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Old January 14, 2021, 12:29   #41
Sky
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it's not a matter of playstyle. I keep repeating myself but someone i can't get anyone to acknowledge i have said this; there are only two ways to opt-in to stealth: boots of stealth and cloak of stealth.

In ANY other situation, stealth is not a deciding factor.

shields of elvenkind have a stealth bonus, but you don't choose them over shields of resistance because ALL elven shields also do resistance. When comparing two shields of elvenkind you will always prefer the one that plugs a resist hole. Going between +1 stealth and +2 isn't worth not having rShards when you could have the resist instead.

Boots of stealth are not an option unless you have gloves of FA first. If you do, boots of stealth is the only option until Speed is available - surely you're not going to pick FF over stealth as FF is completely useless.

on Cloaks, you can possibly have +3 stealth on cloak of Stealth vs +INT on cloaks of Mages or +1 Spd on Elven cloaks. Even then the bonus to Devices is generally enough to make my warriors prefer INT over stealth because zapping a rod of TO is an endgame ability, by which time you could even have Aggravation, just to clarify how little stealth is valuable to a late game warrior.



Every character *will* have stealth during their progression.
It's totally great to find cloak of stealth +3 and boots of stealth +3 early on. It's also much better to find boots of speed and elven cloak, or better yet, randart cloak.

There just isn't going to be a situation in the game where you have two items and you'll think "hmm, this sword does twice the damage of this dagger, but the dagger has +3 stealth, i think i will use the dagger".

Stealth is like +light. It gets thrown in there for free, it's great to have it, but just about everything else in the game is better than stealth.
FA is better than stealth. SI is better than stealth. Digging is better than stealth. a saving throw bonus or a devices bonus is better than stealth.
The only time you maximise stealth is when you have nothing to lose over it e.g. a chain mail of elvenkind rNexus +2 Stealth vs plate mail of elvenkind rNexus +1 stealth.

Armor Class is the only thing that i can compare to Stealth.
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Old January 14, 2021, 16:44   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky View Post
There just isn't going to be a situation in the game where you have two items and you'll think "hmm, this sword does twice the damage of this dagger, but the dagger has +3 stealth, i think i will use the dagger".

Stealth is like +light. It gets thrown in there for free, it's great to have it, but just about everything else in the game is better than stealth.
FA is better than stealth. SI is better than stealth. Digging is better than stealth. a saving throw bonus or a devices bonus is better than stealth.
The only time you maximise stealth is when you have nothing to lose over it e.g. a chain mail of elvenkind rNexus +2 Stealth vs plate mail of elvenkind rNexus +1 stealth.
I disagree. Stealth is better than digging. Also better than saving throw bonus or possibly device bonus. For mages it's also better than main weapon damage. I would clearly choose that +3 stealth dagger instead of the double damage.
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Old January 14, 2021, 19:50   #43
AceRimmer
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I disagree. Stealth is better than digging. Also better than saving throw bonus or possibly device bonus. For mages it's also better than main weapon damage. I would clearly choose that +3 stealth dagger instead of the double damage.
I've got to agree with Adam. I find it's not unusual to take a level 20-something character below DL50 wielding a Defender and two Rings of the Mouse while leaving "better equipment" (e.g. a Holy Avenger or a Ring of Damage) at home. When I can't kill anything, then damage doesn't mean much.
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Old January 14, 2021, 21:15   #44
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I've played SO many -stealth characters over the last year (playtesting Blackguard) but Sky's anti-Stealth rant makes me want to roll up a hobbit or kobold rogue! Certainly, there is a lot of truth in what he's saying. I think there's a bigger middle zone than he suggests, though, where stealth makes an important difference.
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Old January 14, 2021, 21:27   #45
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The big trouble with stealth is it doesn't save you from packs of hounds or worse still the dreaded vortices. These are both hard to detect and blast you from afar.

Digging on the other hand means escape routes, anti summoning corridors and little nooks (or crannies if you prefer) down long corridors to avoid ranged attacks.
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Old January 15, 2021, 13:04   #46
Estie
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Originally Posted by Sky View Post
it's not a matter of playstyle. I keep repeating myself but someone i can't get anyone to acknowledge i have said this; there are only two ways to opt-in to stealth: boots of stealth and cloak of stealth.

In ANY other situation, stealth is not a deciding factor.

shields of elvenkind have a stealth bonus, but you don't choose them over shields of resistance because ALL elven shields also do resistance. When comparing two shields of elvenkind you will always prefer the one that plugs a resist hole. Going between +1 stealth and +2 isn't worth not having rShards when you could have the resist instead.

Boots of stealth are not an option unless you have gloves of FA first. If you do, boots of stealth is the only option until Speed is available - surely you're not going to pick FF over stealth as FF is completely useless.

on Cloaks, you can possibly have +3 stealth on cloak of Stealth vs +INT on cloaks of Mages or +1 Spd on Elven cloaks. Even then the bonus to Devices is generally enough to make my warriors prefer INT over stealth because zapping a rod of TO is an endgame ability, by which time you could even have Aggravation, just to clarify how little stealth is valuable to a late game warrior.



Every character *will* have stealth during their progression.
It's totally great to find cloak of stealth +3 and boots of stealth +3 early on. It's also much better to find boots of speed and elven cloak, or better yet, randart cloak.

There just isn't going to be a situation in the game where you have two items and you'll think "hmm, this sword does twice the damage of this dagger, but the dagger has +3 stealth, i think i will use the dagger".

