Campaign is Not Grindy

Discussion in 'Adventure Discussion and Strategy' started by ParodyKnaveBob, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. ParodyKnaveBob

    ParodyKnaveBob Thaumaturge

    TL;DR - I just beat it with level 15 chars using only gear picked up along the way

    Background

    I've heard so many people say this game is grindy, including an offline friend of mine. I always found this weird. When I first played, I just suited up my role-playing party as "they" saw fit, including equipping no Unholy cards on my priest, Solstice, not realizing just how much of an extra challenge that even was. (Blue Manchu, you sure do have a lot more love for Unholy card items, ha ha ha.) Hand of Melvelous? sold for 100g. (Don't worry, I bought it back weeks later once I found multiplayer could actually be an enjoyable experience instead of a cesspool to avoid.)

    Only once I started dealing with Oozes and Skeletons did I actually start swapping my equipment out to match the levels more. Also, only once I hit around level 8-10 did I figure, man, this game is so balanced to just play for fun through the campaign with Gary and company, I .. I expect Blue Manchu might've actually somehow figured out how to make multiplayer balanced, too. Huh. And so I tried it. And so I stayed. $¦^ ] Point being, it wasn't until halfway through the campaign that I started getting multiplayer rewards -- and even then, I couldn't beat Gary for several days because of that dreaded 20 minute timer. Lol. $E^ b

    It was also then that I started being involved in World Chat -- since I could see the community was enjoyable, too, hey hey. Different kind of game, different kind of crowd, methinks. Anyway, I soon heard Elf Wizards are bad. (I eventually proved that wrong along with others. Yay. And that was before CM.) I also soon heard the campaign is hard and grindy. I've continued to hear that for a year and a half.

    Inspiration

    Recently, I finally got around to levelling up some characters (so that I would have more to choose from in co-op). Classic Starter, dwarf warrior, elf wizard, human priest. I used all my current inventory. Played every level. For awhile. It was so easy, (elf wizards are bad! ha ha ha ha) I experimented with Ancient Grudge and Vampire Form and other fun stuff. Went full radiation on Monkeys, which is hilarious. Lol. (That includes Yod's x3 and Beginner Corruption.) It was so easy, it started feeling a little chore-like, thus I started skipping a bunch of adventures; I mean, y'know, not like I needed all the extra loot from a full playthrough, and the goal was just to level in the first place anyway.

    Limitation

    After that party challenged the free Citadel adventure -- yes, my elf wiz rocked the house -- I said to myself, next time I level some chars, (and I still have more level 1s and 4s and whatnot,) I'll go two levels higher each time since I hear you can gain a level each time that way. And hey, just to challenge myself, I'll do a plainclothes run, too: I'll keep a text file open for all the gear they earn along the way, and use only it. You know what? Why don't I just do it now? Elf warrior, human wizard, dwarf priest. I didn't bother keeping tabs of treasures to sell and items I could therefore "buy" etc.; I only used looted items.

    (Aww, this meant I skipped The Wizard's Workshop. There's just something really special and fun about that menial adventure, lol. But, level 1 chars means begin at a level 3 adventure.)

    The Journey

    The first adventure felt a little trolly. Got a Mind-Leaking Pewter Amulet first thing, along with a Martial Skill I wouldn't be able to use for awhile. Lol. (Don't worry, I used Pewter Amulet. You just have to not-get-hit is all.) Then, Dull Buckler, Defensive Helm, and Eagle Bowl. Witw. In the first several adventures, Bare Arms will block more than Dull Buckler. $8^ , Still, Long Axe Of Retribution was my go-to nearly every time from here on out.

    The next adventure rewarded a lot better. Soothing Relic for group heal, Trainee's Cap for magic, Hunting Boots um one Move Point up from Adventuring Boots ha, Crude Polearm I couldn't use yet bc (minortoken), Versatile Staff yay, Untrained Pyromancy for some sweet cycling, and Cleansing Mirror sure why not. It might've been this adventure I died once and remembered, oh yeah, characters start with some gear, thus I allowed for Adventuring Boots, Blunt Sword, and Beginner's Staff. (I forgot what priests bring and didn't care enough to go research it.)

    The third adventure gave me Carved Club and four other items, none of which I could use yet. (A Human Skill and three Martials.) But! Between Sharp Slicing and Novice Crushing, I had good stuff for later.

    In the fourth, I got Plate Mail. Oh, sweet Plate Mail. I never took it off for the rest of the game. (Meanwhile, I would have to wait five whole adventures later for my dwarf priest to wear anything but a Cloth Vest.)

