Playing without saves

Descent mission help and more WARNING: Spoilers inside!

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MegaDescent
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Playing without saves

Post by MegaDescent » Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:27 pm

Well I've got a friend of mine who is playing Descent for the first time and doesn't want to use saves, except at the start of levels. So for Descent I (but it probably applies to II as well), I gave him this strategy guide:

1) Allow 3-5 deaths in a level
2) If about to die try to retreat to an area with lower infestation (makes spew easier to get)
3) Avoid picking up a weapon you already have if possible; if you die remember where it was as it's usually easier to get than finding your spew
4) Get hostages last, try to have as much robot infestation as possible clear first (best chance to get full rescue bonus and thus more points/lives)

So I'd like to know does this look like a good set of guidelines? And any other good guidelines you could think of that maybe I should suggest?
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Re: Playing without saves

Post by Pumo » Sat Mar 22, 2014 11:22 pm

Well, I don't play by using an specific strategy and usually don't have to use saves at all, except on very hard missions (Ironblade, sometimes Vignettes, TEW, etc.) where I prefer to save usually after getting a Yellow key and before entering a Red door (just in case there's some nasty surprise), but I'm not very strict with it, as I may save at other times also on those missions.

However, I'm a Hotshot player, so in the case of Ace/Insane players it is wise to have an strategy to survive without using savegames.

But in general, I play fine without over thinking stuff and I usually don't have to rely on savegames.
Maybe I'm a bit too simplistic? lol :mrgreen:

But anyway, your strategy doesn't sound bad, specially the Hostages part, I also try when possible to get them at end, but note that sometimes (like in Entropy level 2) you can't do that one, and you end up loosing hostages almost always, at least in my case that I die from 1 to 2 times on that level.
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Re: Playing without saves

Post by MegaDescent » Sat Mar 22, 2014 11:51 pm

Sounds reasonable. He is playing on Hotshot, and for now the scope is the originals/maybe Vertigo, so Ironstar/Vignettes/TEW/Entropy need not apply (yet).
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Re: Playing without saves

Post by Alter-Fox » Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:01 am

Sounds like a good set of guidelines.
I'm doing a let's play of Vertigo (hasn't been updated in a while though) on Youtube where if I see a hostage cell I have to rescue what's inside immediately... but only to create some funny moments and a bigger reason not to die -- very few full-rescue bonuses means far fewer lives.
The eyes of the plush lobster stared deep into my soul. I touched it, made as if to pick it up, and then I was a panther.
BEWARE RAZZADOON'S SNOUT!!
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Also beware my original music, at http://soundcloud.com/snowfoxden and http://vertigofox.bandcamp.com
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Re: Playing without saves

Post by Krom » Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:10 am

And then there is Avders "going rambo" thread about halfway down this forum to show some cold start level runs taken to the extreme.
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Re: Playing without saves

Post by vision » Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:34 am

MegaDescent wrote:3) Avoid picking up a weapon you already have if possible; if you die remember where it was as it's usually easier to get than finding your spew
This is something I do. I'm one of those Insane* Cold-Starters and I try to leave redundant weapons whenever possible. Toward the end of a level I will grab redundant weapons for more energy (end of level energy bonus!). Also related to weapons, try not to over-stuff your Pyro. If you do die, some of your secondaries may go missing so it is best to only take what you need and go back to grab more missiles/mines if you run low.


* Actually, I switch between Ace and Insane a lot. I feel the action is too slow on Ace, but the AI act stupidly on Insane. I wish there was a setting in-between.
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Re: Playing without saves

Post by MegaDescent » Sun Mar 23, 2014 5:35 pm

I'm trying to play some Descent I with this strategy myself, currently on Level 9 with 10 lives to start.

Lost no lives from Levels 1 through 5; then lost 5 on Level 6 (drillers!). Then I made it all the way to the red door on Level 7 without losing a life but forgot there were all those drillers and homing missile guys guarding the boss and I donked some 3 or 4 lives in that arena, all of which were before even getting to attack the boss itself. Lost my hostages too, because I was hoping I'd make it through on the first try (not!). But I got fairly luck on Level 8 with only 2 lives lost while I gained 3 between the level itself and end bonuses.

Also trying to play without using secrets I discover merely by accident, because I'm just trying to 'emulate' a player who's not good at finding them.
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Re: Playing without saves

Post by MegaDescent » Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:53 am

Beat (D1) Level 9 losing only one life, approached homing missile enemy from bad angle just outside reactor area. Got 3 lives based on score, so I have 12 in reserve now.

Dreading Level 10 a bit...if I recall, this one is no slouch. And I'm not sure if going to the very easy to find secret level would be productive or counterproductive (in terms of building up my lives and supplies).
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Re: Playing without saves

Post by Sirius » Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:31 am

Depends how well you know it. It has a decent set of powerups but is brutal in several places - it's not uncommon that it hurts more than it helps. D1 secret level 3 is even worse - it's usually safer not to visit it.

