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Old October 23, 2008, 11:22   #1
Psi
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[FA/O] Priest strategy

I've never played a V priest and my only serious attempt at an O-style one was the FA comp character, Primula the Hobbit Priest. However I could never really get a grasp on how the class was supposed to be played. I'm currently playing an Entish Priest character to test my changes to Ents' superstealth and also to familiarise myself further with priests as I'd like to do something about the PPP.

I'm up to CL17, but this has been achieved by finding an HA whip at about DL3 and then blessing myself, using terrain to my advantage and cracking my whip at evil monsters. Is this how a priest should be played?

- I've just gained my first offensive spell, Orb of Draining, which does 3CL/4 + 3d6 damage - +50% against evil. So even at CL50 I can only do a max of 82 damage with it - which does not sound too useful. At the moment its failure rate and mana cost alone make it a non-starter.

- My archery has just reached 'poor' (up from 'bad') - if I could hit anything I could at least do some damage with the enhanced ammo dice in my patch. This may partly be because Ents are not great at archery - but the racial modifiers aren't huge so I'm not sure how viable an offensive method it would be anyway.

- I haven't found any devices better than a -StinkingCloud yet so I can't exploit my skill in that department.

- Looking at higher level offensive spells they all seem to have such a high mana cost for the damage they do, that I'd need a vast supply of !RM to even consider them as a strategy.

- Of the three previous priest winners of FA, two were meleeing (with Deathwreaker and an HA Great Axe respectively). The third does not mention how he killed Morgoth, but with Ringil equipped, melee is certainly not ruled out.

So are O/FA priests primarily melee characters backed up with a whole array of spells or am I missing something?

Your thoughts would be much appreciated!

Si
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Old October 23, 2008, 11:39   #2
Seany C
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Si - yep, I think you've got the strategy about right. Priests are horrible at archery and without a standard recharge spell, magic-device is only a short-term measure so for the early game, they're definitely melee characters - this is why the Primula comp was so tough - Hobbits just aren't natural fighters.

OoD seems significantly weaker in FAA (and O?) compared to V - OoDing everything in sight works fine in V but just doesn't do enough damage in FAA. My strategy up to now has been to get either an ego weapon or a heavy blunt one (2d6 or 4d4) and pick selected battles only - FAA Priests have to be a lot more "Roguelike" than V Priests and a low-stealth cleric would really struggle to get through the early game.

Mid-game, once SP are over 80, OoD can be a decent offensive weapon from a distance, especially once the character can set RoPs up. However, a char would struggle to take out Glaurung and most stronger monsters without a very fancy weapon, I suspect - meleeing and healing every few rounds is probably the mid-game tactic to use, allied to relatively quick levelling with the Dispel Evil spell on evil mobs/pits...
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Old October 23, 2008, 11:49   #3
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Thanks Seany, though that begs the question - is that how priests *should* be played? I could always ramp up OoD and potentially the other offensive spells to make casting more effective. However would that make priests too powerful?
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Old October 23, 2008, 12:33   #4
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My impression is that priests mainly buff and heal, and then melee or OoD when they get the chance. Also they get dispel evil and undead after a while. I don't play priests much
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Old October 23, 2008, 14:36   #5
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Nick - that's how I play them - but it ends up making them an under-powered Paladin with OoD/Dispel Evil to compensate...


It depends how radical your changes are, Si. Just powering-up OoD a little bit (maybe 20%) would probably give them about the right level of power compared to other classes. It doesn't fix the other problem with priests, though - they're a bit dull to play, given that the usual attack strategy in V for the mid-game and later is "mcbtnnnnnnnn..." with the occasional blink or heal mixed in there.

If I was redesigning them (which I'm not ), I'd look at keeping OoD as it is but maybe putting in some other attack spells (Holy Bolt, Osse's Wrath, Aule's Hammer, that sort of thing) that make OoD less of a spell panacea...
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Old October 23, 2008, 14:55   #6
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NPP has an early "Bolt of Draining".
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Old October 23, 2008, 14:55   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seany C View Post
If I was redesigning them (which I'm not ), I'd look at keeping OoD as it is but maybe putting in some other attack spells (Holy Bolt, Osse's Wrath, Aule's Hammer, that sort of thing) that make OoD less of a spell panacea...
Hammer of Aule is already in Wrath of the Valar (aka Destruction), the others are possibilities though.

PPP is the other thing that bugs me. I'm considering whether to remove it as a negative thing and actually make it a positive thing to use blunt/blessed weapons - give them a combat bonus for doing so (like dwarves with axes etc). Otherwise I think I may need to make Paladins better at combat (that is a different problem, but this would potentially solve it).
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Old October 23, 2008, 15:33   #8
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Ah, never got to that book, alas. Still, a few more Vala-based spells would be nicely thematic.

Paladin melee is fine as it is, I've found - it's certainly easier overall than a Warrior with no spells at all. A combat increase for PPP Priests with a slight down-grading of their 'default' combat ability might maintain class parity, though.

Sooo...are these changes FAA with Nick's blessing, or are you writing PsiAngband (as it happens, there was a PsiBand years ago)?
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Old October 23, 2008, 16:27   #9
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Sooo...are these changes FAA with Nick's blessing, or are you writing PsiAngband (as it happens, there was a PsiBand years ago)?
Well what I have changed so far has had Nick's blessing and the plan is to release it as 036. Assuming there is nothing too controversial, it would then be the basis for Nick's 040 release.

There are no major gameplay changes as such, just things to hopefully smooth out character progression, balance a few areas a little more and make certain items of more use.
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Old October 24, 2008, 00:37   #10
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Well what I have changed so far has had Nick's blessing and the plan is to release it as 036.
Yes, it seemed like a good idea to have some input from someone who's actually played the second half of the game...

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Ah, never got to that book, alas. Still, a few more Vala-based spells would be nicely thematic.
The spells in the final Druid and Priest books are all Vala-themed (boys for priests, girls for druids - well almost).
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