Super Meat Man's difficulty is a little exaggerated

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Super Meat Man's difficulty is a little exaggerated

Postby metroid composite on Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:17 pm

So...I've seen some talk on these boards about how "The freeware bosses are not equally difficult", which is true. Giving examples, people seem to list Nine-Toes as the easiest boss (good choice) and Super Meat Man as the hardest boss (I don't agree here).

Let's assume worst-case scenario--you're just doing a gold-farming run in v0.15 and have a Goblin Tinker whom you're not buying anything with. Let's assume you can get to level 8 (that's the level you reach just by killing most of the enemies without doing any fancy exp slingshotting). This gives you a 52 damage attack, and 32 damage fireball. Super Meat Man deals 48 damage, so you can attack him once, fireball him once, dealing 84 damage, and then explore 6 squares, healing to full (6*8=48), while Super Meat Man only heals 60 damage. So...for every six tiles you explore, you're dealing 24 free damage to him. Or, if you're lucky enough to find the HALPMEH glyph, it heals 24 HP at level 8, so you can spend that 6 mana to heal twice and attack for another 52 damage (instead of fireball for 32), meaning (52+52)-60 = 44 free damage for every six tiles you explore.

Now, there's 400 tiles on the map; maybe only 60 are left by the time you can pull this off. That's still 240-440 free damage. But heaven help the Meat Man if you're level 9 (more damage and more regen) as that would make it 300-700 free damage. And heaven help the Meat Man if you're level 8 but have a lot of tiles unexplored (say 120) as that's 480-880 free damage. Remember, all of this is before you do things like use your health and mana potions, before you use your mid-battle level-ups. The poor boss only has 954 HP. And all of this is a lot more effective if you're a class with real attack power, or you buy a few items from shops that buff your attack or defence.

Compare this to, say, Frank the Zombie. Frank deals a full 75 damage, which means at level 8 it takes almost 10 tiles to regen that blow. You can still sneak in a little damage with your regen fighting, but at level 8 it's like...5 damage for every six tiles you explore (whether or not you have the healing glyph) so you'll maybe get 50 free damage if you spend a bunch of effort on regen. So...you pretty much have to deal with Frank's full 636 HP every time. And your potions won't be as valuable against Frank as they are against Super Meat Man. Now, maybe you could use the poison glyph to take advantage of regen..oh wait no: Frank's immune to poison.

Compare this to, say, Tower of Goo. Did you want to use regen fighting with Tower of Goo? Good luck with that. Alright, so let's say you have 13 MP, and set yourself up for a mid-battle level-up, fireball the boss twice, level up, fireball twice more and then use your mana potions and fireball some more; even if this mid-battle level-up takes you from level 9 to level 10, that's still only 272 fireball damage--not enough to kill. Ok, how about a double-mid-battle-level-up from 7 to 8 to 9--that's 300 damage, which is also not enough to kill (but brings it into range of a physical death). I mean, don't get me wrong, if you have Pactmaker or Mystera or similar big mana bonuses, you'll crush Tower of Goo. If you have poison you'll crush Tower of Goo. But if you don't, I've found Tower of Goo to often be un-winnable.

And there's Gharbad the- Whoa! Yes, if CYDSTEPP spawns on the map (roughly 33% chance) then you auto-win. If it doesn't, well...Gharbad takes more fireballs to kill than Tower of Goo and isn't particularly afraid of the poison glyph. Sometimes effectively fewer if you have a first strike effect, to be fair.

Don't get me wrong--Super Meat Man is still among the harder bosses, but I'd maybe rank it around fourth-hardest. (Actually, I'm not sure whether I'd put SMM above or below Lord Gobb now that I think about it...).
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Re: Super Meat Man's difficulty is a little exaggerated

Postby CunningGabe on Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:08 pm

I can think of two reasons why Super Meat Man's difficulty might be exaggerated. The first is that as one of the challenge dungeon bosses, you'll fight him much more than the various random bosses like Tower of Goo and Gharbad. So you especially notice his difficulty because you encounter him over and over.

