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Old September 3, 2008, 05:36   #1
obb
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newb questions

I posted my char dump here

In no order, off the top of my head, and probably leaving a few things out:

Is it normal that i'm using this char, since I found balli's axe, basically as a warrior? I don't know why I carry so many arrows anymore, but I seem to do much better just smacking things. Actually I do know - they keep important things from burning up when I get hit by fire. But that's it. Many of the bigger opponents I face completely ignore my arrows. I've found like 6 artifact weapons and no truly interesting missile ones D:

Is there any reason for me to carry the books conjurings and tricks, Kalek's, and Raal's right now? other than teleport other, which I think(?) fails less with the staffs...

why is Aeglos lower level than balli? I assume I should be using it, I just picked it up.

should I wear celebrimbor? Telepathy hasn't been as useful to this char as you might think, resist disenchant could be nice, and more intel never hurts. And what about the gloves / set of cesti? I really have no idea about the comparative values of things.

Is there a point in getting a stat over 18/200? I thought that was the max but I seem to be able to cross it with some equipment.

Am I exploring at too risky a dl? the thangorodrim newb guide says chaos / nether resistance should be found before 2700 feet, but the game is feeling a tad boring to me at this depth right now (I typically feel this way shortly before I die). The guide also told me to max stats at 1900 feet which was ridiculously boring and I still haven't maxed them nearly 1k feet later.

I should've been writing questions down, I feel like I had a few more, but oh well. This game is pure satanic evil by the way, and whoever designed it is a complete dick. Who designs a game with no checkpoints and then includes dragons which wake up and kill you in one shot from 12+ steps away in one turn from full health? or carrion crawlers when getting free action is up to random chance? I absolutely hate the fact that I enjoy this time-sucking game. But I digress...
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Old September 3, 2008, 06:29   #2
aeneas
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Balli is not particularly rare, and it's in depth. You're moving at a relatively sedate pace, it seems, so no, not particularly unusual. Still nice find. Though I'm not quite sure what you're asking here...

Aeglos does more damage, and is particularly nice against undead. The question is, how many hp do you lose by swapping? Do you lose a blow by swapping your =Dex for a big =Con? You'd likely be better off with Aeglos and a big =Con.

Raal's and Kelek's are not particularly important for a Ranger. What you want is Tenser's, and it is likely to show up soon- I would go straight to 3500' now, actually. Your bow is pretty weak for your depth and turncount, but it would still be pretty good with branded ammo. Once you find a better bow....

Aeglos is lower level than Balli, but much rarer. Note that Ringil is also lower level than Balli. You have to take both depth and rarity into account.

I would keep ESP, but I also know what disenchants, and am good at staying away from it. If you don't.. well, I'd still keep the ESP, I think, but do be careful about disenchantment.

Some stats only need to be so high- for instance Con's benefits are maxed at 18/200. Not the case for Str. OTOH Dex is pretty much maxed at 18/150. Also, if you get a bit drained it can be useful to have Con over 18/200, though it's not something I'd go out of my way for (better to not get drained ).

The guide is ridiculously conservative, probably dangerously so. Waiting around for rNether is a great way to get killed, and rNether isn't very important anyway (you don't _ever_ have to have it). In the worst case it barely cuts the damage. To be fair, that guide was written a long time ago. That said, it contains a lot of very bad advice.

I think you at a dangerously _shallow_ level, even playing conservatively. Tenser's is the next big thing for you- well, that and a good bow. 3500' is not much more dangerous than where you are now, if you play carefully, and it will be a lot more rewarding. Just don't mess with stuff you aren't sure about. And try to get that last significant point of Con.

As to the dickishness of the game- well, consider that it evolved from a game that was meant to be unwinnable. V has been getting steadily easier over time.
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Old September 3, 2008, 07:03   #3
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thanks for the advice. I lost two earlier characters I was pretty happy with purely by getting bored and not following the advice in the guide (I've already mentioned how) so I've gotten pretty paranoid/frustrated.
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Old September 3, 2008, 08:51   #4
Pete Mack
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I agree that Raal is useless for a ranger, but kelek is great, since it gives *destruction*. That spell-with ESP-will let you wander around at 4950' without any danger. Just go look ing for elemental wyrms, tensers and speed rings, and annhilate the nasties before they can see you. Fail rate doesn't matter in that kind of seek mode. And if you run out of mana, there's always tele level.
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Old September 3, 2008, 19:06   #5
aeneas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obb View Post
thanks for the advice. I lost two earlier characters I was pretty happy with purely by getting bored and not following the advice in the guide (I've already mentioned how) so I've gotten pretty paranoid/frustrated.
Well, I guess there are a variety of viewpoints about pace. Probably the most reliable way to win, with a particular character, is to go very, very slowly and not play for very long at a time, so that you don't get so bored you get careless.

But there are a couple of problems with this approach. One is that for it to really work you have to go _very_ slowly. So eventually you get impatient and decide to go deep enough that you can't survive indefinitely, but most stuff is still not that dangerous. Now it's a race- will you get good enough stuff to survive before you get complacent and die from carelessness? If you do this a few times the answer is pretty likely to be no at least one of them, since you're still shallow enough that it could take a long time to get what you need.

