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Completed Let's Play MMVI: The Mandate of Heaven

Discussion in 'Codex Playground' started by Azira, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Codex 2012
    Welcome back dear readers! Last time was an introduction to the game and the mechanics of it. This time we will go proper spelunking where I abuse the advantage of ranged attacks to clear the first two dungeons, we hire some NPCs to give our group a proper headstart, and we finish off by just peeking about the first dungeon on the next map.
    Plus, we'll also advance the plot ever so slightly and visit the freaky, elderly, bearded fellow from the intro. :salute:
    Oh, and it turns out that I did uncheck the "include frame rate overlay on screenshots" box, so I can't really explain why that annoying yellow number insisted on showing up for most screenshots in the first update, but apart from the first few screenshots of this update, we should be rid of it. I decided I didn't need to see the yellow number to know that FRAPS is running in the background after all. :roll:
    Alright! When we left off last, we'd just landed near Ironfist Castle and gotten the bow skill for our mighty group. The training left us drained of cash however, so we go sight-seeing. With that name for the town, a castle is bound to be nearby, and that is just what we find!
    Inside the castle we don't find a wise king or MILFy queen, instead we find this guy:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    A bored little prince, rattling off about wanting to go see the circus because castle life is so dull.. Nothing bad can come from this, right? ... Right?...
    Also, Uncle Archibald will be important later.
    For now though, we can't get much more out of Nicolai, so we turn to the distressingly gaudily dressed fellow beside him:
    [​IMG]
    Score! 5000 sweet coins for turning in the starting letter! Sweet, this will let us buy bows for the rest of the party. :bro:
    [​IMG]
    Also, red-robed Wilbur Humphrey gives us our first promotion quest! Earning this promotion will boost hp and sp, IIRC, so we will definitely be completing this.
    I didn't take any screenshots of exploring the rest of the town or buying bows. Mostly because I was too lazy and also because it probably wouldn't be too interesting. Instead, I took a screenshot of our return to the New Sorpigal map!
    [​IMG]
    Not sure why I did this, to be honest.. But properly equipped with ranged weaponry, now the time has come for our intrepid four to brave Goblinwatch! :salute:
    [​IMG]
    Dungeons are most of the time rather straightforward. This one even more so. Just inside the entrance we turn right down a corridor, and shortly thereafter we find ourselves in a room surrounded by a handful of goblins. They're easily dispatched however, and we start looting what we can. In a niche in the wall, we find a chest:
    [​IMG]
    This chest contains the code we need to progress further, and also the code they want back in town hall. :incline:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    We could just return to town now and pick up the reward, ignoring the rest of Goblinwatch. I'm an obsessive completionist however, so our aim is to clear every dungeon we stick our business into.. M:
    [​IMG]
    Even if we do encounter winged, flesh-sucking monstrosities such as this one. Flying enemies are annoying, they're often harder to hit than land-based ones, but often also more frail. These buggers can disease you though, so try to take them down quickly..
    Just beyond these Suckers is a panel however.
    [​IMG]
    I wonder if the scroll we just picked up can help here? :M There's supposedly more than one solution, but I type in the one that I remember using way back when:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Aaand, the way is clear! Or at least the walls have moved back, which just means the monsters hitherto trapped behind the walls can now come out and disease poor DR.
    [​IMG]
    He doesn't look too pleased with this..
    We take advantage of poor AI and the architecture of this place, in this instance standing behind a wall, luring critters out a few at a time by walking forth and having them pass their corner. The AI tries to take the shortest route, and if that means the enemy gets stuck in a corner, you're safe from those enemies until you move close enough for them to parse a route out of the corner.
    [​IMG]
    Cheesy it may be, but it makes clearing large dungeons less of a hassle, by reducing the amount of times you need to rest due to being overwhelmed. :M
    [​IMG]
    I wonder if the developers of ME3 have ever been attacked by one of these? :M
    Goblinwatch is quickly fully mapped and explored:
    [​IMG]
    And our group turns to leave. Battered and wearied, but not beaten.
    [​IMG]
    Upon our return to New Sorpigal we find an interesting NPC that can boost money found
    [​IMG]
    We decide to rest up however, and hire an NPC that will boost our merchant skills, so we can make more cash from selling loot.
    [​IMG]
    It's important to note that we can only have 2 hired NPCs around at the same time. Compulsory NPCs that we pick up for the completion of quests do not count against this total.
    Clearing Goblinwatch meant xp gained. Xp enough for several levelups!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    As you can see, each levelup earns us 5 skillpoints at these low levels. IIRC, levelling up from 11-20 will earn 6 skillpoints a pop, then 7 for 21-30 etc.
    Here's the skillcharts after those levelups:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    DR has a leg up due to horseshoes being spent on him. But we develop the bow skill for everyone but Sir Dicksmoker, which instead pumps the ID skill. ID lets us identify loot found, making this a real moneysaver, and Dicksmoker is the one with the best bow and accuracy anyhoo, so the fewer skillpoints doesn't really hurt his efficiency in combat.
    We then return to the town hall, turn in one quest and get another.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    We will be clearing out that temple in a later update. It's not the abandoned temple mentioned in the start of this update I'm afraid.
    The skillpoints spent means we can also train Sir Dicksmoker to become and expert identifier!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    This should suffice for now, so he can now focus on his other skills. Once we start running into stuff he can't identify, he'll pump this skill some more. :salute:
    I decided to clear some more of the overland map, and in one corner I meet an NPC that has some thoughts to share on Light Magic.
    [​IMG]
    Light magic is indeed strong. It has some nice buffs, and in this game, light and dark magic aren't mutually exclusive... :smug:
    Just behind this NPC is a shed containing a rather weird looking man, talking about stuff that seems to fit ill with a high fantasy game..
    [​IMG]
    In the Time of Wonders, people built blasters. Right. And this guy knows how to use them, even if he has never seen one. Right.
