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Kingdom Death: Monster» Forums » General

Subject: So, just a few concerns rss

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Nick Clinite
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As a fan of both Dark Souls (VG) and Lamentations of the Flame Princess (RPG), this game appeals to me. I have done some due diligence and read up quite a bit and watched some videos, and I do have a few concerns about whether or not this is the game for me, which I am hoping some of you could address. Please let me know your thoughts on these: whether you agree or disagree, or how much they really impact the game in your experience.

1) Inverted difficulty curve. Funnily enough, this is also a problem in the Souls games: it starts off hard, gets harder, and then becomes easy. From what I've read in some places, once you learn how to play the game, it's not really that hard. You can still lose due to random chance, but the act of playing well, once you get it, remains static for the rest of the 100+ hours you devote to the game.

2) The unevenness of agency. This was brought up in one of the reviews I read, and ties in with the first concern. The showdown phase, once you learn to fight conservatively, becomes very controlled by the players. You may have to learn each boss' unique moveset, but so long as you are careful you can maintain control of the entire fight. In contrast, the settlement phase has too little control, and random things just happen. For the record, I don't mind unavoidable random death in a game that is well designed around it--which KDM appears to be. But I can understand the criticism that one phase is too controlled, while the other is too uncontrolled, where it might be preferable if both had more controlled and uncontrolled aspects.

3) Quality of the emergent narrative. Just how good is the story that comes out of the random and pre-set events? While different things may happen on subsequent playthroughs, does it lead to a satisfyingly unique experience? Do you ever run across events that just seem out of place and silly?

4) Quality of the miniatures. Is it true that the miniatures showcased in advertisements are not the same miniatures that you get in the game, but are higher quality models available as a separate purchase?

5) Repetitive Churn. There are 8 monsters to fight across 25 (now 30?) lantern years. Each monsters has 3 (or more?) difficulty settings, and their movesets can be different each time based on what cards get removed as damage. Also, for such nice looking miniatures, it would be a shame to see them only once. Still, it would be nice if each campaign had its own boss route to have fun with, as repetition breeds familiarity. I am not a fan of Monster Hunter or loot grinding. Personally, I would much rather have only the four base survivor models, and get some extra bosses.
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Felipe Bulhões
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Yeah, I hope there is some form of rage mechanic if the survivors take too long to kill a boss like in a MMO. This game doesn't look Hard at all due tô turtling tactics
 
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Drake Coker
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My opinions...

1. For myself, at 50+ hours of play, several partial campaigns and one complete campaign, I haven't hit the inverted difficulty yet. I believe it is there, but it definitely takes time. My first full campaign ended in obliteration by the final boss, who seemed entirely unbeatable despite his reputation as being a push-over. A lot depends on how the campaign goes

2. A fair criticism, though not one I've personally found to be a problem.

3. The main line "story" is pretty much the same each play through (core box, that is), but there really isn't much of a story there. It's more of a series of glimpses into a pretty incomprehensible world. The emergent part of the narrative is your tribe's individual evolution, which is likely to be quite different each time you play (mine have all been very different).

4. Miniatures are what you see and are great. The poses run on the static side (due to the interchangeable everything), but the quality of the minis is second to none.

5. The churn works better than it sounds on paper. You need to churn some monsters to get the gear you want. The nemesis fights break things up. Adding even one expansion makes for a different experience. If you get either Dragon King or Sunstalker, you get a completely different campaign. In this game, familiarity breeds "ok, maybe this time I have a chance"


There's a lot of content. At my rate of play (1-2 times per month), I have a good decade of game play here.
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Igor Persin
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5) for extra monsters you have to buy expansions. I too would be far more satisfied with more monsters in base game and less survivor miniatures. It's nice that you can customize survivors, but it's really not that needed. And unless you magnetise everything(99% of players won't do this), most of the time you even won't have what miniature has on itself.
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Kevin Outlaw
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Olvenskol wrote:


4. Miniatures are what you see and are great. The poses run on the static side (due to the interchangeable everything), but the quality of the minis is second to none.


Although note, on the kickstarter page, the models shown for the base game (lion etc.) are painted models that look all cracked up and weathered. The actual models don't look like that (unless you paint them).
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IA Seldon
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I'll talk about each in turn.

