Analysis of Grimrock

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athanatic_cube
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:50 pm

Analysis of Grimrock

Post by athanatic_cube » Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:32 am

When I was playing Grimrock, I collected a number of my observations and thoughts into a Google Drive document. After I beat the game, I polished it up a little bit and thought I would share it with the rest of the Grimrock community as a collection of posts to a forum thread. The document primarily consists of two parts: an analysis of the game and then some suggestions for character and party builds, based on what I learned while playing the game. The analysis is fairly lengthy and, at times, states the obvious in the interests of thoroughness. But, I hope that some of the points in it will prove to be thought-provoking for both players and possibly the devs. :)

This document does not contain any outright spoilers (i.e., there is nothing that says “you will find object X in location Y by solving puzzle Z, which is done in the following manner...” or “you will encounter creatures of type A in location B and should be aware of C when fighthing them”). However, it does occasionaly reference pertinent items and how they help you and it does occasionally advise having certain capabilities in your party by certain dungeon levels without saying exactly why. If you want complete spoilers, then using a web site, such as Game Banshee (http://www.gamebanshee.com/legendofgrim ... hrough.php), is recommended. (I did not use these or any other spoilers while playing the game. I only looked at them after I beat it. I found all 71 secrets without spoilers, but my total playing time is nothing to brag about....)

For those with an attention deficit, here are some of the salient points found in the analysis:
  • Evasion eats Protection’s lunch. I ran a high Evasion and a high Protection character side-by-side in the front rank of a party. Not only is high protection a huge drain on carrying capacity (in terms of weight), but it also doesn’t really ablate all that much damage. Better to simply avoid more damage with Evasion.
  • If you recognize that armors are not really worth your while, then the need for high Strength decreases. Given that two Strength points are needed per every bonus point of Attack Power and that the Attack Power bonus gained through Strength is dwarfed by the bonuses one gets through weapons and skills, Strength is not a very good attribute in which to invest.
  • Using magic in the game really isn’t as troublesome as it might seem and the offensive and defensive benefits of using it are very worthwhile. Magic provides ranged attacks and these attacks are not dependent on both available ammunition and Energy but only on available Energy. Also, magic provides party buffs, which are highly useful in certain situations. Spells can be preprogrammed so that only one click is needed to cast them at the onset of combat. Most of the combat spells only involve a couple of clicks anyway - really, it is not that bad once you become accustomed to it. The payoff can be huge - the game-ending 296-damage fire ball that I cast was quite satisfying, let me assure you.
Some guiding principles are applied throughout the analysis of the game. These are the following:
  • The best defense is a good offense. Being able to kill monsters quickly is a generally better objective than being able to remain in a fight longer.
  • Damage avoidance is better than damage ablation. Damage abalation is also good when the price for it is not too high. And, damage absorption capacity must be sufficient to survive the amount of damage which is expected to get through.
  • Some attributes and skills have more impact on interaction with the game environment than others. Identifying the relative importance of these is key to the analysis and the foundation for making solid, effective character builds. To this end, the analysis begins with the “secondary attributes” (Health, Accuracy, Carrying Capacity, etc...), which directly affect character interactions with the environment, and then builds up from there.

athanatic_cube
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:50 pm

Re: Analysis of Grimrock

Post by athanatic_cube » Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:33 am

Secondary Attributes

The secondary attributes have been grouped into four categories:
  • Offense: Accuracy, Attack Power, Energy
  • Defense: Evasion, Protection, Cold Resistance, Fire Resistance, Poison Resistance, Shock Resistance
  • Survival: Food Consumption Rate, Health
  • Miscellaneous: Carrying Capacity
Offense

Accuracy

Strengths
  • Higher accuracy improves the chance of hitting a foe in melee combat.
Weaknesses
  • Negative accuracy is possible and this reduces the chance of hitting a foe in melee combat.
Other Notes
  • Only applies to melee combat. Does not affect the hit chances of missiles or spells.
Importance Rating: Very High, for melee combatants; Extremely Low, otherwise
Analysis: Being able to hit a foe every time with moderate damage is generally more useful than being able to hit a foe occasionally with greater damage. Thus, in a trade-off situation where both Accuracy and Attack Power are important, Accuracy is favored and can be regarded as the single most important attribute for helping a melee combatant end a fight quickly.

Attack Power

Strengths
  • Higher attack power increases damage done to a foe from a melee or missile hit.
Weaknesses: None
Other Notes
  • Applies to melee and missile combat. Does not affect the damage of spells.
Importance Rating: Very High, for missile combatants; High, for melee combatants; Extremely Low, otherwise
Analysis: This is the sole attribute which determines the efficacy of a missile weapon, outside of elemental (Poison, Fire, etc...) damage. This attribute is also quite important to melee combat, though actually being able to hit a foe is more important. Assuming a foe is hit, this is the attribute which ends fights quickly, a major goal of the analyses in this guide.

Energy

Strengths
  • More energy allows more spells to be cast before rest is needed.
  • More energy allows more special attacks to be performed before rest is needed.
Weaknesses
  • Spent energy be recharged over time.
Importance Rating: Middling, for spell casters; Low to Middling, otherwise
Analysis: If the goal is to end fights quickly rather than being able to stay in them longer, then we are more interested in how a character uses Energy than how much Energy is available. Of course, enough Energy is needed to end a string of fights without rest and that is an important enough consideration to raise the profile of this attribute some.

Defense

Evasion

Strengths
  • Greater evasion decreases the chance of receiving melee damage.
  • Avoids, rather than ablates, melee damage.
  • Can be boosted by an attribute, some skills, and some equipment.
Weaknesses
  • Does not seem to avoid missile or spell effect damage. (TODO: Verify.)
    Shields, cloaks, and a set of clothing are the only equipment that can boost this.
Importance Rating: Very High, for front rank party members; Middling to High, otherwise
Analysis: If a creature can kill a party member more quickly than it can be killed, then the ability to damage the creature, no matter how great, is negated. Thus, in spite of the overarching goal of ending fights quickly, fair consideration must be made to staying alive long enough to end them. Good Evasion is especially important front rank party members, who are (or, at least, should be) subjected to the majority of the melee attacks. However, there are a handful of situations in the game where the party will be unavoidably flanked and Evasion is very important to the survival of back rank members in those cases. Note that missile and spell effect damage can be avoided by simply moving the party out of the way of the incoming fire. So, the inability of Evasion to avoid damage from these sources is insignificant.

