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Old November 14, 2008, 23:09   #1
Arphod
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Thumbs up Playing a Mage to Level 11 in 40 Minutes-ish

Here's my method. I have it down to a science, so much so that I can do it watching TV and petting my Great Dane. The game really begins after lvl20 for me, so I get through the lower lvls as fast as humanly possible.

1. High-elf mage. Accept no substitutes. Res lite and see invis kick booty, and the stats are sweet. I use auto-roller, and aim for: Str13, Int68, Wis3, Dex3, Con16, and Chr3. The roller usually hits it around roll 600000, but if you don't get it, rinse and repeat.

2. Learn magic missile (duh) and detect monster. Magic missile is the only weapon you will be using until you get a decent Long Bow and preferably magic arrows.

3. Dive to 50ft. I'm from the old-school Moria days, so it's feet. Stair-scum. This is only point in the game where I don't have a problem with stair-scumming. It's purpose here is to generate as many potions and scrolls as possible. This is the key to a quick early game.

4. Drop your food, combine your torches. Make room in your inventory. You should have your first magic book and your ?WoR. Thats it.

5. While scumming, keep an eye out for *any* potion or scroll and pick it up. DO NOT go more than 10-15 paces from the stair, even if everything looks cool. You're so weak that even a yeller kobold swinging around a corner can hand you the tombstone. Collect until your inventory is full. Kill any monster you see with Magic Missile. When in doubt, take the stairs. Never be reluctant to RUN.

6. While doing 5, when you pop up to town, kill any drunk or merchant that you see. Get paid. If you see Farmer Maggitt, beat the bejeeziss out of him with your dagger until he runs. I hold down the attack button, as this takes about a year. Note: This is the ONLY time you should ever hold down an action key. When he runs, maneuver him into a corner for the win. Take what he drops, buy a ?id, id it, and sell it.

7. When inventory is full, you should be lvl3-5, depending on whether or not the RNG handed you an out-of-depth monster, like a black naga, or a yellow jelly, or whatever. Go sell everything you grabbed. Everything. The only thing to worry about is potions of speed. You will indeed ally sell these. Whatever. Buy them back. You're still gonna be way up money-wise after this. And, an obvious added bonus is all that crap you just sold is now identified, which makes your early game that much easier.

8. You can have as much as 1000-1500 bucks after you do all this. Buy books II and III. Buy a long bow and arrows. Buy !CSW. Buy ?Phase. Buy more food and light. If money left over, buy light armor, really just to have a better chance of not getting paralyzed by those effing floating eyes. Other than that, armor has no real meaning at this point, as you WILL NOT be meleeing, unless it is the most dire of circumstances.

9. LET'S DIVE! We're heading for 500ft, or dlvl 10 for other people. Don't stray from stairs, ever. Avoid just about any unique, except the Maggitt dogs. For Pete's sweet sake, don't even look at Wormtongue. Stair-scum, being wary of monsters nearby, especially groups of goblinoids. Kill those that don't require you to leave your blessed, blessed stair. Use detect stairs to find down stairs and take them. Traveling from stair to stair is dangerous, so use detect monster to check the path.

10. From 300-500, you will see lots of wands and staves. Get them. Also any non-id'ed scroll and potions you didn't see on your potion/scroll-collecting jaunt. This is the part where you level fast. One key to this is casting every spell you learn at least once, for the experience. Some of them have very nice XP awards. Gain levels, fill up your inventory, and recall.

11. And there you go. Sell every wand and staff and potion and scroll and get seriously paid. You should have around 3-5k in gold and be lvl9-11 by this time. If you want more money, and are shy of lvl11, recall back to 500ft(dlvl10) and do it all again. Grab the spell identify at lvl11, equip for a deep dive (staff of teleport, trade out !CSW for !CCW, enchant your bow to +8+8, put your gameface on). Usually I will head back to 500ft at this point to hunt Wormtongue for his excellent item drops. Use potion of speed, stay back from him, use arrows and Magic Missile, phase door scroll when he gets near, rinse, repeat, kill. If a good drop, wear. If crappy, recall and sell. READY TO DIVE TO 2000 IN 40 MINUTES. Schweet.
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Old November 15, 2008, 00:25   #2
PowerDiver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arphod View Post
3. Dive to 50ft. I'm from the old-school Moria days, so it's feet. Stair-scum. This is only point in the game where I don't have a problem with stair-scumming. It's purpose here is to generate as many potions and scrolls as possible. This is the key to a quick early game.

