Talk:Hardcore Strategy

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Specific Update

It needs to be taken into account that the Tavern quest now gives new quest rewards. Does this affect early Hardcore in any way?--Darkfeline 00:47, 17 April 2009 (UTC)


  • Don't know where to put this, so I'll go for the top - I am unsure if I've technically violated standards with my recent edit in the 2.2.Teetotaler section, but the way the element template was being used was awkward. I couldn't figure out a way to get the link to point to the desired location within the confines of the element tag, so I changed them to regular tags. --Ailuro Dragon 21:33, 22 November 2006 (CST)
  • Finished up the star-sign sections. I probably have some formatting inconsistencies using breaks in each though. I'll check that out later. Class builds next. -- Zalan 3:37, 15 Oct 2005 (MDT)
  • Implemented a number of changes as per Jinya's suggestion. Things are looking better. Item links distributed to more of the page, spelling checked a little more, familiar table alphabetized and reordered, skill table alphabetized (in progress as this is being posted) and reordered. -- Zalan 13:44, 9 Oct 2005 (MDT)
  • Star-sign section added and two-thirds complete. -- Zalan 15:20, 6 Oct 2005(MDT)
  • Familiar and Skill tables are pretty much finalized except for spell check. - Zalan 7:53, 5 Oct 2005 (MDT)


It seems to be shaping up. I've got several different suggestions I'm just going to lump all together right here rather than making lots of edits on the discussion page.

  • For new users, it'd be good to indicate how long a typical hard core ascention will take (added by --Cypherpunks 16:58, 25 April 2006 (CDT))
  • spell check. Teetolater is the most noticeable of them, but I remember seeing a few others in there somewhere.
  • wiki link. There are lots of items mentioned in this article and only a few of them are wikilinked. I'm sure it's a work in progress. I just don't want it to be overlooked.
  • charts. I'm a big fan of visually organizing information so you don't necessarily have to read through everything to get the gist of it. Or at minimum boldface the most important line (main idea) in each paragraph.
  • familiar listings. The familiar listing are numbered 5,4,3,2,1,10 in some semblance of order of usefulness. This seems rather arbitrary, and the most useful familiars should (in my opinion) be #1 and on down. Also, maybe another column added to the familiar listing with a one word summary of what type of familiar it is. i.e. combat, restore, etc.
  • skill listings. Similar as above. The ordering of 5,4,3,2,1,10 is arbitrary and should be reordered, IMHO. Also, the indication of Passive, buff, etc, I think should go into it's own column to reduce the actual need to read the whole paragraph to determine its type. Some users may only be looking for passive, and it's an easy shortcut for that.
  • In the Helpful General Links, could you include our local page Safe Adventuring alongside the offsite Cisco's Moxie List?

That's all for now. I think. Let's see how these are received.

--jin 09:49, 9 Oct 2005 (MDT)


  • The spelling is something I wasn't as worried about when inputting as I'm concentrating at the moment just trying to get a massive amount of text out there to fill in the gaping holes I've got. It will be gone over with a fine-tooth comb the closer I get to 'completion and I've actually had several players offer to spellcheck it for me as I work on other sections (thanks, Hairy :) ). The same goes for item linking as I was adding in comments and the like without the links, I'll catch up with those today before I finish the moxie-sign since that shouldn't be a huge thing to tackle.
  • The Charts -- Hum. Alright, I'll see what I can do with this.
  • The Familiar and Skills... Arr. I'll alphabetize them when I get a moment after I fix up the other things you've mentioned.
  • Good point about the buff thing, should be a quick fix.
  • And yes, of course. Apologies about missing it the first time around. - User:Zalan 14:32 Oct 9 2005 (EST)

I have a couple of random comments too

  • the Barrel full of Barrel should be mentioned as a source of booze. Especially since its (fairly) recent revamp makes it easier to manage without the Bartender-in-the-box.
  • The Cymbal-playing Monkey is functionally identical to the Bitten, and should be mentioned along with it.
  • I lean towards the various optional items needed for the Lair being marked better. But I must admit that with the amount of things being optional, and with some things being replacable and some things not needed every time, I'm not sure how this can be accomplished best.
  • You seem to imply that it's smart to level up all five counter-familiars before entering the tower. Is that really a good idea? I see no reason to spend time on arena training for the mosquito until you know that you encounter the goat.

