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Old December 9, 2018, 01:58   #1
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The Ranger's guide to LoS abuse

So how do you beat Morgoth when you don't have enough healings? LoS abuse so he never has to see you the entire fight. TO placement is always the same so I don't even need to re-stone-to-mud the corridor for him. I got lucky finding belthronding on DL18 as a hobbit ranger . That was super fun! Late I found bard bow, and had I known the LOS abuse would worked so well I would have taken the bow, but ended up keeping Belthronding for disenchantment resistance. I also got lucky in finding two staves of the magi.

Character dump:

Game took a little longer than the HT warrior game. Roughly 9 hours 3 minutes.

I'll have a video demonstrating Line of sight abuse in a little bit. It's a long video and I'll post time stamps for the salient parts once it finishes uploading. The video chronicles the final act in my hobbit ranger's speed run when he was inadvertently rushed into the final battles. The video url will be active in a short while:

The reason my Hobbit Ranger was rushed into the final battles earlier than I intended was because I took a break from the character at DL90 and then ended up starting a new speed run attempt with a new character and modifying the game file to have level 7 skip on. No forced descent but disconnected stairs. 950 starting gold instead of 600 to compensate for starting on DL7. So my above speed attempt is a bit invalidated by taking a day off between finishing it just now. And also by the fact that even though I had made a back up of my Angband application file, the 7 level skip was somehow loaded into my hobbit ranger's game and so I went from DL90 to DL97 and then from DL97 to DL99. Still won, though, but had to get creative with Line of sight abuses!
Beginner's Guide to Angband 4.2.3 Part 2:

Detailed account of my Ironman win here.
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Old December 9, 2018, 11:55   #2
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I fell asleep before it finished uploading!

Note that while this was supposed to be a speedrun I play very slowly (-2 INt means it takes me awhile to figure out LOS and then I don't get it right anyway the first try) , so when watching the video I strongly recommend setting the playback speed to 2X (under youtube settings).

At the start of the video I take out quite a few balrogs using LOS but it takes me a few tries before I get the LOS right. The below timestamp shows me screwing it up again on first try requiring me to ?phase; at which point I use create doors (an excellent tool for Ranger's LOS abuse tactics). But, what I should have done was used the Balrog as my stone to mud target. If I had done that, I would have killed him without him ever seeing me. I only discovered that tactic against Morgoth, though.

Protip 1: use the object selector tool (the * key) to select the target first: this will tell you where to stone to mud to make the hallway to him.

To jump straight to @ creating doors to LOS abuse the demon click below: is a missed opportunity for LOS abuse on another greater balrog. All I needed to do was * him from the hallway to find the best location to stone-to-mud through the wall and then nuke him. If I didn't kill him by the time he reached me, then I could have just ?phased, created doors, and finished him off.

Protip 2: Before you finish your tunnel to your target don't forget to do your buffs!! You do not want to do your buffs while the monster is coming at you, wasting precious turns you could be nuking him. I kept making that mistake as shown in the next video link. Below is an example of @ figuring out where to stone-to-mud on the first try, and then forgetting to buff. Otherwise, it demonstrates nicely effective LOS abuse using create doors.

Protip 3: When you're a ranger getting 4 shots per round, you can fire two or three arrows at your target after he arrives next to you and he shouldn't be able to respond since you should be able to use up your entire turn before he gets his.

Protip 4: Target the monster before you open the door to be sure he isn't too far over from your LOS that you won't be shooting the wall.

It takes me awhile to find Sauron on DL99. I finally locate him trapped by his cohorts outside a pit. First order of business is to dispatch of his cohorts. I couldn't figure out a way to disturb the second cohort so I had to risk getting into LOS of Sauron, though I timed my move into the hallway just right so that Sauron didn't see me so I could TO the other blocking cohort. I then ?phased hoping to land favorably and I did. I did have to risk a couple turns in his LOS in order to get back to my nuking position, though:

Sauron teleports away after his first nuking, and it takes me way too long to locate him again.