    ...
    This is not the last we'll see of this character I'm afraid. :M
    Still on the overland map we encounter a type of enemy that has ranged attacks of their own; mages
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The tactic used so far, of entering turn-based combat and just holding down the attack key isn't as attractive when battling other ranged attackers.. The most effective tactic here is strafing while attack. It seems our attacks are much more accurate than those of the enemies, meaning we dodge most of their attacks while they drop like flies. :roll:
    Anyways, I promised more than one dungeon, correct? This is the second one:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The loading screen is almost removed as soon as it's loaded on modern computers. :incline:
    This abandoned temple is a bit nastier than Goblinwatch. The abandoned temple contains poisonous foes:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    It's prudent to try and keep a distance, while pelting them with your strongest attacks. Presently, that just happens to be our bows, so that's convenient.
    Inside the first room with the cobras, we find our first quest item in this dungeon:
    [​IMG]
    Off to a good start, even if Lindblum did get poisoned. :salute:
    We also encounter our friendly neighborhood bat, though I don't recall this version actually posing a significant risk, despite its name:
    [​IMG]
    Deeper inside the dungeon, we come across a little girl out on her own. Naturally, we take her along so we can help her get back to her mother. This isn't that kind of game..
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    We can now see an arrow next to the NPC portraits, meaning we have more than two NPCs in tow. Talking to the child doesn't help much however, so we should just return her to her mother first chance we get.
    This dungeon is large, and features teleporters:
    [​IMG]
    They teleport us back towards the entrance, which is useful. They don't teleport us into traps, which would have been amusing. :decline:
    [​IMG]
    There was a strange guy back in New Sorpigal who wanted these eggs.. So think of them as gold coins in another shape, not as potential baby-eating monstrosities in the hands of a possible lunatic. :M
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    That represents the third and final quest we had in this abandoned temple. From here on I just cleared out the last critters before returning to town.
    [​IMG]
    The abandoned temple was much bigger than Goblinwatch. So big in fact, that we cannot see the whole map at the same time. Also, Sir Dicksmoker is the only one left standing when we leave the dungeon, even though we abused ranged attacks and poor monster AI. :incline:
    We encounter an NPC that speaks of one of the most useful spells in the game:
    [​IMG]
    We visit the temple for some quick healing. This is just to illustrate just how powerful and useful the temples are:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    This was just basic health lost and unconsciousness. More serious conditions are more expensive to heal. But the temples can take care of just about anything, as long as you have money to spare. :bro:
    We turn in our quests and take a look at the award screen:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Before "achievements" were thought of, this game kept track of noteworthy stuff you had done, so you could lovingly stroke your e-peen while poring over the heroics you had done. :salute: Popping moles, retarded AI and achievements awards. This game was truly next-gen!
    After some loving strokes were had, we found another air master NPC!
    [​IMG]
    Flight spell means a revisit to the NWC headquarters, and therefore potions for making stat-boosting black potions! :yeah:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
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    Each of these stat-boosting potions can only be used once for each character. If you use them all, each stat gets boosted permanently by 9, except for endurance which receives a 15-point boost. :incline:
    Making the potions takes some time and effort however. Here's all the recipes:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    And here's the stats of our heroes after quaffing a whole lot of black potions:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Yeah, I know. So I made a complete batch after the first visit to NWC, and that batch went to Sir Dicksmoker, hence him being just level 4 in this screenshot. The rest of the crew had to wait until we had the means of going back, explaining them being level 6. They're much more badass now however, so the 2000 gold for hiring the NPC was well spent. :salute:
    A look at the quick reference chart:
    [​IMG]
    Still not quite the talk of town, we need to work on our reputation and fame, but we can now reliably hold our own in combat. :smug:
    Basking in the afterglow of making those potions, I can't believe our luck as we stumble over yet another very useful NPC:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    He imparts some knowledge about the Lloyd's Beacon spell which will turn out to be extremely useful when spelunking (for quickly returning to a temple to heal up, then warping back to the dungeon), but more importantly, he let's us cast the town portal spell, so we can hop off and buy ourselves some very nifty spell skills..
    First though, I finish clearing the overland map and find our friend Falagar.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Falagar actually tells us exactly what we need to know to advance the plot! :bro: We need to find out what is needed to stop the devils, and to do that we need to consult an oracle. Things never being this easy seems a given, and indeed, we need to gain the support of several important nobles first.. Many quests loom on the horizon, but they loom side-by-side with the opportunity to accrue phat lewt and l33t 5ki11z. Pardon my leet-speek. It's horrible, I know. :oops:
    Anyways, we teleport to a town I will look into in greater detail when we're actually supposed to be there, instead I'll just leave you with these two screenshots:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    :incline:
    Having cleared the New Sorpigal map and gaining access to the most important spell-skills in the game, we return to the New Sorpigal map, ditch the town-portal casting NPC (20% drain on gold found is a bit too steep for my tastes) and travel on foot to the Castle Ironfist map.
    [​IMG]
    I'll end this update with a screenshot of a new type of rag-head enemy, and our next dungeon:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Note: after learning the light and dark magic spell skills for both Lindblum and DR, our party was broke, so we didn't buy any spellbooks of saids schools. We'll have to wait a while, and in the meantime I intend to build the merchant skill of at least one of our characters, as some of the spellbooks cost more than 20.000 gold.. M:
     
