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Old June 3, 2019, 09:51   #1
mibert
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New Player Questions

Hi all,

I started getting into vanilla. Only ever played Sil and other non-bands.
I really like it a lot so far. It feels like the game progressed a lot.

I have a few questions:
- Is there a guide for 4.x?
- Is there documentation on how exactly combat and stats work?
- What is the easiest build/strategy to try to win?

Thanks!
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Old June 3, 2019, 13:35   #2
Nick
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The in-game help is actually fairly comprehensive, but recently takkaria has turned it into a nice looking manual you can see here. You will find pretty good info in there on how combat and stats work. Coming from Sil, though, you will probably find some of it a bit obscure; Sil makes its mechanics remarkably transparent.

Best race/class combination will get you many answers; Kobold Rogue, High-Elf Ranger, Dwarf Paladin, Half-Troll Warrior are popular choices.
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Old June 3, 2019, 14:37   #3
Philip
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The documentation in the help files is good, though the mechanics are a bit obscure, yeah. I don't know if this is in the help files, for example, but each three points of stealth make a monster take, on average, twice as long to wake up. This is a thing I learned several years after starting to play the game.

Strategy you won't really find in the help files. There are a number of different popular strategies, and choosing one is mostly a matter of personal preference, outside of competitions (which we haven't had in a while, since whoever is doing them these days is busy).

The one I use is diving. The core of the strategy is the thesis that dying fast is better than dying slow, though in V in particular, the fact that loot scales faster than danger, and (depending on class) danger can be mitigated a bunch. It consists of rapidly going down (for a very long time, first staircase you see unless there is something interesting nearby (trivial-to-kill monster with a good drop, or an item you could conceivably want). Level feelings don't count (very high object feelings count when very shallow, but not otherwise), so mostly ignore them. Just go deeper. When you feel like every step might get you killed and you are way out of your depth, go deeper. You will probably die. Many times. But it will be faster than any other method dies, and you will learn a lot. Eventually, you will not die. Ideal classes for this strategy are Mages and Rogues, and ideal races are either the stealthy ones, or High-Elves. Half-Trolls get an honorable mention for being just very good in general.

Another strategy is soft diving. This strategy also goes fast, but cares about maintaining at least some relation between character level and dungeon level, and might, say, avoid going below dlvl 20 without Free Action (because instakills from not having it rapidly become more common there). This strategy is not particularly demanding in terms of class or race.

The third strategy is level-clearing. Under this strategy, you only advance deeper into the dungeon once you feel comfortable at your current depth, and have all the abilities you want to have at your new depth. Assuming consistently competent play, this is the safest strategy by far. It's also the slowest strategy, though, so it may end up taking longer in real time to win with one level-clearer than it does to die five times with divers, but then win with your sixth. Any class should be fine for this - you don't really need class-specific options for this strategy, though I struggle to see why anyone would use a Rogue.

Personally, level-clearing is ineffective for me because I find it boring, and boredom makes me play sloppy, which gets me killed. If you find diving stressful, or undesirable for some other reason, then level-clearing might be right for you.

Classes have recently been rebalanced, and there isn't much consensus yet on what's powerful and what's not. Personal preference will always be the most important here as well. I find Warriors to be very kind to new players, since they require the least familiarity with the monster list or game mechanics, and are early-game powerhouses. Just keep in mind that light weapons such as daggers are often better than swords early on (because of some quirks in the blows and to_dam systems), and you'll basically be fine.
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Old June 3, 2019, 14:44   #4
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A few general recommendations I will make:

* Do not play a mage until you can reliably get other classes at least to 1000' (dungeon level 20). Mages are very fragile and require good game knowledge on the part of the player; without that knowledge you'll just end up dying early an awful lot.

* For my money, Half-Troll Warrior is the best newbie character. Don't think "warriors are boring because they don't have magic". There's still plenty of strategy, and indeed, cannily using their limited magic items is an important part of warrior play.

* The town has unlimited supplies of certain consumables. Take advantage of this.

* Scrolls of Word of Recall are how you get from the town to the dungeon and vice versa.

* By default, items sell for no money (but the shopkeeper will at least identify them for you). You can enable selling if you like, as a birth option by hitting '=' during character creation. However, if you do this, money drops in the dungeon are substantially reduced. I recommend players give "no-selling" mode a serious try before hitting the option.
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Old June 3, 2019, 17:38   #5
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Most importantly, you can't have too much healing and escape. At the beginning, this means ~5 each of CLW and phase door; more if you can afford it. Later it means a dozen or more CSW/CCW, same for phase, and teleport/teleport level/teleport other/*destruction. Death from running out of healing (or simply not using it) is by far the most common newbie error.
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Old June 3, 2019, 18:31   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Mack View Post
Most importantly, you can't have too much healing and escape. At the beginning, this means ~5 each of CLW and phase door; more if you can afford it. Later it means a dozen or more CSW/CCW, same for phase, and teleport/teleport level/teleport other/*destruction. Death from running out of healing (or simply not using it) is by far the most common newbie error.
This, definitely. Usually when I start now I'll buy a cloak, maybe a little extra food or an extra torch (not really that important), and spend everything else on CLW and phase door, which usually gives me 8-10 of each.

Later, when money isn't an issue, I'll carry 20-ish of phase door and also of whatever level of healing potion I can afford, unless I'm limited by weight. Also save all the teleport and teleport level scrolls you find.

One thing about weight -- don't be heavy. -1 speed might not seem like a big deal, but in fact is it a big deal. More generally, if you have to choose between a + to speed and some other bonus, the speed is usually the better choice (though it can be somewhat situation dependent, so not *always*).
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Old June 3, 2019, 21:06   #7
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Thank you for all your replies.

Now I'm running a Half-Troll Warrior with maxed STR and my 1d4 starting dagger remains better than a Broad Sword 2d5 (+4,+5) bc of attacks/turn. That just doesn't feel right
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Old June 3, 2019, 21:15   #8
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Originally Posted by mibert View Post
Thank you for all your replies.

Now I'm running a Half-Troll Warrior with maxed STR and my 1d4 starting dagger remains better than a Broad Sword 2d5 (+4,+5) bc of attacks/turn. That just doesn't feel right
It's an unfortunate side-effect of how the combat rules work. It doesn't last the entire game though; once you get your DEX up heavier weapons will start being more competitive.
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Old June 4, 2019, 07:45   #9
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i find the easiest classes to play to be Half-Orc Rogue and Dunedan Warrior.
Half orc rogue has limited mana, but doesnt really need much mana to start with, a very useful +2 STR, and a reasonable XP progression. It will eventually have a ton of mana and excellent spells.
Dunedan Warrior simply because with 12pts STR and 8pts DEX you can get a huge amount of damage from level 1. It takes a long time to level but you'll be killing tons of mobs anyway.
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Old June 4, 2019, 08:34   #10
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
It's an unfortunate side-effect of how the combat rules work. It doesn't last the entire game though; once you get your DEX up heavier weapons will start being more competitive.
Thanks. Unfortunate to say the least.
Anyways, is there in-game info on a weapon's weight? I assume weight makes the difference for blows/turn.
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