The Quick and Dirty Speed-Retcon Guide
|This page is a User Guide|
It represents one editor's approach to a subject.
It is not in any way "official", nor is it necessarily maintained by Wiki editors
Take this information with a grain of salt.
This is an advanced guide, and assumes you are a veteran Retconner, or at least capable of getting by on your own.
A more general, step-by-step guide is available here. Also written mostly by me :)
The information in this page is accurate as of December 2014.
Created by Penguinpyro. This is my personal strategy for finishing low-mettle, blazing-fast retcons. We're talking 2-3 days apiece, 25-35 hours spent adventuring. Get to The Mick and stomp his crimey ass ASAP. A lot of this is subjective- adjust to your taste.
- 1 The Philosophy behind Speed Retcons
- 2 Run Restrictions
- 3 Best Skills to Perm and put points into
- 4 Best Items
- 5 Special Loadouts (skills and equips) for Special Situations
- 6 Actually doing the Quests
- 7 Other Considerations
- 8 Consumables
- 9 XP Grinding
The Philosophy behind Speed Retcons
- No Items of the Month are involved here. Only lootable, craftable or unlockable items. Perhaps some IoTM derivative items that you can directly buy or buy the components for from the player mall.
- Get quests over with ASAP by fine-tuning +/- combat encounter rate. Until level 9, quest areas usually give less XP than you want. When quests are over with, grind up XP fast.
- Increase foe toughness or seek out tougher enemies if the current location proves too easy, for increased XP.
- Minimal use of spells and combat buffs. That PP should go to buffs that adjust combat chance, item drops and XP gain.
- First sets of runs should be as fast/easy as possible to quickly build up permed skills. Prioritize useful skills ASAP. Permed passives are particularly good because they cost literally nothing.
- This guide does assume low-mettle runs. However, you do need to do more-restricted runs first to unlock a lot of good items at Nocturne's Shop. The "Best Items" section is a decent guideline for things to pull if you want.
- Ranged weapons tend to be far more reliable than melee ones when playing Psion, Gadgeteer or Elemental. However, Naturalists, who pretty much have to get by with melee, do have their own merits (below).
- Anything with a level requirement of level 12+ is useless to you. You want to kill The Mick at level 11 with zero dicking around.
- Once you have all the equipment you need, you spend minimal time between retcons, finishing your turns after fighting The Mick and resetting immediately after. Sure, you can dally around and get good consumables- store up SQUID discs, clockwork spiders and super-good caffeine/sugar instead. More power to you if that's how you roll, but for speedy retcons, that's time not spent actually retconning. And that ends up a net setback for the rate that you retcon- the most efficient use of time for fast retcons is actually retconning.
Class- See below.
Pulls- Max pulls or all items immediately. No point in the 48 hours option, you'll be done or nearly done by that point.
Skills- Depends on how many permed skills you have and your current class. Gadgeteers and Psions tend to have the most useful skills, in my opinion, if you have to choose "class skills only". If you only have a few permed skills, no harm in restricting all skills. If you have more, you can do class skills only. If you have a lot of permed skills, definitely go for all skills- it is so much easier that way.
Food- Both caffeine and sugar. You can go Diet without too much of a loss, actually, especially if you don't have points to put into Sugar Purifier.
Sidekick- You can easily skip sidekick. Your permanent sidekick is quite weak at low levels.
I personally like to go for only the sidekick restriction, allowing me 3 mettle per run (not much, I know, but I like it this way), which is the minimum to earn a gold foil.
Frankly, once, I used to be for Gadgeteers all the way. They have easily the best combat potential, allowing you to breeze through most enemies of your level and challenge harder areas for faster XP, without having to use spells at all.
However, I realized that Naturalists have two key advantages-
- the special wooden cup item gives them an insane boost to melee damage, allowing them to partially close the gap with Gadgeteers, while also gaining extra XP.
- Taming. Taming really speeds up XP grinding for levels 3 to 8, although at a cost to sellable items, meaning reduced cash.
Either way, I would advise avoiding Psions and Elementals after you've permed their useful skills. Their reliance on spells and buffs will chew through PP quickly- PP that you should have spent on encounter and item drop buffs.