The other thing is that you wind up investing a huge amount of time in your character. So even if you do get the right stuff you'll eventually get deep enough that you'll likely die anyway due to not having been that deep before. If you've spent millions of turns on a single character, that's just crushing, and it's hard to contemplate starting the whole tedious business of inching your way down all over again, so the game gets put away for a while. By the time you pick it back up you will have likely forgotten whatever you should have learned from that death, and the whole cycle will repeat itself.

Now, this isn't true for everyone- there are people who really enjoy playing in a way that I would find mind-numbingly boring, and who can win very consistently by playing very slowly. But if you keep dying because you get a bit impatient and go just a bit too deep, there's a good chance you aren't one of them .

Something you might try out with a different savefile is starting a few games with the goal of dying as gloriously possible . By always playing in difficult circumstances you'll learn a lot- at first you should probably aim at dying in less than an hour very consistently. It won't be crushing at all when you die, as you set out to do that anyway, and you had very little invested in each character. You can set mini-goals for this, like starting with a powerful warrior and going to 600' or 700' on the first trip, or starting with someone who gets detect stairs early (rangers are good for this) and getting to 1500' in two trips and <x number of turns. One advantage to this is that once you know how to get to 1500' in 20-30 minutes of play-time you can start playing in such a way that the game really begins at stat-gain.

Anyway, regardless of pace, waiting for rNether is an odd thing to advise. If you can be killed by nether with the resistance you can likely be killed without it. Nether does a maximum of 550 hp of damage. With rNether it does a maximum of 471 (it's likely to do a good bit less with the resistance, but you need to worry about the worst case). And rNether is quite rare in V. You could wait a _very_ long time for it, and there's a good chance that you will get bored and careless enough to die during that time, since you're waiting at a depth that is pretty dangerous.

I think that the guide probably assumes you are going to charge headfirst at every unique you see, but you don't have to (and shouldn't) do that. Stay away from stuff you aren't sure about killing, and avoid any uniques that are new to you for quite a while after you first see them. If you do that then 3500' is not much more dangerous than 2800', but Tenser's will be in depth, and the drops will generally be a bit better. Wyrms will also come into depth, and with Tenser's and Scarabtarices you can kill the elemental wyrms easily (but be careful about the higher Wyrms, some of them are still quite dangerous for you), and their drops will make you powerful much more quickly than hanging around at 2800' will. Among other things you might well find Narya, which gives rNether.
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Old September 5, 2008, 03:29   #6
aeneas
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I thought you might find a dump of my current character interesting, just 'cause he's pretty similar to yours. I posted it at: http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=8037

I wouldn't normally post a dump of this guy, as there's nothing very interesting about him, but he's similar to your char in a few ways. He's also a bit of an experiment in pacing- he's not by any means a diver, but a lot of his turns were front-loaded. Basically, I waited for a while at 1500-1600 to get a few !Con, and I hung out again for a while in the 40s. But once I passed 2500' I went straight down- that was less than 100k turns ago, I think... at that point my hp were in the high 300s. This guy lacks speed (and has yet to be even temp hasted), so there's no reason to not go straight to 4000' once 2500' or so has passed.

I'm just about there now, so =Speed should show up soon. Deepest killed unique is Draebor, but that's misleading- most of the uniques past the yeeks are still alive. You can see from the fact that I haven't bothered enchanting my branded ammo up that I am avoiding most big fights. It would probably be wiser to enchant them, particularly as I am not playing for turns here, but I'm not even killing Wyrms yet- I went after a Swamp Wyrm, but a bunch of insignificant creatures got into the mix, so I decided to bail- twas just getting too messy. Better to get Speed first. If you hadn't had the ring already I would have advised going to 4000' rather than 3500'.

I've been thinking a bit about the guide. I'd say that this guy is a reasonable, though not at all exemplary, example of one style of play. He did go to 1500' without FA, and maybe that's not great advice for beginners. And probably beginners should wait for more hp before beginning the drop to 4000'. But the main point is that you should be ready to go quickly to 4000' by the time you get to 2500' (though you can assume you'll pick some stuff up on the way- I killed every troll in easy reach and got a lot of !stat). That will mean different things to different people, but I think it is basically a constant, no matter your pacing, unless you get significant speed early.

I think that a lot of people view rate of descent as a simple difficulty slider. It's more complicated than that, as a lot of people have pointed out. Not only is it non-linear (as a function of depth as well as rate), it is non-monotonic, and I'd say that it has at least two more dimensions, in experience/knowledge of the game and in temperament- and at least one more, depending on whether you are playing to win or to learn. That makes it sound very complicated. It's not really, if you've played a lot, but it is a very hard thing to gauge if you haven't.

I think I might, time allowing, try to pull together some of my thoughts on this into a sort of mini-guide to different pacing options- across the continuum from fast to pokey some seem better than others, to me. I know that some interest was expressed on r.g.r.a about having a better guide- maybe if some other people think about this a bit we can put together something that gives someone a start on thinking about the strategy of the game, and explains how to learn the tactics. A guide that tells people to wait for rNether at 2700', without qualification, seems pretty evil . Maybe I'm wrong about that- if anyone thinks that's good advice I'm all ears. Otherwise there should be something better.

Anyway, I guess I've hijacked your thread a bit- sorry about that. It tickled an itch.

Last edited by aeneas; September 5, 2008 at 03:40.
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