Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Dragon’s Crown Intermediate Guide

(Tips & Tricks)

I’ve played a fair bit of Dragon’s Crown the last week, and I wanted to write down a small guide of Tips and Tricks to help newcomers to the game. I’ll skip over the basics, not the least because there are a few websites with really good guides out already, most notably Destructoid and Primagames. If you read Kanji or can suss out the Google translation of the Japanese website, that is a really good place to start out as well. So here we go:

1. First of all take that character guide you got of the internet, you know the one with all those cookie cutter builds; throw it out. This isn’t by any means a besmirching of whatever guide you got your hands on, it might even be a great guide. However, Dragon’s Crown is a dungeon crawler; you are going to spend tens of hours playing this game with or without people around the world. You don’t want to be spending time looking up a skill in a guide to see if it’s ‘any good’; that’ll suck the joy out of the game faster than you can say abracadabra.

2. Before you finish the first nine stages solo, make sure you play each character. This is sort of a part two of the above tip. After you finish your first mission make sure to go the adventure guild and scope out the skillset for each class. Maybe you know what it’s about, or at least you think you do, but you can be surprised how a class that looked promising can be totally out of your normal play style. Fighters can do good damage on land or in the air, but they can also tank; they have beastly defensive abilities that don’t even require items to use. The Amazon can be a beast on the ground, in the air, or use her health bar for skills but she can be murderous at tougher difficulties without practice. The Elf can burst some of the fastest DPS in a short amount of time or she can play tactical and conservative using her Bow to create distance and finish off enemies up close and personal with her legs or a dagger and backstab.

3. Your most important resource in Dragon’s Crown isn’t Gold, Experience, or even Gear; rather it is Skill Points. As such the most important part of leveling your character is the side quests. Not only does every side quest give at least one SP, you also get better experience gains than just going the different stages. While some side quests can be teasingly difficult to wrap up whether solo or in a party, be aware that opting out of a stage will grant you all experience, gold, and gear you’ve gained up to the point of exiting. It’s oftentimes a timesaver to simply exit the stage rather than finish through it.

4. Ronnie the thief is your friend. He opens doors and cracks chests, but he works on commission. That is to say that anything you leave on the ground is fair game to Ronnie. So make sure to sweep up all the gold and treasure on the ground. At the higher difficulty levels especially, that can make an enormous difference in your gains.

5. It is important to not spread yourself too thin. Unless something changes in the future the max allowable number of SP is 255 and getting that many SP is likely to take a long time. You should plan around 50 SP per playthrough in Normal, Hard, and Inferno Modes. This is especially important since skill resets are few and far between.

6. Don’t rush. Now I’m the first to say that I play RPG’s defensively. I overlevel, I grind, and I hoard potions like there’s no tomorrow. But Dragon’s Crown is brutal, if you try to run ahead of yourself this game will put you down hard, party or no party. It might be a little tedious to do things slowly, but walk before you run people. Also as a reminder reviving yourself in battle takes an increasingly large amount of gold, the first couple times it’s done in one sitting is chump change to how much it costs after.

7. Everything is shared between your created characters; gold, equipment, items, even your companions. That being said items have a set amount of uses, so be aware of how many you have left. Companions you’ve raised from the dead cannot regain lost items or repair broken equipment. Don’t bother with the pray options or the items from Morgan’s or Lucian’s shop until later levels when you are playing online or have finished the first nine stages. 

8. Dragon’s Crown takes something from old school arcade co-op games or platformers. The number to the left of your player is how many lives you currently have. Starting at the number 2 and counting down to zero, that number can also be raised by various methods. Getting a score higher than 30,000 gives you an extra life, as does using the rune system in a particular manner, as does praying at the Canaan Temple; there are other ways to gain lives but those are the easiest. 

9. Speaking of the rune system. When you get a full set of runes you can do some powerful rune magic with the stones. However the game refuses to hold your hand with the rune system. If you have an excellent memory you can memorize the best three-rune combinations, the rest of us should just put them down on paper.

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