YAVP: Faithful heart, healing and fire.

The tower awaits!

Re: YAVP: Faithful heart, healing and fire.

Postby Ferret » Wed Mar 23, 2022 8:02 am

Congrats on another win. :D

Always nice to see Draw Wounds getting some exercise: it is one of the oldest abilities in the game, and still one of my favorites. :) It can make almost anything into a passable hybrid healer (who won't be distracted from their main role since it is a free action), and is still useful on an actual full healer by letting them heal two targets a turn or heavily heal a single target, provided they have a normal heal ability to go with it.

Also fun to read the Boon abilities getting tried out: they were in part an attempt to make it a little more possible to "focus" on buffs as a build strategy. Prior to them, buffs were useful, but there wasn't really much else to do with them other than grab them and use them. The Boons don't change how you use them really, but they were meant to provide some options for folks looking to build around them, which it sounds like they succeed at. :D


Jeanne definitely isn't easily killed by most groups, though happily, she is also rarely a deadly threat to most groups... unless you run into her with help. I've come to think of her kind of a moving roadblock rolling around on Tower:30 ready to make life difficult if the player is forced into a headless or hasty retreat. Enemy Sense goes a long, long way to reducing the danger of this though, as you demonstrated. :)

Heracles more or less demonstrates the limits of brute force. He's certainly powerful and scary, but he's vulnerable to pretty much any strategy other than trying to beat him at his own game. Most parties that reach Tower:30 probably have some way to poke holes in his game plan, so hearing he died sort of by accident isn't tooo surprising. :D Guan Yu by contrast is a much trickier fight for most parties: he's no slouch on raw power either, but his allies and his coordination with them makes him a bit harder to deal with in most cases.

Woden may secretly be one of the toughest links in the game. His resistances/immunities cover all of the usual high Power types: it is rare to see high damage builds focused on Mind, Matter, Light, and/or Dark but those are his only open elements. I'm not sure anyone has actually completed this link yet, come to think of it.

Congrats on actually linking with Prometheus. :D Any win is nice, but managing to recruit the final enemy is a nice cherry on top.


Thanks again for the report, and congrats again on the especially complete win. :)
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Postby Remora » Sat Feb 25, 2023 12:07 am

Oh, wow. It's been a while since last time. Nearly a year, even!

Assume everything beyond here is spoilers for the end game.

"Sucker" party.
"Sucker" death.
I think this character was from May last year. I died during my "victory lap" on the final floor. Close enough! I recall getting a Nuckelavee in Turdak's Sanctum; the only one I have encountered in there thus far, but after all this time it left quite the mark! This run got so much mileage out of Fumigate and Serenity; Fumigate is incredible at clearing out enemies for the late game, including those resistant to "body" attacks. The "Adept" passive is also very nice.

"So Dark" party.
"So Dark" victory.
I just finished this run. I don't remember it all too well by now, but it was pretty solid. I think the priestess lady in Baphomet's Sanctum was the only thing I had to skip. Tyranny is awesome for builds like this. Lethal Gaze was great. I had a major jorogumo but she died while my pc was Charmed. Oh well.
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Re: YAVP: Faithful heart, healing and fire.

Postby Ferret » Sat Feb 25, 2023 4:30 pm

Hey, welcome back! And congrats on the "win" and the win. :)

Development wise, it was fun finally getting to the point in content development where it was "safe" to add abilities like Serenity and the Adept passives. :) It is good that they also seem to be fun to use. :D

Having to skip Adria brings a little bit of a tear to my eye; she was easily the hero it took the most iterations on to actually turn her into a consistent threat. :D For a long time, she was one of the easiest heroes, and by quite a a bit. Those days are behind or now, but yeah, it took like... half a dozen or so?... revisions to get there. On the other hand, it also illustrated some weaknesses with Light and Dark in general that got cleaned up too, so there was benefit for others as well. :)

Thanks for the reports and congrats again on the wins!
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YAVP: Volt Caller

Postby Remora » Sun Oct 29, 2023 3:06 am

This post will contain a little bit of ENDGAME SPOILERS.

"Faulty" victory.
"Faulty" party and score.

I think I had this character saved on the very final floor all the way back in May and then I finally finished the game a couple weeks ago.
It's been too long to remember much of anything before the very ending; my party's composition was too weak to defeat Prometheus, but the previous floors shouldn't have been too bad.

