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Old 12-11-2016, 10:19 PM
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Kalir Kalir is offline
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Default One Sword Man: Let's Play Valdis Story: Abyssal City!



Hey kids!

Let's play Valdis Story: Abyssal City!

I'm not 100% sure about the backstory of this game's development, but it is apparently the second Valdis Story game. It focuses on a world embroiled in a war between gods, angels, and demons, notably Myrgato, the Dark Lady, and Alagath, the Mother of Light. Gameplay-wise, it's... well, not exactly a Metroidvania, the focus is far more on the combat than the exploration. Maybe if you were to call it a Metroidvania that leaned much more on the Castlevania side of things, but had more technical combat than either one? Yeah, that's the ticket.

There's quite a bit going on in the mechanics of this game, and not all of it is that good, but there is a lot that is. Because I am deceitful, overenthusiastic, or misinformed, I've roped BEAT into helping me out on this one. He'll be doing the actual playing of the game (for the most part) but I will be running alongside in my own file for the sake of datadumping. I'm really only telling BEAT as much as he needs to know for his experience to not suck out loud, but in the thread I'll get as technical as I am able and willing to be. Who's gonna stop me? You? No.

PART 01

ANGRY WHITE BOY POLKA
TAGRUM DERELICTS TO MAUSOLEUM DISTRICT

SUMMONED BY WHIM
MorningSong

In which Wyatt Goibniu, professonal angry strong boy, beats the hell out of several demons and angels.

NOTES
  • SOME BACKSTORY. As mentioned, Wyatt and his crew are a ragtag band of misfits hunting down the demon lord Gernot to learn about Wyatt's dad's location. En route, they get bodyslammed into the ocean by a hyperwhale. We'll learn about them later, but for now, we're in a frozen undersea city or something. Again, SMT is a pretty okay comparison.
  • THIS GAME HAS WONKY CONTROLS. First is the magic: you hold the magic button to get into a casting stance, and then push a direction to cast that direction's associated spell. I'll get into the meat of this down below.
  • DODGING IS ALSO WEIRD. If you push down on the D-pad or Control Stick or whatever, your character will execute a dodge. On the ground this works much like in, say, Smash Bros, but used in the air, it causes your character to stop what they are doing and fall fast and hard straight to the ground. This can make platforming a tad annoying.
  • I WROTE BEAT A GUIDE. When we last tried this, the biggest barrier was just getting lost, since this game is kind of sort of non-linear. So I wrote him something to keep him on track. Apparently I did a pretty okay job.
  • WE FOLLOW MYSTERY GIRL TO A FIGHT WITH AZUDOR. The bosses in Valdis Story are all pretty interesting and tough and they are all ranked by how well you do: time, general performance (hit them a lot and don't get hit), and potions used. Do well enough on all of these categories to get prizes. If you don't, you get the implicit scorn of the devs. Azudor is pretty much a chump if you know the controls (which you might not).
  • YETI ATTACK! What we can't fight a yeti this early we are LEAVING.
  • WELCOME TO TAGRUM. Notable stuff: mystery girl Atalan is the elder's granddaughter, Zeige is her brother (?), and distrusts us as he really ought to, in addition to angels and demons down here there's also "ferals" that basically try to kill everyone, and everyone has white hair unless they're angels or demons. Wyatt gets roped into sending some spare parts to the village of Hrukk way off in the distance.
  • MAUSOLEUM DISTRICT. More about magic that doesn't matter to BEAT, but which I'll discuss in a later update. Angels are just as much of jackasses as the demons we've been facing.
  • MORNINGSONG TURNS UP. Hello.
  • SUDDENLY GIANT HOLY GOLEM OUT OF NOWHERE. Tagu isn't much harder than Azudor but it's a bit harder to consistently avoid getting hit solely because she and all of her attacks are huge. If you use magic you can destroy her even faster than BEAT did, but a heavy investment in any one stat works well enough.
  • AND THEN A MANA KEY STONE. This will see lots of use later on, believe you me.
INFODUMP:

Valdis Story features four playable characters, although only the two simplest to use characters are available at first. BEAT is playing as Wyatt in his file, and my screenshots will by and large be focused on Reina.


  • Wyatt Goibniu, hailing from the Goibniu warrior clan! Wyatt's father was the demon General Cadeyrn, and Wyatt's been tracking him down for some time. His latest lead, the Hyogokun Knight Gernot, led him on a chase across some kinda sea when they all got dunked into Sitheil here. BEAT's read of him is pretty close to the intent: a generally grumpy dude who's maybe had one too many MCR albums, but still pretty concerned about his CREW. Really likes killing angels and demons. I mean, REALLY likes it.
  • Reina Gaius, an Alagathian monk! Reina's capacity for soul manipulation was noteworthy enough that she was to be the next Golden Child, which I have no idea what exactly that entails. As it involved absorbing several hundred souls, Reina ducked out of the monastery and joined up with Wyatt, impressed as his incidental defense of humans that happened to be in close proximity to demons or angels. She's way better at this protagonist thing than he is, really.
  • Vladyn Van Timalt, the 100 Demon Arm! More Alagathian soul nonsense included binding demonic souls to body parts of test subjects for reasons. Vladyn was unique among the test subjects since, rather than going insane, he took the time to listen to the souls in his arm, because he never really got what Lovecraft was all about in the first place. He's got a healthy appetite for knowledge, adventure, and women, in no order I care to recognize.
  • Gilda Ire is half-dragon, half-demon, and a complete jerk to everyone she meets. Why she hangs out with the crew in the first place is a mystery (hint: she thinks Wyatt is attractive????? ok) but she's good enough in a fight that nobody really minds too much. I think she's on a quest for revenge, but you aren't gonna choose her for that, you'll choose her for her acid tongue and that one part where she taunts a kid she beat the hell out of.



Choosing your character is, obviously, important for PLOTZ, but the more important thing is choosing a stat. Like I said early on, you basically want to pick one or two stats and stick with it for the game. While it might make sense to diversify, there are several bonuses that scale off of your investment in certain stats, and splitting up your bonuses just makes it harder to compete when you get later in the game and your damage numbers basically stop existing. BEAT's building Wyatt to focus on Str, and I'll probably run Reina focused on Luck.
  • Strength is the stat you choose if you want loads of HP and you want your physical attacks, specifically heavy attacks, to hit really friggin' hard. Despite appearances, this is probably the hardest stat to build most characters around, since so few skills key off of it. The exception is Wyatt, who can put it to excellent use with minimal futzing.
  • Intelligence is the opposite: gives MP and magic power. If you're playing as Gilda and not pumping Int every level you're doing something horribly wrong, but really any character can make good use of it. Even characters you wouldn't expect to be good casters can usually work with it really easily because HAHA BRAND SPELLS
  • Agility governs, among other things, your crit chance and your Focus duration. Every character has a decent way to make use of Agility if they really want to, and despite appearances it is pretty decent at dealing damage. Depending on your character, it's even better for physical combat than Strength is. (Most magic attacks can't crit, though.)
  • Luck is kind of a catch-all stat that upgrades assorted nonsense. For this reason, you're better off upgrading Luck if you want a generalist rather than investing stats all over the place. Most characters that want Luck do so to pull off weird specialist builds, which Vladyn and Gilda tend to excel at. Additionally, the higher your Luck, the better the item drop tables are, so it's a good choice if you want to get the super-cool equipment.

There's other stuff to worry about for building your character, but there is also a LOT of it, and I don't wanna info overload this early on in the thread, y'know?

Last edited by Kalir; 12-15-2016 at 01:31 PM. Reason: LEFT SIDE WHOOOOOOAH
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Old 12-11-2016, 10:32 PM
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BEAT BEAT is offline
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That post was entertaining and informative, and I am overjoyed to be a part of this!

EDIT. I mentioned in the video that Kalir Wrote me a HELPFUL GUIDE to assist my way through the game in my native language of CAPSLOCK & BAD WORDS. It is too good for me to keep to myself, so after each video, I will share the chunk that guided me through that segment of the game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BEATGUIDE FOR VALDIS.txt
WHAT UP MOTHERFUCK ITS THE PLAIN-ASS VALDIS STORY GUIDE FOR WHAT THE HELL TO DO

GAME START:
-PICK THE COOL CHARACTER AND A STAT THAT LOOKS FUN TO JAM EVERY POINT INTO

TAGRUM DERELICTS:
-GO GET A LIFE POTION BEFORE YOU SAVE THE GAME
-BEAT THE SHIT OUT OF AZUDOR AND TRY NOT TO USE A POTION IN THE PROCESS, BECAUSE RATINGS GIVE PERMANENT BOOSTS AND WHY

TAGRUM VILLAGE:
-NOT MUCH HERE BUT TO TALK TO NERDS AND SAVE GAME AGAIN, FOLLOW ATALAN TO FIND THE WAY OUT
-*OPTIONAL* GRAB A WARMTH ELIXIR TO AVOID FROZEN CRYPTS DAMAGE IF YOU'RE A COWARD
-*DANGEROUS* I THINK YOU CAN GO FIGHT THE YETI AFTER GETTING SPARE PARTS BUT IT'LL PROBABLY KICK YOUR ASS

MAUSOLEUM DISTRICT:
-SWITCH TO DARK MAGIC IF YOU'RE PLAYING AS EDGEBOY AND USING INT
-YOU WANT A SPIRIT POTION AND PROBABLY PALADIN ARMOR HERE
-TAGU IS HUGE AND POINTING, WHAT THE FUCK, MAGIC TENDS TO WORK WELL ON THE CORE

Last edited by BEAT; 12-13-2016 at 04:42 AM.
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Old 12-12-2016, 09:35 AM
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SolarLune SolarLune is offline
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Ohohohohooooooh boy. Valdis Story's a really fun game, but after a few hours in, it got extremely difficult (for me, anyway, with Reina). I had no idea if I was missing some gameplay mechanics or just straight-up needed to level more, or what.
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Old 12-12-2016, 09:36 AM
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JBear JBear is offline
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I supported the Kickstarter for this because it looked neat and then never got around to actually playing it. I really should fix that...
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Old 12-12-2016, 01:42 PM
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Kalir Kalir is offline
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PART 02

ICE BLOCKIN'
FROZEN CRYPTS TO ABANDONED GARDENS

CHILLIN' OUT
MorningSong

In which Wyatt Goibniu, sword swinging goon, wishes he was wearing a shirt underneath his otherwise-comfy hoodie.

