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valiance

Brutal Difficulty

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For the argument about sage wrights being less useful due to taking your heroes- you should have 3 keeps early and build a 4th later. Heroes should never be a limiting factor! Breed them like crazy!

Note that getting Child-Averse from children visiting your heroes makes this less viable. ;) But it's working out well for me because I've enjoyed fighting at two or three levels below the enemies. I think it's really cool that our playstyles have differed but both are viable (yours moreso, and I still haven't gotten to the final fight yet but can probably scrape up a couple of level 10s in time).

Again, I can't stress accuracy enough when it comes to hunters.

Very yes. I'm getting hurt pretty badly by missed shots in the late game. At least I can bring 4 Blastcappers for a nice Charge-fest.

Part of me wants to try a play through using caberjacks (shadow jacks for sure) or alchemists. However, i feel like they will die in battle too much and i will rage quit xD. Maybe ill do it without iron mode so i can always replay battles if things go south. I'm probably done with iron brutal unless they release something that makes me want to try it again. It was just as much stressful as it was fun, I did feel accomplished at the end though!

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I've been on Caberjacks and Alchemists for most of the game, and it's definitely not bad with healing and armor. Most of the battles come down to stunning enemies to focus them down and using Prime Target effectively as needed.

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I'm in the middle of a brutal iron, close to year 140 or so. So far, things are going pretty good. I haven't had any team wipes, and only a few hero losses on the battle field. My heroes have decently kept up experience wise, they average around level 5, with some of my more stellar folk having 6 or 7. I think it helps the first keep I built was built in the outer layer, which had a bonus "All heroes +kill XP" so everyone is getting a little extra from fighting way early on.

In a previous brutal iron run, I couldn't get a hunter keep up an running, so there were a few battles where I was stuck with alchemist and caberjacks, which was like handicapping myself. This run I've managed to get a keep for each, and sagewright guild and crucible as well. I've got two relics -- a stellar caber relic that is level 5 or 6, plus a hunter relic that is around level 3. I had a shadowjack that with that level for quite a while, and they were a machine for cadence eliminations.

I also managed to get Might of the Walrus, and managed to get that into two of my family lines, so I was excited about that luck. So far haven't lost a region, partly due to lucky draw at the beginning in terms of where the strikes were, and managing where I assault.

So we'll see how things continue to go...

Smiles

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I'm in the middle of a brutal iron, close to year 140 or so. So far, things are going pretty good. I haven't had any team wipes, and only a few hero losses on the battle field. My heroes have decently kept up experience wise, they average around level 5, with some of my more stellar folk having 6 or 7. I think it helps the first keep I built was built in the outer layer, which had a bonus "All heroes +kill XP" so everyone is getting a little extra from fighting way early on.

In a previous brutal iron run, I couldn't get a hunter keep up an running, so there were a few battles where I was stuck with alchemist and caberjacks, which was like handicapping myself. This run I've managed to get a keep for each, and sagewright guild and crucible as well. I've got two relics -- a stellar caber relic that is level 5 or 6, plus a hunter relic that is around level 3. I had a shadowjack that with that level for quite a while, and they were a machine for cadence eliminations.

I also managed to get Might of the Walrus, and managed to get that into two of my family lines, so I was excited about that luck. So far haven't lost a region, partly due to lucky draw at the beginning in terms of where the strikes were, and managing where I assault.

So we'll see how things continue to go...

Smiles

Good Luck! Watch out for the Twitchers!!!!

I've never had "might of the Walrus" what does that do?

Also- It may have been a glitch but has anyone gotten the event where your hero drinks some sort of drink and it gives them higher longevity? I had a starting hero live through my whole game (she was over 300 years old!!!!!!) Thank goodness she wasnt a regeant haha. This was on my first normal difficulty run i ever did.

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Luckily my shadowjack with a relic could handle twitchers pretty nicely.

Might of the Walrus event brings someone back with a personality trait, that adds like +6 strength to the hero. It was first on my Hunter line, which isn't that beneficial, but marrying one of the Hunters to my Caberjack house, and then throwing in a standard with it, has helped it propagate.

In regards to the Murch potion, back in June there was a bug with it -- it would repeatedly make your hero last longer and longer. They fixed that bug, and those heroes only get a longevity boost once: http://www.doublefine.com/forums/viewthread/17223/

Smiles

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I'm in the middle of a brutal iron, close to year 140 or so. So far, things are going pretty good. I haven't had any team wipes, and only a few hero losses on the battle field. My heroes have decently kept up experience wise, they average around level 5, with some of my more stellar folk having 6 or 7.

