How to play

Below is a lengthy article about many aspects of the game DUNGEONS OF CHAOS.

For more detailed SKILLS, SPELLS and other insights like CLASSES, see also the WIKI page.

And if you need more of a real walkthrough view of how others play the game, check out these walkthrough videos.

 

Dungeons of Chaos is an indie role-playing game: 2D, single player, multi-character, turn-based. If you love the old classic RPGs that provided incentives to explore non-linear locations, choices for player classes/skills/spells and tactical turn-based combat, then this game is for you. Unlike most big budget games these days it is not trying to maximise the ‘realness’ of graphics, instead it goes back to the basics of fantasy RPGs: pixel art + atmosphere + deep content + imagination.

This leaves a lot of choices to be made, however the game is designed to allow you to play it even in a simplified form in case you are new to RPGs.  The following topics cover the basic elements and indicate how the complexity and game engine works in the background.

CHARACTER CREATION

As you see in the story that is told at the beginning, Parnosz the archmage needs 6 volunteers to form a party and go on various missions that aim to secure the safety of the people and the realm they had to flee from.

You can choose to use a default party, or create your own 6 characters out of the following choices.

When you create a new character, 3 steps are performed:

  • you ROLL the statistics (hit points, spell points (mana), strength, dexterity etc.)
  • the outcome determines which of the 9 starter classes that character could be:
    FIGHTER (good with melee weapons, but also versatile and can use bows; various skills)
    BARBARIAN (really good with brutal weapons, not with bows. very good with a few skills like ‘rage’ but quite specialised overall)
    RANGER (a mixture of blade and bow proficiency, and a varied set of skills, a ranger always has something to contribute.  but he also not the expert in any of them)
    ARCHER (very specialised in the use of ranged weapons, and certain skills like ‘determination’ which make him a valuable member when you need to take out enemies from afar. but no spells and few skills make him a burden if a close range melee breaks out)
    ROGUE (very special skills that hardly anyone else can be really good at, comes in handy to pick the locks of doors and chests)
    MONK (can heal a companion but also use his combat skills to defend himself and others; with a powerful set of unarmed attacks if need be)
    CLERIC (a good companion to have when you are wounded, but also when you are fighting the forces of evil…)
    MAGE (a vast and versatile set of spells is available to a mage over time, making him an important player in most parties)
    DRUID (a druid has a no nonsense approach to adventure and combat: he can deal out physical damage if need be, but also has some powerful nature-based spells at his disposal)
  • Once you have chosen a class (or re-rolled if you did not like the choices), you can supplement the character with a ‘feat’.  A feature or ‘feat’ is a special attribute that will drive the characters behaviour (and usefulness).  This could be as simple as ‘physique’ which gives a boost to the starting strength and hit points.  But it can also be as intricate and rare as the ‘dynamo’ ability to deal out low levels of electric damage in combat.

You should experiment and not shy away from forming a party you think is fun to play.  Ultimately, depending on the finesse you put into your way of playing, as well as experience with RPGs, you should go to the OPTIONS menu and set the right difficulty level for you.  There are 8 levels to choose from, the default is ‘normal'( 3).  If you have played many RPGs before you should play at 5 or 6.

CHARACTER ADVANCEMENT AND THE IMPORTANCE OF SKILLS AND SPELLS

As you solve quests and defeat enemies, you will gather experience points.  This will ultimately lead to a character gaining a level.  A shining ‘LEVELUP’ button will appear in the character screen when you gave gathered enough experience points, and a small blue sign also on the portrait in the overland mode.  If you click that button the character will receive a boost to hit points and spell points as well as ‘talent points’.  You will also receive another boost, that depends on the class of the character and changes each level as well (for example a rogue will occasionally get a bonus to evasion and crit hit, and a barbarian to strength and health).  You can spend talent points on:

  • increasing your strength or dexterity.  The higher it is already, the more talent points it costs.  Strength has an influence on damage dealt, allows for heavier armour to be worn, and allows for bigger weapons to be wielded.  Also, while you may be able to wear a war plate with a certain strength and dexterity, boosting it further will reduce the negative speed and evasion factor that comes with such a heavy armour.  If you attempt to STUN an opponent using a blunt weapon, or a shield bash or shoulder bash skill, your strength also counts towards the strength and the intensity of the effect.  You can never have enough strength.  Dexterity drives many secondary stats like evasion, accuracy, even speed.  Being able to make your attacks hit the target, not be hit yourself, and act quicker than your opponent can not be overestimated. And dexterity also increases the chance to make a critical hit.
  • improving your proficiency with a spell the party knows.  This means that as long as your party somehow knows the concept of a spell, a spell caster can start practising (and then using and improving) it.  Many spells are unknown to the party when the adventure begins.  The degree to which your spell proficiency improves depends on your starting proficiency, your ‘magic lore’ skill and whether you have any spell books about this spell.  Overall, mages have a much higher maximum skill level for ‘magic lore’ as they tend to study spells and then use them.  Druids are not that fond of this approach, and with a lower magic lore skill would benefit less from spending talent points this way.  Druids prefer to just use spells.  Usage will slowly but surely also increase one’s spell proficiency!  So in theory you can avoid spending talent points for spells, other than the initial first starting investment for a new spell.
  • see a skill trainer and raise a skill.  Like spells, you can slowly improve skill proficiency purely via use.  To accelerate your progress though, unlike spells, there is no lore or books that will help you, you will instead need to find a trainer to leapfrog the long road of improvement by use only.  Trainers will more often then not request a fee be paid, on top of the talent points you use up as well in the process.  But to learn a new skill is a VERY powerful way to boost a party’s change of defeating tough enemies.  To be nimble when swarmed by many small enemies, or to be able to perform a holy chant when you are attacked by undead, can make the different between victory and defeat.  But similar to spells, apart from the initial first investment if the skill is new, you can also rely on the progress over time by just using it over and over.

PLAYER CLASS STRUCTURE

You will note that the player level is displayed in two ways: as a plain level next to the character name, as well as a class level.  So when you start a new barbarian called HULK he will show as:

Hulk ( Level 1 )

Barbarian ( Class Level 1 )

Once you have progressed deep into the storyline (away from the island you start out on), you will get the opportunity to change to an advanced player class.  The following are the theoretical possibilities.  Please note however, some classes will only be granted by completing difficult quests, performing deeds for powerful guilds or by finding a mystical teacher.  Be also advised that level advancement is slower when you are an advanced class, so assuming the same experience points are earned, a player remaining within the basic class will level up quicker.  However advanced classes categorically have access to better skills and spells, and/or higher proficiencies in them, compared to their respective basic class.  There are also two superior classes, however while gaining supreme skill and spell potential, their level advancement is particularly slower compared to other classes.

The classes and their progression tree are as follows (as the party discovers the opportunity for a class change, they will be advised of the benefits and characteristics of each):

FIGHTER – can develop into a WARRIOR or a KNIGHT or a SAMURAI.

BARBARIAN – can develop into a WARRIOR or BERSERKER.

RANGER – can develop into a WARRIOR, or MARKSMAN.

ARCHER – can develop into a MARKSMAN

ROGUE – can develop into an ASSASSIN.

MONK – can develop into a SAMURAI, EXORCIST or a PRIEST.

CLERIC – can develop into a PRIEST or EXORCIST.

MAGE – can develop into a WIZARD (and ARCHMAGE) or WARLOCK.

DRUID – can develop into a GEOMANCER, or WARLOCK.

The superior class of ARCHMAGE can be achieved by a WIZARD or MAGE.

The WARLOCK class can be taken up by a DRUID, MAGE, WIZARD or GEOMANCER.

As of now, no avatar class exists, this may only come in a sequel as the lore/story did not extend to include a virtue concept yet.

MOVEMENT AND INTERACTIONS – OUT OF COMBAT

In the main view, the party is displayed as a single hero icon in the middle of the screen.  You will see a landscape around you, at the start for example you are in a cave.  Any tile that is not visible from your position is blacked out, and as soon as it turns night you will notice that the light sources will not cover all areas and some will also fall into darkness.

Clicking on a tile will either

  • result in the party moving to that tile, finding a way around obstacles; or
  • result in no movement, either because there is no unobstructed path to get there or because the tile you clicked is a solid wall/obstacle itself, or because the tile is blacked out which means you don’t know what there actually is.
  • result in an action being taken if an action indicator is present: this is a floating TALK or OPEN or USE sign.  they appear if you are in vicinity of a door, chest, NPC, fountain etc.

Clicking on any of the 4 directional buttons, or using directional keyboard keys, will either

  • result in the party moving one step in that direction; or
  • result in no movement, if there is a solid wall/obstacle.
  • result in an action being taken if an action indicator is present: this is a floating TALK or OPEN or USE sign.  they appear if you are in vicinity of a door, chest, NPC, fountain etc.  For this to occur on the press of a directional arrow is an OPTION that is ON by default but can be deactivated in the options menu.
  • result in the player running in that direction, and around corners thereafter, until he hits an obstacle, monster, or expansion in directional options (coming from a corridor into a room).  this is called the “dungeon run” mode and is triggered by the “DGN RUN” tickbox at the bottom left.  You can make the box disappear in the options menu if it bothers you.  Using keyboard controls, SHIFT and a directional key will induce running as well.

You can set the step speed/delay at which the party moves in the OPTIONS menu, which in the main view is displayed as a white option sign.  We recommend you play around with that as it gives a different feel depending on device, and the default may not be the most enjoyable setting on each device.

There are many things that you can do in this main view, and if you are playing on PC or Mac or Linux, pressing TAB at any time in any screen shows all available key controls. But let’s start with what you see first:

In the middle of the screen is a tiled display of your surroundings.  You can use the magnifying glass at the top left to make it larger, for example if you are using a phone and not a desktop and monitor.  It is a representation of what you see and what you know.  It can show you obstacles, items of interest, features of the land, monsters, entrances and exits, as well as chests and doors and NPCs (non-player characters with whom you can talk or trade or train).

On the right hand side you will see a message box and location name at the top.  Below that is a bit of space for 3 possible spells that are active in map view mode.  Below that are the 6 characters, with their health and mana bars (red and blue) which indicate the proportionate amount left.  Health and mana recovers over time, more quickly when resting compared to walking.  If you click on a player it will open the stats+inventory view, which we will explain in more detail below.

There are plenty more buttons, best explained visually in the HELP screens you can access from the main menu.  but here is something on the one more complex function:

LOOK – lets you put a crosshair on a tile and receive basic information about what you see.  Further, if adjacent you can click the tile (or the search button), which will let you search that tile (for secret passages, treasure etc.) if adjacent.  This has a high chance (depending on the party’s perception skill) to detect any secrets.  Passively walking past hidden things also has a chance of detecting it, but much lower.  A  ?  will appear on that tile if the case.

COMBAT – MECHANICS and MOVEMENT

In combat, each player and each monster move and act separately from each other, and many tactical options apply.  But first, the fight is introduced by showing:

  • the number of enemies, by type;
  • some basic knowledge that you gathered from previous encounters with that type, if applicable.  this would be key resistances and vulnerabilities, or characteristics such as speed and attack type;
  • your gut feel about how it will go.  If you think this will be a ‘suicide mission’, trust that instinct and make plans how to run away without getting hurt too much. You can run away with each character to the edge of the arena once the fight starts, then a FLEE button will appear.

If you feel confident that you are way more powerful than your enemies, you can set your players to be all be on AUTO mode from the start.  Do that by having the “ALL ON” option clicked.  Or, if you had them on auto at the end of the last fight, leave “AS IS” ticked.  In fight, there is an AUTO switch/button next to each player (green=AUTO).

The AUTO SETTINGS button (before or during fight) opens a screen with the options you have to configure a player’s auto behaviour.  Note: players will never FLEE under Auto, and will never use daily skills or powerful magic.  There is an option to use defensive cooldown skills, and there is an option to focus on the basic magic attack spells.  You don’t want your druid to encounter rats and cast METEOR on them, trust me…

It is very useful to give the magic attack option a mana limit, either if the player also has healing abilities he will continue to use, or if you want to switch to manual and invest the mana in a more targeted fashion at some point.

 

You can also enter the inventory/spell/skill screen of any player by hitting their picture.  However you will not be able to alter your equipped items during combat.  But you can change your quick actions there for example.