Protection

Strengths
  • Greater protection decreases the amount of melee or missile damage received.
  • Can be boosted by some skills and some equipment.
  • Nearly all headgear, hauberks and vests, greaves, and boots can boost this.
Weaknesses
  • High protection equipment is very heavy.
  • Ablates, rather than avoids, melee and missile damage.
  • Does not seem to ablate spell effect damage. (TODO: Verify.)
Importance Rating: Very Low
Analysis: Empirical evidence shows that a character with a certain amount of Protection will suffer much more damage than a character with a roughly equal amount of Evasion. This implies that Protection is much less effective than Evasion. Given the relative ineffectiveness of Protection and the carrying weight which most higher protection armor adds, it is quite difficult to see any benefit from investing in this attribute.

Cold Resistance

Strengths
  • Greater resistance ablates more damage from frost or freezing effects.
Weaknesses: None
Importance Rating: Low
Analysis: Very few creatures have cold-based attacks. Also, no puzzles or dungeon fixtures involve frost bolts.

Fire Resistance

Strengths
  • Greater resistance ablates more damage from fire-based attacks.
Weaknesses: None
Importance Rating: Low to Middling
Analysis: Several dungeon fixtures, as well as two types of creatures, hurl fire balls. While the attacks of individual fire ball throwers can generally be dodged, except when fighthing in tight quarters, handling more than one of these creatures simultaneously may result in lots of fire damage. So, overall, this resistance is not that useful, but there are enough situations where it is that it bears at least some significance.

Poison Resistance

Strengths
  • Greater resistance ablates more damage from poison clouds and bolts.
Weaknesses: None
Other Notes:
  • Probability of being poisoned might be correlated to relative amount of poison damage taken. (TODO: Verify.)
Importance Rating: Middling
Analysis: Only a couple of creatures have attacks which can poison a character. There are also only a handful of dungeon fixtures which will release poison clouds or fire poison bolts. However, as poisoning is a long-term condition which drains Health and as there are several fairly intense fights which involve poisonous creatures, this is the most significant of the elemental resistances.

Shock Resistance

Strengths
  • Greater resistance ablates more damage from lightning bolts.
Weaknesses: None
Importance Rating: Very Low
Analysis: Very few creatures can shoot lightning bolts and there are only two levels where dungeon fixtures shoot them. Thus, lightning damage is almost never a serious threat and the player can usually dodge when it is.

Survival

Food Consumption Rate

Strengths
  • A lower consumption rate means that a character does not need to eat as often, which reduces the worry about running out of food in the dungeon.
Weaknesses
  • The obvious: a higher consumption rate means that a character needs to eat more often, which increases the worry about running out of food in the dungeon.
  • More weight carried translates to an increased consumption rate, regardless of modifiers from race or skill. (Note: This hypothesis is still unconfirmed and based off of tenuous observations.)
Importance Rating: Low to Middling
Analysis: Unless a party contains multiple Minotaurs, which have the highest food consumption rate, or it consistently fails to raid secret rooms and pits, where additional food may be obtained, then the dungeon should provide enough food to comfortably work through the game. Thus, this rate is almost always of low importance.

Health

Strengths
  • Greater health increases the amount of damage which can be absorbed before death.
Weaknesses: None
Importance Rating: Very High, for front rank party members; Middling to High, for back rank party members
Analysis: Probably the next best thing after being able to avoid damage entirely is being able to absorb lots of it. Health absorbs damage from melee and missile hits, falls into pits, poisoning, and explosions. Also, armor-negating attacks may ignore Protection; Health then becomes the only cushion between damage and death. Thus, having much of it is almost universally useful.

Miscellaneous

Carrying Capacity

Strengths
  • Greater capacity allows more or heavier items to be carried.
  • Greater capacity raises the weight encumbrance limit.
Weaknesses: None
Other Notes
  • Greater capacity does not affect upper limit on total number of items carried.
Importance Rating: Very Low
Analysis: As mentioned elsewhere in this guide, the benefit of armor is negligible and pieces of armor are generally the most significant contributors to the overall carried weight. Without armor as a consideration, fairly low carrying capacities are quite tolerable, especially if a party practices good weight management by consuming heaviest food items first and casting off unneeded equipment.

athanatic_cube
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:50 pm

Re: Analysis of Grimrock

Post by athanatic_cube » Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:34 am

Primary Attributes

There are four primary attributes: Strength, Dexterity, Vitality, and Willpower. These affect many of the secondary attributes and some other aspects of game play as well.

Strength

Secondary Attributes Affected
  • Attack Power
  • Carrying Capacity
Strengths
  • Attack Power is not penalized below Strength 10.
  • Carrying Capacity increases by 3 kg for every point of Strength. (Strength 8 corresponds to a Carrying Capacity of 39 kg; Strength 23 corresponds to a Carrying Capacity of 84 kg.)
Weaknesses
  • Attack Power bonuses are only available starting at Strength 10.
  • Only 1 point of Attack Power is gained for every 2 points of Strength; skills and weapons can provide significantly better bonuses. (Strength 10 provides +1 Attack Power; Strength 22 provides +7 Attack Power.)
Importance Rating: Very Low
Analysis: Strength affects Carrying Capacity, one of the least important secondary attributes in the game. Furthermore, its effect upon Attack Power is nearly inconsequential. Therefore, it is a nearly worthless investment.

Dexterity

Secondary Attributes Affected
  • Accuracy
  • Evasion
  • Fire Resistance
  • Shock Resistance
Strengths
  • Accuracy increases by 1 point for every point of Dexterity. (Dexterity 11 provides +1 Accuracy; Dexterity 20 provides +10 Accuracy.)
  • Evasion is not penalized below Dexterity 12.
  • Evasion increases by 2 points for every 1 point of Dexterity. (Dexterity 12 provides +2 Evasion; Dexterity 20 provides +18 Evasion.)
  • Fire Resistance is not penalized below Dexterity 11.
  • Fire Resistance receives greater bonuses per point of Dexterity as Dexterity is increased. (Schedule: +1, +1, +3, +3, +3, +3, +4, +4, +5, +4.) (Dexterity 11 provides +1 Fire Resistance; Dexterity 20 provides +31 Fire Resistance.)
  • Shock Resistance is not penalized below Dexterity 11.
  • Shock Resistance receives greater bonuses per point of Dexterity as Dexterity is increased. (Schedule: +1, +1, +3, +3, +3, +3, +4, +4, +5, +4.) (Dexterity 11 provides +1 Shock Resistance; Dexterity 20 provides +31 Shock Resistance.)
Weaknesses
  • Accuracy is penalized below Dexterity 10.
  • Accuracy bonuses are only available starting at Dexterity 11.
  • Evasion bonuses are only available starting at Dexterity 12.
  • Fire Resistance bonuses are only available starting at Dexterity 11.
  • Shock Resistance bonuses are only available starting at Dexterity 11.
Importance Rating: Extremely High, for melee combatants; Middling to High, otherwise
Analysis: Dexterity affects Evasion, one of the most important secondary attributes in the game. It also affects Accuracy, which is of very high importance to melee combatants. And, it affects Fire Resistance, a somewhat important resistance. Dexterity is a very good investment, in general, and extremely good for melee combatants, in particular.