Yeah, that seems like a good pace. I hit a wall at average level 5 for a few decades from, like, year 160-200 maybe. Hopefully that doesn't happen to you!

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I'm in the midst of the last battle, but I don't think it is going well enough. Just too many waves for me. Too depressing and zapping my energy to keep playing. Ha.

Smiles

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Brutal Iron is done!!! =D And with a wonderful, delightful ending, the likes of which I had never seen before!

Super in-depth write-up to follow soon! In the meantime, keep up those Alchemist bloodlines. ;)

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Brutal Iron is done!!! =D And with a wonderful, delightful ending, the likes of which I had never seen before!

Super in-depth write-up to follow soon! In the meantime, keep up those Alchemist bloodlines. ;)

I got to watch this. I gave a couple of hints, but getting to watch the moment of realisation when an ancestor appeared was awesome :D

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Okay, here comes the write-up. I'm breaking it up into multiple posts so it's hopefully easier to follow.

I’ve gone into some detail, so this will definitely be long, but hopefully it’s useful. Refer back to other write-ups for a second opinion if you’d like, and, of course, there will be SPOILERS.

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**********

Summary

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Before getting into it, I’d like to emphasize that if you play cautiously, fight conservatively, and keep heroes alive in combat, Brutal isn’t all that bad. I believe in you. You can do it. =D

The defining characteristic of my run was Child-Averse. For the random event where children show up at the Capital, there’s an option to send them to the barracks to hang out with your heroes. This can either give all heroes Patriotic (+speed, evasion, and accuracy) or Child-Averse (-fertility). Patriotic is worth the risk, IMO, but it depends on where you’re at.

I got this event at Year 40 or so, and I was fully rid of Child-Averse around year 200. Despite getting a Crucible and Sagewright’s Guild at good times, I couldn’t keep them staffed due to having so few heroes. This kept my average party level stuck for a while at 4~5, and at one point it was level 6 against Adv. Cradles and Wrinklers.

I found this extremely satisfying, but it’s very hard. I’d recommend a straight reset on that Child-Averse event if it comes early, unless you’re really looking for a challenge. It’s a fun struggle, but definitely a struggle – spending five minutes on a turn in order to concoct the perfect tactic to keep everyone alive is richly rewarding.

Other than that, I went with one Keep of each class, with the Backer on my Alchemists and a Hunter Keep to join them at the start. I brought in Caberjacks around year 100 or so, and I sorely missed the knockback for a while. At some point, I was on only Blastcappers and Boomstrikers, which worked fine. I also only ended up with three relics (after giving the fourth away…), including the Backer, and only ended up using two of them.

I kept all 10 regions up well past year 200, losing one in order to save a Keep and forgoing two more for a much-needed reward. Two Keeps on the inner ring and one on the outer (for Fertility Boost), with a Crucible on the inner and a Sagewright’s Guild on the outer (for Research Boost). I still had four Keep attacks and one Guild attack, but I enjoyed the Keep attacks for close quarters and having more party members (and being able to give more XP to a Regent, or being able to kill them if I needed to replace them with a younger hero). Not sure if it actually matters which region you choose, but with my outer Keep on Ebbot Marsh, I only had one layout in which my party was split at the start.

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General Strategy

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- In combat, be cautious. Don’t run out towards Fog of War. Wait for out-of-range enemies to come a little closer. Try to provoke individual enemies out of groups. That kind of stuff. When in doubt, End Turn.

- Out of combat, plan ahead. When Regents are getting into their 50s, know who will be taking their places, and don’t endeavor to fill your Guilds if a lot of Regents or Partners if you’ll need to be retiring heroes soon. Also, pay attention to when trainees come of age so you know if it’s safe to retire your best heroes.

- If you can help it, keep all of your heroes alive. You don’t know for sure how many enemies are left, and you don’t want to find yourself short-staffed.

- I found it advantageous to leave Keeps unoccupied briefly if it meant I could get the would-be Regent some more XP in combat. Battles come every 8-10 years, so if you think one’s coming up soon, consider holding off on retirement. I didn’t notice any downside for Trainees left in an unattended Keep.