User:UncleBen 21:30 Nov 7 2005 (CET)

This article needs split so bad that it makes KwanzaaBot cry.-Zilly 23:50, 18 December 2005 (Central Standard Time)

You can stop crying now, because it's split. I pulled the most obvious standalone pages out and put them on their own pages. Formatting of the end result could be a bit better, will revisit after I wait to see who screams about me changing the format around--I could still put it back if I had to so far! If I remain unflamed, I'll split out the discussion areas as well next time I'm in here --Greg1104 09:23, 2 May 2006 (CDT)

A couple comments

  • The mind control device should be downplayed somewhat as an advantage now that the other signs have similar equipment. It is still better in that it goes to 11, but the detuned radio goes to 10.
  • For players without either Tongue skill, it frequently makes sense to restore 1 HP, then go for a cruise, or farm pixels rather than rest or combat in other sub optimal zones. After that, it's a good time to do cooking for the next day if possible. Or even crafting a bit ahead.
  • Consider All purpose cleaner, if one does need to use Goofballs a bit earlier for some reason. It's especially useful if one needs to spend time getting a key later in the game anyways.--Hedwards 17:59, 1 January 2008 (CST)

General Tips

"Spending 30 adventures at the Outskirts of Cobb's Knob looking for a Chef Hat is bad."

The general idea is good, but this example is wrong. You need a chef's hat to build a chef-in-the-box. A chef-in-the-box will save you 80-100 adventures. Spending 30 adventures to save 80 adventures is not bad. In the long run, you're up at least 50 adventures. --RyokoYahagi 09:20, 27 January 2006 (Central Standard Time)

Agreed, and now clarified. --Greg1104 02:53, 3 May 2006 (CDT)

Someone needs to mention the Epic weapons for Moxie classes and Muscle classes. Those things are vital when you don't have permed skills! And the Rock n' Roll legend always helps. --User:Snarles2

Path Strategy

Why must one save his reagents 'till above the beanstock? They're just as useful at lower levels as upper ones. --Barnaby36 16:20, 5 Oct 2005 (MDT)

  • The only time I can see you using reagents so that they wouldn't be wasteful would be possibly be the King or the Bonerdagon. In that case you can prepare for both and use one potion to conquer them. This can change depending on the number of reagents you have and the speed at which you are progressing through your current incarnation. Is there a use for these reagents outside of that I don't have in mind? -- Zalan 21:38, 5 Oct 2005 (EST)

Reagent Dishes vs. Chow Mein

The advice to use reagent dishes throughout this article is questionable.

chow mein: + 21-28 adventures -4 adventures to prepare = +17-24 adv, +70-76 substat. Without Stomach of Steel, you can eat 3 for 51-72 adventures, +210-228 substat. With Stomach of Steel, you can eat 4 for 68-96 adventures, + 280-304 substat.

reagent dish: + 21-30 adventures -2 adventures to prepare = +19-28 adv, +47-52 substat. Without Stomach of Steel, you can eat 2 for 38-56 adv, +94-104 substat. With Stomach of Steel, you can eat 3 for 57-84 adventures, + 141-156 substat.

Without Stomach of Steel, the difference to be made up with a 3 fullness food is 13-16 adventures, 116-124 substat. If you're using a Chef-in-the-box add another (+12-4) = 8 adventures to make up (that's adventures not spent preparing chow mein minus the adventures not spent preparing reagent dishes).

With Stomach of Steel, the difference to be made up with a 2 fullness food is 11-12 adventures, 139-148 substat. If you're using a Chef-in-the-box add another (+16-6) = 10 adventures to make up.

I don't see any 2 or 3 fullness foods that can make up that difference in adventures, especially if you remember to subtract the preparation time from the adventures granted, and none come even remotely close to the difference in stat gain.

While the chow mein dishes require more ingredients, and some that are more difficult to obtain, one has to take into account that you are losing something like 100 or more stat points every day by not eating the chow mein, stat points that will have to be earned by spending adventures. Particularly at lower levels, that can burn a lot more adventures than getting the ingredients.