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  2. DaveO Erudite

    DaveO
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    M&M achievements were also tracked in earlier games from the franchise. There are quite a few useful NPCs in #6, although the most useful overall are the Instructor/Teacher combo for 25% extra experience. You could choose to use the NPC that Identifies for free and also gives 5% experience, so even a 20% bonus is still pretty darn good.

    Getting the attribute bonus from Dragonsands negates using the wells which buff up stats to 15-16, which can add another hit point or spell point breakpoint. There is an Energy Potion combination that gives +10 temporarily to stats which you can make by mixing potions.

    There are many secret items that can be obtained doing specific actions. In Goblinwatch, you can find a good piece of armor along the walls.
     
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  3. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Useful advice all DaveO, thank you. I will probably shoot for that NPC combo, now that I can cast Wizard Eye myself. It's just so useful to have the items and places of interest marked on the minimap.
     
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  4. Monstrous Bat Cipher

    Monstrous Bat
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    I don't think I used light magic at all in my playthrough; dark magic is so much better. There's a dark magic spell which shoots several pieces of steel or something foward; IIRC that spell can kill a gold dragon in two or three casts at point blank range.
     
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  5. Achilles Arcane

    Achilles
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    Eagerly waiting for more!
     
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  6. Kz3r0 Arcane Sad Loser

    Kz3r0
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  7. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    As I've previously said, I'm a bit obsessive, so we will be getting all available spells and thus I get to compare them. I'm also a big softie at heart, which explains why I don't use dark magic as much. :oops:

    More on this later. I have no ETA on the next update, as I haven't played further than what we see at the end of this update, and I'm not sure when I'll have the time. :M Sometime during this week I hope, but no promises.
     
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  8. CappenVarra phase-based phantasmist Patron

    CappenVarra
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    :D :thumbsup:
     
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  9. Lindblum Augur

    Lindblum
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    Question, for this update how much play time did it take you to make?
     