1) The Huntable monsters can get easier with time, but that "easier" hunt caps off at level 2, and generally only applies to the Lion, Gorm, Antelope, Spidicules, and Flower Knight. A level 1 Phoenix is comparable to a level 2 of all the creatures listed in the sentence before. The bump in power between the Phoenix and everything else is tremendous.

Nemesis monsters ignore that power curve. They are hard all the damn time, and you never see them get easier, only more powerful. A level 1 Butcher can be beaten with fair regularity, but even veteran players with overpowered gear can be wiped completely by a level 1 Kingsman if the cards go badly.

Then there is the Lion God, which even at Level 1 will make you sit down and cry.

2) That sentiment of too little control in the settlement phase is the retrospective opinion of just one player. I don't agree with it. You might agree or disagree but you won't know until you play. It also glosses over that a lot of the events are choices: you choose who gets selected and what to do, and those choices might have good or bad results. But, this is just how life works out as well: no matter how well you plan things in your life, events have a way if spinning out of your control. I don't know why a reflection of this in a game was given such a bad rap by that player, but to me it's a fascinating reflection of society and life that makes the settlement phase ring true.

Also, in this phase you arguably have the most direct control over the game by how you build both the settlement, your gear, and your departing survivors.

The hunt will always be random to a degree, but you have a choice of agency there as well. You can choose to investigate something or pass it by. Some events will just happen to you, but that keeps the game dangerous, and this game is all about danger.

As to controlling the monster itself: some of those monsters NEED the control if you want to survive. If you don't plan ahead and work with everything in the toolbox, you will have a really rough time. But those tools, in the end, are optional. You don't actually need them to win.

3) The story potential in the random events is quite large, but you do have to see them as a story. They aren't narrated as if one event flows naturally to another, but if you use your imagination in describing the events they can be wonderful sagas of trials and courage. Pre-set events are usually things that unlock certain aspects of the game, and tend to be heavily weighted in the first 9-10 years before vanishing into the emerging story that you create yourself.

There are silly events, but this game needs a few silly events. Because it's very dark throughout. A little random humor is just a grin on the trip to the gallows.

4) There are resin miniatures, which are not for gameplay and always sold separately as such, and every other mini is made of the same plastic material. Some minis are painted, others are blank plastic. Google images and you will see a range of painted minis. Not really sure what this question is about, really.

5) Every monster is a boss fight. The huntable monsters are what could be termed room bosses and the nemesis monsters are floor bosses. The nemesis monsters are introduced in an order, but then you are instructed to select them however you please.

Also, I'm not quite sure what you're getting at here. At any time you may select a huntable monster once it is unlocked in the campaign, select the level of difficulty, and go hunt it. They don't vanish.

In fact: there are also Legendary levels of the three core game huntable monsters, each accessed in their own unique ways. The Lion has two level 4 hunts, the Screaming Antelope has 1, and the Phoenix has 1 that is probably tougher than the end game fights.

And then there are the expansion monsters, who can be added to give more huntable monsters or even very challenging nemesis fights.

Hope this helped answer some questions.
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Alessio Massuoli
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1) no, it never goes easy. of course, if you hunt L1 white lions at LY20, I expect it to be easy. But if you go for a L2 (or L3) Phoenix, you don't have an easy game. If you add the expansions, this gets more true. Actually, DBK and Lion God are the biggest challenges I met (and the Legendary Phoenix), but I'm far from having tried everything.
2) no, you will never "control" the monster, even with all precautions set up (again, except L1 lions in LY20). I'll make an example with the DBK, because it's great to show how: even if you control is Hit Locations to not draw a trap, you will trigger reactions that will still be dangerous; if you go too slow in controlling the flow (for example, you use a cat's eye circlet to see the next three HL, you find a trap, you have no spear specialists and you just wait next turn to reuse cat's eye circlet again, you are giving the monster a lot of time to wreck you). in this case, it is however true that there are some manipulations that in particular cases make everything easier (get the Lion to loop into sniffing, only doable with 2 survivors alive and the right AI left in the deck), or getting the butcher to kick loop you until everyone is dead.
3) funny moments, yes, silly moments, didn't experience those (death of the Lion knight? again, found it fun )
4) not true: miniatures are resin and hard plastic, and it is always specified what they are. resin is generally better to retain details (generally), but it is always specified what you get. if you are meaning the sculpts, well, those are not yet cast, so... who knows?
5) white lion got me bored from time to time, but I hunted like 100 of them. ai deck does usually a good job in keeping things fresh, and you never get used to nemesis monsters (except when you cheese the hand, but the guy is lots of laughs)
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Drake Coker
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Here's a different take on it...