NOTES
  • SOUL AFFINITY. Equipping the Paladin Armor sets Wyatt's Soul threshold to its Light value, which matters in ways. I can go into more depth on this later, but it's not later, it's now.
  • THEOLOGY TALK. The two main gods in Valdis Story are Myrgato the Dark Lady, and Alagath the Mother of Light. Just like in SMT, even though one commands demons and the other angels, they are both basically terrible people running the world into the ground with their drawn-out war, while Wyatt and his crew run True Neutral (and are also terrible people, just less so).
  • WE LEARN A COOL WORD. "Henotheistic" denotes believing in one god while accepting the possibilities of other gods. It also signifies what Alagath's followers almost believe. I say "almost" because they consider everyone else false gods and heathens and such so honestly we're just facing straight up monotheism from there. Myrgato is much simpler and just wants to beat the hell out of everybody.
  • FROZEN CRYPTS. Remember that guy saying humans can't survive in areas without mana heaters? This is one of them. Wyatt will take constant damage while he's here unless he bought an Elixir of Warmth back at Tagrum. These are a relatively new addition to the game, but neither I nor BEAT bother with them. Just keeping an eye on your healing usually works well enough, and they provide a save point early enough and the area is short.
  • OUR FIRST MANA KEY STONE PUZZLE. You can see what the devs want you to do: activate the one mana crystal, then time trial your way to get other things. BEAT quickly writes the whole thing off as a fool's errand. The Wanderer's Raiment he'd get for it is nice for him, boosting Agility by a lot, Strength by a bit, and rewarding him for crits and kills, but it is by no means essential and he has other good armor options.
  • SUPER SUPER SECRET? Remember this room. I will have THINGS to say here later.
  • LEVEL 5! This grants access to the next tier of skills, and needless to say you need the prereqs in the skill tree. I'm not gonna go over all of them, because the early skills are by and large stepping stones to later ones. I'll discuss THOSE at great length in this infodump for each character.
  • RUCKJAHL THE FROZEN ONE. As we so eloquently pointed out, Ruckjahl has three weak points: the head itself and the points above and below it. It shifts which one is susceptible as you damage them, so you'll beat each one up twice. This is the first boss where the real threat is the arena itself, what with the ice lasers and wind-hampered jumps and the busted mana heater you can charge up. This boss is also way worse if you're not using the Paladin Armor for its freeze immunity, which we all totally missed because we're ignoring that awful status effect.
  • WE GET ICE MAGIC. Ruckjahl's soul provides us four exciting new spell options, none of which BEAT is going to use for a few areas ever, really.
  • AND THEN WE REACH HRUKK! Lot of stuff in this town, but the most immediately relevant is that we need to get Vladyn, our buddy, a Lordess Tear to heal him from whatever bad news he got hit by. There's crafting to be done here in a lot of ways, but I must stress for any player who has the capability to do so that buying the Broken Doll puts a very inconvenient optional boss in your path.
  • ABANDONED GARDENS. Everything here uses poison and it's awful, doubly so because poison drains both health and magic. Antidote Elixirs can be bought in town, and almost every character has some means of dealing with poison either now or eventually, but it still sucks.
  • LOT OF GOODIES TO BE HAD HERE. In particular, the second Life Potion and the Skeleton Key, both essential tools for any explorer. BEAT also got the Warlock Vestments, which are mostly useless to him, but missed the Gladiator Vest, which could actually be a handy thing (but like the Wanderer's Raiment, it's not critical).
INFODUMP:

So, as mentioned, there are both stat points and skill points you assign when building your character. Stat points are boring, and I have discussed them in as great a length as I care to. Skills, however, tend to grant new capabilities or more situational stat boosts, which I find considerably more interesting.



Each character has three separate skill trees: one focused on physical attacks, one on survivability, and one on magical attacks. They work exactly like they look, with later ranks only being accessible if you possess the ones before it and are high enough in level. I'm only going to discuss the level 15 skills for each character, because they are a product of the skills taken before them. Almost every final skill grants a situational bonus as well as a bonus while Focus Mode is active. I will, of course, start with Wyatt.
  • Berserker is the first of his skills in the Warrior tree. Berserker Wyatt works off of his Bloodlust mechanic, where crits inflict Bleed on enemies, dealing increasing damage with Str. Having Berserker means Wyatt also regenerates health and gets an attack boost if there is a bleeding enemy on-screen. This is perfect for a Str/Agi built Wyatt, where your Agi will give you constant crit infliction, and your bleed damage (and normal damage) will skyrocket. It's not bad if you're only investing in one of those two stats, but if you really want it to work, spend points on both.
  • Warlord is the second Warrior skill. This one is incredibly straightforward: you hit people really hard until they die from it, and your heavy attacks are your best weapon. With Wyatt's default weapon, Great Blade Purgatory, it's entirely possible to ignore light attacks outright with this. Needless to say, for a pure Str build like BEAT is running, this skill is the primary goal.
  • Assassin is the last Warrior skill and is heavily dependent on Shadow Walk, Wyatt's stealth spell, as well as skill cancel abuse. If you attack out of stealth or after a skill cancel, Assassin Wyatt gets a huge damage boost. This is the skill of choice for a pure Agi Wyatt, especially as your Focus Mode will last for ages and will likely grant you constant Skill Cancels, letting you dodge attacks more or less at will.
  • Soldier is the first skill in Wyatt's Guardian tree, and focuses on the parry mechanic. If you have the Parry skill, blocking just before an enemy hits will disrupt their attack and grant you a counterattack. This skill greatly rewards careful defensive fighters, and works particularly well for a Str/Luck split build for Wyatt, letting you shrug off almost any physical attack, dodge the magical ones, and always have an answer to your foe.
  • Juggernaut is the second Guardian skill, and is exactly what it sounds like. If you have no further steps to your strategy than just being huge and invincible, Juggernaut will do exactly that. This skill is great for basically anyone, although it slightly favors Luck on account of Deflect and the general focus on HP/MP increases Luck tends to provide. Again, though, Juggernaut is a fine skill to invest in if you have extra points to spend.
  • Templar is the last Guardian skill, and specializes in maintaining high MP reserves. The Diffuse ability granted lets Wyatt recharge MP by blocking attacks, and you get a Null Shield that can absorb magical attacks every so often. In a way, it's the magical version of Soldier, and thus favors a Wyatt with a focus on Int. If you don't want all of the Savior skills, but are still primarily running magic, by all means pick up Templar.
  • Saint is the first of the Savior skills. As you can tell from the icons, the Savior tree tends to have an influence on Wyatt's Soul affinity, and Saint is the end result of a highly Light-aligned build. It also favors a Str/Int mix, since it gives Mana Steal on all melee attacks and rewards kills with a small bit of healing and mana. Only problem is that kills are pretty hard to secure in Valdis Story without expending resources in the process, and the amount increased doesn't scale like Diffuse does, so it's hard for me to recommend Saint.
  • Sage is the second, and neutrally-aligned, Savior skill. It does exactly what it says on the box, and just gives you more Int. Like I dunno what you expect me to say here, if you're running pure Int, and you want more Int, you take Sage. Don't forget that there are many spells that brand your weapon with a certain element, so you can use Int even on physical attacks if you want to (and if you take Sage, you want to).
  • Reaver is the last Savior skill, and the dark-aligned one. Reaver thrives on inflicting status effects on foes, especially with Dark magic, and using magic damage dealt to regain HP. Wyatt has three choices for Dark magic, all of which are pretty good at abusing Reaver, and I'd recommend an Int/Luck split for stats since Luck scales up your affliction chance if you're Dark-aligned.



Reina's skill trees are Monk, Protector, and Golden One, respectively. Reina does not function appreciably differently from Wyatt, save that her two starting souls are not light and dark, but rather both neutral (technically Arcane, but that is REALLY misleading).
  • Dancer is Reina's first skill in the Monk tree. Like Wyatt's Assassin tree, it rewards Agi builds most, but unlike Wyatt, Reina lacks a stealth spell. Instead, she uses skill cancels to stack the Lotus Dance buff, which increases her attack damage. Between that and Exploit Weakness, Dancer Reina is basically going to constantly be landing crits, and they are all going to have monstrous attack boosts.
  • Enforcer is the second Monk skill, and Reina's answer to Wyatt's Warlord skill, but it is somehow even more boring than Warlord. You get a .25 boost to your attack damage with each kill, up to a level cap (so at level 20, you could stack +5 attack damage I think?). I have no idea if that expires or not, but if it doesn't (which seems to be my read) this skill may as well just read "+5 attack damage". Which I'm sure is fine, but it's so DULL. I guess if you're running a pure Str Reina for some weird reason this is your best bet?
  • Monk is the third Monk skill, which isn't redundant at all, no sir. Monk is all about Focus Mode, letting you charge it up faster, making Focus Finishers stronger, and granting boosts to attack damage while it's active. It also rewards midair fighting with the Falcon Claw skill boosting your attack damage with Agility. This skill can work for a pure Agi Reina OR a Str/Agi split build.
  • Hermit is Reina's first Protector skill, and her own version of parry-abuse as Wyatt does with Soldier. Hermit has a slightly greater focus on skill cancels than Soldier does, with Tortoise Stance granting extra armor and Fatal Strides a sharp attack boost after a skill cancel, and Hermit itself letting you have infinite skill cancels during Focus Mode. Honestly, I could make a case for this skill in almost any build, although if I had to choose one that would like it most, I'd recommend either Str/Agi or Agi/Int.
  • Iron Born is Reina's second Protector skill. Like Juggernaut before it, it's a pretty great skill for almost any build, although it slightly favors Str/Int and Agi/Int builds on account of the Zeal skill granting healing when you melee attack enemies afflicted with Reckoning. It's not a huge deal, though, so if you really want the survivability you can go for Iron Born no problem. Do note that it doesn't provide much magic resistance, so you'll need to watch for magic attacks.
  • Magebane is the last Protector skill, and is exactly what it sounds like. It favors Int builds primarily, since you'll need to cast spells almost constantly to get the benefits of Spirit Walker. Each layer of Spirit Walker grants extra resistance, and Magebane itself heals Reina if she's stacked up 5 Spirit Walker boosts. Oh, and you get even more resist in Focus Mode. Once you take Magebane, if you are still dying to magic attacks, I think you might just be bad at the game.
  • Judicator is the first Golden One skill, and it's Reina's answer to Saint. Almost everything I said about Saint applies here, except that Reina's magic trees don't have affinity changes in them. Instead, they provide the only way to level up her starting souls, with Judicator having her Soul of the Guardian's levelup somewhere before it. At least Judicator scales better than Saint, since the Divine Wrath boost is percentile rather than a flat number.
  • Sage is the second Golden One sk- hang on. Wait. Yeah, this is literally the same as Wyatt's Sage skill. The only difference is the prerequisite skills, where Reina levels up her Soul of the Centurion and gains spell ruin with Luck. I guess that makes this a bit more viable for an Int/Luck Reina, but it's still almost as good for pure Int.
  • Deity is the final Golden One skill, and focuses on the unique Reckoning status caused by Divine (neutral) magic. Reckoning is straightforward: any further Divine magic attacks deal boatloads of damage while it's active. Like Reaver, this one favors Int/Luck builds (although with how high the affliction chance is, pure Int also works), but it also will force Reina to invest solely in neutral magic. This is totally fine honestly.



