Saturday, 8 December 2012

Meeting the Chief

Today we see what Spielburg valley has to offer in the way of alternative activities, because an aspiring hero can't be expected to spend all of his time on a single quest. Firstly, let's remember that we're actually a thief (not very heroic, but the ends justify the means, don't they?). Obviously thieving is done in darkness, so it's worth taking a look around town then.

The quiet night, perfect for thievery!

Unfortunately most doors here are barred from the inside, which is a damn shame. It gives you a good opportunity to practice though, although hanging around too long can rouse even the sleepiest town sheriff. Accessing the Thieves Guild is a similarly tricky business. It seems they keep themselves hidden, although I suppose I would too. A little trip down a dark alleyway though, and you can run into a couple of fellow rogues, and once you prove who you are it's time to meet the Chief!
The old "glowing coin" trick

The Chief thief is found beneath the pub, and you join him after you tell his Goon friend the appropriate password. Here, you can hone your knife skills and earn some coin by playing Dag-Nab-It (darts with daggers!), and fence stolen goods - once you pay for membership. There's a couple of houses to steal from and make use of Boris the fence, but there's no reason to spend too much time here.
Crusher isn't the most friendly of fellows

I'm glossing over the thieving, which is quite fun, mainly because it's also very easy. You can rob both houses with low skill levels, and make a decent profit. It's a shame the magic user doesn't have a good way to make such money! The early game for a magic user can be punishingly difficult, as you're useless in combat, and magic potions cost an arm and a leg. Anyway, money gained is money spent, and coupled with the cash from rescuing Barnard, I could afford to buy the remaining spell (Flame Dart), some daggers, and some chain mail (technically for the Fighter, but all classes can wear it with no impediment).
From left to right, Crusher, Boris the fence, and The Chief

Also of course: Lots of potions. At this stage in the game, I was just trying to gain skill points as quickly as possible. There are certain ways to gain skills rapidly, but spells are much harder. Whereas a Vigor potion will restore all of your stamina for 20 silver, a Magic potion will only restore half of your magic points for 60 silver! It is worth pointing out that you don't really need any spell to be about about 35 except Flame Dart, if you plan on killing anything with it. Once Flame Dart is at 100, you can kill a Brigand with two hits, and it's very effective on many of the monsters.

Winning at Dag-Nab-It

My general grinding day consisted of battling brigands (plenty of money to be made), and then spending that money on magic potions. The magic potions wouldn't last long, as I practised my spellcasting, but the end result was super-powerful spells. Limited use at this stage, but it will make future games very much easier! Another good tip was to hunt Trolls. Each troll would have a bit of cash (at least 20 silvers) and you can sell the beard for two healing potions (immensely useful). Other monsters aren't quite so valuable, and often more deadly too.

My stats on Day 5, still a long way to go!

The only skills I had real problems maximising were Climbing and Stealth. Stealth only gets raised when you have "used" it, despite sneaking everywhere. In the forest, you occasionally get a message to say that you've successfully hidden from a monster, and this would raise Stealth very slightly. It took much movement from screen to screen over a long period for that to become maxed out. Climbing on the other hand, quickly raised to about 85 or so, and then hit a wall. It turns out the only place to maximise that particular skill is in the Brigand Fortress, which is kind of an odd place to spend practising.

Next time: We meet various odd things, but none odder than a certain Wizard.

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