Vitality

Secondary Attributes Affected
  • Health
  • Cold Resistance
  • Poison Resistance
Strengths
  • Health increases by 2 or 3 points, alternating, per every point of Vitality. (Vitality 8 provides +20 Health; Vitality 22 provides +55 Health.)
  • Cold Resistance is not penalized below Vitality 11.
  • Cold Resistance receives greater bonuses per point of Vitality as Vitality is increased. (Schedule: +1, +1, +3, +3, +3, +3, +4, +4, +5, +4, +5, +5.) (Vitality 11 provides +1 Cold Resistance; Vitality 22 provides +41 Cold Resistance.)
  • Poison Resistance is not penalized below Vitality 11.
  • Poison Resistance receives greater bonuses per point of Vitality as Vitality is increased. (Schedule: +1, +1, +3, +3, +3, +3, +4, +4, +5, +4, +5, +5.) (Vitality 11 provides +1 Poison Resistance; Vitality 22 provides +41 Poison Resistance.)
  • Recovery from the diseased and poisoned conditions seems to be affected by Vitality. (The in-game help also hints at this.)
Weaknesses
  • Cold Resistance bonuses are only available starting at Vitality 11.
  • Poison Resistance bonuses are only available starting at Vitality 11.
Importance Rating: Very High, for front rank party members; Middling, otherwise
Analysis: Vitality affects Health (initial and that gained on promotion), one of the most important secondary attributes in the game. Poison Resistance, which is also somewhat important, is also affected by Vitality. Vitality is a very good investment for front rank party members, who are generally exposed to more damage than those in the back rank. It is a fairly good investment, in general, though the choice of race and class may inhibit a large enough investment to get significant benefits from it.

Willpower

Secondary Attributes Affected
  • Energy
Strengths
  • Energy increases by 2 or 3 points, alternating, per every point of Willpower. (Willpower 7 provides +17 Energy; Willpower 22 provides +55 Energy.)
Weaknesses: None
Importance Rating: High, for mages; Middling, otherwise
Analysis: Willpower only affects a single secondary attribute, which lessens its appeal some. However, Energy is important for performing special attacks and especially for casting spells. A combatant without Energy is rendered helpless and thus having enough Energy to see a fight through is a consideration. Powerful spells can also drain Energy from mages quickly and hence it is a good plan for spell casters to have lots of it on tap. Willpower affects both initial Energy and that gained on promotion. Therefore, it has a fair amount of importance, in spite of its singular focus.

athanatic_cube
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:50 pm

Re: Analysis of Grimrock

Post by athanatic_cube » Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:35 am

Skills

The skills have been grouped into five categories:
  • Melee Combat: Axes, Daggers, Maces, Swords, Unarmed Combat
  • Missile Combat: Missile Weapons, Throwing Weapons
  • Defense: Armors, Dodge, Staff Defense
  • Magic: Air Magic, Earth Magic, Fire Magic, Ice Magic, Spellcraft
  • Enhanced Capability: Assassination, Athletics
Melee Combat

Axes

Strengths
  • The most damage-oriented of the melee combat skill groups.
  • Health is increased during progression through this group.
  • The Axe Master feat provides +20 Attack Power.
Weaknesses
  • Very few axes in the dungeons.
  • Some skill points are wasted on increasing Strength.
  • Accuracy and Attack Power bonuses from this group are only applied when an axe is being wielded.
Melee Weapons Rating: Poor
Overall Rating: Poor
Analysis: The low availability of axes in the dungeons, together with their low attack speeds and Attack Power bonuses that are not much better than swords in most cases, provide major reasons to avoid this skill group. Although Health is increased by progression, some skill points are wasted on Strength. And although the Axe Master feat is very respectable, the investment to reach it is not worth it, especially as no benefit to defense is provided by this group along the way there.

Daggers

Strengths
  • Some daggers have an attack speed equivalent to hands and feet.
  • Some daggers provide accuracy bonuses.
  • Dexterity is increased during progression through this group.
  • Energy is increased during progression through this group.
  • Death Strike, the skill level 50 feat, is very powerful as it provides a chance to instantly kill a struck foe.
Weaknesses
  • Daggers do the least damage of any of the melee weapons.
  • Accuracy and Attack Power bonuses from this group are only applied when a dagger is being wielded.
Melee Weapons Rating: Moderately Good
Overall Rating: Moderately Good
Analysis: Although daggers are the least-damaging of the melee weapons, they are generally the quickest with three of them naturally rivaling the attack speed of bare hands and feet. Also, some of the daggers provide a useful bonus to Accuracy. On the downside, this skill group does not provide anything in the way of defense improvement, except for Evasion boosts from Dexterity increases. To get additional defense, some investment of precious skill points would have to be diverted into Dodge. And, to get faster attack speeds, a significant investment would have to be diverted into Assassination. In other words, two additional skill groups are needed to provide what the Swords skill group provides in and of itself. Nonetheless, Daggers is still quite a respectable investment, especially since daggers are found very early in the dungeons.

Maces

Strengths
  • Vitality is increased during progression through this group.
  • Health is increased during progression through this group.
Weaknesses
  • Relatively few maces in the dungeons, some of which suffer accuracy penalties.
  • Most maces are slower than swords.
  • Accuracy and Attack Power bonuses from this group are only applied when a mace is being wielded.
  • The usefulness of armor negating attacks is somewhat dubious, especially when compared to having quicker attacks or greater overall attack power.
Melee Weapons Rating: Poor
Overall Rating: Poor
Analysis: Although the increases to Vitality and Health throughout the progression in this group are nice, they cannot offset the dubious benefit from the armor negation feats, relatively low attack speeds, common Accuracy penalties, and low availability of maces.

Swords

Strengths
  • The Parry feat (+5 Evasion) is provided as part of the early-to-mid skill development in this group. No other melee weapons group provides a means of increasing Evasion.
  • Dexterity is increased during progression through this group.
  • Health is increased during progression through this group.
  • Energy is increased during progression through this group.
  • Sword Master, the skill level 50 feat, is very powerful as it doubles the character’s attack rate when wielding a sword.
Weaknesses
  • Some skill points are wasted on increasing Strength.
  • Accuracy and Attack Power bonuses from this group are only applied when a sword is being wielded.
  • Evasion bonus from the Parry feat is only applied when a sword is being wielded.
Melee Combat Rating: Very Good
Overall Rating: Very Good
Analysis: Although the best axes and maces provide higher Attack Power bonuses than the best swords, the best swords have better attack speeds, which are further improved into some of the quickest weapons in the game with the Sword Master feat. Furthermore, the Attack Power differential between axes and swords is fairly small and the most damaging maces (hammers, actually) suffer significant penalties to Accuracy. A weapon, which can be used swiftly and accurately, is much better than one that does more damage but is slow, unwieldy, and prone to missing. The Swords skill group also offers a modest Evasion bonus via a feat. Also, the increases to Dexterity, Health, and Energy are very beneficial; the Energy increases provide for more special attacks to be performed. Overall, this group is a very worthwhile investment for a melee fighter.

