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  3. Challenge Quest: Bare Minimum Equipment for Completion

User Info: Pre_PHD_Lee

Pre_PHD_Lee
1 month ago#1
Now that I finally finished my solo run, I am excited to try something I've been considering for a little over a year. For my next challenge run, I want to do what I call a minimalist challenge. Basically, I intend to finish this game using only items and equipment that are absolutely essential for beating the game. This is something I did in Dragon Warrior I and II and rather enjoyed.

I believe that there are a grand total of 19 items that are required for beating this game: Magic Ball, Royal Scroll, Black Pepper, Mirror of Ra, Staff of Change, Sailor’s Thighbone, Locket of Love, Sword of Gaia, Red Orb, Blue Orb, Green Orb, Yellow Orb, Purple Orb, Silver Orb, Fairy Flute, Sacred Amulet, Staff of Rain, Stone of Sunlight, and Rainbow Drop.

I believe this list represents the bare minimum item and equipment requirements, if there’s anything I haven’t considered, let me know. Aside from these items, I don’t intend to collect anything else, including equipment. That will end up being a naked challenge and a keyless game.

The first and most obvious difficulty here will be leaving Aliahan without the Thieves Key. I will have to level a wizard high enough to learn the “Open” spell using just enemies in Aliahan. I did some research and preliminary calculations and decided this might not actually be the most time consuming thing I’ve done in this game. For example, I’ve leveled one of each character class to level 99 on the same file. Getting Open on Aliahan may actually be less time intensive than that.

But this may actually not be the hardest part about this challenge. To follow the parameters strictly, I would need to beat Zoma without the Sphere of Light and without any equipment, with no seed usage. I’m not 100% sure it’s even possible, but if it is it will likely require no small amount of grinding to get the right party.

On said game file with all 99 characters, I tried some trial runs of that fight about a year ago, but didn’t have much success with any combination of the classes I had. I don’t remember clearly the specifics of my results, but it seemed to me at the time that with a better customized party it might be doable. It should be an interesting challenge to follow up learning to fight Baramos and Zoma solo.

If I get a minute, I'll probably start it tonight or tomorrow morning. It'll obviously be slow going right out of the gate, but I expect that once I get Open, the game will be able to proceed at an accelerated pace since I'll have high level wizard spells right off and will skip the Magic Key.
(edited 1 month ago)

User Info: joaquintall

joaquintall
1 month ago#2
I've done something similar, but I used keys and the Sphere of Light. I used acquired items that cast spells (ie Shield of Strength, Orochi Sword), but essentially, it was a naked challenge.

Bikill will be handy, as well as a fighter. I turned a wizard into a second fighter, and a pilgrim into a sage, so that would have required the Book of Satori.

I finished it with most of my team in the 40s, with the Sage at 38. I suspect that you'll probably be much higher because it will take time for you to get the Open spell, and Zoma will be harder.

User Info: Darkwing Duck

Darkwing Duck
1 month ago#3
Challenge will be really boring if you don't get the Thieves' Key.

EDIT:

If you want to make it more interesting, kill off hero and got to Open with a wizard and only use it to open doors and take another party to do everything else. Otherwise you'll grind for days and then tear through the rest of the game easily.
Let's get Dangerous.
(edited 1 month ago)

User Info: Pre_PHD_Lee

Pre_PHD_Lee
1 month ago#4
A couple of days ago I re-read Roundman’s Keyless Game topic and realized that I had not remembered the details of it well at all. Specifically, he clearly indicated that it is possible to beat this game without the Royal Scroll if you skip the keys. So I need to edit my list down from 19 items to just 18.

In response to Darkwing, I actually think it would be kind of fun to tear through the game with a high level character from the beginning, and it would be a suitable reward for all the hours of grinding I’ll have to do. Nevertheless, it’s not quite what I plan to do. When I did my test runs against Zoma last year, I quickly discovered that neither a Wizard nor a Pilgrim are viable characters to fight Zoma under these conditions. Their maximum HP does not get high enough to withstand Zoma’s attacks. So if I try to go through the game quickly with a high-level Wizard I’ll run into a dead end.