Stealth is like +light. It gets thrown in there for free, it's great to have it, but just about everything else in the game is better than stealth.
FA is better than stealth. SI is better than stealth. Digging is better than stealth. a saving throw bonus or a devices bonus is better than stealth.
The only time you maximise stealth is when you have nothing to lose over it e.g. a chain mail of elvenkind rNexus +2 Stealth vs plate mail of elvenkind rNexus +1 stealth.

Armor Class is the only thing that i can compare to Stealth.
That is your evaluation of stealth, and it is correct for your play style. It is not the only one though. Here is mine (when I want to dive):

SI and FA are a must, and weapon damage is also non-negotiable for a melee class, but everything else you can get in the mid game will be sacrificed for stealth. Resists, stats, digging (lol), you name it. Not speed +10, that wont normally appear early on, but the point is you can load up on stealth, go down to where speed rings are common and collect them with ~200 hp and missing rbase.

I once had a troll warrior who found a defender weapon and some rings of mouse; I equipped that, reducing melee damage to nil, and started diving. I killed stuff with a launcher. Now this was extreme, a case of making lemonade when the game gave me lemons, usually its better to go more slowly with a troll warrior. Hobbit rouge otoh, I dont think I would ever want to play one of those the slow way. Because if I did, I would agree with your assessment of them being weak and painful. But if you really dive recklessly, they are the best.
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Old January 15, 2021, 17:26   #47
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Free action and SInv trump stealth no matter what, if you do not have them from other sources (or have ESP mitigating the need of SInv).
Lack of four base resists mostly beat stealth after around D:35. Poison resist depends. If at drolem depth or at great basilisk depth without detection, I guess rPois wins. Drolems barely do wake up outside instigation after you have stealth at superb.

So. I disagree Sky on just one point. It IS the matter of play style. My play style happens to be diving, never using upstairs and sticking with standard artifact set. It's just a voluntary challenge, but I like the game that way. Not necessarily taking my time to build up a massive powerhouse, but to see how much I can stretch the turn count. For that, the stealth is absolutely top priority.
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Old January 15, 2021, 18:03   #48
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I've got to agree with Adam. I find it's not unusual to take a level 20-something character below DL50 wielding a Defender and two Rings of the Mouse while leaving "better equipment" (e.g. a Holy Avenger or a Ring of Damage) at home. When I can't kill anything, then damage doesn't mean much.
it is *very* unusual.

i made it clear that if you are playing Angband to see how much you can push an inadequate character into danger, stealth is the better choice. And you shouldn't. Or at least you shouldn't do that, and then be one of those who say "whoo, i have played X years and have never seen Y drop, because my win rate is 0.3%".
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Old January 15, 2021, 18:09   #49
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I've played SO many -stealth characters over the last year (playtesting Blackguard) but Sky's anti-Stealth rant makes me want to roll up a hobbit or kobold rogue! Certainly, there is a lot of truth in what he's saying. I think there's a bigger middle zone than he suggests, though, where stealth makes an important difference.
again i am somehow not coming through with what i'm trying to say. I don't know why, it seems to me i'm making it pretty clear, i've even provided examples.

Stealth is something that in 99% of the games you cannot NOT have. It doesnt matter how hard you try, if you want to build a character for fighting, or for casting, some stealth will still sneak (eh) into your build. Even more so with randarts, because
1. that cloak you wear for speed or INT will have a stealth bonus
2. the randart boots will have a stealth bonus
3. your armor probably has a stealth bonus, maybe your shield too.
4. your DEX gives you a stealth bonus
5. god knows WHAT you are using, weapons, launchers, they all can come with stealth on them.

if i have two randarts to pick from, let's say,
Cloak of Joe +2 DEX +2 STR +4 CON +1 Stealth
Cloak of Fred +4 STR +4 DEX +2 Stealth rNexus
i don't even look at the stealth bonus. Just like +light, it may be useful veeeery early on (torch vs lantern) but it's far, far more important for me to 1. have stats higher than what the DL i am on expects me to have, and 2. plug my resistances and sustains.

There are very few cases in which you are given the choice of [ONLY STEALTH] vs [SOMETHING ELSE]. Boots of stealth early on, that's about it.
The middle ground that you speak of is something that you're practically forced to be in.
A few of my last played character at CL50, picked randomly:
1. kob rogue - legendary
2. kob ranger - legendary
3. kob priest - superb
4. kob mage - excellent
5. He warrior - excellent
6. He priest - very good
7. gn paladin - superb
8. gn priest - superb
9. ht priest - superb
10. hob mage - heroic
11. hor priest - excellent
12. hu warr - excellent


i mean, if you get a randart cloak +6 Stealth and your other option is a cloak of rDark, yeah ok go for it. But that's not what happens in the vast majority of games.
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Last edited by Sky; January 15, 2021 at 18:20.
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Old January 15, 2021, 18:43   #50
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I am struck that we appear to be having two conversations that don't meet.

As I understand it, Sky's argument is that there are very few cases when stealth is an active choice -- there are other equipment characteristics that are more important, and stealth often comes as an added side bonus with artifacts anyway.

Estie and I both described the same counterexample: diving with rings of the mouse and a defender to boost your stealth to legendary while having insta-death amounts of hit points. This is definitely an *active choice* to prioritize stealth over other equipment. It only applies for a certain style of play, but if you choose that style, then it's a definite strategy.

FWIW, I am playing Krigjokk the half-orc warrior right now, and he couldn't care less about stealth. Sky's argument applies 100% to Krigjokk. Part of the reason I chose to create Krigjokk is I felt my legendary-stealth hobbit rogues were way OP and even getting kind of boring.

One last observation: I find it illustrative that Sky's examples keep returning to the endgame (CL 50). I don't think anybody has claimed that stealth is important at CL 50.
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