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Old November 8, 2014, 21:08   #51
Estie
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Originally Posted by mushroom patch View Post
@Estie: Yeah, in my opinion you shouldn't fight the Tarrasque or Feagwath. They're a waste of turns and resources.

I don't understand the argument about drolems. How do you accidentally get in a fight with a drolem? I don't think I've even fought a drolem in my last four winning games. Detection is cheap and available. Just spam it constantly and you never run into surprises.

Not that it matters when you've made it to the endgame, but more important than any resistance in the early to mid game is reasonable stealth. You can walk right up to a drolem and do circles around it if you have decent stealth. And if it wakes up, you still get a move before they do anything, which is perhaps the most baffling thing about drolemphobia.

You seem to suggest that the diving playstyle is a type of "metastrategy" not intended to produce a high win rate, along the lines of "dig for victory" or the "protection racket" strategies of nethack. I can assure you this is not the case at all. What is traditionally thought of as "careful play" is probably more dangerous than diving because there is far more contact with monsters.

[edit: also, re: AC is secondary -- sure, but irrelevant and secondary are hugely different things. Arguably, AC should be secondary, because it's just a number and not a very exciting one. DPS as a primary issue is much more compelling, for example.]

@Derakon: Yeah, I'm aware that you take less damage at range, but you also cause less damage at range (unless you're a ranger or a mage, I guess). At least in the way I play the game, there's no reason to have monsters taking potshots at you when you can't hit them back.

I agree sustain str/dex are nice to have against Morgoth, but not essential if you have a handful of life potions. Those things are crazy.

Killing big uniques gives a good shot at artifacts. When I am at 98 with maxed stats but missing something on my checklist for the last fight, I might get some resist heat and cold potions and "waste" a couple heal potions for the Tarrasque. If nothing else, it makes clearing future vaults a bit safer.

The drolem isnt so much a prime killer of @s, but rather has become a symbol for the things that can still kill you even though you do everything right as it combines many "unfair" features in one monster.

Diving is indeed a metastrategy that increases wins/time, but not wins/attempt. I dont know what you think "traditional careful play" is, and certainly we have learned how better to survive over time, but if I had to play a character for some important reason and not just entertainment, I wouldnt dive. Characters that stay shallow die from lack of discipline when the game takes longer and the risks seems low; if the player doesnt lose alertness for whatever reason, they dont die at all. The diver has death lurking around every corner and rolls the dice as to what happens first: a speedring on the ground or an awake U breathing him to smithereens.
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Old November 9, 2014, 15:49   #52
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You're mistaken. Diving makes you more, not less, likely to win. Avoiding fights is such an effective strategy, there's no real limit to its applicability in practice, as far as I can see. Fighting monsters for random loot is crazy. If it's not a speed ring, a big melee weapon, or an endgame consumable, you almost certainly don't need it, so you shouldn't spend time getting it (and you don't need speed rings once your natural speed is past 20, which is after you've found two speed rings and an amulet of trickery).

There's no check list against morgoth beyond a good melee weapon and adequate consumables. Whether you have killed the Tarrasque or not has no impact on the difficulty of clearing vaults. If a vault is worth clearing, it will have tons monsters and uniques in it. You banish ordinary monsters, then you lure the uniques around corners and teleport them. If it takes more than two or three lvl 98/99 vaults to get what you need, you're not doing it right.
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Old November 9, 2014, 16:57   #53
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Where "doing it right" is a specific form of gameplay that's aiming to win as quickly as possible, and doesn't necessarily have any bearing on whether or not the person playing is enjoying themselves.

Just putting that out there.
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Old November 9, 2014, 22:04   #54
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Originally Posted by mushroom patch View Post
You're mistaken. Diving makes you more, not less, likely to win. Avoiding fights is such an effective strategy, there's no real limit to its applicability in practice, as far as I can see. Fighting monsters for random loot is crazy. If it's not a speed ring, a big melee weapon, or an endgame consumable, you almost certainly don't need it, so you shouldn't spend time getting it (and you don't need speed rings once your natural speed is past 20, which is after you've found two speed rings and an amulet of trickery).

There's no check list against morgoth beyond a good melee weapon and adequate consumables. Whether you have killed the Tarrasque or not has no impact on the difficulty of clearing vaults. If a vault is worth clearing, it will have tons monsters and uniques in it. You banish ordinary monsters, then you lure the uniques around corners and teleport them. If it takes more than two or three lvl 98/99 vaults to get what you need, you're not doing it right.
I dont know how often you win, but if its a question of life or death, I am confident to close in on 100% win chance without diving. While diving, even a few steps in the dark are more risky than that.

If you want to fight Morgoth without fire resistance and 300 hit points, thats your business; my checklist certainly includes fire resistance, adequate health to survive one round and other things beyond a weapon and consumables.
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Old November 10, 2014, 00:40   #55
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??????????

This is getting a little bit silly. Now you're talking about fire resistance? How would you not have fire resistance? I play fast, but I don't deliberately wear the worst things I find.

The problem with "if I'm careful," is that it allows you to throw out cases where you lose as "well, I just wasn't careful." Players have a certain level of care or "discipline" that they normally apply, which is a matter of style and personality. This is largely what determines the odds of dying in a given encounter with monsters. But if there's no encounter, there's no chance of dying and for every encounter, some chance enters the game. Particularly if the player judges that killing a lot of monsters is important (which it's not).
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Old November 10, 2014, 01:43   #56
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Originally Posted by mushroom patch View Post
??????????

