In my first game ever in DD, I was in the dark forest at level 16, never used the resurrection trick and ended the game at level 48 (in an earlier post I said I was level 49, my mistake.
). In my second game, I cleaned out Rivertown (with the exception of the
elite orcs) and then
went to the Dark Forest. No resurrection trick, and ended the game at level 50. So here's a comparison based on personal experience for you, I hope you find it helpful.