YAVP: Faithful heart, healing and fire.

The tower awaits!

Re: YAVP: Faithful heart, healing and fire.

Postby Ferret » Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:07 am

#3 on the charts isn't shabby at all, especially on a scoreboard this old. :D I usually don't go this long without a reset, but none of the builds have required one since Matter's release. Anyway, congrats. :D

Out of curiosity, what was it about Ninkasi's Sanctum that gave you so much trouble on the Dragon build?
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Early thoughts on the overhaul

Postby Remora » Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:15 pm

It's been a couple months so I don't remember as well right now, but I remember that my first or second encounter was with a group of pixies and jinns, some with the corrupt modifier. They managed to slay a couple of my allies before I bothered to recruit a corrupt pixie and defeated the rest of the bunch. I don't remember about the rest of the run too well but my character ultimately lost in a corpse encounter.

Anyway, I kind of like how starting abilities have had an overhaul in which they are no longer directly tied to certain relics, so I do think this allows for better potential of new and unique character. The game does feel a lot more difficult, though; of my four or five games so far I have yet to even reach the Anomaly. Given the redo of base points, you do have different options for early game builds, e.g. an all in vitality character focused on buffing allies could be good with an ability like Spite early on to do additional damage to enemies. I feel that I'll have to relearn the game.
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Re: YAVP: Faithful heart, healing and fire.

Postby Ferret » Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:47 am

I'm glad you like the changes so far. :D I hope it won't quite be as big an adjustment as re-learning the game.... but I wouldn't be surprised if it was re-learning the early game. :D
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Re: YAVP: Faithful heart, healing and fire.

Postby Remora » Tue May 28, 2019 4:37 am

Alright. It's been quite a while since my last post here. That's mainly because I didn't play Demon in months because of circumstances and what may even be laziness on my behalf. Anyway, today I've decided to download the latest test build and play it; before I had downloaded the third test build for brands. They're still pretty new to me, so I don't have much strategic ideas with them yet.

Currently I am playing a Faithful Heart buffing character, just like the days back then. It's probably one of the easier old builds that can still be redone now, as it is centered around the same ole buffing abilities and passives. It's too bad that I couldn't get Rabblerouser Headless in Tower 1&1/2 (I guess his brand leaving him with 1 point in agility made him ineffectual at killing West), but by now I have Protect, Alert, and Focus, as well as Malleable, Bright Blood, Blessweaver, and Oppressor. I've also got Normalizing Aura, which can help out my party for a while until I find what I'd feel like would be a better-fitting ability, whatever it would be. Overall, like I said, this run doesn't have too much of a strategy to it because I'm still figuring out brands. I'm kind of playing it like I've used to before. So far I know that I've applied mainly vitality or speed-increasing brands to me player character. I guess this character benefits more from +12 vitality on top of its already high vitality than 10% more speed, even if speed is very nice.

Currently I've just entered Turdak's Sanctum. I figure that it will be a fairly challenging place, as it has been since druj nasu and mummies were added as potential encounters there. Hopefully I can nab one of either of those as they can make for strong allies. As for the game so far, it's been going mostly smoothly. I did manage to recruit Python, but unfortunately it died in a clumsy escape from fetches in which I ran into a pack of gremlins back up by a nero. I ended up using a wind card to get out of that mess. I still cleared all of Anomaly and the floors before, though, but I decided not to bother with fighting Paracelsus and his lot at all. Beyond that, I managed to summon chupacabras with enemy lure twice and they were quite the nuisance. It's been pretty smooth otherwise and I've been enjoying the game once more after not playing it for so long.
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Buff Heart part 2

Postby Remora » Wed May 29, 2019 12:16 am

I think I'll post an update for this run now.

Things got rough, starting with Turdak's Sanctum. In there I had some rough battles with packs of atuas and zars, but the worst encounters for me were the groups of 4 and 3 mummies, the latter found by enemy summon. My party lacked dark resistance and only had one source of electricity damage in my charged asrai, so the former lot really hurt to fight. The latter group was a little easier to fight because there was only three of them, but one had the culler modifier that gave it acid dart, giving the mummies a source of range damage that made escaping them a bit more dangerous. At least I managed to get back at them while trying to link with an akateko. Turdak and his band themselves weren't too bad, though.

