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Author Topic: Puzzle Quest for DS/PSP  (Read 23909 times)
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« Reply #120 on: March 26, 2007, 03:56:37 PM »

Two things I've been doing which seem to limit the AI cheating:

1.  Unless nothing else is available, IGNORE the recommended move.  Perhaps others have different experience, but in mine, the recommendations generally work to the AI's favor (although occasionally it will recommend 4-5 item combos I may have missed).

2.  As mentioned above, try to avoid any area which could turn against you.  The AI seems to make mistakes, so give it the opportunity to make mistakes, rather than being the one to do so.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2007, 04:05:27 PM by unbreakable » Logged
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« Reply #121 on: March 26, 2007, 04:16:45 PM »

Quote from: unbreakable on March 26, 2007, 03:56:37 PM

2.  As mentioned above, try to avoid any area which could turn against you.  The AI seems to make mistakes, so give it the opportunity to make mistakes, rather than being the one to do so.

This is a big one for me... once I started avoiding the side with all the skulls stacked at the top things starting going much better for me. smile I'm still pretty awful at seeing things on the board, sometimes I can sit for 10 seconds staring at the suggested move and nto see what the hell it is suggesting...  retard but I'm getting better.
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« Reply #122 on: March 26, 2007, 04:56:27 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on March 26, 2007, 05:33:14 AM

Quote from: Misguided on March 25, 2007, 11:31:31 PM

Quote from: TiLT on March 25, 2007, 05:35:33 PM

Some further elaboration on my post above: I've now noticed that the first board layout after booting the game is *always* the same. This is kind of annoying and gives me the impression that they didn't properly seed the random number generator in the game.

The board is literally identical each time?

Yes. Every single gem, but only the first round after booting up. After that, it's all random. As I said above, I think they just forgot to seed their random number generator so that the same pattern of random numbers are going to be generated every time you play this game.

I am noticing that some boards that are identical, too. I already know what moves I am going to make and the AI is going to make at least 5 turns in (If I make the same moves, I am guaranteed a 4 skull match by turn 4). After that, it begins to differ based on the type of mana the different monsters are looking for, but I'm starting to question if there is an randomness at all once a board is loaded. I've noticed this particular board with Orcs, with Trolls, and now with a Centaur. Booting up doesn't seem to make a difference, as this board still appears multiple times in one play session, or across play sessions.
 
Don't get me wrong, I'm still having a great time with the game and I'm not regretting my purchase, but it is getting annoying. I want randomly generated boards every time. frown
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« Reply #123 on: March 26, 2007, 05:01:54 PM »

Quote from: Qantaga on March 26, 2007, 04:56:27 PM

Don't get me wrong, I'm still having a great time with the game and I'm not regretting my purchase, but it is getting annoying. I want randomly generated boards every time. frown

The alternative is a really poor memory. I find that works wonders for me. slywink
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« Reply #124 on: March 26, 2007, 05:05:28 PM »

Quote from: coopasonic on March 26, 2007, 05:01:54 PM

Quote from: Qantaga on March 26, 2007, 04:56:27 PM

Don't get me wrong, I'm still having a great time with the game and I'm not regretting my purchase, but it is getting annoying. I want randomly generated boards every time. frown

The alternative is a really poor memory. I find that works wonders for me. slywink

It works for me, too  thumbsup  If you don't remember the boards, they ALL seem randomly generated.
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« Reply #125 on: March 26, 2007, 05:08:24 PM »

Oh, another thing I noticed:  the capture puzzles are always the same.  There is a forum thread over at GameFAQs, so there will eventually be a solution faq for all the captures.

What's really turned into a pain in the butt for me is the spell research puzzles.  You can't use any abilities, and you need to use scrolls created by 4/5 matches... and match them.  All without the board going to no available moves.  Very difficult, very luck-based.
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« Reply #126 on: March 26, 2007, 05:11:51 PM »

Quote from: Qantaga on March 26, 2007, 04:56:27 PM

Quote from: TiLT on March 26, 2007, 05:33:14 AM

Quote from: Misguided on March 25, 2007, 11:31:31 PM

Quote from: TiLT on March 25, 2007, 05:35:33 PM

Some further elaboration on my post above: I've now noticed that the first board layout after booting the game is *always* the same. This is kind of annoying and gives me the impression that they didn't properly seed the random number generator in the game.