What I plan to do instead is class change my wizard. Dhama is basically immediately available as soon as I get off of Aliahan with the Open spell. I figure I’ll probably go west of Kanave just long enough to top off her spell list, then start her off as a Pilgrim from level one. And I won’t stop there either. I plan to build her into a Fighter that can cast any spell I need as an emergency backup.

I think the only viable party member options for the final battle are Fighters and Sages. The only other class with enough HP is a Soldier, but without equipment the Soldier doesn’t really have anything else to bring to the table.

I am going to try it first with a Fighter-Sage-Sage combination. But the challenge parameters don’t allow a Book of Satori, so I’ll have to start my Sages off as Goof-Offs. From my tests before, I don’t think one spellcaster will cut it. I’m not even sure two will be quite enough, which is why I plan to make sure my Fighter can cast spells, too. But that will only be for emergencies, as my Fighter will be the primary damage dealer.

I started the challenge a few days ago, and have reached level 5 for my Wizard. It’s slow going. In my planning I focused on how long it would take a solo Wizard to level high enough to get Open, but I didn’t give much consideration for how long it would take an armorless wizard to get to a level that she could survive solo. I thought to start with a Wizard/Hero duo that would get double exp without other party members, but quickly discovered I needed a full party to take enemy hits to keep the Wizard from being wiped out.

I underestimated how long I would need a full party, or else I might have approached the party differently. I’m using my proposed endgame party, with two Goof-Offs who do nothing but take hits, but I probably should have created two Fighters to use just for the beginning. I think I could have gotten. I may still change course, but I might be past the point where it would save me time, since I’ll have to start them from level 1 if I do. The current party is starting to do a lot better now. I’m not sure what level Goof-Offs start ignoring your commands, but I think this actually may be different between the U.S. and Japanese versions, and I’m playing this on my Famicom. In any case, I don’t think I’m to that point yet (though I might just not be noticing since I put the text speed on fast and it’s in a foreign language).

User Info: Darkwing Duck

Darkwing Duck
1 month ago#5
How do you get Norud to open the passage without the Royal Scroll?

EDIT: Just looked at the topic. Travel doors. Nice.
Let's get Dangerous.
(edited 1 month ago)

User Info: Pre_PHD_Lee

Pre_PHD_Lee
1 month ago#6
I'm finally to the point that I can fight solo with my Wizard. At level 7 I learned Fireball and was able from there on to duo with my Hero. At level 12 I learned Bang and was able to successfully go solo most of the way to 13. I say most of the way because I was only having my Hero attack himself while my wizard fought the enemies, and doing it that way it took longer than I expected to kill him off. And I died once, so I had to go through that process again.

Level 13 gave a significant HP gain and a defense point through agility, as well as the Return spell. So I think I'm to a fairly survivable point. Now it's time to truly set in for the real grind. Better get used to that sickly yellow color, too...

User Info: Roundman

Roundman
1 month ago#7
Pre_PHD_Lee posted...
I'm finally to the point that I can fight solo with my Wizard. At level 7 I learned Fireball and was able from there on to duo with my Hero. At level 12 I learned Bang and was able to successfully go solo most of the way to 13. I say most of the way because I was only having my Hero attack himself while my wizard fought the enemies, and doing it that way it took longer than I expected to kill him off. And I died once, so I had to go through that process again.

Level 13 gave a significant HP gain and a defense point through agility, as well as the Return spell. So I think I'm to a fairly survivable point. Now it's time to truly set in for the real grind. Better get used to that sickly yellow color, too...


You're actually going to grind all the way to 35 near Aliahan?! That will take a very long time, probably a couple hundred hours. You must really love grinding...

User Info: Pre_PHD_Lee

Pre_PHD_Lee
1 month ago#8
This challenge definitely involves more grinding than I'm used to considering. I did an order-of-magnitude estimate and I think a couple hundred hours is definitely in the right ball park. But as I said before, if you've ever tried going all the way to level 99 with a full party or more, that can take at least a few hundred hours as well. It's also small compared to the number of hours you can spend on several of the later Dragon Quest games to completely flesh out your party.