I think this should be looked at further. --RyokoYahagi 11:08, 9 February 2006 (Central Standard Time)

  • The typical 3 fullness food you'd be adding would be a pizza with topping, which is 3-10 adv/15-18 stat points. You could add an insanely spicy enchanted bean burrito instead (I usually do on the first day in particular because there's the double win of getting chronic indigestion), which is 30-53 myst, but that has its own farming issues. Assume we eat pizza with a topping we come across the parts for, and no stomach of steel; then as you point out there's about a 100 stat point advantage to eating chow mein.

The question is, how long will it take you to farm for the missing chow mein ingredient? Typically the parts you won't have are the spooky mushroom, bat wing, or knoll mushroom (if you don't have the Knob kitchen parts, you can't make Reagent potions either, so you're stuck rustling those up). The reality here is that the drop rate on all these is awful, and the stats gain in those areas is very low. I mentally budget 15-20 adventures in order to obtain any of these three, and you can easily go 25 or more without seeing them. Increasing item drop percentage doesn't necessarily help much, either, because it's running into the create that makes the drop that's the issue. So will spending 15 adventures or more adventures at a low level location (outskirts of knob, spooky forest, or bathole:entryway) cost you more than 100 stat points compared with just eating a reagent dish and adventuring at your normal level? Only at very low levels will you earn less than that.

In actual play, I agree with the person who wrote this section: make chow mein with the ingredients you get lucky enough to come across, but by no means ever backfarm for one of the rare ones if you can just make a quick reagent dish instead. A standard HC run with food will provide enough material to make a reasonable number of chow mein dishes by itself many days, and you'll come across a fair number of hellion cubes/p0rn legs along the way to fill in as well. The hellion section in particular is a good place to linger a bit longer than you have to, drop rate on those is pretty good. The only exception I make is if I'm still low enough in level that fighting in the bat hole isn't too far behind me; in that case I may farm a bit for bat wings, especially if I'm a myst class. Sometimes I find myself running a bit low on food at the very end of the run, but at that point the adventuring stat gains are so huge (one good turn with the Giants can blow away the chow mein difference) that I'd be crazy to go back to even the Bat hole. --Greg1104 01:25, 24 April 2006 (CDT)

° One thing to think about this portion of the article is that it assumes already having the myst class support skills to summon pasta and reagents, as well as Pulverize. If you already have those, wonderful! But players beginning their Hardcore phase will have to spend 3 runs to even get access to these skills, all for the purpose of making a little bit of food throughout the rest of their hardcore phase.

White Citadel burger, with a (at max benefit) 3 adv/fullness and 0 farming requirement, may work out better, when you consider a) turns spent completing 3 hardcore runs, b) turns spent adventuring for ingredients, and c) stat loss from the current run adventuring for ingredients. I'm mostly theorycrafting, since I'm at the beginning of my HC phase, but how many top end noodle dishes do people really consume during the course of a given run? Discussions of stat gain from eating them may be irrelevant if we're talking about a handful of stats that could easily be gained nomming WC burgers and hitting the Haunted Gallery with all those turns saved. --Hoobity 14:10, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Chef-in-a-Box vs. Microbrewery

The advice says that adventure gains from drinking in the microbrewery will make up for not having a Chef-in-a-box. Is there some reason that you wouldn't do both? In the long run, someone who takes this advice is worse off than someone who ignores the advice and does both. --RyokoYahagi 11:08, 9 February 2006 (Central Standard Time)

