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TOPIC: Hardcore too hardcore for rare builds?

Hardcore to hardcore for rare builds? 1 month 2 days ago #13

2 manned hardcore V6b with Wizard and Barbarian NM builds (Relic, UR, some rare, no legendaries other than TE). That said it required a full rez mushroom on the Wiz to finish off Big bad. We were both taking 18 a turn; would wipe through a red built party in the 25-45 hp range fairly quickly, as I think it got more melee attacks than 2 vs. full parties. it only misses the Barbarian a couple times and never missed the Wizard. We cranked through about 8-9 combat rounds with Barb hitting every time for 50ish, and Wizard in the 40s, plus lesser Maze once.

So yes, I agree that hardcore builds are moving into "red the with some purples needed" territory, or at least "must be level 5". Also the gap between NM and HC seems quite high.

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Hardcore to hardcore for rare builds? 1 month 2 days ago #14

David Harris wrote: 2 manned hardcore V6b with Wizard and Barbarian NM builds (Relic, UR, some rare, no legendaries other than TE). That said it required a full rez mushroom on the Wiz to finish off Big bad. We were both taking 18 a turn; would wipe through a red built party in the 25-45 hp range fairly quickly, as I think it got more melee attacks than 2 vs. full parties. it only misses the Barbarian a couple times and never missed the Wizard. We cranked through about 8-9 combat rounds with Barb hitting every time for 50ish, and Wizard in the 40s, plus lesser Maze once.

So yes, I agree that hardcore builds are moving into "red the with some purples needed" territory, or at least "must be level 5". Also the gap between NM and HC seems quite high.


Is the goal to be make it to room 7, or beat room 7? I feel like those are very different targets, which require very different tokens.

Also, what is the group layout? Are we talking a 10 many party who has run the adventure before and usually plays the same class? A pug? A double down?

Mixing and matching, I wouldn’t be surprised if a 10 many party who has run the adventure before and usually plays the same class could make it to room 7 on hardcore with mostly commons and a few rares.

On the flip side, a completely unorganized 5 man pug that has never run the adventure before and aren’t familiar with their classes probably needs multiple URs per person to beat room 7 on hardcore.

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Hardcore to hardcore for rare builds? 1 month 2 days ago #15

Wade Schwendemann (Dr. Uid) wrote:

Mike Steele wrote: We've got significantly better than rare builds, and found the hardcore combats very challenging - and enjoyable. We won them all, but barely beat room seven before time ran out. I'm glad they're more difficult, some of the past combats we won in one round.


Probably time for your group to go up to NM then. ;)


Naw, HC is the sweet spot for my group. Even though most of the group has been playing since the start or near the start of True Dungeon, it's a very casual group that's as likely to joke around as focus on efficient combat, and my friends make fairly little use of character abilities or bonuses. Other than me, the only time anyone in the group even thinks of True Dungeon is when I start putting the runs together. Plus, the group has a lot of bad memories of playing Nightmare during Smoak years (when about half of my group permanently quit True Dungeon because of how unpleasant those Dungeons were for us - there's barely enough of us left to make up a full run). The last time I asked the group if they'd like to stay at HC or switch to NM, it was unanimous to stay at HC.

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Hardcore to hardcore for rare builds? 1 month 2 days ago #16

I have also noticed the increase in monster AC, skill check DC and DR during our journey through VTD.
I wonder if the increase in difficulty will continue into in person TD since attacks are slid rather than d20.
Also, in person attracts more casual and new players, whereas I suspect VTD attracts more experienced players.