- Remember that having more than 5 living heroes for the final battle is unnecessary. I settled most of my final party at year 260 and had enough time to get their average level from 6 to 9. Of course, you’ll want a buffer in case of a death or two, but you can also fill in with reward heroes if needed (keep in mind the final surprise, though…). You might also want to still have a Regent for each Keep just in case of a Keep attack (though I’m unsure if a Keep with no Regent can be attacked).

- Favor giving XP to heroes with relics and to those who will immediately be retired, but actually favor having zero deaths.

- Only take risks when you have a contingency plan. Assume that any attack will miss and plan accordingly. Don’t advance your line at the end of your turn.

- When choosing which region to defend, always prioritize reducing corruption over rewards unless you have a strong need for some reward. Once you get past year 200 or so, you might be able to afford letting some regions go, since you don’t technically need more than one to win.

- I see a primary tension between stealth and stuns, as I don’t see a viable team composition without either (or both). Over the course of the game, I went from all stealth to all stuns, but they seemed to be at odds.

- Remember that the Cadence will begin hunting you once you’ve taken out 2/3 of them in a battle. If you think you’ve cleared out all enemies but find that you haven’t, it might be worth camping for a couple of turns to get an idea of how many are left. (If they don’t come for you, be worried. ;))

- Always check enemy movement ranges just to be sure you’re safe. Diagonals work like D&D – every other diagonal counts as 2 spaces.

- Plan for age when you’re considering what classes to use and when to retire heroes.

- Be wary of giving relics to heroes who will retire or retiring heroes with relics, since you won’t be able to level them up.

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Skills

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I’ll start with the best and the worst, but I’ll touch on all of them. Note class abbreviations by skill names.

The best

- Prime Target [C/Bl/Br]: Fantastic. Taunts all enemies in the hero’s sight range (not just attack range), and gives an armor boost. This allows the hero to taunt enemies that are too far away to actually get an attack in. A taunted enemy will attack this hero if possible. If the enemy can’t attack her/him, it will only move (and will always move). This can occur if the hero is far enough away, if the hero dies, or if the hero is surrounded. It’s extremely useful for manipulating enemies, saving otherwise-imperiled allies or grouping enemies up for knockback or flasking. Furthermore, with two or three heroes with Prime Target, you can taunt towards one and then another, keeping melee enemies from doing anything.

- The Acid Solution [A/Bl/Br]: Very good. Applies Acid to an enemy when hit by an attack or flask. This Acid will deal at least 6 damage every turn for several turns, which on many, many occasions made the difference between killing an enemy (or a group of 3-4) and getting killed. Particularly useful on Blastcappers, as they can stun enemies to apply extra Acid damage while the enemies are immobile, in addition to Acid on normal attacks and flasks.

- Stealth Move [H/Sh]: Scouting is critical. You don’t want to round the corner to find a group of five enemies you didn’t expect. Most useful when indoors, since all walls work for stealth; also useful in the Augurs, Pale Sea, and Salt Stacks. The Cinderlands and Ebott Marsh tend to be more open, making stealth more difficult to utilize.

- Put It Down [H/Sh]: Very helpful early-mid game, once Cradles and Twitchers have started appearing. It’s +50% damage on a target below 50% health, remember.

- Free Throw [A/Bo]: The main reason why I rank Brewtalists below Alchemists and Boomstrikers. Getting a double flask on a target(s) is great, and since you can do any action after throwing the flask, it’s also useful for healing allies or just ducking behind cover after the attack.

- Throw Items [A/Bo]: Worth it for the AoE Ultralixers. With a relic, you can get a critical hit on a heal as well. If taking Throw Items, odds are you’ll want Extra Item Slot on the hero and take more of a support role (even more so with Fertilizer Flasks).

- Charge [C/Br]: Charge in a straight line (in a cardinal direction) until an enemy or obstacle is hit. Enemies hit get knocked back and damaged proportionally to the distance charged. I usually plan on a max range of 8, although I’ve seen it as high as 11. I choose this instead of Knockback because while Knockback will guarantee the stun and always knocks back 4 spaces, Charge will always hit (and can knockback further). Especially without a Steady Hander, this distinction becomes critical in the mid-late game. Plus, in a pinch it’s useful to retreat (esp. after getting Swap Teleported), and I think Charge is more fun. =)

- Extra Item Slot [A/Br/Bl/Bo/T]: Lots of classes get it, and it has a variety of uses. Combine with Throw/Shoot Items for the AoE healing. Give your attacker an extra Steady Hander for more accuracy. Wear some Wunderpants. It’s up to you. I didn’t try doubling up on, e.g., Steady Hander to see if it stacks. Please let me know if it does. =)

The worst

- Fury [C/Br/Bl]: +10% damage for the next turn on every hit? I’ll pass for Rebound or Extra Item Slot. It just never seems to be significant enough to merit using, although with the Bulwark armor and fortification from Prime Target it might be viable for a powerful Log Jam.