I think floor 9 went okay, and there I got to recruit Charlie. Floor 10 wasn't too bad either, albeit I lost my asrai there IIRC and I ended up skipping about a fourth of it because of Lioth. He had Anzu and I'm pretty sure my party wasn't in a good enough shape to fight his lot. I got a shisa on floor 11, I think, but it got drained pretty badly because of all the akateko and mummies running around that floor and the next one. I also got refine brand for a second upgrade, just to check it out. At the very least, it's nice to level up the brands of my party members that I still kept that initially had such levels by this point that the upgrades were good boosts.

Floor 13 really hurt. I first ran into a group of onis, and I recruited one with a gold offering. It's probably a little overkill, but my party was not in good shape at the time and this capture helped even the odds. I gave it my ogre's abilities and then fused my ogre onto it and even gave it a new brand (it's original brand was okay with the bonus speed but I had a better brand that gave it more speed and strength because it had high enough strength AND the original brand lowered its agility). The ensuing fight wasn't too bad. A bit later I had run into the mob of Reprobus and Mordecai, which was unfortunate because I was pinned in a curved hallway ending in a room. A good portion of my party ended up having their max HP drained, aside from my healer druj nasu which I was lucky enough to dismiss in time. From here on I've began trying to recover; in order to recruit a barbegazi, I had to delete my artifical dipsas, which was drained anyway. I also recruited a couple hobs that were alongside three onis, and they, my PC, and my druj nasu barely won a fight with the three remaining onis. All in all, this has been the hardest part of the run so far.

Floor 14 continued the recovery process. I think I got lucky here, as I ran into a group of two nokkens and two banshees, and I recruited two of the former with ease. I can't recall exactly how things went out on this floor initially, but I also ran into another group of barbegazis and tuofei and I recruited one of the former, and I BARELY won the following fight. I had to position my drained druj nasu and Charlie well to succeed. Over time on this floor, my party managed to recover fairly well. I nearly died when attempting a link with Ninkasi; she got killed mostly by the mob she initially spawned with, but once again I barely got by and thankfully I was in corridor with a dead end room at the end of it. Maybe my nokkens' blinking saved my run by having them go towards the room away from the enemies that rushed down the hallway. My PC took quite a beating, but with such high HP it made for a decent tank when backed up by a healer. I did go into Baphomet's Sanctum, but I quickly left because I ended up sandwiched between Adria and the eponymous unique itself; a scarab I recruited and my oni just couldn't beat Adria. I also got uncursing aura from the scarab, which is very nice.

Floor 15 and Medusa's sanctum went better. My earlier party members were starting to reach their max HP once more. Medusa's sanctum was the smoothest floor to go through in a while; I think my oni was really good against all the mobs there, and with my druj nasu having Calm there weren't many enemies that could disable it reliably. Floor 16 wasn't too bad either; there were quite a few mobs of onis alongside nuppeppo running around here, which put up quite a fight, especially given my party's lack of fire and acid damage. I managed to find Bigfoot with enemy lure here, and conveniently enough I used it in a dead end room so he was an easy recruit. I also replaced Protect with Guarding Cry. For all I have played of floor 17 so far, things have started to look better as I now have two strong frontliners. I think I've got this run back on track now.
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Buff Heart part 3: YAVP

Postby Remora » Wed May 29, 2019 4:36 am

Alright! I've managed to win the game tonight!

Image

At the last minute I got cheeky and added a brand to my character that would raise its vitality over the 200 points mark. It had a bonus of 98%+ versus like-level opponenents. Before then I had "Du-We," which gave my character good vitality in exchange for nerfed strength.

