is that I easily thrashed the Banker and still had a potion left over to recruit the halfling.

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I know it's only the Den of Danger, but that's still a nice list of badges. The bonus gold makes a big difference at this stage of the game.
Last edited by Sidestepper on Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Something different: An annotated game of kingdom manage

Postby The Avatar on Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:24 am

What a cool idea for a thread! I can't wait for chapter two!
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Re: Something different: An annotated game of kingdom manage

Postby Darvin on Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:48 am

My opinion is that unlocking Tikki Tooki takes top prescedence among deities, and that you should leave him as your only deity until you've completed the basic building upgrades. Once you've filled in most of the gold sinks, then fill out the pantheon.
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Re: Something different: An annotated game of kingdom manage

Postby Sidestepper on Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:18 am

It's like you read my mind. I've already collected material for several posts, and that is exactly the strategy I followed.
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Re: Something different: An annotated game of kingdom manage

Postby Sidestepper on Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:11 am

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Here's that damn scroll already.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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This opening works even better when you're a Wizard.

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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.

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No problem.

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.
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Re: Something different: An annotated game of kingdom manage

Postby Darvin on Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:30 am

3) It gets rid of the deity's subdungeon, which is usually resource intensive and unhelpful (some exceptions exist)

Haven't checked on Binlor yet, but Taurog and Mystera are now fully-explored, so they're total writeoffs.


Might I recommend for the second bank quest the Goblin Assassin to clear out Shifting Passages.
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Re: Something different: An annotated game of kingdom manage

Postby The Avatar on Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:34 am

Awesome! I think I'm going to follow your guide and see how it goes for me, even though I'm not a noob. Still going to be a fun experiment.


Wait, Taurogs is fully explored?! With 4 golems?! WHAT?!
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Re: Something different: An annotated game of kingdom manage

Postby Darvin on Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:23 am

Haven't yet activated him to see if his requirements are any different, but yeah that battle is going to be a doozie without exploration.
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The Rock Garden Buyout Disaster

Postby Sidestepper on Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:29 am

My original plan was to play several steps ahead and parcel out the reports bit by bit. But I keep getting feedback and suggestions and I think that an element of interactivity sounds fun, so I'm going to try and get this thing caught up to the present game state. This is going to take a few posts, so don't assume that I'm done until I say so.

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Due to my oracular understanding of the future, I command that a Sorcerer be sent out into the Northern Desert. The problem is that no one in my kingdom even knows what a Sorcerer is, so I have to fund a new Department of Thaumaturgical Studies at the local community college so that they can figure it out.

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The Sorcerer discovers Mystera, which I was expecting. The optimal move probably would have been to skip her so that I can keep my 100% Tikki Tooki spawn rate, but in the end I decided that that went against the 'advance the game' ethos I've been following so far. Besides, Mystera is actually pretty good nowadays.

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Got some random badges, but nothing particularly difficult. Specialist and Miser are nice to have out of the way.

My advisor immediately starts talking about how Bezar wants another buyout. This is a bit harder than the last buy out, since there are more shops now. You can use Tikki Tooki to pull it off, but there is another, more certain way. The Rock Garden has 3 bosses, meaning that you will get 50 bonus gold on top of the usual take. This guarantees that you'll have enough cash for the buyout. Interestingly, the Rock Garden just became available. It's like I have a plan or something.

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As usual, I send a strong class, hoping to snag whatever badges that he can. I'm thrilled to discover ENDISWAL right next to spawn. This is going to be a good run. I'm calling Hoarder right now.

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I find Pactmaker while exploring. While this is good in the long run, Pactmaker's dungeon is a waste of space and makes my Thief's job harder. I don't dare touch the altar because I'm not sure which pact I'll get stuck with. It's best to talk to Pactmaker after clearing the dungeon.

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So things didn't go quite as I had hoped. I found Bleaty hiding in the upper left corner, literally the last explored square on the map. I had already blown my mana potions on the Brothers of Stone, and even my maxed out Thief couldn't soak a single hit from the damn goat. I still had a giant pile of health potions, but that doesn't help much against a monster that can one-shot you.

Having no choice, I made an emergency conversion into Mystera, taking the Flames and Refreshment boons. This cost my the Faithless and Hoarder badges, but let me just barely beat Bleaty, eeking by with the extra mana from Survivor and my otherwise-useless health potions.

Stupid goat. At least I won.

Unfortunately, I was so flustered by Bleaty that I ended up missing an apothecary, spoiling the buy out attempt. Ugh!

My 'success' at the Rock Garden opens up the Shifting Passages, which will be the stage for the last bank quest. But I won't be given that quest until I finish this buyout. Annoyed, I hit Random Run and end up playing as a Priest in the Den of Danger. It's a bit of a waste, since I already have Priest on this dungeon, but I stick it out.

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I'm glad that I did. I ended up finding the Philosopher's Stone, which makes a new thread open up for me. What's more, I also found Tikki Tooki and the Hitball tournament, meaning I had piles of gold. I ended up completing the buy out, Philosopher's Stone and all.

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Last edited by Sidestepper on Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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