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Old May 16, 2015, 00:07   #1
Dampe
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Question Any tips for a newbie?

Hi, I'm Dampe.
While being a veteran of Dwarf Fortress, I'm still relatively new to Angband, and I was wondering what advice some of the veteran players have to offer.

I have already learned that picking fights with mercenaries in town is a bad idea when you're low level. (I usually am; none of my characters have ever made it beyond level 12.)
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Old May 16, 2015, 00:17   #2
Derakon
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Roll up a beefy race/class combination for your early games. Half-Troll Warrior is a fantastic character to start with. Early on you're going to be dying primarily from not understanding or anticipating how combat works and what monsters can do to you; being able to take a massive amount of punishment will greatly reduce the amount of time you spend replaying the early levels.

If you're the type that can't stand being unable to cast spells, then play a Paladin or Rogue; they both have pretty good melee survivabilitiy (not as good as the Warrior, of course) and can eventually get pretty decent at spells. But you should still prioritize combat stats: STR, DEX, and to a lesser extent CON (whose effects mostly aren't that noticeable until the mid game). Push your STR and DEX as far as you can and then find a light weapon like a dagger, main gauche, whip, etc. -- you'll get multiple blows per round, and each blow gets your full STR bonus to damage on it, making them much more effective than the heavier weapons that you can't swing as well. Eventually you'll be able to make good use of all weapons, but early on most characters only want to use lightweight ones.

Buy Cure Light Wounds, Phase Door, and Heroism in the shops. If you get in trouble in a fight, read Phase Door, then drink Cure Light Wounds for HP recovery. If you get frightened (e.g. because of a Poltergeist), drink Heroism, which gives temporary protection from fear. Eventually, Cure Serious/Critical Wounds potions will be stock gear for you as a way to clear status ailments like confusion and blindness, and Staves of Teleport will be useful for a long time as an escape that you can use even when confused or blinded.

Scrolls of Word of Recall teleport you to/from the dungeon. They will save you an awful lot of backtracking. Remember, once you can afford them, to bring spares, because they can be destroyed by fire or acid attacks.

Good luck!
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Old May 16, 2015, 00:37   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
-Snip!-
How's a half-elf ranger for a race/class combination?
That was the character I was the most successful with.
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Old May 16, 2015, 01:03   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dampe View Post
How's a half-elf ranger for a race/class combination?
That was the character I was the most successful with.
Pretty awful. Half-elves don't have great stats, and rangers don't really start coming into their own until level 20, when they get a free second shot/turn with bows. Until then they're basically more frail rogues with slightly better spellcasting.

Seriously, take a race with good physical stats. Physical stats are incredibly important in Angband; even mages need lots of hitpoints (from CON) and enough STR to carry their gear without getting slowed down. The best races almost universally have good physical stats.
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Old May 16, 2015, 01:59   #5
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Half-elves are pretty weak - they don't have much in the way of stat boosts or particularly useful special abilities. A High-elf would probably be a better bet if you want to play a ranger or rogue - they're a bit stronger and have much higher boosts to DEX and INT, so they're better at both combat and spell-casting, plus they have the See Invisible ability so you don't need to worry about getting attacked by ghosts and things you can't see.

Dwarves are another pretty good race - they have high wisdom, so they're good if you want to play as a priest or paladin, plus they can't be blinded. Half-orcs and Half-trolls make good warriors. Most of the other races are weak physically or have drawbacks like lack of infravision that make them hard to keep alive for a beginner.
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Old May 16, 2015, 16:20   #6
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One important tip because it wasn't mentioned before. Choose your fights. You can't defeat every monster you will encounter, sometimes you just have to run away. Knowing when to run and when to fight will massively improve your survival. Every time you go up or down stairs a new level will be generated, so you will never run out of things to fight or items to loot.
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Old May 16, 2015, 17:12   #7
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You should play a high-elf rogue. This character will give you all the melee capability and utility magic you need with excellent stealth. Hands down the best character in angband. Don't play half-trolls. They have terrible stealth, melee that's no better than a high-elf, and the extra hp is less of an advantage than you might guess.

General advice: Mercilessly exploit detection spells. Spam them constantly. Understand that some monsters have breath weapons that will kill you in one hit or paralysis attacks that are effectively instant kills (also watch out for confusion melee -- nightmares are a particularly annoying threat of this type). When you see new monsters, look them up in the monster database. Breath weapons do damage proportional to the amount of hp the monster has, capped at some usually pretty high number. These are the attacks you look out for. High hp + breath weapon = potential instant dead. Read about resistance mechanics a bit to get a feel -- basically, you need fire, acid, cold, electricity, and usually poison resistance to be reasonably safe from one-shot kills, but even then big breath weapons pack a punch.

Don't fight anything that has any chance of killing you. With stealth, you can always avoid encounters by just not waking things up, with some exceptions coming from monsters that spawn awake (hounds, etc.). Carry escape items. Initially, you just have the fairly unreliable phase door scrolls, but pick up teleportation, teleport level, and later destruction and banishment. Like most RPGs, status effects rarely work on monsters in situations where you'd actually care, but teleport other always works on everything, so again, exploit this mercilessly.

Pick your fights, kill high value targets that you can deal with using minimal consumables. Don't bother clearing levels or taking risks to get unidentified items -- most are junk.
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Old May 16, 2015, 17:43   #8
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Thanks for all the advice.
What should I look for when choosing a weapon?
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Old May 16, 2015, 17:58   #9
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You want to maximize damage per round. A lot of that has to do with blows per round, which is determined by a combination of str, dex, and the weight of the weapon. In the early game, you want daggers and main gauches, very light weapons. As you get access to weapons with brands and higher str and dex, you tend to take increasingly heavier weapons that benefit more from those brands and still give you an acceptable number of blows per round. At the end of the game, you want the heaviest weapons you can get with slay evil. You can get statistics on how much damage weapons do by examining them in your inventory/equipment.

Normally what I do, though I don't necessarily recommend it for a beginner, is use a dagger or other light weapon with the best enchantment available until I pick up something with a brand like slay orc or slay troll. I then start looking for fights with monsters of that type to gain xp and loot almost to the exclusion of other monsters (I normally dive to very high depths relative to character level so that the monsters effected by my brand are almost the only thing I can kill). Again, this is somewhat extreme but gives you an idea for how you can play the game. You have a radical degree of control over the battles you choose if you decide to take it. The dominant factor in the quality of loot you get is dungeon level, so there are significant advantages to diving deeply but carefully.
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Old May 16, 2015, 20:30   #10
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How hard is it to kill Morgoth?
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