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Party Creation Suggestions

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There are numerous combinations of races and guilds in Mordor. Certain specific combinations have been proven to work well, allowing the use of a large variety of items and spells, permitting greater success in the dungeon, and ultimately making the game more fun.

Contents

Character abilities

There are several core character abilities in Mordor. They are:

  • Melee (fighting) ability
  • Healing spells
  • Thieving ability
  • Offensive spells
  • Resistance spells
  • Seeker abilities
  • Charm spells

Melee ability

Melee ability can be broken down into offensive and defensive ability. Offensive ability is influenced by a variety of character traits, but defense is primarily dependent on your characters' Defense score. A high Defense is probably the most useful trait in all of the game -- it will allow your characters to survive at greater depths for longer durations, earning experience rapidly and collecting good-quality loot.

Your Defense score is derived from three sources: your stats, your equipped items, and your guild abilities. The largest portion comes from your guild abilities: at high levels, guild-based Defense can vary by as much as 100 points, which translates into three or more dungeon levels' worth of safe travel.

There are four "fighting" guilds which provide high Defense: Warrior, Paladin, Ninja, and Seeker. (Villains also have high Defense, but have poor abilities otherwise, and are rarely played.) Leveling in one of these guilds will greatly increase the hardiness of your characters. Nomad also provides high Defense scores, but plateaus far sooner than the other guilds. Nomads are very powerful in the early part of the game but are quite a bit weaker in the end.

Offensive ability is a combination of character Strength, your Attack score, your weapon's Damage Modifier, your character's Size, your guild's Fighting, Critical Hit, Backstab, and Multiple Swings ability scores, and your guild level.

Healing spells

Healing spells are second only to Defense score in importance to your characters' survivability. They will permit you to stay in the dungeon longer, fight tougher monsters, descend to deeper levels, and, naturally, stay alive.

Healing spells are also an important part of your characters' longevity: most Aging in the game is caused by returning to town with less-than-full HP. Be sure to heal fully before returning to town each time, and your skin will remain baby-smooth.

The Healer's guild provides the best healing spells by far. Mages also gain healing spells, but they are only about half as effective; Paladins and Villain's healing spells are less than a third as effective. Healers are also the only guild which can cast Raise spells: the Morgue can raise characters, but it is expensive, inconvenient, and unreliable.

If for some reason you cannot include a Healer in your party, there are several healing items available in the dungeon which work moderately well.

Thieving ability

There are several components to thieving ability: trap opening, trap identification, the Charm of Opening spell, and resistance to monsters' Thieving attacks. Party Initiative can also be considered a thieving skill: it is solely based on Dexterity, and thieves typically have the highest dex in a party.

The ability to open traps is of obvious use: all items to be found in the dungeon are contained within chests or boxes, and most of them are trapped. As you go deeper in the dungeon, the traps become more dangerous, and a skilled thief can minimize the amount of damage your party takes. A good thief is also of great importance for avoiding or disarming the much-hated Slime trap.

In the course of a single dungeon run, your party might encounter a dozen or more Magically Locked chests; the ability to cast Charm of Opening cheaply is of great use.

When calculating monsters' Thieving attacks, the game uses the thieving skills of the currently-selected character (in the Party window). Therefore, it is important that your party's thief be kept selected as you travel through the dungeon; otherwise, you will lose many items to thieving monsters. Initiative is also based on the currently-selected character, so be sure to keep your thief selected.

The Thief's guild gives the best thieving skills by far. They get Charm of Opening for a minimum cost of only 3 SP, the excellent Crest of the Thief, and the ability to ID and disarm traps far beyond all other guilds with thieving skills. Therefore, it is highly recommended you include one Thief in all your parties. Only one thief per party is generally needed; it is rare to need a "backup thief".

Offensive spells

Sufficient melee ability can carry your party through most of the game, but the usefulness of offensive spells should not be overlooked. When facing certain dangerous monsters, you must either flee or kill them quickly, and the fastest way to kill your foes is with the right spell. Aggressive use of spellcasting abilities can allow you party to safely delve deeper in the dungeon and progress faster through the game.

