D.E.R.P. Streakbuilding

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This page details some good advice to improve your chances of building a nice D.E.R.P. win streak. While it is primarily intended to be used as a sub-page of the D.E.R.P. page, it contains general advice that can be also useful outside of the D.E.R.P.s.

D.E.R.P. Scoring

As the main sorting metrics of the D.E.R.P. overall leaderboard are based on "streaks", i.e. number of days of consecutive D.E.R.P. wins, a lot of players strive to build a continuous winstreak. This can seem like a daunting undertaking at first, however dedicated (and lucky) players can reach as high as 100+ consecutive wins. Due to the randomness, some daily challenges are significantly more difficult than others; however, there are a lot of things each player can do to improve their chances of winning reliably.

The Leaderboard displays the following three metrics for each player:

  • Current win streak
  • Best win streak
  • Total wins

In addition to these metrics, the Audit Zeppelin displays two more metrics (which are not visible to other players):

  • Total Tries
  • Win Ratio

Note on scoring:

  • If you win a D.E.R.P., your current win streak will increase by 1, your total wins and total tries will each increase by 1, and your win ratio will be recalculated. If you Current win streak surpasses your previous Best win streak, the latter will also increase. Note that killing all bosses and then retiring/dying/surrendering also counts as a win for leaderboard purposes (though you will not gain gold from the run).
  • If you lose a D.E.R.P., your current win streak will re-set to zero, your total wins not increase, however your total tries will increase (and your win ratio will be recalculated). Note that when the day closes, any runs not reported complete (for example due to server connectivity or computer-crashing reasons) will be tallied as losses.
  • If you do not play in a given D.E.R.P., your win streak will reset to zero just as if you had lost that particular daily; however, your Total Tries and Total Wins will not change, and neither will your Win Ratio.

Main Loss Causes

There are many threats looking to end an unsuspecting adventurer's winstreak in the unforgiving world of Desktop Dungeons. Some of the most common causes: 1. Getting trapped behind walls/tough enemies 2. Running out of resources / not being able to tank a hit from the boss 3. Misclicking 4. Brainfreeze 5. Running out of food (Goatperson)

Below follow some ideas on how to avoid each of the main loss types. Sometimes a certain preparation or strategy will be optimal to avoid one type of loss but may increase the likelihood of another; if your losses seem to belong to more or less the same group, it might make sense to prioritize the countermeasures against that loss type over the others.

Avoiding getting trapped

Typical examples of getting trapped:

  • Clogged starting area (some maps are more prone to this than others; Grimm's Grotto and Halls of Steel are almost always starting clogged, for example).
  • Walls formed by Gorgon / IMAWAL
  • Treacherous maps like Shifting Passages wall formations, Labyrinth's Rex
  • The Earthmother's Plants blocking a path or covering a trophy or stair

To reduce risk of getting trapped:

  • Use/keep glyphs that can open up ways, or allow you to tap into unaccessible blackspace, like: Glyph: ENDISWAL ENDISWAL, Glyph: PISORF PISORF, Glyph: WEYTWUT WEYTWUT; Glyph: LEMMISI LEMMISI, Glyph: BLUDTUPOWA BLUDTUPOWA; and to a certain degree, Glyph: WONAFYT WONAFYT.
  • Consider taking the "Extra Glyph" preparation to increase the odds of finding more of these glyphs (and avoid "Fewer Glyphs" for the same reason).
  • Deities that offer some of these glyphs - JJ, Binlor - are usually (but not always) safe preparations in a Daily.
  • God boon: Absolution Absolution is a non-intuitive but nevertheless effective way to remove some of the low-level monsters that can block paths
  • Avoid using Glyph: IMAWAL IMAWAL unless you also have Glyph: ENDISWAL ENDISWAL (or are absolutely, completely sure what you're doing).
  • Likewise, avoid The Earthmother. She is an awesome all-purpose deity, but she does tend to clog the map. Again, she can be used completely safely, but it takes a lot of skill, so unless you want to keep a notepad ready for counting how many plants are "out there", just ignore her if you can.
  • Familiarize yourself with the workings of the tricky maps that can trap you: most notably Shifting Passages and The Labyrinth; but getting over-cursed in Cursed Oasis can also spell doom. Also, some maps are more clogged than others (for example Ick Swamp).
  • Avoid prepping Patches. He can teleport your into completely sealed-off areas. If none of the alternatives are meaningful, either leave the slot open, or prep Patches and convert him immediately upon starting.

