Turdak's Sanctum, YASD and ramblings

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Re: Turdak's Sanctum, YASD and ramblings

Postby Ferret » Wed Dec 02, 2015 10:29 pm

Oh, sorry, I should have given at least one hint: It's a monster I'm sure you've seen before in game already. :D Bonus points for knowing about the Wild Hunt though, and you'll definitely see some of those folks in future content. :D
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Re: 1st Victory

Postby Sandman25 » Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:39 pm

wizzzargh wrote:Yeah, though Ferret knows what everything means and perhaps more importantly, what it implies, these screenshots don't really capture things like how positioning and timing all come together to make these abilities all work together so well. The main advice I can give for the early game is to try spreading Mob Cover from a goblin around liberally, have two healers if possible (so you can swap one out when it runs out of mana) and liberal amounts of Flesheater and Souleater if not, and after that do your best to pick up skills that freeze, stun, panic, charm, sleep, paralyze, etc- anything that stops incoming damage while letting you keep dealing it. Wisps and Chindi can both make very durable fighters early on, and have decent skills to pass along.


Congrats with the win and thanks for the advices!
I hope some later monsters have Mob Cover as I underestimated the skill and disbanded my goblin before teaching the ability to anyone. I will keep it in mind for future games of course.
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Re: Turdak's Sanctum, YASD and ramblings

Postby Ferret » Thu Dec 03, 2015 4:25 pm

Many abilities are only on 1 demon... but, enemy summoners can be an excellent opportunity to pick up abilities you missed: like real summoners, they have a pool of TP they spend (when they spawn) and have preferences for which abilities they like to spread around their team. Might get lucky and find it on a random Solid/Warded modified demon too. :)
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Re: Turdak's Sanctum, YASD and ramblings

Postby Sandman25 » Thu Dec 03, 2015 7:57 pm

No, it's not going to help, I am almost sure I will die to first summoner I meet :)
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Re: Turdak's Sanctum, YASD and ramblings

Postby wizzzargh » Sat Dec 12, 2015 1:30 pm

arg, I lost one of my giant posts due to the inevitable fickleness of forum posting software, but nothing shall stop me from rambling at length about the saga of Madrath, who reached Cycle III!
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Since I worked so hard at getting Alluring Gaze on my last win, I figured I'd just start out with it on the new Cycle. Great skill, but it felt somehow weaker this time around. I changed up my 8th skill a great deal, wobbling between Punish, Dark-version of Punish, and various elemental blasts and arrows. The Hero I took Reaper Omen from had a better performance this time around, getting some big Guilt heals. I wrongfully assumed Reaper Omen would spare friendlies when i took it, and my Cunning was so high my allies had no chance of resisting it when I decided to cast it in a big fight against Bonnachons. That spelled the doom for one of my demons and almost me as well, because a 2nd Bonnachon pack showed up and the Fly-demon from the first pack managed to critically poison my entire party, which I think was multiplied by the Pariah I had inflicted on my own party. So when the 2nd Bonnachon pack started Bullrushing me, I fled Tower 16 leaving it only half-cleared, and only survived through judicious spamming of Heal Gems and Stones. Tower 17 was a complete horror this game compared to the cakewalk of the last game- I guess those uniques really did make a difference. I only had that Ruler because I used a Gold Offering on the Ruler pack that lurked near the ascension portal- the actual pack of holies was too dire to face, as were the poison-arrow ant men. A very different experience from last game, even with essentially the same sort of build- I forgot to take a picture of stats, but I ignored strength and agility completely (though i did get Purple Essence to boost agility) and only lightly touched Vitality when I was feeling feeble from maxHP drain in Turdaks, with everything else going into Magic and Cunning.
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Before I ramble about my pokemon, there's some things I wanted to mention

