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Aug 24 10 5:47 PM

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Lately I've been playing "hardcore" style: no restoring from save games. Death is final, mistakes are have to be dealt with, you have to identify items for real, etc. (I still make backup saves occasionally in case the game crashes or whatever, though that hasn't happened yet).

Additionally, I don't rest to restore mana and HP -- I think that operating with full HP and mana all the time makes it too easy, especially once you have rune of return. I don't "wait around" to restore HP either, but I do allow myself to take advantage of low HP situations to play with Wand of Create Traps or to walk back to town and sell items.

Oh, I do allow myself to rest for a few seconds near the top of the hour if a monster is active to wake me -- this lets me get 2 points of mana regen instead of 1. I don't think that's much of a cheat, especially since most of the time I forget to do it.

After a bunch of frustrating Part 2 deaths, I finally won the whole thing on Easy difficulty. I tried ExpertsOnly next and got destroyed.. that might be actually impossible under the rules I set for myself.
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#1 [url]

Aug 30 10 4:55 PM

On easy, Part I took about 1 day 16 hours or so, including the forced "1 day travel time". Part II took just a few minutes under 2 days .. I was rushing at the end.

My starting stats were:
Max DEX, probably the most important stat since it boosts both AC and to-hit.
Max STR, next most important since it boosts damage and speed.
INT just a hair above minimum so you start with 3 mana instead of 2.
The rest to CON, fairly close to max.

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#3 [url]

Sep 7 10 9:03 AM

Playing on Intermediate now. I increased INT slightly, dropping CON to compensate -- the first dungeon is the hardest part of the game, and I think this made it easier.

Beat part I in 1d 21h 28m (as always, this includes the 1 wasted day).

I'm at DL12, XL9. Not going to post full equipment list, but its pretty decent except no Pack of Holding yet. I have found 3 potions of increasing stats so far, which is nice. I used up nearly all the healing potions and scrolls from the shops (remember, can't rest to restore mana and health), and worried a little before realizing that there were about 10 staves of Cure Medium available also. The fun thing about this playstyle is that the items for sale in the shops become a lot more relevant, instead of normal where you just check every so often for a better weapon

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#4 [url]

Sep 8 10 4:14 PM

Still in the same game on Intermediate. I'm at about 1d16h and counting for part II.

From DL12-25 I descended as quickly as possible, ignoring most items to look for a pack of holding. There were none! I did get a bunch more potions of stat increase and, at DL24, speed boots. I just reached XL10, plus a potion of gain level in reserve. I have 200 000+ cash in the bank even after buying out nearly all the consumables (I keep them in a big stack next to the temple). At this point I think I can just kill Sutur, make my way back up, and ignore all the items I passed up before.

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#5 [url]

Feb 15 11 12:19 PM

I made some silly mistake and died in the intermediate game. However, I still consider is mostly a success since I reached nearly the end, and would have easily won with just a little care.

Now I'm playing Experts Only, but I'm stuck.

- XL 6, and 900 xp away from XL7
- Explored the first 8 levels of the fortress thoroughly, but now safely back in town
- 102 AC, "very strongly hit/strongly damage" war hammer
- 9/57 HP, 0/20 mana

The problem is.. the only healing item left is a 2-charge staff in a shop, There are no mana increasing potions left. The only offensive items are an 8-charge wand of MM and an 8-charge wand of lightning bolt, also in a shop. I can't afford all three of them (the war hammer was quite expensive), but even if I could they wouldn't last long. So it seems the only thing I can do is walk back to the fortress and fight monsters until I run out of HP, which will be very soon.

If only I could make it to the second game, I think I would be fine, because there are tons of shops, and finding just a couple armors will give me enough gold to load up on healing and mana items.

EDIT: I saved and uploaded to in case anyone wants to play around with it or offer suggestions.

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#6 [url]

Feb 28 11 12:04 AM

..I wandered around in the upper dungeons clearing out easy monsters for xp. Eventually ran out of monsters, descended too deep, and died. One strategy I'm going to try next game is to leave one monster alive per level (slimes are perfect) so it will continue to generate random monsters even when I'm not on it.

A good tactic I've discovered is overcasting. No, not the wraparound bug, but simply casting healing spells even when your mana is zero. At first, there will usually be no bad effect at all. Eventually you'll start losing CON and a little max HP each time. Next you'll keep losing CON but not maxHP. Once you start losing maxHP again you are in real trouble... but it can be fixed with 3000 gold to the temple to restore CON. (You'll still be at negative mana until you level up).

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#7 [url]

Apr 22 11 8:33 AM

I think this is an interesting ruleset compared to the iron man ruleset I've been operating under - you get to use shops and retreat back to safer ground, but you don't get much if any hp/mana back and basically have to speedrun through the game. I'm going to try this next if I still feel like playing CotW.

In what order do you take spells and in what situations do you use them over fighting? What do you just run from?

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