Slayer

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Martin III
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Slayer

Post by Martin III » Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:24 pm

I finally got around to reading through the manual for this game, so today I set off on my first quest! This game really impressed me from the beginning, so I figured I'd use this space to keep a log of my first playthrough.

I rolled myself a male human cleric, neutral good. Puzzlingly enough, no matter how many times I rolled, my age always came up in the range 16-19. I take it clerics don't live too long in the AD&D world? (sweat) By the way, does alignment have any significance in the gameplay, or is it just for show? The manual says nothing to clarify this.

Even playing on "Moderate" difficulty, I haven't found the game nearly as hard as its reputation says. Sure, there's a thin line between walking away from an encounter without a scratch and getting killed in two blows (at least with the stats I rolled, which are high dexterity and low Constitution), but that's why you save frequently. And since the game saves so amazingly quick, there's no reason not to. I basically blitzed through the first floor, but turned back at the exit so I could whack a few more monsters for experience.

The one problem I have is with how fast the character moves, particularly with how fast he turns. It makes things like turning to face an enemy trickier than they should be, and it gives me a sensation like I'm playing in debug mode.

I remain blown away by the visuals, music, and general mood of the game. This is classic dungeon crawling stuff, sombre yet imaginative and exciting. I'm really enjoying the simple fun of bashing monsters, collecting items, and managing rations, too. This was worth getting a 3DO for.

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Re: Slayer

Post by ArfredHitchcacku » Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:30 am

Martin III wrote:I finally got around to reading through the manual for this game, so today I set off on my first quest! This game really impressed me from the beginning, so I figured I'd use this space to keep a log of my first playthrough.

I rolled myself a male human cleric, neutral good. Puzzlingly enough, no matter how many times I rolled, my age always came up in the range 16-19. I take it clerics don't live too long in the AD&D world? (sweat) By the way, does alignment have any significance in the gameplay, or is it just for show? The manual says nothing to clarify this.

Even playing on "Moderate" difficulty, I haven't found the game nearly as hard as its reputation says. Sure, there's a thin line between walking away from an encounter without a scratch and getting killed in two blows (at least with the stats I rolled, which are high dexterity and low Constitution), but that's why you save frequently. And since the game saves so amazingly quick, there's no reason not to. I basically blitzed through the first floor, but turned back at the exit so I could whack a few more monsters for experience.

The one problem I have is with how fast the character moves, particularly with how fast he turns. It makes things like turning to face an enemy trickier than they should be, and it gives me a sensation like I'm playing in debug mode.

I remain blown away by the visuals, music, and general mood of the game. This is classic dungeon crawling stuff, sombre yet imaginative and exciting. I'm really enjoying the simple fun of bashing monsters, collecting items, and managing rations, too. This was worth getting a 3DO for.
Glad you enjoy another great 3DO exclusive! Personally, I would customize my character, I couldn't imagine them throwing Chaotic Good 19 year old Elves at me. Then again, how much can you customize? I would've assumed you couldn't at all but I found a review saying it was pretty customizable.

And don't forget about Deathkeep, the sequel! I've heard it's a lot worse, but we'll just have to see when I come to getting it.
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Post by Trev » Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:45 am

The customization in Slayer is one of my favorite things about the game.
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Re: Slayer

Post by Martin III » Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:57 am

I got through the second level with few problems as well, except for the beginning, where there happened to be a large number of monsters clustered. It's pretty cool how the slimes are so small that your character has to look down to effectively combat them. A good way to get players to use that feature.

The most bizarre thing about the game is the level design. It's not like a dungeon at all, but a town: a vast open space dotted with small rooms. And so far, the exits to the levels seem to always be on the edge of the level rather than any of the rooms, so you can walk from the entrance to the exit in under a minute. I'm tempted to try just going straight to the exit for the remaining levels. Sure, if I do that I probably won't be leveled high enough to defeat the boss, but I'd be able to take a quick gander at him at least! :D

It was on this level that I filled my inventory, and I have to say I'm a bit annoyed by the sound the game makes when you walk over an item when your bag is full. The sound is so inappropriate to Slayer's mood, and really, why do they have a sound for that at all? The absence of the "got item" sound is more than enough to clue the player in.
ArfredHitchcacku wrote:Glad you enjoy another great 3DO exclusive! Personally, I would customize my character, I couldn't imagine them throwing Chaotic Good 19 year old Elves at me. Then again, how much can you customize? I would've assumed you couldn't at all but I found a review saying it was pretty customizable.
You can customize pretty much everything about the character. You directly choose class, race, gender, alignment, and portrait, though some classes are restricted to a select set of races and alignments. Then you "roll" for your stats(and age), which are obviously limited according to class and race. Since you choose your class and race, though, and can keep "rolling" until satisfied, you essentially customize stats as well.