    The fifth -- level 7 Troglodytes everywhere, and eventually Trog Wizards -- appropriately hid a Magician's Hat amongst the rubble. Yay! Smoke Bomb and Minor Illusion for my underpowered party against a room full of wizards! Awesome! $E^ D

    In the sixth, I finally got two more shields -- Coward's Shield (which was still better than Dull Buckler in many places) and, oh yes, Cherry Shield which my priest carried for the rest of the game. I also received a second Crude Polearm and a Singing Glaive. Fine, fine items. The Glaive is powerful for these poor folks, and two Polearms really helped with focus later -- like against Zombies later. Since this was storming Melvelous' castle, I decided (a few battles later) I should receive Hand Of Melvelous while I'm at it.

    Seventh, some nice stuff including Subterranean Ferocity and Tough Charger which I swapped back and forth when needed. Apprentice Sparking, Stone Of The Blank Mind, and Corrupted Feystaff all found uses at times, too.

    Eighth. Yay, Inspirational Mail. Yay, Fool's Coif (because no decent blocks on my warrior remember). Yaaay, Healthy Gumshoes; my human wizard made room for these asap.

    Ninth, bunch of good stuff, actually, but I really felt the crunch of my low levels since I couldn't really spare the tokens for it all. (Yet.)

    Tenth, I finally got an Elf Skill! -- and Insight was a pretty awesome one to find and felt a lot better than Walk x3, ha ha ha ha. The Hexcoco Boots went to my dwarf priest. I also got a Sapphire Warstaff which was great against range 1 melee groups like gnomes.

    Eleventh, got another Insight. $F^ , Thanks, game. Lol. But! But! I found Survivor's Robes! My elf warrior nabbed the Healthy Gumshoes, and my human wiz went for the new robes.

    Quick detour: What's fascinating here is that I seem to have been so excited about one set of robes I'd gotten earlier, that I never even wrote it down. See, Randimar was offering me Hawkwind's Moccasins and Hylithia's Robes (each I have one of already) along with a couple other things, but I really didn't have the gold. Then, on the weekend itself, about as soon as my wiz had any minor tokens to spend, I won Hylithia's!! With my low-level party! Thus they could use it! ha ha ha ha However, Investigate seemed more useful for my limited setup, thus after I eventually felt my elf could spare a token on the boots, I swapped the robes. (Not to mention, situationally better armor.) My priest was becoming less of a team healer over time, in part due to all this.

    While on the detour, one more note: I looked up CH ranked battles on YouTube just to watch, and I found @Stexe's beginner playthrough and tips; overall, good stuff, but it also hit me, there are a couple more items I'd guaranteed get if I'd played through from the beginning. I studied the vid and added Kobold Killer, Woodsman's Axe x2, Beginner's Staff #2, Orzo's Excellent Wand (woot!), Golem Cleaver ("if you have it," indeed), Zapping Headband, Rusty Shield (which clearly I found useful, ~sigh~), and Blessed Demon Claw (also useful!).

    Twelfth. Akon's Amulet! I knew I'd use this eventually... (Too bad I didn't have it for this adventure. I'd chosen Return to the Astral Shrine! $E^ J Good times, good times...)

    Thirteenth. Lesser Furnace Staff, good, good. Energetic Heirloom Shield! Yay, a decent shield for my warrior finally! lol (But you know what? To the end of the game, she never did gain 8 HP on the block. Ha.) Lucky Toughness!!!! Does that common item need more exclamation marks? Maybe!!!!

    Fourteenth. Oak Staff #2. Thanks, game. (Can't use both.) (lol) I'd used Pulsing Staff x2 a whole lot, though. Shocking Skull! Looks great for a big, scary dragon.. $;^ }
     
    Sir Veza, 40c_rudy, CT5 and 1 other person like this.
  2. ParodyKnaveBob

    ParodyKnaveBob Thaumaturge

    Challenging the Dragon

    Fifteenth and final. It was right about here that I decided I'd post what I'd been up to. (Hence no real documentation throughout, and even this is from-memory-only.)

    I had a hard time with the Ogres. I'd hoped to necromance one, but I never drew the Spark Of Undeath. In fact, at round 7, only my warrior remained -- in the red at that. My wizard went down very sadly; I'd Accelerated his Thought, and then (same round) he used Run, Run, a Move 1 card, and I think finally his Investigate, but OH WOW that one Ogre had it in for him!! Walks and Muscle Throughs and caught up to him. I shan't describe the carnage that ensued. Priest eventually ran out of blocks and also got trampled. So. Two Ogres left, albeit one at low health. ~nod~ About 10 rounds later, including floating at 1 HP for a few rounds, (Eagleland would say she had Guts!) my warrior finally felled the final fell warrior. My party searched the great corpses and found a Lifedrinker Tome (uh-oh, looks good, especially for the dragon, but that (majortoken)...) and a Brilliant Shroud. Hey hey! Donning that Shroud for now...

