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Old October 24, 2015, 18:31   #1
Galen
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How to deal with the throne room and ascent (is grinding 950 a good idea?)

So, I've been to the throne room several times... and always died, either there or on the ascent. I started to feel I was missing something, so I decided to search for spoilers, or tips, or something.
I didn't actually find spoilers, but I found this site, and the ladder, and I noticed that almost all winners have turncount ~30000.
When I get to the throne room I pretty much always have turncount ~20000 (or less). I am not "diving" or "speedrunning", I'm just... well, playing naturally, I guess, just without grinding. However, I usually explore 950 a couple times, because I heard that's the right thing to do (even though I would prefer not to). When 950 starts to feel too easy, I go downstairs. Examining the ladder, I see that most winners have a lot better equipment, and more XP too...
So, the question - should I grind 950 if I want to win? I see that elliptic, for instance, gets to 950 in pretty much the same time (15000 - 20000 turns), and then he spends the rest of the time (turn clock) grinding and getting good things. I know who elliptic is (I played DCSS quite a lot), so, yeah, it seems I should do it too (if I want to maximize my chances of winning, that is).
The only problem is that it's f....ng boring! See, initially clearing 950 is reasonably difficult. There are tough monsters and I have to be careful. But after the first time it feels easy. So I go down, and die to Morgoth (or die on the ascent).
Here's my latest character. I usually play simple melee bashers, but this one is a stealthy archer. He's in the throne room (well, he actially died). If you were playing him, what would you do? I went to the throne room because I had very easy time on 950... with 30 stealth there was no challenge, and it would be boring to spend more time there.
Code:
  [Sil 1.2.1 Character Dump]

 Name   Galen         Age    1,095       Str   4 =  3  +1
 Sex    Male          Height  6'10       Dex   6 =  4          +2
 Race   Noldor        Weight   160       Con   4
 House  Feanor                           Gra   3

 Game Turn   19,039   Melee  (+18,2d7)   Melee       18 = 10  +6  +1  +1
 Exp Pool     6,588   Bows  (+23,1d11)   Archery     23 = 16  +6      +1
 Total Exp   62,988   Armor  [+16,4-9]   Evasion     16 = 10  +6
 Burden       105.6                      Stealth     30 = 18  +6  +6
 Max Burden   207.3   Health     41:41   Perception  20 = 12  +3  +5
 Depth         1000'  Voice      34:34   Will         6 =  3  +3
 Min Depth     1000'                     Smithing     6 =  2  +3      +1
 Light Radius     2                      Song         3 =  0  +3

 You are the only child of an archer from the house of Feanor. You have
 light grey eyes, straight black hair, and a fair complexion.






  [Equipment]

a) a Mithril Longsword of Final Rest (+1,2d5) [+1] 2.0 lb
   It slays undead.  It grants you freedom of movement.  It
   cannot be harmed by the elements.  
b) a Dragon-horn Bow of Nargothrond (+0,1d9) 2.0 lb
   It slays dragons and raukar.  It can shoot arrows 16 squares
   (with your current strength).
c) a Beryl Ring of Perception <+3>
   It improves your perception by 3.  
d) a Jet Ring of Strength <+1>
   It increases your strength by 1.  It sustains your strength.  
   
e) a Coral Amulet of Preservation
   It sustains your constitution and grace.  It reduces your
   need for food.  It cannot be harmed by the elements.  
f) a Brass Lantern (with 6822 turns of light)
g) Leather Armour [-1,1d5]
h) a Cloak of Stealth [+1] <+3>
   It improves your stealth by 3.  
i) (nothing)
j) The Helm of Curufin [-1,1d2] <+2>
   It improves your stealth and perception by 2.  It provides
   resistance to confusion.  It makes you encounter more
   dangerous creatures (even when not worn).  It cannot be
   harmed by the elements.  It grants you the ability: Listen.  
k) a Set of Mithril Gauntlets [+0,1d1]
   It cannot be harmed by the elements.  
l) a Pair of Boots of Softest Tread [+0,1d1] <+2>
   It improves your stealth by 2.  
m) 94 Arrows
   They can be shot 16 squares (with your current strength and bow).
n) 13 Arrows (+3)
   They can be shot 16 squares (with your current strength and bow).


