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TOPIC: Can we play Hardcore yet?

Can we play Hardcore yet? 1 month 5 days ago #1

I got a lot of questions and offers for help over in the Power Creep discussion area along with the recommendation to start a new post, so here it is. This year will be my 9th year playing TD. We were hoping after a few years of playing that we could be able to tackle Hardcore, but it seems like it's getting harder faster than we're getting better. The last few years we've asked the coaches if they thought we could play Hardcore and they always say no. I understand that last year was a bit of a weird year as far as difficulty goes, so I'm hoping that this is the year we can finally play Hardcore. I've added a link to Character Generator Excel Spreadsheet with my planned builds for my whole party for this year. I have personally played a lot of the character classes (Barbarian, Bard, Fighter, Paladin, Rogue, and want to try Druid this year) but not all of them, some of them I'm still learning some of the nuances of how they play and adjusting my builds accordingly. If you've got recommendations for key tokens or build strategies that you think would help us, please let me know. I know tokens aren't everything, but we are pretty well organized in combat and are decent sliders. Before TD got rid of puzzle and combat runs, we mostly ran puzzle and usually don't take a ton of push damage from puzzles.

Character Generator Spreadsheet

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Last edit: by Michelle.

Can we play Hardcore yet? 1 month 5 days ago #2

If you haven't already, check out this post: https://truedungeon.com/forum?view=topic&catid=5&id=248885

I pulled this info out of it:
Stats to have:
Hardcore difficulty:
Preferred combat mode (melee or ranged) to hit bonus: +8-+18
AC: 22-32
FORT/RFLX/WILL Saves: 10-20

Keeping within these ranges will ensure you:
Hit on slides somewhere between 15+ (low end of range) and 5+ (high end of range).
Monster miss you around 50% of the time (low end of range) - 95% of the time (high end of range).
You make your saving throw around 50% of the time (low end of range) - 95% of the time (high end of range).

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Can we play Hardcore yet? 1 month 5 days ago #3

Looking at your party card, it appears to be on the low end. It's definitely doable, but it will be a challenge and everyone may not survive. That being said, if you pack some healing consumables, plus some of this years root rival potion, it should be a fun and interesting battle!

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Can we play Hardcore yet? 1 month 5 days ago #4

Regarding tokens: I have a number of good rares that I've kept over time specifically for helping out groups moving up difficulty levels. If you're looking to acquire some, PM me and I'll dig through my rares.

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Can we play Hardcore yet? 1 month 5 days ago #5

Matt Goodman wrote: If you haven't already, check out this post: https://truedungeon.com/forum?view=topic&catid=5&id=248885

I pulled this info out of it:
Stats to have:
Hardcore difficulty:
Preferred combat mode (melee or ranged) to hit bonus: +8-+18
AC: 22-32
FORT/RFLX/WILL Saves: 10-20


Those stats are waaaay over inflated for hardcore. The high end of those ranges is definitely NM ready.

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Can we play Hardcore yet? 1 month 5 days ago #6

Braxton wrote:

Matt Goodman wrote: If you haven't already, check out this post: https://truedungeon.com/forum?view=topic&catid=5&id=248885

I pulled this info out of it:
Stats to have:
Hardcore difficulty:
Preferred combat mode (melee or ranged) to hit bonus: +8-+18
AC: 22-32
FORT/RFLX/WILL Saves: 10-20


Those stats are waaaay over inflated for hardcore. The high end of those ranges is definitely NM ready.


Agreed, but the high end range is has been calculated so you can hit on a 5, monsters miss you 95% of the time, and you save 95% of the time (which was done by Matthew Hayward, props to him). Which is crazy good and arguably over-powered. So yes, I agree that the high end is NM ready.

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Can we play Hardcore yet? 1 month 5 days ago #7

Michelle, I'm working on a longer post, but I can tell that, at least for your barbarian, there are some easy upgrades. There's lots of gear on the barb that is +dex, which benefits the barbarian not much at all. Essay incoming!

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Can we play Hardcore yet? 1 month 5 days ago #8

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Rule of thumb, if you feel good about your combat with the room 7 boss your probably ready for the next difficulty :)
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Can we play Hardcore yet? 1 month 5 days ago #9

Dealing damage:

OK with Bardsong and/or Cleric Bless/Prayer:
Barbarian
Druid
Fighter
Monk
Ranger
Rogue
Wizard (assuming spell attacks)

The rest will struggle to hit even on high-ish slides like 15.

Avoiding insta-kill / lose a round of combat / force polymorph into a mongoose (e.g. saves)

Likely to miss FORT saves: Bard, Ranger, Rogue, Wizard
Likely to miss RFLX saves: Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Wizard
Likely to miss WILL saves: Barbarian, Bard, Fighter, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Wizard

FORT/WILL failures tend to kill out / take you out of combat. Failed RFLX saves tend to make you take lots of damage or have an ongoing hindering effect.

Not getting punched in the face:

Approximate odds of getting hit by a monster attack that uses AC (increasing AC by 1 will reduce this by 5% to a minimum of 5%)

Barbarian: 55%
Bard: 45%
Cleric: 15%
Druid: 35%
Fighter: 45%
Monk: 60%
Paladin: 35%
Ranger: 45%
Rogue: 55%
Wizard: 80% (Paladin is guarding, right?)

Remember, there are 10 party members, over the dungeon monsters might get 20 vs. AC attacks. Overdoing it on AC at the expense of saves or damage is not a great plan. Loki's Trickster Cap and Fae Starlight armor I would rather not use - the juice isn't worth the squeeze in my opinion.

Quick and cheap upgrades (no more than $5 per token:

- There are +1 to save earcuffs for each save
- In 2020 there will be a +1 AC, +1 saves neck item
- There are +4 to save rings for each save
- +2 Cloak of Resistance is amazing - I'd lose your cloak of many pockets for the lenses or crown depending on the build and get that (or Cloak of Painful Luck)

It appears to me many of your builds are tying to balance across melee and ranged attacks. I would focus on getting to ~+8 to hit in my preferred mode, then saves, then AC, and last but not least the other mode. Just make sure you have balance across the party of melee, spell, ranged damage dealers.

Looks like you've done a good job of filling in slots, which is good, and of paying attention to even stats.

If you have control over where the +1 levels go, I'd take it away from Ranger and give it to Bard. 5th level Bardsong gives +2/+2 instead of +1/+1.

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Can we play Hardcore yet? 1 month 5 days ago #10

Braxton wrote: Michelle, I'm working on a longer post, but I can tell that, at least for your barbarian, there are some easy upgrades. There's lots of gear on the barb that is +dex, which benefits the barbarian not much at all. Essay incoming!


Yeah, looking at the Barbarian again, I realized a lot of that was left over from the past few years where all of my characters were terrible ranged (except for the Ranger) and I wanted someone to be able to hit ranged if needed using the tokens I had at the time. I look forward to your essay.

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Can we play Hardcore yet? 1 month 5 days ago #11

It also depends on your group dynamic. If everyone is listening to each other during puzzles and doing the slide/move/calling out table speed during combats you're ahead of a lot of parties going through the dungeons.

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Can we play Hardcore yet? 1 month 5 days ago #12

Low Will saves are rather common. I'd look to move away from saves killers over time. Rogue attack bonuses are low.

I like the emphasis on hp as hp almost always matter.

Inspiration on cleric is odd. Cleric and druid could use a lot more healing. Linked Shirt of Healing is huge.

Get bard to level 5. Bard and spellcasters gain the most from leveling.

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