Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Completed Let's play M&M VII - And They Shall Bow

Discussion in 'Codex Playground' started by Pope Amole II, Sep 8, 2012.

  1. Pope Amole IIgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Pope Amole II
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    Parrots:
    1,647
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    Yes, I know that Azira has finished his LP of this very same game only recently and in no way I want to diss his hard work, especially considering the circumstances about it - the man was quite cool and stoic to finish it, really. It's just that he did a good showcase of generic playthrough of the game, while it allows for a number of more specific or, if you will, focused ones, each interesting in its own way. And that's why I start this LP, to further show what M&M VII's system is capable of. And, if anything, Azira's LP is of great help to me as it's a real timesaver - I can skip showing lots and lots and lots of duplicated stuff (like videos from the game, for example) and put more focus on a gameplay.

    Allow me a couple of words on theory, though. First thing first, I want to talk about a challenge of this game. Because, since it's not that atmospheric and not that explorative and absolutely story-light, challenge is what makes this game fun. However, once you look close you understand that it's not like there's any real challenge in the game, it's not like you can lose it. I mean, you absolutely can't lose it - you are allowed to respawn infinitely, after all. And there are lots of healing spells, potions and henchmen and lots of opportunities to backtrack or to rest right inside the dungeons, so killing hordes of enemies is not a problem - sooner or later, you'll grind them to dust.

    Now, here are the keywords - sooner or later, that's the challenge of this game. And I'm not talking about speedrunning - sure, you can do it, and the game kinda rewards you for it in ending points, but it's definitely not for everyone, some people (like me) prefer to do everything that the game proposes to you and even more, so speedrunning kinda kills the thrill for us. No, I'm talking about doing as much as possible in the littlest amount of real time possible, cutting on the grind and backtracking and repetitiveness. Sure, you can't excise them completely, but you can lessen the "chore" part of the game.

    So it's all about playing fast and efficient party. But what's an efficient party? See, the weakest place of late might and magics is that characters mingle horribly with each other. No, really. Let's look at the three combat archetypes of the game:

    1. Fighter - his purpose in combat is to do small but sustainable amounts of damage over long periods of time as his high hp allow him to take quite a beating. Oh, and he works on the short distance only, obviously. These are the knight, the monk, the thief and the paladin.

    2. Archer - he's pretty much the same as fighter, except that he deals his damage on the long distance only. These are archers and all (in VIII they're joined by the dragons, though dark elves are better).

    3. Nuker - his purpose in combat is to deal huge amount of burst damage over a short period of time as he is quite limited by his low hp and depletion of mana pool. He can work at any distance, however, if you have the right spells for it. These are clerics of dark alignment and wizards of both alignments (although archmages are worse than liches, obviously).

    Sure, there are also the buffers (clerics and light wizards), but they just make other characters do their stuff better without altering their strategy much. And that also means that druids and rangers are POS classes and you should try to avoid them in efficient parties.

    As we see, those classes don't work together greatly. I mean, you have 2 nukers and 1 fighter - you rush into melee range, but by the time your wizards are already half-dead and out of their mana, your knight is still relatively healthy and willing to chop. if you stay in combat, your wizards die - knight can't tank for them as there is no mechanism for tanking. If you retreat, you're wasting the knight's potential. This goes the same way for other class combinations.

    So there should be more focus in party, I think. Both in class combinations and skills - instead of getting lots of skills to their 10s, you should get one main skill to 20-30. That'll do the magic trick for ya, really. And here are the combinations officionaly sanctified by Pope Amole the Second:

    a. "Four Riders" formation - 4x wizards on the dark side, each with dark magic over 9000 (20-30, actually). A real glass cannon (you'll want to hoard those +25 hp rings), but even hardest monsters in the game will die from 2 shrapmetals. Armageddoning the land of the giants is also cool, though.

    b. "Captain Planet" formation - 4x wizards on the light side. There are multiple ways of doing this - you either make every one a focused master of one of the elemental school (that's why captain planet - earth, fire, whatever), while also giving a grand master of light to everyone, or you can skip earth & go with light, water, water, air as 20-30 focused skills (that's more powerful). Note that in this playthrough you will absolutely need to have a mystic and spell master henchmen - rushing into tolarean forest straight after emerald isle for them is highly advised.

    c. "That's Kull" - 3x of either knight, thief or monk in any mix + wizard on the light side. Depending on your choices, you will have a different progress with this type of party, but overall it's all the same - cast an light 30 hour of power then run straigh in and deal lots of damage with either armsmaster, unarmed or dagger skill of 30.

    d. "Popamole bullshit" - a trio of paladins + wizard on the light side. Once again, it's light 30 buff plus mace skill of 30, giving you lots of hits with 30% chance to paralyze the target, effectively killing it. It's also is kinda more comfortable than kull as you can have lots of healing here, especially if you hire prelate + initiate from early on (+7 to self magic - great spirit buffs, excellent body healing).

    e. "And They Shall Bow" - should be obvious by now, but I won't talk about it much because...

    Show Spoiler

    Because we need a lil' bit o' fanfare for the starters.


    Not that it has anything to do with the game or with fantasy or with sci-fi or whatever, but I like lame puns and oldschool industrial, so deal with it.

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    Here's our party - 3x archers to do all the killing and a strictly supportive wizard. We take no armor skills as it'll only hinder us before we master it, lowering our DPS, so instead we get learning & magics to spend less cash on them(they're expensive - more expensive than armor, actually) and spears as they're one of the best early-game close combat weapons, especially as our strength is low.

    In attributes we focus on speed and accuracy for our archers - since they fight from great distance, they can allow themselves to be sorta frail. We take a beefy dwarf as our wizard, however, as we don't want to have a 16 hp elven wizards - there's frail and there's dying from a loud sound, y'know. And int is not as needed for her as she won't cast her offensive spells often - her priority is to buff and transport us.

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    We play with a grayface's unofficial patch by the way - it doesn't alter any content, it just fixes a number of bugs (but not all of them, unfortunately), makes some interface improvements and enables a 2x speed mode, doubling the speed of the game and hugely reducing the tediousness of it.

    Here you see our attack speed - that's why we take unarmoured speedy goblin, as for the other character it would've been something around 110+, meaning ~15% slower. That's a lot.

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    And that's why spear is teh best - it's one of the fastest starting weapons and, once you'll find at least a basic trident, you'll deal lots of damage.

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    Now the game begins. We open the first free chest and find ourselves lucky - plenty of gold inside and a longbow which 5d2 is better than starting 4d2 crossbows.

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    Then we head for the temple and donate the gold five times. I'll show you later why this is important.

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    On our way to the second free chest, we collect some yellow ingredients. While they seem kinda useless in the beginning, they're actually the rarest and thus most valuable alchemic components. It's a good idea to hoard them from the earliest on.

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    I collect the chest (nothing fancy there, just money) and attract the attention of a couple of dragonflies. Carefully, I lead them after me.

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    KK, I botched this one. I lead them after me and allowed them to kill Sally, the girl near the dragon's cavern so I could pick her seashell for free, but I kinda failed at screencapturing it. Here you see the aftermath - me avenging the poor girl. This is only a shadow of carnage to come, though...

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    We touch the day of gods pedestal - it's quintessential to use it on a constant basis as the stats gain is great. Without it, emerald island would be much harder.

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    And we gain some free skillpoints from the contest thanks to the day of gods. Archers pump bows, Tjukurrpa gains a fire magic of 2.

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    Then we make a quick raid into dragon cave - we grasp the shield and the bow and run away immediately.

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    Finally, we make two red potions and exchange one of them for a fancy hat.

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    Then we go to the judge & lord Markham and finish the missing contestants quest as soon as we take it. We also give tons of the quest stuff to the judge.

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    And that's the point of donating & rushing the quest - immediate 10 reputation (5 from donate & 5 from quest - and you can gain it from donate only when you're at 0 reputation, so always donate first). Good reputation adds bonus to your merchant skill, making things significantly cheaper from you.

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    To press on the financial advantage, we add a merchant to the party. I hope she's also lesbian and feminist...

    Oh, and beware of dupers! They look cool, but as they give you -5 reputation, their net gain is lower than from average traders. I guess it's higher if you have an expert merchant on higher, but we don't plan to have this level of skill so dupers are useless to us.

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    We also hire a healer lady who has probably seen better days... Healers are not as awesome in archer party as they're awesome in fighter party (you can easily start with 3x 70-90 hp characters so the full heal will give you great profit), but they're still good. 5% is nothing for the full heal that she gives us - that saves our time and compensates for the lack of cleric.

    BTW, if you haven't noticed - I really dislike the cleric class in M&M VII. They're almost useless - their offensive capabilities are negated by stupid monster resistances (everyone and their mom don't give a flying fuck about mind magic) and their buffs are too easily replicated by light magic wizards, potions & henchmen.

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    Then we go train some skill. Merchant first as it'll save us even more money. We give it to everyone in the party as training becomes somewhat expensive further on, besides, it saves us from giving all the crap to one character for sale (that's why we also don't want to make it higher than 1 on any one char - money is overabundant and it's less hassle this way). Normal price for it is 500, btw.

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    We sell some of our loot - starting rings, needless feather fall spellbooks (no point in reading them for our archers), etc. Here's another illustration of what good reputation and merchant do for us.

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    We drink from a well of luck, giving +4 luck to everyone in the party.

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    And, almost emptying our purses, we buy the most important spell for us at this stage of the game. Fire aura adds 3.5 damage to each of our shots and, considering that your average bow does a 7.5 damage per shot, that's really a lot - almost half.

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    Then we go into dragonfly swamp, yet we don't engage them - just attract their attention...

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    And lead them straight into city, causing high fatality rates over local population. Well, it's all for the greater good...

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    After the glorious carnage is complete, we squash the few invader bugs remaining.

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    And then collect the lute...

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    And the fireball wand from the mound of corpses.

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    After taking hold of dead men's possessions, we clean the swamp from the insects.

    This maneuver is kinda unfitting for the light-sided party, but we also can repent, you know, light forgives, besides, it saves you a lot of gold and effort as it's easier to kill the dragonfly swarm after their number dwindles.

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    We have to heal in the process, though - they sting. Well, whatever, it's not like we'll need another healing today.

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    Carnage and quest-doing brings us two levels of experience. We continue to focus on bow and fire magic skills.

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    Then we make another trip to the swamp - after you clean up the initial mess, a small cloud of dragonflies will respawn each morning. It's easy to kill them and it's really beneficial - you get free money this way, basically. Not much, but it helps.

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    We get more useful skills - alchemy is kinda important when you don't have a cleric. Heck, it's important even if you have one as, unlike with health, it's not like there's lots of way to restore mana & conditions & stuff. Always try to have a master of it. GM is useless, though.

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    Here are our skill levels before we venture to the temple of the moon.
    Oh, and when I gave those quest items to the judge, I dropped the bow on the ground before his house - it's a good bow, no need to part with it early.

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    First line of temple's defences are bats - they're easy, too easy for us.

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    The chest that they've defended brought us a couple of tridents - they're worse than halberds, but at least better than spears that we have.

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    Then it's the turn of spiders & rats - fiery arrows leave them no chance to survive.

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    More rats means more practice targets. It's good that arrows are infinite in this game, though. Restocking would've been a pain below the back...

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    We encounter some "friendly" swordsmen, but, not trusting everyone, we decide to get rid of them too, just in case. They're slow and easy.

    Dealing with them, we grab the floor tile.

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    In the other branch of the building, we find their leader - he's tougher, but still easily kiteable. It sucks to have no ranged attack - they either have a bow or bow in this game.

    Sorry, I did it again. And, actually, this dude had a bow as the fixed loot (it's the same as the quest one), but, obviously, he couldn't use it properly.

