Strategic Unlock

All things Desktop Dungeons

Strategic Unlock

Postby Darvin on Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:38 pm

So, I've been thinking about doing a strategic unlock kingdom for quest items recently, to see if the quest item preparation can be broken to essentially turn it into an "in-dungeon locker". I'm building up my unlock list, and I want to bounce some ideas of the forum community here.

Definitely yes:
Elite Items - great items to have in my pool, especially with a heightened chance of the gloves of midas
Trisword - this should go without saying
Gloves of Midas - this too
Martyr Wraps - when it comes to attrition battles, this is an unmatched items.
Agnostic Collar - free piety and indulgences; can't go wrong with that
Vampiric Blade - overheal and effective damage reduction; what's not to love?
Fire Heart - % based heal; this should work quite well
Venom Ward - wouldn't leave home without it
Soul Orb - this either

Maybe:
Stone Sigil - this will unlock the church veto slot, so this is effectively a swapout rather than addition to the shop pool.
Whurrgarbl - strong pick, but I'm afraid it's the poor man's martyr wraps
Crystal Ball - as Sidestepper said in another thread, this is an item you want lockered and vetoed at the same time. I'm torn.

No Way:
Battlemage Ring: the effect is decent, but not locker-worthy, too expensive, and has horrible CP. Pass.
Witchalok Pendant: no
Platemail: too specialized
Balanced Dagger: if this kingdom were being hand-tailored for VGT then I'd say yes, but outside of that one dungeon, I never want to see this item. If I have a spare veto slot it could be worth swapping in and out, though.
Venom Dagger: actually not bad as CP fodder, but that's a consolation prize; not something for my ideal shop pool.
Mage Plate: way too specialized
Blue Bead: too low shop density; the effect is actually rather nice, but I'd rather see something more robust in its place.

Hard to Avoid:
Piercing Wand, Rock Heart, and Hero's Helm - these ones are kind of in your way along the naturally game's progression. Not sure if they can realistically be avoided.

Vetos
Seeing as the church is the only building veto slot available (since fighter silver, assassin silver, and wizard silver are intentionally being avoided), and gold-wise it's unlikely I'll stick with this kingdom long enough to purchase more than one veto slot, that's two veto slots tops. Probably these will be sunk on the "couldn't avoid" items like rock heart and piercing wand.


Now, I'm thinking I probably need to prune rather than add to my list to get the maximum possible chance of getting the items I really want - gloves of midas, agnostic collar, and trisword - that are virtually always useful. However, I'm having trouble whittling it down further. Thoughts?
User avatar
Darvin
 
Posts: 3130
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:44 am

Re: Strategic Unlock

Postby The Avatar on Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:32 am

I'm pretty sure you can avoid all of your hard to avoid. Just don't do Den of Danger Purist or finish the Rock Heart quest. There's 3 of them. How is it hard to avoid?\

Don't remember about the piercing wand though.
JakshdfFiha$#jaigb532i97fbnPKASN*@)sdjbau9a0)f+,Ahghs*hr)sk_sabdh^ujsbUA3{mvio/~dgffdsT^klndf,#ikon%(d

I speak chaos.
User avatar
The Avatar
 
Posts: 4453
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:52 pm
Location: Demonic Library

Re: Strategic Unlock

Postby Darvin on Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:44 am

The problem with the Rock Heart is that it will preclude unlocking the Transmuter. While that's not a class I'll cry over losing, I'd still like to have all the classes unlocked if at all possible.
User avatar
Darvin
 
Posts: 3130
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:44 am

Re: Strategic Unlock

Postby Sidestepper on Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:11 am

I was thinking about something similar last week. Specifically, I was thinking about which items I would tell a new player to prioritize. Here is what I came up with, keeping in mind that I am not ranking items by power so much as general utility.

Top
These are items that have broadly, universally useful powers and good-to-excellent conversion ratios. You will always want these in your shops.
Venom Ward Great effect, great CP.
Soul Orb Even better effect, great CP. I will even buy these two items as a Crusader, the CP is so good.
Midas Gloves Useful effect, is disposable, and has great CP. It's never a dud.
Agnostic's Collar The CP is poor, but even so, this is a disposable item that gives you 50 piety, which is useful to everyone. Even if you have a lousy god selection, finding an Agnostic's Collar will make you rethink playing as Faithless.

