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Old May 22, 2021, 04:39   #1
Pete Mack
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First blackguard past the bad melee hump

The game's been mixed. On the one hand--the left as it happens--a ring of speed at DL 22, even +5, makes up for a host of deficiencies, and an amulet of trickery at DL 19 makes up for more.

On the other hand, I had such a host. Almost no TO I found my first and only source of TO around DL 50, when a rod showed up in a shop. *Slay Troll* <+2> trident til CL30/DL30. No useable extra CON; just weak rings and a low-damage weapon. No ESP, except a stack of mushrooms kept for the main chance. Very few !Heal. And no dungeon book, though I've seen at least half a dozen for other classes.

Until now, at DL 56, with a scary Diagonal Greater Vault. With 2 !CON and a feasible path through most of the less scary east and west sections, I went in. 4 Dreadmasters. Uncounted trees. Just a swamp of monsters, and only every 42 turns a chance to TO one. Just Rambo time.

Result: CL 37, 718 HP (thanks to a =Con <+4> and the two potions.) A hat if ESP, albeit as a swap. A SoS of Slay Evil that does 305 damage without a damage ring.

And a single Wand of Teleport Other with 10 charges from one of many dragons.

Observations
* Most notably, a Blackguard casts more spells than any other class. Sure a mage spams a lot of Magic Missile and the like. But most of the time a mage is exploring or resting. When a Blackguard rests, he spams spells. Not only is there no reason not to run the 3 buffs spells continuously, there's no reason not to cast them every turn you're not fighting, if you have plenty of mana.

* Taunt maybe should be higher level. By the time it became useful, I'd got out of the habit. It wasn't obviously useful til DL 48, where, combined with stun, it wrecked Kavlax. (Gorlim would be similar, but I didn't meet him.) Even then, i didn't tumble to using it as a regular buffing spell til later, around DL 53. In retrospect, I should have used it on gravity hounds, adult dragons and the like. The combination is lethal: taunt makes monsters fight; stun means they can't. Note that sleeping monsters are unaffected--it's not true aggravation, or it'd be way less useful.

* I don't understand Werewolf.
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Old June 2, 2021, 04:01   #2
Pete Mack
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I kinda figured out Werewolf. E.g. always use it if your opponent resists stunning. However, I'm using books only for unholy restoration.

But now I am killing time trying to get rods of TO. For a ridiculously long time I had only 2 or 3--i lost one after failing TO on a Maia of Manw. Now I have 4, which I figure is barely enough, given a low count of Mass Banishment scrolls as well.

Ridiculously, I have only found 3 wands of TO as well, and lost one of them.
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Old June 2, 2021, 07:49   #3
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Werewolf has fast move. As soon as I can reliably cast it I spend most of my time as a werewolf. I don't care much about the stun. I think this depends a little on if you're prepared to use bloodlust. At full bloodlust with venom in wolf form you only care about damage. Fast move + high speed + big damage = pseudo stealth. Enough of it and you are ripping apart whole vaults before they wake up. Just don't transform in LOS as the fear effect wakes everything. I phase out, do some healing, transform back, rush in.
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Old June 2, 2021, 20:42   #4
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Taunt didn't really work for me against high level hounds (Chaos)
I was trying to lure them to where I could strike but nothing...

A high level blackguard doesn't feel nearly as powerful as a high level Mage/Priest/Necromancer
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Old June 2, 2021, 20:50   #5
Pete Mack
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Taunt cuts down on their breath attacks, by a lot. It doesnt change their behavior otherwise. It also helps to hit them with a MoD with Venom active, of course.
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Old June 2, 2021, 23:29   #6
Pete Mack
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Woah. Taunt+Werewolf+Bloodlust
Just destroyed Feagwath. MoD of *Slay Evil* was doing 1482 damage/turn vs Undead with 8.0 blows--2 extra from Bloodlust, 1 more from Werewolf. Feagwath did 200 damage total. His entourage did maybe 50.

Character here
http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=24461

Edit: this is the first time I actively hunted Hounds of Tindalos.

Last edited by Pete Mack; June 2, 2021 at 23:40.
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Old June 2, 2021, 23:53   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Mack View Post
Taunt cuts down on their breath attacks, by a lot. It doesnt change their behavior otherwise. It also helps to hit them with a MoD with Venom active, of course.
Oh so I've been expecting them to come to me...
But the effect is more of a no breathing. Okay then. I will go hunting next time I get a high-powered BG.

For some reason, I haven't found an truly elite weapon with a BG yet.
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Old June 3, 2021, 02:31   #8
archolewa
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Taunt cuts down on their breath attacks, by a lot. It doesnt change their behavior otherwise. It also helps to hit them with a MoD with Venom active, of course.
Are you sure? My understanding was that Taunt effectively increases the chances that enemies "move towards you," which means that if they are already next to you, they melee you. Though maybe thats not enough to overcome hound pack AI.
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Old June 3, 2021, 02:52   #9
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Quote:
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Are you sure? My understanding was that Taunt effectively increases the chances that enemies "move towards you," which means that if they are already next to you, they melee you. Though maybe thats not enough to overcome hound pack AI.
A taunted monster has its chance of using a "spell" (spell, breath, arrow, etc) cut in half. This means if it's at a distance it's more likely just to run toward you, and if it's next to you it's more likely to melee.
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Old June 3, 2021, 17:26   #10
Pete Mack
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For example: I meleed Ungoliant with single poison resist and resist darkness. I didn't need to heal once. Sure Bloodlust makes the fight go crazy fast. But even at 1300 dam nominal, ungoliant has plenty of time to breathe poison, at 266 damage each. With taunt, she might have got off one damage spell. With stunning, her melee damage was bad, too.

Also: mushrooms of Emergency are great! rFire+rCold with long duration, only one slot, and the occasional 200hp heal really helps this class. (Of course, you need rChaos. )
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