Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Dungeon Master: Wine of Fate

The collection of challenge rooms start off this session being disappointing. First, I was had to wade through two encounters only to discover that they were guarding a door I had no clue how to open. Fair enough. Then the next room over was a series of blocks, the first appearance of spinners. These were more annoying than dangerous, probably because there weren't any enemies there. The end goal was to find a switch on the western wall, which revealed a gold key. I assume that opens the big door near the start, but would anyone really do that before checking the rest of the rooms.

Then, things get interesting, with an area called Hit and Run. The intended idea is to press a button, rush into a room that opens up at the end of a long and twisty hallway. In practice, this particular bit is too easy. I went past the point I was supposed to go to reach a pit, a pressure plate and another button. Thinking I was to use the original button to keep the pit closed, I spent several attempts trying to think along these lines. The death screen is just a blank screen with THE END on it in fancy text. No, the real pathway forward is to press the new button, and throw something into the teleport field it creates. This gets me another gold key...huh...interesting, surely there is a purpose for this. Because of all this I end up not filling in this section of the map, though that seems easily fixable if absolutely necessary.
Combat in particular continues to be troublesome. Every fight seems to require the utmost precision, preparation in the event of poison, and post-combat clean-up, to pick up the items I have thrown or otherwise dropped. Sometimes these processes are stopped by yet another monster, potentially requiring me to just retreat. This is making me nervous about the game in general. I can handle this now, but with the incredibly rare stat increases along with the gradually reducing food items, for how long?
Well, the answer as I continued to fight through the level was, pretty well. At some point I got another sword which seems to have solved my problems. The overall perceived enemy strength remains the same, though through being spread out through two or three groups of enemies. I'm not so much combat waltzing, but attacking, rushing back, and repeating. This doesn't work perfectly all the time, hence the odd retreat. My time is slightly wasted by having to redraw my map, thanks to making a few mistakes in the early part.
Areas here after aren't terribly interesting, maybe a token puzzle or hidden switch. Its mostly fighting. One area in particular has respawning enemies, which I don't view as a bad thing, though don't go assuming my opinions on them have changed in actual FPSes. I'm wasting more or less the same resources I am by just walking around up here as I am fighting. Its not even hiding any secrets, I'm just tapping walls for no reason. That's how you discover fake walls, by tapping them. I've also attempted to bash doors via attacking, but it doesn't seem like my party is doing anything. Speaking of which, magic is proving to be very slow increasing indeed. The fellow I'm using as a wizard functions exclusively as a walking torch and my cleric burns out of mana after a few potions. Heaven help me if I forget which sequence is for the cure poison spell, or I have to rest.

Interestingly, rooms in the area continue to hide things from me. A few of these are solved by pressing buttons I missed or by figuring out that the unlocking spell is a ranged attack. This finishes off this section with 5 keys. Which is interesting since there are 6 rooms. Is this a trick? No, I only needed 4 keys, the 5th was for another door containing some poison monsters and a nice piece of armor.

The third floor throws some interesting changes in combat. We still have the old rock poison snail things, but now we have poison worms. These lovely fellows are actually difficult to kill in one sitting, even with an axe I found down here. Good thing there's enough room for waltzing or I'd never win. That one sitting thing isn't a joke either, Zed and Sonja nearly ran out of stamina fighting the damn things. They drop worm rings, sort of like the mushrooms did, but its hardly satisfying to eat. A couple of interesting things popped up in the brief period I spent on this floor. Doors can definitely be bashed down, there was a hint next to a door and the axe. The other was a multi-part puzzle. There's a button on the floor, because of game logic, I can't weigh this down, nor can I rush to the door it opens. The solution? There's a button on the wall that teleports you a square to the right, thus reducing the amount of squares I need to rush.

This Session: 1 hour

Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes

No comments:

Post a Comment