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Old December 7, 2009, 18:33   #1
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Chicken or Wise?

I am back to playing Angband again after several years off and having played Angband (and previously Moria) for 21 years and never remotely come close to a win, I thought I should ask for some advice.

My High Elf mage is at 35th level and has been relatively lucky, having gained ESP and speed items early on and picked up Resistances and Raal's as well. What he is lacking are confusion resistance and the benefits of having found sufficient health. I have oscillated up and down in the '1800 depth range trying to find more Potions of Constitution because of many previously bad experiences with the message, "It breathes gas. You die."

I ventured down to '1850 a few times. Each time I came across 'D's in them and promptly turned around. Still, some players would have defeated the game three times over in the turn count I have. Is there any practical strategy for diving deeper that does not involve becoming a victim?
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Old December 7, 2009, 19:10   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icon View Post
I am back to playing Angband again after several years off and having played Angband (and previously Moria) for 21 years and never remotely come close to a win, I thought I should ask for some advice.

My High Elf mage is at 35th level and has been relatively lucky, having gained ESP and speed items early on and picked up Resistances and Raal's as well. What he is lacking are confusion resistance and the benefits of having found sufficient health. I have oscillated up and down in the '1800 depth range trying to find more Potions of Constitution because of many previously bad experiences with the message, "It breathes gas. You die."

I ventured down to '1850 a few times. Each time I came across 'D's in them and promptly turned around. Still, some players would have defeated the game three times over in the turn count I have. Is there any practical strategy for diving deeper that does not involve becoming a victim?
Yes. If you consistently are in an environment where you are much stronger than everything, you tend to get careless. Carelessness is a common form of death for many players, including myself. If the environment is more dangerous, you are more likely to pay attention to everything around you and not miss seeing that dracolisk.

There's a second reason that is kind of related. If you find that you are often making moves that have a 99% chance of success but a 1% chance of death. You are more likely to hit that 1% the more attempts you make. If you make 70 of these over the course of the game you are already at a 50% chance of death.

If you were a borg, slow and steady with lots of scumming is the way to go. But we are humans, and humans get bored. And when we get bored, we get careless. If I notice myself doing an action that gives me a 1% chance of death I figure it's time to dive deeper, as counter-intuitive as that may seem.

Or at least those are some theories.
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Old December 7, 2009, 19:33   #3
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My general playstyle is to keep diving after only clearing half the level or so, until I get into a fight that I can't handle. Then I move up one level, and clear that level, and then start diving again. This does involve me getting into dangerous situations, but what the heck, it's fun.
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Old December 7, 2009, 21:31   #4
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You specifically mentioned poison gas breath = death. While that is true in Moria, there are items that give poison resistance in Angband so you can survive. The Ancient Multi-Hued Dragon and drolem (which is not detected by telepathy, If I recall correctly), are definitely game-stoppers if you lack poison resistance, and you will be seeing them soon, if not already. I apologize if you already knew this, but I consider this information one of those "learning-milestones", if you will. Once I got this info into my thick head I went on to win pretty quickly.
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Old December 7, 2009, 22:12   #5
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Here's a list of the notable poison-breathers you can expect to see in the 2000'-2500' range. Remember that poison damage is a third of the monster's current HP, or 800, whichever is lower, and that resistance cuts damage to a third.

Shelob (2250', 3500 hitpoints)
AMHD (2150', 1848 hitpoints)
Drolem (2200', 2200 hitpoints)
Winged Horror (2400', 1013 hitpoints)
Greater Basilisk (2250', 1010 hitpoints)

...and that's it. Everything else that breathes poison either has so few hitpoints that damage is a non-issue (e.g. Ancient Green Dragons have 633 hitpoints, so can deal a maximum of 211 hitpoints of damage), or are in the 3000' range or so. So if you just keep an eye out of for these guys, you should be fine.