  [Inventory]

a) 6 Black Herbs of Rage
b) a Yellow Herb of Healing
c) 3 Fragments of Lembas
d) 6 Flasks of oil
e) 3 Clear Potions of Miruvor
f) 5 Azure Potions of Clarity
g) 6 Violet Potions of Healing
h) 4 Sparkling Blue Potions of Voice
i) 2 Dark Potions of True Sight
j) 5 Milky White Potions of Slow Poison
k) 5 Dark Blue Potions of Quickness
l) 5 Dark Green Potions of Elemental Resistance
m) 3 Copper Speckled Potions of Dexterity
n) 4 Yellow Potions of Constitution
o) 2 Golden Potions of Grace
p) a Silver Staff of Sanctity (2 charges)
q) a Gnarled Staff of Understanding (used 2 times)
r) a Runed Staff of Recharging
s) a Topaz Ring of Evasion [+2]
t) a Mattock of Belegost (-5,5d2) <+3> 16.0 lb
   It improves your tunneling by 3.  It requires both hands to
   wield it properly.  
u) 94 Arrows (Poisoned)
   They are branded with venom.  They can be shot 16 squares
   (with your current strength and bow).
v) 11 Arrows
   They can be shot 16 squares (with your current strength and bow).


  [Notes]

Galen of the Noldor
Entered Angband on 23 Oct 2015

   Turn     Depth   Note

    625    100 ft   (Weaponsmith)
    635    100 ft   Made a Longsword (+0,2d5) [+1]  3.0 lb
    645    100 ft   Made a Longbow (+0,2d5)  3.0 lb
    655    100 ft   Made 24 Arrows  2.4 lb
    659    100 ft   (Flaming Arrows)
  1,168    150 ft   Encountered Gorgol, the Butcher
  1,223    150 ft   Slew Gorgol, the Butcher
  4,304    350 ft   (Keen Senses)
  4,411    350 ft   Found The Helm of Curufin
  4,730    350 ft   Fell through a false floor
  5,286    350 ft   Made a Mattock (-5,5d2) <+2>  11.0 lb
  5,296    350 ft   Made 24 Arrows  2.4 lb
  5,306    350 ft   Made 24 Arrows  2.4 lb
  6,833    500 ft   Encountered Ulfang the Black
  7,464    550 ft   Encountered Gilim, the Giant of Eruman
  7,466    550 ft   (Focused attack)
  7,471    550 ft   (Precision)
  7,473    550 ft   Slew Gilim, the Giant of Eruman
  7,703    550 ft   Encountered Orcobal, Champion of the Orcs
  7,805    550 ft   Slew Orcobal, Champion of the Orcs
  7,950    550 ft   Encountered Othrod, the Orc Lord
  8,518    550 ft   (Dexterity)
  9,309    550 ft   Made 24 Arrows  2.4 lb
  9,319    550 ft   Made 24 Arrows  2.4 lb
  9,329    550 ft   Made 24 Arrows  2.4 lb
  9,647    600 ft   (Dexterity)
 10,563    650 ft   Encountered Duruin, Least of the Balrogs
 11,470    650 ft   (Concentration)
 11,540    600 ft   Encountered Uldor, the Accursed
 12,351    700 ft   Encountered Umuiyan, the Doorkeeper
 12,984    750 ft   Encountered Tevildo, Prince of Cats
 12,995    750 ft   Encountered Oikeroi, Guard of Tevildo
 13,000    750 ft   Slew Tevildo, Prince of Cats
 13,592    700 ft   Slew Umuiyan, the Doorkeeper
 14,299    850 ft   Encountered Dagorhir, the Elfbane
 14,658    850 ft   (Disguise)
 14,857    900 ft   Encountered Vallach, Balrog of Sudden Flame
 18,021    950 ft   Encountered Thuringwethil, the Vampire Messenger
 18,046    950 ft   Slew Thuringwethil, the Vampire Messenger
 18,057    950 ft   Found The Bat-Fell of Thuringwethil
 18,476  1,000 ft   Entered Morgoth's throne room
 18,551  1,000 ft   Encountered Ancalagon the Black
 18,551  1,000 ft   Encountered Morgoth, Lord of Darkness
 18,656  1,000 ft   Encountered Gothmog, High Captain of Balrogs
 18,845  1,000 ft   Encountered Ungoliant, the Gloomweaver
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Old October 24, 2015, 20:44   #2
Infinitum
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The throneroom in general and V in particular represents a rather dramatic climb in difficulty from 950'; and judging from your chardump you didn't prebuff at all which is tantamount to suicide in this fight. The classic way of getting the silmaril is to fully buff all stats with potions and a herb of rage, dump a few thousand experience points getting a reasonably strong song of slaying and get to work on the assorted chaff monsters. Morgoth himself has a +20 attack, more armour you can shake a pointy stick at and hits like a truck when he connects. Looking at your build, your combat stats are on the low side; popular knowledge stipulates that you should aim to have at least one point in your attack skill of choice and evasion per dungeon level if you intend to do any fighting.

