Click here for an awesome Palace of the Dead guide!
I’ve already heard some players grumbling about how The Palace of the Dead is boring, etc. etc. etc. But, for me, this is a kind of content that I really enjoy. It’s great because level, gear and class really don’t matter. No matter what level you are, you get a reward (Tomes, Experience, etc). And, oh yes, the ilvl 235 Glow Weapon. 🙂
I’m fond of rogue-likes, and this has a hint of that mixed in with my MMO. The basic idea is that you get dropped into this dungeon, with whatever class you want to play, and you start at level 1 with all the skills you can have at level 1. The dungeon is pretty simple in the beginning – it’s a randomly generated set of rooms that slowly open up on the mini-map as you move from room to room. The mini-map also shows you things like where treasures and cairns are.
You can choose to go in solo, to go in with a fixed party of your own making, or a Matched Party (just a new term for Duty Finder). You have two saves for your progress, which only save after beating the boss every 10 floors.
The main form of progression is through leveling your Atherpool Arm and Armor. These gain points as you open the silver treasure chests you find in the dungeon.
Even if you start completely over, or switch to a different class, you will keep the levels of your gear within the dungeon. Let me tell you, it makes a huge difference.
Failed Solo Attempts
I started out thinking that I could solo this to earn some experience on my baby Gladiator. One of my goals, after all, was to reach level 25 with Gladiator this month. I was waiting for this Deep Dungeon to come out for leveling purposes – I don’t much like to low level tank in Leveling Roulette, and the progression from 20-30 with leves and FATEs is always a slog to me.
The first couple of times, I died pretty fast until I got the hang of what I needed to do. After that, I got to floor 9 twice before something stupid happened – I tripped a trap or got hit by an inopportune wandering mob, and I died before I could reach the boss. Each time you die, you lose everything if you don’t beat the boss of that set of dungeons.
So I wasted a bunch of time in the beginning and walked away with no experience or armor levels. I guess I learned the ropes, so that was something.
Success in Grouping
Reading the guide, it said to just suck it up and join the Matched Party system if you’re leveling a class. So seeing as I was quickly getting nowhere, and most of my FC was already in the dungeon or doing different runs, I did just that.
It was the first time I’ve ran with a pure PUG in a long time. I got grouped with a Warrior, a Black Mage and a Dragoon, none of which were very vocal. Not a healer in sight. But that was okay. We never a once really needed one. The content was easy, stressless and pretty fun to blow through, even as a tank.
We took out floors 1-10 in an amazingly quick time (compared to soloing it), and beat the boss. I gained a level and got a commendation!
Encouraged by this, I grabbed Xaa and a FC group to try it again. This time, we pushed all the way to floor 20. Things got a little more difficult the further in we ran, but it still wasn’t to the point we absolutely had to have a healer.
When all was said and done, I finished the night just shy of level 25. The experience for the time was quite good. I also had an Arm +6 and Armor +8. Just out of curiosity, I tried starting to solo on my bard at level 1 again, and found myself tearing through the enemies due to my gear level. I didn’t have time to solo it much, but I will try it later.
I’m really looking forward to playing this again tonight and exploring how I can make it work for me in the goals I want to achieve. From the view of Quarrymill last night, I’m not the only one!
Oh, and a little bonus? Running the floors is like a random jukebox for dungeon theme music. I really enjoy that! 🙂