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Old August 2, 2015, 16:55   #1
Bogatyr
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How to play non-red-book classes (detection mostly)

Mage, rogue, ranger, all get perfect detection. ESP and rods of detection sometimes come very late in the game, and there are some monsters you just do not want to encounter.

The warriors I've won with have found ESP early.

I usually die with priests in the middle game as I go too deep too soon or encounter situations (packs of gravity hounds) that are deadly but you couldn't see them coming.

What are your strategies for dealing with incomplete detection without ESP and surviving to the endgame?
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Old August 2, 2015, 19:09   #2
Estie
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The biggest danger is treating detect evil like detection and feeling safe.

High stealth filters the sleeping monsters. Doing a step from staircase into an open room at depth remains risky; in the end, I try to avoid doing that but at a certain point in the game, do take some risks.

The alternatives are to either stay shallow and hope for ood ESP or detection, or dive deep but then refresh-shop the town for same before recalling again. Neither option is very exciting, I rather die trying.
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Old August 2, 2015, 19:23   #3
Derakon
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It's very rare to run into an entire group of gravity or plasma (or time, etc.) hounds all at once. Usually you'll have a chance to see one or two of them before the entire group gets into LOS. That's your cue to flee. Drolems are more problematic, but fortunately they're incredibly rare so usually you'll be okay (which is not to say that "It breathes, you die" never happens).

The important thing IMO is to simply minimize the amount of time you spend at dangerous depths without proper detection. Like Estie says, that means either diving and playing as smart as you can to mitigate (not eliminate) risk, or grinding at shallow depths. But grinding is dumb and boring and you don't learn anything from doing it, so I say dive.
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Old August 2, 2015, 19:32   #4
Nomad
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Playing warriors I always keep hold of any Mushrooms of Second Sight I find and save them for checking out the monsters in potentially dangerous vaults. (Staffs of Detect Evil are a handy partial substitute for vault-checking in a pinch, but I don't bother to make them a permanent part of my kit; when I find one I'll just carry it temporarily until I need to ditch something to free up space.)

Mostly, though, since I nearly always play warriors I'm pretty chilled out about worrying about monster detection (and probably don't do it nearly enough when I play red-book classes who can). With warrior HP it takes pretty bad luck to walk into instant death, so I just stay fully healed up and teleport at the first sign of trouble I can't deal with. Bouncing all round the level with repeated teleports until you find a safe spot is generally not that risky for warriors if you do it straight away while your HP is still full instead of waiting to get worn down first.

(Admittedly my warriors do tend to die a lot before reaching the endgame, but that's generally down to me trying to fight things I shouldn't have, not because I couldn't have escaped if I'd just been a bit smarter and tried to run away earlier than I did.)
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Old August 7, 2015, 08:45   #5
Timo Pietilš
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Estie View Post
The biggest danger is treating detect evil like detection and feeling safe.
Detect monster and detect evil are nearly equal spells. Main problem is hounds with detect evil, but OTOH it does show invisible monsters which detect monster does not.

Reveal monster is a new spell, it combines detect invisible and detect monster.

Priests are hard at mid-game before finding Godly Insights. When you find it it changes everything....which pretty much shows how important detection is in the game.

IMO magical, spell-based detections in general should play lesser role in the game than they do now. Especially trap detection. Searching and perception skills should be LoS skills.

Monster detection with ESP and telepathy ,separated: ESP = Extra Sensory Perception = can show you a lot more than just minds, but maybe fuzzy of the result, like with items and telepathy = shows minds, but with intelligent monsters reveals you to them as well (so that there is a trade off).

Maybe game needs a "lesser telepathy" -thing that is shallower than actual telepathy. Something like fuzzy detection of the monster with monster possibly able to avoid it completely if it is higher level than you are (with some % chance of detection for every turn if it stays on your LoS range).

Something like that.
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Old August 7, 2015, 14:27   #6
Estie
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Chunking down ESP has been tried in variants; personally, I dont like the results.

