Has anyone done a really newbie-friendly video?

All things Desktop Dungeons

Has anyone done a really newbie-friendly video?

Postby Anonybrit on Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:00 pm


I am liking this game so far, but I am sort of at a cross-roads. I haven't quite worked out exactly what sort of game it is...

For instance, can every game be won or can you sometimes be given an unwinnable set-up?

I have been happily plodding away at the game for a little bit, and now I have reached the stage of trying the western swamp with the fighter, and suddenly I hit a brick wall. I must have tried this 20 times now without ever getting anywhere NEAR killing the Boss.

Yes, I have played the tutorials and yes I have looked at the Newbie-Friendly walk throughs.

The question I want to answer is: "Is this a game that you just "get" and play for fun, or do you have to sit there with pen and paper working out every permutation of very equation?

The problem I find with the Newbie-Friendly Playthroughs is that they aren't really that newbie friendly...

For example: in the first one, I am told: "Almost immediately, I find a 2nd level monster and the tools to beat him!"

But, all I can see is "Getindare". Maybe I am dense, but it is not immediately apparent to this newbie how to use that to "easily" beat a level two opponent. (And until I manage to actually get a game where I am lucky enough to actually be faced with a L2 Goat with only Getindare, no, I can't work it out.)

Likewise, in other examples, they say things along the lines of "I use XYZ to happily beat this opponent 3 levels higher than me".

From what I can see, they might as well say "I happily flap my arms and begin to fly"

They write "After devouring the warlock, I ..." and I'm going "What? Wait? Woah? Back up there, Hoss! HTF, did you DEVOUR the warlock? All the ****ing warlock does is devour me???"

Has anyone created a video playthrough of a basic game where they actually talk though their decision making process.

(ie: "right, now to defeat this Level ? meat man, I zap him with two fireballs, then I explore these squares to regenerate, then I zap him again, then I kill this Level ? zombie to level-up, then I ... etc, etc, etc...")

If so, could someone please point me in the right direction?

Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:29 pm

Re: Has anyone done a really newbie-friendly video?

Postby JayPlaysIndieGames on Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:04 am

I think it is very rare to see anything unwinable. I believe, though I have lost many times, (on video) that the only dungeon that may have truly been impossible for me at the time was Namtar's Lair.

Anyway watch some of my videos if you want they may help. They are not tutorials and I am not nearly the best of players (I am currently doing the "HARD" dungeons with about an 80-90% win rate I would say). But I talk the whole time and try to give insight to what I am thinking,

I very rarely do calculations and if I do them it is in my head or out loud so at least at my level of play they are unnecessary.

I don't know what you have unlocked, but that changes the game as well, things get much easier when you get the locker and some decent locker items (ahem "FINE SWORD" ahem). If you want me to tutorial any normal dungeon for you I can do that as well. Just name the normal dungeon and I will go into it purist with one of the starting classes and races and make a video. So that hopefully you can see a general working strategy. You should be able to beat any normal dungeon with minimal difficulty once you have a good strategy (baring an extremely difficult layout)
Check out the Desktop Dungeons Review, let's play, and tutorials :)
User avatar
Posts: 250
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 10:13 pm

Re: Has anyone done a really newbie-friendly video?

Postby The Avatar on Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:47 am

Every situation is winnable. Normal dungeons and Hard have tons of solutions. Vicious always has some, but it can get small (with the possibility of a certain dungeon purist except a certain token having no solutions), but that doesn't matter. Clearly the learning curve is far to steep. No doubt as a new player you are still learning your way about a dungeon. There are tons of tactics people take for granted are known, but there isn't that easy to learn them (mid fight level ups for one, how to use burning is another). Those are both essential things which you may not even know exist, despite always being there. Here are a couple recommendations:
1. Try the puzzles. They are designed to teach a lesson. I would especially recommend the burning puzzles in Agbaar's Academy.
2. One thing that will take you far without too much skill and extend the learning period for a good bit of time is a certain thing found in an always occurring subdungeon in western jungle. Once unlocked, it makes things much easier (although in the long run he won't be that great compared to your new knowledge).
3. Look at the codex, especially the glyph section, and learning your way about through reading. It will tell you stuff you probably didn't even know about glyphs, enemy statuses, and much more!

Also, I don't know if you are the person who would want this (I suppose some would view it as cheating), but I could make a video detailing a bunch of tips and tricks you can use (such a mid fight level ups, burning, regen fighting, and much more) which are both essential and not entirely obvious.

I speak chaos.
User avatar
The Avatar
Posts: 4436
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:52 pm
Location: Demonic Library

Re: Has anyone done a really newbie-friendly video?

Postby berpdreyfuss on Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:32 am

I would highly recommend Jay's videos and the comments to them from Avatar in this forum, especially for beginners, because you see him play from the beginning and Avatar points out a lot of the basic stuff. But don't overdo it, because a lot of the fun of this game is discovering the many ways to beat a dungeon.
Posts: 203
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:48 am

Re: Has anyone done a really newbie-friendly video?