1- Vishap have their head obscured by the green triangle of summoner ownership, maybe their tiles should be horizontally flipped
2- circle los seems to cause some very strange targeting quirks for things like shock spear, and with long projectile paths you can sometimes get a clear shot at enemies that look like they are behind other demons by 'aiming' at places that aren't actually your target, since the path wibbles and wobbles mysteriously
3-cone-breaths seem to phase through wall-corners just fine allowing for some mild single-target smiting, not sure if bug or feature

Anyway, my party started coming together, as most parties do, in Tower 1 1/2

A Solid Zombie offered Block Physical and Parry, the combination of which quickly led to the dynamic duo of Headless and Garfield, a Solid Kasha.
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They were pretty much unbeatable in regular melee combat, dodging, blocking, parrying, and healing like fiends. Garfield was quite useful even in lategame. But Headless was matrixed to make a Maj. Centaur who I wanted to name Headless Horseman but was stymied by the character limit. (Maj. is a strange modifier title…) This Centaur had the usual centaur mightiness, but really became fun when he added Guilt, Venom, and the rarer Offense Down to his arrows. He was the physical aspect of my mid-lategame strategy of ranged combat. I believe Dullahan met an end against those nasty native american fire-dudes- Diehard couldn't save him and I was too busy frantically dismissing my other rapidly barbecuing demons to save everyone.
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The first member of my terrible trio of artillery was an Asrai I liberated from Ludoc's exploded corpse. She fortunately had Flesheater, which was the only way she survived the peasant hordes that came to bully her. Many skills were taught to her from many sources, but I think it was worth it and she was the star of my ranged forces. Mending can't be spammed, so it's safe to put on combat demons without turning them into healbots, and Tormentor really let her hurl the normally expensive elemental ranged attacks until there was nothing left of the enemy. She sometimes prioritized applying Freeze to enemies over dealing damage, even cold-resistant enemies, but it seemed to work out fine.
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I dropped a regular Bmola to make room for this fantastic creature, who was perfect for my ranged combat style. Expose Host and Hinder Host were the perfect debuffs, and upgrading my Asrai's Frost Dart to Arrow was also great. The Bmola died in the great Reaper Omen/Bonnachon dung debacle of tower 16- I couldn't save myself and everyone from deadly poison AND bull-rushing Bonnachons.
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The Bmola/Centaur replacement was a Vishap, who brought electricity to my artillery barrages and was leaning on Diehard to survive so much that I taught it Souleater just to keep it a little healthier, which seemed to work.
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Now, I couldn't kill EVERYTHING with my ranged attacker demons, so I had some other frontliners besides Garfield. Chief among them was this Ehlose. I looked at those resistances and their mighty strength and thought 'why have I never used one of these magnificent beasts before!?' What ensued was the most harrowing chase encounter I've ever had. After staggering bruised and bloody from the first bunch of Ehlose/Angels, I began chasing this cheeky snake, only to run into ANOTHER pack of Ehlose/Angel around the first corner not 12 steps away. With judicious use of Dash, Charm, positioning, and a Night Rune, I managed to squeeze through the pack chasing after the Ehlose, and since Angels can't punish you unless you hurt people, my Light vulnerability did not prove to be my undoing. If you ever have lots of good melee skills but no one to teach them to, I think the Ehlose is a great choice.
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My other frontliner was sort of abhorrently charming- a Cursed Ghoul with the mind of an Acheri. Pouncing into the fray, then Vile Dancing to cause massive bloodrot before doing usual ghouly things was very impressive I thought, but since Uguul was hesitant to infect her best buddies I didn't see Vile Dance very often. I once had a Foul-breath Fly-Demon and toyed with the idea of getting more serious about doing nasty Infection strategies, but ultimately the simplicity of hammering things flat with ranged attacks and mopping up the survivors with melee was too effective to want to disrupt.
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Since I had plenty of time to heal when cooling down Alluring Gaze, a healer with a few other tricks was nice, though I felt sort of short on matrixes this game and sort of wish I hadn't bothered sacrificing that Atua to this Hob. Though to be fair, I could have 10 matrixes and still want more. I used Cull a decent amount in my 8 slot, but I think Frost Dart and Shock Arrow were probably the most useful.
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The last member of my party exists pretty much by dumb luck alone. When I arrived on Tower 17 I was poisoned and nearly dead and so were most of my demons, and I had to fend off an attack by jewish seizure ghosts without even really having much time to heal. After that I believe I ran into a pack of Bonnachons and I recruited one, having to sacrifice lots of HP and get closer (which was a mistake even with my ability to Dash out). Many of my demons were still gravely wounded and I had traded most my HP to recruit the Bonnachon, and when I tried to Dash back out I was bullrushed and stunned and brought to the low teens of HP by 3 Bonnachon. But I was still alive! In fact, my Kuchisake, which had just been summoned because it was healthy and not because I had the slightest intention of ever using her seriously, had saved me from certain death by Haunting in and Madness Glaring the Bonnachons that had charged and stunned me and surely would have finished me off. I didn't dare stay within the range of Bull Rush and I didn't have much else I could summon that wasn't critically injured, so I used all the Training Points that sort of pile up in the lategame to instantly turn her into a semi-durable combatant, and it worked- she stayed alive long enough for me to withdraw, summon my wounded artillery squad to support her from afar, then heal her whenever she wasn't getting fed enough blood and souls and so survive another encounter.
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So yeah, the lategame was pretty scary without the goofy number of enhanced uniques I had last time. My attempt to get Pele this time was laughable- bandits just showed up and clubbed her (and almost me!) to death within 20 turns. But it's nice to know the uniques aren't at all a requirement for victory(though Headless is almost guaranteed) Dash is a must-have, I think. Really fun run, all in all, I got to do a lot of weird things. and despite having basically the same character build, the game was completely different.