    Sparklers. *pssh* Between Memory Lossing their Teleports, Martyring my wiz in their plain view, and Arcane Linear/Insight sapping their blocks, they went down in 6-7 rounds. Searching the rubble turned up a Draining Console which looked cool, but not for this party at this point.

    All the chief guards! I actually got a bit concerned a few points during this battle, but Ring Of Smoke and the Hat came through for me, along with Bashes, Stabs, Lucky Toughness, etc. Killed the Sparklers by herding them then Linearing them repeatedly. $}^ } Very nice, ha ha ha, lol. The Ogres and we danced around a lot longer. Again, about 6-7 rounds total. Crescent Shield (nice) and Vial of Ectoplasm ( $F^ | ) among the carcasses -- but I already had what seemed a better shield.

    The dragon. This was my party.
    [SRC] Inj'rie
    Level 15 Elf Warrior
    [SRC] Khan Fusion
    Level 15 Human Wizard
    [SRC] Incense
    Level 15 Dwarf Priest
    Not very pretty, eh?

    I spent 6-7 rounds in a brutal battle with one Corrosive Breath slaying my wiz and priest at one point. My warrior held out as best she could, she really did. But, without the rest of the team, she just couldn't make it. The dragon had less than 10 HP, but he survived. We bandaged our wounds and regrouped. We considered changing our equipment -- but said, no, this is what we have, this is solid. Let's go. Round 1, double Rockfall. ~sigh~ Nevertheless. We. All. Pulled. Through. Level 15, one major token each, (one not even spent fully,) and very little gear to pick from. (I never even drew Acid Leak nor Spark Of Undeath. Ha.) From the part of the treasure pile that did not melt and corrode under the dragon's outpouring, I found Superb Healer, Laser Blunderbuss, Whiterune Staff, and a Large Topaz. $:^ P

    Yes, Investigate helps a lot. Hooray for CM. Nevertheless, I was always two levels behind, frequently missing gear (or tokens) to fill slots, and I still never hit Game Over, pay 15g. Yes, I have a year and a half experience. Need I repeat my self-imposed handicaps? My point: playing every level as intended, getting all the gear one can, all the experience one can, accessing the shops while renown rises, and even -- if need be -- having World Chat to ask for help (because, despite Gary's basement setting, the Internet does exist now), a beginner absolutely can get through the Campaign, and there should not be any horrendous grind at all. This doesn't even take into account Loot Fairy blessings, Mauve Manticores, and ranked/league multiplayer rewards.

    Campaign is not grindy.

    Regards,
    Bob $¦^ J

    Code:
    				war	wiz	pri	mix
    
    Adventuring Boots + #2 + #3				B
    Blunt Sword			W
    Woodsman's Axe + #2		W
    Kobold Killer			W
    Beginner's Staff + #2			St
    Orzo's Excellent Wand			AI
    Golem Cleaver			W
    Zapping Headband			AI
    Rusty Shield						Sh
    Blessed Demon Claw				DI
    Melvelous (8):
    Hand of Melvelous				DI
    
    Untrained Chopping		MS
    Pewter Amulet				AI
    Dull Buckler						Sh
    Defensive Helm			H
    Eagle Bowl					DI
    Red Robes				R
    Long Axe of Retribution				DW
    Lightfoot Cloak				R
    
    Soothing Relic					DI
    Trainee's Cap			H
    Hunting Boots						B
    Crude Polearm			W-
    Versatile Staff				St
    Untrained Pyromancy			AS
    Cleansing Mirror				DI
    
    Carved Club			W
    Untrained Command					HS
    Untrained Bashing		MS
    Sharp Slicing			MS
    Novice Crushing			MS
    
    Plate Mail			HA
    Novice Rifthopping			AS
    Glimmer Boots						B
    Inquisitor's Morningstar			DW-
    Delicate Dervish		MS
    Stone of Searing Memories		AI
    
    Magician's Hat				AI
    Stilleto			W
    Holy Axe					DW-
    Novice Medic					DiS
    Apprentice Guidance					HS
    Unstable Feystaff			St
    Pious Cleansing					DiS
    
    Crude Polearm #2		W-
    Singing Glaive			W--
    Displacing Staff			St-
    Stocking Boots						B-
    Coward's Shield						Sh
    Rickety Polearm			W
    Cherry Shield						Sh-
    
    Apprentice Sparking			AS
    Subterranean Ferocity					DwS
    Tough Charger						DwS
    Stone of the Blank Mind			AI-
    Swift Attacker			MS-
    Corrupted Feystaff			St-
    