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  10. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    The two dungeons swallowed what, 2-3 hours total? Clearing the overland map, making potions and travelling to an undisclosed location for Light and Dark magic skills took about 3 hours total as well.
    So it's not a massive timesink, but I tend to have to leave the computer every now and then, because of demands from my family. M:
     
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  11. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    I've now played the Dragoons' cavern, but not cleared it. The reason being that it contains monsters that are immune to normal weapons. :incline:
    Currently, we just don't have enough arcane firepower to burn through all those monsters, but I plan on returning and clearing the dungeon eventually. Now though, I have a heap of cash that I need to plan how to spend. Intelligent monsters drop money when killed, so earning more cash is rarely a problem.
    Next update will most likely not be before sunday however. Can't see myself having enough time before then. And even sunday might be stretching it. :M
     
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  12. RK47 collides like two planets pulled by gravity Patron

    RK47
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    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin
    This is probably a fun game that I can't bear to finish. I think I lasted till Temple of Baa before I decide to look at other games. What keeps me coming back though is the thought of upgrading my characters and spending gold etc. It's fun but I'm not really into dungeon crawling so I eventually abandoned any notion of finishing it.
     
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  13. Achilles Arcane

    Achilles
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    Take your time Azira, enjoy the game. We can wait.
     
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  14. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Cleared quite a few dungeons, grinded monsters for xp and gold and finally got Edward's water magic skill to 12, so he could get mastery training in Water Magic.
    Update tomorrow? Getting water mastery (and buying Town Portal and Lloyd's Beacon) should speed things up on my end considerably. :incline:
    Also did two promotion quests, and I remembered correctly. Doing the promotion quests will boost the hp and sp of the characters receiving the promotions. :incline:
     
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  15. Edward_R_Murrow Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Edward_R_Murrow
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    :yeah:

    Also :yeah:
     
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  16. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Codex 2012
    The update is far from finished (fact is, haven't started writing it yet, just sorted pictures and taken notes), but here's a small teaser.
    First, the loading screen is sort of cute, and instead of a bar filling up, it sports a fireball shooting towards a demon's face:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    On my computer this process is almost too quick to capture. Nice to know that computes have come a far way since 1998. :roll:

    Here's the quick reference sheet on our 4 heroes as they stand at the end of the soon-to-be-uploaded update:
    [​IMG]

    In the coming update we'll clear out 6 dungeons, quickly retreat from a seventh dungeon, visit 4 new overland maps and get promoted as also outlined above. :smug:
     
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  17. Luzur Prestigious Gentleman Good Sir

    Luzur
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    god i want to play a MM game again but i can still remember large parts from all the games so it wont be that fun.

    AAARRGGGGG
     
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  18. DaveO Erudite

    DaveO
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    Luzur, you could always try Swords of Xeen. Although calling that game M&M is a bit of a stretch.
     
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  19. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Too drunk to update. Update maybe coming tomorrow. :M
     
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  20. Storyfag Perfidious Pole Patron

    Storyfag
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    :rage:
     
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  21. CappenVarra phase-based phantasmist Patron

    CappenVarra
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    Sobriety is the hobgoblin of little minds, eh? :)
     
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  22. Eyeball Arcane

    Eyeball
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    I have a question: I have only played MM7. Why does MM6 look like it has ten times better graphics?

    Is MM6 more fun, by the way? I lost my MM7 save in some bizarre crash and trying to clear out the goblin castle at the beginning just seems like such a chore now.
     
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  23. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Once I finish this LP, I plan on starting an MM7 LP as well, so I guess we'll eventually get to compare them. As far as I remember however, the graphics engine is the same, so this game shouldn't be prettier than its successor. Maybe it's because the 640*480 screenshots look better in this LP, on a higher resolution monitor, but playing the game, the graphics look the same as the graphics in MM7.

    As to whether it's more fun? I've played MM7 a lot more, so I guess I'm biased. MM7 is more complex in that the seperate classes are more defined in their differences. Not every class can get mastery training in their skills, so that demands some planning ahead.
    Also there's C&C quests; who to support when it comes to border issues, and do you wish to pursue either light or dark magic?