- Bee-Bound [bl]/Bees in a Bottle[A/Br]: I’m saddened to say (and I didn’t actually use Bee-Bound), but I found the risk of friendly fire from bees much too great. Each tile of bees can randomly move at the end of the enemy turn, and they deal damage at the start of your/the enemy turn. The bees don’t pass over tall blockers, so if you can toss them over a rock, they do ~12 damage per turn. Also good for covering your flank, perhaps.

- Log Jam [C/Sh]: Unless you have no Alchemists, there are better things for your Caberjacks to do. I could, however, see a fun combination with Prime Target + Bulwark armor + Log Jam.

- Blade Storm [br]: Like Log Jam, but without the option of Bulwark Armor and with the benefit of The Acid Solution.

- Flarrow [H]: The long range is helpful if you can hit a good choke point, but usually the enemies you’ll want to see will be either too far away to be worth seeing or close enough to scout by other means, or they’ll just move away. Situational at best, I’d say.

The level 10 ones

- Mad Bomber [A/Br/Bo]: I’d say this is the best of the three for the sheer damage output of two flasks every turn. This, too, makes Brewtalists much less useful, as they can’t use the free cooldown on Free Throw. Note: On a level down, the cooldown for Free Throw will immediately increase, but the hero won’t drop down to 5 flasks.

- Kill Rage [C/Bl/Sh]: I haven’t used this since before v1.0, but it’s great for powering through enemy after enemy. I recall seeing it used effectively with the Ramcap Caber for some extra Knockback damage to clinch the kills. Note that the accuracy is reduced after every hit (or it was, but I wouldn’t expect that to have changed).

- Chalk One Up [H/E/T]: Maybe against Seeds this is good, but the +10% damage per kill (+5% in the final battle) doesn’t seem significant enough unless you’re actually letting one Hunter kill everything, which for the sake of XP distribution I’d recommend against since your level 10 won’t make use of it (except to level up a relic or for the final battle).

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The rest

- Follow Up [H]: The primary draw to pure Hunters. Very helpful in early game, though watch the accuracy; if the first shot misses, the second won’t fire. This can work well with Put It Down. Also, note that the second shot will hit a Bulwark before its armor goes up.

- Honed Hearing [H/E/Sh]: Helpful, though unlike Stealth you have an alternative skill that might be more useful. But it is definitely helpful for scouting, especially in close quarters.

- Blinding Shot [H/E/T]: I didn’t make much use of it. MLG xSasquatch did.

- Dead Eye [H/T]: I never got it this time, but obviously being able to hit enemies before they even see you is a huge benefit.

- Shoot ‘n’ Scoot [H/E]: Also never really used this one. I’m sure it can be useful…

- Knockback Arrow [E]: Safer than Charge in terms of not risking accidentally running into a group of unseen Cadence, and a bit easier to line up since you can shoot over blockers, but it can miss.

- Point Blank Shot [E]: I’m not a fan of getting my ranged units into melee range, but the damage is nice.

- Stand Ground [sh/E/C]: Not getting stunned or knocked back by Twitchers and Lapse deaths is very useful, and the health up is significant. I’d favor this over the alternatives, but it depends on your playstyle.

- Knockback [C/Sh]: As I noted, I preferred Charge, but Knockback will always knock the target back 4 spaces, will always stun, and has a cooldown that’s one trun shorter. One way to mitigate the miss chance, where possible, is to knock Shatter Rocks or Burst Bushes into enemies instead of hitting them directly.

- Fortify [E/C/Bl]: Go, teamwork! Applies an armor boost to adjacent allies (including diagonals), but I don’t care for keeping my heroes so tightly clustered.

- Flask Shot [T]: Not as useful as a thrown flask since a miss is a total miss, whereas with a flask you might get lucky and still hit something. By the same token, aiming for enemies near your allies is safer, since a miss won’t endanger your teammates.