The board is literally identical each time?

Yes. Every single gem, but only the first round after booting up. After that, it's all random. As I said above, I think they just forgot to seed their random number generator so that the same pattern of random numbers are going to be generated every time you play this game.

I am noticing that some boards that are identical, too. I already know what moves I am going to make and the AI is going to make at least 5 turns in (If I make the same moves, I am guaranteed a 4 skull match by turn 4). After that, it begins to differ based on the type of mana the different monsters are looking for, but I'm starting to question if there is an randomness at all once a board is loaded. I've noticed this particular board with Orcs, with Trolls, and now with a Centaur. Booting up doesn't seem to make a difference, as this board still appears multiple times in one play session, or across play sessions.
 
Don't get me wrong, I'm still having a great time with the game and I'm not regretting my purchase, but it is getting annoying. I want randomly generated boards every time. frown

There's no such thing as a random number on a computer, and that's the source of this problem. Imagine that you have a set of millions of different dice to choose from. Each of these dice will roll the same exact numbers every day, so if you choose die number 4000 (for example), it might always roll 4, 1, 6, 6, 3, 2, 5 as the first rolls every day, in that exact order. Despite this limitation, you use something that changes a lot in your environment and is almost impossible to predict as a number deciding which die you will roll any given day. Since there's such a large variation of dice to choose from, you'll be given the illusion of total randomness. This is what a computer does today. You feed it with a seed number usually taken from the computer's internal clock, and this seed decides which number pattern will be used. The problem with Puzzle Quest is that it doesn't create a seed. It always picks the same die and thus always generates the same pattern of random numbers every time you play. It's a very basic part of programming, so I'm a bit disappointed that they didn't catch this bug (if that's what it is).
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« Reply #127 on: March 26, 2007, 07:16:52 PM »

Since it'll be a long while before I try any of the other classes, I'm curious what kinds of combos people are coming up with with their characters.

Here's the combo I mentioned earlier for my level 20ish wizard:

Equipped with items that make skulls do extra damage depending on my red mana stores.
Enrage spell running to do the same.
Haste running to do 4 damage each time I get an extra turn.

I wait until there are 4/5 red & green gems in a row
Cast Burn to turn all green into red, with a guaranteed extra turn because of the above.
Cast Flaming Skulls to turn all blue into red, almost certain to spark at least one extra turn, often a whole series of chains giving me max red mana and a whole lot of repeated damage from Haste.
Cast...some orc spell that destroys all the hordes of red on the field, and makes the enemy lose two turns plus another for every 8 red destroyed (usually 3-4 skipped turns for the enemy)
Now I have some leisurely time to clear out all the 4-in-a-row opporunities for the coins, skulls, and XP, with those extra free turns to allow me to do 4-in-a-rows that might take two steps.  My red mana is certainly maxed at this point, meaning I've got an extra 40 to my battle skill helping to trigger more free turns on the skulls.  Each extra turn is another 4 damage done.
I'm left with an almost entirely yellow board, which let's my griffon's Death Dive (1 dmg per yellow on the field) do 18-20 damage.
After clearing out yellow 4-in-a-row opportunities, at this point I sometimes use the orc spell a 2nd time for two free turns, use those 2 turns to again turn any new greens and blues into reds, and then do a slightly wimpier second round of the same sequence.

The biggest weakness is that I need to have a lot of mana stored up beforehand, because after the attack it'll be a while before green or blue will be easy to find.  A "no moves left" mana drain leaves me pretty vulnerable.
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« Reply #128 on: March 26, 2007, 07:19:12 PM »

I've been playing more defensively as of late & have been getting fairly good results.  I'll either grab the mana my enemy needs OR make a play towards the very top of the screen.  If I see some red or yellow or skulls & fours (mage's need red & yellow), I'll go for it.