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    We find a club amongst the loot. Although they have pathetic damage, clubs are one of the best early game weapons as they have terrific attack speed that is hardly hindered by armour. With high strength and fiery aura, they can popamole good.

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    Then we finish the quest line here, unfortunately parting with one of the bows. Our business here is not finished yet, but it was the only way of gaining enough experience to take level four.

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    We train axe skill, as it is harder to do later on, just in case, but it's a mistake since axe sucks - they're helluva slow.

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    Taking level 4, we push our prioritized skills at the mark of 5.

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    Now the time has come. We restore ourselves to full health and mana by drinking from the one fountain...

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    And gain significant fire resistance by drinking from another one.

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    And fire resistance pedestal helps us to become even more endurable.

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    Entering the cave, we start the turn-based combat and do some baton tossing while the dragon is distracted by some rats. This means that every character shoots at the dragon from the wand by passing it to each other after the shot.

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    Rats don't last forever, though, so, having dealt some damage, we engage in a more twitchy style of combat.

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    Running in circles around the dragon, we stop periodically and send a volley of arrows at it. Then we resume the running so it can't hit us with mighty fiery blast which would've been lethal if not for our resistance of 70.

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    Unfortunately, that's a slow process so, when our fiery aura runs out (and due to a bug, we can't renew it in this cavern), the dragon remains pretty healthy.

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    We find a wand on the ground, though, and it's deals 15-20 damage to dragon per shot. Equipping both it and the fireball wand, we resume our crazed dance...

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    Until another fiery blasts scorches the life out of the dragon.
    Believe it or not, but we did the whole thing with but one reload and it was due to our stupidity - we shot the fireball wand from a bad placed and blasted ourselves to bits.

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    We don't savescum, however, so we get a ring of +20 health out of it and that's all. Savescumming from this dragon really spoils this game for ya so I advise strongly against it. The only exception is to loot carnage bow from it (and only the bow - no multiple loots) as it really changes your playthrough, but they are incredibly rare and getting one of them is boring as hell.

    We're still lucky with this ring, though - 20 hps is a lot for the early-game wizard, so she won't die on us often.

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    Resulting experience gives us another level of experience.


    To be continued...
     
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  2. Running Foxgender: ⚧ Educated Queued

    Running Fox
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2012
    Parrots:
    329
    Location:
    K-278, БЧ-2
    Uuuuuuuuh

    Shit "music"
    Ugly garbage "game"
    Are you by any chance polish?
     
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  3. Aziragender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Azira
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
    Parrots:
    7,690
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Codex 2012
    Will follow your playthrough with interest, Pope! :thumbsup:
     
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  4. Storyfaggender: ⚧ Arcane

    Storyfag
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Parrots:
    4,367
    Location:
    A Dark Place
    Ahh, good old powergaming. I'd like some MOAR please.

    Also, spoiler tags for updates are your friend!
     
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  5. Pope Amole IIgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Pope Amole II
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    Parrots:
    1,647
    Actually, sorta, I'm 1/16 polish.
    You, however, are 100% shit.

    Roger Wilco.


    Oh, and I should also probably tag Takeda Kenshi as it was his suggestion that put this LP into motion.

    Ok, now for part II-

    Show Spoiler


    We'll start with another song that has a fitting name but else is hardly appropriate.

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    And so we've won a castle. A shabby looking, goblin infested castle, that is. Well, at least it gives us the right to loot all the chests here rightfully and some goblins to kill - there can be never enough things to kill.

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    We search the area first, getting some horseshoes (which all go to Tjukurrpa - in builds like this, it's better to give all your SPs to the buffer so you can have a really, really high light magic skill) and plundering a chest on the right side of the castle. Nothing decent there, however.

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    Enchanting our bows, we plunge into castle. First we exterminate some rats - filthy things. Good for the target practice, though.

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    Then it's time for more rats and some goblins.

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    Enflamed bows are really strong in the early part of the game, so we make an almost effortless carnage in the western side of our castle.

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    After that we patch up via healer and rampage through the eastern side. Eastern is easier, less creatures there.

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    The biggest threat to this party are chests, actually - we're light on healing, we can't get huge resistances from spells (4x wizards can, for example) and our disarm trap skill is sucky. Still, we can always open chests after we've cleaned the dungeon so we can rest between opening them - that's what we're doing, actually.

    We also drink from barrels, loot the trash piles (you can get nice items from them with save-scumming, but, as i've said, we're not going to use it here; not often, at least), etc.

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    We also begin stockpiling yellow ingredients - carrying them around is a hassle, so it's better to leave them in the castle. Rhyme was unintended, thankfully.

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    We use the spoils of our victory to learn how to wear chain armor. We don't by any chain armor, though, and don't intend to do so until we'll gain mastery of this skill - shooting from afar, we can't afford to get +20 (+10 on the expert) to our recovery time - that's basically -20% damage for us.

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    We also discover that after all the resting we've ended up in sunday, so we went to the arena. A Knight level arena - sure, Lord is more interesting, but we have a quest to prepare to.

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    The combat is hardly challenging - apart from the bowman throwing some magic at our sorcerer, the place feels like a shooting range.

    Good that we have that +20 hp ring, though - as you see, Tjukurrpa is almost always in the red. Those bastards really seem to gang up on her... Guess dwarven women were in fashion in Antagarich.

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    We go to level 6 after that, almost halfway to level 7, actually.

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    But, instead of exploring harmondale further, we travel to slurp the riches of the Tolarean Forest.

    Learning expert fire magic is really important for us - getting additional d6 fire damage per shot makes our damage output even more ridiculous.

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    Expert air is also nice - we'll have an easier time finding crap on the ground, besides, it's really hard to walk the path of light without at the very least mastering air. And in a timely fashion - we could've gone 3 archers + 1 cleric as cleric is better buffer, obviously, but it would become much, much more grindy, especially considering that archers have the hardest first promotion quest.

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    Next we use the altar, slightly upping our resistances. Actually, it's not slightly - the game has a really, really harsh "diminishing returns" in terms of resistances and character statistics, so going from 0 to 10 is pretty big, probably bigger than going from 100 to 150, for example.

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    We collect red reagents thoroughly - having no healing magic, we're forced to rely on potions heavily.

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    We'll sell the blue ones, though - we won't cast much and, in case we'll want to have high-powered speed boost potion or whatever, we'll just use the reagent to boost it to needed level. See, to make a power 50 potion you either need a 5-6 power 50 blue/red/yellow reagents or the same reagents of any level and one power 75 reagent (you'll have a power 75 potion - it's just that there's no power 50 catalytic reagent). It's obvious that the latter is much, much more achievable and mass-producible.

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    There's lots of toadstool here if you know where to find them, though.

    There's also a chest with excellent stuff nearby, but I totally forgot about it.

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    I also hire a better looking healer - we're an adventurer party, not a house for the elderly people on vacation.

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    Finally, I gather some ore scattered around the obelisk. Local ore is of mediocre quality, so I don't have much hopes for it - we'll just make some armours for sale as we're totally low on cash.

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    Seeking to solve the aforementioned problem, we decide to set the nearby grove of living trees on fire. Thankfully, the flaming arrows are perfect for this task.

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    Also, three bows of decent enough quality lay in the grove, a real boon for us.

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    Just look how our attack & damage increase!

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    By the way, we've destroyed first batch of trees in the turn-based mode and it shows - look at how healthy we are. That was a definite mistake, so we activate run & gun mode - we pop our healer and circle around trees, showering them with arrows.

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    It's much more effective, though we still don't walk out of it unharmed .

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    We gather all the riches we're able to find, including good reagents from the shores of a nearby lake.

    Mercury is good, btw, as it is common enough and helps you to make powerful white potions.

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    Selling the loot, we train our bow skill to expert level. Initial increase in total damage is pretty scant - 6%, perhaps 7%. We're still far from our limit breaks...

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    Then we visit castle Navan to spend our last money in hiring of a very special person. Not this person, though - it's just to show that almost all of the valuable henchmen (initiate+prelate combo, fallen wizards, mystic+spell master combo, weapon masters) can be found inside. And, if you don't find them on the first try, just save, reload and look at another bunch of freshly generated hirelings. Or, if you're averse to savescumming, just exit the castle and reenter it - the effect will be the same.

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    We quickly find what we've came for - a gate master. Expensive, yes, but archer party doesn't require lots of money to function so we can afford her. And she makes early game so-o-o comfortable, no more waiting for the right day in stables or slogging on foot across the borders.

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    We jump to harmondale immediately and set up for a little genocide.

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    With our increased might, we perform it flawlessy - look at dem corpsies.

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    For our efforts, we gain a level.

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    For our sorceror, we focused on fire magic heavily so we don't need to recast fire aura that often. Still, we stop at 7 as we need other skills to wade through this game.

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    We also stop focusing on bows with our archers as it'll take some time for us to reach the master archer.

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    After that it's a quest time - we head for the whitecliffs caverns. These wound are not from goblins, though - chests, it's all the bloody chests.

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    Goblins are hardly a problem, at least for everyone but Tjukurrpa - they harass her continuously. I really, really hate the game's tendency to focus down the weakest member of your party as it makes tanks pretty much useless.

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    Inside the caverns, we meet little resistance - troglodytes are pathetic.

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    Oozes are also weaksauce - they would be a problem if we'd skip on the fire aura, but why would we do that?

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    Some crappy ore can also be found here - meh, it's worthless.

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    Here is the most dangerous episode from this cavern - we decide to rest a bit before opening some chests and are awakened by a lone ooze. Luckily, our flame enchantments haven't ran out so we dispatch it quickly.

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    Barely spending any effort, we grasp the cards.

    I'll play the archomage in all the taverns, but I won't show it here - it's not the focus of this LP and I lack video recording tool atm.

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    Returning to town, we buy jump spell at the local guild.

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    And use it to get to the chest at the second floor of the stables. I'll use this occasion to talk about important bugfix in grayface's patch - see, each chest has a predefined number of items that will spawn in it. However, depending on the size of those items, not all of them would fit in that chest. So previously, all of excess items were lost. Now, however, they'll appear in the chest if you'll free enough space for them and open the chest again. Here you see an example of that.

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    It's sunday again, so we take another trip to arena. Unsurprisingly, it's pretty mellow for us...

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    Except for these bastards. They're brittle as glass, yes, but their toxic clouds do hurt a lot! We try to snipe them ASAP.

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    And water elementals with their ice bolts also were not so cool, making us bleed to finish this combat (and that's after using the healer).

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    We warp to tolarean forest and initiate our chain armour training.

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    And buy water walk spell so we can...

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    Reach more living trees and burn them to cinders.

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    Only one friendly tree remains in the end. It gives us its quest, but it's too early for that.

    What is great about these two islands that they have some untrapped chests here - chests with bad stuff, yeah, but at least they don't kill us in heavy explosions.

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    Their deaths propel us to the next level.

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    We return to harmondale and store most of the reagents we've found in our castle.

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    Then we take a ride to Erathia. Which is awesome because there's a Day of the Gods pedestal here.

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    Greatly empowered, we start our adventures here by executing hordes of local bandits for their crimes.

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    Lacking ranged attacks, they're cannon fodder to us. Sure, putting an arrow into each and every one of them takes some time, but it's still easy.

    [​IMG]

    And exploring their lair is totally effortless - looks like they've lead a healthy lifestyle and preferred fresh air and outdoor activities. Well, healthy lifestyle offers little protection from homicidal shooters.

    [​IMG]

    As usual, the most challenging part of this dungeon (if you dare to call this rat hole so) is its chests.

    [​IMG]

    After finishing local banditry, it only seemed fitting to pay a visit to local thieves guild. What can I say? Thieves are pathetic fighters. NPC thieves, that is.

    [​IMG]

    We solve the local puzzle, but not fully - solving it fully seems to take too much effort, so we always half-finish it and then use the Jump spell to fly over gaps.

