Kayla was convinced she couldn't defeat Infernal mode's Ancient Dragon, so we joined up in ad-hoc and kicked the crap out of the thing together. After Infernal mode, Ultimate difficulty is supposed to open up - but it didn't!
I didn't understand it myself - my Ultimate difficulty opened up instantly when the final content update dropped last December - but it turns out that's because I'd already done everything in Infernal mode ten times over, including many floors of the Labyrinth, and a quick Googling informed us that one must defeat floor 9 of the Chaos Labyrinth to open up Ultimate mode.
"That means you have to fight the Demon King," I told her.
I fucking hate the Demon King.
He's not really a fight that you can master.
He summons swarms of enemies that are manageable on their own and an absolute nightmare when combined - zombies that grab you and render you immobile while the others hammer on you, homunculi who leap at you, whack in to you and take your form and abilities and minor demons that festoon the battlefield with stunning blasts of high-damage lightning bolts and DoT-inducing fireballs - and that's on top of his horn-bash melee attack, his triple-blast petrification spell, his rain of magic projectiles, his icy prisons, health-drains, ultra-tornadoes and gravity wells.
He's a son of a bitch, is what he is, and he reappears every so often as you make your way through the Labyrinth in Infernal mode or the Tower of Mirages in Ultimate.
But it had to be done.
One of the reasons I'm so pleased with Kayla's affection for Dragon's Crown on her Vita (she alternates between it and Terraria), I'll admit, is a selfish one. Beyond the fact that I find it validating for someone else to become as absorbed in Dragon's Crown as I've found myself, fighting the Demon King and working my way up the Tower or Mirages on my Amazon is prohibitively expensive.
With each appearance he makes, my bank balance plummets. I gear up as best I can, I invest in the most-expensive prayers at the temple ($15,000 nets three extra life points for each party member), I bring the toughest NPCs I can find, but they're just that - NPCs - and they die quick. To defeat him, I have to repeatedly resurrect them (and subsequently myself), spending millions in the process.
In order to finance these battles, I would often retire to Infernal mode and chain fifty dungeons to build up some cash before heading back in to Ultimate to earn XP - but now, with Kayla's help, perhaps..?
We stomped him on our first try. A team member who can think went a very long way, and I earned myself my Sorceress's first-ever broom. A broom that increases all spell damage by 50%. I've been waiting the entire bloody game for this piece of equipment - just for the style of it.
It's at the gear level cap - level 99. My Sorceress was level 95. But, as I'd already opened up Ultimate difficulty, I dove in to the Tower of Mirages, got some more sweet S-ranks and dinged 99 around 01:00 last night.
Finally. Finally I can zoom about on a witch's broom! I actually re-fought the Demon King a few times to get a few variations on it, and ended up with one that's got a pretty slick damage range (240-255), but even then, after doing some DPS tests with my entirely willing and happy-to-help assistant, Rannie,
it couldn't beat out the level 89 flame staff I had with a similarly tight damage range. My previous best-staff has some nice damage buffs on it - +17% fire damage, +16% overall damage, +24% mana used and damage done - and those combined beat out the best broom by about 20% on some tests.
Oh well. The brooms went in to my lesser equipment bags - but I'm confident! As I climb up the Tower, I'll no doubt come across other, awesomer brooms - then, I'll be both ultra-stylish and exceedingly badass.
'Course, that may never happen. The beauty and tragedy of Dragon's Crown's design and loot - one may never put together even a single perfect bag of gear - but I'll admit, the gear's not really the point. It's the trying that keeps me coming back. The doing.
...I wonder if I should drop one of my staffs per bag (I always carry 2) and spec into Conjure Food... I can afford to lose the points in Extract, I'm sure... hmmm....