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So, I've completed the four challenges, and earned the Dilithium Star for one ascension.

The remaining challenges were easy and difficult, respectively. Pac-man - a moment of silence for the four ghosts. They met an Elven archer with a quiver full of blessed arrows.

The fourth challenge, the Unknown Challenge, I'll hold off describing until the tournament's over. Spoilers and all that. I will say that victory involved fewer explosions than expected, and I'm just glad I never ran afoul of FTP.

Never said the fourth challenge made sense.


The ascension was, on a whim, a Barbarian run. I've played Barbarians before, but my best previous run died miserably on the Quest. That was ages ago, however, and I've learned a lot.

First of all, Magic Resistance /is/ needed. I think I tripped about four or five polytraps over the course of the run - a few turning me into one monster or another, a few just scrambling my stats, and at least one pulling a gender-swap. Or was that a cursed amulet? I honestly forget by now. Jusenkyo would have been a blessing for this guy. Or girl.

Secondly, Elbereth. I accidentally ruined my illiteracy conduct with a fortune cookie, so I made up for it with hefty use of the E-word. Worth it, to have taken down a few Master Mind Flayers in melee. And all with no helmet better than an orcish helm. (You can't eat my brain, I have a tinfoil hat!)

I think I gave up on ranged attacks pretty quickly. I started with a strategy of 'hit it with an axe', then moved to 'hit it with a better axe', then 'hit it with a soul-eating sword', and finally pulled a Lloyd Irving and used two swords. Except for when I was using a rubber chicken. Ah, Chaotic characters.

Pets? Didn't keep many. Brought a menagerie of cats and dogs on the quest to chow down on vanquished trolls, and that was that. Largely just hacked through whatever I ran into, saving a few wands for things I didn't want to tangle with. Probably should've found the Square before taking out Rodney, but I only met the guy three times anyway.

And really, that was that. I ran into a bit of trouble on Astral, largely by virtue of guessing the wrong altar twice, but I succeeded eventually. Less than two thousand enemies vanquished, though. I'm kind of surprised.

Oh, and Archons are still annoying. /They/, I hit with a wand of teleport and kept running. Still would've liked a bit better a source of crowd control, but rogue priests are useful there. Yes, summon a horde of weak monsters that would struggle to deal me one damage...

I should try hitting Astral with Conflict again some time. Maybe a Caveman run - their quest artifact is pretty nice. As opposed to the Barbarian reward, which sucks. I'm not sure I ever even thought to invoke the thing.

Still haven't started another run - I'd like to get a series of ascensions going, so careful choice of second game is a bit important. I've ascended Valkyries, Wizards, Tourists, Samurai, and Barbarians now. Still leaves half a dozen or more character classes...


So, open question. My next ascension, what role should I shoot for? The ones I haven't ascended are Archaeologist, Caveman, Priest, Rogue, Ranger, Healer (I'm not this crazy, though), Monk, and Knight...
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gullwhacker

May 2012

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