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Old September 28, 2014, 14:04   #281
locus
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Originally Posted by debo View Post
It's the best ability to take with any leftover experience you have the turn before winning the game.
I'm partial to Disguise in that slot. You'd better change your identity and disappear before Morgoth comes looking for his shinies...
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Old September 28, 2014, 16:41   #282
wobbly
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A minor detail I just noticed. Uminyar has a 1d7 longbow.
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Old September 28, 2014, 17:26   #283
Infinitum
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Originally Posted by locus View Post
I'm partial to Disguise in that slot. You'd better change your identity and disappear before The sons of FŽanor come looking for their shinies...
Not that a petty disguise would help what with their modus operandi of sacking everything. Would make for an interesting endgame of sorts - can you make it to the mouths of sirion with the angry hosts of the Noldor high on your heels?

Also being able to craft staffs using Channeling (and willpower?) would boost it for non-smiths.
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Old October 5, 2014, 01:15   #284
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I've been playing Sil off and on for awhile. Generally my good characters get to around 400' now. So I'll admit I'm not particularly good, especially compared to most of the players here. Nevertheless, here's a bit of feedback: I think the very early game (like the first 3 floors) is a little too hard.

I get that Sil is supposed to be a really tough game even by roguelike standards, and I'm not asking the overall game difficulty to change. Most of the when I die around 300'-450', I can see a mistake I made in some way. Either tactically in the way I handled the situation, or strategically in my character build. When I get killed on the first 2 or 3 floors, though, I sometimes feel like it's out of my hands. Even for a Noldor, much less a challenge race (which I've only slightly experimented with).

So here are my suggestions:

1. Make the 100' forge guards weaker. Some characters have a really hard time handling three white wolves or an out-of-control green worm pack, for example. A strong group of guards can kill even a Noldor with some builds, and I'm sure it's worse for the challenge races. Maybe you're supposed to adapt to this and skip the forge, but that can ruin some characters in a way that goes beyond typical roguelike luck. If an archer can't grab an early longbow because it's too dangerous he'll probably find another bow soon, but who knows when a smith will get another forge? A slightly weaker mix of enemies would be good. Like maybe a white wolf and some brown wolves instead of three white wolves.

2. Slightly weaken sword spiders. I realize you're supposed to slam the door and avoid them if you can't handle one, but it's easy to run into one in a bad situation where you can't get away (like a dark room). And their attack stats are good enough to bring even a strong melee character near death with a couple of bad dice rolls.

I know, Sil is meant to be a hard game like that and that's fine, but this early your character may have no way of dealing with such luck. Most characters can't run away, you can't use Song of Elbereth, you'll have a very limited supply of items, and some character types won't yet be sufficiently built to adapt to something like this. And as mentioned before, "stay away" isn't always possible. Unlucky early deaths will sometimes happen in any RL that has a challenging beginning, but bad sword spider deaths seem especially common. I'm not sure what should be nerfed though. Maybe reduce the perception a point or two to make avoidance easier and knock a few points off the attack roll bonus.

3. Let the player choose a starting weapon. I can understand that you probably want to keep archery starts a little tough, but how about spear/curved sword/throwing axe?


Well, that's just my two cents - love the game!

Last edited by kzer_za; October 5, 2014 at 03:45.
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Old October 5, 2014, 07:02   #285
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Note that if you go up from the starting level instead of down, a forge will be generated on 50', with slightly weaker guardians. I would be in favor of removing the guardians on the guaranteed forge though, it seems like it's a balancing mechanic to keep people from dumping all their points into Smithing at the start, but I don't know that that strategy is actually strong enough you need to nerf it. And it sure is frustrating to play a character who's hoping to smith and not be able to beat the guardians.

Note that a Sword Spider will not pursue you if it can't see you, so you don't have to slam a door in its face, just duck around a corner. Yes, if you stumble into one in the dark that doesn't help; be careful in dark rooms. Also putting points in stealth may help since their perception is mediocre. I like Sword Spiders as sort of a "reality check" for melee guys who think they're hot shit because they're a point or two above the early-game curve.
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Old October 5, 2014, 10:47   #286
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Another thing to consider is how you cross a dark room. If you hug the wall your at around +5 stealth, will generally find an exit pt quicker and usually be further from any enemies. So skirt the outside, find the exit, close the door behind you at the end is how I handle them.

Edit: Just checked the manual, your at +3 with 3 adjacent wall tiles (+1/wall) compared to in the open, +5 would be a corner square.

