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Ack
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Re: RPG Progress Report

by Ack Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:44 am

Might & Magic 2

Well, I didn't have too much time to play last night, but I wanted to make do with what I got, so I went back to C3 and the hidden Druid Cave there. I was right, the password to enter was "druids". A simple enough puzzle to figure out, and upon entry I discovered I was knee deep in druid sewage. Yes, it was described as gross as it sounds. Also, most of the cave is considered a dangerous area, so resting can only be done in designated Meditation Rooms. To add to the danger, there are elemental snares in certain areas that deal damage to all party members. These cannot be avoided by levitation, and they cannot be mitigated through elemental defense spells.

However, there are several things worth finding in this cave. The snares can be mitigated through use of teleportation spells, and while the druid enemies within cast silence every turn, the monsters with them usually aren't tough enough to pose a real threat as I head to a Meditation Room to rest and recover. Some of the alcoves and numerous hidden rooms contain magic gear, though in general it hasn't been anything more than fodder for me to sell. I did encounter a quest within from an elder druid to seek out his young protege who has apparently turned evil and kill him. Unfortunately, I also stumbled across that protege, and he both hits hard and is incredibly hard to hit, so I'm going to need more levels and greater accuracy to be able to fight him effectively. I'll come back later to finish him off.

The most important secret of the Druid Cave is what I'm calling the spinach closet. It's a secret room near the sewer hole you enter the cave through; you can teleport directly to it from where you enter. The great thing about this room is that it contains a bunch of spinach that can be eaten every time you enter the cave. After resting, the spinach adds a permanent +10 boost to Might for everyone in the party, so it's eat spinach, teleport to the nearest Meditation Room to rest, leave, and return...at least until I've topped off what I can do through stat boosts.

What do I mean by that? Well, Might & Magic II plays with the stat bonuses beyond what the first game offered. In the original M&M, stats could go up to 255 before looping back to 0, but there was no benefit to going over 40, because they simply stopped adding additional benefit. In M&MII, stats continue to add greater benefits at certain break points. However, permanent stat increases such as the Might spinach can only boost a stat into the 50s; from there, further boosts must come from gear, spells, or usable items. Since it's anywhere in the 50s, that means that someone coming in with a 20 can get the +10 boost 3 times, and they'll cap at 50. Conversely, someone with a 19 will be able to get that boost four times and cap out at 59.

Thanks to this weird system, Noise the sorcerer now has the highest base Might in the party, at 59. Ack has the highest at 60 through gear, while Marurun also uses gear to reach 59, though both are actually at 50. Thus, going into the game with a 19 in a stat is actually better than going in with a 20. Still, I'll take what I can get. As a result, the evening was spent mapping most of the Druid Cave, nearly all of C3 on the overworld map, and pumping up Might in all characters to the max I could get from the spinach. Not only that, I managed to earn enough experience in the process to push Ack, Prfsnl, and Key to level 11. My power grows.
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Re: RPG Progress Report

by Ack Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:56 am

Might & Magic 2

Since I didn't get to it last time, I decided that now was the perfect chance to attempt the Red Triple Crown. This was a step up in difficulty, and while I successfully manged to defeat all opponents in the three arenas, it was not without deaths in the party each time. I actually consider this a good thing, as it shows where I'm at in order to prep for the final level, the Black Triple Crown. Plus the gold and experience rewards are fairly substantial, so running through this level in the arenas will likely be good for me.

Once complete though, I then needed to move to the third castle with a red key to find the red bishop. I'd previously located the necessary castle, but I hadn't explored it at all. Once again I marched across the overworld, pushed into the castle, and started exploring. 75% of the castle map filled out later, I uncovered the red bishop, along with a whopping 100k experience bonus for completing the Red Triple Crown. Combining this with the rewards from the arena fights and the battles to get to the red bishop's location, and I'm probably netting enough to level everyone once per triple crown run at this level, so I may do this a few more times for leveling purposes.

That said, I didn't want to simply give up on my exploration, so I made it a goal to finally finish filling out all of overworld map C3 and check out more of map area C4. With C3 fully explored, I now have complete maps for 3 of the 20 overworld areas. I also attempted to explore out towards the fourth castle, but the random encounters out in that direction are brutal in comparison to what I've been facing, so it's currently no dice going that way. After getting crushed so brutally, I wanted a morale boost, so I tracked down a group of 255 orcs, which midway called for reinforcements, making it a fight with 355 orcs all told. I slew them all with relatively little effort on my part. Considering a few levels ago I got ground down by them with 50 to go, I can definitely tell I've gotten tougher.