    [​IMG]

    The most dangerous part of this dungeon is its traps - they are few, but they hit hard so it's important to avoid them.

    [​IMG]

    We confiscate some stolen goods...

    [​IMG]

    And get seriously injured in the process.

    Here you see us jumping over aforementioned chasms.

    [​IMG]

    Finally, we're at our destination - lots of barrels and coupla chests here, not to mention the questgiving thieves' leader. Oh, as you've noticed, I skip the questing stuff - as I've said, you can always see that in Azira's LP.

    [​IMG]

    We've left the most pleasant parts of Erathia for the dessert - thanks to the day of the gods enhancement, we win local contest, gaining the precious skill points.

    [​IMG]

    We boost our luck, becoming more resistant to spells (whatever the game says, that's the luck's function - to bolster your spell resistance).

    [​IMG]

    And we get a slight strength bonus. Hardly needed, but who knows when we'll become cornered by vicious enemies.

    [​IMG]

    Our next destination is Bracada. As you can see, it is a very rich place - chest with the proper golem head gives us lots of money and two good cloaks. And that's only beginning.

    [​IMG]

    Besides, the only enemies here are griffins and they're fodder for us.

    [​IMG]

    Sure, royal griffins are tough and it takes some time to flak them down, but it's all a matter of kiting and kiting is helluva easy in this game - almost all enemies are much slower than you.

    [​IMG]

    The greatest treasure of Bracada Desert are these lamps - sure, right now they're useless for us, they just clog our inventory, but wait 'til the fourth week of October...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Lots of good ore here, too. And, unlike lamps, we'll exploit these much sooner.

    [​IMG]

    And non-quest chests here contain poor items, but are untrapped.

    [​IMG]

    ANother point of interest here is local magical items shop. It's the top-tier magical item shop, meaning that you'll get finer items only by looting dragons & titans and those are a rare find. Here we find a black potion (that are really powerful in the early game)...

    [​IMG]

    And an alchemy boosting pendant. Hey, our potions will heal 11 more mana/health points, that's pretty good.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Here's the difference between stimmed up and normal party member. Well, it's not that great as speed begins to shine in a late game, mostly (it's the only stat that retains its usefulness even with the horrible diminishing returns), but it's still good. Oh, you'll also notice that, after gaining expert level in chain armor skill, we've started to wear armor - yeah, +10 recovery time is a bitch, but we really needed that protection.

    [​IMG]

    Squeezing everything that's possible (at this point) from Bracada, we finish few griffins remaining...

    [​IMG]

    Sort our ore...

    [​IMG]

    And jump to arena. Well, not directly, but that's not important.

    [​IMG]

    This arena fight was a breeze - tons of weak, melee-ranged monsters here.

    [​IMG]

    Only elven archers posed a thread, but we focused them fast.

    [​IMG]

    Through all the carnage, we reach level 10.

    [​IMG]

    Our next marks are learning for everyone and alchemy for the sorcerer - as I've said, it's important to have a master of alchemy. You can skip it by savescumming in front of the shops, but that's tedious and won't bring you as much potions as you'd like to have.

    [​IMG]

    Gating to Erathia, we turn our ore into armour, creating much needed top-tier chain & leather armours. They're either unenchanted or badly enchanted, though, but it's a given - it's helluva hard to get a decently enchanted item without savescumming in this game.

    [​IMG]

    Then it's another trip to arena - having gate master really helps you to visit it often. It's another walk in the park - sure, some gargoyles and griffins, but that's it.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Warping to tolarean forest, we get some expert skills for our spellcaster.

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    And ride north to avlee. There's a good well here - 2 endurance is not much, but we're low on HPs so every tiny bit helps.

    [​IMG]

    Local master helps us to get rid of that pesky +10 recovery time penalty - we're back to having the great DPS.

    [​IMG]

    And local shop is archer's paradise - you can buy some awesome bows here. They cost a lot, though, but what else would we spend on? Also, getting permanently enchanted bows early kinda lessens the tedium as we need to cast one less fire aura from now on.

    [​IMG]

    Diving into faerie mound, we discover that we forgot to take the ranger promotion quest. :rage:

    [​IMG]

    That doesn't stop us from raiding this place, however - first we grab the greatest local treasure, ring of air magic. Rings of any magic are incredibly hard to find so it's absolutely nice that at least you can get air one for free.

    [​IMG]

    This dungeon posed a treat instead of threat - we slaughtered dragonflies at level 1, what are they at level 10?

    [​IMG]

    Oh, forgot to mention - in our journeys we've found a flight scroll somewhere. Getting out of the faerie dungeon, we use it to reach western islands - there's a good chainmail on one of them...

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    And an important quest thing on the other. We approach it by flying really, really high.

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    Then we enter the turn-based mode and dive to the ground, rightly before the needed chest.

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    Opening it kills two of our party members, but hey, at least we get the much needed golem hand! It was worth it.

    [​IMG]
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    Resurrecting our fallen comrades in temple (and then getting hurt again by flying close to the elementals - bitches shoot hard), we loot some good axes from the southern islands - these two axes were the reasons for our training of axe skill on Emerald Island.

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    We also take a quick, really quick trip to the local stone circle - we look at it and fly away almost immediately.

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    Then we learn that putting any hopes into axes were a great mistake - here are the stats of the axe we've found, the best non-artifact axe in the game.

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    And here are the stats of a second-from-best spear that we've crafted from our ore (yeah, we've made armour from erudine and some weapons from kergar - we were lucky to craft a +9 spear this way). Same attack skill and 13-31 damage versus 12-28. Oh, that's an extra 2 damage on average for axes, but at what cost! 20 extra recovery time - it's almost 30% slower! Axes are truly useless in this game.

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    Disappointed, we train to level 11.

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    Then we jump to tolarean forest, and finding a decent bow in its shop kinda lessens our sadness.

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    Then we travel to Deyja Moors. To be continued...
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 3
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  6. Gregzgender: ⚧ Arcane

    Gregz
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2011
    Parrots:
    4,673
    Location:
    The Desert Wasteland
    MM7 Rawks.

    This is my favorite, but you'll want a Priest for Lloyd's Beacon. 3 x shrap is insane; you will tear through the endgame like nothing. Anyway, this was the most OP party I've ever played, I think we had a conversation about how 4 x Archer is potentially more powerful, but I forget why, never tried it.
     
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  7. Pope Amole IIgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Pope Amole II
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    Parrots:
    1,647
    Erm, you don't need a priest for lloyd's beacons as it's a sorcerer's spell - lich can cast it just fine. You don't even need a priest for healing as sacrifice & soul drinker make wonders for your health.
    As for the archers - well, it's 3x archer + wizard and I'll talk about it later, near the end of this LP.
     
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  8. Gregzgender: ⚧ Arcane

    Gregz
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2011
    Parrots:
    4,673
    Location:
    The Desert Wasteland
    Hmm, yep you are right. I forget why, but there were some good reasons for keeping a priest around.
     
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  9. Aziragender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Azira
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
    Parrots:
    7,690
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Codex 2012
    Priests have the advantage of being able to cast grandmaster Protection from Magic and Regeneration, which cuts down on the hassle of healing and protecting against status ailments.

    I like seeing how different this run is from my own, and I'd like to thank Pope Amole II for your nice comments. I'd just feel wrong about abandoning the LP. No matter how tragic my fathers death was, it had nothing to do with my presence here, and I don't see why one should impact the other, save for the time I spent away from the computer for very good reasons.

    At some point, I might still start up an MMVIII LP, but not for the foreseeable future, as I'm currently too busy with my family (wife and children, not my deceased father) to spend the time required for a new LP. :salute:
     
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  10. Shadenuatgender: ⚧ Arcane

    Shadenuat
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    Parrots:
    5,269
    Location:
    Russia
    I'm glad His Highness avoids save/load item hoarding as that made other M&M's LP's very boring for me. Will follow this LP :salute:
     
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  11. Pope Amole IIgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Pope Amole II
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    Parrots:
    1,647
    BTW, on the "four riders" formation - I forgot to add that up to 3 wizards are actually swappable with clerics as clerics can grand master dark magic as well, and in that matter the only major difference between them is that priests of the dark gain 4 HP 5 SP per level while liches gain 3 HP 6 SP per level. And the former is probably better as 3 hp per level is just way, way too small.

    Clerics also don't have immunities of the liches, but they hardly need them as they can heal & protect themselves with their body & spirit magic skills. Their only problem is that clerics en masse are quite weak in the early game (unlike wizards, who sweep through it like a hot knife through butter) - perhaps if you go 3x cleric + 1 wizard and hire prelate+initiate, then you'll have decent mind blasts (3 + 11d3 at expert level) and, for the monsters that are immune to mind (and a boatload of monsters are immune to mind, which is why it's so crappy) , you can always cast heroism+bless combo at skill level 11, gaining +16 to both attack & damage.


    KK, now for the next part.

    Show Spoiler


    It's not like I'm short on the bow&arrow-themed songs - at the very least, I still have "Me & My Arrow" by the Burning Star Core - it's the frakking youtube that is short on them and I'm too lazy to bother uploading anything on it. Well, some decent martial industrial will have to do (and even here, Sophia's Sigilum Militum is kinda awesome, no doubt to that, but I'd started it with Wraithverge's "Let Their Burning Corpses Light Our Way" if it was uploaded into the webz - ah, the joys of bloody obscure musical tastes...).


    [​IMG]

    Deyja is another treat for archer party - it's a really rich region that is inhabited by dystrophic harpies. Sure, when they get close to you, they unleash a torrent of debilitating effects, most annoying of which is "cursed" condition, but with enchanted bows that "when" almost never happens - one volley of arrows equals to dead harpy and one volley is not much.

    [​IMG]

    As for the riches - there are wonderful lamps (october can't start soon enough; in-game october, that is)

    [​IMG]

    Golem parts for the wizard promotion quest (which we attach immediately so they don't waste our inventory space)

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    Excellent ore (though, without save-scumming it's not as useful as it is with it)

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    Well of intelligence (not as useful, though - it's pointless for our archers to try & cast something as they simply deal more damage with bows; and our wizard already has all the mana she needs)

    [​IMG]

    And one of two best magical item shops in the game, where we find this excellent, excellent ring of fire magic. Yeah, here it is less cool than in wizard party (17d6 fireballs kinda rock), but still, it prolongs our fire aura's duration, cutting us some slack on recasting. Less chore - more fun!

    [​IMG]

    The only problem is that shops here work starting from 6 PM, so we're forced to finish the rest of the map in the darkness. I dunno, it's nothing significant, but somehow fighting in the darkness always irritated me in M&M 6-8, even with torchlight on.

    [​IMG]

    Also, an expert of learning lives here. Learning is actually quite an arguable skill in M&M VII since it's quite monster-lite and you gain most of your XPs come from questing, so I'm not that sure if master & grand master degrees pay for themselves (actually, I've done a 3x monk playthrough and GM absolutely doesn't pay for itself), but, at the very least, expert should break even.

    [​IMG]

    We finish deyja by activating that "zombie toll road" encounter - fresh meat for us. Uhm, maybe not so fresh...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Returning to harmondale, we train to level 12.

    [​IMG]

    Then we jump to erathia and through it we walk to the Tatalia. I really prefer walking on foot in M&M 6-8, as remembering the proper stable days & waiting for them is a hassle, besides, why would you play these games for score?

    And yeah, Tatalia is sorta like Codex - plenty of trolls there.

    [​IMG]

    As you've probably already guessed, trolls follow the trend of "freaking easy to kill with arrows". Their only difference from harpies is that they're pretty slow, but have tons of hp so, while they pose no threat to the party, killing them is an extremely tedious task. As I'm averse to extreme grinding, I kill just a couple of them and rush into the city.

    [​IMG]

    Inside it, we play some arcomage & drink from the local well.

