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Dead Cells - Out now! - The Dark Souls of Rogue-lite/Rogue Legacy-like metroidvania-ishes

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So yesterday I made it to the last boss again. That’s 2 times in total now. This time I lasted longer and got maybe close to half of his health down. So some progress.

 

For some reason I really want to complete this game. If I push on and put all my collected cells into getting a high % of ++ weapons, I think I might do it. But my goodness that’s going to take a lot of runs. But right now I’m up for it, the game compels me to try again and again, it’s got a wonderful rhythm to it.

 

I feel like I’m slowly mastering the main game - not only am I breezing through most of the levels, but I’m getting a much better understanding of how to get the right combinations of weapons and traps to maximise damage. Before I move on to the next level, I always try to spend a bit of money on adjusting my weapon / trap modifiers so that, for example, I have a bow that emits a toxic cloud, one trap that sets enemies alight, and another trap that adds damage to burning enemies. Makes a huge difference in finishing enemies off quickly, which is the key to surviving High Peak Castle, where a number of dangerous enemies congregate together often shielded by those bastard training dummies.

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Picked this up on Xbox and then Switch as I liked it so much. 

 

Has anyone else double dipped? I find it much easier with the Xbox pad than the Joycons, it really feels easy to start flying through things on Xbox but it feels a bit clunkier on switch. 

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Lads, I could use some guidance.

Consistently I reach the HofK boss who consistently beats me into a pulp. The only different routing I can do is go to Sewer instead of Promenade. Everything else is set is stone as far as I can tell. But I do see possible shortcuts, I just can’t take em.

 

How do I Wall Jump? How do I break a marked floor underneath me? What does rubbing a statue do?

 

I fear I am missing a whole lot, because everything up to HotK is a cake walk, even the area right before him.

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Do you realise how late game HoK is? and you haven't got the statue rune?! I'm amazed you've avoided it.

 

Don't go through the first exit you see of every level, fully defog the map, and if you see an elite, kill it.

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Another rune in the sewers? Hmm, thanks. I’ll give that a shot.

 

26 minutes ago, hughes said:

Do you realise how late game HoK is? and you haven't got the statue rune?! I'm amazed you've avoided it.

 

Don't go through the first exit you see of every level, fully defog the map, and if you see an elite, kill it.

Clearly not :) Like I said, everything before him is like a walk in the park, the game never gave me the impression I am in the wrong place so to speak.

 

edit: ooowww, that also might solve the issue I have with the closed doors that require the Gardener’s Key... 

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It does, but you also need to figure out a puzzle on that level. It's not an obvious puzzle at all IMO, a 'blink and you'll miss it' sort of thing. I googled it and that's how I got it.

 

If you want a hint:

 

Spoiler

Look around you as you progress through the level and see if there is anything slightly  unusual / out of place to interact with.

 

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Did the TS-AS-IC-SS route (no completion though), unlocking a certain something, finally. Thought that would have dropped from the Poundland Beholder you fight (nearly gasped when it just dropped gold teeth and a weapon), worth it to experience the SS gimmick.

 

The mid boss on that route seems a much more drawn out fight than the others, which end quickly for good or ill.

 

Oh, and I rescind my criticism of the mushrooms, they telegraph their move pretty blatantly.

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Finally beat the first boss! Piled everything into brutality (already levelled it up and had a golden Kunai), took the grenade mutation and the ammo one and then just Kunai'd from afar - freeze grenading when I shat myself.

 

I'd started again on revisiting recently - never got anywhere near this during my first save despite having a shed load of unlocks. Good fun!

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Killed the boss. Have a ton of exploring to do judging by the Trophy list, I haven’t seen half of the levels mentioned.

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Finally finished this yesterday, after having a shedload of attempts beforehand. Then did it again later in the day to prove it wasn't a fluke.

 

It seems the way I was trying at first that copes well with most of the game really isn't good against the Hand Of The King.

 

Spoiler

I had been relying on wolf traps and turrets, which can chew through most things when suitably powerful and stat-boosted, but are rubbish against HOTK. So I switched to grenades, which I didn't realise had damage reduction built-in, which makes surviving HOTK much easier. I threw most stat boosts at brutality (I think I was 18, 5, 5 by the end), took ice and fire grenades, and a shield that also reduces damage taken. I saved most of my cash for as late as possible, so I didn't waste it upgrading items I'd later replace. Ended up with shield and grenades offering 30, 30 and 35% damage reduction, and a locket doing another 20. For mutations I took the faster grenade reload (obviously), the one that gives massive damage increase after a health potion is used, and also the damage boost after you take damage (prior to this I'd always taken the 30% health boost, but it's not needed if you take much less damage anyway). 

 

Basically this changed him from being an absolute monster who could kill me in a couple of quick back-to-back attacks, into a fairly manageable boss encounter that I could probably finish 7 or 8 times out of 10 with similar kit. It also made much of the end game easier and a little faster to get through too - less waiting for turrets to whittle stubborn enemies away.

 

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The 1.1 update is officially up in stable branch (for PC) , can read about it here and full patch notes here .

