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Old June 27, 2010, 06:16   #1
Netbrian
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How Do I PowerDive?

Hi!

I hear people here talking about powerdiving all the time, but I don't know of any good guide to it. In general, it seems to involve going downward quickly (once you have 300 HP and base-4 + FA/SI, try to get to 4900' or so?) and picking battles with enemies with unusually good risk versus reward ratios while running away from the rest. However, I haven't found specifics beyond that -- for instance, what abilities and equipment I should have before particular dungeon levels, which monsters are easy prey and who I should avoid (for instance, golems and hydras seem to terrible uses of my time), and what kinds of tactics to use.

Any suggestions or links?

Thank you!
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Old June 27, 2010, 06:22   #2
Pete Mack
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That is about all there is to it. There are some details like:
CON and ESP are hugely important, and stealth is more valuable than most resistances.
But most of it is:
(almost) always take the stairs.
Detect often
Choose your fights; live to fight another day.
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Old June 27, 2010, 06:32   #3
PowerDiver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Netbrian View Post
for instance, what abilities and equipment I should have before particular dungeon levels, which monsters are easy prey and who I should avoid (for instance
I wouldn't say you should take every staircase. It is a matter of degree, and skill, and what works for one person may not work for another.

Are you used to clearing every level? You might find things pick up enough if you take the third staircase you see each level. If that doesn't scare you, try taking the second. Don't descend if there are objects or monsters with drops you can kill easily that you have detected nearby.

The key change is one of attitude. You never ask what you need to go deeper. Instead, you ask what can you do best with what you have. E.g., if you have bolts of slay dragon, even if you are playing a ranger, you get your best crossbow and go dragon hunting, for the scariest ones you can find.

As to what to kill, that is both a matter of experience and the abilities of your char. One thing to keep in mind is devices that always beam. Wands and rods of light and lightning can kill a whole corridor of susceptible creatures at one time.
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Old July 15, 2010, 11:54   #4
K.I.L.E.R
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I am a bit of an idiot. I have always power dived right from the beginning without reaching a second character level, I did not know that there was a requirement of having 300 HP, this could explain why I die too often.
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Old July 15, 2010, 15:28   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K.I.L.E.R View Post
I am a bit of an idiot. I have always power dived right from the beginning without reaching a second character level, I did not know that there was a requirement of having 300 HP, this could explain why I die too often.
In the beginning you can descend pretty quickly. I usually drop down as soon as I find a stairs on dlevels 1-10 with the exceptions that i might seek out a lit room, or nearby monsters that I can kill if I detect them.

On the first levels the main trick is oil throwing. It's the easiest way to kill the dangerous monsters in the beginning. Grip, Fang, bullroarer. If you're playing a mage or a priest, you may also need ?blessing to be able to hit anything with your flasks. Diving with those classes is hard though, and I'd suggest Ranger, Rogue or Paladin.

In the early levels the main point is to detect as often as you can. It pretty much should be what you use all your SP for. Keep conscious of what's around you and if it's awake.

In later levels it's all about having escapes and using them before you get in trouble. Look at the fail rates on your staves and wands. They're probably something like 3-10%. You can't rely on those, unless you can risk 3 failures. _destruction is incredibly useful. You can remove monsters that you don't want to face well before they come near you, like packs of hounds or tough uniques.
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Old July 15, 2010, 16:23   #6
Derakon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K.I.L.E.R View Post
I am a bit of an idiot. I have always power dived right from the beginning without reaching a second character level, I did not know that there was a requirement of having 300 HP, this could explain why I die too often.
There's no requirement for hitpoints at any point in the game. You simply take on more and more risk as you descend, and hitpoints act as risk mitigation. You should be trying to improve your hitpoints as much as possible; rings of constitution are very common midgame gear, staying on my characters until I find adequate CON boosting from other sources to keep me above 18/200.
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Old July 15, 2010, 18:18   #7
Fendell Orcbane
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Detect often, use the monster spoilers don't take on anything that has a chance of killing you. You will feel underpowered for awhile, so don't worry about that. Also dispel evil,holiness and staves of power are great for clearing out rooms of Orcs, Trolls and eventually Giants. Cleaning out rooms like this gets you some decent loot. Also I found staves of the Magi and Speed to be a big help my last game. Just keep recharging them after you find Tensers and you are good to go.

Also speed is your best weapon...never fight anything faster than you.

Hope that helps.
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Old July 15, 2010, 20:42   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
There's no requirement for hitpoints at any point in the game. You simply take on more and more risk as you descend, and hitpoints act as risk mitigation. You should be trying to improve your hitpoints as much as possible; rings of constitution are very common midgame gear, staying on my characters until I find adequate CON boosting from other sources to keep me above 18/200.
Diving has a strange relationship with hitpoints. In general you want to dive just slowly enough that you can survive one round with any critter that gets the jump on you, so you can escape next turn. This holds true for me down to somewhere around what is still inappropriately known as stat gain depth, i.e. 1500-2000' or so.

After that the problem is breaths: I often find that I am so far away from being able to survive a breath that it's pointless worrying. Even with rbase some chars with low CON could not survive a resisted breath (and I am often relying on temp resists in the absence of perm-rbase). So between stat gain and about 4000' I don't tend to worry about hp at all, it's all about detection and stealth (I tend to play high stealth chars). After that I usually have enough +con from items to start worrying about hp again, namely can I survive a resisted breath (e.g. 533hp for base elements).

The main problem is that I can reach dl98 with CON still way below 18/100. I think I once reached it with CON only 17, having seen precisely one !CON all game and no !Aug. Ho hum.
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