Annotated Playthrough Naga City
Naga City is a fairly unique dungeon. It consists of two parts, the top and the bottom. The top looks like a regular dungeon except it has no boss. At any time you can descend to the bottom, where the bosses are located however you will be unable to return to the top again.
This creates some unique play and the level is segmented into two parts. First we clear the top. Completely. We try and drain every single advantage out of it that we can. This means piety farming, god switching, level catapulting, thrifty shopping and any other trick you can think of.
Once you are satisfied that you have cleared the top you descend to the bottom. At the bottom you will fight 10! bosses. First in waves of 3 and then a single boss at the end. You are given access to an altar of each god, an area of dark tiles and walls to break and a small arena which contains dark tiles too. After each wave the arena's dark tiles are replenished but nothing else is.
Top On the top we need to do like 6 things at once.
First off, be continually boosting conversion and then converting your glyphs. Once you run out of glyphs start buying items.
Secondly, never stop farming piety or working towards god boons. Early on this is fairly easy, just break walls for Binlor piety, once you find one of the other altars you need to decide what you're going to do godwise. Generally if you just coast Binlor to the bottom dungeon you'll have a harder time down there. Still winnable, but harder.
Thirdly, chug potions to increase maximum health. One potion every leve and it doesn't matter what the potions are. For the early game we can drink the mana potions we find, just make sure to drink them when you have empty mana because that extra mana can be turned into extra piety and conversion points.
Fourthly, efficient leveling. Avoid overleveling. With this build it isn't impossible to jump from level 1 to level 5. Normally this may seem like a good thing but by jumping over those levels we missed an opportunity to use the alchemist scroll at level 2, 3 and 4. That just cost us 30 max health.
Fifthly, efficient dark tile usage. Until you find a mana booster you will only have 8 mana. This means that if you descend to a subdungeon or the smuggler's den you will be wasting 1 mana. That mana could get you an extra resist % or mean the difference between a conversion level (costing 10s of damage).
Sixthly, watch your gold. Near the end of the top you *will* start running out of gold. You will have to make decisions about which items you care deepest about. I'll go over some of those details later on.
In a list this seems pretty straightforward, and it is. The problem comes when you need to put it into practise. If you forget about something, though, don't be too worried. It will reduce your maximum potential but a few mistakes won't cost you the game.
Simpler but can be stressful if you made mistakes up top. It may come down to the wire.
Generally you are going to enter the bottom with 100 piety, convert into TT, buy Poison and then try and shift to your favourite god. For preference mine is Dracul here. Buying poison will reduce your piety to 0 so you'll need to build it back up. Eating the piety sparkles on the ground will get you part of the way (~25), a desecration will get you the rest of the way (30) or using Pactmaker will get you the 50 piety you need to convert all in one hit.
We need to shift off TT because he punished repeated melee attacks against the same enemy. That's what we'll be doing.
In an ideal world we would find TT in the top dungeon, get poison early on and then get 100 piety again by killing all the low level popcorn. We're prepping Binlor, we can't rely on finding TT. It's a HUGE bonus (and if you are having trouble with the dungeon then scumming for him isn't a terrible idea, just boring) but it's not necessary. There is no top TT in this run.
Dracul is good because, 1. we can take a boon early on to offset desecrating EM, this lets us save pactmaker for later, 2. If we get punished it just offsets our alchemist scroll boosts and 3. even if you tried really hard you could only lose ~30 piety from dracul anyway.
Fighting the bosses can be tricky. In general regen-fighting works against the beefy enemies. If we got knockback from binlor (and we will) we can knock the beefy enemies into the weaker enemies so they take some secondary damage. Against the weaker but stronger enemies, or the enemies with annoying attacks we will rely on our potions and level-ups.
We will be playing the Orc Transmuter. The transmuter is a class that I haven't seen mentioned much and because of this I was very surprised when this strategy worked so well. We will use our race, class, some of our preps and our god to boost attack while using the rest of our preps to boost defense.
Most of this is pretty standard although a couple of things may seem out of place "If we're going conversion heavy why not take the conversion stone and a conversion seal?". Good question. A melee fighter needs to be beefy, either with resists or health. We're going to become beefy by using the Alchemist's scroll to boost our max health, which is naturally low as a transmuter.