Anyway I better get around to getting the new build downloaded so I too have the option to do those text dumps I've seen Sandman posting
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Re: Turdak's Sanctum, YASD and ramblings

Postby Ferret » Sat Dec 12, 2015 4:31 pm

Boo forum posting software. :P Thanks for re-typing it what you lost to it. :) Congrats on reaching Cycle 3. :D On to the post!

Re: The Great Reaper Omen tragedy, did the game at least warn you it was going to hit allies? :( Granted, sometimes even I skip right over that warning, so it's perfectly understandable if it did you and still used it. :D I just want to make sure the error-catching stuff is working properly. :) If you don't remember that's okay too, I can test it locally fairly easily. Poison doesn't trigger Pariah... but I'd be the first to say that if your entire party has Poison+/Poison++ and Pariah, you're probably having a really, really bad day. :P

Comparing the late game experiences of your two runs so far, I think I'm pretty happy with things in that department. Uniques are supposed to be a short to medium term boost that definitely help, but which aren't necessary to win, and it sounds like that's about where things have landed at least so far. :D

Yeah, there's no reason for the build you have here to invest in Strength or Agility at all really. :D Low Vitality always makes me nervous, but then, many of the winners seem to make it work based on their feedback. Then again, I've also heard of significant success with "hit me!" builds: high, high Vitality + lots of reactives that deal damage in response to being hit. Just uh... don't be like a certain friend of mine and think it's going to fly against Akateko. :)

Re the pre-party comments: Geminimax already started on a complete re-do of Vishap's art since he wasn't happy with it himself for other reasons, so that should get addressed that way soon. :D Cone breaths are allowed to "flow around" walls, so that is intended for the moment, though I'll re-check it to make sure it isn't acting extra-wonky. :) As for the projectile lines for long-range attacks, they're definitely a bit forgiving, this was a side-effect of the math I did to get a solution that ensured any two targets could always either both hit each other or both not hit each other. Frowny that it feels weird/mysterious, but may not be much I can do on that without putting on my serious face about it, which I'm reluctant to do during a content push. I will note it for further investigation though. :)