Offensive spells are also the fastest way to gain XP in the game. A single spell against a large group of foes can earn the caster thousands of XP in an instant. For this reason, it is useful to have all characters join a spellcasting guild.

Sorcerers recieve the best spectrum of offensive spells in the game, particularly the Element_Spells and at high levels, Electric Field. But the other guilds have good spells as well: Healers get Leprosy and Word of Death; Mages get Field of Death and Precognative Death; and Wizards get both Precognative Death and Word of Death. All the spellcasting guilds (except Seeker) also get a large variety of other offensive spells, of varying effectiveness.

Resistance spells

As you descend deeper into the dungeon, Resistances gain greater and greater importance. On the deepest levels, you cannot survive without the correct resistances. A few items grant resistance to certain types of attacks, but to be fully protected, you must cast Resistance Spells as well.

Several guilds gain Resistance Spells, but Sorcerers gain them the fastest and cheapest, allowing you to save your SP for healing or offensive spells. Sorcerers also gain Visual Spells and Protection Spells, which are of similar value in keeping your party alive.

Seeker abilities

Seekers are experts at two related but distinct types of abilities: Perception ability and Location and Movement Spells. The Seeker's guild practices both abilities better than any other guild.

Of greatest importance is that Seekers get higher Perception scores than any other guild. A few levels in Seeker will give your character higher Perception than he or she would gain from hundreds of levels in other guilds. A high Perception helps you to spot dungeon features, such as Anti-Magic squares, pits, chutes, teleporters, and so on. It may also aid in the identification of monsters. Perception does not, however, affect the identification of items: that is solely based on your Int, Wis, and highest guild level (of any guild).

Movement spells are not necessary to the gameplay of Mordor, but they are a great convenience in many circumstances. Certain dungeon levels are far easier to navigate through the use of Ethereal Portal; teleported parties are easier to reassemble with the use of Soul Search and Displacement; and at high levels, the dungeon can be swiftly traversed through the use of Teleport.

Unfortunately, using Movement spells comes with a great price: the risk of Rocking your party. Rocking is the single most dangerous event in the entire game, so if you do use Movement spells, use them very cautiously. Most players accidentally Rock their party eventually, and many resort to restoring a backup to recover their party following such an event. This is cheating... but the alternative is usually the end of your party.

Charm spells

Charm Spells (and their "companion", Bind Spells) are gained by one guild only: Mages. Charm spells are not needed to win the game, although powerful companions can greatly aid your progress through the dungeon.

One of the best uses of charm spells is to charm at least one of every monster type you meet in the dungeon (excepting those that are Charm Resistant). If you fill the Companion Store with a large variety of monsters, then monster quests can be trivial to complete: just buy the monster from the store, kick it out of your party, and charm it back. Voila, quest completed.

Party Recommendations

Two, three, and four character parties are all effective in different configurations. Here are several race/guild pairings which have been known to work well.

Two-Character Parties

Two-character parties can progress rapidly through Mordor 1.1. However, once you get to the lower levels, you may pin quickly, requiring frequent trips between the dungeon and town. Two characters are enough to provide all the core character abilities in Mordor, although each character may need to level in three or more guilds.

Example 1

  • Giant Warrior/Seeker
  • Dwarf or Human Warrior/Healer/Thief

This is a very basic two-character party, almost like a solo-plus. Two Warriors (including a Giant) provide substantial melee power, and a versatile Dwarf or Human can join all the guilds a party will need to prevail. This party is powerful and easy to manage, and may be a good choice for those new to Mordor.

The biggest drawback of this party is that it is not very well balanced: the Dwarf (or Human) will spend a lot of time leveling in Warrior, Healer, and Thief, and possibly other guilds as well, such as Sorcerer. The Giant only needs to level in Warrior and a little bit of Seeker.