There has been the tendency to smoothen out the path of power from lvl 1 to final fight:

- speed used to come in +10 steps; it got changed to a basically steady progression and cut off (strong diminishing returns; you cant get twice as fast as a fast monster, no matter what).

- blows per round didnt use to come in fractions.

- item quality has been adjusted, so quality (like shield of Thorin, speed boot Pval) is bound to depth more tightly. This makes outliers in midgame character power rarer.

The path that was a stair looks more and more like a slope. ESP is the biggest step remaining, and priests play before and after Godly Insights is another noteworthy one.

Is this really a good trend though ? While I dont see anything bad at all about fractional blows, some of the other measures feel like their effect is to make the soup thinner, not more tasty.
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Old August 7, 2015, 14:42   #7
Derakon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Estie View Post
- speed used to come in +10 steps; it got changed to a basically steady progression and cut off (strong diminishing returns; you cant get twice as fast as a fast monster, no matter what).
Don't have the time to argue your overall point, but note that fast monsters (+10 speed) get 20 energy/game turn, and the cap on energy is at 49 energy/game turn. You need to get to +34 speed to be twice as fast as a monster at +10.
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Old August 8, 2015, 11:32   #8
Estie
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Well, I was thinking of Morgoth and other top uniques, and I was going to type "fastest", but then it occured to me that there might be faster uniques, maybe Harrowen, and I settled for "fast" to avoid bickering over words. I guess its not that easy I was assuming more than +10 speed.

Looking at this from another angle:

In Moria, you could get faster than fastest monster if you managed to get enough speed (+2 rings). In Angband, you can get faster than monsters in early and mid game, but not significantly faster than the top tier stuff.
Now I think I like the second situation better overall, but what I dislike is the way its implemented. Even if speed is treated with diminishing returns, why isnt the actual speed (that is, a number proportional to the energy gain) displayed anywhere ?
Also, while globally disabling faster than top tier might be a good thing, there could be niche situations (maybe mage, by increasing effect of his speed buff spell) that can make for excellent gameplay. The way its implemented, this is either impossible or would lead to silly numbers, like having haste self add +1000 speed.

Speed is not what the LCS tells you it is. Why dont you f***ing tell the player what it actually is ?
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Old August 8, 2015, 19:06   #9
Derakon
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Originally Posted by Estie View Post
Speed is not what the LCS tells you it is. Why dont you f***ing tell the player what it actually is ?
Ahh, the Lying Character Screen. That takes me back. And yes, I definitely agree that the game should be transparent about what it's doing, as much as possible. This is both a UI problem and a design problem, though. With speed it's pretty easy to say e.g. "Speed: +30 (+280%)" or whatever it actually is. But how do you communicate something like +to-hit or +stealth? The mechanics for those systems are very obtuse and more or less impossible to explain clearly and succinctly.
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Old August 8, 2015, 20:12   #10
Estie
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Ahh, the Lying Character Screen. That takes me back. And yes, I definitely agree that the game should be transparent about what it's doing, as much as possible. This is both a UI problem and a design problem, though. With speed it's pretty easy to say e.g. "Speed: +30 (+280%)" or whatever it actually is. But how do you communicate something like +to-hit or +stealth? The mechanics for those systems are very obtuse and more or less impossible to explain clearly and succinctly.
To be fair, the term LCS wouldnt have become a thing if all games had had a screen of Angband quality.

As for to hit:

to hit: <number> (chance to hit AC X: y %),
where X is the AC of a typical melee monster of the same level as the character. While this isnt a good definition, the exact value for X doesnt matter as long as it is consistent; just pick a few monsters (clear centipede, easterling, ogre, ...., Morgoth) and interpolate. The important thing is that it gives the player an idea of how effective bless or accuracy rings are.

Similarly for AC: (chance to get hit by <meleemonster type of similar level>: y %)

Stealth:

Stealth <modifier from items> (chance to wake up a monster modified by X).

For example:

Stealth +3 (chance to wake up a monster modified by 0,5)

The number could be set to 0 for a human warrior or something and race/class/level modifiers added up with the one from items.
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