:D Garfield! I haven't thought about that comic in a long time. For some reason seeing a Kasha named that was way too amusing to me... probably because I was barely awake yet when I started reading the post. :) A Solid Zombie with Parry and Block Physical sounds like the RNG was in a good mood, but it was still on you to take proper advantage of it, which it sounds like you did here. :) Kasha's... excuse me, Garfield's :D ... resistance package is probably part of why it can do well in the late game: Fire, Light, and Dark resistance in one critter is a fairly amazing combination, and it only suffers weakness to Ice in return. :D

Maj. is supposed to be a reference to the military rank of Major, which Headless held in life before he was turned into a zombie. :) I didn't want to just type "Major" because I worried people would assume it just meant something like "Greater" does in "Greater Demon". File this one under "very obscure H.P. Lovecraft reference". :D

Blood Rot doesn't get the love it deserves sometimes. :) The Debuff type status effects are unique in that they *don't* appear on passives that add them to all physical attacks or reactives that apply them in response to being hit. This makes them difficult to access for physical attackers except through the series of Impact attacks that include them. But, Blood Rot is one of the ways to overcome this, and it can work to great effect. Blood Rot also works nicely with Poison Veil, for that matter. :D It will have a cousin, Flesh Rot, in the next build, btw. :D Same idea, but DEF instead of OFF.

As for Freezerburn, Flesheater on her was definitely a lucky catch. :D She probably could almost solo the Protect encounter with that kind of help, thanks to Arctic Veil. :) Mending's limited nature definitely makes it ideal for cases where you want some healing help, but not full time dedication to the idea. Chill is unique in that even Ice resistance is zero help against it... but Ice resistance does massively nerf the damage of Ice attacks, so against Ice resistant enemies, you will often see demons treating their Ice magic like a Chill debuff instead of an Ice nuke. Given Chill is fairly effective, this tends to be pretty helpful in most cases.

Alas for the loss of that Bmola, he was definitely something special. Hinder Host + Expose Host is definitely a huge boon to anyone using ranged attacks heavily: they greatly increase the speed at which you can melt incoming enemies. :D Another source of Ice + Headwind is also good stuff for such a strategy.

Vishaps. :D I always feel a little guilty about these guys. They have a great ability for certain builds hiding on them (Dragon Soul), but curently they appear so close to the end of the game you don't really get a chance to use it even if you're one of those builds that can benefit. :( Well, that's what I'm working on addressing at the moment, so maybe one day it will get a chance to shine. :)

Ehlose chases are deceptively difficult: they don't have fast movement, which makes it seem easy even with the long duration... but then they find other enemy groups and it gets ugly fast. :D That said, the resistances they offer are ridiculously good as you noted, and you will probably be able to keep them for a very long time even after they start falling behind a bit in levels on the strength of those resistances. If there is an issue with them at all, it's that the weakness they do have is one of the more deadly ones.

It's strange Uguul didn't use Vile Dance more: it actually doesn't hit allies, so it shouldn't have hesitated on that score. Then again, Numbing Bite has a very high AI value since Paralyze is amazing, so that may have been part of it, once it was already in melee range.

I like giving debuffs and smites to my healers too, when I want them to branch out a little or have other things to do. Snuff Out is one of my favorites for this, but really any good smite will work. :) It keeps them from needing Agility (which many good healer demons lack), and also tends to keep them from wanting to approach in search of clear lines of fire. :D

The description of your Tower:17 encounter involving Kuchisake is probably one of the happiest things I've read about my own game. :) Mostly because it sounds like everything was working exactly how I would have wanted: the late game was throwing nasty challenges, one of negotiation's "increased risk" moves did exactly that, and a demon with a non-straightforward (i.e.: not healing) way of saving you managed to figure out and execute it. :D I could ask for little more than that. :D Kuchisake are actually really good these days, giving them Haunt was a major upgrade. Back when they had to walk to their targets, they were much less intimidating since they don't really have any significant defenses.