I generated this list using the following command:
Code:
grep -E "^N:|^W:|^I:|BR_POIS" monster.txt | grep -B3 BR_POIS | less
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Old December 7, 2009, 22:50   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HallucinationMushroom View Post
You specifically mentioned poison gas breath = death. While that is true in Moria, there are items that give poison resistance in Angband so you can survive. The Ancient Multi-Hued Dragon and drolem (which is not detected by telepathy, If I recall correctly), are definitely game-stoppers if you lack poison resistance, and you will be seeing them soon, if not already. I apologize if you already knew this, but I consider this information one of those "learning-milestones", if you will. Once I got this info into my thick head I went on to win pretty quickly.
I am using the Dagger of Rilia (over what I would prefer to be using, Maedhros) for poison resistance and am dutiful to cast Resist Poison or Resistance when ESP shows something poisonous come onto the screen.

Confusion isn't instantaneous death is it? If confused you can quaff a potion or use a staff to fix the state until whatever gifted you does so again, right?

And thank you Derakon for the list (been years since I used grep btw--that was a real throwback to college days).
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Old December 7, 2009, 22:55   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icon View Post
Confusion isn't instantaneous death is it? If confused you can quaff a potion or use a staff to fix the state until whatever gifted you does so again, right?
Correct. Drinking a potion, eating a mushroom, and using a staff all can still work. However, I think your fail rate with a staff increases a bit while confused, so it's not as reliable as a potion.
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Old December 7, 2009, 23:04   #8
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The danger with confusion is mostly that there are some enemies that can hit to confuse; if you get into melee with them, you're in trouble, because you're unlikely to get a turn where you aren't confused in which to escape. That's where staves of teleportation come in handy, because they can be used while confused or blinded (unlike scrolls or spells).

Monsters with confusion melee attacks:
Memory Moss
Air Elemental
Night Mare
Lesser Titan (4x)
Aeriel, Queen of Air (2x)
Greater Titan (4x)
Thuringwethil, the Vampire Messenger (2x)
Atlas, the Titan (2x)
Kronos, Lord of the Titans (4x)

Monsters with blinding melee attacks:
Harowen the Black Hand
Gabriel the Messenger (2x)
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Old December 7, 2009, 23:36   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
The danger with confusion is mostly that there are some enemies that can hit to confuse; if you get into melee with them, you're in trouble, because you're unlikely to get a turn where you aren't confused in which to escape. That's where staves of teleportation come in handy, because they can be used while confused or blinded (unlike scrolls or spells).

Monsters with confusion melee attacks:
Memory Moss
Air Elemental
Night Mare
Lesser Titan (4x)
Aeriel, Queen of Air (2x)
Greater Titan (4x)
Thuringwethil, the Vampire Messenger (2x)
Atlas, the Titan (2x)
Kronos, Lord of the Titans (4x)
Don't forget about umber hulks and hummerhorns! You encounter them early and often! They are both fast, umber hulks travel through walls and hummerhorns breed explosively!

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Monsters with blinding melee attacks:
Harowen the Black Hand
Gabriel the Messenger (2x)
Plus the cat lord and red fruit flies of some kind (nasty because they breed).
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Old December 7, 2009, 23:42   #10
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Oh, good call! I was looking for HIT:CONFUSE, but there's plenty of other melee-range attacks that carry confusion, like GAZE, SPORE, etc. Here, this should be a complete list of confusing melee attacks:

Grey mushroom patch
Brown mold
Magic mushroom patch
Umber hulk
Hummerhorn
Memory moss
Air elemental
Night mare
Lesser titan
Ariel, Queen of Air
Greater titan
Chaos vortex
Thuringwethil, the Vampire Messenger
The Cat Lord
Chest mimic
Great Wyrm of Perplexity
Atlas, the Titan
Kronos, Lord of the Titans
Spectator

And likewise, for blinders:

Bloodshot eye
King cobra
Catoblepas
Shimmering vortex
7-headed hydra
Harowen the Black Hand
Gabriel, the Messenger
The Cat Lord
Giant brown tick
Chest mimic
Giant firefly

Generated with this line:
Code:
grep -E "^N: | B:.*BLIND" monster.txt | grep -B1 BLIND | grep "N:" | cut -d: -f3
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