Vladyn's skill trees of Marksman and Sentry are, again, very similar to those of his companions. The 100 Demon Arm skill tree, though, is significantly weirder, since it splits its effectiveness between magic skills and unarmed combat. This gets doubly weird when you factor in the 100 Demon Arm, his unique soul.
  • Sniper is Vladyn's first Marksman skill. Vladyn's three main weapons are a combo of his trusty handgun and a heavier sidearm, and Sniper focuses on Esperanda's Long Gun, his angelic weapon. (More on the weapons later.) This skill is hard to recommend stat boosts for, because as prerequisites it has a Luck-focused skill and an Int-focused skill, but the firearm weapons by and large want Agi to work, and Sniper is no exception. Still an excellent skill, mind you, and it can be played a number of ways, just, y'know, don't try to overextend on spending stat points to make it work.
  • Desperado is the second Marksman skill, and it revolves around Doombringer, Vladyn's demonic weapon. This skill favors a highly reckless Str/Agi build, much like Wyatt's Berserker skill. The technical elements are different here or there, and you could make a case for pure Agi, or to a lesser extent, pure Str for this one. But honestly, treat this the same as Berserker and you'll get about the same results.
  • Mercenary is the final Marksman skill, and it's a weird one. It's focused on the Peace Bringers, his classic neutral shotgun and hand cannon combo, but it also scales up, rather drastically, based on how many Ancient Coins you possess. Without getting too technical, there are a limited amount of Ancient Coins you can get without random drops, and they are in high demand among your crew. Even with only three or so, this skill is strong, but to really play it up you'll want a Agi/Luck build, or even pure Luck.
  • Soldier is the first skill in Wyatt's Guardian tree, and yep, we're doing this again. It serves a slightly different role for Vladyn on account of his skill cancel focused prereqs, but everything I said about Soldier before applies here.
  • Tactician is Vladyn's second Sentry skill. Unlike the previous two, this skill emphasizes dodging with skill cancels over brute force survival. Most characters can't recover skill cancels during a combo, but Vladyn absolutely can with this, albeit slowly. Again, this skill favors having high Luck to best abuse the defensive prereqs, but it works well for basically anybody.
  • Templar is DAMN IT VLADYN. Yes, it is the same skill but with different prerequisites. The fact that Vladyn can get an airdash, but that it's bound to his block button, makes Templar a bit harder to justify, as it does Soldier, but who cares, Vladyn can get an airdash.
  • Marauder is the first 100 Demon Arm skill, and unlike its sister skills Saint and Judicator, I can actually justify taking this one on its own merits rather than just because you happened to be running Str/Int. There are a lot of elements at play here: needing high Luck helps you get demon souls, having high Int lets you abuse the free Void brand on your attacks, but the most defining stat here, I'd say, is Str. You could run a pure Str Vladyn and rely on this skill, no problem. Also note: almost all of Vladyn's 100 Demon Arm skills have Dark Affinity on them. Running a Light-aligned Vladyn is hard.
  • Sage is Sage. Again, the prereqs are the interesting part here, with the melee-focused skills on the one side pushing Str, and the minion-focused ones pushing Luck, but the fact remains that this is still a great skill for having lots of Int and using it to magic at people.
  • Soul Link is the skill of choice if you want to really abuse the minion-summoning potential of the 100 Demon Arm. It's a shame that doing so will solidly put Vladyn's soul affinity at Dark, because having a lot of Luck and a Light-affinity with all of this would be incredibly strong, but it's still a fine skill on its own merits. My recommendation for stats is Int and/or Luck anyway, just to keep your MP high, because maintaining that many minions will require it.



Finally, Gilda's skill trees of Relic Dancer, Iron Scale, and Half Dragon. Gilda functions so fundamentally different from everyone else that I can't really treat this one the same way. But for starters, just assume that if there is a skill on Gilda's tree, Int works for it.
  • Seer is Gilda's first Relic Dancer skill. All of the Relic Dancer skills are dependent on Gilda getting loads of stuff from enemies to make her pseudo-physical attacks stronger, so if you want to really abuse them, Luck is a must. Seer is a very straightforward example here, with her relic magic damage increasing the more mana crystal junk she has. Just throw Int and Luck down her throat and bam, Seer makes her hit as hard as Str-focused Wyatt.
  • Ancient One is her next Relic Dancer skill. While the skill itself doesn't require items, it does need all three of the basic Relic Dancer skills to take, which DO depend on having junk. Anyway, MP consumption for Gilda is always annoying, but she is the only character who can recharge MP on demand. Still, her attacks costing 0 mana means you don't have to break up your combo as much, which is really nice. Again, Luck is critical here, but you can run really any other stat you want here in addition, or not at all.
  • Metallurgist is the last Relic Dancer skill, and if you wanted to run a pure Str Gilda, I don't know what you intend to actually DO with it, but here you go, have fun. In particular, Aerial Raid will let you build up stupidly high damage values with midair combos, and Gilda is very good at staying in the air for long periods of time if she really wants to. Also this skill keys off of metals instead of crystals, but eh.
  • Changeling is the first Iron Scale skill, and while everyone else has a parry mechanic tree they can invest in, Gilda lacks so much as a block function. So Changeling is just kind of... there? If you really want to spend a skill point on averaging your Armor and Resist, okay, have fun. Probably invest in Luck like Gilda does whenever she's not investing in Int.
  • Juggernaut is the second Guardian Iron Scale skill, and is exactly what it sounds like. If you have no further steps to your strategy than just being huge and invincible, Juggernaut will do exactly that. This skill is great for basically anyone, although it slightly favors Luck on account of Deflect and the general focus on HP/MP increases Luck tends to provide. Again, though, Juggernaut is a fine skill to invest in if you have extra points to spend.
  • Conduit is actually unique and worth discussing. The prereqs are much of the same things as you'd get for Wyatt's Templar skill, but since Gilda lacks a block, instead it just focuses on keeping her alive whenever she casts spells, which she will be doing all of the time. It'd be nice if this would justify her investing in stats other than Int and Luck, but eh, can't win 'em all.
  • Wyvern is the first Half Dragon skill, and focuses on Gilda's Death Charms and Skeletal Servant. Basically, you can generate a Death Charm on kill, and these grant pretty meaty damage boosts. If you chant for long enough, you can summon a skeletal servant to fight for you at the cost of one Death Charm. It's a neat idea on paper, but in practice most enemies become more than enough of a match for your skeletal servant pretty quickly, even with skill investments.
  • Blight Dragon is the signature skill for Gilda. In addition to ramping up her unique Plague Bearer soul to maximum and rendering her immune to poison, it also gives her a free stat point in everything else for every 5 points she invest in Int. This would be a little more meaningful if I haven't been saying to invest in Int and Luck on almost every skill she has, but Gilda with a pure Int focus and Blight Dragon can get stat values that boggle the mind.
  • Wyrm is Gilda's version of Reaver, but it differs from Reaver in that it lets you sort of "charge up" spells by chanting enough. Chanting is basically Gilda's method of recovering MP quickly. Of course, this means taking a break from attacking, but if you're low on MP anyway, why not do that, and come back with a big meaty opener from your next spell?

Hwooph. That is a lot of words. Next time we'll discuss something a tad lighter, like the spell system.

Last edited by Kalir; 12-15-2016 at 01:32 PM.
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  #6  
Old 12-13-2016, 04:46 AM
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If I were a good LPer, I would have tried to make a little extra progress at the end of that video. Or at the very least not just said THAT'S 30 MINS GOOD ENUFF.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BEATGUIDE FOR VALDIS.txt
FROZEN CRYPTS:
-*OPTIONAL* THE BIG-ASS TIMED PUZZLE GETS A WANDERER RAIMENT, WHICH IS GREAT IF YOU USE AGI
-RUCKJAHL IS HUGE, IF THE COLD BOTHERS YOU YOU CAN CHARGE THE HEATER IN THE ROOM ENTRANCE
-USE THE ICE PILLAR SPELL (DOWN+ICE) TO LEAVE THIS HORRIBLE PLACE

HRUKK:
-GO TO WHEREVER THE ELDER ASKS YOU TO, THE IMPORTANT SPOTS ARE THE TRAM (TOP-LEFT), HER USUAL DIGS (TOP-CENTER) AND THE INFIRMARY (CENTER-RIGHT)
-*OPTIONAL* ARMORSMITHS HERE ON THE LOWER-ISH LEVELS IF YOU WANNA UPGRADE THAT SHIT
-*OPTIONAL* TRADING POST BELOW THE INFIRMARY IF YOU WANT SCROLLS OR BOOKS OR STUFF LIKE THAT FOR STATS AND DODGES
-*DANGEROUS* DO NOT MAKE THE BROKEN DOLL UNLESS YOU ARE OKAY WITH NOT SEEING YOUR HOMEBASE FOR A WHILE BECAUSE IT WILL DROP AN OPTIONAL BOSS IN THE CENTRAL SKYWAY
-*OPTIONAL* YOU CAN ALSO UPGRADE THE MANA KEY STONE FOR FASTER CHARGING AND SUPERBLOCK
-*OPTIONAL* AND FINALLY YOU CAN MAKE AN ANTIDOTE ELIXIR IF YOU WANT THE ABANDONED GARDENS TO SUCK SLIGHTLY LESS
-ONCE YOU VISIT VLADYN YOU CAN LEAVE TO THE UPPER RIGHT

CENTRAL SKYWAY:
-FUCKING NOTHING HERE, YOU CAN'T GET THE IMPORTANT CHESTS FOR AGES ANYWAY

ABANDONED GARDENS:
-YOUR PATH IS GONNA KIND OF LOOP UP AND BACK OVER AND THEN DOWN BECAUSE YOU NEED THE SKELETON KEY TO DO THINGS HERE
-*OPTIONAL* THE MANA KEY PUZZLE HERE HAS WARLOCK VESTMENTS, GREAT IF YOU LIKE EVIL MAGIC
-*OPTIONAL* ABOVE THE 2X2 ROOM, THE TREASURE CHEST ON THE FAR LEFT OF THE ROOM AS YOU DESCEND HAS A GLADIATOR VEST
-WHEN YOU'RE ABOVE THE 2X2 ROOM HERE, GO DOWN AND RIGHT AND YOU CAN GET A LIFE POTION
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Old 12-13-2016, 10:56 AM
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this guide needs to be submitted to gamefaqs

it's perfect
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Old 12-13-2016, 11:00 AM
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True story: In my younger days, I actually tried to submit a FAQ to GameFAQs that was a bulleted list and all caps. It was rejected. >_<
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Old 12-13-2016, 04:29 PM
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Valdis Story is the actual best. Sadly, SolarLune's problem is an all-too-common one. It is very easy to screw your build up. This is redeemed at least a little by the fact that the game is pretty short end-to-end (at least when you know what you're doing).

THAT FINAL BOSS THOUGH: good grief, this is a hard game when it wants to be
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Old 12-13-2016, 04:34 PM
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I had to quit this game because the blurry backgrounds gave me eyestrain
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Old 12-14-2016, 08:02 AM
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I loaded up Valdis Story last night, intent on finishing my Gilda playthrough... only to realize I already had. So I clowned the last boss with her despite not remembering half the controls. (In particular, I never found the magic button. Late-game Gilda is kinda broke.)
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Old 12-16-2016, 06:31 AM
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This LP inspired me to finally fire this up and give it a try, so that I could follow along. I'm really impressed how good this feels to control; right from the word go, you feel like a badass, and I assume this feeling will only increase as my ability set expands.

The boss reward mechanic is questionable (and I wish it'd had been communicated in a tooltip or something), but they make retrying bosses really painless by allowing you to "Retry" (which I also wish had been communicated). Really, better tooltips/tutorial information would have gone a long way in this game, I think. I'd have been much worse off if I didn't go in knowing a few things, and might well have bounced off of it.