    In the end both games are highly enjoyable for me. LPing them means I have additional motivation to finish them. It also means that the actual play sessions are farther in between, as I have to write an update occasionally. And speaking of which, I hope to get cracking on the next one when I get home (currently at work). :M
     
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  24. Luzur Prestigious Gentleman Good Sir

    Luzur
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    i finished that game around 1997, i knew of it before, i think you could order it from NWCon disc or something, but i got my hands on it when i got the MM Trilogy pack back in 1996.
     
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  25. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Codex 2012
    Alright people. I promised you this update and did not deliver on time. For that I am truly sorry... [​IMG]

    Anyways, it's time to get back on track! I've already divulged what this update will contain, so we might as well jump straight in.
    [​IMG]
    The Dragoon's Caverns are filled with thugs like these. They only pose a minor threat. There are beefier versions with respectively blue and red colour patterns, that pose a significantly larger threat. The caverns make kiting a possibility however, which is what I used to kill the more dangerous mobs.
    Like proper dungeons, this one contains a few puzzles of the easy variety. Push buttons
    [​IMG]
    To gain acces to otherwise closed off areas
    [​IMG]
    But not all areas are safe to explore. This sewer part of the dungeon contains oozes:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Oozes may look relatively unintimidating. But they ignore physical attacks and their own attacks can damage your equipment. Couple this with their numbers, and they are far from trivial. In fact, I wil leave these monsters alone for now and return once I have properly enchanted our weapons (which should be the next update :M )
    The "boss" of this dungeon is this guy:
    [​IMG]
    The width of the hp bar above the portrait tells us roughly how many hitpoints the mob has. In this case: a lot. When we run however, we move faster than him. And just outside the room he's guarding is a nice long and straight corridor, which lets us kite him.
    [​IMG]
    Cheesy, but safe. M:
    We get two quest items from clearing (apart from the oozes which apparently don't guard anything important) the caverns:
    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
    We'll be having plenty more run-ins with the shadow guild. :smug: And the harp is immediately returned for a hefty reward:
    [​IMG]
    He's also kind enough to tell us where we can turn in the evidence we found linking the dragoons with the shadow guild. :salute:
    Speaking of the shadow guild..
    [​IMG]
    This is just a hideout however. It has a fairly simple layout and is a nice and small dungeon map. It contains only the most basic puzzles.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    In general, if you find a switch, it's usually a good idea to toggle it. It might not be immediately apparent what the switch did, but you usually have to do it to complete the dungeon.
    In the hideout we find another letter.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    He sounds likable, does he not? :roll: We'll be seeing more of this fellow in later quests.
    Elsewhere in the hideout, we find a key:
    [​IMG]
    That lets us open a door into a room containing a prisoner. All of the quests involving rescuing someone doesn't actually have a non-hostile NPC walking around. Instead, once you enter the room they're in, you fire a trigger and they automagically join your party.. Not sure if :incline: ...
    [​IMG]
    Elsewhere on the Castle Ironfist map, you can seek out the seer, his house being easily recognisable:
    [​IMG]
    If you lose a quest item, you can get a duplicate here. You can also ask for hints as to how to advance the main quest, and finally you can be sent on pilgrimages.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Completing a pilgrimage for the first time nets all characters a nifty +10 in said attribute. Completing the same pilgrimage additional times gets you a further +3 for each extra one.
    Still on the Castle Ironfist map, there's a dungeon within our level range that we haven't cleared, yet:
    [​IMG]
    This place is huge.. And it contains loads and loads of monsters. Most of which sport only melee attacks, making having bow skill for all characters really, really useful.
    [​IMG]
    Arrows work just fine against skeletons by the way. The Lords have a nasty habit of cursing characters when attacking. Being cursed is nasty, as it can cause spells to miscast.
    This dungeon has four optional cave-like rooms, each containing many, many monsters. Look at the minimap here. I've already looted quite a few corpses, yet each yellow dot represents a corpse yet to loot.
    [​IMG]
    It also has a huge shrine-room. Stand in one end of it, and hostiles at the other end remain untriggered. Running up past the shrine itself, and you trigger a massive spawning of skeletons, literally filling the room. This means death, unless you happen upon the secret door behind the shrine and run up to one of the ledges lining the room:
    [​IMG]