After playing it for a year, I'm still on the edge of my seat every game session. The times that go well are a welcome break from the looming and nearly-certain disaster right around the next corner. It's hard to get blasé about the experience.

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Daniel Bolens
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Coiote wrote:
Yeah, I hope there is some form of rage mechanic if the survivors take too long to kill a boss like in a MMO. This game doesn't look Hard at all due tô turtling tactics


There are no turtling tactics. If you try to turtle, you will get straight fucked. Part of the AI deck for each fight contains "Mood" cards which usually stay in play after drawing them, making the fight harder over time.
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that Matt
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Coiote wrote:
This game doesn't look Hard at all due tô turtling tactics

Lol.
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Bibious P
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Everyone gave some great answers above and I'm in agreement with the consensus and hope that helps you.

I wanted to comment on just two of them:

Narrative - I wasn't a believer that the narrative would be good just based on mechanics, but Poots and his design team really went to town on the cards and gave you a lot to work with to form a story in your mind. The stories that have come out of our games (sessions and campaigns) have been amazing. My favorite was a survivor with a broken back taking out a nemesis with his bare hands and gouging out the monster's eyes! 100% random but that's how it lined up and the cards made the entire story come together so clearly.

Inverted difficulty - there is some truth here but not enough to be a major concern. We are 'good' against lions now (lvl 2 and below havent tried level 3 yet too scared cry) But still learning the antelope and his ways. We have not even fought a level 1 phoenix yet. And at this point we probably have 60 ish hours into the game. Its really up to the player if you are willing to push your team a bit you will always find the game fresh. We were destroying level 1 lions early in our campaign so fought some antelopes and destroyed them too. We've moved onto level 2 and did well against them but the entire experience changed with a simple bump. The game really shines when you push yourself and take a risk. Don't get caught up in only the Math around X = Y+2 and that is not worth it, there are other benefits you won't know until you play the game a lot for going for the harder fights.

Final thing to note from your original post that makes me pause on if this is the game for you is your note about "not liking monster hunter and griding for loot" a bit part of this game will be trying to get the "loot" via monster resources. I personally like that aspect but if you don't you want to do more research before buying.

KDM is one of the best board game experiences I've ever had.
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sam newman

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smurfORnot wrote:
5) for extra monsters you have to buy expansions. I too would be far more satisfied with more monsters in base game and less survivor miniatures. It's nice that you can customize survivors, but it's really not that needed. And unless you magnetise everything(99% of players won't do this), most of the time you even won't have what miniature has on itself.


This is true but a new monster has to come with a hell of a lot more stuff than just the model.
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Bibious P
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gorkel wrote:
smurfORnot wrote:
5) for extra monsters you have to buy expansions. I too would be far more satisfied with more monsters in base game and less survivor miniatures. It's nice that you can customize survivors, but it's really not that needed. And unless you magnetise everything(99% of players won't do this), most of the time you even won't have what miniature has on itself.


This is true but a new monster has to come with a hell of a lot more stuff than just the model.


Even the smallest of the expansions come with a lot of new stuff.

Check out some of the unboxing videos on youtube, you can usually stop them 3 to 4 minutes to see the content be dumped out before they get into "spoiler" territory
 
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Andy Stanford
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bibious wrote:
The stories that have come out of our games (sessions and campaigns) have been amazing. My favorite was a survivor with a broken back taking out a nemesis with his bare hands and gouging out the monster's eyes!

This is exactly why I want this game!
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Daniel Reed
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Quote:

1) Inverted difficulty curve. Funnily enough, this is also a problem in the Souls games: it starts off hard, gets harder, and then becomes easy. From what I've read in some places, once you learn how to play the game, it's not really that hard. You can still lose due to random chance, but the act of playing well, once you get it, remains static for the rest of the 100+ hours you devote to the game.


