Anyway to go through this game without spending time grinding?

#31Ryan8bitPosted 6/15/2011 7:51:09 AM
I don't buy that 2% figure as being accurate.

Yeah, it's not. Daddynick's battle simulator is decent, but it has some flaws and I don't know if it allowed for the best strategies.

The best strategy at level 10 against the Axe Knight is to start with STOPSPELL (obviously), and then to keep using HURT against him. When your HP gets to a certain point you just use herbs.

With the simulator I'm working on, that strategy has a chance of success of 18.2% if you're equipped with the Full Plate and the Large Shield.

Of course, a 1 in 5 chance isn't really the best for trying to keep things efficient, but it also depends on what kind of play through you are doing. If you're playing straight through without making use of saves, then yeah, it probably doesn't make a lot of sense. If you're saving and retrying, it's a little bit more useful, but on average you'll spend more time making the trips to Hauksness than you will gain from the benefit's of Erdrick's Armor.

By my calculations, level 13 is the best balance of risk and gain to fight the Axe Knight. But that is only when using the gold exploit so that you can get the Silver Shield first. I have not yet tested things without doing the exploit.
#32The AdmiralPosted 6/15/2011 9:30:42 AM(edited)
Ryan8bit posted...
By my calculations, level 13 is the best balance of risk and gain to fight the Axe Knight. But that is only when using the gold exploit so that you can get the Silver Shield first. I have not yet tested things without doing the exploit.

I'm glad your simulations and calculations confirm my own personal playing experience. I don't think using the gold exploit is necessary, however. If you level south of Rimuldar and are fighting Goldmen every fifth battle, it shouldn't be that hard to earn the appropriate amount of gold for the shield by level 13. This is typically the level in which I would purchase it (and then swing by to pick up the Token on the way back).

Also, any chance you'll be uploading your own simulator? I'd love to spend some time with it.
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- The Admiral
#33Ryan8bitPosted 6/15/2011 9:55:22 AM
I'm glad your simulations and calculations confirm my own personal playing experience.

Haha, yeah. I've spent countless hours putting all of this statistical analysis together when some people's guesses nail it.

I don't think using the gold exploit is necessary, however. If you level south of Rimuldar and are fighting Goldmen every fifth battle, it shouldn't be that hard to earn the appropriate amount of gold for the shield by level 13. This is typically the level in which I would purchase it (and then swing by to pick up the Token on the way back).

I can't say for sure yet as I haven't tested it, but with some preliminary tests I had done a while back, the gold exploit gave a big jump in terms of getting through the game faster. So that's why I've focused on it primarily.

Also, any chance you'll be uploading your own simulator? I'd love to spend some time with it.

Sadly, at current I don't think this will be possible. Right now it doesn't have anything sensible for an interface, I just program it to do what I need. If it were to have an interface, it would be unwieldy and extremely complex. Currently I have it as about 100 different files, each one with a different purpose, most of them being relatively similar. For instance, I have different files for leveling at level 10 and level 11, mostly to keep things easily repeatable/accessible. I have a different file for every separate strategy or segment that needs testing. Putting it into one file would be insane and would require more than I'm willing to put into it. For now I'm content to just run the data, analyze it, and relay the results.
#34KaskosPosted 6/15/2011 8:25:08 PM
Up to this point, grinding takes very little time without Erdrick's gear, so I don't really see any reason to make the trek to collect either until level 13. Grinding really starts to slow at level 14, and this is where Erdrick's gear pays off, as it lets you fight Knights and Wraith Knights in the safe zone around Hauksness. Without that gear, you'll need to be at level 15 to avoid an impractically high amount of damage. Getting Erdrick's Sword at this point also shaves a full round on average off the fights with enemies, so this seems like the ideal time to collect it

I understand everything up to fighting knights and wraith knights. Wraith knights have the highest dodge rate in the game. At 13 why don't you just go to Cantlin and build levels there? No matter the damage received, isn't it quicker to suffer with MagiWyverns and all since there's an inn in Cantlin and not one in Hauksness?
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"Well maybe then it might be too late!" - the future conditional pluperfect subjunctive.
#35The AdmiralPosted 6/15/2011 10:18:56 PM(edited)
Kaskos posted...
I understand everything up to fighting knights and wraith knights. Wraith knights have the highest dodge rate in the game. At 13 why don't you just go to Cantlin and build levels there? No matter the damage received, isn't it quicker to suffer with MagiWyverns and all since there's an inn in Cantlin and not one in Hauksness?