To be clear here: we're talking about a no-path ascension where you already have the Reagents/Noodles skills and access to the Microbrewery. In that situation, your ascension run should only take you 4-6 days; let's say it's 5 days. First day, you're probably going to have to cook at least part of your food before you can complete a chef in the box. You have to hit level 5 before the Cemetary opens to get a smart skull for the chef, and I find I need those L5 adventures in the Kitchens to just get the Knob ingredients in time to cook them. So unless you get lucky the first day cooking adventures are lost to you regardless. Second day, you're probably eating Reagent dishes because you don't have herbs yet, so 4 adventures lost for those, plus another 2-4 for either pizza/burrito food; let's call it 7 total. Third day through fifth day, more reagent food (like plenty of Hell Ramen if you play it right), topped off with Goat Cheese pizza you don't have to cook. 3x4=12 more adventures lost here. That's a total of 19 adventures lost to cooking food. You'll lose 5 more cooking Reagent potions, so a total of 24. Can you build a chef in less than 24 adventures? It's kind of marginal, and that's the point I think the writer of this section was trying to make. This type of ascension goes so fast, especially once you have a decent set of skills, that it's hard to justify slowing down to build a chef unless you happen to come across the parts along the way. Since there's little better do than adventure at the Outskirts of the Knob when you're L1, I usually adventure there until I get to L2. If I happened to get a chef's hat (usually do), then I get the rest of the pieces for a chef. If not, I forget about it; once I have better areas unlocked it's hard to justify chasing down chef parts when you're only going to be cooking a small number of days. And if you go into this type of run with Pate or Canned Air (and Madrigal), it's likely won't be able to justify spending a single adventure at the Knob.

--Greg1104 03:18, 3 May 2006 (CDT)

Class Strategy

Minor edit needed - under Skills/Advanced Cocktrailcrafting the "s" in "coconut shells" is inside the wiki link making it broken. Crystallina 08:03, 9 Oct 2005 (MDT)

  • I came across that earlier today, silly me. Fixed! -- Zalan 21:23, 9 Oct 2005 (EST)

Note the extreme usefullness of Disco Face Stab against higher level monsters such as those in HitS and The Topiary Golem. --Thou shalt perish 16:59, 9 Oct 2005 (MDT)

  • Mmm. When I write up the class sections and involve the talk about Moxie I'll put in a comment there about enemy weakening skills like DFS and Entangling Noodles. - Zalan 21:23, 9 Oct 2005 21:23(EST)


There's a small inconsistancy between what's listed in the skill section and in the strategy for the Seal Clubber. In strategy: "First time ascenders into a Seal Clubber class should pick up LTS as their permanent hardcore. Why? Because LTS comes at a much later level compared to EotS". In skills: "Many people invest in doing two SC runs back to back, the first for EotS and the second for either LTS or TS". Your logic in the strategy section for why to get LTS first makes more sense, the version in skills seems suboptimal. --Greg1104 14:43, 29 November 2005 (Central Standard Time)

Shouldn't Summon Snowcone be on here? What level of importance? I have found it very usefull in my HCO run.--The Phearsome Phantom 19:08, 11 January 2006 (Central Standard Time)

The new guild skills rolled out, and they need to add them to the list. I don't even know where to start on them. Anyone got an idea, or should we hold off on this for a while? --Ricket 05:04, 12 March 2006 (CST)

All of the new skills are now added, and I revised the Turtle Tamer skills to match the recent changes there as well. I dropped each skill into the strength level I felt was appropriate, with most being class IV or V skills (except for the revised Astral Shell which is now comporable to Elemental Saucesphere). I'm certainly open to discussion here, as most of my determinations were based on my knowledge of HC game mechanics rather than actually using any of them (I still haven't finished accumulating all the class III skills myself yet). Since some of these skills seem about halfway between the power of IV and V skills right now, and V was getting very big, I added a new VI category and moved the weakest skills to that area. --Greg1104 05:18, 2 May 2006 (CDT)

