[Monsters' Den Chronicles] Army of One build (no tonics, no spirit guided equip)

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tldr version:
1) Use only Lucius the Confessor and set fighting style to “benediction”
2) Equip Lucius with high armor, high retaliation damage gear + martyr’s ring
3) Destroy anything by simply waiting
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FARMING SPARKS OF LEGEND: Since this seems to be what most people are using the build for I’m adding this section and putting it first to clarify how to obtain sparks most efficiently. Thanks to presspl4y and rahsossprout for ideas and information.

If you’re interested in mass farming sparks using this build the best method is to go on Act IV (the endless mode) on beginner level difficulty. Before starting the campaign have Lucius drink a protection potion (and a trollsblood potion if you aren’t using the martyr’s ring) and send him in either solo or with a low level partner. A low level partner (who you let die) is best since it will allow you to will allow you to kill off waves quicker but eventually you will run out of partners for Lucius.

Also before starting turn all graphics options to minimum, turn off sound, displays etc.

Once you start act iv either repeatedly wait (press the spacebar) or find an object to set on your spacebar to wait automatically. The monsters will kill themselves so you can afk farm by doing the latter, though you won’t be able to do anything else on your computer if choosing to do so. This is probably a good time to read a book, do some homework, go to work etc.

Depending on how long you farm you may end up with hundreds of dimensional pockets. Clear space for them, and expect a spark of legend for about 10% of the pockets.
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While playing I decided to set a challenge for myself and see if it was possible to beat act IV (up to wave 60, after that it repeats) on extreme difficulty using only one character. I also decided not to use any tonics or spirit guided equipment for added difficulty (both are overpowered imo). The result is what I like to call the “Army of One” build:

CHARACTER: Lucius the Confessor, set default fighting style to “Benediction”. This gives 100% immunity to everything in the game aside from stunning and mana drain. I have come to the conclusion that this is horrifyingly overpowered. Also note that all stat points from leveling go into endurance.

ITEMS:
Cloak = Southling’s Shieldcloak
Shoulders = Masterwork <heavy> of Thorns
Weapon = Barbed Brutalizer
Shield = Doomwarden
Ring = Martyr’s Signet
Head = Spiked “heavy armor” of Thorns
Chest = Equinox Robes
Hands = Spiked “heavy armor” of Thorns
Legs = Soothing “heavy armor” of Thorns
Feet = Bolstering “heavy armor” of Thorns
Sockets = 3 shards of nidal, the rest runes of protection. You can still win even without all the runes of protection though the more you have the easier it is. Note that you need the 3 (possibly only 2) shards of nidal, explained later on.

Eventually all items should have sparks of legend for convenience. Technically the build can be improved upon by using apex forges and wearing equipment one level above what the spark levels to, but I find this is not necessary. Also some minor tweaks can lead to slightly higher armor rating than what I have (having the “masterwork” trait on the helm instead of the shoulders for example).

STRATEGY: Not much to consider until wave 20, just let the monsters kill themselves. The character has ridiculous armor, health and health regen and the monsters cannot deal damage quickly enough before killing themselves.

At wave 20 still not much to worry about, just make sure not attack the copy that is made of your character. This was actually the hardest part of the build to figure out, finding the right balance of retaliation damage to survivability (armor and hp regen, mostly hp regen). The copy needs to be able to kill itself by attacking you, too much hp regen and you end up in a stalemate. Eventually the copy will kill itself. Note also this is why three of the sockets are shards of nidal, this way the copy can kill itself fast enough.

Everything is fine until wave 50. Here you actually have to do something (though if all the socket slots have been filled up with runes of protection you might not have to). First, cast holy light. The occasional miss will give more time to regenerate health. Second, smite the suborned champions whenever possible, always making sure to smite one that has some action on its clock so you get the most use out of the barbed brutaliser’s special (the monster loses up to 1/5th of its action clock). Again this gives more time to regenerate health, plus a little health due to health steal from robes of equinox. Your character will run low on health, but so will the champions and once the champions start using the “traitor’s resolve” ability you’ve pretty much won since that gives even more time to regenerate health. Note that it is possible to lose on this wave though this would require you to be quite unlucky (having your copies always anoint the champions and the champions never missing due to holy light for instance). After the champions die again just wait until the copies kill themselves.

After clearing wave 50 there’s nothing to worry about. After clearing wave 60 I usually get bored and retreat, and gain around 18k xp.