Poor Pele! :( But.. yes, her Protect encounter is designed to be tough on ranged attackers (since she herself is one), and it sounded like your party towards the end was leaning heavier that way. Bandits (like any minion rank monster) die easy enough, but the SP costs on ranged attacks catch up with you in such a drawn out encounter, leaving a heavy ranged party unable to continue knocking them down fast enough to keep from drowning. Bandits also tend to make it difficult to use AEs by getting in your party's face right away w/ Bull Rush, which eliminates one of the usual good methods of handling Protect swarms.

Not surprised Dash is highly valued, given it basically acts like a limited form of controlled Blink. :D I think the SP cost and clear line of fire keep it under control for now, but if it stays must have as more content is added I may have to address it. I'm trying to balance Demon in the manner of a collectible card game: I don't want any "must haves", and I don't want any "never haves", though I'm okay with most of the spectrum in between those points. :D

I'm glad you were able to have fun playing a similar build a second time on the same content and found it to be a different experience. :D And yes, it will be awesome once you're able to post character dump files. :D They're still very first pass since I didn't want to divert from content for long to add the feature, but even in their current form they're quite nice. :D

Thanks again for playing, and for the awesome reporting. :D Good luck in your further adventures. :D

(P.S.: Scoreboard wipes will become much more frequent now that I'm in content mode! If you want to see your name in lights, you might want to suicide your character at some point. :D Cycle 3 won't quite get you the top score, but it'd still be pretty high! Apologies that there isn't a cleaner way to do that for winners... everything about the end-game is pretty placeholder right now and likely to remain so for awhile.)
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Re: Turdak's Sanctum, YASD and ramblings

Postby wizzzargh » Sat Dec 12, 2015 10:59 pm

Reaper Omen did warn me, I just decided to do it anyway, thinking I'd be fine since my ranged guys wouldn' t be in melee immediately and the extra damage against enemies would be worth it, especially since I could switch them out. It didn't really land on most of the enemies though, only my friends. I think it could be a really good spell for those people who walk around with nothing but a healer initially summoned, or even alone.

I fought the Lich Hero this game, and toyed around with the spell that drains maxHP at range for 30SP but with only Tormentor and no Tireless or other SP booster I couldn't bear using it much- that's why I ended up taking Reaper Omen out of curiosity.

Good to know about Headless' rank, it's been forever since I read/watched Re-Animator.

I did have Blood Rot on an Aspis this game and that seemed to work well, but I ended up ditching the Aspis for one reason or another. While on the topic of nasty Body debuffs, I ran into a lot more trouble with Infection this run, not only because of Sepsis Wave and Retch, but due to it interfering with SP recovery for my ranged demons. Also, it's quite possible my Ghoul did use Vile Dance plenty and I've confused 'not summoning the ghoul very much' with 'not seeing vile dance very much'. :D

I know what you mean about Vishaps... I really thought long and hard about taking Storm Breath but ultimately I just couldn't bear to part with any skills, and certainly not the 2 slots I would need to include Dragon Soul for high damage potential since I led most fights with Alluring Gaze and didn't have Tireless.

Yeah, the Kuchisake thing on Tower:17 was really cool. I always watch NPC combat unfold rather than skipping it, so I was just transitioning from :shock: to :twisted: over a period of a few seconds after I realized Bull Rush>Dash and I had made a terrible mistake, then realized this direly underappreciated demon was swooping in to save my bacon.

As for suiciding myself... no way! I have the biggest thread on the Demon forums serving as my tombstone, I don't need no scoreboard entry! :lol:
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Re: Turdak's Sanctum, YASD and ramblings

Postby Ferret » Sun Dec 13, 2015 2:55 am

Reaper Omen (and its cousins) will probably be changed to be enemy only at some point anyway. The original idea was that they required all Dark (or, for the Light ones, Light) resistant/immune allies to use safely, kind of rewarding a "crusade" approach.

But, in reality, that's too narrow a requirement, and making it worse is that players aren't even allowed to be Light or Dark immune, so if your allies somehow have the spells, they will only use them if you already have the conditions yourself. :P Probably one of my few outright design errors present in the current abilities. :) At least it hides up there on T:15 or so.