As opposed to the mid tower, the last several floors went so much more smoothly. I think demon preservation only kicked in once, and it was for my civatateo. Bigfoot was good as per usual, stomping the living tar out of light packs for the next few floors up until Powers started showing up. It also stomped those basilisk and Charun groups with incredible speed. He wasn't as good against fire-slingers, bruchas, and those grappling trees, so I kept my oni to swap it with Bigfoot when he was in trouble. I got the yuki-onna from Baba Yaga's band in her sanctum, and it replaced my scarab, which had its buffing abilities removed and given Polar Rush in return. Umdhlebi was also great and made taking care of brucha groups and the like much easier; when Bigfoot and it were out together, they could easily mulch up an enemy mob very quickly.

I gave Bigfoot an upgraded brand that my oni had, that would increase its strength and speed IF it had enough strength. My oni certainly wouldn't have the strength anymore, but Bigfoot would. For a while my umdhlebi kept its initial speed bonus brand, but because it was only active when it had max SP, it wasn't very useful, so towards the end I gave it a simple cunning booster. My druj nasu had various brands given throughout the late tower but ultimate had a light weakness removing and SP increasing brand that worked when it had max HP. It seems great for such an ally. My civatateo had a simple magic-increasing brand and I don't recall the brand for my yuki-onna right now, if it even had one.

I think the battle with the Phoenix and its allies was the hardest one, and even then it went fine, even if I had to swap out my guys several times. The ending portal was blocked by Valindra, so I had to lure her away from the lengthy hallway that led to it. I resorted to giving some of my other demons pink whisper, like Bigfoot and civatateo, but I figured that she was too stubborn for my party to defeat. She had electricity-immune banshee soul armor, after all. No fire damage meant that she'd be hard to kill, and she also went out of her way to preserve her allies. That aside, the late tower went smoothly overall.

While it was vexing around the mid tower, overall it's been a fun experience to come back to this game and win immediately after several months of little gameplay! For the next game I have started out as a good ole life draining hand of the dead character. I'll be seeing how that wraps up later.
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Re: YAVP: Faithful heart, healing and fire.

Postby Ferret » Thu May 30, 2019 12:51 am

Laziness? :D Don't know that I've ever heard not playing a game described that way before. :D Demon's a roguelike, I expect people to play it for awhile, wander off, wander back awhile later and see what's new. It's how I play even my favorite roguelikes, so no reason to think people'd treat Demon differently. :)

Speed brands are tricky... both to use and to balance. +10% Speed, on the surface, risks seeming unimpressive. +1 turn every 10 turns.. some battles are over (or basically over) in less than that. On the other hand, once you're talking even +25% or +30%, the effect is absolutely powerful: +1 turn every 3-4 or so is amazing. If every party member has it, it's like having an extra party member almost.

It isn't because I'm evil, but I admit I'm always happy to hear reports of Adria actually causing trouble for someone. I don't remember if you were around for it or not, but for a long time she was easily the weakest hero (relative to her level) in the game, despite multiple attempts to buff her. :) It was a bit of relief when I finally got it right, and I still like reinforcing reports of her still relatively new success as an actual threat. :D

Sounds (reads?) like you were using Brands pretty extensively by the end of the run, which is good. :) What did you think of their addition to the game, overall?

Anyway, I'm glad you've been having fun since coming back :D Congrats on the win, and thanks for the report!
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YAVP: Antimummy the fire-slinger

Postby Remora » Fri May 31, 2019 12:49 am

I guess it's more like I could play it, but I simply didn't it for quite a while. I just felt like coming back to Demon fairly recently. I like that there's easier means to get speed modification. I haven't seen any speed brands that are that high yet; maybe just 19% at most. Also, I've been around long enough to remember when Adria was considered to be much weaker.

I think brands shake things up in a pretty interesting way. They allow for even more options for your enhancing your characters in many ways, which is always cool, as well as the enemies of course. I think it has helped the overall game be more interesting in gameplay, from beginning to end.

