New Game Plus Plus difficulty. Time to put on the big boy pants. This is a realm where no one would try playing the Miner class seriously, only using it for fairy chest runs or the like. The idea of clearing the entire dungeon and defeating all of the bosses with the Miner's stat penalties was asking for major punishment. Here's what the overall character sheet looked like at this point in time:
This was more health than I'd had with my Lich characters upon entering NG++ difficulty level (the first one had a laughable 222 HP, heh). However, the Lich characters had a chance to get all the way up to 1000 health by killing monsters throughout the dungeon. These Miners would be stuck at their starting total for the entirety of their run. With that in mind, I used the money from the final NG+ run to finish maxing out the Health stat, and then put the rest into damage. It may have been a mistake to keep adding to magic damage alongside physical damage, I wasn't sure just yet. I knew that I would need to max out melee attack at some point and get some crits going, there was no other way to deal enough damage to make it through the humongous enemy lifebars. For the moment, I'd have to do the best I could to stay alive with highly limited resources.
Unlock: Health Up x16 (maxed), Attack Up x9, Magic Damage Up x8
22) Level 251 (Health 75, Attack 37, Magic Damage 36, Armor 15, Equip 35, Mana 16, Crit Chance 2, Gold Gain 5, Potion 5, Mana Cost Down 5, Miscellaneous 20): 31,102g
This was the first Miner to take on NG++ difficulty. I had the maximum possible health upgrades at 75/75 points, but that still only amounted to 498 HP. Hopefully I'd be able to find some more health upgrades in fairy chests. I was also worried about the low physical attack of this Miner, since 122 damage per swing wasn't very much at all. More upgrades to physical and magical damage (and some points in critical strike) would all help a lot going forward. Anyway, this run was just as difficult as expected for such an underpowered class. My poor Miner was pummeled repeatedly by the denizens of the castle, and attacking them with such low damage was like whacking them with a wet noodle. It took five hits to kill one of the eyeballs, and seven hits to kill one of the flying mages - SEVEN! That kind of math was unsustainable, there was no way to avoid damage (without any innate escape abilities) while slowly whittling down the monsters. I actually found quite a few chickens during this run, and still only managed to clear out about half of the castle before falling. The biggest highlight was finding a health upgrade inside one of the non-fairy chests, upping total health to an even 500 HP. (The bonus two points of health did not make a difference, heh.) No more fooling around with points in magic damage, time to go straight for the melee sword levels. Those would do the most to kill enemies faster and therefore cut down on the damage I was taking.
Unlock: Attack Up x5
23) Level 256 (Health 75, Attack 42, Magic Damage 36, Armor 15, Equip 35, Mana 16, Crit Chance 2, Gold Gain 5, Potion 5, Mana Cost Down 5, Miscellaneous 20): 27,249g
Ectomorph, EDS trait, and the conflux spell (uh oh). Not a promising collection here. This castle threw a bunch of difficult rooms at me immediately, and there were no alternate paths forward. The first room was tough enough, a straight hallway with fire mages and zombies and gradiators in cramped spaces. I did manage to make it through there without getting hit (even using the conflux for some additional damage), only to see the next room come up much worse, McRib skeletons everywhere in a room with spikes on the floor. I ran through there as quickly as possible and still took three hits. Along with that nasty room, the biggest drain on health came from fighting the evil paintings in rooms with little room to maneuver. I was hit three times by a single painting at one point, and a Miner can't afford to give away 200 health with a series of mistakes like that. The best part of the run was finding an Armor upgrade inside a fairy chest. That's the one thing that the Miner class offers, the ability to see those opportunities on the map and go after them. All things considered, this was a decent result from this character.
