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Doppelganger? Horrible design or do I just suck? There are 18 replies
Original Message posted by Beartown on 08/04/2012 at 10:33:25AM
So I've been enjoying the game so far despite it's flaws. I've definitely had those "oops you're dead" moments, but generally it's determined on the first or second level if your character has legs or not.

So on my latest playthrough (12 or 13), I'm playing an Amazon on Tower of Magus. I'm doing pretty good. Slaughtering everything after tons of buffs from the divine bow you spawn with. If you haven't played this quest, every level is filled with companions (mostly human) who you can also kill (sometimes twice, as some of them will resapwn into monsters) to continue ramping up the divine bonuses. Not that one really have a choice since they're so detrimental if you don't kill them (which I'll get to later).

So I get to the stairs and am now on level 4. I few steps out I get a dialog window and apparently an enemy called "doppelganger" has appeared, which shares all your gear and stats (including HP). At that point I had 175HP and was killing the quest's demons in 2-3 shots, the human companions in 1-2.

She shoots me: 1 damage.
I return fire: 1 damage.

At this point I'm thinking, "well, I guess I'm fucked now," seeing as now I have to fight an identical copy of my character, along with all the normal enemies of the level AND half the companions she slaughters resurrect into more guys to kill me. The only chance I figured I had was to scour as much of the fucking level as I could before dying to try and find some item to exploit (like resurrection). Suffice to say another 20 minutes of time was wasted searching in vain as I died a very tedious death.

A very successful character I had spent the last two hours building up, and the game apparently decided: "hey, fuck you for trying to win."

So my question is this: is the doppelganger an absolutely godawful enemy design, or is there something I'm missing about defeating it? It's one thing for there to be a difficult enemy with some trick or strategy requisite to conquer. Another is an enemy that says "you lose" unless you luck your way into finding the specific randomly generated item which could possibly give you an advantage (even that is only speculative on my part.)

Frankly, it's a shame that an otherwise passable game is now something I probably won't play again. With the knowledge that at any point an insurmountable roadblock may be placed in my way, regardless of how strong my character is or my performance leading up to it, wasting all the time I had invested in that playthrough, what's the point?

An aside: companions are basically unusable. With just one, I end up accidentally attacking it half the time, turning it hostile and have to put it down. God forbid you try to recruit more. Trying to move square to square with 3+ as every one of them takes it's own turn requires an absolute eternity. Have to backtrack? Good luck, as every one of them is blocking the way.
 
 Replies To This Post:
 
Sitanel
on 05/08/2012 at 7:18:06AM
Total Posts: 0
When I saw him, the first thing I did was to edit my hp to 999 hehehe then after I won I accidentally started a new game...
 
Onyx Tanuki
on 28/07/2012 at 5:12:37AM
Total Posts: 0
Something I'm curious about; when does the Doppleganger spawn? When you first arrive on the level or when you actually encounter it? Because if the former, it might be effective to grab a melee weapon as backup on a ranged character (or vice versa) and switch to it before stepping up to the 4th floor. I suppose the same could be done in the latter case if you just switch weapons before you open each door, but there's a possibility of a befriended character opening a door before you're ready so that plan might fall if you keep allies alive...
 
Linkshot
on 12/05/2012 at 8:00:57PM
Total Posts: 0
Having the game decide "Here's a brick wall. Show me how you plan to overcome it." is traditional in roguelikes.
 
SharpNomo
on 12/05/2012 at 7:34:24PM
Total Posts: 1
David Williamson wrote:
> The doppelganger is a very tough enemy. Thankfully he doesn't
> appear every time you play. It looks like your armour was so high
> that it was cancelling out your damage. In this instance I would
> switch to my magical backup weapon which ignores the enemies
> defence score. He would be doing one damage a round whilst you
> would be doing up to your maximum.

