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Analysis of 5/28/08 Update

Posted by The Peanut Master on May 29, 2008

So I was wrong. Okay, so that’s an understatement. I was completely, utterly, horrendously, DEAD wrong. I absolutely forgot that the Knife and Spork had not yet opened, and because AE hadn’t mentioned it for what seemed like ages and all they were talking about was the Starship and future planet travel, I assumed the next update would be related to that. What I did forget to take into account was that in the Design Notes when Westion was first mentioned Warlic stated he would be posting previews of it soon, and by yesterday he hadn’t posted any. That should have been enough for me to discount it as a possible update, but alas, I forgot.

Anyways, the Knife and Spork opened, but it’s not what you might have expected. Unlike the other jobs/professions throughout Soluna City, you don’t rank up to become the top of the top. It’s actually a challenge zone, with increasingly difficult challenges. Read on for the full analysis.

(Note: You’ll notice I got rid of a bunch of the sub-headings, since I realized they weren’t really needed. Everything that would have been discussed there is just in the “My Opinion” area.)

About: The Knife and Spork finally opened up this week, and as I stated earlier, this isn’t the normal run-of-the-mill profession. In fact, it’s not a profession at all, but an eight-course challenge zone with increasing amounts of enemies (with a full heal between each one, of course) who are increasingly difficult. There are eight rounds in total, starting with five level three battles and ending with twelve level twenty battles. The enemies vary from the holiday mechs to the house mechs to everything in between. There are also three reward shops to unlock, after beating challenges three, six, and eight.

My Opinion: This challenge zone is a nice addition to MechQuest, where level twenty “uber players” finally meet their match, and players of all levels get fair challenges as well. I guess I was slightly disappointed that this wasn’t another rank-up profession, but I wasn’t unhappy to see this kind of addition to the game. In fact, I was actually very pleased to find that I couldn’t just blow by and tank my way through yet another update. Here, however, lies the one fault I could find: The last challenge is too hard. I may be speaking as a RuneHawk member, which undoubtedly is the worst house mech and the best mech a level 20 player can get his/her hands on. I do have the Star Commander (not the Nova version, since I’m not a Nova Gem player), and while I can beat 39 out of the 40 enemies in the challenge zone, the one I can’t beat, no matter what I do, kills the whole thing. The Diner Contestant40, a Shadow E3-version mech, is an absolute menace, with special bonus attacks, extra damages, two-turn stuns, and DoTs activating almost literally every turn, the enemy is unbeatable. I know if you are a Wolfblade with the Nova 3.0 mech and a top setup you can probably beat it, but when you are two-turn stunned and it piles a DoT attack and a 50% extra bonus attack while you are stunned, it is over. The only strategy that would actually probably work, a stun bonanza setup, is completely nullified by the fact that the E3 has a 60 immobility resist. I like difficult and challenging, but unbeatable is too much. It’s nice to see that I’ve finally met my match, but when my match is too difficult (this being an RPG and all that), it isn’t good. My opinion is that the E3 needs to have its specials activate a LOT less, which should make it fairer for us unfortunate RuneHawkians. There has also been a lot of complaining throughout the lower level enemies about unfairness as well, and this seriously needs to be addressed. Besides this problem, the update was created very nicely, the rewards (while small) are decent, and I think a lot of players are happy now that they finally received a challenge.

Overall Grade of Update: 8.5/10. The only things keeping the update down was the one unbeatable mech and the many complaints that the enemies are impossible and the fact that there wasn’t a whole lot new that was released (if you think about it, only the interfaces and rewards interfaces were new, everything else was just coped in, including the interior which was already introduced in the SPD). Besides that, the update was well done and I appreciate a really challenging challenge zone, even though I can’t beat it.

Enjoy! If you have happen to be a Star Captain-only player who is in house RuneHawk, feel free to post in the Comments section if you had any better luck than I did (heck, you can post a comment no matter what house you’re in, but especially RuneHawk).

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20 Responses to “Analysis of 5/28/08 Update”

  1. Brytz said

    I defeated Diner Contestent40 using Mystraven V3.0. I used Mist kick.

    Your work is pretty good.

  2. Shindia said

    You mentioned that interior of the Knife and Spork is new, but it isn’t – it was used during the police missions.

  3. Arikromus said

    True. I use a Mystraven mech and the only method I can figure out is:

    Stun.
    If that doesn’t work, Raven Talon their energy.

    Their only real weakness is their energy. Every attack uses up 35 and I think they only get 13 regen a turn. In the meantime, I just pound on them.

  4. sinani200 said

    @Brytz: Well done! Congratulations!

    @Shindia: That’s right, thanks for correcting me. I’ll edit my post to reflect that now.

    @Arikomus: The thing with a stun strategy is that the E3 has a 60 immobility resist, so you’d be putting the stun strategy on a luck basis. However, I also feel that it’s the only way to beat it if you don’t have Nova Gems.

    It is true that the enemy’s only weakness is that it uses up 35 energy per turn, but you’d have to get it down pretty low for something like that to come into effect, and at least for me that never becomes an issue.