    [​IMG]

    Then, casting a water walk spell, we go directly to the western island, open the chest with a golem part (that's why we're so healthy) and find ourselves a nice bow in the local weapons shop.

    [​IMG]

    Then, without resting, we enter tidewater caverns. They follow the paradigm of "hurty melee-only monsters". Seems like there's never enough of them in this game.

    [​IMG]

    Yes, couple of them make it into melee range and force us to use the healer...

    [​IMG]

    But all in all, they're easy. And adding some flying ghosts doesn't change everything, as they're fragile and prone to stucking on the edge of the ship.

    [​IMG]

    Oh, there are also skeletons which can curse you if by some miracle they get really intimate with you. Well, seems like bow is the best STD prevention measure.

    [​IMG]

    And the map is ours (though it was silly of me to do deyja before tatalia as the map alone is not significant enough to make us haul our asses there).

    [​IMG]

    We also level up once. Skills are the same - bows for the archers, magic for the sorc.

    [​IMG]

    Eager to complete our sorcerer's first promotion, we travel to Barrow Downs. Surprisingly, that's the first outdoor map where the mobs can actually somewhat hurt us, although that will come later - wraiths are harmless.

    [​IMG]

    For the starters, we loot a filthy rich chest nearby. Strange, I remembered that you get teleported straight into a relatively tough battle after opening it, yet nothing happened. A bug of game or my faulty memory?

    [​IMG]

    Moving into the western direction, we encounter gargoyles. They're as harmless as wraith unless you're totally unlucky and encounter an obsidian one - they are immune to physical damage and, unlike oozes, have a solid number of HPs and a paralyzing touch. We're not unlucky, though.

    [​IMG]

    Proceeding in the southern direction, we find arguably the best altar in the game. It gives you a considerable boost to important stats and through its accessibility does so early in the game, when the aforementioned boost is actually significant.

    [​IMG]

    And nearby is a chest with the final golem part. Here we kinda lose our temper and rush to bracada - thankfully, Barrow Downs border it so we walk there on our foot.

    [​IMG]

    In Bracada we witness a quite peculiar item respawn. See, in this game, there are whole map respawns that occur on a 6/12/24 months basis (depends on the location) and there are mini-spawns, when just a couple of items (at times, much more than a couple) gets added to the map in a seemingly random locations. Items are also semi-random (generated from the lists, probably). Here we see a single crappy chainmail and a slew of cheap catalysts (pay attention to minimap).

    [​IMG]

    But low-power catalysts are kinda trash - respawning good ore, on the other hand...

    [​IMG]

    After showing our golem to the head wizard and getting our promotion, we buy a town portal book at the local guild. If you have played this game before, you know where do we want to go after that.

    [​IMG]

    But first, some training...

    [​IMG]

    And, while selling our stuff in Harmondale, we discover an invisibility spell scroll amongst our possessions - we could've used it earlier, I guess, but now that we have a wizard it's useless.

    [​IMG]

    So in tolarean forest we master the fire magic - hooray to dealing 3d6 fire damage per arrow!

    [​IMG]

    We also buy the invisibility spell book - we'll need that spell more than once.

    Oh, and a Fly one too - that's quintessential for any sort of ranged attacking party.

    [​IMG]

    And in Avlee, we gain the ability to actually use them.

    [​IMG]

    We also pay another visit to faerie king, this time with proper quest taken.

    [​IMG]

    Purchasing another decent bow from a shop...

    [​IMG]

    We decide to engage in a little air-to-air action, blasting the hell out of wyvern population. The reason for this is that we needed a couple more levels to gain lvl 7 alchemy & learning skills for our wizard.

    [​IMG]

    With flight spell on, those poor wyverns just can't chase us, until we actually let them do so - yeah, I kinda lost my attention and allowed one to sneak up on me, insta-killing one of my archers with the first swipe. Luckily, death is nothing that we can't fix with a little bit of money in might and magic world.

    [​IMG]

    Genociding those pesky heraldic dragons, we gain wanted levels.

    [​IMG]

    That wasn't quite enough for our goals, though - 1 level of alchemy missing.

    [​IMG]

    And our archers are quite steady with their bow, learning and chain skills. Though, as I've said before, I'm not sure if learning is not a horrible waste of points - perhaps bow 10 would've been better at this point.

    [​IMG]

    Returning to Barrow Downs, we fly straight into the dwarven city. It's the best town in the whole antagarich and let me show you why.

    [​IMG]

    Before anything (anything but donating to the temple), we accept the troglodyte purging quest.

    [​IMG]

    We slaughtered stupid humanoids 10 levels ago, with crappy bows and lower fire aura spell, so what are they now?

    [​IMG]

    Nothing.

    [​IMG]

    Our local reputation, however, is quite a something.

    [​IMG]

    The traders buy our goods at three quarter their price and that's with merchant skill of one!

    [​IMG]

    And sell their goods at just 110% - almost as cheap as it gets.

    In more money-intensive parties, you usually make Stone City a center of your operations with a well-placed Lloyd's Beacon - you make lots of cash here and, as a bonus, training is cheap and pretty much unlimited (good luck reaching maximum level 200 even on a singleton run)

    [​IMG] .

    Archers, however, don't need money that much (almost at all), so that's not why we came here. No, we're headed to Nighon, so into the tunnels we go.

    They're choke full of gogs and gogs are quite annoying for most kinds of parties - their dying blast prohibits you from killing them in the close range, not to mention that with their fast moving speed staying in that range can be tricky, and they're immune to fireballs so poison spray is the only cheap spell that can deal with them adequately. But for archers with their ton of ranged physical damage they're not a big problem.

    [​IMG]

    Another fun thing is that often an infighting between dwarves & warlocks occurs - I'm not sure if it is scripted or just happens when warlocks hit some dwarves with their ranged attack.

    [​IMG]

    There are also some treasures to be found here, although foolishly we don't explore the cavern fully (I thought that you can't find one particular quest item here before actually taking the quest - I was wrong).

    [​IMG]

    Finally, we find an exit out of the tunnel. Cloaking ourselves with invisibility, we dive into it...

    [​IMG]

    Only to almost bump into a minotaur. Almost, but not enough to break our invisibility. With great attention, we go around the beast

    [​IMG]

    Only to find more beasts further on - now it is floating eyes. At least these tunnels are broad enough for us to pass without touching the bastards.

    [​IMG]

    Then it's more narrow tunnels...

    [​IMG]

    And more dangerous monsters in them...

    [​IMG]

    But they're not endless - we find the exit. The one that leads to the surface.

    [​IMG]

    Arriving into Nighon, we go on a learning spree - first and foremost, mastery of bows. Our damage output gets doubled! And that's including any enchantments on the bow that we have.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then we master learning, but not before collecting some buffs - you need to have at least 50 intelligence to master it, so we needed the altar's blessing to achieve that much (blessing and a couple of +intelligence rings that we've stashed).

    [​IMG]

    Lastly, we master the water magic so we can teleport ourselves at will and more than one time per day. We can also enchant items already, but I prefer to wait 'til grandmaster so I won't waste our items on mediocre stuff.

    [​IMG]

    Feeling the breath of incoming october, I also gather some genie lamps here. Soon, soon...

    [​IMG]

    In the following morning, we discover that it's sunday so a trip to arena is available. We take it.

    The challenge is easy, so I'll just showcase how useful invisibility is in arena - instead of being surrounded by monsters, you start in one of the corners and shoot them one by one.

    [​IMG]

    Jumping into tolarean forest, we fire our gate master and hire this very intelligent looking guy. Actually, I wanted to give him extremely temporary job, just until I find something not looking so prosperous, but somehow I forgot about that and so he stuck on 'til the very end. Well, he's pretty codexian, I presume, so it kinda figures.

    As for his professtion - yeah, bonuses look insignificant, and at this point they are, but further into the game we'll see their true worth.

    [​IMG]

    To test our newly gained master archery skills, we fly to the clanker's laboratory.

    We're get a fiery greeting from gogs - well, we've just slaughtered a bunch of them with twice less damage so they're not a big deal.


    [​IMG]

    Golems are, however. They're tough as nails and hit like a truck and even have a hurty ranged attack, but we're still able to kite them - our damage output is by no means small at this point.

    [​IMG]

    There are also eyes here, but they're easier - status effects aside, they're relatively harmless to us.

    [​IMG]

    But golems are tough.

    [​IMG]

    Especially when they hit with their ranged attack precisely.

    [​IMG]

    And when there's a boatload of golden ones - see, monster tiers are kinda random and get determined upon entering into a dungeon, so difficulty of one and the same place can vary depending on a quality of the spawn. Here we get a tough spawn, but that's ok with us - more xps to gain.

    [​IMG]

    Gauging the final eye out...

    [​IMG]

    We proceed with the treasure. The chests here hurt like hell (I'll confess that I save-scummed here, but that's just to save the effort - at castle harmondale, I have enough yellow & red ingredients to make tons of preservation potions and that's how you need to open these chests on an ironman run, under effect of preservation, but I got lazy), but contain some powerful stuff inside.

    [​IMG]

    Relics & artifacts included - we find a relic crossbow, Ania Selvig.

    [​IMG]

    This, however, is not a joyful occurence as Ania is crappy. She doesn't deal more damage than a usual best bow (4d2+9 vs 5d2+8) and her bow bonus is bugged - it adds to the attack & recovery time, but not to the grandmaster damage bonus. It's a bug of the engine - same thing is true for M&M VIII's similar artifacts. Accuracy bonus is nice, but AC penalty sucks.

    And what sucks even more is not having some kind of elemental damage - seriously, by replacing our enflamed bow with it we're losing 6d6 fire damage per shot and that's way, way too much to be compensated by slight accuracy bonus (slight as it's not like we miss often atm - our to hit chance is already high enough).

    TL;DR version - bet she was a fat & ugly whore.

    [​IMG]

    Among the spoils, there's also a nice dagger for our wizard - good defensive weapons are hard to come by.

    [​IMG]

    And seemingly cool, but ultimately pointless amulet of Light Magic. Now, if we were playing lots of clerics & wizards, it would've been an excellent find, but as it is, one quest item that we'll definitely find will be enough.

    [​IMG]

    The final cool item is wand of paralyzing - at this stage of the game it's incredibly strong as it allows us to kill almost any monster in the game while facing little challenge.

    [​IMG]

    Those gold golems gave us some good experience.

    [​IMG]

    Returning to Barrow Downs once more, we finally deal with local gogs - yeah, we focused on just wraiths & 'goyles in prevous times. Without fly spell to dodge incoming projectiles, gogs can be quite hurty as there are tons of them here. Besides, without master archery damage they're kinda tedious to kill, so we decided to delay their doom until now.

    [​IMG]

    Then it's a haunted mansion time. It's somewhat unpleasant as you start almost surrounded by the undead here, but once you swipe through that initial bunch...

    [​IMG]

    It's just an exercise in kiting.

    [​IMG]

    So we just steal a painting from here...

    [​IMG]

    And snipe more stuff.

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    The hardest part is the spiraling ladder as it's hard to lure the monsters away from there and it's too narrow to allow any shooting, but that's why we have spears and a healing NPC.

    [​IMG]

    More training at the Stoner City.

    [​IMG]

    And a fascinating excursion into a local crypt system - hey, there's a reason this place is called "barrow downs".

    First crypts are easy - just a single rat...

    [​IMG]

    And gog here and there.

    [​IMG]

    Barely a challenge.

    [​IMG]

    At all.

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    It's deeper where fun begins - skeletons and rats galore! Oh, if only we had a carnage bow...

    [​IMG]

    But even our simple bows are enough to transform living humanoid remains back into dead ones.

    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately, not every lower crypt is choke full of undead - some are scarcely populated. With relatively tough wights, but still.

    [​IMG]

    You can also encounter zombies & bats here, even spawned in close vicinity to your point of entrance, but +9 spears deal with them just fine.

