Durlindana – Extended Guide
Durlindana is an old school, single player Role Playing Game with a strong tense towards hard core players. In other words, Durlindana is a tough game. It is designed to be this way, but it’s also true that, when entered in the logic of the game, everyone can get the most of it.
Someone, in the first comments on the game, lamented the lack of ease, the hardness of the first quests, the difficulty of the combat system…
Yes, all true, Durlindana is hard to play in the first steps. Its difficulty derives from the fact that the player is totally weak, unprotected and unarmed, while the foes seem very strong.
I assume (I have proof of tested persons playing) that a moderate experienced gamer, a medium pc-gamer or an aged player (who were playing the very hard games of 80’s, 90’s and so on) can more or less easily overcome all the difficulties of Durlindana, and this guide is probably redundant to them.
So, let’s see how a casual, smartphone-grown, modern player can achieve all the game’s beauty without going mad.
It’s important to know how the game works in its
- the story goes ahead completing Quests, which at the current state, are 50
- the Quests are increasingly challenging and they are subsequent (you cannot go past one if you don’t accomplish the requests)
- you cannot really die and the game it’s never over, but you should always look at your Vigor, the indicator of your health: it starts at 30 and slightly improves with the skill Strength; essentially, if your Vigor goes zero, you loose the combat or joust
- the player (or the hero, the knight, etc.) can make actions during the day; an in-game day consists of 3 parts: morning, evening and night; you cannot see the hours, but they exist 😉
- almost every action costs Energy and makes time (hours) pass
- Energy is the indicator of your actual stamina or resistence: it can at max. be 10, and can be recovered with sleep/rest or food
- the player needs to empower his skills and equipment to become stronger
- the primary skills are: Strength, Dexterity, Agility; the fourth skill is Jousting
- Strength is the basic amount of damage you can do (it’s added to the weapon’s damage stat in combat) and determines the weapons/armors you can carry
- Dexterity is the basic skill for fighting and determines how and if you can hit the foes; it’s also useful in stealing and getting more money when exploring and hunting; having Dexterity zero (reduced by equipment) means that your attacks will always miss (altough there is a very little random chance to hit anyway)
- Agility is the dodge skill, so the more you have, the more you will be able to avoid hits from foes; having Agility zero (reduced by equipment) means that every enemy attack will hit you, so to be clear; since armors/weapons tend to reduce it a lot, you must find the more efficient way to have good skills and good protection/attack (this consideration is valid for Dexterity, too)
- Jousting is useful, obviously, in jousts/tournaments: in terms of play, it determines how slow the white indicator will move on the screen, so the more you are able to joust, the slower the indicator will move, and the better you will be able to tap the target at the right time; moreover, a part of this skill is added to the damage of the lance, so the more the skill, the heavier the hit
- improving the skills costs money and experience and must be done in Arena
- improving the equipment costs money and requires an amount of Strength (the stronger the armor/weapon, the stronger you are required to be) and must be done in Armory, except for lances and horses (Guild) and falcons (Fortress); apart some basic stuff, every combat equipment reduce Agility and Dexterity
- how to make money is at your choice: there are jobs offered by the 3 institutions (Church, Fortress, Guild), but money can also be found exploring remote areas, hunting (amount related to your Dexterity) or playing dices/cards at the tavern…
- jobs are differentiated by the challenge level (0-3 skulls), time required and Honor required: apart 0-skull ones, many jobs will require you to fight, so at the beginning only choose 0-1 skulls jobs! This is very important: if for one day there are only jobs with more difficulty, just go in tavern and pass the time, or do something else until you reach a decent equipment and skills (at least quest 10)
- Honor is another important indicator: it determines how well you are respected and in terms of play, it gives access to jobs, tournaments and nobiliar titles; it goes from -100 to +100 and can be spent in buying titles
- Experience is a very useful trait of the hero: with it, you can train skills, so it needs to be always gained and spent, for all the duration of the game; it goes from 0 to 99
Resting and curing
First of all, you should always keep an eye on your Vigor, your health. When you need to cure, make a stop to the church: they want to be paid but the service is very efficient. And they are open also at night 😉
Energy is a value that goes down extremely fast (remember every actions take Energy), so you’ll often be looking to restore it. You have multiple choices:
- Eat in Tavern – very fast, but not so cheap
- Rest in tavern – needs a variable 6-10 hours but you can rest free of charge (little effects) or paying a cost for medium or complete restoration
- Camp out of city – if you need to recover Energy when you go outside, camping is the solution: the amount of Energy recovered depends on the time you decide to rest, and there is a little chance to do unpleasant encounters… but hey, it’s free!