Last edited by wobbly; October 5, 2014 at 14:26.
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Old October 6, 2014, 10:34   #287
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I'm another new(ish) player who finds the game too difficult. In spite of the fact that I suck at it, I love the game. The flavor is perfect and I've never seen a game with more transparent, tightly designed and elegant mechanics. But I would like to vent for a moment about something that really drives me crazy. It's the sheer number of enemies on the first few floors and that fighting even one group of them can take forever because you'll hurt them and then they'll all run away. Sometimes 3-4 times before you finally finish them off. I always try to shut wolves in a room after they run away and to chase orcs off the level, but very often, as soon as I put one group of enemies to rout, another shows up, and by the time they're gone, the first enemies have come back, then a third new group of enemies joins the party and I have to spend forever and a day doing the same things over and over again. I probably die to orcs more often because I make stupid mistakes out of frustration than because I legitimately don't know how to handle them.

I also have some questions to go along with my venting. The first one is about smithing. I tried to play a singer/smith who made a crown of command at the first forge and the character felt quite powerful, at least until around 750 ft or so, but was very frustrating to play. Making such a large investment in smithing and the various smithing abilities meant that I couldn't afford any of the cool abilities in the other skills. I wanted to play a polearm character with a heavy emphasis on song who would forge a sharp spear and a robe of speed. But I died on 750' (to my own stupid mistakes; I was overwhelmed by cats and trolls and ran out of voice when I could have easily run away) before I even started making the artifacts I needed to boost my smithing skill to the point that I could make the artifacts I actually wanted for my character. All smithing did for me past making a crown of command at the first forge was barely make up for the weaknesses of my character because he invested in smithing in the first place. And then he needed two more forges with at least 3 uses to make gloves with a smithing boost and weaponsmithing and then a hammer with a smithing boost and masterpiece. By that point I figure I would have already basically finished the game and I could only then start to play the character I wanted to play.

So I wonder if I could play a normal character, then pick up smithing towards the end and make a bunch of cool gear if I had found enough stat potions and herbs of restoration. My last character, even if he had survived to 950 to scum for forges, still might have had an issue with this, he had only one potion of constitution and no other way to restore drained stats. But it seems to me that because you need to forge so much stuff just to boost your smithing up in the first place, each forge is precious and if you don't start assembling your kit as soon as possible, you won't be able to make anything that pays off a heavy investment. Am I right about this, or do more forges appear very deep in the dungeon?

For another question, how does Song of Slaying work? I know the bonus increases proportionally to my song skill and that a high bonus decays very quickly. But there seems to be a floor of +2 past which the bonus decays very slowly, so that if I sing slaying in most fights, I always start at around +2. Will that minimum increase as I get more song skill or is the rate of decay fixed and only the rate of increase grows? I'm not sure what the right way to use the song is. At least, early on, I can't invest too much in song in place of actual fighting skill because I need to be able to kill things quickly to begin with in order to start racking up the slaying bonus. Not to mention that I'm mostly too scared to sing it because it makes a whole bunch of awful stuff wake up and kill me. From reading the forums here and watching Debo's videos, it seems the primary use for it is to take it right at the end of the game and use it in the throne room. But is it possible to get good use out of it beforehand?
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Old October 6, 2014, 11:50   #288
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It's the sheer number of enemies on the first few floors and that fighting even one group of them can take forever because you'll hurt them and then they'll all run away. Sometimes 3-4 times before you finally finish them off.
I try to fight close to stairs (stair in the back of my opponents), when they flee, they will leave the floor instead of running all over the place. (At the same time I keep a longbow or some spears at hand.) If you don't have to fight them two or three times it is much easier to manage. You can easily integrate fear even further into your strategy against orcs, it is very easy to push orcs off the floor with a little Elbereth or a horn of terror, weapons of Gondolin do wonders as well (both to kill them and put them to flight).
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Old October 6, 2014, 11:55   #289
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It's the sheer number of enemies on the first few floors and that fighting even one group of them can take forever because you'll hurt them and then they'll all run away. Sometimes 3-4 times before you finally finish them off.
Just for sake of comparison, you might want to try a character that takes opportunist early. Alternately, put just a few points into archery and shoot at them when they flee. (You get one free archery ability as any elf, and precision is very cheap.)


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I also have some questions to go along with my venting. The first one is about smithing. I tried to play a singer/smith who made a crown of command at the first forge and the character felt quite powerful, at least until around 750 ft or so, but was very frustrating to play. Making such a large investment in smithing and the various smithing abilities meant that I couldn't afford any of the cool abilities in the other skills. I wanted to play a polearm character with a heavy emphasis on song who would forge a sharp spear and a robe of speed.
Playing a smith to create a very specific build was always an iffy proposition, and it's harder now than it was in earlier versions. You sort of have to look at a build like this as if you're playing a lottery (even moreso than the normal game.)