    [​IMG]

    More almost empty crypts...

    [​IMG]

    And more...

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    Treasure here is good, btw, well, at least in its monetary value - the quality of items is low, but there's lots of them and lots of money piles. But we're already filthy rich so we don't even bother to pick up cheaper stuff.

    [​IMG]

    Through some more exploring, we encounter the fiercest foes here - ghouls. We've already met them in haunted mansion, but here there's more of them and they often start in melee range with you which, considering their hits can paralyze you, is quite unpleasant.

    [​IMG]

    Oh, and getting surrounded by skeletons is also no walk in the park as you can get cursed. But, at the very least, remove curse potion requres less ingredients than a cure paralysis one.

    [​IMG]

    BTW, this crypt is a favorite crypt of mine as it is really, really tightly packed.

    [​IMG]

    Others should've taken some lessons from it.

    [​IMG]

    Then, in another crypt where we are greeted by pixelated ghoulish mug...

    [​IMG]

    And Krag gets paralyzed with the very first hit.

    [​IMG]

    I've forgot to mention that somewhere after that training, we've jumped into Nighon and took a master alchemy lesson, so it's just a matter of brewing the right mix. Drinking the bitter potion, Krag makes some sweet, sweet revenge.

    [​IMG]

    After destroying a zombie swarm...

    [​IMG]

    We reach our first goal - a nifty looking lantern.

    [​IMG]

    And then only some pleasant pilfering...

    [​IMG]

    Holds us from our second goal - the sacred crypt.

    [​IMG]

    We meditate a bit and become honorary monks, hooray!

    Also, we're done with these infinite crypts and this update.

     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
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  12. eklektykgender: ⚧ Arbiter

    eklektyk
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Parrots:
    1,660
    Location:
    mexico of europe
    complimentary bump
     
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  13. TOMEgender: ⚧ Cuckmaster General

    TOME
    Joined:
    May 25, 2012
    Parrots:
    1,819
    What does preservation do?
     
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  14. Pope Amole IIgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Pope Amole II
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    Parrots:
    1,647
    Preservation spell prevents hero from dying when his hp go much lower than zero - he'll just stay uncoscious instead.

    And I'll make an update somewhere on the next week, as currently I'm quite busy with grinding tix in Mirage drafts on MODO. Tix, sweet tix...
     
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  15. eklektykgender: ⚧ Arbiter

    eklektyk
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Parrots:
    1,660
    Location:
    mexico of europe
    sooooooooooooooooooo weeesssss maHHHHH UPDATE????????
     
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  16. Pope Amole IIgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Pope Amole II
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    Parrots:
    1,647
    Well, those tix don't come easy, y'know. Still, as I'm now done with gambling, I can as well do an update here.

    Show Spoiler




    We'll start with some music to set the tone. It's not very fantas-ish, but it's not like M&M are pure fantasy series.

    [​IMG]

    I kinda posted the wrong picture at the end of part III - it's here that we meditate and become honorary monks.

    [​IMG]

    Then we put all the experience gained from hacking undead after undead to good use.

    [​IMG]

    And engage in some alchemical tedium, making divine power & cure potions (they heal your mana or hp 5x times per potion's strength, meaning that you can easily cure ~200 hp or mp with one of them).

    One of the biggest flaws of M&M 6-8 alchemical system is that you can't tell between the various white & black potions - they all look the same, so finding exact potion you need may be a hassle.

    [​IMG]

    Then we relocate ourselves to Bracada, finding a much needed +50 accuracy potion in local premium shop.

    [​IMG]

    Boosting our finesse through the skies, we decide to advance the plotline a little by saving those pesky seven dwarves.

    First level contains just oozes and it's like chopping jelly with fireman's axe - sure, they ignore the physical damage from our arrows, but fiery enhancement slaughters them almost instantly.

    [​IMG]

    Lower level is tougher. Medusae take only physical damage from our arrows and boast much more HP than oozes. But that's not the problem - they still drop fast.

    [​IMG]

    The problem is that their main musical preference is stoner rock.

    [​IMG]

    Sure, we heal with some black potions that game designers carefully set up for us, but then comes another problem that's also their fault - see this archway? See the medusa? Think you can shoot it? Nope, you can't. Some of the archways here are bugged so arrows can't pass through them - they vanish as if they'd hit the wall.

    [​IMG]

    Main consequence is that you have to juke a lot and you get stoned a lot.

    [​IMG]

    Stoned or paralyzed - not that there's much difference between these conditions.

    [​IMG]

    This bugginess prevents us from clearing this dungeon in one go - we have to retreat shamefully and then hop our way up to the local temple.

    [​IMG]

    Second try is more successful - here you see the final medusa guarding the mechanism that we need to sabotage.

    [​IMG]

    Hurr-durr, and we get our castle repaired. Also, our reputation in dwarven lands grows even stronger - as if it wasn't crazy high already.

    [​IMG]

    Then, after taking war quests in castle harmondale, we port to Erathia and first thing first, we raid the fort Rivendale.

    [​IMG]

    For level 21, the monsters here are too easy.

    [​IMG]

    Traps do hurt us, though.

    [​IMG]

    And we have to rest to open some chests here - not that there' s much in them.

    [​IMG]

    Finally, all of the queen's loyal servants are dead...

    [​IMG]

    And the plans are in our hands.

    [​IMG]

    Also, I've found a haste potion in the fort and remembered that I want to talk about it. See, it's one of the finest potions available. Sure, other layered potions suck in comparison to similar spell - say, heroism spell adds 5+spirit magic skill to your damage, while potion adds just five, it's much weaker. But potion haste, unlike it, works as fine as its spell analogue.

    [​IMG]

    Only, instead of two hours or so, it lasts half a hour per point of potion strength. Meaning, a lot. For the dark siders, those haste potions are a must as it's too bothersome to recast haste constantly, not to mention that you don't even want to take master fire magic when playing as the evildoers.

    [​IMG]

    After taking war quest from Catherine, we jump into Tolarean Forest and give elven king the much desired plans.

    [​IMG]

    It's not like we're loyal to the bastard, though - we're in this game for ourselves.

    [​IMG]

    And so freeing erathian spy to maximize our XP gain is a must.

    [​IMG]

    Monsters here are weak and sparse, though, so we're not maximizing it by any significant amount. Still, I think it's funnier to do quests that to skip them. That's why I freaking play the game - to do some quests and to kill some mobs. Wish those AoD developers would understand that...

    [​IMG]

    We also have to do some jumping & slight puzzling (if you would dare to call it so) here, but nothing challenging.

    [​IMG]

    And so the bald dude is safe.

    [​IMG]

    We train...

    [​IMG]

    And in the middle of training a particular time of year occurs.

    [​IMG]

    It's time to do some lamp rubbing, baby!

    [​IMG]

    We give all of those lamps to Tjukurrpa as she will need lots of skill points soon.

    [​IMG]

    We also begin to overtrain our archery skills.

    [​IMG]

    Here's how our bowmen fare at this point.

    [​IMG]

    As we have some time to waste right now (lots of in-game time, actually, due to how these events are scripted), we take a quick trip to Deyja, finishing clerical promotion and visiting an altar that we've forgot to visit before.

    [​IMG]

    Then, as we have no further use for the stupid queen Catherine, we decide to rob her castle blind.

    [​IMG]

    After all, this long entrance hall is perfect for shooting all of those slow, heavily plated knights full of arrows, isn't it?

    [​IMG]

    And, when they get close, we can use the jump spell in the real-time mode and, running to the other side of the hall, shoot them even more.

    [​IMG]

    It's also easy to retreat from here once things go ugly - it's not like anything bad happens if you do that (unfortunately).

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]

    And then it's time for more killing, but inner palace is not guarded as tightly as the entrance - guards here are much weaker.

    [​IMG]

    There's a couple of sword initiates, but they're positioned behind the table so it's impossible for them to get near you quickly - they're canned meat.

    [​IMG]

    Of course, we're not robbing castle for meager loot - actually, it feels like Erathia is exhausted by a chain of wars as there's little of value here. Except for some paintings.

    [​IMG]

    Oh, here's another dangerous episode here - two tough guards paired with me failing to notice my haste running out. And weakness is dangerous - it halves any damage (both physical & magical) you do, so wasting those mofos is hard.

    [​IMG]

    Not impossible, though, so after a measure of frantic running the prize is ours.

    BTW, I absolutely love how they reused art assets here.

    [​IMG]

    Using our last bits of food, we slog to tatalia & finish the art quest, gaining quite a chunk of experience and a noticeable sum of money in the process.

    [​IMG]

    As our precision has greatly increased since our visit to Tatalia, now we can genocide trolls comfortably, without spending much effort.

    [​IMG]

    We even throw a meteor shower or two at them, though here it's mostly to slaughter those seemingly friendly archers. Meh, we're all the archers that this world needs.

    [​IMG]

    Once the Tatalian surface became barren and unpopulated, we move unto snuffing life out of the local dragon.

    But then, what is a murder of one dragon? We've already done that crap at level five, we need more challenge than that!

    [​IMG]

    So we ran past wromthrax into a part of cave where he can't see us...

    [​IMG]

    And rest in the most insolent way possible, maybe even scrapping a "Wromthrax suxxx" on the wall.

    [​IMG]

    Unsurprisingly, Wrommie calls some of his dragon pals to bust our butts.

    [​IMG]

    We run away from them as fast as we can...

    [​IMG]

    And then we rest once again, attracting even more dragons.

    [​IMG]

    Yeah, kids - welcome to the "how to raise a dragon" showcast.

    [​IMG]

    Once we've spawned enough dragons, we escape from the cave, rest & return, positioning us between them via invisibility.

    [​IMG]

    Time to use our stiffy stick.

    [​IMG]

    One by one, we paralyze dragons...

    [​IMG]

    and then we kill them. Sure, we could've used the old "run n' gun" tactics, but that's tedious - why bother?

    [​IMG]

    BTW, new dragons will spawn as long as at least one of them remains in the cavern - it doesn't have to be Wromthrax, so we puncture him with many tiny arrows, causing a long and probably excruciating death.

    [​IMG]

    We loot an Ulysses from his corpse, but contrary to what you may think, it's not a lucky occurence at all. Ulysses is quite weak.

    [​IMG]

    5d2+10 is not all that different from 5d2+8 of your common top-tier bows - damage increase is too slight. 9-12 cold damage is also average - you can get exactly the same enchantment on your normal bow. So the only benefit is +50 accuracy, but it also isn't that significant - our attack is already high enough so we rarely miss. It's a mediocre bow that we won't use for much longer.

    [​IMG]

    And so our rampage continues...

    [​IMG]

    Until we find even greater exploit - we find that at a certain, very precise range, we can hurt the dragons with auto-attacks while not getting noticed by them. Basically, snipe them from far away and in total safety.

    [​IMG]

    Looting the corpses, we find more meh artifacts.

    Taledon's Helm would've been great if it was not bugged - its Light Magic bonus doesn't work and so it is useless.

    [​IMG]

    Scholar's cap is actually useful, but less so than it seems - those +15 to learning means an extra level or two by the end of the game and that isn't much.

    [​IMG]

    The funniest thing of them all, getting really disappointed with our loot, we say "screw it" and cast an Enchant Item spell on one of our common bows. What do we get from this act? A second best weapon in the game for teh archer.

    [​IMG]

    Swift means -20 to recovery time, meaning that with haste we have a whopping attack speed of 30. Sure, you don't get an elemental damage bonus this way, but who needs elemental damage when you can drown your enemy in arrows?

    BTW, the only bow that is better than this is the griffin bow of Darkness - basically, it's Swift and Vampiric combined in one, so not only you popamole enemies like with freaking machinegun, you also heal for a pretty significant amounts. They're rarer than relics, though - it's almost impossible to find them.