Many of those options permit to recover a little amount of Vigor, too.
First jobs & missions
It’s very important to pay attention to one thing, when choosing a job: the difficulty.
All jobs have a difficulty rate, that goes from zero (no risk) to 3 skulls (very risky). A 0-skulls job will be automatically accomplished, so it is recommended to accept only this kind of employ at the very first steps in the game or when you are low in Vigor. In fact, you could choose also 1-skull jobs and it’s very probable that you will survive, if you will read at least the Fighting paragraph of this guide.
When the hero will reach at least the 10th quest, all the game starts to be a little harder, or actually it only starts to be as challenging as it was intended.
So, when you start adventuring in Durlindana, if for a day there is no job with difficulty 0/1, just rest in the tavern and pass the night or do something else. Don’t risk to loose all your Vigor for a very remunerating 3-skulls job!
Ok, let’s say you have understood this lesson and want only 0/1 risk jobs… but hey, many of them are restricted by Honor requisite!
You will note that many things in this game are accessed by previous control of Honor: you gain titles with Honor, join Jousts, obtain better jobs and, if you are outside city at night and want to enter inside the walls, you will need a certain amount of Honor. When you do an action, you gain or loose Honor, for this reason it’s better to forge a good reputation and maintain it.
When you need to boost Honor rapidly, there is no better place than the church: again, they need to be paid to spread a good or very good word for you, but there is also a chance that a simple, free pray will be noticed by citizens and you get a +1 Honor.
Otherwise, many jobs will give some Honor points, but be aware that there are also bad jobs that decrease your reputation! It’s up to you how to recognize them, so read the job title, if your intent is not to go down in Honor.
Honor can also be slithly raised by completing quests, exploring, searching in City…
Another chance to increase Honor is to… well, win the Joust… yes, not so easy at beginning, but this is matter of another paragraph.
And be aware that playing too much in the tavern could drive down your reputation!
Train your hero fast as much as you can: raise Strength very soon to get better equipments, and the other skills when they are reduced by the same equipment. Remember that the Arena trainers are unavailable at Joust days.
Buy a better weapon and improve the armors when you have enough money and strength, so open up often the door of the Armory because they only promote 3 pieces of weapons and 3 pieces of armors (one helm, one armor and one shield) every day.
Fights are the most important thing for a digital fantasy RPG, you all know. Although the game has evolved to be more user friendly, there are probably some aspects that are not too clear for the casual gamer.
I hope that everyone can understand the function of the attack time: you have an attack speed, which is function of your Agility; when the bar reaches max, you are ready to attack.
But the combat system cannot be limited to only pressing when ready, there must be something more. Something capable to change the static play. In fact, these are the true strategic aspects of the combat system and must be understood to compete at maximum level.
All this atrategic aspect attains to the combat modes.
What are combat modes? When you are in a fight (not jousting), you see three wide rectangles on the left side of the screen: these are the combat modes, or the specific attitude you decide to temporary assign to your knight. You can pass from an attitude to another by pressing on it, assuming this rule is respected: the change can occur only when you are not ready, and when a foe is not attacking.
