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Old September 23, 2017, 05:56   #1
Egavactip
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The Big Bad Bow

This is the AAR for this character: http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=21126

It was a character that started off really powerful, ended up weakened in the mid-game, then gradually came together in the endgame to be really powerful again. The key to his damage was a great bow, plus another item that gave it +2 additional shooting speed--the most bow damage I've done for a non-ranger and maybe even for a ranger, I'm not sure.

I've attached (hopefully) a screen shot of damage possible with Holy Might arrows (of which I only had a relative few for the final battles,.

This was an unusual game. On my second trip into the dungeon, I found a Rod of Speed and a Rod of Identity, which was awesome. I was playing a thief, so they would eventually become superfluous but both were great well into the mid-game. Very soon after I found a Ring of Speed +4 and an Elfstone which had speed +3, so my little thief could pull speed +17 pretty much whenever he wanted to. Needless to say, I cruised through the early game and the early mid-game.

However, the Randomness Gods managed to catch up with me. I had a lot of problems getting resistances, especially key ones. I ended up packing away the Ring of Speed, because I had to wear a Ring of Resist Poison, and had to pack the Elfstone away in order to get some other needed resistance. I was still having to swap for nether, disenchantment and others. All of this took up a lot of slots. I was finding good pieces of gear, like some armor that gave me +2 attacks, but it had almost no resistances and I just couldn't make it work without losing a basic resistance. I also had a problem with weapons, not being able to find a high-damage weapon or a decent ranged weapon better than a heavy crossbow of power.

I also had issues with getting stat-boosting equipment, especially constitution, so i was rocking a hit point shortage almost the entire game.

In the end game, things finally changed. I got a melee weapon that was decent, if not what one would really want for the final battles, and a great longbow that could do a ton of damage. My resistances started to finally come in, then were solved completely fairly late in the endgame with Power Dragon armor. Moreover, I got a cloak that gave me +2 shots, which transformed my killer bow into a superkiller bow. I was taking down deep level uniques left and right with that bow, taking very little damage in the process.

So I went against Sauron with that killer bow, but only 830 hit points, a mediocre melee weapon, and no banishments (they were in very short supply, so I was saving them for Morgoth). The bow thankfully did all it was supposed to do and I easily dispatched Sauron. Moreover, Sauron dropped a weapon that had CON +2, so I was able to switch to that and finally crack 900 hit points.

I went to Morgoth with the fewest banishments/mass banishments I had ever had, but good healing. My goal was to take him out with the bow, if I could, which I had never really done before, even with a ranger (taking Morgoth out solely with a bow, I mean). It actually worked out well. Thankfully, Morgoth did not summon too much, and I was shooting a million shots at him each round. I ended up having to use very little healing and did not have to strain my very limited banishing capability. So it worked out well.
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Old September 23, 2017, 07:03   #2
Pete Mack
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You're giving too much weight to higher resists. You don't need any except perhaps rDis as a rogue. Temporary poison resistance is plenty, if you detect with reasonable care. And ESP means that the only credible threat is drolem, which are pretty rare.
Damage, speed, and HP are the only really important stats. And with that bow, you've got one of them covered with a single equipment slot.
Anyway, congrats on the win, which is more than I can say for my most recent character: CL 32/DL 47 Gnome Mage. I forgot just how much damage master vampires do with nether bolt. 170HP was enough to kill me in a single shot.
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Old September 23, 2017, 18:37   #3
Egavactip
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Mack View Post
You're giving too much weight to higher resists. You don't need any except perhaps rDis as a rogue. Temporary poison resistance is plenty, if you detect with reasonable care. And ESP means that the only credible threat is drolem, which are pretty rare.
Damage, speed, and HP are the only really important stats. And with that bow, you've got one of them covered with a single equipment slot.
Anyway, congrats on the win, which is more than I can say for my most recent character: CL 32/DL 47 Gnome Mage. I forgot just how much damage master vampires do with nether bolt. 170HP was enough to kill me in a single shot.
Except that I didn't have ESP until early late game, I didn't have rPoison (except the ring) until early late game or so, I didn't have rDis (except as a swap) until well into the late game, and I didn't have rNether (except as a swap) until the late game. Plus I was weak on hit points through most of the mid-game. So I was a walking target for instadeath for quite some time, until things finally began to resolve themselves and come together.
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Old September 23, 2017, 19:36   #4
Estie
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The point is that high resists (not poison) dont change the situation if youre in instadeath territory. Resist nether is about the last thing to worry about when you are weak. If Dracolisk nether breath would kill you, its probably also going to kill you if you have resistance.

