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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:53 pm 
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Apparently I need to survey the general audience, because I'm getting a wide range of answers. When it came out, I heard it's suited for about level 25 players. I've since heard 20, 16, and got one "it's survivable at level 10 if you're strategic enough." I'd like to have a bit more consensus on when players think it's survivable, in general. This is without any items of the month. Other stuff, like retcon gear, is fair game. Any opinions?

Edited to add: may be worth mentioning your class and number of permed skills, for extra data.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 3:41 am 
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I'm sure the castle doesn't open untill level 15... so i don't know what the level 10 quote is about!

I have a multi I farm at the castle. As just a Psion - no retcons, no fancy gear - it was possible to win and beat the foes there by using maxed Psionic blast. It was far from economical though, as tons of chips were spent on HP/PP regeneration. From around level 25 it became easy.

However, on SLC - based purely on the skills I have (not using IOTMS)- the castle is easy at level 15.
1) The bad guys there can hit big. If you're a naturalist, the higher intrinsic HP helps, but the lack of a healing spell is a pain. So being a Naturalist with First Aid/Lifeblood/Knit bone is a great advantage.
2) Im always putting SP into Initiative boosters, such as Premonition and Sniper. Hit first, get hit less.
3) Firestorm and Firewithin. Firestorm hits big, The Fire Within makes it hit more. (Other than on the pesky Castle guard!)

Item wise: Fall's Staff, Aquamarine ion stone and a karma charm for the spell damage boost. That means one hitting, or at worse, two. Everything else would be +items/chips.

So, with 5 skills (maybe 6, psionic blast for the castle guard) you can beat the Castle. HP is the only major problem for a spell class, as hitting 100% with spells is great.

If you were to add Upgrade Armor, Battle Armour, Starfish Regeneration and Proper Hydration... the extra defence is a great boost, as is the extra HP/PP which reduces costs in the long run!

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:31 am 
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I think it is about level 16. I've been winning more than I've been losing at level 15, in both my first run and my first RETCON run, but it still seemed like I was underleveled.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:18 am 
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Yep, the Castle opens at fifteen.

Depends on the skills you have, I'd say.
But I'd put it at 15 at the lowest - and at fifteen (WITH items of the month) I felt underpowered. I'm collecting skills right now, so I'm not going much above 15. But at 15, I felt like I was getting my behind handed to me almost all the time, and that's with IOTMs. Granted, that was before I had any skills (original continuity and first retcon).

More skills (as Strlikecrazy points out) the easier it probably gets.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:39 am 
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Spellcasting with appropriate items (+spell damage, -spell cost, etc) Id say Level 15-16.
Ranged/melee with appropriate gear, 16-18
farming gear, id say level 18-20.
Some skills greatly help but arent necessary unless you are spellcasting. Then you need to have your spells and Fire Within maxed out. The others it jsut means you end up in the higher end of the range for survavability.

Im actually level 15 now, trying to get to the point where I can take the castle with farming gear, so I may come back and repost in a bit.

Im a level 15 psion, with an absurb number of skills permed, and 12+ skills at full skill points from when I saved up all the bonus skill points. About half are survavability/damage skills and the other half are time-extending/farming skills.

Are you thinking of raising or lowering the average level?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:54 pm 
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I'd say level 20, at least thats when i think back then things got doable for me, haven't been there below that for a long long time so can't say much more....


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:14 pm 
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Patojonas wrote:
I'd say level 20, at least thats when i think back then things got doable for me, haven't been there below that for a long long time so can't say much more....


No offense, but I'm going to take comments like, "It was X way back before lots of things changed" with a much bigger grain of salt than more recent results. They're still useful data points (and the clarification that it's old data is much appreciated), but less useful than current testing.

My goal is to have this zone at level 18, roughly. So far things point to it being about right, I guess.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:38 am 
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I guess there's a difference between the zone being doable at a level and being profitable at a level. If you're looking to create a farming zone for the lazy post-recton, then I'd say it's really not serving that purpose. If you're looking for an incentive to stay in after-recton/additional content, then level 18 seems about right. As it stand, and I'm level 16 with about 20 skills and decent/WOK items, I can't adventure there without having to pay attention to what I'm doing, which is not what I like about non-retcon content, and being slightly ineffective.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:52 am 
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It's not about farming at a profit as it's more about survivability.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:55 am 
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Cristiona wrote:
It's not about farming at a profit as it's more about survivability.


