Purpose: DP questing! …which I massively failed at, so I’m going to retroactively call this Boss Prize! instead. :p
Mainball: Catherine — Gotta figure out how this gumball works. The +%damage and %defense vs. Machines is very interesting because it comes on a Magic gumball, which is unique — very few Magic gumballs will help your Melee-types beat face through an entire three mazes (City of Steam, Spacecraft Ruins, and Erathia) and most of a fourth (Avallon Fortress).
But I wanted to take her main because I wanted to find out how the Overclocking Mechanism works. Turns out it grants +90 Power and +50% Magic Resist Resistance for an entire floor. In other words, it’s “kill the Boss on F80, F90, and F100 without really breaking a sweat.” 🙂
Linkball 1: Peter — With Catherine single-handing the major obstacle Bosses, I thought I’d be wise to pair her with a Gumball that could single-hand the most annoying floor mobs from F81+. Peter is that Gumball.
Linkball 2: Great Guardian — Great Guardian was my plan for eliminating annoying-ass Reflect mobs without having to punch them in the face. He turned out to be mostly much more amazing than that, providing 100% of the “special effects” I needed to get to F79 in the first place.
Planar Prophet Lord of Elementals (Darkness) — So I was supposed to go through Earth Master and take Planar Prophet and do one of those 250+-floor runs to get ALL the DP…but I fat-fingered it and picked Dark Master and didn’t notice for like six floors. 😦 So, I fell back on Lord of Elementals and decided to nuke my way through whatever came.
Melee Title: Light Paladin — Really, I wanted the big Power boost from Knight of Faith and the Ranged Damage resist from Heavy Armor Knight, so Light Paladin was basically ‘better than Titan Knight’. Worked out well, though, making sure my Divine Favors were consistently big enough to be a full heal given my plentiful Power.
Venture Title: Farplane Ranger — Because I knew I could get my 30-medal DP quest in a single soul, and figured I’d probably get some other benefits along the way as well.
Artifact: Adventurer’s Harp — Given that the maze all but requires you to wear both the Steam and Electric sets, you don’t really get a lot of options in the Artifact slot. You basically have to either choose a Title-based artifact that you really want the stars from, or you take Adventurer’s Harp because you know that there’s a bunch of other stuff to spend your EP on. (Like so much that I went Magic Bandit + Adventurer’s Harp and I still didn’t max out my Titles until F86.)
Potion: Potion of Great Mechanic — The obvious choice is Cactus Potion, but I had plenty of ways to avoid punching Reflect mobs, so I went for the extra Elements instead.
The Rundown: I one-starred up to Farplane Ranger just ’cause, then maxxed out Magic Bandit and then Explorer for EP purposes. Then I took all three levels of Magic Apprentice, then Novice Warrior, then the other two stars of Treasure Seeker.
Then I rocketed up the Magic title, filling in Black Mage, Conjurer, Dark Master (D’OH!), and taking the main title and Power stars of Lord of Elements before moving on to Melee. There I took one star of Knight, three stars of Knight of Faith, three stars of Heavy Armor Knight, and then the other two stars of Knight.
Finally, I filled in all of my missing stars except Light Paladin. I waited until I had maxed out all of my other sources of HP (both from Titles, the Steam suit, and finding the +100 HP Medical Chip) and was below 100HP on F86 before I took Light Paladin and promptly filled in all of its stars at once.
Science Management: First off, obviously, don’t use any of your Research Reports for EP, period. You’ll want them all eventually. Also, you need a crapload of Ancient Elements, so anything you can do to get more of them, do that.
That said, I leveled up my Steam suit thusly: +Elements/floor, +Defense, +avoid-counterattack%, +%HP/floor, buy one of every Science for the item-based specials, +Attack, +HP. I ended the run at F101 with one point in each of the advanced sciences and the rest of the suit maxed out.
And my Electric suit like this: +Dodge%, +Power, one of every Science, +Damage%, +Healing%, +Aid%. Same story as the Steam suit in terms of final stats, except I never bothered leveling up the +MP slots.