    [​IMG]

    After some training, next part of the storyline begins.

    [​IMG]

    We don't read the letter as we already know what's happening. Seeing two large armies ready to clash with each other...

    [​IMG]

    We fly in IBM style, nuking them from the skies to get all the XPs.

    [​IMG]

    And only mounds of corpses remain. And they don't remain for long as I loot them for money.

    [​IMG]

    We get the questy trumpet...

    [​IMG]

    And we give it to the neutral judge, obviously - we're in this crap for ourselves, as I've said.

    [​IMG]

    Up to level 30 we go - wow, slaughtering dragons is educating. Why weren't we doing any of this stuff in our schools?

    [​IMG]

    We get even more archery skills - after all, it's not like we have any other skills that are worth points investments. We really don't.

    [​IMG]

    Also, our paralyzing wand kinda got low on charges so we buy a spell to fix it, somewhat. Actually, with grand master water magic and either 14 skill+ skill ring or 10 skill+spell master+initiate+skill ring (or 75+ power alchemical potions), you can recharge your wands as much as you like - max charges won't go down. But that's only worth it if you're on the light side and manage to find some shrapmetal wands for close combat prowess - it's for light wizards party, not for ours.

    [​IMG]

    We also craft some stuff from the ore that we've got while raiding tatalia and get a really useful trident - we don't need tons of damage on our melee weapons as we just don't fight in melee, but that +5 armor class bonus still remains useful for us.

    [​IMG]

    As we've got more time to waste, we waste more dragons.

    [​IMG]

    But not much more - sure, you can grind ad infinitum there, but we don't want to break the game prematurely.

    [​IMG]

    We get a good bow for our sorcerer - her shooting is useless anyhow so instead of damage bonuses I'd rather have some protective ones.

    And yeah, I'll admit, I save-scummed through this bunch of dragons as I've wanted to showcase you a carnage bow tactics (I didn't do the multi-loot trick - I just reloaded 'til I got a bow from each dragon), but to no avail - they're too rare, I spent almost a hour on this crap and still didn't got one, dammit.

    [​IMG]

    I also got a Charele, but I kept it mostly for aesthetic reasons - it's useless for our party, it's really meant for knights.

    [​IMG]

    Then the old coot dies, at last.

    [​IMG]

    We choose light, obviously - darkness is for the sissies (and pretty much mass clerics/sorcerers only).

    On this bright note, we'll end part IV.
     
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  17. Pope Amole IIgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Pope Amole II
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    Parrots:
    1,647
    I wasn't as done with gambling as I hoped to be, so this update came slow. Better slow than never (especially as I'm gonna LP VIII after this one - hope I'll get done with it 'til the next year comes).

    Show Spoiler




    A decent Summoning-soundalike to set the mood...

    [​IMG]

    We'll start this update from somewhat random thing - I've decided to look for a new healer for my party, as the old one has kinda unfinished portrait (you know, plain black background kinda irritates the eye), and in the process I've stumbled across this guy... Yeah, pal, you really look like a freaking health expert, especially with that string of drool hanging from your mouth.

    [​IMG]

    In the end, I don't find anyone pretty so I'll decide to make some business - after joining the light side, second promotion quests became available to us, and, as they hugely impact the power level of your party, we decide to do them ASAP. First is the archer quest - recovering a bow from the titan's stronghold.

    [​IMG]

    TBH, killing all the titans without the second promotion would be extremely tedious, so we just sneak inside via invisibility spell & grab our mark from one of the chests.

    [​IMG]

    Then we find a safe spot inside the fortress & TP out.

    [​IMG]

    We get our promotion and also keep the quest item. Unfortunately, it's hugely unimpressive - without a swiftness or elemental damage enchantment, it's absolutely useless to us.

    [​IMG]

    We also become grand masters of the bow immediately...

    [​IMG]

    Finally putting some lethal power into our shots. Note that we're still firing 2x arrows per shot, so our party deals two hundred damage per volley - that's 20% of titan's health, for example.

    [​IMG]

    And here's the bug with Ania Selvig - as you can see, it kinda adds +5 to your bow skill, but they are not added to the damage on grand master level. Bogus. Though, even if they were added, we still wouldn't use it.

    [​IMG]

    To test how powerful we truly are, we decide to cleanse Nighon of all the darksider filth. Here you see a mountain choke full of warlocks...

    [​IMG]

    And here you see a mountain with a mound of severely pierced corpses on it. We were kinda lazy with dodging all the projectiles they've launched at us, so this battle hurt. A lot.

    [​IMG]

    Thankfully, a trip to the temple took less then a minute, so we've returned to exterminating local fauna almost instantly. As all the monsters lacking ranged attack, thunderbirds become extremely easy once you get flight.

    [​IMG]

    And even with ranged attacks, hydras are still easy-peasy. The biggest hassle there is actually killing them on hard ground - if you kill them on the water, their corpses will disappear, denying your loot. And we don't want to lose even a tiny piece of loot, do we?

    [​IMG]

    To hasten our process, we accompaniment our torrent of arrows with some ICBM action.

    [​IMG]

    Still, finishing these hydras was not as fast as we wanted it to be, so we decide to take our next step on the road to ultimate archery power.

    [​IMG]

    But not before getting some xps for quest that we've finished a long time ago...

    [​IMG]

    And stocking up on some black potion (even if they're completely useless to us)...

    [​IMG]

    And training for a wee bit more...

    [​IMG]

    So our archery skill becomes even higher.

    [​IMG]

    And our wizard gets plenty skill points for future expenses.

    [​IMG]

    We travel to celeste. For our party, one of it's most important feature - a weapon store where the best bows can be bought, so we can try to enchant them into swift ones.

    [​IMG]

    A store that offers a guaranteed access to black potions is also nice, although black potions are not as important on the light path as they are on the dark path. And even there, they're not that important. See, here's the table for M&M 6-8 stat modifiers:

    0 -6
    3 -5
    5 -4
    7 -3
    9 -2
    11 -1
    13 0
    15 +1
    17 +2
    19 +3
    21 +4
    25 +5
    30 +6
    35 +7
    40 +8
    50 +9
    75 +10
    100 +11
    125 +12
    150 +13
    175 +14
    200 +15
    225 +16
    250 +17
    275 +18
    300 +19
    350 +20
    400 +25
    500 +30

    As you can see, the only real grows happens when you increase your skill up to 50, after that it's pretty insignificant boosts until the mark of 400 and 500, but they're extremely hard to reach and, for the most stat bonuses, are totally not worth it. I mean, to get a stat this high, you'll need a really high level (we're talking about 40+ skill level, that's with ring of light magic included) day of the gods + lots of the stat boosting items. But the gains are just not there.

    I mean, boosting strength from 350 to 500? That's +10 melee damage - considering you're battling 1k hps titans & dragons at this point, that 10 damage increase is laughable. Endurance? That's, at best, +90 health points (and for many classes much less) - it's easier to wear items that give strait bonus to your health points. You'll need around eight 20+ stat bonus items to max your stat up, while just four 20+ health bonus items will give you the same result. Same goes for intellect & personality - just wear plain mana items.

    Getting accuracy bonus is pointless - at this level of light magic, you'll be gaining great bonuses to your accuracy from hour of power so hitting things won't be a problem. Same goes for luck - it adds a virtual bonus to your resistances, but as resistances suffer a huge diminishing returns to their efficiency, once you get more than 100 of them further bonuses become really unnoticeable.

    Finally, there is speed and, surprisingly, it's the only stat that is worth of maxing up. Only for archers & mages, though - unfortunately, the recovery speed of melee fighters is capped at 30 and that is easily reachable with some armsmaster skill items & haste spell. For archers, however, the cap is at 5, and that is only reachable via "swift" enchantment. That's if your speed is average, so on the high levels of bow skill you can opt to supplant that enchantment with maxed up skill - preferrably via alchemy. See, if you get just the right items (+25 alchemy ring and clanker's amulet that offers cumulative +15 alchemy bonus), you can easily spam ~60-ish power "boost speed" potion, and that means +180 speed per bottle. Coupled with a good day of the gods, that will easily max out your speed, and getting, say, elemental damage bow instead of swift bow at recovery speed 5 will produce an immense DPS increase.

    OK, sorry for this huge game theory lecture, I just love to systematize & analyze this sort of stuff.

    [​IMG]

    To become fully incorporated into the light side, we have to pass their test that, almost mockingly, requires us, quite and accomplished slayers, to harm not a single living or even not so living being. What a mockery.

    [​IMG]

    Luckily, an invisibility spell exists - without it this crap would be much more annoying.

    [​IMG]

    We simply crawl across the place, getting some meager loot...

    [​IMG]

    And finding quest keys by solving easy riddles.

    [​IMG]

    The hardest part of it is keeping our invisibility spell online - its duration is pretty short, and you can't recast it once you're in vicinity of monsters, and the dungeon is pretty big, so, unless you find a safe spot to renew it, it will run out and you will be showered in all sort of painful projectiles. Here's one of such recasting spots.

    [​IMG]

    And here's another.

    [​IMG]

    FInally, this crap gets done and we get our reward - storyline promotion and the acceptance into light magic guild. Still, there's one quest that holds us from learning said magic - we have to promote our wizard first.

    [​IMG]

    To do this, we travel into the Pit. Well, first we come into Deija and then we enter halls of the pit - just a filler dungeon, populated by way to weak monsters. Like, there's one annoying physical immune gargoyle here, but that's all.

    [​IMG]

    Hardly a challenge.

    [​IMG]

    There's a chest with a side-quest item here, though.

    [​IMG]

    And then we enter the Pit. Now, that's probably the hardest dungeon in the entire game, so we behave ourselves really, really humbly.

    [​IMG]

    We even have to burn ourselves in lava to avoid alerting enemies to our presence. Ouch. And here's our target - the breeding pits.

    [​IMG]

    Inside them, we don't start fighting immediately - instead, we sneak around for a bit.

    [​IMG]

    We do this to gain advantageous position - it's much easier to strike monsters here from the back of this corridor.

    [​IMG]

    Especially this behemoths - without sneaking around them, we'd have to face them in melee combat and that's an awful idea for our (de)ranged party.

    BTW, we also brought some white healing potions with us, that's why our health is suddenly full.

    [​IMG]

    With our clever entry, wiping this dungeons becomes a more or less effortless task.

    [​IMG]

    We barely get harmed in the combat.

    [​IMG]

    And chest traps still are more dangerous to us than actual monsters.

    [​IMG]

    And there's our prize - a divine intervention spell book!

    [​IMG]

    We leave the breeding zone - not by foots, though. We TP out.

    [​IMG]

    And get our promotion...

    [​IMG]

    And other quests done.

    [​IMG]

    It's really beneficial to accomplish this side quest and all promotion quests here before spending your money on the light magic spells, as it will save you lots of money - remember, that 20 reputation is a 20% shop discount.

    [​IMG]

    All of those skill points that our archmage had are pumped into light magic - 16 is a good start, but we aim for at least 30.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And then it's time for some intense magical studies.

    [​IMG]

    Here's how our archmage looks under full buffs.

    [​IMG]

    And here's one of our archers (they all have the samey stats, though).

    [​IMG]

    22 recovery time - still a long road to go.

    [​IMG]

    Even that is pretty impacting, however - ok, it may be difficult to notice, but if you'll stare at the mini-map you'll see a thin red line that goes from us to a monster corpse. Those are arrows - we're shooting that fast.

    [​IMG]

    And yeah, we purge the remnants of nighonean beasts from this world - and it is much, much easier thing to do than it was before.

    [​IMG]

    This ramps us up to level 40.

    [​IMG]

    Better magic.

    [​IMG]

    Better bow skills.

    [​IMG]

    Much better bow skills - the difference between recovery time 22 and 17 is almost 25% increase in DPS - that's why speed bonuses are awesome at extremely low recovery time values. Getting it down to five will more than triple our already considerable damage output.

