Today’s DestinyQuest super fan is Brian Ronk. He has been an active participant on the DestinyQuest forums (as his avatar, Rithe) helping to both support the book and help out other gamers. He also has his own blog site, which has been running his own ‘Vote Your Own Adventure’ gamebook series.
As a dedicated DQ gamer, I asked Brian if he would share some of his top tips and strategies for The Legion of Shadow. As ever, he didn’t disappoint!
1. Can you briefly tell us a bit about yourself and your gaming background? I grew up playing video games on the computer and friend’s consoles. Over the years, RPG and Adventure games have become my genres of choice.
I’ve always been a huge reader. I read The Lord of the Rings before I was a teen (granted, I didn’t understand it all). My library also had some of the Choose Your Own Adventure books that I read. Unfortunately, they never quite caught my attention. I think because I’ve always been more of a fantasy person.
After college, I discovered the Interactive Fiction scene, and dabbled in writing my own (none were ever released). Through that, I eventually discovered the Fabled Lands app that fans of the series created. This sparked a love of the gamebook genre.
2. How did you first hear about DestinyQuest and what convinced you to give it a try? Truthfully, I don’t remember exactly where I heard about DestinyQuest. I read a number of great reviews online, and decided that if I wanted to get into the scene more, I needed to have a copy to understand the hype. I haven’t regretted it.
3. What makes DestinyQuest different to other gamebooks you have read/played? The biggest difference is the way the player character and world are treated. DQ is more like an MMORPG in book form. You can’t really die, you just pick up where you left off. There is also the massive amount of loot to collect.
Another difference is that the game is free-roaming, but in a controlled way. Books like the Fabled Lands series are free-roaming in the true sense of the word, as you actually travel from one point to the next. DQ is similar with many different locations, but you jump between your choice of location using the maps – each location then provides you with a quest or other environment to explore, like a town or village.
That brings me to my last difference. Many gamebooks are one story. DQ is filled with stories. Every quest in the book is a story of its own. All the quests of an Act link together to form a more coherent story about the area the Act takes place in. It is a great way to tell the story of this individual hero.
4. Can you tell us a bit about your DQ hero? I am partial to the ‘holy warrior’ of the paladin, so I went down that route with my first character. He is named Rithe, and became an Inquisitor after completing a very tricky quest (I won’t spoil it!). Through his adventures, he always sought justice and the truth behind what was troubling the people. For instance, in another quest he decided to trust a certain character, even though everything pointed to this person being the cause of the problem. Of course, you could have played it the other way too – but I stuck to role-playing my character.
My current character is heading down the path of a Rogue. He likes to hit hard and fast. I foresee him becoming an Assassin down the road.
5. What are your favourite DQ combat strategies? Right now, I’m partial to the idea of hitting fast and hard with high speed and lots of combat abilities. But that’s because of the type of character I’m playing.
I really like the abilities that cause passive damage, like thorns and venom. That way, I’m still going to do some damage in every combat round, even if I lose or the round is a draw.
6. What is your favourite item of loot and why? I like the Crown of valour. It has some amazing stats and abilities attached to it. Unfortunately, most of the readers won’t be able to get it. This is one of the Loot Cards that has been released. One of the two Epic ones at that.
That’s the other reason I like it. I have some bragging rights with it because I was the first (known) player to receive that card and reveal it to the community.
7. What advice would you give to new DQ players? Have a general idea what type of character you are going to play from the start. Are you going to be a Warrior with lots of Brawn and/or Armour? A Rogue with higher Speed and Brawn to hit hard and fast? Or maybe a Mage who uses his/her Magic powers to defeat foes. Start collecting loot that will help support that play style.
Don’t underestimate the game’s special abilities. Just because an item of loot may have some lower stats, don’t discount it. You will run across items that might look like they aren’t worth using. Make sure you check the ability before you skip it, though. The abilities can be better than the stats that you lose.
8. In a sound bite, why should readers give DestinyQuest: The Legion of Shadow a try – even if they’ve never picked up a gamebook before? If you like MMOs, you will love this book. Combat is fast and furious, and the amount of loot is mind boggling! If you read it for the story, you won’t be disappointed. This one is filled with a number of twists and turns that rival any epic fantasy novel.