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Author Topic: Iron Man Adventure Mode  (Read 517 times)


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Iron Man Adventure Mode
« on: April 12, 2018, 06:18:25 am »

I have been trying to play adventure mode exclusively these past couple of months. I am used to following the advice given in the Powerplay guide, but now I am wondering if the real challenge is to do things by the book so to speak. If you power farm your skills in the beginning without facing real danger, then things become a bit too easy later I find.

So I was wondering, how many of you have played "iron man" mode and what is the furthest you have got before getting killed? What I mean by iron man is basically you do not do most things as recommended in the powerplay guide, including but not limited to:

repeatedly doing low damage strikes to defenceless animal training dummies
repeatedly throwing objects like mud and coins into thin air to level up the throwing skill
very selectively choosing the character traits so as to end up with the most easiest to satisfy needs as possible
stealing armor items at your starting location, ie just walking out without paying for them
the use of macros to level up skills when and wherever possible
using strategies, while not being outright exploits, feel a bit cheaty such as sneaking everywhere, using the OP status of throwing, etc.

So basically, a squeaky clean adventure. How far have you got?



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Re: Iron Man Adventure Mode
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2018, 01:04:16 am »

You can go quite far. I have cleaned out entire dark pits with an elf before.  He defeated a vampire weapon lord among other exploits.  I've never actually defeated any mega creatures, but I've basically not tried to (I'm more interested in other aspects of adventure mode).  I'm even the kind of guy that thinks that using a shield is "cheaty" :-)  I also almost always start with peasants. So super, duper, squeaky clean.

The main thing is to understand the combat system.  The combat system is ridiculously fun if you RP it.  There are *tons* of ways to cheese it, so I think the best thing to do is to handicap yourself so that it's just a little bit harder than you want -- then try to figure out how to survive.  The kisat dur thread is required reading.  But you also need to understand the tick system.  You'll want to use "," almost all the time and "." almost never.  It's best to take the point of view that each fight is going to be a long, tactical one with each party trying to outsmart the other.  You don't just rush in and expect to hit the other person.  You should be waiting until the exact right time to attack and then you should know how to recover from the attack in the most defensible way.  You need to understand the number of ticks each move will take, what the advantages and disadvantages are, etc.  Additionally you need to understand the importance of positioning in the fight (it makes a HUGE difference) and how to move to get an advantage.  Finally, you need to understand what all the options in the combat menu mean and what the tradeoffs are (you have a blue difficult scratch to the fourth finger on the right hand and an easy strike to the head with your battle axe -- which one do you take in each situation and why).

Additionally, I often play adventure mode without combat.  It's very fun (especially if you have legends viewer running somewhere so that you can explore the world effectively).


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Re: Iron Man Adventure Mode
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2018, 09:58:20 am »

I don't really run demigods (nor will I, until they live up to their namesake), and never minmax my stats. My favorite adventurers are warrior-skalds. You get to murder monsters and then tell stories about how cool you were while doing so.

Granted, I'm not the best at the DF combat system, so I usually do -some- skill grinding. Wrestling (and fighter) are the most important (as well as the least tedious), and they train relevant attributes as well. So often once I've hit legendary fighter, I might train my weapon skills a tad (proficient for primary weapons, or competent for the brawling skills). From there, I try to let the rest of my combat skills raise naturally. Defenses, it somewhat depends for (as they can be tedious to train, too). I normally don't train them higher than proficient, though.

What it boils down to is that I'm not quite at the point where I feel that combat is easy, so I like to have a somewhat level playing field. I also don't usually murder whole villages or dark pits (genocide isn't particularly heroic imo), and instead usually choose to fight beasts (which devour unskilled adventurers for breakfast). I don't really bother clearing out bandit camps, either, since they just repopulate. I do do terrible things to bandits who pick fights and ambush me, though!


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Re: Iron Man Adventure Mode
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2018, 11:13:38 am »

I didn't even know there'd be a name for this sort of playstyle - its how I've always played adventure mode.

I don't like using the word immersion, but I do think it is kind of immersion-ruining to just maximize stats and skills off the bat, since on one hand the methods to do so are rather ridiculous, and on the other it does make the game way too easy. Admittedly vanilla adventure mode I did find rather easy regardless (short of vaults and fluke 1-hit kills from bandits or peasants), which is why I started modding.

This also kind of reminds me of one of the DFtalks, where Toady mentioned deincentivizing this sort of behavior by adding appropriate reputations - so sure, you could be an asset to the local community that kills beasts who threaten the safety of the village/city, but people would also remember you as the large village idiot who wrestles squirrels all day.

Urist McVoyager

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Re: Iron Man Adventure Mode
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2018, 01:55:31 pm »

Eh, that last part is pretty silly, IMO. Results matter. You might LOOK like an idiot for wrestling squirrels all day, people are going to laugh a lot less when they see that translating to more quickly being able to wrestle that goblin bandit commander who keeps beating the rest of the village guard and ransacking the place. Soon after that the militia's going to be going into the woods to wrestle squirrels too.

The best way to break people of that is to base skill gain on what you're facing. If you have a good choice between joining the militia and sparring against an even opponent who can reliably level you up, or going into the woods and taking your chances on what you find, you're probably going for the militia. Unless you've got a character who can wrestle bears, near a forest full of bears. Then you might go for the woods instead.

And while I don't like the idea of throwing things like mud into midair, you do train with throwing knives in real life by hitting specific targets. That's a simple-to-say tweak of just tying that skill gain to marking specific targets when you throw. I don't know how simple it is to program, mind you, but it's a simple thing to point out.

I've played Iron-Man mode (it's the official name for the playstyle) in enough RNG games like this to know it isn't for me. I never got far in DF adventure mode until I figured out how to savescum so I could revert a mistake and learn from it with that one character.