- Shoot Items [T]: Heal at long range, but try to not miss.

- Crop Duster [T]: Hmm…This changed since before v1.0. I can’t comment on it. =/

- Rebound [C/Sh]: Knocks back melee attackers and gives more armor. Useful with Prime Target for taunting a swarm of Seeds and knocking them into each other.

- Sneak Attack [sh]: It’s fun. =3 And the damage is good. Combine it with Put It Down and you’ll kill anything under half health handily.

- Spirit of the Dart Falcon [A]: I’d say it’s essential for Alchemists. Increases range and accuracy greatly. (The Wiki says the AoE gets reduced? I don’t remember that…) But, Throw Items is good to have as well…I’m pleased that the choice is between those two, as it sort of forces you to choose offense or defense for each Alchemist.

- Fertilizer Flask [A]: Creates tall grasses to obscure units. Good for turtling in a corner while luring out Bulwarks and Lapses, though of course relying on evasion is risky. I think that the cover also reduces the range at which enemies can see your hero, but I’m not certain.

- Hack ‘n’ Slash [br]: Similar to Follow Up, except that the second attack will always occur. I usually used this as a backup in combination with The Acid Solution to improve the odds of getting the damage I need.

- Aerodynamic Flasks [bo]: Improves range but not accuracy, though Boomstrikers have higher accuracy on flasks naturally. (Again, the Wiki says the AoE is reduced…)

- Smoke Bomb [bo]: Applies Stealth to all heroes in range until they move. Combine with Extra Item Slot + Throw Items for a good support option, though this is most useful if you suddenly get in sight of a group of unexpected enemies and can’t get away. Could be helpful for Sneak Attacking.

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Events

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I’ll put those for which I know/remember some outcomes here, for reference. In no particular order:

- Parabox: If you open the box at the Guild, it might destroy the entire Guild.

- Ostrich: Always watch. It’ll come back a number of times. I got an XP boost to all heroes on the third visit.

- Bumbles: If you quarantine the hero and they survive, they will have the Bumbles Survivor status, which gives a big HP boost (+50%?).

- Children visiting the capitol: As previously noted, letting them into the barracks will give all heroes either Patriotic or Child-Averse. If it’s early-game and you aren’t opposed to a potential reset, or if it’s late-game and don’t need many more kids anyway, I’d say it’s worth trying for Patriotic.

- Give a relic: I forget the event, but there could be a drunken woman who shows up and asks for a relic. She might then not give the relic back.

- Transcend time and space: I forget which event this is, but there’s something where a hero wants to transcend time and space for a relic, I think.

- Hot Air Balloon: You might lose the hero but gain a relic. (Mine had an appropriate name – The Last Friend. Not sure if this is constant.)

- Something about a child who died in corruption: If you send a Sagewright to investigate, they might decide to just live there forever.

- Sickly baby: A Regent might appear with an ill child. Pooring Chalice water on the baby could give it the Sickly trait.

- The Walrus: Send for the Walrus.

- Riots: There’s one where you can send someone alone to make peace. They might recruit the riot leader, having been friends in the past. There’s another where you have an option to imprison a hero who accidentally killed a civilian. They will return with, I think, either Disheartened or a positive equivalent.

- Dying during childbirth: The one where a mother is in labor but only one of the mother and child will survive. If you put them in the Chalice, maybe they’ll both live! Or not.

- Art museum: If people hate the art, it’ll raise corruption in that region, so be careful if it’ll be built in a region with 2 corruption.

- Arm wrestling: If you do nothing, the hero might also do nothing, which has a neutral effect. If you show why you’re the ruler, you might have a glorious match and give Patriotic to your heroes.

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**********

Traits

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I won’t detail all of them, but there are some to pay attention to.

- Longevity: Ends up actually being pretty bad. Every year that someone is in a Keep, etc., is a year that someone better will have to wait, so you might be stuck with a 90-year-old level 5 Regent while their 50-year-old level 7 kid isn’t going to have much time once s/he takes over.

- Might of the Walrus: I’ve only played 3 games so far, but it’s shown up in each by year 130ish. If you hit the random event for this, try to clear space in a Crucible or Keep so your Walrus has the best chance of passing on the trait. (Or, use them in combat if you’re desperate.)

- Might of the Walrus + Puny: Note that these cancel out.