    Orange Amulet				AI-
    Battery					AS
    Inspirational Mail				DA-
    Apprentice Medic				DiS-
    Pulsing Staff				St--
    Healthy Gumshoes					B-
    Apprentice Gouging		MS-
    Hardened Hide Armor		HA-
    Crown of Thorns			H-
    Beginner Command					HS-
    Fool's Coif			H
    
    Repelling Flail					DW--
    Weighted Shortsword		W--
    Flawed Healing Ring				DI-
    Pulsing Staff #2			St--
    Recoiling Mace					DW--
    Grey Leather Boots					B-
    Burnished Blade			W--
    
    Insight							ES-
    Panther Staff				St--
    Hexcoco Boots						B-
    Arcing Electromancy			AS-
    Trained Bashing			MS-
    Ring of Smoke				AI-
    Trained Ferocity					DwS-
    Greenstone Pendant			AI-
    Yellowstone Pendant			AI-
    Sapphire Warstaff			St--
    
    Ballet Shoes						B-
    Survivor's Robes			R-
    Hefty Chopper			W--
    Elemental Diadem			AI-
    Insight #2						ES-
    Robes of Avoidance			R-
    Oak Staff				St+-
    Trained Footwork					ES-
    Armor of Tlacoa					DA-
    
    Trained Bashing #2		MS-
    Advanced Sparking			AS-
    Advanced Gouging		MS-
    Tan Boots						B-
    Akon's Amulet				AI-
    Advanced Healer					DiS-
    Balanced Rapier			W+-
    Bluestone Pendant			AI-
    
    Lesser Furnace Staff			St--
    Advanced Bashing		MS-
    Energetic Heirloom Shield				Sh-
    Lucky Toughness						DwS-
    Bluestone Pendant #2			AI-
    Trained Insight						ES-
    Lead-Pommeled Sword		W+-
    
    Charging Battler					DwS-
    Oak Staff #2				St+-
    Caustic Robe				R-
    Shocking Skull					DI+
    Superb Command						HS-
    
    Lifedrinker Tome				DI+
    Brilliant Shroud				DA+
    Draining Console				DI+
    Crescent Shield						Sh+
    Vial of Ectoplasm			AI-
    Superb Healer					DI+
    Laser Blunderbuss			St++
    Whiterune Staff				St++
    
    Yeah, I see now that I could've put ewar, hwiz, dpri at the top and put the chars' racial skills in their same columns, but w/e, heheh.
     
    CT5, Happenstance, Maniafig and 3 others like this.
  3. Goodwin

    Goodwin Goblin Champion

    what about Metallic Monstrosity?
     
  4. timeracers

    timeracers Guild Leader

    Is that a challenge to the penniless peasants? If so please fill it out either in response to this or in the that thread.
     
  5. ParodyKnaveBob

    ParodyKnaveBob Thaumaturge

    Technically part of an expansion and not the campaign proper, I didn't bother to run that party (who turned only turned level 16 after the dragon) there. If you want, though, I can see how they fare there. I expect great difficulty with such low-level and unspecialized gear, but I'll also let them acquire each of the items that Melvin gives you at that point, too. Don't know when I'll do it. Maybe this week, maybe not. (Haven't been feeling too well lately.)
     
  6. timeracers

    timeracers Guild Leader

    Dhildan
    Level 18 Elf Warrior

    Rutzhirn
    Level 18 Dwarf Wizard

    Arrtelfield
    Level 18 Human Priest

    All free characters and items from reaching the first level in that expansion.
     
    ParodyKnaveBob likes this.
  7. ParodyKnaveBob

    ParodyKnaveBob Thaumaturge

    Sweet! Thank you! (Now I feel like there's a definite push for me to try this. Lol! We'll see now that those decks are in my face, lol.)

    P.S. I'm quite sure I got my first Aegis of the Defender only after reaching that point in Campaign the first time, ha ha ha ha.
     
  8. haho

    haho Orc Soldier

    I'm not sure I'd say grindy either, but can be frustrating at times. The side maps, like some from mauve manticore (some took me 30+ attempts due to needing specific selection of cards to have a chance to win). I'd say the hardest though are the caverns and troll tyrant (which I haven't been able to beat yet).
     
  9. Sir Veza

    Sir Veza Farming Deity

    After the last reset of my resettable account, I still took 3 days before attempting Yellow Dragon. (I'd tried and failed on a couple of nudie run attempts, but this reset was extremely loot poor.) Maybe I'm just too worried, because I made it through at level 13 max with no retries. (I don't buy retries, even on quests anymore. Which is probably why I don't have 1hp's above level 7.)
    Anyway, thanks for this thread!
    (But, to be honest, I do love grinding.)
     
  10. Maniafig

    Maniafig Thaumaturge

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    Happenstance and Reint like this.

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