You're thinking of Demon Knights, although they do appear in the same zone. At level 13, the monsters around Cantlin are much too strong. You'll need to visit the inn every 4-5 battles, which wastes a huge amount of time. Meanwhile, all the enemies around Hauksness (not inside the town, but the area outside and south) are manageable except for the Demon Knight. You can run from those battles but easily handle all the rest.

The enemies around Cantlin (and inside Hauksness) are manageable at level 16 and all within the safe zone at level 17. In fact, they become the best group of foes to level up against until level 20 (assuming high AGI growth), at which point the Axe Knight enters the safe zone and is ideal for any remaining levels. At low AGI growth, you'll need to be at level 24(!) before the Axe Knight is in the safe zone.

By the way, if it's not overwhelmingly obvious, the high STR/AGI names are the optimal combination for grinding. I think the battle simulators would all show that STR/HP give the best odds in an single battle, but the AGI difference is huge over numerous battles. There are many occasions, most notably the Axe Knight example above, where the extra DEF from the high AGI is enough to put enemies in the lower damage zone at equivalent levels and make grinding much safer. Much safer translates into less time healing and visiting inns, which equates to efficiency and time saved.
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- The Admiral
#36The AdmiralPosted 6/15/2011 11:13:46 PM(edited)
http://www.gamefaqs.com/nes/563408-dragon-warrior/faqs/55534

Actually, let me just list the specific enemies to avoid any confusion. This is my typical grinding strategy from level 10 onward (once again, assuming high STR/AGI name):

Level 10 (Half Plate/Large Shield): Around Rimuldar
Wolf / Warlock / Skeleton / Metal Scorpion (zone 7)

Level 10 (Full Plate/Large Shield): South of Rimuldar
Wolflord / Wraith / Goldman / Metal Scorpion (zone 8)

Level 11: South of Rimuldar
Wolflord / Wraith / Goldman / Metal Scorpion (zone 8)

Levels 12-13: Wyvern Isle / North of Hauksness
Wyvern / Wolflord / Wraith / Goldman (zone 9)
* During this time I save for the Silver Shield and make the purchase sometime during level 13. I also defeat the Axe Knight at some point as well.

Level 14 (Erdrick's Armor/Silver Shield): Around Hauksness
Knight / Wraith Knight / Wyvern / Rogue Scorpion / Demon Knight (zone 10)
*Erdrick's Sword obtained by this level at the latest

Levels 15-16: South of Hauksness
Knight / Wraith Knight / Demon Knight / Metal Slime / Magiwyvern (zone 11)

Levels 17-19: Around Cantlin / Inside Hauksness)
Starwyvern / Werewolf / Wizard / Green Dragon (zone 13)

Levels 20-30
Fixed Axe Knight encounter in Hauksness
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- The Admiral
#37Ryan8bitPosted 6/16/2011 8:13:08 AM
By the way, if it's not overwhelmingly obvious, the high STR/AGI names are the optimal combination for grinding. I think the battle simulators would all show that STR/HP give the best odds in an single battle, but the AGI difference is huge over numerous battles. There are many occasions, most notably the Axe Knight example above, where the extra DEF from the high AGI is enough to put enemies in the lower damage zone at equivalent levels and make grinding much safer. Much safer translates into less time healing and visiting inns, which equates to efficiency and time saved.

It's not exactly overwhelmingly obvious. In fact, it's not even that optimal according to my testing.

The only thing that agility matters for with grinding is neutralizing the enemies, and the only enemies that are neutralized with the focus on long term agility are the Green Dragon (at level 17 instead of 18), the Rogue Scorpion (at level 13 instead of 14), and the Wyvern (at level 12 instead of 13). This is not counting any enemies after level 19 since that is unimportant for efficiency.

The Green Dragon makes it that much sooner that you can fight in Hauksness, which is great. But using the most simple of strategies, it doesn't even save a minute at level 17 when you compare the two growth types in zone 13. Level 17 might even be too early to grind strictly in Hauksness too because simply neutralizing enemies isn't as effective as being able to kill them quickly. The jump to level 18 gives a big boost in strength allowing you to do 3-6 more damage, which can be beneficial in killing enemies in less blows. Plus, a lot of the enemies breathe fire or cast spells there. I still have yet to test these later levels in depth though.

The Rogue Scorpion doesn't really matter because it shares the same zone with other enemies that aren't neutralized until later.