They give you the option to choose from one of several preset characters, too, but I didn't even bother giving them a look. I figure that part of the fun is designing your own character, and unlike most RPGs I've seen that offer character customization, Slayer makes the process extremely quick and painless.
ArfredHitchcacku wrote:And don't forget about Deathkeep, the sequel! I've heard it's a lot worse, but we'll just have to see when I come to getting it.
Yeah, what I'd heard is that Deathkeep is more visually impressive than Slayer, but much more difficult and inaccessible. So I figured I'd try Slayer first, then go for the sequel if I want more.

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Post by Martin III » Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:15 pm

Woah... nearly hit a brick wall on level 3. First came the gargoyles. I can't hit them with my staff, and for whatever reason, the spell "Flame Sword" just hasn't been working. I've tried it before, and all I get is that irritating error sound. The only thing I've got that can hurt them is sling and rocks, and that isn't going to cut it, since it does minimal damage and you actually have to manually reload each piece of ammo! :shock: Makes you wonder why they included that weapon in the game at all; the manual reload makes it an obviously poor choice.

So, after a little while I realized that I'm just going to have to flee from those gargoyles whenever I see them - and dang, those guys are fast! Sometimes it seemed like wherever I turned, one would pop up in my face!

It was also on this level that I first discovered that the door to each level is locked. Had to spend nearly an hour darting around the room, periodically ducking and hiding from gargoyles, in search of that key. So, I guess my notion of running straight from entrance to exit wouldn't work. Slayer isn't as broken as I thought.

Also made the interesting discovery that you can use those fountains, and that's where the coins come into play. Funny how such a huge manual leaves so many mysteries for you to solve on your own.

On to level 4!

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Post by Trev » Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:23 pm

Martin III wrote:Woah... nearly hit a brick wall on level 3. First came the gargoyles. I can't hit them with my staff, and for whatever reason, the spell "Flame Sword" just hasn't been working. I've tried it before, and all I get is that irritating error sound.
Hmmm ... not sure if it's quite the same, but I made these observations when posting a review for this game ...
Trev wrote: The game borders on unduly challenging at times however, thanks in part to decidedly second rate combat. For one, collision detection is over particular to say the least. You’ll find yourself annoyed as you attempt shot after shot with your weapon only to find that it fails to connect with the foe immediately in front of you. Space Hulk suffers a slight similarity with shots needing to hit center to be effective, but trust me Slayer is worse! One problem is that your weapon doesn’t appear on screen, and there are also unnecessary delays between uses. After a while I set my “monster numbers” to few, my frustration growing with the poor combat. More time spent equals more precision naturally, but I never really feel comfortable and I’m guessing I’m not alone. :?
It's cool that your giving level by level thoughts as you play though ... it's kinda making me wanna play Slayer too. :)
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Post by Martin III » Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:55 am

I just had my first session with the game in days, but made up for it by clearing through three floors, albeit mainly because levels 4 and 5 went real quick.

Level 4: Arrgh! More gargoyles! Plus carrion crawlers, which didn't seem worth the trouble of attacking, even if it is cool to see enemies which move along the walls rather than the floor. On the plus side, I finally tried out the orb which I found on the previous floor, and found out that it shoots magical bursts. Awesome, but even more awesome is that it hurts the gargoyles! Yay! :D I downed four of the buggers before the orb expired, then moved on to level 5 for...

More gargoyles! :evil: Well, "margoyles" to be precise, which are the usual palette-swapped tougher versions of gargoyles, so even worse. The other foes are crypt things (seriously, that's what they'll called), which I was happy to see until I discovered that even after using Turn Undead, I had no way to hurt them. At this point I was getting tired of not being able to kill anything, so I actually went ahead and slew a margoyle with my slingshot. Needless to say, this took quite a while, but I felt like cheering when I pulled it off.

Level 6 took longer due to having twice as many enemies as previous floors - hope that's not a portent of worse to come! - but was a lot more fun because I could kill both enemy types with my usual mace. Whacked a whole bunch of feyrs and wyverns and leveled up for some cool new spells. Wyverns take an annoying number of hits to kill; I really wish I had a better weapon than the mace I started with. One thing this game seems to lack is variety of equipment.