By the time that I got to him, my Amazon had 70 hp, regeneration, magic defense, swift, and resurrection. I was in the middle of fighting a large group of enemies ( it was a large room), when one enemy decided to open the door to the doppleganger's ( more like gang-banger's) room. Since I was using my swift weapon to escape to a vantage point at the time, the doppleganger had the swift weapon to attack me while I could not think of what to do and was quickly overrun. I agree with Beartown that it is dumb that you could have spent an hour or more on a character, and just have the game decide to screw you over. This was also annoying to me personally, as the last run I did of this quest, the stairs weren't there on lvl 3 and I had to quit due to no way to the next floor. Other than stuff like this enemy and the stairs glitch, I find this game very enjoyable.
 
Sagachaca
on 10/05/2012 at 6:42:58AM
Total Posts: 0
It's not even horrible design or a bad choice, it's just an obstacle that you have to approach differently.  You *probably* don't have a perfect character, so there are some weaknesses.  If you plan ahead you can exploit that weakness (or even engineer it such that the doppelganger is spawned with a certain weakness). 

Keep in mind that now you know the doppelganger can appear - and if you pay attention for level feelings you can prepare.  Also, keep in mind that there are 6 elements with unique effects and the option of magic attacks to bypass normal defense (that is, no magic defense).  Something should be able to help you out.

And maybe some of your resources are depleted/lost in defeating the doppelganger.  Adapt.  That's part of the game, too.



Yes, it's frustrating that you do your best to make a powerful character, only to have that work thrown back at you.  Just think of it as a new challenge that gives you the opportunity to get creative.

As an aside, I generally share your opinion about companions, with a few exceptions.  More often than not they just slow things down and draw in more enemies than want (shadeform allies are the worst for this).  I'm usually using a divine or necro weapon, so companions do a good job of boosting my stats.
 
Thasika
on 03/05/2012 at 5:10:10AM
Total Posts: 0
So I just fought the Doppel for the first time, and was pretty sure I would die a horrible death. Then i noticed he was not healing from regen while I was. Is he/she/it unable to make use of regen?
 
Beav
on 14/04/2012 at 8:37:07AM
Total Posts: 0
Resartus, just ignore Beartown, he's just an angry man with a low IQ.
 
bossonova
on 11/04/2012 at 3:50:32AM
Total Posts: 0
its not a horrible design just a bad choice.  To reach level 4 out of 5 on a quest and if you don't get the right weapons, armor, items, etc...  you don't stand a chance against the doppleganger.  alot of people get turned off by this especially when they put in a couple hours of just trying to get to level 4.  I haven't been able to put this game down since i bought it on steam on sale last week.  I do enjoy a good challenge but there are alot of games out there to play as well.  Like Legend of Grimrock comes out tommorrow and i will be putting my time into that game instead of playing with this doppleganger.  Then after time lose interest in the doppleganger and the game goes on the back shelf.  such a pity.  I will give props to david williamson for such a good game despite its obvious setbacks.  He did a good job after all since he got my money out of it.
 
luxionmk2
on 10/04/2012 at 6:28:13PM
Total Posts: 0
Resartus wrote:
> Doppelganger isn't there. Or you just try to run if he is. Or you
> temporarily throw away your armor before you open each door.
> Or...well, you see where I am going with this.

I didn't find your post offensive :)

Anyways, another encounter with the Doppelganger, another story to tell.  I was wearing armor that had psychic damage vulnerability, and my backup weapon did psychic damage, so I figured that I was ready to face the doppelganger whenever I ran into him.  I did roughly twice as much damage to him as he was doing to me, but we started with over 100.  SADLY, I had a Life+1 accessory, and he respawned.  Sapped so much of my resources (life) to fight him...

I should just have left troublesome equipment at the start of the dungeon floor when I'm expecting to encounter the doppelganger.
 
Resartus
on 10/04/2012 at 10:20:27AM
Total Posts: 0
Beartown,

I thought my use of one of these smiley things would be a hint that what I wrote was partly in jest. Apparently not, so my apology if you think I was making fun of you.

The point I was trying to convey still stands though: Learning by dying is something that while harsh, can be very rewarding if you focus less on the need to "win" every situation, especially the first time you encounter it. Just think about your next stab at this mission. From now on, before entering the fourth floor you will probably prioritize finding a backup weapon that would do well against yourself. For that, you probably have to throw away an otherwise better item. Or you don't and hope the Doppelganger isn't there. Or you just try to run if he is. Or you temporarily throw away your armor before you open each door. Or...well, you see where I am going with this.
 
