Sidestepper's Newbie-Friendly Annotated Playthroughs

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Re: Sidestepper's Newbie-Friendly Annotated Playthroughs

Postby Darvin on Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:00 am

Truly the most pious of Priests :D

I love "farming" with WEYTWUT. Really emphasizes that WONAFYT still needs a change, because WEYTWUT does the job much more reliably for only 2 more MP.
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Re: Sidestepper's Newbie-Friendly Annotated Playthroughs

Postby Sidestepper on Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:25 am

I have screens from several different runs sitting on my desktop right now. Basically, whenever something interesting happens I 'start recording.' Candidates for the next demonstration are

1) A successful run against the Dragon Isles using the standard orc berserker
2) A simple run in Venture Cave that demonstrates how to use Glowing Guardian
3) An elf bloodmage run against the Berserker Camp that showcases some hardcore regen tactics (both bosses were dead by level 7), as well as showing off what Binlor can do.

Anyone have a preference?
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Re: Sidestepper's Newbie-Friendly Annotated Playthroughs

Postby The Avatar on Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:05 pm

All of those are valuable to new players. You pick.
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Re: Sidestepper's Newbie-Friendly Annotated Playthroughs

Postby Sidestepper on Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:58 am

So here is a game I was playing where I happened across an early Glowing Guardian altar. GG is now one of my favorite deities, but as a beginner I found him to be totally confounding. There are two main approaches to using GG:

The Lifestyler: This is probably the way that GG was intended to be used. You join the religion and stick with it until the bitter end. You will take Humility at 2nd level, Enlightenment whenever you amass 100 piety (probably around level 6-8), and Absolution right before entering level 7 or 8. Absolution offsets the loss of popcorn harvesting, and Cleansing + Protection offer a workable (if weak) substitute for potions.

The Sunday Worshiper: This is my preferred approach. Your goal is to join, get the low-lying fruit, and then quietly sneak out the back door. Take Humility right away, Absolution at 2nd (optional), and then convert to someone else as soon as convenient. It doesn't matter who your new patron god is; you are converting out more than you are converting in.

If you are lucky enough to find an Agnostic's collar, you have a third option

The Apostate: Join GG and take Humility as usual. Use Absolution at 2nd (optional). Pick a god you don't like and desecrate his/her altar (do this twice if you are using the 4 altar prep). You should be able to get Enlightenment very early now. Once GG starts cramping style, convert to the god that you didn't desecrate, and then desecrate GG's altar for good measure.

This is a very powerful option that nets you the two best boons in the game (Humility and Enlightenment), without saddling you with Glowing Guardian's crippling restrictions. You can sometimes pull this off if you find an early Binlor instead of the collar, and happen to stumble upon GG's altar while still exploring. I'll talk about how that works in a different post.

So anyways, I was playing as an elven berserker, trying to complete the Unlikely Heroes quest when I found an early GG altar. Because I didn't start out intending this to be a demo game, I am carrying a lot of advanced preparations. Don't worry too much about them, I hardly used them at all.

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A perfect set up. Glowing Guardian found at level 1, and several easy higher level targets just asking to get their faces smashed. My first move is to kill the Warlock-2, which both levels me up and gives me a nice chunk of piety.


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Things get a bit complicated here. It would be a huge waste to kill this dragon before taking Humility, but I don't want to take the boon just quite yet. Instead, I bring the dragon down to one hit...


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... and then fireball the wraith.


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Now I take Humility.


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And kill the dragon for a pile of xp and piety.


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And then I finish off the wraith for another pile.

While Humility doesn't lower your stats, it does lower your actual level, and fireball damage depends on your level alone. By fireballing the wraith before using Humility, I did twice as much damage.


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Once you have Humility, you should never fight anything less than two levels above you. Right now, I'm feeling torn. This serpent is a decent target, but I am confident that I could handle a level 6 monster if I just knew where one was. In the end, I decide to settle for the serpent. The deciding factor is that the serpent will poison me (which grants me piety), but will also level me up, which cures the poison and basically gives me an extra 2 piety for free.

I didn't show it, but I used my mana to fireball that go0 blob-7 right before killing the serpent. I really, really doubt that I'll be able to take the blob, pre-damage or otherwise, but it's better than wasting the mana.


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It doesn't end up mattering, because Patches ends up teleporting me into the black space, instantly healing the blob. I can't complain, because he also landed me right next to a much nicer target, a wraith-8. Between the 4 level difference, the manaburn (which will instantly heal), and the special undead bounty, I'll get lots of piety for this. The 20 bonus xp is nice too!


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This was an interesting puzzle. Patches mana burned me on my last level up. As you can see, I can almost take that Warlock-9. If I could just cast one fireball I'd have him, but I don't dare anger Glowing Guardian by drinking a mana potion. For the almost the first time in my life, I wish I had prepped a burn salve!

BTW, see those grey sparkles? That means that Binlor is behind the Warlock. Binlor is a very good deity to 'escape' to, but for this game, I decide to stick with Glowing Guardian instead.

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I try regen-fighting him, but that effort fails. However, while dancing back and forth, I find both a HALPMEH and an ENDISWAL glyph. I convert all my glyphs except for HALPMEH, and then buy and convert as much shop junk as I can.


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From there, I can convert 2 mana potions to reach 100 piety.


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Which means that I can get Enlightenment.


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Which means that I can now cream that Warlock, mana or no.


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Patches rewards my resourcefulness by mana burning me again. Once again, I find myself just a few spell castings away from being able to handle that other level 9 monster.


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At this point, I could just ask GG for a Cleansing boon, but I have a better idea. I know that there is an apothecary somewhere, in this dungeon, so I go looking for it.