Anyway, here I wanted to make a character centered around Volt Call, similar to my "Frostful Heart" runs in the past. In fact, before this run I think I attempted similar runs to those old Cold Embrace runs. This character exploits the high Shock rate of Volt Call and tries to take advantage of it with Thunderous to cause many delayed turns, with massive investment into Cunning and High Voltage making Shock procs much more likely. Fearsome Aura is there to add onto delayed turns, and Vile Dance is such a nice Infection-slinger for another means to mess with enemies. I do recall having other runs with Vile Dance before this one; I think one of them ended on Tower:30, even, with it being a character built similarly around another element (fire maybe?).

For the heck of it, I did carry an unmodified Ninkasi to the end, albeit her being underleveled definitely left her vulnerable for some fights. My party is clearly lacking in a physical or even a magic hitdude, with just a meamei for her typical master blaster damage. Beyond that, the least I can say is that those brands look very nice.
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Re: YAVP: Faithful heart, healing and fire.

Postby Ferret » Sun Oct 29, 2023 6:39 pm

Hey again, and congrats on another win :D Bit dusty in here these days, but always happy to see another victory post. :)

Shock turned out to be one of my favorite mechanics, in the end. :D With no investment, you get what's printed on the box: sometimes an enemy loses a turn. But with considerable investment and other supporting abilities, it can turn into an incredibly powerful tool more than worthy of building around and even offering some variety within that space. So I'm always glad to see someone having fun with it. :D

Sheesh, you weren't kidding about the brands! :D +28% Speed and +36 Vit is crazy, and the only downsides are a trivial Magic penalty and being for non-unique demons :o And that isn't even the only good one in the mix.

Congrats again on another win, and thanks for the report. :D
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YAVP: Crown of Glory + Huo Shu ("Ignis")

Postby Remora » Thu Nov 02, 2023 1:06 am

So, over a year ago, Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup, another roguelike game, was updated to have a new god for its worship system: Ignis. I'm quite the fan of Ignis; in spite of it being designed to abandoned with the "Cinder Acolyte" start, I refuse to do so and I have even managed to win a few games with Ignis. I have decided to do a run in Demon based upon that after various similar failed runs with other demons.

Crown of Glory, with its many demon slots, is pretty much the beginner's relic as it is very lenient for that and Copy Saver, which can be very useful for building up your allies. The plan initially here was to have some abilities like Fiery Veil and Warmth shared among my more lasting allies, albeit I only got a small amount of usage out of any of those abilities; in fact, I ended up losing an ogre with Fiery Veil on Anomaly:3 thanks to a past wraith of mine having a dipsas Festering Touch. I figured that having Fiery Veil on my hitdudes and a few other allies would have been have a fun thing to thematically go with defense buffs (to imitate the "Fiery Armor" from DCSS).

At the very least, my own player character had its ability set more or less complete around Tower:10, if not before that. It would be a high Vitality with decent Agility build, neglecting everything else. My character would have defense buffs (Prepare, Protect, Guardian Boon, Blessweaver) alongside a few fiery abilities (Fire Dart into Fire Blast, Fiery Veil, Greek Fire). I also managed to pick up Might early on. I know that in the past that I have had similar runs that branch from my usual "all vitality" buffers, namely ice dart-throwing buffers. It's a familiar kind of build. Nonetheless, while it doesn't seem like the most impressive ability set, it was actually decently flexible, as the buffs can be applied to any fight and the fairly accurate fire darts are going to do some damage in most fights. Greek Fire didn't get all that much Warmth synergy beyond that being on my healers earlier on, but I figure it did a lot more than what was obvious.

My huo shu would have Tormentor, Infectious, Venomous, and Numbing added to its abilities; a truly plague-ridden rat. This kind of challenge does have such an underleveled ally sit out for most of the fights in the latter half of the game, so it's pretty much a wasted slot aside from niche situations. Nonetheless, I had fun watching it defeat a cherufe about 9 levels over it and later on an archangel 1 level below it in arranged 1v1 fights. At the very least, such a demon could carry abilities that could be copied over to something of a higher level; Turdak was the first recruit to have the extra on-hit passives before being fused into a lampad of all things, which would be fused again into a night guant (gotta have that 170% speed from Dancing). With the ghoul's Numbing Bite on top, it's a nasty combo to let onto body-NOT-immune enemies.

I managed to get a jotunn from one of my own wraiths; while it was about 8 levels below its native level, it did prove to be the powerful ally thanks to its ability set and adept modifier (it even had Petrifying Gaze). Alongside a mindbender pixie into a mindbender ibong adarna and a lifeweaver shikome recruited in Medusa's Sanctum, that trio made up my most regular party for the bulk of the latter tower's battles. I recruited Medusa and fused her into a civatateo, which didn't see as much use but was yet another source of Petrification along with the lovely Shatter. My last non-discarded Tower recruit was a kaliga-on to replace a like-leveled mulassa, just so it could have a fiery successor.