If you choose to go for it, you'll be surrounded and V creates pits attacking, so be sure to keep the buffs going in order not to let your hit point buffert slip as he'll likely land some hits regardless of your evasion. Once you've hit him a few times, the throne will come off. Stand on top of it, break a Sil off using the prompted command (v i think?) and git. Unless you have a sharp weapon and a minimum of 40 evasion I wouldn't bother trying to kill him; he has a ton of hitpoints, regenerates quicker than most builds can wound him and can easily twoshot a character running out of con buffs.

Alternatively, you can look for a secret door in the leftmost part of the vault from the stairs (past the easterling spy room). This opens a passage that eventually leads behind V and puts you in a pretty good position to either snipe him or put hi to sleep through wands/songs.

Debo has videos of a fair few characters killing him on his youtube channel, although do beware that he was buffed (again) in 1.2.1.

And yes, scumming until the time limit is probably your best bet until you have a very good idea of what to expect in the throneroom.

Last edited by Infinitum; October 26, 2015 at 20:21.
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Old October 24, 2015, 21:15   #3
Galen
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Thank you. But
Quote:
Originally Posted by Infinitum View Post
The throneroom in general and V in particular represents a rather dramatic climb in difficulty from 950'; and judging from your chardump you didn't prebuff at all which is tantamount to suicide in this fight.
Of course I quaffed potions of quickness, constitution and dex before fighting.
Should I have tried to clear at least some of the throne room first? How does this 'Morgoth's judgement' thing work? My previous character arrived in the throne room, I pressed 5 a couple of times (just to see what would happen) and the trolls attacked me. Shouldn't they wait before I get to Morgoth?

Quote:
Looking at your build, your combat stats are on the low side; popular knowledge stipulates that you should aim to have at least one point in your attack skill of choice and evasion per dungeon level if you intend to do any fighting.
Well, yeah, that would require some grinding.

Quote:
Stand on top of it, break a Sil off using the prompted command (v i think?) and git.
And then what? What should I do with Morgoth when I meet him on the upper levels?
Should I make an effort to assemble some 'ascention kit'? For example, a stack of potions of quickness and some staffs of revelations/foes?

Quote:
And yes, scumming until the time limit is probably your best bet until you have a very good idea of what to expect in the throneroom.
That's unfortunate. Thanks for answering!
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Old October 24, 2015, 21:39   #4
debo
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How did you die? I dunno about your melee characters, but this one seems like it would have a difficult time getting cutting a silmaril from the crown without V pancaking you.

Your will is quite low, so if you decided to shoot it off him and then use buffs+heavy weapon to cut it out, I'm guessing his songs of slowing + piercing would have made things hard. On the other hand you don't have song of lorien or staves of slumber (+ high enough will) to take the silmaril stealthfully.

