I completed the basic storyline - some thoughts (long).

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Re: I completed the basic storyline - some thoughts (long).

Postby Sidestepper on Tue May 14, 2013 4:15 am

The dagger is tricky. The +3 xp is nice but you only get it for killing relatively low level monsters. The problem is that you reach a point where you are out of realistically obtainable level ups, but all or most of the high level monsters are still alive. Worse, your popcorn supply has been depleted. You can actually end up losing experience if you cut yourself off from the 7+ monsters.

The dagger has its uses, but I still prefer 'traditional' play, attacking very high level monsters, with a special emphasis on knocking out the 7s, 8s and 9s while it is still possible to fight them and recover via non-popcorn fueled level ups.
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Re: I completed the basic storyline - some thoughts (long).

Postby Kingdom of One on Tue May 14, 2013 10:32 am

I'm glad people liked the review/feedback!

Re: kingdom graphics.
I think the updated graphics will help a lot. It's hard to tell how big an impact it will make but it can only be positive.
There may still be the problem of the initial splurge across the map and then the final upgrades just filling in the details.
It might be nice to have new race buildings slowly grow as you complete more dungeons with them. Eg. you unlock halflings and the hill becomes a construction site (with fully unlocked halflings) and they only move in properly after you complete X dungeons with them reducing the conversion price form 85 - 80 (though I could be easily convinced that needing to upgrade conversion values is a very bad idea). As I said, I think the rate at which you unlock new things is good but I just felt a bit under-awed on the map screen.

The move to the side-bar seemed nice to me but didn't really change the overall feeling.
The preparations icons seem fine though their layout is a bit unstructured. It makes sense though - and I'm not even sure a different version would be better.

Re: Balance
It will take some time to organise my thoughts here. I wish I'd taken some notes while I played. I'll try and find some time for this at some point.

Re. Piety feedback (+ codex).
I'd seen the feedback screen but that doesn't seem enough to me. I want to be able to plan out my actions and know what I can/can't do and how much piety it will gain/lose. Assuming the codex is accessible from in-dungeon then this problem would be solved.
While we're on the subject I think it should also include:
exp gain vs relative monster lvl.
health/damage increase per lvl.
Some information about special features of the current dungeon (it can be annoying to lose a game because you couldn't plan for them). Imagine you take your time carefully preparing the dungeon and you hit the final boss and then all the slowed popcorn neatly lined up in the corner disappears. Imagine that the boss/game then has the gall to tell you that she 'warned you'. That's not fun. Actually maybe there was a sadistic part of me that actually thought that was kind of fun(ny) but in general I think you get the point.

Re: Sanguine GT.
I'd worked out that this is quite nice in a previous run I converted late to Dracul but it still wasn't enough. With the halfling priest I had a Dracul altar ready to convert to for the final fight but didn't even need it.
(do dd gods get capitalised? I think I'd better err on the safe side - he's probably one of the worst to anger. I'm not sure I even have the 20hp to lose)

Re: Balanced Dagger.
I had a feeling that might be a contentious topic!
I think I may not be exploiting killing much higher level monsters (+4 lvls or more) as much as others. I maybe do it just under once per run on average (ignoring the runs that go really well). I can't be bothered to do the maths on my damage output across multiple levels and I can't bring myself to waste resources on a fight I don't know I can finish. My current strategy has served me well so far and it definitely benefits a lot from the dagger.

I don't understand some of the mentioned problems with the dagger. It doesn't penalise killing higher level monsters. You can do that just as much as normal but get some incidental bonuses and an easier early game. In which you can save exploration by choosing to kill whichever monsters you've found as long as they're the same level or ones you'd be happy to kill without the dagger.

In a normal run I kill mainly monsters 1-2 levels above me and a few 3-5 levels higher.
With the dagger I kill mainly monsters the same level as me, some 2 levels above, and a few 3-5 levels higher.
My strategy against the higher level monsters in the dungeon is pretty much unchanged (though I sometimes feel I have more resources to go after them earlier when I've started with the dagger).
By the time I come to the boss roughly the same number of level 7-9 monsters are dead (I find I get unstoppable in most of my successful runs) but I have either more exp or more resources (mainly in unexplored map tiles) or both. I think popcorn-wise the only difference is 2 less level 1 monsters in place of 2 more level 4-5. If you can one-shot the 4-5s then this means you are just left with more exp on the map.
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Re: I completed the basic storyline - some thoughts (long).

Postby Sidestepper on Wed May 15, 2013 1:47 am

We're starting to get into some pretty meaty issues, but popcorn is a very important resource. We use the word popcorn to refer to any low level monster that you can harvest at little or no cost in resources. Exactly which monsters are popcorn depends on your character and situation, but because you typically begin engaging the boss at around level 7, 7s, 8s and 9s and almost never popcorn (Assassins not withstanding). The best way to get them is when you are still low level so that you can recover via ding. Once you're on the cusp of level 8 (or maybe level 9, if you decided to start on the boss at 8), it's too late to get those high ranking monsters. There are 2 9s, 3 8s and 3 7s on the board. Not counting bonus xp, that's 63 xp that become lost if you hit the high levels too quickly.

The best case scenario is that you start on the boss right before hitting 8, with all of the monsters at 7 and above already dead and as many of the lower level monsters still alive as possible. Done right, you can pull three dings in a row while fighting the boss. The Balanced Dagger is doubled edged because it causes you to hit higher levels without clearing the 'ranking monsters,' and does so at the cost of popcorn. This can sometimes get you stuck in situations where you are high level, but can't possibly take the boss on one load out of resources and can't get any more level ups because all of the remaining monsters are too tough for you to fight at a profit.

I'd say the dagger works better with regen fighters. They tend to prize black space more highly than 'soft' xp. The Monk can be very good with the dagger because he has natural difficulty harvesting popcorn and needs lots of black space left over for fighting the boss, which means that he can't count on finding all of the ranking monsters in time.
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Re: I completed the basic storyline - some thoughts (long).

Postby Lujo on Wed May 15, 2013 7:27 am

Not to mention that vicious difficulty dungeons make fighting stuff way above your level pretty hard, so you will be wasting some popcorn anyway. An early dagger can get you a few levels rather efficiently.
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