What next? Well, I've explored the dungeons under a couple of towns, so perhaps I'll revisit the third town, Thundara, and push through exploring more of the map there. They have an outer wall filled with monsters and a dreaded snowbeast that I have yet to encounter, so I'm very curious what that fight will be like. I'm also sitting on a couple of skill potions, so it might be worth going and attempting some of the bigger, nastier enemies I've seen. So long as someone survives, I could end up with a ton of experience and gaining some levels. Also, I should seek the other stat boosters; Key got a new weapon that boosts Might, officially making her the strongest party member at 61 right now. And the Red Triple Crown is an excellent fall back for ensuring I continue to build my party up.
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Re: RPG Progress Report

by Ack Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:46 pm

Might and Magic 2

Yeah, I let a week go by before posting. I wasn't sure if you guys really needed daily updates on this sort of thing, though they are a nice way for me to decompress and put down my thoughts.

When I left off, my characters were around level 11 or so. In the last week, I've bolstered them up to level 15, with one at 16. How? Exploration! I've made it a point to go exploring, and in the process I've successfully boosted my stats too. While I'm not always able to map every area due to dangers and a few instant deaths, I have successfully managed to uncover all of A-2, A-3, B-2, B-3, B-4, C-1, C-2, C-3, and D-4. That's 9 of the 20 overworld sections in the game, and many of the rest have large swathes uncovered. Unfortunately, it also means I've had some harrowing encounters, such as a Dragon Lord sitting in D-1 near an area with radiation that instantly exterminates one of my characters when I visit. As a consequence, I can't explore it all, but I'm doing what I can.

In the process, I've managed to uncover many of the NPCs in the game. Might & Magic 2 has a system that allows for up to 6 playable characters in the game, but you can fill out up to 8 slots by bringing along hirelings that you find throughout the world. These hirelings have a cost associated that you must pay each day, and they lack equipment when you start, but they do provide additional bodies in a tough fight. They also need to be leveled up, so the downsides are pretty big, but I've still been tracking them down for a reason I'll get into in a second. Of the 24 hirelings, I've managed to locate 22.

Why do I want to find them? Because the promotion quests can only be completed by characters of specific classes. For example, the Knight promotion quest requires I fight a jousting evil knight, but he'll only fight a party made up of Knights and Robbers. With enough hirelings, I can walk in with nearly a full party as opposed to the two characters that would normally be able to fight. Even if they're weak, they'll make a decent distraction, and I can use them all as healers if need be.

At this point, I've found the locations for the Knight, Archer, Cleric, Sorcerer, and Paladin promotion quests, as well as the Barbarian...though I do not have any Barbarians, so it's a moot point. The Robber class also can tag along with any other class for a promotion, so that means I've found all I need for my main party. The trouble now is ensuring I have the capability to reach the quest and the power to overcome it. Since traveling through forests and mountains in M&M2 requires certain skills, I'll have to train the hirelings for travel so I can go and track down these quests. As for beating them...well, that's going to take more leveling and relying on things like skill potions or stat boosts.

I've also successfully managed to beat the Black Ticket Triple Crown with the party, though it wasn't easy. Nearly every fight, I barely squeaked by, so it might not actually count since so few characters survived each battle. As a result, the game might not give me credit for the characters actually doing it. Hence, I'll need to do it again, but I'm going to need more experience before I can successfully pull it off. Experience and luck, as some of the monsters that you can fight are mercilessly tough.

I also completed a quest recently that gives me access to a time machine. Basically I had to bring the hireling Sherman to a king known as Mr. Peabody... The hirelings are made up of geek references, so yeah, I ain't exactly praising the writing here.

There are numerous dungeons that I've uncovered, and many of these I've managed to explore at least partially. I finally killed the Horvath in the Druid Cave, which resulted in my getting the Divine Intervention spell. I explored all of Tundara and slew the snowbeasts there, and I've explored most of the dungeons under all five towns. The castles I've yet to visit their dungeons, though I've found teleporters which will take me to each of them. I'm also knocking out a cave in the swamp that happens to be a dungeon spa for monsters; some of the monsters are tough, but the traps on their treasure chests are even worse. I've died twice to them, despite Prfsnl having a solid Thievery chance. One quirk of the game is that you can get your Thievery % up to 255, and you'll still fail to bypass booby traps on chests, but it's much, much rarer when it happens vs any other character attempting to open a chest.

I also finally managed to visit the fourth castle, and there the queen asked that I complete the Black Triple Crown and earn my promotions, so that's my goal. I will continue exploring and building myself up.

Keep Ack, Bone, Elkin, Key, Prfsnl, and Noise in your thoughts, folks; they have many more dangers ahead of them.
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