Monday, February 2, 2009

Dragonspyre Ratchets up the Difficulty

One of the first things I noticed after I got my first "kill some wandering street mobs" quest in Dragonspyre was the increased HP's of the average mob. In Mooshu, the typical trash mob would have maybe 675 HP. In Dragonspyre, they tend to have around 1200 HP. This would necessitate a change to my typical deck design which had revolved around abusing Immolate for fun and profit.

Immolate is a Fire spell available as a reward after completing Krokotopia so only primary Fire wizards have access to it. For four pips, it deals 600 fire damage to an enemy and deals 250 fire damage to yourself. I had accumulated enough spell power gear that I was able to knock out around 700 HP's in one successful shot even without any charms or traps to augment the Immolate spell. With my Mooshu sword, 4 pips were almost always available during the second turn and sometimes rarely on the first. So unless the mobs were Fire and thus resistant to Immolate damage, I would face them with a 40 card deck that had 6 copies of Immolate increasing the odds that I would always see one on the first or second turn. Add in Fire protection shields that reduced any Immolate damage by 80% and fire resistant gear for even more fun.

The increased toughness of the random Dragonspyre mobs meant a halt to the Immolate festivities. The damage I was doing to myself would mean that I was just doing the surviving mobs a favor in killing myself. So this relegated Immolate to a closing spell to do the final damage to the last mob and increased the importance of my big-hitters, the 5 and 6 pip spells, Stormzilla and Helephant. This also meant an increase in the time needed to kill the pairs of common street mobs you typically come across when soloing. 1200 HPx2 is nothing to sneeze at especially when both mobs are constantly throwing hexes to reduce your spell's power and shields to reduce your damage. Fizzles are absolutely magnified in Dragonspyre as they go from being momentary nuisances to major time sinks.

The increased HP's are not the only feature of the increased difficulty in Dragonspyre. Tower quests are back which have you running through a gauntlet of floors without any health wisps to top you off between fights. Bosses also have some annoying features like one that has two companions wisps that do nothing but cast every protection shield known to man on the boss mob until you manage to kill them. I'm sure the increased difficulty is there to put the brakes on ardent soloers like myself and to increase the importance of grouping up in the endgame. It's all good if it means I have more time to savor the last 5 levels to cap in this game.

1 comment:

  1. Yikes.I like groups with friends but not kiddie PUGs. Good luck I'll be interested in reading how it has progressed.