Unarmed Combat

Strengths
  • Can be used without equipment (i.e., right from the start of the game).
  • Consistently fastest attack rate of any of the melee combat skills.
  • The Faster than Lightning feat (+20 Evasion) provides a very respectable defensive boost as part of the mid development in this offensive skill group. This is the best Evasion increase that can be gotten from a melee combat group.
  • Dexterity is increased during progression through this group.
  • Health is increased during progression through this group.
  • Very significant attribute boosts during late development in this skill group.
Weaknesses
  • Some skill points are wasted on increasing Strength.
  • Accuracy and Attack Power bonuses from this group are only applied when unarmed.
  • Unarmed attacks do not get the Attack Power bonus from a melee weapon. And, only a rare item, such as the Gauntlets of the Pit Fighter, will boost Attack Power for unarmed combat. Thus, this skill group provides the least damage potential of any of the melee combat skill groups.
Melee Combat Rating: Very Good
Overall Rating: Very Good
Analysis: This group alone of all the offense skill groups provides a very respectable defense boost in addition to a good offense. The Faster than Lightning defense feat (+20 Evasion) is easily one of the best feats below skill level 50 in the game. Although the Attack Power of a weapon is not factored into unarmed attacks, the Attack Speed is always about 20, which only the fastest daggers can match naturally and which only daggers can exceed with a significant investment in Assassination or the best swords can exceed at Swords 50. Furthermore, unarmed Attack Power increases more rapidly during progression through this group than any other, thereby partially offsetting the bonus from using weapons. Also, the Accuracy and Attack Power bonuses apply right from the start of the game, since no weapons are needed. The only significant drawback is that this skill group will have less damage output than some of the other ones oriented toward offense and so monsters may not be eliminated quite as rapidly. That said, this group is a very respectable investment for much of the game and only starts to lose some of its luster against a few of the fully-developed melee weapons skills in the end.

Missile Combat

Missile Weapons

Strengths
  • Dexterity is increased during progression through this group.
  • Energy is increased during progression through this group.
  • Projectile weapons generally do more damage than throwing weapons.
  • Projectile weapons can be imbued with spell effects.
Weaknesses
  • Switching or replenishing stacks of projectiles in combat requires more player effort than other combat actions.
  • Missile launchers are not found in the uppermost dungeon levels.
  • Accuracy bonus from increased Dexterity is wasted when using projectile weapons.
  • Attack Power bonuses from this group are only applied when shooting projectile weapons.
  • No other secondary attribute is boosted during progression through this group; less “bang for the buck” than most other combat groups.
  • Number of attacks limited by available ammunition in addition to Energy.
  • Assaulted creatures retain spent ammunition until death.
  • Both hands are needed to use a projectile weapon: one to hold the missile launcher and the other to hold a stack of projectiles. Thus a shield, reach weapon, stack of bombs, or alternate stack of projectiles cannot be held.
Ranged Combat Rating: Moderately Poor
Overall Rating: Poor
Analysis: The increase of Dexterity and Energy during progression through this group is commendable, as is the ability to use projectiles imbued with elemental flavoring. However, two hands are need to shoot projectiles. And, the increase in Dexterity partially wasted in the sense that the use of projectile weapons does not benefit from increased Accuracy. Also, the fact that ammunition is needed in addition to Energy is yet another drawback. On the whole, this group is not all that worthy of an investment.

Throwing Weapons

Strengths
  • Rocks are some of the first weapons available in the dungeons.
  • Health is increased during progression through this group.
  • Only one hand is needed to hold a stack of throwing weapons, thus freeing the other for a shield, reach weapon, stack of bombs, or a second stack of throwing weapons.
Weaknesses
  • Switching or replenishing stacks of throwing weapons in combat requires more player effort than other combat actions.
  • Some skill points are wasted on increasing Strength.
  • Attack Power bonuses from this group are only applied when throwing appropriate weapons.
  • No other secondary attribute is boosted during progression through this group; less “bang for the buck” than most other combat groups.
  • Number of attacks limited by available ammunition in addition to Energy.
  • Assaulted creatures retain spent ammunition until death.
  • Throwing weapons generally do less damage than projectile weapons.
  • Throwing weapons cannot be imbued with spell effects. (TODO: Verify.)
Ranged Combat Rating: Poor
Overall Rating: Very Poor
Analysis: Although the modest increases to Health, during progression through this skill group, are nice to have, they are quickly drowned out by other negatives, such as the skill points wasted on Strength and the relative weakness of the throwing weapons. The need for ammunition in addition to Energy is another drawback. In nearly all cases, there is little worth to an investment in this group.

Defense

Armors

Strengths
  • Many armors can be found in the dungeons. At least two party members could wear complete sets of Plate Armor and another could wear the Valor set. The Chitin set is also some very good light armor and there is at least one complete set of Leather Armor in the dungeon as well.
  • The Shield Expert feat improves Evasion.
  • Health is increased during progression through this group.
  • Armor can ablate missile attacks. (TODO: Verify this.)
Weaknesses
  • Some skill points are wasted on Protection. Protection, even 60 or more (heavy armor amounts), still allows a lot of damage to reach a character. Evasion is a far superior secondary attribute.
  • Armor is very heavy compared to most other objects in the game. If several party members wear armor, additional Strength may be needed to carry enough useful equipment in addition to wearing the armor.
  • Competes with offense-oriented skill groups for investment while not providing additional offense.
Defense Rating: Very Poor
Overall Rating: Very Poor
Analysis: The additional Health from this group is welcome, especially as it will almost certainly be needed since relying upon the armor in the game turns a character’s body into a blood-leaking sieve. The Shield Expert feat is the only other high point of this group, and it is not worth investing 25 skill points to achieve. The additional Protection provided directly by investment in this group is nearly worthless. Experience playing the game has shown that anything which is primarily oriented to Protection is not worth an investment.