There is some truth to this. When you first start hunting the white lion there is a very real threat of losing your entire party. As you become more powerful the fight becomes much more trivial. As you start more new settlements you start to learn at what years and power levels you can safely fight the Screaming Antelope and Phoenix fights. However the Nemesis fights still interject a strong dose of difficulty. The fact that you always have to fight a Nemesis that's one level higher keeps the fight difficult.


Quote:
2) The unevenness of agency. This was brought up in one of the reviews I read, and ties in with the first concern. The showdown phase, once you learn to fight conservatively, becomes very controlled by the players. You may have to learn each boss' unique moveset, but so long as you are careful you can maintain control of the entire fight. In contrast, the settlement phase has too little control, and random things just happen. For the record, I don't mind unavoidable random death in a game that is well designed around it--which KDM appears to be. But I can understand the criticism that one phase is too controlled, while the other is too uncontrolled, where it might be preferable if both had more controlled and uncontrolled aspects.


I can't say I disagree with this. I find that smart strategic play is often reward during the showdown phase, its still very possible to have horrible rolls but its much easier to mitigate the nasty things that can happen during the showdown. Settlement Events can really be all over the place in terms of the difficulty they bring. We have had some Settlements were the events barely register and even or borderline positive and some Settlements just be devastated. This is compounded by the fact that you can draw the same event multiple times during a Settlements lifetime. The Hunt Phase by far throws the most as you in terms of uncontrollable randomness. It can be brutal and there is one hunt event that wiped out or entire party without even a single die roll. Some of the pain from Settlement and Hunt Events can be mitigated by knowing which innovations to prioritize and just knowledge from repeated plays.

Quote:
3) Quality of the emergent narrative. Just how good is the story that comes out of the random and pre-set events? While different things may happen on subsequent play through s, does it lead to a satisfyingly unique experience? Do you ever run across events that just seem out of place and silly?


This is going to differ for each person. The Story from Kingdom Death is not in your face. Its much more nuance and allows for a lot of player interpretation. After maybe are 4th Settlement we had seen $95% of the story events. There is one little mystery on the Hunt Table that we have yet to unlock.

Quote:

4) Quality of the miniatures. Is it true that the miniatures showcased in advertisements are not the same miniatures that you get in the game, but are higher quality models available as a separate purchase?


Not sure what your mean by this. There have been higher quality resin print runs of many of the models but there not meant for game play. The miniatures included or high quality plastic miniatures. The one's shown in the KS or the same they have just been painted to give them that stone like appearance.

Quote:

5) Repetitive Churn. There are 8 monsters to fight across 25 (now 30?) lantern years. Each monsters has 3 (or more?) difficulty settings, and their movesets can be different each time based on what cards get removed as damage. Also, for such nice looking miniatures, it would be a shame to see them only once. Still, it would be nice if each campaign had its own boss route to have fun with, as repetition breeds familiarity. I am not a fan of Monster Hunter or loot grinding. Personally, I would much rather have only the four base survivor models, and get some extra bosses.


That's not the direction that Adam went with. Part of the appeal to this game for so many is the armor sets and I can't see them every going away. There is no doubt a repetitive nature to the game. We have kept a running long of all our fight across the 6 campaigns we have run. The numbers so far:
White Lion-55(Your going to fight this guy a lot.)
Screaming Antelope- 29(In later Settlements we focused a lot on these)
Phoenix-9 (We lost the first 2 fights)
Butcher-8(Not a big fan of this fight)
Kingsmen-9(We have a pretty good win rate
The Hand-7(Really cool fight)
The Watcher-2(0-2 but looking forward to getting the first win)

Having said all of that I love this game and can't wait take down The Watcher for the first time. I don't have any expansions but looking forward to adding Gorm and having a new early level hunt.
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Nick Clinite
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ravenblade23x wrote:
White Lion-55(Your going to fight this guy a lot.)


Yeah, I'm not sure if I'm gonna look forward to that
 
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that Matt
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bibious wrote:
We have not even fought a level 1 phoenix yet.