Example 2

  • Osiri Seeker/Thief/Healer
  • Gnome Paladin/Mage (Good)

This is an unusual combination that probably works best as a legacy party. This two person party was surprisingly successful, although it has not been tested on the lowest level yet. The Osiri does get adequate melee skills from the Seeker guild and the Thief/Healer combo is very effective once the various spells start to reach minimum mana costs. Once the guild crests are acquired, mana limits don't pose much of a problem actually. The Paladin/Mage combo is also excellent. Paladins possess excellent melee skills, have access to some healing capabilities and in general are a very nice alternative to the Warrior guild. Mages can be very powerful as well. Charming and controlling monsters for companions is a key to the success of this duo, and with a little practice is actually very easy. This combo MAY be frustrating for beginners to try, as early deaths would be fairly common if they are not legacy characters. One other note is the Osiri will take quite a while to get enough XP in all three guilds, but once she/he does, it will be well worth it. Patience is always the key to Mordor anyway.

Example 3

  • Human Warrior/Thief/Sorcerer
  • Elf Seeker/Healer

This is another combination that works better when either played as a legacy party, or at the very least by a more experienced dungeon dweller. The human gets the needed melee skills from the Warrior guild. Offensive spells are brought in by the Sorcerer guild and the Thieving skills of human, while not that of an Osiri, are more than adequate. Elves are an under used race in Mordor, but combining the melee skills of the Seeker guild with their high perception ability and their excellent Movement spells makes for a powerful enough character. Add to this the excellent offensive and Healing spells of the Healer guild and you get a nicely balanced character. An advantage of this combination is both characters will have access to Resistance spells, the Human from Sorcerer guild and the Elf from the Seeker guild. Party balance will not be too tricky to maintain with this combo, as even though the elf has a higher racial XP modifier, it will be offset by the human maintaining three guilds as opposed to the elf's two.

Three-Character Parties

Three-character parties are a very effective and popular way to play Mordor. With three characters it is very easy to cover the four basic skills needed to succeed. Having all three specialize in two guilds can make for an awesome party, one that has access to virutally all spells and every piece of equipment you will come across in the dungeon. The combinations are endless, and as long as you make sure to cover all the bases success will just be a matter of time.

Example 1

  • Giant Warrior/Seeker
  • Dwarf Warrior/Healer
  • Osiri Thief/Sorcerer

This is a classic three-character Mordor 1.1 party. It is well-balanced, and favored by several experienced players.

Giants are the best fighters in the game and will add serious muscle to the party. They can't join any guilds besides Nomad, Warrior, and Seeker, although Seeker skills greatly increase their utility. Seekers have excellent Perception, all the Movement spells, and several other useful non-combat spells. No party should be without a Seeker.

Healing spells greatly increase your party's durability and survivability, so every party should also have a Healer. Versatile Dwarves can join both the Warrior and Healer guilds, a truly powerful combination. In addition to Healing spells, Healers get several useful offensive spells, including Word of Death, the strongest spell in the dungeon, and Leprosy, the most useful early-level offensive spell.

Due to their high dexterity, Osiris make the most able thieves in all of Mordor. Without a good thief, you will take a lot of damage from trapped chests, lose items to Slime traps and thieving monsters, and struggle with Magically-locked chests. In addition to their prowess as thieves, Osiri's high dexterity improves your party's initiative: if you keep your highest-dex character selected, your party is likely to attack first in combat.

Osiri are also effective spellcasters, and an Osiri Sorcerer will balance a Dwarf Healer nicely. Sorcerers have several excellent offensive spells as well as the best Resistance spells in the game.

Four-Character Parties

Four-character parties are quite powerful, although you must be careful to shift party order around while exploring to balance their progression. A well-rounded party of four has little to fear in the depths. The main challenge in running a four-character party is patience: it can take a while before all four characters are ready for the next level. One common mistake with larger parties is to push the party too fast, thinking there is safety in numbers -- the weaker members of the party will pay the price.

With a party of four, your characters should concentrate on two guilds each, although you have some liberty to experiment with unorthodox combinations.

Party Management and Strategy

Don't hesitate to use your spellcasters' offensive spells once they reach their minimum costs; spellcasters can dispatch large monster groups quickly to earn a lot of XP, which will counterbalance Giants' tendency to kill everything and pin first.

Shifting party order around while exploring is also critical; the party leader gets in the most attacks and will pin faster than the other characters.


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