Image

This character was an "antimummy" that began with fire dart and went on from there. My Hand of the Dead character died to dipsas in Arcadia. Anyway, this run went much more smoothly than the previous run (probably because my party had abilities and attacks covering more elements throughout the game rather than just the early and late tower). My relic upgrades were SEPI, Refine Brand, and Call Demon. I guess there's not too much to say about a lot of this run, but I guess I'll lay out some points of it:
1. I got Combust from a corpse early on and Melting Touch from a slime too. I had Arcadia this game and I encountered the early dipsas, so those abilities really helped with defeating them. I think I still lost something in that battle, though.
2. Early on I got Dazzling Gaze and Freezing Touch. I guess I could've replaced them with better abilities, but they were still very useful to the very end of the game. I picked up Mending as an extra means of healing; it's generally a good ability to pick up on magic characters as it still allows your character to support allies in places and situations like corridor battles.
3. When it came to actual mummies, this character definitely fared better against them than my latest "Booth" character. I ran into two groups of them: one summoned in Turdak's Sanctum summoned by a trouble chime and the other found around Tower:12 alongside ghouls. In the first battle I had an akateko ally to keep them at bay, but unfortunately it was too drained to fight in the latter battle so my poor alicanto had to be in the front. Fire damage is simply good against them!
4. My party was just about complete when I was in Baphomet's Sanctum. I got a Power there by using a bronze offering on it, as a means to even the odds in the incoming battle and gain a powerful ally with ease. It served me well, but it died on the final floor from being drained to death by shikome. I had a volcanic yali but replaced it with umdhlebi as it wasn't doing too well in a lot of battles; my ala was just there for a lot of the game and I don't think I used it at all on at least the last four floors I visited, but it still helped in earlier battles with electric and dark mobs. My last undone ally would be a shikome recruited with a bronze offering, and it helped with defeating Tremane. I guess I'll explain the asrai in the next point.
5. I figured out through unicorn links that killing enemies at all is a good way of restoring max HP; while enemies fought in these links don't give experience, they can still undo drained max HP. I picked Call Demon because of this, as I linked with asrais way earlier and their link is convenient for this purpose. It's pretty expensive, though, so I figure the main reason why I could access this is because of how well I was playing with a party that was becoming more and more underleveled as time went on, even if I was still spending credits on applying AND refining brands. I guess Refine Brand gives your allies better staying power (my current Refine Brand strategy is to replace old brands if they're at least 5 levels under, or especially if they're 10 or more levels under).

I also tried to give my last asrai a silly brand like +43 vitality but -30% speed under whatever condition but I couldn't afford to give it a high level brand so I gave it a +7 agility after movement brand that was still level 2. I held onto that in spite of never really having a need for that niche.

6. My healer druj nasu and chthonic alicanto did really well. It actually took quite a while for me to get Cleanse onto the former (I didn't bother to give it Cleansing Aura from the nero I used for fusion for no good reason), so body status effects were harder to deal with moreso than usual for a while, but I still got by fine. On note of the latter, I guess some of the speed lowering brands can be tolerated. Its penultimate one was basically the same thing but with needing SP under 50, but I replaced it just so I didn't have to spend on Refine Brand to give it three more or so levels (there would have been an equal gain of vitality). I guess the replaced brand is technically better as it means more HP when it has less SP but I that's how I rolled. It and my late power fought a lot late enemies together.

To sum it all up, this was a pretty good and fun run. I haven't started a new character yet. I think that's all you'll hear from me for now.

<1 minute edit: I guess I had a lot more to say than I initially thought, albeit a good chunk of it was on new game mechanics.
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Re: YAVP: Faithful heart, healing and fire.

Postby Ferret » Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:16 pm

I'm glad to hear you like Brands. :D

I don't know if I've heard of anyone making a build specifically anti one demon before, even a unique one, much less a non-unique. :D At least it sounds like it did work when you finally ran into them. :)

Mending is one of my favorite examples of being able to use an ability's restrictions to influence your allies' AI. Mending doesn't allow spamming, so even if you give it to a character they will still mostly do other things, only Mending occasionally when it is called for.

That is one slow bird. :D The AI usually doesn't want to use -Speed Brands on already slow characters, but I may have to reconsider that position if it isn't as bad an outcome as I assumed it was. :)

Congrats on the win, and thanks for the report. :D
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