The Let's Play Archive

Vampires Dawn II

by TheMcD

Part 35: Update XXVIII - Power Of Money

Update XXVIII - Power Of Money

♪ BGM: Asgar's Castle - blood009.mid

Alright, time to get this show on the road. We're back in Asgar's castle, and we have some new guests!

And now it's time to reveal the crux of The Secret Plan. The price of the mercenaries is calculated as follows: If Valnar's level is lower than 10, it's 100 Filar. If Valnar's level is 10 or higher, it's 20 Filar times Valnar's level. So the moment you hit level 10 with Valnar, the price of mercenaries doubles, and it only goes up from there. That's bad, because what we really need is numbers. So by staying at a low level and saving as much cash as we can, we can hire about 140 mercenaries. Now, imagine we were level 10 because we didn't do this as early as possible, we didn't spend all that time looking for secrets, and we bought equipment and stuff. We would be a lot worse off, and that would be an issue. More on that in a bit once we get into a bit of numbers with the combat.

For now...

1) Yes, give me more men... - 2) No, not right now...
How many men do you need? You can afford 145...

We're gearing up for war.

All right, 99 mercenaries are on their way to this castle. Thanks for the 9900 Filar!

As an aside, there's a bit of an issue with The Secret Plan, but we'll get to that once we encounter that issue. For now, it's time to sally forth, and conquer!

Now, we have 99 mercenaries to play with. We end up leaving 30 mercenaries in Asgar's castle for defense, and the rest will be attacking Castle Wharis.

On Easy and Normal, we would be getting a description of our and our enemy's army strengths. On Hard, we get to eat shit, daddy-o. Now, it's time to engage in combat.

♪ BGM: Castle Battle - VD2Burgkampf.mid

Alright, so here's how castle battles work. We start off with the front selection, which is completely pointless for us, since we have interchangeable units.

After we select the front type, battle is joined! How does battle work? Well...

The basic gist is this. Every unit has a "strength" value assigned to it. Here's the list:

- Mercenaries: 13
- Vampire warriors: 15
- Vampire mages: 17
- Vampire lords: 25
- Werewolves: 35

- Elras mages: 20

- Clan warriors: 15

What do those values do? They're stuffed into an equation, and the result determines who lives or dies. Let's do it with an example. Currently, we have clan warriors facing off against mercenaries, so that means 13 strength units are facing off against 15 strength units...

...except it's not. We forgot the difficulty malus. On Easy, every unit of ours gets 2 added to their strength. On Hard, every unit of ours gets 4 subtracted from their strength. Furthermore, we have learned the first level of the Leader skill, which gives our units 2 added to their strength again. So we have 11 strength units facing off against 15 strength units. Now, the game does the following.

- It stores the value of the mercenary's strength in a variable. (VAR = 11)
- It adds the value of the warrior's strength to the variable (VAR = 11 + 15 = 26)
- It multiplies the variable with a random value between 0 and 100. (VAR = 26 * 56 = 1456)
- It divides the variable by 100. (VAR = 1456 / 100 = 15) (Note: I think RPG Maker rounds up here. Not sure though).
- It compares the variable to the mercenary's strength. If the variable is greater than the mercenary's strength, the warrior wins.

That looks like this. And if the variable is less or equal to the mercenary's strength, the mercenary wins.

That looks like this. This process is repeated until one side wins.

Now, by the process of *mathematics*, we can figure out our chances of winning any individual fight. If we have mercenaries vs. warriors, we win 41 of the 101 possible scenarios (or 40.6%). If we have mercenaries vs. Elras, we win 34 of the 101 possible scenarios (or 33.7%). Those are not good odds. We're going to have to outnumber our opponents, which is what The Secret Plan is meant to help us accomplish. Note that if we didn't have Leader, we'd be down to 9 strength, and 35.6% and 29.7% respectively. Yikes.

Eventually, we win, for we have superior numbers.

Mercenaries Lost To Global Domination: 16
Ongoing Costs: 9900 Filar

We're going to be keeping count, because those numbers are going up, up, UP!