    From this vantage point you can just shoop the skellies until they're all dead. :smug: Just look at all these yellow dots!
    [​IMG]
    Before triggering the skeleton spawn this room also contains quite a few priests, which are nasty as they fire spells at your party. And they never run out of mana, so keeping a distance is rarely enough, and with the number of priests in the room, strafing isn't really viable. So it's a question of only luring out a couple of them at a time, and dealing with them piece-meal. Still, it took a lot of patience to clear this room without a party wipe.
    It also holds a more complex puzzle:
    [​IMG]
    It just means you need to click the four doors in the correct order. If you muck it up, you take damage and have to start over. :M
    At some point I manage to get Edward frightened and DR cursed:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I'm not certain what the afraid status does, but I think it reduces accuracy.
    The reward for clearing the temple is good though. We find a quest item, and a room filled with bags of gold!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Finishing the Temple of Baa means there's not much else for us to do on the Castle Ironfist map, so I decide to follow through on the pilgrimage thing. I happen to know that the shrine of intellect is on the Misty Islands, so we walk to the docks and chat up a captain that happens to be willing to take us there for a small fee
    [​IMG]
    The Misty Islands feature a new type of enemy:
    [​IMG]
    They're melee only and have precious few hps, so they're no threat at all. :roll: As you can see however, Dicksmoker doesn't look too well. I think he tried a fountain that was poisoned, but can't quite remember.. :M
    Anyway, we visit the local head honcho and gets us some quests!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The council quests are essential for advancing the plot, but the promotion quests are no less important, as completing them gives a nice and permanent boost to hitpoints and spellpoints.
    Close by mister Newtons throneroom, we find the shrine of intellect and pray:
    [​IMG]
    I didn't catch the glittery effect, but everyones intellect went up by 10. :salute:
    In one of the shops in town, we come across one of the most useful enchantments on a ring you can get.
    [​IMG]
    Regenerating health! :salute: The effect is rather slow, but it really helps with the spelunking and saves on spellcasting costs for healing. The ring goes to whomever needs healing most in the group, at least until I can find/enchant rings for the whole group. Enchanting is a random process by the way, so savescumming will help if you're gunning for a specific effect..
    In a house on the main island, we get a quest to do shooting fish in a barrel:
    [​IMG]
    None of the mobs we need to clear out can survive more than 3 arrows... Easiest quest in a long time. :M
    Here you can also see that we can actually forage food! Some of the trees contain apples, and if you click the tree, you pick the apples and add 1 point of food (resting eats up 2 points, crossing to another overland map eats up food according to the number of days the crossing takes):
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Doing the quest leads us through some rather uneventful islands ending near an obelisk.
    [​IMG]
    The messages will make sense once we've visited all the obelisks.
    The Misty Islands only contain one dungeon. It contains some nasty enemies, but abusing the powers of kiting and poor AI, we were not deterred. :salute:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    There are a lot of captains, and each one has a similar amount of hps as the veteran at the end of the Dragoon caverns. Going toe to toe with them at this point isn't the wisest of decisions.. So abuse the power of kiting, and you might win through. :smug:
    Another dangerous opponent is the monk, in particular the master monk:
    [​IMG]
    Quite a lot of hitpoints for a caster mob, and his spells hurt. So kiting is risky. It's better to position yourself near a corner and hope for poor AI to hit the corner with the spells instead of you, while you may get the chance to occasionally fire arrows at the monk that will sometimes hit. It takes patience and healing spells, but we eventually clear most of the place.
    [​IMG]
    I'm pretty sure the mayor of Mist will be interested in this. M:
    We also find a key for someplace we haven't visited yet.
    [​IMG]
    Gharik's Laboratory might be featured in the next update. :M
    The Silver Helm Outpost features a new puzzle. A timed running puzzle..
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    If you move to slowly or too fast, you'll be dropped to the floor below. It'll not only damage you, but the only way out of the pit is to touch a mural which will teleport you to near the entrance (which is neat and actually useful) but which will also spawn a handful of nasty and hostile mobs around you (which could be milked for xp if our party was strong enough, which it isn't at the moment..).
    If you do make it through this puzzle without hurting yourself, you'll find a Damsel in Distress at the top...
    [​IMG]
    Saving her satisfies the requirements for the paladin promotion quest. Unfortunately we cannot turn in the quest until we find Nicolai, who has run off to see the circus..
