Demon Journal 001 [EDIT: RIP. Reached T3]

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Demon Journal 001 [EDIT: RIP. Reached T3]

Postby RedPine » Sun Mar 13, 2022 6:45 am

Since I'm already keeping a diary of Demon to help me learn from past mistakes, I might as well share my journey here. I apologize if this is a little dry, but I tend to die a lot so as time goes on I've streamlined the note taking process. Hopefully this will be helpful to people who are just starting out and trying to learn how to learn the game.

Chargen:

Eye of the Dragon
Personal favorite for aesthetic reasons, plus removes a major source of RNG. I realize this isn't the best or most popular artifact, more experienced players with actual wins seem to prefer the other artifacts.

Healing
Body resistance is one of the most valuable due to how nasty AND common the status effects are. The only better resistance is Mind, which is rare in the early game but consists entirely of status effects that remove control from the player.
Healing also helps with some links, especially patching up damage and escort.
Healing is useful on monostat builds, as it scales solely off of Magic.

Tulpa
I prefer the reliable DPS of the familiar, but Tulpa was missing from my bestiary so I threw him in. Starting demons get replaced pretty quick regardless.



T1

Cleared without issue. Short one demon due to running into goblins and slimes early, which are too expensive to be worth recruiting too many of. I wound up taking only one goblin, though in retrospect I regretted missing out on the get-out-of-status-free card the slime offers.

Notable brands include SP -1 and SP -12%, might make use of those later.

Roster:
2 Summoner
2 Tulpa
2 Zaltys
2 Zaltys
2 Goblin
2 Echeneis

T2

Found a Buruburu on a corpse, made an attempt at an early Ogre. I played stingy and failed to get the Ogre, should have spent items or copied dps abilities to my demons. Wound up getting rid of a Faery since she was missing the most synergy (Dancers Boon requires Evasion Up) and had overpriced heals.

I normally like combining Zaltys and Faery to make stat agnostic luck-healers, but I decided to dump that strategy this time because it's extremely SP and time inefficient. Burst damage is usually better than endurance, especially with hit and run tactics.

Roster:
3 Summoner
3 Tulpa
3 Zaltys
2 Goblin
2 Echeneis
1 Sankai
1 Buruburu
Last edited by RedPine on Wed Mar 16, 2022 3:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Demon Journal 001

Postby RedPine » Sun Mar 13, 2022 6:46 am

T 1.5

Found a Preta, regretting dumping the Faerie since it's Faded gives Evasion Up as a free action. Got the Preta, gave it chill from Echeneis, then dumped the fish. I find that the infection chance and duration is plenty high as is so I didn't copy any zombie abilities to the Preta.

Found Dr West, and for once I had no interest in Headless... because they were accompanied by Drakesworn Zombies. Inhale (gain 5 sp and reduce breath CD by 2) + Putrid (infection) breath. Dumped Buruburu for a Drakesworn, then copied and fused the dragon abilities to the first good demon I found - a Chindi, who happened to have Bloodrot (upon inflicting infection/poison/paralysis, also cause offense down).

Better yet, when fused, the Chindi got Fire Breath and Meditate (gain 10 sp).

Roster:
3 Summoner
3 Tulpa
3 Zaltys
3 Goblin
3 Sankai
3 Preta(chill)
4 Drakesworn Chindi (inhale, meditate, fire breath, putrid breath)

All that spending left me broke, but once I can afford it I think I'll turn my summoner into a drake-cannon. Players are much better at making the most of positioning and ability cycling than demons.

T3

Found a Deadly Raicho with Needle Spray. Gave the Needle Spray to the Preta, since it already adds chill+infection to all physical attacks. Got Torment from a Freybug and gave that to Preta as well. Eventually I want Torment on myself to synergize with dragon abilities, but for now I'm broke.

Found another Buruburu, and this time I succeded in getting an Ogre - a Psychic Ogre with 3 60% chances to delay the turns of ALL enemies in an AOE of 6 once every 3 turns. Psychic isn't normally the best modifier for Ogres, but the ability made up for it.

About to enter Vikhors Sanctum. Will take a break before proceeding. Found some good brands that should synergize amazingly with Vikhor (I really need to curb my spending habits).

No Passive Abilities. Speed +18%
Is a demon. Last used movement. Speed +18%
No light abilities. No visible allies. Speed +33% (This right here makes me wish this was a Titan's Fist run.)
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Re: Demon Journal 001

Postby Ferret » Mon Mar 14, 2022 1:59 pm

Hey. :D Diaries of this sort are pretty common around here, so you're in good company. :) Some of the older ones are probably a bit outdated to be of use so it's always nice to have a new one.

Reshape is definitely one of the better reasons to try and grab a Slime. With some spare Credits, you can even copy it over immediately mid-combat to any demon that doesn't already have it or another Endure cooldown so it can bail itself out of trouble it may find itself in, and it isn't a bad ability to let stick around afterwards if you didn't have anything else to do with the slot at the moment. :D

Even having designed it, I'm not sure I'll ever understand Lucky Aid's relationship with players. There are some who absolutely swear by it and use it even into the endgame with great success and consider it overpowered. Then there are other, including me, who try that and watch it choose the worst/useless at the moment outcomes every time it matters most. I guess it really does come down to who is lucky or not. :P

Inhale + Putrid Breath + Blood Rot is a match made in... well, probably not heaven, but you get the idea. Fire Breath is a good addition there too: the AI is usually intelligent enough to handle both choosing the correct one based on enemy resistances and choosing the correct one based on debuffs already present (i.e.: If Infection and Offense Down are already hanging around from Putrid Breath, it will probably choose Fire Breath next to try and get Ignite going too.)