Dodge

Strengths
  • The Stealth and Improved Stealth feats provide multipliers to the Evasion of cloaks and clothing, respectively. (Coupled with the Lurker outfit, Evasion can exceed 90, making a character nearly impossible to hit via melee attacks.)
  • The Ninja Master feat provides +50 Evasion.
  • Evasion is increased during progression through this group.
  • Health is increased during progression through this group.
Weaknesses
  • Competes with offense-oriented skill groups for investment while not providing additional offense.
Defense Rating: Very Good
Overall Rating: Moderately Good, up to skill level 11; Moderately Poor, beyond skill level 11
Analysis: The significant Evasion and Health increases offered by this skill group are very tantalizing. However, they come at the expense of investment in offense-oriented skills. A relatively small investment in Dodge to get the Stealth feat (skill level 11) may be worthwhile in some cases.

Staff Defense

Strengths
  • The Staff Master feat provides +30 Evasion and +10 Protection.
  • Evasion is increased during progression through this group.
  • Health is increased during progression through this group.
Weaknesses
  • Competes with offense-oriented skill groups for investment while not providing additional offense.
  • Some skill points are wasted on Protection.
Defense Rating: Moderately Good
Overall Rating: Moderate, up to skill level 8; Poor, beyond skill level 8
Analysis: The Evasion and Health increases offered by this skill group bestow some worth upon it. However, with points wasted on Protection and on the Light Armors feat and the fact that it does not contribute to offense, limited investment in this group is of mediocre worth and heavy investment in it is not recommended.

Magic

Air Magic

Spells: 5
Strengths
  • Shock Shield spell grants +35 Shock Resistance to entire party for a duration roughly equivalent to one or two typical engagements.
  • Invisibility spell allows the party to avoid creatures for a short period of time.
  • Circle of Protection, Air feat bestows a permanent +25 Shock Resistance upon the entire party.
  • Dexterity is increased during progression through this group.
  • Shock Resistance is increased during progression through this group.
Weaknesses
  • Casting spells requires more player effort than most other combat actions.
  • Shock Shield is rarely useful.
  • At least one species of creatures in the dungeons breathes lightning bolts and is therefore presumably immune to shock damage. (TODO: Verify this.)
Elemental Magic Rating: Very Good
Ranged Combat Rating: Good
Overall Rating: Very Good, up to skill level 27; Moderately Poor, beyond skill level 27
Analysis: This group provides the most spells of any of the magic groups. The Invisibility spell is very useful for gaining tactical advantage. And, the Shock and Lightning Bolt spells are among the most damaging of any of the elemental spells around their respective skill levels. Furthermore, Dexterity (and hence Evasion, Fire Resistance, and Shock Resistance) is increased during progression through this skill group. The only downside is minor and that is that Shock Shield is rarely useful. Overall, this group is a very worthwhile investment up to the Improved Lightning Bolt feat at skill level 27. Beyond that, the Dexterity boosts are still worth something, but the feats of defense are essentially a wasted investment.

Earth Magic

Spells: 4
Strengths
  • Poison Shield spell grants +35 Poison Resistance to entire party for a duration roughly equivalent to one or two typical engagements.
  • Poison Shield is quite useful on various occasions.
  • Poison Cloud and Poison Bolt can have their damage outputs boosted by the unique Shaman Staff item.
  • Circle of Protection, Earth feat bestows a permanent +25 Poison Resistance upon the entire party.
  • Vitality is increased during progression through this group.
  • Poison Resistance is increased during progression through this group.
Weaknesses
  • Casting spells requires more player effort than most other combat actions.
  • Poison Cloud requires a foe to remain in its area of effect to inflict continuous damage.
  • Posion attacks do less damage than fire or lightning attacks. (TODO: Verify this.)
  • No counterpart to Invisibility spell.
  • Undead are immune to poison attacks; there are several species of undead creatures in the dungeons.
  • Several species of creatures in the dungeons are poisonous and therefore presumably immune to poison. (TODO: Verify this.)
Elemental Magic Rating: Moderately Good
Ranged Combat Rating: Moderately Good
Overall Rating: Moderate, up to skill level 23; Poor, beyond skill level 23
Analysis: Given the choice between doing more damage to a foe and slaying it outright or doing less damage and inflicting it with a maleficient condition, doing more damage would usually be the better choice. For this reason, the value of the Poison group is somewhat diminished. However, possession of the Shaman Staff item can increase the damage of poison attacks. Also, the temporary resistance from Poison Shield is useful at various times throughout the game. Aside from generally lower damage, the other major downside to poison attacks is the number of monsters in the dungeons which are immune to them. Another consideration is that, while increasing Vitality is a good thing, part of these increases are going to be “wasted” overcoming the Vitality deficit of the typical mage and are unlikely to boost Cold and Poison resistance to meaningful heights. That said, the separate boosts to Poison resistance are of some value to the mage. So, overall, this group is a fairly decent investment up to the Improved Poison Bolt feat at Earth Magic 23. The feats of defense beyond skill level 23 are not really worth investing points to reach.

Fire Magic

Spells: 4
Strengths
  • A fire ball cast under the influence of the Greater Fireball feat and the Orb of Zhandul can deal more than 200 damage to foes.
  • Fire Shield spell grants +35 Fire Resistance to entire party for a duration roughly equivalent to one or two typical engagements.
  • Fire Shield is quite useful on various occasions.
  • Circle of Protection, Fire feat bestows a permanent +25 Fire Resistance upon the entire party.
  • Fire Resistance is increased during progression through this group.
  • Tome of Fire Magic gives 3 extra skill points in this group.
Weaknesses
  • Casting spells requires more player effort than most other combat actions.
  • Some skill points are wasted on increasing Strength.
  • No counterpart to Invisibility spell.
  • At least one species of creatures in the dungeons is partially made of fire and therefore presumably immune to it. (TODO: Verify this.)
Elemental Magic Rating: Very Good
Ranged Combat Rating: Good
Overall Rating: Very Good, up to skill level 24; Poor, beyond skill level 24
Analysis: At a mere 2 skill points, Fire Burst is the cheapest spell available and it is quite effective against opponents in the early dungeon levels. No other skill group has a augmentation tome oriented to it; the Tome of Fire Magic is unique and enhances the worth of this skill group. Furthermore, the Orb of Zhandul, in conjunction with the Greater Fire Ball feat at Fire Magic 24, boosts fire balls to perhaps the highest damage output of any attack in the game. The temporary resistance from Fire Shield is also quite useful over the span of about five levels through the middle of the game. The main downside to investment in this group is that some skill points are wasted on increasing Strength as opposed to a more useful primary attribute. In spite of this, Fire Magic is a very worthwhile investment up to the Greater Fire Ball feat. The defense feats beyond that level are not worth much in the grander scheme of things.