    So Melody Silver is our unwilling guest for the next few dungeons. I'll just imagine she is spending that time "rewarding" our heroes in her own little manner. :smug:
    The final map of the Silver Helm Outpost.
    [​IMG]
    This was actually a fun map, not least because the strength of the mobs called for exploiting cheesy tactics and some forethought. :salute:
    Having cleared the outpost, we return to the city of Mist and drop by Town Hall to collect on a quest. We hadn't picked it up prior to entering the outpost, but we can get the quest and immediately complete it. The game doesn't penalize us for doing things the wrong way around. :incline:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Albert Newton remembers that the thing he asked us to retrieve wasn't in the Outpost after all, but might be in the lab we got a key for..
    [​IMG]
    I feel like he's trolling us on purpose, but we'll jump through his hoops, seeing as we have no other choice. :decline:
    A nearby NPC has some snarky piece of advice she shares:
    [​IMG]
    ...
    Oh, really? Gee, thanks. :roll:
    We then spend some cash to buy Edward the Enchant Item spell from the water school. With that he enchants some stuff we bought, and by pure luck, we manage to get probably the most useful enchantment available for cloaks on our first try, no savescumming. :incline:
    [​IMG]
    Regenerating spellpoints will make our spellcasters much more efficient. We need to get all characters this kind of cloak ASAP. (We don't manage that in this update..)
    Satisfied with having cleared Misty Islands, we return first to the Castle Ironfist map and visit an obelisk:
    [​IMG]
    The to New Sorpigal to turn in some quests:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Then returning to Castle Ironfist again, the day we get there happens to be a sunday. Sundays are important, as they allow you to go to a special place you have no other way of reaching.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The arena will pitch you in battle against a number of enemies that are randomly chosen. The difficulty adjusts the quality of opponents, but the opponents will be scaled to your level. So choosing Lord difficulty with a level 1 party will not pit you against 10 dragons. But the opponents will be strong.
    Not too strong to overcome though, if you position yourself carefully and cast the proper spells:
    [​IMG]
    You get a cash reward and of course the xp of the monsters killed. :salute:
    The thing is, you can just go around, clearing overland maps and get xp and cash that way, so I see no real need to use the arena, unless it's for shits and giggles.. At least, in MM7 there's a quest dependent on you winning a number of arena matches. AFAIR no such quest exists in MM6.
    After this little excursion to the arena, our intrepid four wanders off to another overland map, called Bootleg Bay.
    [​IMG]
    This place holds no less than 4 dungeons! The first of which is long and took nearly 4 hours for me to complete.
    [​IMG]
    It contains puzzles, plenty of pits leading to other floors in the dungeon and some tricky navigation. Seems other adventurers have been here and not come out again:
    [​IMG]
    Close by this letter is an angry looking face in the rock. We can actually talk with this face, and it turns out to be the Lord of Fire itself.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    So we need to navigate the maze-like dungeon looking for a one-off creature, kill it and return. And we can teleport up to the beginning of the dungeon for free (no health damage) if all party members carry a piece of amber.
    Simple really. The dungeon's just so big that it takes a long time. And the mobs consist of a mix of goblins (easy-peasy) and ogres (nasty business) so much time was spent regenerating health and spellpoints. You can only rest inside dungeons if the coloured gems are green, ie if no hostile creatures are within a set range. Which meant no resting as long as just a single opponent was alive inside this dungeon, due to the layout of it. Despite that it was huge, it was in different heights meaning the mean range to the nearest hostile was at all times not enough for safe resting.
    We persevere however and eventually find the unique monster in this place:
    [​IMG]
    He packs a mean punch, but also an AI that can be exploited. If we stand at the right spot on this ledge, we can safely attack him, while he cannot reach us. Once he's sufficiently damaged, he turns to run.
    [​IMG]
    And we shoot him in the back. :smug:
    There's really not anymore to this dungeon. Just a shitload of hostiles and some random loot in chests. The xp was good however.
    Further into the bay, we come across a small settlement, where we pick up a quest:
    [​IMG]
    The temple in question is in the western part of the map, but I decided to cast water walk and explore the islands in the north part of the map instead, so the first other temple I came across was this:
    [​IMG]
    That sounds inviting. But immediately upon entering, I spot 4-6 hostile master monks in a relatively open space, so I decide on a tactical retreat..
    Close by is another temple
    [​IMG]
    This is populated by a more manageable group of enemies, consisting of cannibals which are melee types, and cobras which we've handled before. At the end of the temple we stumble upon a prisoner in need of rescuing. There seems be a distressing amount of these scattered around the dungeons..
