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Old April 17, 2021, 18:19   #1
squeezy_hotbreath
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Getting Elbereth Archer online

Hi team,

I've started experiencing with a sing-y build, archetype of Elbereth Archer, where the Ladder on this site shows strong late-game potential. But I've struggled to get the character off the ground, ie past 250ft. Things that keep tripping me up:

1) Unintelligent mobs, especially wolves, who refuse to flee unless their health gets low. I'll often get overwhelmed by 3 white wolves in a corridor; simply can't take the hits, can't get them to flee.

2) Which skills are essential early game? I'll always take Keen Senses, but then what about Rout, Point Blank Archery, Formidable? I usually save enough experience use the Forge and kit out with bow + arrows, in case RNG fails at 50-100ft; is this the right thing to do? Should I also take Jeweler to make archery rings along with bow + arrows?

3) Tactics and Strategy on chasing vs killing w Elbereth. My impression is that I take too many moves to chase / kill enemies, or end up accidentally aggro-ing too much of the dungeon at once. What principles should I keep in mind, in the decision to Stealth vs Chase to Stairs vs Kill?

Thanks in advance for your help, much appreciated. Loving the game still.
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Old April 21, 2021, 03:26   #2
Svalbardcaretaker
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I can't really comment on Elbereth/Archer builds, but some general advice:

Sounds like you missmanage your XP a little. Taking forging is already a hit (probably necessary for good bow), but sounds like you also take unnecessary abilities. Keen senses, formidable don't really do anything to help you with "killing monsters" and "not getting killed by monsters". Try to put more XP into pure combat numbers, archery+evasion. If you put enough into evasion you won't need Elbereth song until you are firmly in the midgame.

Not singing all the time also solves your "aggro the dungeon" problem.
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Old April 21, 2021, 10:42   #3
Quirk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Svalbardcaretaker View Post
Keen senses, formidable don't really do anything to help you with "killing monsters" and "not getting killed by monsters".
I'm going to disagree with this a little. Keen Senses in particular is a cornerstone of most stealth builds. It's a good "not getting killed by monsters" tool but it requires a strategy of actively avoiding engagement with difficult enemies. It also unlocks Listen which is a fantastic "not getting killed by monsters" tool. If you are taking a stealth route it is one of the best picks you can make.

Keen Senses often helps an Edain survive better than investing the XP in extra combat skills would. A fight you don't have the capacity to win is best avoided.

Formidable is pretty new and I would appreciate testing of it, in theory it should also be good at preventing you from getting killed by giving you a big head start on enemies following you.

My own start to Elbereth archers historically tended to involve Dodging and Sprinting rather than stealth; in the early game there's a lot of running away.

Last edited by Quirk; April 21, 2021 at 10:57.
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Old May 31, 2021, 22:57   #4
Wiwaxia
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Oh hey, I've won with this build, I've got a few recommendations.

1) I think what I did was mostly just try to dive out of wolf depth as fast as possible and die a lot. I find Elbereth builds get easier once you start getting wargs instead.

2) Rout. Absolutely get Rout. Get Rout turn 0, in fact. Point Blank Archery I never bothered with. Early game it won't be enough to save you in melee, and late game you don't need it (fun fact: the check for an enemy to start fleeing happens before opportunity attacks, so late game you can just shoot unafraid greater werewolves in the face and the criticals + crippling shot will get them to run before they bite you). I don't think Formidable was in the game when I last did this build, so I can't speak to it. Instead, I did a run to Inner Light and then Majesty as fast as possible. I'd hold off on Keen Senses until sulrauko depth, personally. I took weaponsmith because running out of arrows is a very real worry early game if you get forced off a level before you can pick all your arrows up, but I never invested further in forging.

Song of Thresholds is also worth considering, although it moves you away a bit from pure fear archer as a playstyle. Elbereth + Thresholds is a very safe build, because you can scare things out of a room and seal the doors to rest, and keep yourself from getting outflanked by sealing off areas of the dungeon room-by-room like this as you go.

3) Run away and powerdive until you have enough archery to kill things in a few shots. It's been a while since I played this build, but from what I recall, I only bothered to chase things off the level if there happened to be stairs or a chasm nearby. Trying to kill everything also takes too much time and too many arrows in the early floors and is liable to get you swarmed, although I did take the time to hunt down and kill fleeing uniques, and it's worth sniping birds or anything else you can kill in a couple shots. Eventually you can kill most things, or keep them too scared to ever attack you.

I lost most of my runs in the early floors, but things smooth out a lot if you can survive to about 450'. Stealth would probably make this easier, but I never invested in it (although maybe you should...). I did a lot of bailing on levels if I aggroed too many things and trying to beeline for the down stairs, instead. Tapping Elbereth on and off to keep orcs at a distance without trying to kill them will eventually get you swarmed when you run out of voice, but it can buy you enough time to retreat to the stairs. I don't know if going for Inner Light + Majesty asap like I did is the best option, but if you survive long enough to get them, orcs will autoflee upon seeing you, and most other things will flee with a single round of Elbereth, letting you save voice.
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