This is getting a little bit silly. Now you're talking about fire resistance? How would you not have fire resistance? I play fast, but I don't deliberately wear the worst things I find.

The problem with "if I'm careful," is that it allows you to throw out cases where you lose as "well, I just wasn't careful." Players have a certain level of care or "discipline" that they normally apply, which is a matter of style and personality. This is largely what determines the odds of dying in a given encounter with monsters. But if there's no encounter, there's no chance of dying and for every encounter, some chance enters the game. Particularly if the player judges that killing a lot of monsters is important (which it's not).
Fire resistance is auto-covered when you play with standarts, but not with randarts. In fact I remember a game where I didnt have it at all for the endfight, but used temporary resist to cover it. If this is getting silly, I blame the statement of only requiring a good weapon and consumables on your checklist for the endfight.

Also, there are degrees of diving and I am beginning to wonder if we have the same degree in mind when saying "diving".

The ultimate being ToME2 lost soul character where you start out at dlevel 100 (no uniques in that dungeon and see invis granted, but otherwise the same as Vanilla). The most agressive form for Vanilla I have done had me at 98 somewhere between char lvl 20 and 30. This is what I had in mind when saying that it yields very fast wins, but has high risk of character death.
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Old November 10, 2014, 02:15   #57
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For me gathering AC is irrelevant past the early/mid parts of the game. I tend to play fairly dive heavy and enjoy speedrunning/minimising turns.

What i normally see happen is gather some garbage armour, to around 50AC until you find an artifact or branded weapon weapon (ranged or melee). Use that to go to town (no pun intended) on all the orc uniques and their entourage. Gather some steam with their drops to a decent resist coverage approaching 2000 then bomb it all the way to the bottom and AC sorta just comes with the artifacts and things you find on the floor. Without even trying i have maybe 130+. only interested near the bottom in gathering huge dpr, speed, and hp. everything else is secondary.

I do count it as a luxury on the checklist though. Speed/damage/hp essential. Huge stack of consumables (can sometimes get away with just a few), AC, higher resists are not something ill go out of my way to find before i attempt sauron and morgoth if i already have the essentials.

I do think there is some confusion though as not everyone has the same checklist.
for instance, playing the game to get to morgoth, and actually fighting morgoth might require different priorities.
like, if im melee morgoth, ill perhaps hesitate and go for a platemail if i think i can get away with it. am i going to wear platemail all game? no.
however if im melee everything in the dungeon on the way to morgoth ill need armour. and if i stumble across amazing arrows that do more dmg than my melee, then that platemail is coming off for the final fight.

i think it really depends. I disagree however that the number is irrelevant. Its noticable if you have no armour in the early game fighting orcs compared to scrap armour, and also midgame fighting a minotaur or some crap if you have no armour.

tl;dr
I still count it secondary stat, as one of the priorities for the midgame is to gather resists. and nearly everything that you pick up that has resists also has AC so, meh. half the time you dont even notice youre gathering it.
It is still very important most of the game, but the passive gathering takes away from its importance in the mind.
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Old November 14, 2014, 20:23   #58
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@Jax: agreed, re: your tl; dr summary.

@Estie: Your level 98 at "somewhere between 20 and 30" strikes me as a bit too vague for me to believe this is worth continuing. Yeah, I mean, I hit 98 around level 32 to 34 usually. I'm not sure if there's much to be gained from picking up fewer kills on the way or not or whether you end up losing time from having to run around bad situations even more. Initial level at 98 is somewhat unimportant. The real issue is when you get your speed rings, imo.

I'm very interested to hear your opinions re: winning with bad/easy to get melee weapons (here I would take bad to mean worse damage against Morgoth than a scythe of slicing with slay evil) and few consumables. To me, I don't like to fight Morgoth with less than about 450 damage per round and there is an inverse relationship between weapon quality and consumables needed. I would very much like to reduce the endgame scumming phase of my game, but I'm a bit sceptical that I will learn much here given your opinions on the importance of resistances.
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Old November 15, 2014, 03:53   #59
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To kill Morgoth with few heals and many resistance holes, its best to use ranged options. There are various techniques to shoot him while he doesnt have LoS for the most part. I routinely store big damage arrows/bolts with slay evil in the home for this purpose if they turn up; 2-3 good stacks are sufficient. A crossbow of the Haradrim or longbow of extra shots/Lothlorien should always be findable.

There are two caveats:

1. If you do not find enough ammo during your game, scumming for them is more of a hassle than scumming for heal potions.

2. The estimation of 2-3 stacks assumes that you collect your ammo after teleporting M away and re-use it; under bad circumstances (for example, an earthquake after a long shooting phase), they can be lost. If you run out and the melee option is lacklustre, youre back to square a.
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Old November 15, 2014, 18:43   #60
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There's no sense in overhauling the AC system until the current system is made clear to the player. AC is thought of as meaningless not only because it's mostly meaningless, but because a vast majority of players have no idea what the numbers mean (aside from bigger is probably better).

The player should:
  • know what % chance any given monster currently has to hit @. This should be readily available in Monster Memory (which really need to reverted from the flavorful, spoken language format to a more traditional stat based layout).
  • be able to clalculate (roughly) what a effect a change in AC will have upon that chance.

In old-school AD&D, this was made possible by the concepts of THACO and AC. Things that AFAIK are completely absent, or at the very least invisible, in Angabnd.
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