Thursday, August 6, 2015

Moria: Too Quick, Too Dead

A week ago, I had this post all planned out.  I was going to write about how I was playing this game all wrong.  I had a whole rant prepared about how preposterously easy it is, and how I needed to stop being so cautious and methodical.  My conclusion was that I had to stop mapping the game level-by-level, and start jumping ahead.  So I did, moving straight from level 6 of the Forest to level 11.

Then I died.

I've mentioned before that the groups of monsters grow larger the deeper you explore.  On level 6 I was fighting groups of five or six monsters.  When I went to level 11 I found myself up against groups of 10 or more.  (Now that I write it out, the numbers roughly match the dungeon level.  I'll have to pay more attention and see if this is actually the case.)  The actual combats weren't that much more difficult, they just became more time-consuming, and drained me of more hit points.  That wasn't the problem, though.  The problem, and I've noticed this a lot in my gaming, is that I got complacent.  The fights were so easy on the upper levels that I'd lost all sense of caution.  So I kept barreling along, not paying much attention to my Vitality, and I got murdered by a gang of Slasher Worms.

At least I got to capture this rad death screen.

Losing that character hurt.  I had managed to put together some good equipment, and my stats were high.  My Valor (the stat I relied on most often in combat) was up around 40.  I had moved up a rank in my guild (The Union of Knights), an effort which had required a donation of a million gold pieces.  (Supposedly being a member of this guild gave me the ability to behead my foes, but I never saw it in action.)  Going back to the beginning was difficult.  My character's progress had been earned by painstakingly mapping six levels of dungeon.  With a new character, I'm going to have to grind for ages before I'm strong enough to get back to where I was before.  I just want to explore new territory and keep mapping the game, but I'm stuck going back and forth over places I've already been.

To top it off, my new character didn't inherit my gear like I thought he would.  I had gotten it into my head that all I needed to do was create my new character right away after dying, and all of my weapons and armour would be passed down.  What I'd forgotten was that the gear to be inherited had to be stored in my Guild Locker (a place you can use to store equipment and treasure).  I hadn't put anything in my locker, preferring to sell my gear instead.  My own stupidity was forcing me to start over from scratch.

For my new character, I once again chose to start with a high Valor, mostly because this stat controls your weapon choice.  You need a Valor of 15 in order to wield a one-handed weapon.  Anything less, and you have to use two-handed weapons, and forgo the protection of a shield.  I don't think that I'm going to join the Guild of Knights this time, though.  One of the most frustrating parts of the game is travelling back to town, so I will probably join the Circle of Wizards.  That guild gives the ability to teleport back to the city, which will make the game a bit more enjoyable.

With the setback in progress I just had, I'm going to focus on Moria for the next while.  As I mentioned above, I'm not sure how to progress now.  Should I continue to be cautious and methodical, thereby stretching this game out interminably?  Or should I go hard, and delve deep as quickly as possible to go for the quick win?  For the moment, I'm going to grind cautiously until my new character gets as strong as my previous one was, and then I'll decide which play style to adopt.

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