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Old March 9, 2018, 20:01   #21
Moving Pictures
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Originally Posted by Philip View Post
Right, so when it's about 12 squares away, that gives you about 6 turns, since Nether Ws are fast. One use for those 6 turns is to find a room
Long hallway as a matter of fact.

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... and then shoot ranged stuff once it gets out of the wall (if that is enough to kill it).
Wraiths and those freaking weird etherial dragons do not come out of walls, I have found, esp in hallways. And using magic on critters in walls doesn't work. found that out draining a staff of dispel dead, waiting for a wraith in a wall to *&!*(@ die.


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Never fear using a ?Phase to reposition, it'll give you at least a little bit of time.
I am beginning to get the sense I have been awfully unlucky. Eight times out of ten, when Phase has worked (which it often doesn't), it takes me CLOSER to the blasted creature, or into a worse mess....


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so just reroll the level with Teleport Level.
But I can't go around just avoiding conflict, otherwise I'll be stuck a level 38 forever, never getting anywhere, Making sense?

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Every turn should leave you in a better place than the last. Phase a lot.
Phase creates trouble, see above. Just this morning, hit a phase on a scroll, and landed from a corridor, into the middle of being bashed like crap on three sides.
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Old March 9, 2018, 20:07   #22
Moving Pictures
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3 stealth from Radagast is better than rNexus ....
This is contentious, but if you use Radagast, Thorongil will only be giving you SI, which you can do without if you have telepathy and detect invisible. At that point, I would swap it out for one of your other cloaks .
OK. Will try a journey with Radagast and the Elven cloak of stealth.

I guess this is the wrong time to tell you I tossed a black dragonscale armour of stealth, right?
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Old March 9, 2018, 20:10   #23
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Himring gives rPois, rNeth and rChaos last I checked. After the Base 4 elements, these 3 have the highest damage caps in the game (of elements that can be resisted). Since so much of the game revolves around mitigating maximum damage, taking 266 instead of 800 poison damage is pretty nice. I wouldn't be surprised if you died to a poison breath, honestly. Be careful about it, and cast temporary rPois whenever fighting anything that you aren't completely sure can't use poison. Nether resistance is not too reliable, but it's still great to have.
Himring is one of the better armors in the game. Covering those three resistance in one place allows you to play around with the rest of your gear. The obvious hole is rBase, and there are other slots you can find that.

You don't need anything to protect you from Nexus. It is an exceedingly rare element, and you're immune to its most scary property already.

AC should be borderline useless to you. If AC is important, something has gone horribly horribly wrong. Either the monster is pathetic in melee, in which case low AC doesn't matter, or it's scary in melee, in which case what are you doing in melee? Phase door or teleport away.

If your worst worry is not death but some kind of melee inflicted effect, you're going to die to something unexpected, and probably soon. You should always be worried about dying, and you die to burst damage, not to melee.

In general, if you want to win (as soon as possible) your strategy should be to worry about two things - your character dying, and you wasting time. On your next character, try diving.You'll find that a lot of your characters will die, but it will take a shorter time to get a viable character. 20 characters will die, and then one will get to dlvl 30, but all this will take less time than it would have to get to dlvl 30 by level clearing. You'll probably also have a lot more fun with diving, though I can't know that.
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Old March 9, 2018, 20:24   #24
Philip
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I mean, the armor probably would have been nice, but it's not a huge deal. Rlight and Rdark are nice to have, at least.

+40 HP is infinitely more defensively potent than 17 AC, and due to the way CON bonuses scale, it gets much more powerful the more you add. If you added another +4 CON ring after that, it would give way more HP than +40. The return on investment rises with investment.

You can take on vaults without fighting monsters, if you use Teleport Other a lot. It's quite effective, though you still shouldn't open vaults with monsters that can kill you easily, since Teleport Other can fail.

Luring wall-walkers into corridors only works if you're next to the wall-walker, unfortunately. Still, while it doesn't have line of sight on you while it approaches through the wall, so you have more time than you might expect.