Yeah, don't get me wrong. Vigor Drain is an amazing spell. But, it's kind like one of those Magic: the Gathering cards that is amazing if you build a deck around it, but not so great just thrown in to a deck happening to use the same color. If you have some of the Dark-element "Mien" passives, Gluttony, Oppressor, a source of Regen and Guilt (both are based off your MaxHP), a way to recoup the massive SP costs, and have built for Mag and Vit, it can be amazing, :D Just on it's own... well... it *is* still a Dark elemental nuke that doesn't have cooldowns or conditional usage, making it a good way to seriously ruin a Weak to Dark demon's day. But that's about all you get out of it without building around it. :D One of my favorite wins was a "warlock" build like I just described though. If you ever want to try it yourself, Vodun Mask and Orb of Power offer various ways to get it started. :D

Infection... hahhhh. Yeah. I shudder when I recall that, for the longest time, Infection prevented *all* natural SP recovery instead of just cutting it 50%. :P The only upside it had was that Zombies were pretty horrifying: if you got bit by one at low SP, you were pretty much out of the fight for 15 turns if nobody could fix it. :P

Dragon Soul is the keystone of "breath" builds: Take a breath weapon, Tireless, Second Wind (restores SP and resets Breath cooldown, uses Endure cooldown), Unconquerable (reduces Endure cooldown when damaged), and finally, Dragon Soul. Yeah, okay, that's 5 ability slots... except now you have a massively powerful, very repeatable, AE attack, that has some sort of secondary effect attached too, depending on which breath weapon you picked. :D It's not something that'd be easy to pick up late though... and two of the required abilities live on uniques anyway. :P Still, that's a temporary issue... as Demon gets more content, there will be more and more ways to pick up the required abilities (or reasonable approximations.)

I don't use turn skip anymore either. :) The problem I added it to fix went away once I added the option to not auto-pause the message log every 7 messages. Reading it is not really required during combat anyway, so this was just an annoying stop measure.

Oh hey, speaking of watching combat, I finally figured out how to do a good drop shadow on my fonts. :D Should make things a little easier on the eyes with the next build onward. :D

Hah. :D I didn't know if you'd care about being on the scoreboard or not, but I had to ask. I'd have felt terrible if you did care and finally got on there only to find out I'd wiped this scoring model and nobody could see it anymore. :P
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Re: Turdak's Sanctum, YASD and ramblings

Postby Sandman25 » Sun Dec 13, 2015 5:51 pm

It could be great to see character dump in addition to screenshots. Those pictures are almost useless to me since I've never seen descriptions of the abilities.
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Re: Turdak's Sanctum, YASD and ramblings

Postby wizzzargh » Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:11 am

Welp, the streak is over. I made a character with Life Siphon, Arresting Glare, and Ember Burst, who was curiously enough, resistant to Mind AND Body but vulnerable to Physical. I started with a Huo Shuo, which was probably a mistake not just sticking with fairy. I had to bail from tower 1 1/2 as I had no reasonable way of dealing with a Wisp pack (I considered trying to burn them to death while running but I figured I'd probably meet another enemy pack before they'd finally die.) Then I met Actaeon and figured I'd try his link, because how bad could it be on floor 3? Turns out for a character with physical weakness and a pack of Zar and Malingee waiting just out of sight, it was REALLY BAD, and after Actaeon died I was chased down and killed by hounds despite my attempts to make a wall of sleepy dogs with a Night Rune to block off pursuit.

Had I been some sort of mighty Flesheating Titans Fist or someone with a REAL area of effect damage spell I bet I could have done the link but for this character, I was dead the moment I linked with Actaeon. I'd take Mind weakness any day over this... :mrgreen: Maybe I'll make a flesheater type with the goal of doing Actaeons link, though since he's not guaranteed I guess we'll just have to see how that goes
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