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Old November 25, 2017, 12:26   #1
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Rambling Questions

So, since this is my first post, I thought I'd give you my history as an Angband player. But that came out boring and pointless, so I'll give you the highlights. Started when I was six or so, back in '94 and I didn't understand the game. I let go of it after dying a jillion times. I was a kid, didn't know the mechanics, blah blah.
Well, now I'm a severe, obsessive, analytical adult. I made a return to the game maybe two or four years ago, (v3.4.1) and didn't have internet again until recently (now updated to 4.1.0). So most of my questions will be based on my knowledge of 3.4.1, so odds are good lots of stuff has already changed.
Anyway, I sank maybe 120 hours into it over the last few years, had a few maxlvl chars but never made it past DL 65 or so.
Now, I have some questions, which are pretty random and have probably been answered somewhere in the forums that I just didn't find.
1) Patriarchs. They've killed quite a few of my characters. Most of the time, they scream 'die' and my character rapidly complies. I was wondering what determines this effect. Is it just a saving throw? My high level characters never seem to be affected in any way, but it being level based seems lazy, and the angband team doesn't strike me as lazy. Are there other creatures with this ability I should look out for? I don't look into the game files, mostly because I'm lazy and probably wouldn't understand them, so please don't point me in that direction.
2) Vaults. When is it appropriate to start clearing vaults? Is ESP a requirement? What's the standard strategy? I typically go in and melee around or stand at the entrance, and let things trickle out, TO-ing what I need to. Most of the time, though, vaults occur with the 'This place seems like it'll eat your face off' level feelings, and I don't know when it's an appropriate risk to take, or what to do when I actually find my way into one, surrounded and mostly terrified. Often, especially at lower levels, I get into the vault and something yells 'die' and I do just that. See question 1.
3) Artifacts. It's my understand that there is a limit to how many artifacts are generated in a given game. I was wondering what that number is, and if it is possible to exhaust all artifact generation through natural playing. It seems silly to me to limit artifact generation, particularly in games with randarts and the lse artifact birth option, and so I was wondering what the purpose of this was.
I was reading in the forums about encountering the 'one ring' and how it is considered not super common. This confused me, because I thought that using standarts meant you would always encounter the same artifacts, roughly in the same order/from the same sources. (Maybe this would be obvious if I played normal games, but I always use randarts)
4) Speed. I learned this game organically, just through personal experience and observation. I've never used the spoilers, and honestly, I never thought speed was important. This forum, though, has many discussions about speed and paint it as the most important statistic (and it's obvious to me now that it's important. I was trying to pump up my DPR, when the reality was that if I just acted twice as often, I'd be doing double the DPR). It's my understanding that speed has undergone some chanbges, and now I'm wondering what is the minimum acceptable level of speed to tackle the end game?
5) Dungeon Danger. Someone, somewhere, in some thread, said that there's virtually no difference between dungeon lvl 65-ish and 90-ish where difficulty/danger is concerned. But there's a marked increase in loot the deeper you go, even if you're still encountering the same monsters. Is this true? There are noticeable increases in difficult as you dive down to level DL40 or 50, for sure, and it seems odd to me that the latter half of the dungeon would be basically even on the danger scale.

Again, I know, I'm a noob. First post and everything. These are probably really basic concepts for most of you. But they're the major questions I have about the game. Or some of them, anyway. I could probably fill a few pages with questions, but most of them are likely answered elsewhere.
Thanks for the time.
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Old November 25, 2017, 14:36   #2
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1) Yes, lots of things yell Die! and strip you of 150hp! Let's see.. lots of Vampires and even some Wraiths do it (black and blue ones I believe). Black knights do it. Their big brothers Death knights as well. For me, the scariest people in the game not including Uniques and not including peeps above DL50 are Knights Templers. They are really scary. They also like to yell DIE! a lot for 150 (or more?) damage.

If you want me to give a list of things I worry about throughout the game at different stages I'd be happy to, as it'd be fun for me to review it, but such advice I would caution as spoilers so I'm not going to post it unless you request it.

I'm not sure, but I think saving throw goes up each time your @ levels up. I know that increasing WIS improves saving throw chance.

2) For me, I do a basic calculation of risk/reward. If I think there is something really good in the vault, I'll take what I guestimate to be like a 50/50 risk on it. Sometimes, if I don't have TO, I will try to lure the scary guys out, then self teleport to the other side of the level, then try to beat the guy I tele'd away from back into the vault and grab what I can, but vaults without TO are generally suicidal unless your @ has an out of depth boost, like speed or CON or something.

For me, I guess it depends on how attached to my character I feel. If I've already found a really good early item then I'm liable to take much less risks tackling a vault. But if I haven't invested much into the character anyway I don't care much if I die then yeah, I'll definitely take on a vault without ESP, especially if I have TO. There are other ways to find out what's inside a vault without ESP, though, like Detect Evil staves or detect non invisible monster spells. The thing about Angband is, if you don't take some risk, the game is boring. The game is set up such that you are forced at some point during your adventure to take considerable risks if you want to progress (or die of boredom). And remember, ESP doesn't detect everything: Drolems aren't that rare and I die from them often enough.

In my last game, I did not come across a single greater vault, and I didn't need one, as I found all the gear I required to beat Morgy from drops from killing things and in small, non permanent vaults, and the job was done in 48,000 standard turns (playing with forced descent on to help me get to Morgy faster).

3) At the start of each RandArt game all the artifacts for that game are created and put into a file, so once all those artifacts have been discovered, then there will be no more to discover as the game will not create anymore. However, I recently read on these forums that if the game has no more artifacts to draw from, then it will make super boosted {ego} items, which makes me wonder, if I play with no artifacts on, will {ego} items be super boosted?