I don't know if "love" is the right word, but I don't mind it. There's something mildly hypnotic to me about slowly watching a character get stronger over time. And after a long day at work, when I'm winding down for the day, it seems like something I can spend energy toward a little at a time when I'm too tired for more demanding things. And my home setup is such that I can watch TV or a movie while playing, so that also makes it easier.

At any rate, for some reason this challenge has a certain appeal to me. It's going to start feeling very tedious very soon, but the idea of doing it nevertheless I think will be enough motivation for me to slog through it, even if it takes me a couple of months to do it.
(edited 1 month ago)

User Info: Roundman

Roundman
1 month ago#9
Pre_PHD_Lee posted...
This challenge definitely involves more grinding than I'm used to considering. I did an order-of-magnitude estimate and I think a couple hundred hours is definitely in the right ball park. But as I said before, if you've ever tried going all the way to level 99 with a full party or more, that can take at least a few hundred hours as well. It's also small compared to the number of hours you can spend on several of the later Dragon Quest games to completely flesh out your party.

I don't know if "love" is the right word, but I don't mind it. There's something mildly hypnotic to me about slowly watching a character get stronger over time. And after a long day at work, when I'm winding down for the day, it seems like something I can spend energy toward a little at a time when I'm too tired for more demanding things. And my home setup is such that I can watch TV or a movie while playing, so that also makes it easier.

At any rate, for some reason this challenge has a certain appeal to me. It's going to start feeling very tedious very soon, but the idea of doing it nevertheless I think will be enough motivation for me to slog through it, even if it takes me a couple of months to do it.


I like grinding to some extent- anyone who is a fan of DW / DQ must enjoy grinding at least a little- but I definitely have limits. I think I grinded for at least 10 hours in my modified keyless game, and that was when I was battling east of Kanave with battles granting around 1500 EXP / fight. It was more engaging because the enemies actually posed a threat until about level 26 or so. I just couldn't fight Magicians and Babbles near Reeve for 3 months- the payoff is too low. You will have to fight somewhere between 50 and 100 times more battles than I fought (though I was using two characters- if you're using a single character that will bring the range down to 25 - 50 times. Meaning that if I fought 500 battles, you might have to fight 25,000 battles).

If you don't mind me asking, in what field are you pursuing your Ph D? One benefit of the task you're setting for yourself is that you'll have hundreds of hours of mindless game play in front of you. Plenty of time to ruminate on your thesis. You could probably have a book in front of you the entire time you play, as it won't take too much focus to fight around Reeve for months on end.
(edited 1 month ago)

User Info: Pre_PHD_Lee

Pre_PHD_Lee
1 month ago#10
The Ph.D. is unfortunately a long story. At the time I created this account I was preparing for graduate school in Physics with concrete plans. Without going into too much detail, things didn't and haven't worked out how I had planned, and I am still not in graduate school. I've thought of changing my name because of it, but it's still a goal of mine that I think of frequently and it's good to have a reminder of it. My life has changed enough that it may be feasible within the next year or two.

It's actually funny you mention it, because this weekend I was considering how I could reorganize the room that my game systems are in to be more conducive for study for preparing for that goal. It would indeed be a good thing to work on while doing a challenge like this.

Incidentally, now that I'm at a solo-able level and things aren't changing much, I decided it was time for something better than an order-of-magnitude estimate and have timed my last few play sessions while tracking my EXP. It's easier to move forward knowing just what to expect. My rate of EXP gain is actually a little faster than the estimates I made earlier.

When I was still using two party members and not closely looking at the clock, I estimated my EXP gain as being anywhere from 1000 to 3000 EXP per hour, which would take anywhere from 100-300 hours to get the Open spell.

However, going Solo and finally at the point I can usually not die, I seem to consistently get around 2000 EXP in half-hour sessions. So my actual EXP rate is near 4000 per hour. Based off of this, I don't think it will take much more than 80 hours from the time I got the Bang spell to the time I learn Open.

I didn't time myself to that point, but I estimate maybe around 10-15 hours for the time it took me to get that far in. So all told, I think Open will take fewer than 100 hours to get after all, if not much more.

That's still a fair bit and will still likely take me a few months at the least. It's fairly likely I'll end up taking at least one break along the way as well. We'll see how it goes.
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