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Old April 16, 2016, 01:42   #21
Ingwe Ingweron
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Rocketband - Rock My World
http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=19012

Rocketband - was supremely difficult. Some postmortem thoughts:

1. Early levels:

- Stair-scumming is absolutely necessary in the early levels, and, actually, throughout the game. Stair scum relentlessly. Never start a level with unknown terrain around you or monsters danger-close, if you can help it.
- See-invisible is a must have right from the start as is great magic device skill to reduce failure rate on the launcher. Hence, High-elf is probably the best bet.
- A stack of ?Phase door is required. Major care must be taken not to be in the blast radius of your own shots, so phasing out of danger-close range is often called upon. NEVER stand in your own blast radius!!! (At the later levels, my @ sometimes did stand in fringes, but was able to survive the spillage and heal.) Check every shot before firing!
- Get to know the targeting mechanism. You will need to do a lot of creative targeting to place shots on target (or even close to target is good sometimes).
- Speed and stealth are the only stats that matter. As fast as possible and as stealthy as possible. Resistances, armor class, and hitpoints are all virtually irrelevant.
- Detect monsters (supplemented by detect invisible from scrolls or staves) is vital at nearly every turn. Detect as often as possible. You cannot let yourself be surprised, even for a moment. Upgrade to Reveal Monsters, or better yet, a stack of Detection rods, as soon as you can.
- Having a melee weapon (must be an artifact, as Derakon has removed all others) is helpful for weaker (non-packing) monsters.

2. Mid levels:
- Continued stair scumming.
- Telepathy, speed and stealth are the must finds.
- As is getting the failure rate down on casting stone to mud. Since Derakon removed all wands, the only potentially viable characters are Mages, Rangers, and Rogues. You must get the failure rate down on casting this vital spell. Playing a Rogue, I never used the Detect Objects ability, stealth and magic device skill was all that mattered. I might go with a mage if I were to do it again, just to be able to get a zero-fail on stone to mud and virtually unlimited banishment and mass banishment for the later levels.
- Reveal monsters is vital at nearly every turn. Even better are a stack of Detection rods.
- Mapping is also quite important. Once you get stone to mud and telepathy, you can map and plan hockey sticks to take out powerful uniques and troublesome monsters.

3. Later levels and end-game:
- More stair scumming.
- I never found it, but a great find would be the Arkenstone, as it would allow for hockey-stick planning on a global scale.
- Creative uses of permanent walled vaults and long, hockey-stick tunnels, will allow you to take out every unique, including Morgoth.

4. Epilogue:
-Luck is the biggest necessary factor. No matter how careful I was, there were times when @ was exposed. Monsters failing their rocket shots at a few critical moments or having intervening monsters that took the brunt of enemy blasts saved me.
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Old April 16, 2016, 01:56   #22
Derakon
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Unbelievable! Congratulations on an amazing win, and thanks for the post-mortem thoughts. I honestly was unsure whether anyone would ever manage to actually beat the game without cheating. The concepts of what you would need to do (paranoid detection and massive abuse of hockeysticks) are relatively simple, but the necessary string of alertness and luck needed to implement it successfully seemed beyond plausibility. I am sincerely impressed.
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Old April 16, 2016, 16:28   #23
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Wow, that's incredible!
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Old April 16, 2016, 19:18   #24
HugoTheGreat2011
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& Myth debunked: Rocketband was unbeatable; proved wrong by Ingwe Ingweron
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Old April 16, 2016, 20:39   #25
Ingwe Ingweron
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HugoTheGreat2011 View Post
& Myth debunked: Rocketband was unbeatable; proved wrong by Ingwe Ingweron
It isn't unbeatable, but it is *VERY* difficult. Once @ has telepathy, can reliably cast stone to mud, and cast reveal monsters (or has a stack of detection rods), the game does become easier. Not easy, but easier. The hardest part is to not die to inattention. That, and you do need some luck.

I just tried it with a High-elf Mage, and found it much better. Still not easy by a long-shot, but it made me wish I'd played a mage in the comp. I got my mage down to DL 32 before he died. Failed the rocket launcher at an inopportune moment.
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― Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
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Old April 18, 2016, 02:11   #26
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Congrats to Ingwe for the insane accomplishment of becoming the Ultimate and Penultimate Rocketeer. Kudos also to Gorbad for #3.

Also thanks to Derakon for making the best Angband variant of all time.
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Old April 18, 2016, 02:31   #27
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Thanks to debo for the inspiration.
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