Unlock: Attack Up x4
24) Level 260 (Health 75, Attack 46, Magic Damage 36, Armor 15, Equip 35, Mana 16, Crit Chance 2, Gold Gain 5, Potion 5, Mana Cost Down 5, Miscellaneous 20): 48,994g
OCD trait and the chakram spell, a much better draw. This run nearly ended early on with a room that was pretty much impossible, with eyeballs and plonkies turning the game into a bullet hell. Oh, and there were flying paintings there too, just to make it that much more fun. I limped out of there with 150 health and had to rebuild with the help of whatever chickens would drop along the way. The saving grace of this run was the chakram spell, which I abused non-stop for extra damage. Thankfully there were plenty of magic flasks along the way to restore mana. The critical problem (aside from the horribly low health) remained the sad damage of these Miner characters. It was taking way too long to defeat the monsters. I can't stress enough how much more danger it creates when the flying mages require half a dozen sword swings, and even the low HP opponents like the eyeballs and plonkies can take four to five hits. For example, this character took a hit from a McRib skeleton simply because I couldn't kill the thing before it cycled around to another spewing of bone projectiles. I needed six sword swings and could not get them out fast enough. More offense would have created more defense here. Overall though, I was able to make the most progress of any Miner character in NG++ difficulty to date, getting through about 80% of the castle and falling just short of 50k gold. I really should have gone into the forest when I had the chance, I think that area can often be easier than the castle at this level. Maybe next time.
Unlock: Attack Up x7
25) Level 267 (Health 75, Attack 53, Magic Damage 36, Armor 15, Equip 35, Mana 16, Crit Chance 2, Gold Gain 5, Potion 5, Mana Cost Down 5, Miscellaneous 20): 20,624g
OCD trait again, Baldness, and the scythe spell. The scythe is almost like a poor man's chakram, fulfilling a similar function while doing it in far inferior fashion. This heir didn't roll an especially difficult castle or anything, I simply didn't play it very well. Things went downhill in the first room, where I took 196 damage from a gradiator in completely unnecessary fashion. I never really recovered from that, despite finding the castle boss door and a fountain for a health refill along the way. This poor Miner was doomed to a quick death with little to show for his efforts.
Unlock: Attack Up x2, Magic Damage Up
26) Level 270 (Health 75, Attack 55, Magic Damage 37, Armor 15, Equip 35, Mana 16, Crit Chance 2, Gold Gain 5, Potion 5, Mana Cost Down 5, Miscellaneous 20): 77,729g
Gay and Eidetic Memory traits along with the scythe spell. This run got off to a much better start than the last one, but it was still far from easy going. I targeted a hidden fairy chest in the castle first, and that proved to have a health upgrade inside. Three more max hit points, heh. But I shouldn't be complaining, that was the only way to get additional health moving forward with the normal HP upgrades maxed out. I would search out three more fairy chests over the course of the run (targeting them on the minimap thanks to the Miner's extra ability) and those turned into a mana crystal and two armor upgrades. The room that really damaged my character on this run was one of the random locations where fire shoots horizontally along the ceiling. The chamber had guard boxes firing missiles along with a bunch of ice mages, and the projectiles up by the ceiling made it impossible to jump out of the way of the monsters. I lost 300 health in there and limped out with barely 100 HP remaining. Only a series of lucky chicken drops and the close location of the castle boss room allowed this run to continue. Most of the rest of the run took place in the forest; I decided to head into there for a change of pace. Sometimes the forest can be easier than the castle, and this seemed to be one of those times. I found few of the McRib bone throwers in there, and quite a few treasure chests and fairy chests. There was even a fountain at one point, which I came across when sitting at 50 health. Perfect timing! That's the main reason why this Miner was able to make it so far. When the flying skull heads appeared in large numbers, the projectile shower turned into a full bullet hell environment. Towards the end, I decided to head for the tower entrance in the hopes of raiding that teleporter chicken, but was taken out by an awkwardly placed zombie along the way. Even though I failed to full clear either the castle or the forest, this was still my most successful NG++ run to date.
Unlock: Attack Up x9, Crit Chance Up x2
27) Level 281 (Health 75, Attack 64, Magic Damage 37, Armor 15, Equip 35, Mana 16, Crit Chance 4, Gold Gain 5, Potion 5, Mana Cost Down 5, Miscellaneous 20): 34,133g
Ambivelous and Dementia. Fortunately the Ambivelous trait was totally pointless here (spells come out backwards) because the spell this Miner rolled was the flame barrier. Most of the damage from this run came in a room with a "defeat all monsters" fairy chest. It was packed with all sorts of enemies, and before I was finished it dropped my Miner from 400 health down to about 100 health. It was probably worth it though, because the fairy chest had a health upgrade inside. Each one of those hearts added an extra 2.5 HP afer the Miner penalty to health was applied, but that was the only way to get more life. Even small amounts were precious. I was unable to make it much further into the castle due to lack of recovery items, and a corrupt lord ultimately finished this run with a well-placed diagonal shot upwards. Gold continued to go into more attack upgrades for overall damage.