Quick actions are the 9 buttons each player has which resemble skills and spells that he knows and that are relevant for combat.  Over the course of the game, any new skill or spell is usually added as a new quick action.  However, as you may gain access to many later on in the game, you may have to choose manually which ones to use in those 9 slots for quick access.  There is also a HELP button which gives a brief description on each.

Movement in combat is simplified:  wherever you click, the active player will make ONE step into that direction and then be active again when the time it takes to move has passed.  Every player and monster has a different speed, can use certain skills and spells to move faster, or even teleport.  When you have a possible target for the weapon you hold, monsters in range will show a highlight (close range) or a highlight with red circles (ranged attack).  Clicking on it will attack that target.  For a ranged attack, the more red circles the easier to hit.  Distance and obstacles make it harder to hit a target from afar, although it greatly depends on the weapon and your skill.  A war bow can fire over many tiles, whereas a sling has a comparatively short range.  Flanking is a powerful tactical element.  If a monster you target, whether with a melee or ranged attack, has another player next to it, than that hinders its ability to EVADE your attack.  If you ever find that a monster is really hard to hit, get up close with several players.  Unless he has a BURST/BLAST special attack, he can only kill one of you at a time, right?

If you select a skill or spell from your quick actions, the outcome varies.  Some take effect immediately, like ‘harden up’ which is a cooldown skill that prepares a battle worn fighter or barbarian for being hit over the next few rounds.  Other require you to select a target, close or ranged depending on skill.  Some let you choose a target square, like certain teleport skills or area effect spells.  Where you select some sort of target, you are able to ABORT the skill/spell use with the respective button, and not use up the turn/spellpoints etc.

As you fight your enemies, you may see your health points reduce dramatically.  If you are in AUTO mode, you can set alerts for any player that lets him revert to manual control if he is reduced to 25 or 50% health. Or alternatively if any player sinks below that, a setting suitable for a healer that otherwise may stay out of combat most of the time.  All such AUTO settings can be altered by clicking on any of the coloured AUTO settings to the left of the player pictures.

Note: while you can LOAD a game that you previously saved (from the options menu), the game also auto-saves every time you change location (move between maps).  You can deactivate this default setting though, in the options menu, if you prefer to manually SAVE whenever you feel necessary.  Please note if you fail to do so and exit the app, you would lose your progress.  So it is recommended to leave autosave ON and live with the consequences of your actions/ambitions.

COMBAT – DAMAGE, WEAPONS and TACTICS

Without giving too much away, there are a many different tactical ways to approach combat.  And the best approach clearly depends on your abilities and equipment and of course your enemies.  To best illustrate the factors at play, let’s look at a few example combat scenarios:

1. You encounter a flock of bats, including a few vampire bats.  They are very hard to hit, which is resembled in their evasion score.  If your ranger tried to hit them with arrows, they would possibly die right away.  However shooting a ranged weapon costs more time, if you miss two shots they would probably flown all the way up to your face and you would be in trouble.  Similarly, your buffed up barbarian with its heavy war hammer may equally take a lot of time to clear the ranks of the bats.  Once he is surrounded by them, he would grant flanking bonus to them which means he would be very easy to hit by them and loose a small amounts of hit points every other second and be bled to death in not time at all.  If you anticipate this, you would send in your fighter or monk with a very quick attack option: a dagger with some fire damage or in regards to the monk a simple unarmed attack, as an experienced monk possibly using his ‘swift punch’ technique.  You can select the technique at the top left of the screen.  The options vary on your skill for that weapon class, as well as the weapon itself.  For unarmed, the types represent powerful martial arts techniques.  A monk making 5 punches with high accuracy in the same timeframe a barbarian makes one swing with his hammer, makes a hell of a difference.  Similarly, a fighter with a swift dagger will cut the air and all that are in it in deadly slices.

2. Your party has entered an orc’s hideout.  With luck being on the wrong side of the fence today, you are attacked by two groups of orcs at once, so the fight starts with double the normal amount of orcs facing you.  You thought clearing out the hideout would mean easily taking out one group at a time, but now your lazy duck shoot has turned out a nasty challenge in an instant.  Orcs can take a punch, so to take the 7 orcs and 2 orc warriors down with fire columns will take a lot of time and not kill them before you have roasted each at least twice if not three or four times.  You have been cocky and not always regained all your spell points before moving on, so you started the fight on half SP and need to plan wisely. As an experienced party, you know what to do.  You have a deliberately unbalanced party at present. You spent all your loot to buy a rare frosty elven bow.  Your archer has also spent a lot of talent points boosting his ranged attack skills, so his attack type ‘quick shot’ will serve him well.  And the ‘frosty’ attribute will mean he deals extra frost damage plus freeze the enemy.  While not halting their movement, it does slow them down.  That buys more time to kill them before they are in range to unleash their melee attacks on you.  And in a cold state they are easier to hit as well.  But that alone would not stop 9 enemies of course.  You spend your SP wisely on two HASTE spells, which is very costly but will give your barbarian a fighting chance to maw down every orc that gets too close, and also let your archer shoot even faster.  And to shift the balance of power even further, your barbarian times his own skills wisely, using ‘harden up’ when the enemy is about to step into melee range, then ‘rage’ to boost his offensive abilities, turning him and his war hammer into a one-hit-kills wonder.  And with a to-stun chance of 50%, even if it does not kill it may leave the target stunned and just waiting for the second hit.

3. You have been careless and ran through some very deep woods.  Not all the trees are mere plants as you just found out.  One of them is giving you an evil stare, and soon enough he is throwing deadly boulders at you.  You know you could run as he does not seem to change positions at all, however you would cop some hefty hits on the way out.  You think it would make for a great trophy to take one of these ancient evil trees down, so derive a tactic to take him out.  First you need to use the battleground for your advantage.  Any ranged attack is far less likely to hit if you put a few trees between you and the enemy.  Since the tree or the party or both sat in a forest tile when combat was initiated, trees are also present on the battleground. So ‘staying out of combat’ for some of your party members does not have to mean running all the way to the edge.  They stay in far sight and would only have a slim chance of being struck by a boulder.  Then you aggravate the enemy: you noticed that once a player wounds him, he seems to focus his attacks on that player.  So you take the player with the best evasion, boost it with spells and skills, and let him be the target.  All the while you boost up a melee fighter.  With every step your fighter takes towards the tree, he passively receives boost spells from his party. Boosting armour class, speed, damage etc.  An evil tree is a fearsome enemy to go into melee combat with, but you soon realise that while he CAN hurt one of your players each turn, to do so means he can’t also focus on any of the others who come out of hiding, firing magical and old school projectiles at him, knowingly focussing on fire damage as his natural weakness.  And ultimately, while the tree has some great resistances to force and piercing damage, the slicing damage that the fighter’s axe ‘treebane’ produces will make all the difference… What a great plan!  Until the evil tree is reduced to half his hit points and let’s out an eery growl, which is answered by a pack of fierce wolves coming to his aide from all sides…

The above examples explain many important features:

  • flanking reduces the difficulty to hit a target
  • most ranged attacks get penalties to hit if the line of sight is impaired
  • any attack has a damage type. This can be physical: pierce, slice, force;  or elemental: fire, cold, lightning, magic, poison; or something completely different like the life-draining ability of some monsters…
  • there are by-effects to some attacks as well: some attacks freeze, some paralyse (which REALLY stops any movement or action), some stun (similar), some cause bleeding (which does not stop until healed or the fight ends), some cause poison damage (that stacks and only slowly reduces) …
  • distance matters for a lot of things.  Blessed be those that have unlimited range spells that only need a basic sort of line-of-sight, like the ‘lightning strike’ spell, where you simply have to concentrate on someone you see to have him being struck.  Your opponent may have a fierce ranged attack, but if he starts out of range, he has to cop a few hits before he can retaliate.  This also means that you should choose your targets wisely.  Using auto-fight mode for example means you loose some advantage here:  manually choosing targets you can target and take out ONE particular monster first that happens to be your biggest threat, whereas in auto-fight mode your party may target a lot of monsters and not killing any particular one early which they could if they had focussed on one.
  • timing is of the essence. ‘rage’ is a wonderful skill, but if you activate it too early it will run out before you have made the most important hits…

DEFENCES, SPEED, ACCURACY and EVASION

Superior tactics depend on a good understanding of the laws that prevail in combat, here are the basic ones and a bit of insight beyond that as well…

PHYSICAL DAMAGE comes in three forms: slicing, piercing and force/bludgeon.  It is hard to find a weapon that deals a lot of bludgeon damage without requiring a lot of strength, as it is strength that creates such damage.  Force damage in turn is the hardest to defend against.  When a golem punches you, there is not much your armour can do about.  However there are pieces of armour that try that, in particular when they are magically enhanced or ancient and rare, they can protect you just that bit you need to survive the blow.  Slicing and piercing is far more common, and intricate weapons can deal a lot of such damage.  However a thick hide as some monsters have, can hold up quite well against it. Then there are those (ghosts for example), that are totally unfazed by physical damage…

As to the exact effects: armour in any of the 3 categories halves damage for every 100 points of armour.  So 200 points of armour class (AC) vs. slicing means you receive only a quarter of the raw damage.  Pieces of armour are summed up directly to derive the total AC.

ELEMENTAL DAMAGE has many facets and resistances against any particular one depend for each foe.  You in turn will also have to prepare yourself well (before battle!).  Fighting a dragon with as many fire resistance bonuses as possible is a wise decision.  Note though that fire resistances do not stack like AC does.  It stacks relatively to the remaining damage:  if you wear two rings with fire resistance of 40% each, the 2nd one will reduce the remaining 60% vulnerability by 40%, so your total resistance is 64% with a vulnerability of 36% remaining.  Simply speaking: a ring with 80% fire resistance is MUCH more useful and rare than two rings of 40% each.  Firstly the two rings don’t give you the same resistance, and secondly they take up two equipment slots instead of one.  You could use the 2nd slot for a ring of LIFE (boost your health and regeneration…).

ACCURACY and EVASION work against each other.  In order to hit an enemy, your accuracy will be weighed off against the enemy’s evasion, and of course a roll is made which adds a randomised factor.  You will see that monsters that are very quick more often than not are also very evasive (=hard to hit), unless the monster is overconfident and does not give a damn.  You can to some extent produce that result by taunting the enemy.  And the same is true for players: if you put yourself in a RAGE with the respective skill, your evasion drops.   Evasion also drops dramatically if you are stunned or paralysed, and drops somewhat if you are frozen (=slowed).  There are some spells which do not need accuracy, for example a lightning strike.  This particular nature spell links the target and makes sure the lightning hits its mark.  Area effect spells impact everyone in range, however some evasion/resistance is applicable depending on the spell to account for the monsters reaction.

A monster or player that is STUNNED has the chance doubled that an attack hits him.  This can be powerful to overcome the evasiveness of a monster, or in turn can be your own downfall if you are surrounded by a few minotaurs who stun you every now and then with their mighty blows… Rumour has it that barbarians can advance to the BERSERKER class which has as its core skill the ‘berserker’s will’.  Over the life of the berserker he will effectively be able to withstand any STUN effect.  Note: STUN is the outcome of a physical force impact.  PARALYSE has the same detrimental effect but is caused by magic or other means, so berserkers will not gain immunity against that.

COMBAT TIPS (and DIFFICULTY)

The following are a few handy tips.  If you read through them you may note some address any particular issues you may have had.

1. If you are fighting on AUTO for all 6 players and quickly want to pause (for example to read back in the fight message log what attack the enemy just used), you just need to click on any player or the auto type letters to the left of them.  When ANY of your 6 players has their next turn, it will be on manual.  But only for that turn, as an interrupt.  The setting is still on AUTO and if you make his move the fight will continue on full auto.  You can use that interrupt to go through the log, check player stats (and there change quick actions if you need to), change the auto type settings, change weapon choices etc.

2. if you want to change a player’s AUTO setting (on/off) you can do so at any time when the fight is ongoing, you do not need to wait until it is a specific player’s manual turn.

3. if you tend to lose against a specific type of monster a lot on auto setting, try manual: maybe the use of your daily powers will sway the fight in your favour.  On auto setting, players do not use them at any time because they are precious.

4. Similarly, if you tend to lose on manual and are new to this type of game, activate the AUTO setting for all players and change to ‘M+’ for your fighters, “S” for archers and anyone using a ranged weapon, “P” for druid and cleric and “MF” for mage.  If that helps, set fight auto speed to a high setting in OPTIONS and learn what they do differently to you.