Very much enjoying this run so far, and getting excited now that I'm entering the deeper levels.
Trev wrote:Hmmm ... not sure if it's quite the same, but I made these observations when posting a review for this game ...
Trev wrote:The game borders on unduly challenging at times however, thanks in part to decidedly second rate combat. For one, collision detection is over particular to say the least. You’ll find yourself annoyed as you attempt shot after shot with your weapon only to find that it fails to connect with the foe immediately in front of you. Space Hulk suffers a slight similarity with shots needing to hit center to be effective, but trust me Slayer is worse! One problem is that your weapon doesn’t appear on screen, and there are also unnecessary delays between uses. After a while I set my “monster numbers” to few, my frustration growing with the poor combat. More time spent equals more precision naturally, but I never really feel comfortable and I’m guessing I’m not alone. :?
Yeah, I think you misread the gameplay a tad there. :P As the manual explains, each time you or an enemy attacks, the game's random number generator picks a number, throws it into an equation which includes the atackee's armor class (AC) and dexterity and the attacker's THAC, and determines from that whether the attack is a hit or a miss. It's a pretty typical system of the subgenre; you'll also find it in popular entries like The Throne of Chaos and Dungeon Master. Near as I can tell, my problem with the gargoyles is either that their AC is too low for me to ever hit, or they're immune to everything but spells and ranged attacks (which would make sense, since they're fliers).

So, yeah. Nothing wrong with the hit detection.

As for the delay, that's dependent on the character's speed rating, which can of course be increased with spells. I can see how it could be tiresome if your usual bag is 1st person shooters, but in the world of real time 1st person dungeon crawlers this is standard, and all part of the fun.

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Post by Trev » Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:47 am

Martin III wrote:
Trev wrote:Hmmm ... not sure if it's quite the same, but I made these observations when posting a review for this game ...
Trev wrote:The game borders on unduly challenging at times however, thanks in part to decidedly second rate combat. For one, collision detection is over particular to say the least. You’ll find yourself annoyed as you attempt shot after shot with your weapon only to find that it fails to connect with the foe immediately in front of you. Space Hulk suffers a slight similarity with shots needing to hit center to be effective, but trust me Slayer is worse! One problem is that your weapon doesn’t appear on screen, and there are also unnecessary delays between uses. After a while I set my “monster numbers” to few, my frustration growing with the poor combat. More time spent equals more precision naturally, but I never really feel comfortable and I’m guessing I’m not alone. :?
Yeah, I think you misread the gameplay a tad there. :P As the manual explains, each time you or an enemy attacks, the game's random number generator picks a number, throws it into an equation which includes the atackee's armor class (AC) and dexterity and the attacker's THAC, and determines from that whether the attack is a hit or a miss. It's a pretty typical system of the subgenre; you'll also find it in popular entries like The Throne of Chaos and Dungeon Master. Near as I can tell, my problem with the gargoyles is either that their AC is too low for me to ever hit, or they're immune to everything but spells and ranged attacks (which would make sense, since they're fliers).

So, yeah. Nothing wrong with the hit detection.

As for the delay, that's dependent on the character's speed rating, which can of course be increased with spells. I can see how it could be tiresome if your usual bag is 1st person shooters, but in the world of real time 1st person dungeon crawlers this is standard, and all part of the fun.
You could be right in part ... I don't have a manual for Slayer, and had to look in the thread elsewhere here on the board to read the booklet. I think the instructions may oversell the depth of combat a bit, but that isn't surprising.

I still maintain that you have to be lined up perfect for shots to connect ... which isn't neccesarily a bad thing if you are looking for a high challenge. The lack of onscreen weapons though really makes the combat feel underdeveloped imho. Perhaps I could have used other words other than collision detection, but It really did give me that Space Hulk vibe ... and not in a good way. :wink:

But reading your posts have really put me in the mood to play Slayer again. I'll pay special attention to specifics when the combat turns clunky (mainly which enemies against) and maybe modify or clarify my earlier comments. I am curious about the delay between weapon attacks, as I've noticed it w/numerous ratings. I'll pay special attention to that too.