Unlock: Attack Up x4
28) Level 285 (Health 75, Attack 68, Magic Damage 37, Armor 15, Equip 35, Mana 16, Crit Chance 4, Gold Gain 5, Potion 5, Mana Cost Down 5, Miscellaneous 20): 5526g
Ambivelous and Nearsighted, with the scythe spell. This run was characterized by a major mistake on my part: I attempted to do another "kill all monsters" fairy chest challenge. It did not go well. Not at all. I never came close to clearing the enemies in that room, and they drained my healthbar immediately. What a waste of a character.
Unlock: Armor Up
29) Level 286 (Health 75, Attack 68, Magic Damage 37, Armor 16, Equip 35, Mana 16, Crit Chance 4, Gold Gain 5, Potion 5, Mana Cost Down 5, Miscellaneous 20): 19,629g
Savant trait, spell changes with each casting. This run got off to a great start, as I managed to get through the first three or four rooms without taking any damage. Unfortunate the castle decided to screw me over after that, starting with a room where I hit a gradiator immediately upon dropping down into the room, zero chance whatsoever to get out of the way. That wasn't even remotely close to fair, and it took out almost half of the Miner's paltry lifebar. In the same room, another gradiator dropped down from a safe platform onto the floor right next to me, and that made it all but impossible to avoid the shots of the nearby corrupt lords. That one stupid room took out 400 HP, and I didn't even play it badly. I kept trying to reach the castle boss door with this Miner, and all of the rooms that looked like they connected to it on the minimap failed to do so. I never did find my way to the boss room, or any of the other teleporters with their recovery items. This Miner went down under a hail of fire in yet another crowded room. Very frustrating run.
Unlock: Attack Up x2
30) Level 288 (Health 75, Attack 70, Magic Damage 37, Armor 16, Equip 35, Mana 16, Crit Chance 4, Gold Gain 5, Potion 5, Mana Cost Down 5, Miscellaneous 20): 38,400g
Dwarfism, OCD trait, and the chakram spell. This tiny Miner had a microscopic sword, but she did have the chakram to play around with. I was able to use it to line up a shot against four plonkies at once just a few rooms into the castle, something that wouldn't have been possible with any of the other spells. Love that chakram. With careful play and some friendly room draws, I was able to get a good run going with this character. She made it through a dozen rooms with health still in the comfortable zone, including finding the castle boss room and the entrance to the tower. I even managed to find two health upgrades, taking max HP all the way up to 510. This could have been a really great run, except that I got trapped in a brutally unfair room near the entrance to the forest. There were two fire mages and an eyeball shooting at me from above, and a gradiator blocking any passage forward to the right. I was trying my best to duel with them, only to see the ridiculous sword swing range of the gradiator hit my Miner and eliminate her. I failed to use the recovery items saved up at the teleporters, or else I probably would have cleared the castle and made it into the forest. This was still a pretty good run, just with a disappointing ending. The gold was enough to take the Attack Up stat to 74/75, only one level remaining there.
Unlock: Attack Up x4
31) Level 292 (Health 75, Attack 74, Magic Damage 37, Armor 16, Equip 35, Mana 16, Crit Chance 4, Gold Gain 5, Potion 5, Mana Cost Down 5, Miscellaneous 20): 2557g
Dextrocardia and the scythe spell. The Dextrocardia trait swaps your health and mana totals, giving this poor Miner a grand total of 212 HP. That was a complete disaster, and there wasn't much that I could do with this fellow. I could take two hits, and then the third would kill me. Chickens retored a grand total of 31 health. And this was all with a class that had no escape skills to avoid damage. Look, I tried my best here, but I'm only human. The Miner character made it through about half of dozen rooms before getting killed by a pack of infernites (flying cloud enemies). Not enough gold for any upgrades sadly.