Rough ETA for the console version is end of January from what the devs have been stating in the Steam forums.

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In the main branch now - https://steamcommunity.com/games/588650/announcements/detail/1701696770543706273

 

Quote

Mob Auto-Scaling mechanic removed

 

Wow, this is huge!

 

Quote

More challenging Boss Cell 4

 

Oh. I had 2 boss cells active the last time I played and was finding that hard going enough.

 

Might stick this on tonight. Haven't played for ages.

The gods were absolutely showering me with golden gifts during my last run.

 

pvOcdrE.jpg

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I had a game underway before the update, so started at the Ramparts with two boss cells active - so very little in the way of healing available across the game. Cleared out most of the level, but took a bit of a kicking, which is exactly what I didn't need. I found the 2 cell door, which was the food shop, so spent nearly 5 grand on the 50% health pickup.

 

It did nothing! WTF?

 

Then I twigged and had a look at my kit and mutations. Oh right - "Dead Inside" has changed from a 30% health boost to a 50% health boost, but with food no longer healing you. This makes it awful for hard runs, and also meant I'd have to use a flask going in to the first boss, which is absolutely the last thing I needed (esp. since I wouldn't be able to buy another what with having just wasted 5 grand). I spent another grand to reset my mutations, and then realised that the fast grenade reload one is no longer available (I'd had it whilst I'd played the Ramparts - they must have kept it in as legacy). Faster reloads are now available by killing stuff in melee (IIRC) or parrying - so I didn't bother. But that put me in a boss fight with 2 sets of grenades that took an age to reload. I just let him kill me. I'd rather restart with a clean slate and no more nasty surprises.

 

Basically - if you're part way through the game, check your gear - things have changed quite a lot.

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What the hell am I doing? I'm loving this, but... I'm not sure if I'm going it right. I keep getting to the Concierge and getting pummeled (I did beat him once) but not sure how. I've bought weapons and stuff, but it all seems so random each time. I get that it's supposed to be, but how can you prepare for a run of your don't know you're going to get the weapons you want? Or have I missed something?

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1 hour ago, APM said:

What the hell am I doing? I'm loving this, but... I'm not sure if I'm going it right. I keep getting to the Concierge and getting pummeled (I did beat him once) but not sure how. I've bought weapons and stuff, but it all seems so random each time. I get that it's supposed to be, but how can you prepare for a run of your don't know you're going to get the weapons you want? Or have I missed something?

You're meant to adapt and make the best of it. The problem is the game is definitely skewed towards folk who know how it play already (a very big problem for games that do early access). You may also feel like restarting however, just because you get a bad roll (on harder difficulties I just let myself get killed at the first weapon choice because some are SO piss-poor it ain't worth bothering with).

 

The Concierge is a pain in the butt, but you can beat him quite easily (could beat him before the last patch, I should say - it may all have changed) with turrets and wolf traps. Trap the bastard in place, and let the turret do the work. All the bosses go through phases, so are easy at first, then get tougher. In the later stages the Concierge always switches up to doing a total floor attack followed by a huge leap toward you that will give you a proper kicking should you get caught by it.

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I enjoy some of this- running around the early levels with whatever I can find, but I’m really bouncing off the rest. Can’t be arsed grinding out 1000s of Souls for stuff, and some of the later monsters are just frustrating (robot that spits out dozens of bats and bombs). I also feel it’s been designed to play with a walkthrough, which I can’t be arsed to do.

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24 minutes ago, therearerules said:

I enjoy some of this- running around the early levels with whatever I can find, but I’m really bouncing off the rest. Can’t be arsed grinding out 1000s of Souls for stuff, and some of the later monsters are just frustrating (robot that spits out dozens of bats and bombs). I also feel it’s been designed to play with a walkthrough, which I can’t be arsed to do.

 I used a walkthrough to locate the runes that are need to get through to all the areas. After you've got them, you don't need to revisit the areas that have the most annoying enemies - there's a main path you can stick to, and it's largely OK (although that negates much of the point of having multiple paths). The grinding for souls is reduced once you realise you don't want most of the unlocks anyway (in fact unlocking everything makes it harder because you're more likely to get drops of weapons you don't want). That still leaves the MASSIVE grind to increase the %age of good drop spawns though - and that really helps your survival chances.

 

But, yeah, it's a game that plays very well for the first few hours, but the further you go the more broken you realise it is. I stuck with it through sheer bloody-mindedness, and whilst beating the final boss felt good, everything beyond that is seriously flawed. You want to beat the final boss on ever-increasing difficulties, but to do that you want better drops. But it's much easier to grind souls to get better drops by sticking to the easier difficulties (at least for mere mortals like me - if you can speed-run on high difficulties then you can probably do it quicker on harder settings, but I wouldn't need the drops if I could speed-run on higher difficulties...) Then they went and updated the game, and pretty much broke it at higher difficulties to the point that I can't be bothered going back.

 

They've got all the elements for an absolutely fantastic game there, but there are flaws in the design all over the place which stop it from being one. And given the last update, I'm not sure they know how to fix it. What's there is still good - great at times - but it could be so much better. 