I personally won't really play smiths anymore -- it really slows the game down, and the risk/reward is certainly not worth it after you've successfully done it a few times. I do think it's very fun the first time you pull it off, though.

I might look at more modest goals for your first smith; something like "I'm going to make a really cool [X], and then be happy", rather than "I'm going to kit out my character like he is Feanor himself." Forge distribution is flattened now, so scumming 950' isn't going to work the way you want.

Seriously though -- if you're having a hard time with the difficulty in general, I wouldn't bother trying a pure smith yet. I think it's probably the most finnicky "canonical" build that you can try.

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But I died on 750' (to my own stupid mistakes; I was overwhelmed by cats and trolls and ran out of voice when I could have easily run away) before I even started making the artifacts I needed to boost my smithing skill to the point that I could make the artifacts I actually wanted for my character [...] By that point I figure I would have already basically finished the game and I could only then start to play the character I wanted to play.
This has been my experience also. 600'-800' is very teenage-awkward for the pure smiths I've tried. It's tricky to risk diving, also, since you will probably miss a forge or three. There isn't much game-time to Sil, so I don't think there's much wrong with not getting your ultimate setup until right before the throne room?

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But it seems to me that because you need to forge so much stuff just to boost your smithing up in the first place, each forge is precious and if you don't start assembling your kit as soon as possible, you won't be able to make anything that pays off a heavy investment. Am I right about this, or do more forges appear very deep in the dungeon?
One approach you might want to try is making a high-grace Feanor, getting enough smithing to do your early stuff, and then maybe boosting Song a lot and getting Aule. You can use Song of Elbereth or other things to help your survivability, whereas smithing is just dead weight until you can use it.


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For another question, how does Song of Slaying work? I know the bonus increases proportionally to my song skill and that a high bonus decays very quickly.
The biggest Slaying effect from boosting Song is that the decay slows.

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Not to mention that I'm mostly too scared to sing it because it makes a whole bunch of awful stuff wake up and kill me. From reading the forums here and watching Debo's videos, it seems the primary use for it is to take it right at the end of the game and use it in the throne room. But is it possible to get good use out of it beforehand?
Yes, waking up everything is a real concern. I find Song of Slaying works really well at the exact moment you get Dodging and Flanking, provided there are still enough dudes around to make it worth it. This makes it very appealing to wade out into a crowd of dudes. You don't need a ton of song to make it worthwhile; any melee bonus at all is very noticeable in early fights, where most of your opponents have 3-5 evasion.
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Old October 6, 2014, 13:15   #290
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One approach you might want to try is making a high-grace Feanor, getting enough smithing to do your early stuff, and then maybe boosting Song a lot and getting Aule. You can use Song of Elbereth or other things to help your survivability, whereas smithing is just dead weight until you can use it.
Thanks for the advice!

That's basically what I did, except with Finarfin. I did 1346 Finarfin with armorsmith and enchantment, then made a crown of command at the first forge. With good protection to mitigate the hits that got through mastery, it was actually quite strong early. I felt I could ignore evasion entirely and focus on melee and song until around 350-400, at which point a corslet of protection and miminal evasion were definitely not cutting it. I didn't touch smithing until my third forge, where I took jeweller to make rings of accuracy. When I got to 750', I was sitting on 10k experience because I didn't know what to spend it on and wasn't sure if going for artifice right then would kill me. Of course I took it, and maybe it did kill me, but I was overconfident after wading through hordes of much nastier enemies on 700' than the things that actually killed me at 750'

For some reason, I'm obsessed with low strength finarfin starts with the idea that I'll use a 1.5 lb spear and rapid attack with focused attack and concentration for high criticals. But I'm finding that stat distribution extremely painful unless I go the smithing route for a crown of command. Elbereth works too, but positioning myself just right to make the enemies go down the stairs instead of back into the level can be really annoying. I actually did better with 0535 Feanor. That character took rapid attack as soon as he reasonably could, which was much too soon, but it was great against low defense enemies. He was popping orcs like balloons and instantly killing distended spiders even without the perception abilities, but he had major trouble against enemies with real defenses. Also, the inventory weight limit at 0 strength makes me want to cry.

Anyway, do you have any tips for low strength characters? I've tried a ton of different starts, but they all either have low damage output, low defense or both.
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