The Daily Exploration Re-Enactment Program is a daily challenge complete with score metrics. It was introduced with the Enhanced Edition (beta testing began 10th March 2015, official release date 20th April 2015). The daily challenge resets at Midnight GMT.
Accessing the D.E.R.P.
The D.E.R.P. becomes accessible by unlocking the Audit Zeppelin in a Kingdom. After the Audit Zeppelin is unlocked, it shows individual statistics, as well as allows access to the daily D.E.R.P. challenges and to the Leaderboard. The D.E.R.P. can also be accessed from the main splash screen without loading any of the kingdoms; any gold award received for completing the daily challenge will be added to the most recently played Kingdom's treasury. The daily challenge resets at midnight GMT, and although runs may be attempted even just before the cut-over, any run not finished and reported before midnight will mess up the results for the given day. Each D.E.R.P. can only be attempted once, and the game communicates with the Daily Servers when the daily is started; and when the daily is finished. If the connectivity fails, the server may not acknowledge completion of a given daily, or it may not allow the attempt altogether.
D.E.R.P. selects a random map, and a random class/race combination; as well as offers four choices of preparations, each selectable from a set of three. The map can be any Normal or Hard map except for Tower of Gaan-Telet; the class/race combination can be anything (including monster classes; the Enhanced Edition Chemist and Rat Monarch classes; and the Goatperson is also playable this way, even though it is normally only available as part of the Goatperson DLC). The map The preparations can be almost anything that are available from fully upgraded kingdom buildings. What makes the preparations very unique is that some of the normal rules governing preparation choice do not apply. For example, it is often possible to prepare multiple preparations from the same building (that are mutually exclusive during normal dungeon runs). Items that are normally very rare in shops, such as Orb of Zot, are also significantly more common as daily preparations.
In addition to the level, class, race, and available preparations being seeded random, it is also the case that the random stores, glyphs, monsters, subdungeons, and altars are seeded random. This means that which gods you get is randomly decided for everyone once and for all when the D.E.R.P. is generated by the host server. If you read about someone else's run, your run will have the same gods, monsters, etc. The extra/removed glyph from more/fewer glyphs will be the same, the item swap from Quest/Elite Items will be the same, Conjunction will add the same god, and prepared altars will remove the same god (if the prepared god wasn't already present). A spoiler-free run will leave the player at a mild disadvantage, but every D.E.R.P. is winnable regardless and many players are eager to discuss their findings in the forums.
The D.E.R.P. resets at Midnight GMT. Any ongoing attempts that have not yet completed at this time are counted as losses.
Preparation Effects unique to D.E.R.P.
Because the D.E.R.P. allows combinations of preparations that are usually illegal, there are a number of unique interactions and approaches available to players here:
- Preparing both Extra Glyph and Fewer Glyphs will keep the number of glyphs at 5, however will increase their conversion value to 130 points.
- Preparing multiple altars is possible, and each prepared altar will spawn relatively close to the starting location. Preparing four altars on a non-Crusader is possible; however, only three of the prepared altars will actually spawn in the dungeon. There is no way of knowing which one of the four prepared altars will not spawn. All prepared altars - even the one not showing up - will carry their normal preparations penalties.
- The ability to prepare multiple altars means you can ensure there are more than one within close proximity to the dungeon entrance, allowing you to immediately desecrate one god to fuel another.
- Bet on Boss will work as normal; gold is carried out from the dungeon as normal, as well as the trophy values are awarded as normal. Note though that no items can be kept from a D.E.R.P. run.
- It is sometimes possible to prepare non-lockerable items like the Dragon Heart or the Sticky Stick.
- Individual potions are never available as preparations (though the Apothecary Bazaar preparation can be), however the Apothecary has an extended potion offering during the dailies, and it includes the three potions normally only available as preparations: Quicksilver Potion, Reflex Potion and Can of Whupaz.
Attempting to build a long streak is only one of the ways to compete in the daily; many players pursue other challenges over and above merely winning the dungeon. Here are some common exploits:
- Fastest Time
- Most Experience
- Least Experience (it's harder than it sounds...)
- Most Damage Dealt
- Most Piety
- No Preparations
It's possible to pursue a combination of these, producing an overall impressive entry even if you're not the best in any one category. Sometimes players do unique things that don't appear on the score-screen. If you do something cool, why not share it with the Desktop Dungeons community?
Each D.E.R.P. can only be attempted once. Since the primary overall player ranking metric is the current win streak, a lot of players lean towards the "safe" options when playing. Since the D.E.R.P. never selects vicious dungeons or Gaan-Telet, none of the dungeons in rotations require exceptional endurance. As a result, reliability is favored over power, and short-term boosts are favored over long-term boosts.
- Despite his sometimes debilitating random punishments, Jehora Jeheyu is perhaps the best altar preparation / early worship deity (if available). The free WEYTWUT glyph offers a reliable way to de-clog the map; and the sheer power offered by his Boost Health/Mana boons help a lot with leveling; and the extra refills granted by Chaos Avatar and Last Chance help a lot during the boss fights.
- Binlor Ironshield is an acceptable alternative to Jehora on cramped maps, especially Shifting Passages and The Labyrinth. While PISORF solves many problems, farming up ENDISWAL early is the safest bet, and the piety will easily earn itself back. On maps like Havendale Bridge and Berserker Camp, though, the main bottleneck is indestructible and PISORF/ENDISWAL is unreliable.
- The Earthmother, while being an excellent deity overall, will make you want to petrify plants and/or opponents. Be very careful not to wall yourself off by being over-zealous in pursuit of Earthmother piety. On mazelike maps like The Labyrinth or Shifting Passages just stay clear of her if possible. The Earthmother's Entanglement and Clearance boons are particularly helpful.
- Although he offers no free glyph, the Glowing Guardian offers boons to boost Health and Mana like Jehora, as well as boons to refill; and perhaps most importantly, Humility helps with leveling and often makes reaching Level 11 stats possible, and it is one of most crucial boons for players aiming for the top of the XP leaderboard.
- Aside from Jehora and GG, Tikki Tooki is the other experience farming deity. GG is best early, Jehora grants the most XP when you use him to reach level 10, and TT is good late in the run as long as you can farm a lot of piety while saving lots of popcorn.
- Taurog is a risky deity to worship, since there is always a chance the boss may be randomly physically immune.
- Namtar's Ward is a very safe preparation if available, the death protection it offers goes beyond its normal utility, and also helps prevent accidental losses ('misclicks'). It is also worth 100 CP when converted, which often outclasses lesser preparations options on its own.
- The Amulet of Yendor can be very useful, helping to out-level monsters and take a lot of pressure off the leveling; alternatively, it can be preserved until the boss fight to trigger an extra mid-fight level-up.
- Items that give you Slow Strike - like the Platemail or the Really Big Sword - should generally be avoided unless absolutely necessary. A lot of extra hazards are opened up by losing the first strike against lower-level opponents.
- Patches is almost never worth it during a Daily. It can teleport the character into a very tight spot, either between tough monsters or even into completely walled-off areas.
- Apothecary is a strong preparation in the dailies because the extended potion assortment can make up for the non-customizable potion kit.
- Elite Items may be worth it just for the shot at having an Amulet of Yendor in store. If you manage to pair this with Translocation Seal, the item gained will likely be worth two preparation slots, especially if the alternative preparations are mediocre.
- The Fireball Magnet preparation is extremely useful in the daily, as accessibility of the glyphs can be highly variable