Ice Magic

Spells: 4
Strengths
  • Frost bolts can freeze foes solid for a period of time, allowing a party to finish off a powerful foe without worry of reprisal, extricate itself from a flanking attack, or reposition itself to hit a foe from behind.
  • Frost Shield spell grants +35 Cold Resistance to entire party for a duration roughly equivalent to one or two typical engagements.
  • Ice Shards spell can simultaneously attack creatures on a row of tiles. (The number of tiles attacked seems to grow with either experience level or dungeon depth.)
  • Circle of Protection, Ice feat bestows a permanent +25 Cold Resistance upon the entire party.
  • Willpower is increased during progression through this group.
  • Cold Resistance is increased during progression through this group.
Weaknesses
  • Casting spells requires more player effort than most other combat actions.
  • No counterpart to Invisibility spell.
  • Frost Shield is almost never useful.
  • At least one species of creatures in the dungeons is icy and therefore presumably immune to cold. (TODO: Verify this.)
Elemental Magic Rating: Very Good
Ranged Combat Rating: Very Good
Overall Rating: Very Good, up to skill level 24; Moderately Poor, beyond skill level 24
Analysis: For a mere investment of 3 skill points, Ice Magic provides the Ice Shards spell, which performs an attack affecting multiple squares. Furthermore, the Frost Bolt spell provides a huge tactical advantage in being able to temporarily freeze foes solid for a short time. Also, Willpower (and hence Energy) is increased at various skill levels. All of this makes for very potent battle magic. However, beyond skill level 24 (Improved Frost Bolt feat), there is little benefit to advancing in this group, except for additional Willpower. The improvements to defense beyond this point are uninteresting and not worth the investment.

Spellcraft

Spells: 2
Strengths
  • The Combat Caster feats (25% and 50% faster casting) are very useful for increasing the tempo of battle with the hope of ending it more rapidly.
  • The Archmage feat (50% less Energy per spell) is useful for keeping a mage productive through a string of battles without resorting to the use of Energy potions.
  • Willpower is increased during progression through this group.
  • Energy is increased during progression through this group.
Weaknesses
  • Casting spells requires more player effort than most other combat actions.
  • Light and Darkness spells are rarely useful.
  • Few spells compared to other magic groups.
  • No good combat spells.
Overall Rating: Good, up to about skill level 18; Moderately Poor, beyond skill level 18
Analysis: Spellcraft is a good supplement to the elemental magic groups. Spells, such as Fire Ball, consume large amounts of Energy. Spellcraft helps boost a mage enough so that such spells can be cast in a string of engagements without totally depleting available Energy. Although the Archmage feat at Spellcraft 50 reduces Energy consumption, the investment to reach it sacrifices a mage’s ability to damage foes with powerful bolts or balls in combat. Keeping in mind that the best defense is often a good offense, being able to cast Greater Fireball or Improved Lightning Bolt twice as fast is generally better than being to cast Fire Burst or Shock for twice as long. This implies that an investment in Spellcraft is most worthwhile up to and not much beyond the Combat Caster II feat (50% faster casting) at Spellcraft 18.

Enhanced Capability

Assassination

Strengths
  • The Reach Attack feat enables melee attacks from the back row.
  • The Quick Strike feats (25% and 50% faster attack speeds with melee weapons) are very useful for increasing the tempo of battle with the hope of ending it more rapidly.
  • The Improved Critical feat doubles the chance of a critical hit.
  • The Master Assassin feat ensures that backstab hits are instant kills.
Weaknesses
  • Some skill points are wasted on increasing Strength.
  • Taking advantage of backstab attacks can require a fair amount of manuvering work.
  • Accuracy is not increased for any weapon.
  • Attack Power is not directly increased for any weapon.
Overall Rating: Moderately Poor, up to skill level 23; Poor, beyond skill level 23
Analysis: The improved attack speed offered by the Quick Strike feats is very worthwhile. Unfortuantely, it comes at the expense of developing good offense with a weapon. Also, the Master Assassin feat, while extremely powerful, can only work in a limited set of circumstances and requires sacrificing development of skill with daggers or in unarmed combat. Investment in this skill up to skill level 23 (Quick Strike I feat) split with Daggers 33 (Flurry of Slashes) is probably the only circumstance under which it is particularly useful. If you intend to have a party member performing melee attacks from the back rank, then investing to skill level 12 may also be sufficient.

Athletics

Strengths
  • The Endurace feat reduces food consumption by one quarter.
  • The Iron Body feat adds +100 Health.
  • Dexterity is increased during progression through this group.
  • Vitality is increased during progression through this group.
  • Health is increased during progression through this group.
Weaknesses
  • Some skill points are wasted on increasing Strength.
  • Some skill points are wasted on boosting Carrying Capacity via the Porter feat.
  • Accuracy and Attack Power are not directly increased for any weapon. Investment in this skill group comes at the expense of more powerful offense.
Overall Rating: Moderately Poor
Analysis: While the generous increases to Dexterity, Vitality, and Health are welcome, the ability to quickly kill monsters is not enhanced in any significant way. Furthermore, skill points are wasted on Strength and Carrying Capacity increases. Although investment in this skill can greatly increase survivability of a party member, it does not increase survivability of the party, which is primarily achieved by annihilating enemies as quickly as possible.

athanatic_cube
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:50 pm

Re: Analysis of Grimrock

Post by athanatic_cube » Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:37 am

Classes

Class affects available skills and Health.

Fighter

Strengths
  • Highest base Health: 35.
  • Contains the highly-rated Swords skill group.
  • Contains the highly-rated Unarmed Combat skill group.
  • Three skill groups grant proficiency in powerful melee weapons.
Weaknesses
  • No support for attacking from the back rank, except via ranged combat.
  • No support for developing proficiency in ranged combat.
  • No support for beneficial effects upon party.
Rogue

Strengths
  • Moderate base Health: 20.
  • Contains the highly-rated Unarmed Combat skill group.
  • Two skill groups grant proficiency in ranged combat.
Weaknesses
  • Moderate base Health: 20.
  • No skill group grants proficiency in powerful melee weapons.
  • No support for beneficial effects upon party.
Mage

Strengths
  • Contains the highly-rated Air Magic skill group.
  • Contains the highly-rated Fire Magic skill group.
  • Contains the highly-rated Ice Magic skill group.
  • Four skill groups grant proficiency in ranged combat.
  • Four skill groups grant significant resistances for the entire party.
Weaknesses
  • Poorest base Health: 10.
Races

Human

Strengths
  • No penalties to skill points.
  • No penalties to primary attributes.
  • No penalty to Food Consumption Rate.
Weaknesses
  • No bonuses to primary attributes.
  • No bonus to Food Consumption Rate.
Insectoid