    [​IMG]
    Is it just me or does she look butch?
    Here's how the map looks after clearing the temple:
    [​IMG]
    Pretty straightforward. There was a bunch of switches that you need to throw to open the way into the central chamber, but nothing that really challenge your cognitive powers. :M
    After clearing this temple however, I realize that we had accrued enough experience that Edward could train his water magic skill to 12, thereby qualifying for mastery training!
    Therefore I immediately travelled to the nearby map of New Haven, where it's possible to buy the top-tier water magic spellbooks, and from where you can book passage on a ship to Misty Islands to get mastery training.
    New Haven is also the place where the Oracle is situated. Let's check up on how we're doing regarding getting acces:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    ...
    Not too well it seems. We have quite a way to go yet.
    There are people in New Haven that collect the oddest items as well:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    From clearing the Temple of Baa, we have a gong which we promptly sell
    [​IMG]
    Every bit helps. :salute:
    When visiting the water magic guild, we're lucky to not only find the town portal spellbook:
    [​IMG]
    but also another equally useful spell:
    [​IMG]
    Lloyd's Beacon also works inside dungeons. This means we can now teleport in and out of dungeons, for quick healing (and spellpoint refill) at a temple. This will make clearing dungeons, much, much faster and easier. :incline:
    We just need mastery training to make it most effective, so we charter a ship to Misty Islands and see the proper NPC
    [​IMG]
    Sweeet... We're broke, but happy. 9 gold? Yeah, but we can teleport all over the friggin' place! Also, in Bootleg Bay we also found the Fountain of Magic we needed to drink from for our wizard promotion, and seeing that we're now in Mist, we pay a visit to lord Newton:
    [​IMG]
    Notice how DRs healt and spellpoint bars aren't full? It's because of the boost he received from the promotion. :smug:
    We can now also receive the Archmage (top tier promotion) quest, but it sounds like we'll not be doing that just yet.
    [​IMG]
    We need to find a powerful artifact stored inside a dungeon. If you guessed that it's probably guarded by a strong spellcaster, you'd not be far off. :M
    Anyways, we use our skills with Town Portal to hop back to New Haven, as I forgot to drop off the NPC we rescued from the cannibal temple:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Then I use my metagaming knowledge, and we 'port off to Blackshire, where the circus is at this time of year:
    [​IMG]
    As you can see, not all maps contain a city large enough that we can use Town Portal to go there. This means I will be using Lloyd's beacon not only for dungeons, but also other locations we'll be wanting to return to. I plan on setting up a beacon near Castle Ironfist for instance.
    In Blackshire we quickly locate the circus and enter the largest tent:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The little brat.. Well, we'll be able to visit Castle Ironfist again, and we can have Sir Dicksmoker promoted, so I guess we're cool. Also, the circus master seems to be a red dragon!
    [​IMG]
    You can do contests in each of the smaller tents, and each contest will test one of your attributes. If you win, you get tokens you can exchange for prizes. We'll return to this later, once we have the proper buffing spells.
    For now though, we return to Castle Ironfist (via New Sorpigal where we catch a coach ride) and drop off the prince.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    You better believe it kiddo! :rpgcodex:
    Still, we can now talk with Humphrey again to have Dicksmoker promoted:
    [​IMG]
    He looks mightily pleased. :roll: The next promotion quest sounds challenging as well:
    [​IMG]
    Kill a dragon.. :roll: We'll get to it, eventually..
    And this is about as far as I played. I'll leave you with the skill screens for each partymember, and finally the award screen:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Note that I decided to build up Sir Dicksmoker's repair skill, as damage to our equipment is getting more and more annoying, so we need the ability to repair stuff in the field. Of course, Lloyd's Beacon makes this problem less annoying in that we could conceivably teleport to the nearest town to repair stuff, then 'port back into the dungeon, but that'd take time, especially considering how often I expect people to be knocked unconscious, or hit with an equipment breaking attack.
    Not pictured was that I've enchanted all current weapons, so they now deal extra elemental damage on attacks. I plan on clearing Dragoon's Caverns in the next update, and for that, the extra elemental damage is indispensable.

    Any requests, stuff people will want explained in more detail or looked at in the next update, then let me know here. I'm sort of unfocused when I play, taking screenshots at whatever it occurs to me that people might want to see, but I might be leaving stuff out that I consider trivial, but which might be of interest to you people?
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 4
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