Postby Lujo on Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:02 pm

I guess nobody really goes about it with a pen and paper, but most vets are pretty much aware of all the choices they have - and this sometimes includes sort of obscure stuff. I'm not sure I could make a true "newbie tutorial" video even if I tried because I'm not aware of how what needs explaining (could be a great deal).

Some tips, however:

1) The most powerful basic thing in the game are your locker slots. Simply prepping a fine sword on every run is a big deal.
2) Figure gylphs out - read the codex, try out the puzzles, experiment, but do try to figure them out.
3) Every dungeon comes with 6 potions, a bunch of gold, a bunch of shops and up to 3 altars. Unlock as many shops as you comfortably can, otherwise you simply won't have enough resources or nothing to do with gold. Unlock gods, because, well, they're pretty much what the game is about most of the time.
4) Monsters are also a resource, they're packets of XP. You have first strike against monsters lower level than you (unless they have first strike). Save as many low level monsters as you can (and slow them using glyphs for good measure) so you can consume them effortlessly while you fight a boss or a really high level opponent.
5) GODS. Unlock Taurog and Mystera (in subdungeons to the west and to the south respectively) and try to figure them out (they're pretty simple). Try to get comfortable, and understand just how much you can break their rules if it suits you.
EDIT IMPORTANT: 6) Figure out exactly how regeneration works. How much you regenerate when you explore a square, how much monsters regenerate, how burning works. Most of the math you will ever do revolves around this, and it's never really complicated once you get it. If you don't know this, you can't begin to see good opportunities for quality kills.

I'm not sure all this isn't allready too advanced but the flowchart of a dungeon run looks something like:

1) Move around looking for a lvl 2 monster.
2) Pick up powerups, gold, locate an altar, see what's in the shops while you move around.
3) If you have glyphs that slows use it while you explore to move critters out of the way and prepare them for consumption.
4) If you found a god who rewards actions that are not killing stuff, like casting spells, do it while you explore
5) Use the ENDISWALL glyph to explore, use the IMAWAL glyph before you fight something
6) When you've found a glyph, an item, a god, or any combination that would let you kill something above your level, do it.
7) Move on to the next target, or keep exploring is you're not satisfied with your equipment
8) Once you're level 5-7 start hitting the first boss, and kill the slowed/located low level monsters to level up. You can kill some thougher ones before to get very close to leveling before you start fighting the boss.
9) Hit boss with fireballs or whatever, oneshot some stuff to level, keep hitting the boss, munch some more "popcorn" monsters, keep hitting, dring potions if necessary, take boons from your god. Kill boss.
10) If there is a second boss, pick the gold from the boss throphy, buy some more stuff from the shops, explore a bit more and try to work up another mid-fight lvl up if possible. If not, just unload everything and drink all the potions, convert whatever is unnecessary.

That's sort of the basics. It's much the same for Hobbler's Hold to the Post-Endgame but knowing what everything does, and having everything unlocked makes it varied. Oh, and some classes work differently, or rather, do pretty much that in subtly different ways.

The difficult thing for me was always being able to tell what my class was actually good at, what the archetypes are and what strat is what piece of junk good for. And there is so much stuff in the game with so many exceptions and twists that I'm not sure where and how to begin...
User avatar
Posts: 2778
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:47 am

Re: Has anyone done a really newbie-friendly video?

Postby HexaDoken on Sat Aug 10, 2013 10:03 am

Preparations are for the weak. Those who wish to seek enlightment must rely on their own resources. Such is the righteous path of the Glowing Guardian...

...Or something.

Unwinnable situations theoretically exist, however, given the sheer amount of options the game offers, it is almost always possible to win SOMEHOW. Unfortunately, due to the fact that there is a lot of things you don't know from the start, it is possible to make a mistake long before it becomes apparent that this mistake will kill you.

Nevertheless, unwinnable situations are more the realm of Purist Vicious dungeon runs. Pretty much everything else is usually winnable somehow.

The first thing you should do are not dungeons but class challenges. This is not because of rewards the class challenges offer, but because they are invaluable in learning the strenghts and weaknesses of your character. Knowing these is very, very cruical. Even bronze challenges tend to lie in the realm of "impossible" until you realise how to put the perks of your character to effective use. Once you've beaten a character's bronze challenge, you can probably use him effeciently in dungeon runs.

That being said, Fighter is one of the weakest classes, really. Try something else.

Also being said, some dungeons tend to be ridiculously hard for some classes. If you hit a roadblock, try another race-class combo.

Never spend too much time beating the same dungeon over and over again, too. I'm not sure how exactly this works, but if I ever lose a dungeon, I can nearly guarantee that my next attempt at it will be even worse. I only come back to the dungeons I've lost after several hours of rest and a few runs in different dungeons.

Being a mathematician surely helps. But it's not essential. I never use pen and paper - only my head and, in extreme cases, calc.exe. Also note that there are many things you can't calculate. Train your intuition - there are many cases where you should just wing it. Also be sure to make good use of Combat Prediction - it does a load of invaluable calculations for you on the fly.