Strengths
  • Bonus of +1 Dexterity.
  • Bonus of +4 Willpower.
  • Bonus of -15% Food Consumption Rate.
Weaknesses
  • Penalty of -1 skill point.
  • Penalty of -2 Strength.
  • Penalty of -2 Vitality.
Lizardman

Strengths
  • Bonus of +2 Dexterity.
  • No penalty to Food Consumption Rate.
Weaknesses
  • Penalty of -1 skill point.
  • Penalty of -1 Willpower.
  • No bonus to Food Consumption Rate.
Minotaur

Strengths
  • Bonus of +5 Strength.
  • Bonus of +4 Vitality.
  • The Head Hunter racial trait provides a +15 Attack Power bonus by the end of the game, if all 5 skulls are collected.
Weaknesses
  • Penalty of -3 skill points.
  • Penalty of -4 Dexterity.
  • Penalty of -3 Willpower.
  • Penalty of +20% Food Consumption Rate.

athanatic_cube
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:50 pm

Re: Analysis of Grimrock

Post by athanatic_cube » Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:38 am

Traits

The traits available in Grimrock can be placed into the following five categories:
  • Skill: Skilled
  • Primary Attribute: Agile, Athletic, Healthy, Strong Mind
  • Offense: Aggressive, Aura, Fist Fighter, Head Hunter
  • Defense: Cold-blooded, Daemon Ancestor, Evasive, Natural Armor, Poison Resistant
  • Survival: Tough
Skill

Skilled

Effect: +3 skill points at experience level 1 (character creation)
Strengths
  • Can help reach some useful skill levels an experience level earlier.
  • Can help a multi-skilled character achieve development goals.
Weaknesses
  • No long-term effect on attributes or game play.
Suggested Applications
  • Party members who are expected to have some capabilities by certain dungeon levels (and the corresponding experience levels).
  • Party members who need to significantly develop in several skill groups and need the extra points to reach their development goals.
Primary Attribute

Agile

Effect: +2 Dexterity
Strengths
  • Boosts one of the most important primary attributes.
  • A bonus of +2 Accuracy.
  • A bonus of +4 Evasion.
  • If Dexterity is already high, then a bonus of +8 or +9 Fire Resistance.
  • If Dexterity is already high, then a bonus of +8 or +9 Shock Resistance.
Weaknesses
  • Accuracy bonus is wasted on party members who do not engage in melee combat.
  • If Dexterity is low, then bonus Fire Resistance is small.
  • If Dexterity is low, then bonus Shock Resistance is small.
  • No cumulative bonus on Energy or Health.
Suggested Applications
  • Party members with already-high Dexterity, for resistance boosts.
Athletic

Effect: +2 Strength
Strengths
  • A bonus of +1 Attack Power.
  • A bonus of +6 kg Carrying Capacity.
Weaknesses
  • Attack Power bonus is wasted on spell casters.
  • Boosts the least important primary attribute.
  • Bonuses are nearly inconsequential.
  • No cumulative bonus on Energy or Health.
Healthy

Effect: +2 Vitality
Strengths
  • Boosts one of the most important primary attributes.
  • A bonus of +5 Health.
  • If Vitality is already high, then a bonus of +8 to +10 Cold Resistance.
  • If Vitality is already high, then a bonus of +8 to +10 Poison Resistance.
  • Provides a cumulative bonus to Health over experience levels.
Weaknesses
  • If Vitality is low, then bonus Cold Resistance is small.
  • If Vitality is low, then bonus Poison Resistance is small.
Suggested Applications
  • Party members who will not be gaining Vitality or Health as part of character development, to improve their Health gains over time.
  • Party members with already-high Vitality, for the resistance boosts.
Strong Mind

Effect: +2 Willpower
Strengths
  • Boosts a fairly important primary attribute, especially for magic users.
  • A bonus of +5 Energy.
  • Provides a cumulative bonus to Energy over experience levels.
Weaknesses
  • Does not directly improve survivability or combat-related capabilities.
Suggested Applications
  • Party members who will not be gaining Willpower or Energy as part of character development, to improve their Energy gains over time.
  • Player characters who are the only magic users in their parties and who need every scrap of initial and cumulative Energy they can muster.
Offense

Aggressive

Effect: +4 Attack Power
Strengths
  • Equivalent to the Attack Power from +8 Strength.
  • Bonus applies to any kind of melee or ranged attack.
Weaknesses
  • Bonus is not very large in the grand scheme of things. There are daggers which provide thrice as large of a bonus.
Aura

Effect: +15 Energy
Strengths
  • Equivalent to initial boost from +6 Willpower.
Weaknesses
  • Does not have a cumulative effect on Energy as the Strong Mind feat does.
Fist Fighter

Effect: +6 Attack Power when unarmed
Strengths
  • Partially compensates for lack of Attack Power bonus from weapon in the Unarmed Combat skill group.
Weaknesses
  • Emulates the effect of a poor dagger while tying up a precious traits slot.
  • Only applies to unarmed melee combat.
Head Hunter

Effect: +3 Attack Power per skull in inventory; maximum +15 Attack Power by end of game
Strengths
  • Full Attack Power boost is quite respectable, being roughly equivalent to that from a good dagger.
Weaknesses
  • Only members of the Minotaur race can select this trait.
  • Effect is dependent upon items, which must be found and which take up inventory slots.
Suggested Applications
  • Minotaurs who are the sole representative of their race in parties and who will be participating in melee or ranged combat.
Defense

Cold-blooded

Effect: +25 Cold Resistance
Strengths
  • Massive boost to a resistance.
Weaknesses
  • Wastes a traits slot for a single resistance.
  • Cold Resistance is usually not that important in the dungeons.
Daemon Ancestor

Effect: +25 Fire Resistance
Strengths
  • Massive boost to a resistance.
Weaknesses
  • Wastes a traits slot for a single resistance.
Evasive

Effect: +7 Evasion
Strengths
  • Respectable boost to one of the most important secondary attributes.
Weaknesses
  • The Agile trait produces +4 Evasion and provides other boosts as well, especially in the high Dexterity regime.
Suggested Applications
  • Player characters with low Dexterity who need the extra Evasion but cannot afford to improve their Dexterity enough to get other benefits from it.
Natural Armor

Effect: +5 Protection
Strengths: None
Weaknesses
  • Wastes a trait slot marginally increasing a nearly worthless secondary attribute.
  • Only members of the Insectoid race can select this slot.
Poison Resistant

Effect: +25 Poison Resistance
Strengths
  • Massive boost to a resistance.
Weaknesses
  • Wastes a traits slot for a single resistance.
Survival