Aviatronics, I leveled up +healing%, bought one of every skill, +Energy, -enemy Stats, -enemy Energy, and then maxed out Law Satellite for the Doctor before the run ended.
Advanced Sciences, the only two I leveled up at all was the +Element Drop% one and the Mutant Demon Gene for the extra 5% counterattack reduction. (Getting that up to 40% total was very nice.)
Floor Tactics: Pretty simple until about F70: reveal enemies one at a time, punch them to death, pausing only to nuke or Special down the reflect mobs. I cleared most group situations (Satellites, crashed airships) with Great Guardian or a Death Ripple since I had lots and they were OP.
From about F70, I had to be more careful because the stupid high-dodge LizardBot had a high enough Attack to be quite dangerous with it’s chance for triple damage, and it doesn’t count as a ranged mob so Heavy Armor Knight doesn’t help with it at all. So those bots got added to the list of ‘things to nuke.’ Fortunately, because of Heavy Armor Knight, the ranged mobs themselves were facepunchable down to F91, so it kind of made up for it.
From F81, I had used up enough of my nukes that I had to start being careful, so I switched on Peter to take out the LizardBots and the ReflectBots, figuring there should be less than 40 of those in the last 20 floors. Turned out I had good luck with Night Walker’s Lantern and also had gotten 6 Candles by the time I hit F91, so I key-hunted through the last 10 floors and actually ended with Peter just under half full.
Boss Strategy: F30, F40, and F50 all dropped to dual Great Guardian blasts. (F50 might have taken a Bless before activation, I don’t remember.) F60 went Bless, GGBlast, Icicle, GGBlast, facepunch, facepunch. F70 I took out with Electrostatic Field, Meteor Shower, Icicle, Meteor Shower x3, GGBlast x2 (absorbing a hit in there because I could tank it with my ridiculous HP).
F80 I straight up forgot to use Catherine’s Overclock and paid a Timestill instead, but basically took him down with a few Meteor Showers and an Implosion.
F90 I hit the Overclock button and used a few Meteor Showers, a few Gravities, two Icicles, and a Timestill.
F100 I was out of big nukes and Icicles — I thought for sure I wasn’t going to make it. But I rolled out Overclock, Holy Bolt, Disrupting Ray, Timestill, my last Meteor Shower, more Holy Bolts, my last Timestill (from the Opticon), a pair of Chain Lightnings, and a final triumphant Armageddon just for the lulz.
Lessons Learned: Honestly, I’ve never really liked ‘direct effect’ Gumballs like Great Guardian or Peter; I prefer to build stats with clever gimmicks. I’ve always figured that ‘direct effect’ Gumballs were basically short-run-only ‘trick ponies.’ But this run taught me that, used cleverly, those direct effects can actually be pretty damn good.
Great Guardian would clearly be a craptonne better in an Attack-centric build; as it was, my Attack was passable, but passable doesn’t mean sh!t past F75ish, so GG fell into disuse. The last time I hit that button on F86, it didn’t even kill the single mob it was pointed at. BUT! That said, it was a great way to save Scrolls through first ~59 levels. And actually, the whole ‘only gaining Energy when the Prince shows up’ thing turned out to not suck nearly as much as I thought it would.
Peter, on the other hand, is amazing if you have a way to save his Fencing for the last, most annoying mobs you’ll face.
And Catherine…sheesh. As a Link, she’d make a great Magic gumball to arbitrarily toss onto a Melee-oriented team to take into any robot maze (though honestly I think Puppeteer would still be better.) As Main, though, that Overclock thing really is all that and a bag of chips. I never would have made it through this run without it. Like Flagellant, she’s a Boss-hunter extraordinaire when taken Main, so team her up with some great floor-clearing Gumballs and you’ve got a great Boss-Prize-Hunting team — even if that isn’t the goal you had in mind when you started your run. 😀