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Old February 2, 2010, 00:15   #1
radical_green
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Question [Un] beginner advice solicited

Just started playing Unangband about a week ago with Mirest and am hiting a brick wall at the bottom of Maggot's cellar. Once the guardian went down with a pair of fire spirits but then I died trying to disarm a deadfall (still getting used to how serious the traps are in Un...) Every other time I get fried in one shot or die from mana burn when he fries my fire spirits. I've made it to 8th-9th level now a dozen times and am beginning to get a little impatient. I think there may be some obvious gameplay strategies I'm totally missing since Unangband is so different from Vanilla, so I thought I'd ask for advice.

Like, are there obvious must-have spells for Mirest? What stats should I raise? How do you manage your familiar/summons/animations? What potions/mushrooms/scrolls/wands etc are most useful to keep in inventory?

And are there any better resources for this variant? Discussion of it seems pretty limited both here and on the BerliOS site...

Happy with the experience so far. I'll keep on working on Mirest for a while, but I'll have to try out other class/race/specialty combinations, too.
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Old February 2, 2010, 00:49   #2
baddog73
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This is a tough character to play, even having some Un experience.

Some things that have helped me -

-Concentrating on str, siz, and con when offered points on levelling, I think that with this particular character HP is God. You need HP to survive dead minions; traps are a killer (especially pits and deadfalls early on).

-Must have spells are detection, change into bat, summons (in particular my favorites are fire and earth spirits), and always keep a couple of damage spells handy. I use (in this order of frequency) Sting, Poison bolt, stinking cloud, darkness bolt. Avoid spells that summon a lot of weak minions like sticks to snakes, as they will kill you quickly via blood debt. Changing into a bat during the early game is a lifesaver as the extra spd will keep you alive.

-Don't summon more minions than you can survive losing, or if you must do it at least stay near the stairs or have a way to escape the level quickly. Before level 15 or so, summon only 1 minion (fire spirit maybe) and your familiar. After this, maybe 2, but be careful. I once lost a lvl 12 character to blood debt from a single earth spirit (died when I had no mana - when they die you usually have no mana!)

-If the monsters on the level are too challenging, don't be a hero. Get a new level right away. The worst groups of enemies I have found to be elemental bats, some kinds of centipedes, breeders, or dragonflies. Monsters that appear in groups will always get through your minions to you. Breeders will eventually kill minions no matter how weak the breeder; be careful.

-Try to keep healing and damage wands as many as you can afford to carry. Don't go into danger without an offensive wand for those times when you have no mana (and you won't if you just lost a minion). Early on keep some spark wands and some magic missile when you find them.

-Since you don't need a lot of exp to advance, try to figure out what kinds of monsters are best to kill for exp and least dangerous then scum for them.

-Armor; bleah. Even at lvl 20 I have only one armor piece, a spidersilk tabard. You just can't afford to wear much armor for the speed penalty. Apparently once you raise your str high enough (look at the top 2 dumps) things improve, but you just have to avoid taking damage as much as possible.

Hope this helps a little,
-Ben
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Old February 2, 2010, 03:13   #3
Pete Mack
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Sting has an exploit (0-time cast) and is extremely effective as things stand. You can easily kill low-HP/low melee damage uniques (Maggot's Farm, Bree Sewers, Trollshaw forest) quite reliably even with < 20HP, so long as you don't push your luck for too long.

Definitely use Sting for mobs of weak monsters like niebelungs. It does enough damage to defeat them in a single turn anyway, so the exploit isn't so cheesy.
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Old February 2, 2010, 10:45   #4
Bandobras
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Avoid Maggot's Farm at all cost! That's a noob trap!

Seriously, it's been devised to punish overconfident tank characters that can't walk past a dungeon, if there is "Too Difficult For You" written above the door. And you are not exactly a tank character... Otherwise, just learn to die with dignity or try the other compo character, which is quite fun in recent builds of Un.
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Old February 2, 2010, 11:37   #5
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Thanks for the pointers. I'll try going more with bat form and wands. Maybe with detect evil I can sit and wait for the agent of the nazgul to come around a corner and hit him with stings til he croaks or I'm afraid he's going to hit me (at which point I teleport away...)

Still stumped by a few odds and ends.

What good are Flasks of Blood, fur, feathers, empty flasks, etc? Anything useful I might be ignoring?

