Rock Garden, Ick Swamp, and Grimm's Grotto

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Rock Garden, Ick Swamp, and Grimm's Grotto

Postby Darvin on Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:11 pm

Rock Garden and Ick Swamp
I think these two levels should be reclassified as "normal" difficulty. They've always been the easiest of the hard difficulty dungeons, and I really don't think they merit the classification anymore. The only thing that makes these levels remotely difficult is that they have a tendency to block you off with nasty status effect plants and their bosses have high resists. However, the actual strength of those bosses is fairly suspect. Finding Binlor to use stone heart in either case is a huge advantage, and anyone smart enough to bring a really big sword will be in for a cake-walk.

The Rock Garden in particular now allows you to accrue many spoons, which individually are quite weak but can add up to 10 or 15 base attack. Basically unless you get unlucky with plant placement it's a simple and straightforward level, and I'd go so far as to say it's easier than Double-Doom. Sure, if you get the Bandit or the Gorgon double-doom is going to be straightforward, but get Frank or Bleaty and you're in for the fight of your life.


Grimm's Grotto
On the other end of the spectrum, I think it's time to promote Grimm's Grotto to hard difficulty. It's always been the most difficulty "normal" scenario by a significant margin, and I've long found it ironic that it's significantly more difficult than Rock Garden. This level has super-charged monsters and bosses, and the boss is also random so you have no way of prepping the right tools to take him down. Sure, you might get lucky and get Medusa, but you could just as easily pull Bleaty.
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Re: Rock Garden, Ick Swamp, and Grimm's Grotto

Postby gjaustin on Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:17 pm

Well, Havendale Bridge is pretty easy too. I don't really mind that the first Hard dungeon in each direction isn't too hard. That said, the spoons just make Rock Garden a joke.

As for Grimm's Grotto, I'd actually want to see it removed. Instead each of the central dungeons (Doubledoom, Chokebox, etc.) should just have difficulty settings. I want to do Doubledoom where the monsters have Vicious level stats!
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Re: Rock Garden, Ick Swamp, and Grimm's Grotto

Postby Darvin on Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:35 pm

Havensdale Bridge is still a notable notch above either Ick Swamp or Rock Garden. This change would leave it as the easiest "hard" difficulty level, which I think is fine.
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Re: Rock Garden, Ick Swamp, and Grimm's Grotto

Postby The Avatar on Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:36 pm

The problem with promoting and unpromoting dungeons is it screws the "Flow" of dungeon progression. Instead, making the bosses iron man and goo blob (Or giving them almost identical stats but same names: 480 hp?)

Yeah, as for Ick Swamp, you either funnel all resists into hp or just buff him.

Grimm's Grotto is heck. I already think that random dungeons take away too much of the puzzle element, and one with OFF THE CHARTS stats has little to no place in this game. What you could do is introduce some later game monsters into the mix. (Animated Armors, Vamps, Druids, Naga, etc.) Of course you're still only randomizing from the normal bosses, and the new monsters could be a good challenge for newer players. And maybe a slight boss stat buff.
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Re: Rock Garden, Ick Swamp, and Grimm's Grotto

Postby gjaustin on Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:19 am

I really like the random dungeons, I just wish there were a few more options.

After a while, every Naga City run ends up the same. I'd like something really hard, but with the feel of the Alpha.
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Re: Rock Garden, Ick Swamp, and Grimm's Grotto

Postby The Avatar on Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:52 am

Hmm... maybe. A vicious random that randomizes out of all Hard bosses (Indomitable, Blah Blah, etc.), but with vicious stats. Toned down a bit though, because if you play a CYDSTEPP rogue and pull 50 protections your dead. Perhaps 30 and the better stats.
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Re: Rock Garden, Ick Swamp, and Grimm's Grotto

Postby q 3 on Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:59 am

IMO it's more that Magma Mines and Slime Pits are significantly harder than the rest of the hard dungeons (not considering special quests), and that the random bosses are terribly unbalanced (Grimm's Grotto Bleaty or Doubledoom Bleaty + Tower of Goo are on the harder end of hard, Grimm's Grotto Longdall or Doubledoom Longdall + Medusa aren't that much harder than the easy dungeons if you know what you're doing).
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Re: Rock Garden, Ick Swamp, and Grimm's Grotto

Postby Darvin on Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:47 am

IMO it's more that Magma Mines and Slime Pits are significantly harder than the rest of the hard dungeons (not considering special quests)

Agreed, but they're also definitely sub-vicious (again, not considering special quests). The problem is more that they share the category with levels like the Rock Garden which are definitely not hard.

and that the random bosses are terribly unbalanced (Grimm's Grotto Bleaty or Doubledoom Bleaty + Tower of Goo are on the harder end of hard, Grimm's Grotto Longdall or Doubledoom Longdall + Medusa aren't that much harder than the easy dungeons if you know what you're doing).

Again, agreed, although I think that Tomithy, Medusa, and Bleaty are the only three that are out of the ballpark.

On the other hand, some of those "easy" levels were none too easy. There's one quest with full-power Bleaty as the boss... don't care that you're a warlord, that isn't "easy".
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Re: Rock Garden, Ick Swamp, and Grimm's Grotto

Postby The Avatar on Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:10 pm

Yeah, that was hard the first time I tried it.
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Re: Rock Garden, Ick Swamp, and Grimm's Grotto

Postby Darvin on Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:23 pm

Rather, it's in the range of "normal" difficulty dungeons. Haven't just replayed it as a Gnome Warlord without any deities unlocked and getting the "parched" medal (preps: fine sword, sword, 25 gp), I wouldn't put it above normal difficulty.

I just ran into an annoyance on Creeplight Ruins, though. I beat it as a gnome assassin with a Mystera mana leak bomb, getting the "unstoppable" medal in doing so, and then I immediately get the "Creeplight Contract" quest telling me to beat the level as an assassin and get the "unstoppable" medal. :roll:
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