If phase took you closer to a monster, you probably used it too soon. If there is a mess nearby that phase could put you in, you should be teleporting instead, since that mess will make its way towards you soon enough anyway. Scrolls of phase door are cheap, available in stores, and can't fail. Use those when something scary is next to you.

You don't have to avoid all conflict, just conflict that you can't reliably and easily win. If you have good resists (permanent + temporary rBase, for example) and ranged combat, you might find killing dragons at range quite easy and rewarding, for example. Or maybe you have something that slays dragons. Or an immunity to an element. Any of these things can give you a class of monsters that you can easily kill. If those monsters have a drop and give decent xp, there is rarely a reason to fight any of the other monsters. And even avoiding all conflict with monsters within 20 levels of your current depth, you would still get stuff allowing you to take more fights. Maybe the occasional potion of EXP if you're deep enough.
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Old March 9, 2018, 20:43   #25
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#1 rule: it's not "can kill it or not". It's "do I afford to engage with it right now right here? "
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Old March 9, 2018, 21:14   #26
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OFirst, others are espousing the "Run Away/avoid combat" approach. Vaults are inconsistent with this.
Correct. Those are two fundamentally very different approaches to the game: the grinding one, and the diving one.

The diving approach is the "in" style, the popular one, the cool one; and it's a very good way to win, and other people here are doing a fairly good job of explaining how to win with it. The other approach, though, while painfully slow (and considerably less cool), is still also a winning one; and since it's much closer to how you've been playing so far, I thought it might make sense to explain how to win with that approach as well, without necessarily espousing it. The needs of that approach are very different from the needs of the other approach, so the advice will be different too.

It's quite possible to find great stuff, even endgame-quality stuff, at 2000'... but you need to either be really, really, really lucky, or clear vaults. Because you're going slower than a diving character would, you are strong for the depth; and even without the extreme, exploity case (hockey sticks), you could probably actually kill many of the bad uniques/other tough guys you see in those vaults, through good use of tactics. Since you "ought" to be deeper, it's not surprising if you can fight out-of-depth monsters with success, and your higher HP gives you more margin for error (as does the fact that a level-clearer has a clear level to teleport into if the fight goes wahoonie-shaped). As Philip noted, though, killing all the big guys is not necessary to clear a vault; you can just teleport (or even lure) the worst ones away, kill the less tough guys (or even teleport them as well), and grab the loot.

None of the above applies or is intended to apply in any way to the fast diving approach that most people here advocate, apart from that bit about teleporting away the bad guys and grabbing the loot. Much of what Philip's said, by contrast, is good general advice that you should take heed of regardless of your diving speed. Fast or slow, you'll still deal with nether wraiths the same way: make the terrain work for you, not it, and use phase door.

Don't worry about your AC; it's high - especially with Shield - even by the standards of a melee character. And as Philip noted, you should probably rely on melee less - though to some extent, the slow grinding approach does go together with an increase in melee use, and also mana use.
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Old March 9, 2018, 21:31   #27
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A couple nitpicks. Going slow does not require you to clear levels, and you should not do so. A level clearer does not have a safe level to teleport into. If you rely on having a clear space to teleport into you will probably die, when something capable of moderate burst damage breathes on you after you teleported away from a vault with 130 hp. Not only do monsters spawn on levels, they always spawn awake. Never rely on a teleport being safe. The only safe teleport is a teleport level, and that's mostly theoretical. The only safe escape is *Destruction*.

Level clearing is, as it stands, bad strategy. You see more stuff by changing levels rapidly, since you backtrack less, you find more vaults, since you explore more area, and you find more sleeping monsters, which gives you more choice in where, when, and how to engage. Going slow is a perfectly viable strategy, it's just that fully clearing a level is not a great way to execute that strategy (unless you find it fun, satisfying, or part of the challenge, which I understand).
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Old March 9, 2018, 21:36   #28
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Alright. So I did as you said: loaded up on the sneaky/stealthy stuff.