Best Skills to Perm and put points into
Critical to have
- Stealth, Sinus of the Shark, Aura: Mental Magnetism- Increase or decrease combat chance. I cannot stress how key this is.
- Proper Hydration- For maintaining buffs
- Basic Martial Arts, Advanced Martial Arts, Sniper, Battle Armor- Passive combat boosts. Sniper doesn't improve melee damage, but the bonus to initiative can't be overlooked.
- Firestorm or Psionic Blast or Trample of the Rhino or all three- For bossfights.
- Sugar Purifier- More turns
- Precompletion Pro- More turns.
Very Useful to Have
- Knit Bone or First Aid- Emergency Healing
- Starfish Regeneration-General Utility
- Echolocation and Metal Detector- Money, speeds up level 5 and level 10 quests
- Aura: Vim- Powerful and cheap combat buff. Best bang for your PP for any buff.
- Detachment- Turn it on for bossfights and then shake it off afterwards
Somewhat Useful to Have
- Aura: Keen Observation- Extra chips and bit of extra XP.
- Aura: Vigor- Combat buff
- Catalyze- Makes certain caffeine items and transportation more effective. Needs 4 skill points for caffeine and 7 skill points for transportation. Anything more than you need is overkill.
- Premonition- Combat boost.
- Meditation- A few more turns
- Beefcake!, Artistic Warrior- Small stat boosts
- Fast Learner- Bit of extra XP
- The Fire Within- Extra Max PP
- Improved Tinkering- For maintaining Gadgeteer buffs
- Lifeblood Manipulation- Emergency Healing. Normally pretty crappy, unless you put max skill points into it, then it will outshine knit bone and first aid for efficiency.
All other skills
Are purely extras.
Level 1 is when you want to select or pull your ideal talisman. My recommendation is the special wooden cup for its significant XP bonus- It is available either with a lot of cash (not a stretch to grind) or with persistence in fighting the pitch-black knight. Other great Talismans are the seashell locket (not too compatible with a melee-based run), Thunder in a Bottle (same) and the Swedish Navy Wrench. If you can get ahold of it (unlikely), the Ultimate Aviator Goggles are also not bad.
Stick with that talisman for the rest of your retcon- the XP penalties to change are not worth it.
- Filigreed foil hat is the best starter, although hats are not too important until later.
- Wear whatever you like until level 5.
- At level 5, change to either the Mecha Nist's Night-vision Helmet (great for combat) or Zion's helm (extra XP)
- At level 8, change to the foyal crown for an insane bonus to XP.
- Anything with big numbers attached to it is sufficient for the first four levels. You aren't going to be doing very hard fighting.
- At level 5, switch between eight tentacles of fury for taming animals (I suspect by "better taming", it gives 5% bonus XP, which is huge) and Shadow Mist's Iron Scythe (for combat)
- At level 6, if combat is getting too easy, you can also switch to hammer time (for time savings).
- I have no other recommendations other than keeping the eight tentacles of fury around for XP grinding and when in zones with animals.
- The morning star is also nice choice for combat, starting at level 8.
- The retcon-usable melee Armaments of Destiny- Wraith, Fortune, Frost and Star- tend to be more powerful than equivalent-level items. If you get one, absolutely consider using them to their fullest.
- Anything with big numbers attached to it is sufficient for the first four levels. You aren't going to be doing very hard fighting.
- At level 3, if you happen to have a Boomstick, that is an excellent choice.
- At level 5, you get access to the repeating rifle, which completely kicks ass in combat. Probably better than the Boomstick, even.
- At level 6, you get Zeno's bow, which is considerably weaker than the repeating rifle, but gives a great time reduction.
- At level 9, you get Umbra's Shadow Blaster, which will annihilate pretty much anything you point it at. Yeehaw.
- If you get the Armament of Destiny Shadow, use it. Use the hell out of it, that +noncombat chance is excellent.
- Stick with the gold-plated poncho for the first three levels.
- At level 4, switch to the see-through shirt for the Protest quest and keep it on hand every time you want +combat chance.