OTHER NOTES:
The best way to obtain the items/levels needed for the build is to first use a traditional party (without Lucius, and using the other cleric) and play the game the way it was meant to be played. After reaching around level 40 with your party restock the emporium until you get a doomwarden, equinox robes, martyr’s ring, and barbed brutaliser. Use spirit guides on these items (do not use shards of legend yet if you have them), and give them to lvl 1 Lucius. Send Lucius alone into act IV on beginner difficulty and grind a ton of waves. The waves will go extremely quickly since everything, bosses included, will die after attacking once. Open up a ton of dimensional pockets, get the shards of legend you need, sell the other items you get for cash, buy a ton of gambler’s dice, then get the other armor pieces you need. Disenchant the items on Lucius, put a shard of legend in everything, restock the Emporium until you get the shards of nidal and a couple of runes of protection, then you’re good to go.

Enjoy!

 
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Using 1234qwerty4321’s “Army of One” strategy as a basic guide I attacked Act IV with a level 1 benediction cleric in tier 21 gear. I did not use all of the suggested gear, but I used similar. Here were my stats at start:



Here are some things I noticed during my attempt that are worthy of mention:

- Clear inventory space for all those Dimensional Pockets before starting.

- Use an Elixir of Protection (or Trollsblood) before starting since it lasts for all waves.

- Hold down spacebar to automatically make your character wait.

- You should clear hundreds of waves before taking notable damage.

- Watch for Specter’s “Spectral Touch” ability which hits for massive damage.

- Also watch out for multiple Nexus Engine hits in quick succession.

- There does not seem to be a cap to the number of waves.

- You earn 1 Dimensional Pocket for every 5th wave you defeat.



My cleric ended up leveling up to 78 and I ended up with 71 Dimensional Pockets. For my run I used standard difficulty and experience penalty, although looking back, if beginner difficulty gives the same amount of pockets, I would select beginner difficulty.


Earning more pockets with similar gear is entirely possible, and would be even easier with higher tier gear.

 
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good strat, I gonna try that later!

 
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I’m curious. Did you consider not using Equinox Robes? I know they give the best Retaliation Damage, but they also offer almost no durability. The 1% Damage Resistance you get from their extra slot doesn’t compare to what you’d get from even the Iron Curtain.

If I’m not mistaken, changing out your chest armor should make it so none of the waves can threaten you, possibly even without Runes of Protection. If so, it might be worth the drop in damage.

 
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Do it with a character that doesn’t have healing/resist abilities :)

P.S. I did this like 4 days ago, did I inspire you? *sparkling eyes, but thanks for stealing my idea and labeling it as yours. … I do appreciate you spreading the idea but now you guys are exploiting it and that’s not what I meant to happen… hopefully these thigns aren’t removed due to the action of you guys.

 
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Bump! I updated my above post with some data from my test run. Hope someone finds it useful.
Thanks to 1234qwerty4321 for posting this strategy!

 
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Originally posted by Paladinprime4:

Do it with a character that doesn’t have healing/resist abilities :)

i’d say that’s almost impossible. There’s a few abilities that will end you if you just hold down space and don’t have 100% resist.

Eg, Terrified will make you retreat, ending the game.

There’s also stuff that cancels out your hp regeneration.

and one monster that casts 1hit death on you (doomsayer i think?)
and thats not even counting the bosses… although then again, i havent really noticed the bosses doing anything special lol. mirror image and mind control, biggg woop lol.

 
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This strategy is awesome.
I did it with my lvl 128 cleric and I put in a lvl 40 guy to die at the beginning so he would lower the level of the monsters and I just put my katana’s hilt on the spacebar and came back at 420 waves and he was still going strong and I decided to end it.

The monsters at that point were around lvl 120ish and somehow my lvl 40 guy is now level 433…I’m serious…I have no idea how…lol. none of my other characters are even close…..I guess exp is calculated as if he is still level 40 and not as if he had been leveling up the whole way throughout…i’m laughing so hard right now

edit: for all the dimensional pockets, all of the equips that came out are tier 94…none of which I am even close to being able to equip except for with that one stupidly overleveled guy. since i had 82 of those dimensional pockets, I now have an entire arsenal of REALLY GOOD items haha

edit+: on another note, I realized I can’t use any of it unless I can put it onto my lvl 433 and then use spirit guide. he’s a cleric so I can only give my cleric super good equips.

edit++: i outfitted my lvl 128 cleric with spirit guide stuff and now he has 4200 dmg retaliation and 28k armor rating haha. this time partnering him with a lvl 34 rogue and leaving it on while i sleep.