Oh, you didn't try hunting the level 1 phoenix on the first year it's unlocked? Because

Spoiler (click to reveal)
WHAT

WHAT IS HAPPENING

WHAT IS GOING ON

EVERYTHING HURTS EVERYTHING IS PAIN

OH WAIT

except for the survivors that never existed

I guess in a sense they never experienced any pain at all

BUT EVERYTHING ELSE

PAIN
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IA Seldon
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tumorous wrote:
bibious wrote:
We have not even fought a level 1 phoenix yet.

Oh, you didn't try hunting the level 1 phoenix on the first year it's unlocked? Because

Spoiler (click to reveal)
WHAT

WHAT IS HAPPENING

WHAT IS GOING ON

EVERYTHING HURTS EVERYTHING IS PAIN

OH WAIT

except for the survivors that never existed

I guess in a sense they never experienced any pain at all

BUT EVERYTHING ELSE

PAIN


Yeah. Never fight a Phoenix at year 7 unless you are in NG+ new players. Because, in the spoilers? Truth. All the truth.
 
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esin .
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tumorous wrote:
bibious wrote:
We have not even fought a level 1 phoenix yet.

Oh, you didn't try hunting the level 1 phoenix on the first year it's unlocked? Because

Spoiler (click to reveal)
WHAT

WHAT IS HAPPENING

WHAT IS GOING ON

EVERYTHING HURTS EVERYTHING IS PAIN

OH WAIT

except for the survivors that never existed

I guess in a sense they never experienced any pain at all

BUT EVERYTHING ELSE

PAIN


Was just about to do that lol. Is there a general year you'd recommend to fight him? My partys fully geared with half white lion, half leather.
 
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Alex Wendling
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Anyone who thinks that familiarity with the game and monsters makes it easy didn't see last night's Twitch stream where divine intervention TWICE from Poots, playing with two of the designers of the game, and cheating by just magically equipping the DK armor set and gear still resulted in TPK 3 times.

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1681401/dead-and-burned...
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IA Seldon
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esin wrote:
tumorous wrote:
bibious wrote:
We have not even fought a level 1 phoenix yet.

Oh, you didn't try hunting the level 1 phoenix on the first year it's unlocked? Because

Spoiler (click to reveal)
WHAT

WHAT IS HAPPENING

WHAT IS GOING ON

EVERYTHING HURTS EVERYTHING IS PAIN

OH WAIT

except for the survivors that never existed

I guess in a sense they never experienced any pain at all

BUT EVERYTHING ELSE

PAIN


Was just about to do that lol. Is there a general year you'd recommend to fight him? My partys fully geared with half white lion, half leather.


After the Kingsman nemesis fight is a good time to start Phoenix and other LY 8 battles. The Kingsman can be a bitter pill to swallow after taking a beatdown from a Phoenix.
 
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Richard Arnold
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If the large number of White Lion fights worries you, in most cases, you choose which monster you hunt.

And replacing the White Lion with Gorm, an expansion monster, really changes up the early game.
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esin wrote:
Was just about to do that lol. Is there a general year you'd recommend to fight him? My partys fully geared with half white lion, half leather.

To avoid going further down to spoiler town in this thread, I'd recommend checking out/posting in the Strategy forum. E.g.: Looking for help with the Phoenix
 
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ravenblade23x wrote:


Kingsmen - 9 (We have a pretty good win rate)



Tell me your secret! How? Just... how?
I'm preparing for a fight with LV1 again and this time I think I have a chance

Full Leather + Counterweigh Axe + Shield
Full Rawhide + Steel Sword + Scrap Dagger + Shield
Full Rawhide + Double Katars + Lucy Charm + 1 stat luck
Some rawhide + cat bow + Circlet

Also a ton of dried acanthus, but I still think it will take miracle to kill him.

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Thomas Patrick
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islan wrote:
ravenblade23x wrote:
White Lion-55(Your going to fight this guy a lot.)


Yeah, I'm not sure if I'm gonna look forward to that


You don't need to fight it that much. You get the option to fight the Screaming Antelope fairly quickly, and if you just get the Gorm expansion you can rotate that in. You will want to focus on one or two at a time, though, to get the resources you need for gear.
 
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