- At level 5, switch to Midnight's Cloak for combat purposes.
- At level 9, put on the xentrium breastplate for time reduction.
- Honestly, gloves don't matter much. If it looks good to you, chances are it is.
- If you must pick a specific suggestion, I would recommend the sticky gloves for general use and for finding items during the level 5 quest, and at level 6 switch to work gloves to avoid fumbles.
- Strongly recommend bringing the gnat gloves with you at level 5 mostly for its super jumping abilities, freeing up your feet to use the xentrium boots (see below).
- Best starter is probably the gilded leggings. Anything goes for now.
- At level 4, switch to the cellophane zubaz when you need a noncombat chance.
- At level 6, switch to the datapants. Turn length reduction and big XP bonus mean it's best to stick with the datapants for the rest of your run, at least until level 11.
- Goaty slippers are an okay starter. As said above, most level 1-3 equipment isn't too important.
- At level 3, the skeptic sandals are also good.
- at level 5, if you don't have the gnat gloves, take out the high-jump boots to speed up the level 10 quest and the level 11 quest.
- At level 7, take out the xentrium boots and keep them on for now.
- At level 10, replace the xentrium boots with Prefontane's shoes.
- Black box (from the Criminology Lab) is the best general-purpose item at any level. Pre-coffee is a fantastic consumable, and postprecoffee (catalyzed) is even better.
- Rolled Doll dahl is important for noncombat chance. You're really not going to be doing much else with your offhand.
- At level 10, you get the xentrium shield, which can take over for your other time-reducing items if your turn length is too much.
- Start with the supersolid mettle medal and the digital voice recorder.
- At level 4, you get the embossed emblem to replace the digital voice recorder. Keep it there. You may also want the Ali C bling for combat chance.
- At level 5, you get the shoehorn. It can substitute for the supersolid mettle medal.
- At level 7, you can replace the shoehorn with the Queen of the Apocalypse, which does the same thing and also gives a sweet critical chance for combat.
- At level 10, you get the blue chip socks, which can replace your embossed emblem or Queen of the Apocalypse if you are feeling confident. Otherwise, the dainty glasses make a nice substitute for either.
- Best starter is the Paradime device. You don't need more range than 3 until level 8.
- At level 8, switch to the Lexura Infinides D20 for general purpose, or luxury chameleon for noncombat chance.
- At level 9, you also can choose The Dingo's Lotus for its XP, or you can bring the Model T-1000 to really boost your sidekicks when in the Cube Theater.
- Start with the electronic computer.
- At level 3, bring out the positronic computer.
- At level 9, bring out the trionic computer.
- Garcia's Traffic Avoider and MacRuff's Mercantile Monitor are the best for manipulating encounter chance.
- GigantoFirm LookOut Calendar is good for general purposes (turn length reduction)
- Personal copy of the internet increases foe toughness, for extra XP at the cost of well... tougher foes.
I usually leave my sidekick behind during retcons, since she's only really the most useful at higher levels. When I do get her, I always leave her as a Psychoanalyst.
Good cheap companions
- old coin/mismatched earring- defensive sidekicks
- Twilight Gold card- +chips
- Nostronomian signal whistle- +XP and damage, only available at level 10, and needs a quest to buy it (but not use it)
Special Loadouts (skills and equips) for Special Situations
In order of best (doesn't have good alternatives in this slot to sacrifice) to worst (the alternatives are a lot better): Garcia's Traffic Avoider software, Stealth, Aura: Repulsive Magnetism, luxury chameleon, Rolled Doll dahl, sneakiers, cellophane zubaz.
Also, squidopus ink is a free buff, if you can get ahold of it.
Remember that Elementals can already breathe water (but they suck in a fight!)
Fighting The Mick
Really, if you're having trouble, stock up on the damage absorption items. Chain coif, chain gauntlets, silenced mail shirt, silenced mail leggings and chain sabaton. Brick wall if you are not using a melee weapon. That should nearly negate the physical damage from The Mick, leaving only the elemental damage he deals.