There are three modes, from top to bottom, and two of them give specific bonus/malus to the stats of the hero:
- Assault – bonus to attack chances (Dexterity), damage and speed; malus (very hard!) to protection (armors) and dodge (Agility)
- Standard – no bonus/malus
- Defensive – great bonus to protection and dodge; malus (great) to attack speed and (slight) to damage and attack chance.
So said, how to use them properly? Well, it should be probably clear enough to all that there is only a…
Tip of all tips
Attack in Assault mode and defend in Defensive mode.
Easy, fast, exhaustive.
In other words: almost every enemy is slower than the hero, so start the fight assigning immediately the assault mode, trying to make a good damage; then switch rapidly to defensive mode and absorb the hit of your opponent; at this point all the strategy is related to be able to switch from assault to defensive and viceversa. Just note the speed of the opponent’s attacks and act accordingly: you should manage to be in defensive mode only when he attacks and then switch back to assault.
One problem could occur: this is easy enough when you face only one opponent, but what about two or three opponents that have different attack speed? Okay, are you here to play a challenging game or to win without efforts???
Why should I explore/hunt?
In general, exploring and hunting are good ways to make some money (and experience, too).
The amount of money you can get is function of your Dexterity (for hunting), the predetermined amount of gold of the area (for exploring), the risk of the action and the presence and type of the falcon.
So, for instance, hunting at the first steps of the game, with a low Dexterity and no falcon at your service, and at the base 1-skull risk, will give you a very little amount of money if you succeed. Otherwise, a 3-skulls risky hunting with good dexterity (at least 20) and a level 2 falcon, will make you probably gain a good pack of coins.
Exploring is a bit different: every area outside the city is filled with a predetermined treasure at the start of the game: this means that every time you start a new adventure from the beginning, the system assigns the treasures to the areas randomly, so every area will have a different amount of coins. Every time the hero explores an area and gets some money, this is subtracted from the treasure assigned to that area, until there will be no more money to “farm”. Again, the treasure found in every explore attempt is function of the risk (1-skull will give less than 3-skulls, of course), the Dexterity and the quality of the falcon.
Horses and falcons
Falcons are also useful in another way: they help you find enemies when you search in the city or explore in the outside areas, so a good falcon will make you save time and energy, because they give a variable bonus in searching, depending on its quality or level.
Horses can accelerate your trips between the areas, in fact you can notice a drastic reduction of the energy spent on travels when you buy a horse! And don’t forget the bonus they give to the Joust skill, they literally can double your stat! Moreover, at least a basic horse is needed to join the jousts.
Jousts give you money, experience and honor, so join them as soon as you can. Let’s see how the joust system works.
First of all there are some requirements needed to participate in a joust:
- a lance – you find it in the Guild
- a full armor set – a helm, a chest armor and a shield
- a horse – you find it in the Guild
- the joust rights – you can request the rights with an audience in the Keep
- a minimum amount of Honor
- a minimum title
When you have all these, apply to the joust and let the tournament begin! (remember that you can join the joust only at morning)
The Joust screen shows the opponent with his health in the upper side; at the lower side, you see the current and total turns, the current round of the turn, your Vigor and the round target: this last one is to be pressed when you see the white indicator over the green circle at the center. The speed of the indicator is inversely proportional to your Joust skill, so the more the skill, the slower the indicator goes (high skill means you can hit more precisely, right?), while the radius (width) of the green circle is determined by the level of the joust: wide at level 1, narrow and more narrow at levels 2/3.
When you press the target, your knight attempts to hit, but also the opponent has a chance to hit you. If you succeed to hit the opponent (pressing at the right time), the damage is determined by your Strength and Joust skills and by your lance damage and compared to the protection of the opponent. On his side, the opponent’s joust skill is compared to yours and, if he hits you, your protection is subtracted by his level of damage.
Level 1 jousts consist of 3 turns, level 2 of 6 turns and level 3 of 9 turns: at the end of any turn, if alive, you are rewarded with a slight cure to your Vigor, so don’t depress too much if an opponent brings your Vigor down, it’s important to win 😉