Avoiding Running out of Resources

Typically, maps will have an assortment of different monsters, and random layout, which will mean that for a given character, each map may be more or less difficult, depending on which monsters are dominant (and readily accessible). Also, sometimes the boss is just very difficult to handle with the available glyphs/items for the character. Usually, there are ways to defeat every boss, but there were already a few examples of Daily runs where not picking the right preparations made a loss inevitable. Still, there are things you can do to pick the right preps, and to make the most of the available resources, improving the chances of a win.

To reduce the risk of running out of resources:

  • Make sure you're "in shape". Skill with Desktop Dungeons is partly academic, but partly just being in practice. If you just play one Daily per day, you're going to experience a bit of skill decay, and you'll be more prone to losing some of the trickier runs. On the other hand, if you regularly play Vicious runs, you'll have a good chance at winning most Dailies (remember, due to the RNG, some Normal/Hard Dailies are actually harder to win than some average Vicious runs!). Rule of thumb: play one extra game each day on top of the Daily (ideally, Vicious and/or VT). Also, look for opportunities to play "outside of your comfort zone". For example, play Purist, with unsynergistic builds, to learn to cope with such situations.
  • Check to see if there are any spoilers on the qcfdesign forums before playing to see if there's anything specific to the map. The boss, the layout, the high-level monsters may need you to adjust your strategy. This is especially useful for Goat runs, or to a lesser degree to Gorgons/Vampires/Chemists/Rats.
  • Make sure you have some experience playing non-standard combinations. Like, Rats with Bear Mace are proven awesome, but in most Rat dailies until today, there wasn't any knockback. So knowing how to win reliably without KB is very useful.
  • Also make sure you're familiar with the easy-to-craft combos. A Mystera Gnome, for example, is almost always enough to win.
  • Try not to commit yourself to a specialist strategy before uncovering the boss(es). Joining JJ, for example, is almost always a good starting move; however, don't join Taurog unless you know what you're up against. Also, don't convert glyphs that can come in handy against specific bosses. You may feel that your Orc Berserker of Dracul is nigh unstoppable, but finding a late Bleaty may make your wish you had joined Mystera (or Tikki Tooki, or Taurog, etc.) instead. Binlor, Mystera and JJ are almost always good starting deities, but the others may or may not be good options depending on the specifics of the map.

Avoiding mis-clicks

Most players will say that the most disappointing loss is the mis-click. You may have the perfect strategy, but if you accidentally click a Barbing Bush, for example, you're dead.

To reduce the number of misclicks:

  • Turn off the Radial Menu;
  • Switch to right-button attack;
  • Play slower to reduce twitching;
  • Look for ways to get Death Protection. CYDSTEPP is a keeper; Namtar's Ward is an auto-prep; Badge of Honour is an auto-buy-and-pop.
  • Make sure your mouse works well. You don't need a hyper-sensitive gamer mouse, just a reliable rodent that never interprets a "single click" as a "double click".

Avoiding brainfreeze

Often a loss is attributable to something silly like forgetting that the Djinn or Jadetooth have Retaliate:Fireball. Or forgetting that Gorgons have Death Gaze *and* First Strike.

To reduce impact of brainfreeze:

  • Pause for a moment before clicking to see if the death warning lights up, and stop to think why if it does;
  • Pay special attention to - or if possible, avoid altogether - game elements that introduce extra drawbacks. For example, slow strike (platemail/really big sword); avatar's codex; patches!!.
  • Try to play safely whenever you're not in top form emotionally or mentally. If you can, avoid interruptions. Stay focused on winning the given map.

Avoiding running out of food

Goatperson D.E.R.P.s can be much-much harder than any other class (including the other "challenge classes" like Gorgon, Chemist, Rat Monarch, etc.), simply because the Goatperson has very limited exploration available at the start. Some of the nastier Goatperson dailies were outright unwinnable unless you guessed correctly which way to start exploring first.

Some tips to die less frequently:

  • Prepare / get items that can get you out of tight spots (Amulet of Yendor, Slaying Wand, Fireball Magnet are all excellent preparations)
  • Read the spoilers if you can.
  • Be prepared for the worst.