♪ BGM: Asgar's Castle - blood009.mid

And with that, we have officially conquered Castle Wharis. I redistribute some soldiers to make it slightly more even, and exit the menu - I don't like my chances on a second attack on another castle, especially since this one was the easiest one.


Oooh, neat.

Our next stop is restocking soldiers a bit. Maybe we'll go for another castle? The idea of The Secret Plan is to conquer castles quickly, gain a lot of tax income, then recruit a lot more mercenaries to conquer castles more quickly.

Ongoing Costs: 9900 + 4000 = 13900 Filar

But before that, tax income! Every bit helps. How does tax income work? Well...

There's a common event that's constantly running if the switch "STEUEREINNAHMEN" ("TAX INCOME") is on. It checks for your X and Y coordinate, then checks for it again one second later. If they're the same, it determines you haven't moved, and does nothing. If they're not, it determines you have moved, and adds 1 to the variable "SteuernCheatCount" ("Taxes Cheat Count" - I presume Marlex is the one cheating here by using a temporary save). The next step in the process comes if SteuernCheatCount hits 130 on Easy and Normal, and 150 on Hard.

The next step is the game setting the "gold factor". The factor is 9 on Easy, 8 on Normal, and 6 on Hard. The game then checks who owns each castle in the game, and if you own the castle it's checking, the gold factor is multiplied by the number of people in the associated town (so Syrahs for Asgar's castle, and Mesdor for Castle Wharis), then the amount is added to the total. After that, the Treasurer bonus is applied - so if we had the first level in Treasurer, the total would be boosted by 10%. Let's try an example.

Our gold factor is 6. The number of people in Syrahs is 17 (starts at 18, we turned one into a vampire). The number of people in Mesdor is 22. So, our gold total is 6 * 17 + 6 * 22 = 234.

Finally, there's a malus based on "disturbances in the population". I think this goes up by 1 every time you lose a castle. There might be other things that increase it, I don't know right now. Anyway, your tax income is reduced by 10% for every 1 point in "disturbances". However, that doesn't apply to us yet.

And that's yer lot! That's how tax income works. Aren't you a lot smarter now?

...hey, wake up, guys. We're going to be torturing people now!

1) Yes, we need information! - 2) No, not now...

Now, we get to torturing. How does torturing work? Well...

We get to flip these switches.

They do three different things to the poor bastard on the rack.

Your task is to find the right combination of torturing spells to make the victim talk. This involves a lot of strategy, as every victim has a different pain threshold, and each spell does a different amount of damage. There are some tells, and through experimentation, and a keen eye, you can figure out which combination will work, and that one will always wo- ahahahaha, I can't keep this going. The combination is entirely random every single time.

Yep. Completely random. I've seen people in forum posts going "oh, I used this combination and it worked a lot", and they're all liars. Or, well, not liars, since it could've really worked for them, but that means nothing for the other people reading that advice. What happens is that the moment you decide to torture somebody, five variables are set to a random number between 0 and 2. 0 being the left switch, 1 the center one, and 2 the right one. When you flip the first switch, it will compare the number for the switch with the first variable. If they're the same, it counts as a success. If not, it doesn't. You get five tries in total, and at the end of the five tries, the amount of successes is checked.

If you're on Easy, the torture is always successful. This means your chances of failure are 0%.
If you're on Normal, you need a single success or more. This means your chances of failure should be (2/3)^5 = 13.2%.
If you're on Hard, you need two successes or more. This means your chances of failure should be ((2/3)^5) + (5*((1/3)*(2/3)^4)) = 46.1%.

These results were brought to you by three people putting their heads together in the SA LP Discord. Shoutouts to S Selcouth and Epicmissingno for helping out somebody who passed a course on probability at university, yet now struggles with elementary probability.

Oh hey, looks like somebody missed translating something! The events for the left and the right switch were translated, but alas, the middle one was forgotten.

Damn it, that didn't work. He's passed out...

We could use a healing phial in Easy and Normal, but alas, with Hard, we have to use the next best healing item - something that is much better, much rarer, and worth much more money. Screw that.