As far as StandArts, they show up in any old order the RNG gods deem fit. They merely have a depth range at which they are most likely to show up, but people find deep artifacts at all sorts of super shallow depths, and you'll also find natively shallow artifacts at deep depths.

4) If you have +10 speed your speed is twice as good as it is when you have no speed. When you have +20 speed I believe you have slightly less than 3 times the speed as when you have no speed. +30 speed is the requirement for fighting Morgoth since that's the speed he has. You're taking a risk of him blasting you twice in one turn if you fight him with less than +30 speed. But +30 speed is not 4 times as fast a no speed, it's like 3.4 times as fast. Increasing speed beyond +20 has diminishing returns, and at that point it is no longer a linear increase. It really starts dropping off quickly after +40 speed. Anything beyond +70 I believe has zero benefit. Someone recently replied in a thread giving the exact breakdown of how speed works. Many people over the years have. Not sure where those posts are off hand, though. And, yes, speed is king and here is why:

A +10 speed character has twice as good of everything as compared to a normal speed character, not just his movement speed. He has twice the damage per round (as you already know), he effectively has twice the stealth, because time is effectively going half the speed for him as it is for everyone else and stealth is a function of time. The longer you are near a monster the greater his chance of waking is, so if you are moving around a vault in half the time (because you're moving twice as fast), then your stealth is effectively doubled. And of course your saving throw is going to be effectively doubled as well, since everyone else gets half the number of turns against you that they'd get if you were at normal speed. So they are screaming DIE! at you half as often, they are moving toward you half as often, they are attacking you half as often, they are breathing at you half as often, they are summoning monsters against you half as often, they are shooting spears of ice at you half as often, etc. etc. And that is why Speed is the best stat to boost over all other stats by far, especially early on. I suppose there are some minor caveats to that, or things to consider such as if you were to double your speed instead of taking a weapon that did twice the damage per round (and per blow) then even though your damage output would be the same, the chance of you frightening a monster from dealing twice as much damage per blow (not per round) would be much less than wielding the weaker weapon at twice the speed.

5) This is pretty rubbish. They say this because there are relatively a lot of things at that depth that can one shot you as compared to lower depths. But the reality is, there are still *much more* terribly dangerous things at DL90+, and DL90 is *much* more dangerous than DL65. There are a lot of really nasty things at DL55, too, like the Draco duo. DL90 is not nearly as manageable as DL65, it's just that at DL65 Osse and Arien are common and are as dangerous as anything at DL90, but they are only two, and there are many as dangerous or more dangerous than those two at DL90.

That said, yes, when you have CON 550+ and plenty of TO and speed +20 and good stealth there is no reason you shouldn't dive deep to the DL90s for better vaults etc if you are hanging around DL65. I suppose DL90 vaults are not that much more dangerous than DL65 vaults since Vaults contain OOD monsters. But in my experience the hallways and rooms at DL90 are much more dangerous than they are at DL65. That's just my two cents, though, and maybe I'm exaggerating my case slightly to emphasis the point of counter argument.

Last edited by Grotug; November 25, 2017 at 14:41.
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Old November 25, 2017, 18:06   #3
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1) If you are really worried about the cursers, play a priest - they get to 100% saveing throw fairly quickly and thus become immune to that kind of thing.

2) When to open vaults and when to avoid them is the core of Angband gameplay. There is no simple answer - risk versus reward applies, as Grotug says, but experience is required to make that call. There are a hundred little tricks to get at the precious most of which you probably have found out by now.

3) There is indeed a fixed amount of artifacts and the more you have found the scarcer the rest becomes. The One Ring is so rare that you can play for days on dlvl 99 without seeing it.

5) The premise for making that statement is that you have a character at dlvl 65 that is weak - that is, has to avoid the indigenous population, not only Osse and Gorlim. Avoiding a death drake or a dracolich is the same effort. For a low stealth half troll warrior with 450 hps level 95 is most certainly more dangrous than 65.
If you are new to the game, you are probably used to being able to fight most
monsters on the level where you go; it is possible to go downstairs very quickly (to "dive") and stay alive long enough to achieve endgame power by avoidig all the dangerous monsters and acquiring deep loot while doing so. High stealth is key for that approach.

The dungeon danger displayed by the game, if you were refering to that, is of little concern. If it is unusually high, that is very likely due to a vault and most of those do a good job at keeping the nasties contained, and even if they dont, the nasties are all concentrated in one spot and once you know the general layout you know which place to avoid - or to seek out. A high danger rating is usful as a vault indicator.
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Old November 26, 2017, 17:00   #4
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2) If you have monster detection, you can sometimes take out the safer parts of a vault and leave the more dangerous parts. This will enable you to get some of the loot without risking too much.

3) There are a limited number of artifacts, but it is a large enough number that you are seriously unlikely to find them all unless you are playing for a REALLY long time.

5) While dungeon level 90 is somewhat more dangerous than 65, the difference is not nearly as big as it could be. There aren't that many new monsters between those levels. By the time you get down to level 80, there is extremely little difference between there and level 98 as the only new monsters starting with DL80 are Uniques.
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Old November 27, 2017, 21:48   #5
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I agree with your second part, 80 and 98 the danger difference is fairly negligible, but I still hold that the sheer amount of really scary things at DL65 is *much* less than DL90 (and DL80).
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Old November 30, 2017, 04:45   #6
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Sorry I didn't reply more rapidly. I appreciate your insights.
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