5. If you lose regardless, check the fight intuition when the fight commences, if it says “suicide mission” or “tough fight” maybe you should not engage this monster group at this stage, stay out of its lair/realm/area until you have leveled up a bit and/or wield better equipment.

6. If you are really desperate, just before you are adjacent to the monster group and the fight commences, go to OPTIONS and set the difficulty level to something lower…

7. If you think the game is too easy, do the opposite: set the difficulty to “SPARTA” and see how you fare.  Note that the difficulty affects many things: damage, monster hit points, experience required to level up, experience penalty for dying … many things are more difficult.  The only thing in your favour on high difficulty setting is that loot (monsters and hidden treasure alike) is better/more plentiful.

8. If you find that even if you level up you still don’t get much better, make sure you
a) search for loot in dungeons and even peaceful looking areas.  Loot means a chance to improve your equipment.  A “scorching ancient spirit sword of GIANTS” makes for a much better weapon than a “bent dagger”.
b) take all loot, always.  sell it at a shop that pays good money (not all do…).  Do not sell swords to a bow maker, he will pay scrap value only.  Try out the SPECIALS section which is not for super items, but rather for quick ways to sell or identify items.  Very handy if you got lots of loot on you.
c) make sure you take advantage of your improved weapon skills.  During a fight, click on the weapon in the top right and use the most advance fighting technique each player can do with that weapon.  Also choose weapons wisely.  You may get excited if an axe you found does 10 more damage than your current sword.  But if your sword skill is 50 and your axe skill is 10, the weapon attack types available to you for your sword easily deal double damage, so the axe is only an option in the long run if you REALLY want to raise a 2nd weapon skill one day (I suggest not).
d) thing hard about tactics how to boost your party for the particular fight at hand: you will find that your fighter may not last long against several zombies at once, but if both your monk and your cleric use “holy chant” at the right time (when the fighter is in reach to strike), you will notice that for the short duration he probably deals 3x the damage you are used to and takes out the zombies with one hit each.

9. Do not underestimate poison.  A ‘poison dart’ spell only deals a few points of poison damage, but it stacks.  If you have 2 players with the spell and you cast it quick enough, it will stack quicker than the effect fades.  Example: if a monster with no poison resistance gets hit with 4 poison darts but NOT in quick succession, his damage is: 4,3,2,1 + 4,3,2,1 + 4,3,2,1 + 4,3,2,1 = 40.  He will probably survive that. If he gets 4 poison darts hitting him at the same time, the damage is 16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 = 136, almost 4 times the individual result!  Be mindful that the same can happen to you.  If you think spiders are lame, wait till you are surrounded by 4 of them.  Or you get spat on by a dozen ants dealing 3 poison damage each…

These are the hints that come up during Loading or Saving screen waiting times, it case they disappear too fast:

“SPELLBOOKS INCREASE THE IMPACT OF TRAINING SPELLS”,”LOOK AND SEARCH IF A WALL IS SUSPICIOUS”,
“CHANGE YOUR FIGHT TACTICS BASED ON YOUR ENEMIES’ WEAKNESS”,
“EVEN WHEN ZOOMED IN, THE WORLD MAP CARTOGRAPHES THE MAXIMUM RANGE OF VIEW”,
“WHEN RESTING, YOUR PERCEPTION SKILL HELPS DETECT APPROACHING MONSTERS”,
“WALKING PAST A SECRET PASSAGE, YOUR PERCEPTION SKILL HELPS SPOTTING IT”,
“WHEN YOU ABORT A SPELL OR SKILL, YOU DO NOT LOSE MANA OR SKILL USES”,
“FLANKING ENEMIES LOWERS THEIR EVASION ABILITY. ‘NO ESCAPE’ SKILL AMPLIFIES THAT”,
“THE ‘NIMBLE’ SKILL LOWERS THE IMPACT THAT BEING FLANKED HAS ON YOUR EVASION”,
“FLANKING AN ENEMY THAT IS HARD TO HIT CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE”,
“DANGEROUS ENEMIES OFTEN NEED WELL-TIMED SKILLS AND SPELLS TO CREATE A WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY”,
“THERE ARE RARE CHARACTER FEATS AVAILABLE DURING CREATION THAT CANNOT BE OBTAINED LATER IN THE GAME”,
“CHANGE THE DIFFICULTY OPTION IF YOU THINK THE GAME IS TOO EASY OR TOO HARD”,
“KEYS ARE NOT SHOWING IN YOUR INVENTORY OR STASH. IF YOU GET ONE, JUST CHECK RELEVANT DOORS TO USE THEM”,
“YOU CAN CHANGE THE WALKING SPEED AND FIGHTING SPEED (AUTO) IN OPTIONS”,
“DEATH IS NOT THE END. YOU WILL HOWEVER FACE AN XP PENALTY”,
“ALL PLAYER CLASSES CAN PROGRESS TO ADVANCED CLASSES IF YOU FIND AND APPEASE THE RIGHT GUILD”,
“INSIGNIA ARE ITEMS SPECIFIC TO ONE PLAYER CLASS, THEY CAN HOLD UNIQUE POWERS”,
“EVEN WITHOUT IMPROVING YOUR IDENTIFY SKILL, YOUR PARTY WILL EVENTUALLY REMEMBER RE-OCCURING ITEM PROPERTIES”,
“RESISTANCES STACK LIKE LAYERS: TWO ITEMS WITH 50% RESISTANCE EACH LEAD TO 75% TOTAL RESISTANCE”,
“ARMOR CLASS (DEFENSE) WILL HALF THE DAMAGE TAKEN FOR EVERY 100 POINTS OF DEFENSE”,
“SOME UNDEAD ARE IMMUNE TO PHYSICAL ATTACKS. ITEMS WITH >100% ‘VS UNDEAD’ HURT THEM EXTRA THOUGH”,
“WHEN FAILING TO UNLOCK A DOOR OR CHEST, READ THE HINT TO SEE IF IT IS WORTH A RETRY”,
“A SHOP OWNER WILL CHANGE HIS STOCK OVER TIME. ACT QUICKLY IF YOU ARE SAVING FOR A PIECE YOU LIKE”,
“MAGIC LORE LIMITS THE SPELL PROFICIENCY YOU CAN REACH WITH TALENT POINTS”

Any questions? Check out the support page.

Next: The Making of Dungeons of Chaos

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101 thoughts on “How to play

  1. Hi,

    When you say strength would lessen the negative speed and evade factor of wearing heavy armor, at what strength do we see this applying?

    I ask because testing with 22 strength and putting on an armour, I fail to see any reduction in speed and evade penalties

    Like

    • just checked the code and you are correct, due to a bug in my formula the impact is too small to ever notice (you would need not just a few points more strength, but 1000 times that). I just fixed that and submitted 1.0.1 for AppStore review, one day to one week to get through the review probably. Sorry!

      How it should work: your malus to speed and evade is 100% what it states if you barely make the strength requirement. It is reduced to NIL if you have double the strength. So wearing a winged helm (requirement: 12) by a player having a strength of 21 will reduce the evade penalty from -4 to -1 (by 75%) because 21 is 9 more than 12 and 9/12 = 75%.

      So if you had a titanflesh armor (you wish!) with a requirement of 23, you would only walk as freely as an elf if your strength was 46. I clearly do not intend HEAVY armor to be worn as lightly as a rag, however you CAN devote a character fully to boosting strength. As intended, you can create some interesting builds by focussing on certain stats, skills or combos when levelling up a player over time.

      Like

  2. Great to see the bug has been addressed although it might take more than a week for the update to be released. With the Christmas break after next Thursday we might not see the bug fix until next year. Hope you could urge apple to expedite it.

    I like the idea of strength lowering armor penalties as you had designed. It totally ties in with a slow but hard hitting tank build. for now I’d just have to save all those Tp for strength later and resort to wearing lighter armor just so my fighter doesn’t stand around watching fight go by!

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    • I have high hopes it will be released quicker. Apple convention: any app version is categorised as V x.y.z where x is a major release, y is an update of features etc and z is a minor big fix. mine is the latter. I have seen app review times for pure UPDATES be as short as 1 day even during this x-mas period where first time submissions like mine take ~11 days. fingers crossed!

      In terms of saving TP, you can still use it for STR and wear heavy armor, the protection it gives still makes it a good tank. But I agree, if you want a tank that is also dashing out a lot of damage, you have to compromise… having options really counts. if you have 2 groups of zombies coming your way you would want a living wall in your ranks.

      Like

  3. Volker,

    Along the line of strength effects, does increased strength observe the same behavior in added damage of weapon? I’d noticed that strength over min. Req of weapons lead to added max value of weapon damage. And the added damage is greater for crushing type than slice or pierce. Comparing damage add on crushing weapons(ie, 1h vs 2h) with different str requirement also indicate greater degree of added damage for the 1h mace. Presumably due to lower str req.

    Also, can you share the relationship between proficiency and spell level for spells?

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    • Added impact of strength is unlimited. it kicks in from strength of 12 but also relates to weapon strength requirement. it is true that this boost is mostly causing force damage to increase. But quite a powerful alternative to the ‘lots of speed and quickest weapon’ build. The game is maybe not finely balanced yet so feel free to exploit any rule you encounter!

      Proficiency for spells will ultimately lead to a higher spell level. Most spells have 10 spell levels, although some have only as few as 7. Consequently, proficiency will lead to a higher level spell being available every 10 to 13 proficiency increments. The increments are really there to show (relatively) frequent progression from use as well as a visible denomination for training impacts.

      Please note that some skills also have levels, yielding better impacts at higher levels. For example RAGE. Other skills do not in that every increment of proficiency makes a difference (resist elements, identify, perception).

      And finally the most complex impact maybe relates to weapon proficiencies, where you will ‘unlock’ specific ways to use your weapon at certain proficiency levels. However the attack types, as well as the proficiency at which they become available to you, are different for each weapon!

      Like

      • Volker,

        Many thanks for the replies. Just to clarify, are you saying that for spells/skills with a spell/skill level indicator increments in proficiency DO NOT result in any mechanical effects in game , until the proficiency increment lead to an increment in their spell/skill level?

        I think a not-too-encumbered tank makes sense in every scenario just to be able to position well and for flanking purposes. Otherwise ,having to take 1 turn for every 2 turn my rogue and monk melee fighter takes will seriously mean the rogue and monk ‘tank’ on-rushing critters especially in auto mode. Suitable strength investment in lowering speed penalties just make heavy armored build that much more viable otherwise it will just be Dex builds all the way.

        And, at risk of not finding out for myself( feel free not to answer this), will the highest tier of weapon skills introduce multi target attack( ie, a roundhouse attack on all adjacent foes for example, especially for a 2h weapon) ?

        Great hidden gem of a game. I’d make sure to leave a review after 1.0.1

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      • as to proficiency increments: yes and no. for spells/skills with level indicator, proficiency increments in between do little, that is correct. I weighed that off a view times and decided it is a good representation to distinguish between players in particular. where a monk has ‘heal I’ a cleric has ‘heal III’. gives you a better indication of what you can expect. ‘level 27’ is not something I would want to show in combat, I like bulky (and roman format) improvements.

        as to multi-target attacks: yes, your thinking is correct on both fronts. for certain weapons.

        if you fancy trying out different melee builds, try a monk with the unarmed skill as well.

        If you like the game so far and indeed 1.0.1 will be delayed until Christmas, I would be delighted to get a review from you on the AppStore beforehand, to give me a good chance to do well during the Christmas frenzy!

        Thanks,
        Volker

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  4. Interesting. Um, I can’t resurrect my guy! My rogue died fighting spiders and I ran to the healer guy who told me that only high priests are allowed to resurrect but GrandMaster P (I dunno how his name is spelt) said the healer dude could do it but it would cost strength and dexterity. Anyways, I talk to him about it with resurrect button in the talk dialog box but nothing happens! My guy still has 0 health and a purple skull on his picture. Any ideas?

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    • The responses may not be clear, apologies I will fix that. The cleric cannot resurrect characters.
      Your options to resurrect a dead character are:
      1. find another more experienced healer on the island (yes, there is one)
      2. use the dirty method: the “HEAL” spell has a low chance of reanimating a character, you may try quite a few times but as the spell description says it will eventually work. The usual XP penalties apply though

      Only once everyone is dead will Parnosz the archmage step in (automatically).

      Like

      • I am new to the game, and it seems like a lot of fun! But I don’t think I understand how you revive people. On my first outing, I lost 5/6 players, but cannot seem to find the revival person (and Google searches only seem to bring me back to this thread). Can you enlighten me to where to find this?