5. While scumming, keep an eye out for *any* potion or scroll and pick it up. DO NOT go more than 10-15 paces from the stair, even if everything looks cool.

6. While doing 5, when you pop up to town, kill any drunk or merchant that you see. Get paid. If you see Farmer Maggitt, beat the bejeeziss out of him with your dagger until he runs. I hold down the attack button, as this takes about a year. Note: This is the ONLY time you should ever hold down an action key. When he runs, maneuver him into a corner for the win.

50' hardly counts as "dive".

10-15 paces seems too much. I'd say no more than 10, and not that if you have to pass an entrance on the way.

It's easier to take Maggot if you maneuver a bit. Get him in front of a door.

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When he flees, he will step into the doorway, and you can step up and get more melee.
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Old November 15, 2008, 00:32   #3
Arphod
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Originally Posted by PowerDiver View Post

It's easier to take Maggot if you maneuver a bit. Get him in front of a door.

Code:
###
#4#
 h
 @
When he flees, he will step into the doorway, and you can step up and get more melee.
It's even easier to corner him in the corner of the town. Over.
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Old November 18, 2008, 00:09   #4
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I have held down the direction key to melee Maggot with a dagger before and been killed by a Mercenary spawn nearby that I didn't catch in time.
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Old November 18, 2008, 06:07   #5
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Personally I play gnomes but that's because I find it easier to find SI than FA.

I always make sure I buy a ?WOR on my first dive and I keep going down till I hit 1000', unless I HAVE to ?WOR due to being backed into a corner.

Usually gets me to CL11 well before I get to 1000' - which means I am ID'ing all that crap down in the dungeon rather than selling it for what really amounts to play money compared to the first heavy ego weapon I find.

Playing as a gnome I tend to be more prepared to quaff potions rather than lug them around due to weight.
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Old November 18, 2008, 06:12   #6
rdermyer
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It seems that early depth potions are easier to quaff in dev than in 3.0.9 since they pulled the "of clumsiness" and replaced them with potions that drop later (normally) that increase one state at the expense of another. Then you just have to worry about blindness, confusion, etc, and since those are all transient effects, they don't pose any threats if you do them isolated from any monsters.
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Old November 18, 2008, 07:21   #7
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Uh, half elf mages are quite a bit tougher than you suggest.

I run all over the place at dlvl = character level until I hit Level maybe level 15 or so. Just don't get surrounded, use magic missle, and scrolls of phase door, and kill monsters one by one.

You climb levels like crazy once you get sleep 1, and spear of light.
snagas/orcs are easy xp.

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Old November 18, 2008, 13:54   #8
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Actually, the first lightning spell is better, as it hurts all kinds of orcs (some types are not hurt by bright light).
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Old November 18, 2008, 21:49   #9
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Actually, the first lightning spell is better, as it hurts all kinds of orcs (some types are not hurt by bright light).
Sorry, can't agree. You get more mileage out of your mana by using magic missile. Lightning bolt costs 4 mana, magic missile 1. Four magic missiles does more damage than one lightning bolt, especially after you gain a few levels. So really all we're talking about here is a function of time: how quickly can you deal the damage. If you're on a stair, and the orc crew is sleeping, you can kill more orcs with maa one at a time than you can with mbb before having to take the stairs. Plus the fail rate of mbb is higher.
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Old November 19, 2008, 05:43   #10
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hmmm... I tend to use my mage as much as possible as an uber device user who has some spells to back the devices up. If you are just looking for xp (from orcs) then my tactic would be rod of light, wand of stinking cloud, wand of sleep monster.

I get the most milage from my mana by using it to boost me up, protect me, or get me the hell out of there, and use something other than mana to kill things.

but the previous logic on this forum is, don't hang around looking for xp just keep diving the xp will look after itself. eg: the right jellies are worth great xp to a low level mage, and they don't move. Why kill in-depth orcs when you can dive and probably get a more worthwhile drop killing the same creature 200' deeper?

other than that... you gotta adjust xp tactics if you are playing a lower str @ because relying on ammo is a bit more difficult if you can't carry so much ammo.
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