Tough

Effect: +15 Health
Strengths
  • Good boost to one of the most important secondary attributes.
  • Equivalent to initial boost from +6 Vitality.
Weaknesses
  • The Healthy trait produces +5 Health and provides other boosts as well, especially in the high Vitality regime.
  • Does not have a cumulative effect on Health as the Healthy feat does.
Suggested Applications
  • Player characters with low Vitality who need the extra Health but cannot afford to improve their Vitality enough to get other benefits from it.

athanatic_cube
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:50 pm

Re: Analysis of Grimrock

Post by athanatic_cube » Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:40 am

Open Questions

If you are a player who has taken the time to investigate any of the questions below or if you are one of the Almost Human developers, please feel free to share your answers to these questions:
  • What are the schedules for Attack Power increases in each of the weapons-oriented skills groups? (Alas, this is something I did not track during play.)
  • Which attributes, if any, affect the ability to deliver critical hits?
  • What are the multiplicative factors or extra rolls involved with the various extra-damage feats, such as Jab, Cleave, or Flurry of Slashes?
  • What are the resistances of the various denizens of the dungeons?
  • What are the Protection amounts of the various denizens of the dungeons?
Thoughts for Almost Human

Gratitudes
SpoilerShow
  • Thanks for some enjoyable puzzles, such as the Trails of Thought, the “I need a sacrifice” trap door, the Walkabout, the pressure plate-activated secret door in the undead-haunted area of level 6, the “Westmost” puzzle, the Maze of Confusion, the “throw to the north and east where the shadows meet” puzzle, the Maze of Shadows, the Checkered Room, the Hall of Pillars, the “Made from dead...” iron door opener, the reuse-an-earlier-item iron door opener, and the “hidden in the shadows of the Tomb” puzzle.
  • Grudging thanks for the cast-a-fireball-with-no-provided-hint-to-access-an-important-part-of-the-level puzzle.
  • Thanks for the enjoyable release-Toorum’s-spirit feature.
  • Thanks for the occasional adrenaline rushes, such as the “Enter thy grave” room, the greeting squads at the official entrances to several of the levels, the swarm that emerges from secret chambers at the end of the four scrolls puzzle, Fighter’s Challenge, the poison “firing squad” pit with a Valor item, Fighter’s Challenge - Herder Edition on level 8 (one of my brothers refers to this as the MushRoom), the paralyzing hydras in the floor gratings, and the end fight.
  • Thanks for the little rune buttons that I would’ve missed if I had been less careful in my explorations.
  • Thanks for the pits and the goodies therein.
Suggestions
  • Improve the value of the Protection attribute.
    • Add higher Protection to existing armors.
    • Or, make existing Protection more effective at ablating damage.
  • Improve the value of the Strength attribute.
    • For Strength above 10, let 1 or more points of Attack Power be gained per point of Strength.
    • Let high Strength improve the cooldown rate of melee attacks.
    • Improve Protection so that increased Carrying Capacity is desirable to support heavy armors.
  • Add a few more axes and maces to the dungeon.
  • Relax the timings a little bit in the player coordination/reflex tests to acquire the Sword of Nex and to open the iron door on level 7. Although there is a certain amount of exhilaration from successfully completing these tests, it quickly wears off and is replaced by the feeling of being Almost Human’s well-trained monkey. Those two tests alone have destroyed my desire to replay the game; passing them once was enough for me.
  • Merge the Throwing Weapons skill group into the Dodge skill group to create a more ninja-themed one. Dodge is already a very good skill group but investment in it comes at the expense of offense. Merging it with Throwing Weapons would seem to be a solid move. (Ninja = stealth + stack of Shuriken).
  • Replace the Throwing Weapons skill group with an Illusion skill group.
    • Let the Light and Darkness spells be available by skill level 10.
    • Maybe let the Reach Weapons feat (from Assassination) be available by skill level 20.
    • Let the Invisibility spell be available by skill level 35.
    • Let there be a Shadow Cloak feat to double the Evasion of an equipped cloak. (Same as Stealth from Dodge.)
    • Let there be an Improved Shadow Cloak feat to triple the Evasion of an equipped cloak.
    • Let there be a Paralyzation feat, which has a chance of paralyzing most foes upon a melee hit.
    • Maybe let the level 50 feat be Overwhelming Paralyzation, which is guaranteed to paralyze most foes upon a melee hit.
    • Increase Evasion and Willpower during progression through the skill group.
  • Possibly improve the value of Earth Magic by adding a Neutralize Poison spell as the counterpart to Air Magic’s Invisibility spell.
  • Increase Accuracy and Attack Power with daggers during progression through the Assassination skill group, possibly at a slower rate than with the Daggers skill group. Assassination has some very nice feats, but investment in them comes at the expense of expertise in a weapon. Dagger-wielding assassins seem like a natural thing.
  • Add a Whirl Away feat to Athletics. (Same as Faster than Lightning from Unarmed Combat.) If Strength is improved to offer better Attack Power bonuses, then this and the additional feat should make heavy investment in Athletics a more interesting option, especially for those players who can’t decide on a weapon specialization.
  • Change the skill level 50 feat of Staff Defense to be one of the following:
    • a Globe of Invulnerability spell: like what the Goromorgs have but for the party and for a fairly short duration, such as the shield spells
    • Circle of Protection, Elements: all four of the Circle of Protection feats combined
  • Alternately, replace the Staff Defense skill group with the suggested Illusion one.
  • Also increase Strength during progression through the Armors skill group. (You have to become stronger to wear heavy armors all day, right?) If Strength is improved to offer better Attack Power bonuses and Protection is made more effective, then this will make a large investment in Armors more palatable, especially for those players who can’t decide on a weapon specialization.
Acknowledgements
  • Thanks to my brother, Andrew, who has also played through the game, for proof-reading this document and the edits he contributed.
  • Thanks to Game Banshee for providing equipment and spells databases for me to cross-check this document against during its finishing stages.

athanatic_cube
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:50 pm

Re: Analysis of Grimrock

Post by athanatic_cube » Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:44 am

I'll post my suggested character and party builds another time, possibly in a different thread. (I see that there is already a "Builds" thread - not sure if I want to spam that as my build descriptions are fairly verbose. ;) )

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LiamKerrington
Posts: 116
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:18 am

Re: Analysis of Grimrock

Post by LiamKerrington » Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:33 am

You did it.
What a blast.
I am blown away.

Very incredible and awesome read. Thank you very, very much.

All the best!
Liam
At the end of my first time with "the Legend of Grimrock" - played on default-party, hard, old-school mode:

My first time

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Darklord
Posts: 2001
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:44 pm
Location: England

Re: Analysis of Grimrock

Post by Darklord » Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:14 am

Wow that is detailed! :D

Daniel.
A gently fried snail slice is absolutely delicious with a pat of butter...

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