That timed mana key stone puzzle that BEAT wisely skipped just about managed to bounce me away by itself. I probably should have quit it as well, but I was just so close (also, since I'm trying pure AGI ATM, the reward was really nice). It demands that you pull off a succession of tricky jumps with zero mistakes, including making liberal use of your recently acquired dash cancel, as the timing is super tight, and it really feels like a misstep to have something like that this early. It reminds me of a really late Metroid Fusion chain shine-sparking challenge, and that's more where I'd expect to find a challenge of this nature (late game 100% completion pass). I am curious about the super secret, though; I assume it has something to do with the torches, which stood out like a sore thumb (lit ones at the bottom, unlit ones spread around the room). I look forward to trying to tease that out later once I presumably get fire magic.

I made the same mistake as BEAT regarding the magic system: pressing direction then magic button versus magic button then direction feels more intuitive, and I wish the game had made it clear that the order matters. I spent a lot of time (much longer than BEAT) Dash Cancelling when I meant to Ice Pillar until I figured it out. Even as a pure AGI build, I've found that I'm getting a lot of mileage out of the Dark attack that leave a blood cloud. It's been great for dealing with air/ceiling opponents, and it very literally wrecked that ice boss' face, which was a pain to reach otherwise.

One really nice feature that, again, wasn't communicated and caused me problems: the game has a really nice suspend feature, where when you quit it creates a suspend save so that it can pick right back up where you were. However, it doesn't tell you that that's what's happening, and it's a very long pause while it does this, so I thought I'd locked my PC up when I tried to Quit the first time. (You can circumvent this by quitting to Main Menu, and then quitting from there.)

So, this game has a lot of rough edges and a hard shell, but the centre seems like it might be very sweet and chewy.

ETA: Oh, I also went back and stumbled into a Boss fight with the Yeti as soon as it was available that I wasn't expecting. I got the distinct impression that I shouldn't be there yet, but I managed to kill it after a few failed attempts (I wish I'd had the Paladin armor to prevent Freezing) largely by cheesing with the platforms in the room. However, it took forever, and I ended up with a B or C rank, IIRC, so I didn't save it. I assume(/hope) I can come back later and do better.
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Old 12-16-2016, 06:47 AM
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After a point, I believe the Yeti disappears. I think it's either when you reach Tagrum or when you get the Lordess Tear.
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Old 12-16-2016, 06:48 AM
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Good to know! I haven't done either of those things yet, so maybe I'll head back there next. Thanks!

ETA: (Er, wait, I have been to Tagrum, but that's literally the next thing you do after he spawns, which is when I went back there, and he definitely still existed at that point.)
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Old 12-16-2016, 11:05 AM
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PART 03

TELEPORTING PUNCHING BAG
SHU GOHTH TO LIBRARY

SHE'S OVER HERE
MorningSong

In which Wyatt Goibniu Earp, medium-sized ball of rage, reunites with his buddy who is probably a vampire.

NOTES
  • WELCOME BACK TO THE PIT OF POISON AND BIRDS. BEAT makes his stance on this well-known.
  • SHU GOHTH. Like Ruckjahl, Shu Gohth poses little direct threat and relies on the arena to do the bulk of its damage. Unlike Ruckjahl, Shu Gohth warps around the area a lot and will almost always have you poisoned, dealing constant damage whether you like it or not and bleeding your MP dry on top of it. Furthermore, when in statue form, Shu Gohth regenerates. This is the iconic "teleporting punching bag" fight, and it's a neat idea on paper but pretty annoying in practice.
  • BEAT DOESN'T CARE ABOUT S-RANKING ANYMORE. Can't blame him, and it being Normal mode he should be okay, but Shu Gohth's S rank reward is a skill point, which is really, really good. On higher difficulties, Shu Gohth is one of the bosses you really need to S rank.
  • BACK TO HRUKK. We drop off the Lordess Tear so Vladyn can get better, and Elder Breyja tells us to go clean out the Library, roughly back the way we came. Wyatt is none too happy with this.
  • WORLD'S GREATEST DAD. Thank you GCrusher for this mental image.
  • THE LIBRARY. The angels within put only a token resistance up to Wyatt, when who should show up but Vladyn. The two snipe at each other in that way "friends" do and Vladyn sets up camp in the Library. This will form the home base for our crew, not unlike Skies of Arcadia or Suikoden or whatevs. As we find crew members, they'll return here and may provide services to us in a number of ways.
  • GOIBNIU? Okay screw that, his last name is EARP.
  • DABORSK JUST CHILLIN' OUTSIDE. Our first crewmember is quickly located. Daborsk is one of two crewmembers who provides Wyatt and his lot ways to upgrade magic souls. Daborsk, obviously, specializes in light-typed souls, which the infodump below will explain in more detail.
  • GILDA LITERALLY TWO STEPS AWAY. Hey Gilda. Since she's not playable, she does basically nothing to help. Cool.
INFODUMP:



Today's update is going to be about the magic souls. Each character begins the game with two souls, and can obtain four more during the story. As mentioned, to use magic, you first assign the soul to as many of the four casting "directions" you want. Then, you hold the magic button to enter a casting stance, and if you're in the air you automatically do the air spell, and on the ground you press a direction to cast the associated spell.

Magic souls are divided into three categories: light, dark, and neutral. The four you get during the game are evenly split between light and dark, while the ones your character starts are fixed. Equipping one of that soul's spells shifts your soul affinity, lightly discussed earlier. Depending on your affinity, your stats may award different benefits every 5 points up to the cap at 20. They are as follows:
  • Strength grants bonus armor to light-aligned characters, life leech to dark-aligned characters, and armor ruin (i.e. your physical attacks pierce armor more) to neutral characters.
  • Intelligence is similar, granting faster MP regen to light-aligned characters, spell leech to dark-aligned characters, and spell ruin to neutral characters.
  • Agility grants attack speed boosts to light-aligned characters, faster run speed to dark-aligned characters, and bonus crit damage to neutral characters.
  • Luck increases the power of assists and minions for light-aligned characters, affliction chance for dark-aligned characters, and max HP for neutral characters.

The bonuses here are mostly self-explanatory and work to accentuate the strengths of the stat. Luck is the really only oddball one, and your affinity only really matters if running pure Luck. Anyway, to the souls themselves. These can be leveled up at the Library by talking to Daborsk or Walter, the latter of which BEAT has yet to recruit. Each magic type also has an associated affliction, which I'll describe in the summary.
  • The Soul of the Saint Lord is a starting soul shared by both Wyatt and Vladyn, and governs healing and light-type magic. Light magic can inflict silence, preventing victims from casting spells, calling for assistance, or entering Focus Mode. Since it's extremely nebulous as to what exactly constitutes a spell, this is a pretty wonky status effect to use against enemies, and when it works, it tends to work almost too well.
    • If cast in the air, you summon Holy Wisps around the caster. These work like orbiting shields in Castlevania, dealing damage to anything close enough. At high enough levels, you get a frankly ridiculous amount of wisps to work with.
    • The up spell for it is Blessing, a regen spell. Does exactly what it says on the box: do you need to heal more? Okay, here, you get healing.
    • Cast to the side, you get Smite. It's a midrange spell with a pretty solid chance to inflict silence. Despite the healing bent of most of the magic here, Smite gets WAY strong with investment, much more so than it appears at first. I THINK it has a degree of homing to it, but the range isn't long enough to really make that a major thing.
    • And finally, the downward cast is Grace of Light, which not only instantly heals you for a fair amount, but also buffs your attack damage. If it wasn't for the Ice Pillar spell, BEAT would probably cast this one quite a lot.
  • The Soul of the Demon Lord is Wyatt's other starting soul, and it's shared by Gilda. Gilda can only cast two of its associated spells for reasons, though. This soul uses dark-type magic, which inflicts curse/corruption, I forget what it's called. What I do know is that it both weakens the defenses of the victim AND prevents healing of any sort. This is a status effect that both the player and enemies can really leverage, especially given that most enemies likely to heal are angelic in nature.
    • The air spell for Wyatt is Hellish Descent, which causes a rain of evil to fall upon enemies. It's very expensive and doesn't do much damage, but it covers a wide area, is very persistent, drains life, and has probably the best chance to inflict curse.
    • The up spell for Wyatt is Shadow Walk, the stealth spell. Using this renders Wyatt invisible but forces him to walking speed. While invisible, enemies can still hit you but have a hard time detecting you, except for some bosses. I've never bothered with it, though.
    • The side spell for Wyatt, and the air spell for Gilda, is Dark Strike. It's an arcing projectile that has a bit of a blast radius to it. Very useful in almost any situation, and a staple spell for any dark sorcerer.
    • Cast downwards as Wyatt, or on the ground at all as Gilda, you get Black Hand, which not only deals damage at melee range, but also boosts your magic damage for a while afterwards. Great way to start up a combo, especially if you're blending multiple dark magic types and have good affliction chance.
  • Reina's magic souls are both unique and neutral. The first of these is the Soul of the Centurion, a divine-typed soul focused on offense. The affliction for divine magic is Reckoning, which as discussed above just makes further divine attacks deal lots more damage. Both of Reina's souls can only be upgraded through her Golden One skill tree.
    • The air spell is Solar Beam, an angled laser attack that has respectable reach and damage. This is a great bread-and-butter option for Reina, whose poor range is a serious problem in many cases.
    • Her up spell for this is God Hand, the first of many brand spells. Weapon effect enchantments like this only work on actual melee weapons unless given an avenue somehow, but they all basically work the same. This spell is incredibly strong for Reina since it'll make almost any attack inflict or capitalize on Reckoning, but it also competes with her only healing source early on.
    • To the side, we get Golden Raid, a dashing attack with an even higher chance to inflict Reckoning. I think it can avoid attacks to a small degree but I'm not sure. What I do know is that, like Black Hand, this is a great opener to almost any fight.
    • And downwards gets Power Geyser, a fairly wide-ranging close blast of magic. The wide range is the best selling point of this one, but it's fairly low to the ground, so flying enemies won't care at all.
  • Reina's other soul is the Soul of the Guardian, a defensive counterpart to her existing Centurion soul. Feel free to mix and match what spells you're using right off the bat as her, as they are equally effective against angels or demons.
    • The air spell is Divine Decoy, which summons a clone of Reina to fight alongside her. It's only temporary, and I have no idea if it counts as a minion for the sake of, say, the light-aligned assist boost, but hey, if it does, that's amazing. And the decoy isn't stupid either, it'll work with both physical and magical attacks no problem.
    • Up is Refresh, which instantly heals you. It's an instant heal. It will not be for very much on its own, so be prepared to chain cast. THATS ALL I GOT
    • Aegis is the side spell, and it is incredibly strong and incredibly expensive. It does little damage, but Reina is fully invincible while casting, and if you have an affliction while casting, the affliction is healed and the spell is discounted. If you have the sense to remember it and the MP to use it, Aegis is a phenomenal panic button.
    • And finally, you get Sacred Wind by casting downwards. It buffs your attack speed for a while, which is great, but it also knocks enemies back, which is less great considering Reina's poor range. I'd say to save it for if/when you get surrounded and Aegis is too expensive for you? I guess?
  • Vladyn's unique soul is the 100 Demon Arm, which summons minions to fight alongside him. Unlike everyone else's unique spells, this one's leveled up at Walter like any other dark-aligned spell. Spells from the 100 Demon Arm do not attack directly, but create demons which each have their own health totals and combat capabilities. They also boost one of Vladyn's own stats while active.
    • In midair, Vladyn can Summon Minion. Minions are small agile creatures with little health or attack power, but they're also cheap to summon and very hard for enemies to reliably shut down unless they have wide scale attacks. It also boosts run and attack speed, which is the REAL reason to have this little guy around.
    • Cast upwards, you get Summon Banshee. This is the most outright magical option Vladyn has here, having reliable long-range dark attacks, high resist, and boosting Vladyn's own magic power. The Banshee isn't very fast, but it can fly, and it's excellent at long range attacks (much like Vladyn himself).
    • To the side, you can Summon Demon, which seems a little redundant here. Whatevs. The Demon is the only one of Vladyn's summons that walks and jumps like a normal person, making it the hardest to use in unreliable terrain, but it's also a pretty strong and aggressive attacker. Further, it boosts Vladyn's attack damage. Pretty handy to have if you're relying mostly on guns.
    • The down spell, Sacrifice, does NOT summon, but instead destroys all of your active summons and heals Vladyn for 10% of his max HP per summon destroyed this way. Considering the cost of demon summoning, it's far too expensive to use as a reliable source of healing, especially when the Soul of the Saint Lord is right there, but if used with good timing when your demons are low on health, it can be pretty effective.
  • Gilda's signature magic soul is the neutral-aligned Soul of the Plague Bearer. Because she works so differently from everyone else, she only has two spells per soul. Yeah, it's weird. Anyway, the Soul of the Plague Bearer specializes in poison magic, which is exactly as strong as it sounds.
    • In the air, Gilda gets Blight Claw, which is a pretty solid attack that has extra affliction chance and spell ruin. These traits make it useful in almost any situation, which is good for Gilda because sometimes you need a good strong generalist option.
    • On the ground, you instead get Toxic Serpent, which trades the extra effects of Blight Claw for the ability to hit multiple times, which is almost as good. Its range is also slightly better than Blight Claw, but you won't use Toxic Serpent much if you're playing Gilda properly, by just constantly being in the air.
  • And finally, the soul BEAT got last update is the Soul of the Frozen One, a light-aligned soul specializing in general utility and ice magic. Ice magic freezes targets, preventing them from doing anything until they thaw or are shattered out by a physical attack. It's terrible, but against enemies who can be affected by the status effect, it's terrible in the other direction.
    • The air spell for all characters is Arctic Javelin. It has high range, and when it strikes an already-frozen target, it shatters into several splinters, dealing high damage. Since Arctic Javelin can freeze targets itself no problem, this is your highest damage option if relying on ice magic.
    • Non-Gilda characters can cast up to get Frost Blade. As mentioned above, this spell will enchant all of your weapon attacks with ice magic for a short time, giving Int-focused characters a way to use their weapon attacks in addition to their spells. BEAT might have cause to use this spell for one boss, but we'll see.
    • To the side, you get Frozen Shard, a long range side-firing ice spell. At higher levels, you can cast this multiple times back to back, with each extra cast getting more and stronger projectiles, but even in its weak state it's reliable just for coming out fast and hitting at long range. Very light on MP too.
    • And last and definitely least, casting downwards, or at all as Gilda, gets Ice Tower. In addition to dealing damage to anything it lands on and blocking projectiles, it also serves as a stepping stone for anyone who feels like it. The fact that this becomes such an essential mobility tool for early-mid game until you get the double jump is incredibly vexing, given that it competes with every other magic soul for a slot. It's not BAD as an actual attack, but maybe you want, say, Grace of Light instead.