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  5. Can you explain the sprint skill? Cant see the benefit in the start of the game. Thank you and that doesnt mean I’m not having fun!

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    • the sprint skill effectively allows you to move faster every other step, so that you can:
      – take up a flanking position sooner and easier (a slower fighter in your party will reach the monster by the time the rogue is already at its side)
      – reach ranged attackers that wait far away and give you trouble
      – become fast enough to out-run dangerous slow monsters (stone golems) and chase them around while your ranged attackers take shots at them.

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  6. Playing this on my S7, not disappointed! I never grew up with Ultima, but I did grow up the Macintosh shareware Ultima-clone known as Realmz, and the nostalgia is the same.

    Just playing around with different classes before I commit to a party, and I have a couple questions about Advanced classes. Do they still retain their skill maximums from their previous class, or do they get a whole new set upon switching? Also, are there any Advanced melee classes that allow for spell learning and casting for fighter types? Are my only options for a Paladin/ Battlemage character the Druid/ Geomancer and Warlock?

    But amazing game and great job on the port! You can tell this was a labour of love.

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      • I was (and still am) toying with the idea that some advanced classes would have a way to use their own raw approach to mana, like berserker trances or samurai’s vows etc. not implemented yet though. At the time of character creation, I actually don’t roll the main stats, I roll 3 underlying powers, one of them is the ability to channel magic. Because the total of the 3 is balanced, a high might or skill rating will mean a lower magic power, however most characters have a bit of all.

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  7. Cool, ready to go with my final party and take on Hard. When I’m finished with that, I’ll try a new party on Sparta for dat sweet loot. Huh, I almost never plan multiple playthroughs, looks like you got youself a lifer 😀

    On a quick side note, do you know of any online communities for DoC? I’d love to discuss the game with like-minded players, but I haven’t found any yet, aside from one or two here in the comments. Gamefaqs has a page for DoC but is currently only populated by yours truly.

    Again, thanks for the game and response!

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  8. I have been playing for about a week now I can’t figure out where the spell books go when I find them out how to use them. Other than that I really like the game my characters are level 9 and 10 still can’t seem to find the guy for the orb but having fun stomping things until I do!!

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    • Spell books help magic users boost their spell proficiency through ‘study'(use of talent points). They can study regardless, but with books it yields bigger proficiency increases. You are capped though in this method by your magic lore skill.
      Books can be seen for each spell individually in the spell’s details when looking at ABILITIES -> SPELLS. hope that helps!

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  9. I really like this game. I loved Ultima and old style rpgs, and this one definitely does not disappoint. What I think would be extremely helpful is if during character creation there was a description on what advanced classes the beginning classes could advance to, and maybe an option through difficult paths to multi class. I almost don’t want to advance my game knowing that the last two classes are unobtainable. I wanted avatar since I saw it was a class.

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  10. I am wondering the mechanics behind critical hits. Also, I am unsure of what stoning does. Furthermore, does drain life drain exp., or is it just draining health and healing the monster?

    Thanks.

    Rob

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    • am posting it all centrally now, critical hits is now explained here:
      https://dungeonsofchaos.wordpress.com/insights-game-mechanics/

      on life drain (Evil damage): it is just a type of damage, that you can have resistance again as well. and boost with ‘resist evil’.
      Lifesteal is a separate feature that some monsters have, like vampires. it is commonly the attacks that also deal some life draining damage that have lifesteal on, but that is not a must. Ghost do life draining damage without lifesteal.

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  11. I should have done my research a few days ago before upgrading classes, or I would have held off on transitioning my fighter to a warrior. So, is there any reason to hold off on upgrading my ranger? I wanted to turn him into a marksman, but alas. What do you have in store for them?

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    • Rangers don’t have much choice at present, they were destined to have some more unusual avenues to advance, but those I have not decided on yet. At present they can stay a ranger (which is not bad by the way, a basic class levels up faster than an advanced class which makes up for other things advanced classes get. And their class cap for skills only applies for using talent points, they can advance beyond that via use.

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      • Gotcha. I’ve figured most of that out now. My warrior is leveling like crazy right now though with all of these guild quests. One of these days I’ll have to actually put more strength into my warrior and transition him to 2H with that desecrator I picked up, or maybe the bonesplitter, but as of right now, he’s pretty good DPS at range that doubles as an effective tank when I let my assassin get surrounded and killed by stunning trolls/golems/ghouls. One on one though, assassin with perfect spirit sword of faith, where my priest can effectively cover him is a terror. I love fighting powerful undead mobs with holy chant active. Warrior (with rage)/Assassin can crank out 1000+ on hits usually 500+, but I’ve seen a 3K crit! I’m playing on normal right now.

        I love that you’re so active with your players and reviews. I’m enjoying this game more than most in a looong time. Probably since the original Mass Effect, but it surpasses that in depth and pretty funny asides.

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  12. Sparta is incredibly hard. I’m rolling with:

    Two Fighters (one 1H Sword/Shield Dwarf Ancestry, one 2H Sword Antinode)
    One Monk (low skill unarmed with Dynamo, he will spec into Samurai to mitigate the lack of undead on the 2nd island)
    One Rogue (Surehanded, ranged spec because why bother with Marksman when Assassin can do everything and more? Pumped Str until he could use Snowy Shadowpiercer for island 1, and now I am searching for a really solid Sky Bow or Guardian Bow)
    One Druid (Nodemaster, Lightning Strike/Heal/Resist Magic/Fire/Wiz Eye)
    One Cleric (Nodemaster, Heal, into Priest, because Exorcist is terrible due to a lack of undead on 2nd island)

    It took some serious hours to kill the lich, and some extreme luck, starting with 2 spectres, him summoning only one pair of additional spectres, and sitting still through getting beat on by raged holy chanted double fighters.

    The fire acolyte was even worse. I gave up after 12 hours and dropped it down to Very Hard. Maybe that battle would be possible with a different setup on Sparta, or some incredible amounts of overleveling. I can’t invest any more time into that one single battle.

    Moving on to Minotaurs now!

    Like

    • Sounds like a real challenge. Which is kind of what I wanted to achieve. I think one thing you could try out is carry items with specific resistances in your stash, to put on before you fight fire enemies (acolyte) or undead (lifedrain resistance).
      Tough fights are usually all about getting your weakness covered and exploit theirs. But there is no shame dropping difficulty for the odd fight.

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  13. That’s a good suggestion, and one I’ve tried to begin covering already. I have two amulets of resist lightning, and some various rings with smaller amounts, the odd frost boot for when I go take on the Ice Demon, etc.; I had poor choices on fire resist prior to the Acolyte fight, but I will definitely need some for the Mature Dragons.

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    • Yes, a simple enchantment is not too expensive to buy in store and is a good prep to take along.
      Although harder to track, resistance spells (and armor boost) can also swing a fight outcome. That, and daily skills and bigger attack spells which all need to be on manual combat, is my way of making the player feel like they can take control and move the fight outcome around.
      The more you intervene and tinker, the better the chances.

      Like

  14. I took ages rolling my best party, to get 18 dex across the board (bar fighter, 17!), with melee rogue on dynamo (beastly!!) but I toned down difficulty to hard for the lich. I just couldn’t dent him on suicidal. So I kept on going through the game after the lich with it always on suicidal, took down every other mob on suicidal (including now 5 wisps!) bar undead dragon. But I figure that’s just a matter of time, particularly as I re-loaded a back up to take my cleric to exorcist for the extra life and damage dealing, rather than priest…. but my failure to take down the lich has been itching me…

    So I rolled a new team. Fighter, 16 dex and elven; rogue, 18 dex, dynamo; Cleric, 18 dex, elven; mage 17 dex elven; Monk, 18 dex, dynamo and druid, 17 dex and physique.

    High dex at the start gives such a ludicrous boost to attack speed, I felt it was the right way to go…

    So how am I doing? All up to level 11, with the fighter at level 12. Not one death incurred (reload on any death) and my gear is getting there. In full tank gear, the fighter has 241/248/196 defence, 342 health and either 86% crit resist or 42% lifedrain resist, mage has 500 mana, druid 352, cleric 333, I’ve a smoking widowmaker (5-18 fire damage!) on the monk, great axe of holiness on the fighter (+147% on undead) and a perfect swiftblade of consecration on the rogue (+43% undead damage). Young dragon? Easy, shivering daggers on rogue and monk made it so easy I thought it was a glitch. Tzoahl the terrible? Not so terrible with that widowmaker and snowy shadowpiercer on Monk and Rogue.

    However…

    the lich facerolled me….

    So I’m grinding specters near the shadowbeasts (to raise holy chant and they are the easiest things to beat with decent XP) because….

    The Warrior ants and Wyrms are brutal!

    The ants chew through my tank, which makes them risky, even when employing the same tactics as with Tzoahl and boosting him with Armor boost II. And I don’t have ignite, so can’t take down big groups – can’t find that spell anywhere 😦

    And the Wyrm gives me such a beat down, I run out of mana on heals too fast to make a dent in them. Tried the same tactics as with ogres (wow they hit hard! Even with my 200 defence and armor boost up!!! 70+ damage per hit and stun locks) with the wyrms, but they are too fast and tend to chuck rocks which crit and instant kill the back row.

    Had a couple of runs through the Gnome tunnels, but they don’t drop much in gear or exp to help (or that elusive ignite!).

    So where do I go from here? Is the lich just too tough on suicidal? Would a barbarian instead of the mage have helped? Given my fighter with accuracy 170 with that axe misses all the time on specters, I’m not so sure a slower, less accurate barbarian would have helped..

    The wyrms are out of reach to kill/grind on, which leaves me contemplating risky ants…. only getting 9 exp for a group of three specters and no loot drops of note to help.

    Am I doomed to failure and grinding specters for days on end? Is out levelling the lich the only way to do it? Had another crack with both cleric and monk having holy chant at level 3, but still got swarmed. May try and get it to level 4 once I get everyone else to 12 and then have another crack.

    So if anyone else is trying the lich on suicidal, share your thoughts and approach as I’m intrigued to hear other solutions.

    Like

    • Thanks for the insightful post! I think you are doing great in suicidal overall, I am not yet sure if the lich is beatable on suicidal or with what type of build. I would think if you get close to him and have holy chant level 3 going and two characters with exorcism, it could take his head off. In abscence of holy chant/exorcism, not so sure.
      So you want to repost this on the Facebook page? We have a good discussion about suicidal progress there. Thanks!

      Like

  15. Hello, I defeated the lich on Suicidal earlier this week after three weeks of trying. I will post about it on the Facebook topic, if you would like to get some pointers.

    Like

  16. Just took him down too 🙂

    Ants first. I cleared the nest, bar the queen (now that is suicide at this level!) and picked up 30,000 in loot to sell and two star circlets, boosting undead damage on each of monk and cleric. The new rogue ability to assassinate in melee was the way to go on warrior ants, plus armor II to ensure he could survive the odd couple of hits. That enabled pretty much deathless/reloadless clearing of the nest. Next came two more gnome tunnel runs (triple gnome mages killed me twice, more reloading…) then repeated specter killing all this morning.

    Ground out 369 specter kills to get warrior to 13 and all others to 12. Holy chant at level three for monk and cleric.

    Straight up to the lich and prepared for multiple re-loads… druid and mage on magic missile, levels 4 and 5 respectively, the monk with his flaming widow maker and items boosting him to 96% additional damage on undead, cleric I put on attack and melee with beaming mage staff of consecration (12-184 magic damage +38% damage on undead) to ensure he got close enough at the start to use exorcism. Rogue and fighter on melee. Rogue with his perfect swiftblade of consecration mentioned above (totals 59% extra damage on undead with the star circlet) and warrior with his Great Axe of holiness. Put cleric, fighter and rogue right at the front on the layout.

    Hit start and all on auto with finger hovered over the cleric portrait for switch to manual and hit holy chant.

    Three specters (got lucky!!), charge in, hit first holy chant (got two times each on monk and cleric for four in total) when rogue cleric and fighter all get to specters at the same time. Got lucky on hits, and they all go down straight off the bat!

    Next the lich, holy chant is still up (tried pressing again on cleric – you can’t stack with the same person it appears) and the rogue hits him for over 500 – too fast to see the damage parse.