High
These items enable explosive strategies while maintaining average-to-good CP. They are dominating when they can be exploited, and are okay CP when they can't be.
Trisword The king of base damage, if you have the resources to make it work
Martyr Wraps Best brawler support item in the game.
Whurrgarbl Second best brawler support item in the game, with special synergy for hybrids. In a strategic unlock scenario, I agree with Darvin that this one gets edged out by Martyr Wraps, but in a normal game this is worth having in the pool.
Rockheart Yes, Rockheart. The primary effect is very niche, but the CP ratio is superb and CP is really strong.

Middling
Strong but specialized effects or generic but merely good effects. Have poor-to-average CP ratios.
Fireheart The only health support item in the game. It's good, but really requires you to plan your character around it.
Crystal Ball A great prep, but if you find it in a dungeon, you will almost always be better off buying a Schadenfreude potion instead.
Vampiric Blade It's good, just not great.

Unavoidable items that demand vetoing:
Spoon: One damage for one gold and one small space is awesome, but unfortunately, shops don't sell them by the dozen.
Health Pendant The Blood Sigil is almost always going to be more useful (The Blood Sigil would be a top tier item if it started out locked). Also suffers from poor CP.
Orb of Zot Not strictly unavoidable, but come on, you aren't going to actually skip the elite upgrade, are you? The effect is not bad, but the buy in cost is ludicrous and Yendor is almost always better for the same price.

I understand that it is very unlikely that you will have 3 veto slots without having to go through the guilds, I'm just putting these here for discussion.
Sidestepper
 
Posts: 782
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:36 am

Re: Strategic Unlock

Postby Lujo on Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:56 am

I'm not too sure about Venom Ward, as there ARE more ways to remove poison than ways to remove mana burn (and since Halpmeh requires you to not have mana burn, I'd say soul orb is more of a priority).

I'm not too sure about elite items, either, but if unlocking them is still tied to getting one more shop, then deffinitely yes-

I've also played the game through without Agnostic collar - with diminishing returns on desecrations it's not such a hot deal anymore, and you can ussually desecrate either EM, Binlor or both, and you can always perp for EM desecration by prepping a burn salve (which can also fuel the trisword).

My % of Fire Heart use is really, really low, and if going minimalist i'd deffinitely skip it (just saying you can do without it). I have not unlocked the vampiric blade at all ever since it became linked to completing BM silver, so you can deffinitely do without that as well.

I think you might be undervaluing the witchalok pendant and the mage plate though.


The ideal QI pool for me is - trisword, martyr wraps, soul orb, gloves of midas, AND maybe witchalok pendant and mage plate. Platemail used to be in the mix and might still be woth it, I cant tell, but you can pretty much probably complete the game with what I listed (and possibly Viper Ward), even without any Elite items (but with Vicious rewards, seals and potions ofc)
User avatar
Lujo
 
Posts: 2832
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:47 am

Re: Strategic Unlock

Postby Sidestepper on Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:18 am

I actually took notes once on the effects of unlocking elite items. I don't have the data anymore, but what I recall is that the quest adds two shops to your dungeons, 0-3 of which will contain elites. The distribution seemed to heavily favor 1 and 2 elites, and I suspect that the algorithm is something like 3D2 - 3. The take home lesson is that in the average case, the quest is either neutral or beneficial for getting more quest items, and in rare cases is slightly detrimental.

I'm a little surprised that you would consider skipping the venom ward, seeing as how you used to be the patron saint of conversion tactics. I know that orcs don't have stacking damage anymore, but conversion is still really strong for any race.
Sidestepper
 
Posts: 782
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:36 am

Re: Strategic Unlock

Postby Lujo on Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:12 am

Sidestepper wrote:I'm a little surprised that you would consider skipping the venom ward, seeing as how you used to be the patron saint of conversion tactics. I know that orcs don't have stacking damage anymore, but conversion is still really strong for any race.