When we leave the torture chamber, the victim gets returned to his cell. How does them resting work? Well...

...they wake up and are ready for torturing again after two minutes. That's it. That was remarkably simple!

Since we restocked on mercenaries, I figure we can take another stab at conquering a castle and get some more tax income. We leave 35 mercenaries in the two castles each, leaving 53 over for an attack on Castle Rakar.

♪ BGM: Castle Battle - VD2Burgkampf.mid

The numbers involved on the enemy side this time are slightly higher - going from 14 to 19 - however, ultimately, the numbers are still massively in our favor.

As such, we still win.

Mercenaries Lost To Global Domination: 16 + 18 = 34

♪ BGM: Asgar's Castle - blood009.mid

And now, we have three villages to get tax from, which should increase our army size quickly. Anyway, that'll be it for this time. Next time, w-

Oh, for fuck's sake! Right. Time to go over castle attacks then.

♪ BGM: Castle Battle - VD2Burgkampf.mid

But first, let's deal with these Elras.

The Elras get to pulverize our mercenaries in a different way. They die just the same - just harder to kill.

We repulse them with minimal losses.

Mercenaries Lost To Global Domination: 34 + 1 = 35

Alright, now let's talk about attacks. There's primarily three common events governing this. These are called "pool expansion", "knight castle attack", and "Elras castle attack". The last two are similar, but let's start with the first one.

Pool expansion is relatively simple. The event waits one second, then increments a "pool timer". The next step comes when the pool timer hits 300 on Normal, and 200 on the other difficulties. We'll talk about Easy later, but this basically just means 200 on Hard.

When the timer hits that point, the event hits the second part. Here, the pool timer is set back to 0. Then, the event waits in a loop until you're no longer in a state where you cannot be attacked (i.E. you're currently talking to someone, or are currently being attacked). Once you're out of that loop, i.E. you can be attacked, the event then checks for a switch that will never be turned on. Seriously, its name is literally "never on".

Now, if the "never on" switch WERE on, then there would be a series of checks that basically amounts to "have you conquered every castle in the game?". If you pass that check, then the event would flip a switch that would disable these constant attacks. However, I have not seen any place where this switch is turned on, so the attacks will apparently never be disabled. I am genuinely going to contact Marlex about this, because this is going to cause us some issues down the line, I'm sure of it.

So, since the switch is not on, we skip that part. Instead, the game flips a coin. Heads, the pool of knights / clan warriors is increased by one. Tails, the Elras pool is increased by one. (OK, so it's a random number between 0 and 1)

Next, we'll take a look at the attack events. We'll just take the knight one, the Elras one is similar, just with a different pool.

First, the game checks for different states in which you cannot be attacked. These are:

- You are playing on Easy. If this is the case, the switch governing these events is disabled and they will cease to run.
- The separate "attacks turned off" switch is on. This one is always flipped on when you enter dialogue, and turned off when you leave it again.
- You are in bat form.
- You are playing as Nyria.
- You are currently under attack.

Then, the game rolls a number between 0 and 8 for the nine castles. If you own the castle that is rolled, and the pool of knights has hit its limit (which starts at 3 and increases by 1 after every time the knights attack you), then an attack begins, which transports you to the battle map, and you go through the battle. When the battle is done, you return to where you were and everything continues as normal.

Soooo... there's a few things we learned here.

- The enemy attacks will decrease in frequency (more additions to the pool needed until an attack), but increase in danger (due to the higher attacking enemies) over time.
- The enemy attacks will not stop if you're on Normal or Hard.

The combination of this will very probably cause us an issue in the long run. Note that I'm not 100% sure it will really cause us issues. It might just be that with the attacks being further spread apart, the average danger does not increase, and as such, I can deal with the attacks in the long run as well. There's only one way to tell, really - pressing on.

Aaaaaaanyway. That'll be it for this time. Next time should be a Behind The Fangs chapter, but screw it, I'm calling this an unofficial Behind The Fangs chapter, just because I went so over so many systems. So next time, more regular gameplay!