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krazyhades July 14, 2013 04:35

Advice? DLvl 25 Gnome Mage
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Hey all. Longtime lurker here. I'm looking for any sort of advice, including thoughts on what I can use to free up weight in my inventory, what items I need to be keeping out for, what monsters are my biggest enemies right now, etc. I would post a link to a character on the ladder but I'm running this instance with the monster knowledge cheat on (and I really couldn't care less whether you think I shouldn't) so the ladder won't let me upload a chardump. Instead I've attached it.

My low strength causes me to frequently run into inventory issues. There were a few levels where I had 0.0 lbs. free. Perhaps I'm more afraid than I should be of running at -1 speed, but I'm terrified of giving something a double breath or fire missiles.

I've been carrying amulet swaps to cover alternately my rElec and rAcid holes, and a singleton !rPois. Carrying a 2nd (from my home) would leave me with literally no weight to spare, but might be worth it in case I run into an encounter that has both cold and poison attacks. Since I don't have passive rPois I'm of course terrified of breathers.

I don't have pConf or pBlind, so I'm reluctant to ditch the Rod of Curing. Do I overvalue it? I have a reasonable amount of Cure Serious and Cure Critical, so I might be able to ditch or at least stow it.

The Mushroom of Debility is not critical. I vaguely hope to use it and perhaps a couple extras (in my home) to level-up in a tough fight. I'm not super tied to carrying it around. How important is Debility for mages that have 0 other sources of mana? My biggest fear here is that losing CON in a tough fight is bad and losing STR with these inventory issues will probably leave me dangerously slower than normal speed.

I JUST found the Resist+Scarab book, so I'm pumped on that front, but am considering leaving it at home until I can cast rPois, simply because it's another heavy book. Speaking of which, I could probably ditch my extra copy of MB2 if I really needed to but Tele Self is nice and I have very few other escapes outside of Phase Door (and I'm out of ?Phase to boot!).

My bow is helping me out a lot, but I (foolishly but thematically) often underuse it in fights because I don't like the whole "mage = shitty bow user with lots of escapes" meta brought about by launcher/ammo being overpowered.

EDIT: Should I read my ?Acquirement? It's in my home.

krazyhades July 14, 2013 05:25

Just found a Shield of Resistance, so that'll free up these amulets.

EDIT: ooh and a pair of !Restore Mana
EDIT2: And now a ?Teleportation

krazyhades July 14, 2013 06:22

Whatever, he's dead and gone now. Back to lvl 1.

Derakon July 14, 2013 06:28

Ditch the cutlass; if you need to attack without using mana, use your bow (Especially since with that Ring of the Mouse, your cutlass will deal next to no damage anyway!). Don't worry about the oddity of a mage using a bow; Gandalf kicked ass with Glamdring when he had to. Tolkeinian magicians are not D&D magicians. :)

How often are you in melee range? Your armor is giving you no special abilities except for the (very nice) helm of regeneration. Consider just ditching all that stuff to save on weight.

I wouldn't bother carrying the Rod of Curing; potions are far more reliable in a bind. Why would you ever want to use an item that has a failure rate when you're blinded or confused?

You don't need the !Heroism, and the !rPoison isn't useful -- big poison breathers don't show up for quite some time yet. Drink it the next time you see air hounds.

I'd wear that Ring of Resist Fire/Cold rather than the Ring of Accuracy.

Lose the Ring of Open Wounds IMO; I've never found them useful. For fast recovery, just drink potions.

Acid resistance is not a big deal; damage is halved if the acid hits a slot with armor in it that provides at least some AC benefit. Even without that, though, you're not running into many sources of acid damage at the moment.

Read the Scroll of Acquirement. No matter when you read one of those things, odds are it'll be a disappointment, but better to read it now and probably get something useful when enchanted loot is rare, than read it later when enchanted loot is common and maaaaaaaybe get something amazing. Remember, part of winning the game is surviving until later, and good gear now helps a lot with that.