I had a ton of resources by the end. My penultimate relic upgrade would have been Enemy Lure for the fun of it before getting Fast Dismiss. I did get mothman.

Some endgame spoilers ahead:
Victory screenshot.
"Siign" party and score.

Tower:30 was mostly cleared, save for Heracles + healer fella (Heracles was just overwhelmingly powerful compared to the other hitdude heroes) and Joan of Arc (I would rather avoid her entirely, even though I had plenty of fire and petrification).

The Apex floors went smoothly; the first floor was a bit rough until I bothered to recruit Loki, and my ibong adarna did get relic preserved thanks to the daevas. I decided to recruit Ba'al to do the latter floors on easy mode, letting him get my jotunn's adept and a dark-immunity brand on top of that (no light abilities; as good as it was, I didn't bother with upgrading nor using it at all until I recruit Ba'al). I still got the next couple links but I simply defeated Prometheus because I didn't have the right build. I gave "Ignis" the huo shu the demiurge's powers for its ascension into godhood. I didn't encounter any wraiths and I only had one mirror chime. I used Call Demon just to see how the huo shu could complete some links; asrai's was a total massacre, unicorn's had shikome support too but it was still powerful enough, ghoul's was done by taking out six onis, and buruburu was just a little bonus. Something interesting I noticed is how Glacies is favored as an opener, probably for its slowing debuff; its prioritized over super-effective attacks first, aside from Tenebris being used more often than not to smite all peasants to death.

Also, I forgot that "Ignis" is an actual ability name in the game. :P

IIRC at level 25 a huo shu (or any other level 1 demon that makes it that far) has an 86% EXP penalty.
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Re: YAVP: Faithful heart, healing and fire.

Postby Ferret » Sun Nov 05, 2023 4:00 am

Whoops, sorry I missed this one for a couple of days. I was burrowed deep into the Other Project and wasn't keeping my usual eye on things.

:D I played a lot of DCSS once upon a time, but once I got busy with working on my own games I fell off the wagon. Ignis wasn't around last time I played, so I had to look him up: I can see what you mean about him being designed to be abandoned. :P I guess it's neat flavor and an interesting way of giving some early game superpower out, a little similar to the Wand of Healing Deep Dwarves start with (or started with last time I played, anyway): they feel like an amazing race... until it runs out. :P Anyway, it seems like it was a fun premise for a Demon build. :D

Someone once called Crown of Glory the "Mario" of Relics; I think they meant the same thing you're saying, and I agree. It didn't start out intended that way, but I realized it was nice to have a simpler Relic... though ultimately, I think Titan's Fist ended up overtaking or at least contesting that role coming at it from a different direction (i.e.: less allies to manage.)

I sometimes feel like Paralyze gets a bad rap. Yes, Body resist/immunity is not rare... but on the other hand, hard control options outside of Mind are *very* rare, and Paralyze is the easiest to use of the two that you get (the other being the usually slow-to-land Petrify.) Yes, sometimes it doesn't stop actions, but Panic has that limitation too so it is no worse than that, and it always stops evasion and most forms of reaction defenses like Block and Dodge, so you're never completely without benefit unless you use literally no attacks that can miss. But at any rate, it is good to see it getting some play. :D

I can't blame you for dodging Joan and I can't blame anyone for dodging pretty much anyone the healer hero ends up paired with: depending on your build and who he pairs up with, he and his chosen ally can end up being one last test of whether a player knows when to let one go or not. :P

Re: Glacies. Yeah, the AI loves applying debuffs, especially to full health enemies, so I'm not surprised Glacies is favored even over hitting weak points. Chill is not a particularly high power debuff of course, but it can't miss and only immune blocks it, so what evaluation points it is worth are pretty much always on the table for grabbing. :D Debuffs aren't more loved than kills though, so Tenebris winning out when it can wipe out a horde of peasants also fits.

Congrats on the win, and on restoring Ignis to godhood, at least in this universe. :D Thanks for the report, this was an extra neat one :D
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YAVP: cycles two and three

Postby Remora » Sun Nov 05, 2023 8:58 pm

>On Ignis:
I've known about the new class in Dungeon Crawl since September last year, but only within this past month have I played it and I decided to go through the challenge of completing a whole run with Ignis. I have actually gotten a couple more daring wins with Ignis, including a minotaur character that gradually made it through Cocytus (one of the Hell branches).