Getindare effectively allows you to get one free strike against any monster that doesn't have a First Strike buff. Sometimes, that one strike might be enough to make a difference between epic victory or your blood being splattered all over the dungeon.

Do not use potions for any purpose other than slaying bosses, unless you are stuck in the dungeon and cannot proceed further. Seriously, don't. Even if you reach level 10(which is a tough feat by itself), bosses tend to be many times more powerful than you are, basically necessariating you to use some additional resources. Though it is very possible to beat some bosses without potions.

Keep playing, playing, playing, playing, playing, and playing repeated 20 more times over again. As said somewhere above, intuition is very useful - and the best way to train intuition is to keep playing and try different things at once.

Basically, here is the table of things you should learn for success, in order of what you should learn first:

1) Strengths and weaknesses of your class. Use class challenges for this.

2) Glyphs. They are of immense help if used properly, and most, if not all glyphs have some properties that look more like "tiny added bonuses", but instead are really the main reason to use the glyph at all. Figuring out various tricks with glyphs can be of huge use.

3) Experience management. It's a somewhat complex thing... What I've noticed about these forums, is that pretty much everyone suggests that you should never really fight monsters that are of the same level as yours or below. What I've found through experience is that this suggestion is not terribly effective. It's true that you shouldn't just run around and sword down everything that you are capable of swording down, but sometimes it IS very benefical to kill a monster of the same level, even if you are not doing this to spike a battle with levelup restoration. If you try too hard to maximize you experience gain, what you usually end up actually doing is running out of exploration space, not having enough experience to kill the boss, and not having enough resources to gain more experience.

Understanding when you should prey for monsters that are same or lower level than you and when you shouldn't is important, but rather hard. Intuition is your friend here.

That being said, if you suddenly notice that you can kill a monster that is of higher level than you, there is rarely a reason to not do so, unless it involves you exploring half the map for regeneration.

4) How monster regeneration works. Your own regeneration speed you can see if you hover your mouse over the health icon, for monsters, you have to calculate. Usually the amount of health they regain per explored tile is identical to their level. Double this for monsters with Fast Regen property, reduce it by 1 if the monster is currently on fire due to a fireball(hitting a level 1 monster with a fireball basically cancels it's HP regen). If monster is poisoned, his regeneration will work towards removing poison points first - monsters that regenerate faster are poisoned for lesser amount of time.

If you notice that you're able to deal damage faster that monster can regenerate, you can defeat higher level monsters this way relatively easily as long as you do not run out of blackspace. Which is nifty. I've randomly came up with a formula to quickly calculate this: multiply the damage of your melee attack by the amount of health you regenerate per tile, do the same for monster, and compare values. If your is higher, you can regen-fight it. Do note though that it has to be at least about 10-20% higher, otherwise, the battle will take too much blackspace out and leave you unable to defeat further monsters.
Also obviously note that this doesn't take into account glyphs and some status effects, because the formula for them gets too ugly. I usually just wing it in such cases.

5) Gods. In each of the four non-central dungeons you unlock first(eastern tundra, western jungle, etc.) there is a possibility to unlock two different gods by entering appropritate subdungeons and completing challenges. Some challenges are ridiculously easy(Jehora Jehey just requires you to step on his altar, getting OUT of that place, on the other hand...), others are ridiculously hard(oh bloody hell Tikki Tooki). Finally, the ninth god, the Pactmaker, unlocks automatically once you have all other gods unlocked. You should really work yourself towards unlocking all of the gods and learning how to use them - when used properly, gods can be of great help. By the way, unlike races, you do not have to survive the dungeon after completing the god challenge to unlock it - consider ruining your current dungeon run if you absolutely must do so to unlock a god.

Once gods are unlocked, learn them. You can do it either by completing puzzles that come with each god, or just by playing them in the dungeon and seeing what happens. They are also more or less well explained on the wiki.

That being said, there is a desktop dungeons wiki! It's rather incomplete and lies in several places,but hey, it DOES sometimes provide insightful advice.

I do not know if there is any IRC channel or something in similar vein for desktop dungeons, but I'd be actually surprised if there wasn't any. Consider finding it, and, if it exists, asking there for immediate help should some decision not be immediately obvious to you.

And finally. Preparations - especially the locker - is a force of truly incredible power if used properly. If all else fails, blow all your kingdom gold on preps! It will be worth it. I have never lost a heavily-prepared run so far.

Also, a tiny money-making trick - if you see that you cannot win the dungeon, do not kill yourself, and exit through the stairs instead. If you die, you will receive 0 kingdom gold from the run, if you will exit, all the gold you had + the gold value of your loot will be added to your kingdom gold. This will never be enough to compensate for losing all preps, but it's still a consolation.

Geez that is a bloody shipload of text.
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2013 9:11 am

Return to Desktop Dungeons

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Astral, Google [Bot] and 7 guests