Pathed Hardcore

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Pathed Hardcore

Post  ShadowWolf on Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:45 pm

*POSTED BY FOXY BOXY*
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I'm going to talk a little bit about pathed HC runs (Oxygenarian (HOX, HOxy, HCO), Teetotaler (HCT, Teet), and Boozetafarian (HCB, Boozer)) on account of our dear resident LOON ShadowWolf dipping into HOX. LOON that she is. I'm not going to address Bad Moon here, because that's not really a path. It's more of a complete world of masochism and deserves its own space.

It's my recommendation that you avoid HC pathed runs until you've got a decent complement of skills to support your new lifestyle. For Teet, I recommend at least Pastamastery and Advanced Saucecrafting, to make some of the best possible HC foods. For Boozer, same deal - you should at least have Advanced Cocktailcrafting. For Oxygenarian, Pulverize is strongly recommended but not super necessary, for reasons I'll discuss.

General Guidelines

In addition to the must-have consumption skills mentioned above, I'd like to discuss some additional skills that are very helpful to have on a pathed run.

Firstly, pathed runs are by their nature more limited than non-pathed HC runs because you are limited in terms of consumption. Consuming food and booze not only grants more adventures per day, but grants an additional bump to stats each day as well. If you're cutting out food and/or booze from your daily diet, you're cutting out a huge number of turns per day as well as a sizable pot of "free" substats.

So doing a pathed run is about doing more with less. Fewer turns per day means you're going to have to be more efficient with those turns you do have. There are two main ways to get RNG-screwed in a run ... (1) farming necessary items (e.g. goat cheeses during the level 8 quest, perfumes during the level 5 quest, etc.) and (2) trying to get a particular combat or non-combat to occur (e.g. immateria during the Airship, wheel in the sky during the Castle, etc.).

Pursuant to this, it's very helpful to have +item find skills such as Fat Leon's Phat Loot Lyric, Mad Looting Skillz, and Powers of Observatiogn -- and familiar weight increasers to give your fairy a boost such as Amphibian Sympathy, Empathy of the Newt, and Leash of Linguini. You are using your fairy when trying to farm necessary items, right?

Also, the combat and noncombat increasers -- Smooth Movements, Sonata of Sneakiness, Musk of the Moose, Carlweather's Cantana of Confrontation -- can be very helpful in expediting certain areas of the Kingdom.

In the theme of "doing more with less", familiar management becomes even more important in a pathed run. I discussed this in an earlier episode, how to manage familiars, but it's worth repeating for emphasis. Farming a quest item? FAIRY. Grinding to the next level? VOLLEYBALL. Please.

In fact, I'd recommend leaning heavily on your volleyball (and much later in the ascension, your sombrero) because with fewer turns to spend (and fewer substats from consumables) you're going to find making levels much, much slower if you're farting around with MP/HP restoring familiars, leprechaun types, or even spending too much time with your fairy. Volleyball volleyball volleyball.

Chez Snootee and Micromicrobrewery

Some people think that Teets should be a myst sign for access to Chez Snootee food, and Boozers should be a moxie sign for access to the Gnomish Micromicrobrewery.

Personally, I think Chez Snootee is terrible. There are too many different kinds of food in the Kingdom, and it seems like Chez Snootee always has terrible food. For example, checking Noblesse Oblige's calendar here's the last four days of Chez Snootee food: plum, spooky mushroom, creamsicle, royal jelly. No thanks. Even the standard foods are bad.

Micromicrobrewery isn't much better, churning out booze bombs like bottle of rum, ice cold Willers, and popskull. But with a higher percentage of better boozes (dia de los barrachos drinks, TPS base drinks, SHCC base drinks, supernova champagna, especially salty dogs, bungles in the jungle, etc.) there seems to be a better chance per day of getting something helpful there.

Punch line is this ... go Blender for Boozer or Opossum for Teet because you want the extra adventures per consumable; don't go with them because you think you're going to eat and drink like royalty at Chez Snootee or the Micromicrobrewery. Getting a good random food or drink there should be viewed as extra credit, not the reason for the season.

In fact, for Teets I'd recommend going for a muscle zodiac sign because of access to easy mushrooms (for reagent pasta) and pie tins / wads of dough / casserole dishes without needing to farm a bugbear outfit.

Oxygenarian

Words really fail to describe how few turns you wind up with per day under Oxygenarian vs. normal no-path. But think about it this way. You get 40 adventures per day at rollover. If you were to eat and drink the worst possible food and booze available, such as mad train wines or Haunted Kitchen food or even tomatoes and stalks of asparagus and ice cold Willers, you'd probably gain another 40 adventures per day, doubling your turns per day. Obviously with AdCock drinks or crafted food you're getting 3x or 4x or even 5x adventures per day.