Regarding Debility: losing CON is no big deal; you might lose, oh, maybe 5 points of HP? At most? Losing STR is a much more pressing concern. I'd be more inclined to carry more attack wands than a mushroom of Debility. Potions of Restore Mana should start showing up soonish anyway; they restore more MP and have no downside other than being more easily destroyed.

EDIT: whoops, he's dead. That was brief.

DaviddesJ July 14, 2013 11:42


Originally Posted by krazyhades (Post 82487)
I would post a link to a character on the ladder but I'm running this instance with the monster knowledge cheat on (and I really couldn't care less whether you think I shouldn't) so the ladder won't let me upload a chardump. Instead I've attached it.

Yeah, this is so annoying. When I can easily look up any monster in the browser window next to my game, the convenience of doing so in-game is not like "ignore death" or "wizard mode" or other things that really are cheats. I totally think this should be a player option, as it is now, but it shouldn't be marked as "cheat". I don't really care, like the OP I just turn it on and don't worry that someone else thinks I'm "cheating", but it's annoying and it fragments the user community, which isn't ideal when it's already so small.

krazyhades July 17, 2013 19:47

Thanks for the response, Derakon! Even with the dead character, your post is helpful and informative. Definitely going to help me when I'm in those depths again (and most of my characters get to dlvl 40 ish), particularly with a low-strength caster.

I hadn't found a lot of attack wands that I kept around. In retrospect I could have been much spammier with them but I underused Lesser Recharging because I didn't like blowing up wands. I've come to realize that ?Recharging is not worth it for weaker wands that I'll be tossing within 20 dungeon levels anyways.

I really, REALLY wish that I better understood mage damage with devices. I've heard/read that it was recently buffed, but I can't tell if that damage is reflected in the damage estimates (from 'I'nspecting the item) or not, or whether it's just a reduced fail rate. I thought, perhaps mistakenly, that there was really a buff to damage but I couldn't actually tell.

I definitely appreciate the point about reading ?Acquirement even though I'm not very deep.

@DaviddesJ yes I definitely agree. Many players, e.g. fizzix in the competition that he won recently, look things up online or in the source, and I see no real way to catch and prevent this, so from a usability perspective (I'm a Madison-area game designer after all) there's really no reason not to allow monster knowledge as a default-off non-cheating player option.

I ended up finding a slightly older save of this mage's that I emailed to myself when switching computers, so out of curiosity I used it to get the character down to dlvl 98, then suicided him (scumming is scumming after all) and started a no-cheats High Elf Ranger (easy mode here I come? heh more like how S will the forthcoming YASD be...?)

Unrelatedly, if one wins the game, what happens if one wields Morgoth's guaranteed drops? Do you really get those nice stats/resists from the Iron Crown without any penalty other than you can't lose them by removing the hat?

Derakon July 17, 2013 20:05

Yep, Morgoth's gear works exactly as advertised. You've already won the game; it's just giving you some fun toys if you decide to keep playing. Morgoth's hammer in particular makes future combat very easy...

Regarding mages and attack wands, the bonus to damage is not reflected in the item description. Unfortunately those descriptions are hardcoded strings.

The bonus to damage is (your device skill - item level of item)%. So for example, if your device skill is 80 and the item level is 30, then you get 50% more damage from it. Note that this is the "difficulty" of the item, not the level on which it was generated.

For the item descriptions, it would be sufficient to add a line that says "You get a bonus to damage of %.2f%%".

krazyhades July 17, 2013 20:24

"attack wands", but it still works for rods, yes? Staves? I guess I could see it working for just wands/staves because those are the things that count as "magical devices" for gnome free-ID.

Oramin July 17, 2013 21:06

Yes on Rods and Staves; Also Artifacts, DSM, and Scrolls of Dispel Undead; but not, apparently, Potions of Dragon Breath.

Or so I've been told. I asked when I noticed that a Staff was doing a lot more damage than I expected and I asked again when a Scroll of Dispel Undead did more damage than I expected.

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