Zapped into a level. Got mugged by a nether wraith; managed to hold it off so it didn’t touch. Got mugged by a death knight, teleported it. Disposed of a hydra. That cleared the room ....

Detected doors/traps/stairs.

it’s a 4-5 level.

Snoop about. Murder a baby gold dragon in its slumber, same with a snake. Pick up a hydra .. prepare to line it up at 10 squares, and....

right around the corner is a shadow. ESP didn’t get it, so now I’m toe-to-toe with another level drainer. Marvy – but it didn’t notice, so I murder it.

So now I have a four-head hydra, death knight and a young white dragon in LOS. Knight is my worry, dragons I can handle.

Run away? I step back, but the Death knight whacks me with a spell while I’m retreating, a spell that’s resisted. (confusion, no doubt). I could flee, but it goes fast. Death knight resists cold, so I go with ring of ... acid, which I took off for that CON bonus. Right. I’m not hurt.

DN resists light, which means the psudeuodragon scale is a 50-50 waste of time for 200 points output.

I go for a potion of speed. I still have a turn (not sure how that happens, I’m usually mugged by now).
Now I ponder my offence:
acid ball; 79 damage, 24 mana, 7% failure rate.
Fire ball: 94 damage, 28 mana and a not-so-friendly 29% failure rate.
Now, wtf, acid ball. Best offensive tool I have, I think.

Acid ball fails, white dragon wakes up, bathes me in 20 pts damage that costs me a potion of speed.
Frigit. I drop the armour on it. I breathe dark (whew!) which hits all three. DK is down to half his points. He summons buddies, one of which is .... a shiny new death knight?

White dragon breaths, I lose all three of my healing potions. So I am now down to 11 CCW.
I teleport.

Dragon, red, 15 south, bunch of bandits and a pair of easterling warriors east, 12. Step one east, oh, look, an iron golem.
Mop up the miscreants, ignore golem, go after dracos. Ancient red, in a small room. Load up on resist heat. Spell haste. Open door. Step back; at four squares let loose with the armor. Punch in five arrows before it closes to my square. Prepare to nail it with a ball of acid from the ring that ... frig, I don’t have. (the ring of flames ain’t gonna do much.) Zap rod of cold balls. Knocks another third off. I have yet to sustain a point of damage, feeling ok, decide to settle this the old-fashioned way. It nibbles me for 20 or so points, but sustains eight hits in the process, and flees. Finish it off with an arrrow. Normal axe, normal bow, garnets, potion of wisdom (can’t use: maxxed) is all it drops.

Used up enough arrows now that I can snag a scroll of dispel undead.

Kill a few minor things (elven warrior), find a random bow. Identify: Not better than the one I have, leave it.... and am mugged by a DN. Bolt of netehr, and I’m 100 points down. My fault, didnt scan screen, I think. This is the new friend summoned by the otehr guy, who is down a hall
Haste self (spell); step into LOS, to find a fire elemental halfway between us. Fire spirit bites it on the first arrow. I punch six others into DN, and he/she drops. So far so good. See white dragon/wolf chieftain/evil eye scattered nearby, and proceed to stalk those. Dragon comes after, bites it on four arrows; woolf chieftain needs six or seven. Kill evil eye. Mop up.
Scroll of enchant armour: use this to boost the acid-mangled gloves of agility. They are now 1+2.
shovel (meh), scroll identify (meh) staff identify (hmmm) ... hydra sneaking up. Still hasted. Sneak into LOS. Engagement with 4-head at two squares. Cold ball rod first. Takes it down to two red asterisks. It closes to one square, a rod of frost bolts finishes it. Garnets? Meh.
Still on speed, find nearest critters, a couple of areneas. Squish at range with arrows. Oh, garnets. Meh. Heal, cast a detect monsters, get nothing.