This character would have had a horrific time on the ascent anyways. If you post some of your melee characters, maybe we can comment on those as well.
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Old October 24, 2015, 22:44   #5
Galen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debo View Post
How did you die? I dunno about your melee characters, but this one seems like it would have a difficult time getting cutting a silmaril from the crown without V pancaking you.
That's exactly correct, Debo. I couldn't hit the crown hard enough. I know that problem could've been solved by finding a sharp weapon, or getting enough XP for the song; however, there wasn't anything sharp in the throne room, and not enough XP (but I didn't try to kill any monsters there before attacking Morgoth).

Quote:
This character would have had a horrific time on the ascent anyways. If you post some of your melee characters, maybe we can comment on those as well.
Hmm, I hoped 30 stealth would be enough. My melee characters are not very interesting, for example one ran out of potions of quickness and died by ragequitting while adjacent to Morgoth.
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Old October 25, 2015, 11:39   #6
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30 stealth is more than enough for the ascent. (You still would want vanish.) In your case I would have repeated 950 at least once to get a few strength potions and a suitable weapon (either sharp or large greatsword/axe to combine with song) to be confident to get the Sil, when you have the chance to do so, otherwise buffed will significantly, and then just tried to run with a single Sil.

With a hunter (stealthy archer) I would in an earlier version have tried to slowly kill Morgoths support and then go for him fully buffed with rapid fire on a maximised distance to fully leverage concentration (with song of sharpness + flaming sharp arrows / flaming poison arrows). You would want vanish to do so, but even then it is harder than it used to be. I probably would now play out hunters with Song of Lorien or channeling + staff of slumber in the throne room.

It is viable to combine archery with intimidation (good way to isolate Morgoth in the throne room - http://angband.oook.cz/screen-show.php?id=2373) or Song of Slaying (like brawlers do) or just to have ridiculously high archery skill and good judgment (http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=13761).
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Old October 25, 2015, 14:12   #7
debo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galen View Post
That's exactly correct, Debo. I couldn't hit the crown hard enough. I know that problem could've been solved by finding a sharp weapon, or getting enough XP for the song; however, there wasn't anything sharp in the throne room, and not enough XP (but I didn't try to kill any monsters there before attacking Morgoth).
The song probably wouldn't have helped much, unless you invested in song above and beyond the min Sharpness requirement.

However, you do have quite a bit of strength -- adding a !strength to that and switching to a big weapon probably could have got you the sil.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galen View Post
Hmm, I hoped 30 stealth would be enough. My melee characters are not very interesting, for example one ran out of potions of quickness and died by ragequitting while adjacent to Morgoth.
30 stealth probably would have been very good for the ascent. If V sees you at any point though, you're going to be in trouble due to his slowing song. If you have a few !quick to get you out of it, that's helpful. Alternately, having more than one source of free action (or 10 more will) would help quite a bit there.

I think the songs have generally made the ascent even worse than it used to be, and it was IMO already the worst part of the game by far. (With the exception of the surface level, which is great fun.)
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Old October 25, 2015, 15:12   #8
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He's got listen from the helm & 20 perception. The ascent is usually pretty easy with listen. You just avoid Morgoth.
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Old October 29, 2015, 23:25   #9
Galen
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Hmmm. Gave it another shot. I ended up in a pit (created by Morgy's earthquake), surrounded by monsters. So how should I deal with earthquakes. How does 'earthquake' work? Should I fight on the upstairs? I suspect pits cannot be created there.
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Old October 30, 2015, 14:42   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galen View Post
Hmmm. Gave it another shot. I ended up in a pit (created by Morgy's earthquake), surrounded by monsters. So how should I deal with earthquakes. How does 'earthquake' work? Should I fight on the upstairs? I suspect pits cannot be created there.
This is how Fingolfin died. I assume this was a melee char?

Strong freedom effects (song or staff) removes pits and rubble, climbing out of the pit is another option. Killing most escort before or while going for Morgoth in melee helps (rage) - at least you get out of the pit.
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