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Old August 18, 2013, 01:06   #11
BlueFish
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Originally Posted by taptap View Post
I like Song of Freedom and it is good to get it cheap and without Elbereth requirement, but in my experience you need half-way decent song to benefit from it for rubble / door / trap / chest clearing - the freedom of movement is of course always part of it.
From what I've seen so far, a nominal investment of 4 in song makes it pretty useful for the locks and traps and secret doors, and, after a few turns, it does clear rubble. I think whatever Perception skill you have does stack with the Freedom bonus, as well.

One of the good things about having Song of Freedom is that it frees up an inventory slot that might be taken up by a shovel. Though you still have to decide whether to take a mattock, if you find one. I guess I would, since some treasure rooms require tunneling through more than just rubble.
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Old August 18, 2013, 01:34   #12
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Originally Posted by BlueFish View Post
From what I've seen so far, a nominal investment of 4 in song makes it pretty useful for the locks and traps and secret doors, and, after a few turns, it does clear rubble. I think whatever Perception skill you have does stack with the Freedom bonus, as well.

One of the good things about having Song of Freedom is that it frees up an inventory slot that might be taken up by a shovel. Though you still have to decide whether to take a mattock, if you find one. I guess I would, since some treasure rooms require tunneling through more than just rubble.
Yes - I like it too, but you will need to increase that investment deeper in Angband in my experience - which is fine if you want to take Sharpness anyway. It also gives freedom of movement and can remove webs and pits. (If you ever want to fight a dragon or another entrancing enemy but don't want to carry spare boots / rings etc.)
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Old August 25, 2013, 12:36   #13
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I wonder whether early / instant Weaponsmith / Enchantment could work for a polemaster build with Feanor or Naugrim at least. Say Feanor with 2/5/4/3 2k xp into smithing and 1,5k each for melee / evasion. I am not sure whether you get sth. useful for 10 pt. - a glaive of gondolin should speed up the early game a lot and with slowly increasing smithing ...
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Old September 27, 2013, 05:11   #14
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I've never taken weaponsmith as a smith - artifacts being so superior to anything you could make, in general. But there are two uses for it where I can see it might pay off - making a Mattock of Belegost, which often can't be found throughout any given game, and making an artifact +3 smithing hammer. Compared to my old builds, such a hammer would turn every forge into an enchanted forge, effectively. There's also the possibility of forging an artifact hammer with some smithing ability on it, but then you couldn't use the +3 smithing hammer so that doesn't make a lot of sense.

So I'm going Nogrod (as usual) and starting with stats of 2/1/5/4. Starting skills are 4 melee, 3 evasion, and 7 smithing. Initial smithing abilities are weaponsmith, jeweler, and artistry. That gives 13 smithing, allowing for 2 +2 accuracy rings at the first forge. The artistry is used to make a battleaxe at the first forge with one extra damage side (3d5), 5 pounds. That'll allow Charge to be used to full extent. Add Power and that's a heck of a lot of damage, basically replacing Slay weapons.

The high grace will hopefully allow for future Song skills, probably working my way up to Song of Mastery again. I'd like to use Whirlwind Attack with Mastery, they would seem to go together well. Just wish Whirlwind didn't have a useless prereq.

The loremaster/Song of Freedom crown will have to wait this time, but I'll make it eventually.

Will see if I can skip enchant this time - otherwise I'd be taking every smithing ability eventually, which would be prohibitive even with the two free smithing abilities Nogrod get. I guess I'll be making lots of artifacts. I'm already damning those 2 use forges!
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Old September 27, 2013, 09:06   #15
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Had a very promising and fun start with that guy tonight. A few of them died very early after a few minutes, as you would expect, but after the first forge he becomes pretty survivable. That 3d5 battle axe and the two +2 accuracy rings are pretty potent. Both take exactly 13 smithing, which he starts with. That 13 smithing seems a sweet spot, lots of very useful stuff takes exactly that. The second forge he found was two uses (of course!) but he was able to build [+1, 1d1] gauntlets and a [+1, 1d1] crown. Both nice items which cost exactly 13 smithing.