In regards to the conversion seal, well the conversion seal grants the same buff as the transmuters class ability. Near the end of clearing the top of Naga City we run out of things to convert before we run out of walls to break, the translocation scroll helps alleviate this issue a little bit.
We will prep Binlor. If you don't mind scumming then you could prep +1 altar and try and find Binlor quickly but I deteste scumming. This build will work perfectly well by preping Binlor directly.
Here we go. I see sparkles to my right.
I follow the sparkles and worship Binlor. You can see I already have some buffs, this is because I broke a wall just getting to Binlor's altar. We only have limited dark tiles and a low mana cap, always be breaking wall unless you have a good reason not to.
I've run away from Binlor as fast as I can, stopping when I have +100% conversion. The reason for this is we are about to take some of Binlor's boons and we don't want to be stuck without any walls to break while having full mana.
Ok, now here's the trick. The Binlor Glyph is worth 0 conversion points and the one we entered with has 100 conversion points. We'll convert our and replace it with binlor's.
Now we take "Stone Fist". We will have huge base damage so extra knockback damage based on that will be great.
Whaaat? We have +100% conversion points again?
When you take Binlor's boons he breaks stone walls. Every stone wall broken not by you gives +5% conversion points. Stone Fist gives us +100% conversion boost and Stone Form will give us +50%.
I convert WONAFYT and explore some more, looking at the shops. The Soul Orb is great, we can convert it for an extra conversion level and it is cheap enough to buy.
Venom sword is pretty good too, but not quite as good.
Now I'm at +50% conversion, so I go and take Stone Form.
Giving me +100% conversion, so I convert the BURNDAYRAZ glyph.
I explore more, hit +100% conversion again and convert this WEYTWUT glyph.
I explore the shop next to the entrance and find the Keg O'Health. Another great item for us to find. It's pretty expensive though but it provides enough conversion points that we can justify using our translocation seal on it. But not yet.
Erg I finally find a mana booster.
I empty my mana and enter the Smuggler's Den to get the boosters down there. If you are reading this you are already probably pretty good at this game and have used the Smuggler's Den before, so this will make sense to you. Break the corner pieces so that you have access to the dark tiles in the corners if you need them later.
Well there's a mistake I made, I converted the HALPMEH glyph at only +90% conversion bonus, that puts us on a weird number of conversion points, 30/120. I should be at 40/120. No large matter.
I think I slipped up because I was thinking hard about gods at the time. We're at 100 piety and I can't take any more boons from binlor without worrying about not having enough walls to destroy later on. I try and look for an altar quickly so i can formulate a strategy.
Since I'm capping at 100 I may as well grab a level and take Binlor's piety hit. This snake will do. Generally I like to figure out which enemy will only just level me up and then fight an enemy 1 level higher than *him*. In this case a level 2 wouldn't level me up, a level 3 would and I go one higher to a level 4.
First I need to remember to drink my potion for the level.
I level up, drink another mana potion for my level 2 alchemist scroll, break some walls and explore when I find an altar. Try to remember what altar is what by the sparles. This one is GG.
Now, we only get 2 gods aside from Binlor. I need to decide now whether to use GG or wait and see what the other god is. In the end I wait because there isn't a lot we can do with GG anyway.
Now I'm at +100% conversion again and I have no glyphs to convert. I go for the item with the highest conversion points so I use my translocation spell on the Keg O'Health and then convert it.
I kill this level 5 vampire. Leveling me to level 3.
Exploring a bit I find blue sparkles. Do you know who this will be? Yes, JJ.
A lot of people swear by JJ but I don't like his unpredictable nature. On top of that most of the level is explored and we won't get a WEYTWUT to mana farm so JJ is a no for me.
I do need to get some boons under me though otherwise I will move to the bottom dungeon weak so I decide to head for GG.
I convert to GG and take Absolution, this'll work nicely with my alchemist scroll. I'm not sure about the best level to take absolution but I've heard people recommend level 3 and it always seems to work fine for me.
I then take humilty. In that order, always. Maximises stuff.