Lead Necklaces

  1. doesn't switching out your familiar in battle ten of ten significantly increase the likelihood of getting a lead necklace?
  2. isn't a lead necklace much more useful in hardcore anyway? if you've only got turns/meat for one piece of familiar equipment, and the skills to get most of the way the beating the NS pets, a necklace wins hands down.
  • The odds of getting a Lead Necklace are independant of previous kills, so no it doesn't matter that you switched (there was a rumor to the contrary going around but it's not true).
  • Having the Lead Necklace on your volleyball familiar will result in smaller stat gains that will slow the entirety of your run; the longer it takes you to ascend, the worse it will impact you. The only thing the necklace is really good for is buffing you item drop familiar a bit more during those rare times when it makes sense to pull it out.
  • It's rare you'll improve your speed any significant amount on the pets because you got a necklace. Note that any case where you need to add 10 pounds or more to a familiar is going to result in that familiar getting equipment regardless of whether you had any for it to start, because it takes 10 adventures to add 7 pounds to a familiar. The worst case would be when we need to add exactly 7 pounds--which is very unlikely in hardcore where you're going to be dealing almost exclusively with multiples of 5. The expected worse case would be that where you have the skills to add 15 pounds to a familiar but need to level it up 5. A run with a Lead Necklace will require 2+2=4 turns to level up to match the pets. Without will take 10 turns--5 or 6 to level up the first familiar to 5 pounds, then the remaining 4 or 5 until you get a necklace for the second one to finish it off. That means we save 6 adventures at the very end of the run with the necklace. Hardly worth the drag on stats the entire rest of the time.
  • Even if you had some weird situation where you had +1 lb familiar buffing items so that you needed to add exactly 7 pounds, that would be: with lead necklace, 4+4=8 adventures to add 4 pounds to each. Without lead necklace, 9 arena adventures+about 4-6 regular adventures for first familiar (have to take into account that you don't always get 5 kills for a win), 5 adventures for second=18. So even in that pathological case I'd only expect to spend 10-12 more turns in the case without a necklace.

--Greg1104 05:54, 23 April 2006 (CDT)

Work In Progress

Level 15 Changes (aka Chow Mein Nerfing)

I just updated this page to reflect the changes to the chow mein creation mechanics, and pulled the rewrite tag off the top accordingly. Several of the sub-pages to this section still need work. I've just sprinkled some comments into the pages underneath one (Location Analysis, Skill Analysis) with some things I've figured out so far.

Staring at things right now, only a couple of weeks into that game mechanics changes, finishing the rewrite of the entire hardcore guide is still a few more weeks off, as I for one plan on actually doing a couple of hardcore runs with the new skills before commenting on them too much. Comments on what others have noticed would certainly be welcome here. --Greg1104 23:43, 7 July 2006 (CDT)

Minor Quibble

  • The heading for Oxycores using Nash's Crosby Still (for tonic waters) is "Still Crazy After All These Years." Clever, but it is unfortunately a Paul Simon song. Anyone have a better idea for a heading?--DoctorWorm 00:58, 30 January 2007 (CST)

The entire game is filled with clever mixed references to multiple things; why should the wiki be any different? --Greg1104 14:07, 10 February 2007 (CST)

Backfarming Definition

Can we get a definition of 'Backfarming' either here or in its own page? I still don't know what it means... --Zelator 12:14, 22 May 2007 (CDT)

What'dya mean it's weak?

I notice that the fairy-type familiar reccomendations are still missing the Green Pixie, which seems pretty much essential for the speed game, especially at low levels (good spleen hits + lots of mp). Should it be entered before the leprechaun combos or after? --Flargen 19:57, 17 February 2008 (CST)

  • Hm, good point. I'd say the Greenie (adventures + Loot) is better than Meat + Loot, as adventures are useful in all situations, whereas not everyone needs to farm Meat. Extra bonus points for HCO, obviously. --Bagatelle 20:10, 17 February 2008 (CST)

Oh hi, NS13!

So, NS13 was over two years ago, and this page is still outdated. A new guide should probably be drafted soon, or else this page should just be nuked from orbit. It's not doing a ton of good.

I'd volunteer to help, but alas, I know nothing when it comes to strategy. --Southwest 07:13, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

This thing is even MORE out of date now.

Thanks to the recent Valhalla changes. I frankly don't see a lot of hope for this page at the moment. It needs to either be completely overhauled, or nuked, so it doesn't show up in the major menus the way it does and totally embarrass the wiki this way. :) --Leaper 06:20, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

Major Revamp 9th Oct 2011

So I went and gave this page a big revamp. I thought I'd make this page contain all sorts of information for brand new IotM-less players that I think is most useful such as where to get food and booze. There might be a bunch of stuff I missed and I started getting sloppy with links later on (this took me hours). I'm sure there are a number of imporvements to be made but I think this is a nice starting point. I have plans for the Advanced Hardcore page too as noted at the top of the new page, but don't have time to do that yet. The advanced page will be for advice that people with IotMs and many permed skills might be interested in, such as what to summon from tomes each day. --Melon 23:37, 9 October 2011 (CEST)