For most of my real life TD games, we always played normal, even as our token power slowly increased. Our last run as a group was the V-series when even with two level 5 characters (cleric and druid) and mostly red with a few UR's thrown in, we lost several members in the dual giant room. It was very frustrating for the group to have characters die so early that some decided it wasn't fun anymore.
TPK in room 7 is not bad, since the boss fight is supposed to be tough, but I can see where it may be frustrating if you don't feel you had any chance.
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Hardcore to hardcore for rare builds? 1 month 2 days ago #17

David Harris wrote: 2 manned hardcore V6b with Wizard and Barbarian NM builds (Relic, UR, some rare, no legendaries other than TE). That said it required a full rez mushroom on the Wiz to finish off Big bad. We were both taking 18 a turn; would wipe through a red built party in the 25-45 hp range fairly quickly, as I think it got more melee attacks than 2 vs. full parties. it only misses the Barbarian a couple times and never missed the Wizard. We cranked through about 8-9 combat rounds with Barb hitting every time for 50ish, and Wizard in the 40s, plus lesser Maze once.

So yes, I agree that hardcore builds are moving into "red the with some purples needed" territory, or at least "must be level 5". Also the gap between NM and HC seems quite high.


In our 6 person party it was attacking 6 people per round.

I assume it got either 8 or 10 attacks per round.

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Hardcore too hardcore for rare builds? 1 month 2 days ago #18

Endgame wrote:

Josh M. wrote: All difficulties are shooting up. My group only had 6 for Normal. The Bard, Ranger, Fighter, and Rogue were all rares with a few UR thrown in. Wizard was close to base but I loaned them two URs. There was also a Dwarf Fighter who was pretty close to the starter build. We got to room 7 no problem and then didn't even come close to taking down the Beast. If normal is supposed to be doable with just a ten pack it's nowhere close to that right now.

I think the expectation is that a single starter or the pregen build will get you to room 7… where you will be TPK’d. I know that’s what happened my first several years - make it to room 7, then die.


I don't think historically "tpk in room 7" with token 10 packs has been, or should be a common feature of dungeon design for normal.

In several years of playing at the not-things-in-every-slot-commons-in-build level I think I survived room 7 probably 75% or more of the time.

The year of Smoak, where room 7 was extremely difficult, drew a lot of negative feedback - which I understand to some extent - it's no fun to be defeated when it seems like the outcome was inevitable.

Although, VTD and TD clearly have different audiences, with VTD being more token-a-holic hypermilers - maybe this is just TD tuning the product to who has been buying most of the tickets.

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Last edit: by Matthew Hayward.

Hardcore too hardcore for rare builds? 1 month 2 days ago #19

One thing that occurs to me - is that the die roller in TD might feel less fun and build more memorably negative experiences than slides, where it may seem you have more control.

In our run on HC our Rogue was between +10 and +12 to hit depending on room buffs, and so with HC ACs needed ~10+ to hit in most fights and ~16+ in the boss fight. But over ~12-15 rounds of combat they only connected once or twice due to bad rolling. It memorably stuck out to them to see rolls of 3, 5, 3, 7, 8, 2, etc. all in a row.

I wonder if the in app die roller could be made more fun by secretly being less random, e.g. if you've rolled less than 10 2x in a row, your next roll is 11-20 or something. I know routinely in digital games players find fair and/or truly random results to be un-fun, so the designers sometimes put their thumb on the scale to avoid long strings of reasonably common but still bad luck.

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Hardcore to hardcore for rare builds? 1 month 2 days ago #20

I've been seeing a similar issue with the difficulty levels for several years, as the difficulties (HC vs NM) don't seem to be easy to fit.
I agree with nearly all that has been said: HC is disappointing for a group with mostly Reds and maybe one UR or two.

For Real Life TD, I've been gathering my regular group (4 veteran TD players with mostly UR+ NM ready builds), a few players with mostly Red with a few URs, and some new players (trying to spread the love for TD) with mostly Red loaner builds (with 5th level and TEs).

When we play HC in RLTD, the new players don't have a good time because they can't hit the monsters and they die quickly. The experienced players find HC too easy, as they hit all the time without any challenge.

I've literally had one set of players complain that the same TD run was too easy at the same time that others complained that it was too hard.
I'd like to play TD with friends I know, but it's hard to mix groups with different experience levels.

For VTD, I can't really talk much about the HC difficulty levels.
I haven't been introducing TD to new players, so my veteran TD group can play NM or HC without many issues.
However, I see reflections of my experience in RLTD in the original post regarding VTD.