 
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Glad to see people are enjoying the build lol.

Originally posted by zz1000zz:

I’m curious. Did you consider not using Equinox Robes? I know they give the best Retaliation Damage, but they also offer almost no durability. The 1% Damage Resistance you get from their extra slot doesn’t compare to what you’d get from even the Iron Curtain.

If I’m not mistaken, changing out your chest armor should make it so none of the waves can threaten you, possibly even without Runes of Protection. If so, it might be worth the drop in damage.

You need to have a certain ratio of retaliation damage to health regen, otherwise you won’t be able to kill the copies that are made of your character by the suborned champions. I find that a 5 to 1 ratio is sufficient, but note that this includes the +6 quickness boost from the 3 shards of nidal. More quickness = less time for copies to regen mana and health + more attacks on your character in a given time. But for every shard you use you give up 1% damage protection, which is a much bigger deal when you’re considering a difference between say 74-75% (before bolstering boost) than 0-1%.

@presspl4y: I did not realize you could use potions before starting act IV!!!! This makes the build even more ridiculous, since now the cleric starts out at 90 damage protection and has extra health regen (you can use both the elixir of protection and trollsblood). This now means you can use armor whose only traits are spikes/thorns and get even more retaliation damage. Only thing to watch for would be to make sure your copies can still kill themselves given the extra health regen, but if switching to more retaliation damage traits this should not be a problem. Also beginner difficultly gives the same number of dimensional pockets as standard.

@rahsossprout: lvl 433 O_O

 
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Originally posted by 1234qwerty4321:

Glad to see people are enjoying the build lol.

Originally posted by zz1000zz:

I’m curious. Did you consider not using Equinox Robes? I know they give the best Retaliation Damage, but they also offer almost no durability. The 1% Damage Resistance you get from their extra slot doesn’t compare to what you’d get from even the Iron Curtain.

If I’m not mistaken, changing out your chest armor should make it so none of the waves can threaten you, possibly even without Runes of Protection. If so, it might be worth the drop in damage.

You need to have a certain ratio of retaliation damage to health regen, otherwise you won’t be able to kill the copies that are made of your character by the suborned champions. I find that a 5 to 1 ratio is sufficient, but note that this includes the +6 quickness boost from the 3 shards of nidal. More quickness = less time for copies to regen mana and health + more attacks on your character in a given time. But for every shard you use you give up 1% damage protection, which is a much bigger deal when you’re considering a difference between say 74-75% (before bolstering boost) than 0-1%.

I know, but with more armor, you need less health regeneration. That helps balance things out some. I figure it would probably be better to have ~90% armor than to have +7 Retaliation Damage per tier. Of course, being able to use potions before the act allows you to get higher armor already, so that may not be as meaningful.

 
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It may be possible to break 100% damage protection, at least with a level 1 character.
Looking at the image I posted above, of my level 1 character’s stats in his Tier 21 equipment, I had 90% damage protection.
Assuming there is no damage protection cap, higher tier gear with more armor, or just better gear in general, should produce higher than 100% damage protection.
Possibly creating a permanent scenario similar to when an Exhumed Soldier (skeleton monster with spear) uses “Inexorable” to gain 125% damage protection.
Also, when I did my level 1 run through Act IV, not knowing how everything was going to play out, I used a Quicksilver Elixir instead of an Elixir of Protection which, depending on how how the Elixir is factored into damage calculations, could have been the key to lasting hundreds more rounds.

 
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Originally posted by presspl4y:

It may be possible to break 100% damage protection, at least with a level 1 character.

Nope. Damage Resistance is capped at 90%. To see that, just toss any high level armor (with a Spirit Guide) on a low level character. I can even demonstrate it must be true mathematically as it was easy for me to figure out how Damage Resistance is calculated from armor values.

Mind you, you can probably reduce some damage further by having Ranged/Magic Resistance as those are handled separately from Damage Resistance. In theory, I believe you could have 90% Damage Resistance from armor, and 90% Magic Resistance from Runes of Warding, giving you a total reduction of Magic Damage of 99%. You could squeeze at least some Ranged Resistance in there too, meaning for ranged magic attacks, you could increase that value.