Needless to say, I'm VERY satisfied with this game.  Very fun, really enjoy it.
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« Reply #129 on: March 26, 2007, 08:21:27 PM »

I like the strategy that makes you choose whether to do damage or go for mana.  Once you get some spells like Throwing Axe or Cleave, you can do 10-15 damage per turn.  So, if I see a chance to take the last bit of mana I need to cast that, I'll certainly pass on a 5 damage opportunity.
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« Reply #130 on: March 26, 2007, 09:19:06 PM »

Yeah, throwing axe is pretty much my main damage source now. I don't have anything like wonderpug's strategy, that sounds overwhelmingly powerful if you can pull it off.
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« Reply #131 on: March 26, 2007, 09:38:17 PM »

I'm playing a level 20 wizard with a deep focus on fire spells. My Fire Mastery skill is at 29, while my Air Mastery is 28. My third focus skill is Cunning, which is at 11. Morale has been pumped up to 10 through the use of crafted items. The rest of the skills I haven't put any points in. My combat spells are Fire Bolt, Mana Burn, Heat Sink, Fireball, Flaming Skulls, and Cauterize. My Giant Rat gives me Rabid Bite which I rarely use. I've crafted some powerful custom items that make sure I start every battle with 27 red and 19 yellow mana, enough to cause serious pain to my opponent. I usually win initiative.

My purpose in battle isn't to build up a huge winning combo. Instead I try to be an opportunist with a spell for "every" situation and opponent. If my opponent has powerful spells that require lots of mana to cast (ogres with Thump! for example), I make sure to cast Mana Burn at every opportunity. Otherwise I will attempt to build my blue and green mana reserves to a respectable level and cast Fireball at any clusters of skulls, especially the +5 skulls that not only deal extra damage but also increase the blast radius of the Fireball. If I get low on red mana while my opponent has stockpiled it, I'll cast Heat Sink. If there are no viable clusters of skulls and I don't need any more mana, I'll cast Fire Bolt. Cauterize is for emergencies, so I rarely use it. The most dangerous spell in my arsenal is Flaming Skulls. I only cast it when I see that it will give me an extra turn immediately. I then pick up any other extra turns I can see, and finally blast as many skulls as I can with another Fireball.

Using these simple tactics I'm often capable of bringing my enemy down to 1/3 of his health or so before he's even capable of hurting me, depending on which enemy I face of course.
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« Reply #132 on: March 26, 2007, 10:06:57 PM »

Wow, sounds like my strategies pretty much suck.  I took the knight dude, the best I can do is cast the occasional stun.
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« Reply #133 on: March 26, 2007, 10:21:41 PM »

My strategy is matching 3 jewels.  4, if I get the chance.

I suppose that's why I'm not doing as well as Tilt. 
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« Reply #134 on: March 26, 2007, 10:25:43 PM »

I have a little strategy, but nothing great with my lvl 12 druid.  The game is still very fun, even if I lose battles.
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« Reply #135 on: March 27, 2007, 02:16:06 PM »

Quote from: Gratch on March 26, 2007, 10:21:41 PM

My strategy is matching 3 jewels.  4, if I get the chance.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Slow down, Einstein.

 icon_lol
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« Reply #136 on: March 27, 2007, 10:27:18 PM »

You guys are killing me with this thread... guess I'm stopping by EB on the way home from work tonight. icon_neutral
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« Reply #137 on: March 27, 2007, 11:59:13 PM »

Target still didn't have it in, so I had to settle for a 'new' unshrinkwrapped copy from Gamestop.  I got over the self-loathing when I started it up and got sucked in.  I spent about 5 hours playing, which is probably my longest stint on the DS.
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« Reply #138 on: March 28, 2007, 02:47:56 AM »

Yay my order arrived a day early.  Now to spend some time with it!
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« Reply #139 on: March 28, 2007, 04:10:57 AM »

I love this game.
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« Reply #140 on: March 28, 2007, 03:10:00 PM »

Question - can you capture opponents via the Instant Action part of single player? Or does it only work for those you find multiple times in the actual Quest game?