Level 10 was mostly OK because there's so much space, but it had some nasty spots, mainly behind the yellow door I think. It doesn't hold a candle to level 11.
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Re: Playing without saves

Post by Avder » Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:16 am

Krom wrote:And then there is Avders "going rambo" thread about halfway down this forum to show some cold start level runs taken to the extreme.
I swear I'm going to upload more of those one day.

Just been a really busy couple of years for me.
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Re: Playing without saves

Post by MegaDescent » Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:31 pm

Broke even with lives on Level 10 (and would have been up had it not been for those homing missile guys right by the reactor that you have to fight at close range due to that stupid locked door!). Yellow area actually wasn't a huge problem as the corridors are so long that I was able to fire at homing missile enemies well off in the distance, to the point in which they would not fire back. (It seems if you are a certain distance from one of these enemies it will tend to not attack you, and I used that to my advantage.)

Did decide to visit SL1, maybe I can pocket a life or two on it.
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Re: Playing without saves

Post by Alter-Fox » Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:48 am

MegaDescent wrote:Broke even with lives on Level 10 (and would have been up had it not been for those homing missile guys right by the reactor that you have to fight at close range due to that stupid locked door!)...
Cloaking device, cloaking device my furless friend... :P
The eyes of the plush lobster stared deep into my soul. I touched it, made as if to pick it up, and then I was a panther.
BEWARE RAZZADOON'S SNOUT!!
...

Also beware my original music, at http://soundcloud.com/snowfoxden and http://vertigofox.bandcamp.com
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Re: Playing without saves

Post by MegaDescent » Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:34 am

Alter-Fox wrote:
MegaDescent wrote:Broke even with lives on Level 10 (and would have been up had it not been for those homing missile guys right by the reactor that you have to fight at close range due to that stupid locked door!)...
Cloaking device, cloaking device my furless friend... :P
There are two, but they are in secrets. My goal also involves attempting to imitate being a player who's not very good at finding secrets (even though I do generally find them well myself), so off limits to me. :( (The secret exit isn't because that driller in the window when entering red area gives it away to look for a secret.)
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Re: Playing without saves

Post by Alter-Fox » Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:09 am

You probably shouldn't finish level 10 at all then, because those secrets are easier to find than the reactor :lol:
The eyes of the plush lobster stared deep into my soul. I touched it, made as if to pick it up, and then I was a panther.
BEWARE RAZZADOON'S SNOUT!!
...

Also beware my original music, at http://soundcloud.com/snowfoxden and http://vertigofox.bandcamp.com
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Re: Playing without saves

Post by MegaDescent » Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:17 pm

I don't think the cloaks are 'easier to find than the reactor'. The reactor, pick up the extra life and it opens up. The cloaks, you must look on either the left or right side.

Also the attempt to imitate 'not good at finding secrets' necessarily excludes anything necessary to finish the level, as well as any hidden hostages (since hostages can be seen on the map and that gives away that there'll be a secret if you can't get to them without one).
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Re: Playing without saves

Post by Alter-Fox » Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:59 pm

Well, the blue key in that level could stump anyone unobservant as you're pretending to be. :lol:
I'm teasing. Although I think that anyone that bad probably wouldn't know what the heck a secret exit was or what to do with one if it suddenly developed the power of speech and told them, so you probably shouldn't go to the secret level.

Because secrets in Descent 1 are usually incredibly easy to find. This isn't Doom. :mrgreen:
The eyes of the plush lobster stared deep into my soul. I touched it, made as if to pick it up, and then I was a panther.
BEWARE RAZZADOON'S SNOUT!!
...

Also beware my original music, at http://soundcloud.com/snowfoxden and http://vertigofox.bandcamp.com
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Re: Playing without saves

Post by MegaDescent » Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:13 pm

Well in this play I'm acting as if I'm a person who knows what secrets are but can't find them unless they're necessary or very obviously hinted at.

Anyways played the secret level. Gained a live or two, but my god lots of traps! In fact I had to play the whole level again when I fell for destroying all three mechs across from the exit... BIG MISTAKE!!! :D

(Believe it or not, this is the first time ever I actually bothered to find out what those mechs hold, of several times I've played Descent I.)
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Re: Playing without saves

Post by Sirius » Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:35 pm

Maybe I missed something, but why would you intentionally avoid secrets?
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Re: Playing without saves

Post by MegaDescent » Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:18 pm

Because my intent is to see how I can do not only without midlevel saves, but also pretending to be one who is not good at finding secrets unless they are required or have a strong visual clue that they exist (usually in D1, the later case involves being able to see all or a portion of the secret room from some remote area outside the actual secret).
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Re: Playing without saves

Post by DarkFlameWolf » Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:58 pm

Maybe its a challenge? I've heard of those. :mrgreen:
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Re: Playing without saves

Post by MegaDescent » Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:23 pm

Yes, basically.
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