Thread: Sil-Q Review
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Old January 15, 2019, 06:11   #58
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 9
Wiwaxia is on a distinguished road
Quirk asked me for my thoughts on the relative strengths of songs based on this recent character:

Thresholds seems quite strong. On reflection, I think its current price (9 song, iirc) is probably around right, especially if all elves are going to be getting a free song. It's not as nuts as Mastery, but offers you a huge amount of control over encounters. It's stronger than high-song Elbereth for avoiding combat, because enemies can't come back after you after you stop singing. I'm not sure how it stacks up against Lorien, which would be the other point of comparison cost-wise. It's extremely versatile without being much of a drain on voice resources because you can tap it on to lock a door and then tap it off, so it plays well with having other songs even if you don't have Woven Themes. Having that much ability to pick battles on relatively non-combat-ready build felt about right balance-wise, but I'm concerned that a Thresholds brawler might feel a bit too safe, especially if it's made much cheaper. I'll give that a test run if I have time.

I never had a ward actually be broken. I don't know if this is due to the strength of the wards or their effect on monster pathing (which I assume is the same as a glyph of warding?), because I couldn't tell if monsters were trying to bash them down or just milling about on the other side. I don't think this is a bad thing, necessarily; being able to control the direction monsters move is more interesting than a ward door/break ward shoving match, but it does make the song much more potent. The ability to put entire levels on lockdown by closing every door you see may or may not be too much. I don't have a great sense of exactly how it stacks up against other expensive songs. It means that you are essentially never going to have an unexpected monster sneak up behind you or outflank you, but it also doesn't remove monsters from the level or defang them if you need to move through the room you locked them in. Wall-eaters and anything that can bash doors down before you get to them also are a limitation on this strategy.

Selected other uses of Thresholds, for a sense of how versatile it can be:
  • Make a safe retreat corridor of open doors with all side doors locked (remember to lock the last door to the stairs so things don't come up the stairs behind you).
  • Secure the stairs room as soon as you enter a level for a bit of safety while you get your bearings and start exploring.
  • Trap archers and scouts in a room with you so you can pin them in a corner and kill them without them running away.
  • Trap things in a room with you and the stairs so Elbereth scares them off the level rather than into another room.
  • The build I ran wasn't a fighter, but presumably one could lock off an arena to fight a unique or the like without having to deal with other monsters, or the unique running away.
  • Use the additional stealth from doors staying locked between you and enemies as a quasi-Vanish.
  • Shut a door behind you in a corridor so unaware wandering monsters path down a different, open corridor instead.
  • I didn't try it on this build, but I imagine you could also do the pathing trick where you keep an enemy in archery range by locking a door when it gets too close so it starts to take the long way round and then opening the door so it paths back to you before it gets out of sight, etc.
  • Lure dangerous enemies into an out-of-the-way room and lock them in.
  • Proactively lock away monsters or room types you don't want to deal with after detecting them with Listen/Delvings/staves.
  • Make a safe bolthole to heal.
  • Lock a door to sing Delvings without worrying about the sound waking things up.
  • Escape pursuit, obviously. To do this, you need to have some way to open up at least two spaces between yourself and a normal-speed enemy (one to start singing, one to lock the door). I used Elbereth and Mastery for this. Lorien and Sprinting are the other obvious choices, but Knock Back + Controlled Retreat should also work, and might be fun.

The additional information about the dungeon from Delvings and Listen is very powerful with Thresholds and using it proactively. Delvings and Thresholds alone are enough to semi-consistently survive the upper levels without any other skills. I imagine scouting with high stealth would be similarly helpful. If you have _treasures, too, you can plan relatively safe grabs of specific items.

Delvings is definitely too expensive right now. Despite all the comments about it being something to take for the ascent, I really like having it as an early-game song. Having more information about the dungeon is always valuable, but especially when you have low light. Knowing the size and shape of a large, dark room you just stepped into already tells you something about the possible risks before you wander around and bump into a white wolf, and finding forges is just a massive quality-of-life boost. Like Thresholds, it's not a major drain on voice, for the same reason. I usually try to find some safe corner to sing it in to fill in my immediate surroundings when I reach the edge of my map, rather than singing it continuously as I explore.

I completely forgot the secondary digging/doorway fighting effects on these songs existed, so I can't speak to that except to say that maybe that's a sign in favor of cutting those.
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