Then that's not really a question. I could use recognizer bots and eventually kill shit from the start of a retcon. I guess my post was vague, but I'm looking at feasible killing with weapons and not having to restore shit constantly and/or spending tons of chips.

EDIT: also, as much as I hate an easily scriptable farming juncture, I think it's actually healthy for the in-game economy.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:24 am 
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I recently tried as a Naturalists at lvl 16, with a bunch of +pp/hit so I could use Charge and Trample as my normal attacks. It was doable, but not easy.
Permed skill list was:
Proper hydration (0)
Stone Armor (~8)
Advanced Martial Arts (don't remember level, but didn't seem to add to melee damage, not sure)
Shock Grenade (0)
Stealth (10)
Vim (10)


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:13 am 
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mara wrote:
Then that's not really a question. I could use recognizer bots and eventually kill shit from the start of a retcon. I guess my post was vague, but I'm looking at feasible killing with weapons and not having to restore shit constantly and/or spending tons of chips.

EDIT: also, as much as I hate an easily scriptable farming juncture, I think it's actually healthy for the in-game economy.


This isn't a question about farming. This is more "pretend you're level X and told to go to the castle for a quest. What level is appropriate?" There will eventually be several post-Mick quests that continue the story. I want to space them so that they're tough but doable. The castle is currently the toughest non-scaling zone that doesn't require the dreamer's clock, so it's my best data point.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:33 am 
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Level 16 psion:
Equipment:
imperial diadem
pod blaster
xent breastplate
goldfinger gloves
xent breeches
prefontane's shoes
black box
cupid's quiver
binoculars
dice key chain
pegasus
2 positronics with the +NC and -time occasionally programs
jujitsu sidekick

Active effects:
Air Shield (0 SP)
Fire Shield (0)
Aura: KO (0)
Stealth(10)
Snout (10)
Aura: Repulsive Mag. (10)
MD (10)
NvN (5)
Aura Vim (10)

Passives:
Hydration (10)
Starfish (0)
Fire Within (10)
Echo (10)
BMA (10)
Sniper (10)
Battle Armor (10)
Meditation (10)

Stats:
Strength 57
Intellect 134
Reflexes 69
base to hit: 184
base dodge: 196
Off. power: 151
Def. Power: 396

I could survive 1-3 fights in the castle with ranged combat. 3-6 if I spell slung, but I didnt do that too much because all the effects Im maintaining and the pp cost of healing. Enough of a data point? Ill be leveling up tomorrow and going back with full armadillo armor as well.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:28 pm 
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In grinding up levels for the higher skills, I would end up spending some time in the Castle toward the very end. I've acquired a bunch of skills since then, but I do have every donation item.

As I recall... at level 15, I would have to heal after every battle and could be OHK'd by a critical. I only had Firestorm, so if a guard came up I was screwed (or would be without direct damage stuff from IotMs). Every so many battles, I'd be tapped for PP between the spellcasting and healing so having the resources to *stay* there was taxing (without a cape, it's probably pretty ridiculous).

I imagine 18 would still be tough. Way back before retcon, when I changed talismans I didn't even bother going to the Castle for leveling until around 22 because it was about then that I could stay there and still have the chips to buy the next level when it came up. Then again, I'm a huge wuss and wasn't trying to break any speed barriers.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:26 am 
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level 19 now, list is pretty much the same as above except im using a karma charm instead of binoculars (finally could afford it), and a no SP aura:mystery and a full SP armadillo armor have been added to the buffs. I can easily take on enemies with 2 firestorms/psionic blasts (no SP), but that runs the pp pretty thin, so I generally do 1 skill then autoattack till they are dead or I almost am. Even with sometimes having to use the hospital for healing, im still making money, enough to level up. So Id say level 18-19 are just at the edge of survivability.

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