And yes, I love this game.
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« Reply #141 on: March 28, 2007, 03:24:31 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on March 28, 2007, 03:10:00 PM

Question - can you capture opponents via the Instant Action part of single player? Or does it only work for those you find multiple times in the actual Quest game?
You can't capture them, AFAIK, but you can kill them 3 times in instant action so that you can capture them the very next time you see them in Quest mode.
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« Reply #142 on: March 28, 2007, 03:30:04 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on March 28, 2007, 03:24:31 PM

Quote from: Destructor on March 28, 2007, 03:10:00 PM

Question - can you capture opponents via the Instant Action part of single player? Or does it only work for those you find multiple times in the actual Quest game?
You can't capture them, AFAIK, but you can kill them 3 times in instant action so that you can capture them the very next time you see them in Quest mode.
Exactly what I do.  Works perfectly.

Does anyone know how high of a level you can train a mount?  Is it 50, like the level cap for your adventurer?
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« Reply #143 on: March 28, 2007, 03:36:16 PM »

Quote from: depward on March 28, 2007, 03:30:04 PM

yone know how high of a level you can train a mount?  Is it 50, like the level cap for your adventurer?

I wonder what that would entail, "Defeat this level 49 rat in .5 seconds a turn!"

I'm a bit disappointed in the mount selection so far.  I got my griffon pretty early in the game, but now at level 31 I don't think I've seen anything else rideable since then.  I'm impressed with the variety of enemies, though, with such a limited framework they continue to bring new enemy types that don't seem cookie-cutter in the way they fight.

The storyline also continues to be interesting, with some very entertaining side quests and characters.  Make sure you don't skip any quests with a character who's hungry!
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« Reply #144 on: March 28, 2007, 05:46:37 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on March 28, 2007, 03:24:31 PM

Quote from: Destructor on March 28, 2007, 03:10:00 PM

Question - can you capture opponents via the Instant Action part of single player? Or does it only work for those you find multiple times in the actual Quest game?
You can't capture them, AFAIK, but you can kill them 3 times in instant action so that you can capture them the very next time you see them in Quest mode.

Time to spend more time in Instant Action mode then. biggrin

And that said - shame on the devs for not releasing this on the PC right now. I'd buy two copies (as I already have the PSP one) just so I can play another class while I'm at work.

And as far as the AI 'cheating' - I've gotten 2 Heroic Efforts (get a 5 chain or more in a single turn), which netted me an instant 100exp. Makes leveling just a bit easier. Gotta hit 10 with my Wizard for Fireball pronto.
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« Reply #145 on: March 28, 2007, 06:12:11 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on March 28, 2007, 05:46:37 PM

And as far as the AI 'cheating' - I've gotten 2 Heroic Efforts (get a 5 chain or more in a single turn), which netted me an instant 100exp. Makes leveling just a bit easier. Gotta hit 10 with my Wizard for Fireball pronto.

Here's Steve Fawkner's (who apparently did the AI) response to the cheating worries:

Quote
Hi All,

I can definitely state that the AI in NO way cheats, nor does it know what gems are going to fall. I wrote the AI code myself, so I am 100% certain of this.

Look at it another way...
a) I am a programmer, so I'm basically lazy
b) Writing a cheating AI with look-ahead & multiple board evaluations is a LOT more work than writing a non-cheating AI that merely evaluates a single board
c) If I wanted to make the game harder, I actually would have done the LAZY thing and just given the monsters more Life Points

Cheers

-Steve

Laziness wins again!
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« Reply #146 on: March 28, 2007, 07:31:42 PM »

You got a griffon?  Man, all I have is rat.  I have pet envy.
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« Reply #147 on: March 28, 2007, 07:39:37 PM »

I dreamt about this game last night.  I got it yesterday.  I have tests this week.... I may fail college because of puzzle quest.