- Reveler, Slow Learner, Disheartened, Depressed: Put ‘em in the Guild. Not to be rude, but these aren’t really worth dealing with.

- Reveler: Actually might be worthwhile on a Strength-based hero, as 2/3 of the possible outcomes are beneficial in that case.

- Sluggish, Flincher, Alert, etc.: I don’t pay attention to these. Assume all enemy attacks will hit.

- Young at Heart: Be careful with this, as Young Age means reduced intelligence. Inversely, great for Hunters.

- Young/Prime/Old Age: Note that these slightly favor/penalize non-hybrid classes that only rely on one stat for damage, and be sure to manage age well. Your elderly Enforcers might not be so helpful, but a wizened Alchemist can work wonders.

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Enemies

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- Seeds: Don’t ignore them just because they’re weak, but other enemies definitely take priority. Advanced Seeds gain Pack Hunter and Slippery, which makes them rough when they first show up unless you have accuracy boosts. Note that Seeds will prioritize nearby targets over getting kills, so you can manipulate them if needed. Alchemists work best for crowd control and for guaranteed hits.

- Lapses: Lapses are actually a good asset for their ability to knock back other Cadence on death (units up to four tiles away are knocked back one space, but not through any blockers). Finding yourself against a group of enemies with Lapses can be very useful for stunning them all. Advanced Lapses apply Skill Delay in addition to the -300XP, which puts all of the attacked hero’s abilities on cooldown, so be careful. Also, since level 10 heroes no longer gain XP, they are very vulnerable to a level down.

- Ruptures: Just try to kill them before they explode so you get the XP; alternatively, let them gang up on a healthy hero so that you can prioritize other targets. Note that while the corrosive acid spreads two spaces away when they die, the armor debuff only applies to adjacent heroes (all 8 directions). Also note that the acid does not damage other Cadence, so don’t leave a Twitcher at 1HP thinking it’ll die from acid. (The Wiki disagrees on this…) Advanced Ruptures get…I forgot. Obviously, try to dispatch them at range.

- Bulwarks: IMO the least troublesome enemies. The armor is a nuisance, but their damage output is generally low if you keep pace with armor upgrades. A decently leveled, Fortified Caberjack with advanced armor should take 1-2 damage. Advanced Bulwarks gain Fortify. Hunters are probably best, both because of Follow Up and because they can’t get a Glancing Blow, meaning that a miss won’t trigger the Bulwark’s armor.

- Wrinklers: IMO the most troublesome enemies, between the high damage and the age gain. Advanced Wrinklers gain Fury, which doesn’t help them too much. Just focus them down as you are able.

- Cradles: It’s useful to rush them before they spit out too many Seeds, but don’t get in a bad position. Advanced Cradles gain Avenger and can fire twice in one turn. They tend to shoot damaging shots every 2 or 3 turns, but I’ve never seen them do it consecutively. They also seem to favor shooting Seeds when taunted with Prime Target.

- Twitchers: Don’t be nervous. Just be cautious. With the Spotter ability, if an enemy can see your hero, a nearby Twitcher will be able to Swap Teleport with them, so do try to fully clear out enemies as you go if you know there are Twitchers around, and try to keep heroes away from obstacles/each other that could stun them if knocked back. Advanced Twitchers gain Stand Ground, so they can’t be stunned or knocked back. Again, just focus them down, and be more wary of getting stunned than of the damage. Also, remember that the hero that they swap with will (probably) not be the one they attack.

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Research

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My order was (excluding two adoptions):

2nd Keep => Health Vial => All three Refined Armors => 3rd Keep => Discover Heroes => Crucible => Sagewright’s Guild => All three Advanced Trainings => Ultralixer => (Year 150) => Armor Boost => All three Advanced Armors => Elite Caber Training => Timefist => Longevity Boost => Steady Hander

- There seems to be consensus that getting the 2nd Keep ASAP is vital. You can work with two bloodlines (and work on getting relics), but it’s hard to keep up with one.

- I like healing and wouldn’t consider not taking it, but if you’re more inclined towards offense or stealth, you might forgo it.

- I don’t know how the Cadence armors compare, but I’d really recommend getting the armor trainings early. You don’t want a situation where enemies can get one-hit kills. For reference, assuming you’re slightly behind on average level, Wrinklers can one-shot non-Caberjacks when they first appear if you have no armor boosts, and Advanced Cradles can one-shot when they first appear if you have no Advanced armors.