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Re: Iron Man Adventure Mode
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2018, 07:20:44 pm »

One of the things I like about DF is that for the most part it is dead easy once you know how to play it.  You can up the challenge by adding your own house rules.  This makes a really large number of viable playstyles with varying difficulty.  Because it is a single player game with no win conditions, you can please yourself.

Having said that, I think the game is waaay more fun without squirrel wrestling and the like.  I'll leave a couple of quick tips for anyone who would like to try it another way:

  • Weapon skills are not particularly beneficial to start with
  • Get a point of swimming and climbing just in case you fall in a pond/fall off a cliff
  • Fighter is the best overall fighting stat
  • Get a point of dodger and shield.  Even at novice level, the vast majority of opponents can not hit you (see below)
  • Get points in Observer (competent is useful if you have the points).  This will tell you what your opponent is doing.  It's also slow to train, so stocking up at generation is useful
  • Armor user allows you to wear more armor, but is easy to train. Get it if you have the points, but don't worry about it
  • Wrestling is situational and easy to train
  • If you are going demi-god, then striking is useful, but it's also easy to train
  • The knife every adventurer starts with is the best "early game" weapon.  Stab to the lower body will often win you the fight.
  • Change weapons to something better as the situation presents itself -- if you find a steel sword, then use it.  Otherwise use the knife (it's the best).
  • Pay attention to buffs and debuffs.  The focus buff is huge.  Try to stay focused before a fight.  Never fight when you are hungry, thirsty or tired!

General fighting technique:
  • In melee, try not to approach the enemy.  Wait until they are standing next to you.
  • If the opponent has a ranged weapon, rush them.
  • If you have snuck up on your opponent, always attack with a hard attack.  There is no downside.
  • Generally speaking, take care of ranged users before melee users.  If you can't, position yourself behind trees/around corners to take the ranged users out of the equation
  • Don't allow yourself to get surrounded.  Try to position yourself so that there is exactly 1 opponent next to you.  If there is more than one opponent next to you, *do not attack* -- move
  • Set your speed at a sprint when fighting if you can.  Adjust it depending on how long you think the fight will last.
  • Watch your speed.  The more consecutive moves you make in a specific direction, the faster you will go (up to your max at whatever speed you set yourself to).
  • Wear only as much armor and carry only enough gear so that you are 1.0 speed minimum while walking.  Ditch stuff if you are slower than that.
  • Always wear armor if you can find it.  The more you fight in it, the more you can wear without slowing down.
  • Dodge is faster than moving.  Dodging N, S, E, or W is faster than dodging NE, SE, SW, or NW.  Always reposition yourself by dodging in the 4 cardinal directions if you can.
  • Only move if you are trying to escape, trying to find cover, or trying to close the gap on an enemy. Even still, always prefer to dodge if you can.
  • Turning Sneak on in combat is helpful because it can show you the direction the opponent is facing.  However it slows you down slightly.  Learn to remember which way the opponent is facing and watch for the carrots that indicate that they are moving
  • Use 'A' to attack and check to see what your opponent is doing.  If it doesn't say, then press ',' to wait one tick and check again
  • Decide what to do when it says what your opponent is going to do.  The higher your observation, the better your ability to understand what your opponent is going to do
  • If the opponent is attacking, you should defend.  You can dodge, or block.  Dodge if you want to reposition yourself.  Block if not.
  • If the opponent is using a weapon to attack, and you have high weapon skill you can also parry, or attack the limb that is attacking you (if you know which one it is).  In the latter case, you can deflect the incoming blow.
  • As long as you are not injured and your opponent is not massively better than you, their chances to hit you are almost zero.  Don't panic.
  • At some point you can engineer a situation where your opponent is "recoving from attack".  This gives you the most time to attack
  • Sometimes your opponent will be moving.  You can attack without fear or reprisal at this time
  • If you opponent is a skilled weapon user, or has a shield, aim for unprotected limbs and fingers holding the weapon/shield.  Look at your opponent to see which hand they are holding their weapon/shield
  • All creatures in DF are ambidextrous!  They can switch their weapon/shield to another hand without a time penalty (and so can you!).  Don't assume the weapon will always be in the same hand.
  • Otherwise prioritise slowing down your opponent with a stab to the lower body, slash to the legs, etc
  • When fighting multiple opponents (or when hunting fast animals), prioritise slashing legs, stabbing feet, etc.  This gives you a speed advantage and you can string out your opponents
  • Pay attention to blue "!".  Those are special openings with specific attacks.  Get used to reviewing them.  A blue "!" will usually hit, so it's almost always beneficial if it is in a strategic place.  This is also why training striking is beneficial
  • Different attacks take different amounts of time.  Do not kick an uninjured opponent -- it is too slow.  Generally, stick to fast attacks until you can injure the opponent
  • Injury is a *massive* debuff.  Once you have injured your opponent you have basically won.  However the reverse is also true.  Be especially careful if you are injured
  • If you can't seem to hit your opponent, choose precise attacks.  They are slow but they may give you enough precision to hit.  If you still can't hit your opponent after several tries, then it's time to think about retreating somehow
  • Pay attention to armor.  Can your weapon get through the armor in the place where you want to attack?  If not, don't attack there
  • If you can't get good attacks, dodge to reposition yourself.  Keep doing that until you get the shot you want.  Remember that unless the opponent is much better than you, they basically can't hit you (if you have a shield).  Run away if they can

I'm getting tired of typing, although there is much more that could be said.  I hope it will get some people started.  Like I said earlier, the fighting system is really fun and I think it's a bit of a shame that people don't use it much.