Now I'm at 40 piety, I need to hit 50 piety to convert back to Binlor so I eat some ground sparkles. Notice how I've minimised the ground sparkles I've eaten before now? If I can I eat only one sparkle "breaking in" to the altar square.
I'm back to Binlor and have built up +100% conversion points. It's not obvious but I ate more than 10 ground sparkles to convert back. This is because I accidentally picked up some gold and GG punched me right in the piety.
So many confusing rules regarding GG, we do not want him long.
Anyway, I pick up CYDSTEPP, use it once and then convert it. The death protection could come in handy later.
I level back up to level 3 and find the godly Tri-Sword. SO POWERFULL *swoon*
I won't buy it, it won't crop up every run and I want to demonstrate a fairly tame run here.
YOU should buy it though. Definitely, we're chugging pots for the alchemist scroll, the tri-sword is just extra damage on top of that.
I *think* I can kill this Gorgon without skipping a level.
Wow, I'm awesome.
I'm running out of potions to drink. I want to save my health/whupaz/reflex/quicksilver potions for below so I buy a fortitude potion and drink it. The fortitude potion is safe to use because I don't see any weakening enemies.
I worry that killing a level 8 will make me skip a level so I kill the level 7 dragon instead. I'm now at +100% conversion points again.
I buy the Soul Orb and convert it. Then decide to go into the subdungeon.
Oh look, level 1s. That's 9 free experience. Nice.
I want to level up to level 6 but I haven't used the alch scroll yet. I decide to drink my quicksilver potion because I may be able to still save it for the bottom.
But no, it triggered at just 20% dodge chance. I know there's another level 9 somewhere so I go searching.
I hit +100% conversion again so I buy and convert the venom sword.
There's that bugger.
I level up to 7 by killing the level 8 gorgon and meat man.
I hit +50% conversion bonus and at this point I am *pretty sure* that I can spare some Binlor boons.
I take Stone Heart. Not for the enemy resistance reduction but it's the cheapest +3% magic resist Binlor grants.
Now, a dilemma. I want to buy the Troll Heart, a health potion and a Burn Salve. I don't have enough money (even with those gold piles). The health potion will be of great use down below, it could be a free attack or a poison heal or I could convert it for Dracul piety. The Burn Salve will allow me to desecrate EM and then remove the 5 corrosion she deals. The Troll Heat will give us 80 conversion points. That isn't a conversion level by itself but soon I will convert the alchemist scroll and the alchemist scroll + troll heart will give us a level and a lot more damage.
There is another horse in this game though. One of the shops sells the Pendant of Mana. That costs just 13 and gives 35 conversion points. Pendant of mana + alchemist scroll also gives a conversion level and I can save 2 gold. I choose to convert the Pendant of Mana.
2 GOLD! You are yelling at your screen. WHY ALL THAT TROUBLE FOR 2 GOLD.
Well, that 2 gold leaves us on 5 gold instead of 3 gold. Not enough to buy the Burn Salve but *I* know I'll be taking TT soon. *I* know I'll be buying Poison, Poison will give me 10 more gold leaving us with 15 gold. With that amount of gold I can buy 10 piety from TT, something I couldn't have done with 13 gold.
Always look for ways to get a tiny leg up, enough of them could win you the game!
I take a couple more Stone Hearts, again 3% doesn't seem like a lot but those tiny bonuses will help.
Also, you don't need to go down to the bottom with exactly 100 piety. Just reaching TT's altar will force you to pick up 13 sparklies IIRC. I didn't really consider that at the time though.
I kill everything on the top, I use all the dark space in the Smuggler's Den and the subdungeon to get more piety and +100% conversion bonus (for when I convert the alchemist scroll.
I could level up here, but I won't. By getting 1 experience point away from a level up we can fight one of the bosses down below with everything we have, then time the level up perfectly. We'll take on the strongest boss of the 3 presented to us and then be at full health and mana for the other 2.
I take another Stone Heart, use up my mana and eat the ground sparklies. We won't be coming back here and when we descend we'll be forced to eat 6 dark tiles. No use them going to waste.
Down we goooooo!
End: Act 1