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Old December 8, 2014, 16:29   #1
quarague
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early uniques

Some general musings about early uniques, the ones with a native depth of 1500 feet or less. I feel the vast majority of them are some kind of dumb orcish brute, ie they have lots of hitpoints, a strong melee attack and very little else. This means you can't kill them in melee (unless you are a HT warrior or found ringil on dlevel 5), it's basically impossible to kill them with magic because you don't have enough mana and while it may be possible to kill them with arrows, it's usually not worthwhile. On the other hand, they are fairly easy to avoid and as such it is good that there are some uniques like that. Smeagol and Wormtongue are exceptions although both are fairly hard to kill when you first encounter them as well (stealing plus lots of hitpoints).
So for general balance I think it would be nice if there also where some uniques that are sort of the opposite design. For example:
Unique magic mushroom path, extremely fragile, say 25 hitpoints, very quick, casts lots of spells. If you see him at the other end of a room and then try to melee him, you will probably die before you can get in melee range. If you have any semidecent ranged attack/spell he is not particularly dangerous.
Unique mold, normal speed, fairly fragile, say 100 hitpoints, extremely nasty at melee range, say hit to paralize, blind, slow and confuse for fairly large damage but normal speed no ranged offence what so ever. Should have a descriptive text warning you no to get near him. Again, fairly easy to kill for mages or rangers, troublesome for melee characters (who probably should just avoid him).
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Old December 8, 2014, 19:19   #2
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I second the mushroom patch unique suggestion.
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Old December 8, 2014, 19:24   #3
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I just realized that there aren't really any unique archers in Vanilla? Maybe some of the early orc uniques could be redesigned to be like Sil's Ulfang.
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Old December 8, 2014, 20:54   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debo View Post
I just realized that there aren't really any unique archers in Vanilla?
You're right, that's a real gap. Of course V monster archery is a bit weak, so that would have to be fixed too
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Old December 8, 2014, 22:22   #5
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Quote:
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You're right, that's a real gap. Of course V monster archery is a bit weak, so that would have to be fixed too
That's easy to fix -- speed 40 monster at depth 5 with a shortbow
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Old December 8, 2014, 23:29   #6
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I don't think that early uniques are so impossible as you say, but they do require you to have ranged options. Attack wands are pretty fantastic at this point in the game though. A Wand of Frost Bolts and a couple of Phase Door scrolls will kill just about anything upwards of 1500'; if they aren't dead they'll be nearly so and can be chipped down in melee by anyone except mages (who also have conventional attack spells to use with the wand).

Of course, conventional archery works as well, but even if you're bad at archery you can still use attack wands.
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Old December 9, 2014, 01:38   #7
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Speed potion = dead unique if you want to kill them early. I usually leave them for later though to get deeper drops. With selling option on, there is an argument to kill them for cash, but chances are they drop a bar chain mail of resist lightning or a mace of *slay troll*, neither of which are usefull early.
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Old December 9, 2014, 04:38   #8
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Originally Posted by Nick View Post
You're right, that's a real gap. Of course V monster archery is a bit weak, so that would have to be fixed too
Yeah, like replacing it with, y'know, archery. Right now we have magical spells that shoot arrows. It's always bugged me. Then perhaps we can have them drop arrows. And they can run out of arrows. It'd be grand.
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Old December 9, 2014, 08:29   #9
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Isn't the underlying problem that we simply can't add any new monsters to V, because of tilesets and stuff?

Or have I got that wrong.

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Old December 9, 2014, 11:14   #10
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
I don't think that early uniques are so impossible as you say, but they do require you to have ranged options. Attack wands are pretty fantastic at this point in the game though. A Wand of Frost Bolts and a couple of Phase Door scrolls will kill just about anything upwards of 1500'; if they aren't dead they'll be nearly so and can be chipped down in melee by anyone except mages (who also have conventional attack spells to use with the wand).

Of course, conventional archery works as well, but even if you're bad at archery you can still use attack wands.
IIRC a wand of frost bolts does somewhere around 6d6 damage per shot, that's 21 on average, even if it is say 8d8 that would come to 36 per turn. So a full wand will do great for a 200 hitpoint monster, once they get to around 500 hitpoints, I don't see how wands help that much. You would need several fully charged wands and tons of phase doors. Hence killing them is usually not worthwhile.
But that also wasn't my original point, I don't mind that there are several uniques like that. My problem was more with the fact that all uniques are like that, and for better balance I thought a few uniques with an opposite design would be nice as well.
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