- The Discover Heroes didn’t yield anyone suitable for more third keep, but I got a good Caberjack off of a mission reward. Expect level 1-2 heroes, though it scales slightly with your average hero level. If you need to Discover Heroes more than once or need to get the Recruitment Boost, you might be in trouble.

- My recommendation is Crucible > Guild, in part because it’s easier to spare one Standard than three Sagewrights and in part because I think keeping up on the XP curve trumps research. I also didn’t really need a lot of bonus research.

- Base ordering on armor/weapon trainings on your current strongest classes.

- After getting the three Advanced Armors, I lost my guild to the Parabox. Oops. So, I didn’t have capacity for all three Elite Trainings. I was sporting mostly Caberjacks at that point.

- TIMEFIST! I took it expecting it to extend stun duration, but it actually literally knocks enemies into the future; with the same hit chance as an attack, an enemy is instantly teleported away, to reappear randomly turns or even years later. I’d actually recommend the Ramcap Caber for the knockback potential, though the Timefist also gives some more damage.

- Longevity Boost was a necessity for me since my final party members would be pushing 70 years old for the final battle. I really had no choice, since I had no backup if a hero died just years before the end.

- Get the Steady Hander before Advanced enemies show up. Evidently it’s not essential, but it is better to sacrifice a few potions to get your hit chances from, say, 65% up to 78%. Plus, it’s pretty cheap to research.

- I took very little Cadence equipment and few items. Your results might vary. I feel like everything that is available can be useful, but let the state of your heroes inform your research choices. My tendency moved towards Caberjacks since they were my highest level heroes in the mid-late game, but I always accommodated and used all three classes. MLG xSasquatch used predominantly Hunters and made choices to suit.

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**********

Final battle

**********

Again, SPOILERS.

I went in with: lvl10 Brewtalist, lvl10 Enforcer, lvl10 Alchemist, lvl9 Blastcapper, lvl8 Caberjack. The Alchemist and Caberjack were rewards in the late-game, so they had no bloodline for when they died. The Alchemist I took so that I’d have Throw Items and Extra Item Slots, but this turned out to be unnecessary: I didn’t know that a hero’s parent will take their place when they died, and I thought that Refill Flasks at Chalice would also refill Ultralixers. Thus, I highly overrated the need for healing.

Fun fact, though: With Throw Items, you can heal the Chalice itself.

Enemies will spawn in five waves, and these are based on the number of turns elapsed, not on when you clear each wave. So, stalling with stuns and taunts might not be helpful unless you have a large cluster of enemies near the Chalice. For some reason, possibly a bug, I only had Seeds, Lapses, and Wrinklers.

I didn’t have a clear strategy, mostly just having each hero do the most damage possible to whatever was in range. Again, I didn’t know about the resurrection until halfway through the battle, and I would’ve considered being more aggressive had I known. (I also would’ve only brought heroes from my existing bloodlines instead of the reward heroes.)

Note that enemies will favor attacking the Chalice over your heroes but might not necessarily do so. It seems that they always go for the Chalice once within 1 action’s worth of movement.

If the battle is going poorly and you’re down to the last wave or two, use flasks to murder your heroes while damaging enemies. With a strong Relic, one unit can clear out all enemies if they’re grouped up, being continuously replaced by their parents. The hero who is resurrected will have full AP, so you can extend your turn as long as the bloodline is intact. This is especially useful with Free Throw, as you can get double the damage output. Naturally, this tactic should be reserved for the end of the battle, but if you have a level 8-10 Relic you can win the battle with a single turn. I suspect that this can be worked towards with two bloodlines of Alchemists, with level 10 relics, especially because the resurrected heroes will come in with Old Age and get the intelligence boost to maximize damage.

(Also, keep in mind that if you let the Chalice get to low HP, they might start yelling hurtful things at you. Don’t take it personally; they’re just under a lot of stress. Hopefully, with these tips, you won’t be!)

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According to Steam stats...

4.7% of players have reached the final battle

4.0% of players have finished Normal

0.25% of players have finished Hard (the 2 decimal figure is from my steam profile, it is the rarest achievement I have)

0% have finished a Brutal Run

0% have finished an Iron run

So either up to 0.049% of the player base has finished Brutal/Iron, or the achievement is bugged. Or both would have expected some Iron Normal games to have finished for example.