    He teleports and one zombie pops next to my mage, with two others on far edges, flick over to monk to use determination and hit the one attacking the mage with the widowmaker, then use monk to heal the mage….glance up (warrior and rogue still on auto) and lich is on orange health! 2/3rds down!

    Switch over to the cleric and start tapping furiously to move him into exorcism range, get to one square away, hit holy chant again….

    And as you rightly predicted, it takes his head clean off!

    Health for my team? Almost unscathed. Cleric the worst off, on 95/126 from the initial charge at the specters.

    Loot? A ring with 36% fire resistance, one unidentified ring, two unidentified mage staffs, one masterwork mage staff (no boosts) and one expert mystic belt (sell…)

    Rogue and Monk leveled to 13 and quest completed.

    Sense of achievement? Achieved!!!

    Considering fighting him again to see if how much of a fluke it was and re-roll on spell drops?? Not quite, but may reload later and see…..

    I think getting him with three specters is key, as is holy chant level 3. I cannot recommend that enough. It may feel like a waste of talent points, but really it does make a gigantic difference. Everything goes down in seconds.

    So what else is there in chapter 1? Ant queen, wyrms and gnome wizard (if they spawn here?). Ant queen is a straight up no way, not without high level ignite, which still hasn’t dropped. Far too many warrior ants. Wyrms? I may take one last crack, but boy are they tough!

    Are they meant to be ones to come back to once you’re through the rift? Possibly.

    But ah, the rift… I’ve been collecting + magic damage items to make farming Kampas a breeze, but could I make it through all the way to the end of the *first* rift? Now that is a challenge. And with Kampa drops pretty fantastic, I may have a chance.

    So, tips for the lich on suicidal?

    Save up money to buy high + undead damage items, ideally “of holiness”, collect them all the time from the start, plus keep an eye out for +magic damage items to help with the specter grinding and decent stun or freeze weapons for the young dragon.

    Spend lots of talent points raising magic missile and holy chant up high. Grind to level 11/12. Use at least one holy chant on the specters at the start. Have one or both of cleric/monk on melee so you can use exorcism while under chant and with high +undead damage. Cleric with +141 damage vs undead (starcirclet, cross belt, insignia and weapon) with exorcism under holy chant definitely helped.

    Could it be done with just one of cleric or monk? Probably, especially considering I didn’t even use the monk’s chant. But he certainly helped with grinding specters to get the levels.

    Could it be done without holy chant? I think not, unless you got fantastically lucky with weapon drops o really high magic or undead damage. But maybe.. I just like taking monk to samurai, so couldn’t go without one and cleric to exorcist with melee weapons? Yes please!

    So from despondence yesterday thinking he was too tough, to success in less than 24 hours.

    Chapter 1 completed on suicidal all the way through. Angry tree, orc warlords, Tzoahl, gnome mages, warrior ants and ogres all took a lot of thought, planning and in the ants case, frustration. Lower EXP gain also hurts!

    Chapter 2 I have already done on suicidal, including the bunny and wisps, but that was with a party that took the lich on hard mode.

    So what am I going to do now? Yup, annoy the other half even more, by taking this legendary party that beat the lich, all the way through on suicidal.

    Will post again to update on the rift run.

    (not on facebook, sorry!)

    Like

    • *Mechanics abuse disclaimer*

      On leaving the shelter, I ground vampire bats from level 2 to 4, *without* looting the secret area with the wedding ring – as soon as you loot that it stops the bats respawning at the same rate.

      I then used multiple re-loads of that set of loot to get insignia with + accuracy for rogue and fighter.

      I also used multiple re-loads of the dragon loot to get the perfect swiftblade and a Krust heavy armor. I also used multiple reloads of orc chests to get +undead damage insignia for cleric and monk.

      Reloading loot, particularly the dragon loot, can change the course of your run. Also getting lucky with the loot in the second shop.

      Doing that, with an archer for an “of holiness” bow and similar weapons for melee could make it possible to clear the lich without holy chant. It would take a LOT of reloading though.

      Could make ranger, archer, fighter, druid x3 viable though.

      But, holy chant makes it safer and means I can go heavy melee rather than range, which I’ve never really liked in any RPG.

      Like

  17. Young Dragon stash is the one area that I was unable to repeatedly reload for rerolls. Whenever I reloaded my game, it respawned the Young Dragon.

    Every other loot stash I rerolled hundreds or thousands of times, as well.

    Like

  18. The first rift…

    The initial challenge was getting past the first mobs and kampas in particular. Interestingly, due to having holy chant lv3 on both monk and cleric, the apparitions and their spheres were easy. My rogue using backstab/assassinate would regularly hit for 1,000+ with both chants up.

    I realised that I could have done this by just fleeing each fight, but with the XP penalty on suicidal so high already and the XP from mobs in the rift high and therefore the penalty for fleeing high, I thought I’d do it the hard way …. fight!

    However it took a lot of attempts to get my gear right for the kampas. My monk kept getting 1 shot’d in melee and even with his smoking widowmaker, I just couldn’t pump out the damage to consistently kill kampas before they would summon another. This was using the load out I broadly used last time, so fighter with a magic sword, rogue with magic dagger and intialy monk with magic dagger (but kept getting killed).

    So I tried putting the cleric in there as well, with his beaming staff (note it’s extreme magic damage, above), but then I had two squishy toons in there. Kampas would die fast, but I’d regularly lose a toon, which given the XP penalty on suicidal means, of course, re-loading, which puts you back to square 1.

    Despite the Kampa’s strength being resistances, I then tried putting a toxic claymore on the fighter, glaring long sword on the rogue and the beaming staff on the monk, use armor III from the mage on all three of monk, fighter and rogue, plus armor I cast twice on the monk. I also put the highest defence rating leather armor, rings and necklace on the mink to get his base armor to 115/96/105…. and success!

    Kampas going down *rapidly*. The toxic claymore in particular, despite the Kampa’s resistances resetting and reducing the poison damage quickly seemed to do a ton of damage in the log (could we have a total damage done at the bottom of the damage summary to show tick/dot damage???). Plus the rogue and monk now equaled one another on damage, normally getting to between 2,000 and 3,000 per fight. Both of them having dynamo helps massively, it is a real game changer from a damage point of view.

    Now of course the challenge was getting to the end and importantly *back* without running completely out of mana and heals. I could take out three apparitions in a row without dying or even denting my mana, due to balancing use of holy chant and exorcism. Could probably do 4, but could never get that many in a row. Two kampas was the maximum or two chaos worms (the latter as you need to spam ignite on both mage and druid to get the spawns down), plus the 3 apparitions. The kampas and worms because I’d run out of mana on either mage for ignite damage on the latter or cleric for heals on the former.

    Getting to this point, meant I had just leveled the fighter to 17, the others to 16 and the mage still 400 or so XP from 16 (so still lv 15) by the time I got back from the last fill in the map run. So I’d put on 3 levels as an average since the lich fight. But I am re-rolling the level ups to get high health on each toon level up, particularly focusing on cleric and monk. Monk and Rogue both have just over 280 health. Kampas and Apparitions give a lot of XP at these levels.

    However as I like to be complete, I knew I had to not only get to the end (far right of the first rift) but get back and fill in the map.

    So I set off this morning and got there and back! Didn’t fill in the map entirely, but got close. Went the south east route as the map pieces are bigger and you can somewhat evade mobs. On the way there and back, I killed one kampa, three apparitions and two chaos worms and fled one apparition fight on the way back. Success and sign found without of course “cheating” 🙂

    However the north east of the map was still black, so I took another run at that (one re-load and restart) and filled in the map! (except for one, literally one black square/pixel in the middle east large piece of rift just before the sign… I may go and get that again).

    So, sign visited in the first rift, map filled in and done without incurring a death and only 1 fled battle, -23 XP. The second rift is easy to explore once you’ve over leveled (as I have on my other account …) as you can auto battle everything and not run out of mana or even, really dent it. But I have to say this first rift is a serious challenge if you aren’t going to swallow a -300 XP penalty for repeated fleeing, which I simply could not countenance.

    37 mobs down too, as there are an extra 8 in there in total allowing for the spheres, which helps towards easily obtaining that assassin guild entry.

    So either later today or tomorrow, I may take another crack at either the queen or wyrms, or both.. I’m still not sure I have the armor for either, although armor III on the mage seems to be making a decent difference.

    Pretty chuffed with getting this first rift explored, as I like having maps filled in and it always bugged me that I didn’t on the first few runs through there.

    Suicidal first rift done, a ton of cash collected (thank you Kampas and your expensive loot drops!), a few useful necklaces and rings with resistances for wisps later on too.

    Will update again once I’ve decided on what to do next, queen/wyrms or get the new rift open and start chapter II in earnest.

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  19. Hello.

    I have some questions regarding some aspects of the game.

    Difficulty Setting:
    So far I have noticed that I actually get less exp as well as having a much larger amount of exp needed for the next level if I do level up on suicidal difficulty. Is this true?
    Is it also the case that proficiency increases are less per use of a skill or spell while the difficulty is set to a higher setting?
    In addition it states loot is better on higher difficulty settings. Is that rolled when you uncover the loot as in find it via search or perception or is it rolled upon entering a lair or cave?
    I am a bit confused by the less exp gain per higher difficulty setting since the risk versus reward is somewhat imbalanced in this regard.
    Does level of character factor into drops on difficulty settings?
    I found that grinding skeletons for hours on suicidal did not return much in the realm of better loot.
    What other specifics does difficulty affect?

    Leveling up:
    How come on each level up some of my characters begin to fall behind the rest as far as their next level even though the team is getting the exact same exp?
    Does damage account for overall exp to next level up or does each class have a certain formula over time for level ups?
    They seem to stay much closer as far as exp for next level on lower difficulty.
    On higher difficulty my mage and cleric reached a point where they were like a full level behind the others on upper tier difficulty settings.

    Shop and Loot formula and pricing:
    This one has me head scratching a bit.
    It would appear the prefix of an item weighs extremely heavily on its price.
    And multiple prefix suffix gets even more extreme for pricing in shops even if the stats are weak.

    For example a jeweled magi hat was something like 100k to buy and a regular magi hat was maybe a thousand. Both of them had the same exact same 5% mana and mana regen on them.
    This extreme pricing is clearly seen with rings and pendants.
    A bent ring of alertness is like 100 gold and a Perfect ring of alertness with less stats than the bent one is nearing 10/20k. In addition there seems to be material quality in general beyond the prefix/suffix combo.
    So a ring that is more like a starter dinky ring can have awesome stats and sell for nothing but something that looks like a better material can have pathetic stats and sell for anywhere from 50x to 1000x the dinky ring.

    I think that looking into pricing things based on the actual stats and usefulness of them would be a better approach than a generic formula that does a check on prefix/suffix and material and prices them that way. The extreme nature of the shop really pushes save scumming chests and secret loots because a single item at like 100k+ is an incredibly long amount of grinding. It also impedes a general feeling of progression.

    I do like how there can be some extremely amazing loot but I cant see how I am supposed to acquire money to get many items in shops. Its like its either 100 – 5000 then it jumps to 10 – 30/40k and then jumps to 100 – 500k. That seems to be some extreme jumps seeing I am only selling items for very low amounts of gold.
    Maybe a barter skill could be added at some future date to mitigate the extreme curve?

    Does the shop check character level for what it offers?
    How often does the shop actually refresh its stock? It says check back in a day or 2 but I have sat around resting for a week game time and nothing new is showing up.

    Thanks for this game. It does bring back definite states of nostalgia for me and I am pretty hooked on it now.

    Like

    • Glad you take such interest in the game mechanics!
      A higher difficulty setting makes everything harder except loot drop. More XP needed per level, more monster health and armor and evasion, higher monster count per encounter etc. It makes for an overall harder gameplay where in the end you have to make much more difficult choices about how you spend your talent points and gold to cater for your next upcoming challenge. I recommend people play on normal for first play, or maybe one notch higher if they know a lot of RPGs and like it tougher. Higher difficulty settings and quirkier party compositions make for a lot of interesting replay possibilities later.
      In terms of loot, you find MORE loot of the same value distribution. An Orc mad for example has a chance for 2-4 items from a set range. His range used for each item roll could be:
      – 50% chance for an item valued $50-$200 suitable for a mage class
      – 30% chance for an item $125-$400 suitable for a mage
      – 15% chance for $50-200 for any class
      – 5% chance for $200-800 for any class.
      But first the number of items is rolled. If the random roll says 2 and you are on normal, you get 2 items rolled based on above. Chance for one rare item is then total of 10%.
      When under suicidal, I roll more often and take the HIGHEST of the rolls to determine if you get 2, 3 or 4 items. So good chance you get up to 4 and hen chance of a rare find is 20% and chance of more gold value for total loot is close to 100%.