    [​IMG]

    To bring that wonderful point closer, we descend into a minotaur maze - a hard dungeon for some parties, but definitely not for ours. There's lots of space to kite minotaurs here, so, unless we get distracted and let them come near us and waste us with their insta-kill ability, we'll do just fine.

    [​IMG]

    We already do just fine, vanquishing them from far away.

    [​IMG]

    Encountering them & running...

    [​IMG]

    Just to stop, turn back and slay them where they stand.

    [​IMG]

    There are also some hydras here and while they're not as kiteable (they're ranged, after all), they don't come in significant enough quantities to pose any challenge.

    [​IMG]

    All in all, it's quite easy.

    [​IMG]

    And it's not like the maze is too complex.

    [​IMG]

    Here's what we do to a highest-tier minotaur in one turn. Poor fella is in the red health already.

    [​IMG]

    There's a chest with a guaranteed artifact item here, but our find is crappy - it's a crappy suicidal axe that harms our party more than it harms the monsters.

    [​IMG]

    At the end of the maze, we find an entrance into series of caverns, populated by more hydras & minotaurs. No challenge at all.

    [​IMG]

    A final statuette is hidden here, though.

    [​IMG]

    And also a quest item.

    [​IMG]

    That we instantly exchange for a hefty reward.

    [​IMG]

    Then it turns out that we've found a final swift bow for our party inside that maze - good.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And, after some training, our firing rate gets even higher...

    To be continued.


     
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  18. Derpergender: ⚧ Liturgist

    Derper
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    New page?
     
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  19. Derpergender: ⚧ Liturgist

    Derper
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
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    Aaaargh
    New page!
     
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  20. Derpergender: ⚧ Liturgist

    Derper
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
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    Page!
     
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  21. TOMEgender: ⚧ Cuckmaster General

    TOME
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    New page coming in 5...4...
     
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  22. eklektykgender: ⚧ Arbiter

    eklektyk
    Joined:
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    making sure The Bump will go thru....
     
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  23. Pope Amole IIgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Pope Amole II
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    Parrots:
    1,647
    Sorry, bros, but your updatan skills are much weaker that my party's archeran skills, so I was waiting and waiting and waiting, but you kinda couldn't deliver...

    Well, kk, I'll finish this up right now - the late, but nevertheless final update!

    BTW, sorry for the spelling errors here and there - I type blindly and sometimes my hands kinda fizzle. Like, my brain pronounces "we" yet they type "wy" (which sounds kinda samey, only it makes for some horrible spelling) and stuff like that) or automatically type "he'res" instead of "here's", all due to the language being foreign - sometimes I notice this crap, sometimes I don't.

    Show Spoiler




    Another totally unrelated song with the proper title - that's what we're going to become very soon, super shooters.

    This LP could've benefited from some gore & teenager tits, though. ANY LP could've benefited from that, obviously, but, unfortunately, M&M VII fails to deliver in this department - what a shitty game it is. People just failed to understand how to make good RPGs back then.


    [​IMG]

    So we achieved an enviable level of sniping skills at the end of our last update. Time to see how good have we really become - let's enter the pit once again, this time with much more hostile intentions.

    So we're porting to the hellish city and a see a necromancer chick standing right before us...

    [​IMG]

    Volley of arrows and suddenly she's down on the ground.

    [​IMG]

    At the same time, Tjukurrpa remembers she has a destroy undead spell and uses it on one of the nearby liches - 30d16 damage wastes undead wizard in one shot.

    [​IMG]

    However, we are receiving heavy return fire - two strongest spells in the game, shrapmetals and dragon breathes get thrown at us constantly.

    [​IMG]

    Even their basic attacks can knock out our fragile archmage.

    [​IMG]

    Here's a showcase. What you see is our party before incoming dragon breath...

    [​IMG]

    And after.

    [​IMG]

    And here's after one more. Sure, we have our revenge, killing offenders immediately after that, but revenge never brings back the ones we have lost.

    [​IMG]

    A visit to the deijan temple does, though.

    However, we've forgot that we're in the land of evil and they have quite a peculiar way to resurrect people - instead of a healthy wizard we've gained a dumb zombie. Damn.

    [​IMG]

    At least, thanks to our day of the gods spell, she was still able to cast - without it zombies start with 0 intellect and 0 mana, IIRC. Even as a mindless shadow of herself. Tjukurrpa still teleported us to the friendlier temple, got much better than ported us back.

    [​IMG]

    The price of progress is high, though - we pay for each step with liters of our blood, literally. I hate abusing teleportation spells in this game as they make it too easy, but here it's a must.

    [​IMG]

    To break our frustration, I decide to run a quick side quest - exiting to the surface of Deija, I enter the William Setag's tower. Unlike the evil city, it's small, neat and easy.

    [​IMG]

    Only a couple of swordsmen here and they drop like flies. Nice change of pace.

    [​IMG]

    KK, back into frame. More liches get exorcised by our light wizard.

    [​IMG]

    We even find some riches, although they're not as significant by this point.

    [​IMG]

    We also visit local potion shop - we're far from being stimmed up to the maximum capability so we can use some good black potions.

    [​IMG]

    And, despite us slaughtering their kind mercilessly, local temple is eager to offer their service - perhaps out of immense fear, perhaps they're too greedy for their own good. Anyhow, that skips us some boring portaling back and forth (also, if I were to forbid the healing teleporting, I would've just ran straight here under invisibility spell and started exploring from here).

    [​IMG]

    Healed up, we purge more of the wicked. Thankfully, not all enemies here throw imba spells at us - there are some harmless hobgoblins here. Well, being harmless doesn't matter a thing to us - we're not stopping until we kill everything, that's totally fitting for the light side, right?

    [​IMG]

    After killing the stuff on the outside (well, if you can call the insides of the cavern "outside"), we delve into the aforementioned temple - quest items wait for us.

    It's populated by vampires - they're irritating for mages as they can drain your mana in one hit, but we don't care about it (unless those lucky bastards focus our wizard, and even then - we don't need lots of mana, just enough to teleport ourselves out)

    [​IMG]

    And acolytes of the moon - after bloody necromancers those guys are cakewalk.

    [​IMG]

    We have a wonderful experience (not in a literal sense - doubt that we'll gain at least one level here) in this place - nothing but massacre...

    [​IMG]

    And gold pieces.

    [​IMG]

    Altar pieces too - that's why we came here for.

    [​IMG]

    Then we teleport out of that hellhole and go straight into Celestian temple of light to receive the second quest item - we're not showcasing it because there was no fighting, just boring walking.

    [​IMG]

    Then it's time for the Evenmorn Isles. We're coming here really late so local monsters pose zero challenge to us.

    Although, the way access to this area was designed, it's quite hard to find challenge here - local monsters are weak (unless you get unlucky with physical immune gargoyle spam) and you're not arriving at Evenmorn without completing one rewarding yet not so quickly solvable quest.

    [​IMG]

    You can find a GM water magic guild here, situated in the middle of the sea - nice touch, nice touch.

    [​IMG]

    Too bad the monsters are easy.

    [​IMG]

    And we're finding this awesome altar too late - could've been awesome earlier on. Sure, I could've visited this place in the beginning of the game, but it kinda didn't fit my playthrough - no good opportunity arose back then.

    [​IMG]

    We can also complete our first druid promotion quest here (finally).

    [​IMG]

    Local challenge also rewards us with whopping 7 skill points - that's great.

    [​IMG]

    You can always find an ideal crossbow in this irea (remember, though - crossbows are less than ideal in this game), so we enchant it and get the best result possible.

    [​IMG]

    Oh, and since this was the last tavern we haven't visited yet, we become the official arcomage champion - yay!

    [​IMG]

    If only the prizes weren't bugged crap...

    Now, see, theoretically, this mail is the best chainmail in the game - "of recovery" means "-20 recovery time", basically allowing us to supplant a "swift" enchantment of bow with any kind of damaging enchantment (they don't stack), increasing our DPS significantly. However, due to the bug we're not gaining shit from this mail, dammit. Way to spoil our fun, NWC, way to spoil our fun. And even the fan patch can't fix it, unfortunately.

    And other loots is to weak to be even described here.

    [​IMG]

    KK, we're sad and irritated so let's went our frustration by killing some guys for the cleric promotion quest. We've just butchered stronger version of these guys so it's like a breeze.

    [​IMG]

    And so the temple is purified.

    [​IMG]

    We also find another statuette here. This dungeon is kinda puzzled, but nothing close to the dungeons from olded M&Ms. Decline, decline.

    [​IMG]

    Oh, and in the library on the top there stands a table full of high-tier light magic books (dunno what these dark path followers were doing with them). They're good if you play with a 4x wizard/cleric party and got low on cash, but as longbowmen (well, more like longbowgoblin, longbowgobliness and longbowelf) we're above monetary values so we're hardly strained for cash.

    [​IMG]

    Then it's learning time. Routine is usual - light magic...

    [​IMG]

    Bows.

    [​IMG]

    Soon, soon... The ultimate archeran is nearly within our grasp...

    [​IMG]

    Since we've trained in Celeste, we take a quick jump down to bracada and place our angel statuette where it belongs.

    [​IMG]

    We also take a quick port to erathia, visiting local obelisk and killing some griffins in the process.

    [​IMG]

    Then it's the Temple of the Sun time - sorry, folks, though we're kinda on the same side...

    [​IMG]

    I really need that statuette you were hoarding...

    [​IMG]

    And that cloak your leader were wearing. Well, since we've found a light magic amulet already, it was hardly vital to us, still, it's a pleasant item to have.

    [​IMG]

    Then we port to avlee to place another statuette. But not before remembering past abuse we've suffered at the hands of these water elementals.

    [​IMG]

    That's much nicer.

    [​IMG]

    There's also a devilish temple in the region - well, not for long. Some wyverns bar the way, though. Erm, barred the way, though.

    [​IMG]

    On the top of the temple we saw a contest of personality, yet it said we've already won - stupid thing, it's my first time here!!!

    That's probably we won another contest of the same type, but they're really messed in M&M VII because sometimes winning another contest counts and sometimes it doesn't. Well, whatever.

    [​IMG]

    The temple greets us warmly.

    But they're just devils, what can they do?

    [​IMG]

    More than these poor acolytes, that's for sure. Man, it's like we're specifically targeting them this update.

    [​IMG]

    Being acolyte of the moon is tough racket.

    [​IMG]

    They manage to bring on of ours down, however - higher tiers of them are firing shrapmetal and so even with their pathetic hitpoints they still pose a threat.

    [​IMG]

    But not a huge threat - here's us wiping the big bad of the temple and his retinue.

    [​IMG]

    Among the loot, we find another good bow and successfully enchant it to become swift. Yay, a full set of swift bows for us! That makes us prepared for more of the pit action!

    [​IMG]

    Well, as prepared as we'll ever get...

    [​IMG]

    Patching ourselves up, we're taking a more cautious approach on our second attempt, using the cover to minimize incoming damage. That helps.

    [​IMG]

    Cleaning the outer guards, we enter Castle Gloaming...

    [​IMG]

    But we don't get very far.

    [​IMG]

    Thank God I've stashed a divine intervention scroll for occasion like this.

    [​IMG]

    Still, this place never allows us to stay in full health.

    [​IMG]

    And our wizard gets dropped down on a regular basis - how I hate this focusing up from the enemies...

    [​IMG]

    After many trials, we get what we've came for - a box full of lich jars. Sorta. 4 jars - that's gonna prevent them from making more liches, are you kidding me? We've killed like two dozen liches just to get them - wasn't it easier to aim for that from the start? Because unless those things are recyclable... Whatever.