Remember that he increases his own foe toughness with the number of buffs you have on- 5 per effect, in addition to whatever other foe toughness modifiers you have going. You want at least 30 FT for his expensive blue chip drop- that's seven buffs, or four buffs if you're crazy enough to run personal copy of the internet during this fight.
Some good buffs for meeting this criterion are: Aura: Vim, Stone Armor, Aura: Vigor, Detachment (remember to disable it after this fight), and Upgrade Weapons: Frickin' Sharp. Remember that the fight is easier if you cancel your weaker or combat-irrelevant buffs.
I would recommend assembling the bionic bolas combat item for stunning The Mick as well. It's made of components you'll end up getting during your run anyways, and stuns him for a whole three rounds. Hell, make two if you want to really get a lot of free shots on him.
On the offensive side, hit him with Trample of the Rhino if you have melee weapons. If you have and want to use your Nova powers, now absolutely is the time. Otherwise, blast away and he should drop.
If all else fails, I have been told that hitting him with the Tornado skill (twice if skill is maxed, more if not maxed) will make it a cakewalk if you can survive long enough.
Other Tough Bossfights
- Big Bad John Steele is vulnerable to Lightning Bolt.
- Troutmaster is weaker if you have the Bass-O-Matic 77 equipped, but he's also vulnerable to Lightning Bolt. I'd much rather have the 2500 chips myself.
- Fusion octotron is vulnerable to the EMP device. Hit it twice in a row with the EMP for better results.
Actually doing the Quests
What setups you need, and when
- Level 1 quest- +noncombats all the way.
- Level 2 quest- +noncombats all the way. Don't bother with the steel knuckles- a good Firestorm or Psionic Blast should give John Steele what for.
- Level 3 quest- +noncombats whenever you're in the sewers, until it's time to fight the Mind Bender, then you want +combats.
- Level 4 quest- +combats all the way.
- Level 5 quest- Tricky one. +Combats/items for the heavily encrypted swipe card, +noncombat for the first door and the second door, and then +combats/items for the capo key.
- Level 6 quest- +Noncombats all the way. Note that noncombat chance is not necessary for searching out Perch Boy and the Troutmaster, but also doesn't hurt.
- Level 7 quest- Go straight to Investigate the shouting in the first quest noncombat. You'll miss out on some chips, but skip a lot of annoying noncombats. +Noncombats up until it's time to kill the archons. Note that +items comes in handy in Zion's Tears building for the horn of Zion item drops to speed up the archon fights.
- Level 8 quests- +Noncombat all the way.
- Level 9 quest- +Noncombat all the way, and when XP grinding.
- Level 10 quest- +Items for the Staked Tundra for globs of goo to speed things up, then flying/super jumping for the first half of the Astral Badlands. For the second half of the Astral Badlands, +noncombats (I recommend getting all six noncombats so you can get back to the Cube Theater faster). Then it doesn't matter what you use to wrap up the Mouths of Darkness.
- Level 11 quest- Doesn't matter what you use. Remember to use the Madness? and motorcycle shortcuts (below)
- Level 8 quests- After finding the locked door in the Underwater Base, switch to adventuring in the Unborn Base/Base Cochise until you get the Frostheim key card. If you happened to get a Quincy's rental coupon, don't forget to redeem it to open the base. Then go back to the Underwater Base.
- Level 10 quest- First section can be sped up slightly by using globs of goo. Second section can be sped up by wearing flight/super jump items. Third section can be sped up by increasing noncombat chance and wandering around in the Astral Badlands.
- Level 11 quest- First room can be skipped by equipping (and thereby sacrificing) a motorcycle as you walk in. The "Sparta" section can be reduced to a single encounter by equipping 4 of the following "Madness?" items- Zion's helm, sandals, pronged javelin/hoplite sword, hoplon, Leon's beard and the effect Super Slickery (from body oil or ecofriendly body oil).
A little bonus section on how to handle B quests most efficiently, should you choose.
- Plumbing the Depths- +Combats.
- Riding in the Lists- +Noncombats for fighting the pitch-black knight, then pack as much damage/offense as possible when fighting your opponent. Remember that the Psion jousting opponent is weak to psychic damage but resists physical damage.