The bow is nice.
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Old September 23, 2017, 22:57   #5
Philip
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Angband is a game where, by and large, if you do not want to fight a thing, you will not have to fight a thing. An excellent source of damage like that bow (and cloak) means that you can fight anything that can't kill you (in a turn), which is going to be a lot of things, pretty much no matter your HP/resists. There's always stuff like Vrocks, after all. Elemental dragons can also be pretty squishy if you can get double-resists on.

Now, not having ESP, that is a big deal. That can easily lead to death, though a Rogue is at less risk due to stealth and spells. No resists combined with no ESP does put you at risk of instadeath, though it is important to note that rNether in particular is completely useless on that front since it reduces max damage by 1/7, which is basically negligible. It only matters for healing conservation during a long battle, which you have no reason to care about as basically any character. RDis is also useless, since it reduces a form of damage with a reasonably low cap, meaning that it wasn't going to kill you in the first place, and very few things have it. The only resists I ascribe any importance to aside from base+poison are Dark/Light (as poor man's pBlnd mostly, though the damage cap is pretty high) and Chaos, which is a common source of damage with side effects. Ever since Sound lost pStun it has been pointless, rShard always was, rDis is great if you're paranoid about equipment damage, but who cares really. rNexus is nice to have, but also who cares.

Being weak on HP is also bad, since it dramatically increases the amount of monsters who can kill you, but in the end it can mostly be mitigated by obsessively detecting and keeping your stealth high. In V, everything can be mitigated by keeping your stealth high (to be able to pick fights and grab stuff off the ground), obsessive and sufficient detection (Detect Monsters is good, and you also want a way to detect invisible monsters, though ESP will do just fine for that), and keeping your escape options open and ready.
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Old September 24, 2017, 00:08   #6
Sky
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Originally Posted by Philip View Post
Angband is a game where, by and large, if you do not want to fight a thing, you will not have to fight a thing.
Ahh, see, but that is the problem. To instinctivly "want to fight the thing".

Yesterday i went as far as typing title and body of a thread called How Many Hit Points Does an Ancient Black Dragon Have ? because i saw a ABD and i had this measly wand of cold balls and 200 hp and i had to think really hard, and eventually did not post the thread because i realized HOW STUPID was to even consider trying to kill something with 1.000 hp as a CL15 mage.

It's just me. I want to kill things. Things that drop stuff.
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Old September 24, 2017, 02:22   #7
Egavactip
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Estie View Post
The point is that high resists (not poison) dont change the situation if youre in instadeath territory. Resist nether is about the last thing to worry about when you are weak. If Dracolisk nether breath would kill you, its probably also going to kill you if you have resistance.
When you've got low hit points, no ESP, and few resistances, you're not just worried about instadeath, but death, period. The notion that not having resist nether is nothing to worry about, when so many things have nether--including things that can come out of the walls at you--is silly.

I am an experienced Angband player with many wins to my credit. I know when something is dangerous or not.
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Old September 24, 2017, 02:29   #8
Pete Mack
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@Sky: wise choice. The trick in angband is to make that choice a hundred times in the game.
That said, ABD is a pretty good target for a mage ter on, when you have double resistance, or at the very least, single resist and an item in every armor slot.
With the latter, the max damage is 880/6 = 146; with the former, it's a paltry 49. Other ancient dragons are somewhat more dangerous, as there's no attenuation from armor.
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Old September 24, 2017, 03:29   #9
Derakon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky View Post
Yesterday i went as far as typing title and body of a thread called How Many Hit Points Does an Ancient Black Dragon Have ? because i saw a ABD and i had this measly wand of cold balls and 200 hp and i had to think really hard, and eventually did not post the thread because i realized HOW STUPID was to even consider trying to kill something with 1.000 hp as a CL15 mage.
I just went and checked monster.txt, and as it happens, Ancient Black Dragons have 880 HP. If you have acid resistance and every armor slot filled, they can't do more than 880/9 = 97 damage to you in a single turn, and less as you hurt them. Assuming you have at least 97 HP and access to temporary haste, they might actually be good targets for a young character with good ranged damage.
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Old September 24, 2017, 05:36   #10
Pete Mack
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@Derakon--armor only cuts acid damage by an additional x2, so it's 880/6 with single resist and armor; double resist becomes a factor of 18, so max acid damage is effectively 1600/18 ~ 90 (the same as double resisted poison breath, but with a higher divisor, meaning less damage for monsters doing comparable base damage.
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