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Old October 22, 2020, 20:21   #1
Raerick
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9-Headed Hydras

I like to play risky and take on pits I really shouldn't bother with and so I decided to take on a hydra pit with my level 41 rogue. I had taken on several before when the worst thing they packed were 8-headed and Gorgons. I figured the 9-Headed couldn't be that much bigger of an upgrade, just an extra head. There were 10 of them in the pit at the start and after the first couple I figured I could take them. I was in a nice position that only allowed them to come one at a time. I must have killed a dozen or so of them before I realized that they could summon more of themselves. At that point I also noticed that somewhere in the spam my stack of staves of teleportation had been burnt up. Luckily I had a teleport level scroll still and managed to abort the DL.

So I am wondering. Is it really necessary for the 9s to summon more hydras? Their drain life is another thing I find questionable, but I can deal with that. Gorgons summoning hydras (and themselves) was okay, because they weren't dangerous themselves (just annoying, especially their frequent acid bolt spam.) I guess Hydra pits past DL 50 just aren't worth bothering with anymore even if you want to play risky.
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Old October 23, 2020, 00:37   #2
archolewa
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Honestly, Hydras aren't really worth fighting in general. Their breath can destroy consumables, and they only drop money (which, by the time Hydras start showing up, is mostly useless anyway).

So, personally I don't have a problem with a monster that isn't worth fighting having *more* abilities that make it not worth fighting.

Besides, I find it fun to detect a 9-headed hydra and be all "Not going *that* way. How else should I get across the map? Burn 30 charges of my Stone to Mud wands? Go the long way around and fight through that pack of orcs? Hmm, there's a beholder over there too, that could get messy."

Having lots of monsters that are Bad News is what gives Angband a lot of its flavor I think.
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Old October 23, 2020, 00:42   #3
Pete Mack
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I tend to hunt early Hydras for EXP as a mage. They don't have too much HP, and fall quickly to cold attacks. But yeah, 9 headed is entirely to be avoided--as are hydra lifts in general. It is entirely a losing proposition: just gold drops, high risk, and you lose a ton of gear.
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Old October 23, 2020, 02:14   #4
Raerick
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Well before they got tougher they weren't worth it if you had a ton of flammable items or would die (always somewhat of a risk.) All they drop is money, but the exp was decent and the fights simple. I also liked bucking conventional wisdom and taking them on.

I should have taken Gorgons as a bad sign when I first encountered them and saw what they can do, but I thought the 9s would just be beefier iterations of the 8s. I didn't read up on most of the monster changes and had put playing the game in hiatus for a while until just a few weeks ago.

I'm not going to cry if they stay as they are. I do agree there is charm to having threats like that to avoid. Now even I won't be bothering with them if I can help it.
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Old October 23, 2020, 08:54   #5
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Random thought: we need a game where, in the heat of a battle, a half-troll with intelligence score 5 has a probability of miscounting the number of heads of a hydra...
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Old October 23, 2020, 09:44   #6
Sky
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dude hydras are horrible monsters; if you are low level but happy to sacrifice a want of frost bolt and a potion of speed to kill ONE high level hydra, for the xp, then sure. But 99% of the time you are just asking to get your stuff burned.
frankly i'd rather melee a balrog than a hydra.
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Old October 23, 2020, 18:38   #7
whartung
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raerick View Post
I like to play risky and take on pits I really shouldn't bother with and so I decided to take on a hydra pit with my level 41 rogue. I had taken on several before when the worst thing they packed were 8-headed and Gorgons. I figured the 9-Headed couldn't be that much bigger of an upgrade, just an extra head. There were 10 of them in the pit at the start and after the first couple I figured I could take them. I was in a nice position that only allowed them to come one at a time. I must have killed a dozen or so of them before I realized that they could summon more of themselves. At that point I also noticed that somewhere in the spam my stack of staves of teleportation had been burnt up. Luckily I had a teleport level scroll still and managed to abort the DL.
Hydra are specifically why I advocate for colored messages (like "your staff burned up" being in a different color than "you miss"), and the ability to hit ESC (or something) to skip the rest of the message prompts.
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Old October 23, 2020, 18:48   #8
Raerick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky View Post
dude hydras are horrible monsters; if you are low level but happy to sacrifice a want of frost bolt and a potion of speed to kill ONE high level hydra, for the xp, then sure. But 99% of the time you are just asking to get your stuff burned.
frankly i'd rather melee a balrog than a hydra.
Balrogs should be worse since they drain charges too.

Anyway the main point was about the 9s summoning and becoming endless. I had killed a dozen and when I used detection there was a dozen more. So much that the 8 head and lower hydras hadn't even left the pit. Between where I was and the door the hydras were coming out of was about 6-7 tiles filled with 9s and the area the 9s had spawned at was also filled with them. Maybe their rate of summoning is too high, I don't know. I will just finally join the ranks of the sane and avoid them now too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whartung View Post
Hydra are specifically why I advocate for colored messages (like "your staff burned up" being in a different color than "you miss"), and the ability to hit ESC (or something) to skip the rest of the message prompts.
I think that's a good idea. I would say anything in inventory or quiver that melts/burns should be colored like that.
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Old October 23, 2020, 18:51   #9
DavidMedley
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I personally don't think monsters should be able to summon anything their own level or higher.
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Old October 23, 2020, 19:37   #10
Ingwe Ingweron
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Originally Posted by DavidMedley View Post
I personally don't think monsters should be able to summon anything their own level or higher.
I'm not convinced. Why can't a monster call for "daddy"?
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