I suggest that thought be put into the difficulty levels (even if levels need to be added).
There should be a level than can be played with just the free 10-pack (Normal).
There should be a level that can be played with mostly Reds (this had prevoiusly been HC).
There should be advanced levels of difficulty that challenge all the upper player levels from a few URs, to all URs and one Legendary, to players with all Best In Slot. (This is NM and Epic levels.)

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Hardcore too hardcore for rare builds? 1 month 2 days ago #21

Matthew Hayward wrote: I think the expectation is that a single starter or the pregen build will get you to room 7… where you will be TPK’d. I know that’s what happened my first several years - make it to room 7, then die.

I don't think historically "tpk in room 7" with token 10 packs has been, or should be a common feature of dungeon design for normal.

In several years of playing at the not-things-in-every-slot-commons-in-build level I think I survived room 7 probably 75% or more of the time.


My first year was 2015, and we did 1 puzzle run and 1 combat run. Our run was 10 new players with 1 or 2 packs (I bought an extra), and we were TPK in room 7. We survived our puzzle run, barely.

2016 we did 1 puzzle run and 1 combat run. A few players in my group bought some rares from the token cart and online, and we had our tokens from 2015. Everyone else we played with were new. We were TPK in room 7 combat (beholder?) and survived the puzzle run.

2017 we did did 2 combat runs, and bought some extra tokens (reaching all slots filled with Rares & uncommons) and the random players were all new. We were TPK in room 7 in both runs.

2018, I bought 2 pieces of the charming set (I pulled the IS in a booster) to play as 5th level cleric. I did substantial token research and helped plan builds from everyone, and bought a huge stack of tokens from Wade (thanks Wade!). This was the first year we actually won in room 7, but it was also the first year we ran with other players with more than a 10 pack.

Based on this experience, I've viewed room 7 as the motivation to spend some money increasing build power and planning builds.

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Last edit: by Endgame.

Hardcore to hardcore for rare builds? 1 month 2 days ago #22

Normal should be tuned to be hard but beatable with a sealed 10 pack.
Hardcore should be tuned to be hard but beatable with a Rares/3*/4* build and possibly an UR to unlock utility for the class.
Nightmare should be hard but beatable with a build that is 75% UR or higher tokens and the remaining 25% at best in slot rares.
Epic should expect BIS UR tokens plus some relics or eldritch tokens.
There should be an additional difficulty ranking Epic+ that's expecting nearly Best in Slot builds with full synergy boosts.


Currently in VTD I do not believe Hardcore or Nightmare are balanced for this.
I don't think Epic is either but testing is generally lacking.

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Hardcore to hardcore for rare builds? 1 month 2 days ago #23

Arcanist Kolixela wrote: Normal should be tuned to be hard but beatable with a sealed 10 pack.
Hardcore should be tuned to be hard but beatable with a Rares/3*/4* build and possibly an UR to unlock utility for the class.
Nightmare should be hard but beatable with a build that is 75% UR or higher tokens and the remaining 25% at best in slot rares.
Epic should expect BIS UR tokens plus some relics or eldritch tokens.
There should be an additional difficulty ranking Epic+ that's expecting nearly Best in Slot builds with full synergy boosts.


Currently in VTD I do not believe Hardcore or Nightmare are balanced for this.
I don't think Epic is either but testing is generally lacking.


I basically agree with this assessment for what it should take at each difficulty, but I wouldn't worry about Epic+. Let Epic be tuned for BiS Legendary / Eldrich level. If this were the case, Nightmare could be tuned slightly up to be mostly UR (90%+) excepting specific cases (fiendish charm to eek out more hit, charm of enlightenment for more will save, rare beads for + saves, etc)

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Hardcore to hardcore for rare builds? 1 month 2 days ago #24

I find my best balanced runs by far are NM Double Downs with a theme to limit builds somewhat with Epic level collections. I don't find any full party run of ours, which isn't that many, to be well balanced. And, first runs are often extremely different from subsequent runs.

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