      For levelup, each class has their own XP required to next level. Simple characters like barbarians take less than spellcasters to level up. Spellcasters in return have more talent points granted as occasional level bonus. Just a choice I made in how I designed the levelup metrics. Normally by the time everyone is about level 10, spellcasters are one level behind simple fighters.
      XP is divided evenly among surviving non-fled party members, not distributed by damage or kills.
      Pricing works as follows:
      I calculate the price as: item base price plus prefix base price plus suffix base price plus condition base price, and then multiple this by suffix escalation % and prefix escalation % and condition escalation %.
      What this does, is it makes items with two enchantments much pricier and rarer than those with one.
      But not everyone will value what you value. To a Shopowner, a ‘jewelled’ item is expensive because it has jewels in it. For you, that does nothing else but increase gold value.
      Same for certain conditions like ‘perfect’. It refers to craftsmanship. For armor or weapons, this translates to better stats. For jewellery, it may not. But still a perfect ring sells for better value because it looks perfect.
      The game is not relying on you finish rare loot if you play on normal difficulty. You can grind and chest scam if you enjoy that but there is not really a need to. The game does not prevent exploits, people should enjoy what they enjoy.
      And my philosophy for shops was: they don’t just sell stuff you can afford or need, they sell what they have.
      A shop usually refreshes 5% of its stock per day since you last visited.
      Hope that helps!

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  20. Thanks for the response.
    It would be cool to have barter some day still.

    Another question I have Is pertaining to identify.
    What level will allow me to id everything?
    What is the best way to level it?
    Does having more enemies drop more loot work as I will id the drops and increase prof?
    Or would that not work well as the prof increase on higher difficulty is lower?

    I am comfortable with the higher difficulty settings as R
    an RPG veteran. But at higher difficulty settings loot is basically live or die so I do reload chests. However with lowish id skill I am not seeing the properties of chest loot often.

    Other question about perception and wizards eye.
    The skill perception says it increases rarer loot drops. Does it work that way or does it only increase the chance of finding secret loots?
    If it does work that way do chests also have better chances with high perception to have better loots?
    Are the secret spots static excluding the randomised dungeons?
    For example in the rat cave can any rock debris or bones have loot possible. Is revisiting places like that and the bat cave worth it as I gain higher perception?
    What is a good perception to find all secrets?
    As of now I am literally walking to each tree rock etc. and manually searching. Is this overkill?

    Thanks for the insight!

    Like

    • Walking to each tree is overkill. If you are wanting to find every grind, having wizard eye at spell level 2 and active does the trick. I have not hidden any treasures so hard that that would not get it found on passing by. Without the spell though, perception would need to be quite high to spot some of the treasures around.
      In terms of loot drop, perception ensures a higher rate, not rarity.
      For identify, the chance to identify an item depends on your combined skill and the items stats: for a ‘toxic hellforged dagger of fatality’ the check would look at:
      – how often have seen the ‘toxic’ prefix before?
      – and the hellforged condition?
      – and the fatality suffix?
      You always have ‘a’ chance to identify something entirely new, but only with high skill would that chance be at least 40%. So if you find something with ‘??’ Chances are good it is something exciting and new.
      With really high skill you would get a 70%+ chance of identifying anything totally new. But that would be one person with proficiency of 50 or so and a few in the 20s.
      If you have the ‘nerd’ birth feat then that person has seen 10 of each kind already, and his skill is also good.
      The skill will increase by just finding loot.

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  21. Suicidal in chapter 2 is in some places a little easier than chapter 1, although I think my choices around monk will make it tougher.

    So far, I’ve somewhat convinced myself that I won’t take anyone to an advanced class until I unlock all of them. I also thought it would be interesting to cap my toons at level 20 and see how far I could push in, with mainly using tactics rather than huge health, mana and outrageous gear.

    So, how’s it going?

    Well…. I started off with the trolls, pretty easy for my group, although I had to fight manual at the start of every encounter so that I could chuck armor III on monk and rogue. My rogue is pumping out even more damage now that he has hit 20% crit and has backstab lv2. Guarantees easy kills if you get unlucky with a group of 4 trolls or similar. All done at level 14/15, out of there at level 16.

    Next stop was filling in the map and the ice demon… the demon was tough! First two tries he splatted me, with monk the issue on conceding a death. So I put the widowmaker back on the monk and leveled ice resist to II on wiz as well as druid and had another go with a lot of resist gear, used flaming weapons and both druid and mage on hotspot. Took him down and a little more comfortably this time.

    Next was the dragons, mature dragon down easily. Gear makes a huge difference here, that toxic claymore and a toxic dagger, plus ice dagger on the monk and liberal armor boost makes them relatively safe. Could it be done without? Tried it and yes, so dragons appear to be somewhat do-able without tons of poison damage at this level and with basic classes.

    Next, Minotaurs. These were a little more challenging. Always had to fight on auto to get my fighter in the middle of all three and both rogue and monk focusing on one. Marking the target to go down first helped, as does armor III again. Cleared the whole place bar the boss, bunny, vampire and the two secret areas as lock pick and magic unlock not high enough. So, run back to the shelter, sell everything for a premium, level lock pick on rogue to 30, put a trinket on him with lock pick boost, level everyone else to at least 10 on lock pick, and go back for another try.. Still no luck! So, spend about a day resting and spamming magic unlock to level it. Took getting it to level 45, plus trinket with +5 unlock before I could get them open. Loads of loot! And that fantastic gembanger of the earth for my fighter! Woop! Now for the boss, bunny and vampire…

    Vampire a doddle with two holy chants at lv3. The bunny took three re-loads. In the end, beat him just by putting monk on heals and giving both rogue and fighter the highest +accuracy daggers I had. Got hit into the 20% mark for both of them and out bled the bunny!

    Minotaur boss a little tougher, but went with the same trick as the normal ones and he went down too. Keep done! Off to unlock the elves area. Got the druid quest, angry tree and checked their loot for +lightening resist. Killed the tree too easily – ignite the wolves and then just pound on him. Druid quest easy too. Then had a crack at Kratos. WAY too tough with everyone now capped at level 20. Does his lightening crit? Ghouls also too hard although only had one try, so will go back…. and don’t get me started on the ember orc warlords. The ember orcs and giants? Easy enough on manual fighting to keep that armor up on monk. But the sheer quantity of adds on the warlords means I don’t have the health, mana or DPS to take them down on suicidal and capping everyone at 20.

    So I went to free Jaimar. The Fire Acolyte beat me the first time, but the second he went down with a little gear juggling. Killed the pestilent slimes without dying first time too – poison resist is the one that actually seems to have an effect (more on that in the next post).

    I also went back to have another crack at the ant queen (too tough again, need higher ignite/magic rupture, which I don’t want to waste all of my remaining talent points on, when I may need them for lightening resist. The Wyrms on the other hand, easy enough at level 20 basic toons and with OK gear. Needed armor III up all the time on mage, rogue, monk and cleric.

    So now I have Kratos, Ghouls, Orc warlords, Ryld and master floaters left to kill. Picked up a trinket with meteor on it, so the floaters will be easy with a lot of resting. And I think with my holy chant that the ghouls will also go down, again with judicious resting.

    Ryld, Kratos and Orc Warlords though?

    Think they may be too tough as all basic classes and capped at level 20. Unless of course i hugely grind for gear. Which somewhat defeats the point.

    Will have a think about which direction to go in next. I can take all to advanced classes without the above, bar monk to samurai… but I didn’t want to take them to advanced… Will have a crack at Ryld later and see how far I get. But do I grind gear, remove my arbitrary 20 level cap or use advanced classes?

    I may have to at this rate.

    But it is interesting to see how far you can get with low-ish level basic classes, particularly the rogue and monk in melee. High armor class rings, start circlets, cloaks and necklaces are hugely key here. Keep an eye out for anything with “of absorption” on it for them. Monk is at 146/127/131. Rogue at a whopping 246/200/179 at level 20! Bastioned masterwork round shield makes a chunky difference on him, plus of course being able to wear gloves, helmet, chain mail and belts.

    So, given this is a how to play… my next question below…

    Like

    • How do resist spells work at each level?

      I’m guessing say resist element (of any kind level) II adds 20% resistance? And armor II adds 50 armor of all kinds as per the Wiki? But how long do they last for? And how does this work on suicidal? Also, playing on an android phone with a 5 inch screen, I cannot see when buffs are up on my toons….

      Tick damage (poison, bleed) comes up on each of their characters on the battlefield, with a little tear drop of green or red, as does paralysis, freeze or burn, but there are no other indicators of being buffed.

      There is no increase to armor class or resistance on the stats page after casting.

      However they must work – if you get poisoned, casting any two resist poisons seems to reduce the damage down to low single figures. But resist lightening II has no discernible impact on reducing damage from Gnomes or Kratos.

      So, how do they work, what boost do they grant, how long do they last and how is this impacted by playing on suicidal? Is it pointless having boosts below level 5 on suicidal? Do they last more or less time than taunt or rupture? Do they last a whole battle at max level? How long is a period of time if they last for a specific period of time compared to something like rupture?

      Also, could we have it so that boosts show up somewhere on screen so we can see when they run out?

      Thanks!

      Like

      • They are showing in screen, as overlay text in the top left of the arena.
        Basic procedure: the higher the level the bigger the boost and the longer the duration. Level 1 boost lasts about 4 long turns (basic attacks).
        Higher difficulty lowers both duration and power.
        Have a look at ‘Evan Campbell’ playthrough videos of how boosts show up, he casts resist evil at 7:00 here: https://youtu.be/lV2litqZZy4

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  22. So, floaters were easy – keep an eye out for Meteor trinkets for either mage or druid – 4 spells to take out each master makes them simple.

    Ghouls were a little more complicated – double use of holy chant III saved for groups of 4, as well as backstab under holy chant (2,054 damage!), made them a little easier. Spamming resist poison when fighter got poisoned and following much the same strategy as minotaurs – get the fighter to tank them all, then get the rogue and the monk to beat on one, under mark, together.

    So thought I’d have another crack at Kratos too – been saving lightening resist sinnce the very start, so managed to get all of mage, cleric and druid into the low 70s%, fighter and rogue to 60s% and monk to high 60s%. Then spammed lightening resist II and III from druid and mage on rotation throughout the whole team. Kratos reverts to melee if you have high enough resist it seems. Sacrificed every piece of crit resist, armor and magic boost ring, necklace, glove, belt and armor to get that high resists. Had monk, rogue and fighter all go melee. It seems kratos is hugely resistant to slash and pierce (possibly blunt too). Monk and Fighter with + magic and +ice/fire damage weapons did over 8,000 damage each. The rogue with his swiftbalde only did 1,500!. If I’d given him a glaring longsword (which I have) it would have been a lot easier. Whole fight, bar the melee characters and cleric on manual. Kratos down though at level 20 on suicidal!

    Had a crack at ryld and not sure I have enough mana, health or armor to fight him. May try again by rushing the archers at the start, as they did for my casters. On suicidal got to worry about the knight spawns on the edges though. As with the ember orc chief, they may be a tad too tough at level 20.

    So with kratos heart and teleport now mine to command, I’m going to have a think about what to do next. Will probably have one more tour of the shops, see what else I can pick up then have another couple of goes at Ryld…

    Only Ryld and ember orc chiefs to go on advanced class quests; ryld I need, the orcs I don’t, but I really want their loot…

    Will update again, but looks like I need to grind gear to do this at 20.

    Like

    • Thanks! Very insightful. Issue with swiftblade is it does lots of smaller damage hits compared to a huge gembanger (hammer) or similar. So every single hit gets to face the huge armor rating Kratos has. And gets reduced to bits.

      Like

      • Average rogue damage was 7….!! monk with his beaming staff was well over 80. Seems saving magic damage weapons for kratos is the way to go. He’s like kampas but dishes out lots of lightening damage. Kampas have tons of armour even for big two handers I’ve noticed. Elemental damage is the way to go.

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  23. The next update..

    I had around 15 goes at Ryld, as he seemed easier than the orc chiefs. The archers I could take with ignite lv2 on Druid and Mage, but the pure number of knights he calls to the fight. I simply don’t have enough DPS at level 20 basic classes or access to gear that would enable me to take them. I put the monk on ranged and healing too, but all that did was reduce the damage output compared to the beaming staff.