The Wyvern might seem like an advantage, but the same thing applies here as does the Green Dragon: Simply neutralizing an enemy doesn't always make it worthwhile to fight them until you can kill them quicker. Wyverns actually don't give any advantage in grinding quickly at level 12 because they're further from an inn and they can do a bit more damage, which will send you to said inn sooner. You're better of fighting in zone 8 where the Wolflords waste more time casting STOPSPELL than attacking. And if gold isn't a concern, even zone 7 is faster to get experience because Goldmen don't really give much.

So since at best there's a minute's worth of gain, that doesn't make the odds of reaching and defeating the Dragonlord at level 19 balance out. The chance of success simply in fighting the Dragonlord is 67.3% for growth type 3, as opposed to 91.0% for growth type 1. Based on averages, you're more likely to have to make the trip twice, and that averaged time is more than what you would gain. So it's a risky proposition that doesn't pay off on average.
#38The AdmiralPosted 6/16/2011 8:52:44 AM(edited)
There are several other enemy types that you can fight earlier with the extra AGI than the ones you listed, however. The other notable one is being able to fight Knights at level 14 instead of 15. With all the best gear, the short-term AGI defense at that level is 74, vs 77 for the long-term AGI. Knights have a STR of 76, so the high AGI path puts them in the safe zone a level sooner. Being able to grind against Knights instead of Wyverns at that level definitely saves more than a minute or two.

Other enemies you can fight earlier:
Demon Knights at 15 vs 16
Werewolves at 17 vs 18
Green Dragons at 17 vs 18 (as you said)
Starwyvern at 17 vs 18
Axe Knight at 20 vs 24
Blue Dragon at 24 vs 27

The last two enemies are really only relevant if someone wanted to grind beyond level 20. I don't think there's any argument that any attempt to do that significantly favors long-term AGI.

Overall, since the major time sink in this game is grinding, I really don't see how you could argue against long-term AGI as the most time efficient. The savings are definitely more than a minute or two per level just based on the foes I mentioned above. There are half a dozen more before level 10 as well. While the high HP path might give an advantage in the single fight against the Dragonlord at level 19, this is the only time it has any advantage over the high AGI path.

Also, might be a sample size issue, but 67.3% vs 91% seems a bit too big of a difference. Does your simulator take into account that you fight Dragonlord 1 before 2? I don't doubt that the extra 13 HP are an advantage at that level, but since you'll only be at maximum HP one time (and probably never during Dragonlord 2), I don't see how this can be that much of a difference. I have personally never lost to Dragonlord at level 19, so I find that odd.
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- The Admiral
#39Ryan8bitPosted 6/16/2011 9:53:47 AM
With all the best gear, the short-term AGI defense at that level is 74, vs 77 for the long-term AGI.

What source are you using to get these numbers? It should be 76 vs. 77.

I think your source must be wrong because all the rest of the points you made mostly aren't true, and can be verified by just trying it out in the game.

Also, might be a sample size issue, but 67.3% vs 91% seems a bit too big of a difference. Does your simulator take into account that you fight Dragonlord 1 before 2? I don't doubt that the extra 13 HP are an advantage at that level, but since you'll only be at maximum HP one time (and probably never during Dragonlord 2), I don't see how this can be that much of a difference. I have personally never lost to Dragonlord at level 19, so I find that odd.

-The sample size was 100,000, which was more than adequate.
-Yes, it factors in both forms.
-The difference in HP should only be 10, but that is significant enough against the Dragonlord in maximizing the potential of HEALMORE and having enough of a buffer to heal with.
-The potential for being at max HP against the Dragonlord's second form is quite high. Since his max damage is 48, you need to heal at or below that point. HEALMORE has a range of 85-100, so that should easily max you out in some instances.
-I don't know how many times you've fought the Dragonlord, but it's probably safe to say that it's an unrepresentative sample.
#40The AdmiralPosted 6/16/2011 10:26:10 AM(edited)
Ryan8bit posted...
What source are you using to get these numbers? It should be 76 vs. 77.

http://www.woodus.com/den/games/web/dwsim/calc.htm

Name: AAAB (Long-term STR/HP) at level 14, DEF is 74
Name: AAAD (Long-term STR/AGI) at level 14, DEF is 77

Assumes all the best gear.

Is that site incorrect?

EDIT: Actually, having looked at that again quickly, I think the names choice may be the issue, as those are both short-term 0 names. You might be right at short-term 3 types. I'll have to play with this again when I have some more time later today.
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- The Admiral