Enjoying the posts, keep 'em coming. :)
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Post by Martin III » Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:40 am

Level 7 was interesting. I had my first encounter with Greater Medusa, which are quite fun to fight. They're little threat; while their paralysis spells are effective, they spend most of their time casting them, which is good for me since the spells do no actual damage. On the rare occasion that they hit with a physical attack, it only takes off a few HP due to their low Strength. As you can imagine, battles with them take above average time, but they're fun because I feel like I'm putting my character's strengths to use, and it's quite satisfying when a paralysis spell wears off and I score a hit - plus they're surprisingly nice to look at. :)

Of course, paralysis is more troublesome if there's a Troll Chieftain around, but as I soon discovered, Troll Chieftains are too much trouble all by themselves. While I am able to hurt them with just my mace, their Strength and THAC are obviously a lot higher than any of the enemies I've faced so far - in other words, they hit me a lot, and do a ton of damage with each hit. I was able to kill two of them with the help of two orbs I found, but there was just no way I could take one down by normal means. Believe me, I tried.

Luckily, there were 14 Medusa to only 9 Troll Chieftains, so it made sense to do some Medusa hunting. I found a couple rooms holding both types of enemy, and lured the Medusa out: I would open the door, and if a troll approached, I'd slam it in his face. :twisted: If a Medusa approached, I'd let her out and close the door behind her so that we could have some one-on-one time.

On a general note, it's interesting how much strategy is added to the game by the fact that enemies can't open doors. With the past few levels, I've begun to find that a good way to start a level is to find an empty room, run inside, and close the door behind you so you can plan out your approach to the enemies.

Level 8: More Medusa! Yay! Unfortunately, they're accompanied by another enemy I can't seem to hurt without orbs: Flesh Golems. This is the first level I started within a room(a room within a room, at that). That threw me for a moment, but it took very little time to get through this level.

I'm probably going to hunt more Medusa for EXP before tackling floor 9, though. While levels aren't as valuable in Slayer as in most RPGs, judging by the difficulty I had with the Troll Chieftains, I'm going to need to be at least level 10 to last more than ten seconds against the boss.
Trev wrote:You could be right in part ... I don't have a manual for Slayer, and had to look in the thread elsewhere here on the board to read the booklet. I think the instructions may oversell the depth of combat a bit, but that isn't surprising.
Just to clarify, my deduction isn't coming as much from the manual as from the fact that this system is how most games of this type work, and is the only explanation consistent with what I'm seeing in Slayer. In most encounters, neither I nor the enemy move from where we're standing, yet we both get a healthy mix of hits and misses. Even assuming Slayer has a hit detection issue, that wouldn't explain those misses. So part of the game engine must be calculating hit-or-miss outcomes of on-target attacks, and it can't be solely using a random number generator, because the hit/miss ratio differs according to what type of enemy I'm fighting.

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Post by JohnnyDude » Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:57 am

I just tried this game and got my butt kicked. It's possible the characters I'm rolling are just crappy. I don't have a manual for the game, though, and I can't find one! Does anybody have any newbie info?

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Post by Trev » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:21 am

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Post by JohnnyDude » Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:26 pm

I'd found that. 3DO Experience's links are dead, though. Lemmi's links work, but he didn't upload a Slayer manual.

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Post by Trev » Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:01 am

JohnnyDude wrote:
I'd found that. 3DO Experience's links are dead, though. Lemmi's links work, but he didn't upload a Slayer manual.
Are you sure ...? goes to check for himself

Hmmm ... looks like you are correct. Sorry bout that.

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Post by T2KFreeker » Sat Feb 18, 2012 4:39 am

Slayer is easily another of the very underated 3DO titles. It is nice to see someone giving it the respect it deserves. Just think, as you get deeper into the game, it get's crazier in the difficulty level. However, the cool thing is that the weapons you will get will get better too. Can't find instructions? One of the nice things about this being a AD&D 2nd Edition game is that you could potentially track down a monster Manual from the RPG and use it to play this. Just a hint. Yes, the stats do transfer. :wink:
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Post by Martin III » Sat Feb 18, 2012 7:33 pm

Qcombus also uploaded the manual on the "First Impressions" thread, but sadly that doesn't seem to be working anymore either. :(

I went ahead and hunted down the rest of the Medusa on floor 8. On to floor 9.

Both floor 9 enemies were a pain. Otyughs patrol the ceilings (very cool) and are manageable if confronted one-on-one, but they tend to cling together in packs. Still, Will o' the Wisps are far worse. Supposedly immune to most spells (being a cleric, I wouldn't know), these guys are hard to hit even with weapons, have about 80% hit accuracy, routinely wipe out 2/3 of my HP with a single hit, and can attack long range for the same damage as their melee attack! As if that weren't enough, they move like lightning, which means even with only 9 of them on the floor, I can't stay in one place for more than four seconds without one stumbling upon me. This makes it impossible to deal with an Otyugh by normal means, since I get slaughtered by a Will o' the Wisp before I can finish.