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I didn't use any walkthroughs and never felt like I was grinding. Unlocking new stuff was just a nice bonus during a run.
There are definitely more difficult paths, but I think that's intentional, giving the player a choice of difficulty.
I don't know if the harder difficulties are broken or if I'm just crap, but yeah, with 2 boss cells active, I'm having trouble but I'll keep trying.
Is it the general consensus that the higher difficulties are bust?

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2 hours ago, witchypoos said:

I didn't use any walkthroughs and never felt like I was grinding.

 

 

Me neither, I thought the difficulty curve was spot on for the normal runthrough.

 

No idea about whether you need to grind for the harder ones though, I haven't been back to it since.

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I've just started playing this recently. It looks good and plays very nicely, but you're not really told a great deal about how to play it, are you? So far I've got as far as the Ramparts area, but I don't think I've come across the first boss yet. I like how it's not an entirely strict rogue like in that you get to keep some of your stuff when you die.

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It's a great game, marred significantly for me by the dull bosses. They're either impossibly hard or trivially easy depending on what drops you get, and in any event they're ludicrously resilient, with energy bars that take forever to run down.

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That I certainly agree with, there's a small window just as you're sussing them out where they're very satisfying to do but before and after they tend to be more tedious than anything.

 

I guess you can say the same for a lot of bosses to some degree but the massive health pools make it more of an issue here.

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13 hours ago, witchypoos said:

Is it the general consensus that the higher difficulties are bust?

There's plenty of talk on the Steam Community pages that says as much, and I've definitely seen one thread where a dev has said that they reckon the balance of harder difficulties is seriously broken, so it seems they know there are big issues.

 

Before the update I made it to HOTK maybe half a dozen times with 2 stem cells active. I've not made it beyond the Concierge since (most of the attempts have been suicides due to ENORMOUS damage from a single enemy. I know how precious health is at this stage, so using a flask on level 1 is pretty much a failure). Elites now have special attacks that can absolutely destroy you, and since you probably won't have seen them before they are pretty much game-enders any time you activate one (again on the Steam Community page loads of people say they just try to avoid them now - they're not worth the risk). The changes to skill cooldowns just mean you can't use them as much, so most of the skills are now much less useful across the board, but particularly against bosses (since you have to be defeating enemies to speed up cooldown etc.) (When I've made it to the Concierge the damage I can inflict is massively reduced, so I've died trying to whittle his health bar away incredibly slowly). And IMO "something" seems to have changed on most enemies - I'm taking a kicking on the first level from things I used to have no problem with. They seem to get staggered less, or can attack when previously they couldn't, or something, which means I'm getting hit when I'm really not expecting it. 

 

It's possible some of this stuff works better than it did before, tbh - maybe I just need to find new combos of kit and mutations (or just be better) - but regardless it's not the same game I learnt to play a while back, and I can't be bothered learning it all over again, with just the arse-end to polish off. It's a problem with games being constantly evolved - they've changed enough here to require a major relearn. (It's like someone going through chess and tweaking how all the pieces behave slightly. You'd get part way through a game, and lose a piece to your opponent's knight because they now move 3 forward and one to the side, rather than 2 and 1, but no-one had told you.)

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I've been playing this in 5-20 minute blasts and I'm enjoying it quite a bit. It's a good contrast to the slower pace of RDR2, which I'm also working my way through.

 

It's difficult, but it gets the rouguelike balance right in that I feel like I'm making just enough progress each time to warrant the effort. So far I've unlocked the rune that lets you travel up the vines and the one which allows you to teleport via the statues. I've come up against the Conceirge twice and can see what @K was saying regarding bosses being easy or difficult depending on your load out; the first time around I used traps to corner him to take pot shots and lob grenades and I almost had him, whereas on my second go I didn't have any decent traps and he just completely decimated me. I really don't see how you're supposed to avoid the attack where he jumps across the screen at you with a damaging red bubble around him.

 

Question: what's the deal with the wooden doors you can bang on with the dots on? Sometimes there's someone inside who will give me something, but most of the time there's no one home. Do the dots correspond to anything? I've also found some guy behind bars in the Toxic Sewers a couple of times wanting me to find his friend but I've never found him. Not sure what that's about either.

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If you have one boss cell active, you can open the doors with one dot on, if you have two boss cells active, you can open the doors with two dots on and so on.
You find that out after you've beaten the game for the first time. Don't worry about those doors for now

 

I thought you had to knock on the door with one dot, and then knock on the door with two dots, knocking on all the numbered doors in order in one playthrough to make something happen, I wasted so much time doing that and of course I have a crap memory so I was always saying to myself "Oh, I must have missed door 3 or something, I'll do it next time"

No idea about the big green guy behind the bars, I haven't figured that out yet.

 

I haven't fought the concierge for a long time, I like to go to the toxic level, but if I remember rightly, as with all the bosses, everything is telegraphed, once you've learned his moves you can see when he's going to jump across the screen and it's easily avoided with a well timed dodge roll. That red bubble is a pain in the arse, you've just got to keep your distance when he whips that out.

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