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Crying tears of shame, I actually buy a burn salve.


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And then I rock that goblin's face. Patches responds by poisoning me, which is just free piety for me, since I have HALPMEH. I also see that the boss is Aequitas, a hilariously mismatched opponent for my Enlightened Berserker. I could end the game now, but let's pretend that I need every edge that I can get and see if we can continue milking GG for more boons.

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I don't want to fight the bandits. The extra xp isn't worth losing all of my resistances. I can't harvest the popcorn because GG will go nuts. It's time to use Absolution.


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Poof! Notice that Absolution raises your health cap, but not your actual health. This is why you should always use Absolution before leveling up, not after, even if it means leaving a few monsters behind.

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The boss is totally screwed. I don't need to use any potions or boons to end the game.
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Re: Sidestepper's Newbie-Friendly Annotated Playthroughs

Postby Lujo on Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:02 am

God, I could've used something like that gaes ago :) Many a newbie will appriciate this.

Also, with the old monk and the old paladin, I went through the entire game almost always able to take both Absolution and Enlightment and make the switch without any desecrations.

It would deffinitely still be possible if they didn't remove the "start with 25 piety" prep, with a conversion heavy character, making no mistakes and maximizing piety gain. It's deffinitely doable (and IM should always be done) if you haent to find both GG and the pactmaker.
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Re: Sidestepper's Newbie-Friendly Annotated Playthroughs

Postby xspeedballx on Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:09 pm

I have never actually saved absolution. I usually attempt to get level 3 in 2-3 kills and then humility/absolution right after that. Catapulting myself to slaughtering level 6-7's. Around that time I decide if I have the resources to push to enlightenment and still survive, or if I need to convert out with my bonus 40-50 hp. I suppose I should play around and see if I end up with more resources using absolution later and forgoing the early catapults. I just LOVE early catapults, level 6-7 with only 1/3rd explored sometimes on normal/hard dungeons.

All that said I fully agree love finding him early if I am not playing a caster.
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Re: Sidestepper's Newbie-Friendly Annotated Playthroughs

Postby q 3 on Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:27 pm

The easiest way to get Enlightenment and switch out is to get it at a ridiculously low level - if you find Binlor and BLUDTOPOWA early enough, you can max your piety, convert to GG with 50, desecrate Binlor (assuming you have either no resistances or the collar), convert the free ENDISWAL and BLUDTOPOWA, and you're already at 90 piety. A few high level kills after Humility and Enlightenment and you'll easily have enough piety to convert out.

The hardest thing for me with GG is remembering to use my fireballs before taking Humility. (Although you don't really need to do the physical attacks the way you did, unless you were regen fighting and I didn't notice. Just fireball away, then take Humility, then attack attack attack.)

One other suggestion I'd make is when you were thinking about killing that level 5 serpent at level 2 but thought you could take a level 6 monster - hold out for better! Think about what level of monster you'd want to kill after you level up, and if there are none of those monsters visible you'll need to explore more to find them anyway, so you may as well get some exploration in now in case you find a more tempting target for your current level. (Ignoring the effects of Patches, obviously.)
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Re: Sidestepper's Newbie-Friendly Annotated Playthroughs

Postby gjaustin on Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:33 pm

xspeedballx wrote:I have never actually saved absolution. I usually attempt to get level 3 in 2-3 kills and then humility/absolution right after that. Catapulting myself to slaughtering level 6-7's. Around that time I decide if I have the resources to push to enlightenment and still survive, or if I need to convert out with my bonus 40-50 hp. I suppose I should play around and see if I end up with more resources using absolution later and forgoing the early catapults. I just LOVE early catapults, level 6-7 with only 1/3rd explored sometimes on normal/hard dungeons.

All that said I fully agree love finding him early if I am not playing a caster.


I agree on Absolution. I generally use it at level 2 BEFORE Humility. That lets me have the health of a level 4 or 5 at level 1.

The only exception is Naga City. Since I won't be able to come back to kill everything for experience, I might as well turn them all into health.
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Re: Sidestepper's Newbie-Friendly Annotated Playthroughs

Postby Darvin on Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:47 pm

If I could just cast one fireball I'd have him, but I don't dare anger Glowing Guardian by drinking a mana potion. For the almost the first time in my life, I wish I had prepped a burn salve!

Why didn't you use cleansing here? The first hit is only five piety, which will pay for itself if it lets you smack-down a higher-level monster. It's absolute shit after that due to its rapidly increasing cost, though...

Anyways, this is a great demonstration of how to use dedicated GG. It'll more than cover your needs (similar to Taurog) in normal and some hard difficulty dungeons, but the loss of potions and popcorn will hurt more than it helps in the more difficult scenarios.

The biggest design issue I have with GG is that finding him early is so critical to success. He offers no piety on-worship and he's incredibly difficult to gain piety with if you've already mid-level and done converting stuff. This gets particularly stupid when you worship Taurog (who gives boat-loads of starting XP) then immediately convert to Glowing Guardian. Binlor with BLUDTUPOWA is another similar variant.

Personally, I think that Absolution needs a piety cost increase so it's not so easy to pick up at level 2, and then GG should shell out starting piety so that higher-level characters can actually join his religion directly.
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Re: Sidestepper's Newbie-Friendly Annotated Playthroughs

Postby The Avatar on Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:18 am

And have no repeating cost to Cleansing. But that run was great. Either I suck, or I just think I suck cause it's hard to get high level kills in Vicious dungeons, but you make me feel lame.

But anyways, nice run. It really showcases GG to new players. Okay, this is officially my favorite thread.
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