That's all I'm discussing for now. There are three magic souls left to get, and I might come back and add them here when we get them, or just append them to the infodumps for those videos. We'll see, I guess. Next time, weapons!
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Old 12-16-2016, 01:23 PM
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Just... FUCK DA POISON PUNCHING BAG.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BEATGUIDE FOR VALDIS.txt
ABANDONED GARDENS [CONT.]:
-SHU GOHTH IS A TELEPORTING PUNCHING BAG. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR WALL JUMP SKILLZ DOWN
-GRAB THE LORDESS TEAR IN THE NEXT ROOM AND THEN GO BACK TO VLADYN

HRUKK REVISITED:
-AGAIN I FORGET THE ORDER, MAYBE I SHOULD PLAY THROUGH TO MAKE SURE, BUT LONG STORY SHORT YOU WANT TO GO TO THE INFIRMARY AND THE ELDER AGAIN, SHE'LL GIVE YOU A LIBRARY KEY
-*OPTIONAL* AGAIN, IF YOU CAN GRAB THE MASTER'S SCROLL OR BOOK OF THE OLD GODS FROM THE TRADING POST HERE, NOW WOULD BE A GREAT TIME TO DO SO
-GET THE LIBRARY KEY THEN BACK TO THE CENTRAL SKYWAY IN THE UPPER RIGHT WITH YOU

CENTRAL SKYWAY:
-STILL FUCKING NOTHING HERE UNLESS YOU MADE THE BROKEN DOLL LIKE A CHUMP WHO DOES NOT READ GUIDES, JUST GO TO THE RIGHT AND THEN DOWN
-*DANGEROUS* IF YOU DID THEN THERE'S GONNA BE A RAVEN BOSS HERE, HAVE FUN WITH THAT

LIBRARY:
-KILL THEY ASS
-ONCE YOU DO, THE LIBRARY IS NOW YOUR HOMEBASE, WHERE YOU WILL BE RETURNING FREQUENTLY TO UPGRADE YOURSELF AND YOUR GEAR
-*OPTIONAL* IF YOU GOT A BOOK OF THE OLD GODS, TALK TO VLADYN FOR STAT
-CLIMB UP AND OUT THROUGH THE LEFT, SAY HI TO DABORSK ON THE WAY
-*OPTIONAL* HE CAN UPGRADE YOUR LIGHT/ICE MAGIC BACK INSIDE IF YOU WANT
-AFTER THIS YOU CAN HEAD BACK TO HRUKK AND THE TRAM CAN FAST TRAVEL YOU TO TAGRUM, YOUR NEXT OBJECTIVE IS TO THE WEST OF IT.
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Old 12-16-2016, 03:09 PM
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I don't know how many times I died to Shu Gohth on my first playthrough, but it was a lot. I might've nearly quit there.

Of course, that makes it super-satisfying to go back and wreck shop now that I know how to play the game.
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Old 12-18-2016, 02:56 PM
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Kalir Kalir is offline
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PART 04

YETISLAYER
TAGRUM DERELICTS REVISITED

RESIDENT NGE SCHOLAR
Fanboymaster

In which Wyatt Goibniu Earp, Rank 10 Strongman, beats the hell out of a yeti, but not stylishly enough.

NOTES
  • TRAMS. Fast travel from town to town is accomplished by the tram system, but as mentioned, BEAT has already discovered two of the three tram stops in the game. There's not that many towns in the game, but there are still quite a few that are actively hard to reach solely because the tram system doesn't get you close enough. In particular, reaching the Library requires crossing the Central Skyway near Hrukk, regardless of what you do.
  • ATALAN JOINS UP PROPER. Atalan serves as our first assist character, being dudes that show up to help out during fights on command. They turn up, do their thing (usually a combo of a buff and an attack) and then peace out, to be summoned again on a cooldown. Using an assist more in fights will level them up, to a cap of I believe 5.
  • CAN'T CALL ASSISTS IN TOWNS. BEAT and I both wish that you could solely for conversation reasons, but I suppose it was not to be.
  • YETI ROUND 2. The Yeti is an ice-typed beastie that has both high powered physical attacks and a fair few magical ones. While it's pretty meaty, any attack from behind will both deal extra damage and disrupt whatever attack the Yeti is doing. Again, BEAT's Paladin Armor is doing untold amounts of work here solely by keeping the Yeti from freezing him with every other attack.
  • STILL NO S-RANK. BEAT gives it a fair try, and then a fair retry, but on the third retry, the boss doesn't show up again. My theory is that picking up the Snow White Mane prevented the Yeti from respawning even via Retry, which is weird, but eh. Still, defeating the Yeti here is great for a few reasons, the first being the Snow White Mane.
  • MORE CREWMEMBERS. First up is Dave Mac, demonic weaponsmith. I'll explain the lore later, but suffice it for now to say that there are some demons and angels who don't agree with the choices their respective gods have made, and are siding with Wyatt now. Dave Mac can make Wyatt's dark-aligned weapon back at the Library once we get a key material.
  • DEMONS AND FERALS FIGHTING. One nice thing is that the three factions of enemies in this game do not temporarily forget their enmity towards each other when the player shows up, and in many areas, the Tagrum Derelicts among them, they will frequently be fighting amongst each other. There's only one boss battle where this becomes a major thing, but it's one of my favorites.
  • MURDEROUS RAIMENT. The first dark-aligned armor many players will get, and a pretty central piece for Agi/Int focused characters, as every crit you land will boost the power of the next spell you cast. We will not be using it.
  • WESTERN SKYWAY. So once you get back to Tagrum, your actual goal is Ishk, a town to the west. However, there are two routes to get to Ishk, and the Western Skyway is one of them. Despite being mostly easier to reach if you are backtracking, it is the harder of the two on account of the boss halfway through, but if you've slain the Yeti it's worth the trouble to drop in for a bit anyway.
  • NOTHING LEFT IN THE DERELICTS RIGHT NOW. We'll be back once we get the Demon Key and/or a way to cross that pit with the low ceiling.
  • CLERIC VESTMENTS. Once again, it's a very nice set of armor if you're using a build BEAT very much isn't right now. In particular, it favors pure Int builds, assuming you can scrape together a source of Armor so physical attacks don't make you disintegrate. Unfortunately, going further would result in BEAT facing the aforementioned boss, who is a bit out of his league right now.
  • BEAT TAKES THE AMBUSH SKILL FOR SOME REASON. His reasoning is that he wants to open later skills up, but Ambush doesn't give him much of anything he could use unless he did decide to start splitting his stats between Str and Agi. Eh, if it becomes a problem, there is a respec guy we can talk to.
  • YAMA DEE. After multiple failed attempts, BEAT finds the other weaponsmith, Yama Dee. His hairstyle is ridiculous. But with the Snow White Mane, BEAT has more or less everything he needs to craft a new weapon! We'll do that once we return to the library.
INFODUMP:



Right, I know I said I was gonna make this update about weapons, but I changed my mind, because to know about what they all do, you need to know about the combat system itself.

Functionally, it's a lot like an Igavania, but more technical. You have a light and a heavy attack, a spell button (which we discussed the workings of last update), you can block, and with skill cancels, you can dodge. The name of the game for any fight, especially a fight where you're trying to S rank a boss, is stacking your combo as sky-high as it will possibly go.



These work like combos in any other game: if you take damage or go without landing a hit for a short time, your combo ends. Higher combos interact with certain character skills, and defeating enemies at high combo levels gives a pretty high multiplier to your XP. Arguably, this is another element of the devs rewarding skilled players at the expense of punishing bad ones, but it's not really hard to get even decent combos going.