Fortunately, I found an alternate strategy, a trickier variation of how I dealt with Medusas. I lured each Otyugh away from its pack, then led it into a room and closed the door behind us. Then he's all mine. :twisted:

After wiping out 11 of the 15 Otyughs, I had my biggest laugh-out-loud moment playing this game when I finally located the last four. They were all caught together on the isolated section of ceiling that caps a teleporter. Like devils on the head of an inverted pin. :D

I discovered that my reach is a bit longer than theirs, so I killed all four without taking a hit. Thinking it over, this occurrence boggles my mind. First of all, you'd think the developers would have programmed the Otyughs to be unable to walk on teleporter spaces. The potential for problems is obvious. Second, how amazing a coincidence is it that four of them spawned on that same tiny section of ceiling? I have to assume they spawn in packs; otherwise, the odds of that must be ridiculous.

Sadly, all those Medusa and Otyughs still didn't give nearly enough EXP to go from level 8 to level 9. And a peek at floor 10 showed me I'd need that extra level; while the enemies are nowhere near as deadly as Wisps, they're still tough, and the shark-like creatures have the unnerving ability to pop up right in front of me wherever I run, making it impossible to reach a safe room. So, I had no choice but to kill a few Will o' the Wisps.

The strategy I developed:
1.Lure one into a room.
2.Run out of the room and close the door behind me before the wisp can get out.
3.Cast Prayer, save game.
4.Reenter the room and combat Wisp until healing spells are exhausted.
5.Back out of the room and close the door before the wisp can get out.
6.Cast spell to refill food, then rest and save game.
7.Repeat steps 4-6 until Wisp is dead.

Taking out even one Wisp this way takes forever, especially given how easy it is for steps 2, 4, and 5 to go wrong. Sometimes the Wisps deal damage faster than I can heal it, and they move so fast they can escape the room in the split second it takes me to back out and close the door. All that adds up to a LOT of re-loading my save. Hard work, and even though Wisps give a ton of EXP, I had to kill three of them for my level up. Still, it was very satisfying to pull it off.

The real nasty thing is, level ups don't make much difference. Their only visible impact is to increase Max HP and give me more spells. The manual says they also increase your THAC, but if so, it's not an appreciable increase. And as any RPGer knows, Max HP is virtually meaningless. More spells is nice, but it's not enough by itself.

So my best hope now is that the better weapons are all stored on the top 1/3 of the dungeon; a replacement for the mace I started the game with is long overdue.

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Post by Martin III » Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:09 pm

Floor 10 was fun. Loaded with Green Hags, which in most cases I was just barely able to defeat one-on-one before exhausting my healing spells - good thing I worked to get that level up!

The real trouble was the shark-like creatures(can't remember what they're called). They're much less durable than Will o' the Wisps, but their attacks actually do even more damage! The good news is, while the fact that they tunnel underground and head you off wherever you go makes them impossible to escape, it also makes them far easier to battle than the Wisps. The reason is, while they're underground they don't register on the map, so even if one of them is right underneath you, you're free to rest and replenish spells. Their pattern of heading you off also means you never have to worry about them attacking from behind or the side; just stand in one place and they'll pop up in front of you.

Also, it took me some time to realize this, but the shark creatures are like land mines: if you don't step on them, they just sit there. Very interesting design, not to mention a cool use for True Seeing. Since I needed the EXP they offer, I tackled the shark creatures one-by-one, using the ability to rest in the midst of fights with them to whittle them down. By the end of floor 10, I had wiped out the Green Hags and all but one shark creature.

Floor 11 introduced me to Slithermorphs, who are a joy. Their armor is so weak that nearly all my attacks are hits, and the hiss they make when you strike them is delightful. :D Unfortunately, the more common enemy on this floor were the shark creatures, who I was already tiring of.

Floor 11 was also unusually quiet, since the sharkies don't pop up unless you approach, and all but one slithermorph happened to spawn inside a room. This allows me to leisurely hunt them down, and once I've got them all I should be at least close to hitting level 10.

