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Old June 10, 2010, 00:52   #1
Overheat
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Complete beginner advice

Hi, I have been playing roguelikes for over two years, and I have always wanted to try angband.

Problem is, there seems to be no help for people who are completely new to the game. I have tried many times, but I have never gotten past 500. Or ever found an ego item.
What I know:

All I know is that light weapons get multiple blows with strong, dextrous characters. I have only used human and half Orc warriors.

Phase door and CLW are important. WoR brings me to town and back.
Resistances are important when I get to those monsters. Speed is good.

Lots of advice would be appreciated.
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Old June 10, 2010, 01:20   #2
Sirridan
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Try a dunadan or high elf warrior, better starting stats, easy 4 blows. Just don't autoroll, use point buy and put 17 base in each str, dex, and con.

Buy a light weapon ~3 to 4 pounds, and go to town.

Don't fight everything, avoid harder monsters. Obviously, you will die a lot learning which monsters are hard, and which can do what. Just know red monsters breathe fire or drain strength usually (R, j, S, a), but red orcs, kobolds, and people (p) don't, they are just casters.

Yellow worms drain dex, avoid them.

If killing something takes several healing potions, it isn't worth fighting (caveat: Some monsters, especially uniques and Wyrms, do require this AND are worth fighting)

Don't clear levels. Early on, they rarely have anything good, and later on too many monsters spawning and waking up makes clearing very dangerous.

The longer you spendon a level, the more awake monsters there are, the higher chance something nasty has appeared, and the higher chance you will make a mistake.

Cure light wounds cures blindness and cuts, and lowers poison and confusion (but does not cure them immediately unless it lowers them to zero)

Cure serious wounds heals confusion

Cure critical wounds cures every ailment except death :P

Don't melee disenchanting monsters (you'll find out )

Angband is about detect and evade really, you detect your surroundings and evade that which can kill you. Rods of detect traps, doors/stairs, treasure are invaluable early on, and rods of detection are prized possessions, especially when you have more than two.

Fire/Cold/Acid/Elec are the base 4 and resisting them is pretty much required after dlvl 40, unless you are on top of detections.

Poison is the next most important resist to get, it starts appearing a lot around dlvl 40,. and the one-hit-kill poison breathers start showing up a lot more around 42-44. As always, detection will keep you alive.

CON > SPEED > Caster Stat if a caster > STR > DEX, CHA is all but worthless.

18/200 con is the soft cap, any more will give you no hit point benefit, but will give a draining buffer in case you get drained.

Avoid time breathers, they are almost never worth fighting.

If any monster can kill you in one round, assume it will.

Never fight hounds in the open.

And finally, Free action is more important than any resist, unless you have perfect saving throw (100%).

EDIT:

Play a lot, die a lot, learn from your deaths. Read threads in this forum, lots have information like this, there is tons of newbie help if you look.

Don't be discouraged, my first win happened after 5-6 years of playing, some haven't won after 10 or more.
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Old June 10, 2010, 04:48   #3
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If you find yourself dying a lot around 500', I would actually recommend playing a ranger or a rogue. High-elf ranger is probably the easiest character to win with (especially in the current version). The reason to play a ranger is that you get the spell 'detect monsters' very early. This is probably the most important spell you can have because it'll alert you to what's nearby and allow you to escape.

Here are some other tips to add to what Sirridan posted:

As soon as you can, buy a staff of teleportation, this will be your primary means of escape for most of the game. Angband is mainly a game of knowing when to bail. You often need to bail *before* you get in trouble.

Set HP warning (under options) to 40%, turn on the option to have the player symbol change at low HP, provided you are playing with ascii and not the tiles...

If you find them, hang on to scrolls of teleport level or deep descent. These will immediately take you off of the level and land you on a new level. You always get the first move on a new level.

You don't need to explore the whole level, and while Angband does allow this option, it's often better to stay close to the stairs. Monsters won't chase you up and down stairs, so you can use the stairs to get off a level.

Watch out for packs. Packs of animals will hide in rooms and try to lure you in. They will then surround you and try to sneak behind you to cut off your escape. Cave spiders are the first ones that will do this, but wolves and white wolves can kill characters around 500'. If you see a pack animal in a room, assume there are 15-20 waiting in the shadows. They won't chase you into a hallway, so you can just avoid the room they're in. If you enter another room, they may come down the hallway towards you, so be careful. Detect to see if they're following you.

Fighting in rooms is dangerous, fighting in hallways is better. Watch out for dark rooms, you never know what's lurking the shadows. Call light is the third most useful early spell that you get. (detect stairs/traps being second).

Sometimes it's better to heal while moving than to rest. Resting gives more chances for monsters to spawn on the level. If you are resting, do it on or near stairs, so you can escape if needed. Resting right before you leave the level is always a good idea.

Lastly, keep on your toes. If you find yourself so strong that you're running headlong at all the monsters you see, you will be dead soon. Do not hold down buttons, ever. Ironically, it's often better to drop down to where you are less comfortable because it makes it less likely that you'll get lazy, and miss a deadly monster.