Wander down hall. Find a colossus. At three squares range. (esp no use, right). Knowledge base says it doesn’t resist acid, so we’ll use the ri.... ball of acid? It blocking a way, moves slowly. Acid ball it be.... at three squares.
Didn’t do a thing.
So we do this old-school. It chases me (slowly) up the hall while I empty the quiver.
It dies, no drops.

Later: gravity hounds. Run, sayeth thee, so run. I TP out of there (using spell)
Later: find the other DN, on the other side of some rubble. Plan of action: haste self, resistance, sheild, rock to mud, and a heavy dose of arrows at loong range.
First haste failed; so did the first sheild. Anticlimatic, DN does no summoning, and falls after moving about three squares.
That’s how I like ‘em: dead at long range, with arrows. He drops a ring of protection and a minor magic weapon.
Rest sp.
Scan for critters. Sorcerer way west, and a ghost.
Both go down quickly. Random item:: boots of speed +5. I say sacrifice stealth for speed. Don new footgear. Drop scroll of dispel undead to create space.
Sorcerer dropped a potion of Aug, useless (maxed), so ignore.
Next, dragon. Gold. Ancient.
armor/fire ring/cold ball wand softens it up; arrows do the rest. Its only impact – a spell of fear. Meh.
Drops garnets (wtf?) and gold. Meh.
Another ancient gold drops an amulet of wisdom. Meh.
Spell picks up treasure near a nine-head hydra. Tunnel to section (Two walls, no big, using stone to mud) to avoid gravity hounds. Refrigerants at range take care of issue.
Topside to drop off old boots.

Save for the teleport others, this is pretty consistent with my playing style.
Thoughts?
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Old March 9, 2018, 21:50   #29
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I would not have gone out of my way to engage the sorcerer, and would have even gone out of my way to avoid them, and done my best to avoid the death knights too, they're pretty horrible. I would have probably walked right down the corridor away from the colossus because I am lazy and they are slow. The boots are a great find, you're suddenly doing way more damage now and are less likely to die from a double-move (speed also helps with stealth, by the way, since less turns spent doing things means less turns when monsters can notice you). Make sure you still have Free Action, assuming you swapped out the cloak, it was your boots giving you that.

No matter how many opponents you have, it seems unlikely to me that your best use of your time and mana would be direct damage spellcasting. I would probably avoid that in the future to avoid resting time (monsters spawn while you rest).

When I say run away, if you're in line of sight of the monster and the monster is not a colossus, I basically always mean teleport or teleport level. Walking is almost never worthwhile, and phase door is for repositioning, not as an escape.

Losing all 3 healing potions at once is extremely unfortunate, and I imagine I would have acted similarly to you there.

I imagine that perhaps I would been on the lookout for a way off the level the moment I knew there was a Death Knight out there looking for me, especially if I knew there were two of them, because I really don't like those.
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Old March 9, 2018, 22:21   #30
Moving Pictures
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I would not have gone out of my way to engage the sorcerer, and would have even gone out of my way to avoid them, and done my best to avoid the death knights too, they're pretty horrible. I would have probably walked right down the corridor away from the colossus because I am lazy and they are slow.
So what DO you engage, a char at this level/skill/output/capacity?


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Make sure you still have Free Action, assuming you swapped out the cloak, it was your boots giving you that.
Good catch.

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No matter how many opponents you have, it seems unlikely to me that your best use of your time and mana would be direct damage spellcasting. I would probably avoid that in the future to avoid resting time (monsters spawn while you rest).
OK, maybe I am being entirely slow and stupid here, but ... how do you gain experience points (thus hit points/mana) unless you engage the occasional monster? I mean, at level 1/2, that kobold was a huge boost forward, dangerous critter though it was.

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I imagine that perhaps I would been on the lookout for a way off the level the moment I knew there was a Death Knight out there looking for me, especially if I knew there were two of them, because I really don't like those.
What about uniques? At some point, you gotta face 'em, no?
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