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Post by bitrate » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:05 am

This thread is a great read. It almost feels as if I am playing Slayer.
It really makes me want to pull the game out, and I would if I had the time.
I'll have to settle for reading your updates. :wink:

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Post by Trev » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:41 am

I agree w/bitrate, I've been enjoying all the Slayer updates. I'm planning on spending at least part of my day off tomorrow playing it.
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Post by Trev » Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:59 pm

I've spent the morning fooling around w/Slayer, I once again have to give the game big props for some of the things it does ... the great graphics engine (especially for such an early 3DO game), terrific music, the strong sense of atomosphere, so many ways to customize your game, etc ... :)

I have to stand by my earlier gripes about the combat though. I went ahead and (rather than roll) created a character w/high stats for every category, just to test out the combat. Point blank in front of a basic monster, my strong fighter missed over and over, while a level 1 enemy took me out in 3 shots. :?

I tweaked my methods (charged in for a quick shot and retreated) and had more success. But it's not a way I care to play, especially for a hack n slash dungeon crawler. Why o why is there no weapon displayed? It really makes the game feel dated in that respect.

Any advice to land more consistent hits? I really want to spend more time w/this game, thanks in large part to this ongoing thread.
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Post by Martin III » Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:17 pm

Thanks, guys. I enjoy writing this up just for the sake of recording the memories of my first run, but if people enjoy reading then all the better! :D

Floor 12 threw two enemies with long-range attacks at me: Bone Nagas and Death Knights. The latter are yet another enemy that my mace doesn't effect, and since they were the more common enemy here, this floor was something of a pain. Fortunately, I found me a lightning orb, which kills Death Knights with one shot each! 8)

Wiped out three of them, and then decided to take one down with my slingshot. That... took... forever. (pant) Then it was high time I experimented more with the only other weapon I've found, the staff. I gave up on it early on since my stats don't change when I equip it, but it occurred to me that there might be more subtle advantages. I actually timed how long it took me to attack ten times with each, confirming that both are limited to one attack every three seconds. Then I tested it out on a Death Knight and... kicked the snot out of him.

Do I ever feel stupid now. :oops: Not only did I waste all that time killing a Death Knight with a slingshot, but I realize now that the staff was probably the key to taking out the Gargoyles, Crypt Things, etc... And I've had it since Floor 2!

Unfortunately, the weapon has a major downside: it's two-handed, so I can't cast spells while it's equipped. So most of the time I have to play a deadly hit-and-run game to beat enemies with it, resting between clashes.

Yuan-Tis (a variation on Slithermorphs - yay!) and Ghosts awaited on Floor 13. I'm half-convinced whoever designed Ghosts is a moron. Not only do these guys fly at very high speed, but they walk through walls! This makes them impossible to avoid; any time I stopped to battle a foe, I had three Ghosts swarming me in seconds. Their hit accuracy is poor, and even when they do hit they do puny damage, but pile up three or more of them and they're definitely a threat. To top it off, they hit with a weird status effect: "Martin Barrows aged." Huh? I don't remember reading about that in the manual, and unlike (say) sleep or paralysis, what it might do is not at all obvious from the description. I'm not taking any chances, so I reloaded my game each time I got hit by this.

Still, with hit-and-run, frequent saving, and judicious use of my staff (the mace doesn't work on Ghosts), I was able to gradually whittle down the odds. Indeed, I wiped out every single enemy on this floor, allowing me to leisurely stroll through the room and pick through the items.

For the last half dozen or so floors, I've been walking over pits, as well as crossing slime without taking damage. Very odd, methinks. Is it a glitch? Nope. It finally occurred to me to use my scrying glass (an ultra-useful tool I found on Floor 7 or thereabouts) on the two rings I've been wearing. Turns out that one of them is a Ring of Levitation! Woo, is that handy or what? :D If I want to escape a non-flying enemy, all I need to do is cross a pit, and it makes it a lot easier to get certain items, too.

Turns out that my figuring out the secret of the staff was just in time: Floor 14 was all enemies that cannot be hurt by my mace. The easier ones are Fire Elementals (silly boys, don't you know better than to mess with a man who can cast "Increase Fire Resistance"?), but they're still pretty buff. Lichs are a total nightmare - pretty much a tougher version of Wisps. The only way I could beat 'em was by consuming a Speed Potion first. Not only do you deal damage faster, but since hitting an enemy briefly stuns them, you actually reduce the frequency of their attacks. I've been trying to save a Speed Potion for the boss, but since I had accumulated three of them at this point, using two of them to clear out all the free-roaming Lichs seemed a wise investment. At any rate, I got up to Level 12 this way!

Despite it being so tough as to necessitate save/load abuse, Floor 14 was fun. For some reason the enemies seemed to cluster around the room I picked for my safe spot, so for a while it was like fighting under siege.