    [​IMG]

    Despite taking our bounty, we still mop the place up - or, rather, it almost mops us, couple of times. Now that's the good dungeon!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    We put all the freshly gained experience to immediate use.

    [​IMG]

    Then it's the vine cellar quest in tatalia - frankly, after castle gloaming I hardly noticed the monsters here. Effing wights, seriously?

    [​IMG]

    Oh, an elder vampire - sure, that beats rooms full of liches and queens of the dead.

    [​IMG]

    Finishing that instantly, we put the third and final statuette on the pedestal.

    [​IMG]

    Then it's time to pay Lord Markham another visit - hope he didn't missed us too much.

    [​IMG]

    Now he'll definitely won't miss us too much.

    [​IMG]

    He'll miss his favourite vase, though (but I don't know why - damn thing is sure ugly).

    [​IMG]

    Local mercenary guild is also up for some hard times.

    [​IMG]

    We came here kinda lately (although the way this game works, it's almost impossible to come to each dungeon in timely matter - you level up too fast so you won't experience most of the dungeons as challenging ones), so it's swift extermination time.

    [​IMG]

    Well, it's their own fault for stealing a gem from the harmless tree.

    [​IMG]

    And hey, turns out that the circle of stones in the Evenmorn wasn't the final one - we haven't visited the local one yet. This transgression must be corrected.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And our quest givers are happy.

    [​IMG]

    Now it's time for nighon tunnels, although we won't see here anything that we haven't seen in the maze already.

    Well, except for the eyes. I should've made some lame pun here, but rest easy - I'll spare you. This time.

    [​IMG]

    I won't spare the minotaurs, however - they're a precious source of experience and gold.

    [​IMG]

    Warlocks too get no mercy.

    [​IMG]

    It's boring, but don't even begin to get bothered - the drollest part is still ahead.

    [​IMG]

    One lucky minotaur gets to kill our wizard (again - she's like magnet for the troubles), but at this point it's just a momentary distraction.

    [​IMG]

    And here's a place where telekinesis spell could've been useful. But we simply kill eyes and run across the lava to get the loot - why bother, really?

    Our knight got scared, btw, but day of the gods give such a huge stat boost that we can ignore it completely.

    [​IMG]

    And then it's fucking time of fucking tunnels to fucking Eofol, fuckkity fuck. Too much fucks in one sentence? Well, that's just compensating for all the fucks game designers didn't give when they've built this dungeon. It's just lo-o-ong tunnels full of magic immune medusae...

    [​IMG]

    And beefy behemoths.

    [​IMG]

    Behemoths aren't a problem, though - no ranged attack, no insta-kill spells, just tedious tons of muscle to pierce through.

    [​IMG]

    Don't go "GRAAARH" on me, you bastard, you're dead and you just don't know it yet.

    [​IMG]

    Tunnels also get bugged time from time - look at the minimap. There's a tiny red dot near to us and we hear medusa hissing (and she's actually firing at us and hitting us), but we can't see her and can't kill her. Meh.

    [​IMG]

    All in all, it's simply much more medusae...

    [​IMG]

    And behemoths galore.

    [​IMG]

    Here's what we do with high tier one in one round, if you're interested.

    [​IMG]

    Since teleporting to get healed is boring and lame, we're just overabusing divine intervention - and it shows. You can't die from the old age and it's debilitating effects are cowered up by our buffs, however, so who cares?

    [​IMG]

    After what seemed to be eternity, we finally see the exit from this stupid dungeon.

    [​IMG]

    We're greeted by the infamous Archie Ironfist who gifts us a blaster - dude, why do we need your pathetic gun? Are bows are much stronger!

    Well, maybe our archmage needs it, after all, it's not like she can cast offensive spells (actually, she can do a couple of them, but we're too lazy and prefer to just mash our shoot button - hey, we have not taken the user name Pope Amole for no reason at all!).

    [​IMG]

    Under the guise of invisibility, we collect some lamps in this land - it's not like we can't wipe it out yet, but we save it for the moment we become super shooters.

    [​IMG]

    Those free skillpoints bring that moment much closer.

    [​IMG]

    Ahh, the final obelisk! Time to become rich!

    [​IMG]

    We exit Eofol through the portal, thus activating it - you never know when we'll forget to recast the lloyd's beacon.

    [​IMG]

    Then it's obelisk treasure time, but the rewards aren't worthy of any discussion - some crappy belt for melee fighter and a useless ring, meh. At least we got some xps.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    XPs are awesome.

    [​IMG]

    So are we there yet?

    [​IMG]

    Curses, one point below!!! KK, time to find another target for venting our anger.

    [​IMG]

    Tolberti of the Pit looks like a fine one.

    Let me show you the trick, kids - here you do see Tolberti...

    [​IMG]

    And here he is gone.

    But not before eradicating one of ours - nothing we can do to prevent that (apart from the savescumming). Strange it's not our wizard. Well, Venenum will get better.

    [​IMG]

    She already did - we're in the sixth watchtower, aiming to complete that spy promotion quest.

    Dungeon is not that easy with all the necromancers in it...

    [​IMG]

    And plenty of liches too...

    [​IMG]

    But we're far beyond their threshold.

    The only actually dangerous enemies here are earth elementals. Their hps and damage are low...

    [​IMG]

    But they can knock you out in one attack (even at range, and once again is our wizard the primary target).

    Well, it could've been worse - they could've knocked her up, now that would've been an unpleasant twist.

    [​IMG]

    And here's us solving the quest of this dungeon.

    [​IMG]

    Then it's second druidic promotion (we're racking xps, oh yeah). Back to the dwarven tunnel - gogs barely qualify as resitance.

    [​IMG]

    Just a light walk to get the quest item.

    [​IMG]

    Which we bring into the secret burial chamber - thankfully, barrows have not respawned yet so we weren't forced to deal with tons of weaksauce crap.

    [​IMG]

    Titan time, baby! We've stealthed our first time here, but now we're back in full, lethal force!

    [​IMG]

    They shoot back, of course, but can't deal any significant damage - only blood titans can insta-kill us, but there wasn't a big spawn of them this time. Unfortunately - they provide the best loot, after all, and we still wouldn't mind against a carnage bow (though all of the opportunities to use it are past us already).

    [​IMG]

    It's so fun to drop the big guys down...

    No, not really - it's just the same "q" mashing. Unfortunately, when it comes to combat, M&M VII lategame is hardly thrilling. Or even hard, if you've built your party right - even if you did not, it's more tedious than challenging. Meh, at least the end is nigh.

    [​IMG]

    In one of the chests we find a second Ania Selvig (even though the first one is stashed on our based) - no, thank you, we don't need that trash.

    [​IMG]

    There's also some dragons here - what difference does that make? Actually, they're much softer than the titans yet they give better loot so they're always welcome.

    [​IMG]

    Making the giants bow before us...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    We unlocked our ultimate archeran power - behold, the limit break becomes possible!

    [​IMG]

    I'll even show you our full stats this time.

    [​IMG]

    And our ranged damage, as it gets obscured by recovery table.

    [​IMG]

    As I've mentioned before, I make Tjukurrpa a blaster master (sic) so she doesn't feel useless in midst of battle.

    [​IMG]

    I find Harmondale respawned, but that doesn't mean much - just a couple of extra skill points for us.

    [​IMG]

    Then it's the LIMIT BREAK time!

    Well, sorry, but the screenshots are shitty so it's hard to see, but look at the minimap - there's a thin red line there. And there's some beige crap on the trees - that's our boatload of arrows flying to their targets. Here, allow me to bring an example from M&M VIII for how this looks like inside the game:

    [​IMG]

    (note that those are 4x dark elves, I just edited their looks so I'm not stuck with army of clones)

    That's how a proper arrow limit break looks like. Cool, huh?

    [​IMG]

    Anyhow, dragons drop fast, and we're dodging their blasts easily - fly spell is bloody overpowered. Or, rather, broken.

    [​IMG]

    Titans are also lambs for the slaughter.

    [​IMG]

    That is, unless the blood ones get extremely lucky to instagib two of our archers in one round. Eh, this time they've missed their mark - divine intervention wizard pwns doesn't give a crap about their death treats.

    [​IMG]

    Devils are obviously weaker than dragons & titans combo - maximum they can do is to drain our mana, and it's not like we're using it often.

    [​IMG]

    Now, if we were fighting them on foot, it would've hurt a lot as their meteor storm is extremely damaging (poor full melee parties; it's not unbearable, but quite unpleasant). That's why the gun is mightier than the sword (and, if you skill it right, the bow is mightier than the gun - luddism ftw)

    [​IMG]

    Bang-bang, they're dead.

    [​IMG]

    You've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?'

    [​IMG]

    I bet they did not.

    [​IMG]

    Before storming the devil's hive, I decide to try a really high level lord arena, just for the kicks.

    [​IMG]

    Careful invisibility positioning start and it's not us who's on the receiving side of those kicks.

    [​IMG]

    Then it's the mega-dragon cavern time.

    [​IMG]

    We're finding nothing mega- here. Trivial.

    [​IMG]

    Hello, colony Zod!

    [​IMG]

    Nice shoes you've been hoarding here.

    [​IMG]

    Hello, Roland!

    [​IMG]

    Bye-bye, colony Zod! See ya in hell, Xenofex! Wwell, not really - we're on the light side, we're going straight to heaven and, preferrably, not in a long time.

    Yeah, this was totally short and quick and stuffies, but there was nothing to showcase here - it was a breeze. To mana-independent parties devils are nothing.

    [​IMG]

    All that fighting sure brought us some levels (and I don't even bother to repair our wizard's bow- she has her blaster, after all)

    [​IMG]

    Light magic almost maxed out. Not quite, but almost.

    [​IMG]

    And here's how our archers look - great damage with bow....

    [​IMG]

    But with bow skill 35 that's hardly surprising.

    [​IMG]

    Actually, after collecting respawned horseshoes and stuff, we're taking our light magic knowledge even higher - 4 points until the skill cap (skills are capped at 60, any bonuses included, so skill level 40 + 20 from the cloak would've maxed us out).

    [​IMG]

    Now it's scuba diving time!

    Eh, not really. Since bows don't work underwater, we just swim straight to the ship - killing the sharks without them would've been tedious and we don't want that. I was kinda tired from the game at this point (it has gotten too easy) and it's kinda cool as I'm also tired from writing this up. No worries, the end is nigh.

    [​IMG]

    We enter the spaceship completely unbuffed.

    [​IMG]

    We rectify that soon...

    [​IMG]

    And trash some cyborgs.

    Honestly, they're a total disappointment for the final boss - considering how terrifying terminators were in the VI with their unpreventable eradicating attack, these are just meh. And the dungeon itself is just boring - you push some buttons, you open new doors, but that's it. After the Castle Gloaming, it all went downhill. And how can that be - Gloaming is, like, the lowest point of Antagarich, isn't it?

    [​IMG]

    Shooting droids...

    [​IMG]

    Breaking droids...

    [​IMG]

    Finding better guns - meh, too late for that. Note that our bows have the same firing rate as the blaster rifles, only they deal, like, 350% more damage.

    [​IMG]

    Yeah, I'm really glad to see that pile of gold here. What would've I done without it?

    [​IMG]

    Assassinate the assassin!

    [​IMG]

    Oh, it cannot be....

    [​IMG]

    The victory is ours!!!

    [​IMG]

    (sorry for kinda sour and abrupt ending, but that's how the game was designed - the ending is sorta failed, unfortunately)


    And thus, achievement unlocked: ending a reasonably big LP on the first page.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 4
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  24. Make America Great Again agentorangegender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    agentorange
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    Parrots:
    2,873
    Codex 2012
    :bro:

    Very fun to see the game played by someone with so much knowledge about game.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
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  25. eklektykgender: ⚧ Arbiter

    eklektyk
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Parrots:
    1,660
    Location:
    mexico of europe
    EPIC <tm>
     
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