Protip 5: Monsters can take advantage of LOS abuse, too. You can create doors and wait for the monster to pass through his favorable LOS square before opening the door and then nuking him so that he doesn't get a move on you. The favorable LOS square is almost always the second to last square in a hallway before a room:

Next stop: Morgoth.

The start of DL100 where first order of business was finding a suitable place to ?*destruct*.

I get tired of waiting for him, though, so I teleport myself hoping to find him that way. It works:

Note how key the cloak of Colannon was. The teleport 100 squares is super useful as my teleport self spell only has one mode, which is to teleport me all the way to the other end of the level. Colannon brought me back to my destruct zone giving me just enough time to setup for Morgoth returning.

The start of the battle didn't employ LOS abuse, but a ?phase into a room enabled me to get some safe door LOS abuse in on him before TOing him. My strategy was simple: after a round of nuking him I'd TO him and collect my arrows. It seemed that he went to the exact same place each time I TO'd him which meant I could just wait for him to come back up the corridor I had made for him and safely nuke him before TOing him again. Each time he returned I'd locate him by detecting for monsters and then using the select object tool (the * key) and then using the stone-to-mud spell with him as the target. A bit tedious to detect him, target him, and stone-to-mud him, but once the corridor was made, it was just a matter of waiting for him to return each time I'd TO him to collect my arrows and repeat the nuking.

Note that the angle Morgoth is approaching me is a bit shallow. It would have been better if it was closer to 45 degrees. As such, he can see me when he gets a couple squares away from me. But I let him have the window of opportunity to get me:

After each time I'd TO him away I'd detect for monsters instead of resting; that way I'd see him far enough out to prepare for the next LOS abuse, in case he came from a different direction (but he always came from the same identical direction, making my job much easier).

Protip 6: use your wands of stun monster on Morgoth while you wait for him to be within nuking range. I kept forgetting to do this, though, except toward the end of the fight:

I TO'd him away one last time, but I probably should have just ?phased.

I just realized I should have filled the corridor with ;.
Beginner's Guide to Angband 4.2.3 Part 2:

Detailed account of my Ironman win here.
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Old December 10, 2018, 11:46   #3
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Originally Posted by Grotug View Post
So how do you beat Morgoth when you don't have enough healings?
2x *Heal*, 2x Life, 10x Heal?
Sounds plenty for a ranger.
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Old December 12, 2021, 16:05   #4
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Is LOS abuse even still possible in 4.2.3? Based on the OP's reference to creating ; (doors?) I suspect that this account is from some earlier version. I tried watching the videos and making a tunnel as shown, but (a) I can't target the monster I apply this to, and (b) in the first example it's a U (greater balrog), which in 4.2.3 is a tunneling mob and just ignores your carefully crafter corridor to come straight at you.

In 4.2.3 I've successfully employed the hockey stick technique with non-moving monsters, but if the monster is capable of coming to me I just get a few shots on them before they start moving. Also, as I've noted elsewhere, the hockey stick is unreliable. Sometimes you're in a safe spot and can target them when they can't target you, and sometimes you're not even with what appears to be the same apparent placement.

Is LOW abuse basically not a thing anymore in 4.2.3? Or am I just doing it wrong?
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Old December 12, 2021, 17:26   #5
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Asymmetric LOS works the same in 4.2.3 as previous versions. "LOS abuse" is a subjective term that refers to taking Asymmetric LOS to extreme measures.

If you had created a situation where your target needed to move 10 spaced to get to you, could not see you, and you hasted yourself, and you magically slowed down the target, and your launcher/missile combination was powerful, then you have pretty well maximized the use of asymmetric LOS to the point where the monster has no chance to survive, and you have achieved "LOS Abuse".

Whether doing this is good or bad is another discussion. I'm very OK with it - once a character gets to a certain point in the game - time spent playing, great gear found - they become quite precious - and I leverage what I can to win the game.
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