How is "h"andling used?

What does Sneaking do for you? Make you slower but more stealthy until a line of sight monster wakes up?

And should I get a familiar as soon as possible or what? Handling the bat I got the one time I did get a familiar was somewhat tedious and it didn't seem worth the effort. Granted, I didn't have it for long, since as I've already mentioned I've yet to get Mirest above 9th level.

I've been careful with armor to stick with the lighter stuff. My speed is usually 0 or +1 when I leave town. Still, I've had up to AC 16+36 or something like that, and it really makes it easy to walk right through just about anything I've seen so far. Of course, by the time I'm loaded with ego shots and magic studded leather armors and am ready to head back to town my speed is usually down to -4 or worse, which can make running into tough unexpected baddies more dangerous than it needs to be...
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Old February 2, 2010, 20:23   #6
Big Al
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If you're having trouble, I'd definitely try Comp 82 instead. Still Unangband, but with rather more reasonable starting stats, and a bit more direct damage spells.

> What good are Flasks of Blood, fur, feathers, empty flasks, etc? Anything useful I might be ignoring?

They don't have a hugely useful effect on the game, but you can often get an idea of what kind of baddies await you on the level... eg. a level littered with lots of cat fur will probably have lots of cats.

> What does Sneaking do for you? Make you slower but more stealthy until a line of sight monster wakes up?

Pretty much - though I don't think it makes you slower.

> How is "h"andling used?

Press "h", choose an item and then choose an action. It doesn't do anything that you can't do another way in game, but can be handy. So if you want to browse your first spellbook, you can "b"rouse "a" or "h"andle item "a" with the action "b"rowse.

> I've been careful with armor to stick with the lighter stuff. My speed is usually 0 or +1 when I leave town. Still, I've had up to AC 16+36 or something like that, and it really makes it easy to walk right through just about anything I've seen so far. Of course, by the time I'm loaded with ego shots and magic studded leather armors and am ready to head back to town my speed is usually down to -4 or worse, which can make running into tough unexpected baddies more dangerous than it needs to be...

If you're careful, it's okay to be slow if you have a fast familiar or other summon. Just let it do the attacking and you stay out of reach.

> And should I get a familiar as soon as possible or what? Handling the bat I got the one time I did get a familiar was somewhat tedious and it didn't seem worth the effort. Granted, I didn't have it for long, since as I've already mentioned I've yet to get Mirest above 9th level.

I personally like using fire or earth sprits as a summon, but it's really up to you. Whatever you find works best.

> I died trying to disarm a deadfall...

Deadfalls are currently being looked at and are going to be toned down somewhat.

Also note that there was a bug that made some monsters do a lot more damage than they were supposed to (the Dunlending Agent for example was doing about three times too much damage with his spells.) so I'd highly recommend avoiding Maggot's farm for the time being - just head to Bree and on to Rivendel eventually and you'll probably have a better time with things.
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Old February 3, 2010, 11:22   #7
Bandobras
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
some monsters do a lot more damage than they were supposed to (the Dunlending Agent for example was doing about three times too much damage with his spells.)
How came it's never the poor weak character that does 3 times the expected damage? Huh, and I said Maggot's Farm is a newbie trap! Next time you'll learn that an ancient dragon bribed his way to the farm, the maintainer clumsily blaming it on "an apprentice developer's unnoticed mistake, which however turns out to introduce an interesting starting dungeon difficulty distribution".
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Old February 3, 2010, 11:44   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
> What does Sneaking do for you? Make you slower but more stealthy until a line of sight monster wakes up?
It makes you less likely to wake up monsters that you are aware of that are range 4 or less distance. In return, you lose charging and dodging - events that happen automatically as you move otherwise.

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Old February 4, 2010, 00:17   #9
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That makes sense for Sneaking. I'll use it all the time now.

Mana regen seems to slow way down in batform, so I'll probably only use it when I decide I'll actually need the speed...

Trying the Bree path now. Just got fragged by a novice mage with one magic missile from full hp at 9th level... Maybe by 15th-20th level I can stop worrying about single turn death...
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Old February 4, 2010, 00:46   #10
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What are you investing your stat points in?
Go with CON & SIZ for the first several rounds, with STR, DEX, AGI when you get more HP.
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