Well it depends on what approach to minimalism Darvin's looking for, really. There are 3:

1) Using the minimalist unlock as an effective limmitless number of veto slots as a means to an easy speedrun.

Which is what I originaly started out with, but ended up being the the patron saint of CP by accident which involved GG being both the most powerfull overall god mechanicaly and the most unversaly rewarding CP deity and TT giving out tons of cash to by CP junk with. Orcs conversion rates were more of an afterthought :D

2) Using it as a planned attempt to rig the shop system to boost CP strats.

In which case what you unlock would look more like what you're suggesting than Darvins original list, and I agree with you on the Rock Heart and both wards, except I'd screw the Elites completely since they don't mesh well with this at all and I'd probably add Venom Dagger to the unlocks pool.

3) Using it as a planned attempt at making QI an extension of your locker:

Which kind of looks like what Darvin built his list for and he seems to be looking to make it the most dependable recreation of an in-dungeon locker imaginable, in which case he'd want to limit it the best he can, in which case I sort of pointed out what might not be necessary. Since he didn't specify what build he wanted to optimzie the most, I just thought what I wrote was the way to go.
User avatar
Lujo
 
Posts: 2832
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:47 am

Re: Strategic Unlock

Postby Sidestepper on Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:29 am

Oh, one other thing I learned from my shop tests was that the number of quest items you get depends on the number of quest items in your pool. So, the game doesn't use a slot system where there are so many quest shops, so many normal shops, and so many elite shops. I realize that this contradicts what I said in my last post about the elite shop algorithm. Sometimes I am forgetful :/

I experimented with a profile that had about ten quest items versus one that had all of them, and there was a very obvious difference in the number of quest items in the shop pool. This might complicate the plan. If the QI prep weighs quest items more heavily, then it might not make much of a difference if you only have a tiny pool of quest items to begin with.
Sidestepper
 
Posts: 782
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:36 am

Re: Strategic Unlock

Postby Lujo on Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:43 am

Sidestepper wrote:Oh, one other thing I learned from my shop tests was that the number of quest items you get depends on the number of quest items in your pool. So, the game doesn't use a slot system where there are so many quest shops, so many normal shops, and so many elite shops. I realize that this contradicts what I said in my last post about the elite shop algorithm. Sometimes I am forgetful :/

I experimented with a profile that had about ten quest items versus one that had all of them, and there was a very obvious difference in the number of quest items in the shop pool. This might complicate the plan. If the QI prep weighs quest items more heavily, then it might not make much of a difference if you only have a tiny pool of quest items to begin with.


Which would technicaly invalidate the entire plan as such as long as the devs remembered to make a big enough discrepancy between how many u need to unlock to get most QI slots in a shoop pool, but an we could still figure out the optimal number.

I remeber using this very strat as a means to never really have to prep Plaemail as it seemed to spawn very often during my "can't solve quests" phase where I had an unintenitonally narrow QI pool. It also works with the tri-sword. Come to think of it, i've been using this darned technique for as long as I can remember...
User avatar
Lujo
 
Posts: 2832
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:47 am

Re: Strategic Unlock

Postby Darvin on Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:25 pm

Well it depends on what approach to minimalism Darvin's looking for, really. There are 3:

All three, really, but with a focus on #3 on the list.

I think if I were to go as minimal as possible, this would be my list:

Trisword
Gloves of Midas
Martyr Wraps
Soul Orb

That may be a bit too minimalist, but if that allows me to use the "quest items" preps to turn that set of four items into my personal in-dungeon locker, it may well be worthwhile.

As for vetos, the biggest problem is that with the above list I pretty much only get one veto. I agree with Sidestepper on Spoon and Orb of Zot (not that I have the available slots to veto them), but disagree on health pendent. It's a lower-end item, but it's still fairly solid, especially when paired with Dracul for blood tithe.
User avatar
Darvin
 
Posts: 3130
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:44 am


Return to Desktop Dungeons

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Darvin and 3 guests