He made it all the way to Power and Charge and Dodge and Sprinting and Artifice. It was working well at 400' till my newbsmanship with the ID game caught up with me. I put on an un-ID'ed amulet which apparently was Haunted Dreams. The shadow trapped me between it and a blue 'o' in a corridor. I was running from the 'o' at the time. I ran into the shadow a couple times before I noticed, and died.
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Old October 7, 2013, 22:05   #16
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Well I've come to the conclusion that that guy is essentially non-viable without a lot of luck. But a small modification to the build is still fun for the same reasons, and still thematic. Just swap in "armorsmith" for "jeweler". Rather than the 2 +2 rings of accuracy at the first forge (along with the axe), I build a [+1,1d1] crown and a [-2, 2d4] corslet. The protection makes you way more survivable than the accuracy. The accuracy rings get made at the second forge. Much smoother difficulty progression with fewer bottlenecks of insta-death.

Getting to that first forge is always chancy though. Orc soldiers are difficult before you get that battle axe.
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Old October 8, 2013, 06:47   #17
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Goodness, just had a harrowing game with this nogrod master smith build, 2/1/5/4 with 4/3/7 to start in melee / evasion / smithing. Built the 5 lb 3d5 battle axe and [-2,2d4] corslet and [+1,1d1] crown at first forge. After the first forge, I dropped to 150 asap and went back and forth between 150 and 200, till min depth was 200. Then between 200 and 250, always fully exploring levels, until the second forge was found. Spent 1000 exp on Jeweler at that point and made the 2 +2 accuracy rings. Any additional uses of the forge went to nice artisan gloves or boots.

I kept those rings on the whole game till about 850 feet when I finally had enough smithing to build +3 rings. I made 2 on a 2 use forge and swapped them in. I never wore any ring I found in the dungeon.

The corslet [-2, 2d4] was also as well as I'd ever do all game, numbers-wise. I swapped it out once for a normal-stat corslet of resilience, but then found a mithril corslet at about 800 ft, which I melted down and turned into a mithril corslet of reslience with those same numbers as the original one I made.

The only significant early find was the Gloves of Gamil Zurak, which give +3 smithing and fire resist. I think I found them before I found the second forge.

Found two mithril items early - a mithril helm of true sight, and a mithril kite shield of frost [-1, 1d6]. I decided to go one-handed from there, and almost never took the shield off the rest of the game. My protection was 7-21 most of the game.

The helm I melted down at a forge and made 2 Lamps of Brightness out of it, one to carry and one to drop in a light-pinch. A forged Crown of True Sight replaced the helm.

At some point, I also built an enchanted mattock - one of the three times I used Weaponsmith. The initial battle axe, the mattock, and the +3 smithing hammer.

At about 700, I found battle axe "dramborleg", which I dumped my starting battle axe for.

I found lots of enchanted forges - probably 5 in all through the game. Also built a +3 smithing hammer. never did find Maeglin, though, so I didn't get his smithing armor.

Fully exploring levels and forging stuff kept me at or above min depth the whole game. My first descent to 950 would also be my last - but it was pretty cool. I had a 15 charge staff of revelations and it revealed a 2 use enchanted forge and Orodruth! Drauglin pounced on me almost immediately and I was still too little to kill him, but luckily he's a wolf with low Will, and I'd taken Song of Elbereth rather than Song of Slaying for just this sort of purpose. I managed to convince him to run up the stairs.

I cleared the rest of the level carefully and with all the experience I was able to get up to 30 smithing on the enchanted forge, which allowed me to make two amulets: +2 con, and +2 grace. using the +2 grace amulet, I had 35 smithing on Orodruth and made what would have to suffice as this character's "masterpiece" (I didn't have enough exp to take that skill). It was a bit underwhelming but entirely necessary. A set of gloves that gave 2 sustains I needed, dex and str, and free action which I also needed. The rest of the smithing points I used for +1 damage sides.

After all the smithing at 950, my min depth was 1000. Which is sort of fun because it's the only time in the game where you can take your time. Ancalagon the Black was in a small cave just off of Orodruth, and I took my time and killed him safely by tunneling out a defensible spot and fully resting if he got a lucky shot or two. He didn't have anything interesting though.

During all that at 950', a unique balrog had come up the stairs at some point. I killed him and he dropped the Battle Axe of Hurin, which gives +1 con and, very importantly, song of slaying, which I hadn't taken. That was 4 con from equipment, one from the Will tree, and 5 natural, for a total of 10. I think that gives 113 hps. That's why I like starting with high con. It really makes a difference at the end, especially buffed with a con potion, which gives 200+ hps. Even orcish liquor heals substantially at that level.

As always, I had very little in the way of consumables - I think 4 miruvor, 3 healing potions, 5 orc liquor, and 2 healing herbs. A handful of stat potions. But there was nothing to do but dive.

I'm never sure what to do in the throne room. I sort of want to try to open some chests but never am able to. (Anybody succeed in doing that without killing V?)