    In frustration, I thought I’d go and see what else was too tough – only elder dragons not yet killed from the normal mob spawns (not going depths yet!). As they don’t move and there is only one of them, I could take them. They’d normally get one summon in, but as I had been saving poison weapons, they were easy. Ryld though? I just could get him past about half way without getting swamped by adds.

    So, how far could I take basic classes at level 20? Quite a long way it appears! But they seem too weak for Ryld and Ember Orc chiefs and most probably too weak for the winged evil in the chasm. Even with holy chant III.

    So, two days ago, I took fighter to warrior, rogue to assassin, cleric to exorcist, druid to geomancer and mage to wizard, but kept them at level 1 of each. This gave me better armor for warrior and exorcist (love that templar armor), but no real step up in damage. Tried Ryld three more times, but still couldn’t take him. Very frustrating! So I leveled everyone to use up the unused levels. Fighter went to 31, wizard to 28 and the others inbetween.

    The extra points gave me some better spell levels and strength on the exorcist and a lot more mana all around. And ryld went down! Put the monk on ranged and heals, the exorcist on melee with the assassin and warrior and the wizard and geo on ignite and magic rupture. The extra 10 levels on the warrior and around 150 health helped hugely, as did the same on assassin. Having sprint, harden up, dodge, nimble and determination on the exorcist from monk trinkets I’d been collecting helped hugely too! Frustrating but worth it in the end.

    Orcs next and rolled through all four of the remaining camps, including the chiefs in style… however, one glitch. I wasn’t watching the bottom left of the screen and the wizard got killed by an add at the end of the main orc chief lair. As I’d cleared the whole thing, I didn’t want to restart to avoid the XP penalty, so I lived with it. What’s one death carried in a whole suicidal game clear??? (more on that at the end)

    So I upgraded monk to samurai at last, then I went back around the shops one more time, picked up a healing aura exorcist trinket, which means healing aura on all of wizard, geomancer and exorcist and then cleared all the elder dragon chests and ant queen, then went to the chasm…

    First try, I died as I wanted to see how far auto fight could get me – not far! Second re-load and death to the winged evil. Having Holy chant III is a huge, huge plus, as was having a sword with +157% undead damage on my assassin. As he had backstab III, he could pretty much take around 75% of the life of one terror just with backstabs under chant. So I put all four of exorcist, assassin, samurai and warrior around one of them, with the warrior’s back to the other, popped holy chant twice and then used backstab and determination to burn through one of them in around 4 rounds of hits. One left, plus the specters, but still had two holy chants left. Didn’t double pop them this time, but kept them up for extra damage for longer. Had geomancer and mage on manual spamming healing aura, used divine favour II once on the samurai and overcame the winged evil. They drain life at such a rate, keeping the two holy chants rolling was essential to beat their healing through life drain.

    I think if I’d put more +undead damage weapons on my warrior and samurai, script rings of undead, templar crosses and holy belts, it would have been easier (but you can’t do that, as the encounter loads before you can change gear, even from a re-load – more below).

    Game completed on suicide!

    One death carried forwards (poor wizard!) in the whole suicide run, although that was entirely due to the huge number of reloads on any death to avoid XP penalty in the first 15 or so levels.

    What was the toughest? Lich, winged evil, ryld and orc chiefs without doubt. Ant queen too, although by the time I came back to get her after I’d killed elder dragons to get their chests, I was over levelled – completely forgot her, so would have been intrigued to know if I could have taken her earlier.

    The one thing I would say is a tad frustrating, is the winged evil being an encounter on load once you move in. If you beat them, you can’t get your team back, so you have to force death (easy enough) to get them back as there is no way to re-load to a point before that fight. Which then messes up the deaths incurred statistics if you go back again. Minor gripe, but not having them set up in that way would be nice.

    Anyway, awesome game, suicidal challenge completed and some tough encounters overcome on the way through. Now, do I let this party fight again, die and get back to parnoz so that I can see if I can find an undead dragon? Possibly, although the thought of taking a whole group death and saving through it given I didn’t at any other point? May have to suck it up!

    Like

    • thanks for the great writeup and congrats for having completed suicidal on such a track record! As to having a savegame pre-fight etc, I would encourage using a BACKUP as that provides a clear self-designated spot to load back to. takes a few seconds but is the safest thing.

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  24. Backed up the team at level 20 before I took them to advanced. Just in case. But that still means clearing orcs, ryld, Queen and dragons again. May do it again anyway to get the zero deaths.

    Have to say that keeping taunt up all the time helps with monk and rogue as the other melee options, was essential. As was taking nearly every fight on manual so I could get armor II or III up a lot. Also using holy chant in every fight it’s available to keep leveling it, plus devine favour every time dailies reset. 18 dex and traits with speed and evasion no doubt hugely helped. Lowest evasion is mage at 160.

    Like

  25. Saw some comments on facebook (not on there so can’t reply) about backing your toons into a corner for difficult fights where they spawn mobs…

    So I reloaded my basic team at level 20 and first of all, took the ant queen doing exactly this. Made it easy with double ignite running! So I thought I’d have another go at Ryld. I guess this is where running with monk instead of barbarian is challenging. Having only one taunt and only fighter and rogue with decent armor near or above 200 across the board, makes killing the mobs challenging while surviving. He was still getting me eventually.

    So to experiment, I took cleric to exorcist to give him templar armor that I’d bought much earlier in the game and to give him trinkets with harden up and trained taunt. Et Voila! Ryld goes down, by backing into the bottom left corner. Had mage on magic rupture, druid on ignite and just put the cleric in heavy armor, resist crit gear and two +10% health rings, on heal in front of a knight, while the rogue and monk killed them. Fighter on Ryld and the other knight. Archers died quickly at the start from rupture and ignite.

    Had only two rounds of adds from Ryld and only two knights each time, so got luck with him calling troops. Put the rogue, exorcist and fighter around him when all were dead and the monk in when given armor III by the mage to increase accuracy. Exorcist only healed and taunted. Having taunt up all the time makes a HUGE difference. Can’t do that with only one fighter!

    As Ryld died, I tried the enber orc chief next and while I had one death on my first try, on the second, it was flawless. Exactly the same tactic – back into the corner and have taunt up on exorcist and fighter all the time.

    All quests completed with toons kept at level 20 and no deaths saved. Only one advanced class used, exorcist, to get taunt.

    What did I learn? Well, if I’d gone double fighter at the start, Ryld and Orcs would be easier, but then I would have had far less firepower to take out the lich. Everything else bar these two was OK, even the bunny, elder dragons and minotaurs. You can get rogue in comparable armor to fighter so as to make no difference and he crits through minotaurs and orcs in chapter II at such a rate, I cannot imagine not having a melee rogue. The monk, undead aside, is the weak point in melee, when he gets hit and on suicidal, you do get really hit. Even with the new belt, I can only get him to about 160 armor across the board and for much of the game he was at 100 – 140.

    So, now that all quests are completed at level 20, with only exorcist at advanced class, could I take the winged evil? May have a go, but also tempted to freeze this team in time and see what new classes come through. Mage in particular, even taking to wizard has such low health he is a liability, so grinding this team up to high levels will always have that weak link.

    Anyway, glad a tip elsewhere gave me what I needed to do the final two quests – who would have thought it would be as simple as put heavy armor, using taunt, in front of the squishies at the back?!

    Like

    • There are guilds for 11 advanced classes across the game. Samurai for example is in the ‘mountain path’ map. A bit hidden. Find an odd looking tree near a gravel path and head north from there.
      The CLASS article in the WIKI section of this blog explains each class. 3 classes are not yet implemented: archmage, avatar and warlock.

      Like

      • thanks
        please you can told me more about the guilds locaion
        n about the avatar class is not yet implemented but i found a stone skile for avatar class like key for rogue
        sorry for my bad english im a persian 🙂

        Like

      • There are no guilds on the starter island.
        Warrior, knight, priest guilds are in the castle.
        Wizard guild will appear in the castle once you rescue Jaimar.
        Assassin guild appears in outlaw camp once you rescue the ‘brother’
        Berserker guild appears in the mountains path map when you return from ‘brother’ quest.
        Marksman guild is in the elf city.
        Geomancer guild is in the Druids cove in the south of ‘valley north’ map.
        Exorcist guild is in the small outpost at the north end of the same map.

        Like

  26. So I bought downloaded the game just based on a couple Facebook “friends” liking it. Usually I research first, then download!

    Love the intro – very Ultima-nostalgic!

    Took the default party into the rat caves, apparently accidentally put cleric on Auto, and he spammed heals on the fighter against normal rats, so he was spent against the boss. Dead Rogue, dead Ranger (stupid bow!), victory. Found a ring. Died on the way out to a rat group I missed on the way in (4 injured PCs apparently not a match for 6 rats).

    Came here, read *all* of Tris’s suicidal exploits. Feeling very inadequate about myself. Maybe I’ll try again with a custom party: barbarian, archer, rogue, monk, mage, cleric….

    Like

    • Exorcist is underneath the church in the small outpost at the north east of the ‘valley north’ map.

      Avatar class is not yet active in the current storyline, it may be coming in chapter 3 which I am currently writing on. The concept for an avatar is that he would either arise from knight or samurai class.

      Like

  27. Rick, try druid instead of mage with that party. They get to use ranged weapons, have all the spells that mage does, plus healing and better armor options. They also get higher lightening bolt potential, which is of huge help with orcs. Looks like a good party though – see if you can get a barbarian with speed birth feat and highish DEX, 14+.

    Volker, do you have a list of enemies in game? You said on FB that there are 85? I have 80 and I know three that I am missing (winged evil [which don’t save as a kill], undead dragon and his minions being three) but confused about the other two?

    Would be great if you could post a list.

    Like

  28. 82 killed. Woop!! Now to reroll a new team to re-kill acolyte, overlord, lich, vampire and ant Queen…. The EXP boost will make it very easy.

    Noticed that speed has been nerfed on new characters however – that was a release change wasn’t it? Getting about 90 less speed on average than before, even with Elven ancestry. 127 speed, elven ancestry, 19 DEX on a new roll now, compared to 219 speed with elven ancestry and 19 DEX before.

    Like

    • Talk to the old man north east about tunnels, then to Bertelis the scout in the main hall. Many quests to fulfil until Bertelis will grant you access to lower tunnels. One of them is the DEEP tunnels.

      To provoke Zomok, you need to kill a lot of elder dragons.

      Like

      • Zomok is the dragon god. The gods do not show up themselves. But if you slay a lot of Elder Dragons, once they are below 25% health they plead to Zomok for vengeance. Which can result in:
        a) nothing
        b) an Ancient Dragon coming to their help
        c) an Undead Dragon appearing. Rare though.

        Like

  29. Hi all,

    The new dragons on suicidal with a mid to high level team (55 – 60), backed up copy, not my main game. This is my suicidal team, re-loaded on zero deaths but taken to advanced classes. Rolled before the speed nerf, so all have very high speed compared to a normal party. Main DPS, melee assassin with dynamo, tanks are samurai with dynamo, warrior with elven, exorcist with elven, geomancer with physique and wizard with speed trait. Warrior rolls with skyslicer with around 50 magic damage, samurai with katana with 60 magic damage and assassin with ceremonial knife of the earth (lightning 15-58). Exorcist can wade in with a beaming staff if needed. Both wizard and geo tend to be on lightning strike since the start of the game unless facing undead on groups of mobs. All are geared to fight wisps, undead dragons and winged evil, so I’ve targeted a lot of gear which is of the “LIGHT” and has magic and lightning resistance. All of the melee have at least +100% undead damage and everyone has lightning and magic resistance of at least 60% and life drain of around 50-60%.

    I tried the diamond dragon first. I got him down first time, but incurred a death on my wizard. Reviewed the log and noticed that the warrior was doing around 3 damage per hit, with the assassin doing around 80 per hit and the samurai around 50. Also the lightning bolts from the two squishies did a lot of damage. So went in again, changed the warrior’s weapon to his old gembanger of the earth, put the exorcist on lightning strike as well and he went down.

    Having two characters with dynamo obviously helps hugely. Geo has lv7 lightning, wizard lv5, Exorcist lv3 – this obviously helps a lot too. I guess he is possible without dynamo if you have three decent lightning (30-70 at a guess) damage weapons and casters with lightning strike.

