|February 10, 2013, 23:41||#41|
Join Date: Sep 2009
Having been a slow and steady clearer in the past, I am very much on the fast diving bandwagon now because it's so much more fun.
I need some risk in order to keep me alert. If I fight too many easy opponents for too long I end up dying to something preventable because I got bored and held a move key down once too often. I also try to maximize the reward for the risk I'm taking, which takes various forms but has an impact on whether I choose to fight or run, and when I dive. I like hanging out on levels that are multiples of 5 or 10, because historically those are where new item types came into depth (not sure if this is still true).
There are certain points where I won't go any deeper without a particular quality. I try not to get down to ancient dragon depth without rbase, and I don't like going below about 1700' without SInv (fighting dreads when you can't see them is no fun). I don't typically wait for FA but below a certain depth you accept some risk of instadeath without it (can usually be mitigated, worse for characters with bad saving throw).
I'm really pleased to hear that 3.4 has reverted the item level change for monster drops - kill all weaklings was not a fun playstyle. In general I like the difficulty in 3.4 and item drop rates feel more like they did in 2.x - I'm actually excited now if I find a good ego weapon pre-stat gain, which is nice. Ego armor is perhaps a little too rare compared to weapons, but that's not all bad (trying to get through stat gain with a patchwork of resists adds some drama). I'd say that compared to 3.1 early game feels a bit tougher due to lower drop rates. Stat gain feels a lot tougher, due to the stat swap potions being made rarer and because you typically don't have anywhere near the quality of gear that you did in 3.1. It's also harder to find stat potions from monster drops due to the item level change - in 2.x you just had to locate a couple of troll pits and clear them out and you'd be done, but that doesn't work any more since the "too much crap" change. You need to either dive much deeper (dangerous until you have more CON) or cherry-pick your targets - I spend a lot of time hunting for dragons.
Below about 2500' it feels fairly similar as drop rates go up and ego items become common again. Artifacts feel a bit rarer, possibly a consequence of the drop changes (do non-special artifacts still need to be upgraded from ego items in the code?) My current character is at 3500' (practically 3000' as I just fast dived 10 levels using deep descent in search of rings of speed) and has found 11 artifacts so far. In 3.1 I suspect I would have found a lot more by now.
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