Unlock: Nothing (Friggin' Dextrocardia! )
32) Level 292 (Health 75, Attack 74, Magic Damage 37, Armor 16, Equip 35, Mana 16, Crit Chance 4, Gold Gain 5, Potion 5, Mana Cost Down 5, Miscellaneous 20): 38,010g
Eid. Memory, OCD, and the flame barrier spell. This was a nice setup for a character, with OCD trait for mana restoration by smashing pots and candlesticks in the dungeon, and Eid. Memory to make the monsters visible on the minimap. I also had the good fortune to find Helios' Blessing almost immediately for some additional gold income. I even found the boss room and the basement entrance within the first two minutes of exploration. With the flame barrier for a spell, it seemed as good a time as any to face Khidr. I was somewhat surprised at how long it took to defeat the boss, four full cycles, despite running the flame barrier almost the whole time. The Miner just does not do much damage. I took one hit during the fight, and that was due to a sloppy mistake, intending to drop down through a platform and failing to input the command properly. Not too bad. Khidr's treasure chest produced two mana upgrades and a magic damage upgrade - OK if not great. The rest of the run was solid, if not spectacular. I found one other fairy chest, which unfortunately had the useless max weight load inside. This time I did use the recovery items at the teleporter chickens instead of dying with them still sitting there like an idiot. Gradiators did the most damage again on this run, with one of them dropping off of a floating platform onto my character's head in unexpected fashion. There went another 200 damage, a painful blow to the lifebar. I managed to find the tower entrance when I had 50 health remaining, and that chicken kept the run going a little while longer. It allowed me to find an armor upgrade in a fairy chest just inside the forest. I finally died to a corrupt lord in the castle while trying to reach the forest teleporter room. With physical attack now maxed, I began spending gold on critical strike chance. Landing those crits would make things significantly easier going forward.
Unlock: Attack Up (maxed), Crit Chance Up x7
33) Level 300 (Health 75, Attack 75, Magic Damage 37, Armor 16, Equip 35, Mana 16, Crit Chance 11, Gold Gain 5, Potion 5, Mana Cost Down 5, Miscellaneous 20): 40,145g
Eid. Memory and the axe spell. I liked this setup as well, the axe is one of my favorite spells and it doesn't appear to pop up that often on Miners. This character got off to a sloppy start, as I jumped into a flying fire mage after doing all the hard work in one of the rooms. Can't afford to give away 100 damage for free like that very often. The true danger came in a room with three zombies coming up from the floor, a McRib tossing bones in the corner, and pressure plate floor spikes on the ground. Somehow I manage to dodge all of the threats in this room and take only minimal damage... only to get hit three times killing the evil painting that remained after everything else was dead. That's the kind of thing that makes me tear my hair out in frustration, doing all of the hard stuff in near perfect fashion, and then to follow it up with a moment of boneheaded stupidity. At least the paintings don't deal the same kind of damage as a gradiator, but still... Argh. That was over 200 damage taken for no reason whatsoever. After that it was a mad scramble on low life, working around rooms on the minimap that would surely kill my character. Despite falling as low as 100 HP at one point, I was able to persevere at keep on going, clearing one room after another of flying mages without taking damage. The axe was a true help here, it works perfectly against their movement pattern. In the end, a room full of ice mages and McRibs took out this character at the end of a decent run. Just way too much stuff flying through the air at the end. What I wouldn't have given for the Barbarian shout or the Assassin smoke cloud for a few seconds! More gold here meant more critical strike chance, eight full upgrades in that cheap category.
Unlock: Crit Chance Up x8
34) Level 308 (Health 75, Attack 75, Magic Damage 37, Armor 16, Equip 35, Mana 16, Crit Chance 19, Gold Gain 5, Potion 5, Mana Cost Down 5, Miscellaneous 20): 73,216g
Endomorphism, Dwarfism, and the flame barrier. The extra critical strike chance was definitely noticeable with this Miner, currently sitting at 38% chance, and the damage went from 179 to 268 per swing. That was a huge increase even without any levels in critical strike damage. When I would land two or three crits in a row, it was almost like playing a non-Miner character for a moment. The run itself was nearly over in the first three minutes of play, as the castle dropped my Miner into the middle of a room with three eyeballs and two fire mages, all hurling their projectiles at once. I dropped under 100 health there, and actually cleared out half the room one hit away from death. Whew, very close call. Fortunately the castle boss room was right next door, and that kept this lady Miner going for at least a little while longer. Then a random chicken dropped two rooms later, and I was back in business again. The RNG giveth and the RNG taketh away. There were more close calls along the way, as I dropped down to 100 HP at another point in time, only to work my way back up out of the danger area with a mixture of careful play and good luck. When I go back and watch these recordings afterwards, it's really amazing how many times these characters could have died and managed to avoid doing so. Eventually this turned into my first Miner to get a full castle clear in NG++ difficulty. That's a castle clear, the initial starting area, not the full dungeon mind you (see the minimap pictured above). It was still a major milestone though, and I've often found in the past that future characters are able to clear that hurdle more easily once it's been done for the first time. The final portions of this run took place in the forest, where low health and a lack of recovery items limited the progress that I could make. A wolf dealt the final blow, in part because I had no more mana to run the flame barrier, and also due to this Dwarf character's tiny sword. It's really hard to stop the wolf charge attack when your sword has the hit box of a toothpick! Overall I was quite happy with this run, using the money earned to finish maxing out critical strike chance and sink some further upgrades into armor. The magic damage and mana upgrades were simply too expensive for now; I'd look to finish armor and critical strike damage, and only finish with the magical stuff after that. (Link to the Livestream of these last few characters for the curious.)