 
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Originally posted by zz1000zz:

…Damage Resistance is capped at 90%… …you can probably reduce some damage further by having Ranged/Magic Resistance as those are handled separately from Damage Resistance….

Ah, well that’s too bad. I was hoping there was no cap. >.<
And I am guessing Elixir’s of Protection are added to current damage protection amount instead of calculated after damage is reduced by gear.
Still, it sounds like we’re getting closer and closer to finding an ideal set up for the Army of One!

 
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Originally posted by presspl4y:
And I am guessing Elixir’s of Protection are added to current damage protection amount instead of calculated after damage is reduced by gear.

Yup.

 
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yay. i left it on at night and I went through 1837 waves and I still could have kept going but I just stopped it and now my rogue went from level 34 to level 1988 o.0

the equips that came out of the 300ish dimensional pockets sell for 100k each :O

 
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Originally posted by rahsossprout:

yay. i left it on at night and I went through 1837 waves and I still could have kept going but I just stopped it and now my rogue went from level 30 to level 1988 o.0

the equips that came out of the 300ish dimensional pockets sell for 100k each :O

hahaha… oh wow. (o_O)

 
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Originally posted by RedeemedWahrior:
Originally posted by Paladinprime4:

Do it with a character that doesn’t have healing/resist abilities :)

i’d say that’s almost impossible. There’s a few abilities that will end you if you just hold down space and don’t have 100% resist.

Eg, Terrified will make you retreat, ending the game.

There’s also stuff that cancels out your hp regeneration.

and one monster that casts 1hit death on you (doomsayer i think?)
and thats not even counting the bosses… although then again, i havent really noticed the bosses doing anything special lol. mirror image and mind control, biggg woop lol.

Yeah thats my point, hurrhurr.. lol @ botters . _ . I shouldn’t have exposed my strategy.

 
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I think it may be possible to abuse this build even further and reach levels so high that you hit the limits of computer storage. Let me explain:

From rahsossprout’s latest run we have the following information (would like to know if you used a received wisdom ring on the rogue):
lvl 128 character partnered with lvl 34 character (xp ring on 34?) = 1954 lvls after clearing 1837 waves. Averages to roughly 1 lvl/wave, initial level difference of 94 (128-34=94).

I just did a run with a lvl 211 lucius partnered with a lvl 42 stall (the other cleric, will explain why I’m partnering with him later) and got the following results:
lvl 211 character partnered with lvl 42 character (xp ring on lvl 42) = 1204 lvls after clearing 615 waves. Averages to roughly 2 lvls/wave, initial level difference of 169 (211-42=169).

A slightly greater level difference (169 compared to 94) yields a much greater rate of xp gain, though the effect of the xp ring is unknown. The only limitation that I see is that lucius will have to level himself up to catch up because he cannot survive against super overleveled monsters. For example partnering the lvl 1988 rogue with a lvl 128 lucuis yields monsters of level (1988+128)/2 = 1058. However, by giving lucius appropriate spirit guided equipment he should be able to survive handily. This is why I’m going to try using the other cleric as a leveling partner and see how it goes. Will try this later.

 
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If you have the premium content you could partner two benediction clerics together.
Then just use two matching sets of spirit guided uber gear (either from high level pockets or purchased with a high level alt like rahsossprout’s level 1988 rogue) and watch them rocket each other into level infinity.
Although, if you plan on using a benediction cleric in your normal party, this kind of sillyness might ruin normal game play since enemy levels would then be way out of whack.

 
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Oh… I just learned something from zz1000zz that would be helpful with things being discussed in this thread.
Reposting it here in case anyone is as naive as me:

Originally posted by zz1000zz:

The game gives you the option to reset all your characters, putting them back to level one. You keep all the items and money you’ve earned, as well as any upgrades you’ve put into the store. That means even if you get “stuck,” you’re not really stuck. Just reset your characters, and build up a better selection of items.

A warning though. When you reset your characters, they lose whatever items they have equipped. This means you should unequip your characters of any items you may want to keep before resetting them.

To reset your characters, go to the Options menu, then select the Saved Data tab. You’ll find the button for it there.

 
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I thought everyone knew about that. I guess not everybody scours the option menus when they play a game.

Regardless, I’m glad to have been of help!