>On Glacies:
That is interesting to me. I figure that attacks that are likely to one-shot enemies are favored if the opportunity is available, but I guess the slow and chilled debuffs are desired first by the AI otherwise.

Anyway, I've had a lot of spare time the past few days and I have managed to get a couple more wins with similar characters:
"Res" victory screenshot.
"Res" party and score.

This character had a really solid midgame, hence why I was able to ascend with an underleveled chindi and nokken (at least the latter did have some use thanks to that incredible brand, being good at sweeping late groups like some of the jorogumo ones). Getting a power via an offering and having an oni fused onto it made for a wonderful hitdude, and an eradicator leib-olmai also proved to be a great addition as well. I managed to get Ammit via negotation for another powerful physical melee ally.

For my PC itself, I went for the classic defending buffer build with Frost Darts, ultimately upgrading to Water Dragon. It's still a really solid build, and I also found a nice brand for boosting my Agility and undoing my dark weakness.

I did go through the bother of gradually clearing Tower:30.

"Conceal" victory screenshot.
"Conceal" party and score.

This character would favor cunning rather than agility as the secondary attribute, so throughout the game I had Distract then Wither. Later on, I also had Corrupt which was upgraded to Vile Dance. Eventually, I decided to replace Grace with Gaudium, and I also put Miasma Burst onto my PC for supporting damage. This run wasn't as smooth as the previous two cycles; I do recall having to skip two fetch groups on Anomaly:3 on top of Paracelsus and party, for example, and I failed to link with and had to evade Hectate for another incident.

It was in the late game in which my run solidified, after putting Gaudium and Miasma Burst onto my PC and getting more powerful allies. I fed a drained baleful yali (which spawned with Miasma Burst) and jotunn (the same from a past wraith as detailed a couple posts ago) to her, alongside a brewmaster lampad which wasn't doing much for me. I decided to give her Anansi's Wise (Anansi was decent support but I figured that I would have gotten more mileage out of this fusion). I would recover my numbers with destined dominions. I managed to give a jorogumo "well fed" from a kuchisake-onna; it was actually a pretty good fusion, albeit she didn't get as much out of all the veils due to the high HP making her a less viable target than Ammit. Giving her a strength-boosting brand and Lich Bite made her a deadly partner for Ammit. I also got a fearsome meamei, which got Anzu's modifier from a fused peluda (I barely got it in Anzu's sanctum; it cost me a couple runes used on stymphalides and a peace offering for a second attempt).

I only bothered with bolting to the end on Tower:30, only fighting two of the heroes. Right before that, I remember luring Mothman but I ended up being in poor position to successfully complete the link. The failure is kind of scary.

My mirror wraith party actually proved to be a nasty menace at the end; I actually lost a hanging-on lifegiver shojo and a fearsome meamei as a consequence of all of the max HP draining that I have. Don't be fooled by that 60% speed on the jorogumo; she did quite a lot of damage that I wasn't paying to initially in the first mirror fight. The latter two mirrors went more smoothly from realizing this.

Cycle four is already underway with another Vitality+Agility build and Shock Arrow from Zaiji.
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Re: YAVP: Faithful heart, healing and fire.

Postby Ferret » Mon Nov 06, 2023 2:20 am

:D I used to be fond of weird runs myself. My favorite back in the day was what I called the "Shaman of Trog": an Ogre Fighter with very high Evocations taking advantage of the fact 1) Trog didn't care about magic item use, 2) Trog would treat magic item summoned creatures the same as ones he gave you. I managed to pull one to a 15 rune win at some point, which is still my happiest DCSS moment. (I tried to pull up the morgue file to link, but the server that game was on was taken down so the record isn't accessible anymore it seems. Alas!)

The AI will favor something *certain* to one shot enemies... though it is worth also noting that minion enemies in general don't contribute much to an evaluation. But even just "very heavily damage" rates much much lower.

You definitely have a gift for ending up with ridiculous brands. :P +39% Speed and +59 Magic would make almost anything with a damage spell dangerous. :D

I'm not sure which "her" you were saying you fed Yali, Jotunn, and Lampad to? But, it isn't often you see a 60% Speed demon get serious use (or for that matter, become a serious threat when encountered in a Wraith/Mirror party :D ) Off-the-wall PC/demon builds are always fun. :)

Congrats on two more wins. :) Thanks for the reports, and good luck on #4!
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