On to the final floor... (sweat) I do feel ready, actually. I now have my sixth level of spells, which include one which restores all my hit points. And while I sure would like to have a +1 or +2 weapon, I have to assume that the game would have provided one if I needed it.
Trev wrote:I tweaked my methods (charged in for a quick shot and retreated) and had more success. But it's not a way I care to play, especially for a hack n slash dungeon crawler. Why o why is there no weapon displayed? It really makes the game feel dated in that respect.

Any advice to land more consistent hits? I really want to spend more time w/this game, thanks in large part to this ongoing thread.
Dated? Dungeon crawlers as recent as 2006's Mazes of Fate don't display weapons! Frankly, I prefer it that way; rather than adding to the visual quality, I find that disembodied attacking weapons just look silly.

Anyway: The combat is very luck-oriented, not just the hits and misses, but the amount of damage the enemies' attacks do. So I've found the natural way to survive is to save very frequently. I can easily imagine you not liking that methodology, but sadly it's the only one I have to suggest. It's not the most elegant way of handling combat, true, but on the plus side, while loading takes some time, saving is practically instantaneous.

What's your character's Dexterity rating? According to the manual at least, that's very important to hit/miss ratios.

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Post by Trev » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:42 pm

Martin III wrote:
Trev wrote:I tweaked my methods (charged in for a quick shot and retreated) and had more success. But it's not a way I care to play, especially for a hack n slash dungeon crawler. Why o why is there no weapon displayed? It really makes the game feel dated in that respect.

Any advice to land more consistent hits? I really want to spend more time w/this game, thanks in large part to this ongoing thread.
Dated? Dungeon crawlers as recent as 2006's Mazes of Fate don't display weapons! Frankly, I prefer it that way; rather than adding to the visual quality, I find that disembodied attacking weapons just look silly.

Anyway: The combat is very luck-oriented, not just the hits and misses, but the amount of damage the enemies' attacks do. So I've found the natural way to survive is to save very frequently. I can easily imagine you not liking that methodology, but sadly it's the only one I have to suggest. It's not the most elegant way of handling combat, true, but on the plus side, while loading takes some time, saving is practically instantaneous.

What's your character's Dexterity rating? According to the manual at least, that's very important to hit/miss ratios.
I'm not familiar w/the other game you mentioned, but yeah I do think not having a weapon visible on screen gives the game a dated feel, regardless if later games continued in the same way. There are other mid 90's games that pulled it off, including a couple on 3DO. Dragon Lore is one, and while it may not be exactly in the mold of Slayer there are definite similarities. A closer example might be Seal of the Pharoh. It is very much a dungeon crawler, and while the game itself lacks the polish of Slayer, it too has weapons visible during attack. I actually think it looks kinda goofy not having one on screen, but to each his own. It's just my opinion. :wink:

I appreciate your comments on the element of "luck" and the advice for frequent saves. It's not my style, but I'm gonna try anyway. As for dexterity, I'd have to check. I do know I went as high as I could in lieu of rolling just so I could test out the fighting.

Appreciate the reply, and the posts. :)
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Post by Lemmi » Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:16 pm

JohnnyDude wrote:I just tried this game and got my butt kicked. It's possible the characters I'm rolling are just crappy. I don't have a manual for the game, though, and I can't find one! Does anybody have any newbie info?
i think most of 3doexperience 3do manuals came from replacement docs
so i didnt bother scanning manuals for things listed on that site

here is a link for the Slayer manual
http://www.replacementdocs.com/download.php
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Post by Trev » Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:48 pm

Thanks Lemmi. I had misplaced the ones that I printed ages ago, so this is helpful. Appreciate it. :)
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Post by T2KFreeker » Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:28 am

Trev wrote:
Martin III wrote:
Trev wrote:I tweaked my methods (charged in for a quick shot and retreated) and had more success. But it's not a way I care to play, especially for a hack n slash dungeon crawler. Why o why is there no weapon displayed? It really makes the game feel dated in that respect.

Any advice to land more consistent hits? I really want to spend more time w/this game, thanks in large part to this ongoing thread.
Dated? Dungeon crawlers as recent as 2006's Mazes of Fate don't display weapons! Frankly, I prefer it that way; rather than adding to the visual quality, I find that disembodied attacking weapons just look silly.