Unlock: Crit Chance Up x6 (maxed), Armor Up x7
35) Level 321 (Health 75, Attack 75, Magic Damage 37, Armor 23, Equip 35, Mana 16, Crit Chance 25, Gold Gain 5, Potion 5, Mana Cost Down 5, Miscellaneous 20): 106,682g
Dwarfism and the scythe. Another tiny character, I seemed to be getting a lot of them recently. The early stages of this run went well again, getting through about six or seven rooms without taking much in the way of damage. I ran into the first batch of trouble against some infernites, the flying cloud enemies, where my character's little sword had trouble hitting them before they hit me. Any kind of aggressive enemy can do that against a dwarf character, since you rely on your sword's hit box to protect you from damage. Despite some problems with those enemies, I was able to find my way to the castle boss room and entrance to the forest and tower. This allowed my Miner to eat some of the chickens when health dropped low and continue on my way. I even ventured into the basement for a brief period, having seen that there was a hidden fairy chest close to the entrance. I managed to get down there and snag it (it had an armor bonus inside) without taking any damage, then get the heck out of there! The castle was challenging enough for now. This was also a run where I used the scythe extensively, tossing it to hit targets that were too dangerous to reach with melee swing. This actually woke up several paintings by accident at times, fortunately never at a really bad moment. I also kept finding mana upgrades in fairy chests, three of them in total on this run. I started with 217 MP and finished with 225 MP. Too bad that wasn't three health upgrades instead! Anyway, I was eventually able to fulfill another full clear of the castle again, and I was even in good position to make progress in the forest. However, the very first room of the forest had fire raining down from the ceiling along with bunched eyeballs and McRibs, and that one room cost me 300 health in passing through it. There was no choice either, since it was the only passage into the forest. The impressive thing was this Miner's ability to keep going afterwards, as I would manage to clear about a dozen rooms in the forest and find the boss door before perishing. One of the best fights was against three of the huge wolves, which I kept at bay through repeated use of the scythe. I might have made it further if I hadn't been forced to battle two bloobasaurus rexes in a tiny chamber with no room to maneuever. That place cost me another 200 health, argh. In the end, a flying skullhead and two plonkies encountered together finished off the run. This Miner was the first to top 100k in NG++ difficulty though. I seemed to be making progress. The gold went into 16 armor upgrades, which equated to 64 points of armor. That increased the stat from 55% reduction up to 60% reduced damage; this effectively meant that future Miners would have about nine percent more life. I hoped that this would help. Still looking for any pieces of Dark gear and the Dragon Cape for more vampirism.
Unlock: Armor Up x16
36) Level 337 (Health 75, Attack 75, Magic Damage 37, Armor 39, Equip 35, Mana 16, Crit Chance 25, Gold Gain 5, Potion 5, Mana Cost Down 5, Miscellaneous 20): 49,249g
Dementia trait and the chakram spell. I had high hopes for this character given the chakram spell and nothing too bad in terms of traits. I was able to find the castle boss door and a hidden fairy chest in the opening areas of the dungeon. I was mostly playing well, although there was a severe lack of recovery items along the way. No chickens outside the ones hidden at the teleporters for this Miner. Eventually I came to a vertical room with two McRibs, two shooting boxes, and two ice mages. Together they threw out a hail of projectiles that cried out for the Assassin's mist form ability. Not having any such ability, this Miner simply took about 250 damage across repeated hits. That dropped my character down into the dangerous zone, and I wasn't able to recover from there. Killed in the second room of the forest after clearing the castle. This finished up as a bit of a disappointing run, just shy of 50k gold.