 
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re: 1234qwerty4321: I did use a wisdom ring with the rogue, but not on the first run through with my other cleric.

with the character reset, you could use a lvl 2000 character to get all the money you want and then reset and easily be able to afford any tonics you want for each level

 
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Here’s the results of my second run where I used spirit guided equipment on Lucius so he beats monsters which are way over his level (just let Stall die, also beginner difficulty):

level 211 lucius partnered with level 1246 stall (xp ring on lucius) = 7844 levels gained after clearing 725 waves. Average gain of roughly 11 lvls/wave, initial level difference of 1035 (1246-211=1035). Also note that this took about 8 hours to complete in real time so this is equivalent to gaining a level every 3.5 seconds approximately.

Originally posted by presspl4y:

If you have the premium content you could partner two benediction clerics together.
Then just use two matching sets of spirit guided uber gear (either from high level pockets or purchased with a high level alt like rahsossprout’s level 1988 rogue) and watch them rocket each other into level infinity.
Although, if you plan on using a benediction cleric in your normal party, this kind of sillyness might ruin normal game play since enemy levels would then be way out of whack.

Don’t need two matching clerics, just two clerics. Lucius can win with either spirit guided equipment or sparked equipment, depending on whether he is currently the high level or low level character. Also you don’t want to level the two together, you want their levels to be as far apart as possible and just level one at a time. Note that lucius will always be doing the fighting, since your character doesn’t have to be alive to level up (stall always dies). Also note that the maximum integer number that can be stored in the Flash programming language is roughly 2 (or 4, depends) billion, so there is a max level of a sort.

Originally posted by rahsossprout:

re: 1234qwerty4321: I did use a wisdom ring with the rogue, but not on the first run through with my other cleric.

with the character reset, you could use a lvl 2000 character to get all the money you want and then reset and easily be able to afford any tonics you want for each level

You don’t want to reset because then you’ll lose all your work. Plus you’ll get plenty of money from selling the items that come out of the pockets. However I do see an interesting problem that is coming, and that is what will happen when the amount of gold exceeds the largest possible integer? For the computer nerds among us I’m guessing the amount will overflow to zero rather than negative 2 billion. That last sentence is a fancy way of saying to backup your save file when you start to approach 2 billion gold (other numbers too, but gold looks like it will be the first to break the 2/4 billion mark).

Also ty for bit about wisdom ring though the info is no longer necessary.

 
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1. the game could, thou extremely unlikely, to be using long or quad etc format that have a much higher over float limit, in which case that’s not a concern.

2. It might become a negative value, zero or NaN depend on how the code is written(i’ve seen all 3 cases…. including a -2b count in a certain MMO that ended up dying cause everyone had infinite everything). In fact it could completely break your game file by having an error when converting data hash.

 
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Well after trying to go through another run (using lvl 1246 stall and lvl 8055 lucius) the game crashed upon returning to the main menu and did not save the run. This may be due to overflowing numbers because the game said Stall only gained 8mil xp as opposed to lucius’ 9mil xp from the previous run, though this could also be due to a limited text field. Also did a quick test and retreated after the first wave was defeated (again 1246 stall and 8055 lucius) and stall gained 51k xp which is about 45 levels. Should have still had enough storage space to store xp earned so maybe some other number overflowed or my game could have crashed for some other reason.

Since I’ve gotten about as much enjoyment as I can out of this build and it’s moving more towards the “beating a dead horse” feel I’m going to tidy up the original post some and try playing other characters. If anyone has questions/comments about the build (such as what items/traits you think are optimal, how to maximize monster wave speed etc) feel free to post.

Originally posted by deathvonduel:
1. the game could, thou extremely unlikely, to be using long or quad etc format that have a much higher over float limit, in which case that’s not a concern.
2. It might become a negative value, zero or NaN depend on how the code is written(i’ve seen all 3 cases including a -2b count in a certain MMO that ended up dying cause everyone had infinite everything). In fact it could completely break your game file by having an error when converting data hash.

1) True to a degree. Long (or long long, guessing that’s equivalent to “quad”? don’t know actionscript terms) gives extra storage (usually), so you delay the problem by some powers of ten. I can’t say what the growth rate for xp gain in relation to level difference is, but since the game seems to be encountering overflow after only 3 cycles I think you’d still encounter the problem fairly quickly.

2) True, though I think NaN (Not a Number) only displays for cases such as dividing by zero or squareroot of a negative number. Also guessing the game file broke. :(
“having an error when converting data hash”? Care to explain in more detail? Sort of off topic but I’m interested.