The other reason -- my reason, at least -- is that I tend to be an over-explorer. Since for most bosses, natural regen doesn't really help you, I usually have almost all tiles explored by level 8. (Of course, the benefit here is that I typically find all the power-ups and I can more reliably hit higher levels.) I had never really done the math on regen vs. Super Meat Man. Now that you mention it, though, I hope it will make the rest of the Factory runs I have to do somewhat easier!
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Re: Super Meat Man's difficulty is a little exaggerated

Postby metroid composite on Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:08 pm

CunningGabe wrote:I can think of two reasons why Super Meat Man's difficulty might be exaggerated. The first is that as one of the challenge dungeon bosses, you'll fight him much more than the various random bosses like Tower of Goo and Gharbad. So you especially notice his difficulty because you encounter him over and over.


True, although that's kinda how I figured out that Frank the Zombie is so good. I was kinda like "Why do I keep losing in the crypt? Isn't it supposed to be easier?" *runs some calculations* "Oh: because Frank the Zombie is harder than Super Meat Man, and Tormented One can't be taken lightly, usually needing a mid-battle level-up itself. I get it now!"

The other reason -- my reason, at least -- is that I tend to be an over-explorer.


Fair. I used to be like that, but now I'm very protective of my regen tiles because I've played entirely too much Gauntlet mode... >_>
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Re: Super Meat Man's difficulty is a little exaggerated

Postby MaximumSquid on Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:28 pm

metroid composite:

I have to disagree. . . Meat is very high on the list as far as difficulty goes
Strategies that will auto-win most dungeons can easily catch Players off guard when they fall short on him

The biggest issue is Meat's ability to rob you of resources making him extremely dangerous in a dual matchup
I did Wizard in Factory without any completion bonuses and without a crutch like polymorph

and believe me. . .

If Meat was any other monster I would have beaten that map in a third of the tries it took me
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Re: Super Meat Man's difficulty is a little exaggerated

Postby Darvin on Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:19 am

I'd say that top spot goes to Frank. Almost as tough as SMM, but hits way harder and he's immune to poison. Unless you're a Priest that is a doozy. Wall of Goo and Gharbad are situational bosses; they're one trick ponies and they become pushovers if you find a way overcome that one advantage. I have a hard time classifying them as truly difficult in that sense, just luck-based.

Where I think SMM's reputation for toughness comes in is the factory, where you have to take down another boss in addition to him. Unlike the Crypt, where you can use your health-based resources on Frank and mana-based resources on the tormented one, both SMM and the Iron Man are going to take your health primarily, so there's no way to balance between them. More factory runs have been lost because you're just short of leveling up or out of tiles to explore than anything else.
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Re: Super Meat Man's difficulty is a little exaggerated

Postby metroid composite on Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:53 pm

MaximumSquid wrote:metroid composite:
I did Wizard in Factory without any completion bonuses and without a crutch like polymorph

and believe me. . .

If Meat was any other monster I would have beaten that map in a third of the tries it took me


I recently did Wizard in Factory without any completion bonuses too (yay unlocking classes in v0.21!) Didn't get any of the gamebreaking Wizard spells like 2-mana healing, either. Won first try.

Would I have won against any other boss? I'm...not sure. Frank the Zombie would have probably been slightly harder, but only slightly. I can't remember if I was human or Elf. If Human, Gharbad, Tower of Goo, and Lord Gobb would have caused problems--Gharbad causing a loss, Tower of Goo and Lord Gob just requiring all mana potions and most health potions (I did get to level 10 before discovering SMM, though, and a level 10 Elf Wizard with 4 spare mana potions does fry those three).

Of course, "easier boss" and "easier boss for an Elf Wizard who gets to conserve mana potions" isn't necessarily the same thing.

Unlike the Crypt, where you can use your health-based resources on Frank and mana-based resources on the tormented one, both SMM and the Iron Man are going to take your health primarily, so there's no way to balance between them.


True, and adding to that, although high level Animated Armors are great for the slingshot at level 1, they take a huge amount of resources to kill an equal-levelled enemy--you need to use a lot of regen space; and Meat Men also tend to take some regen space to kill. So...you have another resource conflict there between regen space for Super Meat Man and regen space for levelling up.
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Re: Super Meat Man's difficulty is a little exaggerated

Postby dislekcia on Sun Jun 12, 2011 10:42 pm

Damn metroid composite, you're a font of interesting analysis.

Yeah, the regen usage to kill high level Armors is probably what makes the SMM feel really tricky... Plus there's his flavor text to think about.
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