I've completed that run. In Beta a few weeks before released. I actually realized I was going to try again just to get the achievement and then I came to my senses and uninstalled Massive Chalice.

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You mean you came to your senses and decided to do it again because it was so fun? =D

Eh. Doing the beta testing was pretty draining. I... played through an Ironman mode of X-COM-EW after taking my break and then took a break from the serious tactical and tried out Shadowrun Dragonfarts... Dragonflight? I dunno. I've moved on to Heroes of the Storm for my current tactical experience. Got pretty burnt out on turn by turn RNG testing.

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Perhaps pick up a different genre of game then, you might just need a break from all this "tactical experience".

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1. Not sure why you felt the need to comment ... that I should take a break when the above comment I made says that I've been taking a break.

2. Just to be clear ... I don't think Massive Chalice is a bad game. It's a bit constricting, but I've played it too much to really enjoy it further. I feel pretty comfortable admitting that I'm not encountering anything new from Massive Chalice anymore. Yes, technically each fight may have a unique situation, but on the whole, I hadn't adapted new tactical strategies or found many viable alternatives to my research path. The brutal difficulty felt like gambling, and that's fine, but the other difficulties didn't provide enough challenge anymore, and so I'm kind out of options for a gameplay experience that I want. I hope you enjoy it, and don't get burnt out or balk at the RNG shutting your 100+ year game down without warning.

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Don't take it the wrong way, I was just suggesting that when a genre starts to wear on you take a break. I know I do with for example RPGs. ;)

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The brutal difficulty felt like gambling, and that's fine, but the other difficulties didn't provide enough challenge anymore, and so I'm kind out of options for a gameplay experience that I want.

Totally valid, though I found MC to be far more forgiving than some other tactical RPGs; I tried hard mode on Fire Emblem: Awakening and on XCOM, and both of those were a total miss-fest. But yeah, I haven't tried Hard yet, but I really don't expect that it'd be enjoyable after doing Brutal, and Normal is downright trivial. (It's good to see people on the forums struggling with Normal, though, to show that it's worth having.)

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Like Potato I did a lot of Beta testing, and am a bit burned out.

I have 90 hrs logged on steam, which obviously doesn't count any time I spent not logged into or synced to steam. Granted steam will be an overestimate if I ever left MC running in the background, but that was pretty damn rare. So I'm at least 90 hrs invested, if not more--maybe double that being plausible.

Sadly when I hit a snag in my Iron playthrough on retail I just lost steam. This is not a failing of MC--it actually happens to me a ton in any Iron type game. I love the mode for how intense it makes things, but a loss sets me back in playtime unless I have friends egging me on. I quit Diablo 2 for months after losing a high level HC Amazon to Hell Cows and lag.

I'm not much of a completionist; I don't care about achievements or seeing the end screen. I'm many multiples of hundreds of hours into XCOM and never actually saw the end screen, so if--when--I do come back to MC it won't be for completionist purposes, it'll be because it's a fun game with a very unique design. For me the fun had playing it is independent of whether you "finish" the game or not.

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I'm not much of a completionist; I don't care about achievements or seeing the end screen. I'm many multiples of hundreds of hours into XCOM and never actually saw the end screen, so if--when--I do come back to MC it won't be for completionist purposes, it'll be because it's a fun game with a very unique design. For me the fun had playing it is independent of whether you "finish" the game or not.

I'm also done with MC for a while. I've logged a 100 or so hours I think, 95% after the beta. It has been the most I've spent on a game since Civ 5, EU 4, CK 2, or Skyrim.

Smiles

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I'm not much of a completionist; I don't care about achievements or seeing the end screen. I'm many multiples of hundreds of hours into XCOM and never actually saw the end screen, so if--when--I do come back to MC it won't be for completionist purposes, it'll be because it's a fun game with a very unique design. For me the fun had playing it is independent of whether you "finish" the game or not.

I'm also done with MC for a while. I've logged a 100 or so hours I think, 95% after the beta. It has been the most I've spent on a game since Civ 5, EU 4, CK 2, or Skyrim.

Oh, yeah, I knew going into it that I'd do no more than the two attempts at Brutal Iron, but I do intend to go through it again for Extra Life, since it would be a good challenge to try Brutal Iron in under 24 hours.

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Well it looks like XCom 2 is delayed until February. So maybe I'll give another Brutal run of MC in a few months between now and then.

Smiles

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