Aside from enemies interrupting you with damage, there are two main obstacles to maintaining a combo. The first is if your attacks are blocked. An enemy that blocks enough of your attacks will eventually parry, stunning you and giving them an opening to attack. You can punch through an enemy's guard with a heavy or magic attack, unless that enemy has a Perfect Guard, like Angel Templars do. With enemies like those, you either need to take a break in your combo or get behind them somehow, usually with a Skill Cancel.



The other obstacle is that while you are performing a combo, your Skill Cancels do not naturally regenerate (unless you have a skill or some gear with the Tactician trait, and even then it's slower than normal). So in order to maintain a combo, you need to carefully ration your skill cancels to dodge enemy attacks and get behind their guard. If you have a way to recover skill cancels mid-combo (for example, Wyatt's Swift Steps skill), proper timing can let you stretch a combo out almost indefinitely.



To that end, most bosses have means of disrupting combos in their own way, usually by shifting your focus to another target or activating a special attack that grants some invincibility frames. Ruckjahl's one of the best examples, as their multiple weak points force a player to break up their combos by climbing the arena to get to new vantage points. Some enemies are softer about this than others, too: Tagu doesn't have any real way of disrupting combos aside from the sky leap, but her constant hitstun immunity is usually enough of a deterrent.



Speaking of bosses, the ranking system isn't too hard to understand. Time and health potions used is self-explanatory, the only tricky one is combat style. To do well there, you need to land high combos without taking hits in return. You can view your time and style ranks above the boss' lifebar at any time during the fight, so if things get too bad to salvage, you can retry without having to finish the fight. Rewarding high ranks and punishing low ones is still stupid though.

Right. NEXT we'll discuss weapons, for real.

Last edited by Kalir; 12-24-2016 at 06:02 PM.
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  #19  
Old 12-19-2016, 10:14 AM
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BEAT BEAT is offline
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This is where things get a LITTLE out of order on the guide, so I'm def gonna have to re-watch that video.

PRETTY SURE that this covers it tho.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BEATGUIDE FOR VALDIS dot txt
*OPTIONAL* BACKTRACKING:
-EVERY SINGLE THING HERE IS TOTALLY OPTIONAL FOR NOW AND THE GAME STARTS TO BECOME NONLINEAR HERE SO I'M JUST GONNA HIT THE MAJOR POINTS
-NOW WOULD BE A GREAT TIME TO MURDER THE YETI HANGING OUT ABOVE TAGRUM VILLAGE IF YOU HAVEN'T YET
-BACKTRACKING THROUGH THE TAGRUM DERELICTS WILL LET YOU RECRUIT DAVE MAC AND GRAB THE MURDEROUS RAIMENTS, AND IF YOU GO FAR ENOUGH YOU CAN REACH THE WESTERN SKYWAY
-YOU CAN GO FAR ENOUGH IN THE WESTERN SKYWAY TO GRAB THE CLERIC VESTMENTS, BUT DON'T GO ANY FURTHER, ONCE YOU GET THEM, BACKTRACK AND FALL OFF THE LEDGE TO FIND YAMA DEE. FUCK THAT GUY, BUT HE IS IMPORTANT
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  #20  
Old 12-19-2016, 04:39 PM
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JBear JBear is offline
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OMG, I just found Sir Pancakes. GOTY.
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  #21  
Old 12-20-2016, 09:09 AM
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Assists - You want to always use your assist when it's off cooldown. They eventually level up with use. It's very possible to beat the game without ever seeing this happen, because it's very easy to forget assists exist. Reina starts the game with what's arguably the best assist.

I'm not sure what the max assist level is. I don't know that I've ever seen one above level 3.

"I assume I won't hit the level cap by the end of the game" - Yeah, the level cap is 20. You'll hit it easily if you're not glitching through the game. They've added lots of new bosses since the game first came out, but they never lifted the level cap to take advantage of all that extra XP you'll get.

That ranking system - I think getting C or below on all bosses would make for an interesting challenge run. The A/S rewards are considerable, and the XP for lower ranks is insulting.

Mana keystone puzzles - On charging a keystone, Wyatt holds his hands in the air to celebrate. You can cancel-dash out of that animation, and you really should, because the timer has already started counting at that point.
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  #22  
Old 12-20-2016, 09:51 AM
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JBear JBear is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mogri View Post
I'm not sure what the max assist level is. I don't know that I've ever seen one above level 3.
I've got one at level 5 (the self-heal/enemy stun). The increase in effectiveness is considerable.
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  #23  
Old 12-22-2016, 10:23 AM
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Kalir Kalir is offline
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PART 05

TONE DEAF
MAUSOLEUM DISTRICT REVISITED

XXXTREME SPECTATOR
Fanboymaster

In which Wyatt Goibniu Earp, Muscle Explorer, finds a ninja and ignores a poncho.

NOTES
  • CHARACTER DIFFERENCE DISCUSSION. In Wyatt's case, Zeige's suspicion when meeting him is pretty reasonable, but if we'd played as Reina, her generally more protagonistic attitude would make him seem less suspicious and more paranoid. Which, y'know, is probably the devs' actual intent with Zeige. His attitude is the same for Vladyn and Gilda, too.
  • NPC NAMES ARE PRETTY UNIQUE. Again, I think they're likely to be Kickstarter backers in some fashion, but I'm not sure to what degree.
  • MANA KEY STONE PUZZLES. We're still on the easymode ones. They get MEAN later on.
  • BEAT OFFERS TO GET FANBOYMASTER THIS GAME. Cool!
  • SHADOBOXXER REJOINS US. He's an assist character like Atalan and we don't care about him whatever. Originally, Peche's grave was just before encountering Shadoboxxer, which was juuuuust a bit atonal.
  • ENEMY CAPABILITY DISCUSSION. The more bosses you defeat, the stronger the rank-and-file enemies get, developing new techniques (for example, the Angel Templar can revive fallen enemies now). Furthermore, enemy strategies vary with faction, with angels notably relying much more than demons or ferals on teamwork. Again, this is something the game unambiguously gets right.
  • LIFE POTION. BEAT has all three of them now! He still won't want to use them in fights, because boss rankings, but the room for error is nice to have.
  • BEAT RETRIES THE WANDERER'S RAIMENT PUZZLE. Wait, BEAT, where are you...
  • BEAT IGNORES THE WANDERER'S RAIMENT PUZZLE. Eh, whatever. Also my video was lagging WAY behind there.
INFODUMP:

I considered weaseling out on this and discussing something else (Focus Mode), but I can come back to that topic next time, and I don't want to let you true doom weaponheads down. So today, we discuss weapons. I'd warn BEAT that this has spoilers for the stuff Wyatt's going to get, but eh, I'll make him get what we can at the first opportunity when we record next.



Every character has one unarmed attack and three weapons (with the technical exception of Gilda, who has four weapons and no unarmed attack, but whatever). Everyone begins play with their unarmed attack, and Wyatt and Vladyn both start with their neutral-aligned weapons. Dave Mac and Yama Dee, who BEAT rescued last update, can craft dark and light-aligned weapons at the Library, while the neutral-aligned weapon can be crafted by a plot-relevant NPC we'll meet later. Furthermore, when you clear the game, you automatically start with all unlocked weapons that character has on future files.

There IS technically a fifth golden weapon for every character, but I'm not going to talk about it here. That will be WAY later down the line. So if you see a fifth weapon in the screenshots below, pretend it's a mod or something.



Wyatt's weapon selection is, for the most part, nice and straightforward, and he boasts one of the most customizable weapons in the game. You should have no trouble finding something among his kit to suit you.
  • The exception to his simple kit is Wyatt's self-taught Unarmed style. The significant damage penalty, inability to guard break with heavy attacks, and reliance on stance-shifting via heavy attacks on the ground makes it not for the faint of heart, but anyone who does feel like mastering it early on will be rewarded with a pretty high XP boost. It also comes with innate Parry, but I'm totally okay burning three skill points to get Parry anyway.
  • The Great Blade Purgatory is Wyatt's signature weapon, and it's incredibly reliable for any build from start to finish. It can combo with both light and heavy attacks, which is nice, but even nicer is the fact that it has branching upgrades at every level, rather than just when you first upgrade it like most other weapons. Other weapons might be fun to use, but don't really fit with the character build you are trying for. That does not happen with Purgatory.
  • Dave Mac can make the Raven's Quill, which is a bow and dagger set. The base damage is a bit low and you'll have trouble breaking guard, and you can't block with this weapon. However, it's incredibly fast, can attack at long range, and has a backstab bonus. Blocking will, if you have a skill cancel, consume one to backdash, leaving a poison mine where you were. This weapon has upgrade paths for bonus crit chance or for poison infliction.
  • Yama Dee, meanwhile, gets you the Seraphic Blades, so you can properly edgelord by getting your dual-wield on. Naturally, this means you'll land more hits, which is great for combo-building, but each individual attack does less damage. Additionally, this weapon set excels at midair combat, letting Wyatt hover a bit as long as he's landing solid hits. This weapon can either be built for crit chance or for light magic.



Reina's weapons aren't much more complex than Wyatt's. In fact, you could argue that Wyatt's weapons are MORE complex than hers, outside of Great Blade Purgatory. But whatevs.
  • Reina's Unarmed Alagathian fighting style is considerably more effective than Wyatt's, while still maintaining the XP boost. It retains the inability to guard break, but Reina can fix that with her Way of the Dragon skill, and she can fix the poor range with her Chi Focus skill. And you don't have to worry about swapping stances, either!
  • Later on, she can obtain a Monk's Staff. It has the best range out of Reina's weapons, and its upgrades are straightforward, with a branch for physical or magical combat. It also comes with an innate Tactician trait, so she can recover skill cancels during a combo. The only tricky part is the Wind Slash feature, where her heavy attacks consume MP to create a hurricane. Even so, this is almost as reliable and straightforward a weapon as Purgatory.
  • Reina's oddest weapon is the Soul Collector Dave Mac can make. Functionally it's a slightly faster version of her Unarmed style without the XP boost, but the first heavy attack you perform will deploy a totem. This totem will gain power as you build combo, and will automatically attack nearby enemies with a beam of magic. It's an excellent weapon for tactical, defensive players, and it can be built towards recovering HP or MP.
  • Finally, if you want to run a pure Str Reina, you grab the Great Hammer. While Yama Dee's weapon is a bit slow and can't combo very far, it has incredibly high base attack and breaks guard with any attack, making it well suited to players who just want to smash things until they die from it. While it has an upgrade path for doing just that, you can also upgrade it for light magic instead, adding a Smite feature on heavy attacks that inflicts Silence.