- The Last Nostronomian- I recommend buying and using a Nostronomian signal whistle instead of searching out the Nostronomian the first time. Either way, you need +noncombat chance and super jumping/flying for the over-the-wall encounter. Then, you'll want to maximize combat chances to find and take down the Nostronomian sleepwalker. When fighting Dr. Somnus , it's probably best to treat her like The Mick- buff up good and hit her as hard and fast as possible, no matter the PP cost, even using stuns if necessary.
- Rejected Rogue Ranch Rascals Require Retribution- Doesn't matter. Just have transportation with range 5.
- Moon Over Twilight, Brutes Over Downtown- +Noncombats until you get to the Rooftops over WoDo, then immediately tackle Tiny's Hut. If you want to fight rather than blend, I recommend beating the massive brute with spells (not weapon attacks) and +damage absorb gear/buffs. For the Camp Training Camp section, get your stats nice and high (70 is the minimum, but you need 100+ to scare off enemies) and pack any +combat chance you spare for taking down the trainers as fast as possible.
- The Oldest and Strongest Emotion- +Combats all the way in Shiloh Sanatarium. After that, doesn't matter.
- A Mysterious Ruin- +Noncombats for finding the initial ruins, then fight Alpha to speed up the space station construction. My recommended setup for fighting Alpha, at level 13 or higher, is polyphonic spree-gun + swanky hat + megaphone + as many combat buffs as possible + the best other equipment as possible. Set your sidekick to Demolition man or something defensive. Alpha is most vulnerable to sonic and acid damage, but sonic is way easier to get ahold of than acid. Don't forget to replace your trion after every fight, win or lose.
Only B-quest that you can easily fit into your schedule is the Riding in the Lists quest, which gives a nice pair of gauntlets that enhances your class's combat skills. You'll have to go somewhat out of your way for the other optional quests, and none of them has too great rewards for the effort necessary.
SQUID discs actually give you only a minor increase in XP and you typically will not get many of them. They won't figure largely into speedruns.
The locations unlocked by selflessness don't have any real influence- the Publicist and Robotics Club are honestly small priorities. Being self-interested (on the left) gives a chance of receiving Frost every day.
Now, honor can unlock either An Ark of Anarchy or the Goody Two Shoes rally if you're consistent about it. Both drop good caffeine items and some other decent items, but the problem is that the XP gains from either area are small, so you can only stay in those areas for so long before you start falling behind in XP grinding. Said places become obsolete at roughly level 4 or 5, so you have to get a reputation before then.
So as you can see, reputation doesn't really figure into short retcons unless you want to focus on it.
If reputation is not a consideration, here are the best choices for each choice encounter you will see during a normal retcon.
- A Dilemma of the Horns- Try to prevent major gridlock, then sell the dented hubcap. Do not pick the third option as it wastes time for no gain.
- The Funny Rooms in the Unborn Base interior- If you have the stats for each room (60 or above), go for it.
- Anonymity: Blessing or A Curse?- I prefer to have villains enabled, simply because it's a decent source of income selling the villain drops I don't use and doesn't take up that much time. And of course, a few villains have good drops. The Ticketmaster, The Human Gnat, Mister Bobo, etc.
- Hey, Hey! Free Loot!- Either way.
- A Joyous (but Properly Restrained) Reunion- Take the loot. Kick the Troutmaster's ass with Lightning Bolt instead.
- Aio, Quantitas Magna Frumentorum Est- Grab the bomber.
- Glove Slap, Baby- If you're wounded or below level 5, cheat. Otherwise, fight the knight.
- Gotta Move Quick- You can unlock the rooftops for later, but normally, you'd want to dive left for the sweet XP.
- Intermission- Exit stage center.
- Not to Choose Is Not a Choice- Either help the gadgeteer or the elementalist.
- Pick Yer Poison- Ask for both. The turn spent is not worth the loot.
- Shipping Clerk- Demand information.
- That Man's Father Is My Father's Son- Accept the loss or get creative.