Unlock: Armor Up x6
37) Level 343 (Health 75, Attack 75, Magic Damage 37, Armor 45, Equip 35, Mana 16, Crit Chance 25, Gold Gain 5, Potion 5, Mana Cost Down 5, Miscellaneous 20): 249,764g
Gay trait and the conflux spell. I'd have to make due with the worst spell in the game. This run also got off to a good start, clearing an easy fairy chest "defeat all monsters" challenge in the castle in exchange for... max weight load, ugh. Then the dagger-tossing carnival game followed suit, offering up only the terrible Holy Helm for victory. Better prizes next time, hopefully? The combination of some strong play on my part and a friendly number of chicken drops along the way allowed me to clear the whole castle without needing to eat any of the teleporter items. There was even a fountain in there that I saved for use later. With the castle cleared, I decided to head into the tower next, largely because I had barely been up there with past Miners. Another fight with Botis offered up the Dark Chestplate - I hoped to see the Dark Bracers or Dark Cape appear soon. The Dark Chestplate has less armor than the Royal variety, which is why I rarely find myself using it. The tower was not an easy area at all, and I limped into the tower boss room on 82 HP. One hit away from death! The chicken inside that room along with the fountain in the castle restored my Miner back into the safe zone once more, and allowed for further clearing. Accidentally waking a doom painting later in the tower dropped me as low as 62 health, forcing the use of more of those saved chickens. Another close call! After much hard work though, the result was my first full clear of the tower in NG++ difficulty. The forest was next, and seemed to have the ball and chain monsters everywhere. Those bouncing spiked balls are the bane of my existence. Eventually I worked my way over to the forest boss door, and the room next to it was full of spikes. This proved to be to my advantage though, as the bloobasaurus rex enemies committed suicide on the spikes and gave me back tons of health via vampirism. Excellent!
With the forest cleared as well, it was time to take on some of the remaining bosses, starting with Alexander. The big flying skull did nothing to my character, but I stupidly jumped into him twice. Somehow I managed to dodge every one of his little minions and all of their projectiles, without being able to avoid walking right into the boss sprite. Go figure. In any case, it went well enough, and I was even able to make use of the conflux spell. The Ponce battle was another success, with the bouncing spiked balls in easy to dodge locations. I took one hit from Ponce himself and that would be all. At this point I had high hopes of getting a clear of the basement as well for a full dungeon clear. However, it was not to be on this occasion. An early mistake against a gradiator resulted in 177 points of damage from a single swing. The dual skeleton minibosses made an appearance as well, resulting in a drop of the useless Sage Helm. Gotta clear out all the crud stuff from the inventory, apparently. A crowded room with monsters drained another 200 health. I did make it to the basement boss room, but that would be as far as I would get. A spiked ball from a chaintus eliminated me in the next room. With just shy of 250k gold, this had proven to be a magnificent run, about 90% of the overall dungeon cleared in total. The gold went towards finishing up with the armor upgrades, then picking up all 25 of the critical damage levels at once. All 25 of them! There was nothing left to spend the rest on other than magic damage (and a single point in Down Strike Up for the final boss fight). Great stuff.
Unlock: Armor Up x5 (maxed), Crit Damage Up x25 (maxed), Magic Damage Up x9, Mana Up, Down Strike Up
38) Level 384 (Health 75, Attack 75, Magic Damage 46, Armor 50, Equip 35, Mana 17, Crit Chance 25, Crit Damage 25, Gold Gain 5, Potion 5, Mana Cost Down 5, Miscellaneous 21): 243,167g
Dwarfism and CIP traits along with the scythe spell. This was a terrible stroke of luck for what was likely to be a long run: CIP trait means that you have no visible health bar. Argh, how was I going to know when to use recovery items? There were no other Miners available though, so I would have to make due. The biggest difference here was the massive upgrade to critical strike damage. Those 25 upgrades had pulled crit damage all the way up to 495 per hit; it had been 268 damage per crit on the previous Miner. I was even able to get one hit kills when critically striking some of the low health monsters in the castle. I felt so powerful! Then I realized that I could still only take five or six hits before dying, and reality snapped back into focus. The highlight of the castle was the appearance of the axe-tossing carnival game. This one produced a health upgrade for winning, a a far better prize than last time. Thanks, evil clown! Other fairy chests produced a magic damage upgrade and a second health one. I'd be all the way up to 520 HP now if I could see the lifebar. The rest of the castle was pretty routine. I think that I did the whole thing with health close to full, but I honestly didn't know.