Beartown
on 10/04/2012 at 2:41:55AM
Total Posts: 0
Resartus wrote:
> Beartown,
>
> you write that you like to discover things yourself. Well,
> that's precisely what you did in your first Doppelgänger
> encounter.:)
Another illiterate in the peanut gallery come to spout judgmental nonsense I see.
 
Resartus
on 09/04/2012 at 10:14:01PM
Total Posts: 0
Beartown,

you write that you like to discover things yourself. Well, that's precisely what you did in your first Doppelgänger encounter.:)
Seriously, learning by dying is very rogue-like and can make for some of the most memorable moments. I just made it to level 5 of Tower of Magus and learned the hard way which type of resistance is needed there. Had the most epic chase, frantically trying to find the right item with almost the entire level on my heels. In the end I got cornered and beaten to a pulp, but it was still brilliant gameplay and that's what it's about. That's the reason I even like how anticlimactic winning is in HSL. Just a reset and that's it.
 
luxionmk2
on 09/04/2012 at 9:43:55PM
Total Posts: 0
I think I got lucky the first time I encountered the Doppleganger (as a Knight).  My backup weapon was had the "quick" trait.  We traded blows and then I ran away, allowing the double-action to put space between us and regen'ing my health in the process.

First thing I noticed:
He doesn't appear to regenerate health like I did, despite having the same equipment.  So once I had enough to take some extra hits, I traded blows with him again until he went down.

Then I spent the next couple of dozen turns regenerating my life.
 
Beartown
on 09/04/2012 at 3:39:54AM
Total Posts: 0
Beav wrote:
> funny how people just stop playing a game when they get to a hard
> part...
Funny how people with poor reading comprehension make incorrect assumptions which lead to silly posts like yours.

As I detailed in my post, I have no issue with a difficult scenario. It's when such a scenario leaves you with the feeling you had absolutely no chance for success and no idea of what mistakes you had made which caused you to lose where I become frustrated.

The revelation that there *are* multiple weapon slots now does change things (as that wasn't an option in the original release). Personally I don't like to read documentation and prefer unearthing game mechanics as I play, and didn't even notice the tiny backup weapon slot on the somewhat cluttered HUD. Is it possible to make that more discoverable somehow? I have to think there are others playing the game who also have no idea it exists.

In retrospect some of my statements were overly harsh. Very frustrated, I came here not only to see if someone had figured a solution, but to vent some of that frustration. I do apologize David, and it's great how you actively participate here to answer your players' questions and concerns.
 
Beav
on 08/04/2012 at 2:58:16PM
Total Posts: 0
funny how people just stop playing a game when they get to a hard part...  I love a challenge, can't wait to meet a doppleganger!  Nice to find another rogue-like game with graphics like Dungeon Crawl (check it out, way more complicated if you prefer it).

Love this game!
 
David Williamson
Moderator
on 08/04/2012 at 11:21:28AM
Total Posts: 2
Press [x] or click the backup weapon slot in the UI to swap weapons.
 
Beartown
on 08/04/2012 at 11:19:25AM
Total Posts: 0
As far as I can tell, in the version I'm playing (FB7c, latest on Steam) you can only carry one weapon. Am I missing something in the UI, or maybe there's a newer version somewhere?
 
David Williamson
Moderator
on 08/04/2012 at 11:12:26AM
Total Posts: 2
The doppelganger is a very tough enemy. Thankfully he doesn't appear every time you play. It looks like your armour was so high that it was cancelling out your damage. In this instance I would switch to my magical backup weapon which ignores the enemies defence score. He would be doing one damage a round whilst you would be doing up to your maximum.

Another tactic would be to carry a fire damage backup and swap that in. After a few hits you would start destroying his equipment and break the deadlock. Once you are confident enough that you out power him switch back to your primary and finish him off.

And if your backup weapon does magical fire damage then you are sorted.

You can also do a similar thing with lightning damage to stun him, psychic damage to reduce his stats, or poison to poison him, but these aren't nearly as effective as the tactics above.