    Thanks for all the comments, keep them up! 🙂

  5. zamuelnow said

    Actually most L20 Wolfblades have stated that they just go ahead and do the energy drain at the beginning and eventually the E3 runs out of energy anyway allowing them to pound on it. I’m not a L20 yet (L18) but I have beaten the E3 a few times with the custom setup on my SDF (the one with the fist, not the knife). While the stun strategy is based somewhat on luck, it IS a valid strategy for defeating the E3. What makes it more effective is using weapons that can two turn stun which includes the new frying pan weapon the shop offers and the new satellite weapon. The E3 probably does need a slightly lower rate of specials, I welcome the challenge and actually don’t want it nerfed two much.

    And golly, this seems like an excellent thing to discuss in the balance thread (page 3 or 4–hint hint, nudge, poke). 😉

  6. Shindia said

    Just got to 20 and managed to finish the Knife and Spork final with my Novahawk v3. Admittedly the weapons and HP are slightly better than the SC version but none of the issues I had would have been much different with the SC version I suspect (I used standard loadout and the SC lvl 20 head).

    I actually didn’t find the E3 that bad, it only beat me once in my several attempts it took me to beat the challenge (basically if it stuns you’re in a lot of trouble). I opened with the body move which often procced on E3s taking off a big chunk of their HP. I didn’t use the body move on Mystravens and Wolfblades until they had used their body special (basically if they got a proc on their body special I couldn’t afford the energy of a proced body special of my own). I would say the Mystraven was my toughest fight.

  7. sinani200 said

    @zamuelnow: I guess the stun strategy could work since it isn’t a 100 immobility resist (only 60), but you are still relying on luck. I guess at this point relying on luck may be the best us non-Nova Gem players can do. 😛

    @Shindia: The only mech that truly gives you a great shot at beating Diner Contestant40 is the Nova Wolf V.3, and equipped with the right weapons (almost all of which are Nova Gem-only, some default), the E3 actually isn’t much of a challenge. But for the rest of us, we aren’t as lucky. Btw, congratulations!

  8. Shindia said

    Don’t underestimate the effectiveness of the Hawk body special, it’s useless when up against a wolf or raven that might grab your remaining energy but against the E3 the extra 100+ damage can easily give you the lead you need to win (I even had a couple of fights where I got the 2 turn stun but was still able to pull it through barely due to the extra damage done by proc on the body).

    All the house body specials are effective for taking the down the E3, the problem is that it’s a 50% chance for them all to proc and the CD is too long to use them twice.

  9. sinani200 said

    I know how useful the Hawk body special is, and it’s a really amazing special ability. The problem, of course, is that it doesn’t activate every time and you still have to rely on luck. I remember one time when my Mechronomicon just did a Magic Missile and the Mana Focus didn’t activate its special. The E3 used its stun on me and I lost by over 200+ hitpoints. I’ll keep on trying with different setups and see if anything will work.

  10. Arikromus said

    I actually have a pretty good rate at taking down the E3 right now. I use default equip on Nova Raven with Matryoshyka. As said, go for stun, then if it doesn’t work, hit it with the Kick. It takes out about half their energy.

  11. sinani200 said

    The great thing about the MystRaven mech is that it has a great special ability with the Ravon Talon. Unfortunately, the only really good ability the RuneHawk mech (besides the body attack) has is that the Mechronomicon (Front Arm) has a 5% chance to stun for three turns, and while that is awesome, there’s only a 5% chance of it happening. The back arm can only do DoT, the shoulders have a small chance of doing *some* extra damage, and the head obviously does nothing but pure damage.

    The thing that makes the RuneHawk mech inferior is that its special attacks aren’t as frequent as the other mechs’, and the Front Arm, while have a multitude of good attacks, actually has two where all it does is normal damage (Ghostly Gun and Magic Missile), when the other mechs have a 100% of doing a good special.

  12. Brytz said

    That’s a shame that you have a dissapointing mech because no energy sap or stun ut the stun is only 5%.

  13. sinani200 said

    It’s true that the RuneHawk mech pales in comparison to the other house mechs for the reasons you mentioned, but when it’s the best you’ve got, you have to make it work. 😛

  14. Brytz said

    True!

  15. Brytz said

    In other words you got alot of DoT and energy.

  16. sinani200 said

    That’s definitely the flip side: The RuneHawk just dominates the other two house mechs in energy and energy regeneration, and there’s a lot of DoT to go around in its default weapons. The problem is:

    Health (MR/WB) > Energy/Energy Regeneration (RH)
    and
    Stun (MR/WB) > DoT (RH)

    I guess that sums it up for me. RuneHawk doesn’t lag too far behind, but I feel it is behind, even as a RuneHawk member.

  17. tormund said

    i have done the challenge thing im stuck on 7 im lvl 20 with wolfblade house mech my strategy is to try to stun the use howitzer then bazookas then the energy drain then reapeat and u should have killed em but buy spifire helm just incase u dont kill him it will help good

  18. adam said

    what is the dukebox for. i hope it isn’t just a random object and can do something

  19. sinani200 said

    @tormund: The stun strategy is the *only* way to go to beat the Knife and Spork challenges. There really isn’t any other strategy I can think of to beat the challenges (for the other slots that don’t have stun weapons DoT is the next-best thing).

    @adam: I’m not sure what the dukebox that you’re talking about is. Sorry. 😦

  20. Brytz said

    Use the frying pans.

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