<not actually likely to fail because of this game>
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« Reply #148 on: March 28, 2007, 08:54:59 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on March 28, 2007, 06:12:11 PM

Here's Steve Fawkner's (who apparently did the AI) response to the cheating worries:

Quote
Hi All,

I can definitely state that the AI in NO way cheats, nor does it know what gems are going to fall. I wrote the AI code myself, so I am 100% certain of this.

Look at it another way...
a) I am a programmer, so I'm basically lazy
b) Writing a cheating AI with look-ahead & multiple board evaluations is a LOT more work than writing a non-cheating AI that merely evaluates a single board
c) If I wanted to make the game harder, I actually would have done the LAZY thing and just given the monsters more Life Points

Laziness wins again!

You know, he does make a very good point. It's much easier just making the AI check the board (and the hell with what happens) than making the AI 'look ahead' to see what will happen if it makes a certain move (to get combos).

Go go small game devs - they actually talk to their consumers. biggrin
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« Reply #149 on: March 28, 2007, 10:45:40 PM »



Love it!!
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« Reply #150 on: March 28, 2007, 11:39:06 PM »

Quote from: Gratch on March 28, 2007, 10:45:40 PM



Love it!!

Fantastic. And it's great to see the game get the attention it deserves thanks to the PA crew.
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« Reply #151 on: March 29, 2007, 05:43:13 PM »

So, I've just hit level 10, so my Wizard is now a Fireball totin' Wizard of Doom. Nothing quite like blowing up a chunk of the board (and taking out a few +5 Skulls in the process). smile

And for your tip of the day - get that Forge built and go dig around for the Runes you need to make better stuff (you'll find an option at most of the locations on the map). Not only are the items absurdly powerful (I've already built a bunch of items that total to +16 Red to start, +8 Yellow to start, +3 to Air, and +1 Damage), but you'd be surprised at the level of mobs you can take down (defeated a few +7s already just for Runes).

Makes the game that much more fun.
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« Reply #152 on: March 29, 2007, 08:35:23 PM »

Currently stymied by the first boss.  I get one turn, and then usually he goes 4 or 5 times...  this doesn't end well for me.

Need to look at my skills and items again, maybe I can rearrange things to get an advantage.  I need to get the burn(?) skill, the one that changes all greens to reds...  it combos nicely with beserker rage which turns all reds to skulls and doesn't end my turn if I have enough red mana.
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« Reply #153 on: March 29, 2007, 08:52:22 PM »

I have a knight...any good strategies?  Is everyone a wizard? 

And forgive me if this is in the manual I haven't read it, but what is the downside to losing a battle?  Several battles I have lost, it tells me I got some experience and then I still have to fight that monster again and win for the story to move on.  It seems like it would be a good idea to lose so I could get more experience.  Do I not get as good of items? or some other penalty for losing?

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« Reply #154 on: March 29, 2007, 09:16:04 PM »

Quote from: farley2k on March 29, 2007, 08:52:22 PM

I have a knight...any good strategies?  Is everyone a wizard? 

I'm playing a Knight as well, and am up to 20th level.  FWIW, I use very few spells and concentrate more on regular skull attacks.  I do 13 damage on a standard 3 skull combo, and will occasionally use the Stun spell to get in an extra couple combos.  I've mainly been pumping up my Battle and Morale skills (they're both at 21, iirc), and have only put a couple points each into the masteries and cunning.  I've also crafted a couple decent weapons that give me pluses to damage and mana.

Not sure how this build will hold up over the long run, but I've only lost a few times and can take on enemies 3-4 levels higher than me with no problem.  The nice thing is that I'm really not dependent on any particular mana type to succeed.  I can play defensive and try to keep the opponent from gaining mana, but I find that simply focusing on basic skull combos is pretty successful.

Quote
And forgive me if this is in the manual I haven't read it, but what is the downside to losing a battle?  Several battles I have lost, it tells me I got some experience and then I still have to fight that monster again and win for the story to move on.  It seems like it would be a good idea to lose so I could get more experience.  Do I not get as good of items? or some other penalty for losing?