Vladyn's weapons, excluding his unarmed attack, are all guns. Specifically, he has a handgun as his light attack, and the signature weapon of the pair as his heavy attack. The handgun has excellent tracking and will aim at the nearest enemy, although it's not hitscan, so you may still miss at long range against mobile targets. Still, Vladyn's weapons are excellent for a long-ranged playstyle. Unfortunately, his weapons have but a single upgrade path to them.
  • The Hundred Demon Arm is the core of Vladyn's melee combat. Like most unarmed attacks, it has low range, but unlike the others, it has no problems with breaking guard and it doesn't grant bonus XP. It also has an innate Void-type magic attack on every attack, which can be a problem against demons relying on that attack type, but it does reward a melee-focused Vladyn for investing in both Str and Int.
  • Vladyn's signature weapon is the Peace Breaker, which uses a high-powered shotgun alongside the pistol. While the range of the shotgun is low, the attack speed and power are both incredibly high. This weapon works best for a mobile Vladyn that wants to be dangerous at any range. Unlike everyone else's neutral weapons, Claudia in Hrukk upgrades this for you.
  • Dave Mac's firearm is the Doombringer, a heavy launcher. It fires out large blasts of dark energy that cover a wide area on hit. While it's undeniably powerful and great at attacking groups, it's not the fastest weapon out there, so be quick with your skill cancels if you want to rely on it.
  • Yama Dee, on the other hand, can make Esperanda's Long Gun, a sniper rifle. The rifle deals a potent blast of ice damage at incredibly long range, easily covering the length of the screen, but it's strictly horizontal. It's valuable as a weapon for summoner Vladyn, both due to the light affinity and the long range, although it also excels at abusing crits. Use your handgun to deal with targets on different elevations if you can't get a clear shot with the long gun.



Gilda's weapons of choice are relics, which have a permanent brand effect on them. In short, whatever magic type she's currently wielding, all of her relic attacks have that element applied to them as well. Furthermore, each relic scales up in its effect with the stat she's using, so if you want to invest in a stat not named Int or Luck under her, pay close attention here. Like Vladyn, her weapons do not have branching upgrade paths.
  • Her starting relic, and technically her unarmed attack, is the Dragon Claw Relic. It scales up your Spell Ruin with your Int, which combined with being her starting weapon and having innate affliction chance makes this something to rely on from beginning to end. Do note that it has low range and cannot be upgraded, but even so, it's worth it.
  • Her neutral weapon is the Scepter Relic, which is her own version of a ranged attack. It gains extra range with Agi, and each shot is fast and has a pretty excellent degree of homing, so if you're good at aiming her long-range spells this can let you effortlessly combo enemies from across the screen. Hell, even if you aren't investing in Agi it's not a bad choice, solely for the decent base range and boosts to attack speed and magic power.
  • Dave Mac can craft her a Reaper Relic, which is what she uses if she's investing in Str. It has high power, gains crit chance with Str, and comes with Life Leech, which is a very attractive package since she does not have innate healing. But you REALLY want Str here to make this worth it, it's too dependent on the physical end of its attacks.
  • Yama Dee makes the Sacred Relic instead. This weapon fires large bubbles that get even larger with Luck investment. The size increase here is the most drastic boost out of all the scaled effects here, such that you will easily hit multiple enemies multiple times with each attack without even trying. Plus, it adds mana steal, which Gilda will pretty much always want.

Okay, that covers weapons, excepting the golden weapons which I will discuss MUCH later. Next, Focus Mode.

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  #24  
Old 12-23-2016, 06:54 PM
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Kalir Kalir is offline
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PART 06

EVERY GAME NEEDS 'EM
SEWERS

SANITATION CONSULTANT
Heron

In which Wyatt Goibniu Earp, connoisseur of heavy blades, prefers insulting a defeated foe to executing them.

NOTES
  • HERE WE GO. While the Sewers do technically lead to the same place as the Western Skyway, its boss is far easier. Still, the boss of the Western Skyway is the only real reason to handle the Sewers first.
  • JUDICATOR RAIMENT. This is another one like the Paladin Armor in that everyone wants to have access to it, even if they won't always use it. Main reason being: extra skill cancel. More skill cancels are great!
  • BOOK OF THE OLD GODS. There's five of these in the game, and bringing them to Vladyn not only awards a stat or skill point, but also gives some historical lore. This lore varies depending on who you're playing as. I'm not gonna go to the trouble of writing it all down though.
  • DHISTAHN SHOWS UP ALL DUAL WIELDING AND GOING INVISIBLE. While his edgelord credentials are almost as good as Wyatt's, his trickery has some loopholes. If you break the pipes on the sides of the stage, it'll flood the room, so you can see the water splashing around his ankles to track him. BEAT opts for a simpler method of just causing him to bleed all over the place, which works roughly the same.
  • BEAT S-RANKS DHISTAHN ON THE FIRST TRY. I'm so proud of you!
  • KILLING OR SPARING DHISTAHN CHANGES SOMETHING LATER. The choice is not moral in nature, as it might be in, say, Iji, Undertale or Bioshock. We'll see what changes pretty obviously when we get there.
  • BEAT THEN IMMEDIATELY FALLS BACK INTO THE PREVIOUS ROOM. And is stuck there for an embarassingly long time. It's an embarassment for me too, I should've picked up on the actual way to leave the room long ago. Like, if you don't want to spend a huge amount of time yelling at the screen, just completely skip minutes 13-20.
  • FROZEN CREWMEMBER. Yeah we're getting fire magic soon don't even worry.
INFODUMP:

So y'all have probably been wondering, just what the heck is the deal with Focus Mode anyway? Except no, because if you had, you'd probably have looked it up somewhere. Too bad, I'm explaining it anyway.



As you land hits, you'll build up that golden meter in the upper left corner. Once it's full, you have access to a thing called Focus Mode (although being silenced prevents you from activating it). Just press light attack and magic together to go! Doing so cancels whatever your current animation is and performs a heavy attack, and it also heals you and restores MP.



As a baseline, you get a slight increase to all damage done while in Focus Mode, although skills you obtain, particularly skills at the bottom of your trees, can grant additional benefits. Your Focus Mode's duration is largely defined by your Agility, but you can end it early with a Focus Finisher.



These are incredibly powerful signature moves that usually deal incredibly high damage, punch through armor, and stun enemies they hit, making them a great way to finish a combo. Against normal enemies, a properly used finisher will pretty much always end the fight, but bosses, since they have a few ways to escape combos, aren't always a sure thing. Knowing where and when to use your Focus Finisher in those fights is critical.

Each of the four playable characters begins play with their own Focus Finisher, which increases in power as they gain levels/stats/I forget. The menu will say they each need a certain amount of Focus, which is basically how long it'll take to actually build up your Focus meter.
  • Wyatt's finisher is Rage Slam, a leaping strike that hits enemies all around him. It only hits once, but that one hit is incredibly high-power. This move scales up with Str, which is one of the main reasons Wyatt is so easy to build for pure Str. It's a pretty all-around reliable finisher though, so if you don't have a strictly better one for your stat, you may as well use this one.
  • Reina's finisher is Buster Lion. It's a one-two punch combo. It's a bit less reliable than Rage Slam since Reina's movement can be awkward if you're likely to fall off, and it doesn't hit behind her. However, it charges significantly faster and is easier to combo with. Like Rage Slam, Buster Lion is keyed to Str but can work just fine if you don't have an alternative.
  • Vladyn's finisher is Summon Kudir. I dunno who Kudir is, but whenever he shows up, fire and void magic starts flying like crazy and things die. Unlike the others, Vladyn isn't stuck in animation hell while Kudir does his thing, and Kudir isn't tied to any particular stat, both pretty excellent strengths. However, Summon Kudir is VERY expensive to charge up, taking twice as long as Rage Slam.
  • Gilda's finisher is Dragon's Divide. Gilda leaps backwards and fires a blast of energy diagonally downwards, using whatever magic type she has equipped as the typing. It's keyed to Int, but you already knew that and were pumping Int as Gilda anyway. It's incredibly strong, needless to say, but if you aren't using Int on Gilda for whatever reason, it might not be as impressive, so you may need to find another finisher to try instead.



You can also get a number of finishers from other sources, particularly your crew. In most of these cases, they won't teach you the next tier of a finisher until your stats are high enough, but if you're interested in using that finisher, that won't be a huge deal. Since BEAT hasn't found any crewmembers that provide finishers, I'll give this a miss for now, and explain what they do as we go.

Next update, we'll discuss assist characters a bit more, unless I get a better idea.
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  #25  
Old 12-27-2016, 10:04 AM
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Kalir Kalir is offline
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PART 07

SEZZI IS A JERK
GUARDIAN TEMPLE

CANTANKEROUS OLD MAN
Heron

In which Wyatt Goibniu Earp, warrior-monk hold the monk, dives into a demon-infested temple to grab a hammer for a jerk.

NOTES
  • ISHK! This is the last location the tram can access, and it's not a bad spot to access, being fairly close to a number of dungeons while having a bunch of valuable crafting services available. That said...
  • SEZZI REFUSES TO HELP US IN ANY WAY. Sezzi is the town's elder and the guy who will upgrade our neutral-aligned gear, but refuses to do a damn thing for Wyatt (or anyone really) until we recover his hammer from the Guardian Temple below. If you're playing as Reina or Gilda, he refuses to help you but is also creepy about it, because that never gets old in video games, does it.
  • SUPERIOR MANA KEY STONE. In older versions, you'd need to invest skill points to get force guard, which blocks magic attacks. Now, they just give it for free with every purchase. It also charges up the mana key stone puzzle things much faster. This is a perfect time to do so.
  • KANTAE'S HANGING OUT ON THE EDGE OF TOWN. His Smooth Criminal impression is good enough that BEAT assigns him as his new assist. We're not sure if he's actually just a second Wyatt in a purple suit or not.
  • THE GUARDIAN TEMPLE IS FULL OF FIRE. As we have already established, status effects are terrible. In older versions, burning was basically just poison, but with slightly different mechanics that weren't MP drain. Apparently this wasn't strong enough for the status ailment, and now it can stack up to 5 times. In short, don't get combo'd here unless you want to lose your entire lifebar in under a second. This is NOT hyperbole.
  • IT ALSO HAS SPIKY BLOCKS. These also deal lots of damage and can't be avoided by skill cancels. Between these and the giant skulls roaming around in midair freely, platforming here is heavily punished if you screw up.
  • REIZE SEATLAN IS RIGHT IN OUR PATH. People who have played Shovel Knight (i.e. everyone) might recognize this fellow as one of the wandering adventurers you could fight on the world map. He's basically a slightly more Australian Lloyd Irving. Turns out that in both that game and Valdis Story, Reize's creator, who goes by "Seizui", paid exorbitant amounts of money to include him as a character in both games by backing them on Kickstarter. I can see how that might upset some people, but honestly, long as your character's keeping the tone of the game (which Reize mostly does, or at least is not the worst offender)? More power to you, buddy, have fun.
  • WELCOME TO THE NEW GENERATION OF MANA KEY STONE PUZZLES. It's easy to see what they want you to do here, but even with the upgraded Mana Key Stone, the timing here is pretty punishing unless you have the controls down pat. And don't even think of trying it without killing the giant skulls.
  • EVENTUALLY WE GET THE GOIBNIU ARMOR. This armor was worth the effort for BEAT to get, because again, more Str is better for him. It also features an armor-piercing effect when your health is low enough, which is tricky to use but incredibly strong.
  • WE ALMOST STARTED RECORDING ANOTHER VIDEO AFTER THIS. But it was too late and we made little headway, so it was scrapped. I considered posting it as a bonus video, but when I weigh what's coming up next... no, you guys don't want more of what's coming up. Trust me.
INFODUMP:

Now that we have quite a few assist characters, we can explain how they work a bit more. As you adventure through the game and recover more of your crewmembers, a few will join as assists, lending their assistance to you on the frontlines. When called, they appear, do their attack (which usually also comes with a buff) and then leave, and there's a cooldown before they can show up again. Assist characters level up with use, although their level is capped depending on your own level (I think the max for assists is 5). There's no way to tell how many uses an assist character needs to level, and you can't use them in towns, so as Mogri said above, you should really be spamming your assist constantly when exploring.