Once the initial area was fully cleared (and access to all of the teleporters secured), I headed down into the basement next. The goal was to get the full clear of the basement that I had missed on the previous run, and find the boss door to face off against Herodotus. McRibs and gradiators still did a number on my Miner, and the toughest part was having no idea where my character stood on life. For this very reason I went ahead and fought Herodotus immediately on finding the boss room, eating chickens from the castle before going on. (Were they wasted? Maybe!) Herodotus himself was significantly easier here on NG++ than he had been on Normal difficulty. One crit was almost enough to kill each blob; compare that to the four hit needed to kill each one on the lower difficulties. With a nearly maxed out Miner, this battle was a relative breeze. I took hits, but they never came close to defeating my Miner. (At least I think, hard to say again.) Afterwards, I cleared out the rest of the basement and headed into the forest. I continued to guess how much health I had remaining, with no idea whether or not I was wasting recovery items as I used them. The forest had a couple more highlights: another Botis fight (an attack upgrade in the chest!), a health upgrade inside a fairy chest, endless numbers of flying skulls and ball and chain monsters. I used up all my mana in the final stages of the forest, leaving nothing left for the tower. I was proceeding through the tower normally when I suddenly died in a "defeat all enemies" fairy chest room. I'd had no clue how much health my Miner was running around with, and it suddenly ran dry there at the end. This was another clear of roughly 90% of the dungeon, and it almost surely would have been finished completely if I'd been able to see the freaking lifebar. There was no point in spending another hour slowly clearing every single corner of the dungeon. My last two Miners had shown they were strong enough to finish the game. More gold was pointless at this point, only going into mostly unimportant magic damage upgrades. Let's just head for the final bosses and get this over with.
Unlock: Magic Damage Up x26, Mana Up
39) Level 411 (Health 75, Attack 75, Magic Damage 72, Armor 50, Equip 35, Mana 18, Crit Chance 25, Crit Damage 25, Gold Gain 5, Potion 5, Mana Cost Down 5, Miscellaneous 21): 29,907g
Ambivelous, Nearsighted, and the scythe again. The ambivelous trait meant that I'd be tossing the scythes backwards against Johannes and the Fountain, interesting stuff. This one was short and sweet: both Johannes and the Fountain hit my Miner lady exactly one time. She smacked them around with her high damage crits and sent them running for mercy. I didn't even need the recovery items that came out after the first phase of the battle. Wow. Go here to watch the carnage of the final runs firsthand.
Here were the final stats for the victorious Miner, Lady Priscila. Hmmm, that was the same name as the Miner who defeated the Fountain in Normal difficulty! Good bloodlines there. I was surprised at how easy the final two bosses were at the very end of the run. I think this goes to show how even the Miner can turn into a pretty good class after a truckload of upgrades. After 400 levels worth of upgrades, the Miner can be a badass too. The problem is getting the gold needed for those 400 levels worth of stats - that's the hard part!
In total it took 39 Miners to complete the three difficulty levels. That's among the worst for any of the classes I've done, with the Lich taking 41 characters and the Archmage taking 42 characters. This is not a fair comparison, however, since my own skill level has improved significantly since my earlier Legacy runs. The Archmage in particular is a vastly strong class than the Miner, and I have no doubt that I could do the game much faster if I were to replay that challenge. Between the other two classes, it's hard to say which one finishes the game in a weaker position. Both the Lich and the Miner are strong candidates for the "worst class in the game" award. The Lich starts out in a weaker place (due to the atrocious 35% starting health stat), but has the opportunity to get more health over the length of a run. The Miner begins a little bit better off (50% starting health) at the expense of always remaining weak through the whole life of each character. Because the Lich completely dominates the lower difficulty levels, I'd probably have to go with the Miner as the weaker of the two classes, if not by as much as many people might think. (The Lich really sucks on NG++ mode!) I strongly advise avoiding both classes for anyone looking to avoid a handicapped experience.
Whew. Glad this particular class was finished. Next up will be something nice and easy: the Shinobi.