Try seeing what you can accomplish in 40 turns. Not a lot. So you've got to really make those turns count. And getting more turns per day becomes a huge priority. Make a meat maid. Farm for a dead guy's watch. Perm Super-Advanced Meatsmithing so you can make your own chrome weapon ... preferably a chrome sword so you can make a sword behind inappropriate prepositions. And so on.

And, most importantly, for the love of all that is holy, choose a muscle zodiac sign. You save 20-40 turns not having to farm Degrassi Knoll for the meat car, you get the meat maid pieces (save brain and skull) in the store with no turns spent, and you can meatsmith for free with Innabox. Those two turns you need to spend making your epic weapon, or a rock n' roll legend? Free. Dense meat crossbow? Free. And so on. It's really a lifesaver.

Clovers

Again "do more with less" and clovers are a godsend for that. Spend a lot of extra time during the level 9 quest farming extra 31337 scrolls, which give 3-5 worthless trinkets and/or clovers per scroll. Bank those clovers, and hit the Hermit on clover days to turn the trinkets into more clovers.

Then spend those clovers in the Spookyraven Manor zone that gives you the appropriate substat clover adventure - Haunted Gallery for muscle, Haunted Bathroom for myst, Haunted Ballroom for moxie. Huge substat gains for one adventure spent.

Stat Days

Sing with me: "do more with less". It's worthwhile to save up adventures for stat days to maximize your return per adventure spent, especially in Oxygenarian. In Oxygenarian, this may even mean not spending a single turn for a couple days leading into the stat days.

But remember the cap of 200 adventures per rollover, which means you should have 160 adventures or fewer (depending on how many +turns/rollover items you have) prior to rollover or you'll lose those extra adventures.

Spleen

Unfortunately for HOX, the organ you have available is the hardest one to fill. Pulverize is only helpful in the first half of an ascension if you're a Muscle class with access to the Malus (though it is very helpful from level 10 onward for wads). The Llama Lama and Green Pixie are required for the best spleen fillers, and are both Mr. Store items.

There's really not much more to say. Get Pulverize, even if you're not doing a muscle class you can still get some use out of it. Consider getting a Llama if you can afford it (Pixie prices are probably too high to warrant recommending one) but if you can't then don't sweat it.

The "HOX Loop"

There is a recommended (optimal?) path for doing your HOX runs, assuming your goal is to do one of each. It goes Seal Clubber -> Turtle Tamer -> Disco Bandit -> Accordion Thief -> Pastamancer/Sauceror -> Sauceror/Pastamancer.

The reason for this is the equipment requirements of the HOX rewards. For example, a Seal Clubber gets a plexiglass pike pike as a reward, which requires 75 muscle to equip and is a melee weapon. Thus, another muscle class would benefit the most from using this reward after a SC run ... such as a Turtle Tamer.

All plexiglass items require 75 stat to use. If your new class has that stat as its main stat, you'll be able to use it sooner. 75 mainstat arrives about halfway into level 9, but 75 "off" stat arrives well into level 11. So you want to line up your ascensions to make the most use out of your rewards:

1) Seal Clubber - plexiglass pike pike - 75 muscle -> Turtle Tamer (muscle class)
2) Turtle Tamer - plexiglass pith helmet - 75 moxie -> Disco Bandit (moxie class)
3) Disco Bandit - plexiglass pants - 75 moxie -> Accordion Thief (moxie class)
4) Accordion Thief - plexiglass pendant - 75 myst -> Pastamancer/Sauceror (myst class)

Pastamancer and Sauceror rewards (plexiglass pocket watch and plexiglass pinky ring respectively) are both accessories that require 75 myst, which is why they're interchangable. Doing PM then Sauceror, or Sauceror then PM is mostly a matter of taste.

Stainless steel items have equip requirements of 30 stat, which is much much lower and thus there really isn't a "stainless loop" per se, though I like to follow up Seal Clubber HC runs with another muscle run because the stainless steel shilelagh is such a sweet-ass melee weapon, it really needs to be properly enjoyed.

Grinding

It's worth unlocking the Haunted Gallery and mapping the Louvre for massive stat gains for muscle and myst classes. Plus, the Gallery is a decent place to grind at higher levels.

Moxie classes should probably be grinding in the Haunted Ballroom, making good use of dance cards as well as the "Watch the Dancers" choice in the "Curtains" noncombat adventure.

At lower levels, though (you should probably be level 9-10 to spend time in the Gallery or Ballroom, and unlocking the Ballroom is difficult because of the dangers of the Bedroom), just spend time in places that have the highest ML, pushing the edge of safe adventuring.

Another good place for stat gains at lower levels is Barrrney's Barrr, where the noncombats there can give large substat gains and the combats are juicy as well.
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ShadowWolf
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