    Crucially, the diamond dragon does not stun you much. He causes a lot of bleed, but that can be overcome, particularly having 4 characters with healing aura (samurai, exorcist, wizard and geomancer). Use targeting to focus on one shadow warrior at a time at the start.

    So, holy dragon straight afterwards, with a rest for dailies.

    Ran in first with the same combo and got wiped before I took down a single shadow warrior. Checked the logs and magic damage of 8-56 with physical damage of about 150-300 was only doing about 40 damage to him per hit, *when* you get to hit. Dynamo definitely adds something to the parse.

    Tried again, this time taking off all my Wisp and undead dragon hunting gear (items of LIGHT, of demons and lots of plus undead damage as well as high resistance) and re-geared with a lot of extra defence. Assassin now has force defence 316 and above, warrior 304 and above, samurai 283 and above and exorcist 224 and above. Both the others are just over 120 each on defence across the board. Put a few more plus DEX items on for more crit, went shopping and picked up a Radiating masterwork flamberg (15-168 magic damage) for the warrior. Also used up most of my talent points to get magic missile to magic lore cap of 68 on both wizard and geomancer, to 60 on exorcist and used a lot on warrior, samurai and assassin to get dodge, nimble, no escape and taunt higher (all 40 and above at least).

    I have tried him now 14 times. Getting the shadow warriors down is OK, I stick the warrior on the dragon and get everyone else to focus on the shadows one at a time. Then, onto the dragon. I can get him to about half health, sometimes a little below, then he starts jumping, eventually getting to one of wizard or geomancer and splats them. Longest fight is about half an hour, with his health permanently at about half. in that fight, damage done over 1,361 pages is 238,000, which would have been higher if I wasn’t messing around with trying magic rupture and also spamming dispel to see if that gets rid of the stuns…. (more on that below).

    I have tried the Diamond dragon again to check it wasn’t a fluke (killed him 5 times now) and while I have to be careful when he starts jumping around a lot on low health if he gets near the geo or wizard, it’s doable every time.

    But the golden dragon stuns….!! then he stuns some more, then he stuns again for good measure. He can stun for longer than a whole cool down of lv5 taunt. Plus he heals… He’s stun locked one character when fighting one on one, for over 100 pages of combat text.

    Even rotating taunt on warrior and samurai (lv5 on both) means I have at least one character permanently stunned. The three casters do between 45 and 70 damage per magic missile and the melees are doing between 60 per hit (assassin) and 90 per hit (warrior). To give you an idea:

    Assassin
    Accuracy 310
    Attack time 25
    Slice 10-32
    pierce 10-36
    force 0-31
    lightning 44-125
    fire 20-27
    cold 13-30
    crit 54%
    Bleed 45%

    Assassin and Samurai tend to match up on damage, probably because the samurai is using a 5-54 magic damage katana and attack time 42. Warrior tends to do about 2/3rds of that damage, possibly because his attack time is 67.

    So, I’ve now levelled up the whole party from the diamond dragon kills, to get more lightning damage from dynamo and up DEX and STR. Dynamo damage at lv 77 is 29-67 with a hand held weapon.

    Still no luck.

    So checking the logs thoroughly, it appears as though I can’t get past his natural health regen until bleed stacks to about 50 health per tick. It’s this which lets me get him down to about 50% health in the first place. But what happens at 50% health? he starts to hum and heal himself, for at least 1,500 and often over 2,500. That wouldn’t be so bad, except it re-sets the bleed count to 0. Everytime he gets below 50% another heal. If he wasn’t stunning all the time, it may be possible, or if he didn’t heal, then maybe. As he also jumps around a LOT at around 50% health, coupled with the stuns, it becomes nigh on impossible to re-stack bleed on him to counter his natural health regen, let alone his heals and bleed reset.

    I have tried fire damage on him (negligible), lightning (about 50% as effective as magic), frost (negligible), holy (zero), poison (1-2 damage tick even from a 27-48 damage weapon), life steal of 8% (3-6 damage stolen per hit, incandescent katana of blood, so it’s the magic doing the damage). lv7 meteor does about 10 damage. Lv7 lightning strike seems to do about half the damage of lv7 magic missile, so magic damage definitely wins on him.

    The new life drain ability at very high level, which I assume he will have minimal resistance too or three very high level bezerkers with stun resistance, plus the magic damage weapons I have would probably help. The fact that only one class can get stun resistance is a frustration I have to say! Speaking of stuns, I’ve thought about trying to out-stun him., but my warrior with 37 strength (pretty low) and the gembanger which has base chance 44%, has 59% chance to stun and he stuns the dragon on about 40% of the hits. So I could stack up him, assassin and exorcist with stun weapons, however, as I need so much bleed stacked to get his health down to 50%, I don’t think that that would work.

    So my option would appear to be either farm diamond dragon to out level the golden dragon and eventually get him through massive dynamo damage or roll new parties with barbarians and life drain..

    Diamond dragon, because of the lack of huge heals and stuns seems do-able, even without dynamo, provided you stack enough lightning and magic damage (which most people who hunt wisps and undead dragons will have done), should be possible for a lot of people. Even without dynamo.

    However, picking a ton of different load outs, with some obscene + magic damage weapons (beaming/radiating) and at high level 70s, I can’t kill the golden dragon.

    Would be great to hear from anyone who has without it being a level 300+ solo with dynamo or life drain?

    Like

    • Wow, what a level of detail! Different parties have different issues. Some find diamond way more difficult. My one tip: stun impact is lower the smaller the strength gap is between initiator and target. The dragon has a strength of about 80.
      To avoid being stun locked either:
      – slow him (frost balls)
      – pair him with a stronger tank (boost strength via taken points and equipment)
      – divine favour can remove stun if it causes a heal
      – use divine favour to get warrior angels to help you and cause distractions
      – keep spellcasters in one corner of the arena FAR away from where you lure the dragon.

      Like

      • At 12 talent points to level warrior strength up by 1 to 43, I guess the only way to do it is to get to about level 120 or so.

        Tried frost weapons and the slow/freeze rate is pretty tiny.

        Diamond dragon only grants 2 level ups at level 80 for a full party, so it’s a lot of grinding to really boost strength – may give it a go!

        Like

  30. Note – this includes trying it out with taking both samurai and warrior off auto use of dailies to get them hitting instead of hardening up/tank stance and not having the wizard heal for straight up damage. Increases the damage output on all three, making getting to the 50% health stage easier, but still means I can’t get past his heal and stun routine at around half health.

    Like

    • Managed to get the gold dragon down at overall, lv 93 for warrior, high 80s for the rest.

      Decided to farm the Diamond dragon for loot and gold, killing him an extra 8 times, for a total of 13 kills and about an extra 35 levels compared to when I started. Picked up an odd diamond bonecrusher, which I gave to the warrior and a conflicted masterwork mystic sword which I gave to the assassin. Then I camped the outlaw shop to get a beaming skyslicer for the samurai.

      Took the warrior’s strength to 44 naturally and with items boosted to 50 (stun chance 70%), assassin to STR 40 with items and Samurai 35.

      I could get him down to about 1/3rd health, but still got stuck, so thought about whether haste would work. fled, re-loaded and levelled haste to 68 on the wizard.

      Went back in. Had the wizard, exorcist and geomancer on magic missile at the start and all the way until the gold dragon was at 50% health and he started to heal. Then I switched to haste on the wizard, literally rotating it between the assassin, samurai and warrior (alphabetically!) as soon as he could cast again, not breaking for any other spells except the odd dispel when either slow or ignite was cast by the dragon.

      And after a very long fight, success!

      So, every enemy in the game killed, on suicidal, with no deaths incurred – re-load on any death. That includes 20 wisps, 13 diamond dragons and one each of undead and gold dragon.

      Wisps first killed at level 30 over-all for warrior as the highest, 20 basic, 10 advanced, using a static cross formation with the bottom cross piece to the left. Undead dragon killed at level 48 over all for warrior as the highest (purposefully not levelling up from dragon grinding). Diamond dragon at lv 60, Gold at lv 90.

      Best enemy to fight? Definitely the Wisp – just so different from everything else and needing some pretty funky gear to make it comfortable at low levels. Close second was the bunny.

      Anyway, hope the above helps other people looking for ways to beat the new dragon challenge!

      Like

  31. Can’t seem to find meteor…

    Any plans on a dual wield skill?

    Rangers could get some traps, and definitely need a different option for advancement.

    In my dnd days I enjoyed making my rangers into ghostwalkers. They have a shadows shadowstep type power that allows them to cover more range in a single step. They can become ethereal as well as strike ethereal and undead in this form.

    Like

    • the DnD interpretation of a ranger seems to be much more powerful than mine. They are quite unique in combining the nature ally, weapon swap skills and having a good affinity to ranged weapons as well. But beyond that, I don’t want to overpower them. a SHADOW SHIFT skill does exist but is restricted to rogues and assassins.

      Meteor spell is either obtained through class change to geomancer, or through a loot drop from ancient floaters or master floaters (most common way to obtain it as a non-geomancer), or through rare insignias for wizard (and super rare: for druid).

      Dual wield unfortunately would not work with my fight routines because the weapon attack styles imply a single weapon wield.

      Like

      • Thanks, for the meteor info.

        What about an ethereal form ability for a ranger? It could change their defensive capabilities to the same as ethereal creatures while allowing them to strike undead and ethereal creatures. It would allow for the ranger to be more usable.

        Like

      • As you describe it, it would be too powerful. It sounds like the ranger might benefit from an exclusive advanced class he can change to, with these types of abilities.

        Like

      • Oh yes that would definitely be for a possible ranger advanced class. Maybe an option to specialize in a particular enemy type, like the exorcist, or something. Just feels like ranger is sitting outside looking in.

        Like

    • the elder dragons are in the dragon den. and they spawn ancients and undead dragons. the deep tunnels only have ancient dragons (who don’t spawn undeads). You been to the dragon den yet?

      Like

      • Yeah spent 4 hours there today and only got the mature dragons to spawn with elders. But will try again once I figure out where to put all my tp

        Like

  32. Having trouble getting past 5 gate 4 lever puzzle in beginning of chapter 3.Any advice would be greatful,I’m apparently horrible at certain puzzles.

    Like

  33. I kept killing elder dragons..
    They were nonstop summoning undead dragons. I wasn’t strong enough so I had to restart each time. I saw so many undead dragons that when I first saw the ancient dragon it would have been even scarier but I rekt it..
    Now I beat the chapter 2 and I was thrown into chapter 3 without warning, didn’t know this would happen. Now I have unfinished quests and never went into the tunnels. I’m rather weak and have no idea how to get to other dungeons to get my items back. Love this game to death tho

    Like

    • ok, going to chapter 3 is not a big issue, just go with the flow. You can get some of your items back in the first chaos dungeon, and some in a second one you get to later. The first chaos dungeon holds 5 possible chests with items, if you don’t get all don’t worry you will get to the first dungeon a second time later in the storyline. But you may have to make do with other equipment until you get yours back of course.

      The dragon pets are very strong enemies, if you can defeat some of them, or are doing OK against elder dragons, then you can do fine in chapter 3. Although you need to pick your fights. some mini bosses there are VERY strong and you should deal with smaller prey to start with.

      Any transportation by boat is handled via Tartessos. Get the boat to Tartessos by visiting the guy in the south of the castle port city. Then in Tartessos, you arrive at a house with a man that deals with people transport. Anything other than going back to the castle he will ask for a ‘pass’ which you then get from the council: follow road south of the house over a bridge EAST, immediately after the first bridge go NORTH to see seond bridge heading EAST. Over that and you are in the council. people transport passes are handed out in the northern rooms.

      Like

  34. I went from the Brayca, can’t find my way back. Can’t beat Ryld (I get him to half health) or the Female Necromancer (Curse her OPness)
    The dark orcs keep staring Dumbledore to death because his health is so low (He’s my wizard :P) Though resist evil helps I guess, or is it resist magic..

    Gnomes look like goblins
    I also wonder what The Flame sounds like in real life

    Trying to figure out the “combination lock” to the new Lich’s bedroom or whatever.

    Also I was thinking of, maybe different chooseable color texts for characters and certain buffs/debuffs and it shows how long they last..

    When you’re in an area covered with trees it just makes so much dark shade, I think there should be like, a “gray” area, and it only looks that “black” when your character realistically wouldn’t see in that direction. I can’t explain I’m kinda unstable right now.

    Like

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