I will only be focusing on the consumables that you can easily get during retconning while still retaining excellent returns. You're welcome to go out of your way to stockpile better stuff, but it'll slow down your retcons, so most likely a net loss.
- My poison of choice is Mister Tea, available from either the Black Market or the player Mall at level 5. It's by far the cheapest and easiest to get good caffeine. Settle for nothing weaker than a Mister Tea.
- Smalland large hyper-c are as efficient as a Mister Tea, but with a small permanent reflex bonus.
- Better than Mister Tea is pre-coffee from the Criminology Lab, or its even better catalyzed version, postprecoffee.
- The best that is readily available is Turkish coffee from Nocturne's (the stimpacks aren't a very good deal for the cost), but these cost mettle.
- IQ120 from the Rooftops or Stroopwafelen from the player Mall can be eaten at level 7 and is probably the ideal to shoot for.
- Don't bother with the frosted cocoa-fruity marshmallow blasts from the Criminology Lab- it's only slightly better than stroopwafelen but much harder to get. Pre-coffee is where your IOU's are best spent.
- The black hole chocolate from Nocturne's are a similar case. Pricey and only a marginal improvement over stroopwafelen.
- It doesn't matter too much where you grind if you aren't a Naturalist. I recommend the retro rave if you're level 1 or 2, then move to The streets of downtown Twilight or the City of Lost Robots at level 3, and move onto The Docks or the Guild for Imaginative Metachronism at level 5 and finally the Rooftops of downtown around level 7. But that's just how I roll. You can use Location by XP to gauge each location's difficulty level and adjust as your needs must.
- If you are a Naturalist, once you get to level 4 or so, go tame animals in Porcelain Bay. You may want to fight squidopuses the normal way so you can get useful squidopus ink off of them. You also may want to focus your combat buffs on your defenses so you can survive their attacks longer as you tame them. It's fantastic XP, although if you find yourself too short on cash, you'll want to go back to other areas and normal combat for the chips and item drops. You can also tame animals in the Outskirts of Area 54, but the noncombat encounters there will waste your time and one of the opponents isn't an animal, so you won't be getting useful bonus XP off of him.
- Either way, once you hit level 9, the far and away best place to grind XP is in the Cube Theater. In the Intermission noncombat, pick "Exit stage center" for absurd amounts of XP. Max your noncombat chance whenever you're in the Cube, obviously. The enemies there aren't too tough and give good chips and XP too.
If you're having too easy a time in an area, and you have equipment slots to spare, consider increasing your Foe Toughness for increased XP. Normal +XP is almost always superior to Foe Toughness, for the obvious reason that foes can only get so tough before you can't handle it anymore, but again, sometimes you can afford to up your game a little. There very many ways to get +FT but the most convenient are:
- Filthy sock puppet Yes, it gives a massive +15 foe toughness spike, but the other bonuses this item gives offset it slightly. SLIGHTLY. No level requirement.
- coil of rope or baseball diamond- +7 or +9 foe toughness, no level requirement. Somewhat safer to use than the sock puppet.
- Rook of the Cataclysm- +20 foe toughness, provides some defense to very slightly offset it, level 7 requirement. +20 FT is a ton, and is probably excessive unless you are absolutely certain that your hero is the baddest dude there is.
- 'hip' t-shirt- +10 foe toughness, no level requirement. Again, a big spike, so be careful. Becomes obsolete at level 9, when the xentrium breastplate will replace it.
- Ugly cashmere sweater and see-through shirt- +6 or +5 level requirement, and actually provides some defense. Basically less extreme versions of the hip t-shirt. Available at levels 3 and 4 respectively.
- personal copy of the internet- +1 foe toughness per level, and occasional bonus XP. Remember that it scales with your level- it barely has any effect at first, but eventually will become quite pronounced by the time you enter the Cube Theater.
- blue chip socks- Mentioned before, available at level 10. The +2% XP bonus actually isn't that much- it'll come out to 2 or 3 XP most of the time- the main effect is the foe toughness increase.
- cat o' five tails- +5 foe toughness, and is a fairly good melee weapon for its level.
Remember to fine-tune foe toughness. If you have to heal every few turns, you're probably doing it wrong.