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Old January 7, 2021, 16:26   #1
Selkie
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Blackguard: final thoughts

So I've just had my first Blackguard winner and wanted to share some of my final thoughts on the class.

* Insane damage output. By the time I picked up Grond I could do 7.7 blows per round and could put out 4244 damage against undead, dragons and demons. I've not even got close to these sort of numbers before, even with warriors. (I've got screenshots to prove it)

* The early game was tough and I had to use all the spells in my arsenal to survive. By the final stages I was using bloodlust and werewolf form in nearly all the big battles. The biggest challenge was finding weak enemies to charge up on, and then quickly attracting the nasty unique down my anti-summoning corridor. It took a bit of planning but once I'd sussed it out, I finished off all the uniques without any problems. Even the tarrasque needed a single healing potion. I don't think I've ever killed the big guns with so little stress. The Witch King almost melted in my mouth.

* For me the hardest thing about blackguards is lashing out angrily in bloodlust. Fighting Morgorth always requires regular glugging of healing potions. Several times I needed to drink, but my character was out of control and kept attacking enemies, which meant I got scarily close to death on a couple of occasions and might have died with less fortunate rolls.

* I really love all the flavour text for blackguards and I felt a lot more invested in my character than I ever do with a warrior.

SUMMARY: I think blackguard is a great new addition. It's not over powered, at least not until the final stages and there's always the possibility of death for even high level characters (which can add some thrill and some frustration). I got a positive covid test at the start of the week (great start to 2021) so I'm isolating and playing solid Angband. I just started a dwarf priest (haven't played this combo in a while so I thought I'd give it a spin) and it is SOOOO much easier than blackguard. I've already hit level 40 and it's felt like such a breeze. Finally, it felt so good being able to use the real heavy hitters for once. There are few classes than can wield the lances with satisfactory results.
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Old January 7, 2021, 20:13   #2
DavidMedley
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Thanks for the review! What version were you playing?
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Old January 7, 2021, 20:38   #3
Selkie
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Thanks for the review! What version were you playing?
Sorry, I should have said 4.2.1
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Old January 8, 2021, 17:34   #4
archolewa
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I had a similar experience with Bloodlust keeping me one bad move from death for several rounds in my most recent Blackguard win, when I was fighting Feagweath(sp?). Fortunately, Relentless Taunting helps because it makes it less likely that baddies will pull out their big spells.

Initially, I avoided Bloodlust because lashing out without my control always scared me. However, I've found that Bloodlust is great for taking down powerful enemies who would otherwise be too big a drain on resources to take on, but aren't really instantly *dangerous* (like Maia, or Ungoliant for an endgame character), but should be avoided when fighting enemies who could kill you in a couple of turns if they roll right, like Morgoth. So any unique who knows Mana Storm, or the Tarrasque if you don't resist his Disenchantment breath (which is often the case for me, I rarely plug all my higher elemental resistances).

But yeah, I've found that the only other class who can kill powerful enemies with as much impunity as a Blackguard with Bloodlust and Werewolf Form is a paladin with Single Combat and Slay Evil + a sufficiently high dice weapon (someday I will get the Glaive of Pain as a paladin).
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Old January 8, 2021, 18:43   #5
Selkie
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Interesting feedback from your perspective.

I'm not bragging, but I've honestly never sweated so little in a fight with the Tarrasque as with my bg. Unlike you I always plug the high elemental resistances, it's a sort of OCD thing. I can't stand the holes in the resistances grid for some reason.

I didn't use relentless taunting as much as I should have done because it is really powerful. It was often more a case of forgetting, and then never really needing it... but I should have played the percentages more.

For me bloodlust was too powerful to ignore. I had a weapon with +2 attack speed and a ring with +1 attack speed and then with the extra blows of bloodlust and werewolf form I was dealing so much damage it was irresistible... even for Morgy.

One really important point that I forgot to mention was two times in the game blood lust saved my life. Through carelessness and trying to preserve healing potions I cut it fine and got caught out. I think one I was on -42 health and it's scary! Luckily I had a reprieve.

In terms of the bloodlust negative reactions like wounds, hallucination etc it was quite annoying at first. Then I realised you only get negative reactions as you're coming down and the effect is wearing off. That made it easier to manage. Also, towards the end of the game my character never hallucinated as a negative effect. I'm not sure if I equipped something that prevented it, or if that's just in the code. The worst effect was slowing my character down (-10 speed perhaps). The rest were all fairly minor.

There's a flavour text when you're in blood lust sometimes that said "something snaps inside you" or something like that. Any idea what the meant? Is it when you go into peak rage?
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Old January 8, 2021, 19:47   #6
wobbly
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Originally Posted by Selkie View Post
Also, towards the end of the game my character never hallucinated as a negative effect. I'm not sure if I equipped something that prevented it, or if that's just in the code.
Chaos resistance
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Old January 8, 2021, 22:33   #7
DavidMedley
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Originally Posted by Selkie View Post
There's a flavour text when you're in blood lust sometimes that said "something snaps inside you" or something like that. Any idea what the meant? Is it when you go into peak rage?
Pretty sure it's a stat reduction that is stopped by sustain. Ignoring sustains is on my list for 4.2.3.

EDIT: Or at least not fixing that message when nothing happens.

Last edited by DavidMedley; January 8, 2021 at 22:43.
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Old January 8, 2021, 22:43   #8
Selkie
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Pretty sure it's a stat reduction that is stopped by sustain. Ignoring sustains is on my list for 4.2.3.
By then a BG will have unholy reprieve so I think the change would be a minor inconvenience
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Old January 8, 2021, 22:46   #9
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By then a BG will have unholy reprieve so I think the change would be a minor inconvenience
Yes, that's part of the idea though Dex can be decreased and tho IIRC Wis can't currently be reduced, I'll probably throw that in the mix, too. Those stats cannot be restored with Unholy Reprieve.

I want to add some ways for other classes to experience Bloodlust, so the BG having built-in ways of dealing with the side effects makes sense.
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Old January 14, 2021, 22:18   #10
EpicMan
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Potions of Bloodlust dropping in the dungeon might be fun. Or "fun" if you chug them un-IDed with mobs around.
But that might be a good deeper-level consumable to add, it's a timed function that is significant enough to consider devoting a slot to.
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