The only disadvantage I see to losing is that you don't get the extra EXP and Gold bonuses you would normally get if you win.  I don't think there's any kind of XP ding for losing.
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« Reply #155 on: March 29, 2007, 09:28:10 PM »

I'm a level 17 warrior and my strategy is to line skulls up. If I can't line skulls up and have mana I use throw axe. If I can't throw axe, I try to get the mana I need for throw axe. I'm a strategic genius!
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« Reply #156 on: March 29, 2007, 10:05:37 PM »

I'm a warrior.  I have a regeneration ring, so as long as I keep 6 (?) blue mana, I get +1hp per turn.  My general strategy is to first look at what colors the other guy needs for his powers and deny him those colors.  When the board gets enough skulls, I'll use throw axe, often turn after turn until I'm mana depleted.  That's usually good for a major whallop.  If I see enough yellows, I'll do the power that takes all the yellows off the board and does damage for each one.  That power usually gets me 4 in a row as the different gems start falling into the vacant spaces.

That's really about it.

If I can deny the other guy the use of his powers, my regen ring keeps my health up, and I come out victorious.
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« Reply #157 on: March 30, 2007, 12:04:00 AM »

Quote from: Gratch on March 29, 2007, 09:16:04 PM

Quote from: farley2k on March 29, 2007, 08:52:22 PM

I have a knight...any good strategies?  Is everyone a wizard? 

I'm playing a Knight as well, and am up to 20th level.  FWIW, I use very few spells and concentrate more on regular skull attacks.  I do 13 damage on a standard 3 skull combo, and will occasionally use the Stun spell to get in an extra couple combos.  I've mainly been pumping up my Battle and Morale skills (they're both at 21, iirc), and have only put a couple points each into the masteries and cunning.  I've also crafted a couple decent weapons that give me pluses to damage and mana.

Not sure how this build will hold up over the long run, but I've only lost a few times and can take on enemies 3-4 levels higher than me with no problem.  The nice thing is that I'm really not dependent on any particular mana type to succeed.  I can play defensive and try to keep the opponent from gaining mana, but I find that simply focusing on basic skull combos is pretty successful.

Quote
And forgive me if this is in the manual I haven't read it, but what is the downside to losing a battle?  Several battles I have lost, it tells me I got some experience and then I still have to fight that monster again and win for the story to move on.  It seems like it would be a good idea to lose so I could get more experience.  Do I not get as good of items? or some other penalty for losing?

The only disadvantage I see to losing is that you don't get the extra EXP and Gold bonuses you would normally get if you win.  I don't think there's any kind of XP ding for losing.

Stun also does damage based upon how much Red mana you have.  I need to start boosting up my Red mastery.
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« Reply #158 on: March 30, 2007, 01:42:19 PM »

My strategy with my lvl 9 knight is pretty much to whack them whenever I can.  I check out their abilities and see if they've got anything that will hit me or heal them, and try to target the mana they need for that first.  If I can't steal the mana they need, I go for skulls, then the mana I need for Stun, or Trample.  I also usually try to keep the mana available for Thrust (btw, i know when you use thrust, you get something for the spaces around the one you hit, but I'm unclear on what you get exactly), and sometimes Favor/Divine Right can get you out of a tight spot.

I'm torn on whether to put more points into my mana masteries to help with special abilities, or just crank points into damage and hitpoints.
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« Reply #159 on: March 30, 2007, 01:55:39 PM »

Quote from: Chaz on March 30, 2007, 01:42:19 PM

(btw, i know when you use thrust, you get something for the spaces around the one you hit, but I'm unclear on what you get exactly)

If it's anything like my Wizard's Fireball spell (which destroys a 3x3 square on the board), you gain mana/exp/gold for whatever I destroy. If I take out 2 Skulls, I deal 2 damage. 3 Red Gems = 3 Red Mana.

I thought Thrust though was a single square destroy skill. If so, you'll gain the effects of whatever you blow up. I found it useful for immediately taking out those +5 Skulls for massive damage.
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