You're not the first to struggle with saving up credits, if it makes you feel any better. Demon was once called a "broke college student simulator" by someone, and it remains one of the highest compliments the game has received in my opinion (even if I am not entirely sure it was meant to be complimentary :D ) But, hey, better to be alive with no credits than die with thousands unspent.

Those brands you mention at the end are definitely nice. The first one will be a bit tough to use maybe (passives are in general pretty nice), but the second is definitely begging for Vikhor. The third... well, yeah, sometimes a Brand generates that doesn't seem to do anything but make you wish you were trying a different build :P

Thanks for the write up, and good luck in Vikhor's Sanctum :D
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Re: Demon Journal 001

Postby RedPine » Wed Mar 16, 2022 3:18 am

Vikhor's Sanctum

Used the Dragon Eye's "Enemy Sense" to find myself a safe hallway to retreat to. Good thing I did, the first pack I ran into was Vikhor + Raicho. I "c"commanded my demons to focus my demons on the Raicho, baited Vikhor to the empty hall, and started the link. Sadly, Vikhor is REALLY fast, and managed to hide behind the nearest enemy group with 1 turn remaining on the link. Had to burn a heal stone (didn't expect to flee from Vikhor + chilling demons), but snagged a Nero.

Nero is amazing. It can support stat agnostic healing, magic powered healing, and synergizes great with drake builds.

Lesson learned: Before attempting difficult chase links, strand the target in an empty hallway using a demon as bait, and finish killing the rest of the demon packs on the level first.

Now that I had a healer build and a drake build ready (as soon as I could afford to copy the abilities over to my summoner), I committed to a 3:1:1 spread of Magic, Vitality, Cunning.

Sidenote: I figured out how copy/fusion costs work. The cost is based on the RECEIVING demon's ORIGIN level, not their current level (there is no penalty for postponing, beyond possibly dying if one isn't strong enough). Copy to summoner costs are based solely on the summoner's level (so it's best to do it as soon as you know you're build).

Got an Aeras from a mixed pack. It was a hard fight and I had to use hit'n'run, but getting a level 8 demon with AOE was worth it.

Found a few Asrai packs. It's a shame, their my favorite but I have no synergy for them on my team.

All that was left was to poke a corpse. It had a It had a Frigid Asrai with Frozen Heart (-5 SP cost to consecutive turns of ice abilities). I have no synergy… but how can I turn down a Frozen Heart? AND Flash Freeze? With Ra-Na 5: Speed +12%, Cunning -3? Note that Chill auto-procs, so the loss of cunning is meaningless.

Decided to replace the Tulpa, my only origin 1 demon remaining. I also decided to commit to a SP+healing build (meditate then refresh an ally), as that is stat/element agnostic, would let me dump cunning, and wouldn't force me to awkwardly dual class drakesworn AND healing onto my summoner.



Aaaand I died from getting greedy. Didn’t pay attention to maxhp and got killed by the Asrai. Hey, I knew it was a good demon!

Lesson's learned: Could have easily surprised using hit and run tactics (instead of sitting in the middle of a sleeping pack of corpse awoken demons) or by using dash to get out of the Asrai’s range, or by using a heal stone, etc.
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Re: Demon Journal 001

Postby RedPine » Wed Mar 16, 2022 3:28 am

Ferret wrote:Some of the older ones are probably a bit outdated to be of use so it's always nice to have a new one.


That's why I'm sharing. The game is pretty much in it's final form of balance, so it's safe to make guides/AARs/etc. that will be useful to others. Demon is really hard to get into, so having discussion of the current meta around is useful for any post-release players that wander in.

Ferret wrote:Reshape is definitely one of the better reasons to try and grab a Slime. With some spare Credits, you can even copy it over immediately mid-combat to any demon that doesn't already have it or another Endure cooldown so it can bail itself out of trouble it may find itself in, and it isn't a bad ability to let stick around afterwards if you didn't have anything else to do with the slot at the moment. :D


The status clearing is often as or more useful than the healing, and the healing is a free action, so it definitely could have saved me. I really regret not investing in getting an early slime. They are slow and easy to run from, so it's not like I was forced to fight it.

Ferret wrote:Even having designed it, I'm not sure I'll ever understand Lucky Aid's relationship with players. There are some who absolutely swear by it and use it even into the endgame with great success and consider it overpowered. Then there are other, including me, who try that and watch it choose the worst/useless at the moment outcomes every time it matters most. I guess it really does come down to who is lucky or not. :P


You have to build around the luck. Have high HP frontliners that can survive a round or two of bad luck, feed SP/luck to the luck minion, have multiple lucky minions, have high SP cost minions that benefit equally from +SP and +HP, etc.

You can't survive an entire run of Demon's off of luck alone, you need a strong statistical advantage.

Ferret wrote:AI is usually intelligent enough to handle [Breath attacks].


Yes, you have reason to be proud of the AI. My dragon breath Chindi performed really well. Still, there are occasionally odd situations involving friendly links and positioning where I wouldn't trust the AI to know the best square to move to... plus using breath attacks yourself is fun.

The "broke college student simulator" is spot on.

Ferret wrote:sometimes a Brand generates that doesn't seem to do anything but make you wish you were trying a different build :P


At least there's a silver lining for dying, I can try a new build now!
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Re: Demon Journal 001 [EDIT: RIP. Reached T3]

Postby Ferret » Wed Mar 16, 2022 12:10 pm

Yeah, positioning is the one of the weaker spots of Demon's AI, and is a fair bit of why I never did anything with terrain types, which would have only exposed players to the issue more frequently while also probably making the problems worse by adding more factors on top of the ones I already wasn't handling as well as I'd have liked.

I think terrain/movement was an area where Demon'd needed to have been built with more player management of AI actions... but that would be more of a TRPG than a roguelike at that point. Which wouldn't necessarily be a bad game, but it wasn't the one I was making :D
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