(These screenshots technically spoil a later area, but I don't really care because that area is small fries.)



The first assist most characters will get is Atalan Trair, the explorer girl from the start of the game. Her signature knife-toss is a pretty solid ranged attack that will aim at enemies, and will cause bleeding if they land a crit. I'd say Atalan's skillset most favors a player who splits stats between Str and Agi, but I honestly have no idea if assist characters use the stats of the main character at all. Don't worry, my screenshot just makes her look like a bad shot. She's not about to stab Reina in the forehead.



Reina is the only character who gets an assist earlier than this, discovering her wolf pal Faolan early in Tagrum. Faolan opens up with a howl that boosts MP regen, and follows it up with a powerful lunge that hits multiple times and breaks guard. Faolan is half the reason Reina makes such a good caster character, and even outside of that he's great for really anyone relying on MP.



The extremely seriously named Shadoboxxer comes out quick and hits for a pretty solid physical/dark attack. This attack will send lightweight enemies flying, making him nice if your character wants a bit of breathing room. Unfortunately, this attack has little-to-no ruin, so heavy defensive opponents will more likely than not ignore his attack. For real though, he's fast. This was my best screenshot of his attack.



Reize brings his signature twin boomerangs to the fight. These have okay range on them and can hit both coming and going, but the real advantage is the high chance to stun enemies. If an enemy's likely to break out of your combo, or is just pressing a hard offensive and leaving you no opening, Reize is great for stopping them cold and buying you some time.



While Kantae doesn't do damage, his incredible utility and ability to heal his teammate makes him a popular choice for assist. His trickster spell stuns and silences all enemies on screen (although it's possible for enemies to resist the silencing effect), buffs the user's defense, and heals them. Kantae's cooldown time is pretty harsh, though, so save his appearance for when you need it most.

There's more assists, but like the finishers, I'll append them to infodumps as we obtain them. Faolan gets an exception because he is a good dog.
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  #26  
Old 12-27-2016, 09:42 PM
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Torzelbaum Torzelbaum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalir View Post
EVENTUALLY WE GET THE GOIBNIU ARMOR.
Don't you mean the EARP ARMOR?
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  #27  
Old 12-29-2016, 10:52 AM
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Kalir Kalir is offline
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PART 08

MOLTEN HOT ANGER
JAHZRACHT THE PURIFIER

NO JURY, ONLY FURY

In which Wyatt Goibniu Earp, postal boy, fights the dumbest boss in the game.

NOTES
  • I WAS NOT KIDDING ABOUT BURNING. Just watch that first time the Demon Archer hits him with the flamethrower, his health goes from about half full to 0 instantly.
  • BEAT ASKS IF THERE IS A WAY TO NEGATE THE BURNING STATUS EFFECT. Wyatt does not have a reasonable option to do so. The only character who has a status-curing spell is Reina, and even there it costs an exorbitant amount of MP. There are pieces of equipment that can block it, and I invariably find myself using them because SCREW STATUS EFFECTS MAN.
  • A WIKI TELLS US HOW TO GET A PRIZE. Yeah Ice Tower on the flamethrower, easy as that! I had NO IDEA YOU COULD DO THAT. Anyway we get Honest Davion for our troubles. We probably won't buy his wares, but hey, he's here.
  • BEAT PANICS AT THE BOSS ROOM AND REFUSES TO ENTER WITHOUT FULL POTIONS. His concern is fair, but no, that's just the pre-boss elite enemy. Unfortunately, the high damage of the three rooms between that and the save point means we spend 5 minutes just trying to get back with a full stock.
  • SO I TRUNCATED IT. Only thing we missed was BEAT getting double-teamed by the ground and me ranting about hating stats and comparing this game to Mark of the Ninja. TL;DR version is that Mark of the Ninja is better at giving you cool options to feel like a badass with because it doesn't tie their effectiveness to numeric stats, while to try new options in Valdis Story you have to either respec or make a new character.
  • "THIS FLOOR IS COVERED IN FLAMETHROWERS, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME." Hey kids, say hi to Jahzracht. Jahzracht is a gimmick boss. You see that circle around him? That circle expands whenever he takes damage, and turns into a heavy damage close range blast when it gets big enough. However, taking any ice damage at all stuns Jahzracht and cancels the blast. So in theory, this guy would be a pushover if you ran constant ice attacks (say, by casting Frost Brand if it didn't compete with Blessing's regen).
  • JAHZRACHT IS STILL TERRIBLE. Disrupting the counterblast is necessary to survive, but Jahzracht also has a ton of flamethrowers all over the place because you haven't gotten tired of traps yet, AND a supermove he uses at every 25% of his HP. It has loads of tell time, during which he is invincible and you have ample time to retreat to the walls, but messing up even once will pretty much guarantee you spend a life potion.
  • HITSTUN DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY. It IS possible to tag Jahzracht with Arctic Javelin while he's doing that fire hurricane thing, which stuns him out. But that doesn't make the fire tornado dissipate immediately, just stops him from expanding it. This is no consolation at all.
  • THIS FIGHT WOULD BE SO MUCH BETTER IF THEY JUST HAD LESS STUFF IN IT. Like, do we really need the flamethrowers, the fact that literally everything he does can inflict burning, the fire tornado that sucks you in and also makes sky lasers appear just to prevent you from hugging the wall? I feel like at least one of these elements could be separated into giving him another normal attack (he only has two, a staff attack and the ground pound), but their commitment to the gimmick means that if they did, you would never see it.
  • EVENTUALLY IT ENDS. BEAT claims a C rank and moves on with his life, getting the Soul of the Purifier in the process. Among other things, which I'll detail below, the Soul of the Purifier's side spell, Dragon Claw, can shatter rock walls, which means we have a lot more to explore now.
  • "WHERE'S MY FRIGGIN SAVE ROOM." You still have to climb out and grab Sezzi's hammer. And that requires you to do another mana key stone tower for some reason.
INFODUMP:

So, this is a concern that came up during the video, and it's one point that I really wish the game did better, but here we are.



Namely, the game's crafting system. See, there's no universal currency down here in Sitheil. Sure, there's Ancient Coins that your crew (and one mercenary) will trade in, but those are rare and won't even drop if your luck isn't at least 5. So most things the vendors offer, they do in exchange for the materials to craft it.



It's not any one thing that makes this system so terrible, but rather a combination of things. First off: item caps. There are a sharply limited amount of certain item types in the game. Like, say, the Arch Demon Spirit here. As it happens, not only are there fewer demonic bosses than angelic ones, but the demonic bosses will usually drop other things, like Jahzracht above. Meanwhile, there's even an enemy that drops an Arch Angel Spirit, but is in fact just a recolor miniboss that you fight before the real boss. So if you want the final tier of any dark magic, you get one, MAYBE two shots at it, but you can upgrade almost everything requiring Arch Angel Spirits if you are so inclined.

Second: random drops. There are items like the Ancient Coin, which LOOK like there's a small fixed amount in the game, but which actually drop randomly. Additionally, most enemies will constantly be dropping crafting stuff like Polished Stones and Iron and what not. This isn't a bad thing, because like BEAT said happens with Skies of Arcadia, just about every enemy in the game has a chance to drop most things, and you can even look up the fine details back at Vladyn for per-enemy item drops. But the only way to influence this table and get enemies to drop more, or better, items is to amp up your Luck score. There are a few vendors who will trade up low-end drops for higher ones, like the Strange Child in Ishk, but not many.

And finally, there are permanently missable items. I'm guiding BEAT enough so he doesn't miss the cutoffs for this, but suffice it to say that you can permanently lose access to just about any non-crew vendor in the game if you don't do things just right. And if you don't have vendors, you don't have crafting.

Again, if they just dropped one or two of these things it'd be fine, or if they gave you any warning whatsoever that hey, there's only 10 pieces of Tamahagane in the world, then this might be less terrible. And to be fair, the game is still just as playable with low-end gear as with not. It's just really frustrating to have all of these elements come together at once.



One last thing: defeating Jahzracht grants the Soul of the Purifier, a fire-type soul specializing in high damage. As you already know, fire damage inflicts the burning ailment, which does nothing more than make people die really fast. It both adds damage over time and increases the power of further fire damage taken.
  • The air spell is Brimstone, an arcing fireball. It only hits one target and the projectile doesn't move terribly fast, but it does a lot of damage upon impact. There's not a lot else to say about it, honestly.
  • The up spell enchants your weapon with Fire Brand, which does what it says on the box. One thing I haven't mentioned about brand spells is that they're called "weapon effects" by the game, and don't apply to unarmed attacks normally. You need certain accessories to make them work that way. I don't know why either, honestly.
  • The side spell is Dragon Fist, which is incredibly short range but incredibly strong. Higher levels of the spell add attacks to this spell, making it an amazing combo extender. Additionally, this spell can break rocky walls, which thankfully stay broken so we don't need to keep this spell active forever.
  • Ash Bringer is the last, downward spell of this soul. It sends forth a wave of fire along the ground, and is notably the only fire spell that by default hits multiple times. This makes it the best single-shot spell for stacking the burning affliction, although Fire Brand can usually do so more consistently by virtue of number of attacks.

Okay go away.

Last edited by Kalir; 12-29-2016 at 07:36 PM.
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  #28  
Old 12-29-2016, 06:31 PM
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Torzelbaum Torzelbaum is offline
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Wow... That boss is some fucking bullshit.
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  #29  
Old 12-29-2016, 07:53 PM
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I... I like Jazracht
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Old 12-29-2016, 08:07 PM
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JBear JBear is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mogri View Post
I... I like Jazracht
Same! It was the first boss fight in this game where I really enjoyed learning it. It's super overwhelming at first, but it's possible to do the entire fight without taking any damage, and it's very satisfying to get the patterns down and S-rank it. S-ranking a lot of VS bosses is about MOAR COMBO, but Jazracht is all about learning where to stand and when. That being said, I was probably a bit lucky, in that I didn't even know about the whole fireball counter-attack thing, since I was using the ice attack enchantment the entire time under the assumption it would do more damage.

ETA: Also, you can absolutely skill cancel out of the flame cyclone.

Edit 2: The Tamahagane scarcity is indeed complete bullshit though. When I got to the golden weapon vendor after just having spent 2 (3?) of the things to upgrade my weapon in order to fight the boss that unlocked it, I made an angry face. If that was the only thing that required them, and it just demanded that you explore thoroughly to get all 10, then it would be fine, but the way it's implemented just feels like a trap.

Last edited by JBear; 12-29-2016 at 08:40 PM.
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abyssal city , edgelord , lets play , valdis story , where the s-ranks at

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