Good luck!
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Old June 10, 2010, 05:06   #4
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You guys mentioned detection. What is the best way to do that? Do scrolls of charging work on staves? What is worth using identify on? When will I find a better weapn than my dagger? Do staves need magical device check?
Should I pack ranged weapons in the dungeon?

Sorry for all the questions, but this is so different from NetHack and ADOM.
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Old June 10, 2010, 05:23   #5
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Spellcasters will primarily do detection with spells. The first spellbook for all classes (except the warrior, of course) has a spell to detect traps, and another that will detect monsters -- though for priests and paladins, the spell only detects evil monsters.

The next best way to do detection is with rods. Rods of Treasure Location show up fairly early and will tell you what objects are in the area. This can tell you where you should direct your exploration. Early rods also include Trap Location and Door/Stair Location, which do what they say on the tin. Later on you can also get Rods of Detection, which will detect everything except for walls, basically (and Rods of Mapping which detect only walls). Both are quite useful, but you won't find them early on.

Next there's staves. These are heavy and have limited charges, but if you're desperate they can be worth using. Similarly, there are scrolls, which I suppose are marginally better than staves only in that you can lose a staff in a single fire attack, while you only lose scrolls one or two at a time, as a general rule. Still, I wouldn't recommend either of these if you have better options.

Scrolls of Recharging work on anything that has a limited number of charges (that is, wands and staves). However, there's a chance of destroying the item instead of recharging it, which increases as the item has more charges. Generally you shouldn't try to recharge something until it's empty.

Identify:
* Rings and amulets before using, since they can easily be cursed
* Any consumable item later on (around about 800' I stop using these items blindly)
* Any item that you can't easily identify by use.

Never wield a weapon until you know that it's of at least {magical} quality. Otherwise you risk accidentally wielding a weapon of Morgul, which is nigh-impossible to remove.
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Old June 10, 2010, 05:38   #6
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Thanks for the answers, I just realized that I should play the most rcent version, I was using 3.0.9.

Is aggravate monster bad or really bad? What level depth should I start detecting monsters every time? I do not know what monsters are dangerous, what are dangerous monsters that appear from 500-1000?

Do stores always have the stock they started with, because one had =oFA and apparently FA is important.
I will need to learn to run, because I forget that leaving the level makes monsters go away.
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Old June 10, 2010, 05:40   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Overheat View Post
Is aggravate monster bad or really bad? What level depth should I start detecting monsters every time? I do not know what monsters are dangerous
Aggravate is indescribably awful.

I suggest you descend quickly, and try to learn from your deaths what is dangerous. No smiley. I am not joking.
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Old June 10, 2010, 05:44   #8
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Aggravation means that every monster will wake up as soon as you get remotely close to it. This means that you're constantly having to fend off assaults and basically never get a moment's rest. It completely negates all stealth bonuses and makes the game a lot harder. So yes, avoid it.

As for how often you should detect, a bit more often than you detect traps, I'd say.
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Old June 10, 2010, 08:18   #9
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The stores will shuffle their inventory every several thousand turns that you spend in the dungeon.

FA is absolutely mandatory when you get to a certain depth since several monsters have spells or attacks that will paralyze you and they will beat on you to dead before you can get even one turn in.

Don't be afraid to stair-scum since you're new and it will help you learn what is tough and what isn't. Go down the stairs and explore around nearby for items and monsters. If you find something that is too tough for you, hopefully you're close enough to the stairs to escape. But still always keep several escapes on hand, like ?Teleportation, ?Teleport Level, and *Destruction* items. Even ?Phase Door can work in a pinch if you're lucky, but it should never come to that.

And this website has all the monster and spoiler files for artifacts and monsters. There is no shame in looking up a monster if you want to. Also there is a "cheat" option in-game that will give you full monster knowledge. Most people don't consider it cheating since it basically just gives you the same info (slightly more, like damage) that the online spoilers give you.


What you're looking for is anything with Telepathy, which makes survival MUCH easier. And definitely avoid Aggravation until you are end-game and can handle just about everything (because "just about everything" will come after you from across the dungeon).
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Old June 10, 2010, 14:52   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zikke View Post
And this website has all the monster and spoiler files for artifacts and monsters. There is no shame in looking up a monster if you want to. Also there is a "cheat" option in-game that will give you full monster knowledge. Most people don't consider it cheating since it basically just gives you the same info (slightly more, like damage) that the online spoilers give you.
I disagree with most of this.

Not making it past DL10 isn't a function of incomplete monster memory. Spoilers and cheat options (which are labeled cheat options for a reason) aren't the solution. Maybe they'll come in handy at some point in the future, but it's not what's I consider beginner advice.

Not being able to survive past DL10 indicates IMO a fundamental unfamiliarity with game itself, which will best be overcome by simply playing some more. The best advice I've seen in the thread is never hold down a movement key, and don't try to kill everything you meet.

Let me add that you can look at things/enemies using the l key (plus a direction) and the recall the details of whatever you're looking at by pressing r. There's also the knowledge menu ~. Always have at least one word of recall. When you run out of reliable escapes or healing, recall and restock. Always carry a bow or sling. Play some more, ask specific questions, you'll get the hang of it.
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