Anyway: The combat is very luck-oriented, not just the hits and misses, but the amount of damage the enemies' attacks do. So I've found the natural way to survive is to save very frequently. I can easily imagine you not liking that methodology, but sadly it's the only one I have to suggest. It's not the most elegant way of handling combat, true, but on the plus side, while loading takes some time, saving is practically instantaneous.

What's your character's Dexterity rating? According to the manual at least, that's very important to hit/miss ratios.
I'm not familiar w/the other game you mentioned, but yeah I do think not having a weapon visible on screen gives the game a dated feel, regardless if later games continued in the same way. There are other mid 90's games that pulled it off, including a couple on 3DO. Dragon Lore is one, and while it may not be exactly in the mold of Slayer there are definite similarities. A closer example might be Seal of the Pharoh. It is very much a dungeon crawler, and while the game itself lacks the polish of Slayer, it too has weapons visible during attack. I actually think it looks kinda goofy not having one on screen, but to each his own. It's just my opinion. :wink:

I appreciate your comments on the element of "luck" and the advice for frequent saves. It's not my style, but I'm gonna try anyway. As for dexterity, I'd have to check. I do know I went as high as I could in lieu of rolling just so I could test out the fighting.

Appreciate the reply, and the posts. :)
Mazes of Fate is a very not well known game, sadly. It is very good though. You can also get an "Enhanced" version for the DS as well. Great game to check out. Just some FYI as well.
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Post by Martin III » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:07 am

Yeah, I wouldn't have used such an obscure example, except that Mazes of Fate is the only real time dungeon crawler that I could think of which has been released since Slayer. (Though I can think of plenty turn-based dungeon crawlers which don't have weapons animations either.)

So: I finished the dungeon! After the ordeals I've been through on the past few floors, Floor 15 was shockingly easy. More Fire Elementals, and a bunch of Purple Worms, which have an easily exploitable vulnerability that I discovered in no time: their reach is shorter than mine, but their AI doesn't know it. Just stand one pace back and they'll just sit there while you whale on them until they drop. To top it off, I found some gauntlets which gave me one point less Dexterity than my old ones, but increased my strength such that my attacks do three times as much damage!

For once, the most trouble I had on a floor was finding the gold key. And I leveled up to level 13 on the way.

SPOILERS BELOW!!!

On to the boss floor - so I guess the dungeon is really one more floor than the dungeon generator says. The presentation here is really something, especially with that last item they give you before the fateful door. A review of Slayer actually spoiled me on the fact that the boss is three stories tall, but even so I nearly soiled myself when I first saw him. I'm told there's a selection of bosses; I got the skeletal monster.

First thing to do was unload my Magic Missile Wand and Fireball Orb on him. This proved to be almost a total waste, since most of the hits didn't do any damage. I didn't know that was possible for spell attacks. This was a bit depressing, since I'd been saving that wand for the boss over several floors; guess I should have just used it to waste a few Lichs. So, little left to do but equip my new +3 Staff and skirmish with him, retreating to rest when necessary. I forced myself to neither save nor hide behind the entrance door throughout the fight, so the tension was good and high. The boss wasn't too difficult overall, but I wasn't disappointed; it felt like the relative easiness was a result of the work I put in to gaining levels and gathering equipment over the past 15 floors.

The ending is short (to be expected, since the game has no story) but very satisfying. Contrary to my initial impressions, Slayer has proved to be a reasonably challenging game for me, and there was a definite sense of accomplishment when I completed it. I'm looking forward to trying a run with another character class.

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Post by Trev » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:30 am

Congrats on completing it. :)
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Post by T2KFreeker » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:06 pm

Nice, game finished and the thread id stickied to boot! Splendid!
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Post by 3DO Experience » Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:17 pm

Lemmi wrote:i think most of 3doexperience 3do manuals came from replacement docs
so i didnt bother scanning manuals for things listed on that site

here is a link for the Slayer manual
http://www.replacementdocs.com/download.php
Most were actually off of a torrent I think a quarter were from replacement docs or were scans that were later given to them.

Maybe Martin will want to compile all of the play through and add a short overall thoughts to the top and post it in the Reviews?
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Post by Martin III » Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:11 pm

3DO Experience wrote:Maybe Martin will want to compile all of the play through and add a short overall thoughts to the top and post it in the Reviews?
Well, as I once told someone in regard to Dragon Force (Saturn), to do a decent review for this sort of game, I would need to play it through with at least three different characters.

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Post by 3DO Experience » Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:21 pm

Surely you don't mind doing it again, and again? :wink:
You can always update reviews.
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