Eventually got trapped in massive darkness and dropped my floor lamp. Picked it back up and it was game on - that triggered aggro. I wasn't in a very good position, but I quaffed the requisite coctail of quickness and stat buffs and sang the medley of slaying and sharpness. Knocked V's crown off and it skittered off into a side hall completely out of reach. But eventually V destroyed the area and my trusty mattock tunneled through the rubble and walls to get to the crown. I only took one Sil, and wielded it immediately. That gave me my final resist, allowing me to drop my robe of permanence (which I'd forged earlier).

I had to tunnel to the up-stairs because of the general throng of enemies everywhere, but made it back up to 950. Didn't pick anything up from 1000, other than the Silmaril.

At 950 I immediately noticed that I'd lost my staff of revelations in the throne room fight. Sigh. Almost died several times on the way up. I realized searching for up-stairs is sort of an opposite strategy to exploring levels. When exploring levels, you generally want to move towards the edge at the start, so you don't walk into the middle of monsters coming from all directions. But when searching for the way up, you generally want to head to central locations so that you don't get cornered by V. My mattock saved me several times, I would have died without it, without question. I used the last of my consumables on the way up, too, and found none other than some slow poison and quickness and orc liquor.

I thought I was in the clear at 0'. I spent some leisure time killing orcs and cats, with an herb of rage. Then I noticed that my poison counter was going up astronomically. I realized that one of the red Cs was Carcaroth, who'd entered the keep to chase me down. That fight was about as close as any fight could be. I really thought I'd die. I had a few slow poison potions (picked up almost reluctantly on the way up - I didn't think I'd need them) and one final Con potion, and a quickness potion. The slow poison was ineffective - he was poisoning me faster than I could slow it. So I drank the quickness, then the con, and the slow poisons, one by one. Even with Song of Slaying on and at blazing levels, I was getting unlucky and missing him consistently. I had zero useful potions left by the time I finally got the killing blow. I had 13 hps and was still surrounded by Troll Guards etc. That started a stressful time in itself as I tried to recuperate while getting attacked on all sides. Eventually fought my way to a side room and spent several thousand exp on Song of Este and its prereq. Just so I could heal faster.

But that was that! Pretty much waltzed out from there. Fun game and right on the edge many many times. Wish i would have remembered to save the character sheet.

Last edited by BlueFish; October 8, 2013 at 07:06.
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Old October 8, 2013, 20:08   #18
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What a great story. Its really nice that the game can produce such flavourful drama.

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When exploring levels, you generally want to move towards the edge at the start, so you don't walk into the middle of monsters coming from all directions. But when searching for the way up, you generally want to head to central locations so that you don't get cornered by V.
Interesting observation. This kind of thing is a reason I don't like autoexplore. It takes away this kind of subtle strategic approach to exploring.
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Old October 9, 2013, 03:09   #19
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Well I've come to the conclusion that that guy is essentially non-viable without a lot of luck. But a small modification to the build is still fun for the same reasons, and still thematic. Just swap in "armorsmith" for "jeweler". Rather than the 2 +2 rings of accuracy at the first forge (along with the axe), I build a [+1,1d1] crown and a [-2, 2d4] corslet. The protection makes you way more survivable than the accuracy. The accuracy rings get made at the second forge. Much smoother difficulty progression with fewer bottlenecks of insta-death.

Getting to that first forge is always chancy though. Orc soldiers are difficult before you get that battle axe.
Your net gain from this complicated forging operation isn't necessarily any better than a "common" artistry build (with less skill requirement? I remember armour on a crown is quite difficult) that makes an improved leather armour (or studded leather) and a good helm [+0, 1d3]. The additional evasion really helps for a dwarf at start. I made my dwarves with 3/2/5/2 - additional strength and dexterity helps as well - although I had no ambition to make a mastersmith and you apparently worried about efficient forge use. (Making early armour last long?)
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Old October 9, 2013, 03:09   #20
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Thanks half. I wish more people would post their stories on the forum, but I guess most people just use ladder diaries for that.

next up I'm going to try a heavy armor protection build, which is another build dwarf master smiths seem well suited for, being able to pick their armor pieces so specifically. Those rings of protection in place of rings of accuracy will be quite a blow to my accuracy though so I'll need to take song of slaying and maybe get whirlwind attack asap. Seems standing in the middle of a group of monsters swinging wildly at them is well suited to a protection build.

Maybe I'll still make the +2 rings of accuracy till I can at least make 1d2 protection rings (cost 18).
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